THE HOPE OF PAUL'S ACTS
HOPE OF PAUL'S ACTS EPISTLES, WAS THE HOPE OF ISRAEL.
In Acts 28:20 Paul told the Jews in Rome "For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for THE HOPE OF ISRAEL, I AM HOUND WITH THIS CHAIN.
Paul refers to the Hope of Israel 4 times in Acts.
1. In Acts 23:6 he mentions the Hope as being resurrection2. In Acts 24:15 he mentions the hope as being resurrection 3. In Acts 26:6-8 He mentions the hope as being resurrection 4. In Acts 28:20-23 he mentions the Hope in connection with the Kingdom of God.
The Hope of Israel was to be resurrected into the kingdom of God, as a matter of fact, the only way they could
get into the Kingdom of God
was by resurrection.
That's exactly what Paul is showing the Corinthians in I Cor. 15 . In that chapter he is showing them how to get into the Kingdom of God, and guess what he told them had to happen for them to get in ? They had to be resurrected and changed. WHY? Because in vs. 50 he said:
"Now this I say; brethren, that flesh and blood- cannot inherit the Kingdom-of God; neither
doth corruption inherit incorruption.
And in vs. 51 he told them they would all be changed, and the change would take place in resurrection.
ICor. 15 and I Thess. 4 is the hope of Israel. The hope of Israel was resurrection into the Kingdom of God, which is exactly what Paul is writing about in this chapter.
You say: "Haw did Gentiles in that church end up with Israel's Hope?" Because in the Acts period, they were grafted into Israel the good olive tree, according to Rom.11:17. And being grafted into the tree, they partook of the fatness of the olive tree. The fatness of the olive tree were the blessings and promises made to the fathers, who were the root of the tree - Rom.15:2'7. And one of those blessings and promises WAS THEIR HOPE OF RESURRECTION.
(12.) BEFORE THE HOPE OF MATT. 24 TAKES PUCE THERE WILL BE A FALLING AWAY, THAT IS
APOSTACY, AND THE REVELATION OF THE ANTI-CHRIST.
In Matt. 24:11 Jesus said "Many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (A reference to apostasy )
And in vs. 15 He said, 'Men ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy place..." (A reference to the
anti-Christ Dan. 11:31)
In vs. 24 he said "there would be false Christ's; and false prophets, and shall chew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very
elect." (A reference to the Devil working miracles )
PAUL SAID THE EXACT SAME THING WOULD TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE RESURRECTION OF
I THESS. 4 AND I COR. 15 WOULD TAKE PLACE.
In II Thess. 2:1 he wrote: "Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, anti by our gathering together unto him; "that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled , neither by spirit, nor by word, nor as by letter as from us that the day of Christ is at hand."
The day of Christ in vs.2 , was his coming and their gathering together unto him in vs. 1. The Thessalonians were "all shook up" because somebody wrote then a false letter and told them it was at hand, that is, it had already taken place. Which, if it were true, they were left behind to face the wrath of IIThess.l:8-9. So Paul to assure them that He had not come, tells them in vs.3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not came, except there came a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, skewing himself that he is God.
For years Bible believers have wrestled with these scriptures because they have been taught that the "so-called" Rapture in
I Thess. 4 was a pre-tribulation rapture. I speak from personal experience for I once believed that, and every time someone would point out these verses to me, I did what so many continue to do today, do everything but believe them.
But , when I finally made up my mind to just believe what they say, the verses opened up to me like a flower! What is Paul saying? He is saying that the day of Christ in
vs. 2 was His Coming and their gathering together unto Him in verse 1 which is the Hope found in
I Thess. 4.
Somebody wrote a letter to them, forged Paul's name to it, and told them it was at hand, that is taken place. They were shook up, for if that were true, then they had missed it, which would man they would be destroyed by the wrath of God of
II Thess. 1:8-9. Paul writes this letter to assure them that they had not missed the Day of Christ, that is His Coming, which was their hope. But, that the Day of Christ would not take place until after a period of apostasy and the revelation of the Anti-Christ , which they knew had not taken place .
( He also mentions the Devil working miracles in verse 9 )
The point that I am making is the Hope of I Thess. 4 which was the Day of Christ, would not take place until AFTER a period of apostasy and the revelation of the Anti-Christ , just like the resurrection in Matt. 24.
Don't get up tight thinking you're going to be here when the Anti-Christ is revealed , for if you're saved, I
Thess. 4 is not your hope. We have a new and a better hope found in the Prison Epistles, which we will describe in a future article. And that Hope takes place before the Tribulation ever begins, maybe years before.
I believe these 12 similarities between Matt. 24 arid I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4 are enough to convince any fair minded believer that we have been looking at the same resurrection.
If they are not the same then there will be two resurrections that will take place in the future at the same time that are identical !!! Well, the reason they are identical is because they are the same.
In conclusion I would like to point out that the Thessalonians as well as all of the believers saved under Paul's Acts ministry were made partakers of a new and better hope of resurrection that God revealed to Paul after the close of the Acts period and it is found in his prison epistles . This of course means that there will not be a split resurrection of the Church . The Body of Christ has ONE HOPE but it is not found in I Thess.4 or I Cor.15 , it is found in his prison epistles.
ADDITIONAL NAMES CONCERNING THE HOPE OF THE ACTS EPISTLES
When speaking of "Bible Things" we should use " Bible Names".
The word that most of Christians use today for resurrection is the word "Rapture". The word "Rapture" is not a Bible word at all. It does not appear in the Bible one time . Upon looking at it's definition , it is a terrible word to use for resurrection .
The word "Rapture" means , "Violence of a pleasing passion ". "A state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion, ecstasy, or passion in a carnal, sensual, sexual manner ".
As a matter of fact the word "Rapture" comes from, the Latin word non WHICH IS THE SAME LATIN WORD FOR RAPE.
Why would anyone want to use a word for violent forceful rape as a word for resurrection ???
Whenever Paul writes about resurrection he always uses the word "HOPE" (See Titus 2:13, Acts 28:20, Eph. 1:18). The word "HOPE" is the Bible name for resurrection not the carnal, sensual word "Rapture".
People use I Thess. 1:10 to try to prove that the resurrection in I Thess. 4 takes place before the tribulation period begins . They point out that it says they would be delivered from the "wrath to cone" and that they were not appointed to wrath in I Thess.5:9.
But , that cannot be, true for Paul also told them , they would be resurrected at the last trumpet in I Cor.15:52 and the last trumpet is the seventh of seven , that will be blown DURING the tribulation before Jesus comes at the end. Paul also told them that the day of Christ which was His coming and their gathering together unto Him , was not at hand ,for it would be PRECEEDED by a falling away and the revelation of the Anti-Christ , which all takes place DURING THE TRIBULATION , NOT BEFORE . (II Thess.2:1-6 )
You cannot ignore these facts when reading I Thess.1:10.
The question then that we must answer is , "what is the Wrath 7b Come" ? That expression appears 3 times in the Bible , Matt.3:7, Lk.3:7 , and I Thess.1:10.
In Matt.3 and Lk.3 it is identified as the day that Jesus corms in fire to burn up
the chaff after He gathers the wheat into His garner. That day is at the VERY END of the tribulation and many of the saints He gathers out right before that day return with Him to destroy unbelievers ( II Thess.l:7-9, Jude 14-15, Rev.19:11-21, I Thess.5:2-9. II Pet. 3:10, Malachi 4:1-3 )
That's the wrath of I Thess.5:9 that they were not appointed to. That's the "wrath to come" they were delivered frown in I Thess.1:10 . As a matter of fact , even the tribulation saints are delivered from the wrath to cone and no believer including the tribulation saints is appointed to wrath.
Before the wrath to coarse is unleashed upon this earth , AT THE VERY END OF THE TRIBULATION all believers from all ages , will by that time have been resurrected. ( Though not all at the same time, of course.)
Also the "wrath to come" that Paul wrote of in I Thess.1:10 will not coarse UNTIL AFTER THE LAST TRUMPET IS BLOWN (Rev.11:18) and it was at
the last trumpet that they were to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. That's why Paul told them that they could "REST" when the wrath fell in II Thess.l:7.
If I Thess.4 and I Cor.15 are the hope of the church today (notice I said "IF" ) and "if" God did not reveal a new and better Hope to Paul after the Acts period, then you can be assured that the Church will go through the tribulation just like Paul said .
And it would be false doctrine to preach a pre-tribulation resurrection. Futher more, if you believe that I Thess.4 and I Cor.15 is the hope of the church today then , you ought to be honest enough to preach that it will take place at the end of the tribulation and not before. And I have more respect for a man that believes that I Thess.4 is his hope and preaches that it will take place at the end of the tribulation than I do for a man that claims it as his hope but
deny's that it takes place at the end of the tribulation like Paul says it will.
I realize that what I just wrote is not going to be "well liked or received " by most Bible believers , but somebody has needed to stick their neck out and say this for a long time . I know this is not going to " win many friends , and influence many people " but somebody has got to be willing to become even as the filth and
off-scouring of the world and be looked upon as an evil doer by God's own people , if that is what it takes for people to get their eyes open to what their hope is . The Devil is doing every thing he can to keep you from seeing the truth about this hope and the one in the prison epistles .
When a man goes up against the doctrines and traditions of men that have been believed and taught for many years , he will find himself alone on the outside looking in . His own friends will turn against him and turn away from him and accuse him of being a trouble maker. Thats what happened to Paul , but he was willing to suffer abuse if that is what it took to show and reveal the truth to people that God revealed to him.
It would be much easier to just go along with the religious system and preach their "rapture" as being the hope of the church today for the majority do. It would be
much easier to just ignore and even deny what Paul said about the hope in I Thess.4 and I Cor.15 like everybody else is doing. (I know for I did it for years.) But when God changes his program and replaces it with something new and better , it is wrong to go on preaching what He changed .
In other words, if God revealed a hope to Paul in his prison epistles that is different and better than the one he wrote about in his Acts epistles wouldn't it be wrong to go on teaching the hope in the Acts epistles as the hope of the church today ???
There is alot of hypocrisy in the among Bible believers today when it comes to the issue of the hope of the church. Let me explain...
I know of many Bible Preachers today who do not observe the Lord's Supper of I Corinthians 11 because they say it's an ordinance and
they go to the prison epistles to prove that there are no ordinances for the church today (Co1.2:14-22). In other words they say that Colossians a prison epistle superceeds what Paul said in I Corinthians an Acts epistle , and for that reason they do not observe the Lord Supper even though he said to observe it "till he come". (I Cor11:26) But yet when someone like myself says that the hope of the church today is not found in the Acts epistles , because God revealed a new and better hope to Paul in his prison epistles they call me a heretick and ban me ,from their fellowship and warn people not to listen to me 111 That's first class hypocrisy 1!
There are Bible Believers reading this article that use the-prison epistles all the time to get around many of the things that Paul preached and did in his Acts epistles such as water baptism. signs, wonders, miracles, healing, tongues ,etc.. because they know that his prison epistles contain a further and fuller revelation of truth than his Acts epistles , and they say that's O.K. But let someone say , that there is a new hope in the prison epistles that superceeds the one in his Acts epistles and they get
bent out of shape and say that's going to far.
There may be someone reading this article that is unaware of the fact that God revealed a new hope to Paul in his prison epistles and
you would like to hear about it . If so, please see
SPHERES OF BLESSING.