Encouragement — Anticipation — 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18…Handout

Anticipation,_________ in expectation. What do you anticipate? Is there a great longing in your life?_______ 2 Timothy 4:8~Now there is in store for me the______of righteousness, which the Lord…will award…to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV) Everyone waits. Do you struggle with not knowing something? Yes / No  James 5:8~You too, be_______and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (NIV) Paul taught that Jesus is coming on Friday, or next Tuesday, His return was imminent. Is the word rapture found in the Bible?______ Anticipation: Return,______________, and Rapture.

1) The Return (4:13-16d) 1 Thessalonians 4:13~But we do not want you to be__________, about those who are asleep, (κοιμάω koimaō)…(ESV) Knowing_______ is having hope. Romans 5:5~hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy______…(NASB) Grief doesn’t reveal a lack of______ or emotional weariness; instead, it shows we______ as God would have us, love. Isaiah 30:18~…Blessed are all who wait for him! (NIV) Are you waiting on God? The fact that Jesus died and rose again is our guarantee of our future resurrection. Remember what Jesus says to the dying thief in Luke 23:43~…today you will be with me…(NIV) Are you an overcomer? Then you must_______ in Jesus Christ and His love. Jesus is our_________. How does Paul get this wonderful knowledge? Galatians 1:12~I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from_______ Christ. (NIV) Paul never said Christ would return during his lifetime, but he certainly welcomed the possibility. Do you? If so, are you living that possibility out? Matthew 24:36~But concerning that day and hour no one knows…only the Father. (ESV) Listen as Paul shares the sequence of events. 1 Thessalonians 4:16~ For the Lord himself will ______ from heaven with a cry of command (κέλευσμα keleusma), with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God…(ESV) At the Rapture, Jesus could simply shout_______, and the bodies of all dead believers will be raised. 

2) The Resurrection (4:16e) This_____________is not a general resurrection. 1 Thessalonians 4:16e~And the dead in Christ will rise first. (ESV) Born_____ , die once. Revelation 20:15~Anyone whose name was not found ________ in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (ESV) Many question______ God will raise all of the bodies of people who have long been buried, burned, or cremated. Let’s let Jesus take this question. Matthew 19:26~…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (ESV) 

3) The_________(4:17-18) 1 Thessalonians 4:17~Then we who are alive, who are left, will be________-up (ἁρπάζω harpazō) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…(ESV) Caught-up, plucked, snatched, raptured. Rapture, Trinity, Missionary, none are words found in scripture, but each one does offer us a handle to latch onto for a good explanation of Biblical concepts. They each encourage us and our faith.

His Great Sacrifice

Do you revere God’s holiness? The veil inside the Tabernacle is a reminder that God’s holiness cannot be overemphasized. Now the veil is a heavy curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The first room, the Holy Place, is 20 cubits, or 30 feet long and 10 cubits or 15 feet wide. The Holy of Holies, the innermost room, is a perfect cube with each dimension being 10 cubits or 15 feet. As we have mentioned many times, the Tabernacle is designed by God, it is a replica of this throne room in heaven. Thus the structure, the layout, and all of the furniture are copies of His heavenly things. 

Hebrews 9:23-24~It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. (NIV) The Tabernacle is a small replica of the New Jerusalem, which is God’s throne room. You may remember John’s vision, he sees an angel measure God’s throne room. It is foursquare, or equal in length, width, and height. 

Revelation 21:16~The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. (ESV) Yeah, a stadia, that the length of my middle toe on my right foot to the arch on the left foot, right? No, the word translated stadia gives us our word stadium. Well, that is a different type of dimension altogether. Originally stadia referred to a foot race of about 200 yards, or 600 feet, in the Greek Olympic Games. So, get on your feet let’s do a little light stretching and take a stadia around the church. The kids are like woohoo, Jericho march. Understand that the angel measured 12,000 stadia which is the equivalent of 7,200,000 feet. Since there are only 5,280 feet in a mile. God’s throne room is about 1,364miles, cubed. I’ve seen bigger, really?

The Veil is the partition between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. God tells Ole Mo in Exodus 26:31~And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen…(ESV) We have already previously discussed, the speculation on the symbolic meaning of the colors. Some suggest blue is symbolic of Christ’s heavenly nature; purple is the color of royalty and symbolizes Christ’s royalty as King of Kings; scarlet is symbolic of the passion of Christ’s suffering, and white represents His holiness. While all these things are true about Christ, there is no biblical reference to verify any of these suggestions, making them only conjecture. 

When you think about your faith. What is it ground on? Are you a believer who has never read for yourself what the word says? If so, I want to encourage you to take time to start reading God’s word for yourself. Learn from it, let it penetrate into your heart and renew you just as God has promised that it will. We all need to be in God’s word more.

Wash and be clean

So how often do you take a bath? As Jesus comes to wash Pete’s feet Pete tells Jesus that he needs an all over-cleaning. To which Jesus says Pete you already bathed, you just need to wash your feet, daily. Yes, we wash daily, because we have already had our bath. (John 13:10) So, daily we come to wash in the laver. (Luke 9:23) Clean, having been washed in the blood of the Lamb, made white as wool, we come to the laver for a cleansing from the fountain. Walking through our sin-cursed and fallen world can make our spiritual lives dusty, dirt and if we are not careful we will get moldy. That is what Jesus tells us the Father is a vinedresser, He cleans us up and keeps us on the trellis of life. Why?

So that we can enter the Tabernacle proper, cleaned, and ready for service unto God. As we enter into the holy place, past the laver of daily cleansing, we are confronted by the light that is casting out the darkness. The brilliant reflection would’ve brought light from every angle, lighting us the room as only Christ can. The gold-covered boards forming the walls would have revealed the splendor of a King, clothed in majesty. On the North, laying on top of golden plates the bread of life offered to God. (John 6:35) As the sweet-smelling aroma of incense fills the room, like prayers before the veil, They rise up to the heavens only to be gathered in bowls and offered to the Lord, (Revelation 5:8) our Father in heaven, whose name is holy. (Matthew 6:9)

This the holy place and all that stands between us and the Lord God Almighty is The Veil. Here in the first of two rooms, called the Holy Place we contemplate entering into the holy presence of the Lord. Oh, what do the elders see, that makes them all fall down? And what do the angels see that makes them cry, Holy, Holy, Holy. (Revelation 5:8, 4:8) Just beyond the veil where the Ark of the Covenant was in the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies, where God sat on His throne among His people. This is part of God’s grand object lesson teaching us how to truly worship Him. 

Only in studying the Tabernacle can we begin to grasp and understand the command of Psalm 29:2~Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (NIV) The Tabernacle is our tutor illustrating how to worship God as He desires. 

Today, how will you worship God with your whole life? Paul writes in Hebrews that this is our reasonable act of service and it is to be done in an intelligent, thoughtful way, with our eyes wide open to the grace of God. Take time to worship God in song and in service.