Countdown To Chaos

CHRISTIAN MEDIA : December 20 2005

Senior Rapture Cultist Dave Hunt has once
again demonstrated how the Rapture Cult brand of religion is
inhabited by a powerful spirit of error. In his latest writing on
the subject, he has plainly demonstrated the doctrine can completely
cloud the mind of an otherwise intelligent writer.

In the most recent edition of his cult newsletter,
The Berean Call, Dave Hunt was responding to a question from a
confused reader, and to do so, he reached deeply into the realm of
complete absurdity. The reader was concerned with what will happen
to his clothes when he gets "raptured." In his letter he asked,
"will we leave our clothes behind us in a heap," or do our clothes
go with us when we're caught up to meet the LORD in the air?

The question alone indicates the rapture doctrine is
the intellectual equivalent of Aspartame poisoning, but Hunt
dauntlessly dived in and, apparently resorted to the 67th
book of the Bible, where he drew his answer from II Illusions,
when he responded as follows:

"We certainly will not take our earthly clothes with
us to heaven : nor our tooth fillings, prostheses, etc. But I see no
reason why one's false teeth or artificial hips would be visibly
left behind. They would simply disappear....

"Some suggest that our clothes will be visibly left
behind in a heap to show that we have been raptured to heaven. But
that doesn't fit with the fact that a 'strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie' (2 Thes 2:11) will be given to those left
behind." (The Berean Call, December 2005)

For the record, there is no verse in the Bible that
even hints at the idea of the believer losing any clothing at the
time of our translation into eternal bodies. There is no verse
suggesting any believer's dental work, or any other artificially
engineered portion of our bodies will vanish. Indeed, the
very fact that such a ridiculous question could even be posed (and
taken seriously enough to answer) indicates the spiritual
superficiality of those trapped in the cult system.

Dave Hunt has been
propagating this cult nonsense for many decades, so it's self
evident that he's run out of time to respond with repentance to the
leading of the Holy Spirit concerning the false doctrine he
publishes. A couple of years ago, he published a detailed
pretribulational rapture essay in his newsletter entitled Pre-or
Post-Trib Rapture? In this feature article from his monthly
newsletter The Berean Call, he twisted the Scriptures so
effectively it's practically inconceivable that he will ever turn
from the gospel of Antichrist the Scriptures indicate he is
purveying.

Constructing his arguments on the assumptions
and the slippery statements that are the standard building blocks of
the rapturist system, before offering any Scriptural evidence at
all, Hunt sets up what is usually called a "straw man" : putting
forth a distorted version of the conflict in order to convincingly
force the conclusion that his point of view is the accurate
application of Scripture. Dave Hunt isn't even on the 2nd
sentence of his first paragraph before he starts subtly inserting
false prophetic assumptions,
while he sets up his fallacious
argument:

"The Rapture of the church involves all believers
being caught up to heaven : those just resurrected, together with
those alive at the time (I Thes 4:13-18). If it occurs at the
beginning of the tribulation period, then clearly Christ's Second
Coming at the end of the Tribulation to rescue Israel in the midst
of Armageddon is a separate event. According to Zechariah 14:3-5,
"all the saints" must accompany Christ back to earth. But if the
Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation, it must be
simultaneous with the Second Coming, making them one event. Which is
it: two events separated by seven years, or one event with two
diverse purposes?" [Berean Call, October 2003]

I'd like to diagnose the serpentine tactics that are
embedded in this crafty deceiver's approach. In fact, because his
dissimulations are so voluminous throughout his work, in the
interest of educating the reader on just how Hunt works his
harlotry, I will initially focus my comments only on this first
paragraph of Dave Hunt's much lengthier article on the "rapture."
There are 7 points that I would like to make regarding this
single paragraph.

First, notice how he
always uses the word "rapture" rather than "return" : a
characterization that slants the supposedly objective look at the
two views in favor of a word that never occurs in Scripture. The
Scriptures use the word "return" and the Scriptures use the word
"presence." The Scriptures use the word "appear," the word "arrive,"
and the word "coming." The Scriptures never use the word
"rapture" : thus the very use of the term creates the assumption
that such a thing exists in the first place.

Second, while he's
setting up his argument on the subject matter by focusing the
reader's attention on the theoretical issue of whether the LORD's
return is pre or post-tribulational, notice how he has quietly
inserted the doctrinal thread that Christ's return is "to rescue
Israel." It should be pointed out the "rescue" of Israel is
intrinsic to a pretribulational orientation, is not a requisite
component of a Scripturally balanced post-tribulational view, and
its actual authenticity is only the assumption of Dave
Hunt. To put it another way, if this statement assuming
Christ's return is "to rescue Israel" was slipped into a
presentation made in a court of law, opposing counsel would stand up
and say "objection, assumes facts not in evidence."

Third, he positively
mangles Zechariah's prophecies by listing, but not actually citing,
three complete verses when his only quote is the three words "all
the saints" : which, of course, are only found in one verse.
This shady effort is made because Hunt assumes the other 2
verses must be tribulational (at least one of them references
Christ's first coming), and therefore must refer to Christ's
Second Coming with "all the saints." He does this because Hunt is
certain the believers will have been raptured before that point.
This attempt is sloppy at best, and intentionally deceitful at
worst.

The fact is, by taking Zechariah's brief
phrase that says "and all the saints with thee" out of its natural
context, he has twisted the prophet's words into saying something
they never said. Worse yet, he did all this without even reciting
the verses themselves! But Dave Hunt's gross distortions of the
Bible are just beginning. After all, we're only half way through
the first paragraph
of his corrupt treatment of the subject.

Fourth, Dave Hunt rips
off Zechariah 14:4's wonderful prophecy that the Saviour's
"feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives" : something
that clearly occurred two thousand years ago (see my commentary on
Zechariah entitled They Shall Look Upon Me Whom They Have Pierced).
Although a lengthy look at the Zecharian passage concerning Christ's
close identification with the Mount of Olives that occurred
at his first incarnation is a parallel issue to this critique
of Dave Hunt and the Rapture Cult, it may be said the prophet
Nahum
is a second witness to the Hunt distorted prophecy of
Zechariah when he writes "Behold upon the mountains the feet of
him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!" (Nahum
1:14).

Nahum's "good tidings" is a rather precise rendition
of the word Gospel : something that Christ brought with Him
about 500 years after the time of Zechariah when His feet
stood "upon the Mount of Olives" -- in 33 AD. Yet Hunt places
this passage at the Second Coming, because he needs the "all the
saints" reference to embellish his attempt at having Christ return
two more times : once at the fictional "rapture" and then again at
the Second Coming (which they dare not call the third coming).

Immediately following his misplacement of Zechariah's
prophecy, Dave Hunt continues his wretched manipulation of the text
by concluding "...if the Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation,
it must be simultaneous with the Second Coming..." Once again, Hunt is
stacking the deck with his linguistic twists, for the fact is, if
Christ's return is "immediately after the tribulation"
(Matthew 24:29) as the Scriptures plainly state, it wouldn't
be the "rapture" at all, it would be the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ. Period. But Dave is still not through in stitching
together his straw man in this diabolical writing.

Fifth, the last sentence
of this first paragraph of his writing reads "Which is it: two
events separated by seven years, or one event with two diverse
purposes?" The answer is, of course, neither; but Dave
Hunt
has set his treacherous trap and by now the hapless rapture
cultists that want to believe this drivel are already caught. After
all, any properly-indoctrinated cultist would never spot the
slippery way "Devious Dave" has mischaracterized the
post-tribulational truth of the Scriptures, and woven his tapestry
of deceit that seems to makes the pretrib answer the only reasonable
point of view.

Sixth, we should take
note of how Hunt continues to quietly insert and assume facts
that are not in evidence
with his just mentioned assumption
the tribulation is "seven years" : another assumption that is
not explicitly stated anywhere in the Scriptural accounts.

Seventh, Dave puts forth
the statement the post-tribulationist "event" has "two diverse
purposes" : a characterization he never explains in any way, shape,
or form. He just throws it out there, and leaves the reader to
wonder as to just what he's trying to say. In the process of
studying cult mentality, I've learned the way they think, so I
recognize the answer is related to my second point where Hunt has
assumed Christ's return is "to rescue Israel" as well as to
"rapture" the "church" : thus by referring to these two threads of
thought in his reference to "two diverse purposes," he is indirectly
validating their veracity. This is Dave Hunt's convoluted perception
of the post-tribulational truth of the Bible.

The fact is, there is no "church" aside from the
Scripturally defined Remnant of Israel : see Zephaniah 3:13,
Romans 1:5, and other texts for details. This remnant IS the
so-called "church," so just as Christ said, there is only "one
fold, and one shepherd" (John 10:16). The concept of
two separate bodies with the "church" as one group, and "Israel" as
another that are both in favor in God's plan is flatly
contradicted by Scripture. There are sheep and goats in Scripture.
We see wheat and we see tares, as well as saved and unsaved.
Revelation
has "earthdwellers" and "overcomers," etc. We don't
see two saved groups anywhere.

The basic truth that Christ comes once more
for the Christians is never mentioned by Dave Hunt.
The fact is, the 'straw man' approach to mis-defining the truth
which Dave Hunt utilizes, never allows an accurate definition of his
opposition.

