THE APPEARING OF CHRIST
There is no other teaching in the church that has so tied the hands of the Lord than the imminent or ‘any moment’ coming of the Lord. The teaching that Christ will come ‘any moment’ has rocked the church into a deep slumber.
It will surprise some of us to know that the word “rapture” is not found in the Scriptures. But there is an expression of saints being “caught up together” that we read of in the book of Thessalonians.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1Thes 4:16-17 )
Denominational Christianity has used the word “rapture” to describe the disappearance of the church from the earth. The use of the word rapture (the any moment taking away of the church) has given an impression to people that the church will soon leave the earth and move into the heavens! This concept has really destroyed the hope that God has given to His church of coming into the riches in Christ. Sometimes, people accuse us of not believing in the rapture of the church. The word rapture is invariably used by the traditional christianity in connection with the doctrine of the ‘any moment rapture of the saints” that describes the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Saints, do not misunderstand me. I am not doing away with rapture. What I want to clearly present to my brethren is that there is no mention of a ‘pre-tribulation-any-moment-rapture’ in the Bible. The Scriptures do away with it. However, the saints who “are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. This any-moment-rapture teaching has removed the focus that the church is required to have upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
Beloved, surely there is a translation. I am trying to put it in the right perpective. There is not an iota of doubt that the Lord will descend with a shout at the last trumpet sound of God and then the Lord shall come down with the saints who have died with Christ. They are the first ones and the church that is upon the earth at that time shall also be caught up to meet the Lord. They shall also usher in His Kingdom upon the earth and they “shall ever be with the Lord”. Brethren, He is coming for a glorious bride – a church that is prepared and ready to meet Him.
Saints of God, we speak and declare very strongly of the coming of the Lord and not of the departure of the saints. Let us be established in this truth. We have to understand the Scriptures in the right light. So we do not declare and speak about the departure of the saints, but we speak about the coming of the Lord in all His glory to establish His kingdom on this earth. We talk about His coming for a glorious bride. Let us not be double-minded about this truth. Let us not think that this is too complicated; it is essentially very simple. God has a plan for His church which is very straight forward, but men have complicated that, even as they have complicated salvation. They have twisted the truth. Though we do not know all the details of the end times, we do know that there will be a meeting with the Lord, a moving on to establish His Kingdom on the earth. We emphasize the coming of the Lord and not the departure of the church because there are yet many things to be fulfilled in His church according to His word. We do not teach and preach about the disappearing of the saints, but we declare the appearing of Christ. God’s people are required to be caught up with the appearing of the Lord and be fully prepared for that great event rather than with the disappearing of the church! Amen!
The Scripture is very clear about the coming of the Lord in glory, but unfortunately the natural mind always misinterprets it and renders it differently, contrary to the Holy Spirit’s version of the truth. The traditions of man have stepped in to reduce the church to a place of literal hopelessness. The only hope that the church has according to ‘their’ tradition is for the church to be raptured away. The church today is spiritually so shattered, fragmented and devastated that her only answer seems to lie in escaping all the difficulties upon the earth by rapture. We need to get rid of this frame of mind. It is not a matter of the church coming into an “any-moment-rapture”, but it is rather about the church not coming into something “until” she is prepared; the catch word is ‘until’; it is ‘until’. You will be here until that happens and not have to leave any moment ! Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will deposit the truth about the coming of Christ, strongly upon our hearts.
The Scriptural Affirmation
Psalm 110, a Psalm of David, holds an excellent example of the use of the word UNTIL.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool”.
The word says that our enemies will be made the church’s footstool. This will happen not according to the whims and fancies of man, but it will occur when the church comes into the fulfillment of His Word. Until that happens, until the church comes into that place spiritually, the matter of the enemy being made our footstool will not arise and the enemy will remain where he is now! It is not that God is unable to do all that He has spoken of, but the Lord will remain seated, waiting until that happens.
In this important verse, two lords are mentioned. The LORD is the Father. The second Lord here (‘He said unto my Lord’) talks of Jesus Christ. The Lord said unto my Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In other words the Father said unto the Son, “Sit Thou at My (the Father’s) right hand, until I make all Thy (Jesus’) enemies Thy (Jesus’) footstool.” What a tremendous revelation David had in his day! He saw by the Spirit that a Messiah would come. It is interesting to see that this Scripture is mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament. What was spoken prophetically by David in the Book of Psalms is included in seven other places in the New Testament. This means that this Scripture occurs eight times in the Bible! Eight is a number that speaks of a new day, or even of a new beginning.
Firstly Matt 22:42-46
Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Secondly Mar 12:35-37
And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Thirdly Luk 20:41-44
And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?
And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
Let us also turn to Acts 2:34 – 36
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Peter in his first message makes a mention of the word UNTIL in a very significant way. There are other interpretations of this key Scripture portion that I am not getting into, but I am bringing about and touching upon a specific truth through the Scriptures.
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. (1Co 15:25-28)
He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. This is what Paul says. Saints, it is not a matter of “any moment” but it is about an UNTIL.
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Heb 1:13 ,14)
The writer of Hebrews brings this expression to light which just shows the great insight that David had about the Church and the reign of God.
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (Heb 10:12-13)
Dear saints, is that good enough? As the word here says, the Lord is waiting till (or until) His enemies are made His footstool. We have an eight fold witness of the Holy Spirit. Further, my own spirit bears witness with these eight Scripture portions. Therefore, with a great conviction, I want to tell you that Jesus is seated UNTIL. It is not “any moment” but it is UNTIL all that God has purposed is fulfilled. Until all His enemies are put under His feet. The any-moment-rapture concept has placed the church in a place where there is no hope for her upon this earth. The saints have no courage to stand and face situations. Beloved, it is UNTIL not any-moment that is important. Let us listen to what God wants to tell us. His word cannot be broken. It will be fulfilled.
One other Scripture in the book of Ephesians is as a cherry on the proverbial cake!
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph 1:20-23 )
Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],
Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself]. (Eph 1:20-23 AMP)
Everything will be placed under His feet; He will be Head over all things. Here is the mystery. All things will be put under His feet which talks of the body of Christ, the church. Saints there are many precious things here. It is all a matter of UNTIL ..until …until and until and not any moment. Hallelujah!