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1 Thessalonians
Special Comments

Seven major Christian doctrines here in verses 1 Thes.1:9-10:

1. Conversion . . . they turned . . . (1 Thes.1:9; Mat.18:3)
2. True and living God . . . (1 Thes.1:9; Jn.17:3).
3. Idolatry, a sin . . .  (1 Thes.1:9; 1 Cor.8)
4. Jesus IS the Son of God . . . (1 Thes.1:10; Jn.3:16)
5. Second coming of Jesus Christ . . . (1 Thes.1:10; 4:13-17; Rev.19:11; Zec.14:1-5)
6. Resurrection of Jesus Christ  . . . (1 Thes.1:10; Mat.12:40; Lk.24:39-40; Acts 1:3)
7. Salvation from wrath to come . . . (1 Thes,1:10; Jn.3:18,36)

Knowledge of the Truth

Twelve times Paul brings up what the Thessalonians know about Truth:

1. Know what manner of men we were . . . (1 Thes.1:5)
2. Know our entrance in unto you . . . (1 Thes.2:1)
3. Know how shamefully we were treated . . . (1 Thes.2:2)
4. Know we did not use flattering language and were not covetous . . . (1 Thes.2:5)
5. Know how we exhorted, comforted, and charged you . . .  (1 Thes.2:11)
6. Know that we were appointed afflictions for the gospel  . . . (1 Thes.3:3-4)
7. Know what commandments we gave you by Jesus Christ . . . (1 Thes.4:2)
8. Know how to possess your vessels in sanctification and honor . . . (1 Thes.4:4)
9. Know perfectly about the day of the Lord . . . (1 Thes.5:2)
10. Know your true teachers . . . (1 Thes.5:12)
11. Know what withholdeth that the Antichrist might be revealed . . . (2 Thes.2:6-8)
12. Know how you ought to follow us . . . (2 Thes.3:7)

There are Twelve “Know Ye Nots” questions listed by Paul, elsewhere:

1. That so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? . . . (Rom.6:3)
2. That to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are . . . sin or righteousness; Satan or God? . . . (Rom.6:16)
3. That I speak to them that know the law (the Jews) . . . (Rom.7:1; 2:12-16)
4. That ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you . . . (1 Cor.3:16)
5. That a little leaven leavens the whole lump . . . (1 Cor.5:6)
6. That saints shall judge the world . . . (1 Cor.6:2)
7. That saints shall judge angels . . . (1 Cor.6:3)
8. That the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God . . . (1 Cor.6:9)
9. That your bodies are menbers of Christ . . . (1 Cor.6:15)
10. That he which is joined to a harlot is one body . . . (1 Cor.6:16)
11. That your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit . . . (1 Cor.6:19-20) 
12. That they which run in a race all run, but only one wins the prize . . . (1 Cor.9:24)

Twenty Facts about Paul’s preaching:

1. Not in vain . . . (1 Thes.2:1,13-20)
2. Preached in mistreatment. . . (1 Thes.2:2)
3. Preached in boldness . . . (1 Thes.2:2)
4. Preached in great conflict . . . (1 Thes.2:2)
5. Did not use deceit . . . (1 Thes.2:3)
6. Did not use uncleanness . . . (1 Thes.2:3)
7. Did not use guile . . . (1 Thes.2:3)
8. Was trusted by God with it . . . (1 Thes.2:4)
9. Preached to please God, not man . . . (1 Thes.2:4)
10. Used no flattering words . . . (1 Thes.2:5)
11. Was not covetous . . . (1 Thes.2:5; Lk.12:15)
12. Did not seek human glory . . . (1 Theas.2:6)
13. Ministered without pay . . . (1 Thes.2:6,9)
14. Worked day and night . . . (1 Thes.2:9)
15. Lived what he preached . . . (1 Thes.2:10)
16. His purpose was right . . . (1 Thes.2:12)  
17. Was patient and gentle . . . (1 Thes.2:14)
18. Preached with great affection . . . (1 Thes.2:15)
19. Was ready to sacrifice his life . . . (1 Thes.2:16)
20. Gave unceasing thanks to God for results of the gospel . . . (1 Thes.2:13-20)

Rapture and the Second Coming

The Rapture symbolizes Jesus’ Personal Presence (Mat.24:3). The Rapture is NOT the same as the Second Coming of Christ. http://hisservants.org/rapture,_second_coming_h_s.htm

These two Comings of Christ should not be confused. The Scriptures that apply to the Rapture   do not apply to the Second Coming. . Not one passage refers to both events as if they were one. These two distinct comings are separated by several years, so they aren't two stages or phases of one coming.

