The Day of Christ

Introduction

The phrase “the day of Christ” or “the day of the Lord Jesus” is unique to the Apostle Paul. Paul also called the day of Christ “that day” in his last letter. The phrases are found in 1 Corinthians 1.8, 3.13, 5.5; 2 Corinthians 1.14; Philippians 1.6, 10, 2.16; 2 Timothy 1.18, 4.8.

On the other hand, the phrase “the day of the Lord” (also called “that day”) is common throughout the Old Testament. The prophets referred constantly to it. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul, and Peter referred to it. Some of the passages are the following: Isaiah 2.12, 13.6, 9; 34.8; Ezekiel 13.5; 30.3; Joel 1.15, 2.1, 11, 31, 3.14; Amos 5.18, 5.20; Obadiah 1.15; Zephaniah 1.7, 14; Zechariah 14.1; Malachi 4.5; Matthew 24.1-51; Acts 2.20; Romans 2.5; 1 Thessalonians 5.2; 2 Thessalonians 2.2; 2 Peter 3.10; Revelation 1.10 and “that day” Isaiah 2.11, 17, 20; 3.18. This day is a time of terror, darkness, and wrath. It is a “day of visitation” (Isaiah 10.3), a “day of the wrath of the Lord” (Ezekiel 7.19), the “great day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1.14).

Contrasting the Two Days

A stark contrast exists between these two days. The chart below outlines the differences.

Day of ChristDay of the Lord
For the Church (the Body of Christ)For rejectors of Christ
A day of blessing and rewardA day of judgment
A heavenly hopeAn earthly despair
Eagerly anticipatedFeared and dreaded

The Day of Christ

The chart below notes the verses that refer to the Day of Christ. They are all from Paul since God did not reveal it in the Old Testament, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, or later to the Twelve. The ascended Lord revealed this Day unto Paul for it is a day that has reference to the Church, the Body of Christ exclusively. Paul called it our “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13) and is the day which believers eagerly anticipate.

Day of ChristComment

11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13.11-12).

Paul’s first allusion to the Day of Christ encouraged the Romans to live holy lives. The salvation mentioned was the Lord’s return, the Rapture, when the believer will receive a resurrection body (glorification). Paul believed the Lord would return in his lifetime.

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1.4-8).

Paul wrote the Corinthians that they were enriched in Christ, in all speech and knowledge, that they were true believers, and lacked in no gift. They eagerly awaited the return of Christ who would establish them blameless until the end. No hint of judgment is in this day (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10, 5.9).
Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work (1 Corinthians 3.13).In the “day of Christ” believers works will be judged. This will most likely determine rewards, responsibilities, and rank.

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit,with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  (1 Corinthians 5.1-5).

Paul had to deal with a situation of immorality that was so offensive he said it didn’t even happen among pagans. Paul’s judgment in the matter was “to deliver the person to Satan for the destruction of his flesh.” In other words, he prayed for his death so that he might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Sometimes it is more merciful for someone to die before their normal time if their actions will harm the Church or themselves. This man was saved and Paul wanted the best for him when Christ returned for his Body.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1.3-6).The Philippians embraced the gospel faithfully from the beginning (the first convert in Asia was Lydia, cf. Acts 16.14). Paul wrote encouragingly that God would continue his good work until Christ returned. Again, no mention of wrath is in the day.
For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; (Philippians 1.8-10)Paul expressed his love for these Philippians and prayed their love would abound in real knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις) and they would approve (δοκιμάζω<) “try,” “test” things that were excellent to be unsullied when Christ returned.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain (Philippians 2.14-16).Paul encouraged the Philippians to good behavior, to be above reproach, to stand as examples in a perverse world, and to hold fast to the Scriptures. They were his glory and he wanted his hard work to them to bear fruit and celebrate in their success when Christ returned for his Body.
12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 13 For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end; 14 just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 1.12-14).Paul wrote the Corinthians that in good conscience he had conducted himself with integrity towards them. Together, they had a mutual source of pride: they could be proud of him and he them in the day of Christ. When Christ returns for his body there will great celebration and reward. Again, no hint of wrath, woe, or fear is present.
16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; 17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— 18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus (2 Timothy 1.16-18).Paul asked the Lord for special mercy to Onesiphorus and his household for he had not been ashamed of Paul’s imprisonment but searched determinedly for him. Paul wished Onesiphorus reward when the Lord returned. No wrath.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4.6-8).Paul knew his execution was near. He knew he had been faithful to the Lord and that the Lord had a crown of righteousness for him when he returned as well as for all who eagerly anticipate His return. Once again, no mention of wrath or terror in this return of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

Many scriptures speak of the Day of the Lord (יוֹם יְהוָה). It is concisely described by the prophet Zephaniah:

14 Near is the great day of the LORD, near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORDIn it the warrior cries out bitterly.
15 A day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and the high corner towers.
17 I will bring distress on men so that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORDAnd their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them
On the day of the LORD’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth (Zephaniah 1.14-18).

Jesus spoke of this day in Matthew 24.1-51. He echoed the horrors of this time with his words:

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short (Matthew 24.21-22).

The Day of the Lord is that time of judgment in which God will judge Israel for her unbelief (Jeremiah 30.7) and the nations of the world for their rejection of Christ. The day will end with the return of the Lord (Matthew 24.30; Revelation 19.11-19). He warned his listeners to be prepared for this day (Matthew 24.42-51).

The earliest reference to this day is in Psalm 2. An understanding of this Psalm is critical to a correct understanding of Jewish eschatology. It succinctly outlined the whole prophetic program for Israel (1st and 2nd Advents) and the Messianic Kingdom on earth.

Psalm 2Comment
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?Nations refer to Gentiles; peoples refers to Jews.
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,Verse 2 parallels verse one. Gentile powers consorted with Israel to crucify the Messiah and will consort again when the Antichrist comes.
“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”The mental attitude of rebellion of Jews and Gentiles against God’s rule.
He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.God laughs in scorn in response to man’s foolish rebellion (v. 3).
Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying,This verse refers to God’s judgment primarily to the Day of the Lord. He will judge the world for its unbelief.
“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”God’s plan is for the Son to rule earth from Mt. Zion (Jerusalem).
“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.The Son declares His right to rule: Begotten refers to Christ’s resurrection (Acts 13.33; Romans 1.4; Hebrews 1.3, 5).
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.The Messiah is worthy to fulfill God’s prophetic plan to establish His kingdom on earth because of who He is and his work on the cross.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.'”Christ will return to defeat his enemies and rule earth with a rod of iron (Revelation 2.27, 12.5, 19.15).
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.Again parallelism: God warns kings (Gentiles) and judges (Israel) to be forewarned of His intent.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling.God’s counsels worship of Him with reverence: Christ is coming to rule.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!God’s final warning: the fate of all who refuse to acknowledge and honor His Son is doom. On the other hand, all who love Him are blessed forever.

Paul’s Warnings

Paul made it clear that the Church would not experience the Day of the Lord. Notice the difference between the following two passages:

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4.13-18).

. . .

1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

. . .

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing (1 Thessalonians 5.1-11).

In the first passage, Paul’s subject was believers. The bolded text, “we,” “you” refers to believers. Paul wrote that the Lord would come for believers and closed the passage with a word of comfort (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10). Notice the contrast in the next passage. The bolded text “they,” “them” refers to unbelievers. They, unbelievers, not believers, will experience the Day of the Lord (Tribulation). He closed this passage with “us,” “we,” “you” again as the subject to contrast and demonstrate that God has not destined believers for wrath, i.e., the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation. Because of this hope and confidence, we are to encourage one another. These passages indicate clearly that the Church, the Body of Christ, will not undergo God’s wrath of the Tribulation.

Paul wrote another letter to the Thessalonians to correct a false teaching that had come to this congregation. The false teachers taught that the Church would undergo the Tribulation.1 Paul wrote,

1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come (2 Thessalonians 2.1-2).

Apparently, someone had written a letter and signed Paul’s name which stated that the “day of the Lord” had come.2 This had shaken the Thessalonians because Paul had taught them that before the Day of the Lord came the Lord would come and remove them (the body of Christ) from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4.14-18 cf. 1 Corinthians 15.51-52) which was a source of comfort (1 Thessalonians 4.18). Paul taught that this “day” was a “secret” (μυστήριον), unknown until the risen Lord had revealed it to him (1 Corinthians 15.51).

