Right Division of the Bible Confirms the Rapture of the Church Body of Christ BEFORE Israel’s Tribulation

Dr. Mike Johnston

Beginning my Christian study life under the delusion that the church Body would have to endure the tribulation, I have found a few things over the past 40 plus years that have awakened me to the error I once labored under. Case in point: Misunderstanding about the Rapture is grounded in wrongly dividing the Word of truth. Let me explain briefly what this means.

Understanding right division as given us through prophecy for Israel and mystery for the Body is the proper foundation for rightly dividing between the Old and New Testaments. But this division has caused other division as Bible teachers have reduced Second Timothy Two-fifteen to a catch phrase without really employing it in their studies. The result of this has rendered to us con-clusions suspect from the outset since they were obtained from study using an improper dichotomy between the Testaments as I’m about to explain.

Conventional wisdom convinced us that the Old Testament is for Israel – which is true, but that it ended with Malachi, which is NOT true. The New Testament didn’t begin until the death of Christ the Testator (Matt. 27; see Hebrews 9:16-17).   Now traditionalists will contend this is inconsequential nonsense – and for them it probably is. However, for those of us committed to right division, we understand that ignoring this facilitates error by basing our study on an improper division between testaments that can only lead to wrong interpretations and improper conclusions. One example ignored routinely is the division between the Testaments.

Since the NT didn’t begin until sometime after the crucifixion, Jesus’ teachings are a furtherance of the Old Covenant narrative (we will discuss later) extend-ing through the Gospel of John. This includes the Sermon on the Mount, Mys-teries of the Kingdom, and the Olivet Discourse.

Rightly dividing the word of truth begins by understanding the right division between the Old and New Testaments then employing the right principles to identify the correct program, covering the proper time period, employing the appropriate gospel message which further demonstrates why the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation.

Rightly Dividing Between Two Programs: Prophecy and Mystery
God’s primary division for studying His Word is hidden in plain sight in the opening verse of Scripture: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Although Bible scholars like Darby, Scofield, Torrey and many others have recognized a number of dispensations (see Appendix  ) two dominant programs God has used since the world began:

1. The Prophecy program for Israel predicting a coming earthly kingdom:
“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21)). 2. The Mystery program for the Body of Christ promising a heavenly inheritance:

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25).

Both of these programs – or dispensations – have separate participants, pur-poses and ordinances (Jer. 33:25); existing “since the world began” (Acts 3:21; Rom. 16:25), which more detail will be given later.

Now here’s the essence of right division: God’s plan is to rule earth for one thousand years. In the Providential panorama, all non-Pauline Scripture exists to explain or enhance the prophetic program for Israel leading to the coming King and earthly kingdom.

Quick synopsis

God established the mystery Body of Christ from the beginning of creation: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7). How-ever, He hid it from the prophets (Colossians 1:26) in order to reveal it to Paul alone “… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25); “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” Due to rejecting her Messiah as prophesied by Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27), Israel is currently blind to the mystery for a certain period known only to God: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery … that blind-ness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). When this happens, the Body of Christ that appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) will disappear in a mystery known as the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51) and Daniel’s prophecy clock will commence where it left off at the 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27). Unfortunately, many in the Body of Christ are equally blind to right division between prophecy and mystery and will fight tooth and nail – to their own doctrinal detriment – against our teaching it.  “… even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath writ-ten unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)

Books promoting right division available at: http://pmiministries.com/books.htm

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