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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2003, 08:05:59 AM »

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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2003, 03:41:37 PM »

At some future time (we don't know when), before the tribulation, the trump of God and the voice of the archangel will signal the catching away of the true church. Then all of the souls of the Christians who have died will return to their dead bodies, which will be instantly changed to immortal, incorruptible, eternal bodies and come out of their graves. Then we who are left alive will not die, but our bodies will be instantly changed into immortal, incorruptible, eternal bodies. Then we will be caught up into the clouds to meet our fellow Christians who have died and our Lord Jesus Christ in the air. Then we all shall be with the Lord forever.
We know this from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 which are the two places in scripture which speak the most about our being caught up into heaven (commonly referred to as the rapture). This is not to be confused with the second coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation at which times Christ's feet will touch down upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).

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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2003, 03:43:35 PM »

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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2003, 08:40:41 PM »


The Christian who understands his Bible will be very careful in pointing to every current event as though it were prophecy fulfilled. The cause of Christ has been brought into disrepute many times because of some am-bitious (although sincere) Christian who has endeavored to say "This is that" without a thorough understanding of the Scriptures.

When Mussolini set out to restore the Roman Em-pire, the "experts" pointed to Revelation 13 and said "This is that," but they were wrong. When Russia and Germany entered into a non-aggression pact, many sin-cere students of the Word pointed to Ezekiel 38 and said, "This is that," but they were wrong again as history has proved. When Japan became a world power, we were again pointed to Revelation 16:12 and were told "this is that," but they were wrong, and they will continue to be wrong as long as they try to fit Jewish prophecy into the Church age.

Let us learn one basic truth in regard to prophecy. In a most general way, prophecy concerning the return of our Lord has to do with His return in Glory...and not with His coming at the Rapture.

No prophecy need be fulfilled in order for the Rapture to take place. The Rapture (the translation of the Church, which is the body of Christ...1 Thess.4:13-18), is not dependent on prophecy. It my happen any time any moment, any minute. Perhaps today our Lord will call for His Church.

"Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep but we shall all (believers) be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trum-pet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed"...1 Corinthians 15:51,52.
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2003, 08:42:12 PM »

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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2003, 08:45:31 AM »

Read: 1 Cor. 15:45-49

Paul, under divine inspiration, explains the heart cry of every believer as not being "unclothed, but clothed upon" ( 2 Cor. 5:2). He means by this that the yearning of the saints is not to only drop "this body of humiliation," but to acquire a new identity.

Our text (vs. 49) indicates there is a reasonableness to this teaching about the future likeness. Just as surely as we "have borne the image of the earthy" so, we find "we shall also bear the image of the heavenly..." No, our blessed Lord did not speculate, nor guess. This is a bonafide established fact, one we shall experience--some sooner, some later, if death be the time.

Being as every reader is, none are equipped to enjoy nor appreciate what this shall be--this new image. Possessing a body, "fashioned like unto his glorious body... (Phil. 3:21 ), is a truth about which we can do nothing more than speculate and rejoice. But, at the present time, none of us are adapted so as to enjoy. We need a change! We must have first, a detached image.

At the time of the Rapture 1 Th. 4:13-18) or the rescuing of the Body of Christ from the earth, "we shall be changed..." ( 1Cor. 15:52). There is the TIME. No, there will be no change until then. There is no such thing as the eradication of the flesh in this present life. And, the change will come prior to the tribulation of Daniel 9. The time is set, We learn: "this corruptible must put on incorruption..." (1 Cor. 15:53). Praise God!
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2003, 08:47:13 AM »

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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2003, 01:02:55 PM »

To understand why the 'Rapture' and the 'Second Coming' are two separate events divided by the Tribulation we need to understand the following. The Rapture was a mystery revealed through the Apostle Paul and is for the Church called the Body of Christ, but the Second Coming has always been prophesied and is for the Old Testament saints and Israel's deliverance at the end of the Tribulation to begin Christ's kingdom reign on earth. The following shows the distinct character of each and should not be confused with each other.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

This event is for Israel and other Gentile people saved through their kingdom gospel. It has always been known about in Old Testament prophecy. Prophecies which God has spoken - since the world began [Acts 3:21].

It says of the Messiah when He returns in that day 'His feet will stand on the mount of olives'. 'The Lord shall be King over all the earth'. Zechariah 14:4,5,8,9. 'I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem' Zechariah 8:3-8. 'The One to be ruler over Israel' Micah 5:2. 'and the government shall be upon His shoulder.' Isaiah 9:6. These verse clearly tell of a literal reign on earth by the Messiah of Israel.

