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The new Left Behind movie (2014) depicts the Rapture, which is often assumed to be clearly explained in the Bible, especially the book of Revelation.
The Rapture is now commonly understood to refer to a time when believers will be snatched up to heaven by Jesus to escape the time of tribulation about to engulf the earth during the reign of the Antichrist. The idea of a “pre-tribulation” Rapture, where believers disappear and everyone else is left on earth to suffer, is actually a rather new one.
The mention of an event where believers are “taken up” into the sky in the Bible primarily comes from Paul’s First letter to the Thessalonians. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. The book of Revelation does not specifically mention this pre-tribulation Rapture prior to the Antichrist’s reign, either.
Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. However, this occurs in a letter to a specific church, Philadelphia, rather than as part of the visionary material. Other ascents to heaven by certain figures are mentioned in Revelation (John the Seer, the two witnesses, the child of the woman clothed like the sun), but these do not describe huge groups disappearing prior to the plagues, sufferings and terror which inflict the earth. By this stage it becomes clear that the Rapture is far from an obvious and widespread concept in the Biblical text. John Nelson Darby first popularized the idea of a “pre-tribulation” Rapture.Left Behind’s Rapture, then, is more a product of how texts are read than the texts themselves. However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. Vic Armstrong’s Left Behind movie has been lambasted by critics as over-simplistic, formulaic and lacking all intrigue, with the Rapture in the middle as the only interesting part. Michelle Fletcher is currently completing her doctoral research at King’s College London on the use of the Old Testament in the book of Revelation. Learn about the Hebrew Bible in a free course of 25 video lectures by Harvard professor Shaye Cohen. Using NASA data and 3D modeling, researchers have dispelled a long-held theory regarding the relationship between two famous monuments in ancient Rome. Enjoy book reviews by top scholars on wide-ranging topics in religion, archaeology and Biblical studies.
Central panel from an altarpiece depicting the Apocalypse, by Master Bertram, Hamburg, Germany, about 1380.
Altarpiece of the Apocalypse These panels are from a triptych (work of art in three sections), probably an altarpiece, made in Hamburg, Germany, around 1380, by a craftsman known as Master Bertram (around 1345–1415). Audio: Gregorian Apocalypse chants The four sung prayers you can listen to here are all examples of Gregorian chant. Explore the V&A's huge range of events about the designed world, from blockbuster exhibitions to intimate displays and installations, world-class talks, casual and accredited training courses and conferences with expert contemporary speakers.
Above: Details of earthquake swallowing up unsaved souls and the serpent or dragon (left) and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse (right). A rare oval repousée brass platter-form plaque with an extraordinary sweeping relief illustration of a scene from the Book of Revelation. The Christian apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation toward the end of the 1st century as a vision of Christ's triumph over the oppression and corruption of the Roman emperors.
In a news conference, a spokesman for the group said that records had been discovered which revealed irregularities in the proceedings leading up to the declaration by Pope Damascus I in 382 of the writings to be included in the book we know as the Christian Bible today.
Although the author of the Book of Revelation was considered by some early church authorities as the Apostle John a€”A the beloved disciple a€” scholarship has cast great doubt on that claim. It is clear that this revelation, so to speak, has the power to turn Christianity upside down. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The obscurity of this prophecy, which has been urged against its genuineness, necessarily results from the highly figurative and symbolical language in which it is delivered, and is, in fact, a strong internal proof of its authenticity and divine original. Clouds and darkness must cover the brightness of the throne of God, till it shall please him to enable us to bear the brighter beams of his glory.
The Book of Revelation is an enigma even to many serious students of the Scriptures, but Dr.
Bible scholars generally consider Revelation to have been written by the Apostle John on the Greek island of Patmos near the end of the first century.
Revelation offers a picture of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ through a series of visions given to John.
Their book covers every complex verse of Revelation in a way that is accessible to the average reader. In May, Grammy Award winner Fred Hammond will do his first live recording since 1999 with the Fred Hammond LIVE: Night of Worship and Live Recording Concert.
This chain of events has become so integral to some Christian eschatologies (end-time theories) that it’s often assumed they’re clearly explained in the Bible, especially the book of Revelation. This type of Rapture was first made popular by the work of John Nelson Darby in the late 1800s. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is dealing with the fears of believers whose loved ones have died and who are afraid of what will happen when Christ returns.
In our free eBook The Holy Bible: A Buyer’s Guide, prominent Biblical scholars Leonard Greenspoon and Harvey Minkoff expertly guide you through 21 different Bible translations (or versions) and address their content, text, style and religious orientation.
However, these passages discuss the second coming of Christ (the Parousia), not an escape from the world. References to this having any connection to “the Rapture” in scholarly commentaries are few and far between. Indeed, creating the idea of the Rapture, let alone its timeline, involves harmonizing many disparate parts of the Bible and presents the Bible as a prophetic tool.
Reading the Bible as having a blueprint for the future held within it was attributed to Joachim of Fiore (1132–1202), who created a complex timeline of different ages leading to the second coming of Christ.
These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals.

It offers long pauses, contradictory timeframes and undisclosed declarations, and every time the end is announced, it never actually arrives. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the book of Revelation and film.
Altarpieces with scenes from the Book of Revelation are rare, but this example is illustrated with images from the Apocalypse.
Across its three panels, 45 brightly painted scenes from the Book of the Revelation are arranged in rows. It describes a number of visions experienced by its presumed author — St John the Evangelist. Browse, search and book onto our unrivalled event programme for all ages and levels of expertise. As illustrated in this plaque, in the top right corner, the Four Horses of the Apocalypse and their riders, personified as female figures, make a triumphant entrance above a rainbow that crosses the sky. In a stunning announcement, a team of archeologists and Bible scholars said they had uncovered conclusive proof that the Book of Revelation, also sometimes called, not entirely facetiously, the Gospel According to Fellini, was not intended to be part of the Bible canon. The archeologists found evidence that the Book of Revelation was surreptitiously put on the list at the last minute by an anonymous staffer to the Pope. Sometimes referred to as John the Divine, he is almost certainly John of Patmos, a man living in exile on a Greek island by that name at the time Revelation was written. His work remained controversial and was thought to have been rejected by most Christian theologians in discussions and correspondence leading up the Council of Rome. When asked about the Pope’s action in response to the find, some Lutherans [Wisconsin Synod] reacted cautiously, saying that, of course, the Pope was the Anti-Christ. This post was written shortly after I read an article (that I can’t find now) about recentA archaeologicalA findings about the controversy surrounding the inclusion of the Book of Revelation when the final Bible canon was established. He gave this, and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that, after that they were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by the event; and his own providence, not the interpreter’s, be then manifested thereby to the world. There is already so much of the prophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in this study may see sufficient instances of God’s promise; but then, the signal revolutions predicted by all the holy prophets, will at once both turn men’s eyes upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them. Weston observes, “if we were in possession of a complete and particular history of Asia, not only of great events, without person or place, names or dates, but of the exactest biography, geography, topography, and chronology, we might, perhaps, still be able to explain and appropriate more circumstances recorded in the Revelation, under the emperors of the East and the West, and in Arabia, Persia, Tartary, and Asia, the seat of the most important revolutions with which the history of Christianity has ever been interwoven and closely connected.” History is the great interpreter of prophecy.
In the mean time, we trace his footsteps in the sea of the Gentile world, his path in the mighty waters of the ambitions and clashing passions of man. This is the time of the resurrection, where each Christian receives his or her resurrected body. He was exiled there after miraculously surviving an attempt by the Roman Emperor Domitian to boil him alive. The visions are full of dragons, beasts and other prophetic imagery of the coming apocalypse that seem strange to most modern readers. Scripture says that the forces of evil will gather in the Valley of Megiddo—now called the Valley of Jezreel—in Israel before the climactic Battle of Armageddon.
Using a method that promotes retention, each section of the book begins with a pre-quiz with three multiple-choice questions, followed by the Bible verses and an explanation of what they mean. Millions of people disappear in an instant and all that’s left are piles of clothes, iPods and wallets. It then spread with the release of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909), and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. The beasts of Revelation are taken by many to be the Antichrist, as thought to be predicted in Daniel 7.
It involves reading the book of Revelation in relation to other texts, rather than reading what is contained in Revelation. A “one end-plan fits all” attitude proves more than problematic, as richly diverse ancient texts are streamlined to an ordered modern timeframe of Rapture, tribulation and Antichrist. It is more apt to describe it as spiralling around an endpoint rather than marching toward one.
It’s the common concept of the pre-tribulation Rapture that is an oversimplification, a blurring of the complex texts and ancient worldviews. 5940-1859 Left and right panels from an altarpiece depicting the Apocalypse, by Master Bertram, Hamburg, Germany, about 1380.
The triptych has 45 panels, each containing a scene – a layout derived from illuminated manuscripts.
The central panel is 123 centimetres, or 4 feet, high and 168 centimetres, or 5 and a half feet, wide. These visions include a series of catastrophic events destined to befall humankind before the final triumph of good over evil.On the central panel of the altarpiece, in the top row, are scenes showing the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Latin words of these chants, like the painted scenes on the altarpiece illustrated here, focus on events described in the Book of Revelation.The Book of Revelation includes descriptions of a series of visions experienced by its author, including descriptions of a series of terrible and catastrophic events that befall humankind before ending with the final triumph of good over evil. The plaque has Mannerist style arabesque border incorporating grotesque masks at the top and bottom. The bid to include Revelation was based in part on the claim that its author was a disciple of Jesus.
The point was, and is, that there were a lot of early clerics who didn’t put much stock in John of Patmos and hisA revelation, either.
The folly of interpreters has been to foretell times and things by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets. For the event of things, predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence.
First to receive their new bodies are those who have died as Christians, and then, those who are alive and remain.
Parker will publish a book this summer that will remove the shroud of mystery surrounding the Bible’s 66th and final book. The carnage will be so great that the blood of the evil army will flow as high as horses’ bridles. Darby, Scofield, LaHaye and Jenkins were inheritors of this tradition and put it into practice to create their own Rapturous chain of events, which is now often presented as the only possible version.
From the time of the early Church onwards many Christians believed that the end of the world was close at hand.

The Biblical prophecy and Rapture industries saw a steep decline in share prices, and the evangelical Christian churches reacted with disdain. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the prophecy also into contempt. For, as the few and obscure prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations have since corrupted, so the many and clear prophecies concerning the things to be done at Christ’s second coming, are not only for predicting, but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness.
John, with regard to those latter times, are more copious and particular than the other prophets. Early feedback from readers of The Book of Revelation Made Clear has been overwhelmingly positive. This is the scene that viewers are faced with in the new Left Behind movie, directed by Vic Armstrong, and it’s Nicolas Cage’s job to find out what’s happened. However, prior to this, “rapture” had referred to the second coming of Christ in general, rather than the supernatural escape from troubles as portrayed by Left Behind. 5940-1859 The word apocalypse means ‘revelation’ but is nowadays more usually associated with the idea of the end of the world. Running along the top is a decorative cornice studded with twelve small circular medallions containing paintings of the crowned heads of men and women.The scenes on the altarpiece are read from left to right across all three panels and are arranged in a grid, separated by scarlet lines. The middle portion appears to represent the battle between a band of angels, led by the angel Michael, and a group of demonic fallen angels accompanied by Satan, leader of the rebellion against God. Remnant of post in the center of the back, perhaps for a loop originally used to hang the plaque.
They exhibit a series and succession of the most important events from the first of the four great empires to the consummation of all things. This comes from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, which describes the final battle between God and Satan – Armageddon. At the bottom of the plaque, earthquakes predicted in Revelation break apart buildings on the right and swallow people into fissures in the earth on the left. In a period when the Christian Church provided the moral and social framework for society, and belief in Heaven and Hell was absolute, the story of the Apocalypse had a widespread influence on many aspects of medieval thought, culture and everyday life. A serpent hissing from the rocks in the lower left might be a representation of Satan as the dragon. Many people could not read, so images and symbols were vital in communicating ideas and teachings. Christ's face is green, following a reference in the Book of Revelation that describes him as looking like 'jasper'. The words come from a text composed around the mid-1200s by a Franciscan friar called Alexander.
The visual imagery of the Book of Revelation is particularly vivid and symbolic, and was often re-used to refer to contemporary events. In the 12th century for example, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were seen by some as symbolising four stages in the history of the Church, and the Whore of Babylon has been associated with numerous notorious female characters throughout the medieval period and beyond.
This text is derived from a 13th-century commentary by a Saxon friar, Alexander, in which he matches descriptions in the biblical Revelation to actual historical figures and events.On the left-hand panel, the second image in the top row depicts Christ wearing a long-sleeved white robe. He identified each of the four horsemen with the reign of a Roman Emperor who'd persecuted Christians. Even in recent, less intensely religious, times, ideas associated with the Apocalypse remain embedded in modern culture. His long hair is white, while his beard and face are gold, echoing the words of the Bible 'his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength'. Alexander believed that many of the scenes described in the Book of Revelation had already taken place and that the moment of final judgement was fast approaching. Numerous artworks and films reference the Book of Revelation, attesting to the power of its imagery. A gold and scarlet halo frames his head and a sword, symbolising the word of God, almost touches his mouth. Examples include: L' Apocaliss illustrations (Giorgio de Chirico 1941), The Atomic Apocalypse (Linares Family 1983), Tree of Life (Kester, Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Mate 2004), the Omen films, and Pale Rider.
His feet are scarlet, resting on a mound of glowing coals, … 'as if they burned in a furnace'.
Christ looks towards the youthful figure of St John the Evangelist, who lies at his feet in supplication. St John was believed to have written the Book of Revelation.The third picture in the top row of the right hand panel shows the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse - Death - leaping on horseback from the mouth of Hell, personified as the gaping, fiery jaws of an enormous beast. Death, robed in white, reaches behind him to push the head of an anguished man into Hell's maw. Its front hooves have split through the head of a bearded man who lies cowering beneath it. So, the main debate on the Rapture is not what it is, but when it will occur in relation to the tribulation.
The inscription around the scene is now missing, but Alexander's commentary identified the figure of Death as the Roman emperor Domitian persecuting the Christians.Above the scene an eagle, symbolising of St John, flies from the top left corner. The Rapture: Does the Timing Matter for Believers in Jesus Christ?The pre-tribulation rapture is a wonderful hope for believers in Jesus Christ. However, whether we live to see a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture, or whether we die prior to any type of rapture at all, the key to eternal salvation is, in all cases, our belief and faith in Jesus Christ alone.
The story is incomplete, however, lacking the scenes from the last five chapters of the Book of Revelation. And when I have gone and have prepared a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself so that where I am, you also will be (John 14:2-3). For with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven, and those who died in Christ will rise first.
Afterward we, the living who remain, will be cauht up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

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