Monday, February 2, 2015

The Rapture [Part 25], Dr. Andy Woods.

Tom's Journal.

Who Should We Pray To?

Q.  I’ve recently been noticing more people praying to Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit during public prayer times.  This doesn’t make sense to me since Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father…” No where else in the Bible do I see prayer being directed to anyone else except God the Father.  Just wondering if I am missing something or there is Biblical warrant for what I have essentially assumed for most of my life?

A.  In John 14:13-14 Jesus said,
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Many scholars see this as Jesus granting permission to pray directly to Him.  As far as I know there is no corresponding verse regarding the Holy Spirit.  We can pray in the Spirit and in His power, but I don’t believe we’re told to pray directly to Him.  Of course, since the three are one, when we’re praying to one we’re praying to all.  But personally I’m more comfortable following the traditional practice of praying to the Father, in the name of the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I get the feeling that some of this important article was 'truncated', and if so, that's too bad, and let the Lord deal with anyone attempting to muffle the Word of God !!  We know that we are in a fierce battle and the whole world is in the grasp of the wicked one, Satan!   See: 2nd Corinthians 4: 4.   Islam always gets a free hand in THIS country, but all kinds of blocks and barriers are clamped on Christianity [ and I also know and admit that the Church has been sleeping and even cowardly for a long time, and things will get WORSE!].   Gas is cheap right now, but we get less food in the bag-- and pay more money!  Now,  I'm not crying or complaining,  just setting the facts  straight,  correctly.  

We need to read, study, and re-read this truthful article below about the Rapture and WHEN it will happen, generally speaking.  As I have said many times in the past,  my full Trust, Faith and heart are on the Lord, forever, no matter when these things take place.... now or ten years from now!  But,  all the experts that I read and respect point to the NEXT SIX MONTHS as being THE time that our money, cash, currency, economic system will go down !  That's the way I, Tom Schuckman, see things.   I MIGHT be wrong [and I actually HOPE that I am wrong-- because I don't want to suffer hurt and shame anymore than any of my neighbors, brothers and friends do.... and I am NOT Prepared enough yet, IMHO.].   I am not a rich man, and if the Gov't went down the tubes,  much of my income would / might end too, being Disabled, etc.    In the past, when I got laid off from Chrysler for 6 years ---on the street, even with all my education and skills,  I got divorced from my first wife, Karen, and fell thru the cracks of the system, and was very poor, even though I always had some sort of  welding job and a busted down vehicle.  NO BODY IN THE WORLD would take me in,  not any of my family,  and I struggled BIG TIME, even homeless for a short time in the Winter of '95, cold Milwaukee !!  I was shamed, humbled, humiliated, hungry, and I think that God "allowed me to fall into those circumstances" to purify me of my terrible PRIDE, so that one night in a cock roach infested upper room above a bar on 16th Street, in the bowels of Milwaukee, I did get down on my knees and begged God for help, direction, mercy, to do His Will, at last.  After that things rapidly started to get better, and in May of  1995, I got called back to Chrysler, and regained  my former stature,  but I was Saved and 'Born-Again', and started attending a good, KJV Bible teaching church.    I like the Baptists because they dig down in their bibles and learn it well.    So I later realized that God had been watching over me all my life and protected me, even in Vietnam !!  Wow.   I am still very imperfect and sinful,  but I continue to try and be a Christian, and also share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when ever I can, and in many ways.    The Holy Spirit is with me, helps me, teaches me, etc.  God loves me, I know it, and I AM a Christian Soldier.   I pray a lot, that I can somehow, some day be a better husband to my dear wife, keep my mouth shut so as not to get her riled up...  lol.   But I admit that I am a weak, sinful, wretch of an old man, aged 66, and have lots of steel parts in my body to hold me together... Ha!  

