The Present Hatred for Jesus the Christ
The closer we come to the Triumphant Day of Jesus Christ, the greater will this hatred grow! We must be will to face a barrage of hate and rejection in this last hour. Fear not saints that He will fail us.
There is a worldwide yearning for a Christ — someone to save us from our own hands of destruction and someone to answer the call of spiritual hunger in human hearts. In 1982 the Tara Center in California produced a full-page ad in major newspapers proclaiming, “The Christ is here.” The writer described their Christ in ecumenical terms. Such a universal expectation cannot be taken lightly.
The enemy of righteousness and of the Kingdom of God has never failed to produce a counterfeit. At every Biblical junction there has been a barrage of false signs and signals produced by the idiot god, Satan. The design is obviously calculated to frustrate the Biblical prophecies and to confuse the unsuspecting. There continues to be someone or some group who constantly sets a date at which Jesus Christ is to appear. The growing frequency of these hypes and the gullibility of many to believe their predictions indicate a growing sense of urgency.
Apostle Paul described this universal hunger for redemption. “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:19-23).
He clearly shows that this hope is expressed in all human hearts. Deep in the human spirit is a God-given call for the Creator. He said, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” for this manifestation of redemption. He adds, “…not only they (the unredeemed world), but ourselves (the body of Christ) also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” This universal call for a redeemer was clearly prophesied by Apostle Paul and appears to have now reached an unparalleled fulfillment. The “Day of the Lord” is at hand.
The “Day of Jesus Christ”
In PaulÂ’s second letter to the Thessalonians church he dealt with this idea of the “Day of Christ.” “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:1-8).
What does the Bible writer mean by the “Day of Christ” or the “Day of the Lord?” The context will show that they were not speaking of one event of a one-day affair, but of a period in which Jesus Christ would be revealed in all of His redemption. Just as we see the church period as a dispensation that has now covered almost 2,000 years, so the “Day of Christ” will over a minimum of 1,007 years. It is the time of His glory and revelation.
The “Day of Christ” can be easily divided into three sections. The first is the “Day of His Lordship,” in which He will rapture the Bride, reward her for her faithful service, and celebrate with her at the Marriage Supper. The second section is the “Day of His Judgment,” which we call the Tribulation or the Wrath of God. It covers a minimum of seven years. The last is the “Day of His Kingship.” He will sit on the Throne of David governing Israel and will reign as the “King of Kings” over the entire universe for a millennium (1,000 years).
The “Day of His Lordship” (When He is Manifest to His Church)
It is easy to see some overlap between the church dispensation and the “Day of His Lordship.” Only those who surrender to His redeeming grace and allow Him to rule their lives are truly His disciples. He said, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). He must be Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all. We cannot serve God and mammon. At the present His Lordship is spiritual and His kingdom is in our heart. When He appears in the clouds suddenly and without warning, He will resurrect the dead and transform the living. That will be the triumphant day of “His Lordship.
This glorious event that Apostle Paul called the Rapture (caught up) will signal the beginning of the “Day of the Lord.” His Lordship over the saints that has existed in a spiritual relationship for the duration of the church universal will now become an intrinsic and personal union. Each saint will have a new name written in a white stone known only to Him and the individual. The seven promises to the seven churches in Revelation chapter two and three show the extent of His personal commitment to those saved and made overcomers by His grace.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:11b). “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:17b). “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star” (Revelation 2:26-28). “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5). “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10). “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). This is His sevenfold promise.
This is His revelation of completed redemption to the called and chosen Bride. Apostle Paul revealed this as a mystery to the Corinthian saints. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (I Corinthians 15:51-54).
The “Day of Christ” begins with this glorious revelation of our resurrected and raptured bodies to begin our reign with Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “That where I am there ye may be also” (John 14:3b). His Lordship over the Church will now be revealed in the glory that the Father has desired for His creation. We will receive our reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, revel in the Banquet and Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and then mount our white horses – dressed in sparkling white – to return with Christ from Heaven to finish the Battle of Armageddon and set up a righteous government on planet earth.
The “Day of Christ’s Judgment”
The second aspect of the “Day of Christ” is a judicial and legal act of cleansing. The earth is under the curse of sin and is controlled, governmentally, by the “god” of this world. He is also the “prince of the power of the air” so he rules in both the physical and mental spheres. Any talk about a righteous kingdom or dominion by godly people over this earth is just unbiblical foolishness until the “Day of His Judgment” has occurred. His judicial cleansing will purify this earth by fiery indignation. The moral condition of our world cultures would certainly suggest that His cup of wrath is nigh full.
A breathtaking picture of this impending judgment was revealed to John in the panorama of the Revelation. “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:1-10).
This little book was more than a casual scroll of insignificance. It represented the title deed of a lost possession and the judicial acts for its repossession. Its importance was revealed in the search for someone worthy to take it from the Eternal Father’s hand and to transact its processes. Again, the great importance of its content was visible in the weeping of aged Satin John because no one was found. Even greater in significance was the vision of a worthy personage to take this book. John then saw “a Lamb as it had been slain,” while a redeemed elder spoke to John, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.”
Every act and victory from this scene in Revelation chapter five until the earth is a planet of “righteousness” was written in this book. It was the document that Apostle Paul called the “purchased possession.” “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:14).
Only Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God – had paid the ransom price, which was written in blood at Calvary. He could take this book and open its seal because He had been slain as a vicarious offering unto God. This prophetic scene will be transacted in full view of the raptured saints as the seven year Tribulation Period begins. Every picture of carnage and distortion during the seven years (70th week of Daniel) will follow the opening of this sealed book. It is the going forth of righteous judgment to cast out the dispossessed and clean up the dung of sin’s folly.
So often the Book of Revelation is viewed as the revelation of Lucifer, the Antichrist, and the false prophet. They play a significant role, but only because his grand finale is allowed by God. Satan is given a last chance to show an unbelieving world the folly of rebellion against the Creator.
Jesus Christ is the centrality of this closing book of the Biblical revelation. He will judge the earth in righteousness and make a crooked world straight and ready for possession by the rightful heirs. All preparation for this event was secured at His cross of redemption. The Father has spoken, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Hebrews 1:13b). This is an extremely important part of the “Day of Christ.” His holiness demands justice. Whatever part of this world’s system that is not redeemed by His grace in the church dispensation will be judged by His grace in the period of His “Day of Judgment.” Then He can reign in righteousness.
The “Day of His Kingship”
As Jesus Christ the Lamb takes the little book from the Father’s right hand, the redeemed saints break forth in celebration. It is the day they (we) have been waiting for so long. Their song is of great significance. After they sing of their redemption and His worthiness, they then sing. “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
Probably the most important message of the Book of Revelation is the fact that a kingship of Jesus Christ will be established on this earth. The entire Bible pictures the fall of man from the Garden of Eden into a garden of slime and crookedness. The best efforts of both the secular and religious world have been clouded with the wicked inclinations of human flesh. Man is desperately wicked and has no hope apart from the Savior. Yet, he longs for a world in control.
We were created to rule under the theocracy of our Creator. Man is a lofty creature and has an innate ability to take dominion. Present efforts in this direction almost always end in greed and personal aggrandizements because of our fallen nature. Redeemed and glorified flesh with Jesus Christ as King of Kings will accomplish God’s intended earthly dominion. It will be a world of breathtaking beauty and “holiness unto the Lord.”
The nation of Israel and the capital city of Jerusalem will finally witness the glory prophesied by the First Testament prophets. Zechariah spoke of this day. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 14:20-21).
Malachi added to this, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 4:2-3).
Isaiah made a crowning description of the glory of Christ’s kingship over His chosen people and their future under His righteous reign. “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isaiah 62:1-5).
While the nation of Israel with Jesus Christ on the Throne of David, experiences unparalleled prosperity, the Gentile Bride will rule the kingdoms of the world. Glorified saints will be kings and priests and a garden-like atmosphere will develop on a worldwide scale. Seasons and climates will be altered as the pristine purity of early creations returns to crown the reclaimed world for its Creator. John made several prophetic statements to our future expectation. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:5-6). “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).
It is very important to understand that Israel’s blessings during the Millennium will be larger than just the one nation. It is a worldwide prosperity of abundance, peace, and righteousness. One of God’s specific promises to Abraham and Israel was to make them a blessing to all mankind. Here is God’s promise, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3). The church may have special promises as the Gentile Bride of Jesus Christ, but we also share every promise to Abraham because in Christ we are the sons of Abraham.
A New Heaven and A New Earth
Heaven is already the place of indescribable beauty. When Paul was caught up to the third Heaven (1st Atmospheric Heaven, 2nd Celestial Heaven, 3rd Heavenly Jerusalem), he called it paradise. Â“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utterÂ” (II Corinthians 12:2-4).
His testimony was indicative of a mental eclipse. He was so overwhelmed by the splendor (Â“ParadiseÂ” means Eden or a place of great unspoiled beauty.) that he sounded unsure of how to explain what had transpired. The words he heard were unspeakable. There was no language this educated man knew to describe what he had seen.
Regardless of the beauty of Heaven, God the Creator is going to make it new. The new beauty and glory will be such that no celestial being or living creature will ever invade with another rebellion. There will be no more Lucifer.
There is a problem in imagining a new Heaven, but no such problem exists as to the earth. It is now groaning and travailing for such a day when everything old becomes new again. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22).
Every natural disaster is an expression of earth’s travail. It seems strange to us that the very earth we stand on, the air we breathe, and the environment we inhabit is in bondage to sin and its results. Sin and unjudged rebellion have become an intimate part of nature itself. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19).
There have been 6,000 years of human rebellion, shedding of innocent blood, and disobedience to sacred laws. One can understand why the world is in such complete turmoil. But this earth will be new – free from every mark of sin. All the explosions of life that were evident in the Garden of Eden will be present and accelerated. We shall see an incredible display of creation and a beautiful world full of everything that suggests life at its supernatural best.
Present Jerusalem will be earth’s capital city forever. The beauty of this re-created jewel will shine with splendor. Israel, as a nation, will inhabit the original promised Palestine.
Not only will the present land be a massive Garden of Eden, but also the contour of the land and sea will be altered. There will be no more seas occupying two-thirds of the earth’s surface. Yes, there will be rivers, streams, and adequate water supply; but they will be available to serve the land, not just to cover it.
It will be a world filled with every imaginable fruit, vegetable, and delightful food. The animals will be present to enhance and beautify, not to kill or be killed. The Creator can again look at His creation and say, “It is very, very good.”
The “Day of Christ” Completed
The Messiah (Jesus Christ) is coming. This time He will come not as an infant sharing the likeness of sinful men, but as the glorified and exalted kinsman Redeemer. He will take possession of His rightful throne and will be magnified in His redeemed family and creation. When the Millennium of Peace is concluded, Satan has been cast into the Lake of Fire, and the New Jerusalem is the dwelling place of His Bride; then, the “Day of the Lord” or the “Day of Christ” will be finished.
His last act as Redeemer and Finisher will be to deliver the new creation to God, the Father. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:24-28).
The “Day of Jesus Christ” is a certainty. While the time is unannounced, our duty is to watch and be ready. There are three things Jesus told us to do: “Let your loins be girded about (ready to run the race of faith), and your lights burning (filled with the Holy Spirit), and ye yourselves like unto men (women) that wait for their Lord” (Luke 12:35a).
“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:35-37).
At any moment, He cometh!