Rapture? Rubbish! Part 3

The Rapture?
We have not written on the rapture before, although we have often spoken on the subject. But recently we have met many people who do not understand how to teach others concerning this great subject. Controversy surrounds the doctrine. Fellowship is broken based on the doctrine. There are fractures within those who do believe in the rapture based on whether the rapture is pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation. That particular concept is based on the thought that there is a tribulation; however, there are some who do not believe in such. Ah, the rapture is a theology that stirs the heart of many. Someone is right, and most are wrong.

Of the Protestant churches in the United States, the Presbyterians, Episcopals, Disciples of Christ and many of the other major denominations do not believe in the rapture. The theology is found in fundamental and Pentecostal churches as a rule. While the evangelicals would call the other churches “liberal” today, in their day of founding the liberal churches were quite conservative. It is to the roots of the major denominations that we will first turn. The fundamental and Pentecostal churches are in a minority in their belief.

Rapture is a theological term used by many evangelical Christians who believe that they will be taken out of the earth before the second coming of Christ. The basis for this is out of the Gospels where one is taken and one is left as in the Days of Noah. The evangelical churches that believe in rapture teach the saint leaves the earth. But the proof is that Noah remained and the wicked were removed. Besides, the meek inherit the earth, the Scripture also declares.

Some evangelical churches have even integrated two events into a simultaneous occurrence. The merging of the Second Coming of Christ with the rapture is also an untenable position. It cannot be done.

As Alan Campbell has written: “Such a teaching was unknown to early church fathers as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertuilian, who were convinced the Christian church would pass through the great tribulation at the hands of an anti-messiah system before the return of the Saviour. Furthermore the rapture theory was not taught by the great stalwarts of the Reformed Faith – Huss, Wycliffe, Luther (Lutherans), Calvin (Reformed church), Knox (Presbyterians), Crammer or even the Wesleys (Anglican, Episcopal, Methodists) in the 18th century.” The first mention of rapture was not until at least 1812, and most sources seem to point to 1830 or so.

The early church fathers never preached rapture, which is different from the Second Coming of the Lord. The word rapture is not found in the Scriptures. These two statements were the thoughts that caused me over time to investigate the veracity of the Scriptures concerning the doctrine of the rapture and whether or not it was true. I hope this small booklet is helpful to you.

Two Schools of Theology: Historical and Futuristic

The one school believes that most of the Bible has been completed. The other believes that most of the Bible is yet future. The Reformation, which was a movement to change what we today call the Roman Catholic Church, was begun in the 800’s by the Waldenese. It culminated with Martin Luther’s 96 points of suggested change on a Wittenberg Abbey door in Germany in 1517. He was followed very shortly by other men of great caliber such as Knox and Calvin, not to mention the advent of the printing press by Gutenberg who expedited the explosion of knowledge through the printed page, which never had been done before.

Luther, in his writings, calls the Pope the antichrist and clearly shows why in Scriptures. As one studies the writings of Luther he explains his historical interpretation. If one wants to study secular history you will find that some Popes were women and had children. At one time there were two Popes fighting for supremacy, one in France and one in Rome. If one wishes to study, we suggest the book, Two Babylons -Papal Worship by Alexander Hislop, 1959 or Babylon – Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow. These two books give a detailed history of why the Protestant leaders were so against the corrupt church system.

It would shock many evangelical Christians to learn that their theology comes from the Roman Catholic church. A Jesuit, named Ribera (1537-1591) who first taught that Daniel and Revelation were “futuristic” in their fulfillment, began a line of theological thinking that would be expanded upon. The Roman church was losing thousands of people a day from their church as the people heard and agreed with the Reformers. The bleeding Roman Church was trying to staunch the flow of income it was losing and also was trying to distract people from the Roman Church by showing through a new theology that it was not the antichrist but rather it was yet to come. Another priest, Cardinal Bellarmine, helped Ribera in his charade.

The historical school shows how the book of Revelation is and was completed many years ago. The futuristic school looks for a physical antichrist, one man, a seven or at least a three and one-half year tribulation and a millennial reign of Christ. These concepts all came out of the works of Jesuits who wrote to confound and redirect Protestant ire. We are not going to write on those subjects but it is interesting to note that John states that the antichrist was already there in the first century!

Two books which explain why there is no seven year or even three and one-half year tribulation are What the Bible Says About the Great Tribulation by William Kimball and The Parousia by Stuart Russell. John Bray has written a pamphlet showing why the pre-tribulation rapture is wrong entitled The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching. These men refer to Ribera and a Jesuit priest, Lacunza, who did substantial writing in the 1800’s to foster the development of a futuristic theology.

The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia has a book entitled The Coming Messiah written by Rabbi Ben Ezra which was the pen name of Emamual Lacunza. This book had a major impact on the Protestant move. The Protestants believed that from the Dark Ages (4th century) to the Reformation was the reign of the antichrist. The Roman church held the idea that from 1580-1830 the antichrist was a person yet to come.

Unfortunately, present day Protestants (any one that is not a Roman Catholic) have preached such silly things as Mussolini as the antichrist, then Hitler, then Kissinger, then Gorbachev (some even said he had the mark on his forehead!). Some thought and preached the social security system was the mark of the beast in the 1930’s. Then we have heard the evangelicals state that the ten toes of the man in Daniel are represented by the common market members. As of 1998 there are 16 members and more applying. So goes carnal theology.

The teaching of the futuristic theology entered evangelical Christianity in the 1800’s. Lacunza, a Jesuit priest wrote his showing that Jesus must return twice not once as Scripture states. This secret coming was a rapture. This way the saints could escape the coming “tribulation” and the “antichrist.” The archbishop of Canterbury in England read the book and the idea became prevalent in the Anglican church (USA counterpart Episcopal). However, recent research by Rev.John Bray indicates that Morgan Edwards was the first in 1788 (Morgan Edwards and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture by John Bray).

Secondly, Bill Britton brings out in his pamphlet The Rapture of the Church ‘what is it’? that Edward Irving, who was the founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church, preached the idea of a rapture. This man was a Scottish Presbyterian minister who had accepted the idea of Lacunza and then was filled with the “baptism of the Spirit” and left the church to formulate a Pentecostal church. He, unfortunately, brought with him some of the theology of the Roman church. His church was in London. During a service there a young Scottish woman named Margaret Macdonald spoke in prophecy concerning a secret rapture, although others believe it was another person (according to MacPherson’s study).

Another source was J. N. Darby, a Christian man who was considered perhaps as the founder of the Brethren Movement. He was an Anglican and attended meetings in Ireland concerning the secret rapture. Some sources indicate that he was involved with McDonald in some way. Scofield incorporated in his Bible the notes of Darby on various verses, without consideration of his thoughts. Scofield’s Bible became very popular since many people could read it and study his footnotes. People read the Bible and footnotes and were greatly influenced in their teaching by the notes -as they are today.

These three men – Lacunza, Irving, Darby – are responsible for the premise of a rapture. But if one has such an idea then other factors have to come into play.

The Tribulation, What About it?

John 17:15 truly answers that – “I pray not that you (disciples) should be taken out of the world, but that you (Father) should keep them from evil.” Or consider Matthew 5 which states: “the meek shall inherit the earth,” or even the Lord’s Prayer which states in Matthew 6: “Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” There are many more verses that show the saints remain, even if there is a tribulation.

The Bible Verses Millennial Teachings by George C. Lubbers on page 237 states the following: “We desire the reader to keep in mind that we are not interested in giving a history of Dr. Scofield’s work, dating about 1843 (which incidentally was a time when such heresies as Christian Science, Mormonism and Seventh Day Adventism appeared) but we are interested in some of the basic teachings and constructions, which are today the structural teaching of Dispensationalism in America.” There are two points here. First, the point that Scofield’s ideas of futuristic thought were new with dispensational ideas (dispensational meaning the Bible is divided up into certain time elements as to eschatology [study of final things]). Secondly, there was much paganism that had been created with a “Christian flavor” – Mormonism, Christian Science and now also Scofield’s ideas which had come from Lacunza.

It is important to note that each of these other movements created or were looking for some future kingdom to come. Mormonism looked for the kingdom to come. The Reorganized Latter Day Saints church and Mormons have purchased a lot of land around the Kansas City, Missouri, area for the expectation that the kingdom will be set up there. The Seventh Day Adventists were noted in 1844 for going to the mountains and selling all they had for the literal return of Jesus. Unfortunately, the same thing happened in Korea in 1988 and it was false, as was the book that was printed in the USA proclaiming such. Christian Science taught that this life was unreal and that if you were active in your mind, you could deny sickness saying that it didn’t exist. Quite metaphysical. While it is true that some sickness is psychosomatic or mind-induced, you cannot deny its effect.

Lubbers goes on to expose the error of dispensationalism as Scofield presents it. Scofield said there was no grace until Christ. But Noah found, as the scripture declares, “grace” in the eyes of the Lord. Scofield limits ‘the “Promise” to the chronological time between Abraham and Mount Sinai, the time of the ‘Law giving’, he has made it impossible for himself (Scofield) to do justice to the great “Promise” as given already by God Himself in Paradise to Adam and Eve at the very dawn of History.”(pg. 244).

Rev. Lubbers was of the Reformed Church and preached over 50 years in the USA. His research is highly regarded and expresses the thought of the Reformers rather than the Jesuit’s teachings. There are many that will and can expose Dr. Scofield’s notes for their errors. Again most of his notes came from his relationship with Darby and the Irving Movement.

The futuristic school of theology propounds the theology which includes the following: a return of Christ personally, a secret rapture (either before the tribulation, in mid-tribulation or after the tribulation), a tribulation of seven or a time period of two three and one-half years, an antichrist who will rule until overthrown, a literal millennial (meaning 1,000 year) reign of Christ, followed by the release of Satan to rule the world and delude it again and then the lake of fire, the end of time with people either in the new Jerusalem, seen as a literal place, and the wicked outside the city burning. While there may be some variation along these lines of thought, these come from the major theology of the Lacunza and Tractarian societies and the Roman Church.

The historical theological viewpoint is that the book of Revelation is spiritual and not literal since the actual literal fulfillment has already occurred. Secondly, the historical generally expresses the point that the numbers found in the book of Revelation and other places are allegorical or symbolical and are not for literal interpretation. The futuristic school would contend this otherwise.

A Third View of Theology

Then there is the third school that is neither historical nor futuristic but believes that the historical probably did occur and that the futuristic probably will not occur. The reason for such an idea is that these people look for a spiritual fulfillment within people. They look to find Christ fully formed in the individual. Secondly these people believe that the antichrist, the man of sin, and the false prophet are found within each person because of the fallen nature and that each must be removed. The antichrist spirit is the spirit of a man. The false prophet is the soul of a man. The man of sin is the actions of the body.

One of these schools is correct. Generally in the evangelical churches today there is a preponderance of the futuristic school and little credence is given to the historical school. Even less credence is given to the belief that both the man of sin and Christ can dwell in a person. Many saints are not aware that there are other views and believe what is taught without any question. Most saints are not Bereans who study to show themselves approved daily (Acts 17, 2 Timothy 2:15).

It is not our purpose to establish the viewpoints of theologians. An interested student can find a wealth of information on the first two diametrically opposing viewpoints. Our purpose is to discuss the concept of the rapture from the spiritual, which has historical roots from the 1830’s as we have shown. While some of the futuristic school would indicate that 1 Thessalonians 4:15-20 shows a rapture as was taught by Paul, this verse has to do with Christ’s second coming and not a secret rapture.

The Historical View of the “Man of Sin”

Found in 2 Thessalonians 2

The word “antichrist” is found five times in the Bible and each word is the same Greek word. In the Greek it is “antichristos.” Anti means: instead of, in place of, in opposition to. Christos means anointed one. Placing the two together we have the phrase instead of Christ, in place of Christ, or in opposition to Christ. We can conclude that it means to place one in a higher position than Jesus Christ.

There are many deceivers in the land today as well as when the early disciples lived. Generally, there is thought to be one person who will be The antichrist. Spurgeon, Finney, Guinness, Hudson Taylor, Tyndale, Calvin, Luther, Isaac Newton, Bunyan, Huss and Wycliffe all agreed who the antichrist was. These men lived from the 1300’s to the present day. They all, after careful study, reached the same conclusion that the Pope was the antichrist.

The Pope’s title in Latin is VICARIUS FILII DEI. “Vicar of the Son of God” is the interpretation. Vicar means in place of. The Latin letters of his title carry numeric meaning. Latin Roman numerals come from the letters of their alphabet.

Adding the totals of the three columns we come up with the number 666. This is the number of fallen man, corrupted Adam who tried to place himself as god. How fitting that the number of the beast has religious significance. A man places himself as the religious head of the world and declares that he is the leader above Christ.

V = 5 F = 0 D = 500

I = 1 I = 1 E = 0

C = 100 L = 50 I = 1

A = 0 I = 1

R = 0 I = 1 total of all three

I = 1 columns is : 666

V = 5

S = 0

There are, however, many theologians who discount the idea that the Pope is the antichrist. Nero’s name also equals 666. These leaders in the evangelical field are futuristic rather than historical in their interpretations of prophecy. They believe that the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation are for the future and yet to happen. To them only Revelation chapters one through three have been fulfilled.

The men who were listed earlier in this article belong to the historical school of interpretation and believe that most of the book of Revelation has occurred with HISTORICAL fulfillment and that the SPIRITUAL fulfillment is yet to be revealed.

Let’s look at some of the facts available. The Waldenese people of northern Italy revolted from popish rule in the 1200’s. Their reason was simple – they believed in being saved by faith. Huss picked up the same train of thought a little later, but it wasn’t until the 1500’s and Martin Luther that the time of reform became ripe. By that time Huss was dead and the Waldenese were practically exterminated by the Pope’s soldiers in various torturous ways too ugly to describe. Luther’s advantage was that he had a strong king who would hide him from the Pope’s forces. Luther himself declared, “If the Pope will not recall and condemn this Bull (popish edict of 1520) then no one should doubt that the Pope is the enemy of God…the true antichrist.”

The spirit of truth and light inspired Luther and the others to realize the Pope was the antichrist. When papal Rome realized it could not eliminate the truth, it decided to propagate another gospel, no matter how long it took for its lies to be accepted. This ploy was learned from the emperor Constantine who stopped the growth of Christianity by making it a state religion. Subterfuge was a good policy.

The son of perdition is found in two places in Scripture: II Thess. 2:3, John 17:12. Perdition means: damnation, destruction and to perish. John 17:12 strictly refers to Judas Iscariot when the spirit of Satan entered him. Judas was a disciple, one of the twelve, called by Jesus. He was a member of the faith until his falling away. The law of first occurrence uses the phrase “son of perdition” first here in reference to Judas. It is a pattern that will be followed.

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians uses the same phrase. Who like Judas was in the faith and then became an enemy? Who appeared to show Christian love but denied the power thereof and turned against the truth? Would it not have to have been one who had an apostolic office like Judas who then fell from the faith? The popes of the Roman church fit the pattern as an enemy from within. Each vicar of Christ considers himself to be God in the earth.

II Thessalonians 2:4 has been fulfilled naturally. The popes opposed God and they do sit down exalted above God. According to the historical school the temple that is in the scripture of 2 Thessalonians 2 is not a Jewish temple but refers to the church. The Pope sits in the church and assumes headship. The Pope sits above the “Host” (bread and wine) which is the physical representation of Christ which reveals he is over Christ, according to the historical school.

The futuristic school has been greatly influenced by Scofield’s ideas. Not all of the futuristic ideas should be discounted, but the futuristic interpretation of Scripture needs to be separated from Scofield’s thoughts. The futurist school, as compared to the historical school, would teach that the temple applies to the Jewish temple; hence they still look for the son of perdition. This idea of the Jewish temple being the actual seat of the antichrist is accepted as truth in evangelical circles, the denominational daughters of the harlot, but the idea was brought forth and developed by the Jesuits. The antichrist will not profane the Jewish temple (there will not be one), rather the antichrist must profane Christianity and come against Christ.

The futurists base their ideas on Daniel 9:25-28. Here they interpret the antichrist as the man in the middle of the week sitting in the temple. They believe that the seventieth week of prophecy is separated from the other sixty-nine weeks and is placed in Revelation for the seven year tribulation. This is Daniel 9:24 from the Amplified Bible:

“Seventy weeks (of years or 490 years) are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city Jerusalem to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin and to bring everlasting righteousness and to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet and to anoint a holy of holies.”

We can clearly see that this decree is going to take place in 490 years. From the time the people were freed from Babylon to return and build again the city of Jerusalem to the time of the coming of Christ would be 490 years. The only one who could “purge away sin” is most assuredly Jesus Christ.

Dan.9:25 states: “Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks: the street shall be built again and the wall even in troublesome times.” (KJV) This coming of Christ accounts for His life up to the time of His ministry. This 69 weeks is fulfilled up to the baptism by John when Jesus begins His ministry. Now we are ready for the 70th week. Please note that Prince is capitalized here. This refers to the Messiah. Another prince is mentioned later on that does not refer to Christ. The final place that the word prince is used should be capitalized, again referring to the Messiah.

Dan.9:26 states in the KJV: “And after 62 weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”And after 62 weeks shall Messiah be cut off but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Jesus was cut off upon His birth, for Herod tried to kill Him at that time. Yet, Christ lived. The prince here is not capitalized and this refers to Vespasian who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This completed the prophecy here and in Matthew 24 where our Lord said judgment would come to the Jews for crucifying Him and rejecting Him.

Dan.9:27 states: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause sacrifice to cease and for the overspreading of the abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause sacrifice to cease and for the overspreading of the abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” The “he” refers to Christ. For when His ministry came forth, he did make a covenant with many for He spoke to 5000 twice, and untold numbers believed and followed Him. In the midst of the 70th week He was cut off, for after 3 1/2 years of ministry Jesus was slain.

The Jews, who had rejected the Father, now had rejected the Son. Jesus caused sacrifices to cease for He was the one and only sacrifice needed. This is why the temple curtain was rent in twain, to show the end of the law and its fulfilling in Christ. He did make the temple desolate, for He destroyed all the customs, traditions and teachings that were false. No wonder the priestly caste came against Him. The consummation of the judgment occurred in 70 A.D. with Titus’ destruction of the temple.

When was the 70th week completed? It was completed with the stoning of Stephen. This showed the rejection of the administration of the Holy Ghost by the Jews. Thus, the 490 year period is complete by the rejection of the Father (69 weeks), the Son (1/2 week of the 70th week) and the Holy Spirit testimony through Stephen (1/2 week of the 70th week). As Jesus said in Matthew 12:32, the Jews would be cut off for blaspheming the Holy Spirit for that age (when He was on the earth) and the age to come (the church age), but would be brought back in later as Romans 9, 10, 11 reveals. (Matthew 12:32 “world” in KJV is Greek “aion” meaning age).

There is a seven-year prophetic period in the book of Revelation. The futurists try to tie it into an antichrist reign based on Daniel 9 which we have just talked about. The two are not related although they are similar. We do not wish to digress and discuss or compare these two points of view at this time. Personal study with sources in the bibliography of this booklet will assist in such study.

Who is the “Man of Sin” really?

It is not really important if the “man of sin” is in Jerusalem or if the “man of sin” is in the church, ie. the Pope. Both schools direct their theology to an outward fulfillment. There is a deeper truth here that needs to be discussed. The concern is to delineate the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. The man of sin in 2 Thessalonians is not a literal man who will appear.

The word “temple” is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 3:16, where it states that your body is the “temple” of the Holy Spirit. The word in the Greek is “naos.” The word in the Greek used for a physical structure such as a building is the word “heiron.” The difference between these two is important.

Paul is not writing about some literal man of sin who will appear or had appeared. I am sure there could be cases made for many men to fulfill that role in each generational thinking – Nero, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler etc. Paul is writing a spiritual word.

The man of sin is located in a person – each of us individually. We are the Lord’s temple. Within us is the fallen adamic nature, it is dead (Romans 6:1-10), but some of us struggle with the corpse (Romans 7:14-16). Perhaps we should stop playing with the dead (necromancy – Deuteronomy 18:11).

The man of sin is who causes us to do idolatrous things. The man of sin causes us to divorce ourselves from the one we love, God, and follow after the fleshly desires of self, setting oneself up as god. The man of sin is not some literal person who leads us away like a Pied Piper, but the man of sin is the lustful carnal mind, the adamic man, who is at enmity with God.

Who other than Adam has set himself up in the temple of God as god? Was not Adam’s sin religious? Not wanting to have God be over him, Adam decided to become like God in his own understanding. Thus, to accomplish his purpose Adam placed himself in the seat of authority to rule, failing to realize that he already was in the image of God. Not realizing that, Adam dethroned his union with God, caused a spiritual divorce from God and then proceeded to set himself up over woman and himself as god. The man of sin is the fallen nature within the person.

The mark of the beast is the fallen nature that you had until you were saved. Now, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13, Revelation 7:3). Now, your life is hid in God through Christ. The sin nature no longer continues in you (1 John 5:18, Romans 6:6).

We do not have to look very far to find the man of sin. But it is far easier to call someone else the man of sin because then you or I do not have to deal with the man of sin within ourselves. Religion keeps the person from dealing with the real problem – self. Religion offers solutions that make the adamic man feel good – do good things, so many Hail Mary’s, evangelism outreach, speaking in tongues, etc. Christianity, true Christianity, deals with the removal of the man of sin in the person by identification with Christ and making God the God of the temple of God.

Religion focuses on the sin nature. Christianity focuses on the life of God in the individual. Religion offers traditions, rituals, legalism. Christianity offers life and grace. Religion sets man up as the judge. Christianity offers no condemnation. Religion offers salvation to a select few. Christianity is the faith in the world that dies to self so others can live. Religion focuses on the outer man and his needs or as the Hindus do – the deprivation of the outer needs. Christianity focuses on no needs but empowers by the resurrection to rise above the natural desires or deprivations. Unfortunately those who are religious (not necessarily Christian) think they have to go to heaven (some literal place!) before Jesus can come to perfect them. True Christianity teaches otherwise. True Christianity is not religious.

The Second Coming – is it the Same as the Rapture?

As evangelical doctrine has evolved in the area of eschatology, the last 100 years (1883-present) has had a rapid development. The doctrine of Pentecostalism was not a prominent truth readily available to the saints. While there has been an historical remnant that always has walked in this experience of the second feast of the Old Testament, the majority of Christendom was not aware of it after Paul’s time until the late 1880’s.

There was a mass exodus from the Methodist movement twice in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The first group to leave the Methodist churches broke because of the need for holiness and evangelism through tracts etc. The Methodist church had become quite established from the revivals of the 1700’s and the Great Awakening move in the 1830’s with Finney.

These ministers who left felt compelled to express the need for holiness. Where salvation represents the brazen altar sacrifice for sin, which Jesus fulfilled for us, these men felt to get back to the need of holiness as Wesley preached. Their separation and rabid devotion to evangelism led to another experience.

It was from these men and others who left later in the early 1900’s that the Pentecostal movement sprang. The Lord blessed these followers with “speaking in tongues” and other gifts of the early church (1 Corinthians 12). Today in 2000, these Pentecostal churches of varied names are just being accepted as mainstream Christianity.

However, these denominations and free churches, along with the older denominations teach Passover (salvation) and Pentecost (baptism of the Spirit with gifts). They do not teach the feast of Tabernacles which is the third feast that is experiential. If they did, they would not preach the doctrine of rapture. We shall not discuss the third feast experience but suffice it to say that it is just as blessed as the experience of salvation and Pentecost. Before one can experience the third feast, certain doctrines which are not true have to be removed from the nature of the person. One of these is rapture. It seems to be the fulcrum, the pivotal point, on which a person decides to live his faith.

The Pentecostal churches express the belief in a Second Coming of the Lord and integrate to that concept the belief in a ‘secret rapture’ of the saints. These two points are not related but rather are separate subjects and events, as we determine the truthful interpretation of

There are four words for “coming” in the Greek – Parousia, Epiphany and Apocalypse and Phanero. Each has a different meaning and connotation to it. As one studies the Scriptures it is important also to discern which word is being used rather than translating each word “Coming.”

As it was in Noah’s Day

“But as the days of Noah were so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. … and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field:one will be taken and one will be left.” Matthew 24:37, 39, 40 see also Luke 17:26-37

These verses are often used to teach the rapture. There are five premises in these Scriptures. (1) The flood came as a surprise to the unsaved. (2) The righteous were prepared. (3) The flood destroyed the wicked. (4) The saints were protected. (5) The saints inherited the earth. Theologians agree on points (1), (2), (3) and (4). But theologians forget that Noah never left the earth, but rather inherited the earth.

The rapture teaches that the saint is removed from the earth and is protected in a literal heaven, not in the physical sky (heavens). The saint is thereby protected from the judgment of God which happens to the unrighteous. The basis of the removal of the saint is found in verse 40 where a person is “taken.”

But in the days of Noah, we find that the UNrighteous were removed or “taken.” Noah was protected but REMAINED on the earth. It is interesting to note Luke 17:27 which states God “destroyed them all.” Judgment was given to the unrighteous, the unsaved. They died and were removed, “taken” from the earth. The word “taken” is connected with judgment. It is not connected with the life of the saved person. In fact, that very verse states “the all” is speaking of the unrighteous when it says “the flood came and destroyed them all”.

The Noahic story is supported in other Scriptures also. 1 Corinthians 6:9 states: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” God always removes the unrighteous.

The parable of the wheat and the tares is another example. In Matthew 13: 24-30 we find the parable. Theologians agree that the wheat represent the saints and the tares the unsaved. Who is removed in the parable? The unrighteous, the tares are removed. The wheat remains. Scripture consistently reveals that the righteous remain and the unrighteous, the tares are removed.

We have written a message on 1 Corinthians 10:13. This verse in the KJV states “… who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The word “escape” has no connection with a rapture. Rather the word “escape” implies the concept of entering into something else while enduring the trial. That “something else” is “Christ.” Noah entered into the ark, which is a type of Christ, not to escape the judgment on the earth, but to ride it out. So also here in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Or perhaps we should consider the words of Jesus Himself as the ultimate authority as He prayed to the Father in John 17:15. The Father was to keep them in the world but protected. They were not to leave.

Our purpose is not to be taken out but to be victorious in the trial. The three men in the fiery furnace went through the fire not tainted of smoke. Noah went through the flood untouched by the waters. Consider the Scripture found in Revelation 21:7 which reads:” He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” One does not overcome by escaping.

While Matthew 24 is used for “rapture”, even the Assemblies of God’s official (stated on page 4) publication, The Pentecostal Evangel states in an article about Matthew 24 on page 9: “Contrary to what is often taught…the Rapture is not in evidence here. Those “taken” are the wicked, who are taken in judgment – just as the wicked of Noah’s time(mentioned in the proceeding verse) were taken in judgment. Those “left” are the righteous who remain…” (Bill Britton, The Rapture What is it?)So, even one of the largest evangelical organizations in the USA doesn’t officially preach the rapture from this verse… yet many do. Why? They have twisted Scripture to their own destruction.

“So unexpected will be the actual appearance of the Lord in judgment, in parallel manner to the judgment which was suddenly unleashed upon the antediluvians, that Jesus stated that they: “knew not until the flood came and took them away…”(Matthew 24:39) His comparison is striking. Rather than predicting a world warned of the nearness of His coming in judgment, the converse is true.” (What the Bible Says About the Great Tribulation, page 226).

It is important to note that the author is remarking that the Lord appeared in judgment in Noah’s day. He Himself did not appear, but rather was manifested in judgment. Keep this thought in mind as you begin to see how Matthew 24 has already been fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Lord appeared in judgment to “that generation.”

Other ministers relate Enoch who was translated as an example that relates to those “who are taken” in Matthew 24. The only problem is Enoch was not “taken” for punishment – he lived. Secondly, he was not taken in a time of judgment. Thirdly, the stories do not relate. Again twisting of the Scriptures.

Some would say that this chapter relates to the “end-time” and must assuredly speak to us this day. Let me address that question. As mentioned before there are many comings of the Lord and different words are used. The word “coming” in the KJV in Matthew 24:37 is “parousia.” This means that the Lord is near to, co-existent with, or presence is felt.

The historical school, which as we have discussed earlier believes the fulfillment has already occurred. Consider these interesting facts. First, Matthew 24 was written to the generation of Jesus’ day. In verse 34 Jesus mentions “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.” He speaks of the generation of Jews that condemned Him to death and rejected the Father, the Son and the testimony of the Holy Spirit in Stephen. Having rejected the Godhead’s manifestation, they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit and their salvation was cut off for an age (Matthew 12:31-32).

They go on to state that a “parousia” of the Lord does not mean a personal return of the Lord Himself. As an example, the Lord appeared in Noah’s day – not physically – but judgmentally with a flood. Matthew 24 according to Josephus and the historical school states the Lord came in 70 A.D. and judged the nation, that generation of Israel, that rejected Him. How did Jesus come? Not through an agency of a flood, but through Roman soldiers.

In fact, verse 24:28 is interpreted by the historical school to represent the nations which had Jews in them. The eagle was a symbol of Rome (the KJV translates it vulture but the Greek is eagle), the body is the Jewish people scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Some even interpret that Paul wrote the Thessalonians to warn them of the “coming” of the Lord in that town because that town had Jews and would be touched by the Roman government because of the rebellion of the Jews in Israel.

Or perhaps we should finally consider the words of our Lord as He spoke to the disciples, who were still there during 70 A.D. If we wanted to interpret the saying as specifically meaning that “generation,” we should also consider the words of our Lord in a broader scenario. He said in John 17:11 “…Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father keep through Your name those whom You have given Me…” (NKJV)

Here, Jesus is expressing the thought that the disciples will remain on the earth during perilous times. Regardless of the situations, the disciples were to go through problems whether they be spiritual, natural or physical. If the disciples were to remain, what about them as a pattern for us?

Even more so we should consider Jesus. He is our pattern to follow. Peter writes in 1Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps.” Jesus never escaped anything. The walk of faith cost Him His life. Our walk too is not to escape trials and tribulations, but rather to be an example of an overcoming life through the blood of Christ.

While it is not ours to go into detail on the historical school we do suggest you read and research this area. There is no possible way that verses 36-44 of Matthew 24 refer to saints being raptured (futuristic school) as it is out of context and even a futuristic school of theology found in the Assemblies of God says you cannot interpret it that way. Secondly, the historical school shows that the literal fulfillment has already occurred. The only interpretation left is that of a spiritual nature.

If the historical school is correct, the church at Jerusalem actually escaped the carnage of the Roman soldiers since they left the city before it occurred. Secondly, if it was historically fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 A.D., then the verse has no significance to us today in any way eschatologically.

I Thessalonians 4:16-17

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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.”

Before we even begin the study of this verse, it is important to mention that the historical school believes that this was already fulfilled in the judgment of Jerusalem by the Roman soldiers in 70 A.D. While this may be contrary to the standard evangelical teaching, we would suggest the reading of the books mentioned in the appendix of a small tract written by Kimball and Russell.

I do not consider 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 a rapture verse but truly a second coming verse. In fact, we will interpret it “spiritually” rather than literally as the evangelical teaching does.

The rapture teaching uses this verse which deals with the Second Coming of Christ as part of its teaching to support a secret rapture before the coming of the Lord. This is incorrect. The two events, if true, are not interrelated. The Second Coming, which is true, has nothing to do with a secret rapture.

Secondly, nowhere do you find anyone going to heaven. The Greek word “apantesis” is translated “to meet.” In ancient times it was a word used in conjunction with a party of people who go out and meet an important person. Today it would be used as if you went to the airport to meet a person and bring him back to your house. This verb implies the saints meeting Christ and escorting Him back to the earth to set up His kingdom.

There are three other locations in Scripture that use this word “meet,” and each time the word is used to greet and return. Matthew 25:1,6 speaks of the ten virgins who went forth to “meet” the bridegroom and return to the party. John 12:13 speaks of Jesus entering Jerusalem where people “took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him.” Then in Acts 28:15 Paul writes “they came to meet us as far as Appii forum…” “they came to meet us as far as Appii forum…” Saints came and led him back into the city (about 43 miles). The information on “meet” has been supplied by Stephen Jones’, The Rapture of the Wicked.

The “meeting” with the Lord is contrary to the rapture concept that the saints leave the earth to go to heaven and remain while the earth is judged. This, on the other hand, shows the saints on the earth to set up Christ’s kingdom; whereas, the church system teaches Jesus returns from heaven with His saints to set up the kingdom. That is a substantial difference of viewpoint.

Lloyd Willhite in his booklet, Rapture, Taking a Second Look, discusses 1 Thessalonians 4:15. On page 12 he states the following:

“This text definitely indicates we are going somewhere. It says the “dead in Christ” rise first. It says the “alive and remain” shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, and it says the “alive and remain” will not go ahead of those who are “asleep.” Go ahead to where?, Rise first to where? Get caught up to where? Traditionally we have never thought any more about it than to say we are going up into the sky or we are going to heaven.

It is easy to understand when we say Adam fell or the Fall of Adam that we do not mean he literally fell out of a tree or he literally fell off a building. The fall was in his character, his nature, his relationship with God. He fell from obedience into disobedience. By the same measure, rising up or getting caught up does not mean we have to literally leave the earth. It means He is going to raise us up above the realm of fallen Adam. Adam fell from a realm of life into the realm of death. Jesus came into the realm of death and destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil (Heb.2:14) and is raising His body, the church, to immortality; and fashioning it like unto His glorious body.”

As we know, Adam was on the earth when he fell. Adam did not fall off the earth. He did leave a heavenly state for an earthly state – spiritually speaking. Thus, his fall was not literal but spiritual. Willhite carries the same analogy to the verse in Thessalonians. The catching up is not a literal but a spiritual catching up, even as Adam’s fall was a spiritual fall not a literal fall.

If the catching up were literal it would cause many problems. A man in Jerusalem could not be seen visibly from the USA. Yet, Scripture declares every eye shall see Him. Some have said Jesus will appear on television and people will see Him that way. Not every man in the world has a television. Truly, it was a spiritual fall and it is a spiritual catching up.

“Caught up”

The word “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4 is the Greek word “harpazo” which means “seize” or “to take to oneself.” This word is found only thirteen times in the New Testament and in the KJV it is translated: take it, catch away, take, catch, pluck, caught away, caught up and pulling out.

2 Corinthians 12:2-3 Paul writes about being caught up (harpazo). He clearly mentions that it was a spiritual experience. He did not know whether it was in or out of the body – but the body remained where it was. The catching up was not literal. Matthew 11:12 and 13:19 both use harpazo to mean that there was a spiritual action where the kingdom was “taken by force.” This is not a literal action because the word of God, which is “taken away” out of a person’s heart, is also spiritual. Twelve out of 13 times harpazo means a spiritual event. Only one time was it used with Philip and then he was transported to another location, not translated or removed from the earth.

Could “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians mean a physical removing? Chances are one in thirteen. Based upon the context of the verses in the first book of Thessalonians the answer should be no. Just as Adam “fell” spiritually, the “catching up” is a spiritual event. It is the means of “escape” as in 1 Corinthians 10:13 which is an escape into Christ’s nature and thereby salvation from the judgment.

“Coming” there are 4 words for it…

One of the words for “coming” in the Greek is “parousia.” Consistently, it is used with the idea of judgment. Judgment is not for saints; they have been judged already and now are reaping the rewards of a Christian life. The “parousia” speaks of judgment on the world. “Parousia” does not refer to a “rapture.” Rather it refers to the coming of the Lord.

The word “coming” in verse 15 is the Greek word “parousia.” It is used about seventeen times with the Lord. In actuality the word means “presence”. How often we have felt the Lord in a service. Did we not feel His presence or coming? It does not mean a literal, bodily expression of Christ. Rather the word “parousia” found in many locations in the Scriptures means a presence of the Lord different than what is normally conceived.

The Lord’s “presence” was seen in Noah’s day. But the Lord Himself did not appear. The Lord was seen in 70 A.D. in judgment also, but He did not physically appear. Yet, the presence of the Lord was seen in the result.

The parousia is found in Matthew 24 where it speaks of the Son of Man “coming” as in the days of Noah. We never did see Jesus in the days of Noah, did we? But the Scripture relates an analogy to that time. Thus, the coming in Noah’s day was a manifestation of judgment. We also showed that in 70 A.D. there was a “coming” of the Lord, not personally, but in a manifestation of judgment to Jerusalem which Matthew 24 calls “coming of the son of man” or the “parousia.”

The word “parousia” means “presence.” While some would, based on their own theological leanings, pre-determine that the word means the literal appearance of the Lord Jesus in bodily form, it is not necessarily interpreted that way. “Presence” can mean many things. As we saw in Noah’s day, the “presence” of the Lord was in a judgmental way and not in a personal appearance. Also in Matthew 24 we find the Lord’s “presence” via the Roman army destroying the enemy (Jews who were revolting at the time, see Josephus for details).

Here in Thessalonians we find the “parousia” is used again with the concept of judgment. “Those that are living” some translations state should be translated as those who “have survived” as in the sense of a battle. In fact, the verse reveals some have died and are asleep. This could mean that life was lost in terrible tribulation during the advent of the Lord. This is consistent with the use of “parousia” because the word’s usage in many cases ties in with troubles.

We cannot disannul the understanding also that the “shout,” “the archangels,” “the trumpet of God” all could refer to military terms. Many times in the Bible angels are used in warfare; the trumpet is used in the Pentateuch for warfare assembly, etc.

It is spiritual warfare when we throw down the “man of sin” who lives in the temple. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 it states that our body is the temple of God. The word there in the Greek is “naos” meaning your body. Whereas, “heiron” means a physical structure such as a literal building. In 2 Thessalonians 2:5 where it refers to the “man of sin” in the “temple” it does not mean a physical structure or building. The word there is “naos” meaning your body. The man of sin lives in your carnal Adamic nature.

This too would seem to support the spiritual warfare of casting down principalities and powers and ascending into the realm of life. As Adam fell out of heaven, spiritually speaking, so too we in Christ shall ascend and are ascending in the new creation man which we are. For we sit in heavenly places today with Christ Jesus.

John 14:12 states that Jesus must go “back to the Father.” Who was Jesus’ Father? John 4:21 reveals that God is a Spirit. God does not have flesh and bone. This is indicated in Matthew 16:17 and Luke 24:39 as Jesus compares Himself to God. 1 Timothy 1:17 states: “Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible….” This also tells us that God is invisible to the human eye.

Now then, if Jesus left (He was the first coming), how does He appear to us and is it just one more time or many appearances? Again as we look at John 14:17-18 Jesus states that if He leaves, the Spirit of Truth will come to the disciples. He goes on further to state that the Comforter (that Spirit of Truth) which is Himself as a Spirit, will come to them (vs. 18).

When did Jesus come? At Pentecost. The Greek word for spirit is “pneuma.” It is the same word that is used in the book of Acts used as “wind.” Jesus came and empowered the disciples. But He did more than that. Just as salvation (the feast of Passover, 1 Corinthians 5:8) is experiential, so also is Pentecost. These men had placed within their own vessel the “presence” or the “coming” of the Lord.

Clearly, 1 Corinthians 15:45 states that Jesus (last Adam) was made a “quickening Spirit.” The word “quickening” means to vivify, to make that which is dead alive. So, when these men received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were “quickened” or “made alive” by the Spirit, which possessed them. In other words the power of the resurrection, that resurrection life, which is spiritual life (Greek “zoe”, not the Greek “bios” which means natural life) had come within them to abide.

This too is a fulfillment of John 14:21-23. Where Jesus states that when He returns to the Father that the two of them shall make their abode in the person. Thus, heaven is not a literal place in the sense of religious tradition which indicates that heaven is the “sky,” but rather that heaven is found where God is, which is in you (Luke 17:21). “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). We cannot leave this thought without reviewing Ephesians 4:10 which states: “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, which is still a viable experience for all Christendom, is part of the fulfilling of Ephesians 4:10. Hopefully it is seen then that His coming, His presence, is a spiritual experience and we hope to show that the “parousia” is not a one-time event but an ongoing occurrence.

So far then we have discussed, albeit briefly, a “coming” of the Lord. The problem with most saints is that they fail to comprehend, due to religious teachings of the Babylonish church system, that we no longer know Christ after the flesh. When the name Jesus is said there is an immediate picture of a man about 33 years old in a robe. This is not Jesus. He has ascended and is a Spirit that has possessed His people at salvation (a coming), at Pentecost (a coming) and at Tabernacles (a coming). Paul admonishes us in 2 Corinthians 5:16: “Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet, now henceforth know we Him no more.”

How do we know Him then? 1 John 4:20 states that we see His coming as we see Him in another. For How can we love God whom we have not seen, if we cannot love our brother whom we have seen? Loving God is loving our neighbor for He is in them as John 1:9 states. The question is how do we see Him – as He was or as He is?

His coming is in His saints. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 states that He will be glorified “IN His saints.” John 14:20 states that He is IN us. That is how He is glorified – by His “coming,” His “presence” in us. There is no doubt of this for Revelation 21:3 states that “…the tabernacle of God is with men and He shall dwell (Greek: be at home, reside in,) with them.”

Because of traditional religious teaching which emphasizes external concepts of Christianity, many Christians have not appropriated the truth of Him who lives within. Thus, they have difficulty with delineation of the truths found in the scriptures. As an example, most saints mix up “IN His saints” and “WITH His saints” as being synonymous and both dealing with a “second” coming. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps to radically portray the coming of Christ, we should consider some verses, which show a coming of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4 reveals Christ coming as a “shout.” Jude 14 He comes with His saints. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 He comes in His saints. Matthew 16:27 states He comes with angels. Have you considered His coming as the Morning Star arising in your heart (1 Peter)? In Revelation He comes as the white horse. Matthew has the Son of Man appearing as lightning. The comings of the Lord are the manifestations of His presence – whether it be the whirlwind that Elijah saw, the donkey that Balaam heard speak or the angels that visited Abraham.

I do hope that as a diligent Berean, you will search the scriptures for yourself to verify these things mentioned thus far. For there are other words also used for the coming of the Lord. The nuances are important for each reveals a greater glory of God.

A Specific Coming – l John 2:28

Not only Jesus but also John the Baptist called the people of Israel unto repentance. John the Baptist stated the kingdom of heaven was at hand, as did Jesus (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). Jesus even told the disciples that the kingdom of God was at hand and that they should preach such as they traveled (Matthew 10:7). Jesus warned the people of a coming judgment (Matthew 11:20-24). All these verses point to a consummation soon to take place, but we know that it was not during the time of Jesus because it was “nigh” meaning close but some time off – not immediate.

Now in Matthew 12:38 – 45 we find Jesus warning “this generation.” He was talking to the Hebrews of the day and not some future generation since the time of judgment was “nigh.” The parable of the fig tree on the historical interpretation refers to Israel and it being cut off. Jesus even states in the parable of the tares that: “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man.” He is warning the people of the judgment to come.

In Matthew 10:23 Jesus tells His disciples when persecution comes to flee to another city, but that they shall not go over the cities until the Son of Man comes. Perhaps reading the following in conjunction will show that some of the disciples would be alive at His coming (Matthew 16:27, 28, Mark 8:38, 9:1, Luke 9:26,27). This means some of the disciples would have died before it occurs but that others would see the fulfillment of the “parousia” of the Lord.

Ultimately, the parable of the wicked husbandmen (Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19) refers in the historical sense to the Hebrews who were the leaders of the nation of Israel at the time of Christ. This parable seems to relate the destruction of Israel with the coming of the Lord (Matthew 16:27-28).

In 70 AD came the fall of Jerusalem. The Romans overthrew the Hebrew religious/political leaders. The Romans destroyed the temple and removed once and for all animal sacrifice for sin, which Jesus had removed spiritually at the cross. He would return again without need for sacrifice but to establish His kingdom scripture states.

The word “world” used in Matthew 24 refers to the whole chapter in the sense of “age” or dispensation and not the same as “world” as we use it today. Matthew 24 reveals Jesus talking in prophecy of the destruction of the temple (Matthew 24:1-2) and the judgment of that particular time, the end of the age.

It cannot be reiterated enough that “parousia” means “presence”, not a literal physical return of the Lord. Roman soldiers were the physical presence of the Lord that came in judgment on Israel of which some of the disciples were still alive to see.

The end of the age occurred with the judgment of Israel by the “parousia” of the Lord, just as the Lord sent the nation of Babylon to attack Judah and to come as His “presence” in judgment on the nation of Judah and lead the people into captivity.

The coming/parousia can be personal as in 1 Corinthians 16:17 but in most cases it speaks of a spiritual fulfillment. Or the parousia can take on a natural sense (2 Corinthians 7:7) when an individual comes. In 2 Corinthians this refers to the consolation that came with Titus. Perhaps we should put that in contrast with the judgment that came with the Romans.

What we are trying to proclaim is that the “presence” or “parousia” of the Lord is not limited to Jesus the man nor Christ Jesus our ascended Lord. In fact, the “parousia” could, with further elucidation, probably prove that there is no need for a physical return but rather that the “presence” of Him in a people is a type of “coming” of the Lord.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:10 ” ‘For his letters’, they say ‘are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence (Greek here, parousia) is weak.’” Here we find that the word “parousia” is used with the concept of “presence” and not really dealing with Paul’s small physical stature, although a factor, but rather dealing with the “power of the presence” that Paul brought. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that God “sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the “coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the “coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the “coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here again, the “presence” of the Lord is His coming to be glorified IN His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

2 Thessalonians 2:1 speaks of the parousia again. Here it is in relation to the Lord’s appearance in the temple (Greek – NAOS) which refers to the body as the temple (1 Corinthians 3:17). The word for physical structure in the Greek is heiron which means a building. So the coming of the Lord, the parousia is His appearing in the saint causing the man of sin in this chapter to be cast off – the fallen Adamic nature. For those with a historical frame of reference it could be used to tie into the “presence” of the Lord with the Roman emperor standing in the literal Hebrew temple thus defiling the physical temple, BUT this cannot be true since the word here for temple refers to your physical body and not a building.

The key to understanding “parousia” is that it refers to the invisible power of God being expressed through a vessel of His choosing, whether a saint or a pagan who is doing His bidding. The “parousia” does not refer to the literal manifestation of the man Jesus nor to our ascended Lord physically returning. It can and does refer to our Lord who appears in and through us for His glory.

John writes in 1 John that we may have confidence at His appearing/coming (1 John 2:28). Many would interpret that to be a personal return of the man Jesus. But if 1 John 4:20 is considered with this verse, as it should be since the letter is a “whole,” there is a deep truth. How can we love the ascended Lord who is Spirit, if we cannot love His appearing or “presence” in a person whom we do see? The truth of the “parousia” or “coming” of the Lord is the recognition of His “presence” in His people.

But the “parousia” is just the first part of four parts of His appearing that will be made manifest through each saint. The “parousia” is just the first step on the path to the complete manifestation of who He is in us. Again we see that Peter in 2 Peter 1:16 refers to the “coming” of the Lord to whom he was an eye-witness. How did Peter know the man Jesus was the Son of God? It was the presence of God that revealed it to him. Otherwise Jesus was not comely to look at as Isaiah foretold.

Recognizing the “coming” of the Lord as the “presence” of the Lord whether in a Roman general or a saint is to say that we see the hand of God moving over the face of the deep. For the Lord moves mysteriously to fulfill His purposes on a grand scale in the tides of the affairs of men and also in the individual’s life. Recognizing the “presence” of the Lord in one’s life is a prerequisite before the student can begin to study the second stage of the manifestation of the Lord.

There are three other words used for the coming of the Lord which are: apocalypse, epiphany and phanero. We shall consider the apocalypse as it relates to the fulfilling of the book of Revelation. After the “presence” of Christ in you is known experientially by the believer the next step is the awareness of the apocalypse “coming” of the Lord in your life which the book of Revelation discusses.

The Apocalypse

The first verse in the book of Revelation states: “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Greek word for the English “revelation” is “apocalypse.” This word is distinctly different from “presence.” It is first used by Simeon at Jesus’ dedication found in Luke 2:32. The translation would read: “A light ‘unveiled’ to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.” For the word “apocalypse” means the “unveiling” predominately.

Simeon was proclaiming that the Savior was now manifested, made visible, distinguished from all others, a complete revelation of the invisible God made visible to the world. Simeon’s prophecy proclaimed the completed manifestation of the Lord. What do we mean the completed manifestation, revelation? Just this, the fulfilling of 1 Corinthians 15:28. For the true “unveiling” of Christ Jesus is that in the fullness of time His victory on the cross over death will gather together all things whether in the earth, under the earth or above the earth (Ephesians 1:10, Philippians 2:10, Colossians 1:16-17).

The Gospels reveal a progressive revelation of Jesus Christ. The letters of the New Testament reveal the glorious ascended Lord who has descended into His people. Luke reveals the “man” side of Jesus where he states: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). The Lord’s path, planned from its inception, was designed to reveal to the world the fullness of God could be manifested in a man.

As the life of Jesus is our pattern to follow (1 Peter 2:21, Philippians 3:17), we find that what He did was to learn who He was until the time of His manifestation at the Jordan River. Every step of His life from birth until His appearance in ministry after being in the wilderness was designed by the Father to teach Him who He was.

It is important to note while the dedication revealed who Jesus was, it did not change the blindness of the people to who He was! For even though He was manifested then, He was not received but by a very few and those only knew by revelation from God. Consequently, when the saint comes to the third experience, the third feast of the faith, Tabernacles, the saint will know who he is for his identity is with Christ not with Adam and the sin nature. But the world, even other Christians, will not recognize his identity. The world did not recognize Jesus and the people of Israel, that household of the faith, did not know who He was either. For they looked on the outer and not the inner.

Perhaps another way to state the concept of unveiling is the usage of an affair that is currently done in the world today. When a famous artist or sculptor has finished his work it is transported to the location of the dedication and covered. On the appointed day people gather and with great anticipation strain to catch the first glimpse of this work of art as the curtain or veil is lifted off the piece of art. Thus, the people see a finished work and marvel at the piece and the handicraft of the artist.

You may have seen the Pieta sculptured by Michaelangelo. It is so magnificent. Smooth white marble I believe. Awe struck looking upon the piece it takes some time to begin to intimately discern the details like the curves, the eyes, the hands cradling the Lord, etc. Seeing the overview, the big picture overwhelms. Gradually, the details are seen when the “glare” of the first look is done. Michaelangelo had to see the Pieta in the rock before he could chisel the revelation.

Simeon proclaimed the “glare,” the overview, of the Lord. Luke and others proclaimed the outworking, the manifestation, the revealing of the Lord on the intimate daily basis. So, when we look at the book of Revelation we must realize that the first verse is announcing the complete unveiling of the Lord to all who would read its pages.

1 Peter 1:5-7 uses the word “apocalypse” twice and is generally translated as “revealing.” The apocalypse of Jesus Christ in these verses is the faith of the saint tried by fire. Christ was revealed in Daniel in the fire as the fourth man. This understanding also goes along with the book of Revelation in that the verses and chapters that follow 1:1 are designed to reveal the process which is necessary for the complete appreciation of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul writes in Galatians 1:12 that the word that he received did not come “from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation (apocalypse) of Jesus Christ.” Paul as Saul had studied for years and was well acquainted with the Old Testament. But he knew not God. It takes an unveiling, the scales removed from your carnal mind, to know spiritual things. Knowledge does not make you spiritual although it could help your spiritual walk.

In Galatians 1:16 the word “revealed” in the KJV is the Greek word “apocalypse.” So the translation could read: “When it pleased God to manifest in me…” or “appear in me….” The coming of the Lord is within a vessel during his lifetime. The apocalypse (The Revelation) is an allegorical book that is fulfilled within the individual.

The following reference study is quoted from J. Preston Eby: “The Greek word APOKALUPSIS is a derivative of APOKALUPTO. APOKALUPTO is a compound word composed of APO, meaning “off” or “away,” and KALUPTO, meaning “to cover up.” Thus APOKALUPSIS means to take the cover off, to uncover, unveil, reveal or disclose. It implies the drawing away or removal of everything that veils or hides, and therefore it is always opposed to concealment or secrecy, as in the following passage: “There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed (uncovered)” (Matt. 10:26). Our English word “revelation” has become for many a word that signifies a strange belief or some far-out doctrine, which should be handled as something delusive and dangerous, and avoided if possible. But this is just the opposite from the biblical meaning of the word, and the consideration we need to give to that which is revealed. That which is uncovered is no more a mystery, nor can it any longer be a threat. It is open to view, whether positive or negative, and can be considered without fear since it is no longer shrouded in darkness or mystery.

“In the following texts the word related to our Lord’s appearing is from either the Greek APOKALUPSIS or APOKALUPTO. “Even so shall it be in the day when the Son of man is REVEALED” (Lk. 17:30). “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be REVEALED in us” (Rom. 8:18). “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the COMING (unveiling; revealment) of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor.1:7). “To you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be REVEALED from heaven…in flaming fire…when He shall come to be glorified in His saints” (II Thessalonians 1:7-10). “That the trial of your faith…might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the APPEARING of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:7). “Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the REVELATION of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:13). “Rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be REVEALED, ye might be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4:13). “The REVELATION of Jesus Christ …” (Rev. 1:1). “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the MANIFESTATION (unveiling; revealment) of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19).

“Only by REVELATION, UNVEILING can we know the Christ of God or behold Him in His ineffable glory. When the light of the Holy Spirit shines in, the mists that have hung like a cloud over our minds, obscuring the King in His beauty, are cleared away. Then the realities which were once unseen become clearly visible and that which was once seen through a glass darkly is now seen face to face and that which was once known only in part is now known as we are known. The word “unveiling” is certainly the clearest possible translation of the word APOKALUPSIS. On the basis of this “unveiling” of our wonderful Christ, we may, then, expect the APOKALUPSIS to be understood not as a matter of His COMING, but merely of SEEING. It is not at all a question of our Lord making some change in location, as “coming” from high heaven back down into the atmosphere of this planet; it is, rather, the matter of Him who is already present with and within us becoming unveiled – uncovered disclosed, revealed in the power of the Holv Spirit that we may truly BEHOLD HIM in the fullness of Himself. It would be one thing for you to “feel a presence” in your room, but it would be something greater should that presence become visible, so that you SEE CLEARLY what was once veiled in obscurity.

“Since APOKALUPSIS means to reveal, or unveil, there must be something to unveil or which may be unveiled. That something must be Present or it cannot be unveiled; and it must be hidden from sight or it cannot be disclosed. Jesus is PRESENT and that He is hidden from sight of the natural eye because “the Lord is that Spirit.” We are now to find that His invisible presence, parousia is to be revealed, disclosed, uncovered, unveiled and that, too, to the whole world in due season. Are we looking for a so-called “second coming” of the Lord? Emphatically, we are NOT looking into the sky for such a thing BUT we most emphatically, are looking forward for the disclosure, uncovering, revealing of the Lord NOW PRESENT BUT HIDDEN in Spirit form. Truly the APOKALUPSIS of Jesus Christ is a yet future vision for the great mass of Christians as well as for the world, and to all of us there is yet much to be unveiled.

“We greatly rejoice…that the trial of your faith…might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing (apocalypse disclosure, uncovering, revelation, unveiling, manifestation) of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:6-7). Prayerful pondering of this scripture is all that is needed to grasp the meaning of the honor and glory that shall be ours, not in being caught up into the starry skies out of the trials which produce the honor and glory, nor in Jesus coming riding upon a cloud in the upper atmosphere, but when He is UNVEILED TO THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS MANY-MEMBERED BODY OF SAINTS bringing deliverance to the entire groaning creation through the manifestation of His grace, glory and power which shall yet bring a larger measure of life and immortality to light through the gospel.

“Again, “So that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming (apokalupsis) of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7). We are waiting for the marvelous apokalupsis, disclosure, unveiling of Jesus Christ that which transcends HIS GIFTS, wonderful as they are, as He manifests the fullness of the Son of God and His great, many-membered Christ body, but we are no longer gazing into the sky for His so-called “second coming” at some indefinite future date. Praise God, we are beholding the handiwork of our God on every hand today as He moves the nations like pawns on a chessboard in mighty preparation for the closing events of this age and the ushering in of the more glorious age to come.

The great Italian sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini, told of receiving a block of marble with one flaw. Because of this flaw, no artist would submit a design – except one. In the public square of Florence a fence was built around that piece of marble, and a little shack was erected for the artist. For two years the sculptor labored. Then on a certain day a vast multitude of the citizens of Florence assembled in the public square; the fence was torn down, and the shack was taken away. At this unveiling all of Florence beheld the result and marveled. Since then, Italy and all the world has marveled at Michelangelo’s “David”. In that block of marble was a statue; others did not see it, but Michelangelo did. And, precious friend of mine, in the lump of clay which is you, the almighty Father sees an image too – the image of Jesus Christ! And God is working unceasingly and tirelessly to form the image of His Son in you. No truth has come with more soul-gripping force and power to the elect of the Lord than the beautiful hope of sonship to God. Well indeed may we yield ourselves into the hands of heaven’s skilled sculptor that HE may form His Son in us, for the mind of omniscience has ordained that that sonship should be the HOPE OF ALL CREATION. It is for sonship that the whole creation groans in a sort of universal travail while it eagerly waits to see the glorious sight of the sons of God coming into their own (Rom. 8:22-23).” unquote

Revealing or Manifestation, which Coming?

The Hebrew-Greek Study Bible by Spiros Zodhiates and published by AMG Publishers of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has this to say in the Lexical Aids to the New Testament: “Phaneroo; to make manifest, make known…differs from apokalupto as ‘to exhibit’ differs from ‘to disclose,’ so that in relation to each other apokalupto must precede phaneroo. Apokalupto refers only to the object revealed, but phaneroo refers to those to whom the revelation is made.”

Remembering that apokalupto means revelation, the person, that called saint, the individual who is called and purposed of God to be conformed to His Image and be a son of God (Romans 8:19, Revelation 21:7), has revealed to himself/herself that God is appearing and revealing Himself in that person. It is a great revelation to know that God’s coming is occurring within you. The second word, apocalypse, has great meaning to the individual. It is personal and exciting to see God coming within yourself.

But that is neither the end result nor the end purpose. It is not a selfish thing that God is doing just for the individual. He is appearing within the vessel so that the individual will do the will of the Father and show forth God Himself within the person’s lifestyle, that is, the way that the person lives his daily life. No, the apocalypse is but a part of a larger plan – the restoration and restitution of all things (Acts 3:21).

“Phaneroo signifies also to make visible, to show, to make public” the Lexical Aid continues. The idea behind the word is that the saint has progressed in the Lord from knowing the Lord is within and enlarging His presence to the point that the world can now see the Lord in the saint. The Coming of the Lord is not Jesus, the man, returning. The Coming of the Lord is more than the ascended Lord returning. The real truth is the manifestation of the Lord in a people.

When the saints confronted the Jesuits and the Roman Catholic church and the false doctrine of that church system, they were made martyrs. When the martyrs were burned at the stake for their confrontation, there was a sound heard and sights were seen by the onlookers. Fox’s Book of Martyrs brings out how many were converted to faith in God by the manifestation of God in the ones martyred. The onlookers saw a manifestation of God, a ‘phaneroo.’

