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“Turned from Truth to RAPTUREMANIA”
by General James Green
YES!—THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS and is happening NOW! Our dear brother in the faith, Timothy, had this type of deception in mind when he penned 2 Timothy 4:3-4—“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (KJV). The Amplified reads, “For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.” And there are PLENTY of silly “Christians” out there with the “EAR ITCH”! The “ear problem” comes from our lusting for our own interests, desiring what we want to hear instead of what we ought to hear (like the Spirit of God!).
AGAIN, THERE is every kind of “itch remedy” out there—as many as there are itching ears. Silly churchfolks have itching lust for “fantastic” teachers (like the fools people watch on TV and hear on the radio and read about on the printed page/internet/etc.) who give out “fantastic revelations” and bizarre beliefs, who literally make a KILLING off their fables...and the Church, like a full sewer overflowing, “spills up and over onto the world’s market” with, as one author plainly puts it, “folks who’d rather have their itch scratched by a popular fictitious novel like Don Brown’s The DaVinci Code” BULL or one of Hal Lindsey’s fables or rapturous religious tales about the “Last Days” (like Jenkins’ and LaHaye’s “Left Behind” books/movies). But SOUND DOCTRINE? Get serious, this does not sell nor scratch the itching ears.
Go to any “Christian” bookstore and see for yourself—tons of books with concocted itch remedies...piles and piles of fantastic fables just for you poor sickos who have the “itch.” But to find good Biblical-based books is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
One author who also noticed all the silly “pandering to the religious sickos with the ‘itch’” said he had an appetite for a book or books that not only were Biblically-based but that tended to even “badger (relentlessly) the spiritually slothful and the perniciously popularizing [shysters] in the marketplace of ‘Biblical’ and ‘end-time’ prophecy.”
End of the World?
HEY! YOUR world could come to an end at any time—was Michael Jackson ready to die (being a Jehovah’s Witness)?
All this “ET” hype and futuristic imaginations are truly sickening. What about the “present time”? What about serving Jesus now?
“A play does not begin until the stage is fully set—the END will come in its time.” Why look for the “sweet by-n-by” and avoid the “nasty now-n-now”? The Church has literally become OBSESSED with exaggerated fantasy-futurism and stuff like “ET mania,” which are prevalent as a direct result of being the host of demonic parasites that are eating and devouring the little-remaining Godliness the Church has left.
Yes, we must be eagerly awaiting the true Second Coming of the Lord; and knowing certain things about what is coming in the future can be beneficial to the present; but many, too many of the overly anxious “end-timers” (like Pre-trib Rapturists, etc.) “expect the final act before the play has ever begun.” Events will, dear ones, all play out—“act by act.”
No New Thing
HISTORY PROVES that the Church has always refused to love sound doctrine. Where did the Roman Catholic Church come from? From Christians turning “their ears from truth, and unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:4). You see, LUST for other interests (v. 3) turns men’s hearts away from God—men therefore become adulterers/idolaters! As the “end” does now draw near, the backsliding grows worse (see 3:1-5; 1 Tim. 4:1).
Many claim to be “Christian” today, yet they WILL NOT TOLERATE NEW TESTAMENT ORIGINAL APOSTOLIC FAITH (see 2 Tim. 3:5 cf. Rom. 1:16), like separation from the world.
OH YES—pink, pink, you really stink! The Homosexual Movement (HM) has literally ended up inside today’s contemporary Church...and the stinking, sinking saints (?) are “tickled pink” about it!!
The admonition to REPENT of committed sins goes unheeded today—just bring out the noisy Rock/Rap bands to drown out one’s conscience.
The admonition to be holy has turned into false “holy laughter.” The doctrine and reality of damnation is scorned, trashed like rotting garbage: “Quick, out of the Church and into the garbage pile...hurry! HURRY!!”
Seeking Seedy and Sleazy Shepherds
THIS IS one of today’s earmarks: hired shepherds—bastards with no relation to Christ AT ALL !! Enter the Church brats...give them what they want...plenty of Rock-n-Roll music along with comedy shows, hamburgers, fries, and sweet cokes to wash it all down. Drown the sound of the dying, the perishing, the hurting: do the “Church thing.”
