Do You Believe in the "Rapture" Now?


----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:12 AM
Subject: Re:
Do you believe in the "rapture" now?

My First Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withhold
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:30 AM
Subject: Re:
I believe in the resurrection of the dead.  I believe the rapture is a corruption of the doctrine of the resurrection.   Basically, they have taken one tiny detail of the doctrine of the resurrection:  that when the living are raised to life eternal they will also be "caught up" to meet the Lord (on his way down to earth) and made an entirely new and separate doctrine out of it.  1 Thessalonians 4 is about the resurrection, it seems odd to me to take one phrase, "caught up" and to rename and separate it from one of the most important doctrines in Christianity.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
He is bringing them "with him" in that he will "bring them" back (raise them), when he returns.
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
This verse is neglected, but it is clear and simple. People usually turn to other verses to say, "but what about this?"  This passage is not a parable, nor narrative, this is a statement of doctrine which was intended to be clear.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
We will not precede them
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Some people say that the dead have already ascended to heaven, this is the same as the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2 Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Our faith is in the future resurrection of the dead, if the dead are already risen and ascended to heaven, as some say, then what are we hoping for?  The rapture is then supplied as a substitute hope.  We do not hope for resurrection, we wait for rapture.  That is how the resurrection has been usurped by the rapture.  The rapture is a way of splintering the doctrine of the resurrection in order to allow certain theorists to manipulate the events of Christ's return.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 ...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This refers to what is also called the first resurrection.  It is a single event. I do not believe in pre-resurrections The term "rapture" is only needed because properly calling it "the resurrection" would create problems.
Anyway, that is the short of it.
Paul Stringini

Emailer's First Reply:

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:25 PM
Subject: Re:
Hi Paul,

Just looking at the scripture you sent here John 3:13. There must be a difference in "ascended" to heaven and "translated" to heaven.   Jesus went to the "most High" Throne of God.  He also descended (Eph. 4:9-10)  and he will "descend" again to take out His Bride (1 Thes. 4:16), to the place where He went to prepare a place for her (John 14).  Where Jesus is, there is apparently ascending and descending with angels (john 1:51) etc.

Here is a web-site explanation we found--
If no man had ascended up to heaven until Christ ascended, how could Enoch and Elijah be there? At the least, according to the plain statements of scripture, "no man hath ascended up to heaven" even though Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Is this a contradiction? Not at all.

The Bible does not say that Elijah ascended to heaven. It says that he was taken up. The word 'ascend' means to go up. It pictures someone or something that goes up of its own strength. The word 'ascend' comes from the Latin word for 'climb' and it literally means to climb up. We speak of someone ascending the stairs. The first biblical use of the word is in Genesis 28:12
where Jacob sees "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."

John 3:13
does not teach that no one has ever seen or entered heaven. It teaches that no man ever climbed up into heaven by his own power. The only one who has ever ascended to heaven in His own strength is the One who originated in heaven and came down to earth before He ascended. I hope this helps explain the verse to you.

Name Withheld


My Second Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 1:59 PM
Subject: Re:
Hi, Sorry if this is a little disjointed, I ran out of time for a third reread
"Just looking at the scripture you sent here John 3:13. There must be a difference in "ascended" to heaven and "translated" to heaven."
"The Bible does not say that Elijah ascended to heaven. It says that he was taken up. The word 'ascend' means to go up. It pictures someone or something that goes up of its own strength."
The problem with your explanation of "ascended" is that it relies on playing with the meaning of the word without considering the way  the word is used in similar contexts elsewhere in scripture.    John 3:13 is not the only context we have to look at before we embark on questionable speculations about definitions. Ascends does not mean "climbed up to heaven by his own power"
This is word-play. When the two witnesses (candlesticks = churches) rise from the dead and ASCEND into heaven, is that by their own power or strength?
Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Are they "taken up" or do they "ascend?"  Or is there really very little difference between the two words?  The word "Ascend"  while sounding fancy in English just means  "went up"  in Greek.  In the phrase "Come up hither," the words "come up"  represent the exact same Greek word (anabaino) as ascend.  The same is true of Revelation 4:1, the same Greek word (anabaino - ascend, come up) 
Revelation 4:1"Come up Hither"
No man has come up into heaven but he that came down from heaven.  "Come up hither" is a passage often used to support the Rapture, so it is not unreasonable to equate all such "going up"  with the resurrection. 
So obviously that specially crafted definition for "ascended" has some major problems with it.
Additionally, Peter said that David is not ascended into the heavens, and the context is resurrection. No one has ascended in to heaven as Christ has ascended into heaven.  But the Christian's whole hope is to be LIKE CHRIST, to be conformed to HIS RESURRECTION.  That means to die, to be buried, and to rise bodily.  He is the first begotten of the dead. His soul was not left in hell (the grave). I reject your interpretation of ascended, because it does not take into account the greater context of scripture.  When it is said that David is not "ascended"  it is also said in opposition that he is "dead and buried"  Thus the idea of ascending is connected to "resurrection"  When John said that no man but Christ had "ascended," he had it in mind that they were "dead and buried." 
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Acts 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
If Dead people are not REALLY dead, but are running around in heaven as if they were still alive, if they are enjoying "heaven" then what further need have they for a resurrection?  This is, in fact, the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus, who said the resurrection had already come.  To say that the dead have gone to heaven it to say that their resurrection is already past.  Of course people RESIST admitting that this is what they are really saying, but the facts remain.  This is that heresy.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
The dead are in their graves, that is what Christ and his Apostles taught.  The resurrection is a cornerstone doctrine of Christianity, the Rapture is heresy.
Elijah and Enoch never died before they went up. That immediately makes them exceptions. If Elijah and Enoch are EXCEPTIONS, so they cannot be the rule. But exceptions often prove the rule by being exceptional.  What is so interesting about Elijah and Enoch, if we all go to heaven? The common idea is that all kinds of people are in heaven, every believer. That would mean that what happened to Elijah and Enoch was not very different than what happens to everyone when they die.   But the fact that  Enoch's translation is special and unique proves that being translated is not the usually order for things.
The teaching of scripture is very clear on the subject.  There is one consistent view which has the most clear support.  I don't go with the view that makes the bible say what I want it to say.  I go with the view that is best supported by scripture.  I have written extensively on the parable of Lazarus and on the penitent thief,  it is much easier to explain those sayings than to dismiss the clear teachings about the resurrection.  It is only out of our desire to believe in man-pleasing fables that we choose to believe that the parable is a literal history,  Abraham's bosom represents the corruption of the Pharisees doctrines, the leaven of their teachings, there is no such place, because Abraham is dead and buried.  The term comes straight out of Jewish tradition and is never mentioned elsewhere in the bible.  The thief? It is only out of our desire to be instantly gratified that we forget that when Jesus died he was buried and went to "hell" not paradise (Acts 2). The passage having to do with the thief was mispunctuated.  "I say to you today,  you shall be with me in Paradise" (in the resurrection) NOT "I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise" (in the transition) When Jesus rose the third day, he said that he had not yet gone up to heaven, so that rules out any misunderstanding about the penitent thief, either Christ lied to him or we did not punctuate his sentence properly. 
God is God of the living in that he is God of them that will live again in the resurrection, those that have died in hope are not lost or truly dead, that is why they are constantly referred to as sleeping.  If they are running around enjoying heaven, how come it is said that they sleep?  Is that just a meaningless term?  If so, it sure is misleading if the dead are actually running joyfully around in heaven or rolling around in agony in hell.  God is not the God of the dead, but of those that sleep in hope of resurrection.  But sleep refers to what we commonly understand as death.
What is your teaching?  Do you say that, when we die, at the moment of death we all transition from one plane of existence to another?  Is that a Christian idea?  Nope, that is a pagan idea.  Also, If that is the case, then death is no different than translation, except death leaves a body behind.  If that is not what you say, then what is it that you do say?   How does the resurrection that Jesus described fit into a model in which the dead have already GONE UP (ascended) into heaven???
