The Rapture theory and the "Left Behind" series!
How much is pure fiction and what is the truth about Tim LaHaye series "Left behind" fiction so popular today.
Subject: Re: Rapture anyone?
So they say that the "the falling away" in 2 Thess. 4 means "the rapture"????
However, look at the context
Paul says, "I beseech you, brethren concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with him..."
When are we going to be GATHERED TOGETHER WITH HIM?
Paul says "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day WILL NOT COME, except there come a falling away first and the man of sin be revealed.
Isn't this "that day" referring specifically to the "coming of our Lord and our Gathering together with Him"?
So if Paul says "LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU THAT DAY isn't going to happen before the falling away and the man of sin is revealed, how can we say, the falling away IS THAT DAY?
Besides, Paul makes it clear that it is the Christians themselves who are in danger of being deceived about this, for Paul warned "Let no man deceive YOU by any means."
Apparently the BIG DECEPTION is going to be people telling us THAT DAY (when Christ comes to gather His people) happens before
the falling away and the man of sin is revealed?
The word for "falling away" in the Greek is "apostasia" #646
which means--falling away, defection, apostasy, departing-- in the Bible sense from true religion.
It is used one other time in the NT in Acts 21:21 where Paul is accused of leading the people to "apostatize" from Moses' teaching.
All Christians must go through the tribulation
Ro 5:3 - And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Eph 3:13 -Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
2Th 1:4 - So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
Re 20:4 - And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The announcement flashed across wires in newsrooms across the country: Barnes & Noble.com announced that Glorious Appearing by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the last book in the Left Behind series, recently was the number-one fiction bestseller overall at Barnes & Noble.com. Barnes & Noble retail stores and Barnes & Noble.com sold more than 48,000 copies ofGlorious Appearing in just the first week of its release on March 30th.
Such news is apparent justification for this claim: "Barnes & Noble expects Glorious Appearing to be among the top ten books of 2004."
In the face of such an onslaught--2 million copies of the last Left Behind book have been printed and already sold, publisher Tyndale House says--it's possible for many to believe that there is just one, and only one, way to look at Bible prophecies, and that is LaHaye and Jenkins' dispensationalist theory that says Christians will vanish from the earth in a "secret rapture" before a multi-year period of tribulation.
However, Steve Wohlberg, an Adventist pastor in Templeton, California, and Destiny Image, a major Christian publisher in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have teamed up to offer a contrasting view. His book, End-Time Delusions, was released on March 31.
"I've been a Christian for 24 years, and not only am I interested in the first coming of Jesus, which is when He came and died for my sins, but in His second coming, when He will come to take us home," Wohlberg, senior pastor of Templeton Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church, said in a telephone interview.
"I felt compelled by the Lord to write a book that will deal with these issues of the Second Coming, the timing of the Second Coming and misinterpretations about the rapture. I see the release of the last Left Behind book, and the interest being generated right now about this, as an opportunity to speak to this generation about the subject of Bible truth and Bible prophecy at this particular time."
The much-touted "appearing" of the last Left Behind book hits North American culture at a time when Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has captivated the general public. Millions have flocked to the motion picture depicting the suffering and death of Jesus; television networks have revived old "mini-series" about Christ's life; and NBC Television is reported to have commissioned "Revelation," a mini-series about focusing on a scientist and a nun each confronting the end of the world
All this media interest in Christian topics, along with a genuine concern about what the Bible really says about Jesus' return, motivated the new book, Wohlberg said. However, the volume isn't designed merely as a critique of the LaHaye/Jenkins mega-best sellers.
The book "doesn't just point out error, it clarifies truth," Wohlberg said. "It's also a book that is centered in Jesus Christ, so its goal is to bring people to Christ, to reveal God's love, to lift up the Cross and to help people be ready for the Second Coming. One of the big problems with the Left Behind series is that, according to their view, the Second Coming of Jesus is not something that we should be waiting for; we're supposed to wait for the rapture, which gets us out of here. Therefore, the whole message of Revelation concerning the Beast and the Mark of the Beast and the Second Coming, according to Left Behind, does not apply to us."
