The Church Is Mentioned After Revelation Chapter 3, by Bible Church Online

While the Greek word for church, εκκλεσια, ecclesia, is not mentioned after Revelation chapter three, the saints, which are the church, certainly are mentioned after Revelation chapter three. Those saints are mentioned at least fifteen times after Revelation chapter three.

Church, Ecclesia

There is an argument in some circles, that since the word ‘church’ is not mentioned in Revelation after chapter three, the church is absent during that period. This type of argument is known as an argument from silence. That is a rhetorical fallacy that uses the absence of evidence as actual evidence in support of the argument. Article Continues here (link)

See Also 1 Thessalonians 4

2 Thess. Antichrist

The Protestant’s Purgatory

Left Behind. “The videos sit on my desk with a note to my family so that when I am taken they will know what happened and have another chance to be saved.” (Unless they were on that airplane which crashed into the ocean when the Christian pilot was taken.)

“As soon as the coin in the coffers ring, the soul from purgatory springs.”

Tetzel’s jingle has been replaced by the cash register’s ring, to the tune of best selling Left Behind books and movies.

Left Behind: The Rise of the Antichrist” which shows a world where Christians have already been taken, gives the church a prime teaching moment to point Christians BACK TO THE BIBLE.

A significant sect of fellow evangelicals will invest hours and days reading the books and watching the movies. It is good, clean entertainment. But they will never sit for an hour, diligently study, and read the Bible in context. The context is clear. The letters to the Thessalonians teach us that Christ returns for his own AFTER the Antichrist rises.

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled…that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.—2Thessalonians 2.

That “coming” (parousia) and “gathering” are one event as the single article (the) makes plain. “Indeed, they are the two parts of one great event.”–Leon Morris, New International Commentary on the New Testament.

This is a “reference to the event described in 1 Thess. 4:17.”–F. F. Bruce, Word Biblical Commentary.

First Thessalonians teaches us about that coming (parousia) and gathering. Read it, here (link). (This is where the Left-Behinders bring more confusion.) Do it. Be a disciple. Do not settle for the bane of memes and memory verses (link). Read God’s word in context.

The Left-Behinders want us to accept their special, extra-biblical knowledge which divides this event and gives us two separate, non-biblical comings.

We have had the blessing of the First Advent. We await the Second. (link)

“No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20)

Read. Return to God’s word. (Link)

The Last Days. The Days Between Christ’s Advents

Hebrews 1

In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

Acts 2

Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh

In the New Testament, the Last Days were inaugurated by Christ’s First Advent and will be consummated by Christ’s Second Advent. We, now, all live in these Last Days.

The expression is found in the LXX [the Greek translation of the OT], where it not infrequently refers…to the days of the Messiah….in Jesus the new age, the Messianic Age, has appeared…”–The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Too often, unknowing Christians relegate these to the future or think that only now have we entered them, as for example, when interpreting Paul’s words to Timothy:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good,…–2 Timothy 3

But Paul was describing his own day, as the concluding line shows:

“Have nothing to do with these people.” v.5

“I and the Father are one.”

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.–Deuteronomy

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

The Jews again picked up stones to stone him.–John 10

Deuteronomy, Chapter Six (verses 4-9), presents the first section of the “Shema” which means simply, listen; take heed; hear and do.

Birgir Gerhardsson stated that we “can almost be sure that Jesus and his disciples started and ended the day with this” [The whole of the Shema].

This practice is “firmly rooted in his time.”

Jews of his day recited this twice a day.

The Shema was “always in Jesus’ mind throughout his whole life.”


F. F. Bruce: “The previous occasion of his enemies’ trying to stone him in the temple precincts was when he made the declaration, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am’ (John 8:58, 59). The claim implicit in that declaration was similar to that made more expressly in the words, ‘I and the Father are one.’

The Book of Revelation, Letters

Many Christians have turned this verse into a generic blessing on all who read this book.  But the same may be said of reading any book of the Bible. 

Or, they see it as a unique blessing which specifically refers to those who read this Book of Revelation. For some, it seems to almost become a magical formulation. 
[Strange that we need to say this, but when John wrote that verse, Christians did not have a Bible they could open up, and then read the last book to obtain this blessing.]

But what we have here, in context, is the standard means by which the assembly heard the message written to them—that is, someone stood before the congregation and read it to them. We see this in these New Testament instructions:

I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the brethren.--1 Thess. 5:27

And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.--Col. 4:1 



John writes to seven churches, and in each church, someone would stand and read this to them. Read the letters to each of these churches, and imagine yourself reading these words before  your fellow Christians. This blessing would give you much needed comfort and courage. 

The climax of this blessing is given to those who “hear”--That is, to those who heed this command to obey. 

New Living Translation
God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Baptism for the Dead?

29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15

Paul begins (Ch. 15, read it) by reminding those in Corinth of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and of the testimony of many witnesses to the Resurrection. The primary context of verse 29 (above) begins at 15:12.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

The Apostle proceeds to expose the fallacy of such a belief and the consequences of it:

“If Christ is not raised your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.” v. 17

[Apparently some in Greek Corinth held unto a Greek dualistic conception of immortality that negated resurrection. Remember, in Acts 17, the men of Athens laughed at the idea of Christ’s resurrection.]

Paul concludes his appeal to their reason, and then abruptly asks the question above, in verse 29.

The theological problem with this puzzling verse has prompted a myriad of solutions. No where else in Scripture or in the Church is such a practice noted. Bromiley’s solution (ISBE) suggests, “What is the value of baptism unto death, or of the death signified in baptism, if there is no resurrection?”

Gordon Fee (NICNT) notes that were not this verse such a problem, no one would have come up with such alternative meanings. The plain sense of the text is that “they” (who?) are being baptized for those who are “dead.”

Note that Paul does not address his readers, as in verse 17, “you.” He points his Corinthian readers to, what for us is an unknown, “they.”

But in shifting gears, Paul abruptly switches from an appeal to their reason to an ad hominem argument, a la Fee.

An ad hominem can be a “strategy of using [someone’s] own beliefs…against them, while not agreeing with the validity of those beliefs…”

As for this practice of baptism for the dead, we do not know who or whom; why or how. Fee concludes, “finally we must admit that we do not know.”

What we do know is that this obscure practice “lies totally outside the NT understanding both of salvation and of baptism.”

ISBE–The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

NICNT–The New International Commentary on the New Testament

Armageddon And the Book of Revelation

 

bowl-of-wrath

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

Chapter 16: Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”

…Then I saw three impure spirits…They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

Revelation in Context

The ‘Battle of Armageddon’ is one of the most misrepresented verses in the Bible by memory verse Christians who harden their hearts against reading God’s word in context.

  • Seven is the number of completeness. This completes God’s wrath at the end of time, just as seven days completed God’s creation.

  • It follows Christ’s Return. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war….And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations” Rev. 19
  • It is clearly the eschatological “battle of on the great day of
    God Almighty
    ” (vs. 14). –Geo. Eldon Ladd, Revelation
  • An eschatological battle, not a human battle. The armies are destroyed bythe sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth” 19:21
  • The ultimate reality is the Lord’s return. This is the event which is the focus of the expectation of the saints.” –Ladd

 

rider-on-white-horse

Contrast with Off-The-Wall Interpretation of Ray Comfort

While no respected biblical scholars have named the nations [in Rev. 16:16] they do agree that certain nations will come together against Israel in one climatic end-time battle called Armageddon.”

If any scholar has made such an interpretation, it is not Bible scholarship, but eisegesis—reading his own preconceived notions into the text (think Left Behind).

Chick-fil-A And the Lord’s Day: Rare Light in the Darkness

SabbathRest

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. Exodus 20

Remembering in a Forgetful World

Chick-fil-A keeps its doors closed on Sundays so that its employees have a day of rest and are able, if they wish, to go to church. Years ago, a lonely voice in Christianity Today, noted the complaint of a friend of hers who had to work on Sunday: ‘I have to work to serve all these Christians who are busy buying after church.’

The ubiquitous Sabbath-breaking of our own day is nothing new. During the revival that swept England, John Wesley noted a rare exception: “I suppose three such towns are scarce to be found again…There is no cursing, no Sabbath-breaking…”

He exhorted Christians, “Spend this day as thou hopest to spend that day which shall never end.”

On the Ten Commandments, Martin Luther told parents, “Exhort your household to learn them word for word, that they should obey God…For if you teach and urge your families things will go forward.”

The president of a denomination began his sermon at our local church with an offer of a ten dollar bill to any child who could cite the Ten Commandments in any order or form. As he put it back in his billfold he lamented that he had never been able to give it away in any church where he had preached.

Most Christians not only cannot cite the Ten Commandments in any order or form, we seem to be left with only eight or less these days.  [Original essay on Teaching Children Ten Commandments–‘Your Child’s Endangered Heart’]

In A Word to a Sabbath-Breaker, Wesley wrote, “Never more disappoint the design of his love, either by worldly business or idle diversions….You have lived many years in folly and sin; now, live one day unto the Lord.”

sabbath-day-holy-happy-sabbath

[Please learn to share these posts. They do little good hidden in the corner.]

Where are the disciples?

Memes

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”–Matt. 28

We must first be a disciple before we can make a disciple. 

Disciple: a learner; a follower and student of a teacher; …actively imitating both the life and teaching of the master.

Back to the Word vs. ‘What this Verse Means to Me’ (link)  Read and Learn

Obedience is the key to all doors… –C.S. Lewis

‘Follow Your Heart’-NOT

heart

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?–1 John 3:17 (ESV)

The Christian life is Christ-centered, NOT self-centered.

Here is an enlightening illustration which displays our modern feelings about “heart.”

The Greek text behind this verse (above) uses the word for “bowels” σπλάγχνα NOT “heart” καρδία The KJV renders this as “bowels of compassion” which represents the feelings to the Hebrew mind. (ISV: Whoever has earthly possessions and notices a brother in need and yet withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God be present in him?)

In Jeremiah 31:20, “bowels” are used in “a metaphorical sense to denote the seat of emotions” (TWOT*). We use bowel metaphors like “a gut feeling” and “butterflies in my stomach.”

Again in the KJV, Colossians 3:12 is translated literally, “bowels of mercy” (where others use heart:”Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts…”)  The New International Bible Encyclopedia relates bowels, here,  to “powerful emotional forces.”

This is how we moderns understand “heart” today.  “Follow your heart” epitomizes the Zeitgeist. Do you desire to divorce your spouse? Have an affair? Abandon your children? Change your gender?

Follow your heart.”

When it comes to modern translations of “bowels,” many use the paraphrase “heart.”

Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, the RSV, NASB, Phillips, and the later NKJV rendered “bowels (of mercy/compassion)” as “heart.” And the English Standard Version (ESV) continued that in the twenty-first century. This misleads those with today’s mindset when we come to the actual word “heart” (kardia) in the Bible.

As noted (please be a disciple; read and learn) in the first article on Heart and Mind:

A striking feature of the NT is the essential closeness of kardia (heart) to the concept nous, mind…”–The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, s.v. “heart”

All quotations of the Great Commandment in the Gospels interject the word “mind.”

The person who is awash in his feelings, following his ‘heart’ and not loving God with his whole mind, cannot “understand that the goodness of God is meant to lead [him] to repentance…because of [his] hard and impenitent heart [closed, stubborn mind]”–Romans 2:4,5.

Hebrews repeats this warning three times: “…do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (3:8ff). This is not an exhortation to follow your feelings. The faithful heart is one which listens to God’s voice. The heart that goes astray is the one that “has not learned my ways.” A disciple is a learner, tutored by his Master.

The hard heart is the unteachable, disobedient mind that “refused to listen to God.”

heart2

Be a disciple. Read and Learn More

*Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

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