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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Pre Tribulation Rapture Of The Church


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Tell me about it please.

These things prophesied in Revelation would occur during the time before the destruction. The precise nature is not recorded in Scripture, so we can either refer to secular historians, or trust God that those given the warnings recognised what was happening, and either suffered the consequences of their faithfulness, or fled the persecutions (as warned by Jesus) or denied their profession.

 

I expect Invicta will be able to give you the secular history. If you are really interested.

 

"Interpreting" Scripture by imposing computer technology was not possible to John's readers. The just had to read and apply his teaching in their immediate situation. Likewise they could calculate the mark of the beast using names and numbers.

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These things prophesied in Revelation would occur during the time before the destruction. The precise nature is not recorded in Scripture, so we can either refer to secular historians, or trust God that those given the warnings recognised what was happening, and either suffered the consequences of their faithfulness, or fled the persecutions (as warned by Jesus) or denied their profession.

 

I expect Invicta will be able to give you the secular history. If you are really interested.

 

"Interpreting" Scripture by imposing computer technology was not possible to John's readers. The just had to read and apply his teaching in their immediate situation. Likewise they could calculate the mark of the beast using names and numbers.

 

The 7 years tribulations right after the rapture has nothing whatsoever to do with computers or technology, so leave that out, it has no place under this topic, that is exactly what has been taught since the beginning & its still the truth. In other words that is what God teaches us, that is what God inspired the writers of the Bible to write.

 

You have set under some bad teachers.

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Jerry, I meant they way people suggest bar coding or implanting chips as the mark.

 

We really don't know what exactly the mark will be, but there's no doubt God could for see the future & it could be something like you pointed out & or something we have not seen or heard of yet. 

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It is of course a false teaching that this has always been taught.  It is a relatively novel teaching which came to the Us about the end of the 19th century, and England towards the middle,

 

The mark of the beast 

 

14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
 
The mark of the beast is the sign of the cross given by the priest on the forehead with his right hand (Also given when a devotee crosses themselves)  In the middle ages, without this mark it was forbidden for any RC to buy from or sell to, or even bury and 'heretic'.  There was the case of 40 Publicani of the germanic tongue, who were found in Oxford (I have been told that in the British museum there is a book where they are called Waldensians. These witnesses refused to renounce their faith and were stripped to their girdles and cast out of the city and the populace were ordered not to give them sustenance and they soon perished as it was the middle of the winter.  Another thing that was forbidden was to bury 'heretics'.  A few years ago we were told at the Baptist church I was then attending, b y someone who had been visiting a church in Italy, that when someone becomes a Christian and joins the church, the priests will put pressure on the RCs to refuse to sell to them, to refuse to employ them and to evict them from their homes.  
 
Receiving the mark cannot be without repentance as the old sin that may not be forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is rejecting His testimony of Jesus.
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It is of course a false teaching that this has always been taught.  It is a relatively novel teaching which came to the Us about the end of the 19th century, and England towards the middle,

 

The mark of the beast 

 

14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
 
The mark of the beast is the sign of the cross given by the priest on the forehead with his right hand (Also given when a devotee crosses themselves)  In the middle ages, without this mark it was forbidden for any RC to buy from or sell to, or even bury and 'heretic'.  There was the case of 40 Publicani of the germanic tongue, who were found in Oxford (I have been told that in the British museum there is a book where they are called Waldensians. These witnesses refused to renounce their faith and were stripped to their girdles and cast out of the city and the populace were ordered not to give them sustenance and they soon perished as it was the middle of the winter.  Another thing that was forbidden was to bury 'heretics'.  A few years ago we were told at the Baptist church I was then attending, b y someone who had been visiting a church in Italy, that when someone becomes a Christian and joins the church, the priests will put pressure on the RCs to refuse to sell to them, to refuse to employ them and to evict them from their homes.  
 
Receiving the mark cannot be without repentance as the old sin that may not be forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is rejecting His testimony of Jesus.

 

 

Your badly confused, the mark is in the future that will take place after the rapture during the tribulation. You need to go back & pay attending to some of the post that's been made in order to get straitened out.

