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      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.

The Rapture cannot take place at the end of the 7 year tribulation period


Jordan Kurecki

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29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

This is the most often used passage I see for people to try and prove that the rapture takes place after the 7 years of tribulation. However this is impossible and I will show how.

 

Many people will say that vs 31 refers to the Rapture, I argue that God is gathering his elect Jews back into the land of Israel, for further study you can see this in mutiple places, especially the latter portions of the book of Ezekiel.

 

But there is a more serious reason and problem with a Post Tribulation Rapture.

Premise #1

at the Rapture, believers are given new glorified bodies

 

1 Th 4: 16 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:

17 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.

 

1st Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

 

Premise 2

No lost person will enter into the 1,000 year reign of Christ at it's beginning

 

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

Premise 3 

Children will be born during the Millennial reign

Ezekiel 47: 22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

 

Premise 4

Glorified bodies do not reproduce children

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

 

Conclusion

If the Post Trib Rapture theory were correct, this would mean that at the end of the 7 year tribulation period when Christ returns, all of his Saints will receive glorified bodies because they claim this is also when the rapture takes place, after this the separation of the sheep and goats takes place all those who are lost and unbelievers in Christ will be cast away to hell at this time, That would leave us with not a single person left on earth in a natural body, and therefore it would be impossible for children to be born. the Post Tribulation Rapture theory makes children being born in the Millenial Kingdom an impossibility. 

 

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Amen, brother Jordan!

Another point to dispute the "post-trib" view is the "Yo-Yo" theory. If post-trib was the truth, it would mean Christ would have to take believers UP and then immediately bring them back DOWN. It makes zero sense.

John 14:2-3 " In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Colossians 1:5 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel"

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Philippians 3:20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ"

2 Timothy 4:18 "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

These verses, and many others, present the fact that we will be taken UP to be with Jesus. It is a logistics problem for "post-tribbers" because what purpose would it serve for the Lord to take us UP, (we would barely get a peek at heaven) and then bring us right back DOWN for the millennial reign on earth. The pre-trib view is the only view which takes this into consideration. God is not a liar! His word is true! Christ ascended UP to heaven, we will be caught up together with fellow believers in the CLOUDS, we will meet the Lord in the AIR (1 Thes. 4:7) at the rapture. 

Maranatha!

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On 6/4/2016 at 9:20 AM, Jordan Kurecki said:

Premise 2

No lost person will enter into the 1,000 year reign of Christ at it's beginning

 

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

 

 

This is where I have an issue-are these people saved? What was the criteria Jesus gives for them entering bodily into the Millennial kingdom? Their actions, their works. Not their faith, not because they believed Jesus unto righteousness, but because they had compassion on God's people during the time of their tribulation. No one is saved by works. They don't even seem to understand why they are being so blessed, that what they did for His people, was counted as being done for Him. These are the same people the book of Zechariah speaks of in Ch 14, " And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain." (Zech 14:16, 17). 

Now I believe they will become born again, since acting on compassion, and seeing Christ and the compassion He has for them, they will receive Him as Saviour-but that is my thought. But there is nothing that says these people are saved; they will need to be saved by grace through faith like anyone else.

On 6/4/2016 at 11:43 AM, Ronda said:

Amen, brother Jordan!

Another point to dispute the "post-trib" view is the "Yo-Yo" theory. If post-trib was the truth, it would mean Christ would have to take believers UP and then immediately bring them back DOWN. It makes zero sense.

John 14:2-3In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Colossians 1:5 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel"

2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Philippians 3:20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ"

2 Timothy 4:18 "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

These verses, and many others, present the fact that we will be taken UP to be with Jesus. It is a logistics problem for "post-tribbers" because what purpose would it serve for the Lord to take us UP, (we would barely get a peek at heaven) and then bring us right back DOWN for the millennial reign on earth. The pre-trib view is the only view which takes this into consideration. God is not a liar! His word is true! Christ ascended UP to heaven, we will be caught up together with fellow believers in the CLOUDS, we will meet the Lord in the AIR (1 Thes. 4:7) at the rapture. 

Maranatha!

You are assuming two things in the yo-yo theory, (which is still better than the string theory!)

 1: The the vials of wrath will take place so fact that we will have to return immediately, and,

2: even is it DOES, that time in Heaven works like it does on earth, which is not the case. If a day is as a thousand years/thousand years as a day to God, then how will time be measured in the timelessness of Heaven? If it is a day on earth, or a week or a year, it may seem like thousands of years in Heaven from the time we arrive, to when we return to earth. If, after the seventh trump, that signifies it is time to reward the saints, that means THAT is when the judgment seat will take place-if they are bound by time, then even seven years won't be long enough for the judgment of all saints, old and new testament.

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These are some good discussions. I've heard some of these points mixed in with pre, mid, and post-trib views. There seem to be many ways to consider some of these points and how they actually fit, what the timeline of end-time events is, whether Scripture presents them in order or not, how much of the puzzle are we given, what is withheld from us, and even right down to just what do certain words mean.

A few years ago, maybe several now, a ministry moved from a pre-trib to mid-trib position. The pastor laid out how in his prayer time and time in the Word on the matter he came to believe the Bible actually puts forth a mid-trib, not a pre-trib rapture. Very briefly there was some good discussion between him and pre-trib folks but it quickly descended into the pre-trib folks launching personal attacks and accusations. That pastors ministry suffered much, but he held to what he believed the Lord had shown him. Unfortunately the attacks (not attempts to teach, help, restore or such) was so terrible he ended public discussion of the matter. Many were turned away by his switch in positions and many more were turned away by the nature of the attacks by the pre-trib supporters.

Very sad. I believe if the open, civil, seemingly sincere attempts to come to biblical truth which were coming from all involved at first had continued there could have been much edification.

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There are many who hold a pre-trib rapture as being an absolute fundamental of the faith, as in, if one holds to anything else, they are an apostate, wicked and hell-bound. And, I admit, there are those who hold to my position, or about any other rapture-timing position, that take the same sort of view, ie, if you don't believe it my way you're stupid, a heretic, unsaved, whatever. And it IS a shame.

We have on this board some magnificent minds with excellent understanding of many things in scripture-I believe we're probably every one of us saved, and have within us the Holy Spirit, who is able to make us understand all things. Yet to me, my position is sound and able to be supported by scripture, and I can refute other positions well enough to remain convinced at least in my own mind, while others are able to take an opposing position and refute it well enough from scripture to remain convinced in their own minds. It is a puzzle. I don't believe any of us are heretics, or lost or selfish or whatever, (and I pray no one sees me that way), so this is a conundrum.   My ultimate thought it, 1-it doesn't matter that much, or its not a fundamental, because apparently there is enough ambiguity to cause this, and 2, maybe there's a reason for it. Honestly I don't know. I do know that I came to where I am having been a life-long pre-trib rapturist, but after about a year of serious study and prayer, I came to where I am now, (and even as a pre-trib, I had harbored some doubts, though I attributed that to my own immaturity).

