You said — I think a more applicable question would be, “What does the Bible have to say about the rapture?”
Now, I agree with that, for sure. BUT, you must remember that this “issue” was raised by others, in that there was no one who ever understood that the Bible taught that (i.e., the “Rapture”, or being “taken up”).
So, this was not given as an answer from authority on the “teaching of the Rapture” — but rather — only an answer to some “criticism” that no one else ever saw the same thing (before) in history. And that was clearly not the case — as has been shown here.
NOW, having said that — indeed — the Bible is the authority for this teaching and not whether someone taught it five years ago, 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago.
In that light — *even* the “criticism” (from others) is illegitimate (according to your “thinking” above) because their criticism seems to indicate that for the Bible to have something to say “authoritatively” about an issue — it *must* have been “authenticated” by another person’s commentary and writing on the matter, sometime in ancient history (or else, the Bible is not “authoritative” on the issue). That’s absolutely false thinking.
No matter *when* a teaching is “promoted” by “people” — the Bible, alone and by itself, is the only authoritative teaching on the matter — no matter how many years or centuries it takes “people” to “discover” it.
You must remember that the “church” is something that was not known or taught about in the centuries before Jesus. It was a new thing. Now, I’m not saying the teaching of the Rapture was a new thing (because it wasn’t and it was quite old, going back many centuries) — but I’m just saying that to make a “criticism” on the basis of the “age of a teaching” is not legitimate.
AND..., from that standpoint — indeed, the Bible does teach such a thing as the Rapture (being caught up, taken up — forcefully, as in “Strong’s”).
Thanks for making that point and perhaps it will take people away from trying to make a big issue on “when” a teaching became known to the public and rather — into the authoritative word of God (instead).
Was the "church" started at the YHvH commanded or Did the "church" exist earlier ? Using the LXX as a guide we see that the Ekklesia
A study of the word "church", in the Koine Greek : Ekklesia. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
Feast day of Shavuot (pentecost) as some say ?
is first used in Deuteronomy 4:10
NAsbU Deuteronomy 4:10 "Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God Also see : Deu 4:10, Deu 9:10, Deu 18:16, Deu 23:3, Deu 23:4, Deu 23:9, Deu 31:30,
at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Assemble the people to Me, that I may let
them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on
the earth, and that they may teach their children.'
Jos 9:2, Jda 20.2, Jda 21:5, Jda 21:8, Jdg 20:2 Jdg 21:5, Jdg 21:8, 1 Sa 17:47,
1 Sa 19:20, 1 Ki 8:14, 1 Ki 8:22, 1 Ki 8:55, 1 Ki 8:65, 1 Ch 13:2, 1 Ch 13:4, 1 Ch 28:2,
1 Ch 28:8
Was the "church" started at the YHvH commanded
Did the "church" exist earlier ?
Using the LXX as a guide we see that the Ekklesia
We will have to agree to disagree on what the Bible teaches about the rapture. Nonetheless, I am sure that we can find common ground on John 3:16 as one of the key passages to describe a member of the invisible church.
I understand your argument about man not having to authenticate the Word of God. I agree that the Word of God stands on its own. My point is that there have been, throughout history, false teachers who teach one part of the Bible but ignore its message in its entirety. People unequipped with a broad understanding of the Bible and are in a teaching position can quite easily lead someone astray. In fact, at the time of the Reformation there were a number of teachers who thought they could go outside of the Church's boundaries now that they had "permission" to read the Bible. They were unequipped to teach, yet they in some cases collated large crowds. Sadly, in many of these cases, these crowds met an awful fate at the hands of authorities. It is still necessary for those that teach the Word of God to be solidly grounded in that word. The Bible must be used to interpret the Bible, not another man's commentaries. It is a self consistent book incapable of contradicting itself. Those who think they can teach who know but some of the Bible are mistaken. That is my point.
So, this was not given as an answer from authority on the teaching of the Rapture but rather only an answer to some criticism that no one else ever saw the same thing (before) in history. And that was clearly not the case as has been shown here
I am not arguing the history of the definition of the rapture. As an amateur historian, I find such debates interesting, but in terms of growing my faith, a distraction. I understand your point and have no further comment.
Actually, the Bible makes it pretty clear that the Church, Gods called out people, has existed in all ages. It was foretold to Abraham, who was called the after of many nations, and came to faith while he was still a gentile. Romans 4 and Galatians 3 teach that all those who are of faith are children of Abraham. The author of Acts speaks of the Church (called-out assembly, ekklesia) in the wilderness (Acts 7:38).
God has always had a plan for one people, and that plan was revealed in the Old Testament and fulfilled perfectly in the New. (cf. Psalm 22:27,28; Isa. 42:1-9; 49:5,6,22,23; Zech. 2:11).
All orthodox Christians agree that at Christs return, all the saints are resurrected and receive their glorified bodies. Those who are living at the time are changed and go into the glorified state without tasting physical death. Those who are alive will not precede those who have died in this transaction. All orthodox Christians also teach a resurrection of the unrighteous followed by their entry into eternal torment.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
What all orthodox Christians do not agree upon is the notion that the resurrection of the just and the unjust is separated by a period of time, whether it be 1000 years or 1007 years, or ??? Or, for that matter, whether there is a separation in time between the resurrection of one group of believers and another group.
In order to justify the second scenario, a whole lot of speculative ideas have to be read into 2 verses of the Bible, namely 1 Thess. 4:16,17. You have to believe (impose upon the text) that because Paul only mentions believers that he intended to place a chronological gap between the resurrection of the just and the unjust. Or, because Paul uses the phrase to meet the Lord in the air that somehow that means that Jesus turns the boat around and we all hightail it back to heaven to sit out the great tribulation. And because of this convoluted theology you have to assert that the trumpet of 1 Thess. 4 is different from the last trumpet of 1 Cor. 15. Or that the last trumpet of 1 Cor. 15 is really not the last trumpet because they are plainly other last trumpets in the book of Revelation (which supposedly all happens after the rapture, according to the popular theory).
So if you look a the two scenarios, and compare them to the Bible, the orthodox version which claims one resurrection of both the just and unjust and one general judgment of all men, and the second, with multiple coming, multiple appearances, multiple resurrections, multiple judgments, etc., you can understand why this second scenario has been rejected by the majority of Christians since its development in 1830.
Most of us have had enough time to study it over the last 170 years and found it does not, in fact, fit with all we read in the Bible.