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Author Topic:   Continuing the Endless Discussion between GDR and traditional Protestantism
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 46 of 103 (874738)
04-08-2020 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Faith
04-08-2020 2:43 PM


Light and Darkness
Hi Faith
Just a comment about John 3:16. Read a little further so that we are taking it in context. Here is John 3 19-21
quote:
19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear * that his deeds will be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

So we can see that believing is about believing in, and living out, lives as Jesus showed us. It isn’t about having the right doctrine. It is about living out Jesus’ call on our lives without reference to doctrine or theology. It is a call to vocation to serve a God, who showed us on the cross and with the resurrection, that the ultimate evil, namely death, does not have the last word.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Faith, posted 04-08-2020 2:43 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Faith, posted 04-08-2020 7:52 PM GDR has responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 47 of 103 (874745)
04-08-2020 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by GDR
04-08-2020 4:53 PM


Re: Light and Darkness
...that whosoever believeth on Him should have eternal life. And then it goes on about those who DON'T believeth on Him because of their bad deeds … I know you want to completely rewrite Christian history and maybe if you get enough followers you can create a big enough heresy like Mormonism or JWs and pull it off but so far it isn't happening. Most of what we're talking about is also Catholic doctrine so you can't get away with palming it off on the Reformation which you then reinterpret as well.

If Phat and I and all your fundamentalist friends and family get taken in the Rapture soonish how will you explain it? Just wondering.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 4:53 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 8:19 PM Faith has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 48 of 103 (874746)
04-08-2020 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Faith
04-08-2020 7:52 PM


Let's put the rapture to bed
Little did Paul know how his colorful metaphors for Jesus’ second coming would be misunderstood two millennia later.

The American obsession with the second coming of Jesus — especially with distorted interpretations of it — continues unabated. Seen from my side of the Atlantic, the phenomenal success of the Left Behind books appears puzzling, even bizarre[1]. Few in the U.K. hold the belief on which the popular series of novels is based: that there will be a literal “rapture” in which believers will be snatched up to heaven, leaving empty cars crashing on freeways and kids coming home from school only to find that their parents have been taken to be with Jesus while they have been “left behind.” This pseudo-theological version of Home Alone has reportedly frightened many children into some kind of (distorted) faith.

This dramatic end-time scenario is based (wrongly, as we shall see) on Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first; then we, who are left alive, will be snatched up with them on clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

What on earth (or in heaven) did Paul mean?

It is Paul who should be credited with creating this scenario. Jesus himself, as I have argued in various books, never predicted such an event[2]. The gospel passages about “the Son of Man coming on the clouds” (Mark 13:26, 14:62, for example) are about Jesus’ vindication, his “coming” to heaven from earth. The parables about a returning king or master (for example, Luke 19:11-27) were originally about God returning to Jerusalem, not about Jesus returning to earth. This, Jesus seemed to believe, was an event within space-time history, not one that would end it forever.

The Ascension of Jesus and the Second Coming are nevertheless vital Christian doctrines[3], and I don’t deny that I believe some future event will result in the personal presence of Jesus within God’s new creation. This is taught throughout the New Testament outside the Gospels. But this event won’t in any way resemble the Left Behind account. Understanding what will happen requires a far more sophisticated cosmology than the one in which “heaven” is somewhere up there in our universe, rather than in a different dimension, a different space-time, altogether.

The New Testament, building on ancient biblical prophecy, envisages that the creator God will remake heaven and earth entirely, affirming the goodness of the old Creation but overcoming its mortality and corruptibility (e.g., Romans 8:18-27; Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17, 66:22). When that happens, Jesus will appear within the resulting new world (e.g., Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2).

Paul’s description of Jesus’ reappearance in 1 Thessalonians 4 is a brightly colored version of what he says in two other passages, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and Philippians 3:20-21: At Jesus’ “coming” or “appearing,” those who are still alive will be “changed” or “transformed” so that their mortal bodies will become incorruptible, deathless. This is all that Paul intends to say in Thessalonians, but here he borrows imagery—from biblical and political sources—to enhance his message. Little did he know how his rich metaphors would be misunderstood two millennia later.

