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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Secret Rapture Hoax: I Want to be Left Behind

From the Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer; http://stephensizer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-secret-rapture-hoax-i-want-to-be.html
This week I have been in Seoul, teaching in various theological seminaries and churches on the relationship between Israel and the Church and launch my book Zion's Christian Soldierswhich has just been published in Korean. (There is also a Chinese edition on the way)

I have likened the biblical basis for Christian Zionism to a balloon - bright and colourful but full of hot air. I have been asking my audiences how many pins does it take to burst a balloon? In my presentation, Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions, I provide seven 'pins'. Any one of them will do. The one that seems the favourite here bursts the silly notion that believers will be secretly raptured to heaven before Jesus returns while unbelievers will be 'left behind'.

What is the idea behind the “Secret Rapture”?

The Rapture is the novel idea that Jesus will actually return twice. First of all, secretly to rescue true believers out of the world before, or mid-way through a seven year period of intense suffering known as the Tribulation, then visibly with his saints to judge the world. So advocates claim Jesus will return secretly for his saints, then visibly with his saints. 

Although now a dominant view in America, largely as a result of Tim LaHaye’s immensely popular Left Behind series books and films, the idea of a two-stage Rapture has been traced to the eccentric views of J.N. Darby and Cyrus Scofield. It does not apear in any theological writings before 1820. Coincidentally, the eccentric teaching of the Adventists, Millerites, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses all arose around the same time and simlar speculated about the return of Jesus.

To the traditional hope of the visible return of Jesus they added the notion of a secret return associated with a time of great suffering and persecution for those left behind on earth. Proponents believe that in one cataclysmic moment, millions of believers around the world will suddenly be caught up in the air to be with Jesus. Life, they taught, will continue on earth for those who have ignored or rejected Jesus during a period of intense tribulation.

Tim LaHaye describes his book Left Behind as a "Thrilling end-time adventure [which] looks at life on Earth following the Rapture. In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear, vehicles careen out of control, loved ones vanish before your eyes, global chaos ensues…. You’ll pick it up – but not put it down!" Somehow I would not describe global destruction as ‘thrilling’.

What does the Bible say about the Rapture? 

The Bible actually teaches the opposite of what our Rapture experts promote. In Matthew 13, for example, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Jesus says:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” (Matthew 13:24-30)
Notice the order in the story. Jesus explains that the weeds will be removed first and destroyed, then the wheat gathered. And to avoid any confusion, Jesus explains the meaning,
“The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:38-43)
Jesus says his return will be associated both with destruction and deliverance, with condemnation and vindication, but the order is significant. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches that Jesus will return secretly to rescue believers then return visibly to judge the world. The most conclusive repudiation of the notion of a secret rapture, however, comes a little later in Matthew 24. Jesus says,
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)
Jesus is using vivid imagery from the Old Testament to describe his return. The great trumpet refers to the silver trumpets used to call God’s people to worship (Num. 10:1-10) and the four winds (Jeremiah 49:36; Zechariah 2:6) symbolise the entire world. In this way Jesus will gather his elect “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).

A few verses later, Jesus explains the sequence of events associated with his return.
“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:40-42)
So which one is taken first and which one left behind? We only have to look at the preceding verses to see which is which.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left." “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."(Matthew 24:36-42)
Notice Jesus says "As in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (24:37) and then he repeats himself, "That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (24:39).

Jesus does not want us to be confused. So, in the days of Noah who was "taken"? Those who rejected the warnings of Noah. So who will be "taken" first when Jesus returns?

The hot air associated with the Left Behind books and videos simply contradicts the plain teaching of Jesus. It is a tragic example of what happens when people major on minors and dogmatise on obscure verses. And it only takes a simple reading of Jesus words to burst the balloon of false teaching.

I am happy to be ‘left behind’, at least until Jesus does return visible and unmistakably. Jesus warns us against being ‘taken in’ by news that he has returned secretly or invisibly. His description should leave us in no doubt. “Just as the lightening comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:27) 

Are you looking forward to the return of Jesus? Do you long for his appearing? Is there unfinished business in your life? Then finish it quickly. Is there anything more important than Jesus in your life? Then it is too important. Revise your values before he has to.

If you knew that the Lord was returning tonight, would you change your priorities today? Then change them. Live today as if it were your last. Live as if Christ died yesterday, as if He rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow. Then you will not be ashamed at His appearing and you will not lose your reward.

If you are not sure about who Jesus is, or why he came, then investigate Christianity Explored and find a course taking place near you.

30 comments:

  1. Excellent! The above is better understood with lashings of Johnnie Walker Red Label!

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  2. I say this is a good exposition of the error that much of the Christian Church and the PBCC live with. The parallel concept of dispensationalism robbing the church of its 'today' power as 'we're not in that dispensation' and the false focus of an early rescue 'from this vale of tears' has reduced the church's efficiency.

    The 'Restoration Movement'/non-cessasionists in particular have done a lot to dispel these myths, but Darby's heresy is persistent.

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  3. The harmful effects of Darby-style dispensationalism and Christian Zionism are discussed fully in Stephen Sizer’s book on Christian Zionism, which paints a worrying picture of the political influence of Dispensationalism and Zionism among Christians in the USA. He backs up his picture with a lot of verifiable evidence, which makes me think it is a realistic picture.

    Here is what the Rev. John Stott, Rector Emeritus, All Soul’s, London, wrote about the book.

    "I am glad to commend Stephen Sizer’s ground-breaking critique of Christian Zionism. His comprehensive overview of its roots, its theological basis and its political consequences is very timely. I myself believe that Zionism, both political and Christian, is incompatible with biblical faith. Stephen’s book has helped to reinforce this conviction."

    You can download a complete version of Stephen Sizer’s book at the little-known location
    http://www.sizers.org/articles/ebook_sizer.pdf

    All EB leaders have tried to convince their flock that they were living in the end times. JHS had a whole series of meetings in Minneapolis in March 1983 about preparing for the rapture. BDH often talks about the imminence of the rapture. He is alleged to have said that the Brethren should make as much money as possible during the next 7 years so that they can give up work and have meetings all the time until the rapture. He has said that the Lord will let the spiritual [i.e. him] know when it is to occur, “and we'll tell the rest of them.” Vol. 73 page 128.

    I have never been able to confirm his alleged comments about the role he will have in coordinating the rapture.

    I think constantly stressing the imminence of the rapture is a way to prevent the Brethren from getting depressed about their miserable existence, and thereby suppress discontent. For some reason none of them ever says, “Hey, people have been saying that for centuries, and so far they have always been wrong.”

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  4. See also: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/standing-with-israel/

    and

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/michele-bachmann-proof-that-end-times-theology-will-poison-your-worldview/

    Steven Sizer is a friend of mine and knows the story of Darby's spiritual descendents in the EB.

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  5. Apostasy and expected of course -
    Well there you have it from the horses mouth and it simply strengthens the position Mr Darby took all those years ago. He feared and obeyed God rather than men. Do you embrace the living word of God or do you embrace the coming ever deepening apostasy?

    The Lord is going to rapture his assembly. A pure and spotless bride, free of the world. Why do the PBCC maintain separation? Well see here - It's to protect the assembly from the growing apostasy that threatens the very existence of Christianity in the UK and other parts of the world.
    You want the world and and easier way, then take it with both hands, but you will be without Christ. We cannot serve two masters.
    See - If you love the world, the love of the Father abides not in you.
    So it's either one or the other. There are some who love the present age, as Demas did in Paul's day, but a day of reckoning came for him. He was not prepared to suffer along with the people of God.

    Listen to the message of Jesus today and make a wise choice.
    The choice you make has two roads - One leads to be with Christ and the saints.
    The other ends in moral death and the eternal emptiness of Hell. If we die in our sins, we will be raised in them. If we die in Christ, we will be raised and shall dwell with him for all eternity. The saints will reign over the earth in the coming dispensation. Where will you or I be in that day?

    Mockers were at the cross of Christ, so leave the mockers and fix your eyes on Jesus Christ. Allow him to search your heart and change the direction you are heading. Our hearts may condemn us from time to time, but God is greater than our hearts. Doubts and fears are also vanquished by the perfect love of God.
    Perfect love casts out fear.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

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    Replies
    1. The post by LJO is very revealing of the true nature of doctrines of the Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

      The whole tone and assertion of his post is that the Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church are “The Church” & “The Assembly” because it follows JN Darby ‘s Dispensationalist theories, so anything, or anyone, outside of those theories, or outside of said sectarian group, is in “Apostasy” against Christianity & without Christ !

      There are Christians in all sorts of denominations and non denominational Churches who have been seduced by the error strewn Dispensationalist theories of men like JN Darby and Schofield, (especially over in America), who have NO connection at all with the Exclusive Brethren or Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

      Yet, the Exclusive Brethren or Plymouth Brethren Christian Church reject these Christians (despite the fact they believe they same Dispensationalist theories, the same God, Jesus & indwelling of the Holy Spirit), simply because they are not part of said particular closed sect.

      The Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church teach that anyone not part of their particular closed sect whether Christian or not, Dispensationalist or not, is a “worldlie” “iniquitous” “apostate” and must be separated from under the doctrine of “separation from evil”, members of this closed sect are forbidden to –

      - Eat or drink with them
      - Sit at the Lords table & partake of communion with them
      - Share Christian fellowship with them
      - Join in worship, prayer with them

      So my questions to LJO are as follows –

      1. Are all Christians who follow Dispensationalist doctrine part of the assembly, which is the Body of Christ, His Church ?

      2. If the answer to question 1 is Yes, then why do the Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church reject and separate from those Dispensationalist Christians, (who also believe and follow the same God, Jesus and indwelling of the Holy Spirit), just because they aren’t members of said sect ?

      3. Are Christians who do not follow Dispensationalist doctrine, but, who believe and follow the same God, Jesus, and in dwelling of the Holy Spirit that Dispensationalists follow, also members of the assembly, which is the Body of Christ, His Church ?

      4. Are Christians who do not follow Dispensationalist doctrine labelled as “Apostates” and “without Christ” and if so why ?

      5. Are Christians who are not members of the Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church labelled as “Apostates” and “without Christ” ?

      6. Is the Exclusive Brethren Plymouth Brethren Christian Church “The Church”, The Body”, The Assembly” ? or is it just a part of the Church, the Body, the Assembly ?

      Delete
    2. Rev, I think LJO and Handel are just planning another lovely wind-up.
      The longer your post, the more ammunition they have to fire back at your expense.
      Just saying in case you weren't aware.

      Delete
    3. LJO is a complete fake. This is obvious to me. The person masquerading as LJO is just stoking up the number of replies on this blog.
      He couldn't be more provocative.

      Delete
  6. Leo, have you read anything of the article and its convincing Bible references or are you simple reacting out of your own prejudice?

    The Scriptures strongly suggest that Darby was wrong on this topic. Why do you prefer the words of a man to the words of Scripture? Darby was not God. He made mistakes. He got it wrong. This is just one example. Read the wrong of God rather than wallowing in prejudice ... please.

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  7. Oh Leo,

    I should have said that tertiary theology like whether I agree with a pre-millennial rapture, or a post-millennial rapture is not vital to my status before God, my relationship with Jesus, or my eternal salvation. Primary theology affects my relationship with Him, but this stuff will work itself out in due time. None-the-less, I maintain Darby was in error here. Clearly you don't. That's life.

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  8. Leonardo
    Your refusal to answer reasonable questions put to you significantly lessens the credibility of anything you say.

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  9. J N Darby believed that he lived in the End Times, but of course he didn't. It must have been a disappointment to him to realise that he'd been mistaken in such a fundamental aspect of his teaching.

    I know from reading Bruce D Hales's ministry, and from a recent conversation on this subject with a member of the PBCC, that Brethren today believe that the End is going to come in the next fifty years. They're wrong - and the notion of a Secret Rapture is unsustainable too.

    I'm always impressed by the last letter John Darby wrote, in his rather laboured French, a month before he died. (The letter is dated March 28 1882 and he died on April 29 1882.) In it the dying man doesn't discuss the Secret Rapture or the unique position of the assembly. Instead, he draws attention to the love of God and the peace that comes in knowing that you are deeply loved.

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  10. On my 18:44 post

    "Read the wrong of God rather than wallowing in prejudice ... please."

    Should of course read:

    "Read the word of God rather than wallowing in prejudice ... please."

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  11. Hello Leo,

    Does the assembly only refer to the Exclusive Brethren (PBCC Ltd). Are they the only ones to be raptured, or would you include some others as well? You refer to a "pure and spotless bride"; is this the assembly of the PBCC Ltd? If a member has behaved in an unchristian way, and without compassion, or perhaps has been involved in some crime, or other; is an abuser of alcohol and is over preoccupied with the affairs of the world, such as business and profit; would that make him less pure and spotless, would you consider?

    Or let us take a couple of examples - a Catholic nun, shall we say, who works, year upon year, with homeless street children, perhaps somewhere in an Indian city, living simply on alms and the very basics of life. Then, on the other hand there is a PBCC wealthy businessman who lives in some luxury, is a great consumer of food and drink; he does little to help anyone, outside of his immediate circle, except an occasional PBCC promotional event to generate the myth of charity. Perhaps he ignores members of his own family and treats them in a callous manner because, for example, they may be the "wrong" sort of Christians (according to his indoctrination). Now, according to you, will be this man be so favoured over the Catholic nun? Why should this be so?

    RSVP

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  12. Leonardo J Octavianus 30 April 2014 16:09

    Says : "Perfect love casts out fear.

    Listen to the message of Jesus today and make a wise choice.
    The choice you make has two roads - One leads to be with Christ and the saints.
    The other ends in moral death and the eternal emptiness of Hell."

    Leonardo .You cannot have it both ways. If perfect love casts out fear, like you say it does. Then why would you fear someone who were threatening to send people to hell?.For you might just as well worship a nasty tyrant ,like Kim Jung un !

    People who believe in hell.Don't know the first thing about true love.And this is why they don't even bother to think twice about the amount of hurt and harm they cause to their own flesh and blood

    People who believe in God who sends people to hell.Who then choose to disown family,in the hope of finding themselves a way to preserve their own skin.Really are gutless lowly types of people.And in wars,these types of people would be the likely types to turn tail and run, saving their own skin,while leaving their mates to die

    You faith belief in not even worthy of respect.For it is the epitome of human indecency and gutlessness

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  13. Leo you wrote "it simply strengthens the position Mr Darby took all those years ago. He feared and obeyed God rather than men". So why have the Brethren, who all began with Mr Darby, now fear and obey Bruce Hales rather than God? When did that u-turn happen?

    RLS

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  14. Regarding all comments - This is not "Question Time"
    Please do note my open questions of paragraph - 1 and 3, but there is really no need to answer in writing here. It has more to where you stand before God. We will all have to meet God at some point. Sometimes deep down, we know where to find answers, but it means not being self opinionated and willful. Schools of opinion are worthless. Debate for sake of debate - Nothing constructive or of real value there.

    Let's be very clear here - I was addressing the issue of apostasy and not too concerned with your questions as such, or giving answers to opinions on this blog.

    If you don't accept the way the brethren are on, then I suggest you make your own choices. It's either the world or Christ. You can't have it both ways.
    Separation is not unique to the brethren. Do some research on people of different faith, race, class etc. Separation is part and parcel of life ever since the fall of man.

    May I respectfully suggest - Instead of blaming the brethren, stand up like real men and women and face-up to your responsibilities. A considerable part of our society today has bitter and twisted people who don't want to help themselves and blame others. Be productive instead of destructive.

    You don't like what I'm saying here folks, but I'm not here for a debate.
    The answer is found in the finished work on the cross. Accept or reject it.

    Leonardo J Octavianus

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    Replies
    1. Leonardo 1 May 2014 06:49 sez "You don't like what I'm saying here folks, but I'm not here for a debate."

