Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Validity of the Resurrection: Preached

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

There is simply no way to overemphasize the importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith, for the resurrection of Jesus is the Christian faith. Christianity stands or falls on the validity, the historical reality of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is either the greatest event in the history of mankind, or it is the cruelest hoax that has ever been perpetrated. Which is it, truth or fantasy?

I have a friend in Lexington, Kentucky who refers to cemeteries as resurrection ground. I like that terminology because the Bible teaches that a day is coming when these graves will open and those who have died with their faith placed in Jesus as Lord and Savior will come back to life and receive glorified, immortal bodies. What a glorious day that will be.

The Bible also says that the Christian hope of resurrection is based upon the resurrection of Jesus. The apostle Paul put it this way in I Corinthians 15, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless." Peter makes a similar statement in I Peter 1 where he states that the Christian hope is based upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Based on these statements from Scripture, I don't think it is any exaggeration to say that the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Christianity stands or it falls on the assertion that Jesus rose from the dead. So, I think it's only proper to ask, is there any evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, or must it be accepted by blind faith? And if there is evidence, what is it?


The Apostles Preached It

I'd like to begin our consideration of this epic event by taking a look at the preaching of the apostles. Because the resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, it was the central theme of the apostle's preaching. We are told for example in Acts 4 that with great power the Apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

On the day of Pentecost, when the Apostle Peter preached the first Gospel sermon, the focal point of the message was the resurrection. He boldly proclaimed, "This man Jesus of Nazareth, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death, and God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

And likewise, the Apostle Paul made it crystal clear that the heart of his Gospel message was the resurrection. He defined the Gospel in I Corinthians 15 in the following terms, and I quote, "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."

If you will turn to the book of Acts and read the sermons recorded there, you will find that the climax of each one is the assertion that Jesus has risen from the dead. It was this breathtaking, miraculous fact that energized and motivated the Apostles to preach the Gospel fearlessly.

There was no doubt about that whatsoever. Again, the Apostles focused on this event because they present the fact of the resurrection as the event that sets Christianity apart from all other world religions.

The resurrection is the unique stamp of Christianity, for only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder. No resurrection has ever been claimed for Abraham, Buddha, Confucius, or Mohammed.

Again, as Paul puts it in Romans 1, "Jesus was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead." In other words, it is the resurrection that validates Jesus as God in the flesh.

There's just no way to get around the fact that the resurrection of Jesus is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless, hoaxes ever foisted on the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic truth of history. It has to be one or the other, truth or fantasy. And I believe it is truth.

60 comments:

Mitchell said...

Amen.

1 Thess 4:15-17, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [and] remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."

Revelation 20:4-5, "...Then [I saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received [his] mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a [fn] thousand years... This [is] the first resurrection."

The Old Testament and New Testament saints are all One Body and will be resurrected at the same time.

Ephesians 3:1-6, "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus"

Notice when this mystery is completed:

1 Cor 15:51, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

Revelation 10:7, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."

The Old Testament saints and the New Testament saints are the Church:

Acts 7:37-38, "This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

Col 1:24-27, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Romans 11:25-26, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob"

I know that some don't agree with this, but hey, Scripture speaks loud and clear as to who Christ's Body -- the mystery of the Church -- is comprised of, and when this resurrection takes place.

John 6:39, "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day."

John 6:40, "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:54, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 11:24, "Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'"

hartdawg said...

sadly, many people who mock the ressurection wont even take the time to look into it, even tho the proof is there. is it deliberate or are they just plain lazy? the people i know are just lazy, they believe whatever their science teacher tells them.

Sal said...

Mitchell, Man! Did you copy and paste that out of a textbook? Why did you feel the need to go to all that detail to explain the Post-Tribulation view YET AGAIN.

OK, you have the right. But, I'd like to know how you define "last day." For you, it seems last day means just one day. Right?

Billy said...

This weekend I'll be celebrating the joyous gift of mercy and grace from God...the ressurection of His Son for the forgiveness of my sins and future escape, yes pre-tribulation ESCAPE from the wrath to come.

Billy said...

The one mystery I won't be trying to solve is Mitchell's point.

Can you rephrase it SIMPLY and CONCISELY? What are you saying?

I, as a forgiven Christian, have to experience the most horrific wrath of God all eternity will ever know? Why?????? My sins are covered by the blood of Christ and I do not need to suffer tribulation to cleanse me like some Earthly purgatory.

Mitchell said...

Hi Sal, the verses were copied/pasted from Blueletterbible.com. By the way, I didn't write anything about a post-trib view above. Can you show me how you came to that conclusion -- did I write "post-trib" somewhere above, or was is from the Scriptures?

Mitchell said...

Billy said, "Can you rephrase it SIMPLY and CONCISELY? What are you saying?"

Hi Billy, the Church is all believers in Messiah -- One Body -- those who looked forward to the Messiah prior to the incarnation, and those who look back to Messiah after the incarnation.

Billy said, "I, as a forgiven Christian, have to experience the most horrific wrath of God all eternity will ever know? Why?"

Where do you read that you have to experience the wrath of God? As you know, believers in Christ are not appointed to the wrath of God. Tribulation is not the wrath of God and we are told many times in the Bible to expect tribulation. The wrath of God is reserved only for the wicked.

Gideon said...

Mitchell,

You said "I didn't write anything about a post-trib view above"

What were you writing about then? You were clearly writing about either Mid or Post Trib because you would not have posted this to prove a pre-trib position, since 1) you know the stated position of this wesite 2) I've seen you write "I don't see any evidence of it."

Why do you feel the need to come here and debate this? Especially when the topic was over the resurrection of our Lord. The last time I debated this was only due to the fact that pre-tribbers were being mocked and it was said we suffer from a Satanic delusion. I personally wouldn't start writing you to convince you of a pre-trib rapture. It is not an issue of Salvation. If you want to believe post-trib, go for it...

son of thunder said...

As I prepare to celebrate the Resurrection (I don't celebrate Easter anymore, not since I learned it's history) this Saturday, the Feast of First Fruits, I thank God for His Passover.

According to the Hebrew calender, today, the 14th day of the first month, Aviv or Nisan, is the day they sacrificed the Passover lamb and is the day we sacrificed our Lord on that tree nearly 2,000 years ago.

And I thank God that He provided the Way out for us.

Mitchell said...

Sal said, "I'd like to know how you define "last day." For you, it seems last day means just one day. Right?"

Hi Sal, what does "the last day" mean to you? Does it mean "the last day" like Jesus says (in fact He saw fit to say it four times in one message alone) or does it mean something else?

Here is my view:

According to the prophet Daniel, the resurrection is placed after the time of Jacob's trouble.

Dan 12:1-2, "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands [watch] over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, [Even] to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame [and] everlasting contempt."

What book is this? Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the Beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (cf Rev 17:8, 21:27). The book that Daniel refers to is the Lamb's Book of Life.

So, Daniel places the resurrection after Israel is delivered at the end of the 70th week of Daniel. They are delivered once Christ physically returns immediately after the tribulation to destroy the Beast and those nations that sought to destroy Israel. Daniel says after they are delivered those who "sleep in the dust of the earth" will be resurrected. Revelation 20:5 says that this resurrection is the "First Resurrection". Jesus says the resurrection is on "the last day". Therfore, it is the last day before the Millennial Reign -- ie, the last day of Daniel's 70th week.

Mitchell said...

son of thunder writes, "And I thank God that He provided the Way out for us."

Amen brother. I think I'll be watching The Ten Commandments tomorrow or Friday. I'd like to watch The Passion of the Christ but man that's a hard movie to watch.

Mitchell said...

Gideon said, "Why do you feel the need to come here and debate this? Especially when the topic was over the resurrection of our Lord."

Hi Gideon, the point of my first post was to show my view that the promise of the resurrection on the last day includes both the Old Testament saints as well as New Testament saints who have died in Messiah Jesus. All are One Body in Yeshua -- the saints who looked forward to Messiah before the incarnation, and the saints who looked back to Messiah after the incarnation. One Body, One Tree, One Assembly.

son of thunder said...

I only watch the "Passion" once a year, and it makes me weep. I will probably watch "The Jesus Film" and the "Gospel of John" at some point as well.

We, all of us, may disagree on some things, but one thing I think we can all agree on is this: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, YHWH, who suffered and died and, most importantly, rose again on that third day to release us from the bondage of sin and death.

Who'll give God some glory? Hallelujah!!!

Mitchell said...

son of thunder says, "I only watch the "Passion" once a year, and it makes me weep."

Same here, and if I try not to get emotional my throat kills me. I haven't seen "The Jesus Film", who made it? I remember when I was much younger I saw a miniseries called "Jesus of Nazareth" and for a few years now wanted to watch it again. I'll have to look for it to see if it's out on DVD or Blu-ray.

son of thunder, "Who'll give God some glory? Hallelujah!!!"

All the Power and Glory and Honor and Praise! AMEN!!! "Thank you Lord for all that You have done."

son of thunder said...

Haven't seen "The Jesus Film"? It's like the "Star Wars" of Jesus movies.

It came out in 1979 from Madacy Entertainment Group LTD and Inspirational Films and is the most viewed Gospel movie ever. By 2003 it had been viewed by 4.7 billion (yes, billion!) people in 236 nations.

This is what the back of my DVD copy says: Translated into more languages than any film in history (more than 800), "The Jesus Film" has been seen by more than 4.7 billion people in 236 nations. The vivid screenplay, actually shot in the Holy Land, comes from the Gospel of Luke; virtually every word spoken by Jesus is drawn directly from the biblical text. More than five years of research went into the production design, costuming and handcrafted artifacts in an effort to provide historical authenticity.

Unfortunately, "Jesus of Nazareth" takes a lot of liberties with the Gospel story. It's been years since I've seen it as well, but I remember saying at least once, "Huh?" I also remember wondering why TBN would show it.

son of thunder said...

And "The Gospel of John" came out around the same time as "The Passion of the Christ," but got lost in the controversy surrounding "The Passion."

It's a word-for-word film adaptation of John's Gospel from the Good News Translation.

Mitchell said...

son of thunder writes, "By 2003 it had been viewed by 4.7 billion (yes, billion!) people in 236 nations."

Wow, where have I been?

Being so young when I saw "Jesus of Nazareth" there is much about it that I don't remember, so perhaps watching it again I'd see what you're referring to.

son of thunder said...

TBN showed "Jesus of Nazareth" about 3 or 4 years ago, and I just couldn't watch it. You can tell when athiests and agnostics make a Jesus movie. But, I think it might be worth trying to watch again, just to find all the problems with it.

Billy said...

(Nathan, we're a bit off topic but enjoying our chat so please overlook this time - thanks).

To chime in on the "Jesus" movies:

I will watch The Jesus Film. It's has the most faithful representation in my opinion. (Though some of the actors look kinda odd). You can not go wrong with this excellent movie.

Only saw King of Kings once, didn't care for it or finish it.

I sometimes will still watch Jesus of Nazareth though with a critical eye since it does have a lot of Biblically non-existant storyline. (King Herod and his wife have an unusually large amount of attention).

As for the Passion, I've never seen it. I think it's because I heard there's a lot of hidden Catholic messages in it. Also, does it have anything to do with Jesus' teachings or is it just 2 hours of bloody beatings? My fear is it plays to the Catholic ideas of salvation through works or suffering or purgatory. Or the Catholic focus on a dead Jesus on the cross instead of an empty cross with a live Jesus reigning in Heaven.

If anyone can tell me where I'm wrong and why I should watch The Passion I'd appreciate it.

Mitchell said...

I'll recommend The Passion, Billy. I didn't notice any hidden Catholic messages in it myself, maybe because I wasn't looking for it. Perhaps others can chime in in this regard. It is an artful film on many levels but very grueling to watch however, by the end of it I'm a an emotional smorgasbord. It makes you want to rededicate your life and get baptized again. Very powerful.

son of thunder said...

Yeah, the "Passion" has some Catholic symbolism such as the Stations of the Cross along the Via de la Rosa, which is why Evangelicals were critical. But, it is also Evangelical as well, which is why Catholics were critical of it. There's a lot of prophetic symbolism, such as at the beginning which shows a representation of Genesis 3:15.

It's a very realistic, well made film. You wince and look away. You cry. You get nausious. It's an excellent representation of the punishment that we deserve. Waaaay more realistic than any film before or after.

And, a bit of trivia: Mel Gibson himself was the Centurian who drove the nails into Messiah's hands. He did that because it was because of his sins that drove the nails to begin with. It's sad that any one of us could play that role.

