Christ's return

Ahanu

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Hi, I am not here to debate or have a dialogue with anybody between the Baha'i and Christian faiths. Rather, I would appreciate it if somebody can point me in the right direction here, for there is a vast amount of information on the subject. I can do the rest of the homework. Perhaps a few articles online that may be helpful and reliable sources?

I specifically want to know where Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus splitting the sky and descending from heaven to rapture up the faithful is originating from. This issue is being brought up because of a dispute between me and a friend. For example, they quoted Paul saying: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." Without bringing up my own religion, I am pretty sure that not all Christians would accept this. Baptists definitely believe it, but I am unsure what other denominations are thinking. Also, because I have moved and am attending a new church, the preacher also quotes Paul and 1 Thessalonians when proving this, but I am more interested in the origins of the interpretations. Is it from tradition? Is it biblical? Mostly looking for names and dates.

Thanks.
 
Since I have a Baptist background, I'll give this a go. Mind you, I'm still sorting out all this eschatology stuff, so not everything I present here is necessarily my viewpoint.

Baptist teachings center around an event called the Rapture. This is the idea that those who are saved (regardless of denomination, mind you) will be whisked away at the last trump, as you've described above in I Thessalonians. All true Christians will be taken from this world in an instant to save them from the wrath incurred through the Great Tribulation, as Baptists believe Christians will be spared for we are not appointed to wrath (I Thess. 5:9).

But this event differs from the Second Coming, which occurs some seven years later after the Great Tribulation. At that time. Christ will come in all His Power and Glory and destroy all the works of evil (this is where the sky-splitting, earthquakes, etc. come in) and establish a Millennial Kingdom for a thousand years, in which all His saints will reign with Him. (See Rev. 19:11-21, Rev. 20:1-6). After this, Satan is let loose for a short time, them he is cast into the lake of fire, then the the Great White Throne Judgement which God will judge every man for their works and anyone not found in the book of life will likewise be cast into the lake of fire.

Finally, God will establish a new heaven and new earth and reign Supreme forever and ever, where there is no more sorrow, no more pain, no more death, and no more tears.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.
 
I specifically want to know where Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus splitting the sky and descending from heaven to rapture up the faithful is originating from. This issue is being brought up because of a dispute between me and a friend. For example, they quoted Paul saying: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

changing someones mind, is the same as 'changed.'

but no matter, your question is on what enabled the concept (rapture) to live/exist

the best answer is misinterpretations followed by creative minds

a couple items will fix it

Mark 10

17And as he is going forth into the way, one having run and having kneeled to him, was questioning him, `Good teacher, what may I do, that life age-during I may inherit?'


18And Jesus said to him, `Why me dost thou call good? no one [is] good except One -- God;
19the commands thou hast known: Thou mayest not commit adultery, Thou mayest do no murder, Thou mayest not steal, Thou mayest not bear false witness, Thou mayest not defraud, Honour thy father and mother.'

or in clear words as (per se) quoted from Jesus

John 14:15 `If ye love me, my commands keep, (see above six/6..)


16 and I will ask the Father, and another Comforter He will give to you, that he may remain with you -- to the age;
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it doth not behold him, nor know him, and ye know him, because he doth remain with you, and shall be in you.

Jesus said follow the rules. (until)

The Christ was yet to come, per Jesus.

BibleGateway.com - PassageLookup: John 14;;


food for thought
 
for Ahanu

As one of Jehovahs Witnesses i would have to say that ACCURATE knowledge is NOW abundant Daniel 12;4



but at one time it wasnt.


but NOW, because JESUS is feeding and giving insight to his faithful ones on the earth matthew 24;45-47the understanding about many things in the bible is now abundant .


so the thing to do is go to the channel that Jesus is giving insight too.


and yes i do believe that it is JEHOVAHS WITNESSES:)


And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant."DANIEL 12;4



There has been much roving around the bible by the faithful ones , and NOW true knowledge is ABUNDANT.


SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND:)
 
So far 2000 years late.

Those writing at the time thought it would happen in their lifetime...as has every doomsayer since, right mee?


I just lol'd.

Does seem to be alot of focus drawn away from teachings to "when's he coming back?!" Kinda like the toddler that constantly whines for his mama..... Take a breath calm down and relax you shall see her again :)
 
Hi Ahanu —

I specifically want to know where Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus splitting the sky and descending from heaven to rapture up the faithful is originating from.
Oooh, you said the 'R' word!

In traditional Christianity, such matters are left in the realm of speculation. In the RC tradition, for example, there is a series of prophecies regarding the shape of things to come, but nothing doctrinal or dogmatic. It's not a topic of theological discussion, for example.

We tend to treat the future as pure speculation, and best left in the hands of God. Going by events so far, whatever happens will be 'out of the blue' and not at all as we expected.

The prime exponents of 'The Rapture' seem to be 'conservative Protestant', and if I was going to be pushed, I would suggest that they are almost entirely American. With it's freedom of religious expression, and its penchant for commercial speculation, someone in the US could start a religion (and make a lot of money in the process), that would never get off the ground in a more restrictive Europe. So you get Millerism, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Davidians, Branch Davidians, Christadelphians, Shepherd's Rod ...

In all there is a tendency to 'read into' obscure of ambiguous Biblical texts, and of course the favoured books are the prophetic texts, Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelations, etc. by which the more immediate texts are interpreted, and thereby the 'common sense' often distorted.

'The Rapture' is, I think almost uniquely an American phenomena. Certainly the sales of the popular Rapture books top the lists in the US, indeed they outperform the 'secular' best-sellers by a considerable margin. Nowadays they tend to be ignored in the standard lists.

Thomas
 
Thomas said:
'The Rapture' is, I think almost uniquely an American phenomena. Certainly the sales of the popular Rapture books top the lists in the US, indeed they outperform the 'secular' best-sellers by a considerable margin. Nowadays they tend to be ignored in the standard lists.

If I may direct you to the definition of 'rapture' for a moment:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary said:
1rap·ture http://javascript<b></b>:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?raptur01.wav=rapture')
Pronunciation: \ˈrap-chər\ Function: noun Etymology: Latin raptus Date: 1594 1: an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion
2 a: a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion b: a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things
3often capitalized : the final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end-time according to Christian theology

While the word 'Rapture' is not found in the bible, the concept is. I Thessalonians 4:17 contains the words 'caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air' which conveys the same sense of #2 in the definitions. While there is debate as to when this is supposed to occur, it is an event that will happen in the future.
 
Hi Dondi —

I fully accept the Biblical origin of the idea.

My point is that it seems a much bigger deal in the US than anywhere else. The "Left Behind" books, are just one example of what appears to be a thriving industry.

Thomas
 
-The word “rapture” comes from Paul's "caught up" remark. The words “caught up” are translated from the Greek word harpazo, which means "to carry off," "snatch up," or "grasp hastily or violently." The translation from harpazo to “rapture” involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word “rapture.”

I just want to add that theres a certain amount of faith involved in this theology and of course a lot of common sense that comes with knowing scripture and putting it together in context. God provided several people in the bible an escape... Noah and his family.. Lot and his wife and Elijah. The Bible states Gods people are not appointed to His wrath.

Another point is that The bible clearly states that at His return He will set both His feet on the Mount of Olives and all eyes will see him...

This is not the case for the rapture... At that point in time He will return like a thief in th night and snatch His church in the twinkling of an eye. Noone will see Him then . So these are two seperate events.

hope this helps
 
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But this event differs from the Second Coming, which occurs some seven years later after the Great Tribulation.
Thanks for clearing that up for me, Dondi.

We tend to treat the future as pure speculation, and best left in the hands of God. Going by events so far, whatever happens will be 'out of the blue' and not at all as we expected.
Ok. I can understand this view, but the rapture theology I hear in so many churches in my area here in southern North Carolina is that the church expects the future to come about just as the bible literally said.

The prime exponents of 'The Rapture' seem to be 'conservative Protestant'
I have been doing a few quick searches on the net. Word on the net is that John Nelson Darby popularized the rapture belief that I am now hearing echoed in the church today, but he is European. Am I looking in the right place?

The beliefs he disseminated then are still being propagated (in various forms) at such places as Dallas Theological Seminary and Bob Jones University and by authors and preachers such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye
If I was a Christian, I think this book by Barbra Rossing has a better interpretation.

The Center for Progressive Christianity - The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation

In the link it says that "the basic theological foundation of the 'Rapture' is Manicheism, a form of Gnosticism, considered a heresy by the early Church, which posits that the world is evil and that our goal is to escape it." I thought it was interesting. . .

Ya'll also seem to unanimously agree that the belief is not recently invented like Barbra Rossing says, but has roots in 1 Thess. . .OK
 
I specifically want to know where Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus splitting the sky and descending from heaven to rapture up the faithful is originating from.
Thanks.
Ahanu, If we look at the first coming, in the old testament we find two contradictory prophecies concerning the coming of Jesus. In Daniel 7:13, we find that the Lord would come on the clouds: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the couds of heaven there came one like a son of man..." However, the prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2). Which one of these two contradictory prophecies did the Israelites believe? Many were waiting for Jesus to come down on the clouds.

In the same way through the prophet Malachi, God promised to send Elijah again before he coming of the Messiah (Mal 4:5). Since Elijah had ascended into heaven, the people believe that Elijah would surely descend form heaven. Yet, Jesus clearly declared that John the Baptist, who was born on earth, was Elijah (Mt 11:14;17:13).

I am jumping steps here to keep this short.

The word 'heaven' is frequently used in the Bible as a methaphor to connote great value, sacredness, or goodness.
Jesus said."No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man" (John 3:13) indicating that he came from heaven. Yet we know, Jesus was born on earth.
Jesus meant, I was born like you, but I am very different in the motive and origin of my birth. I am born from God.
With this understanding of the word heaven, the prophecy that Jesus is coming on the cloud is not incorrect. However, it is also a methaphor.

John the Baptist,too was not merely born of this earth, but had a great mission (Lk 1:15-17,76). Regardless of the form of his birth, God was the direct cause, thus John had come down form heaven" representing Elijah, and had the same mission.

The New Testament not only contains prophecies that say Christ will come as a judge amidst glory on a cloud from heaven, but also some that say he will come again just as he did the first time.
 
So far 2000 years late.

Those writing at the time thought it would happen in their lifetime...as has every doomsayer since, right mee?
more like GOODNEWS rather than doom:)
 
For example, Paul wrote: "We the living who survive to the presence of the Lord [not, to the end of his presence] shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)


Therefore, anointed Christians(those who are going to heaven) who died before Christ’s presence were raised to heavenly life ahead of those who were still alive during Christ’s presence.

This means that the first resurrection must have begun early in Christ’s presence, and it continues "during his presence." (1 Corinthians 15:23)

Rather than occurring all at once, the first resurrection takes place over a period of time.

so then , not long after JESUS PRESENCE BEGAN(Which by the way was in 1914,) the resurrection of those who are going to heaven started. but they would have had to die first to be resurreced

 
I just want to add that theres a certain amount of faith involved in this theology and of course a lot of common sense that comes with knowing scripture and putting it together in context. God provided several people in the bible an escape... Noah and his family.. Lot and his wife and Elijah. The Bible states Gods people are not appointed to His wrath. . .This is not the case for the rapture... At that point in time He will return like a thief in th night and snatch His church in the twinkling of an eye. Noone will see Him then .

Well, how is it then that Jesus said, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one?" (John 17:15) Rapturists would not touch this verse with a 10 foot pole!
 
Well, how is it then that Jesus said, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one?" (John 17:15) Rapturists would not touch this verse with a 10 foot pole!


Im a "rapturist" and I would certainly touch this one. This verse is being taken out of context.

John 17:
[FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica] 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joyfulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica] 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
[/FONT]


[FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]try reading the verses before and after and its not speaking of His return for His church but of the great commission
[/FONT]
 
Well, how is it then that Jesus said, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one?" (John 17:15) Rapturists would not touch this verse with a 10 foot pole!


Well, Jesus also says to the church of Philadelphia that he will keep them from the hour of testing (see Revelation chapter 3) as a reward for them being so cool, so as you can see different instructions are given to different groups of people at different times.
 
...I would appreciate it if somebody can point me in the right direction here, for there is a vast amount of information on the subject...want to know where Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Jesus splitting the sky and descending from heaven to rapture up the faithful is originating from. This issue is being brought up because of a dispute between me and a friend.....I am more interested in the origins of the interpretations. Is it from tradition? Is it biblical? Mostly looking for names and dates.
Around 1700 in the US many places you could be beaten to death if you disagreed with Calvinism, however there have always been dissenting protestant groups. This article talks about Darby and the Scofield Bible, which is where the rapture idea really gets its start (as Thomas already said). The Dispensational Origins of Modern Premillennialism and John Nelson Darby

Other protestants previous to Darby, such as John Locke, Joshua Spalding, Isaac Newton, and John Bidle never mention anything about rapture. You can get abstracts of their works from books.google.com. (Joshua Spaulding's The Devine Theory can be downloaded as a PDF, and you can see that though he's enthusiastic about the kingdom of God he never even treats a rapture idea.) Their very influential works extend from late 17th to early 19th century. Darby didn't start writing about rapture until mid 19th, so these provide a background to converse about rapture with your friend. You could point out that rapture is absent in previous Protestant literature. Physical return of Jesus, however, is a much broader discussion than Rapture, so make sure you don't get the two things crossed in conversation. Many (perhaps all) of the above protestants believed in a physical return but none discussed rapture.
 
Well, how is it then that Jesus said, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one?" (John 17:15) Rapturists would not touch this verse with a 10 foot pole!


I read that to be saying to protect them from being killed along with Jesus.

I'm curious Ahanu about your reasons for attending church as a Baha'i. Are there no Baha'is in your area? What kind of church do you go to?
 
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