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Thread: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

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    The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    In as short a posting as possible I wish to lay forth evidence that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a REWARD and will not be attained to by the bulk of Christianity.

    It is not possible, within the framework of a readable posting, to lay forth all arguments and counter-arguments of the matter, and my experience in teaching has shown that just to give a reasonable outline of the Rapture takes at least FOUR 45-minute lectures. So, much scope for discussion will be left. But let it be said that it is obvious from Revelation 7:9-17, 12:12-17 and 13:7 that the bulk of Christianity will pass through the Great Tribulation.

    First, to save a mountain of argument, let us set forth the difference in man and Satan’s wrath against Jews and Christians, and God’s wrath upon all ungodly men. Fallen men everywhere, without compelling reason, hate God, and hate His servants, whether Jew or Christian. Thus, unreasonable enmity between God’s elect and men is a fact. This results in “trial and tribulation” against God’s people in all countries and through every century. The Christian is warned that it will be so, and is comforted with rewards stored in heaven for enduring this (e.g. Lk.6:22-23). God’s wrath, on the other hand, is a measured, fair and necessary INFLICTION OF PAIN of a righteous Judge against unrighteous men. And God, having great patience, has endured insult and injury since Adam. He has, when His patience and long-suffering have reached an end, caused “Tribulation” on men locally and in a limited way (e.g Sodom), and ONCE UNIVERSALLY with the Great Flood of Noah’s time. At the end of the Church age, God has promised another UNIVERSAL WRATH - one that compasses the wHOLE earth and ALL men. Mark 13:19 reports that; “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”

    Now, if this Great Tribulation is promised for the ungodly, what then shall be the portion of the godly? Is the salvation of God only that men do not go to the Lake of Fire? Or does the inspired record show that God’s salvation is greater than that as we consider Enoch, Noah, Israel at the Red Sea and in the Wilderness, Elijah, Daniel, the three Jewish captives in the fire and the twelve disciples of Jesus twice in a sinking boat? It is clear that "salvation" is not limited to just missing the Lake of Fire. And what does then the Bible say about the "Affliction" of Mark 13:19 above? Are there clear statements concerning this?

    In a clear statement in context of the Great Tribulation, and the fearsome “day of the Lord”, we find that “we”, the Church, “… God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1st Thess.5:9). It is clear that God’s salvation, especially that worked by His Son Jesus, IS TO SAVE US, NOT FROM MEN’S WRATH, BUT GOD’S WRATH. That is, while we must face the grueling hate and blows of the ungodly, Christ’s Work allows us to escape God’s wrath. But notice the phrase, “not appointed”. Does it mean “guaranteed”? NO! “Not appointed” means is that God has not appointed something but that by bad decisions people can miss this “appointment”. This fact is no better displayed by Revelation 18:4; “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Here, it is clear that if God’s people CHOOSE to be in the wrong place, they receive the PORTION of that wrong place.

    And this is the reason for the clear scriptures that the bulk of Christianity must go through the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:12-17 and 13:7). Who then actually escapes? Every doctrine must be established by two to three directly stated scriptures. Do we have two to three direct statement that certain of the Church will escape God’s wrath as it is poured out on the earth for 1260 days at the end of the Church age? We do. In;

    Luke 21:25-36, in context of “distress of nations”, the “powers of heavens and the earth shaken”, the end of the age when "the Son of man comes in power and glory", the Millennial Kingdom of God “at hand”, and ALL THIS, “a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”, verse 36 admonishes, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” “ACCOUNTED WORTHY” means that the Christian disciple must DO things and WALK a certain way to be WORTHY when he is called to ACCOUNT for Himself (Rom.14:12). Thus, by clear and unambiguous statement, missing ALL that comes upon ALL men on the WHOLE face of the earth, the Christian must PERFORM and DO and WALK a certain way.

    Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”, the grammar is clear. The word “BECAUSE” shows a condition. These Christians did something and “because” they did it they will escape. And the rest of the sentence says what they will escape. Not local persecution by men. Not local trial BY men. Not universal persecution by men. They will escape the TIME that “shall come”. It is no longer men who HAVE created “trial” all these centuries, but ALL men who dwell on earth are CAST into trial. That is, if you ANYWHERE on earth, and are not somewhere else at this TIME, you will suffer this universal TRIAL. But if you have been found to have “kept the word of Christ’s patience”, you will (1) not be on earth, (2) not suffer the trial, and (3) be away the whole TIME of this TRIAL. Escape is allowed by the way the Christian’s has WALKED and by his/her WORKS. It is BECAUSE they DID something.

    Philippians 3:12-14 reads; “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The King James renders it as the “high calling” in verse 14. This is not essentially wrong, but the literal meaning is “the calling on high”, or “the upward calling”. The Greek does not indicate the "height" of the call. It indicates A JOURNEY after being called. And this is exactly what happens in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17. A “shout” or “call” coupled with a “trumpet” (which was used to call a gathering - Ex.19:13) sounds, and the Christians go “upward” to the sky, the air, the clouds.

    Now, as Paul wrote Philippians in about 64 AD, he had already a long history of serving and suffering for the Lord. He was about three years away from martyrdom. Yet he declares himself, under inspiration, not to have reached the state of maturity required, nor to have “apprehended” the PRIZE of the “upward call”. From this, two things are evident. (1) The “upward call” is a PRIZE. It is not for free. It is for the WINNER - the one who trained and strove the most in a legal race. And (2) the CONDITION for this PRIZE is Christian suffering, faithful service and spiritual maturity.

    I propose that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a FACT, but that it is CONDITIONAL. The Mature, God-serving, suffering, self denying, diligent Christian who has an intimate experiential relationship with Jesus Christ, will be raptured BEFORE the onset of God’s wrath. The weak, immature, defeated, sinful, self-serving, slothful Christian who is not “known” (in an experiential way) by our Lord Jesus, will pass through the sufferings of the Great Tribulation.

    • There are those in Revelation 14:3-5 (1) who were Virgins, (2) who follow the Lamb and sung as it were a new song before the throne, (3) are before the throne in heaven, (4) who are “firstfruits” to both God AND the Lamb, (5) who were redeemed from among men, (6) in whose mouth was found no guile, (7) who are without fault, AND THEY (8) WERE REDEEMED FROM THE EARTH!
    • And then there are those of Revelation 7:14 who (1) came out of great THE Great Tribulation, and, having dirty robes (2) “… have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Robes in Parable are one's works (Rev.19:8). Theirs were dirty and they passed through the Great Tribulation.
    Last edited by Walls; Mar 13th 2018 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Layout

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    In as short a posting as possible I wish to lay forth evidence that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a REWARD and will not be attained to by the bulk of Christianity.

    It is not possible, within the framework of a readable posting, to lay forth all arguments and counter-arguments of the matter, and my experience in teaching has shown that just to give a reasonable outline of the Rapture takes at least FOUR 45-minute lectures. So, much scope for discussion will be left. But let it be said that it is obvious from Revelation 7:9-17, 12:12-17 and 13:7 that the bulk of Christianity will pass through the Great Tribulation.

    First, to save a mountain of argument, let us set forth the difference in man and Satan’s wrath against Jews and Christians, and God’s wrath upon all ungodly men. Fallen men everywhere, without compelling reason, hate God, and hate His servants, whether Jew or Christian. Thus, unreasonable enmity between God’s elect and men is a fact. This results in “trial and tribulation” against God’s people in all countries and through every century. The Christian is warned that it will be so, and is comforted with rewards stored in heaven for enduring this (e.g. Lk.6:22-23). God’s wrath, on the other hand, is a measured, fair and necessary INFLICTION OF PAIN of a righteous Judge against unrighteous men. And God, having great patience, has endured insult and injury since Adam. He has, when His patience and long-suffering have reached an end, caused “Tribulation” on men locally and in a limited way (e.g Sodom), and ONCE UNIVERSALLY with the Great Flood of Noah’s time. At the end of the Church age, God has promised another UNIVERSAL WRATH - one that compasses the wHOLE earth and ALL men. Mark 13:19 reports that; “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”

    Now, if this Great Tribulation is promised for the ungodly, what then shall be the portion of the godly? Is the salvation of God only that men do not go to the Lake of Fire? Or does the inspired record show that God’s salvation is greater than that as we consider Enoch, Noah, Israel at the Red Sea and in the Wilderness, Elijah, Daniel, the three Jewish captives in the fire and the twelve disciples of Jesus twice in a sinking boat? It is clear that "salvation" is not limited to just missing the Lake of Fire. And what does then the Bible say about the "Affliction" of Mark 13:19 above? Are there clear statements concerning this?

    In a clear statement in context of the Great Tribulation, and the fearsome “day of the Lord”, we find that “we”, the Church, “… God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1st Thess.5:9). It is clear that God’s salvation, especially that worked by His Son Jesus, IS TO SAVE US, NOT FROM MEN’S WRATH, BUT GOD’S WRATH. That is, while we must face the grueling hate and blows of the ungodly, Christ’s Work allows us to escape God’s wrath. But notice the phrase, “not appointed”. Does it mean “guaranteed”? NO! “Not appointed” means is that God has not appointed something but that by bad decisions people can miss this “appointment”. This fact is no better displayed by Revelation 18:4; “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Here, it is clear that if God’s people CHOOSE to be in the wrong place, they receive the PORTION of that wrong place.

    And this is the reason for the clear scriptures that the bulk of Christianity must go through the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:12-17 and 13:7). Who then actually escapes? Every doctrine must be established by two to three directly stated scriptures. Do we have two to three direct statement that certain of the Church will escape God’s wrath as it is poured out on the earth for 1260 days at the end of the Church age? We do. In;

    Luke 21:25-36, in context of “distress of nations”, the “powers of heavens and the earth shaken”, the end of the age when "the Son of man comes in power and glory", the Millennial Kingdom of God “at hand”, and ALL THIS, “a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”, verse 36 admonishes, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” “ACCOUNTED WORTHY” means that the Christian disciple must DO things and WALK a certain way to be WORTHY when he is called to ACCOUNT for Himself (Rom.14:12). Thus, by clear and unambiguous statement, missing ALL that comes upon ALL men on the WHOLE face of the earth, the Christian must PERFORM and DO and WALK a certain way.

    Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”, the grammar is clear. The word “BECAUSE” shows a condition. These Christians did something and “because” they did it they will escape. And the rest of the sentence says what they will escape. Not local persecution by men. Not local trial BY men. Not universal persecution by men. They will escape the TIME that “shall come”. It is no longer men who HAVE created “trial” all these centuries, but ALL men who dwell on earth are CAST into trial. That is, if you ANYWHERE on earth, and are not somewhere else at this TIME, you will suffer this universal TRIAL. But if you have been found to have “kept the word of Christ’s patience”, you will (1) not be on earth, (2) not suffer the trial, and (3) be away the whole TIME of this TRIAL. Escape is allowed by the way the Christian’s has WALKED and by his/her WORKS. It is BECAUSE they DID something.

    Philippians 3:12-14 reads; “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The King James renders it as the “high calling” in verse 14. This is not essentially wrong, but the literal meaning is “the calling on high”, or “the upward calling”. The Greek does not indicate the "height" of the call. It indicates A JOURNEY after being called. And this is exactly what happens in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17. A “shout” or “call” coupled with a “trumpet” (which was used to call a gathering - Ex.19:13) sounds, and the Christians go “upward” to the sky, the air, the clouds.

    Now, as Paul wrote Philippians in about 64 AD, he had already a long history of serving and suffering for the Lord. He was about three years away from martyrdom. Yet he declares himself, under inspiration, not to have reached the state of maturity required, nor to have “apprehended” the PRIZE of the “upward call”. From this, two things are evident. (1) The “upward call” is a PRIZE. It is not for free. It is for the WINNER - the one who trained and strove the most in a legal race. And (2) the CONDITION for this PRIZE is Christian suffering, faithful service and spiritual maturity.

    I propose that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a FACT, but that it is CONDITIONAL. The Mature, God-serving, suffering, self denying, diligent Christian who has an intimate experiential relationship with Jesus Christ, will be raptured BEFORE the onset of God’s wrath. The weak, immature, defeated, sinful, self-serving, slothful Christian who is not “known” (in an experiential way) by our Lord Jesus, will pass through the sufferings of the Great Tribulation.

    There are those in Revelation 14:3-5 (1) who were Virgins, (2) who follow the Lamb and sung as it were a new song before the throne, (3) are before the throne in heaven, (4) who are “firstfruits” to both God AND the Lamb, (5) who were redeemed from among men, (6) in whose mouth was found no guile, (7) who are without fault, AND THEY (8) WERE REDEEMED FROM THE EARTH!
    And then there are those of Revelation 7:14 who (1) came out of great THE Great Tribulation, and, having dirty robes (2) “… have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Robes in Parable are one's works (Rev.19:8). Theirs were dirty and they passed through the Great Tribulation.
    I'm a Postribber because Paul explicitly teaches it as such in 2 Thes 2. I do think there is a distinction between obedient and disobedient Christians, and I'm sure God deals with each group in different ways. But I don't view a universal time of wrath to be a punishment separating good Christians from bad Christians.

    Israel, in the OT, was punished for her sins when the nation, by consensus, went into apostasy. There were always a few loyal believers in God, but the *whole nation* always went through the punishment, including the good, undeserving ones.

    The Great Tribulation you allude to, in the Olivet Discourse of Jesus, is the Jewish Diaspora of the NT age. It is not just the end times trouble of Israel. It began with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, and ends at the 2nd Coming of Christ. This is an unparalleled Tribulation in the history of Israel largely because no dispersion of the Jewish People has ever lasted so long!

    Christians were given to escape some elements of the 70 AD punishment God inflicted upon the rebellious Jews. These Jewish believers were given signs to know when to escape, because the punishment was not for them.

    Nevertheless, Messianic Jews have had to go through this "time of punishment" God has inflicted upon the Jews. They may have escaped the actual 70 AD atrocity, but they have not escaped the Jewish Diaspora. Both believers and unbelievers have had to suffer the Jewish loss of a homeland for 2000 years!

    So in some ways believers can escape some of the punishment. In other ways, they cannot escape the time of punishment, even if the punishment is not directed at them.

  3. #3
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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Does this sound like a 'whisked away' rapture?!

    Luke 14

    7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.

    10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.

    11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
    this is the meaning of the 'come up here' in Rev 11.

    Yes, the reward is conditional, but this is not an indicator of being magically whisked away.

    There are 2 'gatherings' in Revelation: At Rev 7 with the '144,000' & the 'great multitude coming out of the great tribulation'. And at Rev 11's come up here.

    Why are there 2 gatherings? there are 2 attacks by Satan: one attack on 'the woman' & then an explicit attack on Christians (because they haven't been 'whisked away') and 2 'offspring'. Offspring who will rule the world with a rod of iron (Rev 12:5) & the 'rest of her offspring' who are Christians (Rev 12:17)

    the 'woman' is comprised of unfaithful & faithful. the faithful element will rule the world with a rod of iron, but not yet. (the dead faithful in heaven, the live faithful on earth)
    Rev 12
    4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
    13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

    16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

    And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
    this correlates to Daniel 9

    26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

    27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and in the middle of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
    the 'city' is the woman who is comprised of unfaithful Israel & faithful Israel. When this woman is punished by God, then the unfaithful are forced into the wilderness. The faithful living will rule the world shortly, but not yet. This 'city' attack produces the gathering at Rev 7. (great tribulation upon the city) (the 'winter start of the great tribulation attack on those in Judea' from Matt 24:15-25.

    the 'sanctuary' is the 'inner court' that is attacked in Rev 11, the time of the 2 witnesses. at the end of the 1260 days, they are told to 'come up here' because they have been humble (great tribulation upon the sanctuary) (the faithful living from the 'city'/ those with the rod of iron tell the humble Christians to rule with them.)

    that 'flood' mentioned in Dan 9:26 is the flood destroying the city and is the same flood in Rev 12:15

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I'm a Postribber because Paul explicitly teaches it as such in 2 Thes 2. I do think there is a distinction between obedient and disobedient Christians, and I'm sure God deals with each group in different ways. But I don't view a universal time of wrath to be a punishment separating good Christians from bad Christians.

    Israel, in the OT, was punished for her sins when the nation, by consensus, went into apostasy. There were always a few loyal believers in God, but the *whole nation* always went through the punishment, including the good, undeserving ones.

    The Great Tribulation you allude to, in the Olivet Discourse of Jesus, is the Jewish Diaspora of the NT age. It is not just the end times trouble of Israel. It began with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, and ends at the 2nd Coming of Christ. This is an unparalleled Tribulation in the history of Israel largely because no dispersion of the Jewish People has ever lasted so long!

    Christians were given to escape some elements of the 70 AD punishment God inflicted upon the rebellious Jews. These Jewish believers were given signs to know when to escape, because the punishment was not for them.

    Nevertheless, Messianic Jews have had to go through this "time of punishment" God has inflicted upon the Jews. They may have escaped the actual 70 AD atrocity, but they have not escaped the Jewish Diaspora. Both believers and unbelievers have had to suffer the Jewish loss of a homeland for 2000 years!

    So in some ways believers can escape some of the punishment. In other ways, they cannot escape the time of punishment, even if the punishment is not directed at them.
    Thank you for your view. We have discussed it at length, and I have given the various "counters" to this. But I grant you your view. I think our main difference is that you believe these words to be directed at the Jew, while I see them as directed at the "Disciple".

    God bless.

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by blur1 View Post
    Does this sound like a 'whisked away' rapture?!

    Luke 14


    this is the meaning of the 'come up here' in Rev 11.

    Yes, the reward is conditional, but this is not an indicator of being magically whisked away.

    There are 2 'gatherings' in Revelation: At Rev 7 with the '144,000' & the 'great multitude coming out of the great tribulation'. And at Rev 11's come up here.

    Why are there 2 gatherings? there are 2 attacks by Satan: one attack on 'the woman' & then an explicit attack on Christians (because they haven't been 'whisked away') and 2 'offspring'. Offspring who will rule the world with a rod of iron (Rev 12:5) & the 'rest of her offspring' who are Christians (Rev 12:17)

    the 'woman' is comprised of unfaithful & faithful. the faithful element will rule the world with a rod of iron, but not yet. (the dead faithful in heaven, the live faithful on earth)
    Rev 12




    this correlates to Daniel 9



    the 'city' is the woman who is comprised of unfaithful Israel & faithful Israel. When this woman is punished by God, then the unfaithful are forced into the wilderness. The faithful living will rule the world shortly, but not yet. This 'city' attack produces the gathering at Rev 7. (great tribulation upon the city) (the 'winter start of the great tribulation attack on those in Judea' from Matt 24:15-25.

    the 'sanctuary' is the 'inner court' that is attacked in Rev 11, the time of the 2 witnesses. at the end of the 1260 days, they are told to 'come up here' because they have been humble (great tribulation upon the sanctuary) (the faithful living from the 'city'/ those with the rod of iron tell the humble Christians to rule with them.)

    that 'flood' mentioned in Dan 9:26 is the flood destroying the city and is the same flood in Rev 12:15
    Thank you for taking the time to put forth your view. I realize that Revelation is strongly connected to Daniel, but as Daniel is directed at "Daniel's People" - the Jews, and I spoke only of the Church, I will let your comments stand as they are for the other interested readers. As you did not explicitly counter any one of my arguments, I will let it lie.

    God bless.

    PS. The term "whisked away" is not far from the Biblical term. The Greek is "harpazo", which means to be "caught away", as it is correctly translated in Acts 8:39. "Caught away" implies that some outside force does it, as was the case with our Lord Jesus in Acts Chapter 1. He was, in verse 9, "taken up", implying that some other entity "took Him up". He did not go of His own power.

  6. #6

    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    And this is the reason for the clear scriptures that the bulk of Christianity must go through the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:12-17 and 13:7). Who then actually escapes? Every doctrine must be established by two to three directly stated scriptures. Do we have two to three direct statement that certain of the Church will escape God’s wrath as it is poured out on the earth for 1260 days at the end of the Church age? We do. In;

    Luke 21:25-36, in context of “distress of nations”, the “powers of heavens and the earth shaken”, the end of the age when "the Son of man comes in power and glory", the Millennial Kingdom of God “at hand”, and ALL THIS, “a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”, verse 36 admonishes, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” “ACCOUNTED WORTHY” means that the Christian disciple must DO things and WALK a certain way to be WORTHY when he is called to ACCOUNT for Himself (Rom.14:12). Thus, by clear and unambiguous statement, missing ALL that comes upon ALL men on the WHOLE face of the earth, the Christian must PERFORM and DO and WALK a certain way.

    Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”, the grammar is clear. The word “BECAUSE” shows a condition. These Christians did something and “because” they did it they will escape. And the rest of the sentence says what they will escape. Not local persecution by men. Not local trial BY men. Not universal persecution by men. They will escape the TIME that “shall come”. It is no longer men who HAVE created “trial” all these centuries, but ALL men who dwell on earth are CAST into trial. That is, if you ANYWHERE on earth, and are not somewhere else at this TIME, you will suffer this universal TRIAL. But if you have been found to have “kept the word of Christ’s patience”, you will (1) not be on earth, (2) not suffer the trial, and (3) be away the whole TIME of this TRIAL. Escape is allowed by the way the Christian’s has WALKED and by his/her WORKS. It is BECAUSE they DID something.

    Philippians 3:12-14 reads; “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The King James renders it as the “high calling” in verse 14. This is not essentially wrong, but the literal meaning is “the calling on high”, or “the upward calling”. The Greek does not indicate the "height" of the call. It indicates A JOURNEY after being called. And this is exactly what happens in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17. A “shout” or “call” coupled with a “trumpet” (which was used to call a gathering - Ex.19:13) sounds, and the Christians go “upward” to the sky, the air, the clouds.

    Now, as Paul wrote Philippians in about 64 AD, he had already a long history of serving and suffering for the Lord. He was about three years away from martyrdom. Yet he declares himself, under inspiration, not to have reached the state of maturity required, nor to have “apprehended” the PRIZE of the “upward call”. From this, two things are evident. (1) The “upward call” is a PRIZE. It is not for free. It is for the WINNER - the one who trained and strove the most in a legal race. And (2) the CONDITION for this PRIZE is Christian suffering, faithful service and spiritual maturity.
    Without exception, every Christian must go through and overcome the tribulation, persecution and great tribulation.

    That is why the seals are opened so that righteousness that comes in parts are taken away for the fulness of righteousness by the seal of God. It is the opening of the seals that bring about tribulation, persecution and great tribulation for the saints.

    Without coming out of the great tribulation, no saint is made perfect to stand before the throne with palms in hand.

    Perfection makes the saint to see things face to face, know just as he is known, "apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ". This is what Paul is referring to in Philippians 3:12.

    Writing about perfection, 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV declares: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


    Luke 21:36 KJV
    Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


    Only the perfect saint, who has overcome the great tribulation and has washed his robe in the blood to make it white, is counted worthy to escape these things and stand before the throne of the Son of man.

    In short, only those with the seal of God on their foreheads are counted worthy to escape these things that shall come to pass and of which they must go through. Mankind who do not have the seal of God are never counted worthy to escape these things.


    Revelation 3:10 KJV
    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth


    The above scripture, by no means whatsoever, excuses any Christian from tribulation. Rather, it excuses overcomers in the church at Philadelphia from the hour of trial, which is the highest temptation Satan can unleash.

    The phrase "hour of trial" does not mean the same as hour of tribulation or great tribulation. Trial simply means temptation, and there can never be the "hour" of tribulation.
    Grace and peace unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    Without exception, every Christian must go through and overcome the tribulation, persecution and great tribulation.

    That is why the seals are opened so that righteousness that comes in parts are taken away for the fulness of righteousness by the seal of God. It is the opening of the seals that bring about tribulation, persecution and great tribulation for the saints.

    Without coming out of the great tribulation, no saint is made perfect to stand before the throne with palms in hand.

    Perfection makes the saint to see things face to face, know just as he is known, "apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ". This is what Paul is referring to in Philippians 3:12.

    Writing about perfection, 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV declares: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


    Luke 21:36 KJV
    Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


    Only the perfect saint, who has overcome the great tribulation and has washed his robe in the blood to make it white, is counted worthy to escape these things and stand before the throne of the Son of man.

    In short, only those with the seal of God on their foreheads are counted worthy to escape these things that shall come to pass and of which they must go through. Mankind who do not have the seal of God are never counted worthy to escape these things.


    Revelation 3:10 KJV
    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth


    The above scripture, by no means whatsoever, excuses any Christian from tribulation. Rather, it excuses overcomers in the church at Philadelphia from the hour of trial, which is the highest temptation Satan can unleash.

    The phrase "hour of trial" does not mean the same as hour of tribulation or great tribulation. Trial simply means temptation, and there can never be the "hour" of tribulation.
    This I agree with.
    We Christians will not and cannot be removed from this earth. 'Rapture to heaven' believers, of whatever timing; know this, so their answer to that is: we are 'changed' and made immortal at the moment of rapture. This ignores the plain scripture of Revelation 20:11-15, of how it is only at the Great White Throne Judgement, that immortality is conferred. The 'change at the twinkle of an eye' is a prophecy about what happens at the GWT, AFTER the Millennium.

    Re the word 'escape' in Luke 21:36. This is rendered as 'pass safely through' in my Revised English Bible.
    Although 'escape' is one correct way of rendering the Greek word there, it conflicts with the context that says what will happen; 'will come upon everyone the whole world over'. Verse 35.

    Re Revelation 3:10. Being 'kept from', doesn't mean taken away from. The 3 men in the fiery furnace weren't taken out of it, they were protected in it. Noah went thru the Flood, people today face persecution; its simply illogical to even think that suddenly God will allow His people to 'escape, away from', let alone take them all up to heaven before Judgement!

    The other aspect of a 'rapture to heaven', is what does God really want of His people?
    We have the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 When did, or when will, God rescind that?
    Most here will know that I point out how the Lord's holy people, that is: every faithful Christian, will be gathered into all of the holy Land, where they will be the People God always wanted in His Land, being His witnesses, Isaiah 43:10, John 15:27 and His Light to the nations. Isaiah 49:8, Matthew 5:14-15
    I have plenty of Biblical proofs of this. It is what will happen, any other belief is deception.

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    Without exception, every Christian must go through and overcome the tribulation, persecution and great tribulation.
    I made this clear in my posting. The Christian must experience tribulation in his/her life. It refines us, it makes us partake of Christ's sufferings and makes us worthy to be kings in the next age (Act.14:22; 2nd Tim.2:12; 1st Pet.4:12-13). I also made clear that the bulk of the Church do pass through the Great Tribulation. But this is not to their profit. The Christian who is left on earth during the reign of the Beast is NOT refined, matured and prepared by it. They are OVERCOME by the Beast (Rev.13:7). They, far from fame and maturity, must FLEE (Rev.12:12-17). The Christian will "RECEIVE OF HER PLAGUES", not because they are refined by it, but because the "DWELT" in the Whore and "PARTOOK OF HER SINS" (Rev.18:4)!

    But let us reverse your argument and see where it leads. The Great Tribulation last the LAST 1260 days of this age. If the Christian NEEDS the Great Tribulation for righteousness and maturity, what then of ALL the Christians since Pentecost, but which died before the Great Tribulation? What about their maturity? Millions of Christians, including Paul, Peter and the others, do NOT see the Great Tribulation, but are promised to rule during the Millennium (Matt.19:28; Lk.22:30; 2nd Tim.4:8). Has God reserved only few of the the sum of all Christians for HIS WRATH? See the problem?

    Finally, the Great Tribulation is the WRATH of God as promised in Romans 1:18. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." The Seals and their tribulation are found IN HEAVEN. They are OPENED in heaven. And so in ...
    • Revelation 6:16, is the Great Tribulation to, "... hide THE CHRISTIAN from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb"?
    • Revelation 6:17, concerning God's wrath it is, "... and who shall be able to stand?" It destroys the Christian!
    • Revelation 14:10, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb!" It this wrath for the Christian who believed in the SALVATION from God's wrath?
    • Can you say that all this WRATH is poured out on the Christian when 1st Thessalonians 5:9, in context of the "day of the Lord" clearly says; "For God hath NOT appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ"?

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    This I agree with.
    We Christians will not and cannot be removed from this earth. 'Rapture to heaven' believers, of whatever timing; know this, so their answer to that is: we are 'changed' and made immortal at the moment of rapture. This ignores the plain scripture of Revelation 20:11-15, of how it is only at the Great White Throne Judgement, that immortality is conferred. The 'change at the twinkle of an eye' is a prophecy about what happens at the GWT, AFTER the Millennium.
    Let scripture speak. 1st Thessalonians 4:15-18 says;

    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.
    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."


    The Rapture take place "at the coming of the Lord". The "dead in Christ" are resurrected "at the coming of the Lord". This is before the Millennium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    Re the word 'escape' in Luke 21:36. This is rendered as 'pass safely through' in my Revised English Bible.
    Although 'escape' is one correct way of rendering the Greek word there, it conflicts with the context that says what will happen; 'will come upon everyone the whole world over'. Verse 35.
    Luke 21:36 not only promises "escape", but also, "... to stand before the Son of man." The Revised English Bible is a poor translation. The word "escape" in the Greek is a compound word Greek Word - "ekpheugo". It is made of "ek" and "pheugo". "Ek" means "out of", and "pheugo" means "to flee". "Ek-pheugo" means to "escape OUT OF". And, since our Lord Jesus only returns to earth AFTER the Great Tribulation, "to stand before the Son of man" can only mean the worthy are IN THE SKY.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    Re Revelation 3:10. Being 'kept from', doesn't mean taken away from. The 3 men in the fiery furnace weren't taken out of it, they were protected in it. Noah went thru the Flood, people today face persecution; its simply illogical to even think that suddenly God will allow His people to 'escape, away from', let alone take them all up to heaven before Judgement!
    You have read the verse wrong. It is NOT, "kept IN the trial" as where the 3 in Daniel. It is "kept FROM". The Greek for "FROM" is "EX", and this what Strong says (verbatim); "a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause)" (Strong's Greek & Hebrew Dictionary). It denotes a starting point and subsequent motion away from.

    Next, you have failed to observe that it is NOT "kept from the Trial". It is; "... I also will keep thee from the HOUR of trial, ... ." That is, the Overcoming Christian is MISSING for the TIME that this Universal Trial takes place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    The other aspect of a 'rapture to heaven', is what does God really want of His people?
    We have the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 When did, or when will, God rescind that?
    Most here will know that I point out how the Lord's holy people, that is: every faithful Christian, will be gathered into all of the holy Land, where they will be the People God always wanted in His Land, being His witnesses, Isaiah 43:10, John 15:27 and His Light to the nations. Isaiah 49:8, Matthew 5:14-15
    I have plenty of Biblical proofs of this. It is what will happen, any other belief is deception.
    The time limit for the "Great Commission" is from Pentecost, "... TILL THE END OF THE AGE" (Matt.28:20). This clearly seen by the martyrs' prayer in Revelation 6:9-11. They call, NOT for the Gospel of mercy, BUT VENGEANCE! And they are told that this vengeance will appear "in a little season". Where then is the "Great Commission" when God's wrath is poured out on "all the earth" and "all them that dwell on the earth"?

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Most modern day Pastors and Teachers in Christ's Church earn their living, or their fame, or both, by the Christians they teach. It is not in their interest to "admonish" the saints. They will lose their paycheck and be rejected as a teacher. So, although the New Testament provides warning after warning to the Christian, (example Galatians 5:21 and Ephesians 5:5), this is rarely taught in Christ's Church. Who wants to hear the bad news anyway? Just like Israel, they hate any admonishment, and woe to the Teacher who stands up and teaches this. So the prevailing doctrine that the average Christian chews on is "ALL IS WELL, ALL IS FREE, JESUS LOVES YOU AND YOU WILL BE SAVED NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO."

    This "sugary" gospel will, like Israel, lead the Church into apostasy - as is predicted. I predict that the OP made a many of its readers uncomfortable. But my only advice is that if you cannot show me to be wrong, being uncomfortable might just make you an OVERCOMER. There is not a single thing that God has promised that will not come to pass, and if you see clear scriptures that Christians will pass through the Great Tribulation IN DEFEAT, and that our Lord Jesus is calling to all that there is a noble way out - you better take it seriously. If you are in doubt, look at Israel these last 2,700 years. They were God's People, loved and chosen by Him, blessed and privileged among all nations, and extended long-suffering and forgiveness. But ALL that the prophets predicted CAME TO PASS in a most awful way.

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Walls quote......
    I propose that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a FACT, but that it is CONDITIONAL. The Mature, God-serving, suffering, self denying, diligent Christian who has an intimate experiential relationship with Jesus Christ, will be raptured BEFORE the onset of God’s wrath. The weak, immature, defeated, sinful, self-serving, slothful Christian who is not “known” (in an experiential way) by our Lord Jesus, will pass through the sufferings of the Great Tribulation.

    Jesus rather suggested that those who are not ready at his coming will be thrown into the outer darkness , the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. And furthermore this coming he spoke of occurs after the GT of those days.

    Before any rapture of the living can take place there must be a resurrection of the dead that are in Christ first. This takes place at his second coming, when he appears in the Glory of his Father to judge the living and the dead.

    Matt 16
    Jesus said...,
    27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

    Rev 22
    12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
    14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.




    2Tim 4
    I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
    2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
    5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry
    6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
    7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
    8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.



    1Pet 4
    4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
    6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
    7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

    The righteous judge not only receives and glorifies his own when he comes, but he eternally separates those who are not.....,


    2thes 1
    This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.
    And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Let scripture speak. 1st Thessalonians 4:15-18 says;

    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.
    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."


    The Rapture take place "at the coming of the Lord". The "dead in Christ" are resurrected "at the coming of the Lord". This is before the Millennium.



    Luke 21:36 not only promises "escape", but also, "... to stand before the Son of man." The Revised English Bible is a poor translation. The word "escape" in the Greek is a compound word Greek Word - "ekpheugo". It is made of "ek" and "pheugo". "Ek" means "out of", and "pheugo" means "to flee". "Ek-pheugo" means to "escape OUT OF". And, since our Lord Jesus only returns to earth AFTER the Great Tribulation, "to stand before the Son of man" can only mean the worthy are IN THE SKY.



    You have read the verse wrong. It is NOT, "kept IN the trial" as where the 3 in Daniel. It is "kept FROM". The Greek for "FROM" is "EX", and this what Strong says (verbatim); "a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause)" (Strong's Greek & Hebrew Dictionary). It denotes a starting point and subsequent motion away from.

    Next, you have failed to observe that it is NOT "kept from the Trial". It is; "... I also will keep thee from the HOUR of trial, ... ." That is, the Overcoming Christian is MISSING for the TIME that this Universal Trial takes place.



    The time limit for the "Great Commission" is from Pentecost, "... TILL THE END OF THE AGE" (Matt.28:20). This clearly seen by the martyrs' prayer in Revelation 6:9-11. They call, NOT for the Gospel of mercy, BUT VENGEANCE! And they are told that this vengeance will appear "in a little season". Where then is the "Great Commission" when God's wrath is poured out on "all the earth" and "all them that dwell on the earth"?
    Walls, you are a good example of how people read and interpret scripture to suit their beliefs.

    1 Thess 4:13-18; This is a prophecy about what happens when Jesus Returns. Matthew 24:31 states it clearly; He will send out His angels to gather His people,[those who are alive and remain] to where He is. Or is about to be; in Jerusalem. Heaven is not mentioned anywhere in either of these quotes.
    The dead in Christ; are the martyrs, as per Revelation 20:4

    Luke 21:36; You fail to reconcile the fact that what is coming will come upon everyone the whole world over. Escape by removal before that is impossible.
    When we stand before the Lord in Judgement, is at the GWT, not before. Revelation 20:11-15

    Rev 3:10; you resort to pedantics and your premise of a removal contradicts all the Bible prophesies that tell us how the Lord will protect His own during tribulations.

    Correct, we must preach the Gospel until the end of the age. When is that? When Jesus Returns, that's when. AFTER all His wrath is spent; Revelation 15:1

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffweeder View Post
    Jesus rather suggested that those who are not ready at his coming will be thrown into the outer darkness , the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. And furthermore this coming he spoke of occurs after the GT of those days.

    Before any rapture of the living can take place there must be a resurrection of the dead that are in Christ first. This takes place at his second coming, when he appears in the Glory of his Father to judge the living and the dead.

    Matt 16
    Jesus said...,
    27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

    Rev 22
    12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
    14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.




    2Tim 4
    I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
    2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
    5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry
    6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
    7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
    8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.



    1Pet 4
    4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
    6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
    7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

    The righteous judge not only receives and glorifies his own when he comes, but he eternally separates those who are not.....,


    2thes 1
    This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.
    I tend to agree with your main points. There is a judgement for the Christian (Rom.14:10; 2nd Cor.5:10) and it will decide who enter the Kingdom of Heaven or not when our Lord Jesus sets it up on earth after He comes. In the OP I speak of what happens shortly before that - "the Tribulation of those days", which occur BEFORE our Lord Jesus comes. I propose that any escape fro this Great Tribulation is a PRIZE to be gained by being an exceptionally diligent Christian.

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    Walls, you are a good example of how people read and interpret scripture to suit their beliefs.

    1 Thess 4:13-18; This is a prophecy about what happens when Jesus Returns. Matthew 24:31 states it clearly; He will send out His angels to gather His people,[those who are alive and remain] to where He is. Or is about to be; in Jerusalem. Heaven is not mentioned anywhere in either of these quotes.
    The dead in Christ; are the martyrs, as per Revelation 20:4

    Luke 21:36; You fail to reconcile the fact that what is coming will come upon everyone the whole world over. Escape by removal before that is impossible.
    When we stand before the Lord in Judgement, is at the GWT, not before. Revelation 20:11-15

    Rev 3:10; you resort to pedantics and your premise of a removal contradicts all the Bible prophesies that tell us how the Lord will protect His own during tribulations.

    Correct, we must preach the Gospel until the end of the age. When is that? When Jesus Returns, that's when. AFTER all His wrath is spent; Revelation 15:1
    I know, through many exchanges with you, what you believe. But the "gathering" I speak of in the OP is the one of 1st Thessalonians Chapter 4. There it states clearly that the destination is the air, clouds and sky. I propose that the TIMING of this "gathering" is crucial. For the diligent Christian it happens BEFORE the Great Tribulation. By reading Chapters 1 and 3 of 1st Thessalonians we see that the Church at Thessaloniki was an EXEMPLARY Church. Therefore, the whole flavor of Chapter 4 is that they are "accounted worthy to miss the WRATH of God". The alternative is not mentioned in Thessalonians BECAUSE they were (1) not appointed to this wrath, and (2) are going to miss it by being in the sky, the clouds "standing before the Son of man". Even one with elementary grammar can see that 1st Thessalonians Chapter 4 is about CHRISTIANS being gathered to the clouds, air and sky - not the Land of Israel.

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    Re: The PRIZE of the upward call - Philippians 3:14

    The dead in Christ shall rise FIRST

    THEN.......

    A pretrib rapture is an impossibility.

    1Cor 15
    36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

    A rapture of a "living" person is also an impossibility.

    Don't confuse the terms "living" and "alive"..... At the rsurrection we are made "alive"

    1Cor 15
    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

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