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5 Theologians on the Child of Revelation 12

September 8, 2017 Leave a comment

 

August 30, 2017

Last weekend one of my favorite pastors implied that “Every conservative theologian that’s worth reading…” interprets Revelation 12 in a way contrary to how those of us following the sign do. Among other things this pastor was quite adamant that Revelation 12 is simply talking about the birth and ascension of Jesus Christ, and has nothing to do with the rapture of the Church.  In his words this view is “longtime held, conservative, orthodox eschatology.”

Well, I would like to address that statement…

Wait….who cares what I have to say?  How about we let some longtime, conservative, orthodox, eschatology teachers address the subject!  And when I say longtime, well, you’ll see what I mean…

  1. John Nelson Darby (1855)

“If the mighty man, the mystic man, the man-child of Revelation xii. is to act [in judging the world with a rod of iron], He must first be complete (of course He is so, essentially so, in Himself, but as Head over all things to the Church which is His body). The head and the body must be united before He can act as having this title before the world; because the mystic man as a whole cannot take it until the Church is taken up to Him. For not until then—until the Church, the body, is united to the Head, Christ, in heaven—is the mystic man in that sense complete; and therefore, the Church must be taken up before Christ can come in judgment. ”

And this…

“In the chapter we have read, you have first Christ Himself and the church, figured in the man-child; and then in the woman who flees from persecution for 1260 days you have the Jewish remnant, those who are spared in the time of judgment but are not yet brought into glory.”

And this…

“I have no doubt that the “man child” spoken of in the chapter that we have been reading includes the church as well as Christ. But it is Christ that is principally meant, for the church would be nothing without Christ; it would be a body without a head. It is Christ who has been caught up; but the church is included, for whenever He begins to act publicly, even as regards Satan being cast down, He must have His body, His bride, with Him; He must have His brethren, His joint-heirs.”

Reference: John Nelson Darby, Seven Lectures on the Prophetical Addresses to the Seven Churches (3d rev. ed.; London: G. Morrish, c. 1855)

  1. William Kelly (1870)

“On this principle then I cannot but consider that the rapture of the man-child to God and His throne involves the rapture of the church in itself. The explanation why it is thus introduced here depends on the truth that Christ and the church are one, and have a common destiny. Inasmuch as He went up to heaven, so also the church is to be caught up.”

Reference: William Kelly, Lectures Introductory to the Study of the Acts, the Catholic Epistles, and the Revelation (London: W. H. Broom, 1870)

  1. Richard Chester (1882)

“Now if the male Man-child of Rev. xii. is to be regarded as solely representing the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens, as some interpreters affirm; or as representing the visible Christian Church exalted into political power, as taught by others, it were not easy to establish any parallelism, or any correspondence whatsoever between Zech. iii. and Rev. xii. But if the Man-child represents, as is the belief of many students of prophecy, the entire body of “the dead in Christ” raised, and the living in Christ who shall be changed, and both together caught up to meet Him in the air—or if, as I have suggested in the article above referred to—he is to be rather regarded as a portion of the Jewish people—of “the remnant according to the election of grace” incorporated by conversion to Christ into the Church of this dispensation—and thus “brought forth”—“born again,”—and then, “caught up to God and to His throne,” in the rapture of the risen and living saints of 1 Thess. iv.—then, in either of these cases, I submit that this vision of Zechariah iii. corresponds most accurately.”

Richard Chester, “Old Testament Light on New Testament Prophecy,” The Prophetic News and Israel’s Watchman (December, 1882)

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
Revelation 12:5

  1. Harry Ironside (1919)

“I have read or carefully examined several hundred books purporting to expound the Revelation. I have learned to look upon this twelfth chapter as the crucial test in regard to the correct prophetic outline. If the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man-child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them.”

And this…

“If we allow Scripture itself to answer, we find there is a person and a company of people answering to this description. In the 2d Psalm Jehovah says to Messiah, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (vers. 7–9). This, clearly enough, is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is soon to reign over all the earth, and undoubtedly He is primarily the Man-child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and the special object of Satan’s malignity. But we have already seen, in Rev. 2:26–28, that when He reigns He will not reign alone. . . . Is there then any incongruity in understanding the man-child to represent both Christ Jesus our Lord and His church? Surely not, for He is the Head of the body, the church, which is the fullness, or completion of Himself, so that the title, “The Church” is applied to both head and body viewed as one in 1 Cor. 12:12. . . . We may then, on the authority of Scripture itself, safely affirm that the man-child represents the one New Man who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron—Christ, the Head, and the church, His body. If this be so, then it is impossible that the woman should symbolize the church.”

And this…

“We have seen that the man-child symbolizes both Head and body—the complete Christ. Therefore, as in other prophecies, the entire present dispensation is passed over in silence, and the church is represented in its Head, caught up with Christ. For immediately after this, Satan, again acting through the Roman Empire which is to be revived in the last days, turns upon the woman Israel and seeks to vent his wrath and indignation against her.”

