- Rapture doctrine is one of the most recent “new doctrines” in the history of the Church. The only doctrine more recent is the invention of the sinner’s prayer for salvation by Billy Sunday in 1930, which was made popular by Billy Graham in 1935.
- The fact that John Nelson Darby invented the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine around 1830 AD is unquestionably true. All attempts to find evidence of this wild doctrine before 1830 have failed, with a single exception: Morgan Edwards wrote a short essay as a college paper for Bristol Baptist College in Bristol England in 1744 where he confused the second coming with the first resurrection of Revelation 20 and described a “pre-tribulation” rapture. However Edwards ideas, which he admitted were brand new and never before taught, had no influence in the modern population of the false doctrine. That prize to goes to Darby.
- Prior to 1830, no church taught it in their creed, catechism or statement of faith.
- Darby has had a profound impact on religion today, since Darby’s “secret rapture” false doctrine has infected most conservative, evangelical churches. While the official creeds and statements of faith of many churches either reject or are silent about Rapture, neither do they openly condemn this doctrine of a demon from the pulpit.
- While not all dispensationalists believe in the Rapture. All those who teach the Rapture also believe in premillennialism. Both groups use Israel’s modern statehood status of 1948 to be a beginning of a countdown to the end.
- All premillennialists, rapturists and dispensationalists alive today believe the Bible reveals the general era of when Christ will return. The date setters of the 1800’s based their predictions upon speculative arrangements of numbers and chronologies in the Bible. Today’s date setters without exception wrongly believe that Israel gaining state hood in 1948 fulfilled Bible prophecy and that Christ would return within one generation.
- There are two kinds of premillennialists: Those “Date setters” and “Date Teasers”. “Date setters”, set specific dates which are in fact a countdown clock to the extinction of their own ministries. (William Miller, Charles Russell, Ronald Weinland, Harold Camping, etc.) “Date teasers”, share the same rhetoric of urgency that the “end is very soon”, but refuse to lock into a specific date. (Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye, Pentecostals, Baptists, Grant Jefferies, Christadelphians.)
- Most of the TV preachers who promote rapture and/or “date set” all wrongly believe they are a prophet of God with special illumination. Pentecostals believe they are inspired directly from the Holy Spirit as modern day prophets. Baptists believe they are illuminated with guidance from the Holy Spirit through the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible grace.
- Christians reject all these false notions of God illuminating man and rely upon the pages of the Bible alone as a sole source of conduct and doctrine
False assumptions of Rapture and premillennialism.
- False: The kingdom is something distinct from the church. Truth: The kingdom is the church which was established on the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. We are in the kingdom now: Col 1:13; Rev 1:6,9.
- False: Reviving the Roman empire to keep time prophecies of Dan 2,7,8,9 from failing. Truth: The final kingdom Daniel saw was Rome. God set up his kingdom during the Roman empire which began in 30 BC and was destroyed in 397 AD. The kingdom is the church which was started on Pentecost.
- False: Daniel saw 13 kingdoms: Truth: Daniel saw 4 kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-persia, Greece and Rome. The last kingdom had ten toes, representing 10 Caesars/rulers/kings not 10 additional kingdoms for a total of 13 kingdoms.
- False: Christ will return in one generation from the time Israel became a nation in 1948. Truth: Mt 23:34; 24:34 speak about how the Herodian temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed within one generation. This indeed came to pass with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus. Notice the parallel: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. ” (Luke 21:20)
- False: Israel never possessed all the land promised to Abraham and must return to fulfill this promise. Truth: God made three promises to Abraham and all three were fulfilled at the time of Joshua – Solomon. “And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. ” (Joshua 21:44-45)
- False: The Mosaic Old Testament temple will be rebuilt on the temple mount in Jerusalem complete with animal sacrifices and Aaronic priests. Truth: The Old Testament was nailed to the cross and abolished: Heb 8:13. To go back to animal sacrifices is to deny Christ: “And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. ” (Galatians 5:3-4) Restoring animal sacrifices nullifies the sacrifice of the blood of Christ on the cross which was the last blood sacrifice for all future eternity: “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, ” (Hebrews 10:11-12)
- False: Entering the 7th millennium in 2000 AD Truth: The bible indicates that the world is about 6119 years old in 2011.
- False: Y2K bug of 1999 AD Truth: Wild speculation that TV preachers and Rapturists used to whip up end time predictions. It was a non-event… again.
- False: The prophetic clock stopped in the 69th week of Daniel’s prophecy when the Jews rejected Christ as their earthly king because God wasn’t expecting the Jews to reject Jesus. Each of the first 69 weeks was a period of seven years, but he last week has already been almost 2000 years. The prophetic clock starts ticking again at the “Rapture” which is the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. There will be 3 ½ years of peace followed by 3 ½ years of tribulation. Truth: God foresaw everything just as it happened in the gospels. A prophecy clock cannot stop or slow down or change rate of time passing. The 70th week continued and came to and end before 40 AD. Rapturists believe that the entire New Testament period is something that God had to think up on the fly when the Jews rejected Jesus as their king. So God had to think up the church age as a stop gap measure until God could try a second time to get the Jews to accept Jesus as king during the millennium. Notice that the “prophetic clock stops” when the Jews crucified Jesus and it starts at the Rapture. The reason the clock had to stop, is because of all the time prophecies were supposed to be fulfilled at the first advent of Christ, but the Jews thwarted God’s plan. Notice the clock stops at the 69th week of Daniel 9 which was happily ticking at a constant pace since it began with the decree of Cyrus which was 483 years (69 x 7 years). Then 2000 years pass and the clock suddenly starts ticking down the final 7 years. This is nothing short of incredible, but in fact, this entire concept of God failing to foresee the Jews rejecting Jesus as King is the cornerstone of Rapture and Premillennial theology.
