Christ comes THE SECOND TIME... UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM. How does that translate into a physical manifestation of not only The Messiah but of "a city" and "twelve thrones", etc??
I see what you are saying and it makes sense. I am leaning toward the fact that Jesus came and took back with him the saints. This would be after paul died but John was still alive. I am still trying to piece all of this together. There are so many scriptures that speak of this.
I don't know. I used to think that perhaps there was a difference pre-cross and post-cross, but I'm not so sure I believe that anymore. Now I lean more toward believing that when we die (physically) we all go to be with the Lord and that is the way that it has always been.
My problem with this is, what is next? Is Christ going to return with his saints and set up an earthly kingdom? Some scripture does point to this. Or has the kingdom that Jesus talked about already happened?
I suddenly realized a few years ago when I was still at BT that we were making the same mistake that the Jews made in looking for a physical kingdom. I believe that the kingdom is spiritual and that it contains "a city" (the New Jerusalem) that we are to enter into (as believers are that city).
If so, what will happen next, is my question? Will Christ return and resurrect everyone and that will be the "White Throne Judgment". Everyone that is dead and alive at that time will become immortal.
Christ may, indeed, return to gather and bring back with Him (to the Father) all of those who "remain" (both the dead and the living - after a spiritual truth), but I do not see Him setting up a physical kingdom on this earth the way that many teach. To me the "thousand year" reign of Christ comes after a spiritual truth, which has to do with "THE DAY" of the Lord. There also appears to be a reign of "death" associated with "a thousand years" which is called "yesterday" when it is past. I see this as ONE DAY that is divided between "the night" and "the day" (are there not 12 hours in THE DAY??
Or, will we be changed after we die and go on to be with Christ and things continue as they are? This doesn't sound quite right to me. I do believe there will be an end to all things as they are now. Everything will be changed, not destroyed.
Would appreciate your opinion on this. Thanks.
The first part seems to be true now, we die and go to be with the Lord and things continue on as they are (here).
However, there must come a time when "all flesh" is destroyed and things do not continue the way that they are now. Paul seems to refer to this as "the end" and we know that all things had their beginning in Christ and all things shall also have their end in Him, who IS "the beginning and the end".
What I came to realize a few years ago that made me question so many of "the truths" that I held at the time, when I was at BT, was that if I believe that there is going to be a physical kingdom set up on this earth for "a thousand years" and it is the saints who are resurrected/gathered first to rule and reign with Christ in this kingdom and the rest of humanity will not be resurrected unto "after the millennium" then I am disregarding the words of Christ who very clearly said that in the time of harvest he would send forth his angels telling them "GATHER YE TOGETHER FIRST THE TARES
At the time, I believed that "the dead in Christ" that Paul spoke of being gathered first were "the saints" who had physically died and long since been buried. But now I believe that we are all found "in Christ" (having already been gathered together into ONE BODY, by ONE SPIRIT, making Christ Lord BOTH OF THE LIVING AND DEAD - spiritual truths, not carnal one). And "the dead in Christ" of which Paul speaks are "the tares" of which Christ speaks and the two statement AGREE rather than disagree.
When the scriptures say "blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection" and I was claiming that this proves
that the saints (wheat) are resurrected first and that "the dead in Christ" that Paul speaks of are "the saints" (wheat) then I was contradicting the words of Christ and caused Paul to also contradict the words of Christ.
So I began to question all of this and wonder why no one ever counts HIS RESURRECTION
(the one that Paul said we are to strive TO KNOW) as THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Jesus Christ IS the resurrection and the life!!! I suddenly came to realize that what I was believing for was the same thing that Martha was believing for when Christ told her that she would see her brother again and she said: "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day
Is that not what we hear so many Christians, even those who believe in UR saying (whether or not they believe in 'soul sleep' or whatever they believe the conscious condition of the dead is)??
But what did Jesus say to Martha? Did he say AMEN, you understand!!? No, he said:"I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
For the first time I felt like I finally "got it".
Jesus Christ IS the resurrection and the life and it is not about being UNCLOTHED, but about being CLOTHED UPON
, as it is THIS MORTAL
(not our corpses) putting on IMMORTALITY. It is about being clothed WITH CHRIST. The hope of glory is CHRIST IN YOU
As I see it, the kingdom is within and it is there that Christ must sit on His throne and reign in His kingdom.... and we with Him... having eternal LIFE.
At least for now, that is how I see it.