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Posts Tagged ‘rapture’

Well, I believe that it is when you consider it gives a second chance to be saved after the ‘Rapture’ of the church. I will elaborate further:

I subscribe to and receive ‘Prophecy Updates’ from Pastor JD Farag because he supports Israel and I’ve found him to be a very likeable, sincere and engaging speaker. However – the one thing that mars his video presentations [ you can find them on You tube] for me, is his continual references to the soon-to-come ‘Rapture’. No matter how bad things get in this world – the Church will be ok …not because she is trusting in her Lord to get her through, but because she will “soon be out of here”!

In his last two updates he is, it seems to me, getting more foolish and extreme [I don’t mean that in a disrespectful or rude way I assure you] , even though he advocates caution and searching the scriptures for ourselves like good Bereans should.

The reason I think this, is because JD begins with an endorsement of a book called ‘Surviving the Tribulation’ and also mentions an available ‘Rapture Box’ – a box or package containing resources and information, including the Book, that is intended for those who find themselves left behind. Apparently the main message to them is ” Don’t listen to the strong delusion”.

I can’t help asking myself two questions: 1. Who is being deluded? and 2. Does this fall into the category of another gospel?Quotes:

“The Bride of Christ has been raptured by the Bridegroom and that’s why we left here” and ” We are told multitudes will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ [in the Tribulation]”

“It will be very difficult and many will be martyred/beheaded for their faith in Jesus Christ. They will be saved, but they won’t be the Bride. Only the Bride will be taken up. We call them ‘tribulation saints’ ”

“We want to get this book [Surviving the Tribulation] into people’s hands before the tribulation, it will scare people” [ NB -Is someone making a lot of money out of this book ? and how many Christians will end up using their survival boxes themselves I wonder?

The big question is – how is it possible to be saved and not be part of the body of Christ? And how can the Gospel be preached if those who are its commissioned custodians are not here to preach it? This is like the two-tiered salvation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses! One group is more holy and worthy than the other – and notice it is their vast multitudes too who are the less worthy and undeserving and not part of the Bride of Christ. If that isn’t a works- based gospel, I don’t know what is!

Part 2

In his most recent update, Pastor JD begins by saying that people from all over have been urging him to read books by Jonathan Khan and Mark Biltz. – he concentrates specifically on the ‘Blood Moons’ teachings of the latter. He says there is great excitement about things set to happen in September this year.[NB I seem to recall Sept 2012 being the last ‘exciting’ predictions for the ‘Rapture’]  JD even admits to being disappointed when the Lord didn’t return at specific times he’d expected Him to and how devastating that was…. so – WHY is he falling for it again I wonder?

He goes on to say how fascinating it is that the Solar and Lunar eclipses happen on the Jewish Feast Days. He and other pre-tribulation preachers link these ‘blood moons’ to Luke21:25-29.  But these things are set to happen after the great tribulation and distress and just prior to the Lord’s return in judgement for the world, but redemption for believers.

It seems everyone is also very excited about the predictions made by Isaac Newton in his book on Daniel and Revelation. and JD says it is compelling and exciting, but he cautions that we must live as though the ‘Rapture’ can happen at any time and to be ready and occupy until the Lord comes, but he advises that Christians get their affairs in order.

You see, this is the kind of thinking that happens if you believe in a pre-tribulation,any time ‘Rapture’. But the Apostle Paul specifically says in 2 Thess 2:1-3 that we are not to be troubled or deceived and that we will know for sure that His coming is near when we see the great apostasy or’ falling’ away from the faith happening and the man of sin is revealed.

The scriptures everywhere equate the ‘Rapture’ of the Church with the second coming of Christ. It happens simultaneously with the Day of the Lord, which is a Day that can only happen after the tribulation. Some people speculate that the Day is actually a period of time, so it could cover the tribulation. But they have to believe that, in order to try to make the false separate, imminent Rapture teaching fit with scripture.

It’s also been said that if there are specific things to happen before the ‘Rapture’ then it takes away the element of surprise because it comes as a ‘thief in the night’. But it is the Day of the Lord that comes as a Thief in the night in 1 thess 5:2  and Paul tells them in v4 that they are not in darkness and therefore won’t be ‘overtaken’ by it.

Our Gospel therefore is and must be, ‘Repent and believe now – now is the day of salvation’ – not a foolish attempt to save people afterwards with a survival box and explanation that they can still be saved if they don’t take the ‘Mark’

The Day of the Lord/ Day of Christ/ Coming of the Lord/ Appearing of the Lord/ our gathering unto Him – all refer to the same event/Day and show the judgement of the nations/unbelievers and the redemption/salvation/resurrection/rapture of those who belong to Christ in that same time frame. You can’t fail to notice this if you read without the notion of a separate, prior ‘Rapture’ in your head.  You don’t have to make an elaborate attempt at a huge Bible study on the subject, if like me, you are just an ordinary believer with no particular theological training at Bible college. But what you do have is a love for God’s word and truth nonetheless. All you have to do is take note in your daily Bible reading of any references to the end times and the Lord’s return and see what it says. That way – you will get an overall understanding of what is to happen and when, instead of taking it for granted that what you have been taught on the subject must be true. Discern right from wrong and make a stand for truth.  God is faithful to His word.

May the Lord bless and keep you,   Eileen



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The title of this post is a play on the word change of course, as every Bible believing Christian agrees [I hope] that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth, we will all be changed [living and dead believers] and have new bodies.  We see a description of what will happen in 1 Cor 15:51-53 and 1 Thess 4:13-17,  so the fact is established. The thing that divides however, is the timing of this event – whether it will happen before or after the prophesied great tribulation that is to come upon the earth.  Referred to for convenience as pre-trib or post-trib.

The change in our bodies and our gathering together has come to be known as ‘The Rapture’ – a word not found in scripture, but like the word Trinity it is simply a convenient descriptive word for a Bible truth.

I am writing here more as a personal testimony to my change of view from pre-trib to post-trib belief, and I am not alone as I have discovered.  It is not an in-depth study of the subject by any means, as others far more knowledgeable in the scriptures than I, have covered it so well and comprehensively. In particular there is an excellent free e-book by Steven Straub that can be downloaded at http://www.theposttribulationrapture.com

As a new Christian 50 years ago, I was taught the pre-trib rapture view, accepted it as fact and never took seriously any other viewpoint – it seemed so right, so why would I? Pre-trib theorists [for that is what it really is] are so convincing in presenting their case that it has become THE most predominant view among Christians. However, for me , there were always little things that made me wonder because they didn’t seem to fit the scenario, but I suppose I just shelved them.

The trigger that forced me into re-examining what I believed and what the Bible actually teaches on ‘the day of the Lord’ and the rapture, happened roughly three years ago when I attended a presentation given by a young woman at my then church.  She was very much caught up in the misplaced excitement surrounding  Elenin and blood moons at that time [too distracting for me to go into here]. She thought it her duty to warn us that these planetary happenings and related earthly disasters of one sort and another, were signs and indicators that the Rapture could happen at any time soon and come upon us like a thief in the night, so everyone better be ready, with oil in their lamps etc to avoid being left behind. I’m sure you’ve all heard sermons saying exactly the same thing [maybe not the Elenin bit].

What exactly constitutes being ‘ready’ is never quite quantified, so how can we ever be really certain of our ‘readiness’ in order to qualify?  Well, of course, we qualify by being a Christian believer, with our righteousness’ in Him’ and not in ourselves …..  you are either born again or you aren’t  – you can’t be half-way saved!

I can imagine it was something similar that was exercising the Thessalonians when Paul wrote to reassure them that two things MUST happen before the Rapture on the day of the Lord:  a falling away [from the faith] and the revealing of the Man of Sin [Antichrist] Thess 2:1-3  and in 1 Thess 5:1-11 Paul clearly tells them that they already know the times and seasons, so they are not in darkness and fear about it, but they are the children of light and that Day will not overtake them with shocked surprise, like a thief . They are not appointed to wrath, as the wicked are, but that day is to be their day of salvation instead. So meanwhile, they should live soberly, in faith and love, comforting one another with this knowledge.

Just to go back to the ‘falling away’ spoken of in 2 Thess 2:3   – as far as I’m concerned, it has always referred to the apostasy that is to befall the church, brought about by the deception of false teachers/prophets in the last days. So I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the young lady confidently say it means a ‘departure’ or catching away of the church [ therefore happening before the appearance of Antichrist]   Wow – so we had it wrong all these years?  I don’t think so!

We see then, if we take this verse as it stands, it clearly gives us a timeline for two events: the falling away followed by the revealing of that man of Sin, both to happen before the Day of the Lord.  A short study of what will happen on the Day of the Lord/ Day of Christ shows that the rapture and gathering of the saints/church happens alongside the wrath/judgement of God . Good news for us, bad news for the wicked!

If we are unwilling to accept the implications of the plain statements of scripture, meanings have to be changed to fit what we want to believe and that is manipulation of God’s word. If Paul meant the physical removal/departure of the church I think he would have referred to it in the terms he used elsewhere.  As it is – a huge  ‘departure’ from the faith IS prophesied eg 1 Tim 4:1,2  and  2 Tim 4:3,4  so ‘falling away’ in that sense is in total harmony.

Pre-trib believers also seem to have trouble distinguishing ‘wrath’ from ‘tribulation’.  But tribulation is not  God’s wrath – in fact it is considered in scripture to be a great blessing and honour to suffer for Christ  and be counted worthy to do so.  Jas 1:2 & 5:10.11    God’s wrath is poured out on the wicked  in judgement on that Day.

In John 17:14,15  after stating that the world will hate His disciples, the lord Jesus prays, not for them to be taken out of the world [Rapture escape route] , but that God would keep them from evil – which I believe to mean with their faith intact.  Noah is often used as an illustration of the pre-trib rapture, but Noah and family were still on the earth while all the terror of God’s wrath on mankind was going on all around them.  They were safe ‘in Him’ no matter what – the exact opposite of pre-trib teaching.

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again it will be heralded with the sound of the last trumpet and everyone will see it. God, in His mercy and  for the sake of believers ,will cut the Tribulation short by His coming, otherwise, we are told, nobody would be left.  There will have been no prior secret removal of the Church, seven or three and a half before the Tribulation, because the resurrection and rapture of believers happens at the last Trump! this is called the first resurrection. The ‘changed’ saints will then rule with Christ in His millennial Kingdom over those who are left, Jew and Gentile, after the destruction of the wicked nations that came against Israel in the battle of Armageddon see Zech 14:16   A most poignant verse is Zech 12:10  ” And I will pour upon the house of  David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem , the spirit of grace and of supplications and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn”  This of course links with Matt 24:30   

I believe the teaching of a pre-trib rescue for the Church ill – equips believers  to be able to face the trials that are to come. We have had an easy time of it in the west when it comes to suffering for our faith in Jesus Christ – but we can see the changes that are beginning to happen even now where our stand on the word of God will bring persecution as our freedoms are being eroded by laws and restrictions. I don’t doubt that the Bible will once again become a banned book for it’s uncompromising truths.  No – I do not look forward to persecution, trials and tribulations – in myself, I suspect like many others, I am just a coward.  But the good news is that we have a wonderful God and Saviour who is with us in our trials and will show Himself strong on our behalf when we trust Him and believe His word.

During my own ‘sortie’ into the subject I have come across web sites and blogs by Christians who have taken a similar path to myself and I have been pleasantly surprised to discover their thoughts and misgivings have matched my own, which has given me confidence that I’m on the right track.  Their own studies have helped me enormously in what could have been an overwhelming task in my old age!  I’m sure I haven’t covered everything that may be in question, but I hope it may be something of a stimulation to begin your own ‘as is’  Bible study. May the Lord make us lovers of His truth for His glory.  Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts – they are most welcome.  Maranatha!

 

 

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