Monday, September 08, 2008

The Truth About The Rapture

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The doctrine we call the “Rapture” first began to be spread less than 200 years ago. This “Rapture" heresy as we know it today had its origin with a Catholic Jesuit Priest named Lacunza. His writings were translated into English by a Reverend Edward Irving. It was a few years later in March,1830, that a 15-year-old Scottish girl named Miss Margaret MacDonald had an ecstatic vision, while sitting at one of Reverend Irving’s prophetic services. She prophesied in detail all about this secret pre-tribulation rapture, and then mailed off her vision to various church leaders. They then attributed her vision to being from the Holy Spirit.
About that time an Irish lawyer and preacher named John Nelson Darby who had started a sect called “The Brethren”, had been formulating his doctrine we know as Dispensationalism; which basically makes God a respecter of persons and declares He has different plans for different people in different times. While attending meetings on Bible Prophecy he heard of this vision of the rapture and as he investigated this, he found it seemed to fit with his already contrived view of dispensationalism. This then became a cornerstone of Fundamentalist Protestant Evangelicalism. From 1862 to 1877, Darby lived and traveled throughout the United States and Canada, spreading his fundamentalist doctrine.

Enter Cyrus I. Scofield (1843-1921). Now here was an amazing character, who was also a self professed lawyer (like Darby) with no real training. Scofield had fought for a short time for the Confederacy and defended the institution of black slavery. After the Civil War he became as a Republican the United States Attorney for the district of Kansas and the Indian Territory. As a US Attorney, he was promptly accused of corruption in soliciting bribes from the railroads, and forced to resign after serving only six months in office. He had problems with alcoholism abandoned his wife and two daughters and shortly thereafter was jailed on forgery charges. According to a Kansas news paper: “after a series of forgeries and confidence games he fled the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada; nothing being heard of him until he turned up in St. Louis, where his wealthy widowed sister lived. She came to the front and squared up Cyrus' little follies by paying good round sums of money.”
Then he found God and became a student of Darby. In 1883 Scofield was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, and pastured a church in Dallas and latter in Massachusetts. He was apparently an energetic and commanding speaker as his congregations grew in size. He became more steeped in “Dispensationalist Theology” and moved to Switzerland to work on his now famous reference bible. He had no visible means of support but seemed to be backed by a number of influential and wealthy businessmen. Apparently among his backers were; Lyman Stewart, president of the Union Oil Co. of California; Francis E. Fitch, a member of the Plymouth Brethren and the head of a printing company which printed the New York Stock Exchange lists; Alwyn Ball, Jr., a real estate broker and member of the large New York real estate firm of Southack and Ball; John B. Buss, a St. Louis businessman; and John T. Pirie, owner and New York representative of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., the large Chicago department store. Also amoung his sponsors was an eccentric banker named Henry Drummond, who was involved from the very beginning, making his resources available first to Irving’s church in London, and then continuing to support the fundamentalist “Brethren” movement under Darby.

I think it is important to mention that the teaching of this heresy could never have happened unless there had been extensive assistance from elite and wealthy men who helped to finance the spreed of these deceptions from the beginning. We can speculate as to why they were so willing to fund this message. Could it be because it ultimately had the effect of excusing them as “Christians” from the call to defend the poor and downtrodden, or because it offered them something they couldn’t buy? It appeared as a sure way to buy a cheep ticket to heaven without a real repentance; or any need to experience pain, sickness and death.
When Scofield had completed his work on this referance bible, it was published by Oxford Press. This is very unusual in that they had never published any work of an American author, nor had they ever published anything of a religious nature. So why did they publish this work? Again I would point to those that sponsered him, and the fact that Oxford Press was owned by the Rothchilds. The Rothchilds are a whole other story which God willing I will cover some in another post, but for now let me just say they are the main driving force behind the creation of the “State of Israel”. May I recommend the book “Synagogue of Satan”. So at best this work and ministry was an effort to to justify the rich in their exploitation of the earth and the poor, and give them a false hope of escape; or perhaps more likely something more sinister like a spirit of deception to blind the hearts of men that they might believe a lie. This doctrine has served the Rothchilds well in their establishing of Zionism. 2Thes:2:11: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

