THE RAPTURE

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Charles Meadows, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since the premill/amill threads have become a little messy I'll narrow things a little.

    While I am an amillenialist I have always appreciated the fact that there is a strong case for millenialism - I think the case for amillenialism is stronger but that's another thread...

    My biggest complaint with the premill dispy scheme today is the rapture. I find it wholely unscriptural. And unlike the case for a millenial reign there is NO early church support for any sort of "rapture".

    So what say ye?????
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Charles, let's start with some passages. First one:

    I Thess 4:15ff "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord."

    Most pre-mil look at that and see the dead in Christ rising to meet the Lord and the living saints also caught up to meet the Lord, in the air.

    It is sure easy to preach a "rapture" with a text like that.

    How would an amil interpret this?
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Another passage for pre-mil rapture is the entire structure of the Book of Revelation

    Revelation 4:1ff After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

    Pre-mil see this as first of all, parallel to the I Thes 4 passage - voice, trump, call to "come up", etc

    Notice its position in the grand scheme of the Revelation Jesus gave.

    ch 1 - the resurrected Jesus
    ch 2-3 the church messages to us on earth in this era
    ch 4 - John called up to heaven
    ch 5-19 the tribulation on earth for 7 years
    ch 20 - the milennial kingdom on earth for 1k
    ch 21-22 - the eternal kingdom, new heaven/earth

    When Jesus returns to rule (ch 19/20) the saints come WITH Him; they are already in heaven.

    I scratch my head at folks who can't see probably the clearest outline God could give us (where He REVEALED His plan) in REVELATION and see a pre-trib, pre-mil position.

    Assume the amil allegorize the whole book and that none of it is literal prophecy, but interested to hear your opinion.

    Hey, you ASKED!! ;)
     
  4. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr Bob,

    OK.

    Regarding 1 Thess 4:16: It seems that given the context the main point of the passage is to show that those who have died will not "miss out".

    The trumpet motif is certainly consistent with the return of the Lord. But notice it says that then we shall EVER be with the Lord. What about judgment? What about the millenium? What about the final destruction of death?

    If this verse were referring to an initial event of several (subsequent judgment and millenial reign) then why no reference to them? It seems to be referring generically to the second coming since no other specifics are given. It doesn't even mention any sort of judgment!

    Now I admit that Rev 20 is probably gives the strongest case for a literal millenium - but where is the rapture mentioned there? There is not one verse CONCRETELY defining the rapture, and not one verse which places this event in any relation to the other events in the premill dispy timeline!

    And what's more there is no mention of such an event in the church fathers - even those like Irenaeus who believed in an actual millenium!

    I guess you can see where I'm going! I think historic premill is tenable, but I just cannot see a scriptural justification for a rapture.


    :D
     
  5. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    The context of 1 Thess. 4:13-18 have do nothing with the timing of rapture. This context talks about concerning of our love ones who already died in Christ, what will happen to them. Paul gave us the good news, he tells us, that we do not be sorrow over them. Be exciting, when they died, they are now with the Lord, when Christ shall comes again, He shall bring with them from heaven(vs. 14), and our love ones will come to live again from the graves, then anyone of us who are alive and remain shall be caught up, to meet Christ in the air, SO.... we shall see our love ones again, that would be a great reunion day at Christ's coming, also, we shall be EVER with the Lord means we shall always be with the Lord forever and ever. That why we are commanded to comfort one each other, do not be sorrow about their love ones who already die. Give them comfortbale, and have hope, and will see their love ones again. That what the context of 1 Thess. 4:13-18 talking about.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  6. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Charles,

    I'm interested in your take on the following text:

    "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thess 2:7 & 8

    I personally take this in the following manner:

    1. The only one who is now restraining a complete Satanic takeover is the Holy Spirit.

    2. The lawless one speaks of the anti-christ.

    3. That he (the anti-christ) will not be revealed until the Holy Spirit is withdrawn (my take) from the Earth.

    4. As born again believers, sealed with the Holy Spirit...When God calls His Holy Spirit from the Earth, we go with Him.

    Not a stand alone text.....

    What is your interpretation?
     
  7. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    P.S. NKJV translation.
     
  8. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rev. 4:1 have do nothing with rapture. Pretrib misinterpreting this verse.

    Apostle John told us about his experince of supernatural communication- 'revelation'. That he received a vision about heaven. When after John heard the message from Jesus Christ(Revelation 2-3) then, he saw other vision from the heaven. A voice from the heaven told John, to come up hither. A voice was calling toward John a perosn only, not call upon to all individual of the Church. A voice was calling toward John, asked for come up here. Then, suddenly John's spirit went up to heaven(obivously, through his experince of supernatural vision(revelation). And I believe the voice of Rev. 4:1 was an angel, not Jesus Christ. An angel called John to come up there, and to show him the future things.

    Word, 'come hither' find three times in book of Revelation, which was spoken toward John- Rev. 4:1; 17:1; and 21:9. All of these do nothing with rapture. All of these were spoken of called John to come here and to show him the things, that's all.

    Also, John does not saying he saw "Church" appears up in the heaven throughout chapter 4 to 19 either.

    So, pretrib's "proof" of Church's asbence of Revelation 4-19 is a weak argument.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  9. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi DPT....

    I would value your take on the scripture 2 Thess 2:7-8 as above.

    Thanks
     
  10. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    2 Thess. 2:6-7 saying nothing of "Holy Spirit", and Holy Spirit shall being taken out of earth. That is their weak intepreting.

    The context of 2 Thess. 2:3-8 talking about Antichrist, not Holy Spirit. Paul tells us of verse 6-7, that Antichrist(Satan) cannot be revealed, because it is not his time yet(vs. 6). Satan is now being holding back from being to be revealed. Till when apostasy becomes worsen, God knows when the right to come, God shall allow Satan to be loosed out of the way(pictured as Satan shall be loosed off the chains), then go out and to deceived the nations. 2 Thess. 2:7-8 telling us, Satan shall be out of the midst, and then to be revealed, and shall deceived the nations for a little season(great tribulation). That what the context of 2 Thess. 2:3-8 talking about.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  11. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi DPT, thanks for your answer....

    Have a couple of questions though (for clarification purposes)...

    Who is "He that letteth (restrains)"

    and

    What is preventing a complete satanic takeover (of the Earth) such as we see in the book of revelation?

    Thanks
     
  12. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    'That letteth' in Greek translation(Textus Receptus) says, 'hold back', obivously, Paul tells us, Satan is holding back, who makes Satan holding back? By God, of course, God is Holy Spirit as trinity. God holds Satan from being to be revealed till apostasy("falling away" of vs. 3) become worsen, then God knows when the right time to come, God shall allow Satan to be loosed out of the midst, and to be revealed.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  13. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    McGyver,

    I see 2 Thess 2:7-9 as being reflective of Satan being bound until the coming of the Lord when he will be released and destroyed (an idea which is also present in the noncanonical books of 1 Enoch, Tobit, Jubilees etc). This is likely in parallel to Rev 20.

    If this is referring to a what happens after the church is "raptured" (and thus the Spirit is gone) then why does Paul even bother to warn (and then try to comfort) the Thessalonians?
     
  14. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you both for your responses.....

    DPT, I am a little fuzzy as to your assertion; I would come back to the Holy Spirit being the one who is now restraining vs (and I may not have understood you correctly) Satan holding back.

    Charles, I appreciate your position. May I ask your opinion as to whether Satan is bound at this time?
     
  15. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mcgyver,

    Yes. How could the Resurrection NOT have bound him? I don't think that thebinding is meant to convey that he can do nothing at all. Consider that in 2 Thess 2 Satan seems to be at work, albiet "mysteriously", only to be let loose for destruction.

    This imagery is similar to that of Is 27:1 in which YHWH will visit "leviathan" with His sword. This can be seen in terms of YHWH renewing creation, just as He "cut in pieces" Rahab before the first creation.
     
  16. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Charles,

    Not to be contentious, but how then would this "binding" tie into the binding found in Rev. 20 where we are told "so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished", which occurs after the appearing of our Lord?

    Another question:
    In your opinion, how do we determine the difference between allegory and literal meaning in the 2 Thess (or indeed) in any passage?
    I know that that is a difficult question to answer due to space constraints, I am simply trying to gain insight into your position.

    Thanks
     
  17. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mcgyver,

    I see them as the same. Also, regarding Rev 20, I think this is a recapitulation of Rev 12. The imagery is very similar! As you might guess I don't see the millenium here as a literal thousand years. I see the binding of Satan as having occurred with the Death and Resurrection of Christ and extending until the second coming.

    Regarding the literal/allegory thing... That's a tough one. I generally would not say that amillenialists see much "allegory" in scripture. There is no deep symbolic meaning implied. Rather we try to appreciate that some language is figurative, as is often the case with apocalyptic writing.

    Personally I have always tried to see things in the context of the rest of scripture as well as some noncanonical writings. The OT as well as the noncanonical Jewish stuff (Qumran, targums, pseudepigrapha, apocrypha) all point to a return of the Lord in triumph, followed by judgment. This is important since this represents the backdrop against which most early Christians would have seen the NT writings. The appropriate context should dictate meaning. It has been said that if the "plain sense" makes sense that that is the best interpretation - I reject that as 100% arbitrary!

    As I said - I understand the position that sees a literal 1000 year reign after the return of Christ (although that is not my position) - I just cannot see where scripture suggests that any sort of "rapture" will occur.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Charles,

    Although not in total agreement, I do appreciate your explaination, and the thoughtful presentation.
    I'm going to have to take a break here, though Friday is my "day off" I need to prepare for Men's fellowship this evening.....
    Look forward to continuing our discussion in the future!
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    The purpose of Satan is now holding back(2 Thess. 2:6-7), because God wants Church to spreading the gospel to the world, God desires to see everyone to hear the gospel and repentance for salvation. God does not allow Satan to be loosed out of the midst and to deceived the nations, that why God wants Church to spreading the gospel to the world to be saved. But, when God sees Christians are forsaking, backslidding, falling into sins, compromising with the world, that is called apostasy('falling away'). God knows when the right time to come, then shall allow Satan to be loosed out of the way and to revealed to the world, and shall deceived the world for a little season- great tribulation.

    2 Thess. 2:6-8 support Revelation chapter 12, 17:8, and chapter 20.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     

Share This Page

Loading...