Rapture? A False Doctrine?
Rapture A False Doctrine
False Prophets - False Preachers – False Hope
By Your servant, Dan L Baxley
If you are looking for the day when all of the Christians mysteriously disappear? You have been reading too much Tim LaHaye. Study you bible, listen to what it has to say, not what someone says it says, and you will see that the Christians do not "mysteriously disappear", at least not the way they say, and not for any length of time. The Christians will be here as witnesses to the coming events -- witnesses to the truth of the Living God's Word. There is no secret coming of the Christ to take Christians to heaven while Earth burns. That is an absurd notion and a false doctrine presented by the twisting of some scriptures. In reading Tim LaHaye's books on prophecy (not the books of fiction) the "KEY" reason he give for the "escape" (rapture) doctrine is the idea of the "imminent" return, that He can come at any moment in time. – this teaching bases on fear -- fear of being caught doing something nasty when He, the Christ, arrives in His secret coming and grabs all the Christians, well all the "good" Christians, and takes them to heaven so they don't have to suffer the "tribulation". Some call this the “Escape Doctrine”, I call it the False Doctrine of False Hope. Forget that our brothers and sisters of the past have had to endure trials and tribulation.
The Late, Tim LaHaye’s final answer in the argument against his view and promotion of this “Rapture” doctrine is that no other doctrine in Christianity has made more Christians act like Christian than this teaching. So, forget about what scripture really says let’s accept something that improves on what Christian conduct is supposed to be. It is held up as the motivator of living the Christian life -- the fearful belief the Lord may come at any moment. From the Rapture doctrine we get the doctrine of Immanency”. This is truly a doctrine of “fear”. This argument is the final answer, it makes for better Christians, and this is used as the final answer by virtually all of the pro-rapture crowd. I wonder what they are going to say when our world is literally turned on its ear and they are still here? This is where the problem is – if your faith is based upon the idea you will escape the coming “tribulation of those days” and it turns out you do not then many will lose their faith. Here is a quote from one of LaHaye’s books, but it could have come from any number of Rapture teachers.
Quote: "From the days of the apostle Paul until today, the Christian who was convinced his Lord could come at any moment was motivated to holy living, soul winning, and missionary zeal." Rapture under Attack, by Tim LaHaye, page 112, under, the heading Pre-Wrath destroys Imminency.
What is he, Tim LaHaye, saying here? When someone is fearful of the Messiah coming at any moment they are “motivated to holy living”? Fear, fear of losing one's life, of not being ready at His return – “holy living” – to be spared the Tribulation of those days. Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t the bible teach that if you seek to save your life you will lose it (Matthew 16:25)? Doesn't it also teach that with the Love of God, true love, there is no "fear"(1 John 4:18). A follower of the Messiah is not fearful of being caught off guard. We have a Mediator in Heaven pleading our case standing between us and destruction. Our Messiah has covered our sins and is the author of our salvation. We have been given to Him by the Father and He will not lose any of us (John 6:39). When the tribulation period does happen many a Christian will be stressed to the point of denying their faith. When the Rapture, the “imminent” return does not happen as they suppose – when they find themselves in calamities of the earth and man and no “rapture” from these troublesome what do you think the response for such wishful thinking will be? There are many reasons the teaching of the "Immanency" and the "Rapture" doctrine are false and lead to a "false hope", but the biggest reason this false teaching must be exposed (Ephesians 5:11) is that it will lead to the believer becoming a scoffer.
“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” 2 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
You will please notice the “scoffers” are those that once believed. How do we know this? From the question, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?” The “scoffers” are disgruntled Christians that will return to their own evil desires. If, my friends, you cannot see this then I can be of no help to you, and what I am writing is of no value to you. I pray that that is not so and that you can see through the fog of deception spewing from the mouths and writings of the false preachers and prophets of today.
