by Paul Benson
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. -Jesus Christ
Jesus taught us that the knowledge of the truth will set us free. Truth brings liberty! But equally true is the fact that falsehoods bring just the opposite. Lies bring bondage. And, sadly, some people are more comfortable with bondage than they are with liberty!
It is amazing the hold false doctrine can have upon people. We know that an unborn child is attached to the mother by an ‘umbilical cord’, and is fed by that cord. I think there is something similar that goes on with deception. People hold on to wayward beliefs like their very life depends upon it. Maybe we should call that an ‘unbiblical cord’?
The Seduction Of Error
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils… 1 Timothy 4:1
False doctrine ALWAYS carries with it a seduction. You can count on that. Here is a quote from my book Escape or Passover:
QUOTE: There is a spiritual seduction that goes hand in hand with false teaching. You’ll always find a temptation to the flesh involved in accepting error. Somehow wrapped up in every false doctrine is a benefit to the flesh. Whether it be the exaltation of self, the promise of pleasure, escaping the call to crucifixion, the lure of personal prosperity, or simply an easier route to be had (escapism); somewhere in every false doctrine is an appeal to the carnal man.
Recognizing Satan’s tactics of offering benefit to unsubdued flesh or a carnal mind is half the battle in living in victory over seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The seduction of false teaching has a much greater pull on the one who chooses to live in carnality or pride. Much ground can be gained in this battle by giving heed to the call to live a crucified life. A dead man is not all that interested in offers catering to the lusts of the flesh or the pride of life.
Coupled with seeking knowledge of the truth, a life of humility and holiness is very much an additional protection against falsehood. Not everyone will be able to receive that statement, but it’s true. A clean heart and wholesome teaching are a lot more connected than we realize. There is a delusion and a seduction involved in ALL false teaching that escapes the detection of the natural man, and has to be discerned spiritually.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Thessalonians 2:10-12 END QUOTE
The Danger Of Stolen Snippets
Evidence of mischief should be an immediate Red Flag concerning any teaching! People who preach the truth do not need to engage in shenanigans to get their message across. Whenever we see deceptive practices employed we should stop and question the motivation.
But how many actually do?
It is quite common to use isolated verses or even portions of verse in our preaching and teaching. I call these isolated bits of verse ‘snippets’. We all use them (even me), and space and time constraints dictate that we do. No one could reasonably expect we should quote an entire context every time we want to refer to a specific verse. But there is an inherent danger there.
A common tool of deception is the practice of pulling a snippet out of its proper context, and using it to convey an idea that it does not present in its original context. I call these ‘stolen snippets’! They sound quite convincing until compared with what their contextual meaning actually speaks.
The danger with this practice is this: To those who are lacking in discernment, or a familiarity with the true teachings of the Word of God, the poisoned concepts presented by these stolen snippets will most likely be ingested as truth! But the antidote is quite simple. Read the snippet in its original context and ask: Does this verse (or portion of verse) now speak what it has been claimed to speak, or was it assigned a new or altered meaning?
If the claimed meaning of the snippet is not in sync with the original meaning, then that facet of doctrine it is being used to present should be considered bogus! If this critical evaluation was a standard practice of all Christians there would be a lot less falsehood defiling the Body of Christ. It was this practice of critical examination that got me free of the Dispensational / pre-trib error the Denomination I was a part of sought to impose upon me. The truth set me free! Thank you Jesus!
Examples Of Stolen Snippets
In The Twinkling Of An Eye
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye… 1Corinthians 15:52
This is a prime example of a snippet of Scripture stolen out of its rightful context, assigned a new meaning, and then misused to promote an unbiblical concept. This hi-jacked verse has been turned into a catch-phrase for the pre-trib rapture theory. I’m sure you have heard it used countless times to support the notion of an instantaneous disappearance of the Body of Christ prior to the great tribulation. But that is total deception. What does that verse really teach in its true context?
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Corinthians 15:49-53
The entire chapter of 1Corinthians 15 deals with the resurrection and our transformation to a state that mirrors that of our Lord Jesus. The catching away of the Church is not mentioned even once in the entire chapter! That is NOT the focus of this phrase. No where does the Bible say the Church will ‘disappear’ in the twinkling of an eye. It says we shall be ‘changed’ in the twinkling of an eye.
Resurrection and ascension are not the same event!
