The Reverend John Spender and the Rapture

June 11, 2008 at 5:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Last month I was fortunate to run into the Reverend John Spender at Mascot Airport prior to him catching a plane to New York. John is the esteemed brother of Sir Ernest Spender, a person well known to the readers of this blog.


The Reverend John Spender ministers to a small congregation of members of the Free Independent Apostolic Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Jackson County, Alabama, and is on a world-wide mission preaching the Second Coming and Rapture of the Lord to all willing to hear him.


In appearance John is not unlike his brother, and like Ernest, he is an old boy of Charterhouse, however, with the years he has lived in the States, he has largely lost his public school accent and now speaks in tones distinctly Southern States American. Reverend John is a man of middle height, thick set and energetic, all in all a formidable and impressive person.


I was anxious to get as much as I could from John about his Second Coming beliefs, but given the extreme limitations of time we both realized that my interview would only allow a superficial discussion. I had only about twenty minutes with him before he had to catch his plane.



David Wall: Rev. John, do you mind if I call you John?


Rev. John   : Call me anything as long as you don’t forget to call me when you hear the trumpet of the Lord.


David:  What makes you think I’ll hear it and not you?


John:  Very true, David, all believers shall hear it and I can see that you are a believer.


David: Thank you, John. But are the Rapture and the Second Coming biblical? I guess they are one and the same.


John: Yes. It is true that the Bible does not mention the word Rapture but the word Parousia or catch up is there. The sounds of the Parousia are clearly mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “The Lord will descend with a shout.” The first sound is directed to the saints. In the second sound we hear the voice of the archangel and old Satan will know this. The third sound will be that of a trumpet, a summons for all sinners.


David:  No doubt you would call yourself a Premillennialist and what I want to know in particular is do you follow the dispensationalist interpretation of scripture?


John: David, I won’t be labelled but what I will say is that the Rapture is a doctrine of the early Church fathers and the New Testament. The eschatology of the early Church held that the coming of the Lord precedes and introduces the millennium. Irenaeus taught this years before Origen and Augustine put forward their amillennialism. In John 14:20-21 the Lord tells us that He will come again.


David: John, can you put a timing on the Rapture and the Coming of the Lord?


John: As I said earlier, I won’t be labelled. The time factors are unimportant. Questions about if it is imminent or not can only be answered with reference to scripture, while taking into account the Pre-Tribulation. I’ll give you two references, Ezekiel 38 and Thessalonians 2 as pre-conditional circumstances that must occur before the Lord returns. There will be peace in Israel and a great falling away with the coming of the AntiChrist.

We know that there is not peace in Israel yet, but think about the amillennial position of all the major churches. Their eschatology is fundamentally false, so you can imagine what this does to their doctrine. In this very city of Sydney, Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, claims to be a biblical Christian while holding an amillennial position, and of course, an amillennial eschatology is the doctrine of the Roman Church upheld by Cardinal George Pell. From this false eschatological stance the mainline churches have all gone on to support the false theory of evolution. You might well see this as a great falling away.


(As we were talking there was a call for all passengers on United Airways flight 702 to New York to go to customs. This was John’s plane, so he had to leave.)


David: John, thank you so much but just two last questions: do you have any contact with Sir Ernest, your brother, and I’ve often wondered why you, who anyone can see, is a healthy red-blooded male, is still living in the single state?


John; Ernest, as you know has chosen a New-Age philosophy, and way of life, essentially a luciferian path to darkness. I don’t know if you have been to Berlin but if you go there just ask where the Seat of Satan is. I pray for Ernest. You ask why I’m still unmarried. Well the short answer is that I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord in expectation of His Second Coming. A union with a good Christian woman is a holy state for most believers, but like the Lord Himself I have chosen his way. David, it’s been great our little chat, but I must away.


David: John, Godspeed.


(With this John bounded off and I couldn’t help thinking how lucky the parishioners of his church back in Alabama were to have such a pastor.)



  1. George Brown said,

    I would like to elaborate on a point made by Reverend John Spender by quoting from an essay: RAPTURE AND PAROUSIA – ARE THEY BIBLICAL CONCEPTS?
    “But what does the Bible say about rapture and parousia – are they biblical concepts? The Greek word parousia appears 24 times in the New Testament. It meant both “coming” and “presence” – in the 1769 KJ version, it is translated 22 times as “coming”, and 2 times as “presence”. So, parousia certainly is a biblical word – but that does not mean that the different, popular dogmas regarding that word would be biblical.”
    I’m still trying to trace the author of this essay but I hope the above excerpt adds support to what Rev John said in the interview.

  2. David Wall Jnr said,

    One has to pity the good people: the followers of the right way to being “Raptured”, who may need to face an impossible dilemma. A follower destined for Rapture – the Rapturite if you will – perhaps married to, friend of or parent to another fallen or a least swayed from the Godly path could fall prey to the temptation of supporting the said person through the inevitable punishment at hand.

    There’s no arguing that the suffering is self-inflicted – the Word is sufficiently publicized, has been around long enough and is accessible enough for any person to follow. It may be less accessible in remote areas, but the Lord has clearly answered, reaching out further in our modern age where even the deepest jungles of PNG can connect wirelessly through mobile devices, satellites and the internet. He has indeed embraced us all. Unfortunately the good Christian, innately emphatic will prefer to sacrifice him / herself for the support of others less fortunate, even to those who have clearly signed there own fate. But how can one stop one’s prescribed rapture?

    Concerned organizations are believed to be developing an anti-rapture material – a complex combination of metals that unfortunately can only be fashioned through secret, esoteric rituals not condoned by the Church. Apparently it also works well as an insulation material for inner linings of your home. At present, the material is costly, so the poorer Rapturites may need to look for other less favorable alternatives.

    The other option is to sin. A very difficult approach for many, however the good news is greater or lesser sins are available to choose from. My preference would have to be gluttony. The only drawback with gluttony is one questions whether it can be performed within the short time frame between the heralding trumpets and the Rapture. This is a question only for the Lord himself could answer.

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