Posted in daniel, Oliver B. Greene, pre-tribulation rapture, prophecy, rapture

Oliver B. Greene on Pre-trib rapture

Oliver B. Greene published a wonderful verse-by-verse exposition of Daniel in 1964. I’ve enjoyed reading it, because the book of Daniel is so hard for me to interpret. I was struck by Mr Green’s certainty and fervency regarding the pre-tribulation rapture.

A Pre-Trib rapture is biblically correct. The rapture itself has been in the bible all along, notwithstanding assertions that it was a made-up doctrine from the 1800s. And the rapture’s timing happening prior to the Tribulation has always been biblically evident too. It was only lately that man began to shy away from the clear teaching of this and muddy the waters to the extent that people now are hesitant to be dogmatic about it- so much so that they think they are being pious to show uncertainty. Look at Mr Greene’s statement on the subject (I kept his exact emphases):

The Great Tribulation has nothing to do with the church; the Church will not enter or go through any part of that terrible time. Any preacher or teacher who suggests that the bride of Christ will be subjected to any part of the reign of the Antichrist is definitely wrongly dividing the Word of Truth. God pity the preacher who will accuse Jesus of allowing the Antichrist to reign over His bride-and the Church IS the bride of Christ!

We have the blessed promise, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10).

In the writings of Paul we are promised. “For God hath not appointed us to WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:9). The Great Tribulation has to do with the nation of Israel, not with the Church.

If the Church were to enter or go through any part of the tribulation, believers would be commanded to watch for Antichrist, not for THE CHRIST. We would be commanded to watch for the great tribulation, not to wait for God’s Son from heaven. (1 Thess. 1:10).

Posted in doctrine, pan-trib, partial rapture, pre-tribulation rapture

Message to "Pan-Tribbers"

The rapture is the next event on God’s prophecy schedule. It is an event unparalleled in all of history! We saw a picture of the rapture when God took Enoch alive, translated him instantly from earth to heaven. (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5). The rapture itself will be a joyous reunion of all the saints alive and dead, meeting our Lord in the air, to be with Him forevermore! It is the ultimate moment we all long for, look forward to. The glorious resurrection! The glorious meeting! When God gives a bride to His Son! At long last!

God has planned this prophetic moment, and the ones afterward, since before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4). The amazing thing, is that He has told us before the time! (Matthew 24:25, Amos 3:7, 1 Corinthians 15:51).

Prophecy matters very much to the Lord. Prophecy is a doctrine, it’s Eschatology (“Last Things“). The longest speech Jesus made was the Olivet Discourse, about last things. Every book of the New Testament except Philemon has last things in it! Last things matter to the Lord.

As for the rapture specifically, it is our hope and joy. It is the sweetest promise. It is the doctrine with which we encourage each other! (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

that the righteous will rise first in the morning of the resurrection, and before the living saints are changed, and are with Christ; that they will both be taken up together to meet him; and that they shall all be with him, and that for ever, and never part more; than which nothing can yield more true and solid comfort” (Gill’s Exposition)

Even more glorious, Jesus said we are not appointed to wrath and He will keep us from the our of trial that is to come upon the whole world! (Revelation 3:10).

Ans yet we have so many people mocking and scoffing at last things. (2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:8). “Where is the promise of his coming?” they will mock. “How come He is taking so long?” they will scoff.

Satan has even put it to some people that there is no rapture at all. They claim it is a made-up event from the ravings of a demonically influenced Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald and picked up by John Darby in the 1830s. Nonsense. But several times a week I receive emails apprising me of this “fact” and they deny the doctrine completely.

Others are influenced by satan’s notion that there will be a partial rapture. That God has selected some to go and some less faithful to stay so as to be polished by the Tribulation and be ready to meet Him later.

Worse, many Christians have fallen for the notion of a ‘post tribulation’ rapture. These people believe in the rapture, just not that it will occur before the Tribulation. The confuse the trumpets and twist some scriptures and throw in some personal martyr complexes for good measure. They believe that Jesus will hurl wrath at His bride and then bring us home.

But if the rapture will be post-Tribulation, Paul never needed to write the Thessalonians a second time to reassure them they had not missed the rapture because what seemed like the Tribulation had begun. 2 Thessalonians 2 would have been a different letter. Paul would have said, ‘yes it’s started, but hold on, you can make it with the help of the Spirit.’ But he didn’t.

But there is an even worse tribulation position than the denial, the partial, the post. It is the “Pan-Tribulation” position.

It is the position for some reason that irks me the most. You hear it sometimes from Christians, who, when discussing the rapture and last things, and the rapture’s timing, they say, “I’m a pan-tribulationist. Everything will work out in the end. HAR HAR HAR.” They think this is funny. They think this is clever. They even think this is pious.

It isn’t.