- False: The church is a temporary after thought while the prophetic clock is stopped. The church is not prophesied in the Old Testament and will be abolished at the second coming. The prophetic clock starts ticking again at the “Rapture” which is the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. There will be 3 ½ years of peace followed by 3 ½ years of tribulation. Truth: The church is part of God’s eternal purpose and will endure forever into the future: “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, ” (Ephesians 3:10-11) God will be glorified in the church for all future eternity: “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. ” (Ephesians 3:21) Those who believe the church is a temporary stop gap measure, fail to comprehend that the church is the bride of Christ and that the wedding day is the second coming. “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. ” (Ephesians 5:27) Rapturists teach that the church ends at the second coming, when in fact the church continues forever as the bride of Christ. Those who believe the church was thought up at the last minute when the Jews rejected Jesus as their king fail to realize that our salvation is inside the church, which is the body of Christ and will continue forever. If the church ends at the second coming, then so does the body of Christ. So Rapture and premillennialism is rank heresy invented by John Darby in 1830 AD.
- False: The Bible tells us when the Rapture/second coming of Christ will occur. Truth: “The Bible Guarantees it” as a sure thing makes a mockery of Christ and causes people to lose faith in the Bible.
- False: There is a secret number code in the bible that can be used to predict the second coming by using combinations of 3 ½, 6, 7, 10, 30, 40, 66, 70, 230, 280, 666, 980, 1000, 1200, 1260, 1290, 1335, 2520, 2300, 6000, 7000 etc. These numbers are randomly assigned various time units including minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, millenniums. Truth: Endless numerology has been used randomly to make endless date predictions which have all failed but sold a lot of books and made a lot of con artists rich.
- False: Special illumination from God others do not possess Truth: If any man claims special revelation from God who directly communicates with him, let him show this by performing miracles. Bible prophets always proved it by their power, not their words. “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. ” (1 Corinthians 4:19-20) Until men like Camping perform a miracle, he is a candidate for stoning according the Old Testament law he believes will be restored.
- False: New Doctrines are being revealed today that were not understood even 20 years ago. Truth: Continuous revelation: “Early and latter rains”, “new light”. For example, Harold Camping said, “The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong. The scriptural evidence needed to know the exact day could not be known before 1988, the year the ‘Church age’ ended. The Bible indicates prior to this year that date could not be known.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to ignore past false predictions by claiming new light that “gets brighter and brighter”. Rather it is “black light” or flickering/contradictory light. Camping uses this “new light” “latter rain” theology to justify his previous prediction of 1994 failing. Incredibly Camping says: “In the nineteen years since “1994?” was written, the biblical evidence for 2011 has greatly solidified. Today there is no longer any question, May 21, 2011 is the day in which Jesus Christ will return.
1. All Rapturists need a complex and detailed time chart to graph out their sequence of events. Here are original documents that map out the end. The one pictured above is a general overview chart to give the basic idea.
2. Notice that the entire New Testament period is something that God had to think up on the fly when the Jews rejected Jesus as their king. So God had to think up the church age as a stop gap measure until God could try a second time to get the Jews to accept Jesus as king during the millennium. Notice that the “prophetic clock stops” when the Jews crucified Jesus and it starts at the Rapture. The reason the clock had to stop, is because of all the time prophecies were supposed to be fulfilled at the first advent of Christ, but the Jews thwarted God’s plan. Notice the clock stops at the 69th week of Daniel 9 which was happily ticking at a constant pace since it began with the decree of Cyrus which was 483 years (69 x 7 years). Then 2000 years pass and the clock suddenly starts ticking down the final 7 years. This is nothing short of incredible, but in fact, this entire concept of God failing to foresee the Jews rejecting Jesus as King is the cornerstone of Rapture and Premillennial theology. The church is part of God’s eternal purpose and will endure forever into the future: “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, ” (Ephesians 3:10-11) God will be glorified in the church for all future eternity: “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. ” (Ephesians 3:21) Those who believe the church is a temporary stop gap measure, fail to comprehend that the church is the bride of Christ and that the wedding day is the second coming. “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. ” (Ephesians 5:27) Rapturists teach that the church ends at the second coming, when in fact the church continues forever as the bride of Christ. Those who believe the church was thought up at the last minute when the Jews rejected Jesus as their king fail to realize that our salvation is inside the church, which is the body of Christ and will continue forever. If the church ends at the second coming, then so does the body of Christ. So Rapture and premillennialism is rank heresy invented by John Darby in 1830 AD.
- William Miller’s chart (Seventh-day Adventists) that predicted the end in 1844 AD. VIEW
- Seventh-day Adventist rapture chart 2010 AD: VIEW
- Charles Russell’s (Jehovah’s Witnesses) chart the predicted the end in 1914 AD. VIEW When Christ didn’t come, Russell claimed he was right, but that Christ came invisibly! Up until about 1996, JW’s taught that the world would end within one generation after 1914 AD. Even the May 15, 1984 Watchtower magazine echoed this false prediction. Like all cults and date setters, they quietly stopped making the prediction based upon one generation after 1914 and the mindless lemmings keep going door to door with their every changing version of lies and deception.
- Bill Brown Ministries rapture chart: VIEW
- Tom Stewart of “What Saith The Scriptures” predicted the rapture on Sunday May 31, 1998 AD. In a disclaimer on his website, he says his date was wrong, but no off my much time and that the end if VERY, VERY NEAR!: VIEW
- Millennium Ark rapture chart: VIEW
- LDS, Latter Day Saints, Mormons: The year 2000 AD was date teased: VIEW
- Donald Perkins Bible prophecy chart VIEW
- Jack Van Impe claims he has been awarded several PhD’s and we are certain they are all in “Date Teasing” No one date teases better than Jack. He teased 2000 AD and is currently teasing 2012 AD. Her is Van Impe’s “Israel invasion prophecy chart”: VIEW
- Christadelphian end times prophecy chart: Christadelphians have a long history of date setting, but their last prediction was around 2000 AD. For Christadelphians, the end has been very soon for 150 years. VIEW
- Ronald Weinland predicted the end on April 17, 2008. He claimed to be a prophet, apostle and that he and his wife the two witnesses of Revelation. When that failed, he is currently he predicting the second coming on May 27, 2012. Here is Weinland’s current end of the world chart: VIEW
- Harold Camping predicted the end of the world in 1994 and again on May 21, 2011. Camping believed he had learned special insights that no one else on earth had understood from the Bible. In fact, Camping is a numerologist who see patterns in numbers that are meaningless. While convincing to his lemmings who sold their houses and maxed out their credit cards and gave the money to Camping to spread the word through a global advertising campaign, his insights make him worthy of being stoned as a false prophet. Camping is an agent of Satan to destroy faith in the Bible. VIEW
- Ronald Weinland predicted the end on April 17, 2008. He claimed to be a prophet, apostle and that he and his wife the two witnesses of Revelation. When that failed, he is currently he predicting the second coming on May 27, 2012. Here is Weinland’s current end of the world chart: VIEW
- Rapture Bible proof texts refuted:
- Every Bible verse used by Rapture advocates are the same passages that Christians have used to prove the second coming with will being about the resurrection of all the dead, both wicked and righteous, translation of the living into spirit beings, the destruction of the earth, the great judgment and heaven and hell… all at the same time. You will see in every one of their rapture proof texts, that Rapture is not actually specified. Instead it is the good old second coming as taught historically by the church back to the first century, not some new doctrine revealed for the first time to the Plymouth Brethren through John Darby in 1830 AD.
- There are shockingly few actual Bible texts that Rapture advocates actually use to attempt to prove rapture is taught in the bible.
- Equally shocking is that many of those who teach the Rapture believe in continuous revelation. This means that they do not even need any Biblical passages to prove their new doctrine. They, as prophets, believe God has revealed it to them as a brand new Christian doctrine, that the first century Christians never believed, the apostles never taught. So they will openly admit they have little or nothing in the bible to support their new rapture theology. Of course they fail the test of a true prophet to possess the ability to perform miracles or at least a prophecy or two to come true.
- See also: Overview of how Rapture and pre-millennialism contradicts the Bible
- Here is a complete collection of Bible passages used to prove the Rapture:
|No pre-tribulation Rapture in 1 Thess 4:15-17! This is the only proof text that is ever given for any direct support for the Rapture. The word for “caught up” is “harpásō” in the Greek and is also used of when Paul was “caught up” into 3rd heaven to see visions in 2 Cor 12:2. However this verse simply teaches what all Christians have taught about the events at the second coming namely: resurrection of all the dead, translation of the living into spirit beings, destruction of the earth, judgement, heaven and hell… all in a twinkling of an eye at the last trump.||“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. ” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)|
|No Rapture in Jn 5:28, in fact it teaches the opposite! False teachers of the Rapture say that only Christians are raised, then after 1000 years, the wicked are raised. This verse clearly teaches that in the same “twinkling of an eye” (an hour, not 1000 years) all the dead will be raised.||“”Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, ” (John 5:28)|
|No Rapture in this Dan 12:2, just that all the dead, both righteous and wicked will be raised to judgment at the last day.||“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. ” (Daniel 12:2-3)|
|No Rapture in 1 Cor 15:21-28, in fact it teaches the opposite! It says that the second coming will be the end, not 1000 years before the end. Its says that Christ is reigning now, but will give up his reign at the second coming and hand it over to the Father. Rapture teaches that Christ is not reigning now, but will begin to reign at the second coming. This is exactly opposite to what the Rapture false teachers believe.||“For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. ” (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)|
|No Rapture in this 1 Cor 15:51ff! It teaches that at the second coming the dead will be raised into immortal spirit beings and the living shall be changed into immortal spirit beings.||“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. ” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)|
|See also: Overview of how Rapture and pre-millennialism contradicts the Bible|
- Rapture doctrine invented by John Nelson Darby in 1830:
- John Nelson Darby invented the false doctrine of the Rapture 1830-1833 AD and popularized it in 1850 to which it infected us today. While Morgan Edwards had also invented the doctrine in a college essay in 1744 AD, his work was isolated, forgotten and irrelevant as an etiology of the modern popularity of pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine. Darby invented the doctrine without any influence or reliance on Edwards.
- Morgan Edwards wrote this short essay as a paper for Bristol Baptist College in Bristol England in 1744. After he immigrated to the USA, the essay was published in Philadelphia in 1788. It is clear that his school paper went as unnoticed as his formal publication in 1788 AD. While Edwards may in fact be the earliest person on earth to invent the pre-tribulation rapture, it is equally clear that Darby invented the same doctrine in 1830 AD and made it popular 100 years later in 1850 AD. “The distance between the first and second resurrection will be somewhat more than a thousand years.: I say, somewhat more; because the dead saints will be raised, and the living changed at Christ’s ” appearing in the air” (1 Thes. iv, 17); and this will be about three years and a half before the millennium, as we shall see hereafter: but will he and they abide in the air all that time? No: they will ascend to paradise, or to some one of those many ” mansions in the father’s house of God” (John xiv: 2), and to disappear during the foresaid period of time. … V. That spot of earth which. Christ will make the seat of his governments Mount Zion, in Jerusalem. Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt, as we shall prove by and by and that temple will be the house of Christ kingdom. … VI. The risen and changed saints shall reign with Christ on earth a thousand years. I do not mean that all will be kings; for some are to be Christ’ s priests, some judges, some rulers over cities, some over his household, some over his goods, (as wee shall see anon) and some his special chorister and musicians. (Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties, Morgan Edwards, 1744 AD, 1788 AD)
- Darby notes that the doctrine “popped into his head” in 1830 AD. Before this, no one had ever heard of a secret rapture doctrine.
