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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195187
11/19/22 02:57 AM
11/19/22 02:57 AM
dedication  Offline OP
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Secret Rapture, what is it, and why do Adventists reject it and think it deceptive?

Prominent in the prophetic scenarios of Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and other Protestant evangelicals has been their teaching about the secret rapture of the Church. For them it is the most important key end time event.

What is the doctrine of the secret rapture?
It is a teaching that Jesus Christ will return twice!

1. First He comes secretly and whisk all Christians off to Heaven, while earth plunges into a terrible time of trouble called the Great Tribulation; it will be a terrible time to live on earth. Christians will not experience this trouble as they will be in heaven with Jesus. They are expecting this secret coming at any moment now.
2. Then seven years later (or three and a half according to some) Christ will return with all His redeemed, openly in power and glory to establish His Kingdom here on earth. His enemies will be destroyed and the rest will be converted, Satan will be bound and not be able to harass people. This kingdom will last 1000 years. After which Satan is loosed and cause a lot of trouble again.

The teaching basically began and started to take root around 1830 by men like John Nelson Darby and C. I. Scofield. Dispensationalism is very much part of the teaching along with the concept that Jews and Christians travel two separate roads in God's plan of salvation.

Why reject this teaching as deceptive?

1.The Bible nowhere speaks of these two separate comings of Jesus. There is no second stage of His coming that occurs seven years after the so-called "rapture." The texts that are used, if read in their context do not support this theory of the rapture.

2. The Bible does speak considerable about Christ's second coming (a single event) and gives specific details on how this will be recognized. Why would there so much information on the second coming? Because God knows we need that information because there will be false simulated comings of false christs, and we need to know what the true looks like to identify the false.

3. There is considerable confusion as to the state of the dead. 1 Thess 4 is used to support the rapture. But if deceased believers have already gone directly to Heaven, as most of these folk believe, then why would the "dead in Christ" need to be raised up first at the time of the Rapture? This is explained by saying those who were in heaven as spirits will be reunited with new physical, immortal bodies at the rapture. This enters a whole different problem area concerning the Bible's strong emphases on the hope of the resurrection.

4. Another big problem with the rapture theory concerns recognition of the antichrist. In the rapture theory, antichrist appears after the Christians have been raptured away. In other words, they believe they won't be here to be troubled or deceived by antichrist or his beast or mark.

5. The Catholic church does not believe in the rapture. They believe they are building God's kingdom on earth. When the great time of trouble is unleashed upon the world, and people are wondering if they were "left behind", as they will see false prophets and false christs appear, the real antichrist will stand up and claim to have the solution, He'll tell them the Catholic church had it right all along and that they are the true interpreters of scripture. Just follow them and peace will be restored on earth.

6. Second chance theory
Finally, the secret rapturists claim that during the tribulation those not raptured will be given another chance to be saved.

7. Sets the stage for the manifestation of Satan himself as the Christ. All who put their hope in an earthly manifestation of Christ in an earthly building of a kingdom will be deceived. "The great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!"
"Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? " Do they know scriptures well enough to be able to cling to its description of the second coming?

Last edited by dedication; 11/19/22 06:44 PM.
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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195190
11/20/22 03:38 PM
11/20/22 03:38 PM
dedication  Offline OP
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The lesson for this week looks at Bible texts which people who believe in the immortality of the soul use frequently to support their belief.

In light of all the warnings our church has been given about the deceptions to come upon the world. Especially in light of spiritualism, we do need to know the reason for our beliefs, for if we only "sort of" know, when the test comes we will be confused.

So let's look at these texts, are they contradicting what we believe? Why or why not?

1. Luke 16:19-31 Describes the parable Jesus told of the Lazarus and the rich man, which seems to say Lazarus was alive in the bosom of Abraham while the rich man was in hell.

2. Luke 23:43 Today you will be with me in paradise.

3. Philippians 1:23 having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

4. 2 Corinthians 5:4-8 rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

5. 1 Peter 3:13-20 Did Jesus's Spirit, while He was dead in the grave, go and preach to people who lived some 2000 years before whose spirits were kept in prison?

6. Revelation 6:9-11 Souls crying out from under the altar.

7. Mark 9:44-48 their worm dieth not

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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195191
11/20/22 07:23 PM
11/20/22 07:23 PM
dedication  Offline OP
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1. Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16.

The lesson points out the problems with this being a literal representation of life after death and that even scholars who don't believe in soul sleep see it as a parable to teach a lesson, not to define life after death.

The parable seems to be addressed to the Pharisees who were ridiculing Christ (Luke 16:14) just a couple verses earlier. Pharisees tended to see themselves as rich and blessed and assured of God's favor, with Abraham as their father. (We have Abraham as our Father. See Luke 3:8, John 8:33,37-41) They represent the rich man in the parable. People relying on their status for salvation.

Poor, sick beggars were considered smitten by God, out of God's favor, probably suffering for their sins.

What a shock when Jesus pictured the rich, well favored man as suffering hell fire, while the beggar was obviously depicted as a spiritual child of Abraham, (in the bosom of Abraham), thus a child of God.

The real punch line comes with the "even if a man were raised from the dead, you would not believe."
Lazarus (a real man with that very name) died and after four days was raised from the dead; did those Pharisees believe? No, they conspired to put both Lazarus and Jesus to death.

The parable isn't a statement on the state of the dead. It is contrasting two classes of people. There were those who thought Abraham was their father, thus they considered themselves to be heirs of the promises, but they had a different spiritual father. Yet, they felt their status guaranteed salvation. Then there were those who everyone thought were outcasts from the "chosen of God" but were actually spiritual children of Abraham, and heirs of the promises (Galatians 3:29) "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" -- thus children of God.

So the main point of this story? Jesus predicted the Jews would not believe that He was the Messiah even if a dead man was resurrected.

This story does not ?prove? souls are immortal, nor that there is an eternally burning hell.
No, Jesus used the errant theology of the Pharisees not only to show them they were on the road to destruction, but also to highlight the point that even if a dead man was brought to life, they would refuse to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195192
11/20/22 09:29 PM
11/20/22 09:29 PM
dedication  Offline OP
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2. Luke 23:43 I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.

Where or where does the comma go??? Apparently there is no help from the original to tell us if the comma goes before "today" or after "today". Yet that little comma can change the meaning considerably.

The dying thief, his time of probation closing, reaches out to Jesus,

Obviously the thief was asking to be remembered by Christ at the future date.
The text shows his remarkable faith!! He was talking to a man, who to all appearances had been put down, finished, crucified. What faith, that this thief's belief reached beyond the immediate, torturous circumstances of Christ's apparent defeat, and he could see Christ's victory! He believed this man, hanging on the cross beside Him, was the Christ, and He would come into glory and a kingdom.
He believed, what all the disciples who had been with Jesus three years, still had not grasped.

Many called Jesus Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave; but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross, save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour. (DA 751)

That thief was SAVED at that hour. Thus Jesus could tell him that very day, "You will be with Me in paradise!

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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195196
11/26/22 12:22 AM
11/26/22 12:22 AM
dedication  Offline OP
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Philippians 1:23 having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

A similar passage is in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, willing to be absent from the body, present with the Lord.

By this time Paul was no longer a young man, Paul was probably dealing with numerous pains and health issues. After all, he had suffered severe beatings, stoning, being left for dead, shipwrecks, probably often sleeping on the ground in his travels, poor eyesight. He knew what it was like to groan with pain just trying to get around to do whatever needed doing. He was also longing for that new heavenly body he knew he would receive in heaven. He was tired, and hurting, wanted to finally rest from his work of service.

The assurance in scripture that Christ will give new, glorious, incorruptible bodies to the saved, is a comfort for thousands who are similarly groaning as they try to get their bodies to function. Yes, Jesus has a new glorious body for them without pain.

We must understand this in the context of Paul's other references describing WHEN this corruptible will put on incorruption.
1 Cor. 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

And once Jesus comes, and this corruptible body is exchanged with an incorruptible one, Paul and all others who have accepted Christ will be physically with the Lord forever!!

Last edited by dedication; 11/26/22 01:21 AM.
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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195197
11/26/22 01:20 AM
11/26/22 01:20 AM
dedication  Offline OP
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5. 1 Peter 3:13-20 Did Jesus's Spirit, while He was dead in the grave, go and preach to people who lived some 2000 years before whose spirits were kept in prison?

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Starting a new verse in the middle of a sentence can cause a bit of confusion. When we see the continuation of the sentence we can see --
Christ was quickened or raised by the power of the Holy Spirit by which ( that is by the Holy Spirit) He had preached to the people before the flood, when Noah was preaching.

I was contemplating the above text in connection with Roman?s 8:11 and Ephesians 2:4-5, as well as looking at the context of the verse itself.
The power that quickened (raised to life) Christ from the dead, can raise us though dead in sin, into newness of life with Christ.

In the context of Peter's passage,
Peter is talking about persecution of people who are trying to be a witness for Christ. These people are probably very discouraged because it seems no one is listening and responding to their witness. Instead, they are being persecuted, and life is difficult. Is it worth trying to witness?
Where is the power of the Holy Spirit?

Peter points them to Jesus at a time when He was very unjustly treated and it seemed everyone was against Him. He stayed on course and died for an unjust human race. Remember the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. That same power works to raise sinners into newness of life.

Does it seem like the Holy Spirit is no longer working? Remember Noah faithfully preached before the flood came. He was not on his own, for that same Holy Spirit was there working on the hearts of people impressing Noah's words on their minds, pleading with them, offering all His power to lift them out of their sin and lead them to life.

Noah faithfully did his part. The Holy Spirit was there faithfully doing His work. But only eight were saved. Like in Noah?s day, when the message to turn to the ark of safety to escape the judgment against sin, we too are facing judgment. All will face that judgment which eradicates sin, and we need to flee to Christ ,, the just who died for the unjust, the only "ark" of safety. The Holy Spirit is faithfully drawing people. But God does not force anyone. The final choice is left for each person.

That is the frustration. Such an important and urgent message, but people seem to be imprisoned and bound by sin. Chains that only Christ can loosen, and through the Holy Spirit free people from the prison house of sin.

God?s people are to continue to witness and live for Christ even if it seems no one is listening: even if persecution is reaped. Continue to do good, witnessing for the Lord. Our part is not how many we can convince. Our part is to do good, drop seeds of truth in love, in our witness for Christ. The Holy Spirit is at work even if we don't see the results we would like to see.

Last edited by dedication; 11/26/22 01:22 AM.
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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195198
11/26/22 01:36 AM
11/26/22 01:36 AM
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6. Revelation 6:9-11 Souls crying out from under the altar

God notices the injustice of the world against the righteous.
Abel, in humble obedience brings a lamb to the altar of sacrifice, trusting in the coming of the Redeemer. Cain, is irritated by this. He brings his own good works and is angered because God can't accept it. He slays his brother. Cain is told in Genesis 4:10 the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. [color:#6600CC][/color]

The altar in Revelation 6 is the altar of sacrifice, representing the cross. Just like Abel lost his life because he depended on the promised "lamb of God", so thousands have been slain because they believed in the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world", They died for the crucified Savior. Their blood (not literally, but figuratively) is crying out for God to make things right.

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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195200
11/27/22 02:06 AM
11/27/22 02:06 AM
dedication  Offline OP
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Mark 9:44-48

It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire? where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched? (Mark 9:47, 48).

A worm is a symbol for complete destruction.
Jesus is using the example of the Jerusalem trash dump, the Valley of Hinnom, where the bodies of the poor or criminals and the garbage was burned. The worms in question were "maggots" on the bodies of the unburned dead. The maggots would not die till they finished their work. The people are already dead. In a similar verse, Isaiah 66:24, they are corpses. Maggots only eat dead meat. The end is complete destruction.

A fire that cannot be quenched cannot be put out by natural means. It will burn till all combustible material is burnt up.

The unsaved utterly PERISH. (Compare with the John 3:16 we need not perish, God provided a way of escape)

Last edited by dedication; 11/27/22 05:59 AM.
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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195215
11/30/22 07:41 PM
11/30/22 07:41 PM
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A catholic belief that people who haven't fully become holy in this life will go to purgatory to have their sins burned out of them and prefect them for heaven
Most Protestant religions reject the concept of purgatory Mainly because that teaching suggests we pay for our redemption. And of course for Adventists we reject the idea that the soul can continue to live and change their thinking when the person is dead

What bible texts are used to support this belief in purgatory and how do we explain those text?

This is one of their key texts:
1 Corinthians 3.11-13
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it for it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide.. he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss. But he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire"

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Re: 4th Quarter 2022 Future Hope [Re: dedication] #195229
12/06/22 03:34 PM
12/06/22 03:34 PM
dedication  Offline OP
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The lesson touches on mysticism.

Mysticism is related to Gnosticism. Gnosticism tended to plague the early church. Gnosticism revealed itself in several forms but in general it emphasized enlightenment, as in, personal spiritual knowledge, gained through mystical like experiences.
History reveals there was a growing emphasis on the opposition between flesh and spirit. This was in Paul's writings, but rather than seeing Paul speaking about letting the Holy Spirit or the lusts of the flesh rule in a person's life, the idea that the flesh itself was evil took hold. Emphases was placed on personal experience with the divine and the value of charisma, along with the disqualification of the Jewish law. The mortal body belonged to the world of inferior, worldly powers (the archons), and only the spirit or soul could be saved. This led to concepts of abuse of the flesh, either in asceticism (denying the flesh of its basic needs and pleasures) or punishing the flesh (as in self flogging), or in licentiousness and gluttonous living (using up the flesh to liberate the spirit).

In our study on the state of the dead, mysticism and Gnosticism is at odds with our belief.

Gnosticism tends to lead to a supposed awareness that supposedly the light of deity is within us, and that this will not die, such a belief tended to take away the fear of death. Death was seen as simply liberating the soul from the vile body in which it was trapped.

How do we deal with these concepts that are pervading the world today???

Probably the first place to start is in Geneses 1-3
In the beginning God created a material world, a perfect world.
Everything was good and perfect including man, made out of the dust of the ground.
Sin brought death, and sin needs to be overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
If it were not for the death and resurrection of Christ our first death would be final, finished, no more existence. There is no such thing as a living identity floating through life without its body.
But at the end of the Bible story we see people being bodily raised from the grave with glorious new bodies, being given life again, yet still those new bodies are material bodies that can be recognized and move and feel in a physical way.

Matter is not evil in itself. It is actually the spirit (or mind and character) of a person that responds either to evil or to good. The mind is dependent upon the body to function, it is part of the body. And it is the Holy Spirit that leads us into truth through God's Word, not in opposition to God's Word.

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