Stealth And Subterfuge:
Rapture Cult Tactics Betray Their True Nature
aving written literally dozens of essays on various aspects of the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, and the hidden Jewish Supremacism that lurks beneath the surface of the false doctrine, I've repeatedly enunciated many, many Scriptural studies, which invalidate the theory. In this regard, the actual behaviour of those who engage in the ongoing debate is also a relevant factor in evaluating the various views held on prophecy.
In my early days of clashing with the Rapture Cult, I instinctively sought to refrain from attacking the doctrine through criticism of the deeds of the doctrine's adherents. Concurrent with this practice, I found that more than one Rapturist teacher was seeking to place the allegedly Christ-like behaviour of Rapturists into the evidentiary record, as an argument in favor of pre-trib. Documentation for this dubious tactic is found in the first of my 4 books on the subject, a work entitled The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty In Dispensationalism.
Although I was initially a bit reluctant to seek to counter those arguments through "dishing the dirt" on the doctrine's proponents, it became clear that since Rapture teachers had introduced the supposed "good works" of the Rapturists as a by-product that validated the veracity of the doctrine, I would be remiss if I did not stand and tell what I knew about the many, many pretrib liars I've encountered.
Furthermore, I found others who had trod the same logical path of progression. Notably, author Dave MacPherson, who penned a work on this very subject entitled The Three R's: Rapture, Revisionism, and Robbery. In that interesting tome, the intrepid Mr. MacPherson documented dozens of widely unknown cases of plagiarism by a multitude of Cult authors. The book proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that way too many Rapturist authors, seeking to "rapture" the golden fleece of writers royalties, can't seem to resist ripping off each other's work.
I might add that Cult critics are free to attack my behaviour as well, but I would hasten to mention I've never made the claim that post-tribulationism makes anybody manifest good works. This is a claim that is only heard in Rapturist quarters.
In studying the Rapturist arguments, I also found a huge amount of misquoting of anecdotal data concerning the historicity (or lack thereof) of the doctrine. This amounted to a fundamental form of dishonesty, and it occurred even in many institutions of higher learning. A top Rapturist would make statements, in print and in lectures, that essentially said "A knowledgeable Christian, Mr. ______ (fill in the blank) taught the pre-tribulation rapture, back in 1650."
Contrary to such assertions, my studies indicated that Dispensationalism, the theological system that Pretribulationism requires, was only developed in the late 19th century. I began to collect quotes, recordings, and writings where the rapture teacher claimed that pretrib had been around from the beginning. I then collected the original works of the authors and teachers who had supposedly taught the pretrib rapture so long ago.
After accumulating dozens of examples, to my complete astonishment, I found that not one of these ancient authorities ever heard of the pretribulation rapture, let alone taught it. These notes later formed the core of my first two books on the subject (The Rapture Cult, and Lying In Laodicea). I eventually concluded it was impossible to refute the dissemination of false historical data, in which teachers claiming ancient sources taught the rapture, without concluding these misquoting modernists were, in fact, liars.
As I didn't want to sound like some stupid and unlearned mental deficient with a personal axe to grind, I resolved to try to consistently place the criticism of such deception in a Scriptural context.
Once I crossed the aforementioned threshold, and began utilizing historical anecdotal data in addition to the Scriptural evidence for post-trib in this battle, it was as if I opened Pandora's Box, as an enormous amount of evil wafted up from the bottomless pit which controls the vessels that promote the Satanic sacred cow that is pretrib. As a result, for the umpteenth time, I have once again found myself the target of a completely unprovoked literary attack by Cultists; and as I considered the circumstances surrounding the latest episode, I was reminded there really is a nasty spirit that dispatches those fiery darts.
Lots Of Believing Liars
A group called Prophezine is a Texas based Rapture Cult that personifies the rampant Pharisaism that permeates the American version of the Whore of Babylon. Hypocritical in the extreme, Prophezine associates have now been seen to maintain a double standard, as they are "accusers of the brethren," even as the ministry utilizes misrepresentation, distortion of facts, slanting of Scripture, and even outright falsehoods to further their agenda.
Operated by a man named Ray Gano, rather than conducting themselves in a Scriptural fashion when conflict arises, I will document how the Prophezine "ministry" has been seen to use libel, defamation, and subterfuge as the weapons of their warfare. In short, their misbehaviour is consistent with that seen in corporate American Rapture Cults for decades. I'll return to the subject of this particular ministry shortly, but a little digression on the history of the ongoing war with groups of this nature will be useful.
