WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE LORD?
The last recorded words of the Apostle Paul are found in his Second Epistle to Timothy. He referred there to the crown of righteousness which he was to receive “at that day”. “At that day” At what day?
When Paul wrote to Timothy was he waiting for the day of Christ different from the day of Christ mentioned in I Corinthians 1:8? We quote several Scriptures concerning the day of Christ.
I Corinthians 1:8.
“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in THE DAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
I Corinthians 5:5.
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.”
II Corinthians 1:14.
“As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.”
“Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.”
“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.”
“Holding forth the Word of life, that I may rejoice in THE DAY OF CHRIST, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
By studying Philippians 3:5 and 6, we learn that the Philippian saints at the tine Paul wrote the Epistle to them, about 64 A.D., were waiting for the same day of Christ for which they waited about twelve years before that time when Paul preached then into the Body of Christ. Acts 16:12 to 31. It was after Paul’s visit to Philippi that the Thessalonians were turned to God to wait for His Son from heaven. I Thessalonians 7:9 and 10.
These facts are so evident that it may seen needless to mention them; but we state them, because there are Premillenarians propagating the doctrines of Mr. Chas. H. Welch and others, who teach that the people of Philippi who believed Paul’s gospel message before Acts 28:3l, became members of one body or Church’ and that those who believed his gospel preached after Acts 28:31 became members of a different Body, or Church. They dogmatically affirm that the Body of Romans 12:3 to 5 and I Corinthians 12:13 was not the same Body as Ephesians 1:19 to 22, although when pressed they have to confess that most of the members of the Body described in Ephesians became members of that Body before Acts 28:31.
The members of the earlier Church looked for one day of Christ and the members of the later Church looked for another day of Christ The members of the Body before Acts 28:31 were waiting for the coming of Christ. The members of the Body after Acts 28:31 were waiting to appear with Christ in glory. They were looking for the blessed hope: but not for the coming of Christ.
We agree with you that this is strange and unsound teaching. There is much strange and unsound teaching these days. But remember God’s safeguard against those who would seduce you. I John 2:26 and 27.
Concerning this strange teaching, known as hyperdispensationalism”, those who propagate it teach that after Acts 28:31 Christ ascended, to higher heavens, from the heavens where He had been from His ascension to the day of the beginning of the new Body: that is, with the beginning of that new Body He ascended far above the heavens (Ephesians 4:10); and became the head of a different Body (Ephesians l:19 to 22). Therefore, the members of the first (Acts) Body, who were not transferred into the new Body, had a different hope and calling, and the two groups will be in different heavens. The members of the first (Acts) Body were looking for, the coming of Christ, mentioned in Matthew 21 and in I Thessalonians. This was the “parousia”. The members of the second Body were waiting for the “epiphaneia”.
In the last chapter of Paul’s last message he wrote Timothy: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”
Now let us study together II Timothy 1:l and 1:8. Philippians 1:6 and I Thessalonians 2:19.
II Timothy 4:1.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”
II Timothy 4:8.
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”
“Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
I Thessalonians 2:19.
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing: Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
Is Paul to receive his crown of rejoicing for leading the Thessalonians to Christ at the “parousia” of Christ, and his crown of righteousness for loving Christ’s appearing at the “epiphaneia” of Christ? Quite so, if the coming of Christ mentioned in I Thessalonians is an entirely different event than the appearing of Christ mentioned in II Timothy 4:1. According to this, “TWO BODIES”—“TWO HOPES” “PAROUSIA”—“EPIPHANEIA” theory Paul is to receive some of His crowns at one day of Christ and others at another day of Christ; some at His appearing and some at His coming.
Philippians 1:5 and 6 studied together prove that the hope of the saints of Philippi had not changed, from “the coming of Christ” to “the appearing of Christ”, or from one day of Christ to another day of Christ. Remember the Thessalonians who are to be Paul’s crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming were saved after the Philippians in whom the good work was begun in Acts 16:12 to 13 and was to be performed until the day of Jesus Christ.
It is at His appearing that Christ is to judge the quick and the dead.
In rightly dividing the Word of truth, we surely must teach that there is a difference between the blessed hope of the Body of Christ and the coming of the King to redeem Israel and establish His kingdom on earth. But to teach that I Thessalonians 2:19, is the coming of Christ to deliver Israel out of the tribulation, because the word “parousia” is used in both I Thessalonians and Matthew 24, is anything but rightly dividing the Word.