Will I really be under a curse if I do not tithe?

My resolve not to blog about the tithe has been shattered yet again by some rather odd tithe teaching I heard quite recently. I had heard that line of argument before used as proof that the New Testament church is still supposed to carry on tithing but this was the first time I actually connected the dots.

The argument is simple; the tithe is valid today because it was practised by Abraham and Jacob before the law, thus trying to make a distinction between tithing before the law and tithing during the law. However, this distinction isn’t maintained with regards to the consequences of not tithing; the same punishment levelled against tithe defaulters during the law becomes binding on the so-called ‘pre-law’ tithe defaulters as well.

The pre-law tithe and the tithe of the law were similar in everything regard except one; the former was done voluntarily while the latter was compulsory. As such it is really absurd to level punishment on ‘defaulters’ of something that is entirely voluntary.

In any given country, giving to charity is entirely voluntary. No one gets charged to court or imprisoned for not being charitable. In the same vein, payment of taxes is not voluntary but mandatory and all who default will be punished. Therefore, just as one cannot use the punishment levelled against those who default on their taxes against those who refuse to give to charity, you cannot use the punishments levelled against those who refuse to tithe during the law against non-tithers in the pre-law era. Both remits are completely different.

The punishment mentioned in Malachi 3 clearly references the law as the word translated ordinances refers to a written law or a decree.

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3

So, to say that those who do not tithe are robbing God and are bringing themselves under a curse is trying to resurrect the law.

Only 2 people were recorded as having given a tithe before the law; Abraham and Jacob. God never commended their actions nor punished those who didn’t follow this example. The same definitely applies today. The choice to ‘tithe’ in today’s church is definitely a voluntary one and one will surely be hard pressed to justify teaching otherwise without being guilty of resurrecting the law.

Bible in proper context

I was reading a children’s bible to the kids last night before bed and we were reading the account of the magi’s visit to see baby Jesus. I was struck by the complete misrepresentation of this account that I had to be sure to tell the kids the actual account of this visit and all that transpired.

The kid’s bible’s account of the visit was that there were 3 of them who came to visit Jesus while he was just born and still in the stable. This is a classic example of interpreting scripture through imagination instead of careful study. For something as clear-cut as this, it is not uncommon to see people interpreting it this way.

The bible never tells us how many people were in the company of the magi. They would have been way more than three and would certainly be very important men to have gotten Herod that worried.

1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2 (Emphasis mine).

The bible makes no mention of the number in their company. Furthermore, Jesus was nearly 2 years old when the magi arrived and was no longer in the stable but in a house.

9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

16 Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Matthew 2 (Emphasis mine).

This is a rather common mistake repeated the world over, people just simply ignore scriptural evidence and make up stuff of their own. Some would even read this and say that I am being pedantic as I have been accused of being in the past. How can repeating what the bible says be hair-splitting?

These glaring oversights have constantly been exhibited in the sourcing of a number of ‘Christian’ doctrines we hold so dear. I was reading a Rick Warren devotional the other day and found his take on the tithe really, really shocking. He quoted verses of scripture completely out of context to make his point. His first verse of scripture Deuteronomy 14: 23, was taken out of context. God’s command to the children of Israel was that eating their tithes at the place He had commanded will teach them to fear Him. Something Rick Warren conveniently left out

Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God. (Emphasis mine).

Proverbs 3: 9 -10 also suffered a similar fate. Whilst there is simply no mention of tithing at all in this verse of scripture, he still managed to squeeze it in somehow. The bible is clear on the firstfruit and the tithe; one is the first while the other refers to the tenth and are 2 completely different concepts. However, it is not uncommon to hear them combined together to redefine the tithe as the first tenth which makes no sense. The ‘first tenth’ refers to the last in a first group of 10 and it completely disregards the entire quantity this first 10 group is part of. In other words if I had 200 sheep then my tithe according to this definition is one sheep; the first ‘tenth’ I counted from the first group of 10 sheep. Makes absolutely no sense!

The tithe is definitely not the only thing to suffer gross misinterpretation, quite a number of prevailing ‘Christian’ views are based on very shaky foundations. Satan being called Lucifer, the so-called rapture of the saints and so on.

