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Author Topic: Pre-Trib or Post-Trib? ... The Final Word
Betty Louise
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Looking at some of the other threads and how mean people can get about topics here, I will not debate the issue. I have sought teaching from those I trust and I am secure in my belief. Reality is I am not going to change anyone else's mind nor will they change my mind, so there is nothing to gain but debating the subject.
I look forward to the day Jesus comes for His own.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Billy
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Betty Louise,
I must lovingly disagree. I believe that all issues can and should be debated, in the right context. I have often seen this done in a spirit of love. It is only when people get overprotective of their beliefs and start accusing people of not being real Christians that this becomes an issue. However, neither I nor anyone that I've talked to on this board have done that, in regard to eschatology. It is only when people start to believe that proper eschatology is essential for salvation that I have seen them say that it is not up for debate. This is likely brought on by their belief that the person that opposes their viewpoint is spreading demonic doctrines. Does anyone hear believe that I am spreading demonic doctrines? If not, let us have our discussion, but let's do so in the love of Christ.

In Christ,
Billy.

ps. I do believe that there is one instance in eschatology that is not up for debate, and that is the fact that Jesus is coming back. We should strive to do all we can with all He has given us, knowing that He comes as a thief in the night, in the hope that He will look on us and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Betty Louise
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I believe in the pre-trib rapture. I see no point in arguing with anyone about the issue. It is not a salvation issue so not worth offending a brother or sister in Christ. Rejoice in the soon return of Christ and leave the time table to God.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Billy
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Sorry. I explain this further, in another post, but I am often too busy to read really long posts and reply to them in their entirity. I am very much into the details and like to get into every nook and cranny. With long posts, like the one above, however, I would spend days trying to reply. I don't have the time or energy. But if you don't mind. Let us get more specific about the subject, and I would love to reply.

In Christ,
Billy.

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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friendlyrose
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Ok WildB, it was not intentional. I guess the spaces didn't show up how I thought they would.

Would love to hear any more thoughts to this topic billy or anyone if you still wish to reply.


@)<--<----

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Billy
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I've read your initial post, but I'll have to come back and read the article. You're right. It is long. I'll reply in a bit.

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by friendlyrose:
Hmmm just what do you mean wildB? That isn't very nice.

What do you want me to learn exactly? I take it you do not agree with me, but I have posted scriptures, and if you don't, then why don't you share your views.

That's what a messageboard is for. I have asked the others on this thread so far to share what they think and respond to what I write, so I am open to what people have to hear.

So I don't know what you're trying to say or just what you believe either. We can discuss things rationally without getting upset or attacking others. [cool_shades]

What I meant was put s few spaces in your post it makes it easier for us older folks to read.

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That is all.....

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friendlyrose
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Thanks for your replies Billy. And thanks also for serving our country. [Smile]

I will probably have to post more later in response to what you wrote, because I am tired now.

That is interesting that you think we are in the milennium now. But how can we be since Jesus is supposed to live and reign from Jerusalem for the 1000 years and with a rod of iron, so He will not tolerate hardly any sin? I will have to look up verses later, but it does not imply that He will return and then go back to heaven for the 1000 years. I have not heard that before. Plus, there will be less sin instead of increasing sin in the world today.

Also, all of the disciples were not beheaded, I believe only Paul was; most were crucified or killed in some torturous way though, but in the tribulation all will be beheaded by the antichrist. Also, someone posted a long time ago, I believe on this site, that they actually have secret guillotines being set up in this country and prison camps, under the guise of the government FEMA camps that have no purpose, and some that are staffed. Because if the president ever declares martial law in a time of national disaster, then he will be able to send people to these camps; anyway I don't have all the details and sorry that is off the subject, but it is quite frightening to me. I mean what purpose would our government need in setting up secret gullotines, such a brutal form of death, in these modern times of electric chairs?

I do not know much about the illuminati either; just bits and pieces that I have read that even suggests that every president of the usa is a secret member and that no president will ever be allowed to win who is not a member, and that John F Kennedy was not and was going to expose it to the world and then he was assassinated. True or not, I do not know, but it certainly seems possible in this world. But I try not to focus on any of that much. I believe the Lord is still allowing satan to have control over the world, because his time is not up yet, but it is winding down.

One thing you posted about the dead not specifically saying coming out of death and hell and the sea means Christians will be present, I don't think it is necessarily saying that, because I don't believe Christians are referred to as the dead, because we are alive in Christ and not spiritually dead, it seems that it would at least say the dead in Christ, b/c at that judgment the resurrection will have taken place already too.

And the part about the humans having children is because the same group of people cannot live during the whole 1000 years, they would die before the end, so it will have to be their children that satan when he is loosed for a short time at the end of the millennium will try to deceive and turn against Christ before he is destroyed. It is is the same chapter that I posted. And it can't be referring to the glorified christians, so it more than likely refers to the new saved christians during the tribulation or the jewish remnant that enters the kingdom.


For only the righteous people will be able to enter this kingdom, everyone wicked will be kept out it says in scripture i will need to look up again. This is why the Jews thought Jesus was going to set up His kingdom and reign during His first coming and did not understand at first why He had to die. But the church was a mystery which He did begin to talk about.


These views do make sense to me, I may not be explaining it as well as others could. I do not know all that lahaye preaches, although I know he is pre-trib and I have read the left behind series but no other books by him. I think he used the scriptures pretty well in the books. I am more familiar with jack van impe, he was studied bible prophecy for many many years and knows thousands of verses for memory and I have learned a lot from him, he has a book where he goes through every verse of revelation and explains it, he also knows which verses in the OT are referring to which specific time such as the Day of the Lord or what is future, which I have a hard time reading on my own. But I have read all the nt and still working on the ot with no commentaries or bible studies. It is interesting but some things are hard to understand; but i agree it is always important to look up in hebrew or greek what is originally meant in verses to know exactly what is being said. Hank Hanegraaf sounds familiar, but I do not know if I have ever read anything by him.

This is something I just found on the judgment seat of Christ. At one point it shows a verse that says they have the foundation of Christ, which means that they are christians being judged.
Sorry it is long I haven't finished reading all of it yet. I also think it is wrong of christians to attempt to set dates, b/c Jesus says not to and they end up looking foolish when that date passes. Many will say we are not to predict the day or the hour, but we can determine the year, but I don't know about that either lol

The Judgment Seat of Christ
By Dr. Jack Van Impe

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Chapter 1. The Judgement Seat of Christ
There are at least five different judgments mentioned in the Bible. The first in our chronological listing is:

* The Judgement of the believer's sin *
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Christ came down from heaven's glory to shed His precious blood for a world for He knew no sin, but became sin for us (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Through this substitutionary death- dying for you and me- all who receive this Christ can have the past, present and future stains of sin immediately forgiven, forgotten, obliterated, and liquidated, because the blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleanseth us from *ALL* sin (1John 1:7, emphasis mine).
As soon as the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5) takes place, God cries, their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12). The result of being so completely washed in the blood is there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This is true because Christ was already judged in the sinner's place. Oh, what love, what compassion. Is it any wonder that Paul declares in Hebrews 2:3, How Shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.

* The second judgement is of the believer's service. * This investigative probe into a believer's lifetime of works will form the basis of our study in this booklet. We will discuss this Bema Seat Judgement in the next few pages.

* The third judgement is of Israel. *
During the Tribulation hour, and enemy comes against Israel from the North (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). Then the armies of the world also converge on the Middle East (see Zechariah 14:2), and this period of bloody devastation becomes the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

* The fourth judgement is of the nations. *
Matthew 25 pictures the return of Christ to this earth. The text correlates to and is synonymous with Revelation 19:11-16 when Christ returns to the earth as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Before He establishes his millennial kingdom upon earth for 1,000 years (See Revelation 20:4), He purges the earth of its rebels (see Matthew 25:31-46). The righteous are then allowed to enter God's earthly kingdom utopia for 1,000 years, and eventually heaven, eternally.

This transition is observed in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 which states, Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

* The Fifth and Final Judgement is of the Wicked and is commonly called,
"The Great Judgement Day." *
Revelation 20:11-15 pictures this solemn universal trial. John says, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Friends, the hour is coming when every unsaved, unregenerated sinner must meet a holy God for a detailed review of his life upon planet earth. When God's books are opened, every offender's tongue shall be silenced. There will be no hope then, but there is now! Why? Because Christ died for our sin (see 1 Corinthians 15:3). This means that the guiltiest of mortals can immediately be absolved by trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus. Don't procrastinate-do it today! then you, too, will know the blessedness of John 3:18 which declares, He that believing on [christ] is not condemned because the believing are passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

Thus far, we have witnessed the fact that there are five different judgments. Men who do not rightly divide the word of truth (see 2 Timothy 2:15) often confuse the issues by conglomerately linking the various texts concerning judgement into one mass of hodgepodge. We will not be guilty of this practice as we go back to judgement number two and study the Bema Seat investigation.

* The Test *
Romans 14:10 states, We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Second Corinthians 5:10 adds: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Millions of God's children, internationally, think that they can live nominal christian lives and still be fully rewarded. They think that they can play "fast and loose" with the world without suffering loss. This is but wishful thinking! The day is coming when every blood bought believer must stand before a holy God for a scrutinizing investigation. This becomes abundantly clear when one traces the English term *judgement* seat to its Greek origin. There the term is "bema seat." When Paul used the terminology in the first century, every educated mind immediately knew the severity of the warning because their thinking took them to the runner's track in Athens, Greece.

It, like modern day sports stadiums, contained thousands of seats. However, there was one seat differing from the rest in that it was uplifted and elevated. The judge of the contest, who sat there, had no obstruction to mar his view of the racing participants. He could see every movement clearly.

Does not this picture of "the God of Holiness" elevated upon His throne watching the Christian's race of life? He sees where we go, hears what we say, and watches our every move. Yes, for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2 Corinthians 16:9). God cries, mine eyes are upon all their ways (Jeremiah 16:17), and because of it all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

God is watching His people and keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, it behooves each one of us to place Christ first in our daily walk and talk. We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. " There must be a battle fought and won. There must be scars traded for crowns. Rewards must be earned.

Phillipians 3:1 Paul who [bore] in [his] body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17) was [pressing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 3:14). Salvation was his as a gift but only works of hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus' feet (see revelation 4:10,11). It is also true for you, dear Christian. You, too, must know the fellowship of his sufferings to receive the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (see Phill0,14).

But wait! There is more. We are just beginning to explore the depths of this judgment. As we dive further into this subject, we discover that God also will investigate the motives behind one's works. In other words, the question will be: "Why did you hold the office of deacon, elder, or Sunday school teacher? Why did you sing or perform solos? What was your motive in being a counselor, and usher, a bus driver? What purpose was there in desiring to be a full-time Christian worker? Was it for power, prestige, or pride? Was it to be noticed, to be lauded, and applauded?"

Christian, will you answer this question in your own heart this very moment? Why are you doing what you are doing when you are doing it? What is your motive? If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse-if any!

Listen to the Saviour in Matthew 6:1-6: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Christ continues in verses Matthew 6:16-[18] Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

There is no doubt as to the meaning of Christ's startling words. He declares that there are two places to be rewarded-here upon earth as one seeks the praise of men, or later in heaven when the Father who saw the works performed in secret, without notoriety, rewards those who did the job simply out of love for Him. When Jesus returns to call His people unto himself in the twinkling of an eye and the judgment begins, what will your motives have been in the Christian race? The motives issue will then be made manifest.

First Corinthians 4:5 states, Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [or motives] of the hearts: This teaching is also propounded in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Again, there is no doubt about the explicit teaching within this portion of scripture. It states, The fire shall try every man's work of what SORT it is (emphasis mine). Now notice some interesting observations concerning this judgment.

