Sunday, June 21, 2009

RAPTURE: The WHO and WHEN Of It All - PART 3

In this third (and last) article I will examine the book of Revelation and see if I can spot the church in any duration of time contained within Daniel's 70th week, and further take a look at passages in the New Testament that would seem to encourage the church to expect Christ's return (for His bride) at ANY MOMENT! And why, if the rapture is biblical, hasn't the church taught it for the majority of its existence?

I have provided in this article, a couple of links that I have found useful in understanding various aspects of the rapture of the church, one of these from Dave Hunt, and Tom McMahon, the other from Chuck Missler.

There are some that make the allegation that the rapture of the church is a dangerously false doctrine that was concocted by Margaret MacDonald and John Darby in the late 1800's; that there were no teachings on this subject from any church fathers or teachers of the church in earlier centuries.

While this isn't relevant in itself, due primarily because the Bible is the basis of our authority for spiritual truth, and not the teachings of any church fathers, elders, teachers from any century, and its what the scriptures themselves have to say about any teachings, be they practical, devotional, correctional, exhortational, or prophetical, that is ultimately important and valid.

Even so, there is substantiation to believe that the rapture, as well as the pre-tribulational view was held by early church fathers, and devoted Christians. To elaborate on this, I present to you, the reader, this article by Chuck Missler: (read footnote #2 in this article regarding Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373 a.d.) )

These other articles found at may also prove useful:

Its sometimes pointed out by a few mid- and post-tribulationists that the church had previously taught the rapture, but it was a teaching that faded over time, until later scholars deemed it unbiblical.

This 'fading' began after the third century and continued well into the Dark Ages; even through the time of the Reformation, and it wasn't until (so these who hold such mid- and post- views, say) Darby and MacDonald, that this 'dream' was taught as Truth.

We must bear in mind church history; over a period of time the Roman church began dominating the other cities that were centers of Christian teaching, such as Antioch, Ephesus, and others (note that I delete Alexandrius as a center for Christian teaching, even though its acknowledged by many Bible scholars; the reason I do this is plainly because these so-called Christians in Alexandrius were predominantly Gnostics, and didn't believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, but favored Greek philosophy such as Gnosticism, Docetism, and others: but that's another blog article!).

Central to the Roman church (and particularly the formative stage of this center of dogmatism that later became the Roman Catholic church), at the behest of Constantine whose primary interest was in uniting his kingdom, was the notion that "Christ reigns in our hearts, and that the kingdom of God is within" (both true) and that "any reign of Christ on the Earth, usurping the evil leaders of the world of their position and power" was not literal, but allegorical (not true).

Origen, one of the early church fathers (and a Gnostic himself by the way!), was the one who first suggested this idea of allegorization of the scriptures. Since at that time it was a law that everyone in the Empire was to be a Christian, many that sat in the pews were unconverted pagan leaders!

Certainly these would be offended by such teachings that Christ would one day come, and replace their rulership with His own, and reign in righteousness and truth, releasing the oppressed and trodding down the oppressors! Thus was amillennialism born, that is, the belief that no actual millennial reign of Christ would be manifested in the last days, nor would it be preceded by a time of tribulation, which itself would not be commenced after a 'rapture' of believers in Christ. This became standard dogma later in the Roman Catholic church.

Another reason a 'rapture' doesn't fit into Roman Catholic theology is the idea of purgatory; it's their belief that the sufferings of Christ was not entirely sufficient for the believer, but that they must suffer for a time in purgatory before entering heaven. If that were the case, then their entrance into heaven would be a singular, rather than a collective event; that is, each saint would arrive one at a time once their suffering was complete, rather than the church in its entirety being transported into heaven at the coming of the LORD.

Unfortunately this ammillennial view held Europe and all lands dominated by the Roman Catholic church in its grip for centuries, and when the Reformation was at its apex, the focus then was "sola fide" that is, salvation by grace alone in faith alone, apart from works; as well as "sola scriptura" which means that the singular and exclusive authority for the church was the holy scriptures and not dogma, tradition, edicts from any church authority, be they pope, bishop, priest, etc.

What the Reformers didn't address, much to the tragedy of the church, was eschatology, that is the prophetic study of the last days. They more or less 'borrowed' the Roman Catholic views of amillenialism without revision, amendment, or valid correction of ANY KIND (They even propagated the view that the church was 'the new Israel' and this of course led to much persecution of the Jews at the hands of both Catholics and Protestants)!

Thus its understandable why those who deny a pre-tribulational view would assume that any idea of a rapture, which occurs BEFORE Daniel's 70th week, was a concoction of 19th century abberant theology.

Again, the ultimate authority of scripture is, and must be, the standard by which all doctrine is based; don't adhere to the words of your favorite Bible teacher, or your local pastor, or what you personally believe doctrinally. Every saint born of God is responsible to adhere to what the scriptures say, and understand the Truth by the Divine revelation which inspired the scriptures; and as long as pastors, teachers, etc. remain faithful to the Word, we owe them their due respect as leaders of the church.

