Pro and Con 419

Uploaded 11-5-99

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Cangratulations Marilyn, in P&C 406 you have written, in my opinion, the first true interpretation of II Thess 2:3. Critics of the pre-trib rapture often base their arguments on this verse. However, I have discovered, just as you have that only studying bible commentaries by others, does not unleash the total power of the Holy Spirit in believers. Every commentary I had heard or read, interprets "falling away" (Strong's #646 - a fally away) as a decline in accepting the true gospel. I expect the highest level of accuracy from the Apostle Paul's teachings, after all he was a Pharisee.

***From Marilyn: All Scripture is God-breathed, and accurate in the original editions.

Also, Paul was writing to believers at the Church of Thessalonica, not heathen, and I have to believe Paul would take this as extremely important. Strong's 646 is a feminine of 647 (bride?), 647 adds the word "seperative". Also related is Strong's 575, which adds the words "away in a sense of place, time, relation" and "departure" and "completion". From 575 and 2476 we get to Strong's 868 which adds the words "to remove" and "depart". The more we dig, the less it sounds like the widely accepted commentary doesn't it? Since Bible translation from the manuscripts adds the human factor, it makes good sense as you have pointed out, to study more than one source. And pray always for the Holy Spirit to guide and teach!

***Some people are so intent on proving a pre-conceived opinion that they are blinded to what II Thess. 2:2,8 really says in the Greek. They don't see it, because they don't want to see it. It would require a reassessment of everything they think they know. Many would rather follow what someone else has said, assuming that the one they are following did his homework and is right, when maybe that person is following another too. Man can be wrong. The only safe way is to determine what Scripture says in its original languages and let the chips fall where they may. If we force things into a mold, how do we know the mold is shaped correctly? We are supposed to study to show ourselves approved unto God. That means studying Scripture, not just what man has written about it.

...II Thess 2:2 reads "Day of Christ" in the KJV, but you are correct, it really is day of the Lord. More confusion (Babylon), and ammunition (false) for the critics of the pre-trib rapture..."Day of Christ' really throws you off the truth, and ruins your ability to make a proper conclusion.

...There really is an increase in knowledge being revealed in this end time. I am observing that some of the Evangelical Christians who have been teaching in both print and presentation for a LONG time, are having trouble answering to questions about pre-trib rapture, pre-wrath rapture, and the end of the age. I stress emphatically, I am not being critical of anyone, and know they TRULY believe what they learned a long time ago. The most gracious ones admit only what has been revealed to them in the past, and are humble. Others become quite agitated and almost rage filled, for reasons I do not understand. These two groups seem well illustrated in all of your Pro and Cons. Blessings to you Marilyn for treating them with such Agape Love and patience, you are a good role model, and I adopt your disposition. Thanks.

***Thank you. Not only are we to treat the brethren (believers) with agape love, but we should take a lesson from Jesus. He didn't have shouting matches with anyone.

...I had to listen carefully, but Pastor John Hagee, in his sermon on "from Daniel to Doomsday" stated clearly that he believes the pre-trib rapture is in the year 2000. He used the 1948 "Israel becomes a nation", plus 50 years being the year of Jubilee (1998), and stated clearly that Jesus Christ is coming for his church in the third year after Jubilee (2000). I have the tape transcript of his sermon and checked this out carefully....

***I hope he is right. I have called the four years in the parable of the barren fig tree in Lu. 13:6-9 Israel's grace years. The first three could be the "SPACE TO REPENT" mentioned in Rev. 2:21. It fits the situation at Sinai. There, "the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them TO DAY AND TO MORROW, and let them WASH THEIR CLOTHES (i.e., repent), And BE READY against the THIRD DAY: for the THIRD DAY the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai" (Ex. 19:10.11).

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Lutherans and Catholics settle five-century debate on salvation 12.01 p.m. ET (1610 GMT) October 30, 1999 By Burt Herman, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) ‹ Ending an almost 500-year debate that started when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door, the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches plan to sign a joint declaration on Sunday putting aside their differences over the way humanity achieves salvation.

