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angelhorn02I received the following question:

Dear Nathan, thank you for all of your wonderful studies. I was reading your lessons about the Rapture and I too believe in a pre-parousia manifest kingdom. Where I have trouble understanding your interpretation of I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4 is when you say that Paul and those of the present calling, the “one body”, will be included in those saints who will hear the trumpet of God and the shout of the Chief Messenger to meet the Lord in clouds and be changed to “always be together with the Lord”. First it’s my understanding that the dispensational divide at Acts 28 brought forth many significance changes in how God dealt with mankind. Among one of them was Paul’s attaining to a unique resurrection namely the “exanistasis”

I don’t doubt that those called into the “one body” after Acts 28, will live to see the events that unfold at the “conclusion” of the kingdom era (Matthew 24, I Thess. 4 and I Cor. 15). It also seems logical that there will be men and women born “of the flesh” during the kingdom era who will become disciples and “sons of the kingdom” alongside the “sons of the wicked”, as outlined in Matthew 12 and the parable of the sower. They will need to be “changed” to have eonian life. All of these resurrected and born, will live throughout the pre-parousia kingdom until the “beginning of sorrows”.  But my question still remains, are the events outlined in I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4 directly applicable to those saint’s under the new administrations of God under grace namely the administration of the compliment and the secret (musterion).    Read the rest of this entry »

Part 2: I Corinthians 15:50-58

In our last message, we took up a study of “the Rapture,” a common teaching today among many in the dispensational movement.   We studied the idea as it occurs in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and found what the Bible says there and what we can conclude about the topic from that passage.  Yet a study of the idea of the “rapture” would be incomplete without also looking at the truth contained in I Corinthians 15:50-58.

50.  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Many make false claims based on this verse.  They divorce the phrase “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” from the context in which it appears, and use it to claim that we must be spirits in the resurrection and have no physical bodies, because, they say, then flesh and blood would be inheriting the kingdom of God.  Others claim that our blood will be replaced with spirit in the resurrection, that spirit will run in our veins rather than blood, and that this is why flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom.  Yet if we look at this passage closely, and in context, we will see that the way that one comes into the kingdom of God is not by becoming a spirit, or by having spirit substituted into the veins instead of blood.  Rather, it is by being changed from our current, corruptible bodies into incorruptible bodies.  Thus, “flesh and blood” in this context means what we are naturally, or our natural, sinful selves, which is what we are currently.  Flesh and blood, the way we are now, will not inherit the kingdom of God, but flesh and blood the way we will be after we are changed will be able to inherit that kingdom.  That is the point of this verse, not that we will not have physical bodies. Read the rest of this entry »

I Thessalonians 4:13-18

There is a doctrine concerning our future I would like to study in this message.  That doctrine is the teaching of “the Rapture,” common today among many in the dispensational movement.   The idea of the Rapture is that Jesus Christ, before the seven years of the tribulation begin, suddenly catches away His people into the clouds to take them all back to heaven with Him.  This is supposed to take place with the sound of a trumpet, and in the “twinkling of an eye.”  This idea is based on two passages, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:50-58.  We will examine the first of these passages in this study.

13.  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

The Thessalonians were suffering.  They were going through a time of persecution.  We learn about this in I Thessalonians 2:14-16. Read the rest of this entry »