I will name some names, giving you a partial list of those that espouse this false doctrine of false security based on the false teaching you need to be doing something, like buying their books, joining their church, contributing to their cause, etc., etc. Hal Lindsay has written many books over the last couple of decades and his original prophecies about being in the end times and the coming of the Lord have come and gone. He still writes on these subjects and alters the words to adapt to the current times. It seems that every decade is the right time so you had better be good because the Lord knows who has been “naughty or nice”. Tim LaHaye is another power within the evangelical movement, the author of the “Left Behind” books, along with Jerry Jenkins, pushing the Rapture doctrine as fact all the while it is delivered in books of “fiction”. The great deceivers of all time have to be Peter and Paul Lalonde, brothers that pushed the date of the year 2000 as the time of the Rapture and responsible for nearly all of the movies portraying the Rapture as fact. When the year 2000 came and went they fell mysteriously silent, but they are still active behind the scenes of this false teaching, heavily involved in the continuing promotion of “end-times rapture” doctrine.
Before I name any names let me make it perfectly clear, I have nothing personal against any of these named and it is only a partial list. I hope to make a larger list later but for now, for the purposes of this article the names I give here are recognized by most in the evangelical movement. By what authority do I name these teachers as false teachers? Not by mine, that is for sure. Let’s turn to the Word, our guide for our lives, the only true source of truth, the instrument by which the Father and His Son teach us.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians5:11 NIV
“Fruitless deeds” are not building projects or the lack of them. It is not the making of money or establishing giant television works to preach by. We see lots of examples of men and organizations that have this type of material fruit only to be uncovered as whore-mongers, thieves or worse, all bringing shame on the name of Christianity. The deeds of darkness hide behind a false light. Remember, it is not unusual for Satan and his ministers to appear as “angels of light” . It is by the Sword of the Word we are able to cut through this false light and see the darkness behind, and we are instructed to have nothing to do with them. It is truly my desire that these men will stop and start over. They are carried away by their own desire and Satan makes use of that just like he did in the garden with Eve and Adam.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV (also read 2 Thessalonians 2:9)
Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye, Peter Lalonde, Paul Lalonde, Grant Jeffery, David Reagan, David Hunt, Ed Hindson, Mark Hitchcock, John Hagee, John F. Walvoord, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn and virtually all TV preachers that appear on TBN. They have all made glaring declarations of prophetic events (like the year 2000 AD fiasco, not to mention other pronouncements that never came to pass). These are the more visible promoters of this false doctrine. Many of them had to eat their words when the year 2000 AD came and went. While all promote the idea of not setting dates they did just that to one degree or another.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that if a prophet (teacher) tells you something is going to happen and it doesn't we are not to listen to him, not to fear him. Have a look at Jeremiah 23:25-39 and see what kind of trust we should put in the prophets of today, and ask yourself, are they any better today than then? They are the same today as they were then, declaring a word of the Lord having come to them, dreamers of dreams full of deception. The true Prophets of the Creator were moved by His Spirit, and they were vastly out numbered. Look at the story of EliYaH, one man against 400 plus preachers of the Lord (Baal is defined as Lord by definition).
Following in the traditions of the Baal (Lord) worshipers there is a bunch of preachers on TV squirting words from their mouths claiming to have received a "word" from the Lord, blah, blah, blah. Everywhere, everyday there are preachers declaring they have received or are receiving words from the Lord. These types of sayings, these dreamed up stories are then accepted by the gullible, by the lazy as fact – after all, didn’t the preacher say God was talking to him? Friends, you need to protect yourselves and start studying the words of the Holy Bible for yourself. Pick up the sword of the Word to fend off these blasphemous attacks – Read Jeremiah 23 again, then 2 Peter 2 and see how it is all the same.
Trust your Bible and the words in it. The message is there, the truth is there. Follow the number one principle of letting every man be a liar but the Living God True (Romans 3:4). I hope you can accept this message -- forgive my bluntness but truly, the "mysterious disappearance" will not be mysterious when it happens. When He returns "every eye will see Him", as the sun travels from east to west so will His coming be, and the sun is not invisible (Matthew 24:27, Revelation 1:7).
What does Peter have to say about these false teachers? Plenty. Let’s have a look at a few things that relate to today as well as back in his day.
“Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up." 2 Peter 2:2-3 NIV
“With stories they have made up”? Isn’t that what is known as “fiction writing”? Yes, my friends, these writers of “fiction” using their stories to lead you in the wrong direction. This has become a common practice among the evangelicals, to write stories and to make movies of fiction while interjecting false doctrine concerning what the Holy Bible really says about the future coming of the Messiah. What a prophetic statement Peter made, or was it? No, he was not seeing into the future, even though we do see this statement of his as true today as it was then. Yes, my friends, Peter was warning the flock about the wolves of his day, and it is still a warning for the flock today.
“… Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings …” 2 Peter 2:10 NIV
Arrogant preachers standing up slandering “celestial beings”, and how do you suppose they do this, right in front of the congregations? Every time a preacher or teacher stands up and casts insults at Satan and his demons, that is how. Listen, please, even our Lord YaHshua did not bring ridicule Satan. Our Savior never once made fun of Satan, in fact, while in the wilderness of temptation, and being tempted of Satan, Yahshua used the Words of scripture as a defense and to ultimately shut the mouth of Satan (Matthew 4:1-12). One thing glossed over by many, concerning this confrontation, not only did our Savior use scripture (that would be the Old Testament) in his defense but Satan used the same source of scripture in his attempt to get YaHshua to give up His inheritance. This is business as usual with our adversary, the Devil. From the beginning while tempting Eve and Adam he used the Words of the Creator, he just put a spin on – a spin that pulls on the natural evilness of our hearts. You see, Eve and Adam knew what the Creator meant but they preferred to hear it the way Satan had spun it, after all, the tree did look good to eat. Notice, I put Eve first, then Adam, as when you read the story of this event you will see that while it was Eve in conversation with the serpent Adam was standing right next to here, not saying a word, he was taking it all in and was complicit in accepting the serpents twisted version of what the Creator God actually said. They knew in their hearts and jointly, for the desire of the beautiful tree, gave in without much of an argument.
How is it we know that “these men” of verse 10 in 2 Peter are slandering Satan? Let’s read on:
“… yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.” 2 Peter 2:11 NIV
That should make it plain, the celestial beings, “these men”, are slandering are not angels but other beings of celestial origin. Outside of the angels and the Messiah and our heavenly Father that leaves only Satan and his demons. And these slanderers are compared to the likes of brute beasts.
“But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish”. Verse 12 NIV
I think you get the picture. Before I go let me give you a couple of scriptures that really say it all, no matter how the scriptures are twisted by these false teachers some things are so straight forward that even their twisting cannot make their false doctrine of a secret coming even close to being true. One should also understand that these false teachers also believe in the saints going to heaven, that is, leaving this earth and being with the Messiah before the throne of the Father.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:13) KJV
Not Moses, not Enoch, not David, not anyone, only our Savior, YaHshua. Yes, He is from heaven (John 1:1-3). Here is the principle of letting God be true and every man a liar. Pull out all of the teachings you want about going to heaven, apart from this earth, and you have to contended with the words of the Messiah Himself. So, with these words ringing in your ears ask yourself, how is it possible the Messiah comes in secret takes the Saints away to heaven for 3 /12 years (7years, depending on which of the rapture people you talk to)? Next we have a statement that is again from our Messiah and it is plain, his return will not be a secret as the Rapture people would have you believe.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7
For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27 KJV (As the Light of the Sun, not lightening)
Every eye will see him – as light comes out of the east and shines to the west – so will His coming be. The context of the verse demonstrates that the KJV is not proper in its use of the word “lightning” as everyone knows that lightning does not travel as described, it is the sun that comes up in the east and shines to the west. What we have is a quote from the Messiah Himself that as we see the appearance of our own sun so will we see His coming. What do you suppose masses of people will be doing when they witness this coming event? Have a look at Revelation 6:15-16 – yes, many will be so frightened they will crawl into caves and mountain recesses thinking the world is over all is lost, hiding from the face of the Living God as He approaches like the rising of the sun. Certainly they will mistakenly think a literal sun from some part of the universe is about to smash the earth to bites. If they truly thought it to be God they would not be hiding but out in the open preparing the welcome mat. We see from other prophetic statements, however, that this is not so. Once the Messiah stands on Mount Olives there will indeed be a great earth quake and the topography of the world will be changed but not ended.
A Thief in the Night?