So why hasn't this happened to Israel as God never goes back on His promises [Num.23:19, Romans 11:29]. God has not changed, nor His promises to Israel, but because of their disobedience and stubborn hearts God has not been able to yet fulfill what was prophesied for them. 'Has God cast away His people who He foreknew'? No but they have been set aside until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete [Romans 11:1,25]. This Gentile time is the present dispensation of the grace of God for the Body of Christ revealed by Paul in Ephesians 3:2.

THE PROPHETIC PROGRAM.

Because Israel as a nation rejected the offer of the prophesied kingdom on earth for them they have been set aside, and the prophetic events are being held in abeyence. [Acts 3:17-26, 13:46]. Prophetic events of the Old Testament that have not been fulfilled begin again after the Church is taken to glory, when the 70th week of Daniel begins.
Many were slow of heart to believe that the Christ had to die [ Luke 24:44-46]. Neither Israel or their twelve kingdom apostles realized that their Messiah had to suffer and die before the kingdom on earth could begin [Matthew 16:21,22]. Jesus returned to glory and the kingdom was offered to Israel by Peter at Pentecost and later by Stephen. They refused the offer, so Christ's Second Coming and His kingdom reign must wait for a future time [Acts.2: 29-39. 3:18-26. 13:4

THE SECOND COMING.

The Lord is coming is back to the earth as was promised to the kingdom Apostles [Acts 1:11].

The Revelation of Jesus Christ - To Earth [Zechariah 14: 5].

The Lord comes with 10,000s of his holy angels [Jude 14].

'and the armies of heaven followed Him on white horses' [Revelation 19: 11-14].

'Immediately after the tribulation of those days- they will see the Son of Man coming- with power and great glory' Matthew 24:27-31.

FOR JUDGMENT.

'In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God.' 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8.

'and destroy with the brightness of His coming' 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

'The Lord comes - to execute judgment on all' Jude 15.

'Immediately after the tribulation of those day' Matthew 24:29, which is called, 'The day of the Lord' [2 Thessalonians 2:2. 2 Peter 3:10].

His return will be to the Mount of Olives from where He left His disciples. This Second Coming is prophetic and is what has always been known about in the scriptures. It is the event that brings to close the Great Tribulation. The wicked will be destroyed, Satan will be bound, Israel will be delivered - and the earthly Kingdom will begin where Christ will reign from Jerusalem over the earth with redeemed Israel as the head nation.



The church which is His Body was a mystery hidden in God.
The Body of Christ and its rapture to be with the Lord were both secrets - mysteries hidden in God until the Lord revealed them to the Apostle Paul. Therefore we do not confuse them with the prophetic coming and kingdom for Israel.

The 'Mystery of Christ' which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men. Ephesians.3: 1-12. '- according to the revelation of the mystery which has kept secret since the world began' Romans 16:25-27. 'and that He might reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God in one body through the cross' Eph 2:14- 3:6. 'the mystery which has been hidden from ages--which is Christ in you the hope of glory' Colossians 1: 26,27. 'By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body' 1 Corinthians.12: 13. This is the ONE Baptism of Ephesians 4:5 which unites believes to Christ and places them in the 'Body of Christ'. As the 'Body of Christ' was a mystery only revealed to the Apostle Paul then it could not have begun before his time and will FINISH at THE RAPTURE. The Body of Christ began as a mystery and will end in mystery, the secret return of Christ for His saints before the tribulation.



THE RAPTURE. [secret, heavenly]

'Our citizenship is in heaven from where we also eagerly wait for the Saviour' Philippians 3:20.

'The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord'. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

But before believers return with the Lord to heaven something needs to happen. 'Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality' 1 Corinthians 15: 50-53. This spiritual change of the body will be very necessary for heavenly dwelling. Read also 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.

FOR BLESSING/ SALVATION

'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ', 'and raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus' Ephesians 1:3, 2:6,7.

The blessed hope of the believer is Jesus Christ's return. 'Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ' Titus 2:13. 'To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin for salvation' Hebrews 9:28. ' For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him' 1 Thessalonians 5:9,10.