The Rapture is the first of the two comings, not a coming to earth but in the air. It could not be the Second Coming because Christ does not come to the earth to live here and fulfill a mission as He did at the first coming. When Christ meets the saints in the air He takes them back to heaven with Him and presents them before the Father's throne where they remain during the time the tribulation is running its course on the earth (1Th. 3:13; Jn. 14:1-3). Christ does not remain in the air with the saints when they meet Him as in 1Th. 4:13-17. The marriage supper and the judgment of saints take place in heaven, then at the second coming after the tribulation Christ and the saints leave heaven together to come down to the earth (2Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19). The Rapture is the time Christ comes for the saints to take them to Heaven.

The Second Coming is the time He comes to the earth to live here and fulfil a mission. This is the time He comes from Heaven with the saints, having raptured them at least seven years before. The Second Coming cannot take place until all of Rev. 1:1-19:21 is fulfilled while the Rapture can take place any moment without anything being fulfilled.

Scriptures on the Rapture; Jesus Coming FOR His saints: 
***** #1. Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (KJV)
***** #2. John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (KJV)
***** #3. 1 Cor.15:51-56  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 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. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (KJV)
***** #4. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might 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. (KJV)
***** #5. Phil. 3:11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (KJV) Phil. 3:20-21  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (KJV)
2 Cor. 5:6-9  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him
. (KJV)
***** #6. 1 Thes. 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (KJV)
1 Thes. 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (KJV)
1 Thes.4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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:17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)
1 Thes. 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)
1 Thes. 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
***** 7. 2 Thes. 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (KJV)
2 Thes. 2:7-8 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (KJV)
***** 8. Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (KJV)
1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (KJV)
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (KJV)
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (KJV)
***** 9. James 5:7-8  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (KJV)
 
Scriptures on the Second Coming; His Coming with the Saints:

*****1. Daniel 2:44-45  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (KJV)
Daniel 7:13-14  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed
. (KJV)
Daniel 7:18  But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (KJV)
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (KJV)
***** 2.  Zechariah 14:1-5 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (KJV)
Zechariah 14:9  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (KJV)
Zechariah 14:16-21  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. (KJV)
***** 3. Matthew 24:29-31  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (KJV)
***** 4. Matthew 25:31-46  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
(KJV)
***** 5. 2 Thes. 1:7-10 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day
. (KJV)
2 Thes. 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (KJV)
***** 6. Jude 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (KJV)
***** 7. Isaiah 63:1-6 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. (KJV)
. . . Also see Book of Joel.
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (KJV)
Revelation 19:11-21And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (KJV)
Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (KJV)
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
***** 8. Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (KJV)
Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
(KJV)
***** 9. Mark 13:24-27 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (KJV) . . . Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The Truth About God's Grace

The word "grace" in the New Testament comes from the Greek word charis, which means “favor, blessing, or kindness.” We all can extend grace to others; but when the word grace is used in connection with God, it has a much more powerful meaning. Grace is God blessing us, instead of cursing us (Deut.27:15-26), as our sin deserves. Grace is God’s compassionate and merciful kindness to the undeserving.

Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (KJV) . . . The only way any of us can enter into a relationship with God is because of His grace toward us. God’s grace began in the Garden of Eden when God killed an animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve (Gen.3:21). He could have killed the first humans then and there for their disobedience. But rather than destroy them, He chose to make a way for them to be right with Him. That pattern of grace continued throughout the Old Testament when God instituted blood sacrifices as a means to atone (compensate, pay the cost ) for sinful men. It was NOT the blood of those sacrifices that cleansed sinners! It was the grace of God that forgave those who trusted in Him (Gen.15:6; Heb.10:4).

Why would Paul’s labor be in vain IF there was no possibility of Satan tempting Christians, causing them to fall and be lost? I am certain that Paul understood the grace of God and its limitations to those who refuse to obey the Gospel. The word grace is found 131 times in the New Testament, and Paul uses it the vast majority of those times. He KNEW what it meant!

