Rapture Cult – Part IV – These Are Good People

It says that love covers a multitude of sins, and I see more love for Israel among the Dispensationalists and other pre-tribulation rapturists, than I do among those who disagree with them. That means a lot – seriously.

If you love what and who God loves… and you have some errors in your beliefs… God gives you slack. If you truly love God and truly love your neighbor, you could probably get away with heresy. While, on the other hand, you could be correct in everything and be considered trash in God’s eyes – if you don’t have love.

Love is both the beginning and end of our walk as Christians, and some of the unloving attitudes shown by most non-dispensationalists is appalling. This is not to say that all dispensationalists are a loving bunch of people. It’s just that most non-dispensationalists tend to be cold towards Israel, and frankly cold towards everyone else.

And, I’m not sure why that is.

So, put me down as someone who generally prefers dispensationalists over other kinds of Christians.

But seriously, a pre-tribulation rapture? Really?

I’m just having a hard time seeing how ANYONE who reads their bible could see that. It just doesn’t make sense.

But, like I said before. Your love for Israel – and your love for others – will do more for you in God’s eyes than any amount of ‘correct theology’. God accepts you as His, and I do too.

Just pleasepleasepleasePLEASE prepare for what’s coming. You are no use to anyone if you’ve been killed or neutralized in some other way.

You must prepare now.

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Okay, folks. As promised, I’ll get back to a more Global Security and Foreign Policy approach to this website. I apologize to those of you who have been turned off by this week’s discussion, but I really felt the need to discuss these issues.

There is too much apathy out there, and 2012 will be a pivotal year – and maybe even the last chance that any of us will have to prepare for what is coming.

I truly, truly hope that I’m wrong.

2 thoughts on “Rapture Cult – Part IV – These Are Good People

  1. LOL, well John, like you, I have a hard time seeing how anyone who reads their Bible can see a Post-Tribulation rapture, especially given the Scriptures I cited to you in our first discussion. So please, before you move on from this subject, I’d like to make one more point. The problem is, each side cites THEIR opinions and lists the Scriptures they think supports THEIR side of the argument, but they never take the time to research the Scriptures cited by the other side. When you, or someone else takes the time to address the Scriptures I cited, or examples God gave us in His Word (such as the Jewish Wedding Proposal story I provided) as well as the corresponding Feasts and events on earth, and can provide me with another interpretation from those things, that validates their side of the argument, then I can only maintain that my interpretation is correct, and yours is error. Where, in the Bible, does God give us an example of the Bride having to suffer before her Groom comes to get her?
    What does it mean when it says “how then shall we escape” IF WE NEGLECT SO GREAT A SALVATION”. At the rapture, Jesus does not return to earth, but takes us up to MEET HIM IN THE AIR. At the 2nd coming, He returns to earth and plants His feet on the Mt. and splits it in two. At the rapture, two are in the field. One is taken, and the other is left. If this occurs at the 2nd coming, what is the point of taking one and leaving the other? This passage is clearly talking about the rapture, because the one who is left is instructed to run for the hills and hide. Luke tells us to “watch and pray THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ESCAPE ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN”. If there is no rapture, what are we to watch for and how can we possibly escape from what is about to happen? How can we not experience God’s wrath, that God clearly promises we will not experience, if we are to remain on earth during the Tribulation? I would sincerely appreciate specific answers to these questions, if you would be so kind as to indulge me a little longer.

  2. Hey Carol,

    Hmmmm… Sorry for not addressing your points. Let me do that now.

    Here is what you wrote in your previous comment:

    (By the way, I do NOT want to sound rude or argumentative here. If I do, please accept my apologies. I am just trying to be thorough.)

    [Carol] John, John, John! Yes, all of what you said IS COMING, but having been a student of eschatology for many years, plus becoming familiar with the prophetic blueprint God has provided for us in His feasts, I must disagree that “The Church” will be present when the bad stuff hits the fan. Here are some things to consider that I have acquired over some 58 years of being a Christian and hearing many teachings on the End Times.

    [John] When you mention the prophetic blueprint of the feasts, you might need to explain how you see that blueprint connecting with our topic. I’m not sure how that proves a pretribulation rapture. Please remember that I am not familiar with all the commonly understood doctrines. I have a friend from who routinely quizzes me over some topic and then ambushes me with a “well that’s what the yghuemdists believe.” But, I digress…

    [Carol] First, the rapture of believers depends solely on the “death of Christ”, not on ones “spiritual condition”. The rapture is NOT a matter of reward, but of Salvation.

