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Found 8 results

  1. I have just come across the idea, new to me, that there are Saints, and then there are ordinary Christians. I am not talking about Catholic teaching, which I already knew. I came across this idea on here. I didnt realise this teaching is a mainstream teaching across the non-Catholic Christian world. I thought we were all given gifts to use, and that was that. Not that some gifts are more important and those who have them and use them are more Holy and Saints. I thought all the saved are saints. Please educated me on this.
  2. I believe in past weeks the Lord has given me new insights from Psalm 50, on the imminent rapture of those believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. See Scripture references at end hereof. Psalm 50, with my comments in brackets: 1 (A Psalm of Asaph.) The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. [note by Mary: These words remind me of the fire when Elijah was taken up into heaven, II Kings 2:11. The following verses then tell who it is that He is coming for. Christians are told to "wait for His Son" I Thess. 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Jesus promised He will come for us, John 14:18, and this is our blessed hope, and our comfort. 4 He shall call to the heavens above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. [I Thess. 4:18 states that He shall descend from heaven "with a shout" and that the "dead in Christ" and "we which are alive" shall be separated from others and brought before Him for judgment. This indicates that the time is when God calls out. Judgement of His people is specifically referred to, and a separating of His people is implied and points to to the timing of rewards or lack thereof to Christians (I Cor. 3:11-15, regarding judgment for rewards or loss to believers.] 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. [This again echoes the words of I Thess. 4:18: "caught up together" and the verses indicate who He will gather. Believers accept Christ's death as their sacrifice.] 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah [This emphasizes that the heavens will testify that God keeps His promises and the rapture of Christians through the heavens will reveal this to the world in a marvelous way. Judgment is again referred to.] 7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. [Then we come to the point where the Psalm reveals that there is a message to Israel, to Jews who had not accepted Christ.] 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. [This possibly suggests that the animal sacrifices are occurring at the time of the rapture.] 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving: and pay thy vows unto the most High: [This is advice to Israel. Some will realize that Jesus was their Messiah and that they can be thankful for this knowledge, and make a vow to Him. It points to the need of Israel to accept the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus. I believe many will immediately do so.] 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. [The Lord tells Israel what they need to do, gives His promise that He will deliver them too, and gives the outcome, that Israel shall glorify their Savior.] 16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? [Beginning with this verse, the Lord speaks to the wicked, and tells them they should take His covenant and declare His statutes, and that they have rejected Him and come under the law of sin. Sinners must start with realizing they rejected Him and are in the time of trouble when His wrath is poured out.] 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. 18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and has been partaker with adulterers. 19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things has thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. [So the Lord then promises salvation to the one who orders his conversation right, and offers praise, glorifying God. Jesus' Name means salvation, and some of those left behind, not among the gathered people, will receive Him and be saved during the tribulation.] *** Scripture references: II Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. In Ezekiel chapter 1, " Ezekiel 1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, I Thess. 1:10 (wait for His Son from heaven....) I Thess. 4:18 (For the Lord himself shall descend with a shout ....); John 14:3 (I will come again, and receive you unto myself); John 14:18 (... will not leave you comfortless, I will come for you); Titus 2:13 (Looking for that blessed hope); Psalm 27:5 (5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.); I Thess. 5:9 (God hath not appointed us to wrath); Romans 5:9 (justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him); Rev. 3:10 (I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation); Heb. 10:19 (come into the holy place through the blood of Jesus); I Cor. 3:11-15 (gold, ... hay, stubble, ... reward ... loss) Psalm 91 (the dragon shalt thou trample under feet); Psalm 34:7 (the angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him). Luke 12:32 (Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.)
