Showing posts with label Gematria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gematria. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gematria and pretribulation rapture

Earlier this week I shared a couple messages here and on my other blog on an April 22nd date for the Great Warning. This has led to more contact regarding other dates (including April 21st and May 21st) for the rapture and the end of the world.

I am very versed in Rapture theology and but I am not a advocate of a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Rapture was first mentioned by John Nelson Darby in 1827. In my opinion a pre-trib Rapture is wishful thinking based on an awkward interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

As a Christian, I cannot believe that God, or Jesus, in his Mercy would allow "true believers" to escape the tribulation simply because they claim to be Christians. This completely contradicts the concept of Purgatory and atonement. It is also a major doctorinal difference between Catholicism and many Protestant religions.

In Catholicism, we see Confession of our sins and forgiveness as an important means of staying in Communion with the Body of Christ. When we go to Confession and the Priest forgives us our sins, those sins are wiped away from our "Book of Life". It is then our responsibility to atone for the sins (whether through acts of penance on Earth or in Purgatory). Most Protestant religions however, see confession as acknowledging your sinful nature to God in private and (ideally) regreting it. Once you do so, you are "cloaked in the Blood of the Lamb" and your sins are covered over in God's sight. This blanket cover appears the moment you are "Born Again" and you "accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour". Once you are Born Again, you remain covered until you turn away from Christ. In this model, there is no penance and requirement no atoning for your sins. The Mercy of Jesus is not required because your sins are hidden from God.

In my mind, the Protestant model can be spiritually dangerous. It allows someone to assume they can still commit sins but because they are believers those sins will be overlooked. There is no real accounting for the damage you've done with those sins. Anyone who has had a "Dark Night of the Soul" knows this knowledge is extremely heartwrenching and painful to experience.

Someone once said that in the final judgement, everyone's personal final judgement, all of one's sins are reexperienced from three viewpoints: The sinner, the victim, and the threads that the results weaved on the world (the fallout or impact of the sins on everyone else).

From an End Times perspective, Pre-Trib theology lead believers to have an overexagerated belief in the "Blessed Hope". They assume they can behave like Zionists, and foster encourage the events of the Apocalypse with the knowledge that they will be whisked away before it happens to be with Christ in Heaven. GW Bush's invasion of Iraq was an example of this. To use an analogy from Monopoly, one can receive a "get out of jail" from doom. This belief is a very attractive for many doomers.

Gematria, is one of the Rapturists favorite tools for determining the date of their Rapture. Even though scriptures state that "no one knows the day or the hour" (Matthew 24: 36) of Christ's return, some people believe that patterns can be found in the Bible to indicate when the Rapture will happen. Many websites have been established with this theme. Day-after-day and year-after-year, pre-trib Rapturists detail series of obscure coincidences that prove the Rapture will arrive coming on a certain day. These believers can be extremely passionate and excited about these dates, making plans that affect their families lives.

Do a detailed review of historical pages on these pre-trib sites (e.g. Five Doves) and you can see that they typically have set new dates every week going back (as long as I've been reading them) for the last decade.

Protestants are not the only people who believe in Gematria. There have been some sites with extremely complex Gematria based on Fatima and other Catholic prophecies. Over time, these sites however have disappeared as the math just didn't pan out.

There is a scriptural basis for Gematria. Many biblical scholars (for example) believe that the 666 from the book of Revelation corresponds to the name "Nero Caesar" using Gematria based on numerical values of the Hebrew alphabet.

Numbers however, can also be sliced and diced to prove many other theses. Some people claimed in the 1980s that Ronald Wilson Reagan was the antichrist, because his full names contained six letters in each name. Others pointed to Bill Gates III because the ASCII values of this name equal 666. Still others claim that 666 stands for "computer", "monsanto", "Kissenger", "Confucius", or "Witchcraft" because they match the number using the A=6 B=12 C=18 D=24 algorithm.

Perhaps it is best to accept that Christ will return "like a thief in the night" and just live every day by being the best Christian that you can be.

Pre-Tribulation rapture and Gematria

Earlier this week I shared a couple messages here and on my other blog on an April 22nd date for the Great Warning. This has led to more contact regarding other dates (including April 21st and May 21st) for the rapture and the end of the world.

I am very versed in Rapture theology and but I am not a advocate of a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Rapture was first mentioned by John Nelson Darby in 1827. In my opinion a pre-trib Rapture is wishful thinking based on an awkward interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

As a Christian, I cannot believe that God, or Jesus, in his Mercy would allow "true believers" to escape the tribulation simply because they claim to be Christians. This completely contradicts the concept of Purgatory and atonement. It is also a major doctorinal difference between Catholicism and many Protestant religions.

In Catholicism, we see Confession of our sins and forgiveness as an important means of staying in Communion with the Body of Christ. When we go to Confession and the Priest forgives us our sins, those sins are wiped away from our "Book of Life". It is then our responsibility to atone for the sins (whether through acts of penance on Earth or in Purgatory). Most Protestant religions however, see confession as acknowledging your sinful nature to God in private and (ideally) regreting it. Once you do so, you are "cloaked in the Blood of the Lamb" and your sins are covered over in God's sight. This blanket cover appears the moment you are "Born Again" and you "accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour". Once you are Born Again, you remain covered until you turn away from Christ. In this model, there is no penance and requirement no atoning for your sins. The Mercy of Jesus is not required because your sins are hidden from God.

In my mind, the Protestant model can be spiritually dangerous. It allows someone to assume they can still commit sins but because they are believers those sins will be overlooked. There is no real accounting for the damage you've done with those sins. Anyone who has had a "Dark Night of the Soul" knows this knowledge is extremely heartwrenching and painful to experience.

Someone once said that in the final judgement, everyone's personal final judgement, all of one's sins are reexperienced from three viewpoints: The sinner, the victim, and the threads that the results weaved on the world (the fallout or impact of the sins on everyone else).

From an End Times perspective, Pre-Trib theology lead believers to have an overexagerated belief in the "Blessed Hope". They assume they can behave like Zionists, and foster encourage the events of the Apocalypse with the knowledge that they will be whisked away before it happens to be with Christ in Heaven. GW Bush's invasion of Iraq was an example of this. To use an analogy from Monopoly, one can receive a "get out of jail" from doom. This belief is a very attractive for many doomers.

Gematria, is one of the Rapturists favorite tools for determining the date of their Rapture. Even though scriptures state that "no one knows the day or the hour" (Matthew 24: 36) of Christ's return, some people believe that patterns can be found in the Bible to indicate when the Rapture will happen. Many websites have been established with this theme. Day-after-day and year-after-year, pre-trib Rapturists detail series of obscure coincidences that prove the Rapture will arrive coming on a certain day. These believers can be extremely passionate and excited about these dates, making plans that affect their families lives.

Do a detailed review of historical pages on these pre-trib sites (e.g. Five Doves) and you can see that they typically have set new dates every week going back (as long as I've been reading them) for the last decade.

Protestants are not the only people who believe in Gematria. There have been some sites with extremely complex Gematria based on Fatima and other Catholic prophecies. Over time, these sites however have disappeared as the math just didn't pan out.

There is a scriptural basis for Gematria. Many biblical scholars (for example) believe that the 666 from the book of Revelation corresponds to the name "Nero Caesar" using Gematria based on numerical values of the Hebrew alphabet.

Numbers however, can also be sliced and diced to prove many other theses. Some people claimed in the 1980s that Ronald Wilson Reagan was the antichrist, because his full names contained six letters in each name. Others pointed to Bill Gates III because the ASCII values of this name equal 666. Still others claim that 666 stands for "computer", "monsanto", "Kissenger", "Confucius", or "Witchcraft" because they match the number using the A=6 B=12 C=18 D=24 algorithm.

Perhaps it is best to accept that Christ will return "like a thief in the night" and just live every day by being the best Christian that you can be.