Skip to comments.Jesus' Return (for the Rapture of all who belong to Him) is Very Near
Posted on 02/27/2010 8:02:16 PM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt
Disasters - earthquake, Tsunami, others - happening rapidly now.
Read Matthew 24. There will be earthquakes.....etc.
When we see these events occurring in increasing frequency it is because these are the "birth pangs" that we have been told by Jesus Christ Himself - would happen closer together in time as do the birth pangs of a woman in labor. The closer she gets to giving birth, the worse the birth pangs become and the closer together they come.
Why do you feel it necessary to belittle Catholics?
Don’t we all belive in Christ as our true Lord and Savior?
I would never get on a thread and tell you that the only way to be forgiven is to go to a priest, or to pray the rosary is the only way to salvation.
Please look into your heart. There is a lot of hate there swelling up and pouring out and that is NOT Christian at all.
I must respond to this as I am now of the age. My peace is settled. OK
Do a Google image & regular search for “hole punch clouds”, AKA “fallstreak clouds”.
Nothing all that mysterious nor “new” about them.
yes..and we know why certain ones met him secretly.
..I admire Nicodemus for when the time came he showed his faith in Christ in full view of the audiance.
It can show in amazing ways. Burden is the devils folly. Liberty is our Savior. The Founders knew it, I suggest the citizens get to know it. :^)
If anyone does not know Jesus as their personal savior try starting with the Gospel of John. I have found The Holy Bible to be one of the most fascinating and compelling books I have ever read and continue to reread daily. If you do not have a bible here is an online one to reference.http://www.bible.com/
John 3:16 (New International Version) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
That alone is a long way from knowing what God is but it is the truth. God will shape your life in such a way that keeps everything intact. He will strip you of your possessions then give them back. He is a part of all we do. He has my family and when that time comes I will shout!
He was in the Philippines recently; then in the San Francisco Bay Area late this week for the Apple board meeting. Now, he just turned up on the NYT op-ed page.
You really do need to learn to Google to answer your questions.
It makes you look like an ignorant, superstitious @55 with no credibility, if you attempt to ignorantly present the entirely knowable/explicable as something supernaturally mysterious.
Vain arguments in a public forum about clouds, earthquakes, disasters, and Al Gore's whereabouts are not the way to bring people to Christ; it does the exact opposite by bringing ridicule upon not only yourself, but ALL believers who try to speak of Him to the unbeliever. It comes close to equating the Bible with a supermarket tabloid.
Try presenting the positive side of Christian believe: Christ's love.
Where the spirit of the LORD is, there is Liberty..
Mary McDonald will get you for that!
So people who mock should not be called mockers? That’s political correctness for you.
Wish it were tonight !
Interesting - thanks.
The thought that keeps coming to me is that we are living in a time when “the things that can shaken are being shaken...but the things that cannot be shaken will stand”.
I know there is a verse about that but haven’t been awake long enough to look it up yet...
God bless you. See previous post.
Is that from a song?
Yes you will - and so will I! Oh boy - look out wherever we end up ruling and reigning....only Jesus Christ could plan things like this!
It’s sll there in His Word - for all who will to see it and believe.
But none is so blind as he who WILL not see.
BUT, having said that -- I've got a disagreement with this idea that Christians will know when the Rapture (along with the Tribulation time) is getting near by the frequency and/or severity of the earthquakes in the world. Of course, Matthew 24 is the relevant quoted section in the Bible for this, and I believe what is said there is exactly true -- except -- that it's true for the time inside the Tribulation (that seven years prior to the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, on this earth to set up His one-world government) -- and that it was spoken to Israel, who is going to be "inside the Tribulation" when it comes about.
And there are plenty of other Christians, who believe that Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, is returning very soon now (during the lifetimes of many of those alive and reading this thread right now) -- and who do not believe this (Matthew 24 and earthquakes) is talking about any event or events prior to the Tribulation.
There is a Rapture, to be sure..., as the Bible is very clear on that. And it's very clear that there are two things which are described in the Bible for Jesus' second coming ... one being for His church (which is the Rapture) and one when He returns to the earth to set up His one-world government. They are two events, separated by the Tribulation time and they are not one and the same event (you could say they're "Part A" and "Part B").
Understanding them as not being one and the same event at the same time -- (1) Jesus coming for His church and the resulting Rapture, and (2) Jesus coming to set up the one-world government -- explains a lot of the supposedly conflicting statements related to Jesus' second coming.
AND ... so..., what we see right now, is that the frequency of earthquakes in the world is not increasing. In fact, an argument could be made that they are in a decreasing mode..., which is very interesting (in the overall longer-term graph...).
So, since y'all are discussing the Rapture, Jesus' second coming and earthquakes, you will be interested in the following... I'm sure... :-)
by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D.
An Urban Legend
As the Twentieth Century comes to an end and a new millennium approaches, many would-be prophets predict increasing natural disasters. This concern about earthquakes, volcanoes, famine, and epidemic disease is not without reason. More people have died in the Twentieth Century because of earthquakes, for example, than from war. Both secular and religious seers regard earthquakes to be a sign that civilization faces an impending cataclysm. In his book, A.D. 2000: A Book About the End of Time, Rene Noorbergen, a secular author on the occult, predicts:
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will occur with increasing frequency; in fact, a higher increase of these events will shake us to the core and will make our survival a constant struggle from now on.1
Noorbergen bases his prediction on the past:
The world has already been shocked by the renewed volcanic eruptions and the increased seismic activity foretold by French visionary Nostradamus.2
Sometimes Bible teachers rephrase the notion that earthquakes are on the increase:
In this century, there have been more earthquakes than all the rest of history put together.... Every 10 years, earthquakes double in number, and so it has been for the last 10 decades. During the later part of this decade, earthquakes will occur with increasing regularity, creating terror and panic throughout the world. Jesus said that was one of the signs of His coming.3
Gary Stearman, a writer on Bible prophecy, used data published in the October 11, 1995, Philadelphia Inquirer. According to that newspaper the number of Richter magnitude 6.0 and greater earthquakes worldwide has been increasing from nine in the 1950s, to 13 in the 1960s, to 51 in the 1970s, to 86 in the 1980s, and to more than 100 in the 1990s. Stearman4 used this data to argue for a pronounced increase in the frequency of the largest earthquakes. When Stearman's readers confronted him with much more earthquake data than in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was compelled to revise significantly these numbers.5 However, Stearman still insists that earthquakes are increasing.
Do we have here an example of an urban legend? How well-documented are recent statements concerning earthquakes being on the increase? Are the data sets for this century's earthquakes complete? Have the deployment of more seismographs during the last few decades made detection and cataloging of earthquakes more complete, thereby enhancing the perception of increase? Does the public have the perception that earthquakes are on the increase because earthquakes now afflict our larger urbanized populations, and, therefore, are more often reported by the media?
Catalogs of Earthquakes
The year 1997 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the general deployment of standardized and calibrated seismographs. As a result, continuous global monitoring of large earthquakes has now continued for more than 100 years.6 Global, historic earthquake data have been synthesized and are available from three main sources:
1. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The NEIC maintains an Internet web site with databases and summary files open to the public (the URL is http://earthquake.usgs.gov).
2. Council of the National Seismic System (CNSS), a consortium of thirty seismological institutions. Each of the member organizations submits data to an authoritative composite catalog that interested researchers can investigate on the Internet (the URL is http://quake.geo.berkeley.edu:80/cnss).
3. National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NGDC has produced a two-volume CD-ROM called the "Seismicity Catalog" detailing over four million seismic events from 2100 B.C. to 1995 A.D.7 A major part of the catalog is on the Internet and will be updated frequently.
Care and good judgment must be exercised in using global seismic data. Many events smaller than magnitude 6.5 were not reported or properly measured for the early part of the century. Therefore, we cannot compare effectively the frequency of events less than 6.5 from the first and second halves of the century. The global synthesis of magnitude 7.0 and greater is good, even for the earlier decades of the century. However, some catalogs which might be assumed to provide complete records, actually have noteworthy deficiencies. For example, checking the composite global database of the CNSS against CNSS member organizations, revealed many omissions from the main catalog of known earthquakes, even many earthquakes greater than magnitude 7.0 in the 1990s. Careful study must be conducted before a trustworthy earthquake inventory can be made.8
Global Synthesis of Twentieth-Century Earthquakes
Excellent global summaries of the frequency of large earthquakes have been prepared by the NEIC (for example see the Internet web site at http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/eqlists/7up.html). These include the "killer quakes" which cause most of the fatalities. The frequency of this century's "major" (magnitude 7.0 to 7.9) and "great" (magnitude 8.0 and higher) earthquakes is summarized in figure 1. The figure shows the frequency of the biggest earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 and higher) by year from 1900 to 1996. A total of 1,943 events are reported, an average of 20 big events per year. Of the 20 events, an average of one per year is a "great" earthquake and average of 19 per year are "major" earthquakes. However, our century's biggest earthquakes have not been constant through the years. The 1940s was the decade of our century with the most energetic earthquakes (mean=30 events per year with standard deviation of 5.8) and the 1980s was the decade with the least energetic earthquakes (mean=11 events per year with standard deviation of 4.1). The inconstancy is perhaps best illustrated by asking a computer to fit a tenth-degree polynomial equation through the frequency data. The curve shown in figure 1 suggests about a 30-year periodicity in earthquakes of our century. Contrary to the would-be prophets, there is no obvious trend indicating an abnormal increase in the frequency of large earthquakes during the last half of our century.
Figure 1. Global frequency of earthquakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater in the present century. Earthquake frequency is not constant with time and suggests the birth pangs theme of the Bible. The 97 years of data come from the Internet web site maintained by Madeline Zirbes of the National Earthquake Information Center (the URL is http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/eqlists/7up.html).
The global earthquake frequency data can be used to argue just the opposite of the popular urban legend; earthquake frequency through the century appears to indicate overall a slight decrease. For the data in figure 1 we note 1,093 big earthquakes for the first half of the century (1900 to 1949). That is an average of 22 big earthquakes per year. For the nearly completed second half of the century (1950 to 1996) we note just 850 big earthquakes. That is an average of just 18 per year. When 1998 and 1999 are completed, it is likely that the second half of the century will have about 900 big earthquakesnearly 200 less than the first half. Thus, the 30-year cyclic pattern appears to be modulated around a slightly-declining trend. This earthquake frequency pattern is consistent with creationist ideas suggesting overall exponentially-declining tectonism and volcanism following Noah's Flood.9
Twentieth-Century Earthquakes As "Birth Pangs"
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of earthquakes as "signs" of His coming again to receive His saints. He said, "There will be earthquakes in divers places" (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8), a fact now verified by the global distribution of earthquakes recorded on seismographs. Most noteworthy is Jesus' statement that the earthquake sign is the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). The word translated sorrows in many English Bibles is the Greek word for "birth pangs." Just as we know from birth pangs that a pregnant woman is about to give birth to a child, Jesus says we know that the intolerable anguish of God's judgment and the return of His Son is at hand. The 30-year cyclic curve of earthquake frequency in figure 1 is consistent with Jesus' statement about birth pangs.10
The apostle Paul also develops the birth pang theme when he notes that the whole creation is "groaning in travail" (Romans 8:22) awaiting the new birth of the world. The apostle John speaks of a "great earthquake" associated with the opening of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12), followed by the sign of the pregnant woman (Revelation 12:2), and followed by the greatest earthquake since men have been upon the earth (Revelation 16:18-20). This future "Armageddon earthquake" will be associated with the return of Christ to Jerusalem (Acts 1:9-11; Zechariah 14:1-11) and is described as inflicting severe topographic and geologic changes on a global scale.11 After God's voice shakes the earth mightily (Hebrews 12:26) and fully accomplishes these extraordinary geologic changes, His saints will receive a "kingdom which cannot be moved" (Hebrews 12:27-29).
1 Rene Noorbergen, A.D. 2000: A Book About the End of Time (New York, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1984), p. 80.
2 Ibid. The statement comes from inside the front of the book's dust jacket.
3 Lester Sumrall, "Famines, Pestilence, Earthquakes, as Man Rebels," in Bob Anderson et al., Earth's Final Days (Green Forest, AR, New Leaf Press, 1994), pp. 63-76.
4 Gary Stearman, "Are Earthquakes on the Increase?" Prophecy in the News (June 1996).
5 See Stearman's apology for the Philadelphia Inquirer's incomplete data in "Earthquakes are Indeed on the Increase" (pp. 27-28) in the next issue of Prophecy in the News.
6 K. Abe and S. Noguchi, "Revision of magnitudes of large shallow earthquakes, 1897-1912," Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, 33 (1983), pp. 1-11.
