Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flying Thru the Clouds

Last week I flew to Florida. Because I had a window seat I was able to look out as we were flying. At one point the plane ended up flying above the clouds.

Looking up, the sky was a clear blue, while below and ahead were the billowy white clouds. Since I'm one of those type of people that likes to know where I'm going and what I'm going to do, I realized that all I could do was trust that the pilot knew where we were going.

Occasionally I could look out and see the ground directly below, but when I looked ahead, I could only see the white clouds that obscured the ground.

Suddenly I realized that that was a good analogy of my Christian walk especially when it comes to end times prophecy. All I can see most of the time is what is happening right now. Occasionally thru the Word we can get a glimpse of what's ahead, but usually future events are hidden in the mists of time.

That is why it is absolutely vital that I know that Christ is in the pilot's seat, He knows exactly what's ahead and as long as I trust Him I'll get where I'm going. However, I must allow Him to be the pilot, I can't even be the co-pilot...I must just be a passenger, putting my full trust in a Pilot I cannot see.

Who's in your pilot seat? Is it you? If so, how do you know where you're going? Flying by the seat of your pants is not the way to get to your desired destination. You might want to consider inviting Jesus Christ to take the seat and become the Pilot of your life.

Guaranteed the clouds ahead are looking dark and menacing. The only sure way to navigate the looming storm is to trust in your Pilot to get you through.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In response to a comment on a group I belong to:

I grew up believing in a pre-trib rapture. However, in my mid-30's I began a study of the timing of the rapture and it was then that the Holy Spirit (I believe) directed me to create on a sheet of paper a simple chart. There were three columns: "Pre", "Mid", "Post" (now understood as "pre-wrath") .

Then I took my Strong's Concordance and found every scripture in the Bible that mentioned the rapture. Now that was a little tricky because there is nowhere in the Bible that the word "rapture" is used. So of course I was looking for evidence of the "catching away" "meeting in the air" etc.

Any scripture that fit a timing designation was placed in that column. What I ended up with was: 3 single scriptures, taken out of context in the "pre-trib" column; 1 single scripture, taken out of context in the "mid-trib" column; and entire chapters in the "post-trib/pre- wrath" column!

That was all done without the aid of the computer. Since then I have done a number of studies with the aid of a computerized study bible, and the conclusion remains the same: The pre-trib rapture is NOT biblical.

Here are some problems with the pre-trib rapture theory (aside from the fact that it was never heard of until around the early 1800's when a young Scottish girl "saw" the pre-trib rapture during a trance. The theory was brought to the US by a man named John Darby).

Problems:

No where in the Bible does it indicate that there is going to be a "secret" return of Jesus Christ...a "3rd coming" so to speak. Instead Jesus second return is described as being highly visible ("like lightening from the east to the west"), extremely noisy "at the last trumpet" "with a shout".

Mentioning the trumpet: the rapture is to occur at the "last trump"...since there's only one place in the Bible where there is a mention of more than one trumpet sounding in regards to end-time events, the "last trump" must be the 7th trumpet.

There another problem with the pre-trib rapture theory: after the rapture all believers are to partake of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb...well if there is a pre-trib rapture taking only those who are believers at the time of the rapture, but there are many who will come to believe during the tribulation. ..are they "second-class" members of the Bride? Because they are obviously left out of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because it occurs during the tribulation on earth.

That is entirely unbiblical (the last to work is not paid any less than those who first came to work).

Those are just a few of the problems among many with the pre-trib rapture theory. It's fine to wait to see, but for many (especially in the US) or those who were raised in the church being taught a pre-trib rapture they are under the impression that once the Christians disappear that they will still have time to get right with God and are willing to go through the tribulation so they can do what they want right now.

Surprise! That isn't going to happen. Fence-sitters and those who are back-slidden, wanting to partake of the "pleasures of the world", are going to be those who will accept the anti-Christ first (God will send them strong delusion that they might believe the lie "because they loved not the truth"). There is no second chance. One must either be serving God at the time of the rapture and thus go to meet the Lord in the air or they will be forever lost and probably die during the time immediately following the rapture when God pours on His wrath on a rebellious world.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Revelations - Literal or Symbolic

There was a discussion on a one of the groups about whether Revelation was supposed to be a literal or symbolic prophecy. Here's my answer.

The problem I have with this absolute "literal" interpretation is that how does one handle the following scriptures?

Rev 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.


Rev 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.


Rev 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

Rev 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

You can't have it both ways. John was describing 21st century technology with 1st century understanding. For example:

Rev 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; Here is "something" that resemble a mountain that's burning cast into the sea...that sounds more like a "planet X" burning as it enters the atmosphere.

Rev 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

Rev 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Is there really a "white horse", or a "red horse" that we're going to see? I don't think so. I think much of Revelation must be looked at in light of current events and recent history.

Imagine if you were John and the vision you were given showed a light as bright as the sun "falling" to earth... "burning"...what if what you were seeing was a nuclear missile "burning" as it headed to it's target? What if the reference to Wormword isn't referring to a planet but to a time when mankind develops the ability to destory the entire planet with the same by-product produced at a place called Chernobyl? Just an idea.

I think much of Revelation can only be deciphered as one looks back on the 19th and 20th centuries. I believe each seal covers specific events, eras, governments, etc. that have occurred in those time periods.

White horse - covers the most time and I believe is directly tied to the era when the British government was at the height of it's empire...it conquered a number of lands claiming them for the "crown"

Red horse - In the 20th century Communism has definitely "taken peace" from the earth. It came into power around 1917 and resulted in massive deaths.

Black horse - Perhaps the time of the Great Depression, which then led to the WWII

Pale Horse - is already riding, as the 20th century has seen the greatest number of deaths worldwide due to war, famine, and even bacteria and viruses

The 5th seal...had a thought the other night that this seal could already have been open, as the 20th century into the 21st century as seen the greatest number of Christians, worldwide, killed for their faith.

Therefore, I believe we are waiting for the opening of the 6th seal.

I believe the trumpets cover events that are much shorter in duration, but are significant enough to be noticed as being a fulfillment of scripture and therefore a sign of the times. I do believe they happen concurrent with the opening of the seals.