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And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore

upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Revelation 16:2

 

Looks like the consequences of receiving the mark of the Beast are very nasty sores breaking out upon the skin.

 

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It is of course a false teaching that this has always been taught.  It is a relatively novel teaching which came to the Us about the end of the 19th century, and England towards the middle,

 

The mark of the beast 

 

14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
 
The mark of the beast is the sign of the cross given by the priest on the forehead with his right hand (Also given when a devotee crosses themselves)  In the middle ages, without this mark it was forbidden for any RC to buy from or sell to, or even bury and 'heretic'.  There was the case of 40 Publicani of the germanic tongue, who were found in Oxford (I have been told that in the British museum there is a book where they are called Waldensians. These witnesses refused to renounce their faith and were stripped to their girdles and cast out of the city and the populace were ordered not to give them sustenance and they soon perished as it was the middle of the winter.  Another thing that was forbidden was to bury 'heretics'.  A few years ago we were told at the Baptist church I was then attending, b y someone who had been visiting a church in Italy, that when someone becomes a Christian and joins the church, the priests will put pressure on the RCs to refuse to sell to them, to refuse to employ them and to evict them from their homes.  
 
Receiving the mark cannot be without repentance as the old sin that may not be forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is rejecting His testimony of Jesus.

 

 

I am starting to see a trend in what our Euro brethren have been led to believe. It appears they regionalize the cataclysmic events of revelation to an area about the size of Texas and New Jersey (middle ages Europe & Israel).

 

Like I said before, the mechanics and math do not remotely add up and now I will add the geography.

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I am starting to see a trend in what our Euro brethren have been led to believe. It appears they regionalize the cataclysmic events of revelation to an area about the size of Texas and New Jersey (middle ages Europe & Israel).

 

Like I said before, the mechanics and math do not remotely add up and now I will add the geography.

The Europeans have a tough time with the Jew. Always have, always will.

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I answered several questions in this post. Rather than even attempt an answer, Eric asked a question that left this post without comment.

 

======

 

Ian:

I believe that what is called the PTR is in fact the coming of Christ for resurrection & judgement, and that there will be no further opportunity for anyone to repent & be saved.

When Jesus returns, the "last/end times," aka the present Gospel age, will be over.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,

 

2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

 

If there is no further opportunity for salvation during the tribulation, then who are the tribulation saints and why the need for 144,000 set apart Jewish converts to preach the Gospel after the rapture?

 

A very good question that you should ask the Scriptures. Revelation was obviously written to its first readers, before the destruction prophesied by Jesus. See Rev. 11, which prophesies the end of the temple & Jerusalem. The 144,000 Jews were sealed & protected before the four winds (4 horsemen) were released. They had been warned by Jesus to flee the city before its destruction. (Mat. 24)

 

What is this "rapture." It is not taught in the Bible. We look for Jesus' return for resurrection & judgement. You are all reading in, rather than reading.

 

 

Mike:

As well, why do we see some three times where the Bible laments that, despite all that happens, the people still refuse to repent? Why would that be mentioned, if there was no way they could repent?

 

Only 3 times? The history of Israel throughout the OT is determined unrepentant godlessness. God is longsuffering, Of course they are called on to repent, & all who repented were saved. Those who did repent in the 40 years between Jesus' resurrection and his comin in the days of vengeance ultimately fled the city. Those who did not repent suffered in the destruction. Read Acts 7 for Israel's history. Hebrews repeats the warning. The 40 years was fast running out.

 

Heb. 3:But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

 

No. all the fantastic ideas put forward in these threads are the invention of those who read the Bible with dispensational blinders on. They reject the plain words of Scripture and claim a false "literal" reading that is carnal, not spiritual.

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I answered several questions in this post. Rather than even attempt an answer, Eric asked a question that left this post without comment.

 

======

When Jesus returns, the "last/end times," aka the present Gospel age, will be over.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,

 

2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

 

 

A very good question that you should ask the Scriptures. Revelation was obviously written to its first readers, before the destruction prophesied by Jesus. See Rev. 11, which prophesies the end of the temple & Jerusalem. The 144,000 Jews were sealed & protected before the four winds (4 horsemen) were released. They had been warned by Jesus to flee the city before its destruction. (Mat. 24)

 

What is this "rapture." It is not taught in the Bible. We look for Jesus' return for resurrection & judgement. You are all reading in, rather than reading.

