Saturday, December 8, 2007

The deception of a pre-tribulation rapture

For many years I didn't even know of such a thing as the rapture. I wasn't a Christian and therefore wasn't exposed to this teaching. Once I became a Christian and starting going to church I would hear people refer to this rapture and wondered what it was. They would say things like, "I can't wait for the rapture to take us away" or "I hope the rapture happens before (fill in the blank with just about anything you can think of such as; the new year, my birthday, before I have to get a new job, etc)".

So I googled this term, rapture and it came up with a lot of hits. So this was something pretty big then. I clicked on one of the links and came to a site called Rapture Ready. Hmmm.....there were a lot of people ready for this rapture thing, whatever it was. So I started reading and learned that many Christians (in fact most of the church today) believes that at some point, could be any time, any moment, Jesus Christ would come in the clouds and call up His people to join Him. This would include any people who died as Christians and anyone who was currently living as a Christian. While on their way up, they would be transformed into their new bodies and spend the next 7 or so years in heaven with Jesus, having a banquet or marriage supper, while down on earth the Great Tribulation was taking place. So, these Christians would miss this most horrible time the earth had ever experienced. WOW! This sounded really good so I jumped on the bandwagon.

For several years I was part of the pre-trib (as they are called) crowd. I joined in the message boards, even posting some compelling posts on why the rapture would be pre-trib. I was excited to know that any moment Jesus would be coming to snatch us all away before anything terrible happened.

Then one day I was reading about some Christians in the middle east and in china who had been killed for just being Christian. Then I read that over 150,000 Christians every year die just for being a Christian. Hmmmm.....so I started wondering. Then I read that millions and millions of Christians and Jews have been killed in the past 2000 years just because of their beliefs. Suddenly this idea of Jesus plucking us out of here before anything bad happened wasn't making sense to me. So I prayed. I prayed for understanding on this issue. I prayed for knowledge and discernment to know the truth. The real truth of Jesus, not from some man, no matter who he was.

I started researching where all of this came from. Did the early church fathers, the men who were taught directly by the apostles teach this? No, not one of them. They were all quite clear that the church would be going through the Great Tribulation. I kept reading. More and more I read down through the centuries that biblical scholars taught that the church would need to stand strong through this most trying time in the future. It wasn't until about 200 years ago that it changed.

I'm not going into all of the details on Margaret MacDonald and John Darby and the beginnings of this teaching from the early 1800's as there is loads of information on the net and in books on it. Suffice to say that to the best of my research, this is where is began to take hold. And take hold it did. It has become one of the strongest doctrines of the church today. Most bible believing churches and church goers believe that one day soon they are going to be snatched right out of whatever they are doing and taken up to meet the Lord in the air. Whole websites are dedicated to watching the signs of the times to see how close we are getting, but at the same time they claim that nothing really needs to happen prophetically before that happens.

Reading some of those sites and especially the message boards is quite revealing. The message board that I used to frequent as a pre-tribber is now someplace that saddens me to the core. So many are deceived and will not be ready for the Great Tribulation that all of our early church fathers were convinced that the church would be going through. They are not getting themselves ready spiritually for that time. Recently I read a heartbreaking letter by Corrie Ten Boom who spoke of Chinese pastors regretting their teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture because their churches were not prepared to go through persecution and many fell away from their faith. (Read her letter here -
http://endtimepilgrim.org/corrie.htm).

I read some of the posts and they seem almost desperate for Jesus to come back soon. I've heard people in my church say things like, "I'm so happy that we won't have to go through that because I just couldn't do it". That is frightening to me. How many Christians today will not have the faith to make it through this worst time in human history because they have the "Calgon, take me away" mentality. "Jesus, take me away".

I'm afraid for the Christian church today. I'm afraid of what they are going to have to go through and for the many that will fall away. I'm angry at the many men and women who are teaching this lie and who are leading the sheep astray. And making millions doing it. I remember that Jesus will be the judge and that these teachers will be judged more harshly than the rest because of what they have done to millions of people. I pray for them to start teaching the truth. I pray for the pastors to start teaching the truth. If they, who are standing in the pulpit every week, do not stand up and start getting the church ready, there is literally going to be hell to pay.

In the beginning of Hebrews chapter 6 it talks about the "milk" that a believer should know. There are six things on this list. One of these is the resurrection. Every single Christian is to understand what that means and be ready for it. My heart is heavy because there are so many that do not understand the truth and will not be ready and will be lost.

Don't rely on me. Get in your bible and see for yourself. Ask God to help you read those passages with fresh eyes instead of the pre-programming that you have had. Read for yourself what the early church fathers had to say about the end times and the resurrection of the dead. Do your own due diligence.

Remember, when you are standing before your judge - Jesus Christ - you will be alone. You won't have your pastor, your Sunday school teacher, or the authors of the Left Behind series there to blame anything on. We are each responsible for our own decisions.

Get ready, the time is coming soon.

Kathe

12 comments:

Irv said...

Great blog! I agree with you! Ran into an intriguing article on google titled "Pretrib Rapture Desperados." It is by the author of the bestselling book THE RAPTURE PLOT (Armageddon Books online). A super great read! Irv

Kathe said...

Thanks Irv. I'll check out the book. Thanks for the comment. Kathe

Kathe said...

BTW - the book and the online article are by Dave MacPherson. The article can be found at http://www.theologue.org/PRETRIBDESPERADOS-DaveMacPherson.html

Kathe

Casey said...

I ran across your blog link while trying to find more details about Maryland's tax proposal on tanning salons.

Most early church fathers held to the amillinist position. It's great you were able to see some of the fallacies in pre-trib doctrine.

Casey

Bill said...

Casey,
The Church Fathers were NOT Amillenial. Whoever told you that was lying or misled. Augustine started that stuff and it's stench still remains among us.

jeff said...

Also remember that most 'church fathers' (used by the abomination world church) were not followers of Yahshua and did not hold to the truth. Yet they were/are used to back up the one world false church today still, to keep their members utterly deceived and to keep them from finding and from entering the Kingdom of G_d.

zaggle said...

I know it's an old post now, but for anybody who wants a good solid scriptural foundation as to why the rapture is a completely false doctrine, I reccommend http://www.bibleunderstanding.com/pastissues.htm

mqg25 said...

God's Holy Spirit gives truth to those who ask. You seeked and knocked and the door was opened. However, there is so much more truth that Christians are being lied to about from most all of our pulpits today. The door has been opened but stairs need to be climbed for more truth that will add to your armor in the end of days. (I still have many to climb myself)If you can answer this question it will open your eyes to many things.
In Rev 2 & 3, The seven churches are discussed. Out of the seven churches God finds no fault with two of them. Of these two churches what did they know the other five didn't? And because of this knowledge why was one of these Two churches going to persecuted, imprisoned and possibly put to death?
We must all seek the truth of the Holy Word to show ourselves worthy in those last days.

JL said...

@ Jeff

The Church Fathers suffered under persecution for Jesus Christ (or Yahshua as you call Him - the Bible calls Him Iesous); many of them were martyred for Him; they lived holy lives characterized by repentance, struggle against sin, and love for God and neighbor; they defended the Gospel against numerous heresies; they preserved for us the Biblical teachings about the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of the Logos; they recognized and canonized the Scriptures that you and I hold dear: they held fast to the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.

Nik K said...

Kathe, the argument that Mr. Darby invented the rapture and was influenced by MacDonald has been spreading for many years now. It's not true, I don't think. It's just that once the Roman Catholic Church established itself as discerner of all spiritual truth, it wiped out any truths that presented threats to its authority and invented other doctrines to reinforce its stranglehold over all of Christendom. The Reformation came and went and the Protestants tried to reinstitute Biblical truth. But having been trained as Catholics for so long, that way of thinking had so permeated their psyche that they had a hard time letting go of some things, and their Catholic rearing affected their interpretation of Scripture for the rest of their lives. That Catholic influence would continue into subsequent generations, as well. The most pressing truths to the spiritual life of the Church that had been lost were reestablished fairly quickly, but some of the rest has been a long time in returning. The Rapture doctrine was therefore REdiscovered. Not invented. Interestingly, the most amazing evidences of the Rapture come from the metaphors we see in the Old Testament. If you would like an accounting, I would be pleased to provide you my own attempt at one. But I would just end by saying this: the point has never been that the Rapture saves Christians from bad stuff. We've suffered since the beginning and we will suffer until the end. But the point is that God will never judge us. The Tribulation is God's judgment of the world. So to judge us along with the rest of the world would be like our Father judging Christ, whose righteousness has been imputed to us. As God judges the world we must be removed because He will never ever judge them that believe, neither will we receive any condemnation. It's a rather beautiful promise, don't you think?

Kathe said...

Nik K,

I appreciate your comments. Regardless of where the rapture doctrine started it is a false doctrine.

If you search out the truth Biblically you will find that rapture theorists hang their entire doctrine on one or two verses. They have to twist the entire book of Matthew to say it was for the "Jews" only (which is whole different subject). Anyway, believe what you will.

Rocky2 said...

[Amen, Kathe. What follows was seen on the web. A great read.]

(This article reveals some research that is No. 1 on the "hate list" of many "fundy" Christians because it shows that their idolized "rapture" belief - the inspiration behind Lindsey's and LaHaye's all-time bestsellers - is only a 19th century invention and that credit long given to John Darby for it should go to a long unknown 15-year-old girl in Scotland!)


Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart !

"church" RAPTURE "church"
(present age) (tribulation)

In early 1830 Margaret was the very first one to see a pre-Antichrist (pretribulation) rapture in the Bible - and John Walvoord and Hal Lindsey lend support for this claim!
Walvoord's "Rapture Question" (1979) says her view resembles the "partial-rapture view" and Lindsey's "The Rapture" (1983) admits that "she definitely teaches a partial rapture."
But there's more. Lindsey (p. 26) says that partial rapturists see only "spiritual" Christians in the rapture and "unspiritual" ones left behind to endure Antichrist's trial. And Walvoord (p. 97) calls partial rapturists "pretribulationists"!
Margaret's pretrib view was a partial rapture form of it since only those "filled with the Spirit" would be raptured before the revealing of the Antichrist. A few critics, who've been repeating more than researching, have noted "Church" in the tribulation section of her account. Since they haven't known that all partial rapturists see "Church" on earth after their pretrib rapture (see the "church-splitting" chart above), they've wrongly assumed that Margaret was a posttrib!
In Sep. 1830 Edward Irving's journal "The Morning Watch" (hereafter: TMW) was the first to publicly reflect her novel view when it saw spiritual "Philadelphia" raptured before "the great tribulation" and unspiritual "Laodicea" left on earth.
In Dec. 1830 John Darby (the so-called "father of dispensationalism" even though he wasn't first on any crucial aspect of it!) was still defending the historic posttrib rapture view in the "Christian Herald."
Pretrib didn't spring from a "church/Israel" dichotomy, as many have assumed, but sprang from a "church/church" one, as we've seen, and was based only on symbols!
But innate anti-Jewishness soon appeared. (As noted, TMW in Sep. 1830 saw only less worthy church members left behind.) In Sep. 1832 TMW said that less worthy church members and "Jews" would be left behind. But by Mar. 1833 TMW was sure that only "Jews" would face the Antichrist!
As late as 1837 the non-dichotomous Darby saw the church "going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews." And he didn't clearly teach pretrib until 1839. His basis then was the Rev. 12:5 "man child...caught up" symbol he'd "borrowed" (without giving credit) from Irving who had been the first to use it for the same purpose in 1831!
For related articles Google "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Pretrib Rapture's Missing Lines," "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Open Letter to Todd Strandberg," "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by D.M., "Pretrib Rapture Pride," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" and "Scholars Weigh My Research." The most documented and accurate book on pretrib rapture history is "The Rapture Plot" (see Armageddon Books online) - a 300-pager that has hundreds of disarming facts (like the ones above) not found in any other source.