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False Prophets - False Preachers – False Hope

 

By Dan Baxley

www.yahshuaservant.com

 

 

False prophets and false teachers and usurpers of Apostleship should be easy to recognize.  Far too many, however, put the teachers and preachers at a higher level than Scripture itself.  It is by the Book, the Holy Bible that we can protect ourselves from those assuming authority that does not belong to them.  In this discussion it is not aimed at claiming everyone that does not agree with my views are false teachers, not at all.  There are many honest and devout students, teachers and scholars, and authors of works helping the searchers of the truth that do not all agree on every point with each other.  Certain works in literature and writings cannot be ignored and are wonderful aids in the study and understanding of you own Bible and the message about our Savior, YaHshua -- even though they may mistakenly use the wrong Name.

 

There is many laboring in the word that have not stumbled into this truth as yet and are sincere and faithful servants of the Word and to the Messiah the Word proclaims.  They will one day have this knowledge and the opportunity to accept it.  For now the false prophets are those seeking to change things, knowingly and unknowingly, building doctrines by the twisting of the Word.

 

Before we get started I would like to give you a base upon which to build as an example of a false doctrine and how  we can make our "judgment" concerning this teaching that is so obviously false -- a teaching, in my opinion, that is the greatest threat today of the modern Christian's future faith. 

 

The Rapture Doctrine

 

A challenge to the future of your personal faith is developing behind the false teaching of the "rapture doctrine" and its sister doctrine of the "imminent return". We must understand what the threat is, not merely those posing the threat, teaching it. We need to understand why it is so dangerous and why it is so easily accepted. Aside from the deception of worship in the false name Jesus, this doctrine is going to lead many to being the "scoffers" of the future (.

 

Evangelicals are becoming The Majority

 

If you are looking for the day "when all of the Christians mysteriously disappear" you have been reading too much Tim LaHaye, the Evangelical author and a leading teacher in the "Imminent" return doctrine and the "Rapture" doctrine, two principle teachings of the Evangelical "movement". 

 

Nearly all modern day Evangelical teachers and preachers stand with Tim LaHaye on these false teachings.  The founder of these false teachings is credited to a gentleman known as Darby, long dead. These doctrines have been revived by giants in the Evangelical circles and are firmly planted, but they are weeds and need to be rooted out.  Make no mistake, the Evangelical Christians (Movement?) is growing.  It has been reported that of the people of the USA professing Christianity, 42% claim to be Evangelical, and growing.  Some in the Protestant Churches, those having come out to the "reformation" (those daughters of Roman breaking away from their Mother Church the Roman Catholic Church) are beginning to describe themselves as Evangelical Christians also, being more spiritual, speaking in tongues, and other so called spiritual manifestations -- and this is a growing concern to the leadership of some Protestant Churches but others do embrace it -- it remains to be seen how this will ultimately pan out.

This is not to question the sincerity of the Evangelicals, but of the teachings of its teachers.  These men and women claiming to have gifts from our Creator when they do not.  Claiming to hear our Savior talking to them, when they do not.  Telling us they receive information and direction from heavenly places when they do not.  Telling the lay people of their dreams and made up stories (fiction) that are misleading and untrue (2 Pet 2:3).  These "story tellers" teaching a super doctrine of escape that is a total fabrication!  This makes them, for the most part, False Prophets.  A subtle lie told as truth mixed with truth -- sound familiar?

 

Evangelical Teachers and Their Rapture -- the False Hope

 

They have introduced the use of the term “Rapture” so thoroughly into the teachings of Christian doctrine as to replace the proper term for the true doctrine of the “Resurrection”.  Trust me, the “Rapture” doctrine is not the same as the biblical doctrine of the "Resurrection".  Trust me?  Better yet, study your Bible, listen to what it has to say, not what someone says it says, and you will see that the teaching of Christians "mysteriously disappearing" in a secret coming of our Lord is a bunch of bunk based upon a desire to "escape" the "trouble to come" when He decides to come for real, you know, when we will all see Him return (Mat 24:27, Mat 26:64).  It is a doctrine appealing to the natural desire to avoid hardship. (a link to more on the subject of Rapture, or Resurrection?)

 

Revelation Unveiled?

