Not long ago I was engaged in a conversation with a Christian brother, whom I respect, over the topic of the Rapture’s timing, about which we (he and I) disagree. His point, which ended our discussion at that time was: “you, Jerry, may be right, and would it not be arrogant of someone to claim that They are the only one to know the truth?”
I thought about that line of thinking and why my friend considered his understanding to be prudent as I was reading a Terry James post, as I do almost every day, and I often share those with you. I do this in order to allow you to see that Terry unlike my friend believes that he is 100% correct in his pre-Trib belief, yet he writes without scriptural support. With Terry there is no room or reason to debate the issue. He is so sure that he is right that he has cut off debate, apparently thinking it to be harmful to his readers or to his position — maybe to both, and just maybe he is not able to defend what he believes when it is challenged with scripture? Here is a sample of his statements:
“If you know Jesus Christ for salvation, according to Romans 10: 9-10, you will never have to worry about taking Antichrist’s mark. The current vaccinations for COVID, or for any other disease, is not that prophesied mark. It will come on the scene during the Tribulation, after the Rapture of the Church.”
So, what if as my friend stated above. “You Jerry, may be right, and would it not be arrogant of someone to claim that They are the possessors of the one truth on the subject?”
There of course is but one truth, so is it or isn’t it knowable? — and is it really the prudent thing to do to leave the answer open to debate until it becomes known?
So, continuing in this prudent vein, — I want you to consider with me — let’s say that we have a brand new seeker of God’s salvation in Christ, and that the reason for his/her being drawn to Christ is partly because of the teachings concerning the Lord’s second coming. He/she has concluded that in light of what we are now seeing in our world to be taking place, and recognizing how these events possess a relationship to end time Bible prophecy; then for them to accept Christ and His salvation is the only way. Following— This one sits under a pre-Trib teacher in the mold of a Terry James. They long to see the return of Christ. They buy completely into the pre-Trib understanding of the Raptures timing, and then the surrounding evil, which God used to awakened our seeker to Christ, suddenly erupts on an epic scale and virtually all of hell is unleashed on our world.
A charismatic leader enters a world which has NOT been made chaotic by the sudden disappearance of Christian’s, but instead they are seeing a roundup of believers in Christ, and still the Rapture doesn’t happen, and they find themselves in the midst of the Tribulation. Having never considered any other teaching on the Rapture’s timing, they are attacked by Evil at the core of their Christian beliefs. This one sees Christians dying for Christ. Satan tells him/her that Christianity is fake, “they did not want you to see the true Christ come so as to end the deceptions and hatred of this world, but here “he” is and you must follow him, and offer up your allegiance to him; or you will lose your life forever. Serve the master and you will live eternally with him. Our new Christian is confused, was lied to. Is still being lied to, and is more confused. What is the truth? What will he/she do?
You probably are saying: “if they are born again they will not give in. They will see through the deception”. Jesus said: “be not deceived”, and then He said: “he who endures until the end shall be saved”. Endurance implies that we are walking with Him in the truth and that we know it.
Now, let’s turn the tables: our new Christian is sitting under one, who, just as adamantly believes in the church having to go through the Tribulation. He is looking for the tribulation’s signs before Christ will come. He wants His Lord to come. He desires to look upon His face, but he expects persecution. ‘Maybe that he himself will lose his life for Jesus and for the stand that he has taken for Him. But suddenly the Rapture happens before all hell is unleashed, and before yielding the Tribulation on earth, — will this one go up with the rest of the church in that Rapture?
Which teaching carries with it the most potential danger that our young believer would turn from the faith and lose his crown? Which teaching aligns itself with Jesus’ warnings?
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:33 KJV
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:9-11,13-14 KJV
The word offended in verse 10 is translated fall away in both the NASB, and the AMP translations. Paul seems to have understood this to mean fall away:
1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (NASB1995)
The question that came to my mind many times when reading these warnings and when studying the various teachings concerning the timing of the Rapture was this? If Satan were creating a false narrative that would benefit him in the last days — that he surely knows are coming, and if he thinks that narrative is going to help him to possibly win by the only method that he knows — by it’s deceptive teaching (becoming a doctrine of demons which Paul warns against), then what message or messages would he use in an attempt to destroy the faith of Believers?
You may find that there are many doctrines where disagreement is present in church teaching. Is it possible that this is where these demons are working to deceive many?
You see most Christians today don’t believe that they can be lost. Dispensationalists are in the “once saved always saved” mindset, and they promote their other doctrines to support that belief. Thus they need to have a different class of believers (believers who are not part of the church or bride). Those, who since they are in a different class of believer, can fall away, because their own bride class cannot fall. So they claim that it is the last days tribulation Gentiles and Jews who will fall away. Yet these have never been saved, so why would they want to be saved in the first place knowing that it is a death sentence for which they want no part.
Then there are other believers today who are of the reformed theological group. Those, who believe that they are chosen for salvation and therefore have no say in it, so how then can they do anything other than what they were chosen to do. If they are truly chosen then they really can’t fall away, because their names are already in the book of life and cannot be removed. So those who fall away are actually chosen to fall. But if they were never chosen in the first place just from what would they fall?
These two differing denominations of believer constitute the majority within the church.
My understanding of truth is that I cannot do for myself and neither can you do for yourself, the thing for which only God can do for us. He teaches us only His truth on any subject, and He does that through His Holy Spirit — our teacher. If we are willing to let others teach us, and not seek God for the answers; then those others had better be led by the Holy Spirit, and not by some deceiving spirit.
Jesus said to the church in His message to Sardis:
Revelation 3:5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (NASB1995)
Jesus concluded each message with the words: Revelation 2:29 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (NASB1995)
I don’t know what the Holy Spirit has allowed you to see over your years, but I know what He has allowed me to see and hear mainly because He came or was sent to us to answer our questions. — not all of our questions are answered, but for sure our questions on doctrine, because they must be understood according to Paul. Part of overcoming is in our following the Holy Spirit where He leads into all truth. There is discernment in that walk, which is grounded in our hearing His voice, not the voice of the deceiver, and in our knowing the difference.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (KJV)
It is prudent to be a hearer of the word; for then discernment from the Holy Spirit is given us to know truth when considering the issues within the doctrinal debate. For not knowing is a sign of not hearing, and then you may prove to be ignorant of the truth, and thus deceived.