Francisco Ribera and Theories of the Rapture and Anti-Christ

Francisco Ribera (Francisco Rivera) lived 1537 – 1591.  The reason it is important to note the dates is because he is the original person who started the idea of a personal anti-Christ ruling for 3 1/2 years.  While some people point to the 1800’s in Scotland as being the starting point of this idea, the idea occurred earlier through Ribera.

Why is understanding this important?  It is important to realize that there was an agenda to point attention away from the Pope and Papacy.  Ribera did this through the idea an anti-Christ rule of 3 1/2 years .

The following information is a quote [see below].

So, according to Ribera, the 1260 days and 42 months and 3 1/2 times of prophecy were not 1260 years, but a literal 3 1/2 years, and therefore none of the book of Revelation had any application to the middle ages or the papacy, but to the future, to a period immediately prior to the second coming, hence the name Futurism. A 1591 edition, 1593 edition, and a 1603 edition of his commentary are now online.

Here is another article on the origin of the rapture theory.  Click here.

“So what does it matter?”, some may say.  “Que sera, sera.” “Whatever will be, will be.”

That is not a Christian worldview.  Jesus calls the church to be salt and light.  I will put this bluntly.  The church used the mistaken idea of the rapture to ignore its political and governmental responsibilities.   “Why should I fight, when I’m going to take flight?”

The idea of the rapture has kept the church from being the salt and light that Jesus commanded it to be.  “While men slept” secular, atheistic, agnostic humanism ideas have taken over the world.  And those wedges have opened the door to Socialism, Communism, Sharia law and a NWO oligarchy, a multi-national corporate oligarchy.

Even if you do believe in a rapture, look at it this way.  Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.”  Do you think He just wants the church to turn the world over to the devil? (God forbid.)  Or do you think He wants the church ignorant of how the New World Order operates?  Or does Jesus want the church ignorant of how the NWO wants to eventually spread the mark of the beast?  Do Christians even understand which politicians they see on television are for the New World Order?  Do they know which are bought and paid for by these forces?  Are Christians supporting ultimately, satan?  How can that be?  There are those at the top of the NWO  who are satan-worshippers.  Do Christians understand?  Or have they been dumbed down by the preaching of the rapture theory so as not to think critically?  Or maybe they just don’t care because they believe they won’t have to deal with it?  Or has a “fire escape” mentality made the church sloppy regarding diligent study?  Do Christians understand that Muslims historically have been resisted by the church, as Muslims are enemies of the faith and only believe in Sharia law?

In gushy, sloppy, warm and fuzzy, “teddy bears and unicorns”-type of Christianity, there is acceptance of everyone even though Jesus said to be wise as serpents.  Even Jesus overthrew the money-changers.  Contrary to modern, popular opinion, Jesus did not have a soft and sweet word for everyone.  Read the New Testament.  Don’t take my word for it.  Read it  yourself.

These beliefs are important.  They create actions, or in-actions, as the case may be.  And that creates an environment that creates the future.  “Be wise as serpents.”  “Quit you like men.”

 

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Why Are There So Many Churches and Denominations?

Before considering the question of why there are so many churches and denominations, it is necessary to recognize that there has only been one perfect person who has ever walked this earth, and that is Jesus the Christ. Every one else comes under the heading of a “sinner saved by grace” or someone who could be a “sinner saved by grace” if they ask the Lord for salvation.

So why are there so many churches?  They exist for three reasons.  There are different levels of revelation, faith and obedience.  Various congregations settle around those three points.

Some people are born into a certain congregation or denomination.  They are taught their viewpoint is right and all others are wrong.  It may be difficult for such people to learn anything to change that, because their system becomes a closed system, closed to all other information, prophecies, visitations, and historical leadership.

That may be why “Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:31b

In other words, the publicans and harlots were not steeped in religious tradition or bound by church members who would shun them if they peeked outside the church walls at the church next door.  The publicans and harlots were able to hear what “the Spirit saith unto the churches”.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 2:29

This is not to say that tradition is necessarily a bad thing.  It is only a bad thing if it pre-empts being able to hear the Lord directly and being open to hearing and seeing what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Traditions passed on from the elders of the faith, that were received by revelation, are good if continued.  The Lord’s Prayer is as relevant today as when Jesus first gave it.  Some things do not diminish with time or age.

The Bible is a document of revelations.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  II Peter 1:21

There were confirmations in the lives of these people that that they were in connection with God and actually did hear God.  Moses did lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, as God said he would.  Joseph’s dream of his brothers bowing before him was confirmed after man years.  Mary’s visitation was confirmed and she was the mother of Jesus.  Joseph’s dream was confirmed that he needed to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to flee the persecution of babies under 2 years old.  Zachariah’s visitation from Gabriel was confirmed and his wife Elizabeth, up until then “barren”, did bear a child in old age named John (the Baptist).   Abraham’s visitations were confirmed.  These are just a few of the many events where Heaven touched earth in a supernatural visitation.

Of course, the major confirmation, which precedes and confirms all of the others, is that of Jesus the Christ.  There are over 300+ prophecies of his birth, life, death, resurrection, and mission.  Since these were or are being confirmed, it confirms the validity of the Bible as a whole.  The probabilities of 300+ spontaneous events happening in the life of one individual are too great for anything but a divine visitation.

The point is, the Bible is a book of revelations from God to man.  So today’s denominations come back to revelation, faith, and obedience.  Does someone believe a revelation?  Will someone have faith in it?  Will someone obey it?

The various denominations shake out at various degrees of believing revelation from God, having faith, and obeying revelations.  And, over time, as people grow, they may expand their beliefs or revelations, and thus move to a different denomination or branch of Christianity.  Again, this is not necessary bad.  It can involve positive growth.  If the relationship with the Lord is getting stronger, that is the main thing.

In other words, some people believe God heals today.  Some denominations don’t.  The day may come when someone who believes that healing was limited to the time of Jesus the Christ and the apostles moves into the camp of believing the God heals today.  This just means there was an opening of revelation and faith.

It is better to accept that, like life itself with its levels of growth and difference between peoples, people are at different levels of understanding spiritually. Instead of fighting different denominations, focus on the commonalities like Jesus is Lord and did come as the Saviour and Redeemer of the world through His death, burial, and resurrection.  He is coming again to rule and reign.  Meanwhile, let people grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As people hear the Lord for themselves, they will grow.

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Regarding Freedom of Religion

Religious freedom, in the context of the early Founding Fathers in a then Christian nation, meant a Christian worldview. It did not mean equal time or equal consideration for all faiths.

To put it another way, in the Old Testament, the Lord did not give equal time to those who believed in Him and those who worshiped Baal. It was commanded to NOT worship other gods, and the righteous kings brought the nation of Israel back from false worship.

There is a difference between giving equal time to faiths that are rooted in the Ten Commandments and the Old plus New Testament, meaning those focused upon the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Lord Jesus Christ, and giving equal time to any religion.

Religion implies devotion to a belief. Atheism is a religion. Secularism is a religion. Communism is a religion. There are faiths that focus on the Ten Commandments and those that don’t.

Freedom of religion implied a basic foundation in the Ten Commandments, no matter what denomination: Jewish, Catholic, or Christian. Freedom of religion did not mean to do things forbidden by the Bible. It is notable that those political religions which do not profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ or the Bible do things contrary to the Bible. Socialism and Communism, for example, steal and murder through the power and agency of the State.

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The Problem of Freedom Without God

In these last days, a philosophy of freedom without God has emerged.  In other words, people believe they are free to do anything they want.

Well, the fact is, God does give the right of free will.  People are free to send themselves to hell if they choose, but this is not God’s first preference.  He suffered greatly to try to prevent this from happening, but like any gift, it can be refused.

Freedom, as understood by the founding Fathers, was freedom to serve God and freedom to worship God.  Freedom was tethered to the Bible.  In other words, man was free to follow the admonitions of the Old and New Testament.  As long as society was made up of a majority of Christians, this was understood.

Then secular, atheist, and agnostic people got involved in government and demanded a separation of church and state.  It would have been more honest to say they were demanding a separation of the state from morals and ethics.  In other words, a ruling class wanted the freedom to steal, lie, and deceive the electorate with impunity with no consequences.  And, to a large extent, with some exceptions, the church basically rolled over and let the secularists and atheists take over in government.  We are seeing the full-blown consequences of this trend all around us today.

The church stayed within the four walls of the church and left the dirty business of government to those who were without scruples or morals, at least some of them.  Over time, that number appears to have increased.

Without tethering government to the laws of God, there can be no freedom.  Because where one man will demand property rights, another man will demand the right to take property freely.  Where one man will follow the law to refuse bribery, another will take a bribe as a way to make money.  Where one man will reverence life, another will take life.  Where one man will refrain from stealing, another man will steal.

Unless there is a common agreement that certain laws are inviolate, and those laws have to be the ones in the Old Testament such as “thou shalt not steal”, “thou shalt not covet anything that is thine neighbor’s”, “thou shalt not commit adultery”, and”honor they father and mother”, etc., then there is no end to one segment of society destroying what the other builds up.

Freedom will never be possible unless all come under the rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This does not mean one denomination.  That is what those who first came to this country wanted to escape from, the necessity to belong to one church, the State Church.  But it does mean that all denominations agree on the Ten Commandments and multitudes of other statutes such as property rights, no usury, no theft, no bribery, and other things running rampart today.

Freedom is a great concept, but it will not work apart from God.  In heaven, people are free, but they are only free to do things God’s way.  Their heart’s desire is to follow God’s way.  If not, they are not there.  God’s ways, when followed, are ways of loving relationships, prosperity, health, and peace.  Who would not want that?

If I come to your house, and you open the door, you expect me to walk in the decorum of your house.  Otherwise, I am not invited.  God invites those to his house, his heaven, who follow the house rules.  It is pretty simple.  God is not a  mystery.

People are free to walk with God.  That is what freedom is all about.

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What a Man Sows, That Will He Reap in Due Season

When bad things happen it is very easy to, and there is a tendency to blame something outside of ourselves for what happens.  It happened in the Garden, and still happens today.

Genesis 3:12 And Adam said, “The woman, whom you gave to me as a companion, gave to me from the tree, and I ate.”
3:13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “Why have you done this?” And she responded, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The Bible talks of sin, of missing the mark, either of what should be done, or should not be done.  This is referred to as sins of commission and sins of omission.  Problems arise from either sins of commission, sins of omission, or a combination of both.  Throughout the earth, people are tempted every day to do something they should not do, not do something they should do, or a combination of both.  Therefore, the results in an individual’s life, a family’s life, a community’s life, a state’s life, a nation’s life, and the world’s life, is the sum total of of the interaction of these play of forces, of good and evil, bad deeds done and good deeds left undone.

How do we know what is good and what is bad?  There is a foundational truth that if someone does not accept this, there is not much anyone can do to help him or her.  They will have to find their way on their own through the school of hard knocks until they finally cry out for help from the Almighty.  The foundational truth is this.  The Bible is the Word of God.  It will guide us if we read it, reread it, and keep reading it everyday to learn more.

How do we know this?  There are a number of methods and if someone is really sincere in finding these out, they will seek it out on their own and learn the truth.  But a few things will be mentioned here.  The first and foremost is prophecy.  There is a lot of sensational prophecy about the end times, about things that have not happened yet, and which frankly, the writer does not subscribe to because it was not historically passed down from the early church.  It was invented first, during the Spanish Inquisition, and resurfaced in the 1800’s in Scotland.  This is only being mentioned in passing, as it is not the focus of this post or article.

However, there is a lot of prophecy that was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, so much so that it would be mathematically impossible to happen unless it were God himself fulfilling the prophecies, which it was.  There were prophecies about Christ’s birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection and his future reign.  There is no man, no matter how great, no matter how great a teacher or philanthropist, who had scriptures about himself spoken hundreds of years before his birth, by different individuals, living in different times and cultures, and in different segments of society, and yet all these diverse prophecies were fulfilled; there is no God-man but Jesus the Christ who accomplished this. If someone cannot understand the significance of this fact, there really is no hope for them until they do.

However, if someone can understand that  the prophetic part of the Bible is correct, that means the other parts of the Bible are correct as well.  And there are other ways to confirm the truth of the Bible.  Archaeology has confirmed it.  Computer programs dealing with statistical occurrence of words has confirmed it.  Numerical studies based on the fact that both Greek and Hebrew are alpha/numeric systems meaning the letters have both a “character” significance as well as  “numeric” significance assigned to them. All these things have been statistically studied.  So beyond prophecy, there are other confirmations.

In any case, due to these confirmations that the Bible is the Word of God, the actual instruction book from God, this means things like the Ten Commandments should be the rule for mankind.  It means scriptures that define interactions among men such favor property rights, no bribery in terms of politicians, no usury, health laws, and other divine guidance is valid for today. Mankind, as a whole ignores the information freely given in the Bible, the instruction book to mankind.  So the world goes astray in political, monetary, and social policies that never should even be given a passing thought.  And so the craziness of society continues.

What about the believers, though?  Why should they suffer if they know better.  Well, there is the part of sins of omission.  Even if believers may not commiting certain sins of commission, are they omitting some things they ought to be doing?

“The sin of omission shall condemn many to hell, be they layman or hierarchy. I repeat: not the sin of commission, but the sin of omission will commit many to hell. Among them there will also be mitres.” – Our Lady of the Roses, October 6, 1980

This scripture alludes to sins of commission and sins of omission, but certainly these are not the only sins that can be committed or omitted.

Matthew 25:34 Then the King shall say to those who will be on his right: ‘Come, you blessed of my Father. Possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
25:35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in;
25:36 naked, and you covered me; sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’
25:37 Then the just will answer him, saying: ‘Lord, when have we seen you hungry, and fed you; thirsty, and given you drink?
25:38 And when have we seen you a stranger, and taken you in? Or naked, and covered you?
25:39 Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit to you?’
25:40 And in response, the King shall say to them, ‘Amen I say to you, whenever you did this for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for me.’
25:41 Then he shall also say, to those who will be on his left: ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
25:42 For I was hungry, and you did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not give me to drink;
25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked, and you did not cover me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.’
25:44 Then they will also answer him, saying: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
25:45 Then he shall respond to them by saying: ‘Amen I say to you, whenever you did not do it to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.’
25:46 And these shall go into eternal punishment, but the just shall go into eternal life.”

It has been said that a person can choose their actions or beliefs, but not the consequences.  This is true.  We sow actions or beliefs contrary to God, and we reap, but generally not in the way we expect.

A story that illustrates this is one this writer heard years ago.  A person prayed to lose weight.  This person ended up in an accident where he could only drink through a straw.  He lost weight.

We expect sweet and soft, warm and fluffy answers to our prayers.  Experience dictates that God sometimes goes to the heart of the matter and the answer will get the job done, but not necessarily in a way that we expect.

The point is, each person on this earth, if things are happening that are distressful, should ask God.  What am I doing or not doing to contribute to this?  Maybe it is not so much a sin of commission, but a sin of omission.  God actually will answer every sincere prayer, but sometimes we don’t see the answer because we don’t want to see the answer.  God’s answers require repentance and change in our lives.

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