I had always promoted the ministry of Paul Wilkinson due to his support for Israel, and I indeed agree that the timing of the rapture in the sequence of prophetic events is certainly important. However, as we have repeatedly stated, it should be a matter for discussion and scholarly dialogue, or academic
symposium where different expositors of God's Word who believe in the doctrine of the rapture but holding differing positions about its timing should, in a Holy Spirit directed spirit of Christian fellowship, address this issue together, as brothers, not as opponents, and much less as malicious slanderers.
The notion that firm rapture believers who are all convinced premillennialists should divide over the question of an event they all solidly believe in, is in itself counterproductive. It is particularly counterproductive at a time where a gamut of figures are teaching either against the doctrine of the rapture (Rick Joyner, Gerald Coates) or teaching it is a divine judgment (Mike Bickel), or teaching Christians to avoid it as a subject altogether (Rick Warren).
For Paul Wilkinson to publicly, on the Internet and on DVD, slander and defame (naming me personally, but including all who are not pretribulational) brethren in the Lord whose ranks would include A.W. Tozer, David Pawson, and many Jewish believers such as Ray Comfort and Marv Rosenthal as "not loving Jesus Christ", as being "teachers of Heresy", and accuse them of having turned towards some variant of Replacement theology concerning our view of Israel is a slanderous and a defamatory outrage. As anyone watching the attack of Paul Wilkinson for themselves on the Internet can verify, he has publicly and viciously born false witness. We very much and most certainly do love Jesus Christ and, no, we positively are not heretics as he rants out.
The notion that men of God such as AW Tozer, David Pawson, Ray Comfort and others, in his blanket attack (although he targets me), do not love Jesus and teach heresy is as ridiculous as it is malicious.
Paul Wilkinson then attempted to, with a near flavor of beatification, proclaim J.N. Darby, the founder of the 'Closed Brethren' cult (exclusive Brethren, whom to this day baptize babies, call themselves the only true church and see all other Christians as false, and who destroy families and marriages) as some great Christian hero.
However, Charles Spurgeon, George Mueller, Dr. Samuel Tregallis, DL Moody and the other great Evangelical luminaries of the 19th century who knew Darby personally, men who were indeed "heroes" publicly warned against Darby and lambasted Darby as the cult leader and false teacher he clearly was - even taking out full page newspaper ads warning the church against this false teacher JN Darby who taught that:
* The Sermon on the Mount and The Epistle of James were not for Christians but, as it were, a part of the Old Testament are only for unsaved Jews.
* The radical cessationist false doctrine that the Gifts of The Spirit no longer exist. Darby was not only against The Gifts of The Spirit (ironically and irrationally Paul Wilkinson is himself a Pentecostal and Darby would have disdained him, as Darby's followers, the Closed Brethren, do to this very day.
* The extreme Calvinistic doctrine of infant baptism.
Yet this same false teacher, John Darby, whom George Mueller and Charles Spurgeon among many others who knew him publicly opposed as a dangerous false teacher is the same figure Paul Wilkinson lauds as the founder of pretribulationism. Paul Wilkinson apparently agrees with other pretrib preachers such as Dr. John Walvoord (former President of Dallas Seminary) and John Mac Arthur that pretribulationism is nowhere plainly taught in scripture and that the pre-Nicean history of the church from the patristic age records also indicate that the Apostles never taught pretribulationism and that it was not the predominant view of the early church if it ever even existed then. Whether we attribute it to Darby or to the Irvingites there is no documented history of pretribulational views ever having been heard of before the 19th century.
Paul Wilkinson had and still has every right to disagree about the timing of the rapture. He also has the right to praise someone against whom Chas. Spurgeon, Geoge Mueller, James Grant, Samuel Tregallis, DL Moody, Benjamine Newton, and other dispensationalists who knew Darby publicly warned against as a very dangerous false teacher, a religious despot, and a cult leader. But Paul Wilkinson has no right to lie, slander, or defame. God calls this "bearing false witness".
As viewers will see on his video, Paul Wilkinson aggressively states that the pretrib rapture is taught in scripture; but hideously he could not show where.
Instead, on the video Paul Wilkinson goes into teaching a demonically inspired poison straight from the pages of the Watchtower magazine of the Jehovah's Witness cult and from the Sabelian 'Jesus Only' cult, that 'The Word of God never plainly teaches the Doctrine of The Trinity either. This is a lie of the devil!
We implore our readers - please do not take our word for any of this, but rather watch Paul Wilkinson's sermon for yourselves on internet where he, without mitigation, states these very words. Viewers will witness Paul Wilkinson emotionally ranting without presenting either any fact or any scripture in context (in what I suppose is an attempt at religious manipulation of some description). In this he categorically denounces and castigates as heretical those he calls non lovers of Christ any (but specifically myself), those not conforming to his idea on the timing or the rapture and not endorsing his laudatory endorsements of John Nelson Darby whom those who knew him such as Mueller, Moody, Newton & Spurgeon warned the church was not only dangerous, but apparently at least somewhat crazy.