A PLETHORA of modern-day teachings by the “experts” of Bible understanding often include this text: “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:9). The “experts,” when quoting this Scripture, tell us that one reason why the “blessed hope” of Christ’s return (in the “PRE-TRIB RAPTURE”!) is such a comfort to believers is because God raptures us out of this world just before the terrible wrath/judgment of God, the “Great Tribulation.” But we’ve got a problem with their proof text above: “I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them (believers) OUT OF THE WORLD, but that thou shouldest KEEP THEM from the evil”—Jesus, John 17:15.
Years ago, while living in California, I spent a fair share of time teaching on the “FALSE HOPE” of the Church, that is, the “Pre-trib Rapture Theory” (you may want to write for some of these archive teachings: we now have them on CD, and we also have more teachings, a NEW "Pretrib Rapture Series," available on CD and DVD—all FREE).
The whole “Pre-tribulation Rapture” teaching—“escaping this world”—is a fanciful and intriguing theory, and only a theory. Still, millions believe it to be absolutely TRUE! Devotees and disciples of this theory overlook a tremendous amount of Scriptures refuting it.
Date-setters for the end are the worst. Haven’t we all heard of date-setters who were proven wrong every time over the years?...and now they tell us that the “Rapture” will surely take place in 2010 or 2012! AND THE FALSE TEACHERS/PROPHETS STILL MAKE MILLIONS ($$!!) WITH THIS “HOPEFUL” BUT FALSE TEACHING!
In this article, I do not intend to prove one way or another about the “Pre-trib Rapture”—just want you readers to THINK a little. We’re all familiar with the “Left Behind” books/movies that have been out for some time. The influences of these mediums have once again struck up a “false hope” in “escaping the Tribulation.” Some poor souls, as the teaching goes, will have to go thru that very nasty Trib period of 3½ years; the “good” believers will be taken “up and away” unto the “Marriage Supper of God and the Lamb”...WITH ALL THEIR SINS, OF COURSE!—since confessing repentance from sins is rarely taught, believed, or done in churches today!
Flight from Fight!
SINCE MOST churches no longer teach “overcoming,” what naturally follows is flight—“Rapture reverie.” They tell us that “God hath not appointed us to wrath,” and quote Jesus as saying, “I...will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). This text, they say, speaks of the Great Tribulation.
Ranks of the Fearful
AT THE heart of this “Pre-trib Rapture” belief is the element of fear—fear of the future and also fear of the Lord (wrongfully). By this latter fear I mean that most professing Christians fear that they will have to give up something dear to them (like the “self-life”) unto God, so they fear drawing close to the Lord Jesus. They would rather believe that they can have their cake and eat it too!
There is no doubt that most who really believe in the “Pre-trib Rapture” live distant from the Lord (Master). Most churchfolks in this hour and in this generation live uncommitted lives, heaping unto themselves teachers with itching ears who love to deceive all their dupes by telling them, “The wrath/tribulation will not befall you.” These flaky, compromising teachers and students really DON’T want to know the truth. They are too preoccupied with their “escape” theory to learn how to overcome in this life. They love their false eschatologies about “the end of the world,” all their “fly away in the sky” hype and their “Wrath is not a part of the destiny of the saints” lie.
FOR THE record, please show me where in Scripture the “sinning saints” are either raptured or go to Heaven at His Second Coming? (The Pre-trib Rapturists believe that the Rapture is not the Second Coming fully (one event), but it is only a “secret” coming, only the “Second Coming Part A.” How stupid indeed!! And then there will be a second Second Coming (Part B)!)
Living for the flesh, as most “Christians” certainly do, these “sinning saints” overlook the fact that the Bible only recognizes “overcomers” as Heavenbound. All this “easy believism” junk, lip-service-only mentality is TANTAMOUNT in the idolizing and adulterizing Church. Better do some better research on the word “saint”!
Wrath or Tribulation?
WHILE IT is true that believers are certainly not appointed to “wrath,” there is no proof to be found where God’s people miss “tribulations”—NONE! It is true that God is able to keep His true ones during tribulation—“The Great” or otherwise.
Why do the Rapturists deliberately ignore the difference between “wrath” for the sinful, and “tribulation” for the believers? To them, both words mean the same. Get serious! In fact, both “wrath” and “tribulation” are HATED by these Church funsters. They leave both of them on our doorstep and run away.
In their sloppy studies and teaching, both “wrath” and “tribulation” are interchangeable. The truth, to put it simply, is this: wrath is for the ungodly (and covenant-breakers could be in this number too); tribulation is (applicable and can even be helpful) for the Christian.
John 16:33 tells us this: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me (Jesus) ye might have peace. IN the world YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION...” And 2 Timothy 3:12 reads, “Yea, and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION” (persecution and tribulation can be the same). So frightening are these Scriptures to them, the funsters frantically grab anything—even totally out of context—to avoid the plain truth: TRIBULATION IS APPOINTED TO THE BELIEVERS.
THIS SILLY and untrue teaching has been around for only a short time, relatively speaking. [In other writings (and in the articles by Dave MacPherson), I cover the recent time in which this false teaching was hatched!] The “snatching away” lie has given birth to intense “Pre-trib Rapturemania.”
“Catching up” is another way of rendering “rapture.” The Greek uses harpa’zo, which does convey something like “snatching up or away; seizing; plucking.” But does it really mean “taking one to Heaven” prior to the worldwide Trial? Is this promise that we will be kept from the hour of temptation by “escaping the earth” real? Well, I’m telling you, these bad theologians mistakenly allege that this promise of being “kept” means “raptured away (OFF the earth).” We need to read Revelation 3:10 again.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10, KJV). They tell us that Christ’s promise to deliver the faithful from the hour of trial is identical to Paul’s “promise verse” in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, that is, the one supposedly promising that we will be delivered from any “wrath to come.” They tell us that this promise extends all the way thru all generations...but Paul himself was not delivered—he was martyred (beheaded, according to Christian tradition) along with most of the New Testament apostles.
There is no doubt that the appointed “wrath” will come on “all the world” in the end-time, but “tribulation” has and always will be part of the Christian’s walk. We can be kept during our tests/trails, even during the “Great Tribulation,” but God’s “wrath” is strictly for the ungodly. Unfortunately, many footnotes in our various translations of the Bible make NO distinction between “tribulation” and “wrath.” To many who’ve never studied the issue, these two terms are one-and-the-same.
PLEASE TAKE note: These false teachers have erringly neglected to realize that the word “keep” (tereo, Rev. 3:10) denotes, “to guard by keeping an eye on, watch over, take care of, preserve, attend to carefully.” Where in the world do we get the idea of “removal” or “raptured (away)”?
Did you know that the same Greek word (tereo) appears earlier in the very same verse to declare Christ’s rationale for “keeping” these true ones from the worldwide hour of temptation? The people had “kept” (guarded) God’s Word, and therefore Jesus would “keep” (guard) them from the hour of temptation. The meaning is perfectly clear—read Revelation 3:7-13. Christ promises to reward the “overcomers,” not to exempt any of them from trial/tribulation which is to come upon ALL the world.
Take note: The words “try” (peira’zo) and “temptation” (peirasmos) are from earlier manuscripts. The word “try” means “to put to the test or trial, to examine, scrutinize”; and “temptation” means “a putting to the proof, especially by adversity, affliction, or trouble.”
NOW...to remove any believer from the worldwide Trial would make it IMPOSSIBLE, dear ones, for them (us) to “overcome.” Remember John 17:15?
Here again, in John 17:15, the Greek tereo is translated as “keep” to signify “preservation.” Hey scholars, in the Greek here too, “keep” most obviously suggests NO “Pre-trib Rapture,” NO “sparing from tribulation,” NO “escape,” but “PRESERVATION IN THE MIDST OF GOD’S JUDGMENTS.”
For the Record
JUST FOR the record, I’ll repeat myself: “hour of temptation (TRIBULATION)” and “WRATH (indignation)” mean two different things, although they appear to mean one-and-the-same thing by a surface reading of the text.
You might want to look up the following Scriptures for what is really PROMISED to the true people of God: John 15:20, 16:33; Matthew 5:10, 13:20-21; Mark 13:13; James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3; 1 Thes. 3:4; Acts 14:22; 2 Thes. 1:4-5.
THE GREEK word thlipsis (in English, “tribulation”) means “pressure, literally or figuratively.” Related to this word is “afflicted, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, trouble.” We can find around 60 references to “tribulation” in the Bible.
THE ENGLISH defines this word as “anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy or mean.” We can also interpose the word “wrath” or “vengeance” in place of “anger” (see O.T. Zeph. 1:14-18, 3:8; Isa. 34:1-2, 8).
Without any more ado, I suggest you write for our FREE selection of aggressive teachings on this subject of “Pre-trib Rapturemania” (CDs, DVDs, and booklets).
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