Before we proclaim a doctrine let’s be sure to have properly researched it from scripture.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe [for the guest of honor] and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand, and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let us [invite everyone and] feast and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was [as good as] dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15

I have often wondered why the father didn’t punish his son for this very silly behaviour and welcomed him instead with open arms, gave him a change of clothes and threw him a feast. Some style of parenting [rolling my eyes]!

God’s ways are not at all our ways and He sees things completely differently to us. With this parable Jesus shows what is most important to the Father; a relationship with us. The Father is happy when we are with Him. But it appears we still struggle with having our sins forgiven and enjoying the liberty of sonship and seem to prefer ‘earning’ this privilege. A lot of doctrines in much of today’s church kind of reflect this belief. We are still unwittingly taught that salvation only gets us thus far and our efforts will take us over the finish line. Whether we care to admit it or not we are repeating the same mistakes of the Galatian church.

From time to time, I get really, really shocked by some of the write-ups I come across in support of the continuance of this doctrine in the New Testament church. Believing that one has to tithe to be blessed really reflects a works mentality. With this in mind, let’s consider the father of the prodigal son; all that mattered to him was that his son had retraced his steps back home. The father had no further requirement from him. His repentance was enough to earn him a place at his father’s table. Against this backdrop, teaching that ‘tithing’ is a condition for receiving God’s blessings and protection flies in the face of Christianity. It is quite akin to the prodigal son’s request of being treated as a servant; he thought he could earn his father’s forgiveness.

A servant has no rights in a household. He has to work to get paid; he basically earns his keep. A son on the other hand does not have to earn his father’s approval. His father will always cater for his needs regardless and this makes mandating the tithe in today’s church completely out of place. However, this has not stopped some proponents of this doctrine; they take scripture completely out of context and go to great lengths to justify teaching it.

Here’s one I hear quite often. God gave you what you have and is only asking for 10% back. If God needed anything back, it would have been reflected in the scripture. Another one is we show our appreciation to God by tithing. This is again is approaching our relationship with God from a human perspective. We show appreciation by shunning our old way of life and embracing the new life He’s given us. A fraction of our possessions is no substitute.

Let’s consider the prodigal son for a second? Didn’t he deserve some punishment for his behaviour? Had his father turned him away wouldn’t we have sided with the father? Had the father agreed to treat him as a servant would we have seen anything wrong with it? Did the son really deserve all of this sacrifice? Now let’s turn our attention to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, does it make any logical sense? God saw it fit to send Jesus to die on our behalf even though we were still in our sins and didn’t deserve it. If He could make such a great sacrifice for us when we didn’t deserve it, why on earth will we think we have to earn His blessing through tithing? It doesn’t make any sense!

That the church requires money is not reason enough. That people will refuse to give if they were given the option to give what they liked is hardly justifies it either.

The simplicity of the Gospel – Part 2

However, the thinking of some of the early apostles is still quite prevalent in much of today’s church. Many aspects of the Law are repurposed and reshaped to justify teaching it. Some of them are hailed as some sort of new revelation. The first time I heard the doctrine of the ‘firstfruit’ taught, it was hailed as such. Some preachers even teach giving of an ‘atonement’ offering. The tithe is another one I mention constantly. Still others just take the entire Old Testament and form a completely new religion under the premise of Christianity. The Mormons are a perfect example.

Still others like the Jehovah’s witnesses take the ‘abridge version of the law of Moses’ a little too literarily. Even though this clearly referred to the forbiddance of eating meat which still had its blood on it, they’ve interpreted this to mean blood transfusion. They completely ignore Paul’s charge to the church in Corinth concerning meats; it neither commends nor condemns you before God. Having a blood transfusion neither commends nor condemns you before God as well and prevents you from dying untimely if it is required to save your life. I have even seen a preacher offer the Jewish prayer shawl on tv for a fee! He sang the praises of the shawl as if wearing one was the only way to get God to answer your prayers.

Adherence to the Sabbath is also seriously pushed by some even though the law of Sabbath is clearly an Old Testament command. Paul also mentioned something about special days and he admonished that those who observe special days and those who do not are both fine just as long as they are doing it unto the Lord.

