Doctrine Matters: Follow up to “The Rapture Cult and Sun Worship “

Follow up to “The Rapture Cult and Sun Worship “

by Randy Maugans

“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

The weekend firestorm over my article, The Rapture Cult and Sun Worship in the “Holy Land”, brought a wide array of responses including many supportive of the article. It also landed at the P.I.D. websites with a measured response of both embarrassment and some back-stepping.

I want to be clear that my critical remarks are not a personal attack on the Gilberts per se, but another volley of the grievances I have aired many years at those who promote the pre-tribulation rapture and dispensationalist doctrine—and the flakiness that attends same.

Understand, this is a public war for hearts and minds! As events heat up and every day brings us all closer to what most Bible based Christians see as the tribulation, these things take on a greater importance. Perhaps (just perhaps) believing in rapture did not matter 50 years ago. Perhaps “God winked”. Perhaps believers who were trapped in the church system and spoon-fed the doctrines brought into their churches by unscrupulous (and dishonst) Bible teachers were given the benefit of the doubt by a merciful God. After all Israel labored in bondage for 430 years after the writings of Malachi made it very clear that the preisthood was corrutpt. Jesus loved them and presented Himself for their redemption at the appointed time.

Like Israel of old, the spiritual Israel of the New Covenant—what is erroneously called “The Church”—has back-slidden and now cannot hear, or read the plain writ of scripture. The abundance of refutations on rapture doctrine (pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath—pick one) and the enormous evidence compiled about the dishonesty of  Cyrus Scofield and his followers bears a witness not unlike that borne by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Lord, Himself to a people whose “heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…”

It is never comfortable for me to go after another ministry—it is not sport or done lightly. But indignation rises up, and those who have placed themselves into the public ministry of the scriptures play by different standards than those outlined in Matthew 18. I understand this…I have been on the receiving end of it many times.

Just once, I wish someone would take full responsibility for the doctrines they promote. There seems to be this attitude that prophecy is devoid of doctrinal implications. That prophetic understanding is somehow a parlor game in which anything can be thrown out into the “mix” without doctrinal underpinnings.

The response from P.I.D. Radio is an example of a half-hearted attempt at face-saving in the face of withering criticism. I would apologize if I thought I erred, but so far my comments still are valid. I will note that Sharon Gilbert posted to her blog a “disclaimer”—and has now deleted the article completely (the full text is in the article) . So much for journalistic integrity!

Derek Gilbert has now weighed in with his piece, Clarification on the Blessing of the Sun” (partial quote):

“But when believers who devote themselves to the study of prophecy misunderstand us, we obviously didn’t make our point clear.

We did not and would never attribute prophetic authority to anything but scripture. We simply mentioned this historic event as another data point to consider while analyzing the big picture.

Now, there is a spirit at work in assigning importance to any specific sign or date. It’s entirely possible that the enemy, which knows scripture better than any of us, has attached significance to this year’s Blessing of the Sun (just as it has with the year 2012) to distract us from the core issue of sin and salvation.

That doesn’t mean we should ignore the event. At the very least, we should be aware that the enemy may use it to deceive others who are looking for a false Messiah. That point wasn’t made clear during the show, and for that I apologize.

But please don’t interpret that error as somehow endorsing the event or basing our doctrine on it. From the whole of the work we’ve produced at P.I.D. Radio and our websites, our position should be clear. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

My thoughts are that they still don’t get it. First, what was meant by the term: “Jewish believers” in the opening line of the article? Believers in what? The congenial tone and wholesale embrace of this mass of sun-worshippers as “believers” communicates a relationship which the undiscerning reader would impute as fellowship. But my Bible tells me (Ephesians 5:11) to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (or sun worship).  What part of this is not doctrine?

Derek Gilbert’s clever inversion of the prophetic aspects of this article is to be envied. Now it is, perhaps, the work of the enemy to divert attention to a particular sign or date—yeah, that’s it. Flip Wilson call home.

The real problem in all this is that, Derek and Sharon’s assertion aside, this WAS and is a doctrinal issue. For all the reasons I outlined in the original post regarding rapture and dispensational doctrine there were inherent doctrinal positions taken in both articles which go beyond the simple issue of salvation.

Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is level one for a believer. It is by far the most important—and fragile—but it does not end there. In fact, scripture is very clear that doctrine is what sustains the believer, nourishes faith, and matures the walk. It is pure sophistry to think that such an article (and a podcast, although I did not hear the show), couched as it was in prophetic tones did not represent doctrine.

The doctrine represented was an expressed belief in a pre-trib rapture of the church, the “doctrine of immanance” (the belief that the aforementioned “rapture” can occur at any time—no prior signs required…), and a heavy emphasis on something termed “the third redemption of Israel”, along with a seven year tribulation cycle.

The war for hearts and minds of believers holds high stakes in the last days. The rapture doctrine is riddled with problems, including its theoretical placement in the time line of Revelation and Daniel. The fact is, that the “rapture doctrine” is not a coherent Biblical doctrine, it is part of the state of Babel which now grips both the established church system and the “alternative” para-church movement on the internet.

The Threshing Floor is often contacted by confused believers—many new converts, who are helplessly searching for the “certain sound” of coherent doctrine. Others have left the church system they know is corrupt, and seek clear, strongly reasoned exegesis of scripture. Each time we have to address the contradictions presented by erroneous,  careless or casual doctrinal presentations, my heart cries out for a God to cleanse His house.

We need to get away from the glib presentations, the careless commentaries, and the hodge-podge of current events. We need to get a clear view of scripture and an ever-present awe of the author of the Word, and the presence of  His Holy Spirit who teaches all things and brings all things into remembrance…(John 14:26). With those thoughts I close this matter, except to pray for the body of believers to become “fellowhelpers to the truth”(3John 1:8)—to that end I offer always to give an answer, to every man that asketh, of what I believe.

The Rapture Cult and Sun Worship in the “Holy Land”


by Randy Maugans

“And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’Shouse, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.”-Ezekiel 8:16

Honestly, I think my head is going to explode! More junk food for the doctrinally impaired and discernment disabled from those lovable fiction writers over at P.I.D. Radio (via Revelations Radio Network), the Gilberts—Sharon and Derek:

From:  P.I.D. Radio 5/29/09: Pentecost Rapture?:

IS THIS the weekend of Christ’s triumphant return? Maybe, maybe not. There are signs that indicate it may be so, but the signs were never meant to be easy to read. Read The Final Fulfillment of Pentecost and Sharon’s piece on the Blessing of the Sun.

OK, I bite: rapture and something called the “Blessing of the Sun”?

from Sharon Gilbert’s article: “Birchat Hachama — the Blessing of the Sun” we read this:

May 28, 2009 — This is stunning video of 50,000 Jewish believers as they participate in the Birchat Hachama, the Blessing of the Sun, on April 8, 2009 (14 Nissan — Passover).

This rare event occurs only once every 28 years and marks the return of the sun to its original position during Creation.

Only two other times has this event fallen on Nissan 14 (Passover): 1) One year before the Exodus of Israel from Egypt and 2) on the first day of Esther’s fast prior to the miracle of Purim (the decree to kill all Jews was annulled within the year in the month of Adar).

This year marks the third time. Is there a third and final redemption of Israel coming within 2009? I believe so. 2009 could well be the year when the Lord once again sets His face toward Israel, and the final seven year countdown begins. Are you ready?

What?

You can go read the Wikipedia article on the Birchat Hachama for yourself, but, essentially this is the Babylonian Talmudic version of the Christian Easter (Ishtar) “Sunrise Services” practiced by the apostate daughters of Rome. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: like mother like daughter…but what does it have to do with the rapture?

For that you will have to grope your way through the rapturist rantings of cultist, Steve Coerper‘s article:  “The Final Fulfillment of Pentecost”—or not. Trust me, if you are not a fully sold out believer in Jewish dispensationalism and pre-trib rapture doctrine this will probably make your eyes cross.

Back to Sharon Gilbert’s gushing over the “stunning” video of this event:

So perplexed am I that people professing to be “Biblical Christians” could be sucked into thinking such an abominable event as these Christ-rejecting Talmudic Jews, essentially performing a sun worship ceremony, could inspire not just awe, but seemingly PROPHETIC import! Judgment, perhaps, but I see no parallels with the Exodus or the deliverance of the Hebrews from Haman in the Book of Esther. (By the way: Purim, like its post-exillic cousin feast, Hannukah, are NOT ordained by God–they appear at best, to have been tolerated by YHWH—at best.)

Words of Jesus:

“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”- Luke 6:44

What part of “abomination” do we not understand? Read the rest of Ezekiel 8 wherein the Lord declares his judgment for such practices:

” Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.-Ezekiel 8:18

The Christians out there who continue to enable the pagan practices of Jews, thus sparing them the process of a true repentance and coming to faith in the Risen Son, Christ, are complicit in the loss of souls in Israel—and around the world.  To read the words of someone like Sharon Gilbert, extolling the hideous pagan, non-Biblical “Blessing of the Sun” is a grievance to a Holy God, and a stumbling block to both the Jews, who without Christ perish in unbelief—and their gullible readers who think these people are actually born again.

The bad fruits of the rapture doctrine and Scofield’s hideous doctrine of dispensationalism area bout to roost upon these false teachers. While pagans dance and sing in the streets of false Jerusalem, the once true Spiritual Jerusalem—the body of Christian believers—now have become a snare and gin for all who follow them.