Marla Ilona counts down the Top Ten false teachings and false beliefs in the Christian Church. Explosive!
Ever since the death of Jesus over 2000 years ago, the Church has been infiltrated by a number of false teachings, some of which are especially dangerous for the end time generation that we are. Many false doctrines, practices and holidays entered the Church progressively and became official in the 4th. century A.D through Emperor Constantine’s decrees. His goal was to blend and interweave Christianity and paganism as a sort of cultural glue that he hoped would hold the Roman Empire together.
But this is not the only source of lies within the Church. Other lies are much more recent, having entered the Church only in the 19th. or 20th. centuries. These newer lies take advantage of the fact that so few Christians really study the Bible. If they did, they would immediately recognize the deceit because it has no scriptural foundation whatsoever. Unfortunately these false teachings have gained a lot of ground and influence the thinking and behavior of millions of Christians across the world.
Even though we’re going to have a little bit of fun as we count down the “Top 10 Myths of Christendom” please be advised that these are very serious matters. Our eternal life depends on our being able to discern truth from error. Remember, the Bible says that the devil is liar and the father of it. Lucifer has been twisting God’s Word in the minds of men since the Garden of Eden. Here we are 6000 years later, and so many Christians are still falling for the devil’s lies. He’s clever, subtle and determined, we have to grant him that.
I’ve selected the Top 10 Myths of Christendom based on the following three criteria: 1) It’s a false teaching as measured against the only record of truth which is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. 2) It has penetrated the Church to a large degree and has millions of Christians believing this lie. 3) It has particularly grave implications for the end time generation that we are.
Were we living in the Middle Ages for example, I would have put the sale of indulgences in the Top Ten Myths in the Church. If you recall from your history class, the sale of indulgences was practiced by monks and especially friars. They went around from town to town, promising salvation to those who would pay the price to remove their sins and even the sins of their dead relatives. At the time most of the people gullibly believed that indulgences could wash away sin, not only past sin, but present and even future sin.
Let’s face it. Although we’re no longer in the Dark Ages and God’s Word shines brightly for those who possess it, we’ve entered a period of great famine, famine of the Word of God, where even those who would seek the Word of God will not find it. From nearly every pulpit today, preachers are preaching smooth words that please the people but displease God because His truth is not being taught to this generation.
So our purpose today is to shine the light on those pleasing lies that have been spread in the Church, which can have very serious consequences for those who believe them. In our time certain sins will not be forgiven, and those who make wrong choices might end up bearing the mark of the beast, with totally catastrophic and irreversible consequences. The bottom line is, whenever we move away from the Bible, whenever we replace God’s word with tradition or false doctrine, we take sides with the devil and believe him at our own risk and peril. Our countdown of the “Top Ten Myths in Christendom” combines those originating in paganism and Catholicism as well as Protestantism.
Myth Number 10: Christians can be like the rest of the world
It’s a false belief to think that Christians can behave like the world, dress like the world, eat like the world, and fill their minds with the things of the world.
The first thing to consider here is that God’s people are a peculiar people according to 1 Peter 2:9.The New King James Version reads: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”. The King James Version actually uses the expression “a peculiar people”. To fully understand what this means, let’s define peculiar as it’s used in the Bible. The word “peculiar” is derived from the Latin “peculium”, and denotes, “a people for God’s own possession”, a special possession or property. The church is the “property” of God, his “purchased possession” according to Ephesians 1:14. Remember that we were purchased for a very high price, which was the life of Jesus.
To shed more light on this, let’s read in Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
What characterizes this peculiar people? They will not be conformed to this world. They will renew their minds through scripture and prayer, so that their standards of behavior, their norms in terms of eating and drinking, their appearance and dress, will be based on a different standard from the world. Worldly people base their choices of food on what tastes good and what is convenient. Worldly people base their appearance on what is pleasing to the eyes of other men and women beholding them. Worldly people seek continuous entertainment and quick gratification
Therefore God’s people will behave, eat, drink and dress differently from people who are in the world.
1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” So God’s people don’t poison their temples with unclean food or drink. Instead they go back as much as possible to God’s original diet, before sin, where the Lord gave Adam and Eve fruits, nuts and seeds as their original food. After sin came vegetables and grains, and after the flood destroyed all vegetation meat was introduced into our diet.
God’s people dress simply and modestly and wear little or no jewelry. They dress to be pleasing in His sight and because jewelry leads to self-pride and wrong worship. Now before you roll your eyes up on this one and get totally turned off, hear me out. I also had a hard time with this but now I’m on board with it. In Heaven Lucifer was adorned with all manner of gold and precious stones, as described in Ezekiel 28:13: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold”.
In Exodus 32, while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving God’s Ten Commandments, the people got tired of waiting for him. They put all the gold of their earrings together and melted it. When it was melted Aaron fashioned a golden calf, which they began to worship as their god who had brought them out of Egypt. This is worth reading, from Exodus 32:1-8:
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” …
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”
Because we were made to worship, we can very easily misdirect our worship from God to money or even to ourselves. This is why God wants us to dress simply – with few adornments – and modestly. Not too long ago I heard a preacher talking about proper dress code for Christians and he was telling the young girls that when flesh is exposed like in those open markets in Africa, the one thing around that flesh is flies. You know what that means right…
God’s people do not corrupt their minds with the entertainment of this world, whether it be Harry Potter movies or reality TV shows. Our music also should not be the music of the world, but the music we should be listening to is uplifting to our spirit and would be appropriate in God’s throne room. Need I say that we stand nothing to gain from listening to the Top 40 Songs in America? We’re just using this today to catch your attention.
God’s people should keep their mind on uplifting things as described in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report (this means encouraging), if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”.
Why do I think this is so important as to be in the Top 10 of all deceit in the Church? Let me give you four reasons:
When you eat like the world, you literally put your life at risk. In addition to the unclean foods that God has asked us to stay away from because they’re toxic, food in general has become toxic because of the scrupulousness of men. It’s very important that you know what you should and should not eat in order to stay healthy.
When we indulge in the things of this world, we are opening doors to the enemy. Remember he is roaring like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. Even what appears to be the most innocent of all entertainment, like Disney or How to train your dragon is opening doors to the enemy. Let me tell you a real story. Once I was invited to speak at a church and after the service I prayed for the pastor and his family. He had told me that he was having issues with one of his children who was mentally and emotionally under-developed for his age. As I was praying over the child the Holy Spirit or an angel, I don’t know which, whispered in my ear: “it’s an elf spirit”.
When I told the pastor about the revelation I’d had he confirmed that the child lied a lot and made pranks. So I asked him if in any way the child had been exposed to elves, for example through Disney. First he said no, but after reflecting for a moment he said: “Oh, there’s this sci-fi series we watch on the weekend when we spend time together as a family. Every time we do sit down we watch a few episodes and there’s an elf character in the series”. In today’s world, there is no neutral entertainment. Nothing is innocent any more. All around us is spiritual warfare and you have to take sides. When you partake of the devil’s fare don’t be surprised if you end up with unexpected guests in your home, in your mind or even in your body.
Purity is our source of power as believers. This is why the Bible says in James 4:4: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” You all know about King David. Before he became King of Israel, David was a young shepherd boy. He spent his time in the mountains surrounded by nature and his sheep. He had no worldly distractions, only his shepherd’s rod and staff.
When David wanted to fight Goliath, the uncircumcised Philistine, this is what he tells King Saul in 1 Samuel 17:34-36 “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”
So aside from any parallels between David and Jesus as shepherds of their flock, willing to fight any predators who dare come to steal their sheep, what I read between the lines is that purity of heart, that close connection to God that gave David his supernatural spiritual strength which also was translated into physical strength. He was able to kill lions and bears with his bare hands. With nothing but a slingshot he killed this massive Philistine giant that all Jews were terrified of, including King Saul. He overcame lions and bears and giants because he walked in the supernatural realm, because his faith was pure and untainted by the things of this world.
That’s the kind of faith and power that we need to walk in as believers. That’s the kind of purity that makes us a clear vessel for God’s Holy Spirit and allows Him to work miracles through us. You do not acquire that kind of faith from reading Cosmopolitan cover-to-cover or listening to Night Vale.
There just isn’t that much time left to waste on anything that’s not directly related to winning the war against evil and to prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus. That means that the highest priority on our list is to be saved, stay saved, and do our best to save others. Based on what God says in His Word, He doesn’t think you can stay focused on those life or death goals while you’re indulging in all the amenities of this world. Jesus had to turn those down in order to start His ministry with Holy Spirit power.
Myth Number 9: Idol worship
In Exodus 20 verse 4, God said “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” This is a strict prohibition against idol or statue worship. The only one who deserves worship is our God – He will not share His glory nor the worship that He alone deserves. The Bible is full of injunctions against idolatry. We should not bow down to any representation of any other gods or any created thing, nor even of anything that seeks to represent our God the Creator. Idolatry is a violation of the Second Commandment and very detestable to the Lord.
Let me give you some contemporary examples so you can see this is not an abstract concept. Idolatry includes bowing down before altars. It includes bowing down to statues of saints and of the Virgin Mary with or without the Holy Child. It also includes bowing down to ancestor altars in Asian cultures as well as burning incense to a Buddha statue before or after a meditation class.
Jonah 2:8 says “Those who regard worthless idols? forsake their own mercy.” In the Book of Ezekiel Israel has reached the summit of idol worship, and the cup of God’s wrath is overflowing. Let’s read in Ezekiel Chapter 6: Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, to the hills, to the ravines, and to the valleys:
“Indeed I, even I, will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Then your altars shall be desolate, your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Then in Ezekiel 14:3-6: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols… Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!'”
It’s very clear from this passage that idolatry is detestable to the Lord and He perceives it as something that separates His people from Him, because idols are substitutes for the real thing. God takes idolatry very seriously – this is why the prohibition against idolatry is the Second Commandment, right after “You shall have no other gods before Me”.
Sadly in today’s world, billions of people engage in idolatry on a regular basis. Millions if not billions of people in Asia worship Buddha statues and ancestor altars. Nearly 2 billion Catholics around the world worship idols in their churches and cathedrals, which are filled with statues of saints, angels and the Virgin Mary as well as large crosses. Worshipping a cross is displeasing to God because He wants us to worship Jesus, not the cross. Because the Roman Catholic Church removed the Second Commandment from their catechism and their own modified version of the Ten Commandments, most Catholics are completely ignorant of it. They make offerings to statues and burn candles to statues. They have the purest intentions, yet this is very displeasing to the Lord.
I am not judging anyone, God forbid. I have been guilty of idol worship so many times, both in my New Age days and when I started seeking God on the Christian path because all else had failed. Before I left France for good to return to the US I traveled twice to Lourdes to pray for deliverance. Lourdes is a famous Catholic place of pilgrimage in the south of France by the Pyrenees, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a young woman named Bernadette. The place is teeming with believers who travel from all over the world. There are many statues of the Virgin and notably there’s the imposing statue of Michael the Archangel.
I prayed to Archangel Michael in tears. We know what the angel told John the author of Revelation 19:10 when John fell to his knees to worship the angel. John says: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!”
What is impressive about Lourdes is the faith of all those seekers who come for deliverance, healing and restoration. I remember leaving there with a great feeling of peace, knowing that with the knowledge I had at the time I had done my best to seek the Creator. So my intention is not to judge because I’ve been there myself. I feel blessed today to know the truth and to be able to share it with you.
God forbids us to focus on carved images or representations of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Instead, He wants His people to lift our eyes and voice directly to Him in Heaven and to bring our hearts to Him.
Myth Number 8: False beliefs and practices related to baptism
The false teachings about baptism range all the way from “I don’t need baptism, I’ve accepted Jesus in my heart” to baptism by sprinkling and baptism of infants.
Baptism is incredibly important in our walk with Jesus. Jesus didn’t need to be baptized, in fact even John the Baptist said that he wasn’t worthy of tying Jesus’ sandals. Yet Jesus gave us the example by being baptized in the Jordan River before He started His public ministry.
