Rapture? Rubbish! Part 1

Does the Bible really teach ‘The Rapture’, as the world believes it?

1.  Does the Bible anywhere contain the word ‘Rapture?’

No.  This word is not contained in any standard historical edition of any Bible.

2.  Where did the ‘Rapture’ concept come from?

The concept of ‘The Rapture’ was construed from a dream that one Margaret MacDonald had in Scotland in the 1830s.  Her dream/vision depicted people being lifted off the earth and taken to heaven.  The dream caught the attention of some influential clergy, interpreted according to ‘modern’ thought, and applied and accepted by word of mouth for a generation now, to many Christians.

The modern rendition teaches that Christians will be taken off the earth 3.5 years (some say 7) prior to the end of the earth, and be spared the tribulation suffered by unbelievers.  It is said that some 50% of ‘Protestant’ churches hold to some form of rapture doctrine.  We’ll look at some scriptures used to support this claim and see if they verify this theory

3.  Do any scriptures talk about the saints being ‘lifted’ from the earth?

Yes, a beautiful description depicts the Righteous meeting Christ in a cloud someday.  And, if one never reads the scripture in context, one may well accept that this scripture does indeed describe ‘a rapture.’  Here is a scripture which, out of context, is used to support the rapture theory:

I Thessalonians 4:17 Then they who are alive, shall be caught up together into the clouds with them who remain, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be ever with the Lord.

But the real question to ask is….

4.  When does Thessalonians indicate reuniting with Jesus in the clouds shall be?

Is this really a meeting in the clouds 3 or 7 years before the end of the earth?  Here is where context helps.  Read verses 15 and 16 (prior to the often read verse 17):

I Thessalonians 4:15-16  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that they who are alive at the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who remain unto the coming of the Lord, who are asleep.16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heavenwith a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

What is the event when the dead in Christ rise, or are brought to life?  Aren’t the (righteous) dead resurrected at the first resurrection (See John 5:29)?  What event is when Christ descends to the earth?  Isn’t  it at His coming in Glory?  Now, these two events help us to understand when this ‘joining in the clouds’ occurs.

5.  Do the events of resurrection and the Lord’s return in Glory fit time-wise with the theory that saints will be conveyed off the earth 3 years before Jesus comes?  How much time separates the coming in Glory and the 1stResurrection?

According to this and other passages, no time separates them.  These events are literally one in the same.  They are at the end of the latter days, at the beginning of the Millennium.  They are not 3.5 years before the end of the earth.  Therefore, if these events are at the end of the earth, not some years prior, what I Thessalonians 4:17  describes is Saints who are alive on the earth who are caught up to meet Christ AS HE IS DESCENDING IN HIS GLORY!  This is the plain description of this scripture.  Paul was emphasizing the coming of the Lord in Thessalonians 4,  and the raising of people (both resurrected and currently living on the earth) to meet him when He comes.
6.  What about Matthew 24.  Doesn’t this discuss people being ‘conveyed’ mysteriously away?

Yes!  But is it describing the common rapture theory?  Lets talk about this passage for a while.

Matthew 24:46-48 Then shall be fulfilled that which is written, that, In the last days, 47 Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left. 48 Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one taken and the other left.

Matthew 24 is Jesus words about a mysterious event to transpire in the lives of people some day. Since we don’t historically know  that it happened yet, let’s presume that it is an event yet to happen. It suggests this:

who is the object of discussion in Matt 24.

7.  Aren’t the elect just ‘God’s people?’  Christian ‘Gentiles’ read the end of Matt 24 and believe it to be describing them—the elect.  Is that correct?

Who are ‘the elect?’ Again, reading the story in context helps explain this term.  Back up in Matthew to answer who ‘the elect’ are:  verse…. Says’ I’m talking about the Jews.’  There.  This chapter is specifically about the Jews, not any self-righteous person in the world who decides to apply it to himself.

Why are the Jews called the ‘elect?’  According to the Greek translation of ‘elect’ in Matthew 24 (in fact, in all New Testament occurrences of the word ‘Elect’), elect means ‘Chosen.’  What were the Jews ‘chosen’ for?—to be the light unto the world. These were the people to whom the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was promised to be born.  God made good on His end of the bargain.  Did the Jews make good on theirs?  Well, not yet.  But this was God’s convenient expression used to refer to the covenant people of the house of Israel—the Elect.  Bear in mind how the New Testament plainly discusses how God has not forgotten His covenant with the House of  Israel—especially the Jews.

Now, knowing who the elect are, the purpose of other New Testament scriptures become more clear:

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

The ‘election’ were simply those of the ‘elect group’, namely, the Jews.  What, therefore, was Paul saying?  He was telling gentiles that the Jews were currently an enemy to the true faith of the gospel (many had, after all rejected and crucified him).  But that they were (still) beloved in God’s eyes—He would not forget them.

Here’s more proof:

II Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Again, what was Paul saying?  He was enduring his struggle for the Lord so that the Jews could also obtain salvation through Jesus Christ.

8.  So, what then, is this ‘gathering’ under discussion. What is prophesied for the Jews and gathering?

The ‘Christian’ world of today seems to have forgotten something that God hasn’t…the gathering of Israel. When Israel rebelled against God even in the days of Moses, he foretold a cursing and a blessing.  The cursing:  scattering of Israel to the nations; the blessing:  re-gathering them again one day.

Deuteronomy That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.

The prophets continued to foretell the eventual re-gathering:

Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say,He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

Ezekiel 20:34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out.

9.  What is the place they will be gathered to?

Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you; andI will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion;

Ah Haa!  The ONE from a city, TWO of a family (one grinding, one in the field, etc.) are those gathered unto ZION!  This is the real and only gathering that the scriptures have ever prophesied.  This is (will be) the latter day fulfillment of all the covenants to the House of Israel–they would be gathered together again to Jerusalem AND a place called Zion.

This is the real meaning of ‘rapture’–not some whisking away off the earth of Christians as some have supposed, but the gathering of God’s covenant people to the place where he shall dwell on the earth in the latter day–Zion.

(for more Old Testament scriptures mentioning ‘Zion’ click here)

10.  Who will be in Zion with these covenant people, and what part will Zion have in the earth’s future?

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem;

From the scripture above, we can see that the Lord himself will dwell in Zion, and from this place, the world will learn His laws.


In summary, what does all this mean about the concept of ‘Rapture?’

The rapture concept does not exist as some Christians purport–there will be no whisking of good people off the earth years before tribulation.  There will be, however, the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth during tribulation in the latter days, and God’s covenant people will be gathered to it.  The nations shall flow unto Zion to learn of God’s laws and ways.

Does this mean that only the Jews and scattered House of Israel will be gathered?  No.  God’s covenant people are those who repent and come unto him via His terms of faith, repentance, baptism and receipt of the Holy Ghost.  Those who do not repent, even of the House of Israel, will be cut off from the promises.  The real root of the promise to the House of Israel is that when they come (again) to a knowledge of Jesus Christ (that was had among their fathers) and obtain a fullness of the Gospel, the true gathering will occur.

Zion is the place to which God’s people shall gather in the last days.  Many other scriptures in the Book of Mormon and Inspired Version of the bible clearly define this truth, but have been saved from this discussion for purposes of expressly showing what the standard Christian Bible concretely shares about this covenant of the gathering of Israel.


Oh it makes for great media hype and books on best-sellers lists, but any misconstruing about a rapturing in the last days are misconceptions of men.

The only people ‘Left Behind’ are those who will not repent and be gathered in to Zion in the last days.


335 thoughts on “Rapture? Rubbish! Part 1

  1. beabeabea thats all folks.

    Look out for pseudo ephraem though.

    Really its just children who are bored with the gospel trying to make it more interesting.

    Serious Christians see this nonsense for what it is.

  2. So, Greg, now you’re quoting from Mormon doctrine!

    When will you be giving us scripture from the book of Alma, or 3 Nephi!

    Lord spare us!

    Can’t even get unto this site unless you have Mormon id. How did you dig it up?

    Are you a Mormon, Greg?

  3. By the way, apart form the wackiness of the piece we can see, the post is badly presented and can’t be properly made out.

    As to the ‘rapture’, or what is in the Greek harpazo, I’ll gve you what I commented on on the other post, starting with the actual scripture from 1 Thessalonians in full.

    1 Thesalonians 4
    13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
    16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
    18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    Did you see that Bones?

    Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air!

    Says it all really.

    Caught up: harpazo, ‘to seize, carry off by force’, ‘to catch up’, ‘to snatch out or away’.

    Together: hama, ‘at the same time’, ‘at once’, together with’.

    The latin translation of this phrase is ‘rapture’, which is why it is used commonly. Since we know it is a latin translation, we kn ow that the Roman translators, at least, understood the concept, which dates back before Darby.

    We don’t need more that the text itself to determine that the catching up of the Church is a Christian doctrine of substance.

    Indeed, we know it at least dates back to Paul, who wrote this passage.

    The comfort is that the dead in Christ, those who sleep in Him, will rise. They will rise first. Then we who live will rise together with them.

    John 11
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
    26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    Some will die in Him, others who believe will never die. In other words, the dead in Christ will rise, and the living in Christ at His coming will rise together with them and never die.

    Do you believe this?

    1 Corinthians 15
    51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–
    52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    So Rapture is, as a concept, attributed to Jerome in the 4th Century.

    Jerome wrote:

    deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus.

    Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air!

    He uses rapiemur [suddenly caught up], from the root rapio [to carry off or sieze up something or someone]. The English words ‘rapt’ and ‘rapture’ come from this Latin verb.

    It is a direct latin translation of harpazo which I have already given the meaning of, telling us hat Jerome already understood what Paul was telling us.

  4. Greg, many years ago I happened upon an article concerning Hari Krishna – I felt the Lord instruct me to read it and learn. It started out all well with good intentions and you could almost think you were reading about something holy, until it began to take a twist, like the way a fishing hook is bent…and barbed…I saw then how the hook is baited with just enough truth to fool the fish into swallowing it, hook, line and thinker.

    This article is like this – it starts out using truth and what seems to be a relevant exegesis but only ends up ex’ing Jesus – as is atypical of a lot of what theologians – theorists – came up with – and is based upon the workings of their (twisted?) minds instead of the Mind of Christ.

    I have learned to ask the Lord to show me what I lack in understanding. I figured out by my early encounters with Circe that the people there did not really know Jesus, but had a form of godliness. Every now and then you would meet some soul who had that ex-factor – they “KNEW” Jesus, and He them.

    Now as to the elect, the author states at one point that Israel is the light of the world – this is Zionism 101 and a load of bollocks. Israel was called and chosen to be the nation vessel to not only bring forth by faith the Messiah, but to deny Him and to butcher Him like a common thief. They are not only the “light” of the world but they are the darkness too – if you actually wake up and smell the coffee instead of having a childish and immature attitude toward God’s workings, i.e. that the Jews are the “goodies” or goddies? Why then did He raise up armies of enemies to thrash and trash them?

    Leavening – its everywhere.

    Of course God does not renege on his endowments and He knew what sort of existence He was committing the Hebraic peoples to, hence the compensation of blessing which is a two edged sword – and whom God loves, He corrects.

    Paul wrote of the remnant of Israel:
    27. Isaiah preached regarding the Children of Israel, that even if their number became like the sand in the sea, certain of them will be [destined] for eternal Life.
    28. The Manifestation will be developed and spread, and they shall make everyone worship our Lord on earth.
    29. And like the thing that Isaiah had foretold,
    “That if the Almighty Lord had not increased
    the number of the ordained,
    We would have become like Sodom,
    and would have resembled Gomorah.”

    Now we have already concluded that the sin of Sodom was not sodomy, but gracelessness.

    A portion of the SEED are destined to eternal life – they are the workers God has separated to Himself. The Manifestation of God, His MIlta, or Essence, or Word, will be developed and spread and THEY shall make everyone on earth worship our Lord – those who have been separated out – whom the Lord will “Increase” – not in number but in DEMONSTRATION OF KINGDOM POWER. The only thing that is stopping the elect from becoming like everyone else, like Sodom and Gomorrah, is the election of God – God won’t let them!

    Now this is probably why my Jewish friends accept me as a Jew – I speak to their hearts and I demonstrate kingdom Power before them. They think most Christians are pretty silly really but if you speak into their life and they feel your words they respond and if you perform a miracle, they respect the call and anointing of God upon you yet they are not so foolish as to indulge in respect of persons when the Power of God is evident.

    So in a way this article is right, but it reaches wrong conclusions, especially about the catching away. I have had the privilege of having a foretaste of the event, being caught up together with Him in the clouds of witnesses. I have also seen a vision of the harvest at the end of the Age.

    Paul wrote that a certain blindness of heart afflicted a portion of Israel until ALL THE NATIONS HAVE COME IN in their entirety, and THEN, ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED. Israel is all that is real – spiritual Israel – a Body not made with hands, New Jerusalem – the Eternal Temple of God – the kingdom. Never forget that we live in the shadowlands – in enemy territory run by secular governments – like Paul I long to leave this place – all you idiot rescuers who want to save the world are just kidding yourselves and playing church and playing christ. Let the sinner keep sinning and the saint remain saintly still. Getting people to heaven is not your job and never has been – it is to get HEAVEN TO PEOPLE!

    The devil pulled a number on the Circe by convincing them to try and save the world when Jesus has already done it. We are AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, not soldiers, but workers.

    1. Thus, my son, be strengthened by the grace of Jesus Christ.
    2. And these things that you hear from me through the testimony of many, bequeath them to the people of faith, those to whom is granted that they also teach others.
    3. And expect evil to befall you as a good worker of Jesus Christ.

    And learn about the rescuer, victim, persecutor triangle and how to “Come out of it”. The rescuer becomes the victim and the victim becomes the persecutor and so it goes.

    There very much is a catching away as well as a falling away – they are two different things. Being caught up together in the air happens at the LAST TRUMP! Simple!

  5. Wow, Greg! I researched a cached version of this piece of Mormon trickery and, able to read it more clearly than your post, discovered some of the most atrocious exegesis I think I’ve seen for a long time.

    When I first read through your post I actually thought, ‘this looks and feels, even smells, like JW doctrine’, not knowing what it was until I got through the lot. It just hummed of doctrines of demons. Mormon, Watchtower – same apostate garbage antichrist spirit.

    I can’t understand why you would even think of putting something up on this site as proof of your ignorance which would be so easily uncovered as complete cultic rubbish and inanity as a teaching.

    Didn’t the term ‘Restored Gospel’ ring any alarm bells for you?

    The manipulation of scripture in this piece is utterly deplorable, the contrivance adolescent. I would hope a first year Bible student would pick it straight away.

    You told us you were superior in knowledge, Greg. Is this an example? Or just a glitch in the infrastructure of intellect you claimed over us?

    Mind you, you got it clean past Bones!

    That’s heroic!

  6. You really are clutching at straws. So the latin vulgate contains the latin root word for rapture. So what? Proves nothing.

    You need to prove that jerome taught this doctrine. Good luck with that.

  7. Apart from reading the chspter and its context any sound commentary like leon morris’s 1&2 thessalonians will tell you its about the second coming of christ.

    You are reading your own nonsense into it.

    There is no rapture. It started withDarby who got a whole heap of endtimes stuff wrong.

  8. No I don’t. The mere fact he translates it as being ‘caught up together with’, which is exactly what rapiemur means, tells us enough to know he understood what Paul was saying.

    And confirms what Paul was teaching.

    It tells us that the scripture refers to both the dead in Christ and the living in Christ will be caught up together when He comes for the Church.

    It singles out the believers, those who ‘sleep’ in Christ, and those who remain and are alive in Christ.

    The doctrine is entirely in the text and self-explanatory, and even more so when the added context of the other scriptures from John 11 and 1 Corinthians 15 lend weight to it.

    But, tell me, Bones, why did you accept so readily the Mormon teaching on this?

  9. @Bones

    You and Greg have both been proven wrong, yet you still maintain this myth that the rapture is a recent concept. Just face it. You’ve both been “owned”. Now you’re resorting to cultist literature to try and support your belief in a myth. Now you just look pathetic! Give it up. You’re both wrong, so just get over it, and move on to other matters.

    And by the way, what’s with this “pseudo Ephraim” malarkey? Did you see the word pseudo written on one of your humanist websites and decide to use it in a sentence to make yourself seem smart or something, because if you are, you’re comprehension of the word is severely lacking.

  10. No you just plucked a word out of the latin vulgate. Prove that the doctrine was taught. It wasnt part of catholic doctrine nor early church teaching.

  11. @Bones

    “No you just plucked a word out of the latin vulgate. Prove that the doctrine was taught. It wasnt part of catholic doctrine nor early church teaching.”

    I have proven it, as has Steve. Several times. You are wrong. Admit it. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you got something wrong. It’s what real people do. You end up being a bigger and better person.

  12. Methinks you don’t understand the connection between the catching up of the Church and the resurrection.

    What do you think is happening in 1 Thessalonians if it is not he resurrection of the Church?

    There is no nonsense.

    Your problem is that you think we all believe in the ‘Left Behind’ whacky interpretation. I have never said a thing about it. I think it’s so far short of truth it’s a cartoon of the real thing, with an element of truth, but not something I would stake my future on.

    You make far too many assumptions about people, Bones. That is why you are so often so far from home when it comes to your arguments with me. You are so often speaking to some other person with some strange doctrine, yet addressing me as if I were the one following the pap you throw in my face.

    Never read ‘Left Behind’. Saw a movie. That was a enough. Not interested.

    I take my doctrine from Jesus, Paul, Peter and John, along with a few other Bible authors who touch on these issues, like Daniel, Isaiah, Zachariah, Joel, etc..

    The catching up of the Church is the resurrection, Bones. It is what we’re waiting for. That is why we comfort one another with this revelation from Paul. Those we love who have died in Christ will rise first. We believers who remain, if we still live when He comes, will be raised together with them, and we will meet the Lord in the air!

    I don’t think you have a clue what we actually believe. You’re just guessing all the time. That’s why it’s so flaming hard to get through that thick skull of yours.

  13. Bones,
    No you just plucked a word out of the latin vulgate.

    What? How stupid that remark is!

    It is the direct translation of a Greek word, which tells us that the dead in Christ will be caught up together with those who are alive in Christ when He comes.

    Rapiemur means exactly the same as harpazo.

    The English versions have caught up together with. That is exactly what it says, and exactly what it means.

    It then says we will meet the Lord in the air. Resurrection.

    Paul gave us harpazo in the first century, and Jerome gave us rapiemur as a direct translation in the fourth century, and the KJV gave us caught up together with in the 17th century, before Darby!

    Then we ave 1 Corinthians 15:

    We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    I mean, what more do you need? That’s it. It’s set up that we will be raised!

    There’s more, but surely you must see it by now!

  14. I’ve fixed up the formatting – I posted the article from my phone.

    No Steve, I’m not Mormon…more Wickan than anything probably – slightly Islamic, a tad Buddhist…quite a lot “The Way” sect of Jewish, and some bit of Christian – but bugger me if I’m Mormon…literally, if I’m Mormon, you can bugger me – I’d like you to…If I’m Mormon that is.

    I didn;’t realise the article was Mormon, I just followed the link from Google, grabbed the article and posted

  15. Verb
    present active rapiō, present infinitive rapere, perfect active rapuī, supine raptum.
    I snatch, grab, carry off.

    raptūrus m (feminine raptūra, neuter raptūrum); first/second declension
    about to snatch, about to grab, about to carry off

  16. Greg,
    I didn;’t realise the article was Mormon, I just followed the link from Google, grabbed the article and posted

    So you didn’t even read the thing properly before posting it!

    Come on, Greg! I know you have more knowledge than we do, but we’re not so thick that we can’t see through poor doctrine!

    I almost feel insulted that you would attempt to put that past us.

    But, tell me, why are you so keen to rubbish basic Biblical doctrines? It doesn’t make sense.

  17. Greg,
    The last paragraph of the piece you posted:

    Zion is the place to which God’s people shall gather in the last days. Many other scriptures in the Book of Mormon and Inspired Version of the bible clearly define this truth, but have been saved from this discussion for purposes of expressly showing what the standard Christian Bible concretely shares about this covenant of the gathering of Israel.

    Bones still thinks it’s great!

    Now that is a worry!

  18. I read it before posting – I still didnt realise from the articel that it was Mormon.
    The Rapture, Steve, is not basic bible doctrine – you will find it taught in no seminary in the world other than Pentecostal colleges – it is the figment of your corporate imaginations adn you all now read into the scriptures what you believe it says, not allowing it to tell you what it says.

    For 1800 years no one in the church taught Rapture theology – but now all of a sudden it has apeared? Rapture? Rubbish!

    If you liek I will delete this article and post another – from an orthodox source

  19. I don’t think it would be appropriate to wipe the comments from this thread now. You would throw everything out of context. It’s done! Add an addenda to the post with a note if you like. We all make mistakes.

    I had a really good interpretation of rapture lined up, but the site was otherwise unreliable so I was unable to use it. I always like to check the sources because the internet is so full of garbage alongside the good stuff.

    Besides, Bones loves the Mormon piece. It fits his false ideas on the harpazo too!

  20. This is the scripture the author quoted from Jeremiah:

    11. Then the Lord said to me, “[Nevertheless] the settlement of Israel has sanctified herself more than her estranged sister Judea.
    12. “Go and preach these revelations in the North, and say, ‘Repent, O, Settlement of Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I have not let my face grow cold toward you, for I am merciful,’ says the Lord, ‘and my condemnation is not forever.’
    13. “Now, then, admit your sins, that you sinned against your Lord God; how you lost your ways with foreigners under every sprawling tree and you did not heed my voice,” said the Lord.
    14. “Repent, O, Children of Repentance, so I may be pleased with you and fetch one of you from the town and a second one from the tribe, thus I will bring you to Zion.
    15. “I shall give you shepherds that will shepherd you through knowledge and schooling.

    Now, just who are the dead in Christ?

    5. This then when she is truly a widow and Christ’s missionary, this is the hope for God and her affirmation in kneeling and praying by night and day.
    6. If, however, she is disloyal, she is dead while living.

    That should put the cat amongst the pigeons. 0(:->)

    BY the way, i case you missed it, the scripture in Timothy which has been used by tithe burglars and domestic tyrants alike to compel men to the treadmills of the Protestant work ethic and the Catholic whip is in fact about “widows” who spend their time gossiping and denying the faith.

    5. This then when she is truly a widow and Christ’s missionary, this is the hope for God and her affirmation in kneeling and praying by night and day.
    6. If, however, she is disloyal, she is dead while living.
    7. This then you should instruct them with, so as they should not be hostile.
    8. And if a human being is in such a situation — and furthermore to those who are the children of the household brings no benefit — they are blaspheming the faith, and much more so than those who are unbelievers.

    Get it? There are many more twisted scriptures in the Bible which God will unravel. Jesus came to unravel the twisted works of the devil.

    After the Feb quake, I stood amongst the wreckage and aked what i was to do. I heard very clearly, “Go home to your wife and let the dead bury the dead.” I dared not tell anyone what I had heard as I knew they would not understand a God who could say such a thing in the face of such apparent need.

    Since working at home, I have dealt with a number of Xian clients, and have found that many of them are dead. I wondered at why it seemed like their was a gulf between us, a separation, yet with others it was not so. I asked why many of these dedicated church going folk seemed to be spiritually dead and heard “They are dead”. When contemplating visions I had received of EQ’s and Tsunamis wiping out congregations and the church leaders finding whole flocks had been taken I wondered as to why the Xians’ would be “getting it” and contemplated a friend’s vision of having seen CHCH destroyed and hearing God say to her, “Stand by and see the destruction of the wicked (twisted workers).”

    Then the other day, prompted by what someone here wrote, I “stumbled” across the truth of the scripture above, that those who are “worse than unbelievers” , the luke warm religious folks, the gossipers and slanderers who twist the scriptures to their destruction, are the DEAD IN CHRIST and who are WORSE THAN UNBELIEVERS for they deny the faith by having a form of godliness but NO POWER!

    Don’t you love God and how He uses the contention and foolishness of preaching to unearth the truth. I love this site, I learn so much here – but no matter what I learn, it is of no consequence if it does not result in the strengthening and increase of my walk as I follow Jesus, walking in His Way.

    Now, if you want to know what Paul really said about providing for the household of God:

    9. Regarding brotherly love, however, there is no need to write to you, because by your very triune natures you are trained by God to love one another.
    10. Also, you should treat all the brethren in Macedonia likewise. I pray then, that you, brethren, should increase.
    11. And that you should endeavor to be peaceful and keep your Covenants, and work with your own hands, as you were commanded,
    12. That you may strive systematically apart from outsiders and that you may not have to depend on any of them.

    Aa-meen.

  21. Greg,
    The Rapture, Steve, is not basic bible doctrine – you will find it taught in no seminary in the world other than Pentecostal colleges – it is the figment of your corporate imaginations adn you all now read into the scriptures what you believe it says, not allowing it to tell you what it says.

    First of all I never use the word ‘rapture’ when I can use the Biblical term ‘catching up’. It doesn’t take much longer to utter the English translation, and many people don’t understand ‘rapture’ anyway, so you have to explain it.

    Secondly, as ‘the catching up’ it most certainly is basic Biblical doctrine, for the reasons I have already clearly outlined.

    Whether it is taught in seminaries is beside the point, and I have not had the privilege of going into many to find out, and neither, I suggest, have you. They also teach things in some seminaries you won’t find in any Bibles, so I wouldn’t let that be a gauge of accuracy of doctrine.

    I don’t know about whether it is only taught in Pentecostal collages either. My college taught on the different applications of the scriptures, including the different ideas on when the resurrection might take place. They didn’t give a definitive teaching.

    I do not have a corporate imagination, unless you consider the mind of Christ and leading of the Spirit a corporation. I guess there might be some merit in that understanding of how we are led as a Body.

    Therefore, if you are saying that I toe the corporate line in doctrine, I declare that you are totally mistaken. I do not. I follow the scripture as it is written, reference a number of sources other than Pentecostal, mostly evangelical, and, over time, and through constant reading and study, take scripture literally unless it is clearly indicated otherwise, applying standard contextual references, as taught by John Stott when I became a Christian.

    Therefore I am impressed by what the Word says as the Spirit leads, and do not apply preconceived ideas.

    I hope that clears your accusation up sufficiently.

  22. The dead in Christ shall rise first. Does this mean that they are going to be taken out of the mix as they are worse than useless anyway, worse than unbelievers, or does it mean that they will be raised up together with Him – “If I be lifted up – then shall I draw all men to myself”?

    A bit of both I think. Those who are alive in Him, who have a LIVING LOVING RELATIONSHIP together with Him are the Gideon’s army of believers who will bring the kingdom to earth.

    Dealing with dead Christians is quite painful really – they think that they are so GOOD! Dirty rotten sinners like me do not have such illusions of their own goodness, but thank God it is no longer I which lives, but Christ which lives in me.

    But hey, Jesus told me that when I have truly laid down my life, then I will look up to everyone – even Greg and Bones!

  23. So, Ian, you are saying that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he wasn’t literally dead, as Jesus said he was, but he was only spiritually dead?

    That is nonsense.

    Paul, in 1 Thessalonians, was obviously talking about people who were Christians but had died. He was comforting those who had lost loved ones that they would see them again. he was saying that the dead would rise first, but that the living would also rise together with them and they would all be together with Christ.

    They used the term ‘sleeping’ to distinguish between those who died in their sins and those who died in Christ. Jesus used it first to describe his friend Lazarus, and encourage the disciples that God would be glorified by a miracle of raising Lazarus form the dead.

    I can’t understand why you folk are so intent on finding things which are the complete opposite to what scripture clearly says.

  24. So Greg,
    How are you going with proving that the resurrection isn’t in Revelation, or that there is no resurrection?

  25. It is not hard to find out when English words were first introduced into the language. One needs only to check The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and it will cite examples of the history of the usage of the word. The oldest word in the “rapture” family is “rapt.” OED cites examples of rapt occurring in 1400 in English literature. The earliest instances of “rapture” in secular English literature are cited as 1605, 1607, and 1608. OED provides seven nuances of the word Rapture. The fourth entry is the biblical one defined as “The act of conveying a person from one place to another esp. to heaven; the fact of being so conveyed.” Two examples of this use are cited from the seventeenth century. The first by a writer named Ward in 1647 and the other by J. Edwards (not the American Jonathan) in 1693. It does not take long to realize that these examples are well before 1830.

    Joseph Mede (1586-1638), considered in his day, a brilliant English exegete wrote a commentary on Revelation in 1627 called Clavis Apocalyptica (Key of the Revelation). In it he said, “Therefore, it is not needful that the Resurrection of those which slept in Christ, and the Rapture of those which shall be left alive together with them in the air . . .” While Mede was a premillennialist, he did not hold to a pre-trib rapture. Nor did the commentator and theologian John Gill (1697-1771) who wrote around 1745 the following in his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “. . . and to which rapture will contribute, the agility which the bodies both of the raised and changed saints will have: and this rapture of the living saints will be together with them; . . .”

    http://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/Rapture-myths.html

  26. For those who don’t believe in a rapture, the beast, armageddon etc.
    do you think this will have an end at all? Will there be some final judgement? Some wrapping up at the end? Or will people be living here on earth in 20,000 years applying the “spiritual” lessons of the Bible to their lives.

    iow, will there be an “end”. I think Catholics believe in the final summation of human history on earth and a Second Coming.

    There are theological positions in between Tim Lahaye and a complete denial of futurist views.

