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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Hidden Secret In God Found In Ephesians Now Revealed

The Mystery in Ephesians
Tom Ballinger 


This epistle 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 and the 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 (3:5); hidden in God (3:9)., never revealed in the Scriptures, but made known to the Apostle Paul by means of a special revelation (3:3). The great "Mystery'' (i.e. the secret), is that of the Church of the "One Body'' (2:16) with Christ Jesus revealed as its Head. It concerns the "one new man'' (2: 15), (i.e. "a perfect man'') (4:1 3). It makes known a sphere of blessing "Far above all heavens'' (4:10) which had never been the subject of man's delight. But now it is made known that God has an election out of the earth that was chosen in Christ before the world began ( 1 :4). This calling is destined to occupy the heavenly places where Christ is now enthroned and seated at The Father's Own Right Hand. Those who have received the "adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself'' ( l :5) will one day be received up into glory "far above all principality and power'' ( l :21). and there to enjoy the inconceivable glory. Truth contained in this epistle is immeasurably higher than the glorious truth concerning the Kingdom.

This company of believers has already been blessed with "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places'' (1 :3). They are viewed as having been quickened, raised, and exalted together with Him. The Church of the One Body is the only company and calling of God's redeemed that is said to be "To the praise of the glory of His grace.''

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 Ephesian Epistle that God is concerned with His own purpose. His own will, His own Son and His own inheritance.

Ephesians is for those who have enlightened eyes that they may see the revelation of the Mystery. This epistle is considered "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 ritual, rites, form and ceremony 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.

This Ephesian Epistle was written after the landmark of Acts 28:28 was reached. The dispensational boundary line was crossed at Acts 28:28 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 when the Apostle Paul solemnly pronounced Israel's blindness in Acts 28. For with his pronouncement in Acts 28:28, Kingdom truth ended abruptly. Ephesians explains God's purpose and silence during this present age. Shortly after Paul made known to the Christians that the Lord is no longer dealing on Kingdom grounds but rather on the basis of the Mystery, they turned from him and the new revelation. Before Paul is martyred he testifies 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 those epistles Paul wrote before he knew the Mystery.

Paul told Timothy that as a workman that needeth not 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 after. This we will do as we set forth below the two sets of epistles. Recognize that the Apostle had two ministries - one during the Acts period and the other after the Acts period ended.

Ministry During the Acts Period

Past Dispensation
1&2 Thessalonians
1&2 Corinthians
Romans Ministry During the Post Acts Period

Present Dispensation
1&2 Timothy
Present Truth is found in those 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. Charles H. Welch gives a good outline of the seven epistles in his work entitled, "Heavenly places'' which we will set forth below.

A.Ephesians The dispensation of the Mystery made known to and through the Apostle, as the prisoner of Jesus Christ.

B. Philippians Bishops and Deacons; Prize of the high calling; Work out . . . salvation; Try the things that differ.

C. Colossians The dispensation of the Mystery, and similar teaching to Ephesians with warning added concerning the prize. Personal exhibition of truth.

D. Philemon
Teaching having personal regard to individual servants with respect to work of administration while the new teaching was being established.

A. 1 Timothy
The Mystery of Godliness; Bishops and Deacons appointed; Special instructions in view of the great dispensational change.

B. Titus
Bishops appointed to maintain the truth against Judaistic opposition. The truth which is after godliness.
C. 2 Timothy
No Bishops or Deacons; Intensely individual. The Crown; Right Division; Opposers of the Truth.

"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. '' 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 saved 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 what God has said.''

This letter is addressed to the saints , but more in particular to the ones who will believe the latest revelation from the God and Father of 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. This secret, called "the Mystery'', has been hid in God. God the Father had kept a secret and had not made it known until He gave it to Paul the prisoner by special revelation. Paul calls this special revelation "the testimony of the Lord's prisoner'' in 2 Tim. 1:8. He tells Timothy not to be ashamed of this testimony. In PLAINER WORDS, 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 church which is "His body the fullness of Him that filleth all in all'' is found in this peculiar cluster of epistles we call the prison epistles. The FAITHFUL believe what is heard from God, not just that which is written for other ages and dispensations but 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 that this secret, the Mystery, is made known. The high truth concerning the Church of the One 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's why Paul addresses this to the saints at Ephesus and the FAITHFUL IN CHRIST JESUS.

As he always does, he 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 Eph. 3:2, Paul says that "the dispensation of the GRACE OF GOD is given me to you-ward''. So, since God's administration of HIS program 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).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Paid In Full Or Not....

When a person reads the Bible thru the lens that "JESUS PAID THE PRICE FOR SIN" then it is hard to believe that God will PUNISH FOREVER IN FIERY HELL those whose sins "HE PAID FOR IN FULL"!
UNLESS, of course Jesus DIDN'T REALLY pay for the sins of the world "IN FULL"!
When you paid for something IN FULL--how do you turn around and REINSTALL THE DEBT-- WITH PUNISHMENT? Was it TRULY--NOT PAID FOR? OR, JUST PAID FOR SOME--MAKING IT INCOMPLETE? Can ANYONE point me to a verse that states the "Jesus ONLY paid for the sins of those who accept Him"?
YES! YES? John 3:16-- it CONTAINS a "qualifier"! "...whosoever (not everybody) believeth in Him SHALL NOT PERISH..."
A. Who are the "whosoevers"? Everyone! But not everyone will "call upon the name of the Lord" in this life! "Every kneel shall bow and every tongue confess" will be as a result of the purification in the Lake of Fire experience in the NEXT life!" Is there a QUALIFIER in the verse "He that cometh to Me, I will IN NO WISE CAST OUT" that says "in THIS earthly life ONLY"?
OR-Could God have PAID THE SIN DEBT IN FULL and selecting (choosing) some to follow Him on earth while SAVING THE REMAINDER in the "second and third harvest" through the Lake of Fire
experience? I believe this to be the truth so that God can be "ALL IN ALL" --NOT "PART IN PART".
B. What does "PERISH" mean?
QUESTION: When someone PERISHES in a house fire--does that mean they DIED in the house fire?
OR, does that mean they "semi-DIED BUT they will live on and on forever in a "burning condition"?

What DOES the verse then mean? It means that "the soul that sinneth--it shall DIE"! BUT, God will NEVER ALLOW A PERSON'S SOUL TO DIE (PERISH) Because Jesus PAID the PENALTY for MAN"S SIN!
God doesn't believe in DOUBLE JEOPARDY! The SOUL vanishes at death but is restored in the earthly condition (but without the sin nature) when REUNITED with the spiritual BODY and SPIRIT!

Did the GOOD SHEPHERD FAIL in not finding and saving all His "wayward sheep"? Would the GOOD SHEPHERD create His "sheep" as "dumb, stubborn and prone to wander" and then TORTURE HIS SHEEP ETERNALLY for displaying those INNATE characteristics?? Did the father NOT welcome back
the PRODIGAL SON? This VOLUNTARY returning/seeking God is the BEST example of the Lake of Fire purification experience for unbelievers in the next life!


Absent From The Body

"Absent from the Body
Present with the Lord"

The Scripture verse in 2 Corinthians 5:8 is often misquoted and misunderstood. Many like to use this as if it's proof that we are immediately in the presence of the Lord upon dying. This teaching is far from the Word of God but is a tradition believed by the majority of Christians. It is the root of all spiritism and began back in the Garden of Eden when Satan uttered the first lie:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.(Gen. 3:4,5)  

This first lie should not be glossed over. It is the opposite of what God told man in the garden:

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

God says "Thou shalt surely die"
Satan says "Tho shalt NOT surely die..thou shalt be as gods (spirits)

Does this have a familiar ring?

Most Christians believe that you don't really die but your immortal soul goes up to heaven if a believer or to a burning hell if an unbeliever.

This is in complete contradiction on God's description of death:
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Only Christ is said to have immortality at this time, (1 Tim. 6:16) There are no "immortal souls" floating around in heaven or hell. Did you know that the term "immortal soul" cannot be found in the Bible? It is man-made term. Search and see.

There are many scripture verses that tell us of a "raising" out of sleep, and a"putting on" of immortality, which Christ gives to us at that day (2Tim.4:8).  

The passage in Corinthians has to do with the saints whose hope was to dwell with Christ at his Kingdom on earth. It is obvious that this resurrection is postponed, because the King did not return to set up His kingdom, due to Israel's blindness and lack of repentance, see Acts 3:19,20 and Acts 28:25-28.

The Bible tells us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God
(1Cor.15:50) and Paul knew this. Therefore, Paul had a desire to escape this
"naked state" spoken of in verse 2Cor. 5:3. He did not want to feel the sting of death that so many other saints before him felt. He groaned to be clothed with the glorious body he so longed for, so that he could be present with Christ. He knew that, while he was in that mortal body, he could not be present with Him at His Kingdom. (v.2) He expected Christ to return at any moment to give immortality to those saints whose hope was the Kingdom on earth.

The subject of 2 Cor.5:1-8 is not about dying and immediately being in the
presence of the Lord. It is about a desire to be clothed with the spiritual body at Christ's coming. If you read the verses preceding v.8, you will see the subject concerns resurrection and a longing not to suffer the naked state, but to be clothed in the glorious resurrection body at His coming, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52). It has nothing to do with the Satan-generated lie of the "immortal soul." It has to do with resurrection and a desire to escape the naked state (death) at His coming.

Paul knew, that while he was in his mortal body, he would not be present with the Lord. 2Cor 5:6 - "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord." It is obvious that he'd rather be absent from that mortal body and present with the Lord. Paul, who was flesh and blood at that time, knew that could only happen in resurrection, when that mortal MUST put on immortality and when the corruptible MUST put on incorruptible. (1Cor.15:53,54) It is only Christ, dwelling in the light (heaven), who has immortality (1Tim.6:16). The saints, whose hope was the Kingdom on earth, will one day realize their hope in resurrected bodies from the grave (Hosea 13:14).
" I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction..." (see also, 1Cor 15:55). “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Study concerning 2 Cor. 5:1-8

1. He groaned in his tabernacle (mortal body), which is described as his earthly house. (vs.1)

2. What did he groan about? Paul groaned (desired exceedingly) to be clothed with his resurrection body. (vs.2)

3. He did not desire to be found naked (dead) (vs.3) - see also Job 1:21,26:6 - but wanted to experience his change in the twinkling of an eye (See also: 1Thess. 4:15-17).

4. He groaned to be clothed with his immortal body, so that he would not see death (be naked), that mortality might be swallowed up of life (vs.3,4, See also 1 Cor.15: 53,54).

5. His Spirit is given to the believer, and thereby sealed until the day of redemption (vs. 5, See also 2Cor. 1:22, and Ephesians 1:14).

6. He knows assuredly that while he is at home in his mortal body, he is absent from the Lord (vs. 6).  But when the Lord returns, he will put on immortality and thereby be ever present with the Lord. (1Thess.4:17)
Paul could surely have declared "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory", if the Kingdom had not been postponed. Paul's desire in this passage was to not taste the sting of death at that time. But after the Kingdom was postponed at Acts 28:28, Paul was resigned to death and resurrection. He looked for His appearing "in that day" (2 Tim 4:6-8).

7. They walk by faith, knowing that they will be clothed. (vs.7)

8. Paul was willing to be clothed with his immortal body and be present with the Lord. This is like saying, I'm ready and willing to be present with the Lord in my immortal body, and be absent from this mortal body thereby not experiencing the sting of death (vs.8, see also 1Cor.15:55).

9. He knows that while he is at home in that mortal body, he is not present with the Lord. (vs.6,8) No one could enter the kingdom that was not clothed with their immortal body because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God". (1Cor.15:50)

In conclusion, do these passages have to do with resurrection? Or, do they have to do with dying immediately and floating up to heaven as some platonic "immortal soul"?
D. Kelson

Monday, June 3, 2013

Appear In Glory With Him

The timing of the realization of our BLESSED HOPE......After Israel were put to one side at the end of the book of Acts, Paul was inspired to write Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 1@Timothy, Titus and Philemon.
In Ephesians we read of the wonderful new hope set before us believers today;
Eph 2:1 And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins,
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us
Eph 2:5 (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), Eph 2:6 and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
Eph 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
God has declared that we have been quickened (made alive) in Christ, we have been raised together, and seated together in the heavenlies in Christ, exactly the same place where Christ has been raised and seated at the Father’s right hand, see Ephesians 1:19-21. There, where Christ is seated above all of the heavenly rulers and authorities, is our glorious inheritance in front of God’s face. There our blessings are located and there we are the heirs of God. Is it any wonder Paul brings this wonderful section to a close with these verses;
Eph 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,
Eph 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Many Christians love these verses thinking they only refer to Christ dying for our sin and sins, but the salvation provided by grace through faith in Ephesians 2 goes way past these foundational truths to include our glorious inheritance in the heavenlies and the unique blessings we have there. We have been raised and seated together in the heavenlies that is the context of “FOR by grace you are saved through faith”. Praise the Lord, what a wonderful salvation by grace!
This salvation is not an earthly one. We, the Church which is His Body, are not destined for the earth. We are not to be blessed with faithful Abraham; nor is the Jerusalem above the mother of us all today. These things were put aside with Israel at Acts 28. Galatians, 1@2Corinthians, 1@2 Thessalonians, Hebrews and Romans which were written before Acts 28, speak of Christ dying for our sins, but they know nothing of the wonderful hope we have today by grace through faith as found in Ephesians and Colossians written after Acts 28. After Israel was put aside then the Lord gave to Paul this wonderful salvation concerning heavenly places. This hope is an element of the Mystery, the present dispensation of the grace of God which was hidden away from ages and generations and it was also hidden away from Paul during the Acts period.
We now begin to address a very important question. Since God’s Word says we, in Christ, have been raised and seated in the heavenlies where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, exactly when will we literally be seated there in the heavenlies or heavenly places? In other words, when will our hope become sight? When will our faith be realized? When will God’s Word regarding us come to pass? When will we be seated there in our wonderful new bodies “fashioned like His glorious body”? What is the timing of our hope?
The answer to this is found in Colossians 3:1-4 which flows wonderfully onwards from Ephesians 2; Col 3:1 If then (or since, if does not always mean doubt) you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ our Life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Here we are clearly told that “WHEN” our Lord, The Head is revealed, “THEN” we, the Church which is His Body, will also be revealed “WITH HIM”. That is the timing of our hope; the revealing of our Lord. Here are one or two other versions:
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (KJV)
Col 3:1 If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory. (RV)
These three versions use “revealed”, “appear” and “manifested” to translate the Greek word “phaneroo”. Here are some helpful definitions of “phaneroo”:
phaneroo; from G5318; to render apparent (literally or figuratively): - appear, manifestly declare, (make) manifest (forth), shew (self).
Word Study (E-Sword).
phaneroo; manifest, visible, conspicuous. To make apparent, manifest, known, show openly.
Dr Strong says that the word “phaneroo” comes from another word, G5318 which is “phaneros”. Phaneros means “shining” and itself comes from a word which means “light, to give light”.
When our Lord appears it is a moment of revelation involving great light, a shining forth. Where is this shining forth; this appearing of our Lord? The location is very clearly identified; it is “where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God”. Our Lord will be seated at God’s right hand when He is manifested. We shall look more closely at this in a later lesson but for now we recognize this is not in the air of 1 Thess.4, where the clouds are located.
We can see a contrast in this Colossians passage. Notice, our life is “hidden with Christ in God” and while these things are hidden now, there is a time coming when they will be manifested or revealed. This moment will be a very bright one, a blazing forth as some have described it. It will be a glorious moment when our Lord and Head is manifested, but you and me and the rest of the Church which is His Body will be manifested there, in the heavenly places with Him.
What will this appearing be like? Imagine you are sitting on a chair on top of a hill which, if there was light, would be clearly visible to the city below. The hill and the city are in darkness but there comes a time when the top of the hill is illuminated with a bright light. Then you, sitting on top of the hill, will be clearly visible to all those in the city below. You on your chair have been “manifested”, you have been “revealed”, you have “appeared” to all. In a similar but far more extensive way the Lord will appear to all in a blazing forth of light. He will be seen by those in the heavenly places, and by those on the earth beneath.
Please consider the following verses as an anticipation of future lessons;
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even to the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Mat 24:30 And then the sign of the Son of Man shall appear (phaino-the same family of words giving phaneroo of Colossians 3) in the heavens.
Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious (epiphanes- the same family of words giving phaneroo of Colossians 3) Day of the Lord.
Mat 26:64 Jesus said to him, You said it. I tell you more. From this time you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of the heavens.
Act 7:56 And he (Stephen) said, Behold, I see Heaven opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.
And this passage;
Rev 6:12 And when He had opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs when she is shaken by a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed like a scroll when it is rolled together. And every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.
Rev 6:16 And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
When the Lord is manifested in the heavenly places, the world will be morally, spiritually and physically dark and in that darkened day a light will blaze forth, our Lord shall be visible and “every eye shall see Him”. The heavens will be peeled back and they will see Him sitting on the right hand of God.
This “appearing” of our Lord and Head is far above the clouds, and the air of 1 Thess.4. This is before He begins His descent to the earth. In the day; in the moment our Lord is manifested on the right hand of God, we shall be there in our seats manifested with Him. What an honor, what a moment of unimaginable joy. Let each one of us set our affection “where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God”, for there, in front of God’s face, we have been raised and seated to “appear with Him”.
That moment of His appearing is when our hope will be realized.