5 Some people might believe that one day is more important than another. And others might believe that every day is the same. Everyone should be sure about their beliefs in their own mind. 6 Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord. Yes, they give thanks to God for that food. And those who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord. They also give thanks to God. Romans 14 (ERV)

The New Testament frees us from all of these laws and allows us to freely worship God. You no longer have to be a descendant of Aaron before you can approach God’s throne. You no longer need to conform to Jewish customs before you can be accepted by God. This flies in the face of the notion that your need to do something special like give ‘special sacrificial offerings’, pray in certain ways or at certain times and places or conform to a certain dress code to receive blessings or favour from God.

Some will interpret this as me saying that once you are a Christian you simply do nothing but I’ll like to clarify that you do not need to do anything to influence the way God acts or feel towards you. He loves you regardless and all He requires is that you love Him with all your heart, all your soul and all your might.

You do not pray in the hope God will be impressed, you pray because you love Him. You do not give because you are trying to attract some sort of blessings or influence God so to speak, again you do it out of love.

The New Testament is God’s way of making all nations and every tribe and tongue a part of His commonwealth. And the only requirement for entry is faith in our Lord Jesus Christ alone.

The simplicity of the Gospel – Part 1

We know from scripture that the early Christians where Jews who observed the Jewish laws as this was already their way of life. The only difference was they believed in Jesus Christ. However, their Jewish customs became a bit of an issue when the gentiles began to turn to Christ; as some Jews expected the gentiles to observe the Jewish customs as well. The bible discusses this in the book Acts.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Acts 15 (KJV)

The apostles did not think the gentiles should observe the Law of Moses and provided an alternative which was basically an abridged version of the law.

19 “So I think we should not make things hard for those who have turned to God from among the non-Jewish people. 20 Instead, we should send a letter telling them only the things they should not do: Don’t eat food that has been given to idols. This makes the food unclean. Don’t be involved in sexual sin. Don’t eat meat from animals that have been strangled or any meat that still has the blood in it. 21 They should not do any of these things, because there are still men in every city who teach the Law of Moses. Acts 15 (ERV)

Paul didn’t think this should apply to the gentiles at all and addressed it in his epistle to the Corinthians.

Now I will write about meat that is sacrificed to idols. It is certainly true that “we all have knowledge,” as you say. But this knowledge only fills people with pride. It is love that helps the church grow stronger. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know anything as they should. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God. 4 So this is what I say about eating meat: We know that an idol is really nothing in the world, and we know that there is only one God. 5 It’s really not important if there are things called gods in heaven or on earth—and there are many of these “gods” and “lords” out there. 6 For us there is only one God, and he is our Father. All things came from him, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things were made through him, and we also have life through him. 7 But not all people know this. Some have had the habit of worshiping idols. So now when they eat meat, they still feel as if it belongs to an idol. They are not sure that it is right to eat this meat. So when they eat it, they feel guilty. 8 But food will not bring us closer to God. Refusing to eat does not make us less pleasing to God, and eating does not make us closer to him. 1 Corinthians 8 (ERV)

His premise clearly shows that we cannot obtain God’s favour or blessing by keeping or observing parts of the Old Testament like some of the apostles encouraged the gentiles that first believed to do.

It is not uncommon to see some churches try to resurrect some Old Testament practises in today’s church. It is like they almost believe that doing this makes them more acceptable in God’s eyes.

The land of Israel was central to the Old Testament Law as was the knowledge of one’s ancestry. The latter was essential in determining those who should act in the priestly offices and those who shouldn’t. Land usage was also governed by this and had to be strictly followed. Dietary requirements were strictly enforced as was a dress code and physical appearance. Different offerings were required and the temple was central to worship. Conversion to this faith involved full adherence to all of these.

But herein lies the beauty of the New Testament; it transcends every race and tongue on the face of the earth. It does not require a dress code for acceptance. Observance of the Old Testament Law is not required. Relocating to the land of Israel is not required. A tribal distinction to determine those who are supposed to serve in a physical temple is not required. A physical temple is not central to its worship.

The universality of the New Testament is clearly seen in scripture; Christ died for the whole world as seen in John 3: 16. John 1: 12 tells us that anyone who receives Jesus is automatically given the rights to sonship. This is open to all and sundry irrespective of race and background. The Old Testament clearly made a distinction between the Jew and the gentile and the only way the gentile could be accepted was by observing all of the Old Testament laws. The New Testament does away with these and establishes justification by faith and faith alone.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesian 2: 8 – 9

The Old Testament further creates a class distinction between those allowed to approach God and those not allowed and desire was not enough to make one join the party of those allowed to approach God; it was a tribal privilege. The New Testament removes such limitations and all are welcome.

When giving becomes paganism – Part 2

The New Testament is established on grace. This is UNMERITED favour that we do not have to try and earn because it is something we already have. This paves the way for us to have unfettered access to God and to establish a father-child relationship with Him. This was something not available to those of the Old Testament hence they had to strictly observe rules to be accepted by God.

All that is required from us in the New Testament is faith in God and nothing else. Abraham was an example of this kind of faith but not in the way that is being preached in some quarters. God did not select Abraham based on personal merit neither did Abraham have to earn God’s blessings through acts of piety or righteousness. Abraham simply obeyed God and his belief was credited to him as righteousness.

He did not get circumcised to win God’s approval; it was simply an outward sign of his inward conviction. Neither did his encounter with Melchizedek or the tenth of the recovered plunder he gave influence God’s relationship with him. Abraham simply did things that his relationship with God required.

With this in mind, we should be able to see that our actions do not influence God’s love for us nor our relationship with Him. We cannot fast and hope this will make God respond speedily to our prayer requests. We cannot ‘release’ our faith through sowing or giving as being taught by many WoF proponents in order to make God move on our behalf. That is most certainly another gospel and not one taught by the early apostles. If we bear in mind that our works count for nothing before God, we will see that none of our actions influences God relationship with us. God is not obligated to do anything for you because you’ve tithed or ‘sowed’ sacrificially instead it is the blood of Jesus that makes Him act on your behalf.

I realised how much damage this wrong doctrine has done to lots of ‘naïve’ Christians when I watched John Oliver parody these televangelists on his show. Salvation and relationship with Christ had taken the back seat and all these preachers promoted was a ‘cash for blessings’ type thing. If you wanted your debts wiped out, sow a seed. If you wanted healing, sow a seed and so on. This is an awful misrepresentation of the Gospel. Watching these preachers teach such falsehood made me sick to the stomach! No portion of scripture teaches this kind of stuff!

Let us also be mindful that a good parent never indulges their kids, God is no different. The bible clearly states that the Lord chastens those He loves. Jesus too learnt obedience through the things He suffered. In other words, do not expect that God will come running to bail you out if your inability to properly manage your finances gets you into debt. That you ‘sowed’ into the life of any preacher will certainly not make any world of difference.

Giving to ‘invoke’ a move from God has a hint of paganism. In order to receive from pagan gods, you have to meet certain requirements. If you fall short, you are definitely not getting it. But Christianity isn’t like that; we’d already fallen short anyway hence God sent Jesus to help us do what we were unable to do.

All God requires is that we ask with no ‘giving’ catalyst required!

When giving becomes paganism – Part 1

I have previously shared my Christian experience as a young Christian and boy what an experience it truly was. And one aspect where I fell victim was in the area of giving and am sure this is quite evident as majority of what I blog about centres around this.

I get quite mixed reviews regarding my take on the tithe; to some am spot on while to others am just another false teacher. But I will like to make it clear like I have tried so many times; am not in any way trying to dissuade people from giving to church. Instead, I am drawing from my personal experience and trying to admonish that we strike a balance and give the right way with the right attitude.

I came to realise that in order to be able to give properly to God one has to have a proper understanding of Christianity; and this is where we appear to have the problem. We try to infuse some aspects of Judaism into Christianity and end up with something completely new that is neither Judaism nor Christianity. This became quite clear to me when I decided to read the bible afresh starting from the book of Genesis in order to gain a better understanding of all things pertaining to God. As I read, I began to see how distinct Judaism was from Christianity.

God established His covenant with Abraham and his faith in God was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham did all that God asked and did not try to gain God’s approval because he already had it. And more importantly, he had a relationship with God and was able to know when God was speaking.

By the time the Law was given to the children of Israel, they needed to go to the land of promise to be able to observe it. The Law was tied to the physical land of Israel as it would have been a little difficult to observe anywhere else. All aspects of the Law carried equal importance hence breaking one was tantamount to breaking all of it. The Sabbath breaker was stoned to death even if he had an impeccable track record of keeping all other laws. An uncircumcised male was cut off even if he kept the Sabbath and gave all the offerings required by the law and so on.

