The Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church, part 1. An important and exciting Doctrine Given to the Church-age Believer.


April 11, 2021

This morning we begin with the next major doctrinal principle that the Church should prepare itself for which is the Doctrine of the Rapture.

 

So, we will get right into our subject because of the importance of the next subject that we need to beware of which is the Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ.

 

We begin to look at the doctrine of the Rapture of the church with our first point which is the Definition and Description of the Rapture especially in light of the fact that it introduces the Tribulation period which is the next dispensation after the Rapture of the Church.

There is no greater subject for us than to prepare the world for the Tribulation period and the 70 weeks of Daniel that the is coming upon this world.

 

There is coming a time when the Lord is going to send an ambassador or a high-ranking minister of state or of royalty sent to another state to represent his sovereign or country that he is from.

 

By analogy we are spiritual aristocracy as members of the royal family of God, and Christ is the King who has sent us into a foreign country, the cosmic world.

 

 

This means that at salvation, every believer enters the royal family of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time he becomes a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth.

 

Ambassadorship stems from being in union with Christ, caused by the baptism of the Spirit.

 

Each Church-age believer is royal family of God representing the King of kings and Lord of lords during his time on this earth.

 

 

Therefore, two commissions are given the believer at salvation:  The royal priesthood, which is a part of the equal privilege of election; and the royal ambassadorship, which is a part of the equal privilege of predestination.

 

We represent ourselves before God and we represent God before men.

 

 

So, ambassadorship emphasizes that every believer is in fulltime Christian service.

 

  1. An ambassador does not appoint himself.

 

We are appointed by God Himself at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ with God giving us the power and ability to handle the job.

 

  1. The ambassador does not support himself.  The Church-age believer, as an ambassador for Christ and he is provided by logistical grace.

 

  1. The ambassador’s instructions are always in written form, so he has no doubt as to what he should do.

 

We have the policies, problem solving devices, instructions, principles, doctrines, and concepts in written form in the scripture.

 

  1. The ambassador does not belong to the country to which he is sent.

 

Our citizenship and home are in heaven.

 

We are also citizens of a client nation to God.

 

  1. The ambassador does not live in the foreign country for his own personal interest.

 

We live here on earth solely to serve in the interest of our Lord.

 

  1. The ambassador does not treat any insult to himself as personal.

We tolerate others and hold no grudges.

 

When you are insulted, treated unfairly, or ridiculed, you have tremendous problem-solving devices.

 

You have to have the spiritual strength to use these problem-solving devices to leave the matter in the Lord’s hands.

 

  1. When an ambassador is recalled, his recall is tantamount to a declaration of war.

 

This is analogous to the Rapture of the Church.

 

The Tribulation is analogous to the period of war.

 

  1. The royal ambassadorship is specialized and intensified in the gift of pastor‑teacher.

 

This is why the Apostle Paul said in Eph 6:20,  “On behave of which [gospel] I am an ambassador in chains, that in this [proclaiming the mystery doctrine], that I might communicate with confidence as I ought to speak.”

There is a special need for those who communicate doctrine to do so with confidence.

 

  1. The royal ambassadorship related to evangelism, 2Co 5:20.

 

2Co 5:20   “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ as though god were making his appeal through us. We invite you on behalf of Christ: become reconciled to God.”

 

This is the function of every believer who witnesses and is the special function of the believer with the gift of evangelism.

 

We are to witness through verbal communication of the gospel of the Word of God.

 

We are not to witness only through our lifestyle.

 

In Eph 6:19  And pray on my behalf, that utterance [expression, articulation, verbalization] may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness [confidence] the mystery of the gospel,

 

 

 

 

Eph 6:20,  “For which [gospel] I am an ambassador in chains, that in this [proclaiming the mystery doctrine], I might communicate with confidence as I ought to speak.”

 

So, the ambassadorship does not appoint himself.

 

He does not support himself.

 

His instructions are in written form.

 

He does not belong to the country to which he is sent.

 

He does not live in the foreign country for his own personal interest.

 

He does not treat any insult to himself as personal.

 

And when the ambassador is recalled, his recall is tantamount to a declaration of war.

 

  1. The royal ambassadorship is related to the angelic conflict.

 

The Church age believer is not only an ambassador to human creatures but to angels as well.

 

Angels observe and rejoice when ambassadors lead others to Christ, Luk 15:7‑10.

 

 

Fallen angels are organized to resist and oppose your ambassadorship and your growth in grace, Job 1:6, 2:1‑3; Eph 6:12.

 

The fact that angels are watching you as an ambassador is found in 1Co 4:9.

 

 

 

 

1Co 4:9    “For I think God has exhibited us apostles last of all as men condemned to death [last ones into the colosseum], for we have become an amphitheater to the world, both to angels and to men.”

 

Eph 3:10   “In order that the manifold wisdom of god might be made known through the church to rulers and authorities in the heavenlies [angels].”

 

1Ti 5:21   “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of his elect angels to maintain these doctrines without bias; do nothing on the basis of partisan strife.”

 

1Pe 1:12  “Things into which angels are watching intently.”

 

The Lord uses ambassadors in business, professions, homes, academic life, and in local churches.

 

  1. The royal ambassador must be filled with the filling of the Spirit.

 

  1. The ambassador must function under the daily function of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine stored in the human spirit and soul.

 

Our main passage is found in Eph 6:10-20Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.

 

Eph 6:11  Pick up and put on the full armor “from” God, so that you may be able to “hold your ground” against the “strategies” of the devil.

In verse 12, the reason why we need to put on the full armor from God.

 

Eph 6:12  For our warfare is not against blood and flesh, against human beings] but against the rulers [demon generals, commanders like Abaddon and Apollyon, Beelzebub], against the authorities, against the world rulers or the cosmic system of this darkness

[against demon ambassadors who control the rulers of this cosmic system and its demon conspirators], against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

 

These are the rank and file demons.

 

Eph 6:13  Therefore, pick up and put on the full armor from god, so that you may be able to hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you, and having done everything, hold your ground.

 

 

 

 

Eph 6:14  Hold your ground therefore,  After you have buckled on your combat gear around your waist with truth [a reference to the PMA of BD.], and [after] having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

 

Eph 6:15  [hold your ground] after you have put on your combat boots on your feet with the readiness, [or preparation, equipment] of the gospel of peace.

 

Eph 6:16  In addition to all, [all of these items of military equipment] taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish [intercept and destroy] all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

 

Eph 6:17  And take or receive favorably and welcome] the helmet of salvation, and [receive favorably and welcome] the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

 

Eph 6:18  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

 

 

 

 

 

Eph 6:19  And pray on my behalf, that utterance [expression, articulation, verbalization] may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness [confidence] the mystery of the gospel,

 

Eph 6:20,  “For which [gospel] I am an ambassador in chains, that in this [proclaiming the mystery doctrine], I might communicate with confidence as I ought to speak.”

 

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.

 

The Doctrine of The Rapture

 

Point 1. Definition and Description.

 

While the Rapture is defined as the act of being transported into Heaven, it is also defined as the state of being rapt or carried out of oneself in less than a second, I said less.

 

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,

 

How fast?

 

Faster than a second, 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.

 

  1. The Last Adam and the New Creation.
  2. The Head and the Body;
  3. The Shepherd and the Sheep;
  4. The Vine and the Branches;

 

  1. The  Chief  Cornerstone and the building;
  2. The High Priest and the Royal Priesthood;
  3. The Groom and the Bride;
  4. The King of kings and the Royal Family of God.

 

What an exciting time of rejoicing!

 

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.

 

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.

My Second Point, Point 2, will deal with The Biblical principles that establish the Bi­blical position of a pre-tribulational 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?

 

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 is a reference to the Jewish nation.

 

In 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 “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!

Not the USA!

Not Salt Lake City!

Judea, in Israel!

 

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

 

Why does it say the Sabbath?

 

Because we are talking to the Jews not to Christians!

 

The Sabbath is for the Jews only, Exo 31:16.

 

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

 

In 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 were 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 is trodden under, Luk 21:24.

 

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

 

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

 

  1. (5) 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.

 

  1. (6) Satan persecutes the women in the Tribulation (Israel).  The church is not to come under condemnation.  Rev 12:1-4; Rom 5:9; 8:1; 1Th 1:10; 5:9; 1Co 15:55-57; 1Th 4:13-18.

 

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

 

The church is a spirit­ual extension of Jesus Christ, with promises that are heavenly related.  Eph 1:3; 2:6.

 

  1. (8) 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 14:3 “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.”

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

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

If believers are to go through the great Tribulation, they would be advised to watch for the signs of the prophecies of the coming of Jacob’s trouble, Rom 8:23; 1Co 1:7; Gal 5:5. Tit 2:11-13.

 

Why would we in Rom 8:23 groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body?

Or in 1Co 1:7 await eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ?

 

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

 

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

 

Enoch before the flood; 2Pe 2:6-8.

 

Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

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

 

All of these principles are important to note and that is why they take me so long to reveal the answers.

 

But it is the only way a pastor can fulfill those precious words of Martin Luther.

 

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.

 

Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefields besides, is mere fight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.

 

 

Poems on the Rapture

 

God’s Word says, “Look up, your redemption draws nigh!”
All saints with be “caught up” to Him in the sky.
Any day now, Christ Jesus is coming again.
From the throneroom of heaven, He’ll surely descend!

The Bridegroom is leaving His Father’s right side,
To fetch His beloved, the Church, His fair bride.
With a trump and a shout, He’ll call from the air.
And with bodies transformed, we’ll meet with Him there.

Believers, together, gathered as one;
United forever, with Jesus the Son.
And so shall we be evermore with the Lord;
Overcomers of evil, by the sword of His Word.

“Behold, I am coming!…the beginning and end.”
“Even so,” says the Spirit, “Come, Lord Jesus. Amen!”
Together with Jesus, we’ll rule and we’ll reign,

 

 

 

 

A Poem For The End of Days

 

Twas the night before Rapture,
And all through the land;
Not a soul could be stirred,
Not even God’s man.

 

The Churches were filled,
With social events;
With rock and roll music,
And much money spent.

 

They threw out the Hymnals,
And changed the Old Book;
Lived purpose filled lives;
But God’s Word they forsook.

 

Yea preachers preach sermons,
With words so discreet;
They download their outlines,
And on them put meat.

 

 

They mince all their words,
From beginning to end;
But preach against sin,
We dare not offend!

 

The Church should be relevant;
You hear them all say;
Not too old fashioned,
More geared for today.

 

With coffee and donuts,
For all who attend;
And gossip sessions,
As prayer among friends.

 

Playgrounds for children,
Entertainment for teens;
Just keep them coming,
Whatever the means.

 

Let’s feed the homeless,
And do our good deeds;
It makes us feel good,
To meet someone’s needs.

While men’s souls are burning,
yet more day by day,
For fear of offense,
Nothing do we say.

 

I might risk my job,
Make the boss mad at me;
If the gospel I give,
To that vile employee

 

Though countless will perish,
For eternity burn,
Don’t ask me to witness,
Don’t seek my concern.

 

To yield unto God’s Word,
I cannot, you see;
Lest one I offend,
And they wont like me.

 

So I’ll just wait for Jesus,
To sweep me away;
When he calls with a shout,
That grand Rapture day

When the Trump shall resound,
Translated we’ll be,
I wonder how many

Are going with me.

 

Will my children, my parents,
My spouse next to me,
Make it to Heaven,
For Eternity?

 

The man at the Store,
Who I joked with today,
Will he make it to Heaven,
On that Rapture Day?

 

My neighbor, my friend,
My enemy as well;
Have I told them enough,
To spare them from Hell?

 

A kingdom of priests in His perfect domain