As thrilling as it might be to read things about the End Times & the Great Tribulation, no one knows when they will be. In chapters XI, XII, XIII & XIV of my book, I go into great detail why these events cannot be known and there are no prophecies that pertain to the times in which we live.
Before you order it through Amazon at https://fredswolfe.com/ you can “Look Inside.” Basically, before Jesus’ ascension, he did not know about the Age in which we live today. (Here is where some of you will say, “but he was God and God knows everything,” yet in his own admission he stated that only the Father knows when he is coming back.
There are some people who are now saying that we are in the beginning stages of the Tribulation because of all the atrocities and wars going on throughout the world, as well as the lawlessness that prevails in many government leaders. Because I am here, and am writing this, I can assure you that we are not. The False Prophet is unveiled at the beginning of the Tribulation, performing lying signs, miracles and wonders. Has anyone heard of this?
Many Christians do not believe in the Rapture of the Church prior to the unveiling of the False Prophet, one of the antichrist’s, but I do. The Bible states that unless “a falling away” he apostasia, comes first the son of perdition will not appear. You can see the true meaning of Apostasia in the footnotes of page 106, but basically it means departure. This departure is called the “gathering together” or episunagoge.
As far as prophecies go, yes there are many about the end times but not the administration of the Secret which God kept a secret until He told it to the ascended Christ who in turn revealed it to the apostle Paul. It only stands to reason by mere deduction that if only God knew about it, no one could prophesy about it. Doesn’t that make sense?
Yes, these are trying times and when this age will end, no one knows. For now all of our friends can still be saved by the grace of God for merely making Jesus The Lord of their lives and believing God raised him from the dead. After the tribulation begins, this will not be the case, as there will no longer be salvation by grace. During the tribulation salvation will only be available by staying faithful through it or to the end of your life, whichever comes first. The latter will most likely come first.
Take advantage of this opportunity to get saved, now, before it is too late. God Bless!
I believe most Christians would say, when asked, if they believed the Bible literally, “Yes., of course I do.” The fact is, it is not completely literal. There are over 212 different kinds of Figures of Speech. Here are some definitions of a figure of speech:
a word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force to a spoken or written passage.
a form of expression (as a simile or metaphor) used to convey meaning or heighten effect often by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning or connotation familiar to the reader or listener
An expression that uses language in a nonliteral way, such as a metaphor or synecdoche, or in a structured or unusual way, such as anaphora or chiasmus, or that employs sounds, such as alliteration or assonance, to achieve a rhetorical effect.
an expression in which words are used in a nonliteral sense, as in metaphor, or in an unusual construction, as in antithesis, or for their sounds, as in onomatopoeia, to suggest vivid images or to heighten effect.
E.W. Bullinger says in his Companion Bible, “Ignorance of Figures of speech has led to the grossest errors, which have been caused either from taking literally what is figurative, or from taking figuratively what is literal.”
In the Gospels, Jesus spoke in many Parables. Parables or Parabola, is one such figure, an extended simile. Look for the message beyond the nonliteral story being told. In Matthew 13:1-52 Jesus tells a lot of parables which cannot be taken literally, like that of The Sower, Tares Among Wheat, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, Hidden Treasure, A Costly Pearl and The Kingdom of Heaven.
There are 31 usages of the word “parable” and 16 of parable(s) in the Gospels. Luke chapters 12-21 are full of parables. In addition, there are many other figures of speech within the Parables. In look 12:32, Jesus refers to Herod as a fox. This is one of my favorite figures, hypocatastasis, an implied resemblance or representation. This same figure is used in Genesis 3 where Satan is referred to as a serpent; It no more means a snake than it does in Ge. 49:17 where Dan is called the same.
My favorite Parable for the sake of this teaching is The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19. Taking verses 19-31 literal is one of the grossest errors Bullinger referred to. Lazarus was not carried away by angels to Abraham’s bosom when he died. The rich man was not in Hades being tormented, after he died. He did not see Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom far away. Yet, I have personally been told by many brothers and sisters in Christ that this is proof that Christians go to Heaven immediately after they die and sinners go to Hell. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The point of this parable is given in the final verses:
“But Abraham said, (he didn’t really say anything, he’s dead)’They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.(like me, Jesus)‘”
ARE YOU LISTENING?
If you have read my book or Ecclesiastes you will know that there is no memory, or thinking or imagination or any brain activity at all, in the grave “wither thou goest!”
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. KJV
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. NASU
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. ESV
No matter what version of the Bible you choose to use, when we die we all go to the same place where there is no awareness that we are even dead. Jesus Christ tasted death just like we will, with one exception: we will rot away.
As you can see, the Hebrew word sheol is used in 2 of the above 3 versions. Sheol occurs 67 times in the OT in the NASU version. Of those 67, the same word in the KJV is translated hell. Hell and the grave are one and the same. You can believe anything you want to, but his is what the Word of God says.
King David says this about that in
Ps 16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. KJV
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. NASU
David knew that at the Awakening of the Just, he would get up from the grave. He also knew that God would not allow Jesus (thine Holy One) to rot away, as he did and we will.
Hades is the NT equivalent of sheol, the grave. It is Strong’s number 86 and is used 10 times. It is translated as hell in the KJV and kept as Hades in the NASU. Here is the same verse from Psalms quoted in the book of Acts:
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. KJV
BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. NASU
Here you can see how Hades, Sheol and Hell are used interchangeably. These words have nothing to do with the Lake of Fire, which was used figuratively of the dump burning outside of Jerusalem. That is an altogether different subject, which I have already covered in a different blog post.
In the absence of the Rapture, we are all going to hell! Ha! Just like Jesus did!
P.S. By the way, you can get my book at http://www.fredswolfe.com now!
- The Question of Hell? (fredswolfe.wordpress.com)