First, Paul echoes the story of Moses coming down the mountain with the Torah. The trumpet sounds, a loud voice is heard, and after a long wait Moses comes to see what’s been going on in his absence.

Second, he echoes Daniel 7, in which “the people of the saints of the Most High” (that is, the “one like a son of man”) are vindicated over their pagan enemy by being raised up to sit with God in glory. This metaphor, applied to Jesus in the Gospels, is now applied to Christians who are suffering persecution.

Third, Paul conjures up images of an emperor visiting a colony or province. The citizens go out to meet him in open country and then escort him into the city. Paul’s image of the people “meeting the Lord in the air” should be read with the assumption that the people will immediately turn around and lead the Lord back to the newly remade world.

Paul’s mixed metaphors of trumpets blowing and the living being snatched into heaven to meet the Lord are not to be understood as literal truth, as the Left Behind series suggests, but as a vivid and biblically allusive description of the great transformation of the present world of which he speaks elsewhere.

Paul’s misunderstood metaphors present a challenge for us: How can we reuse biblical imagery, including Paul’s, so as to clarify the truth, not distort it? And how can we do so, as he did, in such a way as to subvert the political imagery of the dominant and dehumanizing empires of our world? We might begin by asking, What view of the world is sustained, even legitimized, by the Left Behind ideology? How might it be confronted and subverted by genuinely biblical thinking? For a start, is not the Left Behind mentality in thrall to a dualistic view of reality that allows people to pollute God’s world on the grounds that it’s all going to be destroyed soon? Wouldn’t this be overturned if we recaptured Paul’s wholistic vision of God’s whole creation?

NT Wright


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Faith, posted 04-08-2020 7:52 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Faith, posted 04-08-2020 10:39 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 50 by Faith, posted 04-08-2020 10:41 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 04-09-2020 12:46 AM GDR has responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 49 of 103 (874753)
04-08-2020 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by GDR
04-08-2020 8:19 PM


Re: Let's put the rapture to bed
Well, this is a bust. I wanted to set it at 1:47:15 where the Rapture starts but I can't get it to stay. But that's where it starts and I'm afraid you'll have to set it yourself. No point really, just a celebration. If you'd like to hear the rousing "Hallelujah" chorus, that's at 1:35:51.
,
,

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 8:19 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 50 of 103 (874754)
04-08-2020 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by GDR
04-08-2020 8:19 PM


Re: Let's put the rapture to bed
Otherwise what to say? It took me years to come to the conclusion that the Rapture really is going to be a reality that occurs seven years before Jesus' Second Coming. I think I spelled out some of it on that thread on the subject not too long ago. Here's one post on it: Message 85
02-13-2020 9:20 AM

And of course you didn't answer my question. You don't have to believe in it to answer what reaction you would have if....

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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 Message 48 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 8:19 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 51 of 103 (874756)
04-09-2020 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by GDR
04-08-2020 8:19 PM


The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
This dramatic end-time scenario is based (wrongly, as we shall see) on Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. The dead in Christ will rise first; then we, who are left alive, will be snatched up with them on clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

What on earth (or in heaven) did Paul mean?

It's always frustrating to have to deal with a popular imagining of this passage, the Left Behind series, when I haven't read it and didn't arrive at my conclusion because of it. I don't know if cars will crash as they are abandoned and all that, I kind of think we'll have a short moment of knowing it's about to happen and land our airplanes and park our cars for the event, or angels will take them over. I don't see why all that mayhem has to attend the event. But who knows, that's the Left Behind way of imagining it and they could be right.

There's nothing wrong with picturing heaven as "up there" since after all Jesus is depicted as having ascended upward into a cloud when He left to be with the Father, and the angel explained to the disciples standing there with their mouths open that He would return the same way. So He is said to come from above and we who are left alive are said to meet Him in the air.

