Perry Stone Teaches Satan's Lie
Perry Stone in the early part of his Manna-Fest Program # 354 Journey to the Underworld Series Pt. 5 "More Secrets of Paradise " - (Direct Download) cites the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 to prove the dead are not really dead, they are in heaven with Jesus, and will return with Jesus at the rapture. Let's examine what Paul is really teaching.
1 Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
What does Paul mean by "others which have no hope"? This is an important point I will let Paul explain:
1 Cor 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1 Cor 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1 Cor 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1 Cor 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1 Cor 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1 Cor 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1 Cor 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
You see, there were some who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead (see also Matt. 22:23, Mark 12:18, Acts 23:8), they believed that the dead were perished forever, that they were not in heaven in spirit form, they were dead. Those who believed this are the "others which have no hope" in 1 Thess 4:13. They believed the dead were eternally lost. This notion sets the context that Paul gives for 1 Thess 4:14-18.
1 Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
Now, in what sense does Jesus also "bring" the dead with Him? Well, Paul is explaining to his audience that when Jesus returns, the dead will not remain dead in the grave as they suppose, they will, in fact, be resurrected to join the living:
1 Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Th 4:17 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.
1 Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The same kind of language is found in Hebrews and Ezekiel:
Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Ezek 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Ezek 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
Therefore, this is how verse 14 should be understood:
1 Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him [up out of the grave, from the dead].
So Paul is dispelling the notion that some had that the dead could not be saved, because they denied the possibility of resurrection. By teaching there will be a resurrection from the dead, because Jesus was resurrected, Paul was comforting his audience, so that they could comfort each other about the blessed hope of resurrection from the dead.
And just where exactly will the saints be with the Lord after the resurrection?
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am [the Father's house], there ye may be also.
John 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [Jesus and His bride, the church] will come unto him [the Father], and make our abode with him [in the Father's house].
John says that the Father's house is where Jesus will take the saints at the second coming. So Paul in 1 Thess 4:14 is NOT saying that Jesus brings the souls of dead saints from heaven back to earth at His return, rather he is telling those who doubt the resurrection, that Jesus will surely resurrect the dead and bring them and the living righteous with Him to the Father's house, the New Jerusalem. So after the resurrection, then they will ever be with the Lord.
Perry Stone's teaching that the dead are not really dead is actually repeating Satan's lie in the garden of Eden:
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Perry Stone - The Rapture and Firstfruits
Perry Stone in his Manna-Fest Program # 356 Rapture & Law of First Fruits Series Pt. 2- "Controversy About the Rapture" - (Direct Download) teaches that the yet future secret rapture is to be equated with the firstfruits of the harvest, followed later by the main harvest (Rev 14), and then the gleaning of the four corners of the field, which represents the Jewish remnant. Scripture clearly contradicts this teaching. Note the following:
1 Cor 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1 Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Cor 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1 Cor 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
The firstfruits of the resurrection is specifically identified to be Christ Himself, nearly 2000 years ago, in verses 20 and 23. Then, as verse 23 makes plain, at His second coming the whole of the righteous dead in Christ are resurrected. There is no future secret rapture of saints taught in this passage that precedes the second coming.
Now note the following description of Passover, 14,15 and 16 Nisan:
Lev 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month [Nisan] at even is the Lord's passover.
Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
Lev 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein [15 Nisan to be a sabbath].
Lev 23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Lev 23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath [16 Nisan] the priest shall wave it.
- On 14 Nisan Jesus was crucified and buried.
- On 15 Nisan, a sabbath day, Jesus rested in the tomb.
- On 16 Nisan (firstfruits) Jesus was resurrected, and Paul calls Him the firstfruits:1 Cor 15:20, 23.
Interestingly enough, note what happened after the crucifixion of Christ:
Mat 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Mat 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The graves of a select group of saints were opened when Christ died on 14 Nisan. This corresponds to the selection of the firstfruits of the barley harvest, the first to be harvested. However those saints were not resurrected until after Christ Himself was raised early on 16 Nisan, the day the firstfruits sheaf was waved by the priest. The saints raised from the dead on 16 Nisan comprised the harvested firstfruits sheaf, waved triumphantly in victory over the grave by Jesus our High Priest.
So, the firstfruits of the resurrection harvest happened on 16 Nisan nearly two thousand years ago with Christ's resurrection. It is not an event that awaits a future fulfillment.
In his Manna-Fest Program # 358, Rapture & Law of First Fruits Series Pt. 4- "Harvest, First Fruits, Rain and the Rapture" - (Direct Download), Perry refers to the Hebrew marriage customs, and briefly mentions that the groom builds a chamber in his father's house. When it is completed and the time is right, the groom, a symbol of Christ, escorts his bride, a symbol for the church, from her house to the father of the groom's house, symbolic of the New Jerusalem, in heaven, to the chamber He has prepared.
Take note that there is only one wedding feast, for the entire bride of Christ, and those who are not prepared when the groom comes for His bride will be locked out, as the parable of the ten virgins demonstrates (Matt 25:1-13). There is no second chance to be included in the wedding feast.
So, as John 14:1-6 states, Jesus is preparing a place (for His bride) in His Father's house. And when He returns, He will escort His bride to the marriage feast, which will not be held at the bride's house (earth), but at God the Father's house, New Jerusalem in heaven, where the preparations have been made. This is where the righteous spend the millennium, in heaven, not on earth:
Rev 20:4 ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Perry also briefly mentions the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt 13:24-30, 36-43). Note that according to the parable, the tares (the wicked), are gathered first and burned. The wheat (the righteous) are not harvested first, leaving behind the lost unbelievers to wonder what happened, as the secret rapture proponents teach. The parable teaches clearly that the wicked are all slain at the second coming, there will not be one of the wicked left alive:
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus directly contradicts the false secret rapture teaching, if you have ears to hear.
The Truth About The Rapture.
What Really Happens When You Die?
The Witch of Endor, a Familiar Spirit, and the State of the Dead.
The Souls Under The Altar
The Biblical Truth About Hell.