Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Some people in North Carolina have just rediscovered some interesting gems in a creek that use to be used for mining gold. They have found that there is still gold in “them thar creeks.” They are not sure where the source of the gold is, but they know there is definitely a fair amount of gold in the small stream.
The area was one of the first areas in the United States to have discovered gold in quantities large enough to set off the initial North American gold rush and commercial gold mining enterprises. But about the time of the Civil war gold mining in the area stopped. With the increase in the price of gold a renewed interest has sprung up in the gold that remains hidden in the streams of the Carolina region.
As one panning for gold should know how to interpret the clues of nature and use the tools for shifting river bed materials one interested in discovering God’s precious treasures should be familiar with the methods of interpretation.
Those who have studied the Biblical passages of prophetic writing have come up with a variety of methods of interpreting scripture. They have used some form of the basic methods to filter through the sparkling little nuggets God provided to enlighten his children with regards to his plans for the end of time and the start of eternity.
The first thing a conservative Bible student must distinguish is the difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. A conservative student is one who accepts the teachings of God’s Word as literal, and does not try to spiritualize textual interpretations to make them conform to his theories, but takes scripture and establishes his beliefs and interpretations on the context and complete counsel of God’s Word.
The rapture is a term used to describe the catching away of the redeemed. The redeemed being those who have received the gift of God, those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that he came the first time to redeem his fallen creation and that he will come a second time to rule and reign as the everlasting King of Kings.
Scripture teaches that this catching away will come quickly and unexpectedly, as a thief in the night. The believers who have died will have their bodies caught out of the grave first reuniting with their souls, and those that are living when the rapture takes place will be caught up with them; meeting them in the air. This catching away or rapture is a calling out of the New Testament Church. Those believers who have been redeemed between the time of Christ and the time the catching away takes place.
The second coming is when Christ returns to earth and reestablishes the throne of David in Jerusalem and rules the world for a thousand years. When Christ returns to establish this renewed kingdom those who have been caught away in the rapture will return with him to serve him in the millennial kingdom he establishes at his second appearing. The catching away pertains to the believers of the church age and the second coming is
specifically for the Nation of Israel.
The basic methods of interpretation relate to these two events. The issues related to the rapture, or catching away, breakdown into four categories: pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, pre-wrath, and post tribulation. The issues related to the second coming breakdown into three basic categories: pre-millennial, au-millennial, and post millennial.
How are you doing at panning the gold of God’s treasures?
We will look at the rapture related methods of interpretation in the next blog.
Do you have a position on this subject?
What is your position?
Why do you hold to that position?