Do you feel that your Bible and prophecy views and beliefs are "mainstream" or "extreme" or what, compared to those of other Christians?

Email Received:

I have read almost all of what you have written in the Bible Commentaries section of your website. You have some very interesting views about end-time prophecy, creationism, and other things that I have not heard expressed before, at least not exactly the way you have written them. I am wondering how you see your biblical views, in relation to those of other Christians. Do you feel that you are "mainstream" or "extreme" or what?

Ted’s Response:

I have been asked this before, in so many words; but I guess that I have not addressed it, explicitly, at my website. Before I go further, you may want to look at My Beliefs and Faith page, in case you have not seen it yet. I feel that most Christians would agree with much, but not all, of what I have stated in the "Basics" section and maybe in my "Israel" section. However, I think that there would be disagreements with many points in my "Eschatology" section.

Actually, I feel that I usually tend to be "moderate" in my views, in the sense that mainstream views, of some specific issues, are at one extreme or another, whereas I usually am somewhere in the "middle." For instance, most of Christendom believes that Jesus was crucified on a Friday (that is, on Good Friday). The other "extreme," embraced by many, is that He was crucified on a Wednesday. My belief is right in the middle, since I am convinced that the crucifixion took place on Good Thursday.

Pertaining to Creation, most atheists do not believe in it at all, but they do believe in a very old universe and earth, as well as evolution from species to species (even though not one clear-cut example of this ever has been found in the extensive fossil record). Even some Christians believe in "Creator managed" evolution.

"Young-earth" creationist Christians do not believe in evolution, but they do believe that a Creator (God) created the entire universe and everything in it in six twenty-four hour days, only a few thousand years ago. Some even believe in a "gap" of several billion years, between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, allowing for an old universe, but a short creative process later.

I see all of these as extreme views. Again, I am somewhere in the middle. I believe in a very old universe (about 13.7 billion years) and earth (about 4.56 billion years); yet I completely reject a "gap" in the time line. I believe that each creative yōm = "day" was billions, or at least hundreds of millions, of years in length. I also completely reject the notion of macroevolution—that is, a progression from one species to another. Furthermore, in my opinion, the idea that life could have begun on its own, given enough time and without any external help, is ludicrous.

Even if the earth were trillions of years old, it would have been impossible for life to have begun spontaneously, without a Creator. This fact has become evident even to many atheistic scientists, just within the past several years, leading them to understand that an Intelligent Designer must have created life—though being very reluctant, of course, to refer to this entity as "God."

It makes me wonder why so many "young-earth" creationists continue to "fear" the idea of a very ancient universe and earth. It seems as though they think that if the earth is old enough, then life just might have been able to begin on its own. In reality, life never could have begun without God's direct intervention, even if a virtually infinite amount of time had transpired. This email response shows why I believe it would have been virtually possible for so many events to have occurred on just the sixth creation "day" alone:

Now, pertaining to the Rapture, the majority of Christians who believe that there will be such an event think that it will take place in one, single point in time. Many Christians believe in a "Pre-tribulation" Rapture—the idea that the Rapture will take place prior to the beginning of the 70th Week, the final seven years of this age. They believe that all seven years will encompass the wrath of God.

On the other hand, some Christians believe in a "Post-tribulation Rapture," saying that both the Rapture and all of God's wrath will occur during one (24-hour) day. They believe that this will be the same day on which Jesus' second advent (bodily descent) back to earth will take place, at the very end of the final seven years.

Interestingly, both of these extreme and totally opposite views agree about one (erroneous) thing: that the sun turning dark, moon turning red, and stars appearing to fall from the sky will occur on the last day of the 70th Week, and Jesus will return to earth on that same day (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27). "Post-tribbers" additionally believe that the main Rapture event, as well, will take place on the day that Jesus returns (Revelation 14:14-16). See my email response for details on why I am convinced these beliefs are fallacious:

Again, my viewpoint falls between both of these extreme positions. Matthew 24:30,31 and Mark 13:26,27 will take place immediately following the Sixth Seal events (Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12-16), with the Seventh Seal, beginning the seven trumpet judgments, yet to be opened. And Jesus will not return back to earth until the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet. So Matthew 24:30,31 and Mark 13:26,27 cannot possibly take place at the very end of the 70th Week and, thus, cannot depict Jesus' second advent to earth. Rather, it is a depiction of the Pre-wrath Rapture.

The notion of a "Pre-tribulation" Rapture is a deceptive fallacy, unsupported by Scripture, that has led many into a false sense of security. I do believe that multiple Rapture events will take place (most people believe in only one), with the Pre-wrath Rapture being the main one (that is, with the most number of people involved) and taking place at the beginning of the seventh year of the 70th Week.

There may be a partial Mid-tribulation Rapture of "firstfruits" believers; but, if so, that will be the first catching-up event. There will not be one preceding it. I do believe in a Post-tribulation Rapture, on the day that Jesus returns; but it will involve a minority of people who will come to a saving acceptance of Jesus during the devastating "day of vengeance" period.

Another topic on which I disagree with many pertains to the Antichrist (first beast of Revelation 13), Gog (Ezekiel 38 & 39), and the Assyrian (Isaiah 10, Micah 5). Some believe that the Antichrist and the Assyrian will be the same person and that Gog will be someone else. The other extreme is that all three of these terms are descriptive of one and the same person, necessitating that the bloodbath of Gog/Magog will be the same as the Battle of Armageddon.

My view is somewhere in between, as I am convinced that the Assyrian and Gog will be the same person, while the Antichrist will be someone else entirely. Here are two email responses where I give more details about this:

You can read my Final Battles commentary to see why I believe the Gog/Magog bloodbath will happen on the day Jesus returns to earth, while the Battle of Armageddon will take place 30 days later. There are other topic with which I differ, on main points, with mainline Christian denominations. But I think by now that you should get an idea why I feel, on many issues, that I definitely am not an "extremist" but, rather, am quite moderate.

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