What they are in effect saying is, one-third of the bible doesn’t matter to them. Studying these things so as to encourage each other doesn’t matter to them. In casually dismissing these important doctrines, they are agreeing with satan to steal hope. They are being used by him to confuse the sheep. They are destroying an important witnessing tool for Christians. They are dampening urgency.

The Doctrine of Last Things and the Rapture Doctrine itself is not seen as an essential doctrine for salvation. It is seen as a “nonessential” for belief. But that doesn’t mean it’s not essential to know. It doesn’t mean it’s not essential to study. The rapture IS a very important doctrine.

The Rapture of church-age believers is a source of great encouragement and motivation to godly Christian service (1 Cor. 15:58). The Rapture is a very important doctrine. It helps to motivate the Lord’s people to stay awake spiritually and it helps to motivate the churches to stay busy in the work of preaching the gospel to lost souls before it is too late. (source)

Being a “pan tribber” was alien to Paul’s mindset. He had a very short time in Thessalonika and the first things he taught were the last things.

The Rapture Is an Important Doctrine
First, the rapture is an important doctrine. Many give the impression that the rapture is some kind of secondary doctrine that need not be given too much attention. We are often told that we should focus on the “big ticket” theological items such as the Virgin Birth, the Vicarious Atonement, the Trinity, Salvation by Faith Alone, and the Deity of Christ. Only after these doctrines are mastered should we then consider or contemplate the doctrine of the rapture. Along these same lines, many contend that the rapture is certainly not something that a new believer should give too much time or attention to. …Such thinking was foreign to the mindset of the Apostle Paul. Interestingly, the Thessalonians were new believers (1 Thess. 1:9). … The point in all of this is that although the Thessalonians were new believers, Paul never hid the doctrine of the rapture from them. On the contrary, he openly disclosed this teaching to them along with many other doctrines.

In his letter to the Thessalonians, before more fully developing the doctrine of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul briefly mentioned this doctrine in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Paul obviously believed that the rapture is a foundational doctrine because he mentioned it immediately after discussing other basic doctrines such as the Holy Spirit (1:5) and conversion (1:5, 9). He also mentions the rapture doctrine (4:13-18) just after and before discussing other basic Christian truths such as sanctification (4:3, 5:23) and the dimensions of man’s nature (5:23). Evidently, in Paul’s thinking, the rapture was just as important as these other truths and deserved the same level of treatment and understanding.

With so much of last things occupying up to a third of the bible, with each book of the NT except Philemon teaching us last things, with Jesus spending the most time of all telling the answer to the question what are the signs of the end, and with Paul delivering the rapture doctrine early and firmly to the new believers, WHO IS SOMEONE TO SAY “I’m a pan-tribber. It’ll all work out in the end” !

Shame, O, for shame!

when you ask them about the last things and how the story ends, they don’t have a clue. They say, “Well I don’t know if I’m a-mill, post-mill, pre-mill, pan-mill, whatever mill. I don’t…but I don’t think it’s really important.” That’s like saying, you know, that a book is written, the most important book that’s ever been written in the history of the world, the only book that truly reflects God’s purpose for humanity and you don’t care how it ends? Of course you care how it ends. (source)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

Why Some Reject the Pre-Tribulation rapture

Sermon series: The Rapture and the Day of the Lord

What About Children in the Rapture?

The Rapture defined and why it will happen

Posted in pre-tribulation rapture, rapture

Does the Bible teach that Christians will be delivered from the wrath to come?

EPrata photo

In addition to this short, clear teaching from John Ankerberg below, I’d also add Revelation 3:10-

“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”

And these two. verses. Revelation 13:7a says “Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.”

But didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 16:18 that “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

How can Jesus say in Matthew that the church will not be overcome, yet in Revelation the saints are overcome? Because Revelation’s verse is talking about the Tribulation saints, not the church, because the church is gone! Otherwise the two verses would contradict.

Please be encouraged by this 3-minute teaching:

Posted in eschatology, last things, pre-tribulation rapture, rapture

The rapture!

This is one of the biblical passages that teach us the great doctrine of the rapture:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Let’s encourage one another with these words! How do we do that? I’m sure you have your ideas, but one way is simply to speak of this beautiful doctrine frequently. We must not be uninformed.

S. Lewis Johnson, who taught a pretribulation rapture, said of the text,

Then last time in our study we took a look at the calendar of future events. I hope we found it. I know it is exciting and thrilling, moving from the coming apostasy in the church — a measure that is already with us — through the advent of the Lord Jesus to the eternal state. We who are believers surely have a great hope – I’m not at all sure that we speak of it too much – in fact probably under the influence of criticism we do not speak of our heavenly hope enough.”

The rapture is getting such a terrible knock these days, and in some, it actually sparks anger! Johnson made that statement in 1976 that due to criticism sometimes we are too gun-shy to speak of it, and look at the growing apostasy now in 2014 and the anger and fervent hatred the doctrine brings up, even among “brethren”. An example of it happened to me just yesterday.

