Rapture - The End Times Error that Leaves the Bible Behind

I am borrowing the title of David Currie’s book so that I can discuss the errors within Rapture theology.

The Book of Daniel, the Book of Revelation and the Olivet discourse have one thing in common - they are apocalyptic in nature. The style is different from other parts of Scripture because of its cosmology. Such writings, when in the hands of the “ignorant” are easily misinterpreted and over the centuries the Church has seen the results of such misinterpretation.

One of the most fascinating things about Scripture is that the authors were writing for their own times, yet there are elements in the writings that point directly to the future. The question is: how far into the future and do these writings suggest that there will be a Rapture as proposed by Dispensational theology.

If you are participating in this thread please do not bring up false prophets such as John Leary and Carol Ameche.

Maggie

To get a discussion moving here, I am suggesting that people also have a look at the following Scripture:

Daniel chapters 10, 11 and 12

1 Maccabees chapter 1

2 Maccabees chapter 1 (Orthodox members please review verses 30-36 and explain in terms of the miracle of the Holy Fire);

2 Maccabees chapter 2 to chapter 4

Matthew chapter 24

No, it has not been fulfilled.

But, it is beginning to be.

END TIME MARKERS

32 ****Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32. I think that the Fundamentalists are right on this: The sprouting of the fig tree is the resurgence of Israel after World War II. Jeremiah 24 makes it clear that figs and the fig tree are the people of the Old Law, the Hebrews/Jews. A re-sprouting fig tree would be a resurgence of Israel.

19 ****Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.” Matthew 24:19. Wherever Jesus says ouai, “woe,” he is making a threat: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes”; "Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! "; “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter”; “woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

Why in Heaven’s name would Jesus threaten “pregnant women” and “nursing mothers”???!!!

He’s not. He’s threatening those who should be pregnant or nursing – aborting mothers!

In other words, our current abortion age is one of the End Times markers. 30,000,000 dead in America, alone.

[quote=BibleReader] “32 ****Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32. I think that the Fundamentalists are right on this: The sprouting of the fig tree is the resurgence of Israel after World War II. Jeremiah 24 makes it clear that figs and the fig tree are the people of the Old Law, the Hebrews/Jews. A re-sprouting fig tree would be a resurgence of Israel.
[/quote]

What about verse 34, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place”? What is your interpretation of “this generation”?

[quote=BibleReader]“19 ****Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.” Matthew 24:19. Wherever Jesus says ouai, “woe,” he is making a threat:
[/quote]

Could this have been a warning to the Christians living in Judea to “flee to the mountains” to avoid the Roman army and subsequent tribulation of 70AD? Would not pregnant women have had a more difficult escape?

Well, I am a semi-preterist, so I believe taht a significant amount of the events described in Revelations and Daniel (et al) have already come to pass. However, I a still awaiting the secoond advent like a thief in the night.

[quote=John Joseph]What about verse 34, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place”? What is your interpretation of “this generation”?

Could this have been a warning to the Christians living in Judea to “flee to the mountains” to avoid the Roman army and subsequent tribulation of 70AD? Would not pregnant women have had a more difficult escape?
[/quote]

Re “generation,” if you look to Luke 11:50, you’ll see Jesus referring to the time from the beginning of the world to His time, when the blood of the prophets was shed, as a “generation.” In other words, the Old Testament period is the first “generation.”

I think that the Matthew 24:34 “generation” is the entire New Testament period, “the time of the Gentiles.” That is why the “leafing of the fig tree” is significant: It is odd that that should hapopen in the “time of the Gentiles,” and so will be noticed, and so is a good End Times marker.

Re whether Jesus is warning of a Roman army attack, look to Matthew 24:27-44…

27 For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

He isn’t talking about “Romans,” here, is He?

30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and **they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. **

Again, this is not about “Romans” coming.

37 For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Do you really think that THAT is about the Romans coming.

38 In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. 39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.

Again, strange ideation to choose to describe a Roman attack.

43 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. 44 So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Clearly, not about a Roman attack.

BibleReaderI cannot see the link to abortion from Mathew 24.

Biblereader, Correct me if I am wrong. I am not knowledgeable on this as some.

Are you saying by the resurgence of the Hebrews means that they will return (as some have) to Palestine rebuild the temple and eventually start resacrificing animals again. What about the role of Church in all this? The dispensationalists draw this distinction between Israel and the Church like the Church is just God’s temporary plan until he gets back to the Jews. I thought the Church was the new Israel. If this is true (There is separate plan for Jews), then whats the point of evangelizing Jews?

By the way, I have family members that devoutly follow the teachings
of the radio Bible teacher J. Vernon Mcgee. I appreciate anyone’s thoughts on his brand of dispensationalism and how its wrong in reference to this.

