A Voice in the
Wilderness

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September 16, 1997
Updated October 8, 1997

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Q/A Topics:


Word Studies:

Q.
I commend you on your reasoning for word study. I use to sit under a pastor/teacher in a local church who would oftentimes say that the true meaning of a text was lost in the translation.

He would speak of how an english word can mean so many different things. I guess I said that to say this, that I've learned to use the tools to decipher many words of the bible to get to what God is saying.

A.
Yes. God did not give us brains to let them be scrambled, did He. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7) Paul who "reasoned daily" from the Scriptures, also commanded that spiritual matters were to be with the "understanding."(1Cor14:14) We are to be "diligent" in our study of His Word.(2Tm2:15)

Thank you for your good word/s.

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Churches:

Comments re: "Where can I go to Church?"

It is such a feeling of relief to find the few others who seem aware of the ever widening gulf between what is written in the word and the practices of the early church and what we see today. It is nearly impossible to find a church not filled with false teaching, and lurking behind that a false spirit.

Even if one could find a church where the bible is taught uncompromisingly and not in conjunction with whatever is popular (what fellowship has darkness with light?); the structure is unbiblical and circumvents the divine system of checks and balances.

I'm speaking about the one man, pastor-ruled congregation; whereas the word clearly tells us that there are to be multiple pastors, elders, those with varying gifts and ministries serving one another and one ministry is not above another or can claim to not need the other. The foot cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you and the mouth cannot run the rest of the body off the road.

There is to be mutual submission; understanding God's use of the foolish, weak things that are not; that knowledge can puff up and the present system is a result of tradition, not truth.

It appears the major role of a church is to raise funds to support the church building and staff and put on a Sunday morning showtime(s). Many churches boast they have small groups, but they are peripheral and the resources of the church are geared to the big meeting - which I fail to see why it is necessary. Even if there is good teaching, there is no way of ascertaining if it bore any fruit; a lack of discipleship and personal relationships.

I also believe the Lord is saying, " Come out from among her and be separate; touch not the unclean thing." We are not on the verge of revival, as many insist, we are on the eve of the strong delusion. The "Holy Ghost bartender" has slipped something into the drink.

I wonder how so many can be so deceived? Why do I see this? I am nothing special. Certainly my own life is quite imperfect. We are told "my sheep hear my voice and they know me and they follow me. The voice of another they will not follow."

I will put up with being accused of being negative, critical and unloving. However, I think I should be more careful about who I share my insights with as I have made the mistake of rebuking a fool (who will hate you) or a mocker (and incur abuse).

Comment:
Seems this question has pondered men and women alike for sometime Church is what ? a bldg. or a place to here Gods word spoken ( I hope so ) Does it need to be a Bldg . I don't think so but it should be a great place to meet other Believers then get to know them and go meet with them see if there Bible believing folks and then Praise God with them , but yes by all means make sure that the "Church" one goes to has a a BIBLE sitting and being used on the pulpit and not Mans word but GODS word read not mans idea of what it says but just what Gods words say , thanks

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Imminent Rapture?

Q.
We would be interested in knowing why you sense that the rapture is very near. It feels near to us too, but we can't say why other than scripture telling us that it is eminent.

A.
Well...I don't have all the latest statistics. For that matter, I don't have "older" ones, as I never keep and file them when I do hear/read them. But, if we look at Mt 24:1-25:46 we can see the various parts of history.


        24:4-8          Church age
        24:9-26         Tribulation
        24:27-25:30     Sign of His coming
        24:38-42        (Rapture)
        25:31-46        Millenium/Kingdom
These things are in answer to the disciples' questions in 24:3. "when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?" You will notice He gives the answers in a different order than they asked them.

The "Church age" is exactly what we have been seeing for the past 2000 years. Then, we see the part about the sign of His coming and the Tribulation, and He says in vs33, "when you see all these things, know that it is near..." And this, of course, refers to His "Second coming" And if we see the world winding up for these events, and we know the Rapture is 7 years before that, we know the Rapture is even "closer" don't we.

What are some of the "things" we see? If you want me to, I will look up references for you. But, for this time, I'll assume you either know them, or how to look them up, and will just mention various things.

There are prophecies about "knowledge shall increase" that is our modern computer age to a tee. The "mark in the hand" of the Tribulation time: how many different technologies are being developed NOW...and as quickly as things are happening the last few years, it would not take them long at all to actually implement one of them, when the world leader takes control to "help" the world against the "alien enemies" who have abducted a few thousand Christians...and the economy collapses. There are prophecies about a "plague" which would "melt the flesh off the bones while a person is standing." Neutron bombs? There will be increase in earthquakes: look at the last couple years. Jesus said it would come about like a woman in labor pains: which come about, I suppose, more-or-less exponentially. And that is what is happening with earthquakes and such stuff. Prophecy speaks of "beasts" and pestilences. For all of modern medicine, why is it that all these new strains of bacteria are "now" emerging, for which antibiotics are not able to be developed? There are the 10 kingdoms: Some say it's Europe. More recently I have heard about the "Club of Rome" and the 10 global regions. And then there is the rapid push towards ecumenism...falling right in line for the "worship of the beast" which the antichrist requires.

I had one note from somebody recently scoffing at my constant urgency regarding Christ's imminent return...saying, "Christians have been thus expectant for 2000 years...and it could just as easily be another 2000. But, at no time in human history have "all" these elements been "coming together" as they are "now." While a few years ago, many of these prophecies were not understood..."today" the technology is "in process" of developement to fulfill "all" the prophesies. Not to mention those things which are "spiritual" in nature...and there, too, there is an exploding "global awareness" of these things.

Not to mention the prophecies in Isaiah 3&4 of "that day" regarding feminism and youth rebellion. And the biggest "sign" of the times is evrything happening regarding Israel. "In that day, Jerusalem shall be a burdensome stone..." to all the nations.

I don't know...is this enough. Why do I "sense" it is near? As you say, Scripture tells us. And as we have our eyes "open" and observe that which is happening around us. We look at Scripture...and then, at the evening news...and there you have it.

Q.
The signs you mention are interesting. Do burglars give warning when they're going to rob you? Is Jesus going to come "as a thief in the night?"

A.
No, burglars do not give a warning. However, if a husband and wife are in bed together, and one of them hears the burglar entering the house, they can turn to the other and say, "Honey, somebody's coming in the house." But at the moment this communication is happening, the burglar hasn't stolen anything yet, because he's still "coming in." He's making the sounds, so they know he's just about "inside." Even though they didn't know that "tonight" was the night he was coming... 'make sense?

Q.
Do you think that the rapture is going to happen in 1997 like it seems so many other's do? Personally, I think it could, but if it doesn't I will abide in Christ in the meantime and "keep looking up!"

A.
Well..as we know from Scripture, "no man knows." However, seeing how past prophecies have been fulfilled right "on schedule" (and the prophetic timetable is designed around Israel) ...and observing 2Pet3:8... I see some very good reasons why 1997 "could be" the year. In fact, I see reasons why September could be the month. But, if God goes according to the calendar as the Jews are using it...then, October. I see very compelling reasons why the Rapture is related to the "Feast of Trumpets"(Lev23:24,1Ths4:16,1Cor15:52) of the over-all larger "Feast of Ingathering." (Perhaps you have seen "Feast of Ingathering" under Tidbits at the Website?) Atonement would then be the Tribulation with Israel.(Mal3:3) And "Tabernacles" would be the Millenium (Zech 14:16~).

But, as you say, "if it doesn't" ..we keep looking up. Who knows, throughout the centuries, what may have happened to the calendars. there have been several. One thing I am sure of...God knows what time it is. And let the scoffers scoff.

BTW...one interesting suggestion came up in conversation with a friend this past week. I share it here, merely as "speculation." Nothing more, nothing less.

First of all, as background...we are aware that Elijah's mantle was left as he was caught up.(2Kgs2:13) When Jesus rose from the dead, He left His grave clothes, just as they were wrapped.(Jn20:5-7) And knowing that Jesus is the "firstfruits"(1Cor15:23) I have to think that the clothing of Believers will be left, too, when we are Raptured.

Now, based on other accounts, another speculation of this friend. When Stephen was about to die as a martyr he said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"(Acts7:56) There are also accounts of people dying, around the moment of death, just before they "pass on" of "seeing Jesus" and in many cases, speaking His Name in confident assurance.

Speculation...when the Rapture is about to happen, as the "trumpet" is sounding, could it be possible that Believers will actually "see" Jesus in the clouds and be able to "witness" to that fact to those around us, just before we are snatched upward? We read how it will happen in a "twinkling of an eye"(1Cor15:52) and how a person will be snatched out from next to another who is left.(Mt24:40-41) And I think we often have assumed that the person observing would see a sudden vanishing act, without any warning...just..."zap." But, could it be...? That there will be further witness to the unregenerate as to what happened...from our own mouths as we are about to greet our Lord? Another instance of "it will be given you in that hour what you should speak."??

A lot of exciting days ahead for the Believer/s, eh! And the world thinks the Christian life is dull and boring!! Indeed!!

Q.
The brother who commented that perhaps those to be "raptured" (is that a good Biblical word?) might witness to startled onlookers (who don't see what the ones to be raptured see) about the vision they see "in the clouds," might be overlooking the clear promise that EVERY EYE shall see him. Do we explain what they're seeing to people who ALSO see what WE see?

A.
Yes, every eye will see Him at the "Second Coming" (Mt24:30) as he comes like lightning (Mt24:27) [TO] the earth. However, the Rapture is a catching away of the Church [TO] Jesus in the clouds (1Ths4:17) in fulfillment of Jesus promise to come to "receive you unto Myself" (Jn14:3) Where there will be "two...one will be taken, and the other left" (Mt24:40-41) Two different events.

Comment:
We seem to be hearing about the lord telling more and more people to be watching. I thought this might be of interest.

A friend of mine "had a telephone call from a person in Scotland. Thought that this could be another confirmation, so here it is:

The person...Appears to be an established Christian who attends a Mathodist church and is the Praise and Worship leader. When he arrived home yesterday morning as he was about to sit down and write out some songs the Lord gave him a word, I recorded it, and this is the transcript:


The seasons have changed and My time has come;
There shall be a stern and accusing wind from the enemy;
There shall be a thunderous storm of witness from God through His Holy
Spirit
To His believing Church, glorifying Jesus.
I, the Lord God Almighty shall shake the nations as never before.
I do not want to harm any of my chosen, be they Jew or Gentile.
I the Lord your God, the Alpha and Omega
I the Lord Your God, the final word and authority wants to warn you
and encourage you;
Sort out your lives,
Sort out your churches
For your time is now almost at its end, it is at the end.
Be watchmen for Me and warn people of My coming
O My Church, wake up, wake up.
[This person] says that this word has really convinced him of the possibility and probability of an October rapture!

God Bless and Maranatha!!!

A.
Well...this is certainly what God says in His Word, isn't it. "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors."(Mt24:33)

There certainly are very telling reasons why it "could be" October. But we are told to watch, "for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." (Mt24:42) But we are to be "ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him."(vs44)

Yes, indeed...Maranatha! Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

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