3A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Prov 22:)
Most of those who adhere to a particular set of doctrines have no idea what those doctrines mean, what they say, what they have been derived from (or for), nor do they care. They leave these "unimportant" details to the educated theologian and the capable pastor who purports to have all wisdom in this regard. The fact that much of the foundational views a denomination are as contradictory and antithetic as fact is from fiction seems to have no effect on these men of wisdom whatsoever. Consider the Calvinist-Arminian debate. These two philosophies have been drawn from the very same book, yet they are topsy-turvy from one another. Even so, those who adhere to one or the other of these doctrines will not consider at all the possibility that they might be in error. To add to this confusion we find that some of the long-established churches are now drifting from one of these foundational doctrines to the other. What can be found between hot and cold? Have you ever heard the term "Lukewarm"? One or the other philosophy is wrong, we know this to be true. Is it also possible that both views are wrong?
If you've looked into these doctrines to any degree at all, I have little doubt but that you found a hodgepodge of words that causes the Bible to appear to be no more than a theologian's puzzle. The Bible can not be explained in words, certainly not words found in a scientist's dictionary. It must be read (and experienced) from the heart to be understood. Doctrine is composed of a series of words. Belief has been relegated to accepting the offered bundle of words as fact. Because of this process, an understanding of God's Word has been lost to us, the church of today.
If I were to offer another option, opposing the Pre-Trib Rapture theory, as I do and will (however not in this article), as much evidence as I would present, as is my custom, it would still be no more than a theory. God knows the facts of the matter. He may give some of us a bit of His Truth here, and another bit there, but none of those bits and pieces are to be taken as fact in itself. I might add, that even though I believe God is using me to disclose, and to reapply (from faulted church doctrine) some of the Truth He has given us through His Word, He has not given me all of His understandings. Nor, do I suspect He will ever give me but a tiny fraction of what there is to know when He's through using me (a logical expectation according to historical and Biblical pattern).
Saul was chosen, by God, to be the king of Israel, God's chosen people. Saul was chosen because of his human qualifications. He was tall, strong, humble and apparently a "Man's man." Saul was one we, as humans, would have thought to be the very best person to represent us and to lead us. Yet we see that Saul was far from a perfect man. This holds true of other kings that God has elected to place in charge of His nations as well, they were quite fallible. They were not chosen because they were qualified in some special way as we would assume them to be.
King Solomon was given wisdom and wealth beyond our imagination. He was not given these gifts because he was special. He was given these gifts because it suited God's purpose for him to have them. And as we can readily see, he was not qualified to have these gifts because he abused them to the same degree any of us would have abused them, even in our total ignorance.
Judas was specially selected by Jesus to be one of His twelve disciples. Judas, in his ministry with the Master, went from city to city preaching the Word, healed many people, cast out demons, and apparently raised the dead. Who but a very righteous man could do such miracles that are attributed to the true King, the Lord Himself? Yet Judas, one who proved himself unqualified,, did these very things we see in our Lord. Being chosen, and having been given gifts, does not mean we are special in God's eyes. We are merely being used for a purpose in God's Master Plan. I'm afraid there are far too many of us that forget this understanding, if it were ever known to us in the first place (see Mat 7:12-27)..
There have been times in our history, especially the past century or so, that men (and women) have risen been given special gifts. We usually refer to these periods of time as "Later Rains" because we fully expect the end to come, and that end (the Harvest) will not come until we see the later rains as predicted, and as seen in nature itself. These men who have been given special gifts for a time have been seen to build their lives and their reputation around these gifts. But when the rains ceased, and these people had their gifts removed, they were unable to move on with their lives as common, ordinary men. Therefore they created an illusion, a sideshow replica of what they had been given, and based their lives around that illusion. Still today we see this taking place, even though evidence of that illusion being fact has long past.
I believe there are many people throughout this world being given an understanding of the Word as am I. There's a lot of things I've been shown (nothing outside the Word of God) that I don't understand. And much of what I've been shown is in bits and pieces that haven't been placed together as yet. And I recognize that many of those missing pieces, those questions I have, may never be given to me. I see where Daniel, who was given far more than I could ever hope to be given, was told there were things shown to him he was not to understand. Though they were given to him, they were not for him. What he had been shown was for another people far in the future. We see this again with John the Revelator, and with all the prophets as well. There were questions they had regarding the information they had been given, but were told to be content with what they had been given. Jesus said:
Again, I'm not trying here to refute the theory of the Rapture of the Church. I only want to present information to add to your arsenal of understanding in your quest for the truth.