If Jesus descends to "take out" his bride, before the tribulation, then his bride wont be fit.
Philippians1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to SUFFER for his sake;
What is the point of being a Christian?  To believe and Go to heaven?  Not according to Paul.  It is given unto you to SUFFER. 
Most of the bride already suffered, and died.  Why is this pampered generation so special?  It is as if having the best of everything else is not good enough for them.   The rapture only makes sense to soft Western Christians who have lived all their lives in comfort and ease.  Lots of Christians have suffered persecution throughout history, and we think we should be the exceptions.  We are just to pretty and dainty to suffer. I find it repulsive and i bet Christ does too.  The bride of Christ is not sullied by suffering, she is made more beautiful.  This generation of Christians is not greater than all the others who suffered in died in tribulations of all sorts.  It is totally unjustifiable and anti-Christian as far as I'm concerned.
Suffering for the sake of Christ is not the same as suffering the wrath of God.  Was Job under God's wrath?  But God let the devil have his way with him. 
Revelation 1:20 The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest ARE the seven churches.
Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the TWO CANDLESTICKS standing before the God of the earth.
The two witnesses are not "stars" they are candlesticks.  It seems like people always want them to be stars, like Moses or Elijah, we have a fixation on "stars" and superstar pastors. The witnesses are not two individuals (though they may be sent out by twos).  For my part, I would not miss out on the end-times for all the phony promises of gluttony and ease of heaven by the false prophets. 
There are few symbolic prophesies that are SO CLEAR.  There are few times when we are told EXACTLY what prophetic symbols represent so CLEARLY. The other five churches, whom Christ threatened are the apostasy.  The two which are praised are true; they are God's two witnesses.  Anyone who says the churches are not mentioned after Rev chapter 3 have deceived themselves.  The candlesticks ARE the churches.  That is the clearest prophecy in Revelation.
I WANT to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.  
Psalm 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
I could stand in the midst in the wrath of God, and if his grace is upon me, it will not touch me.  Just like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace.  I have faith in God, the hour of temptation is not for me, but for the wicked.  My job will be to do the works of God in the end times, and to suffer persecution.  Only those who keep the word are kept from the hour of temptation, only those of the churches with whom he found no fault.  The others will be tempted, and fall, because he does not know them.
The rapture appeals to some that savour the things which please men, and not the things which please God.  That does not mean that this heresy automatically dooms everyone who believes it. (the Apostles were all out of step with God's plan before Christ was crucified, such as Peter: "Get thee hence Satan, for thou savorest not the things which be of God but the things which be of men"  Despite their lack of total understanding God was merciful to them, so it will be in the end)  But it will doom many others who have set their hearts on EASE instead of suffering.  I want to suffer for Christ, that is one of my long-term goals in life.  If you have prepared your heart to truly serve the Lord, when the rapture fails to come, you could certainly make a quick adjustment and make a stand for righteousness and for Christ, because God is with you.  But many will be rejected because they will reject the suffering which we will suffer. 
I would never go over to the rapture side.  It is a corruption of the doctrine of the resurrection, you never answered that charge.  You tried to go after John 3:13 but now I have answered you.  There is even more.  You can argue with me, but if you are not sincerely interested in having your questions answered, please don't bother.  Don't waste my time trying to convince me.  But if you ask sincerely, I can answer, I don't need you to be convinced, I just need to know that you are actually listening and not just throwing different things at me trying to convince me. 
1 Thessalonians 4 is about the resurrection.  You cherry picked one aspect of my argument.  I suppose I ought to write a full exposition on this issue for my website.  There is no secret coming of Christ.  If God  raptured American Christians they would be the biggest misfits in heaven.  The bride of Christ has been made beautiful by tribulation and suffering.  Do you think you are greater than Christ, that you should escape suffering?  The great tribulation is the most exciting time the world will ever see and I would not miss it for anything.  But suffering in those times we have the opportunity to have our names written with the greatest saints of all times.  I want to suffer and die for the Lord, that would be a very great honor.  Have you forgotten that?
We shall not be gathered together to Christ until after the man of sin appears and the apostasy occurs.  Not only that, we shall not precede the dead in Christ and the Dead in Christ includes those who die in the persecutions of the tribulation.  When Jesus comes back everyone is gonna see it, every eye shall see him.  There is no special bonus escape clause for being a Christian when it is EASY to be a Christian.  I'm so glad that the Rapture is a lie, because any God that would do such a thing would make me sick to my stomach, I reject any god that would rapture us out.  I reject the idolatrous image of a Christ who would rapture a fat, ugly, bride unworthy of him.  Is that quite clear?  I reject your version of Christianity based on this lie about the resurrection,  to me it is different enough to be totally alien.  The resurrection is a central doctrine of Christianity and those that say it already come to those who have died have overthrown their faith, as did Hymenaeus and Philetus.  The dead have not gone up to heaven, they are waiting for him to raise them up.
Paul Stringini