- Darby is one of the founders of the “Plymouth Brethren” movement at the same time he first conceived his rapture theology. Therefore the Plymouth Brethren are inseparable from Rapture theology and always will be and should be avoided.
- Modern influences of Darby include Dallas Theological Seminary, Bob Jones University, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Jack Van Impe and Harold Camping, the Scofield Reference Bible.
- Darby’s Rapture theology has infected almost every conservative protestant church, except for a few groups like the Churches of Christ, who rejected it as a non-Biblical doctrine and have denounced it ever since like all other man made doctrines.
Proof Rapture was the creation of John Nelson Darby in 1830:
- The simplest way to prove that Rapture does not predate Darby or the Plymouth Brethren church, is the admission of the Plymouth Brethren church today in their own words: “A number of doctrines that are now widely held within evangelical circles were first discovered by the Brethren (post 1830 AD) or were promoted and propagated by the Brethren. In no particular order these include: pre-tribulational rapture, dispensationalism” (Plymouth Brethren: Theological contributions of the Brethren: FAQ #16)
- “The pretribulation rapture……historians are still trying to determine how or where Darby got it. . . . Possibly, we may have to settle for Darby’s own explanation. He claimed that the doctrine virtually jumped out of the pages of Scripture once he accepted and consistently maintained the distinction between Israel and the church”. (Timothy P. Weber, Living In The Shadow Of The Second Coming: American Premillennialism 1875-1982, 1983 AD, p 21-22).
- John Nelson Darby commenting on 2 Thess. 2:1-2 in 1850: “It is this passage which, twenty years ago, [1830 AD] made me [Darby] understand the rapture of the saints before- perhaps a considerable time before- the day of the Lord, that is, before the judgment of the living.” (The Rapture of the Saints: Who Suggested It, Or Rather On What Scripture? William Kelly, The Bible Treasury, New Series, vol. 4, p. 314-318, quoting John Nelson Darby commenting on 2 Thess. 2:1-2 in 1850)
- “When the theory of a secret coming of Christ was first brought forward (about the year 1832), it was adopted with eagerness; it suited certain preconceived opinions, and it was accepted by some at that which harmonized contradictory thoughts, whether such thoughts, or any of them, rested on the sure warrant of God; written Word”. (The Hope of Christ’s Coming: How is it Taught in Scripture and Why?, S. P. Tregelles, p 35)
- “Where did he [Darby] get it? The reviewer’s answer would be that it was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s among eager students of unfulfilled prophecy”. (F. F. Bruce, Book Review of “The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin” in The Evangelical Quarterly, (Vol. XLVII, No. 1). Note: Bruce is a well known scholar who himself is a member of the Plymouth Brethren which Darby started)
- “Until brought to the fore through the writings and preaching and teaching of a distinguished ex-clergyman, Mr J. N. Darby, in the early part of the last century, it [rapture theology] is scarcely to be found in a single book or sermon through a period of sixteen hundred years”. [230-1830 AD] (Harry Ironside, The Mysteries Of God, 1908).
- “About 1830 a new school arose within the fold of Premillennialism that sought to overthrow what, since the Apostolic Age, have been considered by all premillennialist as established results, and to institute in their place a series of doctrines that had never been heard of before. The school I refer to is that of ‘The Brethren’ or ‘Plymouth Brethren,’ founded by J. N. Darby.” (Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ, page 18)
- Robert Cameron: “Now, be it remembered, that prior to that date, no hint of any approach to such belief can be found in any Christian literature from Polycarp down…. Surely, a doctrine that finds no exponent or advocate in the whole history and literature of Christendom, for eighteen hundred years after the founding of the Church – a doctrine that was never taught by a Father or Doctor of the Church in the past – that has no standard Commentator or Professor of the Greek language in any Theological School until the middle of the Nineteenth century, to give it approval, and that is without a friend, even to mention its name amongst the orthodox teachers or the heretical sects of Christendom – such a fatherless and motherless doctrine, when it rises to the front, demanding universal acceptance, ought to undergo careful scrutiny before it is admitted and tabulated as part of ‘the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.” (Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lord’s Return, page 72-73).
- E. R. Sandeen: “Darby introduced into discussion at Powerscourt (1833) the ideas of a secret rapture of the church and of a parenthesis in prophetic fulfillment between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of Daniel. These two concepts constituted the basic tenets of the system of theology since referred to as dispensationalism” (E.R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism 1800-1930, University of Chicago Press, 1970)
Churches and TV Preachers who teach the Rapture false doctrine:
Churches that teach pre-tribulation Rapture:
- Southern Baptist church: FAQ#18: “What is the SBC’s stance on the end times? There is no official stance in the SBC beyond what you find in the Baptist Faith and Message. The views among Southern Baptists regarding the end times are broad. If you surveyed Southern Baptists, you would likely find many who hold to the “Pre-Tribulational” view of the rapture, others who hold to a “Mid-Trib” view, some to a “Post-Trib” rapture, some who hold to historical premillennialism, and perhaps even a few who don’t agree with any of these views.
- Baptist: The Doctrinal Statement of the Cornerstone Baptist Church: “The Rapture of the Church: We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Tribulation Period: We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).”
- Church of God article #14: “The Millennial Reign of Christ The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zech. 14:5; Matt. 24:27, 30; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-14; 20: 1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezek. 37: 21, 22; Zeph. 3:19, 20; Rom. 11:26, 27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isa. 11: 6-9: Ps. 72: 3-8; Micah 4:3,4).”
