Day of Christ

The Day of Christ begins with the appearing (the epiphaneia) and kingdom (basileia ) of Jesus Christ (2 Tim.4:1) and the blazing forth of the glory of the great God, even our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). This is when the hope of the calling of the Mystery is realized. This is when our faith gives way to sight. This is the next event on God's prophetic clock. This is when Christ Jesus, in His role as the Head of the high calling, convenes [calls into session] His Ecclesia (Church) which is His Body. As the Great Convoker, He, alone, calls His Ecclesia into session. This marks His assumption of sovereignty over the nations. Those who have been memberd into “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” will either be raised out from among the dead, or will be changed from mortal to immortal, and will take their place, or station, in His Government. Concurrently with the many events taking place when Christ Jesus assumes sovereignty over mankind and the nations, the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) will actively and aggressively restrain evil (John 16:7-13). People who sin will die for their own sin (Jer. 31:30). The Spirit will hinder transgressions because man’s conscience will have been quickened (made alive). The Day of Christ is synonymous with all of the above, including the Kingdom of God, and comes before the tribulation and the second coming (Parousia) of Christ. During the Day of Christ, heaven and earth will be governed by Christ Jesus from His heavenly Throne. This dispensation is set in contrast to the Millennium or the Day of the Lord. To say the two are the same is to say that “one-plus-one equals one.” Most all Christians realize that the Day of the Lord (i.e. the Tribulation and the Millennium) begins with revolution, bloodshed and violence which will be an unprecedented event in all of human history. The Old Testament has a lot to say about this Day—the Day of the LORD. Isaiah speaks about the Lord's imposition upon the world of His Millennial Rule; “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with wrath, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord will be many” (Isa. 66:15-16). Psalm 50:3 says; "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him." Psalm 97:3; “A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about.” These verses relate to Jesus Christ Personally returning to earth to put an end to the nation’s revolt against His Rule from heaven (2 Thess. 2:1-12). When the Kingdom of God comes to Israel, it comes silently, “without observation” (Lu.17:22). It will not come suddenly or dramatically. Its’ coming is likened; “as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mk. 4:26-28). When the Kingdom comes, it comes without calamity with no harm being done to anyone. Notice a much overlooked passage; “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory” (Matt.12:19-20). Matthew quotes from Isaiah 42:1-4 which informs us that the Kingdom (i.e God’s Government) begins with the Gentile nations. Israel will not be a nation at this time. They will still be scattered, or dispersed, among the nations. While ruling over the nations, the Lord begins His work of re-gathering the Jews. Over time, He leads them back to the Promised Land ─as believers. No unbelieving Jew will be brought back to Palestine; no, not one! The unbelieving will remain scattered among the nations. [This brings up the question; ‘What about the Israel that now is?’ All we’ll say for now is; the present Israel is not of God’s doing. When He brings them back, there will be no disputes regarding borders or whose land it is]. “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezk.20:38). If words have any meaning, then we must conclude that something begins silently, mysteriously, without observation, without strife, without Christ being heard, and without damage being inflicted. On the other hand, something else begins (i.e. the Lord’s Day) with a colossal display of vengeance, wrath, and cataclysmic punishment which will be openly displayed. It is a contradiction to insist that the two descriptions relate to the beginning of the same event. In plainer words, the Prophetic Word informs us that there is coming the Day of Christ which is another term for the coming Kingdom of God. We are met with a non-Scriptural term, The Millennium, which relates to the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth. The Biblical term for this is the Day of the Lord. It is essential to distinguish between the two. The Holy Spirit does. We should do so, also. If we force all truths connected to the Day of Christ into the Day of the Lord, the result is utter confusion. Not only that, but we rob the Lord Jesus Christ of His Day of Exaltation. During the Day of Christ, He will draw, or compel, all men unto Himself. He will be exalted from the earth as every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the Glory of God the Father. His Day begins with His “appearing and Kingdom,” and He begins to judge the quick and the dead. (2 Tim.4:1). This is when the glory of the great God, even Jesus Christ our Savior, blazes forth (Titus 2:13). Isaiah speaks of this event in 40:5; “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” and at the same time. What is seen is the glory of the LORD, not the LORD descending from Heaven; to this, Numbers 14:21 agrees; “But truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” When the Kingdom comes, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters covers the sea” (Hab.2:14). The Psalmist says; “And blessed be His glorious Name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory” (72:19). The world will experience the revealing of His Glory without Christ Jesus leaving His Heavenly Throne. The shining forth of the glory of God takes place before the Day of the LORD. It is noted in Isaiah's vision that the seraphim see Christ's Day and say; “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Hosts: the earth is full of His glory.” During the Day of Christ, the “times of refreshing comes from the presence of the LORD.” All things are rejuvenated while the Heavens retain Christ (Acts 3:19-21). The pristine, pre-Noah flood conditions will be re-created (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). When the Day of Christ begins, all of mankind will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and realize that Jesus Christ is LORD! Christ will begin His benevolent rule of the world. Then, He will begin converting His ancient people, Israel. Read Ezekiel 20:23-33, and notice how the Lord begins a work in their hearts and will lead them back into the Holy Land as a Christ-believing people. As the Day of Christ draws to a close, the restraints of the Spirit are gradually withdrawn.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Does All Mean All Or Just Some ?


IN A NUTSHELL Is God able to save all men but is not willing to?
Or, is God willing to save all men but not able to?
Or, is God both willing and able to save all men, but the will of men makes God’s will ineffective and impossible?
If God is willing to save all men but is not able to, then this is an indictment against the power of God!
If God is able to save all men but is not willing to, then this is an indictment against the love of God!
If God is both willing and able to save all men but man’s will renders God’s will ineffective and impossible, then this is an indictment against the sovereignty of God!
Peter said concerning God’s willingness that "God is not willing that any man should perish but that all should come to repentance." [2 Pet. 3:9] Concerning God’s ability Apostle Paul wrote that God "is able to save to the uttermost." [Heb.7:25] The Bible says God is, “great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth and He has dominion and is over all as the head of all.” [1Ch 29:11] Thus we conclude that God is both willing and able to save all men and will save all men.
This is the revelation of God's Plan, Purpose, Power and Pleasure to do all that He has determined to do. He will not lie. He can not fail! All things are subdued that God may be all in all! [Is. 46:10, 57:16; Heb. 6:18; .1 Cor. 13:8,15:28].