Look at Jesus our example and forerunner. Was his resurrection and ascension the same event? No, they were forty days apart! I don’t know how much time (a little or a lot) will be between ours; but the idea of the Church instantly vanishing has no foundation in the Word. Not ONE verse! It is taught by the deceptive use of the snippet ‘in the twinkling of an eye’. But I expect our rise to the clouds to mirror that of our forerunner Jesus (a visible ascension). Why would it not?
No Man Knows The Day Or Hour
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Matthew 24:36
This verse comes from a context clearly speaking of the Second Coming of Christ. Try as you might you will not find the phrase ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man’ used in regard to a pre-trib rapture. You will only find it used to specifically refer to the Second Coming! Strangely, it has become a standard part of the pre-trib story, and many accept it without question. But there is no foundation for that claim in the Bible!
You would think surely there is a verse somewhere that says, “No man knows the day or hour of the pre-trib rapture event!” Why is this? Because people accept the notions presented them without demanding an express statement of that fact in the Scriptures.
Left Behind – One Shall Be Taken And The Other Left
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Matthew 24:40-41
Left behind! Where ever did the pre-trib crowd find that catch-phrase?
THEY STOLE IT!
Another example of a false claim leading to a popular but mistaken notion that this is Bible verse speaking of the pre-trib rapture event. Sorry wrong again! These verses from Mathew are in their context clearly speaking of the Second Coming. Verse 40 starts with the word THEN, with the ‘then’ being the event previously described in the chapter. The Second Coming!
FOOD 4 THOUGHT: What amazes me is how dispensationalist / pre-trib preachers will go to such great lengths to convince you Matthew 24 is about God’s dealings with the Jews in the end-times, and NOT about the Church (in order to say *the elect being caught up to Christ after the tribulation (Matt. 24:31) are not really the Church, but the Jews who got saved in the tribulation). But then they will pull out all these snippets of verse from that very chapter, assign a new understanding to them, and use them to teach a (supposed) pre-trib rapture of the Church! And few seem to even notice that double-dealing! Wake-up people! (*Who are God’s elect?)
If you are going to teach the Olivet Discourse is not about the Body of Christ, then PLEASE STOP using snippets of it to teach a rapture of the Body of Christ before the tribulation! Good Grief! How can people engage in such duplicitous practices and not be bothered by it? The pre-trib theory is chock full of such conflicting ideas! Want to get rid of all that conflicting theory? Teach ONE catching away of the Church at ONE time: The Second Coming! That is what the Bible teaches!
Like A 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. 2Peter 3:10
The day the heavens disappear and the works of man are burned up is the Return of Christ to Earth, not a day seven years earlier!
The phrase ‘like a thief in the night’ is such a pillar in the structure of the pre-trib rapture theory you will rarely hear a sermon on it where it’s not used. Also used as a book and film title, and even on ‘rapture ready’ tee-shirts, many would be shocked to know this phrase was lifted from the context of the Second Coming, and NOT a prior event!
Christ’s Return WILL come as ‘a thief in the night’, but did you know there is no where in the Bible this phrase is used in relation to a pre-trib rapture? Anyone who would claim the above passage from the writings of Peter was referring to a pre-tribulation rapture of the Saints would have some serious problems in the area of reading skills and comprehension!
And yes, I do realize the same phrase is used in another place in the Bible. Let’s take a look at that one also. I have noted elsewhere that in 1Thessalonians we have a situation where a chapter-break splits a passage in two, and if not careful we lose some of the contextual information. How about we give the entire section of Paul’s letter discussing the Return and catching away a good look?
For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 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. 1Thessalonians 4:16-5:3
Do you notice any difference reading this passage without the interruption of the chapter break? It more clearly shows it’s a description of the Second Coming and the sudden destruction that follows. This is NOT a pre-trib passage! The fact this passage *ties the catching away (4:17) to the sudden destruction of the wicked (5:3) prohibits the notion this is a pre-trib passage. That does NOT fit their story!
