ONLY THE ABBA KNOWS - PART 4
A FORETASTE OF THE FEAST TO COME
the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.
15Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I say to you, I
will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
Based upon an archaic translation of
1 Thessalonians 4:17, the
doctrine of "the Rapture" teaches that true believers will be lifted
bodily into the heavens just before "the Tribulation." All non-believers
will be "Left Behind" (http://www.leftbehind.com/).
Such an escape from earthly trials is particularly appealing when
· Isaiah 25:6-9.
· v.6 - "wine on the lees" -sediment during fermentation. "fat things full of marrow" - grease. Best wine and best 'marbled' beef.
· v.8 - "swallow up death" - shroud, shadow, disgrace removed forever!
· Rev. 21:5 - "Behold, I make all things new"
· Matt. 22:10 ff. - So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
· Mark 2:18-22 - "Why do…your disciples not fast?" The Pharisees and John's disciples were fasting as a sign of penitence for Israel's sins. But Jesus points out that He is the Bridegroom and in His presence there is only joy.
· Luke 19:1-9 - "So he (Zaccheus) made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully." Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. He came to save the lost, not to condemn them.
· Luke 22:14 - "He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him." Consider the motley, diverse group He had gathered: e.g.
· Peter, Andrew, James and John - lower-class fishermen
· Judas Iscariot (from sicarius, assassin)
· Simon the Zealot – one of the rebels
· Philip - Greek name, suggesting a family trying to be Hellenistic
Bartholomew or Nathaniel
- middle class (and middle-of-the-road)
· 22:21 - "behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me" - Why did Judas betray Jesus if he was indeed a zealot, seeking to overthrow Rome? Could he have been trying to force Jesus to reveal His messianic power, call down a legion of angels (Matthew 13:49-50), destroy the wicked and usher in the Kingdom? But afterwards Judas realized his grievous error and hanged himself in despair. God had not fulfilled the schemes and dreams of the zealots! Rather, God so loved the word that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16-17), not to condemn the world, but to save it.
· 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 -"Rapture"-from the Greek: harpazo- is better translated as seize, snatch away. The entire passage is a Gospel message to comfort those who feared that their loved ones who are "dead in Christ" would not share in the resurrection at Christ's Second Coming. They will not be separated at Christ's return. That Coming will be loud, public and final. Ironically the "Rapture" doctrine alters this teaching into a theology of escape and separation of saints from sinners. Instead of a Gospel message of hope it is turned into a message of Law, threatening those who disagree with 'left behind' theology that they will be punished.
· v.13 - "concerning those who have fallen asleep" - the dead. Grief is normal, but in Christ there is hope.
· v.16 - "with a loud command" - military term. "voice of the archangel" - see Jude 9.
· "the trumpet call" - see Matt. 24:31.
· "the dead in Christ will rise first" - see 1 Corinthians 15:23 - each in his own time. 15:24 - then the end comes!
· v.17 - "caught up" - Latin: rapere; hence "rapture"…
"in the clouds"
- see Ex. 16:10; 24:16. Also
Mark 9:7 - Transfiguration.
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