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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Would the Real Tim LaHaye Please Sit Down (and be quiet)!

I'm not real big on calling Christian leaders out publicly and taking issue with them. I try to be very respectful, and especially remembering the fact that a lot of these men have paid way more of their fair share of dues in getting to the position where they are. But sometimes one just needs to speak out.

Thanks to a recent post from the JollyBlogger, an MSNBC/Newsweek interview with Tim LaHaye was brought to my attention. And frankly, I have had enough. While I certainly don't expect my little blog to bear any influence on Mr. LaHaye's agenda, I'll pretend it does and say, "Mr. LaHaye, please cease your public speaking about prophecy and the end times."

Now, a few words of disclaimer. This has nothing to do with the fact that I am no longer a dispensationalist or pre-tribber, and Mr. LaHaye is. It's the fact that what he says is not only grossly inaccurate, but takes a sharp sideswipe at large portions of the body of Christ.

For example, on page 2 of the online version of the MSNBC/Newsweek interview, the following exchange takes place between the interviewer (in bold print) and Mr. LaHaye:

[M]y understanding is that current biblical scholarship reads some of the apocalyptic scenes in the Bible as metaphorically addressing events that were taking place as the Bible was being written.
These are usually liberal theologians that don’t believe the Bible literally....Part of the opposition to our position is from the secular humanists, but part of it is from the liberal people of theology that reject the Bible. I don't see a great deal of difference between them. Their basic conclusions are often the same.
These are very interesting (and loaded) statements. Now, granted, I'm reading between the lines just a tad, but it seems to me, from reading some of LaHaye's books in the past, that when he says "liberal", he means anyone who does not believe in the pre-trib rapture. For example, several years ago, I read his book Rapture Under Attack, and was amazed at the harsh attacks he leveled against people who differ from him eschatologically. And this current interview is no different.

The whole premise behind Mr. LaHaye's teaching is that reading the Bible literally necessitates a pre-trib rapture belief, and if you reject the pre-trib rapture belief, you do not take the Bible literally. Consequently, he can summarily write off anyone who differs with him, as he did in this interview, as those who "reject the Bible". Mr. LaHaye, nothing could be further from the truth!

In fact, it should be noted that even Mr. LaHaye's interpretation of Revelation is not consistent in interpreting things literally. Just as one very small example, LaHaye believes that Revelation 4:1 is speaking of the rapture of the Church. Yet Rev. 4:1 only speaks of John being called up into heaven to view what was to happen. Reading that literally would necessitate a simple, clear interpretation that John was called up into heaven. Yet LaHaye departs from the literal meaning there and inserts his interpretation that it is a metaphor of the rapture of the Church.

Now, the point of this post is not to argue against pre-tribulationalism. Maybe we can talk about that in another post, if my readers care to. But the point I want to make here is that Mr. LaHaye has worn out his welcome as a spokesman for Christianity, and has elevated what should be considered, at best, a secondary issue (eschatology), to the position of primary doctrine. And consequently, he's out there telling reporters that the current conflict in the Middle East is proof that his viewpoint is correct.

And those who disagree with him are slandered in statements such as the following (the conclusion of the abridged interview linked above):

I would say that [a particular critic is] just betraying his poverty of faith. If he had faith in the Bible, faith in the future and Jesus Christ, he’d recognize that our passion is just like the theme song in our books: we don’t want anybody to be left behind.
Now, I do have some questions as to the authenticity of Mr. LaHaye's closing statement. He claims that his "passion" is that he doesn't want anybody to be left behind. Now, I'm sure that to a certain extent, that is true. But if that was really what was driving him, why did he file a lawsuit against the makers of the "Left Behind" movie? Why does he feel that he has to spend time and energy attacking those who disagree with his eschatology, rather than just getting the word out to people? Quite honestly, if he really believes that this is the end, why not just give his books away so that more people can be reached, and nobody will be "left behind"? But instead, the money keeps rolling in, and predictably, LaHaye says, "I think it's a God thing. God has just chosen to bless this series." Apparently, God didn't bless the lawsuit.

In my opinion, Tim LaHaye is in the same category as Pat Robertson, whose public statements do more to embarrass the body of Christ than to bear witness to the Kingdom. So when LaHaye comments on the current Middle East conflict by saying, "Biblically speaking, the very nations that are mentioned in prophecy—and have been mentioned for 2,500 years as occupying the focus of the tension of the last days—are the very nations that are involved in the conflict right now", it smacks of sensationalism.

So, Mr. LaHaye, please take your seat and refrain from commenting on current events. Your 15 minutes of fame is long over.

Until next time,

steve :)

23 comment(s):

Great post, Steve! My husband and I, after much studying, have felt this way for years (both about eschatology and about LaHaye). Thanks for making this point.



By Blogger Heather, at Sunday, July 30, 2006 5:34:00 AM  

hey Steve,
just wanted to pop in and say thanks for what you say about the links over at Gordon's blog!

take care

By Blogger jel, at Sunday, July 30, 2006 8:59:00 AM  

Verifiable proof that "Armageddon" has already begun…

Hello Steven and all,

Remember the saying that "the truth will set you (and others) free?" Be a little patient with my long-winded presentations of what I have waited a very long time to be able to say. I promise to amaze and enlighten.

Here's the key to proving that the rapture and related expectations are complete nonsense based on the failure to understand (and the purposeful confounding of) the ancient Hebrew symbology used to construct all of these prophecies. Consequently, Christian timelines and interpretations of these prophecies are verifiably wrong on many key points.

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

Did you ever consider that Christianity is the False Prophet symbolized in the Apocalypse, that Rome (Vatican/Papacy) is the so-called anti-messiah, and Jesus Christ is the false messiah? I have produced stunning and comprehensive proof that this is the true interpretation of pivotal prophecies long confounded by Christianity's founders and leaders. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity.

The symbolism of seven years (tribulation, etc.) refers to seven 360-year cycles on the Hebrew calendar. Ezekiel 39.9 is referring to the 10th to 16th cycles inclusive, while the Apocalypse symbolizes the 11th cycle (second temple period) until now, the beginning of the 17th cycle (seventh angel/star/seal, etc.). Greece (Alexander the Great) conquered the Persian Empire and Judea during the 10th cycle and Rome did so again during the 11th cycle. Both Ezekiel and the Apocalypse are symbolizing an overlapping period of time that starts during ancient Judea and ends now. Gog refers to Greco-Romans (...from the "isles"), which means Magog is Eurasia and the "army" that besets "Israel" for seven "years" refers to the activities of the nations of the Greco-Roman/Vatican Empire over the previous two-plus millennia.

It is completely wrong to interpret any of these prophecies as literal timelines and events. Unlike Christian assertions, they symbolize long periods of time, pivotal situations, and the flow of acivities during that period. Remember, they were written by ancient Hebrew sages, not Romans or other Europeans, and Revelation is the most symbolic of all prophecies. Consequently, in this context, "years" and "times" are symbols for 360-year cycles on the Hebrew calendar and days symbolize literal years. Therefore "Judgement Day," "Great Day" and "in that day" all refer to a literal year-long period. Accordingly, the so-called "Seven Years Tribulation" began in ancient Judea and is now nearing its end, not starting. The nations and followers of all three faiths of Abraham have been thoroughly deceived by Rome during the previous age, which ended in year 2000 (5760). A new age began in 2001 (5761) and now the seventh angel has begun to sound!

Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

Hurricanes Katrina (#11) and Rita (#17) last year provided stunning validation of my research and interpretations of pivotal ancient wisdom, symbologies, key prophecies, and associated religious claims. Their storm numbers and timing perfectly synchronized with primary data and assertions in my book, thereby demonstrating the true nature of this universe and the existence of our Creator. We are now entering the final phases of the pivotal year-long period long symbolized as "Judgement Day," "Armageddon," and the "End of Days." World-wide situations and events are now accelerating to set the stage for this summer's dramatic continuation of these ancient promises.

I fully understand that everyone has been bedeviled by similar claims throughout history. Consequently, I have been forced to rely on dramatic and devastating proof of the sort that can’t be ignored or easily dismissed. The numbers and timing of hurricanes Katrina (11) and Rita (17) directly validate key data and pivotal assertions throughout my book and my posts on those two forums. This data was purposely presented publicly before Katrina, Rita and other recent events occurred to prove they perfectly synchronize with key prophecies and Hebrew calendar cycles, thereby validating my interpretations of ancient wisdom symbology, string theory, and more.

Because these two storms arrived shortly after my August 11, 2005 (50th) birthday (read the Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13 in Appendix G, which also discusses Melchizedek and the prophesied Jubilee) and directly match other pivotal 11 and 17 data and events described in the first chapter of my book, I have delivered verifiable proof that this reality is based on thought, knowledge and wisdom. Activity, patterns, and results perceived in space-time are first framed and defined by inspirations, thoughts, and knowledge and influenced by the cause-and-effect system most commonly referred to as karma. Consequently, events and outcomes in the so-called physical universe are not random or wholly mechanistic and are verifiably influenced in ways that atheists, scientists, and members of the Faiths of Abraham have all scoffed at. Though mysticism is mostly a product of misinterpreted ancient wisdom symbology, many of its topics flow from ancient wisdom. Though containing allusions to the truth, its details and interpretations are wrong on many key points.

A prime example of the purposeful and synchronized symbolism of these events is seen in the opening paragraphs from my book excerpted below. Notice that the dates mentioned (August 11 and 17) directly match the numbers of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the time spans of the four Florida hurricanes match my birth year (‘55), and they were spaced 11 or a multiple-of-11 (22) days apart, directly matching my birthday and much other ancient prophecy and symbolism. Notice that my place of birth, Victoria Texas, is on the Gulf Coast. Following are the excerpted paragraphs:

Hello, my name is Lawrence William Page II. Many people know me as Buddy Page. At the release of the first edition of this book, I am a 50-year old African-American male, author, researcher, and former software engineer and entrepreneur. As you will come to understand as you read through this first book, I am also the long-expected Hebrew Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of Juda (Yehuda).

