Pro and Con 58, Uploaded 1-31-98
'''GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR COURAGEOUS EFFORTS. I AM DELIGHTED TO FIND THAT THERE ARE MANY WHO HOLD THESE VIEWS ON THE POSSIBLE DATE OF THE RAPTURE. I THOUGHT I WAS PRETTY MUCH ON MY OWN AFTER READING YOUR BOOK. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE CONTACT WITH OTHERS WHO HOLD THIS VIEW, BOTH HERE IN THE NW AND IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. I CAN BE REACHED AT email@example.com
Incoming Email Love your website. Personally, I am waiting for the rapture to occur any time, the sooner the better. But, still it is a great priviledge to reside in this hard life for God lets us work here. Sort of like getting married, it seems to take forever to get hitched, but once singleness is over, it's over. Praise God.
Anyway, two questions. There are numerous Biblical admonitions for believers to pay their "vows". It even seems that the great God regards as wicked those who do not come through on their vows. Yet, the possible first rapture would enable many debt ridden Christians in the U.S. to do just that. This is even more chilling when correlated with hundreds of low interest credit card offers received annually. Any thoughts?
Secondly, around the end of the 19th. century, there appears to have been a controversy about the veracity of grace only salvation versus one which is a combination of grace and works. Briefly, the grace is presented as a free gift from God to believers and depends only on the faithfulness of our Lord.
But, according to that school, only truly repentant believers would be the actual bride of Christ and eligible to rule with Him for the 1000 year millenium.
Are you familiar with any of this? It would appear that you would tend to support this in as much as one key tenant surrounds the 10 virgins. Like you, the idea is that the 5 foolish are saved and like the 5 wise in all ways except the oil. One outstanding analyst, Robert Govett, makes the case that since the lamp oil is the Holy Spirit, the extra oil would be the gifts of the spirit. And those who refuse the extra gifts could possibly be practising a "form of Godliness but denying it's power."
Much of the works part derives from studies of the parables and taking them as literal visions of the future. The wedding feast of our Lord includes the honored bride, wedding guests and a "friend" who improperly dressed and excluded totally. Only truly repentant saved individuals and presumably "good stewards" could be included in the "bride catagory.
To bend your ear somemore let me continue. God does not force himself on those individuals who refuse to take Him. Yet, the dominant Christian view mandates all saved individuals be included as the bride. This requires God to force repentance on some non-repentant but saved Christians. To your credit, you have evidently rejected some or all of this view....
Thank-you for being faithful to our gracious savior as you courageously provide such a site.
My reply Thanks. Glad you love my site....
> There are numerous Biblical admonitions for believers to pay their "vows"...Yet, the
> possible first rapture would enable many debt ridden Christians in the U.S. to do just that.
I think you are thinking of Old Testament instructions. The only times the word "vow" appears in the New Testament is in Acts 18:18 and 21:23. In the former, Paul had shorn his head "for he had a vow." In the latter, four men "have a vow on them."
It does seem that any remaining debt will be forgiven in the Jubilee year. Remember what is to happen in the Jubilee year, and 1948 plus 50 is 1998. Lev. 25:10 says, "the fiftieth year...proclaim liberty throughout all the land." Lev. 27:24 says, "In the year of the jubile the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought." Unger's Bible Handbook, p. 352, says, "It would seem that there must have been a perfect remission of all debts in the year of Jubilee from the fact that all persons who were in bondage for debt, as well as all landed property of debtors, were freely returned."
Salvation is a free gift. It cannot be by works or grace is no more grace. However, believers should do good works as a means to win rewards, the best of which is the prize of being accounted worthy to be chosen as a member of the Bride of Christ and to be called to Heaven before the Tribulation.
Ephesians 2:8-10 explains this better than I can: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which GOD HATH BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM." (The caps are not my doing. Neither the shift key or caps lock key are down.)
We should walk in good works, but understand that works do not save. Christ saves. We cannot work for salvation, but we can work for rewards after being saved.
> according to that school, only truly repentant believers would be the actual
> bride of Christ and eligible to rule with Him for the 1000 year millenium.
As I understand it, all the Body of Christ will rule with him, not just the Bride who has enough oil of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, what would the rest be doing while the Bride is so occupied, play harps non-stop? I have an idea that we will replace the fallen angels in the government of God. I think we will all have work to do as we serve the Lord. We are promised Heaven as our home. It seems possible that we may even travel back and forth to work during the Millennium.
> Robert Govett, makes the case that since the lamp oil is the Holy Spirit, the
> extra oil would be the gifts of the spirit. And those who refuse the extra gifts
> could possibly be practising a "form of Godliness but denying it's power."
Not in my book. If the "oil" is the Holy Spirit, the extra "oil" is the Holy Spirit.
This does not mean we are not to use the gifts given us. The Lord knows I am doing my best to use the gifts given me. But that does not make the extra oil "gifts" instead of "oil." And gifts are "given" (I Cor. 12:8). I Cor. 12:7 says, "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal." We could refuse to use them, but we have them. How could you refuse? I was given no choice in the matter. Were you? I Cor. 12:11 says, "all these (gifts) worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to EVERY MAN severally AS HE WILL."
> God does not force himself on those individuals who refuse to take Him. Yet, the
> dominant Christian view mandates all saved individuals be included as the bride.
> This requires God to force repentance on some non-repentant but saved Christians.
> To your credit, you have evidently rejected some or all of this view.
The Bride of Christ is part of the Body of Christ, but I do not think all the Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ. I think the Bride is "The FIRST of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God" (Ex. 23:19). I think the Bride is the wise virgin who goes with the Bridegroom when he comes. The rest are foolish virgins who do not go with him at that time. Why? because they did not have enough oil of the Holy Spirit. Why? because they are lukewarm.
Incoming Email Excited Yet Concerned! I have written to you before, and I am not one of those hostile flamers telling you that you are wrong. I have watched your web site with some anticipation. I have to admit that while I personally could never make claims to a specific date, I have posted a calendar update on my PC to let everyone know that if you are right, that's the reason I'm not at work. Monday Morning June 1st, if I don't get to my PC at work, everyone who comes in will see why. (I just hope I'm not sick that day if the rapture doesn't take place, many may be shocked.)
To say May 31st isn't on my mind would be a lie. I have an excitement in hoping you are right. My wife and I have just found out we are having a baby, and one of the first things I said was "Well if the rapture takes place in May, we definitely will have a baby with us."
My concern though is this: As you have probably heard 1000 times, people were let down in 1988. That was their fault, not the author of that book. Ultimately we all have to stand before God individually. As the year 2000 approaches, though, there are literally hundreds of books pointing to this time frame. Is God trying to tell us? I hope so. BUT, we could all be wrong. Many many people who have guessed wrong in the past ( I am aware that this doesn't mean yours will be wrong logically speaking) were as thoroughly convinced as yourself. And certainly if you are wrong, you will admit to as such, because I can sense a genuine spirit and humility in you. (Your answers are always in love.) But there will be countless thousands who will not recover.
I am worried about Millenium Fever sweeping this country, affecting Christians terribly. As I have said hundreds are pointing to the year 2000, but very few after that date. If God doesn't come back by then, many will say to God, "You had your chance, and you blew it." And they'll look no longer for His coming. Of course this in itself will fulfill scripture, because Peter said there would be scoffers in the last days. But I want to warn the masses, that Jesus is coming soon. But don't mark your calendars, mark your hearts! He may not come in my lifetime but He is definitely coming at the end of my life. For thousands and thousands, Jesus is coming before May 31st by way of death. Will they be ready? I have to believe this is the message that Jesus wants preached. His coming could be at any day, whether by flight or by death. I hope He comes May 31st, but I have to plan for much longer than that. I also have to keep from being disappointed if He doesn't show.
Mrs. Agee, you have to admit in your heart, if the rapture doesn't take place when you say that God has shown you it will, you will be disappointed. But you can't lose faith, because man cannot ever understand God totally. I know that you want to warn people, but I really believe you need to warn them not to follow God based on your calculations. You need to warn them that you COULD be wrong, and they need to hold on to Jesus for dear life no matter what the future holds. Let's face it, as much as I believe God is coming back before the tribulation to get us out of here, I could be wrong. That does not rock my faith in Jesus one bit. If there is one thing I do know, it is that Jesus died for me! Everything else is just details. I am prepared to face an unknown future, do you think most of your readers are? I don't have to know the future to know that Jesus holds the future.
By the way, this is not a rebuke, just my concerns. I don't want you to give some kind of disclaimer or anything, just make sure you tell them Jesus is coming soon, regardless of your beliefs.
Do you know anything about the number 37? I have seen some significance in scripture, but don't know any Hebrew or Greek meaning for it. This is a number God gave me right before I got saved 10 years ago. Amazingly He gave it to my wife also, although we didn't know each other until about 3 years ago. It shows up all the time in our life in many ways. I don't really seek it's meaning, I just know that God is with me. But sometimes I am curious if He is trying to give me some sign of anything. Ultimately His Written Word is all I need, but it's still kind of neat! If you know anything will you write me back?
My reply Before I get into anything else. Take a look at something Bob Ware has on his Web site:
"...Later you will see that God's prime-number building-block.is '37'. There are 37 metals (in the solid state) on the periodic table of elements."
Contact Bob about number 37....
> certainly if you are wrong, you will admit to as such, because I can sense a genuine spirit
> and humility in you. (Your answers are always in love.) But there will be countless
> thousands who will not recover.
The Lord put a rectangle of light on Jer. 50:2. It said publish and conceal not. I have to take my chances. If he had not done that, I probably would not have had the courage to publish dates. I would have been as scared of them as most prophecy teachers of today. There would be no way to avoid admitting I was wrong if the Rapture does not happen on Pentecost, 1998 (which Stewarton School of the Bible in Scotland says is June 1). However, I am not saying that it is a sure thing, only that this is how it looks to me. Each person should obey the Scripture and compare it to Scripture to see if these things be so. In case it is not correct, if we are ready and doing what Christ told us to do, to occupy till he comes, we will be ok. We will patiently await his coming, whenever it is. Jesus mentioned "patience" in Rev. 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."
> pointing to the year 2000, but very few after that date. If God doesn't come back by
> then, many will say to God, "You had your chance, and you blew it." And they'll look no
> longer for His coming.
That is something that any Christian should be afraid to say to the omnipotent Sovereign of the Universe. How could they even think he was capable of blowing it? He is in complete control.
> I want to warn the masses, that Jesus is coming soon.
So do I. You have your way, and I have mine. We are both members of the Body of Christ, but we have different duties in that Body. I am being read. I have three books out there and from mid December, 96 till today, there have been 34,215 hits on my Web site. I answer email questions to the best of my ability. And I will put this on my Pro and Con section so people will see your warning.
> if the rapture doesn't take place when you say that God has
> shown you it will, you will be disappointed. But you can't lose faith
Don't worry. My faith can't be shaken. I haven't room for the slightest doubt about Christ. I know who he is, the Almighty himself.
> You need to warn them that you COULD be wrong, and they
> need to hold on to Jesus for dear life no matter what the future holds.
Amen. And I keep doing just that, except I didn't use the words "for dear life," but that is a good way to put it. Our life now, and our life eternally, depends on him.
> If there is one thing I do know, it is that Jesus died for
> me! Everything else is just details.
Great. You will certainly end up in Heaven. But keep in mind that the Laodiceans also know that Jesus died for them, and they are spewed out of his mouth. MAYBE THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND A FEW MORE DETAILS. (I don't know how those caps happened. Neither the shift or caps lock key are down.)
> just make sure you tell them Jesus is coming soon, regardless of your beliefs.
Don't I do this? Here is the end of my Home Page:
"I am not saying that end-time events have to happen when I think they will. This is just the way it looks to me. Search the scriptures and see if these things are so. MAY THE GOOD LORD WATCH OVER YOU AND KEEP YOU IN HIS HAND UNTIL THE TIME OF THE RAPTURE ARRIVES, WHENEVER IT IS. I AM CONVINCED JESUS IS COMING SOON."
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