I will endeavor to now give you some sound biblical basis for why this heresy of “the pre-millennium, pre-tribulation rapture” is evil to its core. I hope that you will prayerfully consider, the weight of this teaching as we look at the scriptures. Let's take a quick look at what the doctrine teaches for those that are not familiar with it. The idea is that there is coming a 7 year period of tribulation in which the Antichrist will be ruling the earth. During this time, the "born again" believers will be "raptured" out of the earth and meet the Lord in the air and clouds thereby escaping the terrible times on the earth. All that will be left to suffer because of their sins are the unbelievers and the Jews that God has a different plan to be evangelized again. At the end of that time, Jesus will return again to defeat the Antichrist and set up the Kingdom of God.
Now let’s look at the scriptures that are used to build this doctrine. I would like to take these verses and look at each of them. We see the words of Jesus. In Mt:24.40: Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41: Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. At first glance it would appear to confirm the idea of the rapture.But.....All scripture should be taken in context. Let's look back a few verses Mt:24:37: "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.38: For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, (this is a description of people just going on about their daily lives as though nothing was wrong and all things are the same. Look at our society today. People think that life has always been this way, going to the movies or ball games and living our self indulgent lives even in the face of the wars and rumors of wars.) until the day that Noe entered into the ark,39: And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; ( who knew not? Noe knew because he entered into the ark. Who was taken all away? It was the wicked that were taken, Noe and his family were safe inside the ark.) so shall also the coming of the Son of man be". In the same manner shall his return be. The wicked one in the field and at the grinding wheel are taken not the righteous. People that are expecting to be raptured before any trouble will just be skipping merrily along completely blind to what is happening because it doesn't fit in to their plans.
Now it is important that we believe that the bible is consistent. Also a cornerstone principal in interpreting the bible is to let the bible define what it means (this is called a Hermeneutical principal). In other words, if we read the word clouds, we think of some white stuff in the sky, but that may not be what the bible means. So we should let the bible tell us what it means by seeing how it is used in other places. With this in mind, we can look at the cornerstone scripture of this heresy. 1st Thess.4:16: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”Again, we must take this in context, so let us look back a few verses. 13: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.14: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.15: For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep”.The context of what Paul is talking about is the saints that are asleep ( the dead in Christ ). He is trying to answer the questions as to what happens to those that have died or may die before the Lord returns.
Then he goes on to say;” For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven " Now where do you suppose he is descending from? Where is Heaven? Is it a quarter of a mile beyond the most distant star and every time we invent a more powerful telescope He moves it back a bit? No Of course not. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within you. Paul told us in 2Cor:12:2 that he was "caught up to the third heaven". Did he leave the earth? No! The third heaven is the highest heaven. The bible shows us many “types” of these heavens. In the book of Exodus we see the design of the tabernacle. It had three courts, the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holiest of All. The Holiest of All was where the Ark was placed. God sat upon the ark (like his throne). It was a type of the third heaven, the realm of the spirit. The three courts are significant of Body, Soul, and Spirit, or the material physical world, soul and spirit. The Outer Court is where the sacrifices were made and blood was shed. The Holy Place is where the Lampstand, the Table of Shewbread and the Alter of Incense were placed. These represent the parts of the soul: mind, will and heart. In the Holiest of All inside the Ark were also 3 objects, Moses’ tablets of stone (Ten Commandments) Aaron’s rod that budded and the pot of Manna. These represent the powers of the spirit; faith, hope and love.
One more time, Rv:4:2 "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." This clearly tells us where heaven is. It is in the Spirit; another realm or dimension. John never left the island. Heaven does not now exist in a material sense. Those that think it does have an overly materialistic view. It will, because Jesus prayed "thy kingdom come thy will be done in earth" but it is not here yet. Now with this understanding, we see that when it says that the Lord is descending it means he is coming back from the realm of the spirit which is a higher realm and descending to be revealed to our souls CLEARLY! ( for now we see through a glass darkly) To arise in our hearts. 2Pt:1:19: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star ( Christ ) arise in your hearts". Finally He will be physically manifest. In a sense there are two comings. One in us and one for us. 1Jn:3:2: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, (by faith) and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." Now let's look at this portion back in 1st Thess. "with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:" This is telling us of a messenger and Gods word going forth. The Trumpet always means a proclamation. Rv:4:1: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither”. We will see much of this Trumpet. Next portion “and the dead in Christ shall rise first” again the context is the dead in Christ. 17: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (that are) in the clouds,” Notice it doesn’t say we are going into the clouds it is talking about those that are in the clouds. If you search the scriptures, you will see that the clouds are significant of the abode of the dead, the dwelling place of the spirits of the dead and the Angels, the realm of the spirit. Mt:17:5, Mt:24:30, Mt:26:64, Mk:13:26 In Acts:1:9: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud RECEIVED him out of their sight.” It didn’t say he faded off in the distance till he was in the clouds. 1Cor:10:2: “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; ” We are to be baptized in water and the spirit. Heb: 2:1: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” Those are the saints and the angels.Again in one place it says Rv:1:7 “behold he cometh with CLOUDS” then in Jude:1:14:” Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,”. Which is it, with saints, or with clouds? Or are they the same? Remember we interpret the bible by the bible.

Now let’s look at the words “caught up” . This refers to the time when we shall be changed, this mortal putting on immortality. 1Cor:15:52: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” So now we know that it is the LAST trump. This is the same event. The next part in 1stThess. says “to meet the Lord in the air:” The word “Air “ here is the same word used when Paul said in Eph:2:2: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the AIR, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” 2Cor:4:4:” In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” The word Air here means the lower atmosphere, this material dimension, or the Outer Court, where Satan rules. “and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We are not going up and coming back because His kingdom will be here. Rv:11:15 “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Hallelujah!!!!
In Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” At the end of the sixth day the very last thing God says “the Last Trump” man in our image, after our likeness: True spiritual man in the image of Christ. Remember the bible is consistent. Jesus said “the meek shall inherit the earth” Not the wicked. It will be through the believers that the Kingdom will be restored. Mal:4:1: For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2: But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3: And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
Prov:10:30: The righteous shall NEVER be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. Did you notice the NEVER in the verse? No not ever not even for 7 years. At the end of the age it is the wicked that are taken first, not the righteous, Mt:13:30: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”. Psalm 37:34: Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. If we will see it how can we have been removed? Read the whole of Psalm 37.
The teaching of the “Rapture” is a damnable heresy. It teaches people that they will escape because “they are Gods Children” therefore God wouldn’t let them suffer. This is a terrible selfish and blindsided view of the world. Tell that to the Christians in Iraq or China or Russia, or even the early Christians that were martyred. It has also blinded Christians to the Evil going on in the world and blinded them from seeing the Antichrist at work.
These Fundamentalists think we are to be born and stay a baby and get raptured out. They just want to add Jesus to their plans instead of seeking Gods plan. God wants to raise us up to the greater work he has called us to.

Another very important scripture in this doctrine is 2 Thessalonians. Let’s look at it in context. I will put my comments in RED in the verses. Starting with Vs 1 2Thes:2:1: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, This is the coming of the Lord Paul is speaking of 2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. He is telling them not to worry that the day was near for them regardless if they heard it as a writing like the "Left Behind" series or by a deceiving spirit. 3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, I believe that this falling away was the Church since the power of the early church, the dark ages and lack of real power in the body. and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Now he just told us two things that the church should look for before the coming of the Lord and the gathering together unto Him so we would not be fooled, one; "a falling away" and two; The "man of sin the son of perdition" be revealed. Now if we are going to be gone, how would that be a sign to us to look for? He said I beg you to not be fooled.5: Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let (or that which now restrains or holds back the evil), until he (it) be taken out of the way. Now nobody really knows for sure what that restrainer is, but it is something that is holding back rampant chaos. The Rapturists believe this is the Holy Spirit, and the Church can not exist without Him. The problem with this understanding is The Holy Spirit exists in His Church but is also apart from it. If all mankind were removed from the earth, The Spirit of God would still be here. He was here before man got here and would be here if we are gone. Gen:1:2: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." notice this is before Man. As I pointed out that He is Omnipresent, but the "Church" on the other hand has been one of the worst sources of corruption throughout the ages. My feeling is that this thing that is restraining the "Lawless One" is the Law itself, the Constitution of the US. It has all but been completely removed. When Marshall Law is declared, The Constitution will be done away. Bush declared "The Constitution is just a God Damn piece of paper" But it is all that has been standing between us and Bush declaring himself dictator. Another problem with their teaching is that if the Holy Spirit is gone, how will the Jews that are supposed to be saved during the tribulation come to know Jesus? 8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (the Antichrist) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, Eph:6:17 sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God see also Heb:4;12 and Rv:1:16: ....and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. so we see by the scripture that the "spirit of His mouth" is the Word of God in power. and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:(presence) They are blind and can not see that the Antichrist has been revealed in the person of George W. Bush 9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, Lying wonders like 911 10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: Could this be the "Rapture" and trusting in Capitalism which is a false religion and democracy and the systems of this world?
12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

The idea that we must escape the tribulation is again heresy. All through the ages the believers have suffered persecution. Jesus said the servant is not greater then the master, if they persecuted and killed Him, they will and have done so to the true believers. Jn:15:20. To the believer "Tribulation" is as a refiner’s fire. It will perfect the church, preparing us and conforming us into His image; but to the wicked it will be destruction. Rom: 5:3: "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” The destruction will only burn that which is of the world and not of God. Ps: 91:7: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Ps: 57:1: Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. This is what it means to be hid in Christ. Have a look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the midst of the fiery furnace Daniel 3.
This verse seems to say it quite clearly; Acts:14:22: Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Not only are we told that we must enter through tribulation but Jesus makes us a promise, maybe not the kind of promise we like to hear but none the less a promise. Jn: 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
Much of our foreign policy is based on this other lie of the enemy; the aspect of Dispensationalism which is known as Zionism. It has been the justification for the Neo-Con Fundamentalists blind support for the “Nation of Israel”; why we turn a blind eye to the atrocities that the Israelis commit. We are told that the Jews are Gods chosen people, but this is not the case according to Scripture. They were Gods chosen people, and God protected the blood lines down through the ages. Through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David, God brought forth the Messiah. He had protected and chastised these people to keep them pure and to carry the Holy Scripture; but once the Messiah had come forth, they were no longer Gods chosen people but “Whosoever believeth” John 3:16. Now salvation was for the Jew and the Gentile. Paul makes this clear in Rom.9;7: “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. In Genesis when God made the promise to Abraham he said that He would make his seed as the stars of heaven multitudes which are countless. This could not be the Jews in Israel as there are only an estimated 15 to 17 million Jews in the whole world. Rev 7:9 aligns with what Paul said about the believers being the seed “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” Then in verse 14, we see who they are, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
We know that many are looking for another Temple to be rebuilt and It may be that they will build another temple on the temple mount but that does not have to happen for the scripture to be fulfilled. The only temple that the Lord wishes to restore is "the Temple which is His body" Hag:2:9: The glory of this latter house the end time church shall be greater than of the former the early church, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. He is coming for a glorious church not one waiting for the rapture, and when He appears we will be like him and will see Him as He is. Isa:59:19: So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Amen, Even so Come Lord Jesus.