Apostasy (n.) An abandonment of what one has voluntarily professed; a total desertion of departure from one's faith, principles, or party; esp., the renunciation of a religious faith; as, Julian's apostasy from Christianity.
Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Here be the antichrist; he is trying to pass himself off as the Lamb slain. He speaks as a dragon because he is THE dragon ! This is no comic book character with red long johns and a pitchfork. The horns referred to are the "visual trappings" of Jesus Christ; the dragon may even show wound scars on his side, arms and heels.
Revelation 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
The first "beast" (creature) is the political creature whose deadly wound (crises) was "miraculously" healed by this religious beast. He will (seem to) cure your ills and pay your bills, IF you would worship him.
Not only will he be "Jesus" (to the Biblically illiterate) but may well claim to be the buddha, krishna, odin, harry potter's papa etc. You name it, he has it, IF ONLY you would worship him.
IIsaiah 14:13-14 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
This guy is going to get 24 hour coverage and record ratings !
Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Talk about deception; especially to those who are more prone to worship the toys of the earth, and value more the traditions of man than the Living Word of the King of the Universe.
Thus those who are "Christians" and are biblically illiterate are very likely to be deceived. Will they ipso-facto be damned ? I don't believe so, not for honest ignorance. They sure aren't going to be "happy campers".
Luke 23:29-30 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
That is to say "happy are those who, upon return of The Lord Jesus Christ, are neither pregnant with nor giving nurture to, the fruit (works and doctrines) of the false messiah, satan the antichrist. Those who are deceived will be wishing, upon revelation of the truth, that they had never been born."
Lets get Paul's witness:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 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.
Before The Lord returns, there
will be a falling away (apostasy). There be satan, in Jerusalem
exalting himself as a god; the abomination, the desolator, standing in "the north".
Daniel 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
The antichrist (satan), being supernatural, will be able to show signs and wonders that will easily convince the ignorant and/or gullible.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
These folk would rather listen to the traditions of men and "fly away" to satan than study The Word for themselves.
Ezekiel 13:19-20 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
God will allow them to believe those lies. Its getting to be time to show your "salt". Got Sav(i)or ?
Let's go to 2cnd Timothy:
2 Timothy 3: 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
The serpents of Jannes and Jambres were swalllowed up by the Lord's serpents.(Exodus 7:12). Our God's servants will overcome anything that "that old serpent" can pull off. We have nothing to fear as long as we maintain our "Gospel Armor".
2 Timothy 3:10-11 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
As Paul suffered and was delivered so we shall also be delivered who serve Him.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
How much persecution ? As much as you are willing to take ! In Christ Jesus we have power over all of our enemies. Rebuke that old dragon and his evil spirits in the Name of Jesus Christ !
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
It is getting worse; it won't get any better until it gets allot worse. The Enron cheats, the proliferation of gambling, pornography and drugs... Darwinian pseudo-science.. SUV's; the automobile and other ad-men raping the environment. All for the love and worship of money.
1 Timothy 6:7-10 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Luke 16:10-11 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
2 Timothy 3:14-15 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Hang on to the comfort of The Holy Spirit. Stay in The Word as He is the road to eternal life.
John 15:20-27 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Reproof, the ability to discern, like a false teacher vs. a true teacher.
2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
"Perfect", "matured" more properly translated; become matured in The Living Word.
Ephesians 5:14-17 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The concept of being "caught up" is very much scripture documented by Pauls words.
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: 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)
In disputing the current teachings of the rapture, to say "The word rapture isnt in the manuscripts" is weak and irrelevant, specially if you are facing a competant bible student; the word "trinity" isnt in the manuscripts either, yet, there is a triune Godhead. So too, there is a "rapture" as well; it's just not taught correctly too often.
There will be a "catching up" as Paul documents as well as:
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This is a literal gathering, or catching up by angels of the elect, to be taken to meet Christ. Not to meet in the "clouds" per se but as a large group of people transfigured in spiritual bodies and brought to Mt Zion as per Revelation 14.
The issue then is not what the words mean but WHEN and HOW and WHO will be "raptured" or better put to avoid confusion, "gathered together".
There will be no pre-trib or mid trib gathering and those two are the worst examples of the current rapture teaching. Post trib is accurate because not only are the elect gathered after the trib, but all, "living and dead" will be changed (transfiguration ? )
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV)
If therefore we are to use a term to describe the scriptural truth of the gathering, it would be a post trib gathering or "rapture".
It boils down to this: Will there be a "rapture"? Yes
Use that word or gathering or whatever, yes, there is one.
Will it occur before or during the trib? No.After the trib? Yes.
Will we be in our flesh bodies ? Absolutely not !Keep in mind scripture:
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.
Its WHO and most importantly WHEN that matters in understanding this verse. This "harpazo" takes place, which I think too many forget in their good intentions to leave the doctrine of pre and mid trib raptures behind.
We can substitute the word in this verse as well:
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one [raptured] to the third heaven.
How that he was [raptured] into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The word "rapture" may carry negative connotations from its misuse but this is still an accurate translation. The word "taken" could also be used and it would still carry the proper meaning.
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord raptured Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was [raptured] unto God, and to his throne.
Again, the point is NOT the word rapture, or caught up...its WHEN rapturists teach this will happen and to WHOM. The concept of being physically moved or spiritually moved is not unscriptural.