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Are We Really Living in The Last Days? by Roger D Liebi; published by Christlicher Medienvertrieb Hagedorn. Available from John Ritchie Ltd; 380 pages. Price £10.95. (9783943175080)

Are We Really Living in The Last Days? is a translation of a book first published in German. The translation reads well. As its title suggests, it is an examination of prophecies from both Testaments related to the Lord’s coming.

The reader reaches p.339 before the Rapture of the Church is mentioned, at which point the author states clearly: "The Church will be saved from ’the hour of temptation’ (Rev 3.10)". The "hour of temptation" he defines as "the period when the Antichrist will appear as the great seducer of all times". In a footnote he refers the reader to Revelation 13.1ff. He is equally unequivocal that: "The Rapture of the Church could happen at any time. There is no remaining prophetic event which must necessarily take place before the Rapture". However, Liebi defines the Last Days as "the period in which the Jews return to the Land of Israel". However, when Paul penned 2 Timothy 3, the Last Days were future, but his description of them identifies moral, not political, characteristics.

Consistent with his definition of the Last Days, the author dates the Last Days from 1882. He finds a parallel in the 135 years "from the First Coming of the suffering Messiah until the final demise of the state of Israel," which demise came, he suggests, with the Second Revolt against Rome (AD 132-135). That period of 135 years he entitles "The Time of the Beginning". The 175 prophecies Liebi considers fulfilled relate to Israel and various nations, some that have or had significant Jewish populations, and some that have been antagonistic to Jews and/or the Jewish state. Most interpreters of Scripture would be hesitant to define the Last Days as the period from 1882 and to view as fulfilled the various Bible prophecies he cites. However, Liebi’s outline of Israel’s history from 1882 is enlightening and confirmatory of the preservation of a nation that demonic and human forces have tried to eliminate over many centuries. It is that historical overview that may be of interest to some readers.

-TW

By This Conquer by Andrew Borland; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 232 pages. Price £8.99. (9781907731822)

By This Conquer continues Ritchie’s Classic Reprint Series. Subtitled "Studies in the Epistle to the Philippians", it is a 232-page verse-by-verse commentary that will prove helpful to a wide age range of readers. The name Andrew Borland was closely associated with Believer’s Magazine for more than three decades. Mr Borland, as the reviewer knew him, was Editor of the Magazine for most of that period. All who remember his editorial precision will not be disappointed in his elegant prose and careful sentence construction in By This Conquer. The clarity of his writing will also be appreciated by a wider 21st century readership.

In his Foreword, the author modestly suggests that this book contains "nothing new"; that he leaves to "more scholarly and more original thinkers". Yet his exposition of Philippians is much more than a re-working of other writers’ interpretations. He does part company with many in his approach to Philippians 3.11-12. His defence of Christ’s Person as presented in Philippians 2 is trenchant. He states clearly his defence of both Lord’s deity and humanity; in so doing he opposes emphatically those who try to have one foot in the camp that would dare to present "a fallible Christ" and the other in a more fundamentalist camp. He strips aside their veneer of reverence to Christ to expose their desire to have "a non-miraculous Jesus…that leads to a purely legendary Christ".

The chapters of By This Conquer were originally published in a monthly magazine, so every verse is not covered in the same level of detail. Many younger readers will be encouraged by the brevity of the chapters – thirty chapters are covered in 232 pages. By This Conquer is good choice for Ritchie’s Classic Reprint Series. To those familiar with his writing, it is Andrew Borland at his best. To others who never heard him preach, who may not have had opportunity to read his articles or books, By This Conquer will provide an introduction to an author, who proved helpful to many in past generations.

-TW

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