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Thursday, 25 January 2018

BETHEL REDDING AGAIN: CHRISTALIGNMENT DESTINY READING CARDS!

Not satisfied with gravesucking and other abominations, Bethel Church Redding CA detestable practices have gone into overdrive as they are now endorsing Christalignment Destiny Reading Cards aka "Christian Tarot Cards".

Bethel's website praises the "ministry" of Christalignment leaders Ken and Jenny Hodge, stating: "..we have a value  for what they are seeking to accomplish..

..The Hodges are attempting to contextualize the Gospel and bring people to the realization that God is looking for them and loves them no matter where they are – just like the apostle Paul often did. In Acts 17:22-34, Paul spoke to a group of religious people who didn’t yet know God and lived in a city full of altars, idols, and various religions. In that moment, Paul referred to a single altar in their city that had an inscription to the “unknown god,” and he used this familiar object (something they understood and valued) as a starting point to connect them with the God of all creation. He wasn’t worried that they would get a wrong idea (like that God is merely one of many gods or that idols are appropriate) because he would soon be introducing them to the true God." {1}

When Paul referred to the alter with the inscription "To the unknown God", he immediately made known the gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn't undertake any occult practices or "readings", he simply preached the gospel, something that Bethel and their associates seem incapable of doing.


So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31).


From the Christalignment Website:

"Team members can be booked individually for deep consultations, healing, spiritual readings, & spirit cleansing.

We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit , as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation.

Christalignment teams are trained in destiny reading, Presence therapy, trauma recovery, entity cleansing, relationship alignment and physical healing using divine energy. Dream interpretation is done using the Hebraic method which can facilitate deep spiritual alignment.

Christalignment encounters coming from the third heaven realm bring lasting life transformation and guidance.

The team are trained as intuitive readers .."
{2}

Those churches that persist in continuing a relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation and Bill Johnson/Bethel will reap terrible consequences. (2 Peter 2:17).


ABOMINABLE PRACTICES:

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this. (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).

{1} http://www.bethel.com/about/christalignment/
{2} http://www.christalignment.org/

Monday, 22 January 2018

MOODY LEADERS SUDDENLY 'RAPTURED' ! BY DAVE MACPHERSON


      A recent scandal at rapture-promoting Moody Bible Institute in Chicago suggests that II Thess. 2:3's "falling away" means "departure from the faith" and not "departure from the earth" (that is, a pretrib rapture), as "brand"-changing Texas rustler Tommy Ice has been claiming lately in bold disagreement with his own mentor, the late Dr. John Walvoord.

     World Magazine's Feb. 3, 2018 issue began its coverage of the disgraceful events at Moody with this article by Paul Butler & Marvin Olasky entitled "Moody blues":

     "The story sounds like something out of a movie.

     "In 2017, a talk show host on the Moody Radio Network blows the whistle on the leadership of one of American evangelicalism's flagship institutions, the Moody Bible Institute (MBI). On Jan. 9, 2018, she escalates the pressure with a hard-hitting headline on her blog: 'A Luxury Suite, Questionable Loan to Officer, & Gambling: The Disturbing Truth About Leadership at MBI.' "

     The article continued:

     "Moody within hours fires her and sends a man to her house to seize her laptop - but she is on her way to Mexico, with the computer.

     "The next day, though, Moody's board of trustees meets and decides it's time for 'a new season of leadership.' President Paul Nyquist and COO Steve Mogck resign. Provost Junias Venugopal retires. And whistleblower Julie Roys reports the board's action. She tells WORLD she's 'grieved over what's happened' to MBI, glad about the resignations and retirement but convinced that 'unless there are changes at the board level, the Institute will be in the exact same place 5-10 years from now.' "

     Patheos, a site focusing on various religions, summarized in a Jan. 10 piece what it viewed as "the top three items in [Roys'] original indictment":

     "Allowing professors who deny the inerrancy of Scripture to teach at the institute and write curriculum."

     "Allowing a professor who supports Planned Parenthood, liberation theology, and a host of other liberal causes to teach at the school, and even spearhead missions conferences."

     "Permitting a top education official to violate the institute's bylaws repeatedly, and openly practice reverse-discrimination."

     Although it's known that some quiet flirting with non-pretrib views can be found among MBI's educators, the same downtown Chicago school has had a mostly "pretrib or else" stance ever since Dwight L. Moody founded MBI in 1886.

     What isn't as well-known is the fact that after John Darby and Darbyist evangelists like Robert Grant (1868) and Harry Moorhouse (1877) met the one they described as "the active man at Chicago," Moody and some of his fellow pastors, although not willing to sever connections with their denominational associations, nevertheless began to accept Darby's doctrine of grace ("our stand in Christ") and his doctrine of the secret rapture ("the hope of our calling"), as Ernest Sandeen's "The Roots of Fundamentalism" reveals.

     If what I've shared so far has aroused your curiosity and given you a desire for more details on the recent explosive situation at Moody Bible Institute, I suggest you Google some sites like the following:  Christian Daily Reporter; Christian News Network; Christian Post; and Pulpit and Pen.

     Of course the Facebook page of the "lioness" herself (Julie Roys) and her long-time blog "Up For Debate" are important sources along with the Chicago media.

     As you may recall, in recent months I've composed several Moody-flavored articles ("The Moody Erwin Lutzer" and "Jerry Jenkins: Betting on Pretrib") that have been aired on the must-read British blog "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" assembled by remarkable teacher Treena Gisborn.

     (Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the record-sales-breaking "Left Behind" books and long serving as board chairman of MBI's trustees, has just been demoted to being merely a board member - and not a few are wondering why he is still allowed to have any connection with MBI after his known craze for casino gambling - while MBI students are not allowed to gamble! - and his purchase of a nearby building so he can maintain his own swanky suite while surrounded by dirt-poor neighbors!)

     Since Jenkins has partnered with fellow millionaire Tim LaHaye and Tommy Ice, you might also like to Google "LaHaye's Temperament," "Prof. Wm. L. Craig Leaves Tim LaHaye Behind," "Pretrib Rapture Pride," "Walvoord Melts Ice," "Pretrib Was New in the 1830s" and "Paul Wilkinson: Serial Revisionist."

     As the Word warns, there's nothing hidden that shall not be revealed!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

CHARLATAN DEREK PRINCE: DEMONS AND CURSES!

Pentecostal minister Derek Prince operated in the pseudo ministry of deliverance and demonology during the late 1900's. In his vanity, Prince rejected the use of the term "demon possessed", falsely claiming that it was a mistranslation due to its implication of "ownership". He then proceeded to redefine and water-down "demoniac" to "demonize", a word that is unknown in the scriptures. Demonize comes from Medieval Latin: to be subject to the influence of demons.. from Medieval Latin daemonizāre, equivalent to Late Latin daemon demon + -izāre -ize {1} Having borrowed the spurious general category "demonize" from Medieval Latin, Prince taught that non-Christians, and also the majority of Christians are demonized.

Lie No 1: A demon cannot "possess” a non-Christian.
Lie No 2: The majority of committed Christians are "demonized" i.e. they can be indwelt by demons.
Lie No 3: Many Christians come under ancestral curses, going back hundreds or even thousands of years.

Derek Prince: "Three different Greek expressions normally used to describe the influence of demons:
1. To have an unclean/evil spirit. See Matt. 11:18; Mark 7:25; 9:17; Luke 4:33; 8:27; 13:11; John 7:20; 8:48–49, 52; 10:20–21.
2. To be in an unclean/evil spirit (Modern English—to be under the influence of) See Mark 1:23; 5:2. 3. To be demonized. KJV incorrectly translates to be “possessed with devils.” There is nothing in the Greek to support the word “possessed,” which is completely misleading. See Matt. 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36."
{2}


Prince's three classifications above are completely bogus. In particular, the Greek verb δαιμονίζομαι, English demoniac, translates: I am demon-possessed. Definition: I am possessed, am under the power of an evil-spirit or demon.{3} Prince's statement that the Greek does not support "possessed" is completely false. Not only Strong's Greek 1139, but ALL the accepted Greek dictionaries and lexicons define δαιμονίζομαι in exactly the same way:

BAGD “be possessed by a demon”

EDNT, ed. Balz & Schneider, 1:274 “be possessed by a demon”
LSJ “to be possessed by a demon”
Louw-Nida, 1:147 (§12.41) “to be possessed by a demon”
NIDNTT, ed. Brown, 1:453 “be possessed by a demon”
TDNT, ed. Kittel, 2:19 “To be possessed by a demon”
UBS Greek Dictionary “to be demon possessed” {4} 

1. To have (ἔχω) a demon as in Matthew 11:18; Mark 7:25; 9:17; Luke 4:33; 8:27; 13:11; John 7:20; 8:48–49, 52; 10:20–21.

The Greek verb in question is ἔχω = I have, hold, possess {5} 

The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have (ἔχεις) a demon! (John 8:52).

Other examples:

And the same John had (εἶχεν) his raiment of camel's hair.. (Matthew 3:4).
We have (ἔχομεν) Abraham as our father.. (Matthew 3:9).
I have (ἔχω) the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:18).

ἐκβάλλω = to expel, to drive, cast or send out. {6} 
ἐξέρχομαι: to go or come out of . {7} 

And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has (ἔχοντα) a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out (ἐκβάλωσιν), and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out (ἔξελθε) of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:17-29). 

2.
Mark 1:23; 5:2. "..a man with an unclean spirit."

And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him (ἔξελθε)!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him (ἐξῆλθεν). (Mark 1:23-26). ..And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. (Mark 5:3-5).

Notably, the demons, not the man responded to Jesus in both cases:

“What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us?( Mark 1:24)
“My name is Legion, for we are many.” (Mark 5:9).


3. ..they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons (demoniacs), those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. (Matthew 4:24). Other translations have "demon possessed".

We are not given specific details in every instance, but the context in all the examples that Prince gives is that of control/possession as in δαιμονίζομαι, demoniac.

Further weight is added to the argument against Prince's eisegesis, in that the New Testament gives no example of a Christian having been inhabited by a demon, or having a demon "cast out”. In fact such a thing is an impossibility since Christ has delivered genuine converts to Christianity from the domain of darkness and transferred them to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13). Furthermore, true believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4:4). A Christian may be tempted, deceived and harassed by a demon/demons from without, but he/she does not need to be “delivered” by some strange occult formula based on spurious translations from the Greek invented by Derek Prince!

Further Evidence:


δαιμονίζομαι; 1 aorist passive participle δαιμονισθείς; (δαίμων); to be under the power of a demon: ἄλλος κατ' ἄλλην δαιμονίζεται τυχην, Philemon 1 in Stobaeus, ecl. phys. 1, p. 196; of the insane, Plutarch, symp. 7, 5, 4, and in other later authors. In the N. T. δαιμονιζόμενοι are persons afflicted with especially severe diseases, either bodily or mental (such as paralysis, blindness, deafness, loss of speech, epilepsy, melancholy, insanity, etc.), whose bodies in the opinion of the Jews demons (see δαιμόνιον) had entered, and so held possession of them as not only to afflict them with ills, but also to dethrone the reason and take its place themselves; accordingly, the possessed were accustomed to express the mind and consciousness of the demons dwelling in them; and their cure was thought to require the expulsion of the demon — (but on this subject see B. D. American edition under the word Demoniacs and references there; Weiss, Leben Jesu, book iii., chapter 6): Matthew 4:24; Matthew 8:16, 28, 33; Matthew 9:32; Matthew 12:22; Matthew 15:22; Mark 1:32; Mark 5:15; John 10:21; δαιμονισθείς, that had been possessed by a demon (demons), Mark 5:18; Luke 8:36. They are said also to be ὀχλούμενοι ὑπό or ἀπό πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων, Luke 6:18 (T Tr WH ἐνοχλούμενοι); Acts 5:16; καταδυναστευόμενοι ὑπό τοῦ διαβόλου, i. e. by his ministers, the demons, Acts 10:38. {3}

Ancestral Curses?