Most of us know this verse any way, but I feel its important enough to post it here now:

Act 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Here I would like to insert a link to several video clips by Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon, and their views of the rapture. In light of what I just stated previously, we must examine the statements these brothers make in the light of scripture to determine if what they are saying is true.

While I have looked into these videos, and am quite familiar with Dave Hunt's position on the Bible, I confess that I don't agree entirely on all the views of The Berean Call, but for the most part, I believe what they teach is fundamentally correct, and I submit these for your perusal:

There is over an hour and a half worth of clips to view and please feel free to review them at your leisure.
UPDATE (as of 6-23-09): Here is a link that provides an excellent treatment of the Rapture, from Southwest Radio Ministry:

THE DOCTRINE OF IMMINENCE is something revealed in scripture through various inspired writers who spoke of the LORD's return for His church, the body of Christ at ANY MOMENT.

Here are some verses that speak on this issue, take particular note of those sections in green:

Mat 24:36-44
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Remember that the coming of the LORD will be on a day when we think not; as the days of Noah were. The people of that time didn't expect the calamity to strike, which was foretold them, but when it occurred, they were surprised. So shall the coming of the Son of man: IF there were any precedent event that must take place before the rapture, then the time of the rapture wouldn't surprise us, and it would occur at a time when we "think so" not "think not".

The same with the following reference below in Mark: observe the statement, "you know not when the time is". For this same reason this couldn't be a reference to the Second Coming, for that won't occur until all the signs of the Revelation are complete, and the Beast reigns supreme on Earth, with his one world government; the myriad judgments declared by broken seals, blaring trumpets, and dreadful bowls will have already been accomplished prior to the Second Coming. How could at that point, any one think: 'The LORD won't be coming back any time soon. I think it's not for a long time yet'??

Mark 13:32-37
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (see also: Luk 12:34-40)

"watch" here means "to keep awake, vigilant, as opposed to being lax and indifferent."

Phil 3:20
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Of course this reference is parallel with the verses found in 1 Thess. 4, and 1 Cor. 15, as these both speak of our translation from this world, into heaven; the latter reference also speaks of the transformation of our corruptible flesh putting on immortality.

Phil 4:5
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

1Th 1:9-10
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1Th 5:4-6
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

For those who keep watch, and are ever vigilant in our expectation of our LORD, we will certainly know the times and the seasons (and those of us who are watching, can we not say, we are living in that very time and season?), thus we won't be "overtake[n]" (katalambano- to suddenly come upon and to seize, as in the Day of the LORD), but when that actual day occurs, we will not experience stunned delight?

1Tim 6:13-15
I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

There are six references to this word "appearing" in the N.T., and of these, five have the same Greek word, and among these, is this verse above. The other references are as follows:

2Tim 1:10; 2Tim 4:1 and 2Tim 4:8; Titus 2:13; the sixth reference uses a different Greek word, and this is found in 1Pet 1:7.

In the first five references the Greek word used is epiphaneia, and it means "a manifestation, a shining forth", and is related to all the various appearances of Christ, at His first Advent, and His Second, and also when He appears to His church at the rapture as mentioned here in 1 Tim. 6:14.

In the 1 Peter 1:7 reference the Greek word apokalupsis is used, and this is a "disclosure, revelation, manifestation" and its more comprehensive than epiphaneia and depicts the progressive and immediate unveiling of the otherwise unknown and unknowable God to His church.

Titus 2:11-13
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Hbr 9:27-28
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hbr 10:36-38
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Jam 5:7-8
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Rev 22:20-21
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

There are those skeptics and cynics, humanists and atheists alike, that like to criticize and mock Jesus Christ and His Word for this scripture, for they say, He said He was coming 'quickly' and yet He's been away for 2,000 years! Did He lose track of time? Did He get a flat?

The Greek word used here is tachu, which means, "shortly, without delay, soon, or by surprise, suddenly, readily, quickly, swift". It refers more to the manner of one's coming rather than a time duration. We know that the LORD is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish, and so He waits for those last of the Gentiles, who in His wisdom, are all accounted for, and awaits the time when they will receive salvation, and then, He will come "suddenly" without warning.

The following are verses that depict the Second Coming of Christ; the second group of verses deals with the rapture of the church. If one examines each group of scriptures and compares them, the differences will become more apparent.

Daniel 2:44-45; 7:9-14; 12:1-3;

Zech. 14:1-15; Matt. 13:41; 26:64

Mark 13:14-27; 14:62; Luke 21:25-28

Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21; 1 Thess. 3:13;

2 Thess. 1:6-10; 2:8; 2 Peter 3:1-14;

Jude :14-15; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-20:6; 22:7, 12, 20.

In these verses about the Second Coming there are no references to a translation; translated saints come back WITH Christ Jesus to the Earth.

The Earth is judged; definitive and predicted signs precede it. It affects all the people of the Earth. It concludes the day of wrath. Satan is bound.

Christ comes WITH His bride. Every eye shall see Him.

