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Dispensationalist Only I need help. I am really starting to doubt my system. (Not a debate)

Discussion in 'Dispensationalism' started by Isaiah Burridge, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Isaiah Burridge

    Isaiah Burridge The name of the Lord is a strong tower

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    I was raised by Premill Pretrib parents. I have studied the scriptures very diligently. I have a Ryrie Study Bible, Scofield, Macarthur, and even an HCSB. I have been taught all my life that there will be a Rapture before the 7 year Tribulation and that Israel will be restored because of it. However, Lately, I find myself taking an Amillenial viewpoint to scripture. I just want to ask my questions. I am not looking for a debate.

    I have found that no scripture supports the idea of a rapture. I looked into all the viewpoints of the rapture and they all fall short of answering my questions. The reason they fall short is that Scripture makes it abundantly clear that the church is not appointed to the wrath of God. We are made righteous through Christ. We are not of the darkness of this world. There is no support that the church would go through God's wrath. The church goes through and has been going through persecution from man for 2,000 years but that is not of God.

    It seems the verses that are most argued for the rapture are the very verses that lead me to question it. Let me explain.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 clearly describes what we believe is the rapture. No issues. It's literal and I believe that will take place. My issue is what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 concerning the Day of The Lord. It's clear that the Day of The Lord is Judgement and wrath and that we are not to suffer from it. However, it is clear that we will be on earth during it. Paul clearly contrasts us from the world. They will be overtaken by the thief in the night (Jesus) but we will see it coming because we have been given instruction to look for it. How in the world can say the church is not present for the Day of The Lord when we are told to be sober and watchful? I suppose you could say that we are raptured and therefore not in darkness but that is really forcing a cube in a cylinder. Any insight on this verse would be nice.

    1 Corinthians 15:20-25 is another passage often used to support a rapture but it seems to support more of a Second Coming Amillienial position due to how linear the events seem to be. 1 resurrection and then the end. Seems pretty clear. Any thoughts on how to make this work for Dispensational teaching?

    So in my mind there is no Pre Trib rapture. Okay! Problem solved. I will just take on a PostTrib view. Wrong. Too many holes and again I can't get past the teaching that the church is not meant for wrath and issues arise with who populates the kingdom and it's a mess. So I have come to realize that the only reason I need a rapture is because of the distinction between Israel and the church. If the church truly does inherit the promises of Abraham (Like Galatians 3 says) then what need is there for a tribulation and a millennium?

    Jeremiah 31 definitely supports the idea of a restored Israel (along with many Old Testament Passages) but Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that the New Covenant is fulfilled in Christ. There is no way to get around that in my mind.

    So what makes me still hold onto Dispensationalism?

    Passages like Romans 9,10,11 that seem to spell out a future for Israel.

    Prophecy in the Old Testament that depicts a time of earthly peace due to King Jesus.

    I am really falling apart here. Any insight would be great. Again, I am not here to argue just ask questions and share my heart.
     
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  2. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    I am glad that you are honest about your questions, and that you are seriously considering them. I am also glad that you labeled this a Dispensationalist only thread, because there are some that come here often with the sole purpose of destroying Dispensational faith.

    First, as to the timing of the rapture. I am certain that it will take place before the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week. But I am also thoroughly aware of the fact that this is an interpretation of scripture, rather that something that is explicitly stated in scripture.

    The hard truth is, that although the scriptures make the fact of the rapture so clear that it is rank unbelief to deny it, they simply do not state the timing of this event, in relation to the other end time events. So in the end, all positions on the timing of this event are based on interpretation.

    But the problem is more complicated than that. For in many cases, the various sides base their conclusions on the same scriptures. This is because the problem in interpretation involves not just what scriptures the conclusion is based upon, but the meanings of the words used in these scriptures.

    If we start with one set of assumptions about what certain words mean, one conclusion becomes obvious. But if we start with a different set of assumptions, a different conclusion becomes obvious. So the real question is, what do these words actually mean?