Jesus states in John 17:6: “I manifested (phaneroo) Thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world;” In other words, Jesus lived before the men the way God would live in a man. Jesus is stating that He slept like a godly man would sleep. He ate like a godly man would eat. He spoke as a godly man would speak. He expressed God to the men by what He did in every moment. As Jesus is our pattern, we are to follow in similar footsteps. We are to walk as He walked, speak as He spoke and live as He lived. This is a manifestation.

Paul reiterates the same thought in Titus that Jesus states in John 17. As the letter opens Paul greets the saints and ties in His relationship to the Lord based upon the manifestation of the Logos (verse 3, ‘word’ also the same used in John 1:1), Who was Jesus. Paul states: “but at the proper time manifested His word…” Paul is stating that God appeared in Paul’s proclamations to the unsaved he testified unto. God came out of Paul’s personal expression of the Christ life and people did not see Paul but God. Is your Christian walk able to bear such a testimony?

John, the beloved of the Lord, states in 1 John 1:2 “and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness…” Again, ‘phaneroo’ is used for manifestation. Eternal life was manifested in the flesh. Jesus made known the very life of God which goes beyond the natural plane although the life is visible via the natural plane. God who is a Spirit was seen, manifested, by and in Jesus. Thus, the manifestation has to do with the saint entering into a deep relationship with Christ, not a superficial one. To have your opinions considered ‘canon’ by God and included in the Bible is to have entered into that relationship, as Paul did.

1 John 3:5, 8 both used the word ‘phaneroo.’ The first verse states that Jesus appeared to take away the sin of the world. He is appearing within you to do the same! He did it when you received Him as your Savior and now He is doing it in your walk so that others might see Him and have their sin taken away. This is the priesthood of the believers (1 Peter 2:9) in action and why we have one Mediator, Christ and need no other.

The other verse states that He was manifested to destroy the works of the Devil. Jesus did that over 2,000 years ago on the cross and in the resurrection. But now, today, He is doing it within each of us. His Coming is to remove the works of the Devil within each of us so that He is manifested to all. His manifestation in us, as we are conformed to His Image, is so that others may see the victory over the Devil.

“By this the love of God is manifested (phaneroo) in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” Love is manifested in us? How? Because we live through Jesus Christ. Our identity is in Him. Our life is hid with God in Christ. It is a living vibrant reality that is experiential. Love is a fruit, a result of living in God. IT CANNOT BE STATED ENOUGH THAT THE ‘phaneroo’ EXPERIENCE IS A FRUIT OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THAT OTHERS SEE.

There are many other locations of this word, ‘phaneroo,’ but let me close with John 2:11 which states: “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” The purpose of the manifestation is for others to believe in Him, Jesus, the Lord of all. Is your life manifesting Him enough that others believe regularly and mature in Him?

The Epiphany

The last word found in the Greek for the Coming of the Lord is transliterated into the English as it is – epiphany. It means the ‘glorious appearing.’ It is used only by Paul in his writings. Epiphany needs to be understood in the light of the other three occurrences for Coming.

Parousia, means the presence. You have experienced that in your walk with God when you know He is with you. The apocalypse is the unveiling to you that He has come within you, much to your surprise and chagrin at times. Then there is the phaneroo or the ability for others to see Christ as you which many times leads the person unto salvation, a personal encounter with God. But the epiphany is the out-raying of the Lord, even as He was transfigured before the disciples.

Perhaps the most explosive manifestation of this word is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Here it reads: “…whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring an end by the appearance (epiphany) of His coming (parousia).” The man of sin, that fallen adamic nature within each person inherited from the fall of Adam, is dispersed by breath (Greek pneuma which means spirit) of God. Remember that Adam became a living soul when the breath of God entered him (Genesis 2:8). What this verse is stating is that God again is building a man – one in His nature by the removing of the fallen nature of man.

There is only one man of sin and he was found in you until you accepted Christ as your savior. He was slain by the glorious appearing of Jesus in you. Now the dust of the old nature is being swept out of your house by the Holy Spirit. The Coming (parousia) of the Lord, the presence of the Lord, within you brings an end of the old by being visibly seen (epiphany).

Another major location is 2 Timothy 1:10. It reads: “but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel.” Again we find two of the four words for coming used together – revealed, appearing. It cannot be stated clearly enough that these words work in conjunction with one another and are found experientially within the individual. The one, revealed, is phaneroo and the other appearing is epiphany. Thus, this means that one has been declared, been an expression of God which is what phaneroo implies and epiphany means to illuminate that truth, to shine it forth, to appear in such a manner that there is no doubt. Obviously this is used in reference to Christ. He destroyed death over 2,000 years ago and brought it to light by revealing in His body the glory of God. We too are called to reveal His glory (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

Paul goes on in Titus 2:13 to state: “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus.” Now our blessed hope is not heaven as many teach! But as Colossians 1:27 states: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It is the appearing, the epiphany of Christ in you that will change the world. When death is abolished in you (2 Timothy 1:10) and you know that you are fully alive in Christ in eternal life, living in that realm even though the body is in the natural realm, then and only then can you reveal Him. Then you can join with Paul and say “according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)”

The reason Paul wrote of this ‘epiphany’ and was the only one to use this word was because of the life that was percolating within him. He knew that the kingdom had come when He accepted Christ within Him. He saw the working of the Lord within him. He was bitten by a venomous snake and lived. The life of God in him swallowed up the death and turned it into life. The people called him a God (Acts 28) because no one survived that experience. He was left for dead twice. Yet, he was resurrected. Some may say that he didn’t die. But let me state that the Jews knew how to stone people to death because they did so regularly then at the bequest of the priesthood. Yet, Paul was raised. Raised by an external Jesus? Or was he raised by being one with the Lord within?

Paul and others had seen the out-raying of the glory of the Lord in their lives. They healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead. This is the Coming of the Lord that God seeks. That a person would allow the Lord to so deal with him/her that God is seen. Watchman Nee in his book, The Ministry of God’s Word, expresses how the fullness of God can be seen in the corporal body. But it takes a crucified life to do so.


Now, in reference to the word “clouds” which is used in first Thessalonians 4:17 there is some important information. Let me first quote Jude 12: “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water…” “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water…” “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water…” This is the same word used in Thessalonians. Jude refers to people as clouds.

Hebrews 12:1 states we are “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses..” “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses..” “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses..” This word “witnesses” in the Greek means: martyr, record, witness. The witnesses are people. Thus, when Paul is referring to “the cloud of witnesses,” he is talking about people. The word “cloud” within the context of Thessalonians has a spiritual meaning.

Yet, there is more truth here. Bennie Skinner uses the analogy of the school teacher and student. The teacher descends (out of her heaven, mind or understanding) to the level of the student (who resides on the earth level). The word (shout) that she brings (voice) to the student (saint) causes him to arise out of the realm of his understanding (earth) and ascend into the clouds (heaven) where the teacher is. The student is now educated and can converse with the teacher intelligently because both are on the same plane.

Revelation 1:7 states that: “He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” This does not mean a literal, physical, appearing of the man Jesus. If Jesus literally, physically returned to Jerusalem, you would not know it in China or the USA. You couldn’t see Him. I have had friends say all would see Him on the news (Television). Most people in the world do not have television and I know many fundamental Christians who do not even have that television in their homes because they consider it wicked.

But who are the “clouds”? Note that it is plural? The clouds are people, saints, who have entered into the same realm where He is. What realm is He in right now in 2000? God is a Spirit. The Son is a Spirit. Those clouds have entered, have been caught up into the realm where He is and are in a spiritual state, whether in the body or out – who knows. Jesus, the man, (to differentiate from the Pre-existent Christ and the ascended Lord) lived in heaven while He walked the earth. John 3:13 states: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in heaven.” He made a way that we can walk in also.

If we are in heavenly places in our walk, we find that heaven is a realm of life, and, as Paul says, the brethren encompass us about. The Lord has come and made His abode in us (John 14:23) and we find the kingdom of God is within (Luke 17:21). Paul writes in Galatians 1:16 that the Son was revealed in him and then goes on to say that it was no longer he that lived but Christ that lived in him (Galatians 2:20). This is living in a realm where you as an individual have had the ingathering (the feast of Tabernacles, the third experience – after Passover and Pentecost).

Paul states in Galatians that he was received as an angel, even as Christ Jesus (Galatians 4:14). Note that Christ Jesus is different from Jesus Christ. While we have a message on that, let me summarize that Jesus Christ refers to the man in Paul’s writing; whereas, Christ Jesus refers to the ascended Lord, after the resurrection and ascension. Thus, Paul is saying that he, Paul, resides in a heavenly place, a spiritual realm, set down in heavenly places with the Lord.

Heaven is not literal in the Scriptures. Neither is Hell. Both are spiritual places because God is a spirit. “Lo, though you make your bed in hell, I will be there with you”, Psalm 139:8 states. The Lord is there. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. If we are in heaven, the Lord is there. God is a spirit. It is a spiritual place. Another point is that the Lord’s Prayer states that heaven is going to be established where? On the earth. It has to be a spiritual realm for it to be established on the earth.


Consider for a moment the word “voice” in 4:16 of 1 Thessalonians. In Revelation 1:13 it states “one like unto the Son of Man.” The chapter then goes on to describe this man who is like the Son of Man, and what his appearance is like. The key is the word “like.” It is not talking about Jesus here, but rather the church, the corporate body of Christ, which has been conformed to His image.

We have mentioned this so that we could discuss Revelation 1:15 which describes the one “like” the Son of Man, but before we do, it is a great study in the Bible to look at the word “like” and see it in many verses. Verse 15 states “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

The key to note is that voice is singular. One voice speaks of the unity of the message, the wholeness of the word that is spoken, the very expression of the Father of lights. The sound is as many waters. Isaiah 17:12 states in the New King James: “Woe to the multitude of many people who make a noise (voice?) like the roar of the sea.” The parentheses are added. Revelation 17:15 states that water represents people, nations, tongues etc.

The word “voice” is the message proclaimed by many waters or people. Consider reading some other verses and meditate on them that the Lord would also reveal some hidden things: Jeremiah 51:16, 55; Ezekiel 1:24, 43:2; Revelation 14:2,19:6.

What About Angels?

This “voice” is the voice of an archangel, since the word “voice” speaks of a message, a word, delivered by many waters or people and is brought out of the “archangel.” The “voice of the archangel” is symbolical and not literal. The “voice of the archangel” is not speaking of one but of a corporate act with one sound coming from the very Holy of Holies, descending out of heaven, which is not the literal sky but out of where God has His throne – in you and in others. The Christ in you is the sound of many waters declaring a word from the throne.

In Ezekiel we find that the Cherubim, who minister only from the Holy of Holies, are archangels. The voice of the archangel comes from the very throne of God. The key is to understand that the archangel is not a winged creature in a white robe with a halo over its head. Jesus ministered out of the throne of God and was a man. We are called to be in His image and to do the same thing.

There are many Scriptures which show that angels are men. Revelation 21:7 and Galatians 4:14 are two accounts. But also there are other locations. An angel comes from the Greek meaning a messenger of good news. Many of the traditional visual expressions of angels are erroneous.

Even the teaching that is typically presented by the denominational churches concerning Lucifer, the angel, is quite misleading. Lucifer was a man – and an angel. Isaiah 14:12 states that Lucifer, a word found only once in the Bible, which is not a name as the KJV makes it, means “light bearer” in the Hebrew. Adam as Luke 3:38 brings out was a son of God. Adam was a light bearer, even as we are the children of light also (1 Thessalonians 5:5, Luke 16:8, John 8:12) when we are in Christ Jesus. Conformed to the image of Jesus we become as He is – light. Adam was in light but lost the light. As for our booklet on Satan.

But it goes further than that. Ezekiel 28:2 (see also Isaiah 14:16), which is another chapter that is often used to show Lucifer is Satan, is not quite an accurate truth either. For verse two states that this person is a “man” and as we know from Scripture that Satan is a spirit and not a man

Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He fakes it because he never was and never could be. John 8:44 states Satan was a murderer from the beginning. He had no good qualities, and as the verse says there was no truth in him. The word “beginning” means exactly that. God states in Isaiah 45:7 that He creates evil. Satan was created by God for a purpose in the beginning. The purpose was good but the function was evil. Isaiah 54:16 states that God created the spoiler to destroy.

Adam was created in the image of God. He was good from the beginning but fell due to being subject to vanity unwillingly (Romans 8:18-19). Adam was full of light. He was light bearer. Note also that the Scripture states that the “light bearer” was a cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). Cherubim are a positive image. NEVER are they in any way described in the negative or used for evil purposes. The importance here is that the cherubim are found around the throne of God and are living creatures not creatures of death.

Adam was called to be the revelation of the Lord in the earth until he forsook that place and descended. Satan never was the “light-bearer” which Lucifer means. Satan was always darkness and had no life in him, as is seen even in the Genesis account where Satan attacks Adam, the light bearer. Satan was already evil then in Genesis 3. Whereas, Adam, the light-bearer was in God’s image but lost the light and began living in darkness at that point.

The Amplified Bible translates Isaiah 14:12 as follows: “How are you fallen from heaven, lightbearer and day star, son of the morning”How are you fallen from heaven, lightbearer and day star, son of the morning.” As we know Jesus was the Day Star (2 Peter 1:19) and here is a reference to how “Lucifer” (light-bearer) is a day star.

Also the truth that is important is that Adam was a cherub who lost his state and God is changing us from death and an earthly existence to life and a heavenly one. This change, which is in the process, is to establish us as cherubim. This truth is so great that the world will rejoice at the manifestation of Christ Jesus in a new creation man. He has called us through His Son to bear His image, be handwritten epistles made manifest to creation so that creation might be released from the bondage of corruption. Our duty is to be angels – which in the Greek means nothing more than messengers with good news.

The voice of the archangel is a message proclaimed by a group conformed to the image of the Son of God. The word that they proclaim is singular, inspired and brings deliverance and judgment at the same time. It is one word, a clear distinct sound and each proclaim the same message out of their vessel. It is a word that comes with total purity from the very throne of God. It is a word proclaimed by men, who having died to the self nature reveal the nature of the Father, a heavenly nature and thus become angels, divine messengers sent to deliver an earth filled with havoc. Write for our book on angels.

Descend from Heaven

“Will descend from heaven.” The typical teaching is that heaven is a literal place. Unfortunately, this is not so. Heaven is a spiritual place, not a literal place in the sense of the “sky” or perhaps the “universe” etc. Jesus stated in John 14:23 the following: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” The Goodspeed states: “come to him and live with him.” The Amplified Bible states: “…to make our (abode, special dwelling place) with him.”

This scripture must also relate to 1 John 2:24 which states: “…If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, you also abide in the Son and in the Father.” Heaven is not an altitude. “The Lord, Himself, will descend” implies, as some scholars indicate, not the man Jesus coming but God manifesting Himself. How will He come? Romans 8:19 states He will come in the “sons of God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 states He will be “glorified in His saints.”

He will descend out of heaven. Jesus walked the earth but lived in heaven! He did nothing save what He saw His Father do (John 5:19) or say (John 5:30). The kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21). On the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus was changed before the disciples. In fact the Wuest translation of transfiguration (Greek word “metamorphoses”) states “the manner of His outward expression was changed before them, that expression coming from and being representative of His inner being.” Heaven was made manifest on the earth. Adam was made of the earth, was he not (Genesis 2:7)? Jesus, made in the similitude of man (earth), revealed heaven (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

The descent of the Lord in Jesus came when on the mount, His inner nature was expressed through his outer appearance. He descended from the realm He was living in, a spiritual place, and manifested the life of the eternal on the outerman. The descent of the Lord will be from your spiritual place, heaven, which is in you and will be made manifest out of you.

The descent of the Lord is from heaven, and the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Revelation 21:11). But this verse clearly states that the New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of God (Revelation 21:9). It is not a literal city. It is a spiritual realm. The soul is generally feminine in the Scriptures. The Spirit is masculine. The “psuche” or mind is the soul. Adam was a living soul until he sinned. Any soul that sins dies (Ezekiel 18:4). This is the reason for the need for atonement. Jesus offered His soul (Isaiah 53:10) for atonement. Now we are to have the mind of Christ. When the saint has the mind of Christ, that city which represents government will govern and be seen in the body of the individual as the fruits of the Spirit are manifested through the vessel.

The Good News of the Third Experience

This entire booklet is endeavoring to bring out the truth of being spiritually “caught up” while still walking physically on the earth. The rapture is not a literal, physical catching away but an experience that is internal. Just as Paul’s was. It is a place, a realm, in which the person dwells.

The catching up is a return to the spiritual place and relationship that Adam had before the fall. He fell from the location, not literally but spiritually. He lost the relationship with the Lord. Jesus broke down the partition so that we might again have access to the Father. We are ascending in Him. The third experience which follows Pentecost and Passover provides the means to live above the battles on the earth.

Christ in you is your deliverance. Not just having Him within in the Passover experience nor in the Pentecostal but in the Tabernacles experience. Many evangelicals will speak of the “saving” experience. Some will speak of the “baptism of the Spirit” (speaking in tongues etc). You must have the two experiences to experience the third. This is the catching up – 2 Corinthians 12:2.

The third experience is when the saint is birthed into a realm where there is no contention with the devil. Oh, there are still trials, even the Lord our pattern was tried/tempted by the devil. But what we speak of is a realm where the devil can find nothing in you (John 14:30). There is no contention because you reside in Christ and know where you are going. Nothing can remove you out of the third heavens. Those in Pentecost or Passover might say that this is not possible, but there are those who believe and who now live in such a realm as our Pattern did. The devil can only touch that person who has something in him left to touch. There was nothing in Jesus. If we remain in Christ and not in Adam we too can overcome the world. The new creation man cannot sin, only Adam can and Adam, as Romans brings out, is dead. We just have to reckon ourselves dead to sin and Adam and live as being alive in Christ.

Paul experienced the third heavens in 2 Corinthians 12. The purpose of the experience is to establish the individual in a realm in order to withstand any trial whether it be in the fiery furnace of Daniel’s three friends, or the literal death of the cross of Jesus. The third experience is a realm of life which is above the natural plane. The historical theology and the futuristic theology do not address this, nor can they. As you the reader, have experienced Salvation in a personal encounter with Jesus Christ the Lord or perhaps you have also experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, each experience is unique and important to the Christian. The third experience is just as important and valid.

Each group of three is mentioned in the Bible. There is no reason for contention that the first, Passover or as some call it salvation, is a definite experience in one’s walk in God. Some would contend that the second experience is not valid, while verifying the first. So, fewer people have experienced the second, Pentecost or as some call it the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Even a smaller group will proclaim the feast of Tabernacles as an experience. Generally, those in Passover and Pentecost will contend that there is not a third spiritual experience, failing to realize that if the first and second are real and accurate, God’s word indicates the third is real too.

Below are some comparisons based on Scriptures.

Passover Pentecost Tabernacles

Jesus Holy Spirit Father

Way Truth Life

Spirit Soul Body

Heart Soul Might

30 fold 60 fold 100 fold

Blood on Leper Oil on Leper Vial on Leper

1st Day 2nd Day 3rd Day

Birthright Blessing Inheritance

Faith Hope Love

Red Sea Rock of Christ Promised Land

Outer Court Holy Place Holy of Holies

Psalms Hymns Spiritual Song

Blood Water Spirit

Baptism of Water Baptism of Spirit Baptism of Fire

Historical School, Futuristic School or a Spiritual Interpretation?

The historical school holds to the position that what the futuristic school believes is erroneous. It is not surprising that the futuristic school feels that the historical position is untenable. These two divergent philosophies will contend until the end. While one of these is probably correct, neither is truly important. Both focus on the natural interpretation, which is incorrect. Both focus on the literal interpretation which is incorrect.

Any theology that is true on the natural, literal or historical plane of understanding has merit. Yet, the real truth is often on a spiritual plane, which may or may not coincide with the natural, literal or even historical point of view. The real key to spiritual life for an individual is not to focus one’s attention to the “outer” view but rather to focus on the “inner” meaning.

The real truth lies within the individual. As long as theology is externalized, the accountability of the individual is absent. As long as theology points to someone else’s actions rather than the individual’s actions, it fails to hold the individual accountable. Corruption in the world is a horrible thing. The corruption in government is a direct result of people receiving the leaders they deserve. Isaiah 26:9 states that when God’s judgments are in the world people learn righteousness. God brings judgments because the wicked still do unjustly during times of righteousness (Isaiah 26:10). Romans 13:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 suggest that people reap the leadership that they deserve. Corruption in government comes from corruption in the people, and corruption in the people comes from corruption in the family, and corruption in the family comes from corruption in the parents, and corruption in the parents comes from a corrupt man or woman – individual responsibility.

Theology which is directed to an ambiguous, nebulous “something” is not well founded. If the historical school of theology is verifiably correct, then the next step is to look for a spiritual fulfillment. If the futuristic school is correct, then we must today look for a spiritual fulfillment before the natural fulfillment occurs because the spiritual fulfillment in people will cause the natural fulfillment. Either way, either theology hinges on a spiritual fulfillment.

Jesus stated that the kingdom of God is within (Luke 17:21). He also called Peter “Satan” at one time, meaning that the kingdom of the world is found within also. Spirituality causes truth to be seen in the natural and by that is meant within the individual person. The man of sin is found within. The man of God is manifested from within the vessel even as the Father was manifested through Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration. Both the historical and futuristic schools of theology are failures. Each lacks discernment of the real truth. They fail because the individual is not held accountable and natural interpretations are given to spiritual truths.

Some Concluding Thoughts

Depending on your point of view, the Second Coming has already occurred (historical theology) or is to occur (futuristic theology). The man of sin has already come (historical school) or is to come (futuristic school). Some say there is no rapture (historical school) others believe there is a secret rapture (futuristic school).

The failure of both schools is that the Christian becomes so caught up in the leaving of this literal earth that living the crucified life here is not done. By crucified life I do not mean physical hardships, mental duress etc. I do mean the removal of the man of sin in oneself and the revelation of the Son. That is true evangelism. People came to Jesus because He revealed what they longed for and did not have.

The “apocalypse” is another Greek word which is translated “coming” in the KJV. It is different from parousia which we have discussed and speaks of a literal manifestation in the flesh. It is not used with the return of the Lord. It is used in Romans 8:19 and Revelation 1:1.

Dealing with Revelation 1:1 first, we see that the whole book of Revelation is actually a revelation of the Lord – not a revelation of the antichrist, the dragon etc. Yet, these things are mentioned along with the lake of fire, manchild etc. If all those “evil” things are part of the revelation of the Lord, how could it be so? As the Lord ascends in a people, His saints, He causes all the corruption in them to come forth and be dealt with. Every facet of your life that is not in alignment with the Lord’s nature will be dealt with. As each facet of your carnal nature is revealed – whether it be religious, carnal or fleshly lusts – the Lord in you removes it. He comes. This is His coming IN a body (see 2 Thess.. 1:10) and He becomes greater and greater in you.

The world groans for the manifestation of the sons of God – Romans 8:19. These are those who have been conformed to His image, living epistles, handwritten by the Holy Spirit. These are those who have gone deeper than the experience of salvation/Passover. These are those who have gone yet deeper than the Baptism of the Holy Spirit/Pentecost. They have entered into the ingathering/Tabernacles. Their identity is hid with God (Galatians 2:20).

They have slain the dragon. He no longer resides in their heavens. He has been cast down. The man of sin has been removed because they have made their eye one. A double minded man (carnal and spiritual) is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). Their mind is one, their eye is clear for they realize that the work of God in them has caused them to be in His image.

The catching up to be with the Lord is a spiritual experience that can occur during the lifetime of the individual. True, Paul and the others were writing about literal things which would occur. But more than that Paul was writing a spiritual word. A literal interpretation, a natural fulfillment was not what Paul was concerned about. This was his concern:

“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” Galatians 4:18

The concern of this ministry is that religion has caused division among the saints based upon dogma that has nothing to do with the Christian life. When the real focus should be found in the development of the nature of our Lord within the person.

At least the historical school considers things “done” and then allows the saint to focus on developing his/her personal walk and revelation of the Lord within. The futuristic school is an escape mentality that puts off until the future the full development of the revelation of the Lord in a person.

“Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7

When the people cried for a king, Samuel gave them Saul so that they could be like other worldly governments. The people rejected the Lord as King in a theocracy for something far less. Religious doctrine substantially removes from the saint the deep development of a personal relationship today with God. Right religious doctrine becomes predominate over right relationship (kingdom developed within).

God speaks daily to those who hear. God is raising up some “sons” (little “s”) of God. These are people who are willing to remove their false theologies, their idols, precluded ideas, to worship the unknown God (Acts 17:23) – the god the religious man does not know.

1 Samuel 8:7
When the people cried for a king, Samuel gave them Saul so that they could be like other worldly governments. The people rejected the Lord as King in a theocracy for something far less. Religious doctrine substantially removes from the saint the deep development of a personal relationship today with God. Right religious doctrine becomes predominate over right relationship (kingdom developed within).

God speaks daily to those who hear. God is raising up some “sons” (little “s”) of God. These are people who are willing to remove their false theologies, their idols, precluded ideas, to worship the unknown God (Acts 17:23) – the god the religious man does not know.


Biblical Apocalyptics, Milton Terry, 1988 Baker Book House Grand

Rapids Mi. 512 pages

The Bible Verses Millennial Teaching, Rev. George C Lubbers, 1989

2274 Cranbrook Dr NE Grand Rapids, Mi,

Dissertations on the Prophecies, Bishop Thomas Newton, 1754

B.Baker 13 Bell Yard London, 730 pages, resourced pages 69

He is Coming with Clouds, Bennie Skinner, 1980(?), W.Palm Beach


The Incredible Cover-up, David MacPherson, 1980, Omega Publications Medford Oregon,

Memoirs of James and George MacDonald of Port Glasgow, Robert

Norton, 1840

The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching, John Bray

Lakeland Fl.

The Parousia, by J. Stuart Russell, 1887 Baker Book House

Grand Rapids, Mi.

The Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem by N.Nisbett, 1787,

Simmons and Kirby London England

Rapture, Taking a Second Look, LLoyd Willhite, 1980, Porter, Oklahoma

The Rapture of the Saints, Dunce McDougall 1962, printed in Canada

The Rapture What is It? Bill Britton 1970(?) Springfield, Mo.

The Rapture of the Wicked, Stephen Jones, Batesville, Ark 72503

The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets: In the Catholic Apostolic Church, Robert Norton 1861

The Second Coming of Christ, William Blessing, 1981 Denver, Co.

Story of the Christian Church, Jesse Hurlburt, Zondervan, Grand

Rapids, Mi.

Taken or Left, Maranatha Ministries 1975 Warsaw, In.

Two Babylons – Papal Worship, Alexander Hislop, 1959 Loizeaux

Brothers Publishing Co

Weston Study Bible, Charles. G Weston, 1993, Jefferson, OR 97352

What the Bible Says About the Great Tribulation, William Kimball, 1983 Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.

With Clouds, Cecil DuCille, 1976(?) Ft. Lauderdale Florida

Who Said Rapture, David Ebaugh, 1979(?),Harrisburg, Pa

Bibles used:

Rotherham Bible, Campanion Bible, Moffat Bible, NKJV, KJV, Hebrew-Greek Study Bible,

Fenton Bible, Cassiers New Testament, Weston Study Bible, Amplified Bible

Send mail to ministry@notibutchrist.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2000 Not I But Christ Ministries

217 thoughts on “Rapture? Rubbish! Part 3

  1. Interesting read that I’ll have to do again without one ear on the television. Great reading about the different viewpoints throughout history and I find the mid 19th century US church history especially fascinating. With all the end times fervor you see the beginnings of the Mormons and SDA etc. People were convinced then that they really were in the very last days – way past the 11th hour.

    This article argues against the literal interpretation of many words which sounds plausible in many cases. Unfortunately for most of us – and not only Christians but the average Joe who is getting older or who loses someone, he also doesn’t think heaven is literal.

    The man in the street still likes to believe that after he dies he will “go” somewhere and meet with others who have gone before.

    So is there a literal hope for the Christian or is everything just talking about our daily lives here on earth and our “spiritual” struggles and victories.

    And then of course – what does “spirit” mean.

    Great post -especially since there was a lot in there that Greg himself would have problems with.

    Signposts is like an online bible college tutorial these days..

  2. @Q

    “there was a lot in there that Greg himself would have problems with.”

    Greg is a [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]and a follower of [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]. Be very careful of anything he says Q. He is here to [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]. Here’s the proof, from his own mouth:

    [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]

  3. @Greg

    “You’re a fool Roundhouse, a fool.”

    And you’re a [Deleted by editor for legal reasons] Greg, a [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]

    Here’s the proof from your own mouth: [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]

    I wonder what your [Deleted by editor for legal reasons] will think of this?

  4. [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]Church [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]Roundhouse – ring [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]and [Deleted by editor for legal reasons].

  5. Roundhouse, are you threatening me? Because if so you are on tenuous legal grounding and if you threaten my employment I will take you to court. You are easily locatred by your I.P adress which I have from each of your comments…so my suggestion is you tread carefully my friend adn do;nt overstep the boundaries of what we are doing here – this is all a bit of fun and we all say things…I was joking – wanting to get a reaction, and I got it – but you are now carrying on like a lunatic and I do not apprecaite the threats, especially where my employment is concerned.

  6. @Greg

    Don’t concern yourself. It’s not in me to do something like that. Regardless of who you are and what your beliefs are, your church and your job are your own affairs.

  7. Good – carry on here like a dickhead all you like, but take it into the real world and that’s a totally different kettle of fish.

  8. @Greg

    “take it into the real world and that’s a totally different kettle of fish.”