The Rapture of the Ekklesia (church):
John 14:1-3; Romans 8:19; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 15:1-53; 16:22;

Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:19; 4:13-18; 5:9,23;

2 Thess. 2:1; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28;

James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:7, 13; 1 Jn. 2:28-3:2; Jude :21; Rev. 2:25; 3:10.

In these verses there is the translation of believers, and these go TO heaven; the Earth is not judged; this event has no precedent conditions, and we are admonished to expect it at any moment (in a time when you think not). Believers only are involved in this event and it occurs prior to the time of wrath which God has not appointed us to. There is no reference to Satan or the Beast. Christ here claims His bride and receives her to Himself. Only His own will see Him.


Those persuaded of a mid- and post-tribulation rapture would have to show the church present during that time, within the context of scripture. Knowing that this time of Daniel's 70th week is expounded upon in the book of Revelation, ch's. 6 through 19, it would seem evident that if indeed the church is present for any duration of time of "Jacob's Trouble" we would find references within this time frame.

I have found scriptures that may be viewed as the church enduring the time of the tribulation or Daniel's 70th week.

Rev 6:9-11
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Here we have those slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held; its obvious these were victims of the Beast's reign, and they were martyred for their allegiance to the LORD Jesus, and they were admonished to be patient until their "brethren" were likewise slain.

Some see these as the church, and yet as we have seen in the previous two articles of this Rapture subject, there will be believers that result from the beginning of this tribulation, following the rapture of the church. There will be Jews who come to faith, as well as Gentiles. However the fulness of the Gentiles at this point has already arrived, and God during this time interval is once again dealing with Israel (in this time of Jacob's trouble) as specified in Romans 11:25.

There are no defining characteristics that identify these martyrs as the church; certainly they are saved by faith in Christ, and are classified as saints, but as we also have seen before, not all saints are of the church. More on this distinction later.

Rev 7:9-17
John the apostle here is shown a great multitude of saints who have had their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. When John is asked by one of the heavenly elders who these might be, John can't answer (if it were the church, it would seem John would recognize them) and he is told in vs. 14:

. . . These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The church has been in existance for 2,000 years, and if it were true that we would go through the Tribulation era, this verse would be rendered a bit differently. What it states is that these are those who ". . . came out of great tribulation . . ." rather than came through tribulation". Am I nitpicking? If I were to base my entire argument on this verse, I'd say, yes I am! However this is but only a single verse I will bring to bear.

Rev 12:1-Rev 12:6 Here we are presented with a vision of a woman in heaven clothed with the sun, the moon beneath her feet, and encircled with a crown of 12 stars. She gives birth to her son who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and who then ascends into heaven after his birth, and sits on God's throne.

The child is readily identifiable as Christ Jesus who will Himself rule with a rod of iron, and presently sits with His Father on His throne. Yet there are those who identify the woman as the church. This is rather confusing as the church never gave birth to Christ, but rather the reverse: Jesus Christ has borne the church with His own blood!

If this woman isn't the church, then who is she? The answer is clearly, Israel, for Christ Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. This vision correlates perfectly with the vision that Joseph had of his brothers, and of his father and mother (see: Gen 37:9-11).

Rev 12:10-12 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Here is a voice declaring from heaven that Satan is cast down, the accuser, and this is he who accused the brethren before God day and night, and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and yet were slain on Christ's behalf. Where are these brethren located at the time of this statement? All references to them are in the past tense: ". . . they overcame. . . loved not their lives. . ." and in reference to these, regarding Satan's accusations, this too is past tense: ". . . which accused them . . ."

I'm not insinuating that this is necessarily the church, but even if it is about the church, the focus of these scriptures is about the casting down of Satan, the accuser of the brethren. Satan has long been an accuser, and in the oldest book of the Bible, we see Satan accusing Job before God. The subject of the brethren doesn't intimate that they are at the time of this expression, located on the Earth.

On the other hand, Satan being cast down onto the Earth, is a fearful and dreadful thing to who? " . . . the inhabiters of the earth . . . " (occurs 2x in the book of Revelation). Another similar phrase is "they that dwell upon the earth (2x in Rev. 11:10)"

These both speak of residency, as in a permanent abode, whereas we look for a city whose Maker is God, our citizenship is in heaven, we are foreigners and strangers in this world, for we are not of this world.

In this verse, we have the only reference to Satan's wrath. There are ten explicit references to God's wrath in this book, only one reference to Satan's. God's wrath is towards all who have refused to receive His grace, and so they receive from God the wrath He has stored up ever since the beginning of rebellion, when Adam first rebelled, and all others who continued this rebellion and refused to receive God's grace and forgiveness. Satan's wrath is about how he will be humiliated because he was "cast down".

I submit that the time of tribulation therefore is about God's wrath and not Satan's, and since this Divine wrath is against all who reject Christ Jesus, it would seem unreasonable to presume the church, the bride of Christ, would suffer this judgment. (see Rom 1:18, Rom 2:5, Rom 5:9,Eph 2:3,Eph 5:6, and especially these two: 1Th 1:10,1Th 5:9 )


Rev 13:7-8
And it was given unto him (the Beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Compare this will a parallel passage as found in Daniel:

Dan 7:21
I beheld, and the same horn (the Beast) made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

In both passages it states that the Beast makes war with the saints, and overcomes or prevails against them. Certainly this is a proof of the church going through the tribulation!

