William Craig says no Christians should believe Rapture theology

Steve Quayle just posted the following link to an article by Morgan Lee, Christian Post Reporter:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/no-christians-should-not-believe-in-left-behinds-rapture-theology-says-prominent-apologist-124070/

I have read the article. I also looked at 11 pages of Google search results on William Craig, the prominent Christian philosopher.

I learned he also has a Doctor’s degree in theology, but he is best known for his philosophy.

On the subject of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, William Craig is mistaken in his theology and needs to go back and do his homework using the methods of Bible study which I here call Real Bible Study, following the Rules of Interpretation I’ve posted in the October, 2010 Archives to the right.

The article in part states:

Several months before “Left Behind” opens in theaters, a prominent Christian philosopher is reminding the American church that the movie’s claims about the rapture are false.

“This doctrine is not really found in the book of Revelation. If you read the book of Revelation, you won’t find any mention of the rapture there,” said William Craig, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University.

This is an example of the logical fallacy known as “the straw man argument.” It is a fallacy, because those who may believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church have not made the claim that the Book of Revelation mentions the Rapture in support of their case.

Dr. William Craig ought to know better. He has been an experienced debater since his high school years. I have also been an experienced debater since my high school years, and like him, won major recognition while in high school.

When you know your subject of debate, you certainly do not engage in using the straw man argument.

The article next states:

Instead, Craig says, the idea of the rapture comes from a “misinterpretation of 1 and 2 Thessalonians where Paul is describing the coming of the Lord and resurrection of the dead, which will occur at His coming.”

On this Real Bible Study website I have set forth what the correct interpretation of the relevant passages in 1 and 2 Thessalonians is in more detail than you are likely to find anywhere else, on line or in print. I have thoroughly done my homework. Dr. William Craig has not, to judge by the falsity of his claims.

What is next said is the heart of the issue:

“If you compare what Paul says there to what Jesus says about the End Times, Paul uses the same vocabulary, the same phraseology. I think it’s very plausible that Paul is talking about the same event that Jesus predicted, namely the visible coming of the Son of Man at the end of human history to usher in his kingdom,” said Craig. “But proponents of the rapture view, say that Paul is not at all talking about the second coming of the Christ there. What he’s really talking about is this invisible preliminary secret return of Christ to snatch believers out of the world before the great tribulation occurs. I think there’s no textual warrant for that at all.”

I believe I have answered that argument Dr. Craig uses in my notes for 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (please read and study carefully!):

2 Thessalonians 2:1. we beseech. See on +*Ro 12:1. 1 Cor 1:10. *He 10:25. by the coming. Gr. parousia, +Mt 24:3. This is the coming at the Pretribulation Rapture. There are no Resurrection/Rapture passages which speak of the Great Tribulation (in terms of the Rapture occurring during the Great Tribulation period), and no Great Tribulation passages which speak of a COMBINED resurrection of the dead in Christ AND rapture and translation of living believers. ver. 2 Th 2:8 Jn 14:3. See on +1 Th 2:19. +**1 Th 4:14-16n. 1 Tim 6:14. +*2 Tim 4:1n. He 9:28n. and by. +*Ge 49:10. Mt 24:31. 25:32. Mk 13:27. +*Ep 1:10. +*1 Th 3:13. +**1 Th 4:17n. +*2 Tim 4:1n. our gathering. +*Ps 50:5. **Ps 102:21, 22. Is 58:8mg. +*Ezk 17:23. Ac 20:7n. +**1 Th 4:17n. together. Paul makes reference to the “gathering” taught in 1 Th 4:17 (“caught up together with them”) which takes place at the Pre-tribulation Rapture. This gathering does not follow the apostasy and the coming of the Antichrist. Rather, those two events must follow the Pretribulation Rapture, the “gathering” Paul speaks of here. 1 Th 4:17. He 10:25g. unto him. +*Ge 49:10. Ps 50:5. **Ps 102:22. Is 11:10. Mt 18:20. Jn 12:32. 14:3. 2 Cor 5:15. Ep 3:21. He 13:13.

2 Thessalonians 2:2. soon. or, quickly. Gr. tacheōs (S#5030g, Lk 14:21). **Ga 1:6. shaken. Gr. saleuō (S#4531g, Mt 11:7). Is 7:2. 8:12, 13. 26:3. Mt 24:6. Mk 13:7. Lk 21:9, 19. Jn 14:1, 27. Ac 2:25g. 17:13g. 20:23, 24. Ep 5:6. 1 Th 3:3. troubled. Gr. throeomai (S#2360g). Mt 24:6g. Mk 13:7g. +*Ep 4:14. *He 13:9. neither. FS129, +Ezk 34:4. by spirit. or, spirit-communication. Gr. pneuma, +Mt 8:16. FS121A4, +Ezk 37:1. By Metonymy for those who claimed to be depositories of spiritual gifts. All such claims were to be closely scrutinized (Hogg & Vine, p. 244). Supposed messages and revelations that were untrue. Dt 13:1-5. +**Je 23:25-28n. Mic 2:11. *Mt 24:4, 5, 24. Ac 11:12. +*1 Cor 14:29. 1 Th 5:19, 21. *2 P 2:1-3. **1 J 4:1, 2. Re 19:20. by word. A pretended verbal message from the missionaries (see Hogg & Vine, p. 244). ver. 2 Th 2:15. 1 Cor 12:8. 14:26, 29. 1 Th 5:2. nor by letter. This counterfeit letter was not from Paul, but claimed to be. +2 S 11:15. +*Ga 1:7, 8n. 1 Th 4:15. 2 P 3:4-8. as from us. Thus counterfeit, containing false and deceptive teaching that they were already in the Day of the Lord. Perhaps after this Paul authenticated his letters with his own signature (2 Th 3:17. 1 Cor 16:21. Col 4:18). Jn 5:31. 8:17. Ro 16:26. **Ga 1:6-9. Ep 3:8. day of Christ. or, day of the Lord. “Of Christ” has very little support from MSS., and none from ancient versions (F. W. Grant). Virtually all modern editors of the Greek text read “day of the Lord” here (Is 13:6. +*Am 5:18. Zp 1:14. +**1 Th 5:2. +*2 P 3:10). Paul firmly denies that the Thessalonians were in “the Day of the Lord.” +*Is 2:12. +Ezk 30:3. Lk 17:24. Ac 3:20. +*Ac 17:31. Ro 2:5. *+1 Cor 1:8. +*1 Cor 3:13. 5:5. 2 Cor 1:14. +*Ep 4:30. Phil 1:6, 10. 2:16. +*1 Th 5:2. is at hand. or, is now present. Gr. enistēmi (S#1764g, Ro 8:38). Ro 8:38. %+*Ro 13:12. 1 Cor 3:22g. 7:26g. Ga 1:4g. Phil 4:5. 2 Tim 2:18. 3:1g. He 9:9g. %+*1 P 4:7. Such a belief on the part of the Thessalonians necessarily implies that they correctly understood the Rapture and its associated resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ to be an event which will be secret and unobserved by the world (Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, pp. 316, 317), otherwise they could not have thought these events already took place, the error Paul is correcting. Mt 24:3-6, 14. +**Mt 25:19, 31-34, 41. +*Lk 19:11. Ac 17:31. 1 Cor 11:26. 15:24. He 2:8. 2 P 3:13. *Re 11:15-18. 22:10.