But Seventh-day Adventists and other Christians who take the historicist view of Bible prophecy know that this message is applicable. End-Time Delusions helps explain these concepts in clear, unambiguous language.
"When compared with solid biblical facts, has truth been 'left behind' as well?" asks Wohlberg. "The entire Left Behind scenario is built upon the concept of a nightmarish 'seven-year tribulation' supposedly predicted to follow a 'secret rapture,' or the vanishing of Christians worldwide. The fact is there is no passage anywhere in the Bible that specifically mentions 'seven years of tribulation.' The entire concept is based on the speculative interpretation of one verse - Daniel 9:27."
A Willing Dissenter
While Wohlberg's book is finding an audience--The Washington Times newspaper quoted him as a dissenter from the LaHaye/Jenkins hypothesis in its front page story on Glorious Appearing--the fact that the last Left Behind book has already sold 2 million copies means that people are looking for something, according to Angel Manuel Rodríguez, director of the Biblical Research Institute, based at the General Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"There's no doubt that there is in Western society serious concern about the future. We enjoy the present but we really are creatures of the future," Rodríguez explained in an interview. However, such an interest "could be exploited and misused," as in the case of the Left Behind books, he added.
"The study of Bible prophecy has shown this to be the case. This dispensationalist view provides hope to many, many people and they find it meaningful. But feelings are not enough to determine a commitment to a particular vision of the future," he said.
Of Left Behind, Rodríguez says, "You have to say it's a distorted vision of what God is going to provide and it distracts [readers] from properly preparing for what is really coming. It's more than a distortion, it's a substitute for the real Christian hope that takes us victoriously through the tribulation."
Author and pastor Steve Wohlberg hopes his book will help Christians rightly understand the future. "In a sense, Left Behind is spiritual fast food," he said. "To build on the rock means to receive Christ and build deeply upon His words rather than simply accepted 'sand' or 'fluff.' When the storm hits, those who are fast food, junk-food Christians will be blown away. Those studying deeply the real word are getting the right diet. They're eating pure truth and building their characters so they'll be able to stand in the crisis and not be blown away."
History documents clearly the Protestant theological innovation
propounded by John Nelson Darby in the 1830's which swept traditional
Protestant historicist Biblical interpretation into near oblivion,
replacing it with an Israel centered theological fantasy which has
come to dominate especially American Protestantism.
The writings of J. N. Darby
Darby's American disciple William Blackstone lobbied both Jewish
Zionists and British politicians to directly implement the political
reality of a Jewish State in Palestine demanded, presupposed, by
Darby's theology, with the ultimate goal of reconstituting the
ancient Jewish Temple and its services. In his political activism
for the religious goals of dispensationalism, Blackstone is rivaled
only by today's Pat Robertson who engineered the political takeover
of the Republican Party by the American (dispensationalist) Religious
Right in the early 1990's. It was this transformed (born again?)
political machine which put Bush on the throne both times, truly
changing the course of world history on a track to disaster.
Thus Darbyism, also known as Dispensationalism, created a true
novelty in Christianity in the 1800's, of a "new Gospel", applicable
to the Jews only, unveiling a unique new route to heaven, a special
new gate constructed by Dispensationalists exclusively for Jews,
separate from salvation through the merits of the Christ of the New
This puts Dispensationalism at odds with the entire 2000 years of
Christianity which had consistently sided with the apostle Paul:
GALATIANS 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any
other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let
him be accursed.
The New Testament is clear:
GALATIANS 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond
nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in
COLOSSIANS 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision
nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ
[is] all, and in all.
For a full treatment of a total demolition of Israel and New Temple
worshiping Dispensationalism, read the celebrated "The Israel of God
in Prophecy" by Hans K. LaRondelle at any major bookstore, such as
Mark Kellner is the assistant director for news and information of the General Conference Communication Department.
For the origin of the Rapture see this "FINAL ANTICHRIST."