Monday, December 10, 2018

What’s up for the Church next?

What’s the next event on God’s prophetic calendar if you will?
I say it’s the Rapture of the Church, the catching away. And this can happen at any time now. No more prophecies need to be fulfilled before this takes place.  

So watch and pray; keeping both eyes open.

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." ~ Titus 2:13

“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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17

"The Lord does not come to the world at the time of the Rapture, but only reveals himself to the members of His Body.. The world will not know that He has been here, and will have no knowledge of Him until He comes with the members of His Body at the close of the Tribulation." ~ Billy Sunday
Going through Daniel we're looking at more than just this event, but to me this is the most exciting part! It should motivate us! The Rapture inspires us! I remember how my dad got saved over this topic -- it refers to that specific time when Jesus comes in the clouds for His bride, without warning. And yes, snatches away His church from this earth. Then after the Rapture, the Lord will pour out His wrath upon this sinful world -- don't wish that upon my worst enemy. But God is holy and has the right to what He wants. All should be glad for the catching away part (see 26).
I love chapter 7. The lookin’ back (on history), the look up (when the outlook doesn’t look so great, we go with the uplook in prayer), the look down (from God’s point of view), and the Church advancing forward by the Spirit! 
* A view of world history (Dan 7:1-8). Man views human kingdoms as valuable as metals (Chp 2), but God sees them as vicious animals that kill and devour. They love to start fights and swallow up each other. Human history will indeed culminate in a worldwide kingdom under a popular satanic world ruler (the Antichrist) who will defy God and will eventually be defeated by God’s Son.
* A view of heaven (9-14). While the beasts are fighting on earth, God is holding court in heaven, and everything is under His control. Jesus Christ will one day establish a righteous kingdom that none here will overthrow.
* A view of saints on earth (15-28). “Saints” (you I don't mean those with some kind of stigmata in their hands or apparent halos glowing, as if either would make one a saint).. I use "saints" here to simply mean believers in Jesus. These.. during the end times, just before the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom for His Millennium reign on earth. But what Daniel says about saints has spiritual application for believers today. Saints are involved in warfare (the spiritual type, v. 21) and they suffer trials of persecution (thinking it not strange, v. 25), but they have hope and will receive the Kingdom (v. 18) and then will reign with Christ (v. 27).
Forget not the four medals corresponding to the four beasts. My dad got saved when looking at the facts of Daniel, the Revelation -- Bible prophecy. Some people get scared by the facts (No need to if you get right with God). When the course of world history kind of scares or even depresses you, just look to the living Word, and at the events from heaven’s point of view. God’s word and Spirit can help us all with this stuff. To be ready and help others get ready.

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The first six chapters are biographical history -- mainly Daniel’s personal story. You remember the lion’s den, and not eating the king’s food and wine. The final six chapters are prophecy of future events. Chapter seven is Looking back at visions that Daniel had during previous years. Much has been fulfilled and will be fulfilled. I sure don’t know the day or the hour. Nobody does (see Matthew 24:36), but the Bible says, "Of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night... but ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2,4.
Bible prophecy is exciting stuff! I like to ask myself: How do I know the Bible is true?
-- First, I know it is true because it gave me the experience it claims it will give me. Now, that is not the only reason I believe it, and perhaps not the most convincing to the skeptic out there, but it certainly helped me to believe personally.
-- Second, I know the Bible is true because it is confirmed by science. Contrary to what some people think, Christianity is a very reasonable belief. "Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow." (Isaiah 1:18 NLT)
-- Third, the Bible is true because it is confirmed by archaeology. Over the years, countless critics have challenged the teachings of the Bible, but recent archaeological findings have confirmed Scripture's teaching time and time again.
-- Fourth, the Bible is true because it is the one book that dares to predict the future, and doesn't miss. Ain’t talking about some psychic or tabloid type of predictions here. I am talking about very specific prophecies that have been fulfilled time and time again! Case in point: Remember when Israel became a nation in a day? Listen, no other world religions have books that do this. (Of course we reject the teaching that uses human prophecy to supersede the Word of God, but we'll hold fast to the Bible). "Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children." Isaiah 66:8
Daniel’s vision in Chapter seven parallels what Nebuchadnezzar saw in his own dream (Chp. 2). The lion (4), is Babylon, the head of gold. The bear (5) is Medo-Persia, the arms and chest of silver. The leopard (6) is Greece, the thigh of brass. The dreadful beast (7) is Rome, the legs of iron. The little horn (8) represents the antichrist and his temporary kingdom on earth (small k), the toes of iron and clay. The Ancient of Days on the throne (vv. 9-14) parallels the smiting stone.
You and I have met people who have pretty much become “experts in the facts of Bible prophecy” and I love to hear the facts really. A wise friend of mine who loves to win souls told me this: Some prophecy experts pray and witness with urgency and others prefer to argue their stance with Christians. Seek God and do the former. Love that balance! 

We've all been watching the great stirring and sadly many migrants dying on the Great Sea -- the Mediterranean Sea (but remember the hermetical law of think about the law of expositional constancy and how "sea" in the Bible often typifies the Gentile masses or nations). We've been watching the UN and seen the emergence of the European Community as a major economic and industrial power.. as well as many changes with it too. 

At one time the EU was 10 nations and might become 10 again, but at present (12-12-'18), the EU has 28 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (Remember this, the Roman Empire fell apart due to internal corruption and moral failure. It was never defeated from outside. Well, now it's rebuilding itself and the antichrist will one day rule over it. Could this be the EU? Who knows what it'll then be called? But the antichirst will for a time prevail over believers still around. The Bible says...

"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them" Daniel 7:21

So who are those saints Daniel mentions? They are born again Jewish believers and those saved during the tribulation days, because the church is already out of there. What do I mean? Remember when Peter called Jesus the Christ and Jesus responded, " are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18-20. No minion of hell will ever prevail against the Church!
What can we do today? Pray, live and work with a sense of urgency inside, because our time here is limited. We can diligently sow to the Spirit in prayer -- waiting on Jesus.. in whole-hearted biblical worship not neglecting time in a healthy church.. in the Word -- studying truth.. in fellowship wherever we meet other saints.. in edifying and disciplining believers.. in planting seeds with those who aren't yet.. in reaping people into God's Kingdom. We ask em, Is there anything that would prevent you from coming to Christ right here and now?

We watch and pray as Israel is repeatedly threatened and the United States has been flickering -- just fading and then rising a pinch in its prominence.

The Bible's for-sight and foretelling reminds me of when I'd go to the Rose Parade, I'd see my li'l part with horses going by, but there was a guy up in the Good Year blimp who saw the whole 5 mile parade, actually an 8 mile march. God sees and told us through Dan -- what a gift! History-future (some of which is now history-past to us) and Daniel actually wrote it down with 100% accuracy (false prophets even in our day miss a bit).  

Q. What do the three ribs in the bear's mouth represent? Probably the 3 major conquests: Babylon, Syria/Lydia and Egypt.

Q. Why four heads on that leopard? Alexander, a pervert who died of a sexually transmitted disease before he was 33 years of age. His 4 generals then took command and divided his kingdom into 4 parts.

-- 1st Beast - (Babylonian Empire, which ruled the world), so strong, swift, lion-like and with wings led by Nebuchadnezzar (who grazed in the wilderness, lost his mind and grazed outside for 7 years, but was king from 605–562 bc. Dan. 4:34).
-- 2nd Beast - (Medo-Persian Empire), more powerful beast, lumbering bear-like and crushing. In Daniel 8:3 the ram with two horns is the Medo-Persian empire. The Medes were the first to arise in power, but the Persians later rose to preeminence.The Persians dominated the Medes in this relationship. Remember earlier when Daniel interpreted the words on the wall for King Belshazzar who had been “weighed and found wanting” and how his kingdom was then divided between the Medes and Persians? Yes, the story concluded that very night when Belshazzar the Chaldean (Babylonian) king was killed and Darius the Mede received his kingdom. 
-- 3rd Beast - (Greek Empire) leopard-like, very quick with 4 heads and led by Alexander the Great (who in twelve years subdued part of Europe and all of Asia. Specifically the four heads were Casander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy).
-- 4th Beast - (Roman Empire who crushed all its enemies and then had much internal corruption and moral failure. Drinking, drugs, pleasure-seeking). How could any describe this revived empire?.. this dreadful horned beast with one little conspicuous horn (the anti-chirst).

We today have seen the increasing isolation of the nation of Israel among nations, and the rising hostility of the nations around her. Glad for revived American kindnesses toward Israel as of late! Pray for her people! 

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There have been wars in the Middle East and popular uprisings in many countries. All of these are signs that Jesus said would foretell to us that His coming is near:
“When you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors!” Mark 13:29
The Bible also predicts the behavior and mood of the people just prior to His return. Jesus told us that the days preceding His return would be like the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26–29). What are some of those signs?
Sexual promiscuity and perversion.
Nowhere is this better seen than in the two angelic visitors to Lot in the city of Sodom (see Genesis 19:1–17). There the visitors found all manner of sexual perversion, with the homosexual activists of the day coming to Lot’s door. Likewise, today’s popular culture celebrates promiscuity and perversion while it mocks the God-given principles of purity and marriage.
Increased violence and crime. 
Noah’s time was characterized by exceedingly wicked violence and crime:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. . .So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:5–6, 12).
Does this not sound like a description of our very time?
Again, the Bible is the only book that accurately predicts the future -- God in Scripture nails it every single time! It is worth noting that two-thirds of the Bible is prophecy. One-half of these prophecies have already come to pass. Zero other world religion has a book that does this.
The basic test of the true God, the true faith, the true prophet and the true belief is this: can they predict the future?
If one-half of all Bible prophecies have happened just as God said, should I have any reason to doubt that the remaining ones will happen exactly as He said? God can speak of the future with absolute certainty because He knows exactly what will happen. 
Heads up. One sign of the end times will be people turning away from the faith. The Bible speaks of an apostasy, a departure from the faith in the last days (see Thessalonians 2:3). We read in 2 Timothy 4:3–4 that in the last days, some "will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, ..will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. "Sometimes the devil comes in like a roaring lion in his depravity. 
At other times, he comes in as an angel of light in his splendor. That is why the apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).
There are people who keep sayin’ that we need to re-imagine the church, that we can't do it the old way. But I don't think we need to re-imagine church. Rather, we need to rediscover the church the way Jesus set it up. We need to go back to the original template. In some churches today, the sermons are short, more like pep talks than messages from God's Word. I want to hear the Word of God. I want to know what the Bible says about all the things that I am going to face in life.
Paul wrote to Timothy, "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2). The antidote to the problem of deception that we see and will see more of in the last days.. is hearing, knowing and wisely applying God's Word. 
Have you personally been raised from death to life in the Lord? Choose to "..SET YOUR HEARTS ON THINGS ABOVE, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1 #emph.mine. Not yet been regenerated inside? You can be. Turn and trust Jesus today. Sure, now is good. I say focus on Christ today.. instead of on the evil one. Too many so called believers don't. They aim to cast devils out of believers even (not going to happen with a real believer), and why waste time miss-ministering to saints, or by playin’ pin the tail on the antichrist with the time you have remaining? That guy will be sent by Satan himself, Do you ever think about “America, the Antichrist, and the End Times – the Last Days?”

I say today is a good day to go back and prayerfully read Daniel, 2 Thessalonians, and the Revelation.
Satan is effectively just an imitator, he always copies. Whatever God has, the devil will have his imitation. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and there is Satan who wants to be in the place of God, and if Satan had a son, that would be the antichrist. This antichrist -- when this man emerges on the scene, he may not be what you would expect. He will not be dressed in head to toe in black, with glowing red eyes and steam coming out of him, and the Darth Vader theme song playing when he walks into a room.
In fact, he will be a very charismatic world leader. A great orator, very convincing, probably fairly handsome. Think ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’
He is going to pull stuff off in the eyes of the people; he's going to do things that no world leader has ever done before. He is going to apparently solve the Middle East conflict, and he is going to rid the world at least temporarily of akl this terrorism. He is going to be hailed as the greatest peace talker that ever lived.
The antichrist will get the Jewish nations and the Arab nations to actually sign a peace treaty that will pave the way for the long awaited Third Temple. The antichrist will be a satanic superman of sorts. But it’s all a mask hiding who he really is, namely the most evil human that ever lived.
Did you know that there are over 100 passages in the Bible that talk about the Antichrist. Yes indeed. The aim of the Antichrist? He is coming to defy and try to take the place of Jesus. Won’t happen. Jesus will of course win in the end, and He through us will win other sinners into the Kingdom along the way. Then we will reign together with Him.
Gobs of passages on this. Yup, did you know that there are over 100 passages in the Bible that talk about the Antichrist. Yes indeed. The aim of the Antichrist? He is coming to defy and try to take the place of Jesus. Won’t happen. Jesus will of course win in the end, and He through us will win other sinners into the Kingdom along the way. Then we will reign together with Him.
So practically speaking.. what's for us to wisely apply? We can live free instead of getting bound. What can we daily put into practice? Well, we can worship God un-distractedly -- yes biblically. It starts with knowing and walking with the Word personally, I mean being sensitive to the Spirit as you walk close with Jesus all week! We can get the doubt out, and pray believing. We can sow to the Spirit instead of to the flesh or to the world.. diligently, and then as a natural outgrowth from this healthy sowing and tight union.. we can be active in a partnership of discipleship and in winning others to Christ while we can. We can properly represent the Lord traveling on purpose as Great Commission Ambassadors where He leads, cuz that's what we are. All believers -- soul-winners. Yes, each doing our part with confidence instead of condemnation to woo people in.. close and then closer with Christ!
Remember: A.C.T.S. (Huh, what's that?)
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.
Yes, start on two knees praying for others, and pray for yourself too.
"Prayer is where the action is." ~ John Wesley

"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." ~ Martin Luther
Got some eschatology questions regarding Daniel? 
1) Who was Belshazzar? The last king of ancient Babylon (see Dan 5).
2) What more can I know about the four beasts in Daniel chapter 7? Know it's time to come to, or come back to Jesus today. 
3) What is the little horn in the book of Daniel? The antichrist who spoke pompous, blasphemous words because he's like Satan. Arrogant words like that Fascist Creed of Italy (cited in Talbot) that goes:
“I believe in Rome Eternal, the Mother of my fatherland; and in Italy, her first born; who was born of her virgin womb by the grace of God; who suffered under the barbarian invader, was crucified, slain, and buried; who descended into the sepulcher, and rose from the dead in the nineteenth century; who ascended to heaven in her glory in 1918 and 1922 [by the march on Rome]; who is seated at the right hand of Mother Rome; who will come thence to judge the quick and the dead; I believe in the genius of Mussolini; in our Holy Father, Fascism, and in the communion of its martyrs; in the conversion of the Italians; and in the resurrection of the Empire! Amen.”
He shall persecute the saints: This speaks of a cruel and systematic pressure, coming from the word “to wear away” or “to wear out,” as friction wears clothes or shoes.
“To wear out the saints means to harass them continually so that life becomes a wretched existence.” (Wood)
“Such continual and protracted pressure far more effectively breaks the human spirit than the single moment of crisis that calls for a heroic decision. It is easier to die for the Lord than to live for him under constant harassment and strain.” (Archer)
“The Bible predicts no peace-loving world ruler for the last days. We can expect nothing more than greedy commercialism and political imperialism under the most beastly and barbaric type of warfare.” (Strauss)
Hard times ahead. These born again Jews and other trib-saints shall be allowed into his evil hand for a time and times and half a time. Sounds religious, but what does that mean?  
The power of the little horn (antichrist) over the saints is limited. It will last for three-and-one-half years (time and times and half a time). This phrase is used in the Revelation (Rev 11:2-3, 12:6 and 13:5) to refer to half of the last seven-year period of man’s rule on this earth (the seventieth week of Daniel).
Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High: This must describe the millennial earth, not our current age or heaven. The kingdom and dominion of the earth certainly does not belong to the righteous now. If this describes the eternal state, then what are the dominions that shall serve and obey Him? It therefore must describe the millennial earth.
We again notice that the kingdom and dominion... shall be given to the saints. It is something received, not achieved. The church does not convert the world to Jesus’ kingdom and give the kingdom to Jesus; in love He gives it to believers.  
4) What can we learn from the life of Daniel? We can learn to pray and remain faithful to God. 

5) Why did Nebuchadnezzar change Daniel’s name to Belteshazzar? He wanted to honor his false god. Means "Bel protects his life." 

6) Was Daniel made a eunuch in Babylon? We can't know for sure. Where the Bible is silent, we are to remain silent. Not be dogmatic on.  

7) Who was Nebuchadnezzar? He was the king of Babylonia from 605 bc to 562 bc. 

8) What is the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2? Coming world kingdoms in the future and who wins in the end. 

9) What should we learn from the account of Dan's friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Have fidelity with the Lord. Don't bow to idols. 

10) Where was Daniel when his three friends were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue? Don't know. 

11) What is the meaning of mene mene tekel upharsin? What is the meaning of the handwriting on the wall?  "Numbered, numbered, weighed, divided. Daniel translated the meaning - Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26–28).  

12) Who were the satraps in the book of Daniel? Rulers over areas.

13) What should we learn from the account of Daniel in the lion's den? Trust God, cling to Him. He can protect, and has a plan for us even after we die. 

Why did the fourth beast of Daniel 7 have ten horns, bronze claws, and large iron teeth? Why was he fairly indescribable to Daniel? The fourth one represents the Roman empire (that crushed all it's foes and was never defeated from outside). In the Last Days thie empire will be rebuilt into a beast of sorts most dreadful, and will be ruled over by the anti-christ. This person might be living now, but this earth has never seen the antichirst before. Hitler and other killer-leaders were forerunners or types of him. The last world government before the 2nd Coming of Jesus will be a partial revival of the ancient Roman empire (Matthew 24:29-34Jeremiah 24Hosea 9:10). in v.8 of Daniel 7 we see that three of the ten nations of the European Community will give their power to the antichrist who makes war with the believing Jews and other tribulation saints. I'm glad that the antichrist’s reign will be very limited to only forty-two months, and no more. Then, God promises to judge this little horn. “The court will sit, and the little horn’s power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever” (Daniel 7:26).
15) Does the Bible mention Alexander the Great? Not directly. 

16) Who is the Ancient of Days? God the Father is, or Jesus is depending on the context. Both are. 

17) What does the Bible mean when it refers to the four winds? The north, the south, the east and the west -- the whole earth or heaven. 

18) What is the prophecy of 2,300 days in Daniel? A prophecy about a persecution of the Jews during the time between the Testaments. 

19) What about a timeline for the days of tribulation on earth?

• Sometime after the rapture of the church, the Antichrist enters a treaty with Israel. This begins the seven-year tribulation (3 ½ & 3 ½ years).
• At the midpoint of the tribulation (1,260 days later), the Antichrist breaks the treaty, desecrates the temple, and begins to persecute the Jews.
• At the end of the tribulation (1,260 days after the desecration of the temple), Jesus Christ returns to earth and defeats the forces of the Antichrist (in the 2nd Coming).
• During the next 30 days (leading up to 1,290 days after the desecration of the temple), Israel is rebuilt and the earth is restored.
• During the next 45 days (leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel.
• The dispensation of the millennium begins, and it will last for 1,000 years here on earth (Revelation 20:3, 5–6).

20) What are the seventy sevens in Daniel 9:24-27? Those are the precise days decreed for God's people. Daniel's prophecy lays out an amazingly accurate time line. If we knew all the exact dates of Daniel's prophecy and timing, we would find it predicted the very day of Christ's death—over 600 years before it occurred.

21) Who is the prince of Persia in Daniel 10? 
This was/is a really evil spiritual entity that wielded authority over the ancient kingdom of Persia.

22) What 's up with the Tribulation -- what is meant? 
Am sure glad the Church (Christ's Body, forgiven sinners) will be saved from God’s wrath to come here (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1213:6-9Joel 1:152:1-313:141 Thessalonians 5:2); trouble or tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30Zephaniah 1:1); the great tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of the seven-year period (Matthew 24:21); time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1Zephaniah 1:15); time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

23) What is the abomination of desolation? 
It’s a very evil act that makes for desolation (Matthew 24:15 (KJV). In Revelation 13:14 John describes the antichrist making some kind of image which all are forced to worship, then his goose is cooked. 

24) Who was Antiochus Epiphanes? 
He was a tyrannical Greek king of the Seleucid Empire who reigned over Syria from 175 BC until 164 BC.

26) Why are you "Pre" instead of Post, Kurt? I personally go with a pre-trib Rapture (BTW this is a secondary non-essential doctrine that we believers are never to divide over. Never to.) instead of with a post-trib, a mid-trib one, or with the pan-theory (It'll all pan out in the end).

In history I see God taking His righteous people out of here..I mean on earth here.. before his wrath comes down. God has not appointed any of us believers "to suffer wrath" (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Remember how Lot was taken out before the wrath fell, or how God took Noah up in the arch above the water before the wicked died in that water coming down. If what we see during the great tribulation isn't the wrath of God on earth (think about how many people are wiped out), then I don't know what would be.

It's easy to see that the early church believed that Christ would set up the Kingdom immediately. In the first chapter of Acts, the disciples asked, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). "Are we just a few days away?" They were excited because they were expecting the Lord to set up the Kingdom at any time.
Jesus responded by saying, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." (Acts 1:7-8).

There was a rumor in the early church that the Lord would come back before John died. Every time John got a cold or sore throat the whole church would get excited. So John wrote in the Gospel to clarify what Jesus had said. Jesus was telling Peter how He would die, and then Peter, in his typical manner, said, "But, Lord, what about him?" Jesus responded, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me." (John 21:22). John took note of the point that Jesus didn't say that He was going to, He said, "If I will." So John sought to correct the mistaken notion that Jesus would come before he died.

The Thessalonians were looking for the Lord to come in their day, but some of their dear brethren in the church at Thessalonica had died, and still Jesus had not yet returned. They believed that because they had died before Jesus came back, they would miss out on the glorious Kingdom. In I Thessalonians chapter 4, Paul corrected this mistaken idea that if a person died before Jesus came back, they would miss out on the Kingdom. So he said, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (I Thessalonians 4:13).

Paul went on to say, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." (I Thessalonians 4:14-15) Paul believed that he would probably be alive and remain until the coming of the Lord. He emphasized that we would not precede those who sleep. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thessalonians 4:1.6-18).

Many people say but Kurt, "I don't believe in the Rapture of the church," And why? Well, because they have looked through the Bible and have never found the word "Rapture" in the Bible. I don't find missions, trinity or Bible in the Bible, but rapture is in the Latin Vulgate Bible. In I Thessalonians 4:17 we read that, "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."

The word translated 'caught up' in the Greek is 'harpazo,' which means 'to be taken away by force.' It's usually used as a military term related to the taking of hostages. The Latin Vulgate translates 'harpazo' as 'raptuse,' and that's where we get our English word 'rapture.' Jesus will return to rapture His church. That's called the first event.

And there is another different event too, a second event -- the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when He comes again with His church all the way to earth to establish His Kingdom upon this globe.
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