This man named Justin W. White, who in his bio says he “loves theology”, tweeted a response to my tweet regarding the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution to affirm that God-ordained gender is God’s will and it’s sin to change it (RE: transgenderism). I’d not mentioned rapture AT ALL, but in his response, he brought it up and used profanity too.

  • #SBC14 opposes “Heaven Is For Real” because it is non-scriptural, but they buy into a literal rapture? Yeah. about that.
  • I replied, “Because heaven tourism isn’t biblical, but rapture is. (no the English word ‘rapture’ isn’t in the bible, but the concept is)
  • He answered: “the rapture is not a historical/orthodox doctrine of the church. It is modern bs made to scare people into moralism.”

I seriously wonder how someone could be a Christian and NOT be comforted by the promises that Jesus is coming soon to gather His church to Himself!

How beautiful are the doctrines of His second return. Though the rapture isn’t the Second Coming per se, it is a doctrine of last things which precedes His second and final return to earth to judge the living and the dead. He will call us up to Himself and we will always be with the Lord. How encouraging to look forward to!

John 14:1-3 says,

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; a believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?b 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Just reading those words are so very comforting. Knowing that the Lord is preparing a place for us, that He is returning for us, that He will resurrect our loved ones alive and dead, and bring up the ancient saints who died even during the apostolic age, that we will be given our glorified (sinless!!) bodies, that we will be with Him…there are so many encouraging things to look forward to!

S. Lewis Johnson, who taught a pretribulation rapture, said,

Lake Como: Garden, Villa Arconati, 1905

“The doctrine of the rapture of the church is an important doctrine for us. I say doctrine that suggests for us faithfulness in service. It should be a motive and incentive to give ourselves to devotion to the Lord Jesus. It should also have tremendous motivation in evangelistic activity. I refer to our own personal testimony. It also should be a comforting doctrine.”

There is an old story about a man who visited the Villa Ara Connate in Italy. He saw the gardener. The grounds were kept in beautiful shape, speaking to the gardener he said, “When does the owner of this villa come here?”

He said, “Well, I’ve been working here for 20 years, and he’s only been here four times.”

“When was the last time that he was here?”

“12 years ago.”

“Who takes charge? To whom do you report?”

He said, “I report to a steward in Milan.”

“Why, you keep these gardens as if you were expecting the owner tomorrow.”

And the gardener replied, “Today, sir. Today.”

“That really is the kind of attitude provoked by the doctrine of the rapture of the church as the next significant prophetic event. I think that on balance the Scriptures teach that the Lord Jesus to come again for the church imminently, and that we have reason from Scripture to look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and savior Jesus Christ.”

So this great prophetic message has tremendous moral value. We should never think of the doctrines of the word of God with reference to the future as simply doctrines that tickle our curiosity. They are doctrines that are designed to affect our spiritual life. They are designed to make us more moral, more spiritual, more Christian in all of our activity. ~S. Lewis Johnson
“…to be with the Lord.” Now, THAT is heaven. Do not let satan steal your hope. Do not let criticism suppress your encouragement of the brethren. Do not let liberal seminaries forget to teach this important doctrine. Do not be shushed in church.

knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.” (2 Peter 3:3)As one of the commenters said, “Their very scoffing shall confirm the truth of the prediction.”

_____________________

Further Reading:

J. Vernon McGee: The Rapture is Next

John MacArthur: The Rapture (14-min video explaining the rapture & why it is pre-trib)

Posted in bible, last trump, pre-tribulation rapture

The ‘Last Trump’ of Corinthians and the 7th trumpet of Revelation are not the same

Many people mistake the rapture as occurring during the Tribulation because of two different verses which they misinterpret the meaning of. Here they are:

“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will 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 imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

“The Seventh Trumpet—Christ’s Reign Foreseen: “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,…” (Rev 11:15)

On the face of it, the two don’t look like they have much to do with each other, do they? And they don’t. But some people insist that they do, merely by virtue of the fact that in the 1 Cor, verse, there is mentioned a ‘last ump’ and in the Rev 11 verse there is mentioned a 7th trumpet of judgment being blown, which is the last trumpet of judgment in that series.

But of course the 7th Trumpet is NOT the Last trump. The only thing they have in common is that they are trumpets. You might as well tie Aaron’s trumpet into it, if you’re going to pick and choose trumpets. There are lots of trumpets in the bible. They:

  • Regulate the journeys of the children of Israel.
  • Call assemblies.
  • Blow over the sacrifices on the feast day.
  • Blow at all religious processions and ceremonies.
  • Assemble the people to war.
  • Sound for a memorial when the people went into battle.
  • Proclaim kings.
  • Give alarm in cases of danger.
  • Announce miracles being performed

The trumpet of Revelation and the trumpet Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians have nothing to do with each other. Here’s one reason why. The Trumpet judgments are spread over Rev 8-9-10-11. Rev 8:6 begins them- “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” Then Rev 10:7 tells us that when the last trumpet sounds, the wrath is DONE. Rev 10:7 “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” And Rev 11:15 declares that finish the woes with the 7th trumpet sounding: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.'”