More importantly, access to God was done through the priests and Levites as the people were not allowed to approach God by themselves. And herein lies the difference between Judaism and Christianity; the former was restricted to a physical location while the latter isn’t. And the book of Hebrews also makes clear the difference; the Old Testament was a shadow of the New Testament.

Rapture, the way I see it – Part 3

However, before Christ’s return there will be tribulation here on earth and the church will still be here on earth while it happens. The beast and the false prophet will force people to accept the mark which is not at all a physical mark. They shall be quite subtle in their deceit and will seem quite genuine. One will have to be discerning to see through them.


The book of Revelation echoes 1 Thessalonians 4 in respect of the resurrection of the dead at Christ’s return with 1 Corinthians 15 describing the process


3 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. 24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory. 42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.


The book of Revelation tells us further that Satan shall be bound for a 100 years and all who were part of the first resurrection shall rule with Christ for that period.


Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while. 4 Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20


It also makes it clear that the church will be present through the ‘tribulation’ and some will lose their lives during it.


14 And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. 15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. Revelation 7


Scripture is clear about the persecution of Christians for their faith and we’ve seen that in the bible as well as in history and this makes the doctrine of rapture out of sync with the bible. It preaches escapism.

Rapture, the way I see it – Part 2

History has it that this event occurred in AD66. Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans and the Christians remembered the words of Jesus. They fled as soon as the gates of the city were opened briefly and not one of them was hurt.


The siege Jerusalem was under got so bad that people began to starve to death and some women even killed and ate their babies. In AD70 when the Romans gain entry into the city, most of the Jews fled into the temple and a fire broke out that raised it to the ground and killing some Jews in the process. About a million Jews were slaughtered and only about 100,000 survived. If the siege had gone on any longer it would have likely wiped out all the Jews.


The rest of Jesus’ words covered His return and the end of the world. Jesus did mention that 2 people will be together and one of them shall be taken will the other left and this has been used to teach the rapture doctrine. However, what really does that word taken mean? The original Greek word from which it was translated actually means ‘to be associated with’. It implies recognition and acceptance and does not conjure any impression of being spirited away someplace.


1 Thessalonians 4 is also used in support of the doctrine because of the use of the words ‘caught up’


15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.


Caught up here is translated from the Greek word harpazo which means to ‘to carry off by force’. This same word was also used to describe how people gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven


And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11: 12


It does not refer to a ‘rapture’ but to taking possession of something and making it yours. Jesus will descend to make the church His! When He descends at His second coming, those who have died in Him shall be resurrected as per 1 Corinthians 15 and those who are alive shall be transformed and together with the Old Testament ‘cloud’ of witnesses shall be with Him.

Rapture, the way I see it – Part 1

I had written something previously on the mark of the beast and have decided to follow that up by examining the doctrine of ‘rapture’ which is widely taught in Christian circles. Even though the word does not exist anywhere in the bible that has not stopped this from being taught.

It is the favourite of scaremongers and dooms day prophets. It is usually used to scare people into giving their lives to Christ. Such tactics do not last unfortunately because people give their lives out of fear instead of knowledge and faith. I was taught that after Christ has raptured the church, the antichrist will be released and there will a great tribulation on the face of the earth. Those who were left behind will be forced to accept the ‘mark of the beast’ if they want to buy or sell anything and there will be great anguish.

Christ will finally return (again?), destroy the antichrist and punish those who accepted the mark as well as Satan. And those who did not make the rapture but did not accept the mark of the beast will pay for their salvation with their own blood. That is it in a nutshell.

There were so many inconsistencies with this teaching and the more I searched the scriptures, the more confused I became. Now I know the reason for this confusion was because I was still trying to interpret these scriptures in the light of what I had been taught.

Matthew 24 has been used in support of this rapture doctrine. Jesus’ disciples had asked Jesus when the temple was going to be destroyed, when will be the sign of His coming and the end of the age. Anytime I heard this portion of scripture taught, the first question was always ignored; the destruction of the temple.

Jesus was very explicit to His disciples about what was going to happen to the temple. It was going to be completely destroyed! They will know this is about to happen when they see the abomination of desolation and those who were in the fields should not go back to Jerusalem. They were also supposed to pray that their flight did not happen on the Sabbath or during winter.

15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration[d] standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. Matthew 24

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