*The judgment is only for the people of God- those who have built upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ*
*All of God's people present some form of "works" to Christ at the Bema Seat.* The fire then tests every man's work. Every man? Every man.
*Though all worked to some degree, a difference in quantity and quality is observed.* Some works are precious and good-the gold, the silver, and the precious stones. While others- the wood, the hay, and the stubble-are bad.
*The difference is tested by the purging of fire.* The good works survive while the wood, hay, and stubble is reduced to a mass of incinerated rubble. Christian, will what you are presently doing in the service of God abide the fires of Christ's Bema Seat? Will your works endure the test? Will your final results be reward or rubble? Stop and think! Why do you do what you do when you do it? What is your motive as you serve?
*The disintegrated ashes bring sorrow and loss.* Yes, [they themselves] shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). Notice that the lukewarm, the indifferent, and the careless shall be present. They do not miss heaven because of their faults! Instead, they shall be saved as by fire.- by the skin of their teeth! They made heaven only to sorrow over waywardness for a millennium of time as we shall presently see. Their loss was not of salvation, but of rewards. They suffered loss (rewards), but they themselves were saved as by fire. It is obvious then that the wayward lose out with God. Yet the loss is not of eternal life but of rewards. Eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (see Romans 6:23), and cannot be forfeited, but crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated.
*Quality works, consisting of gold, silver, and precious stones, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men, when tested and found genuine, will earn crowns for the faithful for all eternity.* These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one's love for a lifetime of service. The scene is portrayed in Revelation 4:10-11. The twenty four elders pictured in the text are the representatives of all of God's people in both testaments- the twelve patriarchs of Israel same twenty four stalwarts of both eras have their names combined upon the fates and foundations of the future Holy City in revelation 21:12-14. So there is no doubt as to who they are. They represent all the faithful blood-bought people of God down through the ages.
The thrilling scene is described as follows: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Christian, do you long to lay a crown at the feet of the Saviour on the Coronation Day? Or will you be off in the background ashamed (see 1 John 2:28), having experienced a humiliating entranced into the presence of God (see 2 Peter 1:11)? It need not be so. A change can be made today.

Confession of failure is longingly desired by your Heavenly Father (see 1John 1:9). Rededication and redirection can be your experience this very moment. Utter that prayer of confession today and make a new start immediately so that you, too, may hear from the precious lips of Jesus, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Chapter 2. The Victor's Triumph and the Backslider's Tears
Someday, perhaps soon, every Christian must meet God for an investigative judgment of his entire life. This moment shall be a time of jubilant victory for some. Jesus said, He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. (Matthew 10:41). Paul adds, If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:14).

On the other hand, it shall be a time of weeping for others. Paul, dealing with this hour of judgment, states in 2 Corinthians 5:11, Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; Terror? Yes, terror! How often Christians hilariously shout, "Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming soon!" Though this will undoubtedly be the most joyous event of the ages for some, it will be a time of intense and immense sorrow for others.

First John 2:28 declares And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ASHAMED before him at his coming (emphasis mine). Notice carefully that when Christ returns, all believers are summoned into His presence-the confident and the ashamed. The confident appear before the tribunal with "good works" whereas the ashamed have naught but "bad works" (see 2 Corinthians 5:10).

This is exceedingly important to understand because multitudes today think that one sin can keep a child of God out of heaven. The text plainly states that the "ashamed" meet Christ at His appearing. At the sound of the trumpet, when the dead in Christ rise first and living believers join the dead to meet Christ in the clouds (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16), the "ashamed" also enter heaven, but the abundant entrance is reserved for those who earned it upon earth (see 2 Peter 1:11).

Now, do not argue with me. If English means anything-and it does- this text *proves* that the wayward go home to meet Christ though ashamed. Since one can only bear shame for error and wrongdoing, then it is dogmatically clear that the wrongdoers meet Christ at His appearing or return. I grant you that they are embarrassed and lose all of their rewards, but they are nevertheless present at the roll call of the ages, though saved as by fire ( 1 Corinthians 3:15), by the "skin of their teeth," to use a modern day expression. What produces their embarrassment and humiliation as believers?

* Neglected Opportunities *

Multitudes of God's people could do so much more for Christ if they would, but the flesh stands in the way. When they do serve, it is often with selfish motives. Their hue and cry is, "What will I get out of this? What is in it for me?" The result? Modern Christianity has become big business. Religious performers today charge exorbitant rates. Some receive $1,000 to $2,500 for a performance. What a judgment of terror awaits these mercenary "gospel entertainers." Though saved by fire, their works will dissolve into incinerated ashes. The wood, hay, and stubble will disintegrate because they had their reward. About face, Christian!

Then again, there are those who have little or no time for spiritual exercises. They seldom read God's Holy Word, seldom attend God's house. Seldom give their tithes, and never win souls. This is sin! James 4:17 states, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. These sins of omission-failing to do God's will- also produce remorse in that day. Friend, if I am describing you, it is not too late to change. As long as one has the breath of life, he can decide to do the will of God. Confess your sins, seek again your first love for Christ, rekindle the flames of devotion to the Lord Jesus immediately. Then use your opportunities to serve Him wisely.

One who obeys God will not be sorry. The faithful will be rewarded a hundred fold at the Bema Seat. Scholars calculate that to be a 10,000 percent yield. No wonder Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6 He which soweth sparingly [meagerly] shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully [abundantly] shall reap also bountifully. One cannot outgive God at 10,000 percent interest. Galatians 6:7, often quoted to the unsaved, but directed to Christians concerning giving, states, Be not deceived; God is not mocked [or fooled]: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Christian, your heavenly mansion will only be as beautiful as you build it now. Jesus said in John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions. The literal rendering should state; "In my Father's house are numerous and differing kinds of dwelling places." Not all mansions will be identical. Building blocks for one's eternal home are being sent ahead from earth. Jesus said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, (Matthew 6:19,20). If one's earthly treasure is piled up in stocks and bonds and banks, he has his reward. On the other hand, if the treasure is sent ahead, it awaits the believers with added and fantastic dividends. Take your choice, Christian. You can have it here for seventy years, die and leave it for the ungodly to spend; or you may send it ahead for eternal blessing. Hang on and lose it, or let go and retain it forever. *It is up to you!*

May I share a most heart-moving experience with you? When Rexella and I were in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a man sitting in a wheelchair asked that he might speak to us. As we reached the area where he sat, he began to weep, saying, "I and an invalid, as you can see. I have multiple sclerosis and osteo-arthritis. The pain is more that I can humanly bear. In fact, my pain-destroying medication costs me one hundred dollars per month. Nevertheless, I have made a decision after much prayer. I want to give you the hundred dollars and omit this month's medicine. I know my pain will be unbearable, but it is the least I can do for Christ who suffered so much for me. Take it and use it for His glory."

Rexella and I, both in tears, replied, "We cannot accept this money for your medicine." He again wept audibly, saying, "Would you deprive me of a blessing? Take it for the glory of God and the salvation of souls."

How many thousands who have a superabundance of material things-stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and posessions- do nothing but tip God occasionally. Do you think that it won't make a difference at the time of rewards? Do you honestly feel that ir will be the same for all? Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). We are all going home soon-either confident or ashamed. Will it be a time of victory or anguish, triumph or tears, for you? It is not too late to make a new start.

* Neglected Holiness *
Then, too, there will be tears over neglected holiness. No doubt about it God demands that His people live holy lives:

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1Thessalonians 4:7). Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9) Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS (Hebrews 12:14, emphasis mine). Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).
This means that we are not to fashion ourselves according to the former lusts (1 Peter 1:14), and that we are to abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11), and that we are to put on Christ and not make any provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Romans 13:14).

How different from the lowly standards held by many carnal church members who constantly play "musical chairs" with the pagans and God-haters of this world, visit its clubs, casinos, and theaters, all under the guise of being curious. They, like Lot who desired Sodom, want to spend time in Las Vegas and get away from it all.

But the getting and vulgarity matters not as the flesh is on a spree. Are they saved? God alone really knows! One thing is certain-if they are Christ's, their double standards will be investigated, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be GOOD or BAD (2 Corinthians 5:10 emphasis mine). Oh, what weeping, what wailing, what travail, what heartache, and heartbreak as they meet Jesus face to face. Their entrance into God's presence will not be abundant (2 Peter 1:11), They shall be tremendously ashamed (1 John 2:28). The terror of the Lord will be meted out in judgment (see 2 Corinthians 3:15). No wonder the lukewarm are weeping. They blew it all. They suffered the loss of all things except salvation.

*This loss extends beyond the loss of rewards for a meaningless life.* It includes losing, through foolish living, rewards previously earned through years of spiritual service. God has a system of addition and subtraction, pluses and minuses, on His books. Therefore, one's accumulation of "good works" can be wiped out swiftly through disobedient living. You do not believe it? *Here is proof: Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward (2 John 1:8). God says, "Be careful how you live, where you go, how you serve, if you want a full reward." Again Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Revelation 3:11).

In simpler terminology, God says, "Hang on to your earned crown and do not let anyone entice you, mislead you, drag you down, or destroy the good works already accumulated or you will suffer loss." Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, also declares in 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [a reject for rewards]. He could not mean the loss of salvation by the term "castaway" because we have already seen that the "ashamed" are present at heaven's roll call through saved by fire. Instead, Paul is saying, "Look I am a red-blooded man with desires similar to others. However, I will not allow my flesh to control me. Instead, I constantly battle and batter my fleshly appetites into subjection. Yes, I keep my bodily appetites under control lest I lose every thing I have ever earned."

Now, if this be true for Paul, it is equally true for all. In fact Paul's service record is unparalleled in the history of Christendom. No one suffered as he did except the Lord himself. Listen to the list of "good works" Paul accumulated in 2 corinthians 11:23-27... in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Wow! What a servant of God-beaten, battered, stoned, crushed, robbed, persecuted, hated, and starved. Surely this portfolio of earned works would bring Paul heaven's greatest "Oscar." It would if he remained faithful. Remember, he said as quoted earlier, "If I did not keep my body under subjection, I myself would be a castaway, disapproved and rejected of heaven's 'Emmy Awards.' Therefore, I fight the good fight of faith- fight the world, the flesh, and the devil- so that my Saviour will day to me at that day, "Well done, though good and faithful servant."

How about you Christian? If the judgment tool place within the next 24 hours, would you lose some or all of your rewards? Millions are going home ashamed, embarrassed, and red-faced.

* Tears in Heaven *
The result will be intermittent weeping for 1,007 years. This is proven by studying the chronological outline of the Book of Revelation. Let's look at it.

Revelation 1:19 states, Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; one immediately notices the three tenses of the English language-past, present, and future. "Write the things which thou hast seen"-past, chapter 1. "Write the things which are"-present, chapters 2 and 3, and "write the things which shall be"- future, chapters 4 through 22. We are presently awaiting the homegoing of the believers. This occurs in Revelation 4:1 with the words, Come up hither.

The seven years of Tribulation follow in chapters six through 18. Christ returns to earth as King of Kings and Lord of lords (chapter 19:11-16). He rules the earth for 1,000 years (chapter 20:4-6), and judges the world after the thousand years (chapter 20:11-15). Then, finally and forever, God wipes all tears away from their eyes (see Revelation 21:4). Chronologically, this is after the Tribulation, after the Millennium. In other words, from the rapture call in Revelation 4:1 onward, there is intermittent and spasmodic crying for the next 1,007 years. Is your foolish episode with the world that important to you? Will it be worth it all when you see Jesus? Do not lose out on rewards eternally for a short fling presently!

