2 Corinthians 4:2
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
Well might they have great sorrow of heart! So much love, so much sorrow, when the object of love is withdrawn. Judge, my Brethren, the joy which the bodily Presence of Christ would give to us this morning, and then you can tell how precious it must be. Have we not, some of us, been looking for years for the personal advent of Christ? We have lifted up our eyes in the morning and we have said, “Perhaps He will come this day.” And when the day has closed we have continued our watching in our sleepless hours and renewed our hopes with the rising of the sun. We longingly expect Him according to His promise. And like men who watch for their Lord, we stand with loins girt about waiting for His appearing.
We are looking for and hastening unto the Day of the Lord. This is the bright hope which cheers the Christian, the hope that the Savior shall descend to reign among His people gloriously. Suppose Him to appear suddenly on this platform now—how would you clap your hands! Why, the lame among you would, at the joy of His appearance, leap like a hart and even the dumb might sing for joy! The Presence of the Master! What rapture! Come quickly! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” (Source: C. H. Spurgeon, #574 The Superlative Excellence Of The Holy Spirit No. 574, Delivered On Sunday Morning, June 12, 1864, at The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.)
Dear Reader, the link at the end of this introduction will connect you to a commentary written by my wife. She spent many an hour praying and searching the scriptures for understanding and where there was question, she came to me for clarification and assistance in editing. It was a study we both grew in excitement as each question was answered. I fully support and agree with everything contained herein and believe we are both edified by having a deeper, and more importantly, clearer understanding on this topic.
There are other sources linked within the commentary which we highly suggest you take advantage of reading concerning this subject. It addresses how some have played games with God’s Word – for more than a century! Like all of the other work in discernment given to me, I have taken this one with the utmost seriousness and graveness of heart. In recent days there has been an increase of discussion from several mediums surrounding eschatology. Each one seems to claim to have all the answers but the ones standing out the most have been those pointing to an imminent rapture of the saints who escape a coming seven-year tribulation. While Independent Fundamental Baptists have a great deal right, what we have learned throws a stick in the spokes of the wheel and that cannot be ignored. As my readers are aware – I have not ignored sin in the camp of Independent Fundamental Baptists (or ones so-called). Some who claim to be IFB are/were comparable to the emerging church with its liars, false teachers and false prophets, so we started on a trek to learn and question what we believe and why. Following the path of scripture, its timeline, being very conscious to avoid cherry picking verses, and paying closer attention to the beginnings of where and when doctrines were taught, we came to the conclusion spelled out in the commentary.
Called the prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon has 53 different references of his using the word “rapture” or a form of it in all sermons I can find from him online. I quote Pastor Spurgeon (1834-92), because I know he was a man of great recognition in conservative and fundamental circles of Christianity who lived (Bio here). The point? Words do mean something, in not one of the references in Spurgeon’s published sermons is there a hint of “rapture” meaning some sort of escape from persecution and trials. If the rapture was such an important and popular doctrine why is there not one reference to it from Spurgeon? (More on Spurgeon’s eschatology) And why does Spurgeon if anything warn us about one of the key men who promoted that doctrine? My studies and my wife’s, required us to step back from what we have been taught, putting it under the same scrutiny of scripture we have put other doctrines we are told are Biblical. What we discovered was a shocking number of impurities, like the dross removed from gold, but oh how it shines clear now! We realize what we share here may not go over well with many who we call friend and brother/sister in Christ. Reader, are you willing to face the refiner’s fire? If you are one who believes the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture, please approach it with the attitude that the truth never fears examination!
The word rapture used to be an everyday word uttered to describe an emotion of excitement, pleasure, great joy, etc. Over time it has been equated to mean caught up. You may ask what difference it makes whether the word(s) rapture or caught up is used when referring to Jesus’ return? It makes a great deal of difference because the word rapture does not appear in the Bible directly or indirectly and the proof is in the definition for those who would argue that this word is synonymous with caught up. My question is, why is it necessary to replace simple wording needing no clarification to understand with something else? (Kathy Beardsley, No One Will Be “Left Behind” …But You Will Be Separated! Don’t ‘Get Caught Up’ In The Rapture)
Words do mean something and the source of just over a century popularizing this redefinition of rapture we believe comes out of duplicity and deceit. It primarily originates from two men most Bible believing Christians should reject – due to their aberrant teachings and backgrounds! What disturbs us is these two men in particular have been given a pass for far too long in Christian fundamental, evangelical and conservative circles. Click on the links in the commentary to access the documented public record exposing them for who they really were.
The acceptance of these two men and the doctrines they popularized, among other false teachings came at the expense of what is sound.
“Why, the lame among you would, at the joy of His appearance, leap like a hart and even the dumb might sing for joy! The Presence of the Master! What rapture! Come quickly! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” (Spurgeon, 1864)
“To be embraced by those Divine arms—rapture begins at the very mention of it!”
These quotes and others are what the word ‘rapture’ means to my wife and I! May you find the joy and peace of mind we have found through the simplicity of God’s Word without all the confusing and complex teachings of prophecy taught today! Continue to:
1 Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
John A. Beardsley III
2 Cor 10:5 / 1 Pe 1:22