If the Temple is rebuilt–the rebuilders imo are doing the work of the anti-christ, for Jesus died (sacrificed Himself) once for all. If we see the Temple rebuilt…end times are just around the corner.

I just don’t buy the rapture thing. I have only heard about it once, and don’t think we will get a ‘social status’ based on works…I think paradise is for your capacity to experience love to be filled to the brim…if we would see others better off that we are, I think that would make some envyous, as this is a sin. Sin can not exist in paradise, right? Why would he reign for 1000 years anyway? Die, get judged based on faith and love for God, get settled in your destination. Living people at the end of time will be separated, right goes up, left goes down. No more Earth, just life in paradise with God almighty.

I don’t know if this is even the official Catholic position. It makes more sense to me than a ‘rapture’. That seems so Hollywood.

[quote=TPJCatholic]If the Temple is rebuilt–the rebuilders imo are doing the work of the anti-christ, for Jesus died (sacrificed Himself) once for all. If we see the Temple rebuilt…end times are just around the corner.
[/quote]

Catholics should enjoy William Blake’s view of the value of Christ and Christianity and every Christian’s effort to build up the walls of a new Jerusalem.The exhuberance of Blake is perfectly complimetary to the Great Book Of Revelation which in itself and for many reasons is a jewel for many reasons.

The Johannine author did Not write for readers of his time,the Book Of Revelation is purely a Divine miracle .

                         TO THE CHRISTIANS

Devils are False Religions.
Saul! Saul! why persecutest thou me?

I give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
Built in Jerusalem’s wall.

We are told to abstain from fleshly desires that we may lose no time from the Work of the Lord. Every moment lost is a moment that cannot be redeemed: every pleasure that intermingles with the duty of our station is a folly unredeemable, and is planted like the seed of a wild flower among our wheat. All the tortures of repentance are tortures of self-reproach on account of our leaving the Divine Harvest to the Enemy, the struggles of entanglement with incoherent roots. I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination – Imagination, the real and Eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, and in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. The Apostles knew of no other Gospel. What were all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? Is the Holy Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the harvest of the Gospel and its labours? What is that talent which it is a curse to hide? What are the treasures of Heaven which we are to lay up for ourselves? Are they any other than mental studies and performances? What are all the gifts of the Gospel? Are they not all mental gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in spirit and in truth? And are not the gifts of the Spirit everything to Man? O ye Religious, discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art and Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the life of Man but Art and Science? Is it meat and drink? Is not the Body more than raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which lives eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but improvement in the things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance, Bodily Lust, Idleness, and devastation of the things of the Spirit? Answer this to yourselves, and expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art and Science, which alone are the labo 1000 urs of the Gospel. Is not this plain and manifest to the thought? Can you think at all, and not pronounce heartily: that to labour in knowledge is to build up Jerusalem; and to despise knowledge is to despise Jerusalem and her Builders. And remember: He who despises and mocks a mental gift in another, calling it pride and selfishness and sin, mocks Jesus, the giver of every mental gift, which always appear to the ignorance-loving hypocrite as sins; but that which is a sin in the sight of cruel Man, is not so in the sight of our kind God. Let every Christian, as much as in him lies, engage himself openly and publicly, before all the World, in some mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem.

William Blake

Ok, I think that some are not paying enough attention to the purpose of the thread and have veered a little bit to the side.

I have not offered my opinion on these things just yet, except that I have stated that I do not want to hear about messages from alleged modern “visionaries” such as John Leary, Carol Ameche and others, because I already believe those messages to be false.

For the moment, and Bible Reader is at least going in the right direction except that he has not examined Matthew in light of the prophecies of Daniel and the events surrounding the Maccabean Wars, let us just concentrate on what is written in the Scripture for the moment and then we will see if it is relevant to move into what unknown dispensationalist preachers have to say on the subject.

Maggie

[quote=John Joseph]What about verse 34, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place”? What is your interpretation of “this generation”?

Could this have been a warning to the Christians living in Judea to “flee to the mountains” to avoid the Roman army and subsequent tribulation of 70AD? Would not pregnant women have had a more difficult escape?
[/quote]

These are good points John Joseph. I agree the pregnant women would have a harder time to escape but I wonder whether we are to take these words so literally.

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Well, I am a semi-preterist, so I believe taht a significant amount of the events described in Revelations and Daniel (et al) have already come to pass. However, I a still awaiting the secoond advent like a thief in the night.
[/quote]

Scott,

I agree with you, and have to say that I fit into the same category for I believe that these prophecies have come to pass and I am awaiting the Second Coming of Christ who will sit in judgement on the Last Day.

Maggie

[quote=BibleReader]No, it has not been fulfilled.

