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The Doctrine of Imminence

Updated on September 12, 2016
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Gary a Professor of Biblical Studies/Ministry, Bible University of Canada. Gary has Masters Degree and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies

God's Beautiful Colors

Is not God creative with the beautiful colors that he paints in the sky?
Is not God creative with the beautiful colors that he paints in the sky? | Source

Are you ready?

The doctrine of imminence is a topic that is not on the priority list of almost any church. Many preachers cannot teach what they do not know. Imminence not prominent enough because many pastors of America not imminently prepared themselves. One must stay in the Word of God continuously to dig out and understand the importance of the subject. The doctrine of imminence is clearly scriptural and can be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Imminence clearly calls each of us to holiness, righteousness, and godliness as we walk, talk and live during our sojourn.

Are You Ready?

It is closer than anyone thinks! It will catch the vast majority off guard.
It is closer than anyone thinks! It will catch the vast majority off guard. | Source

A Thief in the Night

The concept of the return of Christ being like a thief in the night can and should become interpreted as imminence. From Matthew 24:43. Jesus will literally catch the majority of people off-guard without His eternal Spirit because they either do not believe or are not ready.

“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.”

The essential elements of Jesus’ warning are that no one knows the date or time when He will return. So much for date setting, but we who believe have to be in a state of preparedness or imminence. That always means watching for His imminent return. After all, the signs of the times alone should force us into a state of imminence.

Making sure Spiritually we are in alignment with the coming King of the world. Jesus Christ gave us more than enough of the sign of the times when He will return to get us who obey and believe ready for His return. Jesus warned that we should always be prepared because no one except the Father knows the hour of His return.

Of course, Jesus said this when he was in His body just like us. After His ascension as He sits on the right hand of the Father, He has a knowledge of the date and time, controlling and holding together the very matter in which we exist. (Matthew 24.36-44)

Jesus gave us clear prerequisites of the Second Advent. Let us take a look at a few. In this prophecy, Daniel is telling Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of his dream without any personal knowledge of the meaning. The knowledge of the strange statue came directly to Daniel from God through the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 2.44-45, “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Another from the prophet Daniel:

Dan 7.9-14, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousand ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven!

He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one that shall not be destroyed."

Another clear indication from the prophet Daniel about the days that are upon us.

Daniel 12.1-3, "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever."

Zechariah speaks of the day of the Lord which is the day of God's wrath on a sinful people. Long after Tribulation judgment will occur at the end of the Millennial period at the White Throne Judgement.

Zechariah 14:1-15, Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making an enormous valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.

Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus, the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You. It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one day which is known to the Lord—neither day nor night.

But at evening time, it shall happen that it will be light. And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter, it shall occur. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day, it shall be—“The Lord is one,” and His name one.

All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. The people shall dwell in it; and no longer shall there be utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:

Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem.

And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be?"

Note: When you read this prophecy it sounds like Gabriel gave Jeremiah a horrific vision of a nuclear holocaust. A nuclear weapon was something Jeremiah could not have envisioned when the weapons in that day were spears, bows and arrows, chariots, and knives. Gabriel gave Jeremiah a message from beyond time and space.

Note 2: Nowhere in the Word of God is a Christian implored to get ready for God's wrath.

Get Ready to Stay Ready

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Jesus Christ Personal Warning

If you carefully read Matthew 24:36-51, the verses are Jesus warning for us to be ready – which is imminence in practical terms. What is a simple definition of imminence? It is the condition of being ready for what is likely to occur or happen shortly. Remember the people of Judah failed to understand they had God standing before them.

There is a historical event that needs mention here. In about A.D. 40 Caligula, tired of the Jewish uprising and quarrelsome nature of the Jews, at that time ordered a statue of him be placed in the Holy of Hollies, Petronius knowing what the reaction of the Jews would be to this being done fails to carry out the order. Caligula finds out about his order not being completed orders of the death of Petronius. But Caligula dies by assignation just a few weeks after issuing the order. Ironically there is a mix up at sea, and the news of Caligula's death precedes the order to kill Petronius, so he gets off the hook!

Is it not interesting how God supernaturally intervened in preventing the premature desecration of the Holy of Hollies? It has not occurred as of today because the Temple was destroyed. The Tribulation spoken of by Jesus Christ has never taken place. When Titus Vespasian and the 5th, 10th, 12th, and 15th Roman Legions in A.D. 69 laid siege to Jerusalem, the Temple was burned to the ground. Over one million men, women, and children died mostly from starvation if not from the sword of the Romans.

Matt 24:15-22, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened."

We now know a couple of things. First, if Jesus Christ said it, you can count on it. He said Daniel was a prophet, and if any academic denies this he is calling Jesus Christ a lair. I do not think that is wise. Despite men's feeble leaning, Daniel is a prophet because the Creator said so.

The Clock is Running Out

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The Judgment of Those That Do Not Believe

Jesus speaks of the judgment of the unbelievers which occurs after Tribulation and before the Millennium. He also issues a warning that most overlook. He said, "whoever reads this, let him understand" which puts the emphasis on each of us to do our homework. Someday soon there is going to be an accounting before Him,

Matt 13:41,"The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and those who practice lawlessness,"

I will leave the following verses for you to discover on your own. Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:14-27; Mark 14:62; Luke 21:25-28; Acts 1:9-11; Acts 3:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Peter 3:1-14; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:11-20:6; Revelation 22:7, 12, 20.

However, the rapture of the body of Christ has no such pre-requirements. It is easier by far to preach this than it is to live it. So among other important reminders is the Doctrine of Imminence, that the rapture of the body of believers can happen in the twinkling of an eye, anytime or any day.

The financial implications of removing over 2 billion persons in the twinkling of an eye are staggering. Governments on the brink of collapsing will be the first to go. It will take the genius of the Antichrist to save the world from this incredible event.

Here are some additional scriptures that you will find useful in researching the "snatching away" of the body of Christ which refutes those that say it is not in the New Testament. They are: (John 14:1-3; Romans 8:19; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-53; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Tim 6:14; 2 Tim 4:1; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:7, 13; 1 John 2:28-3:2; Jude 21; Revelation 2:25; Revelation 3:10).

I hope this short article challenges you to study this subject and come to your own conclusions. As a professor, I encourage my students to study the subject and make their own minds up. I trust you will as well. Thank you for reading the articles and God's blessings.

Works Cited

The Old Scofield® Study Bible, NKJV, Classic Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 1999. Print.

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Dr. Missler on Imminence

The Old Van Buren bridge into Canada

This is a picture from the old bridge into Canada in Van Buren, ME
This is a picture from the old bridge into Canada in Van Buren, ME | Source

Edmunston,NB, CA

From Madawaska looking towards Edmunston, NB, CA
From Madawaska looking towards Edmunston, NB, CA | Source

© 2013 Dr Gary E Hill

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