Etikettarkiv | catholic

Peter is not the ROCK on which the Church is built (Matt.16:18)

There are not several rocks which the Church is built upon but ONE. The ROCK is clearly identified as Jesus Christ which the below verses clearly show.

Deut.32:Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.—15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

1 Sam. 2:There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

Psalm 18:31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that rock was CHRIST.

1 Cor. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,And a stone of stumbling, and a rock (petra) of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit

And the below verse is of course THE verse that the Roman Catholic Church uses as an attempt to support the view that the apostle Peter is the rock:

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said,Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon THIS rock I will build MY church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Peter’s name means rock (petros) but Jesus said: ”You are Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (PETRA) I will build My church.Petra is a feminine noun that refers to a mass of rock, and Petros is masculine in gender and refers to a boulder or a detached stone.  We could read the statement as ”You are Stone, and upon this Bedrock I will build My church.” Jesus words would indicate that the rock on which the church would be built was something other than Peter, and WHY Jesus build his church on PETER of all people when a better choice would be JESUS HIMSELF and God’s words in the BIBLE? Both the old and the new testament constantly warn people from bowing down to other gods/prophets and from deviating from the Scriptures.

The passage starts with a question concerning Jesus identity and ends with Jesus statement about the ROCK. Jesus starts off asking ”Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”. Peter answers ”Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. So”this rock” likely refers to Jesus in His identity as the Son of God since this is that topic that was discussed. Some catholics speculate that Jesus was speaking in Aramaic and only repeated Peter’s Aramaic name Kepha. But the inspired New Testament Scriptures were written in GREEK and not Aramaic and can be trusted since it derives from Divine inspiration. If the Aramaic is clear but the Greek inadequate or confusing, why did not the Holy Spirit simply use the Aramaic word to clear up the case as done elsewhere in the NT? When the Holy Spirit inspired the Greek text of the New Testament, he made a distinction between Peter (Petros) and the rock (petra) and there must be a reason for this. God is not a God of confusion. Some suggest that it’s the confession of faith that Peter made (acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ) that is the rock that the church should be built on, and this will give the same result.

To base an entire doctrine on a verse that doesn’t even come near confirming that Peter is the rock is very risky. Would God really choose to disclose such an important piece of information in such a vague manner, resulting in that millions of honest truth-seeking christians miss out on joining the Catholic Church which supposedly is based on this rock? Couldn’t God have been a bit more clear on this issue if it’s so important? Jesus is that perfect cornerstone upon which the body of Christ is built, and not a flawed and sinful man such as Peter. In Matthew 16:23, just five verses after Jesus spoke of the ”rock”, he called Peter ”Satan”.

Augustine, the former gnostic, and his many heretical views

Augustine, a former gnostic, lived between 354 and 430 AD, and introduced the following heretical views into church and made them popular

1. Absolute predestination (God decides who will be saved/doomed)
2. Impossibility of falling away or apostasy (Eternal Security)
3. Man has no free will (monergism)
4. One cannot know if he/she is saved (since also those who are carnal minded might be saved)
5. God commands impossibilities (God requesting man to stop sinning which he cannot do)
6. The supreme authority of the Roman church
7. Purgatory
8. Prayers for the dead
9. The damnation of unbaptized infants and adults
10. Sex is sinful also within a marriage because depravity is inherited (hence the rise of monasteries)
11. Mary never committed sin, and we do well to worship her/pray to/through her
12. The gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues have ceased
13. Apocrypha is included in the Scriptures
14. Eucharist is necessary for salvation
15. Giving people the official ”saint” title

Unlike Pelagius, Augustine didn’t understand much Greek. The historian Neander observed that Augustine’s teaching ”contains the germ of the whole system of spiritual despotism, intolerance, and persecution, even to the court of the Inquisition”. He instigated bitter persecutions against the Bible-believing Donatists who were striving to maintain pure churches after the apostolic faith.

Augustine interpreted Bible prophecy allegorically; among other things teaching that the Catholic Church is the kingdom of God.

Augustine was one of the fathers of the heresy of infant baptism, claiming that unbaptized infants were lost, and calling all who rejected infant baptism ”infidels” and ”cursed”.

Augustine exalted church tradition above the Bible and said,”I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church”. 

He was among the first who taught a-millennialism and that the nephilim were descendents of Cain instead of (as the Bible says) a mixture of angels and female human beings.

Augustine said:

“By Adam’s transgression, the freedom of’ the human will has been completely lost.”

“By the greatness of the first sin, we have lost the freewill to love God.”

“By subverting the rectitude in which he was created, he is followed with the punishment of not being able to do right” and “the freedom to abstain from sin has been lost as a punishment of sin.”

According to Wikipedia we can learn: 

He was contemporary with Jerome and Ambrosius. In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism. Although he later abandoned Neoplatonism some ideas are still visible in his early writings. After his conversion to Christianity, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

When the Western Roman Empire was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book with the same name). The Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion view him as an pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation.   Much of Augustine’s later life was recorded by his friend Possidius, bishop of Calama (present-day Guelma, Algeria), in his Sancti Augustini Vita. Possidius admired Augustine as a man of powerful intellect and a stirring orator who took every opportunity to defend Christianity against its detractors. Reformed theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin would look back to him as their inspiration.

Compared with Augustine,  Pelagius was way more consistent with the Bible and shared the same Bible interpretation as the church fathers before him. (Read more about him in another blog post in the same Category.)

Christmas – once pagan always pagan?

Is it wrong to turn a pagan holiday into a christian celebration where we make a special commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ? Would it really be better to view the day as an ordinary day, and skip all christmas carols, christmas food and meeting up with family and friends for the special occasion? You might say that it’s only the pagan parts of christmas that you’re against, but in that case the better option would be to avoid whatever christmas ingredients you dislike and celebrate christmas as per your own choice. Many people do just that, and the case is that most people celebrate christmas with Jesus Christ in mind and they truly believe he is the reason for the season. Also non-believers view christmas as a celebration for the birth of Jesus and that is what makes it so special. Every single year they are reminded of JESUS CHRIST. How else would a country where 90% are non-believers be exposed to Jesus Christ to the same extent? They certainly won’t come to church to find out.

There is a whole mixture of christmas traditions, and they differ world-wide, as well as within a country. Some celebrate it in a very secular way, and others with religious symbolism, and there really isn’t a ”right way” (but there are many wrong ways) since the Bible doesn’t even mention Jesus’ birthday. The Bible doesn’t mention any other birthdays at all, perhaps with the exception of Herodes’ birthday, and he was a pretty mean guy who had a birthday party where he cut off the head of John the Baptist who was the forerunner to JESUS. Despite of this horrible event, we all imitate Herodes’ practice and celebrate our own birthdays. So the only Biblical mention of a birthday is tied to a very wicked ruler who maybe even invented ”birthdays” and/or had a ”birthday” party to bring fame to his own big name (I’m only speculating), and yet people today celebrate their own birthdays without giving it second thoughts. Also those who are against christmas celebrate their own birthdays.

Some families mix in traditions into christmas which are questionable, and maybe this is  a bigger problem than the fact that it started out as pagan? We don’t have to take the same route as they though. The fact that certain things are not mentioned in the Bible is of course not a reason in itself to avoid them, or else I could list quite a few traditions which people are involved with which are not mentioned or encouraged to be carried out by christians. Where in the Bible does it say that christians should eat birthday cakes? Or use special wedding rings, celebrate Thanksgiving (with turkey and other traditions), arrange special funeral events, mark oneself with tattoos, etc? Some of those who are against christmas are engaged in all of the above. Tattoos are very much rooted in paganism, and even if some feel they can show that there is no Biblical law against them, they are certainly not encouraged. I can’t find any support for that jews or christians used tattoos.

How it all started in Europe

When Europe started to get christianised, the Germanics used the same word for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, as for their own pagan celebration. Later on during 1000 AD in England and 1100 AD in Germany, ”Cristes Mæsse” started to be used which became ”Christmas” in English, whereas ”wîhe nah” (the holy night) became ”Weihnachten” in German. The Scandinavian countries kept the word Jul and never used any references to a ”mass”. Noel entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noel or nael, meaning ”Christmas season”, itself ultimately from the Latinnatalis (dies), ”birth (day)”.

The year 354 AD Liberius established the date for Christmas on December 25th (and a Holiday is considered to start at 18.00 the previous day which could explain why December 24th is celebrated in many countries). According to an old understanding of Genesis, the world was created during the vernal equinox and March 25th was considered as Mary’s Annunciation Day, so the birth of Jesus was calculated to 9 months thereafter – December 25th. The celebration of the birth of Jesus replaced, among other events, the Roman celebration of the sun-god Ra which was held during the winter solstice, but many other types of celebrations were held throughout Europe during the winter solstice. The transmission from the various types of celebrations that people were engaged in, to the new christian celebration, went smoothly since celebrations were already in practice during this time. The return of the light to earth after mid winter has symbolized the light of Jesus. The winter solstice occurs a few days before christmas nowadays due to changes in the calendar. It makes perfect sense for people who had not heard about Jesus to make a special event for the winter solstice.

The origin of ”Santa Clause” is uncertain as well, and even though we can trace him back to 300 AD and St. Nicholas, each culture has added its own flavor to this man. In the US he is always depicted as a man with a red and white suit, but he can wear other colors in other countries, and he has various assignments. In the 1800’s in Sweden, he was often depicted as a little midget (much like the dwarves in Snow white) who helped the land owners to guard barns and stables and to help feed the animals. He did not come with any presents but HE liked to get a bowl of porridge once in a while, why some had as a tradition to place this dish outside the door for him. The content sometimes disappeared so it could be Jultomten (The Santa Clause) who ate it – or perhaps a fox? For us today it’s possible to celebrate Christmas without this man if he is too much of a problem.

How it all started in Scandinavia

In Sweden and in some other countries in Europe, it’s December 24th which is the big day, and particularly in the evening, but the entire ”christmas season” is between December 24th to January 13th when the celebration is officially over. Many choose to get rid of their christmas tree on or around this final day (or a few days before if it’s shedding too many needles), and why the christmas tree is not referred to in Jeremiah 10 can be read here. The modern use of a tree inside the house for christmas is a tradition from Germany in the 1500´s, and candles started to be used in the trees in the 1600´s and 1700´s. Initially christmas trees, at least in Scandinavia, were used only among the more wealthy families.

It’s hard to know where ”Jul” first started to be used as a word but the first occasion seems to be from Codes Ambrosianus A of the Gothic calendar, which was written about 500-600 AD. The fragment describes the end of October and the beginning of November, and the month of November is overwritten with ”Naubaimbair: fruma Jiuleis” which could be translated as ”November, the month before Yule”. At around 730 Ad Beda venerabilis wrote that the Anglosaxians’ calendar has the month ”geola” or ”giuli” which can correspond to December and/or December and January. December 25th seems to be the first day of the pagan new year which was celebrated. By the time Scandinavia was christianised around 1000 AD, christmas celebrations started to involve mixed elements between pagan, christian, Nordic and Germanic traditions from the time of the vikings and onwards. Most of the present traditions derive from  the 1800’s and 1900’s so they are modern and not tied to any pagan gods.

Saint Lucia – Celebrated December 13th in major parts of Scandinavia, with start in Sweden. The most commonly used explanation for the origin of this celebration is that it concerns a young Italian woman from Syracuse on Sicily (Italy) who around 300 AD was forced to marry a man who did not share her faith, and in order to not having to marry him she took her eyes out. Before the new Gregorian Calendar, the Lucia day occurred during the day of the winter solstice but this later changed. Again, it’s common to make extra festivities during a winter solstice. The origin of the Lucia celebrations in Sicily differs entirely from the one in Sweden. The Swedish Lucia tradition actually seems to be separated from the saint altogether, and the name Lucia was tied to the winter solstice  festivities during a later stage. It wasn’t until around the year 1900 when the Lucia tradition was established and commonly celebrated in Sweden. The way it has been celebrated has changed since the year 1900, but in schools today the Lucia and her maids sing Lucia songs and christian christmas songs (and a few others) and that in itself is spectacular. Because ”forcing” a religion on someone is usually not acceptable in schools, so religious songs or teachings would normally not pass, BUT since the Lucia tradition is so old and so loved this tradition is an exception. Even if a parent in school would protest, all other parents would overrule the protest, and the tradition continues. This means students will continue to be affected by the glorious gospel about JESUS CHRIST who the Lucia sings about. The Lucia songs can be heard in public places all around the country and on TV, and it’s a great way to evangelize! Children often sing these christian songs to their grandparents or similar, when visiting them in their homes this special day. Lucia on youtube can be viewed here:

With this background in mind, is celebrating christmas wrong?

Maybe it’s harder for me to understand people’s disdain for christmas due to where I live – in a very secular country where people would raise their eyebrows and maybe even be shocked if you would ever say ”God bless you” to them. Religion is usually understood as something very private and politicians would therefore never say ”God bless you” or ”Let’s pray…” during any public circumstances. In the US you might feel that it’s not a big deal to skip christmas altogether and delete it as a Holiday since you will always be surrounded by people, even at work, who do NOT feel you’re odd for being a born again christian.

I am just SO pleased we have christmas celebrations! During the rest of the year (maybe apart from Easter, Pentecost and Christ’s Ascension day) any promotion of christianity seems to be prohibited from the public arena. You wouldn’t hear any songs about Jesus Christ on the radio or TV, unless there is a certain documentary or similar, but during the christmas season suddenly everything is allowed! JESUS CHRIST is promoted big time, and churches don’t pay a dime for this promotion! If you’re in a store, a bus or in a waiting room, you might be hearing christmas music in the background, and the same applies if you zap around among the TV channels. Just imagine; without the need of christians coming together and pay big money for spreading the gospel of Jesus, THIS IS DONE FOR FREE! And it’s done by SECULAR people who are helping out promoting our Savior even if they are not aware of it! For several days in a row you will be listening to christmas songs which keep reminding also atheists of:

A savior is born! In Bethlehem, by a virgin which would be a sign for the Messiah! The baby in the manger is MIGHTY GOD says Isaiah! The LORD OF LORDS! Shepherds came to see him! They were guided from the East by a star, expecting a NEW BORN KING. Angels spoke to them and assured them a Savior is come to earth! Herod was afraid!  This baby would be born just to save people from their sins! People were expecting the Messiah and there he was! Oh Holy night! Peace on earth!

WHY would I vote for deleting christmas as a holiday, now when the gospel of Jesus Christ is spread to so many atheists?

Radio and TV

If religious songs would be played during any other time of the year, people would complain and point out that they shouldn’t have to be forced to listen to religious propaganda and that the radio hosts favor one religion over another, and they will likely be reported. But during the christmas time no one would even think about complaining despite that these songs are so frequent on all radio stations! It’s possible that you in the US have christian radio stations where you could listen to christian songs also the rest of the year, and there must be a few over here too, but if you’re not a christian of course you wouldn’t even look for one. When it comes to christmas, people WILL hear the christian songs whether they like it or not because ALL the radio stations play them – which are the radio stations these people usually listen to!

If we succeeded to persuade the politicians to abolish christmas altogether, it would mean that the radio stations and the TV channels would have no reason to play such christmas songs any more. Then those christians who voted down christmas, might contact the radio stations and offer to pay for ”time slots” to play christians songs, but they would be turned down because the radio stations don’t play religious songs. Also TV-channels show many quality programs with christian christmas songs, and they are aired during the peak hours so loads of people can see them. They also make reruns of many programs. If you compare with other type of evangelization I can think of NO greater impact than broadcasting the Gospel right into people’s living rooms (for atheists) during the time when they will likely sit in front of the TV! These atheists might very well enjoy the music and sing along with the christian text. The Bible actually says that faith comes from hearing (the word of God) so this might be a start to peak their interest and a start on their salvation! And again, it doesn’t cost us christians anything! If we would try to make this on our own, it would cost us many millions to arrange a similar gospel campaign. Now, we don’t have to lift a finger, and still secular media will continue to spread the gospel by free will and no one is stopping them! The only ones who might interfere with this tradition and try to silence the christian christmas music might be those christians who oppose Christmas…

Changing dates?

The idea of changing dates for the Christmas holiday would of course not be achievable. I wouldn’t be able to make an impact on the leaders of this country to change Christmas from December 24th to September 24th even if many christians joined me in my efforts, and WHY would I even want to make an effort? It doesn’t matter when we celebrate christmas, but over here December 24th is perfect. It’s getting dark at 15.00 so we don’t have many hours of daylight, why a celebration which contain much Light comes in handy. IF christmas would be eliminated as a Holiday, it would likely result in LESS people who seek Jesus Christ and LESS people who get saved! If the politicians agreed to adhere to the christians’ call to eliminate christmas altogether since it’s pagan, and declared that the holiday would no longer be officially celebrated since it’s pagan and since it’s better to be neutral about religious holidays, then I’m rather sure atheists would take over this holiday and REALLY make it pagan. They might miss the Holiday of light and all the special events, so they might make their own traditions, and getting drunk might be one of the ingredients. Halloween started very recently in this country just from one year to another, so if Christmas was abolished something else will likely take its place.

Christian holidays will one day be abolished for the sake of neutrality

I believe that religious holidays will be abolished in the future anyway since the Antichrist is on his way and he won’t accept any public holidays where Jesus Christ is focused on, but why would we christians try to reach to this point sooner than we need? Jesus is coming soon and we need to spread the gospel! Not silence it! I read that in China also secular chinese people have started to pay attention to the christmas celebration. Particularly the youth and people who live on the coasts. When a lot of people celebrate christmas and tell the world WHY, also others might be affected and seek the Lord.

Even in schools they feel led to explain to their children WHY we celebrate christmas, and some even make a tradition to walk to a nearby church to see a nativity scene. Lately this has been questioned since the school education is supposed to be neutral, and it might start with one single parent who questions this tradition, with the result that school principal feels prone to agree and cancels a tradition which has been going on for many years. In reality there is room within the school laws to teach children about religions by making this type of excursions. Since this country has a christian history, why is it wrong to tell children about the reason for celebrating christmas? Where I live they solved the controversy (to single out christianity among other religions) by placing the nativity scene in the library instead of in the church (even though the church is just beside the library), and they explained the story of Joseph and Mary both from a christian point of view AND from the Islamic point of view! All for the sake of ”neutrality”.

You decide over your own traditions

I just feel, that if we dislike certain christmas traditions, like the focus on Santa, too many and too expensive gifts, mistletoe arrangements, etc, then we should just avoid them and keep other traditions and/or start new ones which are more appropriate. Why the desire to eliminate the entire holiday and make it plain just because there are people who focus on the wrong things during this season? If you celebrate your own birthday without letting the wicked man Herodes bother you who is the only Biblical person who is mentioned celebrating a birthday, why is it wrong to select a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and why is it wrong to choose a former pagan day for this event? By choosing a former pagan day, you would kill two birds with one stone since you would disarm Satan with his pagan traditions, at the same time as you replaced the wicked traditions with a focus on JESUS CHRIST. Now we don’t have two competing holidays. Plus it’s a bit late to change dates now anyway. This is not about trying to turn the ”pagan ship” around because it has already been turned around by people before us. We don’t celebrate December 25th to commemorate the sun-god any more, and even atheists can testify that the idea is to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Seems like the angels,  shepherds and wise men found it natural to  react quite visibly on the birth of  Jesus Christ, and would they really be sinning if they commemorated the birth every year?

Jesus, son of the VIRGIN MARY, had brothers and sisters

holy mary

Catholicism is the only major religion where it’s commonly believed that Jesus had no brothers and sisters, but this belief is due to TRADITION rather than scripture.

The Bible tells us that Jesus had at least four brothers and at least two sisters. The brothers names were, James, Joses, Simon and Judas, and one of the sister’s names was Salome.

It’s almost like a curse for women to not be able to have children, and especially during Biblical times, so why would Mary of all women have to go through life without any children (apart from Jesus who died) or grandchildren? That would indicate that she certainly was not BLESSED at all. The Bible nowhere says that Mary had no other children, and normally young women are able to bear children so to assume that Mary was out of luck is to start with an answer and trying to find support for this answer in the Bible.

The absolutely most common interpretations of the Greek word ”adelphos” (Strong’s 80) are without a doubt either 1) brother through the blood or 2) spiritual brother. It can also mean kin/cousin but that is unusual, and we are of course not allowed to determine which alternative that is best out of personal preferences but based on the context. IF Jesus indeed had real brothers, how could this  have been stated more clearly, or is this option ruled out because it doesn’t fit our own desires? Why does ”blood brother” seem to be EXCLUDED as a valid option in the Roman Catholic Church? Mary retained her virginity throughout her pregnancy, but how can someone give birth to a baby and still retain her virginity?

Anepsios (Strong’s 431) = cousin (or nephew), as in Col. 4:10

Sygenes/syngeneis (Strong’s 4773) = relative (for instance cousin), as in Luke 1:36 and Luke 1:58

Married couples usually share the same bedroom and start a family

Is there anything wrong with Joseph and Mary having more children? That would be perfectly normal for a husband and a wife, and it’s not a sin for a married couple to share the same bedroom. In fact,  it would be abnormal for a married couple to sleep in separate bedrooms for the rest of their lives, and to have no desire to get more children (especially during this time in history). This couple was blessed and not cursed! Paul considered it a good thing to live as a single just like he did, but only if we have the capacity. In all other cases (the majority) he recommend that we get married, and the alternative that we get married and still live in separate bedrooms, is not even considered.

1 Cor 7:Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

From the very beginning God ordained the husband and the wife to be fruitful and multiply. Why would Joseph and Mary, of all people, refuse to obey God when it comes to this?

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth

Below we can see that Joseph actually ”knew” Mary, which means sexual intimacy, but he waited until the first child was born. In this way the prophesy about the virgin birth in Isaiah came true. If someone protests and suggests that ”know” doesn’t signify sexual intimacy, he/she will have a hard time explaining Luke 1:34 where we can read about Mary’s puzzlement when she realized she would be having a baby without having ”known” a man (same Greek word). Moreover, it wouldn’t make sense for a godly husband to wait with getting to know his wife until after the first child is born. What would be the purpose for this?

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:25 And KNEW HER NOT TILL SHE HAD BROUGHT FORTH HER FIRSTBORN SON: and he called his name Jesus.

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.—34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I KNOW NOT A MAN?35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Det word ”know” in Matt. 1:25 is translated from the Greek word ginṓskō (Strong’s 1097) – that can mean to know, especially through personal experience, and also (sexual) intimacy. The word ”till” is translated from the Greek word heós (Strong’s 2193) and can mean until, as far as and up until). This is also how the translators of the world have translated this word, and there are no reasons to not trust these Greek scholars.

25 and did not know her TILL she brought forth her son — the first-born, and he called his name Jesus. (Young’s literal)

25 Pero no la conoció HASTA que dio a luz a su hijo primogénito; y le puso por nombre JESÚS. (Reina-Valera 1960)

25 Mais il n’eut pas de relations conjugales avec elle AVANT qu’elle ait mis au monde un fils, auquel il donna le nom de Jésus. (La Bible du Semeur)

25 Und er erkannte sie nicht, BIS sie ihren ersten Sohn gebar; und hieß seinen Namen Jesus. (Luther Bibel 1545)

Two of Mary’s sons are James and Joseph – who are the brothers of Jesus

We can read that Mary was the mother of Jesus’ brothers, and that Jesus was the brother of Mary’s children. This should be clear enough. Matthew 27:56 indicates that Mary was actually the mother of  James and Joseph – who are the brothers of Jesus.

Matthew 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own HOUSE.

Mark 6:And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Matthew 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:56 ”Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.”

Mark 15:40 ”There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;”

Mark 16:1 ”And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.”

Mark 3:31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

Here we can see that the disciples (the spiritual family) were distinct from his Brethren and Mother (Blood family). We can read about 1) his mother, 2) his brothers, and 3) his disciples. The disciples are listed by name and they are separate from the brothers. The spiritual brothers of Jesus are those who obey him.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.12 ”After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His Mother, and His Brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days.”

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.14 ”These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

Matthew 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Not even Jesus’ brothers believed on him at first. It doesn’t sound just as dramatic to say that ”Not even his cousins believed on him”, because many people have cousins they have hardly even met.

John 7:His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Mary was blessed and full of grace, but this doesn’t mean that she lived without a single sin

Mary was not given a free ride to heaven and God is no respecter of persons as in giving aid to certain favored ones to avoid sins. Mary was BLESSED since she was chosen to give birth to Jesus Christ – the Savior of the world, and that is of course a great honor. Below you can find the verses where Mary is considered blessed and with grace, and nowhere will you see that this means that she had always lived a sin free life. She was probably a very godly woman since God chose her for the task of giving birth to Jesus, but it looks like she sinned at least once since she called God her SAVIOR.

Luke 1:48 3106. makarizó bless, pronounce blessed or happy.

Luke 1:42 2127. eulogeó (lit: I speak well of) I bless; pass: I am blessed.

Luke 1:28 5487. charitoó favor, bestow freely on.

Luke 11:27 3107. makarios happy, blessed, to be envied.

Lord,47and my spirit hath rejoiced in God MY SAVIOR48For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

It’s a sin to worship anyone else than GOD, and there is only ONE mediator between God and man – Jesus who alone was free of sins

Jesus4

Luke 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46And Mary said, ”My soul doth magnify thee

Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but ONE, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth

Hebr. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebr. 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebr. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

1 John 3:Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin [sin offering] for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We are to worship and pray to GOD (through Jesus) and to no one else. By praying to Mary, we are rebelling against God. Him only shall we worship and serve! There is ONE mediator between God and man, and no saints, priests or popes can save us. Much has been made of the information that she is ”blessed” in all generations, but she is blessed because she was chosen to give birth to our Savior who enables the whole world to be saved through him.  To interpret this as though she was in a state of sinlessness, or that she can intercede for us  is certainly to add to the Bible.

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ JesusRomans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

John 13:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Isaiah 42:I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Exodus 20:3 hou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God

Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

You can read about JESUS as THE ROCK  in this blog article.

History of the very recent origin of the Pretribulation rapture and Dispensationalism

First, a few Bible verses to show that pretribulation doesn’t work

Matthew 24:29IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they (the angels) shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Cor. 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the (2nd) coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (The AntiChrist)4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

1 Thessalonians 4:16For 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:17Then we which are ALIVE and REMAIN (from Tribulation) 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.

Revelation 7:14And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these whichare arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Here are names of  writers to be very cautious about since they have been guilty of a lot of plagiarizing,  historical document revisionism , misquoting of others (and other dishonesty) and most importantly due to their refusal to admit these errors in their writings; Tim LaHaye (the same person who wrote the famous Left Behind series which gave him a substantial income) Thomas Ice and Todd Strandberg. They all believe in a pretribulation rapture. I say this so you won’t be deceived by them. 

A Counter-Reformation, the Jesuit Commission and possible events leading up to the false teaching

In 1545, the Catholic Church convened one of its most famous councils in history, which took place north of Rome in a city called Trent. One of the main purposes of this Council was for Catholics to plan a counterattack against Martin Luther and the Protestants. This warfare only confirmed in the minds of Protestants the conviction that Papal Rome was indeed the Beast which would ”make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7). Therefore a new tactic was needed, something less obvious. This is where the Jesuits come in. On August 15, 1534, Ignatius Loyola founded a secretive Catholic order called the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. Jesuit priests have been known throughout history as the most wicked political arm of the Roman Catholic Church. At the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church gave the Jesuits the specific assignment of destroying Protestantism and bringing people back to the Mother Church. This was to be done not only through the Inquisition and through torture, but also through theology.

At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned by the Pope to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant application of the Bible’s Antichrist prophecies to the Roman Catholic Church. Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a brilliant Jesuit priest and doctor of theology from Spain, basically said, ”Here am I, send me”. In 1590, Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church. Antichrist would be a single evil person who would be received by the Jews and would rebuild Jerusalem. Following close behind Francisco Ribera was another brilliant Jesuit scholar, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) of Rome. In his lectures, he agreed with Ribera. The futurists’ school won general acceptance among Catholics. Through the work of these two tricky Jesuit scholars, we might say that a brand new baby was born into the world. In fact, Francisco Ribera has been called the Father of Futurism.

For almost 300 years after the Council of Trent, Jesuit Futurism remained largely inside the realm of Catholicism, but the plan of the Jesuits was that these theological tenets be adopted by Protestants. This adoption process actually began in the early 1800s in England, and from there it spread to America. Dr. Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792-1866), a lawyer and Bible scholar, became a librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is very likely that one day he discovered Ribera’s commentary in the library. In any event, in 1826 he published a widely-read book attacking the Reformation and supporting Ribera’s idea of a future one-man Antichrist.

After Dr. Maitland came James H. Todd, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin. Todd accepted the futuristic ideas of Maitland, publishing his own supportive pamphlets and books. Then came John Henry Newman (1801-1890), a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford Movement (1833-1845). Through the influence of Maitland, Todd, Newman, and others, a definite ”Romeward movement was already arising, destined to sweep away the old Protestant landmarks, as with a flood.

Why many are deceived to believe in the pretribulation rapture today

According to Bob Gundry and Dave MacPherson, Edward Irving  (1792-1834) was most likely the first to publicly make the suggestion of a pretribulational rapture of the Church. When Irving turned to the prophecies, he eventually accepted the one-man Antichrist idea of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, yet he went a step furter! As a Presbyterian minister of the Church of Scotland, he attended the prophetic conferences (1826-1830) held by Henry Drummond at Albury Park, England. When Irving first suggested the secret coming of Christ, the controversial idea split those in attendance into factions. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach the unique idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being a secret rapture prior to the rise of the Antichrist.

In the midst of this growing anti-Protestant climate in England, there arose a man by the name of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). A brilliant lawyer, pastor, and theologian, he wrote more than 53 books on Bible subjects. He became one of the leaders of a group in Plymouth, England, which became known as the Plymouth Brethren. Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical theology has been so great that he has been called The Father of Modern Dispensationalism. Yet John Nelson Darby, also became a strong promoter of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture followed by a one-man Antichrist. In his book The Irrationalism of Infidelity (1853), pp. 283-5, he describes in great detail his visit with Margaret MacDonald in her home in Scotland in mid-1830 and talked about her endtime outlook and the Scriptural texts she used for support. Irving and Darby, through the influences of MacDonald, are the main reason to why people have been deceived into believing in pretribulation rapture today since this false idea started with them.  

One of the most important figures in this whole drama is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a Kansas lawyer who was greatly influenced by the writings of Darby. In 1909, Scofield published the first edition of his famous Scofield Reference Bible. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that it was necessary to print literally millions of copies. Yet, in the much-respected footnotes of this very Bible, Scofield injected large doses of the fluid of Futurism also found in the writings of Darby, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera. Through the Scofield Bible, the Jesuit child reached young adulthood. The doctrine of an Antichrist still to come was becoming firmly established inside 20th-century American Protestantism.

The Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary have strongly supported the teachings of John Nelson Darby, and this has continued to fuel Futurism’s growth. Then in the 1970s, Pastor Hal Lindsey, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, released his blockbuster book The Late Great Planet Earth. This 177-page, easy-to-read volume brought Futurism to the masses of American Christianity, and beyond. The New York Times labeled it ”The number one best-seller of the decade”. Over 30 million copies have been sold, and it has been translated into over 30 languages. Through The Late Great Planet Earth, Jesuit Futurism took a strong hold over the Protestant Christian world.The book and the series Left Behind is now teaching much of the same Jesuit Futurism as Francisco Ribera, which is hiding the real truth about the Antichrist.

FRANCISCO RIBERA (1537-1591), FUTURISM

JESUIT Priest and Doctor of Theology

The Spanish Ribera was a Jesuit, a doctor of theology, who started writing (1585) a 500 page commentary on the book of Revelation six years before his death (1591). In his commentary, Ribera believed that the rapture would occur 45 days before the end of the 3-1/2 year tribulation period (also shades of the future PreWrath doctrine). This was the first time the second coming was split into two separate comings, one for the Church and then one at the end of the age with the raptured Church returning with Christ in wrath.

CARDINAL ROBERT BELLARMINE (1542-1621), FUTURISM
JESUIT Scholar, the most prominent of his time

Also during this period, acclaimed Jesuit apologist Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, wrote ”Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time.” His purpose in doing so was to refute the Historic theory of figuring Daniel’s 1260, 1290 and 2300 days as years, relegating these to actual days, e.g., 1260 days, etc. By doing so, the reign of Antichrist was pushed into a future time and negated Catholicism and its pope as the man of sin and his system during his time.

MANUEL DE LACUNZA (1731-1801), FUTURISM, JESUIT Priest

In a book titled, ”Hidden Beast 2,” E. H. Scolfield writes ”There was a Spanish family living in Chili named de Lacunzas. In the year of our Lord, 1731, they had a baby boy. Fifteen years later, the lad was sent to Spain to become a Jesuit priest. Twenty-two years later after that, in 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from Spain because of their brutality. The now Father Manuel de Lacunza y Diaz had to move. He went to Imola, Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life. In Imola, he claimed to be a converted Jew. Under the alias of ‘Rabbi Ben Ezra‘ he wrote a book. The title: ‘The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty.’ In that book he theorized that the church would be ‘raptured’ (taken up to be with the Lord) some 45 days before the real return of Jesus to the Earth. During that 45 days (while the church was in heaven with the Lord) God would judge the wicked still on earth.”

This last sentence shows shades of PreWrath doctrine of today, though that was put together during the 1990s. Lacunza wrote his manuscript in Spanish and it was published in 1812 under a pseudo-name, Juan Josafa [Rabbi] Ben-Ezra. By doing so, his book would more easily be accepted by Protestantism. This proved true as it was placed on Rome’s Index of prohibited books, which only made it sought out by the Protestants.

Lacunza emphasized a return to interpreting prophecy literally from the Futurist viewpoint. He wrote of a future Antichrist and a 1260-day (literal days) tribulation, events just preceding the coming of the Lord. He wrote in opposition to the ‘year-day’ theory of the Historicists (1260 days = 1260 years). He did not promote a pretribulational rapture of the saints at the future time of the Antichrist. His rapture of the saints occurred 45 days before the end of Daniel’s 70th week, probably an influence from Ribera. Lacunza’s book would have a dramatic influence on Edward Irving and his formation of the Pretribulation doctrine. It most likely influenced Irving to add another coming of Christ to the one described in Scripture.

MORGAN EDWARDS (1722-1795), FUTURISM
BAPTIST Minister

Edwards believed many events described in Revelations took place shortly after they were written down, so NATURALLY this made him describe Biblical events in a very ”pretribulationistic” way. He  wrote the earliest paper on the Pretribulation doctrine, using no references to anyone in the past. It was not written as a document to be seriously considered as the following will show:

”The earliest published reference to a pre-tribulation rapture occurred in 1788. Around 1740, a young Baptist named Morgan Edwards wrote an essay for eschatology class on his views of Bible prophecy. This essay was later published in Philadelphia (178 under the following title: Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties. In the article, Edwards made statements which expounded his views concerning a pre-tribulation gathering of the Church. As far as can be determined, Edwards views concerning a pre-trib rapture gained no notoriety nor was this doctrine given any credence in the Church” (The Fallacy of Rapture Theology as revealed by the Word of God by David Redmond).

Tim Warner gives ample reason why Morgan’s writings on a Pretrib rapture were NOT taken seriously by anybody (read more here): 

Do read more well searched documentation from Dave MacPherson and Joe Ortiz .

Christians are warned to not take the mark of the beast or they will lose their salvation

Many Christians will fall away (Matt. 24:9-10, 2 Thess. 2:3) during the latter days, and many will overcome by dying martyrs at that time (Rev. 7:9-17) and that will occur before the rapture (Rev. 20:4-6).

Rev. 7:After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;—13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

(About the beast) Rev. 13:And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.—13:If any man have an ear, let him hear.10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the PATIENCE and the faith of the SAINTS.

Rev. 14:And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, IF any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:12 Here is the PATIENCE of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Why would we be given the following warning if true born against christians will never take the  mark of the Beast – based on the idea that they can never fall away and lose their salvation? Probably because they DO risk to fall away and lose their salvation:

Rev. 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Common arguments for the pretribulaton rapture

1) Jesus promised the church the following: Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Rev 3:10) Jesus said that he would  keep Christians from this hour of trial coming on the whole earth.

ANSWER: The Greek word found in Rev.3:10 and translated keep you from is also found at John 17:11 and 17:15 and can mean keep THROUGH.  We are not promised that we will not be part of the tribulation but we will be carried through.

2) Jesus will come at an hour where we do not expect him, Mat. 24:44. If He was coming at some time other than pre-trib, we would know when He was coming.

ANSWER: We are told that Jesus return will be much like in the days of Noah, and people were much unprepared for the flood precisely because they were wicked sinners who did not listen to Noah’s warnings. If we adhere to the warnings (”watch therefore”) then we will be more prepared, just like Noah was. When Jesus returns, then there will indeed be sheep and goats that will suddenly be separated. We must also compare with other Scriptures:

Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26 And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

According to this Scripture, the gathering of the elect from earth to heaven (the rapture) cannot happen until first there is a radical change in the way we currently view the sun, moon and stars. That change will occur after the tribulation. We are actually assured the day will NOT come unexpectedly IF we make sure we are prepared for it:

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

3) In Luke 21:36 Jesus taught Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

ANSWER: What the saints will escape is what comes after the rapture, which is the wrath of God IF they take heed and obey Jesus prior to it.  The tribulation is not the wrath of God. The wrath of God begins at the overlapping point of Rev. 11:18 and Rev. 6:17, which is after the tribulation.

Rev. 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

4) The church will depart before the antichrist is revealed as per 2 Thess. 2:7,8

ANSWER: The following can be read prior to this verse:

2 Thess. 2:Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

It doesn’t say that the church will depart prior to the rapture. At least two events must precede the gathering of the saints to heaven (the rapture)  (1) apostasy and (2) the revealing of the antichrist.

The Bible predicts a ”great Apostasy” before the rapture occurs in 2 Thess 2. If the rapture happens at the beginning of the tribulation, then we should not to find any mention of a trumpet after the tribulation begins. But we do.

Mt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken—31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mt 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The city of the new Jerusalem will come down to earth and the saints will already be here on earth.