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Three Eschatologies

posted Aug 26, 2013, 1:04 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Sep 2, 2013, 11:06 AM ]
At the time of Noah, after the events of the flood, God made a solemn promise... as Noah was worshiping with a sacrifice at the altar atop Ararat.

"And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite every living thing, as I have done." Gen 8:21 KJV

Note the relevant position of the enemy of God in scripture at the time of David: 

“Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.” Ps 101:8

This scripture is particularly important I think, because of it’s a forecast of Mt 24:22 – “... days cut short ... for the sake of the elect.”

“The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.” Prov. 10:30

“... And deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor...” Jer. 21:12

There is a sense that there are three distinct eschatological forms – the following being one manner of “classifying them.”

1.) Preterist – “Replacement” Theology – An obvious error; God is not finished with Israel.
2.) Rapturist – “Bridal” Theology – requiring different peoples for different God-head’s (most glaringly leaving out the Holy Spirit.)
3.) Escapist*  – “Harvest” Theology – reconciles all people of God; many branches, grafted into a single vine (Christ.)

* "Escape for thy life, look not behind thee... escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." Gen 19:17
"then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Mt 24:16 KJV

Within “no one knows the day or hour” portion of Matthew ch. 24 – lies an important question: Who was “taken?”  In another post the “Wheat and Tares” parable (Mt. 13:24-30, 36-43.) is cited as being foundational to our understanding.  

To this end, one notes in Ch. 24:39, the word “took” - and the realization that this should, therefore, control the inference of “who” due to the word “taken” in v’s 40 & 41.  In the story of Noah, it is the evil that is taken out of the World.  And so, when one is taken from the feild and another from grinding flour, it is the unsaved -- taken out to judgement.

As to timing of events, we should presuppose nothing, except what scripture indicates.

If the harvest is to follow the Lord’s wrath on evil men, then one supposes these events to occur in relatively quick succession ... as would the harvest predicted by Christ in Mt. 13. Imagine: all of the evil gone, and the Lord’s workers diligently and carefully bringing in the Harvest... then it's probable when He comes for us, our personal experience will happen in an instant (as Paul forecast.)  But for believers widely separated across the face of the earth, it won’t happen everywhere all at once – just as a harvest begins with the ripest grain and proceeds over a period of time to collect each area of the fields.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days ...Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Mt 24:30-31

It’s possible the mourning will be for those taken, whom the elect will realize -- have gone to their doom. OT mourning took time: Israelites mourned thirty days for Aaron (see Nu 20:29) but fasted only seven days for King Saul (see 1Sa 31:13).

These pictures are very deep, and not much discussed.

And then there is the OT law / lesson of the reapers leaving the corners ... ?