    On this both you and I agree. As I said, it’s not in me to do anything like that. From what I understand, the bounds of anonymity were broken with the previous administrator of this blog and he had to leave. I went back into the archives and read all of the posts in that particular thread, and its was all quite scary. You can think that you are free to post whatever you like, yet, sometimes it can all come crashing down like it did for [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]. So, as much as I was shocked to read your admission, none of that is worth repeating for you what [Deleted by editor for legal reasons]went through.

  9. This is the last time I’m going to say it – it WAS NOT AN ADMISSION – it was a joke joyce!

  10. Yeah when people start threatening you, you see where their heart is and theyve lost whatever credibility they had. Which in this case wasnt much. Part of the fundamentalists believe like me or else.

    Id like to get a court of law to judge on the rapture and especially prosperity doctrine.

  11. @Bones

    “Id like to get a court of law to judge on the rapture and especially prosperity doctrine.”

    A court of law judges upon evidence. The evidence in scripture and in ancient teaching is clear. You’d lose.

  12. Only if the jury were mindless fundamentalists. Any sane human being would look at the evidence and say naah.

  13. uh, I guess the rapture discussion is over….

    So …uh ….anyone see any good movies recently?

    man, I’m slipping. I only just noticed the “tolerance” joke!

    A court of law to judge on rapture and prosperity? That outcome would depend on the judges.

  14. The rapture discussion is over for Bones and Greg. They have no answers to truth, so they make them up as they go along.

    The heading on this and two other posts is provocative. This is generally Greg’s way. Then there is a stir when he is called out on it, although he did handle his Mormon gaffe quite well. Bones was completely stymied by the Mormon gaffe and actually swallowed the error, which says a lot.

    I find the lack of tolerance on this thread intolerable.

    Fortunately I missed the now moderated conversation, so maybe there were things said which should not have been said in Christian circles. Greg thinks it was a joke. Maybe, but Roundhouse obviously didn’t see it that way. It happens. Sometimes jokes can backfire, it seems.

    I also think tolerance is overrated, so I’m more interested in peacemaking, long-suffering, forgiveness and mercy, which are Biblical concepts which actually work.

    God has a standard which seems to eliminate tolerance somewhat:

    Mark 11
    25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
    26 “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    So, unless we forgive one another He will not forgive us. That means God doesn’t tolerate unforgiveness.

  15. Go directly to heaven, ascend on high, do not pass go, sinless Mother of God, born immaculate, eternal virgin, higher than heaven, mother god of all, the rapture of the mediatrix!

  16. Is that all youve got. At least most of the mary doctrine is well over 1800 years old and based on christology. Your mates jerome and ephraem were right into that.

    It seems even the rapture was too nutty a belief for them.

  17. I’ve asked you questions on part three of this series, and also given an extensive introduction to a question on the resurrection by Q.

    Is that all youve [sic] got.

    Well, clearly not, since I’ve already approached this on the other thread at part 3.

    And no, I have plenty more for you, but, hitherto, you have massively avoided a reasonable, civil, Bible based, insult free discussion.

  18. Bones,
    At least most of the mary doctrine is well over 1800 years old and based on christology.

    If you believe that you really are in trouble.

  19. Mary had as much chance of being taken up to heaven as elijah.

    Theres no catholics here for you to beat up and make yourself feel good.

  20. OK then!

    It’s a shame a potentially interesting discussion on such an important subject is thwarted by such a bad tempered attitude.

    I have tried to raise some relevant scriptural discussion, post interesting subjects, ask important questions, comment in a mature way, and deflect much of the insulting jargon aimed at me, but this is beginning to become ridiculous, and is starting to become reflective of the approach of some commenters.

    I’ll let you go for now, Bones, and stop troubling you with my quest for a civil, Biblical discussion.

  21. Steve – even the Mormons have some truth with which to bait their hooks – the question we ought ask ourselves is what bait will we, or do we rise to?

    Unless you have a personal revelation of ANY TRUTH, it is merely information to be contemplated, debated and discussed. Until the Lord quickens it to you it is dead, and the fruit of the tree of knowledge is SPIRITUALLY DEATH.

    Those who are disloyal to the Covenant of Christ, the Law of Love, are cut off – they are worse than an unbeliever – they are not “unsaved”, they are rather “Dead in Christ” – imprisoned in disobedience, for all died in Him so that all may be made alive in Him – alive in Christ – your ‘name’ in the ledger of the living (I know of your works, that you have a name).

    What you really have to ask yourselves, as we all do, is am I really serving God or just playing at being religious, like a Mormon, JW, SDA, or nominal, even denominational Xian?

    In ’87, just prior to my extrication from Babylon began, (can you really be a true believer if you are not a B-leaver?) The Lord gave me a song. He told me it was my song but those I have sung it for seem to really tune in too. It goes like this.

    Come to me my children, come sit at my feet,
    Come to me my children, the waters are so sweet,
    Come to me my children, and I will give you rest,
    Come to me my children, it’s in me you are blessed.

    Young Mary she came, and sat down at my feet,
    She knew where the waters were cool and clear and sweet,
    The water of My Word, the Word of which she’d heard,
    This is the only Way, that you are made complete.

    So rest in me, I Am that I Am,
    rest in me, I am that I am,
    Cease from striving, works, conniving,
    Trying hard and just surviving…

    Come to me my children, come sit at my feet,
    Come to me my children, the waters are so sweet,
    Come to me my children, and I will give your rest,
    Come to me my children, its in me you are blessed…0(:->)

    By the way, when God granted me the revelation about who the dead in Christ were, I ran it past Aramaic scholar Victor Alexander who confirmed it. Any other Aramaic scholars out there care to comment? You cannot cut and paste this stuff, you have to get it from heaven. But if your name is not in the Ledger of Life, then you are cut off and without God, you are in the world, and you will sow to the flesh and you shall reap through the labor pains of the flesh – but if you sow to the Spirit, you shall reap the everlasting Life of the Spirit – you will be MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST!

    Shalom and selah!

  22. Ian, I really liked that post (b-leaver included) except for this.

    “Unless you have a personal revelation of ANY TRUTH, it is merely information to be contemplated, debated and discussed.”

  23. “Dead in Christ”


    Question: “Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?”

    Answer: Before identifying the “dead in Christ,” we should note the context in which this phrase is found. The immediate context is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which deals with the question of what will happen at the return of the Lord Jesus. Paul’s readers were concerned that when Christ returns, those who have died prior to then would somehow miss out. The primary purpose of this passage is to comfort those believers who have lost believing loved ones.

    The message of this passage is a message of hope. Christians have hope that unbelievers do not have when they lose loved ones. There is hope beyond the grave for Christians, and part of that hope is at the return of Christ, those who have already died “will rise first.” After that, Christians who are still alive will be transformed. Both groups will be “caught up” and will meet the Lord in the air. Paul closes this section with an admonition to encourage others with this hope.

    In this passage, Paul uses the common euphemism of sleep to refer to those who have died in Christ, i.e., believers. Paul wants to comfort his readers that those Christians who have died prior to the return of Christ will not miss out on anything. That is why he opens this section by saying, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (v. 13).

    So to answer the question, the dead in Christ are those believers who have died prior to the second coming of Christ. (Note, whether 1 Thessalonians 4 is referring to the second coming or the rapture is a matter of debate). Believers, whether dead or alive, belong to Christ. We get similar language from the Apostle in his first letter to the Corinthians when he writes, “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:23). The dead in Christ applies not only to Paul’s original audience, but to all believers who have died in what can be termed the “inter-advental” period, or the time between the first and second comings of Christ.

    Another question that may come up in this context is what happens to believers when they die? Certainly Paul uses sleep to refer to their state, but does this mean that believers experience (for lack of a better word) an unconscious sleep-like state until the future resurrection? Those who advocate this position, called soul sleep, base it on passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. But it should be noted that “sleep” as used here is euphemistic. It is not meant to convey actual sleep. In fact, the experience of the believer after death and before the end of the age when Christ returns is conscious, blissful communion with the Lord. Paul hints at this in verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Philippians 1:23.

    At death, the body lies in repose in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the last day, but the soul goes to be at home with the Lord. This is the doctrine of the intermediate state. Believers experience in a provisional sense the rewards that await them in heaven, while unbelievers experience a taste of their eternal torment in hell (Luke 16:19-31).

  24. “At least most of the mary doctrine is well over 1800 years old and based on christology. ”

    Anyone else notice that Bones doesn’t accept any orthodox teaching from the last 2000 years…..unless it suits him, in which case he embraces it enthusiastically.

  25. All died in Jesus Christ, all were raised in Him. Period. You are either alive in him or dead in him – but while on this planet, we are all prisoners of Christ, all consigned to disobedience.

    Suffering in eternal hell? How long do I have to put up with you people? Oops, that’s right, I used to believe (and preach) that garbage too.

    Q, God has to make the Word come alive – it has to be a personal revelation – a living word. If you have received sound instruction and it witnesses with you as a revelation that is all well and good, but a lot of stuff just sounds like revelation. My own personal experience is that virtually every revelation I have received has been to undo the twisted works of the devil I picked up in Churches or from Christians – in other words you need to have to revealed to you for you – you need not that nay should teach you – no longer should we be teaching one another to know the Lord – this is a vanity – for all should know Him from the least to the greatest – they just don’t realize it yet and become reliant on the Nicolaitans instead of eating from their own storehouse and drinking from their own well.

    13. I wish that you should know, brethren, that regarding those who repose [in Christ,] do not cry for them like they were people with no Hope.
    (Now why would those who repose in Christ cause others to cry for them as if they had no hope?)
    14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, likewise God will bring along those who repose in Jesus together with Him.
    15. This we tell you through the Manifestation of our Lord, that those of us who are raptured at our Lord’s coming, those that are living [at that time,] will not be separated from those who repose [in Christ.] (will not be considered any differently)
    16. Because our Lord by His command and through the voice of the archangel* and by the trumpet* of God that descends from heaven, [shall command that] those who died in Christ to rise beforehand.
    17. And then those of us who are living at that time, shall be raptured together with them and be lifted in the clouds as one body and we shall preside with our Lord in the air. And we shall be thus with our Lord in every season.
    18. Be like this then, uplifting each other’s heart by such words.

    You would probably understand why they would cry as if they had no hope if you understood what Jews believe about the cleansing of Gehenna and prayers for the dead.

    These people did not believe in the Catholic hell that most Christians hold dear to (please God, burn my enemies, amen) although doubtless some had close encounters with the Greco/Roman concept of hell as it is where it came from. So why would they need assurance? Maybe they had been taught rubbish too? Who knows – maybe they thought that their kin were dead in their sins?

    Get a copy of Vic’s work and use it to check your doctrines – better still – get to know the author (the Holy Spirit) – it makes getting past the twists and turns Bacon and Maimonides leavened the Bible with so much easier.

    My experience is that most so-called exegesis just ends up ex’ing Jesus and is why none of you have any Power, and if you do, then please forgive me my presumption – but I know that the reason why the world is so much in the pooh is that there is so much pooh in the world.

    If you have a form of Godliness but deny the faith, you have no power, you are as if dead yet while living. Have you any Power in your life? They even come up with fancy doctrines to reason why they have no Power, such as the age of miracles is past and such hogwash – its all unbelief. Either we walk in the Spirit and in the Resurrection Power or we walk in the vanity of the flesh.

    And this is the sermon of God, the complete restoration of all things both in heaven and in earth, from the Head. Eph 1:10.

    Hell preachers bother me – “they are blaspheming the faith, and much more so than those who are unbelievers.”

  26. 6. However, he told them, “The prophet Isaiah prophesied beautifully about you, hypocrites, as he wrote,

    ‘These people, with their lips they honor me,
    …but their heart is very far from me.
    7. ” ‘And they fear me through their vanity,
    …as they teach the knowledge of humanity.’

    8. “For you have discarded the commandments of God, and held on to the rituals of humanity, the washing of pots and dishes, and many similar things.”
    9. He told them, “How beautifully you cancel the commandments of God when you uphold your ritual.
    10. “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother, and whoever batters his father of mother, will die the death.’
    11. “You, however, condone a man who says to his father or mother, ‘My offering to God through my tithing,’ is your reward,
    12. “And thus you do not leave him anything to do for his father or mother.
    13. “And you denigrate the Manifestation (Word) of God for the sake of your adherence to so many such rituals like these, that you perform.”

  27. Bones on the Rapture – ” The rapture was invented in the mid 1800’s – except for the teaching of a couple of people in the first few centuries. But, apart from them, it was never taught throughout history.”

  28. ” Bones on the Rapture – ” The rapture was invented in the mid 1800′s – ”

    Hey Bones, wasn’t that around the time of the ‘ industrial revolution ‘.
    Rapture?, Rapture?, What’s Rapture?, Can i spend it?.

  29. Ian, not exactly sure of you comment about the ‘dead in Christ’. But i can tell you this that the following scripture says, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with ”””’them”””’ in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
    Who are ‘THEM’ other then the ‘dead in Christ’, which the former scripture refers to.

  30. ” Well argued, Eyes, in your own words, and you made perfect, scriptural sense! ”

    Ah, but it was copied and pasted Steve. Replicated from God, is what i am talking about.

  31. Search:
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    rapture (n.)
    c.1600, “act of carrying off,” from Middle French rapture, from Medieval Latin raptura “seizure, rape, kidnapping,” from Latin raptus “a carrying off” (see rapt). Originally of women and cognate with rape (v.). Sense of “spiritual ecstasy” first recorded 1620s.

    Just a thought!!

  32. Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

    [The foregoing was observed on the amazing net.]

  33. Of course Gavin.

    Those who know church history and study the scriptures know the truth.

    Be prepared to be dumped on from a great height for speaking the it and yes it is primarily a North American phenomenon.

    Lot of these types thrive in North America for some reason: Mormons. JWs, Scientology, David Koresh and Jim Jones types..

  34. Some more interesting Google items include “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture” and “The Real Manuel Lacunza.”

  35. Well who’s to say there is only one catching up? You could easily argue for the saints being caught up and not having to go through a tribulation, for a multitude being brought out of great tribulation, for two witnesses reviving and being caught up. And are the 144,000 not caught up? Prior to this we have Enoch, Elijah and, of course Jesus being ascended.

    That would be seven.

    Paul, too, was caught up (harpazo), but he wasn’t sure if that was in the body or out of the but, and was returned. That probably doesn’t count. Especially because he looks forward to the catching up of the saints when he says ‘we’ will be caught up and evermore be with Christ.

    So there we have pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib all in one neat package!

    By the way, it’s a massive assumption to make that no one thought that there might be a catching up of he saints which occurred before the tribulation, just because it wasn’t written bout by some monastic scholar or catholic bishop down the line. Not everything we understand or discuss of the Word of God, the scripture s or the Bible is documented y the academics.

    Generally the academic types tend to write about their own observations, are more interested in the administrative side of the corporate church, and most left the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit behind for church traditions and added ingredients to their theology long ago.

    So you can’t find something written about before a certain date. Big deal. Especially when we know it was written by Paul, James, John, Peter, Jude and their contemporaries after they heard from Jesus and the Spirit when He arose.

    I find it extraordinary that liberals and extra-biblical traditionalists would rather believe theologians who were possibly not saved than the words of Christ, the Prophets and the Apostles.

  36. Incidentally, whether or not a doctrine is spoken of before or after a certain date is totally irrelevant to the accuracy of scriptural understanding.

    I’m certain there are doctrines in the Word which are not new, but which we have not understood waiting for some person with a closer walk with Jesus to unfold for us.

    That fact is easily born out historically, even using the Bonesian/Gregorian method.

    One thing I am sure of. It will not be unfolded a s the mishmash of dogma Bones and Greg hold to, such as the immaculate conception of Mary, which is well and truly post 17th century error.

    Bonesian method actually argues against itself in such cases.

  37. Thats very catholic of you steve. So you can believe dogma not believed by the apostles eg marian dogma, prosperity doctrine, rapture. It is extra revelation.

    Guess whos making a late play for the papacy.

  38. “Well who’s to say there is only one catching up? ”

    OK now we’ve entered the Twilight Zone and the world of L Ron Hubbard

    Some examples of the rapture are

  39. “By the way, it’s a massive assumption to make that no one thought that there might be a catching up of he saints which occurred before the tribulation,”

    Or anyone actually, Protestant or Catholic, Church Father or Apostle. The Mormons and JWs think the same btw. You’d fit in well with your friends.

    “I find it extraordinary that liberals and extra-biblical traditionalists would rather believe theologians who were possibly not saved than the words of Christ, the Prophets and the Apostles.”

    I find it extraordinary that people take the words of complete and utter nutters who got all manner of nonsense wrong as a valid interpretation of scripture and ignore all those, evangelical or otherwise, who study the scriptures to push their own idiotic interpretation.

  40. “I’m certain there are doctrines in the Word which are not new, but which we have not understood waiting for some person with a closer walk with Jesus to unfold for us.”

    OK here I am. I am the person with a closer walk with Jesus than you, here to address the doctrine of the rapture with my own secret take on it as revealed by the Holy Spirit to me.

    It’s crap,

    in Jesus name.

    God bless

    Have a good day.

  41. Blah Blah Blah, Bones.

    You’re the one going on about a rapture.

    It’s as if you have this imaginary friend, like Golom, who is always giving a contentious argument to your own mind and you are writing down the opposite to this imaginary discussion you’re having.

    Who said anything about extra Biblical revelation (apart from your alter ego).

    Are you naive or pompous enough to believe that we know everything there is to know about what the scriptures are telling us?

    At least seven times the Bible discusses a harpazo, which means to be caught up, or snatched up.

    You’re the one who is arguing against scripture.

    And how could Francis, saint or not, be any closer to God than anyone else? He’s as close as our mouth and our heart. he’s in our midst. How can you get any closer. Oh, and He fills those who receive Him as Lord. That’s close!

    You need to read your Bible more.

  42. Footballers may trial wearing microchips to monitor health

    Footballers may soon be wearing an electronic chip in their shirt to help warn of medical problems.

    The International Football Association Board (Ifab) will decide in March whether to run a trial of the system.

    ‘We’re trying to consider whether things can make a positive difference rather than just another example of technology being brought in.’ Stewart Regan SFA chief executive

    The measure is being considered after Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack on the pitch last year.

    Ifab, which makes the laws of football, consists of the FAs of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who get a vote each, and Fifa, which has four.

    Any electronic communication between the players and staff in the technical area is currently banned.

    The issue will be on the agenda when Ifab has its annual meeting in Edinburgh on 3 March.

    “We are looking at whether there are medical benefits, such as whether it can warn of problems such as Fabrice Muamba suffered, which would make it a no brainer for this to come in,” Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said.

    “We are trying to consider whether or not things can make a positive difference in the game rather than just another example of technology being brought in.

    “There is a chip in the shirt at the back of the player’s neck and the data is fed back into a laptop.”

    The data that the chip will monitor includes heart performance, body temperature and the distance being covered.


  43. What Darby says at 1 Thessalonians 3

    We have seen that the Thessalonians were always expecting the Lord. It was their near and immediate hope in connection with their daily life. They were constantly expecting Him to take them to Himself They had been converted to wait for the Son of God from heaven. Now (from want of instruction) it appeared to them that the saints who had recently died would not be with them to be caught up. The apostle clears up this point, and distinguishes between the coming of Christ to take up His own, and His day, which was a day of judgment to the world. They were not to be troubled with regard to those who had died in Christ [See Footnote #7] as those who had no hope were troubled. And the reason which he gives for this is a proof of the strict connection of their entire spiritual life with the expectation of Christ’s personal return to bring them into heavenly glory. The apostle, in comforting them with regard to their brethren who had lately died, does not say a word of the survivors rejoining them in heaven. They are maintained in the thought that they were still to look for the Lord during their lifetime to transform them into His glorious image. (Compare 2 Cor. 5 and 1 Cor. 15) An especial revelation was required to make them understand that those who had previously died would equally have their part in that event. Their part, so to speak, would resemble that of Christ. He has died, and He has risen again. And so will it be with them. And when He should return in glory, God would bring them-even as He would bring the others, that is, the living-with Him.

    Upon this the apostle gives some more detailed explanation of the Lord’s coming in the form of express revelation, shewing how they would be with Him so as to come with Him when He appears. The living will not take precedence of those who sleep in Jesus. The Lord Himself will come as the Head of His heavenly army, dispersed for a time, to gather them to Himself. He gives the word. The voice of the archangel passes it on, and the trumpet of God is sounded. The dead in Christ will rise first, that is to say, before the living go up. Then we who shall be alive and remain shall go with them, all together, in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we be for ever with the Lord.

    It was that that the Lord Himself ascended; for in all things we are to be like Him-an important circumstance here. Whether transformed or raised from the dead, we shall all go up in the clouds. It was in the clouds that He ascended, and thus we shall be ever with Him.

    In this part of the passage, where he explains the details of our ascension to the Lord in the air nothing is said of His coming down to the earth; it is our going up (as He went up) to be with Him. [See Footnote #8] Neither, as far as concerns us, does the apostle go farther than our gathering together to be for ever with Him. Nothing is said either of judgment or of manifestation; but only the fact of our heavenly association with Him in that we leave the earth precisely as He left it. This is very precious. There is this difference: He went up in His own full right, He ascended; as to us, His voice calls the dead, and they come forth from the grave, and, the living being changed, all are caught up together. It is a solemn act of God’s power, which seals the Christians’ life and the work of God, and brings the former into the glory of Christ as His heavenly companions. Glorious privilege! Precious grace! To lose sight of it destroys the proper character of our joy and of our hope.

    Other consequences follow, which are the result of His manifestation; but that is our portion, our hope. We leave the earth as He did, we shall for ever be with Him.

    It is with these words that we are to comfort our selves if believers die- fall asleep in Jesus. They shall return with Him when He shall be manifested; but, as regards their own portion, they will go away as He went, whether raised from the dead or transformed, to be for ever with the Lord.

    All the rest refers to His government of the earth: an important subject, a part of His glory; and we also take part in it. But it is not our own peculiar portion. This is, to be with Him, to be like Him, and even (when the time shall come) to quit in the same manner as Himself the world which rejected Him, and which has rejected us, and which is to be judged.

    I repeat it: to lose sight of this is to lose our essential portion. All lies in the words, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The apostle has here explained how this will take place. [See Footnote #9] Remark here, that verses 15-18 are a parenthesis, and that chapter 5:1 follows on chapter 4:14 ; chapter 5 shewing what He will do when He brings the saints with Him according to chapter 4:14 .

    In this important passage then we find the Christian living in an expectation of the Lord, which is connected with his daily life and which completes it. Death then is only an accessory which may take place, and which does not deprive the Christian of his portion when his Master shall return. The proper expectation of the Christian is entirely separated from all which follows the manifestation of Christ, and which is in connection with the government of this world.

    The Lord comes in Person to receive us to Himself; He does not send. With full authority over death, which He has conquered, and with the trump of God, He calls together His own from the grave; and these, with the living (transformed), go to meet Him in the air. Our departure from the world exactly resembles His own: we leave the world, to which we do not belong, to go to heaven. Once there, we have attained our portion. We are like Christ, we are forever with Him, but He will bring His own with Him, when He shall appear. This then was the true comfort in the case of a Christian’s death, and by no means put aside the daily expectation of the Lord from heaven. On the contrary this way of viewing the subject confirmed it. The dead saint did not lose his rights by dying-by sleeping in Jesus; he should be the first object of his Lord’s attention when He came to assemble His own. Nevertheless the place from which they go forth to meet Him is the earth. The dead should be raised-this was the first thing- that they might be ready to go with the others; and then from this earth all would depart together to be with Christ in heaven. This point of view is all important, in order to apprehend the true character of that moment when all our hopes will be consummated.

  44. Footnotes to the commentary by Darby on 1 Thessalonians 3

    7: It has been thought that the apostle speaks here of those who had died for His name’s sake as martyrs. It may have been so in consequence of the persecutions, but “dia tov Iesous” would be a singular way of expressing it; “dia” with a genitive is used for a state of things, a condition that we are in, that characterises us. Being in Christ, their removal was but falling asleep, not dying. They had this position by means of Jesus, not for His name’s sake. (Compare, however, 2 Cor. 4:14)

    8: In order that we may all return-be brought back with Him-together.

    9: Compare 2 Corinthians 5:1, &c. We have already remarked as a fact that this passage is a new distinct revelation. But the bearing of this fact appears here and proves that it has much importance. The Christian’s life is so connected with the day (that is to say, with the power of the life of light of which Christ lives), and Christ who is already in glory is so truly the believer’s life, that he has no other thought than to pass into it by this power of Christ’s, which will transform him. (See 2 Cor. 5: 4) It required a new and accessory revelation to explain that which was wanting to the intelligence of the Thessalonians, how the dead saints should not lose their part in it. The same power would be applied to their dead bodies as to the mortal bodies of the living saints, and all would be caught up together. But the victory over death was already gained, and Christ, according to the power of resurrection, being already the believer’s life, it was but natural, according to that power, that he should pass without dying into the fullness of life with Christ. This was so much the natural thought of faith that it required an express, and as I have said, an accessory revelation to explain how the dead should have their part in it. To us now it presents no difficulty. It is the other side of this truth which we lack, which belongs to a much more lively faith, and which realises much more the power of the life- of Christ and His victory over death. No doubt the Thessalonians should have considered that Christ had died and risen again, and not have allowed the abundant power of their joy in realising their own portion in Christ to hide from them the certainty of the portion of those who slept in Him. But we see (and God allowed it that we might see) how the life which they possessed was connected with the position of the Head triumphant over death. The apostle does not weaken this faith and hope, but he adds (that they may be comforted by the thought that the triumph of Christ would have the same power over the sleeping as over the living saints; and that God would bring back the former as well as the latter with Jesus in glory, having caught them up together as their common portion to be for ever with Him. To us also God gives this truth, this revelation of His power. He has permitted thousands to fall asleep, because (blessed be His name ) He had other thousands to call in, but the life of Christ has not lost its power, nor the truth its certainty. We as living ones wait for Him because He is our life. We shall see Him in resurrection, if haply we die before He comes to seek us; and the time draws near. Observe, also, that this revelation gives another direction to the hope of the Thessalonians, because it distinguishes with much precision between our departure hence to join the Lord in the air, and our return to the earth with Him. Nor this only, but it shews the first to be the principal thing for Christians, while at the same time confirming and elucidating the other point. I question whether the Thessalonians would not better have understood this return with Christ than our departure hence all together to rejoin Him. Even at their conversion they had been brought to wait for Jesus from heaven. From the first the great and essential principle was established in their hearts- the Person of Christ was the object of their hearts’ expectation, and they were separated thereby from the world. Perhaps they had some vague idea that they were to appear with Him in glory, but how it was to be accomplished they knew not. They were to be ready at any moment for His coming, and He and they were to be glorified together before the universe. This they knew. It is a summary of the truth. Now the apostle develops more than one point here in connection with this general truth. 1st, they would be with Christ at His coming. This, I think, is but a happy application of a truth which they already possessed, giving a little more precision to one of its precious details. At the end of chapter 3 we have the truth plainly stated (although it was still indistinct in their hearts, since they thought the dead in Christ would be deprived of it) that all the saints should come with Jesus-an essential point as to the character of our relationship to Him. So that Jesus was expected-the saints should be together with Jesus at the time of His coming-all the saints should come with Him. This fixed and gave precision to their ideas on a point already more or less known. 2nd, That which follows is a new revelation on the occasion of their mistake with regard to those who slept. They thought indeed that the Christians who were ready should be glorified with Christ when He came back to this world; but the dead-were they ready? They were not present to share the glorious manifestation of Christ on the earth. For, I doubt not, the vague idea that possessed the mind of the Thessalonians was this: Jesus would return to this world, and they who were waiting for Him would share His glorious manifestation on the earth. Now the apostle declares that the dead saints were in the same position as Jesus who had died. God had not left Him in the grave; nor would He those who had, like Him, been there. God would also bring them with Him when He should return in glory to this earth. But this was not all. The coming of Christ in glory to the earth was not the principal thing. The dead in Christ should be raised, and then, with the living, should go to meet the Lord in the air, before His manifestation, and return with Him to the earth in glory; and thus should they be ever with the Lord. This was the principal thing, the Christian’s portion; namely, to dwell eternally with Christ and in heaven. The portion of the faithful was on high- was Christ Himself, although they would appear with Him in the glory. For this world it would then be the judgment.

    Can you see any mention of the ‘rapture’ there? I can’t. Just the catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air.

  45. Wesley certainly alludes to the catching up. The word ‘rapture’ would not have been known to him.It is relatively recent, but the concept of the catching up, the harpazo was clearly understood.

    4:13Now – Herein the efficacy of Christianity greatly appears, – that it neither takes away nor embitters, but sweetly tempers, that most refined of all affections, our desire of or love to the dead.

    4:14 So – As God raised him. With him – With their living head.

    4:15 By the word of the Lord – By a particular revelation.We who are left – This intimates the fewness of those who will be then alive, compared to the multitude of the dead.Believers of all ages and nations make up, as it were, one body; in consideration of which, the believers of that age might put themselves in the place, and speak in the person, of them who were to live till the coming of the Lord. Not that St. Paul hereby asserted (though some seem to have imagined so) that the day of the Lord was at hand.

    4:16 With a shout – Properly, a proclamation made to a great multitude. Above this is, the voice of the archangel; above both, the trumpet of God; the voice of God, somewhat analogous to the sound of a trumpet.

    4:17 Together – In the same moment. In the air – The wicked will remain beneath, while the righteous, being absolved, shall be assessors with their Lord in the judgment. With the Lord – In heaven.

    So he sees the saints returning with the Lord at he judgment as ‘assessors with the Lord, which see Wesley referring to Revelation where the Lord comes with the saints and the hosts of heaven to judge the unredeemed world.

