Pro and Con 584

Posted 8-29-00

Incoming email

Re: need prayers from all readers
I am a faithful reader of your web site who is looking forward to the rapture. I would very much like for my parents to be part of the first rapture, also. Sadly, my father has had a stroke last Friday and is battling for his life. I am requesting prayers from all your readers. May the Good Lord Jesus Christ bring my father back to health so that many may see the Glory of God. Thank you, Marie Komarnycky

Incoming email

From: Debi Fields, jdfields@fivearea.com. Re: Rapture
after all of these unfullied prophecies, and the expected dates have come and gone with nothing to mark them, you still hold to the rapture teaching?

If I may..."Let no man deceive you by any means, for except there come a faliing away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition...And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will shall consume with THE SPIRIT OF HIS MOUTH...whose coming is AFTER the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders. And with all DECEIVABLENESS of UNRIGHTEOUSNESS in them that perish, BECAUSE THEY RECEIVE NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED. And for this reason, GOD shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a LIE. II Thess 2

(which is none other than the rapture theory itself.)

I used to believe in the rapture myself, until I surrendered MY ideas of how God should treat His people, and accepted His. Too many people throughout the ages...GOD'S chosen ones....have always, and will continue to always suffer for His name. I have alot of hard headed friends who are certain that they will not have to suffer for Christ, and truly believe they are soon out of here on some magic carpet ride. But, it isn't going to happen...not like they think...not like you think. Put this doctrine on hold, and truly give up your WANTS about this, and present yourself willing to hear God's idea on this. Actually, I know you stand to lose a lot by changing your position, but I did, too (I thought) and I gained so much more once I surrendered.

Just thought I would share with you, since I walked that road myself.

My reply

May I ask you if you think there will be a Rapture? If so, when do you think it will take place? Agape

Her reply

I guess that in a way I DO think there is a rapture, but I don't think that it will be a physical one where people's clothes will be left in a puddle on the ground, and unmanned cars and aircraft will be crashing into things. For so long we have bought into that extra-biblical doctrine, because the persecution/destruction of our flesh is so unacceptable. (In actual fact, there is no scriptural basis for, nor any historical precedent for this kind of event.) What there is DEFINITELY a scriptural precedence for is a "spiritual" rapture of the sort that happened to Stephen during his stoning, to Paul ,when he was "caught up" to the third heaven and to John, when he saw the things that would be taking place here on the earth when he wrote the Revelation.

I guess what I am trying to say that inside of us, we ARE SPIRIT, and it is NOT impossible even now for us to be so much in the Spirit of the Lord at times, that we still be on this earth, but our inner man found in that place of refuge from the turmoil and the strife of the earthly things. I have experienced this kind of thing myself on occasion, so for the sons of God to be walking continually in that manner and that place when they reach that maturity in Spirit (as did Christ) does not seem to be an impossibility. Right now, I don't see many people who are at that stage, and it may well be some time before this is possible. Right now, the Lord has said that most of us are still children, needing to grow up into men, and we are still playing at church, and we are immature. The main reason I believe this to be true, is because the church at large cannot comprehend those abstract, spiritual principles of reality that they cannot touch with their hands, or see or hear with their earthly senses, and so the idea of a "rapture" that is NOT literal holds no appeal to the flesh man, and they cannot understand...and what they cannot understand, they reject as false. It is rather along the lines of trying to explain to a toddler what "freedom" is....if he can't hold it in his hands, it just doesn't exist for him, and so he doesn't believe you.

I hope this makes some sense to you, as it is kind of hard to put into words, and I hope I didn't come across as some kind of snide know-it-all, because I don't know it all, by any means. I just struggled with it for so long, that the truth, when it did come, and after testing it in the fire, is precious to me, even if I don't like the idea of having to go through all of that...Blessings to you

My reply

> > you still hold to the rapture teaching?

You bet. I am not right on everything, but God is. The promises rest on Him, not me. When he tells us something I believe it. In I Thess 2:13-18, he told us, " I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (Old English for precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

I am obeying what Jesus said in Lu. 21:36. It 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." I don't want him to ever ask me why I didn't believe what he said. I want Him to know right now that I believe everything he says 100%.

