LEFT BEHIND – DISPENSATIONALISM & THE SECRET RAPTURE

The following is something I posted a few years ago. I am reposting it with some editing.

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In the 1800’s a heresy was popularized by a man named John Nelson Darby, and later further popularized by a Cyrus R. Scofield through what is known as the Scofield Study Bible. The theology promoted in the study notes of the Scofield Study Bible is called Dispensationalism, and many of it’s doctrines are still firmly entrenched as “Bible truth” in the minds of believers today. An unbiblical distinction between the church and Israel is at the core of this teaching.

Dispensational theology has broken the second coming of the Lord into two parts. The teaching is that the Lord will come secretly for the church (the secret rapture) and then come again at a later time when… “the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”. In other words when the Lord comes for His church in the “secret rapture” unbelievers will be left behind on earth for a season.

One of the dangers of this teaching is that people will think that there is a second chance to receive salvation after the coming of the Lord. Satan has a purpose for every false doctrine, and that purpose is the destruction of souls. I used to believe this teaching myself until I learned the source and the reasoning behind it. It made me search the Scriptures for the truth.

Dispensational theology teaches that Jesus’ original plan was to set up an earthly kingdom, but the Jews rejected His offer.

Because of this rejection by the Jews, God’s original plan was interrupted and an alternative plan (plan B) was put into effect.

Plan B was unforseen by God and would not have gone into effect if the Jews had accepted Jesus’ original offer of an earthly kingdom.

Plan B is the cross and the church. Since the church is an interruption in God’s original plan, it will be taken out in a secret rapture, and Gods original plan will resume.

Can you imagine a teaching that tells us the cross of Christ and the church were not in God’s original plan? Clearly this is the exact opposite of what is taught in Scripture. The cross of Christ was foreordained by God, and the expectation of an earthly kingdom was a serious error of the Jews causing them to miss their Messiah.

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

I don’t know many Christians that would say they believe the “plan B” portion of Dispensational teaching, but many have ingested at least one of the fruits of this heresy. That fruit is believing that there will be a secret rapture. This teaching has been further promoted by the fictional Left Behind series.

We know from Scripture that one day Christ will return. He came once, the first time, and now we believers look forward to His second coming. That is when living believers will be taken up, or raptured, to be with the Lord. Then the wrath of God will come upon the earth and all “shall be burned up.” One event.  No one will be “left behind” for another chance to be saved.  It will all be over. 

2 Peter 3:10 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.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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.

A fable is a tale, fiction, a myth.

(Sorry about the different font sizes. I can’t seem to correct it. Must be a glitch.)

Christian Zionists May Soon Have A Big Problem

September 14, 2018 by Steve Lumbley

Trump or No Trump?

Disclaimer – This is not a criticism of Christians who voted for or support President Trump. In the interest of full disclosure I support the presidents policies and efforts to change the direction of this nation.

Christian Zionists who support President Trump’s attempt to “Make America Great Again” may soon have a real dilemma on their hands.  Dispensationalism (which has spawned modern Christian Zionism) has always held that a future world leader known as the antichrist will make himself known first by establishing a peace treaty with modern Israel. In the beginning this will be hailed as a wonderful time of peace leading to the rebuilding of the temple and re-establishment of animal sacrifice in Jerusalem. According to the teaching though, after 3 & 1/2 years the antichrist will break the treaty, betray Israel and a period known as the great tribulation will begin.

In case you are unfamiliar with this doctrine it’s all based on what I believe to be misinterpreted scriptures primarily from Daniel chapter 9 and Matthew chapter 24

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Dan 9:27

Dispensationalism says the “he” being spoken of here is the antichrist and the “covenant” is a modern day peace treaty with Israel. The “week” is symbolic of 7 years and so “in the middle of the week” means 3& 1/2 years after the initiation of the treaty he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering which has been re-instituted in the Jerusalem temple and declare himself to be God in the flesh.

A full refutation of this doctrine is beyond the scope of this article but allow me to address the biggest flaw in this whole scenario. The he being spoken of in Dan 9:27 isn’t antichrist but Christ himself. Jesus is the subject and he did in fact establish a covenant with many. Not a modern day peace treaty with Israel but the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31) and confirmed by Christ himself in Matthew chapter 26, Mark chapter 14 and Luke chapter 22

For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mat 26:28

The covenant with many established by Jesus did cause the temple sacrificial system to cease. First by making it obsolete (Heb 8:13) and eventually stopping it all together when He sent the Roman army in 70ad to destroy it forever. So as you can see, Daniel 9 is not a prophecy to be fulfilled in our day but rather a prophecy that’s already been fulfilled in Christ.

With all that as background I’m wondering why we’re not seeing more hand wringing or cheering or something about President Trump’s soon to be released peace plan for Israel?

Report: Trump to Introduce Mideast Peace Plan at UNGA

Trump peace plan | The Times of Israel

Dispensational legend has it that the antichrist will come in as a great world leader who is a friend to Israel and seemingly solves many problems. Not only bringing peace to the middle east but also reinvigorating the world economy. Peace and prosperity, what more could anyone want.

Christian Zionist’s are cheering Trump as the most pro Israel president we’ve ever had. He’s moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, shut down the PLO office in Washington and stopped US tax dollars from being spent on the UN Palestinian resettlement program. Since taking office, the U.S. economy has soared. Unemployment is at historic lows and wages are rising. Next item on the agenda is the peace plan for the middle east and the stage will be set for the final 7 year countdown.

Given all that, I’m wondering when will Christian Zionist’s begin to declare Trump a real candidate for the role of antichrist?  I haven’t seen any CZ or so called prophecy expert even hint at the possibility of Trump as antichrist.  I’ve heard some grumbling about Trumps Jewish son in law, Jared Kushner. Some believe he’s the real antichrist figure behind the peace process. But what about Trump himself.  So far, he fits the bill better than anyone.

Lest some of you get the wrong idea, I am not saying Trump is the antichrist or even a candidate for the office. I understand that democrats, leftists, liberals, Marxists ideologues, and anarchists (redundant terms, I know) have no problem seeing Trump as the antichrist in the political sense.  Virtually every president of my lifetime has been seen as an antichrist by some group, so that’s not what I’m advocating here. I’m just anxiously awaiting the realization by CZ’s that what they’ve been taught about the future antichrist is unfolding before their eyes in the form of President Donald J. Trump.

I was brought up under the doctrines of dispensational eschatology so I know what I’m talking about. I have rejected dispensationalism not because I don’t understand it but because I don’t believe it’s an accurate representation of what the Bible teaches. I do not believe in a future world ruling antichrist or a 7 year great tribulation, or a rapture of the church or any of the other tenets of dispensationalism.

So, what do I believe. I’m glad you asked.

I believe that mankind has always been plagued with messianic figures, antichrists if you will, whether they be from the religious, political, military, or economic realm. This will continue until Christ returns but none of them will ever achieve the world rulership role traditionally envisioned for THE antichrist. There will always be an antichrist candidate in the world or on the horizon. It is the nature of man to seek a messiah, any messiah other than Christ. We will experience wars and rumors of war, great storms and earthquakes, economic disaster and recovery. All those things have always been and they always will be until Christ returns.

Our job as Christians is to endure these things and occupy until he comes. We are called to influence the culture of our day, not through politics, the military or economics,  but by living out our faith in the midst of these trials for all to see. Tribulation or testing is the natural state of believers as long as we are in this earth. All believers will go through tribulation in one form or another. It may be actual physical martyrdom as is happening now to many of our brethren in foreign lands or it could be the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches that we experience here in America. Regardless of its form, tribulation is designed by God to test us, to shape us, to bring us closer to Christ. It is a vital and necessary part of His process of sanctification in our lives.

strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”  Acts 14:22

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; Rom 5:3

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Rom 8:35

rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; Rom 12:12

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2Cor 1:4

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.… Rev 1:9

Don’t get caught up in endless speculation about ‘end times’ and antichrists. It’s easy (and profitable for many) to read current events into the scriptures. In the end it’s nothing but a waste of time. Embrace the times in which you live knowing that Jesus rules not only in heaven but on this earth. Nothing can separate us from that. Nothing can diminish that for us. Not even an alleged antichrist or a president that looks like one.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

Steve Lumbley 2018

This article may be reproduced and distributed free of charge as long as it remains in it’s original form.

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(Interesting and informative post by Steve Lumbley, but I do want to add my own disclaimer here, and that is that I am not a Trump supporter.)

THE RAPTURE – AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

The Rapture.

Will anyone be left behind?

A very popular teaching today is that the church will be raptured, and the unsaved will be left behind on earth to suffer tribulation. But is this Biblical? Will the Lord come secretly for his church, leaving the unsaved to live on earth wondering what happened?

A phrase that is often used to support the secret rapture teaching is that the Lord will come as a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

But Scripture also tells us that when the Lord returns there will be a great noise and the earth will be burned up.

2 Peter 3:10 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.

And Scripture also tells us that the Lord will come as a thief in the night for the unbeliever, but believers… are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

1 Thessalonians 5.4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness,that that day should overtake you as a thief.

The thief in the night secret rapture teaching was popularized by…

    • the false dispensational teachings of John Nelson Darby in the early 1800’s,
    • the study notes of the Scofield Reference Bible,
    • Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth”
    • the fictional Left Behindbooks and movies.

The church will be raptured, but it will be at the second coming, and no one will be left behind because… the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2 Peter 3:10 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.

The faulty foundation of the secret rapture teaching is Dispensationalism.

1 Thessalonians 5:

1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.