Watchman's Teaching Letter #131 March 2009
This is my one hundred thirty-first monthly teaching letter and continues my eleventh year of publication. This is another in a series on the apostle Paul. With this lesson, we will look into Paul’s revealing of an important mystery at 1st Corinthians 15:51-58, which states according to the KJV:
“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. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
William Finck, in his translations of The Letters Of Paul renders this same passage at 1st Corinthians 15:51-58 thusly:
“51 Behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed. 52 In an instant, in a dart of an eye, with the last trumpet; for it shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 This decay wants to be clothed in incorruptibility, and this mortal to be clothed in immortality. 54 And when this decay shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then the word that has been written shall come to pass: ‘Death has been swallowed in victory.’ 55 ‘Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?’ 56 Now the sting of death is guilt, and the power of guilt is the law; 57 but gratitude is to Yahweh, in whom we are being given the victory through our Prince, Yahshua Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, you become steadfast, immovable, at all times being abundant in the work of the Prince, knowing that your toil is not empty with the Prince.”
Now, today’s inept clergy in judeo-churchianity use this passage, along with Paul’s 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, in an attempt to teach a “secret rapture”, which is a doctrine which follows Satan’s agenda. I will explain this allegation as we go along. Wittingly or unwittingly, the greater part of churchianity today is parroting Satan’s program straight from the pits of hell. Let’s now take a look at 1 Thess. 4:13-18 from the KJV:
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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.”
Let’s now compare the KJV with William Finck’s translation of The Letters Of Paul at 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18:
“13 Now we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are falling asleep, in order that you would not be grieved, and just as the rest who have no expectation. 14 For if we believe that Yahshua had died and rose up, in this manner Yahweh also through Yahshua will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we say to you by word of the Prince: that we, the living, those left remaining until the coming of the Prince, no way would come before those who have fallen asleep; 16 because the Prince Himself with a command, by a chief messenger’s voice and with a trumpet of Yahweh shall descend from heaven, and those dead among the number of the Anointed shall rise up first. 17 Then we, the living who are remaining, at once with them shall be carried off in clouds for a meeting with the Prince in air,32 and in that manner always with the Prince we shall be. 18 So encourage one another with these words.”
For the serious Bible student who really has a desire to understand the Greek from which the translators rendered “air” at verse 17, William Finck supplies the following rather lengthy but concise note:
“32. ἐν νεφέλαις (νεφέλη, 3507) is literally ‘in clouds’ but may metaphorically mean ‘in throngs’ (compare Heb. 12:1) and so may not necessarily indicate any supernatural act here. εἰς ἀέρα (ἀήρ, 109) is most literally ‘into air’ and certainly does seem to suggest a supernatural act on the surface of the phrase. Note that to Greeks, whose literature Paul was well acquainted with (Titus 1:12; Acts 17:28, the note at I Cor. 15:33 et al.), the atmosphere was divided into three layers: ἀήρ was the lowest layer, the air around us, and was opposed to the αἰθήρ (‘ether’), the upper atmosphere or ‘sky’, above which was οὐρανός (3772), ‘heaven’, or more properly in our modern dialect, ‘space’. αἰθήρ does not appear in the N.T. ἀήρ is used by Paul elsewhere, at Eph. 2:2, and I Cor. 9:26 and 14:9. The word also appears at Acts 22:23, and Rev. 9:2 and 16:17. Eph. 2:2 offers the most, although scant, insight into Paul’s application of the word here: for it seems to connote the physical world, as opposed to the spiritual, both of them being equally real in Paul’s rather enlightened perspective: even if there are many doubters today. Here my comments have already exceeded the purposes of these notes.”
From Finck’s note here, it is quite evident that Paul had quite a different idea about the Greek term translated into the English as “air” than what is promoted today among the clergy of churchianity. I see it as simply being resurrected from the grave into the air which we can breathe. It is quite evident that after Christ was raised from the dead He was a breathing being as at John 20:21-22 it states:
“21 Then said Yahshua to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” This is proof (not simply evidence) that Christ was a breathing being after His resurrection. If He weren’t, He couldn’t have spoken a single word. If you don’t believe it, just try holding your breath while saying something – it can’t be done! Not only did Christ breathe, He also ate broiled fish and honeycomb. It is simply inexplicable where the futurists get all their fantastic ideas! Our purpose, with this lesson, is to prove beyond all doubt that Paul never taught a “secret rapture”, or a non-secret rapture for that matter.
