A City Set On a Hill
Surviving the Seventieth Week by Reforming Fundamentalism and Establishing Cities of Refuge
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Copyright 2010 by Raul E. Lopez, MD, MDiv

The starting point for this book was a seminary sermon project for a class which the author took in the late 1980's. Work progressed slowly during the early 1990's and a full rough draft was completed in 1998. After that work on this project languished, but the Lord impressed on the author's heart the words of Jeremiah "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous [man] doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul" (Jeremiah 3:17-21). This project is the author's attempt to obey the responsibility suggested by the words of the Lord to Jeremiah.

As I have been writing this book I have noticed a slow but steady decline in the morals of the United States. This book was started on one of the earliest PC clones on the market. For example, at that time the internet with its ubiquitous pornography did not exist. When I was a teenager my friends had to sneak playboy magazines into their homes if they wanted to see the kind of pictures found in these magazines. Recently my teenage son told me that he decided to preach against this problem in a Bible club at his school because he is concerned that many of his classmates have a problem with internet pornography. This school is a private school and my son is in Junior High. The problem is probably worse in the higher grades.

When I was a child preachers used to preach against rock and roll music, but now when I go to a fast food place I often have to ask them if they can at least change the horrible gangster rap, perreo or whatever they are playing to some soft rock or Latin jazz. The lyrics of popular music have become more and more explicit in their promotion of violence and sensuality. Compared to the newer forms of noise, the old bad stuff seems outright classical by comparison. I recently took my daughter to the store of a large bookstore chain at the mall. We wanted to get her some nice adventure fiction to get her to continue developing her reading. However, almost all the books in the independent reader section (pre-teen level) had to do with magic, witchcraft or romance. By contrast, when I was a child some of my friends parents forbade them to read Huckleberry Finn because it contained a few swear words.

We have bought into the masonic ideal of separation of state and religion, but the Moslems do not believe in separation of state and mosque and are successfully doing everything they can to implement sharia law throughout the world, including the United States. Our culture is rapidly degenerating and taking the younger generation with it. Unlike Islam, the church is doing very little to stem this downward spiral. I believe that much of this loss of motivation is the result of thinking that we will not have to face the consequences of our inaction because the Lord is going to remove us from the Earth before everything comes crashing down.

Premillennialism's teaching of a literal Tribulation week would have a much stronger impact if it could be shown from scripture that the rapture takes place at, or towards the end of the seventieth week and that the Anti-Christ will arise from and rule the world from the United States. In fact, the Biblical evidence substantiating a pre-seventieth week, or pre-tribulational, timing for the rapture is much weaker than most Christians realize. The weight of Biblical evidence points to a rapture which occurs towards the end of the seventieth week closely connected with the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth.

These seven years of fiery trial might overtake the world during our lifetime, or during the lifetime of our children or grandchildren. This period of time will have a dramatic impact on all those who are alive at that time. It is clear that the church represented by the church of Philadelphia will win many unbelievers, including Jews, to faith in Christ. The Lord tells John "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Revelation 3:9). It is possible that reference is also being made to members of pseudo-Christian sects. Almost all of these groups have some sort of confusion about some aspect of the identity of Israel. That is, they "say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie" (Revelation 3:9). For example, Mormons believe that native Americans are descendants of a few wandering Israelites, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they are 144,000 Israelites which will serve God during or after the seventieth week, and several groups, such as the International Church of God, think that the British are descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Even Moslems believe that the Arabs have replaced Israel as God's people. If many Jews and the members of false sects, both of which are the hardest people to convert, will be saved through the influence of this church, so much more the unsaved family members of believers.

Even though it seems that many will find salvation during the seventieth week, many more will abandon the faith. The other six letters in the book of Revelation contained stern warnings for the church which they address.

However, the church of Philadelphia was only warned to "hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Revelation 3:11). Children and grand children are the greatest crown a believer may possess. They are the only thing a person can make on Earth which he can take to heaven. Solomon says "Children's children [are] the crown of old men;" (Proverbs 17:6). When dictators rule, this crown is one of the first things to be taken from believers. Christian schools are closed down and home schooling is forbidden. Dictators have the nasty habit of taking control of education in order to indoctrinate children, even to the point of turning them against their parents. This has been true of the Nazis, Communists, Fanatical Muslim, and others. Many young Germans were forced to participate in Hitler Youth.

Parents should ask themselves if their children or grand children would be able to tolerate seven years of brutal de-Christianization. The cities of refuge would be a place where Christians could go with their families to increase the chance that their children would be saved, thus preserving the most important of the believer's crowns.

When Pharaoh was told by Joseph that seven years of famine were coming which would be preceded by seven years of bounty, he set Joseph to prepare for the coming famine. In so doing he saved his own country, the people of the surrounding countries, and Israel itself. If a heathen king had the foresight to heed God's warning and prepare for seven years of trouble how much more should we heed God's word and prepare. Especially when we probably have more than seven years of plenty to prepare for it. World conditions are more stable than they have been for at least almost a century. If we refuse to prepare it will happen to us as Solomon predicted "Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. . . . For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil" (Proverbs 1:24-27,32-33).

As a first step, please help us start a Biblical Theological Seminary in Puerto Rico where we can train well educated pastors and missionaries who are literate in prophecy to bring the gospel to Puerto Rico and Latin America.

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