Nathan Jones said...

Preach that resurrection, Billy! Jesus movies are a most appropriate discussion.

Warms my heart to see my 7-year old daughter anxious to invite her friends to watch the animated Passion movie. My little missionary!

Gideon said...

Mitchell,

My apologies.

son of thunder said...

"The Passion of the Christ" literally rips out my heart in a way no other Jesus movie ever has and I laugh and smile at the end.

There are some light-hearted scenes that make you smile. Mel Gibson found a balance with the human Jesus and the divine Jesus, I think. He laughs and smiles, and actually plays a little. So it's not just a 2 hour blood-bath.

Billy, at the Passaover sedar that we call the Last Supper in the movie, Jesus actually quotes John 14:6 - "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me." That, to me, tears down the whole "works" premise and is very Evangelical in it's substance, which really ticked off some Catholics, I understand.

I went and saw it with my Pentecostal pastor in the theater when it first came out. When we left, there was no talking. No one in the theater was talking. I was stunned to silence and he was weeping. It's not really a movie you enjoy: you endure it. But it has a very happy ending.

That's great about your daughter, Nathan. If only all our children had that attitude.

Gideon said...

I believe the Passion was put on Mel Gibson's heart by GOD to prepare the world for what is to come in the near future. I know quite a few people that started attending church on a regular basis and accept Christ as their savior all because of this film.

son of thunder said...

It definately moves people in ways no other movie, Gospel or otherwise, (Although Yassir Arafat claimed it was about Jewish totalitarianism and that Jesus represented the Palestianian struggle) ever has. You either love it or hate it. It changes lives. Some movies tell a story. With this one you FEEL the story, I think.

And I agree, Gideon, YHWH put that movie on Gibson's heart. It was obviously blessed, as Gibson put his own money on the line and look at how he was blessed: he made it all back plus extra. God has worked miracles through Gibson's sacrifice.

Sal said...

I'm wise ta'ya, Mitchell. You made an unnecessary side-route to argue the Old Testaments saints are to be resurrected when the New Testament saints are.

The Pre-Tribulation view, on the other hand, says the Old Testament will not be raptured, but rather just resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, along with the dead Tribulation saints. It sees the Church separate from Israel (though the same in many of the spiritual promises).

Based on your own argument for "end of days", Daniel 12:13 has Daniel (and therefore all the Old Testament saints) being resurrected at the end of the last days, which for you is the end of the Tribulation. And we agree on that point - Old Testament saints are resurrected at the end of the Tribulation.

But, the Old Testament saints are NOT part of the Church... different promises, different timing for being resurrected: Church gets Resurrected and Raptured; Old Testament/Tribulation saints are all dead and only just get Resurrected.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone ~ This is my first blog entry, and it's gonna be long...sorry. I am a Prophesy Partner and in the past I have always just read the articles and blog entries...without comment. Until now. I believe that differing points of view is always food for thought. Well, hear is my serving.

Parents of two sons had to go in to town one day to do some shopping. Each child had his own room. Before the parents left, they told both sons to clean their rooms while they were away, and proceded to tell the children that when they returned they would spank them if they did not do as they were told. The parents left. While they were away one child started cleaning his room. And while doing so, hit his knee on the corner of the bed while making it. That child also tripped over some clothes he had thrown around the room all week long. Both accidents that this child had while obeying the parents caused pain and injury. Even while injured and in pain, the child was obedient and continued to clean the room as his parents had instructed. Now, the other child, upon his parents departure, decided that he would rather play video games instead of cleaning his room. Then, the parents returned. They arrived to find one child lounging in front of the TV playing his video games with his room still in a mess and the other child in discomfort with a bruise on his head and a bandaid on his knee....but his room, though not spotless, was as clean as could be for someone of his maturity.

Now, just as the parents had said, the one child that had disobeyed and not cleaned his room certainly had a spanking coming, but would they also spank the one that HAD obeyed?? Why? What would be the purpose? The obedient child had done what was asked of him! Keep in mind, the obedient child "did suffer" while being obedient...though it was NOT at the hands of his parents. The pain and suffering to be inflicked, by the spanking, on the disobedient child will be at the hands of the parents and logically is only reserved for the disobedient child. Spanking both children does not make sense...even in our simple human minds!

According to the Bible, yes, we as belivers in Jesus Christ will suffer tribulations in life. Tribulations that are caused "because" of HIM (our belief in Him), but not "BY" Him! The things (judgements) that happen during the "Tribulation" are caused BY God. This is my belief. However, if I am wrong and find myself in the "Tribulation".....I will still obey...even to death!
Maranatha!

Nathan Jones said...

Well said, Anonymous, and welcome! Feel free to pick up a good moniker using the "Name/URL" feature. As a Prophecy Partner, any of these would fit: "Cool Person," "Appreciated," "Smart"... well, you get the idea. ;)

I've been contemplating writing and article where Mid/Pre-Wrath/Post-Trib subscribers actually fill in the details. I need to know how 1) they think they'll be specially protected during the Tribulation... with the world being annihilated and believers being massacred (Rev. 7:9-17), and 2) what preparations are they actually making for living in the Tribulation.

What do you guys think?

son of thunder said...

Mitchell, sounds like you're on, brother.

Sal said...

I see "last days" and "end time" to be not just one day, but the whole era in relation to Jeremiah 30:7 "time of Jacob's trouble".

Gideon said...

Nathan,

I think that is a great idea for an article.

I've seen post tribbers saying that they have purchased wood burning stoves, have stashes of gold, large stores of food and water, and large amounts of mre's.

These ideas are actually pretty good just in case the U.S. has a massive natural disaster or suffers a massive attack. As far as the tribulation goes, I do believe we will be caught up before it begins.

Junbuggg said...

Thanks Nathan, about my comment on the "parents/sons" As I mentioned, I am new at "blogging"....used the Name/URL feature this time. I think that would be an excellent article about mid/post tribs.

Mitchell said...

sal said, "But, the Old Testament saints are NOT part of the Church... different promises, different timing for being resurrected: Church gets Resurrected and Raptured; Old Testament/Tribulation saints are all dead and only just get Resurrected."

Sal, can you show me Scriptural support for your position, especially on the different timing? Knowing that there is only one Name under Heaven whereby we can be saved, what Scriptures tell us that the Old Testament saints were not saved by their Savior, Messiah Yeshua? If they died in Messiah Yeshua, and if all those in Yeshua are resurrected/raptured, then even the OT saints will be resurrected/raptured with the NT saints. What verses tell us that the Old Testament saints and "tribulation saints" are not part of the Church?

Col 1:24-27 tells us that Christ's Body is the Church -- here we both would agree.

Acts 7:37-38 clearly shows the assembly of believers, the congregation, with Moses in the wilderness was called the Church -- but you say that this assembly is not the Church, that the translators must have gotten it wrong. What about the translators for the LXX, did they all get it wrong as well?

Eph 3:1-6 states in no uncertain terms that through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of ONE body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus -- but you say that there are two bodies, and not one body?

Romans 11:25-26 reveals to us that Israel is saved once the fullness of the Gentiles comes in -- but you say that the Gentiles in the "tribulation" don't count?

Sal said, "I see "last days" and "end time" to be not just one day, but the whole era in relation to Jeremiah 30:7 "time of Jacob's trouble".

But what about "the last day" when Jesus says many times when the resurrection will take place?

Anon said, "Tribulations that are caused "because" of HIM (our belief in Him), but not "BY" Him! The things (judgements) that happen during the "Tribulation" are caused BY God. This is my belief. However, if I am wrong and find myself in the "Tribulation".....I will still obey...even to death!"

I think that is a wise position to take. All I would say is to note that we are not appointed to God's wrath (ogre). The ogre of God does not come until after the tribulation according to Revelation when Christ returns (Day of the Lord), so even if we are raptured after the tribulation but before the Divine ogre of the Lamb, His promise is still kept. It is a common misunderstanding imho for people to confuse "tribulation" with "wrath". Many even confuse the wrath that we as Believers are not appointed to (the "ogre" of God) with the wrath of Satan ("thymos").

Nathan Jones said, "I've been contemplating writing and article where Mid/Pre-Wrath/Post-Trib subscribers actually fill in the details. I need to know how 1) they think they'll be specially protected during the Tribulation... with the world being annihilated and believers being massacred (Rev. 7:9-17), and 2) what preparations are they actually making for living in the Tribulation."

I think it's a good idea Nathan. It would be a good opportunity to clear up a lot of misconceptions about the post-trib/pre-wrath position. As for the mid-trib position, I'm not sure if there are many who hold to that position? At least I don't come across many.

Bless y'all!!

Mitchell said...

Gideon said, "My apologies."

No problem brother. :)

Gideon said...

Mitchell & Thunder,

Both of you were speaking of the Jesus film, and I actually own it. It came in the mail to us, free, by a Christian organization in VHS format (this was several years ago). We were Christians when we received, but watched it anyway with delight. I probably should transfer it to a dvd and give to someone who doesn't have Christ in their life.

Thunder, I do like your explanation of it as the "Star Wars of Jesus movies." Very good!

Junbuggg said...

Mitchell, hello, this is Junbuggg (aka anon) if you are correct in saying that the "wrath" of God does not come until after the "Tribulation", when Christ returns, then from whom are the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgements coming from during the 7 year tribulation period?? The Bible states that they are coming down out of heaven and being hand delivered by the angels of God. Also, am I correct in assuming that you do not believe in a pre-trib. rapture? Please correct me if I am mistaken. Your sister in Christ, buggg

Mitchell said...

Hey Gideon, the Jesus Film is actually on Youtube, too, I watched it yesterday evening. I do seem to recall seeing it before now, must have been quite a few years ago. I've ordered The Gospel of John yesterday online, so I should be getting that one in a couple of weeks. :)

Hi Junbugg, yeah I use to be pre-trib but changed to post-trib a number of years ago. Regarding the wrath we are not appointed to, the Greek word is "orge" (I spelled it incorrectly earlier as "ogre"). In Revelation, this word "is found only six times in the book, and it is always used in a post-tribulational setting. It accompanies the cosmic signs and revealing of the Lord at the sixth seal (6:16, 17); it is found after the seventh trumpet (11:18); it is used to describe the final torment of unbelievers in hell (14:10); it is found after the seventh bowl (16:19); and it is used in connection with Christ’s second coming (19:15). Therefore, there is no problem reconciling the promise of deliverance from God’s orge with a post-tribulational rapture. Every time this promise is made, this word orge is used. If the orge does not take place until after the tribulation is over and the church is raptured, then God’s promise is kept."

http://www.apostolic.net/biblicalstudies/post/link3.htm#Anchor6

This is only one of the numerous reasons why I changed my view from pre to post.

Nathan Jones said...

Is Mitchell a Pre-Tribber!?! In reading I don't think he agrees with ANY of this blog's end-time views. Even today from him is the first I've ever heard anybody say the Church and OT saints are one and the same.

I think he likes coming here because he likes to be the one-against-many in a debate, which goes with his desire to be martyred in the Tribulation. It's practice.

He does agree that Jesus is Lord, though, so we'll be spending eternity with our brother Mitchell. I plan up there in the great beyond to slap him brother-like on the back, adjust my crown and toga, and say "we told you so."

hartdawg said...

i wish i had my computer so i could follow these discussions more closely instead of waiting for the library to open, read the post, post a comment, read a discussion and come back hours later to a different discussion or something. pray i'll get that [free] computer quickly. i dont like how a lot of these jesus films portray him as some glowing angel or something. the passion did a great job as making him more human.

Billy said...

Anonymous said "I will still obey...even to death!"

And Peter said he would never deny Jesus...even to death! Yet he did three times!!! So I wouldn't be so absolutely positive of your assumed ability to obey no matter what.

Anonymous, you do NOT want to go through the end times tribulation period which is meant for the evil world that has rejected Christ and chosen to revel in satan's rebellion against God.

Those evil ones are who the wrath of God is for in those last days, not believers in Christ. We will have been raptured prior to those horrible times, thank the merciful Lord!!!

That is tribulation to which I refer when I say Christians will escape it. So don't let your heart be troubled - you will NOT be in the end times tribulation.

Glad you commented. Would LOVE to have you do it more often!!! Happy Easter and God bless!

Billy said...

Thanks to all who gave me some input on the movie The Passion of the Christ!

Billy said...

Sorry fomer Anon...I'll call you JunBugg from now on :)

hartdawg said...

people realize that the cross wos for us but many DONT realize it was done BY us. just a thought.

Junbuggg said...

Nathan, how funny....silly me. I have now discovered from spending the last hour reading through past comments, that Mitchell is firm in his belief about there not being a pre-tribulation rapture. I am just as firm in my belief that there WILL be a pre-tribulation rapture, as I mentioned in my "reasoning" of this in my first post as "anonymous"(before you gave me the tip about name/url).

Mitchell, thanks for the info as to what/why you believe. Interesting, though not convincing enough for me to change my belief. My biological brother (whom I love dearly) and I disagree on the rapture as well. He also does not believe in a literial Hell. And, he believes in soul sleep. For that disagreement, I just tell him that if he goes first and finds himself in the presense of God...he can be happy and think "she told me so". If I go first, and am just laying in the ground knowing nothing...well I won't be dissappointed...cause I won't know anything. LOL

Billy, don't worry brother, my belief and my "hope" is that I won't be around during the tribulation. I didn't say "deny" as you mentioned....I said "obey". But, now that the word came up....my husband and I have a pact...if we do find ourselves in the tribulation, or bad times leading up to the tribulation...if one of us is asked to deny Christ in order to save the other ones life...DO NOT DO IT! Just give a wink and say "see ya on the other side honey". Thanks though Billy, for caring for me as we all should for each other. Your sister in Christ, Buggg

Mitchell said...

Nathan said, "In reading I don't think he agrees with ANY of this blog's end-time views. Even today from him is the first I've ever heard anybody say the Church and OT saints are one and the same."

The "big things" we see eye to eye on. There will be a tribulation, an Antichrist, war waged against Israel, a rapture... The timing of a couple of things, and the origin of the AC & the scope of his authority are two things that are up for debate. Ok maybe that's simplifying it a bit lol... :)

Nathan says, "I think he likes coming here because he likes to be the one-against-many in a debate, which goes with his desire to be martyred in the Tribulation. It's practice."

I love getting yelled at! In all seriousness, iron sharpens iron so I think that discussing varying views is a great thing to do. Now, I do not want to be martyred, I'd rather have the opportunity to share the gospel as much as I can. If the rapture is post-trib (which I believe it is) then many people are going to have a lot of questions. Why not start getting the word out there now in advance, and say hey, there's another view that ought to be considered just in case ...

Nathan says, "...today from him is the first I've ever heard anybody say the Church and OT saints are one and the same."

Really? The Berean Call has an article (and MP3 download) that touches on this a bit:

https://www.thebereancall.org/node/1877

ChristianAnswers.net notes that, "God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into "their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; compare Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were 'added' to the 'church' already existing (Acts 2:47)."

http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/church.html

Bob Pickle writes, "Ekklesia, the Greek word translated 'church' in the New Testament, is often used to refer to Israel in the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint (LXX). In the LXX ekklesia is even used as a synonym for the Greek word sunagoge, a word that we transliterate as 'synagogue.' Further, sunagoge in the LXX sometimes refers to Gentiles. These facts indicate that in Scripture there is not as sharp a distinction between the church and Israel as modern dispensationalism would have us believe.

Many dispensationalists have said, 'Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel.' A lot of doctrines and eschatology are built upon this premise. Yet when one examines Scripture itself, one is surprised to discover that Israel in the Old Testament is repeatedly called the 'church.'"

http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/church-in-old-testament.htm

Good study. :)

son of thunder said...

Hartdawg, I really hate it when they remove Jesus' humanity and He's more like Mr. Spock on "Star Trek," never smiling and always serious.

Several years ago, CBS (I think) had a made for TV mini-series called "Jesus." I like how they made Satan look like a used-car salesman. But, anyway. I know a LOT of people didn't like it because Jesus laughed and had fun. He told jokes. He was human. If Jesus can weep He can laugh, right? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And, yes, hartdawg, I helped scourge my Lord and nail Him to that tree. That could be my hand holding that whip and laughing and mocking and ripping the flesh from His back. That could be me driving those nails. I could be the one gambling for His clothes. Maybe that's why I get so emotional during the "Passion."

son of thunder said...

Maybe it's just me, but does it look like Mitchell's starting to loosen up a bit; with the ":)" and all?

I cannot wait to meet him.

Billy said...

Buggg,

I hope that if we ever have to face that decision, deny Christ or die, we will bravely choose death.

I've thought about that possibility myself and was absolutely sure I'd die than deny but I can't help having just a bit of worry as whether or not I would be strong.

Though I'm sure we are safe from the tribulation wrath of God, I'm not so sure we may not face some days similar to what the Jews went through in the early days of the Nazi persecution against them.

The tide sure seems to be turning against Christians more than I thought possible in my lifetime.

Junbuggg said...

Billy,

I certainly do agree with you about how fast things are moving. My husband and I were just talking about that last night! I think things will become worse, for us as Christians, and it is a scary thought...to think that you could actually be put in a situation where you might be forced to deny Christ in order to save a loved ones life. But it could happen. I, we, look at it this way...would you take the "mark" of the beast to save your life? Of course not! So, denying Christ would be the same. Chances are, if someone is evil enough to put you in a situation like that....why would they bother to spare you or a loved one, once you did?

loki said...

Nathan, that article sounds like a great idea ;-) I've always been keen to know how one actually prepares for martyrdom or, worse, long term torture. So much to say so little time!

Billy said...

Buggg,

I have to disagree on the mark of the beast comment being equivalent to denying Christ.

The Bible says those who take the mark of the beast are condemned to the lake of fire. No question - absolutely die than take the mark.

I still say die than deny but if you did deny I think you'd be forgiven. Peter denied Christ three times then after His resurrection asked Peter three times "Do you love me?". I think He was redeeming Peter by doing that. Peter definitely did not end up in the lake of fire.

That's my take - I can't say I'm always right so keep that in mind.

Care to chime in on that one, Nathan?

Junbuggg said...

Billy, I understanding what you are saying, and it stands to reason. All I mean is that for me personally....to have to confess with my mouth that I deny Jesus Christ...no, I can not and will not do it, and to do so would be, for me, the same as pledging allegence to the antichrist by taking his mark. I am just not willing to take a chance on something that important to me.....my eternal destination would be at stake ~ Hopefully for me, and for you, we won't have to experience that situation.

Billy said...

Gotcha. Look at how distressed Peter was when the cock crowed the third time.

Junbuggg said...

Billy! I gave "you" the benifit of doubt. Never once did "I" change my stand. Gotcha back...LOL

This has been my first day at this blogging stuff, and I have certainly enjoyed the conversation with everyone. It would be great though if they could work it out on the site to where you could IM. Blogging has so many steps to it and to get comments to refresh....but, I am new at this, so maybe I am doing it all wrong.

Billy said...

No, i meant "gotcha" as in "I understand where you're coming from" not as "I gotcha. Sorry - bad word choice on my part.

Junbuggg said...

Okay Billy, I understand, for real this time. :-)

Have you been blogging on Lamblion long?

Nathan Jones said...

Billy & Junbuggg, I agree that the Mark of the Beast is more than just a control measure for the Antichrist, but that it's also a branding.

God will make Himself well known to the world in the Gog-Magog Battle, by the 144,000 Jewish evangelist, by the 2 witness in Jerusalem, by an evangelizing angel, and from all the judgments that befall the planet. Deciding to take the Mark will be a crystal clear decision of loyalty, clearly visible on the right hand and forehead for all to see. That is why taking the Mark has eternal consequences... because it is an eternal and absolute decision of loyalty.

"Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done." - Rev. 16:10b-11

loki said...

An all encompassing Blessing and a stark all encompassing warning:

Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,

Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.

Mitchell said...

loki, Rev 13:8 shoots down the "all encompassing" aspect that some of the text may seem to suggest at first glance. The text does not say literally everyone on the earth will worship the Beast, but rather "everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain." I believe that this does not simply include everyone who is saved in the present tense, but also those who will be saved in the future as well. Anyone who will come to Christ at a future date already has their name written in the Book of Life right now along side those who are currently saved today.

Consequently, there is a tremendous difference between literally everyone on the planet worshiping Antichrist, and everyone except those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. This is evident when we closely examine the text describing the trumpet/bowl judgments. They are not directed upon everyone on the entire literal earth, but rather upon a certain portion of the earth. More specifically, upon Antichrist and those who worship him, but not upon those of us who have the seal of God.