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Dan Bernier
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Rapture theology is taken from two texts in the New Testament: Matthew 24:30, 36-44 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. In Matthew 24:36-44, it speaks of two people working side-by-side, one is taken the other is not. This has been interpreted to mean that people will literally just vanish into thin air.


P.S. I've never spent too much time biblically thinking about the Rapture theology, but I watched a few entertaining movies about it. (lol)
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Kif Anderson
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I consider that the word "rapture" is Biblical and a great topic for illusions. While the word isn't there exactly, it isn’t a false statement if we just want to argue semantics. Keep in mind the scriptures were not originally written in English. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. If you have ever studied a foreign language then you already know that some words cannot be accurately translated. A great example is the word love, used many times in the New Testament, but having at least three different meanings. This is because there is no accurate translation to English for the three different Greek words that have all been translated as love in the New Testament.

For example, if you love dark chocolate, you would Philia dark chocolate in the Greek. You Agape your family and close friends. You Eros your wife after a romantic dinner at bedtime, but of course you also Agape her. If you ever go to Bible college you will spend considerable time studying Greek and Hebrew and will begin to understand that a “word being in the English Bible” or not isn’t grounds for any kind of intelligent debate.

Along these lines I can argue that the word rapture is indeed in the Bible and can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 when Paul described believers being caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The Greek word translated as caught up is harpazo, which translates just as accurately to taken away (or being carried away as Dickens used it in the old English). None of the English translations (at least that I've ever read) have chosen to use the word rapture in translation – but I don't think any true Greek scholar who understands English vernacular would likely to object if somebody does.

Is this really important? Yes and no. If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, and you truly love the Lord, you are going up in the rapture whether you believe in it or not. If He isn't, the word isn't all that important now is it?

And from that thinking...many very nice routines could be created. Just because you don't see it...doesn't mean it isn't there... Smile
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
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Dan Bernier
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Great post Kif!

And, a very good point I may add. Smile
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2011-05-09 20:00, Kif Anderson wrote:
I consider that the word "rapture" is Biblical and a great topic for illusions. While the word isn't there exactly, it isn’t a false statement if we just want to argue semantics. Keep in mind the scriptures were not originally written in English. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. If you have ever studied a foreign language then you already know that some words cannot be accurately translated. A great example is the word love, used many times in the New Testament, but having at least three different meanings. This is because there is no accurate translation to English for the three different Greek words that have all been translated as love in the New Testament.

For example, if you love dark chocolate, you would Philia dark chocolate in the Greek. You Agape your family and close friends. You Eros your wife after a romantic dinner at bedtime, but of course you also Agape her. If you ever go to Bible college you will spend considerable time studying Greek and Hebrew and will begin to understand that a “word being in the English Bible” or not isn’t grounds for any kind of intelligent debate.

Along these lines I can argue that the word rapture is indeed in the Bible and can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 when Paul described believers being caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The Greek word translated as caught up is harpazo, which translates just as accurately to taken away (or being carried away as Dickens used it in the old English). None of the English translations (at least that I've ever read) have chosen to use the word rapture in translation – but I don't think any true Greek scholar who understands English vernacular would likely to object if somebody does.

Is this really important? Yes and no. If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, and you truly love the Lord, you are going up in the rapture whether you believe in it or not. If He isn't, the word isn't all that important now is it?

And from that thinking...many very nice routines could be created. Just because you don't see it...doesn't mean it isn't there... Smile


Very well thought-out post, Kif. But my argument has never been that the word doesn't appear in Scripture (neither does Trinity, but I believe it because the Scriptures are FULL of allusions to it).

However, the concept of the "rapture" as Vlad has already pointed out, as currently being taught in the Protestant Church, is a NEW AND NOVEL theology. It simply DID NOT EXIST before the late 1800's. It is a uniquely American idea, as well (that has since spread across the world, thanks to poorly written fiction such as the "Left Behind" series).

If by "rapture" you are simply speaking of our rising again to new life at the second coming of Christ, then fine. THAT is biblical.

The "secret rapture" as depicted in the Left Behind series and others simply does not mesh with Biblical teaching. Period.

One has to wrench Scripture WAY out of context in order to "prove" it.
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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Kif Anderson
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Quote:
If by "rapture" you are simply speaking of our rising again to new life at the second coming of Christ, then fine. THAT is biblical.
The "secret rapture" as depicted in the Left Behind series and others simply does not mesh with Biblical teaching. Period.
One has to wrench Scripture WAY out of context in order to "prove" it.


In the confines of routining the concept of rapture into a presentation (for if this is not about discussing a presentation but instead debating what people believe then it is inappropriate for this forum) the very logical verse for a rapture effect would be (as Dan mentioned before) to talk about..."two people working side-by-side, one is taken the other is not." That seems to be a very good allusion to the rapture which has been defined by much of the evangelical non-denominational fellowships... where I tend to perform the most. That's what I was talking about.

Please tread lightly and keep this topic about gospel/Good News Magic...thanks...
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
MagicBus
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Mike: I would respectively disagree. I tread forward in the rest of this posting gingerly because although I prefer to refrain usually from commenting on what FCM considers to be "non-essential" issues (the FCM is broad enough to include in it's membership those with differing theological views regarding the "end times"), I thought I needed to say something. So "Gospel" magic and how to best perform it is where my mind usually tends toward.

In light of the disclaimer above, I personally have studied "end times" from a variety of viewpoints: I grew up in the Christian Reformed Church (sharing the views of R.C. Sproul, for exammple), attended Calvin College, then later became a member of a conservative "Reformed Baptist" church, then even more later becoming a member of a large independent Bible church. Now at the current time I am a member of the wonderful (in my view- I love being there) Lighthouse Community Church in Kalamazoo- which is a Wesleyan ministry.

However, in being involved with all of the above churches, in turns out evangelical Protestant scholars do have reasonable and rational carefully thought out differing "end times" viewpoints- some being characterized as "pre-mil", "post-mill", "a-mill", or several variations thereon. It would be incorrect to state that the "rapture" teaching "does not mesh with Biblical teaching. Period"- that is not true. Learned scholars can make clear arguments (using the Bible as their only source of information) supporting a variety of different end times scenarios.

Some of the most conservative "Bible based" seminaries in the United States (in other words- these seminaries strive to have the Bible as their only source of Biblical instruction)-do in fact agree with the "rapture" viewpoint. "Rapture" is a descriptive theological term not found in Scripture- as are many common theological terms used today (such as "Trinity" as you pointed out). But trust me on this: Grace Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute and countless others have more than enough Scripture to "back" their "rapture" point of view. Teachers/pastors such as Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Dr. Charles Swindoll (all "rapture" pre-mil view) however rightly then have no problem fellowshiping with fine teachers such as Dr. R.C. Sproul (of a differing opinion). All of these men do agree in the inerrancy of Scripture and would agree on probably 95% of their other theology- and 100% regarding essential "salvation" issues.

The "rapture" support verses were not just recently inserted into the Bible- they have always been there. Luther and later Calvinists have their own history how their endtimes positions were arrived at. Many comparative study books have been published by IVP, Baker Books, and Zondervan outlining the Biblical basis for each prevailing view point that is generally believed today. Some scholars (such as T.A. McMahon) have traced back the "rapture" view back much earlier than the 1800's if I recall correctly- some say the "Reformed" view on the "end times" was the more recent notion due to the prior influence of the Catholic Church on Luther.

But to catagorically state the "rapture" scenario is not found in Scripture anywhere is not correct- it is not a recent figment of Jerry Jenkin's or Dr. LaHaye's imaginations or something just dreamed up with no underlying Biblical support. If you wish to research this further, the Christian Book Distributors web site is a great place to start- you can find volume after volume of theological books available for sale carefully supporting each position- some of these books have all the views debated/discussed respectfully as part of the content of one single book. I know that IVP had published such a book on that (detailing the Biblical basis for each various "end times" position taken)- it's probably still in print and available.

Whether the living Christians on earth will go through the tribulation period or not, or just when the final period begins, I quite honestly believe no one will no for sure until it actually happens. That does not prevent Biblical scholars past and present from reasonably having varying views on it. Dr. Stanley Tousaint (I hope I spelled his last name correctly) studied end times Biblical theology for decades, he concluded that the "rapture" view was the most Biblically accurate, but still with no offense to the Calvinists or others who have differing verse interpretations.

Anyway, I have never used Gospel magic to illustrate a particular end times view- but I have no doubt it could be done including regarding teaching about the Biblical basis for the rapture. As others have pointed out before- "magic" could be used as an illustrative tool to teach anything from satanism to how to prevent wild timber fires or to sell blueberry muffins or to just about any thing else, as we all know.

If more posts are made on this regard I will probably stay out of it- and just try not be too wound up if proper kindness is not being evidenced while discussing differing theological positions where folks can easily disagree. But without going on and on or outlining here all the many verses supporting the pre-trib "rapture" view- I close just to state that they do exist. I am sure there are sermons on it on the Grace To You, Insight for Living, and The Moody Church web site archives.

