Origin of the Rapture

What is the origin of the "rapture" doctrine? Is it biblical? The doctrine of the "rapture' was my favorite, most loved doctrine. Several years ago, a friend researched the doctrine and looked into this question. While discussing the research with him I remembered one related verse which should have arrested my attention years ago!

 

The result of the research is written in the book, "The Unorthodox Believer". Here is a short excerpt from the book which shares the origin of this doctrine:

 

The rapture teaching originates in Glasgow, Scotland with a group called the “Irvingites” around 1830. Prior to that, the rapture doctrine was unknown by any theologian, priest or monk or nun, unknown for 1,800 years. A European theologian named, John Nelson Darby, heard this new doctrine in Scotland and traveled there to interview the Irvingites. He found that it originated with a young women who was ill and bedridden. She had nothing to do but read her King James Bible. She knew nothing about biblical culture and nothing about biblical languages and nothing about the Old Testament. She was not even schooled with any theological studies either. The rapture doctrine was completely her own interpretation – by a vision she claimed. It was appealing for sure, to have a teaching that God will swoop away believers before experiencing the worst troubles to come. Darby, adopted the teaching, wrote it up and preached it. He include it in his commentaries. The teaching spread and by the late 1800's had spread to nearly all churches in both Europe and the Americas due to Darby's notoriety – he was trusted to be truthful without proof or challenge. Some of Darby's followers migrated to American and a few founded Seminaries and Bible Colleges where the rapture doctrine was taught as gospel … along with a few other non-biblical teachings like dispensationalism.

 

This discovery brings up other questions which are discussed in the book.

 

Before sharing the verse I mentioned, know that it is built on what was written in Ephesians chapter 2; the Jews and Gentiles are both created as a "new man", so making peace.

 

Ephesians 4:4

4: 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling,

 

This "one body" does not refer to the institutional corporate churches in existence today. It refers to the body of Christ which includes every person who has, is, or will be born from above (aka born again). It includes both Judean and Gentile. We all share in the promise of Abraham, which provides the foundation of our hope*. This is a KEY truth – there is ONE hope of our calling, not 2 not 3. This hope is common to both Jew and Gentile. Thus, we cannot expect to have something different happen to us, in Christ which is different for the Judeans, including Abraham.

 

On the basis of the evidence, I had to discard the doctrine of the "rapture". The truth makes MUCH MORE sense, especially given what has been happening in the rest of the world lately. There is not much that stands between the believers in this country and the terrible persecution that is happening elsewhere. Don't think for a moment that "…it can't happen here". We have been tremendously favored, but must continue to be vigilant and strong to endure.

 

There is more to learn about this subject – find out for yourself!

Here is a link to the book,  "The Unorthodox Believer".

 

*"hope" is not used in the bible in the same way that we use the word. It refers to events and promises that are not available today, but will be available in the future.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available.

The paperback is available here.
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com

(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

 

Your Impact on the World

2 Corinthians 2 contains a cultural reference which is used as a metaphor to describe your impact on the world. The letters of the apostle Paul were written to a mixed audience in the 1st century. There were Judeans, Hellenized Judeans and a great variety of Gentiles. This audience lived in various sections of the Roman Empire. Needless to say, their culture is almost completely alien to us. Thus, some of the cultural references, Hebrew, Greek or Roman, can be a bit foggy to the reader in the 21st century!
 
So it is with II Corinthians 2:14 – 17. These three verses refer to a practice which was known in the Roman culture. Both the Hebrews and Gentiles would understand the cultural reference. 
 
2:14 But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of him in every place. 2:15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing – 2:16 to the latter an odor from death to death, but to the former a fragrance from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 2:17 For we are not like so many others, hucksters who peddle the word of God for profit, but we are speaking in Christ before God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God. (NET Bible)
 
A Roman general who had a tremendous victory over the enemy could be granted a "triumph" by the Roman Senate to celebrate the victory. A great procession (parade) was organized. Participating in the procession was the military leader,  his soldiers, and their prisoners. Incense was burned along the parade route which produced a sweep aroma. To the Romans, the winners, this incense was a sweet smelling aroma of victory. To the enemy prisoners, this oder was the bitter smell of death, as they were led to be executed.
 

In 2 Corinthians, God is the focus of the triumphal procession, via Christ in us. By way of the disciples of Jesus Christ, living as His agents acting upon His will, the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Christ is manifested in every place. To those who are being saved, it is a sweet aroma of victory. To those who reject God and His son Jesus Christ, we are the rotten stink of death and decay. 

 
Yes, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you have an impact on those around you. Some will befriend you, but many will absolutely hate you for no apparent reason. The cause is spiritual, not psychological or social. The manifestation of the sweet aroma of Christ does not originate from your strength or abilities, but from the power of God resident in your gift of holy spirit, the new you! Thought by thought, moment by moment, day by day, you participate in the celebration of the victory of Jesus Christ who has overcome the world!
 
Loving people according to the will of God in the manner that He desires will not bring you popularity. You may be kind to all, but rejected by many. Don't give in to sadness, but be very thankful that God works in you. Be thankful for the close friends that you do have and keep moving.

 

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

Biblical Enigmas

Bible Study Enigmas

The Bible was originally written by and for people of the ancient middle east. Its' language and cultural background are alien to those with a modern western cultural background. It is rare for Biblical scholars to recognize these cultural differences when producing their theological works. For the most part, Biblical scholarship, theology and Christian religious practice is confined to a Greek/Roman philosophical box. This condition has existed since the 2nd century CE.
 
There exists an unused option for interpreting scripture which does recognize the ancient cultural background of the Bible. This technique uses Biblical Cultural Anthropology. So, what is this and how do you apply it to your Biblical studies? There are now some resources available which will help answer this question and many other questions. 
 
My friend, John Brown has written and published 3 booklets entitled "Bible Study Enigmas", volumes 1 – 3. These books are "intended to benefit the average pew sitter". They are written simply, without a lot of jargon and theological language.
(An Enigma is "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling or difficult to understand.)
 
In these 3 volumes, cultural anthropology is applied to general biblical topics, the New Testament and to general biblical topics.
 
Volume 1 handles the following topics:
 
Who is "us" in Genesis?
What is the Afterlife?
What is Biblical Inspiration?
What is the True Israel?
What is a God-Man Messiah?
 
Volume 2 topics:
 
Hebrew Language Idioms
First Century Culture
Rabbi Yeshua
Pentecost Festival
Pharisee Saul
 
Volume 3 topics:
 
Hebrew Circles in History
Original Story Episodes
Biblical Giants
Sky-Gods and Demons
End Time Conditions
 
Here is the link to John Brown's Author page on Amazon.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

Godly Abundance and Prosperity

The end of 2013 is rapidly approaching. With the start of the new year, many have a desire for a transformed life and circumstances. In order to effect such a transformation, there exists a plethora of religious organizations which teach a variety of "prosperity" doctrines, practices and recipes for the needy and greedy. This religious "industry" uses the Bible to legitimize their doctrines, practices, and the appeals to transfer cash from your pockets to their bank accounts. 
 
I am one who has journeyed through this industry and have seen first-hand the lack of results, the lack of transformed lives. Year after year, people and families remain impoverished without obtaining the promised "abundance and prosperity". So often God is blamed for the lack, or the individual Christian is left wondering what they did wrong.
 
This raises some questions:
What does the Bible really teach about prosperity?
How does the Bible define prosperity?
Those being devoured by poverty question what they have done wrong, why bad things are still happening to them
If these beliefs and expectations are accurate then why are so many failing to obtain prosperity for themselves and their families?
If these beliefs and expectations are not accurate, why are they being promoted? Why are so many being deceived?
 
Additionally, the doctrines and prescriptions of this religious industry ignore other spiritual factors which influence life and the challenges we all face

After spending several years researching these issues, I composed a series of teachings which answered these questions. This series formed the basis of the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". For those who heard these teachings, it was a life changing experience. Among other things,
They stopped sending their hard earned money to the religious institutions, using it for the needs of their family instead
Expectations were changed since they learned how "prosperity" is defined Biblically
The basis for self condemnation was eradicated
One of the participants reported that "…no one will ever control me again…"
 
It is the goal of this book to expose religious error by exploring the Biblical and spiritual aspects of prosperity. Thus, Christians can stop being exploited by those who would decieve them.
 
This research is now available in the book, "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". The Kindle edition is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Front Cover
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2013, 2014 Keith S. Radcliffe