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them yet, as He had said that He would (1 Thes. 4:15-17), and then by adding certain other things which must occur before the Day of the Lord should come. He had told them that the Day of the Lord should come as a thief in the night (1 Thes. 5:2), but that they were not of the night, and therefore He exhorts them to watch and be sober. (See also Lu. 21:36.16)
Another evidence of the difference between the Rapture and Revelation consists in the fact that the Church is to escape the Tribulation, 'which precedes the Revelation. (Mat. 24:29-30.)
Enoch, a type of the Church, by his rapture,- that is by being caught away or translated (Heb. 11:5)-escaped the flood.
Christ says, in Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
And in keeping with this injunction He gave a blessed promise to the Church, in Rev. 3:10, viz.: "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold I come quickly," etc. A special hour, or time, of temptation-i. e., trial- is here mentioned, which shall come upon all the world ( oi koupév-oikoumenee the whole habitable -same word in Mat. 24:14-all the world).
It is a time of trouble not limited to Judea, but as ex: tensive as the inhabited earth. This accords with the great tribulation described in Mat. 24:21, a “tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world ever shall be.”
Jesus promises to keep the Church from, or (čk) out of this tribulation, or hour of temptation, that is, the watchful and prayerful believers will escape it. Luke 21:36. Now, as it covers the whole earth, there is no way
(16) Luke 21:36.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to
escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand be fore the Son of man.
of escape from it, but to be taken out of the world, and this is accomplished by the Rapture. Acts 15:14, and 1 Thes. 4:17, which thus presents a glorious deliverance for the Church.
The elect,17 a portion of Israel,18 will be gathered back to Jerusalem,19 and pass through the fire, or great trial.20
Like Enoch, the Church escapes from it.
(17) Mat. 24:22. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved : but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
(18) Isa. 65:9. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
See also verses 15 and 22, and Rom. 11:5-7.
(19) Isa. 1:26. And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning : afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness,
The faithful city. 27. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
Zech. 10:6. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them : for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off : for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.
7. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
8. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.
9. And I will sow them among the people : and they shall remember me in far countries;
and they shall live with their children, and turn again.
10. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria ; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.
(20) Zech. 13:8. And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
Psa. 57:1. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto .me; for
my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
Isa. 26:20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee : hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Also Psa. 27:5; 31:20
Like Noah, Israel passes through it.
So the Church should humble herself to walk with God (Micah 6:8), as Enoch did (Gen. 5:24), having the testimony that she pleases God,21 and watch for the Rapture at any moment.
The Jews, through their dates and seasons, may look for the Revelation, or day of the Lord, a day of thick darkness to them, in which there is no light at all.22 Yet, in it they will accept Christ23 and “at evening time it shall be light," and "living waters shall go out from Jerusalem.” Zech. 14:6-8.
The Rapture, or being caught away, at the coming of the Bridegroom, is full of the sweetest comfort for the believer, and therefore Paul says, “Comfort one another with these words." 1 Thes. 4:18.
But the Revelation of Christ with His Saints, to take vengeance on the ungodly, is full of solemnity and terror to them who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.24
(21) Heb. 11:5.
faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God bad translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
(22) Amos 5:18. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord ! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.
19. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
(23) Zech, 12:9. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem,
10. And I will pour upon the
house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for, him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.
(24) Rev. 6:12. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15. And the kings of the
earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16. And said to the mountains
and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Also 2 Thes. 1:7-10.
The Church and the Millennial Kingdom. The second point is: The distinction between the Church and the Millennial Kingdom.
The Christian Church (ékkinoia-ekkleesia), meaning assembly or congregation, is distinct from the congregation of the Mosaic dispensation, or Church in the wilderness. For, until after Christ came, it was a thing of the future. This is proved by His assertion in Mat. 16:18, “On this rock will I build my Church,” showing that it had not yet been built.
And, it is likewise distinct from the Millennial Kingdom, which is to follow it.
The Church is a companion of Christ in His humiliation, manifesting His sufferings and filling up the aftlictions which are behind.2
The Kingdom is the manifestation of the glory of Christ which shall follow, when He “shall sit in the throne of His glory," and when they who have suffered with Him during this time of the trial shall also be exalted to regal power and authority. This Kingdom was at hand, that
(1) Acts 7:38. This is he, in them did signify, when it that was in the church (ecclesia testified beforehand the suffer-congregation) in the wilder ings of Christ, and the glory ness with the angel which spake that should follow. to him in the mount Sinai, and
(4) Mat. 19:28. And Jesus with our fathers: who received
said unto them, Verily I say the lively oracles to give unto
unto you, That ye which have us: (2) Col. 1:24.
followed me, in the regeneration Who now re
when the Son of man shall sit joice in my sufferings for you,
in the throne of his glory, ye and fill up that which is behind
also shall sit of the afflictions of Christ in my
twelve flesh for his body's sake, which
thrones, judging the twelve tribes
of Israel. is the church.
Also 2 Cor. 1:5-6; Phil. 3: Also Luke 22:28-30. 10; 2 Tim. 1:8.
(5) Mat. 3:2. And saying, (3) 1 Pet. 1:11. Searching Repent ye: for the kingdom of what, or what manner of time heaven is at hand. the Spirit of Christ which was Also Ch. 4:17 and 10:7.