Before the Wrath

December 20, 2021 at 12:20 PM 20 comments

Audio for this article here: SermonAudio.com/StudyGrowKnow

The movie, Before the Wrath caught my attention because it promised to provide “new evidence” that would clarify the meaning of Scripture, with respect to the Lord’s ultimate physical return, based on Galilean wedding customs. Well, who wouldn’t want that?

I have spent years studying the end times (Eschatology), and have written a number of books on it as well. I tend to write more about this subject than other biblical subject. I wrote my doctoral thesis on the book of Revelation. So when I see something “new” on the scene, I tend to notice it and want to find out what it’s all about. By the way, this is not me bragging that I think I know everything because I don’t. It’s simply me saying that I’ve put the time in to at least do my best to discern what the Scriptures says about the times I believe we are now living: the very end of the end times or last days

Unfortunately, the movie falls down here because to my recollection, it never actually presented the physical evidence to substantiate the claims made. It doesn’t live up to its hype in other words. I guess the evidence could’ve ended up on the cutting room floor, but it should not have. While stating that there is new evidence to show that the Galileans had wedding customs that were different from all other groups then, aside from discussing it, they fail to showcase actual evidence to support it their claims. So what am I to think? What is anyone to think? Why wasn’t the actual evidenced presented?

I respect JD Farag, Jan Markell, Jack Hibbs and Amir Tsarfati (what little I’ve read his books and articles). This is the first I’ve heard of Jay McCarl, “Cultural Anthropologist & Author,” but if he is a cultural anthropologist, then I would certainly expect him to produce the proof that he seems to swear by and the others have also agreed with regarding the events of the Galilean wedding ceremony.

I also have questions for the producer, Brent Miller, Jr., who started Ingenuity Films, and is the credited writer of Before the Wrath. If he wrote the script, were the people in the movie simply saying his words or were they allowed to present their own perspectives? Did they offer their opinions and he then created a script from that?

Brent Miller’s father has produced The Pure Word, a new “translation” of the New Testament he insists goes back to what the Bible actually says using a special “monadic” process (whatever that is). The problem is that TPW is really a paraphrase, not a translation at all, and by some expert’s reckoning, not a very good paraphrase at all, sadly lacking in accuracy, much like The Message, another paraphrase often passed off and accepted as actual translations, though they’re not. I tend to shy away from so-called “translations” of the Bible where only one or two people are said to have translated it from original languages and not a committee of actual scholars, including archaeologists and expert linguists. Gary Shogren, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica, provides a great review of this “translation” at his blog Open Our Eyes Lord.

The title “Before the Wrath,” is either a bit misleading or possibly purposefully disingenuous, I’m not sure. Obviously, it will attract people who believe the Rapture occurs before the wrath (PreWrath Rapturists), but they’ll be disappointed because everyone in the movie believes in the PreTrib Rapture, I believe. I agree that the Rapture will occur prior to the Tribulation (though it’s not a hill to die on and shouldn’t be), though they did nothing to prove it. I also don’t believe that the Rapture position itself (or whether or not a person believes the Bible teaches it at all), should be a reason why Christians argue (yet it happens too often). The Orange Mailman (WP site), has a detailed review of this movie as well, and from a PreWrath perspective. He makes some cogent points, though I do not agree with his PreWrath position.

I will say that aside from the Rapture, I believe the Bible clearly teaches a coming Tribulation (seven years or the final “week” from Daniel 9:24-27), ending with the physical return of Jesus, who will judge the nations and then set up His Millennial Kingdom. After this, the final Great White Throne Judgment in which all unsaved will be told why they are being sent to the Lake of Fire will take place, then the new heavens and new earth and eternity future begins. Folks, as Christians who have the truth (eternal life from salvation), about Jesus, it is our number one job to present that to the unsaved and that was one of the points made in the Before the Wrath movie.

As an aside, when I matriculated at what used to be Philadelphia College of Bible, Marv Rosenthal was on the board of directors then. At one point, just prior to my graduation, it was announced that he was leaving the board and on good terms. A specific reason was never given. However, it wasn’t long afterwards that he and his friend came up with the PreWrath Rapture position. I noticed a severe change in his demeanor toward anyone who held to the PreTrib Rapture position, often contemptuously denigrating the view he once held. He was a bit antagonistic, so it became clear that he left the board because he was no longer a PreTrib Rapture person, but was now a PreWrath Rapture person. So instead of there being three main Rapture positions – Pre, Mid and Post – this other one was added to the mix. The truth is that only one of them can be correct if there is a Rapture at all. Arguing over it and demonizing people because of their position isn’t a good thing to do and certainly not Christian. But social media has made this commonplace unfortunately, where people literally spew their positions at other people. There is really very little actual and honest discourse today.

Along those lines, I also think there is a tremendous amount of Eschatological misinformation out there today and people like the late Harold Camping have not helped at all. He was a firm believer in the PreTrib Rapture position, but in spite of the warnings in Scripture that no one knows the day or time of Christ’s return, Camping said he did the math and figured it out. Many of his followers quit their jobs and took to the streets with Gospel tracts warning people the time was soon coming (not sure why they had to quit their jobs to do that!). Well, that time came and went with nothing. Camping then admitted that he got the math wrong and redid it and came up with another date! That one was wrong of course too. I thought it was interesting that shortly after that final failed prediction, he had a stroke and lost his ability to speak. He eventually died but from what I understand, he repented prior to that date with death. But people have grown really tired of all the “look, over there!” or “He’s coming at this point!” Yes, we should live every day as our last, but as I’ve said before, I could physically die way before the Rapture occurs from any number of things, couldn’t I? I should always be prepared to face my Lord in the next life. Every day could easily be my last day on this globe.

I can see why many pastors choose not to preach about end times things (only 2% according to LifeWay Research), because it is controversial and there are so many differing opinions. However, more pastors should step up to preach and teach it because people need to know. It is part of the Bible, with roughly 30% of the Bible dealing with prophetic events. It should be taught.

All of the dissension and argumentation has become a huge turnoff for the average non-Christian as well as Christian, who probably tend to think, “well, if there are so many different views and the experts cannot agree, how can we really know?” Brothers and sisters, this is not a valid excuse. It simply isn’t.

People should study the Bible for themselves and learn what it says and when disagreements arise, grace should always underscore everything between believers. I realize some of it is difficult to get through but what makes it much harder is not allowing the Bible to interpret itself. In order to do that, the person studying Scripture must be willing to learn about the cultural context and time period in which specific books of the Bible were written. What were those times like? It helps to know.

We need to stop going by how we feel about something we read in Scripture. Misinformation exists and continues today because too many people go by “feelz” and then unending arguments ensue. Why are so few seemingly interested in getting to the core of what the Bible teaches? I think, as the folks in the movie state, it has to do with the times in which we are living and the general (and serious), falling away from truth that the world is experiencing now and has been (2 Thessalonians 2:3). JD says this will become much worse and if we take Paul’s words at face value. Yes, it will, with more people turning away from the truth to have their ears itched.

The other issue I have with this movie is that while people speak in general terms about Scripture and even sound as though they are quoting portions of the Bible, they tend to take things out of context, pass over certain verses and continue on with others. They never provide actual references to specific biblical passages. For instance, while one person says “In John 14…” the specific verse or verses are not given and a careful listening will tell viewers that they are actually stating one particular verse and then finishing with a separate verse, making it sound as though it’s all one continuous set of verses, but it’s not. This isn’t good by any standard. Average readers who do not spend time in God’s Word may not recognize this unfortunately, and I expect better from these people who are considered to be experts in Bible prophecy. But again, were their words written by Brent Miller, Jr. and they couldn’t really deviate or was it simply editing that way?

The acting and cinematography of the movie is very well done. Kudos there. The music, the narration by Kevin Sorbo, all good. The problem is what I’ve noted above. I think they could have done better and for that reason, I give the movie a score of 3 out of 5 and that’s being generous.

Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Pt 2 Psalm 83: Prophecy or Lament?

20 Comments

  • 1. Rob  |  December 21, 2021 at 9:54 AM

    I listened again to this this morning and it sounds like maybe Farag was part of producing this movie (maybe?). I don’t know anything about the movie except what you present here and I agree with your comments so when I said previously that I don’t disagree with Farag, I was only commenting on what I’ve heard from him so far-namely a pre-trib rapture and time is short. Just wanted to make that clear since listening again it might sound like I was saying “I agree with JD and not you…” That’s not the case at all:)

    Like

    • 2. modres  |  December 21, 2021 at 10:16 AM

      Hey Rob, No, I didn’t take your first comments to mean that you agreed with JD and not me. However, if you DO find something to disagree with me on if you’ve done the research, that’s perfectly fine and you’re welcome to that view. It would be good to discuss if it does come to that though.

      I’m not sure if JD was co-producer on the movie or not. I’ll have to check into that. By the way, I do not agree with everything JD speaks of, but in general, I think he’s right on. One point that we separate on is his assertion that the “falling away” or “departure” mentioned by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refers to the Rapture of the Church. I disagree completely with that version. You cannot simply take a word from the original Koine Greek that may have several meanings and decide it means one thing, when in fact it can clearly mean something else. Numerous Bible scholars and linguists have proven (in my mind), that the phrase “falling away” or word “departure” has to do with apostasy, not a “lifting up” or Rapture of the Church. I think we are clearly seeing a real apostasy taking hold of society and especially within Christendom right now, that started a decade or so ago and has simply increased. The true Gospel has been replaced with the Social Gospel, which is no Gospel at all. Many are leaving Christianity or remaining in Christendom but finding a church that tickles their ears.

      Beth Moore is a case in point. Having begun correctly, years ago, she has slowly but consistently wandered from the truth to now having embraced Anglican theology where she is actually part of the ceremonies like Transubstantiation. She blames her defection on SBC policies even though she was given leave to preach to mix groups of men and women and held in very high esteem. Years ago, my wife, who tended to pay attention to Moore then, noticed that she was starting to embrace Roman Catholicism, of which my wife was born into and remained until her adult life. I’m not saying that Roman Catholics cannot truly be saved. I’m simply saying because of their dogma and tradition, much of the truth of Scripture is buried, in favor of the lies upon which Roman Catholicism was built.

      That type of apostasy is only going to worsen in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 3. rob45  |  December 21, 2021 at 10:58 PM

        I agree with all of that. I even told my wife about Farog’s comments on 2 Thes 2:3 that he thinks it’s the rapture and I am pretty convinced it’s the apostasy we are seeing all around us. We both see it exactly as you described it above and it’s been a concern of ours (especially in the church) for a long time. If I ever see something you write that doesn’t seem right to me I would mention it to you and get your take on it because you may see something I have missed but I wouldn’t ever be snarky. Honestly,I’m haven’t heard anything you’ve said biblically that I disagree with, especially pertaining to prophesy, but you have mentioned things that expanded my understanding quite a bit where I thought I had a pretty good understanding.

        On another note, I have all my books for my first class at Tyndale and just waiting to get past Christmas to get started officially. According to JD, I may not make it out of my first class before the rapture but that’s ok…growth is growth:)

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      • 4. modres  |  December 22, 2021 at 7:46 AM

        Thanks Rob.

        I think you’ll enjoy the classes at Tyndale. I did. Yep, according to JD and others we may not be here long.

        I’ve discovered a problem with the PostTrib Rapture view that I was not aware of before so I’d better get to writing about it sooner than later 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • 5. rob45  |  December 22, 2021 at 8:11 AM

        I’ll be looking forward to that (the problem with the post trib view that is)! I’ve never seen anyone mention this…ever…but one huge glaring problem with amillennialism is Rev 20:3. If Satan is currently bound and not deceiving the nations, as he would have to be if this were the kingdom age, I’d sure hate to see how deceived the nations were before he was supposedly bound. They would have to see that figuratively somehow but I can’t see a way that they could say he’s “spiritually” bound today that would differ from any other time in history since he’s never had free reign to do as he pleases. He had to have God’s permission to attack Job and even then was bound in how far he could go—“do not touch his life.” I love talking about this stuff but I’ve dragged this comment section almost into book realm so I’ll shut up for a while:)

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      • 6. modres  |  December 22, 2021 at 8:20 AM

        You’re fine, Rob. I appreciate the interaction.

        I have a huge pet peeve when ppl take Scripture allegorically. It hides the actual meaning as you know and gives rise to some of the most lame anti biblical theories. It’s really a disgrace in my opinion.

        If ppl would stop long enough to realize we are handling Hod’s Word and because He wrote it it is incumbent upon us to discern HIS meaning that attitude would help immeasurably.

        We do such a disservice to Him and His Word when we lay claim to some idea that is based on how we feel about something in His Word vs what His Word actually says.

        I know I’m not perfect it at it but I’d rather approach Him and His Word with a bit of fear and trepidation of getting it wrong rather than not taking the care needed.

        Still, I’m sure I’ll be corrected at numerous points at the Bema Seat but hopefully not that I had a cavalier attitude about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 7. Eric  |  January 12, 2022 at 2:03 PM

        Hi Fred,

        Regarding 2 Thessalonians 2:3, J.D. Farag follows the line of thought of Andy Woods on this issue it looks like. Andy Woods is author of the book, “The Falling Away, Spiritual Departure or Physical Rapture?: A Second Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:3.”

        — Eric

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      • 8. modres  |  January 12, 2022 at 2:28 PM

        Thx. Will check it out.

        Like

  • 9. rob45  |  December 20, 2021 at 10:05 PM

    I agree with your assessment that not enough preachers preach about the end times. I happen to know very well the Dean of Students at a Southern Baptist seminary named after a well known SB pastor and he thinks it’s silly that Christians in America think “the world is coming to an end just because there was an administrative change in the presidency.” I think it’s amazing that he thinks that’s all we see. It’s not just Americans or America either…we are seeing a realignment of global government…seemingly all coming together with a common cause. I keep meaning to listen to JD Farag when you mention him and after reading this I pulled up his most recent message and I can’t really disagree with him. I subscribed to his podcast but I’ve had problems getting them to play consistently.

    On the Bible translation topic, what do you think about the new Legacy Standard Bible from Lockman and The Master’s Seminary…John MacArthur’s crew? It’s supposed to be a strongly conservative, literal revision of the NASB95 but using Yahweh rather than LORD and carrying themes through scripture by keeping words consistent like “seed” from beginning to end so you can follow the theme as it progresses through the Bible text. If your not familiar with it you can read about it at LSB.org (I think). I think it’s interesting and I bought one but it’s hard for me to get cozy with a new Bible being sorta stuck on NASB and NKJV. I guess my only concern is I generally like MacArthur but I have some soteriological disagreements with him (like the extent of his lordship salvation…and how he interprets Hebrews as “come all the way to Jesus” where I see it more as “you made it all the way to Jesus, don’t turn back because there’s nothing else…now that you’re here there’s nowhere else to turn so be faithful and persevere.” I guess my concern is since it’s mainly done by the Master’s Seminary language guys and Lockman it might have a bit of bias. Anyhow, your discussion on Bible translations made me think of that.

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    • 10. modres  |  December 21, 2021 at 7:10 AM

      Hey Rob, I ran into an old school mate from my days at Bible college. While he was PreTrib he has since rejected it in favor of PostTrib. He also does not think we are in the days prior to the final global kingdom. He thinks what’s happening us all political. In fairness to him he has spent most of his adult life in a foreign mission field so when I mentioned that it appears to me global leaders are following dictates of WEF he didn’t know what that was. He seems out of the loop.

      I’ve not heard of the Legacy Bible but you make good points. I also have a difficulty with new translations as my mainstay is NKJV.

      Not sure why JD’s podcasts don’t work consistently. We normally watch him via Roku and don’t have issues. You should send them a note.

      Thx for your comments, Rob.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 11. modres  |  December 21, 2021 at 7:18 AM

      PS – Yes, it’s a bit strange to me to think that ppl think we Christians are only thinking it’s the last of the last days because Biden us now in the Oval Office. My biggest reason for thinking we are at the end is due to WEF and the way CV has and is being used to usher in a tremendous level of tyranny and fascism that appears to be in lockstep with Schwab’s Great Reset/Great Narrative. There’s just too much going on to ignore, in my opinion. Time will tell.

      Like

      • 12. rob45  |  December 21, 2021 at 7:45 AM

        That’s exactly right. It’s the global deception, Schwas’s GR, the technocracy that’s all just falling into place, and much more. That or it’s just an enormous coincidence that all these things are happening at the same time. I’m not sure I’m gullible enough to believe it’s all just coincidental:) After I responded on here last night I noticed JD has an app and I downloaded it and it runs flawlessly.

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      • 13. modres  |  December 21, 2021 at 8:13 AM

        I agree, Rob. Either all these things are just coincidence or Satan has been given the go-ahead to build his 10 horned beast ultimately to be taken over by AntiChrist.

        What bothers me is the business of End Times conversation with all the books, conferences, and videos etc. it’s a huge industry and there’s so much out there like Bill Salus’ Psalm 83 “prophecy” that I’ll be writing on soon. It’s ridiculous. But End Times is big business for some folks.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 14. Maranatha Today  |  December 21, 2021 at 11:04 AM

      Try using this link…Linda Kirby usually uploads them pretty fast and you can increase or decrease the playback from this site, which isn’t an option on the videos he posts on the jdfarag.org website.

      https://ugetube.com/watch/jd-farag-bible-prophecy-update-jesus-christ-nto-the-anti-christ_8Knwop16ZhVELRN.html

      Liked by 1 person

      • 15. modres  |  December 21, 2021 at 11:11 AM

        Thanks Maranatha. Apparently, Rob was able to download the app, which he says works great now. Thanks!

        Like

  • 16. Maranatha Today  |  December 20, 2021 at 2:27 PM

    Thanks for your review of this movie which I have seen. Yes there are many differing views about the Rapture and you are right when you say it shouldn’t be a reason for Christians to argue. Some people have made a lot of money selling their position on this which is why many stand their ground on what they believe…time will tell who’s right…

    We wait patiently for His soon return.

    Like

    • 17. modres  |  December 20, 2021 at 2:35 PM

      Yes, unfortunately. It would’ve helped if Paul, for instance, had simply stated exactly what the “restrainer” was that he was referring to in 2 Thessalonians 2:6. Had he specifically said, the Holy Spirit, or Michael, or what he was actually referring to that the Thessalonians apparently were already aware of, imagine the guesswork that would not exist today? I take his reference to be referring to the Holy Spirit via the Church, but others have put forth great arguments in favor of the restrainer being something or someone else.

      Well, we don’t know unfortunately, so we simply have our best educated (hopefully), guess. That alone is strong enough reason to treat those with differing viewpoints with grace.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 18. Maranatha Today  |  December 20, 2021 at 2:50 PM

        Lol…both my hubby and I think exactly the same…Lol. I believe nearer to the time we will fully understand…can’t be much longer…

        Like

      • 19. modres  |  December 20, 2021 at 3:10 PM

        Yep, I agree.

        Like


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