Only if you presume that all saints are a part of the church; they are not! The Old Testament saints were certainly saved, as they had faith in the coming Messiah, and in the God of Israel that promised that the Son of David would establish His reign in Israel and over all the world!

Yet these saints were not born again: as mentioned previously in the other articles, this is a distinction that is granted to the church, and to the church alone, who would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Other saints would have the Spirit come 'upon' them, and by faith, they were saved. Yet they didn't have the Spirit of God residing within them, as the church does, even though to Israel, this promise was granted:

Jer 31:31-34
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Eze 36:26-27
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Many people presume that the Old Testament ended with the book of Malachi, and certainly that was the end of Old Testament canon, but not the end of the Old Testament. Others believe it ended when Christ was offered up on the cross and His blood was shed for the sins of the world, and the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom (I believed this once myself).

Yet the very words of Christ specify when exactly the Old Testament ended. Remember that the Jews don't refer to the Old Testament as we do, they call it "the Law and the Prophets", and so when we read these verses:

Mat 11:13
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Luk 16:16
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

We understand that the O.T. closed with John the Baptist. Remember what Jesus said of John, that of all men born of women, the greatest of these is John. Think about that statement and how profound that is! John the Baptist, in our LORD's estimation was greater than Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elishah, David, Isaiah, Daniel, etc.!

Hear His words:

Mat 11:11
Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

The least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist? Why?

Simply because the kingdom of heaven, comprises those who receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, thus they receive the promise of the new birth (which Israel would have partaken of, had they received Christ Jesus when He came to them as prophesied in Daniel 9), and become members of the body of Christ. So lofty and powerful a position, spiritually speaking, is the church, that not even the highest authorities of Satan's Kingdom, including Satan himself, his most powerful of demon-lords, the Beast, the False Prophet: the very gates of hell cannot prevail against His church:

Mat 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

So the saints that are overcome by the Beast are not the church, as we enjoy that position with Christ, being seated in the heavenlies . . .

Eph 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

The 144,000 in Revelation are saints, the two witnesses are saints, those Jews that have their eyes opened and understand that Y'shua is indeed Ha Meschiach are saints; those Gentiles who at that time, receive Jesus as Lord and Savior are saints. A saint is simply one who is sanctified, that is, set apart from the world and set apart for God in a special relationship. None of these groups will be born again as they exist apart from the church, the fulness of the Gentiles.

The book of Revelation is Daniel's 70th week, and that prophecy as given by Gabriel focuses on and is all about Israel!

Rev 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev 16:6
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

Rev 17:6
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Rev 18:24
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

In each of these passages, the term "saint" is used, and its a somewhat generic term, that can mean any one who is sanctifed by and for God, and this fits a broad catagory of all believers, from all ages, from which the church alone enjoys the exclusive relationship of being Christ's body, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit.


Many who deny the rapture as legitimate doctrine quote the verses that speak of a general resurrection, the resurrection of the just and that of the damned; others divide this into two seperate resurrections, but limit it to only these.

Jhn 5:28-29
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

And yet, when was Christ raised from the dead? 2000 years ago? Would He be considered a part of the resurrection of the JUST?

Rev 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Col 1:18
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

And what of the two witnesses in Revelation? Would they not likewise be considered a part of the resurrection of the Just? For they were received up bodily into heaven. Yet they are raised up and received into God's presence 3.5 yrs prior to Christ's Return and the resurrections of the just and damned. And what of those who were raised from the dead along with Christ, and entered into Jerusalem? (see Mat 27:51-53)

Rather than seeing the resurrections of the JUST and the DAMNED as two EVENTS, it would seem that these are two different CATAGORIES, and in the first there are the different events of resurrection of those JUST ones, of whom Christ is the Ultimate example. Included in this then, would be the resurrection of those that sleep in Christ, and likewise those of us who remain and are alive as stated in 1 Thess. 4:16).

From Revelation ch. 3 and 4 then, up until chapter 19, there are no definitive characterisitics that can readily identify the church as being present on the Earth during Daniel's 70th week.

In closing this 3 part to this article, RAPTURE: The WHO and WHEN Of It All" it occurred to me that this blog may well remain 'online' after my departure, either in death (which could be today, who knows?) or at the rapture (that likewise could be today, when the last soul that God has foreknown completes the count of the Fulness of the Gentiles; only God knows that number, and He ain't tellin'!).

If the rapture occurs, and this blog remains, and you have been reading these articles, I would encourage you to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! If you would like to know how I myself came to the LORD, use the search engine "Scope Out This MIND" found on this blog and type in "CAN I GET A WITNESS" or you can click on the link on the right hand bar entitled "Stairway Of Salvation To Heaven" and learn about how to receive salvation.

The fear of learning that you have been left behind will no doubt be so potent as it might seem to steal your breath away and overwhelm you with the terror of it all. You probably have no idea how you will ever manage to survive this time, and endure until the end.

