Please leave me a comment if you see any videos missing in any posts, so I may replace them if I can. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whosoever doth not bear his cross... cannot be My disciple!

Not exactly what Joel Olsteen or Benny Hinn preach!

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The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

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Luke 14:25-30

(25) And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Luke 9:57-62

(57) And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. (58) And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (59) And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. (60) Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (61) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. (62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

King James Version

In the warnings of possible costs in Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-30, He says we must expect the loss of the respect and association with those we feel the most affection for, family members. They are not going to appreciate the changes we have made in our lives. They are yet blinded because God has not removed the veil covering their spiritual perceptions. This happens to many of us. It occurred in my relationship with my parents.

Jesus warns that our lives may become seriously unstable, as outsiders might judge it. He suggests that the convert may become somewhat itinerant, seeming to have an unsettled existence. He also suggests that following Him would put demands on our lives and time that might cut close family members to the quick, perhaps even turning them into enemies. Christ makes plain that, despite God’s well-known mercy, He wants our wholehearted, unreserved loyalty with no yearning ever to turn back to our former lives. It is in meeting challenges like these that the potential costs become realities.

Though not mentioned directly here, Hebrews 11 reminds us of those who were tortured by mocking and scourging, by imprisonment, by stoning, and even by being sawn in two. Others were forced to flee for their lives, wandering destitute and tormented, barely able to clothe themselves. This may not happen to many of us now, but as matters intensify, Jesus warns that people will eventually kill Christians, thinking that they are glorifying God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
From The Awesome Cost of Love

Related Topics:
Counting the Cost
Enduring Persecution
Spiritual Blindness
Total Sacrifice

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He that believeth on him hath everlasting life: INSTANTLY!

...It is not a "process!"

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;

but is passed from death unto life.

John 5:24 (King James Bible)

He that believeth on Him

Do not tell me that a sinner who believes in Jesus is to make an advance before he can say he is saved, that a man who trusts Christ is only on the way to salvation, and must wait until he has used the ordinances, and has grown in grace, before he may know that he is saved. No, the moment that the sinner’s trust is placed on the finished work of Jesus he is saved. Heaven and earth may pass away, but that man shall never perish. If only one second ago I trusted the Savior I am safe, just as safe as the man who has believed in Jesus fifty years, and who has all that while walked uprightly. I do not say that the new born convert is as happy, nor as useful, nor as holy, nor as ripe for heaven, but I do say that the words, “he that believeth on him hath everlasting life,” is a truth with general bearings, and relates as much to the babe in faith as it does to the man who has attained to fullness of stature in Jesus Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith And Regeneration," delivered March 5, 1871. Image by John Davey under Creative Commons License.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

She's taken the plunge!!

I haven't heard from Elizabeth since Saturday night, and, as it is said, "no news is good news!" given that I know her to be in the hands of very caring and doting parents and family, I am certain that all has gone well and that she is officially, in the eyes of her church (Roman Catholic), a perfectly well married young lady as of today!

This must have been an enormous task given that the outdoor photo shoots had to be postponed because of rain, and prayerfully she did, finally, find that perfect pair of shoes she needed! Jumping off a plane last year must have been a breeze in comparison!!

Click on link to see just what daredevil this girl can be:

Once you see the picture, you will have to click on it to view the video!

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A slight deviation from my plan: the NASB "version," which leads to the Authorized King James Bible!

This was originally posted on March 29, 2010, and is being reposted for the benefit of the young man who asked me about it last night, at Destination Life Fellowship, from which I was kicked out! Reverend - An Unbiblical Human Title by Dr. Scott Johnson, and meeting another FALSE TEACHER

I am sorry to not have gotten his name! He was interested in learning about the NASB he thought to be the best "version" but knew not of Dr. Frank Logsdon's immense remorse for having participated in it, which he sorely denounced until he died!

Please click on the link below:

A slight deviation from my plan: the NASB "version" which leads to the Authorized King James



UPDATED!!! Providential Preservation of the Text of the New Testament (UPDATED WITH VIDEOS)

Originally posted on October 26, 2010

Please click on link (wording) below:

Why would anyone use the NIV? by David J. Stewart (

Why Would Anyone Use the NIV?

By David J. Stewart

"...our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." —2nd Peter 3:15-17

If you are using the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, and continue to do so after reading this article, then you are truly blinded by Satan, or just don't care. As seen in the verses above, Peter admits that some Scriptures are hard to understand. Just as today, there we're unlearned (Greek, amathes, i.e., ignorant) people back then who corrupted the Word of God.
Nothing is new today. Just as the Trojans were woefully deceived by the warring Greek armies, who used a gift horse to conquer them—so is the NIV a Trojan Horse filled with deceit and lies waiting to DESTROY YOU!

Notice that in verse 17 above, the Bible calls Bible-corrupters WICKED! The word "stedfastness" in verse 17 means to be doctrinally sound in the Christian faith. The wicked people who put the NIV together were not doctrinally sound. In fact, they readily admit this in the preface to the NIV. Look for yourself. They state that they wanted to publish a new Bible that was free of any sectarian bias (i.e., that wouldn't offend any particular religious group).

So they got everybody together, compromised the Word of God, and published a perverted Bible that satisfied each group. Of course, there were no blood-washed, born-again, Christ-honoring, Hell-fire and damnation, Sin-hating, soulwinning believers invited. Their STATED MAIN PURPOSE was not to preserve THE TRUTH; but rather, to publish a translation that was non-offensive to the participating religious denominations (i.e., WIDELY MARKETABLE). The NIV is as ecumenical as you can get (i.e., they all set aside their doctrinal differences in sinful compromise to further one-world religious unity). Biblically, God commands us to be divided by truth, rather than be united by error (2nd Corinthians 6:14-17). The Word of God magnifies TRUTH; whereas, the devil's crowd magnifies UNITY.

Something's Missing!

So what's wrong with the NIV? In a word... EVERYTHING! Do you have any idea how many things were eviscerated (disemboweled) from the Bible by the NIV authors? Hundreds of words, phrases, and even entire Bible verses were removed from the Word of God by the NIV butchers. Whereas the King James Bible mentions the "Godhead" three times, the NIV has completely removed the word. You won't find the word "propitiation" in the NIV either. In fact, all of the following words have been removed from the Bible by the NIV butchers: regeneration, mercyseat, Calvary, remission, Jehovah, immutable, omnipotent, Comforter, Holy Ghost, Messiah, quickened, infallible, et cetera. One of the most blasphemous omissions in the NIV is in John 3:16 where Jesus is no longer proclaimed as the “only BEGOTTEN Son of God.”

Yes, that's right, the NIV butchers removed the word "begotten" from John 3:16. How in the name of truth and justice could any professed Christian use the New International Version? Yet, it's the most popular bible version sold on the market today. If I had a billion dollars, I'd make an offer to churches all across America. I'd exchange brand new King James Bibles for their perverted NIVs. I'd give them new Bibles for their old corrupt bibles. They would first have to give me their NIVs so I could BURN THEM! I'd burn every NIV I could find.

The NIV translators removed 64,576 words as compared to the King James Bible! Words are very important! God put “every Word” there for a reason, i.e., so we could live by them! Matthew 4:4, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” If I am to live for God, then I need an “every Word” Bible. We have it thank God, in the inspired King James Bible! The Bible is truth!
In sharp contrast, modern Bibles are corrupt and; therefore, produce corrupt teachings. Just the fact that the NIV translators completely removed the critically important Word, “GODHEAD” from Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9 is reason enough to run away from the NIV as fast as you can.

