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The End Times: what I don't believe [Evangelical Dispensationalism and the Jews]
Israel Insider ^ | November 30, 2006 | Stan Goodenough

Posted on 12/01/2006 12:53:15 PM PST by Alex Murphy

A few months ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting some new neighbors for the first time. Young parents in the orthodox Jewish community, they were intrigued to discover these Gentiles -- one South African, the other Czech -- who had chosen to make Jerusalem their home, marrying in Israel's ancient capital, and bringing five children into the world in the heart of this global hot spot.

While the two mothers paired off and visited in Hebrew, I spoke with the young man who probed me for answers, keen to understand our reasons for being here.

I told him that we are believers in the God of Israel; emphasizing that his God is my God. I said we believe the Bible which says that God's promises and covenant with the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob are eternal; that the nation of Israel, today reconstituted in its own homeland, is that offspring and thus the inheritor of those promises. My wife and I love and stand with the Jewish people, I said, because our God loves them as a nation and has a glorious future in store for them; He has also commanded that we love, comfort and serve them.

We want to go with them into that future because we know that God is with them.

My explanation seemed to hold his interest until, in answer to another question, I described myself as an evangelical Christian. The quizzical look left his face.

"Oh yes, I know what you believe," he said. "You believe that more massive death lies ahead for us, that two thirds of the Jews who have come home will be destroyed by armies that hate Israel, and that those who survive will become Christians and join with you."

His statement was matter-of-fact, without rancor. Nor did his pleasant demeanor change as he leveled the damning charge that, ultimately, my motivation for "loving Israel" was the selfish outworking of a Christian agenda.

I'll record my response to him in a sequel to this article.

My reader may (or may not) be surprised to know that a great many Jews, including those who have expressed genuine gratitude for Christian support and friendship these past painful years, believe that the position described by my neighbor -- and known in Christianese as pre-millennial Dispensationalism -- is universally held by Christian Zionists.

Let me give you another example:

Under the headline "Jewish community grapples with evangelical support," The Jewish Journal (April 21 to May 4, 2006) reported on an interfaith gathering in Boston earlier this year.

Convened in a Brookline synagogue, the event was called "Comfort My People -- Jews and Christians standing together for Israel."

"It is the kind of meeting," said the Journal, "that has become more and more common in the past few years as Jews and evangelicals, united in their support for Israel, have built closer spiritual and political bonds."

Undermining these growing ties, however, is the widely-held and deeply-rooted suspicion that these Christians have a "secret agenda" -- the conversion of the Jews.

While a participating rabbi dismissed the threat, saying the leadership of this Christian group "doesn't have the perspective that a lot of evangelicals do," the Journal reporter noted:

"It is precisely that concern -- that the ultimate goal of such encounters is the conversion of the Jews -- that has bred skepticism of the evangelical embrace of Israel.

"The worry stems in part from certain interpretations of the Book of Revelations [sic], which make Jewish control of the Holy Land a prerequisite for the Rapture, when true believers will be ushered into heaven ahead of the Apocalypse."

Said the paper: "Evangelist Chuck Missler -- who once told a reporter that Israel gets more support in America from Christian fundamentalists than from 'ethnic Jews' -- has called Auschwitz 'just a prelude' to what will happen to Jews in the Last Days."

Missler is far from being a loner. Other high-profile pro-Israel evangelicals -- preachers and Bible teachers -- also subscribe to these beliefs, among them:

- Kay Arthur, founder and director of Precept Ministries -John Hagee, founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonia, Texas, and founder of the newly-formed Christians United for Israel -Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority founder and founder of Liberty University -Jack van Impe, whose website describes him as the "Walking Bible" and "one of the world's foremost prophecy scholars."

Kay Arthur appears on the dais at all major pro-Israel events in the United States, and was recently nominated to co-chair a new women's association of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. She has stated publicly that what lies ahead for Israel will make Hitler's Holocaust look like "a Sunday school picnic."

In her novel, "Israel My Beloved," Arthur has the heroine standing in a massively destroyed Jerusalem, dead and dying Jews littering the ground around her as she whispers in horror, "Auschwitz was never like this."

Hagee, Falwell and Van Impe all hold to this classic Dispensationalist view -- which says that the Church will be raptured out of here while the Jews are left behind to face, in the title of Van Impe's book, "Israel's Final Holocaust."