Those hardy Remnant souls who have clashed with the Cult already know a preferred tactic is to espouse a gentle Spirit of alleged agape love whenever they find themselves in combat. Rapture Cults commonly seek to emphasize the putrid "we can agree to disagree" dialectical approach, even as they are ruthless and mercenary once their opponent's guard is down.
Indeed, in any conflict between competing Christian views, the party maintaining a truly Christ-like stance is at a severe disadvantage in terms of "winning" a dispute in any earthly setting. However, while the treachery and duplicitous practices of groups such as Prophezine seemingly gain the Spiritual "high ground" through their unseen manipulation of facts and Scripture, the real victor in the heavenly realm will always be the truly chosen of the LORD.
As the influence and reach of the Christian Media ministry has grown, our aggressive post-tribulational Remnant stance has been noted by many significant Rapturist groups. I might add that the very fact that I continually identify these doctrinal groups with the "cult" appellation, although admittedly abrasive and provocative, is an indicator of an inherently honest approach. Conversely, to feign agreement and fellowship while looking for an adversarial advantage is inherently dishonest. Thus, by telling them upfront I consider their doctrinal position to be false and of cultic origin, I am shooting straight from the hip.
On the opposite side of the chasm, Rapturists routinely attack on personal grounds, instead of offering a Scriptural analysis. They regularly try to project the image that they are reasonable believers, and urge those who disagree with them to maintain a modicum of Scriptural decency, even as they approach a collision. Yet, when the inevitable clash occurs, the Cult always seems to come into the ring with a no-holds barred attack.
Does This Remind You Of Anybody?
The tactic is reminiscent of governments who sign treaties such as the Geneva Accords on treatment of prisoners, in the hope their own combatants will be treated humanely if captured. Yet those same governments, when they are the captors, produce all manner of justification for mistreating the prisoners they've captured. I'm not saying that wartime procedure never justifies the use of extreme measures, I'm saying the deceitful process of trying to get your opponent to adhere to rules of combat you yourself have no intention of honouring, is patently dishonest. After all, Jesus did say "by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)
So it is with the Rapture Cult. The common discourse among evangelical, rapture oriented ministries uniformly exhorts believers to adhere to Scriptural principles in all things; yet, before the smoke of this subterfuge begins to clear in the arena of religious rivalry, the venomous vultures of pretribulationism seek to destroy their enemies with a presumed air of righteous triumph.
Over the years, I've seen this phenomena many, many times, and marveled at the sheer audacity involved. A good example was seen on national Christian television over a decade ago. I was in Texas on the Dallas leg of a 25-city prophecy speaking tour, and I had been invited to be a guest on the Daystar Television Network, on a show hosted by Marcus and Joni Lamb. Backstage I was introduced to Dr. Randall Price, a prominent Rapturist author, and leading researcher with Tim LaHaye's cult corporation, The Pre-Trib Research Center.
Of course the deck was already stacked against me, as Dr. Price and the Lamb's are all 3 dedicated pre-tribulationists. Even though I knew I was going into a TV Lion's den run by the Lambs, backstage Dr. Price spoke of the bonds of unity, our common faith in Christ, and how two competing perspectives can still serve the same LORD. Being a warm and sensitive human being who wants to believe the best of people, I was lulled into complacency as I hoped the program would follow in that Spirit.
Once the program began, I was quickly jolted back to the real world as Price immediately began to attack ME, and not the post-tribulationist doctrine I espouse. One particular statement stuck with me, and it may be paraphrased as
"The pre-tribulationist rapture POSITION is looking for Jesus Christ, but JAMES is looking for the Antichrist."
While the technique may be a bit subtle to some, the fact is, with this attack Dr. Price abruptly attacked via a move called ad hominem, a Latin term for "to the man." Webster's states that ad hominem means
"Directed at or appealing to one's hearer's or reader's personal feelings or prejudices rather than his intellect."
A secondary meaning is just as appropriate in the present context, as Webster's also defines this ad hominem approach to conflict as
"Marked by attack on an opponent's character rather than by answer to his contentions." (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).