So, as John says, I pray that as we discuss this, that, while we may not come to a meeting of the minds, as it were, that we will all remain civil, loving and seek to find profit in the discussion, and when it becomes unprofitable, let us set it down and go elsewhere, where profit may be found, and God be not blasphemed.  

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1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

There are many who hold a pre-trib rapture as being an absolute fundamental of the faith, as in, if one holds to anything else, they are an apostate, wicked and hell-bound. And, I admit, there are those who hold to my position, or about any other rapture-timing position, that take the same sort of view, ie, if you don't believe it my way you're stupid, a heretic, unsaved, whatever. And it IS a shame.

We have on this board some magnificent minds with excellent understanding of many things in scripture-I believe we're probably every one of us saved, and have within us the Holy Spirit, who is able to make us understand all things. Yet to me, my position is sound and able to be supported by scripture, and I can refute other positions well enough to remain convinced at least in my own mind, while others are able to take an opposing position and refute it well enough from scripture to remain convinced in their own minds. It is a puzzle. I don't believe any of us are heretics, or lost or selfish or whatever, (and I pray no one sees me that way), so this is a conundrum.   My ultimate thought it, 1-it doesn't matter that much, or its not a fundamental, because apparently there is enough ambiguity to cause this, and 2, maybe there's a reason for it. Honestly I don't know. I do know that I came to where I am having been a life-long pre-trib rapturist, but after about a year of serious study and prayer, I came to where I am now, (and even as a pre-trib, I had harbored some doubts, though I attributed that to my own immaturity).

So, as John says, I pray that as we discuss this, that, while we may not come to a meeting of the minds, as it were, that we will all remain civil, loving and seek to find profit in the discussion, and when it becomes unprofitable, let us set it down and go elsewhere, where profit may be found, and God be not blasphemed.  

I know there is another thread on this but that thread is specific to trumpets at this point it appears so I will ask these questions here:

Don't be offended please, just asking: Have you ever considered that perhaps someone gave you a pair of mid trib glasses to wear years ago so now you see all previously clear pre trib passages as mid? After all, it is novel and different and almost no one believes this way. (Contrary to what the internet says). It is only a couple of authors who write articles saying "many" pastors or churches are leaning toward the mid position. Baloney, I know of none and have not heard of any indirectly who have left the pre trib position. Who and where are all these IFB pastors and churches anyway?

I Thes 5: 1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

I recall that you previously argued this passage as a proof text for your mid theory.

Revelation 6 (the seals in particular) will logically reveal that no one living at the 42 month point of the trib will be thinking "peace and safety". The seals are judgments through and through and poured out by God as clearly written. The only difference is that God indirectly executes them through man and beast. Rev 6:4 reveals that God had taken peace from the earth prior to the 42 month point so how could anyone say peace and safety after the trib has started?

Now, are you claiming the seals come after the first 42 months?

 

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1 hour ago, wretched said:

I know there is another thread on this but that thread is specific to trumpets at this point it appears so I will ask these questions here:

Don't be offended please, just asking: Have you ever considered that perhaps someone gave you a pair of mid trib glasses to wear years ago so now you see all previously clear pre trib passages as mid? No I was raised pre-trib and always saw it as such. It was only after becoming a pastor and I began to more actively study it out to teach the book that I began to see it that way. I actually see it more of taking off the glasses I was wearing. But a valid question and I am certainly not offended. After all, it is novel and different and almost no one believes this way. (Contrary to what the internet says). It is only a couple of authors who write articles saying "many" pastors or churches are leaning toward the mid position. Baloney, I know of none and have not heard of any indirectly who have left the pre trib position. Who and where are all these IFB pastors and churches anyway? I didn't say there were many IFB churches and pastors who hold to the mid-trib position, I said there are many who are PRE-trib who hold to that position as a fundamental of the faith, and thus anyone who disagrees is a heretic. I could share some of the former friends who have sunned be as proof but I will keep that to myself.

I Thes 5: 1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

I recall that you previously argued this passage as a proof text for your mid theory.

Revelation 6 (the seals in particular) will logically reveal that no one living at the 42 month point of the trib will be thinking "peace and safety". The seals are judgments through and through and poured out by God as clearly written. The only difference is that God indirectly executes them through man and beast. Rev 6:4 reveals that God had taken peace from the earth prior to the 42 month point so how could anyone say peace and safety after the trib has started?

Now, are you claiming the seals come after the first 42 months? How can I put this...I believe the seals are previews of what will occur throughout the tribulation and the falling of God's wrath, and that those things don't actually occur as the seals are opened. That probably sounds weird, but it seems the only way that we can have the kings of the earth crying to the rocks to fall on them due to the wrath of the Lamb, way early in Rev 6, while we see the wrath of the Lamb actually occurring in Rev 18. Each seal seems to indicate a key event that will take place throughout the entire 7-year period, coming attractions, if you will. I believe the actual events of judgment will begin with the first trumpet. I don't have time right now to go further but I will try to give a more reasoned account as to why I came to this view.

 

 

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Dear brother "Ukelele Mike"
I didn't see your answer(s) until earlier today. I haven't dismissed this discussion by any means. I do intend to answer, but fully (God willing).
I haven't been here much for several personal and health reasons. 
What time I have been spending online, I've been spending elsewhere in groups on other sites requiring more attention...

Many of these groups I belong to are full of people who are "baby Christians" (lack of better term).
There ARE ones who ARE searching for answers to Biblical questions (who really DO desire the sincere milk of the word).
And then there are mature Christians with which to fellowship with on some of these groups as well.
It's for those 2 people groups I keep on in most groups now.

But... what has been exasperating is that lately I (and others who formerly had good fellowship and discussion amongst ourselves and also with helping new Christians who truly do desire the sincere milk) have been bombarded lately by numerous professing "christians" that interject in between discussion, and demand a 5 word sentence "fly-thru" on a Meat subject when they, themselves haven't got a grasp on the sincere Milk.
There is absolutely no substitute for Bible study for oneself.
A person can listen to every sermon on the planet, watch a thousand videos, read numerous commentaries... and still not "get it".
The charts, the discussions, the fellowship... all being derailed by people who really DON'T want the answers, but rather would prefer to remain ignorant if they can't have it all spoon fed to them in a short summary sentence.
The Holy Spirit is not going to lead and guide into all truth unless that person submits themselves (and their attention) fully to Christ, throw out ALL pre-supposition, and rely on the Lord and His word as the final authority.
Time in prayer and Bible study just can't be substituted.


