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This is some good information and the same sort of thing got me thinking heading to Glasgow on the train two weeks ago.
As I was traveling I saw everywhere people looking at their smartphones and I felt uncomfortable as I was desperate to look at mine.
I have been really burdened to get rid of my phone but I'll miss it for the Bible and sermons apps that I have. I am thinking I could bring my old Gideons Bible with me and down load sermons on my mp3 player.
The more I think of it I feel panicked that ill have no facebook or strava on the go and I feel I need to pray deeply about this.

What's your thoughts?

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Humans Have Started Growing Spikes in the Back of Their Skulls Because We Use Smartphones so Much

www.newsweek.com/humans-have-started-gro...ones-so-much-1443757

Smartphones Might Be Having A Bizarre Effect On Your Skull

www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/s...ffect-on-your-skull/

Humans Have Started Growing Spikes in the Back of Their Skulls Because We Use Smartphones so Much

www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/humans...s-so-much/ar-AACTeeJ

My Smartphone Gave Me a Painful Neurological Condition

gizmodo.com/my-smartphone-gave-me-a-pain...condition-1711422212

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Born Again Christians created a new topic ' Listening to the Voice of God' in the forum. 7 days ago

Today we are trained to assert ourselves and it’s often easier to speak than to listen. In this brief clip from this series The Basics of the Christian Faith, Sinclair Ferguson explains how we can all begin to listen.
[video]

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Powerful message by Carter Conlon of Time Square Church where he warns Christians or even people who think they are Christian of the false teachings of Hyper Grace.

Hyper Grace is a teaching where you don't need to confess and repent of your sins, past, present, and future. I was caught up with this as part of a time I backslid and the mind set gave me a licence to sin continually with not having to repent. The sin in my life shut me off before God because I had offended and turned my back on Him. I remember listening to a sermon by Alan Cairns and his message opened my eyes to the righteous corruption I was living and the filthy rags like in Isaiah 64:6. I repented and turned away from my ways like in Act 26:20 and surrendered my life back to God.

I hope this message will help you, please watch and listen and comment or message me if you have any questions or need help.

[video]

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What a great moment to personally pray for your president, I think hundred of pastors will be full of envy of Pastor David Platt.

I remember years ago that Bear Grylls had President Obama on his adventure show and it was amazing to see Grylls being able to pray for him.

I have always wondered what I would do if the Queen or our Prime Minister came to one of our Bible Studies, I think I would try and not do a runner with nerves getting at me. But honestly it would be a natural thing to do as we are told in scripture to pray for our leaders as Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1–4.

[video]

Pastor tells congregation why he prayed for Trump

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Amazing to see President Trump here in the UK to come and commemorate the 75th anniversary the Allied landing invasion of Normandy also known as D Day.

It is great that he got a super welcome from the Royal Family and supporters of our two countries being close allies and friends. If it wasn't for the USA we would be run by Adolf Hitler Nazi Germany party and I thank God that Operation Neptune was successful.

Trump lays wreath in honour of fallen soldiers in Westminster Abbey

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Born Again Christians shared a video in group. 3 weeks ago

The Private War of a Saint - David Wilkerson

We are living in a Spiritual Battle everyday. Most of us are in a private war with addictions, strongholds, and behaviors. You are not alone. Use...

Franklin Graham: Let's Pray for the President This Sunday, June 2

www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8xxwSUff8k

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This came up on my YouTube subscriptions yesterday and it was a powerful message on the Ark, the quote from Alistair Begg was powerful at the end.

“There is no refuge from God, except a refuge that is found in God. Provided in His deeply beloved son to who all who come to him in penitence and in faith."


Video discription...Weary of plagues and eager to rid themselves of the ark, the Philistines devised a plan to test whether their affliction was truly the result of God’s heavy hand or merely coincidence. Walking us through the twists and turns of this story, Alistair Begg reminds us that God judges those who violate His plans and is not to be tested. Our heritage, offerings, and endeavors can’t save us from His wrath. Only in Christ can we safely and securely stand before the Lord.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnnttrCu6vU

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Three Raptures: Vol. III -The Church - by Pete Garcia and Randy Nettles - rev310.com/2019/05/three-raptures-vol-iii-the-church

The Rapture of the Church vs. the Second Coming

One of the major theological issues Christian's have divided over these past two millennia, has been the manner and timing of Christ's return. Some Christian's do not believe Christ will return at all, but that is NOT, what the Bible teaches. That is man's teaching, and man's attempt to bring the kingdom in now through their denominational or religious efforts. Clearly, if there is one thing all TRUE Christian's can agree on regarding this topic is this, that Christ will return again.