In other words, instead of arguing the position via Scripture, Dr. Price attacked the person holding the opposing view. Furthermore, while characterizing his point of view as a position, something that implies legitimacy through a perceived consensus, with this rather nasty swipe, he sought to make it personal.
Considering the fact that it is the pre-tribbers who commonly claim their doctrine induces holy behaviour, it wasn't as though I had made the same claim for post-tribulationism.
As I want to make absolutely sure my point is understood here, I'll reduce it to the language of the street by simply saying they fight dirty.
Pre-Trib Will Try To Pull You Up, You Tare
Just about every believer knows that Christ warned believers the day would come when
"whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." John 16:2)
This is the exact opposite of Christ's admonition to the disciples when they sought His approval to destroy a Samaritan village for their rejection of Him. Attempts to uproot, or destroy a ministry through character assassination - the equivalent of an effort to pull up the tares - were strictly forbidden by the LORD:
"His servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather [pull] them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest..." (Matthew 13:28-30)
Obviously, there is a carefully discerned difference between exposing deception, and uprooting its source. While there are those who accuse Christian Media of such unsavory tactics, such critiques rarely bother to look behind the façade erected by the provocateurs who function as the Pharisees of our time. In this regard, we've produced quite a bit of material that seeks to diagnose, analyze, and respond to the patterns of behaviour found in erupting conflicts with the Cult.
The best example of how to behave in such circumstances is, of course, seen in Christ Himself. The LORD's various denunciations of the Jews, the Sanhedrin, or the Scribes and the Pharisees were never unleashed until they had repeatedly provoked Him with their hypocrisy. Thus, a rather fine line is in view.
What I'm seeking to communicate here is how the provocations are provided by the Rapturists. Just as the ancient Pharisees stalked Christ with hypocritical questions and posturing, which ultimately culminated in His denunciatory "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites!," so too the Cult recapitulates the evil of their Spiritual forebears. In short, the anecdotal data plainly documents how wicked tactics utilized in the fight over the truth concerning the return of Christ, are almost universally found in the camp of the Cult.
Dave MacPherson documents, for instance, how the faculty leadership at the Biola Bible College denied him his semester credits - 3 weeks before the semester ended - for the "sin" of sharing his post-tribulationist view with other students. This was clearly a punitive and pre-emptive measure aimed at impeding his future ability to function in a ministerial capacity.
Christian Media has found similar examples of grossly oppressive behaviour at other institutions as well, including Calvary Chapel's Bible School, where a certain group of students were told they would be denied graduation for remaining unconvinced of pre-trib. Logic dictates that a few generations of this type of behaviour has invariably allowed the Cult to achieve primacy in American Christianity.
In a scholarly work entitled Living In The Shadow Of The Second Coming: American Premillennialism 1875-1982, respected author Timothy Weber documented this practice as well. A superb work, which is now out of print, it is likely this magnificent bit of research will never be read by most Christians. In it, Weber traces the rise of political and economic power in the emergent doctrinal group we call the Rapture Cult. He also documents how the Cult sought to crush their theological rivals in post-tribulationism, after they had achieved dominance in the American Christian landscape.
For those who are interested, there are many examples of Cult inquisitions of this type, and much more anecdotal data of this type of theo-tyranny is found in the book Lying In Ladocea: Rapturism Unmasked by the present author. The truth is, there are significant numbers of similar episodes of Cult suppression of the historic Gospel of post-tribulationism which can be documented, but the point is, the pulling up of alleged tares takes on many forms.
The Silicon Cesspool
There are few locales in American Christianity more polluted than the Internet, and it is in that vast wasteland we find the most excessive examples of the slithery strategic war on the truth, which is conducted by the Rapture Cult.
A short time ago, I was forwarded a correspondence that occurred on one of the websites of the previously mentioned Prophezine. As one might expect, there are significant numbers of Christians who have also felt the criminal backhand of the corporate church, and many of them have rallied around our Christian Media ministry - thus, slimy secretive attacks by the Cult frequently find their way to me.
The progression of this particular Satanic assault is particularly revealing, for it demonstrates the central theme of the present work - and that is how the underhanded methods used by the Rapture Cult betray their true Spiritual condition.
In the present instance, an Internet forum, one of those bulletin boards where believers voice their many opinions as they practice the dialogue to consensus, was the arena. It should be stated that Christian Media has long declared the Dialectic is a devilish system, but the Prophezine ministry, along with vast numbers of others, continues to utilize this infernal device (for more on this important issue, see Dragonspeak: The Language Of Lucifer).