7 National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, Seismicity Catalog (Boulder, CO, National Geophysical Data Center, 1996), two volumes on CD-ROM.
8 For an updated introduction to the various earthquake information sources see Dr. Steve Malone's "Surfing the Internet for Earthquake Data" (the URL is http://www.geophys.washington.edu/seismosurfing.html).
9 Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman, and Kurt P. Wise, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model for Earth History (Santee, CA., Geology Education Materials, 1996), 48 pp. and 80 slide photographs.
10 Steven A. Austin, "Earthquakes in these Last Days," Institute for Creation Research Impact No. 198 (December 1989), 4 pp.
11 Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983), p. 321.
*Dr. Austin is Chairman of the Geology Department at ICR.
Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss*
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
(Unpublished manuscript of January 14, 1999. These authors published a simplified,
less technical version of this paper in 1999 under the title "Are Earthquakes Signs of the End Times?:
A Geological and Biblical Response to an Urban Legend,"
Christian Research Journal, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 30-39.)
Our primary concern is with the first part of the discourse, where Jesus warns against being deceived by false christs or being alarmed at wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes:
And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. 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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs." (Matt. 24:4-8)
Among dispensationalists there are two main interpretations of these verses. As we shall see, neither confirms that earthquakes will increase as the present Church age draws to a close.
(1) Some dispensationalists see the whole of the Olivet Discourse as relating to the tribulation period. Verses 4-8 are usually said to concern the disturbances of the first half of the tribulation while verses 9-26 concern the second half - the Great Tribulation.53 Evidence for this is claimed in the similarity between the events described in verses 4-8 and those associated with the seven seals of Revelation 6.54 For advocates of this view, the earthquakes identified in verses 7-8 are not part of the present Church age, but rather the tribulation period. In this case, even if the birth image in verse 8 were to indicate an increase in earthquakes (which is not necessary - see discussion below), this increase occurs during the tribulation, not during the present Church age. Present (Church age) data concerning earthquake frequency has little or no bearing on the text.
(2) Other dispensationalists (as well as many non-dispensationalists) claim that verses 4-8 (or verses 4-14) concern not the tribulation period, but general signs which are characteristic of the present age. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote that the events described in verses 4-8 "are the characteristics of the unforeseen intervening or intercalary age"55 - that is, the Church age. John Walvoord similarly affirms that "verses 4-14 are general prophecies that can find fulfillment throughout the present age, with verses 15-30 fulfilled in the Great Tribulation."56 He adds, however, that these former events "are repeated in the Great Tribulation when what was perhaps partially fulfilled earlier then have a very literal and devastating fulfillment."57 The primary evidence that verses 4-14 are signs characteristic of the present age are their general nature and the fact that Jesus identifies them as events which do not indicate the end ("but that is not yet the end") and so should not provoke apocalyptic fervor ("see that you are not alarmed").
[ an excerpt, see the link for complete article ... ]
Figure 1. Global frequency of the largest earthquakes during the twentieth century. Graph (a) shows the frequency of M 7.0 earthquakes during the entire century (1960 events). Graph (b) shows the frequency of M 6.5 earthquakes after 1930 (4593 events). In both plots a general decrease in earthquake frequency is evident through the twentieth century.
Table 1. Numbers of M 6.0 earthquakes worldwide in the twentieth century. The numbers of earthquakes reported in the National Geophysical Data Center file called "1900.EQ" greatly exceed those reported by Hal Lindsey from his unspecified U.S. Geological Survey source.
We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.
A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.
According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.
See the chart at this USGS webpage...
I have no idea - but Jesus certainly knows.
How about the Tsunami that we were witnessing getting ready to swamp Hawaii and California - yet just as we were typing and reading and hearing exactly what was happening - on the Live Thread here on FR - were the waters in many places dropped so low that the fish were flopping on the waterbeds and the whales fled away - and ALL the news sources expected the Tsunami to hit - big time - and just at the last minute, the Tsunami fizzled away to nothing - with very little damage to either California, Hawaii, the Philippines, Japan, Russia, or China - all of whom had Tsunami warnings blaring away and having thousands if not millions fleeing their coastlines which were threatened with danger if that Tsunami had hit as EVEERYONE was expecting!
We were eyewitnesses here on FR to God’s miraculous intervention to stop the Tsunami in its tracks.
I believe He did so in response to the prayers of thousands if not millions of believers the world over!
Actually the Mayans didn’t have a corner on the truth about what is happening or going to happen in this world...God’s Word is to be found in the Bible.
And it can be trusted 100%!
I might put the Mayan thing in the category of “good dreams” - see Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for what that means.
Sorry - maybe I did lose your point. What is it?
of course I am in charge of what I say, what I type, and what I do.
But if you don’t think God can control (direct, guide, bless) what we say - how do you explain the Bible?
And I am not a man - last time I checked.....LOL
Amen! Every good and perfect gift comes from God...who delghts to give good gifts to His Children - and to all the world - for he sends the rain on the just and the unjust!
We also know that HIs Word is sent forth and does not return to Him void!
We can rely on Him to water the sowing of His Word so that there will be a great reaping of souls unto the harvest - BEFORE the great and terrible “day of the Lord” comes!
Not sure what you meant.
Please note the rules for participating in the Rapture Caucus, if you wish to post on that thread. They are posted at the beginning and also, on the most recent posts this morning.
But, even if you don't want to post there, anyone can surely read it, if they wish... :-)
SO..., for all those who wish to really get into discussing the Rapture and the soon-coming of the Lord to set up His one-world government, over all the people on the earth, please do so (within the rules given, of course...).
Wouldn’t a sign of His coming been that the Tsunami destroys coast lines around the world, killing millions? Isn’t that the kind of stuff that is supposed to happen as we near the Tribulation?
Wouldnt a sign of His coming been that the Tsunami destroys coast lines around the world, killing millions? Isnt that the kind of stuff that is supposed to happen as we near the Tribulation?
It wouldn't be a sign for the Rapture, but there are a lot of signs that lead up to the Messiah of Israel setting up His one-world government on this earth, over all the people of the earth -- which happen within the Tribulation time...
That the New Testament teaches Christ could return at any moment is a strong doctrine supporting the Pretrib Rapture doctrine (see 1 Corinthians 1:7; 16:22; Philippians 3:20; 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:79; 1 Peter 1:13; Jude 21: Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 17, 20). Pretribulationists call this the doctrine of imminence.
