One thing is certain, who ever chooses to submit their views on the matter, needs to insure their polemic is as accurate as possible to the original intent of God’s word, or they shall find themselves going against it.
First and foremost, we have been commanded not to add to the word of God, (Deuteronomy 4:2). While we have been given direct access to God’s word, as is stated in Proverbs 30:5, that every jot and tittle is pure, many fail to render the true meaning of many of His words as we proved in our last column concerning the true meaning of the word “left” in Luke 17:34-36. There we learned the word “left” in those verses actually means to forgive rather than to abandon to suffer God’s wrath. But, as we have seen in the works of many self-proclaimed prophets throughout the centuries (but more so in these latter days), Ecclesiastes 5:7 tells us that behind their prophesies, visions, dreams and many words lay diverse vanities. Sadly, in this day and age where many profess to be prophets of God (claiming they can see Bible predictions of famine, pestilence, earthquakes, and wars unfolding by virtue of CNN reports), we can see that that the true famine is in hearing the true words of God, as we read the prediction that was made by the prophet in Amos 8:11 being more profoundly fulfilled than ever before.
Moreover (as I explained in depth the major difference in the meaning between ‘prophecy’ and ‘predictions’ on my blog dated December 28, 2009), much of the religious rhetoric we see in the eschatological marketplace has caused great confusion for those who seek to understand the true intent of God’s word.
Many well-intentioned eschatologists are genuinely convinced their polemic is correct; however the Apostle Paul also claims that some of them have a hidden agenda. He warns us that many actually practice deceit, but like Paul, we 2have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).
At the beginning of my walk with Christ (which began on January 5, 1975), until about 1983, I was an adamant supporter of the Pre-Tribulation to Heaven theory. Although I was born and raised in the Catholic Church, I stopped attending at age thirteen. Twenty years later I accepted Jesus Christ and began attending an Assemblies of God church in Montebello, California. The majority of my Bible studies training came mostly from Pentecostal preachers and teachers who, for the most part, adamantly believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine. However, after reading and studying a myriad of books on eschatological matters, and comparing their content with God’s word(s), I’m sad to say that the majority of them did not present a consistent polemic that could substantiate a discernible pattern and fluidity to build a logical understanding to the message that God intended for His creation. While many of these books presented clear and concise scripture to build on a specific doctrine at the outset, further on the authors boxed themselves into a corner, forcing them to present unsustainable scripture to prove their point, which upon closer scrutiny was not consistent with the precise meaning of the verses they quoted. Once again, like the example we presented concerning the true meaning of the word left in Luke 17:34-36, many of the author’s unclear interpretation of certain words forced the reader down the wrong path and away from the direction that scripture was unveiling when they began their dissertation.
Basically, whenever these authors made a specific comment, statement or arrived at a specific conclusion, and cited a scripture verse to validate their claim, I went to the Bible to examine the verses they used to ascertain if their proclamation was accurate. For example, Hal Lindsey, the author of the book, The Late Great Planet Earth (recognized as the preeminent author on the Rapture doctrine) made many references throughout his book that the church is a mystery which has been hidden from all ages past. Lindsey used Ephesians 3:10 and 11 as proof that “God is teaching the angels His manifold wisdom through the body of Christ, and that is in accordance with the purpose of the ages, which is made possible through Jesus our Lord. Upon closer examination of that group of verses, they plainly reveal that through the church the mystery hidden throughout the ages is the manifold wisdom of God which should be made known to the rulers and authorities by the church. Some people may not consider this aspect as important nor relevant to Lindsey’s Rapture polemic; however, millions of Christians who have read that book believe that statement and have passed it along to others who didn’t (nor would spend the time to) verify if Lindsey’s statement was accurate. It is blatant statements and claims such as these that have compounded error upon error distorting the word of God and thereby causing a greater degree of confusion to those who earnestly seek God’s truth.
As the reader will see after they read the prologue to my book, they will also understand the study approach I used to glean the information presented in both of my books. They will hopefully recognize that I tried most adamantly to remain neutral to most and any of the existing doctrines that are being promoted, and tried to view the material presented by many of the authors in an objective manner.
As the attached prologue will reveal, I removed any previous doctrinal precepts I was exposed to during the first ten years of my journey with Christ, and allowed myself no other doctrine to influence my research other than trusting solely and exactly what God’s word (as originally written in the original manuscript) revealed. I then compared that exact word and meaning with how it was used in other verses, to gain a more clear and precise understanding as to what each word clearly meant.
As the reader will see and soon realize, the myriad of doctrinal battles that exist today are based more so on hearsay, culture, tradition and the denominational subjectivism that has ensued for several hundred years in their respective churches. Rather than allowing God’s specific words to define their actual meaning, we have allowed our congregational loyalty to dictate what God is telling His children, rather than listening to God Himself. Click on The End Times Passover Prologue to read today’s attachment.