Morgan Lee writes further,

According to Craig, the rapture became a popular theory about the End Times due to the influence of the Scofield Reference Bible, which was published in the early 20th century and promulgated John Darby’s mid-18th century’s views on the rapture. Later, Christian institutions, among them Dallas Theological Seminary, and churches began teaching the validity of the rapture.

In logic, this kind of argument is an ad hominem argument, an argument that attempts to subtly attack a doctrine by appealing to its supposed or alleged source, rather than actually answering the Biblical evidence behind the argument. Do that, and you have lost the debate, should the opposing team or the debate judge catch or call you on it.

Lastly, Dr. William Craig is represented as saying:

“A good many Bible-believing Christians absorbed this view as their mother’s milk as it were and have never thought to question its Biblical credentials,” said Craig.

It looks to me that Dr. William Craig himself has not thought to carefully examine its Biblical credentials, such as I have briefly presented here.

In particular, please note that the Thessalonians who had been taught by the Apostle Paul himself were misled into believing that they had missed the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the Resurrection of the dead in Christ.

Now, how could they have supposed they missed such an event, believing it had taken place already in their own day, and they had not noticed, unless in some measure they believed, and therefore Paul himself taught, that the Rapture would not be observed by the world at large? Thus there is a Biblical basis for the often scorned doctrine of the “secret Rapture.”

Think otherwise? Agree or disagree? Feel free to leave a comment. I promise, I won’t chop off your head! But I will make a sincere effort to answer any Bible questions you may have.

If proven wrong, I always change my mind. Do you?

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The Rapture Question Answered, Part 8

Mr. John Little sent me a most interesting email letter written against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view. That was last April 28, 2012. I have already written seven previous installments in answer to that letter.

It almost always takes more words to answer a mistaken position than it takes to express a mistaken position. That is true this time too.

John Little said in that letter:

True Biblical Proof

So, let me bring you back to where we started, the Bible. I showed you that there are three things that MUST happen before the Rapture, and there is no way that you can get around these proofs. Here are those three things that must come BEFORE THE RAPTURE:

The Antichrist

The Resurrection

The Tribulation

There will be no Rapture until after those three things. Period.

Again, here is what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 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; 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. – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

This means that the Antichrist MUST come before the Rapture.

Of course, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 means no such thing at all! That is the error or heresy Paul wrote to correct! The Rapture is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 by the expression “by our gathering unto Him.” We who truly believe in Christ if we are alive in the flesh on this earth when Christ comes for us at the Rapture will then “be gathered unto Him” at that time, BEFORE the great apostasy, and BEFORE the appearance of the Antichrist, and so before the Day of the Lord, thus most certainly before the Great Tribulation, when Christ comes for us. That is the point of Paul’s argument in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, an argument Mr. John Little has failed to properly follow.

Mr. John Little next states (on what is page 8 of my saved copy of his letter):

Then, Paul says this here in chapter 4:

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: 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. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

(See also: 1st Corinthians 15:51-53)

There are only two resurrections (John 5:29, Revelation 20, etc.), and the Resurrection of the Just MUST come BEFORE the Rapture.

Mr. Little is correct that there are only two resurrections. They might well be called “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5) and for convenience, “the second resurrection,” or the resurrection of the unsaved or the lost. Jesus tells us about these two resurrections at John 5:29. But Jesus does not explain at John 5:29 that there will be an intervening 1000 years between these two resurrections. But that is explained by John in the Book of Revelation, Revelation 20:5. The truth of a long time span between these two resurrections was revealed back as far as the prophet Isaiah, who writes of this in the “Little Apocalypse,” a title given by some prophetic scholars to Isaiah chapter 24. Isaiah tells of this time delay while the wicked are in confinement in Isaiah 24:21, 22, where Isaiah writes in part that “they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.” John in Revelation 20:5 supplies the newly revealed detail that this “many days” is 1000 years.

What Mr. John Little has failed to understand is that the “first resurrection” has a number of separate components, such that it consists of at least four parts which take place at different times, but always involve the righteous: (1) Christ the firstfruits, 1 Corinthians 15:23; (2) The resurrection of saints or believers of this church age at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; (3) The resurrection of the saints saved during the Great Tribulation period after the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Revelation 20:3-5; together with (4) The resurrection of the Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19). Isaiah 26:20 places the resurrection of Isaiah 26:19 at the time after the indignation is past. The “indignation” is the day of wrath, the Great Tribulation. These four components constitute the First Resurrection. So while “there is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people,” that one resurrection, the “first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5) has the indicated four separate components which take place at different times.

The idea that the Resurrection of the Just MUST come BEFORE the Rapture represents a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches. The resurrection of the Just comes BEFORE the resurrection of the Wicked. The resurrection of the Just, that portion counted as being “in Christ,” spoken of as “the dead in Christ,” takes place at the Pretribulation Rapture, according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.

Mr. John Little claims in his letter that

Jesus spoke about the Rapture in Matthew 24:27-28 and then hammers the point home:

Now THAT is surely and clearly a misapplication of Scripture. In the first place, there is no mention of the Rapture of the Church in Matthew chapter 24. The truth of the Rapture is a “mystery doctrine” (so labeled by Paul himself) that was first revealed to Paul by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, so it surely was not revealed in Matthew 24!

But look at the text of Matthew 24:27-28 yourself:

Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

I wonder just who Mr. John Little supposes “the carcase is”? It surely does not pertain to Christians or the Church, but to the enemies who have been literally destroyed upon whose bodies the eagles or vultures feast.

This “coming of the Son of man” is the culminating moment of the Second Advent during and at which “every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7), and takes place NOT when Christ comes FOR His saints at the Rapture, but when He comes in victory over His enemies WITH His saints (Zechariah 14:5) in His very visible and public return to this earth where He will reign on the Throne of David not for 1000 years but forever (Luke 1:32, 33) from Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23) over the whole world (Zechariah 14:9).

So, careful attention to Scripture demonstrates Jesus did not speak of the Rapture at all in Matthew 24:27-28.

Note carefully the cross references for Matthew 24:28,

Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

28. For. FS74, +Jg 5:31. wheresoever. FS184C, +Mt 4:9. +*Dt 28:49. Jb 39:27-30. Je 16:16. Ho 8:1. Am 9:1-4. Hab 1:8. *Lk 17:37. the carcase. **1 S 17:46. +*Is 66:24. **Ezk 39:4, 11-16. Mk 6:29. +**#Lk 17:37n. the eagles. or, vultures. Le 11:13. +*Dt 28:49. **1 S 17:44, 46. Lam 4:19. Ezk 17:3. Dan 7:4. Ho 8:1. Hab 1:8. Zc 5:9. +**Lk 17:37n. Jn 11:48. be gathered. Jb 39:30. Pr 30:17. **Ezk 39:17, 18. Ho 8:1. *Re 19:17, 18.

Here are the cross references and an accompanying note for the parallel passage from Luke 17:37,

Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

37. Wheresoever. FS138C, +Ge 22:14. Lk 21:35. Jb 39:29, 30. +**Is 66:24. Ezk 39:4, 5, 11, 12-18. +*Da 9:26, 27. Joel 3:2, 9-16. Am 9:1-4. +*Zp 3:8. Zec 13:8, 9. 14:2. Mt 24:28. x Jn 11:48. Ro 2:8, 9, 16. 1 Th 2:16. *Re 16:14-16. 19:17-21. the body. Note: The word σωμα here must signify the same as πτωμα, a dead carcase, in Mt 24:28, by which is intended the Jewish nation, which was morally and judicially dead, doomed to be devoured by the Roman armies, called eagles, partly from their strength and fierceness, and partly from their military ensigns, which were gold or silver eagles. The Roman fury pursued these wretched men wherever they were found: see the horrible account in Josephus, Bel. l. vii. c. 2, 6, 9-11. **Ezk 39:11-15. **Da 7:11. +*#Mt 24:28. Re 19:18. Whatever interpretation and application is made here of the term “body,” must consistently apply equally to the term “carcass” used in +*#Mt 24:28. To suggest the body is that of Christ, or believers, or the nation Israel, does not harmonize with Scripture. Rather, suggesting that “body” and “carcass” refer to the defeated armies gathered against Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation described in Ezk 39:17-21, seems to fit precisely, and is no doubt the event Christ is alluding to, reinforced by the mention of “eagles” directly in this connection, for the “feathered fowl” are invited to feast upon the carnage after that great battle (Ezk 39:17). To suggest that eagles here represent the Romans is not supported by the context, for the Romans are not otherwise alluded to in this passage, and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is not the subject of this prophecy, for here these events take place at the second advent, when “the Son of man shall be revealed” (ver. 30). Neither is it necessary to regard the eagles as being angels, nor is it necessary to suggest that they are the saints (the position taken by Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 320). They are literal eagles, birds of prey, gathered to feast literally upon the dead bodies left after the great battle of Ezk 39:4-6. Peters sees here the translation or rapture of the saints, which my notes (on ver. 34 and Mt 24:41) conclusively show to be a mistaken view. Peters further errs here when he takes the question “Where, Lord” to mean “i.e. when shall this be witnessed or made known” (vol. 2, p. 320, 321). But the question is not when, but where, and Peters’ next statement that “the evidence of such a removal will be openly shown when these very ones shall be gathered together at the overthrow of Antichrist” (p. 321), citing Zc 14, Re 19, Joel 3, in “his efforts to crush the Jews at Jerusalem,” in a “mighty confederation against the truth” (Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 105), is correct in placing these events at Jerusalem, but incorrect in taking this to be the translation of the saints. “In comparing prophecy it is distinctly announced that he shall unite nations and armies into an expedition into Palestine and a siege against Jerusalem, Dan 11, last part and 12:1; Is 14:24-27; Joel 3; Zc 14; Re 14:20; Re 16:16; Ezk 38:8-19, and that he is to be destroyed by a revelation of Christ in Palestine, Ezk 38:21-23; 2 Th 2:8; Re 19:11-20, etc.” (Peters, vol. 2, p. 105). This passage therefore answers the question where, not when, for Christ already informed them as to when these events would take place (ver. 30, at his advent). The eagles are not the saints, and there is not a reference here to the rapture or translation of the saints, for the rapture or translation of the saints logically must be prior to Christ’s revelation in power and glory with his saints (+*Ps 149:5-9. +*Zc 14:5). Ezk 39:11-15. Da 7:11. +Mt 24:28. Re 19:18. the eagles. or, vultures. Ge 40:17-19. %Dt 28:49. *Jb 39:27-30. Pr 30:17. Is 18:6. %+*Is 40:31. Je 16:4. **Ezk 39:17-21. %Ho 8:1. Hab 1:8. +*#Mt 24:28. %Re 4:7. *Re 19:17-21. be gathered together. **1 S 17:44, 46. **Ezk 39:4, 17.

Mr. John Little concludes his letter as follows:

Jesus spoke about the Rapture in Matthew 24:27-28 and then hammers the point home:

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: And 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. 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. – Matthew 24:29-31

(See also Mark 13:24-27)

This is Jesus, our Lord and Savior telling us that the Rapture MUST HAPPEN AFTER THE TRIBULATION!

Please, did you get that?

The Rapture happens AFTER THE TRIBULATION. There is NO OTHER WAY TO INTERPRET THOSE VERSES!

Period. End of Statement.

So, we have three passages that offer complete evidence that the Antichrist MUST come first, that the Resurrection of the Just MUST come first, that the Tribulation MUST come first.

Is there any part of this that you did not understand?

These Three Happen Before The Rapture

You CANNOT argue with those three verses, if you love the truth. And, you cannot be worthy to escape the Tribulation (Luke 21:36), if you do not love the truth.

Again, these three things must come BEFORE THE RAPTURE:

The Antichrist

The Resurrection

The Tribulation

There will be no Rapture until after those three things. Period.

Are you ready for this?

I do believe I have answered Mr. John Little’s every point. I have shown that he is mistaken on almost every point. The Scriptures Mr. Little appeals to in support of a Post-Tribulation Rapture have been shown to teach no such thing, but the very opposite.

It IS possible to settle differences in interpretation on controversial points about Bible prophecy or any other subject in the Bible. The procedure is just what I have demonstrated above. We must carefully compare Scripture with Scripture. We must carefully attend to the context of each passage cited. We must do Real Bible Study, following the 23 Rules of Interpretation posted to the right of this page in the October 2010 Archives.

I hope you have learned very much by reading this series on “The Rapture Question Answered.” Even I did!

If you agree with what I have posted in answer to Mr. John Little, or if you disagree with what I have posted, you are invited to leave a comment below or submit your own question or argument.

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Lie

I am borrowing Mr. John Little’s title from his July 28, 2014 article I just received in his “The Shock Letter,” http://www.omegashock.com/2014/07/28/the-pre-tribulation-rapture-lie/

I trust the title alone is shocking enough.

In part, Mr. Little states we must start with the truth.

When judging a lie, you must always start with the truth, and you will find it in the Bible. It’s really quite simple, as the truth often is, and it won’t require lots of verbal gymnastics to say what is… the truth.
Let me summarize the points first:
• Truth ALWAYS trumps THEORY – ALWAYS
• The Antichrist must come before the Rapture
• The Tribulation must come before the Rapture
• The Sun and Moon Must be Darkened before the Rapture
• The Lord Must descend from Heaven with a Shout before the Rapture
• Jesus Must Return before the Rapture
• The Resurrection must happen just before the Rapture (or, at the same time)
• There is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people
• God promised that Christians would suffer
• There IS a Place of Safety on this Earth

(1) That truth always trumps theory is certainly true. Notice it is John Little who is calling the Bible doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture a theory.

Every time the Rapture is mentioned in the New Testament, it is always mentioned BEFORE any reference is made to the Day of the Lord, therefore it takes place before the day of the Lord and before the Great Tribulation.

PROOF:

The Rapture is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The Day of the Lord is not mentioned until 1 Thessalonians 5:2. As surely as chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians comes before chapter 5, so most certainly the Rapture comes before the Day of the Lord. Since the Great Tribulation takes place after the Day of the Lord begins, the Rapture takes place before the Great Tribulation. Therefore, the Rapture is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. This is not theory. This is direct Bible fact.

