November 17, 2013 In The Twinkling of Your Eye (Part 2)

In The Twinkling of Your Eye (Part 2)

The next blink of your eye could be your departure from earth to be joined with Jesus!  All believers!  Think about that.  The Apostle Paul had contemplated this event and wrote these words, in AD 55-56, in 1 Corinthians 15.51-52.  They are true for us, too.  This is the last time he would write about the ‘calling away’ or Rapture.  He first wrote about this in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11 and in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17, AD 50-51.  Why are there no other writings by Paul about this glorious event?  When and how did he learn about Jesus’ teaching this topic to His disciples, since Mark wrote the first of the four Gospels in AD 63? (John 14.26; Romans 8.14)  What impact should the ‘calling away’ have upon your daily life before it happens?

The ‘falling away’

  • Apparently, someone was telling the Thessalonians that the ‘calling away’ had happened and they had been left behind. So, Paul corrected this in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12.
  • Falling away’ from what?  From believing John 3.16 and 14.6 exclusively!  Galatians 5.1-4 (AD 48) details Paul’s understanding, expressed in 1 Thessalonians 3.1-5. He later summarized this concern in 1 Corinthians 1.22-25 (AD 55-56) and Colossians 2.8-10 (AD 60). Solomon’s graphic description in Proverbs 26.11 was repeated in 2 Peter 2.18-22 about those who had fallen away.
  • Paul would develop this ‘falling away’ more fully 10 years later in AD 61 in Hebrews 2.1 and 6.4-6. He wrote Hebrews under the duress of supposed impending death during his first Roman imprisonment. See Jesus’ earlier warnings in Luke 9.61-62 and Matthew 24.45-25.13.
  • ‘Falling away’ was a continuous concern for Paul and should be for you (Proverbs 4.23, 14.12; Jeremiah 13.10) for yourself, your children and other family members, and your friends and others. Just at the Thessalonians were pressured away from Jesus, society is pressuring your loved ones to believe variations of satan’s lie to Eve in Genesis 3.1-5.  Remember Jesus’ instructions to believers in Matthew 10.22 and parable about the sower in Matthew 13.18-30 (example in Acts 8.6-13; old habits are hard to break).

Revealing the ‘man of lawlessness’

  • Jesus told Paul that God would restrain the appearing of satan’s agent, a man of lawlessness, until God was ready to call away believers in Jesus (John 14.1-6).  See 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4, 7-8.  Because we are the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6.19, John 17.22-23), when we are called away, so is He.  God banished satan from Heaven and confines him on earth to await judgment (Revelation 12.7-12; Isaiah 14.12-15).  Pity those who will remain!
  • Conjecture about the identity of satan’s agent range from Islam’s Twelfth Imam to the ‘last’ Pope, Francis.  You can research each on the internet.  The Pope’s remarks in mid-September about lessening the Catholic Church’s focus on abortion and gays have been offered in support.
  • What is the ‘temple of God’ in 2 Thessalonians 2.4?  It is not the temples of Jews, Hindus or Buddhists; it is not the mosques of Muslims; it is not the churches of homosexuals or atheists; it IS the Christian churches, without the presence of Christ!  It also individuals that have suppressed the knowledge of ‘I AM’ (Exodus 3.14) engrained on their hearts by their Creator (Jeremiah 31.33; Romans 1.21, 2.14-15; Ezekiel 18.4; John 3.18-20).  Unbelievers gather their ‘temples’ in dark (Matthew 6.22-23) places called temples, mosques, and churches.  Their ‘god’ will one day stand where Christ was proclaimed and pretend to be what he is not (Isaiah 14.12-15; Daniel 9.27, 11.31; Matthew 24.15).
  • The root of lawlessness is the lie of satan that ‘you are god’, like he said to Eve.  Paul described lawlessness in 2 Timothy 3.1-9.  God described lawlessness in Ezekiel 22.6-12, 23-29 and Isaiah 5.20-25, among other citations.  Former communist David Horowitz said, in his speech The Threat We Face, that the progressives of the left today are defined by four features: they are ‘citizens of the world’ and not America; they instinctively practice dishonesty; they have contempt for the past [including the Bible and Christians] and seek an imaginary future saving the planet; and they regard politics as a religious war.  The lie is why you should pity those who will remain!  Isaiah 17.7-14 describes the days of God’s wrath upon them.
  • Paul summarized his teaching about the man of lawlessness and his followers in 2 Thessalonians 2.9-12.  He explained the ‘delusion’ in his later letter, Romans 1.18-32. Darkness deludes, like medicines mask pain, until it wears off and the wrath of God will be felt (2 Corinthians 4.3-4)! Plead with the lost you know before it is too late!
  • In 2 Thessalonians 1.3-8, Paul encouraged believers to endure the tribulations from the Godless because the troublers will get their justice: God’s wrath!
  • Be comforted with these words!  You who endure to the calling away will be saved (Ephesians 6.13-18)!  See Matthew 10.22, 24.13; Hebrews 10.35-39.