 

In reading Tim LaHaye’s books on prophecy, not the books of fiction he is famous for, but books on the subject of  "prophecy" like his book, "Revelation Unveiled" in which he gives the "KEY" reason for teaching the "escape" (rapture) doctrine and the false "imminent" return teaching.  The reason he gives is not a reason based on the Scripture but on a thought, an idea, something that seems right to him, a "revelation"?  So, what is this idea or reasoning, this revelation?  

 

He puts forward the fear of the Messiah coming at any moment, the prospect of the Christ coming at any second, possibly right this minute. This fear has kept thousands from sinning – filled with the "fear" the Savior and His Holy angels could show up at any moment -- you had better be ready, is the warning -- this teaching is based on fear -- fear of being caught doing something sinful when He, the Christ, arrives in His secret coming and grabs all the Christians and takes them to heaven so they don't have to suffer the "tribulation", that 'time of trouble". It is an admitted "fear" based teaching. 

 

Some call this the “Escape Doctrine”, I call it the "false hope doctrine" setting the lay members up for a huge disappointment. Forget that our brothers and sisters of the past have had to endure trials and  unimaginable tribulation, all in perfecting the saints, just as is the future Church of Laodiceans, a people suffering as they come out of the false delusion that they are spiritually rich -- they will be refined for their false notions  (Rev 3:14-16) -- these are undeniable people of the Church, the end-time Church, a seemingly "rich" Church, it is not going to Heaven but will be here on earth! Can it be any plainer?  Those looking for this false silent return of our Savior will find their correction at that time, but I "fear" some will scoff and shake their fists in the faces of these misguided and false teachers and at the God of Heaven (2 Pet 3:4).

 

Rapture?  A Catching Away?

 

 If there were to be a secret “catching away”, why not from the very beginning, when the Church first formed?  Certainly the Apostles of the Messiah would have been deserving of this.  If the return is imminent, and secret, except for the disappearing, then it only seems right that the first century believers would share in this event.  Certainly, they were unfortunate to have been born in the first century.  They suffered many trials and “tribulations”  -- even death, this does not seem fair -- they suffer, and are refined in the fire, but the end-time people are going to have it easy, no refining, no improving.  Doesn't our Heavenly Father say He chastens those He loves (Rev 3:19).  It is through our trials we grow stronger and our Faith is perfected.   

Tim LaHaye’s final answer in the promotion of this “Rapture” doctrine, is that no other doctrine in Christianity has made more Christians act like Christians than this teaching -- incredible.  So, forget about what scripture really says, is LaHaye's answer, let’s accept something that improves on what true Christian conduct is supposed to be -- passive.  The possibility of the Savior coming at any second is held up as the motivator of living the Christian life -- the fearful belief the Lord may come at any moment, according to the coauthor of the Left Behind book series.

 

 From the Rapture doctrine we get the doctrine of "Imminency”, previously mentioned.  This is truly a doctrine of “fear”.  This argument of an “imminent” return, a coming at “any moment” is the final answer – the ends justifies the means (doctrine?) -- it makes for better Christians, he says, indeed, and this is used as the final answer to the argument, the final answer pressed forward by nearly all of the pro-rapture crowd.  They place their hope on a twisting of the scripture and a misapplication of the “Resurrection” doctrine. 

 

Surprise!

 

I wonder what they are going to say when our world is literally turned on its ear and they are still here?  This is where the problem raises its head – if your faith is based upon the idea you will escape the coming “tribulation of those days” and it turns out you do not, many will lose their faith.  Here is a quote from one of LaHaye’s books, but it could have come from any number of Rapture teachers.

 

Quote: "From the days of the apostle Paul until today, the Christian who was convinced his Lord could come at any moment was motivated to holy living, soul winning, and missionary zeal." Rapture under Attack, by Tim LaHaye, page 112, under, the heading Pre-Wrath destroys Imminency. 

 

What is Tim LaHaye saying here?  When someone is fearful of the Messiah coming at any moment they are “motivated to holy living”, or are they motivated by “fear”?  Fear, fear of losing one's life, of not being ready at His return -- that you must be doing something – like, “holy living” – in order not to be caught in the Tribulation of those days.  Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t the bible teach that if you seek to save your life you will lose it (Matthew 16:25)? Doesn't it also teach that with the Love of God (true love) there is no "fear"(1 John 4:18)?

 

A follower of the Messiah is not fearful of being caught off guard. We have a Mediator in Heaven pleading our case -- we are the Elect of our Heavenly Father.  Our Messiah has covered our sins and is the author of our salvation.  We have been given to Him by the Father and He will not lose any of us (John 6:39). When the tribulation period does happen many a Christian will be stressed to the point of denying their faith when the Rapture, the “imminent” return does not happen as they suppose – when they find themselves in the midst of earthly calamities, not being “snatched up” from these troubles.

 

One of the main reasons the teaching of the Imminent and Rapture doctrines are false is that it offers a "false hope", but the biggest reason and ultimate failure of this false teaching is that it will lead many believers to becoming "scoffers" --

 

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” 2 Peter 3:3-4 NIV

 

You will please notice the “scoffers” are those that once believed.  How do we know this?  From the question, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?”  The “scoffers” are disgruntled Christians that will return to their own evil desires.  If, my friends, you cannot see this then I can be of no help to you, and what I am writing is of no value to you.  I pray that is not so, and you can see through the fog of deception spewing from the mouths and writings of the false preachers and prophets of today. Certainly you are the one with the final say, the final determination -- are you happy hearing only what you want to hear, the things that make you fell good or the things you need to hear?

 

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.


 Hal Lindsay has written many books over the last couple of decades and his original prophecies indicated his generation is living in the end times and if you had been one of his earlier readers you would have expected the coming of the Lord would have already come and gone.  He still writes on these subjects and alters the words to adapt to the current times.  It seems that every decade is the right time so you had better be good because the Lord knows who has been “naughty or nice”.  Tim LaHaye is another power within the evangelical movement, the author of the “Left Behind” books, along with Jerry Jenkins, and together they are pushing the Rapture doctrine as fact but present in books of “fiction”, stories made up.  The greatest deceivers of all time, and the most convincing, for a time, has to be Peter and Paul Lalonde, brothers that pushed for the year 2000 as the time of the Rapture and are responsible for nearly all of the movies portraying the Rapture as fact.  When the year 2000 came and went they fell mysteriously silent, but they are still active behind the scenes of this false teaching, heavily involved in the continuing promotion of “end-times rapture” doctrine by movies and books.  They hide their faces in shame but their works continue, as does the works of other false prophets.  Grant Jeffrey is another "imminent return" teacher of the Rapture doctrine and he too jumped onto the money wagon of the year 2000 debacle but is still in action, selling and still supporting the “escape” doctrine.  

 Let me make it perfectly clear, I have nothing personal against any of these false teachers other than they have revealed themselves as false teachers.  The few names I mention here are recognized by most in the evangelical movement.  By what authority do I name these teachers as false teachers?  Not by mine, that is for sure.  Let’s turn to the Word, our guide for our lives, the only true source of the complete truth, the instrument by which the Father and His Son teach us.

 

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11 NIV

 

“Fruitless deeds” is not building projects -- or the lack of them.  It is not the making of money -- or establishing giant satellite systems.  We see lots of examples of men and organizations that have this type of material fruit only to be uncovered as whore mongers, thieves or worse, all bringing shame on the name of Christianity.  The deeds of darkness hide behind a false light.  Remember, it is not unusual for Satan and his ministers to appear as “angels of light”.  It is by the Sword of the Word we are able to cut through this “false light” and see the darkness behind, and we are instructed to have nothing to do with them.  It is truly my desire that these men will stop and start over.  They are carried away by their own desire, and Satan makes use of that just like he did in the garden with Eve and Adam.  It is my prayer these preachers of mammon and of the false Christ will repent of their evil service to money and power.  Certainly many of them, as those mention, have a lot of information – information that can be used in research and your own bible study but in “rightly dividing the truth by the use of your own bible you should be able to discern the truth.

 

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV (also read 2 Thessalonians 2:9)

 

FALSE PROPHETS:

 

 Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye, Peter Lalonde, Paul Lalonde, Grant Jeffery, David Reagan, David Hunt, Ed Hindson, Mark Hitchcock, John Hagee, John F. Walvoord, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn and virtually all TV preachers that appear on TBN.  They have all made glaring declarations of prophetic events (like the year 2000 AD fiasco, not to mention other pronouncements that never came to pass). These are the more visible promoters of this false doctrine.  Many of them had to eat their words when the year 2000 AD came and went.  While all promote the idea of not setting dates they did just that to one degree or another.  Even today they predict a date, and that date is today, right now at any moment. You see the Imminent return doctrine is just that, a predicting that it can be right now, at any moment. 

 

I seem to remember reading somewhere that if a prophet (teacher) tells you something is going to happen and it doesn't we are not to listen to him, not to fear him. Have a look at Jeremiah 23:25-39 and see what kind of trust we should put in the prophets of today, and ask yourself, are they any better today than then?  They are the same today as they were then, declaring a word of the Lord having come to them, dreamers of dreams full of deception (writers of fiction).  The true prophets of old, moved by His Spirit, were vastly out numbered.  Look at the story of EliYaH, one man against 400 plus preachers of the Lord (Baal is defined as “Lord” by definition – Lord worship?).

Following in the traditions of the Baal (the Lord) worshipers are a bunch of preachers on TV squirting words from their mouths claiming to have received a "word" from the Lord, blah, blah, blah.  Everywhere, everyday there are preachers declaring they have received, or are receiving words from the Lord.  These types of sayings, these dreamed up stories are then accepted by the gullible, by the lazy, as fact – after all, didn’t the preacher say God was talking to him? People practicing this kind of  “the Lord told me so” prophecy in the congregations are rewriting scripture, or, if you prefer, writing new scripture, ignoring the fact that the written word is finished.  There is no new revelation, the scriptures as delivered by the Hebrews and the Apostles is adequate – anything more is heresy. Friends, you need to protect yourselves and start studying the words of the Holy Bible for yourself.  Pick up the sword of the Word to fend off these blasphemous attacks – Read Jeremiah 23 again, then 2 Peter 2 and see how it is all the same.

 

Trust your BIBLE and the words in it. The message is there, the truth is there. Follow the number one principle of letting every man be a liar but the Living God True (Romans 3:4). I hope you can accept this message -- forgive my bluntness, but truly, the "mysterious disappearance" will not be mysterious when it happens. When He returns "every eye will see Him", as the sun travels from east to west so will His coming be, and the sun is not invisible (Matthew 24:27, Revelation 1:7).  I know Matthew 24:27 says “lightening”, not sun, but read the context of this verse and see the relation to the “light” spoken of in relation to the compass points mentioned.  “For as lightening comes out of the East and shines unto the West” (NKJV) one must ask, what shines from the East and then to the West?  The sun is seen by every eye every day just as it will be with the coming of our Savior back to this earth  -- like the sun -- not so secret after all.  It may be mistaken for something else, like a comet about the slam into the Earth, and this will, do doubt, cause many to loose faith, to have a heart attack, to be so fearful as to beg the rock within which they hide to fall on them first. 

 

What does Peter have to say about these false teachers?  Plenty.  Let’s have a look at a few things that relate to today as well as back in his day.

 

“Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.  2Peter 2:2-3 NIV

 

“With stories they have made up”?  Isn’t that what is known as “fiction writing”, or writing fiction?  Yes, my friends, these writers of “fiction” are using their stories to lead you in the wrong direction.  This has become a common practice among the evangelicals, to write stories and to make movies of fiction while interjecting false doctrine concerning what the Holy Bible really says about the future coming of the Messiah.  What a prophetic statement Peter made, or was it?  No, he was not seeing into the future, even though we do see this statement of his as true today as it was then.  Yes, my friends, Peter was warning the flock about the wolves of his day, and it is still a warning for the flock today.

 

“… Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings …” 2 Peter 2:10 NIV

 

Arrogant preachers standing up, slandering “celestial beings”, and how do you suppose they do this?  Every time a preacher or teacher stands up and casts insults at Satan and his demons, that is one way.  Listen, please, even our Lord YaHshua did not ridicule Satan.  Our Savior never once made fun of Satan, in fact, while in the wilderness of temptation, and being tempted of Satan, Yahshua used the Words of scripture as a defense and to ultimately shut the mouth of Satan (Matthew 4:1-12).  One thing glossed over by many, concerning this confrontation -- not only did our Savior use scripture (that would be the Old Testament by the way) in his defense, but Satan used the same source of scripture in his attempt to get YaHshua to give up His inheritance.  This is business as usual with our adversary, the Devil. 

 

From the beginning while tempting Eve and Adam he used the Words of the Creator, he just put a spin on it – a spin that pulls on the natural evilness of our hearts.  You see, Eve and Adam knew what the Creator meant, but they preferred to hear it the way Satan had spun it, after all, the fruit of the tree did look good to eat.  Notice, I put Eve first, then Adam, as when you read the story of this event you will see that while it was Eve in conversation with the serpent, Adam was standing right next to her, not saying a word.  He was taking it all in, he was complicit in accepting the serpents twisted version of what the Creator God actually said – they preferred Satan’s version of the Words of YHWH.  88888 They knew in their hearts and jointly, for the desire of the beautiful tree, gave in without much of an argument.  Eve took a bite and not falling dead gave some to Adam – looks like YHWH had lied – then the awful truth struck them as they saw the evilness of their own heart and for the first time felt “shame”.

 

How is it we know that “these men” of verse 10 in 2 Peter are slandering Satan?  Let’s read on:

 

“… yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.”  2 Peter 2:11 NIV 

 

That should make it plain, the celestial beings, “these men”, are slandering are not angels, but other beings of celestial origin.  Outside of the angels and the Messiah and our heavenly Father, that leaves only Satan and his demons.  And these slanderers are compared to the likes of brute beasts.

 

“But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand.  They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish”.  Verse 12 NIV

 

I think you get the picture.  Before I go, let me give you a couple of quotes that really say it all, no matter how the scriptures are twisted by these false teachers.  Some things are so straight forward that even their twisting cannot make their false doctrine, of a “secret coming”, even close to being true.  One should also understand that these false teachers, in teaching this false doctrine, also believe in the saints going to heaven, that is, leaving this earth and being with the Messiah before the throne of the Father – before He comes to set up His Kingdom. 

 

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. John 3:13 KJV

 

Not Moses, not Enoch, not David, not anyone, only our Savior, YaHshua.  Yes, He is from heaven (John 1:1-3). Here is the principle of letting God be true and every man a liar.  Pull out all of the teachings you want about going to heaven, apart from this earth, and you have to contended with the words of the Messiah Himself.  So, with these words ringing in your ears ask yourself, how is it possible the Messiah comes in secret takes the lucky end time Saints away to heaven for 3 /12 years (or is it 7years -- depending on which of the rapture people you talk to)?  Next we have a statement that is again from our Messiah, it is made plain his return will not be a secret, as the Rapture people would have you believe.

 

 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

 

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  Matthew 24:27 KJV

 

This needs repeating -- so I will:

 

Every eye will see him – as light comes out of the East and shines to the West – so will His coming be.  The context of the verse demonstrates the KJV translation is not proper in its use of the word “lightning”. Everyone knows that lightning does not travel as described, it is the sun that comes up in the east and shines to the west.  What we have is a quote from the Messiah Himself, as we see the appearance of our own sun so will we see His coming.  What do you suppose people will be doing when they witness this coming event?

 

Have a look at Revelation 6:15-16 – yes, many will be so frightened they will crawl into caves and mountain recesses, thinking the world is over and all is lost -- hiding from the face of the Living God as He approaches like the rising of the sun -- imagine, another sun appearing in the heavens, approaching earth!  Certainly they will mistakenly think a literal sun from some part of the universe is about to smash the earth to bites, and remember, this follows the “great quake” – an earthquake the likes the World has never seen (Tip: His return cannot be “Imminent” until after the great quake). 

 

If they truly thought it to be God they would not be hiding, but would be out in the open preparing the welcome mat.  We see from other prophetic statements, however, that this is not so, men will not readily receive the coming of our Lord YaHshua, or even recognize what is happening. Once the Messiah stands on MountOlives all fear of the world ending will subside, and focus will shift to Jerusalem and the world will see this then as not the end, but an invasion. 

Satan will send out three unclean spirits to draw all the nations to the great battle – convincing world leaders they are defending the world against an alien invasion – I’m guessing, of course – why else would anyone in their right minds decide to fight the Creator? Have a look at Revelation 16:13-14 – three unclean spirits, like frogs, by the command of Satan -- one as representative of Satan, one from the Beast and the third from the False Prophet.  A unholy, unclean trinity to pull the world together in rebellion against the arrival of the world's Savior.  Certainly these unclean spirits are not literal frogs, but are considered unclean, like frogs.

 

Side Note:Interesting isn’t it that the Christians teach all meats were made clean – Peter’s vision misapplied – yet we see here in the last book of the bible that frogs are still unclean – "let every man be a liar and our God be True"

 

He comes as A Thief in the Night? 

 The Rapture people have an argument they like to throw around that unwary babes in the Messiah are easily drawn into -- the teaching of the “thief in the night”.  You see our Savior did have a teaching in the form of an allegory about his coming being like a "thief in the night”.  This is a hinge verse for them in teaching the “secret coming”.  That’s right, if I failed to mention this, they teach this coming to take the faithful to Heaven and escape earthly events, is to be a secret coming.  Now, realizing how impossible this sounds they have altered this to say His coming will be secret but the disappearance of millions of Christians and all the innocent babies will create a panic worldwide and be the greatest event to ever happen, a disaster of like none other, planes falling out of the skies, driverless cars plowing into other cars, people disappearing from their work stations, and on and on.  So much for a secret coming.

 

They are trying to justify their earlier teaching of the Christ coming as a “thief in the night”. His coming, in reality, is going to be anything but secret – we have covered that, right?  Still how do you explain this allegory of YaHshua, coming as a “thief in the night”?  Simple, we go to the word.  We will see Peter's interpretation of this and the timing of "the Thief in the night".

 

  "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" 2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV

 

Hot, hot, hot, that’s’ when this occurs.  The coming as a thief in the night is after everything.  Let’s skip forward, after the tribulation days, after Millennium rule of the Messiah (some say 1000 years) and sometime after Satan and his Earthly followers are finally extinguished, we see a new heaven and a new earth created (we also see Satan released and those that join with him consumed by fire -- Heb 10:27, Rev 20:9).  The timing of this allegory of the thief, as Peter understood it,  is well after the Messiah’s coming to this Earth and standing on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4), after destroying the armies of the world, and war is learned no more for the 1000 years.  The allegory is just that, a teaching of patients and this teaching will particularly apply to those living through the millennial rule of the Messiah.  Think maybe Peter had it wrong? Nah, I don’t think so, I’m thinking he said exactly what he was inspired to say.  Certainly when we see the sign of His coming – the sun out of the East shining unto the West (Mat 24:7) – it will be no secret, more like a thief with a big flash light announcing His arrival.

 

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:5 KJV

 

If you read chapter 21 of Revelation carefully and you push away any preconceived notions you may have concerning “Heaven”, you will see that all of this is after the Messiah has ruled this Earth for the thousand year period, known as the Millennial rule.  Read Revelation 20:7-10 for the final conclusion of Satan and His followers, and you will see this occurs before the New Heaven and New Earth that Peter spoke of -- the coming as a "thief in the night”.  Notice the method of destruction for those joined with Satan, fire from Heaven.  It will be a really big fire to devour so many people at once.  You see, my friends, even during the Millennial rule of the Messiah, there will be those that do not accept Him, but just go along for the ride all the while dreaming of a day they might take over.

This interpretation of the "thief in the night" by the Apostle Peter is not what the Rapturist want you to see.  When our Savior spoke of the "thief in the night", he was making an allegorical.

 

Next we have the Apostle Paul’s interpretation of this allegory –

 

(1Th 5:1-3)  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

 

This teaching, as we see from the context, had been common knowledge among the brethren of that time.  Paul make the case for a time of false peace and then suddenly the coming our the Lord.  Look, however, this coming is anything but quiet being compared to a woman giving birth.  Ever been in a birthing room?  Now lets allow Paul to add to his teaching and clarify his position concerning the teaching of the Lord coming as a Thief in the night –

 

(1Th 5:4-6)  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

 

(1Th 5:7-8)  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

 

It seems pretty plain to me -- Paul is telling believers to stay awake and that they are not of the darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief.  Who is it that the thief coming in the dark catches off guard?  It is those going about their lives like sleep walkers living in the darkness of this world.  It is nothing about a silent coming.  Usually when a thief breaks into a house the window is broken, a lock smashed, the owners tied up and the house ransacked.  Silent, secret? Hardly.  Paul is teaching that the believer will not be caught off guard, solid in the Word of the Living God.

 

 

YaHshua’s Allegory as The Thief in The Night

 

We have read Peter’s, and Paul’s interpretation and now we will see what YaHshua said, and meant --

 

(Mat 24:43)  But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

 

Can you see it now?  The brethren of YaHshua will not be unaware of the approach and will not be asleep and will be watching as not to be caught off guard.  The children of the light will not suffer their house to be broken into.  This allegory from Yahshua is aimed at the deniers and the haters and at the world at large that is asleep, the walking dead, those having reject YaHshua as Messiah and Savior.  They will be bound and all they own will be taken from them, physically and spiritually, ultimately depending on what is found in front of the White Thrown Judgment.  There is more –

 

(Rev 3:3)  Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.

 

This is a sincere and stern admonition to stay awake, watching, not shutting down as is the habit of some in the Church.  He is warning believers to stay alert for events that will be signs of His return.  Some have voiced the unpleasantness of watching the news (all bad) and keeping up with events and even bible study, all being too depressing.  Read the verse again, the choice is your, be awake or go to sleep like the rest of the world. 

 

(Rev 16:13)  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

 

(Rev 16:14)  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

 

(Rev 16:15)  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

 

(Rev 16:16)  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

 

Read the context of these verses, and consider all of this chapter dealing with what is going on The Beast and the False Prophet are present and from the False Prophet “spirits of devils, working miracles” are sent out to influence the Kinds of the earth to gather them to do battle in the “Great Day of God Almighty”, and then – and then the warning to stay alert, to watch so you are not caught off guard.  It is a choice, ignore what is happening, explain it away, scoff at what is happening, go about naked and exposed as  someone not keeping up with things having to do with YaHshua and the prophetic word, His Word.  The things we are to be watching is surrounding this warning.  There is to be a lot of events, the worldwide shaking of the earth, but that is not it, the on going events covering, perhaps, many years, but here the warning, the gathering of the nations, the Kings of the earth to Armageddon.  Something miraculous is going to convince the kings, rulers, of the earth to come to the Middle East and it will have to do with the False prophet and his demon spirits able to perform miracles in order to fool the leaders of the world that they are the real deal and need to join forces against a force they have convinced everyone is evil.  If you are not watching and staying awake you too may be caught in this last deception.

 

The “thief in the night”  is not anything about a secret coming and then going, but it is about His return to do battle against the Beast and the False Prophet.  And we have seen how Paul is teaching this same thing about staying awake, watching, being alert, spiritually dressed in our studies and prayers.  Peter, on the other hand uses this teaching for a time after the 1000 year rule of the returned YaHshua.  It seems the watching is not only for us today but also for those living in the period of peace, the 1000 years after which Satan will be released and the final rebellions occurs and out of now where, when it seems Satan and the rest of rebellious mankind are about to take over, suddenly from Heaven a fire falls, so intense as to destroy all rebellion, saving only those awake and aware of what the outcome is going to be.

 

Consider Israel's Rebellion

 

I know, to the true believer, this seems impossible, but then consider Israel, a lesson for us all -- they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, they witnessed all of the miracles, even heard the voice of their Creator and still refused the truth.  Look how quickly they turned on YHWH.  He gave them everything they wanted, and like spoiled children it was never enough.  Once the generation of sin had died off in the wilderness and they had entered into the Promised Land, they continued, a new generation-- a new generation of sin. 

YHWH volunteered to be their God and King, but no, they wanted a king like the other nations – they rejected YHWH as their king (1 Samuel 8), so He gave them a man, Saul, as their king, followed by David, then Solomon.  As great as these men were, outside of the Bible there is hardly a record of these kings having ever existed, or so it seemed.

Archaeologist are only now willing to admit these men lived and the suppression of this truth is being revealed in documentaries prepared for TV.  It is amazing when you find out this new Information, the discovery of stones with king David's name and the mention of Israel and the Hebrews, is not new at all but has been know for fifty years or more. The truth of the accuracy of the Holy Bible has been suppressed, why?  More and more of men and women entering into the field of archeology would pressure the release of things found and held in the darkness of museum basements.  What is being uncovered -- revealed -- in our day is overwhelmingly in support of the Bible as an authority to be listened to.  It is not a book of Stories, but of truth and proving to be more accurate than any other ancient book ever written.  The little bible stories you were told when you were a child, as it turns out, are true.

 

The record of Israel’s rebellion is a record of man’s enmity against his Creator and it continues to this day.  Thus, when the Millennial rule of YaHshua begins it will not be quite Heaven on Earth, at least not yet.  The nations will be allowed to follow their own path except war will not be allowed and they will be required to bring tribute to the King of Kings in Jerusalem once a year.  Read all of Zechariah 14 for a good look at this coming future.  I will give a couple of verses here just to get you going.

 

   For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

 

 (My Note: As sad as it is, this is going to happen to Israel again – the misapplication of modern day prophets concerning Israel’s modern day return does not account for this– the promises of the final return to Jerusalem will not occur until after the Messiah is in Jerusalem – they have another captivity to go through, and for this to have been possible they would have had to have had a minor return, which is what we see today, it is not the fulfillment of their living under their God, under YHWH’s rule, the Restoration of Israel is still future)

 

Then shall the LORD (YHWH) go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Zechariah 14:1-3 KJV

 

And the LORD (YHWH) shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. Verse 9

 

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD (YHWH) of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD (YHWH) of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Verses 16-17

 

Okay, what do you think?  Do you see?  Even after the Messiah’s return the system of worshiping the Messiah as Savior is still voluntary.  The nations, once subdued by Himself and the Saints with Him, and war is no longer allowed, there will be a choice to be made by these various nations having survived the Wrath of God.  The choice is a simple one, come up before the King of Kings once a years, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.  You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it, or your nation will not receive any rain – get it?  It will be the choice of the nations between plenty or starvation.  By the end of the Millennial rule I would guess that most, if not all, of the nations of the Earth will be going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles – no there will not be any animal sacrificing, but a lot of offerings, first-fruits and such.  And you thought the Feast of Tabernacles was an old Israelite Holy day that had nothing to do with you?  Think again.  Look at Egypt, obviously not of the Israelite people, and look what is said about them.

 

And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD (YHWH) will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. Verses 18-19

 

This is a much different picture than what you usually hear I’m sure.  The Millennium rule of YaHshua, the 1000 years, is going to be rough on those surviving nations that refuse to come up to Israel and pay tribute to the King of Kings.  Egypt has been an enemy of Israel especially in this modern era and it is seen they will be stubborn about going up to Jerusalem for this Feast. Egypt, mostly of Arab decent (children of Ishmael) and fostering a hatred for Israel they will have to overcome, as will the other nations.  They may not like it but they will do it or suffer the lack of rain and suffer outbreaks of disease.

 

Heaven on Earth 

 

Heaven is ultimately going to be here, but as a new Earth and under a new Heaven, or heavens, and all of this after the Millennial rule of the Messiah.  We have a some time to go, be of courage, the Kingdom is as close as your death and your next waking moment will be in the Kingdom.  There will be a final resurrection of the dead (Rev 20:4-6).  Once you have slipped away and cease to be anything other than dead your next waking moment will be in front of the Messiah’s court in the judgment of all that have ever lived -- that is, of course, unless you happen to have been in the first “resurrection” of the Elect.  These, the Elect, the Firstborn after YaHshua, will go into the millennial rule with Him having been in the “Resurrection” upon His return.

 

“… YaHshua the Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom a priests to serve His God and Father – Revelation 1:5-6 NIV

 

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by YaHshua the Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 KJV

 

As you come to Him, the Living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through YaHshua the Christ. 1 Peter 4-5 NIV

 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.  1 Peter 2:9 NIV

 

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