Under a separate/different subject heading/topic I posted and ask you, Bill, a series of Questions about a Doctrine that you espouse. I specifically ask because I wanted to know your opinion and views and answers regarding specific Scriptures about a topic/subject we disagree on. You are very quick to post lengthy replies about your position and post cartoons or graphics that use various verses that I submit and proclaim are not correct so knowing your position and stand I put forth some questions I'd like to know the answer to from a pre-tribulation perspective since you state so often that pre-tribulation is the only scripturally backed Rapture Timing position. Since you haven't answered the question under the other topic, in case you might have missed it, I have repeated/reposted it under this new topic. Please feel free to either answer it under this topic or the other topic began by Slice and in this Religion forum with a title addressing the Rapture or Second Coming.
Here is the question(s) I posed under the other topic/subject:
Now I have a few questions for you Bill: reference the below passage in NKJV
Revelation 4:1-3 (New King James Version)
1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
The following questions deal with the above passage (Revelation 4:1) and Pre-Tribulationist view that it is representative of the Rapture, of the Church.
- You claim, in your charts, as Pre-Tribulationist (of which I used to adhere to) state that Revelation 4:1 is "representative" of the Rapture. Why does the Rapture have to be addressed symbolically or figuratively rather than the literal event? I mean Revelation chronicles many end time events, that are to happen, and while some symbolism is used account that symbols and actual observances, by John, are most likely of things that don't exist in his time, such as helicopters or other vehicles that he may be seeing and thus has to use whatever symbolism he has to draw upon to describe what he is seeing. The appearance of the Church and that great number of people is not something that could not be visually described. Why, in your opinion, could Revelation 7:9-14 not be John's observation of a Raptured Church being brought into Heaven?
- Do you also agree that in order to represent this passage (Rev 4:1), as the Rapture, you have to take it symbolically rather than literally? I mean John is literally being called up to Heaven and it's happening to John but applying the rapture interpretation is a figurative one and if so why is the Rapture only symbolically represented and not shown as the actual, literal Event?
- What basis do you claim that John (the writer) is representative of the whole Church (past & Current Christians) and IF the Rapture is represented in Revelation 4:1 then are you, and other Pre-Trib folks saying that the Church and dead in Christ are raptured in spirit rather than body or is it a bodily rapture because verse 2 plainly says Immediately I was in the SPIRIT. Does the symbolism abruptly stop here?
- Also how do you reconcile that according to 1 Thessalonians 4:17 that Christ meets the Church and past Saints in the clouds yet in verse 2 of Revelation 4:1-2 it clearly states that John (if figurative of the whole Church) is in HEAVEN, in fact before the throne, immediately and not in the clouds.
- Another discrepancy is with the trumpet call. In 1 Cor 15:52 it is a literal trumpet yet in Revelation 4 it's a voice like a trumpet. Which is it really, according to Scripture?
Now regarding the Rapture as the Churches "Blessed Hope", literally one of if not the most important event in the Churches, and all Christians future.
- Why would such an important, if not the most important, event regarding the New Testament Church not be covered by Jesus Christ himself in any of His recorded sermons? WE have documented, in the Gospels, various teachings and sermons of Christ during His earthly ministry yet WHERE IS THE RAPTURE specifically taught by Christ (scripture/book, chapter, verse reference)?
Regarding Paul's letter to the Thessalonians as copied/pasted here:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 (New International Version)
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,
2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
- Just what do you see the "gathering together to him" in vs 1 (verse one) being? The Rapture, the Second Coming, and do you also not see the event referred to, by Paul, in verse 4 above being the Abomination that causes Desolation as prophesied in Daniel 9:27?
Your charts may be helpful to you but I've looked over them and frankly there is some liberty taken in applying certain scriptures to the chart. You, and i, know that any person, can pick and chose and past just about any scripture, out of it's original context, and attempt to make it apply to just about anything. The key is to keep Scripture within it's original, meaning/context and then to tie various diverse references together that all mean or relate to exactly the same thing. In other words the events foretold in Daniel 9 should remain true and correlate with scriptures in the New Testament. While you, and I, use and point to 1 Corinthians 15:50-51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and say it applies to the Rapture I know other, well versed Christians, who do not believe in the Rapture and say that those very passages refer to the eventual reconciliation of Christ and the Church at the 2nd Coming so it isn't as clear and plain to everyone and therefore a case needs to be made knitting together various scriptures that all point to the same thing/event/concept.
Add ONE additional question to my request. As a person who commented upon Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, that Christ gave you state that Matthew 24:30 & 31 relate and are about the Second Coming. The verses are below:
Matthew 24:30-31 (New King James Version)
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
What assures you of this? What basis do you make this claim for I submit that it is not the Second Coming but very plainly mirrors the Scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 4 where Paul speaks about the Rapture. Explain why you dogmatically associate these verses from Matthew 24 with the Second Coming other than to ( I submit correctly ) associate them with Paul's very detailed and clear description in 1 Thessalonians 4 as pasted below:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (New King James Version)
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Revelation 7:9-15 (New King James Version)
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"
14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
I await your relies and Answers