I agree. The Mystery Religion of Babylon began with Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz at the Tower of Babel. The first of the 7 kingdoms of Rev. 17:10 is Babel."
Rev 17:5 says of the harlot church of today, "upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." I was amazed to find out that the church of the present-day Ecclesiastic Roman Empire is called "the Mother Church."
> > The only assistance needed to promote the Antichrist to world prominence would be an assembly of kings and nations. THE BEST CURRENT CANDIDATE FOR THAT WORLD PLATFORM IS THE UNITED NATIONS, RATHER THAN, AS SOME SPECULATE, THE EMERGING UNITED EUROPE, OR THE UNITED STATES....
> > Joseph Seiss viewed the woman and the beast as historical, harkening back to the days of Nimrod. Seiss believed that more was involved than just the "times of the Gentiles," although Daniel implied that Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was the first:
> > "We have seen that she began with Nimrod, bears the name of Babylon, and is not destroyed until the Day of Judgment. The seven imperial mountains on which she rides must therefore fill up the whole interval…. The reference here is to kings, to mountains of temporal dominion, to empires. It must therefore take in all of them…. Of these seven regal mountains, John was told ‘the five are fallen,’ dead, passed away, their day over; ‘the one is,’ that is, was standing, at that moment, was then in sway and power; ‘the other is not yet come, and when he shall come, he must continue a little time.’ What regal mountain, then, was in power at the time John wrote? There can be no question on that point; it was the Roman Empire. Thus, then, we ascertain and identify the sixth in the list, which shows what sort of "kings" the angel meant. Of the same class with this, and belonging to the same category, there are five others — five that had then already run their course and passed away.
> > "But what five imperial mountains like Rome had been and gone, up to that time? Is history so obscure as not to tell us with unmistakable certainty? Preceding Rome the world had but five great names or nationalities answering to imperial Rome, and those scarce a schoolboy ought to miss. They are Greece, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt; no more, and no less. And these all were imperial powers like Rome. Here, then, are six of these regal mountains; the seventh is not yet come. When it comes it is to endure but a short time. This implies that each of the others continues a long time…" (Apocalypse, pp. 392,393)....
I think the 7 kingdoms are Babel I, Babylon II, Media-Persia, Greece, Imperial Rome, Ecclesiastical Rome, and Babylon III. Rev. 17:10 says, "five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come."
Rev. 17 is written as if the Pre-Trib Rapture has just taken place. Verse 14 says, "they that ARE with him (Christ, the 'Lord of lords, and King of kings') are called, and chosen, and faithful." At the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, " Verse 12 says, "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received NO KINGDOM AS YET; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Therefore, at the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, the five kingdoms that have fallen are Babel I, Babylon II, Media-Persia, Greece and Imperial Rome. The kingdom that "is," has to be Ecclesiastical Rome. The leader is the Pope. The kingdom that is yet to come in the Tribulation is Babylon III. The first leader will be the Beast of Rev. 13:2-10. The False Prophet will take over Mid-Trib.
As Babel I and Babylon II empires were literally ruled from the city of Babylon, which is now in Iraq, I think the Babylon III empire will be ruled from Babylon, Iraq. I expect the headquarters of the UN and UR (United Religions) to be built there. I think the UN presence in Babylon will be thought of as a deterrent to Saddam Hussein and other nearby Arab rulers that would like to wipe Israel off the map.
7-17-03 - VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Frustrated by diplomacy's failure to avoid war in Iraq, Pope John Paul will challenge the world to come up with new international laws to prevent future conflicts, the Vatican said Thursday.
The pope, one of the most strident anti-war voices during the build-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, has chosen international law as the theme for the next WORLD PEACE DAY on January 1, 2004, a statement said.
"The recent war in Iraq has plainly shown the fragility of international law, especially when it comes to the workings of the United Nations," the Vatican said.
"Humanity faces a crucial challenge: if it fails to create truly efficient institutions to stave off the punishment of war, the risk is that force will prevail over law," it added....
See this URL for the whole article:
In I Cor. 9:24-27, Paul said, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the PRIZE? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible (Rev. 3:11). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a CASTAWAY."
2. Would you please elaborate on the passage below as it has always been very confusing to myself and many others I have spoken with? You seem to have made it a positive when all others I have even heard speak on it have made it very negative.
If the saved could be lost, they couldn't be saved again. Heb. 6:4-6 says, "it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost ('the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.' Eph. 4:30), And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
Thanks very much for any time spent on these two inquiries!
Yes, Paul was saved. He started the chapter saying, "Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?" That means that he was actually accounted worthy of being classed as a virgin. In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Mt. 25, we find out that a foolish virgin can be left behind when the Bridegroom (Christ) comes.
In Luke 12:45,46, we see the foolish servant cut off. It says, "if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., cut him off), and will appoint him his portion (the Tribulation) with the UNBELIEVERS."
Mt. 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (pretenders): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The one cut off is like the man who was cast out because he didn't have on "a wedding garment" in Mt. 22:11. Fine linen literally stands for the righteousnesses of saints (Rev. 19:8). This is Christ's righteousness imputed to us plus our righteous acts when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Mt. 22:14 says, "For many are called, but few are CHOSEN."
In I Cor. 9:24-27, Paul tells believers how to earn an incorruptible CROWN, i.e., how to avoid being cut off, or cast out, when the Bridegroom comes.
At the time of the Rapture, Rev. 17:14 says, "Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him (Christ) are called, and CHOSEN, and faithful." They are not castaways.
We cannot work for salvation, but we can work for rewards. To participate in the first Rapture is a prize we can win. We can do something so we will not be a castaway at the first Rapture. We can do something so we will "be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (in Heaven, Rev. 1:13).
We can confess our sins committed after accepting Christ so He can cleanse us of all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). This will buy us more oil of the Holy Spirit. It will well up within us as a fountain of living water.
In John 7:37-39, "Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive".
We can be temperate in all things. We have a sin nature which is associated with the body. We can suppress our tendency to sin. We can be faithful so as not to be a castaway. We need to be called, and chosen, and faithful.
> > Would you please elaborate on the passage below (Heb. 6:4-6) as it has always been very confusing to myself and many others I have spoken with? You seem to have made it a positive when all others I have even heard speak on it have made it very negative.
The way I see it, those that are truly saved, that Christ has baptized with the Holy Spirit, can't be lost. In John 10:27-30, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."
To me, that makes Heb. 6:4-6 hypothetical. IF they have been "made partakers of the Holy Ghost," IF they could "fall away," then they could not be renewed "again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Agape
That's the total number of stars in the known universe, according to a study by Australian astronomers.
It's also about 10 times as many stars as grains of sand on all the world's beaches and deserts.
I can only guess what you mean. Surely this article hasn't convinced you to doubt the Pre-Trib Rapture. What point did he prove? This is just his opinion. He can be right, or as in this case, he can be wrong. It looks like he has adopted some other people's opinions instead of figuring out for himself what Scripture really indicates.
All that stuff about Margaret MacDonald, et al, doesn't hold water. The Rapture was understood way before that. Below is a quote from an approximately1500-word sermon, "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World". I have a copy in English and one in Latin. The author is Pseudo-Ephraem, thought to be Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373 AD), well-known in Syrian church history. Emphasis is mine.
He wrote, "All the saints and elect of God are gathered together BEFORE THE TRIBULATION, which is to come, and are TAKEN TO THE LORD, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins." (Alexander, Paul J. "The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition [Berkeley: Univ. of CA Press, 1985] p. 210).
Here is some more from the copy in my possession. "Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and PREPARE OURSELVES FOR THE MEETING OF THE LORD CHRIST, SO THAT HE MAY DRAW US FROM THE CONFUSION, WHICH OVERWHELMS ALL THE WORLD? Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming (advent) of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time. Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: 'Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord?' FOR ALL THE SAINTS AND ELECT OF GOD ARE GATHERED, PRIOR TO THE TRIBULATION THAT IS TO COME, AND ARE TAKEN TO THE LORD LEST THEY SEE THE CONFUSION THAT IS TO OVERWHELM THE WORLD BECAUSE OF OUR SINS."
Early Christians thought the Rapture and Second Advent would come soon, and they understood the sequence of events. The gathering and taking saints to the Lord was to come "prior to the Tribulation." That washes away all the talk about 1830, Margaret MacDonald, Edward Irving, Darby, Scofield and Clarence Larkin. That is far from the truth. The Rapture was understood long before that late date.
"And there will be a great tribulation, as there has not been since people began to be on earth...and no one is able to sell or buy of the grain of the harvest, unless he is the one who has the serpentine sign sign on the forehead or the hand. And when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know and on the day which the enemy or the son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty, with the sign of salvation going before him, and also even with all the powers of the heavens with the whole chorus of the saints".
> > The word "rapture" does not appear anywhere in the Bible.
Neither does Trinity. That doesn't mean we throw it out. The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word "harpazo," caught up, represents what we call the Rapture. We got this word from the Latin version I have where "rapiemir" was used to translate the Greek "harpazo." Bringing "rapiemir" over into English, the Rapture began to be spoken of. It is still the catching up of the saints, no matter what language it is translated into.
> > "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and behold a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne."
> > They say John was a type here of the Church being caught up off the earth into heaven. But it says no such thing. It does not even imply that John left the Isle of Patmos during this time that he was "in the Spirit". In fact, in Revelation 1:10 John states that "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega". Here he was in the Spirit first, then heard the trumpet. I have heard no one argue that he was a type of the "rapture" here, in Revelation 1.
I say he was a type of the Rapture here, in Revelation 1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a dramatic production. The script was produced by Jesus. As director, he cast himself and John as actors and angels as supporting cast. John is narrator. The time Jesus chose for the setting was when the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in the first chapter (1:3) and "at hand" in the last chapter (22:10). Jesus signed off in Rev. 22:20 saying, "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture. At the Second Coming, every eye will see him. That will take more time.
Like our movie directors, Jesus started with an Introduction followed by a Preview--of the Rapture. Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is (at the Rapture), and which was (at the First Advent), and which is to come (at the Second Advent), the Almighty." Then John explains the experience that is the Preview of the Rapture.
He was on Patmos, which means mortal. Thus, it is understood that he goes from mortal on Earth to being in the Spirit in Heaven. He said that he "was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was (lit., became) in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a GREAT VOICE, AS OF A TRUMPET, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first (YHWH King of Israel) and the last (YHWH of hosts, the Redeemer, Isa. 44:6)." That seems to be words that we will hear right after the Rapture.
To see what the great voice, as of a trumpet said when John was caught up to Heaven, we turn to Rev. 4:1,2. There, we read, "the FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter (after the Rapture). and immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in HEAVEN."
As soon as John was caught up to Heaven in the Preview, he saw the 7 candlesticks that are the 7 churches (v. 20). In the midst was Christ, the Almighty. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire...and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars (the star performers of the 7 churches): and out of his mouth went a sharp TWOEDGED SWORD (to cut off the unwise servants, Luke 12:46): and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."
In Rev. 4:4, we see the 24 elders crowned and sitting on their thrones. John is one of the 24 elders. They are the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12) and the 12 apostles (Rev. 21:14). All 23 other elders are caught up in the Pre-Trib Rapture with John. The elders are our representatives in the Government of God. They present our prayers to Christ.
These saints are "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). The elders are only out of Israel. These are the saints out of all nations that have just gotten to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture. The Tribulation starts in Rev. 6, when the first seal is broken. However, the saints out of all nations are in Heaven when Jesus is given the 7-sealed Title Deed of the Earth. They are there before the first seal is broken. They are there Pre-Trib.
In Rev. 3:11, Jesus warns us, saying, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." As wise virgins, we must not allow ourselves to be talked out of our PRIZE, being caught up to Heaven in the first Rapture. The foolish virgins are "castaways" (I Cor. 9:24-27).
> > Another verse they use is in Revelation 3:10... "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." This, they say, proves we are removed from the earth during the time of tribulation. But it actually says no such thing. In fact, verse 9 says the opposite. It tells us that God will bring the enemy down before our feet. We have to be here for that to happen.
The word translated "FROM" above is "ek." It is translated "out of" in Rev. 5:9. In 3:10, it means we will be kept OUT OF the Tribulation that will come upon the whole world after we are gone. The very next verse is the one that warns us not to let any man take our crown.
> > Finally there are the "Post-tribulation" people. They believe that the Church goes through the entire seven years of tribulation
There are two trumps and two Raptures. I Thess. 4:13-18 is the first "trump of God." I Cor. 15:51,52 is the "last trump" of God.
Nu. 10:1-4 tells us about the type of the two trumps. It says, "the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them (both), all the assembly (including the Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath raptured ones, Heb. 12:23) shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet (i.e., at the Pre-Trib Rapture), then the princes (patriarchs), which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."
