Does John 14:1-4 Teach a Rapture?

rapturedDo not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

What is going on? Basically, Jesus is facing betrayal. He turns to His Disciples to comfort them and says; do not be afraid or troubled! Trust in God; trust in Me. He then gives them a picture of hope by showing them a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. In Heaven, there will be many rooms in My Father’s Home, one made up especially for each of you! I will prepare it personally and at the right time, I will come and get you and you will always be with Me. You will know all about it and how to get there.

In so doing Jesus uses the word, Take you, as the NIV and many translations state. So, this may seem like some kind of snatching. Or is it? However, look to the context.  The KJV uses, receive you unto myself.

So, does take you mean a rapture? No. This means that Jesus is our only way, the gate and stairway to Heaven; there is no other way to God except through Him. Remember context denotes meaning. This is about the resurrection of the dead leads to a new life, our life after death that Jesus is able to provide by His death and resurrection. This can also refer to the Second Coming or the new age of the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. But, moreover, this is about Jesus as our Rescuer and Redeemer; He took on our human nature, but without our sinfulness, and remained pure to pay the debt for our sins. In the process, His human nature voluntarily became lower than the angels, but as Fully God, He is superior to them, in essence, power, purpose, and distinction (Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:1-4; 2: 7, 14-15).

Jesus is preparing for us, those He chooses, an eternal home; Heaven. This is not just a residence; rather proof that God will completely and thoroughly accomplish and achieve His purpose throughout the universe. He will bring all things to fruition. He brings peace and a future to those in Him. Thus, God will achieve His purpose; we will inherit His wonders and blessings and we will have no ties to the old nature of sin and evil. Jesus is not just preparing a place for us in Heaven; He is preparing us in our journey of faith in the here and now too (Isa. 42:9; 48:6; 51:15-16; 65:17-25; 66:22; 1 Cor. 15:35-57; Rev. 7:9; 21:1-8)!

To further this point, look at another key word, Trust / believe in God.

This is a call to a personal relationship-unity with conviction with Christ, and it is a command to step up in faith, our response to the call of God to trust in Him through times of danger and fear. This is a depiction of a righteous person’s proper dependence upon Jesus as He is exemplified. He is our Sanctuary; He is the Eternal God on whom we can rely and not only give our life to, but also live our life for (2 Sam. 2:3; Isa. 8:17; 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Isa. 8:14-18; 28:16; John 13:36; Heb. 2:13)

This passage has been greatly abused by many so-called pastors who read it out of context and inserted their own feelings as truth. This is not a guarantee or a give to get scheme or a rapture. Rather, this is an invitation to radical faith. We often get more than we want and have more than we need and do better in His will than ours. We are limited in thinking and power and He is not. He is saying we can trust in Him totally and completely with all we have now and for our future. Because, He is not just preparing a place for us in eternity, He is preparing us for eternity too!

What we go through is not just about sin in an unfair world, it is the building up of faith and being that display a beacon to a dimly lit world that needs His Light.

 

The Parable of the Leaven, the Tares and the Rapture PII

Parable Leaven TaresMatthew 13: 24-43

How would you explain the key words of Wheat, Good seed, enemy and Tares? What is in your life right now that these words could represent?

Look at some key words for us to wrap our heads upon:

Leaven” is yeast and would be mixed in the flour and water and baked to make bread that is fluffy, more palatable and easier to eat. Or you would lust have a large flat, dry cracker. As with cities today baking was a profession and you obtain your bread from the local bakery or family co-op., Because, ovens were expensed to build and the practicality of laboring in the field in which women did too, and making bread which is an all-day event of gathering, milling, kneading, and baking would be most difficult. But some people pooled their resources and had a community oven and took turns making and proving bread for their community.

Leaven is also a symbol for evil as a little evil can do a lot of damage!

Point? It only takes a very small piece of yeast for a large amount of flour. Just like faith!

“Three measures” of flour is about a bushel and would make enough bread for over one hundred people.

What is Jesus doing? He quotes from Psalm 78:2.  He shows His concern for the entire world not just Israel.

