A Critique of J. Preston Eby's "Looking for His Appearing" and his False Rapture Theory
The following is a critique of J. Preston Eby's article "Looking For His Appearing". I have only included those portions of Eby's article that I intend to comment on. It can be found in it's entireity on this site (www.hisremnant.org/eby/articles/kingdom/looking/looking1.htm).
(False teacher/prophet quotes are in purple and indented, my
comments are in plain text and scripture is in teal. False teachers rarely use scripture. I have only included those portions I intend to comment on.)
It was the last night of the revival in the sleepy little south Alabama town. The congregation was softly singing, 'Just as I am,' and the preacher was standing in front of the pulpit with both arms raised in invitation. He. knew there were people present who needed to receive Christ as Saviour. 'Jesus Christ could come tonight,' he urged. 'Will you be ready for Him? The trumpet may sound before this meeting is over, or before you awake in the morning. When that happens the cemeteries will burst open and the dead rise, and those living who are ready will go soaring off into space to meet the Lord. Everywhere people will suddenly be missing without any clue as to where they may be."
The Antichrist will then appear and the Great Tribulation will begin. Those of you who are left will have to go through seven years of hell on earth. The scenes of earth will be indescribably bewildering and terrifying. Oh, why not make things right with God tonight so you will be spared from such a time of trouble and punishment!"
Up to this point it sounds like Eby believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture.
On another occasion I arrived home from school one late afternoon. . . .The house was empty! . . . Suddenly a terrible fear seized me and my blood ran cold. "Oh, my God!" I thought, "the rapture has taken place and I have been left." . . . Of course, Jesus hadn't come that day nor has He come (in that manner) any other day in the past forty years. Looking back, I wonder why it took me so long to question what the preacher said.
Here we see it was a traumatic childhood experience (fear of the unknown) that began to lead him into error. The fact that he suspected he had been left behind betrays a lack of confidence that he was saved.
Of course, among those who believe in the return of the Lord, most simply take it for granted that His return could take place at any moment, But is that true?. . . After all, Jesus did promise to return. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go ... I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto myself" (Jn. 14:2-3). "For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Mat. 24:27). Make no mistake about it! Jesus did promise to go away and to return to planet earth.
Here we see the first flaw in Eby's understanding of prophecy--he incorrectly interprets the Matt. 24 passage as speaking of the Rapture, when it is instead talking about Christ's 2nd coming, in Judgment. These are two separate events and which event is being spoken of can be determined by the context of the passage and whether Judgment or blessing is being portrayed.
Also, Jesus never taught about the Rapture to his disciples because the Rapture is only destined for the Church or the Body of Christ and he hadn't taught on that either. He only briefly mentioned the forming of the Church, such as in the passage Eby quoted above, John 14:2-3, and the Church didn't even start till after Christ died and rose again. And his disciples didn't even understand that he had to die, so how could they fathom the Rapture?
Also, Paul was the only one given the responsibility of teaching about the Mystery of the Church (Body of Christ) which didn't start until many years after Christ died and rose again and he is also the only one that taught about the Mystery of the Rapture.
No subject has been more misunderstood or misconstrued than this great truth; and yet it is the hope of the ages. The focus of the entire scriptures is upon this great event. Most of the differences in scriptural interpretation among Christians is the result of an incomplete knowledge of the plan and purpose of God.
This is very true. However, the basis of the problem lies in an understanding of the Whole Bible, i.e., God's plan for Isreal vs the Church.
Much of what is taught and believed in Christian circles today is derived from the wrong source - Bible study! . . . but the problem with the vast majority of such groups is that they have the wrong teacher - instead of allowing the One whom God sent to be our teacher, the Holy Spirit of Truth, to unveil to pure minds and transformed hearts the hidden mysteries of the Kingdom of God, and His great plan and purpose.
How do we know when someone claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit is actually being led by God? If we didn't study the Bible then we would never know if that teacher we heard, or that little voice we are hearing in our heads, is telling us the truth. In fact Paul told us to rely on Scripture:
"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of god may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. . . . I give you this charge [command]: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 3:16-4:2.)
Please notice that it says you will be thoroughly equipped if you study the Scriptures. And all true believers also have the Holy Spirit whose main job is to explain the scriptures to us. Yet Eby is telling us that Bible study is a bad thing.
Also, just before this passage, Paul said:
But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned and have become concinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus(2 Tim. 3:16-4:2.)
Please notice again, that we are told we are to continue in what we have learned already and that it is the Scriptures that will make us wise for salvation. So scripture is speaking against what Eby teaches.
This admonition against Bible study is the same line we hear from every cult or false teacher ever claiming to know the truth, i.e., their goal is to keep people from relying on the Word of God and get them to trust in what they say instead.
When we think we know it all, we shut ourselves off from further revelation, and make it impossible for the Spirit of Truth to guide us into all truth. We need to pay heed to the Biblical injunction, "If any man think that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" (I Cor. 8:2)
Yes, we still have a lot to learn, there is yet much of the total picture to be revealed to us, and as the beams of divine revelation stream from the glory above, let us ever walk in that light, and as we do, it will be fulfilled in us what the scriptures say, "The path of the just is as a shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18).
Now it appears that he is about to tell us that he has a New Revelation for us that came from a divine revelation. But, as we saw in the 2 Timmothy passage above, Paul says we have already been given all we need in the Scriptures.
There are many precious christians who believe, and have received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, who try to fit into this one, initial experience with the Lord, all the parts of the Word of God that pertain to further experiences. The infilling of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the in Christ experience, sonship, overcoming and reigning with Christ, and many others, . . .
I have hilighted the above words in red because these are code words for the Manifest Sons of God movement (MSOG) now known as a NAR (New Apostolic Reformation), i.e., everyone needs to be under the headship of apostles. We will hear more about this later.
. . . they think these have all been incorporated in this first experience of regeneration. Yet, those of us who have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit as another experience, know what blessing and reality they are depriving themselves of when they assume that they have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit when they first believed.
Now we are being told that our initial experience, i.e., when the Holy Spirit came to reside in our hearts, at the moment of salvation, is not enough. This is such a basic error to the understanding of how the Holy Spirit works that I really don't want to take up the time or the space to explain this error as there are a multitude of critiques of this theory already available on the net.
What Eby is actually saying is that the Holy Spirit does not really stay with us, that he comes and goes and it is only through a Special Infilling that we can really understand God's Word. Eby was complaining about "Concepts" not listed in scripture. But yet he is using terms, such as, "infilling" and "sonship" and other such MSOG terms that don't appear in scripture either.
It will take intense spiritual effort, and much prayer and holy brokenness before God, to lay aside all one has heard and hears, to lay down all preconceived notions and ideas, to find out just what the Holy Spirit teaches. The one question ultimately must be, What does the Word of God actually teach? and not, What have men taught?
Why are we supposed to be reading Eby's interpretation of the 2nd Coming if we are not to listen to what men teach?
NO "SECOND COMING! It may surprise many of my readers to learn that the Bible nowhere speaks of the "second coming" of Christ. Interesting, isn't it - how some of the major and most commonly accepted doctrines of professing Christianity cannot be found in the Bible? There is no mention whatever of such things as Christmas, Easter, the "immaculate conception" of Mary, mass, popes, church buildings, the Trinity, or - the "second coming"!
Anyone who has any knowledge of the Bible at all will understand that there are "Concepts" in the Bible that are not given the title that we know them by today. And anyone who denies the Trinity or the 2nd Coming, just because the words don't occur in the Bible, is way out there in left field. These concepts are still there just the same. The word "Bible" isn't in the Bible either. Does this mean we should deny the Bible exists?
And this term - "the second coming of Christ" - is not scriptural, either, and cannot be found anywhere in the Bible; yet it has influenced the thinking and teaching of most Christians to accept and believe concepts that simply are not true. We have been so confused in our thinking that everything in the scriptures pertaining to the coming of the Lord, His appearing, His manifestation have to fit into His coming as a man two milleniums ago, or to His so-called "second coming" when every eye shall see Him. This is wrong. Very wrong.
Every eye shall see Him when he returns -- In judgment of a Christ rejecting world, and by "Christ rejecting" I'm also talking about those who believe in a false Christ or a Christ made in their own image. And a person who adamately refutes the concept of the Trinity is believing in a Christ who cannot save.
The second coming of Christ is not a biblical phrase. It has no scriptural warrant. It is my deep conviction that it should be discarded altogether, for it is the cause of much confusion of thought and not a little positive error.
Now we see that his denial of the understanding of "Concepts" in the Bible has led him to deny that Christ comes to the earth twice--once as a saviour who died for our sins and the 2nd time a judge who will condemn all sin.
Let us consider a few passages. "For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Mat. 24:27). "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep" (I Thes. 4:15). "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming" (II Thes. 2:8). "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7). "Be also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh" (James 5:8).
Keep in mind that a lot of the people these scriptures were written to already knew Christ came once, possibly from personally knowing/seeing him, and they had also been promised, by Christ himself, that he would come again, i.e., there will be two comings, This destroys Eby's theory right there.
Also, Eby is mixing scriptures speaking on the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:15) with those speaking about the 2nd Coming (Matt 24:27). And, if you read the verse just before 2 Thess 2:8 you will see it is speaking about the Rapture happening just before the antichrist is Revealed which is a long time before the 2nd Coming. And James 5:8 is talking about Harvest time--this could apply to either the Rapture or the 2nd Coming. And from this lumping together of these verses as pertaining to the 2nd Coming we can easily discern that Eby knows not whereof he speaks.
THE COMINGS OF OUR LORD:
On the day of Pentecost Christ came again as the Comforter. "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He DWELLS WITH YOU, and shall be IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I WILL COME UNTO YOU. Yet A little while, and the world sees me no more; but YOU SEE ME: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I IN YOU" (Jn. 14:16-20).
Ok, now we see some more evidence of how Eby's denial of "Concepts" in the Bible, and specifically this time, the Trinity, and how this leads him to the erroneous understanding that Christ is the Comforter, i.e., the Holy Sprit.
And hence it is that so very few Christians have really scriptural thoughts about the coming of their Lord. They are looking into prophecy for the church's hope - they confound "the Sun of Righteousness" with "the Morning Star" - they mix up the coming of Christ "IN His saints," and His coming "WITH the saints" - they have not the foggiest notion what is the difference in time or manifestation between His coming as Rain or His coming as fire; His coming as Saviour and His coming as Lord; His coming as Lightning or His coming with Clouds; His coming as Bridegroom or His coming as King. All this is a most serious mistake, against which I am compelled by the Spirit of God to warn my readers.
Didn't Eby just tell us that Christ is the Comforter. So why is he saying the Spirit of God is warning him to spread the message. Why didn't he say Christ? If he denies the Trinity then who is this "Spirit of God" he is talking about?
Throughout the past several years the Holy Spirit has progressively been teaching me some wonderful and revolutionary things regarding the return of our Lord. . . . The realization soon broke in awesome solemnity upon our quickened minds that most of what we believed, had been taught, and cherished, was not the truth at all, but just the thoughts and reasonings of the natural mind, the interpretation of the scriptures through the instrumentality of the intellect of man, and not by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from God.
Paul told us, as I pointed out earlier:
But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14, 15)
Paul made several other similar statements to Timothy in both of his letters:
"Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith". (1 Tim. 6:20, 21)
"If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, . . ." (1 Tim. 6:11).
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge [command in the Greek]: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:1-3)
The question is, what was false doctrine in Paul's day? The whole New Testament as we know it today was not in their possession, but they had letters circulating from the apostles from one church to the other. They had the basic gospel as laid down by Christ and his apostles. So anything that came out of that period of the Church, that came to be what we today consider Orthodox Christianity, should not be cast aside. If what Eby is referring to, when he labels it, "static systems of Mystery Babylon" is Orthodox Christianity, then he is wrong.
Also, Paul told us:
"The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith [doctrines of Christ, i.e., faith of the Fathers] and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (1 Tim. 4:1,3)
So, anyone who claims to have a new revelation other than what is taught in the NT is totally going against what scripture declares.
The first prerequisite to being taught by the Spirit of Truth is a readiness to lay down any, and all, preconceived ideas of what the scriptures teach, with a holy disposition to accept what the Spirit teaches.
If you compare what Eby just said to what Paul just said, hopefully you will see that one of them is not telling the truth, and it's not Paul. And the Spirit that is leading Eby is not the Holy Spirit afterall but a spirit of another kind. And furthermore, what Eby is proposing is pure Manifest Sons of God and NAR doctrine, i.e., throw out your bibles and 2,000 years of bible study and all those lying pastors you've been listening to for 2,000 years and listen to me (Eby) instead.
We made this startling discovery when the streams of light began to flow from the realms above and the blessed Spirit of Truth began to dig down deep beneath the surface of the scriptures, the letter of the Word, opening to our astonished understanding the deeper things of God.
The phrase "steams of light" is a New Age term. Let's keep looking and maybe we will see similar terms and then we will know where this "New Revelation" really came from.
Most Christian church doctrine has some truth in it, enough to make it acceptable to some people, but I do not hesitate to tell you that there is so much mixed with it that is not truth at all, and this is what has created all the divisions between the children of God. It isn't the truth that divides, it is all that is false that is mixed in with the truth that separates. Truth mixed with falsehood ceases to be truth.
Very True. Every false teacher mixes lies with the truth, just like Satan did in the Garden of Eden. And if what Eby is teaching us is not alllll truth then alllll he is teaching us is not true by his own definition above.
Since the coming of Christ is a major theme of the New Testament, and linked to man's complete redemption, why is it so variously taught and conceived? Who is responsible for distorting the truth, and what gain is made by doing so? Perhaps Paul furnishes an answer in this scripture: "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:14).
Very True. And any man who does not understand the concept of the Trinity is teaching foolishness.
I have deleted a large portion of Eby summarizing his statements from part 1.
We have limited the comings of Jesus strictly to two because of our unscriptural terms "first coming" and "second coming," but the truth is that He came; He continued to come; He comes; He continues to come; He will come; and He will continue to come! There are numerous "comings" and "appearings" of the Lord in the New Testament. BUT THEY DO NOT ALL REFER TO THE SAME EVENT. We have seen that on the day of Pentecost Christ came again as the Comforter.
No, what we have "seen" is Eby telling us, through his faulty reasoning, that Christ is the Comforter when Jesus plainly stated that there is Another who will come and be the comforter, i.e., the Holy Spirit.
In the scriptures Christ is presented coming with clouds; coming as lightning; coming as a thief; coming with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God; coming as Bridegroom; coming as King; coming as the morning star; coming as the sun of righteousness; coming in resurrection power; coming as Judge; coming in flaming fire of judgment; coming as Saviour; coming as Christ; . . . etc.; etc.
And again, Eby is mixing up scriptures speaking of the Rapture with those of the 2nd Coming in Judgment.
It should be evident to every spiritual mind that Truth is greatly suffering when all the above "comings" of the Lord are crammed into just ONE "second coming" of Christ. Like the sound of many waters the testimony of the Word of God resounds with abundant and stunning and inescapable evidence that the coming of the Christ is not a single event, but includes many different manifestations, past, present and future.
Please notice that Eby keeps referring to Christ as "The Christ". this is a New Age term. Most believers would say either, "Jesus Christ" or "My Lord", etc. The term "The Christ" sounds so impersonal, something like what an unbeliever would use.
The doctrine of the second coming of Christ as an event that has never occurred (in recent times) is as fictitious as Henry Kissinger being the antichrist, . . .
Ok, now what Eby is saying is that only those who believe his theory are elect saints and all others must not be, which would include all those who believe in the Trinity. In other words Eby is teaching about a Christ who cannot save.
It is a marvel of church history that practically every great move of the Spirit of God has been accompanied by the proclamation of the soon coming of the Lord. In times of spiritual revival there is always a childlike readiness to look and long for Christ.
Could it be because these folks are expecting a false Christ--one who is not part of the Trinity, i.e., he is not God? Well of course folks would run to see this Christ. Because he's not coming in judgment. It's "safe"to accept this Jesus.
Eby's denial of the 2nd Coming can be answered with Scripture:
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this coming' he promised?'" (2 Pet 3:3,4)
Proof that Eby is teaching the Manifest Sons of God & NAR doctrine:
I am prophesying a new and fresh revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The night is falling on the present order. Already we are seeing evidence of the dawning of a new day breaking forth upon us and many thousands of the Lord's elect are even now arising to behold the first rays of the dawn and to drink in the intoxicating freshness of the morn. There is a mighty cry in our hearts for the Lord to move in a fresh and altogether new way in our lives and in the earth.
Apparently 2000 years worth of Christians had it all wrong, what they had wasn't good enough.
A new manifestation and revelation of the Christ is coming in the midst of us, and I hear and see the signs that He is beginning to come. We are living in the early dawn of another APPEARING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. This appearing will be through the long-awaited manifestation of the sons of God.
Ok, folks, you have to understand Manifest Sons of God terminology to be able to interpret what Eby is saying here. He is talking about what the MSOG "call" the Rapture, but interpreted it actually means ENraptured, i.e., Christ is going to COME to earth and give them power, shower then with Glory, etc., so they can take over the earth and bring it to it's knees, and then Christ can come back and not before.
The following is a quote from part 42 of Eby's series on Looking for His Appearing
How much more beautiful and meaningful it all becomes when the blessed Spirit of truth opens our eyes to see the truth as it is, that physical rapture, which figures so largely in modern preaching and teaching, is simply a figment of the imagination, without foundation in scriptures, and without purpose or meaning in God's great plan. . . .
As we can see by the above Eby doesn't believe in the same Rapture that most Christians believe in--he won't be leaving this earth in a new glorified body--he's waiting for God to come Glorify his body while he's still on this earth so he can help bring the world to its knees.
I must speak very plainly, my friends. This next move of God, the manifestation of the sons of God, will not come through those who are waiting for a rapture to whisk them away to the skies. It will come through a people who are crying out from the depths of their spirits, "Oh God, visit us afresh. Do a new thing!
This "New Thing" is another MSOG Term. see Tricia Tillin's article New Thing.
We need YOU! Creation groans for deliverance! Come! Lord Jesus, and meet us on a higher order, in a higher dimension. Come to your temple in fullness. Come! with the power necessary to purge and cleanse us and transform us into your image. Come! that we might behold your glory and be changed from glory to glory.
Be changed INTO glory is what he really means--to be little gods.
Come! that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, that we may see You today in present revelation. The whole earth is waiting with bated breath for the glory of the Lord to be manifested.
And this means for the Elect, himself of course and all MSOG/NAR to be glorified, to have these powerful bodies that won't die and they can conquer the world for Christ and bring it under control--including all the world's governments. It's all explained in Tricia Tillin's Doctrine of Demons which you can download.
Come! and cause righteousness and praise and deliverance to spring forth before all the nations. Even so, Come! Lord Jesus!
Right. MSOG/NAR will deliver the world. They don't need Christ.
Copyright © Nov. 10, 2001 - updated 10-24-19
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