  27. @Steve

    “But, tell me, why are you so keen to rubbish basic Biblical doctrines? It doesn’t make sense.”

    Because he’s a [Deleted by editor for legal reasons] He admitted it.

    [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]

    He’s been lying to us all and stringing us along thinking that he was simply a believer questioning the church’s long held beliefs. [Deleted by editor for legal reasons].

  28. I’ll try and put this in a nutshell and you guys can tell me if this ir right or wrong.

    Orthodox Christianity – I mean Roman Catholics, the Orthodox Church and the mainline Christian denominations mostly teach that at a point in the future, Jesus will come again – to judge the living and the dead. And we will meet him in the air (as per Thessalonians). And the dead will rise. This is when Christ returns at the end of the age. When this will happen nobody knows.

    The difference with the Derby, Lahaye and others is that they see a secret rapture where pilots disappear leaving planes to crash etc and those who get raptured party up in heaven while those who miss out are left for 3.5 years or 7 years in which time the Anti-Christ takes over (some say for 3.5 years each of good and bad, and others say all bad), after which the raptured saints come back for a second second coming.

    So as far as I know, the real “new” doctrine that came about was the secret rapture and the two second comings idea.

    So while Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians (at least the conservative ones) will argue against the Darby idea of a secret rapture and warn against last days, mark of the beast speculation, they do indeed believe that Jesus Christ will literally come again and that the dead will rise and those who are alive will meet Him in the air.

    Some have of course argue for a figurative meeting in the air, and others argue that it would be more of a greeting – like going out of the city to welcome back a conquering hero), but the idea itself of a literal second coming that all eyes miraculously see and with all kinds of supernatural things happening – is not just the realm of pentecostals and evangelicals.

    It’s just that the pentecostals have traditionally talked about it much more and been convinced that they knew the details.

    And it should be added, that many Christians believe that much of Revelations is historical – referring to the early church – Nero, 70AD etc, and yet still teach the hope of a FINAL second coming.

    So like I said, there’s plenty of room between the bar code guys on one hand and the view that we’ll all just keep evolving or devolving here for millions of years.

    Traditional Christianity holds that Jesus did ascend before eyewitnesses and that He will in the future descend before witnesses.
    That may seem crazy and superstitious to some – but it’s in all the creeds.

  29. Q, that is exactly where I stand on the matter! Well said.

    So Greg,
    How are you going with proving that the resurrection isn’t in Revelation, or that there is no resurrection?

    I ahve never said any such thing, so I do;nt need to prove it, nor do I think it is provable. I don;t think Revelatoin is prophecy so I doin;t think anything it says is about anything in the future, therefore it can’t be about our future resurrection.

    Roundhouse, if you can’t see that I was being sarcastic, flippant and poking fun at you and Steve with all that comment about Wikka, buddhism etc, then you really are a sad sad person…however you are remaining true to your literalist view of text, so I really shouldn’t be surprised!

  30. @Greg

    ” if you can’t see that I was being sarcastic, flippant and poking fun at you and Steve with all that comment about Wikka, buddhism etc, then you really are a sad sad person”

    There was NOTHING in your post that expresses any sarcasm whatsoever. You are now back peddling because you made the mistake of letting your true self slip. [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]

  31. Good grief, as a wolf hell bent on decieving you all I’ve done a pretty awful job. You’re worse than a fool – you are ignorant, and don’t want to be anything but ignorant

  32. @Greg

    “Good grief, as a wolf hell bent on decieving you all I’ve done a pretty awful job. ”

    That’s right, you have done an awful job, because all you have to rely upon is heaping scorn upon the Word of God. Yet, Steve and I know more about the bible than any [deleted becasue Roundhouse is a [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]] can ever know so we have been able to squash your “arguments” every time.

  33. The rapture exists in the minds of a certain small number of Christians.

    It is not spoken of by any serious bible scholar.

  34. @Bones

    “It is not spoken of by any serious bible scholar.”

    You love throwing out massive generalisations without any proof to back it up, don’t you? So, prove it.

  35. Aside from all those biblica“ scholars who are liberal and catholic, i include evangelical scholars such as john stott, ji packer, rc spoul, nt wrigh, ff bruce.

    None believe in a rapture.

    They must be witches as well..

  36. @Greg

    “we’ve already done that”

    No you haven’t. You’ve obfuscated, diverted, generalised and offered articles from cults. But you have not offered one bit of biblical proof. Your myth of a 19th century creation of the rapture theology has been smashed by actual evidence, and you still have not given any explanation for the second coming and the resurrection in Revelation.

  37. You probably dont even know who they are. When i get my computer back ill thoroughly crucify your ridiculous rretarded rapture.

  38. Roundhouse:

    There was NOTHING in your post that expresses any sarcasm whatsoever

    Not even the bit where I asked Steve to bugger me, and said i’d like him to, but only if I was Mormon – that didn;’t give it away that I was joking around? IF not, you’re not the full quid

  39. @Bones

    “When i get my computer back ill thoroughly crucify your ridiculous rretarded rapture.”

    No you won’t. You’ll find some obscure website to support your myths, yet you will ignore real evidence. It’s what you do.

  40. There are countless writings from church leaders from the first century. Steve has found the latin root from the latin vulgate anf is doing a victory dance. Youve cited pieces of Ephraem a document which is a pseudapigrypha and is clearly not about the rapture.

    Thats all youve got till darbys nonsense in the 1830s.

    For 1800 years 1 thess 4 was understood as referring to the return of christ. That is what it clearly says.

  41. @Greg

    “Not even the bit where I asked Steve to bugger me, and said i’d like him to, but only if I was Mormon”

    Ok, I concede that this part was a joke. That does not automatically mean that the beginning was a joke. There was nothing to indicate that the first part of your statement was in jest. In fact, it fits your known stance on the bible and a lot of Orthodox and accepted doctrine. Your admission actually fills in a lot of blanks and explains now why you are so anti-Christian

  42. If it was a christian doctrine even heresy it would be found in the eritings of the church fathers and doctors.

    Its not there.

    It didnt exist.

  43. @Bones

    “If it was a christian doctrine even heresy it would be found in the eritings of the church fathers and doctors. Its not there. It didnt exist.”

    Really? One of the early Church Fathers, The Shepherd of Hermas, writing in the early 2nd Century, makes an interesting observation about “the great tribulation that is coming.” He says, “If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.” That sounds rapture-like, don’t you think? That’s now at least two, if we count Ephraim. Still think it didn’t exist?

  44. Ok, I concede that this part was a joke. That does not automatically mean that the beginning was a joke.

    Ok, I’m going to break it down as if you’re a kindergarten student (hopefully this won’t go over your head..stop me if I get too far and I’ll type slower).

    Let’s look at the structure of the phrase my joke appeared in.

    No Steve, I’m not Mormon…more Wickan than anything probably – slightly Islamic, a tad Buddhist…quite a lot “The Way” sect of Jewish, and some bit of Christian – but bugger me if I’m Mormon…literally, if I’m Mormon, you can bugger me – I’d like you to…If I’m Mormon that is.

    We begin with my telling Steve that I’m not a Mormon and at the end I invite Steve to bugger me, I’d like him to, but ionly if I’m mormon. So we start with mormon and we end in Mormom, ergo, all that is contained within is connected – if one part is meant as a joke then it is fair to say that the other parts are equally meant to be of a jocular style adn can’t in anyway be construed as an admission of any kind. Not only that but the phrase is not broken up into sentences – it is all one piece – one long, slightly disjointed sentence – a whole, a complete joke.

    I actually am Mormon (that was a joke as well)

  45. If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.

    It only sounds rapture like because that is what you wna tit to sound like…all he is saying is that you can possibly avoid the tribulation if you heart is pure and spotless – he doesn;t say a single things boua tbeing magically whisked away to spend 3 and a half years in heaven with Jesus.

    Its exactly the same as if you are before a magistrate adn he gives you a suspended sentence, there is a coming tribulalatoin of gaol time unles you keep your nose clean – if you do then you will escape that tribulation.

  46. @Greg

    “all he is saying is that you can possibly avoid the tribulation if you heart is pure and spotless”

    You mean the tribulation you don’t believe will come?

  47. @Greg

    “deleted by the editor for legal reasons”

    Hah! This whole site should be deleted for legal reasons!

  48. So, will you categorically deny right now that you are not a (deleted by editor for legal reasons)?

    By the way, don’t turn me into a newt.

  49. Actually, that was a double negative. Let me try again.

    So, will you categorically deny right now that you are a (deleted by author for legal reasons)?

  50. Interesting change of tack. Obviously out of evidence ( der) to prove that the rapture wasnt a fancy dreamt up by cultists in the 1830s. Surely in the reams of ancient writings, there can be a few more passages that can be taken out of context.

  51. Honestly you go away to help people who have lost everything to come to a retarded discussion about witches.

    Saw a lot of people helping others today. Believers and non believers doing the work of christ, caring for those who have lost everything. Cleaned out my kids school. Hundreds of computers having to be thrown out, mud everwhere. We’ll be working thru the weekend to get it ready for school on monday.

  52. I categorically deny right now that I am a (deleted by author for legal reasons)?

    I am in fact a (deleted by author for humorous reasons).

  53. @Bones

    “Obviously out of evidence ( der) to prove that the rapture wasnt a fancy dreamt up by cultists in the 1830s. ”

    Um, no. In fact, I have offered you several examples of real evidence (as opposed to opinions that you have only been able to offer up), not to mention the evidence in scripture itself. But, you despise the bible, so you will never accept this as evidence. Either way, I have given you a couple of examples of ancient teaching on the rapture, but you have simply chosen to ignore the evidence, as is your right. But, this negates any argument that you may present to the contrary.

    Of course, there is another element of this teaching that hasn’t been added to the debate yet, and that is the one of progressive revelation. As events that were not able to be understood in ancient times come to pass, our understanding of the passages become more enlightened. As the events prophesied of in Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Thessalonians, Ephesians etc etc come to pass our understanding grows.

  54. @Greg

    “I categorically deny right now that I am a (deleted by author for legal reasons)? I am in fact a (deleted by author for humorous reasons).”

    Ok, thanks

  55. I have absolutely no idea. Not even sure why that’s a question; having an historical view on the book of revelation makes not one jot of difference to my understanding of the resurrection.

  56. Roundhouse you wouldnt know your (deleted by editor for legal reasons) from your (deleted by editor for legal reasons) .

    You and Steve are probably (deleted by editor for legal reasons) yourselves over the computer and planning your next (deleted by editor for legal reasons)

    I dont give a (deleted by editor for legal reasons) whether you think I’m orthodox or not because you are just a (deleted by editor for legal reasons) (deleted by editor for legal reasons) (deleted by editor for legal reasons) and a dog’s (deleted by editor for legal reasons) !

  57. Wazza,
    ha haha ha ha he he he hoo hoo hoo hoo.!!!

    QUESTION: Where do the characters go when I use the backspace or delete key on my PC?
    ANSWER: If you must know, the characters can go to different places, depending on whom you ask: —————————- 1) The Catholic’s approach to characters: The nice characters go to character heaven, where life is good. The characters are bathed in the light of happiness, all their troubles are soothed, and there’s not a delete key, eraser, or white-out bottle in sight. Most of the nice characters are A’s and I’s, those that have never been, er, involved with other characters. Often, you’ll see A’s or I’s with N’s or T’s. These are characters in love: monogamous on the page, together again after deletion. You’ll see quite a few Q’s too. They seem to feel particularly guilty for no good reason. The naughty characters are punished for their sins. In case you were wondering what the difference between a nice character and a naughty character is, I’ll tell you. Naughty characters are those involved in the creation of naughty words, such as “breast,” “sex,” “objectivity,” and depending upon usage, words such as “feminism,” “reproductive freedom,” “contraception,” and “science.” You may ask, and rightly so, why the characters are blamed for the words they assemble, when in fact they are not responsible for their own configuration. But we feel that a character has an obligation to oppose any naughtiness in its own configuration. If it truly felt guilty about the word it was forming, it would rebel.
    ——————————— 2) The Buddhist Explanation: If a character has lived rightly, and its karma is good, then after it has been deleted it will be reincarnated as a different, higher character. Those funny characters above the numbers on your keyboard will become numbers, numbers will become letters, lower-case letters will become upper-case, and the most righteous and good of letters will become C’s. Why C, you ask? Who knows, but C it is! If a character’s karma is not so good, then it will move down the above scale, ultimately becoming the lowest of characters, a space.
    ————————————– 3) The 20th Century bitter cynical nihilist explanation: Who cares? All characters are the same, swirling in a vast sea of meaningless nothingness. It doesn’t really matter if they’re on the page, deleted, undeleted, underlined, etc. It’s all the same. More characters should delete themselves. (nihilist characters are easy to identify. They’re usually pale and tragic, and they smoke a lot.)
    ————————————– 4) The Mac user’s explanation: All the characters written on a PC and then deleted go straight to PC hell. If you’re using a PC, you can probably see the deleted characters, because you’re in PC hell also.
    ————————————– 5) Stephen King’s explanation: Every time you hit the key you unleash a tiny monster inside the cursor, who tears the poor unsuspecting characters to shreds, drinks their blood, then eats them, bones and all. Hah, hah, hah!
    ————————————- 6) Dave Barry’s explanation: The deleted characters are shipped to Battle Creek, Michigan, where they’re made into Pop-Tart filling; this explains why Pop-Tarts are so flammable, while cheap imitations are not as flammable. I’m not making any of this up.
    ————————————- 7) IBM’s explanation: The characters are not real. They exist only on the screen when they are needed, as concepts, so to delete them is merely to de-conceptualize them. Get a life.
    ————————————- 8) Environmentalist’s Explanation: You’ve been DELETING them???? Can’t you hear them SCREAMING??? Why don’t you go CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing a MINK, you pig!!!!

  58. Nice one eyes. i made up my own.

    9.) fundamentalist- those characters not found in JESUS have to endure endless torment by their programmer.

  59. As for the resurrection …some denominations have been against cremation because of concepts of the bodily resurrection. In Asia, where cremation is normal I once spoke to a missionary who was aghast because he worried about what would happen at the last trump.

    Just thought I’d throw that in there….

    And yes, I thought Greg was joking about being a Wiccan and everything else too.

    @Bones. I remember after the 74 floods the mud and smell and reminders were around for a very long time.

    And then for years every time after it started raining kids would be getting nervous.

  60. So you can’t say how the resurrection will work, but you say that the resurrection mentioned in Revelation isn’t future, yet you clearly acknowledge that it has not taken place yet, and don’t understand what it is all about, even though Jesus, Paul, and John give us a clear understanding of the resurrection.

    I don’t see how you have any argument whatsoever about whether Revelation speaks of future events. It is clearly predicting an event which has not yet taken place.

    As I understand it, that is declaring future events.

  61. Greg,
    I have absolutely no idea. Not even sure why that’s a question; having an historical view on the book of revelation makes not one jot of difference to my understanding of the resurrection.

    Who mention Revelation? It is in there, but it was a general question in connection to your claim there is no harpazo, or catching up, of the Church, which is generally understood to be the resurrection.

    I was wondering if you and Bones could tell us how the resurrection, Biblically, takes place.

    That way we can assess whether we understand what the connection between the harpazo and the resurrection of the saints might be.

    Still, if you don’t have a clue what the resurrection is, I don’t know how we can actually proceed.

    One thing, though. How on earth could you be so certain John, or Jesus, or Paul are wrong about the resurrection when you don’t have a clue what it is or how it will take place?

  62. Steve and Roundhouse, can you give a very brief outline of your views in terms of chronology?

    Rev 20 talks about the First resurrection. Those who didn’t worship the Beast coming to life and reigning for 1000 years. After which the Antichrist appears again and deceives and Gog and Magog.

    So you see a literal 1000 years after which there is a huge attack on jerusalem after 3012?

    If Thessalonians is talking about a pre-tribulation rapture at which time their is also a mass physical resurrection, then is there another physical resurrection for those martyred during the Tribulation, and then 1000 years on Earth, and then the final battle between the people of God and the wicked under the direction of the Anti-Christ?

    Btw, I don’t know many people who agree on all of this.

    Can you give your view in very simple terms?

  63. Q,
    There is discussion on this because it is quite a complicated subject, with a few credible possibilities, admittedly.

    What is certain is that there is a resurrection, and that it is connected to what is called the rapture, which is merely an English version of the Latin interpretation, rapiemur, by Jerome, and is a translation of harpazo, which definitely means a catching away or catching up, said to be a catching up of the living saints together with the dead in Christ, which is another way of saying the resurrection of the saints, living or sleeping.

    As I said earlier, I prefer not to use the word ‘rapture’ because there are connotations attached to the term now by sceptics which hampers the original understanding. I prefer to stick to the English translation of harpazo which is undeniably indicating a catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air, and is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15, where it speaks of an instant change of saints’ bodies from mortal to immortal, corruptible to incorruptible.

    The timing of it is subject to different schools of thought.

    If you would like my understanding I am happy to give it, but at the risk of being scoffed at by doubters like Bones and Greg, who have already admitted they don’t have a clue how the resurrection occurs.

  64. By the way, Q, the original discussion which led to Greg’s very provocative denial of the catching up of the saints was on whether the Revelation of Jesus in any way spoke of future events, which Bones and Greg also vehemently deny.

    I raised the reference to the resurrection as one example of an event which has not yet taken place.

    This has to be taken in context with other Biblical writers and speakers who have revealed the mystery of the resurrection, including Jesus, Paul, Peter, and, of course, John. Daniel also references a resurrection without using the word.

    Daniel 12
    12:1 ¶ “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.
    2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
    3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

    This is so similar to John’s commentary on Jesus’ Revelation that we have to take note of the resurrection being a reality for all believers, and judgment for all unbelievers.

    That John, in the Revelation o Jesus, mentions the resurrection, and the judgment must be taken seriously as future events, and not dismissed through sheer unbelief.

  65. Jesus speaks of two resurrections. The resurrection of life, and the resurrection of condemnation.

    John 5
    28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
    29 “and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

    Notice that all in the graves will hear His voice.

  66. On resurrection and judgment:

    Romans 2
    3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
    4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
    5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
    6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:
    7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
    8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath,
    9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
    10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    11 For there is no partiality with God.
    12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
    13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
    14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
    15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
    16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

  67. Seems its ok for Catholics, orthodox, Anglicans reformers protesttants who had no knowledge of a rapture for 1830 years before Darby’s lunacy tho believe in a resurrecttion. Stteve ythinks he’ s cleverer ythan all of Christendom because he can take verses out of conttextt.

  68. Bones,

    I’m sure you don’t have to be rude all the time about this.

    I have actually shown scripture to demonstrate how it works.

    It is undeniable that Jesus discusses both judgment and resurrection. He said he is the Resurrection and the Life. He explained that there would be those who live who would be resurrected and never die, and those who sleep in Him and be resurrected to eternal life.

    Paul also discusses this, and, in both epistles to the Thessalonians and Corinthians reveals more details of the resurrection, including the harpazo, or catching up of the saints.

    Your rudeness and aggression is unkind and unnecessary.

  69. OK, I’ll try a civil approach, Bones.

    What is it you don’t you like about the rapture?

    What is the resurrection?

    Is there a connection between the resurrection and the harpazo or ‘catching up’ of the saints?

  70. Can you explain the ascension of Christ from earth to heaven? Or the transfiguration? Were these real events, or imagined?

    Enoch?

    Elijah?

    Supposedly, when the Lord does come at the second coming, there will still be living people on earth, and you understand that there must be a resurrection, so what will happen to those who are still alive? We know that those who are dead will be raised, but tell us about those who are still alive on earth. What will happen to them at the resurrection?

    All valid, Biblical questions.

  71. At least i know theyd have some scholarship and research bejind them and not talking out their arse. So yeah i would ask them. Youll only give me your intuition.

  72. OK, Bones, I guess we’ll leave it at that.

    I don’t have to stay around to cop your abuse and waste time on your aversion to giving a straight answer to good questions.

    I hope you get through your present flood crisis unscathed.

  73. After our discussions on revelation its clear in the words of brian h on the meaning of the rich young ruler tjat you dont have a teachable spirit.

    Pentecostals would much rathrr rely on what feels right then do any serious study.

  74. Heres a thought daniel 12 and revelation are so similar because john knew the book of daniel.

    Wow what a coincidence. You mean people read the old testament back then.

  75. btw according to the transfiguration moses was already raised from the dead.

    Unless you accept old zeibarts explanation that it was only a vision.

  76. Bones,
    you don’t have a teachable spirit

    It’s precisely because I do have a teachable spirit that I can see right through your antichristian abuse of sound doctrine.

    Pentecostals would much rathrr [sic] rely on what feels right then do any serious study.

    I’ll put that stupid remark down to pure ignorance.

    Do you mean the serious study which drags up Mormon doctrine or vehemently defends Roman Catholic dogma such as Mary’s perpetual virginity, immaculate conception and elevation to mediatrix, or removes Genesis from the canon as a myth, replacing it with Darwinian theory, completely missing out the account of how sin entered the human race, or portrays Revelation as a mere apocalyptic encouragement to surrounded saints, that there will be no resurrection, or judgment, or New Jerusalem, or eternal separation of sinners, or declares that God wipes out cities because they forgot to offer angels a cup of tea, or denies miracles, baptism with the Spirit, prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit, abundant life, blessing, the presence of an evil fallen angel named as the devil, the serpent and Satan, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead and living for judgment, and countless other orthodox teachings which most Christians, let alone Pentecostals, are perfectly at ease with?

    What have feelings to do with faith? We are actually taught, as Pentecostals, that we walk by faith and not by sight, that we are to set our eyes on heavenly things and not on the earth, that earthly things are temporal and subject to corruption, whereas heavenly things are eternal and incorruptible, that these three things, faith, hope and love, are everlasting.

    2 Corinthans 5
    7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
    8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
    9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
    10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
    11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
    12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.
    13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
    14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
    15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

    How’s that for context, Bones?

    Absent from the body is present with the Lord!

    We must all appear before the judgment seat of the Lord!

    All! Whether living or dead.

    All will be raised. All will appear before Him. All will be judged.

    Even you!

  77. Bones, if you laid off the insults it would make for a better discussion.

    It’s a vey complicated, difficult subject and I’m loathe to call anyone stupid for their take on it.

    And as for saying someone is wrong for not agreeing with 1800 years of tradition, you are the same anyway.

    The wholesale dismissing of Pentecostals on the basis of emotionalism or lack of academic strength has been true in the the past and still is in some quarters, but it’s not universal at all.

    And even if someone has no formal qualifications it doesn’t make their argument wrong.

    So it would be appreciated if you stuck to the argument and not just lobbed insults.

    Pity that Steve was reticent to answer an honest question because of being attacked.

    And, Steve has certainly proved that he studies and is open to critique an idea on its merits.

    I’ve listed a lot of the failed speculations in the past re end times – simply to make the point that so often people have been completely wrong in spite of their certainty and seeming proof.

    But that has no real bearing on an argument over theology.

    Doesn’t matter how many boys “cry wolf”, that still doesn’t mean there isn’t a wolf out there.

  78. “We are actually taught, as Pentecostals […] that we are to set our eyes on heavenly things and not on the earth […]”

    So why is it, then, that pentecostal spruikers are endlessly bleating on about how God wants us to be rich?

  79. Moses was obviously resurrected if the transformation is to be taken literally. That sort of destroys your black and white world of i know how the resurrection will happen.

  80. Moses was obviously resurrected if the transfiguration is to be taken literally. That sort of destroys your black and white world of i know how the resurrection will happen.

  81. “I can see right through your antichristian abuse of sound doctrine.”

    So there you go.

    Most Christians of course regard the rapture as a symptom of a retarded view of scripture. Those that have heard of it.

    Now they are antiChrists.

    Which is every single Christian pre-1830.

  82. I think it is pretty plain that at the last trump we shall be caught up to be with Him, and I am happy with that – and I have the added assurance, being as i was such a doubting Thomas, of having been shown some things others have not seen. For my part I am satisified that the lord Himself showed me how His Body comes together in a number of visions and revelations – all beholding as in a different metaphor the very same thing – like different aspects of the redemption of all creation – and the truly weird thing is, I was never a seeker, never a searcher except that my father infected me with a hunger for knowledge and a desire to knwo the mysteries of the universe. I was not looking for God, I did not find Him, He gathered me to Himself from childhood when I look back – it is all about the election of God and that is always by a majority of ONE, not consensus.

    If you check the scriptures Bones I think you will find that Moses and Elijah both had moments in their ministries where they were transfigured and became as lights or fires – it is my personal conviction that the event was a timeless intercourse between the three. Having been in different times with Him, I know how this can be and it is quite illogically logical. I was once taken 30yrs into the future in an open vision. Another time I asked the Lord to show me what it was like to listen to Him preach while in Israel and I was literally there (it was amazing – I mean the preaching – the words were like life itself – no man ever spake as He). Time is just something to set your watch by. The more connected you get to eternity, the more this world grows dim and the sense of the passage of time becomes more like a limpid pool than a river raging toward the ravine of oblivion.

    You know, the reason why missionaries have such success with the virgin faith of new believers, especially children, getting them to pray, is that they have not as yet been burdened with unbelief.

  83. Bones – the reason why I believe in the catching up to be with the Lord is that He showed me when I asked “What’s it going to be like?” in simple childlike faith and He gave me a demonstration. You have an argument, I have an experience, others simply a belief either way. Once it becomes experiential, the theoretical becomes void. It is like salvation – how do you l now you are saved? How has God confirmed this to you? Has He shown you special things, shred special moments with you to confirm your faith? OF course He has, I can hear glimpses of it in your discourse. I have also had a metaphorical vision of God’s people being caught up to be with Him, and I have seen the congregation in heaven. God knows why He has done this, but I am sure that if you ask in faith, nothing doubting, that He might share such scenes with yourselves and so confirm your faith.

    I was once a few years back caught up in the Spirit and shown what the congregations will be like when the wave hits – what folks call church or meetings will become intensely heavenly events with miracles galore and the greatest miracle of all, I was shown people literally being blasted by revelation bullets which contained the sum of their lives in God – it was like they got the whole lot in one hit and it blew their cotton picking minds and they were transformed in a moment and lost in eternity, God ministering to them on a very personal and unique level – in other words, I watched a “telecast” of the “church” of the future. It was like nothing you have ever seen – the Power was amazing – this was no Benny Hinn side show, it was the real deal. I know the difference – believe me – I have seen and handled both so I know the counterfeit from the real and vice versa.

  84. @Bones

    “Which is every single Christian pre-1830.”

    Apart from Paul, Peter, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, The Shepherd of Hermas, Justin of Martyr, Iraeneus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and our old friend Ephraim, no one ever taught or believed in the rapture until the mid 1800’s, because it hadn’t been invented yet.

  85. Rapture wasn’t even a word until the 1600s. It originally meant ‘snatching away’, all the same, but wasn’t applied to the harpazo until much later, and even had a secondary meaning of ‘ecstasy’ as far back as the mid 1600s.

    It became fashionable in Christian circles to use the word rapture to describe the catching away of the saints, perhaps because it has a more memorable phrasing, but doesn’t take away from the fact of the action portrayed in the scripture.

    To say that the harpazo is not present in scripture is a denial of truth. It very clearly is. It can only mean to be caught up or snatched away, and is connected to the dead in Christ being caught away first, and those who are alive in Christ be caught up together with them.

    It couldn’t be any clearer, especially when coupled with 1 Corinthians 15 which gives added information.

    Bones is clearly wrong in his assertion that the rapture isn’t orthodox, provided we take the meaning of the word to be comparable to harpazo.

    You can’t be more orthodox than the Apostle Paul!

  86. @Steve

    Bones made an emphatic statement based upon misinformation, assumption and ignorance right at the beginning of this thread regarding the rapture, and now that he’s been shown that his knowledge on this subject is dead wrong, he cannot now be seen to be backing away from his initial claim, because then he would have to admit that he had made a mistake. So instead he digs himself deeper, and ties himself up in ever increasing knots. Sadly for him, his cheer squad, Greg, and to a lesser extent wazza, have cut him adrift, letting him take all of the heat for their ignorance of scripture.

  87. Lets ignore the liberal and Catholic scholars and see what evangelicals think of the rapture.

    John Stott calls this idea “escapism” in his book Issues Facing Christians Today (2006, 4th ed.). He goes on to write that the Dispensational concept of a “secret rapture” is one of the most destructive doctrines gripping the Evangelical Church today. According to Stott, it thwarts planning, hinders social involvement, and gives Christians a gloomy outlook for the future.

  88. Farewell to the Rapture

    Little did Paul know how his colorful metaphors for Jesus’ second coming would be misunderstood two millennia later.

