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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      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.

After the Tribulation


Matthew24

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As for pre-trib 'experts', no, they actually read a lot into things that aren't there. For instance, time and again I read how 1Thes 4 is 'proof' for a pre-trib rapture, and I say, No, it is proof of a rapture-but nothing about timing. I see Rev 14 ignored time and again, while it is the ONLY clear scripture that shows Jesus actually reaping from the earth.

As a pre-tribber, though probably not an expert, I'll address it...

When you look at Rev 14:14-20, there are two possibilities:

1) The reaping in v. 16 is different from the reaping in v. 19. - If this is the case, you might be correct that it refers to the Rapture, though you would be hard-pressed to exegetically support a hard distinction between subject and purpose of the two reapings in context because nothing is ever done with whatever is reaped in v. 16.

2) The passage describes only one reaping - If this is the case, it most certainly cannot describe the Rapture of true believers because they who are reaped are thrown into the winepress of God's wrath (v. 19). This would conflict with 1 Thess 5:9, which I believe we agree says that Christians will not partake of God's wrath.

I lean towards option 2 because it fits the natural flow of thought better. The reaping in v. 16 does not specify anything beyond harvesting the vine. Indeed, the word it's translated from (therizo) can be taken to include gathering of what is harvested and storing it, but it is not a necessary component of the word. Rather, it is specific to mean cutting down of the vine/tree/branch. Even the English word "reap" is definitely a cutting down and non-gathering activity when applied to an agricultural context. In contrast, the "gathering" in v. 19 speaks of no reaping, but rather of gathering the crop and transporting it to the winepress. Additionally, the angel with the sharp sickle is merely cutting the grapes off the vine and not cutting down the vine. What I believe we see here is Jesus cutting down the vine (reaping) and the angel gathering the grapes from the vine for the wrath of the winepress. Finally, there is nothing contextually to demand that believers are in view for vv. 14-20. It is a distinct and separate segment of thought from the believers in vv. 12-13.

Based on all of that, I do not view Rev 14:14-20 as a description of the Rapture.

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As a pre-tribber, though probably not an expert, I'll address it...

When you look at Rev 14:14-20, there are two possibilities:

1) The reaping in v. 16 is different from the reaping in v. 19. - If this is the case, you might be correct that it refers to the Rapture, though you would be hard-pressed to exegetically support a hard distinction between subject and purpose of the two reapings in context because nothing is ever done with whatever is reaped in v. 16.

2) The passage describes only one reaping - If this is the case, it most certainly cannot describe the Rapture of true believers because they who are reaped are thrown into the winepress of God's wrath (v. 19). This would conflict with 1 Thess 5:9, which I believe we agree says that Christians will not partake of God's wrath.

I lean towards option 2 because it fits the natural flow of thought better. The reaping in v. 16 does not specify anything beyond harvesting the vine. Indeed, the word it's translated from (therizo) can be taken to include gathering of what is harvested and storing it, but it is not a necessary component of the word. Rather, it is specific to mean cutting down of the vine/tree/branch. Even the English word "reap" is definitely a cutting down and non-gathering activity when applied to an agricultural context. In contrast, the "gathering" in v. 19 speaks of no reaping, but rather of gathering the crop and transporting it to the winepress. Additionally, the angel with the sharp sickle is merely cutting the grapes off the vine and not cutting down the vine. What I believe we see here is Jesus cutting down the vine (reaping) and the angel gathering the grapes from the vine for the wrath of the winepress. Finally, there is nothing contextually to demand that believers are in view for vv. 14-20. It is a distinct and separate segment of thought from the believers in vv. 12-13.

Based on all of that, I do not view Rev 14:14-20 as a description of the Rapture.

There are a couple reasons I will respectfully disagree.

1: Different things are described as being taken, in different terms. 

2: the term "Ripe" in the two contexts are from two different Greek words, one of which can NOT refer to the grapes.

(I know everyone hates going to the 'Greek', but it CAN be helpful at times.) Notice how the two items being reaped are described:

      Rev 14:15,16"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." 

     Rev 14:18,19 "And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God."

  Okay, in 15 & 16, we see the "harvest" of the earth was 'ripe", and it was 'reaped".    In 18&19, we see it is "grapes" he is to "gather" the "cluster on the vine", because the "grapes are fully ripe"   first, a reaping of the harvest which was ripe, (and for those unfamiliar with farm work, to 'reap' means to both cut and gather up the harvest), and we have a gathering in of the cluster of the vine. There is a difference at play here, and the terminology declares it, as does the different meanings of the word "ripe' in both contexts.

Again, I know we declare we don't need the Greek, but as has been discussed in other posts, it can be a help sometimes. They were both translated as "ripe" and I don't dispute that, BUT the way they the ripeness is defined is telling.  In the first case, it is the Greek word "xērainō", which means, per Strong's:

  1. to make dry, dry up, wither

  2. to become dry, to be dry, be withered a: of plants;  b. of the ripening of crops;  c. of fluid;  d.of the members of the body.

So, it DOES mean ripe, but specifically dried, like ripe crops. Like wheat. And remember how God's people are described in Matthew? As wheat, as opposed to chaff? When wheat is ripe, it is known to be so because it dries up and turns brown and hard.   So first, a ripe, dry harvest.    Then, the word ripe in 18 is the Greek "akmazō" meaning, in Strong's, To flourish, to come to maturity. This is the only time it is used in scripture, by the way.

SO we have a REAPING of a RIPE, DRY product, BY Jesus Christ, with no word of what He does with it, THEN we have a GATHERING of the RIPE, FLOURISHING GRAPE VINE, (not very dry, I think), which is gathered by an angel, and then cast into the winepress of God's wrath, so clearly, these represent the lost.  Very clearly two different events, close in time, one after the other, but two different people, one reaps something dry, one gathers grapes from the vine.

This fits perfectly with they way I understand it to be: Jesus has just gathered his people, like wheat, (Matt 13), the so-called rapture, and the lost are represented by the grapes, which begins the falling of God's wrath. 

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Matthew 24,

You are in error. Serious doctrinal error.

As with Pastor anderson you cannot rightly divide the scriptures. Revelation 1:7 is referring to The comining of the Lord Jesus as KING OF KING AND LORD AND LORDS, to the earth, with the church saints as recorded in Refelation 19:11-21. Revelation 1:7 is not referring to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 for the church, in the clouds, and does not return to the earth at all.

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"The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." Proverbs 15:14

Your statement concerning C.I. Scofield and a Zionist funded commentary was vague, ambiguous and tended to make the casual reader think you are anti-Semitic.

In order to have full understanding, and seek knowledge in your posting we need more information concerning your posting. Could you please answer my above post, and the following two questions, with clear, precise and referenced answers. These three questions are important to understand your posting and reasoning.

1. Are you referring to the C. I. Scofield Reference Bible as a Zionist funded commentary?

2. Is anything financed by a Jew, or a Zionist organization, inherently bad? or evil? or unscriptual?

3. Please define, "Zionist."

Please give appropriate scriptual answers and specific, clear answers with references that can be checked and verified.

Alan

 

matthew24,

I would still like for you to answer the questions about Scofield. In the video it openly called C.I. Scofield and apsotate. Do you think that C.I. Scofield was an apostate? If so, why?

John81,

I will try and be better in my approach and presentation.

Alan

Matthew24,

You said, twice, that you were ready to answer my four questions but so far you have evaded asking them. Apparently, you are not seriously considering answering them but are ignoring them. I am not surprised as your posting reveals your answer.

You, along with pastor Anderson, are  is anti-Semitic. You, along with pastor Anderson, believe that Brother C.I. Scofield was an apostate and that anything that is connected with Zionism is inherently evil. According to Romans 11:25 both of you are  Pastor Anderson is spiritually blind, ignorant, and conceited concerning the mystery of the Jews, their temporary blindness, and ultimate restoration to God. As the elect of God part of the nation of Israel is saved and most are blinded to the Lord Jesus as the Messiah. In the video it is very apparent that pastor Anderson  has learned this anti-Semitism from Martin Luther. Anderson has believed the lies that Martin Luther taught about the Jews.

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungdliness from Jacob" Romans 11:25

Because  of your blindness you   Andersons blindness he cannot properly interpret the "Time of Jacob's Trouble, " Revelation 6:1-19:21 and the events surrounding the rapture of the church. In the video Anderson ignores, yes, ignores, the prophecies concerning the Jews and the 'Time of Jacob's Trouble,'  Jeremiah 30:7, and many, many other prophecies that properly interprets the book of Revelation. Anderson, and you, is ignoring the scriptures and privately interpreting the sciptures as you he sees fit.

 Paul also concluded the book of Romans with the admonition to the saints what we should  do concerning those who  false teachers that are teaching doctrines contrary to the doctrines in the scriptures: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Romans 16:17

Brethren,

In the interests of being more gracious, and being a public forum, I have stricken out the references to Matthew24 being anti-Semitic, and will keep that privately held opinion in abeyance. The rest of the post stands and I am still awaiting the answers promised by Matthew24. I will, "endure to the end."

I have though kept the references to Anderson being anti-semitic as it is not just my opinion but open knowledge.

Alan

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I don't like Scofield, primarily because he promoted the Gap Theory, which I don't see as having any sort of biblical basis.  But that's a whole different kettle of fish.

 

 

Alan, I ask you to take it easy in your remarks of accusing another of being blind or anti-Semitic or conceited, et al. If you want to hash something out with him, do it privately-in the forums we seek to keep even our disagreements civil-you've been around long enough to know how quickly things can get out of hand.  Thank you.

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Ukulelemike,

In the interests of being more civil and gracious, and to prevent any personal ill-will, and to assure all on this forumt that I have no personal animosity towards Matthew24, I have struck out the offending references to Matthew24 being anti-Semitic, blind, or conceited, and will keep those thoughts private in order to prevent the current issue from getting out of hand.

Alan

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The "big shot" is Steven Anderson who pastors Faithful Word Baptist Church ---->who has won 1000's to the Lord not only in the Phoenix area, but online as well. BTW, I wouldn't suggest a pretribber to take verses out of Matther 24, Luke 21, or Mark 13. Why? These are parallel passages that in 2 of them, directly say Jesus comes After the Tribulation. That is why pretribbers cling to 1 Thess. 4. Why? It doesn't mention the timing....but guess what? It sounds just like all of the other rapture passages in Matt, Mark, Luke, Rev6, Rev14. HE WILL COME IN THE CLOUDS, WITH POWER, AND GLORY< AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM. HOLLYWOOD IS WRONG!

If you take the bible literally it says, we will not know the day or hour, but it explicitly says we know the time and seasons. We aren't in darkness.

Well I gotta hand it to you, you do admit to be a follower of men at least. If he is your actual pastor, please say so. Sadly with this anderson fella he thinks he knows things noone else has thought of. Just another sign of a novice lifted with pride and I have seen the soulwinning you mention. That church is no where near 1000s big my young friend. I did a little research after this thread posted. I have seen this type repeated in many places

60 people out for 2 hours in a muslim neighborhood with only one baptized but supposedly 43 saved. That is not soulwinning friend. I see folks doing these quick presentations on porches with folks who are polite.  Somehow though not interested enough in their souls to even invite them in and actually take time with the Scriptures. These people just wanted them off their porches so pray the 123 prayer to get rid of them. After all, why not, they think of it as a rabbits foot, like it can't hurt to repeat after them!!! Like a lucky charm I want to try to get in good with all types of gods. That kind of witnessing is not Scriptural. Ask anderson how many faithful members of his church got saved like that - the answer will be zero; there is always more to the story than this quicky stuff. Does it happen with the quicky presentations and prayers (yes if the seed has been planted and watered enough) but rarely. And when it is a real conversion, those people will come to church and confess Him before men. I am not saying they will all grow the same or serve the same but they will confess Him before men.

Why not track how many got a chance to give the complete Gospel or track how many tracts were accepted when they didn't want to receive the complete Gospel. We are to plant the seeds and water planted seeds but God and Him only gives the increase. And when He does, we will bring the sheaves with us. Anderson and others like him want to give the increase themselves with these false conversion numbers. The real numbers are sitting in the pews at least for a little while.

I am not referring to folks who did confess Him with Baptism and then backslide, not at all the Bible tells us there will be many like this. What the Bible doesn't tell us is those who won't be Baptised are actually saved (not couldn't, not can't) but WON'T

Sure I can't see into mens hearts but I can read my Bible and It says that if he who will not confess Me before men him will I not confess before my Father. Those ain't conversions, those are just rabbit's feet for the lost. Reporting numbers at all costs does more harm than good. Another novice mistake.

If they want to grow in the Lord and truly serve Him, they will forget their pride in false numbers and stop condemning folks who will now tell the next soulwinner that they are already saved once again stopping their chance to hear the complete Gospel. It really makes me angry. Somewhere along the line these folks need to be honest with themselves and not sell it like snakeoil with wisdom of words making the Cross of none effect. There is a big difference between polite and convicted, how do we ignore this?

I know people all around this area who tell me all the time they are saved but these same people will not even tell their own children how to escape hell. Saved huh? like my redbone hounds are saved.

We must go and we must preach but not like this. Stop the nonsense and get busy, time is short.

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The "big shot" is Steven Anderson who pastors Faithful Word Baptist Church ---->who has won 1000's to the Lord not only in the Phoenix area, but online as well. BTW, I wouldn't suggest a pretribber to take verses out of Matther 24, Luke 21, or Mark 13. Why? These are parallel passages that in 2 of them, directly say Jesus comes After the Tribulation. That is why pretribbers cling to 1 Thess. 4. Why? It doesn't mention the timing....but guess what? It sounds just like all of the other rapture passages in Matt, Mark, Luke, Rev6, Rev14. HE WILL COME IN THE CLOUDS, WITH POWER, AND GLORY< AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM. HOLLYWOOD IS WRONG!

If you take the bible literally it says, we will not know the day or hour, but it explicitly says we know the time and seasons. We aren't in darkness.

"1,000's" implies two or more thousand.

Quite a remarkable amount of people.  Since you are so knowledgeable of the number of people that Anderson has "led to the Lord," how about providing proof of your claim?  Who are these "1,000's of people"? 

Seriously, I know you really do not have such knowledge, unless you are Anderson himself? 

However, given the hatred that I have heard from Anderson's sermons on more than one occasion, (remember his stating that he prays that Obama is killed?) I highly doubt Anderson has led anyone to the Lord at all.  He may have presented a false christ to people and people ate it up, but that he led them to the God of the Bible?  I highly doubt it. 

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There are a couple reasons I will respectfully disagree.

1: Different things are described as being taken, in different terms. 

2: the term "Ripe" in the two contexts are from two different Greek words, one of which can NOT refer to the grapes.

...

SO we have a REAPING of a RIPE, DRY product, BY Jesus Christ, with no word of what He does with it, THEN we have a GATHERING of the RIPE, FLOURISHING GRAPE VINE, (not very dry, I think), which is gathered by an angel, and then cast into the winepress of God's wrath, so clearly, these represent the lost.  Very clearly two different events, close in time, one after the other, but two different people, one reaps something dry, one gathers grapes from the vine.

This fits perfectly with they way I understand it to be: Jesus has just gathered his people, like wheat, (Matt 13), the so-called rapture, and the lost are represented by the grapes, which begins the falling of God's wrath. 

Mike,

First, thanks for the thoughtful and engaging response. After considering your argument and double-checking your facts in multiple linguistic sources, I have to recant the conclusion of my previous post and agree that there are two harvests/reapings in view here (yes, I am capable of accepting instructive correction after all :bonk:). Thanks for bringing that nugget to my attention.

However, I still do not see this passage as a clear and unequivocal description of the Rapture. There are 3 objections/problems I see...

1) There is nothing in the passage (that I currently see) to demand that the wheat being harvested is made up of pre-raptured believers as opposed to those saved in the Tribulation if there was a pre-tribulation Rapture.

2) I am not entirely convinced that the "one like unto the Son of man" in v. 14 is a specific reference to Jesus. This is partially because he takes direction to reap from an angel out of the temple (v.15), but Jesus takes command and direction from no one except God the Father. I understand that the same wording is used in Rev 1:13 to reference Jesus, but there it is accompanied by descriptive delimiters that echo Daniel's descript of God (Dan 7:9-10).  Additionally, while "Son of man" is a title given to Jesus, it is one that is intended to emphasize His humanity and is a title also given to prophets (Dan 8:17 and most of Ezekiel) as well to reference human lineage in general, often with a sense of limitation (Isa 51:12; Jer 49:18, 33, 50:40, 51:43; Heb 2:6). While the "Son of man" on a cloud may echo what we see in the Rapture as depicted 1 Thess 4, it also the common imagery used for the final Second Coming (Dan 7:13; Matt 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26, 14:62). Given that it is not unquestionably Jesus on the cloud and that if it was there is nothing to distinguish it from the Second Coming, I cannot yet view this as a definitive reference to the Rapture.

3) The imagery used here for harvesting wheat is dissimilar from the imagery used in the 1 Thess 4 description of the Rapture. In Rev 14:14-16, the wheat is cut down wholesale and gathered. Perhaps there is a separation of wheat from tares at this point (which is not specified and so must be read in), but the harvesting of wheat implies some type of death (cf. John 12:24 on the death of the harvested wheat). In contrast 1 Thess 4:13-18 depicts not death, but resurrection and immediate translation from one life into the next. The believers of the Rapture are not cut down and gathered, they are simply called up by Jesus to meet Him in the air.

Given these three reasons, I remain unconvinced that Rev 14:14-20 describes the Rapture.

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Mike,

First, thanks for the thoughtful and engaging response. After considering your argument and double-checking your facts in multiple linguistic sources, I have to recant the conclusion of my previous post and agree that there are two harvests/reapings in view here (yes, I am capable of accepting instructive correction after all :bonk:). Thanks for bringing that nugget to my attention.  Always remarkably important to be willing to receive something, but ONLY if it is to be pleasing to God over man. That was a difficulty I have dealt with. Thanks brother.

However, I still do not see this passage as a clear and unequivocal description of the Rapture. There are 3 objections/problems I see...

1) There is nothing in the passage (that I currently see) to demand that the wheat being harvested is made up of pre-raptured believers as opposed to those saved in the Tribulation if there was a pre-tribulation Rapture.  I get that. However, why, then, don't we see any clear reference to the rapture of the church-age saints, as I would think it would be at least as important to the narrative as a second-half, as it were, rapture of the tribulation saints.

2) I am not entirely convinced that the "one like unto the Son of man" in v. 14 is a specific reference to Jesus. This is partially because he takes direction to reap from an angel out of the temple (v.15), but Jesus takes command and direction from no one except God the Father. I understand that the same wording is used in Rev 1:13 to reference Jesus, but there it is accompanied by descriptive delimiters that echo Daniel's descript of God (Dan 7:9-10).  Additionally, while "Son of man" is a title given to Jesus, it is one that is intended to emphasize His humanity and is a title also given to prophets (Dan 8:17 and most of Ezekiel) as well to reference human lineage in general, often with a sense of limitation (Isa 51:12; Jer 49:18, 33, 50:40, 51:43; Heb 2:6). While the "Son of man" on a cloud may echo what we see in the Rapture as depicted 1 Thess 4, it also the common imagery used for the final Second Coming (Dan 7:13; Matt 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26, 14:62). Given that it is not unquestionably Jesus on the cloud and that if it was there is nothing to distinguish it from the Second Coming, I cannot yet view this as a definitive reference to the Rapture. Okay. I wondered this myself, why Jesus would take direction from an angel. But IS He taking direction from an angel? The angel isn't the instructor, but as the term 'angel' implies, he is the messenger. If you recall, Jesus said that, concerning the times and seasons, even the Son of man didn't know the time, only the Father. If this is so, then we could rightly assume that, even gone to glory, and still being in a position of Son to the Father, he still would not have that knowledge, (for the sake of the order as Son). As such, the angel, coming with direction from the Father in the Temple, is passing on that information directly from the Father. And yes, I know its very possible that Jesus would already have that information, but remember, even in Heaven., he is STILL the Son of man, as much as the Son of God and the Lamb of God. 

As for the title, I agree it MIGHT refer to someone else, but, especially as you point out, it is the same exact wording in Rev 1:13, to whom else might "Son of man' refer? This imagery can't be referring to the final second coming, because He doesn't go anywhere. he just reaps. 

3) The imagery used here for harvesting wheat is dissimilar from the imagery used in the 1 Thess 4 description of the Rapture. In Rev 14:14-16, the wheat is cut down wholesale and gathered. Perhaps there is a separation of wheat from tares at this point (which is not specified and so must be read in), but the harvesting of wheat implies some type of death (cf. John 12:24 on the death of the harvested wheat). In contrast 1 Thess 4:13-18 depicts not death, but resurrection and immediate translation from one life into the next. The believers of the Rapture are not cut down and gathered, they are simply called up by Jesus to meet Him in the air.  However, look at how the imagery DOES fit 1Thes 4: Jesus in the clouds, after the last trump, (seventh trumpet having been recently blown), and the voice of an angel having sounded. Was it an archangel who shouted from the temple to the one like unto the Sin of man on the cloud? The Bible doesn't specifically say, but there is no reason to believe it wasn't. especially when considering he is an angel carrying vital information to the Son of man, the Son of God, (if so be that he is), then it would make sense it was an archangel. last trumpet, gathered to Christ in the clouds, voice of an (arch)angel. Sounds pretty close to me. And really, when wheat is considered, being brown and dried up, it is pretty much already dead. I suspect when Christ returns, IF it is at the end of the Tribulation, a-there won't be too many of us left, and, b-we will be worn down and tired out, pretty dried up from the war the beast will make against us. ("We who are alive and remain" sounds like there may not be too many.)

Given these three reasons, I remain unconvinced that Rev 14:14-20 describes the Rapture.

Anyways, it's not my intention to fight, understand. I don't see this as such a huge issue it needs to be fought over. However, since we are having a nice and respectful conversation on it, I do enjoy that. So thanks for the exercise. I don't expect to change your mind, and since I am coming from a position where I WAS there, so far I haven't heard too many arguments that I wasn't persuaded away from. But I also leave room to know that I am FAR from perfect in my knowledge, and personally, if things come down in our lifetimes, I'd much prefer to be wrong if it meant missing the whole mess.

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9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:

43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

By your standards, the KJV and Jesus are antisemitic.

I would love to see all Jews saved from their false religion.

All other accusations, and prove this, or prove that, is garbage. Prove it to yourself that I am wrong. Scofield was a criminal and liar. I don't have time to look up all of the information just to hear you question it the source. Prove Anderson hasn't saved 2000 people. Prove Scofield Preference Bible is a great bible. (I am not going to sit on here and fight like a bunch of 7 year old girls) If you disagree, fine, tell me why. To get on here and tell me I'm blind, and I'm only following Anderson is junk. Like I don't look at what the bible says, just blindly follow a man. It took me about 5 seconds to find DOZENS of sources that question Scofield's character and motives. Thank ye

 

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Anyways, it's not my intention to fight, understand. I don't see this as such a huge issue it needs to be fought over. However, since we are having a nice and respectful conversation on it, I do enjoy that. So thanks for the exercise. I don't expect to change your mind, and since I am coming from a position where I WAS there, so far I haven't heard too many arguments that I wasn't persuaded away from. But I also leave room to know that I am FAR from perfect in my knowledge, and personally, if things come down in our lifetimes, I'd much prefer to be wrong if it meant missing the whole mess.

Same here, I do enjoy the discussion. Although, I think we've strayed from the topic. To continue, perhaps it should be moved to its own thread or debate forum. I don't like derailing a thread and splitting into to topics. It makes things hard to follow.

I once read a book from Zondervan's Counterpoints series called The Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation that was a fascinating reading. Each author gives arguments for their position and are responded to by the other two in turn. The issue is such that there is a lot of wiggle room in interpretation, and I think that's probably intentional. Prophecy is always much clearer looking back on its fulfillment than it is trying to discern it beforehand. I imagine when it happens we'll all look back with amazement at how we missed the obvious. For my part, the only one I've completely ruled out is the post-trib position as indicated in the paper I sent you a while back. I haven't seen enough to completely rule out pre-wrath, though I do still strongly lean pre-trib because it makes so much more sense to me in the grand scheme of things.

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9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:

43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

By your standards, the KJV and Jesus are antisemitic.

I would love to see all Jews saved from their false religion.

All other accusations, and prove this, or prove that, is garbage. Prove it to yourself that I am wrong. Scofield was a criminal and liar. I don't have time to look up all of the information just to hear you question it the source. Prove Anderson hasn't saved 2000 people. Prove Scofield Preference Bible is a great bible. (I am not going to sit on here and fight like a bunch of 7 year old girls) If you disagree, fine, tell me why. To get on here and tell me I'm blind, and I'm only following Anderson is junk. Like I don't look at what the bible says, just blindly follow a man. It took me about 5 seconds to find DOZENS of sources that question Scofield's character and motives. Thank ye

 

Whoa there --- Alan was asked by a moderator to rein it in. He acquiesced.

That does NOT leave the floor open for you to pummel. If you want to prove that you have more maturity than a 7 year old girl then you will ALSO tone it down!

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It seems to me that the Jews are always at the heart of all these battles over eschatology and dispensationalism. Whether they are still the people of God or whether they have been replaced by the church. Also, who are the Jews or Israel of God? What about Ashkenazi Jews? Are they real Jews? Is the church now the Israel of God? What passages in relation to the Jews are to be taken literally or will be fulfilled literally and which are to be or have already been fulfilled in type or spiritually. That is really the heart of the issue. A man's prejudices and attitude towards Jews (Hebrews, Israelites, or whatever you call them) will effect his theology on the matter, IMO. 

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