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“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ,’ and deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4 NIV)

In Part One, we witnessed Simon’s quick transformation. In Matthew 16, he was elevated from the ordinary to Disciple-extraordinaire, Peter. Picture him in Matthew 16:18-19 with a proud and pious look, holding the keys to the kingdom.

In three short verses, it all changes. He has horns and resembles the devil. In moments, Simon went from exalted status to Jesus’ enemy. He transitioned from celebrity saint to Satan. What line did he cross with God? The same one prominent Christians transgress on a regular basis. Peter knew who Jesus was, (i.e. the Son of the Living God), yet, in Matthew 16:22, he undermined prophecy. (“Never Lord. This shall never happen to you.”)

Peter knew some things, but the future was not one of them. He should have shut-up and listened to Jesus. Disciples are notorious for not taking prophecy to heart. They may know in part, presuming they know the whole, but it is what they don’t know that makes them dangerous. The wise are aware of how much they do not know, but the fool thinks he knows everything.

Jesus gave us the essentials in his Olivet Discourse. He instructed disciples on the basics for overcoming at the end of this age (Matthew 24:3, Mark 13:4, Luke 21:7). He, who is sovereign over all things, told his followers in advance (Matthew 24:25). Have we taken these words to heart? Have we listened to Jesus’ words, or do we let the well-intentioned Peters feed us a diet of fake prophecy?

The end times will be marked with a great falling away. Authorities will attempt to undermine God’s prophetic word. They will describe a different future than the one Jesus presented in Matthew 24:9-10. Religious leaders will become a major stumbling block to saints who take prophecy to heart.

Three times in Matthew 24 (vs. 4, 11 and 24), Jesus warns about deception. But does it matter to those who know only part? “Many will fall away because of me,” is not just a prediction, but, because of who said it, it is an absolute. The Lord said many disciples will fall away, not just a few on the fringes.

Has apostasy or a falling away ever happened? Of course it has. History presents a pattern. For example, many disciples could not accept Jesus’ hard teaching in John 6. Then what? We learn, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:66)

When the going got tough, many, who had followed in the good times, bailed. We can understand desertion by pretenders, but what about the Lord’s inner circle, the twelve? In John 6:67-69, they had refused to leave Jesus.

As the cross of Calvary drew nearer, Jesus’ twelve disciples declared that even if they faced death, they would never leave him. Before that, in Matthew 26:31, Jesus said they would all fall away, and quoted Old Testament prophecy confirming it. So, were they there to the end or, that very night, as Jesus said, did they fall away?

Jesus never entrusted himself to men (John 2:23-24). Men will often reject the literal words of Jesus, and listen instead to sources like Peter.  If we read the whole, and not just part, we would know fake prophets will come and that those who stand firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).

Teachers will give the many what they want to hear. They purpose not to know the whole, only the part that suits them. So, the many are set up for a major deception. (My people perish for lack of knowledge.)

“A little learning is a dangerous thing,” so wrote Alexander Pope. Anyone who owns, or has access to a Bible, has no excuse. Ahead of time, Jesus told us all we need to know. For shame if we do not take his foreknowledge to heart.

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“The Priests of God: Unveiling the Order of Melchizedek”

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Watch out no one deceives you for many will come in my name claiming I am the Christ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4 NIV)

The Part-to-Whole fallacy may be explained this way: “Because part of a thing is true, it does not mean all of it is.”

The Galilean fisherman Simon was often right. In Caesarea Philippi, he hit the jackpot when Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

Like a seed, the disciple’s confession had been planted by the heavenly Father. It earned Simon a new name. From that time on, he was “the Rock.” (Matthew 16:17-18)

Peter enjoyed a new status. God spoke to him. With that heady experience behind him, he then felt qualified to contradict the word of Christ:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:21-22)

Peter, the Rock, rebuked Jesus; though it is doubtful Simon would have been that brash. He must have been upset by what he deemed as “the Lord’s negative confession.” Peter wanted to hear only positive. He may have assumed that since he was granted special revelation about Christ’s divine person, he received divine revelation on prophecy as well. As far as who God is, even demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19)

Sharply, the Lord Jesus rebuked the Rock. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

This is how it will be in the last days: Men and women will be esteemed and placed in positions of honor. They will receive wonderful revelations, even prophesying in Jesus’ name and performing miracles. They will draw large crowds and wow their audiences, thus becoming susceptible to Peter’s error (Matthew 7:22). Not every spirit is from God, so no one should assume they always speak or act for Him. Especially when it comes to prophecy, first test the spirits, or we may find ourselves opposing Christ (1 John 4:1).