Grace cannot be withheld from man because of failings or shortcomings, nor lessened by failings or shortcomings, nor can it ever be mixed with the law of works; but this does not prove that there are no conditions men must meet in order to get the benefits of grace. Not even one Passage of Scripture teaches unconditional grace, and not even one Scripture states that God gives grace to men who disobey the Gospel. That being so, God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom.2;11). BUT, God is responsible to saints ONLY when they walk in the light and remain true to the Gospel (1 Jn.1:7). He is NOT under any obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the Gospel. Grace teaches men to DENY ungodliness, DENY worldly lusts, and strive to live righteously, obedient and godly in this life on Earth (Tit.2:11-12). Anyone who does not obey the teaching of grace can go no further.

Consider this: Anyone may:

#1. Receive grace in vain (2 Cor.6:1).
#2. Frustrate grace in his life (Gal.2:21).
#3. Fall from grace (Gal.1:6-8; 5:4).
#4. Fail of the grace of God (Heb.12:15).
#5. Turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4).
#6. Sin in spite of it (Rom.6:1).
#7. Continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43).
#8. Minister it to others (1 Pet.4:10).
#9. Grow or not grow in grace (2 Pet.3:18).
#10. Receive or reject grace (Jn.3:16; Heb.12:15; Jam.4:6; Rev.22:17).

Thirty Things that Grace CAN Do:

#1. Grace could save the world (Gen.6:8; Eph.2:8-9).
#2. Grace could give you all good things (Ps.84:11).
#3. Grace can bring men to repentance (Zec.12:10).
#4. Grace can impart great blessings (Acts 4:33).
#5. Grace can bring salvation (Tit.2:11-12; Eph2).
#6. Grace can impart faith (Acts 18:27).
#7. Grace can justify you (Rom.3:24-25; Tit.3:7).
#8. Grace can overcome sin (Rom.5:20).
#9. Grace can reign in your life IF permitted (Rom.5:21).
#10. Grace can make you, one God's elect (Rom.11:5-6).
#11. Grace can make you bold (Rom.15:15).
#12. Grace can make you a partaker of Christ (1 Cor.10:30).
#13. Grace can give you power (1 Cor.15:10).
#14. Grace can inspire you liberality (2 Cor.8:1-2,6-9; 9:8).
#15. Grace can give you endurance (2 Cor.12:9).
#16. Grace can call people to the ministry (Gal.1:15).
#17. Grace can impart riches (Eph.2:7).
#18. Grace can inspire you to sing (Col.3:16).
#19. Grace can season your speech (Col.4:6).
#20. Grace can give you strength (2 Tim.2:1).
#21. Grace can teach you (Tit.2:11-12).
#22. Grace can give you aid in suffering (Heb.2:9).
#23. Grace can help you in time of need (Heb.4:16).
#24. Grace can give you stability (Heb.13:9).
#25. Grace can give you a better life (1 Pet.3:7).
#26. Grace can help you render true service (Heb.12:28).
#27. Grace can make your faith and love more abundant (1 Tim.1:14).
#28. Grace can bring you hope (2 Thes.2:16).
#29. Grace can give you the ability to preach, to witness (Eph.3:8).
#30. Grace can change lives (1 Cor.15:10).

Is the Rapture Doctrine Taught in the New Testament?

The word rapture is NOT in the Bible. Opponents of this doctrine claim that the Rapture as we proclaim it, are corrupting the Word of God. Most churches, Bible scholars, evangelists, theologians and Christians DO believe in a coming Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, is the Scriptures they base their beliefs on in what happens when the Rapture occurs.

What IS the Rapture?

The Bible clearly tells us that BEFORE the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth, the Lord will remove TRUE believers from the Earth.

1 Thes. 4:16-18  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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)

The word Rapture comes from the Greek translation of the Bible, the words "caught up" is the word "harpazo," which means to seize, catch away, pluck, pull, take by force.

WHO Is Jesus Coming For?