    The American obsession with the second coming of Jesus — especially with distorted interpretations of it — continues unabated. Seen from my side of the Atlantic, the phenomenal success of the Left Behind books appears puzzling, even bizarre[1]. Few in the U.K. hold the belief on which the popular series of novels is based: that there will be a literal “rapture” in which believers will be snatched up to heaven, leaving empty cars crashing on freeways and kids coming home from school only to find that their parents have been taken to be with Jesus while they have been “left behind.” This pseudo-theological version of Home Alone has reportedly frightened many children into some kind of (distorted) faith.
    This dramatic end-time scenario is based (wrongly, as we shall see) on Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first; then we, who are left alive, will be snatched up with them on clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
    What on earth (or in heaven) did Paul mean?
    It is Paul who should be credited with creating this scenario. Jesus himself, as I have argued in various books, never predicted such an event[2]. The gospel passages about “the Son of Man coming on the clouds” (Mark 13:26, 14:62, for example) are about Jesus’ vindication, his “coming” to heaven from earth. The parables about a returning king or master (for example, Luke 19:11-27) were originally about God returning to Jerusalem, not about Jesus returning to earth. This, Jesus seemed to believe, was an event within space-time history, not one that would end it forever.
    The Ascension of Jesus and the Second Coming are nevertheless vital Christian doctrines[3], and I don’t deny that I believe some future event will result in the personal presence of Jesus within God’s new creation. This is taught throughout the New Testament outside the Gospels. But this event won’t in any way resemble the Left Behind account. Understanding what will happen requires a far more sophisticated cosmology than the one in which “heaven” is somewhere up there in our universe, rather than in a different dimension, a different space-time, altogether.
    The New Testament, building on ancient biblical prophecy, envisages that the creator God will remake heaven and earth entirely, affirming the goodness of the old Creation but overcoming its mortality and corruptibility (e.g., Romans 8:18-27; Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17, 66:22). When that happens, Jesus will appear within the resulting new world (e.g., Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2).
    Paul’s description of Jesus’ reappearance in 1 Thessalonians 4 is a brightly colored version of what he says in two other passages, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and Philippians 3:20-21: At Jesus’ “coming” or “appearing,” those who are still alive will be “changed” or “transformed” so that their mortal bodies will become incorruptible, deathless. This is all that Paul intends to say in Thessalonians, but here he borrows imagery—from biblical and political sources—to enhance his message. Little did he know how his rich metaphors would be misunderstood two millennia later.
    First, Paul echoes the story of Moses coming down the mountain with the Torah. The trumpet sounds, a loud voice is heard, and after a long wait Moses comes to see what’s been going on in his absence.
    Second, he echoes Daniel 7, in which “the people of the saints of the Most High” (that is, the “one like a son of man”) are vindicated over their pagan enemy by being raised up to sit with God in glory. This metaphor, applied to Jesus in the Gospels, is now applied to Christians who are suffering persecution.
    Third, Paul conjures up images of an emperor visiting a colony or province. The citizens go out to meet him in open country and then escort him into the city. Paul’s image of the people “meeting the Lord in the air” should be read with the assumption that the people will immediately turn around and lead the Lord back to the newly remade world.
    Paul’s mixed metaphors of trumpets blowing and the living being snatched into heaven to meet the Lord are not to be understood as literal truth, as the Left Behind series suggests, but as a vivid and biblically allusive description of the great transformation of the present world of which he speaks elsewhere.
    Paul’s misunderstood metaphors present a challenge for us: How can we reuse biblical imagery, including Paul’s, so as to clarify the truth, not distort it? And how can we do so, as he did, in such a way as to subvert the political imagery of the dominant and dehumanizing empires of our world? We might begin by asking, What view of the world is sustained, even legitimized, by the Left Behind ideology? How might it be confronted and subverted by genuinely biblical thinking? For a start, is not the Left Behind mentality in thrall to a dualistic view of reality that allows people to pollute God’s world on the grounds that it’s all going to be destroyed soon? Wouldn’t this be overturned if we recaptured Paul’s wholistic vision of God’s whole creation?

    NT Wright

    http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_BR_Farewell_Rapture.htm

  89. Bones,
    The meaning of the “secret rapture” is one thing,
    But the scripture that says, ” for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. ” also shows secrecy.

  90. There are other instances of harpazo being used in the New Testament.

    There is the ‘catching away’ of Philip after he had preached t the eunuch, and is transported to preach to others in another place.

    Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
    Acts 8:39

    Here the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, which is the same word used to catch away the saints in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

    Then there is the reference Paul gives to being caught up to the third heaven, which he also calls Paradise.

    <B.I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
    2 Corinthians 12:2-4

    Of course, it is generally understood that man in question is Paul himself, so his understanding of being caught up is very personal, and indicates why he had such a revelation of what would take place at the catching up of the Church, which he discusses more than once in a fair amount of detail, especially at 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, an at 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

    Harpazo is also given at Revelation 12:5.

    She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

    The child is clearly Jesus, who was caught up to God and His throne when He ascended.

    Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
    Acts 1:9-10

    In this Acts passage different words are used to describe Jesus’ ascension, but He is obviously the child spoken of in Revelation as being caught up, the emphasis, for this exegesis, being the reference to His being ‘caught up’ and the verb being harpazo as it is in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, giving us three other examples of the way oin which the word is used to describe people being caught up, or transported from one place to another.

    The word also has the connotation of sudden, forceful action, being a ‘snatching away’, which is why the Latin has been used to describe the ‘raptors’ as birds of prey which ‘snatch up’ their quarry.

    The use of rapture, said to be first coined by Shakespeare to describe a person being ‘caught away in ecstasy’ is valid if you allow it as a part of a translation of harpazo, even though it is a more recent word, but ‘caught up’, or ‘snatched away’ are by far more useful to us for this exercise.

  91. The Rapture Index (MAD THEOLOGY!)

    by Dave MacPherson

    (For more than 30 years my critics have falsely claimed that leading scholars condemn my research. Since those critics are in effect slamming poor, helpless, long-departed Margaret Macdonald, I hereby come to her defense with a few of the many reactions from scholars who generally haven’t had a huge axe to grind either for or against the “pretribulation rapture” view. My usual practice, by the way, has been to obtain permission when quoting personal letters.)

    Loraine Boettner (theologian, author): “I think that you have done a magnificent job in showing the real origin of the Pre-trib rapture theory.”

    F. F. Bruce (theologian, encyclopedia contributor): “It is strange that Darby should acknowledge his indebtedness to a young lady in Limerick and say nothing about the young lady in Port Glasgow [that is, not acknowledge her pre-Antichrist rapture of part of the church]….If this work of yours can do anything to counter the influence of Hal Lindsey…, you will have rendered a signal service.”

    Superficial—-and even devious—-scholarship loves to repeat Bruce’s 1975 surmise that pretrib was “in the air in the 1820s and 1830s.” Hired critic Thomas Ice knows that this wasn’t a scientific conclusion (does reliable data rest literally “in the air”?), and Ice moreover has ignored Bruce’s later statements complimenting my evidence!

    Gary DeMar (theologian, author): “THE RAPTURE PLOT is the never-before-told, true story of the plot—-how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the ‘mother of all revisionisms.’ A fascinating piece of detective work.”

    First, let’s explain “rapture” and then “index.”

    Many Christian Right members in America believe in an imminent “rapture” (a coming of Christ that reportedly happens SEVEN YEARS BEFORE the famous Second Coming to earth).

    The “great tribulation” in the Bible is said to occur during those seven years. Therefore the rapture is viewed as a “pretribulation” event and reportedly gives believers the hope of being taken to heaven, without dying, and thus escaping the traumatic seven-year period on earth.

    The “Index” (as in Todd Strandberg’s “Rapture Index”) lists 45 “precursors” (events on earth reportedly acting as signposts pointing to the rapture, and showing how close the rapture is).

    And here’s where the mad theology comes in. The Rapture Index “precursors” (including “Antichrist”) are on earth even AFTER the point in time for a “pretrib” rapture, are fulfilled DURING the seven-year tribulation period, and actually point to ONLY the (posttribulation) Second Coming to earth and not to any sort of “pretribulation” coming – a concept that NO church before 1830 ever taught!

    Promoters and merchandisers of pretrib rapture theology have claimed in recent years to have found a few individuals before 1830 who supposedly taught a “pretrib” rapture or coming – but none of those promoters has ever found any ORGANIZED CHURCH teaching or even hinting at such a doctrine before that date. If you will go to Google or other search engines and type in “Deceiving and Being Deceived” (one of my earliest internet articles), you will see how groundless the claims are for certain pre-1830 individuals that have been dredged up. Even if a few pre-1830 persons DID seem to teach a pretrib rapture, why would pretrib promoters want to side with them instead of siding with the 99 percent who obviously DID NOT embrace a pretrib rapture view?

    If you’re interested in this subject, you can visit engines like Google, Yahoo, or MSN and type in “Pretrib Rapture Diehards” (the long-covered-up history of “pretrib” teaching), “Famous Rapture Watchers” (the only “rapture” view held by all churches before 1830), “Thomas Ice (Bloopers)” (the level of scholarship often seen in “pretrib” circles!), “Open Letter to Todd Strandberg,” and “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal” (scandalous plagiarism in writings by Falwell, Dobson, Hindson, LaHaye, Ryrie etc.; such thievery has long characterized pretrib rapturists beginning with Darby (and his contemporaries), Seiss, and Bullinger in the 1800’s and continuing with later members of the Christian Rewrite such as Lindsey, Unger, Jeremiah, Carlson, Tan, Missler, and Van Impe!).

    If you’d like to go even further in your research, you can obtain my 300-page book “The Rapture Plot” (my greatest collection of documentation on pretrib rapturism’s bizarre 19th century development) by calling 800.643.4645.

    http://historicist.info/articles3/raptureindex.htm

  92. Five Myths About the Rapture

    MYTH 3 — “The Rapture is a biblical and orthodox belief.”

    LaHaye declares, in Rapture Under Attack, that “virtually all Christians who take the Bible literally expect to be raptured before the Lord comes in power to this earth.” This would have been news to Christians — both Catholic and Protestant — living prior to the 18th century, since the concept of a pretribulation Rapture was unheard of prior to that time. Vague notions had been considered by the Puritan preachers Increase (1639-1723) and Cotton Mather (1663-1728), and the late 18th-century Baptist minister Morgan Edwards, but it was John Nelson Darby who solidified the belief in the 1830s and placed it into a larger theological framework.

    This historical background leaves the dispensationalist with two options: claim the pretribulation Rapture is biblical but went undiscovered for 1,800 years, or argue that it has been the belief of “true Christians” ever since Christ walked the earth. Ryrie, in his apologetic Dispensationalism Today (Moody, 1965), makes a case for the former by stating: “The fact that the church taught something in the first century does not make it true, and likewise if the church did not teach something until the twentieth century, it is not necessarily false.” LaHaye and others argue for the latter, pointing to passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, and Matthew 24 as clear evidence for the pretribulation Rapture (those passages make several appearances, for instance, in the Left Behind novels).

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is especially vital to the dispensationalist:

    For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
    There are three problems with claiming this passage refers to the Rapture. First, neither it nor the entire book of 1 Thessalonians mentions Christ returning two more times, or makes any reference to such a distinction. Second, dispensationalists believe the Rapture will be a secret and silent event, yet this passage describes a very loud and public event. This is all the more problematic because dispensationalists insist that they interpret Scripture “plainly” and “literally,” allowing for symbolism only when such is the obvious intent of the author. Finally, dispensationalists teach that all other New Testament references to Christ coming in the clouds (Matthew 24:30 and 26:64; Mark 14:62; Revelation 1:7) refer to His Second Coming but inexplicably deny that that is the case here.

    1 Corinthians 15 and its reference to “the twinkling of an eye” is often used as a proof text but is equally unconvincing. The point of the passage is that Christians will be glorified at the Second Coming, not that they’ll be secretly whisked off the planet prior to the tribulation. It describes an event that will occur at “the last trumpet” and states that “the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

    Yet LaHaye and Left Behind coauthor Jerry B. Jenkins, reflecting the common dispensationalist interpretation, claim in Are We Living in the End Times? (Tyndale, 1999) that Matthew 24:29-31 describes the Second Coming, which will include “a great sound of a trumpet” (Matthew 24:31). So how can 1 Corinthians 15, which speaks of “the last trumpet,” refer to the Rapture when there is yet another trumpet to be sounded, several years later, at the Second Coming?

    Some dispensationalists have admitted, at least in a backhanded fashion, the recent roots of the pretribulation Rapture. In an article titled “The Origin of the Pre-Trib Rapture” (Biblical Perspectives, March/April 1989), LaHaye’s colleague at the Pre-Trib Research Institute, Thomas D. Ice, writes that “a certain theological climate needed to be created before premillennialism would restore the Biblical doctrine of the pre-trib Rapture.” He continues: “Sufficient development did not take place until after the French Revolution. The factor of the Rapture has been clearly known by the church all along; therefore the issue is the timing of the event. Since neither pre- nor post-tribs have a proof text for the time of the Rapture . . . then it is clear that this issue is the product of a deduction from one’s overall system of theology, both for pre- and post-tribbers.” In fact, the Rapture as dispensationalists conceive of it was never part of the early or medieval Church’s theology but is the modern creation of Darby less than 200 years ago.

    MYTH 4 — “The early Church Fathers believed in the Rapture and the millennial kingdom on earth.”

    This clever argument, used by Ryrie, LaHaye, Lindsey, and others, is effective in persuading those with little knowledge of historical theology or the beliefs of the early Church. True, several early Christian writers — notably Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, and Lactanitus — were premillennialists who believed that Christ’s Second Coming would lead to a visible, earthly reign. But the premillennialism they embraced was quite different from that taught by modern dispensationalists.

    Catholic scholars acknowledge that some of the Fathers were influenced by the Jewish belief in an earthly Messianic kingdom, while others embraced millennarianism as a reaction to the Gnostic antagonism toward the material realm. But the Catholic Church does not look to one Church Father in isolation — or even a select group of Fathers — and claim their teachings are infallible or definitive. Rather, the Church views their writings as valuable guides providing insights and perspectives that assist the Magisterium — the teaching office of the Church — in defining, clarifying, and defending Church doctrine.

    Those early premillennialists did not hold to distinctively modern and dispensationalist beliefs, especially not the belief in a pretribulation Rapture and the radical distinction between an earthly and a heavenly people of God; such beliefs didn’t come about until many centuries later. The early Church Fathers, whether premillennialist or otherwise, believed that the Church was the New Israel and that Christians — consisting of both Jews and Gentiles (cf. Romans 10:12) — had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.

    In attempting to prove the validity of their beliefs by appealing to early Church Fathers, dispensationalists always ignore the Church Fathers’ unanimous teachings about the nature of the Eucharist, the authority and nature of the Church, and a host of other distinctively Catholic beliefs. They also conveniently blur the lines between the historical premillennialism of certain early Church writers and the dispensational premillennialism of Darby and his disciples.

    MYTH 5 — “The Left Behind books are harmless entertainment that encourage Christians in their faith and help them better understand the Book of Revelation.”

    Even when presented with the faulty theological premises underlying dispensationalism, some Catholics still insist that the Left Behind series is just good fun — a light read with a sound moral message. Some, however, go even further and claim the books have changed their lives, provided answers about the end of the world, and made sense of the Bible, particularly the Book of Revelation. Responding to my book, a Catholic reader wrote, “I personally believe that the dispensationalists have done Catholics a favor by alerting them to the serious times we live in and by encouraging them to search out the Scriptures.” She never makes mention of Catholic scholarship or magisterial documents.

    Another Catholic reader of the series told me, “You condemn these books because they are successful.” In fact, I’ve strongly critiqued the Left Behind books because they’re written by a noted Fundamentalist (with serious animus toward the Catholic Church) in order to propagate a theology that is incorrect, misleading, and contrary to historic Christianity.

    One message of LaHaye’s that comes across clearly in books such as Are We Living in the End Times?, Rapture Under Attack, and Revelation Unveiled is that the Catholic Church is apostate, Catholicism is “Babylonian mysticism” and an “idolatrous religion,” and Catholics worship Mary, knowing little about the real Jesus Christ. It’s difficult to overstate the dislike — even hatred — LaHaye has for the Catholic Church or to exaggerate the ridiculous character of his attacks. He condemns the use of candles in Catholic churches, insists there’s hardly any difference between Hinduism and Catholicism, and emphatically declares that the Catholic Church killed at least 40 million people during the “dark ages.”

    When I asked LaHaye, via e-mail, why he never refers to Catholic sources or official documents in his writings, he replied:

    Because I think that for centuries the Catholic Church has presented church history in a manner protective of “Mother church.” . . . I have seen more concern on the part of your church for Hindus, Buddhists, and other pagan religions than they do [sic] for those who love Jesus Christ as He is presented in the Bible and are committed to making Him known to the lost so they will not be Left Behind.
    In other words, the Catholic Church is simply wrong and doesn’t deserve a fair hearing. LaHaye has not only revealed himself to be an anti-Catholic polemicist but a theologian with a seriously skewed view of God’s salvific work. In a newspaper interview, LaHaye said, “We’ve [himself and Jenkins] created a series of books about the greatest cosmic event that will happen in the history of the world.” What is that “greatest cosmic event”? The Incarnation? The Cross? The Resurrection? No, the Rapture — a modern, man-made belief based on a distorted Christology and an anemic ecclesiology.

    But don’t the books help people understand the Bible? According to contemporary Christian music star Michael W. Smith, “Left Behind has brought understanding and clarity to [the Book of] Revelation, a book of the Bible usually seen as confusing and dark.” This echoes LaHaye’s assertion that St. John’s Apocalypse “gives a detailed description of the future.” But a perusal of dispensationalist interpretations of the Book of Revelation written over the last several decades suggests otherwise. Dispensationalists disagree about nearly every major element of the book, including the identity of the Whore of Babylon (i.e., a reformed Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, Iraq, the United States), the mark of the Beast (i.e., computer chips, bar codes, social security numbers, laser technology), and numerous other entities, personages, nations, and events.

    More importantly, dispensationalists give little attention to the rich Old Testament allusions or the first-century context of the Book of Revelation. To the contrary, Hal Lindsey proffers in There’s a New World Coming (Vision House, 1973) that “Revelation is written in such a way that its meaning becomes clear with the unfolding of current world events.” Considering that none of Lindsey’s interpretations of the book’s prophetic utterances has come to pass over the past 30 years — including his conviction that the Rapture would occur in the 1980s — one can only wonder at Lindsey’s unflagging confidence. Futurists such as dispensationalists have always been prone to read current events into the Book of Revelation’s mysterious passages, and prophetic speculators of the past connected it to the French Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the founding of the modern Israeli state in 1948. More recent events supposedly shedding light on St. John’s vision include the Cold War, the Persian Gulf War, and the conflict with terrorism and Iraq.

    The appeal of the pretribulational Rapture is understandable. The idea that those living today are “the generation” who will see Christ’s return is attractive and intoxicating. “My prophetic studies have convinced me,” LaHaye writes, in Rapture Under Attack, “that we Christians living today have more evidence to believe we are the generation of His coming than any generation before us.” It’s no surprise that many people want to hear that they won’t have to die. Such promises of escape from suffering, illness, pain, and potential martyrdom are tempting, but they aren’t an option for Catholics. Each of us will endure suffering, and the Church will, one day, have to endure a final, great trial: “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (CCC 677). The pretribulation Rapture, dispensationalism, and the Left Behind books, in the end, are long on promises and short on biblical, historical, and theological evidence.

    Carl E. Olson is the editor of Envoy magazine (www.envoymagazine.com) and the author of Will Catholics Be “Left Behind”?: A Catholic Critique of the Rapture and Today’s Prophecy Preachers (Ignatius, 2003). He has written for First Things, This Rock, National Catholic Register, and other periodicals.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=5788

  93. The Origin of the Pretribulation Rapture Teaching

    Whenever a Christian encounters a doctrine that has not been taught by anyone in any branch of Christ’s church for over eighteen centuries, one should be very suspect of that teaching. This fact in and of itself does not prove that the new teaching is false. But, it should definitely raise one’s suspicions, for if something is taught in Scripture, it is not unreasonable to expect at least a few theologians and exegetes to have discovered it before. The teaching of a secret pretribulation rapture is a doctrine that never existed before 1830. Did the pretribulation rapture come into existence by a careful exegesis of Scripture? No. The first person to teach the doctrine was a young woman named Margaret Macdonald. Margaret was not a theologian or Bible expositor but was a prophetess in the Irvingite sect (the Catholic Apostolic Church). Christian journalist Dave MacPherson has written a book on the subject of the origin of the pre-tribulation rapture. He writes: “We have seen that a young Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald had a private revelation in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in the early part of 1830 that a select group of Christians would be caught up to meet Christ in the air before the days of Antichrist. An eye-and-ear witness, Robert Norton M.D., preserved her handwritten account of her pre-trib rapture revelation in two of his books, and said it was the first time anyone ever split the second coming into two distinct parts or stages. His writings, along with much other Catholic Apostolic Church literature, have been hidden many decades from the mainstream of Evangelical thought and only recently surfaced. Margaret’s views were well-known to those who visited her home, among them John Darby of the Brethren. Within a few months her distinctive prophetic outlook was mirrored in the September, 1830 issue of The Morning Watch and the early Brethren assembly at Plymouth, England. Early disciples of the pre-trib interpretation often called it a new doctrine.”2
    John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), who was the leader of the Brethren movement and the “father of modern Dispensationalism,” took Margaret Macdonald’s new teaching on the rapture, made some changes (she taught a partial rapture of believers while he taught that all believers would be raptured) and incorporated it into his Dispensational understanding of Scripture and prophecy. Darby would spend the rest of his life speaking, writing and traveling, spreading the new rapture theory. The Plymouth Brethren openly admitted and were even proud of the fact that among their teachings were totally new ones which had never been taught by the church fathers, medieval scholastics, Protestant Reformers or the many commentators.
    The person most responsible for the rather widespread acceptance of Pretribulationalism and Dispensationalism among Evangelicals is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921). C. I. Scofield published his Scofield Reference Bible in 1909. This Bible, which espoused the doctrines of Darby in its notes, became very popular in Fundamentalist circles. In the minds of many a Bible teacher, fundamentalist pastor and multitudes of professing Christians, Scofield’s notes were practically equated with the word of God itself. If a person did not adhere to the Dispensational, Pretribulational scheme he or she would almost automatically be labeled a modernist.
    Today there is a whole plethora of books advocating the pretribulation rapture theory and the Dispensational understanding of the end times. Given the fact that among professing Christians the pre-trib rapture is still wildly popular, a comparison of this theory with scriptural teaching is warranted. We will see that the typical arguments offered in favor of this theory are in conflict with the Bible.

    http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/rapture.htm

  94. Conclusion

    Although the pretribulation rapture theory is very popular today, given arguments that are offered in support of this doctrine we must declare Pretribulationalism to be contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. Simply put, there is not one shred of evidence that can be found in the Bible to support the pretribulation rapture. The typical Pretribulational arguments offered reveal a pattern: of imposing one’s presuppositions onto a text without any exegetical justification whatsoever; of finding subtle meaning between words and/or phrases that were never intended by the author; of spiritualizing or ignoring passages that contradict the Pretribulational paradigm; and, of imposing Pretribulationalism upon passages that actually teach the unity of the eschatological complex (i.e., the rapture, second coming, general resurrection, and general judgment all occur on the same day—the day of the Lord). It is our hope and prayer that professing Christians would cast off this escapist fantasy and return to the task of personal sanctification and godly dominion.

    http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/rapture.htm

  95. The Invention of the Rapture

    John Byron
    (Professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary. I enjoy teaching and researching a variety of topics in Early Judaism and Christianity.)

    The Rapture is common stock in many Evangelical theologies. Most biblical scholars, myself included, not only don’t believe in the rapture, we are frustrated by it. At a minimum it creates a fear based theology that causes ministry from a wrong motive.

    Barbara Rosing wrote a book a few years back The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation. Rosing was tired of the type of Left Behind theology that was being pandered in churches and the media. Below is a description of the book from Publishers Weekly via Amazon. Below that is a video interview with Rosing. In light of all the hype of some people’s prediction the world will end on May 21st, this is a timely piece. Thanks to Jim West for the links.

    Ordained minister Rossing is ready to do battle with evangelicals both within and outside of her Lutheran Church camp. Rossing, who teaches New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, begins her sparring by taking on the widely popular Left Behind series and all it presumes to communicate about the future of the world. Claiming that the Left Behind authors’ interpretation of prophetic biblical verses is “fiction,” Rossing firmly asserts that the Book of Revelation has a completely different purpose than to predict upcoming world uprisings and the eventual end of the earth. Instead, Rossing believes that this biblical vision is meant to inspire humanity to seek out “repentance and justice.” Rossing also maintains, somewhat unfairly, that rapture enthusiasts extol a careless, abusive attitude toward God’s created world, since rapture theology declares that the followers of Christ are soon to be removed from it. More significant is Rossing’s belief that Revelation does not offer a prophetic look at Jerusalem as the inevitable battleground between good and evil, but rather extends the promise of a New Jerusalem that will open its arms to all nations in peace. While Rossing’s scholarly work is well organized and obviously carefully thought out, evangelicals may take issue with the blanket statement that “most Christian churches and biblical scholars condemn Rapture theology as a distortion of Christian faith with little biblical basis.” This book will likely upset Christian conservatives while appealing to many in mainline denominations.

  96. Here’s where you’re missing the point, Bones, you are totally focused, not on the actual catching up of the saints, which is describing how the resurrection will take place, but with the idea put out by some Christians of it being a pre-tribulation ‘rapture’.

    You have expended much time and energy, and thrown around a great deal of rank, insulting terminology at others, describing your antipathy towards the ‘Left Behind” concept of the catching up of the Church.

    I have already stated that I am not interested in the ‘Left Behind’ theory because it is hugely inaccurate in many aspects.

    You have ignored this and ploughed on, digging up the equally unorthodox theories of N. T. Wright, which are debated by ministers from his own denomination, and do not match scripture. he also challenges Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, even though, in the passage at chapter 4, Paul declares what he says in regard to the catching up of the saints at the sound of the trump of God is the Word of the Lord, in other words, Paul declares this as a reliable prophecy of what will take place, and how it will happen.

    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

    On and on you go, dredging up pieces which basically set themselves against some US theology, when all along I have steered away from anything to do with what the US evangelical church says, and totally concentrated on what Paul, Peter, Jude, John and Jesus say in scripture.

    Your actual beef is with the timing of the catching up and not with the resurrection itself. You have argued until you are blue in the ace that there is no future reference to the Church in Revelation, when John most definitely discusses the resurrection, which has not taken place yet, is future, is the destiny of both the Church and the sinner, and is as clear as the nose on your face.

    The ‘rapture’ you are arguing against is that portrayed in the ‘Left Behind’ series. I have not even commented on this except to say that I do not hold to it.

    All I have doen is clearly and concisely demonstrated to you that the word ‘rapture’ is comparative to the Greek harpazo which is descriptive of the catching up of the saints, which I believe refers to the resurrection of the believers, whether sleeping or awake in Christ.

  97. @Bones

    “iving prior to the 18th century, since the concept of a pretribulation Rapture was unheard of prior to that time.”

    Still clinging to this lie? I have proven to you that this is patently false several times, yet you still cling onto this lie because your whole hypothesis hangs completely upon it. Take away the idea that the rapture wasn’t taught before the mid 1800’s, and your whole theory comes crashing down. That’s why you refuse to even look at the evidence. You cannot stand to be wrong, can you? So you’ll trawl the internet looking for any website that perpetuates this lie, no matter how obscure, just so you can cover your ignorance. Well, you’ve failed. You’re wrong, and you know you’re wrong. You’ll be a bigger man if you simply accept it.

  98. “And by the way, what’s with this “pseudo Ephraim” malarkey? ”

    Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephraem (known today as the Sermon at the end of the world)[1] is a 7th century Syrian tract which provides a glimpse into the events that took place during its time in the Middle-East.

    Use of Pseudo-Ephraem in Rapture Controversy

    A translation of a late Latin text of what is purported to be a sermon of Pseudo-Ephraem, by a professor at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Tx., Cameron Rhoades, is cited by some, to support an early church reference to the rapture. However, this support is questionable. The Latin text is not “early” (later than 8th century) and is a conflated text, and not translated directly from either the Syriac or Greek texts.