There’s much to be said about baptism. Let’s start with the meaning of the word. The word baptize is from the Greek word baptizo, and the word baptism is from the Greek word batisma or baptismos. The two primary meanings of the word baptize are:
- to dip repeatedly, to immerge, submerge
- to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water
I’d like to give you five powerful reasons why baptism is so critical in the life of a believer.
First and foremost baptism is a cleansing or washing away of our sins. It also is an act of repentance and confession. We repent of our sins and confess our faith in Jesus Christ’s power and ability to forgive our sins and save us. In
1 Corinthians 6:9-1 Paul says: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Jesus was very clear that baptism is non-negotiable. Listen to what He tells the disciples in Mark 16:15-16 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Baptism is not optional. If we believe, if we have faith, we will be baptized and we will be saved. Faith and baptism go together.
This is the second aspect, baptism is a public confession. We proclaim to all who watch, not only men and women but also angels, both angels of light and fallen angels. We profess with our mouths whose we are, who we choose to serve, and who we surrender our lives to. Romans 10:9-10 says “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Another very key aspect of baptism is that it represents the fact that Jesus purchased us back from the devil by paying the very high price of His life and His precious blood. He redeemed us. “To redeem” is an expression that was used to buy back a slave’s freedom. Continuing in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 which we just read, in verses 19 and 20 of that same passage Paul says: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
When Adam and Eve sinned they gave Satan the legal right to rule over this planet. When Jesus died on the cross, He reclaimed the right to rule on earth. Colossians 2 says about Jesus at the cross: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” “Having spoiled principalities and powers” means that Jesus took something away from them – and that something is us collectively. He reclaimed us for His Kingdom as a race. But every one of us needs to make that true for ourselves individually. Baptism is one key step we need to take to ensure we are redeemed.
The fourth aspect of baptism I’d like to highlight is the symbolism of death and resurrection. In John 3, Jesus interacts with Nicodemus and tells him that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And He adds: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” In order to be born again, we need to first die to our sins and then be resurrected in Jesus.
Romans 6:3-8 tells us: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death. Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him….”
When we are plunged into the baptismal waters we die to sin. When we come out of the water we are resurrected to the promise of eternal life in and with Jesus.
We take off our dirty robes and put on the robes of righteousness of our Lord Jesus. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) In the book of Genesis God dressed Adam and Eve in animal skins pre-figuring Jesus’ sacrifice. In the Book of Zecharih chapter 3 Joshua is standing before God, Satan is at the right hand of Joshua to accuse him, and the Angel of the Lord “spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto Joshua he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.”
When we are cleansed from sin, our filthy robes of sin are removed and replaced with the robes of righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot stand before the Father in dirty robes or in our nakedness.
Do you see how incredibly important baptism is? So much for those who believe they don’t need baptism. Remember, Galatians 3:27 says “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Those who have not been baptized have not put on Christ. Opting out of baptism is taking a huge risk with your salvation. I wouldn’t take that risk. I’d rather play it safe and be baptized.
Now, above and beyond Christians doubting that they do need baptism, there are two corruptions of baptism that entered the Church. The first corruption is baptism by sprinkling. This is absolutely not scriptural, but an invention of men. As we said earlier, the very word “baptism” means immersion. If you were not baptized by full immersion in water you have not been baptized.
The second corruption is baptism of infants. An infant cannot really believe nor confess with his or her mouth. Therefore it is recommended to be of a certain minimum age to be able to truly believe in Christ and to publicly profess that faith. These two practices became legitimized in the Church during and shortly after the reign and death of Emperor Constantine. He himself was baptized on his deathbed by sprinkling, which really demonstrates that his pretended Christianity was a veneer and he remained a sun worshipper at heart.
Myth Number 7: the secret rapture
According to this lie, God’s people supposedly will be whisked off and spared the great tribulation. The problem with this lie is that Christians who believe this will not be prepared for what lies ahead.
This particular invention entered the church in the year 1830. In a Scottish church pastored by Edward Irving, a woman named Margaret McDonald received some visions and revelations. She spoke of the visible, open, and glorious second coming of Christ. But as her utterance continued, she spoke of another coming of Christ – a secret and special coming in which those who were truly His people would be raptured and therefore would not have to endure the Great Tribulation that is announced for the last generation on earth at the time of the end.
However, it was John Nelson Darby – a preacher and writer of the time in England – who was largely responsible for introducing this new teaching on a large scale. The teaching spread to the United States in the 1850s and 1860s, and Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, a strong believer in Darby’s teachings, incorporated it into the notes of his Reference Bible, which was published in 1909. Since that time, this secret rapture has been widely taught and accepted. People are completely unaware that this was not the interpretation held by Christians over the centuries.
What is the scriptural basis for this view? Nil. It is non-existent. There is no Bible verse anywhere in the Bible that talks about a secret coming of Jesus to take His people away. In fact, all of the scriptures related to the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world directly and categorically contradict the secret rapture theory. There are a couple of verses that the “rapturists” use to justify their belief, and both are taken out of context and misinterpreted.
What is the danger of this particular theory? The danger is that God’s people, thinking that they’ll be whisked away and not have to endure the Great Tribulation, will be totally unprepared to face the great storm that’s coming and may therefore not be able to stand in the evil day.
According to the Bible, how many times does Jesus come to planet earth? Twice. The first time He came as the Redeemer, the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the earth. He came to die for us. The second time He will come as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He will come at the end of the world to rescue His people and take them back home to Heaven with Him. The first time He came in humility, to serve. The second time He will come in glory, to conquer.
According to the secret rapture theory, Jesus would actually come three times. Between the first coming as the Savior and the last coming in glory at the end of the world the rapturists position an intermediate “secret visit” where Jesus would secretly come to gather up His people right before the start of the prophesied Great Tribulation, seven years before the end of the world. Again, there is no scriptural foundation for this – there is no “phasing” of Jesus’ return, with or without a seven-year interval.
Let’s quickly review the seven characteristics of the second coming of Jesus according to scripture.
- Prophetic: The Bible describes how this event will happen and although it doesn’t reveal exactly when, it does give signs to watch for. Matthew 24:33 “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (which have been prophesied), know that it is near, even at the doors.”
- Literal: Jesus’ second coming happens exactly as described in the Bible, it is not a symbolic event. We read in Matthew 24:30-31 “Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
- Loud: There are shouting and trumpets: “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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
- Public: Revelation 1:7 says “Every eye shall see Him”. Matthew 24:27 says “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
- Cataclysmic: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 all talk about people being terrified because “the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”. 2 Peter 3: 10 tells us that “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.”
- One-time event: Jesus’ second coming happens in one fell swoop, not in two phases
- Final: This is the final event of human history on earth. It closes time as we know it. It marks the end of the world as we know it.
Until that final event happens, the wheat and the tares (meaning the just and the unjust) continue to grow together side by side. The harvest of the earth happens at the very end of the world, not seven years before. The righteous are not separated from the unrighteous seven years before the end of the world. Jesus takes up the righteous unto Himself at the end of time.
To finish off, let’s quickly examine the three main scriptures that the rapturists base their position on:
The first scripture:
“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” 2 Peter 3. Well, we read the full passage just now. Obviously the “thief’ part has nothing to do with secrecy because the heavens will pass away with a great noise! Jesus clarifies in the parable about the thief that His second coming will be a surprise. Just like the thief comes unannounced, so will the Lord come unannounced and His people need to be prepared. Jesus Himself clarified the meaning of this analogy: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” (Matthew 24:42, 43).
The second scripture:
Matthew 24:40 and 41. These verses are taken out of context. “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” But notice how the entire passage reads, starting in verse 37: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:37-41).
If you listened closely, you realized that in this passage it’s the evil ones that are taken away, the flood came and took them all away. I’m well aware that this is not the traditional interpretation of Matthew 24:40 – 41 but in many other passages there Biblical evidence of the word “taken” being used to refer to the wicked and the word “left” being used to refer to the righteous. This is the exact opposite of how most people including the rapturists interpret these two verses in Matthew 24. They believe that the righteous are taken away and the wicked are left. But when we put the two verses in the context of the scriptures that are right before it, it’s clearly the wicked that are taken.
The third scripture:
The third scripture used by the rapturists is a bit trickier to dissect in the little time that we have. I’ll just give you a quick overview. In Daniel 9 the Lord gives Daniel the 490-year prophecy that would date precisely the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. The start date of the 490 years is based on the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem after the 70-year Babylonian captivity. That decree was given in 457 B.C. by Artaxerxes – this is described in Ezra 7:13.The 490-year prophecy determines the time given the Jewish people to repent of their sins and accept their Heaven-sent Messiah.
In correct Bible analysis and interpretation the last 7 years of the 490 years comprise Jesus’ public ministry, His death on the cross, and end with the stoning of Steven. At the stoning of Steven the exclusivity of the gospel is taken away from the Jewish nation and Saul is chosen to become the Apostle Paul and bring the gospel to the Gentiles. What the rapturists have done is they’ve taken the last 7 years of this prophecy and instead of applying it in its proper historical timing they’ve once again taken a Bible verse out of context and applied it to the anti-Christ at the end of time.
It would take too long here to read through all of the Bible passages in detail. But they’ve taken this verse in Daniel 9:27 which applies to Jesus Christ and they apply it to the anti-christ. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:27 contains two prophetic statements about Jesus Christ : He fulfilled the covenant which God had established with Abraham “and in your seed all peoples shall be blessed”. With His perfect sacrifice He caused the daily animal sacrifice in the temple to cease with the tearing of the veil in two. The tearing of the veil is a historical fact, it was approximately 60 feet high and 4 inches thick. The sacrifices ceased for a period until the veil was restored.
The fact that the Jewish people and their priest needed to make the sin offering annually and other sacrifices were repeated daily demonstrated that sin could not truly be atoned for or erased by simple animal sacrifices. Jesus Christ, through His death, opened a way between God and man, and now we can approach the throne of grace boldly. Hebrews 10:19-20 says “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh”
What is the take-away here? Like every other counterfeit teaching in our Top 10 Myths in the Church, the secret rapture is a tactic of war drummed up by the enemy of our souls. He is determined to undermine and in fact replace Jesus Christ. What better way than to take a prophecy that was spoken and written about the Lord Jesus and have it redirected toward himself? What better way to lull the Church into a false security than to have her believe she will be whisked away and not have to endure the Great Tribulation that is almost upon us? What a masterful plan to try and sedate the Church with that false sense of assurance so that she will be totally unprepared for the calamitous events that are brewing.
Satan would like to take a sleeping, unsuspecting Church completely by surprise, like the 5 foolish brides whose lamps were out of oil. This is why Jesus said in Luke 21:36 “Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.” No one is ready for what’s coming. Wake up, wherever you are. The time is almost upon us and the Church will be here for the Great Tribulation. The Lord will be with His people, but we need to prepare, both individually and collectively, to stand.
Myth Number 6: Pope and priests are mediators between God and us
Let me emphasize that my intent here is not to attack the Catholic people, but to set the record straight about the Catholic system of the Papacy and priesthood. There is a very big, very serious core issue here and I’m going to speak it plainly. The issue is that the Roman Catholic Pope and the Catholic priests are usurping the role of Christ in several different ways, substituting themselves for God as they stand between God and His people and substituting their manmade doctrines for the Word of God. The Catholic Church authorizes these human beings to take the place of Jesus.
Counterfeit truths have been planted for many centuries now to justify the usurping of Christ’s role as High Priest and mediator for the human race. The Bible speaks of the Church as being Christ’s bride. If He is the husband, no other husband is needed, or we fall into spiritual adultery. The Bible also speaks of the Church as the body of Christ, where He is the Head. Let’s just cite a few examples.
