Plainer Words since 1968
March 29, 2011
PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …THE LAKE OF FIRE
The “Day of Christ” dawns when Titus 2:13 and 2 Timothy 4:1 become a reality. This prophetic event is the next one on God’s Prophetic Calendar.
We have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world which is to come—the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. By grace, we have been granted the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph.1:18). In plainer words, the “eyes of our understanding” have been enlightened in order for us to “see” what the Hope of His Calling is.
Our Calling is unique in the annals of His callings. The Hope of Our Calling is bound up in the Appearing of Christ in His Kingdom. We have often wondered, “Do we really know the significance of our calling?” Scripturally speaking, the word,” calling,” is an “invitation.” Joseph Thayer, in his Lexicon, informs us that the Greek word is “kleesis” (NT: #2821), and it means: “1). a calling, calling to; or 2). An INVITATION to … (Eph. 1:18).” This is not a universal Invitation. Some of God’s redeemed have received a very special Invitation to become members of the Church, over which Christ Jesus is the Head, and some of His redeemed have not been issued the Invitation. Sadly, there are those who were issued an Invitation but decided they wouldn’t accept it. They enjoyed being accepted in the sphere of worldly Christianity in which the 2nd Coming of Christ is acknowledged as the next prophetic event to take place; thus, denying Christ His Day. There are some invitees who grow weary or disillusioned as they wait for the Blessed Hope. Some invitees, we have known, have “pulled-a-Demas” and folded (threw away the cards he was dealt) and walked away.
“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica …” (2 Tim. 4:10).
In plainer words, Demas loved the Christianity of this world at the time; whereas, the one Paul proclaimed “got no respect.” In fact was a in prison.
We who have had the eyes of our understanding enlightened by Christ Jesus know what the Hope of His calling is, according to Ephesians 1:18-19.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power” (Eph. 1:18-19).
When the Lord Jesus Christ removes the prince of this world’s darkness [Satan]; then, He will assume His rightful place as the only Sovereign of the universe.
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:13).
Then, our Hope will give way to sight and becomes a reality! When Demas lives again, he will regret his carelessness regarding the Invitation he discarded.
“Looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the glorious APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His APPEARING and His KINGDOM;” (Tim. 4:1).
The Hope of His calling comes before any of the other callings. The Hope made known after Acts 28, the Mystery, will have a prior Hope.
Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church [Ecclesia], which is His Body. We, as members, will either be changed, or raised-out from among the dead, and will take our station in the world-wide Government of Jesus Christ. We will be busy manning our post which will be “far above all” the heavenly officers—which is to say, the Principalities, Powers, Mights, Thrones, and Dominions. These are the Heavenly beings, which are “in Christ, who exercise rule of the heavenly cosmos.
This Ecclesia, which is His Body, will rank far above them all in position, authority, dignity, and responsibility. Today, this magnificent Body of believers is unrecognizable in this world, but not among these Heavenly Creatures. Today’s high calling has no appointed meeting place, or places. It has no earthly headquarters; nor, does it have any officials. In fact, its life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). Its members have no recognized or official duties or ministries. Heads of State never meet with this Church. Nor, do the congresses of this world ever seek their advice. The government leaders don’t even know that It exists. If they did, they would persecute It! By God’s grace, we are en-graced into this calling, having accepted His Invitation. Faith is our RSVP.
However, the day is coming when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Convener, will speak from Heaven. This will signal the Church, which is His Body, to be called into session, and, then, the members of His Body “shall appear with Him in glory” (Col.3:4). Trumpets signaled Israel of old to convene; whereas, the Voice of the Lord Jesus Christ will signal us to convene. Either dead or alive we will be brought together to the great gathering of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. This will be the greatest Convention ever held—the inaugural Convocation of His Ecclesia. This ushers in the “Day of Jesus Christ”—the long awaited Kingdom of God. The time-line of this is estimated to be 700-plus years before the 2nd Coming [the Parousia] of Christ. He remains in Heaven during His Heavenly reign over the nations of the earth.
“For by grace are ye [we] saved through faith; and that not of yourselves [ourselves]: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
THE KINGDOM IS ESTABLISHED
The Government of Jesus Christ begins with Him asserting His Divine Authority over the nations. He makes this assertion from His Heavenly Throne. The Lord will choose five kings to be a universal Monarch. God has already appointed the first king. It will be the sleeping-in-death of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel Chapter Two informs the student that Nebuchadnezzar will be “head of Gold,” to wit, being the first to be a universal Monarch. During the time that these kings reign, the Lord Jesus Christ will be in the process of re-gathering the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who qualify to live during the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. Part of this re-gathering will be their resurrections—“every man in his own order” (1 Cor. 15:23). We see this as each Jew, man or woman, who qualifies to live during “the Day of Christ,” will be raised according to their tribe and will be assembled according to the Standards (Ensigns, or Banners) of their tribes and their fathers.
The Lord Jesus Christ will call Elijah to life and bring him out from his tomb, and he will be the anointed one to direct the re-settlement of the Holy Land, i.e., “restoreth all things” (Mic. 4:5-6 and Mark 9:12). Elijah will be the Lord’s Minister of Re-Settlement. For more specific information on this, see our articles on Elijah.
MILITARY ENSIGNS AMONG THE HEBREWS
The Hebrews had military ensigns. As bearing upon this question, a very significant passage is that found in Num 2:2: "The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the ensigns of their fathers' houses." "Standard-bearer" in Isa 10:18 the King James Version, "They shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth," is not a case in point … In this noted passage a distinction seems intentionally made (another view is held by some) between "the ensigns of their fathers' houses" (literally, "signs"; compare Ps 74:4, where the reference is thought by some today to be to the standards of Antiochus' army), and "the standards" of the four great divisions of the Hebrew tribes in the wilderness (compare the "banner" of Song 2:4 and 6:4,10). (from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, (c)1996 by Biblesoft).
When the prophetic verses of Acts 3:19-21 commence; then, the “times of refreshing” will come from the Lord Jesus. The earth will be restored to its Pre-Flood condition with the exception THAT sin will not be present, nor any corruption. (1 Cor. 15:50).
When “the restitution of all things” begins (Acts 3:21), the world will be restored to the innocence of Eden. The curse of sin and death will have been removed. There will be no death, based upon Adam’s sin. There will be no corruption. Everything that offends will find no lodging place in the new creations of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God, as recorded below:
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth [not the creation of Revelation 21]: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isa. 65:17-19).
SIN WILL BE SUPPRESSED
One of the first things we need to reckon with is that SIN will be held in check. The most powerful suppression of SIN will be the work of the Holy Spirit. Twice, in the Bible, we are informed of this mighty work. The first reference is found in the Old Testament.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” (Joel 2:28).
“And it shall come to pass in the last days [the Day of Christ], saith God, I will pour out of My SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).
The acts of the Holy Spirit, during “The Acts of the Apostles,” will be evidence that the ALL FLESH in both prophecies are inclusive of all Mankind. Every individual on earth will have a portion of the Holy Spirit residing in him. No one will have to rely on their conscience when confronted with temptation; the Spirit, within, will prompt them in which step to take:
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa. 30:21).
And, this is not all. There will be a divine network of the Holy Spirit—a world-wide-web, if you please. Each human being will be connected, directly, to Jesus Christ via His Spirit. This will provide a communication network by which the Lord Jesus Christ can speak to the whole human race all at once. Or, He can speak to a special group, or to a single person as the Prophet Isaiah declared in Isaiah 30:21. Not only will this be true but so will the following:
“And it shall come to pass [during the Day of Christ], that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isa. 64:24).
This will, also, be a factor to suppress sin.
Whenever a person is to consider a step to be taken that relates to God, His Word, or His expectations, the Spirit prompts the person to “Go to the right, or go to the left.” Or, the Spirit may speak to him, audibly, saying, “Don’t do this,” or “It’s okay to do that.” This will be a strong deterrent to SIN. How will this be for giving someone special attention! A person will have to, wantonly, step over the line. More than likely, he will be reminded that if he refuses the Holy Spirit’s directions, there will be immediate retribution from the Hand of God. There will be some sinful action by a person for which the immediate pay-back will be death. All God has to do to exact Capital Punishment is to withdraw the breath-of-life.
“In those days [Days of Christ] they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge” (Jer. 31:29-30).
During the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God, the truth of Romans 5:12 will be left behind in the past dispensations.
“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
Death, no longer, is passed on to people’s progeny. Each individual’s life will be in his own hands. There will be no accidental deaths—that’s hard to imagine! If an individual dies, it will be the result of “a sin unto death.”
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16).
We hesitate in referring to some of you as “advanced students,” but it is believed to be required in this instance. Most of you are definitely “Advanced students,” and as such, understand that the period of time covered by “The Acts of the Apostles” was a “foretaste” of the prophesied Kingdom of God. During the Acts Period, believers were living under the conditions as it will be when the Kingdom comes. This was only true for those who believed the Gospel that the Kingdom of God was “at hand.” Believers had the anointed leaders who they were to obey, and submit themselves (Heb. 13:17).
There was a very strong sin-suppressing force during Acts. It foreshadowed the coming Kingdom of God. For any sin that warrants death, the sentence of death, during the Kingdom, will come swiftly. It was so during the Acts era.
Consider Ananias and Sapphira and the swift judgment which followed their sin of lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-5). The sudden death was the result of the fact that they lied to the Holy Spirit. The news of the couple’s death spread fear throughout the area. For a time, no one wanted to be associated with the believers.
Or, consider the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 11:30 (an Acts Period Epistle), it is found that many in Corinth were weak and sickly, and some even died because they had sinned against the light they had received. This was, and will be, a powerful force in suppressing sin.
“For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward” (Heb. 2:2).
During the Pre-Millennial Kingdom, every sin and transgression will receive a quick and just recompence of reward.
From Plainer Words
The Lake of Fire - Part 7
Posted in: 2011
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 29, 2011 - 2:01:50 PM
Mar 29, 2011 - 2:01:50 PM
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