Peace On Earth Goodwill To All

Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger

December 18, 2012    


    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone  round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city ofDavid a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”(Luke 2:8-14).
   This passage of Scripture is largely ignored except at Christmas time. There are, however, profound truths embodied in the message delivered to the shepherds, beyond the fact that the Savior is born in the City of David.
   Encapsulated in the good tidings that were announced to the shepherds with great joy, it was “for all people,” not just for Israel. It was for every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue.  After the initial announcement of the Angel of the Lord concerning the birth of the Savior, suddenly, there appeared a multitude of heavenly hosts (angels) saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
    This is the first New Testament announcement of the coming Kingdom of God. The Angel of the Lord and the multitude of heavenly hosts proclaimed the time in which the Lord, alone, would be exalted. The coming Day [the Day of Christ] will be when every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil.2:10-11). This refers to the time when the Kingdom of God becomes a reality in the earth.  The disciples were told to pray for this event, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt.6:10). This magnificent Day follows the present Dispensation of Grace.
    When the Kingdom comes, Christ will assume sovereignty over the earth and will begin His manifest reign over the nations, and the affairs of mankind.  His Kingdom in the earth is not, now, in place.  However, one day it will be a reality.  When His will is done on the earth, there will be “peace on earth.” 
    Isaiah speaks of this peace in Verse 4 of Chapter 2, “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
    Micah says the same in 4:3; “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
    When the Kingdom comes, there will be “peace on earth.” Weapon systems will be destroyed. “Defense” contractors will turn their production facilities into that of producing plows and tractors. Military academies will be closed. Nations will no longer teach how to wage war. Universal peace will be the order of the day.  For two-thousand years, God has been displaying His grace to the world. He has not been exercising His government, or His judgments in the world. He has been dispensing Grace.  Wrongs will, one day, be addressed when His Kingdom comes. During the Dispensation of the Grace of God, He is not, overtly, manifesting His “good will toward men.”

    When the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God actually comes into being in the earth, all mankind will know, without a doubt, that He is dispensing “good will toward men.” Acts 3:19-21 says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all thingswhich God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”       This tells us refreshing times, that is to say, exhilarating, invigorating, stimulating, and healthy times shall come from the presence or Face of the Lord, and all things shall be restored.  The world will be restored to a holy and happy state. It could be said; Paradise will be restored.
    Hunger and starvation will disappear. To this, the Prophets agree. God will cause the desert to rejoice, and “blossom like the rose” (Isa.35:1-2). Water shall break out in the wildernesses, and “streams in the desert” (Isa.35:6).  When the Lord exerts His regenerating power in the earth, the earth will yield her increase (Ezk.34:27).  Psalm 85:12 says, “Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.”
     In the astonishing passage of Amos 9:13, there is further evidence of God’s “good will toward men:” “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall over-take the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the  hills shall melt.” In plainer words, the earth will yield her increase year around. Food stuffs will abound.
    The animal kingdom will undergo a radical change as God demonstrates His “good will toward men.” Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid [young goat]: and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”  The lion, in the Day of Christ, shall eat straw like the ox, and poisonous snakes and reptiles will no longer be a threat (Isa.11:6-7).
    Physical handicaps, birth defects, sicknesses, diseases, and plagues will disappear from the earth. Excellent health will be the standard. The blind shall see. The deaf shall hear. The tongue of the dumb shall sing. The crippled shall leap like a deer (Isa.35:5-6). Psalm 67:2 speaks of these benefits as, “Thy saving health among all nations.”
    Sorrows and sighing “shall flee away” (Isa.35:10). “...and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard... nor the voice of crying (Isa.65:19).
    Another benefit for mankind will be that God will instantly answer prayer, “And it shall come to pass, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isa.65:24).
     “Good will” from God “toward men” will, also, be demonstrated during the times of “restitution of all things,” by Divine guidance and direction being given to men, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa.30:21).
     Mankind’s life span shall be greatly increased, much like that of the people prior to the universal flood of Noah's time. Isa.65:20-22:  “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old  man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed... They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isa.65:21-22).
      These are the blessings of Heaven which mankind will enjoy upon the earth, when the Lord Jesus Christ begins to “judge the quick and the dead at His Appearing and Kingdom”                  (2 Tim. 4:1).
     The good news of the coming Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God is that the Lord Jesus Christ will bring all of His resources to bear for the benefit of mankind.
      The Christmas message will really be meaningful to those whose trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ, who live, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). When this happens, it will truly be peace on earth and the Lord will truly show good will toward men. Today, He shows only grace toward men. Thankfully, He is dispensing Grace, not Judgment. If it were judgment, Ephesians 2:8 would not be available to us; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

(This Christmas essay by Tom Ballinger was first issued on Wednesday, November 19, 2003).


Tom and Gloria Ballinger

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Judgement By Fire

Judgment by fire. God's spiritual fire is for cleansing......

by Phillip Raper on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 7:49pm ·
Believers are being tried and judged BY FIRE according to HOW we are living. What fire? God's fire. God's "CONSUMING [spiritual] FIRE" (Heb. 12:29)! God is SPIRIT and likewise His fire is SPIRIT. I have never heard a minister or teacher preach on the good and beneficial side of God's FIRE. Fire is usually portrayed as bringing about pain, evil, and destruction. Since God is GOOD (Luke 18:19), and God is SPIRIT (John 4:24), and God is INVISIBLE (Col. 1:15), why does the church teach the world that God as a CONSUMING FIRE (Heb. 12:29) is visible and not invisible, literal and not spiritual, and bad rather than good?
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones [valuable traits of Godly spiritual character] wood, hay, stubble [carnal traits of no value]; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because IT SHALL BE REVEALED BY FIRE; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" 1 Cor. 3:10
Every thought, every word, and every deed that proceeds out of the heart and mind of man is his "WORKS." And every thought, every word, and every deed of man will come into the judgment of Almighty God's "CONSUMING FIRE." Notice that it is both our things of great value: "gold, silver, precious stones," and our things of no value: "wood, hay, stubble" that are tried in the fire, God's Consuming Fire. Every person possesses knowledge, therefore, every person is a combination of both good and evil (for knowledge can only be a combination of both good and evil knowledge).
"Now if any man build upon this [spiritual] foundation [Christ] gold, silver, precious stones [godly character traits], wood, hay, stubble [carnal character traits]; Every man's work [thoughts, words, and deeds] shall be made manifest [become known, come to light]: for the day shall declare it [make it evident], because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (I Cor. 3:12-13).
The fire in these verses is no more literal than are the gold or stubble suggested as building materials. People do not construct large buildings out of gold, neither do they set them on fire after completion to see how well they will fare. This is all figurative and symbolic language to instruct us in much higher spiritual development. We are not literaI gardens of God neither are we literal buildings of God. But we are like gardens in certain ways—we are to produce good spiritual fruit. We are like buildings in certain ways—we are to be a spiritual dwelling place for God. We have works that are like gold and silver in certain ways—we have thoughts, words, and deeds of good and lasting value. We also have carnal and evil works—bad thoughts, crass words, and evil deeds that are of no lasting value and are only fit for destruction. Only God's SPIRITUAL FIRE can burn away spiritual wickedness and evils of the heart.
All of these material items are used as symbols of spiritual things. Therefore, of necessity, the fire that tries these material symbols is also SPIRITUAL. It is not possible to burn up with fire an inanimate character flaw without burning up the person who harbors it. Likewise, it is not possible to purge and purify the good qualities of character in a person with literal fire without burning up the individual that possesses them. But spiritual fire, God's all consuming, purging and purifying fire is perfectly suited to do just that. This trying and purging is not always pleasant, however, it is not a torture chamber either. Does this fire harm the physical person being purged in this fire? No, our merciful and graceful loving God and Father does not eternally torture humanity IN fire, but rather eternally saves humanity BY fire.
Let's read it and rejoice:
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE" (1 Cor. 3:13-15).
NO ONE is tortured, killed, or annihilated in this fire! This fire of God SAVES people who go through it! There is salvation BY means of this fire. This fire is part of God's judgment and grace!
So 1 Cor. 3 cannot completely answer all that is contained within its verses without the aid of the ONLY other such Scripture in the Bible, Rev. 20. And Rev. 20 cannot completely answer all that is contained within its verses without the aid of the ONLY other such Scripture in the Bible, 1 Cor. 3!
Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 2: 12-13 that,
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW THE THINGS that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak [in only twelve more verses Paul Himself speaks of just such spiritual things concerning the judgment of men's works in fire] not in the words which man's wisdom teaches [not the same physical torture in physical fire taught by the foolish understanding of the church] but which the Holy Spirit teaches; COMPARING [OR MATCHING] SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL."
By comparing these two spiritually matched Scriptures with one another we can come to the truth of God's intention for BOTH of these fires that judge and try EVERY MAN'S WORK in their own order.
The fire of 1 Cor. 3 accomplishes the very same thing as the fire of Rev. 20 accomplishes. Both of these fires are symbolic. Literal fire does not burn up inanimate flaws (wood, straw and stubble) of human character. But AS literal fire does burn up literal wood, straw and stubble, SO ALSO does God's spiritual fire burn up human character flaws. We are not told of this "wood, straw and stubble" in the lake of fire, nor of the "gold, silver and precious stones." We learn from I Cor. 3 that this is the case with the lake of fire also because these two sets of Scripture are the ONLY spiritual match in the entirety of the Bible. And just as we learn new things and additional things about the lake of fire in 1 Cor. 3, we also learn something new and different in Rev. 20:10 that is not mentioned in 1 Cor. 3.
In this lake of fire of Rev. 20 we find a most unusual thing--brimstone. BRIMSTONE? OH NO! NOT BRIMSTONE! Isn't this lake of fire going to be painful enough without adding "brimstone?" First we learn from Christendom that the non-believers and wicked will be tortured for all eternity in literal white-hot fire, and now we read in the Scriptures that there is going to be BRIMSTONE in this lake of fire! Whose idea is it to add brimstone to this fire? Is this a cruel curse from Satan? That doesn't seem plausible seeing that this is GOD'S WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT, and not Satan's BLACK THRONE JUDGMENT. But why then would God be putting this cursed brimstone into this fire? Wait a minute... Maybe the brimstone isn't a cruel curse from God, but rather a marvelous blessing. Is that possible? With God all things are possible.
What is brimstone anyway? Everything in the book of Revelation is "signified" (SYMBOLIZED). We know that there is literal fire and there is spiritual fire; and there is literal brimstone, but is there also spiritual brimstone? Ask any nominal Christian why there is brimstone in the lake of fire, and he will probably tell you that it is there to make the fire hotter and more painful. Oh really? Is there something about brimstone that is caustic to the skin that would cause great pain? Does brimstone somehow cause fire to burn hotter and hotter? Does brimstone make the flesh hotter? Or is it corrosive material that eats away at the skin and flesh thus causing even more intense insane pain. The very sound of the word brimstone has come to represent something Satanic. Nothing could be further or diametric opposite from reality. Look up the word "brimstone" in any dictionary and you will find it defined as "sulfur." Brimstone is sulfur. What then are the properties and uses of sulfur? I have known the Scriptural meaning and uses of sulfur for a long time, but I had never looked up the word sulfur in my Encyclopedia Britannica before—what a revelation.
SULFUR: "It is often called brimstone (burning stone) and ignited sulfur is mentioned in the earlier records of many countries as having been used for religious ceremonies, for PURIFYING (fumigating) buildings and for bleaching cloth" (Encyclopedia Britannica, page 536d). Gee, I wonder if spiritual brimstone might be used to PURIFY and fumigate people and bleach their darkened hearts to a bright white? Under the caption: "Methods of Production—Ancient producers described their method of obtaining sulfur from its ore as PURIFICATION BY FIRE" (Page 537a)."Purification by fire." That sounds very Biblical. Does God "purify" good and wonderful things by "fire?" Yes, He does: The WORDS of the Lord are pure words: as silver [silver? Isn't the silver qualities of our character also tried in 'fire,' I Cor. 3:12-13?] tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6). Now we all know that the very "words" of God are not burned in a literal fire. But "AS" silver is tried in literal fire, so SPIRITUALLY God's words are tried in spiritual fire.
But surely, according to what we have been told by doomsday prophets of eternal hell, sulfur must cause great torturing pain when brought into contact with human skin, and wouldn't the smell alone be enough to suffocate all in its presence? Continuing: "Physical Properties—Sulfur is TASTELESS and ODORLESS. IT HAS NO ACTION ON THE SKIN" (Page 537d)!
So maybe it's just the heat that is intensified by the use of sulfur, and that is its purpose in the lake of fire—to increase the intensity of the fire's heat to cause more insane pain? Continuing: "Physical Properties—Sulfur is A POOR CONDUCTOR OF BOTH HEAT and electricity..." (Page 538a)! Imagine that—a POOR CONDUCTOR OF HEAT! Theoretically, if God were to put enough brimstone into the lake of fire it would protect those in the fire like an asbestos suit! Are you beginning to see the sheer folly in the church's teaching that the lake of fire and brimstone are literal? I sure hope so.
Let me give you some scriptural use of figurative fire.
"His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of FIRE" (Rev. 1:14). 
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes though it be tarried with FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:7).
"And the tongue is a FIRE..." (James 3:6).
"And of the angels He says, Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of FIRE" (Heb. 1:7).
"Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by FIRE; and the FIRE shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (1 Cor. 3:13).
"For our God is a consuming FIRE" (Heb. 12:29).
"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of FIRE on his head" (Rom. 12:20).
"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of Whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with FIRE" (Luke 3:16).
"For EVERY ONE shall be salted with FIRE, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt" (Mark 9:49).
"But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a REFINER'S FIRE, and like fullers' SOAP" (Malachi 3:2).
"...for all the earth shall be devoured with the FIRE of my jealousy" (Zeph. 3:8).
"For in My jealousy and in the FIRE of My wrath have I spoken" (Ezek. 38;19).
"From above has He sent FIRE into my bones..." (Lamentations 1:13).
"Is not My word like as a FIRE? saith the Lord" (Jer. 23:29).
"Who makes His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming FIRE" (Psalm 104:4).

Monday, November 26, 2012

What To Look For Next Not Being Taught


According to “Vine’s Expository Dictionary,” “EPIPHANEIA” is the English word, “epiphany, literally meaning ‘a shining forth.’” Thayer’s Lexicon says, on Page 245, “epiphaneia,” as “appearing,” was a word used by the Greeks “of a glorious manifestation of the gods as helpers.” The Holy Spirit selected this Greek word since the Lord Jesus Christ would be manifested as Israel’s Great Helper in Her time of dire need and ends the Great Tribulation. Thayer also mentions that in 2 Maccabees, “epiphaneia” was used signaling the “deeds and events betokening the presence and power of God as a Helper.”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, the word, “epiphaneia,” is translated as “brightness” in the KJV, the NIV, and the NKJV. It is translated as “appearance” in the NASU and the NAS. It is translated as “appearing” in the RSV and as “manifestation” in the ASV.

The other five times Paul uses the word, “epiphaneia,” it is translated as “appearing:” as in 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 1:10, 2 Timothy 4:1, 4-8, and Titus 2:13. Peter even uses the word, in 1 Peter 1:7, as “appearing.”

“Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary” has, as its fourth definition, a very pertinent definition to the English word, “appearing.” It is, “SOMETHING THAT APPEARS—A PHENOMENON.” A “phenomenon” is an event, a marvel, a miracle, or a wonder.

We can, therefore, conclude that “epiphaneia,” as a noun, carries with it the idea that the “appearing” [i.e. a shining forth] will be a “phenomenal event.”

(The 2nd Coming will certainly be a PHENOMENON. It will certainly be all of these, in which the Son of God administers aid to His people—hence, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 will truly be an “EPIPHANEIA.”)

Looking at various lexicons and dictionaries, it has been concluded that “epiphaneia” carries with it the meaning of a “blazing forth for a favorable intervention on behalf of man.” When the Greeks believed that the gods intervened on behalf of man, they termed the phenomenon, or event as an “Epiphaneia;” hence, an “Appearing.” One lexicon says, “the help-bringing appearing of gods.” Another says, “a miraculous interposition of God in behalf of His people.” Another states, “…this grand word was constantly employed to set forth these gracious appearances of higher powers in aid of men.” 


The Spirit of Truth deliberately chose a word from the Greek language to express the phenomenon which brings to a close, the Dispensation of the Mystery. It is the same noun He used in 2 Thessalonians 2:8—the PHENOMENON—the “EPIPHANEIA.” 
As we have stated, “Epiphaneia” is a noun. A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, quality, or action. In the Bible, the use of this word, as a noun, is the name of a thing (i.e. an event), or an action, to wit, the “Appearing.” As such, it will be a phenomenon which, divinely, helps mankind. It will quash the “perilous times” of the “last days” and puts an end to “evil men and seducers,” waxing worse and worse, as described in 2 Timothy 3. The word, “perilous,” depicts the last days of the present Dispensation—“perilous” times will be FIERCE, or VIOLENT times. The Bible doesn’t provide us with the details of these coming “times.” We can rest assured that the times will be full of grave risk, perhaps financial; full of danger, perhaps to life and limb; hazardous times, perhaps full of misfortune. It will be from these TIMES that the Lord Jesus Christ delivers the world from the PERIL of those days. 

We will consider the Apostle Paul’s use of the word, “Epiphaneia,” which is translated as “Appearing.”

“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the APPEARING [EPIPHANEIA] of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 6:14).

Timothy was to hold fast to his “good profession [of faith] …” (1 Tim. 6:12), until the phenomenon—i.e. the “Epiphaniea.” The “Epiphaneia” ends the Dispensation of the Grace of God. This phenomenon becomes the inauguration of the Pre-“Parousia” Kingdom of God.

“But is now made manifest [phaneroo] by the APPEARING [EPIPHANEIA] of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).

We, as members of the Church Which is His Body, were saved and called with a holy calling by Christ; not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Tim. 1:9). His Own purpose and grace concerning our calling was “made manifest [phaneroo]” to us by our understanding of the coming Epiphaneia [Appearing] of our Savior Jesus Christ.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and [kai] the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and [kai] the dead at His APPEARING [EPIPHANEIA] and His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1).


Your attention needs to be directed to the word, “and,” as it appears between two phrases in the verse quoted above. The Greek word for “and” is “KAI.” “KAI” is used 5002 times in the NT. About 165 times, it is translated as “even” which has the meaning of, “that is to say,” or “in other words.”

“And” is most commonly used as a conjunction—connecting words, clauses, or statements, such as, “Bill picked up his bat and ball.” Or, “Bill and Jack played catch.” This is referred to as the conjunctive use of the word, “and.”

Many Bible students, when studying grammar in the Greek language, learn that the Greeks could use the word, “kai,” to mean “even.” This meant that the Greeks could use “kai” to attach, or append a word, or phrase for the purpose of defining, explaining, or interpreting that which has been said. This is called the “Explicative (or Explanatory) Principle.” All serious students of God’s Word need to recognize this principle of interpretation when studying the New Testament. The “Explicative Principle” is a favorite literary, or grammatical device of the Apostle Paul. 

A relevant example can be seen in 1 Corinthians 15:24:

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even [kai] the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

According to “The Interlinear Bible – New Testament,” it reads: “Theo kai Patria.” This, translated literally, would read, “the God and Father.” But, if we understood it to be “the God and Father,” it would make God to be one being and the Father to be another being. However, the translators correctly employed the “Kai Explicative Principle” and translated “kai” as “even.” This correct recognition of the explanatory use of the word, “kai,” renders the KJV “God, EVEN, the Father.” This literary principle means the noun, which follows God, further explains Who God is—EVEN THE FATHER.

“Even,” in English, has one of its many meanings as being, “indeed.” The Bible phrase could have been correctly translated, “God, INDEED the Father.”

It might be good to look at some other verses in which “kai” is translated as “even.”

“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even [kai} the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 15:6).

“Blessed be God, even [kai] the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor.1:3).

“To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even [kai] our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thess. 3:13).

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and [kai] God, even [kai] our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thess. 2:16).

Here, we note that the translators did not acknowledge the “Kai Explicative Principle” in its first occurrence but did so in its second occurrence. If we acknowledge this explanatory principle in the first instance, it would read: “now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, even God, even the Father.” Thereby, further explaining who Jesus Christ is—Who, indeed, is God; yes, even the Father.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even [kai] as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even [kai] denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

In this passage, we see that the “Kai Principle,” also, uses a dependent clause as an appositive; “there were false prophets among the people, even [kai] as there shall be false teachers among you.” It can, also, be clearly seen that “damnable heresies” is explained as “denying the Lord that bought them.” If the translators had used “and,” here, instead of “even,” it could cause us to think that there were two things—damnable heresies and denying the Lord.

An “APPOSITIVE” is a word, or a phrase functioning as a noun that is placed after another noun, or pronoun in order to rename, or clarify it. As we stated earlier, the use of appositives is a favorite literary devise employed by the Apostle Paul. Simply stated, when two nouns of the same case are used in a sentence, and “kai” (and) connects them, the second noun is an appositive—it renames, or clarifies the first noun.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and [kai] the glorious appearing of the great God and [kai] our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13).

We see that the Greek KAI is used twice in Titus 2:13. In the first instance, “the glorious appearing,” which is the appositive, renames, or clarifies the “blessed hope.” In the second instance, “Jesus Christ” is the appositive which clarifies Who the Great God is. What we have just written needs to be indelibly written in the fleshy tables of your heart. Not that the wording is profound, but the truth stated is!

We have the following rule regarding an appositive in English Grammar; “Whatever its position is, in a sentence, a noun can be followed by an appositive. An appositive is a word, or a phrase functioning as a noun which is placed after another noun, or pronoun IN ORDER TO RENAME OR CLARIFY IT.” (“The Everyday English Handbook,” by Leonard Rosen, Page 64).

                            Noun                                     Appositive 
Looking for that “blessed hope” – and [kai] “the glorious appearing”
             Noun                                     Appositive
Of the “Great God” – and [kai] our “Saviour Jesus Christ”

The appositive, our “Saviour Jesus Christ,” renames, or clarifies Who the “Great God” is. Jesus Christ is the Great God.

“Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and [kai] from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph.1:2).

The “Lord Jesus Christ” is an appositive, thus clarifying Who God our Father is. Yes, it clarifies Who “God our Father” is. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father is the Lord Jesus Christ. This makes some folks angry, especially those who have been indoctrinated in the so-called Doctrine of the Trinity.


“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” (2 Tim. 4:1). 

Here, in 2 Timothy 4:1, we find Paul charging Timothy “before God, and [kai] the Lord Jesus Christ.” Here, “God” is the Noun and “Jesus Christ” is the Appositive—thus clarifying who God is. The grammatical construction demands that these two names refer to the same person. He would not solemnly charge Timothy before two masters since a man cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24, Luke 16:13). Now, we come to the second Noun and Appositive in 2 Timothy 4:1—so “hold your horses.” The two nouns are “Appearing” and “Kingdom.”

“At His Appearing and [kai] His Kingdom” (2 Tim 4:1).

In the clause just mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:1, the Noun is His “Appearing,” and the Appositive is His “Kingdom.” The appositive renames, or clarifies the Noun, His “Appearing,” as that of His “KINGDOM.”

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing [epiphaneia] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13

As members of the “Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23), we look to Titus 2:13 as our great HOPE. However, we should be sure that we are NOT looking for two events as the verse suggests.

We need to recognize that the figure of speech, “Hendiadys,” appears, twice, in this one verse. One of the “Hendiadys” relates to the Hope mentioned. We are NOT to be looking for two Hopes which would be:

(1) that blessed hope, and
(2) the glorious appearing

A “Hendiadys” is where two nouns, in this verse, are joined together by the conjunction “and.” The two nouns are in the same case; thus, indicating that one thing is in view. We are not to look for two hopes. It needs to be recognized that a “Hendiadys” occurs in the verse which means—TWO THINGS ARE MENTIONED, BUT ONLY ONE THING IS MEANT. (See Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, by E. W. Bullinger, P. 669). Or, as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Hendiadys:” 

“the expression of an idea by the use of usually two independent words connected by ‘and’ (as nice and warm) instead of the usual combination of independent word and its modifier (as nicely warm) “

Hendiadys is pronounced as “Hen-die-adas.”

Our Hope is the glorious Appearing. Taking into consideration the “Hendiadys,” the idea of the phrase is—Looking for that blessed hope; that is to say, the glorious Appearing.

Ephesians 4:4 corroborates this when speaking of the Unity of the Spirit: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.”

The ONE HOPE of our calling is the APPEARING; that is to say, the EPIPHANEIA. This glorious Appearing is the phenomenal event which brings to an end, the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Grace ends, and Government begins, i.e., the Kingdom of God.

Another “Hendiadys” occurs in the latter part of the verse:

“the Appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Here, One Person is meant, not two: the Appearing of the great God; that is to say, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

This identifies the GREAT GOD as our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! 

Consider this Link for the expanded Truth on the Glorious Appearing:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christ Jesus Must Remain In Heaven Until WHEN?



By Tom L. Ballinger

We sincerely believe that the truths set forth in this issue of Plainer Words presents the most significant Dispensational Truth which we have ever written. The writing may not be the most erudite, or scholarly, but it brings to light truth that has been deliberately papered over, hid, obscured, or ignored by Bible teachers of great reputation. Those who have attempted to let this truth see the light of day have been vilified, denigrated, slandered, and maligned. This understanding is the key to Dispensational Truth; regardless of who says it is not. We have written about this several times, but because of its’ momentous importance, we considered it not to be grievous (Philippians 3:1) to write about it again.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

This passage of Scripture suffers from commentators failing to report what the verses actually state. Instead, they teach doctrine that is not contained in the text.

To begin with, the Scripture does not say that if Israel repented and be converted, their sins would be blotted out.

It does not say: their sins would be forgiven when they repented.

It does not say: that Christ would return to earth if they repented.

It does not say: that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel if they repented.

Noticing what it does not say, let's look at the positive side of what the Apostle Peter actually said.

Peter was addressing the men of Israel in Jerusalem when he exhorted them to "repent ye therefore, and be converted." This was what must be done in order “that your sins be blotted out.” The blotting out of sins was not to occur at the time of repentance and conversion, but rather, “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” The word, “times,” means “age ―a part of a duration distinct from other parts, or the measured, or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exist or continues; an occasion, the point or period when something occurs.”

Peter was saying; there is coming an age, or a measured period of time, in which a condition will exist, and something will occur which he referred to as the “times of refreshing.” When these “times” come, that is when their sins were to be blotted out.

“Times of refreshing” can be amplified to mean an exhilarating age which is opposite of the present world condition in which the whole world is held in bondage under the curse. The Apostle Paul referred to these “times” in Romans 8;
“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (vs.21-23).
 The “glorious liberty” Paul spoke of was a reference to the “times of refreshing.”

The Amplified New Testament renders; “times of refreshing—of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air” which is in contrast to creation’s present state of groaning and travailing in pain.

It must be pointed out that Peter did not explain what the restoration (i.e. restitution) of all things was because his audience understood, fully, what he was referring to. They had been raised on the writings of the Prophets; consequently, its’ nature was not unfolded. The idea of a restoration of the world had its’ origin in the preaching of the Old Testament prophets. Their faith in the unique position and mission of Israel, as the chosen people of God, inspired in them the conviction that the destruction of the nation would eventually be followed by a restoration under conditions that would insure the realization of the original, divine purpose.

The Jews to whom Peter was speaking knew the “restitution of all things” meant a re-creation of the world which would restore it to an Eden-like, pre-flood, condition with the curse removed. Christians raised on John 3:16 cannot really appreciate Peter’s announcement until they, too, understand, like the Jews of old, what Peter was talking about. We plan to point this out.

Notice what comes from the presence of the Lord: an age, or an eon, or a duration of time which is to be refreshing. It doesn't say that Christ comes from the presence of the Lord. 

Peter went on to say, “And He will send Jesus Christ, which was preached unto you,” but notice what is almost always overlooked; “Whom the heaven must receive [or retain] until....” We have seen no Commentary that comments on the fact that the heaven must retain Christ until something takes place. The silence is deafening. Christendom teaches that when Christ comes at His Second Advent, He ushers in the “times of refreshing.” But, this is not what Peter said. Let us not be guilty of putting words into Peter's mouth. Keep in mind that every word Peter spoke were the words God gave him to speak (Matt. 10:19-20, 1 Thess. 3:13. 2 Cor.13:3). The Apostle Peter was the authority, and he said in plainer words; "If you repent and be converted, your sins will be blotted out when the times of refreshing comes from the face of the Lord. And yes, He will send Jesus Christ, Whom the heaven must receive or retain until...” Christ remains there until … something is accomplished. This is not Second Coming truth. This is not millennial truth—this is pre-millennial truth concerning the Kingdom of God.

Christ will remain in the heaven when the refreshing times are ushered in. 

Take note that the word, “until,” is a functional word used to indicate continuance (as of an action or condition) to a specified time. Christ remains in the heavens “until,” that is to say, during a specified time while an action, or condition, is continuing. The action, or condition, is the restitution of all things. If the words which the Holy Spirit inspired are to mean anything, then, there is no way the Lord Jesus Christ can return until all things are restored. “Restitution” means; “The act of recovering a former state or posture, the putting the world in a holy and happy state. Acts 3:” (Webster's 1828 Dictionary). The former state of the world refers to the pre-flood conditions of the earth and the cosmos. The world will be restored to its’ former, pristine order while Christ remains in heaven. No wonder the commentaries leave out the God-inspired phrase, “Whom the heaven must receive until.” This inspired phrase, spoken by Peter, doesn’t fit in their theology, so they ignore it as though it wasn’t spoken at all.

“Whom the heaven must receive until the restitution of all things…” Here, an Ellipsis must be supplied in order to get the true sense of the passage.

An Ellipsis is a figure of speech, and it is the omission of one or more words that are to be obviously understood, but must be supplied in order to make a construction grammatically complete. In the book, “Figures of Speech,” Dr. E. W. Bullinger says; “Figures involving omission, the Ellipsis, the figure is a peculiar form given to a passage when a word or words are omitted; words which are necessary for the grammar, but are not necessary for the sense. The law of syntax may be legitimately broken by an Ellipsis. The omission arises not from the want of thought or lack of care or from accident, but from design in order that we may not stop to think of, or lay stress on, the word omitted, but may dwell on the other words which are thus emphasized by omission.”

“Whom the heaven must receive until the restitution of all things …” are the words the Lord would have us dwell on which are emphasized by the omission of the words which are to be mentally supplied, “is accomplished.” The Ellipsis is: “is accomplished;” that is to say; “until the restitution of all things [is accomplished].” 

Three periods ( … ) in English grammar indicates to the reader that an Ellipsis occurs in the text. In the Greek, there is no such punctuation. However, we have supplied the three periods to denote the Ellipsis; “...which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” All of God's prophets spoke about the age, or eon, or period of time in which there would be a renewal of all things, and it takes place while the Lord Jesus remains in heaven. The New Testament term for this is “the Kingdom of God.”

To speak of the refreshing times and the restitution of all things being associated with and taking place at the Second Coming (i.e. the Parousia) of Christ, makes the Word of God of none effect! The Second Coming (i.e. the Parousia) is the consummation of the Kingdom of God; not the beginning (see Matthew 24:3).

At this point, it might be necessary to say that if there be anyone reading these lines who is among that number who believe only such things as are generally believed and taught, there is no use for them to read further in this study. Far too many Christians are in a class with the Pharisees of old who asked concerning Christ: “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him?” (John 7:48). The fact that none admitted believing on Him was sufficient reason for no one to believe on Him. If the recognized leaders don’t believe certain things, then, there is no reason for the common man even to consider the things they don’t believe.

The Scripture demands that there be a time and framework for “the times of refreshing;” the next magnificent work to take place. However, Christendom, by its’ interpretation, is denying God the opportunity to display this restoration while Christ remains in Heaven. 

The Lord Jesus makes reference to the restitution of all things when He said to the apostles, “Verily I say unto you That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of His glory [in heaven], ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt.19:28). The word, “regeneration.” is the Greek word, palingenessia, which means re-creation. In plainer words, the Lord said; “You apostles that have followed Me, when the times of re-creation comes you will sit upon twelve thrones [i.e. seats of authority] as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The apostles will be on the twelve thrones in Israel in the regeneration while the Lord Jesus Christ sits upon His Throne of glory in the Heavens. He is not referencing to the Throne of David. Psalm 11:4; “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men.” The LORD’s Throne will be in heaven during the “times of refreshing.” 

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision: (Psalm 2:4).

“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all” (Psalm 103:19).

“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” (Isaiah 66:1).

These four verses “are as clear as a bell.” They inform us where the Throne of Jesus Christ will be during “the times of refreshing.” It will be HEAVEN; NOT EARTH. The big difference most people miss is the question; “upon whose throne does the Lord Jesus Christ sit when He returns to earth to reign for 1000 years?” The answer is; the Throne of David! (Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 29:16). Christ remains in Heaven while the re-creation is accomplished. This re-creation is not that of Revelation 21, or 2 Peter 3:13, but it is the one Isaiah mentions in chapter 65, verse 17; “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” This is the restitution of all things mentioned by Peter in Acts 3. 

Notice what follows in Isaiah 65:18 22; “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” This is not millennial truth—it is pre-millennial.

Here, it is noted that sorrows disappear from the world scene. Longevity of life is restored; like, before the Flood.

According to Isaiah 35:1-2, the restitution of all things results in, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom like a rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebannon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.” 

Isaiah spoke of this pre-millennial restoration, again, in chapter 41:18-20, “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” 

Isaiah foretold of conditions during the times of restitution; Isaiah 11:6 9, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

How magnificent this will be when the world is full of the knowledge of the LORD.

The “times of refreshing” and "restitution of all things" begins when 2 Timothy 4:1 becomes a reality; “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing (epiphany) and His kingdom.”

The Second Advent (i.e. Parousia) of Jesus Christ does not have to take place for the restoration, i.e. the restitution, to be accomplished. In fact, the Bible says He is to remain in heaven while the re-creation is completed. This fact, alone, should cause one to question the pre-millennial dispensationalists’ fixation that the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are imminent.

Two, signal events occur when Christ's epiphany ensues; (1) He establishes His world-wide governmental sovereignty (i.e. His Kingdom), and (2) He begins to adjudge among the living and the dead who will qualify to live under His imperial Government and enjoy the benefits of the re-creation.
More news on this truth here:


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Exceedingly Great In Grace

Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger

October 28, 2012

Plainer Words since 1968


Part 4

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

The Apostle Paul informs the “saints” that, in part, the reason they were quickened together with Christ, raised together with Christ, and seated together with Him was in order for Him to show “the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us …throughout the ages to come.” Throughout the ages to come, “world without end;” one of the principal purposes of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head is to be a living demonstration of God’s Grace. The Church, which is His Body will be known as the supreme endowment of the exceeding riches of His GRACE!

Being the Called of the Ekklesia of the “Mystery,” we are truly THE ENDOWED—“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”  (Eph. 4:7).

The grace which is to be manifested is said to be “exceeding.” Exceeding means: “going beyond; surpassing; excelling; out doing.” Therefore, the grace to be shown goes beyond, or surpasses the powers of human language to describe.

The word, “exceeding,” is used three times by Paul in this epistle:

The exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” (Eph. 1:19).

He might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:7).

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all” (Eph. 3:20).

Paul has set forth truths which lead us to the point of being able to describe the grace involved.  The believer has been told that “in times past,” he lived according to the  course of this world and by his very nature were “the children of wrath, even as others.” “But God” intervened, for He loved the believer with a very great love and quickened him together with Christ. Therefore, by grace, He saved all who believed the latest report from God. This showed the “exceeding riches of His GRACE in His kindness toward us” in the eons to come.  This is a description of all of us who have believed “the revelation” which was given exclusively to Paul who was the appointed to be the Preacher, and the Teacher, and the Apostle to the Gentiles (2 Tim.1:11).


The expression, “ages to come,” is very interesting to those who have been membered into the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. This expression of “ages” is noted as appearing three times in Ephesians:

That in the ages to come He might shew” (Eph. 2:7).

Which in other ages was not made known” (Eph. 3:5).
Unto Him be glory in the Church…throughout all ages, world without end” (Eph.3:21).

These are enumerated, only, to point out that “ages” refers to a particular period of time, as distinguished from others, or that it refers to the people who lived in a particular period; hence, a generation. Ephesians 2:7 has reference to particular periods of time in distinction from the present period. Ephesians 3:5 and 3:21refer to generations, not to ages, as such. This was pointed out to validate that the Bible recognizes different times and dispensations. There will be future ages and dispensations, as there were past ages and dispensations. This logically means that future generations will follow this one—the Dispensation of the Grace of God. We can identify four dispensations that follow the Grace Dispensation:
  The Day of Jesus Christ
  The Day of the Lord
  The Day of God
  The “Fulness of Times”

The majority of Christians, as far as their hope is concerned, have taken all of the promises that God has made and have applied them to themselves. As Paul said, “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren;” if you appropriate for yourself promises made to another, that is stealing. “Thou shalt not steal.” This indicates they claim all the blessings for themselves. They fail to consider that each of God’s “Callings” have different “Hopes.” Each Hope has its own promises and blessings. They have failed to heed Peter’s instruction which is, also, applicable to our dispensation—make your Calling and Election sure.

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).

If a Christian is serious about “his faith,” he should “give diligence” to make sure he knows what is the Calling to which he belongs. If one is to exercise “due diligence” in acquiring a business or a piece of property, it would seem that “due diligence” would, likewise, be of paramount importance “to make your calling and election sure.”  As a Christian, to make certain you know what is the hope to which God has called you    (Eph. 1:18)—GIVE DUE DILIGENCE! This requires intensive labor in the Word. But, this may seem like some foreign language to some Christians who are simply satisfied to be “saved.” And, all they hope for is to die and go to heaven. This reply has been heard many, many times.

But, some Christians are more advanced; they recognize Pentecost; the Lord’s Supper; Saul of Tarsus’ conversion; they recognize Saul, also called Paul, turned to the Gentiles; they imagine they see the Lord gradually turning from the Jew to the Gentile during the Acts Period; and they see Paul taking the place of Peter as the prominent Apostle. Some even “see” the church beginning at Pentecost; others “see” it beginning at Acts 9 with Saul’s Damascus Road experience. Still, others “see” the church beginning when Paul first turned to the Gentiles in Acts 13, as some seem to strain at a gnat and “see” the church beginning at Acts 18, or even Acts 22. To these people, the church-is-the-church-is-the church; and “we are living in the church age.” They are unable, or unwilling to distinguish between “the Church of God” and “the Church, which is His Body.”

This lack of discernment disenfranchises the Church, which is His Body in the mind of those who are unable to “rightly divide.” This impreciseness robs God of the great demonstration of His matchless grace and kindness to be shown to “US” through Christ Jesus in the “ages to come.” It, also, robs the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head of all of its glory, and its members of all the exceeding riches of His Grace. It steals away the splendor of His glory which we will be clothed with when He appears, and not only all of these, but also, it robs us of our place and authority in the Administration of our Lord Jesus Christ. These thoughts, by God’s grace, should bring about a reason to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure.”
Many of those who embrace “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” like to use the popular phrase that members of the Church, which is His Body will be “trophies of God’s Grace in the ages to come.” There is infinitely more to our Calling than just being on a shelf as a Trophy of His Grace.

Those of us who have made our Calling and Election sure will find that during The Day of Christ, we will be engaged as Ministers in the Government of Jesus Christ. As pointed out in Part 3 of this study, the work we will be called upon to do will be of great consequence. We will be divinely equipped to execute our assignment. It will be during this lengthy Dispensation (estimated to be approximately 700 years) that we will be called upon “to earn our stripes,” or said in another military term, “to get our wings.” The Day of Christ will be the “proving grounds” for our next divinely appointed assignment in the age to come—The Day of the Lord.

As the “Trophies of God’s Grace,” we don’t deny “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). But, over and above us being His show-piece of Grace, we must acknowledge that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:7). The “good works” which we are to perform will be when He transforms our bodies (meaning, “our old man”) so that we will be likened to the glorious body of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:21). Then, every trace and affect of the Adamic curse will be left behind, either in the grave, or with the change from mortal to immortal. Our change, as His new creation, is beyond my ability to fully grasp or explain.

When the Church over which Christ is the Head is manifested with Him, then, will His “kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” be realized in full measure by the heavenly Principalities and Powers. This “shew” of the riches of His grace” and “His kindness toward us” will be obvious when we are installed in a position of His Government as being seated together with Christ “far above all” of the heavenly aristocracy. “Far above all” (Ephesians 1:21 refers to our station, or our ranking in God’s Organizational Chartor to be more precise—His Pre-Millennial Organization).  

(To be continued)

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