Caveat emptor (“Let the buyer beware.”) Simply because our fine preacher or pastor has wonderful abilities, and rightly identifies Jesus as Lord, it does not mean he or she may not call God a liar. To assume our respected teachers or mentors know everything, without testing the spirits, places the responsibility for being deceived on our shoulders.

In Part 2, we will examine more evidence that, in the last days, the Part-to-Whole fallacy will cause many to fall into Satan’s deadly trap.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come to him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns. (Luke 22:52-53 NIV)

Forces of rebellion that have long been suppressed, are displaying their new found strength. It is natural for those who discover their muscle, to want to flaunt it. When they were weak, they would never consider a show of force, but with their bulging bicep comes a desire to exercise it on someone. The line drawn in the sand is no longer a boundary, but an invitation.

In these days, revolt has gone mainstream. Institutions of all sorts are flexing muscle they never had before and are challenging authority. Cities are declaring their own rule of law by their non-cooperation with federal law enforcement. The state of California is not only in non-compliance, but threatening to secede from the union. The once neutral judiciary has stepped into the fray by barring long-standing powers afforded the U.S. executive branch.  Higher education has made its presence felt among the rebels. Professors are inciting, then academically rewarding students for becoming active protestors. Much of the media has fanned the flames. What was once suspected, is out in the open.

Provocative and insulting remarks are the order of the day at gatherings of TV, music and movie personalities. Remarks that formerly would cause censure, are encouraged. It seems many want in on the act.

Not to be outdone, major sports has jumped in with both feet. The one escape there has always been from politics has waded into the revolution. One professional football player refused to stand for the national anthem. A year later, a spirit of rebellion has gained a wave of support among other football players, pro basketball players, and now baseball players, as well. Refusing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner is chic. Since the U.S. president jumped in and expressed his indignation over those who dishonor the flag, the floodgates have opened. Watch for Little League and Pee Wee football players to take a knee, not because they are praying; praying is illegal. They will be kneeling in protest like their sports heroes do.

This is the onset of the hour of darkness. It is what the beginning of the end looks like. It is when rebels start to reign. All my life, I have immersed myself in politics and sports. Sports was once a god that I worshipped. I am sickened by the whole mess, the entertainers, educators, athletes–all of it. When the nation comes to ruin–as it surely will–what solace will they take from their part in their country’s collapse?

As North Korea’s leaders take their threat of a nuclear attack  to a new level, home-grown revolutionaries, from all sectors, are doing the same. No one wants peace. There is no compromise. There is only an unquenchable appetite to show off their power. They are feeling it; the rich, the powerful and the famous are turning out in a show of force. Stadiums, arenas and theaters will soon be rubble. The hour of darkness will soon be upon us.

I grieve over what I see happening. My former idols are self-destructing. For all who claim loyalty to Jesus and his kingdom, the hour of darkness is a necessity. We must separate ourselves from the world. In the process, we must destroy our idols before they lead us into carrying clubs and swords, because after that comes the darkness.

 

 

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will hate and betray each other… (Matthew 24:9-10 NIV)

Living under an illusion provides a feeling of safety. Reassured by the people around us, we possess the confidence of lemmings as they march to the cliff. When the myth that held our group together shatters, then disillusionment sets in. The collapse of false ideas sets us free. Our freedom is much like a boat that has slipped its moorings. This is what I see coming for America and the West.

Professing Christ while singing a hymn is likely to produce a different response than confessing Jesus in the face of persecution. Going to church is one thing, but going to prison for Christ is altogether different. It is easy to sign on to a worship service; it takes more conviction to sign on to mistreatment for the sake of the Name. It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Christian executed by the Nazi’s, who said, “Jesus invites us to come and die.” (Yes, the word is “die” not “dine.”)

When the Vietnam Conflict was at its peak in 1969, I was graduating from college. Before I had my diploma, I received my 1A draft classification. My selective service number was in the low double digits. I knew what was coming.

I had a strategy, however. A college friend told me about his friend. He was in the Army yet had stateside duty. He wore civilian clothes and interviewed college co-eds. From his description, the job sounded like it was meant for me.

I did not want to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, so, within a week of leaving college behind, I was with the Army recruiter signing up. One year later, I was on a cot, staring at the inside of a tent, swatting mosquitos, wearing fatigue pants and a tee that was wet with sweat; wondering how it had come to this. I was one of a half million, and one of thousands of fresh troops new to the Republic of Vietnam. Instead of doing interviews on campus, my new home was a base camp surrounded by sand bag walls and barbed wire. As with a lot of my buddies, we had not signed up for this. Personally, it was the best thing that could have happened. God’s hand was upon me. I thank him for my service and the life-changing experience.

In several weeks, our oppressed brothers and sisters are to be honored with a special Sunday service. Each November, time is set aside to recognize the witness of fellow saints. In hostile countries, Christians who sign up to follow Jesus, do so with no illusions. When persecution is suffered, they understand it as part of their commitment. Jesus warned his disciples they would be afflicted. He said, “See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matthew 24:25)

In the last days, a great falling away is promised (2 Thessalonians 2:3 and Matthew 24:10, see above). Of the millions presented with a cross, most will opt to depart the faith. The reason: When their duties were given, sacrifice, pain and hardship were not on the list. Had they read their Bible or heard the testimony of today’s martyrs, they would have known. But they only listened to their recruiter.

For the unwary, disillusionment is inevitable. They think they are fulfilling their duty, and on the path of blessing. They believe suffering is for others. They are not ready for great distress. Sacrificial service is something for which they did not sign up.

“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king will arise, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in everything he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23-24 NIV)

Expressions of rebellion have made their way into the fabric of American society. A nation that was formed in rebellion is developing a culture that idealizes rebellion. The seeds of anarchy have taken root in various ways; this includes police shootings; violent protests; leaders promoting violence; officials at all levels selectively enforcing laws and who is punished; acts of vandalism against symbols of America’s history; disavowal of accepted national traditions or social norms; a press with a political agenda; a politicized judiciary and, perhaps most damaging, the unrelenting verbal attacks and physical threat directed at the U.S. chief executive and members of congress. All the above take place with relative impunity. The rebels trumpet their right to free speech, while they attempt to silence those with whom they disagree. It is now as it was in the latter days of Israel’s judges: There was no king so everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25).

We are witnessing the end of a once proud republic. Soon after it all comes crashing down, the rebellion will end as well.

Nearly two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville of France, observed, “America is great because she is good. When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  Take de Tocqueville’s wisdom a step further: When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be. “Make America Great Again” is a pipe dream without the rule of law, morality, mutual respect and goodness. Without repentance, America is destined for despotism. When barbarians finish their plundering, a tyrant will assume control. The colonists in pre-Revolutionary War days had it good under King George III of England’s rule compared to what America has coming. God have mercy on your people.

Without constraints, people rage against the Lord and rebel against authority (Psalm 2:1-2). In the end, they will not go unpunished. Their swords will be used against them. For rebellion is like the sin of divination (1 Samuel 15:23). 

In contrast to an attitude of rebellion, when the first of Judah’s exiles were settled in Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the elders:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce… Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:4-5, 7)

As for God’s people, they were to go about their lives, blessing their neighbors and Nebuchadnezzar the king. Regardless of who rules over the kingdoms of men, the saints are to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)

Rebellion against authority was conceived in the heart of an angel of light (Isaiah 14:13). It spread throughout the angelic realm until the scourge was hurled to the earth. In these last days, we know who is fomenting discontent and hatred. We know where the rage originates. It is because the devil’s time is short. Prophecy confirms there will be rebels. In the time of the end, they will become completely wicked. A stern-faced king will emerge as their chief. He will make war against God’s mighty ones and saints. After his power is taken, he and his kingdom will be completely destroyed. The scourge on earth will cease. The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. So says the Lord.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11 NIV)

Prophecy students owe a great deal to Thessalonian believers. Without their habit of becoming confused, distressed and led astray, we would not have clear, supportive Scriptures on subjects such as the rapture and Christ’s return. Paul loved the Thessalonians, as his letters testify, despite the fact they were easily swayed by men.

In the church in Thessalonica, they nightly turned out to listen to Paul. Afterward, they probably shook his hand and told him how nice his message was. Unfortunately, they may have forgot what they heard by the time they reached home.

The dear folks were no doubt polite and thoughtful, making sure Paul, Luke and their companions always had enough to eat and comfortable lodging, yet something was amiss. Luke, the writer of Acts,  did not compare them favorably with the Bereans. As we read above, only the Bereans listened eagerly then examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 

Friendly people, but the Thessalonians failed to employ critical thinking. They did not test the spirits to determine if what they heard was of God. One can imagine the Bereans had questions, sought clarity, and were hungry to learn the Scriptural basis for what Paul taught. (The Reformation-era Pietists were much like the Bereans. Their famous reply to a never before vetted statement on doctrine was, “Brother, where stands that written?”)

The Bereans compared Paul’s Bible passages with other Scriptures. They reviewed the full context. Among their band, some took detailed notes. On the other hand, the Thessalonians contributed a part of the New Testament simply because they failed to retain Paul’s teaching on prophecy, or failed to familiarized themselves with his Scriptures. As a result, they easily fell into error.

We still have Thessalonian Christians around, wouldn’t you say? Dear folks, who would give the shirt off their back and sit through every service. They seem attentive to the teaching, but they leave everything behind at the double doors. (“That was a good word from Pastor today. What was it again he talked about?”)

Thanks to the Thessalonians we have a record of what Paul taught. In one he chastised them for being easily led astray by a false prophecy, false letter or false report supposedly coming from him. “Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5)

The Thessalonians were not equipped to catch an error in interpretation or in sound biblical teaching, but the Bereans were right on top of it. The lie never had a chance, because they interacted with what they heard and the inspired word of the Old Testament. False prophets may have avoided the Bereans altogether, which might explain why no letter was necessary to correct them. As a false teacher, why deal with being exposed when down the road, in Thessalonica, he could be treated like a star?

Revisiting what Paul taught about the events preceding Christ’s return and the rapture are to our benefit, but should it have been necessary? The Thessalonians probably treated every teacher with hospitality and an open door to their mind. If they did remember something, they lacked the discipline to put it to the accuracy test. Scriptural authority was not that big of a deal to the Thessalonians. The entertainment value of the experience had more importance.  Do you know of any Thessalonian churches with Thessalonian Christians near you? I hope you are acquainted with other Bereans.

 

Q- You seem to speak in epic terms about salvation and truth. Do you view The Priests of God as being on the scale of an epic or even a monumental volume?

A- With regard to the ideas and insights it contains, the answer is “Yes, I see it in big terms,” but not as a best seller or a hit among Christians or anything like that. An analogy is a treasure in an earthen jar. The jar is my part with all its flaws to the literary purists. The treasure is God’s part. The writing is mine and I’m about as plain, brown paper wrapping as anyone God could find. By that I mean, I have nothing to attract readers but my ideas. Everything God does is epic and His ways are monumental. I just describe what I see the Lord is doing and why. I consider myself more of a scribe than a writer. I do not like “author” as a description. Author, has a connotation that belongs to the Creator. I’m simply passing on revelations from studying prophecy, all of which I find astounding. I’m in awe of God and I hope that comes through.

Q- There are some rather amazing claims in The Priests of God. I don’t want to spoil anything, but did it occur to you that some of your more sensational discoveries could be wrong? What if you are mistaken?

A- I thought long and hard on this question. The decision I made when I finally sat down to write is that this is the hill on which I take my stand. God entrusted me with some wonderful and amazing revelations. (I am not saying that I am the only one who ever saw these things in Scripture, but I don’t know of others. I did not receive this from another person.) But, God prompted me to put what he was showing me in writing. I’ll be judged for it by men, but God is my judge. I’m willing to take the heat or the outright rejection of my fellow saints. Everything about The Priests of God is challenging and calculated to make God’s people think and dig into the Word. Some will react negatively and I get that. Some will ask others to think for them and be discouraged by their response, but God is in control of who does what. As for me, I’m willing to die for the truths I affirm in this book—obviously, I would not say all that if I had any doubts of being wrong.

My test of whether my conclusion is right or wrong is this: Can I open up my Bible and find confirmation everywhere? If anyone can show me from Scripture a passage that clearly contradicts what I have written, then, if I cannot harmonize it, I will delete it and do a mea culpa. If I am accurately interpreting the Bible, people may disagree, and often do, but their disagreement is not with me. I’m not claiming perfection, but I am a bent on accuracy. My reading of the Word is constant. I am finding more supportive passages all the time. I eliminated 150 pages of text–more or less–and four chapters from my first draft to pare it down to the size I want. What’s that tell you? I did not struggle to find material; I had to pare it down. The Priests of God: Unveiling the Order of Melchizedek is the real never-ending story.

The key that unlocks the mystery of Melchizedek came several years ago. I can’t exactly remember how or when, but I wrote into the book that God asked me a question. It became the kernel of a suggestion He planted in my brain, and, as it grew, I began to share it with a couple of my prize Bible prophecy students. (One was Benaiah, who was kind enough to provide the Foreword to The Priests of God, the other Elijah, who wrote the Foreword to Lifesaver.) The feedback from Benaiah caught me off-guard. What I heard was his concern. If I wrote this—I sensed him saying—I would do damage to how I am perceived. Later on, I shared with my sister Marilyn. I felt she was basically of the same mind as Benaiah, trying to safeguard my credibility. Some of that concern was caused by my inability to defend what sounded like a wild idea.

This is years ago now, but I could not let this idea go. One of the last people I shared it with was more adamant than the others. He was sure I was wrong. This was the big test. Some of his objections made sense, so I backed off and put The Priests of God on the shelf. Gradually, I picked it up again. Something was telling me I was accurate. I dug into all the objections and analyzed them. The Lord gave me sound counter-arguments to harmonize the objections, plus more evidence. He also gifted me with a strong biblically-minded brother, Elijah, who thought I was on to something. Finally, I had enough. I knew we were on solid ground. God was saying it is time. I left my position to give full attention to this baby the Lord conceived in me. My final confirmation was when Elijah said that I had persuaded him. No one but God could have done that.

The artist Vincent Van Gogh sold one painting during his lifetime—or so I heard. Since I gave the Lord control over marketing, I am content if I have to give away copies of The Priests of God. If, during my lifetime, no one gives this book a favorable review, I will be fine. I wrote it for my God and the glory of His Son. He will use it according to his purpose. In the meantime, I’m turning my attention to The Kings of God.

Q- Who are you writing this book for? What is your target audience?

A- That’s a question I wrestled with from the beginning. I used to think the books I would write were for Bible students of all ages. Now I am not so sure. Some excellent students of the Bible that I’ve met had no–I mean zero–curiosity about the end times. I came to the conclusion there is a sub-section of Bible students that The Prophets, Priests and Kings Series connects with, namely the last day’s saints. There has to be an interest in end time prophecy or, even if one is a student of Scripture, the lights won’t go on. There is a veil over the mind. On the other hand, end time saints who are going through hardships like we find in the Gospels, or they expect to go through persecution, for instance, well, they have a hunger that this series satisfies.  Since we cannot be sure when final events leading to Jesus’ return will happen, I may be history before The Priests of God serves it’s true purpose. So be it. As long as it serves the saints.

Q- Define the term “order” in reference to “the Order of Melchizedek.”

A- I like this question because I believe there is a lot of misunderstanding on this issue. When the Bible uses “order” it implies both heritage and legacy. For example, we have the Aaronic Order of priests, which means Aaron’s descendants inherited their position as priests because they were in the blood line of Aaron, the high priest of Israel. God anointed and appointed Aaron as high priest over the nation of Israel, then his sons took over, then his grandsons, and so on down through the generations. In Jesus’ day, there were twenty-four divisions of priests (1 Chronicles 24:1), all descendants of Aaron. His offspring will go forever, but take a back seat in the Millennium serving the priestly order of Melchizedek.

Let’s go back. Aaron’s order made up the priesthood, while others from their tribe, Levi, served the worship community in other ways. But here is something I did not realize until I studied this, the priesthood of God was being passed from generation to generation long before Aaron came along. Amram, Moses’ and Aaron’s father,  was a high priest of the Hebrews while in Egypt. Does the Bible say this exactly? No, but it is implied. We see evidence in the protection of Moses and Aaron from Pharaoh’s edict to kill the male Hebrew babies. Obviously, God and the people took great pains to let no harm come to the infants Moses and Aaron. Hebrews tells us they were special babies. From Levi, Jacob’s son, came offspring who assumed priestly roles of carrying on sacred rites and guarding God’s oracles passed on from Noah to Abraham all preserved by a remnant. What I am getting at is the order of Aaron, the high priest, did not start with him; he was a priest in an order that started with God, heaven’s high priest, and passed to Adam as a priest of God, then to his sons.

If I may continue, we have a parallel to this order thing in the kingly line of David. The royal line–a synonym for order–runs in both directions from David. In one, leading through the present and culminating in the future, we have David’s legacy in Christ, the royal son of David, the Son of God. The Ruling Messiah is called David in Old Testament prophecy. And He, meaning Christ, will be seated on David’s throne and reign forever and ever. Others will learn in the last days they are also of the seed and offspring of David–but Christ Jesus is the ultimate King of kings.

In the other direction, David was an offspring of Caleb, an offspring of Judah, son of Jacob, grandson of Abraham. God told Abraham in Genesis 17, kings would come from him. So David is the father of royalty as well as a royal heir. With whom did David’s line begin? Listen to how Jesus refers to himself with respect to David in Revelation 22:16. “I am the Root and Offspring of David…” David sprang from Christ, the root, meaning the royal order originated with Christ, through God’s son, Adam (Luke 3:38). It ends with Christ. The order of Melchizedek originated in Christ, the root. Christ ministered at the altar in heaven. Many generations after Adam and Eve, Christ’s priestly seed was manifest in Melchizedek. He inherited it from the daughters of Eve. It was passed on by his female offspring to Mary, and other daughters of Zion yet to be identified in these last days. Christ, our high priest, is Root and Offspring, not of Aaron, but of Melchizedek, Priest of God Most High. It is amazing when we put it together.

 

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense, “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.” (Acts 26:24-25 NIV)

Men, like the Apostle Paul, want those who oppose them to know that their position is true and reasonable. Near the end of The Book of Revelation we twice read the book’s prophecy is trustworthy and true (21:5, 22:6).

Deceivers claim they are telling the truth if they think they cannot be proven a liar. There are many false prophets for that reason. How can you disprove something that is future? (ex. “The sun will explode in the year 2030.”) The expert may stake his reputation on his prediction, but is his argument true, trustworthy and reasonable?

If I recall, it was the philosopher Blaise Pascal that said that it is more reasonable that something that happened before could happen again, then something that has never happened will happen for the first time. Also, the preacher in Ecclesiastes gave us this:

Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before… (3:15)

So, is it reasonable to think that the Church will be suddenly taken up in the rapture, if nothing like it has ever happened? Is it trustworthy to say the saints will escape the tribulation and be taken up to heaven if nothing of this nature has ever transpired? (Yes, I have heard of Enoch, but tell me, what tribulation was he escaping?) The pre-tribulation rapture is completely without precedent.

Is it reasonable to believe that Christ will come at any moment, without any signs, if no Scripture supports the claim? We are talking about “imminency,” the cornerstone of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. Are PTR teachers trustworthy if their “any moment rapture position” contradicts the One seated on the Throne (ex. Revelation 13:9-10), His Son (Matthew 24:29-31), as well as Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

Come let us reason together. Something that happened before will happen again–this age will end and the wicked will perish as they did in Noah’s day. (Was the construction of the ark not a sign of God’s announced judgment?) Saints, forced to undergo great hardship, always precedes God’s deliverance, not the other way around (ex. the exodus).

So how has an illogical, unreasonable and untrustworthy teaching captured the minds of smart Christians. It is because a trusted person said it was true. We are also willing to overlook the illogical arguments that prop it up. But Salvation is never without her escorts, Truth and Reason.

For a reasoned Biblical criticism of Pre-Tribulation Rapturism, order Lifesaver: Saving God’s People from the PTR Ship. (Booklocker.com, ebook or paperback)

Lifesaver Book

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Prophets of God

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The People of God

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