Pro and Con 586

Posted 8-29-00

Incoming email

Re: rapture I was reading your website, and wondered when you think the rapture will be now? I would consider myself a Christian, but I am not a very good one I'm afraid.

My reply

I can't tell you the exact day, but expect it soon. Please make sure of 2 things to get ready.

1. Be very sure that you have exercised your will and definitely accepted Christ as your own personal Saviour. We can't trust baptism or church membership to get us to Heaven. Rom. 10:9,10 says, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

2. Whatever sins you have committed after accepting Christ need to be confessed to bring them under the blood of Christ. Jn. 13:8 says, "Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." We have to be wearing spiritual white robes of righteousness to be caught up in the 1st Rapture, so we need to let Christ wash our feet. When you first accept Christ, all your "old sins" are wiped off the books (II Peter 1:9). You get a fresh start. Known sins after that need to be confessed to God. I Jn. 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."

Peter gave us a list of things to add to our faith in Christ to be sure we do not fail to be caught up in the Rapture. II Peter 1:4-11 says, "by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (the Holy Spirit, which the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8:9), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Then Peter lists these things to "add to your faith": virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, kindness, charity (God's agape love) and says, "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind (like the Laodiceans that are spewed out of Christ's mouth at the Rapture, Rev. 3:16), and cannot see afar off (Heaven), and hath forgotten that he was purged from his OLD SINS. Wherefore the rather, brethren (believers), give diligence to make your CALLING AND ELECTION sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance (the Rapture) shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Rev. 17:14 says that Christ "is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him (i.e., after the Rapture) are CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL." We want to be with him, so we also want to be "called, and chosen, and faithful." In John 14:2,3, 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."

Get ready, his coming is soon. All the things are falling right into place for the Tribulation to begin. We will be caught up to Heaven before it begins.

I would like to hear from you again. Agape

Incoming email

Re: The partial rapture
Thank you for responding to my questions. I still have a bit of a problem with the partial first rapture, as it appears to me that some of the pieces of the jigsaw you are putting together do not fit exactly.

1) Ephesians 5.27 refers to the church (bride) as not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it whould be holy and without blemish.

The description of the bride which you are suggesting is one which gets raptured with a limb or two missing, and somehow gets joined up later.

2) Why do you use the two women in Matt 24.40 as a picture of the rapture ?

I think it is a description of being taken for judgement, and it actually says so if you take the verse in context........ 'As it was in the days of Noah ..they knew not until the flood came AND TOOK THEM ALL AWAY'. Where did they all go? To heaven? No , they were judged.'Them' relates to the unbelievers not Noah...........continuing ' So shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be TAKEN (i.e.in judgement) and the other left. Watch therefore for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come' (the second coming not the rapture).

For some years I thought this was a rapture verse, until it was pointed out to me that the context of this passage is primarily for the Jews in the tribulation and relates to judgement at the end of the tribulation, and watching and being ready. Noah is a picture of certain Jewish people being protected. I do not think you can take it as a proof text for part of the bride not being complete at the first rapture.

3) The passages you use in Matt 34.50 and Luke 12.46 relating to cutting him asunder and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers...

I think that scripture indicates that the conditions under which you can remain saved are different after the age of grace is over (i.e.after the rapture) and during the tribulation. These people which risk being cut off are not pre tribulation believers, but rather those who become believers during the tribulation who clearly from other scriptures have to 'endure' to the end, and continue to do certain things (inlcuding not taking the mark of the beast) in order to qualify for admission to heaven. A different dispensation has started once the rapture of the bride has taken place, and sort of seems to go back to the rules of the old testament in terms of doing things in order to get saved. You believe that these are some believers getting cut off and left behind. I believe that they are people who believe after the age of grace is over and who for some reasons do not continue to do whatever is necessary to endure. This set of circumstances also relates to the group to whom the Lord says' pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things. He is talking to the Jews.

As a matter of fact I do not personally neglect to pray that I myself may be found worthy to escape all the horrible things which I see in the tribulation etc., however my belief is that that passage is more particularly directed to the Jews, in it's context in order to not have to go through the time of Jacob's trouble and be protected.

This would also clear up the nagging doubt in so many people's minds that so far as we are concerned as pre tribulation believers, it is only on account of the Lord's worthiness that we qualify and not our own.

4) Of course I was not suggesting that Jesus lied (in my previous e-mail). It is of course unthinkable. However it does rank as a good example of a piece of jigsaw that more or less fits, but does'nt quite. My question was how can the Lord say 'I know you not' to people who, you suggest, were once believers, and who he obviously did know at one stage. I could understand if he was going to say ' I dont want to associate with you any more, or I dont want to know you any more', but not 'I know you not'. How can he say this if he has known you?

5) There is something in the partial rapture theory which goes against the scripture ' he who has begun a good work in you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ' (the rapture).

6) The partial rapture theory would also raise questions about the prayer Jesus prays for all believers in Hebrews 7.25. 'He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM. Now don't accuse me of anything here, but it would seem that in order for one of the believers (for whom our Lord constantly prays) to miss the wedding ceremony in order to get punished in some way by missing the first rapture, it would seem that either the Lord is praying for exactly that to happen for some unfortunate believers, which seems highly unlikely , or alternatively that his prayers are not heard or answered. This latter is impossible ('I and the Father are one') and the former is another piece of ill fitting jigsaw.

7) A good brother who I know put his finger on it when he said the other day to me ' the concept of unconditional eternal salvation by grace, is inconsistent with a partial rapture where some believers are left behind'

I agree with him, and of course you can prove anything from scripture if you want to, but it seems to me that most of the proof texts for the partial rapture theory are ones which although appear on the surface to support the theory, are not so when placed back in to their proper context, and proper dispensation.(the two women referred to above being a good example). See you soon. Agape

My reply

> > 1) Ephesians 5.27 refers to the church (bride) as not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it whould be holy and without blemish.

That's right, not wearing spiritual robes spotted by the flesh, but wearing white robes. The Bride wears white. Rev. 19:8 says, "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, i.e., the righteousness of Christ imputed to us plus our righteous acts while filled with the HS) of saints." II Cor. 11:2 says, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you AS A CHASTE VIRGIN to Christ."

Not only are those of the Pre-Trib Rapture classed as CHASTE VIRGINS, but the 144,000 Israelites are in this class. Rev. 14:4 says, "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are VIRGINS. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the FIRSTFRUITS unto God and to the Lamb." Christ is The Firstfruit. The Bride group is referred to as the firstfruits. Some of the firstfruits were raised on Resurrection Day in 30 AD. It seems that all participating in the Pre-Trib Rapture are in the Bride group, but maybe only the 144,000 are added to that group at the Pre-Wrath Rapture. James 1:18 says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be A KIND OF FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures."

The only reason I can see for there being 5 wise VIRGINS and 5 foolish VIRGINS is that the wise have confessed their sins since they accepted Christ and brought them all under the blood of Christ. Therefore, they are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. They are wearing those white robes. The 5 foolish virgins must wash their robes in the blood of Christ and make them white. Look at the Philadelphians before whom the open door is set. Jesus has NO words of condemnation for them. They had already confessed their sins, so did not have to be told to repent. Look at the Laodiceans. They are told that they need to repent, and that they need "white raiment." They are spued out of his mouth at the Pre-Trib Rapture (Rev. 3:16).

At the wedding, Jesus called a man, "Friend," not Bride, and he was cast outside the DOOR. "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Mt. 22:14).

In Lu. 12:35-37, Jesus said to the foolish virgins, "Let your loins be girded about, and your LIGHTS BURNING (i.e., buy more oil); And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return FROM THE WEDDING (i.e., after the Marriage of the Lamb); that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find WATCHING: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat (the Marriage Supper of the Lamb), and will come forth and serve them."

Those that participate in the Marriage of the Lamb are a different group than these who are "called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9).

> > 2) Why do you use the two women in Matt 24.40 as a picture of the rapture ?

Because v. 42 says, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour YOUR LORD doth come."

> > Noah is a picture of certain Jewish people being protected. I do not think you can take it as a proof text for part of the bride not being complete at the first rapture.

Why? Noah was a Gentile. Abraham was born 2 years after Noah died. None in the Ark were Jews.

> > I think that scripture indicates that the conditions under which you can remain saved are different after the age of grace is over (i.e.after the rapture) and during the tribulation.
> > A different dispensation has started once the rapture of the bride has taken place, and sort of seems to go back to the rules of the old testament in terms of doing things in order to get saved.

I don't think the age of grace (Age of the Church) will be over until the millennial Day of the Lord begins. That is the KINGDOM of Christ. I don't think one can be saved during the Tribulation without accepting Christ. When we accept Christ, we are saved by grace, "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" (Eph. 2:8.9). That isn't going to change. Even the Israelites at Petra "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17). They are like the Jewish Nazarenes of today. They keep all the old law, but add faith in Yahshua/Christ to it.

Jesus explained in Mt. 13:39-43: "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world (sunteleia tou aionos, CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE); and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (sunteleia tou aionos toutou, CONSUMMATION OF THIS AGE). The SON OF MAN shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of HIS KINGDOM all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in THE KINGDOM of their FATHER (i.e., Christ is "The everlasting Father," Isa. 9:6). Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

> > You believe that these are some believers getting cut off and left behind. I believe that they are people who believe after the age of grace is over and who for some reasons do not continue to do whatever is necessary to endure.

In Lu. 12 42f, Jesus said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward." That is one of whom he said, Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh (at the 1st Rapture) shall find so doing." In v. 44, "he will make him ruler over all that he hath." Immediately, in v. 45, Jesus continues, "But and if THAT SERVANT (the one he was already talking about) say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming (the Rapture)...." THAT SERVANT is the one of whom Jesus said in v. 46, "The lord of THAT SERVANT will COME (at the Rapture) in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him (THAT SERVANT) in sunder (lit., cut him off), and will appoint him his portion (2300 days of the Tribulation, Dan. 8:14) with the unbelievers."

> > This set of circumstances also relates to the group to whom the Lord says' pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things. He is talking to the Jews.

In the majority of the Bible, God is addressing Jews. The prophets are all Jews. The Bible is a Jewish book. God chose the Jews to record the scriptures for the whole world. II Tim. 3:16 says, "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

> > as pre tribulation believers, it is only on account of the Lord's worthiness that we qualify and not our own.

That is true of Salvation, not necessarily of rewards. We have to run the race to win the "the prize of the high calling (the 'Come up hither') of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). I Cor. 9:24 says, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the PRIZE? So RUN, that ye may obtain."

> > how can the Lord say 'I know you not' to people who, you suggest, were once believers, and who he obviously did know at one stage.

In the literal Concordant Version, Mt. 25:12 says, "Verily, I am saying to you, I am not acquainted with you." One version says that he does not know whence they are. Their lights are supposed to be burning brightly, and if they are not, he will pass them by for someone whose light is burning bright and strong. It isn't like he hasn't warned us.

> > 5) There is something in the partial rapture theory which goes against the scripture ' he who has begun a good work in you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ' (the rapture).

There are two Days of Christ, or Days of the Son of Man. In Lu. 17:22 Jesus said, "The days will come, when ye shall desire to see ONE of the DAYS OF THE SON OF MAN, and ye shall not see it." Verse 26 says, "as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the DAYS (plural) of the Son of man." One of the days of the Son of Man is the Pre-Trib Rapture. It is as the days of Noah. The other day of the Son of Man is the Pre-Wrath Rapture. It is as the days of Lot, and "the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Lu. 17:29). The whole Body of Christ will be finished in the 2nd Day of the Son of Man.

> > Hebrews 7.25. 'He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.

Mt. 10:32 says, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." This doesn't say you will be caught up at the first trump. You might be caught up at the "last trump" (I Cor. 15:52). I Jn. 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He will do his part if we do our part. If wearing white raiment, he will catch us up in the 1st Rapture.

> > 7) A good brother who I know put his finger on it when he said the other day to me ' the concept of unconditional eternal salvation by grace, is inconsistent with a partial rapture where some believers are left behind' > > I agree with him

You better find out what the Lord said before you swallow what MAN says as gospel truth. The Laodiceans do not know that they are blind and naked. They will have to learn their lesson the hard way--after being spued out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16). The problem with being caught up the 2nd time is that the great multitude of Rev. 7:9,14 are not wearing crowns. In Rev. 3:11, the Philadelphians are warned, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no MAN take thy crown." The multitude caught up the 1st time are made "kings and priests" (Rev. 5:10). Paul said he was running the race to win an incorruptible crown. I Cor. 9:25 says, "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible."

You can run the race to win the prize, or you can walk, or you can drop out of the race. If you truly believe in Christ, you will make it to Heaven. Which Rapture you go up in is up for grabs. That decision is up to you. I am running as hard as I can go to win the prize of the high calling of God. Agape

Incoming email

If the rapture will be as the days of Noah, would it make it the same time of year? I seem to recall you or someone said Noah got in the ark in November? I wonder. The time is coming, it is exciting! Just wish I knew for sure! I am tempted to be funny and say I saw a rainbow colored dove! In Him

My reply

Noah and his family entered the Ark on Cheshvan 17. That is Nov. 15, 2000. I don't know if it applies or not. We should know before too long. These are exciting days to be watching the new developments.

Incoming email

Re: The judgment before Genesis
In regard to the discussion on Genesis 1:1. I agree with you that there had to be a judgment of an angelic creation before the re-fashioning of the earth in the six days of creation. Everytime we see floods and darkness in scripture, it is associated with the Judgment of God. Just as God created a new heaven and earth after this judgment of angels, He will refurbish the earth and atmosphere, creating a new heaven and earth after the earth is decimated by His upcoming wrath upon mankind. There is an interesting scripture in Jeremian 4 than seems to point to this time of God's wrath upon the fallen angels before the time of Genesis 1:1. The flood had not been delivered in judgment yet. Notice how verse 23 starts. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

The words for without form and void are the same Hebrew words tohuw and bohuw used in Genesis 1:1. It seems to match that time frame perfectly for not only is the earth without form and void, but it is dark as Genesis 1:1 also records. Evidently the earth had not been flooded yet. As far as I know there is no other time frame in the Bible other than Genesis 1:1 that fits the words of this opening verse. The only other possiblility is that during the upcoming battering of the earth during the wrath of God, the earth, at that time could become formless and void. What do you think?

***From Marilyn: I have wondered about this too, thinking it might have a double reference, as so many sections do. However, I have decided that it is a picture of the Day of God's Wrath. Here are my reasons.

***V. 26 mentions "the presence (paneh, face, i.e., the Sign of the Son of Man, Mt. 24:30; Rev. 6:14f) of the LORD, and "his FIERCE ANGER." Both this "presence" (paneh) and God's wrath are mentioned in the account in Eze. 38:18-20. There, it is easy to tell that it applies to the Day of God's Wrath. His fury comes up in his face when Israel is attacked by Gog's army. This is the day of thick darkness (Joel 2:1-3).

***V. 23 says, "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light." There is no verb here for "was." That is why it is in italics. That means that there is NO CHANGE. The scene exists AS IS at that moment. In Gen. 1:2 "hayah" is used and is translated "was." Because the verb is used, it indicates A CHANGE of state, and means "became." At that point, the Earth BECAME tohuw (ruin) and bohuw (desolation).

***V. 24 says, "I beheld the mountains." In Gen. 1:2, the land is ALL drowned in the water. The land does not appear until the 3rd day (Gen. 1:9) after much of the water has run into the PLACE God made for it, which I think is the Pacific Basin.

***V. 25 says, "lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled." Both men and birds were in hiding from fear. The "was" in italics indicates NO CHANGE. It is a single moment that is being described.

***V. 26 says, "all the CITIES thereof were broken down at the presence (paneh, face) of the LORD, and by his fierce anger." Cities are of this "kosmos," this order of things, i.e., since Adam's creation. Rev. 16:19 says, "the CITIES of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of HIS WRATH."

***V. 28 says, "For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black," as in Joel 2:1-3's thick darkness.

If it refers to the judgment before Genesis 1;1, the following verses become quite amazing. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

Before God flooded the earth, the mountains were moving because of the many great earthquakes, which also are associated with the wrath of God.

25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

If this is pre-Genesis, the phrase "there was no man" means that man had not been created and were no where to be found on the earth. But evidently there were birds of a sort, terradactals (I don't know how to spell it) or other such creation.

If the upcoming wrath will make the earth formless and void to fit this passage, the phrase "there was no man" could mean than everyone had taken cover in underground cities, caves, basements etc. and no man could be seen during the onslaught of the asteroids. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

This clearly identifies this passage with an execution of the wrath of God. What is your opinion? Will the upcoming wrath make the earth without form and void, allowing this passage to reference the future or does that phrase "without form and void" make this only applicable to the judgment before Genesis 1:1?

***Tohuw and bohuw do not have to mean "formless and void." They can mean ruin and desolation, which fits the catastrophe on the Day of God's Wrath very well.

***Isa. 24:1 also describes the Day of God's Wrath. It says, "Behold, the LORD maketh the earth EMPTY (baqaq), and maketh it WASTE (balaq), and turneth it UPSIDE DOWN, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof." I can just see huge tsunamis racing to scour the land when there is a worldwide earthquake and this globe turns upside down because of the asteroid impacts. Since asteroid impacts cause the devastation on the Day of God's Wrath, I think asteroid impact/impacts caused the devastation before Adam was put on Earth.

***I think the similarity of Jer. 4:23, Isa. 24:1 and Gen. 1:2 is intentional, so that we could figure out what Gen. 1:2 really means. That previous devastation was the result of judgment on Satan and his planet. This coming judgment will be because of man's sin.

Incoming email

Re: doves and Gog
I've never seen white doves in the wild. I did last Monday. Five of them flew above my car and stood out against the clear blue sky. Why is this significant to you and your readers? I am just curious.

Also, do you believe that Gog and Magog represent Russia. Gog being the chief prince of Rosh and magog the land of the chief prince of Rosh. Also, are Meshech and Tubal Moscow and Tobolsk? Interested in your thoughts.

My reply

Thanks for sharing with us about seeing the doves. We never expected to see unusual double rainbows or doves. There is no scripture that directs us to look for such. They have just happened in such strange ways that we feel that the Lord's coming is close, because these are his symbols that he is scattering around in profusion.

I agree with you on Russia. However, Gog is just the leader of the united nation's army that attacks Israel. It is not just Russia. Zech. 14:2,3 says, "I will gather ALL NATIONS against JERUSALEM to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those NATIONS, as when he fought in the day of battle."

Joshua 10:11 speaks of Joshua's (i.e., Jesus') long day. It says, " it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down GREAT STONES FROM HEAVEN upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." On Jesus' long day, he will cast "GREAT STONES FROM HEAVEN" (Rev. 8:8,10) upon the unbelievers left on Earth. They will wish they had never bothered with Jerusalem. It has become a burdensome stone to them. Agape

Incoming email

The youth at my church (including my 14 yr. old daughter) have been passing out business cards which simply say:

http://www.thekristo.com/
An experiential presentation...

I just went to this site today and was so impressed with its message. It is a quick MTV-like presentation of Salvation and offers it at the end with email support. What a unique and clever way to present the gospel! Thought you and others might like to have the site address so if you need another way to reach your unsaved friends, it could be an option. With our Rapture surely near, there is no time to waste. Tell your unsaved friends about our Lord's sacrifice today! Because of Him

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