There is a gloomy warning here. NOT everyone shall be taken, as is clear from the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins (Mat.25:1-13). The idea here is this: Jesus IS coming for those who are eagerly watching for him. Most often, ‘religious’ conversation is about WHO the Antichrist might be. Jesus is Coming for those who are eagerly waiting for HIM. That is what we should be thinking and talking about . . . that is what we should be LOOKING for . . . NOT wondering about who the Antichrist will be. My friend, IF you are a TRUE believer, you will NOT be here after the Rapture . . . and that is when the Antichrist shall appear, AFTER the Rapture. As soon as the Rapture takes place, the Tribulation shall begin, and it is not necessary for us to know WHO the Antichrist will be. Looking for Jesus’ Return: (Phil.3:20; Tit.2:13; 1 Thes.1:10; Heb.9:28; 10:27; 11:10. 12:2; 2 Pet.3:12-14; Jude 1:21)

As Christians should NOT to look for the Tribulation, or for the Antichrist, but instead for:
1 Thes. 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (KJV) . . . The wrath to come is the Great Tribulation (Mat.24:21).

Jesus is the pattern.

As it happened to Jesus, so too, it will happen to us. Those who have been conformed to His death, will also be conformed to His resurrection (Rom.8:29). Jesus is the pattern. We were shown a picture of the Rapture at the Rapture of Jesus.
Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (KJV)

WHY do we think that the Rapture shall take place BEFORE the beginning of the last seven years . . . the Great Tribulation?
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (KJV) . . . Sixty nine weeks have been fulfilled, ending in the Messiah being "cut off."
Shortly after the crucifixion of Christ Jesus, the "mystery" of the church age began several days later at Pentecost. http://www.godcannotlie.org/eph_ch5.htm

What is a mystery in Scripture?

It is NOT a whodunit or a mystery story, and it is NOT something you wonder about: Was it the butler who committed the crime? A mystery in Scripture means that God is revealing something, that up to that time, He had not revealed. There are two elements which always enter into a New Testament mystery: #1. It cannot be discovered by man, for it is always a revelation from God; and #2. it is revealed at the right time and not concealed, and enough is revealed to establish the fact without all the details being disclosed.

Paul explains that the church age was a "mystery" hidden from the prophets of old and only revealed after the Resurrection of Christ. The church age will close with the Rapture. After that, the story goes back to Israel to finish out the 70th week which is clearly stated to be determined upon Israel and Jerusalem. And then the Lord will return to rule and reign upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem.

Eight Christian Hopes:
# 1. Salvation (Rom.8:20-25; 15:4,13; 1 Thes.5:8; 2 Thes.2:16; 1 Pet.1)
#2. Righteousness (Gal.5:5)
#3. God's calling (Eph.1:18; 4:4)
#4. Eternal inheritance (Col.1:5; Eph.1:11-18; Heb.9:15; 1 Pet.1:4)
#5. God's glory (Rom.5:1-5; Col.1:27)
#6. Resurrection (Acts 23:6; 24:15; 1 Thes.4:13; Tit.2:13; 1 Jn.3:3)
#7. Eternal life (1 Cor.13:13’ 15:19; Eph.2:12; Col.1:23; Tit.1:2; 3:7; Heb.3:6; 6:11,18-19; 7:19; 1 Pet.1:3-13)
#8. TRUE Believers safe in Heaven (1 Thes.2:19)

Ten Purposes for the Rapture
#1. To receive saints to Himself as promised (1 Thes.4:17; Jn.14:1-3; Eph.5:27)
#2. To separate and resurrect the dead in Christ from among the wicked dead (1 Thes.4:14-17; Phil.3:11; Rev.20:4-6)
#3. To take saints to Heaven to live in the New Jerusalem and receive rewards due them, or losss of rewards they could have had (1 Thes. 3:13; 4:17; Jn.14:1-3; 1 Cor.3:13-15; 2 Cor.5:10; Heb.12:22-23; Rev. 19:1-10; 21:9-10)
#4. To change bodies of saints from corruption to incorruption and immortality (1 Thes.4:16-17; 1 Cor.15:35-58; Phil.3:21)
#5. To present saints before God (1 Thes.3:13; 4:17; Jn.14:1-3; Jude 1:24; Rev.19:1-10)
#6. To make saints perfect in body, soul and spirit (1 Thes.4:16-17; 5:23; Phil.3:21)
#7. To receive the fruit of the early and latter rain (Jam.5:7; Jn.14:1-3)
#8. To remove the saints before the Great Tribulation (1 Thes.1:10; Rev.3:10; 1 Thes.4:16-17; 5:9)
#9. To remove the One who hinders lawlessness (2 Thes.2:7; Rev.4:1)
#10. To reveal the Antichrist (Dan.7:8; 8:9; 9:26-27; 2 Thes.2:3; 1 Jn.2:18; :3; 2 Jn.1:7)

The Timing of the Antichrist’s Rise

Although we may be able to imagine in our minds what the Antichrist will be like and even some aspects of what will happen when he appears, we still do not know the timing of his coming with respect to other events. In studying end-times prophecy, it is always important to keep the overall picture in focus, especially when concentrating on one particular event. It is easy to get isolated from other prophecies, and that can bring on wrong conclusions, which can results that may not go along with the Bible.

Those who have tried to identify the Antichrist as simply the latest evil leader to arise in a troubled world, have fallen into this trap. They understand that the man of sin (2 Thes.2:3,8-10; Dan.7:25; Rev.13:11-18), will be a tremendous leader and extremely wicked in all his ways, but they lose sight of the fact that the Bible provides us with more thorough details; information that does not allow wrong interpretations.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (KJV) . . . Although this verse was buried within the prophecies of Israel’s future, it nevertheless contains very important information concerning the rise of the Antichrist. The events within this one verse describe perfectly the major events of the Antichrist’s reign, and they also relate perfectly with other major prophecies dealing with him. This prophecy describes the final seven-year period, the Tribulation Period, which is divided into two 3-1/2 year segments, and is actually marked in time by the actions of the Antichrist.  Each event within Daniel’s Seventieth Week can be related somehow to what is prophesied to happen as a result of the Antichrist’s leadership. A week is 7 years.

So . . . in the above prophecy, the Bible gives details regarding the beginning, the middle and end of the Antichrist’s kingdom. His reign will start when he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (a peace treaty with Israel for 7 years), and probably set up the new one-world government. I believe that this shall be AFTER the church has been removed (raptured). As soon as all the Raptured saints have been safely removed from Earth by Jesus, the Tribulation will begin. Jesus will not let TRUE believers here on Earth during the Tribulation. Rev. 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (KJV)

And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease . . . in the middle of the peace treaty with Israel, Antichrist will abruptly discontinue the sacrifices in the rebuilt Jewish Temple which will have been built, and he shall proclaim himself to be God in the Holy of Holies. This “abomination”, as the Lord calls it, will quickly cause the entire world to become a desolate wasteland of destruction.

Daniel finishes the prophecy by saying that the judgment of God will ultimately be poured out upon he who caused the desolation.

If we combine this prophecy with what was said in Daniel’s vision of the four beasts (Dan.7), we have the information needed to identify the Antichrist when he arrives. In that section, we saw that the “little horn” will uproot three of the first ten horns in his ascent to power. Adding this information to what is contained in the above prophecy, we find that after the Antichrist conquers three of the ten countries of the alliance he will then sign a world-wide peace treaty establishing his empire. These events mark the initial actions of the Antichrist in the world and will in the end help identify him when he arises.

With this in mind, the timing of his coming must correspond to the start of the final seven years of the history of this age . . . or the last seven years before Christ Returns (Rev.19:11-21; Zec.14:1-5).  Before that period (Tribulation) begins, his identity will remain efficiently hidden by the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit (2 Thes.2:6). Any guesswork on our part concerning who the Antichrist might be is pure stupidity. Right now we could not identify him even if we wanted to, because the Lord has simply not yet allowed him to be revealed.

Let us, as TRUE Christians, be wise and look for the Coming of Christ in the clouds (1 Thes.4:13-18).