Christ Jesus will bestow upon you His grace, and empowerment to face these challenges, and overcome them, just as the Word has stated:

Rev 12:11
And they overcame him (the beast) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

I believe that even we, the church will face a most trialsome time, with persecution and hardships in these last days prior to Christ Jesus' Coming for us in the rapture. If we don't experience the rapture before this, I believe its certainty is unquestionable, therefore I would like to close this article with prayers for the church, and those who must endure the time of tribulation as described in both Daniel and Revelation:

FATHER, I pray to You in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I ask you Father, please prepare Your children, the church, the body of Christ for that which is coming upon us. Open our eyes so that we may see, and understand the times in which we now live, and that the time is coming when we will have our faith tested by the forces of darkness, led by Satan and his instruments.

I pray that you lead us Father, in Your wisdom, knowledge, grace, and most of all your Love; we are ambassadors for Christ's sake, and no human being, even those who might persecute and hate us are really our enemies; rather these are creatures lost in sin and spiritual blindness that You love, and would have them come to the knowledge of the Truth, and enter into salvation via the LORD Jesus Christ and His shed blood for their sins. May we manifest Your love for them; may we bless those that curse us, and love those that hate us, and let this be done only through the power of Your Spirit in us, Your yielded vessels.

May we honor and bless you Father in this time of trial, and may it have its purifying effect in our lives; we long and yearn to hear You say to us, on that Day we see You face to face: "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

And FATHER, for those who are left behind, once the rapture takes place: give them your grace and empowerment to endure this time ahead; let them be granted all boldness and holy conviction to stand resolutely for the Truth which is in Christ Jesus. Grant to them LORD, Your love, and peace, and joy; let them experience Your sheltering arms, and lead them Father in the way they are to go. Protect them and their loved ones, and bring them to Yourself on the appointed day, when they will rest in Your glorious presence.

In the name of the LORD Jesus Christ, and in His name be all the glory and honor and power, AMEN!

yours in the battle, until then,

agape, grace & peace,


brother James Fire

Saturday, June 13, 2009

RAPTURE: The WHO And WHEN Of It All - Part 2

Here is the Second Part of this article, and a final part will be completed soon!

Please understand, that it's not my intention to stir up strife or debate on this hotly debated issue, but to provide a perspective I share enthusiastically with others, and maintain that this indeed is The Blessed Hope of our Salvation!

Below is another link to youtube that manifests the very heart of this hope: to be delivered from this world of sin, from our very bodies that are wracked with the sin-nature, and delivered INTO the everlasting arms of our precious LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ!
(the song is sung by Jeremy Camp; I can't ever watch this feed w/o tearing up, longing for my Lord's Return!)

As stated previously, there are some I've spoken with that believe that the church WON'T be raptured out of this world UNTIL the temple is rebuilt, and that we may in fact witness the rise of the Beast, and as a proof text, they use Matthew ch. 24, and I would like to address this, and many other issues, in this second installment of "RAPTURE: The WHO and WHEN Of It All"

If you don't have your Bible handy, go get it! However, if you'd rather read this online, I can oblige you: Mat 24:1

Our Lord was just leaving the Temple with His disciples, and as they were marveling at the wonder of that building, the Lord Jesus said "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

When the disciples inquired about what He meant by this, they asked three questions:

1) When shall these things be?
2) What shall be the sign of Your Coming?
3) What shall be the end of the world?

The first question seems to be directly related to what Jesus said in regards to the Temple being destroyed.

The disciples would be keenly aware of their own history and the previous destruction of the Temple during the time when Nebuchadnezzar came with the military might of Babylon's army and wiped out the entire city, along with the Temple during the third (and final) campaign against Israel. It was during this last campaign that the people of Israel were either wiped out, or taken as captives, as a nation, back to Babylon.

The disciples recognized that such a destruction would certainly constitute a major paradigm in the affairs of the nation, and wondered if this would involve the end of the world, and if so, then the Coming of the LORD to inaugurate His rightful reign as Messiah-King.

The Lord then begins to elaborate on the events as they would transpire in the future. Note that there is no answer provided here in Matthew's account regarding the destruction of the Temple (He does address this issue however in Luke ch. 21 and I will deal with this later on).

The first thing the LORD says is "take heed that no man deceive you" and this is repeated again later. Its paramount that we hold tenaciously to God's Word, the ONLY Source of spiritual Truth on this planet! By God's Word, we obtain wisdom, insight, discernment, by which we, if we are born of God's Spirit, avoid any deception and deceit.

The LORD speaks of false Christs here who will deceive many, wars, and rumors of wars, then admonishes us to "not be troubled, for the end is not yet."

"Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . . . " I used to think that this was a "Hebraeism" that is, a poetic form that stated the same thing, two different ways. This is a technique often used in scripture, especially in the Psalms and Proverbs.

Yet if you consider closely what this is saying, it reveals something significant. A nation could exist independently of a kingdom, like the Kurds of today, for they are a distinct ethnicity with a culture and language of their own, yet they don't possess their own homeland (though they are making an attempt to do so); so too was Israel prior to 1948.