The Rapture is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 under the term “our gathering together unto Him,” which is mentioned before the reference to the Day of the Lord found in 2 Thessalonians 2:2. As surely as verse 1 comes before verse 2, so most certainly the Rapture comes before the Day of the Lord and its accompanying appearance of the Apostasy and the Antichrist. This order of events is the point of Paul’s argument: the Thessalonians could not have then been in the Day of the Lord because the Rapture had not taken place yet, and the Day of the Lord could not have started because the great apostasy had not taken place, nor had the Antichrist yet appeared, both of which events Paul states come first before the Day of the Lord begins. This is directly stated Biblical fact.

(2) The tribulation must come before the Rapture.

Wrong. The Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14; Revelation 6:17) takes place during the Day of the Lord, and the Day of the Lord takes place some time after the Rapture, as proven in my point (1) above.

(3) The Sun and the Moon must be darkened before the Rapture.

Not so. Those events come before the Second Coming of Christ in power and great glory in the Day of the Lord. Signs in the heaven are a mark of the Day of the Lord, and therefore take place after the Rapture which comes before the onset of the Day of the Lord.

(4) The Lord must descend from Heaven with a shout before the Rapture.

Actually, the Lord descends from heaven with the shout of the archangel at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

(5) Jesus must return before the Rapture.

Indeed He does, because He comes to take us to be with Himself (John 14:3) at that time, when all those who are dead in Christ and those alive in Christ at His return will meet Him in the air, the saved dead receiving their resurrection bodies at this time (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52), the living receiving their glorified bodies without experiencing physical death (1 Corinthians 15:51; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2, 3).

(6) The resurrection must happen just before the Rapture (or, at the same time)

This is true for all the living and dead who are in Christ at the time of the Rapture, but note this is the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, 51, 52; John 11:25, 26) of this age. This is the only resurrection which is accompanied by a Rapture.

(7) There is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people.

This may be labeled “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5, 6). Yet this “first resurrection” contains separate components which take place at different times, but always pertains to the resurrection of the righteous at those times. It is the unsaved dead who experience the “second resurrection,” or as Jesus called it, “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). The “first resurrection” includes these four components: (a) The resurrection of Christ Himself, the “firstfruits,” 1 Corinthians 15:23; (b) The resurrection of saints or believers of this church age at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; (c) The resurrection of the saints saved during the Great Tribulation period after the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Revelation 20:3-5; together with (d) The resurrection of the Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19). Isaiah 26:20 places the resurrection of Isaiah 26:19 at the time after the indignation is past. The “indignation” is the day of wrath, the Great Tribulation. These four components constitute the First Resurrection. So while “there is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people,” that one resurrection, the “first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5) has the indicated four separate components which take place at different times.

(8) God promised that Christians would suffer

That is certainly true (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12), but that is not equivalent to saying all Christians will suffer the Great Tribulation. There is a clear difference! No Christians alive during this Church Age will be involved in suffering during the Great Tribulation, for they will all have been raptured to be with Christ at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture which takes place before the onset of the Day of the Lord. To suggest otherwise is to fall into the error, even heresy, that Paul wrote the book of 2 Thessalonians to address (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2, 3).

(9) There IS a place of safety on this earth

Mr. John Little brings up a most interesting point in Bible prophecy. There is a place of safety for those who become believers on this earth after the Pre-Tribulation Rapture has taken place. These believers are never spoken of in the book of Revelation as the Church. The book of Revelation does not mention the Church throughout all the chapters depicting the events of the Day of the Lord and the Great Tribulation–chapters 4 through 18 or so, as I recall. How account for this strange omission? I believe the best explanation is that this proves the Church as we know it today is not present, but believers surely are. There are many interesting passages of Scripture which may apply to this time: Zephaniah 2:3; Habakkuk 3:16; Isaiah 16:3, and numerous other passages which may be readily found by consulting the cross references I have furnished in either The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible. They make for a most interesting study.

Note that I have addressed in full Mr. John Little’s mistaken stance about the Rapture in what is so far a seven part series under the category “Bible Prophecy” just to the right on this page.

To get more truly Biblical answers about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture that address Mr. John Little’s claims read more there. You will learn more about Bible prophecy than you may ever have thought there was to learn.

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Daily Bible Nugget #316, Romans 10:13

The Nugget:

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

My Comment:

This well-known verse contains the Gospel in a nutshell. But there is much more truth to unpack from this little verse than most people have ever seen or heard.

I mentioned briefly in a recent Bible Nugget that Greek grammar possesses a verb voice category not present in our English language called the Middle Voice.

When the Middle Voice is used in Greek, it signals that the subject is a participant in the action.

This is a most important matter theologically. There is an ongoing debate between those who affirm “monergism” and those who affirm “synergism.”

Monergism is a term used by Calvinists to affirm that salvation is all of God and that man has no part in his salvation. The Calvinistic doctrine of “Total Depravity” or “Total Inability”–the “T” in “TULIP” is where this issue sometimes appears. Calvinists insist that since men are “dead”–”dead in sin” (Ephesians 2:3), that an unsaved person can do absolutely nothing with regard to salvation. God does it all.

Synergism is a term non-Calvinists use to affirm that man indeed has a part in salvation. The Bible clearly affirms we must DO something to be saved. The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “What must I DO to be saved?” Paul did not answer like a Calvinist might, “What do you mean, DO? There is nothing you can DO. Salvation is all of God”! Rather, Paul and Silas answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

“Believe” is a command to be obeyed. It is something we must do. A command is given in the imperative mood in both Greek and English, and involves an appeal to the volition of another person to obey in response to the command. It is an appeal of one will to another will. The use of the imperative mood in Greek grammar with respect to salvation and the requirement to believe shows we must respond by believing if we are to be saved. That means we have a part and responsibility to take in our salvation. This being so, salvation is not monergistic but synergistic.

Romans 10:13 involves another element of Greek grammar, the Middle Voice, which makes the person seeking salvation a participant in the action required to be saved. Here, the Greek Middle Voice more literally says “For whosoever may call for themselves upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This is not monergism, but synergism, for the person calling upon the Lord for salvation has a part–he or she calls for himself or herself upon the Lord. That is something each person must do to be saved.

The doctrines of Calvinism do not stand up to the light of the Scripture when checked carefully against the grammatical features of Romans 10:13 or the rest of the Greek New Testament.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1290 for Romans 10:13.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1311 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Romans 10:13.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Romans 10:13. whosoever. Ro 3:30. Nu 21:8, 9. Is 45:22. *Is 55:1. >Joel 2:32. Mt 11:28-30. Lk 12:8. Jn 3:16. 4:14. Ac 2:21. 10:35, 43. 11:18. +*2 P 3:9. +*1 J 2:2. *1 J 5:1. *Re 3:20. *Re 22:17. shall call. or, may call. May call translates epikalesētai, an aorist tense middle voice subjunctive mood verb. The subjunctive is a potential mood and so conditional—may call or may not call; if they do call they will be saved. Further, one potentially calls for himself/herself since epikalesētai is also in the middle voice. This shows the participation of the subject in the action. Thus salvation is for the masses of humankind, but they respond to God individually, conditionally—may respond (Lavender NT, fn e). Ge 4:26. 2 S 22:4. +*Ps 50:15. 86:5. 91:15. 105:1. **Is 55:6, 7. *Je 33:3. Zc 13:9. Mt 15:21-28. +*Ac 2:21. +*Ac 7:59. *1 Cor 1:2. the name. To call upon the Name of the Lord implies right faith about Him, as the Object of worship (Liddon). Ge 12:8. 1 K 18:24. +Ac 2:21, 38. shall be saved. ver. **Ro 10:9, **Ro 10:10. Mt 19:25. **Jn 11:25, 26. **Ac 4:12. **Ac 16:30-32. 1 Th 2:16. 2 Th 2:10. +*1 Tim 2:4. **1 J 5:10-13.