In "Jerusalem Countdown," published earlier this year, Hagee states emphatically, (as if it were written in the Bible instead of having been deduced from a variety of scriptural passages by mere, if well-intentioned, men):

"Let me remind you that during the great Tribulation the Gentile church is in heaven [while] ... a nation called Israel is alive and well" down on earth.

He repeats it elsewhere with this twist: "... please understand that during the Great Tribulation Christians will already be in heaven at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb."

The message that Jews understand as being an almost universal evangelical doctrine is that the Christians will be partying it up in heaven with "their" Lord while His Jewish people will be going through hell on earth.

What a dangerous and terrible assumption!

It is not only Jews who have identified pro-Israel Christians as all belonging in this camp. At a Council on Foreign Relations meeting earlier this year, guest speaker and former US President Jimmy Carter was asked to comment on the "religious right's" involvement in support of Israel."

This was his answer:

"Well, if you mean the extreme right, the fundamentalists, that is a group of Christians ... who believe that the final coming of Jesus Christ can only occur after the entire Holy Land is taken over by Israel. And that includes the destruction, for instance, of the Dome of the Rock and other Arab or non-Christian groups.

"In the final stages, though, it also calls for the execution or conversion of all Jews to Christianity. (Laughter.) Those are the two elements to it....

"So that's what the right-wing Christians espouse: the complete eradication of any non-Jews from the West Bank and Gaza, the ultimate coming of Christ, the death or conversion of all Jews. That's what they espouse."

Also this year, in its July 28 edition under the question-marked headline "Are these the End Times?" Newsweek published an interview with Tim LaHaye, co-author of the mega-best seller Left-Behind series. (Read the entire interview here)

According to his answers LaHaye, whose influence on the apocalyptic expectation of his millions of Christian readers can hardly be exaggerated -- he was also on the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy -- holds and expresses the following views:

- That the antichrist will come and "sit at his kingdom after the Rapture." - That the Church will be "gone" before "the Tribulation" - That Christians should support Israel so that they can be blessed by God. - That many Jews "but not all ... will accept Christ" during "the Tribulation." - That liberal Israelis will likely support the rise of the antichrist.

What is bizarre is that Christians embracing this end-time scenario of an Israel that is attacked by the whole world, its land occupied, its cities destroyed, its people mass-murdered and its women ravished etc are seen as pro-Israel!

So we see one critic of Left Behind, Michelle Goldberg, describing it as "the bestselling series of paranoid, pro-Israel end-time thrillers...."

Goldberg says the books are openly hostile to the Jewish religion.

She derides these "pro-Israel" Christians, for whom "the chain of events that lead to the return of Christ depends on the existence of a Holy Land that is under catastrophic assault."

Nor are they in the minority. Goldberg quotes from the Left Behind website, where LaHaye and co-author Jerry B. Jenkins emphasize that "while it is true that in the broad spectrum of Protestant Christianity there are multiple views of the end-times scenario, the pre-millennialist theology found in the Left Behind Series is the prominent view among evangelical Christians, including their leading seminaries such as Talbot Seminary, Trinity Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary."

It is important to me that my readers -- Christians and Jews -- clearly understand that this theology, this eschatology, is not mine. Reading back through the above paragraphs, let me highlight the beliefs that I do not share.

I do NOT believe that:

- The Church will be "gone" before "the Tribulation"

- Israel's Jews will be "left behind."

- The antichrist will come and "sit at his kingdom after the Rapture."

- Massive death lies ahead for the Jews in Israel; that two-thirds of the people of Israel will be destroyed; that Israel will face another holocaust; that Auschwitz is "just a prelude" to what will happen to Jews in the Last Days or that "what's coming on the Jews will make the Holocaust seem like a Sunday School picnic."

- A third of the Jews will survive to become Christians; Many Jews "but not all ... will accept Christ" during "the Tribulation."

- The final coming of Jesus Christ can only occur after:

1) the entire Holy Land is taken over by Israel; 2) the destruction of Arab or non-Christian groups; 3) the complete eradication of any non-Jews from Judea, Samaria and Gaza; 4) The death or conversion of all Jews.

- Christians should support Israel so that they can be blessed by God. - Real Christian Zionists hold these beliefs.

In my sequel I will spell out which beliefs I do embrace.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; Judaism
KEYWORDS: apocalypse; arthur; dispensationalism; endtimes; evangelical; falwell; hagee; israel; lahaye; lastdays; leftbehind; missler; rapture; tribulation; vanimpe

1 posted on 12/01/2006 12:53:17 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
As he sat o­n the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"

And Jesus answered them, "See that no o­ne leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray o­ne another and hate o­ne another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the o­ne who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the o­ne who is o­n the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the o­ne who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!

Pray that your flight may not be in winter or o­n a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.


Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

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 heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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 out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from o­ne end of heaven to the other.

- Matthew, Ch. 24

(just a little reference material...)

2 posted on 12/01/2006 1:34:44 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Alex Murphy

I'm not a Dispensationalist but...

It takes a truly paranoid worldview and a lightning speed to take offense to perceive as "anti-Jewish" the belief that the Jewish Messiah will one day come at a time of great peril to rescue Jerusalem and its inhabitants.

"The Writings" (the books Isaiah through Malakai in the Christian "Old Testament") are filled with promises of horrible things happening to the citizens of the nations of Judah and Israel. Are they also anti-Jewish?

Are Falwell and Lahay "anti-Jewish" because they believe that Jews will one day recognize Jesus as their "Lord"? Let me ask this: If the Jewish Messiah comes tomorrow, is recognizing him as Lord and as whomever he says he is (even G_d himself) a Jewish thing or a Christian thing? Say a man has a Jewish mother, is circumcized, and follows all 270-odd rules of Moses's Law?. If he rejects the authority of the Messiah when he comes, is he a true Jew?

Perhaps an Orthodox Rabbi and Falwell will never agree about what will ultimately occur when the Messiah comes. Does that make Falwell "anti-Jewish"? Orthodox Jews and Reformed Jews don't agree on almost anything except that Jesus isn't a Jewish thing. But Falwell is some kind of special danger to Jews?


3 posted on 12/01/2006 2:19:44 PM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Alex Murphy
I do NOT believe:

THE BIBLE...

Paul the Apostle talked of Dispensationialism...

Regardless of what your school, church or pastor tells you, the coming Tribulation is real...You don't want to be there...You don't want your family to be there...

If you can't find the Rapture and the Tribulation in the Bible, pick it up again...Just you, the bible and the Lord...Ask God to show you...And prepare you...

4 posted on 12/01/2006 5:37:41 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool
You don't want to be there...You don't want your family to be there...

Should we just "off" ourselves now, then?

5 posted on 12/01/2006 5:52:08 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Iscool

I can find the Tribulation in the Bible, but I can't seem to locate the "rapture".

I surely can find the Second Coming, but I can't find the "rapture".

As to "classic dispensationalism", what is really classical about the bad dream of a little Brethren girl less than 200 years ago?

LaHaye and Jenkins simply reformulated Hal Lindsay who reformulated M.R. DeHaan who reformulated H.A. Ironside who probably reformulated C.I. Scofield who, along with a few others, over the years, divided, and then dominated, the conferences started in 1878 at Niagra which spawned the Fundamentalist sect.

And the Niagra Conferences came from J.N.Darby, who reformulated the dream of that little Brethren girl. And from that dream came a whole host of dispensational, apocalyptic sects, of which Fundamentalism is merely one.

That's the nutshell version.

If Paul the Apostle talked of Dispensationalism, surely J. Vernon McGee perfected it.

No, I don't want to be there during the Tribulation. I would like to die peacefully in my bed. But, tell me, how could it be any worse in those days for any individual Christian than it was in the days of Christians under Nero, or in the days of Savonarola or in the case of Christians today in China or any other Christ hating society? Did Bonhoffer have it better under Hitler?

Christians have been burned alive, buried alive, eaten by lions, stoned to death, gutted, de-tongued, de-fingered, decapitated, tortured beyond belief, crucified upside down, and left to die agonizing deaths. The Tribulation has been with us since Christ rose to be with His Father.


6 posted on 12/01/2006 8:20:47 PM PST by norge
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To: Alex Murphy
Should we just "off" ourselves now, then?

Nope...Just be sure of your salvation, and avoid the Tribulation...

7 posted on 12/01/2006 10:48:26 PM PST by Iscool
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To: norge
But, tell me, how could it be any worse in those days for any individual Christian than it was in the days of Christians under Nero, or in the days of Savonarola or in the case of Christians today in China or any other Christ hating society? Did Bonhoffer have it better under Hitler?

I can't imagine either scenario...I suspect the worst is being forced to watch your loved ones being ripped to shreds...

As to "classic dispensationalism", what is really classical about the bad dream of a little Brethren girl less than 200 years ago?

I don't know anything about that but if you are suggesting that some little girl invented dispensationalism, I don't buy it...I see it all over the bible...

I can find the Tribulation in the Bible, but I can't seem to locate the "rapture".

Not necessarily you, but a lot of folks don't believe what they read in the bible...How about the Bride of Christ and the marriage supper of the Lamb??? You believe in that???

8 posted on 12/01/2006 11:04:44 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool

How about the Bride of Christ and the marriage supper of the Lamb??? You believe in that???

Of course, I do.

As to Dispensationalism, I won't belabor the point, but I would suggest, if you are interested, that you study how it came to be prevalent in the Evangelical community.

First, start with Darby and work back. Then take a look at the Niagara conferences which spawned the primary expositor of Dispensationalism, Scofield.

I will be the first to admit that the Rapture and Dispensationalism are so ingrained in Evangelicals it almost appears to be "Biblical".

My position regarding the Rapture is agnostic, not, however re the Second Coming.

9 posted on 12/02/2006 5:15:13 AM PST by norge
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To: norge
First, start with Darby and work back. Then take a look at the Niagara conferences which spawned the primary expositor of Dispensationalism, Scofield.

Just out of curiosity, I may do that...I've read references to Scofield but haven't delved into his history...I can't say whether his ideas have indirectly influenced my view of the scripture...

I've heard it said that Scofield 'invented' the rapture since it was unknown up until his time...I take the view that God will reveal certain 'biblical' things to people as the time approaches for them to be fulfilled...

I know there's a great deal of stuff in Ezekiel, Zachariah and other places that I'll never get...I'm guessing those things will be revealed to the right people at the right time...

And then there's the disbelief factor...How many people will get into a discussion about that gigantic body of water above the stars??? The one that NASA hasn't found yet...I believe that God opening the Red Sea is a 'type' of the Rapture showing us that He will open that great body of water during the Rapture...

I realize a person has to reach to get that, but it's in THAT book...There is SO much stuff in THAT book...

10 posted on 12/02/2006 6:02:57 AM PST by Iscool
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To: Iscool

I am not trying to be dogmatic, because, as you point out there is a lot in that Book.

The point is, Pre-Trib, Post-Trib, Dispensationalism or not, they are all minor side issues that are, at best, interesting. The important thing is a person's relationship to Christ.

On that, I am sure we agree.

As to whether Scofield has influenced your view of Scripture, let me assure you, he has, even though you may not know it. There was a time in this country (30's, 40's, 50's, 60's) when the only Bible one would carry in order to show he was a "real Christian" was the 1909 edition of the Scofield KJV, leather-bound, gold-edged, with onion-skin pages. The preferred edition was 7 by 4 and a half. To really show how deep you were, the pages would be marked, and highlighted, with hand-written comments from some wonderful sermon one had just heard. If you were particularly deep, passages would be marked not just in red, but in blue. They even had special pencils that were red on one end and blue on the other.

It wasn't just the KJV that was God-inspired, it was the Scofield KJV that was God-inspired. Preachers would simply refer to "page so and so in your Scofield Bible". Most of us have moved beyond that today...with a few exceptions.

If you want to see how much influence Scofield has had on you, go to your nearest Bible Book Store and pick up a copy of the original 1909 Scofield with all the notes (they still sell them). You'll literally see the blueprint of modern day Dispensational Fundamentalism.


11 posted on 12/02/2006 7:20:28 AM PST by norge
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To: Alex Murphy
Some people think prophecy must be interpreted by first judging whether they agree with God on the fairness of the plan. If they don't agree then it can't mean what it says. And they think that to believe prophecy is somehow selfish in one way and hateful in another.

If you approach prophecy by prejudging God and the motives of all those who believe then you are just going to end up with a self-willed interpretation.

For the non-believers, take comfort. We are not commanded to make it happen. We are told to watch for the signs. So if they are right and we are wrong then there is nothing for them to worry about. The signs will never appear. However....if we are right and they are wrong, they need to stop falsely accusing people of evil motives and plots.

12 posted on 12/02/2006 8:36:03 AM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
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To: Iscool

The problem with the Rapture is that Revelation is quite explicit regarding the Resurrections. John even numbers them: First Resurrection. Second Resurrection. The first occurs at the Second Coming. The second occurs after the Millennium.

There is no mention of a "pre-resurrection" occurring at the Rapture and it is difficult to wedge one in.

I understand the problem however. Jesus said no man knows the time He would establish his kingdom. If one believes that a seven year Tribulation starts with the appearance of the Anti-Christ, then it *would* be possible to identify His coming. The Rapture helps resolve that problem, but as I said it has problems of its own.


13 posted on 12/02/2006 9:25:21 AM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Crush T Velour
The problem with the Rapture is that Revelation is quite explicit regarding the Resurrections. John even numbers them: First Resurrection. Second Resurrection. The first occurs at the Second Coming. The second occurs after the Millennium.

I agree...However, as I see it, the 1st Resurrection has 3 parts to it...It's called the harvest and it consists of the firstfruits, the main harvest and then the gleanings...

During the Rapture, only the Christians/Saints see Jesus and they meet Him in the air...At the 2nd coming, ALL eyes are on Jesus as he lands on earth...

As far as Revelation is concerned, the wedding takes place in heaven with the bride of Christ, the church, and then Jesus comes back for the 2nd coming...The church is getting hitched in heaven during the Tribulation on earth...

14 posted on 12/02/2006 3:05:10 PM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: Iscool

I've yet so see anything that makes me believe we are meant to *avoid* hardship & avoidance is written all over the Rapture. Faith & knowledge brought by our faith gives us strength to withstand anything, including the Tribulation.

Ezekiel - Chapter 13

http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Eze/Eze013.html#20

Pay attention to 13:20

Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make [them] fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, [even] the souls that ye hunt to make [them] fly.

"Pillows" are protective charms. Watch for those offering charms to show the reaper those who are looking to fly away in the Rapture, so you'll know whether or not there is truth in what you're being told about the Rapture here. IOW, don't take my word for it, but please have your eyes opened & remember.

KJV English Concordance for "pillows"

http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin.blb/words.pl?hr=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eliyah.com%2Flexicon.html&icon=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eliyah.com%2Fbackto.gif&textcolor=000000&linkcolor=0000FF&vlinkcolor=A000FF&show_strongs=yes&word=pillows


15 posted on 12/02/2006 4:54:42 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: norge

Good post!


16 posted on 12/02/2006 4:56:20 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: Alex Murphy
Should we just "off" ourselves now, then?

Is "offing" yourself the way you have been taught to meet or greet the Messiah? Were you taught that the Messiah will come during good times or He come when things are most difficult?

17 posted on 12/02/2006 5:02:25 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: Iscool
I agree...However, as I see it, the 1st Resurrection has 3 parts to it...It's called the harvest and it consists of the firstfruits, the main harvest and then the gleanings... As far as Revelation is concerned, the wedding takes place in heaven with the bride of Christ..The church is getting hitched in heaven during the Tribulation on earth...

This explanation is far too complex for an event that remarkably simply related in Revelation. One should note that Revelation is not written chronologically throughout, and there is reason to suppose that the Marriage Feast of the Lamb is a one time event rather than a continuous event. After all, if you are right, then who are the 12,000 evangelizing during the Tribuation? I don't have all the answers regarding Bible prophecy, but I'm pretty well satisfied that the Rapture has problems that cannot be overcome without some new inspired revelation.

18 posted on 12/02/2006 7:14:27 PM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Crush T Velour
there is reason to suppose that the Marriage Feast of the Lamb is a one time event rather than a continuous event

Correct...I agree...

but I'm pretty well satisfied that the Rapture has problems that cannot be overcome without some new inspired revelation.

I haven't encountered those problems...

19 posted on 12/02/2006 7:31:48 PM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: Iscool

Ah! Well, if you're just going to get snarky...


20 posted on 12/02/2006 8:08:02 PM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Iscool

Ah! Well, if you're just going to get snarky...


21 posted on 12/02/2006 8:21:17 PM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Iscool

I assume this is where you see support for the Rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not preceed them which are asleep.

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:

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.

Looks like you'd be heading up in your rapture with others who are asleep, as the Lord arrives down here on Earth (in the air).

Cloud

http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?strongs=3507

Air

http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?strongs=109


22 posted on 12/02/2006 9:34:28 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: Crush T Velour
Ah! Well, if you're just going to get snarky...I don't have all the answers regarding Bible prophecy, but I'm pretty well satisfied that the Rapture has problems that cannot be overcome without some new inspired revelation.