Emailer's Second Reply:

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: Revelation 13:15

> Hi Paul,
> Obviously we disagree on these scriptural things, but isn't there still respect for others with different iterpretations. 
> To us, the fact that God "is" the God of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob, and is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Mat.22:32), says that although bodily dead, these are spiritually alive with Him now.  Also there are new groups of believers rejoicing, and asking for vengeance,  in heaven, at different times, throughout the book of Revelation (Rev. 5:9-10, 6:9-11, 7:9-, 11:10-12, 12:10-12, 13:6, 19:1--, and others). 
> Thanks for the time and effort you spent answering us.   


My Third Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2012 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: Revelation 13:15

> Ray,
> "but isn't there still respect for others with different iterpretations"
> Depends on the subject, I don't care about how long Jesus hair was, what day
> he was crucified on, what the number 666 really means right now, or how old
> the earth is, or whether we should go to church on a certain day...  I don't
> debate those subjects.  The resurrection of the dead is a CORE issue in
> Christianity.  In Hebrews 6 Paul lists it as FOUNDATIONAL.  I do you respect
> by actually answering your questions and arguments and adressing the
> scriptures and issues you bring up, how do you show me respect?  Hmmm?
> It is one of the very few LISTED heresies.  That is significant, because
> that is a VERY short list. Heresy is basically having a different
> interpretation(opinion) on a critical issue.
> 2Tim 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and
> Philetus;
> 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past
> already; and overthrow the faith of some.
> The word "past"  does not mean "its over" or "gone"  it means that they said
> it had "already come."  And that is basically what you are saying, that the
> dead have already risen and have ascended into heaven (not by their own
> power, but that is not what "ascended" implies, as I showed)
> Think about it, one of the only LISTED heresies in the bible has to do with
> the resurrection.  Not only that, it is possibly one of the most COMMON
> heresies.  Does overthrowing the faith of some sound like something that
> ought to be respected?  What is the difference between your doctrine and the
> doctrine of Hymenaeus?
> We wait IN HOPE of the resurrection of the dead, the dead are not already
> risen.  The dead do not make a transition from one plane of existence to
> another at death.  They go to sleep, as the scriptures say over and over.
> Why does Paul use the term "sleep" over and over, if death is not anything
> like sleep? Death is like sleep because it is unconscious.
> Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom
> there is no help.
> 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his
> thoughts perish.
> Ecc9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any
> thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is
> forgotten.
> 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished;
> neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done
> under the sun.  (without the hope of resurrection)
> Heresy is a serious sin which Paul puts in league with fornication and
> murder,
> 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery,
> fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
> 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
> seditions, heresies,
> 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I
> tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do
> such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
> I already mentioned the "God is the God of the living" issue, (and I will do
> it again) that shows me you are not reading what I wrote, just skimming.
> You have never seriously examined the very serious charge that you are
> perpetuating the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
> "that although bodily dead, these are spiritually alive with Him now."
> No, it does NOT say that. Not in the least. You are reading that into the
> passage based on your prejudices and conditioning.  Plus, "spiritually
> alive"  is a term that needs clarification.  They are either consciously
> enjoying heaven, or not.  Spiritually alive is not a good term because it
> could mean lots of things.  I could agree with that, they are unconscious in
> their graves, but in God they are spiritually alive, the way the spirit of
> '76 is still alive in the hearst of many Americans.  "Spiritually," can mean
> lots of things, so speak plainly.
> 31 But as touching the RESURRECTION of the dead, have ye not read that which
> was spoken unto you by God, saying,
> 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God
> is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
> The whole point is this, why would God say "I am the God of Abraham Isaac
> and Jacob," if there is no Resurrection.  That was what Jesus was saying.
> God talks about dead people as if they are alive because to HIM they are
> alive because he will raise them up to life eternal.
> This is about RESURRECTION.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
> with a shout...etc  This is about the resurrection of the dead, that is the
> subject, and the FIRST resurrection does not come till Christ retruns.
> These are only alive "spiritually" in the sense of HOPE.  It is as it is
> often said in the NT, "they sleep in Jesus." That is because we believe that
> God is going to "wake the dead" on the last day and raise them from death.
> Jesus was arguing with people who say THERE IS NO RESURRECTION.  (The
> Sadducees)  So he is not saying that Abraham & etc had ALREADY resurrected,
> that would be the heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
> John probably WROTE John 3:13 to COMBAT the Hymenaeus and Philetus' heresy.
> You are saying that these have already risen, and that is the heresy of
> Hymanaeus and Philetus.
> Also, You are throwing things at me...I suppose you never read what I said
> about that in the last letter, because you don't read what I write, and you
