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More “Left Behind” False Doctrine Exposed

Posted by Job on June 21, 2007

Mike Ratliff, whose weblog I find fascinating despite (or perhaps because of) disagreeing with everything on it, makes the bold case that dispensationalism and other pre – tribulation rapture doctrines make up the strong delusion prophesied by Paul in his What is the Great Delusion? article. I disagree, but it is not hard to see why he feels this way. I have detailed how John Hagee is using his dispensational beliefs to justify not attempting to convert Jews and to get us to attack Iran. And Soldier Servant has a couple of posts on the false doctrine is in the “Left Behind” books, and how dangerous it can be! Should Christians Commit Murder For “The Cause”? and False Doctrine In “Left Behind”: The Remnant Teaches Against the Doctrine of the God-Sent Strong Delusion articles. Both webloggers have very strong statements about the matter. I am looking for an article or research paper that contains an unbiased view of the various endtimes doctrines, especially from a historical point of view, so that I can provide it to you. But in general, please be very suspicious of anything that is embraced by the masses and is popular in favor of things that are simple, common, detested, and rejected even by the vast majority of professing Christians.

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6 Responses to “More “Left Behind” False Doctrine Exposed”

  1. mattdabbs said

    Most of these views come from the book of Revelation. It is apocalyptic literature and hard to get your mind around but notice the opening verses of the book, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place…because the time is near.” (Rev 1:1,3).

    John’s audience was undergoing severe persecutions in part due to the pressures of emperor worship and the resulting persecution of those who did not comply. I think it is hardly fair to John’s writing to say that the events he talks about in Revelation were only relevant to people thousands of years later. He is almost entirely speaking about events that are about to take place in their day. Get a good commentary like the one by Mitchell Reddish or check out a cheaper and shorter read like the one by Bruce Metzger (Cracking the Code) and see that these events were very contemporary with the first century Christians.

    We cannot twist the scriptures to prop up a particular political point of view. Good luck with your study.

  2. Mattdabbs: I am aware of the “Revelation is resistance literature” interpretations. I disagree with them because 1) why would Revelation have been included in the canon were that the case and 2) most of Revelation restates or fleshes out endtimes prophecies given earlier: in the gospels (especially Matthew 24), the epistles, and the Old Testament prophets (Ezekiel, Daniel, Nahum, etc.). Even things such as “the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse” appeared first in Ezekiel, and the beast and the false prophet appeared first in Daniel. The Old Testament material in particular; it was written hundreds of years before there was a Roman Empire to resist, and some of the Old Testament prophecies were written AFTER Israel was allowed to return from Babylonian captivity when there would have been nothing to resist (plus God told Israel through Jeremiah not to resist going into captivity anyway; the people who disobeyed and ran away to Egypt and elsewhere were killed.). So, either Ezekiel, Daniel, and the other Old Testament prophets were only speaking of their own plight (or their own plight and prophetically the plight of the early church) or all of those prophecies were for all of the people of God for all times. I also wonder if the “resistance literature” interpretation came about as a consequence of A) replacement theology (no, I am not a dual covenant blasphemer) and B) the body of eschatological work that took place before Israel was re – established as a nation? Ultimately, I have to say that if Revelation is resistance literature that should not be literally believed or applied in most senses, what else in the Bible does that apply to? Certainly Matthew 24, which is a Revelation preview, and if that is the case then it validates the modern reinterpretations of Jesus Christ as being merely a radical Pharisee subversive rather than our God and Saviour. In any event, thank you for wishing me well in my study, and may God bless and keep you in your studies and endeavors to glorify Him as well.

  3. mattdabbs said

    1) It would be included in the canon because it met the criteria for canonization, regardless of audience. Audience has nothing to do with canonization or else why canonize books we don’t understand the backgrounds to at all?
    2) These are not necessarily the same events. Apocalyptic literature is a genre that used some pretty standard themes.

    I think there can be such a thing as a dual fulfillment. Isaiah 7 is one example – the boy prophesied is Isaiah’s child we read about in Isaiah 8 but is also probably a reference to Christ. I also believe almost all of scripture was occassional, that is, written to a specific audience for a specific reason.

    You are assuming that if Daniel prophesies 4 horsemen and John does that they must be the same event. That is not necessarily the case. Sure there were no Romans yet but that doesn’t mean that those words were not relevant to them. They had their own political issues to overcome. It doesn’t mean that those signs/prophesies had no meaning or application for them.

    The resistance literature is there because it makes a wonderful connection with the background of these works. Can John write that the time is near but then go on to speak of events that still have not happened 2000 years later?

    I am not so arrogant to say that if there can be a dual fulfillment there cannot be a third. Who knows. Maybe these events again speak toward the future. Only time will tell. But we cannot deny that they had a direct meaning to them in their day as well. I will post a couple of examples of the contemporary relevance when I get a chance.

    Thanks for your reply.

  4. Rachel said

    Dear Matt,

    As a sister in Christ, I would recommend you study the old testament. You will find that the four horsemen are not found in the book of Daniel. The four horsemen book does reference the 70 weeks of Daniel but does not reference the name “Daniel”. All the puzzle pieces of Revelation are scattered throughout the old testament. It is like one giant 3-D puzzle or more like a 70-D puzzle. I urge you before it is too late to study the law and the testaments.

    In Christ,
    Rachel

  5. WilliamSlow'n'Coughin' said

    Monsieur- if you haven’t already, you should obtain & study a copy of:

    Oswald T. Allis: Prophecy and the Church:

    “Prophecy and the Church:

    An Examination of the Claim of Dispensationalism that the Christian Church is a Mystery Parenthesis which Interrupts the Fulfillment to Israel of the Kingdom Prophecies of the Old Testament.”

    By Oswald T. Allis (1945)

    (2001 Wipf & Stock reprint: 339 pp. PB) (ISBN: 1-57910-709-5) ($30.50)

    Table of Contents:

    I. Millenarianism and Dispensationalism………….. 1

    II. Important Principles of Dispensational Interpretation…….. 16

    III. The Kingdom and the Church…………………. 55

    IV. Paul’s Doctrine of the Church…………………. 90

    V. Old Testament Prophecies Concerning the Kingdom………. 111

    VI.Pophecies Applied in the New Testament to the Church…….. 134

    VII. The Coming of the Lord……………………….. 167

    VIII. The Second Advent Parenthesis and Pretribulationism…… 192

    IX. The Jewish Remnant…………………… 218

    X. The Future of Israel and the Millennium………….. 236

    Conclusion……………………………………… 256

    Appendix………………………………………….. 263

    C President Chafer on Matthew xviii. 8f. C

    C The Scofield Reference Bible C “Robbing” Israel C

    C Who Will Preach the Gospel When the Church Is Gone?

    Notes………………………………………… 285

    Index…………………………………………. 329

    ______________________________________________

    (Allis’s work, is to my mind, the defining, seminal work which essentially demolishes all the basic foundations and theological presuppositions of dispensationalism, by looking at the Bible verses in context, especially, reading the Old Testament through the refracting lens of the New Testament, and not vice versa (which would be akin to putting the wrong end of the telescope to your eye!)

    (Perhaps I simply don’t subscribe to the right journals, attend the right seminaries, or have access to the right chat-rooms, but so far, while many critics of dispensationalism cite this book by Allis, I have never yet seen a single dispensationalist attempt, anywhere, to answer, rebut, or refute any of Allis’s criticisms, claims, or charges. I’ve also so far not been able to find any significant portions of Prophecy and the Church posted anywhere on the internet.)

  6. WilliamSlow'n'Coughin' said

    (P.S. Oswald T. Allis was a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and was I believe(?)an “amillennialist”, in case that’s relevant.)

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