      You are welcome to say what you like here Leonardo.We really don't mind at all.And we understand that you don't like what is being said.here.Therefore you OBVIOUSLY are here to debate these issues.But your problem arises when your credibility falls down, when being unable to enter into continued discussion on these issues.This shows anyone else reading along, that your beliefs fall down upon scrutiny.And as Joan points out in her comment made 1 May 09:54 . People who also read what is being said here, will also include officials and politicians.Do you really think you can easily fool these people that you are not here to debate these issues.

      What the exclusive brethren may need to learn is that they never were the highest court in the land.And this fact has been proven by the way the UK charity commission made its own judgement in regard to the charity status of the exclusive brethren.

      If the brethren accept that God allows things to happen for a reason.Then they may need to accept that God has allowed the internet for a reason also.And it really is the most perfect tool for people who experienced religious abuse, to use to expose these religious abuses, to the WHOLE world.And in these last few years, use of the internet has been used to also help expose abuses that have happened in a number of other nominations too

      Leonardo.The brethren can choose to run the gauntlet.But they can no longer hide

      Delete
    2. Leonardo said "Separation is not unique to the brethren. Do some research on people of different faith, race, class etc. Separation is part and parcel of life ever since the fall of man."

      Yes that may be true. But still the fact of it being so, still does nothing to help prove its worth.The worth of which is now being brought under public scrutiny.

      And those that have been involved in religious abuses.May also now need to stand up like real men and women.And begin to face their responsibility, of the amount of harm that has been caused.

      Leonardo. Appeal to common practice .Is known as a fallacy http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-common-practice.html

      Delete
    3. There is a difference between enforced separation and chosen, or random separation. Enforced separation, as practised by the PBCC cult, is only a tool used by an extremely small number of sects, and even in these cases, some of these groups, such as the Amish, have their own communities and are self sufficient; thus, separation has, at least, a little more logic. The PBCC cult cream from the world and enforce separation at the same time. Their position could be unique. Leonardo, as usual, has not provided any substance or examples to support his bigoted assertions.

      Illuminator

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  15. Leonardo,

    Just before you reply to my questions; I have just had a thought. You have previously stated that you are not a member of the PBCC Ltd because you are not "an assembly man". Does this put your own position in some jeopardy, do you think? Could you please answer this thought, along with the my other questions?

    RSVP

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  16. I found the opening paragraph of Leonardo J Octavianus’s contribution above quite difficult to understand. I’m not sure to what extent Leonardo takes account of the fact that non-Brethren people, including officials and politicians, sometimes read this blog. Communication with outsiders requires careful thought and composition.

    ‘Apostasy’ is a specialised concept and needs more explanation. Leonardo also refers to ‘Mr Darby’. I know that elderly Exclusive Brethren people use the term ‘Mr Darby’ or ‘JND’ when speaking of John Nelson Darby, the founder of the Exclusive branch of the Brethren, but it would be a help to have been given dated book and page number references to what he actually said on the subject of the Secret Rapture - so that we could read it for ourselves.

    I was interested that in a published conversation which took place in a PBCC meeting on October 1st last year, Peter Trevvett quoted something J N Darby had written about the apostle Paul. Bruce D Hales responded that a hundred years later his father, John S Hales, in a conversation with one of Bruce D Hales's brothers, had added “an advance” on JND. Bruce D Hales commented that John S Hales hadn't wanted his son to quote JND to him because John Darby "wouldn't say that now". B D Hales doesn't reveal exactly what his brother had quoted to JSH on that occasion. (I know the date of the conversation between BDH and Peter Trevvett, but it would be useful if somebody could provide the reference and page number in the appropriate PBCC's ministry book.)

    I wonder whether the Secret Rapture is one of the doctrines which J N Darby “wouldn’t say” now? It would be good to have a clear and concise explanation of what the PBCC believes about all this.

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  17. Questions building up yet again, Leonardo! As Joan mentions, I would think the public, coming across this blog, will be very unimpressed with your position of regurgitation, without debate, substance or clear references. It is not clear why you choose to keep on contributing since you cannot debate the issues and you put the Exclusive Brethren (PBCC) in a poor light (as though they need it!) This seems to defeat the object of your appearances here.

    No offence...

    RSVP (asap)




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  18. Leo, just a quickie
    if you could manage one answer please

    'We cannot serve two masters'
    Do the EB have The Lord or the mog as master?
    Please give a simple answer and then elaborate on it if you wish

    Paul

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  19. Leo, you wrote "I suggest you make your own choices. It's either the world or Christ. You can't have it both ways."
    Is that why the brethren take a third option then, and choose BDH?

    I seem to find it hard to get across to LJO that what he writes would generally be accaptable and a worthwile contribution in a Christian discussion forum. What I can't understand is why in his wildest dreams he then connects what he says with the brethren cult. Chalk and cheese mate.

    RLS

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  20. Was Alan Ker's wife an example of the ' pure and spotless bride' that the Lord will allegedly rapture?

    For a pure and spotless bride, the PBCC assembly has and continues to engage in an awful lot of whoring. We see the present day prostituting of itself for base gain in the ridiculous fire fighter feeding programme and the unprecedented levels of lobbying MP's in Westminster. Me thinks they and LJO doth protest too much.

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  21. Re: Wife of Jesus

    http://www.livescience.com/45328-gospel-of-jesus-wife-may-be-fake.html

    Take a look,

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  22. The phrase “secret rapture” does not in fact occur in any of JND’s writings. He uses the word “rapture” 131 times but never “secret rapture”. The only time he says the rapture will be secret is on page 120 of “The Rapture of the Saints and the Character of the Jewish Remnant”.

    He writes, “A point connected with this has been insisted on by the adversaries of the truth, to which I advert here only to leave it aside, as not touching the main point, even if true, and used by them only to obscure the great and vital truth of the rapture of the church - I mean the secrecy of the rapture.”

    If he thought the secrecy of the rapture was “a great and vital truth” it is surprising that he never referred to it anywhere else.

    The phrase “secret rapture” does not occur in Darby’s New Testament. Neither even does the word “rapture”. What does occur is “his coming,” or in Greek, “parousia,” which is sometimes referred to as something we are to look forward to, (1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thes 2:19; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 2:28) and sometimes referred to as something very public (2 Thes 2:8).

    Another New Testament word for the second coming is “epiphany,” which Darby translates as “appearing”. This word also is equally used to refer to something we are to look forward to, (1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13) as well as something very public (Acts 2:20; 2 Thes 2:8; 2 Timothy 4:1).

    So the words used by New Testament authors did not distinguish between two kinds of second coming as Darby does. We are to look forward to the parousia or the epiphany, and both these words occur in contexts that imply a very public event.

    Darby tries to explain this away by saying that “parousia” sometimes refers to the rapture and sometimes to Christ’s public appearing, but I see no reason why he should think so. There is no reason at all to think that the word “parousia” carries any implication of secrecy, or “epiphany” either. The fact remains that the New Testament authors give no indication that the secrecy of the rapture is “a great and vital truth,” as Darby would have it, or even that there is anything secret about his coming.

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  23. http://www.bible.ca/rapture-shoes-raptured-gone-john-darby-1830ad.jpg

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  24. There seems to have been an inadvertent, or perhaps deliberate, omission of facts relative to important facets of dispensationalism's beginnings. With exactness only in my mind, allow me to suggest, for further reading, some compositions throwing little-known light on the current "rapture" debate. Readers are invited to turn, in the twinkling of an eye, to Google and type in "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Humbug Huebner," "Pretrib Rapture's Missing Lines," "Wily Jeffrey," "LaHaye's Temperament," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Walvoord Melts Ice," "Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "Scholars Weigh My Research," "Pretrib Rapture Stealth," "Pretrib Rapture Pride," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." By the way, it didn't take a doctorate to uncover the above. In fact, an American high schooler could have unearthed the same facts if he had single-heartedly directed his focus on the same path without giving up. Would love to see some unbiased reactions to all of this.

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