Parables disclose and close. Sometimes their meaning is not apparent or literal and takes prayer understanding and thought. They also reveal the truth to those who listen and conceal truth from those who refuse to hear. We have to be open and available for His Word to impact us (Psalm 72:1-6). (For more info read the last study on Parables from Matthew 13:1-23)

Explain to us,” Jesus was teaching farmers and most of His disciples were fisherman, perhaps they did not understand the metaphors, maybe they were not listening, perhaps their hearts and minds were closed off.

There are times people will not care or listen to us or God. We are still responsible to proceed with maturity, tact and love to proclaim His Word. We are not responsible how people take it or treat us, we are only responsible to trust and obey. Even when you feel like a failure, He is still there loving us and our efforts are never a waist when we are in Him! He is in control His timing is sovereign.

Harvest,” is a symbol for the End Times (Ezra. 4:30-32; Isa. 32:13-15; Jer. 31:27-28; Hos. 2:21-23; 6:1).

Point? God supplies the seed, we cast them, and He germinates them. Sometime later a seed you sowed may germinate, you never know!

Gather out” / “weed out” refers to Christ’s divine authority over the final judgment when all those who refused to accept His grace will be cast off into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).

“Weeds” are the reprobates (Rom. 1) Who refused Christ and took themselves or Satan as their lead.

The “wheat” is His chosen people who by faith accepted Him and He was their leader.

Shine,” all of our efforts even though sometimes we cannot see them will shine forth in eternity, so have faith and confidence in His Kingdom!

Furnace,” is Hell (Mark 9:43-48; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:10-15) which is the final place for all those who rejected God. It is the final condemnation and judgment. God does not sentence people there, we send ourselves there (Eze. 33:11; John 3:18-21; Rom. 1:18-32; 2:8; 2 Thess. 2:9-11)!

God is willing and able to save us from Hell, but are we willing to accept His love and free gift, strange as it may be most people refuse (Matt. 5:29-30)!

So, what is the sequence? Who is gathered up first? The faithful Christians? NO!

So, if there is a rapture, and now I think you should hope not, who is taken? Also read Matthew 24 too. The “Weeds” who are pulled and burnt! Evil people who are not redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb!  Those who are wicked.  Those who refused Christ. Look carefully in order of the sequencing, as many have overlooked this to make their dogmatic point.  First, weeds, the enemy are gathered up and thrown into the furnace of fire, Hell. That also means people who teach false doctrines, perhaps that is why this passage is omitted. Then the Harvest of the wheat, meaning the mustard faith folks, those who are the children of the Kingdom of God, are gathered into the barn.

Outline out a plan to put into practice some of the precepts of these parables,

  1. A willingness to listen.
  1. The ability to practice real authentic faith.
  1. Be willing to trust Him regardless of your circumstances.
  1. Practice surrendered obedience.

Which is far more important that a theory that is wrong….

 

 

Blood Moon, what is this all about?

blood moon b

“The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…”  Matthew 24:29

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” Acts 2:20

The premise is four blood moons will happen in a sequence that will be the trumpet blast that echo in the return of Christ or a rapture or a tribulation, to whomever false teacher you listen to.  It seems plausible, an astronomical event that never has occurred that is foreboding and obvious to point us the Return of the King. Or is it?

The premise is four blood moons will happen in a sequence that will be the trumpet blast that echo in the return of Christ or a rapture or a tribulation, to whomever false teacher you listen to.  It seems plausible, an astronomical event that never has occurred that is foreboding and obvious to point us the Return of the King. Or is it?

There are many problems with this premise. And it will only appeal to a person who gets caught up in meaningless speculations, or a person who does not really read the Word, or a person gets captivated by personalities and not the Person of Christ, or a person who is, well I will say it, just weak in the faith at best, heretical at worst. And who would write such a book, someone who fits the previous qualifications, except they are the captivating personality who read into the Bible their views and do no real research to what the words mean and what these events are and what they really mean. 

What if Jesus will or had returned, April 15, 2014 as many false teachers have presented, or now, September, 23 or 27, 2015? Oh, those first two did not happen by the way. What were you doing? Does your life and attitude show that you were prepared by faith and not by theory?

By the way biblical eschatology is about give us hope and motivation to get our life right with Christ as Lord. It is not about meaningless speculations!

Yet, many Christians today take their word from false teachers who are tantalizing and provocative. They feel they have special knowledge from God and thus do not read or study the Bible. Instead, they listen to fools who point to themselves, pseudo Bible teaching and not to our LORD or the true Truth of His Word. This creates the havoc of emotional driven immature Christians with false knowledge that leads to a weak do nothing faith and division in His Church.