Reference: Harry A. Ironside, Lectures on the Revelation (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1919)

Quotes 1-4 were compiled by Dr Michael Svigel, a Department Chair and Associate Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.  You can read more context surrounding those quotes (and many more which weren’t included) here:
Proof of the Rapture in Revelation 12

UPDATE: Unsealed.org just put up an amazing post listing 15 Conservative Scholars who agreed that the Male Child of Rev 12:5 Represented The Church. Be sure out that expanded list out as well!!

Here is the link:
http://www.unsealed.org/2017/08/conservative-scholars-agree-male-child.html

  1. Chuck Missler (approx. 2005) / G. H. Pember (1884)

We need one guy who is still living, don’t we?   One of the greatest teachers of our lifetime, Chuck Missler, says the following about Rev 12:5…  He references a fairly famous book written in the 1800’s by G.H. Pember:

“I always USED TO view that as the ascension of Our Lord.  But there is a guy by the name of Pember who wrote a book about Genesis, Earth’s Earliest Ages.  And it BLEW ME AWAY because he see’s this differently and I don’t know that he’s wrong.  He see’s… that child… as the Body of Christ.  He see’s in that The Rapture.   Isn’t that wild?  And it doesn’t alter the text because what happens from verse 6 on is Tribulational.”

Listen to the quote for yourself here: (58 seconds)

Source: https://rev12daily.blogspot.com/2017/08/5-theologians-on-child-of-revelation-12.html

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth- Dr. CI Scofield

September 6, 2017 Leave a comment

“Scofield, Cyrus Ingerson (1843-1921), Bible student and author, born in Lenawee County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible.” (From “The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church,” page 362, Elgin S. Moyer, 1982, © Moody Press, Chicago, IL)

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth by C. I. Scofield, first published in 1896, is a monumental work that explains the important divisions in scripture.

Click here to read C.I. Scofield’s “The Biggest Failure of the Church Age”


Table of Contents

Introduction

When Did the Church Body of Christ Begin?

September 6, 2017 Leave a comment

by Shawn Brasseaux

Was it Acts 2? Acts 9? Acts 13? Acts 18? Acts 28? Or later? In this Bible study, we hope to clear up the confusion surrounding this issue.

Nearly everyone in Christendom is convinced that Acts chapter 2 is “the birthday of the Church the Body of Christ” (here is a link to our study specially dedicated to refuting the “Acts 2” position, which is beyond the scope of this discussion). While there seems to be an anti-Acts-2 consensus within the so-called “grace movement,” there is often little clarity as to when the Church the Body of Christ did begin; that is, among grace believers, there is an overwhelming agreement that the Body of Christ did not begin in Acts chapter 2, but very few of these Christians can actually state with certainty when it did begin. Hence, the general term “mid-Acts dispensationalism” is applied, for some hold an “Acts 9” view, others believe in an “Acts 13” view, and still others an “Acts 18” view. There are even some who hold to “Acts 28” view, or something beyond Acts 28. It is very sad that many grace Christians seem to be guilty of being just as fragmented as the denominationalists they often deride. “When did the Church the Body of Christ begin?” is such a simple question with a simple answer, but it seems like very few are aware that God already settled the matter almost 2,000 years ago. Beloved, we grace believers must not allow denominationalism to divide us, lest we discredit ourselves and the message we so fervently claim to believe!

It is of utmost importance to our discussion to remember that the term “the Church the Body of Christ” is never found outside of Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. James, Peter, and John never mentioned it in their epistles. In fact, Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry (recorded in Matthew through John) never mentioned it (the overwhelming Scriptural testimony is that Matthew 16:18 is not the Body of Christ). In his epistles, the Apostle Paul made over 20 references to “the Church the Body of Christ” by name (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 12:4,5; 1 Corinthians 10:17; 1 Corinthians 12:12,13,14,15,27; Ephesians 1:22,23; Ephesians 2:16; Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 4:4,12,16; Ephesians 4:16; Ephesians 5:23,30; Colossians 1:18,24; Colossians 2:19; Colossians 3:15). Save Paul, no other Bible writer uses the term “the Church the Body of Christ.” Since only Paul uses that term, he seems to know more about it than anyone else in Scripture, so should we not allow Paul to tell us when it began? Rather than blindly agreeing with a grace preacher or a grace church’s doctrinal statement, we need to believe what the Holy Spirit through Paul taught and believed concerning the beginning of the Church the Body of Christ.

1. PAUL’S SALVATION IS OUR “PATTERN”

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15-16: “[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

Notice the four very important words in the passage quoted above:

  1. “chief” — The word “chief” means “first, primary” (such as in Acts 14:12). For any “Greekophile,” the Greek word translated “chief” in 1 Timothy 1:16 is protos, meaning “beginning or foremost.” It does not mean “worst” as commonly thought.
  2. “first” — Means just what it says; it is the “earliest.”
  3. “pattern” — A “pattern” is “an example for others to follow.”
  4. “hereafter” — “Hereafter” is an adverb meaning, “from now on.”

These four terms are four different ways of saying the same thing—something new began with Paul. Paul was the “chief,” the “first,” the “pattern to them which should hereafter [that is, after Paul] believe on him [Jesus Christ] to life everlasting.” When Paul wrote, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief,” he was not saying that he was the worst of all sinners. In the context (look again at the four key terms highlighted above), what he meant was that he was the first of all sinners Jesus Christ saved. Yet, how could that be? What about the 12 apostles? Were they not sinners saved by God years prior to Paul? Yes, they were, but the manner by which Paul was saved, and the purpose to which Paul was saved, were different than those before him. Jesus Christ saved Paul and those after him with a special plan in mind.

The Scriptures could not be plainer that something new began with Paul’s salvation in Acts 9. Paul was the “first.” The first of what? The only sensible answer is the first member of the Church the Body of Christ (the only other group of believers God has in His Word is the redeemed nation Israel, and Israel is fallen at this point; the Church the Body of Christ had to be created in order to save Saul of Tarsus and make him Paul the Apostle). Paul was the first individual to be saved apart from Israel’s program. There had to have been a new program in Acts 9, otherwise Paul could not be saved unto eternal life (more on this later). The Holy Spirit said that Paul’s salvation is our “pattern.” Are we members of the nation Israel? No. Do we belong to Israel’s program? No. According to the Holy Spirit, and according to Paul himself, Paul was saved the same way we are—apart from Israel (1 Corinthians 15:8; Galatians 1:15) and apart from her program (1 Timothy 1:13-16 cf. Matthew 12:31-32; Romans 11:11-13; 1 Corinthians 1:17 cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:14-15 cf. Matthew 5:17-19; et cetera).

2. PAUL COULD NOT BE SAVED IN ISRAEL’S PROGRAM

In Galatians 1:15-16, Paul writes, “[15] But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, [16] To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:…” In 1 Corinthians 15:8, Paul wrote, “And last of all he [the resurrected Jesus Christ] was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” Paul was not a part of Israel or her program. God “killed” Israel, as one would take the life of a pregnant woman, and He delivered her unborn child, in this case, Saul of Tarsus (Paul). (Look at the “stillborn” birth Job longed for in Job 3:16, “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been….”).

The Lord Jesus said to the nation Israel in Matthew 12:31-32: “[31] Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. [32] And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Saul/Paul encouraged the murder of Stephen, and he was guilty of blaspheming against the Holy Ghost. After all, Jewish Saul was leading the world’s rebellion against Jesus Christ (see Acts 7:57-60; Acts 8:1-4; Acts 9:1-5; Acts 22:3-7; Acts 26:9-11; et cetera). Paul wrote that he was a “blasphemer” in 1 Timothy 1:13. Paul was saved, but he blasphemed against the Holy Spirit! So, how was Paul saved, and yet, how could it not break Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:31-32? Paul could not be saved in Israel’s program, for it would contradict Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:31-32; nevertheless, God opened our Dispensation of Grace, a program separate from Israel’s program, in Acts 9, and saved Saul/Paul. Saul/the Apostle Paul could only be saved if God interrupted Israel’s program with a new program, and if he was placed into a new group of believers. Paul was saved in our dispensation, not in Israel’s program; he was saved in the Church the Body of Christ, not in the nation Israel. Certainly, a new dispensation was in effect in Acts 9.

3. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JEW AND GENTILE IN PAUL’S MINISTRY, WHETHER DURING ACTS OR POST-ACTS

When understanding the beginning of the Church the Body of Christ, we need to determine what the Church the Body of Christ is. From Paul’s epistles, we learn that it is a spiritual, invisible body of believers in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, who have trusted exclusively in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for their sins (Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Consider the following verses found in Paul’s epistles:

Romans 3:22: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (Written during Acts.)

1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (Written during Acts.)

Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Written during Acts.)

Galatians 6:15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Written during Acts.)

Ephesians 2:11-17: “[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. [14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off [Gentiles], and to them that were nigh [Jews].” (Written after Acts.)

Colossians 3:10-11: “[10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: [11] Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (Written after Acts.)

The distinction between Jew and Gentile (“Greek” delineated the prominent Gentile nationality of that day, as in the Graeco-Roman Empire) was abolished with Paul’s ministry: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Romans 3:22). Paul was “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13)—Paul wrote Romans during the Acts period. Israel had fallen back in Acts chapter 7 and was now “diminishing” (see Romans 11:11-12), so any lost Jews were technically Gentiles. In Acts chapter 15, Paul agreed to minister to the “heathen” (Galatians 2:9)—this would be anyone who was not a member of Israel’s little flock, her believing remnant. A Jew who had not trusted Jesus as Messiah was still just as much a “heathen”—a child of the Devil, and an enemy of the God of the Bible—as a lost non-Jew (Gentile) (see John 8:44, Acts 13:10, and Ephesians 2:1-3).

Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, had been one of those Christ-rejecting Jews, a heathen just as sinful before God as a Gentile. Paul’s ministry and message were directed toward any Christ-rejecting lost people—Jews or Gentiles. This distinction of Jew and Gentile being done away could only be possible if Israel’s program were fallen; the distinction between Jew and Gentile is always indicative of “time past” (Ephesians 2:11-12). The Church the Body of Christ had to have begun at the very beginning of Paul’s ministry, otherwise those to whom he ministered could not be saved. Yea, Paul himself could not be saved if a new program (the Dispensation of Grace) and a new agency (the Church the Body of Christ) had not begun back in Acts chapter 9.

4. PAUL’S INCLUSION IN THE RAPTURE

Paul considered himself to be a member of the Church the Body of Christ because he mentioned himself in reference to the Rapture. The Rapture of the Church the Body of Christ does not involve Israel or her prophetic program; the Rapture actually prevents our mystery program from overlapping with Israel’s program. Had the Body of Christ began after Paul was saved in Acts chapter 9—such as in Acts chapter 13, Acts chapter 18, or Acts chapter 28 or beyond—it would make no sense for Paul to be including himself in the Rapture. Paul had a hope to be included with the members of the Church the Body of Christ at the Rapture. He says “we” not “you” throughout 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18—Paul included himself in the Rapture, which is exclusively Body-of-Christ doctrine (verses 15 and 17). In fact, remember what Paul wrote, “For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13)—Paul did not use the pronoun, “you,” indicating that he included himself in the Church the Body of Christ. Paul mentioned God blessing “us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3)—this is the Body of Christ doctrine, and when he wrote that God “blessed us with all spiritual blessings,” he included himself. “For we are members of his body” (Ephesians 5:30)—Paul included himself in the Body of Christ. To have the Body of Christ begin after Paul’s salvation is to ignore the many verses that indicate that Paul was a member of the Body of Christ.

5. THE DANGERS OF STARTING THE BODY OF CHRIST AFTER ACTS 9 (SUCH AS ACTS 13, ACTS 18, ACTS 28, OR BEYOND)

To begin the Church the Body of Christ at some time other than Acts chapter 9 is to ignore the foregoing verses and passages. Furthermore, a non-Acts-9 view of the Body of Christ will introduce increasing confusion into your Christian life and the lives of those around you. You lose Paul’s salvation as your pattern, you make your Christian life less clear, and you make the transitional period of Acts more confusing. Without going into too much detail, we will briefly comment about the “Acts 13,” “Acts 18,” and “Acts 28” positions:

ACTS 13.

This position is taken because Paul began his apostolic journeys at the beginning of this chapter. Furthermore, Acts 13:46 is used to justify this position: “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Some use this verse to contend that Paul will go unto Gentiles from this time on, so the Gentile body of Christ could not begin until Acts chapter 13. Still, we understand that Paul was considered a Gentile because he had rejected Jesus Christ and was a “heathen” (Israel had fallen in Acts 7, see Point #2, “Paul could not be saved in Israel’s program”). Moreover, the Body of Christ had already begun with Paul’s salvation in Acts 9 (see previous comments). Had the Body of Christ begun in Acts chapter 13, Paul could not have been saved unto eternal life. The clear teaching of Acts 13:46 is this—it was Paul’s announcement to unbelieving Israel in Asia (modern-day Turkey) that God had now changed His dealings with mankind, that Israel was now fallen and diminishing. Nothing more.

ACTS 18.

Acts 18:8 is used to teach that the Gentile Body of Christ began in Acts 18: “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” Yet, by this time, Paul had already gone to Gentiles—he spoke with the pagan Greeks in Athens in Acts chapter 17. In Acts 18:8, Paul was not saying that the Body of Christ was now beginning. He was simply announcing in a new region (Europe) to unbelieving Israel that his ministry was amongst Gentiles. He was speaking to a new Jewish audience to inform them that JEHOVAH God had now changed His dealings with mankind, that Israel was now fallen and diminishing. To begin the Church the Body of Christ in Acts chapter 18 is to divorce ourselves from Paul’s earliest epistles—Thessalonians and Galatians.

ACTS 28.

Acts 28:28 is used to support the Acts 28 position: “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” This does not say that God’s salvation will go to the Gentiles; by this time, we have seen that it has already gone to the Gentiles and is going to the Gentiles (recall our earlier comments). The Body of Christ had begun long before Paul announced those words in Acts 28:28—some 30 years earlier actually. Acts 28:28 was Paul speaking in Rome, the world’s capital at this time. “Acts 28” is a particularly dangerous position to take because it divorces you from Paul’s Acts epistles (Galatians, Thessalonians, Corinthians, and Romans) and makes you believe they are not to or about you—Paul never divides his epistles between one section of the Body of Christ in Acts and another section of the Body of Christ after Acts. The admonition in 2 Timothy 2:15 refers to all of the Bible, and does not teach “rightly dividing” Paul’s epistles.

Acts 13:46, Acts 18:8, and Acts 28:28 are not the beginning of the Body of Christ and, despite what some “grace” people may tell you, they are not indicative of such. These three verses should be considered one unit, for they comprise a three-fold announcement that the Apostle Paul made to unbelieving Israel in three separate regions. God was now going and had gone to the Gentiles, and Israel’s prophetic program was diminishing. By the time of Acts 28, that transition period was over. How clear, how simple!

CONCLUSION

We so-called “mid-Acts dispensationalists” agree that the Church the Body of Christ did not begin in Acts chapter 2 (as “traditional dispensationalism” teaches). Yet, there is often great confusion and doubt concerning when it did begin (hence the broad term “mid-Acts”). Some say it was Acts chapter 9, others Acts chapter 13, still others Acts chapter 18, and some even say Acts chapter 28 or later. Indeed, it sounds just as bad as denominationalism in Christendom! Mid-Acts dispensationalists often blame traditionalists (denominational people) for holding to the “traditions of men” to advance a particular church’s viewpoint regarding Scripture. Sadly, however, some so-called “mid-Acts dispensationalists” are just as guilty of this error. One glance at the “Acts 9/13/18/28” controversy demonstrates that religious tradition and preconceived notions often deceive, divide, and defeat us “mid-Acts dispensationalists” just as it does denominational Christendom.

Honestly, some years ago, when I first learned of the Acts 9/13/18/28 division within “grace circles,” I grew very discouraged. I had left my religious confusion in a denominational church behind, only to wind up with more confusion parading as “grace doctrine.” I wanted to know when the Church the Body of Christ began so that I could then determine what parts of the Bible on which to focus the most. It took me at least two or three years to finally learn the truth about the matter (during that time, many “grace people” were telling me different things, and they seemed to be just as confused as I was). When I finally studied the Scriptures on my own, I was thrilled to see how clear the Bible was regarding the issue. Acts chapter 9, the Apostle Paul’s salvation, was the beginning of the Church the Body of Christ; to say otherwise is to cause abounding confusion.

Dear friends, the fragmentation of grace believers regarding the beginning of the Body of Christ, often aids the Adversary’s cause in keeping God’s truth hidden. Having struggled with this issue myself, I can personally testify to that. Furthermore, this Acts 9/13/18/28 conflict affords our denominational critics another reason to undermine our stand on Paul’s special apostleship/ministry to us Gentiles and our stand in the Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ committed first to his trust. Thus, the question, “When did the Church the Body of Christ begin?,” is one of the most important questions the Bible student will face. He or she must answer it using Bible verses, not religious tradition (even if that church tradition parades under the guise of “grace doctrine!”).

If we are to be a pure church, we too must discard traditions, even if “grace” brethren believe and teach them! No question about it, the Apostle Paul was the first member of the Church the Body of Christ. It is not that difficult to understand unless we refuse to see it for sake of keeping our own traditions.

Source: https://ambassadorsfortherisenchristministries.org/2014/07/29/when-did-the-church-the-body-of-christ-begin/

The Epistles of Paul

September 1, 2017 Leave a comment

The Epistles of the Apostle Paul have a very distinctive character. All Scripture, up to the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, looks forward to the cross, and has primarily in view Israel, and the blessing of the earth through the Messianic kingdom. But “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9) was an unrevealed fact–the interval of time between the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and His return in glory; and an unrevealed purpose– the outcalling of the ecclesia, the church which is Christ’s body. In Mat. 16, our Lord announced that purpose, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials, that church should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges, or duties.

All this constitutes precisely the scope of the Epistles of Paul. They develop the doctrine of the church. In his letters to seven Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica), the church, the “mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), is fully revealed, and fully instructed as to her unique place in the counsels and purposes of God.

Through Paul alone we know that the church is not an organization, but an organism, the body of Christ; instinct with His life, and heavenly in calling, promise, and destiny. Through him alone we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, and the right conduct of such gatherings. Through him alone do we know that “we shall not all sleep,” that “the dead in Christ shall rise first,” and that living saints shall be “changed” and caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His return.

But to Paul was also committed the unfolding of the doctrines of grace which were latent in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Paul originates nothing, but unfolds everything, concerning the nature and purpose of the law; the ground and means of the believer’s justification, sanctification, and glory; the meanings of the death of Christ, and the position, walk, expectation, and service of the Christian.

Paul converted by the personal ministry of the Lord in glory, is distinctively the witness to a glorified Christ, Head over all things to the church which is His body, as the Eleven were to Christ in the flesh, the Son of Abraham and David.

The chronological order of Paul’s Epistles is believed to be as follows: 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. Hebrews has a distinctive place, nor can the order of that book amongst the writings of Paul be definitely fixed.

The Two Silences

Two periods in the life of Paul after his conversion are passed over in a silence which is itself significant–the journey into Arabia, from which the Apostle returned in full possession of the Gospel explanation as set forth in Galatians and Romans; and the two silent years in prison in Caesarea, between his arrest in the temple at Jerusalem and his deportation to Rome.

It was inevitable that a trained intellect like that of Paul, a convinced believer in Mosasism, and, until his conversion on the Damascus road, an eager opposer of Christianity, must seek the underlying principles of the Gospel. Immediately after his conversion he preached Jesus as the Messiah; but the relation of the Gospel to the Law, and, in a lesser degree, of the great Jewish promises, needed clear adjustment if Christianity was to be a reasonable faith, and not a mere dogma. In Arabia Paul sought and found that adjustment through revelation by the Spirit. Out of it came the doctrinal explanation of salvation by grace through faith, wholly apart from the law, embodied in Galatians and Romans.

But the Gospel brings the believer into great relationships–to the Father, to other believers, to Christ, and to the future purposes of God. It is not only a salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, but into an amazing place in the Divine counsels. Furthermore, the new thing, the church in its various aspects and junctions, demanded clear revelation. And these are the chief themes of the Epistles written by Paul from Rome, and commonly called the Prison Epistles–Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. It is contrary to the method of inspiration, as explained by Paul himself, to suppose that these crowning revelations were made apart from deep meditation, demanding quietness, and earnest seeking. It seems most congruous with the events of Paul’s life to suppose that these great revelations came during the silent years at Caesarea–often spoken of as wasted. (Old Scofield Reference Bible)

Chronology of Paul’s Letters

First Thessalonians 52 AD Philippians 62 AD
Second Thessalonians 52 AD Colossians 62 AD
First Corinthians 57 AD Philemon 63 AD
Second Corinthians 57 AD Titus 64-65 AD
Galatians 55-57 AD First Timothy 64-65 AD
Romans 57-58 AD Second Timothy 66-67 AD
Ephesians 62 AD *Hebrews 64-65 AD

The Rapture and Revelation an overview of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

 
Dr. Ted Horton, Director of PMI Center for Biblical Studies – Arab
(PhD Graduate of PMI Center for Biblical Studies and Calvary Christian College and Seminary)

We can find the Apostle Paul discussing the pre-tribulation rapture or the Second Coming of Christ (and by context alluding to the pre-tribulation rapture) in every verse of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Paul was encouraging the church in the first epistle with the Blessed Hope. In the second letter we find that the church in Thessalonica had been led to believe that they had missed the Day of Christ, NOT the Day of the Lord as many new versions translate 2 Thessalonians 2:2. Even going back to the Greek we see that the word is “Christos,” so it is properly translated Christ. But I am getting ahead of myself. The Bible of course would be the King James Bible.

 

1 Thessalonians

 

CHAPTER 1-1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. – Here we see a picture of the PTR as we are waiting on Christ to return for us. We have been delivered by our salvation from eternal wrath and the church that will be present when it is time for Daniel’s 70th Week to commence will be delivered from that wrath.

 

CHAPTER 2- 1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? – When the Lord returns bodily to the earth, the church will be coming WITH Him. We will be with Him because He took us up in the PTR.

 

CHAPTER 3- 1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.—Again, when the Lord returns He will come WITH ALL His saints. This is because He will have already gathered them.

 

CHAPTER 4- 1Th 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. 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. 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: 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. – This shouldn’t require much commentary. The Lord is personally returning for His saints. This MUST be PTR as during the Second Coming the saints are all with Him.

 

CHAPTER 5- All of chapter 5 should be read, but here are some highlights:

1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.—Notice here Paul says Day of the Lord. This is much different from the Day of Christ that will be used in 2 Thessalonians. The Day of the Lord is dealing with The Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Millennial Kingdom and is much longer than a 24 hour day. The Day of Christ is the Rapture and happens in an instant. Terms that relate to the Day of the Lord that you will see often are night, thief, darkness, overtaken, wrath, etc. The church has words associated with it such as light and day; the church is never used in conjunction with wrath, night, or thief.

 

1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. – Study the pronouns of Chapter 5. You will see they, they, they and then all of a sudden, ye. Paul is distinguishing between the two groups; between the world and the church.

 

1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.—Here it is again: they, sleep, night. Then we see the word but. But is a subordinate conjunction and when we see it we know that we are about to read something of a different tone or scope than what came before it. They (the world, the lost, unbelieving Israel) sleep in the night BUT us (believers, the church) are of the day!

 

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.—God has not appointed US (who is us again? The church!) to wrath. We will live with Him. We are to take comfort in that. The comfort, by context is the Blessed Hope, the PTR!

 

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—These believers will have been long dead in body when Christ returns, and they will be with Him and we know that they will rise first from what we read earlier. So that again demands a PTR for them to get new bodies that they may be WITH Him at His coming.

 

2 Thessalonians

 

CHAPTER 1- 2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,– We will be at rest with the Lord when it is time for Him to return because the saints will have been taken up. We are with Him so that we can return with Him.

 

CHAPTER 2- 2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,– Chapter 2 gives a good timeline of the Tribulationon and you will notice that before it ever begins the Lord comes for us and we are gathered together unto Him.

 

CHAPTER 3- 2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.—The Church has been waiting for His imminent return for 2,000 years. With proper exegesis of Daniel, Revelation, the Olivet Discourse, and the Pauline Epistles we can see that this 7 year period is for Israel and that the church will be removed sometime before it begins.

The Rapture and Right Division

Dr. Mike Johnston

Rightly dividing the word of truth makes it clear that Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ. Right division encompasses two programs (prophecy and mystery) that have existed “since the world began” – designed by God to cover three periods: time past, but now, and ages to come. [1] Conflating the prophecy and mystery programs generally leads to disorder, disputations (as seen in the emergence of denominations), and ultimately deception. [2]

Prophecy (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) [3] came through the prophets featuring events primarily surrounding Israel’s coming King and His kingdom on earth; while the mystery (Rom. 16:25) [4] was unknown to the prophets and given initially to Paul concerning the church Body of Christ promised an inheritance in heaven where we are now spiritually seated there with Christ. [5] Before Israel’s Tribulation leading to her kingdom can begin, the church Body that appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) must first disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).

Key to understanding eschatology is Israel, God’s preeminent earthly nation. God spoke her into existence through specially appointed and anointed messengers called prophets. These men collectively prophesied five unilateral covenants promising Israel perpetuity of lineage (Abrahamic Covenant), land (Land Covenant), Law (Mosaic Covenant), Lordship (Davidic covenant), and longevity (New Covenant). These messages were clarified over time through a means known as progressive revelation featuring the promise of a Messianic King who will inaugurate a universal kingdom that will flourish for a thousand years [6] of unprecedented peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), prosperity, and health (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29). Its location is Jerusalem, city of David (2 Kings 14:20), the blessed Zion of God (Isa. 30:19).

About 2000 years ago, this Covenanted kingdom was offered by John the Baptist, Christ, and the twelve disciples who all preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and its requisite repentance (Matt. 3:2; 4:17, 23; 10:7; John 1:45; see Gal. 2:7-9). However, Israel’s rejection of the Kingdom summoned God’s judgment decreed in eternity past expressly to prepare and purify her, earth,[7] and collaterally the Gentile nations supporting Israel prior to the Kingdom in the latter days (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 23; 30-31; Dan. 10:14; etc). Scholars – using vernacular from Moses (Deut. 4:30), Christ (Matt. 24:21, 29), and John the Revelator (Rev. 7:14) – refer to this period of judgment on Israel and the inhabitants of earth as (the) Tribulation.

Beginning with Moses [8] the prophets progressively outlined and revealed Israel’s Tribulation (study Isaiah 24-26; Jer. 30-31; Ezekiel 34-48; Dan. 12; Revelation 6-20). They described it with names defining it, like the time of (Jacob’s) trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); day of His wrath (Psa. 110:5; Isa. 13:9; Ezek. 7:19; Zeph. 1:15; Rev. 6:17; 11:18; 14:10);  and a number of other euphemisms all connected to the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Joel 2:1; see Isa. 13:9, 13; Ezek. 7:19).

We see a foreshadowing of purpose for Israel’s Tribulation judgment in the Book of Judges, which tells the story of a loving God retrieving His rebellious nation. “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20-22-bold added). The Tribulation will result in her final repentance with full restoration when Christ the Jewish Messiah returns full view at the Revelation followed by the Kingdom.

Context vs. pretext

Biblical truth in context is conclusive. You can accept it or reject it, but the fact is, it doesn’t lie and it won’t change. To be fair with it, I listed most every major passage of Scripture dealing with the time of Jacob’s trouble – aka Jacob’s (Israel’s) Tribulation “trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). You can verify what I’m telling you by studying each of the passages in full context as they appeared throughout this treatise. If you are willing to conduct the comprehensive research as I personally have, you will discover a grave dilemma experienced by all of our opponents. The church Body can’t be located on earth during Israel’s Tribulation.

Consider this with your King James Bible open to Tribulation passages. Israel and the Gentile nations associated with her are indisputably identified on earth during this time. Since they are, wouldn’t it stand to reason the church Body would be just as easy to spot? Let’s take a closer look.

Open an Exhaustive Concordance for the King James Bible (ie Strong’s) and search carefully the 117 times in the KJV that the singular or plural of the word church appears. Do the same with all variations of Paul’s designation, Body of Christ.

Here’s what we find.

If the church Body is on earth during Israel’s Tribulation, it is impossible to clearly identify. Wouldn’t the Lord want us to be able to recognize our dilemma so we could prepare? It would have been a simple thing for the Holy Spirit to inspire the use of the word church or Body of Christ in any of the scores of Tribulation passages IF we were actually here, wouldn’t it?

So why didn’t He? The inconvenient fact is, there isn’t a single mention in a single verse within context of Israel’s Tribulation that specifically mentions us being here. NOT ONE!

Was this an oversight? A mistake? Translator’s error? A deliberate deception? No! We aren’t here!

Notwithstanding, here’s the desperate solution from our narrative hawking adversaries.

Interpretation or lying

Interpretation is one thing, but lying is quite another. Since our adversaries have no indisputable Scriptural evidence, the only way they can put us on earth in Israel’s Tribulation is by employing unorthodox interpretation methods I call “Houdini hermeneutics”.

Any good illusion includes a good distraction. Rapture antagonists do this by impugning the longevity of the PreTrib doctrine, causing us to invest our time and resources in a non-essential issue. Dave MacPherson – more on his artifices later – is one of the most skilled at this. Then, with our attention diverted, they are free to complete the trick. One ploy is to remove from context and redefine three words fundamental to their fraud, “saints”, “elect”, and “disciples”.

Now again, I urge you to open your King James Bible and your concordance to study the setting and the definitions of all three words. In context from Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation, they all refer to Israel not to the Body of Christ as hotly pushed in anti-PreTrib claptrap.

So what’s wrong with giving one’s personal interpretation? Nothing if that’s what it is. My experience tells me this is something more.

Let’s suppose you witnessed a crime that a man you hated was charged with. Although you didn’t actually see his face, you could interpret that the defendant was the perpetrator because your friends said so, and the prosecutor wanted you to agree with them in a testimony against him.

So, in the final analysis, would you go along to get along by compromising your integrity to help convict a man you admittedly hated but had no indisputable evidence to condemn?

In all honesty, if you did, this wouldn’t merely be you offering your interpretation. This would be you bearing false witness.

It is definitely something to think about, is it not?

[1] Time past (Eph. 2:11-12; but now (Eph. 2:4); ages to come (Eph. 2:7).

[2] This is what the cults do, ie SDAs, JWs, Mormons, Romanists, etc.

[3] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: (Luke 1:70).

[4] 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)

[5] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:20). And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)

[6] John the Revelator revealed the Kingdom will last on Earth 1000 years (Rev. 20:2-7)

[7] Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13). But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jeremiah 10:10)

[8] When thou [Israel] art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days  (Deuteronomy 4:30- bracket comment added).

The Rapture and Revelation an overview of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

The Rapture and Revelation
an overview of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Dr. Ted Horton
(Graduate of PMI Center and Calvary Christian schools)

We can find the Apostle Paul discussing the pre-tribulation rapture or the Second Coming of Christ (and by context alluding to the pre-tribulation rapture) in every verse of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Paul was encouraging the church in the first epistle with the Blessed Hope. In the second letter we find that the church in Thessalonica had been led to believe that they had missed the Day of Christ, NOT the Day of the Lord as many new versions translate 2 Thessalonians 2:2. Even going back to the Greek we see that the word is “Christos,” so it is properly translated Christ. But I am getting ahead of myself. The Bible of course would be the King James Bible.

1 Thessalonians

CHAPTER 1-1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. – Here we see a picture of the PTR as we are waiting on Christ to return for us. We have been delivered by our salvation from eternal wrath and the church that will be present when it is time for Daniel’s 70th Week to commence will be delivered from that wrath.

CHAPTER 2- 1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? – When the Lord returns bodily to the earth, the church will be coming WITH Him. We will be with Him because He took us up in the PTR.

CHAPTER 3- 1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.—Again, when the Lord returns He will come WITH ALL His saints. This is because He will have already gathered them.

CHAPTER 4- 1Th 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. 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. 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: 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. – This shouldn’t require much commentary. The Lord is personally returning for His saints. This MUST be PTR as during the Second Coming the saints are all with Him.

CHAPTER 5- All of chapter 5 should be read, but here are some highlights:
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.—Notice here Paul says Day of the Lord. This is much different from the Day of Christ that will be used in 2 Thessalonians. The Day of the Lord is dealing with The Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Millennial Kingdom and is much longer than a 24 hour day. The Day of Christ is the Rapture and happens in an instant. Terms that relate to the Day of the Lord that you will see often are night, thief, darkness, overtaken, wrath, etc. The church has words associated with it such as light and day; the church is never used in conjunction with wrath, night, or thief.

1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. – Study the pronouns of Chapter 5. You will see they, they, they and then all of a sudden, ye. Paul is distinguishing between the two groups; between the world and the church.

1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.—Here it is again: they, sleep, night. Then we see the word but. But is a subordinate conjunction and when we see it we know that we are about to read something of a different tone or scope than what came before it. They (the world, the lost, unbelieving Israel) sleep in the night BUT us (believers, the church) are of the day!

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.—God has not appointed US (who is us again? The church!) to wrath. We will live with Him. We are to take comfort in that. The comfort, by context is the Blessed Hope, the PTR!

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—These believers will have been long dead in body when Christ returns, and they will be with Him and we know that they will rise first from what we read earlier. So that again demands a PTR for them to get new bodies that they may be WITH Him at His coming.

2 Thessalonians

CHAPTER 1- 2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,– We will be at rest with the Lord when it is time for Him to return because the saints will have been taken up. We are with Him so that we can return with Him.

CHAPTER 2- 2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,– Chapter 2 gives a good timeline of the Tribulationon and you will notice that before it ever begins the Lord comes for us and we are gathered together unto Him.

CHAPTER 3- 2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.—The Church has been waiting for His imminent return for 2,000 years. With proper exegesis of Daniel, Revelation, the Olivet Discourse, and the Pauline Epistles we can see that this 7 year period is for Israel and that the church will be removed sometime before it begins.

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