August 14, 2022
THE CULTING OF CHRISTIANITY
The Occult Roots Of The Rapture Cult - Part V
In Part IV, we introduced the writing known as Pseudo-Ephraem, in which Rapture Cult proponents lift a statement out of context in a deceitful attempt to show the pre-tribulational Rapture doctrine was taught by early Christians.
As the singular statement “taken” from Pseudo-Ephraem (hereinafter quoted as P/E) as a supposed indicator of pre-trib is a total of 39 words, we might want to consider what else is said by the false witness (once again the word Pseudo is Greek for false, which demonstrates why Rapture Cultists routinely omit the word Pseudo when quoting “Ephraem”). Indeed, the Latin version is 2,303 words and the Syriac is a whopping 3,756, so the forger has a lot more to say on prophecy.
“In those days people will not be buried, neither Christian, nor heretic, neither Jew nor pagan” (Section 4, P/E.)
“There is nothing else which remains [to be fulfilled] except the advent of the Evil One in the completion of the Roman kingdom” (Section 2, P/E).
The genuine Ephraem has a similar statement as the reference just cited by Pseudo-Ephraem:
“There is nothing still remaining except that the coming of our enemy the Antichrist be revealed” (Ephraem the Syrian, Sermon on Asceticism).
One can only ponder how it is that genuine Ephraem and Pseudo-Ephraem both said the only thing “remaining” is the arrival of Antichrist, if they supposedly taught pre-trib. The fact is, the genuine Ephraem has numerous statements that show believers in a tribulational setting:
“That great tribulation…approaches and comes upon us…let us be watchful…for the manifestation (and) coming of the sedition [of the Antichrist] which is to be revealed on the earth….get ready to oppose that one who is armed…with diverse means and deceits, with signs and miracles of his powers, to frighten us suddenly with very great temptations” (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, From the Latin to German translation, cited by Professor Gundry in First The Antichrist, page 174).
The large volume of scholarship, generated by thousands of hours of study in multiple languages by dozens of researchers, is trumped by Rapture Cult showmen, who simply misquote the primary passage – conveniently failing to ever mention the citation is from a forgery, in addition to wildly misdating it. For example, Calvary Chapel’s Jon Courson, who is a liar of the first magnitude, simply adds words to the quotation out of thin air.
Entertaining a crowd of theological victims who are cursed with itching ears, Courson sought to use Pseudo-Ephraem’s quote to bolster his hapless follower’s faith in pre-trib:
“People have been telling me, and telling you if you’re involved in prophecy discussions…about the rapture happening before the tribulation…[that it] wasn’t even taught until 1820 by J N Darby. Anybody hear that? Listen to this, quote `For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken up to be with the LORD, lest they see the confusion that is to be overwhelmed, overwhelming in the world because of sins,’ written by Ephraem the Syrian, in the year AD 373” (Early Teachings Of The Rapture, Jon Courson, Applegate Christian Fellowship, You Tube video).
Courson was using Grant Jeffrey’s book Apocalypse, as a source template for his summary of the Rapture controversy, as he tried to cite word for word from Jeffrey’s book. However, Jon Courson’s misquoting of Jeffrey compounded Jeffrey’s misquote of Pseudo-Ephraem almost beyond comprehension. In the interest of accuracy, we note that Courson states J N Darby introduced the “rapture” in 1820 – whereas Darby was post-trib for 10 years after that date. When he cites Pseudo-Ephraem, which carries allusions to Islam (in which Mohammed’s pivotal event in the founding of Islam came in 622 AD) Courson says this writing is “in the year 373.”
Not once does he identify the writing by its actual title, which includes the sub-title “A Sermon By Pseudo-Ephraem,” as Courson clearly mis-identified the author as “Ephraem the Syrian.” To make matters worse, Jon Courson doesn’t hesitate to add crucial words to the quote. Whereas Pseudo-Ephraem says the saints “are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion,” Jon Courson deceitfully states the saints “are taken UP to BE WITH the Lord” – a phrase that does not appear in any translation. Accordingly, we have an accurate quote for Jon Courson:
“Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Therefore, thus saith the Lord God; because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 13:3, 8).
The resilience of the Rapture doctrine in the face of contradictory clear and coherent evidence, both Scriptural and historical, is a mysterious phenomenon, with supernatural undertones. Although I was delivered from the Rapture Cult relatively early in my doctrinal development, it took a number of years before I began to understand we’re not dealing with simple error, we’re looking at something far deeper, and certainly more sinister than most suppose.
Evidence suggests that the Spirit of Antichrist has sought to plant the doctrinal seeds of the heretical system from the earliest time and, there are causal links which demonstrate the idea of the deity evacuating a faithful group of his followers before a final trial predates Christianity itself. Ironically, proof of that assertion is found in the same classification of documents known as pseudipigrapha, with the root word Pseudo indicating this large body of writings are falsified writings.
One of the primary clusters of these writings is categorized as Gnostic – from the Greek word for knowledge (gnosis). The Gnostics were mystics with doctrines that were Occultic to the core. The Egyptian Gnostics believed in many gods, who took on different personas during various ages. They held a particular reverence for Seth, the son of Adam, who was considered divine. The “Sethians” date back well into the Old Testament period, and two documents detailing Seth are of particular interest, as they are both very similar.
The Apocalypse of Adam is of pre-Christian origin, and it shows faint traces of the Greek Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament. Conversely, The Gospel of the Egyptians is early in the New Testament era, possibly as early as the 1st or 2nd century AD. Epiphanius (320-403 AD), a Catholic bishop who was a contemporary of Ephraem the Syrian, mentions an Apocalypse of Adam in his writing, so without a doubt, these documents are very old. That fact is also an indicator that both documents were available to Ephraem the Syrian.
Because The Apocalypse of Adam features a pre-tribulation Rapture, it is the oldest instance of pre-trib on record. However, The Apocalypse of Adam is an Occultic writing, as the Saviour in the writing is Seth! Gnostic scholars universally note close similarities between the Apocalypse of Adam, and the Gospel of the Egyptians (as well as several other writings), including the same names of angels, a fiery cataclysm to come and, in the case of the Gospel of the Egyptians, the Sethians claim that Seth was the divine figure who “put on” the form of Jesus.
There is a blurring of identities between the third son of Adam (Seth in Genesis 4:25) and Seth (also known as Set), the angelic trickster of Egyptian legend. Because Seth was considered the good son of Adam after the evil Cain killed his brother Abel, the occultists saw Seth and his lineage as having a divine nature. Similarly, some racially twisted “Christian” groups see the descendants of Cain as the Kennites, a demonic lineage which their unholy doctrine can vilify. Further, there is a connection in the Sethian lore with the Nephilim, the “sons of God” of Genesis 6.
Skeptics who doubt the story of fallen angels breeding with the “daughters of men,” claim the Genesis text referring to the “sons of God” who came in to the “daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4), applies to the descendants of Seth. Further, the Sethian legends also see the flood of Noah, as paralleling a great future judgment of fire. However, the writings on the subject appear dissimilar to Christ’s comparison of the days of Noah with the tribulational events accompanying His return in Matthew 24:37.
The Apocalypse of Adam opens with Adam telling the story of three angels who visited him:
“The revelation which Adam taught his son Seth in the seven hundredth year….I saw before me three men whose appearance I could not recognize…saying to me, Rise up, Adam, from the sleep of death, and hear about the aeon and the seed of that man to whom life has come, the one who came forth from you and from Eve your wife” (Apocalypse of Adam, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume I, James Charlesworth, Editor, page 713).
The angels (called archons in the text) tell Adam of a great cataclysm involving “fire and sulfur and asphalt,” from which the angels Abrasax, Sablo, and Gamaliel will deliver the chosen “race.”
“Afterward great angels will come on high clouds to bring those men to the place where the spirit of life dwells [lines missing here] ….there come from heaven to earth. [But] the whole [multitude] of flesh will be left behind….Then God will rest from his wrath” (The Apocalypse of Adam, Charlesworth edition, and The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson, Editor, emphasis mine).
Another section of the same writing also details the rescue of the Sethians from the fiery trial:
“And great clouds of light will come down and other clouds of light will descend on them from the great aeons. Abrasax and Sablo and Gamaliel will come down to take those men out of the fire and the wrath and bring them above the aeons and the rulers of the powers and take them away” (Apocalypse of Adam, ibid, Chapter 5, The Fire, emphasis mine).
In the Gospel of the Egyptians (hereinafter noted in citations as G/Egypt), salvation is reserved for the race of Seth, and in the occult writing,
“Seth comes from heaven, puts on Jesus as a garment, and accomplishes a work of salvation on behalf of his children” (G/Egypt III, 2 and IV, 2, The Nag Hammadi Library, James Robinson, editor, page 208).
Noticeably similar to the Apocalypse of Adam, the story details a forthcoming great tribulation:
“A conflagration will come upon the earth. And grace will be with those who belong to the race through the prophets and the guardians who guard the life of the race. Because of this race famines will occur and plagues. But these things will happen because of the great, incorruptible race. Because of this race temptations will come, a falsehood of false prophets” (G/Egypt, Nag Hammadi, page 216, emphasis mine).
Seth is dispatched from heaven to retrieve the Sethians from the disasters coming upon the world:
“Then the great Seth was sent by the four lights….He passed through the three parousias which I mentioned before: the flood, and the conflagration, and the judgment of the archons and the powers and the authorities, to save her (the race) who went astray” (G/Egypt, Nag Hammadi, page 216, emphasis mine).
Having “put on” the guise of Jesus, the Gospel of the Egyptians tells us “the great Seth” not only “guards” his chosen ones, but those he has “established” are to be “taken away.”
“Even Jesus the living one, even he whom the great Seth has put on. And through him he nailed the powers of the thirteen aeons and established those who are brought forth and taken away” (G/Egypt, Nag Hammadi Codices, Volume IV, Krause, Robins, Wisse Editors, emphasis mine).
As “Jesus” is supposedly Seth in a cosmic disguise, those which will ultimately be “taken away” are armed with knowledge – the gnosis which the Gnostics so highly valued:
“He armed them with an armor of knowledge of this truth, with an unconquerable power of incorruptibility” (G/Egypt, Nag Hammadi Library).
Those Sethians who are “worthy,” are promised they will be translated into eternity without dying:
“These will by no means taste death” (G/Egypt, Nag Hammadi Library).
-- James Lloyd
[Next: More Links Between The Occult Gnostics And The Rapture Cult]
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