Dear Family and Friends:
As we know from my previous message, “His Coming,” upon His return the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive with be taken up. This group of believers referred to as, “Saints,” will then be with Christ forever. At this point we know the Saints will be saved which is a glorious testimony to God’s love for us. However, there is much, much more glory awaiting the Saints. Scripture states that at His coming the armies of heaven will be following Christ on white horses. Now the question becomes, who are those who make up the armies of heaven. “…the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes sharp a sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Rev 19: 14 & 15) And also, “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev 17: 14) And then there is this, from the beginning of time, from the seventh generation from Adam, Enoch prophesied saying, “…Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgement upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1: 14 & 15) The armies of heaven are those who are raised up to be with Christ at his coming. It’s going to be us folks, we are the armies in heaven. It is indeed hard to believe which is the reason He says, “but just as it is written, things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1Cor 2: 10) We must prepare ourselves for battle. We’re not going to just sit around in heaven playing harps all day. In order to prepare we must train ourselves in righteousness which can only be done through His word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3: 16 & 17) And this, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) It is so very important for us to understand that Saints are those who prepared themselves while living on earth. It is easy to see how one would follow Christ at His coming. Thing is, the Saints were following Christ before His coming. As Enoch stated, “…the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,” and the question we must consider, are we holy? Do we actually believe our Father expects us to be holy, to be perfect as He is? “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? THEREFORE YOU ARE TO BE PERFECT, AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.” (Matt 5: 43 – 48) Do I think I am perfect? Not by a long shot but it is a goal we should all be striving to attain. And how do we reach the goal? If we carefully read the Scriptures above we’ll find that in order to be perfect we must love our neighbor, including those who love us, and also those who hate us. A true example of perfection for us to follow is when Jesus was dying on the cross. After being beaten and crucified, “…Jesus was saying, ‘Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing…’” (Luke 23: 34) It appears to me that for us to achieve perfection we must totally and completely die to self.
Before continuing I’d like to briefly summarize my previous message, “His Coming.” When Christ returns with His holy ones all who are left on earth will be killed with the sword. There will then be a thousand years on earth in which Satan will be locked up. At the end of the thousand years Satan will be released to deceive the nations to attack the Saints. As the nations surround the camp of the Saints, fire will come down from heaven and devour them. Next will come the great white throne judgement by which everyone who has set foot on the earth from the beginning of time will be judged. Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be saved. Everyone else will be lost forever.
After the great white throne judgement Jesus will indeed be on a mission for he must prepare all things for the coming of His Father to the new earth. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order; Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15: 22 – 28)
Are we ready for what happens next? After the Father is all in all, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Rev 21: 1) In this passage we see few details relating to a new earth and new heaven, but looking further, “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for the hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat. But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2Peter 3: 10-13) “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And he said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.’” (Rev 21: 1-6) Just so we are sure of what is happening here, the new Jerusalem, where we will live for eternity, will not be located in the new heaven but rather on the new earth. At the end of all things we will not be living with God in heaven but rather our Father will be living with us on the new earth. Regarding our final dwelling place, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.” (Rev 21: 10 & 11) If we read further we find, “The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. (Rev 21:16)
The coming of Christ will be the beginning of a whole host of events my feeble mind simply can not comprehend. I always thought if we were good little boys and girls we would one day live in the heavens with the Father forever, end of story. Truth is when the Father says, “It is done,” we’ll be living with our Father in the new Jerusalem located on the new earth. And why did I not know of these things? Because, “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2Timothy 4: 3 & 4) The words of men have spun a fairy tale ending for mankind, and I for one believed every bit of it. I never had any reason to believe otherwise because I was so far away from the Lord it never entered my mind to seek His truth. I’ll end this message with a question for all of us to ponder? Is there anything we are doing here on earth that compares to the reality of His coming?