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connected with the hope of Israel by the archangel, for the Bible knows but one--namely
Michael--and he stands "for the children of thy people (the church of the mystery or
Israel?), and then shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a
nation. . . . and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake"
Here we read of the great tribulation, and the resurrection of the sleeping dead, just as
we do in I Thess. 4: and 5: It is a great mistake to say that the Thessalonians had nothing
to do with the day of the Lord--the reason why the apostle had no need to write to them
about times and seasons was a very obvious one--they knew perfectly; they knew that
the day of the Lord will come as a thief. Knowing this they will be unlike the unwatchful
and drunken world, it will not overtake them as a thief; it does not say, however, that they
would not be overtaken by that day at all. II Thessalonians was written to the selfsame
people as I Thessalonians. There they were taught concerning the rise of antichrist, of the
coming of the Lord in flaming fire taking vengeance, of deliverance from tribulation.
What is there in common between all this and Phil. 3:?
In Phil. 3: our citizenship is said to be IN HEAVEN. The hope of I Thess. 4: was to
meet the Lord in the air. This word "meet" surely requires no laboured explanation.
Did the brethren who went out to meet Paul in Acts 28: 15 stay outside Rome, or did
they accompany him on his journey? Did the five wise virgins who heard the cry, "Go
ye out to meet him," delay the bridegroom in the journey, or did they accompany him to
the wedding feast? The hope of I Thess. 4: is that joyful meeting of the Lord as He
descends to this earth. Phil. 3: on the other hand looks to that heavenly manifestation of
glory which precedes this descent (Col. 3: 4 "in glory," Titus 2: 17 "of the glory").
The one remaining subject--the question of the judgment seat of Christ--is far too
important to be dealt with here; the positive teaching concerning this subject will appear
(D.5:) in the exposition of the Prison Epistles, particularly Philippians and II Timothy,
now running in The Berean Expositior. We have given the points raised this amount of
consideration because we felt that it was an attempt to discredit the teaching of the Word
regarding the dispensational position of Acts 28:
The more we love and read the Word, the more positive evidence we accumulate to
show that Acts 28:,and not Pentecost or any other period, is the true dividing line of
the dispensations so far as we are concerned, and that there is a marked difference
observable, in the most vital manner, between the two sets of Paul's epistles which this
period makes, and that the teaching for us, saved from the Gentiles during a period when
the channel of earthly blessing is temporarily closed up, is found in the epistles written by
the apostle Paul during the period covered by his imprisonment.
One "very significant fact" is that three years after Paul wrote Rom. 9:-11: he said that
he was bound with a chain for "the hope of Israel"; and further, at the same period he
performed those signs which "shall follow" the preaching of the gospel as set forth in
Mark 16: These are facts, whatever inferences we may draw from them. Let us test all
by the only safe, sure guide--the Word of truth.