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.

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.

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