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The Bush religious crusade in perspective.

"the assiduous cultivation of religious constituencies by the Bush apparat, and the undisguised intrusion of evangelical leaders and some conservative Catholic hierarchs into the presidential campaign, demonstrated that the old rule of maintaining a decent respect for the nonpartisanship of religion can now be broken with impunity."
Mark Silk, Religion in the News.

"There are millions of Christians who believe the Bible is literally true, word for word. Some of them?we'll come back to the question of how many? subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the nineteenth century by two immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them with their own hallucinations into a narrative foretelling the return of Jesus and the end of the world. Google the "Rapture Index" and you will see just how the notion has seized the imagination of many a good and sincere believer (you will also see just where we stand right now in the ticking of the clock toward the culmination of history in the apocalypse). It is the inspiration for the best-selling books in America today?the twelve novels in the Left Behind series by Christian fundamentalist and religious- right warrior Tim LaHaye, a co- founder with Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority.

"The plot of the Rapture?the word never appears in the Bible although some fantasists insist it is the hidden code to the Book of Revelation?is rather simple, if bizarre. (The British writer George Monbiot recently did a brilliant dissection of it and I am indebted to him for refreshing my own insights.) Once Israel has occupied the rest of its "biblical lands," legions of the Antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned the Messiah will return for the Rapture. True believers will be transported to heaven where, seated at the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents writhe in the misery of plagues?boils, sores, locusts, and frogs?during the several years of tribulation that follow."


It would be nice if all this Rapture stuff wasn't some sort of Johnny-Come-Lately gloss added to millennia of reasonably honest belief. But the fact is it dates all the way back to the 19th Century and thus has no legitimacy whatsoever, sort of like Papal infallibility. It is amazing though what some people choose to make up and others choose to believe. Makes one believe in a malevolent being at work.

Hope to see y'all there, I'll bring the marshmallows.

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) HA,HA,HA (your source)

In reply to: The Bush religious crusade in perspective.

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Success, now you know what I think of your sources, D.

In reply to: (NT) HA,HA,HA (your source)

And quack quack quack right back atcha.


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Rob, are you admitting to being a quack?

In reply to: Success, now you know what I think of your sources, D.

Just kidding. Wink

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Thanks for the "Just kidding" KP you had me going

In reply to: Rob, are you admitting to being a quack?

for a minute.


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welllllllll you know

In reply to: The Bush religious crusade in perspective.

Makes one believe in a malevolent being at work.

Wouldn't that be Lucifer, Satan, etc?

And for those that do believe, it's understood he's always tempting mankind to tear down believers and ridicule their beliefs.

Just to play devils advocate. Devil so to speak.



click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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"he's always tempting mankind"

In reply to: welllllllll you know

Sure, Roger, then:
"Now Jesus ... was led about by the spirit in the wilderness for forty days, while being tempted by the Devil ... So the Devil, having concluded all the temptation, retired from him until another convenient time." Luke 4:1,13

and now:
"For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: "Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation's beginning." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Thanks to Jesus' brutal honesty it doesn't surprise us or unduly dismay us:
"And YOU will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name; but he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved" (Mt 10:22)
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Another complete misunderstanding of history, and, now, of

In reply to: The Bush religious crusade in perspective.

theology. You keep setting the bar higher and higher in terms of the lack of historical knowledge Rob. Do you have a thing about Christianity? The second coming of Jesus Christ was talked about by Christ Himself. He talked about the telltale signs of His impending return.

What on earth does a religious topic have to do with George Bush? Answer: nothing at all! It's just another attempt to ridicule Bush and suppress the free speech of the religiously inclined. Maybe that's OK in Canada, but I don't think you'll earn too many points in the US. Think 'Left Behind'.

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Did you read the article, KP? I quoted an authoritative

In reply to: Another complete misunderstanding of history, and, now, of

source, albeit one you're not likely to agree with. In what way is it wrong? Are you saying that "The Rapture" is not a 19th century gloss on the Bible? If so, give me a countervaling source that indicates that it dates back farther than that.

Rob Boyter

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Bill Moyers is an authority on what? He's a TV guy for

In reply to: Did you read the article, KP? I quoted an authoritative

pete's sake. Get real! It turns out that he's wrong right out of the chutes not having done the most basic research. How's this?

1 Thess 4:13-18

(3.) Those that shall be found alive will then be changed. They shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, v. 17. At, or immediately before, this rapture into the clouds, those who are alive will undergo a mighty change, which will be equivalent to dying. This change is so mysterious that we cannot comprehend it: we know little or nothing of it, 1 Cor 15:51. Only, in the general, this mortal must put on immortality, and these bodies will be made fit to inherit the kingdom of God, which flesh and blood in its present state are not capable of. This change will be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52), in the very instant, or not long after the raising up of those that sleep in Jesus. And those who are raised, and thus changed, shall meet together in the clouds, and there meet with their Lord, to congratulate him on his coming, to receive the crown of glory he will then bestow upon them, and to be assessors with him in judgment, approving and applauding the sentence he will then pass upon the prince of the power of the air, and all the wicked, who shall be doomed to destruction with the devil and his angels.

(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Matthew Henry, BTW, comes from 17th century England. Want more?

Three theories exist about the time of the church's departure to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess 4:13-17): the pre-tribulational rapture , the mid-tribulational rapture , and the post-tribulational rapture . These three theories place the rapture at the time of John's ascension to heaven (Rev 4:1), at the time when the two prophets ascend to heaven (Rev 11:11-12), and at the end of the series of seven bowls (Rev 16:15), respectively.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

How about the Second Coming?


I. The Apostolic Doctrine. - 1. Terms: -The Second Coming of Christ (a phrase not found in the Bible) is expressed by the apostles in the following special terms: (1) "Parousia" (parousia), a word fairly common in Greek, with the meaning "presence" (2 Cor 10:10; Phil 2:12). More especially it may mean "presence after absence," "arrival" (but not "return," unless this is given by the context), as in 1 Cor 16:17; 2 Cor 7:6-7; Phil 1:26. And still more particularly it is applied to the Coming of Christ in 1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thess 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess 2:1,8; James 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4,12; 1 John 2:28 - in all 13 times, besides 2 Thess 2:9, where it denotes the coming of Anti-christ. This word for Christ's Second Coming passed into the early Patristic literature (Diognetus, vii.6, e.g.), but its use in this sense is not invariable. For instance the word in Ignatius, Philadelphians, ix.2, means the Incarnation.

Or the Incarnation is called the first Parousia, as in Justin, Trypho, xiv. But in modern theology it means invariably the Second Coming. Recent archaeological discoveries have explained why the word received such general Christian use in the special sense. In Hellenistic Greek it was used for the arrival of a ruler at a place, as is evidenced by inscriptions in Egypt, Asia Minor, etc. Indeed, in an Epidaurus inscription of the 3 rd century B.C. (Dittenberger, Sylloge (2), Number 803, 34), "Parousia" is applied to a manifestation of Aesculapius. Consequently, the adoption by the Greek-speaking Christians of a word that already contained full regal and even Divine concepts was perfectly natural. (The evidence is well summarized in Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East3, 372-78, German edition, 281-87.) (2) "Epiphany" epiphaneia), "manifestation," used of the Incarnation in 2 Tim 1:10, but of the Second Coming in 2 Thess 2:8; 1 Tim 6:14; 2 Tim 4:1,8; Titus 2:13. The word was used like Parousia in Hellenistic Greek to denote the ceremonial arrival of rulers; compare Deissmann, as above. (3) "Apocalypse" apokalupsis), "revelation," denotes the Second Coming in 1 Cor 1:7; 2 Thess 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7,13; 4:13. (4) "Day of the Lord, more or less modified, but referring to Christ in 1 Cor 1:8; 5:5; 2 Cor 1:14; Phil 1:6,10; 2:16; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Thess 2:2. The phrase is used of the Father in the strict Old Testament sense in Acts 2:20; 2 Peter 3:12; Rev 16:14, and probably in 2 Peter 3:10. Besides, as in the Old Testament and the intermediate literature, "day of wrath," "last day," or simply "day" are used very frequently. See DAY OF THE LORD.
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)

It continues at length, but I'm sure you get the picture.