If Christ can return at any moment, without the necessity of intervening signs or events, then it renders pretribulationism most likely and posttribulationism impossible. Imminence in relation to the Rapture has been defined as consisting of three elements: the certainty that He may come at any moment, the uncertainty of the time of that arrival, and the fact that no prophesied event stands between the believer and that hour. 1
CHRIST CANNOT RETURN AT ANY MOMENT?
This application of imminence by pretribulationists to the Rapture has drawn strong fire from opponents. American Robert Cameron in 1922 wrote a book against pretribulationism that centered his attack against the doctrine of imminence.2 Early in his book he penned a chapter that asked: Could Christ Have Come At Any Moment?3 Throughout Camerons lengthy chapter4 he cites what he believes are items that would have to take place before any return by Christ, thus nullifying, in his mind, the any-moment doctrine of imminency as advocated by pretribulationists. Cameron believes that imminency is opposed to the whole of the New Testament.5
Camerons specific objections primarily consist of various items that he believes have to take place either during the lifetime of the apostles or before the return of Christ could occur. For example, Cameron says that the coming of the promised Holy Spirit by Christ in the Upper Room Discourse (John 1317) meant that many events had to take place in the lives of the apostles and since these were promised, Christ could not return while these events were being fulfilled in the lives of the disciples.6 Further, Cameron contends that Jesus promised Peter that he would live till he became an old man (John 21:1819), therefore, Christ could not return until after Peter lived to old age.7 Paul wrote to the church at Rome of a visit he proposed making to Jerusalem, and then to Rome, and after that to Spain" (Romans 15:2225, and 3031). If he had any thought of Christ coming immediately, could he have written this?8 It is gladly conceded that the next great, direct interference from heaven with the affairs of men will be the Coming of our Lord, declares Cameron. But then there are so many intervening events predicted that the word imminent, so commonly used at the present day, is certainly inadmissible.9
WHY CHRIST CAN RETURN AT ANY MOMENT
Look at these verses stating that Christ could return at any moment, without warning. In their specific contexts, they instruct believers to wait and look for the Lords coming at any moment. Thus, these passages teach the doctrine of imminence.
It is significant that all of the above passages relate to the Rapture and speak of the Lords coming as something that could occur at any moment, that it is imminent. These passages could only be true if the New Testament is teaching an imminent return. This is why believers are waiting for a person Jesus Christ not just an event or series of events such as those related to the Tribulation leading up to Christs Second Advent in which He returns to the earth and remains for His millennial reign. In contrast, Second Coming passages are often accompanied by events that must take place before the return. This is never the case with Rapture passages. Always, it is Christ Himself who could come at any moment. Gerald Stanton offers this insight: The posttribulational view robs every generation of an imminent, and consequently of a comforting and purifying hope. It argues that, because the Rapture was not imminent in the first century, it is not imminent in any century, and it cannot be imminent now. The Antichrist and the Great Tribulation are ahead, and there is no basis for expecting Christ to come before such clearly scheduled events.10
JESUS PROMISE TO PETER
New Testament teaches imminence deal with Camerons charge that Jesus promised Peter that he would live to an old age, so that Christ could not return before Peter became old?11 The passage from which this charge is derived is John 21:1819, which says, Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me!
First, Johns gospel account was not written until decades after Peters death when it would no longer be an issue one way or the other. As far as the church at large was concerned, notes John Walvoord, the information given to... Peter did not deter their belief in imminency because on a given day few would know whether... Peter was still alive, and most of them were not informed about the predictions.12
Second, the first book in the New Testament canon is James, which appeared around A.D. 50. By this time, Peter was in old age and his own death was conceivably imminent.13 Marshall Hawkins provides an excellent explanation as follows:
Time for this gap between Peters middle age and his old age is allowed for by the progress of revelation. It was not until the book of James (written just about A.D. 50), and then later in Pauls writings that the imminence of the rapture is revealed. Twenty years would have elapsed between the prophecy and the writing of James enough time for Peter to have aged sufficiently... By this time imminence was a viable doctrine for most of the church since they would have no idea whether Peter was alive at any one moment or not... For those accompanying Peter at this time, the rapture was also imminent because Peter may have been seized and martyred at any time, making the rapture possible immediately afterward.14
Hawkins concludes as follows:
It must be kept in mind that any attack on imminence due to the prophecy of Peters death must also take into account the passage in James chapter 5. Imminence must be disproved first before a persuasive argument against imminence can be maintained here. There are enough doubts about Peters age, about the time of the revelation of the doctrine of imminence, about how old Peter had to be before his death became imminent, and about when the prophecy of his death became known, to make the posttribulational case insecure. As long as the passage in James stands, imminence can be correlated with the prophecy in John chapter 21.15
We will find as we diffuse the many land mines set against pretribulationism that nothing in the New Testament stands in the way of Christs any-moment return. It is truly a blessed hope to realize that the Rapture is indeed imminent. Maranatha!
1 Gerald B. Stanton, Kept from the Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th. edition (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Co., , 991), p. 108.
2 Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1922).
3 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
4 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-69.
5 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
6 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-23.
7 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 23-24.
8 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 41.
9 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 68.
10 Stanton, Kept from the Hour, p. 123.
11 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 23-24.
12 John F.Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and The Tribulation: A Historical and Biblical Study of Posttribulationism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), p. 73.
13 Steven L. McAvoy, A Critique of Robert Gundrys Posttribulationism (Unpublished ThD Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986), p. 83.
14 Marshall Hawkins, Rebuttal of the Posttribulational Denial of Imminence (Unpublished ThM thesis, Capital Bible Seminary, 1979), p. 45. Cited in McAvoy, Critique, p. 83.
15 Hawkins, Rebuttal, pp. 4546. Cited in McAvoy, Critique, p. 84.
(To Be Continued...)
A number of arguments against the doctrine of imminence were put forth by pre-trib critic Robert Cameron in his book entitled Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return.1 Cameron contends that a proper understanding of the New Testament meant that Christ could not have come at any moment.2 In this issue, I will further evaluate more of Camerons arguments, which pre-trib opponents through the years have established as standard objections against imminence. Cameron attempts to disprove the New Testament doctrine of imminency by showing that certain events must take place either during the lifetime of the apostles or before the return of Christ could occur.
THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Cameron argues that the coming of the Holy Spirit, which Christ promised in the Upper Room Discourse (John 1317), meant that many events had to take place in the lives of the apostles. Christ could not return while these events were being fulfilled in the lives of the disciples.3 This is a rather trivial argument and I wonder why Cameron would even make it, since it can easily be dismissed.
