Pro and Con 582

Posted 8-26-00

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Re: Comments on 1 Cor. 15:23
You write in PC 578:
> > I Cor. 15:20-23 says, "now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the RESURRECTION of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. BUT EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER (tagmati, rank): CHRIST the FIRSTFRUITS; afterward they that are Christ's AT HIS COMING." When the last foot, the Tribulation saints, are resurrected, Christ does not gather them. The angels do. That is not "HIS COMING." . . . "HIS COMING" is at the Pre-Trib Rapture.

I think that "HIS COMING" in verse 23 refers to the time of the pre-wrath rapture. If I'm not mistaken, I believe I mentioned this in writing to you a long time, ago, but let me bring it up again. In this passage of scripture that talks about the ranks of the resurrection I still think that there should be a comma after Christ (as you know there is no punctuation in the original text) and it should read this way. "But every man in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits (those belonging to the Bride of Christ), afterward they that are Christ's at His coming (those that have come out of the great tribulation) ". The sheaf of saints that Jesus raised with Him, could fit with "Christ" if the rank of each phase of the first resurrection is based upon timing. Or maybe they could fit with "firstfruits" if the rank is based upon grouping. I tend to lean toward the latter, when I consider that the 144,000 are a part of the Bride (for reasons that you have given many times) even though they are raptured pre-wrath. So it seems that God deals with groups regardless of when they are raptured or resurrected (in the case of the righteous dead).

I would think in a passage of scripture about the ranks of the first resurrection that all three ranks would be included. Obviously it says later in this chapter that the dead are raised at the last trump, so this is the final phase of the first resurrection. There is no reason why it would be left out of verse 23. I don't believe it was.

Pentecost or the feast of weeks, the day the church was born and very possibly the day the faithful church will be raptured, was associated with "firstfruits". The sheaf of saints resurrected with Jesus, could have been the "first of the firstfruits" referred to in Ex. 23:19.

I believe "afterward (a little less than 7 years afterward) they that are Christ's at His coming" has got to be those resurrected prewrath on the day of the Lord. The very next verse says, "24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power". "Then cometh the end" refers to the end of the age when all of the body of Christ will have been gathered. It follows the latter rain harvest ("And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Mat. 24:14) and precedes the wrath of God after which the kingdom of God is delivered up to God the Father. That wrath and the subsequent battle of Armageddon is the final "putting down of all rule and all authority and power".

So in context, "they that are Christ's at His coming" has to refer to His coming on the day of the Lord. The word for coming, Parousia, can mean "a being near" or "presence". It is true that at the pre-trib rapture of the Bride that Jesus himself comes to meet us in the air and at the pre-wrath rapture of the tribulation saints that He sends the angels to gather them . . . but that does not mean that He doesn't come near before He sends out the angels to gather them at that pre-wrath rapture.

If you remember on the 6th of this month I wrote you concerning a prophetic foreshadowing of the end time sequence that is found in the account of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:32-43. Let me just quote again the scriptures and my comments about the third time that Jesus "comes".

41. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. "He cometh the third time" refers to this second rapture of the tribulation saints at the end of a shortened tribulation that we just referred to in the commentary on verse 40. I believe that this verse refers to two groups, one that still "sleeps" and one that "takes their rest". The group that takes their rest are the tribulation saints that get raptured to perfect rest in heaven. The group that still sleeps are those don't wake up until after the rapture. This will include Israel, who will be saved in a day, and those gentiles, that as a result of finally turning to the Lord, will be protected during the seven months of wrath. These are the sheep that will be told at the Judgment of the Nations to enter into the kingdom (the earthly millennial kingdom) of God. They will have an earthly inheritance not yet receiving resurrected bodies. The "hour is come" can refer to the beginning of the wrath of God on the Day of the Lord at the noon hour. I think it also is interesting that this verse refers to the attitude of Jesus before the hour (noon) comes of wrath. Jesus' attitude is, "IT IS ENOUGH". . . enough persecuting and killing the tribulation saints (why the trib. is shortened) and enough of this Gog Magog invasion of my people Israel.