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He's a journalist of much experience and long standing

In reply to: Bill Moyers is an authority on what? He's a TV guy for

capable of doing good research and winnowing evidence. The fact that he quotes Tom Harpur is a major plus since Mr. Harpur is about the best informed writer on religion I've read.

I think that you will find that "rapture" is a verb in Greek for "taking away, or drawing up" in any context, whereas "The Rapture" is a noun and a wholely different thing, indeed I would expect it to be a different word both in Greek and in Biblical Hebrew but I can't count myself as informed on either one.

Rob Boyter

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Your sources speak for themselves as you continue to

In reply to: He's a journalist of much experience and long standing

deny the obvious. You just can't admit you got it wrong can you? The same attitude came through in our discussions of history. Pardon me, but the 'best informed' writer on religion you've read doesn't say much for his credentials.

As you struggle with semantics on 'rapture', you ignore the elephant in the tent. Your writer said the idea of 'rapture' was invented by two guys in the 19th century. I just showed you that Matthew Henry used the same word when writing about the same concept in the very early 18th century. The 'rapture' is part and parcel of the second coming of Christ. I also showed you that concept goes back to Christ and His disciples. If you had had a broader religious education, you would know that.

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You win KP. You're more knowledgeable than I in this area,

In reply to: Your sources speak for themselves as you continue to

which is not one that I should claim any expertise in. Certainly my own researches indicate an earlier genesis for millennialist viewsthan that proposed by Bill Moyers in the article. There was a sort of codification or division of End Times belief by EB Elliott in the 19th Century which is I think what Moyers was referring to, but it certainly is not enough to sustain the view that it all originated at that time. You are probably aware that there was widespread panic and expectations of the end of the world in the tenth century, the 990's because 1000 years seemed such a suitable time to many.

While you may not be familiar with the work of Tom Harpur he is a terrific religion reporter, but is very skeptical as most of us are of the "The End is Nigh" viewpoint. I defer to you on this issue.

Rob Boyter

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Although I am quite familiar with the ideas here, I am in

In reply to: You win KP. You're more knowledgeable than I in this area,

the camp that says Jesus could return tomorrow, or in 1,000 years. We simply do not know. Jesus said only His Father knows. Beyond that, all is speculation.

Many religious 'movements' have foundered trying to predict the date of the Second Coming. One well known organization has claimed at least two dates for his return. When both fell through, they said He had returned invisibly in 1914.

I must say your response is a welcome surprise. Wink

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I have been, KP, overly sensitive in response to your points

In reply to: Although I am quite familiar with the ideas here, I am in

of view. Sadly we seem to see things from about as different a pair of perspectives as it is possible to find, same with Evie. I have, as an unfortunate hold over from my childhood as the smallest kid on the playground, developed a "take no prisoners" response to conflict which I have allowed to infect my online persona. I apologize and will try to be more considered in my responses in future.

Rob Boyter

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"rapture" being a life-and-death subject, Rob,

In reply to: I have been, KP, overly sensitive in response to your points

it's nice to have a simple, clear view of it.
It's true that the word is not in the bible. But that's also true of other words, like "theocracy;" nevertheless, scriptures supporting them can be found there, so let's try that with "rapture." Please read all the citations in your own bible. If you do, I have a reward for you afterward: No KoolAid. Happy