    For perspective, according to Frazier, “Collections of works ascribed to Ephrem exist in several languages, the largest body of texts being Greek. Nearly all the surviving texts attributed to Ephrem in languages other than Syriac and Armenian are derived from this Greek corpus, including the Latin corpus.[3]

    Importantly, according to Reeves, “The Latin pseudo-Ephrem and the Syriac pseudo-Ephrem are not the same text, and the nature of their relationship to one another has yet to be satisfactorily explained. What does seem to be clear is that the Latin text borrows from the Pseudo-Methodius apocalypse (and is thus later than circa 700 CE), whereas the Syriac text seems to be older and does not betray such influence.”[4]

    Thus, different translations from different underlying texts (Syriac text, Greek, and Latin) are confusedly cited as the same Pseudo-Ephraem sermon and popular writers do not point out these important differences, e.g., that the Latin text is much later and borrows from Pseudo-Methodius.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Pseudo-Ephraem

  99. WHAT IS ‘THE RAPTURE’? (PART 1 OF 2)

    by Fr. Dimitri Cozby
    St. Anthony the Great Mission
    San Antonio, TX

    Some of our evangelical or pentecostal neighbors occasionally speak about “the Rapture” as one of the events leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. By this they mean the physical removal from earth of the true believers in Christ in preparation for the “Great Tribulation,” a seven-year period of unparalleled calamity which will herald the end. (A few advocates say that the Rapture will follow the Tribulation. Most who believe in it, however, contend that it precedes the Tribulation.) The Rapture’s purpose, according to its advocates, is to safeguard the righteous during that horrible time. Its most familiar champions are Hal Lindsey (author of The Late, Great Planet Earth and other books), John T. Walvoord (of Dallas Theological Seminary), and the late Cyrus Scofield (author of The Scofield Reference Bible).
    These ideas are popular with groups who are enchanted, even obsessed, with speculation about the Second Coming and who have convinced themselves that they see in current events signs that His return is near. These speculations form part of a broader ideology called “dispensationalism.” Dispensationalists come in all shapes and sizes and what we say about one may not apply to all. Still we can list some general characteristics which virtually all dispensationalists share. The name comes from their division of history into eras or “dispensations.” They believe that the Bible outlines the whole course of mankind’s religious history. Each stage in God’s program is a dispensation, and in each dispensation God relates to the world and His chosen peoples in a different way. Some dispensationalist schemes encompass all human history; others include only Christian history since the time of Christ. Most often these systems are based on a symbolic interpretation of the “letters to the seven churches” of Revelation 2 and 3, with each church standing for the Christianity of a particular period. (Since dispensationalism is Protestant in origin its “Church history” is strictly Western. The dispensations take into account almost nothing of Orthodox history after the period of the early councils which we share with the West.) The dispensational system includes the future as well as the past. Thus dispensationalism presents a detailed program of events leading up to the Second Coming. Two of the events in this master plan are the Rapture and the Great Tribulation.
    Such opinions seem odd to Orthodox Christians. Still, strange as they are, we cannot turn our backs on them or their advocates. After all, the Orthodox Church too affirms that Christ “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” (as we say in the Creed). The Rapture’s advocates claim to base their notions on the same Bible that we read, and they can sometimes be very persuasive, particularly since too many Orthodox are woefully ignorant of what the Bible really says. As a result, some Orthodox have been led astray by this doctrine. The Church’s teachings about the end of time (called “eschatology” by theologians) are important, though neglected. Referring to eschatology, St. Athanasius wrote, “When one knows properly these points, his understanding of the Faith is right and healthy; but if he mistakes any such points, forthwith he falls into heresy” (Against the Arians I 12,50). We need to examine it, sift the true from the false, and put what is true into its proper place within the framework of the Orthodox Faith. We must explain the true meaning of the Bible passages in question as interpreted by the Fathers, the great Orthodox teachers of past ages. And we must put this doctrine in perspective and accord it its true importance. Our purpose in this article is to examine the Rapture doctrine and the Scripture passages on which it relies to determine the proper Orthodox approach and interpretation.
    Proponents of the doctrine of a pre-Tribulation Rapture claim that it rests on Scripture and has always been a part of Christian teaching. The truth is that it dates from about 1830 and was largely the creation of John Nelson Darby, a one-time Anglican priest and founder of a sect called the Plymouth Brethren. He contributed much to the dispensationalist scheme, and in particular he was the first to include the Rapture among the catalogue of phenomena of the last times. The Rapture’s recent origin is one of the things which should make us skeptical. Neither the Apostles nor the Fathers expounded any such teaching (nor, for that matter, did any of the notorious heretics of the past). Even Darby’s circle, although they claimed to find support for their teaching in the Bible, did not maintain that they had arrived at this doctrine through study of the Scriptures, but that they had received it through a revelation. According to its supporters the pre-Tribulation Rapture is an extremely important part of the Christian message. Yet it was unknown before 1830.
    The Rapture’s supporters derive their opinions ultimately from a single Scripture verse, I Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we who are left alive will be carried off together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Less popular but often cited is Matthew 24:40-42, “Then there will be two in the field. One will be taken and the other left. Two will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken and the other left. Therefore, be vigilant, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Other passages are frequently quoted in connection with these (for example, I Corinthians 15:23-28), but even believers in a pre-Tribulation Rapture will admit that the other verses can be taken to refer to that doctrine only if interpreted in the light of the I Thessalonians passage, their principal support.
    The paragraph which contains the first verse quoted above, I Thessalonians 4:17, forms the Epistle reading for funerals in Orthodox worship. The passage begins with 4:13. In preceding verses St. Paul has spoken of the necessity for holiness of life and for brotherly love among Christians (4:1-12). With verse 13 he turns to another topic, the fate of Christians after death. Misunderstandings on this issue had apparently caused needless distress and apprehension in the church at Thessalonika. It seems that some people believed that Christians who died before Christ’s return would somehow miss out on that glorious event. St. Paul seeks to calm their fears (vs. 13). He points out that as Christ returned from the dead at His Resurrection, so also, at the end of time, His followers who have died in the interim will be restored through resurrection (vs. 14). At the Second Coming, the Christian dead will be raised (vs. 16). Then they and the faithful who are still alive will be caught up into the clouds to welcome Christ as He descends (verses 15,17). Paul then discusses other matters relating to the Second Coming, beginning with the date it will occur.
    When we look at verse 17 in context, it is easy to see that is does not really support the doctrine of the Rapture. There is no reference to a Great Tribulation or to any other events preceding Christ’s Return. The verse refers to something that will happen as part of the Lord’s Coming. The course of events St. Paul presents is simple and straight-forward. At the time of the Second Coming, the dead will be raised, and all the faithful (the dead now restored and those still alive now transfigured) will ascend to be with Him as He comes down. This is the universal interpretation of the Fathers who see the verse as referring to the last days.
    Why does St. Paul speak of an ascension of the righteous? The Fathers suggest at least three answers to this question. St. Gregory of Nyssa says that the ascension is a natural consequence of the purity of the transfigured resurrection body: “ … this change which takes place…when the resurrection trumpet sounds which awakens the dead in an instant transforms those who are left alive to incorruptibility according to the likeness of those who have undergone the resurrection change, so that the bulk of the flesh is no longer heavy nor does its weight hold them down to earth, but they rise up through the air …” (“On the Making of Man” 22,6).
    St. John Chrysostom and others say that it is to provide Christ with a proper escort for His appearance on earth and to demonstrate His favor toward the faithful. “If He is about to descend, why shall we be taken up? For the sake of honor. When a king enters a city, those who are in his favor go out to meet him, but the condemned await their judge inside. Or, when a loving father comes, his children, and also those worthy of being his children, are taken out in a chariot to see and kiss him, but the servants who have offended him remain indoors. So we are carried out upon a chariot to our Father … See how great our honor is? As He descends we go out to meet Him, and what is more blessed, we shall be with Him always” (Homily 8 on Thessalonians).
    The third opinion is that St. Paul’s words should be taken symbolically. St. Ambrose and St. Jerome, for example, suggest that the verse does not speak of a real physical ascent at all, nor does it even refer to the Second Coming. What the Apostle means is that the righteous, even when living in the body, are already with Christ in heaven. St. Methodius of Olympus presents a more acceptable symbolic interpretation. He agrees that the passage refers to the Second Coming, but he contends that “the dead” and “the living” do not mean different types of people. The dead, in his view, are our bodies; “those who are alive” are our souls. These will be reunited at the resurrection and then carried up to meet Christ.
    Let us summarize what we have found so far. St. Paul does speak of a sort of rapture, in the sense of a carrying up into the sky of the righteous at the time of the Second Coming. The Fathers generally agree on that. But St. Paul and the Fathers see this as an event which accompanies Christ’s return and immediately precedes the Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom. The Rapture which Darby and Scofield taught and which Lindsey, Walvoord, and others still teach, is different from that. They talk about it as a separate happening, part of a decades long program of events leading up to Christ’s Coming. The dispensationalists see the Rapture as the disappearance of the faithful from the earth before the Great Tribulation and many years before the Judgment. This is foreign to the Apostle and to the Tradition. St. Paul mentions no period of affliction and persecution following the Rapture. (To be continued)

    http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/cozby_rapture1.htm

  100. WHAT IS ‘THE RAPTURE’? (PART 2 OF 2)

    Let us summarize what we have found so far. St. Paul does speak of a sort of rapture, in the sense of a carrying up into the sky of the righteous at the time of the Second Coming. The Fathers generally agree on that. But St. Paul and the Fathers see this as an event which accompanies Christ’s return and immediately precedes the Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom. The Rapture which Darby and Scofield taught and which Lindsey, Walvoord, and others still teach is different from that. They talk about it as a separate happening, part of a decades long program of events leading up to Christ’s Coming. The dispensationalists see the Rapture as the disappearance of the faithful from the earth before the Great Tribulation and many years before the Judgment. This is foreign to the Apostle and to the Tradition. St. Paul mentions no period of affliction and persecution following the Rapture.
    In an effort to forge a link between the Rapture and the Tribulation, supporters turn to Matthew 24:40-42, quoted above (in part 1, September’s Dawn). Certainly we have here references to a time of horror and suffering, and 24:21 even speaks of “great tribulation” (but not “the Great Tribulation”). Matthew 24 and 25 comprise a long discourse by Jesus. The occasion for this teaching is the first days of Holy Week, when Christ and His disciples were in Jerusalem on that last visit which ended in His death and resurrection. The Lord and His entourage have been in the Temple. As they leave, one of the company remarks on the structure’s splendor and grandeur (24:1-2). Jesus replies by prophesying its coming destruction, which took place some 40 years later (70 AD). The group proceeds to the Mount of Olives, across the Kedron Valley from the city. They halt at a place which even today offers an admirable panorama of the Old City and the Temple site. The disciples, perhaps alarmed by Christ’s words, ask when “these things,” meaning the Temple’s destruction, will happen and what will be the signs of Christ’s return.
    Christ’s sermon is His response to these questions. In order to understand it properly we must remember that there were two questions, one about disasters which would befall Jerusalem during the Roman-Jewish War of 66-72, the other about the end of time. Parts of the speech address one concern, some the other. Much of what Christ says is intended to keep His followers from confusing the two events, taking the horror of the Jewish War as a sign of the Second Coming. We see this in the warnings He gives: that the Gospel must be preached in the whole world before the end comes (vs. 8), that many deceivers will arise claiming to be Him (verses 23-26), that no one knows “the day or the hour” except the Father (vs. 36), and many more. Christ is concerned that His followers not confuse the impending disasters in Judea with the cataclysms of the end. To make His point clear He emphasizes the suddenness and unpredictability of His return.
    We must interpret 24:40-42 in light of Christ’s insistence that He will return “at an hour you do not expect” (24:44). It would seem strange if Christ were to make this point over and over in the early verses of chapter 24, then in verses 40-42 describe an occurrence which would certainly tip everyone off that something was about to happen, and all the more peculiar if that tip-off were to happen seven years before His appearance, as the dispensationalists assert. The key to understanding the passage is the Greek word normally translated “taken.” The word (“paralambano”) has two meanings. The first we might render “to take,” but not in the sense of “to lift up,” the meaning which the dispensationalists give it. It means instead “to bring along,” as in English we might say that someone takes a friend to the movies. That does not seem to fit the use of the word in Matthew 24, so we turn to the second meaning, “to accept” or “to choose.” Either of these words would be better in these verses than the imprecise “take.” This second meaning fits with what the Lord has been saying in the passage in question, that His followers must be ready for His coming lest they be caught off-guard like the world, unprepared for the Judgment. Some will have heeded His commandments, will face the Judgment in confidence, and will be “accepted” into the Kingdom. Others, though living and working with the first group, day by day, will not have lived the life of the Gospel and will not be chosen or accepted by Christ when He returns. These verses form part of Christ’s exhortation to all who hear Him to respond to His message and thereby avoid condemnation at the End. The verses do not supply the idea of the Rapture.

    Conclusion:
    What conclusions can we draw from our discussion? As we have seen, neither of the two passages upon which advocates of the Rapture rely mean what they say they do. Both refer to Christ’s final return. Those who support this doctrine neglect the context of the verses they use, distort the meanings of words and verses, and, in one case, take advantage of a loose translation. We must approach the Bible with more reverence. We must avoid pulling verses out of context. Instead, look at the surrounding verses to see what the Biblical writer is talking about and how that may affect your interpretation of a problem verse.
    Beware, also, of interpretations which disagree with or attack the Tradition of the Church. As we saw in our discussion of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the Fathers of the Church pointed the way to the proper understanding of the verse. We must investigate the origin of ideas which other groups advocate, especially when they seem to contradict Orthodoxy. The concept of the pre-Tribulation Rapture only appeared in England about 150 years ago. Orthodox Christians of great piety and learning have been reading the Scriptures for 2000 years. Would an important doctrine have escaped their notice? Very often these new doctrines do not really come from a careful reading of the Bible but from “special revelations”; their adherents have then ransacked the Scriptures for difficult or obscure verses which they can use to support them. Sometimes they arise when a reader tries to make sense out of hard-to-understand passages and does not succeed. Orthodox Christians have the living witness of the Holy Spirit who, as Christ said, will guide us to all truth (John 16:13), and we also have the tradition of the Fathers to help us in our search. These are not two different sources but one and the same thing. The Fathers knew and listened to the voice of the Spirit; they affirm that the Spirit lives in the Church even up to the present day; they are one of the ways the Spirit has chosen to continue His work of teaching and guiding. Trying to make the Bible support one’s own preconceived notions or insisting on one’s own limited understanding without seeking the guidance of Holy Tradition will not lead us to a true appreciation of what the Bible says or of what God says to us through it.
    Sometimes too, the groups which support these new teachings are anti-Church. In their view the Church, and the Christian’s life in it, plays no part in preparation for the Second Coming and the Judgment. In fact, membership in most religious groups is a hindrance, since they have abandoned the Gospel. The dispensationalists emphasize the individual independent congregation, “where the Bible is believed and preached,” as they often say. They advise the Christian to shop around until he finds a congregation which, in his personal opinion, fills this criterion. The Rapture doctrine reflects this; it will reveal those who have been the true “Bible — believing” Christians (their people), because these will be the ones to disappear, leaving the rest to face the Tribulation. The dispensationalist view of the Church entraps us in circulation reasoning. Following it means you must look for a congregation where you can learn their “true Gospel,” yet you must know that Gospel in order to judge whether it is taught in that congregation or not. The individual, weak and ignorant and sinful as he or she is, becomes the final judge of truth. Doesn’t it seem more logical to turn instead to the institution which Christ founded to preserve and to propagate His Gospel and to cleanse and strengthen its members through His sacraments? As the Ethiopian said to St. Philip, “How can I understand if no one guides me?” (Acts 8:31) We have a guide, the Church, where we can still learn the Gospel which Christ taught, the Apostles proclaimed, the Fathers defined, and the Martyrs confessed with their last breath.
    Finally, we must keep our perspective and not give less significant doctrines an importance they do not deserve. Even if the dispensationalist understanding of the Rapture were true, should we give it the emphasis that they do? Dispensationalism generally places the greatest importance on the time-table of the Second Coming and on determining the order of events leading up to it.
    This is not what is important to the New Testament authors or to Christ Himself, as His own words testify. Recall the passage discussed above from Matthew 24 and 25. Christ stressed that no one could predict when He would return. His primary concern was to exhort His followers (us) to be ready for His return. What we must know about the Second Coming and the Judgment is not when it will be or what occurrences will precede it, but whether we are ready to face it. Have we committed our lives to Christ’s Gospel? Are you living lives of repentance and faith? Have we drawn near to Him in fervent prayer, diligent reading of the Scriptures and frequent and sincere reception of the Sacraments? Are we using the grace of the Spirit imparted to us by Christ to grow in the Father’s image and likeness? The answers to these questions are more important than whether the Rapture immediately precedes the Judgment or occurs seven years earlier. We must resist anything such as speculation about the end which distracts us from our salvation. Christ spoke often of the last days, but always with one purpose: to incite us to repentance and to encourage us to grow in His Gospel and to persevere in the Faith. If we respond to His exhortation, then, when He returns, we will go to meet Him in the clouds, escort Him to His Judgment Seat, and stand at His Right Hand with the prophets, the apostles, the martyrs and all the saints, ready to enter the glory of His Kingdom.

    http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/cozby_rapture2.htm

  101. @Bones

    All you’ve proved is that you are obsessed with the CTRL-C keys on your computer. It’s getting really boring now.

  102. Very good, Bones, but this is all opinion, and none of it is anything to do with scripture in itself. It is a series of articles which back your antipathy to a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church.

    I have deliberately avoided giving my position on this because I knew you would dig up every kind of opinion piece and claim it as decisive fact.

    But you have not once dealt with the scripture on its own merits.

    It is very clear that Paul explains that the saints will be caught up to be with the Lord, that they will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and that they will include the living and dead saints at His coming.

  103. “The rapture is clearly not orthodox.”

    Bones, all you do is insult and then copy and paste long articles. I don’t know if that’s because you feel incapable of scriptural argument by yourself or what the reason is.

    But you’re missing a huge point. The original articles tried to argue that Thessalonians isn’t talking about Christians literally meeting Jesus in the air, and you keep on saying that the rapture is ludicrous.

    Go study answers given by Roman Catholic and Orthodox authorities and they explain to their people that there will come a time when Jesus returns. And that Christians who are alive will meet Jesus in the air and the dead will be raised.

    What they object to is a pre-tribulation “harpazo” or “rapture” or whatever term you want to use. You can argue that Darby was crazy because he taught a different timing, but basically Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans etc as far as I know believe in and are awaiting
    a Second Coming.

    Now if you want to argue that Jesus Christ will not come again, and that the will be no “end” then you are the one who is out of orthodoxy.

    Do you realize that? You can say things are dumb, stupid, mad all you like but my question for you are….

    Do you believe that Christians go to heaven ? Yes or no.

    Do you believe that Jesus is coming again? Yes or no.

    You are attacking Steve and maintaining that you are on the Roman Catholic side and the side of orthodoxy, but from all that I understand the Roman Catholic Church would not excommunicate or forbid anyone holding to a premillenial view anyway. It’s not their position, but it’s not heretical. The same goes for the timing. Catholics are allowed to hold opinions about when Christ will return. Most priests are against speculation about the end being in 3 years etc, but it’s no sin for someone to believe that we are in the end times.

    I don’t think you understand the catholic position at all.

    The idea of Jesus literally “going up” before the disciples eyes may seem ludicrous to many people but the Roman Catholics and most of Christianity have believed that. And most of Christianity believes in the “second coming”.

    So if they do, why is it so ridiculous for some people to hold that Christians will meet Christ in the air before a period of tribulation.

    Sure, your atheist mates might laugh, as they do hearing about just about any supernatural occurence in the OT or NT, but they don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead either.

    So, instead of insulting people all the time, tell us your view?

    Do you think you or members of your family will go to heaven? Is there any existence after the physical body dies? Do you think the dead will be raised? Do you believe that Jesus raised Lazuras?
    Or was that a fairy tale too that only pentecostals would believe.

    And for crying out loud, can you use your own arguments?

    Do kids at your school just say someone’s an idiot, then copy an article off the web and get an A?

    At least Steve and others give scriptures and make an argument.

    You ignore their points, call them names then go hunting for an article to throw.

    We need to stop the continual insults here. It just keeps adding until someone loses it and retaliates.

    You’re a smart guy. But, you’re not showing it.

  104. Now suppose Greg had put up three articles opposing the ‘Left Behind” series, I would probably have lent some agreement to that, but that is not what he has said.

    Greg has unequivocally declared the ‘rapture’ or the catching up of the Church as rubbish and you have backed him to the hilt, even though it has been expressly demonstrated that the Bible definitely refers to the caching up, or harpazo of the saints, something which you have not once been able to either disprove or deny.

    Your focus is on something entirely different to myself and you have manifestly failed to prove that the Revelation is completely fulfilled.

  105. “But you have not once dealt with the scripture on its own merits.”

    Steve posted that while i was writing my long piece.
    He’s right and it’s very noticeable.

  106. Q,
    I’m getting very suspicious of Bone’s intentions here. It seems that when we put up a really sound, Biblical explanation to our position, with data to back it up, and scripture and verse to confirm it, he slams down ream after ream of cut’n’paste articles which eventually bury our comments way back in the thread.

    Maybe that is not his intention, but it doesn’t allow anyone else who may be lurking to take in what is being said, and is almost a bully-boy tactic to make sure his is the only point being made.

    Disappointing in the least, since I put a lot of time, study and effort into writing commentary.

  107. Jerome didn’t believe in a rapture.

    Rapturist eschatology requires at least “three comings of Christ”

    The Protestant scheme of a rapture preceding the millennium and final coming requires “three” comings of Christ. First, Christ came at the Incarnation. Second, Christ would come at the “rapture” to take Gentile Christians to heaven. Third, Christ would come to rule with the Jews for the 1,000 years until the end of the world when He will judge the living and the dead.

    This scheme is absolutely false and contradicts the perennial teachings of the Church. It is also refuted by Sacred Scripture. For example, St. Paul says in his letter to the Hebrews:

    “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: So also Christ was offered once to exhause the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation (Heb. 9:27-28).

    St. Paul says that Christ will “appear a second time.” This second appearance of Christ is nothing short of His second and final appearance at the end of the world, when He will judge the
    living and the dead. Because this Second Coming of Christ refers to the end of the world, St. Paul says Christ “shall appear without sin” to those who expect His coming because He will have
    already rendered His judgments upon the wicked. In other words, at Christ’s second and final coming, there will be no millennial rule or mass conversion of the Jews, for the fate of all
    humanity will be sealed. For those who have done evil, it will be too late to repent. Those who rejected Christ during their lives will lament their damnation, as Scripture reveals: “Behold, he
    cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth shall bewail themselves because of him. Even so. Amen” (Apoc 1:7).

    Closing
    The Church has condemned this pre-millennial eschatology which was previously known as Chiliasm. Although Chiliasm was denounced by the early Church during the first few centuries of her existence, pre-millennialism came back in the 19
    th
    and 20th centuries with the wave of Protestant evangelicalism which started in Protestant England and was perpetuated in
    America by Cyrus Scofield. As a result, the Holy Office, on July 21, 1944 under Pope Pius XII, decreed:
    “In recent times on several occasions this Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has been asked what must be thought of the system of mitigated Millenarianism, which teaches, for example, that Christ the Lord before the final judgment, whether or not preceded by the resurrection of the many just, will come visibly to rule over this world. The answer is: The system of mitigated Millenarianism cannot be taught safely” (Denzinger 2296).
    The traditional Catholic view is that the millennium of Apocalypse 20 began with the First Coming of Christ and symbolizes Christ’s reign during the age of the Church. This view holds that the Rapture occurs at the Second Coming of Christ, which is the end of the world. At this time, both the living and the dead will be resurrected to receive their reward or punishment.
    Because there is no millennial period between the Church age and the end of the world, the Catholic and Scriptural view is often called the “amillennial” view. This view was held by Saints
    Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Rufinus, Venerable Bede, Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Theodoret and Thomas Aquinas.

    Because the theory of a mass conversion of the Jews at the end times was based on the condemned view of Chiliasm, the
    “mass conversion” theory of the Jews is also erroneous, or dubious at best.
    In summary, Zionism and the Rapture are part of an anti-Catholic movement that attempts to remove the Catholic Church as the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, and the only authoritative voice for interpreting those prophecies. This, of course, is the case for the rest of the errors of Protestantism. Such Protestant eschatology stems from a false understanding of Scripture, which “the unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction” (2Pet 3:16).
    Ultimately, these and all errors against the Faith are borne from a prideful refusal to submit to the Church of Jesus Christ which He established in His own blood. And because the Head cannot be
    separated from the Body, the Protestant rejection of the Church is a rejection of Jesus Christ Himself – a sin worse than the sin of unbelief of the pagans.

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/feature-articles/CFN%20-%20The%20Errors%20of%20the%20Protestant%20Rapture.pdf

  108. 1 Thessalonians and The Rapture

    Since we have just finished Paul’s discussion of the Final Return of Jesus in 1 Thessalonians, I think it is a good time to deal with the Rapture. I say this because 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is a common used verse when discussing the rapture. Below are Dr. Dan Owen’s comments on this section.

    Some people have come up with an erroneous theory called “the Rapture” based on misreading a couple of different New Testament passages. First, they have misread 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which says, “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” They have read this to mean that the Christian dead will rise first, before the non-Christian dead. They believe that the dead Christians will rise and the living Christians will join them to meet the Lord in the air. This is the “Rapture”. If one examines 1 Thessalonians 4 a bit more carefully, one gets a completely different picture. The non-Christian dead are not even discussed in that passage except to say that they “have no hope.” When it says “the dead in Christ shall rise first,” it means “first, before all the Christians are caught up in the clouds,” (1 Thess. 4:16-17). The unsaved dead are not discussed in that passage as they are in many others.

    Those who support the “Rapture” theory believe that some will be literally be taken from their cars while they are driving them, while others will be left behind (Matthew 24:40-41). A fairer reading of the Matthew text would indicate that as the angels descend to take vengeance on those who reject Christ, those who follow Jesus will be taken to be with him, while those who do not follow Jesus will be left to endure the vengeance of God and his angels.

    The “Rapture” advocates also misread Revelation 20:4-6. In this passage, it talks about the “first resurrection.” They see this as referring to the Rapture. In fact, a careful reading of the passage shows that it refers to the special treatment of the Christian martyrs, who “live and reign with Christ”, and has nothing to do with a “Rapture”. So, the Rapture theory says that there will be a resurrection of the Christian dead, then Christ will take the Christians to heaven. Then will follow the millennium. Then there will be the resurrection of the rest of the dead, and the final judgment.

    http://www.studyyourbibleonline.com/bible-study/1-thessalonians/1-thessalonians-and-the-rapture/

  109. @Steve and Q

    Bones isn’t actually paying attention to anything any of us are saying here. He’s caught himself in an infinite loop of copy/paste hysteria!

  110. Ha Ha! 😀

    I’m inclined to leave him to it and see what transpires!

    I do celebrate it in a way because it means he is over the worse of the flooding and now has access to his computer, so he’s making up or lost time by pasting every scrap of ‘evidence’ he has.

    He must have been stewing over this for days!

    Welcome back, Bones!

    It would help you to read what everyone else has said. This will help you get back on track with where we are, because we are so far away form your anti-pretrib diatribes it’s not funny!

    Or maybe it is! 😀

  111. “I’m getting very suspicious of Bone’s intentions here. It seems that when we put up a really sound, Biblical explanation to our position, with data to back it up, and scripture and verse to confirm it, he slams down ream after ream of cut’n’paste articles which eventually bury our comments way back in the thread.”

    Your biblical explanation has been proved as errant, riddled with fantasy, accepted by no respectable bible scholar.

    There will be no rapture.

    Btw it’s called education.

    It’s good to have my computer back.

    Rapture theology has been exposed, condemned and crucified as the theological sham that it is.

    You’ll keep believing it though.

    It’s hard to escape cultic thought.

    The rapture is not orthodox theology. It is a whacky cultic deception.

  112. @Bones

    “accepted by no respectable bible scholar.”

    Except by the ones that do. Your broad statements just make you look foolish.

  113. Steve

    I still think you are probably a marvellous pastor and a man after God’s own heart despite my over the top comments.

    The rapture is still whacky and deluded though.

    And no, not orthodox.

  114. “Except by the ones that do. Your broad statements just make you look foolish.”

    Yeah I don’t accept Benny Hinn as a respectable biblical scholar. You must have his collection.

  115. Ha Ha Ha Ha! Oh sorry, forgive me Bones. I can’t stop laughing at your arrogance. I do hope it is accidental, because it is so over the top I prefer to laugh about it than take it as the gross insult it actually is.

    You have proved nothing of the sort.

    You have cut and paste a series of articles which back [some] of your own error. You have multiplied error upon error!

    I say ‘some’ because you include in many of your cut and paste articles promote doctrine I know you don’t even believe in, and one even proves that the Revelation contains future events, which was the basis of this discussion in the first place! Ha Ha Ha!

    Come on Bones, tell us what the resurrection is.

  116. Just to clarify something Bones. Ca you remind us what I have said about the ‘Left Behind’ series, and about pre-trib theory?

  117. This bloke is amazing. His teaching on the rapture will clear everything up for you Bones. This is part 1 of 12, but well worth the time.

  118. @Steve

    I bought the “Left Behind” DVD series on Wednesday. Koorong had them for only $10 a DVD. What a bargain! Looking forward to watching them now after this discussion.

  119. Have fun, Roundhouse! It’s good fiction, but don’t base your life on it!

    Where’s Bones when you ask a question?

    Every time I ask these guys to tell us what they think the resurrection is and how it works they either vanish or change the subject.

  120. The “LEFT BEHIND” should be balanced by the RIGHT BUTTOCK. Right? And of course the bollocks in between. You could have left it behind and blessed a beggar with the $10.

    Gee we have some crazy clouds these days, I think the situation is more than Sirius – look up, your redemption draws nigh.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/atmospheric-geoengineering-weather-manipulation-contrails-and-chemtrails/20369

    And for you Roundhouse – this guy pretty much nails it.

  121. Steve I believe I have seen and experienced what it is to walk in the Power of the resurrection, of the resurrected Jesus Christ – to literally walk IN HIM and to have others see not you, but Jesus. It has happened a few times – once in a time of pure indignation at a bully, I felt myself grow to about 6 ft plus, and begin to glow with golden light in the night, and it was like suddenly I was Jesus. The guy who was trying to bully me over my son, who I was protecting, began to stutter and stumble and ran in terror – and I can assure you the only thing imposing about me is my voice – and I said nothing – this guy could have wiped the floor with me anytime, but he ran in terror. I laughed and asked what was that about and heard, “He was not looking at you.”

    The same thing has happened a few times, the most profound being an incident at the junction of SOUTH HOPE STREET and Wiltshire Blvd. Salvation will come from the South, from the uttermost parts of the world. NZ and OZ will lead the world to the light – I am not kidding – I have seen it and I don’t give a rat’s ass as to what anyone thinks anymore – this thing is inexorable – at the appointed time, it shall be so.

    There will be an army of believers walking in the Power of the resurrection and then they shall all be caught up together to be with the Lord, the harvest at the end of the age.

