Sunday, September 20, 2015


 I am a Christian that lives in this world. That means that I work, go about the community, have friends, crash my car, buy a TV, all the normal everyday things that all people do. It also means that I live my life as the Bible tells me to do. I don't shave my head or hand out flowers in the airport and I don't engage in sinful activities. My life has a set of morals and beliefs that guide me such the Ten Commandments.
What I have as a Christian is a logical idea of what this world is all about and faith and hope for good things to come. Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior I was alone and walked in darkness for a number of years and I was afraid, lonely, hollow inside. While I would urge you, gentle readers, to do the same (oh, yes, it requires certain specific acts, not just "Oh well I'll try and live a better life") I know that some folks are skeptical, agnostic, and un-believing as atheists but we all need something, some Higher Power, some spiritual dimension to fill us and support us. Look around, check it out. Every major religion and most minor ones share some core values and morals.
OK, soap box aside, I present to you the common beliefs of Christians as we head into dark areas.

 Rapture is a term in Christian eschatology which refers to the "being caught up" discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, when the "dead in Christ" and "we who are alive and remain" will be "caught up in the clouds" to meet "the Lord in the air".

The term "Rapture" is used in at least two senses. In the pre-tribulation view, a group of people will be left behind on earth after another group literally leaves "to meet the Lord in the air." This is now the most common use of the term, especially among fundamentalist Christians and in the United States. The other, older use of the term "Rapture" is simply as a synonym for the final resurrection generally, without a belief that a group of people is left behind on earth for an extended Tribulation period after the events of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. This distinction is important as some types of Christianity never refer to "the Rapture" in religious education, but might use the older and more general sense of the word "rapture" in referring to what happens during the final resurrection.

End time (also called end times, end of time) is a time period described in the eschatologies of the dominant world religions, both Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic. Christianity traditionally depicts the end time as a period of tribulation that precedes the second coming of Christ, who will face the emergence of the Antichrist and usher in the Kingdom of God.

The Bible has a lot to say about the end times. Nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding the end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them can be difficult. Following is a very brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times.

Christ will remove all born-again believers from the earth in an event known as the rapture (
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). At the judgment seat of Christ, these believers will be rewarded for good works and faithful service during their time on earth or will lose rewards, but not eternal life, for lack of service and obedience (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Antichrist (the beast) will come into power and will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years (
Daniel 9:27). This seven-year period of time is known as the “tribulation.” During the tribulation, there will be terrible wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters. God will be pouring out His wrath against sin, evil, and wickedness. The tribulation will include the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.

About halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist will break the peace covenant with Israel and make war against it. The Antichrist will commit “the abomination of desolation” and set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (
Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), which will have been rebuilt. The second half of the tribulation is known as “the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).

At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies, and cast them into the lake of fire (
Revelation 19:11-21). Christ will then bind Satan in the Abyss for 1000 years and He will rule His earthly kingdom for this thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6).

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (
Revelation 20:7-10) for eternity. Christ then judges all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) at the great white throne judgment, casting them all into the lake of fire. Christ will then usher in a new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem—the eternal dwelling place of believers. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Revelation 21–22).

"... Given power over the earth to kill by famine, plague, and sword."

Hmm, sounds like that is happening already.


Pale or Green Horse


When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come and see!" I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.          Revelation 6:7-8

The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon/object; instead he is followed by Hades. However, illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe (like the Grim Reaper), sword, or other implement.
The color of Death's horse is written as khlōros (χλωρός) in the original Koine Greek, which can mean either green/greenish-yellow or pale/pallid. The color is often translated as "pale", though "ashen", "pale green" and "yellowish green” are other possible interpretations (the Greek word is the root of "chlorophyll" and "chlorine"). Based on uses of the word in ancient Greek medical literature, several scholars suggest that the color reflects the sickly pallor of a corpse. In some modern artistic depictions, the horse is given a distinct green color.
The verse beginning "they were given power over a fourth of the earth" is generally taken as referring to Death and Hades, although some commentators see it as applying to all four horsemen.


Arthurstone said...

Speaking of Jesus where's the bit about killing all the Muslims?

chasmatic said...

You should go to mass more often, the priest can explain things to you.

As unpleasant as it may appear, going against spiritual principles that I and many others espouse in Christianity, the only solution for the Muslim threat is to kill every last one of them, their families, their friends, their neighbors;
to lay waste to their crop lands and salt their wells, to destroy their buildings such that no two stones lay atop one another.
The justification, if one is needed, is that the Muslims are Evil.
Whether we are spiritual or worldly, believers or atheists, young, old, gay or straight, male or female, White or Black, or any other combination of the above, the paradigm in which we all repose dictates that some things are good, some bad, and some Evil.

chasmatic said...

While I'm at it, I think you should get out more, instead of hiding away in your casa.
Expatriation is like you're running away, hiding from something. Like life.
You involved much in the community? Other expats, or locals?

Don't worry, you are not alone; I'll always be there for you with good advice.
Come to me as you have always done and I'll get you back on the rails.

Arthurstone said...

I thought vengeance was the lords? And what about that love thine enemy stuff? Never mind. I can't match verses with you that's for sure. But the thing I think many find so compelling about religion (in particular the big three from the tribes of the middle East) is that their texts can ALWAYS be used to justify behavior their adherents prefer to indulge in. Imagine. Permission from the big guy to do what you know you shouldn't do in the first place. Talk about win/win.

Expatriate life is much like the life back up north minus the paying job.

Reading, writing, school, volunteer work, exercise.

Keep up the work!