  46. The 16th century Geneva Bible Commentary certainly understands it as a catching up to be with the Lord in the air.

    (13) The manner of the resurrection will be in this way: the bodies of the dead will be as it were raised out of sleep at the sound of the trumpet of God. Christ himself will descend from heaven. The saints (for he is referring to them) who will then be found alive, together with the dead who will rise, will be taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord, and will be in perpetual glory with him.

    (f) In the name of the Lord, as though he himself spoke to you.

    (g) He speaks of these things, as though he should be one of those whom the Lord will find alive at his coming, because the time of his coming is uncertain: and therefore every one of us ought to be in such a readiness, as if the Lord were coming at any moment.

    4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    (h) The word which the apostle uses here, properly signifies that encouragement which mariners give to one another, when they altogether with one shout put forth their oars and row together.

    4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    (i) Suddenly and in the twinkling of an eye.

  47. These commentators speak of the resurrection as the saints being caught up to be with the Lord. Whether you assert that it is before the greta tribulation or not, it is clear that the New Testament speaks of the resurrection of the saints as a catching up, a sudden rising up to meet the Lord in the air and evermore be with Him.

    The understanding of the rapio, or latin translation of harpazo, is exactly the same. The English translation of the latin, ‘Rapture’, has bee inserted by some commentators to mean one and the same thing.

    This discussion isn;t about whether there is a US Evangelical style doctrine a ‘left behind’ style of rapture, but whether the Revelation speaks of the resurrection, and the resurrection s a raising of the living and the dead.

    The Bible speaks of more than one resurrection, that is for sure. The resurrection of the just and the resurrection of the unjust. The just to their reward, and the unjust to the judgement.

    Bones’ strong terminology in rejection of what he calls a rapture is grossly misrepresentative of the understood meaning of the term.

    As Darby makes clear, his understanding of the catching up is orthodox. His placing of the resurrection of the saints before the expected tribulation has doctrinal merit. He never calls it a ‘rapture’. He gives it the correct English translation, which s catching up.

    1 Thessalonians 5
    9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
    11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

    Here Paul reiterates that we should comfort one another with the understanding that we will be caught up to be with the Lord, and that God has not appointed us to wrath.

    Therefore we are not scheduled, as saints, to go through the great tribulation. Paul is, by revelation from the Holy Spirit, comforting us with the understanding that we will not go through the wrath of God, even though it is appointed for it to take place in the last days.

    This gives us the firm teaching that we will have left the earth before the wrath of God us unleashed, and the tribulation period begins.

    This is sound exegesis born out by other scripture, and is by no means ‘crap’ as you erroneously call it. There is a large amount of merit to the teaching.

  48. As long as people realize that you even if you believe that way, you could miss the “Great Tribulation” but still go through tribulation which we will have always.

    Someone (Ruth Graham?) said that there was so much teaching on a pre-tribulation rapture that some Christians were totally unprepared for the horrific persecution which came to them.

  49. “As Darby makes clear, his understanding of the catching up is orthodox. ”


    Darby’s understanding is rejected by most Christians save the lunatic fringe.

  50. NT Wright makes it clear that Paul in 1 Thess 4:17 is using metaphor. A metaphor which is being misconstrued 2000 years later.

    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?


  51. NT Wright.

    Paul uses much rich metaphor. 1 Thess 4:17 is one example.

    “The point to notice above all about these tricky verses is that they are not to be taken as a literal description of what Paul thinks will happen. They are simply a different way of saying what he is saying in 1 Corinthians 15:23-27 and 51-54, and in Philippians 3:20-21.

    We had better get those other passages straight in our minds to start with. In 1 Corinthians 15:23-27 Paul speaks of the parousia of the Messiah as the time of the resurrection of the dead, the time when his present though secret rule will become manifest in the conquest of the last enemies, especially death. Then in verses 51-54 he speaks of what will happen to those who, at Jesus’s coming, are not yet dead. They will be changed, transformed. This is clearly the same event as he is speaking of in 1 Thessalonians 4; we have the trumpet in both, and the resurrection of the dead in both; but whereas in 1 Thessalonians he speaks of those presently alive being “snatched up in the air,” in 1 Corinthians he speaks of them being “transformed.” So too in Philippians 3:21, where the context is quite explicitly ranging Jesus over Caesar, Paul speaks of transformation of the present lowly body to be like Jesus’s glorious body, as a result of his all-conquering power.

    So why does Paul speak in this peculiar way in 1 Thessalonians about the Lord descending and the living saints being snatched up in the air? I suggest that he is finding richly metaphorical ways of alluding to three other stories that he is deliberately bringing together. (Paul was good at richly mixed metaphors: in the next chapter, 1 Thessalonians 5, he says that the thief will come in the night, so the woman will go into labor, so you mustn’t get drunk but must stay awake and put on your armor.) (N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope [New York: HarperCollins, 2008], pp.131-132.)”

    When Paul speaks of “meeting” the Lord “in the air,” the point is precisely not—as in the popular rapture theology—that the saved believers would then stay up in the air somewhere, away from earth. The point is that, having gone out to meet their returning Lord, they will escort him royally into his domain, that is, back to the place they have come from. Even when we realize that this is highly charged metaphor, not literal description, the meaning is the same as in the parallel in Philippians 3:20. Beings citizens of heaven, as the Philippians would know, doesn’t mean that one is expecting to go back to the mother city but rather means that one is expecting the emperor to come from the mother city to give the colony its full dignity, to rescue it if need be, to subdue local enemies and put everything to rights. (Wright, p. 133)


  52. But does this being “caught up” really refer to Christians being whisked away into the clouds in a massive disappearance act, leaving behind a confused world that will then go through 7 years of horrible tribulation until a final Antichrist figure emerges (from somewhere in Europe, according to most versions of Rapture theology!) and attempts to destroy the city of Jerusalem in a massive Chinese/Russian/Iraqi/Iranian invasion–only to be stopped by Jesus’ visible return to reign on earth for 1000 years from a throne in Jerusalem?? (Whew! That’s a lot to recount in a single paragraph!)

    In short, no. It does not.

    Nor have Christians historically believed this to be what this passage is referring to. Only in the 1850s did this view begin to emerge. It later became entrenched within American Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism via the Scofield Reference Bible study notes and the teaching of institutions such as Moody Bible College and Dallas Theological Seminary. (For more on this view of the End Times, check out the column I guest-wrote for the Christian Worldview Examiner and the links found therein.)

    No, Paul is not talking about the mass disappearance of Christians from all over the globe. He is talking about the final return of Jesus as conquering King and Judge of the Living and Dead. And he is doing so using the unmistakeable vocabulary of Roman Imperial rhetoric, which his Thessalonian readers would’ve immediately recognized. New Testament scholar and historian Ben Witherington elaborates:

    [W]hat sort of return is Paul envisioning here? Can it be a secret or invisible return? Do we have some sort of theology of a pre-tribulation rapture here with Jesus not actually coming to earth? The details of the text as well as the use of the language of the royal visit to a city surely rule out such a view….V. 16 also makes as clear as one could want that we are dealing with a public event, one announced not only by a loud command, as on a battlefield, and the voice of the archangel, but also by the trumpet call of God, though these may be three ways of referring to the same sound. The images are martial, as if Jesus were summoning his army.

    The meeting place is said to take place in the clouds or in the air, not in heaven. Paul considers the dead in Christ to be persons who can be “awakened” or “addressed.” He is probably drawing on the yom Yahweh [“Day of the LORD”] traditions, which referred to a trumpet blast announcing the event (cf. Isa. 27:13; Joel 2:1; Zech. 9:14; 1 Cor. 15:52). But it was also the case that a royal visit to a city would be announced by a herald (see Ps. 24:7–10) and might well also be announced by a trumpet blast meant to alert those in the city that the king was coming.

    This imagery is pursued further in v. 17 with the use of the term apantesin [“to meet”]. For example, Cicero says of Julius Caesar’s victory tour through Italy in 49 b.c.: “Just imagine what a meeting/royal welcome (apantesis) he is receiving from the towns, what honors are paid to him” (Ad. Atticus 8.16.2). This word refers, then, to the actions of the greeting committee as it goes forth from the city to escort the royal person or dignitary into the city for his official visit. “These analogies (especially in association with the term parousia [“presence/arrival”]) suggest the possibility that the Lord is pictured here as escorted the remainder of the journey to earth by his people—both those newly raised from the dead and those remaining alive.

    [Church Father John] Chrysostom picked up these nuances quite clearly:

    “For when a king drives into a city, those who are honorable go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge within. And upon the coming of an affectionate father, his children indeed, and those who are worthy to be his children, are taken out in a chariot, that they may see him and kiss him; but the housekeepers who have offended him remain within. (Homily 8 on 1 Thessalonians)”

    Paul’s Thessalonian audience may have missed some of the allusions to the Old Testament, but they would not have missed the language used here about a royal visit, indeed an imperial visit. They would remember the visit of Pompey and later Octavian and others in the days when Thessalonike could even be talked about by Pompey as the capital in exile.
    [From: 1 and 2 Thessalonians : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary by Ben Witherington III (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2006)]

  53. Witherington is not alone in seeing this entire passage as Paul speaking not of a “rapture” but of a the final return of Jesus and His followers–both alive as well as those who have died and are resurrected–meeting him upon His arrival and welcoming Him as one would welcome a triumphant ruler returning from victorious battle to sit upon his rightful throne. Scholars from many denominations and theological traditions recognize what is going on in 1Thessalonians 4 is nothing resembling the current pop-theology as found in scenarios such as those found in the “Left Behind” books/movies, the writings of Hal Lindsay, David Jeremiah or John Hagee, or the various “End-Times Thriller” B-movies released by Christians over the past 40 years or so:

    “The picture is that of a group of citizens going out from a city to meet a visiting dignitary and accompany him back. This implies that the Lord returns with his people to the earth. (They certainly do not stay permanently on the clouds playing harps!) This language was probably never intended to be understood absolutely literally; it is describing things that go beyond words. The important thing is that believers, whether the dead or the living, are from then with the Lord for ever.”
    [From: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition by D.A. Carson, ed. (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove 1994)]

    “In describing the second coming of Jesus, Paul uses another cluster of images borrowed from the triumph of the divine warrior. The trumpet call (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16), for example, is reminiscent of the call to battle, just as the picture of the faithful meeting the Lord in the air (1 Thess 4:17) is drawn from the practice of coming out of the city to welcome a returning warrior who has been successful in battle. The use of this cluster of images communicates that Jesus is God’s agent of salvation but also defines salvation, in part, as the defeat of Satan (and all that would oppose God’s purpose) in cosmic warfare. The book of Revelation, of course, continues the theme of divine warfare in relation to Jesus’ return.”
    [From: The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery by Leland Ryken, ed. (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove 1998), 769.]

    “When all the dead in Christ are raised, then the trumpet shall sound, as the signal for them all to flock together to the throne of Christ. It was by the sound of the trumpet that the solemn assemblies, under the law, were convoked; and to such convocations there appears to be here an allusion. When the dead in Christ are raised, their vile bodies being made like unto his glorious body, then, Those who are alive shall be changed, and made immortal. These shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. 8. We may suppose that the judgment will now be set, and the books opened, and the dead judged out of the things written in those books. The eternal states of quick and dead being thus determined, then all who shall be found to have made a covenant with him by sacrifice, and to have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, shall be taken to his eternal glory, and be for ever with the Lord. What an inexpressibly terrific glory will then be exhibited!”
    [From: Clarke’s Commentary: First Thessalonians by Adam Clarke (electronic ed.;, Logos Library System, Ages Software, 1999)]

    Pastor and British Theologian, John R.W. Stott–who is something of an Elder Statesman of Evangelicalism–sums up the message of this passage quite nicely:

    “Thus the coming of Jesus, Paul seems to be hinting by the mere adoption of this word, will be a revelation of God and a personal, powerful visitation by Jesus, the King. It can hardly be fortuitous that he is writing this to the Thessalonians among whom, at least according to his critics, he had defied Claudius Caesar’s decrees by announcing ‘that there is another king, one called Jesus’.?

    The Christian hope, however, is more than the expectation that the King is coming; it is also the belief that when he comes, the Christian dead will come with him and the Christian living will join them. For it is the separation which death causes (or seems to cause) which is so painful, both separation from Christ, since the dead have died before he comes, and separation from those who survive them, since they have gone ahead and left the living behind. It is these two bitter separations which the apostle solemnly assures his readers are neither real nor permanent. For the dead will come with Jesus, and the living will not precede them.
    [From: The Message of Thessalonians: The Gospel & the End of Time by John R.W. Stott (; Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1994), 97.]

    So, given the fact that neither Jesus nor Paul ever taught that Christians would be “raptured” out of the world before the final return of Christ, and given that the key proof-texts for such a view teach nothing of the sort, Christians who seek to be faithful to God’s Inspired Scripture should see to it that pop-theologies such as that of the rapture are what gets left behind.


  54. Hank Speaks Out on The Rapture

    There’s a lot of controversy that surrounds The Last Sacrifice. One of the controversies is with regard to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and my view on the rapture. In fact, not long ago Gavin, a listener to the Bible Answer Man broadcast, wrote me a very nice letter in which he pointed out that he’s concerned about my views regarding the rapture. This is what he says:

    “I’ve been listening to you for several years and I have enjoyed your conservative teaching and your insights. Also, your warnings when you feel like other brothers in the faith are going down the wrong path. I think this is a correct biblical admonition. But I’ve been very concerned when I hear you say that you do not believe in the rapture of the church or that it has already happened.”

    Well, Gavin, I don’t know precisely where this misunderstanding of my views originated. I do know, however, of a couple of instances where it has been widely disseminated. One was an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America where the host, Bill Weir, introduced the segment by saying that “We’ve all heard of the wildly popular Left Behind books. They’ve sold millions of copies, predicting the impending rapture. But now there’s a new series by the same publisher that says the rapture has already happened and the Antichrist was the first century Emperor Nero.” Well, I do believe that Nero was the beast, however, I’ve never said that the rapture has already happened. This is misinformation widely disseminated by Tim LaHaye — in fact, in a newspaper article that opened with the question “What if the Rapture has Already Happened?” and ran in the Dallas Morning News in 2004 and then in a number of other newspapers around the country. And this newspaper reported that Tim LaHaye said I believe the “nonsense that Christ came back in AD 68.” I tried to correct this information by writing a letter to the editor, and in that letter I pointed out that Tim LaHaye’s assertion that I subscribe to the nonsense that Christ came back in AD 68 is surely one of his most creative works of fiction. Such a notion is not even hinted at in The Last Disciple series nor have I ever made that kind of a statement in any other forum. Dr. LaHaye simply manufactured this assertion out of whole cloth.

    Not only that, but I have never suggested that the rapture has already taken place. In fact, unlike the Left Behind series which is based on the pretribulational rapture theory that was posited and popularized by John Nelson Darby in the 19th century, The Last Disciple series is centered on the great and glorious truth of resurrection. I should also note that Gavin, in his letter, provided a fairly substantial list of Scripture passages which allegedly support a secret coming of Christ prior to the Second Coming of Christ. A couple of those passages were passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. In reality, however, these passages clearly, in my view, point to the resurrection of believers, not to the secret rapture of the church. So what I affirm, Gavin, is taught in Scripture and it’s codified in the Christian creeds. Jesus is coming again, the dead will be resurrected, and the problem of sin will be fully and finally resolved.

    When I say that Jesus is coming again, remember that every time you hear the word “coming” in Scripture you don’t have to assume that that has to do specifically with the Second Coming of Christ. Sometimes it does because Hebrews says that Jesus is coming a second time. However, it doesn’t always have to do with the Second Coming because “coming” is used as a judgment metaphor in Scripture as well. So when Jesus said to Caiaphas in the court that’s condemning him to death “But I say to all of you, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven,” a biblically illiterate person might have missed the import of his words. But Caiaphas and the council did not. If ever there was a razor-sharp metaphor, this was it, and it cut Caiaphas and the court condemning Christ to the quick. They understood that in saying he was the Son of Man that would come on the clouds of heaven, Jesus was making an overt reference to his coronation as the Son of Man in Daniel’s vision. You’ll remember that vision in Daniel 7. And in doing so he was not only claiming to be the preexistent sovereign of the universe, but he was prophesying that he would vindicate his claim before the very court that was now condemning him to death. As Caiaphas well knew, clouds were — as I mentioned a few moments ago — a common, Old Testament symbol that pointed to God as the sovereign Judge of the nations. Like the Old Testament prophets Jesus employs that symbolism of clouds to warn his hearers that as judgment fell on Egypt, so too judgment would befall Jerusalem.

    Now, there’s one other point. The coming on clouds judgment metaphor is clearly not directed to a 21st century audience, as Tim LaHaye presumes. It was intended for Caiaphas and the 1st century crowd that was condemning Christ to death. Jesus himself said that. He said “I say to all of you, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The generation that crucified Christ would see the very day that he was exalted and enthroned at the right hand of the Mighty One.

    So, Gavin, here is the problem. Tim LaHaye simply misunderstands the metaphors that are used in Scripture, and that has caused him to not only misconstrue the words of Jesus but to misrepresent me in the media. His words to the Dallas Morning News that I believe the nonsense that Christ came back in AD 68 would have been precluded if he would have had a simple understanding of biblical metaphors.


  55. I never knew N T Wright could get things so wrong, Bones. There is no metaphor needed in the Thessalonians passage. Wright is contriving metaphors because he simply can’t believe the truth of the scripture. That is sad.

    I have always stated in my commentary here that Thessalonians 4:13 on is referring to the resurrection of the saints.

    You ignore this because you are being ignorant.

    You are constantly wanting to refer to a ‘left behind’ ‘secret rapture’. This is because you believe you can source heaps of google criticism of the ‘left behind’ books, and thereby make some kind of case, but I have already mentioned several times that the ‘left behind’ series is pure fiction and not accurate doctrine.

    I am not basing anything I have said here on the ‘left behind’ series. I have not even read more than a few pages because I found the storyline so contrived, and the movies abysmal.

    I have, in fact, presented a fairly neutral view so far.

    I presented Darby to demonstrate that he does not at any time mention the rapture, despite your claims, and his commentary is fairly orthodox resurrection teaching, contrary to your erroneous claims, which tells me you either cannot understand basic doctrine, or, worse still, you did not even read the passages I put up.

    Well, did you, Bones? Read the Darby passages?

    I even put up his footnotes. There is nothing there ot suggest a ‘rapture’. he refers to the resurrection as being a catching up of the saints, and believes it to be a literal catching up, connected to 1 Corinthians 15, where the saints, who are the people referenced in 1 Thessalonians, will be changed in an instant and rise to be with the Lord.

    I am not finding for or against him. I am putting his case before you as evidence that his view was not that unorthodox. It totally follows the plan of the scripture in hand and outlines it as it is written.

    All you did was claim he has critics. Who hasn’t?

    I have shown that Wesley and the Geneva Bibles agree to the catching up of the saints at the resurrection of the Church. You quote Chrysostum. He also testifies to the catching up as the resurrection of the saints.

  56. Some people don’t understand plain English.

    Or Koine Greek!

    Or Latin!

    So what do you need a metaphor when you have an explanation?

    Of course, you just think resurrection means… well you tell me, because you haven’t been able to explain your metaphorical meaning yet. What, can’t you find a cut’n’paste which explains it all for you?

    Anastasis to raise up, to rise up from the dead.

    Harpazo to be caught up, to snatch away.

    Up! Away!

  57. Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
    Romans 6:4-5

    Poor Bones. You have no idea how the resurrection works Biblically, do you?

  58. “I never knew N T Wright could get things so wrong, Bones. ”

    Oh no Steve disagrees with current Biblical scholars and relies on his own intuition.


    Who’d a thought.

    Keep running on that wheel.

    Darby’s orthodox?


    Most of Christianity laughs at you.

  59. Raised: elevated to a higher position or level.

    Rose: past participle of risen: move from a lower position to a higher one, come or go up.

    Where is Jesus today? Seated at the right hand of glory, at the Throne of God. Elevated. Raised. He rose!

    …when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

    On high!

    So Stephen, at his martyrdom, is given the following testimony: he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

    And he is raised, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

    Raised! Up! On high! Far above! Heavenly places!

  60. Of course it was Darby’s sectarianism which started the Exclusive Brethren which is (and I’m being nice) borderline cultic.

    The Dispensational Origins of Modern Premillennialism

    By Jack Van Deventer

    The twentieth century has seen a dramatic paradigm shift in prophetic perspectives, first away from and now back toward its historic roots. This shift away from historic Christianity stemmed from a novel approach to Bible interpretation called Dispensationalism which was developed in the 1830s and popularized with the 1909 publication of the Scofield Reference Bible. Dispensationalism, with its unique brand of premillennialism, has been thoroughly pervasive, being prominent in many churches, in bookstores, and among radio Bible teachers.

    The distinguishing features of Dispensationalism are a rigidly applied literalism in the interpretation of Scripture, a compartmentalization of Scripture into “dispensations,” and a dichotomy between Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists believe “this present world system . . . is now controlled by Satan” (not by God) and will end in failure and apostasy.

    Dispensational Premillennialist claim that their unique doctrines have been held since the early church, but these claims have been soundly refuted. Far from being the historic position of the church, premillennialism was described in 1813 by David Bogue as an oddity of Church history. Postmillennialism was the dominant eschatology from the Reformation until at least 1859.

    The doctrine of a secret rapture was first conceived by John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren in 1827. Darby, known as the father of dispensationalism, invented the doctrine claiming there were not one, but two “second comings.” This teaching was immediately challenged as unbiblical by other members of the Brethren. Samuel P. Tregelles, a noted biblical scholar, rejected Darby’s new interpretation as the “height of speculative nonsense.” So tenuous was Darby’s rapture theory that he had lingering doubts about it as late as 1843, and possibly 1845. Another member of the Plymouth Brethren, B.W. Newton, disputed Darby’s new doctrine claiming such a conclusion was only possible if one declared certain passages to be “renounced as not properly ours.”

    Sandeen writes, “this is precisely what Darby was prepared to do. Too traditional to admit that biblical authors might have contradicted each other, and too rationalist to admit that the prophetic maze defied penetration, Darby attempted a resolution of his exegetical dilemma by distinguishing between Scripture intended for the Church and Scripture intended for Israel. . . . Darby’s difficulty was solved by assuming that the Gospels were addressed partly to Jews and partly to Christians.”

    Thus, the doctrine of the separation of Israel and the Church, the foundation of dispensationalism, was born out of Darby’s attempt to justify his newly fabricated rapture theory with the Bible. Dispensationalists believed justification for carving up the Scriptures came from 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) “rightly dividing the word of truth.” Subsequent dispensationalists divided the Scriptures in terms of categories of people: Jew, Gentile, and Christian. Chafer taught that the only Scriptures addressed specifically to Christians were the gospel of John, Acts, and the Epistles! Pettengill taught that the Great Commission was for the Jews only.

    Scofield taught that the Lord’s prayer was a Jewish prayer and ought not be recited by Christians. Along with much of the New Testament, the Old Testament was described as “not for today.” Ryrie dismissed the validity of the Old Testament commands to non-Jews because “the law was never given to Gentiles and is expressly done away for the Christian.” Christians were even mocked as legalists for believing in the Ten Commandments! As other critics have observed, this segmentation of the Bible makes dispensationalism a Christianized version of cultural relativism.

    Snowden and others traced the rise of modern premillennialism to a variety of religious splinter groups: the Plymouth Brethren (developed dispensationalism), the Millerites (became the Adventists), Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Pentecostals. Dispensational premillennialism was marketed the same way as the cultic groups.

    First, historic Christianity was discredited by the claim that all the prominent commentaries, all the church fathers, and even the Reformers were deluded by “man-made doctrines.” Second, new revelation was claimed. Darby claimed to have received “new truth” or at other times “rediscovered truth” that had been lost since the apostles. Third, enthusiasm was whipped up on the pretense that Christ’s coming was imminent. Frequent false predictions did not seem to deter this enthusiasm.

    Snowden cited increasing prophetic fervor in the early 1900’s rising from (1) a “fresh interest and zeal” in interpreting the “signs of the times,” (2) the Great War (WWI) which started a wave of prophetic speculation, and (3) “the fall of Jerusalem out of Mohammedan into Christian hands [which] has whipped the millennarian imagination up to its highest pitch of foresight and prognostication.” This background explains the widespread popularity of the Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909, which had a dramatic influence in spreading dispensationalism. Many well-known scholars warned that the teachings of dispensationalism were “unscriptural” (Spurgeon), “heterodox” (Dabney), “bizarre doctrine” and “grievous error” (Warfield), but the warnings went largely unheeded.

    Today, dispensationalism is in a theological turmoil, having declined sharply since the 1970’s because of mounting criticism. Grenz notes, “Dispensationalism today is in a state of fluidity. No longer are the rigid distinctives of the past held to with unswerving certainty. Many progressive dispensationalists are no longer certain as to exactly what are the defining tenets of the system that commands their allegiance.” [Permission Graciously Given by The Foundation for Biblical Studies]

  61. You read nothing, did you Bones.

    You’re no more than a cantankerous old controversialist and contrarian.

    I said Darby’s commentary on 1 Thessalonians says nothing about the rapture. I only speaks of the catching up an resurrection. I don’t even know anything about Darby in particular. I just put up what he says about 1 Thessalonians.

    You misrepresented him, that’s all I know.

    I read from the NKJV.

    I am not talking about anything else he might say. You claimed erroneously he was the author of the rapture ‘left behind’ controversy, when all along what he says, which I produced here, was that the resurrection involves a catching up, which is exactly what every translation says.

    You say absolutely nothing about what you think the resurrection is, or what the catching up refers to, or even whether you believe Jesu was raised up to the right hand of the father. Nothing!


    Because all you are really interested in is a fight. An argument. A controversy you can stretch out as far as possible. And at any cost.

    You don’t have a clue what the resurrection is, or how scripture describes it, or what it means to us.

    If you did, your false doctrine of nothingness would fall apart at the seams.

  62. Now you’re adding the dispensational teaching, which I rejected as a doctrine years ago.

    What are you trying to pull?

    You don’t even know what I’ve been saying to you on these threads, do you? You don’t have a dicky bird! What have I been saying about the resurrection, Bones! You really don’t know, do you? Amazing! What a waste of time talking to someone like you!

    All you are doing is arguing with the voices in your own head.

    What a chump!

  63. You’re misrepresenting him and defending his nonsensical teaching by claiming him orthodox. The rapture is part of his Dispensationalist teaching. Derr.

    You can only be a supporter of his whacky ideology. No different to the Harold Campling’s of the world.

  64. By the way, Steven Anderson doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s just a reformed preacher hating on the Body.

    Now you’re quoting Revelation preachers! LOL!

  65. You are rogue Christian, Bones. No mercy, no compassion, no understanding and no desire to relate.

    I pity you!

    You didn’t even have the curtesy to read what I wrote.

    Have your conversation with imaginary ghosts, but never believe you’ll ever understand truth with the attitude you have.

  66. “Now you’re quoting Revelation preachers! LOL!”

    Yes I thought I’d post something you can understand and that speaks your language.

  67. Bones,
    What advantage is 1 Corinthians 14:1 if there is no prophecy(fore-telling of the future that is)? What advantage is prophecy if there is no future? Or do you think 1 cor 14:1 was just added by
    Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

    New International Version (©1984)
    Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

  68. Eyes, I never said there was no prophecy. Everyone thinks prophecy is being like nostradamus when the true prophets speak out against evil, corruption and injustice.

    The odds of a so called prophet being correct about anything futuristic besides the obvious like the sun coming up tomorrow would be the same as winning gold lotto

  69. Moses is with Jesus.

    This is what passes for accurate prophecy. Vague visions of buildings falling down from which the church arises.

  70. I think that Pringle said that he can see the tallest buildingS in the world crumbling to the ground. Nothing new hey. A specific prophecy concerning 9 11? , Lo (לא)

    Isaiah 2:11-12 Helpful?

    The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low

    So Bones, is 1 Corinthians 14:1 still doin OK?

  71. And Bones, someone should inform Andrew Mackinnon about that video, Because Pringle appears to be given us the FINGER.

  72. Darby bares no comparison to Russell. Darby’s version is used by just about every Bible commentary source you can find, and s generally accepted, but some people with certain doctrines do not like him, such as Anderson, who is a reformed theology hate preacher who is KJV only.

    In fact he says Darby ‘will be in hell because he broke the rules of Revelation’! Now you are quoting hell and Revelation as your own source! LOL!

    And you remain clueless about prophecy.

    You’re no more than a Bible doubter.

  73. Eyes – about 2 weeks before the CHCH Killer Quake, I stood atop a parking structure and looked around – and asked “What is to become of all these (tall buildings) and I heard,”I shall cast down every penis (lofty erection to the pride) of Man.

    To God that is what every steeple and every tower is – the pricks of men exalting themselves above the knowledge of God.

    That same day I beheld the Cathedral Spire. The Cathedral itself looked like a tire old whore in the Square. I said, “And this” and saw the Spire fall exactly as it did in the quake, just as my son had seen it too, even when he was a child in a dream and as an adult in an open vision. But this stuff does not happen, right?

    And my thought at the time was of the tower full of people as it was a prominent tourist attraction – so I said within my heart, “I must go and speak to the Dean” – but I heard “And you think he will hear you?”

    “OK then, what if I pray that no one be in it when it falls?”

    “That would be appropriate.”

    That’s how you do it guys….

    And yes, like Phil, I have seen the great cities fall, first it is Damascus (Is 17:1), and then all (17:9). Every lofty achievement of Man shall be laid low. Heritage smeritage!

    New heaven, new earth, that’s all its worth. Look, if He will snuff 4 million whinging Jews for not entering in by faith and wanting to go back to Egypt, and these are His chosen people, what do you think you might have to endure, you pasty faced white guys?

    God is actually much bigger than maybe you think. Like He said to me in Noosa back in 2001, “Ian, you (so easily) forget, I Am in everybody!”

  74. It’s the end of the world – Gangnam Style

    The most bizarre interpretation of a prophecy is circulating the Internet. What is it about? It says that new worldwide Korean hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy is an announcement of doomsday prophecy written by famous Nostradamus. Can you believe that this hit will doom us all? And by that I don’t mean that we’ll be sick of its frantic broadcasting… Nostradamus said: “From the calm morning, the end will come when of the dancing horse the number of circles will be 9.” If you believe one of the most creative interpretations of Nostradamus’ prophecies about the end of the world, that, applied to Korean hit “Gangnam Style” looks like this:

    1. Korea is known as the “Land of the calm morning”
    2. Psy is dancing the “horse dance”
    3. The number 9 could be related to the number of the views of this hit on YouTube, that is rapidly approaching to 900 million. When this number gets to one billion, the number will have 9 circles i.e. nine zeros, so that’s the connection, and according to lots of analysts that can be very soon.

    Many believe that Nostradamus predicted some of the key historical events, like the death of Henry II, the French Revolution, the defeat of Hitler and even the attack on WTC. But many skeptics point out that the prophecies are written so generally that it is very easy to connect current events with the prophecies. What do you think?

  75. “I shall cast down every penis ”

    Is God sexist?

    What does God have against penises?

    I love my penis. And it loves me.

    Could you imagine God saying I will cast down every vagina?

    Maybe next time God should design us asexually.

    That way there’s no dirty penises around.

    To reproduce my wife could bite off my head or maybe I could cut my arm off and it would grow into another me.

    Did Jesus have a penis?

  76. Darby on the Rapture

    4. Darby’s Eschatology – An Imminent Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture

    It was into this dispensational scheme that Darby and his contemporary Edward Irving postulated two stages to Christ’s imminent return. First, there would be an invisible ‘appearing’ when Christians would meet Christ in the air and be removed from the earth, a process which came to be known as ‘the rapture of the saints’. With the restraining presence of the Holy Spirit removed from the world, the Antichrist would arise. His rule would finally be crushed by the public ‘appearing’ of Jesus Christ. Darby argued that, regarding the rapture,

    The Church’s joining Christ has nothing to do with Christ’s appearing or coming to earth. Her place is elsewhere. She sits in Him already in heavenly places. She has to be brought there as to bodily presence..

    …We go up to meet Christ in the air. Nothing is clearer, then, than that we are to go up to meet Him, and not await His coming to earth; but that this coming to receive us to Himself is not His appearing is still clearer…

    ..This is the rapture of the saints, preceding their and Christ’s appearing …so that at their rapture He has not appeared yet… This rapture before the appearing of Christ is a matter of express revelation, as we have seen from Colossians 3:4.67

    In commenting on 1 Thessalonians 4:15, in his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, Darby asserts,

    Observe, also, that this revelation gives another direction to the hope of the Thessalonians, because it distinguishes with much precision between our departure hence to join the Lord in the air, and our return to the earth with Him.68

    These passages actually say nothing about any secret rapture in any dispensational sense, still less that the church will be removed and return later to earth with Christ at His public appearing. Bass insists, ‘Only by involved exegetical interpretation can the pre-tribulation rapture be supported.’69

    Darby’s interpretation of passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4 is a clear example of the way later Dispensationalists read back from their presuppositional view of the church into the Scriptures. In doing so Darby denies what the passage teaches (the blessed hope of the church does have to do with the coming of Christ) and affirms what it does not teach (the blessed hope is the secret going and later public returning of the church). Darby admitted as much that his doctrine of the rapture was an innovation, the result of ‘express revelation’, indeed he seemed quite pleased with the reaction to it.

    The rapture of the saints to meet the Lord in the air, before His manifestation to the earth, and the existence of a Jewish remnant in whom the Spirit of God is graciously working before the Lord manifests Himself to them for their deliverance, is happily attracting the attention of Christians. It has made sufficient way to be the occasion of renewed opposition… 70

    Following his literalist hermeneutic, Darby insisted that the tribulation would end seven years after the rapture when Jesus Christ would return to Jerusalem to set up his kingdom from which he would rule the world for a thousand years. Indeed Darby made the ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ yet one more of his exclusive tests of Brethren orthodoxy.

    It is this conviction, that the Church is properly heavenly, in its calling and relationship with Christ, forming no part of the course of events of the earth, which makes the rapture so simple and clear, and on the other hand, it shows how the denial of its rapture brings down the Church to an earthly position, and destroys its whole spiritual character and position.71

    His attitude toward those who disagreed with his doctrine of the secret rapture was scathing,

    …Wherever this is enfeebled, Satan is at work…. He who awaits Christ’s appearing, as the time in which he is to go to be with Him, has denied the proper hope and proper relationship of the Church with Christ. On this point there can be no compromise. Ignorance of privilege is one thing… the denial of it another72

    He regarded disinterest in his teaching of the rapture as a sign that the church was apostate and his own ‘Assembly’ elect.

    The rapture of the saints before the appearing of Christ, strange as it may appear to some, has nothing to say to the church, directly or exclusively; but as we form part of those caught up, it of course, interests us in the highest degree.73

    Among Darby’s supporters, ‘his delineations of millennial glory dazzled the minds of his hearers.’74 Despite its novelty, Darby’s belief of the ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ became central to his doctrine of the church as well as his dispensational eschatology, and subsequently came to be ‘a foundation for contemporary Christian Zionism’75


  77. Rev 22:18

    “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.”

    Is that prophetic Steve?

    Do you take that literally?

    How literally do you take it?

    Of course it’s another device to underline that what John is saying is important like that he really met Jesus, went to heaven and had visions.

  78. Prophecy

    The Greeks Had a Word for It


    The word prophēteuo is a combination of the prefix pro-, meaning “before” and the root phe-, referring to speech. Prophēteuo means to speak publicly, or to speak of something before it happens. Moses was a prophet (Deut. 34:10), and although he made some predictions, his greater role was to tell people about their current responsibilities.

    The later Israelite prophets spoke about the future not as mere predictions, but as words of judgment about the behavior of the people in their own day. When Jonah warned Nineveh of impending destruction, the people repented, and the city survived (Jonah 3:10). As a prediction, the prophecy failed, but as a warning about the present, it achieved its purpose.

    When soldiers asked Jesus to prophesy about who hit him (Luke 22:64), they were not asking for a prediction, but for evidence that showed he had supernatural knowledge. When Paul wrote about prophecy in Corinth, he referred to speech that was divinely inspired to instruct and strengthen others.

    Spiros Zodhiates defines a prophet: “not primarily one who foretells things to come, but who (having been taught of God) speaks out of His will” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, page 1244).

    Dr. Michael Morrison teaches classes in the New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary. More information about the seminary can be found at: http://www.gcs.edu.


  79. “And yes, like Phil, I have seen the great cities fall, first it is Damascus (Is 17:1),”

    That is not a futuristic prophecy. Damascus did fall. You’ve been sprung. Like that’s a surprise.

    1 The burden against Damascus.

    “ Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
    And it will be a ruinous heap.
    2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken;[a]
    They will be for flocks
    Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
    3 The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
    The kingdom from Damascus,
    And the remnant of Syria;
    They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
    Says the LORD of hosts.

    The prophet wasn’t speaking about a future event. It had happened either in his time or in the past that Damascus was sacked by the Assyrians in 734 BCE. In fact

    In 734 B.C. Assyria attacked Damascus and put it under siege. King Rezin was slain, their nobles were impaled upon stakes and the city was burned and every city in the region was leveled. Over 800 citizens of nobility were led away as captives to Assyria.

    The Egyptians were given a touch up as well and forced to become part of the Assyrian Empire which is mentioned in Isaiah 19. Isaiah is giving a theological reason as to why this happened. That’s one example.

    So Damascus was sacked. And the Assyrians made Egypt a vassal state.

    Isaiah 19
    3 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing[b] on the earth. 25 The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

  80. Prophecy

    The Greeks Had a Word for It


    The word prophēteuo is a combination of the prefix pro-, meaning “before” and the root phe-, referring to speech. Prophēteuo means to speak publicly, or to speak of something before it happens. Moses was a prophet (Deut. 34:10), and although he made some predictions, his greater role was to tell people about their current responsibilities.

    The later Israelite prophets spoke about the future not as mere predictions, but as words of judgment about the behavior of the people in their own day. When Jonah warned Nineveh of impending destruction, the people repented, and the city survived (Jonah 3:10). As a prediction, the prophecy failed, but as a warning about the present, it achieved its purpose.

    When soldiers asked Jesus to prophesy about who hit him (Luke 22:64), they were not asking for a prediction, but for evidence that showed he had supernatural knowledge. When Paul wrote about prophecy in Corinth, he referred to speech that was divinely inspired to instruct and strengthen others.

    Spiros Zodhiates defines a prophet: “not primarily one who foretells things to come, but who (having been taught of God) speaks out of His will” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, page 1244).

    Dr. Michael Morrison teaches classes in the New Testament at Grace Communion Seminary.


  81. What is biblical prophecy?

    Contrary to what many fundamentalist preachers or late-night radio hosts would have you believe, biblical prophecy is not primarily about “predicting the future” or finding clues in the Bible that correspond to people or events in our own day and age! The prophets of Ancient Israel did not look into some kind of crystal ball and see events happening thousands of years after their own lifetimes. The books they wrote do not contain hidden coded messages for people living in the 20th or 21st centuries!

    Rather, biblical prophets were mainly speaking to and writing for the people of their own time. They were challenging people of their own world, especially their political rulers, to remain faithful to God’s commandments and/or to repent and turn back to God if they had strayed. They were conveying messages from God, who had called or commissioned them, rather than speaking on their own initiative or authority. However, because the biblical prophets were transmitting messages on behalf of God (as Jews and Christians believe), much of what they wrote for their own time is clearly also relevant for people living in the modern world. The overall message of faith and repentance is timeless and applicable in all ages and cultures…..

    A careful study of the hundreds of relevant texts shows that biblical prophets rarely speak about future events as if they were inevitable, but much more often transmit various kinds of messages on behalf of God to the people, conveying God’s interpretation of the past, present, and future aspects of people’s lives. Thus, a “prophet” in the Bible is primarily a “spokesperson for God,” someone who receives messages from God and conveys them to other people. If a prophet speaks words that are not from God, he or she is considered a false prophet or sometimes called a prophet of another god (e.g. “prophets of Baal” in the OT).

    The messages transmitted by the biblical prophets are not only or primarily about the future, but about the past and present as well. They provide interpretations–from God’s perspective–about past events, present circumstances, as well as future possibilities. Note that I say “future possibilities” rather than “future events,” because when biblical prophets speak about the future, it is usually not about what will inevitably happen, but rather about what might happen, depending on how people choose to react and act: whether they listen to the prophetic message and live their lives accordingly, or ignore the words of the prophets and suffer the consequences.


  82. 1 Peter 1
    10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
    11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
    12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into.

    “Who prophesied of the grace that would come”, sounds like foretelling to me.

    The prophets of old searched and enquired carefully. They wanted to know exactly what it was, at times, that they spoke of by the Word and Spirit, because it was often a mystery to them in their time.

    They spoke the future in words which were wrapped in contemporary events.

    So prophecy is often a two-edged sword, speaking of times to come through times present.

    “To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you”, speaks of the prophets of old speaking to us by words they had received from God which did not speak to themselves, were not of their times, and not of their lives, but of the lives of those upon whom the ends of the age would come.

    So, for example, Joel prophesies of the last days, and, in particular, the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh, an the young men and the young women would prophecy, which is revealed by Peter through the holy Spirit as fulfilled on that day, and which is maintained even until this day.

    Daniel prophesies that a time yet to come would be with us, when ‘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. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

    Isaiah prophesies the substitutionary work of the Christ.

    Isaiah 53
    3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
    8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
    9 And they made His grave with the wicked–But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
    10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

    This is absolutely a prophecy of future events from Isaiah’s perspective, and things he could not personally have known or understood which were fulfilled by Jesus at the cross, through his purging and in his death.

    How far do you want to go with this? I can keep us going for a long time with prophecies which were undeniably telling o future events.

    You are going to a lot of trouble to be proven absolutely wrong about whether John predicts future events yet to take place in the Revelation.

    You could not be any more wrong, and you are bashing your head against a very solid brick wall called the Established Word of God.

  83. Messianic Prophecies

    One of the authenticating proofs for the inspiration of the Bible, which at the same time authenticate the claims of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the only Savior of the world, are the many fulfilled prophecies which find their fulfillment in the person and life of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. We have in the Holy Scripture, an array of prophecies which extend over hundreds of years and yet find their complete fulfillment in the short thirty-year life span of one person, Jesus of Nazareth, many being fulfilled in one day. These prophecies truly accomplish the purposes of the Gospel writers as they carefully pointed to the person, words, and works of Christ.

    “But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” ( John 20:31)

    “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).

    And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27).

    Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).

    The following twenty-five Old Testament prophecies deal with events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ including His betrayal, trial, death and burial. They were uttered by many different voices and over a period of 500 years, yet they were all fulfilled within twenty-four hours on the day that He died for the sins of the world.

    Prophecies Relating to Christ’s Crucifixion
    1. Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver
    Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 26:14-15 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.

    2. Betrayed By a Friend
    Prophecy: Psalm 55:12-14 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. 14 We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng. (See also Psalm 41:9; Zech 13:6).

    Fulfillment: Matthew 26:49-50 And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

    3. The Money Cast to the Potter
    Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5-7 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers.

    NOTE: Notice that in both prophecy and fulfillment we find stated that (1) it was silver; (2) there were 30 pieces (Matt. 27:3); (3) they were thrown down; (4) they were cast down in the House of the Lord; and (5) the money was used to purchase the potter’s field.

    4. The Disciples Forsook Him
    Prophecy: Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 26:56 “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled. (See also Mark 14:27)

    5. Accused by False Witnesses
    Prophecy: Psalm 35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 26:59-60 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, . . .

    6. Smitten and Spit Upon
    Prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

    NOTE: Note here the details that correspond in both prophecy and fulfillment (1) He was to be smitten, (2) He was to be smitten on the face (as well as the other parts of the body). See Luke 22:64. (3) He was to be spit upon, and (4) He was to be spitten upon in the face.

    7. Dumb Before His Accusers
    Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12-14 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.

    8. Wounded and Bruised
    Prophecy: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:26, 29 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

    9. Fell Under the Cross
    Prophecy: Psalm 109:24 My knees are weak from fasting; And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.

    Fulfillment: John 19:17 They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Luke 23:26 And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

    NOTE: Evidently the Lord was so weak that His knees gave way under the weight of the heavy cross. So they had to put it on another.

    10. Hands and Feet Pierced
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

    Fulfillment: Luke 23:33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

    NOTE: Christ was crucified in the customary Roman manner, the hands and feet being pierced by huge spikes which fastened the body to the wooden cross. See John 20:25-27 “ . . . except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails . . . Then said He (Jesus) to Thomas, reach hither thy finger and behold My hands,” etc.

    11. Crucified with Thieves
    Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

    Fulfillment: Mark 15:27-28 And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28 (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”)

    12. Prayed For His Persecutors
    Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (emphasis mine)

    Fulfillment: Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

    Here Jesus, as foreseen by Isaiah, “interceded for the transgressors” who nailed him to the cross.

    13. People Shook Their Heads
    Prophecy: Psalm 109:25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads.

    14. People Ridiculed Him
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:8 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:41-43 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him, and saying, 42 “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. 43 “He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

    15. People Astonished
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;

    Fulfillment: Luke 23:35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

    16. Garments Parted and Lots Cast
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

    Fulfillment: John 19:23-24 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”

    NOTE: How exact the inspired prophecy! The garments were to be parted among them, but the vesture was to be awarded to one by lots. These were statements that would appear almost contradictory unless explained by the record of the scene at the cross.

    17. His Forsaken Cry
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:1 For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?”

    18. Gall and Vinegar Given Him
    Prophecy: Psalm 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    Fulfillment: John 19:28-29 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.

    19. Committed Himself to God
    Prophecy: Psalm 31:5 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

    Fulfillment: Luke 23:46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last.

    20. Friends Stood Afar Off
    Prophecy: Psalm 38:11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off.

    Fulfillment: Luke 23:49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

    21. Bones Not Broken
    Prophecy: Psalm 34:20 He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

    Fulfillment: John 19:33, 36 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; . . . 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “

    NOTE: It is profitable to notice two other prophecies concerning His bones which undoubtedly had an exact fulfillment, although such is not stated in Scripture in so many words. We draw our conclusions from honest inference. (1) Psalm 22:14 “All my bones are out of joint.” Hanging on the cross by the hands and feet would easily disjoint the bones, especially when we remember that the body was fixed to the frame while lying on the ground. (2) Psalm 22:17 “I may tell all My bones.” He was left hanging on the cross naked (John 19:23) and all His bones could thus easily be seen. The extension of the body and the wasting pangs of crucifixion would make the bones more prominent than usual.

    22. Heart Broken
    Prophecy: Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.

    Fulfillment: John 19:34 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.

    NOTE: The blood and water running out of the pierced side presented an evidence that the heart had literally burst.

    23. His Side Pierced
    Prophecy: Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.

    Fulfillment: John 19:34-37 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “ 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

    24. Darkness Over the Land
    Prophecy: Amos 8:9 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.

    NOTE: The Jews reckoned twelve hours from sunrise to sunset. This would make the sixth hour about noon, and the ninth hour near three o’clock.

    25. Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb
    Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

    Fulfillment: Matthew 27:57-60 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

    Old Testament Prophecies
    Relating to the Person of Christ
    1. His first Advent
    The Fact: Gen. 3:15; Deut. 18:15; Psa. 89:20; Isa. 2:2; 28:16; 32:1; 35:4; 42:6; 49:1; 55:4; Ezek. 34:24; Dan. 2:44; Micah 4:1; Zech 3:8.

    The Time: Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Dan. 9:24; Mal. 3:1.

    His Divinity: Psa. 2:7, 11; 45: 6-7, 11; 72:8; 102:24-27; 89:26-27; 110:1; Isa. 9:6; 25:9; 40:10; Jer. 23:6; Micah 5:2; Mal 8:1.

    Human Generation: Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 21:12; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:14; Psa. 18:4-6; 50:22-23; 89:4, 29-30; 132:11; Isa. 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15.

    2. His Forerunner
    Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; 4:5.

    3. His Nativity and Early Years
    The Fact: Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Jer 31:22

    The Place: Num. 24:17, 19; Micah 5:2

    Adoration by Magi: Psalm 72:10, 15; Isa. 60:3, 6

    Descent into Egypt: Hosea 11:1

    Massacre of Innocents: Jer 31:15

    4. His Mission and Office
    Mission: Gen. 12:3; 49:10; Num. 24:19; Deut. 19:18; Psa. 21:1; Isa. 59:20; Jer. 33:16

    Priest Like Melchizedek: Psalm 110:4

    Prophet Like Moses: Deut. 18:15

    Conversion of Gentiles: Isa. 11:10; Deut. 32:43; Psa. 18:49; 19:4; 117:1; Isa. 42:1; 45:23; 49:6; Hosea 1:10; 2:23; Joel 2:32.

    Ministry in Galilee: Isa. 9:1-2

    Miracles: Isa. 35:5-6; 42:7; 53:4

    Spiritual Graces: Psa. 45:7; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 53:9; 61:1-2

    Preaching: Psa. 2:7; 78:2; Isa. 2:3; 61:1; Micah 4:2

    Purification of Temple: Psa. 69:9

    5. His Purpose
    Rejection by Jews and Gentiles: Psa. 2:1; 22:12; 41:5; 56:5; 69:8; 118:22-23; Isa. 6:9-10; 8:14; 29:13; 53:1; 65:2

    Persecution: Psa. 22:6; 35:7, 12; 56:5; 71:10; 109:2; Isa. 49:7; 53:3

    Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem: Psa. 8:2; 118:25-26; Zech. 9:9

    Betrayal by Own Friend: Psa. 41:9; 55:13; Zech 13:6

    Betrayal for Thirty Pieces: Zech. 11:12

    Betrayer’s Death: Psa. 55:15, 23; 109:17

    Purchase of Potter’s Field: Zech 11:13

    Desertion by Disciples: Zech 13:7

    False Accusation: Psa. 27:12; 35:11; 109:2; Psa. 2:1-2

    Silence Under Accusation: Psa. 38:13; Isa. 53:7

    Mocking: Psalm 22:7-8, 16; 109:25

    Insult, Buffeting, Spitting, Scourging: Psa. 35:15-, 21; Isa. 50:6

    Patience Under Suffering: Isa. 53:7-9

    Crucifixion: Psa. 22:14, 17

    Offer of Gall and Vinegar: Psa. 69:21

    Prayer for Enemies: Psa. 109:4

    Cries Upon the Cross: Psa. 22:1; 31:5

    Death in Prime of Life: Psa. 89:45; 102:24

    Death with Malefactors: Isaiah 53:9, 12

    Death Attested by Convulsions of Nature: Amos 5:20; Zech 14:4-6

    Casting Lots for Vesture: Psa. 22:18

    Bones not to be Broken: Psa. 34:20

    Piercing: Psa. 22:16; Zech 12:10; 13:6

    Voluntary Death: Psa. 40:6-8

    Vicarious Suffering: Isa. 53:4-6, 12; Dan 9:26

    Burial with the Rich: Isa. 53:9

    6. His Resurrection
    Psalm 16:8-10; 30:3; 41:10; 118:17; Hosea 6:2

    7. His Ascension
    Psalm 16:11; 24:7; 68:18; 110:1; 118:19

    8. His Second Advent
    Psalm 50:3-6; Isa. 9:6-7; 66:18; Dan 7:13-14; Zech. 12:10; 14:4-8.

    Dominion Universal and Everlasting: 1 Chron. 17:11-14; Psa. 72:8; Isa. 9:7; Dan 7:14; Psa. 2;6-8; 8:6; 110:1-3; 45:6-7


  84. Of course most of those prophecies were proclaimed as fulfilled in hindsight when there was no expectation that most of those verses were even prophetic let alone messianic.

    Hence the New Testament writers reinterpreted the Old Testament through the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Even if it meant taking writings which were totally out of context.

    For the NT writers the important thing was to show that Christ fulfilled the OT. That was how they legitimised His Messiahship to the Jews. This is especially evident in Matthew.

    Jews would still contend that many of those OT prophecies were taken totally out of context by the NT writers.

    The question is:

    Can we reinterpret the OT like the NT writers did, casting our own interpretations on specific OT verses regardless of the context?

    We of course see it now with verses from Malachi being used to promote tithing and prosperity doctrine.

    It’s a dangerous path which only the NT writers are allowed to walk. Their mission was to proclaim that the Messiah had come.

    It does not give modern Christians permission to reinterpret the Old Testament anyway they want.

  85. ‘Who is the Prophet Talking About?’ Some Reflections on the New Testament’s Use of the Old

    Richard N. Longenecker

    Themelios 13.1 (Oct./Nov. 1987): 4-8.

    The author is Ramsay Armitage Professor of New Testament at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto. In this article he returns to the subject of his book Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975). His other recent writings include a particularly useful commentary on Acts in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series (vol. 9, comprising John and Acts; ed F. E. Gaebelein; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981).

    The question of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is that asked by every inquiring person when reading what has come to be known as the Old Testament: ‘Who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ (v. 34). And Philip’s answer is the definitive response of Christian proclamation: ‘Jesus’ (v. 35). The movement from Scripture to Jesus, however, while seemingly simple, is a matter that requires careful delineation. For it is all too easy to reason in some deductive manner as to how early Christians must have viewed matters, given certain basic commitments, than to investigate inductively how they actually worked out their convictions in the context of the presuppositions and methodologies of the day. Three matters, in particular, call for reflection when we attempt to understand the NT’s use of the OT: 1. the concept of fulfilment in the New Testament; 2. the exegetical procedures of the early Christians; and 3. the normativity of then current hermeneutical practices for Christian faith, both in that day and today.

    I. Fulfilment in the New Testament

    The concept of fulfilment is at the heart of biblical theology. This is true, first of all, for the OT, where God’s purposes were to be fulfilled through his covenant people Israel and where the latter prophets often explicate the former prophets. It is pre-eminently true for the NT, where the focus is on Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfilment of God’s redemptive purposes for mankind.

    The question is, however, as to what exactly is meant by fulfilment in the biblical sense. One answer is to assert that fulfilment has to do with direct prediction and explicit verification. Indeed, a primary test of a prophet in OT times was that his predictions could be precisely validated at a later time (Dt. 18:22; cf 1 Sa. 9:6). And this same expectation is carried on in the NT, as witness Jesus’ statement on fulfilment in Matthew 5:17-18 (even the most minute features of the prophetic vision shall be fulfilled) and many of the quotations of Scripture by the evangelists (e.g. Mk. 1:2-3, par.; Mt. 2:5-6; Jn. 12:14-15). It is, in fact, this understanding of fulfilment that Justin Martyr used to excess in his Dialogue with Trypho. It appears also in extreme form in many of the Church Fathers; for example, in Tertullian’s claims that Genesis 49:27 (‘Benjamin is a ravening wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he distributes food’), 1 Samuel 18 (Saul’s pursuit of David, but later repentance), and Isaiah 3:3 (‘I will take away from Judah… even the wise master-builder’) are veiled predictions of Saul of Tarsus, who was from the Judean tribe of Benjamin, and so were fulfilled in Paul’s life and ministry (Adv Marc 5.7.10).

    So-called ‘proof from prophecy’ of a direct nature has always been a factor in both a Jewish and a Christian understanding of fulfilment. Sadly, however, some see this as the only factor, and so lay out prophecy-fulfilment relations in a manner approximating mathematical precision. Starting from such basic theological axioms as that there is a God in charge of human affairs and that historical events happen according to his will, they point to a few obvious instances where explicit predictions have been literally fulfilled (as Mi. 5:2, quoted with variation in Mt. 2:5-6) and move on from there to construct an often elaborate and ingenious ‘biblical’ apologetic that is usually more ‘gnostic’ than biblical.

    What a ‘proof from prophecy’ approach fails to appreciate is that other factors are involved in the NT’s understanding of fulfilment. For example, there are times when an OT text in its own context is enigmatic, yet is used in the NT with Christological significance. Such a passage is Ps. 110:1 (‘The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” ‘), which was variously understood in early Judaism – usually of God speaking to Abraham, or to David, or even to Hezekiah, but not as having messianic relevance by the rabbis until about 260 CE – yet was explicated by Jesus to clarify the nature of Messiahship and to point to himself (Mk. 12:36, par.). Stemming from Jesus’ usage, this verse in fact became the scriptural bedrock of early Christian proclamation (most clearly seen in Acts 2:34-35) and the basis for further Christological reflection in the Christian church (e.g. anchoring the catena of passages in Heb. 1:5-13 as to the nature of Christ’s Sonship, and triggering the use of Ps. 110:4 in Heb. 5:6-7:28 as to the nature of Christ’s priesthood). There are also times when the NT quotes the OT in ways that appear quite out of context, yet claims fulfilment by Christ or in Christian experience for those passages. Romans 10:6-8 (‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart’) is one such case, for Dt. 30:12-14 (used proverbially) surely has in mind the Mosaic law, whereas Paul interprets it to mean ‘the word of faith which we preach’. Likewise, Paul’s use of a number of OT texts in Galatians 3-4 can be cited as not being in strict accord with their original contexts. And though the biblical argument of Galatians 3-4 is telling when understood in terms of Paul’s Christian perspective and polemical purpose, his use of Scripture cannot be said to be in line with a direct prediction explicit verification model.

    Evangelical Christians are committed to receiving, defending, proclaiming, and living out the faith and doctrine of the NT. But are we also committed to reproducing the exegetical procedures of the NT? We have always distinguished between the normative and the descriptive in other areas as presented in the NT – for example, in matters pertaining to church government, on the issue of apostolic doctrine and apostolic office, and regarding spiritual gifts and specific charismatic expressions, to name only a diverse few. Furthermore, the authors of the NT themselves at times suggest that their exegesis should be taken as more circumstantial and ad hominem in nature, in accord with their purposes then in view, than universally normative (e.g. Paul’s catena of polemically motivated passages in Gal. 3:10-13, or his argument on the generic ‘seed’ in Gal. 3:16, or his allegorical treatment of Hagar and Sarah and their sons in Gal. 4:21-31).

    It is my contention that, unless we are ‘restorationists’ in our attitude toward hermeneutics, Christians today are committed to the apostolic faith and doctrine of the NT, but not necessarily to the apostolic exegetical practices as detailed for us in the NT. What the NT presents to us in setting out the exegetical practices of early Christians is how the gospel was contextualized in that day and for those particular audiences. We can appreciate something of how appropriate such methods were for the conveyance of the gospel then and of what was involved in their exegetical procedures. And we can learn from their exegetical methods how to contextualize that same gospel in our own day. But let us admit that we cannot possibly reproduce the revelatory stance of pesher interpretation, nor the atomistic manipulations of midrash, nor the circumstantial or ad hominem thrusts of a particular polemic of that day – nor should we try. For various reasons, neither we nor our audiences are up to it. Ours, rather, is to contextualize the gospel in our own day and for our own circumstances, speaking meaningfully to people as they are and think today. Ours is to reproduce the faith and doctrine of the NT in ways appropriate to the apprehension of people today, not to attempt to reproduce – or to feel guilty about not being able to reproduce – the specific exegetical procedures contained therein.


  86. Of course Jews contend that Jesus is the Messaih. That was prophesied. ‘Hearing they will not hear, seeing they will not see’.

    Whta you say challenges the authority and authenticity of both testaments.

    But you can’t see it!

    Just like the Jewish rejectors of Jesus.

  87. I encourage you to study the Messianic prophecies I put up from Bible.org.

    Maybe your eyes will be opened.

    I hope so! I really do.

    There are over 300 Messianic prophecies. I have given you 25. Won’t take you long. One should be enough to change your mind.

  88. Matthew misconstrued Isaiah 7:14 in order to show the virgin birth was foretold in the OT.

    Isaiah 7:14

    14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a [a]virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name [b]Immanuel.

    a. Or maiden

    Problem is of course that the verse which not only refers to Ahaz in its original context features a mistranslation as well.

    Most theologians and historians who are not conservative Christians believe that the author of the Gospel of Matthew (or someone who supplied the writer with source material) scanned an unknown ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. He found what he believed to be a reference to Jesus’ birth. It was in Isaiah 7:14. This has since become a famous passage; it is often recited at Christmas time. He copied it into Matthew (1:23) to show that prophecies in the Hebrew Testament were fulfilled in Jesus’ life.

    As it happens, the Greek translators had made a mistake. When they were translating the Hebrew writings into the Greek Septuagint and similar translations, they converted the Hebrew word “almah” into the Greek equivalent of our English word for virgin. “Almah” appears nine other times in the Hebrew Scriptures; in each case it means “young woman”. When the Hebrew Scriptures referred to a virgin (and they do over 50 times) they always used the Hebrew word “betulah”. 1 So, it appears certain that Isaiah referred to a young woman becoming pregnant — a relatively ordinary event.

    Some English translators are accurate to the original Hebrew:

    Revised English Bible: “…a young woman is with child…”
    Revised Standard Version: “…a young woman shall conceive…”
    James Moffatt Translation: “…a young woman with child…”
    New Revised Standard Version: “…the young woman is with child…”
    Other translations mistranslated the Hebrew and referred to the woman as both pregnant and a virgin; that is, a miracle had occurred. This avoids the conflict that would otherwise occur between Isaiah and Matthew 1:22-23. (The author of Matthew quoted Isaiah as describing a virgin who was pregnant before becoming sexually active):

    New International Version: “…the virgin will be with child…”
    The Living Bible: “…a child shall be born to a virgin…”
    Contemporary English Version: “…a virgin is pregnant…”. In a footnote, they say that the “Hebrew word did not imply a virgin birth”. They give “young woman” as an alternative.
    Other translations went part-way. They mistranslated the Hebrew and said that the woman had been a virgin. However, they imply that the woman might have been a virgin, who engaged in sexual intercourse and then became pregnant:

    American Standard Version: “…a virgin shall conceive…”
    Amplified Bible: “…the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive…”
    King James Version: “…a virgin shall conceive…”
    New Living Translation: “…the virgin shall conceive a child…”
    New Century Version: “…the virgin will be pregnant…”. They also state in a footnote that the original Hebrew word really means “a young woman”.
    Some versions are vague and can be interpreted in many ways:

    New World Translation: “…the maiden herself will actually become pregnant…”
    The Jerusalem Bible: “…the maiden is with child…”
    Young’s Literal Translation: “…the virgin is conceiving”


  89. 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
    35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.

  90. Thanks, Eyes. That is rather conclusive.

    But, Bones, prophecy never hinges on one translation of one scripture, so the Mary virgin passage, even if it were wrongly translated by Matthew, which it is not, means noting in the great scheme of things.

    How do you think the wise men, so-called, located Jesus? They used, not only astronomy, but studied in depth the scriptures.

    I think you ought to give away this pointless quest to deny the predictive qualities of Biblical prophecy before you loose the little credibility you still have.

    You still haven’t explained how you think Isaiah 53 is not a direct prophecy of the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is far more I could put before you, but there is no possible credible way to deny this as prophecy which foretells the work of the cross.

    And you have totally resisted giving your version of what the resurrection is, or how it takes place, except to say you don’t have a clue, even though scripture tells you.

  91. Bones,
    Matthew misconstrued Isaiah 7:14 in order to show the virgin birth was foretold in the OT.

    So, you say, Matthew lied to us!

    Where do you dig up this Christian denialist propaganda?

    Oh, that’s right, ‘religious tolerance dot com’! The liberal Christian and his four idol worshipping buddies, the zoroastrian, the buddhist, the wiccan and the atheist, or something!

    Look, I hate to break it to you, but these people do no have a clue what they are talking about, they are unsaved doubters of the authenticity Bible who think everything emanated from the zoroastrian philosophies of man, and have no tenability whatsoever.

    You can quote them all you want, but they are a huge, pathetic joke in terms of this present discussion.

    If you want to be taken seriously you need to explain, using plausible means, why the prophecies of the Old Testament have been so incredibly predictively successful when you claim they were not foretelling at all, but it was some kind of contrived coincidence that so many ancient prophecies fit precisely the relatively short career of Jesus’s earthly ministry, including his birth, works and death.

  92. Of course Jesus could not be by the seed of Adam. Look at how a sperm cell looks like a serpent and the egg looks like the world. The Serpent enters the world and makes the spawn of satan – “You are of your father”. But Jesus was of HIS FATHER. His humanity came from the seed of the woman and His divinity from the SEED of the Father, which is Christ.

    Here is a curly one for you. Is the Father the Word? Are they ONE and the same? Peter heard from the Father who Jesus was – how did he hear? The same way Abraham heard The Word, and Faith came by the hearing, and the hearing came by the Word – I and my Father are ONE!

    Jesus was THE MANIFEST WORD. The word in Aramaic is MILTA – which is translated manifestation, or the ESSENCE OF GOD. His Word is His Manifestation, and He and His manifestation are ONE. God is One. Did you know that before the Catholics injected their Romish Trinity heresy that God was known as “The Seven”?

    Honestly guys, put it all on the altar – you may as well ask Jesus to burn it all up now as later…its just wood, hay and stubble, it is the gold. silver and precious gems (faith, hope and love) which shall remain, and the greatest of these is love. In fact it is wise to regularly heave it all on the altar – like I am sure you all do betimes…? What are you afraid of? One of the most freeing things, if not he MOST freeing, is to have all that Gehenna garbage burned!

    If you are still carrying it around with you with you when He returns then it will be you writhing with the harvest instead of being one of the harvesters! But the end of the matter is better than the beginning, and it is not God’s intention that any be lost,
    and the message of God is this: The complete restoration of all things, both in heaven and in earth, from the HEAD. Eph 1:10.

  93. By the way, all you on Papal watch, the new Pope is due to be announced at b’Easter or thereabouts. Good Friday this year is 31:3:13 or 3:31:13 if you are a Yank. Easter, being an Occult event, is 13wks into the New Year, and April First is also Easter Monday this year – commonly known as ALL FOOLS DAY. LOL!


  94. Passover is March 25th until April 2nd 2013, and of course we will remember that the Lord was beaten, badgered and butchered on the 13th day of Nisan. the preparation day for the Passover Sabbath, hence the confused involvement with Friday and the13th, although by all accounts, Nisan 14 did fall on a Saturday in 33AD making Friday the preparation day, the same year a powerful Earth Quake shook Jerusalem. But there also was an EQ in 31AD – and as Jesus was born probably 3-4BC, that might be a better fit yet – that year Passover fell on a Wednesday.

    Don’t know where they resurrected that Easter stuff from but…


  95. And by the way, they must be some very serious charges being laid against il Papa – for him to plead for clemency and quit like that, and then say he is going to disappear from the world. Sounds like a very high level plea bargain and home imprisonment, in the lap of luxury, wearing Prada slippers and dreaming of the wind whistling through his blond Aryan hair as he sat astride his very own Panzer – Deutschland Uber Alles!

    Oops – don’t mention the war! But as God said to me recently, “Do not (under any circumstances) forget the Germans, and do not under any circumstances join in blaming the Jewish people.”

    WW3 here we come. We did not learn from the last one, but the Nazis sure did…

    This Pope deal is the biggest thing to happen for nearly 2000yrs.

    JR, aka Benedict XVI is the 256th Pope – that adds to 13. He is 85 (13) and retired on 2/11 (13) and will step down on the 28th of Feb, 58 (13) days into in the 13th year of the millennium.

    Lucky he is not superstitious.

  96. The Two headed German Eagle represents to me the duality of German Socialism – aka Nazism and Communism – which is the left right paradigm which has all the world in a flap!.

    Add to this mix the esoteric German philosophies of the likes of Boehme, the mad cobbler, and of Weishaupt, Hegel, Marx etc – in other words, all the really whacky anti-Christ stuff was generated in Germany by Indo-Aryan and Ashkenazim German descendants of the Northern tribes of both Israel and ancient Assyria. Abram was an Amorite, or Assyrian, and Sarah Turkic Hittite. Many of the intellectuals who rejected God and The Torah were Ashkenazim Germans.

    The essence of their philosophies center upon Man as God, which is also the basic premise of Satanism – Atheism is actually Satanism where Man is his own God, living according to his own conscience or Law instead of the Law or Commandment of God, which is to love, one to another, as He first loved us.

    Whether Nazism or Communism will triumph is moot, behind it all is a devilish agenda to whittle the world down to a fraction of its size so that the, ahem, “meek” may inherit “their” earth and “their” resources. And if you don’t see it happening, it is because you have been blinded and bound by need or greed – to wit – the Beast System, aka ‘BS’.

    I would like for this NOT to be so – I like a peaceable life where we swap veges, recipes and yarns with nice neighbors and the sun shines and the sky is blue…but some people prefer darkness…sad to say…and the love of money is the root of all evil, not just some evil, or indeed a few evils, but ALL EVIL.

    And that is why, for the sake of all, Babylon herself must fall.

  97. Why do you think Cornwallis seeded the Colonies with Hessian troops? You have to look at the long game – Yanks don’t get this as they play baseball – if they understood test cricket, they might have a better grasp of how REAL games are played – patiently and with planning and precision. Prior to tests being limited to five days, cricket matches could just go on and on – like me!

  98. And of course ALL the top Kraut siontists fled to the States and South America after the war – with OSS help (the ‘Other’ SS). Its all a set up folks – very clever – devilishly so – but a set up – and you have been had – Royally – it is nearly game over – the demon bowler is warming up to pick off the tail-enders…remember too that the Royals and Rothschilds are all German Ashkenazim, and the next Pope might well be a Brazilian Ashkenazim German…and cricket was invented in Belgium, which is the seat of the Beast. Join the dots folks!

  99. Ian,
    Join the dots folks!

    There are so many dots randomly dotted all over your dotscape it all looks dotty.

    I think people can spend so much time looking for the conspiracy, the ulterior solution and the liberal explanation of God-inspired texts that they miss the absolute power of the Word of God.

  100. And what pray tell is the Word of God? Is it a book or is it an attribute of a Person? All scripture is given of God and is profitable for instruction and correction – trouble is, all the nuances of meaning, doctrines of devils, traditions of men which creep into and sully the purity of the scriptures and twist the meaning.

    It is rather vain, in fact lacking in any real sensibility, to even consider basing your life on books alone – especially given what Maimonides and Bacon did to the scriptures – it is testimony to God’s brilliance that He can still reach people thereby – but then He does answer you according to your delusions until you learn to get in touch with the Teacher within who leads you into ALL TRUTH.

    The Bible is NOT the WORD of God, but some of the words of God – there would not be books enough to contain all God has done. It is like having the manual for your car and thinking you have it all – what Bible will you need or use in heaven? Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is so vital for people who can not otherwise hear God. Moses did not have one, and Paul only had the OT but they did have a relationship out of which came the books.

    It is kind of sad that people have been deluded into such two dimensional relationships with a book when they could be taught of God – instead of having their neighbor instruct them on knowing God. This is why you have popes and pastors and such – you cannot get it for yourself so you resort to vicarious substitutes at the altar when you should be KINGS AND PRIESTS of a New Covenant, and THAT NOT OF THE LETTER (of the Law), BUT OF THE SPIRIT – for the kingdom of God is NOT IN WORD, but in expression of POWER!

    Now, what were you saying – who is dotty? Sheesh guy – if you are going to insult me, at least get your facts right, or at least know what you are talking about. I suppose you believe in that damnable heresy the Trinity too? Don’ tell me, “‘cos it is in the WORD”? Don’t make me choke.

    When Wycliffe tried to give the scriptures to the common people in their own tongue, the sacred language mob moved to stymie the influence by injecting the King James – 90% Wycliffe’s work but of course they whacked him and leavened his body of work and then Bacon used his magic to keep millions upon millions of people trying to figure out what “God” was saying, by twisting several, nay hundreds of scriptures.

    I have had people just about kill me for saying that the KJV is leavened and produces loonies rather than luminaries – inerrant word of God indeed. Maybe that is why the word Easter is in there – a bit fat clue that not all is as it is claimed to be. Inerrant word of God – which by interpretation means clever control matrix for sheeples who cannot read or hear from God for themselves and for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Remember what the other Roman icon is? A WOLF! Or perhaps a Guelf? (Lombardy for Wolf and the real name of the Windsors.)

    This Pope deal has really dealt to you guys I see, and it will split the church in two eventually. In the end, it does not change God one jot – is that what you were getting at Steve?

  101. The book of Daniel is surely futuristic!


    The book of Daniel

    Its date and author. Interpretation of the dreams, visions and end of the world.

    Since the19th century, most Old Testament scholars have dated the Book of Daniel to the 2nd century BCE. Liberal Christians generally accept this dating and believe that the book was really written during the Maccabean revolt against the Greek occupying forces in 168-164 BCE. They regard the book as pseudepigraphic – written by an anonymous author or authors, and attributed to Daniel. They conclude this for a number of reasons:

    The text contains a number of Greek words; yet the Greek occupation of the area did not occur until the 4th century BCE.

    One of the musical instruments mentioned in Daniel 3:5 and in subsequent passages did not exist until developed in 2nd century BCE Greece.

    Daniel 1:4 refers to the “Chaldeans” as a priestly class in Babylon. This term did not attain this meaning until much later than the 6th century.

    About 180 BCE, Jeshua ben Sira listed the heroes of the Jewish faith, including “Enoch, Noah and Abraham through to Nehemiah;” Daniel is not mentioned – presumably because Jeshua is unaware of him. This would indicate that the book of Daniel was written after that time.

    Chapter 12 discusses the dead being resurrected, judged, and taken to either heaven and hell. At the time of Daniel, the Jews believed that all persons went to Sheol after death. The concept of heaven and hell was introduced centuries later by the Greeks. It did not appear in Israel until the time of the Maccabean revolt.

    Daniel 11:31 (and elsewhere) refers to “the abominable thing that causes desolation.” This appears to refer to the erection of a statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem temple in 167 BCE, and would indicate that the book was written later than that date.

    Prior to Daniel 11:40, the author(s) has been recording past events under the Babylonian, Median, Persian and Greek empires. In Daniel 11:40-45, he really attempts to predict the future. He prophesizes that a king of the south (of the Ptolemaic dynasty) will attack the Greeks in Judea, under Antiochus. The Greeks will win, will lay spoil to all of northeast Africa, and return to Judea where Antiochus will die. The end of history will then occur. The author(s) appeared to be a poor psychic because none of these events actually happened. Antiochus did die in 164 BCE, but it was in Persia. Thus, the book was apparently completed before 164.

    Interpretation of the Dreams, Visions and End of the World:

    Many Liberal Christians point to the actual foreign countries that occupied what is now Palestine between the 6th century and 2nd century BCE:
    Babylon (represented by the lion/eagle symbol and gold). They attacked the Southern Kingdom in the 580’s BCE.

    The Median empire under (bear and silver). Daniel 5-31 records how “Darius the Mede” conquered Babylon and killed king Belshazzar. This belief probably arose out of many predictions in Isaiah and Jeremiah that Babylon would fall to the Medes. In reality, the Median and Babylonian kingdoms coexisted until the Medians were conquered about 550 BCE and the Babylonians were conquered in 539, both by the Persians. Darius was not a Median king. Apparently the later Persian king “Darius the Great” was confused by the author(s) with Astyages, the last Median king.

    The Persian empire (symbolized by a leopard and bronze).

    The Greek empire (terrible beast and iron). They conquered Judeah in 332 BCE. Daniel 2:41 and 11:3 described it as a kingdom ruled by a warrior king that is divided into 4 sections after his death. None of the 4 sections will be ruled by his descendents. This fits precisely with the structure of the Macedonian-Greek empire of Alexander the Great. After his death, it was divided among four of his generals, none of whom were his sons. Daniel 2:43 refers to the mixing of families by intermarriage, and mentions that these arrangements would not be stable. Again, this fits well with the attempts that the Seleucid (the King of the North in Daniel 11:7) and Ptolemaic (the King of the South in Daniel 11:5) dynasties to achieve peace and stability through intermarriage. The attempts were unsuccessful.
    At the time of the writing of the book of Daniel, circa 164 BCE, the Greek empire occupied what is now Palestine. Since the book was written after the rise of the final empire, the author had the advantage of hindsight. The book is mainly a history of past events, not a prophecy of the future. The author wrote the book almost a century before the Roman Empire invaded what is now Palestine. Since he had no knowledge or expectation of this invasion, it was not mentioned in the book.

    In the final chapter of Daniel, the author describes the “end of history” – a resurrection of the dead, judgment and transfer the resurrected dead to heaven or hell. According to Daniel 12:12, these events would happen during approximately three years following the “abomination of desolation” (the erection of a statue of Zeus in the Jewish temple in 167 BCE). Some Bible scholars have interpreted this period of time as occupying many millennia. But this is clearly not a valid interpretation, because Daniel 12:12 refers to people who “wait and live to see the completion of the interval.”

    If the author(s) could have accurately predicted the future after 164 BCE, he would have prophesized some additional earthly empires that controlled Palestine:

    5. The Roman Empire (from 63 BCE)

    6. Byzantine Empire (from 313 CE)

    7. Arab conquest; control of Palestine by Muslim groups (from 636 CE)

    8. Christian Crusaders from Europe (from 1099 CE)

    9. Mamluks under Saladin reinstate Muslim rule (from 1291 CE)

    10. Ottoman rule (from 1517 CE)

    11. British Empire rule (from 1917 CE)

    12. The State of Israel (1948 CE to the present time)
    From the time of Daniel to the present day, Palestine has been controlled by 11 foreign empires until Israel finally attained independence in 1948 CE. The author(s) of the book of Daniel, apparently writing about 166 CE, was unable to predict his future.

    Many religious liberals classify this book as apocalyptic literature. This writing style was quite common in Israel from the 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The book of Revelation in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) is perhaps the best known example. The writings are often attributed to a famous historical hero in order to give them credibility: Daniel in the case of the book of Daniel; John in the case of Revelation.


  102. Have you realised yet, Bones , that you’re an agnostic spokesman for atheists?

    I’ve yet to find something you believe.


    What, for the seventh or eighth time, is your take on the resurrection?

  103. EYES

    “Easter or Passover, still implies the same thing.”


    Don’t tell Steve that.

    Easter is pagan. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus is a pagan act.

  104. “Join the dots folks!”

    When the other kids were doing dot to dots at school they drew a rabbit or a horse. Look it makes a rabbit!

    Little Ian’s same dot to dots were always endtime conspiracies.

    “Blame the Jews/ Rothchilds/ Communists for putting numbers on the dots and making everyone draw a rabbit”.

  105. { Don’t tell Steve that.

    Easter is pagan. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus is a pagan act. }

    Even Ian who parks up and sparks up and prays to a she God while having visions of a leaning tower of penis knows that.

  106. Really Eyes? I suppose one man esteems one day above another, while another esteems all days alike – I am definitely of the latter persuasion. The etymology of the word Easter (Oestre) demands recognition, it is not just a case of a rose by any other name, it is far more than that. It is plain and simple a pagan fertility rite overlaid with Christian symbols to divorce it from Passover, which the Jews still celebrate, looking for their Messiah. Talk about patience – killed Him 2000yrs or so ago and still waiting for Him. Not long now, I guess.

    My own heart attitude is that every day be a celebration of the grace which enables us to cope in this sordid little cesspit of a world – as we endeavor to keep ourselves unspotted from it, give succor to the widows and the homeless and keep God’s prime commandment to Love above all else. You can attach whatever meaning you like to Easter but to me it seems that it is putting a new patch on an old garment – they who worship in Spirit and in Truth do so at the altar of their own heart – they do not need a Vicar as they already know their true Vicar – Christ Jesus.

    That Easter this year it falls on such an auspicious pattern of dates seems more than mere coincidence, and with the announcement of the 112th Pope of the Malachy prophecy, I have pre-trib rapturists saying “Get ready” and I am saying, yeah get ready to be disappointed! Protestants falling for a Jesuit swindle to sideline their faith with the demon doctrine of a pre-trib rapture – hell the word is not even in the Bible! If we are going anywhere it is at the LAST TRUMP! In the meantime, my money is on the dark horse from Brazil…Otto Peter Scherer…your next (and last?) Bishop of Rome, which by the way is situated in a Volcano field, and the Super Volcano at Naples is brewing up…as is Santorini, and virtually every major volcano on the planet, including our stunning little array of hot spots, one right next to where we live…nice…many have dreamed in recent years of it awakening and of great tribulation…this is it guys…this is getting serious

    At my grandson’s school the teachers have begun leading the children in a cant of “Yes we can”. I was aghast – such flagrant propagandizing – McDonalds and KFC is bad enough but Chairman Obeymao? My grandson has refused to join in and will instead say “Roll with God” and I am going to pray the fear of God into all who are pushing this perfidious propaganda – it is beyond the pale! We really are in the last days…wake up…

  107. And I did not say God was a she, but that God is in touch with His inner “she”, for He made Man in HIS OWN IMAGE, Male and Female made He them, in His image, according to His pattern, and He took the woman out of the man.

    So God has a Male image and a Female image, and they go back together – any other arrangement is rather redundant, yes?

    God is complete like Adam was complete before being divided and being brought back together.

    This is why marriage can be so tough – you are fighting yourself.

    And it is psyche 101 that Man’s buildings are a representation of Male sexual power, but that it is female sexual power (aka Babylon), that actually compels it. Well, some men will do just about anything to succor their need and secure their seed.

  108. { He took the woman out of the man }

    So when God created Eve, Adam(meaning man)just decided to grow balls did he?
    Or did Adam have both Willy and Wonka?
    Was Adam a shemale?

  109. So does that mean God has a man look for things yet is concerned about the size of his butt?

    Might put some of those parables into perspective and why God seems to change His mind at certain times and get moody.

  110. Reading Bones and Ian is like watching a pendulum swing either side of a grandfather clock – from one extreme to the other.

    Or a journey along a road with ditches either side. No sooner do we pull the thread out of one ditch than it is plunged into the ditch on the other side.


    Any clues on your take on the resurrection, yet, Bones, or do you still not know?

  111. The death and resurrection of Jesus are known as the Passion, or the Pasche. That is what I’ll be celebrating and remembering.

    We had the easter debate last year, when Bones and his tribe decided it was OK to celebrate Ashtaroth and have their chocolate bunnies too, so they’ll continue to bow down to the Catholic goddess and it won’t make a bit of difference to me..

    Personally, I have no issue with chocolate in itself, of course, as I said last year. It’s neutral. Cocoa beans, milk and sugar, stirred into a fine confectionary. I’ll take it any way it comes, and, eggs or not, smash it into pieces and take them one by one, but please don’t ask me to associate it with Bones’ fertility goddess. That’s his department.

    But if you really want to send me chocolates, I’d prefer something more in the line of Lindt than the cheap rubbish offered as eggs.

  112. Liberalism and legalism, the two ditches to the highway of holiness. Or is it communism and fascism?

    In my 22nd year, Christchurch had its last really bad smog. I suggested to Rachel we go for a walk in the smog – I felt compelled to. So we bundled up baby in the pram, and with dog on leash, went walking. It seemed silly as we could literally not see more than arms length. At one point, I could see a line of cars moving at slower than walking pace crawling toward us. I heard in my heart to look closely and to remember this scene as one day I would understand what it meant. Coming towards us was an old Landrover with fog lights and a train of cars, bumper to bumper, following it. The lead car would wend from side to side, correcting when it found the gutter – it looked like snake crawling its way through the fog.

    Many years later the scene was reprised to me, and I heard that if we follow other shepherds, the blind leaders of the blind, we will all literally go from gutter to gutter, from ditch to ditch, and that this is why we swing from liberalism to legalism. The fog I was told is the sin of unbelief, something which by the comments about God and gender is rife in the life of some – in the last days men shall become mockers…I would wager that you would not mock the Pope now, would you?

    Now I would like to know how it is that you have me at the opposite pendulum point to Bones. Perhaps it is you folk who are at opposite points of the paradigm and it is me who is in the middle of the road?

    I don’t know about a Grandfather clock, but I am grandfather and time is running out for all of us. Can you morph this pendulum metaphor into a digital model? Would someone in biblical times have understood it? There is only one thing worse than pop-psychology, it is pop-spirituality – this is why God uses timeless metaphors instead of cultural memes.

  113. Catholics must laugh up their sleeves at Pentes believing in the pre-trib rapture when it was a Jesuit ruse…imagine all the ready to board that train to glory folk who find that it ain’t comin’ and you do not get out of here THAT easily, escapist, faithless, and not fit for the fight. They will be going home alright, but not perhaps as they imagined. We will be kept from the time of trial, under the Wings of the Almighty!

  114. I’ll take it then that Bones doesn’t know how the resurrection of the saints will take place, or the resurrection of the unjust.

    Enough said!

  115. All will be resurrected, all will be judged, there is no out – we all face the same bench and are measured by the same benchmark. But Steve – Ephesians 1:10 – “This is the sermon of God; the complete restoration of all things, both in heaven and in earth, from the Head”. Where does our bickering figure in the complete(d) work of Calvary and the Cross? Is it iron sharpening iron or opinion encountering opinion(s)?

    I have a slightly different perspective having received visions and revelations concerning the gathering together unto Him. Have peace brother – it is real and it is coming and I have seen how it happens – we are caught up together in the twinkling of an eye to be the Lord in the air – it is amazing – Bones and co can laugh all they like, but a man with such an experience is NEVER at the mercy of one with an argument.

    The rush of joy is indescribable. You should try it sometime.

  116. http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-Pentecostal_Catholic_Protestant_charismatic_ecumenical

    The rise of the charismatic movement through the first half of the 20th century played a pivotal role in bringing churches together. Pentecostalism is a key part of the charismatic movement. While charismatic thinking began to evolve at the beginning of the century, it became entrenched in Christianity through the work of Vatican II and the ecumenical movement.

    In the early 1950s, David du Plessis believed that God was calling him, as secretary of the Pentecostal World Conference (now Pentecostal World Fellowship), to make contact with the World Council of Churches. Since then, he has played a leading role in ecumenical circles.

    Since the 1960s, the penetration of Pentecostalism into other Protestant and Orthodox denominations has been dramatic. James Dunn writes this:
    The acceptance of Pentecostalism by the leaders of the World Council marks the first time that more traditional Christianity has genuinely welcomed this enthusiastic brand of faith and worship as a valid and important expression of Christianity.

    Previously, such forms of Christianity were either persecuted or only able to flourish outside the organized Church. But the charismatic movement has increasingly broken down many of the barriers on both sides. It has spread across all the traditional classes of society and churchmanship. Catholic Pentecostalism in particular has brought a respect for authority, sacraments, and tradition that was missing from classic Pentecostalism…

    Those belonging to classic Pentecostalism were still wary of new developments. However, in recent years many leaders of national churches have moved from a cautious “No comment” to the view that the charismatic movement is the best hope for a renewal of the Church.i

    It is interesting to note that Catholic Pentecostalism led to increased reverence of papal authority, exaltation of Mary, and entrenchment of Catholic doctrine among Catholics and even Protestants. The revival and growth of the Catholic Church in the last few decades is part of a much wider religious revival taking place all over the world. 

    Evidence of this revival includes the way occultism and Asian religions have come to flourish in the West, the resurgence of Islam in some areas of Africa, Malaysia, and Pakistan; the revival of Buddhism in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Sri Lanka; of Hinduism in India and of Shintoism in Japan; Spiritism in Brazil; and of the Sokka Gakkai in Japan.ii

    Professor Hollenweger of Birmingham University states this:
    The Charismatic movement had a tremendous potential to create trust and destroy suspicion between conflicting groups to provide a platform on which people could talk honestly and openly without being polarized…Already by bringing together Roman Catholics and Protestants, the Charismatic movement has worked miracles.iii

    Pentecostalism has spread across the globe like wildfire. The question, however, comes to mind: Does the Pentecostal movement satisfy the Biblical criteria with regard to the manifestations of the Spirit?

  117. EYES, there is a significant difference between the charismatic movement in mainline churches and the Pentecostal phenomena.

    For starters charismatic mainline churches were under authority and their tradition’s doctrine. You couldn’t just start teaching a strange new doctrine because the LORD told me or it sounded fanciful.

    Most mainline churches have a bishop or some authority to answer to if you start preaching heresy like the rapture or prosperity doctrine.

    Also charismatic mainline church ministers had a set salary no matter how much money their churches gave.

    Very few times is there a compulsion by the minister to give and give to him until it hurts. We used to pass the plate, say a prayer and that was it without any manipulative guilt or promises of wealth.

  118. EYES

    “Even Ian who parks up and sparks up and prays to a she God while having visions of a leaning tower of penis knows that.”

    Yeah I wonder about blokes who dream about penises, not that there’s anything wrong with it. Not really what I dream about.

    Each to his own I suppose.

    Maybe it was prophecy.

    Freud would have a field day with that though.

  119. { The rise of the charismatic movement through the first half of the 20th century played a pivotal role in bringing churches together. }

    I don’t particularly believe the entire article i left.(February 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm)
    I thought it had an interesting theme of interfaith dialogue referring to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels.