When we understand how much the Lord loves and cherishes the Church which is 'His Body' we see why He would never put it through that prophesied time of the great Tribulation which is for an ungodly world. The 'Body' is already as perfect and righteous in Christ as it ever can be and the Lord will, 'present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish' Ephesians 5:27. The Greek word for 'caught up' in 1Thessalonians 4:17, is 'harpazo' and one of its meanings is, 'to rescue from the danger of destruction'. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in Ch 1:10, 'and to wait for His Son from heaven whom He [God] raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come'. As they would have known that God had already delivered them from His wrath on their sin, Paul was referring here to the wrath of God during the Tribulation time.

'Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, do not be troubled that the day of the Lord [judgment, tribulation] has already come, for that day shall not come except the aforementioned departure [of the Church to heaven] comes first and then man of lawlessness is disclosed. And you know with a positive assurance that which [namely the departure of the church, the saints being assembled together to the Lord] is preventing his being disclosed that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work only He [The Holy Spirit] who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.' 2 Thess 2:1-7. [See K.Wuest. An Expanded Translation] In verse 3 the definite article is used for "the" meaning an actual event is indicated not a gradual "falling away."



The scriptures are very clear about this difference! The Revelation - Second Coming is after the Tribulation and is for Christ to execute judgment on this evil world and set up His earthly kingdom over the nation of Israel. The mystery of the Rapture only revealed through Paul is for the church's translation to glory to be with the Lord and is before the seven years of tribulation prophesied on this world.

This glorious event reserved only for those who are saved under 'the gospel of the grace of God' [Acts 20:24] was not known before the Apostle Paul and is called the blessed hope.



Believes today do not need to fear whether they will go through part or all of the Tribulation as they will be taken to be with the Lord before this seven years of judgement for Israel and this wicked world begins. The expectation of the believer in the Body of Christ is not looking forward to judgement but that the Lord 'might deliver us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father' Galatians 1:4.

Looking for that blessed hope.

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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2003, 01:05:34 PM »

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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2003, 03:06:10 PM »

The age of Grace will be brought to a sudden end by the Lord's coming in the air, the Rapture. The word "rapture" is the English form of a Latin word in the Latin Vulgate (translation from Greek into Latin about 400 A.D.). The Greek word means lift up, catch up, catch away, pluck up, or pull up. In the English it is translated "caught up."

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)

"Behold, I show you a mystery ("a sacred secret"); We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)

WHO will be caught up? All from this Dispensation of Grace who have depended on the Lord for salvation. Like a magnet, He will pick up all who have believed on Him. In the twinkling of an eye, every believer will be bodily transported upward to meet the Lord in the air.

While awaiting our departure upward, we are ambassadors and soldiers in the opportunity of holding forth the message of the Gospel of Grace (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:10-18). Also meantime, the Lord is working in believers with a purpose to transform us to be like Christ (Romans 12:1,2). At the instant of the Rapture, that work will be miraculously completed (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6). The old sinful nature will be left behind, never to be a grief to us again.

That departure is the next event in God's program. It may be at any moment, for there are no prophecies to be fulfilled before that event. No "signs" are to be looked for; instead, we serve, wait, look, and long for the Lord Himself (Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10). We are "looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).

Some think of the "Lord's coming" as a reference to the death of the believer. But at the Lord's return, the bodies of believers will come OUT of the graves. O death, where is thy sting? - for living believers will be translated, escaping death, cheating death of its sting. O grave, where is thy victory? - for the bodies of believers who have died will escape from the graves, cheating the grave.

As the looking for the Lord fills our hearts with delightful anticipation and expectation now, how much more will the reality bring inexpressible and unending joy!

Always note the sharp contrast in references to the Lord's coming for believers with the references to His return to set up His earthly Kingdom. Another contrast is that the rewards to be given after the Rapture concern work done, whereas salvation and being caught up are by Grace only, no works are involved.

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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2003, 03:08:19 PM »

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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2003, 02:00:36 PM »

Blessed Assurance

Read: Eph. 1:3

Sadly, there are countless souls who have received the gift of salvation but have no knowledge of their most precious blessings as saints. Paramount among these is the absolute certainty of eternity with Christ. Our apostle tells us that at the moment of our believing we were "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the re-demption of the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:13,14).

Who are "the purchased possession"? The apostle explains. To the saints in the Body of Christ, he writes, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: there-fore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19.20).

And what is meant by "the redemption of the purchased possession?" Again, our apostle gives the answer: "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:4). We live in expectation of this event, known as "the rapture." Paul writes that we are "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). So certain is our position as body members, that we are already established, spiritually, in our future eternal home. "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven: from whence we look for [expect] the Saviour, in Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20,21).

