Question about Dispensationalism

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John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I need help understanding something.
What is the rationale for the dispensational practice of watching the news for fulfillment of the book of Revelation? (For example, the goings on of the river Euphrates right now)

If the church is going to be raptured at the beginning of the tribulation (Revelation 4-19) why do they watch for signs of things that won’t occur until after they’re (hopefully) gone? This would include anything they point to in the news, including the million different things which have been purported to be the mark of the beast.

Seems to me only mid-trip people could have a reason for doing this. Maybe I am missing something? Seems to be irrational at face value.

Thanks
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Senior
I need help understanding something.
What is the rationale for the dispensational practice of watching the news for fulfillment of the book of Revelation? (For example, the goings on of the river Euphrates right now)

If the church is going to be raptured at the beginning of the tribulation (Revelation 4-19) why do they watch for signs of things that won’t occur until after they’re (hopefully) gone? This would include anything they point to in the news, including the million different things which have been purported to be the mark of the beast.

Because, in their way of thinking, if events that will transpire after the rapture are evidently taking shape for relatively quick fulfillment, then the rapture itself has to be even closer to taking place.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Older Dispensationalists didn't do this as much (see Three Views on the Rapture). Some pre-wrath could do this, but the only "activator" signal is the revelation of the man of lawlesness. That's it.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Quite frankly, it is a form of gnosticism: "Most people don't know this, but I can interpret the news to say what God is going to do." Other than telling us we are to be ready for Christ's return and that we are blessed to consider the writings in Revelation, the scriptures don't instruct us to look into these matters. In fact we're told not to try to guess a time or day. So rather than be an eschatological system, dispensationalism is generally an exegetical aberration in just about all its permutations.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Do you think the average pew sitter, who attends a Dispensational-leaning congregation, actually reads/listens/watches news with his Bible on his knee?

I'm going to guess: no. Instead, he occasionally absorbs the opinion of his pastor, or some other pundit of media, who spoon feeds him the connections he has made between what he thinks is predicted in the book of Revelation and preconditions for those events he thinks are developing in real-time.

This information gathering habit of the typical person is not confined to religious speculations. Most people get information about things beyond their small sphere of immediate awareness from a very limited number of curated sources, which they then trust implicitly. "Conservatives" are catechized by a radio celebrity, "Liberals" watch a comedian dish processed product in sound-bites, each to their audience' taste. The "news" delivered by MSM is filtered and slanted and drugs the population either to stupor or mania, depending on the need of society's managers. Education from K-college measures success by the ability of students to regurgitate the judgment of the instructor.

Human beings are limited. We actually have to trust sources, but unfortunately people have much less of a "bias toward truth"--its reception or its delivery--than they imagine. If they believe they have an excellent lie-detector, they are prime candidates for deception. Self-esteem props up the delusion of integrity, when self-doubt would be more likely to prompt testing of the spirits.

The idea: that the Bible has handed those in the know a peep-stone view of history's unfolding, provides the same kind of euphoria that inside-information does to stock traders. Everyone wants to be right ahead of time, ahead of the curve. The same irrational basis for believing a Nigerian prince wants to use a random emailer's address to launder his millions for a cut, underlies a willingness to embrace a prophet's interpretation of the signs of the times. "I'm special."

Our best protection against being taken in ourselves, is to recognize the same tendencies are within each of us: "I'm not special."

We aren't better off because we are not as irrational as those Dispensational-types. "What do you have that you did not receive?" We are in need of grace. We are in need of good and faithful teachers, good sources who are themselves aware of how much they are dependent on a multitude of wise counselors, and reliable tradition. We are limited, and knowing our childlike condition should make us most urgent to rely ultimately on the Father's hand holding ours, leading us safely into the future he alone sees, having determined it.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
It is odd that [some, many?] dispensationalists are so caught up in a book that is largely irrelevant to them, given they are raptured “in the white spaces” (to quote MacArthur) and disappear in Chapter 4. But I have also heard many consistently apply their theology in such a way that “it doesn’t matter anyway, we’ll be gone before it gets too bad anyway.”

***For what it's worth, I don’t think MacArthur is one of those obsessed with Revelation.
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
What sparked my interest:

Dispensational coworker of mine heard this theory:
UFO sightings are increasing because those left behind will need something to explain away the disappearance of millions of people. So, UFOs are a demonically inspired deception. You can’t make this stuff up.

Of course, when I gave my flabbergasted input, the conversation ended with this sentiment:
“it doesn’t matter anyway, we’ll be gone before it gets too bad anyway.”
sheesh.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
UFO sightings are increasing because those left behind will need something to explain away the disappearance of millions of people. So, UFOs are a demonically inspired deception. You can’t make this stuff up.

UFOs are a demonically-inspired deception. Granted, I don't think you need to tie it in with the rapture (though some New Age authors have said as much).
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
UFOs are a demonically-inspired deception. Granted, I don't think you need to tie it in with the rapture (though some New Age authors have said as much).
What do you mean? The way they explained it to me, they thought there were real sightings, but what they saw was placed there demonically.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
What do you mean? The way they explained it to me, they thought there were real sightings, but what they saw was placed there demonically.

That's more or less accurate. Consider the messages that abductees get from UFOs. It's demonic clap trap. It's almost taken word-for-word from New Age manuals and Oprah. And then they get probed. Why would benevolent space brothers anally probe somebody? (The probings are also good evidence against its being mere imagination).

"Demonic" is a slippery term but it's the best one for the moment.
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
That's more or less accurate. Consider the messages that abductees get from UFOs. It's demonic clap trap. It's almost taken word-for-word from New Age manuals and Oprah. And then they get probed. Why would benevolent space brothers anally probe somebody? (The probings are also good evidence against its being mere imagination).

"Demonic" is a slippery term but it's the best one for the moment.
I’ve always went with the accounts being fabricated, but I could be open to something else, I reckon. The connection to the Pretrib rapture is still odd.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I’ve always went with the accounts being fabricated, but I could be open to something else, I reckon. The connection to the Pretrib rapture is still odd.

Some are. That's why there is a distinction between contactees and abductees. Contactees can be sensational and unreliable. Abductees are a different matter.

Of course, there might be an even simpler answer: the Deep State has the technology and is wicked enough to do it.
 
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