Modern "rapture" thinking says heaven-bound Christians- perhaps millions of them- are to be'caught up bodily to be with Jesus in mid-air,' if they correctly understand 1 Th 4:17. But even they admit the idea isn't that simple: Your researches may have disclosed that some teach a "rapture" before the Great Tribulation of Mt 24:21, some believe it will happen during the G.T., still others look for it afterward. IMO these are mutually exclusive, since they involve surviving the G.T., so no more than one can be true. At any rate, the disagreements are theologically significant ("rapture" being a life-and-death subject), so 1 Cor 1:10 and Eph 4:1-5 should prevail, as they do with us. Of course, we're then accused of belonging to a 'mind control cult!' Happy (Mt 11:16-19)
A further "rapture" view is that bad things will happen to the earth after the "rapture" (for those "left behind"): Wars and persecutions at the very least, and the fiery destruction of the planet at worst.

Jehovah's view can be found here:
Gen 1:28; Ps 115:16- He created the earth as a blessed- not cursed- domicile for humans and their animal servants.
Gen 3:1-5 Adam removed that prospect from himself, and eventually died.
Gen 3:15; Isa 55:10,11- Jehovah proved himself smart and purposeful and powerful enough to find a way around that obstacle for any of Adam's 'sin-fected' descendants who want to take advantage of it. This is the "ransom;" Mt 20:28.
Notice that the ransom will re-establish Edenic conditions, this time forever: Isa 33:24; 45:18; Ps 37:10,11,28,29; Mt 5:5.
That being the case, there's no need to take away the 'good guys' and leave behind the 'bad guys.' So it's sensible that Pr 2:21,22 says exactly the opposite of the "rapture" doctrine, and exactly matches prophecies of Jehovah at Ps 37:10-29.
Moreover, Jesus himself removed any need to be concerned with whether Pre-R, Mid-R, or Post-R 'salvation' is correct: "In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short." (Mt 24:22) In other words, Jehovah will save his people on the earth by cutting short the Great Tribulation and leaving his people in place. Much of this, BTW, will be in Thursday night's worldwide talk: http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6130-0.html?forumID=50&threadID=92157&messageID=1039136

Any questions? Here's one for you: Can you see a danger in adopting some variant of the rapture doctrine?
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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DR, I think you may be making progress. I noticed that you

In reply to: "rapture" being a life-and-death subject, Rob,


'It's true that the word is not in the bible. But that's also true of other words, like "theocracy;" nevertheless, scriptures supporting them can be found there'

Now, I suggest applying that newly stated idea to the word trinity as in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There may also be a few other valid words that aren't explicitly mentioned in scripture. Wink

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In reply to: He's a journalist of much experience and long standing

Let's face it, we tend to make words into other parts of speech. Google is a noun and website but everyone says to google it (verb). Does that mean they aren't speaking of the same thing?

We do use Rapture as a verb - Christians talk about being raptured.

What I don't understand is where the concept of pergatory came from.

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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I think it came from the OT.........

In reply to: Rapture

where God's people were sent to wait for the Resurrection. They were sent to Paradise in the Hope of the Messiah:) That is the only understanding I could ever make of the term Purgatory. Maybe a Catholic on the board can clarify this term:)

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I never saw any sense of suffering in Paradise. Catholics

In reply to: I think it came from the OT.........

pray that people's time in purgatory will be shortened.

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That is true......

In reply to: I never saw any sense of suffering in Paradise. Catholics

It's just that has been the closest thing to purgatory I could come up with:) But coming from an SBC background what do I know? LOL

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Catholic upbringing

In reply to: I never saw any sense of suffering in Paradise. Catholics

We always thought of Purgatory as "Hell Lite" where you suffered but could get out if people back on Earth prayed for your soul. The real bad sinners of course could never get out.

There was also "Limbo" where the unbaptized would spend Eternity. A kind of nothing-land where you didn't suffer but weren't in Heaven. Always seemed very unfair that babies who were born dead would end up in Limbo.

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Protestants generally believe that there is an age of

In reply to: Catholic upbringing

responsibility. Prior to that time, they think that God does not hold the child responsible for his/her sin. That's the conservative folks anyway. Sometimes I think the liberals think that God, if He exists, doesn't hold anyone except conservatives responsible for their sin.