The greater part of Christianity believes in a Second Coming of Yahshua Christ in one sense or another. Rightfully so, if they believe and understand their Bibles. It is abundantly clear from the pages of Scripture that it was Christ’s main mission, at His first advent, to suffer and die for the redemption of His people, and that He is coming again in great power and glory to claim authority over His awaiting Kingdom here on earth, as described at Isa. 9:6-7. Barely had the prophet announced His first coming, when he immediately turned to the subject of His Second Coming. The throne of David has existed now for approximately 3000 years and awaits its rightful heir to possess it! It is clearly stated at Luke 1:32-33:
“32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and Yahweh shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Notice that Luke didn’t say anything about Christ ruling over any of the nonwhite races of the world! (cf. Amos 3:2; Mal. 3:6; Matt. 15:24.)
The Popular Unscriptural Theory
Regretfully, many have developed various and unsound conjectures which obscure the prophetic picture of Christ’s Second Coming and makes Yahweh’s Word ineffective. One such prevarication claims that the Second Coming will be in two stages: a rapturing away, and a return to rule over the Canaanite-jews. If one has attended many church services, one can substantiate that this is by-and-large what has been taught. Not only is it taught in the weekly church services, but it is taught in nearly every seminary to those preparing for the ministry. In the first scenario, the church is claimed to be caught up by Christ, and carried off to heaven. This belief is popularly known in futurist circles as the “rapture of the church”, although the term appears nowhere in the Bible. This is but a contrivance dreamed up by the mind of man. This is a device presented by a misguided clergy describing a hidden coming of Christ, when without warning the “born again” Christians are snatched up and carried off to heaven. Automobiles, airplanes, trains and ships will suddenly be left without drivers or pilots, throwing the world into chaotic confusion. This fantasy absolves today’s Christians of any responsibility for bringing this world into conformance with Kingdom principals.
This “catching up” of the saints is declared to mark the beginning of what they misidentify as the great “tribulation period”, at which time there is to appear a super-duper-pooper antichrist. Yes, there are “antichrists”, and they also misidentify who they are. They claim when this antichrist makes his appearance he will make a covenant with the Canaanite-jews, and will rule the world for 7 years. They also claim that after 3½ years of making the covenant with the Canaanite-jews, he will break it, and the Canaanite-jews will realize they had crucified the real Messiah, and 144,000 of them will be converted to Christ and evangelize the world. Then at the end of the 7 years of tribulation, Christ will return a third time with His church to set up His kingdom. Some try to imply that because Christ didn’t actually come to the earth at the time of the rapture, this third coming is actually His second coming. Evidently, His coming to rapture is only a “close encounter” in some people’s minds.
THE SATANIC HISTORY OF THIS FUTURIST DOCTRINE
I shall now endeavor to show you from whence all this false prophecy is coming. I will quote excerpts from a book entitled Israel In Bible Prophecy by John L. Bray. Bray didn’t understand Israel Identity and had several misconceptions as a result, and parroted some of the usual churchified dogma. But we have to give credit to the man, for he researched areas where others fail to go. I would rate him about 40% overall, but his treatment of futurism, which I am about to quote from him, he is right on target:
Page 30- “Where, then, did this teaching originate? Or more specifically, where did the emphasis on these teachings first begin?
“A number of authors credit J.N. Darby of the beginning Plymouth Brethren movement with the origin of this ‘futurism’ which has gained such a foothold in conservative circles during these last 150 years or so. However, little notice has been paid to the Catholic Jesuit priest Emmanuel Lacunza and his book, The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty (published in English in 1827 in London) with its possible influence on Darby and the translator of the book from Spanish, Rev. Edward Irving. This book was published in 1812 in Spanish, and later translated by Rev. Edward Irving into English in 1826 and published in London, England, in 1827. It had been written by Lacunza under the assumed name of Rabbi Juan Josaphat Ben Ezra as a supposedly converted Jew. (I have Xeroxed copies of all 960 pages of this very rare book in my possession, including the long preface by Irving). The main emphasis of Lacunza in this book was the return of Christ to set up a millennial earthly kingdom (whether 1,000 or 100,000 years made no difference to Lacunza!) and the conversion of the Jews, etc., following the return of Christ to earth. It was in the days following the publication of this book that the system of a futuristic restoration of the Jews to Palestine and their national conversion at the second coming of Christ to the earth, began to be emphasized and spread abroad everywhere. I noted that Darby was well acquainted with this book as I read The Collected Writings of, J.N. Darby, Prophetic No. 1, vol. 2, as he discussed the viewpoint found in Lacunza’s book in his first section entitled, ‘Reflections Upon the Prophetic Inquiry and the Views Advanced by It.’ He specifically mentions Lacunza’s book with its views as the occasion for his own discussion of the subject. This section was written by Darby in Dublin, in 1829, just two years after publication of Lacunza’s book in English. ...”