Have a great day all, looking forward to this summer where some more "Gospel magic" outreaches will be coming available as part of outdoor church outreach evangelistic events. Fired Up! and be encouraged.
Mike Maturen
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MagicBus--

I agree that we should not use Gospel Magic (innovated, by the way, by St. John Bosco...a Catholic Priest) to push a particular doctrine that is "non-essential"...such as the Rapture.

However...I challenge you to pojnt me to any credible source that pre-dates about 1850 that teaches the Rapture as it is currently taught. It doesn't exist.

That is my point. If we are using "gospel magic" to teach theology that is anti-biblical, then it is not Gospel magic at all.
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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MagicBus
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I am 100% positive I saw that specific issue (as to when the time of the "rapture" theory developed) addressed many years ago in several scholarly texts- it would take me hours to find it now. It is in fact a "wives tale" being spread by opponents to the "rapture" theory who like to raise this straw man as some kind of defense regarding their particular end times position. I am not about to throw out the Reformation because it occurred to Luther on a "later" time line after the formation of the papacy, just as one example. I will search online for a few moments regarding this- but I know have read personally how the "rapture" does not predate 1850 as both historically and theologically incorrect. Please, again, try not to use words like "it does not exist" without researching that first- it does exist- I am positive. If I do not get back to you on this in a few moments that means I could not find it right off the bat- but I think it was in the treatise published by IVP as well in a piece authored by the T.A. McMahon. The exact words such as "rapture" may have not been used- but the idea of Christians being taken up in the air prior to the tribulation period beginning far predates 1850. I don't even know when the first Scofield Bible was published- but even that long ago the rapture idea was not unique to him.
MagicBus
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Did about 30 seconds of internet googling- came up with a bunch of articles on the above- too many to mention here on The Magic Restaurant.

So without going through a complete discussion of I Thessalonians 4:16-17 and I Cor. 15:51-52 regarding "caught up" (Latin scholars rendered Greek harpazo to be rapturo), folks like Thomas Ice of the Pre-Tribulation Research Center have written extensively about this.

There is a sermon that dates back the 4th century AD, documentation of a Brother Dolcino presenting the idea around 1300 AD, Morgan Edwards (President of Brown University) held the position in the 1700's, etc.. Again, magic web site here, so I'll end it at that.

But in my own view, if we should abandon a theological position only because it is relatively "new"- yikes- there goes Luther's teaching on justification, Calvin's work on God's sovereignty, Wesley's contributions toward an understanding of sanctification, etc..

There were perhaps historical reasons why the above verses were not studied closely or why the writings of early church fathers forgotten as to their warnings to live in "continual readiness" for Christ's return- was it because they thought the Roman Empire was already the Antichrist and they viewed themselves already in the great tribulation? Even theologians like Calvin had tremendous "blind spots" as stated on another web site, even so, the "rapture" theory did not originate with either Edward Irving in the 1820's, Margaret Macdonald in 1830 or J.N. Darby a few years later. All these do predate 1850 obviously per the issued "challenge".

But again- back to the point- the verses above and others related to it are in the Bible- that's what matters- not what or who or which theologian later links them together to support whatever viewpoint they can Biblically support. Being a "Berean" is not always easy for sure!

Ahhhh, back to easier stuff- I do know that when I personally saw Jim Sommers claim at Abbott's that he was the originator of the "Zig Zag" illusion- he was sadly mistaken... Mike Caveney wrote about that misguided episode- I got a real hoot reading Mike's article about it (may have been in MAGIC! or Genii, I can't recall) as many us old timers from Michigan were there that warm summer night at the Get-Together in Colon...
Mike Maturen
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I will end it here as well. However, if anyone chooses to continue the discussion privately, I can refute ANY of the Protestant claims to a secret Rapture. I have studied this issue for 25+ years...and I am a FORMER Rapture believer...until--that is--I found the truth in the Church founded by Jesus Christ 2000+ years ago.
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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MagicBus
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Thanks Mike- I guess as the old joke goes, I am so pre-millennial I won't even eat Post Toasties!
Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2011-05-13 10:13, MagicBus wrote:
Thanks Mike- I guess as the old joke goes, I am so pre-millennial I won't even eat Post Toasties!


LOL!
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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EZrhythm
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Initiating props to disappear is an excellent idea to illustrate "rapture" scripture. Also the same for any "rising" effect.

...Those Toasty Oaties sure do turn to mush quickly once you pour on the milk.
How many magicians does it take to change a lightbulb? Regardless, for magicians darkness is a time for d'lite.
Donald Dunphy
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Another approach to this topic, is to do a lesson in your gospel show on the topic of false teaching / false prophecy.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mike Maturen
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Very nice, Donald.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
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