Christian's division over the timing of Christ's return is in my estimation, a lesser issue, but no less the theological hot potato. Because it can be a contentious issue, many churches refuse to teach on the subject anymore.

That is theological laziness
That is putting people's feelings above Scriptural truth
That is robbing/denying the laypersons understanding

So there are three major views regarding WHEN Christ will return. There is the Pre-Tribulation View- Christ will return for His Church before the 70th Week of Daniel. There is the Mid-Tribulation view- Christ will return at the mid-point and/or the Tribulation is only 3 ½ years long. Finally, there is the Post-Tribulation view, and that is that Christ Second Coming and our being caught up (Rapture-Eng, Raptus- Latin, Harpazo- Greek) to Him are all in the same event. There are other fringe views, but their insignificant and not worthy of discussion at this point.

The first thing we have to realize is that Christ's Second Coming is broken up into two parts. The Rapture (Harpazo-catching up) of His bride the Church (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-56), and His return to earth with His bride the Church at the Triumphal Return (as chronicled in Zech. 14:3-5, Matt. 24:29-31; 26:64, Jude 1:14-15, Rev. 1:7; 19:11-14). These cannot be the same event because of the numerous and glaring distinctions juxtaposed against each other. (Differences chart)

Critics of my aforementioned statement (Second Coming in Two Part Harmony) fail to recognize that the Jews of Jesus's day had that exact same problem concerning Christ's First Coming as these critics now have with His Second Coming. They (first century Jews) thought the Messiah would come kick the Romans out and usher in the Kingdom right then and there. What they failed to see in the Old Testament (but what we Christians now clearly see with Scriptural hindsight) is the two separate comings of the Messiah...first as the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, and later as the conquering King. (Isaiah 53, Dan. 9:24-26, John 1:29, Psalm 2, Zech. 10, 14) Critics of the Pre-Tribulation view, fail to see that Christ's Second Coming is also in two parts.

We (proponents of the Pre-Tribulation view) recognize that Jesus does talk extensively about the events leading up to and including His Triumphal Return, but that does not diminish nor deny that He also talks about His return for the Church first.

Days of Noah vs. the Olivet Discourse

The first mention of the concept of the Rapture in the Gospels is found in Luke 17:26-30. In it Jesus likened the time of His return to that of the days of Noah and Lot-a world which was largely carrying on as if it didn't have a care in the world. In fact, He went out of His way to emphasize the sense of normalcy surrounding these events despite their OT pinning's. Were they in massive tribulation prior to the flood, or prior to Sodom and Gomorrah's fiery hailstorm? No, life was normal. Incessantly wicked and violent yes, but normal in the sense that a frog cooking in a pot does not realize the water it is in is being boiled until it is too late. (Gen 6, 19)

People were going about their normal lives...and then disaster struck. Jesus could not be possibly referring to the events inside the 70th Week of Daniel primarily because as the 21 divine judgments are unleashed, the world will be anything but normal. Those judgments cause half the world's population to die, large percentages of the ocean and fresh water to turn to blood, the sun has a 'nova' like event, then goes dark, people are struck with sores, and the Two Witness's perform unbelievable signs and wonders, etc., so there leaves little possibility for 'normal' inside the seven-year Tribulation.

The Olivet Discourse on the other hand is what most people automatically default to when they want to get Jesus's view on the last days. The Synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke all carry a variant of the Olivet Discourse. What often gets overlooked, is that each of the Gospels, provide a different perspective on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus because they were geared toward different audiences.

Matthew: portrays Christ as the rightful Heir of 'David's Throne' with roots back to Abraham, has very Jewish overtones throughout the book, and it has the Olivet Discourse. (Written circa 50AD)
Mark: portrays the servanthood of Christ thus no genealogy, is written with a Gentile audience in mind, and has the Olivet Discourse. (Circa 68AD)
Luke: portrays the humanity of Christ with roots back to Adam, is written with a Greek audience in mind, and has the Olivet Discourse. (Circa 60AD)
John: portrays the deity of Christ...is the last gospel written well into the Church era and does not have any version of the Olivet Discourse. (Circa 85AD)

Wait...did John forget to put his version of the Olivet Discourse in there? He was one of the attendees after all (Mark 13:3). Maybe he knew he was going to write the book of Revelation later in life (95AD) and decided to save it till then...oh wait...he didn't know that either. (Did he know he was going to get banished to the Isle of Patmos under Domitian?) Hmmm...I wonder why John didn't record a variant of the Olivet Discourse? Why would John leave out one of his Lord's longest and most prolific discussions?

Perhaps John's Gospel being the last, thought it unnecessary since the other three had it? That seems silly since only one version of the Olivet Discourse would be necessary, not three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke's). Perhaps it is because the Holy Spirit instructed him not to write it. Instead, he records the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16)...which was taught exclusively to the eleven disciples the night before His crucifixion. Instead of recording wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilences, etc....John records the comforting words that Christians of every generation could take solace in,

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3

Jesus (being God in the Flesh) knew before He ever came the first time that His second coming would not be a singular event. Rather it would be two events, both of which bestow a special place of honor for His bride the Church. It is not that we the Church are deserving of any such honor, but only because Christ shed His own divine blood for us and that we are the Church He built (Matt. 16:18-19). We are the pearl of great price in the parable in which the merchant sold all He had to purchase it (Matt. 13:45-46).

Four Lessons


One common misconception nonbelievers have about Christianity is that when we Christian's mention the Church, they somehow believe we are only speaking about a religion, a denomination, or a building. The Bible describes the Church (Greek-ekklesia) as being a living organism, e.g., the universal body of believers who are neither Jews nor Gentiles, but a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11).

Born again Christians make up the multimember, corporate-yet singular, body of Christ (Col. 1:18, 24; Eph. 5:23). In fact, the true Church consists of all believers from the first Pentecost (33AD est.) until the Rapture. Most importantly, is that the Church is not something men can even build, but something only Christ can do alone (Matt. 16:18-19). The case that Christ is building it (rather than renovating something that already was-Israel) is more proof that the Church is not Israel. Neither is Israel the Church. The Church could not have existed until AFTER Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and subsequent indwelling by the Holy Spirit.

At the core of the Church, is the belief in the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-5). The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, conquering death and hell in the process. We trust in His finished work on the cross, and trade our sinfulness, for His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:17-21). That is the only way we can be born-again. Our being born-again does not make us go from being sinners, to holy rollers. We go from being spiritually dead, to spiritually alive (Rom. 7). Thus, we are reconnected with our Creator and will at the appointed time, be translated (during the Rapture) from mortal, to immortal to live with our God forever.

The second common misconception amongst believers regarding the origin of the Church was that the Church was born at Pentecost. The Church was not born at Pentecost, but rather, was conceived there with the giving of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Just as when the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary, she did not immediately give birth to the Messiah, but rather, went through the normal stages of pregnancy carrying Jesus to term before delivering Him in a manger (Luke 2:7). The Church was conceived at Pentecost and has been going through the stages of development, as it were, these past two millennia. The Rapture is that day (or the day of Christ) in which we have every generation has been waiting on for our delivery, when immortality becomes a reality.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:19-23

Thus, the Rapture of Church is more than just an escape plan. It is more than our physical deliverance from the coming wrath of God upon the earth, but our physical deliverance from mortality, into our immortality. It, like the birthing process, is a necessary transition in order for us to adapt into our new environment. Not only can the human body physically not survive where God is in the flesh, but we (in our sinful state) could not exist where God is because of His holiness. We have to be changed, or we could never go. God is spirit, and the third heaven exists in a spiritual domain in the eternal realm. We will be given glorified (built for eternity) bodies. The Apostle John addresses this and likens it to Christ's body after His resurrection. Jesus could touch and be touched, could eat, and could move about as a normal person does. He could also appear and disappear at will and could walk through solid objects.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3

Although much unnecessary hype was made over the Rev12 sign movement that was popular a few years back, it was not a total wash. Two solid teachings actually came out of it (or that I took out of it) and were these: the church was not born at Pentecost, and the single, silver-bullet rapture passage every rapture skeptic is always asking for, is actually Rev. 12:5.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Revelation 12:1-6

You see, when reading the passage, we see within a single verse, a concise, chronological picture of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Then you see His body (the Church) being caught up (same word- harpazo) to the throne of God. Thus, the only mention of the Church after Revelation 3:22 on the earth is here by inference, and she is not addressed as ekklesia, but as her Child (speaking of Israel's). So for a quick rehash on who's who in Revelation 12;

The woman- Israel (Gen. 37:8-10)
Fiery red dragon- Satan (Rev. 12:7)
Male-Child- Jesus Christ (Isaiah 7:14)
Her Child- The Church (Rev. 2:26-27)

Of this, Dr. Svigel quotes Darby in saying:

In the same year, on July 15, 1848, in a letter to one Ralph Evans, Darby walks through his interpretation of Rev 12. He identifies the woman as Israel. With regard to the identification of the Man child, Darby interprets this as Christ but then adds, "Now the church is only brought in as being identified with Christ Himself, here according to the promise of Thyatira."23 In this promise, we recall, Christ extended the Messianic rule described in Ps 2 to those who overcome:

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. (Rev 2:26-27)

Thus, Darby is making a corporate connection between the male child in Rev 12:5 and his corporate body, the church, applying the same promise of Ps 2 both to Christ and the church.

I first heard about this perspective from Scottie Clarke, who from what I gather, learned about it from Dr. Michael Svigel (Dallas Theological), who had noticed some forgotten work done much earlier by the likes of Darby, Blackstone, and Ironside regarding Revelation 12. The accusations from non-pre-trib Rapture proponents will be...see, see....you got your teachings from men! Ok. Guilty I suppose. However, where did they get it?

The Bible.

Not only would it be the height of arrogance for me to try to pass this revelatory insight off as my own, but it would also be dishonest. Earlier, greater and smarter men than I have come to these same conclusions long before I ever did...and that is ok. We only see as much as we do today (prophetically speaking) because we stand on the shoulder of giants.

However, not everyone is of this opinion. Here is a point in which Randy and I would disagree. I believe (as does Randy) that you should hear both sides of the position so that you can make your own mind up (as the Lord leads you) regarding this tertiary topic.

From Randy: Regarding Revelation 12:5; I don't see the Church mentioned anywhere...only Jesus. And her (Israel) child (Jesus) was caught up unto God,and to his throne. Yes, Jesus was caught up into heaven after his 40 days on earth after his resurrection. He was the firstfruits of those believers who will die and receive their heavenly bodies at the Rapture. Of course Jesus received his glorified heavenly body when he was taken up. The Old Testament saints (spirits) were relocated to the 3rd heaven from Sheol/Paradise after Jesus' crucifixion. They will not receive their heavenly bodies until Jesus' 2nd Coming. I guess it all depends on the definition of caught up. Jesus still left the earth by supernatural means. I just have trouble with Israel's (her) child being the Church and not Jesus.

Man can not fathom the joys and wonders that God has in store for his children after the Rapture. "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9).

So there you have it. I hope you have been blessed by this series of articles, and as believers and watchmen, been encouraged to work, wait, study, and watch for our Lord's soon return.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Maranatha!

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Three Raptures- Vol. II Elijah - by Pete Garcia and Randy Nettles -
rev310.com/2019/05/three-raptures-elijah

The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in the year of our Lord, 1620. For all intents and purposes, this was the year our forefathers attributed to the original founding of America. Approximately 156 years later, the American colonists declared their independence from a tyrannical England. For the next 243 years, the United States would serve the world as a sovereign nation, providing a safe-haven to the politically, ideologically, and religiously oppressed peoples of the world. To wit, the Jews, who were still in their millennia's long diaspora, found the New World a place of refuge from the rolling tides of European antisemitism. They resettled in America and ultimately flourished from then until today. Taken together since our nation's original founding in 1620, 399 years will have passed. In fact, 2020 marks the 400th year of both the idea and the reality of the United States of America.

What is the Biblical significance to this four-hundred years, Elijah, and the Rapture of the Church you ask? The unconditional promise of the Promised Land. But more on that in a minute.

"Dr. Donald S. Lutz, a professor of political science at the University of Houston and the author of The Origins of American Constitutionalism, points out that the Bible provided the concept of the covenant."

In reference to the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and early Christian settlers of British North America, Lutz told me: These poor people came to the New World, they had the wrong technologies, their plows would not work, their houses that they constructed were inappropriate for the weather. All their technology was wrong, except for one technology they brought with them, which was the ability to use covenants to create communities. It was the perfect technology. It was the technology that mattered that allowed them to survive all up and down the coast.

Assessment

Elijah the Tishbite (from Gilead) first shows up in the Old Testament in 1st Kings 17 around the same time as the prophet Obadiah. He is given neither backstory, nor lineage, but appears from out of nowhere to challenge the evil reign of King Ahab by declaring a three-year drought. He then seeks refuge with a widow and her son in a neighboring country, where he performs the miracle of the flour and oil, as well as resurrecting her son from the dead. He goes back and challenges the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (1 Kings 18:18-19) in the "mother of all showdowns." After thoroughly destroying their credibility as prophets and their false gods, he then had all 850 of them put to death by the Jewish people who came to watch. Afterwards, he declares an end to the drought, but a scorned Jezebel puts a bounty on his head, and Elijah flees for his life.

Even Elijah's fleeing takes on superhuman feats of strength. He runs from Mt. Carmel to Jezreel (15 miles) beating King Ahab's chariot back. He then goes on to run from Jezreel to Beersheba (100 miles) and after eating, goes on a forty-day fast while travelling and avoiding Jezebels' hit teams. He ends up at Mt. Horeb where the Lord meets with Elijah. He instructs him to appoint a new king over Syria, a new king over Israel, and his successor, Elisha (1 Kings 19:15-16).

These leaders would help turn Israel away from the evil of idol worship and would facilitate the total destruction of the wicked line of Ahab and Jezebel: "And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death" (1 Kings 19:17). Elijah had dealt a death-blow to Baal-worship in Israel, and the three men Elijah would anoint would remove the remaining vestiges of that particular form of idolatry.

King Ahab ruled during the time of the divided kingdom (Israel-North [209 years], Judah-South [326 years]) before ultimate destruction by the Assyrians and Babylonians (respectively). He had been a morally weak Jewish King (of the northern kingdom) who essentially abdicated his throne to his pagan wife Jezebel. He She worshipped Baal, who was the main god of the Canaanites and Phoenicians. She normalizes Baal worship in the north, and eventually, it became problematic to the identity of the Jewish people. Nonetheless, Baal worship had become widespread in Israel during this time, primarily because of Jezebel's influence, and was why God used Elijah (and his successors) to ultimately put an end to this vile practice.

According to Canaanite mythology, Baal was the son of El, the chief god, and Asherah, the goddess of the sea. Baal was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El, who was seen as rather weak and ineffective. In various battles Baal defeated Yamm, the god of the sea, and Mot, the god of death and the underworld. Baal's sisters/consorts were Ashtoreth, a fertility goddess associated with the stars, and Anath, a goddess of love and war. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god-he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt-who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).

Similar to the worship of Molech, human sacrifice (usually children) was a common practice to the pagan people inhabiting the ancient area of Canaan. This was the same land to whom the Lord promised unconditionally to Abraham that his descendants would inherit, but would require a 400-year waiting period. This 400-year waiting period was important because God is longsuffering, and was giving the then current tenants (the Amorites), time to repent because their iniquity had not yet run its course (Gen. 15:16).

After the 400-years, God raises up a man named Moses and he leads his fellow Hebrews out of Egypt. After a forty-year jaunt in the desert, only the second generation (plus Joshua and Caleb) were allowed entrance into the Promised Land. The Hebrew tribes were then instructed to destroy all the giants and the pagans in the land, but failed to do so. After a period of general lawlessness...

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 18:25

...a golden era arrived (Saul/David/Solomon). But 120 years later, the country split between north and south, with ten tribes aligning with the north (Israel), and two in the south (Judah). Still, by the time Elijah comes upon the scene (circa 845BC) paganism remained an endemic problem polluting the land for over a millennia. God had enough, and sent Elijah to begin the purge. Having then named his successor, God then spectacularly raptures Elijah from life into eternity, and does it all in front of Elisha.

So he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so." Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:10-11

We know according to Revelation 11:1-10, that Two Witnesses will come back to the land of Israel in the last days and perform judgments against the Antichrist, his forces, the city of Jerusalem, and the people there. They will do this in very much the same way that Moses and Elijah did, i.e. there are great similarities in the kinds of judgments and the manner that they are carried out. They will have power to cause a drought for three and a half years. They can turn the waters into blood. They can cause plagues as often as they like. They will strike down with fire from their mouth, anyone, who tries to harm them.

My personal opinion is that these Two Witnesses are Enoch and Elijah. Enoch because he represents the Gentile Saints, and Elijah for the Jewish Saints. Although we have no record of Enoch causing plagues or other miraculous signs, we know that he was perhaps the very first prophet and foretold the coming judgment of Christ's Second Coming (Jude 1:14-15). We are told that Elijah must come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5-6). Again, my personal opinion here is that whenever the phrase the day of the Lord is used, if it does not have a modifier before it (great, dreadful, terrible, etc.), then that phrase is speaking to the general use of the word talking about the whole 70th Week. However, we see the way Malachi uses it, is speaking to the actual day of the Second Coming. Thus, my two candidates are Enoch and Elijah. Although nothing to break fellowship over, I contend that it is possible that it could also be Moses and Elijah-see Mt. of Transfiguration (Mark 9:4).

Conclusion

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness 1 Cor. 1:21-23

I like to draw correlations between things that are seemingly out of man's control to influence. Some might call that destiny or fortune, but with God, we know that it is divine providence. Although Abraham's descendants would have to wait for four centuries in bondage in order to inherit the Promised Land, the waiting was not in vain. Not only did it serve to deal with the Amorite people, but it also created a shared experience would unite the Twelve Tribes forever. It was at the foot of a smoking and thundering Mt. Sinai that the Hebrews came together for the first time as a nation. It was here that they bound themselves to the conditional covenant of God's law (Exodus 19-34).

Their regathering as a nation in 1948 after two-millennia of diaspora was meant to be an even greater miracle than their deliverance from Egypt. Not only were the Jews coming from just one geographic location (e.g., Egypt), but from all over the world (Num. 32:13, Deut. 28:64). Not only did the Jews wander about the desert for forty-years for their disbelief, but would spend next two-thousand years wandering the world for their ultimate act of disbelief by rejecting their Messiah (Matt. 27:15-26, Zech. 12:10-14). Not only would God remove the Amorites, but God would geopolitically restructure the entire world order by way of: the creation of the United States, two World Wars, the Holocaust, and the creation of a United Nations to make it happen.

The United States was a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles. It was at one time, the greatest proponent of spreading the Gospel the world had ever seen. When the US began to turn into a post-Christian nation toward the end of our 400-year run, the Internet was developed and the Gospel began to go out that way. Now the Internet is under assault (and freedom of speech online) because of its effectiveness in spreading the Gospel and truth. When the last bastion of religious freedom has been shut down, God's usefulness for this nation will have run its course. Interestingly enough, at our 400-year mark, God raised up a President like Donald Trump, who, despite his personal faults, has been an invaluable and strategic ally to Israel. He then partnered Pres. Trump with a devout Christian Vice President, and Secretary of State.

Nevertheless, Israel's rebirth as a nation would happen because the Bible said it would. The finality in this divine providence demonstrates the specificity with which the Jews could see its fulfillment with their own eyes. It also further demonstrated God's faithfulness in keeping His promises (Isaiah 11:11, 66:8, Amos 9:15, Ezekiel 37:11).

Now consider the fact that the US was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that the Church is neither Jew, nor Greek... (Gal. 3:28), and we are in the Laodicean-era of the Church age, therefore, it makes sense that the nature of our Rapture is reflective of that reality. We are translated from mortal to immortal, meeting Christ in the air, visible to the entire Church, yet hidden from the world. Makes one wonder why Elijah was taken up in such dramatic fashion, e.g., the fiery chariot, while Enoch's departure was so enigmatic?

Think back to Enoch for a second. Enoch walked with God, and then he was not, for God took Him (Gen. 5:24). We know later in Hebrews 12, that his being "took" meant he did not see death, but was translated eternity alive (Heb. 12:5). Enoch as far as we can know from Scripture, was the seventh generation from Adam, and was not a Jew/Hebrew/Israelite, because that would not come about until the life of Abraham many centuries later. Presumably, Enoch's unexplainable disappearance was just, unexplainable, until the writer of Hebrews by the Holy Spirit, explains the why, late in the first-century AD.

Elijah's disappearance was about 180 degrees opposite of Enoch's. First, he and everyone with him knew when his rapture was coming (2 Kings 2:1-5). Second, aside from the timing, Elijah's rapture (or manner of departure) was not a mystery. He knew he was going up to heaven, although, he may not have known exactly what that would look like. Last, his deliverance upwards was not some instantaneous translation from mortal to immortal; in fact, there is no mention of Elijah's physical transformation at all. Instead, he is taken up in an over the top, chariot of fire which becomes a whirlwind of fire that could be seen from a distance (vs. 16).

Volume III will discuss The Rapture of the Church

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Scientists finally read the oldest biblical text ever found

The 2,000-year-old scroll has been in the hands of archaeologists for decades. But it hasn’t been possible to read it, since it was too dangerous to open the charred and brittle scroll.

Scientists have now been able to read it, using special imaging technology that can look into what’s inside. And it has found what was in there: the earliest evidence of a biblical text in its standardised form.

The passages, which come from the Book of Leviticus, show the first physical evidence of a long-held belief that the Hebrew Bible that’s in use today has is more than 2,000 years old.

The discovery was announced in an article in Science Advances written by researchers from Kentucky and Jerusalem. It described how the researchers used a tool called “virtual unwrapping”, which provides a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan.

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The Three Raptures - Enoch, Elijah, and the Church: Vol. I - By Randy Nettles & Pete Garcia -
rev310.com/2019/05/the-three-raptures-en...and-the-church-vol-i

Mankind has witnessed two raptures in their nearly 6000 years of existence, thus far. These two raptures are similar in that the chosen person is "taken up" into Heaven in a supernatural way by God without ever experiencing physical death. Of course, the soul and spirit never die for they were created to last forever. The new resurrected heavenly/spiritual body will never die either, as it is also made for eternity.

The first rapture occurred during the Antediluvian age in approximately 2973 BC. Enoch, the 7th generation from Adam was born in 3338 BC. He was 365 years old when God raptured him into Heaven. Here are the only verses in the Old Testament that mention the rapture of Enoch: And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah. And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:21-24).

We do not know much about Enoch other than the fact that he "walked with God" for 300 years. Now that is truly amazing. He must have been a truly righteous and obedient child of God. He was the ancestor of another "righteous" believer, Noah. Enoch was Noah's great grandfather, but was raptured before Noah was born. Enoch was the 7th generation from Adam, while Noah was the 10th. The numbers 7 and 10 are two of the four perfect numbers of God. 7 represents "spiritual perfection" and 10 represents "ordinal perfection". {1}

This is what the author of the book of Hebrews, in the New Testament, has to say about Enoch and his remarkable rapture: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5).

Jude, the brother of James and step-brother to Jesus, said that Enoch was probably the first prophet of God: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 1:14-15).

This supernatural act of God, the rapture of Enoch, occurred nearly 5000 years ago...4991 years to be precise. Why did God do it? Nobody really knows for sure...but we do know this, "he pleased God". His walk with the Lord was something special. He turned neither to the right nor to the left, but kept his walk straight and sure, before the Lord....trusting in His word to guide him at all times.

Scripture tells us of the sinful living conditions during the time of the Antediluvians. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). In contrast to this evil way of life, Enoch "walked with God for 300 years". For this righteous behavior, God rewarded Enoch by rapturing him to Heaven so he could be with the Lord forever. Enoch continues his walk with God into perpetuity. He has been walking with God for nearly 5300 years so far.

The rapture of Enoch took place 987 years after Adam was created. Adam did not live long enough to witness the rapture of Enoch, but his descendants Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech could have. Seth would have been an old man of 857 years old and Lamech would have been relatively young at 113 years old when this first rapture occurred. Noah had not been born yet. The Antediluvian patriarchs had a 10 times longer life span than we do nowadays. In other words, if someone were 365 years old during the pre-flood days, he would be the equivalent of a 36.5 year old in our time.

Adam's son, Seth died 14 years before Noah was born. Noah likely knew most of his ancestors personally including Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and his father, Lamech. The stories of Creation (including the original patriarchs, Adam and Eve) and the rapture of Enoch; would have been passed on from one generation to the next. Noah could have heard of these events and other family history/genealogy from Enos himself. Enos was Noah's great, great, great, great, great (that is five greats) grandfather. He was the 3rd generation from Adam. "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord' (Genesis 4:26). Of course, three is another perfect number of God. Three is the second most important number in the Bible, following the number seven, as it represents "divine perfection". {2}

The rapture is also a warning and/or prophecy to all those that are left behind. They have a choice to make; either follow (walk with) God and survive His coming punishment (tribulation) or turn from God and die in your sin. If one dies in their sin, it will be forever. They will have run out of chances with their creator at this point and will be punished by eternal separation from God.

The antediluvian epoch was a time of great evil upon the earth: "There were giants in the earth in those days: and also after that when the sons of God came unto the daughters of them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:4-9).

Noah, the 10th generation from Adam, walked with God; as did his great grandfather, Enoch, of the 7th generation. God gave Noah a 120-year warning regarding the tribulation that was to come upon the Earth. He also gave him instructions for building an ark and gathering of both animals and crops for food. The animals would share the arc with Noah and his wife, and their three sons and their three wives. Only eight human beings survived God's wrath when He sent the Great Flood. The flood lasted for about a full calendar year before the earth was dry enough to support life.

Noah was 480 years old when God's word/warning came to him (120 years before the flood) per Genesis 6:3. His father, Lamech, was 662 years old at this time; and Methuselah was 849 years old. Shem hadn't been born yet. All of the other antediluvian patriarchs of Noah's lineage line had died (Enoch was raptured) by this time. "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Genesis 6:13).

Noah was 600 years old and Shem, his youngest son, was 99 years old when the Great Flood came. The Bible does not mention the ages of Noah's two elder sons, Japeth and Ham. Methuselah outlived his son, Lamech, by 5 years. Lamech only lived to be 777 years old, which was relatively young to die in those Antediluvian days. Methuselah, whose name means, "his death shall bring", died the year the great flood came, 1656 years after Adam was created. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old...the oldest man to have ever lived. Cain's family line and all of the other sons of Adam did not heed God's "word" to Noah and they perished in their sins.

The rapture of Enoch was a preview of the future rapture of the Church. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The future rapture of the Church will be different from Enoch's in that many believers that have already died will be raptured along with the living believers.

The Great Flood was a foretaste of the future Great Tribulation. Enoch was raptured before the flood. He is a forerunner of the living Church, who will be raptured and not experience God's wrath. Noah and his family were saved through the great tribulation of the flood. The surviving saints (believers) of the future Tribulation time will enter into Jesus' Kingdom on earth. Noah and his entourage of seven individuals (and many animals) exited the ark and entered a drastically different environment than the one they had previously lived in. The remnant of surviving believers will also experience a completely different environment when they enter into the Millennium Kingdom of the Lord, as the earth will be made like unto the Garden of Eden.

Shem, the 11th generation from Adam, was a hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood. Arphaxad was the 12th generation from Adam and was the lineage from which Abram was born. Abram (Abraham) was the 20th generation from Adam and was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. From Jacob came the 12 tribes of Israel...God's chosen people. Twelve is the last of the perfect numbers and represents "governmental perfection". {3}

The second rapture occurred in approximately 853-852 B.C. This was about 2120 years after the first rapture. The person who was "taken up" was a mighty Jewish prophet of God whose name was Elijah.

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Endnotes:
{1} www.raptureready.com/2018/11/09/seven-go...art-3-randy-nettles/
{2) www.raptureready.com/2018/10/19/gods-per...art-1-randy-nettles/
{3} www.raptureready.com/2018/10/27/gods-per...art-2-randy-nettles/

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