Is the Great Tribulation Already Past?
William Arnold III
I have a few questions. About 3 or 4 months ago, I was sent some tapes. They basically said that Matthew 24 and most of Revelation was fulfilled during 70AD with Titus' invasion of Jerusalem. That all the endtimes theories are really the deception and that natural Israel is really Mystery Babylon. I was wondering if you know of this teaching and if there is any merit to it. I have reread Matthew 24 a number of times. It would seem that he is addressing the apostles and telling them of the coming invasion. But it also says that it is the greatest tribulation and that there wouldn't be another one like it. All this has me really confused. Plus I would like to know if there is any truth to the UPC raising Red Heifers for Israel, and if it is true. Do you think it will bring about a curse?
What about the woman's hair and dress issue? In Numbers under the Nazarene vow a woman was allowed to shave her head if she was to break the vow. And in regard to dress, I've heard it taught that it is an abomination for a woman to wear that which pretaineth to a man and vice versa. OK, my question regarding this is: There are a lot of things in the Law that are abominations unto God. So then if the premise for following the pants thing is that which is an abomination is still an abomination how come all the other laws that are abominations are not followed if God changes not? And also men and woman both wore robes back then. So then could the scripture be in reference to transsexuality?
There is a very peculiar feature often found in prophetic passages where events which take place at different times are seen together as one. This is seen in some Old Testament passges which refer to both the first and second comings of our Lord (compare Luke 4:18-21 to Isaiah 61:1-2). Some have likened this to mountain peaks. From a distance two mountain peaks look as though they are right next to each other but as you get closer you realize that they are really very far apart. I believe that Matthew 24 and probably much of Revelation did have application for the immediate audience. However, there are several reasons why I believe they still have application to the future. First of all, Jesus said that he would return "immediately after" this great tribulation (Matt. 24:29-31). Second, many of the events prophesied in the book of Revelation have never had any type of literal fulfilment (such as the entire world buying and selling with a mark on their hands, Rev. 13:17). This time of tribulation is also brought to a close with the return of the Lord and the men of the earth fighting against him (Rev. 19:11-21). Unless we "spiritualize" this prophecy away, it must still be in the future.
I believe that there is good evidence that Babylon in the book of Revelation is a reference to the city of Jerusalem. I intend to put an article up on it someday but haven't gotten around to it yet. Hopefully I'll have it up some time in the future.
I know nothing about the UPC raising red heifers. Bro. Baxter would be the one to ask on those type of issues. His website is at: www.endtime.com. On your other questions, I must apologize but we have a policy at IBS not to discuss standards. I'm sorry that I can not be of help there. [See now our article: IBS and Standards.]
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