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.

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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Friday, October 19, 2012

God's Highest Calling For Today

Truth For Today

The Epistle to the Ephesians was written from a Roman prison by the Apostle Paul around 64 A.D. It was written to the saints at Ephesus and to “the faithful in Christ Jesus” anywhere. The truth contained in this epistle is the most profound truth in all the Word of God. It is the loftiest truth in the Scripture where there is no room for anything but PRAISE and PEACE from God the Father, even our Lord Jesus Christ. The “Mystery” is, here, revealed. It had been kept secret since the world began; not made known to the sons of men (Eph. 3:5); it had been hidden in God (Eph. 3:9); never revealed in the Scriptures until it was made known to the Apostle Paul by means of a special revelation (Eph. 3:3).
The great “Secret” of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is that God gave Christ to be the Head over all things to the Ecclesia which is His Body, the complement of the One (Jesus) completing the all in all. (Eph. 1:22-23).  The “all in all” I believe to be that time in the far future when God is illuminating and dwelling among men (Rev. 21:3 and 22:5).  This “Secret” concerns the “one new man” (Eph. 2: 15); “a perfect and mature man” (Eph. 4:13). Jesus Christ, as the Head of the Church, has been raised and highly exalted among the heavenly oligarchy (Eph. 1:20-21), and seats us together with Christ among the heavenlies (Eph. 1:20; 2:6).  This was not the hope or calling of previous dispensations but now, after Acts 28, it is made known that God has an election out of the earth that was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), to whom God will’s to make know (Eph. 1:27), which Secret was concealed from the eons and generations (Col. 1:26), “yet now was made manifest” (Eph. 1:26). This calling is predestined to have authority to “head up all BOTH that which is in the HEAVENS AND THE EARTH” (Eph. 1:10), over all the heavenly rulers (Eph. 4:10). It is for those who He “in love designating us beforehand for the place of a son for Him through Christ Jesus; in accord with the delight of His will” (Eph. l:5). The ecclesia of His Body will one day, be manifested with Christ in glory (Col 3:4.  The truths of  God’s administration of the Secret  was untraceable until revealed to Paul (Eph. 1:8-9). The epistle to the Ephesians and Colossians are immeasurably higher in dignity, and nobler in character than the glorious positions the Twelve Apostles will enjoy, as rulers, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel during Christ’s reign throughout the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.
This company of believers called in the administration of the “Secret” have already been blessed with “all spiritual blessings among the heavenly rulers [principalities and powers]” (Eph. 1:3). This calling is viewed as having been vivified, raised, and exalted together with Christ. The Church, which is His Body is the only company and calling of God’s redeemed which is said to be ” for the laud of His glory, who are pre-expectant in the Christ.”” (Eph. 1:12).  The “pre-expectant” Paul is referring to here are those who were believing during the Acts period into the new dispensation of God’s grace for you, the nations (Eph. 3:1).
Paul is given a revelation of such a nature that man and all his religion find no place for forms and ceremonies. We learn in the Ephesians Epistle that God is concerned with His own purpose. His Own will, His Own Son, and His Own inheritance, to wit, the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head.
Ephesians is for those who have enlightened eyes that they may see the revelation of the “Secret.” This epistle is considered as “strong meat” of the Word. It is, certainly, for those who have grown in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is written for those who are faithful (i.e., full of faith). It is impossible for those who still hold to rituals, rites, forms, and ceremonies to grasp the truth recorded here. It is for those who have passed on from types and shadows and symbols. It concerns the realm of the spirit where full-grown men of God are to live, even while they are tabernacling in the flesh. As the Lord Jesus Christ grants wisdom and revelation in the Word of Truth, full-grown, mature men of God are to grow accustomed to seeing the things that are invisible, as they begin to move in mind, heart, and spirit among the invisible and eternal things.
The Epistle to the Ephesians was written after the landmark of Acts 28:28 was reached. The dispensational boundary line was crossed when Acts ended, and Israel’s hope was left behind, unfilled and set aside. The churches which had been established during the Book of Acts found that the miraculous had ceased. Signs, wonders, and miracles were no longer the order of the day, but rather, SILENCE. Perhaps, the most awesome and far-reaching pronouncement made, since the angels heralded the birth of Christ, was made in a Roman prison by the Apostle Paul when he solemnly pronounced Israel’s blindness in Acts 28. For, with his pronouncement in Acts 28:28, the “at hand” Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God Truth ended abruptly. Ephesians explains God’s purpose and silence during this present era.  God’s present purpose in his administration of grace is to write into the history of His long dealings with mankind, a complete record of the grace and demonstration of His character.  By contrast we can say that He is not, at this time, demonstrating His power, majesty, justice or judgment. He is demonstrating His grace. This is one of His present purposes in “man’s day”.
Shortly after Paul made known to the Christians that the Lord is no longer dealing on the grounds of “Israel’s hope,” but rather, on the basis of the “Secret,” they turned away from him and the new revelation. Before Paul was martyred, he testified that;
“All they that are in Asia be turned away from him (2 Tim. l :15)and all have forsaken him (2 Tim. 4:16).
Most evidently, the majority of Christians in Paul’s own day failed to acknowledge the landmark of Acts 28, as they do today. They took truth made known after Israel was set aside and read it back into the epistles Paul wrote before the “Secret” was revealed to him.
