Grace Bible Church
Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree Of Life
Week Ending 4-11-21 (Part 2)
“The Beginning Of The End? The Doctrine Of The Rapture: Introduction”
In this lesson Pastor illuminates:
-Two royal warrants
-Definition and description of the ambassador for Christ (second warrant)
-Definition and description of the Rapture
-Scriptural basis of the Rapture
-Description and basis of the dispensation of the Church Age
-Tribulation is punishment for unbelieving Jews (nation of Israel) and Gentiles
-Proof that the Church will not be left or forsaken to suffer wrath
This morning (Sunday April 11 2021) we begin with the next major doctrinal principle that the Church should prepare itself for which is the Doctrine of the Rapture. 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.
A King or ruler will 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. The ambassador represents the interests of his home state in foreign countries. By analogy we are spiritual aristocracy as members of the royal family of God, and Christ is the King who has sent us as His ambassadors 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. 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 as priests, and we represent God before men as ambassadors. Here are some basic principles describing our ambassadorship:
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.
2.) The ambassador does not support himself. The Church-age believer, as an ambassador for Christ and he is provided by logistical grace.
3.) 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.
4.) 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.
5.) 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.
6.) 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.
7.) 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.
8.) 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."
9.) The royal ambassadorship related to evangelism, 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 (EPH 6:19-20).
*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 Lord uses ambassadors in business, professions, homes, academic life, and in local churches.
11.) The royal ambassador must be filled with the Spirit to produce divine good.
12.) 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 6:10-20, Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
Eph 6:11-12 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. 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.
The rest of the passage describes the various pieces of the Roman armor, each one analogous to an article of the spiritual life by which we can be protected from the “flaming darts”, i.e. assaults of the cosmic system.
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.
Then we have a description of the ambassadorship for which we don these divine accoutrements:
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.
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 instantaneously, in less than one second.
I. The Doctrine of The Rapture
Definition and Description.
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. Christ is finally united with His church forever more!
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;
5.) The Chief Cornerstone and the building;
6.) The High Priest and the Royal Priesthood;
7.) The Groom and the Bride;
8.) The King of kings and the Royal Family of God.
What an exciting time of rejoicing!
The church is being formed in the church age (EPH 1:22‑23, 2:16, 4:4‑5; COL 1:18, 24, 2:19) which interrupts the Jewish Age, which is part of the mystery which was hidden from everyone prior to the incarnation of Jesus – including Daniel. Christ’s resurrection was phase one, the resurrection of the church is phase two. This happens as soon as the church, or the Lord and King Jesus Christ’s royal family, is completed (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).
This is followed by the Judgment Seat of Christ, sometimes called the “Bema seat”, when all Church Age believers are evaluated and rewarded (2Co 5:10)
Now we will deal with The Biblical principles that establish the Biblical position of a pre-tribulational Rapture of the church. This is a doctrine that is contested and misunderstood, so it is vital that you understand it.
a. (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)
c. (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).
- (4) The scriptures which deal with the great tribulation have particular reference to the Jew (Mat 24:1-31; Mar 13:14; Luk 21:23-36). Matthew 24 describes the great tribulation and we can identify that this is speaking of the nation of Israel, the unbelieving Jews who rejected and continue to reject the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we know it is Israel?
-In MAT 24:1-2 the Lord points out the Temple buildings and tells the disciples that they will be completely torn down.
-In MAT 24:3-8 the Lord describes the deceptions, false messiahs and the turbulence of the period, and in v 9 he describes the persecution of the Jews.
-MAT 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
-MAT 24:20 "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;
Who lives in Judea? Who is the Sabbath for? The Jews only (EX 31:16).
-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? Israel! (LUK 13:6)
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 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
k.) (10) The believer is told to watch, or have an attitude of anticipation for the Lord's coming.
** Why would we in ROM 8:23 groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body?
** Why would we await eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ? (1CO 1:7)
** What about TIT 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; ??
l.) (11) God has always protected His people in unique fashion's in the face of judgement.
m.) (12) The instructions by the apostle Paul never include any preparation or warning that the church will encounter the great Tribulation.
Give thanks for our faithful and diligent Pastor who exhaustively prepares these rich lessons for us! Many believers are malnourished in this age, and their Pastors do not labor long to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We are spoiled by Grace.
A Poem until next time:
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