    The thing is that when you touch eternity, you glorify God, He is made manifest on and through you and affects the world – His will is done – you do what you see the Father do. To glorify God is to put Christ on and to walk in the Spirit – a living testimony and witness of grace – and again – this is why their is so little real power in the Churches – lots of good works, but so little power.

    But all of you who yearn for something more, believe me, He is coming and He is even at the door. When you put on Christ and walk in the resurrection power, it is as if you are already glorified, for you are walking in the very Power of the resurrection. The transition from this world to glory will be an entry into joy unbounding – I have experienced my own (or emphatically that of someone else) martyring – it was wonderful. 0(:->)

    Happy to lose my head for My Head, when my time is done. Remember, if they hate the Master, they hate His servants too, and in the world you will have persecution, but be not afraid, for He has overcome the world.

    So, when do you reckon the war with China will start in ernest?

  122. Ive got the left behind series. its in my scifi section with dr who and star trek. Actually star trek is closer to truth then the left behind series. So is dr who. Its a stupid series but i wont spoil the ending.

  123. So when you’re supposedly raptured where do you go. Youll need some sort of space suit while you zoom or teleport your way around the universe.

  124. Bones,
    You have gotta watch this vid.Ha haha ha haha ih hih hih hih hih hihhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i i i i i i i i i.

  125. Wow Ian what chance does china have against an army of resurrection powered believers like you. You should go there now. And why need a rapture when the resurrected powered believers can just put whatever army to flight by their mere presence.

    In the words of monty python
    Hes a bit of a loony.

  126. I dont want to be raptured. Im scared of heights.

    Just imagine as all the believers start cooking and asphyxiating as they leave earth’s stratosphere, Jesus turning to the Father saying “shit what happened there“

  127. So the rapture is “loony” because someone might be driving a car when it happens and it might crash? Three words – scraping, bottom, barrel

  128. @Bones

    “Just imagine as all the believers start cooking and asphyxiating as they leave earth’s stratosphere, Jesus turning to the Father saying “shit what happened there“

    You’re offensive Bones.

  129. I was just thinking along the same lines. This service http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/ provided rapture insurance to feed and rescue pets when their owners are floating around in the heavenlies.

    Its quite a reasonable $135.00 for such a service, and provided by committed atheists so you can be certain they wont be raptured with you.

    If conservatives and evangelicals really believed in the Rapture, you would think this would be a booming business. But no,

    “This service cancelled due to lack of clients. Thanks for all of your interest & excitement over the past three years. “

    Roundhouse : “You’re offensive Bones”

    Should we be more tolerant of your beliefs and religious affiliation then?

  130. @wazza

    “Should we be more tolerant of your beliefs and religious affiliation then?”

    I don’t care what you do, I really don’t. I just think that what Bones said about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is highly offensive.

  131. @Bones, Greg and wazza

    Look at you all sneering with derision at those of us who follow the biblical teaching of the rapture. You must be so proud of yourselves. Your shoulders must be getting really sore from all of your self congratulatory back slapping!

  132. You think you’re so, so funny, don’t you Bones? Sadly for you, you are as funny as lung cancer.

  133. Bones, wazza, Greg,
    What is your take on the resurrection of the saints? How will it take place, and what will happen?

  134. Because, at the moment your gutter jokes make you look pretty silly theologically, because you don’t seem to gasp how the resurrection takes place and what happens to believers when it does.

    Lots of things can be funny, but they’re not always appropriate.

  135. ” What if you’re raptured on the toilet? ”

    If you were raptured on the dunny, you wouldn’t give a shit.

  136. Bones, do you even read the things you copy and paste?
    From the first article, we have this.

    “The traditional Catholic view …….holds that the Rapture occurs at the Second Coming of Christ, which is the end of the world. At this time, both the living and the dead will be resurrected to receive their reward or punishment.”

    So, the Catholics aren’t afraid of the word “rapture”, and believe it will take place. And they teach that both the living and the dead will be resurrected. And some dead will be resurrected and receive punishment.

    Do you believe that? You posted it as a refutation presumable because you believed it?

    Or don’t you?

    So, the Catholics teach that a “rapture” will take place at the Second Coming of Christ. Do you believe that or not?

    I’m losing patience with you. And I’m concluding that you really have no idea what you’re even discussing.

    And while we’re on your quote from the Catholics…are you a Catholic? Or have you rejected the Church. If you have you are worse than the pagans according the article you copied and pasted.
    If you do believe in the Catholic Church, why don’t you join?
    Or is your belief in gay marriage holding you back.

    Seriously, some people would read your posts and think you’re both a moron, a coward and academically lazy. I don’t think you are….but, I would forgive those who think you are.

  137. Your second post….includes this.

    “…. as the angels descend to take vengeance on those who reject Christ, those who follow Jesus will be TAKEN TO BE WITH HIM, while those who do not follow Jesus will be left to endure the vengeance of God and his angels.”

    Okay, do you believe that?

    Do you believe that angels will come down and take vengeance on some people, while others will be taken to be with him????

    Do you believe that?

    Do you even read the things you post?

  138. ” Jesus turning to the Father saying “shit what happened there“

    Okay, I spent January here trying to be tolerant. Greg and Wazza have both been fair-minded in all their comments with me and I really salute Greg for being able to get on with me.

    But Bones, you are just a belligerent oaf. And yes, that quote is offensive to 99% of people who seriously are trying to live a Christian life in the way they know best – whether Catholic, Protestant or whatever.

    You are either mentally ill, full of demons or just a really rotten person.

    wake up to yourself.

  139. @Q

    “You are either mentally ill, full of demons or just a really rotten person.”

    Or all of the above?

    I was actually really offended by Bones disgusting comment. There is a lot of rough and tumble here, and I admit to sometimes over stepping the mark when it comes to name calling, but his comment is just too over the top for my liking. Bones is just a vile individual. And the really sad thing is, he revels in it. I actually wonder about his mental health too.

  140. I have plenty of relatives and friends who aren’t church goers at all who would never said the things that some people here say because they have common sense and some kind of respect for God, the church, and Christian people.

    I don’t understand you guys.

  141. Yes, Q, I noted earlier and commented that Bones had actually quoted passages which contradicted his own position on several fronts, but he just plunging on in and added more antithetical extracts to his own argument, which is rather baffling.

    In fact, he has added passages which confirm that the Revelation speaks of future events.

    He then says he rests his case, but where?

    Greg, wazza and Bones have consistently declined to answer the most important question on this discussion, which requests them to give their understanding of what the resurrection is, and how it takes place.

    Bones and Greg have both stated that they don’t have a clue about the resurrection, but, surely, if they are going to lay claim to a theologically sound argument which states that there is no catching up involved in the resurrection, you have to provide an alternative which satisfies the writings of Paul, who definitely claims a catching up and instant change from a natural to a spiritual body, of Peter, of John, and of Jesus, who states categorically that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

  142. Greg,
    Steve, when you get raptured do you want Bones and I to look after your fish?

    The only fish I have is wrapped in paper and served with chips, but you’re welcome to the scraps.

    Which is rather fitting, because discarded fragments are all you guys seem to come up with. Perhaps you enjoy recycling left-overs.

  143. But, actually, Greg, when did I say I would be raptured? I think I have said enough about the rapture for you to know pretty well what my position is on this whole thing.

    Could you explain what you mean by the term, because I don’t think for one second that you understand it the way I have already explained it, otherwise you wouldn’t all such a silly question, and tells me you don;t read anything but your own press!

  144. Seriously? You’re ripping into Bones? He was pointing out the stupidity of your kindergarten view of the world and theology. The popl;ular view of the rapture is that Christians wil float off into the air somewhere adn then where do they go? Keep going into outer space? Bones’ comment is about as offensive as your theologies – which really are just annoying – not offensive. So you guys need to get oiff your high horses – I notice you all jump on the bash Bones wagon as soon as Q says somethinmg “Ohhh yeah Q I agree, I was thinking the same thing, your so strong Q, can I carry your books to school? Can I be in your gang at lunch time?” Bunch of wankers

  145. Steve, it is entirely possible that we are mixde up in our understanding of the term Rapture. Here is what I understand by the term:

    Jesus returns and all dead and alive Christians will be magicked away from the earth in some manner. Jesus goes away again for 3.5 years…comes back and apologises for the false start Vis-à-vis his previous return and says this is the actual return and then sticks around for another 1000 years in which time Christians will rule beside him.

    I call Bullshit on that.

  146. In fact, Greg, if you read the thread you’d see I was agreeing that Bones put up contraditory quotes. Perhaps you can explain why.

    The rudeness and bad manners are coming from you and he.

    You and he have yet to explain what the resurrection is.

  147. Uhm – i’ve already told you I have no idea how it works – but in the end your dead – and then your not..pretty simple really. Natural body, spiritual body – same as Jesus had at his resurrection.

    Have any opf you thought about the structure of the greek may actually mean something more along the lines of:

    and the dead in Christ shall be resurrected first and then we who are alive shall be gathered together along with them that are in the clouds to meet the Lord who is in the air…

    You talk about Jesus’ assention as if he literally rose up into the clouds, that’s wher ehe lives adn he will come back from there soon – rubbish dude, rubbish – Jesus isn’;t in th eclouds – he didn’t just keep on going into space…and despite what Paul says, he’s not coming back from he clouds either!

  148. as for the structure of the greek – it actually is pretty clear that its meaning relates to all of us being caught up in the air – not just meeting those who are already in the air – so that suggestion is wrong – I should check before I post!

  149. Greg, Bones is way over the top with the insults. Can’t you see that?

    And I am pointing out that most of Christendom believes that Jesus actually rose up, went up, before the disciples eyes and most of Christendom believes that Jesus will literally return.

    That might be childish to some, but it’s what most of Christendom has always believed and still believed, Bones keeps talking about what Catholics believe, but my point is that they also believe in a “rapture”.

    The very things that Bones always argues against “vengeance on the wicked”, Jesus returning and people meeting him in the air” etc, are in his posts that he pastes begun with comments about people being morons.

    And his posts are relentless and as Steve said, don’t even adress the points Steve raises. And Steves goes to the trouble of giving scriptures and explanation in his own words, only to get back copy and paste jobs that likely Bones hasn’t fully read.

    Your view is probably different again to Bones – I’m not sure.

    But nobody knows what Bone’s view is except that he doesn’t agree with a pre-tribulation rapture with a literal millenium. That’s fine. There are lots of evangelicals and pentecostals who are the same.

    But as I’ve pointed out, there are very few official positions of churches stating that there will be no second coming where Christians will “go up” .

    The Catholics believe that Jesus literally went up (elevated, levitated, ascended, rose – I don’t know which wording you will accept —but Christendom believes that after Jesus rose from the dead he went to heaven (left this earth in his resurrected body) and didn’t go up in a space ship, or climb a mountain.

    That is the point. People can make fun of that belief and I don’t have answers for literally how that worked – but it’s what Catholics, Lutherans, Anglican, Presbyterians etc etc believe to this day.

    So is that foolish? Probably to Spong and some it is. Fair enough.

    But to keep quoting the 1800 years of tradition is okay if you want to say that Christians going up before a tribulation and then come back down again is not orthodox – but, it has to be remembered that in the end, the orthodox view is still something that the athiest and the very few ultra liberal theologians could and do ridicule.

    I still don’t see why a topic like this has to involve so much ridicule and abuse.

    And for what it’s worth, I’ll reiterate that I don’t know what I believe about future things. But if I had to make a position within 24 hours, I ‘d say that I was an amillenialist, that much of Revelations is talking about past events, and that I need to plan for still living on earth when I’m 90.

    I don’t know where heaven is, and can’t get my mind around different types of resurrections, don’t really want anyone to get punished or even miss out on heaven etc.

    About all I know is that I want to be in that number when the saints go marchin in – whenever and wherever that is.

    But the way that insults and language flies here it’s just not good.

    Have you noticed that basically there are no women here anymore?
    That shouldn’t surprise you. But it’s very simple. There are still lots of people who expect that a forum, esp some kind of Christian forum will have some basic levels of civility.

  150. About all I know is that I want to be in that number when the saints go marchin in – whenever and wherever that is.

    and that’s all that matters

    Have you noticed that basically there are no women here anymore?

    funnily enough I was just tinking this morning about the fact that it seemed to be pretty much just 9 of us that commented (6 regualrly) and that it was a shame that we’ve ‘devolved’ in such a way.

    I agree that the insults are not good. I also think Steve is a special kind of beligerant – a subtle passive aggressive beligerant…and I don’t like you at all Steve, not at all.

  151. “eriously? You’re ripping into Bones? He was pointing out the stupidity of your kindergarten view of the world and theology.”

    Look, if you can’t see that posts like that are bound to get people upset, then it’s probably no point in me saying anything.

    If the goal here is to create the roughest toughest brawling theological fightclub, then okay.

    But it will probably always just be a tag-team match .

  152. Maybe it’s because it’s mainly Aussies here.

    As someone who’s lived out of the country for decades, I can say that many Australians don’t realize the level of roughness in the way they talk to each other. Just a thought.

  153. Yeah, I am thinking I am just about done with this place. I have always enjoyed debating, and, when appropriate, arguing. It stimulates me, causes me to question my own beliefs, encourages me to study and research topics that I am not so sure about, and, yes, I have on many occasions changed my views about things when I have discovered truths I never considered before. But the snide, belittling and derisive things that Bones, Greg and to a lesser extent wazza say about Jesus, the bible, and other people’s beliefs is disgusting. I mean, look at Greg’s post above – “He was pointing out the stupidity of your kindergarten view of the world and theology. The popl;ular view of the rapture is that Christians wil float off into the air somewhere adn then where do they go? Keep going into outer space?” The derogatory language he uses, his tendency to completely heap scorn upon an opinion using barely concealed contempt, and bringing an argument or opinion down to it’s lowest, simplistic form (which, incidentally is the standard modus operandi of the militant atheist left) means that constructive debate cannot occur. Bones, Greg and wazza are not interested in honest, constructive debate. They are not interested in other people’s opinions. They are not interested in learning and becoming better people through having long held views changed or adapted if need be. They are only interested in trying to make themselves appear better and more knowledgable than they really are. But, sorry to say boys, it is very plain for all of us to see that it is a thin veneer you cover yourselves in. Any serious student of the bible will be able to see straight through your vacuous posturing. Your self-righteous and self-congratulatry crowing and trumpeting is nothing but clanging cymbals. You have caused this blog, which could be a valuable resource and a place of learning and honest debate, to become just another nutjob led pity party, full of bitter haters hell-bent on telling everyone that they’re wrong, self appointed judges handing out imaginary sentences while getting their jollies agreeing with each other about how awesome they really are. Is that what you want?

  154. LOL at Roundhouse – your post right back at you. I don’t for one minute think that my comments are as pure as the driven snow nor that I don’t heap scorn upon your sheer unadulterated stupidity – but you seem to think that you don’t do exactly the same thing?

    They are not interested in other people’s opinions. They are not interested in learning and becoming better people through having long held views changed or adapted if need be. They are only interested in trying to make themselves appear better and more knowledgable than they really are. But, sorry to say boys, it is very plain for all of us to see that it is a thin veneer you cover yourselves in.

    I LOL’d for an hour as I read that – I thought you were writing about yourself and Steve! The only respectful contributor to this blog is Q…the rest of us are just as bad as each other – so up your arse Roundhouse if you’re trying to make yourself out the hard done by saint.

    I admit it – I rough it up – but for you to come all ‘oh, I don’t like it, I’m running away cause its getting too rough’ is just so much bullshit – run away then roundhouse – you haven’t added one bit of improvement to this site and I for one will be glad when your gone…good bye

  155. @Greg

    “I don’t heap scorn upon your sheer unadulterated stupidity”

    “so up your arse Roundhouse”

    “you haven’t added one bit of improvement to this site”

    And my point is proven. I bet your friends and Pastor at Bateau Bay Anglican Church would be so proud!

    “I LOL’d for an hour as I read that”

    And you’re a liar as well. See, I only wrote that ten minutes ago

  156. A few of Roundhouses polite attempts at helping Bones to become a better person

    Bones is just a vile individual…I actually wonder about his mental health too.

    @Bones

    All you’ve proved is that you are obsessed with the CTRL-C keys on your computer. It’s getting really boring now.

    “You are either mentally ill, full of demons or just a really rotten person.”

    Or all of the above?

    You think you’re so, so funny, don’t you Bones? Sadly for you, you are as funny as lung cancer.

    Show us again how to be a real Christian Roundhouse – you’re so good at it

  157. “I LOL’d for an hour as I read that”

    And you’re a liar as well. See, I only wrote that ten minutes ago

    I LOL’d so hard I LOL’d right into the future..I’m stiull LOL’ing as I type!

    And you can’t copy an entire comment adn refer to it – I said I don’t for one minute think that my comments are as pure as the driven snow nor that I don’t heap scorn upon your sheer unadulterated stupidity – see, a I do;nt not think I do;nt heap scorn which in laymans language means yes I do heap scorn…I also fart in your general direction

  158. @Greg

    Yep, I said those things, because I really believe that Bones is a vile person, and I really do think that he has some mental health issues. Also, his vile comment about Jesus and his “jokes” about the rapture are really as funny as lung cancer. I also think that you are a rotten person too.

    I am no saint. I have said that many times here. But, if you look at any situation where I have said something, it is ALWAYS at the end of days and days of abuse and vile invective from you three cretins.

  159. show me where…other than in these last few comments I avhe abused you? I haven’t – in fact I avhe gone out of my way not to be abusive to anyone – but you hold a special place in my heart…especially after my dream where we met adn lvoed one another…I forgto to tell you that we had a physical relatoinship adn had kittens together, it was beautiful – but now you’ve put all that out of the check out basket – it is no longer possible for me to love you or to have your children Roundhouse – you are persona-non populatisimo as far as i’m concerned

  160. Some more of Roundhouses classics from across this site;

    The almighty Bones has declared it, therefore it must be true

    in the same way that you and Bones try to humanise spiritual truths to suit your humanist/atheist leanings.

    As I said, I stopped because you were being dragged into it, but why can’t I have a little fun after all of the garbage that those three idiots throw at anyone who disagrees with them?

    Oh, but I do forgive you for being an abusive, bigoted, loud-mouth p***k. I realise that you can’t help it. It’s what you liberals do.

    just like the Three “Liberal” Amigo’s do on nearly every thread. Obviously they don’t have a brain cell between them

    Your fist comment is just dumb, so I won’t even bother to address it

    And this sounds like the same ignorant and pathetic argument from people who are looking for a reason to hate God.

    @Steve
    Give it up mate. Bones and Greg have proven many times they’d rather believe in man-made fairy tales and engage in rabid anti-Christian diatribes rather than actually believe the truth in scripture

    Well actually, I’d hazard a guess and say that your “Christ” is not the Christ of the bible,

    Steve, you are right, Bones and Greg are not closet Catholics, they are full-blown Mary worshiping idolators!

    So it’s you Greg. I should have known. You are a muck-raker of the highest order. You of all here are the biggest hypocrite.

    @Bones, from what I have read here on this blog you hate everyone except gays!

    @Bones, you seem to be quite an abusive person.

    So, judging by what I am reading from wazza, Bones, and now you Margot, none of you believe the bible. Interesting…….[SEE EVEN MARGOT DOESN”T ESCAPE YOUR ALL KNOWING KNOWINGNESS]

    You are a liar. An absolute liar. Do you think we are that stupid to believe that?

  161. I think the anonymity of this site should be maintained.

    People need a place where they can be free to discuss.

    i know we are all capable of keeping this civil.

  162. @Greg

    Wow, is that all you’ve got? I dare you to compare my mostly mild comments, all of them borne from frustration and as a direct result of constant, vile personal attacks from you and Bones, with your own comments. You are a hypocrite.

  163. When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.

  164. Greg,
    despite what Paul says

    Says it all really!

    You can’t just dismiss Paul and say there’s another explanation of passages which are eminently clear and describe the resurrection in fertile detail.

    I think you forget that the natural body will be changed int a spiritual body. The natural earth has nothing to do with the ascension.

    No one at any time has said we’ll float around on clouds like some cartoon of heaven.

    It was Luke who wrote of Jesus’ ascension. Now you deny it, even though the witnesses who testified to Luke were the Apostles themselves.

    PS,
    Can you fellas give up the macho-men wrestling and discuss the scripture, please.

  165. Roundhouse, not taking sides, but maybe you should calm down and focus on the discussion [the on about the resurrection, rapture, etc].

  166. Well I was going to ask about being raptured in a submarine.

    but that might have to wait while some people take a deep breath.

    Is Moses still buried somewhere?

  167. I thought you guys had everything worked out from your secret Bible knowledge.

    No one can answer my questions about the rapture or Moses.

  168. ” You can’t just dismiss Paul and say there’s another explanation of passages which are eminently clear and describe the resurrection in fertile detail. ”

    Steve, i think that you are making no literal sense whatsoever. (Fertile detail ,,, what the freek is that?)

    ” I think you forget that the natural body will be changed int a spiritual body. The natural earth has nothing to do with the ascension. ”

    No , the spiritual body will be placed into a supernatural body that comes from the earth. Where does the resurrection take place? CRYPTON OR EARTH,-GIVE ME A BREAK

    ” No one at any time has said we’ll float around on clouds like some cartoon of heaven. ”

    Isaiah 60:1-22
    7 All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you,
    the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;
    they will be accepted as offerings on my altar,
    and I will adorn my glorious temple.
    8 “Who are these that””””””””””””””” fly along like clouds,””””””””””””””
    like doves to their nests?
    9 Surely the islands look to me;
    in the lead are the ships of Tarshish,[a]
    bringing your children from afar,
    with their silver and gold,
    to the honor of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.
    10 “Foreigners will rebuild your walls,

    ” Can you fellas give up the macho-men wrestling and discuss the scripture, please. ”

    ” You can’t just dismiss Paul and say there’s another explanation of passages which are eminently clear and describe the resurrection in fertile detail. ”

    Steve, i think that you are making no literal sense whatsoever. (Fertile detail ,,, what the freek is that?)

    ” I think you forget that the natural body will be changed int a spiritual body. The natural earth has nothing to do with the ascension. ”

    No , the spiritual body will be placed into a supernatural body that comes from the earth. Where does the resurrection take place? CRYPTON OR EARTH,-GIVE ME A BREAK

    ” No one at any time has said we’ll float around on clouds like some cartoon of heaven. ”

    Isaiah 60:1-22
    7 All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you,
    the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;
    they will be accepted as offerings on my altar,
    and I will adorn my glorious temple.
    8 “Who are these that””””””””””””””” fly along like clouds,””””””””””””””
    like doves to their nests?
    9 Surely the islands look to me;
    in the lead are the ships of T

  169. Now Steve,
    You must offer an apology about the,
    ” No one at any time has said we’ll float around on clouds[…] remark. ”

    And now repeat after me,” O mountains, that you skipped like rams?
    O little hills, like lambs?

    And say it loud, and say it clear, we can listen as well as you hear.

  170. @Bones.
    1. I don’t know where Moses was buried or where his body is.
    2. As for the rapture and people being in submarines, houses, planes, inside a house, I can’t tell you or explain what that will look like or how it will happen.

    There are lots of things I don’t know. But I believe that God can do anything given that Jesus did miracles, Mary was a virgin, and God raised Jesus from the dead and He then ascended.

    I also believe in the feeding of the five thousand. Not sure how that would have looked like either, I don’t know why or how Jesus did a lot of things that he did.

    I actually don’t even know much about what heaven will be like and what I’ll be doing there.

    Will you ever answer any questions?

  171. @Bones, Like I said, you have talked a lot about orthodox Christian teaching. Orthodox teaching has always taken the Thessalonian passage literally. It holds to a Second Coming. I suppose you could ask if NASA will be tracking the Second Coming and if so from what point, or whether there will be a news report.

    But if you think that line of questioning proves that the Orthodox Christian teaching about the Second Coming is ludicrous, so be it. If so, state your case. But then why not shut up about orthodox Christian teaching being against Steve or Darby or whatever.

    Whichever view you take, there are problems. Unless you take the view that Jesus won’t come again and it’s all symbolic and we’ll all just go to heaven when we die. But then you can ask all kinds of questions about how we get to heaven and where it is.

    So, for once, instead of just ridiculing everyone else, asking questions, but never answering, why don’t you tell us what you actually believe. Or are to too afraid?

  172. @Bones. Nobody has said they have any secret bible knowledge or had everything worked out.

    You are a mad pyromaniac in a field of straw men that you’ve exhausted yourself making.

    Man, are you on some kind of medication? You don’t seem to think clearly.

  173. Eyes,
    Something that is fertile is capable of production. The Word of God is living and powerful. It is called the Seed of God.

    The scriptures on the resurrection are the Word of God. Paul says he speaks by the Word of the Lord when he describes the catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air and evermore be with him, whether a living saint, or a sleeping saint.

    Greg made an assumption somewhere along the line that someone had commented that saints would live in the clouds. I was telling him that no one had said anything about this. If you want to believe it, be my guest, but you are opening yourself up to ridicule if you think this.

    Even Isaiah 60:8 doesn’t say that saints will live and walk around on clouds, but asks the question, “Who will fly like a cloud.” There is a difference between walking on a cloud, and flying like one. To help you with context and accuracy, it goes on to say, “Like doves to their roosts.” In other words, they will fly from one place to another.

    Then you say that the ‘spiritual body will be placed into a supernatural body that comes from the earth’, but that is not what Paul tells us.

    So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
    1 Corinthians 15:42-46

    And…
    God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. [vs. 38]

    Paul clearly tells us that the body will be changed, in the twinkling of the eye, in an atomic second. It is this body which will be received into heaven.

    But it must have the guarantee of he Spirit. If it is not sealed with the Spirit it cannot be changed and will not be raised when Jesus comes for the saints.

    In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
    Ephesians 1:13-14

  174. No one knows where Moses’ body is, except God. Michael contended with Satan over his body, we do know, and he appeared with Jesus and Elijah at the mount of transfiguration, which was a visionary precursor of how things will be when the saints are glorified in Christ. Elijah was typical of the saints who will be raised but never die, and Moses typical of the saints who are sleeping and will be raised at the trump of God.

    But, however you view it, he is alive somewhere because Jesus said God is the God of the living, including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Bones,
    what is your version of how the resurrection takes place, and what it is?

  175. Steve’s answer re Moses is the correct biblical answer for those who just read scripture as it stands. Both he and I obviously believe that Moses existed. And he no doubt believes as I do that the event we call the transfiguration happened.

    I realize some don’t.

    I answered that I don’t fully understand can visualize how some things will happen. But that’s understandable. Steve quoted the Corinthian passage about this incorruptible putting on incorruptible etc at the “last trump”.
    I don’t know what that will look like and can only imagine. But it doesn’t stop me from believing that it will happen and that it will no doubt be very cool.

    But in the end there are lots of things that we don’t really fully understand about God and spiritual things.

    I don’t feel embarassed to say that I “see through a glass darkly”.

    I do think that the onus is on the person who puts up an article and those who support that position to be the ones prepared to be asked and answer questions and defend their position.

    Steve is the one being asked the questions even though he already gave a lengthy explanation of the the word translated as rapture in Thess.

    I don’t see why Steve is being ridiculed for every statement made by anyone in history who has speculated about end-times.

    And for the record …. I think you’ll find there has been speculation and discussion on end-times matters within the Roman Catholic Church also. (Read up on what happened around 1000AD and also the Fatima prophesies more recently).

    I will say this. And MAYBE this explains some of Bones belligerence – don’t know.

    There were many young people in evangelical churches/Pentecostal churches that heard many quite dogmatic prognostications about
    events that were supposed to happen in the very near future and they didn’t.
    I have a relative who basically for the last 30 years has been on tenterhooks reading the newspaper thinking “this is it”. He could have done a lot more with his life. I know others who felt duped and left the church becoming cynical about pastors and visiting evangelists.

    Maybe a few “Sorry, guys. I really was wrong by a long shot. ” would have been helpful

    There really are many people who could have done things much differently if they weren’t in churches that preached the way they did.
    It seems a waste for a kid to embark on a long career path involving PhDs etc if every week he is singing “Soon and very soon”, He’s coming quickly” and having pressurized altar calls because this could be the last day before Jesus comes back.

    In fact a young man with both a burning hunger for God but also raging hormones just wanted to get married so he could experience some rapture before the rapture … If you know what I mean.:)

    But go back a few years and Nostrodamus and Space 1999 were on Telly all the time too,

    I think we all need to base our theology on scripture – not on the newspaper but also not in reaction to people and mistakes either.

    But like I’ve said before, most books and sermons on Revelations begin with how everyone is confused but the it’s easy for the author – but there isn’t a lot of uniformity anyway. So I’m loathe to call anyone stupid for their views. Heck, even Isaac Newtown had a try at it didn’t he?

  176. I was always taught to plan like we have another 1000 years, but prepare our hearts in case he comes tonight.

    That way we are always in action. Jesus said ‘occupy’ until I come. This doesn’t mean sit still and wait. This literally means ‘trade, act, be active with the gospel, be in an occupation, be occupied’.

    Peter said, in view of the fact God that will come and change the heavens and the earth, and judgment will take place, ‘what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God’.

    ‘Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation’.
    2 Peter 3:14-15

    John says, Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. [1 John 3:2-3]

    So, no matter what some preacher says in regard to the end times, and there is much which needs to be said, in regard to warning, and preparation, and prophecy, and encouragement about the urgency of the gospel, the expedience of godly conduct, we are to continue on as if Jesus could tarry beyond our lifetime, yet live in expectation of His imminent coming.