- The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC): Statement of Fundamental and Essential Truths: “THE RAPTURE The rapture, the blessed hope of the church, is the imminent coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself His own, both the living who shall be transformed, and the dead in Christ who shall be resurrected. 1 Cor. 15:51-57; Phil 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13 This event takes place before the wrath of God is poured out during the tribulation. Believers then will appear before the judgement seat of Christ to be judged according to faithfulness in Christian service. Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10”
- The Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) Article #15. THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST: We believe in that “Blessed Hope”, the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation, and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His Millennial Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
- Plymouth Brethren: Theological contributions of the Brethren: FAQ#16: “A number of doctrines that are now widely held within evangelical circles were first discovered by the Brethren (post 1830 AD) or were promoted and propagated by the Brethren. In no particular order these include: pre-tribulational rapture, dispensationalism”
- Congregational Methodist church, Our Statement of Faith: “The Second Coming of Christ: We believe that the culmination of human history is designed by God and will occur according to His timing. The literal interpretation of scripture reveals that Christ will rapture His faithful in the twinkling of an eye, after which the anti-christ will be revealed, and the wrath of God poured out upon the earth. After seven years of tribulation, Christ is revealed in His glory and comes to reign for one thousand years on the earth. After this millennial reign, the earth will be destroyed, and a new heaven and new earth will be provided for the faithful to live in the presence of God forever.”
- Christadelphians do not teach the rapture, however they have a long history of setting dates for the end of the world and are strongly premillennial. John Thomas (1805-1871) set the date for the end of the world in 1848 and 1864 AD. John Thomas, the sects founder, wrote in 1848 AD: “The judgment upon Ireland has been siting since 1786. That crisis was the beginning of a retribution of seventy-five years. This period is called ‘THE END’ – the end of the last period, of the continuance of modern Europe, as organised into ten kingdoms, and the ”Holy Roman Empire’ in the days of Charlemagne. A.D. 1786 was the beginning of the end, 1848 the concluding of the end, and 1864 the termination of the period. The events of these seventy-five years are the fulfilment of the following words concerning modern Europe: ‘The Judgment shall sit and they shall take away of his (the Little Horn’s or Holy Roman) dominion, to consume and destroy it to the end.’ … After 1864 Ireland and the rest of the world will enter upon a new era, in which peace, righteousness, and blessedness will reign in the midst of the nations.” (Gospel Banner, John Thomas, November 1864) Thomas revised this date he set in 1848 even before it came to pass for in 1854 Thomas wrote: “But in a few years, that is, about 1866, when the 1335 years terminate, he [the prophet Daniel] will ‘arise to his inheritance’ in the Kingdom of God. (Anatolia, John Thomas, 1854, p. 97). Robert Roberts, John Thomas’ successor, strongly and widely predicted that the world would end in 1910 AD. A Christadelphian publication called, “Logos leaflet No 14” (1988) suggested the end in May 1988, as the 40th year since Israel became a nation. The leaflet’s front cover says, ‘ISRAEL 1948-1988 40 YEARS OF DESTINY’. And lower down, ‘This Generation (40 years) shall not pass away till all be fulfilled. Behold, the shooting forth of the “fig tree” (a symbol representing Israel) – Commencing 1948. This generation (40 year period) “Shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.” (p. 3). A key Christadelphian book called, “Christendom Astray” was published in 1958 and contained chapter 16 entitled, “Evidence that the End is Near”. This chapter has been deleted from the current editions. Today Christiadelphians have learned to stopped setting dates although they recently “looked with quiet hope” at 2000 AD as the second coming. Here is the Christadelphians current end times prophecy chart that highlights 2000 AD as the end: VIEW. Like all date setters, there is a slow drifting of expected dates for the second coming, that the average Christadelphian seems willingly blind to admit. A simple survey of Christadelphian history shows that their predicted dates change every generation so that end is always, “very soon”. Christadelphians are typical of other sects that had their origin in the “John Thomas Rapture Era”.
- Millerites/Adventists, Russelites/Jehovah’s Witnesses: “In 1843, people sold their homes and businesses in anticipation of the imminent return of Christ. They were the followers of William Miller, a self-taught Bible student from New York. Here is Miller’s rapture chart. Miller understood the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 to refer to the number of years until the return of Christ. Previously, scholars had agreed that this prophecy was fulfilled in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. But Miller insisted that it would be fulfilled in his day. In 168 B.C., just as God had prophesied through Daniel, the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes entered Jerusalem to punish the Jews. He put an end to sacrifices at the temple, and rededicated the temple to Zeus. Daniel 8:14 does not literally refer to 2,300 “days” (KJV, NKJV), but to 2,300 “evenings and mornings” (NASB, NIV, ESV). From the time that Antiochus entered Jerusalem until the temple was cleansed and proper sacrifices were reinstituted, roughly 2,300 days passed. The number of evening and morning sacrifices that were prevented totaled roughly 2,300 (of each). Either reading of the text, then, finds fulfillment in history. Nonetheless, William Miller believed that the cleansing of the temple mentioned in Daniel 8 was the purification of the earth by fire at Christ’s second coming. Miller assumed that all prophecies referring to “days” must mean “years.” Adding 2,300 years to the time of Daniel’s prophecy gave Miller a date for Christ’s return between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. He began to teach this view and gained a wide following in the northeastern United States. Despite the great excitement that Miller generated, March 21, 1844, came and went without the return of Christ. Miller was devastated, but one of his followers went back through the calculations and found what he believed to be an error. A new date was set: October 22, 1844. When October 1844 did not pan out, either, some of Miller’s followers abandoned the movement. Many, however, tried to find a new explanation. They were too embarrassed to admit their error. They had invested too much to be wrong. Ellen G. White eventually founded the Seventh-day Adventists, leading