Hope of Paul's Acts Epistles
- The Second Coming of Christ
When writing about the resurrection
found in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul said in verse 15 "This we say unto you, BY THE WORD
OF THE LORD ...." Paul was quoting and using the word of the Lord to show them their
hope. The hope found in 1 Thess. 4 with its trumpet, angels, shout, and voices was written
down in the Word of the Lord.
Also, in 1 Corinthians 15 when writing
about the same hope of resurrection (which some call the "rapture") he says in
verse 54-55 -
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have
put on immortality, THEN SHALL BE BROUGHT TO PASS THE SAYING THAT IS WRITTEN, DEATH IS SWALLOWED IN VICT0RY, O' DEATH WHERE IS THY STING? O' GRAVE, WHERE
IS THY VICTORY ?"
Paul tells us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the hope of 1 Corinthians 15
was prophesied in the Word of the Lord.
Paul is quoting from two different books
in the Word of the Lord, Hosea 13:14 and Isa. 25:8 to show the Corinthians their hope.
This agrees with what Paul said in Acts 26:22 where summing up his Acts ministry said:
"Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day witnessing both to
small and great, saying none other
things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come".
Paul's Acts ministry and what he wrote in his Acts epistles can be found in the Old
Testament scriptures and that includes the hope he wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1
In this article we will show you that
the hope Paul wrote about in 1Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 is not only found in
the Old Testament Scriptures but was taught by the Lord during His earthly ministry in
Matthew 24 and other places. That this runs contrary to what is taught in most Bible
churches today is certain, but there are as many "doctrines and traditions of
men" in Bible churches, as there are in denominational churches in this country.
For years it has been the "party
line" in most Bible churches that 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 is the hope
of the Church today, and that no one
knew or wrote about this hope prior to Paul. It will be shown in this article that this belief is not founded on the
Word of God.
Let it be said at the offset of this
article that we do not believe that the hope of the Church today is found in 1 Corinthians
15 or 1 Thessalonians 4. We believe that God revealed a new and better hope to Paul
after the Acts period and that it is found in his prison epistles. Please refer to the
article titled, THE MYSTERY which describes this hope
in greater detail.
If you are serious about your Bible
study and you want to get to the bottom of this issue and find out for yourself, we
recommend you get 3 Bibles and lay them out before you. Open one to Matthew 24, another to
1 Corinthians 15, and the other to 1 Thessalonians 4. The subject is the same in all 3
books, and it is 'resurrection'. We are going to compare what the Lord says about the
resurrection in Matthew 24, which He taught during His earthly ministry, with the
resurrection Paul wrote about in 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thess. 4. If the Lord and Paul say the
same thing, then they must be talking about the same resurrection. On the other hand, if
they say contradictory things about the resurrection; then they are not speaking of the
same resurrection. In Matthew 24 Jesus taught the 12 apostles about a resurrection when He
" Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her
light,, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be
shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall
all the tribes of the earth mourn , and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a
trumpet, and they shall gather together
His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
(Mk.13:27 "from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of
Compare what the Lord says here with what Paul says.
(1.) THE HOPE OF MATT. 24 IS THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Verse 30 ,
"they shall see the Son of man COMING "
"For as the lightening cometh out
of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the COMING of
the Son of man be "
THE HOPE OF I COR. 15 AND I THESS. 4 IS
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
In I Cor. 15:22-23 Paul wrote:
"For since by man came death, by
man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits ;
afterward they that are Christ's AT HIS
In I Cor. 1:7 he wrote:
" So that ye come behind in no
gift; waiting for THE COMING OF OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST " .
In I Thess. 4:15 he wrote:
"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 "
The hope of the Acts Believers was the
coming of the Lord. Paul mentions this 10 times in his Acts epistles . I Cor. 1:7, 4:5, 11:26 , 15:23, I Thess.2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23,
11 Thess.1:10, 2:1 .
Now if the Lord has already come once to
die for sinners, then the "coming" we have been reading about must be his second coming, right ? One time a Bible believer told me that his hope was
not the second coming of Christ, but it was the "rapture" and proceeded to quote
I Thess. 4:15 to me. Doesn't Paul say they would be caught up at the COMING of the Lord? And
doesn't he mention His coming 10 times in his Acts epistles? And if Christ has already come one time, wouldn't this be his
(2.) IN MATT. 24 WHEN JESUS CHRIST COMES , HE COMES IN THE CLOUDS
Matt. 24:30 says:
" They shall see the Son of man
coming in the CLOUDS OF HEAVEN "
IN 1 THESS. AND I COR. 15 WHEN JESUS
CHRIST COMES HE COMES IN THE CLOUDS.
1 Thess. 4:17 says,
"Then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them IN
THE CLOUDS, to meet the Lord in the
Obviously this refers to the clouds in
the lower atmosphere.
(3.) IN MATT. 24 WHEN
THE LORD COMES IN THE CLOUDS HE WILL COME WITH ANGELS
"And He shall send forth his ANGELS "
IN 1 THESS. 4 AND 1 COR. 15 WHEN THE
LORD COMES IN THE CLOUDS HE WILL COME WITH ANGELS
In 1 Thess. 4:16 it says:
" HE will descend from heaven
with... the voice of the ARCHANGEL.
Michael is the archangel and the prince
of Israel (see Dan. 12:1-2) and where Michael goes so does his angels, read Rev. 12:7.
(4.) IN MATT. 24 WHEN THE LORD COMES
IN THE CLOUDS WITH ANGELS, A TRUMPET
Matt. 24: 31,
"And he shall send his angels with
a great SOUND OF A TRUMPET "
IN 1 THESS. 4 AND I COR. 15 WHEN THE
LORD COMES IN THE CLOUDS WITH ANGELS A TRUMPET
IS BLOWN .
I Cor. 15:52 says,
"FOR THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND and the dead shall be raised "
I Thess.4:16 says " The Lord himself shall descend from heaven ...WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD".
(5.) THE TRUMPET THAT IS BLOWN IN
MATT. 24 IS THE LAST TRUMPET FOR IT IS BLOWN AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Matt. 24: 29 says
" Immediately after the tribulation
of those days ... vs. 31 "he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet".
THE TRUMPET IN 1 THESS. 4 AND I COR.15
IS SPECIFICALLY CALLED THE LAST TRUMPET
In I Cor. 15:52 Paul wrote:
"In a moment , in the twinkling of
an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the Trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised ".
If Paul said they would be raised at the
last trumpet that means there are other trumpets blown before the second
coming of Christ. In Rev. 8-9-10-11 there will be at least 7 trumpets blown before the
Lord Jesus Christ comes. In I Cor. 15 Paul said the dead would be raised at the LAST TRUMPET. If there are 7 trumpets blown before He comes, which trumpet is Paul
referring to ? Obviously it's number 7
in Rev.11:15 , and when the seventh
trumpet is blown in Rev. 11 a
resurrection of the Saints takes place and
they are judged and rewards are given out to them. Read Rev.11:15-18 and also 2 Cor.
Every trumpet that is going to be blown
before the Lord comes is found in the book of Revelation, so it would be futile to attempt to
find another trumpet to get around the last trumpet in I Corinthians 15. If a trumpet is
going to be blown, if a seal is going to be opened, if a vial is going to be poured out in
the tribulation, YOU WILL FIND IT IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION OR DANIEL. If it's not in
those books it would be a waste of time running through the Bible to come up with another
trumpet, vial, or, seal . It's amazing what people and preachers will do to get around
that last trumpet ! Just believe the book and relax, because if you are saved you won't be
here when the last trumpet blows anyway because I Cor.15 and I Thess. 4 is not your hope.
God gave us a new and better hope and it's found in the Prison Epistles of Paul and it
takes place before the first trumpet blows. We will lay out the details of this hope
later, but in the Acts period, a pre-tribulation hope was unheard of.
(6.)WHEN THE RESURRECTION OF MATT. 24
TAKES PLACE, NOT ONLY WILL THE LORD DESCEND FROM HEAVEN IN THE CLOUDS, WITH ANGELS, AND A
TRUMPET, BUT A VOICE WILL BE HEARD
The voice is not mentioned in Matt. 24
but it is in JOHN 5: 25, 28. It says:
" The hour is coming, and now is,
when the dead shall hear the voice of
the Son of God: and
they that hear shall live"
IN 1 THESS. 4 AND I COR. 15 WHEN THE
LORD DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN INTO THE CLOUDS WITH ANGELS AND THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET, A VOICE WILL BE HEARD
In I Thess.4:16 Paul said "the Lord
shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT."
The shout is for the dead; the trumpet
for those alive.
(7.) IN MATT. 24 WHEN THE LORD
COMES WITH HIS ANGELS, WITH A SHOUT AND THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET, HIS ELECT WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER
Matt. 24:31 says:
" They shall GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Also read
IN I COR. 15 AND 1 THESS. 4 WHEN THE
LORD COMES WITH A SHOUT, A TRUMPET, AND ANGELS, HIS ELECT WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER
In II Thess. 2:1 Paul wrote "Now we
beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM.
And those that He gathers together here,
are His elect also according to I Thess. l:4, and II Thess. 2:13.
(8.) IN MATT. 24 WHEN THE LORD COMES IN THE CLOUDS, IT WILL BE SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED
In verse 42 the Lord said "Watch
therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the
goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would not have
suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye
think not the Son of man cometh." In these verses, the Lord is described as a thief
breaking into a house to take something of value out, His Elect. His coming is to
take His elect out of this world so that He can destroy it along with the devil (II
Pet.3:10, Heb. 2:14).
THE RESURRECTION IN I THESS. 4 AND I
COR. 15 WILL BE SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED ALSO.
In ICor. 15:52 Paul said: "IN A MOMENT, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the last trump: For the trumpet shall sound and
the dead shall be raised..."
When Paul says: "in a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye," he is showing you HOW FAST that resurrection will take
place. But when he says "AT the last trump", he is showing you WHEN it will take
place. It will be sudden and unexpected, just like the hope of Matt. 24.
(9.) WHEN THE RESURRECTION OF MATT. 24 TAKES PLACE, BELIEVERS WHO ARE ALIVE WILL BE CAUGHT
UP WITHOUT DYING.
This fact is brought out by the Lord in
John. 11. In John 11, Lazarus who was Martha's brother died and she wanted Christ to raise
him from the dead. And Jesus said unto her in vs. 23 "Thy brother shall rise
again". Martha said unto him, "I know that he shall rise again in the
resurrection at the last day." Jesus said unto her: "I am the resurrection; and
the life: he that believeth in me; though he were dead, yet shall he live. AND WHOSOEVER
LIVETH AND Believeth IN ME SHALL NEVER
DIE. BELIEVEST THOU THIS?"
When the Lord said, "he that
believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live" He is referring to those who
are dead when the resurrection of the last day takes place. And when He said
"whosoever liveth and believeth in me" He is referring to those who are alive
when the resurrection of the last day takes place when He says: "THEY SHALL NEVER
DIE". When the resurrection of Matt. 24 takes place, those believers who are dead
will be raised and those believers who are alive will be gathered together without dying.
WHEN THE RESURRECTION OF 1 THESS. 4 AND
I COR. 15 TAKES PLACE, BELIEVERS WHO ARE ALIVE WILL BE CAUGHT UP WITHOUT DYING.
In I Cor. 15:51 Paul said: "I shew
you a Mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP, but we shall be changed"
The Mystery of I Cor. 15:51 is not the
resurrection, but it's the fact that there will be some caught up without dying. But this
is a mystery hidden in the Scriptures. In vs.55 Paul quotes Isa. 25:8 which says "O
Death where is thy sting?" In other words, in the Old Testament Scriptures it was
written down that somebody was going to get out of this life without experiencing the
sting of death.
This is what the Lord is referring to in
John 11 when he said "He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die." That
was the only time the Lord mentioned that fact to anyone, and prior to Paul it was the
general consensus that by the time that resurrection took place all believers would be
dead. But God opened up the scriptures to Paul and he was the first man to fully
understand that fact and write about it. But nevertheless, it was in the Old Testament
Scriptures even though it was concealed.
(10.) THE RESURRECTION AND HOPE IN MATT. 24 WAS OF COURSE PROPHESIED BY THE
It was prophesied as far back as Genesis
chap. 5 and can be found in Jude vs. 14-15 that "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam,
prophesied of these, saying, behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His
THE HOPE OF I COR. 15:54 AND I THESS. 4
WERE OF COURSE IMPLIED.
In I Cor. 15:54 Paul said when it takes
place "THEN SHALL BE BROUGHT TO PASS THE SAYING THAT IS WRITTEN, Death is swallowed
up in victory, O Death where is thy sting?" O Grave where is thy victory?"
When the resurrection of I Cor. 15 takes
place, Old Testament prophecies concerning resurrection will be brought to pass, namely
Hosea 13:14 and Isa. 25:8.
(11.) THE HOPE OF MATT. 24 WAS
The resurrection the Lord describes in
Matt. 24 is the hope of the New Covenant that God made with Israel.
THE 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 BOUND WITH THIS CHAIN.
Paul refers to the Hope of Israel 4
times in Acts.
1. In Acts 23:6 he mentions the Hope as
2. 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
And in vs. 51 he told them they would
all be changed, and the change would take place in resurrection. I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4
is the hope of Israel. The hope of Israel was the resurrection into the Kingdom of God
that Paul wrote about in chapter 15.
You might say: "How 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 OliveTree. The fatness of
the Olive Tree were the blessings and promises made to the fathers, who were the root of
the tree - Rom.15:27. And one of those blessings and promises WAS THEIR HOPE OF
(12.) BEFORE THE HOPE OF MATT. 24
TAKES PLACE THERE WILL BE A FALLING AWAY, THAT IS APOSTASY, AND THE REVELATION OF THE
In Matt. 24:11 the Lord 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 in Dan.11:31)
In vs. 24 He said,
"there would be false Christ's and
false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (A reference to the Devil working
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, and 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 them 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, shewing himself that he is God.
Many Bible believers believe that the
"rapture" in I Thess. 4 is a pre-tribulation rapture. I speak from personal
experience because 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 the Word, 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
because if that were true, then they had missed it, which would mean 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 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 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.
I believe these 12 similarities between
Matt. 24, 1 Cor. 15, and 1 Thess. 4 are enough to convince any fair minded
believer that they are the same resurrection.
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 its
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
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 come" and
that they were not appointed to wrath in I Thess. 5:9. But, that cannot be true because
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 the
Lord 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 PRECEDED 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 ) See also I Thess.1:10.
The question then that we must answer is
, "what is the wrath to come" ? That expression appears 3 times in the Bible ,
Matt. 3:7, Lk. 3:7 , and 1 Thess.1:10. In Matt. 3 and Lk. 3 it is identified as the day
that the Lord comes 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 to return to earth with Him to reign and judge with Him a thousand
years. (1 Cor. 6:6, 11 Thess. l:7-9, Jude 14-15, Rev. 19:11-21, Rev. 20:1-4, 1
Thess. 5:2-9. 11 Pet. 3:10, Malachi 4:1-3 ).
The tribulation Saints are delivered
from the wrath to come and no believer including the tribulation Saints is appointed to
wrath. Before the wrath to come is unleashed upon this earth, AT THE VERY END OF THE
TRIBULATION, all believers (i.e, the Overcomers, the Twelve, and Co.) whose hope is the
restored Kingdom on earth, will by that time have been resurrected (this does not include
"the rest of the dead" who will be resurrected until after the thousand years,
Also the "wrath to come" that
Paul wrote of in I Thess.1:10 will not come 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 11Thess. l:7.
If 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor.15 contains the
hope of the Church of the One Body 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 this Church will go through the
tribulation just like Paul said. To preach a pre-tribulation resurrection would be
teaching false doctrine.
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 is the same as the hope of the Church today? (This chart helps show the differences between the two.)
I realize that this article is not going
to be well liked or received by some Christians, but the Devil is doing every thing
he can to keep believers from seeing the truth about this hope and the one in the Prison Epistles.
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. If you would like to know about it, prayerfully read the MYSTERY.
What is Your Hope?>