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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What Is Your Hope For Today?


What is Your Hope?

1. Is it being seated with Christ in Heavenly Places, far above all heavens?
    ( Eph. 2:4-6, Col. 3:3-4)

2. Is it meeting with Him in the air, then returning to earth to judge the world?
    (Heavenly City, 1 Thess. 4:17, 1 Cor. 6:2)

3. Is it to welcome His return as King at the Mount of Olives upon the earth,
    (Zech. 14:4-5).

Often in talking to Christians about the present troubled state of the world I ask them about their hope. Almost without exception a believer tells me "I am looking for Christ's coming into the air- it may be at any moment now." 

It is put forth in plain language in 1Thess.4:15-17 and 1Cor.15:51-52 and in still simpler terms in John 14:2-3. This hope rests upon the "Word of the Lord" - that "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven, that the "dead in Christ shall rise first" and that "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so to be forever with him. 1Thess.4:15-17. We shall be changed, in the twinkling of an eye, into His likeness.1Cor.15:51-51,1John3:2.

It can be shown however, from the same letters of Paul to the Thessalonians and to the Corinthians as well as from his prison letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2Tim.), that this is not the hope set before the faithful believer at the present time.
The church of Thessalonica were followers of the CHURCHES OF GOD in Judea, 1Thess 2:14 . They were expecting "the Day of THE LORD" and were told by Paul that the apostasy from the faith must come first and be followed by the revelation of the man of sin 2Thess2:3-12. The Temple of God in Jerusalem is spoken of in verse 4. The voice of the archangel is in keeping with all this, for Michael is the great Prince which standeth for the children of Israel (Dan.12:1-2). This hope will be realized at the last trump (1Cor.15:52). This is the last of the seven trumpets of Revelation and it is sounded in Revelation 11:15, at the time of the judgments of God in Jerusalem after the ascent of the two witnesses following their death at the hand of the Beast from the bottomless pit. We can see therefore that this hope cannot be realized any moment. It is noteworthy too that the Christians who hold this hope are expected to "come behind in no gift" and to live as if they were not married 1Cor.1:7, 7:29. 

Trumpets have always had to do with the earthly hope and Israel. There is not a mention of a trumpet in any of Paul's prison epistles which reveal the Great Mystery. Also, Abraham is not mentioned even once. Why do you suppose that is so? Could it be that we do not look for a "city whose builder and maker is God."? Could it be, because our hope does not have anything to do with the earth? The omission of words and phrases can speak volumes. Search and See

The earthly hope is associated with Christ as the Messiah and the Son of Man and is likened to the lightning, Matt.24:27. It is set forth in innumerable Bible passages. It is the hope of the Gospel of the Kingdom, i.e that Christ shall return as King and is therefore the hope of the book of the Acts. Acts1:11, 3:19-20, 28:20. It's realization is dependent on the repentance of Israel. It is set forth by Paul in: 

Romans 15:11-13; "And again, Esais saith, there shall be a root of Jesse and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope (Isaiah 11:10). Now the God of that hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." 

This was nothing new for it was foretold in Isaiah 65:1,2.   The healings, tongues, and ministry of angels which mark the book of the Acts were consistent with this earthly hope of the Kingdom. When the Jews rejected the Kingdom in Acts 28:23-27, the earthly Kingdom was postponed.  The signs and wonders associated with the Kingdom continued all the way through the book of Acts, even to Acts 28:3-6, where Paul was bitten by a viper without harm. In Acts 28:17 Paul who was bound for Israel (v.20) once again gathered the Jews again to testify nothing more than -

"... expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Paul tried to persuade Israel for the last time out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets. Then his final pronouncement: 

Acts 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of 
God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

Paul's 1st seven books were concerning this Kingdom. It included 1,2 Cor. 1,2 Thess. Romans,Galatians, Hebrews.While the Kingdom was in view, the signs and wonders were associated with it and the Gentiles were grafted in as a wild olive branches to provoke them to jealousy.This grafting in to provoke Israel to jealousy was nothing new. 
It was foretold by Moses and Isaiah.

Rom. 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy 
by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

Rom. 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
After the last pronouncement of blindness in Acts 28, a new and glorious hope was given to Paul, which is the Mystery. It involves a group of believers whose hope is the highest of heavens. This hope was never before known, but hid in God, till revealed to Paul. His prayer throughout was for the Saints to know "what is the hope of His calling, for this was a NEW hope never before revealed to the Old Testament Prophets.   

This gospel of the Glory is proclaimed by Paul in his prison letters. It imparts the ascension power of Christ to the faithful believer, setting him in Christ far above allheavens in the heavenly places and blessing him there with every spiritual blessing. It calls him to the privilege of knowing the fellowship of Christ's sufferings and sets before him a hope consistent with the super heavenly nature of His calling. The seven-fold unity of the Spirit embraces this hope, to which the eyes of our hearts have to be enlightened (Eph.4:4, 1:18). It is layed up for us in heaven and we must not be moved away from it, for it is the hope of Glory that we shall be manifested in Christ in Glory (Col.1:5,23,27, 3:4). This appearing of our Great God and Saviour is called the blessed hope (Titus 2:13). When He appears, He will change our bodies of humiliation and fashion them like unto His body of Glory (Phil.3:20-21). If we love His appearing we shall receive a prize - the crown of righteousness (Phil.3:14-15, 2Tim.4:8,18). There are no voices, signs or trumpets associated with this hope. As the Churches do not proclaim it, we must be prepared for rejection and isolation and be ready to endure all things in holding fast to it. Christ Jesus our Head will never forsake us.

Something to ponder: This hope is very spiritual and requires more faith than any of the other hopes before. The City of Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven has a description of it in Rev.21. We do not have a description of "far above all", the heavenly places,  except for the types and shadows of the Holy of Holies recorded in the O.T. The books written to those who embrace the Mystery and the hope of heavenly places truly are the Saints and FAITHFUL (full of faith) in Christ Jesus.
Which is your hope?
The above, though it may be new to you, is but elementary to those who realize what it means to be a member of the Church which is His Body.

See this chart "What is Acts 28?"


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Brother Mark. Was it difficult for me to give up the "rapture"? Yes! But I don't want to keep a false hope if it goes against the plain sense of Scripture. Our future in heaven is a glorious one no matter how and when we arrive there! Thanks for another easy-to-understand article.