Prince claimed that many Christians come under generational curses, "going back hundreds or even thousands of years". {8} This outrageous claim is completely demolished by the scriptures:

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.. (Deuteronomy 7:9 cf. Deuteronomy 5:9-10).

Those who have not accepted Jesus Christ may very well be under an ancestral curse/curses, but even if this is the case, God's mercy is such that retrospective curses are not effective for more than three or four generations, much less thousands of years! A generation in human terms typically ranges from 22 to 32 years.{9} An ancestral curse is therefore not effectual for longer than 128 years at the most (Numbers 14:18).

..for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.. (Deuteronomy 5:9 cf. Exodus 34:7).

Curses apply to those that hate God, not to Christians! Prince argued not from the scriptures, which are silent on the matter, rather he brought examples from his own subjective experience and various "words from the Lord", in order to attach believers to the various Old Testament curses laid out in Deuteronomy. The Deuteronomy curses were pronounced by the Levitical priests and were to be set up on Mount Ebal after the Israelites had entered the promised land. The future curses pronounced were the inevitable result turning away from God and breaking the law of Moses.  Moses made no reference either to residual curses left from the time the Israelites spent in slavery in Egypt, or the generation that sinned and died in the wilderness. (Numbers 32:13; Hebrews 3:17). I am referring to types and shadows in the OT (I Corinthians 10:11), i.e. Egypt is a type of sin; Pharaoh is a type of Satan. Deliverance from Egypt was complete once Israel came through the Red Sea: For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. (Exodus 14:13).

As already stated, Prince goes back thousands of years, not three or four generations. Secondly, we are speaking specifically about curses upon the Israelites, not NT believers. Thirdly, all who rely on works of the law are under a curse - this obviously excludes NT believers. (Galatians 3:10). At Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and upon the people who entered into covenant with God. (Exodus 24: 3-8). Once the Israelites entered into the covenant at Sinai, what God required was obedience. Since we are to make parallels with the Israelites as believers, then we must concede that once the Israelites came out of Egypt, ancestral curses were non existent. The New Testament identifies the problem: their hearts turned back to Egypt (Acts 7:9; cf. Deuteronomy 30:17). Similarly if we disobey the Law of Christ i.e. the New Testament commandments (John 13:34), then inevitably, there will be consequences (1 Corinthians 10:11). Notice that the key is obedience, forgetting those things that lie behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.(Philippians 3:13). When we do fail for any reason, then we need to repent. The unbiblical machinations of Derek Prince threaten to undermine faith and destroy our peace in Christ and cause us go backwards into bondage, curses, death and darkness!

Satan is in the business of sowing doubt and unbelief! God has not placed heavy burdens upon believers concerning the effect of sins committed in past generations! On the contrary! 
THE TRUTH: Anyone who has genuine faith in Jesus Christ is transformed into a new creation upon conversion: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4 cf. Isaiah 43:18; Ezekiel 36:26). If any ancestral curses did exist before we were converted, the moment we were born again they were obliterated.. we passed from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18). Believers have no remit to go digging around in the past looking for ancestral curses! Jesus Christ has blessed true believers with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3 cf. Philippians 3:13). Can a person be blessed and cursed at the same time? The flesh and the world also play their part when Christians experience problems, but ancestral curses are never given as a cause for difficulties in the New Testament. (Luke 4:18; John 8:32-36; Romans 8:2).

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (Galatians 3:13).