    The most common error made by post tribbers is assuming that all the different terms for the Lord's coming are simply synonyms. They assume, without a particle of scriptural basis, that our Lord is only coming back one time. So they conclude that all the different terms used for his coming must, of necessity, be synonyms.

    I have a reason for saying that they assume this "without a particle of scriptural justification." They can, and of course do, cite numerous scriptures that state his coming in the singular. And they assume this means that He is only coming back once. But what the scriptures do not say is as important as what they do say. We can often find great instruction in noticing that the Holy Spirit, in giving us the scriptures, left out something that we think would naturally have been included. Whenever this happens, we need to realize that He omitted that detail for a reason.

    When we consider the fact that our Lord's coming is only spoken of in the singular, we need to realize that this is what the Holy Spirit always did. Even in the Old Testament, He never, even once, said that the great promised Messiah would come more than just once. His coming is always stated in the singular, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

    But in both Testaments, although Our Lord's coming is always spoken of in the singular, the prophecies about it contain mutually exclusive details. So in both Testaments, the Holy Spirit showed that He would come more than just one time, even though He never said it.

    In the Old Testament, The Holy Spirit sometimes portrayed the promised Messiah as a great conquering hero who would reign forever. But at other times He presented this same promised Messiah as a meek and humble servant, who would die for his people. The Bible scholars of New Testament days loved the great conquering hero parts, so they studied them. But they did not like the meek and humble servant parts, so they neglected them. The result was that they failed to recognize him when he came as the meek and humble servant, and fulfilled the prophecies at Calvary.

    In like manner, the prophecies about our Lord's return also contain mutually exclusive details. These are details that appear to be contradictions. But the precedent set in the Old Testament shows that the resolution of these apparent contradictions is that they speak of different returns of the Lord.

    Once we realize that He is returning more than just one time, this frees us to actually consider the differences in the words used in the scriptures about his return. And these differences make two returns, one before and one after the seventieth week, very plain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  3. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  4. Isaiah Burridge

    Isaiah Burridge The name of the Lord is a strong tower

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    But what makes you separate that language? Matthew 24 uses the exact same language as 1 Thessalonians 4 when it describes the return of Christ. When the gospels describe different parts of the same event we always harmonize them because Scripture is inerrant. Why in the world would we separate the second coming of Christ when it could so easily be harmonized? Also, I really would like an answer to my question regarding 1 Thessalonians 5 where it is very clear that the church sees the day of the Lord on earth. We are not harmed by it. We are not surprised by it. But we are here for it.
     
  5. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  6. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  7. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  8. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Actually, there is a distinct difference in the wording of these two passages. First, in Matthew 24:30 the one who comes is “the Son of man,” while in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, it is “the Lord himself.”

    Again, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, it is not only the Lord that comes, but the Lord “himself.” But in Matthew 24:30 he sends “his angels.” There is a vast difference in having “the Lord himself” come for us, and being gathered by merely “his angels.”

    And finally, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “we” are caught up, while in Matthew 24:31 “his elect” are gathered.

    You can reason that all the changes in terminology are equivalents. But you should be asking why the Holy Spirit changed the wording He used in these two passages.

    But the big point, in regard to the current discussion, is that it is simply incorrect that “the exact same language” was used in these two passages.

    Other marked differences in the two descriptions are that In Matthew 24, “all the tribes of the earth” “see the Son of man coming in power and great glory.” and in 1 Thessalonians 4, “the dead in Christ are raised first.”

    Again, you can reason that these differences in details do not prove different events. But you should be asking why the Holy Spirit selected certain events to be told in one account and different events to be told in the other account.

    We indeed see that different descriptions in the four gospels often refer to the same events. But, rather that attempt to “harmonize” these differences in language, we should instead be learning from the different wording used in each case. Four the four gospels are not just versions of the same story told by four different men. They are four distinctly different accounts, told for distinctly different reasons. Matthew presents Jesus as the king of the Jews, the rightful heir of David’s throne. Mark presents Jesus as the servant who never failed. Luke presents Jesus as the Son of man. And John presents him as the Son of God. Thus, the different aspects of the various events told in the gospels are selected to develop these four different themes.

    Even so, in considering prophetic passages, we need to realize that differences in wording are never casual. Jesus himself clearly stated this, when He said, “assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18) The jot and the tittle were the two smallest marks used in Hebrew writing. So Jesus was saying that not only every word, but even the spelling of every word, was significant.

    As for 1 Thessalonians 5, your contention that “it is very clear that the church sees the day of the Lord on earth” is pure interpretation. It is indeed correct that this passage, if taken by itself, could indeed be interpreted to at least imply that. But that is an interpretation, not a statement of scripture. And all interpreations need to be tested by the rest of what the scriptures say about a subject. I trust, the Lord willing, to treat that in more detail later.

    But finally, I need to go back and treat your question, what makes you separate that language? I indeed recognized that many of the differences in various statements abiut the Lord’s return are only differences in stated details. And differences in stated details, by themselves, do not prove different incidents. But there are numerous differences that are not mere differences, but differences that afe so extreme that thay are mutually exclusive. That is, that they cannot even possibly be referring to the same event. I trust to address these in my next post on this important subject.

    To be continued-
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  9. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    -continued from last post-


    Isaiah 13:9 describes “the day of the Lord” as “Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger.” Jeremiah 46:10 calls it “A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries.” Joel 2:11 says that “the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;” adding, “Who can endure it?” Malachi 3:2 expands this by saying “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap.” And Amos 5:18-20 says “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him! Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?” So we see that “the day of the Lord” is a “cruel” “day of vengeance,” a time so terrible that it can not be endured, that no one can stand when the Lord appears, and that there is “no brightness” in “the day of the Lord.” This is reinforced by Joel 2:1-2, where we read that “For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.”

    This statement of “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord” (Amos 5:18) stands in stark contrast with the statement of 2 Timothy 4:8 that the Lord will give “the crown of righteousness” to all who “have loved His appearing.” One scripture very clearly states God’s displeasure with anyone desiring “the day of the Lord,” and another scripture just as clearly states his pleasure with those who “have loved His appearing.” This, in and by itself, should show any serious student of the scriptures that these scriptures are speaking of two different events.

    The first question in Malachi 3:2, “who can endure the day of His coming?” is radically different from the exhortation in 1 John 2:28, where we read, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” One scripture clearly shows that no one “can endure the day of His coming,” while another scripture just as clearly shows that it is possible to “have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Again, these scriptures cannot be speaking of the same future day.

    The second question in Malachi 3:2, “who can stand when He appears?” is radically different from the exhortation in Luke 21:36 to “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” As we noticed before, one scripture clearly shows that no one “can stand when He appears,” while another tells us to “pray that you may be counted worthy... to stand before the Son of Man.” Are we to imagine that our God exhorted us to pray for something that could not happen? Or do we realize that these two scriptures refer to two different future times.

    Again, we have noticed that Joel 2:2 says that “the day of the Lord” is “A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness,” and Amos 5:20 says, “ Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?” These stand in stark contrast to the exhortation in Titus 2:13 that we should be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” One scripture very clearly teaches that the gloominess of “the day of the Lord” will be so great that there will be “no brightness in it.” While another scripture says his “glorious appearing” is our “blessed hope.” These scriptures cannot be describing the same event.

    But these contrasts are not the only differences between the unfulfilled prophecies about our Lord’s coming. There are also significant differences in various details contained in these prophecies. The best known of these is that Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:13) He also said “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32) But in Daniel 12:9 we read, “Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’” In answer, the prophet was told in Daniel 12:11 that “from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Now these are diametrically opposed concepts. Even the Lord Jesus Himself (speaking as a man) did not know the day or the hour of His coming. But even as a man He already had the scripture which specifically stated that He would come “one thousand two hundred and ninety days” after “the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up.” Thus we see that these two scriptures speak of different events that take place at different times.

