"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15)
Greetings! Jesus made it very clear when He would return and gather His people, for what is commonly known as the "rapture". In the book of Matthew, when Jesus was asked by His disciples, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)
Jesus gave many signs to look for which would proceed His return, not the least of which is Matthew 24:29-31, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
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."
Jesus is returning after the Great Tribulation, not before. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath." (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
What people tend to get confused about are the trumpets of tribulation which takes place in Revelation, chapters 8 through 10, and the wrath of God which takes place in Revelation 16. They are similar but not the same events. Look at them and compare them and you will see they are different events.
The article that follows shows how being ignorant of the sequence and timing of endtime events can lead to tragic consequences. This very tragic and sad story could have been completely avoided if the people involved had even a basic knowledge of endtime events.
We have been warned repeatedly throughout God's Word to not allow ourselves to be led astray and deceived by false prophets and false teachers. Here are just a few of many verses where we are warned not to let ourselves be deceived.
"Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."(Matthew 24:11 and 24)
"Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9)
"There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies." 2TI.4:3
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Peter 2:1 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The deceit is not going to get better in these last days, it is only going to get worse. We have not yet even begun to witness sights such as are described in Revelation 13:13-14. "He (the false prophet) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast."
This is why it is so important that we do understand Bible prophecy so that the tragic events in the article below can be averted in the future. We are responsible to help the truth be known. It is our responsibility.
"The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." (2 Timothy 2:2 and 1Peter 3:15)
And finally; "They that understand among the people shall instruct many. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 11:33 and 12:3)
It is our job to teach the truth.
WND (Edited from longer article.)
FAITH UNDER FIRE
July 13, 2011
'Rapture' real aftermath: Beheadings, shootings, mass graves
'Families don't know if missing loved ones are dead, arrested or hiding in jungle'
By Bob Unruh
The executive director of a ministry that works with the persecuted church in the northern reaches of Vietnam says he's outraged that a "prophecy" by an American preacher apparently cost the lives of many tribal Hmong people who believed it.
The prediction by Harold Camping, 89, of Oakland, California based Family Radio, was that Jesus Christ would return to Earth to "rapture" his followers to heaven on May 21. Camping said mankind had run out of time, and the Creator of the universe would arrive on that Saturday.
The horrific aftermath of the unfulfilled prophecy was reported by James Jacob Prasch, a key leader of Moriel Ministries, which emphasizes the "last days apostasy" discussed in the Bible and ministers to persecuted church members.
The organization describes itself as a "teaching ministry to believers" that brings awareness of issues such as the "social gospel" and ecumenical efforts that "masquerade" as Christianity.
Prasch routinely travels and meets with members of the Christian body worldwide. A recent trip took him to Vietnam, where a large number of the Hmong tribal peoples of the nation's Central Highlands are Christian.
They are referred to in the West as Montagnards.
They had heard of Camping's prophecy and not having sophisticated methods for evaluating its validity, took it literally, he explained.
The result, for many, was death, Prasch reported in an email to supporters:
After listening to a translation of Camping's prediction 7,000 of these people (known in the West as Montagnards) gathered on a mountain praising God their suffering at the hands of the communist regime was about to end because Jesus was returning that day in May to establish a new kingdom,.
The police and military police slaughtered many of them at gunpoint - beheading two pastors. Others were arrested. I am told by Hmong pastors that so many were shot dead that they were buried in mass graves bulldozed over in an episode that I read about in Britain but did not understand the magnitude of until I got here.
Prasch reported that he spoke to a secret meeting of Hmong pastors to explain to them "false prophets and false teachers."
"Due to a combination of poverty, ignorance and persecution these poor Christians don't understand much so they believed Camping's shortwave broadcast which is how most get their teaching," he said.
Now "their families don't know if their missing loved ones are among the many shot dead, among those arrested and imprisoned, or among those from the 7,000 hiding in the jungle," he said.
"These people already suffering for their faith in Jesus had it bad enough. They are not like the undiscerning whackos in the West who should have known Camping was a crackpot and a proven false prophet and false teacher," Prasch reported. "This is a persecuted church who just had no means to know any different. This is why ... I warn so much about false teachers and false prophets."
He continued, "Of course we can blame Satan and the communists but their blood is on the hands of Harold Camping and his Family Radio. Women without husbands, children without parents, husbands without wives."
A WND request of Family Radio for comment did not generate a response.
When Camping's expected rapture did not occur, International Business Times reported Lyn Benedetto of Antelope Valley, Calif., slit the wrist and throat of her two daughters and then slit her own, claiming to prevent them from going through the "Tribulation" on May 21.
A neighbor summoned an ambulance in time for them to be hospitalized.
Upon hearing the story, Camping said, "Murdering is terrible. It is contrary to everything the Bible teaches. That would have been a horrible thing if she has done that. That will make me weep. That will fill me with sorrow that she would do that. The Bible teaches that we are to save life, not kill. If it is going to be death, leave it to God. God knows who He wants to kill and make alive. That is His business, not our business."
Asked if he would take responsibility for such incidents, Camping said no.
"I don't have any responsibility. I can't be responsible for anybody's lives," he explained. "I am only teaching the Bible. I am not teaching what I believe, as if I am the authority. I am just simply teaching what the Bible says. And I don't have spiritual rule over anybody."
WND reported later when Camping suffered a stroke.
The prediction that Jesus would return May 21 was not the first time Camping made a false prophecy. He similiarly forecast Christ's return in 1994.
In the aftermath of his glaring error, Camping has adjusted his prediction for the end of the world to Oct. 21 of this year.
If you are unsure, need a review, or are just interested in learning about Endtime events, we suggest you visit our Studies section on this web site.
Until next week...
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."
(2 Peter 1:19)