A "nation" is a people of "common birth in relation to their distinct ethnicity" whereas a "kingdom" (or the 'king's domain') is a political entity.

Thus "nation against nation" would have to do with racial tensions, riots, etc. whereas "kingdom against kingdom" would entail political and military contentions.

Famines, pestilences, earthquakes in diverse places would all occur. Sceptics of the Bible point out that we have always had these things happening, and only 'doom and gloomers' would use such justification in proclaiming "THE END IS NEAR!"

However, it's verse 8 that is crucial to understanding these events: "All these are the beginning of sorrows," or birth pangs which we all know are events that transpire at the birth of a new born, beginning gradually, then increasing in frequency and intensity, and this is the key to understanding these signs. They would increase in frequency, and intensity, then resolve, only to begin again with greater and greater magnitude.

We see this happening evidently in today's world.

Take note that our Lord, when speaking, says "you": "take heed that no man deceive YOU" . . . ""YOU shall hear of wars and rumors of wars" . . .

"Then shall they deliver YOU up to be afflicted and shall kill YOU: and YOU shall be hated of all nations for My Name's sake."

When taken in context, one would infer that in vs. 15, the LORD said "When YOU therefore shall see the abomination of desolation . . . " that He is addressing the same people (and He is!). The question remains then, who is He speaking to?

The answer is obvious; He is speaking to the disciples (He says "you" seven more times after this).

If one infers that the time period that the LORD is addressing is about Christians (for these disciples were followers of Christ, thus Christians) enduring this time, and witnessing these things, and in particular, the Temple and events surrounding it, and the revealing of the Beast, one could conclude that we must wait for the rapture of the church until AFTER these things.

Obviously the disciples were 'types' of future believers, for when the LORD says "you" it's evident that He can't be referring to them personally seeing these wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, etc. and the temple issues; but those who would follow after these disciples, i.e., believers in latter generations.

Now, it's vitally important to understand the persons that our LORD is addressing here. Proper exegesis (what does the text say) is essential in order for proper exposition (what does the text mean) to take place.

Were these disciples, Christians? What does it mean to be a Christian? Its a person who recognizes that Jesus is Christ/Messiah, the sacrificial Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world, and as a result, receives the atonement for their sins and the Spirit of God, thus resulting in being born again.

However these disciples were not yet born again, for Christ had not yet died, nor was He risen again, nor had the Holy Spirit been given (see
Jhn 7:37-39). Christ indeed imparted the Holy Spirit to His disciples post-resurrection (see Jhn 20:22). Yet if they weren't Christians at this time, what were they?

They were those who seeing, could see, and hearing, could hear, and understand the Truth as presented by the Messiah, as opposed to those other Jews, who had rejected their Messiah. These disciples at this point in time, were 'Messianic Jews' as it were, and had like faith as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which meant that they were saved, just as the forefathers were, who looked ahead to the time when Messiah would come, but not yet born again.

Why is this important? Because these disciples represent the believing Jews, saved Jews, Jews who will embrace Y'shua Ha Meschiach with all their hearts, who will in fact, see "all these things" that our Lord spoke about in this chapter. It may well be that these 12 apostles represent in their present state, the 144,000 Jews who will go forth during the time of Jacob's trouble (12,000 from each tribe) proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, the very message that the Jews in Jesus day, rejected.

Once again, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in and God has taken for Himself a people (Gentiles predominantly) for His Name, He shall then turn and build again the Tabernacle of David, and Israel will again be dealt with by the LORD. Jews who come to faith in Y'shua Ha Meschiach (Jesus Christ) during the time of Jacob's Trouble, a.k.a. Daniels 70th week, will certainly be saved, but not born again, as this is a spiritual distinction exclusively for the church, which is neither Jew nor Gentile, but "one new man".

Thus verse 9 of Matthew ch. 24 takes on a different look: "YOU shall be hated of all nations for My Name's sake" refers to Jewish believers who are positionally speaking, identical to these disciples standing, as they were, before the LORD Jesus in this very chapter. They will believe in Y'shua as Ha Meschiach, and thus be saved, but not indwelt by God's Spirit.

In Israel's history, during times in which the Hebrew people fell away from the LORD, and He had to chasten, rebuke and correct His people, there seems to always be a faithful remnant. Even in the days of Elijah, when he was alone in that cave, and bemoaning the 'fact' that he alone served and loved the LORD; God had to inform him of the real facts! There were yet 7,000 that had not yet bowed the knee to Baal!

Throughout the Bible, there is mention of the remnant that held on to the Word of God, that believed the promises YHWH made to His people, and looked forward to their Messiah (
2Ki 19:4, 30-31; 2Ch 30:6; 2Ch 34:9; Ezr 3:8; Ezr 9:8; Neh 1:3; Isa 1:9; Isa 10:20-22; Isa 37:4, 31-32; Isa 46:3; Jer 6:9; Jer 23:3; Jer 31:7; Jer 42:2,15,19 and a host of other O.T. scriptures; note that not all verses that mention a "remnant" are a godly remnant, but there is always in every generation of Israel, those who God preserves, who remain faithful to Him.

Here is a critical verse speaking of the remnant that has to do with the last days, as this is the second (and prophetically, final) regathering of the nation of Israel:

Isa 11:11
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (see also vs.16)

In the days of Jesus, His remnant amounted to His twelve, and women who were dearly devoted to their precious Lord; eventually all others had left (see
Jhn 6:66-67; interesting verse number in which this was written), and even His apostles fled when the Temple soldiers came and arrested Jesus.

Here are three N.T. verses on "the remnant":

Rom 9:27; Rom 11:5; and in regards to that remnant that endures the time of Jacob's trouble:

Rev 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (No doubt the 144,000 will be at least a part of the total number comprising this remnant; observe: this woman is a symbol of the nation Israel as in vs. 2-6 it speaks of how she gave birth to her child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, that later ascended into heaven, to God and His throne)

In the last days, as stated in Part One of this article, two out of every three Jews will be wiped out in that terrible time ahead (this is one major reason why we are to pray fervently for the conversion of the Jewish people, that they may partake of Christ and be included in the body of Christ, thus escape this horrible calamity).

Getting back to Matthew ch. 24, if one asserts that these disciples are 'types' of Jewish believers who will endure Daniel's 70th week, rather than the church, it then makes sense that "they that endure to the end will be saved" vs.13, that is, not the saving of their souls, but of their physical lives by the arrival of Y'shua at His Second Coming.

Further, those that see the abomination of desolation as spoken of by Daniel . . . (recall that the prophecy given to Daniel regarding this blasphemy and related events is to his people [Israel] and his holy city [Jerusalem], these events transpire in a day and time in which God deals with Israel) . . . are admonished to flee Judea. vs. 15.

(Please note: the building of the temple for the Jewish people, in my opinion could happen any day; we the church may well witness its construction. I think this is probable, as the covenant of the temple is enforced by the Beast at the BEGINNING of the 70th week, then broken half way through. It seems improbable that the Temple therefore would be built during the time of the tribulation. What I don't believe we will see, is its desecration, as this happens half way through Daniel's 70th week.)

If He were addressing Christians, what would be His instruction for those who did NOT dwell in Judea? There is an absence of any instruction here for such would-be Christians living at this time.

Also, such Christians would not find "the sabbath" an impediment to their attempt to escape these things, but Jews who follow Y'shua would, as they would still hold to the Torah. The complexion of this passage is distinctly JEWISH, not Christian!

Within the context of this passage of Matthew 24:4-31, it speaks of things that will transpire before and during Christ's physical return to Earth, when He rescues Israel from the Beast and his forces, as they're gather together in Megiddo, and proceed to Bozrah where the remnant will be in hiding (see
Isa 34:6; Jer 49:13,22); and also:

Mic 2:12
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

Isa 63:1
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (see also Rev 19:11-21)

Zec 12:10
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Zec 13:6
And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

Also something interesting to note: In Hosea 5:15, it states the following:

Hsa 5:15
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

If one reads the passage in context, its determinable that the speaker here is God Himself: God is saying, I will return to My place. . . In order to return to His place (heaven) He would had to have left it; this He did when He became incarnate and walked among us. After His ascension, He returned to His place until . . . until when?
". . . they acknowledge their offence". That word 'offence' is in the singular: its a specific offense. What could it be? I believe it was the national rejection of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, the King!

It continues in ch. 6 of Hosea . . .

Hsa 6:1-3
Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter andformer rain unto the earth.

I believe this is highly suggestive that its when this godly remnant of Israel petitions the Messiah to return, that the LORD will do so! No wonder Satan has such a vested interest in their destruction! If he can accomplish this (but he can't!) he could prevent the fulfillment of prophecy (lotsa luck buddy!).

Getting back to Matthew 24: therefore if one understands that the "you" that the LORD is addressing, are saved Jews, redeemed after the rapture (thus excluded from the church) the parable spoken of the fig tree makes sense. When its leaves are budded, we know that summer is near, and likewise . . .

"When you, when you shall see these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." The Lord then says something interesting about the witnesses of 'the fig tree':

Mat 24:34
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

The very same generation that sees these things won't pass away until all things are fulfilled. We know that from the time of the erection of the abomination of desolation to the coming of Christ Jesus will be 1,260 days or 3.5 prophetic years.

Dan 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Therefore any who witness these events re: the Beast and the Temple being defiled will be able to calculate and learn the day of the LORD's return. Yet prior to Daniel's 70th week, no one will know the day or the hour of the Second Coming.

Just as no one will know the day or the hour of the rapture, because no one knows when the church will be completed, save for our Father.

And now in regards to Luke ch. 21, an identical account of what was read in Matt. ch 24 . . . or IS IT?

There is an interesting difference between these two passages of scripture that often get lumped together, as text that more or less describes the same events, when in fact, they do NOT in their entirety!

In Matthew 24:7-8 it speaks of events that match Luke 21:10-11: "false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, etc."

In Matt. 24:9 it says " . . . Then shall they . . ." That is, what follows from vs. 9 on will occur after vs. 8.

In Luke 21: 12, it says " . . . But before all these . . ." That is, what occurs from vs.12-24 will occur before vs. 12. In this portion of scripture we witness a fulfillment of what happened in Israel and in Jerusalem specifically, around the time of 70 A.D. when the Temple was destroyed.

See: Luk 21:12 -24

Note especially vs. 20 through 24 -

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

The time of the Gentiles is also prophetically relevant (and not to be confused with "the fulness of the Gentiles": they are two very different events) because this is a period of time that started with Nebuchadnezzar, when Babylon dominated and "trod down" Jerusalem until the fall of Babylon, at which time it was under the domination of the Medo-Persian empire, then the Grecian empire, and finally the Roman empire. Yet after the dispersion of 70 A.D. when Israel was "led away captive into all nations" and then finally regathered back into the land in accordance with Isaiah 11:11, Jerusalem continued to be trodden down by the nations, Islamic and European both.

Today they are being oppressed by the E.U. as well as the U.N. and even the United States!

This "time of the Gentiles" will culminate when the Beast assumes world authority and she will know her greatest misery at this time, but this time will also terminate once the Prince of Peace arrives, declaring war and victoriously overcoming the Beast and his forces without so much as breaking a sweat!

Why is it that people refer to 2 Thess. 2:7-8 as a proof text that the church won't be here for the Tribulation time, or that seven year period known as Daniel's 70th week?

Examing the text it states plainly that . . .

2Th 2:7-8 the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The "he" spoken of must be God, for He is the only One who ever restrains iniquity and wickedness.

The LORD did so in Genesis ch. 6 during the time when there was tremendous wickedness involving the fallen angels and human females, creating an abomination: an angel/human hybrid that resulted in giants or 'nephilim' in the land. Listen to what the LORD said in this passage:

Gen 6:3
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

The word "strive" in Hebrew is "duwn" meaning: "a settlement of what is right, to rule, judge, , also to strive (as at law), contend, execute (judgment), judge, minister judgment, plead (the cause), strife, strive". Its an act of judgment which determines man's position and destiny.

Note that God says that His Spirit shall NOT ALWAYS strive with man . . . implying that there is coming a day in which God will take His hands off of man, and no longer interfere with the bounds of iniquity that he yearns for.

Then there is the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11; God gave instruction to go forth and multiply, yet what did man do? He remained together, rather than obey God and spread out. They built a city and a tower, and the people were one.

Gen 11:6
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

God realized that if man remained in this environment, with such unity, "nothing will be restrained from them", so He goes down and does some 'restraining' by confounding their languages. Once again God had to interfere with mankind in order to prevent such wickedness that would be the ruination of His creatures.

Then once again in 2 Thess. 2: 7-8 God "letteth" that is in the Greek: "katecho" - "to hold down (fast), keep, possess, stay, take, have, make, let, retain, seize on, withhold. The word stresses holding fast in order to hinder the progress or course of something or someone.

So how is it that people connote this passage with the removal of the church?

Because the church is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and as the body of Christ serves very much the same function in this world. The LORD called us, His church "salt and light" in Mat 5:13-14

Both salt and light are elements that inhibit corruption; thus spiritually we as the church, possessed of God's Spirit, and if rightly related to our Lord by walking in His Spirit (which there seems to be precious little of in todays post-modern, now emergent churches and fellowships) restrain iniquity and lawlessness in this world.

Thus indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we would be a restraining influence that the man of wickedness (almost exactly the same word used for iniquity in the Greek: anomia for iniquity, anomos for wicked).

This is not to say that the Holy Spirit won't be present on this Earth as a Convictor of sin, or a Baptizer of God's power for those who minister during that time, or a Comforter, but His restraining influence will no longer be present so as to allow the beast to be revealed. It's my contention as the salt and light of this world, we likewise will no longer be present on this Earth at this time.

In the next article I will examine various passages of Revelation and see if I can spot the church in any duration of time contained within Daniel's 70th week, and further take a look at passages in the New Testament that would seem to encourage the church to expect Christ's return (for His bride) at ANY MOMENT!


may the LORD Jesus Christ bless ALL of YOU SAINTS . . . WAY TOO MUCH!

yours in the battle,

Nikaeo Aionios A.V.R.A.S.

brother James FIRE

Friday, June 12, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT On New BLOG For "Spiritual Chow"

Greetings all!

I have been receiving some awesome emails from a pastor Jim Suttle for years, that are such a blessing! These are edifying messages that he writes up and sends out, and let me tell you, they are out of this world! No wonder too; he pastors a church in Roswell, New Mexico!

Recently I discovered that he has these messages posted in a blog of his own, and I immediately asked if I could post this on my own blog here at FROM The MIND of FIRE, and he happily agreed!

So please look for EMAIL EDIFICATIONS at the right side bar entitled "Spiritual Chow" and FEAST!