And also, the NEXT  problem in fellowship is that when there is discussion amongst a couple of people discussing a truly "meat" Biblical study (and the discussion has not yet concluded) multiple people chime in with responses that derail the actual discussion.
Being bombarded with multiple issues to address is not going to condusive to a 5 minute snippet of conversation which is sumed up in short because that wouldn't properly address the issues.

Why the big long tirade here?
I am not suggesting that YOU are one of those "McChristian drive thru" people.
What I am saying, is that if I do take the time to answer, I am hoping that I can present each point and fully address each point.
This entire last month has been one of physical problems, familial problems,  AND those types of people who want the McDonald's drive-thru summary of "fellowship", derailing every honest fellowship on other groups with either more questions (they really don't want to hear the answers to unless it can be summed up in a sentence or two) and THAT has taken up entirely too much of my time (when I've HAD time and ability) lately.a

To be honest... I haven't felt up to all of this, but I will keep on (God willing) as long as the Lord holds me up and is my strength.
AGAIN, I am NOT suggesting describes YOU... what I am doing is explaining one of the reasons for my absence, why I had not yet seen your answer(s),  and one of the reasons I've been busy elsewhere when time and physical ability permitted.
I do intend to answer! But I do intend to answer in full.
It won't be a 5 word summary sentence, (and no, I am not lumping you in with those "McChristian" types when I say that... I am merely stating that it's not a milk subject and requires a meat study, more lengthy answer).

So where to start...
I'll bring up some of the problems I noted, and then (as I physically can, and as time permits since I have less "alone time" to utilize now, and less physical strength to type or even stay awake) answer each one more fully in another post. (God willing)

First: 
There are only TWO people groups given in Matt. 25:31-46 SHEEP and GOATS.
The theory you've proposed would demand a third people group.

Second:
The people group entering the millennial kingdom (in earthly human bodies) to re-populate the earth.

Third:
IMMINENCE is discounted and not present in a mid/post trib viewpoint.

Fourth:
The yo-yo theory "Time" problem. Not the "time" in heaven (which is NOT subject to the same laws of "time as on earth)
But the problem resides in the "time" of the earthdwellers during the tribulation.

Fifth:
The grace age believers/church are missing in Rev. 5-18 during the WRATH of God.
Why would they not be mentioned as giving the gospel and witnessing?
Why would there be a NEED for the 2 witnesses and the 144,000 male Jewish virgin witnesses, and the angel from heaven preaching the gospel to earthdwellers in the tribulation IF the grace age believers were present to witness?

That's enough to start with anyways.
Thank you for your patience in my answering each one of these in detail (God willing) soon to follow. God Bless as you seek to serve and please Him.
 

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On 6/5/2016 at 5:46 PM, Ukulelemike said:

If a day is as a thousand years/thousand years as a day to God, then how will time be measured in the timelessness of Heaven? If it is a day on earth, or a week or a year, it may seem like thousands of years in Heaven from the time we arrive, to when we return to earth. If, after the seventh trump, that signifies it is time to reward the saints, that means THAT is when the judgment seat will take place-if they are bound by time, then even seven years won't be long enough for the judgment of all saints, old and new testament.

Dear brother "Ukelele Mike", 
I had planned on answering these in order... but since I am in a math frame of mind this evening, I'll take the liberty of answering the "TIME"
problem first.

Fourth Problem:
The yo-yo theory "Time" problem. The "time" in heaven compared to the "time"on earth.

The problem resides in the "time" of the earthdwellers during the tribulation.

We can both (hopefully) agree with the answer on WHERE believers go when they are raptured (no matter WHICh view one holds, pre/mid/or post trib) 

John 14:2-3 
2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Again... we (believers) go UP to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes. 4:17) 
Where do we go? To heaven, where Christ Himself has prepared a place for us. (John 14:2-3). 
So far (I THINK) we are in agreement on that.

You (yourself) noted part of  2 Pet.3:8 "...one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day"

We can comprehend and agree that God is not restrained to the SAME "time" laws and limitations in heaven as we think of "time" on earth.
Of that I do agree. 

But we also have to take into account that "time" IS still measured here ON EARTH with specific parameters.

2 Pet. 3:8 does not suggest that there is a "no time" equivalency.

So even if (and I do not agree, but for the sake of argument) we were to be raptured at the end of the tribulation, along WITH the tribulation believers
Time (for us who are raptured, would be "heavenly time")
BUT "time" for those ON EARTH would remain a constant (within defined parameters).

So if an earthdweller were to see us be taken up in the rapture at the end of the tribulation... 
wouldn't "earth time" then have to stand still for them (earthdwellers)? 
As per your theory that as they watched us go up and then immediately yo-yo'd back down to earth for the millennium (to them on earth) would take no time at all?

Wouldn't the earthdwellers have to be in a "freeze-frame" type of scenario for this to be possible??? AND, If that were the case WHY then does John not note this in Revelation?

Also 2 Pet. 3:8 states "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day"

According to that verse, it would not be a zero time discount would it?
And if so where would be the scriptural backup?

Notice we do NOT see 2 Pet. 3:8 saying that "no time at all" is as a thousand years... Notice, we do NOT see 2 Pet. 3:8 saying that it's merely a minute as a thousand years.

No, Peter (under the direction of the Holy SPirit) says "a day is as a thousand years"

I don't see Biblical evidence of  a "zero time" equivalent in 2 Pet. 3:8.
Since you brought up 2 Pet. 3:8 as a "time" reference.

Let's use that mathatically.

Let's even be so bold as to take 2 Pet. 3:8 LITERALLY!!!!

If we took 2 Pet 3:8 literally:
a thousand years (to God- and those in heaven) as one day (on earth- to those on earth)

We could EASILY see how over the 7 years time (on earth) tribulation, there would be "time" (in heavenly time) for the bema seat judgment of believers.

If (as I believe) we (grace age believers) are raptured PRIOR to the tribulation, that would give the Lord PLENTY of "time" to judge/reward believers in heaven.

If (as noted throughout scripture) God uses a Jewish calendar of 360 day years to mark time (on earth)...

And if we used 2 Pet. 3:8 "...a thousand years as one day" LITERALLY to calculate

One DAY (in heaven) would be worth 1000 YEARS (on earth)


According to my calculations the 7 year tribulation period (on earth) would equal 2520 days (360 days x 7 years of earth "time")

EACH of those 2520 (earth time) days is worth a thousand (heavenly) years!!!!

That  would be 2,520,000 (heavenly) YEARS for the 7 year tribulation (earth time)
 and honestly, my calculator won't compute the number of actual DAYS (in heavenly time) that would be!!!

That would be an astronomical amount of days!
That is PLENTY enough time for the Lord to judge/reward grace age believers in heaven while the 7 year tribulation (in earth time) is going on down on earth.

