I'm going to have to get back to you, Helen. At the church I'm going to, we're going through revelations currently, and our pastor has made some
very convincing arguements about the rapture. I can state a few, but can't quote off the top of my head, because a lot of her references came from
the Old Testament, which I don't know so well, and from (obviously) Revelations, which I also don't know all that well. (Hehe, though it was the
cause I bought my first Bible, I ended up turning to Matthew, got converted, and continued with the gospels and the beginning of the Tora. NEver
really got into Revelations after I was saved until just recently after going over it so much in church
Dang, forgot the examples! For one, it says in Revelations (I think that's where this is) followers of Christ will be taken up without pain. Also
there is a passage in Revelations 12:
"A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head
(The Jews, from what I've learned, where the 12 stars symbolize the 12 tribes of Isreal).
2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (The Jews gave birth to Christianity, and the Israli nation cried out in
pain, so to speak, as it was torn apart on the issue of the Messiah)
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his head. (The 7 kingdoms of earth?
Not the Anti-Christ, because that dragon has the wound in it's head.)
4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth,
so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. (Although this could apply to the days when Christianity was first budding, and fighting
Nero and Rome, many Biblical prophecies seem to have duel meanings, especially those coming out of the Tora. They applied to the current time, and the
time of the First coming. The other meaning, I think, is more current. America is going through a Christian rebirth. The silent little lambs among the
pain are starting to come out of the woodwork and be silent no longer. The church is being born again, and groups are trying to keep it from ever
happening. I think we are just witnessing the begining of this, and it will flourish in years or months to come.)
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. (Not gold, not silver, but iron, a symbol of humility. A
foreshadowing of Jesus's second coming, because he rides in on the clouds, as you said. This is probably the true church. The second true chruch, who
follows the Bible, and not the doctrines of religious sects created by man.) And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Rapture?)
6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days (Jordan, from out of Isreal?).
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. (Obviously, the dragon,
Satan, hasn't come to earth yet. The appocalypse hasn't begun here on earth yet, just in heaven.)
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
9 The great dragon was hurled down -- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth,
and his angels with him. (This is the beginning of the end...)
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and
by the word of their testimony; (This implies that the brothers, the christians, have already overcome the devil. He's been hurled down.
11 They have overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.) they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (I need to look into this. It
could imply not the rapture we expected, but something along the lines of the inquisition where either you convert to the world's religion, or you
die. A bullet to the brain probably doesn't hurt too much...)
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dewll in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled
with fury, because he knows that his time is short. (It's fun entering a war where you you already know you win
And thus the appocalypse begins. Somehow, the believers are already triumphant. There is a passage in the gospels that I can't find right now about
woe to you that is with child or must run on the sabbath when the time comes that implies that it is the Jews, having to worry about the sabbath, that
are doing the running from AntiChrist, not the Christians...Retort?
[Edited on 1-1-2004 by junglejake]