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)  Can those who have become righteous through Christ's obedience be under a curse?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.. (Ephesians 1:3). Can Christians be blessed and cursed at the same time?

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14)

The question of ancestral curses is completely demolished when we realise that under the new covenant Christians follow Jesus Christ and that He superseded the Law. We should understand that God calls believers to faithfully follow His Word, and that there are consequences, even curses for apostasy and disobedience
. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9). Ironically, in preaching a gospel contrary to the scriptures, Prince himself would have been under a self inflicted curse.

Prince's false teachings are aimed at seriously undermining the faith of Christians. Just as those who infiltrated the church at Galatia, pseudo "deliverance ministries" come to spy out the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into bondage.(Galatians 2:4).

Derek Prince was either a deceiver or he had no knowledge of the subject in which professed to be an "expert", as demonstrated by his inability to translate the Greek δαιμονίζομαι correctly, and his reversion to Old Testament curses which have no practical application to the new covenant. In addition, Prince's "heavy shepherding" fiasco really does highlight that he was operating in the flesh and not in the Spirit. This despicable false teacher caused devastating problems in the lives of many believers throughout his alleged "ministry". Tragically, Derek Prince Ministries continues to distribute his false teachings and trains missionaries, church leaders, and congregations through the outreaches of more than thirty DPM offices around the world. {10} Beware of these lethal false teachings. {11}

We can finally put to bed any idea that Derek Prince was a genuine bible teacher when we discover his early betrayal and his involvement with the Vatican:

Early Betrayal: In 1974 the founders of the Shepherding Movement aka the Fort Lauderdale Five (FL5) formed a secret council and an ecumenical alliance. In 1977 the FL5 secretly met Cardinal Suenens in Israel where they made a joint covert declaration to work together for the restoration of the unity of the Church. The council agreed to relate directly to Cardinal Suenens and to consult him before planning or implementing projects, evangelism, etc. In other words, the FL5 sold out and capitulated to Vatican control.

The General Council Minutes of The “Ft. Lauderdale” Elders makes very interesting reading! This document was obstructed and suppressed for a long time for obvious reasons: “The fuller picture is how these men wove themselves into a multi-apostasy which includes the RCC, the mother of whores.” {12}

The suggestion that ancestral curses have to be dealt with in an extrabiblical manner by some charismatic curse-buster or guru is to declare that the cross alone is deficient. 

This post was written to further enlarge upon the ongoing discussion in the comments of my original post: DEREK PRINCE FALSE TEACHER WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING!!!https://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/derek-prince-false-teacher-wolf-in.html#comments
See also: THE CURSE OF DEREK PRINCE FALSE TEACHER!!!
https://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/the-curse-of-derek-prince.html 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