    [John] I completely agree.

    [Carol] –1 Thess.4:16-18 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and weith 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. Therefore COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS” (it is comforting to know we will be raptured BEFORE Gods wrath is unleashed.

    [John] Okay, I’m sure that you’ve included this verse to reflect the idea of the Rapture. This verse actually seems to indicate that the Rapture happens AFTER the tribulation because it seems to describe the events in Revelation 10, 11, 14 or 19. (My vote goes with 10 and 11)

    [Carol] –Mark 1:1 – During the Church Age, the GOSPEL OF CHRIST is preached. The Church Age ends with the rapture, and then the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached to the ends of the earth! THEN shall the END come”(Matt.24:14).

    [John] Yup! And, we are so close – if not already there. For instance we already have audio bibles for over 600 languages – being sent out all over the world. It would be interesting to know if there is ANYONE who hasn’t heard about Jesus our Saviour.

    [Carol] –1 Thess.5:9 – says we are not going to experience God’s wrath.

    [John] I agree that the Lord has NOT appointed us to wrath – HIS wrath. However, that does not exempt us from the wrath of the Adversary, Satan. Persecution is the norm for every Christian, and to expect to escape persecution in the last days is… well, unreasonable.

    Furthermore, we may not be appointed to God’s Wrath, but we will certainly experience it, if we do not listen to Him. For instance, Israel experienced God’s wrath because of their disobedience – just as I see God’s wrath falling on the churches in the US for THEIR sin and disobedience. The churches in America are in a terrible mess.

    But, God always gave warning. In Israel’s case, it was Jeremiah. People who listened to him were saved from God’s wrath. Those who didn’t, weren’t.

    God has provided us with prophetic texts that warn us of what is coming. We need to listen to them.

    However, I can see how many would think of 1 Thess. 5:9 as a ‘proof text’. Let’s see the whole section:

    1 Thessalonians 5

    1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

    2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

    [Let me interject here that THIS verse is what scares me. My brothers and sisters in Christ are saying Peace and Safety…]

    4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

    [If the rapture was to happen without our input, why should we be concerned about it overtaking us as a thief? Surely, it just ‘happens’ and we’re gone.]

    5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

    6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    [Why do we need to watch and be sober, if the rapture takes us whether we want to, or not?]

    7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

    8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

    If you take verse 9 in context with the verses above (and my comments), it is easy to see that our rapture doesn’t happen BEFORE anything bad happens. Our rapture happens AFTER – and that we are to watch and be sober because we do not want to be caught ‘unawares’. There is something coming, and we must prepare for it.

    [Carol] –1 Thess.1:10 – Jesus DELIVERS US from the wrath to come.

    [John] No, that isn’t a ‘proof text’. Verse ten merely reiterates our place as saved people. It is not in any way clear that the wrath spoken of is the wrath of the Great Tribulation – especially since every one that Paul wrote to are now dead. The only wrath that THEY will be saved from is the wrath of God’s judgement, which is Hell.

    Here’s the passage:

    1 Thessalonians 1: 9-10

    9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

    10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

    The chapter itself makes no mention of the Great Tribulation. The appearance of the word ‘wrath’ here does not give us permission to connect it to the Great Tribulation, just because the word ‘wrath’ appears there.

    [Carol] –2 Thess. 2:7 – says when the Holy Spirit (which is in the Church) is taken out of the way (raptured) THEN shall the anti-Christ be revealed.

    [John] I wasn’t certain if this point and your next point were together, or not. But, I thought it safer to address them separately, and then together.

    Again, let’s take that passage in context. Here’s the section:

    2 Thessalonians 2

    1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    [So, according to verse three, the Rapture (in verse 1) will not come until AFTER the man of sin is revealed.]

    4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

    6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

    7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

    [Remember that the ‘he’ here is in the singular – not plural. I will elaborate below.]

    8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

    9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    [This ‘strong delusion’ bothers me greatly. No, I don’t think that the pre-trib rapture theory is this strong delusion, but I believe that the overwhelming shock that comes with all that is about to happen… when it comes WITHOUT a rapture… I believe that it will make the way easier for such a strong delusion to… well, delude. I hope that it is not the case.]

    12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    [Ouch. How many of our brothers and sisters in Christ take pleasure in the unrighteousness of this world? The filth that comes out of our TV sets is appalling, yet Christians watch and enjoy it.]

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 Clearly indicates to me that, at a minimum, there will be no rapture until AFTER the Antichrist has been revealed AS THE ANTICHRIST.

    Now, you made the point that verse 7 refers specifically to the church. Are you sure? But, let me hold off on that to get to the next part of your point…

    [Carol] – Believers have been given the Keys to the Kingdom to BIND and LOOSE, therefore, as long as we are on this earth, the devil is hindered and the anti-Christ cannot be revealed.

    [John] As I mentioned above, verse 7 speaks directly about a singular individual, a ‘he’ that is ‘taken out of the way’. This person is not a ‘she’ as the church is often described as. It’s not a group of people. It’s a single person.

    Is it the Holy Spirit? I believe so, but there is some healthy uncertainty in my mind – if only because the whole mechanism by which Satan is resisted is somewhat unclear.

    However, let me point out that the Holy Spirit is given by God the Father.

    Who, then has the power to take the Holy Spirit back to Himself? God the Father.

    What is one reason why God the Father would take the Holy Spirit back to Himself? Well, examples in the Bible tell us that sin is one reason why the Holy Spirit is taken away.

    But, let me address your point about BINDING and LOOSING. Those verses are in Matthew, here:

    Matthew 16:

    16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Matthew 18

    15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

    20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    In the first passage, the Lord is specifically speaking to Peter. HE is given the power and the keys. However, I believe that, by extension, we are also given these keys, for we are built on that foundation.

    In the second passage, it is clearly more general. The Lord, as you surmise, is speaking about the church. The keys to heaven and hell ARE clearly given to the church. But, that is within the context of the church itself. This passage does not confer upon us the ability to bind that which is OUTSIDE the church. We have power only WITHIN the church. Remember, the context of the passage refers to those who are considered brothers and sisters in Christ. The binding and loosing appears to be the action of retaining and casting out members of our church. (Although, I am careful with this interpretation. Throwing someone out of a church doesn’t throw a person out of heaven. That is for God to decide.)

    Furthermore, note that as churches fall sick and die, their ability to be ‘salt of the earth’ (Matthew 5) diminishes. If we are the preservation of our nation, the sin that has crept into the church has diminished that ability to preserve.

    As I see the corruption from America wash up on the shores of every country I visit, I am more and more convinced that America MUST suffer judgement for what she is doing to the rest of the world. And, far too many of our brothers and sisters willfully participate in this corruption.

    [Carol] –Prior to the rapture, scripture says “he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says TO THE CHURCHES (Rev.3:22). After the rapture
    it says “he that hath an ear, LET HIM HEAR (Rev.13:9).

    [John] um… that hardly seems to prove when the rapture happens, one way or another. The Spirit sometimes speaks to a church as a whole. Sometimes He speaks to individuals.

    [Carol] –Satan has a duplicate for everything and Matt.24:24 confirms this. However Satan cannot duplicate a rapture!! We will meet the REAL JESUS IN THE AIR!

    [John] Yup! I completely agree. My own personal name for the Antichrist is The Counterfeit Messiah – or in the Hebrew: HaMashiach HaMezuyaf. Whoever the Antichrist is, this guy will look REALLY good and really authentic.

    [Carol]–The Jewish wedding proposal is a picture of the rapture. The Bridegroom offers the Bride a cup of wine (represent the blood/Salvation). If she drinks from the cup, she accepts him as her Groom (Savior). He then departs and “goes to prepare a place for her”. When the Bridal Chamber is complete, his FATHER inspects it to see that it is finished, and tells the Groom to go get His Bride. He takes some close friends (archangel) with Him to go fetch His Bride. When they are they are close, they blow a shofar and shout so the Bride knows her Groom is coming and she makes herself ready (lights her trimmed lamp) and the Groom takes her away to the Wedding Chamber (heaven).

    [John] I don’t see anything in the bible that confirms what you are saying. Yes, we have Jesus’s words that He was preparing a place for us. But, it looks like we are mixing metaphors here. If we are proving a pretribulation rapture, I think that we need something a bit more specific.

