January 2010

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Do you make New Year's resolutions? If so, what are they? I, personally, am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, but I did make two this year.

On a business level, it was to implement Google Analytics. After all, this is one powerful tool for marketing your business that is completely free. If you're not doing at least that, you're wasting free marketing intelligence. Considering it's cost (nothing), I was shocked how deep the information is. I implemented that on December 31, so I was in good shape on that one.

On a personal level, it was to re-focus my prayers. I went through a very difficult period last year, and because praying became so difficult, I deteriorated into an attitude limited to submission and trust, and the only prayers I could offer were those of gratitude for all God has blessed me with. I got really great at detailing the areas of God's faithfulness, but I almost completely abdicated actively soliciting His intervention.

This year, my resolution is to recommit myself to more focused, specific prayers and developing the spiritual strength to continue to offer them, even if God's answers aren't the ones I'm hoping for. After all, if God doesn't answer your prayers the way you want Him to, it's sometimes easier to just stop asking. So my resolution is to resist the temptation to stop asking. — H. L.


Responding to Reader Questions

Will It "All Just Pan Out in the End"?

Q: I am reading Before God's Wrath, and I was doing fine — and agreeing with everything —until I got to where H. L. talks about Revelation 7:9-14. My questions are these:

First, if this scene is after the rapture - and we go up, passing Jesus who is on the way down, what is the Lamb doing up there with us in that scene? Jesus can only be in one place at a time.

Second, Paul states that "we shall always be with the Lord" after we are caught up in the clouds with Him (1 Thess. 4:17), which makes sense if the Lamb is with us in heaven and not on the earth without us.

Last, if Jesus is on earth after the rapture and throughout the time of God's wrath, where is He while down here? What is He doing? And how do we come to be "re-joined with Him" to reign on the new earth?

A: There are two approaches I can take to your questions.

First is the approach I took in the book. I covered it in depth there, so I won't go into too much detail, but basically it is that Jesus and the Father are one, so technically, Jesus is omnipotent and omnipresent as the Father is. Thus, we cannot say that He's "here" or "there" because He's everywhere simultaneously.

Yet, this is admittedly not a very satisfying answer. While God is

omnipresent, the person of Jesus exists in bodily form. So can we really skate out on a technicality?

There is another side of the argument that says no. This is where other rapture views have strength —rapture views that place the rapture, the Second Coming, and the final judgment at the same point in the time line. Books like The Secret Rapture: Is It Scriptural? (Ralph Woodrow — see our review of this book) do a really great job of making this argument.

I've been saying for some time that we need to be humble before the end times scriptures. As much strength as prewrath has, there are other views that have strengths, too. Prewrath ties a lot of things neatly up with a bow, but it's not perfect. No rapture position is.

Reader Response: I guess that's why one great preacher I heard say, "After reading and studying everything I could about the end times, the rapture, millenium, etc., I have decided I am a pan-millenialist. I figure God will pan it all out in the end!"

H. L. Response: I would not use that phrase because it implies apathy, but I do agree that God’s purposes will be accomplished regardless of the rapture position one holds. The more I study end-times prophecy, the more aware I am of just how sovereign God is. Certainly, God was aware of the emergence of all of the major rapture positions, and from the beginning of time, I believe that He ordered the events of history so that, no matter what rapture position you hold, world events appear to support that position. While there can only be one scriptural truth, God can and does work within all positions to accomplish His perfect purpose in the lives of individual believers.


Reader Testimony

I was so glad and excited to read your prewrath book, as I've been waiting to get it here in Honduras quite awhile.

As a child of about seven, I trusted Christ out of fear of an any-moment rapture, drilled into me by my Plymouth Brethren elder father (Darby). It wasn't until many years later (1991-92) that I was asked to critique Rosenthal's book, and after repeated jabs from a postrib friend, that I finally realized the flawed eschatology I had been living under.

My brother in law pastor is a driving factor in pushing the Darby Kelly, possibly MacDonald connection of the Brethren. The PreWrath Rapture Answered by Brainerd was his word against what I now hold to. Charles Cooper reviewed it. (The Rapture Plot by by Dave MacPherson details this plot if you haven't got it—Millenial Publishers).

I would be happy to join your online discussion group and feel free to use my name and testimony if you wish.

— Dr. Bob Funk (Honduras)

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