That's not all that the wicked NIV deceivers took out of the Bible. The word "sodomite" is completely gone, as is the words: fornication, trucebreakers, winebibbers, carnal, slothful, unthankful, effeminate, backbiting, vanity, lasciviousness, whoredom, devils, Lucifer, damnation, brimstone, and the bottomless pit. I'm not kidding, go check for yourself! It's not surprising that the word “sodomite” is completely gone, when you learn that an open unrepentant homosexual, Dr. Marten Woudstra (now deceased), was the chairman of the Old Testament committee. To no surprise, the homosexual community is excited about the new upcoming NIV2011. Why would any truly born-again believer who loves Jesus Christ use a corrupted Bible that caters to the homosexual agenda? Not me brother!

All these words in the King James Bible have been stricken from the New International Version. We ought to call it the H.I.V., because it's more deadly than the AIDS virus. 2nd Timothy 2:15 instructs each believer to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Well, the NIV removes the word "study" from this verse.

To no surprise, Paul's admonition against "science falsely so called" in 1st Timothy 6:20 is gone too, and there are no longer any fables to avoid. Of the 54 times "hell" is mentioned in the King James Bible, the NIV reduces it down to 14 times. The King James Bible states in 1st Timothy 3:16 that "GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH"; but the NIV waters it down to... he was revealed in a body. In Philippians 2:6 of the NIV Jesus is no longer EQUAL with God; but rather, could not grasp equality with God. The NIV is Wicked! Vile! Blasphemy!

Why would anyone use the NIV?

Satan's Latest Gimmick

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." -2nd Corinthians 2:11

Don't you see what the Devil has done to God's Word? Satan only comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). If the Devil can't destroy the Bible, then he tries to change It (Romans 1:25). If the Devil can't change the Bible, then he tries to replace it with fables. The latest Satanic gimmick is the claim that several pagan religions outdate Christianity, and that Christianity originated in ancient Egypt. The truth is that Abraham believed on the Lord for salvation in Genesis 15:6 (about 2,000 B.C.). Christianity was here from the Creation, which is evidenced by Abel's offering of a blood sacrifice to God (thus signifying his faith in the coming Savior). People were saved back in the Old Testament the same way we are today--by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). When Noah and his family walked off the ark, Christianity had no competition. It wasn't until men came together in UNITY that they corrupted themselves once again, that God segregated them across the earth in Genesis 11:9. So, Biblically, Christianity came before any pagan religions. It wasn't until 566 B.C. that Buddha arrived. Anyone who thinks Christianity didn't exist until the time of Christ is ignorant. Psalm 22 was written around 1000 B.C. by king David, prophesying the crucifixion of Christ.

We read in Acts 11:26, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Notice that there were DISCIPLES of Christ before the term "Christian" came into being. Thus, there were followers of Christ throughout the Old Testament. Satan's greatest weapon is people's ignorance (2nd Corinthians 4:4). How tragic that even professed Christians today are woefully deceived concerning the Word of God. Is this not exactly what Jesus warned about in Mark 13:22, "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." If professed Christians today are gullible enough to trade in their faithful King James Bible for a demonic counterfeit like the NIV, then where will Christianity be 10 years from now?

The Heresy of "Lordship Salvation" is Rooted in the NIV

The NIV teaches the damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation. The NIV has produced an generation of Lordship Salvationists who foolishly believe that a person cannot be saved without making Jesus Lord. Here's Romans 10:9 from the King James Bible, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Now here's Romans 10:9 from the perverted NIV... "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." The Bible never requires us to make Jesus our "Lord" to be saved, only trust Him as our Savior (John 14:6). Peter shows clear evidence of this when he professed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" in Matthew 16:16. Peter never confessed "Jesus is Lord." Rather, Peter received Jesus as the Messiah. Genesis 15:6 simply states that Abraham, "...believed in the LORD; and he (God) counted it to him for righteousness." Romans 4:5 plainly states, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." It is our faith upon Jesus as our Savior, because of the blood that He shed for our sins, that saves us (1st Peter 1:18,19). Making Christ the Lord of our life is a matter of Christian obedience; NOT Salvation. If one had to make Jesus the Lord of their life to be saved, then Lot, Samson, and Solomon would all be in Hell today. What about Ananias and Sapphira? What about the carnal Believers at Corinth? What about 1st Corinthians 3:15?

Hypocritically, Lordship Salvationists will quote Scriptures about being saved by faith alone; but then require people to have some outward self-righteousness to validate their faith. Clearly they are confusing the ROOT of a believer's faith, which Paul speaks of in Romans; in contrast to the FRUIT of a believer's faith, which is spoken of by James. For more information please read, "Are We Justified by Faith and Works?" The NIV is from Hell, which is exactly where the Lordship Salvation gang is headed. Yes, this means John MacArthur is going to Hell. Don't be deceived my friend, if you believe that you have to do as little as give a cup of water to someone to be saved, you will burn in Hell for all eternity. The blood of Christ is what takes our sins away (not just the death of Christ), and ANY self-righteous efforts on our part is a total rejection of Christ's work of redemption.

Why would anyone use the NIV?

What Does the NIV, the Satanic Bible, and Gay Sex Have in Common?

According to, the New International Bible (NIV) is the most popular Bible version today. What Zondervan Publishers won't DARE tell you is that they are OWNED by Harper Collins, who also publishes The Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex. Doesn't it seem odd to anyone with a brain and a love for Christ that the world's largest Bible publisher (Zondervan) is owned by the same company, HarperCollins, that publishes The Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex." Every pastor and Christian using the NIV are supporting these demonic publications. Furthermore, the Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation comes from same Greek manuscripts as does the NIV! The Jehovah's Witnesses' Interlinear Greek New Testament is based upon the corrupt Greek of Westcott and Hort, openly admitted in front of the publication. By the way, the owner of the exclusive printing rights to the NIV, Rupert Murdoch, was just made a Knight by the Pope. Murdoch had put the NIV under the same umbrella as the TV Guide, which he also owned.

This is unbelievable folks! Destroy your NIV. Why in the world would you want an NIV bible that removes the word "begotten" from John 3:16, says that Jesus couldn't grasp equality with God in Philippians 2:6, removes the name "Jesus" in 38 places, completely removes the word "Godhead" from the Bible, completely removes the word "sodomite" from the Bible, removes the word "hell" 40 times, and changes every mention of people "worshipping" Jesus to a mere "knelt"? Thank God for the King James Bible!

Why would anyone use the NIV? If you sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God Almighty (John 1:1-3,14; 10:33; Colossians 1:16; 1st Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:8), then you WON'T use the damnable NIV. I beg you not to simply throw your NIV away, lest someone else be cursed by finding it--rip it to shreds, and then throw it away!


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Reverend - An Unbiblical Human Title by Dr. Scott Johnson, and meeting another FALSE TEACHER!

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

- 2 Corinthians 11:26 (King James Bible)

Last night when visiting a local church (Destination Life Fellowship) I was being introduced to someone behind me when suddenly there arose an exchange between them which I found very strange! It seems the guy behind me claimed "I am also called reverend!" He seemed upset he was slighted as to his title!!

Well, just an hour before, when first downstairs sitting for a meal, this same individual, who sat across from me, claimed that this church's pastor lauded the NIV, which he also uses!

Thus it was, at the end of the service, after having talked with a couple of people who believed the NASB to be the best version, I was happy to go to my car and get a few more of Bryan Denlinger's DVD's The Real Bible Version Issue EXPOSED!! packaged with a Jesus-is-Savior article "Why would anyone use the NIV?" (I am amazed I have not posted this as yet. It will be my next post!) and went back to the fellowship hall where all were gathered.

The young man who had made the claim about the NASB wanted to write down what I had told him. I referred him to this blog, and gave him a package. The slighted "reverend" was next to him, and I made sure he got one. Then I gave it to a third person, when it was the church's pastor was calling me aside. I followed him and another individual into the hallway.

"I know what you are doing, and it is not allowed here!" I asked him, what was I doing? "You are promoting King James Only and you are not allowed to do it here!" while at the same time grabbing what I had in my hand! His name, which I had forgotten, is "Rev." Mark Perkins! It says so in the bulletin I was handed!

I quickly withdrew from his grasp, got one package and said "You can have only that one! Sorry, the Bible says 'Go out and teach,' and that is what I am doing!" and went back into the fellowship area, gave out a couple more (to include to one who has this as an outreach ministry, Debbie Prohaska, but whose church is NFBC, and who claims to have heard nothing about the 52 DVD's given out last May at NFBC, that caused Billy Crone to give a lame rebuttal, which you may read on Answering Billy Crone IN AN EDUCATED, KNOWLEDGEABLE MANNER -- Sorry! I don't believe her!) and left walking right in between the two on my way out, who were still in the hallway! I didn't even bother to give either a look!

The interesting thing is that this same pastor, Mark Perkins, upon hearing of my being there, at the invitation of a Wally, who happened to have the King James Bible in his hands earlier that afternoon, when I was at a diner with a friend, who claimed he'd be preaching a certain sermon that night, (which did not take place), had taken him to his library from which he had come with books on several translations, to include James White's "The King James Only Controversy!!" When I asked him why would he read such garbage, he responded, "I like to expand my mind!" I must remark that upon flipping the pages, there was not a single marking, the book appearing to have been unread!! Nevertheless, "recommended" reading by this false teacher, "Rev." Mark Perkins!

This would be hilarious if it weren't so sad! This the same Wally who told me he does not have a computer because he didn't care for all the garbage it offers! I am sure he meant the Internet! I pointed out to him that he was getting worse garbage on hard copy reading James White! Given him by his pastor, no less!

I guess my placing the DVD's on the cars was safer! The abuse that he would become physical and try to grab what I had out of my hand!

I have to relate the most unsavory experience of having attended the "service":

We began by singing "O little town of Bethlehem!" I was baffled! (Here, I had originally written "star" instead of "town!" I guess this slight was due to the fact that the "pastor" went on and on about the appearing of the star, which he correctly stated, was not on "Christmas Day!" Then, pray tell, why sing this carol on this the first Sunday of Advent?)

Then was sung some other Christmas carol, some "contemporary music" which wording was on a screen and perfectly not visible to any who sat beyond the first three rows, all of it accompanied through recorded music!

In the pews sat hymnals that went untouched throughout the entire service!
I guess singing a cappella is out of the question in this "church!"

Oh! Yes, I had to hold on to my seat when it was that the pastor said that God had spoken to Joseph! He corrected that by saying it was an angel. Then he states that the angel told Joseph he was going to have a son! This blasphemy he never corrected!

Small wonder that such unprepared, unknowing "men" presume to take to the pulpit! By the way, the bible used in this "Destination Life Fellowship" is the New King James! (Ha Ha Ha! Just corrected another typo: I had written Fellowhip! This, for certain, a Freudian slip!! For this church, through such ignorant shepherding, does no more than downgrade its members!)

Reverend: An Unbiblical Human Title

Reverend: An Unbiblical Human Title

This is a brief teaching on the unbiblical human title of “Reverend”. The bulk of this teaching comes from an email exchange between Pastor Slattery and a man who believes that the title of “Reverend” is perfectly fine for a minister. Pastor Slattery points out many Biblical examples of how this title should not be applied to a minister, but to God only: “Psalm 111:9: He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. Is your Pastors name HOLY? Is his Name Reverend? The word Reverend is the word most translated: FEAR, Afraid, and Terrible. The term is used literally hundreds of times in the OT in reference to a God and his people where they are told to Fear the Lord. For his full teaching on this subject please click the link below.

There is no PDF for this teaching.

Revelation 19 (King James Bible)

1And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7Let 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.
8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9And 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.
10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.




The Rapture According To Rome by Bryan Denlinger

Please click on the link to listen.

Following is the article used in the sermon.
It was gotten from

Bryan Denlinger | No Catholic RaptureBible Believers Fellowship

Those who are against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine, often claim that this teaching was developed by John Nelson Darby in the early 1800's. But what happens when we apply this same logic to the teaching that the Church goes through the Tribulation? Where did this teaching come from?

In this study we will look at proof that shows that the Roman Catholic church has believed and taught AGAINST the Pre-Trib. Rapture since 431 A.D. according to their own writings! You will see that the modern movement, that teaches that Christians will have to endure 7 years of the Great Tribulation, was founded by Roman Catholicism!

O C T O B E R 2 0 0 5

For many American fundamentalist Christians, the Rapture forms part of the scenario of events that will happen at the end of the world. Read about Catholic teaching on the Rapture, the meaning and origin of the Rapture doctrine and the problems this teaching presents.
Catholic Update

Each issue carries an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Reprinting prohibited

Raptured or Not?
A Catholic Understanding

“What is the Catholic teaching on the Rapture?” It was over 30 years ago that a student in my Scripture class asked me that question. Drawing on all my years of Catholic education (kindergarten through the seminary and doctoral studies), I replied, “The what?” I had never heard of it.

In the intervening years, talk of the Rapture has become much more pervasive in our culture. Through radio and TV preachers, the Moral Majority movement of the 1970s and 1980s, the turn of the millennium in the year 2000, and the phenomenal success of the “Left Behind” series of novels (recently completed at volume 12 and earning a cover story in the May 24, 2004 issue of Newsweek magazine, it is likely that few Catholics today would share my response. They would, however, probably still be a bit puzzled by it, and ask another question as well, “Will we, as Catholics, share in the Rapture?”

In this Update we will address these questions. We will begin by looking at the meaning and origin of the Rapture doctrine. Then we will briefly consider the key biblical passage which is foundational to it. Finally, we will highlight some problem areas it presents.

The Rapture doctrine: what and when?

But what do we mean by “the Rapture”? The word can be used in different ways. Spiritual writers have used it for mystical union with God, or our final sharing in God’s heavenly life. This is not the sense we are using it in here; we are using it in a much more specific way.

For many American fundamentalist Christians, the Rapture forms part of the scenario of events that will happen at the end of the world. While differences exist among various groups, the more common view goes like this: At the end, Jesus will come on the clouds of heaven and the righteous (“the saints”) will be raptured, that is, caught up into the air, to be with Christ. They will be separated from sinners who will remain on the earth to endure a period of great suffering (the Tribulation).

After this, Jesus will rule on earth for 1000 years (the Millennium); finally, then, Jesus comes at the end in judgment (the parousia) and will inaugurate the new heavens and the new earth. The Rapture is significant, then, as the first of the events that mark this “end of the world.” This scenario appears as such nowhere in the New Testament; it is put together through a particular interpretation of various and scattered texts.

While speculation about the end of the world is as old as Christianity, this particular scenario is not. In fact, it is not yet 200 years old!

Origins of the Rapture

The Rapture seems to have been invented by a British religious figure named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). He was ordained in the Church of Ireland and worked there to convert Catholics away from their folly. He was extremely pessimistic about what he saw as the state of the world and the state of the Church. He eventually left it, joining a dissident group called the Plymouth Brethren of which he soon became a prominent leader.

About 1830, he began teaching that Jesus’ coming at the end of time would be preceded by a “rapture of the saints.” Some members of his own Brethren community objected that this was not biblically founded, but Darby dismissed any criticism. It had, he claimed, been revealed to him by God.

He would eventually distance himself from this group and travel extensively in the 1860s and 1870s in Europe, the United States, and Canada, where his views were very influential. (Especially important is their appearance in the Scofield Reference Bible, which was printed first in 1909. The 1967 edition is still in print and is very popular in many Protestant fundamentalist circles.)

Despite Darby’s denials, scholars have suggested several possible influences on his Rapture views. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, a 15-year-old girl, Margaret MacDonald, a follower of a charismatic Scottish preacher, Edward Irving, attended a healing service at which she saw a vision of a two-stage return of Christ. Darby adopted and expanded her vision.

Another suggestion traces the influence to a Jesuit priest, Manuel Lacunza (1731-1801), who was born in Chile but came to Italy in 1767 where he would spend the rest of his life. Posing as a converted Jew (under the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben Ezra), he wrote, in Spanish, a large apocalyptic work entitled The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty. The book appeared first in 1811, 10 years after his death. In 1827, it was translated into English by none other than Edward Irving, an acquaintance of and possible influence on Darby. Given Darby’s hatred of Catholics, this possible influence adds an ironic touch!

The ‘Rapture text’ in Scripture

Those who propose the Rapture maintain that it is found in Scripture. From its first appearance, as we have seen, others have questioned this. What are we to think?

Written by Paul from Corinth, about 50 or 51 A.D., less than 20 years after the death of Christ, 1 Thessalonians is commonly considered the oldest book of the New Testament. It is clear that these earliest Christians were eagerly expecting Jesus’ return in glory at the end of the world. As time went on and this was delayed, two pastoral problems emerged that Paul addresses in these lines.

The first is the question of when. Paul tells them that they “know very well” that we do not know the time of the end; it will come like a thief in the night. This becomes a truism throughout the New Testament, appearing in the Synoptic Gospels (Mt 24:42,44; Mark 13:21-23, 32-33; Luke 12:39-40; 17:20-24; 21:34-35); Acts of the Apostles (1:6-7); the Letters (our passage and 2 Peter 3:9-10); and even in the Book of Revelation, not once but twice (Rv 3:3; 16:15)! Needless to say, this clear teaching has been consistently ignored by many up to the present day.

The second question seems more urgent. Since Christ’s coming was delayed, some of the community had died. Those who were left became worried: Would the dead lose out in some way at Christ’s return? Would they be at any disadvantage?

In describing Jesus’ return, Paul combines imagery drawn from two sources. From biblical apocalyptic (e.g., Daniel 7:13), he gets the coming on the clouds of heaven with the angelic trumpets. From his Greco-Roman experience, he gets the imagery of an arrival of a king on a state visit (in Greek, parousia); a joyful multitude goes out to meet him on the road and accompany him back to the city.

The dead will rise first and then we, the living, will be “snatched” up to join them in the air. Many pagan epitaphs of the time spoke of the living “being snatched” away by death. Here Paul speaks of our “being snatched” up to join the Lord and to welcome him at his return.

In the ancient world, the “air” was a scary place filled with unseen beings, many of them hostile. Together with Christ, there will be nothing to fear. Paul means this as a message of comfort and consolation for the Thessalonians. Christians do grieve the loss of their loved ones, but they should not do so “as others do who have no hope.”

The passage is about Jesus’ return in glory at the end of the world. The New Testament knows of only one such return. There is no “first” second coming!

Further, the passage says absolutely nothing about being “separated from” sinners; the whole thrust is exactly the opposite. It is about “being together with” the dead. There is no suggestion that once we meet Jesus “in the air” that he then turns around and goes back, taking us with him, to return later.

The conclusion is clear: There is no basis whatsoever in this passage for a doctrine of the Rapture. To see such a doctrine here is a complete distortion of the biblical text. If we were to examine other biblical texts often cited in support of this doctrine (e.g., Mt 24:40-41; Luke 17:34-35; Rv 3:10), the results would be the same.

Church teaching on the Rapture

A s Roman Catholics, we might ask, “Has the Church censured anything regarding the Rapture doctrine?” The answer would have to be no and yes.

No, to my knowledge, there has never been an explicit statement relative to the Rapture. But as we have seen, the Rapture forms part of a particular millennial expectation based on a particular use of biblical texts. Yes, the Church has explicitly rejected both this kind of speculation and this way of interpreting the Scriptures.

The Council of Ephesus (431) denounced it as “a deviation and a fable.” It was denounced again in 1516 at the Fifth Lateran Council. In 1824, the work of Manuel Lacunza (noted above) was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. In 1941 and 1944, responding to questions from the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, the Congregation of the Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) again rejected this kind of millennial speculation with explicit reference to the work of Lacunza. As recently as April 22, 1998, with the turn of the millennium approaching, Pope John Paul II warned again against this way of thinking.

In interpreting biblical texts, the Church has stressed that it is essential that we take account of their literary genres since truth is expressed differently in different types of writing (Vatican II: Dei Verbum #12; Catechism of the Catholic Church #110).

In its 1993 document, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, the Pontifical Biblical Commission both reaffirmed this (Section I-A) and rejected as inadequate the so-called “fundamentalist” interpretation at play in the Rapture doctrine and scenario (Section I-F).

As John Paul II expressed it on April 22, 1998, “We know that the apocalyptic images of the eschatological discourse about the end of all things should be interpreted in light of their intense symbolism.” It is not language that should be taken literally.

Problems with the Rapture

We might conclude by asking, “What view of the world is encouraged, even legitimized by the Rapture/Left Behind ideology?” It can be fairly described as an extremely pessimistic, “outsider mentality.” It feels “left out” of the world and of society, so it eagerly anticipates leaving all of that behind. In fact, God shares their disgust, and the signs are clear: God is coming soon to put an end to it. The world itself is doomed to destruction, so there is obviously no point in caring for it or protecting it now.

Everyone left behind on the earth at the time of the Rapture will be subject to the sufferings of the Tribulation. The violence envisaged and described (as in the “Left Behind” novels) is almost pornographic in detail.

The spirit of vengeance is much in evidence as those “left behind” are subjected to extreme anguish. The hope that the earth and most of its inhabitants will soon be destroyed is a cause of happiness and rejoicing among those who are eager to be separated from sinners and “raptured” out of the world because then they will be with the Lord.

To this we might juxtapose another, very different, world view. The world of God’s creation is basically good (Gn 1). Though it is marred and broken by sin and death, it is still created in, through and for Jesus Christ (Col 1:15-20). The world shares in the redemption of God and even now is groaning, awaiting the fullness of redemption (Rom 8:19-23) which will be manifested as a (re)new(ed) heavens and (re)new(ed) earth (Rv 21:1-5).

God sent the Son into this world out of love to show us the way to life. Jesus did not separate himself from sinners but, on the contrary, they seem to have been his preferred company. If we want to be with the Lord, we should be together with sinners.

In all the Gospels, he is criticized by the self-righteous, “He eats with publicans and sinners” (e.g., Luke 5:29-32), but, as he assures us, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just (Luke 15:7,10). The day of the Lord’s second coming is delayed, in fact, precisely because “ [the Lord] is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9-10). Jesus’ harshest words are reserved for those who think they are secure and look down on others (e.g., the Pharisee and the publican, Luke 18:9-14).

Even though we may long for the day of the Lord’s return in glory, the time of that return is unknown. Not even Jesus knows; only the Father knows (Mark 13:32). We are warned against false prophets who say that the end is near (Mt 24:23-26), but Jesus assures us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).

Until that time, we are to be about the Lord’s work, “Blessed are those servants whom the master will find at work when he arrives” (Mt 24:46). If we look too eagerly for Jesus’ return on the clouds of heaven, we may pass him by too often on the street (Mt 25:31-46). It would seem that what gets left behind most in the “Left Behind” mentality is the whole Bible.

What’s a Catholic to believe?

We began with several questions: What is the Catholic teaching on the Rapture? There is none; there is no traditional Christian teaching on the Rapture. It is a late, and rather suspect, arrival on the scene.

Will Catholics be raptured? No, of course not, but then neither will be anyone else. But we are left behind with one final—and most important—question. It is not about the future, the question, Will I be taken up by the Rapture? Rather, it’s more about a present question: Will I be taken in by it?

Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M., Ph.D., is a professor of Old Testament, Semitic languages and biblical spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California.


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