> just do it again, others will read...
> I find it personally disrespectful, if you don't want to argue, fine, but
> don't keep throwing things at me without addressing what was already said,
> it is rude and lazy. If you don't want to argue then stop throwing stuff at
> me as if I have not heard it all before, answer MY arguements if you have
> understanding.
> Every one of these scriptures is easily explained, and I already explained
> the first...(nevermind that I addressed every one of your previous points,
> but you did not do me any such honor)
> The way you list these passages gives me the impression that you did not
> really read them but got them off som list...
> From the beginning of Revelation John is transported to heaven and sees
> FUTURE events. Thereofre Revelation is not a good source for determining the
> state of things as they are now and throughout history, because we can't say
> exactly "when" John was seeing what he saw, this is visionary prophecy, so
> we ought to be careful about how we develope doctrine from it..
> (Rev. 5:9-10,
> Refers to the four and twenty "elders" and the four beasts.  The song they
> sing has reference to redemption, but that does not mean that these are
> resurrected human beings. While it may be seen as suggestive, it must be
> remembered that the things that John saw were in visions, "in the Spirit"
> and this must be taken into account.  How can we understand this verse which
> comes from the same context?
> Rev5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under
> the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I
> saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth
> upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
> When exactly is this taking place?  John hears 'every creature' ?  These are
> visionary experiences which are conveying prophetic truthm and cannot be
> chosen over simply declarative passages like Acts 2 "David is not ascended
> into heaven"  John 3:13  "No man has ascended into heaven"  "John 6 "All
> that are in their graves shall hear his voice."  Those passages have as
> their subject death and the resurrection.  Rev 5 I a vision of heaven and it
> is not clear that we should be takeing Rev 5 to be an indication that we
> should disregard what is an otherwise clear teaching in scripture.
> 6:9-11,
> I love when people quote this passage.  THOSE are the "heavenly mansions"
> the rapture preachers go on about?   Stuffed under an altar????
> 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of
> them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they
> held:
> 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and
> true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the
> earth?
> This is a VISION, not a reality.  This kind of metaphoric wording is not
> uncommon.
> Gen 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood
> crieth unto me from the ground.
> The souls are not literally packed under the altar crying, they "sleep in
> Jesus"  that is the teaching of Christianity.
> 7:9-,
> Again this is a visionary prophecy, we don't know when this is really
> happening, IF it is really happening, and there is nothing to even indicate
> these are dead people,  they may all be standing before the throne in
> spirit(like John) or alive.  The point is that it is not safe to make
> assumptions about the present based on a visionary experience of the future.
> 11:10-12,
> I don't even know why you bring that one up, I already brought it up.  It is
> the resurrection of the two witnesses.  Like I said, I see you as an
> extremely disrespectful person who is throwing a bunch of scriptrures as me
> and not paying any attention to anything I have to say.  This would be one
> of the portraits of the first resurrection.
> 12:10-12,
> I guess you must be referring to "the accuser of our brethren"  And while
> that is suggestive, as all these are SUGGESTIVE, it remains that there are
> many clear NT teachings on the subject which cannot be overturned by a
> prophetic vision which can only be said to be suggestive of something
> contrary.  You have to go with the clear passages.
> 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.
> That supports the rapture?  This proves people who have died are already
> resurrected?
> 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the
> inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you,
> having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
> Because of the reference to "ye that dwell in them"?  I don't know a lot
> about heaven.  I just know that noone has ascended into heaven except
> Christ.
> 13:6,
> 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name,
> and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
> A very weak reference. Who dwells in heaven? You cant establish a doctrine
> based on such questionable support.  These passages are only suggestive,
> while the onse I mentioned in past emails DEMAND one interpretation
> 19:1--, and others).
> 1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven,
> saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord
> our God:
> This is after Christ's coming so I fail to see the point...
> and others).
> 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto
> them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
> Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,
> neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in
> their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
> 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
> finished. This is the first resurrection.
> 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such
> the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of
> Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
> The very idea of a first resurrection means that the resurrection is an
> event, not soimething that goes on non-stop every day, as if it were a
> natural process.  And unlike all your examples.  While what John SEES is
> visionary, what he is saying is not, THIS (this vision) is the first
> resurrection.
> Got to Go
> Sincerely
> Paul Stringini


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