Having set his doctrinal snare, Dave Hunt's essay
promoting the so-called "rapture" then opens up the bottomless pit
of pre-trib, and out pours a plethora of assorted distortions,
doctrinal errors, and even some outright lies. For instance,
he follows his illuminated predecessors with the incredibly brazen
false statement that "This question...has nothing to do with the
gospel of salvation."

This is the classic cult dodge that arrogantly says
'even though we know we're right, issues of timing really aren't
important.' Laughable on its face, the question of whether or not
you (or your family, your children, etc.) will be brutally martyred
for your faith would seem to be anything but trivial, but the
false bravado presented by the Antichrist spirit that
inhabits Dave Hunt is seeking to mask the fact that this
question has everything to do with salvation. Thus,
rapturist readers that marginalize the importance of this issue do
so at their own peril.

Hunt boils down his case to 11 arguments that he
numbers, and concludes the 11 points prove the pre-tribulation
rapture. They are enumerated herein.

1. Hunt claims at the
"rapture, Christ does not return to earth but catches believers up
to meet Him above the earth, taking them directly to heaven." He
cites John 14:3 where Jesus says "I will come again, and receive you
unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Perhaps I need
another cup of coffee, but that verse never says anything about
any rapture : nor does it say Jesus will take believers
directly to heaven. In fact, there is not one verse in the
entire Bible that says Jesus will take believers "directly to
heaven" as Hunt states. The assertion that John 14 shows the
pretribulational rapture is just pure fiction.

Still trying to get to heaven before the trib,
Hunt continues his effort to climb up to heaven "some other way"
(John 10:1). Predictably, he cites the well known verse in I
Thessalonians 4:17
where we are to be "caught up...to meet the
Lord in the air" : and I couldn't help but wonder if Dave Hunt
thinks heaven is in the air. Those that have seen
through the fraud know this catching up of the saints in I
Thessalonians actually is the Second Coming, and that
particular verse only says we will be with the LORD forever, but
never
states He then takes us to heaven. Once again, Hunt is
teaching things are not found in the Bible.

Having cited verses dealing with the Second Coming
and assigning them to his fictional pretribulational rapture, he
then moves to verses dealing with Christ's First Coming, and
assigns them to His Second Coming!

The previously mentioned Zechariah 14:4 is
quoted as Hunt writes "at the Second Coming Christ returns to this
earth to rule Israel and world from David's throne in Jerusalem:
'his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is
before Jerusalem.'" This verse is routinely misinterpreted to be the
Second Coming, when the statement simply says the Lord's
"feet shall stand" on the Mountain. Anyone who has read the Gospels
knows this occurred dozens of times during Christ's earthly
ministry.

Although that same chapter of Zechariah
does
describe significant geological activity, including the
splitting of the Mount of Olives, the passage never states
that Christ's return is responsible. There is no impact described
and there is no descent described. Furthermore, those that have
taken off their "rapture glasses" have learned there are many verses
where both incarnations of Christ are in view : often within a
single verse. Incidentally, this occurs quite a bit in Zechariah,
and is dealt with in some detail in They Shall Look Upon Me Whom They Have Pierced (details in the online catalog at
Christianmedianetwork.com).

2. Hunt tries to split
the single resurrection of the believers into two events.
He writes

"At the Rapture there is a resurrection of all
believers who have died up to that time: 'the dead shall be raised
incorruptible' (I Cor 15:32,53); 'the dead in Christ shall rise
first...' (I Thes 4:16)."

 "In contrast, at the Second Coming there is no
resurrection until Antichrist is defeated, he and the false prophet
have been 'cast alive into a lake of fire' (Rv 19:20) and Satan has
been bound in the 'bottomless pit [for] a thousand years' (20:1-3) :
none of which is even remotely related to the rapture of believers
to heaven. Then to 'the first resurrection' are added a unique
group: 'them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus...'

Hunt's unholy prophetic creation is a Frankenstein
monster with verses stitched together to create something no Apostle
of Jesus Christ ever taught. Christ Himself informed us that
"the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall
hear his voice, And they shall come forth; they that have done good,
unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29).

Jesus further told us that when He raises the
believers from the dead, "I will raise him up at the last day"
(John 6:39,40,44,54). He never said anything about raising up dead
believers seven years before the last day. Dave Hunt
tries to cloud the simple issue of the single resurrection of
the believer with irrelevant statements about the Antichrist being
defeated, and Satan being cast into the lake of fire.

Also notice how, in the above quotation, he tries to
sneak in "a unique group" who are somehow added to "the first
resurrection" seven years after that "first
resurrection" occurs! Remember, that first resurrection occurs on
"the last day" in John 6, so how can he add to the list of
those resurrected on "the last day" seven years later? When Mr. Hunt
wrote this blasphemous and unscriptural garbage, the Holy Spirit
convicted him of his sin, but he is now married the false doctrine,
and cannot bring himself to admit he's torturing the text to try to
make it say what the cult leader wants it to say.