The Church was founded on the Day of Pentecost, the day Christs promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled. How could Christ return for His Church before the Church was founded, as Cameron implies? How could the fulfillment of this predicted event possibly be a legitimate obstruction to the apostles and their belief in Christs imminent return? Gerald Stanton notes:
Actually, Pentecost took place a mere ten days after the ascension of Christ. It must constantly be kept in mind throughout this discussion that imminent does not mean immediate, and the fact that there was a brief interval before Pentecost does not prove that it formed any barrier to the disciples faith in the Lords soon return.4
PREDICTED EVENTS IN PAULS LIFE
Cameron writes that Paul wrote to the Church at Rome of a visit he proposed making to Jerusalem, and then to Rome, and after that to Spain (Romans 15:2225, and 3031). If he had any thought of Christ coming immediately, could he have written this?5 For this reason I have often been hindered from coming to you; but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spainfor I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a whilebut now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints (Romans 15:2225). Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company (Romans 15:3032). A similar passage is also cited against imminency in Acts 9:1516: But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My names sake.
These passages do not contradict the doctrine of imminency. In the Romans 15:2225 passage, Paul explains why he has not yet been able to visit them, but for many years he has desired to see them. Paul further explains in verses 3032 that Roman believers should pray that he might be released from the circumstances preventing him from coming to visit them in Rome by the will of God. Nothing in the passage above indicates that Pauls desire to visit is not controlled by the will of God. Nothing in this passage says that Paul would absolutely, by the will of God, come to Rome. Paul was seeking the will of God and proper timing for his long desire on this matter. Stanton writes:
All of his plans, including these proposed journeys, were contingent on the Lords leading and the further revelation of Gods will for his life. Thus it was that he conditioned his promise to the Ephesians, But I will return again unto you, if God will (Acts 18:21). To the Christians at Rome he expressed his desire that I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you. Often he had purposed to come unto them but had been hindered (Romans 1:9,10,13). He wrote plainly to the Corinthians: But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will (I Corinthians 4:19).6
It is clear that statements like those noted above that appear in the New Testament are under the control of the will of God. The timing of the prophetic events are also under the control of Gods will, as noted in Acts 1:7, which says, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. It is reasonable to believe that God will coordinate His plan for history in a way that will not bring into conflict events in the lives of his apostles with the events already scheduled to occur in His prophetic plan. Every indication in the New Testament is that Paul lived in such a way as to seek Gods will and direction for his life while at the same time knowing that the Rapture could occur at any moment, which would leave undone some of the plans he might have had to spread the message to which he had been commissioned.
In a similar way, Pauls example shows us that we should plan to follow the will of God, but at the same time we must recognize that Christ could, at any moment, interrupt our plans with the Rapture. Hey, I sure would not complain if that glorious event were to interrupt the long-range plans I have. The doctrine of imminence implies the possibility of an any-moment, sign-less coming by Christ at the Rapture. Since it is sign-less, there are no indicators of when it will occur; thus, we should plan to live as if we will die, but at the same time we are to be waiting for Himsince He could come today. This is the example provided by Paul.
It is gladly conceded that the next great, direct interference from heaven with the affairs of men will be the Coming of our Lord, declares Cameron. But then there are so many intervening events predicted that the word imminent, so commonly used at the present day, is certainly inadmissible.7 Posttribulationists say that prophesied events like the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:2924:2; Mark 13:12; Luke 19:4144; 21:2024) had to happen before Christs return could occur. They are both right and wrong! Nothing must take place before our Lords return in the clouds at the Rapture; but, on the other hand, hundreds of events must take place before the Second Coming of Jesus to planet Earth.
Posttribulationists like Cameron believe that there will be a single return of Christ in the future. They note the many events that must occur before His return. Pretribulationists believe many events are scheduled to occur before Christs return to the earth, and they will take place before His Adventduring the Tribulation, but after the Rapture. The post-tribbers simply ignore the many passages listed in my previous article indicating that Christ could come at any moment, without any signs preceding His coming, as if they were not in the New Testament. They then emphasize the many events that the Bible does say will lead up to Christs return.
For example, Matthew 24:2930 says, 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 the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, 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. This passage describes all the events of the Tribulation and the darkening of heavenly luminaries; then the sign of the Son of Man will occur before the coming of the Son of Man (the Second Advent). Pretribulationists agree that signs precede the Second Coming, but we believe the Rapture is a separate event that is not preceded by signs, and thus, the posttribulational argument has no traction since there are two events and not one.
There is no necessity for signs before the Rapture since the New Testament teaches that we are to wait for Jesus, who could come at any moment. The posttribulationist wrongly insists that there is but a single event in the future, which is preceded by signs. Therefore, the more that one recognizes the New Testament teaching of two future events (one imminent and the other not), then, they are able to harmonize properly the two sets of passages. Maranatha!
1 Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1922).
2 The title of a chapter against imminence in his book: Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
3 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-23.
4 Gerald B. Stanton, Kept from the Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th. edition (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Co., , 1991), p. 112.
5 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 41.
6 Stanton, Kept from the Hour, p. 121.
7 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 68.
I had seen many of those photos in my own search earlier on these "mysterious" clouds...,.
But that website has even more - and some I had not even read about - cotton ball clouds for instance.
Powder puff cloud
Hole punch clouds
One of many from that website
Yes these apparently are happening all over the world.....
You may have been aware of their occurrences, but I wasn't- not until there was a FR thread posted about the one in Mexico City on Feb 22 which referred back to the one over Moscow, Russia in Oct of 2009 which led to a story about a similar cloud over Romania about that time and then another one over Utah.
These appear to be "bowl like" or just round "punch through" clouds that often have sort of a feathery type cloud in the middle of the "round" hole.
My guess is that the "feathery" cloud things we are seeing in these hole punch clouds are some of God's awesome angels!
Who by the way always seem to show up whenever God is doing something awesome like when Jesus was born (remember the Angels appearing to those Shepherds in the field? And remember the Angel at His tomb when his followers ran there that Sunday morning after Jesus had risen from the grave! (He IS the Resurrection and the Life, by the way). The angel that day said - why do you seek the living among the dead! He is risen and goes before you ...)
And then what about the Angels after Jesus ascended into heaven - who said to His followers- "Why do you stand there gazing into the sky? Jesus will return in the same manner also - (among the clouds)..now go get busy taking the good news to everyone you can reach! (implied)
And if you do a search on "cloud" or "clouds" in Biblegateway.com or Bible.com you will find many references to "clouds" all through the old testament times and during Jesus' lifetime and right after His resurrection and then again in the book of Revelation which is about the "unveiling" of Jesus Christ, the soon returning King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He came the first time as the lamb who took the sins of the world on Him and bore them on that cruel cross - despising the shame - for the Joy that was set before Him (the joy of bringing many sons - and daughters - to glory!
But we have many many promises throughout scripture that the Messiah is going to return - coming the 2nd time - not as a lamb but as the Lion of Judah!
Yet before that terrible "day of the Lord" (the Great Tribulation) - He is out there - up there - all around us even here on FR - (through His servants) trying to reach as many souls as possible so they will be with Him and all those He takes in the great "snatch" - the Rapture of His Beloved Bride - His church! which is the next great event on His calendar according to His very clear Word - which can be summed up nicely by just Reading the book of Revelation (unveiling of Jesus Christ in all His glory). That book is the only one in the Bible that specifically promises a blessing to any who read and study it!
As events become even more clear as to what is coming upon the world - I hope and pray everyone who can will get a copy of the Bible and read that book - and we are NOT to be afraid - but to rejoice instead!
And to just put our lives and the lives and souls of all our beloveds into His merciful and loving hands and He will take care of the rest!
What is it? Who will it affect? When is it most likely to take place?
by Dr. David R. Reagan
The Rapture is a glorious event which God has promised to the Church.
The promise is that someday very soon, at the blowing of a trumpet and the shout of an archangel, Jesus will appear in the sky and take up His Church, living and dead, to Heaven.
The term "Rapture" comes from a Latin word, "rapio," that means "to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out." It is, in turn, a translation of the Greek word, "harpazo."
So, "Rapture" is a Biblical word that comes right out of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. The word is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In the New American Standard Version, the English phrase, "caught up," is used. The same phrase is used in the King James and New International Versions.
A Promise to the Church
The concept of the Rapture was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets because it is a promise to the New Testament Church and not to the saints of God who lived before the establishment of the Church. Jesus will return as a bridegroom for His bride, and that bride consists only of Church Age saints.
The saints of Old Testament times will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation and not at the time of the Rapture of the Church. Daniel reveals this fact in Daniel 12:1-2 where he says that the saints of that age will be resurrected at the end of the "time of distress."
The first clear mention of the Rapture in Scripture is found in the words of Jesus recorded in John 14:1-4. Jesus said, "I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
The most detailed revelation of the actual events related to the Rapture is given by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He says that when Jesus appears, the dead in Christ (Church Age saints) will be resurrected and caught up first. Then, those of us who are alive in Christ will be translated "to meet the Lord in the air."
Paul mentions the Rapture again in 1 Corinthians 15 his famous chapter on the resurrection of the dead: "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet" (verses 51-52).
Paul's reference here to being changed is an allusion to the fact that the saints will receive glorified bodies that will be imperishable, immortal, and perfected (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 50-55 and Isaiah 35:5-6).
To summarize, these passages teach that the shout of an archangel and the blowing of a trumpet will herald the sudden appearance of Jesus in the heavens (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The dead in Christ will be resurrected and rise up to meet the Lord in the sky. Then, those saints who are alive will be "caught up" to the Lord. Paul concludes his description in 1 Thessalonians 4 by encouraging his readers to "comfort one another with these words."
And truly the Rapture is a comforting thought! Consider the promises contained in the concept of the Rapture. Jesus will bring with Him the spirits of those who have died in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14). He will resurrect their bodies in a great miracle of re-creation; He will reunite their bodies with their spirits; and He will then glorify their bodies, making them immortal. And those believers who are living will not even taste death. Rather, they will be caught up to the Lord, and in transit, they will be translated from mortal to immortal.
All my life I have heard that there are two things no one can avoid: taxes and death. Well, that is not true. According to 1 Thessalonians 4, a whole generation of believers will escape death. Taxes appear to be the only inevitability!
The most controversial aspect of the Rapture is its timing. Some place it at the end of the Tribulation, making it one and the same event as the Second Coming. Others place it in the middle of the Tribulation. Still others believe that it will occur at the beginning of the Tribulation.
The reason for these differing viewpoints is that the exact time of the Rapture is not precisely revealed in scripture. It is only inferred. There is, therefore, room for honest differences of opinion, and lines of fellowship should certainly not be drawn over differences regarding this point, even though it is an important point.
Those who place the timing at the end of the Tribulation usually base their argument on two parables in Matthew 13 and on the Lord's Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.
In Matthew 24 the Lord portrays His gathering of the saints as an event that will take place "immediately after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29). This certainly sounds like a post-Tribulation Rapture. But it must be kept in mind that the book of Matthew was written to the Jews, and therefore the recording of Jesus' speech by Matthew has a distinctively Jewish flavor to it as compared to Luke's record of the same speech.
Note, for example, Matthew's references to Judea and to Jewish law regarding travel on the Sabbath (Matthew 24:15-20). These are omitted in Luke's account. Instead, Luke speaks of the saints looking up for deliverance "to escape all these things" when the end time signs "begin to take place" (Luke 21:28, 36). The saints in Matthew are instructed to flee from Judea and hide. The saints in Luke are told to look up for deliverance.
It appears, therefore, that Matthew and Luke are speaking of two different sets of saints. The saints in Matthew's account are most likely Jews who receive Jesus as their Messiah during the Tribulation. The saints in Luke are those who receive Christ before the Tribulation begins. Most of those who accept the Lord during the Tribulation will be martyred (Revelation 7:9-14). Those who live to the end will be gathered by the angels of the Lord (Matthew 24:31).
The parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30) and the parable of the dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50) can be explained in the same way. They refer to a separation of saints and sinners that will take place at the end of the Tribulation. The saints are those who receive Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation (Gentile and Jew) and who live to the end of that awful period.
The Bible clearly teaches that the Rapture is an event that is separate and apart from the Second Coming. The two simply cannot be combined into one event.
There are variations of the mid-Tribulation Rapture concept. The most common is that the Church will be taken out in the exact middle of the Tribulation, at the point in time when the Antichrist is revealed.
This concept is based upon a statement in 1 Corinthians 15:52 which says that the Rapture will occur at the blowing of "the last trumpet." This trumpet is then identified with the seventh trumpet of the trumpet judgments in the book of Revelation. Since the blowing of the seventh trumpet is recorded in Revelation 11, the mid-point of the Tribulation, the conclusion is that the Rapture must occur in the middle of the Tribulation.
But there are two problems with this interpretation. The first is that the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers. The Revelation trumpets have no relevance for the Church. The last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is a trumpet for the righteous. The last trumpet for the unrighteous is the one described in Revelation 11.
Another problem with this interpretation is that the passage in Revelation 11 that portrays the sounding of the seventh trumpet is a "flash forward" to the end of the Tribulation. Flash forwards are very common in the book of Revelation. They occur after something terrible is described in order to assure the reader that everything is going to turn out all right when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation.
Thus, the eighth and ninth chapters of Revelation, which describe the horrors of the trumpet judgments, are followed immediately by a flash forward in chapter 10 that pictures the return of Jesus in victory at the end of the Tribulation. The mid-Tribulation action resumes in chapter 11 with a description of the killing of the two great prophets of God by the Antichrist. Then, to offset that terrible event, we are presented with another flash forward, beginning with verse 15. The seventh trumpet is sounded and we find ourselves propelled forward to the end of the Tribulation when "the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord."
The point is that the seventh trumpet of Revelation relates to the end of the Tribulation and not the middle. It is the same trumpet that is referred to in Matthew 24:31, the trumpet that will be blown to announce the Second Coming of Jesus. It is therefore no basis for an argument in behalf of a mid-Tribulation Rapture.
A variation of the mid-Tribulation Rapture is the pre-wrath Rapture concept that places the Rapture at the beginning of the last quarter of the Tribulation, about five and a half years into the Tribulation.
The argument for this view is that the Church is promised protection only from the wrath of God and not the wrath of Man or of Satan. It is then argued that only the bowl judgments in the last quarter of the Tribulation (Revelation 16) represent the wrath of God.
But the argument for this view disintegrates when you consider two facts. First, it is Jesus Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the seal judgments recorded in Revelation 6. These judgments occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. Second, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets at the throne of God (Revelation 8:2).
All the judgments of Revelation are clearly superintended by God. That is the reason we are told in Revelation 15:1 that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation will finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture
I believe the best inference of Scripture is that the Rapture will occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. The most important reason I believe this has to do with the issue of imminence.
Over and over in Scripture we are told to watch for the appearing of the Lord. We are told "to be ready" (Matthew 24:44), "to be on the alert" (Matthew 24:42), "to be dressed in readiness" (Luke 12:35), and to "keep your lamps alight" (Luke 12:35). The clear force of these persistent warnings is that Jesus can appear at any moment.
Only the pre-Tribulation concept of the Rapture allows for the imminence of the Lord's appearing for His Church. When the Rapture is placed at any other point in time, the imminence of the Lord's appearing is destroyed because other prophetic events must happen first.
For example, if the Rapture is going to occur in mid-Tribulation, then why should I live looking for the Lord's appearing at any moment? I would be looking instead for an Israeli peace treaty, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the revelation of the Antichrist. Then and only then could the Lord appear.
This raises the issue of what we are to be looking for. Nowhere are believers told to watch for the appearance of the Antichrist. On the contrary, we are told to watch for Jesus Christ. In Titus 2:13 Paul says we are to live "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." Likewise, Peter urges us to "fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). John completes the apostolic chorus by similarly urging us to "fix our hope on Him" at His appearing (1 John 3:2-3).
Only Matthew speaks of watching for the Antichrist (Matthew 24:15), but he is speaking to the Jews living in Israel in the middle of the Tribulation when the Antichrist desecrates the rebuilt Temple.
Another argument in behalf of a pre-Tribulation Rapture has to do with the promises of God to protect the Church from His wrath. As has already been demonstrated, the book of Revelation shows that the wrath of God will be poured out during the entire period of the Tribulation.
The Word promises over and over that the Church will be delivered from God's wrath. Romans 5:9 says that "we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him [Jesus]." 1 Thessalonians 1:10 states that we are waiting "for His Son from heaven... who will deliver us from the wrath to come." The promise is repeated in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 "God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Some argue that God could supernaturally protect the Church during the Tribulation. Yes, He could. In fact, He promises to do just that for the 144,000 Jews who will be sealed as bond-servants at the beginning of the Tribulation (Revelation 7:1-8).
But God's promise to the Church during the Tribulation is not one of protection but one of deliverance. Jesus said we would "escape" the horrors of the Tribulation (Luke 21:3-6). Paul says Jesus is coming to "deliver" us from God's wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
There are several prophetic types that seem to affirm the concept of deliverance from Tribulation.
Take Enoch for example. He was a prophet to the Gentiles who was raptured out of the world before God poured out His wrath in the great flood of Noah's time. Enoch appears to be a type of the Gentile Church that will be taken out of the world before God pours out His wrath again. If so, then Noah and his family are a type of the Jewish remnant that will be protected through the Tribulation.
Another Old Testament symbolic type which points toward a pre-Tribulation Rapture is the experience of Lot and his family. They were delivered out of Sodom and Gomorrah before those cities were destroyed.
The Apostle Peter alludes to both of these examples in his second epistle. He states that if God spared Noah and Lot, then He surely "knows how to rescue the godly from trial and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:4-9).
Another beautiful prophetic type is to be found in the Jewish wedding traditions of Jesus' time. After the betrothal, the groom would return to his father's house to prepare a wedding chamber for his bride. He would return for his bride at an unexpected moment, so the bride had to be ready constantly. When he returned, he would take his bride back to his father's house to the chamber he had prepared. He and his bride would then be sealed in the chamber for seven days. When they emerged, a great wedding feast would be celebrated.
Likewise, Jesus has returned to Heaven to prepare a place for His bride, the Church. When He returns for His bride, He will take her to His Father's heavenly home. There He will remain with His bride for seven years (the duration of the Tribulation). The period will end with "the marriage supper of the Lamb" described in Revelation 19. Thus the seven days in the wedding chamber point prophetically to the seven years that Jesus and His bride will remain in Heaven during the Tribulation.
Speaking of Revelation, the structure of that book also implies a pre-Tribulation Rapture in a symbolic sense.
