(Photo: Wake Up Ministries)
With a growing number of authors and theologians releasing books about doomsday and rapture predictions, one title that stands out is by the Rev. Gerald Haug, who insists the world is not ending any time soon and that religious leaders teaching otherwise are doing damage to the church.
Haug's book, Ortho-Millennialism: Bringing Order to End-Time Chaos, focuses on analyzing the books of the Bible that might offer clues on the timing of the Rapture, when followers of Jesus will be caught up to meet him in the air – and the reverend says his work dispels all speculation and proves with absolute certainty that Jesus will not be returning to Earth for at least another 100 years.
Haug, a member of the Assemblies of God convention, the largest collection of Pentecostal denominations with some 62 million members worldwide, shared in an interview with The Christian Post that he has spoken about his book to thousands at his assembly and has convinced them of the validity of his work.
Haug had searched for truth in his studies for a long time before becoming a committed Christian – at various points in his life, he had been a Communist, a Buddhist and an Existentialist.
"I became a Christian about 11 years ago. A pastor was speaking about the end times. He was talking about a pre-millennial view, and I immediately knew there was something not right about his presentation – because it lacked faith," Haug said, looking back.
"It was a process. I did a mission in Siberia, and then I went back to Bible school. At Bible school, I really prayed about the topic – and God put a burden on my heart to write a book about the end times, and this is the culmination of that work," he said, turning the discussion to Ortho-Millennialism: Bringing Order to End-Time Chaos.
"It addresses all end times issues and brings complete clarity to a problem that has not been seen before. The book shows that the world is not ending any time soon," Haug explained.
"The key to understanding end times prophecies is not as difficult as people imagine. You have to have a good understanding of the Book of Daniel. I expand on Daniel at a great length, which lays the foundations for understanding the Book of Revelation."
The reverend commented that Jesus talked about coming to establish a kingdom.
Haug explained, "A major theme in Matthew is this 'coming of the Kingdom.' Most of the church talks about salvation – which is an important theme in the Bible, but Matthew is about the Kingdom. That is the first theme – salvation is the secondary theme.
"If you do not understand this – you will not be in a position to properly understand end times doctrine. There is nothing speculative in the book – talking about how the world is going to end tomorrow, or crazy stuff like that – it is completely biblically based, and I have been able to convince many people in the Assemblies of God that this book needed to be promoted."
It is likely that many will be surprised by the real Rapture events, the author said.
"Many people think that what's going to happen is that at some point Jesus is going to return and cause the Rapture – which means that at some point, all the Christians on the planet Earth will go up to heaven, while all the sinners will be left behind. That's what they think that means," Haug began.
"The word 'rapture' in the Greek language is 'harpazo,' which is used 14-15 times in the New Testament. But if you understand how that word us used in the New Testament, you will never come to the conclusion that it means (that Jesus will take the people). This 'Rapture' concept was heavily promoted in the 19th century by a man named Scofield, and it is basically an unbiblical doctrine," he explained.
C.I. Scofield taught a pre-tribulation view of the Rapture that was embraced by John Nelson Darby, an early leader of a Fundamentalist movement, that became known as Dispensationalism. This Protestant view, that followers of Christ would be removed before God enacts judgment on the Earth, was widely distributed in England and America in the 19th century.
Haug insisted that this doctrine was never mentioned in the early church, it was never discussed by the reformers, and it was never discussed until the 1800s.
"So how could have the church missed such a basic doctrine?" he asked.
"Modern Christians are doing the same mistake as the Pharisees, who were religious scholars in the time of Jesus. They expected a Messiah that would overthrow the Roman Empire – so they did not know how to read the Scriptures either," Haug said.
Dismissing both Mayan 2012 doomsday prophecies and Family Radio Bible teacher Harold Camping's predictions that the world was going to end last year (on at least two different occasions), Haug insisted that the world will not see the end times any time soon.
"The world is not ending before the year 2100. The world is going to continue on easily for another 100 years," the author claimed.
"There is no speculation in my book. It dispels any speculation. What these modern TV preachers talk about is utter nonsense – they are not understanding Revelation correctly. It is all absolutely wrong, it is unbiblical, ungodly, and it is a deception being forced on the church which is undermining people's faith in God. That's how serious it is," he warned.