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Yes, we look for the rainbow in life because we need to see good. The Book of Revelation brings hope, brings truth to us with its phantasmagorical outlook. Sojourner Truth had it right when she said “God’s people experience trials and tribulations”(pg 10). She insisted he walks on earth with us through them. Not that we would be taken away from them. Read Margaret MacDonald’s words closely. You will see she discusses the fires (trials and troubles) that we go through will be used to purify us, to allow us to be indwelled with the spirit and this is what will cause the temple inside of us to be built. Never once does she say the world is going to have an apocalyptic end and we are all going up in a cloud of glory. She says if we live in Christ then shall we be “caught up in the air to meet him.” I take this to mean when we die and our spirit leaves the body, Christ will be there to catch it and in heaven God will be revealed. You could say she has a little prophecy in her words. She does say the church will go through fire and some will chose to stay with it and others will leave. But haven’t churches throughout history had struggles both with governments and with those who disagree with its teachings? Haven’t congregations always been like tides, ebbing and flowing? Won’t this always be the case? After all we are human. We are inconsistent, temperamental, and even if we are God fearing, we are always God seeking. This is what Revelation is revealing to us all. That no matter what we endure, we still need to hope. Hope keeps us strong in our faith that whatever tribulation we are going through will pass soon. Revelation mentions the tree of life. In Celtic Christianity, this is an emblem of hope and endurance. You can cut a tree down but unless you destroy the roots, the tree still lives. We are trees in God’s earthly garden. We bend, we sometimes break, but we can endure and grow again. The image of the water of life flowing from the throne ( Rev 22:1) reminds us we need this water if we are going to stay in communion with the trinity. Water from God is life giving and we trees need our water. The seven letters to the churches are letters of correction to them. They need to change certain behaviors to remain in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God used John as his mouthpiece, like he had others. If we look at them figuratively, not literally, we can see the same problems exist in churches all over. These letters that John was inspired to write, today can serve as a warning, an answer, a thread of hope, to pastors whose church may be struggling with one of these issues. When John begins his magic carpet ride, he is seeing bowls with troubles pouring out and trumpets, hears songs of praise from angels, sees the emerald city, (sorry wrong book) I mean rainbows, and people dressed in white with gold crowns (white and gold symbolize cleansed and pure). What he is blessed to see is what we all go through in life in a symbolic way. We all have troubles. Yes, sometimes it seems they are being poured upon us. Yet we try to praise Gee beauty in all things. Music stirs us like the trumpets and hymns John heard stirred his soul. What revelation does not reveal is this: It is not the definitive history of how the world will end. It is not a carved in stone tale of end times apocalyptic happenings. It is not showing us escapism prophecy coming true after certain other prophecies are fulfilled. It does tell us we will come up but I take that to mean when our life here is done. It does not tell us to expect to see Jesus coming down on a cloud, sitting on a horse, with open arms summoning us to him while others around us wonder where we went. It does not say we will disappear and only our clothes, dentures, and body implants will be left behind. None of us know anything more of life than this: we eat, we breathe, one day that stops. We will have good days, we will have bad. But if we hold onto hope, cling to faith, and continue to believe in the trinity, then when we are taking our last breathes, we will see Christ coming for our soul with our loved ones who are waiting for us to join them.

“It was first the awful state of the land that was pressed upon me. I saw the blindness and infatuation of the people to be very great. I felt the cry of Liberty just to be the hiss of the serpent, to drown them in perdition. It was just ‘no God.’ I repeated the words, Now there is distress of nations, with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear. Now look out for the sign of the Son of Man. Here I was made to stop and cry out, O it is not known what the sign of the Son of Man is; the people of God think they are waiting, but they know not what it is. Tis Christ in us that will lift us up – he is the light – ’tis only those that are alive in him that will be caught up to meet him in the air. I said, Now shall the people of God have to do with realities – I felt that the revelation of Jesus Christ had yet to be opened up – it is not knowledge about God that it contains, but it is an entering into God – I saw that there was a glorious breaking in of God to be I saw the people of God in an awfully dangerous situation, surrounded by nets and entanglements, about to be tried, and many about to be deceived and fall.This is the fiery trial which is to try us. – It will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus. The enemy will try to shake in every thing we have believed – but the trial of real faith will be found to honour and praise and glory. Nothing but what is of God will stand. The Spirit must and will be poured out on the church, that she may be purified and filled with God -The trial of the Church is from Antichrist.This will build the temple who is the way to the Father. All power that comes not through the blood of Christ is not of God. When I say, they are looking from the cross, I feel that there is much in it – they turn from the blood of the Lamb, by which we overcome, and in which our robes are washed and made white. There are low views of God’s holiness, and a ceasing to condemn sin in the flesh, and a looking from him who humbled himself, and made himself of no reputation. Oh! it is needed, much needed at present, a leading back to the cross. Oh there must and will be such an indwelling of the living God as has not been — great conformity to Jesus -This is what we are at present made to pray much for, that speedily we may all be made ready to meet our Lord in the air – and it will be. Amen and Amen Even so come Lord Jesus.” 1 In Barbara Rossing’s book, The Rapture Exposed, she states “The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren (pg 22). The truth is Darby first wrote his pretribulation views in 1827, while recovering from a serious fall, three years before the 1830 utterance of Margaret MacDonald in Edward Irving’s church in Port Glasgow. Darby was sent, along with Benjamin Willis Newton, by the Brethren, to check out the manifestations that were taking place in Irving’s kirk. Both of these men decided these going’s on were of a demonic nature and not of the holy spirit as proclaimed by Irving. If you read Margaret’s utterances closely, you will notice they are of a post tribulation nature. Darby wrote pretribulation theory. I question why someone who holds degrees from both Harvard and Yale believes he took Margarets words and preached them. Clearly he disagreed with her opinions and openly stated she was under Satan’s influence. All ready, in my view, Ms. Rossing has begun her book on the wrong foot. I feel I can say this, as I am a member of Clan Donald, descended directly from the eldest son of Somerled, from which the MacDonald’s come. Yes, Margaret is one of my ancestors. She has been wrongly accused by Ms Rossing of being involved with Dispensationalism.That fount of heavenly wisdom flowed out of James Darby’s mouth solely. After getting over my disparaging attitude with Rossing, I continued reading her idea of the rapture theory. My mother, as a born again, saved, sanctified, holy ghost filled, heaven bound Pentecostal, dragged me to her church every Sunday morning where the Rapture was preached, believed in, and expected any moment. Guilt was handed out to any who did not get to the altar at every service to ask forgiveness of their sins and anybody else’s who might keep them from ‘disappearing in a blink of an eye’. Yes, dispensationalism ruled. Can I get an Amen? There is a widespread belief in the rapture, one that was capitalized on by Tim LaHaye, who was smart enough to involve gifted storyteller Jerry Jenkins. LaHaye’s previous books sold only to a small market, those that hungered for knowledge of Rapture and the End Times. Jerry Jenkins had a different market niche, Christian Biography and Fiction. What better way to gain market share than to sell a book you can list in several categories? A bigger market share equals more numbers on the royalty checks. I find fault with Rossing’s conclusion that LaHaye uses this series to promote his political agenda, one that she obviously disagrees with (pg 43). If he had, there would have been scriptures, in the books, to support his views on them. He uses the scriptures that support his view of rapture prophecy only. 2 What he can be accused of is a great marketing plan. What is or isn’t Revelation revealing? When read, when listened too, particularly when it has sound effects to give good visuals, you get caught up in the drama taking place. The Book of Revelation, all throughout the world, over many centuries, has brought out bursts of creative genius in all types of artists. Writers, painters, sculptors have all given us beautiful works of art inspired by this book. Each of these works symbolize the pain and hope existing in all walks through life.