Sunday, June 28, 2009

answer to comment

 The comment was sent to me:

"At the time of the Olivet discourse the church was a mystery. ...It is a mistake to read anything of the Gentile church in [it].....Jesus was Jews about Jews. "

I made no mention of the church. I have simply been going over what Christ taught. You have superimposed that idea onto what I have said. I have mentioned the rapture only in the context of saying that some say it is a secret and is not here in Matthew, when in fact it is. Jesus is speaking to His followers about His return for them, (not as Jews but as His followers. We call them Christians today (His followers that is) and know it more commonly as the church in our terminology and era, which was an unknown term to the disciples (they had no idea how big Christendom would become), but that doesn't change the fact that the targeted audience of his discourse were followers of Christ not unbelieving Jews. It is this sort of twisting of simple interpretation that leads to errors. Gentiles may be the greater number of believers, but there has always been a remnant of believing Jews. At the time of this discourse, there were both believing Jews and Gentiles. So Christ's discourse, although only addressing the disciples at that moment, would have been taught by the disciples (in the gospels and in person) to the other followers (who read the gospels) and that (their teachings) applied (and still applies) to all of His followers including Gentiles. This is just plain common sense understanding and straightforward exegesis. Saying that He was addressing Jews about Jews (meaning unbelieving Jews, for this is how you have interpreted this) is simply inaccurate. Their Jewishness is a moot point in this case as there is no Jew or Greek in Christ. He does not make that distinction in His followers, and He is addressing His followers, which includes all of us.

As to the church being a mystery, it wasn't to Christ. He knew whom He was addressing. He was addressing believers in Him, (whom He knew would be reading His Word for centuries to come) not unbelieving Jews (who never read the N.T.). While the disciples may not have yet quite understood the full implication of who He was and what was yet to happen at that time, they still believed He was the Son of God, their Messiah. And while the Holy Spirit may not have been poured out yet, they still were followers of Christ, which is the definition of a Christian. When Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote these gospels, they hoped unbelievers (both Jew and Greek) would read them and be saved, but they were written from the standpoint of believers telling other believers what the truth was. This discourse was not aimed at unbelieving Jews, no matter how much someone may want that to be the case. Christ is not returning in glory just for the unbelieving Jews to have a nation. He is returning to gather us to Himself. It is when they see (when they look upon Him whom they have pierced) His wondrous return that the unbelieving Jews will finally accept Him, after they see His return in glory and splendor (at the 2nd visible coming). Christ was addressing His followers here in the Olivet discourse, and if you are a follower that includes you. I realize that flies in the face of what you want to believe, as that is what you were taught. Believe it or not, so was I, but the discrepancy in what was being taught compared to the scriptures started to really bother me, and I started to study with the Lord's guidance instead of man's and realized that I had to throw away all pre-conceived ideas and start fresh. To find truth you have to let go of all pre-conceived ideas and doctrines and pray to learn truth. The problem is, the truth is extremely hard to take, so many cannot accept it. I Cor. 3:2. God cannot reveal truth to those who are unable to bear it, and it is very hard to bear.

Second comment:

"Please note that it was not Paul's trouble. No, it was trouble related to the Jews."

First, Christ does not label it Jacob's trouble. He does not specify that it will only apply to the Jews. He calls it the great tribulation for a reason. It was to apply to all of us. It will be a time of trouble related to the Jews, yes, but it will also be a time of great tribulation for the entire world including us. Antichrist is not a nice guy. Again, if the believers of Christ's day were told to expect to suffer through THE tribulation (and the disciples were), why on earth should we expect that it would no longer apply to us? Why should we get a free pass? Judgment begins with the house of the Lord. That is us and judging from the state of apostasy of Christendom, we deserve exactly that, don't we? God says He will purge and refine us to make us acceptable. Christians are not acceptable to God these days. He has said that Himself. Sorry if that is insulting, but it is the truth. I include myself here. It is a hard thing to walk righteously in this country and in this day and age, and we all struggle to maintain that walk. If someone is not struggling, then I would have some doubts, because even Paul struggled.

Third comment:

"Paul was the ONLY apostle that received revelation knowledge about the rapture."

Only if you deliberately choose to ignore the clear teachings of Christ, so that you can accommodate your belief system. The mystery about which Paul spoke was the fact that the gathering of those still alive is not an O.T. concept. Remember that the O.T. was really all these people had to study. So it was a "mystery" or a newly revealed secret in the sense that it had only been taught by Christ, not in the O.T. But it is clearly taught in the gospels. One will be taken, one left. After telling them that the angels would gather His elect, Christ told the disciples that people who were alive side by side would see one taken away. Gathered up to Christ. That is the rapture. Clear and simple. Unless you believe there is more than one rapture.

Fourth comment:

"God in His great mercy showed John the great crowd in heaven, too large to number, just before the 70th week is to begin, exactly when Paul tells us the rapture would take place.'

We haven't gotten to Revelation yet, and I don't like jumping ahead to address issues that would confuse people, but simple exegesis from all that we have gone over will show that the 70th week takes place a while before the multitude in heaven is shown. Actually Paul said that our gathering (the rapture) comes after the 2nd coming, which he then goes on to say will happen sometime after antichrist is revealed at the abomination of desolation. You need to reread that passage and keep it in the order given. Paul laid out an order of events which you will see, if you will be patient to wait until they are addressed, will fit perfectly with all other scriptures.

Fifth comment:

"This is no mystery, but it takes rightly dividing the word of God."

As to rightly dividing the Word of Truth. I agree, it is important to do so. And I believe I am, as I am not trying to superimpose a belief system onto the scriptures, but instead take my belief from the scriptures in the most literal, simple reading.

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