Paul told Timothy that as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, he must rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2: l 5). That is, he must differentiate between those epistles written during the age of the miraculous and those written afterward. This, we will do as we set forth, below, the two sets of epistles. Recognize that the Apostle Paul had two ministries ─ one, during the Acts period and the other, after the Acts period ended.
Ministry During the Acts Period ─ The Past Dispensation
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2  Corinthians
Ministry During the Post-Acts Period ─ The Present Dispensation
1 & 2 Timothy
Present Truth is found in these epistles written after Israel was set aside. When Paul ceased being BOUND FOR ISRAEL’S HOPE and became A PRISONER OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE GENTILES, he received a new and fresh revelation.
The epistles written by Paul, after the Acts 28 crisis, are seven in number. Five are written from prison, and two are written between the Roman imprisonment, recorded in Acts 28, and the imprisonment that ended in his death.
“PauI, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the FAITHFUL in Christ Jesus: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:1-2).
The Apostle Paul is the writer of this epistle, and he says so in the salutation of the letter. Paul is writing this to the believing saints at Ephesus. AIl the saved are Saints; “saints” means set apart ones. You don’t wait until after you are dead for some church to make you a Saint. This epistle is, of necessity, addressed to the saved and not only that, it is addressed to the FAITHFUL. There is a big difference between being a Saint and being a FAITHFUL Saint. Remember that all the saved are “Saints,” but not all the Saints are “FAITHFUL.” The word, FAITHFUL, means “believing all that God has said.”
This letter is addressed to the Saints but, more in particular, to the ones who will believe the latest revelation from our Lord Jesus Christ. You have many people who are Saints but don’t believe the latest revelation that we have from God. The Lord would have us understand and believe the latest TRUTH we have from Him. A FAITHFUL Saint believes the latest report that he has heard from God. Now, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing (cometh) BY THE WORD OF GOD” (Rom. 10:17).
The Apostle Paul, as the “prisoner of Jesus Christ for the Gentiles,” has a special revelation that is connected with him as the Lord’s prisoner. This special revelation, given to Paul after Israel is set aside, is called Paul’s “prison ministry.” It is while he is in prison that the RISEN—ASCENDED– GLORIFIED Lord Jesus Christ gives the latest revelation to Paul the Apostle. He reveals to him a most carefully hidden secret.  As stated before, this Secret had been “hid in God.” God had kept a secret, and it had not been made known until He gave it to Paul the prisoner, by special revelation. Paul calls this special revelation to him, “the testimony of the Lord’s prisoner” in 2 Timothy 1:8. He tells Timothy not to be ashamed of this testimony. The testimony for PRESENT TRUTH is to be found in the epistles written BY PAUL, THE PRISONER, not Paul, the free man. However, don’t misunderstand:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof  for correction, and for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Present Truth for the Ecclesia or Church, which is “His Body, the complement of the One completing the all in all” is found in this peculiar cluster of epistles which we call the Prison Epistles. The FAITHFUL believe what is heard from God, not just what is written for other ages and dispensations, but to those who believe that which was written by the Lord’s prisoner. The PRISONER of the Lord is the chosen vessel to make known God’s secret purpose. It is in the Epistle to the Ephesians (and to the Colossians) that this secret is made known. The high truth concerning the Church of the One Body/His Body, is explained and revealed here. The FAITHFUL recognize Paul’s distinctive ministry as the great revelator of God’s secret purpose; that is, the purpose that God had planned before the world began, before any promises were made to any of the “fathers.” It is only the Faithful who will believe PRESENT TRUTH. That is why Paul addresses this to the Saints at Ephesus and the FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS.
As he always does, Paul bestows the blessings of “Grace and Peace” to the readers of this epistle. Grace is, of course, the main characteristic of Paul’s ministry. In Ephesians 3:2, Paul says that “the dispensation of the GRACE OF GOD is given me to you-ward.”  So, since God’s administration of GRACE was given to Paul to explain, it is natural that Paul opens his epistles with that famous salutation of his– GRACE BE TO YOU AND PEACE from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. You might notice that Grace and Peace has God the Father as the Originator and Source, and this GRACE and PEACE comes through and flows out from The Lord Jesus Christ. There is no grace or peace apart from being in Christ. The unsaved have no peace with God; they are at enmity with God, but after being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). Those that have peace with God can, also, have the peace of God(Phi1. 4:7).
If you have not made peace with God, your next move is to make Him your personal Savior.  If your heart stirred, consider this to be the work of God’s Holy Spirit.  Why not purposely decide that you will believe in God.  Confess that you will from this moment forward be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?  Let this be your confession of faith in Him, and let your first confession of faith be the most important one.  Your confession here and now is private and should be the one you make to God, and to Him alone. Public declarations can come later, and they should follow, but your private confession of faith in Jesus Christ should be your personal experience with God.  As you read and study God’s Word, ask Him to reaveal His knowledge to you.  As you do, trust the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Before The Great and Terrible Day of The Lord


Number 111

(Originally published 10 Aug. 79)

As background material for this study I would like for all to read once again Issue No. 54, "Four Great Days," and Issue No. 110, "The Lord’s Day in Rev. 1:10."

Those who follow the Darby-Scofield system of prophetic interpretation, also known as the dispensational-premillenial school, put great emphasis on the coming of the day of the Lord in their written and spoken messages, especially so in the popular fast-selling books on prophecy which are so ubiquitous today. They, as a rule, begin the day of the Lord with the second coming of Jesus Christ, although many start it seven years before with what they call "the rapture." They put great emphasis upon the terrors of this seven-year period, seldom failing to quote Isa. 13:9-11:

* "Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath, and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of the heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."

This is a very popular passage with many self-styled "evangelical" preachers today, who believe it is their duty to scare people into making a decision for Christ. They find such passages to be very useful tools, especially when elaborated with accompanying dramatics, histrionics, and the dogmatic matching of Biblical prophecies with current events. Part of the orchestration of evangelistic services is to time the invitation for people to "come to Christ" at the same moment they have been seized by a paroxysm of fear concerning the terrors of the day of the Lord. This opportunistic exploiting of people’s anxieties merits the severest condemnation.

However, one thing that is apparent concerning these heralds of coming doom, these proclaimers of "Armageddon Now", is that they ignore altogether that the glorious day of Christ (Phil. 1:6,10; 2:16) precedes the day of the Lord, and none of them have anything to say about those marvelous divine activities which God’s Word explicitly says will take place before the great and notable day of the Lord comes. These are ignored, disdained, and passed over as if they were unworthy of any consideration. And it is quite plain that this is done because the recognition of them would throw the proverbial monkey wrench into almost all prophetic schemes and time tables.

No certain event is revealed in Scripture that will mark the beginning of the day of the Lord. It comes "as a thief in the night" (2 Peter 3:10). Its time period will be a reality the moment that God removes the last of the restraints that He placed upon mankind during the time period of His government. Once again all nations are permitted to walk after their own ways, and this will make possible the divine testing of all who have lived under and enjoyed the rich blessings of the kingdom of God. In the day of the Lord we find such events as the emergence of the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:3), the final week of Israel’s seventy weeks (seven years) as prophesied by Daniel (9:27), the desecration of the temple of God (Matt. 24:15), the great tribulation, the short time of God’s vengeance, the second coming of Jesus Christ, His 1000 year parousia (personal presence), the binding of Satan for a thousand years, the "little season," the great white throne judgment, and the purging of the earth by fire to make way for the day of God. However, certain great events must precede all events that are related to the day of the Lord.

The first of these is the appearance and the successful ministry of Elijah the Prophet. This is expressly declared in Mal. 4:5-6:

* "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

The meaning of certain statements in this great promise are admittedly obscure, but its primary message is quite plain. We are told that before "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" comes, Elijah the prophet will be sent to the people of Israel, and he will do a work of vast importance and of such nature that it will remove any need for the Lord smiting the earth with a curse. Our Lord enlarged upon and further explained this great work when He said to His disciples: "Elias (Elijah) truly shall first come and restore all things" (Matt. 17:11).

There is great consolation in the fact that before the first vision in the book of Revelation is fulfilled, Elijah the prophet will have appeared, and he will restore man’s lost understanding of the divine idioms, signs, and figures used throughout this prophecy. The world will know what every word in Revelation means before any man is called upon to face the things revealed in it. We thank God for this.

If the man of faith will take God at His word and think in harmony with the truth declared in Mal. 4:5-6 and Matt. 17:11, no belief will be possible than that there is to be a period of beneficent and benevolent divine activity before the day of the Lord, and this will be achieved by God working through Elijah the prophet. All this will be in the day of Christ and under the kingdom of God. This is enough in itself to demonstrate that there will be a period of divine government before the second coming and the personal presence of Jesus Christ. Having dealt with "The Mission of Elijah" in Issue No. 91, the foregoing comments should be sufficient for this study.

Another positive statement of things that must take place before the great and notable day of the Lord comes is so immense and magnificent that it serves well as a challenge to all who do take God at His word and think accordingly. It is a real test of submission and faith.

* "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men (presbuteros—elders) shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come." Acts 2:17-20.

In this passage we find two definite time elements that enclose the promises made in it. "It shall come to pass in the last days . . . before the great and notable day of the Lord come." To find out what "the last days" are, we will need to read Isa. 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-8. In these passages we will find that the conditions described are those that will characterize the earth when God governs. The Acts passage is quoted from Joel and is Hebrew in character which explains why "last" here means "resultant," or as The Cambridge Bible declares its literal meaning to be "in the sequel of the days." There are at least ten specific prophecies, each one a promise of good, listed in Acts 2:17-20, all of which will be fulfilled to the letter in the last days, and before the great and notable (epiphanE—manifest) day of the Lord comes. No more positive words could be used to describe a time of divine activity before the fulfillment of the prophecies in Revelation begin.

One can only be amused at the vain struggles of those who try to stultify this passage, to make it say less than what it does, or to make it mean something different from what the Spirit has said. Since these words were spoken to "Ye men of Judea," we are told that this limits "all flesh" to Israel. Preposterous! One may as well say that since Gen. 6:13 was spoken to Noah, that "all flesh" meant only him.

Then we are told that verses 19 and 20 describe the great tribulation. If this is so, then the great tribulation is something that comes before the scenes of Revelation. And this would create two "great tribulations;" one before the day of the Lord and one in the day of the Lord. They link these two verses with Rev. 6:12, never stopping to think that one of these events precedes the day of the Lord, and the other happens in it. They cannot be the same event.

Such struggles against God’s truth reveal a lack of submission to His Word. May we meet the test of believing what God has said here and recognize in this passage a description of divine activity, benevolent and beneficent in its character that comes before the day of the Lord and precedes all events described in Revelation. This will call for a new concept of the last book of the Bible, and could make obsolete every commentary on this oracle of God. But, may we be equal to this also!

God’s future program for Israel and for the nations is first blessing followed by testing. The first great testing will come only after God has governed long. (See Issue No. 40). When God sees fit to remove all restraints and permits men again to walk after their own way, the true righteousness of the majority will be demonstrated and the hypocrisy of a minority will be revealed. This will result in an uprising against God on the part of some, and this is the revolt that must come before the day of the Lord (not the day of Christ as in KJV). We read of this rebellion in 2 Thess. 2:1-3, which I will literally translate as follows:

* Now we request you, brethren, in view of the personal presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him, that you be not quickly shaken from your mind nor be alarmed, either by spirit, or by word, or by a letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord is present. Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs, and the man of lawlessness be unveiled, the son of destruction.

The word translated "falling away" (KJV) here, and which I have translated "rebellion" is apostasia, which Septuagint usage demonstrates means a revolt. A record of this revolt is found in Psalms 2 and 83, and is spoken of as the rebellion in this passage.

Thus, the Word of God sets forth positive facts that indicate a period of divine activity that is no part of God’s present administration of grace, but must precede the day of the Lord. All prophetic systems leave no time for this. The question we now face is whether we will preserve our traditions or come to grips with the Word of God.


Issue no. 111

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh Lord My God...Has A Plan

Looking ahead

Dennis Glavin
I read this "one" sentance from Otis Sellers site and thought you would enjoy it.......

As the pages of the Old Testament are turned, one reads of a time to come when the entire flow of satanic evil will be overwhelmed by a greater flow of righteousness from one who is the seed of the woman, even Christ (Gen 3:15). He goes on to read of a time when all the ends of the earth will remember and be turned to the Lord (Psa. 22:27); when all the earth will fear the Lord and all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him (Psa. 33:8); when the meek will inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psa. 37:11): when the streams of God’s river will make glad the city of God (Psa. 46:4); when wars will cease and God will be exalted among the nations (Psa. 46:8-10); when God’s way will be known upon the earth and His saving health will be the portion of all nations (Psa. 67:2); when God will judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon the earth (Psa. 67:3-4); when God will bless Israel and all the ends of the earth will fear Him (Psa. 67:7); when all nations will call Him blessed and the whole earth be filled with His glory (Psa. 72:17, 19); when the world will be established so that it cannot be disrupted (Psa. 96:10); when the nations will fear the name of the Lord (Psa. 102:15); when one generation will praise His works to another and declare His mighty acts (Psa. 145:4); when God will turn His hand upon Israel and purge away her dross (Isa. 1:25); when the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established in the top of the mountains and all nations will flow unto it (Isa. 2:2); when nations will beat their swords into plowshares and turn all instruments of destruction into instruments of peace (Isa. 2:4); when the wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the kid and a little child will lead them (Isa. 11:6); when none will hurt or destroy, and the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9); when God’s judgments will be in the earth and the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness (Isa. 26:9); when the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of ‘the deaf’ be unstopped; when the lame will leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb sing (Isa. 35:5, 6); when the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh will see it together (Isa. 40:5); when God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, put His law in their inward parts and write it upon their hearts (Jer. 31:27, 33): when God will fulfill His great promise to Israel to seek them out, bring them out from all peoples and all countries and bring them to their own land, and to set one shepherd over them, even David (Ezek. 34:11-24); when out of Bethlehem will come One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2); when the Lord will be king over all the earth (Zech. 14:9).

Mark Phillips "I thinkass the 38,000 denominations do not like the God U pictured above my brother......"