3. Dave Hunt's third
line of reasoning is to recombine points one and two. He again goes
back to Zechariah, and accurately notes the prophet is
writing about the Second Coming with "The Lord my God shall come,
and all the saints with thee," (Zechariah 14:5) and seeks to
contrast that with the already cited I Thessalonians 4:17 and
its parallel I Corinthians 15:51-53 which he thinks is the
pre-tribulational rapture.

Hunt's thrust in this point is, in effect, to say
that 'we get our immortal bodies at the rapture, and we'll have
to have those immortal bodies in order to "return with Christ
from heaven" (Hunt's words),' and join "the armies which were in
heaven..." (Revelation 19:11-15) which accompany the LORD.

Once again, there is not one verse anywhere in
the Bible which says the believers will "return with Christ from
heaven." Actually, the problem here is common to all cult
groups. They make assumptions that are not warranted by the
text. A significant cluster of verses say we'll be "caught up" and
"changed" into our immortal bodies (I Corinthians 15). At that time,
"the dead in Christ shall rise" (I Thessalonians 4). When the dead
believers are raised, this is clearly the resurrection. These
verses then tell us we which are alive and then changed into
immortal bodies will "meet the LORD in the air" (I Thessalonians
4:17).

These passages never state this will happen
before
the tribulation because the resurrection cannot be
on "the last day" (John 6:40) and occur 7 years before
the last day. These passages never state that after Christ
raises the dead and changes the living remaining believers, He will
then turn around and take us back to heaven. Other verses describe
Christ returning with "all the saints" : so it's clear that when we
rise to "meet Him," we then accompany Him back to the earth :
His original destination. Furthermore, this raising of the
dead believers and translation of the living believers is always
pinned in Scripture to occur "immediately after the
tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29).

This sequence of going out to receive and "meet" a
visiting dignitary, and accompanying him back to your point of
origin is found elsewhere in Scripture. In the book of Acts, Luke
describes how He and Paul were on the journey to Rome. He writes
"when the brethren heard" they were coming, "they came to meet us"
and accompanied them back to Rome.

I can provide a reasonable analogue with a personal
anecdote. Some time back, my mother drove hundreds of miles from
California up to Oregon to visit me. As my locale is rather remote,
and I was anxious to see her, I drove into our nearest town to meet
her. I then escorted her back to my mountain home. When I met her in
town, we did not then turn around and drive all the way back to
California! So it is with the LORD's return. We will be caught up to
meet Him "in the air," and we then accompany Him back to the earth,
thus the text can state that He will have "all the saints" with Him
when He arrives.

4. In his fourth
attempt, Dave Hunt seeks to show the return of Christ cannot occur
after the tribulation as he believes his fictional "rapture" will
occur during a relative calm. He writes

"The Rapture occurs during relative peace and
prosperity, when the world does not expect judgment from God: 'And
as it was in the days of Noah [the last thing they expected was
God's judgment]...they did eat, they drank....married wives...were given
in marriage [and as in] the days of Lot...they bought, they
sold...planted....builded...Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son
of man is revealed.'" (Lk 17:26-30).

There is no verse that says the
pre-tribulation "rapture" occurs at all. There is no verse
that says the non-event occurs "during relative peace and
prosperity." In fact, the passage offered by Dave Hunt in the
book of Luke (and its corollaries in Matthew and Mark) never
describe the "rapture" in any verse : but the cult continues
to represent that it does, so we're forced to examine their logic.
The basic argument may be paraphrased as 'It will be just like the
time of Noah, in which the righteous were removed, then the judgment
came.'

This point is important enough to backtrack just a
bit. The question from the disciples that prompted Christ's
statement as quoted above was "when shall these things be? And what
sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?" (Luke
21:7). Jesus described a steadily escalating series of tumultuous
events, war, famine, persecution, and much more. He then turned to
analogy to make His point.

The Bible verses quoted in Luke 21 have Jesus
Christ using the story of Noah and the flood (and Lot and Sodom
and Gomorrah) as an analogy to describe what type of
events will occur "when these things shall come to pass." (Luke
21:7). Christ says

"But as the days of Noe 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 Noe entered into the ark, and knew not
until the flood came, and took them all away....."

"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).

The simplest way to approach this analogy is to ask
the question: In Noah's time, who got taken away? The text says
those that were "taken away" were those that "knew not" the flood
was coming. Obviously, Noah and his family (as the type or symbol of
righteousness in the story) knew the flood was coming as they spent
years building the ark. Thus, when we ask who "knew not
until the flood came," we must answer the wicked. This means
it was the wicked that were "taken away" and it's certain they were
not taken to heaven!