So first of all, the trumpets conclude the wrath, to which we are not appointed.(1 Thessalonians 5:9). It is not a mystery when the wrath begins, either. It begins with the opening of the seal judgments and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are released, at Rev 6:1. As the seals are opened we are told that so begins the wrath, ‘the wrath has come.’ (Rev 6:17). Again, because we are not appointed to wrath, we will not be here for it. And that includes since Rev 6:1 so obviously we won’t be here for the 7th Trumpet judgment which occurs much later.

There is a second reason the 7th trumpet judgment and the ‘Last Trump” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 are not the same. You notice in the above verses, Angels blow the trumpets. The angels all line up. They all have a trumpet. Them they all blow one in turn. “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (Rev 8:2). In the parallel rapture verse of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 it is the trump of God that is blown.

“15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,d that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

The last trump in 1 Thess 4:16 is the Trump of GOD.

“There are trumpets all over the bible. They were used for a variety of purposes. But there is one trumpet that is special. in Exodus 19 verses 16 to 19 a trumpet called the people out of the camp to meet God. It was a trumpet of assembly and it called them out of the camp to meet God. I believe this is a trumpet of assembly. In Zephaniah 1:16 and Zechariah 9:14 a trumpet was used as a signal of the Lord’s coming to rescue His people from wicked oppression. It was a deliverance trumpet. And I believe the trumpet on that day is an assembly trumpet and a deliverance trumpet. I believe when the trumpet blows it is to assemble the saints who have been called out of the graves to life with the living saints and it is also to call them out, to rescue them out from among those who oppress them, men and demons. There are many other trumpets associated with the end times, they tend to be trumpets of judgment, primarily as in Revelation 8 through 11.” (source gty.org)

I hope you can see that the verses are clear that the wrath begins in Rev 6, and we will not be here for it. That the 7th trumpet is stated to conclude the wrath, and again, we will be long gone. And finally, just because it says a trumpet in both verses, does not mean they are the same event. The angels raise trumpets for judgments to begin and God shouts the trumpet for us to assemble.

Take a look at the 40 second clip. I love how the rapture is depicted.


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Posted in birth pangs, end of days. prophecy, end time, pre-tribulation rapture

Record shattering events continue to increase in economic damage and personal pain

The Weather Channel reports: “August 2011 set records in several locations for torrid heat, torrential rain and river flooding. You can thank, in part, an exceptional Plains drought and Hurricane Irene. Plotted on the clickable map below are locations that set notable records during the month. Sun icons denote heat records, rain icons denote rainfall records, wave icons denote flood records, and, oh yes, there was the strongest earthquake in the East since World War II also plotted.”

The costs of Hurricane Irene, which made landfall his week and raked up the eastern seaboard, may become one of the top ten most expensive natural disasters in US history.

The Weather Channel continues, “August 2011 continued a torrid, record-breaking summer in the Southern Plains, rewriting the record books in many parts of Texas, Oklahoma, as well as parts of Louisiana, Kansas, and New Mexico. Looking at the month’s temperature departures (i.e…how far above and below temperatures were compared to 30-year averages), your eye immediately is drawn to the “big red spot” in the Southern Plains. In fact, when grouping June-August together, called “meteorological summer” by us weather geeks, it was the hottest on record for many cities in Texas and Oklahoma.” Remember the tornado outbreak that razed parts of the US Plains, including Joplin MO? That occurred in May, just three months ago, but it seems like it was in a different epoch because so much has happened between then and now.

There are more graphics at the Weather Channel web page, hit the above links for more information. I think any person can see that the weather is going kerflooey and that the only debate among the lost is the source of the record shattering events. As I wrote earlier this week, some think the cause of our constant record-shattering weather is global warming, others think it is the approach of 2012 and a fulfillment of Mayan prophecy, but others know that it is God warning us. For Christians, there is no debate. We are nearing the end.

The Tribulation will be a time of even greater earthquakes (Rev 6:12), even worse floods (Rev 16:20), even more terrifying things than the UFO sightings, mystery bubble and other unsolved events. These events will be so terrifying that people will heave instant heart attacks just by experiencing them (Luke 21:6). There will be pain so bad that people will gnaw their tongues (Rev 16:10) and scream they wish to die, but they cannot (Rev 9:10). So now is the time of warnings, while we can still bear the events and have sentient thought.

I write the same thing over and over here on this blog, “God is warning us, are you ready to deal with your sin?” and I guess that is what a drum beat is. Sounding the alarm is not something you do once, but you do over and over until people pay attention. The Wall Street Journal made mention of that fact in their Hurricane Irene article this week, saying, “Steady Drumbeat of Hurricane Warning Finally Lulls City That Never Sleeps

I pray that the steady drumbeat of God’s warnings will finally awaken many, to enjoy the peace that comes with reconciliation with Jesus as He forgives you of your sins when you confess. I don’t write of the terrible judgments to come because I enjoy it, but to show you the unalterable fact that they are coming, they will happen. If you think they are awful things, just wait until you are experiencing them, not just reading about them on some blog, or even better, in the bible. The Book of Revelation is not poetry, it is not allegory, it is not  a parable, it is a history told in advance. It will happen, just as all the events in the past the bible describes happened. It will be the most awful time on earth that ever was or will be (Matthew 24:21). The horror of the 7 year Tribulation is soon to arrive but Jesus made a way to escape the wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9), and that is by confessing you are a sinner in need of Jesus to forgive your sins.

When you are an unforgiven sinner, a wall is between you and Jesus, and that all becomes permanent at death. Don’t let that happen to you. I’ll re-use Mr Reagan’s famous line here: “Sinner, tear down that wall!!” Do so by clasping your hands and telling Jesus you know that you think, say, and do wrong things, and that you know these evil things are keeping you from a righteous relationship with Him. Ask Him to forgive you of these things, and He will. He will send the Holy Spirit to come into you to stand you up in righteousness and grow you in His likeness. As was tweeted this morning at the Truth Matters conference, “Unlike any other religion in the world, ours is a reconciling God. God is our Savior!”
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Posted in emergent church, pre-tribulation rapture

Emergent church questioning tactics are bad leaven

I’ve written before about the emergent church and its apostasy. One of the tactics of the apostate emergent person is to constantly question the bible and its doctrines. “Does hell really exist?” “Would a loving God punish?” “Is hell really eternal?” These and other doctrines are opposed not from a hatchet, but from lightly sprinkled leaven. Leaven-questions are designed by satan to diffuse into the person’s heart and chip away at the authority of the bible, the certainty of the Word, and by extension, the questioner’s faith.

Here is one example of the questioning tactic, best perpetrated by Emergent Rob Bell, lately known for his book “Love Wins”. This quote is from his book ‘Velvet Elvis’ in which he likens the membrane of Christianity to a trampoline where we all jump and jump:

“But what if, as you study the origin of the word ‘virgin’ you discover that the word ‘virgin’ in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word ‘virgin’ could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being ‘born of a virgin’ also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?”

Bell’s ‘what if’ questions continue:

“What if that [trampoline] spring [the virgin birth] were seriously questioned? Could a person keep on jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live? Or does the whole thing fall apart? . . . If the whole faith falls apart when we reexamine and rethink one spring, then it wasn’t that strong in the first place, was it?”

What he is saying is that the bible is confusing, the plain meaning of virgin could mean several things, and if you apply one of those several definitions to Jesus’ birth then the whole ‘thing’ collapses. But God is stronger than one word, “one spring” in Bell’s trampoline he calls Christianity, and the only thing actually falling apart is faith.

One question leads to another. Taking away the plain meaning of a word under the guise of deeper intellectual study of the passages is a very good tactic for chipping away at faith, because the questioner can lull himself into thinking he is performing intellectual study with honestly spiritual intentions. You can read more about the false doctrines of Rob Bell and how to spot them,here.

I had a conversation the other day with a person who has been a Christian for 50 years. She is a pastor’s wife. Her husband is not pastoring a church right now and hasn’t been for a long time, but he teaches in a community ministry and also teaches adults at a Sunday School. Their son in law is going to seminary. In other words, they look like a faith filled family, but her certainty in the basic doctrines are slowly being chipped away by her husband and son-in-law’s constant questioning in a pattern that exactly mirrors what I showed you in the Rob Bell method of hermeneutics.

‘I used to believe in the pre-trib stance’ she said, ‘I was taught that growing up. But now I’m not so sure.’ That lack of certainty is torturing her, because as a good Christian she knows the bible isn’t unclear, and as a good Christian wife she submits to her husband’s teaching. There’s a dissonance there that hurts. She didn’t say it, but I could see it.

The bible is tightly woven. It is a perfect book. That means you believe it all or you believe none. Once you start disbelieving a central doctrine, like the pre-tribulation rapture, then you have to adjust your thinking in many other doctrines to accommodate your new stream of thought. If you think the rapture will happen later, into the Tribulation (it doesn’t matter if you think it will be mid or post tribulation, satan is happy just to get you over the threshold in the time of Jacob’s Trouble) then you have to start questioning all of the following:

2 Thessalonians. In that letter, (esp. verses 1-10) Paul sought to reassure the believers there who had been infiltrated with false doctrine. They had been told falsely that they missed the rapture- ‘our gathering together to Him’ as Paul terms it. Persecution had begun, and so thought that the Tribulation had started and they were out of luck on the rapture doctrine. They were deeply worried. Now, if the default position is that we all go through the Tribulation, why would Paul need to even reassure the Thessalonians that they hadn’t missed the rapture?

The Restrainer: The rapture is to occur prior to the Tribulation. When disbelievers start questioning this, they have to resolve the sign that Paul gave in 2 Thessalonians indicating the Day of the Lord. The rapture is distinct from the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the period of time when Jesus punishes the corrupt earth. While the rapture can happen any time, The Day of the Lord cannot occur unless and until three things happen and one of those is the Restrainer is taken out of the way. In 2 Thess 2:6-7 Paul says the Day of the Lord won’t happen until and unless the antichrist is revealed, and the antichrist won’t be revealed until the Restrainer is taken out of the way. That’s a reverse timeline. The Restrainer is the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, indwelling you and me as salt and light in the world. We act as a preservative from the Spirit’s influence in us and in the world. Once He is out of the way, the antichrist can come to the fore in all his corruptness. Now this is timeline presents problems to the post trib believer. Dismissing the plain meaning of the verse is hard to do, so instead they re-define who the Restrainer is. They say ‘maybe the restrainer is a lawless governmental system. Yeah, that’s it!’ [Note: the Spirit doesn’t leave the world in the Tribulation, He simply changes ministries, dispensing with one of them: His restraint of evil].

Encouragement: Paul explained in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 about the Day of the Lord in a passage titled, “The comfort of the Lord’s Coming”. He ended with saying to encourage each other with these words. Jesus said the Tribulation would be worse than a time ever experienced on the earth and never will be so bad again. It will be so bad that no flesh would be left alive if He didn’t cut the days short for the elect’s sake. Are you encouraged or comforted by the words that Christians will go through the worst time ever, be squashed by hail, have our head chopped off, get hunted, starved, and then martyred? “Be of good cheer! It will be awful but then Jesus will come!” I’m not encouraged. I’m not comforted. It is counter-intuitive to think that Paul would try to cheer up the Thessalonians by reminding them they would be appointed to go through the worst time in the history of the world, even worse than the Flood that wiped out everyone!

Wrath: Paul had written earlier in 1 Thess 5:9 that we are not appointed to wrath. His sentence is very simple: “we are not appointed to wrath.” But rather than accept that statement plainly, the emergent questioner poking holes in the pre-trib stance must now resolve that statement to coincide with the fact that the Tribulation is wrath and we will be appointed to it. Indeed, my friend said, “I wonder, what IS wrath, really.” Because the bible is tightly woven, one re-definition of a doctrine elicits another. Now they have to figure out what wrath really means. Like Rob Bell wondering what ‘virgin’ really means. Soon we’ll have people saying ‘that depends on what the meaning of is is.” Oops, we already had that happen. That was President Clinton trying to escape the plain meaning definition of sexual intercourse.

There are more things a post-tribulation believer has to re-define but you get the idea. You can see how, once you drift away from the solidity of the bible’s plain doctrines, supported by each other throughout the entire book (“Scripture interprets scripture”), that you have to begin an alternate construction which, because it is a man-made structure, is a house of cards on sand. Believing in the pre-tribulation rapture satisfies all questions and upholds all other doctrines in the bible. Believing in mid or post tribulation rapture elicts more questions … that must be answered … which causes more questions … which induces re-definitions … and you see how “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:8-9). The evil diffusive properties of bad yeast permeates and spoils.

People have said to me, “It doesn’t really matter when the rapture takes place, before or in the middle or at the end, does it? It’s only a matter of timing.” Yes it matters. It is not a matter of timing. It is a matter of leaven.

The glorified properties of truth and the leading by the Holy Spirit into wisdom and understanding uplifts and solidifies, He doesn’t create confusion. “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:8).
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Posted in double minded, end of days. prophecy, false doctrine, pre-tribulation rapture

A new false doctrine: the Hermeneutics of Humility

The Hermeneutics of Humility part 2,here
The Hermeneutics of Humility part 3 here

There is a false doctrine going around that is having an impact. It is called the Hermeneutics of Humility. It goes like this: “I’m fallible, and I’ve been wrong before in my interpretations of the bible, and gee, look at how many other people are wrong in their interpretations, and I’m just too humble to say that I think I know the bible. So I won’t say I do.”

People who have fallen deeper into the false doctrine of Hermeneutical Humility say “There are things I won’t contend for. I certainly won’t fight over biblical non-essentials.”

And people who have fallen the furthermost say “I just want unity. We should be united over the Gospel, not divided.”

John MacArthur defined Hermeneutics of Humility this way:
“We live in a time when certainty and conviction about what is true is not tolerated. The politically correct attitude is one of uncertainty with nothing absolute. There’s a new hermeneutics, a new science of interpretation called the Hermeneutics of Humility, and this is serious to the people who espoused this and their Hermeneutics of Humility say, “I’m too humble to think that I could ever know what the Bible really means and so I can only offer my opinion and I certainly can’t say that this is in fact the truth.” They pat themselves on the back congratulating themselves for such intellectual openness.”

Senior Pastor Daniel Henderson put it this way:
“One of the great dangers of this movement is what they call a ‘hermeneutic of humility.’ ‘Hermeneutic’ is the science of interpreting scripture, and, of course, the idea of humility. And the basic idea is, ‘Let’s not be too clear, too dogmatic, too strong about what we believe. I mean, how do we know we’re really right, you know?’ And in a sense, it’s giving into the conflict of society, giving in to the pressure of the culture to say, ‘Well, you know, absolute truth, we’re not sure, so let’s just be really humble about the way we communicate it.’

David B. Hewitt said it this way: “The “hermeneutics of humility” appear to be the fact that people try to put forward the idea that we cannot really know with certitude what the Bible is saying, and to insist we can is proud and arrogant.”

The Hermeneutics of Humility makes me crazy. I get upset when I read bloggers who espouse it, because it dismisses the work of the Holy Spirit. It makes clear to unbelievers that the faith that was delivered to the Saints once for all (Jude 1:3) is unknowable. It shows evidence of satan’s success in getting us to doubt ourselves. And that was the very first scheme he perpetrated, and it appears to be one of the last. Let’s look at the things I’ve just said closely. This is going to be broken up into several parts. This is a serious, serious matter! Please listen with receiving, graceful heart, bathed in prayer, and with open ears.

Hermeneutics of Humility dismisses the work of the Holy Spirit. James said, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:2-6).

In verse 3 here James says faith will be tested but it yields a perfect result, the word for perfect is a root from which we get telescope. The illustration here is with a old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at vision that is at full-strength. In verse 4 he says that ‘if you lack anything’ (for that endurance so that you may be perfected) and the word lack here means lacking as in left behind in a race. If you are being left behind in wisdom and need perfecting for those results, then ASK. Those who do not ask dismiss the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who do ask but doubt, also disrespect His work.

You notice those who say that are too humble to claim they know for sure what this or that doctrine of the bible means, have been like surf of the sea. They used to believe in post-tribulation rapture, now they believe in pre-tribulation rapture but then again they are not so sure. They used to follow this pastor but then came across a website that said something different and now they are not so sure. They are tossed like the surf and they end up being double minded. Many people who espouse this false humility have already been tossed so much like the surf that they just want to find a beach and give up. Being double minded IS tiring. They were tossed to begin with because they were not rooted in the Spirit, not allowing HIM to lead the way. The Spirit doesn’t toss you. He lends peace to your mind. If you are tossed like the surf then please take a look at whether you are relying on the Spirit to unfold your understanding, or not. There is peace in the certitude that the Holy Spirit gives us in understanding the faith and that is how we know it was Him that gave it to us in the first place.

Obtaining wisdom and certitude does not mean that you’re done in studying that particular doctrine. Think of the telescope again. It extends. I explored the rapture doctrine and after a while of prayer, study, and discernment He showed me unalterably that it will occur before the Tribulation. But that doesn’t mean I concluded my studies in that doctrine. There was much more to learn about the rapture, but my faith in His deliverance of wisdom to me never wavered after that. The unfolding telescope is always advancing the eye toward clearer vision. We will only know for sure when we are glorified and perfected in all ways, and even then we will still be plumbing the depths of an infinite God. But DO advance. Unfold your certainty so that you may endure and your faith will endure at the time of testing.

I have much, MUCH more to say about this and will continue with another blog entry after church. I’ll take a look at where satan’s hand in this false doctrine is, talk about biblical discernment, and the difference between humility in certitude, and conceit in knowing.

The Hermeneutics of Humility part 2,here
The Hermeneutics of Humility part 3 here

Blessings to you, cherished ones.
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Posted in 2011 natural disasters, birth pangs, end of days. prophecy, end time, pre-tribulation rapture

Disaster roundup, 2011

Here is a 2011 disaster roundup for the year so far, with less than half the year gone. Statistics were gathered from this week’s Hal Lindsey report. It is pretty sobering to read this list, and it doesn’t even include most of the rest of the world which has had their share of disasters.

In the American south, there were massive thunderstorms that spawned 266 tornadoes within a 24/hr period. People in 5 states were killed.

One tornado was clocked as an EF-5 (highest tornado rating, with winds in excess 200/mph)

One twister was 1.5miles wide, was at least EF-4 and was on the ground for an unthinkable 80mi!

The record for single day of number of twisters was super-outbreak 1974, when 267 twisters touched down.
The highest number of  tornadoes in single month was May 2003, when 558 touched down. May is historically the worst twister month.

April 2011 there were 871 tornadoes, shattering ALL records!

This year so far there have been many disaster records tied or broken:

Jan: Australia had floods of biblical proportion
Jan: Floods occurred throughout world including massive floods in Brazil.
Feb: a deadly earthquake flattened Christchurch NZ
March: a 9.1 quake in Japan, so powerful it moved Honshu Island and shifted earth on its axis.
Mar: Tsunami washed away much of Japan’s coastline
Mar: Tsunami caused nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, which is still ongoing

All year, ongoing :
–unexplained eq swarm in Arkansas, with thousands of continual earthquakes
–record drought
–record snow
–record cold
–catastrophic wildfires in TX
–Midwest historic flooding

This year already there have been 23 FEMA fedederal disaster declarations. In addition,

–The US is involved in 3 separate wars
–The Middle east erupted in chaos
–Oil prices are skyrocketing
–US Dollar is in freefall
–UN warns of severe food shortages worldwide

This is not normal. This is not global warming, either. This is Jesus. Jesus said that prior to His return, the earth would experience wars, rumors wars, famines, earthquakes, unrest, international tension. He said that these things would begin slowly and increase in frequency and intensity the closer we got to His appearing. (To when He returns bodily on the earth, not the rapture when He meets His Bride in the air and does not return all the way to earth).

You need to be ready. Being ready means being saved. Period. If you are reading this and are not saved, don’t let the rapture and the Tribulation judgments be the sign that you needed all along to convince you. Prepare your heart to receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit NOW, and then repent in all sincerity while there is still time join us in the church age. Repent simply means being sorry for the bad things you have thought, said, and did. And asking Jesus to forgive those. God’s justice was satisfied in Jesus’ death and shed blood, so you need not pay the penalty for your sin-crimes. And besides, you never know which day your end will come, it is of utmost eternal importance to be prepared to meet Jesus as His friend and not His enemy. Because, you WILL meet Jesus, one way or another.

If you are reading this and you THINK you are saved but have niggling doubts, or you assent intellectually that Jesus lived and died, but never really believed in His deity, you also need to allow the Holy Spirit to convict you toward sincere repentance. The longer you let it ride the more likely it is that He will give you over to your hard heart. Don’t resist the Spirit if you feel Him drawing you. And finally if you know that you KNOW that you are saved but it has been a while since you repented of a daily sin, please do that now. Don’t let anything hinder your walk with Jesus or obstruct your prayer life, with your praise going up and His blessings flowing down. Keep the lines of communication open.

Friends, it is too late to play games. Get serious. The generation is this one. Your days are numbered. The time is now.

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Posted in end of days. prophecy, pre-tribulation rapture

Being in the family of Christ

So many people have family members who are not saved, and mourn over that fact. But Jesus prophesied this.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34)

“For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (Micah 7:6)

Jesus is that sword. His name holds power. His Word holds power. Expressing His truth will divide the writhing unsaved and the convicted saved. It will divide those who accept that they personally sin, and those who are deluded into thinking they are good people. “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one, that is God.” (Luke 18:19)

Jesus makes promises that He will keep. Many of you have lived a life where your faith divided you from your family. Many of you are beginning to experience that now. The end of the end time, which is now, is when the rubber meets the road. The gap between believer and non-believer is widening and soon there will be no fence straddlers. After the rapture, the antichrist will force all to receive a mark of worship. People will have to choose; worship the antichrist, or worship Jesus. There will be no other option. Now, since we are so close to the rapture and then the Tribulation, you can see that widening happening.

It’s heartbreaking to have family members who won’t believe. Even if you became a believer and your life and your attitude are demonstrably changed, and they see all that but they still won’t believe, it is very hard. But Jesus made a promise to us,

“Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:28-31)

Even though we may lose family members to satan, Jesus promises recompense. Jesus is not promising here that we will receive a hundred houses, but only using the number to show proportion. Once we abandon carnality and all its bonds, for the sake of His name, we enter the body of Christ, which is a family. He rewards us richly! Just being named as one of the LORD’S family members is riches beyond compare! But knowing that we will be united with men and women who also love Jesus in perfect form is also riches. I will be grateful to call the woman next to me at the wedding supper of the Lamb my sister. I will be honored to call the man across from me at His table my brother. Joy will abound.

Knowing this relieves a micro-bit the mourning I feel for the loss of the souls of my family. But in another one of His promises and in His grace, He affords us prayer, a wonderful blessing. He said that anything that is asked in His name shall be granted. (John 14:14). Pray for your family, brethren! And prepare for your extended family soon to be enlarged. A lot!
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