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Daily Bible Nugget #315, Revelation 14:11

The Nugget:

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

My Comment:

I received an email or two lately from John Little. He included information that Dr. John McArthur failed to answer a Bible question correctly. If the report is accurate, this time I must say I agree with Mr. John Little, and disagree with Dr. John MacArthur.

The question was: Can a person who has received the Mark of the Beast ever be saved?

Dr. MacArthur’s answer: Yes.

The Bible’s answer: No.

Now it may be that Dr. John MacArthur has studied this matter more thoroughly than I have and has a sound, Bible-based reason for his answer.

Just now, I have worked as far as Revelation, chapter 7, where I am ready to begin “step 5″ in my process for expanding the cross references for Bible study. It will be a while before I get as far as Revelation chapter 14. But as far as I know from my studies to this point, Dr. MacArthur must be mistaken, according to the verse cited above as today’s Daily Bible Nugget #315, Revelation 14:11.

If you have noticed my “Daily Nuggets” have not been “Daily” for the last two weeks, you have been a careful observer. There are many days when I have not been able to access the Internet.

But back to Dr. John MacArthur’s apparently mistaken answer. Mr. John Little attributes the error to Dr. MacArthur’s commitment to a mistaken view of Bible prophecy, namely, his belief in the Pre-tribulation Rapture. I have quite thoroughly answered Mr. John Little’s position on the matter of the Rapture, and you can see my several-part answer to his position at the right under the Category “Bible Prophecy.” Belief in the Pre-tribulation Rapture does not necessarily lead to the error Dr. John MacArthur made in his answer. There are many who believe and teach the Pre-tribulation Rapture who do not teach that those who have received the Mark of the Beast can still be saved.

I heard Dr. John MacArthur last week discuss 1 Thessalonians 4:17 in depth. He spent a good part of the program–I’m thankful that is the part I heard–trying to debunk the position I have taken in my note on that verse in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. As I have Henry Alford (see the note in his Greek New Testament for this passage) and also George N. H. Peters on my side, I think I will kindly suggest Dr. John MacArthur has not done his homework on 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Dr. MacArthur offered no explicit Biblical evidence to counter the view of my note. By the way, he did not mention my note, and it is possible though unlikely that he was criticizing some other source. But in any case, I think he employed ad hominem argument rather than careful Bible exegesis to make his point.

The point of my note is that the Greek text of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 does not necessarily require that when we are caught up in the Rapture to be with Christ that we continue with Christ back to the Third Heaven for seven years. That is what most prophecy teachers say it means, but they are likely not correct. Rather, when Christ returns to this earth at the Rapture, though we meet Him in the air, we subsequently accompany Him to this earth to a place Paul in his abbreviated discussion did not identify. But if anyone takes the time to follow the cross references I have provided, they will discover Scripture is not altogether silent on this issue. Dr. John MacArthur rather cavalierly rejected the idea that we go up to meet Christ only to come right down again with a comment about just why bother having us meet Him in the air if we merely accompany Him to the earth almost immediately?

There are many who utilize this ploy to dispose of a doctrinal position they choose to disagree with. That is the opposite of Real Bible Study.

I’ve heard some pastors on the radio over the years who gave forth an excellent Gospel message, and I am thankful for their ministry. Yet some of them have struck me as individuals who have made no progress in their independent study of the Bible since they left seminary. They never speak of learning anything new to them in their study of the Bible. They never speak of having to change their mind or otherwise adjust their thinking based on newly learned information from the Bible they had not encountered before. I think those dear pastors are missing much they could gain from their Bible by doing Real Bible Study.

Once in a while I wonder if Dr. John MacArthur continues to study the Bible in a manner that leads him to new truths in the Bible he had not seen before. I don’t recall him mentioning such experiences during the radio programs I have heard. Yet I’m quite sure he studies the Bible most faithfully. I do think he has over-committed himself to the position of holding to full five-point Calvinism. Dr. MacArthur is excellent when he is not promoting that doctrinal error (monergism is an error–the Bible clearly teaches synergism: Greek grammar itself employs the middle voice in the New Testament to show that the individual has a part in his salvation by obeying the command to believe in Christ). Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter wrote a book whose title says it all: His Part and Ours. When it comes to understanding Bible prophecy, I do believe Dr. John MacArthur would be helped further by making a careful study of George N. H. Peters’ work, The Theocratic Kingdom, as would anyone else interested in the study of Bible prophecy.

Well, who am I–an unknown author, and a retired English teacher–to criticize some of the best known Bible teachers in our day? It may be, that I have done a little bit of Real Bible Study myself from time to time. The evidence is posted everywhere on this website for all to see and learn from.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1508 for Revelation 14:11.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1527 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Revelation 14:11.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Revelation 14:11. smoke. Re 9:2. 18:9, 18. 19:3. Ge 19:28. +*Is 33:14. >Is 34:10. Joel 2:30. Mt 13:50. *Lk 16:23. torment. Re *20:10. Mt 18:34. Lk 16:23-28. for ever. Gr. aion, +Re 1:6. Re 4:9, 10. 5:13, 14. 7:12. +*Re 11:15. 20:10. 22:5. Ex 15:18. Ps 10:16. 145:1. +*Mt 25:41, 46. +*He 1:8. *Jude 1:7. no rest. T#573-3. Re 4:8. Dt 28:65. Ps 95:11. *Is 57:20, 21. Mt 11:28. *Mk 9:43-49. Lk 16:24, 25. He 3:18. day nor night. +Lk 18:7. who worship. ver. Re 14:9. +*Re 13:14-16. the mark. Re 13:17. *Re 19:20.

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Daily Bible Nugget #314, Mark 10:45

The Nugget:

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV)

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a means of deliverance in behalf of many.” (Lavender NT)

My Comment:

There are at least two expressions in this verse (Mark 10:45) that may lead to misunderstanding its message. I see the term “ransom” as a point of difficulty. I also see the expression “for many” as problematical. A third point may well involve our understanding of “for” in the expression “for many.”