The historic ceremony is to take place in Augsburg, where the document that outlines the foundations of the Lutheran church was drawn up in 1530 in what was a failed attempt to reconcile the differences that split Christianity during the Protestant Reformation.

The dispute centers on the question of how to get to heaven. Catholics believe that people's actions can make a difference, while Lutherans believe salvation is based on faith alone.

While it seems arcane in today's world, the dispute set the stage for the division of Germany in the 17th century that sparked the Thirty Years War. Protestant princes and foreign powers battled the Roman Catholic empire of the Hapsburgs.

At the heart of the agreement to be signed Sunday is a statement that faith is essential in salvation: "Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works."

After 30 years of consultation among theologians, the two sides announced in June that they would sign the agreement on the day 482 years after Luther posted his theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

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Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark If cash is outlawed as the Federal Reserve suggests here, an identification card or mark will then be required!

Fed V.P. Wants Tracking Technology Embedded in U.S. Currency

A Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has now proposed that Americans be penalized for carrying cash, that tracking information be recorded on every dollar, and that perhaps the Fed should prevent Americans from withdrawing cash altogether. Banker Paranoia has reached new heights...

October 28, 1999. Y2K watchers knew this was coming: the attempt at making cash illegal. Now the Federal Reserve has taken the first step towards that Police State policy by suggesting that U.S. currency should include tracking information that would record how long someone has been holding a particular Federal Reserve Note (dollar bill). According to the suggestion by Marvin Goodfriend, a Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the longer someone holds currency, the less it will be worth. In other words, there would be a tax on holding currency.

Y2K Newswire leaned of this through Declan McCullagh, author of the WIRED News story covering the same topic. McCullagh, a reporter who thrives on privacy issues, nailed the Fed on this story. In it, he quotes Goodfriend saying, "The magnetic strip could visibly record when a bill was last withdrawn from the banking system. A carry tax could be deducted from each bill upon deposit according to how long the bill was in circulation..."

The idea behind the paranoid suggestion? This would deter hoarding of currency.

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I wonder if this refers to those raptured at the first trump receiving instruction for their assigned tasks and the new technology in the New Millennium:

Is 40:14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?

My reply

Job 5:24 says, "thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt VISIT THY HABITATION, and shall not sin." I can't think of a Scripture that says that we will be instructed, but surely we will. We will have things to do later. Psa. 149:5-9 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints."

I doubt that Isa. 40:14 is talking about the saints. Verse 13 and 14 in the NIV says, "Who has understood the mind of the LORD (Yahweh), or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?"

Clinton, Arafat and Barak are in Oslo, Norway for peace talks. Today's (11-1-99) Press-Enterprise says, "At issue is a framework for a 'final status' agreement that the leaders hope to finish next year."

Reading Psa. 78:35 in the Concordant version is neat. It says, "Then they remembered that Elohim is their Rock, And El, the Supreme, is their Redeemer."

The KJV has, "And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer."

I Cor. 10:4 (KJV) says, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." Christ is the rock, the high God, Elohim, El, the Supreme, the Redeemer. It fits right in with Isa. 9:6 (KJV): "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

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When I first heard the recent news headline of mankind reaching the six billion people mark, I wondered if this somehow fit in with Christ returning at the end of six thousand years of mankind's history. Afterall, six is the number of man. What do you think?

My reply

It is possible since God is omniscient.

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wow... a monument to one world religion... look carefully at the last 2 paragraphs
Monument symbolising lasting peace in the world blessed by the pope A huge monument symbolising lasting peace in the world was blessed by Pope John Paul II, before it was shipped to Bethlehem, on Thursday. The new millennium monument will be shipped to Bethlehem in time for the birth of Christ, on December 25.
The sculpture, known as "2000 and Beyond" is six metres high, weighs several tons and is made of chains.
The iron chains symbolise all the religions in the world, with one common aim, that is peace.

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Re: Thanks
I found your web site by requesting sites relating to the rapture and the two witnesses and was drawn into page after page of your studies. For all this work, I thank God and you. He is so loving and answers our questions and gives us what we need when we need it.
Most of all, I am doubly encouraged and admonished to love Him with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, to confess my sins ongoingly, and to pray to be able to stand for His coming and appearing. I was given dreams as a child and young girl about the rapture and in both angels appeared to lift me into the sky. Through years of rebellion and a life headed for hell, these dreams sustained me until I could cry out to Jesus to save me. Praise Him! He did and He does! I want to be ready to go and never miss an opportunity to tell others about Him and His coming.
Thank you again for being a powerful and faithful witness. Your responses to others speak volumes about the love of God in you. Please remember me to Him as I will you.
Grace and peace through Christ our Lord.

My reply

I appreciate your sharing this with me. I am so glad you are his and ready. Nothing is more important. Someone nice replaced my tattered old Scofield Bible with a splended new one. It is perfect. Everything is on the same section of the page that I am used to, but larger. I took it with me today to Cardiac Rehab. While Ed exercised, I read in it and couldn't help but notice several places that mention being ready. Mt. 24:44 says, "Therefore be ye also READY." Mt. 25:10 says, "they that were READY went in with him to the MARRIAGE: and the door was shut." Lu. 12:40 says, "Be ye therefore READY also."

I prayed for you, and I appreciate your prayers in my behalf.

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From South Africa
I still enjoy your site tremendously and pray that you will never get discouraged. I have a question to ask you and hope that you can clarify it for me. What happens to the "Laodicean" or "foolish virgin" type of believer that has already died? They are still believers which perhaps have fallen short by not having confessed their sins. Now as I understand it the pretribulation saints (those who are alive at the time), who will be raptured at the breaking of the first seal, will be gathered together with those who have died in Christ to meet the Lord in the air. If there are two types of Christian groups i.e.. two raptures for those who are alive at His coming, then there has to be two different groups already in heaven at that time as well. The pre-wrath group between the 6&7 seals have basically been given a second chance by going through the tribulation, have washed their robes and are then made pure. In my mind they are then fit to join the first group of pre-tribers.  Is it then not a bit unfair so to speak, that the unconfessed sinner already dead, either does not get a second chance, or does not have to go through a tribulation period. I hope that I have set my question correctly and clearly, as this is the only point that I still need to clarify in my mind. At first I only saw one rapture, a pre-wrath rapture, but after reading the scriptures and with the help of your knowledge which I believe is God inspired, I have come to see things differently. I still have a lot of biblical studying to do so perhaps I have myself just missed the answer.
Thank you once again for your dedication to the Lord's work. Fond regards to you and your family.
P.S. What does "agape" and "Marantha" mean.

My reply

Thanks. I don't discourage easily. I trust the Lord to see me through whatever I have to face.

I do not know if there are different groups in Heaven or not, except for the Bride. She has her "closet" (chupah) (Joel 2:16). We all have been given some time to see if we will get right with God or not. After that the judgment.

One of the attributes of our Holy God is perfect justice. It will all come out in the wash at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Each person will receive rewards for the enduring things he has built on Christ the foundation. We should pay attention to what we are heaping up, wood, hay and stubble, or gold, silver and precious stones.

However, to build up enduring things, we need to be filled with God's agape love. Without it, we are not earning. I Cor. 13:3 says, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (Gr. agape, love), it profiteth me nothing." God is love. That is another of his attributes. If the Spirit of God dwells in us, we have agape love. To earn the best rewards, we should be filled with his Holy Spirit.

> raptured at the breaking of the first seal

We are Raptured BEFORE Christ even gets the LITTLE BOOK, the title deed to the Earth. We are caught up with John in Rev. 4:1. He is one of the 24 elders. Just as we have Senators and Representatives in our government, the elders are our Representatives before the throne of God. The 12 patriarchs represent Israel. The 12 apostles represent the church. As governmental Representatives present our wishes before Congress, the elders present our prayers before the throne of God. Rev. 5:8 says, "And when he (Christ) had taken the book, the...elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the PRAYERS OF SAINTS."