 

 

Only 3 times? The history of Israel throughout the OT is determined unrepentant godlessness. God is longsuffering, Of course they are called on to repent, & all who repented were saved. Those who did repent in the 40 years between Jesus' resurrection and his comin in the days of vengeance ultimately fled the city. Those who did not repent suffered in the destruction. Read Acts 7 for Israel's history. Hebrews repeats the warning. The 40 years was fast running out.

 

Heb. 3:But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

 

No. all the fantastic ideas put forward in these threads are the invention of those who read the Bible with dispensational blinders on. They reject the plain words of Scripture and claim a false "literal" reading that is carnal, not spiritual.

 

Covenanter,

I post on 5 prophecy sites. I can't stay here and wait.

 

Your mind is made up.

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From Clarence Larkin - The Book of Revelation

 

1. THE HEAVENLY DOOR.

Rev. 4:1.

"AFTER THIS I looked, and, behold, a DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (after these).

 

The scene now changes from earth (Patmos) to Heaven. John tells us that After This, after his Vision of Christ in the midst of the "Seven Candlesticks," and his foreview of the history of the Christian Church, as reviewed in the Messages to the Seven Churches, which carried him down to the end of the Church Age, he looked, and behold a DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN, and the same voice that spoke to him from the midst of the "Seven Golden Candlesticks," which was the voice of Christ (Rev. 1:10-13), said with the clearness and sweetness of a trumpet--

"COME UP HITHER
AND I WILL SHOW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST
BE HEREAFTER
"

And John adds

"IMMEDIATELY I WAS IN THE SPIRIT:

and, behold, a Throne was set in Heaven, and ONE sat on the Throne." The experience of John was similar to that of Paul, who was caught up into Paradise. Whether in the body or out of the body they are uncertain, at least Paul was. 2. Cor. 12:2-4. The difference between them however was, that, while Paul heard words that he was forbidden to speak, John was told to "WRITE IN A BOOK" the things he saw and heard, and send them to the Seven Churches in Asia.

In this "Rapture" of John we have a type of the

RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH,

and it is at this place in the Book that the "RAPTURE" of the Church takes place.

After the confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:13-28), and Jesus had said that upon the rock of that confession He would build His Church, He said to His Disciples'--"Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man COMING IN HIS KINGDOM." And then we read in the next chapter (and there should be no chapter division), "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was TRANSFIGURED BEFORE THEM." Matt. 17:1-9. Now this "Transfiguration Scene" is a type of the Second Coming of Christ, Moses being a type of the "Resurrected Saints," and Elijah of the "Translated Saints."

 

As the promise of Christ to His Disciples that some of them should not "taste of death" until they saw in vision a rehearsal of the manner of His Second Coming, was fulfilled in the "Transfiguration Scene," so the statement made to Peter as to John, "If I will that heTARRY TILL I COME" (John 21:20-23), finds its fulfilment in John's being caught up in vision and beholding before his death, what he would have witnessed and experienced if his life had been prolonged until Jesus came back. Thus John was permitted to live, until, in vision, he saw the Return of the Lord.

The "Rapture" of the Church is described in 1. Thess. 4:16-17. "For the Lord HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven with a SHOUT, with the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and with the TRUMP OF GOD; and the DEAD IN CHRIST shall rise first: then we WHICH ARE ALIVE and REMAIN shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Note how John's taking up corresponds with this. He was summoned by the "VOICE OF CHRIST," and it will be the "SHOUT of Christ" that shall summon the saints at the Rapture. It was with a "LOUD VOICE" that Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb. John 11:43. And as it was a Trumpet Like Voice that summoned John, so it will be a TRUMPET CALL that will summon the Saints at the Rapture.

 

As confirmatory proof that the Church is "caught out" at this time and place, we have in the description of the Throne, the statement that the Holy Spirit in the Seven-fold plentitude of His power, is BACK IN HEAVEN. In none of the Epistles is the Holy Spirit invoked along with the Father and the Son, except in 2. Cor. 13:14, because He is viewed as abiding on the earth with the Church, convicting of sin, comforting believers, and gathering out the elect, but here He is no longer on the earth but back in Heaven, and before the Throne. This is the strongest kind of evidence that the Church at this time has been "caught out" and is no longer on the earth, for when the Holy Spirit goes back to Heaven He will take the Church WITH HIM. And the presence of the Holy Spirit in Heaven is conclusive evidence that the events that follow are to take place after the Church has been caught out, and therefore the Church is not to pass through the Tribulation.

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From Clarence Larkin - The Book of Revelation

 

1. THE HEAVENLY DOOR.

Rev. 4:1.

"AFTER THIS I looked, and, behold, a DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (after these).

 

The scene now changes from earth (Patmos) to Heaven. John tells us that After This, after his Vision of Christ in the midst of the "Seven Candlesticks," and his foreview of the history of the Christian Church, as reviewed in the Messages to the Seven Churches, which carried him down to the end of the Church Age, he looked, and behold a DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN, and the same voice that spoke to him from the midst of the "Seven Golden Candlesticks," which was the voice of Christ (Rev. 1:10-13), said with the clearness and sweetness of a trumpet--

"COME UP HITHER
AND I WILL SHOW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST
BE HEREAFTER
"

And John adds

"IMMEDIATELY I WAS IN THE SPIRIT:

and, behold, a Throne was set in Heaven, and ONE sat on the Throne." The experience of John was similar to that of Paul, who was caught up into Paradise. Whether in the body or out of the body they are uncertain, at least Paul was. 2. Cor. 12:2-4. The difference between them however was, that, while Paul heard words that he was forbidden to speak, John was told to "WRITE IN A BOOK" the things he saw and heard, and send them to the Seven Churches in Asia.

In this "Rapture" of John we have a type of the

RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH,

and it is at this place in the Book that the "RAPTURE" of the Church takes place.

After the confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:13-28), and Jesus had said that upon the rock of that confession He would build His Church, He said to His Disciples'--"Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man COMING IN HIS KINGDOM." And then we read in the next chapter (and there should be no chapter division), "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was TRANSFIGURED BEFORE THEM." Matt. 17:1-9. Now this "Transfiguration Scene" is a type of the Second Coming of Christ, Moses being a type of the "Resurrected Saints," and Elijah of the "Translated Saints."

 

As the promise of Christ to His Disciples that some of them should not "taste of death" until they saw in vision a rehearsal of the manner of His Second Coming, was fulfilled in the "Transfiguration Scene," so the statement made to Peter as to John, "If I will that heTARRY TILL I COME" (John 21:20-23), finds its fulfilment in John's being caught up in vision and beholding before his death, what he would have witnessed and experienced if his life had been prolonged until Jesus came back. Thus John was permitted to live, until, in vision, he saw the Return of the Lord.

The "Rapture" of the Church is described in 1. Thess. 4:16-17. "For the Lord HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven with a SHOUT, with the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and with the TRUMP OF GOD; and the DEAD IN CHRIST shall rise first: then we WHICH ARE ALIVE and REMAIN shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Note how John's taking up corresponds with this. He was summoned by the "VOICE OF CHRIST," and it will be the "SHOUT of Christ" that shall summon the saints at the Rapture. It was with a "LOUD VOICE" that Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb. John 11:43. And as it was a Trumpet Like Voice that summoned John, so it will be a TRUMPET CALL that will summon the Saints at the Rapture.

 

As confirmatory proof that the Church is "caught out" at this time and place, we have in the description of the Throne, the statement that the Holy Spirit in the Seven-fold plentitude of His power, is BACK IN HEAVEN. In none of the Epistles is the Holy Spirit invoked along with the Father and the Son, except in 2. Cor. 13:14, because He is viewed as abiding on the earth with the Church, convicting of sin, comforting believers, and gathering out the elect, but here He is no longer on the earth but back in Heaven, and before the Throne. This is the strongest kind of evidence that the Church at this time has been "caught out" and is no longer on the earth, for when the Holy Spirit goes back to Heaven He will take the Church WITH HIM. And the presence of the Holy Spirit in Heaven is conclusive evidence that the events that follow are to take place after the Church has been caught out, and therefore the Church is not to pass through the Tribulation.

 

Now, I don't see the taking of John into Heaven as the rapture-I don't see it as being any different than when Isaiah was taken to Heaven and given prophecy for his time. Or Ezekiel-I believe John  was taken to Heaven for the same reason, that being, to receive a prophecy. I have still never been given any particular answer to the events of Rev 14, when the Son of man sits on a cloud and reaps the harvest earth-this is a clear picture of the rapture: after the last (seventh) trumpet, (Notice the importance of the sounding of the seventh/last trumpet: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." Rev 810:7), in the cloud, after an angel out of the temple in Heaven has shouted that the time has come to reap-we see a trumpet, clouds, Jesus and the voice of an angel, (archangel?).

 

How much more specific can it be? In the other, in Rev 4, all we have is a voice LIKE a trumpet, and one guy going, who was brought obviously, stated, to write prophecies. Not what the church will go. we ignore a clear passage that meets all the prophecies given for the rapture of the saints, and instead hold to a very vague interretation of a single passage that has a clear interpretation: prophecy, but hold to it, because it matches what we want: a pre-tribulation rapture that is not backed up in any scripture.

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Now, I don't see the taking of John into Heaven as the rapture-I don't see it as being any different than when Isaiah was taken to Heaven and given prophecy for his time. Or Ezekiel-I believe John  was taken to Heaven for the same reason, that being, to receive a prophecy. I have still never been given any particular answer to the events of Rev 14, when the Son of man sits on a cloud and reaps the harvest earth-this is a clear picture of the rapture: after the last (seventh) trumpet, (Notice the importance of the sounding of the seventh/last trumpet: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." Rev 810:7), in the cloud, after an angel out of the temple in Heaven has shouted that the time has come to reap-we see a trumpet, clouds, Jesus and the voice of an angel, (archangel?).

 

How much more specific can it be? In the other, in Rev 4, all we have is a voice LIKE a trumpet, and one guy going, who was brought obviously, stated, to write prophecies. Not what the church will go. we ignore a clear passage that meets all the prophecies given for the rapture of the saints, and instead hold to a very vague interretation of a single passage that has a clear interpretation: prophecy, but hold to it, because it matches what we want: a pre-tribulation rapture that is not backed up in any scripture.

 

The church is absent from this point until Rev. 19.  The church is not in Rev. 14. it disappears after John's vision.

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Scofield rears his ugly head....

The church is absent from this point until Rev. 19.  The church is not in Rev. 14. it disappears after John's vision.

Scofield:

4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Come up hither

This call seems clearly to indicate the fulfilment of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 . The word "church" does not again occur in the Revelation till all is fulfilled.

At least Eric has one (dubious) virtue - his postings are original - even though they are private interpretations. The trouble is he works within a dispensational paradigm.

 

We need to see what Revelation is all about BEFORE we we start to interpret it. I like to start at the first chapter, to see who it is written to. There we see it is written to real people, for their encouragement and blessing - John's companions in tribulation.

 

We should not lift it from its historical context and put it beyond all living Christian experience. Put it into an imaginary dispensation from which all Christians are removed to their "grand-stand" heavenly seats, where they watch God playing a "cat-and-mouse" game with the world of the ungodly. That "interpretation" totally destroys the urgency of the opening chapter.

 

Revelation should be read as a "reprise" of Jesus Olivet prophecy; a final warning to an unregenerate Israel. It should also be seen for encouragement to believers who will suffer tribulation at the hands of the ungodly until Christ returns at the end of time. Compare 2 Thes. 1. 

 

Rev. 1:The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

You folk are robbing the reader of the promised blessing.

Edited by Covenanter
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I would be happy to explain why I use a literal hermeneutics when interpreting prophecy.  The first reason is that all prophecy that has already been fulfilled has been fulfilled in a literal way.  This is  obvious to most people.  The prophecy that has not been fulfilled it would be expected to also be fulfilled in a literal way.  When it comes to Eschatology all methods that replace Israel with the church are simply not valid when scripture is literally interpreted.  A dispensational premillennial view is the only view that makes logical sense.

 

The early church (Apostles and first century fathers) viewed scripture from a literal standpoint and was still looking for the Messiah to come the second time during their lives.  After the first century many false schools of interpretation starting using an allegorical method to interpret scripture, which continued until Augustine reasoned that the methods used by the Apostles and first century fathers were correct.  This correction was used for everything except Eschatology, and no reason was ever provided why this correction was ever made.  Likely since a post-millennial  view was created during this time to answer other heresies that had crept into Christianity is the reason that sound hermeneutics was never recovered for eschatology.  

 

Later after the reformation theologians returned to sound Eschatology and this has been the standard since the early 1900's.   Makes sense to use a literal reading, it is so much easier that changing the simple definitions of words like, elect, all, everyone, world, whosoever, etc, etc, etc.  

 

I happen to agree with Clarence Larkin which is why I posted the above. However, I don't need to answer to why I posted this everyone who uses a logical, literal method of interpretation will come to the same conclusion.

Edited by The Ohio Patriot
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You folk are robbing the reader of the promised blessing.

 

Revelation 1:3 (KJV) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand

 

Notice when this was written, during the latter part of the reign of Domitian which is the accepted time frame from nearly every theologian that exists. When John wrote this was clearly after 70 AD when the temple was destroyed, again documented and accepted by everyone except, the promised blessing was expected soon, the time was at hand but clearly Jesus has not come back.  To claim any other position but a liter pre-millennial dispensational view of eschatology is robbing everyone of the promised blessing.

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The church is absent from this point until Rev. 19.  The church is not in Rev. 14. it disappears after John's vision.

Just because the church is not mentiojed specifically doesn't mean they aren't there. The saints are spoken of a lot. Are we not the saints? Is it possible that, such would be the persecution, that organized churches, assemblies, may be a bit difficult to have? And again, since the main thrust of the GT is Jacob, it would make sense that the church is not spoken of that much-but nowhere does it say they are removed, or taken away.  

In fact, the reaping by the Son of man in the clouds matches well the reaping mentioned in Matt 24, which takes place AFTER the tribulation of those days, as well as the reaping, when the chaff and the wheat are separated. In Rev 14, when it mentions that the harvest is 'ripe', it means 'dry'. Some have said, because of this, it can't refer to the church. However, it fits perfectly, since we are likened to wheat-and how do you know wheat is ready for harvesting? because it is 'dry'. So if there is a reaping because the harvest is dry, it fits perfectly for the separation of the wheat out from the chaff.

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It's pretty simple: Israel, the Adulterous Wife of Jehovah, has been set-aside (for the last 2,000 yrs.) and the Gospel given to the Gentiles.
When the Gentile, Bride of Christ, is removed from the earth [harpazo], then it will be Israel's turn again; and what a harvest they will have!

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will,
a DISPENSATION of the gospel is committed unto me. [Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles]
Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the DISPENSATION of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the DISPENSATION of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God;
One, two, three witnesses - 2 Cor 13:1b " In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

Edited by beameup
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      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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      Psalms 139 Psalm 139:9-10
      9. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy righthand shall hold me. 
       
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
      I really do not know where you are going with this. The Bible itself has revelations and prophecies and not all revelations are prophecies.
      Paul had things revealed to him that were hid and unknown that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs.
      How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Eph 3:3-9
      And I do not mean this as a Hyper-dispensationalist would, for there were people in Christ before Paul (Rom. 16:7). This is not prophecy for there are none concerning the Church age in the O.T..
      Israel rejected the New Wine (Jesus Christ) and said the Old Wine (law) was better, had they tasted the New Wine there would be no church age or mystery as spoken above. to be revealed.
      It was a revealed mystery. Sure there are things concerning the Gentiles after the this age. And we can now see types in the Old Testament (Boaz and Ruth) concerning a Gentile bride, but this is hindsight.
      Peter could have had a ham sandwich in Acts 2, but he did not know it till later, by revelation. But this has nothing to do with 1John 2;23 and those 10 added words in italics. Where did they get them? Did the violate Pro. 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Where did they get this advance revelation? Was it from man, God or the devil?
        I just read your comment and you bypassed what I wrote concerning book arrangement, chapters being added and verse numberings and such. There is no scripture support for these either, should we reject these?
      Happy New Year
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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
      SCRIPTURAL MARY

      I WALK NOT ON WATER NOR CHANGE IT TO WINE
      SO HEARKEN O’ SINNER TO THIS STORY OF MINE
      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
      MY HAIR IS NOT GENTILE BLOND, I HAVE NOT EYES OF BLUE
      A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN A DAUGHTER OF A JEW
      FOR JOSEPH MY HUSBAND DID HONOUR OUR BED
      TO FATHER OUR CHILDREN WHO NOW ARE ALL DEAD
      BUT I SPEAK NOT OF THESE WHO I LOVED SO WELL
      BUT OF THE FIRST BORN WHICH SAVED ME FROM HELL
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
      WHEN I WAS A VIRGIN UNKNOWN BY MAN
      THE ANGEL OF GOD SPOKE OF GOD’S PLAN
      FOR I HAD BEEN CHOSEN A FAVOUR VESSEL OF CLAY
      TO BARE THE SON OF THE HIGHEST BY AN UNUSUAL WAY
      FOR THE SCRIPTURE FORETOLD OF WHAT WAS TO BE
      SO MY WOMB GOD FILLED WHEN HE OVER SHADOW ME
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      WOULD JOSEPH MY BETROTHED MAKE ME HIS WIFE
      I THOUGHT ON THESE THINGS WITH SO NEEDLESS FEARS
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                              3
      THEN MY SOUL DID REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR
      HE SCATTERED THE PROUD AND BLESS ME WITH FAVOR
      O’ THE RICH ARE EMPTY, THE HUNGRY HAVE GOOD THINGS
      FOR THE THRONE OF DAVID WOULD HAVE JESUS THE KING
      BUT BEFORE I DELIVERED THE MAN CHILD OF OLD
      CAESAR WITH TAXES DEMANDED OUR GOLD
      TO THE CITY OF DAVID JOSEPH AND I WENT
      ON A BEAST OF BURDEN OUR STRENGTH NEAR SPEND
      NO ROOM AT An INN, BUT A STABLE WAS FOUND
      WITH STRAW AND DUNG LAID ON THE GROUND
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
                                                  4
      MY MATRIX WAS OPEN IN A PLACE SO PROFANE
      FROM THE GLORY OF GLORIES TO A BEGGAR’S DOMAIN
      SO WE WRAPPED THE CHILD GIVEN TO THE HEATHEN A STRANGER
      NO REPUTATION IS SOUGHT TO BE BORN IN A MANGER
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      FOR SHEPHERDS AND WISE MEN WORSHIP ONLY THE KING
      BUT HEROD THAT DEVIL SOUGHT FOR HIS SOUL
      AND MURDER RACHEL’S CHILDREN UNDER TWO YEARS OLD
      BUT JOSEPH MY HUSBAND WAS WARNED IN A DREAM
      SO WE FLED INTO EGYPT BECAUSE OF HIS SCHEME
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               5
      SO THE GIVER OF LIFE, THE ROCK OF ALL AGES
      GREW UP TO FULFILL THE HOLY PAGES
      HE PREACH WITH AUTHORITY LIKE NONE BEFORE
      PLEASE TRUST HIS WORDS AND NOT THE GREAT WHORE
      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
      FOR MY SOUL WAS PURCHASED BY GOD UPON THE CROSS
      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
      I WILL NOT STEAL HIS GLORY WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
      BUT TRUST THE LAMB WHO STOOL IN PILATE’S HALL
      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
      FOR I WILL NOT GIVE ANSWER NEITHER WILL I HEAR
      AND WHEN THE BOOKS ARE OPEN AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
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