    Again, Revelation 1:7 says,“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” But 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” There is no way that “every eye” could see something that will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”

    All these are indeed material differences between various unfulfilled prophecies about our Lord’s coming But there is one that overshadows all the rest of them. In the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-12) we read that “the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” (Matthew 25:10-12) here we plainly see the righteous taken into the Lord’s presence while the wicked are left outside a door that remains closed in spite of their pleading. But that is not all that we see here. The word “afterward” in this parable indicates a delay between the time when “they that were ready went in with him” and the time when “other virgins came also.” This is significant because it indicates that the “other virgins” were not removed until after the time when “they that were ready went in with him.”

    But in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) we read that at the time of harvest the owner of the field will say, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30) The word “first” in this command clearly indicates that the wicked are gathered before the righteous. Now this order of events is exactly the opposite of the order indicated in Matthew 25. (And yes, the words “afterward” and “first” are in the Greek text of these parables.) The contrast between these orders of events clearly indicates that the two parables are speaking of two different events that take place at different times.

    In the explanation of the parable in Matthew 13, (Matthew 13:37-43) Jesus said this meant that “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. ” (Matthew 13:41-43) He then added that “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)

    This is again radically different from the scene presented in Matthew 25. In Matthew 13, the wicked are taken “from among the just.” In Matthew 25, the just are taken from among the wicked. In Matthew 13, the wicked are removed and cast into the fire. In Matthew 25, the wicked are left where they are, but are given no further chance to repent.

    This fact that they are given no further chance to repent is stressed in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, where we read that “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The reason for this is distinctly stated. God will do this as a punishment “because they did not receive the love of the truth,” that is, because they did not wish to know the truth. This awful punishment is because, instead of receiving the truth, they “had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Nor is this only stated in the New Testament. We see it again in the last chapter of Isaiah, where we read, “Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.” (Isaiah 66:3-4) So the scriptures clearly teach that there is a time coming in which those who had previously rejected the gospel will have no more chance to repent. This is in perfect keeping with the statement of Matthew 25:10 that “the door was shut” after “the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding.” It is also in perfect keeping with the statement of Matthew 25:11-12 that “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” This parable clearly shows that there will be those that seek a relationship with the bridegroom after He has come. But at that time it will be too late. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 clearly states that at that time, those that had previously rejected God’s word will be turned over to believe “the lie.” And Isaiah 66:3-4 just as clearly states that at that time God “will choose their delusions.” The time being spoken of here is plainly the time we call the tribulation. But it takes place after “the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding.”

    Again we read in John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” But we also read in 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

    In the first of these, our Lord says “I will come again, and receive you to myself.” In the second, we read of “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” In the first passage He comes to receive His own to Himself. In the second one He comes with them, for He comes “with all His saints.” If He is going to come for His own and He is also going to come with them, He has to come for them before He can come with them. This is a simple matter of the meaning of words. No other interpretation is possible. These two scriptures, in and by themselves, do not indicate how long the delay between these two events might be, but they clearly indicate that they occur in sequence. Many imagine that this sequence is simply that He meets us on the way down, and then continues on down to the mount of Olives to execute judgment on the wicked. But this interpretation does not fit the rest of the scriptures.

    Looking again at John 14:2-3, we read, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." In this scripture, our Lord first refers to His Father’s house, saying “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” He then says that he is going “to prepare a place for you.” From this statement it is plain that the place to which He was going “to prepare a place for you” was His “Father’s house.” But He said He was going there “to prepare a place for you” He was going to His “Father’s house,” “to prepare a place for you.” And that is the place from which he “will come again, and receive you unto myself.” But what is the purpose of this coming? “That where I am, there ye may be also.” This scripture does not present a picture of coming, picking us up along the way, and taking us with Himself to another place. It presents a picture of coming to get us and taking us back to where he came from, that is, His “Father’s house.” That is where He has gone “to prepare a place” for us. That is where He is, and that is where he will take us, for the stated purpose of this coming is “that where I am, there you may be also.”

