by Your servant, Dan Baxley
Nothing but good news, our Lord is coming. He is coming at any moment, so be ready, today and everyday. The “imminent” (about to occur, impending) return of our SAVIOR is a welcome doctrine and gaining a huge following of bible believing Christians. So, the question is, are you Rapture Ready?
I will tell you right up front, I am not a proponent of this flawed doctrine. I see the attraction, I understand the desire, and the lame reasoning used the teachers of this “law”, and the prophetic utterances and writings concerning the benefits of this “escapist” attitude. The supporters of this doctrine (dogma) will tell you people like me are ignorant, uneducated in the bible teachings and fear mongers. No, really, I have heard such from teachers such as Dr Hilton Sutton, one of the more outspoken defenders of this false doctrine.
Tim LaHaye has said he knows of no other doctrine that has kept believers on the straight path of righteousness more than this one single teaching, that of the “imminent return”. And what is it that prompts such a statement? He is not the only one to say this as this has been the linchpin argument in support of the false “rapture doctrine”. When backed into the biblical corner this argument is pulled out and thrown into the critics face.
My first thought, when I heard this reasoning, was one of fear, not my fear but of causing fear. Millions of Christians frightened into submission, scared into righteousness? You had better listen to us, they insinuate, or you will miss out and go straight to hell, or at least, miss out on going to Heaven when all ehll breaks out. They lay out a scenario of doom and gloom for anyone not accepting this doctrine of escape, this false hope of salvation without pain. All is well, they teach, for us because we are going to Heaven while the earth burns. Now, tell me, just who is it teaching “fear” and to whom is it being taught? Truly, the Rapture Doctrine is a doctrine of fear?
What is a fear-monger? Fear is something we have all experienced but the type of fear generated by this false doctrine is one of “anxiety” and “apprehension”. The mongering comes from those selling you something that is undesirable or discreditable. Certainly the coming of our Savior to fix things is not undesirable; especially for the believer but the method and the falsehood surrounding this doctrine is most definitely discreditable. On the one hand it is a false hope, not based on the words of our Savior and to be perfectly honest boarders on calling Him a liar. He, YaHshua, plainly states that no one has gone to Heaven unless He is from Heaven (John 3:13). I have seen some reasoning opposing His statement in John but when you couple this verse with others, (John 1:18, 1Cor 15:47, Romans 6:10, Acts 2:21). You should get the idea. Heaven is a place of the holy angels and of our Heavenly Father, which no man has seen -- the unapproachable light (1Tim 6:16). Only that which is from Heaven can go to Heaven. What these teachers fail to see or teach is the last chapter of the book of Revelation -- the Father and the Son are going to be here on earth. The Messiah is coming first and He will prepare the earth (1000 year rule) for the Father. The earth is called the foot stool but is destined to be the seat
The real fear-mongers would have you fear death, trial, even tribulation so much so as to cause you to sing praise for an event that will never happen, at least not the way, nor in the order they teach it. At the present time the teachers of this false doctrine are pressing to confuse the issue with the legitimate teaching on the resurrection.
Life is good, each day roles by, each hour ticks away as you sip your coffee and remind yourself, “At any moment, this could be it, this could be my last Starbucks”.
Leaving the coffee shop you head for work and this gorgeous young woman passes in front of you, you open the door for her (reverse the roles if you want, you could be the young woman) and you can’t help notice what God has packaged … hey, snap out of it, the Lord could come right this minute you idot, wake up. You scowl, lowering your eyes, not wanting to sin as you remember the words of our Lord, “…whoever looks on a woman with lust has committed adultery …”. The young woman smiles and starts to give you a thanks but she sees the scowl on your face, she looks away, stepping through he doorway, wondering what she did to you?
As you step out onto the sidewalk, having averted near disaster, you check the change in your hand and discover the clerk behind the coffee counter has given you ten dollars too much. You stuff the bonanza in you pocket and suddenly fear strikes you heart again, “He could come at any moment, like right now”. Wheeling around nearly upending and elderly couple coming out of the coffee shop. Near breathlessness you wave at the clerk, “You gave me too much, here take it back”. Whew, another near disaster averted. You look around, nope, still all clear. As you leave you glance over your shoulder and see the young clerk being scolded by the manager and you see the young clerk, head bowed, taking off her apron. So what, she probably wasn’t a good clerk anyway.
You do feel sort of funny though, your steps seem unsteady, then suddenly, you are thrown to the ground, the sidewalk buckling, bricks and glass falling all around you. You look up and see dust rising like a fog, the sound is deafening and there is a birth flash in the sky. You are slammed up and down, sideways across the fractured walk narrowly miss being rolled into a giant crack splitting the street, swallowing up car after car.
Everything stops as your first thought is, the coming of the Lord, but wait, you’re still here. You race for home surrounded by the devastation as you look toward the sky the sun does not seem as bright. There is another rumble and a loud clap and more flashing from the heavens above. Getting home you are thankful, your house is still standing, but some of your neighbors are not so fortunate, people are crying, some screams can be heard. Inside the safety or your home you see the television is on and your wife standing in front of it. She is bleeding from a head wound received when she fell hitting the edge of the kitchen counter but that is not what you focus on, it is the news guy on the television, the picture is scrambling and jerking but you hear what he says, “This has been a worldwide event and the coastal areas are bracing for tsunamis as the people scramble to the higher ground, many seeking shelter in the mountains.
This is not the end, how could it be, you are still here, your wife is beside you. Suddenly another jarring shake and the deafening roar. You wake to a mass of wood and sheet rock over your head, you wife groans her last words, “Where is He?”
You cry out, “Where is the promise of His coming? Why are we still here?” The cursing continues, blaming God and your savior as a false savior, "Where is the promise of His coming? We have been lied to.". Ripping your bible in half you shake your fist toward the darkening skys.
In the months following you, like many, many others continue cursing God, "What kind of god would let this happen?" Many others express the same sentiments concerning the failed promise of a catching away, of the rapture so many believed in. Everything has changed, you hear rumors of radical religions of the Middle East seeing this worldwide disaster as an opportunity, slaughtering millions with no one to stop them, the United States has been reduced to a third world nation, or worse, its ports all but gone, millions dead and still you are here, scrounging for food. Some are still talking about the day the sun turned to blood and the moon went black. What does any of this mean to you? Someone tries to tell you those events were foretold in the bible but you laugh, “Who can believe in that book? Look, I’m still here and so are you, it’s all a lie.” As you walk away you hear the faint comment, “I think he’s one of the scoffers. Come let’s see if we can share with another.”
The End, almost.
I know, I know, a fictitious account but one I think may be played out in the future for those finding themselves in a different world than what we have now and seeing they are still here. The preachers of this false hope of escape will not be around to hold your hand you will be on your own. Your faith will be your faith, or the lack thereof. If you are expecting salvation in the form of physical deliverance into Heaven you will be sorely disappointed. Only that which is from Heaven can go to Heaven.
Many placing all of their faith in this false teaching of the Rapture Doctrine do not bother with bible study, after all, what does any of those prophetic pronouncements have to do with them, they are going to be gone, gone to Heaven. Besides, could all of the Evangelical teachers be wrong? Godly men such as Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye, Hilton Sutton, David Regan, David Hunt, Mark Hitchcock, Paul Crouch (Head of TBN), Benny Hinn, and many, many others all support this false doctrine, could they be wrong -- impossible. The vast audience these men collectively generate is truly incredible as they tell push this escape doctrine mixing with the truth with fiction. They have deceived themselves in this and it will take an act of God to change their minds (Hopefully). (2Tim 3:13, 1 Tim 4:1, 2 Peter 2:3)
Be prepared mentally and spiritually for what is to come. You need not fear the final outcome. Many have freely given up their lives so that you might have the truth and the knowledge of true salvation. There is only one way through the door leading to eternity and that door is YaHshua, there is no other. In the end will our Savior find faith when he comes? He asked that question Himself (Luke 18:8) and He also told us the end would like the days of Noah. We know the Days of Noah were violent times and the faith in those days were not found except for Noah. Millions upon millions of people perished in the Great Flood and do you suppose they thought Noah to be any better than they? Do you suppose, in the days of Noah, the people were all atheist? Hardly, the record show people, especially the ancients, had many gods, worshiped everything from themselves to nature, and even sticks and stones. Some might even say, the Ancient people of the past were very religious as we can see religion in every aspect of their lives.
Noah, unlike those of his generation, believed what the Creator had to say. He literally believed His Creator's words and in this demonstrated his faith. The rest of the world thumbed their nose at what Noah had to say concerning the Creator’s words. Some, no doubt, thought Noah a bit of a fanatic, even and idiot crack pot, and thought, if it is true so what, my god will deliver me. Of course we know the rest of the story and it is apparently going to repeat. Our Savior asked, "Will I find faith when I return?" What a question and what meaning it has when considering the end days becoming as the days of Noah(Luke 18:8).
Be ready, listen to the Word, not the words of men. His word tells us in plain language, there is going to be a Great Quake the likes the world has never seen up to that time. That will not be the only earthquake of worldwide proportions either but the 6th Seal of Revelation 6:12-17 will be the first and it will move mountains and islands out of place, it will be the cause of a world changing events -- changing the political scene as never thought possible. Who will hold the Islamic hordes in place after this? When this earthly shaking occurs the Muslims may see this as an act of Allah removing the powers of earth, clearing the way for them to rid the world of Isarel and the Christians once and for all. All they will need is the 12th Imam to reveal himself to usher in their version of Islamic paradise. Perhaps the Biblical Beast, the one the Chirstians are looking for will be this 12th Imam?
There certainly will be many things happening between now and then. Look at WWI and WWII, many thought those were surely the end of days. Look at the time of tribulation for millions of Jews and Christians during those times. In those days many were standing on their bibles preaching the end but as we know the end was not yet, after all, we are all still here. When the Great Quake hits it will be hard to ignore but may not be recognized for what it is, the “sign of His coming”, not His actual coming. When this sign is ignored and not recognized many will turn from their faith (sadly) tossing their bible away, bibles they never really read anyway, preferring instead to listen to the soothing words of the escape artist in their promises, a false hope, of truth mixed with lies. But you, the Believer in the words of the Living God should be ready, preparing your spirit and strengthening your faith, hanging on the every word of our Heavenly Father and Savior, of the God of the Bible, learn from it, listen to it, let the Words He has given us to be your guide, your ultimate authority whould always be the Holy Bible -- not the words of men. The day will come when He, YaHshua, stands upon the Mount of Olives and He will raise all of Israel to life and the apostles will sit on twelve throwns to judge Israel and our Savior will be ruling from Jerusalem, renamed, YaH’s City of Peace. Come YaHshua, come, we pray in the Name or our Heavenly Father -- your will be done, we pray.
NOTE: Here I would like to present a perfect example from the pages of your Bible of a case for disobeying a direct spoken command from the God of the Bible.
Please hang with me, I know this may seem like an outrageous claim. Certainly there are those of us thinking it impossible for a man or woman God to deny a direct command from Him. But we have just such an, a leading man, a pillar in first Church doing just that. Recall the account of Peter and the three visions of unclean animals (Acts 10:11-14) and Peter is commanded to "take and eat" but Peter refuses! Imagine, Peter refusing to obey God Himself and on what basis? The WRITTEN WORD, as it is written the animals presented were unclean and not fit for food, so Peter refused, based on the written Word, even though the author of those Words commanded otherwise, not once but three times. Peter never went against the "written words", going away and wondering about the real meaning of the vision.
Today's Christian teachers slip and slide around the true meaning of this encounter Peter had his with his Creator and get off on how this proves eating unclean meats is now okay -- forget about Peter's example and refusal to do so -- and he did not take and eat! No, he pondered the meaning and it came to him in the form of three Gentile men sent to summon him to a Gentile home. Gentiles were considered by the Jews as "unclean animals". We all know the Jews did not equate Gentiles as a food source anymore than did the Gentiles themselves, but they considered them as "unclean", not fit for the Spirit of God and His truth, the "uncircumcised" were all the "unclean". It was this message the God of the Bible was pressing on Peter, "not to consider anyone, any person, He made pure through the Christ as unclean. That was the message to Peter, not a message of food -- how ignorant are the teachers of the Christians? Either ignorant, or false, you decide.
Here, then, is proof of the power of the "written words" found in the book we know as the Holy Bible. When someone comes to you saying they have received a word form god, or have visisted heavens or hells and have heard things contrary to the "written word" then you stand on firm ground to not listen to them, to reject them. Peter denied YaHshua, as God from Heaven commanding him, and was correct in this as he stood on the written word over the spoken word. How could he be so sure? By faith, for he believed what our Creator had said previously concerning things and what had been written down, for the record, before and that the Creator had already stated He changes not! So, by confidence in this Peter stood, in faith, in belief, he knew, even though his Lord commanded, He had to maen something else, and He did. The perfect proof the written word is the word we are to listen to, not the words of men, or self proclaimed prophets. Peace to you in His Name, YaHshua.