Friday, March 1, 2013
Rule 7.5: Distinguish Between the Two-Fold Nature of Christ’s Return…
This lesson is borrowed from the booklet “Seven rules for Bible Interpretation”, written by REV. M. L. LOWE, D.D. with supplemental material by David W. Holden.
There have always been those who have thought that the Lord was not able to keep His own redeemed children “from the hour of temptation” (Revelation 3:10). This, spoken to the church of Philadelphia, is clearly a promise that the church will be taken out of the world—“Come up hither!” (Revelation 4:1)—at the very moment the Tribulation breaks forth upon the earth. This is what is termed “the Rapture” and it is clearly detailed in:
1Thess. 4:16-17 “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: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
But when the seven years of Great Tribulation draw to a close, the Lord shall return in might and glory to bring judgment which had been withheld by His longsuffering:
2Thess. 1:7-8 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The distinction is increasingly important as this present age draws to its close, and “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (II Thess. 2:7) trying to persuade even Bible-taught believer to look for the Anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation rather than for “that blessed hope” of the return of our Lord in Person! The Lord has clearly revealed His “time-table” and the distinct order of events. Let each believer fix his attention on the coming Lord Jesus Christ—NOT Anti-Christ!