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July, 20, 2015
THE CULTING OF CHRISTIANITY
The Occult Roots Of The Rapture Cult - Part III
In the early days of my work in prophecy, I publicly pondered just why so many otherwise intelligent people continued in this belief, in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary. I ultimately came to recognize it was not simply a doctrinal disagreement, nor was it a lack of training, but something supernatural.
“…In the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17, 18).
I also noticed the various sta In the early days of my work in prophecy, I publicly pondered just why so many otherwise intelligent people continued in this belief, in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary. I ultimately came to recognize it was not simply a doctrinal disagreement, nor was it a lack of training, but something supernatural.
“…In the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17, 18).
I also noticed the various statements from ancient authors, commonly lifted out of context, and cited by Pre-Tribbers in an effort to show historically important figures knew about the Rapture doctrine, were themselves the target of the Spirit of the Age. Some commentators have noted that, particularly in the time when MacDonald, Irving, and Darby were first anticipating the idea, it seemed like the doctrine “was just in the air.”
Then the bombshell of Pseudo-Ephraem was dropped and, knowing the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine had extremely suspicious Spiritual characteristics, I realized this was not simply an innocent error. It is now clear there has been a malevolent entity, Scripturally identified as the Spirit of Antichrist, subtly seeking to insinuate the key components of Pre-Trib from a time even before Jesus Christ was born. And Pseudo-Ephraem is the key to understanding it.
For the benefit of those who never received a formal education in theology, scholars long ago recognized the concept of forgery (and even hoaxes) did not originate in modern times, but have been with us from the very beginning. There exists a large body of ancient writings which have been identified as spurious. Whether motivated by monetary gain, a religious agenda, or even a pathological need to be recognized by their peers, people have been foisting forgeries on the world for thousands of years. In Old Testament times as well as the last two millennia, literally hundreds of documents have been circulated with the claim it is a lost letter of an Apostle, or an ancient account from a particularly revered individual.
To identify such literature, these writings are commonly titled, or prefaced with the word Pseudo (the Greek word for False), and the title usually uses the name the forger illicitly purports to be the author.
The classification of such literature is called pseudepigraha. In this realm, we find III and IV Maccabbees, The book of Jubilees, and several versions of the book of Enoch. The book of Jasher is in this category and, even though the Biblical Scriptures mention Jasher, the internal evidence of the book indicates the “Jasher” which scholars possess, is not the Jasher mentioned in the Bible. We have Pseudo-Hecates, Pseudo-Eupolemus, Pseudo-Phocylides, and the previously mentioned Pseudo-Ephraem – as well as many other works.
Despite the fact that scholars commonly agree that a specific document is a known forgery, when it comes to archaeology and antiquities, even a receipt for a bushel of corn is extremely valuable – if it is believed to be 1,000 years old. So it is with pseudepigrapha.
Ephraem the Syrian (303-373 AD) was a significant figure who lived in the 4th century of the Christian era, and numerous biographers have studied his sermons and hymns, and written commentaries about him. A pastoral figure, the Syrian produced many written works in Syriac, and used the form of lyrical hymns as a vehicle to teach doctrine. An educated teacher during the period when the Emperor Constantine merged Catholicism with the state (by claiming Christ miraculously communicated to him that he was to conquer under the sign of the cross), Ephraem’s writings provide evidence of the doctrines of Devils which entered into the “Church” at a very early stage.
In spite of the Scriptural admonitions of John the Apostle informing us there are “many antichrists” (I John 2:18), Ephraem wrote much on a supposed forthcoming singular figure. He falsely identified the Two Witnesses of Revelation as Enoch and Elijah, and he treated on many aspects of Christian experience during a future tribulation. His voluminous prophetic work was riddled with theological error and, although mainstream “Christian” sources consider him a “church father,” his doctrine describing future prophetic events is important in that Ephraem the Syrian anticipated many of the widespread errors which are circulating to this very day.
Pseudo-Ephraem is the work of an unknown forger, which incorporates many of Ephraem’s actual statements, making it very difficult to separate the two. Pseudo-Ephraem is estimated by the linguistics experts to have been penned at some point well after Ephraem’s death in 373, and is suspected to be even later than the 7th century, as elements in the Latin version plagiarize a work by Pseudo-Methodius conclusively dated approximately four centuries after the genuine Ephraem. So the forger using Ephraem’s name stole from another forger masquerading as Methodius! To phrase this another way, the Rapture Cult is so desperate to defend the doctrine, they’re citing from thieves who have stolen from other thieves and, at least in the case of Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler who were both caught brazenly stealing written work from another contemporary writer, we’re talking about proven plagiarists, quoting from a forger, who stole from an earlier thief, who misquoted from other dubious sources, ad infinitum.
An objective analysis of the records shows the paper trail ultimately terminates in the Occult, as the Spirit of Antichrist has been seeking to steer the development of man’s relationship to God from the earliest time.
Moving back to the contemporary timeline, an English translation of Pseudo-Ephraem was included in a scholarly book by Paul J Alexander in 1985. It was eventually noticed by Rapture Cult writer Grant Jeffrey a decade later, and this ignited a significant controversy as statements within the forgery closely resembled a coherent prediction of the pre-tribulation Rapture.
As we will see, the “itching ears” of the now deceased prophecy author Grant Jeffrey (who was a clever prophecy author, but a particularly imprecise researcher), combined with the flesh and blood ambitious nature permeating the cadre of Cult writers, combined to produce the unwarranted conclusion that the crafty Canadian had discovered the “smoking gun” of pre-trib; a document supposedly “proving” that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture had been taught in the church within a few centuries of the Apostolic era.
As I noted earlier, there is now an accumulation of evidence that the presence of the Spirit of Antichrist has been guiding the dissemination of the doctrine from the very beginning, and it continues to the present time. Unfortunately, when Alexander’s book came out, with the exception of Dave MacPherson (The Great Rapture Hoax published in 1983) and Jim McKeever ‘s work (Christians Will Go Through The Tribulation published in 1978), very few modern Christian writers were exposing the dubious origins of the doctrine, so pre-trib was not on the defensive at that time.
However, as alternative media came into its own with the Desktop Publishing revolution, Internet radio streaming, and other non-mainstream channels of communication, more and more dissident voices began to be heard, and a rising chorus of Biblical instruction showing the shortcomings of the doctrine ensued. Although the same type of trickle down ignorance that plagues Pre-Trib was also found in the increasing number of Post-Tribulationists, eventually, the Rapture Cult found itself on the defensive.
My own anecdotal experience illustrates the progression. The national radio program I host (The Apocalypse Chronicles), which was carried on a Pensacola Florida FM station, resulted in so many people asking uncomfortable questions of Rapture Cult “authorities” in the area, that it resulted in a pushback from the rulers of darkness in the incorporated church in that city. A key Cult pastor, the leader of a mega church in the area, arranged a boycott of the Christian radio station, insisting they throw my Post-Tribulationist prophecy program off the air.
In my own area in Southern Oregon, an elder at another mega church personally told me that several local pastoral figures were actually meeting to “pray against” our ministry. Another episode illustrates the Spiritual climate of the period as, around this same time, with very short notice, I was asked to substitute for another radio host with a nationally heard program, and I agreed. It turned out Grant Jeffrey was the scheduled guest, and after about 5 minutes of polite questioning, Jeffrey threw an on air temper tantrum, and abruptly cut off the connection to the radio program.
I went to a commercial break, and shortly thereafter, a representative of the radio network came on the line, and informed me that I would no longer be needed to host the program. After I was cut off, the program came back on with Grant Jeffrey hosting! In short, the episode provided further evidence that although the fruits of the Spirit are “righteousness, and peace, and joy” (Romans 14:17), the fruits of the Cult That Kidnapped Christianity are Disinformation, Subterfuge, and Political Coercion.
As the Rapture Cult found it progressively more difficult to deal with believers who were accumulating more and more Scriptural statements illustrating the fallacies of Pre-Trib, many believers became weary of the lack of satisfactory answers to their questions. For example, since the Cult says the Thessalonian passage where “the dead in Christ shall rise” (I Thessalonians 4:16) is Pre-Trib (and 7 years before the last day), how can Christ repeatedly say of the saved “I will raise him up at the last day?” (I John 6:44). The difficulty is because even the Pre-Tribbers were preaching there is only one resurrection of the just – see John 5:29 for details.
Further, to counter emerging research related to the development of the doctrine which had become more widely available, the clash shifted from the academics to the general public. A good example of this is the case of the aforementioned plagiarist-preacher Chuck Missler. In the 1980’s, having repeatedly heard Chuck reel off a list of supposed Pre-Tribulationist figures covering a cross section of history (in his typical rapid fire speaking style), I realized a refutation required access to many arcane historical writings.
In dozens of videos, audios, articles, and public appearances, Missler has reeled off so many names that it took quite a bit of effort to track down just what these individuals actually taught. Most of these statements were made in defense of the rising recognition that the “Christian” version of Pre-Trib was indeed a recent development. However, as this series progresses, we will show the pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine originated in non-Christian Occult quarters before the time of Christ.
In just one of hundreds of statements seeking to refute the genuine history of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Missler said the following:
“This idea is not a new idea. There’s a myth going around that this is all a recent invention. You can find these ideas in The Epistle of Barnabus, which is in the first century…Irenaeus, in his Against Heresies, Hippolytus, in the 2nd century, Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho…” (Steeling the Mind Of America – Rapture: Who, What, When, Where and How, Chuck Missler, 1996, Compass International).
Right in the middle of one of his many lists of supposed ancient Pre-Tribbers, Chuck Missler routinely performs a sophisticated linguistic sleight, by quietly inserting a list of names where he could find a citation indicating an expectation that Christ’s return was very near. This doctrine, known as imminence, providing the deceiver with a plausible deniability, is usually slipped into the presentation in such a subtle fashion that most in his audience thought he was simply continuing a list of supposed Pre-Tribulationists.
“Augustine, and others all had this thing of the 2nd coming being very close. Specific dates were predicted by Joachim of Floris in 1260….Joseph Mede in 1660, William Whiston in 1715, and then again in 1734, and then again in 1866. J A Bengel in 1836….William Miller predicted the famous events in 1843. And then again in October 22 of 1844. CT Russell declared 1874 as the definite date” (Steeling the Mind, originally printed in the author’s book The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty In Dispensationalism).
This tactic illustrates the intent to deceive, as liars like Chuck Missler never really said the 2nd cluster of names were Pre-Tribbers (he actually said they all had the imminent expectation of Christ’s return), but the hundreds of lesser intellects who picked up on this output (and similar written efforts) simply lump them all in together. By the time this shotgun approach has gone through a few generations of hearsay, unlearned wannabe Prophecy newsletter writers will confidently state that Sherlock Holmes taught Pre-Trib.
[Next: The Cult Is Caught Red-Handed Using Out Of Context Creative Editing]
Christian Media intercessor’s prayers have been answered! Google has granted our request for a reconsideration of the first of the banned Christian Media groups, and restored our access to one of our key Google groups!
Unfortunately, several of our additional Google groups are still closed down, so we’re asking all those with access to the throne to ask the LORD to move on the appropriate person’s heart, and restore those groups as well.
Since about the 4th of July, the Christian Media ministry has been under an all out attack by forces which are seeking to stop people from reading (or forwarding) our material. As far as we know, the Yahoo editions of the Communique Prophecy letter are still active, so it is also a viable group.
Due to the huge resistance to our Internet activities of late, and the fact that public Internet groups (such as those offered by Google and Yahoo) can be shut down arbitrarily due to the fact the Spirit of the Age is at war with the Spirit within us, we will still continue to send out our materials via our much slower, and less reliable servers – servers which are frequently blocked by your Internet providers.
At this writing, we still have thousands of readers who are unable to receive the prophetic work the LORD has given us, as many of our numerous net groups are still banned. As we previously announced, the Yahoo groups have never been shut down, but incredibly, Yahoo actually saw fit to send a warning with Part I of the current prophecy email series exposing the Rapture Cult that reads “WARNING ! This email may be dangerous and may collect your personal information! Select an option, Report this email, I do not trust this email sender, or I trust this email." This attempt to instill fear into Christians is being sent by Yahoo to people who signed up to receive our information!
Obviously, the Christian Media ministry is not using malicious software, but this type of attack by Spiritual forces which are seeking to stop people from reading (or forwarding) our material is increasingly common. As far as we know, the Yahoo editions of the Communique Prophecy letter are still going through as long as you ignore Yahoo’s false warning.
We will continue to send out our materials via our much slower, and less reliable servers – servers which are frequently blocked by your Internet providers. Although many believers scoff at such struggles, those with Spiritual discernment understand this is what the battle for the truth looks like in the America of the 21st century. The CMNFolks and the GEOmedianetwork Yahoo groups are still functional, so we would encourage all Christian Medians to subscribe to either (each distributes the same prophecy letter, so you only need one of the Yahoo groups). To ensure your receipt of our Prophecy data, send an email to
You’ll receive a confirmation email from Yahoo, and when you reply to that email, hopefully you’ll receive every Christian Media Communique. Finally, it’s likely the malevolent censorship powers will next install a warning on our websites as well. Clearly, powerful factions are seeking to stop our message, so we suggest you collect all the James Lloyd writings possible, and store them offline for future reference. And, please pray for us, and stand with us as we fight the good fight….
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This writing is part of the prophetic output of James Lloyd of the Christian Media ministry. More on the subject of the Rapture, including accounts of dishonest presentations of historical fact, is found in the James Lloyd book entitled THE RAPTURE CULT.
God has revealed the New Testament Gospel has been steadily leavened, and true discernment in the realm of the Spirit, which is the place where our lives in Christ continue after our physical existence comes to an end, is regularly addressed on the James Lloyd radio broadcast The Apocalypse Chronicles. Timely installments of the program may be played on demand at CHRISTIANMEDIADAILY.COM.
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