Tag: Faith

RAPTURE 12: TWO MORE MULTITUDES

Greetings fellow truth-seekers! Today’s post is a continuation of my series on the rapture of the Church, and more specifically, a brief look at two more of the heavenly  multitudes found in Revelation.

Those new to my blog should be aware that I was a zealous defender of the pre-tribulation rapture for twenty-eight years, until I was of the mind to bravely face up to opposing scriptures. Herein is the twelfth excerpt from my book*

The second multitude discussed here concerns the Bride of Christ. The subject of the Bride is a big and important one in relation to the rapture, which will be covered in more depth in subsequent posts.

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A MULTITUDE OF ANGELS

After we meet the twenty-four elders and other beings around the throne, we read about millions of angels, also close by around the throne (Revelation 5:11). They’re praising the Lamb of God, and are joined quickly by “every creature in heaven and on earth” (5:13). The word translated “angels” means “messenger” and can refer to human messengers, but normally refers to spirit beings. There’s no reason given to assume that these are raptured Church people around the throne. They’re not identified or named in the book as people, the Church, the bride, saints, or even martyrs. All Bible versions such as the NIV, the KJV, the NASB and the ESV translate this word as “angels”. Since they are joined in praise by every creature in heaven and on earth the significance of this praise-party is thrown wide open. It may just be a symbol of the fact that all of nature is designed and created to worship God and will do so. It could be a millennial praise event, in which the whole earth will be under the authority of the Lamb.

John and the twenty-four elders are the only people, or representatives of people, around the throne. This is not a scene of the Church raptured before the tribulation.

A GREAT MULTITUDE AND THE BRIDE

A great multitude in chapter 19 praising God is commonly identified in pre-tribulation theory as the “Bride of Christ” also known as the Church. They are there, it is assumed, since before the tribulation, and now, it is also assumed, they’re enjoying the wedding supper, and preparing to go down to earth with Jesus Christ to attack his enemies. However, this great multitude is not named as the Bride or as the Church in Revelation. More importantly, the multitude is speaking about the Bride in the third person-even in the King James Version. Those in the multitude are not  speaking of themselves:

For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (19:7).

This fact cannot be ignored by those insisting that the twenty-four elders of chapter four are speaking of their own redemption, and are saying “you have redeemed us” (see the previous post-part 11). Given that they were speaking of themselves,  it’s clear that the multitude here in chapter 19 is speaking of someone else, and not themselves. The pre-tribulationists can’t have it both ways.

The bride is “ready” in chapter 19. Wasn’t she ready in chapter 4 or 5, when John, it is believed, was also “raptured” before the tribulation events, and when the twenty-four elders-the representatives of the Church-were seen in heaven? The Bride and the Church were  not mentioned there. And why wasn’t she ready before the seals… the seals of judgment…were opened? What does it mean that she has “made herself ready” anyway? What can believers possibly do to ready themselves for marriage to Christ? There is only one thing they can do: they can accept the gospel and live lives worthy of him. This has been done throughout the centuries. They can also give up their lives for the sake of Christ: something multitudes will do in the tribulation.

Stay tuned for more examination of the Bride in relation to end-times events.

*All Left Behind: The Case Against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, by Nick Fisher, available on Amazon.

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DARK MANAGERS OF TRUTH

Evolutionists are selective about the terms they use. While telling us how incredible is the makeup and working of our world, they’re very careful to avoid the possibility of us thinking that there’s anything more to life than chance and matter. If you’re looking, you can see them at their work of hiding truth… 

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I’ve shared with you before a few of the insights I’ve gleaned from a radio documentary series, published by the BBC* Among its varied subject matter the Beeb’s science and evolution broadcasts are most illuminating, being not only  informative when it comes to real scientific facts, but also giving a surprisingly candid view of the attitudes and thinking processes of evolutionists. They unwittingly expose the incredible lack of evidence for core evolutionary theory.

In the latest program I enjoyed, I was first amazed by the diversity and importance of enzymes. Enzymes are molecules within all of life and the material world which allow vital chemical reactions to take place, and/or which speed them up to the point that life is possible on earth. Without these complex molecules, there could be no life. Therein is yet another of those many incredible conditions present in our world and our universe, which make life such an astounding miracle.

Secondly, I was amused when the host of the documentary made what turned out for him to be an embarrassing error. He made the mistake-that is, in the eyes of the learned panel of evolutionists-of suggesting that the entire make-up and abilities of enzymes sounded “intelligent”. This little slip cost poor Melvyn not a little face and diminishment in the eyes of his guests, who immediately dismissed his impertinent  outburst.

But the end of the podcast proved to be even more enlightening. Here, material not included in the original broadcast was tacked onto the end of the podcast I acquired, in which the panel believes that the show is over, and they can discuss more freely the subject matter and whether they want tea or coffee. In the extra time the host is, more politely, upbraided again for even mentioning the possibility of  intelligence in the discussion of enzymes, or of anything else.

One of the panel tells our host that the enzyme which makes possible the use of normally un-reactive carbon dioxide molecules to produce sugars and oxygen, was “invented once”. Who invented it, the listener might ask? It was invented, he said, by evolution. It was invented in bacteria, and then it was shared with other organisms. Of course, you can’t go to any museum to see a fossil or any record of this invention taking place, and you can’t get a video of natural processes inventing the enzyme, because it doesn’t happen now. It happened only “once” in the history of our world. But if the expert says that this invention was all down to evolution, it must be true, right? We have to have faith: faith that it happened, and faith that the evolutionist’s motives are totally sincere, his knowledge born of omniscience, and his conclusions faultless.

It may have happened hundreds of millions of years ago, before anyone was around to see it or to film it, and there may be absolutely no record of it happening, but we have to believe it, because the priests of the religion of our day-evolutionism-have pronounced it so. Natural processes did it, they say: not God.

How do they know that? The answer is that they don’t. They weren’t there, they have no record of it, and they can’t watch it happen naturally in the lab, because it doesn’t happen. But it “must” have happened, they tell us. Why? Because the only way to get rid of God is to invent another way for life to arise from nothing.

The expert went on to tell of another enzyme which takes nitrogen-an un-reactive element-out of the air and creates ammonia NH3, which fertilizes plants. As he said, its one of the most important chemicals in our world. Again, he said it was “invented once”, and only once, because the chemistry is “so difficult”. This invention was luckily passed on from bacteria into plants. Phew-lucky indeed!

The enzyme which causes water to release oxygen uses a process which, he said, “we still don’t understand”. This enzyme “was made once in the whole of earth’s history”. It got made “by chance, at the beginning”, he said.

Well, what a bit of luck eh? All those singular and indispensable inventions coming about on one planet! And to think that if any one of them had not occurred, we would not be here! Notice that the great god “Chance” created this enzyme, “at the beginning”. It sounds almost Biblical, except that it’s an insult to the real creator of all things.

Another evolutionist joined the conversation, eager to prevent Melvyn from using that nasty “intelligence” concept again:

“This is one thing that we’re always very ca.reful of when we’re talking in the public sphere, because this idea of intelligence is very seductive”. He said that he often talks about it with colleagues, but he said that they are “very careful not to use it in the public sense”. “We have to be very careful that we don’t go into intelligent design, because that’s nonsense”, he said.

Here is quite an admission, but “off mic”, so that we, the ignorant rabble who have no right to decide for ourselves how life came about, don’t get the wrong idea. He admitted that “When you think about them (enzymes) they are beautifully designed”, but he doesn’t want you or I to think that way, because then we might come to the conclusion that if there is beautiful design in all of nature… there must be a designer.

*IN OUR TIME: ENZYMES, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, BBC Radio 4.

 

THE RAPTURE: A SUMMARY SO FAR

At some time in the future a lot of Christians are going to wake up to a very serious reality: the preachers of the pre-tribulation rapture theory were horribly wrong…

Rays Of Light Coming Through The Clouds And Over The Mountains And ...

I’ve been excerpting my book on the rapture. But it may have been all too much for some of you, and if I’ve been far too long-winded, I apologize. This summary- a summary of  excerpts from my book published on this blog-assumes that the reader has some knowledge of the issues involved. The book gives a more complete picture* as do the excerpts.

WRATH

When Paul  wrote that we are “not appointed to wrath” in his first letter to the Thessalonians, he was not speaking of a pre-tribulation rapture, but contrasting salvation with the judgment of the wicked, who were and are “the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Christians have been persecuted all through the centuries, including this one, but were not under God’s wrath.Get Free Stock Photos of Lightbulb with idea concept icon Online ...

The manifest wrath of God will not fall on day one of a seven year period. In Revelation the kings of the earth only acknowledge that the day of God’s wrath has come upon the opening of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:15-17).

If the four horsemen of the apocalypse are considered as an outpouring of God’s wrath at the beginning of a seven year period, this is in conflict with the view of Antichrist being a peacemaker, since the Four will take peace from the earth.

According to Paul, The Day of the Lord cannot begin until Antichrist is revealed, which will not be until three and a half years before the physical return of Christ, not seven (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4;  Revelation 13:5).

CLEAR STATEMENTS IN SCRIPTURE

The saints who are persecuted in Revelation are “blessed”. They are not cursed and are not said to have been “left behind” (Revelation 14:12-13).

Paul told the Thessalonians that they will receive reward and relief from persecution “when Christ is revealed in blazing fire”, not before (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). This is a clear statement of the timing of the rapture, ignored by the “experts”.Get Free Stock Photos of Lightbulb with idea concept icon Online ...IS JESUS A THIEF?

Jesus’ coming like a thief relates to judgment, not rapture (Revelation 3:3).

It is “the Day of the Lord” which will come like a thief, not the rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10).

Jesus’ coming will be like a thief, but Jesus is not a thief. He will not “steal” his Church. He will bring judgment suddenly and without warning, just as a thief does.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

There is no statement in Scripture saying that the Holy Spirit will be taken to heaven with the Church: it’s an assumption. The Spirit does not have to be taken to heaven in order to allow Antichrist to be revealed.

Antichrist will not be revealed until three and a half years before the end of the tribulation. Therefore, the Holy Spirit will not be “taken out of the way” until that time. With pre-tribulation reasoning that the Church will go to heaven with the Holy Spirit, this fact moves the date of the rapture to the mid point of the proposed seven year period, not the beginning of it.

The gospel will be preached during the tribulation, and there will be “saints”, but t isn’t possible for people to be saved apart from the  Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Why would God leave tribulation saints behind to fend for themselves against persecution? How could they stand firm in the faith without the Ho(y Spirit?Get Free Stock Photos of Lightbulb with idea concept icon Online ...IMMINENCE

The doctrine of imminence cannot be applied to a pre-tribulation rapture, because Jesus declared that even those who see the tribulation events will not know the day or the hour of his coming (Matthew 24:28-36).

If the tribulation saints were to see or know that the rapture had occurred, they would know which day and hour it happened, and so be able to calculate (by pre-tribulation reckoning) exactly when Jesus would return. But he has said that they will not know. This is yet another strike against pre-tribulation theory.

SEVEN YEARS?

Jesus, speaking about the signs of his coming, did not mention a seven-year period, and did not mention a “peace treaty”. The first signs Paul and Jesus gave to look out for were a falling away from the faith and the “abomination of desolation”.

REVELATION AND THE CHURCH

The word “church” is not even used to describe anyone in heaven during tribulation events.  Therefore the claim of pre-tribulation teachers that the Church is not mentioned in tribulation chapters of Revelation is of no value.

The same chapters contain no mention of any gatherings of tribulation saints on earth, or of the Jewish remnant. This also discounts the use of the lack of the word “church” in the same chapters.

The entire Revelation-including the tribulation chapters-is given “for the churches” (Revelation 22:16). The prophecies are all to be known by the churches. Why do the churches need this information if they will not be present on the earth? Why do preachers talk so much about the end times if we will not be here?

Tribulation saints are referred to as “those who hold  to the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:16; 17:6).  However, John, a first-century. born-again, Spirit-filled Christian being persecuted for his faith, described himself in exactly the same way, and the angel speaking to him described John and his contemporaries with exactly the same words (Revelation 1:9; 19:10). John commonly used the word “testimony” in his writings to first century believers. Tribulation saints will be no different to us. They may even be us.Get Free Stock Photos of Lightbulb with idea concept icon Online ...JOHN’S RAPTURE/ SAINTS

John’s calling into heaven in Revelation cannot rightly be seen as a type of the rapture, because he came back to earth as a mortal and died. John had to see all the events prophesied in order to report them, which is the reason why he went to heaven at the start of them.

Those martyred over all the centuries by the Harlot are described as “those who hold to the testimony of Jesus”. Therefore tribulation saints, described in the same terms, are no different to us. They may be us.

The word translated “saints” to describe believers in tribulation chapters is the same word translated “saints” throughout the New Testament.

SAINTS AND REMNANT

The tribulation saints “obey God’s commandments”, a fact which some have used to suggest that they are the Jewish remnant and not the Church. However, John wrote in his letters to first century born-again Christians that they were to obey God’s commandments (1 John 2:3).

The saints of Revelation cannot be simply the Jewish remnant, because both groups are seen to be separate and distinct (Revelation 12:14).

*Stay tuned for more excerpts. My book, “All Left Behind:The Case Against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture”, by Nick Fisher, is available in paperback and electronic form on Amazon:

 

 

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YOUR TRUTH, MY TRUTH

A good Christian friend of mine posted on Facebook some thoughts about the nature of truth, and immediately received a negative response. “Your truth is your truth, and mine is mine”, was the thrust of the response, a very common view. I’ve written a lot about the nature of truth, and it almost seems like a tired old topic now. But there’s an incurable conflict here, ever-present in our culture and our daily lives.

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The conflict, if we’re all honest with ourselves and each other, really boils down to the fact that some people want to follow the ways of God and some don’t. The ones who are keen to dismiss the whole concept that there is any absolute truth do so because they want truth to be fluid, bendable and changeable, in order to feel free to do what they think they should be able to do without feeling guilty, and in order to purge the Christian God from our world. They don’t want to think that there might be any supreme authority which might cramp their style or that of their favorite people. It’s like the man or the woman (sorry those in the middle) who tells his or her mate or lover that he thinks they should have an “open relationship”. This little warm-sounding euphemism is really an excuse not to be faithful and not to be committed. It’s not love, it’s selfishness.

Granted, we can argue or discuss what any absolute truth might entail, and where it might emanate from. But I can tell you one thing: without God at the center of our culture, government will inevitably become God. It will be the ultimate authority. It will dictate what is right and what is wrong; what you can and cannot do; where you can and cannot go; how long you should live; what your value is; what you can have and what you must part with, and so on. And anyone living with the thought that we can hold government accountable and shape it to our own will is living in a dream world-a false utopia which history proves over and over again cannot ever be.

Who would decide what this God has said in regard to truth? That’s a good rhetorical question. I don’t want any of the known religious organizations of the world telling me what God has said: I don’t trust any of them. The beauty of the Establishment clause in the US constitution is that it hands freedom of religious thought, and even freedom from it, to the people. Yes, the clause says that government must not establish a religion, but it also states that government cannot prevent the free exercise of religion-the part of the clause which is always ignored by secularists. Therein is balance and freedom.

God, from the start, from the beginning, has given us the dignity of free will, and the dignity to seek him by our own choice and not coercion, in contrast to the dictates of one or two world religions we could name. However, there are certain principle and laws at work in our universe which are undeniably fixed and unchangeable. If our planet did not follow the laws of space-time and gravity in its fixed orbit around the sun, there would be no life. And it seems obvious to me that the God who has established fixed laws to govern the universe and all of nature, would also have fixed ideas of truth, and of what’s right or wrong. I’m convinced that the Bible is our guide book for life. It contains our Creator’s expression of Truth for us to live by.

Most of the peoples of the world have a commonly-held set of ethics and beliefs to live by. It’s only in the West that absolute and universal truths are being rejected, a phenomenon which the Bible calls “lawlessness” and “sin”. The West cannot survive without those fixed principles, a fact known by some who are at work internally to bring the West down. To them, the West and its Judaeo-Christian roots and values must be destroyed. The West of D-Day was for the most part united with shared truths and beliefs and principles. By demolishing Truth, and inviting a flood of “truths”, we are not fostering unity, but division and decay.

ORIGINS: OF MICE AND MEN

Isn’t it amazing what people believe? In fact, they’ll believe whatever they want to believe…

A high school science teacher recently told my son and the rest of her class that she believes in creation, but that there’s abundant proof we all evolved. This deft little move of logic (irony) denies both Biblical and Darwinian explanations for origins. She also told the class that we evolved from mice. Isn’t “science” awesome! And she is teaching the kids? They should be teaching her-they would do a far better job.File:Мышь 2.jpgMy older son’s science teacher first told his class, at the beginning of the year, that there is no God, but by the end of it was instructing the kids on how to meditate and become good Buddhists. Great science lessons guys!

Why was a science teacher presuming to rob a class of students of their faith, and to push another onto them, and what scientific evidence could he possibly produce that there is no God? Of course, he had no such evidence, but then, that’s the nature of education and the spirit of our age. That’s what your tax dollars are paying for.

David Attenborough, whose works for television I’ve greatly enjoyed over the years, really does let himself down in what he preaches, as he did when he declared that we humans evolved from lemurs. Such claims are no more logical or scientific than ancient Assyrian stories of fish-people from an “ocean under the ocean” coming to mingle with humans. There’s probably more evidence in favor of the fish people than there is that we were once mice or lemurs. Have you seen a series of fossils of mice or lemurs turning into humans? Neither have I.

Why do people choose to believe such fairy stories, and then try to force their beliefs onto the rest of us, and our kids-their captive audience? And no, I don’t feel bad for turning the words of unbelievers back onto them, because they are the ones on the attack in our age.

Paul wrote:

…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (from Romans chapter 1).

Our view of God and of reality is shaped by what we want to believe. This applies to the atheist just as much as it applies to the Bible-believing Christian. The evolutionist eagerly accepts the concept of evolution and then goes about trying to find evidence for his faith, and to win converts to his religion. He makes the choice that he doesn’t want to know if there is a God, and that he doesn’t want to seek Him. Similarly, people choose their religion, their politics, their philosophy and their code of ethics based on what their preference is; what turns them on; what fulfills their idea of a meaningful life, and perhaps more importantly, what will enable them and empower them to live the life they want to live.

Jesus put it this way:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil…whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:16-21).

As is the will of God, it isn’t great intellect or knowledge which brings us to Him, it’s a willingness in our hearts to respond to his calling, and to know Him because we love Him and what He stands for. It’s a humble acknowledgment that what we see all around us did not form itself from nothing, and that we never were mice or lemurs at all.