Class Notes: 2/15/2009

Conclusion 1Thes 4:18 Comfort and Encouragement from the Doctrine of the Rapure; Start of the Doctrine of Separation


The mandate of the PPOG that we are presently discussing is found in 1Thes 4:18; and 1Thes 5:11; where we have the second person plural active imperative of the Greek word "parakaleo" that is translated as "comfort" and "encourage" in the NASB.

This word is used to describe the work of God the Holy Spirit in John 14:26; John 15:26 and John 16:7; He does this by helping the believer recall "all that I said to you"

So it is the words that are spoken and recalled that are the source of the encouragement. The words of TLJC and the words of Paul.

This mandate occurs in the context of the doctrine of the rapture or exit resurrection of the church prior to "wrath" that is part of the hope of all church age believers. 1Cor 15:50-58; Verse 51 specifically states that " we will all be changed" at that time.

Using a historical literal grammatical method of interpretation, these passages describe a pretribulational, premillennial exit resurrection or rapture of the church that we have been discussing as the "pattern of sound words" that Paul taught. 2Tim1:13;

We saw last time that the exit resurrection or "rapture" of the church is an immininent but not necessarily not immediate event.

The fact that Christ would return to take His own out of the world is introduced to the disciples in the Upper Room Discourse in John 14:1-3;

The disciples who were already upset by predictions that Christ was going to leave them and that they would not be able to follow Him John 13:33-36; are now informed that Christ is going to come for them, and take them to the Father's house.

This was a change from their previous hope that Christ was immediately going to reign on the earth and quite different in that It indicated that their hope would now be heavenly rather than earthly and that they were going to be taken out of the earth to heaven instead of Christ coming to the earth to be with them.

In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, additional clarification is given regarding the doctrine of the rapture, as it was understood by the early church. The Apostle Paul along with Timothy and Silas had visited Thessalonica and in the course of their ministry extending over three Sabbath days had led a small number to believe in TLJC. After being forced to leave because of persecution, Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how they were doing.

Timothy reported on their progress and also brought back certain theological questions he apparently was unable to answer. Among them was the question of the relationship between the translation of living Christians and the resurrection of the dead.

The fact that this question was coming from new believers indicates the extent of Paul's teaching of them after their salvation. They apparently already believed in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. They also believed that Christ would come at any moment to "catch up" the living off the earth to be with Him.

Their question related to the relationship of these two events, and Paul answered their question in 1Thes 4:15-17;From this passage we can see that:

That the same Lord who ascended from the Mount of Olives to heaven would descend bodily from heaven to the realm of the atmospheric heavens;

That his coming would be signaled by a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God;

That at these signals the dead in Christ would be raised to rejoin their soul and spirit, that Christ had brought from heaven when He came 1Thes 4:14;

That the living believers will be instantly transformed and will meet the Lord in the air and without dying will be introduced to their eternal existence;

And in this state, having met the Lord in the air, saints translated and resurrected would be forever with the Lord 1Thes 4:17;.

This doctrine was introduced to them as a comfort in the loss of their loved ones as well as an encouragement to them in their time of persecution.

It is important to recognize that there is no reference given of any intervening time of tribulation such as is discussed in 1Thes 5.; specifically verse 9

A major contribution to the doctrine of the rapture was given later to the Corinthian church as recorded in 1Cor 15:51-58;.

This passage is introduced by a restatement of the gospel that Christ died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead as the first of those who would be resurrected.1Cor 15:3-4;

Paul describes this as a "mystery" in 1Cor 15:51; indicating that this information was not revealed in the Old Testament, making it part of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.

The Corinthian passage is even more explicit than what he wrote to the Thessalonians, in that it provides the additional information, that believers will receive a new body in contrast to our present corruptible, mortal, and sin nature infused body, and that this new body will be like Lord's resurrection body and suited for life in the heavenly sphere and the eternal state.

The resurrection body will be incorruptible, that is, it will not be subject to the decay and deterioration of age. It will be immortal in that it cannot die.

A glimpse of this body was given to Peter, James and John in Matt 17:2;

The resurrection is also discussed in 1John 3:2; and Phil 3:21; where our bodies are said to be "conformed to the body of his glory."

This resurrection and translation is said to take place "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" 1Cor 15:52;.

Although there are other references to the coming of TLJC for His church in Scripture, these major passages bring out the central doctrine that when Christ comes living believers will be translated and the dead in Christ will be raised from the dead.

After meeting Christ in the air they will go to the Father's house as promised in John 14:1-3; and in the heavenly sphere will fulfill predicted events which will take place in heaven prior to Christ's second coming to the earth.

Let's note some of the differences between the Rapture or Exit Resurrection of the Church and the Second Advent of TLJC:

At the Rapture all believers are removed,

At the second advent TLJC appears to all mankind.

At the Rapture Believers taken off the earth. John 14:3;

At the Second Advent Unbelievers are taken off the earth. Matt 24:40-41;

The Rapture is private. Only believers will be caught up 1Thes 4:17;

The Second Advent is Public. Every eye shall see Him. Rev 1:7

At the Rapture: Believers are caught up into the air with TLJC. 1Thes 4:17;

At the Second Advent, the Son of God returns to the earth. Zech 14:4;

At the Rapture Christ comes to claim a bride.
At the Second Advent, Christ returns with the bride.

At the Rapture, the Tribulation starts.
At the Second Advent, the Millennium starts.

The Rapture is Imminent
The Second Advent is preceded by many signs

The Rapture is associated with a message of comfort 1Thes 4:18;
The Second Advent is associated with a message of Judgment. Rev 6:15-17;

The Rapture relates to the Church
The Second Advent relates to Israel, the Gentiles and the world.

At the Rapture Believers are evaluated 1Cor 3:11-15;
At the Second Advent the Gentiles and Israel are judged with the Baptism of Fire. Matt 25:41;

At the Rapture the Covenants to Israel are not fulfilled
At the Second Advent the covenants to Israel are fulfilled.

At the Rapture Evil is not judged.
At the Second Advent Evil is judged.

The Rapture precedes the "day of wrath"
The Second Advent follows the "day of wrath"

The Rapture is the expectation of the church is "the Lord is near." Phil 4:5;
The Second Advent is the expectation of Israel is "the kingdom is at hand." Matt 24:14;

At the Rapture the expectation of the church is to be taken into the Lord's presence.
At the Second Advent the expectation of Israel is to be taken into the kingdom.

At the Rapture there is no dealing with Satan.
At the Second Advent Satan is bound for 1,000 years. Rev 20:2;

The doctrine of the Rapture is designed to give us courage for life. We can endure because we know that a magnificent time is coming in human history.

This information is provided so that believers will have confident expectation in God for their future and because of this confidence they can comfort and encourage each other as they face the challenges that God permits them to face in the devil's world. 1Thes 4:18; 1Thes 5:11;

This confidence derived from the words as they are taught from the historical literal grammatical perspective that was Paul used. 2Tim 1:13-14;

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The next mandate of the PPOG for the Church that we will discuss is the Doctrine of Separation or How to protect one's spiritual life when dealing with those who are living in the kosmic system. that is found in 2Thes 3:6;, 2Cor 6:17; and 2Tim 3:5;

The Greek words that are used in these passages for this command are:

"Stello" that means to avoid." aphorizo" that means to be separated, and "apotrepo" that means to turn away from.

In 2Thes 3:6 Paul states it as a command in the 2Cor 6:17 and 2Tim 3:5 the Greek words are in the imperative mood.

Separation is the technique of switching from personal love to unconditional love when dealing with others who are in the kosmic system.

This must be accomplished under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit. It is not an emotional decision based on anger, jealousy, envy, hatred, petty disagreements, self-centeredness, or inordinate competition.

Correct separation is to be done after clear-headed consideration of circumstances that occur in interpersonal relationships with family, friends, associates, or acquaintances.

In other words people have bad days. They make mistakes, they speak out of turn, or they behave improperly. Such indiscretions are common to man and only those with self righteous arrogance would be overly offended by them.

However, when such incidences are consistently repeated then they are behavior patterns instead of just an occasional false step then some sort of separation must be considered.

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