them to the conclusion that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1844, and that he would soon make his presence known visibly. Another group that tried to hold to the 1844 date was led by Jonas Swendahl; they were known as the Second Adventists. They believed that 1844 marked the date, not of Jesus’ return, but of the beginning of the last generation. Swendahl taught that Jesus would return in 1874. One of Swendahl’s followers was a former Presbyterian named Charles Taze Russell. Charles Russell’s (Jehovah’s Witnesses) chart the predicted the end in 1914 AD. VIEW. When 1874 came and went, Russell concluded that thirty years was not long enough for a generation. So he added seventy years to 1844 and concluded that Jesus would return in 1914. This and other differences led him to split from the Second Adventists and to launch Zion’s Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. His followers became known as the International Bible Students, and they went about the country with the message, “Millions now living will never die!” His followers were to leave their churches and fellowship together. All churches were considered apostate, but God had supposedly provided a new channel for their instruction, Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society. What began as the International Bible Students has become the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The date of 1914 was changed to 1925, then to 1941, and then to 1975. What began as calling Christians out of their churches to prepare for Christ’s return became an anti-Christian cult. I believe we are seeing something very similar happening today in Harold Camping.” (Jason Wallace, New Horizons, February 2002) Today Seventh-day Adventist strongly predicted the rapture in 1980 AD VIEW
- Mormons: LDS, Latter Day Saints: Mormons were born the same year John Darby invented Rapture theology in 1830 AD and have a clear pattern of date setting in a premillennial system. They strongly viewed 2000 AD as a possible date for the end. Here is an example of their current date for the end: VIEW
TV/Radio Preachers and schools that teach the Pre-tribulation Rapture:
- The Scofield Reference Bible. The text of the Bible is the word of God, but the notes and comments twist and strain the scriptures in a shallow attempt to teach the rapture. Keep in mind this simple rule: All the verses they use to prove the rapture, are the same verses Christians have been using to show the good old second coming since the apostolic age.
- The Dallas Theological Seminary and Bob Jones University have been the centers of propagation of false doctrine of the Rapture.
- Hal Lindsey: Most famous for his book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth”, he is a multimillionaire through book sales where he made a general prediction that the world would end before the generation died who witnessed Israel becoming a nation in 1947. In his book, “Planet Earth – 2000 A.D.” Lindsay predicted the end before 2000 AD. Today he believes Barak Obama will live to see the anti-Christ walk the earth, even creating conditions for the anti-Christ to arise. Over the 50 years of publishing, Linsday has changed his predictions with each era. For example, he felt the hippie culture of the 60’s was a sign of the end and that Russia would be the force to conquer Jerusalem. Today all that is forgotten and the Muslims are the new key to world events leading up to the end. But don’t underestimate the influence of Lindsay. I remember non-Christians who had never read the Bible, buying The Late, Great Planet Earth and reading it believing it Bible truth.
- Tim LaHaye: Famous for his “Left Behind” series of movies that give a fictional portrayal of the Rapture. Book sales are reported to exceed 70 million. Although LaHaye doesn’t make specific end of the world date predictions like Harold Camping, neither does he discourage or criticize those who do. Why would he? It would hurt book sales!
- Jack Van Impe: Jack, self-proclaimed prophet, and his cute blonde side-kick wife Rexella, have been “rapture date teasing” by reading news headlines for many years as proof the end of the world is at hand. While he rejects specific date setting, he firmly believes we can know the “approximate time of the second coming”. He teaches the standard rapture pre-tribulation theology. Not wanting to risk sending his empire into extinction (like Harold Camping did when his prophecy failed in May 21, 2011) Van Impe never sets specific dates but general dates. He has publically stated that he rejects Camping’s May 21 prediction for the Rapture. Jack Van Impe never sets specific dates but he has a long history of engaging in what we call “date teasing”. This way he can say that current events strongly point to us keeping our eye on the rapture happening before 2000 AD and when the date passes, he can pick a new date to keep his deluded viewers salivating for more news. 2000 AD was a great opportunity to for Van Impe to glue the viewers to the TV given the changing of the Millennium and the Y2K hysteria that set in on 1999 and the popular prediction of the pagan cultist Nostradamus (d. 1566 AD).
- A 1993 video date teased with its title: “A.D. 2000 – The End?” The date of 2000 was chosen by him based upon the year Israel became a nation in 1948 + 1 generation: “Let’s figure that out again–1948.5 plus 51.4 equals 1999.9–around September of the year 1999. Now, we are not date-setters! Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only (Matthew 24:36). But wait! Don’t say, `No one can know the APPROXIMATE time when Christ will return,’ for Jesus also said in verse 33 that we will know when it is near, even at the doors” (January-February 1993 issue of Perhaps Today magazine).
- Van Impe claimed that the year 2001 “will see the start of the Great Tribulation. Political chaos, natural disasters, nuclear war and the worldwide rise of Islam will usher in mankind’s final hour” (Jan-Feb 1997 issue of Perhaps Today).
iii. Prior to January 1, 2000, Van Impe frequently predicted widespread global catastrophes and destruction resulting from the Y2K problem, which he believed to be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. While such a prediction was rather predictable, the surprise to everyone was that NOTHING happened when the date pass. Billions had been spent certifying infrastructures and networks as “Y2K certified”. All the crazy talk that Jack and Rexella said about Y2K was forgotten by the viewers as he switched to his next date: “The dire warnings in this emergency video are gleaned exclusively from secular experts in over 300 reports. The facts: No event in history has connected mankind to one common adversary until now. The millennial bug jeopardizes our way of life in ways never imagined” (The 2000 Time Bomb, video).
- “I was going to make this video next year, around February, March. But the Holy Spirit awakened me a few months ago and warned me as to what was coming and that I should warn you. And I’ll tell you, this is perhaps the most important video you’ll ever receive concerning your own survival and what to do to prepare for what’s coming” (Jack Van Impe Presents, September 28, 1998).
- Although Nostradamus was a pagan cultic non-Christian mystic, Van Impe makes this incredible statement: “Now, Nostradamus said that the king of terror would appear November of 1999. I believe Nostradamus knew his bible and knew what the six-day theory was, and so he could put it all together” (Jack Van Impe Presents, October 5, 1998).
- World War III in 2012 AD??? Currently however, Van Impe has been having a cerebral meltdown over the Muslim uprising starting in the Egypt and the other Arab nations as proof the end is so near! With the failure of his 2000 AD predictions that the “Holy Spirit showed him”, the Muslim uprising is profitable. His latest date teasing video that makes him millions of dollars, is for World War III in 2012 AD. Yawn.
- Jack Van Impe’s current Israel invasion prophecy chart VIEW
- Grant Jeffreys: Another date teaser who teaches pre-tribulation rapture theology. “After thirty years of careful Bible study, I am convinced that the overwhelming evidence concerning the fulfillment of these predictions in our generation points to the return of Jesus Christ in our lifetime.” (Armageddon – Appointment With Destiny, Grant Jefferys, ch 15)
- Ronald Weinland travelled to Jerusalem on April 17, 2008. He announced that he and his wife were the two witnesses of Revelation. Ronald Weinland, who wrote “2008 – God’s Final Witness”, is a leader in the “Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom of God” (CGPFK) an Armstrong splinter group. Weinland rejects Rapture doctrine and believes instead that all the saint of the world will flee to modern Petra Jordan, as a place of safety supposedly prophesied in Revelation 12:6. When his prophecies failed, he revised his timeline he stated Christ’s will now return on May 27, 2012 and that the tribulation began on September 20, 2009. Today, Weinland calls himself an apostle a prophet, the “Elijah who is to come” and one of the two witnesses of Revelation… his wife being the other witness. Weinland said before the 2008 date failed: “If it doesn’t come to pass…starting in April, 2008, then I’m nothing but a false prophet … (Ronald Weinland, 2008 – God’s Final Witness, Church of God) No surprise he never denounce himself as an agent of satan. Instead he reinterpreted his predictions, much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses did in 1914 and says he got it right after all. Currently he predicts the second coming on May 27, 2012. Here is Weinland’s current end of the world chart: VIEW
- Harold Camping: 55 Radio stations with headquarters in Texas. He wrote a book claiming 1994 was the end of the world. When that failed he again wrote a second book that the Rapture would take place on May 21, 2011. He enlisted the power of his 55 radio stations and purchased over 2000 full size bulletin boards across the USA. Harold Camping’s slogan, “THE BIBLE GUARENTEES IT: MAY 21, 2011” has made a mockery of Christ and the Bible. Camping has said, “The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong. The scriptural evidence needed to know the exact day could not be known before 1988, the year the ‘Church age’ ended. The Bible indicates prior to this year that date could not be known.” “The discovery of this information [by Camping after his 1994 prediction failed] built the foundation for what God would later reveal from the Bible as the date for the end. Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 is the culmination of five decades of intensive biblical study by Mr. Camping and other bible teachers who have discovered the same biblical data.” “Creation: 11,013 BC. Flood: 5011 BC. The end: May 21, 2011. The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming & specific to be wrong.” Camping uses his “new light” “latter rain” theology to justify his previous prediction of 1994 failing. Incredibly Camping says: “In the nineteen years since “1994?” was written, the biblical evidence for 2011 has greatly solidified. Today there is no longer any question, May 21, 2011 is the day in which Jesus Christ will return. What proof is there for the date of May 21, 2011? The date May 21, 2011 was derived solely from evidence found in the Bible. Mr. Camping saw God had placed, in Scripture, many important signs and proofs. These proofs alert believers that May 21st of 2011 is the date Christ will return for His people and begin a period of the final destruction of the world.” Here is the main page on Camping
- “In 1992, Harold Camping published the book 1994? Like Miller, he rejected the historic understanding of Daniel 8. The prophecy clearly describes the rise of the kingdom of Greece under Alexander the Great and the division of his empire among four successors. But instead of seeing the prophecy as fulfilled then, Camping transported its fulfillment to our own day.
- Like the Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Camping he focused on the “hidden” meanings of texts, seeing pointers toward 1994 in the number of swine drowned in the Sea of Galilee and in the number of servants in Abraham’s house. Camping introduced 1994? with the following statement: “No book ever written is as audacious or bold as one that claims to predict the timing of the end of the world, and that is precisely what this book presumes to do.” No matter how audacious or bold, it was wrong.
iii. September 6, 1994, came and went. Camping seemed to back away from his false prophecy, but he has now decided that he was right all along. It was too bitter a pill to swallow to be wrong. Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he says that 1994 wasn’t the wrong date. We just have to add seven years to it!
- Like Russell, he is now telling Christians to leave their churches. All the churches are apostate. You should no longer trust your pastors and elders. You should abandon them and turn to the true channel of God’s Word, Family Radio. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should simply fellowship together and await word from Oakland. In these new fellowships, there is to be no discipline, no baptism, no communion, and no authority apart from Family Radio’s interpretation of the Bible. Mr. Camping rejects 1 Corinthians 11:26, which says that we are to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes through the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper.
- Harold Camping may not be the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society, but he builds on the same wrongheaded interpretations of Scripture, the same date-setting, the same recalculations, the same accusations of universal apostasy, and the same claim to be the last true channel of God’s Word. Despite the differences, both are heretical and schismatic, tearing apart Christ’s church.
- Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mr. Camping accuses anyone who disagrees with him of not really believing the Bible. He accuses them of making an idol of their church. The true idol here is Mr. Camping. Will Christians read the Bible for themselves and search the Scriptures to know if these things are true, or will they blindly follow Mr. Camping into yet another false prophecy? And what will be the result for them if they do?” (Jason Wallace, New Horizons, February 2002)
vii. Now Camping has set a new date of May 21, 2011 after 1994 failed.
- Darby’s Rapture theology has infected almost every conservative protestant church among the general membership. One clear exception is the Churches of Christ, who rejected it as a non-Biblical doctrine and have denounced it openly from the pulpit as a man-made doctrine.
Vain attempts to find Rapture in the church fathers and early Christians:
- Any attempt to find the Rapture theology in the historical writings of the church fathers or apologists if vain and futile. No church before 1830 AD taught the rapture, much less the early church. A simple reading of supposed examples of rapture in the church Fathers, shows no such thing. The claim is made, but if you read the original text, it says nothing of the rapture.
- Apostolic fathers believed that the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled in the first century in Jesus Christ and did not look for a future fulfillment: Fulfillment of the 70 Weeks of Daniel 9
- Apostolic fathers believed in the complete fulfillment of Mt 24 and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
- Apostolic fathers and Early Christians on Revelation prophecies already fulfilled
Pseudo-Ephraem says Christians escape tribulation by death not rapture:
Overview of Pseudo-Ephraem:
- Here is the full text of both the Latin and Syraic versions of Pseudo-Ephraem.
- As you will see, Pseudo-Ephraem teaches that Christians escape tribulation by death not rapture!
- Rapture advocates use “Pseudo-Ephraem” as an example of rapture doctrine that was believed and taught in 375 AD. Such a use of Pseudo-Ephraem is wrong, unscholarly and desperate. But this desperation is because Pseudo-Ephraem is the only example they can find before 1830 of Rapture doctrine. Of course, Pseudo-Ephraem DOES NOT teach rapture or anything even close to it.
- The purpose of this section of the outline is to refute the claim by those who believe the rapture doctrine was taught before John Nelson Darby (born 18 November 1800, died 29 April 1882) who is singlehandedly responsible for influencing all the cults 19th century cults with their rapture theology and endless date setting that persists even to the present day.
- Pseudo-Ephraem is a forgery: There was a Christian named Ephrem or Ephraim who died in 373 AD. Pseudo-Ephraem is an 8th century or later pseudepigrapha falsely claiming to be written by the real Ephrem or Ephraim who had been dead for 400 years.
- There are several texts of Pseudo-Ephraem but the two most important texts are the Syriac and the Latin texts. These two texts are almost as different in content as they are in the language they were written.
- The Syriac text of Pseudo-Ephraem describes the Islamic invasion so this text cannot be earlier than about 700 AD: “The progeny of Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah; Who hold fast to the covenant with Abraham, The husband of Sarah and Hagar. Set in motion, he (Ishmael) comes in the name of the ram, The herald of the Son of Destruction. (Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- The Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem quotes and relies upon the Pseudo-Methodius which also heavily documents the Islamic invasion that started in 622 AD. So here we have one pseudepigrapha (Pseudo-Ephraem) that relies upon another pseudepigrapha (Pseudo-Methodius) apocalypse Methodius of Olympus who died in 311 AD. In other words, one fraud is quoting from another.
The Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem does not teach Rapture theology since the saints suffer and die during the tribulation:
- “Nation will rise up against nation, And kingdom against kingdom. Lawlessness will be sovereign on earth And the defiled will pursue after the saints. People will openly apostatize And augment the left side; The righteous ones will suffer indignities From those who belong to the side of the sinners.” (Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- Here we have death as an escape for the persecution, saints suffering and the devil on earth with Christians during tribulation. “Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! But as for us, woe is us! For when we die, Vultures will serve as escort for us!’ And if the days of that time were not shortened, The elect would never survive The calamities and afflictions. For Our Lord revealed (and) disclosed to us In his Gospel when He said: ‘Those days will be shortened For the sake of the elect and the saints.’ And when he has harassed the whole of creation [including Christians], (When) the Son of Destruction (has bent it) to his will, Enoch and Elijah will be sent That they might persuade the Evil One. With a gentle question The saints will come before him, In order to expose the Son of Destruction Before the assemblies surrounding him: ‘If you are indeed God, Tell us what we ask of you: Where is the place that you have hidden The elders Elijah and Enoch?’ The Evil One will respond and say To the saints at that time….” (Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- Christians are killed by the devil during the tribulation: “Then the Evil One will become enraged With the saints at that time; He will draw his terrible sword And sever the necks of the righteous ones.” (Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- Pseudo-Ephraem concludes with the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked at the same time just like the standard doctrine of the second coming that has been taught for 2000 years. “The good will go forth into the Kingdom, And the bad will remain in Gehenna; The righteous will fly up to the height, And the sinners will burn in fire.” (Syraic text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
The Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem does not teach Rapture theology since the saints suffer and die during the tribulation:
- “In those days [during the tribulation] people shall not be buried, neither Christian, nor heretic, neither Jew, nor pagan, because of fear and dread there is not one who buries them; because all people, while they are fleeing, ignore them.” (Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- “Then, when this inevitability has overwhelmed all people, just and unjust, the just, so that they may be found good by their Lord; and indeed the unjust, so that they may be damned forever with their author the Devil” (Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- The Latin Pseudo-Ephraem teaches the resurrection of Christians at the second coming when the devil will be destroyed, not the rapture: “Arise, O sleeping ones, arise, meet Christ, because his hour of judgment has come! Then Christ shall come and the enemy shall be thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall inherit everlasting life with the Lord forever and ever.” (Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
The Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem does not teach Rapture theology in the “prize passage”:
- This is the one sentence that Rapture advocates say teaches the rapture. In fact we learn from the Syriac text that these saints escape the tribulation by death not rapture! “For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.” (Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem)
- Pseudo-Ephraem teaches that Christians escape tribulation by death not rapture!
|Saints escape tribulation by death not rapture:|
|Latin Pseudo-Ephraem||Syraic Pseudo-Ephraem|
|“For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”||“Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions!|