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2.3-4)

Paul cautioned the Thessalonians not to be deceived by anyone who was teaching them that they had entered the Tribulation. This is not possible for God will remove His Church before this occurs. He reminded them of his teaching that the sign of the Day of the Lord was the appearance of the “man of lawlessness,” “the son of destruction.” This individual has several other names, e.g., “lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2.8), “the beast” (Revelation 11.7), “antichrist” (1 John 2.18). He will be identified ultimately by his blasphemy of God for he will establish his throne in the Jewish temple and declare himself to be God (cf. Revelation 13.12, 15, 14.9, 11).

6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2. 6-7).

At the present time, the Antichrist is restrained by God. The most likely reason is the presence of the Holy Spirit who indwells believers. When the Body of Christ is complete, God will remove it and hence, the Holy Spirit. This event is known as the Rapture of the Church, the Body of Christ. It is synonymous with the Day of Christ. Sometime after that (the Bible does not reveal how much time will pass) the Antichrist will become manifest. Another “mystery” the Lord revealed to Paul was this “mystery of lawlessness”. See Paul’s “Mystery”. Paul wrote that this “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work. This means that Satan has been at work to set up his man to rule the world since the first century. It is possible that he may have someone ready to assume this role in every generation.

8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians. 2.8-12).

Sometime after the Body of Christ is removed, the Antichrist will be revealed. God will destroy him at his coming (Revelation 19.11-20). The Antichrist will exercise Satanic powers (ability to perform miracles) which will deceive most of humanity. The world’s population will be deceived because it has rejected the truth. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, when one rejects truth he appropriates deception. Such deception will be similar to what happened to Pharaoh in Moses’ day. Pharaoh hardened his heart to Moses’ words. As a result, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7.13-14, 22; 8.15, 19, 32; 9.7, 12, 34-35; 10.1, 20, 27; 11.10; 14.8; 1 Samuel 6.6) so that he would believer a lie; he continued to trust in the gods of Egypt.

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us (2 Thessalonians 2. 13-15).

Paul encouraged his readers that they were beloved by the Lord and secure in Him. Paul, as was his habit, emphasized his gospel, “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 24.20; 1 Corinthians 15.1-4)3 as opposed to the “gospel of the kingdom”4 and encouraged the Thessalonians to stand firm in what he had taught them and not be deceived by false teaching.

Conclusion

The Day of Christ is distinct from the Day of the Lord as daylight is to dark. The first is a time of great anticipation, joy, blessing, and reward. The second is a time of terror, wrath, dread, and woe. Paul taught the Thessalonians that the two days were different and not to be deceived by anyone who taught that the Church would go through the Tribulation or Day of the Lord. Paul taught Christ would remove the Church, the body of Christ, before that Day for we are not “appointed unto wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul’s doctrine is as pertinent today as it was over 1,900 years ago. Christ’s second advent occurs in two phases: in the first phase the Lord returns for the Body of Christ; in the second phase the Lord returns to destroy his enemies. The Day of Christ is the Rapture, our blessed hope (Titus 2.13), the resurrection of the Church, in which we receive eternal bodies. This truth is for the Body of Christ alone and we should comfort one another and rejoice in it.

1 According to Paul, a false teacher is one who teaches the Church will go through the Tribulation.
2 The KJV reads “day of Christ.” The KJV is based largely upon the Majority text which along with the second corrector of D, read D2, (9th century) reads “Day of Christ” instead of “Day of the Lord.” Earlier evidence in all forms (Greek, versions, fathers) supports the text “Day of the Lord.” Such a reading also fits Paul’s theology for he taught that we are not “appointed unto wrath” (judgment, i.e., the Day of the Lord, cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9) since the Body of Christ will be removed from the earth before the appearance of the Antichrist and God’s judgment. Paul’s usage of ἐνίστημι in 2 Thessalonians 2.2. Paul used this term in Romans 8.38; 1 Corinthians 3.22, 7.26; Galatians 1.4; 2 Thessalonians 2.2, 2 Timothy 3.1; Hebrews 9.9. In almost every instance he used it to mean things “present.” In the first two usages he distinguished it from future occurrences (οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα; εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα εἴτε μέλλοντα). Thus, a reading of “day in Christ” would read, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is present.” Such a reading does not make sense. They knew the day of Christ (Rapture) had not taken place because they were still there. The question they had (and were being taught by false teachers) was whether they were experiencing the day of the Lord. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct this false teaching. Thus, the correct reading is “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is present (or has come).” See the companion study on the Rapture  and on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
See the study, The Gospel.
4See the study, The Gospel of the Kingdom.

©2010 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated March 16, 2015


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

100 Responses to The Day of Christ

  1. What a truly fantastic blessing these sermons are!

    • ,JJim Grapp says:

      KIt is interesting that you spend so much time differentiating between the ‘Day of Christ.’ and the ‘Day of the LORD,’ and even note that Paul is the only one who uses the phrase ‘Day of Christ.’ Yet you go to a new translation and change Paul’s words in this instance to the ‘Day of the LORD’ which changes the revelation of Antichrist from before the ‘rapture’ to merely before the judgement of God! If Paul believed Antichrist would only come AFTER the rapture he would likely have simply said so rather than even mentioning an event that would take place after those he was writing to were gone. The Thessalonians were worried they had missed the ‘gathering to Christ.’ It mazes me how the pre-trib folks have to ‘correct’ the KJV to promote their doctrine!

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        No translation is perfect and the KJV is no exception. The doctrine of inspiration is that the autographs were inspired not the translations. Virtually every manuscript reads Day of the Lord in 2 Thes. 2.2. The Day of the Lord is always associated with God’s wrath. Paul taught that the Church, i.e. the Body of Christ has nothing to do with God’s wrath and will NOT go through the Day of the Lord (cf. 1 Thes. 1.10, 5.9). The Thessalonians were not worried they had missed the Rapture. They were concerned they were in the Day of the Lord. False teachers had come to them teaching this error. Paul wrote them to put them back on the right road.

        • Dan says:

          I also think there is a difference between the Great Affliction and the day of the Lord. Paul even told the Thessalonians that persecution and affliction (tribulation) was a just judging of God to deem them worthy of the kingdom of God. In Acts 14:22 Paul writes “through many afflictions must we be entering into the kingdom of God.”

          Even so, in I Cor. 10:13, “for those who attain to the consummation” (Vs. 11), it is said that “no trial has taken you accept what is human. Now faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried aove what you re able…”

          The context of I Cor. chpt. 10 is not speaking of common everyday trials but that which was the expectation of the Acts period believer. They knew better than most Christians today that they would live THROUGH, the times of Jacob’s trouble.

          Persecution and martyrdom was a NT norm. Jesus Himself was afflicted of Satan for 4 days and nights in the wilderness and suffered the death of a Roman cross. Jesus said “in the world you WILL have afflictions but courage! I have conquered the world.”

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Paul specifically told the Thessalonians they would not go through the Tribulation which is the wrath part of the Day of The Lord of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul made a clear distinction between members of the body of Christ and the world that will be left following the Rapture of believers in 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11. No one experienced more persecution than Paul but he corrected the false teacher’s assertion that believers were in the Day of The Lord. Paul expected the Rapture to occur in his lifetime which would only make sense if members of the body of Christ do not experience the Tribulation.

            • Ron neff says:

              While this is true that we will not go through tribulation from God’s wrath but if you look at 2 Thess 2:3 you will see that it says that apostasy (falling away) AND the man of sin will be revealed FIRST before Christ comes and we are raptured. This also agrees with what is written in Mark 13:14-27, Matthew 24:15-31, and Luke 21:20-28. We go through tribulation from the antichrist before Christ comes back. Christ does not return in two phases as you put it above. There is no biblical support for this. This view is made up to support pre-trib. If you look at the verses in their plain reading you will see that we do suffer persecution first. God’s wrath occurs after our rapture and starts in Revelation 8.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Ron,
                The Tribulation lasts for 7 years. Paul declared believers would not experience it (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul wrote of the Tribulation in 2 Thessalonians 2.3, the Day of the Lord, not the Rapture. The Rapture was a secret before Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51). No Biblical support exists for any other view than a pre-tribulation rapture.

