Mixed Sources, - 28 Para

More Information on the Rapture: (37:0)

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." (1th 4:16) (37:1) see

Since the churches pick this verse and ignore others:
1. Christians, for the most part, do not investigate the Baha'i Faith. They feel certain that, according to their theology, such a Faith cannot be true in any way. Why? Because they firmly believe that Jesus will come from the sky. They have absolutely no doubt about this conviction (37:2)

2. ..many Christians also believe that Jesus will come to lift them suddenly and mysteriously to heaven. This is called "the Rapture".. The majority of Christians act as if seek and ye shall find (mat 7:7) has no relevance to the Second Advent. They feel that their only role is to wait and perhaps to watch the sky. The heavenly Thief, they theorize, is Powerful and All-Seeing. He will find them. Thus they reverse the two roles. Instead of believing that it is their responsibility to look for the Thief, they act as if it is HIS responsibility to look for them. (37:3) see

3. This seemingly simple but glamorous view of the heavenly 'descent' of Christ and the heavenly 'ascent' of Christians violates the most fundamental principle that binds us to our Creator: our freedom of choice. (37:4)

4. Christian theologians present this theory as if it is the absolute truth, without ever asking the critical questions raised here. Believing this theory is the first and foremost stumbling block to the commandment.. to seek and search, that they must always be ready and never lose sight of watching for the heavenly Thief, as the five foolish maidens did (mat 25:1-13). As the parable teaches, the Bridegroom came and left, but those maidens missed Him. And because of their negligence, they were not allowed to enter the banquet of the Kingdom. (37:5) see

5. And what is the theory of heavenly descent and ascent based on? On two assumptions: (37:6)

Assumption 1. Virtually all prophecies of the Second Advent are literal (37:7)

Assumption 2. Christian theologians are infallible in making Assumption 1 (37:8)

That is all! - Are not these exactly the same assumptions that Pharisees made? Should this not awaken all sincere Christians from the dreams of waiting to be snatched away? And where in the Bible does God tell us that all His prophecies are literal? Nowhere! On the contrary, we are told that He speaks in parables and that His Word must be understood Spiritually (1 Corinthians 2:14). Is it then wise to build one's eternal destiny on such unfounded assumptions made by fallible people? Do not the enormous consequences justify and even require a full investigation of Baha'u'llah's mission? (crt 55:1) (37:9) see

6. When a person is enlightened by the spirit of faith, he becomes a new creation. His attributes, values, and priorities change. True faith lifts him up from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from death to life, from pain to peace and joy. Each individual is lifted according to his or her spiritual potential, purity, and sincerity (37:10)

"When you realize your worthlessness before God, He will lift you up.." (jam 4:10) (37:11) see

7. "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (joh 6:40) (37:12) see

8. "Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." (psa 25:1) (37:13) see

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 2:6) (37:14) see

NOTE: Many things in the Bible seem to be physical, but we find later that they have symbolic meanings. This is exemplified by Paul's conversion: [-ed] (37:15)

"Whereupon as I went to Damascus.. I saw in the way a light from heaven.. I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?".. (acts 26:14) (37:16) see

This seems clearly literal, but a mere five verses later Paul says: "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the 'Heavenly Vision'." (acts 26:19) [-ed] (37:17) see

According to Harper's Bible Dictionary (under 'soul'): "A moderate dualism exists in the contrast of spirit with body and even soul, where 'soul' means life that is not yet caught up in grace." [-ed] (37:18)

We are in the midst of the Rapture now, since those who were allowed to be Caught Up first (resurrected from unbelief) were those generally considered by Christians as Dead in Christ (the first were Muslims). Later those who are Alive in Christ (following Christianity) will be 'caught up' [-ed] (37:19)

-also- Christ returned like 'lightning' to those who were watching, but as a "Thief in the night" to those who are asleep. Therefore, the sleeping world will only gradually become aware: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (mat 24:44). [-ed] (37:20) see

For people of our century the hour least expected is probably in the past ie: it having already happened. (js) (37:21)

Comment: The trumpet of God is the Herald of the Return, and "clouds" signify things that prevent people from seeing clearly. Whatever is obstructing their vision (the clouds) must be overcome before they will be able to recognize Christ, because Christ returned in the same way that Elijah returned as John the Baptist - as a Thief in the night. (js) (37:22)

According to the following prophecies, Believers will be on earth after Christ returns and People will miss the "2nd advent" for the same reasons the Jews missed the 1st (Jesus) - because they hold to literal expectations of their prophecies. [-ed] (37:23)

1. "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God, He will come and save you." (isa 35:1) (37:24) see

2. "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him." (isa 40:10) (37:25) see

3. "Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, 'Where is the LORD thy God?' mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets. In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed. In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain. Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvelous things." (mic 7:10-15) (37:26) 45 see

4. "And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God." (rev 21:3) (37:27) see

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