42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. "Rise up, let us go" is a reference to this rapture of the tribulation saints we have been talking about that occurs the third time Jesus comes. This verse eludes to the one that was incarnated by Satan, the False Prophet, being at hand after this rapture of the tribulation saints and the subsequent wrath of God. The battle of Armageddon, which follows the wrath of God and the second advent of Jesus (not the rapture, His coming FOR His saints but His coming in glory WITH us His saints) will be when the False Prophet and the Beast is at hand. Unlike the brother that wrote you and thought that "he that betrayeth me" was symbolic of the anti christ and the beginning of the tribulation, I believe it has to be the False Prophet and the time following the end of the tribulation. The first beast, the anti christ is not Satan incarnated as Judas was, but is only demon possessed. Only the False Prophet is incarnated by Satan after the abomination of desolation in the middle of the tribulation.

The prophetic hints in this passage also leads me to believe that Jesus really does come for the tribulation saints, but not in the same way He comes for the Bride. He comes all the way to meet His precious Bride and take them with Him. It seems that He only comes part way for the tribulation saints, (who did not have the intimacy with Him that the Bride had), and sends the angels to get them instead of himself.

I said all that to say a comma after "Christ's", in 1 Cor. 15:23 would show all three ranks of the first resurrection in that verse. What do you think? Your Brother in Jesus

My reply

I sure appreciate your putting all this down for us in detail and yes, a comma might make 1 Cor. 15:23 clearer.

We are considering the First Resurrection. We know it started with Christ, The Seed, and the rest of the Firstfruit sheaf in 30 AD. It continues with the Pre-Trib Rapture and ends with the Pre-Wrath Rapture. All saints must be in Heaven that day for the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place on the first day of the Lord's millennial reign.

Rev. 11:15-18 says, " And 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 (Christ is now King of kings and Lord of lords). And the four and twenty elders (caught up previously in the Pre-Trib Rapture), which sat before God on their seats (thrones), fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come (the Second Advent is still 7 months future, Eze. 39:12); because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry (Israel is being attacked by Gog's army), and thy wrath is come (to stop Gog's army), and the time of the dead, that they should be judged (at the Judgment Seat of Christ, therefore the last of the saints have already been resurrected), 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."

I Cor. 15:22,23 in the literal Concordant Version, says, "in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His PRESENCE (parousia)." Christ makes his presence known at the 1st Rapture by shouting in a trumpet voice, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1). He makes his presence known at the 2nd Rapture by showing mankind the Sign of the Son of Man in the sky.

After the 6th seal breaks, the Sun, Moon and constellations are darkened by the smoke from the smaller rocks, "stars of heaven," falling like untimely figs from a fig tree. Then something miraculous starts to take place.

Rev. 6:14-17 says, "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come (6 PM, The Feast of Trumpets); and who shall be able to stand?"

Seeing the face of Christ sitting on his throne is the Sign of the Son of Man of Mt. 24:30. This is now the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord. Mt. 24:30,31 in the Concordant Version says, "And then shall APPEAR (phaino, shine, be seen) the sign of the Son of Mankind in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land shall grieve, and they shall see the Son of Mankind coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. "And He shall be dispatching His messengers (angels) with a loud sounding TRUMPET (the "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52), and they shall be assembling His CHOSEN (his Bride, the 'called, and chosen, and faithful," Rev. 17:14) from the four winds, from the extremities of the HEAVENS to their extremities." These were caught up previously in the Pre-Trib Rapture. That is why they have to be gathered from one end of Heaven to the other.

At the same time, the Tribulation saints are to be caught up from Earth in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. Mk. 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 to the uttermost part of HEAVEN." These are all called "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the JUDGE of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Heb. 12:23). The Judgment Seat of Christ follows.