This particular Cult bulletin board (there are thousands of a similar nature), consists of about 300 Christian Rapturists, and it recently carried about a dozen posts by Cultists all declaring why they believe the pretribulation rapture doctrine is true. These were posted over a period of days. In the middle of this flow of faulty reasoning, one member innocently asked "Has anyone heard of James Lloyd and the Christian Media Network?" The response was almost immediate, as one of Prophezine's key figures posted the following:
"He's a fake; a fraud. I don't recall ever reading anything good about him. False prophet (or is that PROFIT?) amongst other things. He's a money-grubber, a cheat, a liar, and that's just being nice from all that I've read about him. Don't waste your time with this nut job."
While new readers of our work might be taken aback by the ferocity of this attack, I'm sorry to report it is only the latest in a long line of sleazy slanders against me personally. Obviously, this fits the earlier definition cited for the term ad hominem:
"Marked by attack on an opponent's character rather than by answer to his contentions." (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).
But the interesting thing is, in the midst of consistent pro-pretrib statements by Rapturists, there were no "contentions" from me, as I have nothing to do with this group. In fact, there were no posts by anyone citing any post-trib assertions, or any of the many Scriptural arguments against post-trib that I have propagated elsewhere. Thus, the question could be asked, how did I get in the middle of this topical thread?
In this abrupt and unprovoked assault, what is very interesting is what is not in the acrimonious diatribe. There are no Scriptural citations. There is no documentation of any kind to support the wicked epithets thrown my way. And most revealingly, there is no connection ever stated to the fact that I am one of the key opponents of the Rapture Cult.
To put it another way, since I'm not all that famous, for the hundreds of readers who received this vicious broadside, there is no context whatsoever for the remarks. Thus, it's hardly a coincidence to find me personally, and despitefully sullied, right in the middle of a series of posts concerning the Rapture, since I just "happen " to be an opponent of pretrib.
Unfortunately, this is the way the Rapture Cult conducts business.
An Attempt At Scriptural Reproof
Although this sort of thing occurs relatively frequently, and I usually just turn the other cheek, on occasion I sense the LORD would have me respond. In such circumstances, the Scriptures are clear concerning what to do if a believer has a problem with another believer. Most know the prescriptive approach was given by Christ Himself in Matthew 18:
"Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone..But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one of two more...And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18:15-17)
This is obviously a complex process, but the part where differences should begin to be addressed through some sort of private communication is obviously a good starting point. Unfortunately, the acrimonious statements made by the Rapturists were clearly engineered in a public venue in order to damage and destroy the credibility of one who is in a position to articulate the truth concerning the pre-tribulationist error.
However, this does not release me from Scriptural requirements for conflict resolution as provided for in the text. In other words, even though the Prophezine ministry has chosen to ignore Scriptural mandates when it suits them, I'm still bound by those same set of imperatives.
Thus, I privately emailed the person who slandered me. In this individual communication directed towards the person who posted the accusations, a man named Michael Larsen, I utilized a firm, but gentle tone. I wrote "Mike" the following:
"Your statements were crafted in an entirely unscriptural fashion. The Scriptures provide many statements including how believers are to behave concerning another who offends them, or they find offensive. They are to go to that person privately, and voice their concern (Matthew 18). You did not do anything of the kind when you chose to accuse me of being a liar, a cheat, etc.
"Perhaps I've encountered you before and don't recognize your handle/email name, or perhaps you are acting on an impression given you by another. That does not vitiate your responsibility as a believer to abide by Scriptural imperatives. Please give this your sincere attention, and I will hope to hear something of a favorable nature from you in the near future."
To say the Prophezine response was hostile is an understatement. Instead of responding to the opportunity offered through a call to abide by the Scriptural formula addressing conflict among believers, Mike immediately escalated the attack and posted another public attack on the Cult board! He also emailed me with venomous accusations, even as he reviled me extensively.
A dispassionate analysis of these written statements provides additional evidence of the pattern of deceit I'm addressing in the present work. For example, when this person showed his contempt for me in response to my call for a Scripturally based interaction, he specifically noted his awareness of my opposition to the rapture. He further noted my writings on the subject, and included a lengthy statement concerning his view that salvation has no relationship to "a person's belief on the timing of the Rapture."
