Steve Wohlberg’s “End Time Delusions”
After reading Wohlberg’s book and some of the reviews that rave about it, I can only wonder if I have a different version!
For instance, he notes in chapter 5, that the church was essentially pure in doctrine during the first century and was not until much later that things began to go awry. He tries to prove his point, but winds up proving that he has no real understanding of church history, or the Bible.
I’m not sure how Wohlberg can say that the early church (of the first century) was relatively pure in doctrine, if he has read just about any of Paul’s letters. Paul wrote to the Corinthians because they were carnal and badly misinterpreting the believer’s eternal security. They were, in fact, using it as a means of being able to live any way they wanted to live.
Paul wrote to the Galatians because they were in severe danger of ADDING elements to salvation. Had they given in to the demands of the Judaizers, they would have submitted themselves to circumcision, which would have meant going back UNDER the demands of the Law. Paul fought this error with everything he had. There is not ONE positive, or praiseworthy note in Galatians with reference to their committment to Christ.
Paul wrote Colossians as a treatise against the Gnostic heresy that said Christ never came in the flesh, but was merely a phantom.
All of the above-state heresies were alive and active during Paul’s life and he was constantly on his guard against the proclivities of such dangers. It was not Paul either, but Peter and James that fought against the heresies which existed at the time.
Wohlberg also shows his lack of understanding with respect to church history because he ASSUMES that Augustine’s mode of interpretation was the correct mode of interpretation. He assumes because there is not a great deal of Eschatological discourse (study of End Times) during the first century, that everyone was as Wohlberg is – Reformed. However, it SHOULD be clear from history that it was not long after the last apostle died (John), that Polycarp and others began to allegorize Scripture. Augustine also became a master at this, and it was his ideas and understanding of Scripture that segued into the Roman Catholic Church. As far as Catholicism is concerned, they have the exact views of Eschatology that Augustine did, with virtually no change! But it must be asked WHY did Augustine adopt such an allegorical view of Scripture when it came to prophetic discourse? Because Augustine and a few others felt it imperative to remove any semblance of Jewishness from the Scriptures. Though the Bible was written within the Jewish community and culture, and though the human authors were nearly 100% Jewish, though Jesus was (and remains Jewish), and though the Bible is FILLED with Jewish idioms, Augustine was certain that because Jews had “Killed” Christ, they no longer had any part in biblical salvation (except individually), and therefore, Christianity should be moved further and further away from any Jewishness that might otherwise define Christianity.
Yet, Wohlberg states that Christianity of the first century was essentially pure. It was not. Satan did not lie down and ignore the church. Once birthed, he immediately assailed and attacked it. The heresy that exists in the church today, is built on previous forms of heresy that can be traced to the first century.
The amount of holes in Wohlberg’s arguments can fill a book. In fact, I have just finished one that has a great amount of detail regarding his error.
I find it fascinating that the people who are opposed to the End Times scenario of the Rapture, Tribulation, 1,000 Millennium, etc., are also those who have been raised Reformed/Covenant or Preterist. These people need no convincing where beliefs such as Wohlberg’s exist. For them, they have another person who agrees with them, regardless of any potential problems in how they arrived at their viewpoint.
The Reformers of the Reformation did one thing and one thing only: they attempted to eradicate the heresy that existed with respect to salvation, being propagated through the Roman Catholic Church. In that, they had a degree of success, yet the Catholic Church still exists and the beliefs espoused are no different than BEFORE the Reformation, with respect to salvation.
The Reformers barely won over the Catholic Church. They did absolutely nothing with Eschatology. Their concern was with salvation. Why? Because my belief in the Rapture (or not), etc., has no bearing on my salvation.
In fact, it does not matter how many people agree or disagree with Wohlberg. He is convinced he is correct though there are many quality arguments against his position. In the end though, ALL people could be either for or against Wohlberg’s position. That does not matter. What matters is what the Bible says. All the people here who are breathing a sigh of relief, need to go back to the Bible and convince themselves through it alone that Wohlberg’s position is the actual position. Then, they need to continue with fear and humility, realizing that they may have intepreted it incorrectly (or not).
But the reality is this: what does YOUR study of prophecy create within you? If it creates a sigh of relief and nothing more, you have a problem. If it creates within you a greater desire for evangelism, then prophecy has worked its purpose.
All who look forward to His coming, are purified by the thought. Look at it another way…let’s say that Wohlberg IS 100% correct. Let’s say that there is no Rapture, Tribulation or whatever to come. That’s wonderful, right? You will not be taken by surprise since none of these events will occur.
Fine. But there is still something that WILL occur that you will likely have NO warning about and you may or may not be prepared for it: your DEATH. Do you know when you will die? Do you know how old you will be when that occurs? Are you living each day as if it is your LAST? If not, why not? You have no excuse, if you are not out evangelizing the lost.
So, go ahead and argue about the Rapture (or not), or the Tribulation (or not), but one thing you cannot argue about is that NO ONE knows the day, hour, or moment of his/her death. Brittany Murphy died very unexpectedly not long ago. She is known to the world. What about all the people who die and are NOT known?
Jesus came to this world to die so that we might live. Instead, we argue about Eschatology, convinced that we are right and the other person is wrong. Whoopee. Satan laughs in glee because we are NOT doing what the Lord called us to do: the Great Commission. You and I have an obligation and it is NOT to argue about Eschatology. It is to live our life in such a way that peoople will see it and glorify our Father who is in heaven. It is also the best way to break down barriers so that we can begin to talk about Jesus Christ and His salvation.
Sorry for the length of this, but I have come to the end of my patience with respect to people arguing over aspects of Eshatology, meanwhile the lost die into eternity and hell every moment of every day. We have become a sidetracked people and we need to get back on course!
Salvation is for the lost and we need to diligently be about the Master’s business in introducing the lost to Him.
For another review and more information about Wohlberg, go here:
Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, dispensationalism, Life in America, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: allegory, as it was in the days of noah, dispensationalism, end times, fallen angels, posttribulation, SDA, second coming, sevent-day adventism, seventh-day adventist, Steve Wohlberg, Wohlberg, works.