I'm not aware of any concept of either purgatory or limbo in the Bible.

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The idea of Pergatory comes from the Catholic Church.

In reply to: Rapture

Protestants hold that the idea is anti-thetical to the message of the New Testament which maintains that we have no ability to pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus did this, once for all, when He died on the cross.

The concept may be in one of the apochraphal (sp?) books that Catholics accept.

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KP. Purgatory is a variation on a Jewish theme, but it is

In reply to: The idea of Pergatory comes from the Catholic Church.

most clearly introduced to Christian theology by St. Augustine of Hippo(died 430). You use the word "Catholic" but the "Catholic church" is a rather later invention arising from the schism of the early Christian Church which is usually dated at around 863 or later, paricularly with the election of Nicholas as pope at that time, though there were many causes of difference between eastern and western christianity including additions to the liturgy, the Pope's increasing attempts to exercise power not just in the west but in the east as well, and the coronation of Charlemagne (800) as "Holy Roman Emperor" even though there was a Byzantine emperor who was directly linked to the old Roman Empire through Constantine and a long tradition of two emperors one for Rome and one for Byzantium.

see also:

Protestantism is a break from Catholicism in the west but is not necessarily at such great odds with the Orthodox Church which is the church with the greatest continuity with early belief.

Rob Boyter

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In reply to: The idea of Pergatory comes from the Catholic Church.

Some verses below that might support a concept of Purgatory. Some interpret certain scriptures to say that Christ went into the Hadean world and brought out it's prisoners in his defeat of Satan. Over and over in the OT there is the theme of being sent into captivity when evil, but later after repentance a return. This leads them to a belief in combination with biblical words against those who don't allow their prisoners (of war) to leave after serving a sentence to mean that there is a purgatory or place of punishment that leads to later deliverance. Christ parable below alludes to those cast into prison, but coming forth after all has been exacted from them for their debt, which in the case of the wicked is receiving the torment they inflicted among others while alive on earth. I don't ascribe to the Purgatory concept since I think it distracts some who think they'll get a second chance from being the person they need to be now. We must realize we don't live in the Hadean world, but in this one, and our duty is to deal with the matters of this world and leave the other matter to God. As for praying for the dead, I think it gives some a false hope. We can't however forget that Christ raised people from the dead, so one could consider that they returned to their body from somewhere. The ressurection is for both the just and unjust. What happens between the point of death, and the ressurection is mostly conjecture, better left to God.

Acts 24:15 - And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Here's an interesting, perplexing passage which makes one wonder why the dead need a Lord?

Romans 14:9 - For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

A perrenial candidate and possibly the strongest argument for those who believe in Purgatory is this passage.

1 Corinthians 15:29 - Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
1 Peter 4:6 - For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. 11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
The Pit of No Water?
Luke 16:23 - and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.
Luke 16:24 - And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
1 Samuel 2:6 - The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
Maybe He doesn't listen. Although contrary to this Revelation says the smoke of their torment and their cries ascend before Him.

Isaiah 38:18 - For Sheol cannot thank thee, death cannot praise thee; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for thy faithfulness.
Jonah 2:2 - saying, "I called to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and thou didst hear my voice.
Proverbs 15:24 - The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
Isaiah 24:22 - And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
Isaiah 42:7 - To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isaiah 49:9 - That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
Ephesians 4:8 - Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Ephesians 4:8 - Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Psalms 68:18 - Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
Example of God's method of sending people to captivity as punishment but later restoring them.

Ezekiel 39:28 - Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
Revelation 1:18 - I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Revelation 20:13 - And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

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Wow! Some research! Take a breath, James. :-)

In reply to: Purgatory

FYI, I'm told the RC belief in purgatory and prayers to help the dead comes in part from a passage in the apocryphal Second Maccabees. As to that, I just note that one of my RC bibles saysFirst Maccabees is useful at least for its historical value, but that 2Mac is fantasy even on that level!

"I don't ascribe to the Purgatory concept since I think it distracts some who think they'll get a second chance from being the person they need to be now"
Good reasoning. Also it gives men (the "Church") power over other men, power that belongs to God alone. Luther understood this about the related topic of indulgences. He went further than railing against their sale; he recognized that they have no actual value.

"our duty is to deal with the matters of this world"
I agree. In fact, we should be dealing specifically with what Jehovah requires of us here, so that we'll be assured of the real 'release from death' in the new world he's getting ready for us. (Rev 21:4)

"Christ raised people from the dead, so one could consider that they returned to their body from somewhere"
Why would they have had to 'return to' it? Remember his friend Lazarus? (John 11 & 12) Jesus delayed his visit there so that the incident would prove beyond doubt his and his father's power to give us life, and 'in abundance.' Mary correctly said, 'It's been four days; he'll stink!' Yet he was restored to life and health. If Jehovah can do what Gen 1:1 says of him, why should we be surprised that he can re-create a body for Lazarus- or me- as it was before death? Again, one message here is that death is death; there's no way out of it for 'body and soul' except through Jehovah's mercy.
And where was Lazarus for four days? He couldn't have been in the 'hellfire punishment' of the churches, because he was a "good guy" of the bible. And if in Heaven with the LORD God- not with the Lord Jesus, who was there in Bethany- how can it be a good thing to tear him away from that? Wouldn't he have complained to his sister and Jesus? Happy The only answer consistent with related bible teachings is that his spirit [breath] had gone out, therefore his body was medically dead and decaying, and his only hope was to be alive in Jehovah's memory. This is what Jesus taught in connecton with the resurrection, not with the idea of the dead being alive in some other realm: ?As regards the resurrection of the dead, did YOU not read what was spoken to YOU by God, saying, ?I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.?? (Mt 22:31-32) And remember he was talking to members of the Sadducee sect, who had not belief in an afterlife.

If this seems reasonable to you, I have some more information regarding your other citations.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Why do you think Jesus wept?

In reply to: Wow! Some research! Take a breath, James. :-)

John 11:35

He knew he'd have to take Lazarus from the perfection of Heaven, and return him to this evil old world.

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I think He wept because Lazarus had died, and because of

In reply to: Why do you think Jesus wept?

the pain of Lazarus's sister Mary. I think He was grieved because Lazarus had been seperated from his body which, for us, is an unnatural state.

I have been told that the phrase 'deeply moved' (NIV) in verse 38 really means that Jesus was angry like a bull. Almost pawing the ground at the spectre of death which He became a man to defeat.

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How could Lazarus get into heaven?

In reply to: Why do you think Jesus wept?

Entry wasn't opened to humans until Jesus went first: 1 Cor 15; Heb 9,10. With the Lord's sacrifice accepted by Jehovah, others could then be accepted to 'rule with him as kings and priests over the earth.' (Rev 5:9,10)
And Martha and Mary had it right: ?Martha said to him: ?I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day."? (Joh 11:24) See also John 6:39,40,44,54. So, unless we are now in "the last day," no one but Jesus has been resurrected to Heaven or anywhere else, according to your bible. The dead are dead- "asleep"- awaiting resurrection either to Heaven or to an earth restored to holiness as Heaven has been already.
Why is it, do you think, that church doctrines are so far away from this pure teaching?

In answer to your question, then: I imagine he wept in empathy with his friends. His father intended us to live forever in obedience, so I'm sure Jesus feels our sadness at death, only more so. The onlookers guessed the same, while misjudging the reason. ?Jesus gave way to tears. Therefore the Jews began to say: ?See, what affection he used to have for him!? But some of them said: ?Was not this [man] that opened the eyes of the blind man able to prevent this one from dying??? (Joh 11:35-37)
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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(NT) (NT) It's the Watchtower doctrines that are wrong DR.

In reply to: How could Lazarus get into heaven?

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