The Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church, Part 3. The Rapture Vs. The Second Advent.


April 16, 2021

We continue with the difference between the Rapture and the Tribulation Period this evening with some important distinctions on the Tribulation period versus the Rapture.

 

By analogy we are spiritual aristocracy as members of the royal family of God do there will be some analogies  between the two.

 

So we begin with the Period of The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ known as the Rapture of the Church.

 

All of these principles take place during the Tribulation Period and the 70 the week of Daniel.

They are all a part of the Tribulation Period and they tell us what is going on at the time of the Rapture of the Church.

 

Therefore, we are now ready for the Rapture and the events which follow.

 

They are all a part of the Tribulation Period and they tell us what is going on at the time of the Rapture of the Church.

 

Therefore, we are now ready for the Rapture and the events which follow.

All of these principles take place during the Tribulation Period and the 70th week of Daniel.

 

They are all a part of the Tribulation Period and they tell us what is going to happen at the time of the Rapture of the Church.

 

Therefore, we are now ready for the Rapture and the events which follow.

 

The Doctrine of The Rapture

Point 1. Definition and Description.

 

Point 2. The Introduction.

 

 

 

 

We begin with that exciting passage in 1CO 15:51  Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep [die physically with an interim body that was raised from the dead but placed in an inferior body until we receive our Resurrection body which will be just like our Lord’s], but we shall all be changed,

 

“die physically with an interim body” – in the physical body we all die physically but we will also die again spiritually until we die again until then receive a temporary body and will all die again until then.

 

How fast?

Faster than a New York second says 1CO 15:52   in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye [seven times faster than one second], at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

The Rapture is used here in a technical theological sense for the Resurrection of the Church, the Bride of Christ, or the Royal Family of God.

 

Think of this and what an exciting time it is going to be when at the Rapture the following events will be manifested to us perfectly.

 

What an exciting time of rejoicing!

 

Since the Church or royal family of God is the first spiritual building to be completed, it is the next future event that will happen after the resurrection of our Lord.

 

It is the second phase of the first resurrection following the resurrection of Christ.

 

The first Resurrection is the resurrection of Christ which is the second resurrection to happen after our Lord to happen in the first resurrection.

 

Christ is resurrected, ascended, and seated at the right hand of the Father as part of the strategic victory of the angelic conflict.

 

This is known as our Lord’s battlefield royalty.

 

Therefore, God interrupts the Jewish-Age with the Church Age to call out and provide a royal family of God.

 

Once the royal family of God is completed, the Church is resurrected as the body of Christ to become the bride of Christ.

 

The Church-age is that period of human history when the Royal  family of God is being formed on earth, Col 1:18-29.

 

Col 1:18  He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first‑born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything

 

COL 1:19   For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him,

 

 

 

 

COL 1:20   and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

 

COL 1:21   And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind,   engaged in evil deeds,

 

COL 1:22   yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach‑‑

 

 

 

COL 1:23   if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

 

COL 1:24   Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

 

COL 1:25  Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,

 

COL 1:26   that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,

 

COL 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

COL 1:28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.

 

COL 1:29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

 

All of these passages come to pass as the author of the plan.

 

When the royal family of God is completed, then the Rapture occurs, 1Th 4:16‑18; 1Co 15:51‑58.

 

Then we receive the conclusion of the Jewish Age, the bride is prepared in heaven by receiving a resurrection body exactly like that of the Lord.

 

Then comes the Big Genuflex and acknowledgment of Christ, Phi 2:9-11, Rom 14:11.

 

Then comes the Judgment Seat of Christ, when all Church Age believers are evaluated and rewarded, 2Co 5:10.

 

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

My Third Point, Point 3 deals with The Biblical principles that establish the Biblical position of a Pretribulational Rapture of the church.

 

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

 

The nature of the church, and the promises of Christ forbid the church from going through the great Tribulation.

 

There must be an interval of time between the Rapture and the Second Coming.

 

 

 

This is when the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place and believers either receive rewards or lose rewards, 1Co 3:11-15, 2Co 5:10.

 

1Co 3:11   For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 

1CO 3:12   Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

 

1CO 3:13   each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.

 

1CO 3:14   If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.

 

1CO 3:15   If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

1CO 3:16   Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

 

1CO 3:17   If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

 

1CO 3:18   Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise.

 

1CO 3:19    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness.

 

The scripture’s which deal with the great tribulation have particular reference to the Jew, Mat 24:1-31.

 

What was He talking about?

 

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

 

In Matthew 23, Jesus pronounces seven “woes” on the religious leaders of His day. A “woe” is an exclamation of grief, similar to what is expressed by the word alas.

 

In pronouncing woes, Jesus was prophesying judgment on the religious elite who were guilty of hypocrisy and other sins.

The seven woes are addressed to the teachers of the law and Pharisees; in one of the woes, He calls them “blind guides,” Mat 23:16.

 

Jesus prefaced His seven woes by explaining to the disciples that they should obey the teachings of the Jewish leaders—as they taught the law of God—but not to emulate their behavior because they did not practice what they preached; Mat 23:3.

 

Mat 23:3  therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.

 

The first of Jesus’ seven woes condemned the scribes and Pharisees for keeping people out of the kingdom of heaven: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.

 

You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to” (Mat 23:13),

 

Jesus is the only Savior and the only way to heaven.

 

In their rejection of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees were effectively refusing to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

They also hindered the common people from believing in Him, thereby blocking the way to heaven for others.

Repentance and faith in Christ is the door of admission into this kingdom, and nothing could be more disagreeable to the Pharisees, who saw no need for repentance in their own lives and attempted to justify themselves by strict adherence to the law.

In the second of the seven woes, Jesus condemned the leaders for teaching their converts the same hypocrisy that they themselves practiced.

 

They led their converts into a religion of works, but not into true righteousness, making them “twice as much a child of hell.” Mat 23:15.

 

The third woe Jesus pronounced referred to the religious elite as “blind guides” and “blind fools” (Mat 23:16-17.

 

The Pharisees saw themselves guides of the blind (Rom 2:19.

 

ROM 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

 

ROM 2:17   But if you bear the name “Jew,” and rely upon the Law, and boast in God,

ROM 2:18 and know His will, and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

 

ROM 2:19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

 

ROM 2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

 

ROM 2:21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?

 

ROM 2:22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

 

ROM 2:23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?

 

ROM 2:24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.

 

 

 

 

However, they themselves were blind and therefore unfit to guide others.

Their spiritual blindness caused them to be ignorant of many things, including the identity of the Messiah and the way of salvation.

 

They were blind to the true meaning of Scripture and to their own sin.

 

They purported to guide the people into the truth, but they were incapable of doing so because they had no personal knowledge of the truth.

 

 

 

Instead of teaching spiritual truth, they preferred to quibble over irrelevant matters and find loopholes in the rules; Mat 23:16-22.

 

The fourth of the seven woes called out the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy in the practice of tithing. They made a big deal of small things like tithing spices, while they ignored crucial matters.

 

They diligently counted their mint leaves to give every tenth one to the temple, but they “neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Mat 23:23).

 

Jesus said, “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Mat 23-24).

 

In other words, they were careful to avoid offense in minor things of little importance (straining gnats), while tolerating or committing great sins.

 

In the fifth, sixth, and seventh woes, Jesus further illustrated the different aspects of hypocrisy that characterized the religious leaders.

 

 

 

 

In the fifth woe, Jesus likened them to dishes that were scrupulously cleaned on the outside but left dirty inside. Their religious observances made them appear clean and virtuous, but inwardly their hearts were full of “greed and self-indulgence.” (23:25).

 

In the sixth woe, Jesus compared them to “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean” (Mat:23:27).

 

They were like a corpse inside a tomb was like the hypocrisy and lawlessness in the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees.

 

They appeared righteous on the outside, but they were just beautified tombs; inwardly, they were spiritually dead.

The hypocrisy Jesus addressed in the seventh woe was directed to those who erected monuments and decorated the tombs of the prophets of old.

 

Jesus points out that those prophets had been slain by the Pharisees’ own ancestors.

 

They imagined themselves much better than their fathers, saying, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets” (Mat 23:30).

But in that very statement they acknowledged their lineage: Jesus says they were truly their fathers’ sons; they had inherited their ancestors’ wickedness and were following in their steps.

 

Jesus knew their evil hearts, which would soon plot to murder Him (Mat 26:4), just as their ancestors had murdered the righteous men of old.

The seven woes of Mat 23dire warnings to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.

 

But they also serve to warn us against religious hypocrisy today.