              • Roberto says:

                2 Thess 2:3
                What ” Apostasia” means & in context of The Thessalonian letters.
                It not only has a negative connotation of a “falling away” from True Faith but ALSO is meant to convey “The Departure” of the Church, body of Christ, which restrains evil on earth through the mighty Holy Spirit!
                You can research this on many good sites now….
                What Apostasia can mean apart from a negative “falling away”….
                Quote:
                “””
                apostasia is the feminine of apostasion
                apostasion is from a derivative of aphistemi
                aphistemi is used to mean “departure”. Translated “depart” 13 out of 16 times used in the New Testament. A couple examples:
                Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
                Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. “””
                Etc etc Apostasia can mean to “Stand before ” etc etc …

                The Apostles of the Lord (All of them) clearly taught that to believe the Lord would come before the tribulation of 7 years for His Church meant that This Faith, belief Hope Sanctified the believer while on earth as they held fast the Hope of our bodies’ Adoption being completed. The Apostle John clearly taught this in 1 John 3:2-3

                Be Blessed
                Roberto

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Roberto,
                Thank you. Please see the article, 1 and 2 Thessalonians for a study and analysis of ἀποστασία. Grace and peace.

              • Roberto says:

                Im currently reading it & will continue to read it & study it further. Thank you! Amazing exegesis and have come to concur with the conclusions drawn from it. Its a massive Truth to be able to continue in obedience to the Lord & in the Godliness required. Before coming across this site I actually prayed to the Lord to keep showing me the True Gospel, the one that teaches a pre-tribulation rapture/catching away for the persevering believer. I believe the Apostle John hints at this Truth also in his first Epistle. The other Apostles were obviously in touch with Apostle Paul. The revelation given to Apostle Paul more than ever is for This generation at this time. He recieved it by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus (was not with the Lord in the flesh as the other Apostles were) for the Church at this time, that has to stand on the rock of revelation knowledge. Its amazing, most christians were taught this truth early on in the Pentecostal & charismatic moves, we let the truth go somewhat But the Lord & His Mighty Spirit is bringing right around again in a fuller manner.
                Be Blessed
                Roberto

      • Robert Coker says:

        I noticed that very thing, Jim. 2 Thessalonians2:2 reads “the day of Christ” in the KJV. This one change calls into question the credibility of the entire article.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Robert,
          Only if one believes the KJV is without error. If one does, he has much greater problems with the Scriptures. If you read the article, you read that “day of Christ” has little manuscript support. If this reading were correct, it would undermine Paul’s whole reason for writing 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

          • Roberto says:

            We can miss the revelation in the scriptures. Only the Holy Spirit can illumine our understanding & open up the scriptures. Theres no point in my opinion for the Church to remain during any part of the 7 years tribulation. The Holy Spirit is the One that leads the Church into all Truth in Christs physical absence(The Groom). Ephesians chpt 1 & Colossians chpts 1-3 teaches the extent of the revelation given to Apostle Paul. Its a Complete one. Did Christ leave anything out in the Cross? Therefore the Church as Christs Body on earth has as much Authority Positionally as Christ Himself. This position & reality revealed by Gods inspired Word is Antethesis with the Man of Sin – Antichrist. The Church is the Pillar The Salt & Light of the earth. This is the manner of the Love that Father has given us. Through the cross our identification with Christ is complete Even in Ressurection! Eph chpt 5; Pauls cry was to inderstand this & walk in the Spirit. The Spirit of this & in God’s Spirit. Christ said in John Chpt 14 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” where was He? In heaven. Earth dwellers will be left in the Tribulation to reap what they have sown-Flesh & blood cannot inherit heaven, But its where our citizenship is. God calls us to leave trusting in the Old Adamic order & body. He calls us to a New Hope in Christ for that Eternal Immortal Sinless body! As Apostle Paul said Romans 8:22-24

            “23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”””

            Be blessed
            Roberto

  2. Ezek 33 says:

    The elements of seriously dividing the Word of God and recognizing the bigger picture is part of the ‘reward’ to the professed Christian. A consistent teaching of the rapture in Scripture suggests that the rapture is not for all professed Christians, but a reward for those who diligently seek Him. Thank you for the diligent use of the Scriptures in your studies and teaching.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. Paul commanded the Thessalonians to comfort one another with the truth of the Rapture (1 Thess. 4.18). It follows that if one refuses to believe God’s word about the Rapture one cannot obey God. If one disobeys God one will lose out in reward.

  3. Brother, you have done a wonderful job of spelling out the differences between the day of Christ, and the day of the Lord: they are as different as night and day, pun intended. But I think you fail to understand that they are two sides of the same coin. When Jesus comes, for the believer, it will be the day of Christ, but for the unsaved, it will be the day of the Lord. Also, as you wrote about the day of the Lord, you suddenly changed it to mean, the great tribulation, those are two very different things as well. One, the day of the Lord, is God’s wrath upon the unsaved after the rapture, and the other, the great tribulation, will come from the Antichrist and the false prophet before the rapture, and is Satan’s wrath directed at the saints.

    (2Thessalonians 2:1-5) Someone was preaching that the day of Christ was at hand (Like pretrib today) Paul wrote to correct this error, the program is very simple: first the man of sin — then the day of Christ. Paul expounded upon the meaning of the day of Christ in verse one. Jesus outlined the same chronology of end time events: first the abomination of desolation — then His coming in the clouds. We see this same outline repeated in Revelation. I recommend Marvin Rosenthal’s book, The Prewrath Rapture of the Church.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      The Tribulation is part of the Day of the Lord. The wrath of the Tribulation does not come solely from Satan. God also pours out His wrath (Psalm 2.5; Isaiah 13.6). The 2 Thessalonians 2.2 passage should read “day of the Lord” not “day of Christ.” This is what almost all manuscripts reveal. It is the only thing that makes sense in the context of what Paul had taught the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9. Jesus taught nothing about the day of Christ in His earthly ministry. He did not reveal the day of Christ, a.k.a. the Rapture until he revealed it to Paul.

  4. sew says:

    I was taught that anytime the phrase “THAT DAY” is used in the new testament it is referring to the “day of the LORD” like in 2 Thess. 2:3….for THAT DAY shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed. I also learned that anytime the phrase “those days” is used in the new testament it refers to tribulation. I think the falling away in 2 Thess. 2:3 could mean what Jesus said in Luke 8:13 during time of temptation people fall away. But Jesus said He will keep us from the hour of temptation which will come upon the whole world. Rev.3:10

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The revelation of the Rapture, part of the Day of Christ, was a NEW revelation the risen Lord gave to Paul. As such, Paul referred to it as “that day.” This was the day Paul looked forward to. It is our “blessed hope,” (Titus 2.13) the day we receive our resurrection bodies.

  5. eze 33 says:

    So interesting! If we look at the language of Matthew 13 and of the letters to the assemblies of Revelation. We find that the Gospel of the Kingdom has returned to the world. The age of grace there is over. The day of Christ marking the removal of the restrainer, but the beginning of specifically – tribulation for Israel – not yet begun… 7 years set aside for the Israel as spoken by Daniel (and other OT prophets).

  6. Kelly says:

    I have some questions if you have the time.
    First, I fully agree that the day of the Lord and the day of Christ are two different things as scripture clearly states. However, I dont agree that KJV manuscript of 2 Thess 2 “day of Christ” is the wrong translation. If it reads the day of Christ, then we are told that the rapture will not occur until after the falling away and the revealing of the antichrist (the first seal of tribulation). But, even if it should read “the day of the Lord” then it says the day, the era, of Gods wrath will come after the apostasy and the antichrist’s reveal. I 100% agree that we are not appointed to God’s wrath as His word so plainly tells us. What I am wondering is why you state the day of the Lord is the same as tribulation. Acts 2:20 says The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

    The sun turning to darkness and the moon into blood occurs at the 6th seal during Daniels 70th week, or tribulation, and Acts 2:20 tells us the day of the Lord (the day of WRATH) comes after that, why do you believe we will be raptured before the onset of tribulation ?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kelly,
      In His ministry The Lord taught what the prophets had revealed. The prophets revealed a day of God’s wrath: the Day of The Lord. This is what Jesus taught in Matthew 24. The Lord called it the Tribulation and referred to the abomination of desolation of Daniel which Revelation records. Are you saying there is more than one day of God’s wrath over the earth? The Day of The Lord also seems to include the creation of the new heavens and new earth from what Peter wrote (2 Peter 3.10). So, it would seem that the Day of the Lord begins with the Tribulation and concludes with the new creation. We will be raptured before the Tribulation because Paul tells us we will be.

      • The KJV translation is correct. Look at the grammar and whole context.

        I Thes. 2:2 “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

        In other words:
        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Christ is coming before it.

        “As that” means “because”. Because the day of Christ is coming, the day of the Lord will not come pass for the Church.

        I Thes. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

        The day here is talking about the day of the Lord, not the day of Christ. Well, you say, that’s right, that’s why the KJV is wrong. Incorrect. The antecedent for the day in chapter 2, verse 3 comes from chapter 1, verses 7-10, NOT chapter 2, verse 2. Paul is making the distinction of the day of the Lord and day of the Christ here. So, in whole context and grammar, the KJV is correct.

        To change the KJV “day of Christ” to “day of the Lord” would make the following grammar mistake, simplified:
        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Lord is coming before it. (modern versions)

        Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, because the day of Christ is coming before it. (KJV)

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Samuel,
          The Thessalonians’ problem was they were being taught that the Day of the Lord had come and they were experiencing it. Paul wrote to correct this error–to assure them the Day of the Lord had not come. He then went on to explain that what would occur before it came–(ἡ ἀποστασία) the Rapture. The KJV is wrong in this instance. See my study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more information.

          • You misunderstand what I’m saying. Do you understand what antecedents are in grammar and context?

            If the antecedent for “day” was in chapter 2, then yes, it’s a mistranslation. But the antecedent is in chapter 1, not 2. Big difference.

            In other words, when Paul is speaking about the day of Christ, he wasn’t referring to the description around it. It was out of the blue and not connected to the chapter. The chapter itself is talking about the day of the Lord.

            Again, simplified:
            (from chapter 1 to chapter 2) Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, (chapter 2, verse 2)because the day of Christ is coming before it. (chapter 2, verse 3) The day of the Lord will not come until the man of sin, etc. (KJV)

            (from chapter 1 to chapter 2) Do not be troubled by the day of the Lord, (chapter 2, verse 2)because the day of Lord is coming before it. (chapter 2, verse 3) The day of the Lord will not come until the man of sin, etc. (modern versions)

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Samuel,
              Here’s an accurate translation: 1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him (Rapture), 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the departure (Rapture) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Please read my article on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more of the argument Paul made regarding the Day of the Lord and the Rapture.

            • That translation would be correct, if the context merely started from chapter 2. It actually starts from chapter 1.

              To say that a day is at hand means that day comes before. To say that the day of the Lord is at hand means that it comes before. To say that the day of Christ is at hand means it comes before the day of the Lord.

              Using your structure, here it is with full context:
              1: 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (day of the Lord)

              1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (day of the Lord)

              1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (day of the Lord)

              1:10 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. (day of the Lord, He comes with His saints, meaning they raptured beforehand)

              1:11-12 Same, but of no consequence to context.

              2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (day of the Lord), and by our gathering together unto him, (day of Christ)

              2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (comfort from the day of the Lord) as that (as that = because) the day of Christ (Rapture) is at hand (at hand = comes before). (Be comforted from the day of the Lord because the day of Christ is coming before it)

              3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (day of the Lord)

              Maybe this inforgraphic I cobbled up will explain better: http://i678.photobucket.com/albums/vv142/gmx0/IIThes_zpsa4bb0756.jpg

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Samuel,
                Paul taught the Thessalonians the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians. He wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct the false teaching that the difficulties the Thessalonians were experiencing was the Day of the Lord. The problem with the view you present is twofold. The first is that better manuscript evidence supports the reading “day of the Lord” than “day of Christ.” The second, more important point is Paul’s usage of ἐνίστημι in 2 Thessalonians 2.2. Paul used this term in Romans 8.38; 1 Corinthians 3.22, 7.26; Galatians 1.4; 2 Thessalonians 2.2, 2 Timothy 3.1; Hebrews 9.9. In almost every instance he used it to mean things “present.” In the first two usages he distinguished it from future occurrences (οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα; εἴτε ἐνεστῶτα εἴτε μέλλοντα). Thus, a reading of “day in Christ” would read, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is present.” Such a reading does not make sense. They knew the day of Christ (Rapture) had not taken place because they were still there. The question they had (and were being taught by false teachers) was whether they were experiencing the day of the Lord. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct this false teaching. Thus, the correct reading is “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is present (or has come).” Paul went on to assure them the day of the Lord would not come until the “departure” (Rapture) occurred and the Antichrist was revealed.

  7. Matt Enns says:

    I should like to add to this discussion that in the minor prophets we see the hebrew word for “visit” appear often and repeatedly. In Zephaniah the word appears 5 times. The first 3 times it is translated “punish” (1.8,9,12) and the next 1 it changes and has a beneficent tone (2.7) before finishing in a reference to the first judgment visit in 3.7. Zephaniah is the prophet of global repentance and revival. His is the task of calling all nations to Yahweh, and is a primary text for teaching on the day of the Lord in OT theology. For the day of the Lord to be the ‘visitation’ of the Lord upon the earth, it means that in that day he will visit some for punishment, and some for beneficence. If the day of the Lord is going to have beneficial tones, it must not strictly be a day of judgment of evil. If we read the prophets correctly, we see that God is into restoring justice through alignment to His “judgment.” Hence, a day of judgment is not just punishing, but a restoring of right. It need not be one day for rewarding, and one day for punishing, as we see in Zephaniah. Indeed, one purpose of the day is to restore the lost fortunes of God’s people that were taken unjustly.
    So, I’m not sure it is a lock tight case that there be such a distinction in the vernacular. Besides, day of the Lord, day of the Lord Jesus Christ, and day of Christ are extremely overlapping. On terminology alone it doesn’t seem to be a distinction.
    Just some thoughts…

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      Thank you. Technically, the Day of the Lord in the prophets includes God’s wrath, the kingdom, and establishment of the new heavens and earth. But in most cases, it usually means God’s wrath. Offtimes, large swaths of time are include in one or two verses with regard to prophecy, For example, Isaiah 61.1-2, references the 1st advent, the Tribulation, and the Kingdom. Paul’s use of the Day of Christ, however, includes no hint of wrath whereas the Day of the Lord is replete with it–even when it also includes blessing–kingdom, new heavens/earth.

  8. Pingback: Why Rapture before Psalm 83? - Page 3

  9. Elizabeth Ann says:

    Thank you so much for all of the hard work you have obviously poured into this study. You have no idea what a tremendous blessing this is to me! You have addressed many points that I have been struggling with. May God richly bless you for your dedication to His word. I look forward to exploring your other topics. Thank you again!

  10. Danny Bigelow says:

    (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5)
    (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

    Concerning this church Paul wrote: “We ourselves boast of you among the other churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:4). The patience and faith of these saints was manifested through the persecutions and tribulations which they had endured, Paul boasted of them among the other churches.

    Jesus was adamant that no one except the Father knows the day and hour of His return (Matthew 24:36). He taught that every generation of the church should expect and be watching for the signs that will signal His soon return (Mark 13:28-37). According to the passage above someone claimed to have gotten a letter from Paul stating that the day of Christ was at hand. Paul reminded them that the man of sin must first be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). Paul’s chronology agrees with what the Lord outlined in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew chapter 24). Jesus forewarned the disciples about the coming of the man of sin (Matthew 24:15-25) He placed the abomination of desolation before the coming of the Son of Man and the gathering of the elect (Matthew 24:15-31). Concerning this chronology, Paul wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” Many Bible teachers today believe that the day of Christ is imminent; yet when dealing with this very issue Paul wrote: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. The text goes on to explain how the man of sin will be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Both the (KJV) and the (NKJV) refer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him as the day of Christ. For a more comprehensive understanding of that day compare the following verses (1 Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 1:6, 10, 2:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:2).

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      Two comings are in view in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-2. The first is the Rapture. The second is the Lord’s return for Israel and the nations. The “falling away” is better translated “departure” and refers to the Rapture. See my article 1 and 2 Thessalonians for commentary on this. The Lord will come for His Church before the Antichrist appears. Jesus taught His return for Israel in His earthly ministry. The Rapture is not taught in the gospels or by anyone other than Paul. Paul declared this truth was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). The better reading in 1 Thessalonians 2.2 is “the day of the Lord.” The “day of Christ” has little manuscript support.

      • Mark says:

        I checked Strong’s as well as Blue Letter Bible and the Greek shows very clearly that ‘day of Christ’ would be the correct rendering. What is the manuscript support for ‘day of the Lord’?
        I would love to have that so I can support the pre-trib position wholeheartedly.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Mark,
          The majority text (on which the KJV is based) reads “day of Christ.” All other translations read “day of the Lord.” Better manuscript evidence supports “day of the Lord.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_variants_in_the_New_Testament#Second_Epistle_to_the_Thessalonians and see footnote #2 of my article. As pointed out in the article, a vast difference exists between the “day of Christ” and the “day of the Lord.” The reading “day of Christ” makes no sense. The Thessalonians were worried that somehow the day of the Lord had come upon them because of persecution. Some were teaching this which is why Paul wrote to correct this error (that was the main purpose of the letter). The central problem for a non-pre-trib view is not this verse but reading the gospels into Paul and Paul into the gospels. Paul explicitly wrote the Rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). It is not found in the gospels or in any writings other than Paul’s. Jesus never taught it in His earthly ministry and the Twelve had no knowledge of it.

  11. Danny Bigelow says:

    Thanks for your response. You wrote, “The Day of Christ is the Rapture, our blessed hope (Titus 2.13), the resurrection of the Church, in which we receive eternal bodies. This truth is for the Body of Christ alone and we should comfort one another and rejoice in it.”

    You have done an excellent job showing that the day of Christ is the rapture, but in (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5) Paul clearly wrote, “For that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed.” You said, “The better reading in 1 Thessalonians 2.2 is “the day of the Lord,” but doesn’t Paul teach (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9) that the sons of light will escape by rapture the day of the Lord’s wrath? In other words the day of Christ and the day of the Lord will arrive or begin on the same day, one in the clouds, and the other on the earth. The day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      Thank you. We’re given no information as to how soon the Day of the Lord will come after the Rapture. It may come immediately but it may be much longer. See my article, When Will the Lord Return? for more on this subject. The Church, the body of Christ, is removed before the Tribulation but how many years transpire before the appearance of the Antichrist is not known. The Lord cannot return for Israel and the nations until the 7 years have passed.

      • Danny Bigelow says:

        Thanks for your kindness and patience. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 doesn’t Paul imply that the brethren are around to see this day, they’re told to watch for it that it might not come upon them like a thief in the night? If not, why the admonition to watch?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Danny,
          Paul thought the Rapture would come in his lifetime. He most likely thought the rest of the prophetic events would follow quickly also. One thing one learns in studying the Scriptures is that God’s timing is His most closely guarded secret. I explore this point in my latest article, How “Near” is the Day of the Lord? We have no specifics about how quickly these events will unfold. We see signs of the Day of the Lord today but how far away the Lord’s return is unknown (Matthew 24.36-39).

          • GraceReceiver says:

            Don, I also have wondered the very thing that Danny is asking. Could you please reread his question? Like he says, “why the warning?”

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              GraceReceiver,
              Paul wrote the Thessalonians that they had nothing to fear from the Day of the Lord; they would not experience it (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). I do not think what he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5.4-6 is so much a warning as a contrast and an encouragement. He wrote the Day of the Lord would take unbelievers by surprise (vv. 2-3) but that it would not overtake believers for we are not in darkness. Because of this, we should live godly lives (v. 8). In other words, the watchfulness should be that of watchfulness in terms of godly living, not in anticipation of the Day of the Lord. The word Paul used for “watch” is γρηγορέω. Note how Paul used this word elsewhere: 1 Corinthians 16.13; Colossians 4.2; 1 Thessalonians 5.6, 10.

          • Danny Bigelow says:

            Don, as to how close we are to the coming of the day of the Lord, I think the Lord Himself gave us that information in Matthew chapter 24. Joel 2:30-31 gives us the sign that will signal that the day of the Lord has come. Matthew 24:29-31 locates the fulfillment of that sign, it immediately follows the great tribulation, the coming of the day of the Lord.
            Jesus said that when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors (Matt. 24:33) the it here would refer to the coming of that great and terrible day of the Lords wrath. The day of the Lord follows the great tribulation.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Danny,
              The Day of the Lord encompasses the wrath of God (Tribulation), return of Christ, Millennial kingdom, and creation of the new heavens and new earth. Most of the time it refers to God’s wrath upon the earth. The clearest sign of the beginning of the Day of the Lord will be the Rapture. The Scofield Reference Bible contains this note on the Day of the Lord: The Day of the LORD (Jehovah), Summary: The Day of the LORD is that period of time when God openly intervenes in the affairs of men–in judgment and in blessing. See Joel 1:15, note. It will begin with the translation of the Church and will terminate with the cleansing of the heavens and the earth preparatory to the bringing into being of the new heavens and the new earth. The order of events appears to be: (1) the rapture of the Church just preceding the beginning of the Day of the LORD (I Th. 4:13-17); (2) the fulfillment of Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:27), the latter half of which is the great tribulation (Mt. 24:21; see Rev. 7:14, note; (3) the return of the Lord in glory to establish the millennial kingdom (Mt. 24:29-30); (4) the destruction of the beast, the false prophet, and their armies, which is the “great and terrible” aspect of the day. (Rev. 19:11-21); (5) the judgment of individual Gentiles according to their treatment of his brethren, the Jewish people (Zech. 14:1-9; Mt. 25:31-46) and the judgment of Israel (Ezek. 20:3438); (6) the millennial reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:4-6); (7) the satanic revolt and its judgment (Rev. 20:7-10), (8) the resurrection and final judgment of the wicked (Rev. 20:11-15); (9) the destruction of the present earth and heaven by fire preparatory for the future “day of God” (2 Pet. 3:10-12); and (10) the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (Isa. 65:17-19; 66.22; 2 Pet. 3-.13; Rev. 21:1).

              • Danny Bigelow says:

                Don,
                When comparing the day of the Lord, and the day of Christ, you very aptly explained, in this article, that the day of the Lord has to do with God’s wrath, while the day of Christ is unique with Paul and relates to the church and the rapture. My understanding is that Scofield has been credited with popularizing the pretrib rapture, through the use of his very popular study Bible. And as you know, He has a note in that study Bible that changes the day of Christ, to the day of the Lord at 2 Thessalonians 2:2. If Scofield was mistaken, would that change Paul’s chronology, in your opinion?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Danny,
                The reason Scofield changed the KJV reading was because almost all the manuscript support is for the Day of the Lord reading. The evidence for the Day of Christ is extremely weak. this is not a theological issue; it is a textual issue.

  12. Ivan Arellano says:

    Don,
    I too espouse pre-trib theology, but the wording in 2 Thessalonians 2 is difficult to reconcile. Specifically, with Paul’s reference to “the falling away” as translated by the KJV and other translations. The majority of other translations I’ve reference seem to point to the same idea of Apostasy, and use other words as revolt and rebellion to describe that event. In one of your replies you substitute the word “departure” instead, and suggest it refers to the rapture. Can you tell me or explain how you arrive at the conclusion and how do reconcile what appears to be a dual meaning?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ivan,
      Please see what I wrote in the article 1 and 2 Thessalonians for a fuller explanation.

      • Ivan Arellano says:

        Don,
        I have not had an opportunity to read this article yet, but I believe I know where you are going. I’ve been reading other material, which support your view on this inpretation. They cite the Scott and Liddle Greek Lexicon for a more exhaustive definition in making their case. Would there be other free online Greek Lexicons with the same information, as the ones I come across with only make reference to either apostasy, rebellion and revolt?

        I have to admit, this passage of scripture was a problem for me to reconcile with my pre-trib view, but thanks to you and others, my position has become more solid.

        On a personal note, I believe that the pre-trib view is further established by considering that Christ will come back for a Glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. To accept a Mid-trib, or Post-trib rapture, is tantamount to claiming that Christ will come back for a backsliden apostate church. If anything, that should seal the coffin on such erroneous and misleading positions.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Ivan,
          The lexicons won’t help in this case. The first order in determining the meaning of a word is to see how a particular author, in this case, Paul, used the word. Then one sees how others have used the word, contemporaries, and then non-contemporaries. If you read the section Examination of Ἀποστασία you will get an understanding of the issues.

          • NARNIAN says:

            Don,
            Another problem for Pre-trib is Mathew 24. It clearly identified the “elect” as those that will go through this period in question. Proponents of Mid – Trib view make a very compelling argument for why this referece means “believers”, not Jews. How do you counter or refute that?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Narnian,
              Jesus and the Twelve had no ministry to Gentiles (Matthew 10.5-6). Matthew 24.1, 3 states He addressed His disciples–Jews–specifically the Twelve–who had just come from the Temple. Paul explicitly taught believers would not experience the Tribulation–1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9. Everything Jesus taught in the Gospels concerned Israel (Romans 15.8). All “proofs” of the Mid-Trib view come from the Gospels. Nothing in the Gospels is Church doctrine. Therefore, the Mid-Trib view is without Scriptural support.

  13. Danny says:

    Don,
    I may have gained a little clarification on that phrase, “The day of Christ” as Paul used it. I should mention up front that I changed from the pretrib position to the prewrath after studying Rosenthal’s book, “The Prewrath Rapture of the Church” back in 1991.

    As you well know, the expression, “The day of the Lord’ comes from the Old Testament and was used numerous times when referring to the coming of the Lord to judge the nations. In the Old Testament it’s described as a day of wrath, and a day of darkness, nothing positive said about it.

    In the New Testament, in his letters to the churches, Paul at times would add the name of Jesus Christ to that expression making it, “The day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” or sometimes just, “the day of Christ.” Prior to Christ’s incarnation, His name of “Jesus” had not yet been revealed. Therefore what is described in the Old Testament as a day of wrath and darkness for those in darkness, becomes a day of rejoicing for the saints (1Corinthians 1:8, Philippians 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9). This is based upon the prewrath position that the church will be raptured to meet the Lord on that day. “What a day of rejoicing that will be!” This does not mean that the day of God’s wrath has been cancelled, it will still be fulfilled.

    Where have I gone wrong?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Danny,
      The Day of Christ and the Rapture are synonymous. The Tribulation lasts for 7 years according to Daniel 9. The last 3.5 years is the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24.21) and God’s judgments will intensify during that period. Jeremiah 30.7 wrote this was the time of Jacob’s trouble. After God removes the Church His timetable for Israel restarts. God’s prophetic program relates to Israel (the Church was unrevealed in it). As such, the Church has no prophecy–except the Rapture.

      • Danny says:

        Thanks for the reply, and your patience. I agree that the day of Christ and the rapture are synonymous, but I also think that the day of the Lord, and the day of Christ, are synonymous: it depends upon the group you’re addressing; for the church, it will be the day of Christ, for those in darkness, it will be the day of the Lord (1Corinthians 1:7-8, 1Thessalonians 5:1-9).

        I don’t find anywhere in scripture where it says that the tribulation will last for seven years, I do find that the great tribulation will begin at the mid-point and will continue until the Lord comes immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matthew 24:29).

        I believe, based upon Joel’s sign for the coming of the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31) that Matthew 24:29-31 is describing the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, the coming of the day of the Lord’s wrath. Therefore Matthew 24:29-31 is speaking of the coming of the day of the Lord, the day of Christ, and the day of the rapture. He comes in the clouds, with the sound of a trumpet, the elect are gathered. I see many similarities between Matthew 24:29-31 and 1Thessalonians 4:16-17. If true, this would mean that Jesus was describing the signs that will culminate in the rapture, not the Revelation 19 coming to destroy the beast and establish His kingdom reign. Jesus taught beginning at verse (32) that the signs He listed when fulfilled would signal that His coming is near, at the doors, but that no one will know the day and hour, just that it is near. I don’t believe He was speaking of some other coming at this point.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Danny,
          The problem is that the Rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). Paul explicitly taught the Thessalonians they would not experience the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). The Rapture was unknown, unrevealed until the risen Lord revealed it to Paul. Everything in the gospels is focused upon Israel and the nations, not the Church. Jesus came to present Himself as King to the nation of Israel and fulfill the OT promises (Romans 15.8). Jesus had no ministry to Gentiles and the Church was unknown as Paul wrote in Ephesians 3.1-7. You might want to take a look at my article, Paul’s “Mystery”. Nothing the Lord taught in Matthew 24 concerns the Church, the body of Christ. It will not be present on the earth.

          • Danny says:

            Don,

            [Mat 28:19-20 KJV] 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

            [Mat 24:13-14 KJV] 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

            [Mat 24:3 KJV] 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

            In each of the verses above Jesus refers to the end, are there multiple ends, or do they all refer to the same end? Jesus assures the disciples that He will be with them, unto the end of the world. The end in Jesus’s discourse is His coming in the clouds immediately after the tribulation. Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” In what sense will they be saved?

            [Rom 8:23 KJV] 23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.

            Is Paul referring to the rapture?

            [Luk 21:27-28 KJV] 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

            Is Jesus speaking to Israel or the Church at this point?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Danny,
              Everything the Lord revealed in the gospels concerned Israel (and the nations) prophetic program. God had revealed that program to the prophets, primarily in the context of the Day of the Lord. The end the Lord referred to in Matthew 24 was His return for Israel. He cannot return for them until they repent (Matthew 23.37-39). When they do, Paul declared “all Israel” will be saved (Romans 11.26). That is, ever Jew alive at that point. No Church, body of Christ, doctrine is in the Gospels. For Paul, the return of Christ was the Rapture (unless explicitly stated as in 2 Thessalonians 2.

              • Narnian says:

                Don,
                I saw an article heading, and advertisement of sorts, on one of the news sites. The Author, Joel Richardson, claims that he is about to destroy the long held beliefs on the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory with his new book. What evidence could he present that might give any weight to his arguments? Second, are you and other Pre-trib Rapture Theologians ready to respond and refute those claims? We are seeing alot of falst doctrines enter the church, so I hope that you will responde with a vengence.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Narnian,
                All these attacks mix God’s program for Israel with God’s program for the Church. God revealed the Pre-Tribulational Rapture to Paul alone and all doctrine about the Rapture must come from Paul. Attacks on the PTR are easily defeated when one understands this.

  14. Chuck Wehrheim says:

    Don,
    Would you explain 24:40-41 as it sounds like rapture yet it is in the day of the Lord.

    Matthew 24:36-41 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For [y]the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not [z]understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one [aa]will be taken and one [ab]will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the [ac]mill; one [ad]will be taken and one [ae]will be left.

    Thanks,
    Chuck

  15. Theresa says:

    my Dad was a believer and died years ago. is he asleep until the dead in Christ are raised and given spiritual bodies…. Or is he with God now, awaiting his spiritual body?.?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Theresa,
      Paul used the word “sleep” euphemistically for death. The dead are conscious (see Luke 16). We have little information about this but apparently the rich many had some sort of body to experience thirst. Your Dad’s with the Lord awaiting his new, immortal body.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        Good morning. I’ve been perusing various forums and ran across your statement here that, after one dies, one is,”…with the Lord awaiting [one’s] new, immortal body.” That doesn’t seem to me to be what the Bible teaches about death. Just a few (of many) passages:

        Eccl. 9:5-6 “…the dead know nothing.”
        Job 3:11-13 “Why didn’t I die at birth…I could be resting in peace
        right now…asleep, feeling no pain.”
        I Cor. 15:20 ‘…for those who have died…are in their graves.”
        I Thess. 4:13 “…and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
        John 5:21 “…they will be GIVEN immortality.”
        Luke 8:52 “She is sleeping.”
        John 5:28 “The dead will come alive.”
        John 11:11 “Lazarus sleeps.”

        I’m sure you know the argument, but I’d like to heart your thoughts on the state of the dead (without reference to Luke 16, which most NT scholars argue ought not to be used for developing doctrine). It seems the overwhelming biblical view is that when one dies, one goes to the grave and remains in a dreamless, unconscious state until the Second Coming. Then, in the twinkling of an eye, people (with their new bodies) will be reunited with the Lord. So where isTheresa’s dad? He’s sleeping, waiting for the Lord to return. And then “…the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:13).

        I’m sure you know both sides of the argument, but your position does not seem to coincide with what the Bible teaches.

        John 5:28 “The time is coming when those who have died will hear his voice and be raised to immortality.”

        It’s comforting to think that our disembodied “soul” goes to be with God minutes after death, but I don’t see that taught in the Bible.

        Do you have other scriptural support for your position other than Luke 16?

        Thank you.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          Paul used “sleep” euphemistically for death (cf. 1 Corinthians 11.30). In 2 Corinthians 5.8, Paul wrote when one dies one is πρὸς τὸν κύριον. The Bible is unclear as to details but I think soul and spirit are conscious in the presence of the Lord. For example, angels are spiritual being but have some kind of “body.” I find no reason not to use Luke 16 to support this. Even if it was a parable, it reveals the truth of consciousness after death.

          • Roger Spielmann says:

            Thanks you for your response. Still, I was hoping you would comment on the verses I provided that make up the core of the argument against the position that our disembodied “souls” go immediately to heaven upon death (waiting for our glorified bodies when the Lord returns??) I’ve never heard a sustainable biblical argument for your position. Yes, Paul says that upon death we are “with the Lord.” But his concept dovetails nicely with what the Bible teaches. It’s like, when one falls asleep one’s next conscious moment is when one wakes up; “In the twinkling of an eye.”

            I’m really interested in knowing about what the Bible says about what happens when one dies, especially in light of your position and the Bible passages I provided. Where is the biblical support for what you believe?

            Thanks again for reading my post(s).

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Roger,
              Little evidence is revealed on this subject by the Scriptures (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). Luke 16, Lazarus and the rich man, gives evidence of awareness and activity more than “sleep.” In any case, I think time will mean something entirely different than how we experience it now. Like the Pevensie children in Narnia, only a few minutes pass in their lives on earth while they experience a lifetime in Narnia.

              • Roger Spielmann says:

                I agree with you that time will most certainly be different in the afterlife. Still, you wrote, “Little evidence is revealed on this subject by the Scriptures.” I provided a number of passages about the state of the dead in my last post that make it clear what happens. My question is: How do you respond to those passages? The Bible seems quite clear that the dead remain in their graves until the second coming, wouldn’t you agree?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Roger,
                In the Ecclesiastes 9.5-6 passage, I think Solomon means the dead no longer participate in life on earth (see v. 6). In John 11, Jesus stated Lazarus slept. His disciples took Him literally but told them He meant Lazarus was dead (John 11.14). Paul taught our bodies lie in the grave but the soul and spirit of the believer goes to be with the Lord at the moment of death (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23).

              • Owen says:

                If I could humbly add something to support doctrines’ belief that the dead in Christ are in a state of consciousness, please see Revelation 6:
                9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

                10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

                11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

  16. Ralph says:

    1st of all I really appreciate your teachings. One thing for you consideration, the book of Daniel seems to indicate Micheal the Archangel is the restrainer not The Holy Spirit spoken of in Thessalonians.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ralph,
      Thank you. Michael has a specially commissioned role of service with regard to aiding and protecting Israel. This is why he is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation (which deals primarily with Israel, and is essentially an OT book). The Holy Spirit restrains the advent of the Beast through His indwelling of believers (Church).

  17. chris g says:

    I have been praying and seeking the Lord’s wisdom regarding the Rapture (day of Christ) and the wrath of God (day of the Lord). From studying God’s word and seeking His knowledge, I believe He is showing me that both events happen simultaneously. As in the days of Noah and Lot. God took them out and then brought destruction on unbelievers. (Matthew 24:38-39 & Luke 17:27-30) They occurred one after the other. Then begins 7yrs of tribulation (time of Jacobs trouble Jer 30:6&7) The 1st 3 1/2 yrs are birth pangs before the great tribulation that begins in the last 3 1/2yrs. After the end of this time the 2nd coming of Christ will happen.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Chris,
      How can they happen at the same time? The Day of Christ is the Rapture and occurs instantaneously. The Day of the Lord, the Tribulation, lasts 7 years. The Rapture was a secret. No one knew anything about it until God revealed it to Paul. So nothing in the OT or Gospels can shed any light on it.

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Chris, I hope you dont mind me also answering you.

      Remember there was a 7 day WAITING period after Noah entered the Ark and THEN the rain began. (2 Peter 3:8) But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. We can conjecture all we want but we will not definately know when. We must live as though its tonight.

      Many Christians have turned away from the rapture believing we will go through the tribulation. Then sadly they did not believe or understand the cross.

      Christ shed his blood for us. Why would we need to shed our blood in the 7 year tribulation which will happen to those who turn to the Lord. They had a chance to believe during the age of Grace but they did not. God in his mercy gives the world another chance during the 7 years but its no longer Grace. Millions will come to believe but they will be killed for their faith.

      The cross is being forgotten today and thats how the world is going. In days past the cross was always spoken of but today its hardly ever spoken of in the church.

      Also recall that the church (Jewish Congregation) in Revelation is told this.“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

      Notice that Jesus also tells them that they will suffer persecution ten days. This exact prophesy no doubt happened to many at Smyrna, but the scriptures are for all times, and often we see history repeated in many forms. In fact the Bible in a number of places uses the thought of “days” in type to denote much more than a day, but rather a year, or many years, or even to represent during the life of an individual such as “in the days of king…”, or to represent a time of a condition “in the day that…”, etc.:

      “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” (Numbers 14:34)
      “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (Psalms 90:4)

      I love the topic of end times but we can sometimes run around in circles trying to figure out what the bible means when in fact the Book Of Revelation is meant for the end time Jews and they will understand. Its their road map and was never meant for us to understand though we must read it.

      I personally believe we will be raptured many years before the start of the tribulation allowing the world to move forward further into sin and darkness till the return of Jesus. I also dont believe millions and millions upon millions of people will be raptured. It will be a remnant of us. As time moves on more and more deceived believers will fall further into deception. We as a couple see it in our own life and its happening now in leaps of months not years.

      Thank you and take care.

      • B P says:

        Your argument for a strictly Jewish 70th week is without merit and impossible to argue against. In fact, I have not heard of this eschatology in the mainstream thoughts of church history. Your premise is that the cross sets the church apart from the tribulation? This is contrary to the uniform doctrine of Paul in Phil 3. 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” The greatest reward one could receive is to die for Christ. Rev. 7:14. It is an eternal honor for those who go through the tribulation. Rev 20:4-5 indicates an early resurrection for those who have died for their faith, and they will work for and in the Lord’s kingdom on earth. If this is true, to go through the tribulation is the highest honor and reward. There seems to be an indication that the rest of us will stay in paradise until the 1000 year reign is over… WE have got it upside down. I am afraid your theology and soteriology is representative of the masses. The idea that the finished work of Christ excludes us from tribulation…I hope you are right. Because, the state of so many who believe like you will be easily influenced to become embittered if you are wrong.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          BP,
          Read the next verse, Philippians 3.11. Paul used the word ἐξανάστασις, “out resurrection” which he only used here. That is the Rapture. Paul hoped he would experience that event. Paul certainly suffered and many believers have suffered for Christ throughout history. But God will remove His Church before the Tribulation because the Tribulation and the book of Revelation is Jewish ground. No Church, body of Christ, language is found in Revelation. The Church is not present. During this period God has returned to His prophetic program of dealing with Israel and the nations. The doctrine of the Rapture was the first doctrine Paul taught after the gospel. Read my article, 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Those were Paul’s first letters and were devoted to the doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture. The Rapture is as certain a truth as Christ having died for our sins. It true and essential Christianity.

  18. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thanks for your perspective. I was a bit surprised, though, when you wrote, “In the Ecclesiastes 9.5-6 passage, I think Solomon means the dead no longer participate in life on earth (see v. 6). I don’t recall you replying to a post by referring to what you “think” before. You’re usually respond with, well, with doctrine. Just wondering what you meant by that.

    On the issue at hand (the intermediate state of the dead), I’m finding that that proponents of the two major arguments (conscious or unconscious) have good arguments backing them up, so it’s no real use raising it again. I will note, though, that I personally find the argument relating to the dead “sleeping” to be the more compelling argument. But, as you imply, the Bible is not clear on the issue, and it’s more of a fun topic than anything else, wouldn’t you agree?

    A compliment to this web site: many of the topics and discussions on it that are discussed and argued about remind me of the discussions that (we) students would have at Bible College. It certainly got heated and voices were raised at times, but then it was time for flag football and all was forgotten…

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      Well, ok. Solomon is writing about man’s life on earth. I would argue that while this is not an essential doctrine, the Scriptures give evidence that life after death is more than “sleeping.” Even if Luke 16 is a parable it teaches the dead are conscious and experience joy or suffering.

  19. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you. Sorry, just one last post on the subject (no promises, though :)

    There are a few places in the Bible where it seems to say that “when absent from the body, then present with the Lord.” What concerns me is the overwhelming amount of passages that say otherwise (e.g. the passages I referred to in an earlier post). Do you have it in mind when you pray and do your research that at no cost do you want your theology to dictate your understanding? That’s not to be taken as a critique, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue.

    Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      I think I addressed the passages you sent. Many seeming contradictions exist in the Bible. One has to be careful to interpret them according to context. I approach the Scriptures inductively. Exegesis leads to theology not vice versa.

  20. Dennis Clough says:

    A couple of quick points: as to the state of the dead since the cross:#1. the thief on the cross was promised he would be with Christ in Paradise that very day he died.

    #2. 1 Thess. 4:14 has the “dead” believers coming with Christ in the Rapture and their BODIES raised first, before the transformation of the living saints. (14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that “God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him”) also:
    (2 Corinthians 5:6: So we are always confident, knowing that while 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, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.)

    #3. (different subject) The “falling away”, a supposed world-wide apostasy, is really the great snatching away of the church. It makes far more sense since waiting for a great apostasy would constitute a sign before the event which truly has no signs. Besides, how would one or all Christians know apostasy had reached critical mass and it would then be ok to anticipate the Rapture?

    And such a view would certainly dampen down the joy of the anticipated Rapture! Also, the church is the vehicle God the Holy Spirit is presently using to, among other things, restrain the evil in the world. In fact, the Holy Spirit will still be on earth after the Rapture but evil will be allowed to manifest itself in a way it could not if the church were still here.

    #4. Some suppose only A1 Christians will make the Heavenly trip but such is not the case. Otherwise, the body of Christ would be truncated…can’t be. We are all one body, walking in the Spirit or controlled by the flesh. The Judgment seat of Christ will deal with the issue of victory and failure. Enoch was a Godly man who was taken up by the Lord Before the flood. Lot was a righteous man who was dragged out of Sodom before the fire and brimstone. These contrasting qualities of spiritual life have a common denominator: the Lord knows those who are His….even when no one else does. Great teaching in this article! Thank you, Doctrine!

  21. Luke says:

    Love the work you have done here. Just hoping you can clarify something for me, was the rapture hidden because God hadn’t allowed us to see it, so we were blinded to it until Paul had his scales removed off his eyes, or are there hints on the rapture but it would be impossible for us to have know what it eluded to if Paul hadn’t revealed this secrete or is there no references at all except Paul teachings.

    Even Peter says it’s hard to understand:
    and the long-suffering of our Lord count ye salvation, according as also our beloved brother Paul–according to the wisdom given to him–did write to you, as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, among which things are certain hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable do wrest, as also the other Writings, unto their own destruction.
    2 Peter 3:15-16

    Is Matthew 24 infact a reference to a rapture, that would never be understood until Paul? Those that did not get taken, would be left to experience the Fires of Hell or the Tribulation depending on how long they lived. Also the Wheat harvest mentioned is not the winepress of Gods wrath as referenced in Revelation and many OT prophecy of Tribulation, is this harvest in fact the Church, allowing the Barley Harvest to be the fruit fruits, (Christ)? I’ve read so much junk on this matter thanks to Perry Stone fans filling the Internet.
    Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Matthew 24:40-42 KJV

    Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. Matthew 13:24-26, 28-30, 34-35, 37-40 KJV

    To be honest this Matthew 24 passage is not good at all, considering it usually a main rapture text I hear used for a rapture, it’s doesn’t link at all. Just answered my own question I think on that verse. I Believe the Matthew 13 is Pauls secrete rapture whilst still hidden, what do you take of it?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Luke,
      Thank you. The Rapture was a secret until Paul. Nothing, no hint, no anything was present before then. Paul revealed it to the Thessalonians (1st doctrine he taught after the gospel) and to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15.51-52). Everything in the gospels is Old Testament. See Romans 15.8. Jesus came to fulfill God’s prophetic program for Israel. Nothing was known of the Church and consequently the Rapture for the Rapture only concerns the Church, the body of Christ. The Matthew 24 passage concerns those taken to judgment and those who will go into the kingdom.

  22. Luke says:

    Thankyou for the answer, I figured you would say what you did, I agree totally.

    I just wanted to ask, in light of the mystery of the Church, not being mentioned in Scripture except Pauls writings and other New Testament writings after the Church was formed like Revelations 2 and 3.

    Question 1) How should Christians follow and apply Old Testament correctly and even the Gospels and press Church New Testament. Scripture is expired by God so still profitable and still reveal Gods character and nature.

    For example: I have heard preachers say forgive 7×70 means forgive forever (sound advice I believe). I do know that’s really a reference to Daniels 70 weeks when Jesus spoke, after that time Israel where blinded in part until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled???

    Matthew 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven

    Daniel 9:24-26 24Seventy 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. 25Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereofshall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    Time ran out?, so God allowed a time of Gentiles, but will return to Israel to fulfill the final prophecy concerning His second coming. if I’m wrong on Daniels weeks please advise, I find it difficult to view. After 62 week so on 63Rd week Christs annoiting or during 62week???

    Question 2) Is there a gap between 69week and 70th. or was 70weeks fulfilled already, could Daniels 9 ending verse be separated from the 70weeks? I don’t count years too much. It seems strange to me so much Tribulation theology centres around the Antichrist pretending to be Christ. I except thats what will happen from Revelations, and Matthew 24/25. Scripture does mention it’s his little moment.

    Question 3) If all Israel had repented before Stepthens death, Chirst would of come back to start 2nd coming and 1000year regin, but not all Israel repented? Was Israels rejection a reason for God to put them into time out or had time ran out. 70×7

    Question 4) is it not interesting that Chirst was baptised to start His ministry, 3.5 year crucified and resurrected, 3.5 years then a pause of Jewish time whilst Gentiles time begins. Could the establishing of Physical Kingdom for Israel be last 7 years, but the last 7 in a weird (spiritual) way were the 7 years I mentioned above centred on Christ. don’t truly know if you can really apply Scripture for Church at all knowing is was given to Israel. Truthfully I agree with you on all I read on the mystery of the Church and don’t have anyone else sadly to ask there thoughts.

    Believe or not, I had no intension of looking at end times (last 7 years), my focus is always Christ, in particular the Day of Christ in this case.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Luke,
      1. See Romans 15.4; 1 Corinthians 10.11.
      2. Unclear. Acts included a transition time from the kingdom program to Paul.
      3. God gave the nation time to repent. Stephen’s stoning revealed they would not.
      4. I do not understand. The kingdom will begin at Christ’s return and go for 1,000 years followed by eternity.

  23. Mark says:

    Don,
    Doesnt it make sense that if Christ died in place of Gods judgement upon us then why would he judge His Church along with unbelievers in His wrath?
    Your thoughts please.

    Thank you for your time and ministry

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      He doesn’t. God explicitly promised the Church will not endure God’s day of wrath, the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). As for the penalty of sin, death, Christ paid it so we have peace with God (Romans 5.1, 8.1).

  24. mark says:

    Good evening Don
    I see people are using the book of Ecclesiastes.
    Isn’t it safe to say that Ecclesiastes is philosophical and not doctrinal?

    Thank you for your ministry

  25. mark says:

    Don
    Very good point, however, I don’t think anyone would use Ecc 9.2 as part of a doctrinal statement (don’t understand how someone can use 9.10 to support their argument either). Isn’t 9.2 in contrast with Gen. 18.25?

    Thank you Don

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      Solomon’s main point is that death overtakes all and that one cannot do the things he did on earth in the grave.

  26. Donald R. Fox says:

    For those who believe that 2 Thessalonians 2: 2 says” Day of the Lord”, are in contradiction to the critical Greek text ,which uses the worf kurious [Lord’or Master.If this verse had meant “Day of Christ” The Word would have been “Christos”.Bless your hearts.I believe that the afore mentioned article is rightly divided for the most part.

  27. Becky says:

    Hi Don, i was thinking about 1Co 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, he doesn’t reveal the mystery of the rapture until the end of the letter, so what understanding did they have of “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ” before the mystery of the rapture?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      Paul had revealed the Rapture to the Thessalonians but not to the Corinthians. Paul saved the full revelation of what “the day” entailed for the Corinthians until the end for these believers. Between chapters 1 and 15 he had to address a lot of problems.

  28. becky says:

    Don, So the few times he mentioned the day of Christ in 1 Cor, they probably didn’t know what he was referring to – yet?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      I do not think we can answer this question dogmatically. We can state they knew what Paul wrote to them in 1 Corinthians 1.4-8, 3.13 about the Day of Christ. Apparently, he had not yet revealed the doctrine our the Rapture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *