Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11

- R -

Rachel. Younger daughter of Laban (Gen. 29:10), and favorite wife of Jacob. Barren most of her child-bearing years as the result of God's judgment upon Jacob for his favoritism toward her at the expense of her sister Leah, also Jacob's wife, she finally became the mother of Joseph and of Benjamin. She died bearing Benjamin.

Ransom. The price paid to release another or others from slavery or captivity (see Friberg). Specifically, the price Jesus Christ paid (His own blood and life) to deliver mankind from slavery to sin, decay, and death in all its aspects.

The English word "ransom," in its simplest form, is the Greek word lutron (3083). Lutron is used only twice in the NT, in Matt. 20:28 and Mark 10:45, in the context of parallel incidents in the life of Christ and His disciples. In Matt. 20:20-21 the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with a request. Her request was that, in Jesus' kingdom, her two sons would sit, one on Jesus' right hand, the other on Jesus' left. In other words, she wished her two sons to be elevated to the two most prominent positions of authority under Christ in His coming kingdom. In Mark 10:35-37, it was the two disciples who made the request. In both instances, Jesus replied to the disciples that they really didn't know what they were asking, and that it was not His prerogative, but rather His Father's, to appoint positions of authority in His coming kingdom (Matt. 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-40). Predictably, the ten remaining disciples were indignant with the two (Matt. 20:24; Mark 10:41). Jesus pointed out that it was customary for Gentile rulers to "lord it over" their subjects, but not so in His kingdom. In His kingdom those who were great needed to be a servant (diakonos, 1249) and a slave (doulos, 1401) of others (Matt. 20:25-27; Mark 10:42-44). Jesus then used Himself as an example: "Even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his soul a ransom (lutron, 3083) in the place of (anti, 473) many" (Matt. 20:28, author's translation; Mark 10:45). The broader contexts of the incidents in both gospels indicate that by "ransom" (lutron, 3083) Jesus meant His sacrificial death to pay for the sins of the world's people in their stead (Matt. 27:1-66; Mark 15:1-47).

It should be noted that both Matt. 20:28 and Mark 10:45 associate the word "ransom" (lutron3083) and the word "in the place of" (anti473) in the same statement. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, combined both words into one, antilutron (487)  (1 Tim. 2:6). There he stated, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, the one having given Himself as a ransom-in-the-place-of on behalf of all, the testimony at the proper time" (1 Tim. 2:5-6, author's literal translation). Antilutron appears only once in the NT, here (1 Tim. 2:6). I have translated it as "'ransom-in-the-place-of." Since Jesus gave Himself as a "ransom-in-the-place-of" (antilutron, 487) on behalf of all (pas, 3956), Calvinism's claim that Jesus died only for the sins of the elect is thereby refuted and repudiated.

.  Jesus Christ's return to Earth's atmosphere to retrieve the Church, His bride, from Earth and take His bride back to heaven to be with Him always.  This event is presented in John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and a number of other passages.  The word rapture is never found in Scripture.  The term comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of  the Greek word harpadzo, "caught up" (1 Thess. 4:17). See a more extensive treatment of the Rapture. I have listed below a series of different views on the timing of the Rapture. In my understanding, only a Pre-Tribulation Rapture is credible.

Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  In this view, the Rapture is presumed to take place prior to the Great Tribulation, a time of unprecedented trouble that is to befall the entire earth.  There are several reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture is more likely than a mid-tribulation rapture or a post-tribulation rapture. 

1)    A pre-tribulation rapture fits in best with the prophetic time-table for God’s dealings with Israel as outlined in Daniel 9:24-27.  The pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church to Heaven paves the way for God to conclude His dealing with the Church in this era and resume His dealings with Israel.

2)    A pre-tribulation Rapture model best explains the “imminence” feature of the rapture.  Imminence is the view of the rapture presented in Scripture, that it could occur at any time.  The doctrine of imminence is derived from observations that certain passages which discuss Christ’s return do not present any intervening signs which must take place prior to His return (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).  Other passages which discuss the Second Coming of Christ present multiple signs that must be fulfilled before His arrival (Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19).

3)    A pre-tribulation Rapture best fits an orderly exposition of the events outlined in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 and 2 Thessalonians 1-2.

4)    A pre-tribulation Rapture best explains the exemption of the Philadelphia church from the hour of testing which is about to come on the whole world (Rev. 3:10).

5)    A pre-tribulation Rapture best explains the call to John to come up to heaven after having received the messages to the seven churches and the entire Church Age.  His movement to heaven, described in Rev. 4:1-5:14, symbolizes the Church’s call to heaven prior to the Tribulation period, discussed in great detail in Rev. 6:1-18:24. See a more extensive treatment of the (Pre-Tribulation) Rapture.

Mid-Tribulation Rapture:  In this view, Jesus returns for His Church at the middle of the Tribulation.  This view mixes up God’s working with the Church and His subsequent working with Israel.

Prewrath Rapture: In this view, Jesus returns for His Church after the Sixth Seal has been opened (Rev. 6:12-17), and before the 7 Trumpet (Rev. 8:1-11:19) and 7 Bowl Judgments (Rev. 15:1-16:21).  One advocate [This link is now defunct] of a Prewrath Rapture stipulates the following: 

1) The church will enter the Great Tribulation which begins at the midpoint of Daniel's seventieth week. 2) The church will be raptured just after the sixth seal and at [the] coming of Christ which ends the Great Tribulation. 3) The wrath of God begins after the rapture of the church has occurred.

According to Alan Kurschner (commentary on the book of Revelation), "Prewrath teaches that the first six seals are not the wrath of God, instead, only with the opening of the seventh seal will the day of the Lord’s wrath begin." Kurschner outlines his "Prewrath Timeline," spelling out step by step his view. One can see visually his belief that the Second Coming of Christ (Figure 10, 2 Thess. 1:5-10) amounts to the Rapture of the Church (Figure 11, "Resurrection and Rapture," Rev. 7:9-17). Moreover, the Seventh Seal (Figure 13, Rev. 8:1-6) begin Yahweh's wrath.

Prewrath Rapture advocates hold that the return of Christ in Matthew 24:29-31 describes the Rapture, the event recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Pre-Tribulational advocates, however, hold that the Rapture referred to in 1 Thess. 4:13-18 is a different event than the Second Coming of Christ in power, described in Matt. 24:29-31. ***

Difficulty 1: One of the great difficulties with the Pre-Wrath position is its insistence that the Six Seals (Rev. 6:1-17) constitute the wrath (thumos) of Satan (Rev. 12:12) and not the wrath of God. This can be demonstrated visually by Alan Kurschner's "Prewrath Timeline." Notice that the events in the purple background  are entitled "Satan's Wrath," which, according to Kurschner, begins at the Midpoint of the Tribulation. One reason for this distinction is that the word wrath (orge) does not appear in the book of Revelation until Rev. 6:16-17. This is a bizarre interpretation. It is Jesus who breaks each of the Seals, initiating each of the judgments (Rev. 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1). If Jesus is breaking the seals, how can these possibly be the "Wrath of Satan?" Satan is not breaking the seals!!! The Fourth Seal alone destroys a quarter of the earth's population (Rev. 6:7-8). How can this not be the wrath of God? Furthermore, it is clear that the people of earth are already experiencing the wrath of God and the wrath of the Lamb during the course of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-17). That is why they ask for mountains and rocks to hide them.

Difficulty 2: Another great difficulty with the Prewrath Rapture position is that Kurschner takes the position that the Second Coming of Christ occurs at an indeterminate time during the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Seven-Year Period. Yet, on his Prewrath Timeline at item 10, labeled "Second Coming of Christ." He begins the Green portion of his timeline there and calls it the Parousia (coming or presence, 3952) of Christ. He states in Item 10  that Christ's Second Coming is "Sometime during the second 3 1/2 years [of Daniel's 70th Seven]. (He justifies his indeterminate timeline by referencing Matt.24:36.) The main Scripture he cites at Item 10 is 2 Thess. 1:5-10, which does, indeed speak of the Second Coming of Christ in power to bring retribution upon all who do not know God and who disobey the Good News about Jesus, as well as to grant relief to afflicted followers of Christ. But, and here is the critical point, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE TEXT OF REVELATION BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEAL THAT REMOTELY DESCRIBES CHRIST'S RETURN! In fact, Jesus does not return until Rev. 19:11-21! That is well after the judgments of all Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven Bowls have been executed upon the earth. Interestingly enough, the Apostle John never used the term parousia a single time in the Book of Revelation!

