This is the 5th in a series of posts researching what Paul knew, which would effect his teaching and help us avoid its twisting and the destruction attached.

In yesterdays post I ended with a question. Today I will begin with perhaps a better question: how will believing in a rapture which will lift you out of the coming events affect your thinking should that thinking not come to fruition? Could it lead one or some to the destruction of which Peter spoke?

Paul wrote both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, as well as Romans before he wrote Philippians. So what did he know based upon these earlier writings of his that would have influenced his thoughts revealed in our last post? 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 life and salvation to save the whole of his people. 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 (which he taught was to come) were or could be an almost imminent happening for them? If the Lord’s coming was thought to be imminent, which it certainly must have been: Based on his Romans 11 teaching, (if the Rapture was imminent); then in Paul’s mind God was now focusing on Israel’s salvation? 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. It was ludicrous because they must also then soon be saved if he really believed in an imminent return in his day.

Now 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, and they were then nowhere 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 event, as we are told to believe; then to Paul, Israel’s salvation was very near also as in imminent. But Paul apparently did not believe this. “Paul’s revealed thinking does not have these events just around the corner”, but it is not seen that way today concerning 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; then his own confessed death of which he spoke in Phil 3, therefore must have been believed as coming before the Rapture. He knew that this gospel spread 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? What destruction may come to some within the church as a result of Paul’s teachings being misunderstood?

6.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 are exploring 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.

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 being among these blind, had to be saved). But a remnant were still 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, and we do not want to be cut off.

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’s people throughout history would be saved. Salvation is an individual matter. Obviously he could not possibly die for those who have not made it over these now last 2000 years. His statement simply reveals his own heart.

“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. Jesus had died for them, and the majority had rejected Him. 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 in Israel’s last days, and if all of Israel who are left following the purge of Jacob’s trouble is thus saved through Tribulation, how can we who are to make them jealous do that if saved Gentiles 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 fulfillment of the promised coming earthly kingdom for Israel, because it needed us to make them perfect. 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 both us and them? 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. It is his hope in Phil. 3. 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. By so doing they fulfill this scripture.

The resurrection is life from the dead and it will introduce those who are in Christ to the one thing that for them 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 happens due to the time of Jacob’s trouble, which occurs in and during the Tribulation, and it partly comes because we have made them jealous — which must mean that we are present.

“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 of man’s history culminating in 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 us 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 produces Israel’s Salvation, which is probably occurring at Petra surrounding Armageddon, and it will mean life from the dead, which accompanies Jesus coming, and will occur 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!