 

We are called to true godliness, sincere love, and enduring faith. pretension, affectation, and hypocrisy will only lead to woe.

 

All this is a reference to the Jewish nation so it doesn’t apply to our subject on the Rapture at this time. MAT 24:1

 

Leading up to this discourse, Jesus has been teaching and speaking in Israel’s temple structure in Jerusalem.

 

He has just completed pronouncing seven “woes” of judgment against Israel’s religious leaders: the Scribes and the Pharisees; Mat 23:13.

 

So, in Mat 23, our Lord Jesus pronounces seven “woes” on the religious leaders of His day.

 

So, a “woe” is an exclamation of grief, similar to what is expressed by the word alas.

 

Jerusalem has refused to acknowledge Him as the Messiah and receive His protection.

 

Now Jesus and His disciples have left the temple and are walking away from it.

 

He has just completed pronouncing seven “woes” of judgment against Israel’s religious leaders: the scribes and Pharisees.

 

So my Third Point, Point 3, will deal with Biblical principles that establish the Biblical position of a pre-tribulational rapture of the church.

 

Now, bear with me as I read the points of analogy.

 

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

 

The nature of the church, and the promises of Christ forbid the church from going through the great Tribulation.

There must be an interval of time between the rapture and the second coming.

 

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.

 

LUK 21:20   “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.

 

LUK 21:21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city;

LUK 21:22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

 

LUK 21:23 “Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people,

 

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.

 

 

 

LUK 21:25   “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,

 

LUK 21:26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

 

LUK 21:27 “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

 

 

 

LUK 21:28 “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 

The Tribulation is mentioned as a gross time of darkness, evil, and sin, where none have faith.  Isa 60:2; Jer 13:16; Luk 18:8.

 

Luk 18:8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

 

 

 

Satan persecutes the women in the Tribulation (Israel).  The church is not to come under condemnation.  Rev 12:1-4;  1Co 15:55-57; 1Th 4:13-18.

 

The Church is not of the world.  Joh 17:14; Phi 3:20; 2Ti 2:3-4.

 

Christ is preparing a home for His body the Church, and has promised to return and to take His bride back with Him, Joh 14:3; 1Th 4:13-17.

 

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.

 

JOH 14:4 “And you know the way where I am going.”

 

JOH 14:5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

 

JOH 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

 

JOH 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

 

The Church has been promised deliverance from the wrath to come.  Rom. 5:9; 1Th 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10.

 

1TH 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

 

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.

 

1TH 1:9  For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

 

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.

 

Look at 1TH 5:7  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.

 

1TH 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

 

1TH 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

1TH 5:10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.

 

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

1TH 5:12   But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

 

1TH 5:13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

 

 

 

1TH 5:14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.

 

1TH 5:15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.

 

1TH 5:16 Rejoice always;

 

1TH 5:17 pray without ceasing;

 

1TH 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

1TH 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit;

 

1TH 5:20 do not despise prophetic utterances.

1TH 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

 

1TH 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.

 

1TH 5:23   Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1TH 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

1TH 5:25   Brethren, pray for us.

 

1TH 5:26   Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.

 

1TH 5:27 I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.

 

1TH 5:28   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

 

The believer is told to watch, or have an attitude of anticipation for the Lord’s coming.

 

God has always protected His people in unique fashion’s in the face of judgement.

 

The instructions by the apostle Paul never include any preparation or warning that the church will encounter the great Tribulation.

 

The instructions by the apostle Paul never include any preparation or warning that the church will encounter the great Tribulation.

 

 

 

If the Church goes through the Tribulation then the Jew’s as well as the Gentiles of the Tribulation period would become part of the Church.

 

The church at Thessalonia would not be concerned of any disadvantage of the dead in Christ if those who were alive had to go through the great Tribulation, 1Th 1:4.

 

The message of the church is the message of the Gospel of grace, and peace which secured at the cross by Jesus the Christ.

 

 

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 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him,

2TH 2:2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

2TH 2:13   But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

 

2TH 2:14 And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2TH 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

 

 

2TH 2:16   Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

 

2TH 2:17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

 

2TH 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;

 

2TH 3:2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.2TH 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

 

2TH 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.

 

The church is called to pray for those in authority 1Ti 2:2; if the church was on earth in the great Tribulation why would those who come through the great Tribulation pray for the destruction of those in authority?  Rev 6:10.

 

Christ’s return for His church is unconditional, and He returns to heaven, Joh 14:1-3.

 

Christ returns for His bride in the air and does not touch down upon the earth at the Rapture.

 

The bema seat judgement takes place after the Rapture.

 

The 144,00 Jews from Twelve Tribes; the two prophet’s probably Elijah and Moses and the angel witness the gospel, Rev 11:3.

 

The Rapture is a mystery and secret, the second coming is a world display of power. 1Co 15:51-52.

 

The Rapture comes at a time of false peace and safety.

 

1Th 4:13–18 represents an important shift in the subject matter of Paul’s letter.

 

Realizing the Thessalonian believers needed further teaching about Jesus’ return (the Rapture) and specifically about what happens to Christians who die before Jesus returns, Paul turns to address these vital matters.

 

Pretribulation Rapture theology, believes that Christ will remove His church before the great tribulation.

 

And then that the church will return with Christ at the Second coming to establish the Millennial reign of Christ!

So, we must begin this subject with some prophecy concerning the future of planet earth.

 

There is a time coming on this earth which is called “Satan’s time of desperation”

 

“It is also called the day of wrath”

 

“The hour of trial”

 

It is a period of the greatest power struggle in all of human history.

 

And it involves not only people but angelic creatures as well.

It is not a time that you would want any of your family members, friends, neighbors, and if you truly understood it, even your enemies to have to go through.

 

It is a great period of wrath on this earth, both from God and from Satan, Zep 1:14-18.

 

Zep 1:14  Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly.

 

 

 

 

ZEP 1:15  A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness,

 

ZEP 1:16  A day of trumpet and battle cry, Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers.

 

ZEP 1:17 And I will bring distress on men, So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust, And their flesh like dung.

 

ZEP 1:18  Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

 

It is a time of great judgment on the earth like never before, Rev 6:16-17.

 

Or in 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?”

It is said to be a great time of indignation, Isa 26:20-21.

 

The hour of testing, Rev 3:10.

 

Destruction, Joel 1:15.

 

JOE 1:15  Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.

 

Darkness, Joel 2:2.

 

JOE 2:2  A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is a great and mighty people; There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

 

Desolation, Dan 9:27.

 

Punishment, Isa 24:20-21.

 

It is a very difficult time to be alive and it is called the Tribulation period!

 

And the “wrath of God” will be poured out upon the world during the great Tribulation period.

 

And according to the word of God, it is a time that could take place on this earth tomorrow!

 

And this is because of the immanency of the Rapture!

 

The nature of the Tribulation is also one of practical importance.

 

If the church is destined to endure the persecutions of the Tribulation, it is hopeless to proclaim the coming of the Lord as an imminent hope.

 

Instead, it should be recognized that Christ cannot come until these predicted sorrows have been accomplished.

 

On the other hand, if Christ will come for His church before the predicted time of trouble, Christians can regard His coming as an imminent daily expectation.

 

So, because of a theological event known as the rapture, the church, the body of Christ will not go through this period.

 

And this is because the rapture is used in a technical theological sense for the resurrection of the royal family of God.

 

Since the church or royal family of God is the first spiritual building to be completed, it is resurrected after our Lord.

 

It is the second phase of the first resurrection following the resurrection of Christ.

 

And so the rapture or the resurrection of the church is God’s means of terminating the Church-age and delivering us from the wrath to come.

 

1TH 1:9  For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

 

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.

 

This is why Titus 2:13 calls the rapture or the appearing of TLJC, “our blessed hope (makarios elpis) or happy guarantee”

 

Tit 2:13  looking for the blessed hope [makarios elpis – happy guarantee] and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;

 

So you should know the rapture is coming.

 

It may not occur in your lifetime.

 

Or it may occur in your lifetime.

 

But you still know it’s coming.

 

In this way you apply doctrine….,

 

You are occupied with the person of Jesus Christ.

 

You utilize +H.

You operate in virtue‑love.

You have a wonderful life and death.

 

Prin-All believers can have confidence, hope and a guarantee with regard to the rapture.

 

The Rapture is a “happy” guarantee or a doctrine which produces confidence; Tit 2:13.

 

And the confidence is the fact that we have been delivered from the wrath to come!

 

And, the Rapture or the resurrection of the church is totally beyond our control because resurrection which is the Lord’s victory.

 

1Co 15:57  “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

So, the Church-age terminates with the transferring of the church into the Lord’s presence.

 

The doctrine of the translation of the church is found in many passages.

 

For example, Joh 14:1-3; 1Co 15:51-52; 2Th 2:1; Phi 3:20-21; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Co 5:1-9; 1Co 1:8.

 

The promise of the rapture is found in Joh 14:1‑3.

 

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.

 

2Th 2:1  Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him,

 

Because the Church and Israel are two distinct groups with whom God has a divine plan, one has to be taken away while the other is dealt with.

 

And 1Th 5:9 says  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Therefore, the distinction between the Rapture and the Second advent must be noted.

 

Another very important point concerning the rapture of the church and the fact that TLJC will remove the church from this world when that terrible Tribulational period comes is found under the principle of mystery doctrine.

 

 

 

For example, we have noted many times those passages in the New Testament such as Eph 3:1-6; Col 1:25-27; Rom 16:25-26, which all make it crystal clear that the church was a mystery and was not known in the Old Testament.

 

The church, therefore, could not have been in view in the Old Testament prophecy concerning the Tribulational period which is to come upon the whole earth.

 

And there can be no question that this period will see the wrath of God poured out upon the whole earth.

 

Rev 3:10; Isa 34:2; 24:1,4-5, 16-21 and, many other passages make it very clear as well.

 

And Jer 30:7 says this period is particularly called the time of Jacob’s trouble and Jacob refers to Israel.

 

In Dan 9:24, God says 70 weeks are determined upon “thy” people (Jews not the church).

 

Dan 9:24  “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression,

 

So, this whole Tribulational period has special reference to Daniel’s people Israel and Daniel’s holy city, Jerusalem.

 

In the Old Testament, the seventy weeks of prophecy are weeks of years.

 

In Gen 29:26-27, and Dan 9:24, one week is equivalent to 7 years.

 

So, 70 times 7 equals 490!

 

And God owes Israel seven years!

 

They have had 69 weeks already, i.e., 483 years.

 

Therefore, the Church has nothing to do with this prophecy since the Church did not have its existence until after the death of Christ, Eph 5:25-26, after the resurrection of Christ, Rom 4:25; Col 3:1-3, and after the ascension of Christ, Eph 1:19-20.

 

Therefore, the church could not have been in the first 69 weeks of this prophecy.

 

So, since the church had no part in the first 69 weeks which are related only to God’s program for Israel, then it can have no part in the 70th week which is again related to God’s program for Israel.

 

So, the Rapture is the blessed hope or the happy guarantee that God is going to take us out from the wrath to come.

 

1Th 4:13  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.

 

Please notice the Rapture removes sorrow and grief and gives hope!

 

Now, REV 2:22 indicates clearly that the unsaved professing church will experience the tribulational period, Rev 2:18-22.

 

Rev 2:18  “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:  The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

 

REV 2:19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.

 

REV 2:20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond‑servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

REV 2:21 ‘And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.

REV 2:22 ‘Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

 

REV 2:23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

 

Remember, the professing church is composed of those who make a profession of faith in Christ.

 

 

But it’s another Jesus….2Co 11:4

Another spirit…2Co 11:4

Another Gospel…Gal 1:6

another doctrine 1Ti 4:1.

 

So the “True” church will not and cannot go through the Tribulation period which is coming upon this earth and therefore the church must be taken out from the earth which is what we call the rapture.

 

In fact Rev 3:10 also describes this principle, Rev 3:10  ‘Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from or take you out from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.

 

Now, 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.

 

 

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.

 

Now, 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!

 

In PHI 2:9  Therefore also the God has highly exalted Him to the maximum, and bestowed on Him the name or rank which is above every name,

 

 

 

PHI 2:10  in order that at the title of Jesus every knee of the heavens should bow [that’s the big Genuflex], and on earth [believers who are alive at the Rapture], and the ones under the earth [unbelievers],

 

So the order of events which will take place needs to be noted.

 

 

  1. The Rapture.
  2. The Big Genuflex.
  3. The Judgment Seat of Christ.
  4. The Second Coming.

 

Therefore we have begun a study on the Rapture.

 

The Rapture of the church is basically held by two schools of theology.

 

The Pre-Tribulational view, and the post-Tribulational view.

 

Amillennial and postmillennial theology does not believe in the rapture of the church!

 

 

 

Their position is basically promoted through the “kingdom now theology”, which adherers to the notion, that the church will usher in a world peace.

 

Post-Tribulational theology believes that the church will go through the great tribula­tion, and then be raptured, and return with Jesus Christ to reign in the Millennial.

 

Most covenant schools of theology believe in this position.

 

Pre-Tribulational rapture theology, believes that Christ will remove His church before the great tribulation.

 

And then that the church will return with Christ at the Second coming to establish the Millennial reign of Christ!

 

While the Rapture is defined as the act of being transported, it is also defined as the state of being rapt or carried out of oneself.

 

However, these definitions do not apply here.

 

Rapture is used here in a technical theological sense for the resurrection of the royal family of God.

 

 

Since the Church or royal family of God is the first spiritual building to be completed, it is resurrected after our Lord.

 

It is the second phase of the first resurrection following the resurrection of Christ.

 

Christ is resurrected, ascended, and seated at the right hand of the Father as part of the strategic victory of the angelic conflict.

 

This is known as our Lord’s battlefield royalty.

 

This is His only royalty without any family.

Therefore, God interrupted the Jewish Age with the Church Age to call out and provide a royal family of God.

 

Once the royal family of God is completed, the Church is resurrected as the body of Christ to become the bride of Christ.

 

The Church Age is that period of human history when the royal family of God is being formed on earth, Eph 1:22‑23, 2:16, 4:4‑5; Col 1:18, 24, 2:19.

 

When the royal family of God is completed, then the Rapture occurs, 1Th 4:16‑18; 1Co 15:51‑58.

 

During the conclusion of the Jewish Age, the bride is prepared in heaven by receiving a resurrection body exactly like that of the Lord.

 

Then comes the Big Genuflex and acknowledgment of Christ,

Phi 2:9-11, Rom 14:11.

 

Rom 14:11  For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.”

 

Then comes the Judgment Seat of Christ, when all Church Age believers are evaluated and rewarded, 2Co 5:10.

 

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

Now, there is a time coming on this earth which is called “Satan’s time of desperation.”

 

“It is also called the day of wrath.”

 

“The hour of trial.”

 

It is a period of the greatest power struggle in all of human history.

 

And it involves not only people but angelic creatures as well.

It is not a time that you would want any of your family members, friends, neighbors, and if you truly understood it, even your enemies to have to go through.

 

It is a great period of wrath on this earth, both from God and from Satan, Zep 1:14-18.

 

It is a time of great judgment on the earth like never before, Rev 6:16-17.

 

It is said to be a great time of indignation, Isa 26:20-21.

 

The hour of testing, Rev 3:10.

 

Destruction, Joel 1:15.

 

Darkness, Joel 2:2.

 

Desolation, Dan 9:27.

 

Punishment, Isa 24:20-21.

 

It is a very difficult time to be alive and it is called the Tribulation period!

 

And the “wrath of God” will be poured out upon the world during the great Tribulation period.

 

And according to the word of God, it is a time that could take place on this earth tomorrow!

 

The nature of the Tribulation is also one of practical importance.

 

 

If the church is destined to endure the persecutions of the Tribulation, it is hopeless to proclaim the coming of the Lord as an imminent hope.

 

Instead, it should be recognized that Christ cannot come until these predicted sorrows have been accomplished.

 

On the other hand, if Christ will come for His church before the predicted time of trouble, Christians can regard His coming as an imminent daily expectation.

 

So, because of a theological event known as the rapture, the church, the body of Christ will not go through this period.

And this is because the rapture is used in a technical theological sense for the resurrection of the royal family of God.

 

So my next Point will deal with Biblical principles that establish the Bi­blical position of a Pretribulational Rapture of the church.

 

  1. (1) First of all, 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?”

 

 

 

  1. (2) The nature of the church, and the promises of Christ forbid the church from going thro­ugh the great Tribulation.

 

For example, the nature of the church COL 1:22  yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach‑‑

 

The promise of Christ HEB 13:5  “for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

 

  1. (3) There must be an interval of time between the rapture and the second coming.

 

This is when the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place and believers either receive rewards or lose rewards, 1Co 3:11-15, 2Co 5:10.

  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?

 

This is a reference to the Jewish nation.

 

The abomination of desolation has to do with Jerusalem and the Temple, 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.”