Wright sees this as the Second Coming and there are lots of reasons why others conclude it's before the Second Coming. That's an enormous argument and I finally came to believe that it is a special event that removes the Church from the earth while the Day of the LORD plays out on the earth in a seven-year period which is laid out in the Book of Revelation. Heaven is no doubt "another dimension" without any particular space-time orientation, but the earth will still be the earth with its space-time orientation while the Church is in heaven wherever that is. We will be "changed" as the scripture says, the corruptible made incorruptible.

There has to be a Day of the Lord. It's been prophesied throughout the Old Testament. And the Church is not present in any of the Book of Revelation between Chapter three and Chapter nineteen when Jesus returns. There are plenty of biblical reasons why we believe what we believe. Wright is imposing too many of his own assumptions on a text that doesn't support them.

The remaking of heaven and earth doesn't happen at the Rapture or the Second Coming if you follow the scriptural references. I used to think it did, just as I used to think the Rapture was just our meeting Jesus in the air at His final return to earth. That is more along the lines of Wright's interpretation and it's the interpretation I used to have that I gave up for the Pre Tribulation Rapture. It is clear that the Church is promised by Jesus that we will not have to endure the wrath of God which is coming on the earth, and the Rapture explains that very nicely and it's buttressed by the absence of the Church in most of the Book of Revelation which spells out that final Day of the Lord when His wrath IS poured out on the earth. The Church is not there, we return with Christ when He does finally return. At that point He sets up His kingdom on the earth. It is not yet the NEW heavens and earth, that will occur after the Millennium or thousand-year reign of Christ which begins with the Second Coming, the Church having accompanied Him in our new glorified bodies.

If we just met Him in the air to return with Him to earth immediately there would be no Millennium in which people live normal lives, have children and so on, because glorified bodies can't procreate. I'm not saying I understand all the scripture behind these things, but it hangs together in a way the old idea which is Wright's does not. The War of Armageddon doesn't occur until the end of the Millennium of Christi's reign, when Satan is released and people who reject Christ join him against Christ. The people who live earthly lives during the Millennium are fallen and eventually their fallenness emerges in all out rebellion against God. We in our glorified bodies are saved from fallenness. All this has to happen for the scriptures to reach their fulfillment, otherwise way too much is left out of the prophetic picture.

The end of the space-time Creation won't come until the end of the Millennium. That is represented by the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven, described near the end of the Book of Revelation, a very strange three-dimensional cube that is said to have streets of gold but is nothing like any earthly city. It's the Bride of Christ and the place that will be inhabited by believers from then on and it is certainly not the space-time dimension we are used to. Believe me I don't understand any of this. It did occur to me that we are to be gently transitioned into a completely new way of being, we'll have a thousand years of more or less normal earthly life though the Church will have our glorified bodies during that time. The earth is to be restored to something Edenlikeness during this period of Christ's rule. It should serve to acclimate us gradually or by stages to the entirely new kind of existence that we'll have at the very end. It isn't going to be suddenly forced on us. In any case it is all very mysterious from where we sit now.

The upshot is that the next event on the divine calendar has to be the Rapture of the Church followed by the Day of the Lord. Wright's view is too condensed. He puts too many separate events together in one, Christ's return, the Rapture of the Church, the New Jerusalem which more or less symbolizes a whole new dimension, Armageddon and the Millennium if he even considers all that. He may leave some of it out. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture pictures it in meaningful stages, allowing for the fulfillment of many prophecies that Wright's scenario would leave out .

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 8:19 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 1:09 PM Faith has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 52 of 103 (874773)
04-09-2020 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Faith
04-09-2020 12:46 AM


Re: The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
Faith writes:

There's nothing wrong with picturing heaven as "up there" since after all Jesus is depicted as having ascended upward into a cloud when He left to be with the Father, and the angel explained to the disciples standing there with their mouths open that He would return the same way. So He is said to come from above and we who are left alive are said to meet Him in the air.