But, it is beginning to be.

END TIME MARKERS

32 ****Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32. I think that the Fundamentalists are right on this: The sprouting of the fig tree is the resurgence of Israel after World War II. Jeremiah 24 makes it clear that figs and the fig tree are the people of the Old Law, the Hebrews/Jews. A re-sprouting fig tree would be a resurgence of Israel.

19 ****Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.” Matthew 24:19. Wherever Jesus says ouai, “woe,” he is making a threat: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes”; "Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! "; “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter”; “woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

Why in Heaven’s name would Jesus threaten “pregnant women” and “nursing mothers”???!!!

He’s not. He’s threatening those who should be pregnant or nursing – aborting mothers!

In other words, our current abortion age is one of the End Times markers. 30,000,000 dead in America, alone.
[/quote]

Bible Reader, why is it necessary for the Temple in Jerusalem to be built for a fourth time?

By taking this literal approach to the Gospel of Matthew, I wonder if you are missing half of what is going on, in the words of Jesus as well as in the Book of Revelation.

Have you taken the trouble to look at the Scripture that I have suggested for reading?

What age came to an end when the Temple was destroyed during the Roman sacking of Jerusalem?

Why did Jesus say that there would not be two stones standing one on top of another if he was not talking about the Temple in Jerusalem?

Why did he bother going to the Sacrifice on the Cross if the Temple was to be rebuilt?

Maggie

[quote=oriel36]Catholics should enjoy William Blake’s view of the value of Christ and Christianity and every Christian’s effort to build up the walls of a new Jerusalem.The exhuberance of Blake is perfectly complimetary to the Great Book Of Revelation which in itself and for many reasons is a jewel for many reasons.

The Johannine author did Not write for readers of his time,the Book Of Revelation is purely a Divine miracle .

                          TO THE CHRISTIANS*Devils are False Religions.*

Saul! Saul! why persecutest thou me?

I give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
Built in Jerusalem’s wall.

We are told to abstain from fleshly desires that we may lose no time from the Work of the Lord. Every moment lost is a moment that cannot be redeemed: every pleasure that intermingles with the duty of our station is a folly unredeemable, and is planted like the seed of a wild flower among our wheat. All the tortures of repentance are tortures of self-reproach on account of our leaving the Divine Harvest to the Enemy, the struggles of entanglement with incoherent roots. I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination – Imagination, the real and Eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, and in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. The Apostles knew of no other Gospel. What were all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? Is the Holy Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the harvest of the Gospel and its labours? What is that talent which it is a curse to hide? What are the treasures of Heaven which we are to lay up for ourselves? Are they any other than mental studies and performances? What are all the gifts of the Gospel? Are they not all mental gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in spirit and in truth? And are not the gifts of the Spirit everything to Man? O ye Religious, discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art and Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the life of Man but Art and Science? Is it meat and drink? Is not the Body more than raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which lives eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but improvement in the things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance, Bodily Lust, Idleness, and devastation of the things of the Spirit? Answer this to yourselves, and expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art and Science, which alone are the labo 1000 urs of the Gospel. Is not this plain and manifest to the thought? Can you think at all, and not pronounce heartily: that to labour in knowledge is to build up Jerusalem; and to despise knowledge is to despise Jerusalem and her Builders. And remember: He who despises and mocks a mental gift in another, calling it pride and selfishness and sin, mocks Jesus, the giver of every mental gift, which always appear to the ignorance-loving hypocrite as sins; but that which is a sin in the sight of cruel Man, is not so in the sight of our kind God. Let every Christian, as much as in him lies, engage himself openly and publicly, before all the World, in some mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem.

William Blake
[/quote]

This post has nothing to do with the subject. Please start your own thread.

Maggie

[quote=BibleReader]Re “generation,” if you look to Luke 11:50, you’ll see Jesus referring to the time from the beginning of the world to His time, when the blood of the prophets was shed, as a “generation.” In other words, the Old Testament period is the first “generation.”

I think that the Matthew 24:34 “generation” is the entire New Testament period, “the time of the Gentiles.” That is why the “leafing of the fig tree” is significant: It is odd that that should hapopen in the “time of the Gentiles,” and so will be noticed, and so is a good End Times marker.

Re whether Jesus is warning of a Roman army attack, look to Matthew 24:27-44…

27 For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

He isn’t talking about “Romans,” here, is He?

30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and **they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. **

Again, this is not about “Romans” coming.

37 For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Do you really think that THAT is about the Romans coming.

38 In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. 39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.

Again, strange ideation to choose to describe a Roman attack.

43 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. 44 So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Clearly, not about a Roman attack.
[/quote]

BR

I think that you need to do some further research on the historical period that encompasses the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans. There are several reasons why I think that Jesus was referring to the sacking of Jerusalem:

  1. The Jews had Jesus condemned to death by the Romans; The Romans were used to condemn the Jews in 70 A.D.

  2. Jesus had predicted that the Temple will be destroyed.

  3. In Scripture, the Jews see wars, and how they fare in wars as a sign of God’s wrath or benevolence depending upon how they have behaved. During Isaiah’s time they fell into apostasy and were punished. In the period prior to 70 A.D. the Jews had failed to open their hearts to God, had persecuted the Christians and killed James the Just. God’s judgement was awaiting them.

  4. It is a common practice for the New Testament writers to recall something that had previously occurred as a remembrance or a reminder of those times in exile or facing persecution. The Jews faced severe persecution at the hands of the Hellenes when the statue of Zeus was set up in the Temple. Jesus is recalling this episode when he refers to the “abomination”

Maggie

[quote=philipmarus]Biblereader, Correct me if I am wrong. I am not knowledgeable on this as some.

Are you saying by the resurgence of the Hebrews means that they will return (as some have) to Palestine rebuild the temple and eventually start resacrificing animals again. What about the role of Church in all this? The dispensationalists draw this distinction between Israel and the Church like the Church is just God’s temporary plan until he gets back to the Jews. I thought the Church was the new Israel. If this is true (There is separate plan for Jews), then whats the point of evangelizing Jews?

By the way, I have family members that devoutly follow the teachings
of the radio Bible teacher J. Vernon Mcgee. I appreciate anyone’s thoughts on his brand of dispensationalism and how its wrong in reference to this.
[/quote]

I am unfamiliar with this person because I do not live in the USA. Can you please give me some idea of his statements. Your comments are on topic. I want you to discuss the Rapture as it is presented by the Dispensationalists.

Maggie

[quote=ppcpilot]I just don’t buy the rapture thing. I have only heard about it once, and don’t think we will get a ‘social status’ based on works…I think paradise is for your capacity to experience love to be filled to the brim…if we would see others better off that we are, I think that would make some envyous, as this is a sin. Sin can not exist in paradise, right? Why would he reign for 1000 years anyway? Die, get judged based on faith and love for God, get settled in your destination. Living people at the end of time will be separated, right goes up, left goes down. No more Earth, just life in paradise with God almighty.

I don’t know if this is even the official Catholic position. It makes more sense to me than a ‘rapture’. That seems so Hollywood.
[/quote]

I agree with you. I cannot see anything in the Scripture that supports the Dispensationalist view of the Rapture. Would be interested in getting some more of your ideas.

Maggie

[quote=MaggieOH]I am unfamiliar with this person because I do not live in the USA. Can you please give me some idea of his statements. Your comments are on topic. I want you to discuss the Rapture as it is presented by the Dispensationalists.

[/quote]

Maggie, My Mother follows Dr. McGee. Dr.Mcgee comes from The University of Dallas which is a hub for dispensationalism in America. From what I gather, He believes that :

  1. The Antichrist will appear and there will be Great Apostasy
  2. The “Church” will be raptured away
  3. The Tribulation will occur and during this period the Jews will
    rebuild the Temple to commence resacrificing animals
  4. At the end of tribulation, Chirst will return in glory with his saints to commence the Great white throne Judgment
  5. Somehow at the end, the Jews will accept Christ but yet will be using the temple to offer animal sacrifices.
  • This guy believes that there will be a literal 1000 year reign on Earth. This brand of dispensation from my conversations with my mother is little bit cleverer than the typical “Left Behind” variety to refute. For example, consider: Mathew 24:37-44 which talks about the coming of Son of Man compared to the days of Noah where one will be taken, one will be left. Some Catholic apologists use this to refute the rapture since those left behind were the ones in the Noah’s ark. However, this passage according to Dr. Mcgee does not refer to rapture. Dr. Mcgee uses 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 about the people of the church being “caught up”. This brand of thought also strongly emphasizes “literal interpretation”. Dr Mcgee founded an organization called Thru the Bible Radio and publishes a version of KJV bible. In the preface, he advises the Bible reader to follow the rule of interpretation of “interpret the Bible literally unless its impossible to do otherwise”. I once heard a sermon by Mcgee on Sunday while I was driving home from Mass while flipping channels on radio. In the sermon, Dr Mcgee criticized what he called the “spiritualizing of the Kingdom” which he claimed had its beginning with St. Augustine. By this I assume he means he does not like the idea that the Catholic Church is the New Israel. Rather I think he means the passages in the O.T that point to the Kingdom should apply to Israel and not be interpreted to be fulfilled in the Church in the N.T. I hope I have explained what I have been able to gather but I’m a long way from you guys. I hope you all can help me out.
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