The expression “for many” is found also at Matthew 26:28,

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

I provided the following cross references and note at Matthew 26:28 in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which may help explain the meaning of “for many,” when we naturally would expect the expression “for all.” As presently translated by the KJV, the expression “for many” might appear to support the mistaken doctrine of “limited atonement.”

which is shed. Mt 1:21. Mk 10:45. Jn 10:11. 11:50-53. *Ro 8:32-34. +*1 Cor 15:3. Ga 1:4. Ep 5:25-27. He 2:17. 3:1. 9:28. 10:3, 4. for. Gr. peri (S#4012g). **Mt 20:28n. many. *FS171F, Is +53:12. Notice that when “many” is used in a contrast (as with one, or one person, Christ), it clearly means all (**Ro 5:12, 15, 19). +*Mt 20:28. +Is 53:12. Mk 10:45. +*Jn 1:9. **Ro 5:12, 15, %+*Ro 5:18, 19. *Ep 1:7. *Col 1:14, 20. *He 9:22, 28. *1 J 2:2. *Re 7:9, 14.

Probably Romans 5:19 is the clearest example to show that “many” is sometimes used to express the idea of “all,”

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Paul by his words “one man’s disobedience” has reference to Adam. By Adam’s disobedience, many were made sinners, Paul states. In actuality, all have been made sinners, for Paul clearly tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This, then, is a clear example of the use of “many” to mean “all.”

The concept of “ransom” in Mark 10:45 is better understood to mean “means of deliverance” as rendered in the Lavender New Testament quoted above.

The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for Mark 10:45,
means of deliverance:

See Matt 20:28 on discussion of lutron, means of deliverance. It is vital to have a clear understanding that the Son of Man came to serve…to give His life as Priest and Sacrifice or as Offerer and Offering; accordingly, He offered up Himself (Heb 7:27, note g; cf. He 9:14, 26). Consequently, the atonement is Priestly-Sacrificial; thus the Atonement is intrinsically in Himself, and not extrinsic as in penal atonement.

The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for Mark 10:45,
in behalf of:

In behalf of translates the preposition anti. Here we note an off premise argument for substitutionary atonement. Dana and Mantey say that Atonement is penal or substitutionary, and so instead of. They give three sentences from Gen 22:13; 44:33; and Num 3:12 where anti is used, and claim these references “unmistakably deal with
substitution” (§ 107). But the greater issue is the context of substitution, which they do not mention, and that is precisely the point when it comes to Christ’s Atonement – context. We add to what they have already correctly observed with respect to the Genesis and Numbers passages: Yes, these passages “unmistakably deal with substitution” in their context, but not in contexts dealing with the Atonement of Christ! Note that an option is present in these passages. For an example, in Gen 22:13, the point that they did not bring out, Abraham had the option of two offerings: his son, or the ram; and obviously we translate anti (instead of) in a substitutionary sense, one in place of another – the animal in place of (anti) the human being. But the obvious sense in Gen 22:13 is absurd when applied to Calvary. At Calvary there was one option, and only one! God provided no other, as on the mount for Abraham. Thus, at Calvary, there can be no substitution of the Self-sufficient One. There none takes His place; there He takes the place of none. There in utter Self-sufficiency of Himself, by Himself, in Divinity and blood, He makes Atonement in behalf of, not instead of, every son and daughter of Adam’s fallen race, for there is no other Atoning sacrifice!

“Christ died in our behalf, not in our place. Man was dead in sin; Christ did not take our place there. Man was under punishment of the Fall and eternal punishment imminently; Christ was not under punishment whatsoever.

“Christ, a being of another order, took His place in Atonement in the sphere of His being – the God-man. He did not condescend to our place in any sense – to be made sin, to take our punishment due to sin, etc. He was truly Incarnate, but in no sense did He take, or partake of, our fallen nature or the punishment due it. He effected Atonement, not by substitution, but in the merit of His Person, His other than nature, by Divinity and humanity in bloodshed and death! (Cf. Gal 3:13 and note; See use and agreement of prepositions in Atonement passages: Appendix 4).”

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Daily Bible Nugget #313, Galatians 3:13

The Nugget:

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

My Comment:

The Atonement of Christ is a central doctrine of New Testament teaching. None of us have been helped in our understanding of this doctrine by the very mistaken translations of important Atonement terms and related salvation vocabulary that have been present in all of our English Bible translations.

Historically, the problem stems from the failure of the Protestant Reformers to understand these doctrines correctly. They simply brought over into Protestantism and Protestant Bible translations the salvation vocabulary they had learned from the Roman Catholic Church.

I pointed out in the last two or three Bible Nuggets that a major clue to the fact that something is very wrong in our understanding of Bible doctrine is the contradiction between Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20. At Romans 2:13 it is proper to translate the underlying Greek word by the English word “justify.” But to translate the same underlying Greek word by the same English word “justify” at Romans 3:20 results in a contradiction.

In Romans 3:20 and most other places where the underlying Greek term appears in the New Testament, when it does not directly refer to the Old Testament dispensation, the term should not be translated “justify” but “made righteous.”

The mistaken theology which has led to much mistranslation in the New Testament portion of our English Bibles has to do with the Atonement of Christ. There are a number of different “atonement theories,” nearly all of them seriously mistaken on major points. But the chief culprit is known as the “penal satisfaction theory of the Atonement.” This theory was propounded historically by Augustine and very beautifully by Anselm. At first look, it seems to be in accord with the Bible, and all of us who have learned anything of theology and Bible doctrine at all have been taught this theory.

I raised this question before:

So what difference does it make?

You be the judge.

If the Bible teaches one thing, but we are being taught another, does it matter at all?

I say it does.

So what is so wrong with the “penal atonement theory”?

First, something must be very wrong if in the effort to support this theory we are provided wrong translations of our Bible!

The penal atonement theory claims that our Lord Jesus Christ was punished for our sins. The Bible says no such thing.

The penal atonement theory claims that our Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. The Bible says no such thing.

The penal atonement theory claims that our Lord Jesus Christ became our substitute when He died in our place. The Bible says no such thing.

The penal atonement theory claims the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us when we believe on Him. The Bible says no such thing when it is correctly translated.

The penal atonement theory claims our sins are forgiven when we believe on Christ. The Bible when correctly translated says no such thing. Forgiveness is a legal action where no real change occurs in the one forgiven for the change takes place in the attitude of the forgiver toward the one forgiven. That is not what Bible salvation is about. Bible salvation is about the removal of sin in this life through the power of regenerative change wrought by the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer. That regenerative change produces the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) in our life providing the power to live above sin and in righteousness.

The penal atonement theory attributes no more efficacy to the blood of Christ than it attributes to the blood of the Levitical animal sacrifices under the Law, for the penal atonement theory and its advocates deny that the blood of Christ produces any change in this life, directly contrary to the affirmations of the New Testament.

The seriousness of these matters is briefly expressed in the note at Galatians 3:13 in the forthcoming Lavender New Testament, which I cite below at the cross references given for Galatians 3:13. Please read that note carefully and repeatedly until you understand it.

On another note, you may have noticed I have not posted any Bible Nuggets for nearly a week. The Internet has been “out” in my area, perhaps because of severe thunderstorms, I have not directly heard. I am to be visited tomorrow to have my service checked out carefully. I noticed that the Internet is now on today, but sometimes it goes off unexpectedly. I wish to thank those who have expressed concern.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on pages 1350-1351 for Galatians 3:13.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1370 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Galatians 3:13.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Galatians 3:13. Christ. +*1 Cor 15:3. hath redeemed. Gr. exagorazō (S#1805g: Ga 4:5. Ep 5:16. Col 4:5). T#834. See on ver. Ga 3:10. **Ga 4:4, 5. Ge 8:21. 22:9. Ex 32:30. Le 4:20. 8:17. **+Le 16:22. 27:28. Nu 28:30. +*Ps 107:2. Is 35:9. 41:14. 42:7. 49:9. *Is 53:5-7, 10-12. Da 2:8. +*Da 9:24, 26. *Zc 13:7. Mt 20:28. +*Mt 26:28. *Mk 10:45. +*Ro 3:24-26. *Ro 4:25. 7:4. 8:3, 4. 1 Cor 1:30. 5:7. *1 Cor 6:20. **2 Cor 5:21. *Ep 1:7. 5:2, 16. *Col 1:13, 14. 4:5g. +*1 Th 1:10. *Titus 2:14. *He 7:26, 27. 9:12, 14, 15, 26, 28. 10:4-10. 1 P 1:18-21. *1 P 2:24. *1 P 3:18. +2 P 2:1. **1 J 2:1, 2. 4:10. +*Re 1:5. 5:9. 13:8. 22:3. us. i.e. the Jewish believers; as occasionally in his writings the Apostle here associates himself with his nationals, compare Ep 1:11, 12 with Ep 1:13. The Gentiles were not under the law; indeed the law was itself the “middle wall” that divided them from the Jews; see Ep 2:14, 15 (Hogg & Vine, p. 134). from the curse of the law. ver. *Ga 3:10n. %*Ge 22:18. Le 15:28. Dt 11::26. **Dt 27:15-26. *Dt 28:15. 30:15. *Pr 3:33. **Pr 26:2. Is 42:21. +*Da 9:11. +*Zc 5:3. *Mal 3:9, %Mal 3:11. +Mt 25:41. **Ro 7:6. *Ro 8:1. being made a curse. FS121N2, +Ge 34:29. This is one of the verses used in an effort to prove that Christ was under a curse, under penalty of sin upon the tree. Christ became a curse in the sense that He hung upon a tree, and only in that sense! Paul did not finish the quotation in his reference to Dt 21:23 for obvious reasons; he left off accursed of God because Christ was not under the penalty of sin whatsoever! Sin was not judged in the Person of Christ at Calvary. Atonement is not what was done to Christ, it is what He did (cf. Jn 10:17-18). As the Priest, He offered Himself, the Sacrifice (cf. Ep 5:2; He 7:27; 9:14; 10:12). Atonement does not consist in an outside extrinsic force of God’s wrath penally poured out upon Christ, satisfying justice. Atonement is internalized in the Person of Christ—”And He, Himself, is Atonement….” (1 J 2:2)—and not externalized by punishing Him. By the innate merit of His Person, Atonement is He—by Him, through Him, of Him in Triune Oneness with the Godhead. And so, Atonement stands wrought in the merit of His Person. The validating efficacy is Divinity, the bloodshed is in His humanity. He offered himself through Himself. Had there not been a Divine Self through Whom to offer himself (hypostatical union), sin could not have been removed and we would be where the Levitical animal and the Calvinists left us—in sin. The Reformation, Calvinists, and Jews have in common that they esteem Him stricken, smitten by God (cf. Is 53:12). But God is one God; thus the Punisher and the punished cannot be one! Atonement by punishment is false to the Scriptures, blasphemes Christ (cf. 2 C 5:21), destroys the Trinity (cf. Mt 27:46), contaminates the purity of the Sacrifice (cf. Le 22:19-22; Dt 17:1; Ml 1:8, 13-14; He 9:14; 1 P 1:18-19), limits the Atonement (cf. 2 C 5:14; 1 J 2:2), and results in salvation concepts on the level of the Law (cf. Ro 2:13; Ep 1:7), thus stripping the Gospel of its saving essence and transforming power! (Cf. Ro 3:20-31; 5:1; Ep 4:24; Col 3:9-10). Atonement by punishment is a satanic perversion of Christ’s work on the cross! The greatest urgency of our time is that the people of God rise up and take Calvary back! (Cf. 1 C 1:18 and note) [LNT, fn k]. Le 16:27. +=Le 23:19. 2 K 22:19. Is 53:4, 10. Je 44:22. 49:13. Da 9:27x. Mt 27:46. *Lk 22:37. Jn 18:32. Ro 9:3. 1 Cor 12:3n. *2 Cor 5:21. *He 13:11, 12. for us. 2 S 17:23. 18:10, 14, 15. 21:3, 9. Est 7:10. 9:14. Mt 26:38. 27:5. Mk 10:45. +*Jn 1:29. *Jn 10:15. 11:51. Ac 10:45. Ro 8:34. *1 P 2:24. for it is written. **Jn 5:46. Cursed. Ga 1:8. >Dt 21:23. Jsh 10:26, 27. Ps 37:22. 88:16. +*Ps 119:21. Ac 23:12. hangeth. Ge 40:19. *Dt 21:22n, 23n. 2 S 18:9. 21:9. Est 8:7. 9:13. Mk 15:24. Lk 23:33. Jn 12:32. 19:18. +Ac 5:30. Phil 2:8. tree. FS121D8, +Ge 40:19. Ac 5:30. 10:39.

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Daily Bible Nugget #312, Romans 3:24

The Nugget:

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

My Comment:

Here is an example of a verse where the word justified should be translated made righteous. This is so because the term justified applies exclusively to the Old Testament era, the time before our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross for us. When the underlying Greek word has reference to the Old Testament dispensation of what was done under the law, it is properly translated justified. When that same underlying Greek word pertains to this dispensation reflecting what Christ has made possible for us, it should be translated made righteous.

The unmistakable clue that leads to this distinction is the apparent contradiction between Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20 previously discussed.

And so, what difference does all this make?

Because we have all been reading mistaken Bible translations, some essential truths about the Atonement of Christ and its benefits for us have been obscured, if not altogether lost.

How we understand the Atonement of Christ has great impact in how we understand its benefits, and to what extent, if any, we are able to live the Christian life in the power of those benefits.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1277 for Romans 3:24.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1297 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Romans 3:24.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Romans 3:24. justified. or, made righteous. ver. Ro 3:20n. *Ro 4:16. 5:1, 16-19. **Ro 8:30. Is 45:25. Ac 13:39. *1 Cor 6:11. *Ep 2:7-10. **Titus 3:5-7. freely. The word implies that nothing, whether it be faith or works, that precedes justification, can avail to deserve it (Liddon). Ro 4:4, 5. Nu 14:18. Is 52:3. 55:1. Ho 14:4. +Mt 10:8. Lk 7:42. +Jn 15:25. 2 Cor 11:7. 2 Th 3:8. Re 21:6. 22:17. by his grace. The grace of Almighty God is the original source of this free gift (Liddon). ver. Ro 3:28. Ro 4:4, 5, 16. 5:1, 9. Je 9:24. +*Jn 1:17. *+Ac 11:23. 13:43. +Ac 15:11. 20:24. 2 Cor 5:19. Ep 1:6. 2:5, 8. 2 Tim 1:18. Titus 3:7. through. ver. Ro 3:25. *Ro 5:9. Ex 40:29. Le 4:25, 35. 12:7. Nu 7:15. *Is 53:5, 11. Zc 9:9. 13:7. +*Mt 20:28. 1 Cor 1:30. +Ga 3:13. *Ep 1:6, 7. 2:13. *Col 1:13, 14. 1 Tim 2:6. **Titus 2:14. He 2:10. 9:2-15. *1 P 1:18, 19. 2:24. Re 5:9. 7:14. redemption. Gr. apolutrōsis (S#629g). Ro 8:23g. Jb 33:24. Is 1:27. 45:13. Da 4:32. +Lk 1:68. 21:28g. *1 Cor 1:30g. *1 Cor 7:23. *Ep 1:7g, 14g. +*Ep 4:30g. *Col 1:14g. He 9:15g. 11:35g (deliverance). that is in. Nu 35:25. Christ Jesus. Ro 6:3, 11, 23. +Ac 24:24. 1 Cor 15:3. Ga 3:17. 1 Tim 1:15. 1 J 3:5.

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Daily Bible Nugget #311, Romans 3:20

The Nugget:

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (AV/KJV)

Romans 3:20 because no flesh will be made righteous before Him by means of works of law, for by law is full knowledge of sin. (Lavender NT)

My Comment:

As translated by all the translations I have on this computer, all English translations are in error except the Lavender NT here. All other translations produce a contradiction with Romans 2:13,

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (AV/KJV)

Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the
doers of the Law will be justified. (Lavender NT)

Under the Law, “doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13).

Under Grace, believers in Christ are made righteous, not merely justified, apart from the works of the Law. Believers are not justified by the Law.

The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for Romans 2:13 on the word “justified”:

“Justified, dikaioō, is used here, as in a few other places in Romans as under Law. When used as under Law dikaioō means declared just, acquitted, righteousness imputed, but under grace dikaioō means to make righteous (cf. Ro 3:24, 26, 28, 30; 5:1, 9, 19; 8:30, 33); further, these meanings accord with the respective systems as to ability to put away sin. Under the Law the blood of Levitical animals could not take away sins (cf. Heb 10:4, 11); thus the sins of God’s people were “passed over” and they were declared righteous. But the blood of Christ, under the better covenant, does what the Law could never do – takes away sin. Regenerative change of the inner man was not possible under Law (cf. Ro 3:20); these conditions thus verify the need to justify. But in Christ there is a power not known under Law; in Christ there is a power by which sinners may be made righteous (cf. Ro 3:20-31).”

The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for “made righteous” for Romans 3:20,

“Made righteous: Even though the Jews were in the sphere of the Law, it was unable to make them righteous because under the Law the blood of the Levitical animals could not take away sins (cf. Heb 10:4, 11). The Law could justify, but it could not make righteous (see Ro 2:13 and note).”

In his commentary on Romans (page 20), Dr. Malcolm Lavender states:

“(1) Under the Law men were justified by a forensic act of God, or a legal declaration, and so, counted righteous, not made righteous.

(2) The ground for legal justification consisted in the fact that the Law could not make righteous (Romans 3:20; Hebrews 10:4, 11). But God in righteous forbearance passed over sins, until Calvary (Romans 3:25; cf. Acts 17:30).

(3) Thus in Romans 3:20, no flesh will be made righteous [not justified] in His sight under law. But now a man is made righteous [not justified] by faith (Romans 3:28) on the ground of the shed blood of Christ (Romans 3:25) apart from law (Romans 3:21).

(4) Here we establish the meaning of dikaioō in Romans and, indeed, in the NT: Under the Law dikaioō was forensic, to justify, to declare righteous, but in the NT it means to make righteous on the ground of the blood of Christ. We now have the reality of the “how much more” efficacy (Hebrews 9:14) of the blood transcendently exceeding the “counting as righteous” under the Levitical animal that never could “take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11).

(5) Reformation theology, and all forms of Calvinism, have destroyed the salvation vocabulary of the NT, by perverting the meaning of dikaioō to a legal status. The blood of Christ, the Son of God, has been reduced to an EQUALITY with the blood of the Levitical animal–neither remove sin or make righteous in this life.”

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Daily Bible Nugget #310, Romans 2:13

The Nugget:

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

My Comment:

Have you ever found a contradiction in the Bible? Probably you haven’t.

So, let me show you one.

Romans 2:13 clearly states that “the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Now here is the verse in the Bible that rather obviously contradicts Romans 2:13. You will find that there is a contradiction between Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20,

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Do you see the contradiction?

To say “the doers of the law shall be justified” contradicts “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

If you have your “thinking cap” on, this obvious contradiction should “raise red flags” or “turn the light on” in your mind.

Why?

Because we know for sure that the Bible never contradicts itself.

You should immediately recognize that something is very wrong here.

And indeed, something is most certainly very wrong.

When we encounter a contradiction in the Bible, that should grab our attention. We should seek to find out what is the cause or basis of the contradiction. Sometimes when we encounter a contradiction, we realize we have been mistaken in our prior understanding of a subject related to the Bible. We need to then correct our understanding by changing our mind, by modifying our position, so that it is in accord with the Bible.

Sometimes a contradiction may appear because we lack the full information on the subject as it is revealed or taught in the Bible. In that case, we need to do a more thorough study of the subject from the Bible to be sure to come up with a correct understanding. In such a case, we must learn to change our mind and accept the new and fuller teaching from the Bible that resolves the apparent contradiction.

Sometimes a contradiction is created by the translators who themselves held a mistaken view of Bible doctrine. That is the reason Romans 2:13 appears to contradict Romans 3:20.

This is a very serious matter.

In this case, the issue extends far beyond Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20. The matter is of utterly critical importance, for misunderstanding here leads to a total misunderstanding of Bible doctrine as it pertains to the basis of salvation. It leads to or produces a total misunderstanding of what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished when He went to the cross. It produces a wrong understanding of the Atonement of Christ. And if you don’t think that is a serious matter, you had better think again. Go back over what I have written ever so briefly above about the seriousness of contradictions.

In this particular example using Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20 the contradiction must be resolved by noting the fact that the term “justified” is used in two very different senses, and that for strict clarity and accuracy though the same Greek word underlies our English translation “justified” in both verses, the first passage (Romans 2:13) is in reference to Old Testament times before the coming of Christ, when sinners could only be justified in a legal or forensic sense because the Law could not bring about regenerative change. The sinner could be forgiven, but sin was not removed: the forgiven sinner continued in sin, powerless to do otherwise, and so the necessity of a continuing sacrifice involving Levitical offerings and an annual Day of Atonement, because such sacrifices were unable to take away sin (Hebrews 10:4, 11).

Now that Christ has come and made the once-for-all permanent sacrifice for our sins as our great High Priest, sins are not merely forgiven, but rather removed, because of His priestly-sacrificial Atonement. In this dispensation of the Gospel, those who truly believe in Christ are transformed such that a regenerative change (Titus 3:5) takes place and believers are made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

To suggest otherwise is a terrible case of doctrinal error. To suggest otherwise is to relegate the effectiveness of the blood of Christ to an effectiveness no different from what was accomplished by the blood of Levitical animals in the Old Testament dispensation. If that is the dispensation you are unwittingly holding on to or living in, you are not experiencing the full reality of the salvation benefits Christ has provided for you.

Perhaps now you perceive the importance of finding apparent contradictions and studying the Bible closely enough to resolve them.

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