Terry gets wrapped up in the mystery, and gets it wrong as he states the following in his last post:
“God’s Word–Jesus, Himself—gave many signals of the wrap-up of matters involving the reclamation of this fallen planet. All of those signals were, most end-times seminary scholars seem to believe, issued to point to the Second Coming. The signs Jesus gave, we are told by many in this category, don’t include the mystery later revealed to and by the apostle Paul. I refer to the first phase of the Second Coming. Paul divulged that “mystery in the following, of course.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–5)”
Terry often proclaims that the revealing of a “mystery” in the New Testament or the New Covenant is a completely new revelation. But is it? The catching up of those who are alive and remain is supposed to be a new revelation according to Dispensationalists which lends credence to their understanding that the catching up or (Rapture) is a separate event from the catching up that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, but is this being honest with the text? Is it possible and in fact not more likely that Paul was teaching on the exact same event as was Jesus?
Here is the problem for Dispensationalists. If this mystery is a different mystery than that which Jesus taught; then why is the mystery not revealed as the Dispensationalists teach it? Paul did not speak to it here as being a two part coming. Jesus spoke of His coming in the two passages already mentioned. Paul speaks of His Coming; not of another event. Jesus speaks of the gathering of the elect from heaven and earth. Paul speaks of the dead rising first, which would involve the souls of the dead coming from heaven to meet their bodies; then the earthly harvest would be those who are alive, who are looking for this coming, as described in those passages in both Matthew and Mark. The only thing that is new that Paul reveals is that the dead will rise before those who are still alive, which is important in the discussion of the timing for all of this; because it implies all of the dead in Christ must rise before the alive of the earth are to be harvested or caught up.
But what else makes what Terry states and believes seem wrong from what Paul teaches here? This is important because of what do we know about Paul’s students.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers [and sisters,] about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest [of mankind do,] who have no hope. (NASB2020)
Paul has a concern that these to whom he is writing just may be “uninformed” as is the world, and that they therefore could “grieve” as the rest do. So with these recipients of his letter, just as I would do if I were teaching a new group of Christian’s in a class at church, I would see that they still need to be told about what is going to happen when Jesus comes. Paul tells them almost precisely what Jesus had taught His Disciples, with only one addition, and it was about the dead whom he was focusing on because of the potential for grief in his students. The addition was that these would rise first even before those who are left here and are still alive at the time of Christ’s coming. If you can determine this to be anything otherwise, please please inform me.
I have written before concerning the day of the lord that Paul mentions later in this passage. Should you wish to study this day further see: