Although I do agree with Jan that if things continue as they are, are likely headed for the prophesied end, still I want to focus on just one paragraph within this intro for this weeks video message that Jan is here introducing:
It was in my book, which incidentally I had sent to Jan and spoken with her about over e-mails, wherein I had an entire chapter on the ages about which Jesus and the New Testament writers spoke. From those scriptures all of which are discussed in that chapter of the book, there is not one related Scripture, which would support or even mention this “Church age”concept that is taught to be a separate and crucial age for God’s dealing with man.
In fact the Church is not mentioned once in the Old Testament either as being an entity exclusive of Israel’s chosen. The Church as a scriptural concept is made up of individual believers.
But, as you can see it stated in Jan’s above paragraph, she agrees with Dispensationalists that the Tribulation must also be an age separate and apart from this age, which then (in her thinking) excludes believers in Christ, who find themselves in the coming Great Tribulation.
There are Scriptures which need consideration when hearing this statement of Jan’s. Without these passages it all amounts to theory. The statement that believers will never see this coming Antichrist kingdom is clearly refuted in the Scriptures. Listen:
2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for [it will not come] unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (NASB1995)
Paul is plainly telling us that the coming Lord’s day is not to be looked for by us believers until after we have seen this coming lawless one, who is known to us and taught by even Jan to be the Antichrist.
Peter even tells us that men will twist these words of Paul relating to the Second Coming and His day of the Lord, and they will do this to their own destruction. Listen:
2 Peter 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (NASB1995)
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
2 Peter 3:15 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, (NASB1995)
2 Peter 3:16 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. (NASB1995)
Peter here states that what one believes and teaches about righteousness and the end-times depends upon Spirit led instruction; otherwise it can lead to ones own destruction. But this destruction comes from a specific action. That action is the twisting of (in this example) Paul’s teachings on righteousness and end time events, about which Peter himself was also teaching in this letter.
So when Jan says that no believers will not see the Antichrist, is that true? The book of Revelation tells us about the coming of this Antichrist, who will arise as Satan will unleash his wrath upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. Are believers in Christ present? Listen:
Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (NASB1995)
One must conclude that these are not believers in order to accept what Jan has stated within her above introduction.
So, the Holy Spirit through Peter wants his readers to know that there will be a controversy over the teachings of Scripture, which will lead to the destruction of some of those individuals, who either teach or are taught wrongly on these things. In order to know what teachings can cause this, one must examine the teachings themselves up against the Scripture. But Jan can only make these Scriptures state what she does: that the church made up of individual believers is not present on earth for the second coming of Jesus to this earth, and she can only do this by twisting these relative Scriptures written by Paul.
In fact, to teach that Gentile believers, who have been brought into the New Covenant relationship with Christ (by adoption Galatians 4:5) are to be somehow different and even superior to those believers for whom the New Covenant is promised (specifically the individuals, who will be saved out of Israel Rom. 9:4) is to distort the very Covenant itself. This New Covenant is the offer of redemption by Jesus for His purchased Bride.
When the Gentile portion of this bride attempts to exclude Israel from their own promised Covenant relationship that act would effectively defy the teachings of Scripture in much the same way as the Reformed teachers have attempted to do by having the Church replace Israel altogether.
We are among the seed of Abraham by faith we are adopted into Christ’s chosen bride or body as sons. Both Jew and Gentile believers comprise the Church that He is building. Individual believers are the Church or bride. They will comprise the bride of Christ.
Not only does the New Covenant promote this idea of both Jew and Gentile being in a single relationship with Christ, but Isa 53 and 54 also reveal Christ to have been married to Saved Israel, and because of His bodily death they were temporarily widowed only to later be redeemed and remarried. Christ is not a polygamist, as made clear by Paul in Ephesians, where: in Christ we are made one, as in one new man redeemed by the blood of the Covenant. There is no teaching in Scripture separating Jew and Gentile who are born again believers: not in the O.T., and not in the new.
Other factors surrounding this Scriptural conundrum will follow in future posts.