    [Carol] –The Feasts of the Lord are a blueprint of Prophecy. The first 4 have already been fulfilled on earth. The next one to be fulfilled is ROSH HASHANAH or Feast of TRUMPETS. Interestingly, this feast is called “THE DAY AND HOUR NO MAN KNOWS”. The Feast of YOM KIPPUR or ATONEMENT is a picture of the 2nd COMING when Christ returns with His army of Saints to Jerusalem, splits the Mt. in two and saves His Chosen People at the War of Armegeddon. This is when the Jews “LOOK UPON HIM WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED”, realizing Jesus really is their MESSIAH. Then comes the Feast of TABERNACLES (God Tabernacles with man) in which Jesus sets up His Kingdom on earth and dwells for 1000 years.

    [John] Yes, the Feasts ARE prophetic. But, this is in no way descriptive of a pretribulation rapture. Of course, I could have misunderstood your point. Please jump in and explain further.

    [Carol] Scripture tell us we WILL ESCAPE! There is no escape for the person who has not received salvation. But there IS for those who have not neglected salvation! Heb.2:3 “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.

    [John] Who is the writer of Hebrews addressing?

    If you read from Chapter 1, through chapter 2, it is clear that the writer is addressing the church – those that are saved. And, he is encouraging us to ‘not neglect’ what has saved us – which is precisely what our brothers and sisters are doing. And, I greatly fear for the safety of my brothers and sisters because of this neglect.

    [Carol] Luke 21:36 says “Be alway on the watch, and pray THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ESCAPE ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” We are instructed to have our lamps trimmed and watching for the Bridegroom’s appearance, living our lives in obedience to God because we will stand before the Son of Man at the Bhema Seat.

    [John] If anything, this verse directly supports a post/mid tribulation rapture. When the rapture happens, ALL in Christ will arise, no matter how lousy you are as a Christian. No matter how little, or how much, you have watched and prayed YOU WILL BE RAPTURED.

    So, Luke 21:36 CANNOT be talking about a pre-trib rapture. Quite the opposite. It clearly points us to a post/mid tribulation rapture.

    Now, remember that I’m not saying that we will not escape. There has always been an escape for those who love the Lord. However, the Bible is full of accounts of those who did not wish to listen to the warnings and suffered because of it.

    Do I know how we will escape? Not entirely. I know some things, but others seem to be a mystery. But, I think that’s how it is supposed to be. We are to prepare for the dangers that we see, and watch and wait for the ones that we cannot see right now. If we are truly watchful (and responsive) we will escape.

    [Carol] Rev. 3:3 “So remember what you received and heard. Obey it, and repent. If you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you won’t know the time when I will come to you”. For those who KNOW the signs and seasons and are watching and waiting for the rapture, He won’t find them sleeping, but alert and expecting His return.

    [John] This verse makes no sense in the context of a pretribulation rapture. It ONLY makes sense if there is something coming BEFORE the rapture takes place.

    Remember, the rapture will happen to you whether you want it, or not. And, there are some of us who will receive very little (if any) reward when the rapture does happen.

    My point is that far too many of us are asleep, confident that we will be raptured before any unpleasantness, and it is clear to me that this is NOT the case. If even HALF of what I see coming… if it hits us… hundreds of millions of people will die terribly – and that is BEFORE any advent of an Antichrist figure.

    If Iran successfully launches an EMP weapon in 2012 or 2013, over 200 million people will die within a year. And, there are people that I love and care for that will be numbered among the dead.

    DO NOT LET A BELIEF IN A PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE KEEP YOU FROM PREPARING FOR THIS!

    And, an EMP threat is only one of MANY threats that face us.

    [Carol] This is just some of what I have learned regarding the PRE-TRIBULATION rapture. I would be interested in hearing your response.

    [John] Sorry for not doing this earlier. I am a typical one-thing-at-a-time guy. If I’m midway through an idea or concept, I have to get ALL the way through it before tackling something else.

    I hope that the above has helped illuminate my own thoughts on the subject.

    Again, I do not consider the pretribulation rapture theory to be heresy in any way. It is merely, I believe, an incorrect interpretation of the Bible – an incorrect interpretation that is allowing people to ignore the ‘times and seasons’.

    Please, I beg you, prepare for what is coming.

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