    But let’s face it, this one hates that one and that one hates this one.One denomination says DON’T GO TO THEIR CHURCH and the other one says DON’T GO TO HIS.The Vanity Stakes.

    It appears as though interdenominational competition is a necessary feature of the social world and much of it has had wayward and perverted consequences.The competitive spirit that governs much of the relationship between religious denominations has long been a major factor contributing to the survival of dreadfully destructive forms of religious and social disharmony.


  120. Bones, you are being a dickhead. God shows me quite graphic images, and the Bible is full of them – like the young men of Assyria and their appendages which fascinated Israel so much she paid them for the pleasure.

    Back about 10-11yrs ago, I was meditating and musing, asking God about worship an such and wondering as to why what i was seeing from the “river” people had me perplexed. I was shown a vision of a desert place, just sand (so shall they seed be) and in the middle distance, a pool where a group of “church” people were having a jolly good time splashing and laughing and saying “Come on it, the water is lovely!” I heard “Look!” and the saw that the water was sewage mingled with vomit!

    And it shall be to them, vomit upon vomit, vomit upon vomit, apostasy upon apostasy, a little here, a little there, so that they may be captured and snared.

    My sister is a highly qualified Psychologist. Perhaps I should have her explain the psychological symbolism of male sexual power manifest in buildings and society? It was God who told me that to Him they are like proud penis’s – and that HE would cast them down to the ground when He shakes the whole world, so if you want to mock that, then please, be my guest. Please. Lightning is such fun to watch and humbling is good for all of us..

  121. The main “splasher” who called to me was a very pleasant looking young lady in a swimsuit – a classic chaste ‘Jezebel’ (but her doorway is the doorway to Sheol). Did you know Jezebel means chaste?

  122. Eyes, the essential problem is that Church has been run as a business – Paul spoke about this, and the divisive nature of those who promoted this model, that through bickering and dickering over words they would create division and discord and prey upon the sheep for gain. This is why they covet THEIR sheep.

    Interfaith sounds like intersex! Their is only ONE faith, One Baptism, One God and King – only one – for God is One and those who worship Him MUST do so in Spirit and in Truth. No amount of dialogue will create a community of faith, for the Kingdom is in POWER not in words. Until God fuses all into one New Man, men will refuse to cooperate with each other and with God.

    Ecumenicism is the MARK (Consummation) of the BEAST.

    Jesus is the MARK (consummation) of our high calling in Christ.

    Unless GOD builds the house, we do indeed labor in VAIN and we will never finish up what we started.

  123. 1. Those who are under the yoke of duty, should regard their masters with all respect, so as the name of God and His teachings will not be blasphemed.
    2. Those then who are faithful to the Lord, should not be abused on the basis that they are mere brethren; on the contrary, they should be ministered to even more, as they are faithful and beloved; those that give their life in the ministry — learn from them and love them.

    3. If, however, there is someone who teaches another sort of knowledge and does not present the healing words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teachings of submission to God,
    4. This one elevates himself while knowing nothing, except he engages in vehement altercations and verbal controversies, from which stem divisiveness and ruin, and blasphemies and the basis of evil ideas,
    5. And human subterfuge — these [estranged priests] that subvert [the people’s] ideas and drive them away from the substantive truth, and they assume that the submission to God is a business. You, however, distance yourself from such priests.

    6. For our business is great indeed, that which is the submission to God to the extent of our ability.*
    7. For we neither brought anything into the world,* nor can we even take out what we learned from it.
    8. That is why all we worry about is food and clothing.
    9. Those, however, who wish to be wealthy, will fall to temptation, in pitfalls and into a multitude of foolish and searing lusts that will sink humanity into the throes of destruction and ultimately oblivion.
    10. For the root of every evil is the consideration for money above all else,* and there are people who absolutely adore money, and they lose all faith and open themselves up to a multitude of demons.

    When Paul said, “All we worry about is food and money” he was not saying that is all you should worry about, he was saying it is all that you are worrying about – provision!

    Now of course Paul is talking about people who are faithful to the doctrine of Christ being worthy of regard and our ministrations – however he then goes on to talk about those who treat church like a business – so – if you want to know who is a divider and a sheep rustler and a tithe burglar and a wolf in sheep’s clothing, simply look for the churches that are run like businesses. It is so easy – how many clues do you need already?

    The rest are likely actually serving God instead of serving their appetites and the serpent which lurks privily in their belly (Leviathan), which God shall draw out with a hook in these last days.

  124. Interfaith or in to faith?

    Ephesians 4
    1. I beg you thus, I who am bound to our Lord, that you proceed according to the calling by which you were called,
    2. In complete sympathy,* peacefulness and generosity* of spirit, and preach [the Kingdom] to each other in love,
    3. And you should endeavor to guard the Triune essence of the Spirit,* dovetailed in peace,
    4. So you may be with one body and one spirit, as you are called by the one Hope of your Calling.
    5. For One is the Lord and one is the Faith and one is the Baptism,*
    6. And One is God, Father of everyone and Supreme over all, and Omnipotent in everything and Omniscient in all of us.*
    7. To each one of us,* however, He gave us grace according to their measure in appreciating Christ.
    8. Because of that it is said [in Scriptures,]
    “He ascends to the highest,
    He furnishes a resting place
    and He grants rewards to humanity.”
    9. That He ascends, however, is what, except for also that He beforehand would descend to the lower depths of the earth.
    10. He who descends, was the One who ascended higher than all, so as all heaven should be in submission to Him.
    11. And it is He who grants that some should be apostles, prophets, preachers, sheppards and some to be teachers,
    12. To nurture the saints, to perform ministry, to build the body of Christ,
    13. Until we all become one in faith and knowledge of the Son of God, and [we become] one person according to the measure of Christ’s all encompassing stature.
    14. And that we should not be like the boys who are shaken and tossed asunder by every revolutionary spirit of human knowledge, those ideas that are designed to mislead through stupidity.
    15. Except [your ideas] should be confirmed by our love, so as that everything that belongs to us is nurtured through Christ who is our head,
    16. And from Him is everybody mustered and assembled, whoever He embodies, according to the measure of the endowment granted to every member for the discipline of his or her body, so as the entire structure is established in love.
    *4:2.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “Gentleness of outlook.”
    *4:2.2 Lit. Ar. id.: “Stretching.”
    *4:3 Lit. Ar. id.: “Oneness of Spirit.”
    *4:5 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction retained: “There is only one Lord, one faith and one baptism.”
    *4:6 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: “And on is God Father of all and over all and in everything and in us all.”
    *4:7 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “To one one.”

    So, what is this interfaith already? THERE IS ONLY ONE FAITH, BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE KING AND GOD AND CHRIST, whereby ALL MEN MUST BE SAVED. And if all men must be saved, then what are you trying to save them from? For all died in Him and all were resurrected. ALL!

    Our calling is not to get people to heaven, that is Jesus’s job, ours is to present heaven to people, to put them in touch with eternity and to hook them up with their Teacher and Guide, not to bind them under a covering and then systematically fleece them and set up a world wide business dedicated to the same – this is not outreach – it is Babylon!

  125. { My sister is a highly qualified Psychologist. Perhaps I should have her explain the psychological symbolism of male sexual power manifest in buildings and society? }

    Is that christian psych or pop psych? Learning the truth that is found in Christ from a psychologist? Well it would strain credulity at that!

  126. lol

    re AntiChrist

    “It does seem like he can be locked up. Yeah that’s what’s gonna happen apparently. He’s going to be locked up for a thousand years.”
    “By God?”
    “Why for just a thousand years? Why not forever? You have him. Why would you let him go?”

    re the coming of Jesus

    “You barbecued my Son.”

    “I panicked. I laser beamed Him. I beamed Jesus. I’m so sorry.”

  127. Hahaha

    “Those sinners who remain on Earth shall face torments and their wildest nightmares. Who are these people? Well we all know them. Musicians. Gays. Gay musicians. The entire 1997 Denver Broncos. And all of Hollywood.”

  128. Jesus speaking to the disciples (Matt 16:27-28) :

    For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

    But they have all tasted death, have they not? Or has one of the disciples miraculously lived for 2000 years?

  129. If Jesus was right (and after all He’s God), then all we need to do to resolve any problem of interpretation of the Bible is to find this 2000-year old disciple. He will be wandering around somewhere in the Middle east.

    Then we just ask him “What did Jesus say about ….”

  130. @Wazza re Matt 16:27-28

    You aren’t getting many replies on that one. So what do you think it means?

  131. It means no-one wants to talk about it.

    How about we go back to homosexuality. Lets discuss what Jesus said about that.

  132. Actually Q, what do you think of that passage? Whole doctrines have been built upon one or two verses of Jesus’ words, (or in the case of homosexuality, Paul’s). Why does no one want to discuss these verses – which are also recorded in Mark? They could be very important.

    If there is a 2010+ year-old man walking around it would verify to non-believers that the Bible is literally true would it not? If you dont believe in that, give me your interpretation of what Jesus meant?

  133. Matthew 24

    Jesus came out from the temple and was going away [a]when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

    3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the [b]end of the age?”

    4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the [c]Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

    9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will [d]fall away and will [e]betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, [f]most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole [g]world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

    15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 [h]Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 [i]Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no [j]life would have been saved; but for the sake of the [k]elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the [l]Christ,’ or ‘[m]There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will [n]show great [o]signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the [p]elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the [q]vultures will gather.

    29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from [r]the sky, and the powers of [s]the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His [t]elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

    32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, [u]recognize that [v]He is near, right at the [w]door. 34 Truly I say to you, this [x]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

    Matthew places the coming of the Son of Man with the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

  134. So Matthew has Jesus saying that He will come back within a generation.

    Q, any further comment?

  135. It seems to me there are three possibilities :

    1. Jesus did actually return within a generation (the Preterist position)
    2. Jesus has not yet returned, and there is at least one person from that generation that is still alive
    3. Mark and Matthew thought Jesus would return in a generation and wrote that, but it is incorrect – the Bible would therefore be errent.

    Which one is it?

  136. Wazza, first let me say that I wasn’t testing or baiting you. When it comes to the “return of Christ” passages, I’m pretty confused. I know the different positions, but none of them really satisfy me.
    (ouch – hope nobody takes that the wrong way…)

    No, I honestly wanted to know your thoughts.

    If vs 28 is referring to the transfiguration, or to AD70 (a view I think is not unreasoable).
    does v2 27 refer to the people living in Jerusalem at AD70 as well?

    So then each person being rewarded meant what exactly?

    (Sorry, by asking you, I was sort engaging in an online bible study thingy…)

    (chat would be better)

  137. Honestly, I think the third option is correct. I think the disciples were all hoping for a return of Jesus in their lifetime, and they interpreted much of what Jesus said based on that hope.

    I dont think it refers to the Transfiguration. I think Matthew probably believed Jesus would return after the destruction of the Temple.

  138. @Wazza. I’ll give a longer answer later, but for now I’ll say that I think that the earliest disciples would have thought that Jesus would be returning in their lifetimes.

    As for your other question, I don’t think Jesus spoke about homosexuality in the gospels. . I don’t think he talked about sexual activity between people of the same sex either.

    But, as I’ve said before, I don’t think He would have let the disciples have gay sex at the back of the boat.
    Or if two men were caught in the very act of gay sex and one of them were brought before him, I don’t think He would have said “No comment” or “That’s cool as long as you really love each other”.

    I don’t base my theology on what the gospels DON’T record Jesus as saying.

    But that’s really for another thread.

  139. “I think Matthew probably believed Jesus would return after the destruction of the Temple.”

    The question for me is not what Matthew believed, but what Jesus said. If Jesus didn’t say vs 27,28 then how do we know what He said?

    The real question (for me) is what did Jesus mean in vs 27,28. And I’d like to know the opinions of everyone.

  140. I don’t think Jesus spoke about homosexuality in the gospels…I don’t base my theology on what the gospels DON’T record Jesus as saying.

    Did you just contradict yourself? 😉

  141. PS, When I was about 16 I thought all this was really perfectly clear.

    So did I.

    And I didn’t even read the Bible.

    I think I was more questioning after reading it through several times.

  142. But it means that the passage can’t be literally taken as true, in its plain meaning – can it?

  143. Bones, probably. But, because Jesus didn’t say gay sex is wrong, doesn’t mean he believed it was okay.
    that’s all. But if he did teach that he had a new comandment and that it was that men should marry men if they were in love, Id say that would have been radical enough to rate a mention.

  144. Yes. I don’t believe Jesus taught gay marriage or polygamy.
    When he talked about marriage, he talked about a man and a woman – but that’s another thread.

    Here are my questions for you re AD70.
    If the coming of the Son of Man was referring to AD70, does this mean that the NT was written before

    If the gospels and other writings were written after AD70, you think they were just writing about an event that had already happened?

    If the return of the Son of Man and the tribulation passages are referring to AD70, why doo Chrush fathers keep talking about a future tribulation, and return of Christ?

    If you can find very definitive passages by several Church Fathers writing clearly that the tribulation and Matthew “return” passages were all past tense, please let me know.

  145. I don’t think polygamy is a sin by the way. If some king in the jungle was married to 3 women and converted I wouldn’t make him divorce two.

    But to me it’s clear from the whole Bible that God’s design for a man is to be married to one woman and to not divorce. Gay marriage was never an option, and never allowed. But, that’s another thread.
    So ………. SHUT UP! lol

  146. You can’t read Matthew 16:27-28 in isolation from Matthew 24:34.

    why doo Chrush fathers keep talking about a future tribulation,

    Not all did. Some were living through it. Many saw Rome and her emperors as the antichrist.

    As for the return of Jesus once into the second century it was looked upon as a future hope, especially after the first generation had died.

    For me Matthew is addressing his listeners – his community is the generation. Remember all ancient texts were addressed to a specific community. In fact Matthew even addresses his readers at times. In a sense all of us who read Matthew become the generation.

  147. Right, but my point is that it didn’t happen as per the Biblical text.

    So what do you do with that?

    Do you try to deny reality and say that the Bible must be correct, therefore the biologists and historians must be wrong – there must be some 2000+ year olds living somewhere? And the scientists must be part of some conspiracy to obstruct the truth because of their sin? And if anyone tries to argue against you, say well it’s in the Bible so your argument isn’t with me it’s with God?

    Or do you try to find some other interpretation, or even take into account the viewpoint and the social and historical circumstances of the author?

  148. Wazza, do you think the gospel writers were writing events like a biography? It was their interpretation of current events and the life of Jesus. Did they get it all right?

    Well we know the answer to that.

  149. @Bones So when did Matthew write that? Before AD70 or after?

    What parts of the life of Jesus did they get wrong? Or more importantly, how do you now what they got right?
    Maybe they were wrong about the resurrection? Greg would say that the miracles they wrote about didn’t happen – not by Jesus and not by the apostles in the years after. But he says he believes they got it right about the resurrection.

    How do we know what he said at all? Maybe the stuff about living by the sword was just made up by a pacifist follower.

    Maybe He really did say “Blessed are the cheesemakers”?

    How do you personally decide what the gospel writers got right?
    You have said before that you believe in the resurrection. I think you do because you read it the gospels otherwise you wouldn’t have thought about it.

  150. “Right, but my point is that it didn’t happen as per the Biblical text.’

    Except that some argue that he was referring to the transfiguration. Others interpret that as referring to AD70 when it’s recorded that Christians fled and avoided slaughter.

    “So what do you do with that?”

    Sometimes I put it in the too hard basket and think I’m just bright enough to understand everything – and take comfort in the fact that guys a lot smarter than me have different ideas.

    “Do you try to deny reality and say that the Bible must be correct, therefore the biologists and historians must be wrong” –

    I believe the Bible is correct. If you are referring to evolution now with the biologists comment, that’s another thread. But if something makes absolutely no sense to me, then I’m open to the fact that my understanding or interpretation might be wrong. But when it comes to historians, I often just think that one day they will discover evidence esp re old testament cities and events.

    “there must be some 2000+ year olds living somewhere?”

    Don’t think that.

    “And the scientists must be part of some conspiracy to obstruct the truth because of their sin? ”

    Don;t think that either.

    “And if anyone tries to argue against you, say well it’s in the Bible so your argument isn’t with me it’s with God?”

    In some cases, people don’t want to accept something in the Bible because of their sin. But generally, I realize that I don’t know everything about the Bible.

    (I don’t claim to understand everything about the Bible. I respect the right of Christians to have different ideas about evolution, end-times, baptism, hell etc).

    “Or do you try to find some other interpretation, or even take into account the viewpoint and the social and historical circumstances of the author?”

    Yeah, sometimes. For me the big thing is “What did the author mean at the time?”

    But, I still worry about dismissing words of Jesus because the gospel writers didn’t hear him right.
    I think that opens everything up.

    Many liberal Christians will claim that much of what is written as Jesus words wasn’t actually said bt then they use his words in other cases to support their ideas. But then anyone can just dismiss anything they don’t like. Some say Jesus didn’t talk about his divinity or other stuff but he did say other things about the poor.

    Well, how do we know that he never said that stuff about the poor. Maybe he was really a capitalist who despised the poor?

    No, I take the gospel accounts as…..gospel. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t ever have ended up talking on a blog like his when I could have been in Hugh Hefners mansion.

    man you ask a lot of questions! Are we related?

  151. Scholarship suggests Matthew was written after 70 CE (80-90 CE).

    Q, do you think Paul had access to the gospels?

    There’s a thought!

    What are the chances of a document written 50 years after a person lived getting everything right?

    These were primarily theological document written to drive home theological truths to the writer’s community. There were many Christians around BEFORE the gospels were written.

    Did they get the resurrection wrong? Who knows? (What were you doing Mark?) That’s where we have faith. There’s no evidence to say Jesus didn’t rise again. And Christianity must have started somewhere not just in the mind of Paul as atheists believe.

    1 Cor 15

    12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

    20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…

  152. But then anyone can just dismiss anything they don’t like.

    Some do. But Wazza’s not saying he doesn’t like Matthew 16. He’s saying the verse, interpreted literally and as apolocalyptic, can’t be true.

    People don’t just wake up one day and decide they’re going to throw something out. They usually mull over it and study other interpretations.

  153. Many liberal Christians will claim that much of what is written as Jesus words wasn’t actually said bt then they use his words in other cases to support their ideas.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Jesus Seminar and the search for the historical Jesus. Sure they’ve opened up our eyes to first century Middle Eastern Jewry but it’s almost impossible to say Jesus said this but not that. (Having said that do you believe someone could remember Jesus’s whole discourse in Matthew 24 word for word. I’m flat out remembering what I did yesterday let alone what someone said 20 years ago).

    We can only know of Jesus from the Gospels and that’s about prioritising what’s in the gospels which we all do. There’s plenty of things Jesus said that we all ignore.

  154. Many liberal Christians will claim that much of what is written as Jesus words wasn’t actually said bt then they use his words in other cases to support their ideas. But then anyone can just dismiss anything they don’t like

    True. We do that. But I would argue that conservative Christians also dismiss things in the Bible that they dont like. For example, by putting this passage in the too-hard basket you have effectively dismissed its importance. One way that one can dismiss a part of the Bible is just by refusing ever to bring it up or to discuss it if someone does broach the subject.

    Another example of this is the divorce and re-marriage debate. Some conservatives will enforce Paul’s words against homosexuality, but would never even think of following Jesus’ words literally on remarriage of the divorced. Steve is in that camp, as apparently is Fred Nile.

    One could go on – including the dead-set clobber verse “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a homosexual to enter the kingdom of God”. Imagine if that was the text. Preachers would be shouting it from the pulpit. But no, it is not homosexuals but rich men that is the subject of this verse – and hence it is rarely brought up. No one would think of putting it on a placard and picketing corporate functions or society marriages. Yet they are happy to do so when it comes to homosexuality.

  155. “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    Some churches accept the tongues, exorcisms and healing people by the laying on of hands, but do not practice picking up snakes and drinking deadly poison (some churches do all of the above, but they are a dying breed).

    On what basis do they decide which signs to practice and which ones not to? And if they decide to practice 3 out of 5, how can they judge churches which decide to practice none?

  156. Bones, so if Matthew was writing after AD70, you think the readers all took those passages as being past history?

  157. @Wazza – I’m not talking about emphasising verses, I’m saying that some liberal Christians (I’m probably talking about the Jesus seminar types Bones talked about) who will say that Jesus wouldn’t have said some things but said other things. I’m not talking about emphasis.

    And also when I talk about the too hard basket, I’m simply meaning that there are some things that I don’t know. ON this blog, every seems so sure about the meaning of passages. Maybe this isn’t being very theologically macho, but there are some verses and some doctrines that I don’t mind saying “I don’t know” about. But because some verses are difficult for me to understand or talk about with 100% certainty, I don’t give up and not live according to what I am sure about.

    As for verses about divorce and homosexuality, that’s also another thread.
    But, I’ve always said that the reasons I don’t support gay marriage are many, and not limited to a verse or two. But I won’t go into that now.

    And I’ve heard people talk about “easier for a rich man” many times over the years.

    As for divorce – another issue completely, most Christians believe that remarriage is permittable in the cas of adultery. But personally, if a person I knew remarried, I wouldn’t be pressing them to prove to me the facts of the adultery. (But that’s another topic…so SHUT UP! lol)

    Also, I am not against some things being figurative. Bones, sees vs 27, 28 as referring to AD70.
    I do too, though I’m not completely sure of how much in the gospels can really be said to be about AD70.
    That’s why I’m asking him questions – not accusations. He’s the professor, I’m the student.

  158. As for the sign accompanying – it simply says that. Many pentecostals will believe in that verse being applicable today – but the verse never says that believers would go out of their way to bring snakes and poisons into services.

    @Bones – no evidence that Jesus DIDN’T rise from the dead? Atheists would have fun with that one.
    As with “Christianity must have started somewhere” . Are Mormons allowed to say that about the tablets too?

    As for the gospel writers and their memory, I personally believe that God was more involved in the writing of the gospels than helping me remember what I ate yesterday.

    Obviously we all have things we believe in. To some people it’s ludicrous to believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead. You and Greg believe that, while then thinking it’s ludicrous and obviously just legend that a crippled man was healed by a disciple of Jesus a little after that. Steve and I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, that Jesus performed real miracles, and that his disciple did later too.

    And then maybe there are some who believe that Jesus healed the sick,rose from the dead, but that anything after that was legend.

    I don’t really understand the position of someone who will live by the gospel accounts and Pauls’s writings that Jesus rose from the dead but all the rest is legend (or only true in a literal saense).

    As for Paul and his access to gospels…..all depends on who you talk to.
    I accept the traditional dating and authorship of the books.
    Those who don’t come up with all kinds of theories.
    So, I’ll ask you. Paul had access to gospels before AD70? Did Paul write before or after AD70? Did he talk about that event? If not, why not?

  159. The more I understand God and the Bible, the more I realise that what I know doesn’t matter.

    It used to be believed that Hebrews was one of Paul’s letters. No one accepts that now.

    Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are accepted as being written by Paul.

    Ephesians and Colossians are debated.

    2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus are widely regarded as pseudepigraphical.

    Paul was probably dead before 70 CE hence his lack of referral to the destruction of the Temple.

    As for the gospel writers and their memory, I personally believe that God was more involved

    So are you going to give God credit for the mistakes and inconsistencies in the Gospels?

  160. Jesus said that the Comforter would come and remind them of what he said. I know that perhaps you don’t believe in the Devil or demons. Or maybe Angels too because of the current scientific world view. I’m not sure what you believe about the Holy Spirit, but I believe that the Holy Spirit is real.

    I have no trouble at all believing that Paul wrote Ephesians and Colossians, Timothy etc.

    I know that are debated -but EVERYTHING is debated by academics.

    And the Catholics and Orthodox guys are mostly with me on that one.

    I’m sure that in 1000 years some academics could argue that you didn’t author some of your comments here.

    But for the record, do you and Greg believe in angels and the Holy Spirit?
    (genuine question)

  161. And one more . You’ve said you go to a church because you wife likes it – but which church would you join if you didn’t have to worry about family?

    Or which denomination is the most biblical or closest to the truth in your eyes? You don’t seem to like evangelicals, or Baptists, Calvinists or Luther, defend Roman Catholics and Orthodox but haven’t joined them either.

    (not a trick question – genuinely interested)

  162. I’d definitely consider the Orthodox but there is none without 500km. I’m over churches who are dogmatic and exclusivist. I’d feel safe back at the angry Anglicans (not Sydney!). That’s where people like me end up. They tend to be a bit more grown up.

  163. Jesus said that the Comforter would come and remind them of what he said.

    There are however errors and inconsistencies in the Gospels. I don’t have a problem with that as they were documents written by men specifically designed to present theological truths to the writers’ communities. That Jesus didn’t actually speak the words of Matthew 24 in no way takes away from the passage or the intended meaning Matthew was trying to purvey.

  164. But there is more to attending church than simply doctrinal agreement. I was a charismatic evangelical in a liberal Anglo-Catholic church for 15 years and I ministered in it.

    As the Catholics say sometimes you just have to bloom where you’re planted.

  165. No wonder people end up getting depressed if they spend their time seeking out scriptures which don’t make sense to them and looking for possible ‘errant’ verses of scripture. Is that actually what we are supposed to do with the Word of God?

    Maybe we don’t understand certain passages yet because we don’t have all the data, or haven’t put together a more holistic context, or the translators didn’t what the writers intended. At least 95% of scripture makes sense and is contextual sound. Some things don’t fully add up, or are related to us through the understanding of translators who don’t see what we see.

    There’s enough in the Word to let us know what we need to do right now and learn to get on with without worrying about the few passages which give us a hard time.

    The Mark 16 passage is clear as a bell. I don’t know why anyone with any intelligence, saved or unsaved, would not be able to work out what Jesus is saying. We don’t engage in a ministry of picking up snakes or drinking deadly poison. There are promises of protection if those things do happen, as with Paul when he was collecting firewood, a snake latched onto his hand and he shook it off but didn’t die as the locals expected because the snake was poisonous.

    Matthew 24 starts with Jesus talking about the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, then the disciples ask him questions which span different ages, although they would not have known it at the time. And it was referring to Israel, not the Church, which was a mystery still. It is a difficult passage andI don’t claim to offer all the answers regarding the timing of it, especially with the verse on a generation seeing things come to pass. I think Bones is close.

    But I don’t see the value of pointing out anomalies when the majority of scripture is so easy to follow. And eliminating vast passages because some historian has a theory about when something was written or claims it was composed someone else, or guesses the timing is like trying to speculate on lottery numbers, and if anyone can tell me the answer to this can they let me know because this week in Europe the prize stands at £93m. I’ll give you the tithe!

    I think it’s much simpler to read the Bible for what it is, take it literally unless it is clearly a parable (Jesus tells us when he is telling a parable), an allegory, prophetic, historic, a conversation (not God speaking), poetic or typical, but mostly to put it to the test. God said we could prove his will. If he is true and it works it all work for us.

    Why spend time wondering if something is a sign when we can see signs and wonders?

    It works for me.

  166. @Steve Liked what you said.
    @Greg Why couldn’t you enter the Catholic Church but do preaching elsewhere?
    @Bones. Maybe you could check out the Orthodox Church in Brisbane next time you are there. Lots of Greek food….! lol

    Which is a question. If the Orthodox Church is the original true church, they don’t seem to be doing much evangelism in places without significant numbers of Greeks, Serbians and Russians.

    I like going to churches that are completely different. At the last Catholic mass I went to, I was thinking that most of it you could say or pray in a protestant church. Even more so with Orthodox.

    Most people end up in the denomination that their parents took them to, or that their friend invited them to.
    Which is why I have loads of respect for people to go to another completely different church because of what they believe to be the truth.

    “bloom where you’re planted”

    I’ll think about that today.

  167. Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history) which can be obtained by calling 800.643.4645.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

    [Spied the preceding on the net. You also might like to Google “Is John Bray a PINO?” and “70 AD Futurism.”]

  168. Interesting link. Obama is a Muslim Kenyan purposely trying to destroy the US economy?

    At least he didn’t fake the moon landing.

    Actually I have friends who believe that about Obama. But then again I personally know two holocaust deniers.

    Not to mention my colleagues on signposts. I need some normal friends….

  169. “Matthew 24 starts with Jesus talking about the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, then the disciples ask him questions which span different ages, although they would not have known it at the time.”

    Wars, famines and earthquakes would hardly have been unknown in the first century.

    Now if Jesus had’ve said something like “after the laying out of the NBN” then I’d say he was talking about the future.

    “15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. ”

    Nothing futuristic there.

    It clearly refers to first century historical events after the sack of Jerusalem and the temple.

    Let the reader understand.

  170. Of course, there is a part of Matthew 24 which is yet to take place, regardless of when you think it might occur.

    Matthew 24:29-31
    “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

    The idea that prophecy has ended presumes that God has stopped speaking.

  171. It’s impossible for stars to fall from heaven.

    We know that, the ancient writers didn’t.

    We also know that heaven isn’t in the sky, which the ancient writers didn’t know.

    Undoubtedly Matthew thought Jesus was coming soon.

    He didn’t.

  172. I thought the stars were always on the move through the galaxy, something about the Doppler Effect, and some fall because of a major black hole. It always amazes me that we’re hurtling through space and somehow gravity gives the illusion of being still or actually in control of our own movement. What an incredible God we have.

    But, you say, there’s nothing to see here!

    Ah well, might as well just enjoy life, then, and stop moaning about stuff.

    Here’s a few minutes’ enjoyment for you to take your mind off the seriousness of nothing futuristic in Bible happening for you. It really kicks in at about the five minute mark, but it’s all worth watching to ‘feel’ the power of creation…

  173. There is a Google article with the title of “Is John Bray a PINO?” I saw it lately while looking at a blog hosted by Joe Ortiz and it is of great interest to those interested in the rapture.

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