    But the purpose of His coming “with all His saints” is entirely different, for we read in Jude 14-15, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 14-15) The purpose of the first coming is to “receive you unto myself.” The purpose of the second coming is “to execute judgement on all.”

    We have seen that comparing John 14:2-3 and 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 makes it clear that there is a delay between these two events, but does not indicate how long that delay will be. Other scriptures give an indication of how long this will be. The most significant of these is “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10) The Greek word translated from in this passage is ek (word number 1537 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary.) Strong defines this word as follows: “A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote)” Thayer defines it as “out of, from, by, away from.” Other Greek references give similar definitions. In addition to the NKJV version of the Bible, which we are using, we find the same rendering of this Greek word in the KJV, the ASV, the CEV, the ESV, the HCSB, the NASB, the NLT, the NRSV, the RSV, and the TEV versions of the Bible and the ISVNT version of the New Testament. Some pretend that in this passage, ek actually means through, in, or during, but in the face of such strong evidence, such a claim is hard to defend.

    In addition, we need to take into account what we were promised to be kept from. The promise was, “I... will keep you from the hour of trial.” There is a coming “hour of trial.” But these who “have kept” our Lord’s “command to persevere”will be kept “from,” that is, out of, that “hour.” We are not promised that we will be kept out of the trial, but out of the “hour,” that is, the time, in which this trial will take place.

    This “hour of trial” “shall come upon the whole world.” the Greek word translated whole here is holos (word number 3650 in Strong’s Greek dictionary.) Strong defines this word as follows: “A primary word; ‘whole; or ‘all’, that is, complete (in extent, amount, time or degree), especially (neuter) as noun or adverb.” Thayer defines it simply as “all, whole, completely.” There can be no question that in this passage, this Greek word means the entire world, all of it, not just part of it. This “hour of trial”, that is, this time of testing, “shall come upon the whole world.” But the Lord’s own are promised to be kept out of it. This shows us that the delay between the Lord’s coming for his own and his coming with them is at least as long as this “hour of trial,” for if it “shall come upon the whole world” but we are kept out of it, our removal from the world has to before that “hour of trial.”

    Again, in the order of events in Revelation 19, we see the marriage of the lamb in verses 7-8, “‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Then, after that, we see the Lord going forth out of heaven as the mighty conqueror, followed by the armies of heaven in verses 11-16 “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” This sequence of events clearly shows the church, the bride of Christ, already in heaven before the Lord comes in power and glory to judge the world. But it does not just show that. It clearly shows the armies proceeding out of heaven with the Lord “clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” But it had just told us, only six verses earlier, that “the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” This is conclusive proof that the saints will already be in heaven before the Lord comes to judge the world.

    Now many produce various arguments to prove that this conclusion is incorrect. But essentially every argument they produce is one that fails to take into account the marked differences between the scriptures about our Lord’s coming in vengeance to judge the world and his coming in blessing to receive His own to Himself. Many insist that there is no such distinction. But as we have seen, there are numerous such distinctions, and that in some cases they are very extreme. There is no logical conclusion except that these distinctions indicate that the unfulfilled prophecies about the future coming of Christ follow the precedent established in the Old Testament scriptures of showing, even though not stating, that there would be more than one such future coming.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  10. Isaiah Burridge

    Isaiah Burridge The name of the Lord is a strong tower

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    I apologize for my mistake in saying "The exact same language is used" That was not correct. I was trying to emphasize the language of Christ in Matthew 24:36 where he speaks of that day or hour no one knows. That must refer to his second advent because he just got through telling the exact timing of the temple being destroyed and his judgment upon unbelieving Israel. I actually believe that what Christ describes as gathering his elect refers to events that happened in 70 AD and the gathering of the elect is the gospel proclamation to all the known world. (The disciples were amazing missionaries). The reference to angels actually is more in my favor here because angel means messenger and I think you can neatly tie that to the disciples. I think it is pretty clear that there are no signs of Christ's Second Coming. He said it can't be known. He said he himself doesn't even know and Paul hammers this idea in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians. Many say that the doctrine of imminence refers to the rapture but I see it as the second coming. When I read the New Testament it is clear that Christ has set up his Kingdom in his church. The New Covenant is fulfilled in the church. I am really enjoying this discussion by the way. I look forward to your response.
     
