506 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 43 - Paul’s Glimpse Of Prophecy - Part 2

506: Paul’s Glimpse Of Prophecy – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 43

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 43

Paul’s Glimpse at Prophecy – Part 2

II Thessalonians 1:1-2:4

As most of you know, our whole purpose has just simply been over the years to teach the Word as the Holy Spirit leads, and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me, but if you do disagree you must do it Scripturally, and not just go by what some denomination may teach.

We have found that we must teach outside the Church environment because everybody has become so denominationally minded that if I were to have a class in a Baptist Church, then no one comes but Baptists. If I have it in a Methodist Church, no one comes but the Methodists so I’ve learned if you’re going to reach across all these various barriers, then you have to stay on neutral ground, and that’s the way I try to keep the program. I want to keep it totally neutral, and simply teach the Word as we feel the Holy Spirit has led us to teach it. We’re finding out from every denominational background imaginable that people know so little of the Scriptures. They are so inept at comparing Scripture with Scripture, and hopefully we’re making a little head way in that regard also.

Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 1, where we left off at verse 8. We discussed at the close of the last lesson how Paul comes the closest to bringing in a little bit of the Old Testament prophecy concerning the wrath and the vexation, or the Day of the Lord as we pointed out several programs back. Remember we went back all the way from Isaiah up through the Old Testament, and all those references using the “Day of the Lord.” And the Day of the Lord is awful, the Day of the Lord is the wrath, and the judgment of God upon Christ-rejecting mankind. Upon empires and governments and kings, and presidents and so forth, who have been flaunting the things of God. So here in verse 8 Paul is alluding to that Old Testament format of the Day of the Lord, when He will come and take vengeance on them that don’t know God.

II Thessalonians 1:8-9

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

That’s their eternal doom. Now someone just called early this morning before we left home, and their question on the phone was, “Does Paul ever teach Hell fire, or the lake of fire as we see it in Revelation?” No. Paul doesn’t use the term explicitly, but he certainly warns people over and over of their lost estate and the doom that’s awaiting them. Just because he doesn’t use the language, the lake of fire, doesn’t mean that he has now superceded it somehow or other, and here’s a good example of that.

II Thessalonians 1:9a

“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,…

Being separated from the Lord is what is going to make eternity for the lost so awful. It isn’t that they’re going to be singed with the fire, I don’t think that’s it at all, as the Hell fire is just simply the awfulness of totally being separated from God. Now of course don’t get me wrong, they’re going to be tormented. We know that the Scripture is explicit on that. You get just a little window of that back in Luke chapter 16 with the rich man when he was conversing with Abraham, who had Lazarus in his bosom, where the rich man says, “I am tormented in this flame.” So definitely there is that aspect that awaits all who go that way. But the greatest part of the torment of the lost that will go into eternity without Christ is that they are separated from the presence of the Lord without hope. Verse 10.

II Thessalonians 1:10

“When he shall come (the second coming now according with prophecy, as that’s what we’re dealing with first) to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe(do you see how simple Paul always keeps it. Salvation is to them that believe) (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

And after all when Paul came into these pagan cities, and approached these pagan Gentiles with the Gospel. He didn’t come in with a great Madison Avenue format. He didn’t make them jump through hoops, he didn’t put on a dog and pony show, as we like to say. He didn’t do all these things to draw the crowd, Wherever he met a group of people, he just simply presented Christ crucified, and risen from the dead as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And from that simple approach these little cells of believers made up the Body of Christ at Thessalonica. Now I trust that you know that they weren’t by the thousands. None of Paul’s little congregations were thousands of people, they were relatively, small with most of them meeting in homes. But nevertheless the overall result was, as it says in the Book of Acts, “They turned the then-known world upside down.” He did that just by simply presenting the Gospel, and that’s all he asked his pagan people to do, “Just believe it, trust it, and when your faith is manifested then God does the work of redemption, a life changing, and so on and so forth.” Now then verse 11. I’m in a hurry because I want to get down into chapter 2.

II Thessalonians 1:11

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:”

Now listen, when he speaks of power here, he’s not talking about tremendous supernatural miracles. The supernatural miracles were that these pagans could come out of their idolatry and their worship of the gods and goddesses and place their faith in Paul’s Gospel. Now that’s the power that was manifested here, and that wasn’t easy. They probably lost contact with a lot of their friends and relatives because of this new found faith. All of a sudden they had nothing more to do with pagan temple sacrifices, nothing more to do with the gross immorality of those pagan temples, and so it was the work of faith with power. Now here it is in verse 12.

II Thessalonians 1:12

“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now these people didn’t deserve God’s Grace any more than you or I do, but it was the Grace of God that was poured out on these pagan Thessalonians in that they became believers and were transformed and became then a tremendous witness and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we’re going to go into chapter 2, and immediately the apostle brings in something that he’s been leading up to in these earlier verses.

II Thessalonians 2:1

“Now we beseech you, brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (now the next part of the verse is a direct departure of him alluding to the Second Coming as all of the Old Testament does. Now Christ is coming to something that is only a Pauline revelation and that is that Christ would only come to the air at the Rapture) and by our gathering together unto him,”

Now the other night I used the analogy again, one that I think I’ve used on the program, and I still think it’s a pretty good one, at least it’s enough to make you smile. “We’ve all seen in a movie or television program where one thing or another will lead you out to the old junk yard, or the old salvage yard where they have this huge electric magnet, where they can just swing it over the whole yard. In fact my daughter went to a salvage yard here a while back and the guy in that electric magnet just gave her an exhibition of what he could do. She said, “It was amazing. He could take that great big magnet swing it over on a little tiny piece of iron, pick it up and could sling it half way across the salvage yard.” Well she got a big kick out of what a man can do when he’s got that kind of expertise. But I think you get the picture. A person using that electric magnet can turn it on, and all that metal that is below it just slides up to that magnet. The force just pulls it up, and that’s the way I like to picture the Rapture. Christ is going to come to the air, and just like a great magnet, He’s going to pull us all up into His presence.

I think I shared on the program, and I did again the other night in one of our classes, and it was just for a smile, that we know the earth is round, and if the Lord comes from our perspective, the people on the other part of the globe are going to have to go a little further. They’re going to have come around the edges, but nevertheless we’re all going to meet the Lord in the air wherever it is, and this is what Paul is talking about. He’s not talking about when Christ comes to the Mount of Olives. See, that’s what you have to notice in Scripture, is the change in language. We’re also not talking about Christ coming in wrath and attending judgment, but instead for us. It’s just simply a gathering together to meet Him in the air as Paul tells us in I Thessalonians chapter 4 as we saw a few weeks back. Now reading verse 1 again.

II Thessalonians 2:1

“Now we beseech you, brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now that’s the language I want you to keep in your computer.”…our gathering together unto him.” Now verse 2.

II Thessalonians 2:2

“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, (small ‘s’ so by their own spirit or an outside spirit, it’s not the Holy Spirit) nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (now what does that indicate? Among all the other things that Paul had to constantly deal with, there were people forging his name, and sending these forged letters to his congregations to confuse the issue. So Paul had to put up with that, so he’s telling these Thessalonians, “Don’t pay any attention to a forged letter as from us) as that the day of (the Lord) Christ is at hand.”

Now you’re going to say, “Well my Bible says, “the day of Christ is at hand.” Well I’ll probably get some mail on this, but everybody that I’ve ever read has all agreed that this is one place where our King James has an error. But I always have to remind folks remember, the King James is not the original manuscript. The original manuscript had no errors in it, but the King James is still a translation, and there can be an error, and here is probably one of the most profound, because all are agreed that in light of all the language around it, this should be, “the Day of the Lord.” Remember we pointed them all out coming up through the Old Testament. The Day of the Lord is the day of wrath, and vexation and judgments and the horrors of the Tribulation, ending with Christ’s Second Coming to the Mount of Olives, Whereas the “Day of Christ” is what we call the Rapture, the resurrection day for the Church.

So regardless of how somebody may oppose that, I’m going to stick to my guns, that in light of all that surrounds this verse, this should have been the “Day of the Lord.” So Paul says,“be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,” What is Paul implying here? Paul is implying that due to the tremendous amount of pressure and persecution that these new believers were coming under, and in light of his teaching, which we’ll see in a few minutes, he covered the whole nine years in those first 3 or 4 weeks that he was with them, and so they understood this coming day of wrath, they knew there was a Tribulation period of time coming, and what do you suppose they were beginning to think. That they were in it! And evidently some of these forged letters, and some of these false teachers were coming in and telling them that. “Well listen, the reason you’re suffering so much is we’re in the Tribulation.” And these forged letters would come in and tell them “Bear up because after all this is the wrath and vexation of the Day of the Lord.”

But Paul says, “Don’t you buy that, don’t you believe any of that stuff, because we’re not in the Day of the Lord. You haven’t missed the Rapture!” You know I think every believer at one time or other in his life, that understands the Rapture, and has probably happened to all of us, but you come home and expect the family to be there, but they’re all gone, nobody’s home. What’s the first thought that hits you? The Lord came. Well the Thessalonians were in this same situation, they thought the Lord had come, and they’d missed the Rapture. So Paul is writing now to comfort them, “That no, you haven’t missed it, this isn’t the Tribulation, this is not the Day of the Lord.” Now look at the next verse.

II Thessalonians 2:3a

“Let no man deceive you by any means:…”

Don’t let someone come along and tell you that the Day of Christ has already happened, and you’re in the Day of the Lord. Because Paul says, “The Day of the Lord cannot happen until:

II Thessalonians 2:3b

“…for that day (those 7 years of Tribulation) shall not come except (and what’s the except or until?) there come a falling away (or departure) first,…”

That day of judgment cannot come until the departure happens. Now the word ‘apostasy’ is the Greek word from which our King James, and other translations have gotten the term“the falling away” which of course is appropriate, but there’s another Greek word, and I’m not a Greek scholar, so I’m going to have to look as I have written it down, the cognate verb of the word apostasy is “aphistaymi” and that is translated in several other places in the New Testament as, “departing from one place to another.” I’ve mentioned it before on the program that the earlier translation before the 1611 King James, such as the Tyndale, and Geneva, and a couple of earlier translations did use the word departure instead of falling awayas plain as day.

“That this day of the Lord cannot come until there is the departure comes first.” Also the Greek word ‘aphistaymi’ has the little Greek letter ahead of it that indicates the article “the.” So the Greek implies “The Departure.” Now again I think it’s just like we can change some of our words by just adding an “ly.” In other words you can have the verb happy and it’s a verb, as someone is happy. Then you just simply add an ‘ly’ and you make it an adverb, and the word becomes ‘happily.’ Do you see that? Well it’s the same way with this Greek word, it’s so closely related, that you’re not doing any injustice to the Greek or anything else to use the translation, “The departure.”

II Thessalonians 2:3a

“Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day (of the Lord, the Day of Judgment the Day of Wrath. See that’s why the Day of Christ doesn’t fit up there in verse 2) shall not come, except (or until) there come the departure first,…”

Now this fits with everything else that Paul writes. Remember we saw last month in our four programs that back in I Thessalonians Paul told us we’re not appointed to wrath.

I Thessalonians 5:9

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”

We’re not appointed to the judgments and vexation, we’ve been saved out of all that. So you have to keep everything in context, so Paul is absolutely right here saying that the Day of Judgment cannot begin until the departure first.” And then what happens?

II Thessalonians 2:3b

“and that man of sin be revealed,…”

Now let’s go over to I John chapter 2, one of the little epistles of John to the right in your Bible. Now I believe, as far as I can tell, this is the only place in Scripture where this man of sin is called, “the antichrist.” I always have to qualify the word ‘antichrist,’ it does not mean the man who is against Christ, as that is our normal interpretation. But the term antichrist means the “counterfeit Christ, and the world is going to buy that. The world and especially Israel is going to buy that, as immediately when they see what this man does, by bringing peace to the Middle East are going to acclaim him as the Christ. That’s why we’ll see in a little bit in Revelation 6:1, he appears riding on a white horse. Well according to symbolism, who is really going to come on the white horse? The True Christ! So this man of sin, the antichrist will not be an opposer per se, but rather a counterfeit.

I John 2:18

“Little children, (remember John like Peter writes primarily to Jews who will be in the Tribulation. So John is writing appropriately) it is the last time: (absolutely it is) and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”

Now remember he’s writing to Jews specifically, I feel, who will be feasting on these little verses from I, II, and III John during the Tribulation in particular. Now flip over to chapter 4:3.

I John 4:3

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.”

The spirit of antichrist has been here ever since the beginning of the Garden experience, because after all who is behind the antichrist? Well Satan is! It’s satanic power, and so the antichrist is consequently then called these other terms, and as we see in the last verse we studied in II Thessalonians chapter 2, he’s also called, “the son of perdition.”

II Thessalonians 2:3b

“and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

Now there’s only one other person in all of human history that was called that, and who was it? Judas, one of the twelve was called, “the son of perdition, “ and you know what he was? He was indwelt by Satan, and so will this man be. Not the first 3 1/2 years, but the second 3 1/2 he will be indwelt by Satan the same as Judas was. Now in order to establish our foundation for teaching these things, come back to the Book of Daniel with me in the two minutes we have left. We can’t just pull these things out of the woodwork, and you just can’t hopscotch through Scripture, but if you’ll come back to Daniel, who the Lord Jesus Himself, called a prophet.

Now why would I make a point of that? Because there are so many, especially of higher criticism, who maintain that Daniel is a forgery. Due to the explicit accuracy of Daniel’s prophet utterances, it must have been written after the fact, and then forged. Now that’s what the higher critics like to do. They like to take away all the inspiration, and they like to take away the supernatural idea of our Scriptures and that’s one way they can do it. But the Lord Jesus Himself said in Matthew 24:15 –

Matthew 24:15

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand:)”

And if you can’t believe the words of the Lord Jesus, then we might as well take this Book, throw it away and go home, because after all He’s the author of the whole thing, and He called Daniel a prophet. So in our next program we will go back and see from the prophet Daniel the very first portion of Scripture that delineates one man as becoming the great world ruler, the man of sin.

505 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 43 - Paul’s Glimpse Of Prophecy

505: Paul’s Glimpse Of Prophecy – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 43

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 43

Paul’s Glimpse at Prophecy

II Thessalonians 1:1-2:4

Now as we begin book 43, we’ll start with the Book of II Thessalonians, a little short letter from the apostle Paul which followed the first letter, probably in a matter of months. Remember, the apostle came into these Gentile cities practically unannounced with no fanfare or advance men or media – no big Madison Avenue ad campaign, and he just simply preached the Gospel. Now that’s all he did, he just simply lifted up Christ crucified, buried and risen again. It’s the same simple message we must believe for eternal life.

And these pagan people who had been worshiping all the gods and goddesses of mythology were suddenly transformed when they believed Paul’s simple Gospel that had been revealed to him for the Gentile world during this Age of Grace. Then the miracle of it is, that in spite of the immediate pressures of persecutions and tribulations they evidently never faltered. And of course after writing the first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul went down to Athens, and then down to Corinth, and was getting kind of concerned. “Are these new believers holding fast? Are they able to withstand the pressure of persecution?” And as I’ve pointed out so often these persecutions weren’t only from the pagan world, but also from the Jewish quarters – they just couldn’t stand Gentiles having a part of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

So this second letter is in response to Paul having heard that the Thessalonians were holding fast in spite of their persecutions, and they were not giving in and not giving up. So this letter sort of shows the apostle’s amazement at these folks who were fresh out of paganism, and just freshly aware of the work of Christ and His resurrection, and His coming again. So II Thessalonians, even more than the first, is going to deal with Christ’s soon return. When we get into the letter I’ll come back up to the board again and show that even Paul, early on in his ministry, certainly had no idea that the Church Age or the Age of Grace would go nearly 2000 years, which of course is where we are now.

Paul, along with the prophets and the twelve disciples after His ascension, were all looking for Christ to return in short order. It wasn’t until Paul gets to the end of his ministry that I think he realizes that the Nation of Israel has been set aside for probably longer than he thought it would be, and that the Church Age would not end in his lifetime, but it would continue on for some time. So always get the background to these things. Now remember, too, that the Thessalonians letters are probably the very first letters that the apostle Paul wrote, even though they’re toward the end of his Church epistles in our New Testament, yet they were evidently written first. But at that time I pointed out that Paul’s letters finally ended up in their order in our New Testament exactly the way they belong, not the order they were written, but doctrinally they are exactly where they belong.

We jump in first with the Book of Romans, that great Book of doctrine. Then the two letters to the Corinthians which were written to congregations that needed corrections, because they had a lot of problems. Then the next one was the letter of Galatians, again confronting the fact that we’re not under Law, but rather Grace. Then the next of Paul’s epistles were written from prison in Rome which are toward the end of his life ( probably around 64 – 66 AD), and in these prison epistles he was again taking us to a higher level doctrinally, showing us our position in Christ as redeemed and regenerated members of the Body, Gentiles in the flesh.

Then you come up to the third level in Paul’s writings so far as his doctrines are concerned, and they are the two little letters of Thessalonians which speak of the end time. How the Church is going to be removed from the planet, and how its departure from the earth is completely different from anything that the prophets of the Old Testament, or what we read about in the four gospels had been written about, because it is a separate coming of Christ that has nothing to do with the return of Christ to Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives at the close of the Tribulation. So remember that now the apostle is responding to the good news that the Thessalonians are remaining firm in their faith, and looking for the return of Christ. Now let’s start right in with Chapter 1 and verse 1.

II Thessalonians 1:1-3

“Paul and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: 2. Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet (appropriate) because that your faith (not their works so much as their faith)growth exceedingly, and the charity (love) of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;”

Now you see this is the first mark of a salvation experience. People who were unable to love or suddenly able to love. I’ll never forget the testimony of one old fellow that had come out of a rather rough non-spiritual background. He said, “You know Les, since I’ve been saved, people that I could have almost shot between the eyes, I no longer feel that way about them. Oh, they’re not the kind of people that I could go up to and hug, but now instead of hating them, I love them and feel so sorry for them.” And isn’t that about it? We are probably not prone to just love these kinds of people, as probably the Lord could love them, because we’re human, but at least we have changed our attitude so that now we do feel so sorry that they are still out in such abject spiritual darkness. So Paul says, “we realize the love you’re showing toward each other.” Verse 4.

II Thessalonians 1:4

“So that we ourselves glory in you (Paul was thrilled to hear back from these little Gentile congregations and how they were standing firm in the faith) in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:”

These poor Gentile pagans, now walking the life of a believer, came under intense persecution. Not the kind that we may experience once in a while – theirs was intense. Their lives were threatened, they probably lost their means of livelihood, and yet they never departed from the faith. So this is what he’s saying, “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure;” It’s never easy!

II Thessalonians 1:5

“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:” Now here is where we compare Scripture with Scripture. Come back to Romans 8:18. Look at what the apostle Paul writes to these Gentiles at Rome. So that means he’s still writing to us as Gentiles today.

Romans 8:18

“For I reckon that the sufferings (the kind of sufferings that the Thessalonian believers were going through) of this present time (our journey as believers) are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

So this is what we have to do. The opposition that we may have to face in this life on earth, we have to put it in comparison to the glory that one day will be revealed to us, and into which we will enter and live for all eternity. Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 1. So Paul says, “you’re counted worthy for the kingdom because you’re suffering for it.” Now verse 6, and this is a little bit of comfort because I imagine that every believer that suffers at the hand of a gross unbeliever, it’s our natural tendency to say, “God aren’t you going to pay them back?” Yes He will. Paul says:

II Thessalonians 1:6

“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God (and remember God can’t do anything that is wrong or unfair. God only knows how to do that which is upright and righteous) to recompense(or pay back) tribulation to them that trouble you;”

These people that tormented these Thessalonian believers are not going to get away with it. Oh they may in this physical life, but they still must come before the Great White Throne one day, and remember God is righteous and God won’t forget those things. So we can take comfort in that, even though we can’t strike back ourselves we have the promise that God’s going to do it. Now I’m thinking of a verse in Revelation, and I hope I can find it. I didn’t think of this verse as I was preparing for it, but come back to chapter 18, and let’s just drop in at verse 4. Now this is just a little inkling of what Paul is giving us here in the Thessalonian letter. I hope you all realize that Revelation is the account of the Tribulation that is still future, when the wrath of God is going to be poured out on Christ-rejecting humanity in a way that no one can comprehend. Now this is just another little picture of that.

Revelation 18:4-6

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, 5. For her sins (this Christ-rejecting world) have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (these persecuting acts of these unbelieving people) 6. Reward her (this group of people that have been tormenting believers of the Tribulation) even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: (the persecutions that this group promoted upon these believers) in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” This is what’s coming on the earth during those final 7 years.

Revelation 18:7-8

“How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, (that is this world system) so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. (Oh but God says, “Yes you will!”) 8. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, (at the end of the Tribulation) death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Now come on down to where the Lord tells them to go ahead and drink blood. That may be back in chapter 17. Verse 6.

Revelation 17:6

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, (the believers whom this group has persecuted) and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”

Well I still can’t find the verse I really was thinking of where He, in so in many words says, “You’ve always been blood thirsty, so now drink it.!” Remember in Pharaoh’s Egypt the fresh water supply of the world will be dried up, and the Lord will literally tell them they’ve got blood to drink and that’s what they’ve always been thirsty for, so have at it! Well always rest assured that God is just and one day He’s still going to even the score. (Transcriber’s note: I think Les was looking for Revelation 16:6 where it says –)

Revelation 16:6a

“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink;…” Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 1.

II Thessalonians 1:6,7

“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.” Remember God’s keeping the record. “And to you who are troubled (to you Thessalonians who are under this intense persecution) rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.” That is the reference to His coming to take the believers out of that situation of intense persecution. Now look at verse 8, and here comes the wrath and the justice and the righteousness of God.

II Thessalonians 1:8

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Alright I’ll have to remind all of you here as well as our television audience, you’ll remember in our last month’s taping we chased all the references beginning with Isaiah chapter 2, and came all the way up through the Old Testament, through the four gospels, and then on into the Book of Revelation, and showed you all the graphic descriptions of “The day of the Lord.” Do you remember that? The day of the Lord, when it will be dark and gloomy and when there will be such intense wrath of God being poured out on that Christ-rejecting generation which we feel is this one.

I honestly feel that the Lord is going to come in my lifetime, and I haven’t got that many years left. But I’m confident that unless something otherwise happens, my wife and I are not going to have to take that trip to the cemetery. I’m almost confident that we’re going to take that sudden translation up.

Once the Church is off the scene then the wrath, and vexation of God, the day of the Lord is going to come. I made the comment several programs back that the apostle Paul, almost without exception, does not deal with Old Testament prophecy. But here in II Thessalonians we have the only possible exception as we move on into II Thessalonians chapter 2 and even a few of these statements in chapter 1. Other than that Paul never refers to prophetic things. Paul deals only with the Church during this Age of Grace, and the reason for that is, “There is no prophecy directed to the Body of Christ!” We’re not under any of the Old Testament covenants, we’re not under any of the Old Testament prophecies, those were all directed to the Nation of Israel. So when Paul writes the Church letters from Romans all the way through Philemon, he doesn’t have to deal with prophecy because we don’t have any part with that.

Now of course as we see things getting ready, it’s like getting the stage set for a drama. The drama itself cannot begin until everything is ready behind the curtain. Isn’t that right? You’ve got to have the characters all ready, you’ve got to have the props ready, you’ve got to have the background ready, you’ve got to do the advertising – but the drama itself can never begin until there is that official raising of the curtain. Then the drama begins. Now we’re in that same kind of a situation. We are living in the these days when the stage behind the curtain is being set. All the world’s political leaders, the key players are being put in the right places. All the technology that is absolutely necessary for end-time events is coming on the scene. All the nations of the world are being aligned little by little, getting ready for that final curtain raising.

So this is why I keep saying, there is no prophecy directed to the Church, because we’re living in that opened up period of time that was never prophesied in the Old Testament or the four gospels. It was revealed only to the apostle Paul, and since we’re not in prophecy then it stands to reason that in one way or another we have to be taken out of the way before prophecy begins and becomes the rule of the day. And that’s what we’ll be looking at in the next several programs, and that is the end of the Body of Christ on earth which is not associated with wrath and vexation, and Tribulation, but rather as we pointed out in the last several programs, we leave out of a quiet set of circumstances. There is no attendant of the battle of Armageddon, no attendant of earthquakes and volcanoes and death and famine, but instead it will just be the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, then we’re out of here.

I always like to remember a fellow out in Denver when I think of that term. I’ll never forget a comment he made. He’s got a bunch of hunks that works for him, these young guys 25-30 years old, and some of them are the toughest young men in Denver. This guy has a devotional with them every morning, and this one particular morning he told those guys before they started their various work jobs, “Now look fellows, one of these days, you’re going to see old Jim’s truck right in downtown Denver at a stop light, and he’s out of there!”

That’s exactly the way it’s going to be. Wherever we happen to be as a believer, when that trumpet sounds, we’re out of here! It just thrills me to death that one day it’s going to happen.Now the world can scoff all they want to, but it’s still going to happen! And as I told my class the other night, I was with a group that I’d never been with before, and I just said, now look Paul tells us that we’re going to be changed in a blink of an eye. In a moment which in the Greek is the smallest divisional period of time, which today is probably a millionth of a second. We’re going to be suddenly changed in that split second. And as I told the group, we’ll have to be or otherwise we’ll hit the ceiling, but we’re not going to hit the ceiling, we’re going to slip right on through just like the Lord did in His resurrected body. The Scriptures makes that so plain. He came into the upper room where the disciples were without benefit of a door or window, and all of a sudden there He was. Well Paul comes along and says, “We’re going to have a body exactly like His glorious resurrected body.” Which means that if the Lord changes us and we’re in this building when that happens, before we hit the ceiling, we’ll have already changed into that body that can slip through materials with no problem, and always remember Jesus Himself said it, “With God nothing is impossible!”