BUT if we looked at it from your theory's perspective (we go up and come right back down) 

That leaves ZERO "time" (according to 2 Pet. 3:8) for the Lord to judge/reward grace age (and you assume trib age saints as well).


2 Pet. 3:8 doesn't give a ZERO "time" exchange.

It does NOT say "ZERO time" (on earth) is worth a thousand years (with God)

It does say:
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

So let's take your theory further... let's say you allot the earthdwellers 1 minute of time (on earth) as we (believers) are raptured UP and come back DOWN)

(There is NO scriptural support for this, merely for the sake of argument, for illustration to show the unlikely situation).
I used that same formula (taken literally) to determine that one (earth) day is equal to 1000 YEARS (in heaven)

What would each hour of each (earth) day be comparative with in heavenly "time" (using the same 2 Pet. 3:8 formula)

We could then determine that each ONE of the 24 hour segments of "earth time" would be worth approx. 41.67 "heaven time" YEARS!
(1000 years divided into 24 segments = 41.67 years each) giving us 41.67 years (heavenly time) per hour (earthly time).

Then if we were to divide that further, each "earth hour" contains 60 minutes of "earth time"

So if 41.67 (heavenly time YEARS) were worth ONE 24 hour (earth time day)  using 2 Pet. 3:8 formula

Then one MINUTE on earth (in earth "time") would be worth .69 of a year (in heaven "time") 

Using 2 Pet. 3:8 formula.
(each earth time hour being comprised of 60 segments of time known as minutes) 
And .69 of a year (heaven "time") would be worth 248.4(earth time) years

(.69 x 360)= 248.4 OR 69% of one 360 day year = 248.4 earth time days equivalent.

So one MINUTE of "earth time" is equivalent to 248.4 "heaven time" YEARS (using the 2 Pet.3:8 formula)

That was a complicated equation... but useful to prove that it's highly UNLIKELY that God will would only use 248.4 "heavenly time years" to equate to one minute of "earth time"  in order to judge/reward His believers in heaven (if that were the case)

IF believers are raptured up to come right back down within ONE MINUTE (of earth time).

And even with that ( I gave it ONE MINUTE of "earth time" for the sake of argument)... 

BUT your theory gives a ZERO time exchange.

The pre-trib stance is the only one which makes any sense at all time wise... both "heavenly time" and "earthly time".

If you take 2 Pet. 3:8 literally... one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

And if you believe that the rapture happens PRIOR to the 7 year tribulation period...
That gives God 2,520,000 (heavenly) years to judge/reward grace age believer (using the 2 Pet. 3:8 as a literal equation) during the 7 year (earth time) period.

Which would be much more likely than the "ZERO" time exchange you proposed.

Before you knock the math... remember you brought up the verse!

And another thing I feel compelled to say... There will likely be one (or more) person(s) who would like to dispute the literal interpretation of 2 Pet. 3:8.
Here's the "rule" of literal interpretation I have used:
"If the literal plain sense meaning makes plain sense... use plain sense or you'll have non-sense"

I think it's MUCH MORE of an error to NOT take the Bible as literally as possible (when it's speaking in plain sense words about plain sense things)
NOT taking God's word literal is what leads to no reverence of His word.
If you don't believe that most scripture can be taken LITERALLY, the HOW can you believe that Christ actually DID go to the cross (literally), actually died, was buried, and rose-resurrected (LITERALLY)???

There IS symbolic scripture, however, when given symbolic scripture the literal answer can be found near (or elsewhere) throughout the Bible to interpret the meaning of the symbolism.

But no matter what I say, many will cling to allegorical interpretation... or worse... mix and match allegorical/literal hermeneutics to suit a theory.

Again, Thank you for your patience, I do hope to answer more over the weekend (likely on Saturday and Sunday) God willing. God bless as you seek to serve and please Him.

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19 hours ago, Ronda said:

There IS symbolic scripture, however, when given symbolic scripture the literal answer can be found near (or elsewhere) throughout the Bible to interpret the meaning of the symbolism.

But no matter what I say, many will cling to allegorical interpretation... or worse... mix and match allegorical/literal hermeneutics to suit a theory.

Ronda,

Thank you for bringing out this important aspect of interpreting scripure using proper Biblical hermeneutic principles. Please note I said "Biblical." There are many types of "hermeneutics" used by different churches and teachers. There are good sound reasons why the New Testament Church is independent of religious hierarchies (denominational headquarters).

When the scripture is obvious symbolic we use the scriptures to interpret the symbolism (primarily in the Old Testament), when the scripture is obviously allegorical we interpret it primarily with the interpretation (usually found in the Old Testament), and when the scripture is obviously literal we interpret it as literal.

The mixing and matching of improper hermeneutic principles is not proper biblical hermeneutics.

Furthermore, the complete interpretation of Revelation through the symbolic method is not scriptural interpretation and has caused much confusion. This symbolic interpretation is now entering the ranks of the independent Baptists.

This confusion is not of the Lord. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33 and neither is the interpretation of an individual according to his own private beliefs. 2 Peter 1:20 and 21

The rightly dividing of scripture interprets scripture. 2 Timothy 2: 15

Alan

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On 6/5/2016 at 5:46 PM, Ukulelemike said:

These are the same people the book of Zechariah speaks of in Ch 14, " And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain." (Zech 14:16, 17). 

Now I believe they will become born again, since acting on compassion, and seeing Christ and the compassion He has for them, they will receive Him as Saviour-but that is my thought. But there is nothing that says these people are saved; they will need to be saved by grace through faith like anyone else.

Dear brother "Ukelele Mike",

I decided to "kill 2 birds with one stone" with the 1st and 2nd problems I noted:

First: 
There are only TWO people groups given in Matt. 25:31-46 SHEEP and GOATS.
The theory you've proposed would demand a third people group.

Second:
The people group entering the millennial kingdom (in earthly human bodies) to re-populate the earth.

Those who are LEFT in Zech 14, are those who have believed, and made it alive through to the end of the tribulation.

(God has a plan to protect Israel in Rev. 12:9 for the second half of the tribulation)
Obviously, there will be those saved during the millenniu that do not live IN Israel, nor are they Jewish.

They will be the ones LEFT of the nations which come against ISrael
We know that ALL nations will come against Jerusalem Zech.)

Please consider these 2 scenarios:

Picture this 1st scenario:
#1 Jane is alive during the tribulation
#2 Jane lives anywhere on planet eart EXCEPT Israel
#3 Jane has NOT taken the mark of the beast
#4 Jane accepts Christ during the tribulation
#5 Jane manages to stay alive through the tribulation- hiding from the global antichrist government
#6 The nation in which Jane resides in is a part of the nations which come against Jerusalem (all will)
#7 Jane (of course) does NOT agree with this action, nor is she a part of it
#8 WHen Christ comes physically to earth (the 2nd coming) Jane is among the SHEEP

Picture this 2nd scenario:
#1 Joe is alive during the tribulation
#2 Joe lives anywhere on planet eart EXCEPT Israel
#3 Joe HAS taken the mark of the beast
#4 Joe does NOT accept Christ during the tribulation
#5 Joe manages to stay alive through the tribulation
#6 The nation in which Joe resides in is a part of the nations which come against Jerusalem (all will)
#7 Joe did NOT (himself) participate in coming against Jerusalem
#8 WHen Christ comes physically to earth (the 2nd coming) Joe is among the GOATS

Joe (and others like him) is a GOAT, We know his fate... and it is NOT to enter into the millennium.
Jane (and others like her) is a SHEEP and will enter the millennium (in human bodies)
She (and others like her) are the ones who are LEFT of the nations which came against Israel

Zech 12:9 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

Everyone from any nation who participates in coming against Jerusalem will be destroyed
Note: Jane did not "come against Israel" (Jane also didn't take the mark, and Jane accepted Christ during the tribulation)

Zech 14:1-4
1 " Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee."
2 "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
3 "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle."
4 "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

There we see (in v.2) it is ALL nations that come against Israel.
IF God were to punish ALL people (like "Jane") who resided in those nations which came against Jerusalem, He would have to punish every single person on the planet (other than Israel)
because ALL of the nations will come against Israel.

INSTEAD, He has a special punishment for those who actually fight and come against Israel:

Zech 14:12 "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."

Jane (and others like her) are included in the people group of Zech. 14:16), who is left of the nations
Joe (and others like him) are NOT included in the people group of Zech. 14:16), who is left of the nations
Jane is part of the SHEEP
Joe is part of the GOATS

Zech 14:16-17
16 "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
17 "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."

I had actually typed out and planned an entirely different answer for both problem #of those... but this is what I felt led of the Lord to answer.
I also want to note I did not mention those OF Israel (but I believe I noted in another discussion a rather lengthy meat study on 1/3 of the remnant of Israel being brought through alive until the end of the time of Jacob's trouble). Above (Jane and Joe) are not part of Israel... but both have 2 different sets of criteria.

Zech. 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."
Those will also be SHEEP who enter the millennium.

Thus the answer to SHEEP and GOATS as well. There is NO third party noted in Matt. 25. We do not see "Sheep, goats, and chickens, OR sheep, goats, and porcupines. We see only 2 distinct people groups. Believers and non-believers. If there were a third party (such as those you believe will enter the millennium unsaved, surely a third party would have been given.

Thank you for your time, God Bless!

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22 hours ago, John Young said:

Heavenly time....so that's how Santa Claus does it! :rolleyes:

Brother John,

I have not mentioned "Santa Claus" nor any other man-made idea.
What I have noted is God's word in relation to "time" as we know it.
Time on earth in comparison with time in heaven.
I didn't pull this out of a hat or a cunningly devised fable.
I found this is God's word (which I take literally) Found both in the OT and the NT:

Psalm 90:4 "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."

2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."


Both verses show that there IS an exchange of time which (if we take His word literally) shows that one entire day (a 24 hour period consisting of one day and one night) on earth is as a thousand years in heaven.
I don't mind being mocked or ridiculed (myself). I'm used to it. When a person takes a stand for the Lord, and for His word, we can expect it!
But what I do find sad is the mocking of God's literal word.
Hopefully it was ME you were mocking. And if so, I forgive you.

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Most pastors I know and have heard preach upon 2 Peter 3:8 don't take this as a literal statement but rather as a statement that God is timeless, outside time, so that time has no impact upon God. What seems like a long time to us doesn't seem that way to God. Whether one day or a thousand years, it's all the same to God as He is not impacted or affected by time.

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2Pe 3:3-9
(3)  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
(4)  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
(5)  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
(6)  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
(7)  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
(8)  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
(9)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Psa 90:4  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

 

Initially I will point out that the use of the language "are but as" (Psalm 90:4) and "as a" (2 Peter 3:8) are indicative of a simile.

I found a kids site that explains a simile:

Simile

A simile occurs when a composer compares a subject to another that is not usually linked. Often the word 'like' or 'as' combines the two subjects:

'The school students ran around the playground like a pack of wild animals'.

'The day was as hot as beef vindaloo.'

Example One

The best way to find a simile in a text is to ask yourself whether or not two unlike things are being compared. You will need to be able to:

  • Recognise a simile
  • State what is being compared
  • Explain the literal meaning of the simile

Here is an example:

Tanya waited patiently in line for her ice-cream. The day was very hot and she had run from the house as soon as she heard the familiar tune of the ice-cream van. The soles of her feet were burning but the smooth texture of the vanilla ice-cream was like a cooling breeze, making the wait worthwhile.

Text One

  • The simile in text one is '...the vanilla ice-cream was like a cooling breeze'.
  • The composer has compared the ice-cream to a breeze. These two things are not usually linked.
  • The literal meaning of this simile is that the ice-cream cooled Tanya down.

So under the basic understanding of language both of those passages indicate the language is a simile.

 

Now to the particular usage in 2 Peter 3, we can understand some things from the context in which we find vs 8.

The basic context is regarding the judgement of the earth, and the timing of it: specifically why it hasn't happened already.

And vs 9 tells us why: because the Lord is not willing that any should perish, and it implies that He is therefore holding off His judgement as long as possible.

Int his context we are told that "with the Lord" (not in heaven) a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day. (Remember, the language of simile).

It would seem then that the reference to time is in relation to God holding back his judgement, and that a day or a thousand years of holding back that judgement is of no consequence to God. But it obviously is to man, for it gives more opportunity for men to not perish.

 

Please note that I am a literal Bible interpreter, but where the Bible indicates otherwise, I will interpret according the biblical indications - and the use of simile language here indicates simile, not literal understanding of a thousand years being literally equal to a day, and it certainly does not say that it is equal "in heaven" specifically.

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 11:35 PM, Ronda said:

Dear brother "Ukelele Mike",

I decided to "kill 2 birds with one stone" with the 1st and 2nd problems I noted:

First: 
There are only TWO people groups given in Matt. 25:31-46 SHEEP and GOATS.
The theory you've proposed would demand a third people group.

Second:
The people group entering the millennial kingdom (in earthly human bodies) to re-populate the earth.

Those who are LEFT in Zech 14, are those who have believed, and made it alive through to the end of the tribulation.

(God has a plan to protect Israel in Rev. 12:9 for the second half of the tribulation)
Obviously, there will be those saved during the millenniu that do not live IN Israel, nor are they Jewish.

They will be the ones LEFT of the nations which come against ISrael
We know that ALL nations will come against Jerusalem Zech.)

