WHEN IS JESUS COMING BACK? READ ON.....
(The Truth about the Return of the King)15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever….1 Thessalonians 4 (NLT)
Are these two separate events? If you listen to false prophets like Harold Camping or some such fun-for-a-day media hype, these ARE two events.
Does Jesus come first to take us up, say, to a safe “hiding place”…and then jump on the most beautiful White Horse in the universe! After He gets on the Horse, “Stage 2 begins”…the Angels blow a trumpet, the sky splits open and all Heaven breaks loose on the sick and dying world!
Sounds good, huh!! One problem with this pre-tribilutation talk is – IT IS NOT TRUE! It is also NOT biblical.
Our churches now have bought into the theory that we don’t have to be ready for persecution, tribulation and trials….all we have to is believe some preacher/author or actor that “just before the anti-christ shows up, somehow Jesus will begin “Stage 1” of His Glorious Appearing and “rapture” us!
The bottom line premise of all of this hype - from church ‘doctrine’ to Left Behind to the Harold Camping nonsense – is “we in the western church will not have to bother with any of this bad stuff in the world. Because right before all the wars, rumors of wars and one world government led by Satan, starts, Jesus is coming to take us out, so we don’t get hurt or persecuted for our beliefs”!Tell that to the 300 million Chinese Christians persecuted daily for over 60 years – beaten, brutalized and beset by evil ….
Tell that to the hundreds of Eritrean Christians stuffed into shipping containers right now by their persecutors from islam …alive…in the hot African desert heat.
Tell that to the South Sudanese Christians slaughtered by moslem Northern Sudan….and on and on…or are we so special that we have a favored place in Heaven?!
NO and a thousand times, NO! Many from Polycarp to Joan of Ark to John Hus to the present time would have loved to be “caught up” and taken home…but this is not what Jesus promised us!
So before we look briefly at what the Bible actually SAYS about these last days and what the correct view is, let’s see what the RAPTURE is NOT!
WHAT DOES “RAPTURE” MEAN?
First of all, the word “RAPTURE” is not even in the Bible! Where this word comes from starts with verse 17 (see above) of 1 Thessalonians 4. The Apostle Paul says “…and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds….”
The original word the Apostle used for “caught up “is “harpagēsometha”. This literally means caught up and taken away…in an exclusive one-time event. How we got the word Rapture out of this is simple.
The great Jerome translated the Greek bible of the times (around 390 AD) into Latin and used the Latin word “rapiemur” to translate the Greek word “taken up”.
Therefore the word “rapture” comes from Jerome’s Latin translation of the original text!
WHERE DID THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE ORIGINATE?
Englishman John Nelson Darby has long been “credited’ as been the originator of the Theory of the Pre- Tribulation rapture of the church in 1827. However, he may have been influenced by the preaching of a Scottish preacher named Edward Irving. Irving was the David Jeremiah of his time!
Irving himself may have been influenced into this incorrect way of thinking by a mystic Spanish Jesuit priest named Manuel Lacunza, who wrote a book in Spanish called “ La venida del Mesías en gloria y majestad” or “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty”.
This was the first major writing which came close to proposing this idea of believers being removed from the earth before the Judgment of Christ! Irving translated Lacunza’s book into English in 1827, and started preaching about it across England and Scotland.
We believe this is how Darby heard about this new thing and came up with his own interpretation called the “Pre-tribulation Rapture”.
DARBY AND THE SCOFIELD BIBLE
Darby began promoting this also around 1827 and moved in a non-denominational group of Christians called the Plymouth Brethren. They began what we know today as the Bible Conference movement which spread from England, across the Atlantic into America (and there is nothing wrong with that!)
It was an attractive teaching and produced many bestselling books (just like today with the LEFT BEHIND series!!). The best know of these was the SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE!
Cyrus Scofield took Darby’s Teaching (on the Pre Trib Rapture) and marketed it into the mainstream of American Christianity with his, now century long, best-selling version of the Word of God! The major protestant denominations at the time – Baptists, Presbyterians, and the Congregationalists all bought into this big time! The established churches – Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox – did not.
Since 1909, it has been the best selling edition of the Bible in England, Ireland and before Zondervan’s New International Version (NIV), here in America too!
This is how the doctrine of an easy out for the saints of God got into the mainstream of US Christianity! Scofield also took up another doctrine from Darby and magnified it – the Doctrine of Dispensationalism, which will be discussed another time.
THE HUGE DANGER
With the Scofield Bible in full support, Dr John Walvoord, a top theologian at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) took this to another level when he wrote a defense of the doctrine in a book called “The Rapture Question”. This has been incorrectly influencing two generations of preachers since he wrote this in 1957.
The reason I say that is many of America’s famous preachers and some not so well known, but who promote this without investigating everything, are have been pounding “The Imminent Return of Christ” in their churches. I love the preaching of men like Tony Evans, Swindoll and Dr. Stephen Davey of North Carolina’s Wisdom from the Heart, but their Eschatology (or teaching on End Times Prophesy) has been discolored by indoctrination from seminaries across the spectrum of America!
It is bad enough Scofield put dispensationalism into the mainstream. However because the most seminary graduates are teaching the “Rapture at any time”…across denominational lines, this thing has multiplied itself to become almost like the Virgin Birth of Christ to Christians!
AND IT IS DEAD WRONG AND FULL OF DANGER!
What do I mean by Danger? I have seen it first hand in most of the churches I have attended over 20 plus years. Here is now the danger is REAL and will be eternally deadly one day:
The preaching of the Word now become the following math equation:
Say this prayer + Believe in “Your Heart” + Trust in the Finished work on the Cross = You’re Saved.
It has become now that serious Bible students and the concerned among us have no clue if the person sitting alongside us in church is even saved…but they followed this here formula above…so they “must be”!
Let’s take this further: Person X …let’s say Frank and Francine Smith, follows this formula and now believes they are saved, they are then told by a preacher they are going to heaven (and they may well be saved….but there’s more).
The preacher then starts talking about “Christ can come anytime…even while I am preaching”!! So the new Christians….and the others in the pews who have heard this for months and years, feel all nice and happy because “Jesus is coming to take me away” ….like Calgon!
This false teaching has led to the modern church not caring a hoot about the unsaved on the streets, in the offices etc.
It has led to a complete lack of concern for Discipleship.
It has led to a lack of repentance in the Body of Christ “because we’re in, buddy”!
It has led to a complete lack of Fruit for the Kingdom, because these seminary graduate pastors and their professors have a derogatory term for anyone who believes in Repentance, accepting Jesus as Lord NOW and doing Good Works (as James commanded – Faith without works is Dead, dead, dead). They call us Lordship Salvation people!
It has led to a lack of prayer ministries and services in churches.
What it has led to is some people being so set in their ways that if anyone challenges this teaching, the hammer literally comes down on them in a completely unchristian manner! I have seen people leaving a church over this kind of debate! Why should this happen if this doctrine of PreTrib Rapture is so “Christ like” and Biblical?!
I have laid out the error of the Pre Tribulation Rapture. So, what is the correct teaching and way to study correct this misdirection and then teach others the Bible Truth on it?
Without commentary at all, the Bible will speak for itself on what we call and believe to be true, because when Jesus says it, it is not an option. Several of my brothers and sisters in Christ and I believe in the correct sequence of these verses.
We believe the church will NOT be raptured until the man of sin – the ANTICHRIST- is revealed, and then commits the horrendous Abomination that brings Desolation…as Christ said.
We believe the Third Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt first. There are already full blown plans and even the garments of the next High Priest are ready to go!! The Sanhedrin who persecuted and killed Christ, have reformed in Israel! Yes, that SAME Sanhedrin!
THE PRE-WRATH RAPTURE:
THE WORDS OF JESUS ARE IN RED AND THE REAL RAPTURE IS EXPLAINED HERE WITH NO COMMENTARY....JUST ALL BIBLE!!!.
Matthew 24: 9-31 (NLT)
9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones (the REAL RAPTURE: PRE-WRATH!!)the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky,
23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.
26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
2 Thessalonians 1: 4-12
4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.
7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.