REV. 3:10 - THE PRETRIB RAPTURE CLINCHER! BY DAVE MACPHERSON

     When pretrib promoters are asked for a single verse proving a pretrib rapture, they invariably bring up Rev. 3:10 with a "I gotcha" look on their face. This verse says "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
     The Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible states: "This [Rev. 3:10] is the most specific guarantee from our Lord Himself that Christian believers will not go into that seven-year Tribulation period He is about to unveil (Rev. 6-18)."
     Thomas Ice, in an article titled "Kept From The Hour," writes: "I believe that Revelation 3:10 is a verse teaching that the church is promised exemption from the seven-year tribulation period, thus supporting the pretrib rapture."
     Hal Lindsey's 1999 book (the cover of which says "Hal Lindsey...Vanished Into Thin Air...The Hope of Every Believer" - a cover that is unintentionally humorous!) has this comment about Rev. 3:10 on p. 231: "The promise of being kept from the hour...[does] fit into the pattern of a pre-Tribulation Rapture scenario."
     This escapist interpretation of Rev. 3:10 (which was never a part of any official Christian theology or organized church before 1830) can be traced, unhindered, all the way back to a 19th century British group called the Irvingites who admitted they had been influenced by young Margaret Macdonald of Scotland. In Dec. 1831 one Irvingite writer identified as "Fidus" included the following in an article in his group's journal "The Morning Watch" (pp. 260f):
     He said that after "Philadelphia" is "caught up, that which withholdeth shall have been removed; all, on pain of death, shall be obliged to receive the mark of the beast...." "...that, being translated, we may in the pavilion of God escape the desolation of the wicked one and that universal hour of trial....that as the church of Philadelphia, in preserving the word of patience, refuses to let it go; so her being preserved from the hour of trial is not her being enabled to bear it, but her being exempt from undergoing it...."
     He added that the saints are "caught up...under the second woe (Rev. 11:13)...translated before the supremacy of the man of sin...." "Thou may be translated on the morrow...."
     (Note the "pretribness" - a word I coined - as well as imminence in Edward Irving's group, the first group to publicly teach what even John Darby admitted later on was then a "new" view that had never been known before! Mountains of details on the earliest pretrib rapture development of the 1830s, curiously found in no other work examining the start of pretribism, are found in my book "The Rapture Plot.")
     Was Darby correct? Let's see how the greatest Greek NT scholars of the past had interpreted Rev. 3:10.
     John Wycliffe: "Wherefore let us pray to God that he keep us in the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii."
     Matthew Henry: "Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Rev. 3:10]."
     John Newton: " 'Fear not temptation's fiery day, for I will be thy strength and stay, Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour [Rev. 3:10] will soon be past.' "
     Albert Barnes: "...he will keep them in the future trials that shall come upon the world [Rev. 3:10]."
     R. C. Trench: "...the Philadelphian church...to be kept in temptation, not to be exempted from temptation...."
     Alexander Maclaren: "He will keep us in the midst of, and also from, the hour of temptation" [Rev. 3:10].
     J. H. Thayer: "To keep [Rev. 3:10]:...by guarding, to cause one to escape in safety out of."
     M. R. Vincent: "The preposition ['from'] implies, not a keeping from temptation, but a keeping in temptation" [Rev. 3:10].
     H. B. Swete: "The promise [of Rev. 3:10], as Bede says, is 'not indeed of your being immune from adversity, but of not being overcome by it.' "
     Theodor Zahn: "...He will preserve...at the time of the great temptation [Rev. 3:10]..."
     A. T. Robertson: "In Rev. 3:10...we seem to have the picture of general temptation with the preservation of the saints."
     R. C. H. Lenski: "...it [Philadelphia] shall be kept untouched and unharmed by the impending dangers [Rev. 3:10]."
     E. J. Goodspeed: "...I also will keep you safe in the time of testing that is going to come upon the whole world [Rev. 3:10]...."
     Emil Brunner: "The Church of Philadelphia [Rev. 3:10] receives a wonderfully comforting message: 'Because you have endured and kept faith with me therefore I will preserve you in the hour of trial.' "
     John R. W. Stott: "He would not spare them from the suffering [Rev. 3:10]; but He would uphold them in it."
     The next time you hear persons claiming that Revelation 3:10 is proof of a pretribulation rapture, feel free to share the information in this paper with them. Hopefully they will thank you even before the "hour of trial" arrives.
     (The preceding experts are just a portion of the 124 most eminent Bible scholars, from Christ to the present day, that I include in my lengthy online article entitled, fittingly, "Famous Rapture Watchers" which includes sources and pages alongside all of the quotes.) 