Verse 9 says, "And they (the saints and the elders) sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open THE SEALS thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood OUT OF EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION." There is universal adoration of the Lamb. Only after that are the seals broken in Rev. 6.

Maranatha (the Lord cometh) and agape

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I just finished reading P&C 417.  Am I to understand you correctly that you now believe Christ's Bride is part of both the pre-trib and pre-wrath raptures?  How can this be?  That's a very scary thought that some of us may have to go through the first 3 1/2 years.  In your various writings you stated that only the Bride is invited to the "wedding" which takes place in heaven prior to the rapture of the tribulation saints who are only invited to the wedding "feast".  Further, I can't imagine Jesus leaving his "beloved" behind to endure all that suffering.  Who wants a beat-up, scarred, half-starved bride?  Just the thought of being left behind gives me an instantaneous headache.  Could you please clarify further as  I feel like the wind was just knocked out of me?  Thank you.

  Loving His Appearing

My reply

> that some of us may have to go through the first 3 1/2 years.

I don't know where you got that. I can't see any Rapture in the middle of the Tribulation. Moses and Elijah die, are resurrected and ascend. It does not say that any others are resurrected or that living ones ascend with them. The Messianic Jews have to flee Jerusalem when they see the abomination of desolation stand at the temple. Why would they be told to flee to the wilderness to be fed there 1260 days (Rev. 12:6) if they were to be caught up to Heaven with Moses and Elijah?

I think there are two Raptures, one before the Tribulation and one on the 2300th day of the Tribulation, on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord, just before the Wrath of God is poured out on the unbelievers on Earth. I call them the Pre-Trib Rapture and the Pre-Wrath Rapture.

Lu. 13:30 always bothered me. It says, "there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." I understood that God is fair and that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will all get exactly what we deserve. However, does it mean more than that? Could it also mean that some of the Tribulation saints could be added to the Bride group? If not, the Tribulation saints would not have the same opportunity we had. They are not all foolish virgins or Laodiceans, either. What about new converts? Moses and Elijah's witnessing will bring in fruit.

Because the wise virgins of Mt. 25 are obviously the Bride, I thought that was ALL of the Bride group. Rev. 19:7-9 says, "the Marriage of the Lamb IS COME, and his wife hath MADE HERSELF READY (as Queen Esther did). And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness (lit., righteousnesses) of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are CALLED unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." The foolish virgins are obviously among this latter group and are caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. This makes it seem that the Tribulation saints might ONLY be called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

However, things are usually more complicated than we might think at first. The more we study, the more details fall into place. The more we know of the Bible as a whole, the more we can see in one verse.

Mt. 24:31 says that at the time when the Sign of the Son of Man is seen in Heaven (the 2300th day of the Tribulation, Coronation Day), "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." This calls those that were caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture to the General Assembly on the first day of the millenial Day of the Lord. Christ is to receive his golden crown that day, then will come the Marriage of the Lamb, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Mark 13:27 gives us a bit more information about that day. It 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" (those taken up in the Pre-Trib Rapture. This seems to show that these two groups of saints are called to the General Assembly at the same time.

This agrees with Nu. 10:2-4. The LORD told Moses to make TWO silver trumpets. He said, "that thou mayest use them (both) for the CALLING OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND FOR THE JOURNEYING OF THE CAMPS. And when they shall blow with THEM (both), ALL the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee...And if they blow but with ONE trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."

It seems that one trumpet sounds and the Pre-Trib Rapture happens. Then on the first day of the Millennium, that same trump sounds again to call those in Heaven to the General Assembly. Then the other trump sounds for the journeying of the Tribulation saints to the Assembly.

The 24 elders that are seen in Heaven right after the first Rapture are the 12 patriarchs and the 12 apostles. In I Peter 5:1, Peter said, "The ELDERS (i.e., apostles) which are among you I exhort, WHO AM ALSO AN ELDER, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed (apokalupto, to disclose what was unknown before)." Peter is one of the 24 elders. So is John. II John and III John both start out with, "The ELDER unto..." Acts 21:18 says, "And the day following PAUL went in with us unto JAMES; and ALL THE ELDERS WERE PRESENT." All the apostles, including Paul, are elders. The 12 patriarchs represent Israel, and the apostles represent the church. Both are part of the Pre-Trib Rapture, the "prize" that Paul was running the race to win.

I started to look up "apokalupto." in Thayer's Lexicon. I came to "apo" first. Look what I just happened to see as I started to turn the page. It says, "In composition apo indicates separation, liberation, cessation, DEPARTURE. I already knew the The Apocalypse/The Revelation was written as if the Rapture was "at hand," but this says it right up front. No wonder the "apostasia" in II Thess. 2:3 means the departure.

Apokalupsis (Revelation) means "an uncovering...a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown." Apo hints that it reveals a truth about the Departure. II Thess 4:13-18 didn't show us when the Rapture would take place, but Revelation does. It is before the little book is given to Christ, before the first seal is broken. In Revelation, not only is Christ revealed to us at the Rapture, but "persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all" (Thayers). The elders are seen in Heaven in Rev. 4:4 after they are withdrawn in 4:1. We are seen in Heaven in Rev. 4:9 after we are withdrawn in 4:1. When one of the elders, John, is caught up in Rev. 4:1, the rest of the elders will be in his group. All those "accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass" will "stand before the Son of man" (Lu. 21:36) that same day.

Keep in mind that the Apokalupsis is going to disclose truth before unknown. In Green's Interlinear, Rev. 1 starts out, "The revelation (apokalupsis) of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to SHOW TO HIS SERVANTS THOSE THINGS WHICH MUST TAKE PLACE SHORTLY (en tachos, in a brief space of time). And He made it (this thing that is to be revealed) known by sending His angel (the Angel of the Lord) to His servant John, who bore record of the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, and whatever things HE SAW. Blessed is he that reads and those that hear the words (including 'Come up hither') of THIS PROPHECY, and keep (observe) the things written in it, for THE TIME IS NEAR." This fits us today. The Rapture is near.

Continuing, "John, to the seven churches which are in Asia (muddy, i.e., on Earth): GRACE to you and PEACE from Him who IS (at the Rapture) and who WAS (at the First Advent) and who IS TO COME (at the Second Advent)...Him who LOVED US and washed us from our sins in His blood and made us kings and priests...BEHOLD! HE COMES with the clouds! (at the Rapture)...I, John, even your brother and companion in the trials and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, WAS in the island which is called Patmos (mortal)...I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord's day ('one of the days of the Son of man,' Lu. 17:22, the Rapture), and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet (Christ's voice, as in Rev. 4:1), saying, I am the A and the Z, the First and the Last. And, What you see write in a book and send it to the churches in Asia (it concerns them)...And I turned to see the voice (Christ) which spoke with me. And turning I saw seven golden lampstands (the 7 churches in Heaven). And in the middle of the seven lampstands, I saw One like the Son of man...And He had seven stars (the star performers of the 7 churches) in His right hand (had just snatched them up at the Rapture) and a sharp two-edged sword going forth out of His mouth" (to cut off the lukewarm Laodiceans).

This is the Preview of the Rapture. It's time slot is shown in Rev. 4:1. It is before the things that come "hereafter" (i.e., the Tribulation), before the little book is given to Christ (Rev. 5:2) and before the first seal is broken (Rev. 6:1).

What we need to do is BE READY the first time, not take any chances. There is NOTHING more important right now for Christians.

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© 1998, 1999, Marilyn J. Agee
Updated 11-5-99