Please consider these 2 scenarios:

Picture this 1st scenario:
#1 Jane is alive during the tribulation
#2 Jane lives anywhere on planet eart EXCEPT Israel
#3 Jane has NOT taken the mark of the beast
#4 Jane accepts Christ during the tribulation
#5 Jane manages to stay alive through the tribulation- hiding from the global antichrist government
#6 The nation in which Jane resides in is a part of the nations which come against Jerusalem (all will)
#7 Jane (of course) does NOT agree with this action, nor is she a part of it
#8 WHen Christ comes physically to earth (the 2nd coming) Jane is among the SHEEP

Picture this 2nd scenario:
#1 Joe is alive during the tribulation
#2 Joe lives anywhere on planet eart EXCEPT Israel
#3 Joe HAS taken the mark of the beast
#4 Joe does NOT accept Christ during the tribulation
#5 Joe manages to stay alive through the tribulation
#6 The nation in which Joe resides in is a part of the nations which come against Jerusalem (all will)
#7 Joe did NOT (himself) participate in coming against Jerusalem
#8 WHen Christ comes physically to earth (the 2nd coming) Joe is among the GOATS

Joe (and others like him) is a GOAT, We know his fate... and it is NOT to enter into the millennium.
Jane (and others like her) is a SHEEP and will enter the millennium (in human bodies)
She (and others like her) are the ones who are LEFT of the nations which came against Israel

Zech 12:9 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

Everyone from any nation who participates in coming against Jerusalem will be destroyed
Note: Jane did not "come against Israel" (Jane also didn't take the mark, and Jane accepted Christ during the tribulation)

Zech 14:1-4
1 " Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee."
2 "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
3 "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle."
4 "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

There we see (in v.2) it is ALL nations that come against Israel.
IF God were to punish ALL people (like "Jane") who resided in those nations which came against Jerusalem, He would have to punish every single person on the planet (other than Israel)
because ALL of the nations will come against Israel.

INSTEAD, He has a special punishment for those who actually fight and come against Israel:

Zech 14:12 "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."

Jane (and others like her) are included in the people group of Zech. 14:16), who is left of the nations
Joe (and others like him) are NOT included in the people group of Zech. 14:16), who is left of the nations
Jane is part of the SHEEP
Joe is part of the GOATS

Zech 14:16-17
16 "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
17 "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."

I had actually typed out and planned an entirely different answer for both problem #of those... but this is what I felt led of the Lord to answer.
I also want to note I did not mention those OF Israel (but I believe I noted in another discussion a rather lengthy meat study on 1/3 of the remnant of Israel being brought through alive until the end of the time of Jacob's trouble). Above (Jane and Joe) are not part of Israel... but both have 2 different sets of criteria.

Zech. 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."
Those will also be SHEEP who enter the millennium.

Thus the answer to SHEEP and GOATS as well. There is NO third party noted in Matt. 25. We do not see "Sheep, goats, and chickens, OR sheep, goats, and porcupines. We see only 2 distinct people groups. Believers and non-believers. If there were a third party (such as those you believe will enter the millennium unsaved, surely a third party would have been given.

Thank you for your time, God Bless!

The problem with your supposition, particularly with 'Jane', being born again and one of the 'sheep', is that, why does the Lord lay out the reason for her preservation and entrance into the kingdom according to her works, and NOT her salvation and faith in Christ? Why ONLY her works? By Jesus' words, the only reason she is accepted, is because she cared for those who were His, not that SHE was one of His. From Jesus' own mouth, Jane is not saved, but she had pity on those who were, or on the Jews.

Those listed in Zechariah are of the nations that came against Israel, but are specifically those who are listed among the 'sheep', whereas the 'goats' of those nations will be cast into Hell.  Only two groups, mentioned as sheep, goats and all those are found as those in Zechariah 14. Remember, only the armies of those nations will be destroyed by the sword that proceeds from the mouth of Jesus Christ-they leave behind, as do all armies, women, children, the aged, those unfit for military, etc. THESE are those listed as being from the nations.

As for those in Zechariah 13:9, these are specifically Jews who will see Christ return and believe and mourn Him as one mourns their only son. THEY will be saved. But in the Tribulation, the Jews ARE distinct from all others, because the tribulation is specifically the time the Jews are dealt with to bring a residue back. I don't believe they will be among sheep or goats. The Jews will be saved, the sheep and goats will live or die not according to their faith in Christ, but how they treated the people of God during their time of persecution.

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On 6/12/2016 at 4:59 PM, John81 said:

Most pastors I know and have heard preach upon 2 Peter 3:8 don't take this as a literal statement but rather as a statement that God is timeless, outside time, so that time has no impact upon God. What seems like a long time to us doesn't seem that way to God. Whether one day or a thousand years, it's all the same to God as He is not impacted or affected by time.

Brother John,

Yes, I understand MOST pastors DO look at it that way.
And now days MANY don't take God's word literal either.
Which is why it's fine by me if I am not in agreement with MOST pastors on both subjects. (Literal interpretation and the significance of the use of the words "thousand years" as I will describe below in answering another brother).
What was that Jesus said about the strait gate in comparison with the broad way?

God Bless as you seek to serve Him first.

!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!

 

20 hours ago, DaveW said:

nitially I will point out that the use of the language "are but as" (Psalm 90:4) and "as a" (2 Peter 3:8) are indicative of a simile.

I found a kids site that explains a simile:

Brother Dave,

I am well aware what a simile is. But thank you for the educational primer.
Let's take TWO uses of analogous parallelism (found in God's word):

Rev. 19:15 "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:..."

and where do we find further clarification of what that means? 
In the Bible of course.

Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."


Example #2 (which I've even seen mocked here... "The Lord is not an actual door", etc.

John 10:7 "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."

John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber."
John 10:9 "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

Where do we see this door again?

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 of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."

So while Christ is not a door in the way we think of as wood or steel. He IS a door, the only door/entryway to God and to heaven.
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

So in those examples, we can see the use of a parallel and simile to show us something SIMILAR yet not exactly the same.

I truly believe that God showed us not just once but TWICE in His word that the closest thing/analogous to a time exchange that we can wrap our limited human minds around is that one 34  24 hour period of (earthly) day/night is AS a thousand (heavenly) years.
Not likely EXACTLY the same, but if it was NOT relevant in reference, He would have used another figure...
an eon? a week? another time frame reference.

And so I hold firm to the belief that He got the point across (to me anyways) is that the closest thing WE (as humans in corruptible bodies) can reference to HIS "time" is as a thousand years. 
Again, he noted it twice  "IS AS" a thousand years... not is as one week, not is as an eon... but "IS AS" a thousand years.
And thus, I do believe He gave us that in specific literal words to help us identify that which would come as close to our limited comprehension of time exchange.

Psalm 90:4 "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."

2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

Why else would He have been specific in the wording of "a thousand years"?
Why not say "a long time", "an eon", "a week", "777 years"?
Why so specific? Could it be it's because it's as close as we can comprehend to His "time"?
And so I stand on my statement. I take it literal. One 24 hour day/night period (on earth) is AS a "thousand years" (in heaven)... and I DO believe the literal "thousand years" IS significant in literal comparison to the closest we can come with limited comprehension of the "time" exchange.

Just as He got the point across that He alone is the "door", the only entryway to God and heaven, and just like He got the point across that Christ will smite the nations with His word... the same word He spoke the heavens and earth into existance with. (and yes, "word" is the closest thing we humans with limited intelligence can comprehend, even though we can't truly "picture it", we know it IS true! (Psalm 33:6-9)
I believe the same is true of the "thousand year" reference. I do NOT believe it means there is ZERO time exchange. I DO believe the literal words "thousand years" were used with meaning and purpose (and twice) in scripture.

God Bless as you seek to serve Him first.

!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!

And if ANYONE would like to discuss this further (as my original answer was in regard to a problem I saw in regard to the timing of the rapture in keeping with the thread topic). We can discuss "time" on a new thread perhaps, if you so desire.
Let everyone be firmly convinced in his or her own mind.

Now to get back on topic....

 

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8 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

why does the Lord lay out the reason for her preservation and entrance into the kingdom according to her works, and NOT her salvation and faith in Christ? Why ONLY her works? By Jesus' words, the only reason she is accepted, is because she cared for those who were His, not that SHE was one of His. From Jesus' own mouth, Jane is not saved, but she had pity on those who were, or on the Jews.

Brother Mike,

I respectfully believe you are in error.
God DOES require FAITH. Please read Rev. 14:12

Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Who is the "they" referenced? The same people the angel (of v. 6) preached to... those of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people (v. 6-7)
PLEASE note the conditional requirement there in verse 12...
FAITH in Jesus! That requires BELIEF. You cannot have faith without belief!
(And so they also MUST believe/have faith) I don't understand where you got the idea they ONLY had to do works?)
We have to take Revelation 14 ALONG with Matthew 25. We cannot throw out one or the other. They work together in understanding the complex puzzle.

We can no more say that those goats who are thrown into everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41) are ONLY thrown in because they didn't offer food, water, clothing, etc.
We must take Revelation along WITH Rev. 14 for full understanding of why ELSE they are thrown into hell. (Rev. 14:9-11)
Again, we can't throw out one to make the other "fit" into a theory.
Both work together splendidly to complete the puzzle picture.
(We could take it even further to show WHY those people accepted the mark, didn't help others, etc. (Matt.24:12, 2 Thes. 2:10-11) being the main reason WHY they chose to worship the beast and accept his evil mark (and also not help others).

The Lord DOES have "works" thrown into the mix in the tribulation period...
(I can think of no greater "work" than to NOT take the mark as a person watches their children, or spouse, or parent paraded in front of them, and be told to either accept the mark/worship the beast or watch their loved ones be beheaded)
The "works" of NOT taking the mark, NOT worshiping the beast, NOT worshiping his image, nor the number of his name are ALSO a mandatory condition to THEIR salvation in the tribulation.
We can see what happens to those who do NOT follow the rules:
Rev. 14:9-11 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,"
10 "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"
11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

8 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Only two groups, mentioned as sheep, goats and all those are found as those in Zechariah 14.

(bold added by me for reference: And so, we disagree (amiably I hope) as to who the sheep and goats are. I do NOT agree that there will be ANY unbelievers entering the millennium.
Again, it requires a third people group with your theory.
You stated "Only two groups, mentioned as sheep, goats and all those are found as those in Zechariah 14..."
Those people (left of the nations, those people who did NOT go to war against Jerusalem, did NOT agree with their "nation") will be divided into either one of two categories.

I say believers will be sheep and non-believers will be goats. 
You say those who are left of the nations (Zech 14) are ALL unbelievers AND that they will enter the millennium AS unbelievers.
I say that's not possible.
Matt 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
We know that NO ONE's righteousness (of their own self) can qualify them.
We know that ONLY the FAITH (faith requires BELIEF) in Jesus and His finished work on the cross/resurrection will do! Only HIS righteousness imputed upon the believer will suffice (and more than JUST suffice).
We then see that no-one can enter the kingdom without FAITH (requiring belief in Christ) will enter the kingdom.

I (myself) believe that Matt. 8:12 sums it up well.
"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The millenial kingdom will START with ALL believers.
As they have children and time goes on, even though there will be wonderful conditions on earth.. longevity, plentiful food, true PEACE, etc.
There will be those children born in the millennium who rebel in their hearts, who truly do NOT have faith (even though Christ will rule and reign) in what He has done for all!
They will rebel and seek SIN over the perfection of righteousness!
Proving that man is born with a sin nature. Mankind is evil and NEEDS the redemption and glorified/incorruptible body (like Christ's own) in order to NOT have fleshy, vain, selfish, evil desires. And in order to NOT be deceived by the devil (as were Adam and Eve in the garden). *** But won't it be a glorious "day" when the devil is done away with for good! To never again deceive another person!
By the end of the millennium (and God looses the devil from the bottomless pit for a little season), many will rebel against the Lord. (And then the devil will be put cast into the lake of fire for eternity... ) YES!!! AMEN!! Sorry, got excited thinking about it, can't help myself... when I think of all the horrors and evil that nasty devil has done over the generations.... how he has deceived and lured mankind... how he has ruined God's perfect creation... GRRR. Well I, for one, look forward to seeing that nasty one while narrowly peering on him as he burns in the lake of fire! To see his pomp and arrogance brought down... with worms covering him, to narrowly peer on him. How dared he have ever thought he could rise above the one true GOD and usurp He who created him (and all things) PRAISE THE LORD! When he is done away with for eternity, that will be a huge celebration in heaven, I believe! Okay... back on point....

I do not believe those who ENTER the millennium will be unsaved. 
Only SOME of their offspring... (as I believe Matt 8:12 supports) and further on down the line... MORE of their progeny will rebel as well as time goes on towards the END of the millennial kingdom).

I believe we could take this further... to the END of the millennium...
Matt 13:40-43
40 "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world."
41 "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;"
42 "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
43 "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Here again we see the reference to the "wailing and gnasing of teeth" 
(And BTW I do NOT agree with the inane theories about "outer darkness" that some claim as different than hell, compare Matt. 8:12 with Matt. 13:42 and we can easily see the reference IS hell!...) once again proving that scripture interprets scripture. We can't take Matt. 8:12 withOUT Matt. 13:42! They must be both considered together... just as I was attempting to show that Matt. 25 must be taken in consideration WITH Rev. 14.

The SHEEP enter the kingdom. The GOATS do not. The GOATS have this fate: Rev. 19:21 (please read that verse first and then read the previous verses for context). "And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."

8 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

As for those in Zechariah 13:9, these are specifically Jews who will see Christ return and believe and mourn Him as one mourns their only son. THEY will be saved

I am glad to see we are in 100% agreement on something :) 
Israel remnant ARE the ones spoken of in Zech. 13:9 and it is the entire purpose of the time of Jacob's trouble (but he will be saved out of it) the 1/3 remnant.

BUT the remnant of those Jews who do come to Christ during the tribulation ARE also SHEEP as well. As we can see in other notations in scripture:
Matthew 15:24 "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Matthew 10:6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

I believe that we are currently in the age of grace.
I believe that the gospel went (predominantly) to the gentiles after the stoning of Stephen and the final (collective or corporate) rejection of Christ by the Jews.
BUT (and this is an important "but") Israel is only blind IN PART right now.
I have some friends of Jewish lineage. They are truly born again believers and they are not of the "blind" Israel.
SO, while the age age grace was given predominantly to gentiles, many Jewish believers also have come in by belief alone in Christ.

BUT (I believe) that during the tribulation, those roles will flip.
God's focus for salvation will be predominantly ISRAEL, (and there will be many gentiles who won't be blind as well).
We can see the focus in OT scripture relating to this time period deals with Israel.
But we can see (in Rev. 14:6) God will offer salvation to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"

I also understand that most here (at least those whom I've had in depth conversations with regarding this) do NOT believe there is a different requirement of salvation in the tribulation period than in the age of grace.
I, however, DO believe there is a difference.
I DO believe that in ALL dispensations FAITH is the FIRST and foremost requirement.
I also believe that there is a "works" of NOT taking the mark, NOT worshiping the beast, nor his image, nor the number of his name.
And I further believe that should a person not perform the "work" in the tribulation of NOT accepting the mark, et al, they wil then be excluded from salvation.
According to Rev. 14:9-11.

So I see a huge difference in the age of grace requirements compared to the tribulational period requirements.
Those who do not interpret scripture by dispensations would lump it all together, and that is where the mish-mash of various theories pop up.
I will likely suffer attack for saying so (again)...
Israel is NOT the church and the church is NOT Israel. God made different requirements for different periods of time. It helps (me) tremendously to differentiate between the kingdom plan for Israel as compared to grace age believers.
If one studies with this in mind, ALL of scripture becomes clearer and more readily understood.
Not only that, but once it's understood what is meant for Israel as compared to what is meant for grace-age believers, it brings a renewed and deeper appreciation for the age of grace altogether!
To think that God has brought gentiles into His perfect plan of salvation is humbling. 
We were mere "dogs" before the cross. (The account of Matthew 15:21-28 of the Canaanite woman is telling). 
And before anyone jumps on that... NO I do not think all gentiles came from a Canaanite descent... but that Canaanites also were gentiles. Big difference.

Well, that's enough for now...if anyone even bothered to read the long study with references I gave.
I am not expecting agreement. I do (however) hope you can see why I believe as I do.
As I can understand why you believe as you do...
I just happen to differ in belief because I believe there is a clear delineation between the age of grace and the tribulation... another clear (to me) delineation between the church (grace age believers) and Israel.
and I (personally) believe the rapture happens before the tribulation,
and afterward the confirming of the covenant being what actually "kicks off" the tribulation.

God bless as you seek to serve and please Him first
(and to my fellow pre-trib believers... MARANTHA!)

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14 minutes ago, Ronda said:

Brother John,

Yes, I understand MOST pastors DO look at it that way.
And now days MANY don't take God's word literal either.
Which is why it's fine by me if I am not in agreement with MOST pastors on both subjects. (Literal interpretation and the significance of the use of the words "thousand years" as I will describe below in answering another brother).
What was that Jesus said about the strait gate in comparison with the broad way?

God Bless as you seek to serve Him first.

 

 

To say that those who don't take 2pet 3:8 as literal, or better yet, as limiting, doesn't mean they don't hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible. But to take it as specifically 1000 years/Day, vice-versa, is to now limit God. And really, it CAN'T be both 1000 years as a day and a day as a thousand years-which is it? The point is, it is clear, particularly from the context, that it is a general interpretation of the relationship of God to time, ie, He is not subject to the limitations of time. For we who live within the boundaries of time, it seems like forever since Jesus said He would return. Some find it so hard to comprehend that they believe the Lord has already returned, many years back, since Jesus said it was to be soon. But what is 'soon' to God? It is something we can't reckon. 2,000 years to Him as is if it were a couple days-but are we to read that literally? If so, how does God get anything done? Does that mean to God the six days of creation were only a couple fractions of a second? My point being, time means nothing to God any more than He chooses to use it as He will. he sees the ending from the beginning. 

Suppose I need a check I am expecting, and I need it bad. And I am on my way to the post office, and I pray, "O Lord, please let that check be in today!", and when I get there, there it is! So I thank God for His provision and for answering my prayer.  BUT>>>in reality, that check had been mailed and delivered before I ever prayed, so is it now ridiculous to have prayed at all, or to attribute its delivery to Him and in answer to my particular prayer? I say thee Nay. In fact, Time means so little to God, I believe at the speaking of my prayer, God, who sees all time in a moment, could easily answer that prayer of that day, four days ago to ensure it was mailed and delivered then in specific answer to my prayer.

As far as other examples of 'Should we always take everything literal', is Jesus a literal door, made of wood, with a knob on hinges? Is Jesus a literal lamb, with wool, tiny hooves and a tail? Does God the Father have literal arms? A literal face? Clearly the answer to these must all be, No. But it doesn't make them any less true. The Bible is full of poetic language, and often prophecy is written in a way that is isn't always clear. So my point with time in heaven as opposed to on earth still stands. God is not bound to time-enough time can pass in Heaven  to judge all believers of all time, in a day or a month or a year of Earth's time. There is no freeze. And if not, then seven years cannot be enough time to judge hundreds of millions, or more, of believers of all time. Either way time is a difficulty if the time, as it were, in heaven passes as it does on Earth.

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      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
      · 0 replies
    • 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
      BUT THE LAW OF MOSES DID DEMAND MY LIFE
      WOULD JOSEPH MY BETROTHED MAKE ME HIS WIFE
      I THOUGHT ON THESE THINGS WITH SO NEEDLESS FEARS
      BUT A DREAM HE RECEIVED ENDED ALL FEARS
      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
      HIS STAR WAS ABOVE US THE HOST OF HEAVEN DID SING
      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
       
      · 0 replies
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