Although my intent is to arm you with Scripture, there is one thing I would like to add to what I've published below. I will present my thoughts in the form of questions:
2. There are many people in your church, all expecting to be raptured as are you. Do you feel that all those who are fully confident in their being raptured are acceptable in God's eyes? Are they working to perfect themselves in order to stand in God's presence? If they are not, or if you are not, then what do they cling to as evidence that they are rapture material? Is it their baptism that qualifies them (and you)? If so, then does that mean all baptized people, including those of the cults, and those baptized as infants, are also seen in God's eyes adequate to be raptured as you are?
3. If the above view is your own, and you're relying on your baptism to be raptured, then how can you be certain that you have been baptized the correct manner, or that those of another faith or denomination, who you condemn as lost, are not right and it's you who will stand as the one who is wrong?
4. Are you making any other provision to insure your being accepted in the rapture? Or are you resting on the words of your pastor and the beliefs of your church affiliation to allow you to miss the Great Tribulation?
5. Paul said to put on your armor and to stand in that great day (Eph 6:10-18). What do you suppose he was talking about if not the Tribulation? And if Paul was referring to the Tribulation, are you prepared to face what is to come? Are you shining your armor and preparing for the race? Are you prepared to stand in that evil day? Or are you nibbling on potato chips and expecting to be a spectator, only providing for yourself a comfortable pillow upon which to sit as you watch the Tribulation from the bleachers of Heaven?
6. If love is the qualification required all participants in the rapture, then what evidence have you given in order to prove you are acceptable to be taken in the rapture?
7. We see in the saints of old that it was their righteousness that saved them. We see this in Noah, in Enoch, in Abraham, and even in Lot. If it's righteousness that causes a person to be taken, then what evidence of righteousness have you provided?
8. Although it was not righteousness that caused the Israelites to be chosen to be led out of Egypt into the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, it was evidence of faith that allowed them to enter the Promised Land. This being so, is your faith sufficient to get you into the Promised Land? It was murmuring, and rebellion, and greed (wanting more than the daily bread God had provided) that caused many, if not most of the Israelites to die in the wilderness of their testing. Do you murmur? Do you rebel? Are you satisfied with what God has chosen to give you as your lot in this life?
9. God brought the Hebrew children out of Egypt by way of many miracles. He protected them in a land that was being devastated by every conceivable affliction. The Israelites did nothing more than do as they were told, when they were told to do it, to insure that they were protected from the devastation brought upon Egypt and its false beliefs and gods. The Hebrews had to believe in miracles in order to be saved from their tribulation. Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe it is possible for God to protect His own from the wrath He is to bring on this earth? I assume you're nodding your head to the affirmative. If this is so, and you truly believe that God is able to do as He has done in the past, then why do you think God will have to yank His Church out of the world in order to save the Church when He punishes this world?
10. Barring everything else said above, I have one last question to ask you, and then you can read what I've presented below. Jesus, and the Bible in general (especially the New Testament), tells us that it is those who overcome, those who endure the tribulations of this life, especially those who endure the Great Tribulation (as well as those who are "beheaded" during the Tribulation) who will receive the crowns and who will rule and reign in the Millennium and who will be closest to the Lord. Don't you want to be one of those specially chosen? If so, then why are you anxious to miss the Tribulation, the period of time God has provided His special people whereby they can prove their worthiness, their faithfulness, their love for God more than their love of their own life? And if God is wanting those who are willing to sacrifice for Him and for His Kingdom, then why would He choose to pull His Church out of His test when it's the test that will prove them acceptable?
7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah (Psalm 32:)
1Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; 2Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. 3Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. (Zeph 2:)
1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Col 3:)
17Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. 19He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. 20In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. 21Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. 22At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. (Job 5:)
26But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them. (Jer 36:)
113I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. 114Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. 115Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. 116Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. 117Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. 118Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. 119Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
120My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. (Psalm 119:)
9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 14Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (Isaiah 28:)
1Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 3And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. (Isaiah 32:)
5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Rev 12:)
20Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:)
7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it......it is the LORD'S passover. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.....15Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.....19Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread. (Ex 12:)
3Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. 5Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. 6I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. 7Show thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. 8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. (Psalm 17:)
3And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. (Ex 19:)
12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (Rev 12:)
1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 7And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. (1Kings 17:)
10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. (1Kings 17:)
2And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; 3The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: 4Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. 5And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. 6Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God. (Deut 29:)
1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. (Psalm 27::)
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