Terri and I even had some great, tender, juicy New York strip beef steaks yesterday, watching the Super Bowl, after church!   We are blessed, but have debts/ bills  to pay, and when [not IF] the financial crash comes, we will be hurting too, just like everyone else....   except that we know and understand that God will somehow protect us... although we are very human and some may die from all the poverty and struggle.     But we must never be cowards, according to Revelation 21: 8.  
       I think that being a combat Soldier in Vietnam helped me understand how to "Put Mr. Death in my hip pocket, and make friends with him" in case I had to "Cash in my Chips" -- get shot down, die, get killed over there: 68-70, two long years, mostly flying as Door Gunner every dang day!    Back then at age 21,  I thought I was invincible, all powerful with the 'tools of death'-- my two M-60 machine guns.   But I was young and foolish, and have since learned to be more humble.    It's because of all of this past history, and severe motorcycle crashes, broken bones, etc., that many pastors have said:  "Tom,  God must have really loved you a lot to bring you thru all of those 'adventures' and dangerous times ! !"   And to think:  If I had been killed BEFORE I was Saved -- I would have ended up in hell !   Yes,  I have so much to be thankful for, guys and gals !   I also feel bad that loved ones and relatives won't listen to the truth of the Gospel and turn around from their bad way of living, before the Rapture !!   But....   I can only pray hard and set a good example for those un-believers that I meet and visit.   The Scriptures say:  that before things get so out of control and war are started, the Rapture will come.... so we believe that our time on earth is short.  The devil knows these things too, and we Christians feel his wrath and hatred !   Remember:  That God is Just and Fair, and He already knows who will make it and who will remain a stubborn, prideful, unbeliever and end up in hell.   It is not I, or we, who do the judging, but we know what will happen if anyone does not bend knee to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   Hell is a bad, hurtful, eternal place, where you check in -- but you can never, ever leave, or check out !!  On the other hand,  God's Grace is FREE !!  And the Holy Spirit can see into our hearts, and know if we are just faking it !    Too,  there are many humans who attend church for what ever reason, but the truth is not in them, and they are fakes and hypocrites, even doing great damage to the congregation and misleading many.   Beware.   Only KNOWING the contents of the KJV Bible can prepare a Christian to separate the real truth from pulp fiction, and wiles of the devil.  
           I have extended myself and offered help to so many people after I started sharing the Gospel...  bought many new bibles and GAVE them away to help get people started in the Way, the Walk with God, thru life, along with the 'Brotherhood of Brothers/ Saints/ Believers.'   [but let's be clear:  We can NEVER "buy or work our way into heaven !!!]   I feel the H.S. [Holy Spirit] motivates and plants these good, helpful ideas in my mind and heart -- to help others with small gifts of mercy and kindness, from my bounty.    And somehow, someway, the bills at church, lights and heat need to be paid !   $$$$.     Yet,  most of the people on earth will not accept the Lord Jesus, and end up in hell.   But we Christians would have 'blood on our hands' if we did nothing, never sharing the Gospel, with the fruitage of the lips, and handing out good bible tracts that help explain the Gospel, IMHO.  
     Friends,  now is NOT the time to goof off, lay around, go on vacations a lot, and hoist too many 'cold ones.'   We are blessed to have a great preacher at our country church in the cold U.P. of upper Michigan,  Pastor Kevin Sullivan !!   He is a strong man, a power house, a human dynamo !!  So by helping him and his wife, we are also serving the Lord.  Please pray for them too. 
      It's now past 11:00PM, and I will climb into our comfortable bed, with the Rottweiler pulling 'guard duty' at night.  We don't know when of if Mr. Obama takes over the InterNet, either, and then we know that we might not have the 'Freedom of Speech' after that !  If you find that others  you know could benefit from reading this blog post, please forward it to them.  Thanks !

Warm Regards, dear friends,

Tom Schuckman
   I am not on FaceBook anymore.  Too much "Big Brother," etc.  Sorry....

Friends,  I just found out a day late and a dollar short, that someone or something loves to mess up my cut and paste Bible oriented articles, such as the one below, and scrunches it all too close, making it hard to read ! !  I am angry and upset, that such a fine post is not up to par!!  Sorry.  But you can always go directly TO THAT POST to read it first hand, and YES, it's  that important, IMHO.[In my humble opinion].  Just point and click on Dr. Andy Woods, Sugar Land Bible church, and get the goods!  Many of my friends also complain that certain Net works, truncate and mess up their work and posts.  Shame on those Islamic unbelievers, and Socialists and Commie rats !!  God will certainly deal with them in good order. 

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  • February 2, 2015

    The Rapture (Part 25)

    Andy Woods
    Dr. Andy Woods Sugar Land Bible Church
    My previous articles commenced a series on the rapture of the church. We began with the question, "What is the Rapture?" This question can best be answered by noting ten truths about the rapture from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. We then moved to a second main question, namely, when will the rapture take place relative to the coming seven-year Tribulation period? We offered the contention that believers can develop certainty that they will be raptured before the Tribulation period occurs for at least seven reasons. After dealing with these two questions, we began to explore some of the weaknesses associated with the other competing views that seek to answer the question, "when will the rapture take place relative to the coming Tribulation period?" At least five differing perspectives exist. We noted at the onset that it is important to understand that all of the non-pre-tribulation positions have a difficult time handling the seven arguments favoring pre-tribulationalism previously discussed in this series. We have already noted the problems associated with mid-tribulationalism. In the last few articles we began to scrutinize the arguments favoring post-tribulationalism. In this article, we will continue to scrutinize post-tribulationalism.
    After tribulation

    Post-Tribulation Rapture

    Post-tribulation rapture theory contends that the rapture will take place at the end of the coming Tribulation period. This view typically sees no distinction between the rapture and the Second Advent and thus seeks to harmonize all references to Christ's return as taking place at the end of the future Tribulation period. Those adhering to the post-tribulation rapture typically rely on at least one of four arguments to support their position. In past articles, we noted that post-tribulationism errs in superficially connecting Paul's depiction of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-58) with the events of Matthew 24:30-31 and Revelation 20:4-6. We then moved on to the third argument that post-tribulationalists use to support their view. In this article, we will complete that discussion.
    3. Although the church is exempted from God's wrath, the church will be on the earth during the entire Tribulation period because the Book of Revelation portrays God's people being supernaturally protected from many of the apocalyptic judgments during this time period. In our last article, we responded to this assertion by observing that although believers will be exempted from some of the judgments during the Tribulation period, they will still be subjected to many other judgments during this time period. A related subject involves noting that the post-tribulation view has particular problems handling Christ's promise of Revelation 3:10, which says, "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." The Greek preposition translated "from" in this verse is the word ek. Post-tribulationalists often interpret this verse as not an exemption from divine wrath but rather a promise to be sustained through divine wrath. According to post-tribulationalist George Eldon Ladd, "...the promise of Revelation 3:10 of being kept [from] ek the hour of trial need not be a promise of removal from the very physical presence of tribulation. It is a promise of preservation and deliverance in and through it." [1] However, this post-tribulational rendering is not the only interpretive option. Beyond this, the posttribulational interpretation is an improbable one at that. Ryrie explains the controversy surrounding the interpretation of Revelation 3:10:
    Posttribulationists say that "from" (ek) refers to protection of the church within the Tribulation. Pretribulationalists understand it to mean preservation by being absent from the time of tribulation. One is internal protection (while living through the Tribulation); the other is external protection (being in heaven during that time). Which meaning does "from" (ek) support? The answer is either, if the preposition is considered alone. But for the record, let it be said that ek does denote a position outside something without implying a prior position inside and then emergence from within. The pretribulationist understanding of ek is supported by a number of verses that have nothing to do with the rapture and therefore do not beg the question. [2]
    It is noteworthy that the Greek preposition translated "from" in this verse is the word ek, which "carries the idea of separation from something." [3] For example, this is the same preposition translated "out of" in Matthew 7:5, which says, "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (italics added). Thus, by the use of this identical preposition in Revelation 3:10, the idea is clearly conveyed that the church at Philadelphia will be kept entirely out of the Great Tribulation in the same way a log must be completely removed from someone's eye before he has the ability to completely remove the speck that is in his brother's eye. In other words, the idea here is total removal from rather than sustenance or protection in the midst of.
    Numerous other verses can be cited in order to solidify this point. [4] Proverbs 21:23 says, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles" (italics added). Here, the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament created close to a couple of centuries before the time of Christ) employs ek, which is translated "from" in English. Guarding ones tongue obviously causes him to escape trouble entirely rather than merely sustaining him through trouble. [5] Acts 15:29 similarly says, "that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well" (italics added). Here ek translated as "from" conveys to Gentile believers to abstain from these practices, or keep themselves away from them entirely, so as not to create an unnecessary offense for the Jew. According to James 5:20, "let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (italics added). Here, ek translated "from" is used to communicate that turning someone away from sin will help him entirely escape the consequences of that particular sin, which is death. Colossians 1:13 also says, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (italics added). Here, ek translated "from" is used to communicate that the believer's citizenship and domain is positionally transferred completely and entirely out of Satan's domain at the point of personal faith in Christ. First John 5:18 buttresses this point depicted in Colossians 1:13 when it describes the believer's complete and total positional escape from Satan's grasp at the point of faith. This verse says, "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him." Once again, the idea expressed in all of these passages through the Greek preposition ek is total removal from rather than sustenance or protection in the midst of. Therefore, this is also the same idea found in Revelation 3:10.
    As mentioned in the prior article, the notion that the promise of Revelation 3:10 is nothing more than preservation in the midst of the Tribulation fails to harmonize with what the remainder of the Book of Revelation teaches concerning the massive, wide-scale martyrdoms of this future time period (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9, 13-14; 13:10, 15). How can Revelation 3:10 be interpreted as a promise of preservation in the midst of the Tribulation when so many of God's people are portrayed as experiencing a martyr's death at the hands of the beast unleashed upon the world due to Christ's opening of the first seal judgment (Rev. 6:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:9-12)?
    Even if the premise is granted, as post-tribulationalism maintains, that believers will not experience the wrath of God during the Tribulation period, the Church-Age believer still cannot experience any of this Tribulation time period. Note the full import of Christ's promise in Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." Notice that in Revelation 3:10, Christ promises the believer not just an exemption from divine wrath, but rather a removal from the very hour of testing itself. Ryrie explains how understanding this time component of the divine promise significantly undermines post-tribulationism:
    However, the promise of Revelation 3:10 not only guarantees being kept from the trials of the Tribulation period but being kept from the time period of the Tribulation. The promise is not, I will keep you from the trials. It is I will keep you from the hour of the trials...But how clear and plain is the promise. "I...will keep you from the hour of testing." Not just from any persecution, but from the coming time that will affect the whole earth. (The only way to escape worldwide trouble is not to be on the earth.) And not just from the events, but from the time. And the only way to escape the time when the events take place is not to be in a place where time ticks on. The only place that meets those qualifications is heaven. [6]
    Rhodes also explains the significance of this promise as a refutation to the post-tribulational perspective:
    The posttribulational view, expressed in the writings of George Eldon Ladd, Robert Gundry, and others, is the view that Christ will rapture the church after the tribulation period at the second coming of Christ. This means the church will go through the time of judgment prophesied in the book of Revelation, but believers will be kept from Satan's wrath during the tribulation (Revelation 3:10). Pretribulationalists (such as myself) respond, however, that Revelation 3:10 indicates that believers will be saved out of or separated from (Greek: ek) the actual time period of the tribulation. [7]
    Regarding the promise of Revelation 3:10, Geisler similarly observes, "In context, the statement about being saved 'out of' (Gk: ek) the time of trial does mean saved from it (not through it). One cannot be saved from an entire hour by being in any part of it." [8]
    In sum, having previously answered the question, "What is the Rapture?", we noted at least seven reasons that affirm the pre-tribulational rapture view. We then began interacting with the other positions on the timing of the rapture. In this article, we observed that post-tribulationism errs in failing to understand that the divine promise of Revelation 3:10 conveys a complete escape not only from coming Tribulation judgments but also the very time of those judgments.

    [1] George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), 85-86.
    [2] Charles C. Ryrie, What You Should Know About the Rapture, Current Christian Issues (Chicago: Moody, 1981), 114-15.
    [3] Ron Rhodes, The End Times in Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy (Eugene, OR: Harvest, 2012), 42.
    [4] Jeffrey L. Townsend, "The Rapture in Revelation 3:10," Bibliotheca Sacra 137, (July 1980): 252-66. See also Ryrie, 115-16.
    [6] Ryrie, 116-17.
    [7] Rhodes, 50.
    [8] Norman L. Geisler, Systematic Theology, vol. 4 (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany, 2004), 654.