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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2003, 02:02:08 PM »

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« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2003, 12:58:50 PM »

Why is the earth warming? Why are climates changing? Where do UFO's come from? Why are prophets spreading gloom and doom stories and predictions about the future? Why are psychologists, psychiatrists and mental hospitals doing a roaring business during this decade?

To answer the above questions and bring peace to troubled hearts today we need, first of all, to establish some basic facts. These facts are as follows:

There is one God, Creator of the heavens and the earth and Author of the Holy Bible which is the story of His creation and Himself (Deuteronomy 6:4.)

God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27.) He always has been and always will be. Before the heavens and the earth were created, God lived in His abode with myriads of angels. There were angels of many different ranks and responsibilities. They were created beings and servants of the Most High God,

God created the world, the heavens (we call them "space") and every living thing (Genesis 1:1.) They were "good" and lived together in the perfect Garden of Eden in perfect harmony.

Lucifer was a high-ranking angel in the abode of God. He was called "The Morning Star" and the Bible tells us he was beautiful and powerful and had much authority under God. But Lucifer had a change of heart and said, "I will be like the most High" and challenged God's authority (Isaiah 14:12-14.) For this disobedience (which was called "sin") Lucifer was cast out of God's abode and his domain became the earth and the space between heaven and earth (called "space"). The Bible describes Lucifer as "the old devil, the serpent, Satan, the evil one, prince of the air, god of this world, a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour and an angel of light" (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 5:8.)

In Genesis we read the account of the devil who appeared in the form of a serpent. He convinced Eve she did not need to obey God. In fact, he told her that if she obeyed him, she would be like God and would know good from evil (Genesis 3:1-5.)

Consequently, Eve ate the fruit which God had forbidden and disobedience ("sin") came into the perfect creation. From that time on, mankind had to work for his living, and the animals were wild and afraid of him.

Sin and the sin nature passed to all the creation. Beasts became vicious and wild, weeds choked the gardens and man began to hate, kill and destroy one another (Genesis 3:17,18.) Satan was more than a fallen angel. With that one act of deception, he became the archenemy of God.

God promised Adam a "Deliverer" who would conquer Satan, undo his evil, and bring the creation back to its perfect form (Genesis 3:15.)

God also killed a lamb, shedding its blood to provide a covering for Adam and Eve. Thus blood became the cleansing factor, or the way in which man could approach a holy God and have his sins covered (Genesis 3:21.)

The rest of the Old Testament Scripture is the story of the preparation and anticipation of that Deliverer. Satan opposed God at every turn and the sin nature of man carried on the evil. It became so bad that the Gentiles were given up in unbelief and the Jews became the chosen people of God and the race through which the Deliverer would come. So from the time of Abraham until after Jesus died, was buried, rose again and went to Heaven, God was

dealing with the Jews. The Gentiles were called "dogs" (Matthew 15:22-27.) The Jews then looked for the Messiah, a Saviour, the very Deliverer God had promised back in early Genesis.

After 4,000 years this Messiah was born. John 1:11 tells us that

"He came unto His own (the Jews) and His own received Him not."

Instead of receiving Him as their Messiah and entering into a beautiful and perfect Kingdom, as He had promised, they crucified Jesus Christ. Even today orthodox Jews will not acknowledge that Jesus Christ was truly their Messiah.

Jesus Christ did die on a cross (Matthew 27:27-51.) He was the Son of God and had been sent by God as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. On the cross He shed His blood so that sin no longer needed to be covered by the blood of a perfect lamb, but could be taken away forever.

Because Jesus was rejected and the Kingdom which He offered was rejected, the Jews were then set aside as a nation and God brought in a new era called the "Dispensation of the Grace of God" (Ephesians 3:2.) No longer would God deal with Jews only. Now the Gentiles were invited to enjoy forgiveness and blessing from God. This new dispensation is also called a "Mystery" because it was not prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures (Ephesians 3:3.) Oh yes--it was in the mind of God because He is all-knowing, and knew His Son would be rejected, and His Holy Spirit would be rejected. But it was not made known to man (Ephesians 3:15; 3:2.)

When Paul came on the scene--in the book of Acts--we find Jesus in Heaven, sitting at the right hand of God. The Jews have rejected Jesus, the Kingdom has been set aside and God is now dealing with Jew and Gentile in the same manner (Romans 11:32.)

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« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2003, 01:01:48 PM »

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Are You GOING TO HEAVEN?

http://forums.christiansunite.com/index.php?board=3;action=display;threadid=550

Galatians 4:16   Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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