A Pre-Tribulation Rapture best explains prophetic details, exempts the Church from experiencing the wrath of God (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9), and differentiates God's dealing with the Church in the Church Age from His dealing with Israel at the commencement of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27).

Alan Kurschner, of Prewrath is a good example of a Prewrath Rapturist. His article, "The First Six Seals Are Not God's Wrath..." aptly illustrates the Prewrath take on the timing of the Tribulation. WordExplain does not concur with Alan Kurschner's conclusions, nor with the conclusions of Charles Cooper, on the editorial staff of the blog, nor does it concur with the conclusions of Prewrath Rapturists in general. 

Post-Tribulation Rapture.  This view teaches that the Church will go through the Tribulation.  Like the Mid-Tribulation view and the Prewrath view, this view mixes up God’s working with the Church and His subsequent working with Israel.  It also flies in the face of Scriptures which teach that the Church is exempt from God’s judgment of the world (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9). Historic Premillennialism espouses a Post-Tribulation Rapture. 

    One of the greatest logical difficulties of the Post-Tribulation view is to explain how the Millennial Earth will be populated with people in their natural bodies. For example, Isaiah 11:6-9 predicts a small boy leading a young lion and a fatling. The same passage also predicts a weaned child playing with a viper. Isaiah also speaks of Israelis bearing children during the Millennium (Isa. 65:23). If Jesus only returns to earth once, and that is at the end of the Tribulation, then all believers of all ages will either be resurrected at that time, or, if alive, will be given heavenly bodies (1 Cor. 15:50-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). Under the scenario of a Post-Tribulation Rapture, who would be left alive in their natural bodies to marry and to bear children? The answer is, "No one," for Jesus said that in the resurrection there is no marriage (Matt. 22:30; Luke 20:35). Furthermore, there are Millennial passages that speak of death (Isa. 65:20-22). Assuming for the moment a Post-Tribulation Rapture, who would be left alive in their natural bodies to die? The answer is, "No one." Furthermore, the Apostle John clearly predicted that after the Millennium, Satan would be released from his prison and would deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth. They will revolt against King Jesus and His regime, and will surround Jerusalem to destroy it and those headquartered there. Fire will come down from heaven and consume them (Rev. 20:7-10). Again, assuming a Post-Tribulation Rapture, when all the saints are either resurrected or glorified, who will be left alive in their natural bodies to be tempted successfully by Satan, revolt against King Jesus, and die a fiery death? The answer is, "No one." Simply put, a Post-Tribulation Rapture does not fit with the data of Scripture. For further study, see the article, "Nine Reasons Why Belief in a Post-Tribulation Rapture Is Not Credible."

Return to the Top.

Rebekah. Daughter of Bethuel, granddaughter of Nahor, one of Abraham's brothers. She was the sister of Laban. She became the wife of Isaac, actually her first-cousin-once-removed (Gen. 24:1-67). Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons, Esau the elder and Jacob the younger. Yahweh told her the older would serve the younger. Probably because of that promise, and because of the fact that she loved Jacob more than Esau, she convinced Jacob to secure the Abrahamic Blessing from Isaac through fraud. It worked, but her son Esau was so incensed he resolved to kill his brother Jacob after his father Isaac's death. Panicking, Rebekah lobbied to have Jacob flee to Aram to marry one of her relatives. Her ploy worked, but she never saw her favorite son again.

Return to the Top.

Reconcile, Reconciliation. God's act of removing the impediment of sin and spiritual death so that He might resume a relationship with fallen man, originally created as  holy. The verb "to reconcile" is katallassō (2644), and the noun  "reconciliation" is katallagê (2643). It is impossible to identify the nature of reconciliation unless we first quantify the need for reconciliation. A good illustration is that the verb is used as describing the restoration of amity between a woman and her husband, from whom she is estranged (1 Cor. 7:11).

The Need for Reconciliation. When God first created man, He created man in his own likeness and image (Gen. 1:26-28). That means that God designed man for a warm, personal exhilarating "God - Man" relationship. In other words, God created man to have fellowship with him. It is important to observe also that when God created man, He created man as very "good" (tob, 2896) (Gen. 1:31). This means that not only was man "pleasant, agreeable" from an aesthetic point of view, but he was "pleasant, agreeable" from a moral point of view. There was not one hint of rebellion, evil, or disrespect toward God and His standards. Man was in full agreement with God. It was customary for God to talk with man (Gen. 2:16-17, 18), provide for man (Gen. 2:18-22), and even to come to the Garden of Eden and walk with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8-9). But God created man as a moral creature with both a responsibility to obey and a capacity to disobey. God warned man that if he disobeyed in one specific, prescribed area, he would most certainly die (Gen. 2:16-17). Tragically, Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve. Adam, though not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), participated (Gen. 3:1-6). Immediately the couple died spiritually. This was seen in the impairment of their relationship with one another (Gen. 3:7), in their act of hiding from God (Gen. 3:8), and in their avoidance of responsibility by blaming others (Gen. 3:11-12, 13). Not only had committed an act of sin, but they had become corrupted, unholy, and suspicious of God, avoiding fellowship. This propensity Adam would pass on to his descendants (Rom. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22) in such a way that the Apostle Paul, quoting OT Scripture, could accurately state that "there is none righteous" (Rom. 3:10), "there is none who seeks for God" (Rom. 3:11), "there is none who does good" (Rom. 3:12), and that man is "dead" in his "trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1), and as such is a child destined for "wrath" (Eph. 2:3). Moreover, man's body began to decay and would ultimately die physically. In addition, God placed a curse upon the entire earth (Gen. 2:17-19). It would be impossible for man's decaying, dying body to inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). So man was separated from God, dead spiritually, and dying physically. Unless God took the initiative to restore the loss of fellowship, man was doomed to be separated from God forever (Rev. 20:11-15).

The Nature of Reconciliation. The Apostle Paul, on the one hand, intoned that "the wages of sin is death;" on the other hand, he trumpeted, "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). Reconciliation describes the necessary steps that God had to take to remedy the condition of spiritually dead men so they could be saved. The extended passage of Romans 5:6-11 explains the concept of reconciliation. Paul is addressing believers in Christ, but in this paragraph he first looks back to what God did for us while we were still in a state of enmity against God.

(1) "While we were still helpless (asthenês, 772) , at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (asebês, 765) (Rom. 5:6). " (2) Few would dare to die for a good person (Rom. 5:7), but God expressed His love for fallen mankind in that the Messiah died for us "while we were yet sinners" (hamartōlos, 268) (Rom. 5:8). (3) Paul continued, "Much more then, having now been justified (declared righteous, dikaioō, 1344) by His blood, we [believers] shall be saved from the wrath (orgê, 3709) of God through Him" (Rom. 5:9). (4) Now, to the point, "For if while we were enemies (echthros, 2190) we were reconciled (katallassō2644) to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled (katallassō2644), we shall be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:10). (5) The climax is found in the next verse, "And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (katallagê, 2643) (Rom. 5:11).

Elsewhere, Paul wrote of "God, who reconciled (katallassō2644) us to Himself through Christ ..." (2 Cor. 5:18). He further described God's action, "...God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them ..." (2 Cor. 5:19). The nature or reconciliation is this: God, in Jesus, has paid the necessary price to ensure that the debt incurred by all human sin has been paid in full. Indeed, it has (John 19:30)! This removed any barrier on God's part preventing His reestablishment of relationship with the human race in general, and with individual people in particular.

God's Part in Reconciliation. God has done all that needs to be done to remove the barrier that impedes a relationship between Him and any human beings. All that is left is for man to accept God's payment on his behalf. Tragically, the debilitating effect of sin -- death -- is so severe that man is oblivious of God and is unable to make any positive moves toward God. That means God has needed to use heroic means (beyond the death of His own Son!!!) to accomplish reconciliation. In this regard it is helpful to distinguish between potential reconciliation and accomplished reconciliation. Potential reconciliation is the status of every human being. But accomplished reconciliation, in which man actually accepts the reconciliation offered, requires additional steps by God. The additional acts include the following: foreknowledge, election, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. Apart from God taking these steps, no human will ever take advantage of the reconciliation Jesus purchased with His own blood.

Man's Part in Reconciliation. Reconciliation is a gift offered to all mankind by God through Jesus. In simplest terms, man must actually receive the reconciliation (Rom. 5:11). Let us quantify these steps.

Repentance / Faith. The Bible does not directly use the term "repentance" in conjunction with "reconciliation." However, the word is not absent from the New Testament. Both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus announced, "Be repenting (metanoeō, 3340), for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15, author's literal translation). Metanoeō means, strictly speaking, "Perceive afterward," "with the implication of being too late to avoid consequences" (Friberg). As both John and Jesus used the term, it meant not only contrition for and forsaking of sins (Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:4, 5), but also believing the good news about the identity of the King in order to participate in His Kingdom (Matt. 11:20-21; Mark 1:14-15). It is interesting that, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the terms "Repent" and "Repentance" several times, each of them used the terms "faith" and "believe" more often. At the same time, John, in his gospel, never used the terms "repent" or "repentance," but he used the term "believe" a staggering 98 times! We conclude, then, that "Repentance" and "Faith" are the two sides of the same coin. (See also "A Biblical Theology of Repentance.") So for man to access the reconciliation God has provided, he must understand that Jesus died to pay for his sins, and he must also believe in (or trust) in Jesus as God's Messiah (primarily meaning "Anointed to be King"). In addition to the Scriptures above concerning the word "repent" (metanoeō, 3340), we also include several references containing the word "believe" (pisteuō, 4100) ( John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 4:39, 41, 42; 5:24; 6:40; 11:25-26, 27; 20:30-31; Acts 13:38-39).

Evangelism. Not only is man to "perceive afterward" about his own sinful condition and understand the identity and requirements of the King, and to believe, or trust in Him, but we who believe are commanded to carry the good news about the King to others! Jesus' command to bear witness to Him we call "The Great Commission" (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:8). But Paul couched the "Great Commission" in terms of the Ministry and Message of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19). It is on this account that we Christians understand we are "Ambassadors for Christ." And so we be others to "be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).

Redeem, Redemption. In a theological sense, God's payment, through Christ's death, of the purchase price necessary to secure the deliverance of believers from the curse of the Law and the ravages of sin. In certain instances it refers to the political deliverance of the nation of Israel and to the efficient use of time. The English words "redeem" and "redemption" appear under a variety of Greek words:  

    The verb lutroō (3084) occurs only in the middle or passive tense in the NT. Its meaning (in the middle tense) is to "redeem, set free, deliver" (Friberg). (1) In Luke 24:21 Cleopas and another, unnamed disciple had hoped that Jesus would not only spiritually, but primarily also politically deliver Israel. (2) Paul wrote to Titus that Jesus gave Himself on our behalf to set us free (lutroōfrom every lawless deed in the present time (Tit. 2:14). (3) Peter wrote that it was not by means of perishable commodities like silver or gold that we were set free (lutroō) from a meaningless lifestyle inherited from our forefathers, but rather with the costly blood of Christ -- blood as from a lamb without blemish or spot (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Of the three uses in the NT, one speaks of a political deliverance for Israel, while the other two speak of deliverance in the present life of believers from evil deeds and a futile way of life.

    The related noun lutrōsis (3085) means, strictly, "loosing." In the active voice it means providing a ransom, releasing from slavery or captivity. In a figurative and passive voice in the NT it means deliverance, freedom, liberation (Friberg). (1) In Zacharias' Spirit-filled prayer, he prophesied (Luke 1:67), "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He visited and made deliverance (lutrōsis3085) for His people" (Luke 1:68, author's translation). By this Zacharias referred to the impending birth of Jesus, the Davidic King, who would ultimately provide political salvation for Israel, saving her from all her hateful enemies, enabling her to serve God without fear and in holiness and righteousness always (Luke 1:68-75). (2) When the prophetess Anna discovered the baby Jesus in the temple, she kept publicly acknowledging to God His provision, and kept speaking concerning the child to all who were expecting the deliverance (lutrōsis3085) of Jerusalem, pinned under the boot of Rome (Luke 2:38). (3) The writer of Hebrews spoke highly of Christ, the high priest who entered the greater, heavenly tabernacle (Heb. 9:11). He did not bring the blood of goats and calves. but entered the holy place through His own blood once for all, having obtained eternal deliverance (lutrōsis3085) (Heb. 9:12). So of the three occurrences in the NT, two speak of political deliverance for Israel, and one speaks of eternal deliverance for Christians.

    The noun apolutrōsis (629), on a literal level, refers to the action of buying back a slave or captive through payment of a ransom (Heb. 11:35). On a figurative level, it speaks (a) of deliverance from sin (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15); (b) of the deliverance of the body from the throes of death and decay (Rom. 8:23). This will take place at our final adoption as sons; and (c) of Jesus Christ as the means of our ultimate redemption (1 Cor. 1:30) (adapted from Friberg). Other uses of apolutrōsis (629) include (d) the deliverance to be granted saints (especially Israeli saints) alive during the Tibulation when Jesus Christ returns to earth (Luke 21:28; cf. Luke 21:24-28); and (e) the ultimate deliverance guaranteed to Church saints by virtue of the sealing presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:14; 4:30). 

    The verb agoradzō (59) means, strictly, to buy, or purchase, or do business in the marketplace (adapted from  Friberg). Instances of that literal meaning include Matt. 13:44, 46; 14:15; 21:12 (in this case the marketplace was in the temple precincts!); Matt. 25:9, 10; 27:7; Mark 6:36, 37; 11:15 (purchasing in the temple); Mark 15:46; 16:1; Luke 9:13; 14:18, 19; 17:28; 22:36; John 4:8; 6:5; 13:29; 1 Cor. 7:30; Rev. 13:17; 18:11. In a figurative sense the word is used (a) in a spiritual sense "as being no longer controlled by sin - set free; from the analogy of buying a slave's freedom for a price paid by a benefactor - redeem" (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23); (b) as referencing the fact that Jesus paid the price to purchase false teachers who, nonetheless, deny Him (2 Pet. 2:1); (c) the people of the church at Laodicea were urged by Jesus to purchase from Him gold refined by fire and white garments and eye salve so they can be truly wealthy, not be embarrassed at being naked, and see (Rev. 3:18); (d) as recited in a song sung by the four living creatures and the 24 elders up in heaven stating the Lamb was worthy to open the scroll with seven seals of judgment upon earth inasmuch as through His own blood He had purchased for God individuals from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9); (e) and as twice referring to the 144,000 Israelis up in heavenly Mt. Zion "who had been purchased from the earth" (Rev. 14:3) and have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and the Lamb" (Rev. 14:4). 

    The verb exagoradzō (1805). Literally, "to buy out of the marketplace." According to Friberg, in the active voice, the verb means to "buy back" or "buy up." Figuratively, it speaks of "Jesus' liberating atonement -- deliver, redeem (Gal. 3:13)." In the middle voice, it speaks "of making the most of an opportunity -- make the best use of, take advantage of (Eph. 5:16). Let us examine each of the four uses of this word in the NT. (1) Paul wrote that those who are "of the works of the Law are under a curse" because they cannot possibly keep every commandment (Gal. 3:10). But Christ has "bought us out of the marketplace (exagoradzō1805) of the curse of the Law, having become a curse on our behalf, because it is written, 'Cursed is every one hanging on a tree'" (Gal. 3:13, author's literal paraphrase). (2) Later, Paul wrote to the Galatians, 4 "Moreover, when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, having been born of woman, having been born under Law 5 in order that He might purchase out of the marketplace (exagoradzō1805) those under Law in order that we might receive from [Him] the adoption" (Gal. 4:4-5, author's literal paraphrase). (3) Paul exhorted the Ephesians,  15 "Watch carefully, therefore, how you walk, not as unwise [people], but as wise, 16 buying back (exagoradzō1805) the time because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-16, author's translation). (4) "Walk in wisdom toward those outside, buying back (exagoradzō1805) the time" (Col. 4:5, author's translation). Conclusion: We see, then, that Christ, by His sacrificial death, has purchased believers out from the marketplace of being a slave under the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13; 4:5) in order that we might receive adoption (placement as sons) (Gal. 4:5). Both of these instances appear in the active voice of the verb. The verb appears in the middle voice in Eph. 5:16 and Col. 4:5, and so both instances are translated as "buying back" (the time).

    Complete List of Vocabulary along with Scripture References. The vocabulary for "redemption" includes the noun lutrōsis (3085) (Luke 1:68; 2:38; Heb. 9:12) and the noun apolutrōsis (629) (Luke 21:28; Rom. 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15; 11:35). The vocabulary for "redeem" includes the verb lutroō (3084) (Luke 24:21; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:18); the verb agoradzō (59) (Matt. 13:44, 46; 14:15; 21:12; 25:9, 10; 27:7; Mark 6:36, 37; 11:15; 15:46; 16:1; Luke 9:13; 14:18, 19; 17:28; 22:36; John 4:8; 6:5; 13:29; 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23, 30; 2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 3:18; 5:9; 13:17; 14:3, 4; 18:11); and the verb exagoradzō (1805) (Gal. 3:13; 4:5; Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5).

Return to the Top.

Red Sea. In the geographic terminology of Israel, the Red Sea, Yâm- (3220) Sûp (5488), means "Sea of Reeds." In Israel's experience, the nation primarily experienced the two Gulf arms of the Red Sea, namely, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel's flight from Egypt involved crossing the Gulf of Suez arm of the Red Sea (Exod. 14:1-31) near Baal-zephon. In Numbers 21:4-5, Israel departed from Mount Hor, near the top of the Gulf of Aqaba to go by way of the Red Sea, skirting the land of Edom.

Return to the Top.

Reflexive Pronoun(s): In English, "Reflexive pronouns are words ending in -self or -selves that are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same (e.g., I believe in myself). They can act as either objects or indirect objects. The nine English reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves." (Catherine Traffis).
    In Greek "The reflexive pronouns are compounded of the stems of the personal pronouns and αὐτός ["self"]. But in the plural the two pronouns are declined separately in the first and second persons" (A Digital Tutorial for Ancient Greek).

Return to the Top.

Reformed Theology. A major branch of Protestant theology that followed the teachings of men such as John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. Some of the main tenets of Reformed Theology, at least in its early stages, include the centrality of Scripture (Sola Scriptura), the sovereignty of God, the fallenness of man, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and an emphasis on certain covenants, including a presumed covenant of works, a presumed covenant of grace, and the Biblical New Covenant. (In fairness, the Westminster Confession, Chapter VII, identifies the "Covenant of Grace" with the New Covenant, although it mis-states that it operated both in the Old Testament and New Testament eras.)  In this regard, "Reformed Theology" is sometimes called "Covenant Theology." While the reformers corrected certain abuses in the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the areas of Bibliology, Soteriology, and Ecclesiology, they did not correct Rome's non-literal hermeneutic in prophetic passages. Consequently Reformed Theology is Amillennial and thus, anti-Dispensational. Reformed Theology is perhaps best known for its doctrine of salvation, encapsulated under the acronym "TULIP": Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. WordExplain agrees with many tenets of Reformed Theology. It rejects Limited Atonement; it rejects the Covenants of Work and Grace because neither are so designated in Scripture; and it rejects its nonliteralism in prophetic Scriptures (Amillennialism); and it rejects its conclusion that the Church is the new Israel. In the Twentieth Century, influential Reformed theologians included Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, and Martyn Lloyd Jones. Conservative modern day Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer and R. C. Sproul. The Westminster Confession is perhaps the best-known creedal expression of Reformed Theology.

Return to the Top.

Regathering of Israel.  God's drawing of expatriate Jewish people from all over the world back to Israel, there to repent for having forsaken Him, to place their faith in Jesus  as their Messiah, and joyfully to take part, with hearts softened by the Spirit of God, in Jesus' Kingdom (Psa. 107:1-3; Isa. 11:11-16; 27:12-13; 43:1-7; 49:20-22; 60:4-9; Ezek. 36:22-28; 37:1-14; 37:15-28; Zech. 10:6-12). The present-day Aliyah is but a pre-cursor to the prophesied Regathering, because the vast majority of Israelis reject Jesus as their Messiah. One day this will change dramatically (Zech. 12:10-13:1).

Return to the Top.

Regenerate. An individual who has experienced regeneration. He has been made spiritually alive by the power of the Holy Spirit. On a human level, this state of being regenerate, or having been regenerated is accomplished through faith in the resurrected Christ, who died to pay for man's sins and rose again to accomplish spiritual life in the believer.

Return to the Top.

Regeneration. The act of God whereby He makes alive a spiritually dead sinner who has placed his faith in Jesus Christ. The term "regeneration" (paliggenesia, 3824) in this sense is used only in Titus 3:5. The literal meaning of paliggenesia (3824) is from pálin (3825), "again" and génesis (1078), birth" or "beginning." 

    Though the words are slightly different, the same concept is to be found in Jesus' statement to Nicodemus that he needed to be "born" (gennaō, 1080) "again" or "from above" (anōthen, 509) (John 3:3, 7), or else he could neither see nor enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5). Regeneration, or spiritual rebirth, is necessary inasmuch as when man is born physically, he is already dead spiritually, i.e., separated from God (Eph. 2:1). We inherited a sin nature from our parents, and anyone who insists he has no sin (nature) is merely deceiving himself and is bereft of the truth (1 John 3:8). God's salvation is not based upon deeds which we have done in righteousness, but upon His mercy (Tit. 3:5). His salvation is accomplished by the washing (loutron, 3067) of regeneration (paliggenesia, 3824) and by renewing (anakainōsis, 342) accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5). Similarly, Jesus linked the new birth in John 3:5-8 to the activity of the Holy Spirit. Both Roman Catholics and certain mainline Protestant denominations believe that the "washing of regeneration" in Tit. 3:5 and the water in John 3:5 refer to water baptism. But the noun "washing" (loutron, 3067) in Tit. 3:5 refers to a bath or bathing, not to baptism (baptisma, 908). And the washing is defined as being "regeneration," not baptism. And in the context of Jesus' and Nicodemus' discussion, being "born of water" in John 3:5 far more likely refers to natural birth ("that which is born of the flesh is flesh") (John 3:4, 6) than it does to the ceremonial act of baptism. How can physical water ever cleanse a sin-polluted soul or spirit? Water baptism can no more regenerate a sinner than circumcising an Israeli's organ of procreation could circumcise his heart (Romans 2:29). See Four Different Types of Baptism.

    There is a second use of paliggenesia (3824), found in Matthew 19:28. Jesus assured His twelve apostles, "Truly I say to you that you, the ones having followed me, in the regeneration (paliggenesia, 3824), when the Son of Man shall sit upon a throne of His glory, you also will sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (author's translation). Here the "re-birth" refers to the glorious Millennial Kingdom of Christ. Physical as well as moral and spiritual and political conditions will be greatly modified in that time. This passage may also refer to the Eternal State upon New Earth.

The Roman Catholic explanation of Titus 3:5; of John 3:5. Return to text. I have attended Lutheran funerals in which the pastor intoned that the deceased "put on Christ" when he was baptized. Return to text.

Return to the Top.

Rehoboam (931-913 BC). Son of Solomon, grandson of David, King of Israel under whom the Kingdom was divided as a judgment against Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-13; 26-42). The Southern Kingdom became known as Judah. Rehoboam's favorite wife was Maacah, of whom was born Abijam (Abijah), the next king of Judah. Jeroboam, son of Nebat became King of Israel, as predicted by Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 11:26-39), and Rehoboam retained possession of only one tribe, Judah (1 Kings 12:1-24). (By this time Judah had almost entirely absorbed the tribe of Simeon. Some from Simeon had moved northward (2 Chron. 15:9; 34:6). Benjamin also remained loyal to Judah (1 Kings 12:21).)

    The mechanics of the rift in the kingdom were fairly straightforward. When Rehoboam went to Shechem to be crowned king, the people, led by Jeroboam, requested a lighter tax load (1 Kings 12:1-5). On the advice of younger advisors, Rehoboam unbelievably pledged a regime even harsher than his father's (1 Kings 12:6-15)! Jeroboam and the ten tribes of Israel revolted against Rehoboam and the House of David (1 Kings 12:16-20). Shemaiah successfuly dissuaded Rehoboam and Judah from fighting against Israel in a civil war (1 Kings 12:21-24).

Return to the Top.

Reign. In WordExplain terminology, the long-term function of Christ when He returns to Earth at His Second Coming. The immediate function of Christ at His Second Coming will be Retribution (2 Thess. 1:6-9). He will immediately destroy all those who militarily oppose Him and His entourage (Rev. 19:11-21) and who militarily oppose Israel (Zech. 12:1-9; 14:1-3, 12-15). Once the warfare has ended, Jesus will judge every survivor of the Great Tribulation. This judgment will consist first, of a judgment of Israel (Ezek. 20:33-38; Matt. 25:1-30). Following that will be a judgment of Gentiles (non-Jewish peoples) (Matt. 25:31-46). (See also The Judgment of the Nations.) All unbelievers will be barred from entering Jesus' kingdom. Presumably they will be put to death. Those who are already faithful followers of the King will be allowed to enter Jesus' Earthly Kingdom, which, we are told, will last a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). For that reason we call Jesus' Reign the Millennium.

Return to the Top.

Relative Redeemer; Kinsman Redeemer. A male relative in ancient Israel who was able and willing to redeem, or deliver someone in distress. The primary word is the verb gaál (1350), "to redeem, act as a kinsman-redeemer, avenge, revenge, ransom, do the part of a kinsman" (excerpted from OBU). Three types of deliverance are mentioned in the OT. (1) Buy back the property of an indigent relative who was forced to sell his property to survive (Lev. 25:25; Ruth 4:1-9). (2) Redeem a relative who was so destitute he was forced to sell himself into slavery to survive (Lev. 25:47-52). (3) Serve as an avenger of blood against a murderer of the redeemer's relative (Num. 35:16-212). (4) Marry the widow of a deceased relative to provide a male heir for the deceased relative who would inherit the deceased ancestor's land and preserve his name (Ruth 4:10).

Return to the Top.

Remnant. Theologically speaking, the fraction of the nation of Israel who, throughout Israel's history, exhibit repentance for sin, genuine faith in God, and, ultimately, faith in Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. One of the Hebrew words that specifies this remnant is the noun sheerith (7611). In the NASB it is translated as "remnant" (55X); "rest" (7X); "survivors" (2X); "left" (1X); and "those who had escaped" (1X). Scriptures which speak of this faithful remnant, using sheerith, include Jer. 23:3; 31:7; Mic. 2:12; 4:7;  5:7, 8; Zeph. 2:7, 9; 3:13; Hag. 1:12, 14; 2:2; Zech. 8:6, 11, 12. Other passages speak of a surviving residue of the people of Israel or Judah, but without necessarily specifying their theological faithfulness to Yahweh. Such passages include 2 Kings 19:31; Ezra 9:14; Isa. 37:4, 32; 46:3; Jer. 40:11, 15; 41:10, 16; 42:2, 15, 19; 43:5; 44:7, 12; Ezek. 5:10; 9:8; 11:13; Amos 5:15; Mic. 7:18.

    Another word translated "remnant" is the noun shear (7605), translated in the NASB as “rest” (13X); “remnant” (11X); “remainder” (1X); and “survivors” (1X). Several times, particularly in Isaiah, shear refers to a faithful, purified residue of Yahweh’s people, the people of Israel (Isa. 10:20, 21, 22; 11:11, 16; 28:5).

    The verb related to shear is shâ'ar (7604), to remain, be left over. It is used 133 times in the OT. 94 of these instances are the Niphal stem, and 38 in the Hiphil stem. There is only one occurrence in the Qal stem (1 Sam. 16:11).

    In the NT, Paul used the word hupoleimma (5275) once to describe the faithful remnant of Israel (Rom. 9:27, quoting Isa. 10:22). One time Paul used the word leimma (3005) to describe the faithful remnant of Israel (Rom. 11:5). Both words are hapax legomena.

    Clearly, despite the pronouncements of Replacement Theologians among Amillennialists and even many in the camp of Historical Premillennialists, God has a future for the people of Israel as a redeemed nation. Presently, Jewish people who believe in Jesus have dual citizenship. They are part of the Church, but they are also part of the Nation of Israel. After the Rapture of the Church, Jewish people who subsequently choose to place their faith in Jesus as their Messiah will become part of the Remnant, i.e., Redeemed Israel.

Return to the Top.

Repent, Repentance. The verb "repent" means, literally, "to perceive afterwards," i.e., to change one's mind and behavior regarding sin or regarding Jesus Christ. Both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus announced, "Be repenting (metanoeō, 3340), for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15, author's literal translation). Metanoeō means, strictly speaking, "Perceive afterward," "with the implication of being too late to avoid consequences" (Friberg). As both John and Jesus used the term, it meant not only contrition for and forsaking of sins (Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:4, 5), but also believing the good news about the identity of the King in order to participate in His Kingdom (Matt. 11:20-21; Mark 1:14-15). It is interesting that, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the terms "Repent" and "Repentance" several times, each of them used the terms "faith" and "believe" more often. At the same time, John, in his gospel, never used the terms "repent" or "repentance," but he used the term "believe" a staggering 98 times! We conclude, then, that "Repentance" and "Faith" are the two sides of the same coin. (See also "A Biblical Theology of Repentance.") So for man to access the salvation God has provided, he must understand that Jesus died to pay for his sins, and he must also believe in (or trust) in Jesus as God's Messiah (primarily meaning "Anointed to be King"). In addition to the Scriptures above concerning the word "repent" (metanoeō, 3340), we also include several references containing the word "believe" (pisteuō, 4100) (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 4:39, 41, 42; 5:24; 6:40; 11:25-26, 27; 20:30-31; Acts 13:38-39).

The noun "repentance" is metánoia (3341), meaning "strictly later knowledge, subsequent correction; (1) religiously and morally, as a change of mind leading to change of behavior repentance, conversion, turning about (Matt. 3:8; 2 Cor. 7:10); (2) as a change of opinion in respect to one's acts regret, remorse (a popular Greek usage not found in the NT)" (Friberg).

Return to the Top.

Replacement Theology. The theological view of Amillennialism that the Church has permanently replaced or fulfilled Israel as the sphere of God's blessing and redemptive program. In the view of “Replacement Theology,” the present nation of Israel has little or no meaningful relationship to end-time events since, in their view, the Church has replaced Israel.  Another term for "Replacement Theology" is "Supersessionism," which holds that the Church has superseded Israel. It is difficult to read Paul's apologia for Israel in Romans 9-11 and make any sense out of it if, in fact, the Church has permanently superseded Israel

If Replacement Theology is true, countless passages like
Isaiah 2:1-4; Isa. 11:1-16; Isa. 60:1-22; Ezekiel 40:1-48:35; and Zechariah 12:1-14:21 cannot be taken at face value – they mean something other than what the readers in that day would have taken them to mean. Clearly God's covenant with Abraham and his physical descendants through Isaac and Jacob in the land as a permanent possession is an eternal covenant. The neglect or misinterpretation of these fundamental truths cannot abort the eternal commitment of God. See also Supersessionism.

For an extensive treatment of Supersessionism, or Replacement Theology, see Michael J. Vlach, Supersessionism Articles.

Representative Sin. 
The sin that Adam committed that affected the entire human race. Adam was our "Head," and when he sinned in the Garden of Eden, his sin affected each of us. Whether we wished it to be or not, whether we agree or not, when he sinned we sinned. This truth is conveyed in Romans 5:12. Though God did not charge people with sins when the Law had not yet entered the world through the Israeli people, people were still affected by Adam's sin. The proof of this is that people died even though God was not charging them with sin that as yet was unrevealed through the Law (Rom. 5:12-14).

    Here is an example from baseball. Suppose the home team is behind by three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. The bases are loaded and the batter is capable of winning the ballgame with a bases-loaded home run. But if he strikes out, the whole team loses. That is the way it was in the Garden of Eden. Adam struck out, and the entire human race lost. He was our representative, and he blew it on behalf of the entire human race. There are two other types of sin, Inherited Sin and Personal Sin.

Responsibility of Man. There are a great many theologians and church people who proclaim the "free will" of man. This discussion frequently occurs within the context of man's being "free" to choose to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior or being "free" to reject Him. That does not really match the picture the Bible paints. Even before the first man, Adam, sinned, and his sin was charged to the account of all humans, man was only free within certain parameters. Man was not free to fly like a bird, swim like a fish, run like a cheetah, or swing from branches in the trees with his tail like a monkey. Man was not free to jump off a mountain cliff and survive the fall. Man was not free to live in the past or the future. Before the Fall of Man, man was free to do both good and evil. After the Fall of Man, was inevitably unable to avoid doing evil, and he was unable to avoid aging and death.
In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul described fallen man in devastating terms.  1) Man is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1); 2) He is influenced by the world (Eph. 2:2); 3) He is energized by Satan (Eph. 2:2); 4) He is corrupted by the lusts of his flesh and mind (Eph. 2:3);  5) He is a child of wrath, meaning he is the target of God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3).  In that condition, man is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:16), hardly capable of choosing to do any good whatever in God’s sight. In Romans 3:10-18, quoting from a variety of OT Scriptures, Paul provides a devastating critique of man:

10 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”; 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood, 16 Destruction and misery are in their paths, 17 And the path of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

So to argue for the freedom of man to choose to love God and do good and serve Him is an illusory task, fraught with insurmountable difficulties. So what is the truth? God holds man responsible. God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). And God holds man responsible for his sin and for his failure to repent. Consequences and judgment and evaluation are inevitable for all mankind everywhere throughout the ages (Gen. 2:16-17; Matt. 13:36-43; John 5:25-29; Rom. 14:10, 12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:11-15).

Moreover, God chooses some to trust Him and receive His salvation through faith in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ. As distasteful as some might find the doctrine of election, it is a Biblical doctrine, and it is absolutely essential. Without it,  no one would ever trust in Jesus, and evangelism would be utterly useless and unproductive.

Man is repeatedly offered invitations to choose God and choose God’s gracious forgiveness, right up to the last chapter of the Bible (Josh. 24:15; John 1:11-13; John 3:15-16, 3:36; John 4:10; John 4:14; John 6:35; John 7:37-38; Rom. 10:11; Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17).

See also the Glossary entries on Free Will and Election. See also the entry on TULIP. See also the entry on Total Depravity.

Restrainer. The Holy Spirit in the Church. There are only two references to "the restrainer." Both are found in 2 Thess. 2:6, 7. They occur in the midst of a discussion about "the man of lawlessness" (2 Thess. 2:3), or "that lawless one" (2 Thess. 2:8). The Apostle Paul also identified this sinister individual as "the son of destruction" (2 Thess. 2:3), the one who will display himself as being God in the temple of God (2 Thess. 2:4), the one whose coming (parousia, 3952) will be according to the energy (energeia, 1753) of Satan with all power, signs and wonders based on falsehood (2 Thess. 2:9). Paul states clearly that the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:2) cannot come to pass until, first (a) the apostasy comes and until (b) "the man of lawlessness is unveiled" (2 Thess. 2:3). But there is something or someone presently restraining (katechō, 2722) him (2 Thess. 2:6), preventing him from being revealed until the proper time. In fact, "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work," even in Paul's day. "Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way" (2 Thess. 2:7).

So there is some entity, "that which restrains the lawless one," presently in operation.
No merely human government or other entity is powerful enough to restrain evil over long periods of time. Only God can do that. The neuter gender present participle (to katechon) ("that which is restraining") (2 Thess. 2:6) is consistent with the neuter gender (grammatically) of the Holy Spirit (pneuma, 4151). But in the next verse Paul identifies the Holy Spirit as "the one restraining" (ho katechōn, a masculine gender present participle). This is consistent with the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person, not a force.

While the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to restrain evil in the world, how can He be removed? He is omnipresent. The answer is that the time is coming when the Holy Spirit in the Church will be removed from this world. That will take place at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, identified in 2 Thess. 2:1. When that happens, evil will sweep over the world. With no restraint, the Lawless One, the Antichrist, will be revealed, and he will quickly move to implement his Satan-inspired agenda during the "Day of the Lord," the Tribulation period.

We conclude, then that "the restrainer" or "that which restrains" is the Holy Spirit in the Church. With the Church absent from the earth, there will be nothing to oppose or restrain evil people all over the world, and the Lawless One, the Antichrist, will establish his malevolent agenda. See also Thomas Constable's explanation.

Resurrection. A rising up of those who are dead. The teaching of Scripture is that, though our bodies begin to decay and decompose the moment we die physically, our spirit continues to exist (Luke 16:19-31). One day one's spirit will be reunited with one's body, and both will exist eternally. Both the OT and the NT affirm a future return to life with a material body both of those who are righteous and of those who are unrighteous. However, the revelation in the NT is much more extensive and explicit.

    In the OT, Job, a devout believer in God, affirmed a resurrection (Job 19:25-27). The statesman Daniel, also a prophet, affirmed a future resurrection after a time of unprecedented distress for the sons of Daniel's people (Dan. 12:1-2). Some, he said, would awaken to everlasting life, while others, to disgrace and everlasting contempt. The prophet Isaiah predicted a resurrection  (Isa. 26:19). The Spirit of God, through the prophet Ezekiel, revealed that He will one day open the graves of His people of the whole house of Israel. He will cause them to come up out of their graves and enter the land of Israel, their own land. Then they will know that "I, Yahweh, have spoken and done it" (Ezek. 37:12-14).

    In the NT, Jesus predicted that "an hour is coming ... when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live" (John 5:25). This resurrection entails a coming judgment, conducted by Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man (John 5:26-27).  The time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth, those who performed good, to a resurrection of life; those who committed evil, to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29).

    Those who allegorize prophetic Scripture teach one general resurrection followed by one general judgment. But for those of us who interpret prophetic Scripture literally, there are actually a series of resurrections. Jesus Himself was the first to arise from the dead. He was the "first fruits" or down payment on future resurrections. Jesus' resurrection was recorded in all four gospels (Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-12; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-29).

    The next resurrection will be that of the Church. Paul referred to the Rapture of the Church in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. He said that not all would die, but every Christian would be transformed, being granted a resurrection-type body (1 Cor. 15:51). He said, "...the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Cor. 15:52). He further elaborated on the moment of Christ's return for the Church in 1 Thess. 4:13-18. The souls of the departed believers will return with Christ (1 Thess. 4:14). The dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess. 4:16). Then we who are alive and remain will be snatched up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, a permanent reunion (1 Thess. 4:17)!

    The Rapture will be followed by a a time of global trouble, known as the Tribulation. An innumerable multitude of people who become believers in Jesus Christ, and will refuse to worship the global dictator whom the Apostle John describes as "the beast." They will pay for their insubordination with their lives (Rev. 7:9-14; 13:7-10, 15-18). Moreover they will refuse to take part in the global false worship symbolized by the Great Prostitute headquartered in Babylon (Rev. 17:1-6). Again those who refuse to participate in her false religion will pay for their allegiance to Jesus Christ with their own life's blood (Rev. 19:1-4).

    Then Christ will return to earth in power and great glory, subduing all His enemies (Zech. 14:1-15; 2 Thess. 1:3-10; Rev. 19:11-21). He will set up His kingdom upon earth and reign for a thousand years (Zech. 14:9, 16-21; Isa. 2:1-4; Rev. 20:1-4). Those believers who were martyred during the Tribulation will come to life, and will reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). This resurrection is entitled "The First Resurrection" (Rev. 20:5-6).

    The rest of the dead will not come alive until after the thousand years have been completed (Rev. 20:5). Tragically, those who partake of the last resurrection will also succumb to the Second Death (Rev. 20:6).

    After the destruction of the existing Heavens and Earth (2 Pet. 3:7-12; Rev. 20:11), absent any matter from the existing universe, the wicked dead, both small and great, will stand before a Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-12). They will be judged appropriately by God's records, kept in His books. Whoever found that his name was not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, also termed, the "Second Death" (Rev. 20:13-15).

    That will be the final resurrection, and the final judgment.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth, after his execution by crucifixion, was bodily raised from among the dead by the power of God and appeared to many people for days prior to His ascension to heaven. The Biblical recorders of Jesus' resurrection consistently agree that He appeared to believing women first (Matt. 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-8), but His male disciples did not believe them (Luke 24:9-11). The record shows that Jesus appeared to His disciples second (John 20:19-20). We also learn that Jesus, in His resurrected state, appeared only to believers, at one time, to more than five hundred (1 Cor. 15:6). Unbelievers were not going to be rewarded with witnessing the risen Christ. Presumably, that would never have convinced them, and would only have added to their culpability. Jesus chided "doubting" Thomas for believing only because he had seen. He continued, "Blessed are the ones not having seen, and having believed!" (John 20:29, JTB). The record also shows that Jesus' enemies, when confronted with the truth, immediately took great pains to discredit Christ's resurrection (Matt. 28:11-15). Such has always been the case. The risen Christ appeared to His apostles for a period of forty days, teaching them about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:1-3). He assigned them to recruit people for His coming kingdom (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:6-8). Then He ascended to heaven with the promise of His return (Acts 1:9-11). The Scriptures make it clear that faith in Jesus as the Messianic source of resurrection and life guarantees life and resurrection for those who believe (John 11:25-27). For more detailed information, see "Scriptures Describing the Resurrection of Christ."

Retribution. In the terminology of WordExplain, Retribution refers to that second stage of Christ's parousia (3952) in which Jesus returns all the way to earth to execute vengeance upon His adversaries and those of His people, then to set up His Regime.. Paul clearly states the retributive aspect of Christ's return in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9:

7and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

     Other passages also reveal Retribution in connection with Christ's return: Isaiah 63:1-6; Zechariah 14:1-15; Revelation 19:11-21. It is worth noting that the Retributive phase of Christ's return is consistently presented as having many signs that must be fulfilled prior to Christ's return. For example, in Matthew 24:1-51, a great many signs (semeion, 4592) must be fulfilled before Christ's return and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3).

These signs include false Messiahs, wars, rumors of wars, international conflict, famines, and earthquakes. All these are but the early onset of labor pains (Matt. 24:4-8).

Jesus predicted there will be tribulation, martyrdom, hatred by all nations because of His followers' allegiance to His name, apostasy, betrayal, reciprocal hatred, false prophets, deception, increasing lawlessness, and the waning of love and trust. The good news of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all nations before the end comes (Matt. 24:9-14).

The "Abomination of Desolation" will appear in the rebuilt Jewish Temple. (This apparently marks the mid-point of Daniel's Seventieth Seven of Years, at which "the prince who shall come" will break his seven-year treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27). Then residents of Judea must flee to the mountains! Then there will be "great tribulation" unprecedented in the history of the world! False Messiahs and false prophets will arise and show great signs (semeion, 4592) and wonders so spectacular they almost deceive God's chosen ones (eklektos, 1588) (Matt. 24:15-28).

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matt. 24:29). And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30). And he will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other" (Matt. 24:31).

     Similarly, in the book of Revelation a great many signs must be fulfilled prior to Christ's Return for Retribution as described in Revelation 19:11-21. After the Church Age, addressed in Revelation 2:1-3:22, preparations are made in heaven (Rev. 4:1-5:14). Then there will be unleashed upon the earth during the Tribulation period seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, and seven bowl judgments, described in Revelation 6:1-16:21. Two witnesses will testify during half the Tribulation period (Rev. 11:1-14). The Antichrist and his lieutenant must gain power over the entire earth (Rev. 13:1-18). Babylon, the Great Prostitute, must be burned with fire (Rev. 17:1-18:24) to pave the way for the revelation of New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ (Rev. 21:1-22:5).

     The point is that the Second Stage of Christ's parousia, the Retribution phase, cannot possibly be construed as an imminent event. A great many signs must be fulfilled prior to Jesus' return for Retribution. A Single-Stage Parousia simply does not fit the evidence. Only a Two-Stage Parousia accounts for all the details found in Scripture.

Reunion. In the terminology of WordExplain, Reunion refers to that First Stage of Christ's parousia (3952) (return) in which Jesus returns to the earth's atmosphere to summon up deceased believers of the Church Era along with living believers of the Church Era to a joyous meeting in the air. We call this reunion the Rapture.

This reunion is graphically described in a key passage, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This stage of Christ's parousia incorporates a resurrection of deceased Church Age believers. For those Church-Age believers who are alive when Christ returns, their bodies will be changed (allasso, 236) instantaneously from mortal to immortal, from perishable to imperishable (1 Cor. 15:50-53). Immediately, these changed, now immortal believers, along with the resurrected believers, will be snatched up (harpadzo, 726) together into the clouds for a meeting (apantesis, 529) with the Lord in the air. Paul's exultant phrase, which aptly characterizes this stage of Christ's parousia, is "and so we shall always be with the Lord!" (1 Thess. 4:15-17).

The focal point of this stage of the parousia is REUNION! We will be reunited with Christ and reunited with Church-Age believers who had died before Christ returned. They did not miss the Rapture; rather they are an integral part of it. It is no wonder that this Reunion is a cause for great comfort (1 Thess. 4:18).

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 does not specify what happens to these resurrected, transformed, and snatched up Church-Age saints. The model that best fits the evidence is found in John 14:1-6, where Jesus stated that there were many dwelling places in His Father's house. He would depart to prepare a place for His followers. He would come again and receive them to Himself, so that they might be reunited - always with Him. The implication is that He would take them back with Him to His Father's house and permit them to dwell in the place He had prepared for them. Jesus Himself is the Way to the Father and the Father's house!

The context of John 14:1-6 does not lend itself well at all to the interpretation that Jesus would come and transport them individually to His Father's house upon their death. This is not funeral talk - it is wedding talk! This is the language of a bridegroom betrothed to his bride-to-be, a reference to the Church. He will depart from them in order to prepare a place (singular) for them (plural) among the many dwelling places already in existence in His Father's house. Upon His completion of the preparations, He will come again (a reference to the First Stage of His Second Coming) and receive them (plural - corporately) to Himself in order that where He Himself is they (plural - corporately), the bride, might be (plural - corporately) also. So this is not an individual coming at the death of each saint, but a one-time coming for the corporate bride . The presumption is that He will take the bride to the dwelling place He has prepared for them.

The Reunion phase of Christ's parousia is consistently presented as an imminent event. Unlike the Retribution phase of Christ's parousia, It could happen at any time. There are no intervening events that must be fulfilled prior to the Reunion phase of Christ's return.

Chronologically, the Reunion phase of Christ's parousia is the next event on God's prophetic calendar. The Reunion event will occur prior to the horrific events of the Tribulation. It is an imminent event. Nothing prophetically needs to happen before Christ returns for His bride.

Revelation. On a literal level, the Greek word apokálupsis (602) describes the action of uncovering, disclosing, revealing (Friberg). It was used in this sense in 1 Samuel 20:30 in the LXX. The word is translated "nakedness" in the NASB's translation of 1 Sam. 20:30 from the MT. Typically, in the NT the noun is used on a figurative level, where it means "revelation, disclosure.". It is used, for example, (1) to describe God's disclosure of truth to humans (Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:6, 26; 2 Cor. 12:1, 7; Gal. 2:2; Eph. 3:3). It is also used (2) to describe the disclosure, revelation, unveiling, or appearing of Jesus Christ Himself at His Second Coming (1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; 4:13; Rev. 1:1). In my opinion, in Rev. 1:1 the word refers both to Jesus revelation of facts about the future and also to His revelation of Himself in His glory, both to John (in Rev. 1) and to the world (Rev. 19:11-21).

Revived Roman Empire. The heavenly messenger Gabriel revealed to Daniel that 70 units of 7 years had been decreed for Daniel's people and for his city (Dan. 9:24-27). Part of this prophecy predicted the death of Messiah (Dan. 9:26). Then Gabriel predicted that the people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary (Dan. 9:26). We know that the Roman Empire's army destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70. To begin the 70th seven-year period, which has not yet been begun, the prince of the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary will make a treaty with Israel for seven years (Dan. 9:27). This will mark the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period. From this passage we conclude that this prince must hail from the realm of the 1st century Roman Empire. The Roman Empire at that time spanned most of Europe, the Middle East, and all of North Africa. Therefore we determine that this future ruler will hail from somewhere in that region, very possibly from somewhere in Italy.

The Revived Roman Empire, which will be in power at the beginning of the Tribulation period, will consist of a coalition of forces from North Africa, the Middle East, and the bulk of Europe. Whereas Christianity eventually conquered the old Roman Empire, I believe that Islam that will conquer and pervade the Revived Roman Empire. The leader of the Revived Roman Empire is also to be identified as the Antichrist (1 John 2:18), the Beast out of the Sea (Rev. 13:1-10), and the Man of Lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3-4, 8-10). This ruler, and ten kings allied with him, will take over the world and will, I believe, be sympathetic initially to Islam (Rev. 17:1-15). But at some point he and the kings allied with him will turn on Islam and destroy it with fire (Rev. 17:16-17; 18:1-24). He will meet his match when Jesus Christ, the Rider on the white horse, takes him captive and destroys his army (Rev. 19:11-21; 2 Thess. 2:Thess. 2:8). The Revived Roman Empire will then be destroyed by the Stone that destroys all merely human empires and becomes a mountain that fills the entire earth (Dan. 2:44-45).

Righteousness. The quality or trait of uprightness, justice, or moral, ethical, and spiritual correctness. The Greek noun is dikaiosúnê (1343), which appears 92 X in 91 verses in the NT, and is almost universally translated, "righteousness" in the NASB. A person possessing righteousness is said to be righteous (díkaios, 1342).

A number of passages speak of the righteousness of God: Matt. 6:33; Rom. 1:17; 3:5, 25, 26; 10:3; James 1:20.

Several passages link righteousness to Jesus Christ: Acts 17:31; 2 Pet. 1:1; Rev. 19:11.

At least one passage links righteousness to the Holy Spirit: John 16:8

Most passages using "righteousness" refer to human righteousness. These fall into three categories.

Imputed Righteousness: That righteousness from God credited to the account of a sinner saved by grace through faith. These passages include the following: Rom. 4:3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13; 8:10; 10:6, 10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:6; Heb. 11:7; James 2:23. This imputed righteousness is stated to be a gift: Rom. 5:17. One passage explicitly states that imputed righteousness (in the NT era) comes through faith in Jesus Christ : Php. 3:9.

Personal Righteousness: The practice or state of righteousness as found in a human: Matt. 5:6, 10; 6:1; Luke 1:75; Acts 10:35; Rom. 6:13, 16, 19; 14:17; 2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; 2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 11:33; 12:11; James 3:18; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:14; 2 Pet. 2:5; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10.

Permanent Righteousness, or Completed Righteousness: The state of permanent righteousness anticipated by the believer in eternity, where he will be unimpeded by a fallen nature and a sin-cursed body: Gal. 5:5 (the hope of righteousness); 2 Tim. 4:8 (the crown of righteousness. Note that this crown does not consist of metal, but of the intangible, yet very real quality of righteousness); 2 Pet. 3:13 (in the New Heavens and New Earth, only righteousness will exist. Unrighteousness and unrighteous people will be forever banished – Rev. 21:8; 22:15).

Return to the Top.

River of Life. There will exist in New Jerusalem a River of Water of Life. Though even some conservative Bible scholars take this River as a metaphor, and merely symbolic of eternal life, there is no good reason to do so. It is a real river, clear as crystal, and it flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flows down the middle of the main street or perhaps central city square of the Eternal City (Rev. 22:1-2). That it is a real river is seen by the fact that it supports the Tree of Life, situated, somehow, on either side of the river (Rev. 22:2). This Tree of Life will bear twelve different varies of fruit, apparently bearing a different kind of fruit each month. Thus we know there will be passage of time in the Eternal City. Not only will the Tree bear delicious fruit, but its leaves will have therapeutic value. The nations situated on New Earth will have twenty-four hour access (Rev. 21:24-25) to the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem, and will be able to gather leaves from its branches and take them home for brewing into the most invigorating tea man has ever drunk (Rev. 22:2)!

Return to the Top.

Roman Catholic; Roman Catholicism; Roman Catholic Church. The sect of Christianity which, over a course of centuries, came to be known as the Western, or Latin wing of the hierarchically governed Church. The Eastern, or Greek wing is the Eastern Orthodox Church, officially known as the Orthodox Catholic Church. The two were sometimes more, and sometimes less united prior to the Great Schism of 1054. The Capitol of Roman Catholicism is, of course, located in Rome. The Capitol of the Eastern Orthodox Church was, for centuries, Constantinople. The two main divisions of the Eastern wing are the Greek Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.

By using the term "Catholic Church" (emphasis mine), Roman Catholicism asserts that it is "the one true church," the sole legitimate expression of Christianity world-wide, the sole visible expression of the Body of Christ. That, it seems to me, is sheer arrogance, a man-made dogma unsupportable from Scripture. I, as a Bible-believing Christian, do not subscribe to the myth that the Universal Church is coterminous with Roman Catholicism. I find nowhere in Scripture that any church was obligated to be subservient to the church headquartered in Rome.

And so I refer to "The Church headquartered in the Vatican in Rome." Roman Catholicism is simply another sect of Christianity, though a very large one. See also the following Glossary Entries: "Catholic Church;" "Universal Church;" "Vatican City State;" "Vatican Church." See also "Items Evaluating the Catholic Church;" "The Bible and Roman Catholicism."

RSVCE. Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition.

Ryrie Study Bible (RSB). The Study Bible authored by the late Charles Caldwell Ryrie, longtime Professor of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). Dr. Ryrie was one of my professors at DTS. He had an uncanny knack for taking complex theological truths and stating them succinctly with as few words as possible. The RSB reflects that. The RSB is filled with notes on many different passages. It contains Ryrie's outline on each book incorporated into the notes. It includes an introduction at the beginning of each book. It includes maps, charts, indices, and a theological dictionary. The greatest strength of the RSB is that it takes a dispensational approach to all of Scripture. That is, it recognizes that God has worked and will continue to work with different peoples in different ways at different times. That is another way of stating that the RSB takes a literal hermeneutical approach to Scripture, even in prophetic passages in the OT and NT. Ryrie believed the Bible should be interpreted in the way that the people living at the time it was given would have understood it. In other words, he did not take the non-literal or allegorical approach to Biblical prophecy that is so characteristic of Roman Catholicism and mainline denominations. The RSB can be purchased at Amazon or at carries an excellent bio on Charles Ryrie.

Charles C. Ryrie Portrait

Image Credit

Return to the Top.

If you have difficulty locating a file, please contact the Web Master.

Search here.

Updated April 24, 2024