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Doctrine of Rapture, Immanency

July 30, 2017

The Imminency of the Rapture.

  1. Imminency means impending, or threatening to occur immediately.  It does not mean immediately.
  2. Rapture is used technically for the fact that no prophecy has to be fulfilled before the Rapture occurs.  The Rapture will occur when the last member of the body of Christ is saved.
  3. The Church Age is the only dispensation in which there are historical trends and no prophecy.  The Church Age began with an event prophesied–the baptism of the Spirit.  Our Lord prophesied this in the Upper Room Discourse and just before He ascended.  The Church Age terminates with the Rapture, which was also prophesied.  There is no prophecy between these two events.  This is the dispensation of the mystery doctrine.
  4. No prophecy between the baptism of the Spirit and the Rapture means that the Rapture is imminent.  It could occur at any time; no one knows the day or the hour.
  5. The resurrection of the Church, like our dying, is completely out of our control.  Just as we have no control over the time and manner of our death, so we have no control over the time and manner of the Rapture.
  6. The resurrection of the Church is totally beyond our control because resurrection is the Lord’s victory.  1 Cor 15:57, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  7. While the Rapture is imminent, the Second Advent is not.  Before the Second Advent occurs, there are many prophecies which must occur, e.g., the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Judgment Seat of Christ, Rev 6‑19.
  8. The Rapture could have occurred at the time of James or Paul because no prophecy had to be fulfilled before the resurrection occurs.
  9. Distortion of the imminency of the Rapture results in instability and foolish explanation or speculation about the time of the Rapture; hence, James gives us an admonition in Jam 5:7‑8.  “Therefore, brethren, have patience until the coming of the Lord [Rapture].  The farmer waits with anticipation for the valuable production of the soil, constantly being patient until it has received the early and the latter rains.  Have patience.  Furthermore, all of you become stabilized in your right lobes because the coming of the Lord [Rapture] has approached with the result that it is drawing nearer and nearer.”
  10. To have patience means to apply what you know.  Patience is a system of thinking Bible doctrine, a system of concentration, the application of doctrine to experience.  In effect, that application says, “As long as I’m alive, I have control over my life.  I can, by positive volition, execute the protocol plan of God or, by negative volition, be a cosmic believer and be my own worst enemy.”
  11. The farmer invests by sowing seed.  He must break up the soil and sow the seed, then he must wait.  There’s nothing he can do while waiting; the seed will either come up or not.  Either he will have production or he will not.  In the time of this writing, that depended upon the soil and the rains.  The farmer did not have control over those elements.
  12. Verse 8 goes on to tell us how to have patience.  You cannot have patience without a stabilized mentality.
  13. “Drawing nearer” means to be approaching.  Every day in the Church Age, the Rapture draws closer.  Every day that the Rapture approaches, you still have control over your life as long as you live.  You have control in the sense that you can be a winner or a loser.
  14. Because there was no unfulfilled prophecy before the Rapture could occur, the early Church anticipated the Rapture under the concept of imminency, 1 Cor 1:4‑8. “I always thank my God concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched by Him by all the doctrine and all the knowledge, even as the testimony concerning you was confirmed among you.  You were not lacking any of the spiritual gifts.  You should be eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [Rapture], who will strengthen you to the end [of Church Age], blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  15. The Corinthian church was made up of losers, yet Paul thanked God concerning them because they were the beneficiaries of phenomenal grace, were in union with Christ, and most of all, were “enriched by Him.”  Each had:  a portfolio of invisible assets, his very own palace—the operational divine dynasphere, the indwelling of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and the 100% available divine omnipotence of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
  16. Enrichment in the Christian life is not measured in terms of work and Christian service, but in terms of doctrine and knowledge.  Yet most of the Corinthian believers rejected that doctrine.
  17. To be “strengthened to the end” refers, not to the end of their lives, but to the end of the Church Age.  Since they died before then, what does this mean?  Every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God.  But it cannot be executed in human power, dynamics, energy, works, or personality; it is executed in that knowledge of doctrine and in the omnipotence of God the Father, in the omnipotence of Jesus Christ, and in the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit.  The omnipotence of Jesus Christ personally preserves history and perpetuates it, and so guarantees that the Church Age will run its course.
  18. In a resurrection body, you will be “blameless” forever.
  19. So while the Rapture is imminent, no one really knows when it will occur. In the meantime, the royal family of God lives in this dispensation of historical trends, Rev 2‑3.
  20. Three times in Revelation is the phrase, “I am coming soon”: Rev 22:7, 12, 20. Remember that, to the Lord, a day is a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.  This statement was made in A.D. 96, and this is now A.D. 1990.  Therefore, “soon” connotes imminency, not immediacy.
  21. The Rapture of the Church is the next prophetical event to occur in history.
  22. Tit 2:13, “Waiting with keen anticipation for that blessed hope [Rapture], even the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”
  23. How do you wait with keen anticipation?  You wait through thinking; you wait with patience, which is the application of doctrine.  You know the Rapture is coming.  It may not occur in your lifetime, but you still know it is coming.  In this way you apply doctrine, are occupied with the person of Jesus Christ, utilize +H, virtue‑love, hope 2 and hope 3, so that you have a wonderful life and death.
  24. The glory of this world passes away (SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI) because it is based on the achievement of man, on visible heroes.  But we are called to become invisible heroes by advancing to spiritual maturity.
  25. Jesus Christ is the glory, the resurrection, and the life.
  26. The imminency of the Rapture is a doctrine for mature believers only. A mature believer is eager for the Rapture to occur.  He is so occupied with Christ that he looks for the Rapture.
  27. Only the Trinity knows when the Rapture is going to occur.