In this post both Peter and Paul have a lot to say. Paul, years before his death had spoken of his death and resurrection in Philippians chapters 1 and 3. But interestingly, he had not spoken of his potential rapture. That fact should be given consideration and have meaning to us.

Yesterday we saw that when speaking of end time events, Peter had this to say about Paul’s letters:

As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16 NASB

The thing that we must first ask ourselves is why would this verse not be uppermost in our thoughts when examining Paul’s teaching? This problem places any who misunderstand in danger according to Peter? Yet, as with most professors of doctrines that are not completely true to scripture, their teachings can dominate within the Church. The “truth” of many can be effected. Just what does Peter have to say about that?

2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (KJV)

Peter says that the things in this text that we will be looking into he has already forewarned us about. In other words — we either will hear this warning or we won’t. His concern is that we might be led astray and fall.

Christian teachings are unfortunately different depending on what the teachers have been themselves taught. So error is obviously being propagated as warned here by the Holy Spirit through Peter.

So just who are these teachers today. What might help expose these theologians is their ignoring all warnings thinking themselves and others, even those with a different end-Time doctrine to be incapable of falling just because of their own understanding of Scripture. They in fact know better than this Apostle, and better than Jesus Himself. They teach that you as a “true” believer can never fall as this Apostle warns can and potentially will happen to those who twist Scripture. Yet, still they in our day are the prevalent “truth” teachers on both what constitutes salvation and the events of the end times. All of their teachings concerning both are seemingly based on our inability to fall from God’s Grace. And included in their teaching is their own twist concerning even the gifts of the Spirit about which Paul also teaches.

If we look at verse 10 of 2 Peter 3, we see that Peter is teaching concerning the Day of the Lord, just as Paul had done in 1 Thessalonians, and elsewhere in his own teachings on these end times. Peter has this to say concerning this connection between himself and Paul.

and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 2 Peter 3:15 NASB

So what about Paul’s letters is Peter speaking — that would agree with Peter’s teaching on patience? You can check out my research, but Paul only speaks of God’s patience when he speaks of the day of God’s wrath. He does this in Romans 2:4, & 9:22; every other time that Paul speaks of patience it is about our patience not God’s. So is Peter saying that it is only for man’s salvation that God shows patience and delays His wrath? Paul sees God’s patience concerning this delay in end time events, as being there to bring more of us into this so great salvation?

It certainly seems to me as though this teaching concerning delay or patience in last days events is what Peter is talking about.

What most do not look at today is God’s patience in what only appears to be a delayed Second coming. His coming is delayed for us, but not for God. He knows the day and the hour and has for all eternity past known this. It is a fixed day. But what these, about whom Peter speaks, do look at almost continually is His soon or imminent coming, and not His patience. We are not to look for Him until we see the signs. Our looking in the sky for His coming is meaningless unless we know that His coming is near. If this is understood, then we can see that any prior difficulty with Church teaching has largely been due to an over emphasis on a false understanding of imminence in the past.

But Scripture is what needs to be considered in order to understand what the Holy Spirit is teaching us concerning the timing of the Lord’s coming.

It is necessary that we look at what Paul says concerning end of days issues in order to understand if a delayed second coming is really displayed in his thinking as Peter seems to imply when speaking of his teaching about God’s patience. I know that you need proof of this even as I did when I left dispensational teachings.

Peter says that these misunderstandings of Paul’s teachings on end time beliefs can even lead to ones destruction. How can that be? Don’t jump to a premature conclusion here. That fact seems to be completely ignored today by eschatological (end Time) teachers. So the understanding about why this can be the case is thus also missing in the discussion. How could it be that God would condemn a man over his wrong understanding concerning His Son’s return? But is that what Peter is saying?

Still, there is this warning of their destruction in what Peter is telling us concerning the twisting of Paul’s teaching?

I suggest to you and I believe that I can prove that it is not God who will condemn the one who is wrong in proclaiming end time distortion to such destruction, but it is the false belief itself that can lead that one to their destruction. It is the teacher himself, who fails to hear what scripture says, and then misleads concerning the truth, who will be judged by his or her own actions. It is these, who will condemn themselves and others who believe their every word. For by his action or non action he will be judged just as we all will be. This is scriptural truth, because one who does not understand Paul’s teaching is Peter’s subject, and this reveals just who actually does this twisting of Paul’s truth.

I’ll attempt to prove that all of this is Peter’s meaning as I proceed. But let’s get into Paul’s letters in order to understand what he has said about the end of this age which might imply a patient God, and not an imminent return.

In Philippians he says:

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (KJV)

Paul is telling us that the day of Jesus Christ is coming, but in the interim there is a work to be done by Christ in us, as well as a work in which we ourselves engage resulting in a change in us that must be performed by God In cooperation with us. Does this imply an imminent expectation on his part of Christ’s return? What about Paul personally, does he seem expectant of an imminent second coming? An appearing of Christ while Paul is yet alive? — you may be surprised, but the answer is No, because later in this same chapter in Philippians he is contemplating his own physical death. But look what he says in chapter 3:

Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (KJV)

Yet, believing in his resurrection not his Rapture means nothing to the one who believes Paul to be the teacher proclaiming an imminent return utilizing a separate and imminent Rapture in his own day. This statement by Paul concerning the lack of his own perpetuation of imminence in the coming of the day of Christ is also ignored. So the context and progression of Paul’s writings becomes very important.

Most Christian teachers imply that this day of Christ is the time of the Rapture and that it is taught by Paul to be imminent. That the teaching by Paul is meant to imply imminence based upon his writings, and that this is what he (Paul) was looking for, and what we should be looking for, as the very next event on Gods calendar. This is and always has been the Dispensationalist teaching since their inception in the mid 1800’s. They teach that there is nothing more to be done in the way of prophetic events before the day of Christ. Many even teach that the day of Christ is different than the day of the Lord, in order to make their case. So these men truly believe that the next event that both Paul and the entire church should be looking for is the Rapture and that that is proven by Paul’s own teachings and beliefs. Yet you know that I teach this to be untrue — why? Let me re-emphasize the first reason why we should question this.

Later in this 1st chapter of Philippians Paul speaks of his departure and he is not speaking of rapture.

Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (KJV)

We know that he is not here looking for the Rapture, because he goes on to conclude that it is better for them that he stay rather than to depart, because of their need of him. Read the passage for Clarity. So we would need to conclude that if Paul is not looking for his rapture but rather his death and resurrection, then he is not looking for their rapture either. But, why is he instead looking for his own death? Why is it that the Rapture is not the next event in his mind? And why also is it, that this fact is being overlooked and ignored, and how can we prove that to Paul, patience is more important than imminence.

Paul wrote both 1&2 Thessalonians, as well as Romans before he wrote Philippians. So what did he know based upon these earlier writings of his. What does Romans say that would help us to understand what he already knows when he contemplates his death? We know that in Romans he wanted all Israel to be saved. He had even pointed out that he would be willing to give up his own salvation to save them. This is how much he loved them and wanted them to be saved. Why would he even begin to think that way if he thought that Israel’s promised future salvation were or could be an almost imminent happening for them which it certainly must have been based on his Romans 11 teaching, if the Rapture was in his mind to be imminent? And if Israel’s salvation was to closely follow an imminent for him Rapture; then his thinking of offering up his own salvation for theirs was ludicrous, because they must also then soon be saved if he believed in an imminent return. And think about this, he knew based on Romans 11 that their salvation was coming, but he as we must first see the signs appearing in order to know when. They were nowhere then in sight.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

If this fullness of the Gentiles is the Rapture as some believe and if it was even then in Paul’s day an imminent, as we are told to believe event; then to Paul, Israel’s salvation was very near also as in imminent. But Paul apparently did not believe this. “Paul It’s just around the corner”, but it is not seen that way by Paul — why?

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (KJV)

Paul expresses here in Romans, before he wrote Philippians, that until every last Gentile would be saved there would be a blindness on Israel, and if that’s the case his death therefore must be believed would come before the Rapture. He knew that this had already been and would probably continue to be an extended process. If he on the other hand knew that Jesus could return at any moment, and that this is what all believers are to be looking for; then he would not be thinking of his own death. In fact none of us should be preparing for death if we truly believe that Rapture is imminent or the next thing on God’s calendar.

For certain Paul knew that this blindness in Israel would only be removed during the time of Jacob’s trouble. He was a true scholar of the Old Testament and of its promises to Israel. Now consider for your own understanding, that Gentiles are still being saved during the Tribulation. And Paul says that they must all be saved before Israel will be saved. What does that statement tell us of his thinking? What should it mean to us?

So Paul makes the salvation of the very last Gentile in this passage in Romans 11, a prerequisite to the salvation of Israel. He does this here just like in 1 Thessalonians where he makes the dead who are in Christ to rise first before there can even be a Rapture. Both of these facts are very important, but they are not the only facts that point to this truth that we know today.

Let’s continue with Romans 11.

Paul in addition to his teaching on the olive tree where he makes clear that entrance into this tree is individual and caused by our belief; also he shows that the only way out of this tree is brought about by unbelief:

Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (KJV)

Highminded, it is virtually impossible to be thus, if one knows that he is totally dependent upon Christ. Otherwise he is denying the one who bought him. Yet these same theologians who tell us that a believer cannot fall, also tell the individual believer that he, as an individual, need not fear this verse, as well.

They refuse to see that these branches represent us as individuals. That some Individuals from Israel were left when most of Israel’s individuals fell, (Paul among them). Many were in this tree when the rest of Israel was cut off for unbelief. And these Theologians also fail to see that we as individuals continue to be grafted in now for 2000 years.

Romans 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (KJV)

Paul knew that not all of Israel would be saved. Salvation is an individual matter. Otherwise he would not if possible be willing to die for those who have not made it over these now last 2000 years.

“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:8-9 NASB

Paul knew this. So what else did Paul know?

He tells us in Romans 11, again before he wrote in Philippians concerning his coming resurrection.

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (KJV)

If Gentile believers, who are these saved, are to provoke individual Jews to their final salvation now would that not also be true later for Israel, and if all of Israel who are left following the purge of Jacob’s trouble is thus saved during Tribulation, how can they who are to make jealous do that if they are not present? Yet these same teachers tell us that men from among these saved (the bride) are not present.

He goes on to say:

Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (KJV)

His question here is very important. Israel fell in order to bring us Gentiles salvation. It prolonged the promised kingdom for Israel from coming. And we are given that gift individually in order that they Israel, who are still in unbelief, would be made Jealous and thereby be individually returned to the olive tree. So his question takes into consideration that their fall has done this for us Gentiles, how much more — (than their fall having allowed for our salvation) — can their fullness bring us? Israel’s fullness or their inclusion (becoming believers) concerning the Christ, therefore is going to bring to us something even beyond salvation. Something that we cherish every bit as much as salvation. What could that something be?

Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (KJV)

At their acceptance we will receive the promise that we hope for: Paul knows what life from the dead means. He is willing to do most anything for this resurrection. We know what life from the dead means. The dead in Christ shall rise first. He had written this in his first letter — a letter to the Thessalonians. In that letter he told us of this event that will bring about our life from the dead.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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: (KJV)

So Paul knew from his previous writing that the dead in Christ would rise before the Rapture. So when he tells us here in Romans about this event he is informing us of the timing of this event when the dead in Christ will rise. It will occur after Israel is saved and they are included in Christ as believers. And for Israel’s salvation to occur, it requires from us, that we make them jealous. In fact it is Israel’s salvation that brings about our life from the dead.

Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (KJV)

But these same theologians tell us “no this is not saying that”. And they twist Paul’s words once again just as Peter had said.

The resurrection is life from the dead and it can be the only thing that is better than the richness of the salvation that came for us Gentiles when Part of Israel fell. A salvation that had resulted from Israel’s unbelief in verse 12. And this blessing of life from the dead only comes to us due to their future inclusion into the olive tree — their final salvation. This inclusion only comes due to the time of Jacob’s trouble, which happens in and during the Tribulation, and it only comes because we have made them jealous — which must mean that we are present to make them jealous. Until the last Gentile comes in. This of course further proves that the Tribulation is not the wrath from which God’s people are kept. Because God’s people are spoken of throughout this period in Gods history — the Tribulation.

Paul knew that he would die before the Rapture. For The Tribulation, and the salvation of the last Gentile; and the salvation of the remnant left alive in Israel; and the coming of the Antichrist, all of these he knew and taught must come before the day of the Lord comes as a thief.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (KJV)

This announcement coincides with Armageddon. Paul knew this timing. He knew these things. He had been taught them even as we are being taught them, by the Holy Spirit speaking God’s word to him. Paul had to recognize that there could be nothing greater for the saved Gentiles than for Israel to join them as one new man in Christ, even as he taught it in Ephesians. This final act of this age is Israel’s Salvation, which is probably occurring at Petra surrounding Armageddon, and will mean life from the dead, which occurs at Jesus coming, and will be just before the Rapture. Many of those dead will have died during the Tribulation for our Lord. One of them would possibly be the last Gentile saved.

Revelation 12:11 But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (NET)

So, Paul when he penned Philippians knew that his death was pending, because he knew and had taught what must come to pass before the day of the Lord (the day of Christ) would come as a thief. And the Holy Spirit who has inspired his writings, of course, also knew when He had John pen these words:

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (KJV)

Thus the timing of the second coming for us is made known. It is not a mystery any longer. Paul’s teachings are clear. Scriptures teachings are clear. Jesus’ teachings completely agreed with these teachings to Paul by the Holy Spirit.

So why did Peter say:

“which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. “ 2 Peter 3:16 NASB

I simply ask which branches are cut off from God’s olive tree of which Christ is the root? We stand fast only because of belief. We believe only because we have faith. We have faith only because we got it from the truth of the word of God. Without believing truth our faith will fail when under the attack of the devil. The full armor of God that we are to put on involves the taking on of the truth, and our believing this truth results in faith, and righteousness. This faith is our promised shield against Unbelief in what God’s word teaches, and unbelief makes void all of these weapons of our warfare. Unbelief causes the fall.

9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:9-10,13,22-24 NASB

Is this possibly the other scriptures that Dispensationalists distort? Because they tell you it is impossible for one who is in Christ to fall away; yet Paul says:

Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (KJV)

John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (KJV)

Why did Jesus say that? Because they had the truth all along, it was standing right before them on the scrolls, and they claimed that they saw it clearly, but obviously they did not. But because they claimed a different truth from what was true in scripture, Jesus condemned them to being cut off. They were seeing a different Messiah than Jesus one who would do things differently than they had planned.

Even if Paul were alive today he would be hard pressed to say just when the last Gentile would be saved, because Tribulation is yet to begin, and it is to be followed by Israel’s salvation. So are we both (Israel and the Gentiles) not one new man as Paul also taught in Ephesians, again before he penned Philippians. Think about it. Remember we are in Israel’s Messiah. We have no messiah but Israel’s. So what did Paul really teach? Let’s do what we can to bring in the very last Gentile, and to make ISRAEL jealous, because we are in Christ — their Messiah.

Remember, Jesus said to Nicodemus:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

John 3:10 NASB

It is these same theologians who say that believers cannot fall away, who say that we are not here to make Israel jealous during Tribulation. And they are the same ones who say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer in operation, yet many follow them on one or more of these errors in doctrine, and think nothing of it.

As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16 NASB

Paul stated that we should be like him. In Philippians 3:10 he wants to be conformed to Christ’s death. He rather than wanting to be Raptured wanted to die for others like his Lord. Today’s sleepy church wants to be Raptured. We need more men like Paul.

My final question to you is why would you believe what men say about the Scriptures rather than to believe what the Scriptures say about themselves.

I am not a Dispensationalist, nor am I a believer in replacement Theology. Read my statement of faith.

Sorry, This was so long. Part two will not be so long. I hope!