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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, November 27, 2020

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (L15)

 

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                     Published: November 27, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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(L 15) 

Welcome to HBS. 

Happy Thanksgiving 

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17). 

I pray you awaken each morning with a thankful heart for all that God has done, is presently doing, and for all the things He has promised to do yet future, such as the Rapture of the Body of Christ.  I pray also that you are able to be with those you love this holiday season.  Remember, love is a verb.  

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Please open your Bible at 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 and we’ll get right to it.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 

The Day of the Lord

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Our Apostle Paul introduced 1 Thessalonians 5 with the word “But,” (meaning: better understand this) and in so doing separates the subject matter of chapter 4:13-18 from that of 5:1-3, so please take note of the following:

1)      The former passage has to do with the Body of Christ, a.k.a. “His own” while the latter is related to the future earthly kingdom of Christ.

2)      The closing verses of chapter 4 deal with a “mystery,” i.e., a divine secret, that was revealed through Paul alone (1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Galatians 1:11-12), while the opening verses of chapter 5 deal with prophetic truths which had been proclaimed to the nation of Israel for centuries.  Indeed, the first two verses contain three familiar prophetic phrases: “the times and the seasons,” “the day of the Lord,” and “a thief in the night.”  Since Paul was an Israelite, a pharisee of the pharisees, he was well acquainted with them

3)      The former passage deals with the Rapture of the members of the Body of Christ, while the latter is related to the subsequent return of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign as Israel’s King on the earth, not in heaven. 

4)      The Thessalonian saints needed more light on the truth of the Rapture (3:10, 4:13-18, whereas they understood “perfectly,” or accurately, the truth about “the day of the Lord,” so that Paul could say to them re: this subject, “ye have no need that I write unto you” (5:1-2).

5)      1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 concerns every true Believer, while chapter 5:1-3 concerns “them,” the unbelievers that will experience the wrath of God.  In the former passage we find the word “we” four times, and even the “them who have fallen asleep,” are raised to join those “who are alive and remain,” at which we are all “caught up together… to meet the Lord in the air:” (4:17).  But in the latter passage “they” the unsaved are the subject.  When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them… and they shall not escape” (5:3).

6)      And finally, while the former passage closed with an exhortation to “comfort one another with these words” the latter is clearly one that should strike fear into the hearts of all those who remain willfully outside of Christ, i.e., the unbelievers.  It literally stands as a warning to every lost individual. 

Considering all that, the contrast between the two passages, then, is striking; and yet it is sad to say that some well-meaning men of God confuse the joyous day of the Rapture with the calamitous “day of the Lord,” placing the Rapture after the Great Tribulation (the final 3.5 years of God’s righteous wrath), and thus frightening the very people they should be “comforting.”  To that I’ll add in all my years of attending one church after another searching for one that taught the truth of God’s Word, not once did I hear one of these well-meaning men of God preach a sermon on Romans 16:25.  That didn’t happen until the year 1997.  Just so you know, I’m talking about a span of 45 years, give or take.  I’ve printed that Bible verse that many ignore as being of no account:

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”

This of course begs the question, “Who out there knows what Paul’s gospel is?”  I asked this same question in all my Bible classes and in the living rooms of my adult Bible students, and as I recall only two people, in all that time, knew the answer.  That’s a sad commentary to say the least.  Because “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my (Paul’s) gospel” it befits us to understand his message, don’t you think?  (See Romans 2:16).  Since Paul is referencing the unbeliever in verses 5:1-3, let’s review the gospel God purposed for the Grace Age; the message that the vast majority of Christendom knows nothing of.  The go-to gospel for many churchgoers today is John 3:16.  But here’s the thing, that particular gospel known as the kingdom gospel was in accordance with the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry “to the Jew only” (Acts 11:19) and in harmony with God’s Prophetic Program which, again, concerns the nation of Israel.  That gospel is saying, “Believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, i.e., Israel’s Messiah (Acts 8:26-40). 

The clearest biblical example of this truth is found in Matthew 16:13-17: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven…”

Let’s make sure we understand this.  Not once did the Lord Jesus Christ teach His disciples that He would die for the sins of Israel, be buried, and be resurrected on the third day, according to the Scriptures.  That’s Paul’s gospel.  It had been a “mystery” (a secret) only God knew about until the risen Lord revealed it and committed it to Paul, and he preached this “good news” to the gentile nations and to the Jews, “for now there is no difference” (Romans 16:25; Galatians 3:28).   Which most certainly implies that before Paul’s calling, there was a difference, and that per the will of God.   

The word gospel is derived from the Old English godspell meaning “good news.”  The “gospel” is the message God has revealed to the human race regarding how they can have a relationship with Him, and it changed from one dispensation to another.  That being said, throughout history mankind’s response to His “good news” in each dispensation has always been the same: faith in what God has said.  The first example of this truth is found in the book of beginnings a.k.a. Genesis: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.  And she again bare his brother Abel.  And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.  And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.  And Cain was very wroth (angry), and his countenance fell.  And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth?  and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?  and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Genesis 4:1- 7).

The Lord had revealed to Adam how he can have and maintain a relationship with Him and he in turn revealed this truth to Eve.  Their offspring were aware of it as well because we find them obediently bringing sacrifices at the appointed time and that’s the issue here.  The LORD accepted Abel and his offering because he brought “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof,” which was the required sacrifice in accordance with the LORD God’s instructions.  His older brother Cain, however, opted to do his own thing he brought the LORD “the fruit of the ground;” instead of the required animal sacrifice.  His defiant act demonstrated that he was destitute of faith the very trait in man that pleases God.    

In Hebrews 11:6 we read, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” In this same chapter we find examples of men and women who believed God.  Therefore, faith in what God has revealed has always been the means of one’s acceptance and salvation. Thus the writer of Hebrews wrote, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report” (Hebrews 11:1-2).

While the means of obtaining and maintaining God’s favor is through faith in what He has said remained the same throughout history, the content of the gospel itself has not.  God changes not, but His good news has changed from one dispensation to the next and God revealed this good news to mankind.  The clearest definition of the gospel for our day (the Dispensation of Grace) is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian saints.  He wrote: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Come to think of it, I’ve never heard a sermon on this Bible passage either, and people ought to be asking why that is.  But I digress, from Paul’s gospel above we learn the way we have a relationship with God today is by believing Christ “died for our sins,” “was buried,” and “he rose again the third day according to the scriptures;” this is “the preaching of the cross;” (1 Corinthians 1:18) the very message Paul suffered greatly for and it eventually cost him his life.  I expect if you’ve tried to follow Paul’s example you too have experienced persecution (albeit on the moderate side) and suffered for doing the right thing. 

The resurrection of Christ on the third day proved He was victorious over sin and death as our substitutionary sacrifice (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).  It’s as simple as that my friends.  When one believes Paul’s gospel he or she is, in the words of the Scriptures, “saved” and that cannot be undone (Romans 8:1), as some well-meaning men of God and some not so well-meaning individuals would have you believe.

Returning to our Bible text, I remind y’all 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 concerns all those Believers who are eternally saved and positioned in Christ.  But the latter passage deals with a Christ-rejecting world and the “sudden destruction” that will overtake it, inescapable divine vengeance, coming as “travail upon a woman with child,” when at last the scores of prophetic warnings on the subject, so long ignored and scoffed at by the Christ-hating world, will be fulfilled to the last jot and tittle.   

“Why did Paul write to these Believers with regard to “the day of the Lord,” if they understood this truth so “perfectly.”  The answer is found in the first word of chapter 5, “But.”  When Paul contrasted the Rapture with “the day of the Lord,” he meant to emphasize the significant difference between these two future events.   

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, with its “day of the Lord,” coming as “a thief in the night,” “bringing sudden destruction,” is remarkably like our Lord’s predictions in Matthew 24 concerning the Great Tribulation and afterwards His Second Coming to “the earth” to reign as Israel’s King for a literal one thousand years.  But as I pointed out to y’all some time back this wasn’t the problem that “troubled” the Thessalonian Believers.  At this point, they were not worried about the anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation, per se.  Their concern was over their loved ones who had died, in Christ Jesus.  The question on their minds was would their loved ones that had “fallen asleep” miss the Rapture.  Paul’s answer dismisses that trouble thought for he stated, “the dead in Christ shall rise first:” “Then we (Paul includes himself here believing the Lord’s return would occur in his lifetime) which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (those who had died in Christ), to meet the Lord in the air…” (4:16-17).  Wherefore he instructed these saints to “comfort one another with these words.”

And a great “comfort” it is.  A couple of years ago death took my mother and then six months later to the very day my older sister died.  But I know they are true Believers, so when the Lord comes for us, my loved ones will be there just ahead of me and we’ll be “together,” once again forever with the Lord.  That, my friends, “comforts” me greatly.  That thought brings a Pauline concept to mind and we’ll look at that and accept the truth for what it is, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of (your) salvation) – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2. 

Now is not the time to be indifferent (no fence-sitting allowed) for the Grace Age will not go on endlessly.  God the Father has set an end date in mind and only He knows the day and the hour (Matthew 24:36).  Thus, “now is the day of salvation.”

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011

GJ Heitzman’s Ministry

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - (L 13)

 

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net 

Established November 2008                                     Published: November 20, 2020 

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

*********************************************************************************************** 

Please open your Bible at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (those who had been asleep) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Last week we looked at one of the “mysteries” (secrets) kept hidden in the mind of God since before the foundation of the earth that is known as the Rapture (Deuteronomy 29:29).  Now you won’t find that term in your Bible, however, it’s derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning “rapid” and the Latin word rapiemur, meaning, “we shall be caught up.”  This word was taken from the Greek verb harpazo, meaning, “to seize upon, spoil, snatch away or take to oneself,” especially used of the Rapture (See Acts 8:39; 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 12:5).  Harpazo is translated “caught up” or “caught away” the five times (out of thirteen) it appears in the Bible relating to the Rapture.  The other eight times it is translated, “to forcibly seize upon, snatch away, take to oneself or use force on someone.”  

For example, in Acts 8:39, the Holy Spirit “caught away” Philip after he ministered to the Ethiopian eunuch and placed him in Azotus, some 20-30 miles away.  In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Paul twice described his experience of being “caught up” to the third heaven where “he heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  Then in Revelation 12:5, the man child of the Woman (usually interpreted to mean Jesus) was “caught up” to God and His throne (Acts 1).  And in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the primary text for the Rapture of the Church, “we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (those who had fallen asleep in Christ) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air . . .” Paul said these would “rise first.”

Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians were the first two letters he wrote to grace Believers.  The purpose of these letters were to reveal the biblical doctrine of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, to comfort Believers with this truth, and to correct the false teaching from those who opposed it, in particular, the view held that Believers would go through the Tribulation period a.k.a. the  great and terrible Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1:14-18; Joel 2:31).

However, our apostle Paul declared the Rapture is the Believer’s “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13); the resurrection of the true Church, i.e., the Body of Christ.  This truth wasn’t known by the O.T. prophets, and Jesus did not reveal it in His earthly ministry which means Peter and the Eleven knew nothing of it.  The resurrected, ascended, and glorified Lord disclosed it to Paul only.  This Church Doctrine was the main subject Paul taught the Thessalonians after they had responded in faith to Paul’s gospel of grace.  If we are to learn from Paul and follow his example towards the Thessalonian saints, this blessed  truth should be taught to all Believers soon after they have believed the gospel that saves in this dispensation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 2:16, 16:25-27). 

Please know believing the Pre-Tribulational Rapture is not essential for one’s salvation.  However, its acceptance is necessary for the Believer’s spiritual growth.  Why do I say this?  God commanded all Believers to “comfort” one another with the truth of the Rapture for it is our “blessed hope.”  So, make no mistake, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is as sound a doctrine as Paul’s gospel for the scriptures provide overwhelming evidence of it.  However, not surprisingly, opposition exists even at this late date.  The reason for this is twofold:

 1) Ignorance (willful or otherwise) of the Scriptures, particularly Paul’s writings.

 2) Unbelief.  The majority of people refuse to accept it because they do not want to.  For them, tradition, i.e., religion means more to them than the Scriptures.  Thus, parallels exist between these folks and the generation of Jews at Kadesh Barnea who refused to enter Canaan (the promised land) after the LORD told them the land was theirs for the taking (Numbers 13-14; Hebrews 3:7-18, 4.3).  They then spent the next forty years wandering in the wilderness until they perished with some exceptions.  In like manner, people of all faiths refuse God’s rest of the Rapture, and as a result wander in “a wilderness” of unbelief intentionally.

The Suddenness of the Rapture

Down through the ages people of all faiths, and especially those without faith, have scoffed at the belief that one day, suddenly, every true Believers in Christ will be “caught up” and away from this world before the Tribulation begins to be with the Lord forever.  But they also ridicule the idea that He will return to this earth to judge the unrighteous and reign.  However, in response to their lack of faith in what God has revealed re: this subject we Believers declare, we believe God for “Hath not God (already) made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20); and because the Rapture fits perfectly with the rest of God’s revealed plan for the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).  As to the timing of this unique Church event, only one Bible verse is needed to confirm the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and that’s 1 Thessalonians 1:10: “…and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from (What?) the wrath to come.”

What did the Jews understand scripturally?  Good question.  Jewish theology was based upon two great revelations proclaimed by the O.T. prophets.  One was the literal earthly Messianic kingdom the LORD God had promised the nation of Israel.  Most Christians pray for it (whether they realize it or not) every time they recite Jesus’ outline for prayer in Matthew 6:10 known today as the Lord’s Prayer.  The other was the Day of the Lord, which is composed of three elements:

1) God’s wrath upon the earth’s inhabitants,

2) The Messianic kingdom, and

3) The creation of the new heavens and earth.

However, God’s wrath is the subject most associated with the Day of the Lord.  God revealed to David (circa 1,000 B.C.) that He would pour our His wrath upon Israel and the Gentile nations (Psalm 2:5-9).  An important point to not overlook is Israel and the Gentile nations were the subjects of God’s wrath and not His Church.  Not one verse of Scripture teaches God will exercise wrath upon the Body of Christ.

Every good Jew knew the prophecies related to the Day of the Lord and Israel’s prophesied kingdom.  Peter proclaimed them on the day of Pentecost to all the Jews in attendance (Acts 2).  Peter recognized that God’s gift of the Holy Spirit was a sign of the prophesied kingdom. Therefore, he expected all of the prophet Joel’s prophecy to be fulfilled shortly, including God’s wrath.  This is why he quoted the entire prophecy (Acts 2:16-21; Luke 3:16-17).  But Peter misread the times and the seasons in ignorance because he had no idea the Lord was about to begin the parenthetical period of time called the Dispensation of Grace and put the Jewish Prophetic Program on hold (Romans 11) for this too was described as a “mystery” by Paul:

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (Note: not the Day of the Lord).  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:4-9).

Now let’s all turn to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.  This is where Paul described the “suddenness” of the Rapture:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I say again, even with all the biblical evidence in support of it, great controversy and confusion exists in Christendom along with outright denial of the Rapture of the Church.  This is largely caused by a “lack of knowledge” on one’s part or a result of not understanding the Church Doctrine that was revealed to Paul, our apostle, by the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.  When you get right down to it though, much of the failure to accept this Church Doctrine is attributed to “unbelief,” i.e., the refusal to believe the forthright and uncomplicated message of scripture.

The Key to Understanding the Rapture

Some have stated that the Rapture is wholly Paul and that Jesus never predicted such an event.  This is correct.  The O.T. prophets, including John the Baptist, knew nothing of it, and Jesus in His earthly ministry never taught it to the twelve.  The Lord Jesus Christ revealed this mystery to Paul alone and he alone provides us with the key to understanding the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:51:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…

Paul wrote that the Rapture was “a mystery” (secret).  This is key to understanding the Rapture: it was “a mystery” until the Lord revealed it to Paul.  In layman’s terms it might be translated thusly, “Look, I am telling you a secret! Paul added emphasis to his words to  get his readers’ attention.  He wanted them to understand that he was revealing a biblical truth to them that was previously unknown.  The message Paul revealed to his audience was an event God had kept hidden, until He was ready to enlighten His own (See Deuteronomy 29:29).  But wait a minute, didn’t God speak of the resurrection?  The answer is yes.  Job knew about it (Job 19:26).  Jesus taught it (John 5:24-25, 28-29, 11:23), and the common people during Jesus’ time on earth knew about it (John 11:24).  The Pharisees taught it as factual (Acts 23:6-8) and the Sadducees rejected it in its entirety (Matthew 22:23).  Paul was not revealing something new when he wrote about the resurrection.  But the revelation of the Rapture was a brand new message, “amystery,” that concerned the resurrection of the Body of Christ, solely, which was another mystery God had kept hidden.  Paul taught the Doctrine of the Rapture in several texts.  They include the following: 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 4:13-18, 5:1-5, 5:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, 2:1-12; and Philippians 3:8-11, 21.

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 15, we find valuable information re: the resurrection of the saints in Christ Jesus.  Paul taught more about the resurrection in that passage than all other Bible texts combined.  He made the following truths known:

1) Belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus is the gospel for the Dispensation of Grace.  Believing it is how one becomes a Believer, that is, how one is saved in this present dispensation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 5:11).

2) If no resurrection exists, Christ Himself has not been raised.  If this is so, no forgiveness of sin exists, and we are all indeed dead in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

3) The resurrection occurs in a sequence, i.e., in a specific order.  Christ was the “first fruits” as in a harvest.  All “in Christ” will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20-34).

4) Two different kinds of bodies exist: earthly and heavenly.  A resurrection body is heavenly and eternal (1 Corinthians 15:35-40). 

5) Not all Believers will experience physical death.  Some members of the Body of Christ will receive resurrection bodies while they remain alive.  Their earthly bodies will be transformed into heavenly, eternal bodies.  This too had been a secret before Paul received this revelation from the Lord (Corinthians 15:51-52).

6) The resurrection of the Believer’s body is their ultimate victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:53-58) and constitutes the final phase of their sanctification.  It was made possible by the Lord’s glorious resurrection on the third day when He Himself rose victorious over sin and death.

Please note the Believer’s glorification is the final phase of their salvation experience wherein he or she leaves this world, whether “asleep” or “alive” at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).  The Believer never achieves sinless perfection until they receive their heavenly body.  At that time, their sin nature is removed and they receive a glorified body “fashioned like His (Christ Jesus’) glorious body:

For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011

GJ Heitzman’s Ministry

All Rights Reserved