Page 72- “Emmanuel Lacunza, a Jesuit Catholic priest, writing under an assumed name as a converted Jew in his The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty (published 1812, in English 1827) about such, does not make it so. John Nelson Darby, following Lacunza’s lead, writing about such, does not make it so. And all the Scofield Reference Bible notes (which some people seem to think almost inspired) on this subject do not make it so! ...”
Page 28- “Some say that Zechariah’s prophecy of the restoration of the Jews [sic Judahites] from Egypt and Assyria and far countries was a prophecy made after the Jews [sic Judahites] were already back in the Land, and therefore had to apply to our future. And indeed, J.N. Darby said this same thing as he discussed Immanuel Lacunza’s teachings in the book, The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty, right in the beginning of his several books on prophecy. (Lacunza was the one who influenced many toward a revived belief in an earthly Jewish future kingdom following the second coming of Christ ... ) ...
“When I first read what Darby said, I realized that many Bible students must read things like that (by him and others) and accept them as gospel truth without ever doing any real investigation or further study on the matter themselves.”
This is far from exposing the entire plot of the origin of “futurism”, but it will have to suffice for this short essay. I will, though, state this: many of the catholic jesuit priests were indeed Canaanite-jews.
The next thing we must understand is the character of the man promoting all of this, Cyrus Scofield. The following information is from the website:
[Note: I should point out to the reader that I’m not in agreement with “The Greatest Hoax; A Study Of The Inconsistent Theology Of Modern Day Bible Prophecy” by Charles Samples, with his anti-Paul remarks found on this website, but on the subject of Cyrus Scofield and his satanic connections, they are right on target.]
“And Who Was Cyrus Scofield?
“As a young con-artist in Kansas after the Civil War, he met up with John J. Ingalls, an aging Jewish lawyer who had been sent to Atchison by the ‘Secret Six’ some thirty years before to work the Abolitionist cause. Pulling strings both in Kansas and with his compatriots back east, Ingalls assisted Scofield in gaining admission to the Bar, and procured his appointment as Federal Attorney for Kansas. Ingalls and Scofield became partners in a railroad scam which led to Cyrus serving time for criminal forgery.
“While he was in prison, Scofield began studying the philosophy of John Darby, pioneer of the Plymouth Brethren movement and the ‘any moment now’ rapture doctrine.
“Upon his release from prison, Scofield deserted his first wife, Leontine Carry Scofield, and his two daughters Abigail and Helen, and he took as his mistress a young girl from the St. Louis Flower Mission. He later abandoned her for Helen van Ward, whom he eventually married. Following his Illuminati connections to New York, he settled in at the Lotus Club, which he listed as his residence for the next twenty years. It was here that he presented his ideas for a new Christian Bible concordance, and was taken under the wing of Samuel Untermeyer, who later became chairman of the American Jewish Committee, president of the American League of Jewish Patriots, and chairman of the Non-sectarian Anti-Nazi League.
“Untermeyer introduced Scofield to numerous Zionist and socialist leaders, including Samuel Gompers, Fiorello LaGuardia, Abraham Straus, Bernard Baruch and Jacob Schiff. These were the people who financed Scofield’s research trips to Oxford and arranged the publication and distribution of his concordance.
“It is impossible to overstate the influence of Cyrus Scofield on twentieth-century Christian beliefs. The Scofield Bible is the standard reference work in virtually all Christian ministries and divinity schools ... And it is precisely because Christians persist in this belief that they remain blind to the reality of [false] Zion[ism].
“Scofield served as the agent by which the Zionists paralyzed Christianity, while they prepared America for our final conquest.
“‘Journal M, November Term, A.D. 1883, 8th day of December, 1883
“‘Leontine Scofield, Plaintiff, Vs C. I. Scofield, Defendant
“‘Now comes the plaintiff by her attorneys Tomlinson and Griffin and the defendant enters for appearance and files answer and makes no further appearance. And thereupon this cause came on for hearing upon the pleadings and testimony and was argued by counsel upon consideration whereof the Court does find that the defendant has been guilty of willfull abandonment of the plaintiff for more than one year prior to the commencement of this action.
“‘It is therefore adjudged and decreed by the Court here that the marriage relation heretofore existing between the said parties be and the same is hereby set aside and wholly annulled and the parties wholly released from the obligations of the same.
“‘It is further ordered and decreed that the custody, nurture, education and care of the said minor children Abigal Scofield and Helen Scofield, be and the same, is hereby given to the said plaintiff and the said defendant is hereby forever enjoined from interfering with or disturbing the said plaintiff in the custody, care, nurture and education of the said above named children until the further order of this Court.’
“Cyrus Scofield had several other incidents of a downright dishonest nature after he supposedly became saved. The fact that in 1892 he began calling himself ‘Doctor Scofield’ without producing any Doctorate degree from any Seminary or University is the least of his devious activities. Even the details he gave in his story of conversion are proven to be fabricated, including the time, place and other particularities, thereby placing doubt on the whole story.
“He was a self-promoter in every sense of the word, even lying about being able to comfort and calm the entire city of Belfast, Ireland with a sermon he delivered there the Sunday after the Titanic sunk [sic sank].
“His behind-the-scenes handlers [Untermeyer, Gompers, Baruch, Schiff, etc.] saw to it that his swindles and schemes were swept under the rug and that only a positive image of him was promoted, especially an exaggeration of his Biblical knowledge and wisdom. Men like 33rd degree freemason George Bannerman Dealey, owner of the Dallas Morning News and member of Scofield’s church contributed greatly to the cause.
“But occasionally, newspapers who weren’t loyal to his cause would put out damaging information on him. Here is an excerpt from the Topeka newspaper, The Daily Capital, dated August 27, 1881:
“‘CYRUS I. SCOFIELD IN THE ROLE OF
A CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER
“‘Cyrus I. Scofield, formerly of Kansas, late lawyer, politician and shyster generally, has come to the surface again, and promises once more to gather around himself that halo of notoriety that has made him so prominent in the past.
“‘The last personal knowledge that Kansans have had of this peer among scalawags, was when about four years ago, after a series of forgeries and confidence games he left the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada.
“‘For a time he kept undercover, nothing being heard of him until within the past two years when he turned up in St. Louis, where he had a wealthy widowed sister living who has generally come to the front and squared up Cyrus’ little follies and foibles by paying good round sums of money.
“‘Within the past year, however, Cyrus committed a series of St. Louis forgeries that could not be settled so easily, and the erratic young gentleman was compelled to linger in the St. Louis jail for a period of six months.
“‘Among the many malicious acts that characterized his career was one peculiarly atrocious, that has come under our personal notice. Shortly after he left Kansas, leaving his wife and two children dependent upon the bounty of his wife’s mother, he wrote his wife that he could invest some $1,300 of her mother’s money, all she had, in a manner that would return big interest.
“‘After some correspondence he forwarded them a mortgage, signed and executed by one Charles Best, purporting to convey valuable property in St. Louis. Upon this, the money was sent to him. Afterwards the mortgages were found to be base forgeries, no such person as Charles Best being in existence, and the property conveyed in the mortgage fictitious’ ...”
“Scofield’s work continues to be praised and utilized today by men with questionable motives. His closely guarded reputation remains intact and this information provided will only be useful to the truth-seekers, which represents a relatively small percentage of Christendom. At least two scriptures are applicable at this point:
“‘For there is no respecter of persons with God’, Romans 2:11.
“‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them’, Matthew 7:20.
“Scofield abandoned his wife and children and refused to support them. I Timothy 5:8 says ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ When his first wife Leontine originally filed for divorce in July 1881, she listed the following reasons:
“... ‘(he had) ... absented himself from his said wife and children, and had not been with them but abandoned them with the intention of not returning to them again ... has been guilty of gross neglect of duty and has failed to support this plaintiff or her said children, or to contribute thereto, and has made no provision for them for food, clothing or a home, or in any manner performed his duty in the support of said family although he was able to do so ...’
“Scofield began courting his future second wife Hettie van Wark before the divorce was finalized and they got married only three months after it was. His divorce was finalized at least four years after he became ‘born again’.” (Note: Scrutinize the preceding carefully!)
THE MOTIVE BEHIND THE RAPTURE THEORY
From the time of the early church fathers until the Reformation in the 15th century, the generally accepted view of Biblical prophecy was “linear historical”; that John’s Revelation was in the process of being fulfilled throughout the Christian era. But as the 16th century broke upon the scene, a new view of Bible prophecy was devised by a Jesuit priest to hinder the Reformers from advocating that the catholic church was none other than the “whore of Babylon” of Rev. 17:3-6.
It is an historical fact that many of the well known Protestant leaders over the past centuries have unhesitatingly and categorically denounced the Pope as being the “Antichrist”. These include Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Huss, John Wycliffe, John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Knox, John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. Some editions of old German publications of the Bible, circulated in the 15th century, went so far as to include illustrations showing the Pope amongst the devils in apocalyptic hell. Old Anabaptist church records include numerous other lesser known names which could be added to the list, persons whose testimony could not be silenced by oppression, persecution or even a martyr’s death.
In 1591, the Jesuit Ribera concocted his “futurist” device to entrap the Protestants. He made the claim that John’s Revelation would not take place until the end of the Christian era. Ribera cleverly taught a rebuilt Babylon, a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and an end-time super-duper-pooper Antichrist. If all of this sounds familiar, it should, for these same prophetic views are parroted from the pulpits of the greater part of churchianity on a weekly basis, and loudly proclaimed over radio and television stations throughout the world.
But Ribera is only part of this divisive story. Later, in 1731, there was a Spanish family residing in Chile by the name of de Lacunza, who had a son named Manuel. After fifteen years at home, Manuel resolved to become a catholic priest, and boarded a ship destined for Spain. After thirty-six years, when the Jesuits were expelled from that country on account of their brutality, by then designated as “father”, Manuel de Lacunza Diaz had to relocate to Imola, Italy, where he resided for the rest of his life.
Upon locating in Imola, de Lacunza made the claim of being a converted Jew named Rabbi Juan Josaphat Ben-Ezra. Under this alias pen name, he wrote a 900 page book entitled The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty. Within its pages, Lacunza theorized that Christ’s church would be taken to be with the Lord forty-five days before Jesus’ final return to the earth, and during that forty-five days (with the church being in heaven), that God was going to pour out his wrath upon the wicked dwellers remaining on the earth. In order to conceal the book’s true origin, and presumably to make it more acceptable to Protestant readers, it was dishonestly attributed to the authorship of a fallacious “Rabbi Ben Ezra”, supposedly a learned Jew who had converted to Christianity. Finally, it was conveniently published in England, though still in the Spanish language, in 1816, a few years after Lacunza’s death. In a further tactic of duplicity, the book was placed on a list of forbidden works to catholics, guaranteeing a Protestant readership!
Later, in 1827, the Scottish minister Edward Irving published a complete English translation of Lacunza’s book, and the new dogma was well on its way into Protestantism. Irving founded the Catholic Apostolic Church, a forerunner in the Pentecostal movement. At this time Irving heard what he believed to be a voice from heaven commanding him to preach the secret rapture of the saints. His open-air meetings in 1828 in Scotland drew crowds of 10,000 people. His church in London seated 1000 and was filled week upon week with a congregation drawn from the most brilliant and influential circles of society.
From this point the plot thickens considerably. It was about this same time that an Irvingite evangelist by the name of Robert Norton met a Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald who reportedly had a vision of the church being secretly raptured. Norton, on becoming aware of this vision, became so fascinated by the concept that he delivered many sermons about her “vision” everywhere in England.
It is said of Darby that he borrowed from Margaret MacDonald’s revelation, modified her views, and then taught them under his own name without giving her credit. Darby, however, wasn’t completely pleased with the rather simplified Lucunza-Irving 45-day tribulation concept, therefore he invented a more complex scheme. Preoccupied with the last week of Daniel’s 70-week vision (Dan. 9:24-27), he toyed with the idea that it might not, as yet, be fulfilled, so he conceived the idea that the 70th week might actually be a future seven year tribulation period that would take place at the end of the Christian era. Does that premise also sound familiar? To make this newly contrived idea fit world history, he devised a 2000-year gap between Daniel’s 69th and 70th weeks. All of this was guesswork theology at best. There you have it, the real origin of the seven-year period of tribulation, or “pre-trib rapture doctrine”! Or shall we rather call it “Darby’s folly”! It all began as a Roman Catholic invention. Thus, the Jesuit priest Ribera’s writings influenced the Jesuit priest Lacunza; Lacunza influenced Irving; Irving influenced Darby; Darby influenced Scofield; Scofield and Darby influenced D.L. Moody, and Moody influenced the Pentecostal Movement; and the Pentecostal Movement influenced the Charismatic Movement, and I don’t want to have the slightest part of this satanic plot dreamed-up, supported and perpetuated by Canaanite-jews.
It is absurd to attribute these manmade doctrines to the Apostle Paul’s writings, for this twists his words entirely out-of-context. These futurist doctrines are contrived, bought and paid for by the enemies of Christianity, the satanic-Canaanite-Edomite-jews – no less than the descendants of Cain! (see “Kenites”, Strong’s #’s H7014 & 7017)