to this publication
June 30, 2000.
1. "Shall the church go through the tribulation before the rapture or
rapture before the great tribulation?"
First of all, we are persuaded that no prophecy is ever fully
understood until it has come to pass. Paul states in 1
Thessalonians 4:17 some alive people will "be caught up together"
with the dead "in Christ" or who "sleep in Jesus" (v.14). The
passage does not address the resurrection of sinners. But what is
here revealed is the time and order of only one class, the saved,
both of those living and those physically dead when Christ returns.
Some religious teachers have taken the word "caught" in this passage
which means to "seize (in various applications) -- catch (away up),
pluck, pull, take (by force)," or "rapture," and they have built a
fantastic belief around it. They dream of a world out of which
Godís righteous have been "plucked" which continues on being run by
the lost. The Scriptures speak of a time of "tribulation" or
"difficulty", but Godís people were never to be in a great literal
battle. There is a blessing in the study of Revelation, but of
greater importance is to be acceptable to God at all times. We must
live each day as He would have us live. Then we can be ready to
accept whatever the Lord has in store.
2. "What do you say about trinity?"
The word "trinity" does not appear in the text of the Scriptures,
but it is a word coined to describe that there are three beings in
the Godhead -- The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost (Matthew
28:19; 1 John 5:7,8; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9). We subscribe
to the teaching of the word of God on this matter, and prefer to use
the scriptural term "Godhead".
3. "Must Christians heed Sabbath Days?"
The teaching of the word of God is that at the death of Christ the
law of Moses with its Ten Commandments, which binds Sabbath keeping,
was fulfilled or completed (Matthew 5:17). In Colossians 2:14-17,
the Scriptures tell us that Christ accomplished the "Blotting out
the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was
contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you
in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new
moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come;
but the body is of Christ." Those who are in the spiritual body of
Christ cannot be justified by keeping sabbath days or any part of
the law of Moses. Anyone who would attempt that is "fallen from
grace" (Galatians 5:4).
4. "Is drinking wine sin before God or drunkenness?"
Drunkenness, being drunk with wine, is condemned several times in
the New Testament (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:7; Romans
13:13; Galatians 5:21). In modern times being drunk or abusing
drugs is acceptable behavior. Many use "being under the influence"
as a reasonable defense for committing crimes. All down through the
history of man countless sins have been committed while men were
drunk. In the Old Testament warning after warning was issued
against "strong drink." We know that God wants the Christian to be
sober and live an upright life. It seems to us that, if one would
do Godís will, he would avoid anything that would make him drunk
(alcohol or drugs), so that he would have the influence on the
people of the world which God wants him to have. Christians must be
the light of the world (Philippians 2:15).