A Russian friend of mine wrote and asked me about the web site raptureless.com. So I checked it out. As the name suggests, part of the main idea is that the whole concept of “The Rapture” is not really on the cards.
Raptureless.com is put together by a guy that I feel is a very appealing and sincere person. His name is Jonathan Welton and I was fascinated when reading about him. Here’s how he describes his parents and background
My parents both graduated from a Pentecostal Bible College in the early 1970s. They attended classes during the era of the Jesus People Movement, the Vietnam War, and the especially bestselling “Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey. My parents met and married and I was born in 1983. This was an era of much speculation and fear regarding the endtimes. My parents heard all the confusing, conflicting points of view, and instead of becoming obsessed with figuring it all out, they made a choice.
They determined to raise godly children who would raise godly grandchildren. They chose to think long-term and invest in their future and the future of their children. They didn’t have all the answers regarding a “perfect theology of the endtimes,” but they knew better than to buy into the hype. When their friends quit their jobs, bought boats, and racked up credit card debt “because the end of the world is around the corner and we won’t have to pay it back,” my parents called this irresponsible and unChristlike behavior.
Amen, bravo and well done. I come from nearly exactly the background of Mr. Welton’s parents. I have 4 children who are right in his age group.
It’s a challenge to comment on Mr. Welton’s website and views because I try to limit the size of these posts. He’s placed a book on line, with much research and church history included. I find myself agreeing with a number of points and opposed to many things he’s opposed to.
In his third chapter, he goes over the history of Christianity’s understanding of Bible prophecy. And he highlights the influence in the 1800’s and early 1900’s of 3 men, John Darby, Edward Irving and C. I. Scofield. Those who are more knowledgeable concerning prophetic study will know these men were instrumental in promoting what today is called the PreTribulational view of the return of Jesus.
Then Mr. Welton goes on into our times to outline the numerous modern authors and teachers of Bible prophecy who’ve in a sense, cried “Wolf! Wolf!” And yet no wolf appeared. I share Mr. Welton’s deep concern for how these well known modern writers have profited handsomely from their writings but they’ve also just been completely wrong in their numerous predictions of “the end of the world” being only a matter of a few years or even a few months away.
But as much as I respect the character in Mr. Welton’s writings, some of it does seem like the story of the one who throws the baby out with the bathwater. He’s certainly right about the religious hype and fear-mongering that’s generated so much noise (and income) here in the States. At least it’s raised the awareness of millions to the knowledge of a coming Kingdom of God on earth. But there’s been very much that’s just proven false and that’s certainly confused the hearts of believers.
But Mr. Welton’s solution is to present a view of the history of Bible prophecy that doesn’t ring true to me. He says that for 1500 years the church and body of Christ didn’t look to a future of endtime events leading up to the coming of the Lord and His Kingdom on earth. Instead, he says that the church saw the prophetic chapters and verses that we look to as happening in the future to have already been fulfilled at the time of Jesus or immediately after that.
This teaching of Mr. Welton’s is not uniquely his. There’s a good article about this view of prophetic fulfillment in Wikipedia under the title “Preterist”.
Again, I’m constrained by a desire to keep these articles short and so I won’t go into voluminous details to explain how the body of believers has looked to a future return of Jesus for the last 2000 years. But Hippolytus of Rome, from 211 AD, wrote in his “Commentary on Daniel” in Book 4.14.2 about Daniel chapter 7:25,
“’It was given into his hand for a time and times and half a time’ which signals three and a half years and after this the coming judgment…”
This and so much more in Hippolytus’s book from the third century points towards the believers of those times looking to a future Great Tribulation, followed by the return of Jesus and His Kingdom on earth.
As much as I respect Mr. Welton and his work, I remain a firm believer that there are prophecies yet to be fulfilled, of a rapture and a coming of Christ’s Kingdom on earth. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations. And then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Thank you, Mark, for commenting. GBY!
Jonathan Welton says
This is a very respectful disagreement, I appreciate your blog. Thank you.
Mr. Welton, you may or may not get this, but the law of double reference does apply to all of Jesus’ last-days prophecies. The Revelation has NOT been fulfilled in it’s FULL finality. There has only been “dress rehearsals” and as one personally familiar with Enochian occultism, I can tell you that those fallen angel are doing everything in their power to create that “Great Chaos” (Great Work) on the earth ASAP!
So, it’s understandable that while the Left Behind phenomenon may have cause embarrassment, like Hal Lindsey’s LGPE, it’s still going to happen.
The next big thing? Cashless and then mandatory ID cards that will also offer an embedded chip. This technology is here and WILL be implemented once they start the next phase (false flag event).
Maranatha brother! I with you on that believers must be overcoming and ready! The greatest revival is taking place and pray you are getting this!
Thank you so much, but I would like to know a bit more- you’ve got me very interested. Do you mean that virtually all of the prophesies concerning what we generally understand to be ‘the end times’ have already been fulfilled, at, or around the time of Christ according to Jonathan Welton’s view? While I can see that some of them, like the prophesy regarding the stones in the Temple, were fulfilled by the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Roman’s in AD 70, what about other things, like the Mark of the Beast (involving the whole world) or the predicted army of 100, million, belonging to the Kings of the East? We haven’t even seen an army as big as this yet, but it was unthinkable in ancient times, although it is more than possible today.
Mark McMillion says
Hmm. If you came away with the idea that I feel most prophecies involving the endtime were already fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus, sorry to hear that. Some, perhaps many, teach that but I sure don’t. I could write you a bunch about all this but I suggest you view my videos on this or read the texts to them. Here’s a link to the text version of the video on “The Last 7 Years.” https://www.propheciesofdaniel.com/2014/10/text-last-7-years-video/
We may actually see many things the same way. Thanks for your response, Mark
Chris Lundy says
They’re some who believe historically all of the prophecies have been fulfilled and some who believe some/half/most have been fulfilled. They’re coined full preterists and partial preterists.
vicki berger says
Mr. Whelton’s bio leaves me blank and his credentials leave me doubting. I have no doubt that a student of the Word is Mr. Whelton. I just think he is deceiving a great number of people with his account/book/schools/teachings and therefore should be read/heard/viewed with skepticism. As with any teaching we need to be like the Bereans. Study to show thy self approved and question all teachings in regard to Scripture.
I first came across Mr. Whelton via Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” program in which he shared his story about how The Lord “opened his eyes” to literally see into the spirit realm. The question begs asking on how a “Seer” or “Discerner of Spirits” could miss these points!
There are several other groups that subscribe to similar views and many end up nicolaitan doctrine that usually ends up hurting sincere believers trusting the sources of their information (Matt 24:48-49, 1Peter 5:1-3).
Organized religion is very similar to this and everyone will benefit on reading this: https://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/why-does-god-hate-practices-of-the-nicolaitans.html
Finally, the fact is Jesus will come in everyone’s lifetimes, IF you look at the shortness of current mortality!
So, it’s best to avoid contentious debates on what Eschatology is right. I think it’ll be quite clear as we see “that day” approaching.
Now, IF a believer (so called) uses his end-time position to justification blatant abuse and be downright nasty as they “lord over” others if The Faith, they better start fasting and praying for God to show them that serious error of offense!
Let brotherly love continue and know that we shall not all die, but those who are blessed to partake in the first fruits will be changed in a nano-second! Many are having dreams about this now and believe it’s not just mass paranoia but The Holy Spirit waking us up for the soon coming parousia!
Susan Drum says
I pray for the eyes of the heart of the body of Christ be opened to the Word of Truth of Christ. Yes we are to walk in love but God’s Word warns us deception in the last days would be rampant. Keep our eyes on Jesus, be led by the Holy Spirit! Amen
Iam in Kenya, Africa – the any “moment rapture” teaching has done a lot of damage here. Many people are suffering from poverty and poor leadership both in the church and nation. So the expectation of “disappearing” in order to go to heaven where there are no problems are high. This has killed innovation, responsible living and hard work.
The doctrine also presumes that the devil, Antichrist and beast will be so powerful that the church has to snatched away. Jesus said that he will build the church and the gates of hell would not preveil against her.
Its true much prophecy has been fulfilled but some awaits to be fulfilled in the context of the final coming of Jesus. The law of double fuifillment of scripture should also not be ignored. But this can also be taken to extreme, eg. Jesus will not come to die again or to give the church second ability to defeat the devil.
The different positions on the end-time teaching has some element that need to integrated to others so as to bring a more accurate and bigger picture.
To continue the argument about which view is most accurate is to miss the point. We all see in part: so we need the other parts to complete the picture. I believe in an integrated approach and harmonizing of all the different view or positions. The bigger and more accurate picture is seen as every part (interpretation) contributes to the whole. Much of what we need to see or learn is still “sealed” but will and is opening up as apostles and prophets work together and also study some of what the past teachers of the word on the subject taught.
I also believe the historic interpretation has more accurate interpretation than all others. This and the rest need to be carefully and prayerfully integrated and harmonized. In this way we will begin to see the bigger and more accurate picture sooner or in days to come.
The partial preterist view seen together with other pointers/ views will bring us to the desired end and much ground will be gained on this subject. Hard line positions will not help much; and equally none involvement and withdrawal mentality is worst of all.
Meshack, Nakuru – Kenya.
Mark McMillion says
Thanks for your comment, interesting to hear your views. I hope the video I did on Daniel 9:27 is something you might find interesting, related to what you have written. Here’s the link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPRDpUvrldo