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Monday, January 19, 2009

end times thoughts finally done

I will post this more than 8 pages of thoughts, about 2 pages at a time in the coming days, I worked long and hard on it, because i think it is very important.

Thoughts on the end times
I feel to put down in writing my thoughts on the “end times.” They are my thoughts and though I have striven to present them in a convincing fashion, I acknowledge that there is too much about this subject for anyone to “know it all.” There will be those who, after reading this, will still hold to beliefs that are the opposite of what I present. Though I believe this subject is important it is not by any means a reason to break fellowship. Love and the Unity of the Body of Christ leave no room for making this a bigger issue than it is. That being said, I submit this ‘paper’ and pray that it “gets us thinking.”
I lead off with this section from John 17, because a lot depends on our use of, and understanding of, words. When Jesus prays in verse 15 that God would keep his disciples (both the ones there and those that would read these words) from the evil one, how was that prayer answered? 11 of the 12 apostles died as martyrs. So the answer to that prayer was not physical protection from an untimely cruel death. The answer to the prayer for them and for us, is that all would “persevere to the end.” How that end occurs is not the point. Being “kept from the evil one” is accomplished when one is faithful to the end.
Jhn 17:11 "I am no longer in the world; and {yet} they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, {the name} which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We {are.} Jhn 17:12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. Jhn 17:13 "But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. Jhn 17:14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Jhn 17:15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil {one.} Jhn 17:16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Jhn 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. Jhn 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. Jhn 17:19 "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. Jhn 17:20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; Jhn 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, {are} in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jhn 17:15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil {one.} The pre-trib rapture position maintains that it is Jesus’ will, to take ‘the church’ out of the world, but this verse states just the opposite. But some would say the position of the pre-trib rapture isn’t to take us out of the world, but out of the “wrath of God.” This is referencing 1 Thes. 5:9, but in the context the “wrath” is being contrasted with the Salvation that Jesus paid for, so the wrath that is being spoken of in this verse is eternal separation from God, as contrasted with eternal salvation.
Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”This verse emphasizes the principle, that God chooses to have a faithful witness to His love thru-out the tribulation time. They are counted as overcoming Satan, who remain steadfast to the end. Satan’s ‘victory’ over their ‘earthly life’, just like his victory over the life of the ‘Lamb’ on the cross, is in REALITY a irreversible, complete defeat.
Suffering in this life is connected over and over with glory in the next. Far from being a sign that God doesn’t care for you, it is actually a sign that He trusts you with a ‘great mystery.’ He trusts that you will echo Job and say the amazing, Satan-defeating words, Job 13:15 "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.” I left the second half of that verse in there because the truth is when everything we see is contradicting what we thought we knew about Gods’ love it is natural for us to want to argue ‘before Him.’
Luk 24:25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Luk 24:26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Luk 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (This is from a commentary on verse 26.)
26. Ought not Christ--"the Christ," "the Messiah." to suffer . . . and enter--that is, through the gate of suffering (and suffering "these things," or such a death) to enter into His glory. "Ye believe in the glory; but these very sufferings are the predicted gate of entrance into it."
I close this ‘prelude’ with another section of scripture that emphasizes that disciples of Jesus Christ are not taught to expect ‘safety’ for their physical body, but they are taught to expect that their eternal soul will be preserved as they ‘endure to the end.’
Mat 10:22 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. Mat 10:23 "But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish {going through} the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. Mat 10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. Mat 10:25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more {will they malign} the members of his household! Mat 10:26 "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Mat 10:27 "What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear {whispered} in {your} ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Mat 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Mat 10:29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And {yet} not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Mat 10:30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Mat 10:31 "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Mat 10:32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. Mat 10:33 "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Mat 10:34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

The best illustration I can give to explain my passion for the proper understanding of the end times is this: A church that believes the pre-trib rapture will be like actors who are training to play the role of a soldier in a movie. They know no one is going to get hurt and the war isn't real. Now compared to them how do you think a real Navy Seal, or Marine, or Green Beret, trains. No comparison. The church who expects to walk thru the horrific challenges of a world where all believer's in God are hounded, persecuted, or killed, will be “training” in a much more sober-minded manner. They will not be “shaken” when persecution and trials come on an unprecedented scale. Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. People get ready!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(I just found this on the web. Thanks for your great blog. Paul)


How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He is now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. Since Jesus must personally participate in the rapture, and since He can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends, the rapture therefore cannot take place before the end of the trib! Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) (which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening - Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who would be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54)! (Will death be ended before or during the trib?) If anyone wonders how long pretrib rapturism has been taught, he or she can Google “Pretrib Rapture Diehards.” Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 it was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” ["gathering"] in 2:1 can happen - the height of desperation!). Other Google articles throwing light on long-covered-up facts about the 178-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Revisers of Pretrib Rapture History,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Desperados” and “Deceiving and Being Deceived” - all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” which is available at Armageddon Books online. Just my two cents’ worth.