  3. This is a post I made to my blog site in 2015. It is still important and valid. This phrase “shall wear out the saints,” came up in conversation recently. It begs explanation and answers; at least in my opinion. Depending on what version of the Bible you are using, wear out is also translated as: exhaust, crush, hurt, and consume. It is the Chaldean word belâ, meaning: to afflict, and it is only used once in the Bible. The terms wear out and to afflict, say two entirely different things to me. One makes me think of the damage I used to do to my jeans during the summers as a child. We climbed and slid across everything we could. Mental pressure could certainly do that. To afflict on the other hand has a broad range of violence attached to it. I can remember the knuckle to the head in grade school, but it can also mean beheadings. Needs some clarity, doesn’t it? I asked, when does this take place, and is it possible that we are in it now? Does it imply a continuous action, or it could be at a given moment? Is it suggesting common issues of life or a constant threat of death? Allow me to apologize up front. This piece, as with most of my writings is long. There is a reason for that, and it comes out of conversations and sadly, disputes. The confrontations, when you follow the broken logic, could never end as every illogical argument seems to be thrown at you. Most of these arguments are easily resolved if the person speaking would merely read their bible, but they do not. They only read and hear what they want. That is why these become more of a visual conversation. One in which I could actually pull up concise information, such as quotes from Josephus, that clearly show why the answer is not always so black and white, or narrow-minded. On that note: there is only one way, and his name is Jesus. The confrontations are not so much on my part, mainly because my memory is shot and I am not retaining scriptural references as I once could. I think that this is the Holy Spirit keeping me in check, because I know me, and I would shred these false teachers if given a chance. Since I cannot, I often defer and withdraw. I hate that, but if I look at this in terms of a warrior who has taken a hit to a dominant arm or hand. They might be rendered ineffective, but you will not remove the warrior mentality from them. That warrior mentality can become a burden at times, primarily because there is no need for a full-on clash. Sometimes all you need to do is reason with people. I suppose I should tell you that I am still affected by learning disabilities and often find my mind disconnecting from the topic. This is particularly noticeable to me when I am under pressure. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit, and it stuns me the way he kicks in and gives me the words to say. I wish that happened every time. One other thing; I have also come to realize that I do not have to be heard all the time. This takes a tremendous amount of pressure off me, as I have come to realize that God is in control, not me. While we understand that Satan is the perpetual enemy of the believer, scripture tells us that there is a particular time range. Unfortunately, this wearing out of the Saints falls during is during a vast, nondescript period, the time of the fourth beast. The particular reference is found in Daniel’s book of prophecies. “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” (Daniel 7:23-26 KJV) I felt safe in calling the time of the fourth beast, vast and nondescript because we have a sharp clarity on the identity of the former three kingdoms. The last of the three was the Grecian Empire starting with Alexander and continuing through the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires. Although, we like to speculate that the fourth empire was the Roman Empire, which is not spelled out as the others were. The typical approach most use in determining what to call this empire, and therefore decide where the “beast” will come from is published in the book of Daniel, specifically: Daniel 9:26 KJV And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. If you have followed me, long enough you understand that this has two fulfillments. One came under the rule of the Roman general Titus and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. However, there is another fulfillment coming in the last days. Titus, the Roman general, is considered by many to be “the prince that shall come.” However, if you do your research, you find that the evidence leans toward a Middle Eastern people, not Roman. Here is what the historian Josephus tells us in - The Wars of the Jews - Book 5 Chapter 13 “.yet did another plague seize upon those that were thus preserved; for there was found among the Syrian deserters a certain person who was caught gathering pieces of gold out of the excrements of the Jews' bellies; for the deserters used to swallow such pieces of gold, as we told you before, when they came out, and for these did the seditious search them all; for there was a great quantity of gold in the city, insomuch that as much was now sold [in the Roman camp] for twelve Attic [drams], as was sold before for twenty-five. But when this contrivance was discovered in one instance, the fame of it filled their several camps that the deserters came to them full of gold. So the multitude of the Arabians, with the Syrians, cut up those that came as supplicants, and searched their bellies. Nor does it seem to me that any misery befell the Jews that was more terrible than this, since in one night's time about two thousand of these deserters were thus dissected." "Moreover, do the Arabians and Syrians now, first of all, begin to govern themselves as they please, and to indulge their appetites in a foreign war, and then, out of their barbarity in murdering men, and out of their hatred to the Jews, get it ascribed to the Romans?" In The Wars of the Jews book 6, chapter 4, Josephus tells us that many considered the temple a citadel for the Jews and an inspiration to continue rebelling against the Roman occupation. The fire had already been ordered against the gates of the temple, but Titus argued and verbally prevailed in regards to saving the temple. "But Titus said, that "although the Jews should get upon that holy house, and fight us thence, yet ought we not to revenge ourselves on things that are inanimate, instead of the men themselves;" and that he was not in any case for burning down so vast a work as that was, because this would be a mischief to the Romans themselves, as it would be an ornament to their government while it continued. So Fronto, and Alexander, and Cerealis grew bold upon that declaration, and agreed to the opinion of Titus. Then was this assembly dissolved, when Titus had given orders to the commanders that the rest of their forces should lie still; but that they should make use of such as were most courageous in this attack. So he commanded that the chosen men that were taken out of the cohorts should make their way through the ruins, and quench the fire." "Titus's retiring, the seditious lay still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those that guarded the holy house fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning the inner [court of the] temple; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself. At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered anything to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard about it." Notice the reaction of Titus and ask yourself, does this look like someone bent on a complete destruction of the temple? "And now a certain person came running to Titus, and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire; after him followed all his commanders, and after them followed the several legions, in great astonishment; so there was a great clamor and tumult raised, as was natural upon the disorderly motion of so great an army. Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire. But they did not hear what he said, though he spake so loud, having their ears already dimmed by a greater noise another way; nor did they attend to the signal he made with his hand neither, as still some of them were distracted with fighting, and others with passion. But as for the legions that came running thither, neither any persuasions nor any threatening could restrain their violence, but each one's own passion was his commander at this time;” I perceive this statement to be the most telling of them all, and it was said by Titus, the Roman general: “Moreover, do the Arabians and Syrians now, first of all, begin to govern themselves as they please, and to indulge their appetites in a foreign war, and then, out of their barbarity in murdering men, and out of their hatred to the Jews, get it ascribed to the Romans?" Titus’ fear was that the barbarity of these men would be ascribed to the Romans, and that is exactly what we do when we declare the fourth empire to be a revived Roman Empire. Do you not see that ascribing Rome to the fourth empire also takes our eyes off what could be the true evil of the last days, Islam? In recent years, I held the position that “the saints” were only those that were martyred during the seven-year period of God’s wrath, that we so foolishly call the tribulation. I did the very thing I despise, spewing out concepts as fact without checking my Bible adequately. Paul used the term saints throughout his writings, and that tends to dispel the idea that the saints are exclusive to the years of wrath. Several examples are Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Ephesians 6:8, and numerable others. The terminology saint immediately takes me to Revelation where we see things like the woman, drunken with the blood of the saints (Revelation 17:6). It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the largest implication here is the martyred saints. However, there is something notable about John’s writings. He never used the term saints in speaking about the church outside of the Revelation; the majority of the time he calls them –little children and brethren. The feel is one of association and an understanding of the heart and character of God. Considering John’s beginnings in comparison to the end, it only makes sense that he would have God’s heart as he unfolds the Revelation, a time of nightmarish destruction and judgment. This time is not directed at “my little children.” I realize that I initiated this conversation with a portion of Daniel, not John, yet they talk about the same thing. This demonstrates the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit. We cannot discount that John’s recollection of Daniel’s prophecies may have played a role in John’s terminology. When you look at end times prophecy, there are only three people groups to consider: the Jews, the nations, and the church. While there can and will be some crossing over between the Jews and the church; at that point followers of Christ are considered a part of the church. Some will say that God gave up on the Jews. I do not think so. He has engraved their names and faces on the palms of his hands. You do not give up something that precious, especially after showing that level of commitment. God has a plan to drive the heart of the Jew, his chosen, back to himself. Unfortunately, there is much pain and suffering involved with that journey. In general, the Jews have rejected Jesus, the Messiah, and therefore subject themselves to the wrath that is coming. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou had known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knew not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:41-44 KJV) The rejection of God by Israel is a common theme. An example of this is seen in the selection of Saul as king. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:7 KJV) The nations could also be referred to as the Gentiles. Daniel referred to them as the people of the prince that shall come. Jesus, talking about the days of vengeance said, “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.” (Luke 21:24 KJV) The church is the entire collection of believers comprising the body of Christ. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23 KJV) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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. (Colossians 1:15-18 KJV) In general, the church is excluded from the wrath, or vengeance, that is coming upon the earth. But God proves his love for us by this (James Moffatt), in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:8-9 KJV) “. you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and a real God and to wait for the coming of his Son from heaven — the Son whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who rescues us from the Wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 Moffatt NT) The church likes to hold itself in exclusivity, thinking that we are protected from tribulation. Look, Jesus guaranteed us three things: In this world, you will have tribulation. You will be hated by all men for my names’ sake. I will come again for you. Tribulation and Wrath/vengeance is two different things. Tribulation is non-stop and comes in many forms. It has nothing to do with your inability to buy a new propeller for the family ski boat. Get real, people in parts of the world where there is a heavy Muslim influence are being killed daily. If you lived under a constant threat of death, do you think you would feel as though you are being worn down, absolutely? Perhaps the Bible in Basic English translates it more appropriately. Daniel 7:25 (a) BBE “And he will say words against the Most High, attempting to put an end to the saints of the Most High;” It is clear that the intent is to kill the saints. And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one-half time. (Daniel 7:25 LITV) Daniel 7:23 Declares what was to come, the fourth beast. If the fourth beast is Islam, then that was initiated over 600 years after Christ's death by Muhammad. Born approximately in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca,[9][10] Muhammad was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. After his childhood, Muhammad primarily worked as a merchant.[11] Occasionally he would retreat to a cave in the mountains for several nights of seclusion and prayer; later, at age 40, he reported at this spot,[9][12] that he was visited by Gabriel and received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" (lit. islām) to Him is the only way (dīn)[n 3] acceptable to God, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to other Islamic prophets.[13][14][15] (From Wikipedia.) Islam has operated under various caliphates since the death of Muhammad in 632 AD (BCE). While all of them caused the Middle Eastern world grief, the largest most powerful were the Ottoman Caliphate. Ottoman Caliphate (1453/1517–1924) At the end of October 1922, the Allies invited the nationalist and Ottoman governments to a conference at Lausanne, Switzerland, but Atatürk was determined that the nationalist government should be Turkey's sole representative. In November 1922, the Grand National Assembly separated the offices of sultan and caliph and abolished the former. The assembly further stated that the Ottoman regime had ceased to be the government of Turkey when the Allies seized the capital in 1920, in effect abolishing the Ottoman Empire. Excerpt from, the Ottomans.org Is it possible that believers have been under attack for eighteen hundred years, without a doubt! Pay attention to another aspect of Islam. “The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Ismailia, Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in March 1928 as an Islamist religious, political, and social movement.[1][2] The group spread to other Muslim countries but has its largest, or one of its largest, organizations in Egypt, where for many years it has been the largest, best-organized, and most disciplined political opposition force,[3][4][5] despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965 after plots, or alleged plots, of assassination and overthrow were uncovered. Following the 2011 Revolution the group was legalized,[5] and in April 2011 it launched a civic political party called the Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt) to contest elections.” (Wikipedia) Notice that this is two years after the Caliphate was disbanded. “Links to the Nazis began during the 1930s and were close during the Second World War, involving agitation against the British, espionage and sabotage, as well as support for terrorist activities orchestrated by Haj Amin el-Hussaini in British Mandate Palestine, as a wide range of declassified documents from the British, American and Nazi German governmental archives, as well as from personal accounts and memoirs from that period, confirm.[7] Reflecting this connection the Muslim Brotherhood also disseminated Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations, helping to deepen and extend already existing hostile views about Jews and Western societies generally.[8]” (Wikipedia) The point to this is that Islam has been a destructive thorn in the flesh of those who do not comply for over 1800 years. Have they been a global threat throughout their history, no, but it took a global response to subdue them in 1922. I think we can agree that they are global now, and a greater threat than ever before. Aside from that, their prime directive is to kill the people of the book, which would be the Jew and the Christian. Have you noticed that they are making a serious dent in their goals? If you have watched the news the last couple of years, then you are aware of Christians that are being slaughtered in the mid-East and African nations. Perhaps you have also noticed that attacks against any group outside of Islam are fair game to them. Buddhists, Catholics, you name it. They even fight each other as though there is a competition to see who can follow the Qur’an most precisely. Unfortunately, for the outsider, while the Qur’an does have passages devoted to peace, they are superseded by newer passages that demand a strict and violent compliance. I think it is evident that there is affliction directed at Christians in certain parts of the world. Not to be left out of this violence against Christians is China and North Korea. I suppose the question is, how long until this level of violence comes to the Americas and afflicts us as well? Do not think that your non-belief will protect you. In general, Islam feels that any American is a Christ follower and worthy of death. Scripture tells me that you may have a chance to reject God and accept Allah as your God of choice, bowing before him in worship. Perhaps that will save your neck for the moment. I am aware that they cut a man’s head off anyway, possibly because they felt he was a coward with no backbone. I suspect it will not be as easy as that, and they may not have the time to await your decision. Of course, giving into this cuts you off from any hope of a relationship with God. In other words, there is no turning back from this decision. If you do not know this Jesus Christ, you can. Ask him into your life, and turn yourself over to him and accept his forgiveness. Allow him to run it. You do not have to work for your salvation, as it is free and paid for, you merely have to receive this life and salvation. You will experience a peace that you have never known before and a promise that he will come for you so that you can live with him in glory.
  4. Hey everyone, Recently on my church adventure, I came across something that was rather out in the open that led me into deep thought but I need feedback. Are we, Christians, considered to be saints or disciples of Christ? I was at a local church I visit ever so often on my church journey and a pastor during his bible study sermon mentioned that we are all saints due to our belief in Jesus Christ. I wonder what your opinions are? Please give feedback. Thanks & God Bless!
  5. What is "the first resurrection"? Is it when the "dead in Christ rise first"? Is it the resurrection of the "blessed and holy"? the saints? All of them? or just some of them? What is your view? It appears to me that the "dead in Christ rise first" because they are in the "first resurrection" and over these the 2nd death has no power at all. Almost all Christian groups agree that Revelation 19 describes the 2nd coming - and that there were no chapter divisions in the Greek text of Revelation as written by John. Revelation 20 starts off then in the context of Revaltion 19 - at the 2nd coming. (Sorry -- I still don't know how to change the text format to get rid of the double spacing in the Bible quote below) Revelation 20 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, Those included in the "first resurrection" a. Those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God b. And those which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands So certainly in the case above - the "First resurrection" includes the saints - possibly "all of the saints" in all of time depending on how far back one finds the "beast" to have had influence and to have persecuted the saints -- since it appears that the second death has power over all who are raised 1000 years later in the second resurrection Here is what Paul says about it... the saints do rise first. 1 Thess 4 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. Your thoughts? in Christ, Bob
  6. Hello brothers/sisters! This is a continuation to my first post, ' A Catholic belief-- Worshipping saints? ', as I can't post responses. Check it out here to get further information and not be confused : kwikphilly said: I was surprised to know that "most" of your friends are catholics,that's different.......so,may I ask,how did you come to islam?Or perhaps you asre referring to the acquaintances you made on the internet,just wondering? response: I was raised muslim by an Islamic family. To be more specific, I was raised Shia muslim, one of the two major denominations of Islam, the majority being Sunni Islam. As I grew up I did not touch on many other faiths but around 13 years old my curiosity finally sparked up a thought about our abrahamic religions. I began researching and studying, and my parents also did not mind it at all which was a blessing. And for catholic friends, I meant that in my life at the moment. Most of my school friends / community are catholics so I've learned a fair amount from them. Steven S said: Simply put, the catholics believe that they decide who are and aren't saints based on a process called canonization. This is done posthumously and involves a few steps, such as investigating the life of the person in question, how they lived, their deeds, etc.. It also includes beatification, which is basically a "verification" of a miraculous occurrence being attributed to their intercession after death. Basically, in lay terms, this means that someone was to have prayed for them to intercede with God, after they are dead, and then that prayer is answered, indicating, in the opinion of the catholic church, that the person is in heaven and that God is answering their prayers. This typically has to occur one more time and then, after this process, they are canonized. Not to beat around the bush, none of this is mentioned in the actual bible. The bible mentions saints many times throughout both the old and new testament, but it is either directly plural or in the plural sense with the one instance of the singular version being Philippians 4:21 (Php 4:21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. ) The bible never mentions a process, at all, like the one mentioned above. The general understanding of the word as it stands amongst evangelical and most general protestant denominations is that the saints are followers of Christ, people whose ultimate faith lays in God. I believe that the greek root in this instance actually means something along the lines of "one who has been made holy" or something along those lines (I fully admit that I am no greek expert by any stretch). All of my brothers and sisters here are saints, as are all the ones who have physically passed on before me. .......... In short, this is a practice based on tradition that has been developed over centuries in the catholic church. There is no biblical basis for either the canonization process or prayer to saints. Whether or not it is idolatry in a technical sense, it is certainly not a biblically rooted practice. .......... response: Very good context! I also see this is how Catholics believe. Now I have one question: Even if intercession is not biblical, is it still fair to deem it wrong or idolatry? I am sure there are many Christian practices that may not be exactly biblical, but I still do not think it negates the idea of intercessions. Intercession may be inaccurate in terms of bible evidence, but is it morally wrong and/or religiously wrong? A fair and just God should say that it isn't; Jesus chose John as a disciple and apostle, John was steadfast on his faith and close to God both physically and spiritually (Jesus even personally praised him during one point in time in the bible), so If I asked Jesus, on behalf of your clean apostle John, to grant me a prayer, why is that wrong? John SAW Jesus and Jesus PRAISED him for his good intentions and motives. If I asked Jesus for something, and mentioned John, and knowing how close John was to Jesus, would that not further facilitate the granting of my prayer? I am reiterating the same question over and over again but I'm just trying to be as clear as possible. Sorry to get into detail, but if the majority Christian faith believe in intercessions (Catholics and denominations of), it gets me kind of curious as to why the minority (Christians; not by much though) would not believe in it. Is it possible to say that half of Christians would not be sent to paradise, even if they believe in Jesus as God and Savior, because they intercede with saints? That would definitely have an impact of how Christians view the atonement and salvation. ( See my first post about this topic)
  7. Hello brothers/sisters! After a fair amount of time spent chatting about this idea with some members, I feel like It would be efficient if I made it a post. In the shortest way possible, the question is : How do Catholics actually view the saints? Some information: It seems that the Catholic belief of saints has been a little misconceived, but nonetheless very controversial. Before touching on how a Catholic 'worships' a saint, I think it is fair to point that some Catholics may have exaggerated their belief of what a saint actually is. If you look in Catholic churches, you may find candles mounted with statues of supposed saints ( reminding us very well of how idols were shown in the older times ) and these sorts. Now one can confidently say that in Christianity, the one lone person who deserves worship is God, our Jesus Christ. Although Catholics tend to observe this as well, I think it is fair to say that maybe we should look at what they actually consider what saints are? Most of my friends are Catholics, and information from them concerning how saints are went like this: Their general view tells me that because saints have a close relationship with God, It is possible to intercede from them, praying towards God, on behalf of them. Some members on the forum told me that this counts as idolatry, because only Jesus deserves to be worshiped and no one can intercede for Jesus Christ. Now I do see why this can initially show offense, but I, not being Catholic nor Christian, may find a better understanding of it. I will give an example of how a Catholic actually may perceive the intercession of a saint: We will have three people. Ben, Bob , and Bill . Ben is the moderator of a website, and Bob and Bill are sub-moderators. Now I come in, wanting to also be a sub-moderator of this site. I will say to Ben " Hello Ben! On behalf of Bob and Bill (the sub-moderators of the site) may I be a sub-moderator as well? " --- You will see I haven't actually asked Bob and Bill for anything. The question was entirely directed to Ben , but I merely referenced Bob and Bill because as they are sub-moderators to Ben, they will have a better name to themselves then If I used somebody like Bart( Bart is our fourth person, being a normal member). Ben chose Bob and Bill to be sub-moderators, for their knowledge and skill, and so referencing them may give me a better chance of Ben accepting my proposal of being a sub-moderator as well. Does this example above count as idolatry? I will appreciate feedback and criticism where applies. I will apologize beforehand for any Catholic who took offense to anything in this thread -- I do not have all the knowledge and I could have definitely misconstrued something. My aim is to clear up possible confusion with how Catholics view a saint, because in our Abrahamic religions, idolatry is not welcome.
  8. Ive been studying God word for about 30 years now,and one of my favorites,is,(are the saints going through the tribulation).After,careful,indept study,Ive come to the conclusion,yes they are.I wont go into detail,how I got to this point,other wise,we wont get to the study.But ,scripture does speak for its self.I am a (kjv)user,and for clarity,I use a Concordance,in all my study.Thank you for reading my post.Shall we start?....I may ad,Ive tried to keep it simple,and not to complex,so all may understand.. This all started,when my brother said he was waiting for the rapture,I said what rapture,?....I myself,am waiting for the 7th trump,when Christ will arrive.....so now,me and my brother,in love have (debate).I asked him,how can Christ come,before the 7th trump,he cant....then he said,the 12 tribes(144,000) are jews.Now ,that opened a bottle of worms.So the Lord had me share scripture to him,to receive clarity..And ill try to do the same here
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