Here is the latest buzz, the Blood Mood!

I am sure you have heard of it, perhaps you got caught up in it, pun intended. What is this all about?

The blood moon is the earth’s moon in the night sky that will turn red, or as an astronomer would say, “in a deep red hue,” resembling the color of blood, hence the name. These events remind us of several Bible passages from Joel, Matthew, Acts and Revelation that Christ is coming back. While, others have stated that it is the significant sign of the apocalypse and or rapture or the end of days.

To make this more foreboding, there will be four of these on or close to the main Jewish feast days of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in the next 2 years. So, a lot of Christians have been so tied up over this. The first of these blood moons arrived on April 15, 2014 near Passover (the foreboding part is this is tax day for Americans) then there will be three more in the next two years. As, we will have one in October, 8, 2014 and then two more April 4, and Sept. 27, 2015, which is also a super moon. Astronomers say this is not rare, as even though was 4 in the next 18 months, normally they average 3 every 2 years, or the super moon eclipse, 33 years. Yet, all astronomical events are rare, because we have a lot going on in our big universe.

Is Jesus coming back during these blood moons? Probably not. Yes, Jesus can come back during these events, but according to His Word, nothing needs to happen that did not already. Thus, He can come back at any moment, now, or thousands of years from now.

Let’s see what Jesus actually said about it!

Matthew 24:29-31: “The sun will be darkened.” This is a reference to a significant astronomical event, perhaps more than just an eclipse. And this is in the form of O.T. Judgment language (Psalm 18:6-19; Isa. 13:10; 24:23; 34:4; Jer. 4:20-28; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:6).

The question is not if or when, as many of us obsess over; rather, He will come and we had better be prepared with our attitude and mindsets! 

Darkness” was the most frightening prediction (Ex. 9:21-23)! 

The sign of the Son of man” refers to God bringing about the opportunity for people to repent for having caused Him grief. Then, the Kingdom of Heaven will flourish (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 12:10; Rev. 1:7).

Sign” refers to the first real evidence of Christ’s second coming.

Son of man” means He is Lord and King (Matthew 10: 16-26)!

Clouds” mean judgment. This refers to a spectacular event, the numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory. It could also mean an extraordinary storm of clouds. Such as numbers of angels testifying to God’s glory (Ezek. 30:3; Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 16:28; 24:30, 34; 26:64). 

“Trumpets” were used to announce the coming of or the succession of a king. They were used to summon people together and for a war cry to motivate troops and scare the enemy (Judg. 7:8-25; Isa. 11:12; 27. 13; Jer. 4:5, 19-21; Zeph. 1:16). Here, it is a popular prayer Jesus uses to refer to a future gathering of believers in Christ (Zech. 9:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

“Taken” refers to being taken to Judgment (Jer. 6:10-12)! Most people think this is the rapture, but, it is never explicitly taught or illustrated, although this text is popular for, such as view, it really means judgment; and, you do not want that.

Some have thought that this passage can also refer to the coming defeat of Satan and His dominion or an apocalypse, but there is no textual support; rather, it is about His second coming in His timing (Matt. 13:40-43; 16:27; 25:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:14-17).

In addition, Revelation 6: 12-17 tells us, “Moon turned blood red,” this may refer to an unusual lunar eclipse or even something more spectacular. These events being described are not necessarily literal, astronomic events as many today think. 

“Stars in the sky fell to earth” means the cosmic scope of God’s judgment, as all will be affected (Isa. 34:4). This was also a sign for the coming of Christ (Mark 13:25-26). It may also refer to angels coming down or some stunning event that all will see in the sky (Isa. 24:21; Dan. 8:10; 10:13; Rev. 12:4).

Here is what we should wrap our brain and faith in, what Jesus was actually saying:

Matthew 24: 36-50: “No one knows…angels, or the Son…” Why did Jesus not know, when He is the Omnipresent God? God keeps most of His plans secret for good reason (Deut. 29:29; Zech. 14:6-9).

We would become preoccupied with them and miss our purpose for being here on earth. Just look at some Catholics and how they are overzealous with artifacts; in fact, there are enough so-called pieces of the cross of Christ in European Cathedrals to build a large church! There is also the obsession for the Holy Grail (the cup of Christ in His last supper). They look to “stuff” and not to substance! Let us not do that with our refusal to look to His Word and instead look to personalities.

N.T. Wright on the Rapture

What does a great biblical theologian say on the Rapture?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxzf00qrErw

http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_BR_Farewell_Rapture.htm

and

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/2014/06/04/why-the-rapture-isnt-biblical/

And a Movie review….

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/october-web-only/left-behind.html

and

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/5-things-to-consider-before-taking-the-left-behind-movie-seriously/

Christians Should Not Believe in ‘Left Behind’s’ Rapture Theology

Pulled from the christianpost.com… (This moderators take? After reading the Bible every day for 35+ years, I still have not found the topics and ideas presented in those books…. As we been researching with honest exegeses, what is popular is not necessary Biblical. What is best? Just read the Bible yourself and not what people who do not read the Bible to tell you how to think what it says or tell you what it says…. BTW, what Revelation really teaches is far more powerful and impacting…..)

“This doctrine is not really found in the book of Revelation. If you read the book of Revelation, you won’t find any mention of the rapture there,” said William Craig, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University.

left behind“If you compare what Paul says there to what Jesus says about the End Times, Paul uses the same vocabulary, the same phraseology. I think it’s very plausible that Paul is talking about the same event that Jesus predicted, namely the visible coming of the Son of Man at the end of human history to usher in his kingdom,” said Craig. “But proponents of the rapture view, say that Paul is not at all talking about the second coming of the Christ there. What he’s really talking about is this invisible preliminary secret return of Christ to snatch believers out of the world before the great tribulation occurs. I think there’s no textual warrant for that at all.”

According to Craig, the rapture became a popular theory about the End Times due to the influence of the Scofield Reference Bible, which was published in the early 20th century and promulgated John Darby’s mid-18th century’s views on the rapture. Later, Christian institutions, among them Dallas Theological Seminary, and churches began teaching the validity of the rapture.

“A good many Bible-believing Christians absorbed this view as their mother’s milk as it were and have never thought to question its Biblical credentials,” said Craig.

Craig affirmed that it was completely possible for Christians to watch the upcoming “Left Behind” movie or read the series, but they should resist taking its claims seriously.

“It could be maybe good fiction. It would be say like reading science fiction or fantasy novels like The Lord of the Rings. Just so long as you’re not deceived into thinking that represents biblical eschatology,” said Craig.

Craig, who leads Reasonable Faith, an apologetics organization that equips Christians with the resources to speak about their faith in an “intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising yet gracious” manner, called upon Biblical scholars, pastors and other church leaders who also refute the rapture to speak out about their position.

“It is astonishing, if I’m correct about this, American evangelism is very widely misled, that it has departed from the historic Christian position about the second coming of Christ. That’s really rather sobering, because if we’re wrong about this, what other things might we have misinterpreted?” he said…..>

http://m.christianpost.com/news/no-christians-should-not-believe-in-left-behinds-rapture-theology-says-prominent-apologist–124070/

 

Arguing over Rapture

Arguing rapture c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you rapture ready? Is that really important? 

How important is the “Second Coming” to you concerning how you live your life?

If so, take a look to the Book, as God does not care, in fact He is disappointed. Because He wants us Fruit ready! Think not? Read Galations chapter five and Ephesians chapter four. What does God want of us? A well laid out end times theory or a fruitful life?

Take a look at 2 Peter 3: 1-9, where God Promises Christ’s Return to us! The key word tells all, “Coming… He promised/promise of His coming. Peter is calling us to think back to what the Lord has done for us, so we don’t forget His grace, His provisions, and His answered prayers and blessings. To focus on the here and now what Christ is doing in and take hope He is coming, so we are not to be overcome with the struggles of the moment, so we do not see how He has brought us through them in the past. We are to refresh our memory in Him.

During this time, some people in the Early Church thought Jesus was coming right back right then, which was nearly two thousand years ago, and this was taught that as fact, as many do today missing the point. And, the false teachers used their impatience and misunderstandings of what Jesus taught against them too. Thus, the false teachers were spreading gossip as they mocked them and the ‘regular’ teachers were getting it wrong. Ironically, scoffing is one of the evidences that we are in the last days. We must be careful that what we believe and teach is authentic, or others will use our own words against us and perhaps be just in doing so.

We have to remember this: God does not take sides in a congregation where one side wants a beige covered hymnbook and the other side wants one with a blue cover, as God does not care if we have carpet or tile in the narthex.. He wants us to worship Him as LORD. In the same way, if someone is Pre Mill and others are Post Mill or Am Mill, or Pre Trib or Post Trib, or some are passionate about a rapture while others do not see that in Scripture. It is just not important. What is? That our fruitfulness now and that He is coming back, this is what it is all about.

Arguing about the delivery device is like getting excited about the hot dogs at a ball game, then quarrel what mustard, brown or yellow, you want on it, then not realizing you are missing the world series.

God does not take sides; He grieves when we engage in hostile actions against one another. Ephesians 4:1-6 clearly states what God wants; what He does not want is our feeble wars with one another. We must center ourselves on God’s desires and not our own!

The Christian must not be the type of person who has to have things his or her way all the time. As Christians, we must be in submission to the authority of Christ. Keep the main thing the main thing and not place our faith and worry in the trivialities.

When we are so, the natural inclination to be driven by our self-fulfilling ideas will fall off. The constant prowling to get what we want-when we want it-disintegrates the call because the result of this attitude is a reckless rudeness to others that destroys relationships and inhibits the spread of the Gospel. God calls us out of disintegration and into reconciliation.

 

The End of the World is Coming!

Read: 1 Peter 4: 7-11

Yes, at some point in space and time, the end of the world is coming! And it is sooner than it was yesterday. That life and our opportunities are limited; thus… This means we must have the correct end times theory.. We must be pre mill or post mill, or pan mill or rapture ready or…what ever the trend of what is happening now, yada, yada and yada… not!

Now, what does the Bible say we are to do? We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ!

We are to make every effort to represent Christ and make the most of what we are given for His glory. We are to be stewards of all that we have, whether small or great. The better we use our gifts, the Fruit of the Spirit, God’s precepts applied, the more generous He is with us with more gifts, abilities, and opportunities.

So, what does this mean? We are called not to waste our opportunities, but to be diligent and faithful with our call, abilities, and prayer with love and hospitality. Not diligent with a theory that is not even based on God’s Word; rather from some megalomaniac pseudo-Christian. So, do what God has called you to do and do it with passion, truth, and in love!

Look at some key word from this passage: 

“Be judged” refers to that we will all die and be held accountable for what we have done with Jesus’ dying for us. Also, we have to realize that the world will not understand Christ; therefore, it will not understand you (Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-15; 5:30-32; 7:51-53).

“Regard to the Spirit.” We now have spiritual renewal and assurance because Christ has obtained for us victory and triumph over death and sin (Rom. 6:5-9; 1 Cor. 15:25-26).

Pray” is meant to line us up in His will and with His empowerment (Luke 18:1; 1 Cor. 7:5; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 5:14-15). 

“Love covers” means that real love continually forgives (Matt. 18:21-22; 1 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 4:32; 1Thess. 4:9-10; 2 Pet. 1:7; 1 John 4:7-11). This means we are to overlook the faults and transgressions of others against us within reason and with love. We are also not to gossip or slander one another (Prov. 10:12; James 5:20)!

“Is Near” refers to the period from the Resurrection of our Lord to His Second coming; this is called the “Last Days.”

This term may get wrong and never bother to look it up in proper source and assume….  “Last Days” is not a time reference, meaning either limited or unlimited time, although it does mean that the longer we go, the less time we have. We can have a week left or another two thousand years. The point here is the End of Days is a period of time and covenant with Christ, and it will be marked by great sufferings.

Head this: No one will be immune; we will all have to give account for our life. Looking forward to the End of Days and Christ’s return is also meant to encourage and influence the attitudes and actions of suffering Christians (John 5:27; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:5, 16), therefore, be in serious prayer (Dan. 12:1-2; Acts 2:17; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 1:20).

What is the point of all this, this key word most miss: “God may be praised.” Here, this means for us to be and have the Attitude of Christ, be good stewards, faithful and fruitful a Christ ambassador, as we are called to live, serve, and do all that we do in life for the honor and glory of our Lord and Savior. This is what echoes in eternity, not vain theories (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; 2 Cor. 5:20; Jude 24-25)!