> > Now, the pre-tribulation rapture people say that this scripture proves that God will remove His people from this earth during the tribulation. It proves no such thing, and in fact, it says exactly the opposite. We will be here while the wrath of God is being poured out, but it shall not be poured out upon us, for we shall be hid in Christ. We shall be in an Ark of safety, as Noah was. "As it was in the days of Noah".
The first Rapture is as the days of Noah. Water fell, symbol of the Holy Spirit. The second Rapture is as the days of Lot. Fire fell that same day. Even so will it be on the first day of Christ's millennial kingdom. The asteroids of Rev. 8:8,10 will impact Earth.
If the Tribulation saints were here during God's Wrath, they would miss out receiving their rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven.
Rev. 11:15-18 says, "the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art (on the Day of God's Wrath), and wast (at the Pre-Trib Rapture), and art to come (at the Second Advent 7 months later, Eze. 39:12,13); because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry (Gog's army is attacking Israel), and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be JUDGED (at the Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven), and that thou shouldest give REWARD unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, SMALL AND GREAT; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." At this time, all believers are in Heaven and all living unbelievers are on Earth. Only the unbelievers receive God's Wrath. We will only see it with our eyes.
> > Let me quote from Ephesians 6:13 to see how plain it really is: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand IN THE EVIL DAY, and having done all, TO STAND." Not fly away, but stand! That's the gospel Paul preached. That's the true teaching concerning the Day of the Lord, the Great Tribulation, "that evil day".
That passage is not talking about the Day of God's Wrath. Verses 14 and 15 go on to say, "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." If this was talking about the Day of God's Wrath, they wouldn't be preparing to give out the gospel of peace.
> > The "escape" that the Bible teaches is found in I Corinthians 10:13..."God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." God and His faithful people have always been victorious, and our "hiding place" is in Christ. "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). It is the fearful, the faithless, or the wicked, who seek a geographical hiding place. Some want to leave the earth and go somewhere else while some cry for the natural rocks and mountains to hide them. (Rev 6:15) Today, some are seeking a hiding place in some natural place, a farm, a desert, a foreign country, a wilderness area, etc. But it will not work. It is only another form of "self-rapture". You cannot escape from the devil or Antichrist that way.
There will be an escape before the Tribulation and one at the end of the shortened Great Tribulation. Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." This escape is the Pre-Trib Rapture.
> > "But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
> > Now who was taken in Noah's day? The wicked! Will it be different now? No, it will be like it was in Noah's day. That's what the Bible says. And if there is still any doubt in your mind as to whether the saints will be "taken when Jesus comes", let us turn to Luke 17:27. While Matthew says that the "flood came and took them all away", Luke gives the same account of this teaching of Jesus, except that in Luke we read: "and the flood came and destroyed them all". So to be "taken" means to be destroyed by the judgments that are coming upon the earth. Do you still want to be taken?
Yes. The ones that were taken up in the Ark were not the wicked ones. The Rapture is like Noah and his family being floated up toward Heaven in the Ark, which represents Christ our Saviour.
> > In the early part of this 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus is telling of the signs of His second coming and the end of this age. In verse 21 He speaks of the Great Tribulation, and in verse 22 He says that the "elect" will be here at that time. And in verse 24 He says that the false prophets and false Christs would try to deceive "the very elect". Then in verses 29-31 He gives a sequence of events:
> > "After the tribulation of those days, the sun and moon shall be darkened and the powers of heaven shaken, then the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, then His angels shall gather the elect together."
> > Now this should be plain enough, and stop all arguments.
All of Mt. 24:31 says, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other." These are the ones who were caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture. They are gathered not from Earth, but from one end of Heaven to the other.
Mark 13:27 says, "And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH (the Pre-Wrath Rapture) to the uttermost part of HEAVEN." All saints are to be called to the general assembly in Heaven that day (Heb. 12:23). It is Christ's Coronation Day, the day of the Marriage of the Lamb and the Judgment Seat of Christ. All saints are in Heaven that day. All unbelievers are on Earth. Judgment on the unbelievers will bring on them the asteroid impacts of Rev. 8:8,10. The dead will lay around the Earth. The worldwide earthquake will bring down every wall (Eze. 38:20). The cities of the nations will fall (Rev. 16:18). Babylon, Iraq, will be destroyed.
It is a good thing that "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess. 5:9).
Eze. 38:20 says of that day, "the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence (paniym, face, i.e., the Sign of the Son of Man seen in the sky), and the mountains (asteroids) shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground." Agape
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