Burning Questions

Q 11. Is China mentioned in the Bible?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q 11. Is China mentioned in the Bible?
Does it have a role to play in prophecy?
 

The recent heavily publicised takeover of Hong Kong, during the summer, by the Chinese, has raised new interest and questions about its prophetic role.

I have to say that the name China is not found anywhere in scripture but there are important prophecies which, I believe, relate to this superpower. Some of the clearest of these prophecies are found in the book of Revelation, and events taking place today would suggest that China is the subject of them. China is an ancient civilisation with a long and colourful history. For most of that time it has been dominated by the ancient religions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

However, the seeds of change began to flower about 100 years ago - just before the turn of the century - with the fall of the Confucian monarchy. This gave way to western influence and internal revolution. The celebrated Chiang Kai Shek rose to power but he in turn was displaced in 1949 by Chairman Mao Tse Tung and the formation of the People's Republic of China.

Marxist communism, with its godless and repressive ideologies had taken hold of the world's most populated country. Despite social changes, China today remains the world's largest atheisticly led country.

How then does this fit in with prophecy?

Q12. What does the Bible mean when it says 'The moon shall be turned into blood' in the last days?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q12. What does the Bible mean when it says
'The moon shall be turned into blood' in the last days?
 

The statement in our question regarding the Moon being turned into blood is something that has fascinated Bible students for years.

The generation to which these words were spoken must have been greatly puzzled by this prophecy, as indeed many other generations down through the centuries.

I believe, however, that this present generation is better poised than any before it to understand and interpret the prophecy.

Having so said I must warn that like many other prophecies there is no simple explanation. As with all scripture, a study of the immediate and wider contexts is important. There are actually two statements in scripture regarding the Moon and blood; one is in Revelation 6 and the other in Acts 2 - the latter being a direct quotation from the prophecy of Joel.

To understand this prophecy we must remember that the Moon being turned into blood is lust one of an array of cosmic happenings which are predicted for the last days. Regardless of what is meant by the phrase 'turned into blood' it must not be looked at in isolation.

Q13. Who are the two witnesses of Revelation 11 and what is their role?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q13. Who are the two witnesses of Revelation 11 and what is their role?
 

Much speculation and interest has surrounded the identity and role of the persons referred to as 'The Two Witnesses'.

Generally they have been regarded as two charismatic individuals with great oratorial skill with strong spiritual and miraculous powers. They are thought to be destined to arrive on the scene during the Great Tribulation period as God's mouthpiece to the Jewish nation and the world.

But is the general view correct? What should we understand about the Two Witnesses?

In assessing the identities of these men I propose to cover what I consider to be the five most common theories regarding the subject. Our interpretation will, of course, depend on whether or not we accept a Historicist or Futurist viewpoint of prophecy. Combined with this is the matter of whether we take an allegorical or literal interpretation of the passage.

Q14. Should We Believe in Hell, or is Annihilation more Christian?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q14. Should We Believe in Hell, or is Annihilation more Christian?
 

Back in the Middle Ages religious art was largely dominated at that time by pictures of heaven and hell. Those of heaven displayed cherubs and heavenly creatures inhabiting a place of golden bliss.

On the other hand, hell was usually portrayed with images of fire, demonic beings and, of course, the devil himself as a hideous horned creature with a long tail and a fork in his hand.

These artistic images coloured the minds of people for centuries and have influenced our conception of heaven and hell. But how correct are they?

Q15. Who is the Scarlet Woman of Revelation 17?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q15. Who is the Scarlet Woman of Revelation 17?
 

REVELATION 17 is one of the most interesting and graphic of all the visions given to John on Patmos. In v.3-6 he gives a very clear description of an obviously corrupted woman, clothed in purple and scarlet riding a scarlet coloured beast.

The beast itself is unmistakably satanic since v.8 tells us it ascended from the bottomless pit and is destined for perdition. The beast is clearly the kingdom of antichrist with his personage at the head.

The scarlet woman is seen 'to ride' the beast, suggesting a harmonious working relationship with antichrist's kingdom. Although further reading of the passage reveals that there will be a breakdown in that relationship.

The question is: who is this scarlet woman? It is my firm belief that it will be a one world church - a global ecumenical religious system. This religious system will probably be led and dominated by the Roman Catholic church, but will also include liberal protestants, along with all the major faiths and religions of the world.

Q16. Who is the Restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2 v 6-7?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q16. Who is the Restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2 v 6-7?
 

The identity of the person or force referred to in the above verses is, and always has been, a matter of some mystery and no little controversy among lovers of prophecy. Commonly referred to as 'The Restrainer', this person or entity clearly has an important role in the prophetic calendar since the removal of such will allow the rise of Antichrist and will usher in the tribulation period.

For this reason it is very important to try and accurately identify 'The Restrainer' as this will have a bearing on our understanding of the chronological sequence of events in the last days.

Let us look closely at the verses. Two phrases seem to stick out: '...ye know what withholdeth ...' (v.6); and '...he who now letteth will let until he be taken away ...' (v.7).

Paul is talking about the last days and the emergence of Antichrist referred to in v.3 as 'The man of sin' and in v.4 as 'He who opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God' and in v.8-9 as 'That Wicked ...whose coming is after the working of Satan.'

Q17. Is it true that the Spanish Jesuits Alcazar and Ribera formulated respectively the Preterist and Futurist interpretations of the book of Revelation?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q17. Is it true that the Spanish Jesuits Alcazar and Ribera formulated respectively the Preterist and Futurist interpretations of the book of Revelation?
 

 Is it true that the doctrine of the Secret Rapture’ arose in the 19th century as new ideas spread by Maitland, Darby and Irving, who absorbed the Jesuit teachings of Ribera and Lacunza?
 
I AM grateful to Mr. Bertram Lewis of Exeter for posing the above questions, which enable me to paint some of the background to prophetic teaching and to dispel some of the myths regarding the prophetic truths that we believe.
 
The two questions are addressing separate issues but as they are closely linked together we will treat them as two parts to one question. The first part has to do with the various viewpoints on the interpretation of prophecy and centres particularly on our approach to interpreting and understanding the books of Daniel and the Revelation.

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