This is what comes from reading things with a 21st century mindset. Sure it is fine if you want to take as being literally up and literally in a cloud but that isn’t how it would been understood by the 7 churches that the letter was for. Firstly they understood that heaven being up was a metaphor for God’s space so they would say that He ascended.

As far as the cloud is concerned that simply meant the presence of God. All through the OT God is spoken of as being in a cloud. For example in the exodus God led them in the day from a pillar of cloud. Also in the exodus story it tells of God being in a cloud at the top of Mt. Sinai and Moses descending. As Moses descended from a cloud , (sometimes it’s smoke), they talked about Jesus ascending into God’s presence as represented by a cloud.

Faith writes:

Wright sees this as the Second Coming and there are lots of reasons why others conclude it's before the Second Coming. That's an enormous argument and I finally came to believe that it is a special event that removes the Church from the earth while the Day of the LORD plays out on the earth in a seven-year period which is la id out in the Book of Revelation. Heaven is no doubt "another dimension" without any particular space-time orientation, but the earth will still be the earth with its space-time orientation while the Church is in heaven wherever that is. We will be "changed" as the scripture says, the corruptible made incorruptible.

Once again it isn’t about a literal 7 day period. Seven just represents completeness as in the seven days of creation, which wasn’t meant to be taken literally either. There are 7 candles in the menorah.

Faith writes:

There has to be a Day of the Lord. It's been prophesied throughout the Old Testament. And the Church is not present in any of the Book of Revelation between Chapter three and Chapter nineteen when Jesus returns. There are plenty of biblical reasons why we believe what we believe. Wright is imposing too many of his own assumptions on a text that doesn't support them.

I agree that there will be a day when this world is renewed. I haven’t the faintest idea when and whether this happens collectively for all of creation, or whether it happens individually at the end of this life. I don’t know but I tend towards the latter whereas Wright tends towards the first.

Also, in most cases the “Day of the Lord” was not in reference to the end of this world as we now know it, but it was the day that The Jewish people prayed and hoped for, when Yahweh would return and establish an earthly kingdom after defeating Israel’s enemies. It did take on a new understanding for Christians later.

Faith writes:

The remaking of heaven and earth doesn't happen at the Rapture or the Second Coming if you follow the scriptural references. I used to think it did, just as I used to think the Rapture was just our meeting Jesus in the air at His final return to earth. That is more along the lines of Wright's interpretation and it's the interpretation I used to have that I gave up for the Pre Tribulation Rapture. It is clear that the Church is promised by Jesus that we will not have to endure the wrath of God which is coming on the earth, and the Rapture explains that very nicely and it's buttressed by the absence of the Church in most of the Book of Revelation which spells out that final Day of the Lord when His wrath IS poured out on the earth. The Church is not there, we return with Christ when He does finally return. At that point He sets up His kingdom on the earth. It is not yet the NEW heavens and earth, that will occur after the Millennium or thousand-year reign of Christ which begins with the Second Coming, the Church having accompanied Him in our new glorified bodies.

If we just met Him in the air to return with Him to earth immediately there would be no Millennium in which people live normal lives, have children and so on, because glorified bodies can't procreate. I'm not saying I understand all the scripture behind these things, but it hangs together in a way the old idea which is Wright's does not. The War of Armageddon doesn't occur until the end of the Millennium of Christi's reign, when Satan is released and people who reject Christ join him against Christ. The people who live earthly lives during the Millennium are fallen and eventually their fallenness emerges in all out rebellion against God. We in our glorified bodies are saved from fallenness. All this has to happen for the scriptures to reach their fulfillment, otherwise way too much is left out of the prophetic picture. The end of the space-time Creation won't come until the end of the Millennium. That is represented by the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven, a very strange three-dimensional cube that is nothing like any earthly city but is presented as the Bride of Christ and the place that will be inhabited from then on.
Believe me I don't understand any of that bu t I suspect we are to have a thousand years of more or less normal earthly life but restored to Edenlikeness because of Christ's rule, sort of to acclimate us to the entirely new kind of existence that we'll have at the very end. It isn't going to be suddenly forced on us. That's my own thinking there. It is all very mysterious.

I don’t what to say to all that. You are taking Jewish apocalyptic writings written in a way to be understood nearly 2000 years ago, and reading like it was written in the style we understand today. It wasn’t meant to be taken as you read it.
We have a line in one of our prayers that says, “so complex so simple, so clear so mysterious”. As you say it is all mysterious. The clear and simple part is what matters.

If we focus our Christian faith on this verse where Jesus sums up the whole of the Sermon on the Mount, we don’t need anything more.

Matthew 7:12 writes:

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


I suggest that it is fine to do our best to understand everything else, (it is really interesting IMHO),but it isn’t what we hang our hat on. We have had incredible Christian scholars over centuries and none of them agree on everything. However they all agree on Matthew 7:12.

My signature tells us what God wants of us. There is nothing in that or in Matthew 7:12 that tells us that He is concerned that we get our theology right.

Edited by GDR, : typo


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 04-09-2020 12:46 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Faith, posted 04-09-2020 4:46 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 54 by Faith, posted 04-09-2020 7:23 PM GDR has responded
 Message 55 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 1:30 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 56 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 10:57 AM GDR has responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 53 of 103 (874783)
04-09-2020 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by GDR
04-09-2020 1:09 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
So Wright seems to prefer arbitrarily interpreting certain events as mere metaphors that sound awfully literal as written, with no justification whatever except his own inability to take them literally. Right?

Anyway the description of the Ascension is certainly one of those literal sounding events:

GDR writes:

Faith writes:

There's nothing wrong with picturing heaven as "up there" since after all Jesus is depicted as having ascended upward into a cloud when He left to be with the Father, and the angel explained to the disciples standing there with their mouths open that He would return the same way. So He is said to come from above and we who are left alive are said to meet Him in the air.

This is what comes from reading things with a 21st century mindset. Sure it is fine if you want to take as being literally up and literally in a cloud but that isn’t how it would been understood by the 7 churches that the letter was for.

What "21st centurity mindset" could you possibly be talking about? The literal reading is what we should expect of the early church, the metaphorizing reading of Wright is the modern mindset which can't stomach a literal reading, that's all.

Anyway the Ascension is described in Acts, not in Revelation:
\

Acts 1 writes:

9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

They were looking "steadfastly toward heaven as he went up." There is nothing metaphorical in this. They were watching a real event, Jesus going "UP," there is no justification whatever for turning this into a metaphor. He was talking to them, and while they were watching He went UP. They kept watching as He was "taken UP" and a CLOUD RECEIVED HIM. The word "up" occurs a number of times in this passage, and the cloud also has to be literal since they were outside and He went up toward the sky. And the angel tells them He will come back the SAME WAY as He left them. Where's the metaphor in this? It's an event that actually happened and it foreshadows another event that will actually happen as described.

GDR writes:

Firstly they understood that heaven being up was a metaphor for God’s space so they would say that He ascended.

Where do you get this idea from the scripture? If anyone would have trouble with the idea of God's space in some abstract sense, or another dimension, it would be the early church. We sophisticates are more likely to metaphorize the literal stuff.

Again, you have the wrong reference anyway since there isn't any reference to the ascension in the Letters to the Churches in Revelation that I know of, or perhaps you can show me.

As far as the cloud is concerned that simply meant the presence of God.

And I have to ask again what scriptural source do you have for this idea?: Actually clouds often refer to crowds of people or of angels. I think Wright is just making it all up out of whole cloth because he can't stand the literal reading, it's tooo "primitive" for him or something.

All through the OT God is spoken of as being in a cloud. For example in the exodus God led them in the day from a pillar of cloud. Also in the exodus story it tells of God being in a cloud at the top of Mt. Sinai and Moses descending. As Moses descended from a cloud , (sometimes it’s smoke), they talked about Jesus ascending into God’s presence as represented by a cloud.

But in ALL these cases it's a LITERAL cloud that the people could actually SEE. YOU may metaphorize it into another dimension in which God lives, and WRIGHT may do that, but those people didn't, they simply saw a cloud from which God spoke and the disciples saw a cloud into which Jesus disappeared. Literal clouds. WE know heaven is a separate dimension but why do you insist THEY did? In all cases a literal cloud was seen, and from what the angel said Jesus will also return from heaven in a literal cloud.

AbE: By the way I know I'm skipping around and haven't responded to earlier comments. It's not by plan, it's just that I respond to what comes to hand, or something I have a ready answer for, and I hope I can get back to the others but I don't know if I'll be able to.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 1:09 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 54 of 103 (874784)
04-09-2020 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by GDR
04-09-2020 1:09 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
I suggest that it is fine to do our best to understand everything else, (it is really interesting IMHO),but it isn’t what we hang our hat on.

When it comes to the Rapture, which would be a Christian's last moment on earth forever, in our earthly form, we are certainly to be expecting the event so we'll be ready for it. Ignoring it is not being ready for it. We are TOLD not to be caught by surprise, as by a "thief in the night." The event wikll be like that to all those who don't believe and aren't expecting it, but we are told to be ready.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 1:09 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by GDR, posted 04-10-2020 1:03 PM Faith has responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 55 of 103 (874788)
04-10-2020 1:30 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by GDR
04-09-2020 1:09 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
I know I already answered this but I keep puzzling over how you or Wright could call the literal reading of the Ascension a w21st century mindset. The LITERAL reading mind you. The reading that says Jesus went UP and was received into a CLOUD. Thinking of this as something the disciples actually saw Jesus do, rise UP into the air into a cloud after which He was no longer seen, THAT you call a 21st century mindset? Certainly they would understand that He went into an invisible realm somehow, that is sort of symbolized by the cloud, but the cloud would have been a real cloud that they really saw with their eyes, and Jesus would have literally risen UP into it. Same with the cloud on Mt. Sinai. God spoke from the cloud. a literal cloud the people could see, but it would have been understood that God Himself is invisible and dwelt in an invisible heaven. What they understood is what we understand, but somehow you and Wright want to take away the real visible rising up of Jesus and the real visible cloud in both scenes? Why? The angel said jesus would return in the same way that He went. Why would you expect anything other than His coming down from a cloud as He rose up into a cloud? What is it about this literal reading that you and Wright object to?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 1:09 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 56 of 103 (874801)
04-10-2020 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by GDR
04-09-2020 1:09 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't going to bed yet
GDR writes:

Faith writes:

There has to be a Day of the Lord. It's been prophesied throughout the Old Testament. And the Church is not present in any of the Book of Revelation between Chapter three and Chapter nineteen when Jesus returns. There are plenty of biblical reasons why we believe what we believe. Wright is imposing too many of his own assumptions on a text that doesn't support them.

I agree that there will be a day when this world is renewed. I haven’t the faintest idea when and whether this happens collectively for all of creation, or whether it happens individually at the end of this life. I don’t know but I tend towards the latter whereas Wright tends towards the first.

Also, in most cases the “Day of the Lord” was not in reference to the end of this world as we now know it, but it was the day that The Jewish people prayed and hoped for, when Yahweh would return and establish an earthly kingdom after defeating Israel’s enemies. It did take on a new understanding for Christians later.

There is no biblical reference to a Day of the Lord by that description. The Day of the Lord throughout scripture, especially through the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ekekiel, Joel and even in the New Testament in a few places, is a time when the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. If you search any searchable Bible on it you'll get these various descriptions of great destruction. Here is one:

Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

This "Day" is prophesied in many places as I said, clearly meaning a time of great destruction of the earth though there are no clear clues to when it will come or how long it will last. It hasn't come yet though and it certainly doesn't seem to be something that would happen separately to individuals.

In this scenario I've come to accept, it has become synonymous with "The Great Tribulation" described by Jesus in various places, the time when God's wrath is so severe that if He hadn't cut it short no one would survive it. It is this Great Tribulation that occurs in the seven-year period that follows the Rapture, which is why it's called the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" in this system. It is the wrath of God that is released when Jesus opens the seals of the scroll of judgment starting in Revelation 5 I think, the first judgments being represented by the "four horses of the apocalypse" of Revelation 6. The series of judgments on the earth continues through Revelation 18, all that being the period when we see no mention of the Church which fits with the idea that the Church has been Raptured, having been promised that we will not have to endure God's wrath that is coming.

During this period many people will be saved, however. They are described as a great multitude waving palm branches before the throne of God in Revelation 7, but they are not the Church. They are believers who will live earthly lives in their fallen nature during the Millennium that begins with Jesus' Second Coming.

So, the Day of the Lord described by many of the prophets of the Old Testament is God's final judgment on the earth before Jesus returns. There are some descriptions that raise questions about the timing but the predominant references fit this scenario of the seven year period after the Rapture.

Anyway, Wright, and you, seem to leave this necessary event completely out of your end times theology. Even most of the Book of Revelation.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 1:09 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by GDR, posted 04-10-2020 2:32 PM Faith has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 57 of 103 (874803)
04-10-2020 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Faith
04-09-2020 7:23 PM


The Rapture isn't Biblical
Faith writes:

What "21st centurity mindset" could you possibly be talking about? The literal reading is what we should expect of the early church, the metaphorizing reading of Wright is the modern mindset which can't stomach a literal reading, that's all.

It isn’t a case of stomaching anything. It is a case of understanding what the biblical author’s meant and what those in that culture, at that , would have understood.

Faith writes:

I know I already answered this but I keep puzzling over how you or Wright could call the literal reading of the Ascension a w21st century mindset. The LITERAL reading mind you. The reading that says Jesus went UP and was received into a CLOUD. Thinking of this as something the disciples actually saw Jesus do, rise UP into the air into a cloud after which He was no longer seen, THAT you call a 21st century mindset? Certainly they would understand that He went into an invisible realm somehow, that is sort of symbolized by the cloud, but the cloud would have been a real cloud that they really saw with their eyes, and Jesus would have literally risen UP into it. Same with the cloud on Mt. Sinai. God spoke from the cloud. a literal cloud the people could see, but it would have been understood that God Himself is invisible and dwelt in an invisible heaven. What they understood is what we understand, but somehow you and Wright want to take away the real visible rising up of Jesus and the real visible cloud in both scenes? Why? The angel said jesus would return in the same way that He went. Why would you expect anything other than His coming down from a cloud as He rose up into a cloud? What is it about this literal reading that you and Wright object to?

That is how you would understand it if you were reading your local paper today. The compiler of Acts was a 1st century Jew reaching out to both Jews and gentiles but from a very Jewish perspective. Let’s break it down starting with the whole issue of cloud.
Exodus 13 writes:

21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

Exodus 16 writes:

10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.

Exodus 19 writes:

9 The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

Exodus 33 writes:

9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses.

Exodus 34 writes:

5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.

Leviticus 16 writes:

2 The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

Numbers 11 writes:

25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders.

Deuteronomy 21 writes:

15 Then the LORD appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent.

1 Kings 8 writes:

12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud

Hopefully that is enough Faith for you to see that for the Jews being lifted up into a cloud meant simply that He had gone into the presence of God.
As far as them looking up into heaven I simply have to ask what other way do we look even today in worship or prayer but up.
One of the other things that he would be saying is about the divinity of Jesus. His Jewish audience would understand this in light of Daniel 7.
Daniel 7 writes:

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

He was saying that Jesus, the “Son of Man” was being presented to God, The Ancient of Days” and being given dominion over the eternal Kingdom.

Then you mention about the idea that Jesus would return in the way He departed. They were saying that Jesus had departed into God’s heavenly, invisible dimension. The point being which ties into what we see in Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1 writes:

9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

The return of Jesus will be when God brings about the renewal of all things with the union of His dimension and our own. That is what the Bible actually means when it talks about Jesus returning.

Faith writes:

When it comes to the Rapture, which would be a Christian's last moment on earth forever, in our earthly form, we are certainly to be expecting the event so we'll be ready for it. Ignoring it is not being ready for it. We are TOLD not to be caught by surprise, as by a "thief in the night." The event wikll be like that to all those who don't believe and aren't expecting it, but we are told to be ready.

This again is a total misreading. This is Jesus’ political message for the time. It is His anti-revolutionary message. He also tells them to head for the hills in order to try and stay safe when this happens. From the point of view of your scenario what would be the point of that? It does make sense though that if you have the Roman army responding to rebellion and marching into the cities, that the hills would be your only place of refuge.
This is again what comes from a 21st century mindset. You weren’t the target audience. It has to be understood from the point of view of a 1st century Jew.
I’ll try and get to more of your posts later.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Faith, posted 04-09-2020 7:23 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 2:09 PM GDR has responded

  
Faith 
Suspended Member
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 58 of 103 (874804)
04-10-2020 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by GDR
04-10-2020 1:03 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't Biblical
Just one thing for starters: The author of Acts was not a Jew and his audience,were mostly Gentiles.. The author was Luke, a Gentile physician. He was not writing from a Jewish perspective at all.

As far as the expectation that clouds meant heaven, that's fine, but you can't get rid of the cloud as a real cloud just because it signifies going into heaven.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by GDR, posted 04-10-2020 1:03 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by GDR, posted 04-10-2020 2:44 PM Faith has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 59 of 103 (874805)
04-10-2020 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Faith
04-10-2020 10:57 AM


Day of the Lord in context of the times
Faith writes:

There is no biblical reference to a Day of the Lord by that description. The Day of the Lord throughout scripture, especially through the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ekekiel, Joel and even in the New Testament in a few places, is a time when the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. If you search any searchable Bible on it you'll get these various descriptions of great destruction. Here is one: (and you quoted Isaiah 13:9

quote:
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
This is what comes from cherry picking verses. Look at it in the context of the verses in verses 1-13.
Isaiah 13 writes:

1 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw: 2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath— those who rejoice in my triumph. 4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war. 5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the LORD and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country. 6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear. 8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. 9 See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. 10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. 11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. 12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.


The very verse you quoted is about the defeat of the Babylonian army. The sun and moon being darkened is simply their way of talking about great military or political upheaval. We can see it again in Ezekial.
Ezekial 13 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD.

When Jesus uses this kind of language He is talking about what will happen if they continue to respond to the cry for militant nationalism. Jesus is saying that if you start another revolution the Romans will do what they always do. They will destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. His message is one of peace, loving the Romans and changing hearts. He is essentially saying that it wasn’t the Romans who were the real enemy, it was evil itself.
They didn’t heed His warning, and we can in hindsight look back and see what happened in the war in 70AD.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 10:57 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 3:25 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5373
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 60 of 103 (874806)
04-10-2020 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Faith
04-10-2020 2:09 PM


Re: The Rapture isn't Biblical
Faith writes:

Just one thing for starters: The author of Acts was not a Jew and his audience,were mostly Gentiles.. The author was Luke, a Gentile physician. He was not writing from a Jewish perspective at all.

We don't actually know that. He may well have been a gentile Christian , but modern scholarship has come to believe he was a Hellenistic Jew.

In either case He travelled with Paul, was writing from a Jewish perspective consistent with Paul's' teaching, with both a Jewish and gentile audience in mind.

Faith writes:

As far as the expectation that clouds meant heaven, that's fine, but you can't get rid of the cloud as a real cloud just because it signifies going into heaven.

OK, but that isn't Biblical. It only matters to you because you are trying to make it say something that was never intended.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 2:09 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Faith, posted 04-10-2020 3:01 PM GDR has responded

  
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