What impact should the ‘calling away’ have upon your daily life before it happens?

Praise God!!!  Copyright (c) by Maurice L. Painter, 2013.  www.sozoclass.com

November 10, 2013 In The Twinkling of Your Eye

In The Twinkling of Your Eye (copyright (c) by Maurice L. Painter, 2013)

The next blink of your eye could be your departure from earth to be joined with Jesus!  All believers!  Think about that.  The Apostle Paul had contemplated this event and wrote these words, in AD 55-56, in 1 Corinthians 15.51-52.  They are true for us, too.  This is the last time he would write about the ‘calling away’ or Rapture.  He first wrote about this in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11 and in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17, AD 50-51.  Why are there no other writings by Paul about this glorious event?  When and how did he learn about Jesus’ teaching this topic to His disciples, since Mark wrote the first of the four Gospels in AD 63? (John 14.26; Romans 8.14)  What impact should the ‘calling away’ have upon your daily life before it happens?

The ‘calling away’

  • Why will you be called away?  Paul wrote the answer for his readers and you in

1 Thessalonians 1.10 and repeated it in 1 Thessalonians 5.9: ‘For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…’  You are saved from the wrath to come upon unbelievers (Matthew 3.7; Romans 1.18-21, 5.9)!  The wrath of the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments are described in Revelation 6-18.

  • Paul distinguished between ‘wrath’ and his (and your) ‘tribulations’ in 1 Thessalonians 3.3-4.  Jesus warned of this in Matthew 10.22 and assured victory in John 16.33.  Your troubles are because of Jesus’ name, but you are to overcome them!  See Genesis 4.7 and Revelation 12.11; you were ‘appointed’ to overcome!
  • The Apostle John wrote about the suddenness of the Rapture in Revelation 4.1-2.
  • John heard someone speak, whose voice was like a trumpet (1 Corinthians 15.52), saying, ‘Come up here…Immediately I was in the Spirit….’  The blast of this ‘trumpet’ calls God’s people home!  Not a long blast, but a ‘twinkling’ sound.  Terror to the world; joy to us!
  • Jesus first described this event to His disciples when He told them about the destruction of the Temple in Matthew 24.  Verses 30-31 tell about His appearing in the sky and about the ‘trumpet’ call gathering His followers…His bride!
  • Paul gave more details about this in 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17.  Notice that there are two sequential ‘millisecond or microsecond or nanosecond twinklings’: dead believers ascend before those who are alive at Jesus’ appearing in the sky.  Millions of people immediately followed by millions more! ‘Immediately.’
  • From Paul’s ‘we’, you understand that he expected Jesus’ return during his lifetime.  When this had not happened for several years, he stopped writing about it and resolved to await God’s perfect time for calling His children home.
  • Paul will be among those ‘dead in Christ’ who rise first.  Where is he now?  With other believers of the truth of John 14.6 who have passed.
  • Jesus’ story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus in Luke 16.19-31 pictures the present state.  The ‘imagination’ (Jeremiah 13.10; Proverbs 14.12) of the rich man led him to Hades to await the Great White Throne Judgment and condemnation to the lake of fire (Revelation 20.11-15).  Notice that Death is also cast into the Lake of Fire.  Jesus had destroyed the power of Death through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.54-57; Hebrews 2.14-15; Isaiah 54.8; Hosea 13.14).  Thus, you need not fear death!
  • Beggar Lazarus was also in Hades, but a different part…’Abraham’s bosom’.  Easton’s Bible Dictionary states that hades is ‘a Greek word used to denote the state or place of the dead.  All the dead alike go into this place.  To be buried, to go down to the grave, to descend into hades, are equivalent expressions.’  Easton’s also states, for ‘hell’, another word for hades, that ‘the righteous and the wicked are separated.  The blessed dead are in that part of hades called paradise (Luke 23.43; 2 Corinthians 12.3; Revelation 2.7).  They are also said to be in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16.22).’
  • When will the Rapture happen?  Your guess is as good as any.  Remember 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Happen in 1988?  Only God knows, as Jesus said in Matthew 24.36-44.  Paul stated similarly in 1 Thessalonians 5.1-8.
  • Are you ready for that ‘twinkle’?  It could come in your next blink!

November 3, 2013 That Your Faith Not Fail

 That Your Faith Not Fail

(satan steals the word of God from you so he can destroy your faith so he can kill you.

 John 10.10, Romans 10.17, Jeremiah 13.10, Matthew 10.28.)

These were Jesus’ words to Apostle Peter before He was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane; see Luke 22.31-32.  Is it possible for your faith to fail?  Apparently, failure is possible, or Jesus would not have stated this.  Verses 54-62 detail the pressures that led to Peter’s faith-failure.  The contrast is Apostle Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4.7: ‘I have kept the faith.’  Uncertainty about the faith of believers in Thessalonica had caused Paul to send Timothy there, since Paul had been forced to leave before he had completed discipling them (1 Thessalonians 3.1-5; AD 50).

Driven out by jihadists!

  • Acts 17.1-15 tells the story of Paul’s visit to Thessalonica after leaving Philippi.
  • What could Paul have preached that caused such a ruckus?  After reasoning with Jewish and Gentile listeners for three weeks, some Jews were not persuaded that Jesus was Messiah and became ‘envious’ and ‘set all the city in an uproar’ (verse 5).  Perhaps, after persuading some (verse 4), Paul used Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in John 8.42-47 on the rest (John 3.16-21).  Rationale for this possibility is that Paul had preached the return of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4.13-5.11) and used Jesus’ words to warn them of the wrath to come on unbelievers.
  • Likewise, Paul’s appeal to Gentiles was probably similar in content to what he preached on Mars Hill.  Acts 17.22-31 presents his conclusion that God would no longer overlook their ignorance in worshipping idols but would condemn them to wrath for not accepting His salvation through Jesus.
  • Are the arguments Paul heard the same that are stated today?  If so, does this mean that non-Messianic Jews will suffer the same wrath as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others that reject John 14.6?  Consider John 3.18, 5.24, 6.40 & 47, 20.31. How much does this reality bother you?
  • Paul knew well the arguments of Jews and Gentiles, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 1.22-25 (written in AD 55-56; also see Matthew 12.38-40).  Acts 17.3 states that Paul ‘demonstrated’ that Jesus is Messiah.  This, apparently, was his protocol, as he stated in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.  Evidence of such signs is found in Acts 14.8-10, 20.7-10, 28.8-9.
  • Acts 17.10 states that Paul was sent to Berea before the jihadists could get to him. There, he found Jews and Gentiles ‘more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica’. What made them more ‘fair-minded’?
  • The Bible is the absolute truth for comparing philosophies (John 17.17; Colossians 2.8-10; Jeremiah 13.10; Proverbs 14.12).
  • But, jihadists caused a ruckus in Berea, and Paul was sent to Athens (Acts 17.13-15).

The jihadists’ goal: destroy your faith in Jesus; then, oppress you to death!

How will you answer Jesus’ question in Luke 18.8?  That is the issue.  Romans 10.17.

Praise God!!!  Copyright (c) by Maurice L. Painter, 2013.  www.sozoclass.com