The first three chapters focus on the Church. Chapter 4 begins with the door of Heaven opening and John being raptured from the Isle of Patmos to the throne of God in Heaven. The Church is not mentioned thereafter until Revelation 19:7-9 when it is portrayed as the "bride of Christ" in Heaven with Jesus celebrating the "marriage supper of the Lamb." At Revelation 19:11 the door of Heaven opens again, and Jesus emerges riding a white horse on His way to earth, followed by His Church (Revelation 19:14).
The rapture of the Apostle John in Revelation 4 appears to be a symbolic type of the Rapture of the Church. Note that it is initiated by the cry of a voice that sounds like the blowing of a trumpet (Revelation 4:1). Since the Tribulation does not begin until Revelation 6, the rapture of John in Revelation 4 appears to be a symbolic type that points to a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
Some counter this argument by pointing out that although the Church is not mentioned in Revelation during that book's description of the Tribulation, there is constant mention of "saints" (for example, Revelation 13:7). But that term is not used in the Bible exclusively to refer to members of the Church. Daniel uses it to refer to Old Testament believers who lived long before the Church was established (Daniel 7:18). The saints referred to in the book of Revelation are most likely those people who will be saved during the Tribulation, after the Church has been taken out of the world.
An interesting argument in behalf of the pre-Tribulation timing of the Rapture can be found in 2 Thessalonians. The church at Thessalonica was in a turmoil because someone had written them a letter under Paul's name stating that they had missed the "gathering to the Lord" and were, in fact, living in "the day of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
Paul attempted to calm them down by reminding them of his teaching that the day of the Lord would not come until after the Antichrist is revealed. He then stated that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force "is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7).
There has been much speculation as to the identity of this restraining force that Paul refers to. Some have identified it as the Holy Spirit. But it cannot be the Holy Spirit because there will be people saved during the Tribulation, and no one can be saved apart from the testimony of the Spirit (John 16:8-11 & 1 John 5:7).
Others have identified the restrainer as human government. It is true that government was ordained by God to restrain evil (Romans 13:1-4). But the governments of the world are in rebellion against God and His Son (Psalm 2), and they are therefore a contributor to the evil that characterizes the world. Furthermore, the Tribulation will not be characterized by a lack of government. Rather, it will feature the first true worldwide government (Revelation 13:7).
In my opinion that leaves only one other candidate for Paul's restrainer and that is the Church. It is the Church that serves as the primary restrainer of evil in the world today as it proclaims the Gospel and stands for righteousness. When the Church fails in this mission, evil multiplies, as Paul graphically points out in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul says that society in the end times will be characterized by chaos and despair because "men will hold to a form of religion but will deny its power." When the Church is removed from the world, all hell will literally break loose.
The pre-Tribulation concept of the Rapture has often been condemned as "escapism." I think this criticism is unjustified. The Bible itself says that Christians are to "comfort one another" with the thought of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Is it a comfort to think of the Rapture occurring at the end of the world's worst period of war instead of at the beginning?
Regardless of when the Rapture actually occurs, we need to keep in mind that the Bible teaches that societal conditions are going to grow increasingly worse the closer we get to the Lord's return. That means Christians will suffer tribulation whether or not they go into the Great Tribulation. And that means all of us had better be preparing ourselves for unprecedented suffering and spiritual warfare.
If you are a Christian, you can do that on a daily basis by putting on "the full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:13), praying at all times in the Spirit that you will be able to stand firm against the attacks of Satan (Ephesians 6:14-18).
If you are not a Christian, your only hope is to reach out in faith and receive the free gift of God's salvation which He has provided through His Son, Jesus (John 3:16).
Actually - the terrible times of destruction will be DURING the Great Tribulation!!
which Jesus cuts short by His return at the end of the Tribulation period.
He said that unless He did return that way - no human being would be left alive at the end of that terrible time!
Perhaps in this time right before His return for His own, He is using these events to draw as many LIVE SOULS unto His Kingdom. (once we are dead, it’s too late to turn to Him....which is why the Bible says - Today is the day of salvation! (none of us knows when we will draw our last breath and once we do - it is TOO LATE to turn to Him for salvation!
Jesus is full of lovingkindness and full of mercy and grace!
I am just in as much awe as anyone else is who has been observing what has been going on especially lately...
But none of us who Know Jesus (which anyone can do if they either just Read His Word or ask Him to come into their heart - so when He does come in - we get a transformed mind and the scales fall off and we can SEE the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said that unless we become like little children (getting over the pride thing) and are born again - we cannot even see the Kingdom of God!
Thanks for that chart.
Sorry didn’t complete that sentence= meant to say that - no one who knows Jesus (who belongs to Him) should be surprised to see Him doing everything He can do to bring in as many souls into His Kingdom BEFORE His beloved Bride is Raptured up to heaven to be with Him during the awful times that will occur on this earth during the Great Tribulation!
I believe He is doing just as was promised in Revelation 14 (though I didn’t know til now this was speaking about this time BEFORE the Great Tribulation - and, who knows, it may also refer to the great harvest of souls that will happen even during those terrible times that will occur during the GREAT TRIBULATION - the day of God’s Wrath - that has been long promised all throghout the Bible - especially by Jesus Himself (as told in Matthew 24, for instance).
Revelation 14 (second half of that chapter): Note the information about Jesus and the angels involved in a great Harvest - where Jesus is seated on the clouds and is putting in His sickle to reap a huge harvest of souls...could that be what is going on with all these “unusual” clouds and the other “sky events” and all these disasters and the unusual weather - all of it!
6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earthto every nation, tribe, language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
The Harvest of the Earth
14I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man”[a] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” 19The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
“Christian faith is not a religion.
It is a relationship with the Creator of the Universe “
I agree with you.
No man knows the day or the hour.
“convert to Catholocism so youll belong to the religion He founded, and enjoy the hereafter!!!”
How can Catholicism show you the way of salvation when the priest themselves aren’t saved. Ask one of them, “Are you saved?”
No man knows the day or hour, but we are commanded to know the season “Learn the lesson of the fig tree...”
In Christs lament over Jerusalem shortly before His passion, one of the reasons He gives for the judgement of Jerusalem is “they knew not the time of their visitation”
If they knew their prophets the way they should have, they should have known the Messiah was due to present Himself to Israel at the very time of Christs entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
There is a phrase that bears repeating......Bible Babble
No - that’s right - but we ARE to know the season! Jesus Himself said it....
Praise God that you know Him!
Danuelson, wax on, wax off, Danuelson, sand the floor, paint the fence....
Amen and thank you!
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Cor. 15:51)
and (I Thess. 4:16) “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 prevent 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. “