    Maranatha!

  177. This woman still enjoys reading the lively debates (without the abuse), but as a woman wouldn’t dare comment for fear of being torn to shreds.

  178. *%^$%$#&^T*& You Glitter Girl – Where the *&^^%$*&&YT Do you get off posting on this site? ()*&^&(^%*&&_*^%$ you and the keyboard you typed in on!

    When I saw your name on the comments panel I thougght “Yay, a girl has posted!”

  179. Ha Ha Ha. Yes it does get quite heated here, but as I am a mother of young men I try my best to instil polite manners and respect to all people, no matter how irritating and obnoxious people can be.

    I do find the posts very informative and I learn so much from the discussions (ignoring the carrying on). It’s good to see other people’s point of views and it helps to formulate and confirm your own opinions and beliefs on certain issues.

  180. Steve,
    Thank’s for your reply.
    You say,
    ” The natural earth has nothing to do with the ascension. ”
    I say yes it does. The earthly body is converted into a heavenly body.

    Isaiah 26:19

    Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

    Philippians 3:21
    English Standard Version (ESV)
    21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    And BONES,
    The comming of the lord and the resurrection will be a miraculous, supernatural event.

  181. “What is your take on the resurrection of the saints? How will it take place, and what will happen?”

    Buggered if I know.

    If I die before you I’ll drop you a line.

    I’ve seen people die. I don’t think about what the resurrection is going to be like. That’s like worrying about how long a piece of string is and I don’t see how people can be so dogmatic about it. And I’m not really that interested by it whether you believe people go to heaven or live on a new earth or even if you come back as a sausage.

    The new earth thing doesn’t appeal to me much intellectually.

    It might be that people are immediately spiritually resurrected when they die given that heaven is a spiritual place and not a planet in the Gamma quadrant. That’s certainly an ancient Christian belief of the ‘great crowd of witnesses’. Could also be there is no sense of time in heaven either.

    My grandmother said my grandfather visited her to take her home shortly before she died. And he’d been dead for ten years.

    And I think I know as much about it as anybody else who says they do.

  182. Hence my questions re Moses. I’m not swayed by talk of visions or that Moses was a special resurrection to take place in the transfiguration. Maybe Moses was resurrected when he died like we all will be – immediately.

  183. Welcome Glitter Girl.

    Greg, there should be a rule that nobody gets torn to shreds for their first 10 or 20 or whatever posts or something…

    Glitter Girl, go ahead and post something. Anything! 🙂

    People will leave you alone I’m sure. Everyone’s got their guns aimed at other people.

    A sensible, non-offensive post will be so unusual here that most of us won’t know what’s going on and be too shocked to attack!

  184. Bones,
    Maybe Moses was resurrected when he died like we all will be – immediately.

    The resurrection is a bodily resurrection, not just the soul or spirit. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord for a believer, but it is the body which will be raised.

    It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body. It will take place at the sound o the archangel’s voice and the trump of God. Jesus himself will gather his saints together.

    Romans 8
    22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
    23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

    2 Corinthians 5
    1 ¶ For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
    2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
    3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
    4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
    5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

    Ephesians 1:14
    …who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    Ephesians 4:30
    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

  185. Steve – the twisted-ness of Man is inherent in the DNA. YOu quote 2 Cor 5 – yet another scripture which has been twisted by wicked (twisted) workers.

    1. For we know that our earthly dwelling place in this body may be unraveled, except we have a building from God — a house not built by hands — in heaven forever (to the end of the Universe).
    2. Also over this we sigh and yearn to take on our dwelling from heaven.
    3. If not, whatever we wear here, we will end up naked.
    4. For while we are in this dwelling, we sigh because of its pressures, and yet we do not wish to divest ourselves of it, except we wish to take on something higher than it is, so that its dying [nature] is swallowed up by Life.
    5. And He who destined us to this is God; He who gave us a share in his Spirit.
    6. Because he knew us and has permitted us thus, that so long as we are in the flesh, we are cast out from our Lord.
    7. Therefore, we walk in faith and not by sight.
    8. Because of this we lift ourselves and endeavor to be cast out of this body and be with our Lord.
    9. And we strive while we are inmates and inhabitants [in the flesh,] that we glorify (adorn) Him.
    10. For we are all destined to stand before the judgment podium of Christ, so that every person should pay in the flesh according to their deeds whether benevolent or evil.

    Now look closely at the last verse. It actually says two things – that we are ALL DESTINED TO STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT PODIUM OF CHRIST – unto Him who is able to present us spotless – who is able to make all upright by the Rod of His Word – to make all stand before Him – are you getting this guys? If you are to stand before the judgment podium of Christ to pay in the flesh for what you did in the flesh – it does not even make sense – a functioning moron could figure that out or understand it – it takes real ‘intelligence’ and possibly a degree to misunderstand the Scriptures.

    No, we are ALL DESTINED TO STAND – and we suffer what is sown in the flesh IN THE FLESH tow different things. Paul further goes on to say that therefore we should know NO MAN after the flesh – either his flesh or your fleshy judgment of the flesh. We are WORKS of grace, created in Christ, before ordained that we should walk thereby.

    Sometimes I wonder why God puts up with us – but He is Light and Love and in Him there is no darkness, nor variable-ness nor contradiction – the contradiction is always in us, never Him.

    Look again at the first verse and remember what the mission statement of Jesus was – to UNRAVEL the works of the devil, to wit, to straighten out Mankind’s twisted nature.

    The house not built with hands forever in the heavens is our BODY – the BODY OF CHRIST or TEMPLE OF GOD. Its a METAPHOR! Jesus went to prepare a country for us so that where He is at, we may be also, and so that he could introduce us to His Father and come and live with us – right here – the kingdom on earth.

    As to having a glorified body at the Resurrection, that must be a buzz, being able to walk through a wall and also scoff a fish! Walking in the Power of the resurrection, striding through renewed lives, is the promise for the rotten here and now – the body raised incorruptible for the future? If it were not for what Jesus witnessed during the last 40 days on earth, I might be inclined to think that this too was a metaphor.

    Does this mean we have to work out and watch our weight for eternity…? 0(:->)

  186. The house reserved in heaven is the glorified body which will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. It is the new clothing for the soul of the saint.

    Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    1 Corinthians 15:51-52

    It is mystery. Revealed by Paul.

    It is the spiritual body which will inherit heaven, since flesh and blood will not. Cannot.

    It is made of the same heavenly material which is present before God, of God, from God, just as the body we have is made of the earth and bound by the earth, the heavenly body is not of this earth, therefore the gravity of this earth will not contain it. It is weightless to this earth.

    That is why we will rise.

    ‘There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies’, says Paul to the Corinthians. Our body is sown natural, it is raised spiritual. God gives it a body as he pleases, and to each seed its own body. We are of Christ, the Seed of God.

    That is what I meant when I told Eyes that the earth is of no consequence to us. We are heaven-bound. We are citizens of heaven, seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

    This earth cannot hold us.

    That is why God is creating a new heavens and a new earth and a New Jerusalem, where we will dwell with Him forever.

    You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
    Hebrews 12:22-24

    Jesus, when his body was glorified, walked through the natural. He appeared to his disciples after he was raised.

    And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
    John 20:26-29

    When we are raised and we are changed, no earthly thing will prevent us from going to be with Jesus.

  187. Bones, on the resurrection,
    I’ve seen people die. I don’t think about what the resurrection is going to be like. That’s like worrying about how long a piece of string is and I don’t see how people can be so dogmatic about it. And I’m not really that interested by it whether you believe people go to heaven or live on a new earth or even if you come back as a sausage. [emphasis mine]

    And yet you unequivocally, and dogmatically, state that the Revelation, which does speak of the resurrection, is not speaking of future events, to the point of savagely chewing out anyone who believes there are still parts of the prophecies in Revelation to be fulfilled.

    Greg, also, has vehemently attacked those of us who agree that the resurrection of the living and of the dead in the Revelation relate to a time yet to come, along with the judgment of the dead who will rise and appear before the Judgment Seat of the Almighty.

    Both of you strongly assert that the catching up of the saints, which is a clear description of the resurrection of the saints to be with the Lord, and which you scathingly refer to as the ‘rapture’, which, as I have shown, is a translation of the Greek harpazo, which, all translators agree, means ‘to be caught up’, is not only wrong, but, as Greg has described it, ‘rubbish’, ‘bullshit’, and those who hold to the catching up are, he says, and you agree, ‘wankers’.

    So, on the one hand, as Greg admits, he doesn’t have a clue what the resurrection is, and, as you admit, you don’t even think about it, and consider it as important to you as wondering how long a piece of string is, but on the other hand, you claim the theological expertise to state that the catching up, which is another way of describing the resurrection of the saints, is ‘pretty funny’, ‘whacky and deluded’ and generally a nonsense doctrine.

    I don’t personally mind if you and Greg don’t care much about what the resurrection is, or how scripture describes it. That’s your prerogative.

    But when you hurl insults at people (not to mention God Himself, and His Word), because they have a better grasp of what the scripture says, for whatever reason – more study, more interest, good Bible teachers – I think you need to reconsider your position, because from where I’m standing you look pretty silly condemning something you know nothing about!

  188. I never thought I’d say this, and I hate the expression, and will regret it later, but basically Bones, you’ve been owned/powned.

    Hopefully Steve, will be a gentleman and just let it be finished there.

  189. No, its the difference between those who crave (and peddle) certainty vs those who are comfortable with uncertainty and are aware of the limits of knowledge.

    One can say that he has no certain knowledge of such things as the end of time, the resurrection, the number of angels which can dance on a pin etc. etc. and still call bullshit on some of the weirdest theories others have come up with.

    To say that Bones cant argue with Steve because Steve is certain of his facts while Bones admits ambiguity is simply ridiculous. The one who is certain may be deluded, while the one is uncertain may be realistic.

  190. Except that ignorance of he resurrection is not a recommended option, according to Paul.

    But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

    Of course Bones can argue with me, and will, but he has certainly negated his claims somewhat by his own admission if he tells us he is not interested and doesn’t know.

    The information I have put up here is available to Bones, and is almost exclusively scripture.

    He, and you, have spectacularly failed to prove the resurrection spoken of in Revelation is not of the future.

    If not, show us today, and we’ll listen to what you have to say, and your numerous proofs on how the resurrection will take place.

  191. Revelation is not about future events. The resurrection wont happen like john patmos wrote. There is no giant book with believer names in it. No lake of fire.

    Nor will there be a rapture.

    Far from being owned, Revelation can clearly be explained via history, ancient apocalyptic and the psychology of repression and revenge.

    The only response has been that because john talks of resurrection then it must be future and if you dont hold to a futuristic interpretation of revelation then there is no revelation.

    Sadly for many when the mystery of revelation has been revealed then it comes back to the boring humdrum of following jesus without fanciful nonsensical modern interpretations.

  192. Steve – I hear you as to the heavenly bodies – that is the grasp I too have of the matter – however, where does that leave us with Jesus? His body was raised incorruptible from the tomb, yes? He walked through a wall, invited Thomas to touch the holes in His hands and side and ate a meal, yes? I suppose because His body was not corrupted, the stain of Adam’s sin was not in His flesh, though He must have had human DNA as He was tempted in all points as we and His brother said we are tempted by our own desires – ergo, Jesus had desires.

    And don’t worry about the Valley of Dry Bones, God will put that all back together again, nor vice Pope Gregory.

    Someone asked me once why I laugh at and through pretty much everything – I told them its either than or you go mad and get a gun. Unfortunately, I had just bought a nice new .223 Ruger and at the time I bore a passing resemblance to the Port Arthur patsy. She thought I was serious – I laughed all the more.

    You have to laugh Steve. I use these encounters to learn – and I am not threatened by brothers who disagree, even if they are dissing me, I could not care less, however I suspect someone got very pissed of last night as I had a visitor – a nasty religious spirit – I have “felt” them before – one of the Kansas City Profits tried that on on with me years ago when I was not as knowledgeable of such things. Now I send them packing.

    You have to be very careful who you hate – for by hating without a cause, you deputize demons to your cause, and as it is invariably religious in nature and you compound your own guilt with the guile of hypocrisy. Love everyone, but don’t play door mat to delusion.

  193. “1. I don’t know where Moses was buried or where his body is.
    2. As for the rapture and people being in submarines, houses, planes, inside a house, I can’t tell you or explain what that will look like or how it will happen.”

    OK.

    So apparently its ok to not have an understanding of how the rapture works and no one can answer questions as to how people will disappear and asking questions makes people think which is the beginning of the end of the so-called rapture..

    “Of course Bones can argue with me, and will, but he has certainly negated his claims somewhat by his own admission if he tells us he is not interested and doesn’t know.”

    Yet its not ok to not have a crystal clear understanding (ie the same as mine) of an event which one person in all of history has experienced.

    Shit, I’m not even sure what heaven is.

    But hey I don’t worry about that much either.

    Now I’m going away to worry about how long a piece of string is.

    It’s not like I’ve got anything important to do.

  194. Re rapture v resurrection.

    I don’t understand how a jet engine works. I just know that it does. But I know if someone suggested an idea that it was caused by fairies running madly around inside the engine I’d think think they were mad.

  195. Bones, the LEDGER OF LIFE is for those who serve the Lord in purity of intent and purpose – even if they miss it betimes – their heart really is submitted to God (well, at least for the most part), and love is their purpose (for the most part). If you compare Romans 11 wherein Paul communicates how it is that God prunes, cuts off, burns, grafts back in – all at HIS WILL. Lest God grant revelation we are ignorant – lest God grant repentance to the acknowledgment of the Truth so that we may recall ourselves and be loosed from the snare of satan, but whom they are snared for GOD’S PURPOSE$.

    God has COMBINED ALL IN DISOBEDIENCE so that he might have mercy on all. This is PIVOTAL to any constructive, reductive comprehension of God’s Sermon, the complete restoration of ALL THINGS both in the heaven and in the earth, from the HEAD, which is Christ. Aaah-meen.

    If say peradventure we find in a few years time we have the miracle of ecumenicism and a world religion, a world govt, and a world financial system with one over-arching Prince (of Wales?) and Papacy, I am sure Bones would be probably be persuaded to stick with his interpretation of scripture.

    To those of you pure virgins, who have not bowed your knee to Baal, who have not sworn, or are bound by oaths of allegiance to Crown or Capitol, I say keep you lamps filled and primed, for the Bridegroom is at the door. To those foolish virgins, you are still beloved and as brides, but as you have to buy your oil with your tithes and offerings, it has even been “cut” with snake oil.

    Eat from your OWN storehouse and drink from your OWN well – God’s grace is our sufficiency. As my wife says, sometimes you really need to put your bible down and simply get in touch with your conscience – that is God’s voice and His Law of Love writ on your heart, but if you have a hard heart of stone, prepare to have it crushed and broken.

    You don’t want to be E-liminated from the Book of Life and be dead while living, ergo, the living dead, such that your second estate is worse than your first, and it is as if it is better that you had not been enlightened nor tasted of the Life to come, for you have denied the very faith and Lord which bought you at a price.

    Yet you are saved, even if by fire, even if you are worse than an unbeliever and a Sodomite.

    Bones – Boring humdrum of following Jesus? Boring? Humdrum? Jesus? How can you use these words in the same breath? Walking in the Power of the resurrection life is boring or humdrum? Stop following Him for gleanings, hook up, and GET INTIMATE! Besides you are supposed to walk in the Spirit, and while this will mean persecution, affliction, stripes, imprisonment, storms etc, it by no means might be called boring!

  196. LOL – I have picture in my minds eye of a people repeatedly banging against the bulkheads of a sub as they are being raptured…bong, bong, bong, hahaha… Bones – I would love to share a Beer with you sometime – you do throw a mean curve ball…

  197. “I am sure Bones would be probably be persuaded to stick with his interpretation of scripture.”

    Yes there are millions who have gone before who said “we’re right you wait and see.”

    We waited and saw. And it was tosh.

    “Boring humdrum of following Jesus?”

    Yes. We need to keep making it exciting with weird new ideas and theories.

  198. “To say that Bones cant argue with Steve because Steve is certain of his facts while Bones admits ambiguity is simply ridiculous.”

    @ Wazza. Have you read all of the posts? All of them between Steve and Bones?
    Has Bones read all of the things he’s copied and pasted?
    Bones, doesn’t seem to be reading Steve’s answers and doesn’t bother to answer questions.

    About the only thing Bones seems to be able to do with any success is copy and paste articles and embed videos.

    “asking questions makes people think which is the beginning of the end of the so-called rapture..”

    No Bones. You need to spend more time reading peoples responses, answering questions, and less time with bad language, insults and maniacal copy and paste jobs.

  199. “I have picture in my minds eye of a people repeatedly banging against the bulkheads of a sub as they are being raptured”

    If Bones thinks that comment someone proves that it is nonsensical to believe that Christians will meet Christ in the air, and that there will be bodily resurrections then you could argue against just about anything in the Bible.

    What I’d like to see one day is Bones stating exactly what he believes. Is there anything supernatural that he believes in?
    Let’s hear it, then I’ll play hardball with it.

    But, he never does.

  200. “But hey I don’t worry about that much either.
    Now I’m going away to worry about how long a piece of string is.”

    Nobody is worried. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you found two articles and three youtube videos with some guy talking about string, and the said “So there!”

  201. As for me, I don’t give a hoot – I know that to be absent from the body is to be present with my Lord – end of story. And not Bones, I do not take a “You just wait and see” attitude, but having visions of the destruction of your own home town and then seeing them happen before your eyes is somewhat sobering, and a man with an experience should never be at the mercy of one with an opinion, eh Bones?

    Like my wife says, put your Bible down and get in touch with God. The Bible is NOT GOD, it is simply the record of SOME of His dealings with Man and a fascinating course in type and shadow and by the way, it contains more wisdom than all the libraries of the world contained BUT it came out of certain men having a relationship with God. Religious folks lose sight of that and want to build Tabernacles and God says, “Lo, I have written MY LAW on the tables of your heart, and I have implanted My eternal SEED in you and I have gifted you with MY Grace and favor and Love and given you My robe and ring and My Name – what more can I give to you?”

    God still says “My grace is sufficient for thee.” And after that last onslaught Bones, I think that you need to go to the naughty chair. Back troubling you? Try hanging upside down like a fruit bat – it will suit your demeanor and maybe afford you a New perspective – seriously. 0(:->)

  202. Yet unto them it is line upon line precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, that they may be snared and go backwards and fall.

  203. “So apparently its ok to not have an understanding of how the rapture works and no one can answer questions as to how people will disappear”

    No, you missed the point totally. You ignored heaps of questions and just kept up with the submarine type ones of your own. I answered that I don’t know exactly what it will be like and look like.
    Just the same way that I don’t have all the answers about the resurrected body of Jesus.

    But there are many questions you could raise about Jesus body after he rose again. Maybe you haven’t thought about them?

    But most of Christianity has always believed that Jesus rose from the dead and his body left the tomb and ascended.

    Do you believe that or not? If so, why?

  204. Lol @ comparing the rapture with the resurrection.

    Of course this has become a deviation from the nonsensical rapture theology.

    Amazing what happens when you touch people’s sore spots or peculiar beliefs.

    Jesus rose from the dead.

    There is no rapture.

    Get over it.

  205. A piece of string walks in to a bar. The bouncer at the door looks at the piece of string and says “I’m sorry we don’t serve string here. You’ll have to go somewhere else.”

    The piece of string is quite disappointed, and walks off round the corner. Not to be deterred, it ruffles its ends and ties a knot in its middle.

    Walking in to the bar again the bouncer eyes it suspiciously and asks “Are you that piece of string I saw earlier?”
    To which it replies “I’m a frayed not”.

    http://leefe.ratestheworld.com.au/2011/06/15/a-piece-of-string-walks-into-a-bar-joke/

  206. “And after that last onslaught Bones….”

    Wow, you must cry if hit by a feather, you resurrection spirited warrior. No wonder you want to be raptured.

    Pardon me for having doubts about anything you remotely say re prophecy or your perceived state of the world.

  207. Sorry Q, my comment got spliced by yours. I presume this question is to Bones? For my part if Jesus said to Thomas check the wound guy, and the tomb was empty, which is an absolute fundamental to faith, then there is no question, merely the all too obvious answer. The Jews still believe as do Commies that the Disciples nicked off with the corpse so they would not look silly with their adherence to Joshuah bar Joseph, aka the Son of Man.

    God raised Jesus from the dead in a gloried Body – how I do not care – He did it – he is God – he can do what He bloody well likes you argumentative lumps of clay you! Why did He mold me thus? He did, get over it and get on with it, and stop being victims to the vicious vicissitudes of persecutors who assail the faith with strifes about words – you can present arguments constructively and thoughtfully and of course fearfully, lest we offend one of these little ones He call His.

    Or you can look for allies and mount a campaign, a mini crusade.

    God tolerates a little flippancy and has an amazing sense of humour really – I mean really – just look in the mirror some time – people are a scream – why do you think their are so many comics and so much material – people are a hoot – all of us.

    As the rug rat rooting Rabbi said, “We are all of us damaged goods” – oops, that’s right, I am the righteousness of God in Christ, for I died and my life is hid with Christ in God, and in me dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in Christ, and I am in Him. Figure that one out – its all in your book. His grace is sufficient folks. Rabbis are frauds anyway – Jesus was the last Rabbi! Just like He told us not to have hierarchies and structures but did we listen? Nosiree Bob! We built mega churches and engaged in mass deception programs to build “Meagre Churches” – lots of front – just like the other Catholic, and a form of godliness which prevents the Power.

    As Paul said, “I will know you by your power”.

    19. Except, Lord willing, I will be coming to you soon. And I know not the manifestation of those who exalt themselves, except their authority.
    20. For the Kingdom of God is not through manifestations, except through Power.

    Have we got theories, or have we got the goods.

  208. Bones, really you have no idea. And the irony is that you don’t seem to understand N T Wright that much either. Though, it’s great that you are at least listening to him.

    But instead of listening to a few snippets of his interviews, I suggest you really read his stuff.

    You throw his name around a lot, but you don’t seem to be aware of what he has taught. You need to learn to read. There’s a difference between really reading and understanding what someone has written and just pasting sound bytes.

    And I have no sore point at all regarding the rapture or the second coming at all.

    I don’t believe in a pre-tribulation rapture where Christians go to heaven and then come back 7 years later while everyone on earth has marks on their foreheads.

    So do you believe that Christ will return at a point in the future or not?

    It’s ironic, this topic wouldn’t normally interest me at all, but your inability to see that Steve has more than answered your posts while you run away from his questions, only to ask more questions has been irritating.

    Almost as strange as the irony of your use or N T Wright videos.
    Read him carefully.

  209. Bones,
    The only response has been that because john talks of resurrection then it must be future and if you dont hold to a futuristic interpretation of revelation then there is no revelation.

    Well, no! Not the only response, just the first.

    That was just the starting point. There are other issues in Revelation which point to future events, and I said so when I began talking about the resurrection as evidence of reference to future events.

    The fact is that you have miserably fallen down at this very first hurdle. The others await, but I’m not convinced you are going to be able to get over this one.

    What you and Greg have done is morph the argument into one about a version of the rapture you are particularly averse to and focus entirely and mistakenly on it as your proof, which scripture I presented has completely demolished.

    You were wrong about the rapture and you are wrong about he resurrection, in fact you and Greg have both admitted you know nothing about it and care nothing about it, which means you have demolished your own argument.

    I’ve just been patiently waiting for you to come back to the real resurrection so you can show us why the reference to the resurrection is not a prediction of a future event.

    Having got that the three-post diversion of the way, I am reminding you of the original claim you made, and calling you on it, because you are undoubtedly in error.

    There are some more equally significant issues up ahead for you once you have revealed how the resurrection occurs and demonstrate that it has already happened for the saints and for the sinners, as revealed in Revelation, but also in other gospels and epistles.

  210. Bones,
    if you dont hold to a futuristic interpretation of revelation then there is no revelation.

    No one has said that, or even implied it. Once again you make up a false argument and claim it is your opponent’s.

    I have certainly said that some things in the Revelation are fulfilled, some are being fulfilled and others are yet to be fulfilled.

    That has always been my position.

    Yours is that it is all fulfilled, and you have the history to back it up, but there is no history for some of the events in Revelation, so you claim it as an encouragement, allegory, or John making things up to help you get over your hurdle of not being able to nail the prediction of the resurrection or the judgment without significantly bending scripture.

  211. Don’t fret Q, I think Bones thinks Obama is a Christian or some kind of leader – therefore one must conclude that the same blindness which afflicts 66 million (let he who has wisdom calculate the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a MAN!). Everything O’Bummer does is inverted, perverted and is designed to advance The International – to wit, he is a Commie, through and through, and he is trying to “stop war” about as much as he is “trying” to give every American affordable health care – everytime he says, “My fellow Americans” he is deceiving them – he is a globalist stooge who will lead America into darkness – he is NOT the beast, but by God he serves the beast faithfully and fully, and Christian he is not, for by their fruits shall you know them.

    If he is taken in by this turkey, then just read Rev 17:16-17 – oh that’s right, it does not apply. One could even be forgiven to think he is a shill, or a true believer. It is the one who O’Bummer serves who will deceive the whole world, and he will come as a grey man with grey rules and a grey mind. He will come promising peace and security, but like all his followers, they dish up Orwellian double speak like it is their first language.

    When BO was first up for Pres I asked God to show me his heart – I saw a vision of a lamb which had the same sanguine Mona Lisa smile as OB (hours and hours in front of the mirror for that one) – he appeared to white and yet was not – and he was sitting in green grass looking like he would not hurt a fly (hence the pre-empting of the Nobel Committee and Time Magazine?) but then I heard, “And he shall rise up as a lion and the vision changed to a scene of darkness with Obama tall and proud and ROARING AS IF A LION!

    He is like so many lawyers, a deceiver par excellence, and is arguably programmed too, if only by association with his minders and mentors. But he is, like pretty much all your leaders, a puppet to serve the masters of Mammon, and like Hitler, he is a leader after the hearts of the people.

    The Globalist Hierarchy do not have nations or borders – that conceptual continuity is for idiots, morons and patriots. What we call growth and prosperity is actually the cancer of debt and the slow death of usury and a Morte guage.

    The miracle of compound interest is that the average Joe does not realize it is the debt burden we carry as societies and as a civilization – it is the tribute exacted by Mammon which si breaking the backs of the poor while the rich reap their harvest – ‘their’ world.

    The other day, I was explaining to a young couple about Geo-egineering and climate control – she said, “Ah conspiracy theories…and her eyes glazed over. Fricking mind control zombies – the living dead are walking amongst us. They deny the truth and swallow lies and THEY LIKE IT LIKE THIS!

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/atmospheric-geoengineering-weather-manipulation-contrails-and-chemtrails/20369

    I have had enough – they can all go to their hell, they do not want to see the light, they are satisfied with darkness.

    Today I have to deal with a team of mind controlled netherworld zombies from TPTB over the EQ damage to our home. They will try to pull their moves from their neo-Nazi Mr Nice and Mr Nasty playbook, but this time I am ready for them. The first qualification to get their snouts in the trough is to be a fricking Freemason! God give me strength – oh that’s right, he already has….

  212. As I understand it, what Bones is saying is that the resurrection has already taken place because Christ was raised from the dead.

    That is a resurrection which every believer holds to, but Christ speaks of the resurrection of those who believe in him.

    John 11
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
    26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    Paul, being tried before the governor, gave as part of his defence his belief in the resurrection, “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”

    So he speaks of the dead being raise, and not just the believers, or the just, but also sinners, whom he calls the unjust.

    This is confirmed by John in Revelation, which speaks of the dead being raised before the judgment throne of God.

    This is not speaking of the resurrection of Jesus. he is already raised at this stage.

    Bones mocks the resurrection and calls it insignificant, but it was for his belief in he resurrection of the unjust and the just that Paul was being persecuted. As he says, when hauled before Felix, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’

    So far from being, as Bones scoffs, as important as the length of a piece of string, or being able, as wazza mocks, to count how many angels stand on the tip of a needle, the resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of the just and unjust is a key doctrine for which believers can be and were persecuted.

    The Sadducees, similarly, mocked the resurrection of the dead, and were severely chewed out by Jesus and Paul for their lack of understanding.

    1 Corinthians 15
    12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
    13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
    14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

    And the writer of Hebrews, talkig of the faith of the Old Testament saints, tells us they went through severe persecution because they had ahope for a better covenenatn in the promises of God and a new city of Jerusalem, including, the writer says, a better resurrection.

    Hebrews 11
    32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
    33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
    34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
    35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
    36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
    37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–
    38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
    39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
    40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

    A better resurrection!

    So those of you who scoff and mock the importance of the resurrection are demonstrating your ignorance.

    I have already shown where Paul says we should not be ignorant of the resurrection or how it takes place, yet you persist, and even use your ignorance as an argument against the truth.

  213. Except that ignorance of he resurrection is not a recommended option, according to Paul.

    But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

    Steve, you seem to mistake our admitted ignorance of the mechanism of resurrection, for ignorance of the fact of resurrection – I don;t belive either Bones, not my self have ever stated that we do;nt belive resurrection will in fact occur. We just don’t have the same assurance as you that the details are all sorted and easily understood by reference to the scriptures.

    Some things are simply mysteries.

    I’m going to turn 70 one day, and on that day I will be surrounded by my family and will celbrate a life filled with adventure, change and achievement. I will also die one day…and on that day there will be sorrow. Are these prophecies? No. They are simply my projections of a possible future based upon my understanding of my current life adn my hopes for my future. This is te position I take for the Book fo Revelation…it is not prophecy – it deals with the current situatoin at the time it was written, and a projection of desired, assumed and even possible and some probable outcomes.

    I do belive there will come a time when God will wipe every tear from our eyes, that there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain; the old order of things will have passed away…but this is a hope and a projected belief based upon understanidng who God is from history, and personal experience.

    When we see things like genocide, murder of children, theft of life savings of older people who trusted scammers, we all want to believe that there will be justice for those people, that there will be a ‘reckoning’, but gues what? Thats’ not whay Jesus came – not to announce a future reckoning – but to announce freedom for all. In fact when Jesus famously unrolled the scoll of Isaiah and read from it – he also famously left out the verses that promised judgement and revenge.

    How do you harmonise that Jesus with the Jesus described in Revelatoin who comes with a sward and hurls people into fiery lakes?

    It is not possible, not for me in any case.

  214. Greg,
    It’s not the mechanism which was referred to earlier.

    It was the resurrection itself which Bones claimed was less important to him that the length of a piece of string, or to wazza than counting angels on the point of a needle.

    I’ll accept that you believe in the resurrection of the just and the unjust.

    But if Paul sets them apart as the just and unjust, why, if they are all facing the same eternal destiny? Why not just say the resurrection of the dead and leave it at that?

    Peter tells us that ‘the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men’.

    If the ungodly are to be judged and ruined, what is the judgment and how are they to be ruined?

    God Himself declares, through Zephaniah, “Therefore wait for Me,” says the LORD, “Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation, All my fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy”.

    Paul confirms this by telling the Thessalonians ‘it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed’. [2:6-10]

    Notice Paul speaks of the unrighteous facing God’s vengeance, and the righteous being glorified in Him, when He comes in the day of His power.

    Again Paul warns the Romans, ‘in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’. [2:5-10]

    So there’s not much doubt about what will happen at the separation of the just and the unjust.

    Nor is there any doubt that what John says in Revelation is well documented throughout scripture, so that, as Paul says to the Romans, we are without excuse.

  215. What you and Greg have done is morph the argument into one about a version of the rapture you are particularly averse to and focus entirely and mistakenly on it as your proof, which scripture I presented has completely demolished.

    No, what you have done is morph the argument. This post has always been about the stupidity of the pentecostal secret rapture teaching – which you claim to have nobbled us on – you then started talking about revelation and resurrection – which ahs nothing whatsoever to do with any secret rapture.

    Nowhere have ewither Bones nor I said that we know nothing about it and care nothing about it, – we ahve stated we don;t know anything about the mechanism – and it is not on our list of things that are extremely important to our life of faith lived out and experienced each day.

    You can certinaly be more concerned for pie in the sky when you die, if that is what gets you moving each day – but for me far mor earthly concerns are at the forefront – how do I become a better Christian, husband, father, friend, teacher, preacher, CHristian as a result of my faith in Christ? These are the key concerns for me (I suspect for you also)

  216. Greg,
    It’s not the mechanism which was referred to earlier.

    Steve at this comment HERE you asked me and Bones:

    Bones, wazza, Greg,
    What is your take on the resurrection of the saints? How will it take place, and what will happen?

    That my friend is about the mechanism – not the fact

  217. Greg, you are certainly mistaken.

    Bones said,
    I’ve seen people die. I don’t think about what the resurrection is going to be like. That’s like worrying about how long a piece of string is and I don’t see how people can be so dogmatic about it. And I’m not really that interested by it whether you believe people go to heaven or live on a new earth or even if you come back as a sausage.

    Wazza backed this up.

    Now if you are saying that you have no idea how the resurrection will take place, then I can understand your perspective, and the same with Bones and wazza.

    But this doesn’t mean that, with a little careful study, and prayerful consideration, a person might have a reasonable grasp of what the scripture actually does say about the catching up of the Church, the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the judgment and what is likely to take place at the end of time.

    This is actually a theology called eschatology.

    And, of course, no one has a perfect handle on it, but to say what you, wazza and Bones have been saying, and in the manner in which you have said it, is to display gross ignorance, and not a small amount of arrogance.

    Plus, contrary to your latest claims, the whole discussion began with a debate over the authenticity of the Revelation of Jesus, and whether it spoke of future events.

    The three posts on the rapture came as a result of these discussions, and you wanted to lend a stronger argument to your cause, which declared that Revelation was historically complete, and, what’s more, the pentecostals are completely up the creek with their theology.

    I think you called them some other names which should not be mentioned in Christian circles, but there you go, if you want to maintain a lower perspective I guess you’ll speak gutterish.

    But there is strong reason to believe that the catching up of the saints when Jesus comes is not only likely but something we can look forward to with hope and comfort one another with, which was always Paul’s intention.

    What I have shown you is that it is possible to have a reasonable discussion over scripture and dig out what exactly the Bible does say about these things, which is a surprisingly concise and easy to follow process.

  218. Further, your response to the questions definitely linked this discussion up with the original debate on revelation.

    Greg,
    I have absolutely no idea. Not even sure why that’s a question; having an historical view on the book of revelation makes not one jot of difference to my understanding of the resurrection.

    You deny the resurrection spoken of in Revelation is pertinent to us today. that is why I have asked for your understanding of it. I can’t see why you would say there is another resurrection which John referred to and which is different to the one Paul speaks of, and not only that, has already been historically fulfilled.

    i thought, because you mentioned it was already historically done, you’d be able to tell me how and when.

  219. I do not deny that Revelation is pertinent to us today – I deny that it is a book of prophecy upon which to base your eschatology – it can be used to support it but not to be the bae upon which to build any theology.

    I don’t think John is refferrring to another resurrection – but just as I said above in reference to dying and turning 70 – it is not prophecy.

    I have never said the resurrection has occured -I aveh said that my view of the book of revelatoin is the historical view – your’s appears to be the histerical view

  220. You know what is funny to me? That this post gets over 250 comments and a pile of heat – but the post about a rabbi who equates having been molested as a child with having diaorhea gets less than 10 comments – funny what we get worked up about isn’t it?

  221. “So Bones, what makes you think Jesus rose from the dead?”

    I don’t know. Maybe the same thing that makes you think that.

    It seems some people have a monopoly on faith around here.

  222. “but the post about a rabbi who equates having been molested as a child with having diaorhea gets less than 10 comments – funny what we get worked up about isn’t it?”

    I’m surprised you haven’t been called antisemitic.

  223. Good posts Greg. You prove yourself the better man by far on here including me.

    Steve can keep beating his strawman about the resurrection. Or is that a tin drum? He’s certainly beating something.

    If he wants to talk about Revelation there are already some threads where he was sadly found wanting.

    I don’t know why he doesn’t want to revisit them.

    I suppose it’s hard to throw scripture at historical facts.

  224. There you have it. Greg and Bones have abdicated. They have nothing and will say nothing.

    Greg merely admits that the resurrection is in Revelation, yet, somehow, it is not speaking of the future, and therefore, he claims, wildly, that it is not prophecy, even though Revelation calls itself prophecy and the testimony of Jesus.

    Greg puts up three posts on the issue on top of the original posts and, much later, one on some molesting issue, and cries out why wasn’t there more interest in the rabbi’s stupidity, when there is nothing really to say on the issue since he is clearly in error. Why would anyone bother.

    Whereas, on the issue of Revealtion and its relevance, it is Bones, Greg and wazza who have continued the irrational claims about it being historically fulfilled, but unable to even get past the glaringly obvious information about the not yet completed resurrection.

    Bones, king of the straw men, detours, cut’n’paste non-arguements and downloaded youtube jokes, calls the overpowering weight of scripture I have placed on these threads strawman arguments! That is astonishing!

    Found wanting? In fact I have been found waiting! Waiting for you to actually say something which proves anything you claim.

  225. Okay I will drop any kind of sarcasm and come up with a final post.

    I have always said that I am not 100% convinced about my views on eschatology.

    The only reason i posted so much was in reaction to the insulting way Bones posted, and ridiculed a view.

    My whole point is that if you want to call people morons for believing something that is hard to imagine, then you could say the same about the many questions about miracles in the NT and the resurrection that Bones says he believes in. And oddly enough says he doesn’t know why he believes in it.

    Okay, read this last sentence carefully Bones……

    Ready?

    You used N T Wright in your attacks, but if you wanted you could call him a moron for believing what he does.

    For those who don’t know, N T Wright is probably the most respected NT scholar.

    Wright teaches what he considers to be the orthodox Christian view.
    That is that Christ rose from the dead. Also, that Christ will come again.

    And he teaches a FUTURE resurrection of the dead. That is, that bodies that have been buried, cremated, etc and have reached all kinds of levels of decay and are now in tombs of buried under skyscrapers will be changed. Jesus will return at a point in history and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

    So my whole point here is, for every time Bones made fun of people and talked about Christ coming back and what about people in submarines, or in houses…and raving about traditional Christianity – the reality is that the traditional, orthodox view (WHICH WRIGHT TEACHES) is also pretty fantastic.

    So got tell an atheist or cynic that you are a fellow intellectual and don’t believe that Christians will go to heaven and then come back etc…..but that you believe that your Christian grandmas body will be changed somehow and that she will then be here on earth with Jesus and they’ll call you a moron too, and come up with all kinds of sarcastic questions.

    So, what’s with all the insults and sarcasm etc?

    Bones, why don’t you hunt Wright down and bait him and ask him how God is going to raise up bodies from under a 30 story building.

    Ask all your sarcastic questions that someone could easily ask about jesus and his resurrected body.

    No, why not debate and say your views reasonably.

    I personally am pretty much with N T Wrights views btw. he’s conservative on the gay issue too btw. And no, I don’t think he’s homophobic and hates gays and is in anyway like WEstboro.

    But if he came here, no doubt Bones would be calling him a moron too.

    Last post here. But I recommend Wrights book.

  226. @Greg. Lots of these posts were by me. I erred in posting, but it wasn’t because the topic is really that big for me, but I posted in reaction.

    I wanted to post on the rabbi thing, but was actually worried that I’d get totally misinterpreted. I’ll give it a go though.

  227. “I’m surprised you haven’t been called antisemitic.”

    See, I have no idea where a comment like that comes from.

  228. “I’m surprised you haven’t been called antisemitic.”

    See, I have no idea where a comment like that comes from.

    Because roundhouse called Bones antisemetic when he made comments not in support of Israel! And Steve joined in.

    Have fun with your idiocy Steve. You still don’t get what bones and I are saying because you won’t look beyond your black and white views to try and understand ours.

  229. “Wright teaches what he considers to be the orthodox Christian view.”

    That’s right, Wright agrees with me.

    The rapture is not orthodox.

    Why would I call him a moron?

  230. If you can call someone a moron because they believe that Christians who are alive at the second coming will go up in the air, in the same way that Jesus did at the ascension, why couldn’t you call someone a moron for believing that at the second coming dead bodies will be supernaturally changed into a different kind of body.Or that we will be living here on earth after the second coming in resurrected bodies.

    And the only thing Wright agrees with you about is that he doesn’t believe that Christians will be raptured to a heaven in the sky.

    And he’s a total gentleman. You should watch him debate and learn. He doesn’t call people morons.

    btw, he’s not a liberal theologian.

    Bones, I’ll leave it there ok?

  231. Did I call someone a moron on here?

    I denigrated a piece of theology and was called antiChristian, a Mormon, having a thick skull, Bible despiser, offensive, vile, mentally deranged…

    But I didn’t realise Steve and Roundhouse were NT Wright.

    If I knew that I would have rolled over for them.

    Btw I think scientology is nonsense as well.

    I’d better not say that to a scientologist in case I hurt their feelings.

  232. I’m interested in this quote by NT Wright re the Second Coming and what it’s going to be like. I don’t believe that the Biblical imagery used accurately describes how Jesus will come. It’s metaphorical. Wright is a thinking Evangelical and would be considered liberal by some even though he holds to conservative ideas.

    I like him and read a lot of what he writes.

    But there will be a second coming.

    Apocalypse Now? (1999)

    The central feature of the hope held out in the Bible is of course the personal presence of Jesus himself. Many Christians, not least those who tend towards apocalypticism, have reduced this feature of the hope to the belief [42] that one day Jesus will appear, flying downwards from the sky, perhaps riding on a cloud. This event, the “second coming”, is in fact the event for which many of the groups who see great significance in the year 2000 are getting ready, not least those going off to Jerusalem to witness it.

    However, most of the biblical passages that are quoted in support of the idea of Jesus returning by flying downwards on a cloud are best seen as classic examples of apocalyptic language, rich biblical metaphor. They are not to be taken with wooden literalness. “The son of man coming on the clouds”, in Mark 13.26 and elsewhere, does not refer to Jesus’ return to earth, but to Jesus’ vindication, “coming” from earth to heaven, to be enthroned as Lord of the world. (For fuller details, see my Jesus and the Victory of God, SPCK/Fortress, 1996, chapters 8 and 11.) And the one occasion when Paul uses the language of descent and ascent (1 Thessalonians 4.16) is almost certainly to be taken in the same way, as a vivid metaphorical description of the wider reality he describes at more length in Romans and 1 Corinthians.

    Does this mean abandoning belief in the “second coming”?

    Certainly not. It means taking seriously the whole biblical picture, instead of highlighting, and misinterpreting, one part of it. The problem has been, in [43] the last two centuries in particular, that certain texts have been read from within the worldview of dualistic apocalypticism, and have thus produced a less than fully biblical picture, with Jesus flying around like a spaceman and the physical world being destroyed. And if we really suppose – as, alas, many seem to – that this will be the meaning of the Millennium, we will miss the point entirely. Rather, the Bible points to God’s new world, where heaven and earth are fully integrated at last, and whose central feature is the personal, loving and healing presence of Jesus himself, the living embodiment of the one true God as well as the prototype of full, liberated humanity. When we talk about Jesus’ “coming”, the reality to which we point is his personal presence within God’s new creation.

    http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Apocalypse_Now.htm

  233. Bones, you said
    “At least i know theyd have some scholarship and research bejind them and not talking out their arse. So yeah i would ask them. Youll only give me your intuition.”

    Ridiculous retarded rapture.

    Yes, you’re talking about a theology, but there a lots of people who believe in a rapture, in the same way that others believe in a literal new heaven and new earth with Jesus being among us who are in resurrected bodies. That theory probably sounds retarded to some people too.

    Calling something someone believes in as retarded and ridiculous and saying they are talking out their arse probably won’t make for a good discussion.

    Obviously, you don’t see things that way, and think you’ve been reasonable, so there’s nothing more to say.

  234. Okay, Bones ignore that last post of mine. I just saw your last Wright post. let’s get to this. I’ve been reading a lot about him recently and looking at some messages.

  235. “ather, the Bible points to God’s new world, where heaven and earth are fully integrated at last, and whose central feature is the personal, loving and healing presence of Jesus himself, the living embodiment of the one true God as well as the prototype of full, liberated humanity. When we talk about Jesus’ “coming”, the reality to which we point is his personal presence within God’s new creation.”

    That’s a pretty radical statement though. And yes, he’s conservative but is considered liberal by some who get thrown off by some of his language.

    But here’s what’s interesting. He takes the resurrection account at face value. So he accepts that Christ rose again bodily.

    He believes that this world – planet earth will be changed. That heaven as such will be here in that Jesus will be here fully with us.
    So he’s not seeing that as just a metaphor for the reality of Christs teachings being in our hearts or something that some modern theologians would say.

    I take it that he believes in the ascension. Unless you take it as a complete metaphor, it states that Christ “went up” right? So disciples saw him standing on the ground and then saw him go up/ Not climbing a mountain. I’d say that what Wright is saying is that thinking that Christ ascended 50m then 200 then 5 kms then kept going past the moon etc is not accurate.

    But, I don’t know how exactly the ascension worked. I’m fine with the idea that jesus literally rose in front of people, disappeared into something that appeared like clouds and then went to heaven which is some other dimension (I don’t know how to explain it and which words to use, but I think that’s the nature of the beast).

    So, given that God can create the world, do miracles – basically do anything…..what is wrong with the idea that at the second coming, Christ “appears” somehow not on the ground but in the air. Or even that we will meet him in the air, (Okay – like the citizens going out to meet the returning victorious caesar), and in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, we are changed, and those who died before than come up from the grave. That seems to be what all of Christendom has believed. So Jesus is with us, we have the resurrection of the dead and the earth is changed – a new earth.

    Now, that to me is as supernatural, weird, fantastic, unbelievable as anything. You think hawkins would buy that? The guys down at the pub?

    But if that’s not how it happens, then what?

    Still to me, that scenario is as out of this world as people going to heaven for 7 years.

    Having said that, I realize that there are Christians who don’t believe in a second coming or an “end” to things at all. So that every reference to the end, Christ’s coming etc is all a metaphor for his teaching and work in our hearts. And oddly enough i respect that position too. (I’ve probably had more doubts about more basic things than anyone here, so I’ve often thought it hard to believe that there will ever be any end.)

    I think it’s important to get what Wright is saying and what he isn’t. Sometimes he can be pretty vague. e.g He speaks against a literal fiery hell, but he’s not universalist and believes in judgement for people who persistently reject God. But he talks about people “losing their humanness” etc.

    Why I asked you about Jesus resurrection is because if I played Devils advocate with that one, there are loads of questions.
    Jesus ate, did he need to eat. Will we eat? What happens to the food. How is it that Jesus body was gone for so long and where did the disciples and Jesus hang out until the ascension, and why weren’t there posses of Pharisees and Romans out after them etc etc.

    In short, I don’t have all of the answers, and not really many at all. But there are so many eschatological viewpoints held by people that I’m loathe to call any of them retarded.
    As for Rev, Luther thought the Anti-Christ was the Pope, we say the orthodox view is that it was the Romans, but there are other scholars who say Rev it’s not Rome but Jerusalem.

    btw, In my country Christians are about 1 percent. regular church goers are about half that. And I go to a funeral next week. I want universalism to be true.

  236. @Bones. I don’t like Steve’s Catholic posts. And think it’s a pity Francis isn’t around more, but I can understand why it’s not much fun here.

  237. I guess a lot of this depends on how you see Christ’s ascension.

    As I think I’ve said before, one of the smartest guys I knew and whose lectures I loved didn’t believe in the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, ascension, heaven….basically nothing.zip.  Brilliant greek scholar though. 

  238. He takes the resurrection account at face value. So he accepts that Christ rose again bodily.

    The first book I have of his was Who was Jesus, a response to the Historical Jesus Movement.

    I take the resurrection account at face value.

    There are some parts I think are metaphors such as the OT saints bursting out of their graves but Jesus’s bones aren’t there. That’s sort of the point.

    And if I’m not sure of something Wright is normally my first port of call. Not that I accept everything he says.

    Sometimes he can be pretty vague.

    I think it’s his Britishness. British evangelicals are totally different to their American cousins. Most British Evangelicals are C of E and are well aware of the complex questions re hell, homosexuality going on in the church. I’m seeing a trend in British Evangelicals like Stott, Michael Green, Wright to question the notion of eternal suffering yet at the same time hold to a form of judgement and punishment and to the Jesus who is present in the Gospels.

  239. “I guess a lot of this depends on how you see Christ’s ascension.”

    The ascension reminds us of this. Jesus has not gone to some different place, in outer space or in some disembodied realm as most popular theology would have us believe. He is among us, in ways that bring the Other into our world. N. T. Wright says:

    Only when we grasp firmly that the church is not Jesus and Jesus is not the church – when we grasp, in other words, the truth of the ascension, that the one who is indeed present with us by the Spirit is also the Lord who is strangely absent, strangely other, strangely different from us and over against us, the one who tells Mary Magdalene not to cling to him – only then are we rescued from both hollow triumphalism and shallow despair.

    Conversely, only when we grasp and celebrate the fact that Jesus has gone on ahead of us into God’s space, God’s new world, and is both already ruling the rebellious present world as its rightful Lord and also interceding for us at the Father’s right hand – when we grasp and celebrate, in other words, what the ascension tells us about Jesus’ continuing human work in the present – are we rescued from a wrong view of world history and equipped for the task of justice in the present…

    Surprised by Hope

  240. It seems Wright is saying that Jesus went to an alternate reality or another dimension re the ascension.

    I tend to agree with him. Maybe we need to rethink what we mean by ascension.

    Because Pentecost, you see, goes very closely with the story of the Ascension. Many western Christians have been embarrassed about the Ascension over the years, because they have thought of heaven and earth in the wrong way. We have supposed that the first-century Christians thought of ‘heaven’ as a place up in the sky, within our space-time universe, and that they imagined Jesus as a kind of primitive space-traveller heading upwards to sit beside God somewhere a few miles away up in the sky. And we have told ourselves this story about the early Christians within an implicit modernist framework in which God and the world are in any case a long way away from one another, so that if Jesus has gone to be with God – whatever that means – we understand that he has left us behind, that he is now far away in another dimension altogether.

    And we have then thought that the point of this story is that we, too, will one day go off to this same place called ‘heaven’, leaving earth behind for good. But this way of understanding the Ascension is, quite simply, wrong on all counts.

    The early Christians, like their Jewish contemporaries, saw heaven and earth as the overlapping and interlocking spheres of God’s good creation, with the point being that heaven is the control room from which earth is run. To say that Jesus is now in heaven is to say three things.

    First, that he is present with his people everywhere, no longer confined to one space-time location within earth, but certainly not absent.

    Second, that he is now the managing director of this strange show called ‘earth’, though like many incoming chief executives he has quite a lot to do to sort it out and turn it around. Third, that he will one day bring heaven and earth together as one, becoming therefore personally present to us once more within God’s new creation. The Bible doesn’t say much about our going to heaven. It says a lot about heaven, and particularly heaven’s chief inhabitant, coming back to earth.

    http://ntwrightpage.com/sermons/Pentecost07.htm

  241. Bones,
    I denigrated a piece of theology and was called antiChristian, a Mormon, having a thick skull, Bible despiser, offensive, vile, mentally deranged…

    I called you none of those things. They were mostly from Roundhouse, so why don’t you say so. Why do you put me in with Roundhouse when I do not agree with either his way of speaking to you and Greg, nor with some of his theology? I actually asked him to calm down after his last assault on Greg because their spat was a distraction.

    You put my name in with his to insert a personal attack. I have actually ridden most of the derogatory remarks made against my person and stuck to the argument and scripture.

    Please refrain from this kind of discussion technique.

  242. By the way, the Catholic threads were accurate, even if you found them uncomfortable. I can’t help it if the RC church is so entrenched in ridiculous dogma and outrageous claims.

    Most of the aggro was coming from you and Greg. Surprise, surprise!

    I still can’t believe you, who claim to be so enlightened and Greg so full of knowledge, were both so aggressive, verbally assaultive and vehement in your defence of the veneration of saints, worship of statues, transubstantiation, adoration of Mary, Mary as mediatrix, the perpetual virginity of Mary, Mary as mother of God, Mary’s assumption into heaven, Mary’s sinless perfection, Mary’s immaculate conception, paying money for the dead, purgatory, calling down of Christ into the wine and wafer, canonisation of saints, last rites as healing…

  243. Wright,
    when we grasp, in other words, the truth of the ascension, that the one who is indeed present with us by the Spirit is also the Lord who is strangely absent, strangely other, strangely different from us and over against us, the one who tells Mary Magdalene not to cling to him

    Well, no! Jesus tells Mary Magdelene not to hold Him because He is not yet glorified. he had not ascended to the Father yet.

    Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
    John 20:16-17

    I mean how could such a theologian miss this?

    The Spirit would not be given until Jesus was raised and glorified.

    “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
    John 7:38-39

    So Jesus is not in His pre-ascention state. He has been glorified. He has presented Himself before the Father and been enthroned.

    For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another–He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
    Hebrews 9:24-28

    The evidence of this is that He asked the Father and he sent the Holy Spirit to be amongst us as He promised He would.

    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
    John 15:7

    And this is confirmed after Jesus is ascended, which was witnessed by the Apostles and revealed by Peter.

    “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”
    Acts 2:32-33

    So now Jesus is in full glory, seated at the right hand of the Father, and all authority in heaven and in earth is given unto Him.

    So to say Jesus is the ‘one who tells Mary Magdelene not to cling to him’ is misleading.

  244. Bones,
    There are some parts I think are metaphors such as the OT saints bursting out of their graves but Jesus’s bones aren’t there. That’s sort of the point.

    A metaphor for what, though?

    I see these words used, such as allegory, metaphor, but rarely an explanation of what the allegory’s hidden meaning is.

    And some parts? Which parts? And why?

    Why would Jesus’ bones be anywhere but where Jesus is? He rose bodily. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. the whole point of the resurrection is that it is a bodily resurrection.

    That is why Paul foresees the Church being caught up, the body being changed from a natural body to a spiritual body in an instant.

    Why would he have to go to the amount of trouble he does if this is a metaphor, or allegorical? It makes no sense. Why not just say we’re going to be changed and remain on he earth, or we will be dead and suddenly alive again? Why confuse the issue with a tale about rising up to meet the Lord in the air?

    Does an Apostle like Paul have to lie about what will happen to convince us of our hope? What would be the point of it? Why not just tell us everything’s going to work out. It’ll be alright folks. Just hold the line.

    What you are actually saying with your metaphorical allegory claims is that throughout scripture, wherever something is hard to believe, it must be allegorical, or in other words have a different meaning to the one expressed, which, in effect, is a lie or a deception, especially when you consider it is an absolutely pointless exercise.

    Now I believe in parables. Jesus told them all the time, but the parables weren’t for the Church. They were for the Jews, because God has given the prophecy that Israel would be spoken to in parables because their eyes would be closed and their ears would be deaf.

    As Paul says, ‘I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’

    But God doesn’t speak to the Church in parables. The truth is not hidden from us. He has revealed the mystery to the Church. The Apostles doctrine is available to us, as well as the Law and Prophets. We have it all before us to discern what God is saying, and in particular what the resurrection is and what it mans to us.

    There is allegory, and there are types, but the re is nothing hidden to us that the Spirit will not reveal, because we have been given the mind of Christ.

    Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

  245. @Bones. But that`s my point. To understand the ascension all we have are the biblical accounts.

    I have no confidence in Greek so I’ll just go by the English translations while understanding that greek scholars did the hard work for me.

    It says that Jesus was taken UP – not taken away.

    And Jesus said, “What if then you shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?”

    So the question I have for Wright is, when Jesus ascended – what did the disciples see? I understand metaphors and poetic language. But, Jesus was with them and ate with them for 3 years. He was crucified on a cross. He left the tomb. He talked with them afterwards. So when he LEFT their sight, did he just disappear on ground level?

    You might think this is a ridiculous question, but it’s not. The onus is on him and you to explain how Jesus “ascended” on that day.

    Make a movie – how do you portray it. Draw a picture – what happened. The plain and ordinary reading of the accounts is that Jesus literally went up. After he was out of his sight, I don’t know. But, until he disappeared into clouds (of some form – not saying they were literal clouds at 6500 feet), I don’t think you can say he was just standing on ground level.

    So, what does Wright and what do you say about that.

    That’s just my simple point. I can accept that heaven is another dimension and that it isn’t found taking a right at Venus and then going through a black hole etc.

    I understand all the talk about the ancient world and their concept of heaven being in the clouds. But, like I said, I’d like Wright to concretely say that Jesus didn’t go “UP IN FRONT OF THE DISCIPLES”.

    The other point which Steve raised is valid. I was watching a video where Wright talks about the amazingness of the form of Jesus in his resurrected body. But what does it mean that He wasn’t yet glorified.

    So, the plain reading of scripture (which Wright and you accept) when understanding that Jesus rose from the dead), states that while Jesus had a resurrected body which was similar and yet different – He said He wasn’t yet glorified.

    And remember again that while Wright explains what heaven is – he still argues that it’s going to be a very different existence here on earth when “heaven and earth are merged” and we are here with Jesus.

    For those who aren’t familiar with Wright, his famous expression is “life after life after death”.

    My point in this is to say that Wright’s view of things is pretty fantastic. Call “the rapture” crazy, and he might have five fingers pointing back at him.

    I’d like to see Wright being asked hard questions and have to answer them, like people have to here.

    The reason I labor the point about ascension and UP, is that he doesn’t accept any spiritualization about Christ rising from the dead. There’s no metaphor there for him. The tomb is literally empty for him.

    So, if you deride Jesus being thought of as a space traveller, can we deride the idea of him levitating – or didn’t he “ascend” higher than the disciples at all.

    So, make your movie of the ascension. What do you see?

    If there is no literal “up” involved then fine.

    But Jesus was in front of them and then he wasn’t.

  246. But anyway this article is saying basically the same thing as above.

    “Therefore, if these events are at the end of the earth, not some years prior, what I Thessalonians 4:17 describes is Saints who are alive on the earth who are caught up to meet Christ AS HE IS DESCENDING IN HIS GLORY! This is the plain description of this scripture. Paul was emphasizing the coming of the Lord in Thessalonians 4, and the raising of people (both resurrected and currently living on the earth) to meet him when He comes.”

    Sounds like a literal going up to meet Jesus.

    So, why not from a scientific point of view, call that retarded. And make fun of that? So, what does the author of this article think “caught up to meet Christ” means?

    Why not just say that you disagree and state why.
    There needn’t be such hostility.

    So, does anyone here believe that there will be no literal Second Coming?

  247. “describes is Saints who are alive on the earth who are caught up to meet Christ AS HE IS DESCENDING IN HIS GLORY! This is the plain description of this scripture.”

    So …what happens to the people in submarines, in the shower, making love, flying the planes?

  248. Q,
    So …what happens to the people in submarines, in the shower, making love, flying the planes?

    Well their body is changed from a natural body to a spiritual body in an instant, so what have physical or material things to do with spiritual, just as Jesus arrived in a room where ‘all the doors were shut’ to reveal himself to Thomas, so a confined space would be no hindrance to our ascension.

  249. More than one witness:

    Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
    Acts 1:10-11

    They saw Him go towards heaven, until he reached a cloud and was out of sight Two angels stood with them and spoke to them, asking why they were gazing into the sky, and telling them that as he rose so he would descend.

    (Now this, “He ascended” –what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
    Ephesians 4:9-10

  250. ” so a confined space would be no hindrance to our ascension.”

    And that’s the answer for whatever form of eschatology you hold to.
    God can and will do supernatural things that we can’t totally comprehend

    @Steve. For me there is no getting around the Acts 1 account.

    To me that’s as clear as anything.

    It may seem absurd, but that’s what the book says.

  251. ””So where is heaven?””

    Ecclesiastes 11
    New International Version (NIV)
    Invest in Many Ventures

    ””””5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
    so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.””””

    6 Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
    for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.
    Remember Your Creator While Young

    7 Light is sweet,
    and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
    8 However many years anyone may live,
    let them enjoy them all.
    But let them remember the days of darkness,
    for there will be many.
    Everything to come is meaningless.
    9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
    and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
    Follow the ways of your heart
    and whatever your eyes see,
    but know that for all these things
    God will bring you into judgment.
    10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
    and cast off the troubles of your body,
    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

  252. Somewhere over the rainbow…?

    I don’t know exactly. But it’s not a place that humans will find with space rockets.

    But, I can’t see Acts 1:10,11 as allegory.

    So, my humble opinion is that Jesus ascended before them and went out of sight in what looked like clouds and then went to heaven which is a spiritual dimension.

    I’m all ears.

    I don’t believe that heaven is just a metaphor for knowing God in this life here on earth. That’s hardly comfort to people experiencing real pain and suffering right now.

  253. btw, I studied with people who were in the Rudolph Bultman stream..

    This from Wikepedia.

    “Critical analysis

    The Jesus Seminar considers the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ ascension as inventions of the Christian community in the Apostolic Age.[22] They describe the Ascension as a convenient device to discredit ongoing appearance claims within the Christian community.[22] New Testament scholar Rudolph Bultmann writes, ” The cosmology of the N.T. is essentially mythical in character, The world is viewed as a three-storied structure, with the Earth in the center, the heaven above, and the underworld beneath. Heaven is the abode of God and of celestial beings- angels….No one who is old enough to think for himself supposes that God lives in a local heaven. “[23] It is possible that the writer of Acts 1v9 reasoned that if Christ returned to Heaven then he must have ascended up into the sky to get there, so that is what he wrote Christ as doing.”

    Do you think we could ever have a peaceful, insult free discussion here about the whole question of what parts of the gospels and Acts we can take as historical truth?

    e.g. Ascension, Day of Pentecost, miracles – both healing and loaves and fishes, walking on water.

    We really should be able to have Bultman types, Calvinsts, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics etc discuss things.

    Maybe we should have a list of banned words?

  254. (I don’t know exactly. But it’s not a place that humans will find with space rockets.)

    God came down to see what they did and said: “They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be withheld from them which they purpose to do.” “Come, let us go down and confound their speech.” And so God scattered them upon the face of the Earth, and confused their languages, so that they would not be able to return to each other, and they left off building the city, which was called Babel “because God there confounded the language of all the Earth”.

    Now you can see what is happening in the world today.
    Christ will come back before human beings can come to an agreement of one world language. Because it is not permissible for humans to progress to such an intelligence, So as to ‘mutate’ into supernatural beings. But it would be possible if God would not intervene.

    Remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

    So this whole ONE WORLD ORDER thing, is not such a far fetched prophecy.HEY!

  255. Bultmann is correct re the cosmology of the time re underworld/Earth/heaven.

    No one remotely believes that anymore. We talk instead of heaven as a spiritual place.

    Also we know that clouds are vapour.

    And neither Matthew nor John record the event.

    Do you think anyone else noticed Jesus flying in the sky? Like the Romans or Jews?

    I don’t know. The ascension is one I try not to think about.

    Jesus went somewhere.

    Just brings more doubts.

  256. (Also we know that clouds are vapour.)

    Ecclesiastes 1:2-4
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    2 Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities, says the Preacher. Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities! All is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and vainglory).
    3 What profit does man have left from all his toil at which he toils [a]under the sun? [Is life worth living?]
    4 One generation goes and another generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
    Footnotes:

    Ecclesiastes 1:3 Ecclesiastes is the book of the natural man whose interests are confined to the unstable, vanishing pleasures and empty satisfactions of those who live merely “under the sun.” The natural man is not aware that all the affirmative answers to life are to be found in Him Who is above, not “under,” the sun. The natural man grovels in the dust and finds only earthworms, while the spiritual man may soar on wings like eagles (Isa. 40:31) above all that is futile and disappointing, and may live in the consciousness of God’s companionship, favor, and incomparable, everlasting rewards.

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=vapor of vapors&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1%3A2-4&version=AMP&ei=rtEUUb_CEtCYmQXQpIBo&usg=AFQjCNGZVANE8yg07tovazvYNnq15EhY0A&bvm=bv.42080656,d.dGY

  257. “But, like I said, I’d like Wright to concretely say that Jesus didn’t go “UP IN FRONT OF THE DISCIPLES”.”

    He would never say that. The ascension is part of orthodox belief. Like me he would wish it to be true but will probably never come to grips with the doubts we have due to modern astronomy.

    “I’d like to see Wright being asked hard questions and have to answer them, like people have to here.”

    Believe me. If he was reading this, he might offer to take you out to lunch for a discussion as well as mailing you a written response.

    I don’t know of anyone who is so forthcoming of criticism of his own material especially from within the Evangelical community including responding to various critical book reviews eg John Piper’s criticism of his book the New Paul..

  258. “By the way, the Catholic threads were accurate, even if you found them uncomfortable. I can’t help it if the RC church is so entrenched in ridiculous dogma and outrageous claims.”

    By the way, my rapture comments are accurate, even if you found them uncomfortable. I can’t help it if Pentecostal and rapture theology is so entrenched in ridiculous dogma and outrageous claims.

  259. “I called you none of those things.”

    Actually worse.

    “Of course, Bones thinks Hitler’s murder of Jews and ethnics was admirable, so the pope’s signing up with Italian fascism must have been OK.

    What was that about not being unequally yoked with Bellial?

    probably too deep for the three mouseketeers!”

    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/secret-vatican-property-deals-exposed/#comment-41531

    But of course your shit doesn’t stink.

    Now you’ll drown us all in more scripture references to justify your own insulting superior tone to others.

  260. LIST OF CATHOLIC HERESIES
    And HUMAN TRADITIONS

    ADOPTED and PERPETUATED by the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
    IN THE COURSE OF 1600 YEARS

    (Compiled by Rev. Stephen L. Testa)

    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall
    make you free.” —Jesus in John 8:32

    Notice: These dates are in many cases approximate. Many of these heresies had been current in the Church years before, but only when they were officially adopted by a Church council and proclaimed by the pope as dogma of faith, did they become binding on Catholics.

    And doctrine to be true must conform to the Word of God. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)

    At the Reformation in the 16th Century these heresies were repudiated as having no part in the Religion of Jesus as taught in the New Testament.

    Heresy Date

    OF ALL THE HUMAN TRADITIONS taught and practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, which are contrary to the Bible, the most ancient are the prayers for the dead and the sign of the Cross. Both began 300 years after Christ. 310
    Wax Candles introduced in church 320
    Veneration of angels and dead saints 375
    The Mass, as a daily celebration, adopted 394
    The worship of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the use of the term, “Mother of God”, as applied to her, originated in the Council of Ephesus 431
    Priests began to dress differently from the laity 500
    Extreme Unction 526
    The doctrine of Purgatory was first established by Gregory the Great 593
    The Latin language, as the language of prayer and worship in churches, was also imposed by Pope Gregory I. 600 years after Christ

    The Word of God forbids praying and teaching in an unknown tongue. (1st Corinthians 14:9). 600
    The Bible teaches that we pray to God alone. In the primitive church never were prayers directed to Mary, or to dead saints. This practice began in the Roman Church.

    (Matthew 11:28; Luke 1:46; Acts 10:25-26; 14:14-18) 600
    The Papacy is of pagan origin. The title of pope or universal bishop, was first given to the bishop of Rome by the wicked emperor Phocas.

    This he did to spite Bishop Ciriacus of Constantinople, who had justly excommunicated him for his having caused the assassination of his predecessor emperor Mauritius. Gregory 1, then bishop of Rome, refused the title, but his successor, Boniface III, first assumed title “pope.”

    Jesus did not appoint Peter to the headship of the apostles and forbade any such notion. (Luke 22:24-26; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1st Corinthians 3:11).

    Note: Nor is there any mention in Scripture, nor in history, that Peter ever was in Rome, much less that he was pope there for 25 years; Clement, 3rd bishop of Rome, remarks that “there is no real 1st century evidence that Peter ever was in Rome.” 610
    The kissing of the Pope’s feet

    It had been a pagan custom to kiss the feet of emperors. The Word of God forbids such practices. (Read Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 19:10; 22:9). 709
    The Temporal power of the Popes

    When Pepin, the usurper of the throne of France, descended into Italy, called by Pope Stephen II, to war against the Italian Lombards, he defeated them and gave the city of Rome and surrounding territory to the pope. Jesus expressly forbade such a thing, and He himself refused worldly kingship. (Read Matthew 4:8-9; 20:25-26; John 18:38). 750
    Worship of the cross, images and relics was authorized

    This was by order of Dowager Empress Irene of Constantinople, who first caused to pluck the eyes of her own son, Constantine VI, and then called a church council at the request of Hadrian I, pope of Rome at that time.

    Such practice is called simply IDOLATRY in the Bible, and is severely condemned. (Read Exodus 20:4; 3:17; Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 115). 788
    Holy Water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by the priest, was authorized 850
    The veneration of St. Joseph began 890
    The baptism of bells was instituted by Pope John XIV 965
    Canonization of dead saints, first by Pope John XV

    Every believer and follower of Christ is called saint in the Bible. (Read Romans 1:7; 1st Colossians 1:2). 995
    Fasting on Fridays and during Lent were imposed

    Imposed by popes said to be interested in the commerce of fish. (Bull, or permit to eat meat), some authorities say, began in the year 700. This is against the plain teaching of the Bible. (Read Matthew 15:10; 1st Corinthians 10:25; 1st Timothy 4:1-3). 998
    The Mass was developed gradually as a sacrifice; attendance made obligatory in the 11th century.

    The Bible teaches that the sacrifice of Christ was offered once and for all, and is not to be repeated, but only commemorated in the Lord’s Supper. (Read Hebrews 7:27; 9:26-28; 10:10-14).
    The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand, Boniface VII

    Jesus imposed no such rule, nor did any of the apostles. On the contrary, St. Peter was a married man, and St. Paul says that bishops were to have wife and children. (Read 1st Timothy 3:2,5, and 12; Matthew 8:14-15). 1079
    The Rosary, or prayer beads was introduced by Peter the Hermit, in the year 1090. Copied from Hindus and Mohammedans

    The counting of prayers is a pagan practice and is expressly condemned by Christ. (Matthew 6:5-13). 1090
    The Inquisition of heretics was instituted by the Council of Verona in the year 1184. Jesus never taught the use of force to spread His religion 1184
    The sale of Indulgences, commonly regarded as a purchase of forgiveness and a permit to indulge in sin.

    Christianity, as taught in the Bible, condemns such a traffic and it was the protest against this traffic that brought on the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. 1190
    The dogma of Transubstantiation was decreed by Pope Innocent III, in the year

    By this doctrine the priest pretends to perform a daily miracle by changing a wafer into the body of Christ, and then he pretends to eat Him alive in the presence of his people during Mass. The Bible condemns such absurdities; for the Lord’s Supper is simply a memorial of the sacrifice of Christ. The spiritual presence of Christ is implied in the Lord’s Supper. (Read Luke 22:19-20; John 6:35; 1st Corinthians 11:26). 1215
    Confession of sin to the priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III., in the Lateran Council

    The Bible commands us to confess our sins direct to God. (Read Psalm 51:1-10; Luke 7:48; 15:21; 1st John 1:8-9). 1215
    The adoration of the wafer (Host), was decreed by Pope Honorius

    So the Roman Church worships a God made by human hands. This is plain idolatry and absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. (Read John 4:24). 1220
    The Bible forbidden to laymen and placed in the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Valencia

    Jesus commanded that the Scriptures should be read by all. (John 5:39; 1st Timothy 3:15-17). 1229
    The Scapular was invented by Simon Stock, and English monk

    It is a piece of brown cloth, with the picture of the Virgin and supposed to contain supernatural virtue to protect from all dangers those who wear it on naked skin. This is fetishism. 1287
    The Roman Church forbade the cup to the laity, by instituting the communion of one kind in the Council of Constance

    The Bible commands us to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine. (Read Matthew 26:27; 1st Corinthians 11:26-29). 1414
    The doctrine of Purgatory was proclaimed as a dogma of faith by Council of Florence

    There is not one word in the Bible that would teach the purgatory of priests. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins. (Read 1st John 1:7-9; 2:1-2; John 5:24; Romans 8:1). 1439
    The doctrine of 7 Sacraments affirmed

    The Bible says that Christ instituted only two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Read Matthew 28:19-20; 26:26-28). 1439
    The Ave Maria, part of the last

    It was completed 50 years afterward and finally approved by Pope Sixtus V, at the end of the 16th century. 1508
    The Council of Trent, held in the year 1545, declared that Tradition is of equal authority with the Bible

    By tradition is meant human teachings. The Pharisees believed the same way, and Jesus bitterly condemned them, for by teaching human tradition, they nullified the commandments of God. (Read Mark 7:7-13; Colossians 2:8; Revelation 22:18). 1545
    The apocryphal books were added to the Bible also by the Council of Trent

    These books were not recognized as canonical by the Jewish Church. (See Revelation 22:8-9). 1546
    The Creed of Pope Pius IV was imposed as the official creed 1560 years after Christ and the apostles

    True Christians retain the Holy Scriptures as their creed. Hence their creed is 1500 years older than the creed of Roman Catholics. (Read Galatians 1:8). 1560
    The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX

    The Bible states that all men, with the sole exception of Christ, are sinners. Mary herself had need of a Savior. (Read Romans 3:23; 5:12; Psalm 51:5; Luke 1:30,46,47). 1834
    In the year 1870 after Christ, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of Papal Infallibility

    This is a blasphemy and the sign of the apostasy and of the antichrist predicted by St. Paul. (Read 2nd Thessalonians 2:2-12; Revelation 17:1-9; 13:5-8,18).

    Many Bible students see the number of the beast (Rev. 13:18), 666 in the Roman letters of the Pope’s title: “VICARIVS FILII DEI.” — V-5, I-1; C-100, I-1; V-S, I-1; L-50, I-1; I-1; D-500, I-l — Total, 666. 1870
    Pope Plus X, in the year 1907, condemned together with “Modernism”, all the discoveries of modern science which are not approved by the Church

    Pius IX had done the same thing in the Syllabus of 1864. 1907
    In the year 1930 Pius XI, condemned the Public Schools 1930
    In the year 1931 the same pope Pius XI, reaffirmed the doctrine that Mary is “the Mother of God”

    This doctrine was first invented by the Council of Ephesus in the year 431. This is a heresy contrary by Mary’s own words. (Read Luke 1:46-49; John 2: l-5). 1931
    In the year 1950 the last dogma was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary 1950

    CONCLUSION

    What will be the next invention? The Roman Church says it never changes; yet, it has done nothing else but invent new doctrines which are contrary to the Bible, and has practiced rites and ceremonies taken bodily from paganism. Some scholar has found that 75% of the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Church are of pagan origin.

    Note: Cardinal Newman, in his book, “The Development of the Christian Religion,” admits that … “Temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, holidays and season of devotions, processions, blessing of fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests and monks and nuns), images … are all of pagan origin…” (Page 359).

    HERESIES are those doctrines and practices which are contrary to the Bible. They are also called “human traditions” or “doctrines of men”. Both Peter and Paul predicted and warned that in the later times “false teachers” would rise within the Church and bring in “damnable heresies” and “doctrines of devils”. (Read 2nd Peter 2:1-3, and 1st Timothy 3:2-5). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, for they transgressed the commandments of God by keeping their traditions. “in vain,” He said, “they worship me by keeping for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:3,9).

    The real heretics therefore, are the Roman Catholics and the true orthodox are the Evangelical Christians.

    BRETHREN! The Word of God commands us to get out of Babylon, saying: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4). All true Christians will remain faithful to the religion of Christ as taught in the Bible, and heed the warning of the Apostle Paul, who said: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8).

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/catholic_heresies-a_list.htm

  261. Gosh Bones, I’m sorry! I called you a mouseketeer!

    Bones,
    Now you’ll drown us all in more scripture references to justify your own insulting superior tone to others.

    You really hate scripture, don’t you!

    So now giving Biblical evidence of the resurrection and proper reference to the harpazo is such a threat to you that you consider yourself to be drowning, and the use of scripture and verse is somehow now to be considered a ‘superior tone’ rather than conclusive proof of…well Biblical fact!

    By the way, my rapture comments are accurate, even if you found them uncomfortable.By the way, my rapture comments are accurate, even if you found them uncomfortable.

    No they are not. I have clearly shown your claims that ‘there is no rapture’ to be both irrational and a detour from the actual information any Bible believing student could gather by simply reading the text.

    Your rapture comments are actually cut’n’paste comments from someone else, and, furthermore, as both Q and myself have pointed out, often contradict your own declared stance against the catching up of the saints, orthodox resurrection theology and the Revelation’s references to future events yet to be fulfilled.

    Bones,
    I can’t help it if Pentecostal and rapture theology is so entrenched in ridiculous dogma and outrageous claims.

    This and other similar comments dotted throughout the thread have consistently demonstrated, as Q pointed out to you, that you could not possibly have read anything I have commented on regarding the rapture, the error in ‘Left Behind’ theology, the resurrection, or the fact that Revelation clearly and indisputably speaks loudly of future events not yet witnessed, and therefore, prophetic.

    But, regardless, I am so sorry to compare you to a mouse. Yu are clearly much bigger than that!

  262. Revelation clearly and indisputably speaks loudly of future events not yet witnessed, and therefore, prophetic.

    Just because it speaks of future events doesn’t mean it is prophetic…as I demonstrated with my 70th birthday post.

  263. EYES re your long winded one-sided Catholic quote.

    Can you tell me how priests dressing differently to laity, daily celebration of the Mass (is it the daily or the Mass), using the Latin language, extreme unction and wax candles are heresies?

    Btw when Christians huddled in the catacombs or in their houses at night, how did they see?

    I’ll give you a clue.

    They used candles like we did last week in our blackouts.

    How appropriate that the soothing candle flame represents the light of Christ that has come into the world.

    And of course transubstantiation was definitely written about in the first century by the church fathers.

    Your article is clearly in error.

    “This is fetishism.”

    Btw I’m intrigued as to what that article calls fetishism.

    I thought it was something weird you did with your woman or man.

    Now I’m sounding like Steve.

    Somebody shoot me

    and he would probably like us to kiss his feet.

  264. Greg,
    Just because it speaks of future events doesn’t mean it is prophetic

    Prophetic: Accurately predicting what will happen in the future.

    You really don’t have a leg to stand on with this, Greg.

    Revelation 1
    1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
    2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
    3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

    Prophecy: propheteia:
    1) prophecy
    1a) a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring
    the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing
    the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things
    hidden; esp. by foretelling future events
    1b) Used in the NT of the utterance of OT prophets
    1b1) of the prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom
    and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations
    and admonitions pertaining to it, the spirit of prophecy,
    the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due
    1b2) of the endowment and speech of the Christian teachers
    called prophets
    1b3) the gifts and utterances of these prophets, esp. of the
    predictions of the works of which, set apart to teach the
    gospel, will accomplish for the kingdom of Christ

    So anything which is revealed in the Revelation by the angel through John of the words of Jesus Christ of future events, or events which he speaks of which have yet to take place remains prophecy.

    Such as the resurrection, the judgment, the Bride, the new heavens, earth and Jerusalem, etc.

    Even the prophecy in Revelation which has been fulfilled is still prophecy as far as he written word is concerned.

    And the same has to be said of words in the Revelation of Christ which are being currently fulfilled.

    You cannot possibly deny it with any kind of credulity.

  265. (They used candles like we did last week in our blackouts.)

    That is a very cruel and vindictive way at attempting to justify the roman catholic churches need for idol worship. And the usage of trinkets to practice such.

  266. I don’t really have an issue with candles, as long as they are peripheral, and not being worshipped for themselves. Light is of God. People are moved by natural light as well as by spiritual light. I tend to think God doesn’t have an issue with allegorical means of reference, as long as they do not become idols. Jesus referenced wind, water, fire and earth. Light is suggestive of illumination.

  267. Bahaha.

    EYES the video says the priest carrying the candle is always at the front.

    They aren’t priests. They’re acolytes which I’ve been in the past. A bit young to be a priest. And they’re at the front with the Cross of Christ, because Jesus the light of the world and the sacrifical lamb leads us into worship. Note there are 2 candles. One is the gospel candle, the other is the epistle candle. The priest would actually be last.

    Eyes, you are aware that Anglicans and Protestant churches use candles and lamps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altar_candle

    I’ve worked in Anglican churches which have exactly those lamps, candles processions etc.

    I’ve used candles in meditations to represent prayers to God.

    Funny.

    I’ve never prayed to a Sun god but I have to a Son God.

    What else ya got.

    I’m all EARS.

    And EYES if you have a blackout and light a candle I’ll assume your actually participating in a ritual to the Sun god.

    And Hislop’s work is thoroughly discredited.

  268. Even the Christadephians, definitely no lovers of Catholicism, have debunked Hislop’s book. The Two Babylons.

    Ralph Woodrow expanded on much of Hislop’s theories in his books, Babylon Mystery Religion but has recanted and published a second book, The Babylon Connection? refuting his previous work and Hislop’s to his own credit and at great cost.

    Why?

    As time went on, however, I began to hear rumblings that Hislop was not a reliable historian, I heard this from a history teacher and in letters from people who heard this perspective expressed on the Bible Answer Man radio program. Even the Worldwide Church of God began to take a second look at the subject. As a result, I realized I needed to go back through Hislop’s work, my basic source, and prayerfully check it out.

    As I did this, it became clear: Hislop’s “history” was often only an arbitrary piecing together of ancient myths. He claimed Nimrod was a big, ugly, deformed black man. His wife, Semiramis, was a beautiful white woman with blond hair and blue eyes. But she was a backslider known for her immoral lifestyle, the inventor of soprano singing and the originator of priestly celibacy.

    He said that the Babylonians baptized in water, believing it had virtue because Nimrod and Semiramis suffered for them in water; that Noah’s son Shem killed Nimrod; that Semiramis was killed when one of her sons cut off her head, and so on. I realized that no recognized history book substantiated these and many other claims.

    The subtitle for Hislop’s book is “The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife.” Yet when I went to reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica, The Americana, The Jewish Encyclopædia, The Catholic Encyclopædia, The Worldbook Encyclopædia – carefully reading their articles on “Nimrod” and “Semiramis” – not one said anything about Nimrod and Semiramis being husband and wife. They did not even live in the same century. Nor is there any basis for Semiramis being the mother of Tammuz.

    I realized these ideas were all Hislop’s inventions.

    After considerable work in finding old reference books to which Hislop referred, it was not uncommon to find things taken out of context. He sought to link the round communion wafers of the Roman Catholic Church with paganism, for example, by citing Wilkinson’s ANCIENT EGYPTIANS.

    But Wilkinson also said the Egyptians used oval and triangular cakes, folded cakes, cakes shaped like leaves, animals, a crocodile’s head, etc. But Hislop did not mention this. His claims about the cross symbol, the letters I.H.S., candles, and halos were also in error.

    Because many of these teachings were interwoven in my book, it could not simply be a case of producing a revised edition. Honesty, despite the financial loss to our ministry, demanded a correction of this teaching. For this reason, we now publish a 128-page book “THE BABYLON CONNECTION?” which explains all that is involved in this, and includes 60 illustrations and 400 footnote references.

    We believe the best way to combat errors in the Roman Catholic Church (or any other group) is by the Scriptures themselves – not by trying to find pagan parallels in ancient mythology. Things that are indeed pagan should be rejected, of course; but we should not brand things as being pagan when this is really not the case.

    http://www.ralphwoodrow.org/books/pages/babylon-connection.html

  269. EYES, if you click on the categories section of Signpost you will find some threads already established on Catholicism.

    Steve beat you to it.

    And was soundly thrashed for being a naughty boy.

  270. “I don’t really have an issue with candles, as long as they are peripheral, and not being worshipped for themselves.”

    I have never heard of anybody worshipping a candle.

    Candles are purely symbolic and churches which are rich in liturgy tend to have many symbols in their services. The purpose of the symbols of course is to remind us and focus our worship on the living God.

    Of course fundamentalists follow the old puritan line that the symbols are idols being worshipped. Of course that is bs.

    In an Anglican church every part of the church structure and setting has a theological meaning.

  271. May the grace of the lord Jesus Christ be with you all,
    And may the Joy of the Lord be your comfort and your strength.
    So be it, Amen!

  272. Burgundy, France: The Taizé Community

    A monastic community of Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics who welcome thousands of Christian and non-Christian pilgrims every year.

  273. (“What is your point?”

    Dunno. Ask Steve.

    Apparently its a good idea not to worship a candle.)

    Comming from the bloke that said something like, STEVE DOES NOT BELEIVE THE APOSTLE.
    Evidently from what Bones has typed recently, it would appear that HE (BONES) has no respect for the Apostle.

    I’m sure that someone could recall a similar statement in the archives.
    If not i will do it myself.

  274. Bones, tree are religions where adherents stick candles in fruit and worship their idol through them, and the Romans used to bow down to candles, so please give us a break with your cynicism. You know exactly what I mean, and, for once, I am supporting your argument that candles, in themselves, are not an issue, yet you still find fault.

  275. I cant find any verse in the Bible that specifically prohibits candle-worship. And therefore it must be ok, because if it was that important to God He would have clearly stated it in the Bible.

    As the sole mark of a Christian is that he/she dosent do anything the Bible prohibits, then it is perfectly possible to be a Christian candle worshipper.

  276. OK Bones.

    wazza,
    it is perfectly possible to be a Christian candle worshipper.

    No. Scripture is clear that we shouldn’t worship the creature or the creation, only the Creator.

    We can use symbolism and props to assist our worship, particularly light and sound, dance and music, but not as the main focus of our worship, which should only be attributed to God.

    Worship is more than artistic expression, though. That is only one facet. Worship is who we are towards God, and is expressed through our lifestyle, attitude, obedience and faith.

  277. The Partial Rapture View

    “church” RAPTURE “church”
    (present age) (tribulation)

    Hal Lindsey’s “The Rapture” (1983, p. 26) says partial rapturists see only “spiritual” church members in the rapture and only “carnal” members of the church in the tribulation. John Walvoord’s “The Rapture Question” (1979, p. 97) refers to partial rapturists as “pretribulationists.” Leading partial rapturists including Pember and Govett see all of the “church” on earth before a pretrib rapture and only part of the “church” left behind to be tried by the Antichrist – truly the “church-splitting” view as shown in the above chart!
    In the spring of 1830 Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald was first to teach a pretrib rapture. It was actually an early version of partial rapturism because she said that after the rapture of “church” members “filled with the Spirit,” the “church” members “who had not the Spirit” would be left behind to be tried by “THE WICKED” one (Antichrist). In Sep.1830 Edward Irving’s journal “The Morning Watch” (hereafter: TMW) was the first to publicly echo her novel view when it stated that “Philadelphia” (the “spiritual” part of the universal church) is raptured before “the great tribulation” while “Laodicea” (the “carnal” part of that universal group) is left on earth.
    John Darby, the so-called “father of dispensationalism,” was still defending the historical posttrib rapture (“Christian Herald,” Dec. 1830) which he described as Christ’s coming for “His judging of the nations.”
    Pretrib didn’t spring from a “church/Israel” dichotomy, as many have assumed, but from a “church/church” one, as we’ve seen, and was based only on symbols!
    But innate anti-Jewishness soon appeared. (As noted, TMW (Sep. 1830) saw less worthy “church” members left behind.) Two years later (Sep. 1832) TMW said that “Jews” and less worthy Christians would miss the rapture. But by Mar. 1833 TMW was sure that only “Jews” would face the Antichrist!
    As late as 1837 the non-dichotomous Darby saw the church “going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews.” And he didn’t clearly teach pretrib until 1839. His basis then was the Rev. 12:5 “man child…caught up” symbol he’d “borrowed” (without giving credit) from Irving who had been the first to use it for the same purpose in 1831!
    For related articles Google “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” and “Scholars Weigh My Research.” The most detailed and accurate book on pretrib rapture history is “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books online) – a 300-pager that has hundreds of disarming facts (like the ones above) not found in any other source.

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