In this article we will eventually get to the teaching of the “Catching Away” which is called by most “the rapture”. But before we can get there I feel led to share some things first that will greatly help you when we do get to the teaching. Because there is much out there on this subject, and people don’t really know the truth. But they don’t know the truth for a reason…and that reason is that they want to read everything else except the bible.
A lot of folks want others to read and study and do all the homework for them. What they really want is bible CliffsNotes so they can just pass the test. All that CliffsNotes does is give you the main highlights of a particular subject. It is based upon the material that others (students & teachers) have said will be on the test. Simply put…it’s a cheat-sheet. But not everyone uses it as a cheat-sheet. Many use it as a tool to do a quick refresh of what they’ve studied, because they have a lot on their mind during finals. And this is ok…because they’ve done their own studying, so all the CliffsNotes do is enhance what they’ve already learned on their own. But many use it for the former reason.
The real reason for so much confusion concerning different cardinal doctrines of the bible is two-fold in my opinion. The first is that people just flat out do not want to study the bible deeply. They want to get their “bible-reading” in for the day…and for some strange reason this makes them feel accepted or spiritual. It gives them a sense of duty, and fulfillment.
I’m not coming against bible-reading at all. Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:13 to give ourselves to the reading of scripture. What I’m making reference to are the people who just read it to read it. The Chief Priests and teachers of the law quoted chapter and verse to the wise men in Matthew 2:4 as to where Jesus was to be born…but do you see even one of them going with the wise men to see this Christ Child? NO!! They read the bible for mere information only…it held no real spiritual life or application to them.
The bible has to be searched diligently for truth. It says in Daniel 9:2 that he “understood” by the writings of Jeremiah that the desolation of Jerusalem would be seventy years. He was deeply studying God’s word. He was searching it diligently. Twice in 1 Cor. 15 Paul uses the term “according to the scriptures.” What was Paul doing for those 14 years after he got saved? He was searching the scriptures.
The second reason for much confusion is that people would rather just read someone else’s commentary on a subject so that it’s easier to understand. I have news for you…even Peter said in 2 Peter 3:15-17 “…as even our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness.”
That Greek word for “steadfastness” is only used one time in the New Testament. And it deals with the doctrine that you have learned. In other words, verse 17 is taking you back to what was just stated in verses 15-16. Which is what? People are distorting God’s word. It even says that they were distorting it. So…according to those passages of scripture, WHO is distorting the scriptures? “The untaught.” Many “ministers” “pastors” and even “bible teachers” are untaught men attempting to teach others.
Even Peter was struggling with the things that Paul wrote about. But that doesn’t mean you go find something easier to understand at the sake of losing truth.
Satan loves to distort and twist scripture. Look at what he said to Eve in the Garden. He misquoted God, and then he added to what God had said. He did the same thing to the Lord during His trials in the wilderness. Satan misquoted Psalm 91:11-12 when he omitted the phrase “in all thy ways” and then added the phrase “at any time.” And satan sure forgot to add verse 13 to it which says, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” But notice what satan said to Jesus…”it is written.” It’s sad, but satan is still telling people ”it is written” and they continue to believe him.
I usually try and avoid this subject that I’m going to talk about here briefly, because it seems to really offend people. But for the sake of teaching you a truth, I must share this with you so that you can really see what I’m talking about here concerning satan twisting and omitting scripture. And he uses men to do it.
Take the NIV bible for instance. I would never personally read out of it or even own one. Why? Because I study God’s word…that’s why. And if the Lord Himself said that we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; then why would I read or study from a translation that omitted over 64,500 words, and left out over 15 entire verses?
They left out the word “Godhead” all three times in the New Testament. They took out the word “Hell” 40 times. They left out (or completely changed) words like: Regeneration, Mercyseat, Calvary, Remission, Jehovah, Immutable, Omnipotent, Comforter, Messiah, Quickened, Infallible, the word “Begotten” in John 3;16, Fornication, Trucebreakers, Winebibbers, Carnal, Slothful, Unthankful, Backbiting, Vanity, Lasciviousness, Whordom, Devils, Lucifer, Damnation, Brimstone, Bottomless Pit, Effeminate, and Sodomite…just to name a few.
The last two words being omitted doesn’t surprise me as one of the literary editors, Virginia Mollenkott, is a pro-abortion feminist who claims to be a ‘left-leaning’ Evangelical. In reality she denies the very God of the Bible and worships an idolatrous female god of her own imagination. In the Episcopal magazine entitled Witness, she is quoted as saying, “My homosexuality has always been a part of me.” (June 1991 – pages 20-23).
Zondervon Publishers have the copyright on the NIV bible. They are owned by Harper Collins Publishers. This is the same company that publishes The Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex.
The point of what I’m trying to make is that there are men and women out there twisting and distorting God’s word. And if you’re not careful and attentive, you will miss out on the strength and accuracy of God’s word. Be careful what you read. Satan is behind a lot of it!!
Anyone can pull verses out of context and make the bible say all kinds of stuff. I’m reminded of a Georgia sharecropper who wanted to be a preacher. – Listen to his view of the bible:
There was a Georgia sharecropper that wanted to be ordained to preach…so he came before the ordination board. They asked him, “What part of the bible do you like the best?” He said, “I like the book of the parables the best.” They said, “The book of the parables???” And he said, “Yes…there was a man, and he rode on his mule from Jerusalem unto Jericho…and he fell among thorns and the thorns rose up and choked him half to death. And he said, “I will arise.” And he arose and rode on his mule, and he was caught by his long hair under the low hanging branches of an Oak tree…and he hung there for 30 days and 30 nights…and ravens fed him… and Delilah saw him thereon and cut him down…and great was the fall thereof…and he said, “I will arise.” And he arose and rode on his mule unto the walls of Jericho upon whom Jezebel sat…so he said, “cast her down.” so they cast her down. and he said, “cast her down again.” so they cast her down again. and he said, “ cast her down 70 times 7….so they cast her down 70 times 7…and of the twelve basketfuls of fragments that remain, who’s wife is she going to be on the day of judgment?”
You see, all of that is in the bible, but it’s not presented just quite that way. It says in the bible, “And Judas went out and hanged himself” and then in another place it says, “Go thou out and do likewise.” It probable wouldn’t be wise to pull these two verses out of context and put them together. But yet, this is exactly what people are doing concerning the doctrine of the rapture. They read others’ opinions about it. People who are “untaught” who write damnable heresies about it; and people…honest people, and even ministers will believe it over the word.
Some might say, after reading next weeks article, “Now Robert, that’s just your interpretation of what the word of God says.” And to that I would say, “You’re right…because I’m letting the word interpret the word. I’m not letting some other “untaught” man who doesn’t study the bible or walk in spiritual things interpret it for me.”
The bible must be read, studied, and taken in context….the litmus test for any teaching or doctrine is to consider the “whole counsel” of God’s word. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Tim.4:16 This verse proves how important doctrine is. It can save me…and my hearers (readers)!!!
But yet people want it to say all kinds of things to appease their sin and their personal responsibility to a Holy, moral, and righteous God. People want an easy gospel.
We will continue this same teaching next week with Part 2; and we will show from the word of God and Church history, and from the Apostolic Fathers to the present – that your view of this teaching is paramount to your living. In other words, how you believe about this cardinal doctrine affects how you conduct your life and your living here and now.