(*a tie clearly shown also by Jesus comparing the rescue of the righteous and the immediately ensuing destruction of the wicked at his Second Coming to the same pattern shown in the story of Noah and Lot. Same day – sudden destruction! Matt.24:37-39, Luke 17:26-30)
Now back to our stolen snippet. Once again we see here in 1Thess 5:2 the phrase ‘like a thief in the night’ was used in regard to the Second Coming! But where does the Bible use it to speak of a pre-trib rapture? (It doesn’t!) Both times this phrase is used it is directly tied to the sudden destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming; but the pre-trib rapture does NOT in any way present such a picture! This clearly shows how bogus it is to claim the phrase is a reference to their schizophrenic and unworkable theory.
Remarkably, in verses 4:16 thru 5:11 of 1Thessalonians (clearly dealing with the Second Coming) we find not one, but THREE phrases which are hi-jacked from this context and deceptively applied to the pre-tribulation rapture teaching!
Let’s look at the second snippet which has been pulled from this context and misused.
Caught Up To Meet The Lord In The Air
Also in this same contextual discussion in 1Thessalonians we see the popular phrase ‘caught up to meet the Lord in the air’. But, considering this entire context is discussion on the Second Coming, the catching away, and the destruction which immediately follows; to state this phrase is talking about a pre-trib rapture is absolute falsehood! Even most pre-trib believing theologians will (if pressed) admit this is not a pre-trib passage, but few include that fact in their teachings (for obvious reasons).
Amazingly, this is the very verse (v.17) from which the catchy name ‘Rapture’ was derived! I guess it goes something like this: Caught-up (English) = Harpodzo (Greek) = rapturio (Latin) = Rapture (English) so Yee-haw! (Montana Redneck). Quite the linguistic gymnastics that was employed to concoct a flashy new name for their new doctrine! (It very much IS a modern not a historical doctrine.)
Please briefly ponder the fact this context about the Second Coming we are discussing is the only place in the Bible this phrase on the catching away is found!
DO you get the significance of that? I mean SERIOUSLY!
The name rapture came from a passage of the Bible clearly discussing the Second Coming of Christ and the catching away of the Church at that time! It comes from a stolen snippet! Even the very name ‘rapture’ cannot be Scripturally tied to the pre-trib theory! What a joke that is! Excuse me but I find that quite laughable!
Why did they have to steal a snippet of verse from a Second Coming passage, and use part of it to fabricate the name rapture? Why did they not use a verse dealing with the pre-trib Coming of Christ? The answer is simple.
Because there are none! The Bible teaches no such thing!
And now let’s look at that third stolen snippet which was hi-jacked from this context.
God Has Not Appointed Us To Wrath
We now read the remainder of this lengthy, but subject specific, context which began in 1Thess.4:16.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 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. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1Thessalonians 5:4-11
SIDE NOTE: Notice the repeating of phraseology in this passage of Scripture. In 5:11 we see the same previous exhortation found in 4:18 that we are to be ‘comforted’ by this discussion of the resurrection / catching away at the Second Coming repeated. Also notice the repetition of reference to the dead and the living Saints (dead in Christ / we who are alive and remain 4:16-17, and also ‘whether we wake or sleep’ in 5:10) These intentional double references are additional witness these verses in chapter 5 are a continuation of the same context begun in the previous chapter; a lengthy discussion of the things concerning the Second Coming of Christ.
And within this context we find the phrase ‘God has not appointed us to wrath’. Although this phrase is commonly attributed to the (supposed) wrath of the tribulation period, here we clearly see it is in reference to the wrath of God poured out at the Second Coming. Once again a snippet of verse has been stolen away from its context, assigned an altered meaning, and then misapplied to prop up a feeble fable.
A Provable Hoax
The pre-trib rapture teaching is just one of many falsehoods of this day that utilizes stolen snippets, unsupported claims, and even subtle lies to seduce the undiscerning into accepting it as truth. It boggles my mind that such evident trickery in its promotion goes unnoticed (or deliberately overlooked) by so many.
I can only hope this article has given someone cause to pause, and employ the safeguard of critical examination. Subjected to that kind of evaluation, and a demand for Scriptural validation of its various claims, that rickety pre-trib theory falls apart like the proverbial House of Cards! But only those who question it, and demand a biblical foundation, will ever realize the gross error of that teaching.
And to those of you who are stealing snippets of God’s word away from their contextual meaning and misusing them, God himself says this:
“Put them back. Or else!”
Yes. you were just threatened with the judgment of God! If you have issue with that PLEASE take it to the LORD. I already have. That’s where I got those words!
Articles on the Pre-trib Rapture Theory by Paul Benson
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