* Two Simultaneous Judgments *
In dwelling further on the teaching of "tears" in God's presence, we discover that the weeping takes place simultaneously with the Tribulation hour. Two judgments are occurring at the same period of time. One is in heaven; the other upon earth. One is a judgment of believers regarding service; the other a judgment of Israel. One is called the Bema Seat Judgment; the other, the Tribulation hour. Both prove to be heartbreaking for the participants.

Let's look at the Tribulation period for a few moments. This is the time of Jacob's trouble (see Jeremiah 30:7), and jacob represents Israel. Satan, the old devil, hates Israel. She was used of God as a channel for producing His only begotten Son on earth. Revelation 12:5 states, And she [Israel] brought forth a man child. Because of Israel's connection with Christ's birth, the nation has always been Satan's prime target of hatred. He has relentlessly persecuted her throughout the annals of history and increases his persecution during the Tribulation hour. His attack is most vicious when he realizes that the end of his power struggle for world supremacy over Jehovah God is about to cease.

Therefore, Revelation 12:13 states, And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. This is the world's bloodiest hour. Seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials are judgments unleashed upon planet earth. These produce murder, starvation, war militarism, earthquakes, hailfire,oceanic disruptions, cosmic catastrophes, pestilence, inflation, sores, infections, pain, pollution, darkness, and finally, ARMAGEDDON! The hour is so bleak, dreary, and hopeless that earth's inhabitants are crying to the mountains and rocks to fall on them (see Revelation 6:16). Earth's most agonizing hour will make men desire death over life.

Simultaneously, the people of God are being examined at Christ's Judgment Seat. This, too, will be an unpleasant situation because the Holy Spirit speaks about the terror of the Lord in connection with the investigation of believer's works (2 Corinthians 5:11). I have no doubt that some believers will be so ashamed, so embarrassed, so humiliated and so frightened to face the fireworks (see 1 John 2:28), that they will want to exchange heaven for earth, the Judgment Seat exposure for the Tribulation woes. They would rather cry for the mountains to fall on them than to meet christ with a wasted life. Small wonder the songwriter said, "Must I go in empty-handed, my Redeemer thus to meet?"

What sadness, yea, what vehement crying shall then ensue as rewards are lost forever. Christian, disobedience to the commands of Christ is not worth a millennium of asmodic weeping.

Chapter 3. At Last, the Treasure!

To this point we have mentioned rewards repeatedly. We have discussed the victor's triumph and the backslider's tears. We have observed that some will rejoice while others will remorsefully weep. But what are the crowns and why are thy presented?

* The Watcher's Crown *
This meritorious award is given to all who longingly and desiringly watch for Christ's return. Paul declares in 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Imagine, God gives a special crown to believers who fix their eyes and hearts heavenward in watchfulness of Christ's return.

This is reasonable when one realizes that "expectancy" and "purity" are closely related. One cannot longingly look for Christ return and practice abominable sins. The two never coexist in a rational mind. That is why 1 John 3:2,3 states Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope [of His appearing] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, drunkards, drug addicts, extortioners, swindlers, liars, and worldlings are not anxiously awaiting Christ's return. Neither are carnal believers who neglect the Bible, prayer, God's house, soulwinning, and personal holiness. No, those who look daily and expectantly are not among the worldlngs, who sit in bars, theaters, rock concerts, gambling casinos, and other pagan dens. They do not want to be found there when Jesus comes. Their desire-that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)-makes them consistently live for His return. They want to be commended, congradulated, and crowned in their fight to the finish. They do not want a confrontation producing consternation and castigation at that day. They long to hear Jesus say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Because the Saviour's appearing is closely aligned with holiness of life, it is to be expected that the carnal rebel and refuse the teaching of prophecy. They cry, "Do not preach prophecy! It is but sensational and speculative nonsense anyway. Instead, tell us about Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar (1 Chronicles 26:18). This does not hit us where we live!

One should expect this from the indifferent, the lethargic, the worldly, and the backslidden. They definitely do not want to hear about a time when they must meet Christ with wasted lives because his appearing means the disintegration and dissolution of the selfish, substandard works. They know that they are going to be among the "ashamed" (see 1 John 2:28), and that they shall be saved as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). They hate to think of meeting Jesus empty handed and being "rejects" at the Judgment Seat. Small wonder they dislike this Bible doctrine. But, like it or not, it will happen!

May I, therefore, plead with preachers, "Preach the message of Christ's return. Present the signs. Tell the people the moment is near. Beg them to keep their eyes fixed on heaven so that you and they will receive the "watcher's crown." Only those who "look," receive!

* The Runner's Crown *
The background for this award is found in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Paul says, Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Consider this tremendous portion of Scripture with me expositorily.

The writer says in verse 24 that though there are numerous runners-and he undoubtedly has the athletic field of Athens, Greece in mind-yet, only one becomes the winner. The analogy is that though tens of thousands of believers have run and are in the race of Christian service, competing for "good works," it will be but a minority who receive the runner's crown. Hence, the admonition, "Run that you may obtain."

Next, we observe the rules of the race. The Greek athletes were temperate in all things, subjecting their bodies to the most stringent health rules. They trained, they exercised, and they abstained from anything that would render them unfit for the bid day. Verse 25: And every man that striveth for the mastery [victory] is temperate [under self-control] in ALL things (emphasis mine).

Is every habit under control in your life? There are those who say, "I don't think a little cigarette can keep me out of heaven." I agree. In fact, I think it may get you there sooner! However, it along with other uncontrolled bodily habits, will get you there "ashamed." It will help reduce your runner's crown into incinerated rubble (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). The crown is only for victors, for winners who have battered the cravings of the body into submission. This explains Paul's words in [1 Corinthians 9] verses 26,27: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway [a reject for heaven's rewards, God's "Oscars"].

It is abundantly obvious, as sited numerously in this chapter, that the term "castaway" has nothing to do with salvation. This is evident because the "ashamed," saved-by-fire crowd, goes home at the Rapture to weep. No, the Greek word from which we get the English term castaway, means "to be disapproved" for crowns. Therefore, I again plead with the lukewarm to enthrone christ in the heart. Get your first love rekindled. Serve Him with all your might. Throw off every encumbrance for the flesh, including tobacco. Yes, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us [trip us], and let us r;un with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). The result? An incorruptible crown (see 1 Corinthians 9:25).

Paul concludes with a final scene of the race by saying, " The Greek runners subjected their appetites to the strictest regimentation imaginable simply to win the race and receive ' corruptible crown,' a wreath of laurel leaves that would decay and die in a few days time." Then by ways of analogy, he again says, "If God's people batter their fleshly wants into submission, they shall receive and incorruptible crown that endures for eternity." Child of God, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

Adoniram Judson and his sweet wife, Ann, were missionaries in India and Burma. During their tour of service, Adoniram was arrested as an enemy agent when his homeland, England, and the nation in which he served became disenchanted with one another. Immediately, Judson was imprisoned. The tiny cell in which he was incarcerated was so crowded and small that the prisoners had to take turns sleeping. There was not enough room for all of them to lie down. The hot sun beating upon the dingy cell caused unbearable suffering through heat prostration. The stench also became obnoxious as the men were never allowed to bathe.

One day the government officials decided to punish the prisoners and Judson was hoisted into the air by his thumbs. Pain filled his body as he remained suspended in mid air for hours at a time. His precious helpmeet, Ann, would come by the cell daily, look inside, and weep. However, this soldier of the cross always encouraged her man by saying, "Hang on, Adoniram. God will give us the victory." As the days and weeks past, faithful Ann no longer made the visits and Adoniram's loneliness increased. No one had informed him that she was dying. All he had now was a memory of his sweetheart saying, "Hang on, Adoniram. God will give us the victory."

Months later, upon his release, he immediately began the search for Ann. As he approached the area where he formerly lived, he saw a child so begrimed with dirt that he failed to recognize the little one as his own. He the dashed into the tent and saw the form of one so small and weak from malnutrition, that she appeared to be a skeleton. Her beautiful flowing hair had also fallen out and she was bald.

As Adoniram called, she failed to respond. It seemed as though she were already dead. He took her in his arms and wept. The hot tears dropping on her angelic face revived Ann and she said, "hang on, Adoniram; God will give us the victory."

Adoniram lost his sweetheart, but not his faith and courage. He continued under dire circumstances to preach and to build churches, and when this man of God was buried, scores of churchs had come into existence through his labors. Adoniram and Ann ran the race faithfully unto the end and experience the "abundant entrance" I have been proclaiming. What will your homegoing be like, Christian?

* The Shepherd's Crown *
This award is mentioned in 1 Peter 5:1-4 and is undoubtedly reserved for faithful ministers. In the text, the Apostle Peter says, The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Peter in writing to the elders or spiritual shepherds, exhorts his fellow minister's to "feed the flock." God so loves His precious people that He wants the pastors to meet the nutritious needs of His children, spiritually. Hence, the shepherds are to feast on the Word of God daily ;in order to meet the needs of the hungry. This takes discipline and perseverance. It means that the golf game, the tennis court, and other recreational amusements must be in second place. It means that the obedient preacher cannot wait until the last minute to prepare the "Saturday Night Special" for the Lord's Day.

Again, the ministers are to lead exemplary lives. They are not to be power-crazy dictators. Their leadership must be in love. They are to rule the Church as God's appointed directors, but with compassion. As rulers they are not to be board-dominated "puppets"-an insult to God and His Word. That's right! First Timothy 3:4,5 states a minister should rule well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of [or rule] the church of God?)

This God-appointed leader, the pastor, must be obeyed. Are you shocked? Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Imagine! God's shepherds are to be *obeyed.* This is specifically true as they teach doctrine and ethics. Those who ignore these commandments will suffer embarrassment at the Bema Seat. They will weep as their spiritual guardians, and their pastors, report their disobedience, stubborness, and carnality.

Is this truth hard to accept? They watch for your souls, as they that MUST give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (emphasis mine).

Wow! Think of it! The shepherd's testimony produces joy and grief, victory and heartache, triumph and tears, as the reports are presented. This does not mean that the shepherd is free from investigation. *He*, too, must live according to the God-demanded requirements mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 which says, A bishop [or preacher] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride [becoming arrogant] he fall into the condemnation of the devil [ who also fell through pride]. (See Isaiah 14:12-14) Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Shepherds who make these God ordained standards their goal receive an exclusive crown at that day, for 1 Peter 5:4 declares, When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

* The Soulwinner's Crown *
Heaven's fourth crown is awarded to soulwinners. Daniel 12:3 declares And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Stand outside on a clear night, fix your eyes upon heaven and study God's breathtaking creation. Stars, billions of miles away, twinkle as plainly as the flickering candle on the dining room table. No wonder Christians joyfully sing, "O God, how great Thou art."

However, a more majestic scene is portrayed for the future as children of God who souls are coronated with star-studded crows. Hallelujah! Yes, they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Is it any wonder that Proverbs 11:30 states, He that winneth souls is wise. The inference here is: " He who does not win souls is foolish." Why? He cast aside eternal rewards as though they were bubble gum wrappers. Wise men have more sense than this. They do not trample on god's commands. Instead, they longingly obey Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. Mark 16:15 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Luke 14:21 Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in. Acts 1:8 Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

They love God and will not allow business or pleasure to stand in the way of the highest calling in the world-the winning of souls for eternity. They heed the warning of Jesus about the bushel of business and the bed of relaxation and pleasure as hindrances to the candle's flame (see Mark 4:21). Their love for Christ and the souls of men make them press forward for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 3:14). They want to present their converts in that day saying, for what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

At this great roll call, will *you* be able to make a presentation to the Saviour? Will *you* have any spiritual children? Will *you* receive a crown that shines like the brightness of the firmament? Don't procrastinate, become a soulwinner today! Then and *only then* will you be coronated with heavens's glittering "Oscar."

