Saturday, June 03, 2006

Personal Revelations

The "rapture," described by the apostle Paul, refers to a personal vision of heavenly or spiritual transcendence. The official, orthodox Church (catholic) decided many centuries ago that the Scriptures spoke of the Church as a whole. References to personal revelations were "explained out" of the Scriptures. In the early church, it was assumed that God regularly contacted and dealt with individuals, but this became "heresy" when the Church wanted people to depend on them for revelation, understanding, and any "contact" with God.

Originally, "resurrection" and "judgment," for example, both referred to personal afterlife experiences, but, under the Church's official pressure, these became "group-activities." The entire Book of Revelation-- originally a document about personal spiritual growth-- became interpreted as discussing nations and groups. All personal revelation was discouraged and, not a few times, even damned.

Re your question: "Armageddon" is a reference, in Revelation 16:16, to an extreme interior battle between good and evil. Their Armageddon has already occurred for many spiritual people; for others, their "Armageddon" has not occurred yet. The same principle is true about the "second presence," usually called the "second coming," of Jesus Christ. This is a personal experience in which the Christ reveals Himself to the heart of the believer. It is not a group-activity.

A number of fine and accurate translations of the Christian Scriptures have recently appeared. These are much more accurate and precise than the King James Version of 1611. They include the New Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, the Jerusalem Bible (Catholic), and several other translations, renditions, and versions. Altogether there are about forty different varieties being used by Christians today.

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