The Rapture people have an argument they like to throw around that the unwary easily absorb and that is the teaching of the “thief”. You see our Savior did have a teaching in the form of an allegory about his coming being like that of a ‘thief”. This is a hinge verse for them in teaching the “secret coming” where the secret is no secret after the saved are taken back to heaven with the Messiah – the secret is the secret of His coming, like a thief in the night. First you have already read for yourselves that His coming is going to be anything but secret. Still how do you explain this allegory of YaHshua. Simple, we go to the word.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV
Hot, hot, hot, that’s’ when this occurs. The coming as a thief in the night is after everything. Let’s skip forward, after the tribulation days, after Millennium rule of the Messiah (some say 1000 years) and sometime after Satan and his earthly followers are finally extinguished we see a new heaven and a new earth created. The timing of this allegory of the thief is well after the Messiah’s coming to this Earth and standing on the Mount of Olives, after destroying the armies of the world, and war is learned mo more. The allegory is just that, a teaching of patients and this teaching will particularly apply to those living through the Millennial rule of the Messiah. Think, maybe, Peter had it wrong?
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:5 KJV
If you read chapter 21 of Revelation carefully and you push any preconceived notions you may have carelessly accepted concerning “Heaven”, you will see that all of this is after the Messiah has ruled this Earth for the thousand year period, known as the Millennial rule. Read Revelation 20:710 for the final conclusion of Satan and His followers. This occurs before the New Heaven and New Earth that Peter spoke of as the coming as a ‘thief in the night”. You see, my friends, even during the Millennial rule of the Messiah there will be those that do not accept Him but just go along for the ride. I know, to the true believer, this seems impossible, but then, consider Israel, a lesson for us all. They crossed the sea on dry ground, they witnessed all of the miracles, even heard the voice of their Creator but there were many that refused the truth. Look how quickly they turned on YHWH. He gave them everything they wanted.
Like spoiled children it was never enough. Once the generation of sin had died off in the wilderness and they had entered into the promised land they continued -- an new generation sin. YHWH volunteered to be their God and King, but no, they wanted a king like the other nations – they rejected YHWH as their king, so He gave them a man, Saul, as their king, followed by David, then Solomon and outside of the Bible there is hardly a record of these kings having ever existed. This record of Israel’s rebellion is a record of man’s enmity against his Creator and it continues to this day. Thus, when the Millennial rule of YaHshua begins it will not be quite Heaven on Earth. The nations will be allowed to follow their own path except war will no be allowed and they will be required to bring tribute to the King of Kings in Jerusalem once a year. Read all of Zechariah 14 for a good look at this coming future. I will give a couple of verses here just to get you going.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Zechariah 14:1-3 KJV
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. Verse 9
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD (YHWH)of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Verses 16-17
Okay, what do you think? Do you see? Even after the Messiah’s return the system of worshiping the Messiah as Savior is still voluntary. The nations, once subdued by Himself and the Saints with Him, and war is no longer allowed there will be a choice to be made by these various nations having survived the Wrath of God. The choice is a simple one, come up before the King of Kings once a years, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. You don’t have to like it you just have to do it or your nation will not receive any rain – get it? It will be the choice of the nations. By the end of the Millennial rule I would guess that most, if not all, of the nations of the Earth will be going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. So, you thought the Feast of Tabernacles was an old Israelite day that had nothing to do with you? Think again. Egypt is not Israel and look what is said about them.
And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. Verses 18-19
Heaven is ultimately going to be here but as a new Earth and under a new Heavens and all of this after the Millennial rule of the Messiah. We have a ways to go but be of courage, the Kingdom is as close as your death. Once you have slipped away and cease to be anything other than dead you next waking moment will be in front of the Messiah’s court in the judgment of all that have ever lived -- that is, of course, unless you happen to have been in the first “resurrection” of the Elect. These, the Elect, the Firstborn after YaHshua, will go into the Millennial rule with Him.
“… YaHshua the Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom a priests to serve His God and Father "– Revelation 1:5-6 NIV"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by YaHshua the Christ". 1 Peter 2:5 KJV"As you come to Him, the Living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God (our Father) and precious to Him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through YaHshua the Christ". 1 Peter 4-5 NIV"But You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God". 1 Peter 2:9 NIVEphesians 5:11 "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them". NIV