Missler states that we are not to focus on the Antichrist, because he firmly believes that a prerequisite to his being revealed is the rapture of the church. Yet Paul said: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
So the day of the Lord will not come until Antichrist is revealed. Interesting, because he had already told them in
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
This thief coming is supposed to be the time of the Rapture before Tribulation according to Missler, but it’s not before, if it is after Antichrist is revealed setting himself up as God in the midst of Tribulation.
In the u-Tube presentation titled “Chuck Missler vs Left Behind or Led Astray” Missler lists Seven Raptures. He lists Enoch, Elijah, Jesus, Phillip, Paul, the body of Christ, and John. I’m not sure of his point, because both the Mid and Post Tribulation Rapture believers also understand these individuals being caught up. But what is interesting is that here he includes Jesus catching away in Acts one, and he even uses the Rev 12:5 text as proof of His inclusion in this list of those having been Raptured or caught up.
But here is the interesting revelation, for when teaching on the Revelation 12:5 passage he states that the term Rapture used there was the rapture of the church. He in fact argues that Jesus was not snatched up violently, and therefore Rapture refers to the Church not Jesus. So he, depending on the point that he wants to make, argues both ways. This is the method of deception that Satan always employs in order to deceive. Why is it being used by any teacher of the Church?
He in his imminent return teaching says: Paul seems to include himself in with those who looked for Christ’s return.
1 Thess 4
2 Thess 2:5.
I presume by this Missler means Paul expected Christ to come in his lifetime. But even if Paul believed that he would be raptured, he later admits that he would depart through death. And if we would see that conflict as Paul being wrong, then could Missler also be wrong?
(i) The passage of 2000 years if Missler is right would suggest that Paul was speaking on his own and not for the Lord, if in fact this is what he once thought. Thus this would not be in scripture, and we know that it is scripture. And we know that He was either a lier or that he was speaking for the Lord, and he was speaking the Lord’s truth. Listen. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.
The only way then that this “we” could include Paul in the mind of God would be if Paul could convince himself that he was at that time seeing the times and seasons that he told us to look for. He was not, unless he mistakenly thought that Nero was the antichrist as others in his day wrongly did.
(ii) Then there are passages like 2 Tim 4:6 where it is clear Paul expected his own death soon, not the Second Coming. In other words Paul knew better.
(3) Timothy was admonished to keep this, 1 Tim 6:14.
Keep What!!?? 1 Tim 4:6 says nothing about the Second Coming in itself nor in the context. In context what it does say is that there are going to be all sorts of EVENTS that will happen “in the latter times”(4:1). It is clear that “the latter times” are not considered to be present when Paul is writing – they are still future, and this is implied by the fact that this is a revelation from “the Spirit” (4:1). It is not something happening “yet”, i.e. when Paul was writing, but was still future. This indicates that Paul had a doctrine of expected future events which he was now writing down (prophesying). And the context implies that these deceptions of which he spoke were going to happen in the Church. What Paul was writing to Timothy about was an instruction to warn the Church of the possibility of these things happening in their future Church (“if you instruct the brethren” v6). Thus 1 Tim. Chapters 4- 6 teaches us that there are events that are prophesied before the Rapture of the Church- not imminence.
Additionally Missler does in his 4th session on Rev. refer us back to 1 Thess. 4, where he says that in contrast to Rev. 19, Christ comes for His saints as opposed to coming with His Saints. But if we examine what we are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
So the difference we so often hear of between the Rapture and Second Coming is obliterated in one descriptive verse about the Rapture. “Jesus brings with Him those who have fallen asleep.” He is coming with His Saints-even as In Revelation 19, He is coming back with His Saints, and this Rapture passage informs us of that same happening. First He comes bringing the soul/spirits of the dead, who are joined by their bodies, and then brings the Raptured from the earth. So the Rapture is now linked to the Second Coming and in order to bring about a disassociation there must be scriptural proof. Is it in the imminent teaching of scripture?
Heb 10:27 is Missler’s next scriptural proof of imminence. Hebrews 10:27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
Again I am mystified about the use of this scripture. Perhaps I copied the wrong version, I’ll go back and re listen to this. How does it relate to the Rapture or the “immediacy” of the Lord’s coming? It doesn’t. All it does is warn that apostates will face judgement. What am I missing here?
(4) Idea of “occupy till I come” Luke 19:13, 2 Thess 3:10-12, James 5:8. The first is Jesus instruction to us. These last two imply there was such an expectancy that some were overreacting to and giving up normal life because of an imminence expectation. So let us examine these last two passages.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
Does this sound like Paul is agreeing with Missler. Is he saying Jesus could come tomorrow, but in the interim get back to work. No– what he says is that he had taught them that if they didn’t work they should not expect to eat.
James 5:7-8 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Here, Missler himself admits that elements of the early church had misunderstood the idea of the Lord’s coming and its nearness. The instructions of Jesus, Paul and James he refers to here all say the same: “Cool it. Get on with normal life. You are over excited about the Lord’s coming and have got it wrong.” James is calling for patience in the verse just prior to the one Missler lists.
The point is this: No one denies that elements of the early church had this expectancy of the imminent coming of the Lord – in fact You and I may believe that the Lord’s coming is near, but was and is this understanding right in light of what we are to look for? James says in the passage above that we are to be patient as the farmer must be patient while awaiting the crop.
What does it mean to be patient? The same ought to be true of our patience waiting for the Lord as when the farmer waits fort the crop to ripen. Is imminence in any way involved? So far the evidence of scripture doesn’t support it. This passage seems to be a correction to that (wrong) idea. Signs are involved in knowing when the crop is ripe. The disciples asked for a sign of the Lords coming. Jesus gave them several signs. Paul says that we are not in darkness for that day of the Lord to overtake us like it will the world. Why?– because we know the times and seasons which have certain signs accompanying them.