* The Sufferer's Crown *
The fifth and final crown is presented to those who have suffered for the sake of Christ and the gospel. James 1:12 states, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the CROWN OF LIFE, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (emphasis mine). Some will receive this glorious reward for having experienced the taunts and jeers of sinners.

Jesus said, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12). The reward will also be presented to those who bore illness and infirmity with a smile believing that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).

Some believers constantly praise the Lord in the midst of adversity while others continuously grumble in the midst of prosperity. Some Christians gripe so much that they will even complain about heaven's streets of gold, saying, "The glitter affects my eyes!" *God help us!*

How different from the saint who lost five sons in the service. Her minister, in a state of frustration, went to the godly little lady's home to share the sad news. When he arrived, she greeted him with the words, " I already know. The Lord spoke to me during my prayer time. Which one is it?" The pastor replied, "All five." She said, "Praise the Lord! The last time my boys were home I led all five of them to the Saviour. Had they died prior to that furlough I would never have seen them again. Now they are already on heaven's shore awaiting Mom's homecoming. Isn't God good?" Oh, what a reward this suffering saint shall receive at the great Coronation Day!

The crown is also given to those who are faithful unto the end, Revelation 2:10 declares Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Again I want to emphasize that this is not a reward for salvation, but for service, and is presented to those who remain faithful throughout life, It is the same crown mentioned previously in James 1:12 presented to all who bore trial and testing out of love for the Lord Jesus. Child of God, the time is at hand for the distribution of heaven's awards. Where do *you* stand at this moment? What rewards would *you* receive were Jesus to come today? He *is* coming soon and immediately upon His arrival the judgment of the believer's service record begins.

* Time *
That's right. The investigation begins at the *appearing* of Christ. Luke 14:14 states, Thou shalt be recompensed [rewarded when] at the resurrection of the just. First Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. First John 2:28 also verifies the time by stating, And now, little children, abide in him; that, when HE SHALL APPEAR, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him AT HIS COMING (emphasis mine).

* The Thrill *
Then, if we are rewarded, we shall present our crowns with millions of others from all ages. Let me illustrate.

Eight men wrote the New Testament. Seven were murdered. Matthew was slain with an halberd. Mark was dragged through the streets of Alexandria by a team of wild horses until dead. Luke was hanged in an olive tree. John, thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, survived the painful ordeal but was disfigured for life and banned to the isle of Patmos.

One day he undoubtedly saw his seared face reflected in a stream of water and wept. God said unto him, "Son, cheer up. I will allow you to write 1 John 3:2 which promises new bodies to all of My children." It says When he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. What joy must have filled the suffering servant's soul as he realized a better day was coming in which he would be changed to be like Jesus.

Paul was beheaded. Jude and Peter crucified and james was battered to death with a fuller's club. *Now get the future picture:* the great hour has arrived and all God's children are present. The investigation begins. What will each of us say as we stand with such an array of heros-believers who gave all, who proved their first love for Christ during and entire lifetime-even unto death!

Christ return may be tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. We know not the day or the hour when Jesus shall break through the blue to call us home. However, we do know that it is near, even at the door. Therefore, my closing question is: *Are you ready?* Could you bear the investigative judgment were it to take place tomorrow? Would you be ashamed, embarrassed, red-faced, and brokenhearted? Would tears of sorrow intermittently flow from your eyes for the Millennial Age? is your present disobedience worth such heartache?

Would you not rather serve God with all your heart and hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant?" *It is not too late to make a change,* to reverse your lifestyle and put christ first.

I ask you to obey 1 John 1:9 now. It says, If we confess our sins, he is faithfull and Just to forgive us our sins, and to cleans us from all unrighteousness. Do it, then live for Him. *It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!*

Jack Van Impe

JACK VAN IMPE MINISTRIES
P.O. BOX 7004
TROY, MICHIGAN 48007

In Canada:
Box 1717, Postal Station A
Windsor, Ontario N9A 6Y1

http://www.jvim.com





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Part 3 of 3

rev. 20:4
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

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Jesus told His disciples that He would appoint them judges over all the world. Thus, we see that the early church fathers, who are the foundation of the church with Christ as the cornerstone, take part in the judgment of the world. They did not crumble in the face of adversity, even at the thought of being hung on a cross and burned to light the streets of Rome during the time of Nero. They did not lose faith when they were tossed the lions, in the Colosseum. They did not deny Jesus when they were torn limb from limb, hung and burned at the stake.

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

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2/3 of the Book of Revelation either quotes or strongly alludes to passages from the Old Testament. This is especially prevelent in the apocalyptic language used and the use of numbers. You can scarcely read and interpret the Book of Revelation without having a firm grasp of the Old Testament. For instance, the number 1,000 is used in the Old Testament to refer to either an unending future (i.e. forever) or a period of time that stretches into the unforeseen future. Thus, amillenialists believe that the 1,000 year reign is currently happening, at the end of which we will see the resurrection take place.

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20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

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I can certainly see how it could be taken that this verse is saying that the resurrection happens before the 1,000 year reign. It does not explicitly say that, though. It simply says that those that are resurrected first, on judgment day, will be those that have reigned with Him during the 1,000 year reign.

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20:11
And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

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The day of the Lord will be a dark day. (Amos 5)

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20:12
And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

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There is no distiguishing between the righteous and the unrighteous, here.

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20:13
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

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In verse 12 we see that there were already dead men standing before the Lord, even before death, hell and the sea gave up their dead. In verse 13, we read, "they were judged EVERY man according to their works.

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20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

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The unrighteous will experience the second death with resurrected, imperishable bodies (Daniel 12), so that the fire will never die out. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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20:15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

_________________________________________________

This suggests that there will be some found written in the book of life. Therefore, we can safely assume that there will be Christians judged on that very same day.

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Billy
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Part 2 of 3

"I will have to go look up Daniel 12 again to see what you are referring to there. But the resurrection spoken of in I Thessalonians 4 says the dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain, which will be christians that Jesus comes in the air for."

All referring to the resurrection and the removal of the saints from the earth. There is nowhere in this passage where we can come to the determination that the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the unrighteous will not happen on the same day; the day of judgment.

"Later in revelation..."

There is nothing that suggests, just because something is found in Revelation, that it must find its fulfillment later in time than the prophecies in the rest of the New Testament.

"Later in revelation, and I will have to look up the verses and come back to post, it says the dead will be judged, the nonbelievers and resurrected in what is called The Great White Throne Judgment, on all of their works before they are cast into the lake of fire. Christians are not a part of this judgment, they are a part of the Judgment seat of Christ, or the bema judgement."

Please show me a passage that says that these two jugdments are not, in fact, one and the same.

"I believe that is written earlier in revelation, which many believe will happen in heaven after the church is raptured."

And what is the logic behind this belief? Can you point me to an essay where they go through verse by verse without taking them out of context, and explain why this is a biblical concept?

"Christians will be judged on their works, and whatever is good will remain, and the rest will be burned and we will suffer loss for them."

This is scriptural.

"It is here that we receive any crowns that we will get, such as the crown for loving His appearing, which we will then place at Jesus's feet."

Figurative, but scriptural.

"I just thought of something. When Jesus returns at His second coming with tens of thousands of His saints on horses to the mount of olives..."

There is a lot of apocalyptic imagery in this. Do you really want to rush to asigning a woodenly literal interpretation to it? This would not fit with historical hermaneutics.

"...who will be clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints..."

The white linen is symbolic of Christ and His righteousness, Whom we are clothed in. This is staying consistant with the rest of the New Testament.

"...that implies that the judgment seat of Christ has happened and also the rapture/resurrection because they have their bodies."

Which passage is that? I don't doubt that it says that they have their bodies, but I want to read it for myself to make sure.

"The dead in Christ now in heaven do not have their bodies yet; just their souls are in heaven. It says in scripture that they are awaiting their bodies."

This is scriptural.

"Because that would have to include the old testament saints too I believe that they have to wait to receive their glorified bodies."

This is scriptural.

"Another thought is that after Jesus returns, He will set up His millennial reign, which we will be able to go back and forth from heaven to earth to help Him in some way. The only people who will be able to enter His kingdom will be people who become saved during the tribulation in their human bodies, who will then have children who at the end of the 1000 years, satan will be loosed and try to deceive them at the end, before Jesus destroys him. All other christians will have their glorified bodies by this time and cannot have children, which we will not have any more in heaven. So, there has to be a rapture for the church to be removed, in order to have more people become saved during the tribulation, for if all the christians go through it, then for sure at the end, we will receive our glorified bodies at the rapture/resurrection..."

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I need scriptural evidence that all this will take place as you have said. I understand that this is a prescription touted by LaHaye and Jenkins, but I have yet to see how they tie all this together with a timeline, using only scripture and not their imaginations. And without using verses that clearly speak of the resurrection or Christians fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem (in AD70) to try to point to the 'rapture'.

"...if you are a post-trib..."

I am not.

"I hope that made sense."

Does it make sense to you, based on your reading of scripture? Do you really feel that LaHaye's eschatology does justice to the whole of scripture? Old Testament and New Testament?

"Then they will get their glorified bodies after the millennial reign. I will have to look up the specific verses. Because there is no way satan can tempt those who are already glorified."

Because we will be in the new heaven and the new earth with the Lord, and Satan will be in hell with a chasm fixed between us.

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Billy
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I tried to post this reply a couple days ago, but something happened with my internet, and it didn't work.

Part 1 of 3

"Yes, I agree Billy that unbelievers should worry about eternity instead of just 7 years of tribulation, including 3.5 years of Great Tribulation. That is why it is better to be saved now than to wait and go through the tribulation, which I was attempting to explain to lost friends, b/c the temptation will be great to not get the mark of the beast to survive, yet they will forever be lost if they do this, plus they will not have to be beheaded."

As I have explained before, Flavius Josephus' account of the fall of Jerusalem matches up perfectly with Matthew 24. Thus, I don't see why it is that pre-trib adherants believe that the great tribulation is yet future. Even if it was pointing to the future, we should be more concerned with the fact that people could die at any moment and go to hell than that they might go through the a tribulation, in this life time. This reality has an eternal significance to it that is less proposterous sounding to the average lost person. When we use scare tactics, such as telling people that they will go through a tribulation, we run the risk of being seen as no better than the Jehovah's Witnesses who are constantly trying to predict just when things like Armegeddon will take place. Rather than do this, we should expose people's sin and the end result of it (hell). Only then will the gospel make sense.

"I don't know your response to what I wrote such as some of my questions, such as if that was the tribulation, then why didn't Jesus return and set up His milennial reign and now we be in the new heaven and earth?"

An amillennialist would argue that we are living in the millennial reign, from the time of the apostles until the time of Christ's return.

"And also, Jerusalem isn't the entire world, which revelation says the antichrist will control the whole world with the mark of the beast system."

In Matthew 24, we read that the gospel will go into "all the world," and then in Colossians 1, we read that the gospel has already gone into "all the world." Many scholars believe that Paul, in Colossians 1, was talking about the world as he and his contemporaries knew it. I don't know if that's true, but if it is, it is highly likely that that is what Jesus was getting at, in Matthew 24. That would make the statement in Colossians 1 the fulfillment of the statement in Matthew 24. It would also shed new light on just what is meant by "all the world" in the New Testament.

Jesus, in His parable of the mustard seed, said that the mustard seed was the smallest seed in the world. However, we know that it is not the smallest seed in the world. Thus, we draw the conclusion that Jesus was referring to it as being the smallest seed known to those to whom He was speaking. In the same way, Matthew 24 and Colossians 1 are referring to the Roman empire which, to the apostles, represented "all the world". This is how we understand that the tribulation of that day to have occurred. You are right. It was not centered solely around Jerusalem. It started in Jerusalem. Then Christians fled to the hills, and as they spread the word throughout the Roman empire the persecution of them spread, too.

"How often do we hear talks of the one world government that especially the illuminati satanist group plans to happen? And even regular politicians who may or may not be in this group."

I haven't studied this very much. But that is mainly because evangelicals (and most cults for that matter) don't have a very good track record when it comes to asigning modern events to biblical prophecy. Hal Lindsey has tried to predict just when the world would end, based on his interpretation of the Bible, and has been proven wrong by time, over and over again. Also, do you remember the Y2K sham? All these "christian" leaders telling their congregations that the end of the world would likely happen when all the computers crashed, etc.? It's ridiculous. Just be faithful and wait on the coming of the Lord. But be diligent to spread the gospel in the meantime.

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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friendlyrose
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I would still like to hear more in detail what you all believe and why do you think that on this thread too. I think it is interesting.
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friendlyrose
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It's nice to meet you too carol. I will have to look up other posts on this subject, usually the ones on the main page catch my eye so I may read those and found this one.

I do not know what wildB meant, but from what he wrote read through the posts and learn in all caps with the rolling eyes, it seemed like he wanted me to change my view from reading the other responses.

I did try to keep hitting enter and I don't know why the spaces didn't show up, so sorry about that.

you are funny zeena. hugs [hug]

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by Kindgo:
"It is easyer to read if you break up your statements with a space."

I think this is what WildB was talking about. [Roll Eyes]

OP, there's those googley eyes again! [pound]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Kindgo
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"It is easyer to read if you break up your statements with a space."

I think this is what WildB was talking about. [Roll Eyes]

--------------------
God bless,
Kindgo

Inside the will of God there is no failure. Outside the will of God there is no success.

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by Carol Swenson:
Hi friendlyrose,

It's nice to meet you.

I'm pretty sure what WildB means is that since you are interested in this subject, there is lots and lots of information posted about the Rapture, The Great White Throne Judgement, the Bema, and so on, in the Bible Topics forum that you would enjoy reading.

I'm sure too, but I'd like to hear his view staight from his own lips, err, fingers-lol

WildB that offer still stands to put down those books and join the PARTAY! [clap2]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Carol Swenson
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Hi friendlyrose,

It's nice to meet you.

I'm pretty sure what WildB means is that since you are interested in this subject, there is lots and lots of information posted about the Rapture, The Great White Throne Judgement, the Bema, and so on, in the Bible Topics forum that you would enjoy reading.

Also

quote:
It is easyer to read if you break up your statements with a space.

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Zeena
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Yea WildB..Time to lay the books aside and speak your mind [in Christ, of course].

Ecclesiastes 12:12
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Come on in, the waters fine! [Big Grin]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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friendlyrose
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Hmmm just what do you mean wildB? That isn't very nice. What do you want me to learn exactly? I take it you do not agree with me, but I have posted scriptures, and if you don't, then why don't you share your views. That's what a messageboard is for. I have asked the others on this thread so far to share what they think and respond to what I write, so I am open to what people have to hear. So I don't know what you're trying to say or just what you believe either. We can discuss things rationally without getting upset or attacking others. [cool_shades]
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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by WildB:
friendlyrose

Please read Prayerfully thru these post and LEARN.

HeH

What's with the googley eyes?

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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friendlyrose
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Thanks Zeena [Big Grin] I like how you always have verses handy. A lot of times I will know the book or the chapter but not always the specific chapter and verse I am thinking of.

Yes, I agree Billy that unbelievers should worry about eternity instead of just 7 years of tribulation, including 3.5 years of Great Tribulation. That is why it is better to be saved now than to wait and go through the tribulation, which I was attempting to explain to lost friends, b/c the temptation will be great to not get the mark of the beast to survive, yet they will forever be lost if they do this, plus they will not have to be beheaded. I don't know your response to what I wrote such as some of my questions, such as if that was the tribulation, then why didn't Jesus return and set up His milennial reign and now we be in the new heaven and earth? And also, Jerusalem isn't the entire world, which revelation says the antichrist will control the whole world with the mark of the beast system. How often do we hear talks of the one world government that especially the illuminati satanist group plans to happen? And even regular politicians who may or may not be in this group.
I will have to go look up Daniel 12 again to see what you are referring to there. But the resurrection spoken of in I Thessalonians 4 says the dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain, which will be christians that Jesus comes in the air for. Later in revelation, and I will have to look up the verses and come back to post, it says the dead will be judged, the nonbelievers and resurrected in what is called The Great White Throne Judgment, on all of their works before they are cast into the lake of fire. Christians are not a part of this judgment, they are a part of the Judgment seat of Christ, or the bema judgement. I believe that is written earlier in revelation, which many believe will happen in heaven after the church is raptured. Christians will be judged on their works, and whatever is good will remain, and the rest will be burned and we will suffer loss for them. It is here that we receive any crowns that we will get, such as the crown for loving His appearing, which we will then place at Jesus's feet.
I just thought of something. When Jesus returns at His second coming with tens of thousands of His saints on horses to the mount of olives, who will be clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints, that implies that the judgment seat of Christ has happened and also the rapture/resurrection because they have their bodies. The dead in Christ now in heaven do not have their bodies yet; just their souls are in heaven. It says in scripture that they are awaiting their bodies. So that would be evidence for a rapture too right? Because that would have to include the old testament saints too I believe that they have to wait to receive their glorified bodies.
Another thought is that after Jesus returns, He will set up His millennial reign, which we will be able to go back and forth from heaven to earth to help Him in some way. The only people who will be able to enter His kingdom will be people who become saved during the tribulation in their human bodies, who will then have children who at the end of the 1000 years, satan will be loosed and try to deceive them at the end, before Jesus destroys him. All other christians will have their glorified bodies by this time and cannot have children, which we will not have any more in heaven. So, there has to be a rapture for the church to be removed, in order to have more people become saved during the tribulation, for if all the christians go through it, then for sure at the end, we will receive our glorified bodies at the rapture/resurrection if you are a post-trib, and then still all at the same time so no regular humans in the millennial kingdom who can have children who satan will try to tempt 1000 years later. I hope that made sense. Then they will get their glorified bodies after the millennial reign. I will have to look up the specific verses. Because there is no way satan can tempt those who are already glorified.

Here is some of it in rev. 20, the whole chapter really on the millenium and great white throne judgment,
rev. 20:4
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
20:5
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
20:11
And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
20:12
And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
20:13
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
20:15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

So the christians are not at this judgment, b/c it says they came out of death and hell and the sea.

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by Billy:
Furthermore, can you show me where the resurrection of the lost and the resurrection of the righteous are listed as two seperate occurences? Daniel 12 lists them as one event. It has always confused me why someone would want to separate it. It doesn't appear that this is done, in scripture. Are there also two separate judgment days? If so, where do you get that?

1 Corinthians 15:22-24
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.

---------

Daniel 12:5
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank

Luke 16:26
And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us.

2 Corinthians 5:8
we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Billy
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"I cannot afford to buy 3 and a half years worth of food to store, I don't see how most people can afford to do much of anything to survive if they are not allowed to buy or sell anything? I think it is very important to witness to the lost and try to warn them about this time, because I certainly do not want anyone to go through it, I remember telling friends in college, and they think it is so strange, and I say if I am no longer here, then you will know it is true and not to take the mark, but I do not know if they will remember."

Firstly, as Flavius Josephus has already accounted, the 3 1/2 years of siege on Jerusalem and the 3 1/2 years of following persecution which happened under Nero and his generals already happened in AD70. While this may point toward a future fulfillment, which I don't see that it does, it is certainly not the tool of God's wrath that should concern us. What should concern the unbeliever and lead him to repentence is the fact that without accepting the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, they will spend ETERNITY (not a measely 3 1/2 or even 7 years) in HELL (not a mere earthly tribulation)! How much power has been depleated from the gospel message over this faulty doctrine.

Furthermore, can you show me where the resurrection of the lost and the resurrection of the righteous are listed as two seperate occurences? Daniel 12 lists them as one event. It has always confused me why someone would want to separate it. It doesn't appear that this is done, in scripture. Are there also two separate judgment days? If so, where do you get that?

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Zeena
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Again, wonderful post FriendlyRose [Smile]

Just some touch points I'd like to point out -->

Jesus is the One who watches over us. He is the watchman on my post. For I cannot see properly in order to watch, nor do I know the seasons.

Psalm 127:1b
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Also, should it be our Loving Fathers Will that we go through the great tribulation, know that it would be to define our character, to conform us to the image of His Son so that we will have treasure in Heaven [Smile]

Ezekiel 9:6
Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.

Revelation 9:4
And it was said unto them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only such men as have not the seal of God on their foreheads.


---------------


Exodus 6:6
Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments:

Psalm 19:9
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 48:11
Let mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice, Because of thy judgments.

Psalm 97:8
Zion heard and was glad, And the daughters of Judah rejoiced, Because of thy judgments, O Jehovah.

Psalm 119:20
My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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friendlyrose
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I'm glad you enjoyed that zeena. I thought it was interesting as well, especially comparing Jesus's cursing the barren fig tree on the same day that He told them to look for the sign of the fig tree for the signs of His returning,, and how it related to Israel's denying Him at His first coming and producing no fruit to His second coming and their producing fruit and acknowledging Him. I had never heard about those verses and I learned a lot.

My point, Michael, was that it says not only that He will keep us from temptation but it actually says that He will keep us from the hour of temptation that will come upon the whole earth to test them, which is what a good portion of revelation is about. Also, if you look up from in a corcordance, the Greek actually means out of instead of from, so it really means to keep out of the hour of temptation. And with the actual verses about the rapture in thessalonians, it seems to apply. Because it says it will happen before the antichrist is revealed, it says that which hindereth until He is taken out of the way, that is not a direct quote I believe, but most people believe that is referring to the Holy Spirit in the church, when the church will be taken out of the way, then the man of sin will be revealed.
And I also believe the rapture and the resurrection is the same thing or that it happens at the same time, according to thessalonians, the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are alive and remain will meet the Lord in the air and so shall they ever be with the Lord. This is different than when He returns with His feet on the mount of olives with all His saints at the end of the tribulation. Because when we are "caught up" together with them in the clouds, is where the rapture concept comes from. And then later the nonchristians will be resurrected too, so I am not sure what you are referring to Billy. I think it is important too to read all of the Bible for ourselves and study it in context. Most of Daniel and thessalonians and revelation refer to the seven year tribulation and the antichrist, and that's where I'm getting my information. I have read books about the subject too, but they always refer to the specific scriptures.
If there is not a rapture michael, I do not know how one can prepare, because how do you prepare? What can you do if you cannot buy or sell anything? There are no guidelines or suggestions. What exactly do you believe will happen? I cannot afford to buy 3 and a half years worth of food to store, I don't see how most people can afford to do much of anything to survive if they are not allowed to buy or sell anything? I think it is very important to witness to the lost and try to warn them about this time, because I certainly do not want anyone to go through it, I remember telling friends in college, and they think it is so strange, and I say if I am no longer here, then you will know it is true and not to take the mark, but I do not know if they will remember. It will be a terrible terrible time, I am ready for the Lord to return, and no noone will want to go through that, but I am not convinced that He wants His church to go through this specific great tribulation, because we are not told to expect the tribulation and the antichrist to come first then the return of the Lord. We are told that the Lord could come any day now and comfort each other with these words. How can we be comforted if we have to endure starvation and beheading? I guess it would be good to prepare in case if you know how to, but wouldn't that be considered doubting the Lord and not being ready for Him and watching?

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Zeena
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Ecclesiastes 7:23-24
All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

Leviticus 24:2-4
Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.

Isaiah 40:13-17
Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16
But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words. Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, and he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
Let no man deceive himself. If any man thinketh that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He that taketh the wise in their craftiness: and again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are vain.

Zechariah 4:5-7
Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.”
So he answered and said to me: “ This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘ Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”

1 Corinthians 8:2
And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Billy
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Our hope should not be placed in the rapture of the church, but in the salvation of not only our souls, but also unconverted souls. We look up for the return of our Lord, in the final days. Sure. But how many verses on the resurrection that will take place in the last days exist in the Bible? Plenty. Contrast that with the amount of verses that directly speak of a rapture that will involve only the church, before a seven year tribulation that will precede a literal 1,000 year reign of our Lord. I would contend that these passages (the ones on the rapture) do not exist.

The argument could be made that the rapture is atleast eluded to, but how many of those verses could be very easily applied to the final resurrection or the taking up of believers before the destrucion of the world and the construction of the new heaven and the new earth? Yet we hear very little on the final resurrection and the new heaven and new earth. Because there is such a strong urge among evangelical leaders to be removed from this world rather than have any godly impact on it, we are lambasted with verses that elude to the rapture, while the verses that directly mention the resurrection are skirted as unimportant.

Belief in the rapture, as it relates to a selfish longing to escape the wrath that will engulf those that we should have been witnessing to in the last days, is not only a nonessential doctrine, but one that I would argue is not even biblical. There is a concerted effort to take any passage possible and make it point to future fulfillments, in modern evangelicalism, that I believe does a disservice to the text of the scriptures. Not everything is yet future!

Furthermore, I firmly believe that there is a dire need, in today's churches, to see people return to reading their Bibles rather than simply relying on others to read it to them. I applaud this website for setting up a program by which groups of people can get together and read the Bible all the way through, in one year. Many churches do not do not even offer that type of study program.

There are many people that go their whole lives only hearing the word from the pulpit. There are many others still that only read the word as it is presented through devotionals and Bible studies. I don't believe this is bad, but how many people neglect the joy that comes from sitting down and reading the unadulterated word of God, without any outside influence, because of the convenience of Bible studies and devotionals?

Don't get me wrong. There are many godly men that offer up keen insights, but did the bereans not also compare Paul's testimony to scripture? And Paul was arguably the greatest theologian to ever live! Yet did Paul take issue with this practice? No! He applauded them for testing his word in light of scripture. Lest we become like the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses that will hear no contention where it involves placing active skepticism on the words of their leaders, we should strive to know the scriptures so well that we can eat the meat and spit out the bones of modern evangelicalism.

I exhort all of you to read your Bibles daily, and not just the same passages over and over again. Read the entire Bible. Read it in context. Read every book. Read each book as though you are reading any book; from start to finish, rather than skipping from this author to that. Different authors have different intents and different audiences. Learn to read your Bibles in light of that.

Strive to learn the different viewpoints on all the different doctrines in the modern church. Compare them to your overall understanding of scripture, not your own personal longings and beliefs. Be willing to let God change your minds on doctrines that you thought you had the answer to, but always in light of the whole of scripture. In this, you will understand the Bible better, and you will grow closer to your Creator, Savior, Lord, Father, Comforter, Prince, King, Shepherd, Provider and Friend.

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Zeena
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quote:
I only say this so that you can seek preparedness.
Job 5:8
"But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;

Luke 12:31
"But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

quote:
But if it means that He will take you by rapture, you have nothing to worry about as long as you are 'watching', which really means that you are focused on Him.
I do believe I will be raptured, even as I have been translated..

Psalm 16:8-10
I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

Romans 8:24
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

Colossians 1:12-14
giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:

quote:
And I think these are the ones who deserve the best of the Lord in heaven for going through that.
Matthew 20
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Michael Harrison
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Paramount post zeena. It answers the question well.


Ok! He will keep you from the temptation which is to try the world. Tell me how that sounds like taking someone out of the world? I only say this so that you can seek preparedness. But if it means that He will take you by rapture, you have nothing to worry about as long as you are 'watching', which really means that you are focused on Him.

But to keep from temptation does not indicate removal. Keep from doesn't sound like "remove from" in any way, does it? It is an 'extreme' stretch to think that it does. And the soul can conjure up some of the most outrageous concepts. Here is the problem. When we come up with a concept, we can easily find a way for scripture to back it up. Case in point, Joke of a witnesses, Morons of latter day pranks, and Charles Manson, just to name a few. That is exactly what Monica wa talking about, letting scripture direct our concept by reading the word the way it is written. In this case her conclusion, which was fair, I would say, was that you couldn't tell from what is actually written.

Concerning Enoch and Elijah, how many billions of people have there been in the world, and two, only two, were translated??? Two! Aw, don't cry. There is a place of victory. And I know what you are feeling. Who wants to face anything like what is coming. But I am currently reading a book by Harlan Popov, who was tortured in communist prisions. It is not even fun to read. He would have liked a rapture, for sure. He didn't get it. In fact, I believe that there is better hope than he had to see him through. But God saw him through. And I think these are the ones who deserve the best of the Lord in heaven for going through that.

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Zeena
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[Bible] I really enjoyed that [Smile]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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friendlyrose
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Those are good verses zeena.

I found this about the fig tree symbolism of Israel.
The Fig Tree


Written by: Unknown Posted on: 01/20/2005


Category: Bible Studies


Source: http://www.heraldmag.org

A Symbol Deciphered - The Fig Tree

The fig tree is one of the more frequently mentioned trees in the Scriptures. It was from its leaves that Adam and Eve made their first covering (Gen. 3:7). The fig tree was valued first of all for its delicious, sweet fruit (Judges 9:11). It was also a symbol of prosperity and security: "and Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree" (1 Kings 4:25). It was an enjoyable thing to rest, meditate on God’s word, and pray in the shade of the fig tree. (John 1:48)

Figs are considered characteristic fruit for the land of Palestine. The best loved and most nutritious were the spring fruits, which ripened in May and referred to as figs in the fig tree of the first time (Hosea 9:10). The main harvesting of figs occurred in the later months of the summer and in the fall. Those figs were called late figs. They were inferior in their quality. The poorest ones were even fed to cattle.

The Fig Tree as a Symbol

Some places in the Bible indicate that the fig tree also has a symbolic meaning. One of the Lord’s miracles is most intriguing when his curse of the fig tree caused it to wither. This seems to have been the only miracle in which Jesus used his power to destroy, to annihilate something. It also is the only miracle which was of no benefit to anyone. All others were done for men. The Lord multiplied bread, healed diseases, raised the dead. This miracle was as if in conflict with our Master’s disposition, who to the suggestion of destroying the wicked, answered back to his disciples: "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of". (Luke 9:55). All these facts imply an exceptional character of that miracle and its symbolic meaning. But to understand this symbolism, the miracle must be considered in the light of our Lord’s parable of the barren fig tree.

"A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him: let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it and dung it. And if it shall bear fruit, well and if not then after that thou shalt cut it down." (Luke 13:6-9)

The parable was preceded by his words: "Except ye repent ye shall likewise perish". The explanation of this parable was obvious to the listeners. The owner of the vineyard is the God of Israel (Isa 5:7). The dresser is the Messiah, who, three years into his mission, would, through his digging and fertilizing, make the nation bring fruit unto God. At the time of the utterance of this parable, the fate of this nation was still not decided. Our Lord still had half a year of his dressing work before him. It seems that the cursing of the fig tree is as if it is the finishing of the unfinished parable.

After his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the end of our Lord’s mission was fast approaching. Returning from Bethany, the Master approached the fig tree and looked for fruit in it. Having found none, he passed this sentence on the tree: "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever" (Matt. 21:19). Some interpret this event literally, as a curse on a tree which had no fruit. But such an interpretation is in conflict with a note made by the author of the Gospel of Mark, who emphasizes that "the time for figs was not yet" (Mark 11:13). Both our Lord and his disciples realized that in that season, in the early spring, no figs could ever be found on a fig tree. The lesson was manifest: his seeking the fruit had a symbolic meaning, it was a living parable, so often used by the prophets. Jesus wanted to finish the story of the barren fig tree which he had told earlier. After three and a half years of the dressing work was complete, he wanted to show that the antitypical fig tree brought no fruit. The fate of the tree was decided. On the next day it withered.

Israel

The fig tree was used as a picture of Israel not without a cause. As early as in the Old Testament, figs were identified with the nation of Israel by the prophets. Hosea wrote: ‘I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness, I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree in her first time" (Hosea 9:10). Jeremiah received the vision of two baskets of figs, which represented Israel: "Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah" (Jer. 24:5).

How soon was Christ’s prophecy fulfilled about the withering of the symbolic fig tree to be fulfilled?. In the year 70 A.D. the temple was destroyed. No longer was there a place to offer sacrifices, the opportunity to serve the Lord according to the precepts of the Law thus ended. Jerusalem fell into ruin, and the whole nation was expelled from their own land and dispersed throughout the world. Speaking about the time of his Kingdom approaching, Christ again turns his disciples’ attention to the fig tree. "Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth his leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the door". (Matt. 24:32, 33)

It should be observed that this parable was uttered on the same day when the barren fig tree was cursed. Therefore it would be difficult to assume that when Christ told them to watch for signs taking place on that very kind of a tree, it was merely accidental. These two events constitute one whole. As a result of the rejection of the Messiah on the part of the Jews, during his first advent, God’s favor was turned away from them, as shown in the withered tree. Whereas, the softening of the branches and the bringing forth of leaves represents the return of favor to this nation during the time of the establishment of the Kingdom in Christ’s second advent. Let us, then, carefully observe this symbolic fig tree.

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by friendlyrose:
How will christians be able to eat without taking the mark?

1 Kings 17:6
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

John 6:35
Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

quote:
It seems like many will have to starve, if they are still here, before they will be beheaded.
Matthew 10:28-30
And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

quote:
Now I wonder if people will turn themselves in as an escape??
Revelation 8:3-5
Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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friendlyrose
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I believe that is a different Nero than the one you are referring to, but same type person lol
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friendlyrose
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Thanks for the replies. I have always found this a fascinating subject, and I have looked forward to the rapture all of my life. I did look at the video clip too and it was good, to focus more on doing what Jesus wants us to do and not get bogged down in "human words" but to focus on what Jesus says. I think it is ok to discuss these issues because we can all learn from each other, as long as we do not begin to argue or get upset.
It is interesting the things you wrote Billy, are you of the preterist point of view? I only know a little about that, that they believe that everything has already happened and that this is the way the world will always be? However, I do not subscribe to that view, because Jesus has not reigned for 1000 years yet and the world is becoming more and more sinful so we are not in heaven on earth yet either. What do you make of those verses in Revelation, whether or not you are a preterist? I do not know what they think either.
Did Nero cause all of the world at the time to take the mark of the beast and that they couldn't buy or sell unless they took it or was it a localized tribulation? I do see the similarities, however it just seems that we are coming closer to a society where that is possible, with probably a cashless society fast approaching and literally no privacy hardly at all. And with the talks of chips in the works and global positioning satellites, it will be feasible to track every human on the planet. I wonder if all the emphasis on putting global positioning in cell phones is due to the success of the left behind series, where the new christians survived and kept in touch through superior cell phones; that certainly attempts to nip that in the bud. It is very frightening, and I do so hope I am interpreting the bible correctly and there is a rapture, because I do not want to be around. How will christians be able to eat without taking the mark? It seems like many will have to starve, if they are still here, before they will be beheaded. Now I wonder if people will turn themselves in as an escape??
Also, about the temple, I see your point about the temple being destroyed not mentioned, but this is supposed to be a new temple that will be built, I do not recall offhand a verse that mentions a future temple after the one is destroyed in AD 70 but I thought there was. Plus, the dates are specific for a seven year time, so Jesus should have returned if that was indeed the tribulation back then. And possibly if it was written in 90 or 95 AD everyone then would know the temple was destroyed so no need to mention that , but then they would know that it would be rebuilt and to look for that. Because neither John or even Jesus Himself knew when He was returning, it says that only the Father knows when He was returning so that is why he wrote soon what will take place so every generation knows it could happen, and a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, so this is soon to Him.
I do not have an exposition on the fig tree parable right now, I would have to look it up again, but I thought it was based on Old Testament symbolism, I know Jack Van Impe subscribes to that view, so the generation born in 1948 would be the last generation, which we are that will not die out before the Lord comes. And Jesus didn't return before the disciples generation died out, so it couldn't apply to them.
That is interesting about the Jews too; maybe the 144,000 represents all of them; don't know, I have heard or read that all of the Jews will eventually be saved, the remnant of them alive when Jesus returns, but that they are still forever a separate entity from the church even though we are grafted together. But the Jews today are still lost unless they become Christians or messianic Jews. It is kind of complicated. I do not believe that the Church has replaced Israel as some believe because of revelation. I thought that the Jews of the future will finally recognize that Jesus is the true messiah and that He was pierced for their sins, even though they weren't alive at the time. I have also heard that maybe Jesus will miraculously call all the lost tribes of Israel together in the future that they will know which tribe they are from, who knows how they will work, but maybe not. I would love to hear your replies and any other peoples on these thoughts as well.
Also Michael, I see what you are saying about the suffering and tribulation of the past and the horrific things people have gone through and that we will suffer persecution and tribulation here and many do around the world today too. But I don't see how keep from temptation means that we won't deny him. It would seem like different words would be used, such as uphold you during the time of temptation or preserve or not allow you to give in to temptation, something other that keep from which I have read in the Greek means to keep out of not keep in, so I am not so sure about that. There are also instances of rapture such as enoch and elijah and elisha and I believe that it is very possible a rapture; I sure pray so. [rapture] [BooHoo] how fitting is this icon for Nero, didn't he play the violin while the city burned? lol

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Michael Harrison
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What she says is that it might not happen how we think it will, noting that the Jews of Jesus day knew that the messiah was coming, but missed it for the details.
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Good NewsforAll
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Maybe I am a little slow, but to me it isn't clear whether Monica is talking about the Rapture or the Second Coming. All she says is to keep watching. [Confused]

--------------------
The Pharisees tell us what not to do. Jesus tells us what to do.
Romans 10:15 As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"


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Michael Harrison
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quote:
I haven't watched that video clip, so I'm not sure what their view is, but I was wondering what you all think could possibly mean by rev. 3:10 if it is not rapture?
It is hard to read the word the way it is written. Our imagination gets right in the way. But if one looks, it says that He will keep you from the hour of temptation. Temptation! That means that He will keep you from denying Him. Do you get raptured in order to be kept from 'temptation'?

Which brings to rememberance the passage:

2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Because, Billy, you said:

quote:
In Hanegraaff's book The Apocalypse Code, he cites many instances where this particular church father has contradicted others in his dating of certain events.

The key word that I am looking for here is "father." Notice that the passage 2Peter 3:4 talks about the "Church Fathers." Well, I am taking it upon myself to assume that the "Fathers" refered to in 2 Peter are likely the fathers of the rapture theory, perhaps. When things go bad, and everybody is looking for a rapture which doesn't seem emminent, then it will be discovered that the rapture was not what scripture meant.

But I do not agree with Hank about his theory, any more than Ol Tim. I think we are still looking forward to the stuff in Revelation, and it didn't happen already. But, if you had watched the video, it says it best, I'd say.

Now, I have to say something about the 144,000. In theomatics it is brought out that the word, thousands, in the Greek is plural. Is this significant? Don't know, but one hundred and forty four thousands may mean something different than one hundred and forty four thousand. I don't know how. But it may. So when we try to pin down what is going to happen, I also have to add, from observing Bible Code, that there are varying possibilities. Things can go one way or another, and that is why Revelations is not clear cut. Ultimately they will culminate into what we see in Revelations, but there are differing paths to the end result.

And going back to the top of this article, did He keep the Christians from the awful persecution of the Romans. I will tell you that they suffered the most horrible things. What about Hitler, who perhaps could have been the antichrist, but wasn't. What about the fate of the Jewish people that he persecuted, and those whom he couquered? They were trashed, murdered, mutilated. Who doesn't want a rapture? It seems a lot cleaner and safer. That is why people are inclined to it. But it is not to be.

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Billy
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I meant to say Ruth and Rahab. lol

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Billy
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This is where I am probably going to get a lot of flack for agreeing with Hank Hanegraaff and R.C. Sproul. I have yet to bring up the topic of my belief, as far as Revelation is concerned, because I know that it is a touchy subject for those that adhere to the paradigm set forth by Hagee, LeHaye, Jenkins, Lindsay and the like. I will set aside my reservations on this issue, however, so that I may give you an answer as best I can.

The accepted thought, in modern evangelicalism, is that Revelation was written in AD90 or later. This idea is based solely on a small excerpt from a letter written by one of the 2nd or 3rd century church fathers. I can't remember which one, right off the top of my head. It is either Eusebius or Ignatious. In Hanegraaff's book The Apocalypse Code, he cites many instances where this particular church father has contradicted others in his dating of certain events.

Now, this alone is not enough to simply throw out the possibility that his dating of the book of Revelation is true. Thus Hanegraaff, as well as R.C. Sproul (The Last Days According to Jesus), point out that there is no mention, in Revelation of the destruction of the Temple or the ransacking of Jerusalem, in AD70. Knowing that this is one of the most famous prophecies made by Jesus, they compare the absence of it in Revelation to the assassination of J.F.K.

If someone were to write a biography on J.F.K. and never once mention the assassination of J.F.K. it would be conceded by scholars that the biography must have been completed some time before the assassination of J.F.K. Otherwise it would defy logic as to why it would not be included. In much the same way, the writers of the Bible, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, always pointed back to fulfilled prophecies, when the moment dictated. Thus, why would John not include the destruction of the Temple, the most profound prophecy made by our Lord Jesus Christ, unless he had written it before the year AD70?

"I haven't watched that video clip, so I'm not sure what their view is, but I was wondering what you all think could possibly mean by rev. 3:10 if it is not rapture? How else can He keep us from the hour of temptation to test those that are on the whole earth if we are not to leave the world? If we stay in the world then we are a part of it and are not kept from it. Then, if we are in the world, we will be forced to either take the mark of the beast and ultimately seal our eternal destination with satan in hell or we will be tortured and killed for our faith.
It seems to imply that if we keep His word and obey Him and are patiently looking to the rapture, then we will be rewarded, although noone does deserve it of course just as noone deserves salvation. But I have always been taught that the tribulation is the time of Jacob's trouble it is called somewhere in the bible, and it is mainly for the Jewish people to attempt to bring them to repentance and anyone else to I suppose. Because the focus is on mainly the Jewish people, there is no mention of the church or the seven churches in Asia anymore after the first three chapters, which some believe rev. 4:1 symbolizes the rapture, when John is told to come up here."

If indeed the book of Revelation was written before AD70, which I believe it was, it is highly likely that this portion of Revelation is talking about the tribulation that Jerusalem went through under Nero Caezar. John certainly eludes to this, in Revelation 1, when he tells his contemporaries that he is writing to tell them what must SOON take place. Furthermore, Jesus in Matthew 24, when speaking on the same subject, says that THIS generation would not surely pass away befoer ALL these things take place.

Thus, there is no mention of the church, in this passage, because they had already been warned, in Matthew 24, to flee to the hills when they saw the signs. They were to flee the judgment that was to come upon Jerusalem for having taken the blood of Christ on their hands and on the hands of their children. This goes right along with the events leading up to Matthew 24, as well, especially as we see Christ lamenting over Jerusalem.


"There is talk about 144,000 Jews being sealed and becoming witnesses to the world during this time,"

Hank Hanegraaff offers a long explanation for the 144,000 Jews, in his book. I will try to paraphrase, though it will take me a while.

The general consensus is that we should read this as 144,000 literal Jews. The question then becomes, can they literally be 144,000 Jews made up of 12,000 from each tribe, as listed in the Book of Revelation? The answer is simple. No.

All but a few of the tribes mentioned lost their national identity during the exiles, in the Old Testament, and most of them (most of the ones mentioned in this passage) had ceased to exist all together. Hank goes further into explaining this in his book, though I'm not too well versed on the subject.

The point is, it is obvious that the imagery is symbolic. The question is, to what extent is it symbolic, and how do we determine that? The answer lies in the fact that most of the symbolism and apocalyptic imagery that we see being used in the book of Revelation, is derived directly from the Old Testament. Hanegraaff argues that over 2/3 of the book of Revelation is either quoting or eluding to passages from the Old Testament. Therefore, he claims that, in order to come to a full understanding of the symbolism and imagery used in Revelation, one must be well acquainted with the Old Testament, as the Apostle John and his contemporaries obviously were.

Hank then goes on to make the case that the number 1,000, in the Old and New Testaments, was a symbol of the extended, unseen future. He then goes on to explain the significance of the number 12, in the Old Testament. The significance of this number escapes me, at the moment. I believe that it has something to do with holiness. When put together, we have 12,000 from each tribe, in Israel. This is to signify that the 144,000 (or True Israel) are an eternally holy people. I'm sure I just butchered Hank's argument. I will go back and check, and make sure that I haven't done so, later.

He also points to the fact that, in chapter 7 or 14 (I can't remember which) of Revelation, we have a crowd of 144,000 and a great crowd that cannot be numbered. He then harkens back just a few short passages to the Lion and the Lamb. John is told of a great lion and turns to see a Lamb. We know these both to represent Jesus, though they are represented in two separate lights.

In the same way, Hank says, John is told of a crowd that numbers 144,000. When he turns to look, he sees a great crowd that cannot be numbered. In the same way, Hank argues, the 144,000 are a symbol that represents a great multitude that cannot truly be numbered. Now, I don't know if I necessarily believe all that, but it definitely seems to make sense to me. Judge for yourselves.

"and then the antichrist will say that he is God in the temple,"

The abomination of desolation. This harkens back to emporers that tried to do the same in the Maccabbean period, as prophesied by Daniel. The problem with using this to point to a future anti-christ is that it was fulfilled in the late AD60's when Nero erected a statue of himself in the holy of holies and declared that all must worship the statue as they would worship God.

Flavius Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, writes about this in his account of the destruction of Jerusalem. Those that fled were saved, and those that stayed were either killed or starved to death. "Woe to those that are nursing babies..." Josephus even accounts of the infant cannibalism that was taking place at the time that Jerusalem was under siege.

"and the Jews will know to flee to the wilderness then where they will be protected by God."

As they were commanded, in Matthew 24.

"Then, when Jesus returns to the earth, the Jews will recognize it as Him who they pierced it says."

Those that pierced Jesus were first century Jews. When Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24, He used apocalyptic imagery that is specific to judgment. In the book of Nahum, we see how the coming on clouds is a symbol of judgment used by Yahweh to warn a nation of impending doom. Matthew uses this same imagery, and then tells His listeners that their generation would see it happen. Sure enough, Jerusalem fell. This was the righteous judgment of Christ being executed on those that executed Him.

"And the church is supposed to bring the Jews to jealousy during its time to bring them back to Christ, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled."

And we see this being played out throughout the book of Acts. Many Jews were coming to repentance. Many others were persecuting the church out of jealousy. There is nothing, however, in the writings of the apostles that denotes an inkling that this falling away of the Jews would last 2,000 years. Otherwise, the apostles, especially Paul, would have never been saved.

"Plus, Jesus was Jewish and the disciples and they did not know about the future church when they asked Jesus the signs of His return, and He mentions the fig tree blooming that summer is near, and that is supposed to be a symbol for Israel becoming a nation."

I need someone to write me an exposition on this interpretation of the parable of the fig tree. This seems like a clear case of reading into the text what is simply not there.

Jesus had told Peter that He was going to build His church on "this rock." Furthermore, Jesus was always at odds with the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. They knew that, if Jesus was the Truth, there must be an end coming to the age of the Jews. Thus they ask, "When we all these things take place (the siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple), and how will we know that it is the end of the age?"

The KJV of the Bible renders this passage to say "the end of the world." Most scholars agree that this is a faulty rendering of the Greek word used, here. The Greek word used, here is seldom translated to mean "world." Most often, it is used to mean age. In fact, in most passages where the word "world" is meant, in the New Testament, a different word is being used. It is a word that can only be translated to mean world. In contrast, the word used here can be translated to mean either world or age, though it is typically translated "age."

"I would just like to know another scenario that affects the entire world like the antichrist will that we will be kept out of."

Answered above.

"And why is the church not mentioned more during the tribulation and told how to prepare or that they will be protected like the Jews are during this time?"

Answered above.

"It would seem that the Lord would do that for His church to be prepared too if we do have to endure the tribulation, it is not like Him to keep us in the dark."

He hasn't. We just have to read the Bible the way that a first century Jewish person would. In the context of the Old Testament, and without the imaginative speculation of those that don't choose to do so.

"I think if christians were going to be sealed, He would have told us as He does the 144, 000 Jews."

We are sealed, by the Holy Spirit, and we are warned that we would endure greater suffering than even He did. This was so with the majority of the apostles, as well as the early church fathers. It carried on through the reformation and is still happening today, around the world. We are sealed, but we will suffer, none-the-less. We suffer, but we have joy in our suffering.

"I also wonder who these Jews are. Any thoughts?"

Nope. I believe (and I'm not saying that you should. This is mere speculation.) that they possibly represent the church, which is true Israel (Galatians 3), the bride of Christ, the sons and daughters of God, the heirs of the promise, the saints in the faith hall of fame all the way up to Billy Graham and John MacArthur. All one body in the faith, not separated by race or nationality, just as Ruth and Ahab were not separated by race or nationality, but earned a place, through faith, into the lineage even of Jesus Christ. One church. One Israel. One body. One bride of Christ.

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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friendlyrose
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hello all,
I haven't watched that video clip, so I'm not sure what their view is, but I was wondering what you all think could possibly mean by rev. 3:10 if it is not rapture? How else can He keep us from the hour of temptation to test those that are on the whole earth if we are not to leave the world? If we stay in the world then we are a part of it and are not kept from it. Then, if we are in the world, we will be forced to either take the mark of the beast and ultimately seal our eternal destination with satan in hell or we will be tortured and killed for our faith.
It seems to imply that if we keep His word and obey Him and are patiently looking to the rapture, then we will be rewarded, although noone does deserve it of course just as noone deserves salvation. But I have always been taught that the tribulation is the time of Jacob's trouble it is called somewhere in the bible, and it is mainly for the Jewish people to attempt to bring them to repentance and anyone else to I suppose. Because the focus is on mainly the Jewish people, there is no mention of the church or the seven churches in Asia anymore after the first three chapters, which some believe rev. 4:1 symbolizes the rapture, when John is told to come up here.
There is talk about 144,000 Jews being sealed and becoming witnesses to the world during this time, and then the antichrist will say that he is God in the temple, and the Jews will know to flee to the wilderness then where they will be protected by God. Then, when Jesus returns to the earth, the Jews will recognize it as Him who they pierced it says. And the church is supposed to bring the Jews to jealousy during its time to bring them back to Christ, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. Plus, Jesus was Jewish and the disciples and they did not know about the future church when they asked Jesus the signs of His return, and He mentions the fig tree blooming that summer is near, and that is supposed to be a symbol for Israel becoming a nation.
I would just like to know another scenario that affects the entire world like the antichrist will that we will be kept out of. And why is the church not mentioned more during the tribulation and told how to prepare or that they will be protected like the Jews are during this time? It would seem that the Lord would do that for His church to be prepared too if we do have to endure the tribulation, it is not like Him to keep us in the dark. I think if christians were going to be sealed, He would have told us as He does the 144, 000 Jews. I also wonder who these Jews are. Any thoughts?

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Billy
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I agree with you that the rapture and the second coming will be simultaneous. I also believe that it will happen simultaneous with the resurrection, according to the verse from 2Thessalonians. It is my understanding that the rapture is necessary, only in-as-much as it will provide a means of escape from the destruction of this world, in preparation for the heaven and the new earth.

When Revelation speaks of the Lord being among us, I believe that it harkens back to the original design (which we find in Genesis) for the universe in which we see the Lord walking in the garden with man. You see no mention of the separation of heaven and earth before the fall of man. We know that Satan was in heaven, but there are verses in the Old Testament that have him (before his own fall) in the Garden of Eden.

How is this so? It is my belief that this points to a greater reality. In the original creation, heaven and earth were one. God existed on earth with man. Also, it defies human understanding why Revelation would say that there would be a separate heaven and earth, yet God would live among us. This must mean that the new heaven and earth will be one, just as they were originally designed.

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Michael Harrison
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Interesting insight billy. God Bless you over there, and wherever you go.

Like you, I once took for granted what they teach in the church about the rapture. At the time I did, Hal Lindsey had written a book on it and brought it to the forefront of Christian thinking, one of the earlier 'sensational' commentaries on it.

One day a guy who seemed to be just part of a brick, shy of a load, started telling me now nonsensical the idea of a rapture was. I was not immediately impressed. I was considering the source. But I began to condider it. Before long I realized that it didn't necessarily make sense. And the more I look at it now, the more boldly the contrast is to what these guys are saying. It seems that they are fleshing out a dinosuar with only two pieces of skeleton, say, part of the back bone and a toe! From that they are making an image of something monsterous.

One of those bones is this verse:

Rev 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

This is in fact the main one. I do not understand however, why they interpret "keep thee from the hour of temptation," to mean that He will take them out of the world via a rapture. Jesus, when He prayed in the Garden of Geth???ity (i'll have to look it up) prayed:

Joh 17:15 "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."

Keep them from evil is where the focus should be here, but let's go to the next skeletal bone.

Thessolonians is where the pre-trib 'rapture' part comes from. But clearly this refers to the Second coming. And we know that the angels said of Jesus that HE would 'return' the same way that He left. Of course it was said to those who were looking up to where they saw Him ascend.

What gives this verse away is that it says that, "The dead in Christ will rise first." Well, that means their bodies. For concerning the spirit we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So the spirits are not rising at the Second Coming. How someone can miss this in favor of a fantasy is hard to comprehend, almost. The problem is that people just do not read scripture the way it is written: and they are Lemmings.

There is another bone, but I cannot think of it. But what is three bones out of thirteen hundred which would be necessary in order to view the whole skeleton?

So, it is the "Keep them from evil," part which needs to be discovered. Does it mean 'rapture'? I think not. But it has a meaning to be discovered.

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Billy
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Thank you for that. It does look much better. I sometimes get in a hurry. You see, I have to come outside to get on the internet here, and the battery on my laptop runs down fairly quickly.

Right now, I'm in Kuwait, and we don't have internet in our barracks. We have to go outside and get on the internet in the hot, dusty air. This is probably why I have been such a dry sort to talk to, lately. The environment can do that to you, around here.

However, I do enjoy delving into these topics, however, and I don't have my regular Bible study group to lean on, here. This is probably the main reason why I've searched you guys out. Sure, it's not the same, but have you ever tried to talk about Christianity on the Yahoo Message Boards? It's hard to find a Christian, even on the Christianity boards.

I don't mean to offend anybody with these topics, by the way. I don't believe that anyone's particular view of eschatology will effect their salvation, in as much as it is not blasphemous. But I wouldn't put you guys in that category.

My only concern is what impact certain eschatological viewpoints have on world affairs, and whether or not someone becomes so focused on them that they neglet weightier matters like the gospel. This is the main reason why I continue to press the issue about the eschatology of certain pastors.

I go to a Southern Baptist Church where we have a fairly new pastor. I don't know where he stands on the issue of the end times. For all I know it contrasts mine to the T. However, though I may debate with him in private, over a pot of coffee and some homemade icecream, I would never allow it to become an issue that would seperate us. I hope you all feel the same.

In Christ,
Billy.

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Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by Billy:
It has come to my attention, not by this post alone, but by a few, that many might believe me to be post-trib. Let me say, right out; I am not.

I don't adhere to any particular end times paradigm, as far as how I interpret scripture. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where the method of discening eschatology was largely pre-trib. There was nothing within the construct of pre-trib theology that particularly rubbed me the wrong way.

I guess you could say that I only knew what I was taught, and that I never tested what was taught in light of scripture. Once I did start testing my beliefs, in light of Scriptures, I quickly came to the realization that there were many things being taught from many pulpits that were just flatly wrong.

These typically take shape in the arenas of conveying an accurate understanding of the gospel and eschatology. I believe in a strict adherance to hermaneutics as a basis for how one reads and interprets the Bible, and I don't believe that those that adhere tout pre-trib eschatology utilize proper hermaneutics in doing so. Most people that I've met that lean pre-trib in their interpretation of biblical prophecy do so because that's what they were always taught and they never have questioned it.

I believe that it is better to argue what has traditionally been taught, rather than what I have always been taught. This is just one of the many principles of sound hermaneutics.

It is easyer to read if you break up your statements with a space.

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That is all.....

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Billy
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It has come to my attention, not by this post alone, but by a few, that many might believe me to be post-trib. Let me say, right out; I am not. I don't adhere to any particular end times paradigm, as far as how I interpret scripture. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where the method of discening eschatology was largely pre-trib. There was nothing within the construct of pre-trib theology that particularly rubbed me the wrong way. I guess you could say that I only knew what I was taught, and that I never tested what was taught in light of scripture. Once I did start testing my beliefs, in light of Scriptures, I quickly came to the realization that there were many things being taught from many pulpits that were just flatly wrong. These typically take shape in the arenas of conveying an accurate understanding of the gospel and eschatology. I believe in a strict adherance to hermaneutics as a basis for how one reads and interprets the Bible, and I don't believe that those that adhere tout pre-trib eschatology utilize proper hermaneutics in doing so. Most people that I've met that lean pre-trib in their interpretation of biblical prophecy do so because that's what they were always taught and they never have questioned it. I believe that it is better to argue what has traditionally been taught, rather than what I have always been taught. This is just one of the many principles of sound hermaneutics.

--------------------
Test yourselves to be sure that you are in the faith.

- The Apostle Paul

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Michael Harrison
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[Smile] Good!
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KnowHim
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When is Jesus coming back?

Will the rapture of the church take place before the seven year period of tribulation at the end of the age, or afterwards?

Join Monica Dennington as she goes straight to the Bible for God's answer to the question:

Pre-Trib ... or Post-Trib?

http://www.jesusclips.com/view_video.php?viewkey=6d9041cfd3f7de18e334


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