  11. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  12. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    The question is, which of his future comings did each of these statements refer to? I have pointed out that there are not only many differences between the comments about our Lord's return, but many differences that are mutually exclusive. That is, that in many cases, the events contained in one description of his coming cannot even possibly be fulfilled at the same time as events contained in other descriptions of his coming.

    Indeed, you referred to one of these apparent contradictions. In one case, the time of his return was explicitly stated. And in another case, He said no one could know when it would happen. These two statements cannot even possibly refer to the same future event.

    This was done in the Old Testament. And the resolution to the apparent contradiction was that He was coming more than just one time. You seem to be ignoring these mutually exclusive statements about his coming.

    One of the very big problems in many of these discussions, is attempting to construct a timeline on the basis of just a few prophetic scriptures. It is important to realize that about a third of the entire Bible is prophecy (when the Psalms are included, and the New Testament repeatedly tells us that they are prophetic.) About two thirds of all that prophecy refers to the end times. And a very large amount of that is explicitly stated in plain language. But without a general understanding of these very many explicitly stated prophecies about the end times, it is physically impossible to construct even a skeletal outline of the timeline. But when this overall program is understood, we understand that these prophecies are not about Christians, and not about the church. They are about Israel, and the program by which God will eventually bring that rebellious nation to repentance, so He will finally be able to justly fulfill the ancient promises made to their ancestors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  13. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Post trib rapture, the church is not meant for God's wrath,is true
    But the church has suffered persecution from the first days.
    But it is not God's wrath tormenting the church, it the beast's kingdom.
    Some will survive alive until the second advent of Christ returning.
    Matthew 24 describes only one rapture, at his return. And here is what Paul says about that, the coming of the Lord, which is also the Day of the Lord, which is the second coming.

    1 Thessalonians 4:14-16New King James Version (NKJV)
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

    15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
     
  14. my_name_is_sarah

    my_name_is_sarah New Member

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  15. my_name_is_sarah

    my_name_is_sarah New Member

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    We have to remember to ''rightly divide'' the Word. Jesus came unto His own the Jews and He said ''go not into the way of the gentiles''. He was speaking to His disiples and about the "kingdom'' when God will deal with Israel again. He made an ''everlasting'' covenant with Israel. HE will keep His promises to the faithful remnant of Israel ___that is the 'kingdom'

    Christians are not Israel. We are saved by the completed work of Jesus. We will go up in the rapture if we have accepted HIS gift of salvation

    Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and he was given the ''mystery'' of the Church.
    Jesus was not talking to the church or to Christians. HE said 'go not into the way of the gentiles'
     
  16. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    It does not make sense mixing up Jews, the church and Gentiles, does it? Scripture sees them as distinct.
     
  17. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer Supporter

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    The Bible shows there are three kinds of people in the world by God's mind: Jews, Gentiles, the Church of God. The Israelite religion is a typology and provided a covering of sin until the true sacrifice should come in Jesus, the Christ of God; and it includes the Gentiles to provide for all mankind. Christianity is not an extension of the religion of old, but a New Dispensation.
    One can see something of the intent of God for His testimony in the world at the biblecounsel.net web site. One can ask questions there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  18. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    I suppose one could say I used to believe in a Pre-Trib rapture and still think some of the literature out there and films gets people thinking about God. Many years ago (36) I believe the Lord showed me the rapture is found at the end of Rev 6 & 7 although I'm sure my claim means nothing to a reader. Today they call it PreWrath. Marvin Rosenthal wrote a book about it a few years later but thinking I was one of the first to come up with it I was surprised a Missonary Society wrote a book about it before I began to see it. Nothing new under the sun. Well compare Mat 24 with Rev 6 and see what I believe to be the rapture in chapter 7. Much more can be said and I'm sure people have heard this view before and either like it or they don't.

    The thing that I find so brazen or unbelievable is really the way that many North Americans reason about this. Persecution which pretrib folk believe to be wrath it seems are left helpless to explain how Christians all through the centuries and even today are persecuted yes even to death and yet the PreTrib view considers God would never allow his children at least the North American ones ever to face such a difficult experience. Why? It seems rather presumptious beyond measure to hold to such a position.
     
  19. food4thought

    food4thought Loving truth Supporter

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    I know it is a lot to read, but I strongly suggest that you carefully read Biblewriter's posts in this thread. He clearly lays out the reasoning for multiple comings and an unknown gap of time between these comings.


    Also, you mentioned the difference between wrath from God and persecutions from Satan and rebellious humanity. There are clear passages in Revelation that speak of both. God's wrath happens in the midst of the persecution. Look at Revelation 6:12-17. Look at Revelation 8:5. Look at Revelation 8:6-13. Look at Revelation 11:13. Revelation 11:19. Revelation 16. All of these are God's wrath, and it is poured out on the earth and it's inhabitants well before the return of Jesus, at the same time as Satan's persecution is going on. The bride of Christ must be taken before these things in order to be "kept from the hour of trial that comes upon the whole world" (Revelation 3:10).
     
  20. 2tim_215

    2tim_215 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Reasons to believe in a "pretrib" rapture aside from the scriptures which have already been liisted:
    1) Christians have been already been persecuted for thousands of years (est. over 50M Christians have been martyred over the years and are still being martyred today). There's no greater persecution than being put to death, point being, we Christians do not need to be put through the Great Trib in order to be put through another degree of suffering by a God who truly loves them and who He knows loves Him.
    http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/documents/csgc_Christian_martyrs.pdf

    2) The purpose of the Tribulation is to judge the wicked and not the righteous. True believers have obtained the righteousness of Christ and therefore there is no need for for them to have to go through this.

    3) Jesus, who the church is betrothed to does it stand to reason that He'd put them through what will be like no suffering that has ever taken place before or will even be again? Look at it this way, if you have a fiance, would you leave them in this situation, especially when you had the power to remove them from this circumstance? No one would. I wouldn't and I can't seeing out Lord doing this. I don't see any purpose for it. See Song of Solomon to get a picture of the way God loves His future bride to be. It makes no sense for Him to put His saints through what will take place based on His (Jesus) character. The purpose of the Great Tribulation is to judge the wicked and not the righteous.

    4) The Church (which is mentioned in the first 3 Chapters of the Book of Revelation) is not mentioned after that, when all the judgments take place which is rather strange if they will still be there.

    5) For all the events in the Revelation to take place, and the evil which will be allowed to take place on this earth which will be fueled by Satan's wrath I don't see how it can take place with the presence of the Holy Spirit and thus what better way for God to accomplish this than by Him taking out the church which is where the Holy Spirit resides, in the believer? n other words, remove the church from the earth, and you remove the Holy Spirit as well.

    6) With the church gone, God does have a remnant who have the Holy Spirit, and that's the 144,000 Jewish virgins who convert to Jesus with the greater purpose to save Israel in order to keep His Old Covenant promises with them. I believe they somehow will evangelize the rest of the earth as well. I do not believe that the church (if still here) would need to be evangelized).

    It really makes a lot more sense that God will remove His people during this time. How He does this, who knows? And who stays and who gets raptured? Who knows? What I do know is that no one will want to be here when those events take place if they can help it and to wish it were so is quite foolish in my opinion.

    Regardless, rapture or no rapture, it's up to Him, as it is who (if there is a rapture) who gets taken out and who might get left behind. Bottom line: we need to trust Him whatever He decides. We cannot know for sure one what or the other but I believe that the evidence is overwhelming in favor of a premillenial rapture.

    Paul says in Thessalonians that we are to be comforted by his words. Be blessed, Gods going to take care of us either way, Biblewriter does a great job of explaining much of this to us.
     
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