Sunday, December 6, 2015

PCG's Condemnation of the Rapture

Traditionally Armstrongism has consistently condemned the doctrine of the rapture. From a marketing perspective this serves to discredit evangelical churches that have this teaching. PCG continued this tradition with an article by Fred Dattolo (The Truth About the Secret Rapture, September 2005). Dattolo converted to PCG from LCG in 2001. He has been mentioned before here and here.

Let's see what he has to say.
The word rapture is not found anywhere in the Bible, yet God does reveal that there is a way to escape the Great Tribulation that’s coming soon.
The phrases God family, second tithe, third tithe, lost century, new revelation and others are also not in the Bible.

While those awaiting the rapture expect to be translated to heaven a few years before Christ's return Armstrongism has long insisted that they will be divinely guided to flee to Petra, Jordan before the Great Tribulation starts.
Scripture indicates that Christ’s true followers will be gathered in Judea just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation .... Jesus plainly tells them that when the time comes, they will have to flee .... Obviously, if there were to be a “secret rapture,” Christ’s followers would not have to be concerned about fleeing in winter or on the Sabbath!
Jesus never advocated the “rapturing” of His followers out of the world to protect them (see John 17:15). God’s true Church will be on Earth during the Great Tribulation—protected in a place of safety—not up in heaven as proponents of the rapture theory believe. Christ always promises His people protection here on Earth, never up in heaven.
Furthermore Dattolo proceeds to further lambaste those who believe the rapture by insisting that they have confused the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord as though they are the same thing. Armstrongism has traditionally taught that these are separate things.
A big mistake that supporters of the rapture theory make is that they assume the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord refer to the same time period. Remember that the Church is prophesied to flee from Satan’s wrath. The devil is the one who is enraged with God’s Church, and he instigates the Great Tribulation....

On the other hand, the Day of the Lord is the time of God’s wrath toward all evil.... That one-year period will culminate in Jesus Christ’s return. Christ will be angry at the sins of mankind when He returns. To save the human race alive ..., He is coming to punish in love. Otherwise, man would destroy all life upon the Earth! The Day of the Lord is the period when Goddirectly [sic] intervenes in world affairs. Jesus Himself gave the chronology of events that would lead up to it.
Actually HWA devised this particular interpretation and the COGs, assuming HWA's words to be what is true, condemn those who differ are though they were not reading the Bible properly. When in reality those other churches never had any contact with HWA until after HWA had set up his own group and propagated his own ideas.

From a marketing perspective it makes sense for the COGs to distinguish themselves by devising a different interpretation from those who believe there will be a rapture.

Dattolo threatens the readers that if they do not agree with PCG's interpretation of prophecy then they will be left behind to endure the horrors of the Great Tribulation. Join PCG or else.
If you believe in the rapture, you are being deprived of the knowledge and understanding of how to escape the soon-coming Great Tribulation and the plagues of the Day of the Lord! If you think you can wait for the rapture to take you away, you will not have an opportunity to flee from the most horrendous suffering ever experienced on planet Earth—because the rapture will never come. Jesus warns that you will be caught suddenly and unexpectedly, like an animal entrapped by a snare.... That is exactly what Satan wants to happen to you.
Catholic Jesuits are blamed for devising this doctrine that (according to PCG) Satan supposedly wants people to believe in. Armstrongism teaches that the Roman Catholic Church is the great whore of Revelation 17 and is destined to help create a European Empire that will conquer America and Britain just before Christ's return. The COGs teach that they will escape that dire fate by staying in their church and they will be divinely warned to flee to Petra.
The idea of a secret rapture was unknown to any christian group before the 16th century! At that time, the basic rudimentary belief was first proposed by some Jesuit priests (see McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, article “Antichrist”). Later, around 1825, Samuel R. Maitland, the librarian to the archbishop of Canterbury, embraced the theory. Then, around1830, the belief began to take on its modern definition when it was espoused by J.N. Darby, founder of the Plymouth Brethren. It was popularized in the Scofield Reference Bible.

The first few advocates of the rapture theory fervently believed that they were living in the last 3½ years of Earth’s history. When that length of time was exceeded and Christ still had not “caught them away,” they were forced to alter their doctrine to a general expectancy that Christ might return—unannounced—at any moment!
Those who join PCG are required to pay three tithes to PCG for the rest of their lives.

But PCG have made many false prophecies that failed to come to pass. These failed prophecies prove that God is not with PCG.

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