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The Masterful Graft Of Grant Jeffrey
author and TBN television host Grant Jeffrey has been utilizing the same methodology as Rapture Cult cohort Chuck Missler in his dishonest handling of the historical records concerning the development of the pretribulational rapture doctrine. Missler's deceitful practices are dealt with extensively in the book The Rapture Cult, where it is learned the many ancient sources Missler claimed taught the pretribulation rapture are documented as being post-tribulational.
Now, Grant Jeffrey is implicated in the same theological crime. In his book entitled Apocalypse (as well as other works), Jeffrey made many of the same claims that Chuck Missler, and other cult climbers have been spewing forth for the last couple of decades. Jeffrey, whose nefarious literary career has paralleled Missler's in some ways, was the source of the claim that a medieval document named Pseudo-Ephraim posited pretrib over a thousand years ago.
After the promotional allure wore off, and a studied examination of the obscure document took place, it was easily seen to be just another fraudulent attempt on the part of the Cult to predate the rapture in their longstanding efforts to validate the false doctrine. The record will show that Grant Jeffrey, and other false prophets ordained in the same prevaricating priesthood, will stand at the great white throne judgment for their theological lies.
Jeffrey's literary crimes are not dissimilar to other cult culprit's work, as he deceptively cites ancient authors, and then carefully cuts the phrasing out of context, in superficial attempts to twist just what the original author communicated. These deceptive effots are, without a doubt, intentional, for in order to maintain the fraud the ancient source propagated pretribulationism, Jeffrey would be required to have studied the entire output of the author he is citing.
In short, Grant Jeffrey is an insidious liar, and he has continued to perpetrate his theological criminality in a brazen, and intentional fashion. In this pursuit of the holy grail of filthy lucre, Jeffrey has claimed the following ancient, non-Scriptural sources believed and stated their belief in the pretribulational rapture.
Although Jeffrey has also claimed pretrib in other later writers such as the aforementioned Pseudo-Ephraim (7th or 8th century), or the 18th century figure John Gill (Gill never heard of the doctrine), in the present work, I've focused on the oldest citations.
As previously noted, these attempts to predate pretrib are similar to Chuck Missler's effort when he claimed early Christian sources such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and others also taught the pretribulation rapture. A thorough refutation of those false claims (including the Pseudo-Ephraim debacle) is found in the book The Rapture Cult.
1. The Shepherd Of Hermas
An ancient non-canonical document, the anonymous author of the Shepherd has many doctrinal statements which are incompatible with Scripture. Among them is a reliance upon the "virgin" - a clear indicator of mariolotry. However, the document's date is thought to be the 2nd century, so any writing from this period is valuable. In his deceptive effort to use this work to promote the false doctrine of the rapture, Jeffrey quotes from the Shepherd as follows:
"Thou hast escaped a great tribulation because thou hast believed and at the sight of such a huge beast hast not doubted. Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless."
Jeffrey then states the citation "conveys" the rapture is promised as the form of the "escape" mentioned by the Shepherd.
As is the rule with what we refer to as The Cult That Kidnapped Christianity, a balanced look at the entire document proves the quote was lifted from its context, and The Shepherd Of Hermas was decidedly post-tribulationist. Indeed, rapturists such as Jeffrey have become notorious for this practice, and they apparently count on other knowledgeable believers being too meek to expose their darkness. In these quarters, we consider it our Christian duty to unmask writers such as Grant Jeffrey for the despicable lies they continue to perpetuate.
Here is the quote from the Shepherd that Jeffrey neglected to cite:
"Happy are ye who endure the great tribulation that is coming on, and happy they who shall not deny their own life. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. Those, therefore, who continue steadfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified by means of it."
What Grant Jeffrey does is carefully edit the quotes so the idea of "escape" makes it sound as though the writer taught the believer will never see the tribulation, but will escape through a rapture that is never mentioned in the text. This is what happens when context is abandoned for agenda.
If, for example, you were in a car crash in which there were fatal injuries, but the newspaper reported you "escaped" death, it does not mean you were not in the crash, it means you escaped the worse of the consequences. This is precisely the sense of the Shepherd Of Hermas writings.
The key inflections showing the admonition indicates the living end times believer will experience the tribulation, is found in words such as "tested" - e.g. "you who dwell in it" will be "tested by fire." You must "continue steadfast" as you "are put through the fire," for the believer "will be purified by means of it." The "it" is obviously the tribulation, for how can one be "purified" by evading something?
Indeed, the Shepherd says true believers will be "happy" when they "endure the great tribulation..."
In short, Grant Jeffrey has slanted and distorted the words of this ancient writing in such a dishonest fashion the misdeed is simply unconscionable as many, many people are being deceived in a vicious fashion through his twisting of the statement's meaning.
As in the cases of other Rapture Cult writers we've examined, such as John Walvoord, the former chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, this deceit is the rule, not the exception. Well did the prophet Isaiah describe these liars when he wrote
"When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves..." (Isaiah 28:15).
Another very old non-canonical writing, entitled The Epistle Of Barnabus (named after Paul's associate seen in the book of Acts), is also claimed by Grant Jeffrey as teaching the pretribulational rapture. In this case, although we see the same word twisting as in the Shepherd, we see the cult leader confuses the idea of imminency, the sense that Christ could return at any moment, with the unstated doctrine of Dispensationalism, upon which the pretrib non-event rests.
By emphasizing phrases that show the writer thought Christ might return at any moment, Jeffrey and others conclude the writer believed in pretrib - a classic abuse of meaning. Although the Scriptures are filled with verses indicating believers "know not" when their master is coming, and are told to "watch" and "keep" their "garments" undefiled (or to keep a candle burning, as it were), this is not the same concept as two separate appearances of Christ.
Furthermore, Grant Jeffrey and others like him, actually omit citations plainly indicating a belief by the ancient source the believer will be in the tribulation - an issue that has nothing to do with an imminent expectation of Christ's return. This is patently dishonest, and Grant Jeffrey commits this deceit on a regular basis. For example, quoting The Epistle Of Barnabus, Jeffrey writes:
"The final stumbling-block approaches, concerning which it is written, as Enoch says, 'For this end the Lord has cut short the times and the days that His Beloved may hasten; and He will come to the inheritance."
The idea of the Lord cutting "short" the time has nothing to do with the alleged rapture, because the fourth trumpet judgment passage in Revelation 8:12 (which is clearly tribulational) tells us will see a shortening of the days. That doesn't stop Grant Jeffrey from claiming this is a pretribulational rapture citation.
Jeffrey then skips Barnabus' next phrase, which clearly speaks of the tribulation:
"And the prophet also speaks thus: 'Ten kingdoms shall reign upon the earth, and a little king shall rise up after them, who shall subdue under one three of the kings.' In the like manner Daniel says concerning the same, "And I beheld the fourth beast, wicked and powerful, and the more savage than all the beasts of the earth and how from it sprang up ten horns..."
Since the ten kings are said to come to power in the same hour as the Antichrist (see Revelation 17:12-13), it is clear this phrase speaks of the tribulation, but Jeffrey omits it, then inserts the following:
"We take earnest heed in these last days; for the whole time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger, as becometh sons of God."
By patching the two citations together, and omitting the phrase in the middle describing tribulational specifics, we only see the idea of cutting "short" the trial, combined with an admonition we should "withstand coming sources of danger." This make it appear as though Barnabus was not warning of the specifics of that danger, because the specific danger that is coming is found in the phrase Jeffrey removed from his narrative.
In the omitted phrase, he said the danger is the arrival and savagery of the "beast," the "ten kings," and even the the "little king" (an apparent reference to the "little horn" of Daniel 7).
Thus, since Barnabus had just mentioned the tribulational specifics, when Jeffrey then quotes "now in this wicked time" it appears he's referencing the time before the tribulation, rather than the event itself!
The Scriptures make a wonderful promise that when we come into the glory of the kingdom of God, the believer will no longer have to put up with "whosoever loveth and maketh a lie," (Revelation 22:15), so I don't expect to see Grant Jeffrey, or any of his fans in the kingdom of God.
3. The Didache
Also known as The Teaching Of The Twelve Apostles, this work may be dated as early as the end of the first century, and is thought to be from the time immediately following the writing of Revelation. Grant Jeffrey claims this writing supports the pretribulation rapture, and quotes from The Didache as follows:
"Be ye watchful for your life! Let not your lamps be extinguished, nor your loins ungirded, but be ye ready! For ye know not the hour in which your Lord cometh.
Assemble yourselves frequently, seeking what is fitting for your souls. For the whole time of your faith will not be profitable to you, if you are not made perfect in the last time...then the world deceiver shall appear as a son of god and shall work signs and wonders...
And then shall the signs of the truth appear, first the sign of a rift in heaven; then the sign of the sound of a trumpet, and the thirdly, a resurrection of the dead.
But not of all, but as it was said, 'The Lord will come and all His saints with Him. Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven."
Grant Jeffrey then writes, in his own words, the following:
"After warning Christians to prepare for "the hour in which your Lord cometh," the Didache said, "Then, the world-deceiver shall appear." This order of events suggests the Rapture will precede the appearance of the world-deceiver, the Antichrist."
Jeffrey's slippery use of citation does the same thing here that he did in the Shepherd Of Hermas. By emphasizing the sequential progression of the two selective quotes of "the hour in which your Lord cometh," which is followed by "Then the world-deciever shall appear," he tries to make the LORD's coming precede the statement noting the arrival of the Antichrist.
However, once again, like all cultists, they assume the phrase "the hour in which your Lord cometh" describes the theoretical pretribulational appearance of Christ when the text never states that in any way. Furthermore, the phrases that occur in between the two quotes he provides show he is deceitfully trying to resequence the two thoughts in a contrived chronological fashion.
Once again, what Grant Jeffrey leaves out makes all the difference in the reading. What follows are the full statements from the Didache, in context:
"Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time."
"For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increaseth, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself."
With the full textual reading, the only hint of a pretribulational rapture is in the mind of a cultist who sees what he wants to see. Just as in the case of the Shepherd Of Hermas, the key words are "they that endure in their faith shall be saved" - to say nothing of when "the world deceiver" appears, "then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself."
Once again, if you never see the tribulation, you could never be a part of "the fire of trial," nor can a believer "endure in their faith" in order to be saved from under the curse of the tribulational events. Since the Didache never mentions evacuation, a separate removal, or anything of the kind, the exhortation of the document is to the believers, who the author clearly expected would one day see these events.
A Christian leader who wrote in the middle of the 3rd century AD, Cyprian wrote on the subject of Christians in the last days - thus making his work a target of the injudicious Mr. Jeffrey. What follows is Grant Jeffrey's dishonest handling of one of Cyprian's epistles:
"Nor let any one of you, beloved brethren, be so terrified by the fear of future persecution, or the coming of the threatening Antichrist, as not to be found armed for all things by the evangelical exhortations and precepts, and by the heavenly warnings. Antichrist is coming, but above him comes Christ also. The enemy goeth about and rageth, but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our sufferings and our wounds. The adversary is enraged and threatens, but there is One who can deliver us from his hands."
It is self evident there is no pretribulational rapture in these words, especially when we see the phrase that Christ will "avenge our sufferings," but that's not what Grant Jeffrey wants this passage to say, so he twists it. In his comments on the work, Jeffrey claims the "there is One who can deliver us from his hands" is a reference to the so-called rapture!
Here's how Grant Jeffrey describes the above passage:
"Cyprian's declaration that Christ "is one who can deliver us from his [Antichrist's] hands" suggests the possibility of the Church being raptured before the Tribulation period. It is significant that he did not write about enduring the persecution of the Antichrist. Rather, Cyprian promised that Christ "is One who can deliver us from his hands."
Once again, his conclusion is fallacious for the text never mentions any pretribulational rapture. Grant Jeffrey assumes that when Cyprian says the Lord "can deliver" us from the hands of the beast, he must mean a physical removal. The English word deliver (and several variants such as delivered, deliverance, etc) is used over 100 times in the New Testament transliteration of the Greek, and not one instance refers to an evacuation or physical removal.
Paul tells us Christ's work on the cross has "delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10), and Peter tells us "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations." (II Peter 2:9)
Since the writings of early non-canonical documents of this nature are in the same Greek as our Received Text, for Grant Jeffrey to claim a relatively common phrase such as the Lord's ability to "deliver" us from the devil's wicked plan for our lives as the supposed rapture, is simply unconscionable and grossly inaccurate.
However, there are many statements in Cyprian's writings that plainly show the author had never heard of the fictional pretribulational rapture. Regarding tribulational events, Cyprian wrote
"...the day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of Antichrist to draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle..."
The fact is, there are dozens of references to tribulational events in which Cyprian exhorts the believers to withstand the fiery trial they will experience. He writes of death, persecution, the mark of the beast, and more. He constantly urges the Christians to remember the eternal joy that will occur when Christ returns to avenge their deaths. It is in this context he makes statements such as
"Oh, what and how great will that day be at its coming, beloved brethren, when the Lord shall begin to count up His people, and to recognize the deservings of each one by the inspection of His divine knowledge, to send the guilty to Gehenna, and to set on fire our persecutors with the perpetual burning of a penal fire, but to pay to us the reward of our faith and devotion!"
The simple truth is, the sound bites that Grant Jeffrey spins from Cyprian's poignant pleas of encouragement are disgusting, as he torments the text until it yields the confession the antichrist Jeffrey desires.
Indeed, this author has publicly tangled with the crafty Canadian before, and I have long since determined he is a liar, a cheap climber, and a deceiver of the first magnitude. Details of that particular interaction are found in the book Lying In Laodicea: Rapturism Unmasked.
Another great martyr whose memory is soiled by Grant Jeffrey's deceitful analysis was Victorinus, who was murdered for his faith at the beginning of the 4th century AD. The distortion of the work from Victorinus is particularly offensive in these quarters because his work is so close to many things we now see concerning Bible prophecy. This is particularly so in the inter-relationship between the various Revelational judgments as manifested in the imagery of Seals, Trumpets, and Vials.
Victorinus believed, as I do, the 3 sets of judgments all overlap and end at the same time. Each set provides additional details of the tribulational end time events. In short, there are not 3 tribulations! Thus, at the 6th seal, the wrath of God is seen, so too the 6th Trumpet and the 6th Vial (notice the allusion to the number of the beast). This means the final cycle is in view in Revelation 6:
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together...And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:14-17).
When Victorinus deals with the vial judgments, which are clearly the finale of the tribulation, and are said by John to be "full of the wrath of God," Victorinus writes
"'And I saw another great and wonderful sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is completed the indignation of God.' For the wrath of God always strikes the obstinate people with seven plagues, that is, perfectly, as it is said in Leviticus; and these shall be in the last time, when the Church shall have gone out of the midst."
Writer Tim Warner, whose prior work in refuting Grant Jeffrey's prophetic deceit has proven to be an excellent resource for this writer, suggests that Victorinus may be a distant relative to those who now hold what is called the "pre-wrath position." This observation is related to Victorinus' statement concerning the "Church" where the ancient leader has them "gone out of the midst" at a time which seems to be concurrent with the wrath of God.
However, Victorinus saw prophecy in metaphoric form, and specifically stated the chronology of the events should be viewed more broadly, for he wrote
"We must not regard the order of what is said, because frequently the Holy Spirit, when He has traversed even to the end of the last times, returns again to the same times, and fills up what He had before failed to say."
As we've seen already, Grant Jeffrey places great emphasis on out of context statements, and he does it repeatedly by twisting Victorinus' words. For example, Jeffrey notes how Victorinus wrote the following in which the ancient Christian leader said
"...the church shall be taken away."
While that sounds decidedly like a rapture of some sort, what Jeffrey conveniently forgets to tell us is the context of the statement.
As previously noted, Victorinus saw the 6th seal account as synonymous with the 6tth trumpet and vial - and all are deeply tribulational. Concerning that seal, he quotes Revelation 6, and then makes comments on each verse:
"And I saw, when he had opened the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake. In the sixth seal, then, was a great earthquake: this is that very last persecution. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair. The sun becomes as sackcloth; that is, the brightness of doctrine will be obscured by unbelievers."
"And the entire moon became as blood. By the moon of blood is set forth the Church of the saints as pouring out her blood for Christ. And the stars fell to the earth. The falling of the stars are the faithful who are troubled for Christ's sake. Even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs. The fig-tree, when shaken, loses its untimely figs - when men are separated from the Church by persecution."
"And the heaven withdrew as a scroll that is rolled up. For the heaven to be rolled away, that is, that the Church shall be taken away. And every mountain and the islands were moved from their places" Mountains and islands removed from their places intimate that in the last persecution all men departed from their places; that is, that the good will be removed, seeking to avoid the persecution."
This means that a straightforward read of Victorinus shows each reference to the believers is in a tribulational context, but Grant Jeffrey simply ignores the basic sense of the work. The reference to the heaven being rolled away like a scroll speaks of the atmosphere of the planet being torn away - clearly an extinction level (read post-trib) event. Thus, when Grant Jeffrey claims Victorinus tells us "the church shall be taken away" is the pretribulation rapture, he is continuing his consistent pattern of intentionally deceiving his foolish followers. Such are ordained to continue to refuse to "endure sound doctrine," as part of the great falling away from the truth.
It's actually quite bizarre that Grant Jeffrey includes Hippolytus on his fantasy list of ancient authorities who supposedly pitched pretrib ages ago. Perhaps Jeffrey was emboldened by Chuck Missler who made the same claim (see The Rapture Cult, page 40 for details on Missler's brazen lies).
Apparently when Grant Jeffrey decided to manipulate the historical accounts to suit his cult agenda, his mental faculties moved to the status of reprobate, for in his world, words have no meaning at all. Here is Grant Jeffrey's claim concerning Hippolytus:
"Writing in his Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, (section 66) about the Rapture he quoted extensively and approvingly from Paul's writing in 1 Thessalonians 4:12: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." He reminds his readers of the hope of Christ's imminent return. He wrote that we should be 'looking for that blessed hope and appearing of our God and Savior' when having raised the saints among us, He will rejoice with them glorifying the Father."
It is self-evident there is no pretribulational rapture in these statements. Once again, the assumption of pretrib has apparently convinced Jeffrey the citation of Paul from I Thessalonians 4 must be the rapture. Then, because Hippolytus quotes that verse, and that quote has found its way in to Grant Jeffrey's book, certainly that must prove the rapture! In short, this guy is out of his mind.
A simple solution exists, for all we have to do is read Hippolytus to know what he taught, and it's easily seen that Hippolytus expected Christ to come back for His people at the end of the tribulation. Here are his words:
"Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus, 'And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, ... And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.' That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church..."
Hippolytus plainly starts out by referencing the "tribulation...which is to fall upon the Church." This statement occurs shortly before he references the "tyrant," whom he has previously mentioned as the Antichrist, "is to reign and persecute the Church." How plain does he have to be? In another writing, Hippolytus is even more pointed:
"When the times are fulfilled, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last (times), then Antichrist will appear among them. When he makes war against the saints, and persecutes them, then may we expect the manifestation of the Lord from heaven."
Incredibly, Grant Jeffrey takes writings like this, and claims the author believed in, and taught the pre-tribulaton rapture! In fact, it is because of this unyielding insistence, with a complete fixation on this false doctrine, that those who have studied the issue conclude there is truly a cultic component to the belief system. The facts are plain as the very term cultist speaks of someone who clings to a belief that flies in the face of all logic, evidence, and empirical proof - to say nothing of Scripture. I submit that in this regard, Grant Jeffrey is not only an insidiously wicked member of the Rapture Cult, he has profited fabulously from its propagation.
This issue would be actually quite laughable were it not for the severity of the Scriptural admonitions against such misbehaviour. The famous adage about a sucker being born every minute comes to mind.
Most know that when people choose to deceive themselves in silly pursuits of vanity, it's not anyone else's job to set them straight. When a person convinces themselves they are witty and learned, even though all around them can see they are dullards and fools, discretion is usually the best course.
When people deceive themselves concerning the iniquity they don't want to see in their children or spouses, the best course of action is to stand back, and let them reap of the shortsighted foolishness they've sowed.
However, when knowledgeable Christians see other well meaning believers being theologically swindled by charlatans like TBN's Jeffrey, we tend to passionately object because we care about the Gospel. Real people trust these criminal cultists, and real people will bleed real blood, and see real anguish, because they're thoroughly unprepared, both emotionally and spiritually, for what is about to happen.
Every post-tribulationist believer does not necessarily have all the right answers on adjacent prophetic subjects, but the issue of the pre-tribulational rapture is clear and compelling concerning the facts. The fraud that pretrib was taught in ancient times is just that - a calculated fraud. The point is, when we ignore truth, no matter how unpalatable or unpopular it is, we are headed for a terrible place.
I come back to the last portions of the book of Revelation. Although many continue to cry out 'my faith is in Jesus, so who cares if I'm right or wrong about the rapture,' they're ignoring a veritable mountain of Scripture that says there are no liars in the kingdom of God.
The pretrbulational rapture doctrine is a lie of the first magnitude. All who teach it are liars, and all who embrace it are embracing a lie. In that light, we would do well to re-read Revelation 22:
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murders, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:14-15)
I hope you don't love the lie of the rapture, for it will send you to hell. However, if you choose to cling to it and end up in hell, I have no doubt whatsoever that's where you'll find Grant Jeffrey.
-- James Lloyd
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Lying In Laodicea: Rapturism Unmasked
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