Then Christ refers to "two in the field; the one
shall be taken, and the other left" (Matthew 24:40).
Since this is obviously analogous to the flood, who gets "taken
away" in the end times? The Wicked! To put it bluntly, the meaning
of the story is the exact opposite of that presented by Rapture
Cultist Dave Hunt.

In fact, Hunt the deceiver leaves out a crucial verse
in his supposed "study" of the subject. After describing how the
wicked will be taken away, in the very same section of
Scripture Hunt previously quoted from, he left out how the disciples
asked "Where, Lord?" (Luke 17:37). The context plainly shows they
were asking where did those that were "taken" go to.

"And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is,
thither [there] will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:37).
Since the eagles are carrion related to vultures,
and they feed on dead bodies, Christ was saying 'if you want to know
where the dead body is, just look for the vultures.'

The bottom line of this is that virtually every
rapture teacher in the world has been misrepresenting this passage
to the public for many years. All of the leaders and teachers are
aware of this data, but those that teach it is an analogy of pre-trib
have intentionally chosen to conceal the truth of the Scripture
because this text is central to the entire "left behind" mythos
popularized in books, films, radio, TV, and much much more. The
ranks of these liars on the very top tier of pre-trib would
certainly include Dave Hunt.

5. In his fifth stream
of thought pitching the apostate doctrine of pre-trib, Hunt
essentially says the same thing as in point four : again saying that
"The Rapture occurs when conditions in the world seem to indicate
that all is well," so this taking away just described must be
the rapture because it's sudden and unexpected. We've just shown the
'two men walking up a hill' passages are detailing a sudden
destruction, not an evacuation, so this was essentially just
addressed in point four.

Dave Hunt then seeks to
contrast his fictional and sudden pre-trib event with his version of
the Second Coming by saying "not even Antichrist is caught by
surprise" at the Second Coming. He then reverts to the passage
wherein Christ says "of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Matthew
24:36), so he's attempting to show that, since the Antichrist will
not be "caught by surprise," the 'no man will know the hour'
verses must refer to the pretribulational return.

I hope the reader can discern that this is one of the
worst stretches of logic ever seen in Bible prophecy. For the
record, no verse ever says the Antichrist knows when Christ will
return! However, this brings up an interesting point. Like almost
every other rapture argument, Dave Hunt is so confused he
has the entire scenario 180 degrees wrong. He is basically
saying 'the Christians will be surprised because Christ's
return for them is pre-trib, but the Antichrist won't be
surprised because he will face the Second Coming and he will know it
is due.' The Scriptures teach the exact opposite.

The Bible says the to true believer, "ye, brethren,
are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
(I Thessalonians 5:4). This introduces the "I come as a thief"
passages (Revelation 16:15). In a teaching that I call The Thief Of Sardis (see the tape catalog at Christianmedianetwork.com), I
point out how the LORD says to a particular end times group of
believers

"I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast,
and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee
as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will
come upon thee." (Revelation 3:2,3).

In this priceless passage, the LORD says the primary
indicator of apostasy in this church is the fact that "thou shalt
not
know what hour I will come upon thee." Contrast this with
the previously stated passages that plainly state those that are
walking in the light "are not in darkness" and that day will not
come upon them "as a thief" (I Thessalonians 5:4, II Peter 3:10). In
short, the true remnant of Christ will not be surprised, but
those that are in the churches that have not repented of their
apostasies will be taken by the "thief in the night"
(I Thessalonians 5:2).

Incredibly, we find Christ stating his coming as a
"thief" is stated in a future tense at the end of the tribulation :
in Revelation 16:15 : one verse before His Second Coming and the
battle of Armageddon! Thus, even His post-tribulational return will
come as a surprise to the unsaved because the world is in complete
darkness, but "ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should
overtake you as a thief" (I Thessalonians 5:4).

The reader would do well to think this through,
because these verses prove those that believe in the
pre-tribulation rapture are in trouble with the LORD, and their lack
of understanding of this crucial truth is described as a faith that
is "ready to die" (Revelation 3:2).

6. As Dave Hunt becomes
more desperate to field arguments that will sound convincing, he
again repeats himself in his sixth point. Just like his points
number four and five, he tries to split the only future
coming of Jesus Christ into two events by citing
verses that contrast different aspects of the end times, and then
claiming this shows there are two more returns of Jesus Christ
: the pre-tribulational rapture, and the post-tribulational Second
Coming.

In this rather tired approach, he again tells us the
"rapture" is unexpected while the Second Coming "occurs at the end
of the Tribulation in the midst of worldwide devastation and
hopeless distress" (Pre- or Post-Trib Rapture? The Berean Call,
December 2005).

In this point, he resorts to Zechariah 14 for
the fourth time in the same essay, saying "the Antichrist and
his armies are attacking Israel, much of Israel is already captured
(Zec 14:1,2), and Israel is on the verge of annihilation." Many
might be surprised to find there is actually no verse that says
it is the Antichrist that attacks Israel, but a lack of
Scripture has yet to stop Hunt from saying anything he can to press
his false doctrine. The fact is, in this point, Dave Hunt still has
yet to offer a single Bible verse that plainly shows a
pre-tribulational rapture.

7. Still pushing pre-trib,
Hunt tries again to use logic : and it turns out to be the illogic
he used in points 4 and 5 wherein his reasoning draws a conclusion
that is the exact opposite of what the text is telling us. He
clearly states that the so-called pre-tribulation rapture

"...is called the 'blessed hope': 'Looking for that
blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ' (Ti 2:13); 'every man that hath this hope' (I
Jn 3:3).

"In contrast, the Second Coming (or a post-trib
rapture at that time) could hardly be called a 'blessed hope,'
inasmuch as very few Christians (if the church were still here)
would survive to enjoy it."

This approach is similar to the mockers who have
claimed for years the "rapture" must be true because a return
at the end of the tribulation for the believer could not be
considered "the good news" (the literal meaning of the word "Gospel)
of Jesus Christ. Since the early Christians all recognized
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be extremely good news, and
they were all murdered for their faith, yet we see them constantly
"rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his
name," (Acts 5:41) it's clear the cowardly brand of the so-called
gospel preached by pretenders like Dave Hunt is not the
Gospel found in the New Testament.

Indeed, in the verse Hunt cites in Titus
concerning "that blessed hope," the text connects two points of
identification when Paul writes that the true believer is
anticipating "that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing" of Christ. This means the "appearing" of Christ is not
the same thing as the "blessed hope." The truth is, the "blessed
hope" is the person of Jesus Christ, the fact that He
died for our sins, and the powerful belief that He is who the
Scriptures tell us He is : the only begotten Son of God.

Although the difference between the two perspective
is subtle, the "blessed hope" itself is not the lie of some
physically convenient escape into the arms of an invisible Jesus as
espoused by the Rapture Cult, it is the reality of the person of
Jesus Christ.

8. After failing to
provide a single Bible verse that plainly teaches a
pre-tribulational rapture (for the simple reason that there aren't
any such verses), Hunt then shifts gears, and tries the historical
approach by saying

"unquestionably, the early church was taught to
expect it at any moment and to eagerly watch, wait and look for
Christ's return..."

This statement is pure Bovine Scatology, and
it depends on the ignorance and the poor scholarship skills of cult
aficionados. There are dozens of early writings in our possession,
from The Teachings Of The Twelve Apostles (the Didache) to the work
of Clement of Alexandria. Modern scholars possess the writings of
the Ante-Nicene fathers, the Post-Nicene Fathers, the early
Christian era Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of Eusebius, the
apocryphal Epistle of Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas, Justin
Martyr's Dialogue With Trypho, and dozens more : and not a single
one of them
shows a hint of the pretribulation rapture.

9. Coming to the end of
his arsenal of available lies, Dave Hunt then posits the
preposterous fraud that "The pre-trib Rapture has a powerful
purifying effect upon those who have this hope in him." This claim
would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic, for knowledgeable
individuals in the Christian prophecy arena know for a fact the
rapturists are the sleaziest, slimiest bunch of reprobates in the
so-called "church" today.

I have personally researched and produced several
written pieces on the numerous rapturists that have been
caught red-handed in plagiarism, outright lying, and intentional
deceit. Even the Los Angeles Times produced an exposé some
years ago showing how prominent rapturist writers Hal Lindsey
and Chuck Missler were definitively exposed as plagiarists
who stole the work of a professor named Dr. Edwin Yamauchi :
coincidentally a professor whose work had contradicted their false
prophetic doctrine.

Even Christian book publishing giant Word Books
admitted being forced to destroy the inventory of a Rapture Cult
book written by prominent rapture televangelist David Jeremiah
when it was learned he had stolen huge portions of the book from
another author. Several writers, including Dave MacPherson,
who wrote the book The 3 R's: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery,
have produced well-researched material showing what a bunch of
dirtbags these false prophets really are.

At the risk of belaboring the point, we would prefer
not to dwell on the peccadilloes of local pastors (Rapture Cultists
all), such as the Calvary Chapel pastor that lost it all in
an adulterous affair with a woman he was "ministering" to. We'd
prefer not to mention the two male "counselers" at the huge mega
cult church in the Midwest that "counseled" two young wives into
divorcing their heathen husbands and ended up marrying the same two
"counselors" in that Rapture Cult whore house they call a "church."

Even worse, many locals here in Oregon still
tell the tale of the mega church cult pastor literally caught
with his pants down with a female staffer in his office. He's still
"serving" the LORD on the airwaves, so when Dave Hunt writes
about the "rapture" as a "powerful purifying effect," it's clear he
either doesn't want to know the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10), or he
intentionally covers it up. Either way, I've got to move on to the
next point before I throw up.

10. As he runs out of
steam in his arguments, Hunt's tenth point has no particular theme
at all, but only repeats that which he's already said. He offers no
Scripture indicating timing at all, but simply says

"The Rapture is....an event we are to expect
momentarily and to eagerly anticipate, but we are to ask our Lord to
come immediately. Here is how the Bible ends: 'And the Spirit and
the bride say, Come...Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord
Jesus" (Rv 22:17,20).

This awkward argument may be boiled down to 'the
Bible says come quickly Lord Jesus, so this proves Scripture is
telling us to ask Christ to come for us before the tribulation.' It
should be obvious we're all anxious to see the LORD, but this
rationale is ridiculous in that it has no bearing on timing at all.
Hunt then shifts back to the Second Coming, and writes

"the Second Coming is not of such a nature and timing
that we could ask Christ to effect it right now. Since Christ
obviously cannot return to the earth in judgment to rescue Israel,
stop the destruction at Armageddon and destroy the Antichrist along
with his kingdom and his armies until the end of the Tribulation,
for us to cry out to Christ, 'Come, Lord Jesus!' would be like
demanding payment on a debt that isn't due for seven years."

In this desperate attempt at offering reason instead
of Scripture, Hunt is essentially saying 'since the Scripture tells
us to ask Christ to return, and since the post-tribulationist
scenario cannot occur until the full tribulation runs its course,
pre-trib must be true.' The suggestion that no-one would cry out for
the LORD to come back to earth in a post-trib setting is fallacious.
The fact is, in Revelation we do see the believers
that have been murdered crying out and asking Christ to return in
order to avenge their blood:

"And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long,
O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on
them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every
one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet
for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their
brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
(Revelation 6:10).

According to Dave Hunt's indiscriminate lack of
discernment, the martyrs could not "cry out to Christ" to return to
the earth because the tribulational events have not yet run
their course; yet that is precisely what the Holy Bible tells us
they do. Furthermore, this text describes souls that are said to be
"under the altar" in heaven, so theoretically, they should
know what has to transpire before the LORD returns in glory
to avenge their murder : yet they cry out "Come, Lord Jesus" just
the same. Clearly, Dave Hunt's argument is in direct opposition to
what the book of Revelation tells us.

11. In his final attempt
to validate pre-trib in his Berean Call essay, Hunt continues
to avoid offering any direct Scriptural references concerning
timing
, and stays with the assumptions and innuendo that
characterize the false doctrine:

"There are at least two events which must occur in
heaven for which the church must be present and which, therefore,
cannot take place until the Rapture occurs: the judgment seat of
Christ, and the marriage of the Lamb to his bride..."

Hunt then quotes II Corinthians 5:10 ("we must
all appear before the judgment seat of Christ...") and Revelation
19:7 ("the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made
herself ready. And to her was granted [to] be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and white [as a result of her cleansing at the judgment seat
of Christ]."

For starters, we note how Hunt is still assuming
the existence of the "rapture" in the first place : even though
every effort he has made has offered nothing conclusive as to its
existence at all. Hunt's argument in this final effort is just
superfluous nonsense. Basically what he's saying is 'in order to
have the marriage of the Lamb to His bride, she will have to be
present.' He's saying the same thing about the "judgment seat of
Christ" referenced in II Corinthians, and his argument can be
paraphrased as 'in order for the Christians to be judged at the
judgment seat, they've got to be there.' He then concludes that

"It is only after the Lamb has been married to His
bride that she accompanies Him back to earth to rescue Israel and to
destroy Antichrist and his armies...."

This is pure smoke and mirrors. It's the equivalent
of saying 'in order for me to drive my car downtown, I've got to be
in the car,' but such a statement offers no data whatsoever
concerning when I'll arrive downtown. This type of fluff
provides no indication as to timing at all. Also notice how, once
again, he sneaks in the assumption that Christ's coming "back
to earth" is "to rescue Israel" : a recurring theme with all Rapture
Cultist that Hunt never once justifies with any Scripture in his
entire written piece.

Since Dave Hunt has cited from the marriage of the
Lamb passages in Revelation, we might note these occur
late in Revelation in chapter 19 : and indeed, when we see her
"arrayed in fine linen, clean and white" we also see the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ in the same sequence (2 verses
later) of events.

We also encounter the Christians arrayed in white in
Revelation 7 where John learns "These are they which came out of
great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them
white in the blood of the Lamb....and white robes were given
unto every one of them." (Revelation 7:14, 6:11). Since in the very
passage Hunt cites "it was granted that she should be arrayed
in fine linen..."
there is nothing to indicate this is a
separate group.

Since he keeps trying to split the single Second
Coming event into two events (pre-trib and the Second Coming),
perhaps Dave Hunt will next propose the "bride" gets linen
robes, but the so-called "tribulation saints" only get cotton
robes (after all, they've only died for the faith), but the
point is, the marriage supper of the Lamb as seen in Revelation
has the believers garbed in white robes, and this is in the same
passage describing the Second Coming.

In studying the Scriptures, sometimes false prophets
can be recognized not just by what verses they choose to
twist, but by the verses they choose to avoid. So it is in the case
of Dave Hunt and his cult publication The Berean Call.

Since the doctrinal essay being critiqued herein is
on the timing of the "rapture" (after all, Dave Hunt's essay
was entitled Pre- or Post-Trib Rapture?), it is quite revealing to
recognize several key verses that deal directly with timing
that Hunt chose to ignore.

For instance, all agree that when Jesus Christ
comes back (and He is coming back exactly as He said He would), "the
dead in Christ shall rise first..." (I Thessalonians 4:16).
When people are raised from the dead, that is called a
resurrection
, yet in this article Dave Hunt never quotes from
the numerous verses that deal directly with the subject of the
resurrection.

In fact, even though Dave Hunt quotes from the
verses where we see the LORD descending from heaven "with a shout"
in which the dead are raised, he always cuts off the quote before
the phrase "at the last trump" appears : obviously
because this phrase  pinpoints precisely when this
so-called "rapture" event will occur:

"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." (I
Corinthians 15:52).

It should be obvious that the last trumpet is
at the end of the tribulation, and since this is the
very verse Hunt uses to describe his alleged pre-tribulational
rapture, we can see just why he always leaves out the crucial phrase
that tells us this occurs "at the last trump."

He also never mentions the passages in Matthew,
Mark, and Luke where Jesus Himself describes
that last trump in connection with His return:

"Immediately after the tribulation of
those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give
her light...And 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." (Matthew 24:29,31,
see also Mark 13:24-27, Luke 21:25).

Dave Hunt's unscrupulous avoidance of verses that use
the word LAST is not limited to trumpets. He's evidently not
particularly fond of the five verses in the Gospels that
specifically state that Christ will raise the dead on the last
day
. After all, since "the dead in Christ" rise at
the so-called pre-tribulation "rapture," but those five verses
show the dead in Christ will rise on the last day, these
verses conclusively prove the event occurs at the very end of
the tribulation : not before:

"...this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that
of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should
raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:39)

"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every
one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting
life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath
sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
(John 6:44)

"Whoso eatheth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath
eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John
6:54)

Even Martha, when her brother Lazarus had died,
understood this most basic of truths. Jesus had consoled her
with the knowledge that her brother would live again, and

"Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise
again in the resurrection at the last day." (John 11:24).

The conclusion is inescapable. Christ returns with
His angels "immediately after the tribulation" (Matthew
24:29) and the "last trumpet" sounds (Matthew 24:31, I Corinthians
15:52). That last trumpet blows at the end of the
tribulation, and it is sounded by the "last" of the seven angels
that blow trumpets (Revelation 10:7).

It occurs on "the last day" (John
6:39,40,44,54,11:24) when "the dead in Christ shall rise" (I
Thessalonians 4:16) then "we which are alive and remain shall
be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in
the air..." (I Thessalonians 4:17). We then accompany Christ back to
the earth where He arrives with "all the saints" (Zechariah 14:5),
sets up His millennial kingdom, where we shall live and reign "with
Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).

The classic Rapture Cult response to being exposed by
a balanced presentation of the Scriptures is to either dodge
the issues, claim that timing "has nothing to do with the gospel of
salvation" (Dave Hunt, The Berean Call, December 2005), or to turn
and attack the "attitude" of the person exposing their false
doctrine. It remains to be seen what Dave Hunt will do after
he realizes his mask has been pulled off with this essay.

However, what is not covered in the present work is
just why this really is a crucial issue. It has to do with
which
Jesus our faith is placed in. The New Testament
tells us there is "another gospel" and there is "another Jesus"
(Galatians 1:6, II Corinthians 11:4). If you receive the wrong one,
you will "have made a covenant with death" and made "lies [your]
refuge" (Isaiah 28:15,17).

The Jesus preached by devious Dave Hunt is
"another Jesus," and in seeking the truth of the matter, the reader
would do well to follow the example found in the book of Acts. Dave
Hunt's periodical is named after the believers in Berea, who were
said to be "more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they
received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11).

We have searched the Scriptures and compared them
with the false doctrine taught by Dave Hunt and his "Berean
Call" : and found that his work is not worthy of the name.

 

-- James Lloyd

- See Also

The Rapture Cult

They Shall Look Upon Me Whom They Have Pierced

The 3 R's: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery

The Thief Of Sardis

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
84