END TIME SIGNS

#1. False Bible teachers would be money hungry. They would be smooth talkers, have many followers, and slur the Christian faith (2 Pet.2:1-3) http://worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm
#2. Homosexuality would be increasingly evident at the end of the age (Rom.1:26-27; 2 Tim. 3:3)
#3. Earthquakes would be in diverse places (Mat. 24:7)
#4. Stress would be part of everyday living (2 Tim.3:1)
#5. Many wars would erupt (Mat.24:6)
#6. People would forsake the Ten Commandments as a moral code, committing adultery, stealing, lying and killing (Matt.24:12)
#7. There would be a cold religious system, in denying God's power (2 Tim.3:5)
#8. Men would substitute fables in place of Christian Truth (2 Tim. 4:4). This is so clear at Christmas when the birth of the Saviour is lost and forgotten behind the myth of Santa Claus.
#9. Deadly diseases would be prevalent (Mat.24:7). The worldwide increase in AIDS deaths is almost inestimable. Over 160,000 Americans die of cancer each year. And now the scare of Ebola is world wide.
#10. The FACT that God once flooded the Earth because of sin (the Noahic Flood) would be denied (2 Pet.3:5-6). There is a mass of fossil evidence to prove this FACT, yet it is flatly ignored by the scientific world because of its mysterious implication.
#11. The institution of marriage would be forsaken by many (1 Tim.4:3)
#12. There would be an increase in famines (Mat. 24:7)
#13. Increase in vegetarianism would increase (1 Tim. 4:3-4)
#14. There would be a cry for peace (1 Thes. 5:3)
#15. The possession of Jerusalem would be at the center of international turmoil (Zec.12:3)
#16. Knowledge would increase (Dan.12:4)
#17. There would be hypocrites within the Church (Mat.13:25-30)
#18. There would be an increase of religious cults/false teachers (Mat. 24:11,24)
#19. The future would seem fearful to many (Luke 21:26)
#20. Humanity would become materialistic (2 Tim.3:4)
#21. There would be many involved in travel (Dan.12:4)
#22. The Christian Gospel would be preached as a warning to all nations (Mat.24:14)
#23. Jesus said Christians would be hated "for His name's sake" (Mat.24:9)
#24: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  (Luke 21:25-26).
#25: Youth would become rebellious.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2 Tim.3:2)
#26: Men would mock the warning signs of the end of the age saying, "for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Pet.3:4). The Bible even reveals their motivation, they love lust (verse 3). They fail to understand that a day to the Lord is as a thousand years to us. God is not subject to the time that He created. He can flip through time as we flip through the pages of a book. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV) . . . Maybe YOU are the one God is waiting for . . . to believe Him (1 Jn.5:10), and accept His Son to save you! (Jn.3:16)

Twenty-two Commandments and Warnings to Believers in 1 Thessalonians 5

#1. Do not sleep; be spiritually alive (1 Thes.5:6).
#2. Watch, be alert, enemies are all around us (1 Thes.5:6).
#3. Be sober, not drunk (1 Thes.5:6-7).
#4. Put on God’s armor (1 Thes.5:8; Eph.6).
#5. Comfort one another (1 Thes.5:11; 4:18).
#6. Edify or build each other up (1 Thes.5:11).
#7. Know and be kind and loving to pastors (1 Thes.5:12).
#8. Esteem ministers highly in love (1 Thes.5:13).
#9. Be at peace among yourselves (1 Thes.5:13).
#10. Warn the unruly, the disorderly (1 Thes.5:14).
#11. Comfort the feebleminded, the fainthearted (1 Thes.5:14).
#12. Support the weak (1 Thes.5:14; 1 Cor.8:10).
#13. Be patient with all men (1 Thes.5;14; Eph.4:2).
#14. Render evil to no man (1 Thes.5:15).
#15. Follow that which is good (1 Thes.5:15).
#16. Rejoice always in all things (1 Thes.5:16).
#17. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes.5:17; 1 Pet.4:7).
#18. Give thanks always in all things (1 Thes.5:18).
#19. Quench not the Spirit (1 Thes.5:19).
#20. Despise not prophesyings (1 Thes.5:20).
#21. Prove all things; hold fast to the good (1 Thes.5:21).
#22. Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thes.5:22; 2 Cor.6:3; 8:20-21; Phil.4:8).

Sanctification is:
#1. By the Father (Jude 1:1; Jn.10:36)
#2. By Christ (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor.1:2,30)
#3. By the Holy Spirit (Rom.15:16; 2 Cor.6:11; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2)
#4. By the Word of God (Jn.15:3; 17:19; 2 Thes.2:13; Eph.5:26; 1 Tim.4:5)
#5. By the atonement (Heb.10:10-14,29)
#6. By faith (Acts 26:18; Eph.2:8-9)

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