GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

06-01-2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

 PDF: GBC06012022NOTES

Christian Soldier 76, Doctrine Of The Rapture, 3.

 

We have begun the Doctrine of the Rapture.

 

 

The Doctrine of the Rapture.

Point 1. Introduction.

Point 2. Definition.

 

Point 3. Twenty-Six Principles (Alphabet) that establish the position of a pre-tribulation Rapture.

 

We will not repeat the twenty-six principles except there a few two principles that had passages attached to them…..

 

that I wanted you to turn to but I didn’t because I wanted to finish all 26 letters of the doctrine with the Alphabet in view.

 

And so that would be, first of all;

 

  1. (1) The great Tribulation is punishment for a Christ-rejecting world, and the nation of Israel, who rejected her Messiah, Rev 6:12-17.

 

REV 6:12  And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

 

REV 6:13  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.

 

REV 6:14  And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 

REV 6:15  And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;

 

REV 6:16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

 

REV 6:17  for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"

 

The next one:

 

  1. (4) The scripture's which deal with the great tribulation have particular reference to the Jew, Mat 24:1-31; Mar 13:14; Luk 21:23-36.

 

For example, in MAT 24:1  And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

 

MAT 24:2  And He answered and said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down."

What was He talking about?

 

He's talking about a Jewish Temple not a Christian church.

 

MAT 24:3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what {will be} the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

 

MAT 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.

 

MAT 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.

 

MAT 24:6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for {those things} must take place, but {that} is not yet the end.

 

MAT 24:7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

 

MAT 24:8 "But all these things are {merely} the beginning of birth pangs.

 

MAT 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.

 

This was also a reference to the Jewish nation during the Tribulation.

 

Look at MAT 24:15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

 

The abomination of desolation has to do with Jerusalem and the Temple; DAN 11:31.

 

DAN 11:31  "And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation."

 

Look at MAT 24:16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;

 

Where?

 

Judea! No!

 

Not the USA!

 

Not Salt Lake City!

 

But Judea, in Israel!

 

Look at MAT 24:20  "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;

 

Question: Why does it say the Sabbath?

 

Answ: Because we are talking to the Jews not to Christians and the Sabbath is for the Jews only; EXO 31:16.

 

EXO 31:16 'So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.'

 

Look at MAT 24:21  for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.

 

MAT 24:22 "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.

 

In MAT 24:29  "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,

MAT 24:30  and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

 

MAT 24:31 "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

 

MAT 24:32  "Now learn the parable from the fig tree [Israel]: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;

 

Who is the fig tree?

 

Look back at MAT 21:18  Now in the morning, when He returned to the city, He became hungry.

 

MAT 21:19  And seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, "No longer shall there ever be {any} fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered.

 

In LUK 13:6, the fig tree represents the nation of Israel.

 

LUK 13:6  And He {began} telling this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, and did not find any.

 

So in MAT 24:33  even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, {right} at the door.

 

MAT 24:34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

 

Go forward to MAT 24:37 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

 

MAT 24:38 "For as in those days which were before the flood they wer     e eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

 

MAT 24:39  and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

 

MAT 24:40 "Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.

 

MAT 24:41 "Two women {will be} grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.

 

MAT 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

 

So, notice that the Sabbath is used, Mat 24:20.

 

Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled

 

LUK 21:24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

 

The Kingdom of God is near and at hand, Mat 24:14.

 

Look at MAT 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.

 

Church is never mentioned; Temple implied; abomination of desolation denoted.

Still dealing with passages from the Twenty-six principles that I didn’t have the time to read on Sunday.

 

The next one:

 

  1. (16) The iniquity of the anti-Christ cannot be released until the Holy Spirit, the restrainer is removed with the Church. 2Th 2:3-7 (mystery of lawlessness).

 

2TH 2:3  Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

 

2TH 2:4  who opposes and exalts himself above every so called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

 

2TH 2:5  Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

2TH 2:6  And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed.

 

2TH 2:7  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

 

2TH 2:8  And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

 

2TH 2:9  that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,

 

2TH 2:10  And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

 

The church is never mentioned as fulfilling Her great commission during the great Tribulation.

So, The hope of the Church is the return of Christ at the Rapture, who will deliver them from the greatest outpouring of judgment in the history of the universe, Tit 2:11-13; 4:18; 5:11.

 

TIT 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

 

TIT 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

 

TIT 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;

 

Also I said 1TH 4:18;

 

1TH 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 

Look at 1TH 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

 

Now, there is a Theologian from Dallas Theological Seminary founded by Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, who said that Colonel Theime was without a doubt the greatest Bible student he ever had.

 

One of the Colonel Thieme’s fellow students was a man called J.  Dwight Pentecost who wrote and excellent book called "Things to Come" writes the following:

 

***** Sam either put this in italics or yellow or anything that looks different than the normal slides (This is not a slide)******

 

 

 

 

"Since the church is the body, of which Christ is the head (Col 1:18), the bride, of which He is the bridegroom (1CO 11:2), the object of His love (Eph 5:25), the branch of which He is the root and stem (Joh 15:5).”

 

The building, of which He is the foundation and cornerstone (1CO 3:9; Eph 2:19-22), there exists between the believer and the Lord a union and a unity.

 

The believer is no longer separated from Him, but brought into the closest oneness with Him.

 

If the church is in the Seventieth Week or the Tribulational period, she is subjected to the wrath, judgment, and indignation which characterizes the period.

 

And because of her oneness with Christ, He, likewise, would be subjected to that same visitation in standing behind you which is impossible according to 1Jo 4:17,

for He cannot be brought into judgment again. inasmuch as the church has been perfected and delivered from all judgment (Rom 8:1; Joh 5:24; 1Jo 4:17),

 

if she is subjected to judgment again the promises of God would be of none effect and the death of Christ would be ineffectual

 

so who would dare to assert that the death of Christ could fail to accomplish its purpose?

 

While the members may be experimentally imperfect and need experimental cleansing, yet the church, which is His body, has a perfect standing in Christ and could not need such cleansing.

 

the nature of the testing in the seventieth week, as stated in Rev 3;10, is not to bring the individual to cleansing,

 

but to reveal the degradation and need of the unregenerate heart; the nature of the church prevents such a testing." (end)

 

Point 4. REV 13 and the Tribulation period as they relate to the Rapture.

 

In Rev 13, many people are brought into subjection to the beast and through him to Satan who gives the beast power.

 

REV 13:1   And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

 

REV 13:2  And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

 

REV 13:3   And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

 

REV 13:4  and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?"

 

REV 13:5  And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty two months [3 12 years] was given to him.

 

REV 13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

 

 

REV 13:7  And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

 

REV 13:8  And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the lamb who has been slain.

 

REV 13:9 if anyone has an ear, let him hear.

 

By the way, notice what is missing in this statement that is given In REV 2 and 3 which says:

 

REV 2:7 'He who has an ear, let him hear [then notice what is missing is] what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

 

 

REV 2:7; REV 2:11; REV 2:17; REV 2:29; REV 3:6; REV 3:13; REV 3:22, say ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

Rev 13 makes it clear that all who are in the 70th week or the Tribulation period are brought into subjection to the beast and through him to Satan who gives the beast power.

 

If the church were in this period she would be subjected to Satan and Christ would either lose His place as head or because of His union with the Church, He would be also subjected to Satan's authority.

 

Such a thing is unthinkable and blasphemous!

 

Point 5. The Rapture and the doctrine of imminence.

 

Many signs were given to the nation Israel which would precede the Second coming which is a totally different event then the Rapture.

 

This is so the nation would be living in expectancy when the time of His coming should draw near.

 

And, Although Israel could not know the day nor the hour, they could know through these signs that their redemption is drawing near.

 

To the church however, no such signs were given.

 

The Church is told to live in the light of the imminent return of TLJC, JOH 14:2-3; Acts 1:6-11; 1Co 15:51-52; 1Ti 6:14; Jam 5:8; 2Pe 3:3-4.

 

The light refers to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Remember MAT 24:29  "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,

 

MAT 24:30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

 

MAT 24:31 "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

 

Because the sun doesn’t give light and the moon is darkened then REV 1:7 is understood when it says;

 

 

REV 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.

 

And not only is that verse backed up but also when He comes back, we are told something about who comes back with Him.

 

1TH 3:13 so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus [the Second Comingwith all His saints.

 

Notice all the saints of the Church-age come back with Him.

 

And Because of the justice of God, we can conclude that the saints will come in their order of the Resurrection of all the saints.

 

1CO 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

 

The key word is order.

 

Christ is first followed by winner believers and then the rest of the believers whether they are little winners or loser believers, they all come back with Him.

 

Now remember I told you that;

 

The Church is told to live in the light of the imminent return of TLJC, JOH 14:2-3; Acts 1:6-11; 1Co 15:51-52; 1Ti 6:14; Jam 5:8; 2Pe 3:3-4.

 

JOH 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

 

JOH 14:2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

 

JOH 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

 

Next, I gave you Act 1:6-11.

 

ACT 1:6  And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"

 

ACT 1:7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

 

ACT 1:8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

ACT 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

 

ACT 1:10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them;

 

ACT 1:11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

 

Look at the next reference I gave you:

 

PHI 3:20  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

 

 

PHI 3:21  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

 

1TH 1:10  and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

 

Such passages as 1Th 5:6; Tit 2:13; Rev 3:3, all warn the believer to be watching for the Lord Himself.

 

Not for signs that would precede His coming.

 

1TH 5:6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

 

TIT 2:13 Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;

 

So, If there was no Rapture of the church, the many signs given to Israel would also be given to the church!

 

The multitude of signs given to Israel to stir them to expectancy would then also be for the church and the church could not be looking for Christ until these signs had been fulfilled.

 

We would be looking for world wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in several places at the same time.

 

MAT 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

 

We would be looking for the Regathering of Israel: Ezekiel 36-37.

 

The Rise of Russia and her allies in preparation of fulfilling Eze 38-39.

The Increase in Travel and Knowledge: Dan 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

 

And Although many of these things are upon us because they seem to the be signs of the last days, the Church is not told to look for these signs.

 

The Capital and Labor Conflicts: James 5:1-6.

 

JAM 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

 

JAM 5:2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth eaten.

 

 

 

JAM 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

 

JAM 5:4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, {and} which has been withheld by you, cries out {against you}; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

 

JAM 5:5 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

 

JAM 5:6 You have condemned and put to death the righteous {man;} he does not resist you.

 

This is said to be the historical trends of the last days.

 

Scoffers will keep on coming: 2Pe 3:1-4.

2PE 3:1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,

 

2PE 3:2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior {spoken} by your apostles.

 

2PE 3:3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with {their} mocking, following after their own lusts,

 

2PE 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For {ever} since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."

 

This is a sign of the "last days."

 

Scoffers dominate the most influential agencies of all countries today, even our own.

They control media, entertainment, education, and, for the most part, government.

 

They are "willfully ignorant" and "walk after their own lusts," as predicted.

 

2PE 3:14   Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

 

2PE 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord {to be} salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

 

2PE 3:16 as also in all {his} letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as {they do} also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

 

2PE 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,

 

2PE 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him {be} the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

 

The Current Moral Breakdown in Society: 2Ti 3:1-5.

 

2TI 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

 

2TI 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

 

2TI 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good,

 

2TI 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;

 

2TI 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.

 

There at least 18 trends of moral breakdown during the last days are read almost every day in the newspapers.

 

  1. A Rise in Lawlessness: 2Th 2:7-12.

 

2TH 2:5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

 

2TH 2:6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed.

2TH 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains {will do so} until he is taken out of the way.

 

2TH 2:8 And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

 

2TH 2:9 {that is,} the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,

 

2TH 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

 

2TH 2:11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,

 

2TH 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

 

  1. The Rise in Occultism and Cults: 1Ti 4:1-5.

 

1TI 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

 

1TI 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,

 

1TI 4:3 {men} who forbid marriage {and advocate} abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

 

1TI 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude;

 

1TI 4:5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

 

1TI 4:6   In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, {constantly} nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

 

There have always been cults and demon activity, but nothing in modem history is like today, and it is increasing.

 

  1. Apostasy: 1Ti 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

 

The liberalism and legalism of doctrine that is around today is deceiving millions of believers.

 

So, The church is to live in the imminency of the Rapture.

 

Imminency is used technically for the fact that no prophecy has to be fulfilled before the Rapture occurs.

 

And the rapture will occur when the last member of the body of Christ is saved.

 

So,.This is why the Church-age is the only dispensation in which there are historical trends and no prophecy.

 

The Church-age began with an event prophesied which is the baptism of the Spirit.

 

Our Lord prophesied this in the upper room discourse and just before He ascended.

The Church-age terminates with the Rapture, which was also prophesied.

 

There is no prophecy between these two events.

 

This is the dispensation of the mystery doctrine.

 

So,

 

No prophecy between the baptism of the Spirit and the Rapture means that the rapture is imminent.

 

It could occur at any time.

 

No one knows the day or the hour.

 

The resurrection of the Church, like our dying, is completely out of our control; PSA 68:20.

 

PSA 68:20 God is to us a God of deliverances; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

 

Just as we have no control over the time and manner of our death, so we have no control over the time and manner of the Rapture.

 

Before the Second advent occurs, there are many prophecies which must occur, the rapture, the events of the Tribulation, and this is the message behind, Rev 6-19.

 

However, The Rapture could have occurred at the time of James or Paul because no prophecy had to be fulfilled before the resurrection occurs.

 

Distortion of the imminency of the rapture results in instability and foolish explanation or speculation about the time of the rapture; hence, James gives us an admonition in Jam 5:7-8.

JAM 5:7  Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord [that's the Rapture]. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

 

JAM 5:8  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

 

James says “Be patient”,

 

To have patience means to apply what you know.

 

Patience is a system of thinking Bible doctrine, a system of concentration, the application of doctrine to experience.

 

And in effect, that application says, "As long as I'm alive, I have control over my life."

 

You can, by positive volition, execute the PPOG or, by negative volition, be a cosmic believer and be my own worst enemy."

 

In this passage, the farmer invests by sowing seed.

 

He must break up the soil and sow the seed, then he must wait.

 

There's nothing he can do while waiting.

 

The seed will either come up or not.

 

Either he will have production or he will not.

 

JAM 5:7  Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

 

In the time of this writing, that depended upon the soil and the rains.

 

The farmer did not have control over those elements.

 

Verse 8 goes on to tell us how to have patience.

 

JAM 5:8  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand or drawing near.

 

You cannot have patience without a stabilized mentality.

 

And "drawing nearer" means to be approaching.

 

Every day in the Church-age, the rapture draws closer.

 

And every day that the rapture approaches, you still have control over your life as long as you live.

 

You have control in the sense that you can be a winner or a loser.

 

In fact,

 

Because there was no unfulfilled prophecy before the Rapture could occur, the early church anticipated the Rapture under the concept of imminency; 1Co 1:4-8.

 

1CO 1:4  I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

 

1CO 1:5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,

 

1CO 1:6  even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

 

1CO 1:7  so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

1CO 1:8 who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Corinthian church was made up of losers,

 

Yet Paul thanked God concerning them because they were the beneficiaries of phenomenal grace, in union with Christ, and most of all, were "enriched by Him."

 

Enrichment in the Christian life is not measured in terms of work and Christian service, but in terms of doctrine and knowledge.

 

Yet most of the Corinthian believers rejected that doctrine.

 

So, while the rapture is imminent, no one really knows when it will occur.

 

In the meantime, the royal family of God lives in this dispensation of historical trends.

 

In fact, The imminency of the rapture is a doctrine for mature believers only.

 

A mature believer lives as though the Rapture could occur at any moment and is eager for the Rapture to occur.

 

However, Only the Trinity knows when the Rapture is going to occur.

 

Point 6. The Rapture and the work of the Holy Spirit as the Restrainer in 2Th 2.

 

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