– Colossians 1:24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”
– Colossians 1:18 “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”
– Ephesians 1:22 “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church”
The Father put all things under Jesus’ feet, and established Him as the Head of the Church. Again, no other Head but Jesus is needed. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus or the Father has delegated the authority to be the Head of the Church to anyone else, whether man or spirit. No Pope has been given divine authority to rule over the Church in the place of God.
Jesus’ role as High Priest is usurped every time a priest is in the confessional listening to people’s sin and supposedly pardoning them. No man has the power nor authority to forgive sin. Only God can do that. Jesus gave His life and blood to pay for our sins, and His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father.
To say that a priest can forgive a man’s sins is literally blasphemy, according to the New Testament definition of blasphemy. Mark 2:5-6 tells the story of when Jesus was preaching to a full house in Capernaum and a paralytic man was lowered down on his bed through the roof so that he could hear Jesus preach. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” So the priest speaks blasphemy when he claims that he can forgive sins, because only God can.
The Pope illegitimately substitutes himself for Jesus when he claims to be the pontiff, or the bridge that unites God with His people. Jesus as High Priest officiating in the Heavenly Sanctuary is the only official bridge between Heaven and earth.
The Pope also illegitimately substitutes Church tradition and manmade doctrine for God’s Word. The institution of the papacy “thought to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25) by modifying God’s Ten Commandments which were spoken by God Himself to the people of Israel who were congregated around Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments were also written by God Himself on two tablets of stone and given to Moses to take back to the congregation. In addition to desecrating God’s Holy Sabbath, which is the last day of the week and the Fourth Commandment, as we said earlier they also removed the Second Commandment which prohibits idol and image worship.
The papacy received into the Church and actively endorsed the pagan traditions of worshipping the sun on the first day of the week and of worshipping statues, paintings and other idols. Sun worship is the reason why most Catholic depictions of saints feature them wearing a sun disk around their head, in honor of the sun.
There’s another aspect of “changing the times” that we’ll discuss in Part 2 of this program. The Catholic hierarchy has introduced alternative ways to interpret prophecy that totally obscure the truth, and most of the Protestant churches who are the daughters of the “Mother Church” therefore have an incorrect interpretation of prophecy.
In one of our previous programs called “The Mark of the Beast” we demonstrated conclusively that the Papacy is the beast. We provided ample evidence from scripture, namely from Daniel 2, Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. The beast is the anti-christ. The particle “anti” which comes from Greek doesn’t mean “against” as one would think but instead means “in place of”. So the anti-christ is not someone who positions himself against God, but instead is someone who positions himself in the place of God.
This view of the papacy as the anti-christ was held from the 14th. to the 19th. centuries, namely by the Protestant Reformers including John Huss and Martin Luther both of whom died as martyrs for their faith. Today given the current popularity of the Pope this is not a politically correct view to espouse. But our mission at City Bible Group is to set the record straight therefore we need to speak these things.
To conclude, here are two quotations from two Catholic publications confirming what we have said:
- Pope Leo XIII wrote in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (The Reunion of Christendom), June 20, 1894: ?“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”
- The definition of “Pope” in the Ferraris’ Ecclesiastic Dictionary: “The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.”
The Lord Jesus is our savior and redeemer. He left His comfortable throne in Heaven to come down to this wretched planet to give His life for us because someone had to pay the price for our sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus freely chose to be that someone who would take on our sin and in exchange gave us His righteousness.
Jesus understands us so well. He walked in our shoes. He suffered pain, loneliness, betrayal, shame and humiliation, and the heart wrenching grief of separation from His Father when on the cross He took on all the sins of the world past, present and future.
There is no need for any third party between Jesus and us. In the Book of Psalms and the Book of Hebrews the Bible tells us that Jesus is the High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek. He is officiating for us in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, cleansing our sins with His precious blood, and interceding for us before the Father and the 24 Elders of the Heavenly Council. You can come to Jesus for peace, forgiveness, healing, strength, deliverance, and sustenance. He is the bread of life, the river of living waters. He is God’s Word made flesh. If you allow Him to rule your life and be your Master, you will be more than a conqueror through Him who loved you (Romans 8:37).