I think the ranks in the First Resurrection are Christ, the rest of the sheaf of OT Firstfruits, the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Bride of Christ and the Pre-Wrath Rapture, which includes the 144,000 to be added to the bride group plus all the rest of the OT, Church and Tribulation saints not raised previously. These are all in Heaven prior to the outpouring of God's Wrath and 7 Jewish months before the Second Advent (Eze. 39:12).

I think instead of his coming in I Cor. 15:23, as in the KJV, it is better understood as his presence, as in the Concordant Version. So, I agree with you when you said, "So in context, "they that are Christ's at His coming" has to refer to His coming on the day of the Lord. The word for coming, Parousia, can mean "a being near" or "presence"." Thanks. That makes it even clearer.

> > I said all that to say a comma after "Christ's", in 1 Cor. 15:23 would show all three ranks of the first resurrection in that verse. What do you think?

It would make it clearer. Agape

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From: Rebecca (Becky) Montgomery Bailey
Re: the rapture is to Satan
There is not going to be a Rapture except to the anti christ (which means INSTEAD OF Jesus, in the Greek). The Thes scripture used to prove such a "flying away" is actually the great Where are the dead people? scripture.....misapplied.

In Ezeiel 13 we are told of the false teachers who teach His people to FLY to save their souls and that he hates that!!!! We will be here when He comes at the seventh trump, He promised He will NOT come back until Satan is sitting in Jerusalem pretending to be Jesus....(Satan will be telling all those waiting to fly up to "hold on", we'll be leaving soon....)

Please visit my home page for a minute....I have something for you. In His love, Becky

My reply

Note: don't go to her web site. What she had for me caused me to have to restart my computer several times to even be able to delete her email and web pages I sent myself. I couldn't even copy and paste from her email or her web site, or reply to her email in Outlook Express. I couldn't save it to a file on my desktop and be able to copy and paste. I had to go back and forth, copy it one phrase at a time to a new document in my HTML editor, write down her email address, open a new email document, type in her address, and copy and paste both her email and my answer from my HTML editor document. Dialog Boxes along the way kept informing me that there was an error in syntax, whatever that is.

Becky, I sure feel sorry for you. It must be simply awful knowing that you have to go through the 7 trumpet judgments. Under the 1st, "hail and fire mingled with blood" will be cast on Earth. One third of the trees and all the green grass will be burnt up (Rev. 8:7). Do you have grass in your yard? It will all be burnt up, nothing but ashes under your feet. Under the 2nd, an asteroid like "a great mountain burning with fire" will be cast into the sea. One third of the creatures and ships in the sea will be destroyed (Rev. 8:8,9). Under the 3rd, an asteroid like "a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp" will impact Earth, destroy Babylon (Rev. 18:21), and make the waters so bitterly poisonous that many people will die "because they were made bitter" (Rev. 8:10,11). Under the 4th trumpet, one third of the Sun, Moon, and stars will be obscured by the smoke of the 2 terrible asteroid impacts. An angel will fly through the midst of heaven, saying, "Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound" (Rev. 8:12,13). And Becky knows that as an inhabiter of the Earth, she will surely be here to experience three woes yet worse than all that has gone before.

An asteroid like a star will "fall from heaven unto the earth... And... open the bottomless pit. Out will come the angels that sinned that have been imprisoned in the bottomless pit. They will probably sting Becky and she will be tormented 5 months with a sting that is as extremely painful as the sting of a scorpion, which drives strong men mad. For five long months Becky will have such pain she will wish she could die, but death will flee from her (Rev. 9:1-6). I feel so sorry for her, but that isn't all. There are still two more trumpet woes she knows she has to endure.

When the 6th trumpet sounds, an army 200,000,000 strong will attack and kill one third of the people on Earth. Becky knows she will just be lucky if she isn't killed. At the 7th trumpet, there will be delay no longer (Rev. 10:6). God's Wrath will fall on all the inhabiters of the Earth.

Rev. 11:18 explains that the saints in Heaven, "small and great" will receive their rewards at the very same time that those on Earth get their just rewards for their unbelief. It says, "And the nations were angry (Gog's army is attacking Israel, Eze. 38), and thy wrath is come (Eze. 38:18,19), 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."

Too bad that Becky will miss the rewards given the small and great. She knows that she will still be an inhabiter of Earth at that time. She will not only lose out on the rewards given the "SMALL AND GREAT" in Heaven, but she knows that she will experience the Wrath of God on Earth. She knows that her place as an inhabiter of the Earth is among "them which destroy the earth."

Eze. 38:20 explains what happens when the asteroids impact Earth. It says, "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, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground." The "cities of the nations" will fall, and Babylon will be given "the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." There is no Rapture at the 7th trumpet judgment, only the fearful looking for God's awful wrath upon inhabiters of Earth and "them which destroy the earth."

Rev. 11:15-18 tells us what happens at the 7th trumpet. No Rapture is mentioned. "And 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, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great (IN HEAVEN); AND shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."

Becky's house walls will fall in the worldwide earthquake, and sadly, it is still 7 more long months before the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the Second Advent. What will Becky do then? Eze. 39:12,13 explains, "And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD." That day when the Lord will be glorified is the Second Advent. Since the Lord will return to Israel, maybe it would be good for Becky to go help the Israelis bury the stinking decomposing bodies during those 7 long months. The stench must be overwhelming.

And what will happen when the Lord returns in glory after 7 horrible months of Becky's living among all the devastation? Zech. 14:4 says, "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." Uh Oh! Becky knows that she is still an inhabiter of Earth, and Christ has returned, and there is no Rapture at the 7th trumpet or on the day of the Second Advent. She has been deceived. Poor Becky. She knows that she has to go through the wrath of God, and she still is not raptured. Becky knows that she has to go through the worst times to ever happen to this world since Adam was put upon it.

Lu. 21:26 shows the terror of the times. "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

I thank God that God has promised me something better than the hellish things Becky knows that she has to go through. I Thess. 5:9 says to me, "For God hath NOT appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." I have a "blessed hope" (Tit. 2:13), but Becky has none, only a fearful looking forward to the wrath of God. I feel sorry for Becky, sooooooo sorry.

Knowing the awfulness of the day of God's Wrath, I make sure I do what Jesus told me to do in Lu. 21:35,36. It says, "For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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." You better believe I am watching and praying.

Poor Becky. She knows that there is no reason to watch and pray to "escape all these things that shall come to pass." To her, there is no escape, so why pray for any such thing? All is futile. She knows that she will be here in the "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mt. 24:21). What will her faith in Christ get her above that of the unbelievers on Earth at the 7th trumpet? She knows she will be on Earth when they are getting their rewards in Heaven. How did she miss out on that?

Well, she has this statement of faith on her web page. It is the statement of faith of Pastor Arnold Murray, of Shepherd's Chapel, which she subscribes to. It says, "Apostasy means giving up or renouncing of one's professed principles, or faith. This will come to pass when the religious lamb (false messiah) of Rev. 13:11 comes to pass. He will look like the lamb of God, But his voice is of the dragon, for he is the great dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan (Revelation 12:9). When the false Christ stands in the holy place performing in the sight of Christians, the pretribulation-rapture-Christian shall think it is Christ coming to rapture them away."

So, what does Becky know that she has to do? She has to refuse to go. On her web page, she says, "HE IS COMING BACK!!! BUT HIS ENEMY SATAN WILL BE HERE FIRST." She says, "THE INSTEAD OF JESUS IS COMING FIRST."

She also is not afraid to say of I Thess. 4:17, "Please allow me to read this in the way in which I think Paul was trying to express: Then we which are alive and remain shall be 'changed in the twinkling of an eye' together with them in the 'masses of fellow Christians', to meet the Lord in the spirit body, and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Concerning II Thess. 2:3, she says, "What day is Paul talking about? the Lord's day. Paul is saying that the gathering back to him shall not happen, until there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Who is the man of sin? Who is this son of perdition? It's Satan."

Becky doesn't know that this falling away first was translated in early Bibles as the departing first. No matter if it was translated as "the departure" in The Geneva Bible, Tyndale's translation, Cranmer's version, the Great Bible, Breecher's Bible, Beza's translation and the Coverdale Bible, Becky is sure she knows what it really says. She is ready to stake everything on a mistaken idea propagated by Pastor Arnold Murray of Shepherd's Chapel.

Poor, poor Becky. She has all that wrath of God to look forward to. She says, "Christ is not coming back until Satan is revealed sitting in the temple of God, claiming to be God."

Becky quotes II Thess. 2:11, about the strong delusion and the lie. Then she says, "What lie? Satan's lies and this belief of a pre-"any moment" Rapture that is supposed to take place at any time. At any given second, we are to be plucked up and fly away in the clouds. And those who believe this are delusional."

Regarding the last trump in I Cor. 15:52, she says, "How many of you can count? Do you know the seven trumpets of God? Do you know we do have seven trumps?" Then she goes on to say we will be changed "At the LAST TRUMPET." She thinks the "TRUMP OF GOD" is the 7th trumpet judgment sounded by an ANGEL. She doesn't know the difference between the "TRUMP OF GOD" in I Thess. 4:16, or the "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52, and a trumpet sounded by an ANGEL. Poor Becky. Because of listening to Pastor Arnold Murray, she has all of God's Wrath to look forward to. Oh well, Becky has company in her misery. There are others that are delusional. Agape

Incoming email

Re: Born again
I thank God, and the Holy Spirit for your website...I study it and read it every day, and it has brought me into much greater understanding than trying to understand on my own...with all the thous unto, and believeths.

Your website to me is expressed in the scripture... "And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Ephesians 4:11,12

I know all we really have to do is "confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God rasied him for the grave, and we shall be saved". Rom 10:9

My question is does this Scripture preclude. "Jesus answered, Except a man be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5. I know that the thief on the cross wasn't baptized, but does this set up the precedent that we really do not need to be baptized? Bless Marilyn for edifying us. Hope to see you soon.

My reply

Thanks for your kind words. If you find the Old English of the KJV hard to read, get the NIV that uses modern English. It has its drawbacks, but until you can get used to the Old English and can read the KJV with understanding, it will do.

On certain verses, it is helpful to compare the NIV to the KJV. The following is one example.

John 3:5,6 (KJV) says, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." I think "born of water" equals "born of the flesh." The enclosing bag of water breaks as the baby is being born. But, we must be born again to be saved. This is what Nicodemus was having trouble understanding. First, we are born into our human family. Second, we must be born into God's family. That can only happen when we are born of the Spirit of God. He seals us until the day of redemption.

John 3:5,6 (NIV) simply says, "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

Baptism is not part of Salvation. We should be saved, then be baptized. Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ and is also symbolic of dying with him and being raised up to a new life.

When we accept Christ as our own personal Saviour, we are born again. All our "old sins" (II Peter 1:9) are wiped off the slate. We get a fresh start. After that, when we sin, we must use I Jn. 1:9 and confess our known sins so the Lord can cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Then we have the necessary white robes of righteousness. All our sins are brought under the blood of Christ. We are ready for the Lord's shout to "Come up hither." Agape

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Re: please post
I know you're busy, but if you have time visit www.evangecube.org

The evangecube is a rubik type puzzle that presents the gospel visually in an unforgettable manner. I purchased three cases of the things for Child Evangelism of RI to give away at our county fair. (72 decisions and countless seeds planted)

If any of your readers have a ministry to children, they must look at this product. Maranatha

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