Thursday, 4 January 2018

THE REAL MANUEL LACUNZA BY DAVE MACPHERSON

       A few of my acquaintances, especially John Bray, have claimed that a Catholic priest named Manuel de Lacunza (using the pen name "Ben-Ezra") originated the pretribulation rapture belief and introduced it in his notable work "The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty" (1812). Well, now is the right time to tell you that I am forced to kindly disagree with the Lacunza claim. Here's why:
     Bray, in his 1982 booklet "The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching," admitted that he'd been influenced by an early 20th century pastor, Rev. Duncan McDougall of the Free Church of Scotland, who wrote the booklet "The Rapture of the Saints." McDougall, copied by Bray, was inspired by "much before" speculation in a Lacunza quote (Vol. I, p. 99) which declared that "much before" Christ's "arrival at the earth" He "will give his orders" involving a shout, the archangel's voice, and the trumpet of God (I Thess. 4:16).
     But both McDougall and Bray were evidently unaware that a few paragraphs after the "much before" quote (and in the same context), Lacunza reveals that other writers of his time commonly believe that "a few minutes will suffice----five or six" between the catching up and the touchdown at Jerusalem. Although Lacunza doesn't explain his "much before," a day----or even an hour----would be "much before" when compared with only five or six minutes.
     Lacunza speculates (Vol. II, p. 250) that the "wrath" and "commotion" of the "day of the Lord's coming" (that is, the second advent) will last at least "forty-five natural days." Bray somehow sees these days as part of "the tribulation period" and claims that in Lacunza's view the raptured saints are up in the air with Christ throughout the same 45-day period.
     Even though Lacunza places a rapture before this period, he repeatedly notes that this period is "after the entire ruin of Antichrist," "after the coming of Christ in glory and majesty," "in the age to come," etc.!
     After the meeting in the air, Lacunza even has the raptured saints back on earth during the 45 days! In Vol. II (pp. 262-3) he declares that they will immediately become Christ's messengers; he quotes Isa. 18:2: "Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled"----in other words, to "the relics of all nations which shall survive" Antichrist's reign.
     Does Lacunza teach a rapture occurring 45 days before the coming to earth, as Bray claims? Let's look at Vol. I.
     On p. 83 Lacunza refers to the book of Revelation and writes that "the nineteenth chapter speaks of the coming of the Lord in glory and majesty, which Christians with one consent do wait for." Pages 99-100: after quoting I Thess. 4:13-18 Lacunza quotes Matt. 24:30 and then comments: "If you compare this text with that of St. Paul, you shall find no other difference than this, that those who are to arise on the coming of the Lord, the apostle nameth those who are dead in Christ, who sleep in Jesus; and the Lord nameth them his elect."
     Lacunza (p. 113) again quotes I Thess. 4 and Matt. 24 in this manner: "...He shall descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive, &c. and it appears to me, that you will find St. Paul and the Gospel speaking one and the same thing: He shall send his angels and they shall gather his elect from the four winds; who can be no other than those very ones who are in Christ, who sleep in Jesus."
     For years I sent Lacunza quotes like the ones above to Bray and urged him to abandon that Catholic priest. Finally, in a letter dated Oct. 17, 1990 (still in my files), Bray wrote: "I don't even know what all Lacunza was talking about."
     (He's the same Bray who's been promoting 18th century pastor Morgan Edwards as a pretrib. But I've been telling Bray that Edwards believed that "Antichrist" was the Catholic papacy which had already been on earth for 1200 years before Edwards wrote his book! I've also told Bray that Edwards viewed the Ottoman Empire as Rev. 13's second beast----a beast that was already four centuries old in Edwards' day! It would have been impossible for Edwards to expect an event which logically should have happened centuries earlier! I covered all this in my later piece "Morgan Edwards' Rapture View.")
     Interestingly, even Tim LaHaye's 1992 book "No Fear of the Storm" (alias "Rapture Under Attack," alias "The Rapture"), p. 169, admits that "Lacunza never taught a pre-Trib Rapture!"
     If Lacunza's 1812 book contains pretrib, as McDougall and Bray have claimed, why was such doctrine unknown before 1830? It wasn't that John Darby and Edward Irving were unaware of Lacunza's work, for both discussed it in their pre-1830 writings. And it wasn't that Darby and Irving were opposed to novel ideas, for both began to embrace pretrib after it emerged in 1830.
     One final thought: why did the world have to wait until McDougall's time to hear something about Lacunza that it had never heard before?