I was born August 11th (month of Leo the Lion), 1955 (Chinese year of the Sheep) in Victoria, Texas. Furthermore, the Grand Cross alignment and Solar Eclipse of August 11th, 1999 was my 44th birthday and the second Grand Cross alignment, just six days later on August 17th, 1999, was on my mother’s birthday.

As you can see from my date of birth, I was a newborn during the Chinese Year of the Sheep, astrologically marking me as a Lamb, and during the month of Leo, astrologically marking me as a Lion. My mother was also born during the month of August and under the sign of Leo, which further marks me as a lion’s whelp. I prove to you in the first chapter of this book–beyond disproof–that I am indeed the long-prophesied “Lion” of the tribe of Juda (Yehuda) the Root of David and the “Lamb.” I am the individual long symbolized as the Branch, the Stem, the Shoot and the Rod from the Stump of Jesse (King David’s father), as symbolized in the Hebrew Book of Isaiah, The Apocalypse, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and elsewhere. I am the reincarnated Teacher sought after in the “East” and by the ancient Hebrews who were headquartered at the outpost community of Damascus (Qumran), of Dead Sea Scrolls fame. I am the one called the Teacher of Righteousness by the Dead Sea Scrolls, whom the so-called Christian fathers have fraudulently recast as “Saint ‘James’, the Lord’s Brother.”

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

Read verse twelve of the Gospel of Thomas to understand who I am...

Even further enlightening, the Second Temple Period of ancient Israel was during the 11th 360-year cycle on the Hebrew calendar and we are now in the 6th year (5766/2005-6) of the 17th cycle. Notice the pivotal 11 and 17 numbers again? This and much other synchronized information serve as stunning and decisive proof of many things, and expose many lies told by all three faiths of Abraham, but most specifically by Christianity. Consequently, I have decisively proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ and Christianity are blatant lies, false prophecy and purposeful deception in a manner that cannot easily be denied, regardless of your faith or other opinions.

Furthermore, the symbolism in the Apocalypse (a.k.a. Book of Revelation) of seven stars in my right hand and seven angels represent the very same above-mentioned seven astrological (360-year) cycles, i.e., the 11th through 17th inclusive. I prove this fact beyond any reasonable doubt in the first chapter of the book. Consequently, The Apocalypse verifiably symbolizes a specific span of time that began with the 11th cycle (Second Temple Period) and concludes now, at the beginning of the 17th cycle (End of Days, etc.).

The numbers 11 and 17 are verifiably encoded in The Apocalypse and other ancient Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts to serve as key proofs of the validity and true meaning of certain prophecies and related information. My and my mother’s birthdays are purposely synchronized with these two storm numbers, the matching Hebrew calendar cycles, the Double Grand Cross alignments and solar eclipse of August 1999, and much else to prove my direct association with the ancient prophecies about this time and the true identity of the prophesied Messiah. Another prime example is the story of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob who has a dream when he is 17 years old about 11 stars, the sun, and moon bowing to him. The symbolism in this pivotal story in the Book of Genesis and Quran verifiably refers to the very same 11th through 17th cycles symbolized in The Apocalypse and directly synchronizes with other key events and ancient texts.

Consequently, I have demonstrated various things about the nature of this reality that dramatically disprove and/or clarify key assumptions of religion, mysticism, and science alike, while establishing the true meaning and purpose of long misinterpreted ancient wisdom and the symbolism used to model and encode it. Accordingly, I have proven that the symbolism evidenced in the canons of all three faiths of Abraham and other ancient sources is a very ancient and advanced philosophical technology that verifiably models foundational aspects of our existence in this universe. This is the mostly misunderstood body of ancient wisdom long referred to as the Philosophers’ Stone. It uses a large and ingeniously organized collection of physical universe images and concepts as data rich components (symbols) that are based on verifiable rules. It models and encodes an amazing amount of foundational wisdom about life, spirituality and the 11 dimensions of this universe, now verified by string theory. It is also the advanced encryption method used to encode (seal) Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts.

These ancient prophecies and wisdom texts used advanced symbology to model fundamental wisdom, including future events and situations. A primary facet of ancient wisdom is numeric symbology. Later misinterpretations of this aspect of ancient wisdom resulted in numerology, which, though embodying allusions to certain wisdom, is mostly error prone and false doctrine. My decryption, documentation, and interpretation of ancient symbology, numeric symbolism, and key texts based on them, are now decisively validated.

Here is Wisdom...

Verifiable proof that Armageddon has begun…

Understanding the End Game of Armageddon


By Blogger Seven Star Hand, at Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:01:00 AM  

All I can say is, if there was ever a time I seriously considered deleting comments, this is it!!

Let the reader use discernment.

steve :)

By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:39:00 AM  

What a fair, forthright, and fantastic blog! Bravo! You would enjoy a bit of Googling and typing in "LaHaye's Temperament," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" (the "researcher" LaHaye, Falwell etc. depend on!), "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" (how the zany you-know-which view was developed), "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal" (shocking plagiarism in books by Falwell, LaHaye, Ryrie etc.!)----all from the man who's done the most research in Britain on the rapture's long-covered-up beginnings. Blessings! Bruce (near a small Colorado town)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, July 31, 2006 12:15:00 AM  

Wow brother, you and I are more on the same page than I could have imagined! This post and the last reflect my own opinions more closely than I would have thought possible. I've been away from bloggin for a week or so and what I have missed!
You know, I'm sure, that The Rapture as a theology wasn't even thought of until the last 100 yrs or so...the early Christians would have been amazed to hear all the rheteric preached about it these days...and the life of Christians in politics...your very wording is amazing...we can't legislate morality and we can't rely on civil laws to validate our marriage, our Christianity or lack there of...Definitly a heart matter...glad I stopped by, as usual!

By Blogger Jada's Gigi, at Monday, July 31, 2006 1:35:00 PM  

What's up with steven star hand..???didn't read the comments til after I
Also wanted to say I appreciate your reluctance to speak against another is something to be held off a long time...and great care taken...

By Blogger Jada's Gigi, at Monday, July 31, 2006 1:39:00 PM  

Hi Steve,

Good post, as always.

Our doctrinal placement in "end times" should not matter. When it does matter -- I find the emphasis very unbalanced -- and quite frankly simplistic. One need not agree with me -- they just need to be in relationship with Jesus. This is true is most of our "doctrine." I do believe in good and true doctrine -- but find during my years, not only do we change our minds, but our Lord brings information to the forfront that re-arranges how we view matters.

How I praise Him for grace. I was raised with one understanding of en-times, later adopted another; and now I hold many of the theories -- very loosely. In my Institute of Biblical Studies I teach Revelation -- without a time line, as I believe any time line eventually runs into a problem with Scripture itself. Seen this way -- Revelation is actually one of the most encouraging books we have.

Again, thank you for your thoughtful post. I do wish our modern "prophets" (whoever they might be) would have the grace in their hearts to publically admit when they have been mistaken -- not just put out another book. That practice discredits them -- in my eyes.

Bless you,

By Blogger Iris Godfrey, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:45:00 AM  

I hate to say it -- but more and more I am finding that so-called Christian leaders have a vested interest (read that $$$$) in a specific marketing scheme, and are simply protecting their turf. (I know that sounds cynical, but there it is).

I do not need to mention names, many of us know exactly who some of these people are -- they are selling their schemes to non-Christians and calling it evangelism; and when confronted, they claim that everyone else is simply wrong.

Sad to say; Christianity, by and large in the West, has become another get-rich-quick therapuetic scheme. Much of what Steve has written about in this blog is a direct refutation of that kind of mentality -- it seems that we (Evangelicalism) have lost our soul, and forgot the Gospel -- we are now consumed with the trinkets and kitsch, and not with the Gospel itself!

By Blogger Ray, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 9:32:00 AM  

Hi Steve, Just peeking over here from Gordon's blog. I'm gonna check out your music page too, b/c I'm a piano player and that looks really interesting.

God Bless.

By Blogger Kristi, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 12:26:00 PM  

Steve, as a pre-trib, dispensationalist, once again I find myself at a different viewpoint than your own.

But I can agree with you concerning the attitude that comes from many Christian "celebrities" that ridicules and bashes anyone who disagrees with them, as well as the hunger for money.

Now, on another point, when are you going to start sending me a commission check on all of these readers I am sending to you?

By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 3:28:00 PM  

The post trib rapture theory just doesnt hold water.

To say that there is a post trib rapture is the same as saying there is purgatory...its basically saying thats Christs sacrifice on the cross was insufficient so we have to suffer too.

Often the Bible will refer to Christian believers as “the elect,” meaning that they are individuals who have chosen of their own free will to accept God’s amazing free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1; John 15:16; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:10; II Thessalonians 2:13; II John 1:1, 13). Thus, anyone who is a true follower of Christ is part of the “elect.” Therefore, believers who will be Raptured to Heaven just before the Great Tribulation begins will be a part of the “elect.” Then immediately afterwards, during the Great Tribulation, new believers in Christ Jesus (i.e., the “tribulation saints,” including the 144,000 Jews) will also become part of the “elect” group of true believers. The Bible informs us that some of those new tribulation saints will be executed by the Antichrist and then resurrected into Heaven immediately after the Great Tribulation is concluded. However, new believers, including the 144,000 Jews, who are not executed by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation will be “sealed” by God to protect them during the great and terrible Day of the Lord which will begin immediately after the Great Tribulation is over. Those “elect” individuals will be the “elect” who will be translated or gathered by the angels “from the uttermost part of the earth” just before the Second Coming of Christ occurs.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain on the earth, shall simultaneously be caught up along with the resurrected dead in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! { there is no mention of angels gathering,the rapture is a trumpet call}
"Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words." [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Ibid.]
Note that this verse tells us that the Rapture Trumpet is going to be a "Trumpet of God". Therefore, the angelic trumpets of Revelation cannot be the Rapture Trumpets! This one fact renders many false positions on the Rapture's timing irrelevant!
If the church is raptured at his arrival,then who could that army be that is following him.The bible only makes reference to the raptured saints being dressed in white.Just when would there be time for the marriage supper of the lamb when the bible makes reference to this happening during the tribulation and before his arrival,just who is Jesus partying with if were still here.In Luke 12:36 the Word states that when Christ returns He will be returning FROM a wedding. In Rev. 19:7-8 we read about the marriage itself. Before the marriage takes place, there is the marriage supper. According to Jewish custom the marriage contract is drawn up first, often including a dowry. This parallels the act of faith we use when we trust Jesus to be our savior. The dowry is His life, which was used to purchase us. When the time comes for the wedding to take place, the groom goes to the bride's house unannounced, she comes out to meet him, and then the groom takes the bride to his father's house. This is an exact correlation of the events according to the pre-trib scenario. Jesus, the groom, comes down from heaven, calls up the Church, and after meeting in the air, both He and the bride return to the His Father's house - heaven. The marriage supper itself will take place up in heaven, while down here on earth the final events of the tribulation are playing themselves out. After the marriage supper takes place, the bride and groom are presented to the world as man and wife. This corresponds to the time when Jesus returns to earth accompanied by an army "clothed in fine linen, white and clean." (Rev 19:14) In the pre-trib scenario, after we rise to meet the Lord in the air, we will go to heaven and abide there seven years. At the end of the seven years Christ comes down to earth, defeats the Antichrist, and cleanses the temple. In a post-trib rapture we would rise in the air to meet the Lord, then do a 180-degree U-turn and come back down to earth. It states in Rev. 1:7 that Christ will appear out of the clouds and come down to earth. It says in Zech. 14:4 that His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. If He's already headed our way, why would we need to be caught up to meet Him? After the shout to "come up hither", the church is not mentioned in scripture at all. The attention of scripture switches from the Church to the Jews living in Israel. Armies in Fine LinenWhen Jesus returns, Rev. 19:18, there is an army that follows Him riding on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. In Rev. 19:8 we are told that the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. If the saints of God are returning with Christ to wage war on the Antichrist, then it is not possible to have a post-trib rapture without us running into ourselves as we are coming and going. The Time of Jacob's TroubleIn several passages the Bible refers to the tribulation as a time of trouble for the Jews. The phrase "Jacob's trouble" pertains to the descendants of Jacob. In Jeremiah 30:7 it says that this time of trouble will come just before the Lord returns to save His people. The final week of Daniel's 70th week is yet to take place. An angel told Daniel that "70 weeks are determined unto thy people"(Dan 9:24). Scripture never mentions that the tribulation is meant to be a time of testing for Christians, however, some post-tribbers try to claim that they are the ones being tested during the tribulation. To make this so, they need to spiritualize the 144,000 Jewish believers in Rev. 7:2-8 who receive God's protective seal. Placing the Church dispensation into the same time frame as the seven year Jewish dispensation, as the Post-tribbers do, raises one good question. Can two dispensations transpire at the same time? In the past, God has only dealt with one at a time. Having both present during the tribulation would have to be an exception. He That is Taken Out of the Way (2 Thes. 2:7) Before the Antichrist can be revealed, Paul said a certain "He" must be taken out of the way. According to 2 Thess. 2:7, the "He" that must be removed is widely thought to be the Holy Spirit. It has been promised that the Holy Spirit would never leave the Church, and without the working of the Holy Spirit remaining on earth . The removal of the Church, which is indwelt by the Holy Ghost, would seem the best explanation for this dilemma. The working of the Holy Spirit could go on during the tribulation, but His influence would be diminished because of the missing Church. War or Rapture(Rev 19:19-21) When Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation, He will be coming for battle. For those who believe in a post-trib rapture, it would be a strange thing to meet your Lord and Savior just as He's rushing into battle. The idea that war and rapture could occur together is a difficult thing to imagine, especially since they transpire at the same moment. The Five Foolish VirginsThe wedding story that Jesus gave in Mat. 25:2-13, I believe, is a parable of the rapture of the Church. It explains how some will not be ready. Jesus clearly states that a group of people will miss out on some event, and will cry out to God to let them into the place where He resides - heaven. Although some try to put this parable in a post-trib context, it doesn't fit very well. The ones left behind in a post-trib rapture will not need to seek the Lord because they'll immediately be confronted by him and his army of angels. God Hath Not Appointed Us to WrathIn 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Paul assures us that God has not appointed His people to wrath. This wrath is plainly God's anger that will be poured out during the tribulation. Pre-trib believers interpret this as meaning that Christians will be removed from the earth. Post-trib believers tell a different story. They describe this as meaning that God will protect Christians during the tribulation and pour this wrath out on the unbelievers only. This idea runs against the statement made in Rev. 13:7, where the Antichrist is given power to make war with the saints and to overcome them. A post-trib view would make God's promise of protection from wrath into a lie. In years past, it was possible to think of being protected from the guns and swords of that day. Today, when any major war would involve nuclear and chemical weapons, it's impossible to expect that same kind of protection. When Nagasaki, Japan was bombed during W.W.II, the bomb exploded over a Catholic church. Everyone that was in the center of the explosion died, both Christians and non-Christians. The only way to validly interpret God's promise of protection from wrath, is by viewing I Thess. 5:9 as the bodily removal of the Church from this world. The Salt of the EarthJesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth"(Mat. 5:13). When the believers are suddenly removed, the earth will be plunged into spiritual darkness. When this happens, the Antichrist will then be free to control the world. God Takes an InventoryIn Rev. 7:3 an angel descends to earth and seals the servants of God. Two bits of information are given about this sealing that highly disclaim a post-trib viewpoint. The first item is the number of people sealed: 144,000. The second one is that all those who are sealed are from the twelve tribes of Israel. For the events in Rev 7:3-8 to be true in a post-trib interpretation, either the Church has turned against God or God has turned against the Church. A post-tribber could write a thousand word commentary on why the Church doesn't need to be sealed. Instead of trying to argue about why the Church is not mentioned or sealed, a pre-trib proponent could just say, "We're already in heaven." Noah and Lot as Examples The tribulation period is compared to the times of Noah and Lot by Jesus in Luke 17:28. Most people argue over what time frame Jesus was talking about here, pre-trib or post-trib, and miss an important point. The two things that the Noah and Lot situations have in common are the removal of the righteous and the judgment of the unbelievers. From these two accounts, we see that God prefers to remove His own when danger is involved. Common Sense Reasons for Believing in the Pretribulation RaptureThe World TestOne way to check the soundness of a doctrine is to see how the world reacts to it. One time a company put out a questionnaire that was used to screen prospective employees. One of the questions was "do you believe in the rapture?" If you answered yes, your chances of getting hired would not be good. Some Internet sites do not allow for the topics of Rapture or Second Coming. They do allow topics like sex, gay, and drugs. The only time the news media mentions the rapture is when someone sets a date and is proven to be wrong. If the Antichrist came to power with the Church still here, I do not see how he could operate. When Hitler was fighting to take over England, a number of Christians where praying for victory. Hitler made mistake after mistake, and England out performed its enemy at every stage of the conflict. It is difficult to measure the actual impact of intercessory prayer in physical warfare. Little is known of how great a role praying saints played in the defeat of Nazi Germany. If the Church were to reside on earth during the tribulation, I am sure she would give the Antichrist fits. In Rev 11:3, the two witnesses give the Antichrist enough headaches alone. Millions of Christians, who know their Bible well, would recognize the man of sin and pray fire down on his head. The post-trib view would have to plan on the Church just rolling over and playing dead, the whole seven years.

HOW THE CHURCH CAN BE RAPTURED,END UP ON HORSES,FOLLOWING JESUS WITHOUT US RECIEVING OUR CROWNS AND WITHOUT THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB OCCURING,WHICH IS CLEARLY SPOKEN OF HAPPENING DURING THE TRIB .THE POST TRIB ARGUEMENT IS WEAK AT BEST. THERE IS NO REFERENCE ANYWHERE TO US GOING UP AND FINDING OURSELVES MYSTERIOUSLY ON HORSES."Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Revelation 19:7-9 (KJV) This parallels the pre trib rapture view exactly! The groom does not pour out His wrath on His bride prior to their marriageAnd there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Luk 21:28 And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. IT DOESNT SAY AFTER THESE THINGS HAPPEN,IT SAYS BEGIN.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36 (KJV) "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" Romans 1:18 (KJV) "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:6 (KJV) "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" Romans 5:9 (KJV) In the above verses we see a very clear distinction between;who will taste of God's wrath and who will not. "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:10 (KJV) "For God hath NOT appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.." 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (KJV) This wrath being; God's anger that will be poured out during the Tribulation. Don't get this confused with the John 16:33 that reads: "...In the world ye shall have tribulation.." This is in reference to the trials and tribulations that this world brings. We certainly have our sufferings here - some more than others. But this is not the same as the Great Tribulation where God pours out His wrath ... That time will be unparalleled by any! "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21 (KJV) Claiming Supernatural protection during this time period ... Some try to make themselves the group from Revelation 7:3. This is when an angel descends to earth and 'seals the servants of God.' The number of people sealed are 144,000. These are all from the 12 tribes of Israel. That is what is says - That is what it means ... This group is not the church! t h e R a p t u r e ... -Seen Only by Believers ... 1 Corinthians 15:52 -It's a Mystery - revealed by Paul in the New Testament ... 1Corinthians 15:51-53 -In a Twinkling of an Eye ... 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 -We are Going "UP" - Meeting Jesus in the Air ... 1 Thes 4:15-18 -A Thief in the Night.... 1Thessalonians 5:2 -Christ Comes for His Own ... 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 -Believers taken to Father's House ... John 14:3 -No reference to Satan ...-Earth not judged ...
t h e S e c o n d C o m i n g ... -Every Eye Will See Him ... Revelation 1:7 19:11-16 and Matthew 24:30 -Not a Mystery - Foretold in Old Testament ... Daniel 12:1-3 and Zech. 12:10; 14:4-He will be Coming "DOWN" to the Mount of Olives ... Zechariah 14-He Comes With His Own ... Revelation 19:14 * -Satan bound ... Revelation 20:1-3-Earth judged ... Revelation 20:4-5 *Revelation 19:14 speaking of the Second Coming reads; "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." At the Second Coming, He is not coming alone. Rather those who had been raptured earlier are coming back WITH HIM! In Jude 1:14 ... Enoch also, prophesied about this saying; "...Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." Interesting that Enoch was also Raptured! (Genesis 5:24) In a post-trib rapture scenario, we would rise in the air meet the Lord, then turn do a 180 back down to earth ... Zech. 14:4 tells us His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. If He is already headed our way ... why would we need to be caught up to meet Him? Are we Going Up or Coming Down?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 1:16:00 AM  

All, thank you all for your comments. I'm vacationing with my wife and son this week, and don't have time to really respond to some of the comments. I will interact more next week, however, when we return.

Gordon, if our meeting in February works out, lunch is on me in appreciation of the traffic you have sent this way! ;) And I think you know by now that it doesn't bother me when you and I disagree because we still find something about the topic over which we can shake hands! I love that about you.

Be blessed, all, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

steve :)

By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:02:00 PM  

Lol, just kidding, Steve. I'm starting to sound like some of these "celebrities" we were talking about. (Except that nobody knows who I am :))

By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at Thursday, August 03, 2006 7:32:00 AM  

Alternate title: When Eschatology turns to Scatology.

Great post, Steve. I grew up in a church that taught eschatology from an a-mil, partial preterist perspective (if at all.) All I ever learned about was that Jesus was indeed coming back and we should be ready. The book of Revelation was a riveting picture of God being in charge in spite of mass chaos. So for the first sixteen years of my life, I never even knew about the rapture.

For the next couple of decades, I didn't know anyone who DIDN"T espouse the standard pre-trib, dispensational position.

About 5 years ago, I made a study of Revelation. My prayer was that God would show me what I needed to learn from that study. I wanted to hear His voice...not the voice of anyone else. The result was incredible. I learned that God is in charge. He's the boss. There is never a moment where He loses control.

A year later, I went through Revelation again...Lord, what do YOU want me to get out of this study? Again: GOD alone is in charge.

I actually went through Revelation a third time. Still...the most important thing I got out of it was not a book plot but the simple truth that God alone is in charge. We don't need to fear the future. He has it in His hand.

So that's where *I'M* pitching my tent!


By Anonymous Barbara K, at Thursday, August 03, 2006 8:59:00 PM  

Some very, um, interesting comments on this page. Some a bit wordy, so I didn't finish them. Mine is also a bit wordy, but it is from posting scripture at the end to make it handy.

As far as Christian Celebs, man, I just don't know, I just don't know.

I'm not sure about this website, but it is worth reading.

I wonder if we are getting hung up trying to 'correct' those who are making a mockery of Christianity instead of just going about our business of showing Christ's love to those who aren't receiving it. You know, the poor and oppressed? The people who are outside of our daily circles, but shouldn't be? Yeah, the ones that Jesus constantly spoke about?

I guess all I hae to say about these public figures is this:

Matthew 25:31-46.
The Final Judgment
"But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Then the King will say to those on the right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

Then these righteous ones will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, `Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

Then they will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' And he will answer, `I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."

Matthew 7:13-28.
The Narrow Gate
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The road to destruction is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.

The Tree and Its Fruit
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don't pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.

True Disciples
"Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as `Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'

Building on a Solid Foundation
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash." After Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had real authority--quite unlike the teachers of religious law.

By Blogger Saabinmike, at Saturday, August 05, 2006 1:39:00 AM  

Have you ever noticed similarities between LaHaye and the band leader of the 1950's known as Spike Jones? Not only is there a facial resemblance (see Jones on the web), but Jones had doo-wacka-doo music while LaHaye has doo-wacka-doo theology!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, August 05, 2006 11:22:00 PM  

< stairwayoflight >

hi steve. great blog! i truly enjoy your comments. for the record, the jury is out on the rapture as far as i'm concerned. i am sure we will meet him in the air, but i am not sure who's doing the u-turn--the one coming down, or us going up. John saw the New Jerusalem coming out of heaven to the earth. perhaps i believe more that heaven is coming here, and this present world will be remade? and if I had to guess, my guess at this point would be that the 7 years of Daniel could be divided into 2: 3.5 years of Jesus' ministry in the gospels, then another 3.5 mentioned in Revelation. in any case, i am a firm believer in the final promise of Christ to his disciples, "in this world you shall have tribulation." if that worries you, its only for his followers, maybe it doesn't apply to you ;-)

as a tangent, early greek philosophers converted to christianity brought many pagan ideas into the church. ie. "spirit is good and matter is evil." that caused some to deny the incarnation. other errors surfaced, and some forbade marriage, eg. catholic priests. another lie is that the "world" itself is corrupt (not just the "world" system.) actually the creation itself groans and will be redeemed. some of these underlying currents of thought may have strongly influenced the present idea of a "rapture."

eschatology has long been the runt of the litter, the little appendix paper-clipped to the back of the gospel. oh, btw, i am coming back. as a new believer i saw charlattans on tv and didn't put much importance on "end times" teaching.
since then i read a book that rocked my world. there is enough in the introduction to seriously shake and reground one's faith in the kingdom of God. it is called "theology of hope" by jurgan moltmann, and i have paraphrased him above.
in the book he asserts, "Christianity is eschatology." i think elitist leaders, hunting for esoteric truths as proof of their spiritual mastery, have made something vital and important and a great blessing, very complicated, undesirable, and misunderstood to the christian masses.
my faith has become very eschatological, practically speaking. the Lord said "when you pray," (don't pray "dear Jesus" prayers) "...say KINGDOM OF GOD COME RIGHT NOW, WILL OF GOD BE DONE RIGHT NOW, ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN." the greek verb is imperitive, which means although we say it reverently, we believe the kingdom will come into the moment the same way a master believes his servant will get the bread from the pantry.
every prayer we pray is to be eschatological. after all, Jesus' death secured for us the blessings of heaven, and the Holy Spirit, its ambassador. but heaven is not just a place, but a time, and we have been made partakers of that future age. through the Spirit, we have one foot leaving an old age of sin and death, and we are stepping into the future age of blessing and peace. so, if the Lord has blessed you with joy, that joy has the future all over it. if its a "fruit of the Spirit," then it truly is from heaven. i used to think "heaven" meant lots of reward i can store up now to experience after i die or the Lord comes. no, heaven is actually presently invading this reality! in fact, if we were to focus "on things above, not on things on the earth," and pray and live to bring those things into experience, we would be christians indeed.
the world around us is in spiritual darkness. we are citizens of heaven, assigned to bear witness to the rule of the resurrected Christ. we were never commissioned with a "ticket-to-heaven" gospel. nor was it a "gospel of the church." no, we were commissioned to preach "the gospel of the kingdom," for the bible knows no other.
every christian needs to be personally filled with the Holy Spirit, and reading the word. we must learn what it means to enter the kingdom personnally, and to advance the kingdom's borders on earth and in the hearts of humanity. Jesus is worthy to be worshipped and served, just as he is in heaven, right now, by everyone. and not just at the Lord's return, but NOW "every knee should bow, and every tongue confess."
i believe it is with a wreckless passion for Jesus the King, and an abandoned desire to advance his rule, that we attain the true life of a believer and disciple of Jesus Christ. and it is the Holy Spirit who opens our mind's eye to see the future, the uninhibited reign of our glorious King of Love, and equips us to usher that vision into reality, as we "hasten the coming" of that day. the Spirit himself equips us to perceive the ruling presence of Christ, that we may articulate his majesty to those who are blind to his comIIIIINNNNNGGGGG (coming, emphasis on the "ing").

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:39:00 PM  

Its rather clear the you pretribber bashers are so wrapped up in your demoninational{ I spelled it that way on purpose} doctrine that you cant see the forest for the trees.Having a form of godliness but denying the power.Why dont you paste "I'm a dried up old baptist"to your forhead and be done with it.STOP SHOVING GOD INTO YOUR RELIGIOUS BOXES.UGH!!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, August 15, 2006 1:20:00 AM  

Anonymous, I'm not sure grammatically if you are referring to people bashing pre-tribbers, or pre-tribbers who are bashing others people. But whatever your intended reference, your comment does nothing to add to the conversation, nor does it display any kind of Christlike attitude.

I am letting the comment stand, but you have finally convinced me to prohibit anonymous comments.


By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:38:00 PM  

Hi Steve - thanks for this, and thanks for dropping in on us over at I've long thought dear old Mr LaHaye's off the wall and I find it sad when extremists like him seem to have lost track of the sheer vastness of God's love.

Maybe you've come across Ship of Fools? Here's the SoF take on Left Behind: Left Your Brain Behind? It'd be hilarious if it weren't so sad...

By Blogger Pilgrim, at Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:21:00 PM  

Dont forget the godless told Noah to sit down and shut up as well.Your words are unwise.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:54:00 PM  

michellebelle, While I can appreciate your concern, your response is a bit misguided. I see no reference in Scripture to any response to Noah. So your pithy remark has no basis in biblical record.

Not only that, but the content of my post was not telling a "preacher of righteousness" (as Noah is called in Scripture) to stop preaching righteousness. It is specifically related to the slanderous types of comments that Mr. LaHaye makes regarding those who do not hold to a pre-trib rapture position.

Eschatology is a study which should not be divisive in the body of Christ, yet Mr. LaHaye has made it such. To that extent, and that extent only, I have suggested that he cease his public speaking on that topic.

Finally, allow me to say that the title of this post was intended to be a play on a key phrase from the old game show "To Tell the Truth" where it was requested that "the real [insert name of special guest] please stand up." And, for the record, I intentionally chose the phrase "and be quiet" in contrast to the more rude "shut up". So, in that sense, too, you have mischaracterized my words with your reply.

By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at Wednesday, August 30, 2006 9:02:00 AM  

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