> > ..."Let no man deceive you by any means, for except there come a faliing away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition....." And for this reason, GOD shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a LIE > > (which is none other than the rapture theory itself.)

The falling away (he apostasia, the departure) was translated the departure in early Bibles...The departure comes first, then the False Prophet is revealed when he and the Beast confirm the covenant.

> > I gained so much more once I surrendered.

You lost your "blessed hope" is what you did. I didn't. I am obeying Titus 2:13: "Looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

You are looking for the wicked one when we are told to look for Christ.

> > (In actual fact, there is no scriptural basis for, nor any historical precedent for this kind of event.)...

You call it fact just because you don't know your scriptures? Gen. 5:24 says, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." II Ki. 2:11 says, "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Those were both Raptures.

> > precious to me, even if I don't like the idea of having to go through all of that...

How much do you think you have to go through? If there is no Rapture, then there is no heavenly Bride of Christ, and you will have to go through the Wrath of God on Earth. I feel so sorry for you, knowing in yourself that in spite of your faith in Christ, you will have to endure the awful Wrath of God. Isa. 10:19 says, "And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them." You will be lucky to still be alive in those days. Eze. 38:20 says that all the men upon the face of the earth shall shake and every wall will fall. Where will you live when the walls of your house fall and all green grass is burned up? Agape

Her reply

If I am understanding your last post, then what you are telling me is that if I don't believe in a physical rapture, then I will NOT be raptured, and have to endure the tribulation if there is actually one? It was my understanding that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior is what will keep you, and save you (perhaps I missed one of the requriements of being born again by the Holy Spirit (the one that says "thou shalt believe in a rapture to save you from the harm of the evil one"?...not whether you believe in a literal rapture or not. I look daily for the Lord's appearing, however it may occur, and I have to wonder if my believing in the rapture as it has been set forth by LaHaye/Jenkins, Lindsey, et al is some kind of "litmus test" from the Lord as to my faith in Him and my very salvation??? Or are the ones who believe in this rapture going to be the only ones taken, and all other Christian believers have to stay here and go through hell on earth for not having faith in the repture doctrine? If I decide too late that you were right, then do I get to depart on the next flight out?, or is this my punishment for not beleiving one point of theology? Believing in His return as part of your faith is one thing....how that return takes place (or when) does not seem to be a thing that will determine your fate...or did I miss something in understanding your postion?

You said:
>>I am obeying what Jesus said in Lu. 21:36. It 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." I don't want him to ever ask me why I didn't believe what he said. I want Him to know right now that I believe everything he says 100%.>>

What exactly makes us "worthy" to escape all these things? Our doctrines? Our Beliefs? our Works? or is it our faith in Him, and the new birth from above?

I asked my friend this, as she believes all born-again believers are going to be snatched up. "If you are right, and all the Christians are scooped up out of harms way, then what have I go to lose? If you are right, and I am wrong, then I get a pleasant surprise and blessing."

"HOWEVER....if you are wrong, and I am right, then when the time comes to stand against the evil one, and persevere, and lay our lives down, are YOU going to be ready???"

I have a really hard time buying anything that Paul and Jan Crouch are selling (litterally), anyways. I have found that in other matters, being in the majority in religious practices usually makes one wrong and mistaken, not the other way around. Look at Jesus, and his followers....they were never a majority, and their doctrine was called heresy by the religious establishment of the time. You are a smart lady, so you know that "HIS-story" repeats itself. The Jews were FANATICALLY looking for the Messiah when Jesus arrived the first time, the religious community couldn't see him because He didn't fit their (false image) of what a "Deliverer" should look like, and act like, and the very same thing IS GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN...this time, with the church playing the role of Pharisees.

Yes I know about the enoch and elijah "proof texts"....however the vague term, "and God took him" does not necessarily mean rapture. Also, even if they were raptured in the literal sense you are speaking of, the circumstances surrounding their "disappearance" was not remotely connected to tribulation or persecution, was it? It would appear that Noah is the only one who had an "inside track" as to the coming destruction of the earth by water, and He didn't get raptured out of here, but protected THROUGH THE STORM, being in a place of saftey and refuge (the ark, which is a type of Christ).

Lastly....if you have not been correct in your estimation of all that calculation of days till certain events occur, etc., it could be that you did not fully understand some things that the Lord said, right? Perhaps you heard/read exactly what He said, but you didn't understand what He meant (which could certainly be two different things)? It might possibly be that same way in this instance. Hearing the words exactly, but not understanding?
http://www.barsjona.org/Feature%20DebraSayingvs.M.html

Besides, what person in their right mind, if given a choice between living through something like that, and being whisked out of here to safety would actually CHOOSE to reject that offer??? I am a worse coward than anyone I know, so, beleive me, I would LOVE to believe that option (and did for number of years). The only reason I don't still believe it is for the simple fact that He spoke to me that it IS NOT TRUE, AND IS A LIE designed to cause His people to lower their gaurd, and try to save their fleshman from discomfort and pain.

If I could ask you....have ever seriously believed any other view except this one, or have you always held to this teaching? As I said, I have had to move my stance from one side to the other, so I have looked seriously at this from BOTH sides, as a firm believer, and not just from one side, trying to prove my point.

My reply

> > ...If I am understanding your last post, then what you are telling me is that if I don't believe in a physical rapture, then I will NOT be raptured, and have to endure the tribulation if there is actually one? It was my understanding that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior is what will keep you, and save you (perhaps I missed one of the requriements of being born again by the Holy Spirit (the one that says "thou shalt believe in a rapture to save you from the harm of the evil one"?

I am not telling you that you won't be Raptured. That has to do solely with your standing with God. Christ is coming as the Bridegroom for his Bride, the wise Philadelphian virgins, for whom Jesus had no words of condemnation. The Bride wears white. If you are wearing the spiritual white robe of righteousness, you will go with the rest of the Bride. However, if you think there is no Rapture, you might not feel the urgency to get ready and miss out, but if you are ready, you will be included. Getting ready means using I John 1:9, confessing all known sins since you accepted Christ so the Lord can cleanse you of all unrighteousness. All sins must be brought under the blood of Christ. By the 2nd Rapture, the Tribulation saints have learned this lesson. Rev. 7:14 says, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." At the time of the 1st Rapture, they were wearing robes spotted by the flesh.

What I was trying to show you was where YOUR line of reasoning would lead you. Actually, for you to be able to escape the wrath of God, there must be a Rapture. Accepting Christ as your own personal Saviour assures you of a heavenly home. How do you think you will get there if there is no Rapture? Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:2,3). If Jesus takes you to be where he is, that is a Rapture, right?

> > It was my understanding that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior is what will keep you, and save you

The Laodicean church believes as much. They do not know that they are blind and naked. Jesus warns them. In Rev. 3:15-19, he says, " I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE (emesai, vomit) THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." This group of believers will be cut off from the Body of Christ until they learn their lesson and repent.

Lu. 12:46 addresses them. "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 (2300 days of the Tribulation, Dan. 8:14) 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." Mt. 22:11-14 expands this a bit. "when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are CHOSEN."

Right after the 1st Rapture, Rev 17:14 says, "he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are WITH HIM are called, and CHOSEN, and faithful."

> > ...If you are right, and all the Christians are scooped up out of harms way, then what have I go to lose?

The Laodiceans probably all believe that "all born-again believers are going to be snatched up." That leaves them in peril of being spued out of the Body of Christ at the 1st Rapture. Going with the Bridegroom at the 1st Rapture is what you could lose. All Christians will NOT be scooped up out of harms way. Some foolish Laodicean virgins will be left behind. Jesus warned them, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19). If they listen and repent, they will be ok. Otherwise, they will be spued out of his mouth when he comes for his Bride. They will get snatched up at the 2nd Rapture, but they will have lost a crown. Rev. 3:10,11 says, " Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM the hour of temptation (peirasmos, testing), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly (at the Rapture): hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy CROWN."

> > If you are right, and I am wrong, then I get a pleasant surprise and blessing."

And you could be spued out of his mouth.

> > I have a really hard time buying anything that Paul and Jan Crouch are selling (litterally), anyways.

Do you owe them allegiance? or do you owe Christ allegiance? We must not get our eyes off of Christ. We must not allow imperfect people to get between us and the Lord....

> > I know about the enoch and elijah "proof texts"....however the vague term, "and God took him" does not necessarily mean rapture

Heb. 11:5 says, "By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had TRANSLATED him: for before his TRANSLATION he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Enoch represents the 1st Rapture. He was translated before tribulation came.

Elijah had tribulation. Jezebel was trying to kill him. He had to flee to the wilderness. This is a picture of the Tribulation saint.

> > Noah is the only one who had an "inside track" as to the coming destruction of the earth by water, and He didn't get raptured out of here, but protected THROUGH THE STORM

Noah was raised up above the Earth, as we will be at the Rapture. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:17). The water represents the Holy Spirit that will raise us up...

> > The only reason I don't still believe it is for the simple fact that He spoke to me that it IS NOT TRUE, AND IS A LIE

Who did you listen to? God does not tell us a single thing that disagrees with Scripture.

> > have ever seriously believed any other view except this one, or have you always held to this teaching?

I read the Bible. It showed me that there are 2 Raptures. Ever since that, I have believed it wholeheartedly. I am not in the least bit wishy washy. If the Bible says something, I believe it.

On your Web page, you said, "First of all, we must make a distinction here between 'SCRIPTUR"-al knowledge and "SPIRIT"-ual knowledge.

That is exactly where you went wrong. God is allowing us to be tested. He gave us a manual so we could pass the test. We need to read the manual. There are wicked spirits around that are all too happy to have us listen to them. We must be grounded in the written truth. The Holy Spirit of God that indwells us will help us understand the written word. Everything we need to know is in the written word.

You are trying to rebel against the established church, and make up your own rules. Christians should go strictly by what the Bible says, no matter what some church group says or even what you say or what I say. Humans can be wrong. God cannot. Instead of saying what the SPIRIT tells us, we should quote what the Bible tells us. That is the only rock-hard truth we have. It can keep you from wandering away from the truth. Agape

Her reply

I read part of your testimony, and assume you are still are Baptist. Been there, done that, called out of the Babylonian Whore (false Christian religions and churches). You have a lot of Bible knowledge...know lots of scripture, and leaning on that alone is EXACTLY what the Pharissees did when they couldn't accept the teachings of Christ....whom they thought was an heretic for the "blasphemous" things he did and said. I love my bible, have learned much by it, have had the Holy Spirit quicken it's passages for me, and also learned that the HOly Spirit is the ONLY ONE who can reveal the truth within it. Anyone can study the Bible, quote it, and attempt to "explain" it...but unless the teacher is the Holy Spirit, it is only an educated guess as to it's MEANING. Taking the words of men who teach their ideas of what a particular passage means is NOT a good idea....it is up to the individual to get alone before the Lord, in an intimate relationship with Him, and learn from Him what He has to say about what has been written.

remember that Satan quoted (unanointed) scripture that was truth to Jesus....but because the Holy spirit living inside Him did not quicken those words to him, they were rejected by Him. Paul even says that the un anointed word brings death, but......the "bible" gives life? No, he said that the SPIRIT gives life. The Pharisees could quote scripture with the best of them, but their HEARTS were far from the Lord. Honest and true hearts were not found inside the temple walls, but among the fishermen, and the publicans....

I hear and see lots of truths in the things you have written, and I can even identify with a lot of things you speak out. I still think that the adherence to the literal, Pre-trib rapture theory (and it is still just a theory, until it actually takes place) that one will be able to witness with physical eyes is the carnal soul's secret desire for his fleshman to be delivered from pain and suffering.

Yes, I am rebelling against the so-called "church" of today, for God has shown her to be the harlot of Revelation 18. The true church is comprised of all believers who are born again by the Holy Spirit, and there are no walls and man-made doctrines governing them, and carry no burden except fo the one placed on them by the Lord himself. If you honestly think that the visible church of today is okay, then fine...but she is not....

Marilyn, I can see you are rock solid in your theology, and you will not see the things I am saying. I see some truth in your writings, but I just don't agree. thanks for the discussion. Christ in us, the hope of Glory

My reply

...I am Baptist, but did you ever hear a Baptist preacher saying that there are 2 Raptures? I read the Bible for myself, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ help me understand it. I have found out many things that the Baptist Church does not teach. I found out what the "flaming sword" of Gen. 3:24 is. I found out what the "cherubim" of Eze. 1 and 10 are. I never studied Baptist Doctrine as such to find out exactly what the church teaches. The reason I joined the Baptist Church was because they opened their Bibles and taught straight from Scripture. That way, I could tell whether what I was being told was right or wrong.

I think the United Religions, the world church, is the harlot church of Babylon. I think it will be headed up by the Tribulation Pope, so the Roman Catholic Church will be in it....Here is why I believe this.

WORLD CHURCH. Zech. 5:5-11 says, " Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah (largest measure for wheat, i.e., the world church) that goeth forth. He said moreover, THIS IS THEIR RESEMBLANCE THROUGH ALL THE EARTH. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman (religious group) that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women (2 religious groups), and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah (world church) between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house (church) in the land of Shinar (Babylon, Gen. 11:2): and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base (the Tower of Babel)."

TRIBULATION POPE. Rev. 13:4 says, "and they worshipped the beast." Rev. 13:7 says, "and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." I think the Tribulation Pope will not only be over the UR (United Religions), but he will be over the OWG (One World Government). Just as Abraham was to come out of Ur, Christians today should stay out of UR....

> > Paul even says that the un anointed word brings death, but......the "bible" gives life? No, he said that the SPIRIT gives life

In Rom. 8:6 Paul said, "to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Is that the scripture you are thinking of? The words "the Spirit gives life" or "the spirit gives life" are not found in Paul's writings in the KJV.

> > I still think that the adherence to the literal, Pre-trib rapture theory (and it is still just a theory, until it actually takes place) that one will be able to witness with physical eyes is the carnal soul's secret desire for his fleshman to be delivered from pain and suffering.

Whatever we find in Scripture is truth. We may not understand it correctly, but it is pure truth, nevertheless. The Rapture is in Scripture.

"I Thess. 4:16-18 very definitely says, "the Lord himself SHALL descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ SHALL rise first: Then we which are alive and remain SHALL be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so SHALL we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore COMFORT one another with these words." That is fact, not theory. When God says that something SHALL take place, it will take place. Why don't these words COMFORT you?

If you wait "until it actually takes place," you could miss taking part in it. God wants the just to walk by faith. I have faith that when he says something, he will bring it to pass. The fact that it will take place has nothing whatsoever to do with what any person desires or doesn't desire. It was put in Scripture before either of us was born. Therefore, it has nothing to do with our desires.

> > Yes, I am rebelling against the so-called "church" of today, for God has shown her to be the harlot of Revelation 18. The true church is comprised of all believers who are born again by the Holy Spirit, and there are no walls and man-made doctrines governing them, and carry no burden except fo the one placed on them by the Lord himself. If you honestly think that the visible church of today is okay, then fine...but she is not.

You are tarring all churches with the same brush. They are not all "the harlot of Revelation 18." That is an unfair assessment. The harlot church will be a world church. What about the neighborhood church? I doubt that I could find a church in my area that would agree with everything I believe. However, I can worship the Lord with any of them that teach sound doctrine about Christ. That is what is important. All else takes 2nd place. No human is right about everything. We are all imperfect creatures, striving for perfection, but unable to attain it in this life.

Jesus gave us his assessment of the state of the 7 church groups when the Rapture is "at hand" (Rev. 1:3; 22:10) in Rev. 2 and 3. He did not tar them all with the same brush as you seem to be doing. The only one he said he would cast "into great tribulation" if she did not repent is Thyatira. He views each group independent of the others. So should we....Agape

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