Sunday, March 10, 2013
“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV).
The recent resignation of Benedict XVI as pope is being greatly discussed within “Christian” circles in light of eschatology. Are we seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled today, or is this simply the (usual) failure to “rightly divide the word of truth?”
According to 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 3:2,3, and 2 Thessalonians 1:3-6, these believers were enduring intense persecution. Furthermore, heresy had slipped into their assembly. False teachers were corrupting these believers, causing them to believe that their suffering was the result of them missing the rapture and now living in the wrath of the Tribulation. Hence, Paul wrote the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians to delineate the distinction between Israel’s prophetic program and our mystery program. Most of today’s professing church is totally ignorant of that chapter!
Bible prophecy is often confusing to people because they do not understand the dispensational layout of the Bible. In fact, Bible prophecy is impossible for many to grasp because they do not approach God’s Word, God’s way. Christendom’s negligence to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) causes even true, Holy Spirit-indwelt believers to confuse Israel’s program with our program as members of the Church the Body of Christ. Today, some professing Christians are terrified of accepting “the mark of the beast,” scared to death of God’s wrath during the Tribulation. Others point to current world events and exclaim, “Look, Bible prophecy is being fulfilled!” Beloved, if we claim that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled today, we are just as guilty of perverting God’s Word as the false teachers in Thessalonica.
As long as our mystery program—“which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25) is operating—Israel’s prophetic program—“that which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21)—cannot be fulfilled. God is not fulfilling prophecy today: He is forming the Church the Body of Christ, something His prophets never spoke about, something He never revealed until the Apostle Paul’s salvation and ministry….