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Rapture Questions

  

The following post was just made by our sister in Christ, Sue Wilding on the Tell Us How We Are Doing Page:

Knowing that you do not believe in the rapture, per say, could you please reconcile the difference between the scriptures talking about Jesus coming like a thief in the night and the scripture of every eye shall see Him (as lightning flashes from the east to the west). It would seem reasonable to me that these are two separate happenings. Also, what would be the point of us meeting Christ in the air only to accompany him to the ground, and where are we supposed to be during the wrath period as the word says that we (believers) are not appointed to wrath. Thankyou.

Anyone want to tackle this?

45 Responses to “Rapture Questions”

  1. on 07 May 2009 at 4:35 amWolfgang

    Hi,

    the seeming contradiction is produced by the reader if the meaning of the figurative expression “like a thief in the night” is not understood correctly.

    The expression “like a thief in the night” is NOT emphasizing that it will happen “at night” and/or “unseen”, but is emphasizing that it happens “unexpectedly”, “without announcement”, etc …

    The references are not to two separate events, but only to one event … the coming of the Lord in judgment on Jerusalem at the end of that age as the contexts show in which the two statements were made.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  2. on 07 May 2009 at 6:00 amSean

    I think the idea of lightning flashing is not the speed, but the visibility. There is no one who will miss the second coming of Christ. He will come visibly (like lightning) but unexpectedly (like a thief). Furthermore, the idea of two second comings is a bit hard for me to understand. Wouldn’t the second second coming really be a third coming?

    1. Jesus came as a human being
    2. Jesus returns to rapture the church
    3. Jesus returns to establish the kingdom

    Isn’t this three comings?

  3. on 07 May 2009 at 7:25 amVictor

    Matthew 24:42-44 – 42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

    Apparently Jesus is teaching that there would not be an exact date/time that the disciples could/would know when the end would come and Jesus would return (even Jesus himself didn’t know) but rather than that meaning one can know nothing about the timing of his coming thus leading to the likelihood of complacency, he tells us that we should be watching for his coming like the head of the house would be watching knowing that there is a thief coming to break into your house. If one is not aware of the signs of the times and watching for the Messiah’s coming, they will be caught unaware, like an unannounced thief in the night.

    Having Jesus’ coming be like a thief in the night is not a good thing for those who claim to follow him! So for us to say “he’s coming like a thief in the night” for us is certainly missing the meaning of the example. It’s not that its going to be random, startling, and secret gathering, but that it will come for those who are not aware of the season with shock and awe.

    As our dear brother Sean has said “everyone is waiting for Jesus to return. What matters is if we’re watching.”

    Remember also, that Matthew 24 where this is quoted is a chapter full of specific signs so it is a bit odd that the many signs would be ignored in favor of an entirely unknown timing of Jesus’ return.

    I Thessalonians 5:1-9 – 1 “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
    2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”

    Here again Paul makes the point – the difference between the “thief in the night” and “lightning flashing across heaven” is based on whether you’re watching or not. For those note watching, it will catch them unaware. Then it will be like lightning and everyone will see him.

    Maranatha!

  4. on 07 May 2009 at 5:38 pmsue ellen wilding

    I was under the impression that Jesus comes AFTER the moon has been darkened and the stars fall from the sky, yet the word says that His coming will be as in the days of Noah and that people will be marrying, giving in marriage and that one will be taken off of the rooftop and one will remain (working). This sounds to me as though everything is business as usual, rather than people being terrified about the heaven’s not giving it’s light, not to mention the horrific events taking place because of the antichrist. Please go slowly here with me, I’m just trying to fit all of the pieces together so it all makes sense. Thankyou.

  5. on 08 May 2009 at 5:53 amSean

     Mat 24:36-42  36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

    When the days of Noah came what happened? Sudden destruction, not sudden rapture. I think the idea here is to see a parallel between the flood which took them all away and that one in the field will be taken (in judgment). Notice back in v29-31 that when the sign of the Son of Man appears people are not rejoicing, but all the tribes of the earth are mourning. Obviously those of us who are his will rejoice as we meet him in the air. But when the Son of Man comes, so does judgment upon the wicked.

  6. on 08 May 2009 at 5:55 amSean

    If anyone is interested, Delroy Gayle (from London) and I did a 30 minute show on this subject for Truth Matters where Delroy shared about the history of the pre-tribulation rapture. Click here to go to the episode for downloading.

  7. on 08 May 2009 at 6:23 amWolfgang

    Hello Victor,
    you mentioned above:

    the difference between the “thief in the night” and “lightning flashing across heaven” is based on whether you’re watching or not. For those not watching, it will catch them unaware.

    could you perhaps expound on this “watching” ? what action was to be taken in regards to “watching” and being alert? what would be the benefit of being alert vs the consequence of not being alert?

    As far as I can read in Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk21 … the Lord’s directives and instruction most certainly did make sense when understood as being addressed to his disciples then who would be saving their lives by getting out of the doomed city of Jerusalem which was to be surrounded by armies, if they were already out of the city they were not to go back in order to try and get belongings etc .. if they were in the city, they were to get out as quickly as possible and not to be concerned about belongings, etc …. they were to flee into the hill country of Judea and surrounding ares ..

    Now, I am wondering how you and others who seem to interpret these passages as being addressed to us today and/or other believers in the yet future, would interpret this point of being “alert” / “watching”? How are you and others watching? are you going to leave the places where you live when you hear of or see a breaking news that Jerusalem is sourrounded by armies? To where are you going to flee? Do you “prepare” somehow to “pack up and run” when certain signs (which ones?) occur ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  8. on 08 May 2009 at 8:58 amSean

    Wolfgang,

    With respect, do we really want to have this conversation again? You don’t even believe in the rapture. So why should our discussion regarding its timing even interest you? The simple answer to your question about why we care about this is because Jesus has not yet returned….

  9. on 08 May 2009 at 10:16 amWolfgang

    Hi Sean,

    with respect as well … IF you read my above post carefully, I did NOT once in ask Victor about the timing of the event …

    I asked about HOW we today are to be alert and watching and how the words of Jesus in Mt 24 concerning the aspects of watching etc should be understood by us today.

    So then, why don’t you answer my questions concerning your alertness and your preparedness for the return of the Lord etc. in accordance with the Lord’s directives in this Olivet discourse?

    Your above comment is rather disappointing, to say the least ….

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  10. on 08 May 2009 at 11:12 amSean

    Wolfgang,

    with respect as well … IF you read my above post carefully, I did NOT once in ask Victor about the timing of the event …

    That is precisely the problem! The post is about the timing of the second coming and the rapture. You want to talk about preterism and how Jesus already returned.

    We watch, become alert, by living rightly before God…by repenting…and telling others the good news.

  11. on 08 May 2009 at 12:15 pmWolfgang

    Hi Sean,

    so then what about the rather precise instructions Jesus gave to his disciples as to what they were to do when they would see the various signs he had mentioned? what about his instructions to flee the city? how do you apply that to yourself as you are waiting for the return of the Lord?

    Did Jesus in his instructions to the disciples sort of generalize the “alertness” in the manner as you now apply it to believers today, that is, live rightly before God, repenting, telling others the good news? Why did Jesus not once mention these things in his instructions concerning his coming in Mt 24, Mk 13 and Lk 21?

    How do you know that I want “to talk about preterism nad how Jesus already returned”? I want to talk about and learn from you how you and others here understand the very detailed and rather specific instructions Jesus gave in the context of encouraging his disciples to be alert and to watch so as to be ready to immedaitely carry out his instructions when the time would be there … My question came as result of what Victor had posted and I would appreciate answers to my questions (and not assumptions of the kind you seem to be making concerning what I want to do here)

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  12. on 08 May 2009 at 2:05 pmSean

    Wolfgang,

    Jesus’ instructions are for those living in Judea as it clearly says. I have no interest in discussing preterism with you right now. Maybe in a few months…please keep your remarks relevant to the post.

  13. on 08 May 2009 at 2:21 pmWolfgang

    Hi Sean,

    are you saying that Jesus’ instructions do therefore not even pertain to us (who are not living in Judea)?

    I am a bit surprised … since it seemed to me from the various posts above that you (as well as Victor) were definitely interpreting those words of Jesus about watching and being alert to yourselves (even though you are living in the US and not in Judea) ..

    As for preterism, I have not even brought up preterism, you are the one who has been mentioning it in just about every post in this topic. If you don’t want to discuss preterism, why are you bringing it up all the time?

    I am not interested in discussing preterism either … I am interested in discussing what you and others have mentioned here concerning passages in Mt 24 and how you and others understand those passages

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  14. on 08 May 2009 at 5:56 pmrobert

    “Did Jesus in his instructions to the disciples sort of generalize the “alertness” in the manner as you now apply it to believers today, that is, live rightly before God, repenting, telling others the good news? Why did Jesus not once mention these things in his instructions concerning his coming in Mt 24, Mk 13 and Lk 21?”

    Firstthingis

  15. on 08 May 2009 at 7:53 pmrobert

    sorry system locked
    first thing is the Disciples would need no warning for a future happening.They possesed the Holy Spirit and God had a purpose for them.
    so you see it wasnt for them as to say.
    In Daniel you will learn that when God has a purpose for you it will be Him that decides your fate.

  16. on 08 May 2009 at 9:29 pmRay

    Jesus often comes to us with spiritual blessings when we don’t expect them, and with correction when we don’t expect him also.

    Many people have seen him. I believe all of us who believe in him
    will see him when we depart our bodies at the time that we die.

    All people will see him, for we must all appear before him.

    One question remains. Will we be ready when he comes for whatever purpose it will be?

    For those that are his, every act of obedience brings a blessing and
    every sin a correction. Will we be found walking in the spirit when
    he comes? When he comes in judgment will we found at that time
    to be among the sheep or the goats? He will separate us. Will we
    be clothed with the gospel at that time? Will we be prepared,
    saved by the skin of our teeth, be found to have perished, or fallen
    away?

    He may come for us each in our own order, or all together at once.

  17. on 09 May 2009 at 2:37 pmGeorgie

    Hello Sue Ellen,

    First of all, the wrath (or-gā’) of God and the great tribulation (thlipsis) are two different things. The saints are saved from the wrath of God (1 Thess 5:9) but believers will live through the tribulation which will be an evil wicked time. God will send Christ back so that there will be some believers still alive ( Matt 24:22) at the end of the of the great tribulation. Which lines up with a mystery Paul spoke of – that not all will be dead at the return. (1 Cor 15:51)

    The days of the tribulation will be shortened for the elects sake so that some will be alive. It reads to me that God is going to shorten those days by causing the sun to go dark and all those other things mentioned, so man will be worrying about himself rather than persecuting the faithful. Then Christ will come back. (Matt 24:22-30)

    Thess 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. The Greek word meet (ä-pä’n-tā-sÄ“s) is used only 4 times, the other usages are Matt 25:1, 6 and Acts 28:15. These are accounts of the 5 wise virgins going out to ‘meet’ the bridegroom and escorting him back to the place of the ceremony and of the believers in Rome who hear Paul is on his way and they go to ‘meet’ him and escort him to Rome, which is the place they had come from. I know some on this site have spoken before about how it is not clear one way or another whether the raised and changed go up to heaven or come back to earth but to me this is very clear when you consider this word ‘meet’ and it’s other usages.

    As for Christ coming like a thief in the night. I too believed that it was going to be like thief in the night for many years and take everyone by suprise, but if you look at the scriptures that speak about Jesus coming like a thief in the night you will see that it says it will be like a thief to those who do not watch.

    Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. And …1 Thess 5:4,

    To watch is to be doing the things which we should be doing as believers. We are told to watch and be sober and to watch and pray. Watch and stand fast. Watch in all things and endure affliction. Blessed is the servant who is doing what he should be doing when the Master comes. (Luke 12.) In Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 when Jesus is talking about the end times, the chapters all end with his encouragement to watch.

    So Christ will come back like a thief in the night to those who are not watching and when he does come all the world will see him.

    I hope this helps.

    God bless you.

  18. on 11 May 2009 at 4:00 amWolfgang

    Hi Georgie

    you mentioned above

    First of all, the wrath (or-gā’) of God and the great tribulation (thlipsis) are two different things. The saints are saved from the wrath of God (1 Thess 5:9) but believers will live through the tribulation which will be an evil wicked time.

    Indeed, the “wrath of God and the “great tribulation” are different things. The wrath of God is poured out in the judgment He has executed through His Son at his coming, the great tribulation seems a period of time (approx 3 1/2 years?) which those at Jerusalem are to experience. The various encouragements by Jesus to his discuples to be alert and watch, so that they will at the right time flee into the hill country, seem to serve the purpose of enabling the disciples to escape death and flee alive during that time of great tribulation ending in the calamities on Jerusalem which were also foretold by Jesus.

    I wonder on what grounds one can read these instructions by Jesus in Mt 24 and apply them to us today who are not even living in Judea and Jerusalem but in America and Europe.
    Jesus’ instructions to his disciples seem specific to those living in Judea (as Sean has pointed out) … and (in a nutshell) his encouragements were not about “doing what they should be doing as believers”, but were about watching the events concerning Jerusalem and to flee the city without delay, and to not return into the city if one happens to be outside,etc. in order to basically at least save one’s life and escape the doom which has been prophesied on Jerusalem.

    Yes, I do agree about us as believers doing the things we should be doing as believers and to walk circumspectly, to watch and be sober, etc … in accordance with instructions in Eph and other NT epistles. But I would think that we should not interpret those instructions concerning “watching” as dealing with the same matter as the instructions of Jesus on Mt Olivet, because the context is totally different and so are the specific actions the disciples are told to carry out (for example, fleeing to the hill country)

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  19. on 11 May 2009 at 10:36 amVictor

    Is there a difference between waiting for and watching for the bus to come while you are sitting at a bus stop? If you are sitting there and have your headphones on listening to music with your eyes closed, tapping your foot along with the music or are sitting there watching the street to see what is going on to be aware of when the bus is coming is there a difference in behavior?

    You notice while watching for the bus that bust #93 passes you by and this tells you that your bus which runs behind #93 by 5 mins (+/-) is going to be coming soon. You don’t know exactly when, but because you are watching you’re aware of it’s soon arrival.

    Now imagine if you are waiting for the bus to come. You aren’t exactly sure when it will arrive and don’t know the bus schedule so seeing #93 pass by doesn’t mean much to you. You know its not your bus, but don’t know much else that it signifies in light of your bus coming. You might even unpack your backpack, set your books aside, eat your packed lunch, get on the phone with a friend – and when the bus comes you will not be prepared like the man who was “watching” was.

    There might be some flaws in that analogy but now imagine rather than the bus coming what is coming is something that will sweep over the entire world?

    That’s my difference between waiting and watching. There is a mental & spiritual alertness/sobriety that one should have. And the behavior that should follow would be determined by the watchful mindset and the teachings of Jesus. I am not going to be leaving Jerusalem just before the second advent, because I don’t live there. Instead I will do what a disciple should do living where I am.

  20. on 11 May 2009 at 3:09 pmWolfgang

    Hi Victor,

    and what would that particular action just prior to the coming of the Lord be which you would be ready because you not only waited but watched? So what are you going to do differently or in addition just prior to the second advent due to your watching? In other words, how would those actions initiated by your watching differ from your actions during all the time while the “arrrival of the bus” was not near yet?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  21. on 11 May 2009 at 6:56 pmrobert

    this is a 2 fold warning because it will happen in the future and at death it happens because that is your last watch.
    the bus can come at anytime so believe, buy a ticket or have money to ride but dont think you can get ready just because of bus schedule.
    since none knows the time of arrival but the bus driver(God).
    The true fall of Judea and Jerusalem was long before the destruction of the temple as told to us in Rev 11.
    there was no need for a warning because they were already purposed to do what God wanted.
    this warning was giving for example to be taught.

  22. on 11 May 2009 at 8:12 pmGeorgie

    Hello Wolfgang,

    Are the things talked of not signs of Christ’s coming? (Matt 24:3) Do you not think that the abomination of desolation will be a warning to the believers, whatever continent they are on at the time?

    Yes there are specific instructions to those in Judaea, to flee. Once they have escaped – if they are fortunate enough to do so, do you think they are then supposed to start living like unbelievers until Christ returns?

    The watching that is talked about in these instances in Matt 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 are all talking about AFTER the abomination of desolation not watching out for it to happen. It’s talking about watching for the return of Christ.

    The word watch in some definitions are to give strict attention to, be cautious, be active. To be keep awake, attentive, ready, to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit, to be moderate or self-restrained, devoid of personal feeling, discreet; cautious; prudent.

    It is the action of being aware and active. I think we can be pretty sure that the activities are to be of a Godly nature, regardless of what is going on around and about.

    Matt 24:45, 46 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

  23. on 12 May 2009 at 2:24 amWolfgang

    Hi Georgie,

    Are the things talked of not signs of Christ’s coming? (Matt 24:3) Do you not think that the abomination of desolation will be a warning to the believers, whatever continent they are on at the time?

    I would say that Jesus was definitely explaining things pertaining to his coming … however, it seems that his instructions were rather specific to and pertained to his disciples who were living in Judea and Jerusalem. The signs also were quite specific in terms of the location where those things would happen (for example, “the abomination of desolation” will be set up in Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem will be encompassed by armies, the disciples living there should flee in order to save their lives, etc) Now, can such details in Jesus’ words just be transferred to whatever continent we today might be living on ?

    The disciples were encouraged to be faithful in their belief on Jesus as the Messiah and Lord … at the time the largest threat to their faith came from the Jewish / Judaism follwoers who were persecuting those of the circumcision who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah and who were trying – at the threat of execution – to convert these Christians back to Judaism. In addition, there were threats of persecution later on from Rome. The encouragement we read concerning “to be faithful” were very much directed at not falling back into Judaism or turning to Cesaer worship. How do these details apply to anyone of us today living on various continents?

    The watching that is talked about in these instances in Matt 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 …. It’s talking about watching for the return of Christ.

    Why would there be encouragement to watch for the return of Christ, if it is supposed to be the greatest joy and final goal in a Christian’s life (as some teach)? Or is the return of Christ something to watch for so as to then flee and save one’s life?

    You then say, “it is the action of being aware and active” … Well, the disciples were already alert and active in their daily lives in order to be faithful to the Lord and not to sin or to be deceived, etc, which would mean that this “watching for the return of Christ” would involve something different or more specific in terms of being alert and active, or?

    As I mentioned before, I agree that believers are to be walking circumcpectly, that they are to watch and be sober in order to not be deceived and caught in sin and unrighteousness. That is something we ought to be doing at any time because we love Him and regardless of any signs of Christ’s coming? That is what believers have been doing throughout the centuries … in both OT ages and NT age, even before the Messiah had been born (cp. .Abraham).

  24. on 12 May 2009 at 12:09 pmGeorgie

    You think the disciples were already alert and active in their daily lives? Are these not the same disciples who fell asleep when Jesus was praying in the garden, are these not the same disciples that scattered and even denied knowing Jesus days before he was crucified?

    We are to watch for the return because it is our hope we are to stay faithful and look forward to his return and according to scripture we are exhorted to watch for it regardless of what is happening around and about.

    You say “Why would there be encouragement to watch for the return of Christ”

    Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. IF THEREFORE YOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

    1 Thess 5 1-5 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. BUT YE BRETHREN ARE NOT IN DARKNESS THAT THAT DAY OVER TAKE YOU AS A THIEF. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. THEREFORE LET US NOT SLEEP as [do] others; BUT LET US WATCH AND BE SOBER.

    God is telling us to watch. You want to take the matter up with Him?

  25. on 12 May 2009 at 1:49 pmWolfgang

    Hi Georgie,

    hmn … when I am taking a matter up with Him, I address Him and I would not be writing to you here … 😉

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  26. on 12 May 2009 at 6:57 pmrobert

    this revelation was giving after the fall of the temple, so what is Jesus trying to say or did he forget it already happened.

    Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. IF THEREFORE YOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

  27. on 13 May 2009 at 12:12 amWolfgang

    Hi Robert.

    this revelation was giving after the fall of the temple, so what is Jesus trying to say or did he forget it already happened.

    What you mention here is a viewpoint quite often claimed about the date of writing of the Book of Revelation … however, in more recent decades this so-called “late date” for the writing of Revelation has been questioned and a much “earlier date” (approx mid to late 60ies AD) has been found to actually be more probable when considering the internal evidence of the book

    Also, the Peshitta Aramaic versoin of the Book of Revelation contains a statement in the beginning in which it mentioned that John was exiled to Patmos during the reign of Nero ….

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  28. on 13 May 2009 at 9:33 pmrobert

    Wolfgang
    i recieved my viewpoint not from man, even tho i have read mans viewpoint, reviewed history of the time and would still know from common sense that this is not about the fall of the Judea and Jerusalem. First thing is there was no Judea at that time and the people in Jerusalem where not people of God.they were not the seed of Jacob and for the most part werent for centuries before. they were in some part of the returned but for the most part were that which replaced the people of the northern kingdom and were taught about the God of the land that they were to live in. hebrew replacements who became the scribes and Pharisees.

  29. on 14 May 2009 at 1:35 amWolfgang

    Robert,

    what shall one say then to the things you write ? you give the impression as if your viewpoint can’t or shouldn’t be questioned because you indicate that your viewpoint IS God’s, and of course … and thus if someone questions the validity of YOUR understanding, reason and logic, in your eyes they are questioning God … I suppose, the only valid reaction to what you say and write is to accept it because you are a prophet of God and you do not speak of your own but speak what God has told you to speak?

    The problem is, that what you declare to be God’s Word is contradicting what one can read in the Bible, which also is claimed to be God’s Word … which begs the following questions:
    – are there two Gods who declare different things?
    – if your Word and the Bible’s Word is from the same God, does God contradict Himself?
    – if there is only one God declaring truth, is your Word or is the Bible inspired by God?

    Greatly wondering
    Wolfgang

  30. on 14 May 2009 at 7:08 amrobert

    while the Bible is flawed by man, the Word Of God Is perfect.

  31. on 08 Jun 2009 at 1:33 pmstacey

    WOW this is interesting to read but I have a comment to Wolfgang, if you are having a hard time getting your questions asked through the other people on this blog why don’t you just ask God? You said previously…Hi Georgie,

    hmn … when I am taking a matter up with Him, I address Him and I would not be writing to you here …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

    This way you will get your answers directly from the one who knows ALL!!!!! God will also help you understand what he wants you to understand and keep in mind that God did not purposly explain a lot of things to us because it is his mystery and he wants us to live according to his word so that the mystery will be revieled to us (in due time) when God is ready to reveil it (sorry about my spelling). As far as I am conserned (again this is my opinion) God explained what is necessary for us to know in order for us to inherit the coming Kingdom you know the basics, we shouldn’t read into the laws of God so far that we go off the path to rightousness, if you do not understand you should go right to the source God!

    With Love,
    God Bless!!!!

  32. on 26 May 2011 at 1:44 amRay

    What are the end time events? How will it all happen?

    Is it that Christ will come for his Church, (the Rapture), and then the 7 year tribulation begins by some being left behind, who will have a chance to believe the gospel, and will have to die for the sake of it, and after the 7 years of great judgment, that Christ will return with his saints, and at that time, is it the resurrection of the dead and the new heaven and earth, the reign of Christ for a thousand years or what?

    I have never seen all this put together but am wondering if this is the basic way it goes.

  33. on 26 May 2011 at 9:07 amRay

    I just read some from the book of Revelation. I really don’t know how all this goes. The order of such events as I asked in the above post (32) are too difficult for me.

  34. on 27 May 2011 at 2:25 pmSarah

    In response to the original question – if you read the complete “thief in the night” analogy presented in Matthew 24, you find that Jesus’ return is suruptitious only in its approach. Further, the approach is suruptitious only to those who are not adequately prepared (i.e. asleep). This is also the case when the same analogy is mentioned in Rev 3.

    In today’s end-times theology there tends to be a greater focus on the “surprise” aspect than the “thief” aspect. In Matthew 24, Jesus is warning his disciples AGAINST being caught by surprise, so that they aren’t taken away by the judgment to come. I believe the thief in the night analogy in scripture consistently refers to the coming judgment, not the rapture.

    (43) But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. (44) So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. – [Mat 24:43-44 NIV]

    (2) Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. (3) Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. – [Rev 3:2-3 NIV]

  35. on 27 May 2011 at 2:49 pmSarah

    Also, for those interested in a better understanding of the parable of the 10 Virgins and how it relates to the rapture – this is the best article I’ve read on the subject of Jewish Wedding Customs. It refutes the idea of a secret rapture and illustrates how preparation was key to the whole event:

    http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/air/wedding.pdf

  36. on 27 May 2011 at 3:03 pmXavier

    Sarah

    In today’s end-times theology there tends to be a greater focus on the “surprise” aspect than the “thief” aspect.

    Aren’t the two terms synonymous, i.e., if your asleep you will be caught by surprise?

    The point being that you should be “awake” to what the scriptures say & not remain “asleep” in unbelief.

  37. on 27 May 2011 at 7:03 pmRay

    Dr. Michael Brown has a show on right now about this. I can’t download it yet, but I see he has a question printed about whether or not the matter of the soul going to heaven is in conflict with a resurrection, or something like that.

    Just search Ask Dr. Brown. You should be able to find his radio show, Line of Fire.

  38. on 27 May 2011 at 10:57 pmSarah

    Xavier,

    What I meant to point out is that throughout the Bible the thief in the night analogy alludes to Jesus meting out judgment. Today it is often incorrectly taught to illustrate a surprise rapture in which Jesus “steals the church away” before the judgment.

    But Matthew 24:43 says that if the master of the house had known what time Jesus was coming, he would not have allowed Jesus to break into the house! This is very reminiscent of the angel of death passing over the houses marked with the blood of lambs in Exodus. The angel of death – in a sense a “thief” – entered many houses (at night, I might add) in Egypt and killed their firstborn. But the Israelites, having been prepared by God to do the right thing at the right time, were protected.

    So rather than a pre-trib rapture, what I see depicted is God’s faithful people being protected during the tribulation by obtaining proper instruction at the proper time and obeying it.

  39. on 27 May 2011 at 11:07 pmRay

    Well I couldn’t get all of the broadcast of Dr. Brown’s show and he didn’t yet get to the question that was printed when the part I was listening to ended.

  40. on 28 May 2011 at 7:00 amXavier

    Sarah

    Today it is often incorrectly taught to illustrate a surprise rapture in which Jesus “steals the church away” before the judgment.

    Agreed. Jesus is not doing, as we like to say, a U-turn or drive-thru. 🙂

  41. on 24 Jun 2013 at 2:20 pmBeBe

    I just found this website and was elated that so many were searching God’s Holy Word. Even though these post are older I couldn’t help but notice the confusion regarding the rapture or the catching up/caught up in the Bible. The word rapture is not found in the Bible……but neither is the word Bible. Both words are from mankind, not God. The word rapture is from the Latin word raptura. It is not the Second Coming of Jesus because as Paul tells us in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18 Jesus only comes in the clouds, He does not come to earth. Only those who are being raptured will see Him. No one knows the day or hour this will take place, not even Jesus knows, only God in Heaven.

    In the Second Coming of Jesus all those on the earth will see Him. Jesus will be coming with the armies which are in Heaven, this is the Church. Revelation 19:11-21. The Holy Scriptures tell us Jesus will return at the end of the Great Tribulation. Since we are told the tribulation period is 7 years in length we can know approximately when Jesus will return to earth for His Second Coming.

    The rapture will end the Church age. The Church is the Bride of Christ. This is the true believers, not just church members. Only God knows the heart of each and every person. The tribulation was never for the Church…The Bride of Christ.

  42. on 24 Jun 2013 at 3:20 pmJas

    Revelation
    19:6 Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting:
    “Hallelujah!
    For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns!19:7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory,because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,and his bride has made herself ready.19:8 She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). 19:9 Then 1 the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

    Bebe
    Who are the invited?

    21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb!” 21:10 So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

    Does not look like the bride is the church but the church is invited plus this happens 1000+ years after the 1st resurrection

  43. on 25 Jun 2013 at 2:48 pmBeBe

    Hi Jas….. I in no way am an authority on the Bible. Only God is, but He has placed a love of His Holy Scriptures in my heart and I love studying, digging and searching His Word.

    The invited is the Church…..The Bride of Christ. The KJV says the ‘called’ instead of the word invited. As You know the Holy Spirit does the calling and conviction of sinners for the Body of Christ…..again the Church.
    Remember the disciples, less Judas of course, that started the churches in the first century? In John 14 Jesus tells His disciples He is going to prepare a place for them. “In My Father’s House are many mansions……and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself”…..this is the rapture.

    Jesus has prepared the New Jerusalem, the Holy City for the Church…the Bride of Christ, where we reign with Him for 1,000 years. The New Jerusalem at this time in the timeline is hovering over Earth, (see Is.2:1; Mic 4:1;Zech 14:10;) oh, btw we have glorified bodies. We will have the ability to go back and forth from the New Jerusalem to the old Earth, of course Jesus will too.

    Those who survive the tribulation are still on the old Earth for 1,000 years, in their old earthly bodies, which can still reproduce. After satan is released…after the 1,000 years….he will tempt those who have never been tempted and there will be those who choose him over God. At the end of this 1,000 years there will be a Great White Throne Judgement for the lost.

    Then we have a New Heaven and a New Earth, the New Jerusalem will now be on Earth. This is the vision John was shown by the angel in Revelation 21:10.

    At this point in the timeline is when there will be no more tears, death, mourning, crying, pain. All the saved will now be on the new Earth.

    Eight years ago my S.S. teacher taught us using a timeline of events. As I said earlier, I love studying God’s Holy Word, prophecy is my heart’s desire. The timeline taught me so much as to the events and time period. In studying Revelation of Jesus Christ I never knew so many prophecies concerning the end of the age was in the Old Testament.

    When I do inductive Bible study I look for every verse that relates to a word/event/time, etc. By doing this we can get the whole picture that is revealed to us. Whereas some Scripture seems to contradict other Scriptures, by studying the entirety of it we can gleam a better understanding of it.

    We’ll never be infallible with our human understanding, nor will we be able to know His Word without the Holy Spirit, Who Is our Resident Teacher. Much prayer and supplication goes into studying God’s Word.

    ~Blessings in studying His Word.

  44. on 25 Jun 2013 at 3:34 pmJas

    Bebe
    I would say your close enough , way closer than most.

  45. on 26 Sep 2015 at 1:55 pmJas

    With the last part of a very rare event (4 consecutive blood moons) coming Sunday night there are many prophecies claimed to be fulfilled soon after. Some claim it points to the Rapture of the Saints pretribulation ,some claim the second coming of Jesus to setup the Kingdom, some claim the actual Messiah is to come, some believe aliens will come and even a few others claims.
    What I see is the last 1700+ years of deception making Jesus God was just a setup for the biggest con ever devised . I think satan will counterfeit these beliefs using all of these claims. I think satan will set his highest representative as God on earth and do many miracles causing every nation to believe his representative is GOD ruling from Jerusalem . I think even atheists will fall for this con. While these blood moons may be a sign they are not ALL.

  

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