Wasn't getting snarky (is that a word?)...Millions of people see the Rapture in the bible...Millions of others don't...And how do I explain that??? My explanation is that many people don't believe what they read...

And then there's the issue of 'rightly dividing the word of truth'...

I attended a Pentecostal church years ago for a number of months...Good people...Good preachin'...Good worship...

The preacher would talk about the covenant of God with Moses...And of course the folks in the pews would be praisin' God...There'd be many a-mens...A lot of 'preach it, brothers'...And a few folks would shout about the covenant message, "That's me, that's me...That's my covenant"...

In the same message, the preacher would move to the covenant with Abraham...And folks would hollar, 'That's me...That's me...

And then the preacher would move on to the Apostle Paul's message to the church and how we're saved thru faith without works; lest any man should boast and the croud would respond with 'that's me, that's me...

By this time the preacher is stomping his feet on the stage and he runs to the book written to the twelve tribes of Israel, James, and says 'but look here, you gotta do good works and work out your own salvation like Paul says and be good to the end like Peter says...And the crowd yells, thats me, that's me'...

And then the preacher quotes from the book written to the Hebrews, and says 'if you stumble and fall, you'll lose your salvation...So make sure you're back here Wednesday night so you can get saved again'...And the people shouted, that's me, that's me...We'll be here...

At the end of the service, some would go forward to get demons cast out, ailments healed and businesses blessed...

The point I am making is obvious...You have to believe what you read but you have to decipher who it was written to...

You indicated it would take a new revelation from God to convince you that there is a Rapture of the church...Maybe He will reveal it to you...Mabye He has and you didn't believe it...I don't know what else to say about it...Is that 'snarky'??? I don't know...

23 posted on 12/03/2006 3:47:32 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: GoLightly
"Pillows" are protective charms.

Watch for those offering charms to show the reaper those who are looking to fly away in the Rapture, so you'll know whether or not there is truth in what you're being told about the Rapture here.

H3704
ëÌñú
keseth
keh'-seth
From H3680; a cushion or pillow (as covering a seat or bed): - pillow.

If keseth means 'protective charms', why do the bibles say 'pillows' instead of 'protective charms'???

The Greek and Hebrew have been translated into English printed bibles over 200 times...Maybe next time they will get it right???

24 posted on 12/03/2006 4:32:32 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: GoLightly

:)


25 posted on 12/03/2006 5:19:02 AM PST by norge
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To: Iscool

Well, I don't know if "snarky" is a word but it is a word that one needs no dictionary to immediately know what it means.

Look, I was raised to believe in the Rapture. I DID believe it with my whole heart. But then I became a Christian and carefully read the Bible again. Revelation leaves no room for a Rapture...even you see that. You have to sub-divide one of the Resurrections to accommodate it. But John speaks of one return of Jesus and one Resurrection at that time. Unless there are two times where Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, then there are not more Resurrections.

That is the insurmountable wall I've been talking about.


26 posted on 12/03/2006 6:12:09 AM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: norge

You said: "My position regarding the Rapture is agnostic, not, however re the Second Coming"

Actually I think that is probably a good philosophy. I have trouble with the rapture theory. It seems IMHO that the whole pupose of the tribulation is to make Christians take a stand. Some of the "fence stradling" Christians (those who are pro-abortion, pro-gay etc,) will have to choose whether they support their secular beliefs or their Christian beliefs. To show this support they will have to recieve the "mark of the beast."

Will there be a "rapture?" Yes, it was promised that Jesus would return to collect his bride, that all the dead in Christ shall rise, and that after the resurrection of the dead then those living Christians shall be changed and go with Christ. That is clearly taught buy Jesus himself.

Will it happen before the great tribulation? I don't know. But my opinion is no.


27 posted on 12/03/2006 6:23:10 AM PST by DaiHuy (There is no problem so great it cannot be solved with the application of explosives.)
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To: DaiHuy

Let me rephrase that, to show their support for their secular beliefs they will have to recieve the "mark of the Beast," otherwise they will endure the hardships and torture of Christians.


28 posted on 12/03/2006 6:25:31 AM PST by DaiHuy (There is no problem so great it cannot be solved with the application of explosives.)
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To: DaiHuy

My belief in the Second Coming is absolute. On that we agree.

The point on which we may differ is "the Tribulation", in the sense that it is an element of Dispensationalism. Here, again, I am agnostic regarding the whole concept of Dispensationalism (the Rapture and Dispensationalism go hand in hand).

Both Dispensationalism and the Rapture are relatively new teachings, not taught in the Christian church until popularized in the mid-1800's.


29 posted on 12/03/2006 6:51:38 AM PST by norge
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To: Alex Murphy

I got side-tracked from the original intent of the post.

I think that some of the critics may be right about support for Israel having a lot to do with apocalyptic end times. But I doubt that Fundamentalists are as crass in their thinking as some of these critics would make them appear.

As for me, I support Israel because I believe they have a special place in God's heart, and that they are a special people.


30 posted on 12/03/2006 7:02:57 AM PST by norge
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To: Alex Murphy
I was reading along, thinking about how in the past year or so every single truth of the Word of God has been "analyzed" by "Christians" whom, everyone should rest assured, do not believe that the truths and prophecies of God are actual fact, and eventually got to the quotation by Jimmy Carter and then wondered why these people, who seek to discredit God, establish Him as a liar, and draw people away from Him, always manage to do to themselves what they try to do to God.

Curiously, this article brought to mind 2 Timothy 3:13:

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

The writer of this article is merely a cog in he wheel of the fulfillment of the prophecies he holds in such contempt. I pity the poor fellow.

31 posted on 12/03/2006 7:24:07 AM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
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To: Crush T Velour
Revelation leaves no room for a Rapture...even you see that.

Nope...What I was agreeing to was that Revelation mentioned two resurrections...And like I said, the first one has 3 parts to it...

32 posted on 12/03/2006 8:29:01 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: GiovannaNicoletta

I am just curious, not trying to be combative. Are you suggesting that the end times as laid out by Tim LaHaye and other Dispensationalists is fact? (I ask this question only because a Fundamentalist in my family brought out LaHaye's timeline of the end times to rebut my anti-Rapture questions.)

Or would you agree that Christians can have differing views on end times?

I happen to believe the "prophecies" of God. But so did the Pharisees, the religious Fundamentalists of the day, believe the prophesies of God. They were wrong.


33 posted on 12/03/2006 9:55:36 AM PST by norge
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To: Crush T Velour
But John speaks of one return of Jesus and one Resurrection at that time

Jesus does not 'return' for the Rapture...It's the saved who do the travelling...

34 posted on 12/03/2006 10:14:45 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: Iscool
Earlier in Ezekiel 13:

18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the [women] that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive [that come] unto you?

19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear [your] lies?

So, let's go with kacah {kaw-saw'}. 1) to cover, conceal, hide

Would you be covering some kind of bed with those pillows in the armholes in your garments? To what purpose?

The Greek and Hebrew have been translated into English printed bibles over 200 times...Maybe next time they will get it right???

Don't completely rely on any of the translators or blame them. They offer you a guide, but it's up to you to use the tools available to you to seek beyond the words they selected, words which made sense to *them*.

13:18, with it's coverings & scarves looks like talk about practices of another religion. I do not know what they teach about the end times, other than victory for them. At least some of their sects teach that Ishmael was the eldest, thus the rightful heir to the Prophesies, making Israel & his children usurpers.

Many have been deceived by the teachings of the false prophet, but I don't think many Christians are or will be. Yet, we are taught that many of our own *will* be deceived, because the Anti-Christ will look victorious for awhile AND he won't be using their book to deceive us, but our own.

35 posted on 12/03/2006 10:59:26 AM PST by GoLightly
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To: Iscool
Jesus does not 'return' for the Rapture...It's the saved who do the travelling...

Lay it all out, chapter & verse.

36 posted on 12/03/2006 11:02:15 AM PST by GoLightly
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To: Iscool
Jesus does not 'return' for the Rapture...It's the saved who do the travelling...

Which brings us back to the issue of the First Resurrection. John is explicit in chapter 20 that Jesus returns, binds Satan, and then occurs the First Resurrection.

37 posted on 12/03/2006 2:39:11 PM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: norge
Yes, I do believe that the end times as laid out by Tim LaHaye and others is fact. I believe that these prophecy scholars have correctly laid out, using Scripture that clearly correlates with current world events, the end of this age as told to us by Jesus.

I do not believe that Christians, the Christians who have become Christians based not on their own system of picking and choosing which Scripture to believe and which not to believe, and based not on which of God's principles and commandments they like and which they don't and which they will follow and which they won't, but based on what God Himself told us it takes to have our sin debt settled with Him, will be removed from the scene before God brings judgement on the earth. I believe God when He says:

Revelation 3:10:

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

At no time in the history of the world did God ever leave His own people to suffer the judgement that He brought on people who rejected him. God got Noah out of the flood, God took Lot out of his destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah- the Scriptures are full of examples of God's judgement being reserved for those who have chosen to reject Him, not for His own people.

I therefore believe in a literal rapture, and I believe in a seven-year period of wrath upon the earth and on those who do not know God. I know that the people of Noah's day laughed at him when he was building the ark and laughed at the idea of a "flood" because up until that time, it had never rained. And as God says, there is nothing new under the sun, and so there are those today who laugh at the idea of a rapture because in their limited, finite, fallen human minds, they cannot imagine such a thing. And, it is also not politically correct to suggest that there is a penalty for sin; that there is a day of accounting to God.

And I do believe that Christians can have differing views on the end times, but when I see what is happening in the world today matching up exactly with Scripture, I have to believe what Scripture states about the last months and days before Christ returns.

38 posted on 12/04/2006 1:10:14 AM PST by GiovannaNicoletta
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To: GoLightly
Lay it all out, chapter & verse.

C'mon now...You've read the bible...You know where the verses are at...

You've shown us that you like to 'change' the bible...Either you don't believe it, or you don't like what it says...

And the ones you posted are a good place to start...

1 Thessalonians 4:

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not preceed them which are asleep.

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:

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.

Looks like you'd be heading up in your rapture with others who are asleep, as the Lord arrives down here on Earth (in the air).

So let me ask, did you see anything in any one of those verses that said Jesus would land on the ground??? I didn't...You added to the scripture to make it fit your theology...

I'm just going to hit on a couple of verses due to a lack of time...Look at this one...Here's the 2nd coming...

1Th 3:13 To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Did you get that??? When Jesus shows up at the 2nd coming, his saints, the church, will be coming with him...They have gone up...Now, they/we will come back down...Why, to do battle at the end of the tribulation...Just prior to Jesus setting up His Kingdom on the Earth for a thousand years...That's right, WE are going to fight and kill...

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Although most (or all) of the Catholic translations didn't use the word 'now', it's in the Majority Text...But as you can see, the statement is that if Jesus' Kingdom were in place now (then), his servants would slaughter those who oppose Him...

These are just a couple of the verses...And there's a bundle of 'em...You've read 'em...You don't believe 'em...

Christians are going up...They're getting married...They're coming back with Jesus at the end of the Tribulation...And they're/we're going to slaughter a couple hundred million people...

It's in there...Believe it, or don't...

39 posted on 12/04/2006 8:37:16 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: Crush T Velour
Which brings us back to the issue of the First Resurrection. John is explicit in chapter 20 that Jesus returns, binds Satan, and then occurs the First Resurrection.

I think that if you look again, you'll see the first resurrection doesn't take place til after the millenial reign of Jesus...

40 posted on 12/04/2006 8:43:29 AM PST by Iscool (Anybody tired??? I have a friend who says "Come unto me, and I'll give you rest"...)
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To: Iscool
I think that if you look again, you'll see the first resurrection doesn't take place til after the millenial reign of Jesus...

Okay, I'll look again...(thumbing through Revelation)...Errr, no.

Revelation 19 relates Jesus's return and His war against "the beast" (v 19). Then the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire (v 20). Then Satan is "into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (20:3).

Then "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and [those]which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands...lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (20:4)

So much for the claim that there will be no Christians during the Tribulation.

Then 20:5 says " But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."

No this is quite clearly just prior to the Millenium.

41 posted on 12/04/2006 10:53:27 AM PST by Crush T Velour
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To: Alex Murphy
I appreciate your sentiments and thoughts on this matter. I was once a "pre-tribber" and still am a pre-millenialist. However, I have in recent years come to the conclusion (from scripture) that the tribulation will not be aimed at the Jews primarily, but at Christians. The idea that we are somehow entitled to escape such fierce persecution when those who were closest to Christ, historically, were hunted and crucified, etc. is pure delusion.
42 posted on 12/08/2006 9:53:43 PM PST by Steel-toed-Consevative
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