It is inevitable that stumbling blocks would come, (Luke 17:1-2); moreover, we are also warned that false prophets and false doctrines will creep into the gatherings of Believers unnoticed, (Jude 1:3-4; 2 Peter 2). This latter-day deception, subtly brought in through the spirit of Antichrist (1 John 2:18-19), will be utterly refined, and will even be accompanied by great signs and wonders (Mat 24:24; 2 Thes 2:1-12; Rev 13:11-15). How then, shall we prepare ourselves for this hour?
Why should we at all bother to take a stand regarding the doctrine on the Rapture? Does it really matter? Why do we not just accept the different opinions? There are those who choose to believe in a Pre- Mid- or Post Tribulation Rapture on the one hand; and a few others who call the brethren to be alert and ready for a time of great tribulation. Why then should be bother? Indeed, we should!
Confusion sets in as soon as one attempts to read the book of Revelation through the lens of the doctrine on the Rapture. In teaching on the layout, themes, and time frames in the book of Revelation, the first question in the audience is usually, “So what about the Rapture?” And rightly so, for the doctrine on the Rapture . . .
Revelation 7 is an interlude explaining God’s incentive to seal ALL HIS BOND-SERVANTS BEFORE the earth would be harmed by the execution of His foretold wrath. A symbolic 144,000 will be sealed from the 12 Tribes of Israel. According to Revelation 12, the woman, Israel, who gave birth to Messiah, will be severely persecuted by the dragon of old, and in a rage, he will pursue to annihilate her. Yet, she will be given help from the earth in order to flee into the wilderness where she will be protected and nourished for a period of three-and-a-half-years, the time of God’s wrath . . .
The word “rapture” does not appear in the word of God! Nevertheless, most Believers use this word interchangeable in association with the resurrection. Very few scholars and Believers use the term “resurrection” today, and there is hardly any teaching on the very subject of the resurrection. In this writing, we will pursue to establish the basic doctrine of this teaching . . .
In an effort to establish Scriptures regarding Messiah’s Second Appearance on a firm foundation, we studied various passages in order to gain a better understanding. In this particular writing, we will draw these studies together in order to establish, if possible, a firm foundation in our expectation . . .
The parables related by Messiah in regard to His Second Appearance have a central theme, namely to be “alert” and “ready,” for, “the day will come as a thief in the night . . .
The whole earth, and even the heavens, will be conscious of Messiah’s Second Appearance! In briefing the disciples on the signs of the end of the age and His Second Appearance, Messiah stated clearly that those who will be alive at that time should not seek for Him in secret secluded places, saying, ‘If therefore they say to you, “Behold, He is in the wilderness,” do not go forth, or, “Behold, He is in the inner rooms,” do not believe them . . .
The resurrection is the hope of every Believer, the promise of receiving a glorified body as the final stage of redemption. This final stage of redemption, namely the redemption of the body, is in fact part of the Believer’s eternal inheritance. The apostle Paul explains that this final stage of redemption, namely the resurrection of our bodies into an eternal state of glory, is in fact . . .
Death had become a subject of fear in the circle of many faithful Believers. It seems as though our minds have been captivated by fearful images, which in many ways are real because of the reality of the futility of this present age; yet, they are far removed from the victorious work of the cross . . .
Life is difficult! Life is even more difficult if we pursue righteousness, for ‘indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We have established this principal truth – ‘Through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God,’ thus, ‘we strengthen the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith . . .
Until the late 1500’s the hope of the early Church was anchored in the resurrection. In fact, the expectation of the Second Appearance of Messiah was so vivid in the lives of the early Believers in Thessalonica that some ceased working, and the apostle Paul had to write two epistles to rebuke these Believers, and thus establishing in this congregation foundational teaching on the Second Appearance of Messiah and the Resurrection . . .
Messiah called His disciples to lift up their eyes and to look at the fields, for the harvest was ripe. The field of harvest on which they were to sow the Word of God would produce “fruit for life eternal” for those who would reap. The apostle Paul confirmed this principle in his epistle to the church in Corinth, indicating that some will plant, others will water, and that God would bring to fruition a harvest for the Kingdom. It is clear from these passages that the harvest refers to the souls of those . . .
The fear of the LORD is embedded in our awe for His holiness, (Is 6:1-7). His purity and splendour cannot accommodate ungodliness, and thus His maintains a holy anger (wrath) against sin and impurity. The full measure of this anger (wrath) is contained in the cup of His wrath and is kept for Judgment Day, (Ps 75). The outpouring of the cup of God’s wrath is foreseen by the prophets as a distinct period of time, predestined for a generation at the end of this age . . .
Scripture is clear, “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 had done, whether good or bad . . .
Before the Lord will appear in His great glory and splendour to establish His glorified Kingdom on this earth with the blowing of the 7th and Last Trumpet, this generation will witness two very distinct events, namely a great apostasy and the revelation of the Antichrist. The apostle Paul emphasizes that these two events are forerunners to the Day of the Lord, and that the Body should ‘not be quickly shaken from their composure or be disturbed by a spirit or a message or a letter. Let us thus heed this warning and be vigilant . . .
Not only is persecution on those who live godly lives increasing, but the battles are intensifying. Before we left Israel to continue the work of the Kingdom in the nations, the Lord warned us that we would witness “great darkness,” which would inevitably lead to more resistance. This word has indeed proved to be true, for we testify that lawlessness is increasing rapidly on a world-wide scale . . .
All men await Judgment Day. Yet, when Messiah appears a second time to judge the world, He will also establish a redemption without reference to sin, namely, the redemption of our bodies. It is important to notice that the latter part of Hebrews 6:2 states that eternal judgment and the resurrection should be considered elemental teachings of Messiah . . .
Inevitably, every human being will appear before the eternal Judge to give an account for his life on earth (Mat 16:27; Rom 14:12), for Almighty God will finally judge the whole world with equity, (Ps 75). Judgement is a court procedure. Adam sinned, and since the fall, every human being has fallen short of the glory of God, (Rom 5:14-18; Rom 3:9-23). ‘There is no partiality with God,’ thus every man will render an account for the choices he made . . .
If our faith is anchored in this life only, we are most pitied among men. We have a future and a hope, for the Father promised a new creation in which righteousness dwells! Yet, this incorruptible, eternal inheritance cannot be inherited by corruptible bodies. The resurrection, so to speak, will be the grand finale of our salvation…
In reality, the foundation of any building determines the stability of what will be built upon it. A firm foundation will render a stable building. On the other hand, a shallow or compromised foundation will inevitably render instability in the building. It is thus a mutually exclusive equation! Moreover, Scripture states clearly that whatever is being built on the foundation WILL BE TESTED . . .