Oddly, in his tirade, Paul Wilkinson begins by celebrating his own academic credentials as a Ph.D with a thesis on Darby & Israel but then immediately states he does not seem to know either Hebrew or Greek (I never met a theologian with a doctorate who does not know the original scriptural languages and cannot debate from them), and he denounces those who base their views on exegesis of scripture from the original Greek & Hebrew texts!
Frankly, this is outlandish and would get him laughed out of any serious academic forum with his Ph. D on Darby. While disturbed at his bearing false witness, I actually felt sorry for him in such a public display of folly.
I would point out the greatest living academic expert on The Brethren Movement, Dr. Harold J. Rowden (my own church history professor) who authored the definitive "The History of The Brethren" (in which he grew up), and the Brethren author of 'The Pilgrim Church' EH Broadbent, both took positions diametrically antithetical to the whitewashed hagiography of Paul Wilkinson concerning Darby.
Dr. Rowden once told me that he agreed with my assessment that Darby's hermeneutics were Neo Marcionism. While I did not assert that Darby held to the Christology of the Marcionites, his chopping up the New Testament as he did as sections being functionally part of the Old Testament only for unbelieving Israel and part for the church is the same kind of cut and paste debauchery that defined this ancient heretical sect.
Nonetheless, "Love does not take into account a wrong suffered" (1 Corinthians 13:5). It is beyond any dispute to anyone watching his video that Paul Wilkinson has born false witness. That his blanket charge on his video that those who are not pretribulational (be it myself, Ray Comfort, David Pawson, AW Tozer, Dr. Walter Martin or otherwise) do not love Jesus Christ, teach heresy, and have gone into his definition of replacement theology is slanderous and defamatory. It is so ludicrous that judging from the emails we have been receiving from both sides of the Atlantic, he has discredited himself and done more damage to his reputation and his ministry than we ever could even if we did wished to retaliate, which we do not. Paul Wilkinson's self admitted inability to defend his pretrib position on the basis of pure exegesis from the original biblical languages speaks for itself. We are therefore prepared not to challenge him to open and public debate on any of these things - although I shall most definitely welcome and accept a challenge to debate this issue from him. Our only requirement or pre condition would be that one independent Greek scholar and one independent Hebrew scholar are present as moderators and the debate is open to the general Christian public and takes place in front of a video camera.
However, his dangerously false teaching that represents a serious satanically orchestrated threat to the
Body of Christ that the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be found plainly taught in The Word of God, but which is music to the ears of the Jehovah's Witness and Jesus Only cults that teach the exact same thing.
Among many other passages we have John 14 where Jesus not only teaches the Tri-unity of the Godhead but the dynamic and interplay of all three Persons of the Trinity. God is revealed in, through, and by Christ.
We see the Tri-Unity not only visibly manifested in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, but taught directly by
Jesus Himself in the Great Commission; "Baptizing them in the Name (singular, not plural) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
This false and cultic teaching of Paul Wilkinson, to which he resorts in his slanderous polemics, is very serious and potentially lethal to any who are persuaded by this demonic lie.
It is a lie that I, and most of us, have encountered countless times from 'Jesus Only' heretics and from Jehovah's Witnesses. Now however, it is the same lie being publicly taught by Paul Wilkinson in his assault on those not sharing his rapture timing view where he targets me by name specifically. And this Jehovah's Witness cult lie that Paul Wilkinson has opted for as a weapon in his arsenal of slander and defamation must be refuted by me who he publicly and on the internet addresses by name.
I can let God deal with the slander, defamation, and bearing of false witness. But dangerous JW heresy geared to deceive The Body of Christ we are commanded by God in His Word to refute. (I am sure we can all come up with a list of references in the epistles to this effect).
I therefore, on the basis of his own video recording in the public domain, confront Paul Wilkinson as someone who teaches a cultic false doctrine on the subject of the Trinity which is a plainly stated fundamental truth of scripture, and his teaching to the contrary on his video and on the internet is a demonic Jehovah's Witness cult lie of the devil.
I challenge Paul Wilkinson to defend his deadly lie before the Body of Christ at the podium of fair and open debate. A failure of him to do so will and can only be viewed as both cowardly and hypocritical. He can be proven to have slandered, to have defamed, and to have born false witness. He can also be proven as having resorted to teaching very serious false doctrine in the process.
I have swallowed these lies and insults, even denunciation that I do not love the Lord Jesus, teach heresy, and somehow have turned against Israel were my children were born and where my only son spent two wars as a front line volunteer in a combat brigade. These knife wounds in the back from a man I once counted as my friend and even ally I am willing to endure.
But I cannot endure, without challenge, a deadly heresy that threatens the Body of Christ. This, the Lord in His Word, will not permit me to endure without response.
With great pain & sorrow