Interestingly enough, 20 minutes later, when the 2nd attack on me was publicly placed on the Prophezine website, it omitted any reference to my teachings on the Rapture Cult! Revealingly, the 2nd attack focused on various prophetic doctrinal issues, predictions of mine, and referenced me with more guttural terminology such as "pompous," and "utterly stupid," and my personal favorite, "a consummate fraud."
My final response was to email a firm but gentle email to Ray Gano, the head of this hydra, to be certain he was aware of the slanderous, and once again, unprovoked attack, begun by his ministry. This correspondence simply stated that his associate had been politely asked to respond in the spirit of Matthew 18. Predictably, there was no response, but he did note to his public readers "I see from Mike that the pot is getting stirred," even as Ray Gano then obliquely addressed me in a writing called "frauds, fakes, and false prophets."
So much for Matthew 18.
More Attacks Of A Personal Nature
When Mike Larsen fulfilled his role as Ray Gano's Rottweiler, through his rabid attack on my character, he further revealed the caliber of these creeps by escalating his evil, as he then began to attack even my wife. In the 2nd round of Prophezine's unprovoked slamdance, the ministry's constituency was told that in 1997,
"James and future Sound Body Host Susan Lenox began using drugs at the ministry..."
This comes as a complete surprise to me since the Holy Spirit flowed like a mighty rushing wind at Christian Media through most of that year - but the Satanically inspired sleights were just beginning.
After mocking Christian Media for distributing prophetic material in books and tapes "at various prices in the online catalog" (something the Prophezine group also does), Larsen condemned me for distributing dehydrated food as well, stating
"James made out like a bandit while the "flock" were fleeced."
We're not sure how well "bandits" are supposed to "make out," nor do I know just what constitutes a "fleecing," but I note the Prophezine ministry presently (and prominently) touts storing food, and has a significant presence dedicated to the subject on their own website. So if Christian Media, a post-tribulationist ministry urges people to prepare for famine, it's fleecing the flock, but when the Rapture Cult Prophezine does the same thing, it's considered above board?
We might also ask just why is the Cult warning people to prepare for famine since they'll be leaving soon anyway, right?
Woe Unto You Scribes And Christian Pharisees, Hypocrites!
There are a few more interesting details to Mike Larsen and Ray Gano's deceitful attacks on the Christian Media ministry, but I think the reader gets the point. In conclusion, I'll reiterate that, other than Scripture studies referencing the lack of Biblical support for the pretribulation rapture doctrine, at no time have we previously written about any of the people at the Prophezine ministry.
They simply attacked with vicious, unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations that are either bald-faced lies, or gross distortions of what we really teach. Furthermore, as is the consistent pattern with Rapture Cultists, they routinely mount their attacks on subjects other than the one which really rankles them, and that is the fact that our work exposing the checkered history and lack of Scriptural support for the pretribulational rapture doctrine has caused the Cult considerable consternation.
After being condemned and spoken of contemptuously with everything but four letter words, when we sought to respond in the way Scripture instructs, the effort to comply with New Testament directives was ignored, and the vitriol sharply increased - and even added a very non Christ-like, and completely false, slander against my spouse.
Like previous slurs that have become a way of life for us, the Prophezine libel was personal, nasty, and vicious. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
The Scriptures state, in addition to forgiving them before the LORD, a public denunciation ("tell it to the church") is in order after the private overtures fail. This writing, which constitutes yet another public rebuke of the Rapture Cult, is not dissimilar to those seen in other cases of attacks launched by Cult leaders. In it, we sought to examine the degree of fidelity, or lack thereof, to Prophezine's own widespread admonitions that we should all consistently adhere to Scripture.
In this regard, I previously mentioned how Rapture Cult leaders boast that the doctrine of Pretribulationism leads to righteous behaviour. In writing, Ray Gano, the leader of Prophezine, has made that precise claim:
"The first implication of pretribulationism is that it leads to godly living in an unholy age." (The PTRC Conference, Ray Gano)
We can only wonder, as we
continue to interact with those in the Rapture Cult, just when the
"godly living" part is scheduled to begin.
- James Lloyd
Copyright ©2009-2010 Christian Media Research
HOME | SNAPSHOTS | BACK TO NEWSLETTERS
© 2009-2010 CHRISTIAN MEDIA RESEARCH, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED