Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 9, 2018

The Battle for the Earth, It’s All True, All of it! Part 4

 Thorns and Thistles, art by Adele Bower

The Preparation for the Next Big Step

The Trinity had made a promise to Adam and Eve to provide a Redeemer, one who would strike Satan’s head; this would be done in an unexpected manner, by God, the second person, taking on human form, dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Before that supreme act of redemption there was a lesson to teach, a lesson of humility that would show mankind the futility of human effort regarding redemption and pardon.

The Mosaic Law was given to demonstrate the helplessness of mankind to meet the requirements of a righteous and holy God; if Adam could not obey one command what are the odds his descendants could obey ten? Paul, a man with extensive training in the Mosaic Law, observed in Galatians 2:15-16:

15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

The promise God made to Adam and Eve was later repeated to Abraham; Paul reviews this promise in Galatians 3:16-19 where it is written:

16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. 17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.

The Mosaic Law has proved to be very effective in showing Adam’s descendents their sin; Paul addresses this in Romans 7:7-12 where it is written:

“7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.”

The Next Big Step

Even a casual reading of the Old Testament will reveal the extent of human failure under the Mosaic Law; what is surprising to me is the patience and grace shown by the Trinity to the stubborn and hard-hearted people he had chosen to be the channel of the great blessing he would provide at the appointed time. Approximately 400 years before the First Advent of the second person of the Trinity, all communications from the Trinity stopped, not a word was given to a single prophet of the Lord.

God had a wondrous plan prepared; at a carefully predetermined time the Living Word would come and become the Kinsman Redeemer, the long promised Messiah who could and would provide the redemption which mankind could not secure for itself. The birth, life, death and resurrection of the Promised One had been carefully scripted from eternity past; I have written on this in a three-part series named, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

The Trinity leaves nothing to chance; while years may pass with no evidence of change the plans of the Trinity move on with a precision that is beyond our understanding. Today we can look back over 1,984 years since the last divine manifestation; we can, however, know the next event planned by the Trinity is coming with absolute certainty and once again the change will be dramatic and forceful.

The Rapture and the End of the Church Age

A time is coming when the divine plan will again be overtly implemented; according to the Bible the next event is the removal of the church from the earth. This age in which we live started at Pentecost on May 25, 33 A.D. and was a mystery hidden from the Old Testament prophets. During the Church Age the Trinity has spoken through the Bible, his completed revelation to the church at this time. The Bible, and especially the New Testament, is God’s handbook for living for his adopted family, the church.

Then the true Church, all those who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, will be resurrected or taken up to meet with Christ in the air at an event called the Rapture of the Church.  This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it is written:

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.”

The Great Tribulation

At some point after the Church is removed, the Age of Israel will resume for a period of seven years; this will be a time of severe judgement on the entire world and Jesus warns his disciples in Matthew 24:21-22 where it is written:

“21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”

This time of judgement will be brought to a close by the return of the Promised One, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the unbeliever and reward the believer; those who survive this time of judgement will populate the earth during the 1,000-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next time we will consider the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final rebellion.


Responses

  1. So David it sounds like you are saying the dead do not rise to be with the Lord when they did but are in a state of rest. I understand the scripture does speak of the dead in Christ will rise, but does this mean the body only and the spirit is with God?

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    • I believe the spirit and soul of those who die go immediately into the presence of the Lord and base that on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 for example. The body, or what is left of the body, remains on earth until the appointed time of resurrection. For the Christian that will be the rapture at which time soul and spirit will be joined with a heavenly, eternal body created by God and that is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. I am not aware of any place in the Bible where the specific condition of the believer who has died and is home with the Lord is described before or after the rapture. I hope that helps.

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  2. I love you dad! Thank you for writing these blogs. I find great pleasure in contemplating the return of Christ.

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    • The thought of the Lord and his return always brightens my day. I love you too and you are one of the very important reasons I write the blogs.

      Like


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