The Call to Come, Part 1

A big welcome to everyone watching this presentation today on the central message of Call2Come. I’m really excited to share what I’m about to share, and I pray that it will impact your life in the same way that it has impacted mine ever since the Lord allowed me to see beyond the veil to the mystery that is the Bride.

I’m so grateful that the Lord saved me at such a young age at only 8 years old. But then even at 10 years old the lord called me to be a missionary.  Throughout my whole life despite all the things that I have done and the places that I have been, there has been a constant thread that identifies and connects it all. And that has been the hand of God upon my life. And so, despite the ups and downs (and there have been many) I have endeavoured to fulfil the missionary calling upon my life. In fact, when I reflect upon the generations of those that have gone before, if there was a time that I could be transported back to in time, I’d like to think I would go back to the missionary movement over the 1800s.  Like Hudson Taylor or David Livingstone, who didn’t have the luxury of flights or mobile phones as we have them today, took the greatest of risks and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their life for the mission field in reaching the lost.

And yet in the times in which we live now, and more now than any other time in history, we have a great opportunity to reach the world for Christ. And so not looking back, but embracing the day in which we live, with all of its turbulence and challenges, for the opportunity is great and the commission remains. So, let us not be fearful or disorientated but let us ensure that we understand who we are and why God has placed us here in the time in which we live. It’s for such a time as this that, that we are here.  And we are able to embrace our commission and the future with confidence, because in God there is always hope. In God, there is certainty that he is always and always shall be upon the throne, and that somehow, above the storms, there is an underlying purpose of His that remains. What we might call the Eternal purpose of God. That even before creation, God has had a particular purpose and objective in his heart. And we find ourselves in the timeline of God. He knows the end from the beginning and He is taking us somewhere beautiful. Along this time line that we are on, we are so much closer to the end than we are to the beginning.  Prophetically there are still things that will be fulfilled, but time is short and the end is near.  As I contemplate my life and my contribution in this generation, there is one particular message that has captivated my heart and set my life on a course that I cannot ever divert from. It is the message that I will share with you now, and the central message of the Call2Come movement.

The message of utmost importance relevance and implication is the message of the bride. Who is the bride and why is she so important? Hopefully in sharing some of these thoughts with you today if nothing else you will at least understand my passion. But my hope is that you will also catch something of the passion for the bride and the bridegroom. So that we can understand our highest calling and truest identity in who we are in Christ, and that His created purpose was always that He should live with men in the context of a marriage relationship. There’s no other way in which I can understand what Paul wrote, when he said “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself after her”. We quote this passage often in marriage counselling and in marriage seminars, but even Paul himself confesses that he’s not actually teaching about husband and wife, but he’s using the marriage relationship as a model to teach us something that’s different to understand. To give us something that we can grasp a hold of, to receive a higher truth, which is not of husband and wife, both of Jesus and his church or his bride. In fact, Paul describes it as a profound mystery. He says, I’m not talking about a husband and wife, I’m talking about Jesus and his church. Paul makes it very clear and there’s no other exegetical interpretation apart for the Bride. John the Baptist said when he sees the bridegroom coming that joy is mine.

Throughout scripture and we don’t have time here, but we will see from Genesis all the way through to the final prayer of Revelation 22, that the Bride is contained within the pages of scripture. We as the bride have access to the highest measures of grace that can be poured out, and the fulfilment and consummation of the Kingdom of God comes through the marriage relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. It comes through the Bride, it doesn’t come through the church, but it comes through the Bride. The Bride is the church, yes, but it’s a matter of identity, acceptance and conviction that we are the Bride. The Bible says that the glory of the man is the woman. The glory of Jesus is the Bride. He chooses for the fullness of all that he is, shall be fulfilled and shared with His Bride. That has always been the father’s intention. I desire that my son Jesus shall have a bride.

There must be a transformation before there can be an integration. Before we can be one with Him, we have to be changed to be like Him, for He cannot be united to anyone other than who is like Him, and more so, like Eve from within Adam, as bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. It is about compatibility. Only that which is from Him can cleave back to Him. And so there has to be a transformation process for us to become as Jesus is.

The Bride, her life and her identity, all that she is, comes out of Jesus Christ, so that he can unite himself with her forever. It says for this reason a man will leave his father’s house and go and be united to his wife. But again Paul’s teaching that Jesus will leave his father’s house and come and be united and married to us. I find this amazing this divine romance. It is the Bride who has access to the fullest of all that he is. It is the Bride who has access into the very throne room of God where she finds the Golden Sceptre extended with the invitation to ask me for anything and I will give it to you even up to half my kingdom.

In John 14 Jesus says I’m going to the Father to prepare a place for you. And then he follows that up saying “I am the way the truth and the life” and then he says “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You will do even greater things than these, you will do greater things than I have been doing.” I think we have seen a fulfilment of that prophetic word to a degree, but there is so much more. I believe that we have not yet fully seen the church do even greater things than Jesus did. Yes of course, we are blessed and so grateful for God in the way that he has moved within the people and the church through the ages but as a generalisation there is a greater fulfilment that is yet to take place. Let me put it like this: when the Bride is getting ready it will be very apparent that she is becoming exactly like the bridegroom. We will know when the Bride is getting ready because she will become more like the bridegroom, and thereby fulfilling this prophetic word of Jesus, that she will do even greater things than Jesus did. I believe there is an anointing that is yet to be poured out upon the Earth and a move of God that we have not yet entered into or experienced.  Despite all the revivals and the moves of God that we have seen in the past there is one that is yet to come, and it is an anointing and an outpouring of the holy spirit that is reserved only for the Bride. The bride needs the bridegroom to help her to get ready. That’s a profound truth, but she cannot get ready on her own.  She needs the bridegroom to help her.

In Acts 1 we learn how Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples teaching them many things about the Kingdom.

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew what it was that Jesus shared with them. Just imagine a private audience with Jesus for 40 days hearing what he had to say, that he had not yet shared with them about the Kingdom of God. We may indeed long for the Kingdom of God and yet the reality is, what we learn from the disciples question, “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” indicates that despite all Jesus had done and taught them, the kingdom, the consummation of the kingdom had not yet come. This sets up a tension, a prophetic tension because the kingdom of God is here now and yet it is still to come. We are living in a time between the two realities. Let me put it like this: The Kingdom of God must first be established within before it can be established without, it must first be a reality inside the heart of the believer, before it can become a full reality upon the Earth.

On Jesus first coming, the gentiles were not yet included in the covenant of God because it was a covenant that he established with Abraham and through him and the Patriarchal Fathers, Israel. It was the Jews, it was Israel who were expecting a messiah and of course He will come, but before that moment of Israel receiving their Messiah, there was something else that needed to be accomplished. The gentiles had to be included or grafted into the vine, this was part of the master plan of God. The Eternal plan of God, was that together from Jew and Gentile there should be one new man made from the two.  As Paul teaches in Ephesians 4 we know the passage well and it reads how Jesus gave some to be Apostles and Prophets and so on, but it continues on to say until. “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God”.  We’re not there yet, we are not yet all united in the knowledge of the Son of God, and agree who Jesus is. And so, in the grace of God, in the patience of God, in the love of God, He has held Israel in His hands, until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, that they might become together, the One New Man.

So in those 40 days after Jesus Resurrection when he spent time talking about the kingdom with his disciples, isn’t it amazing that the disciples still had questions, and they asked him Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom? We know the Lord’s reply and he said it is not for you to know the time set by my father in heaven but wait in Jerusalem until you receive the gift promised and you will receive power and you will be Witnesses in Jerusalem Judea Samaria and unto the world. But looking further down in that passage in Acts 1, it says in verse 9 that he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hit him from their site. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus. the same Jesus who has lived among you who has fed you and died for you this same Jesus who was crucified upon a cross this same Jesus who you saw and testified yourself when you saw the scars in his hand and upon his side this same Jesus the two men said, will come back in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven. There it is, the promise of the second coming of Jesus Christ. He is not yet finished. The plan is not yet fulfilled. If Jesus is coming again, it means there is still something in the Eternal purpose of God that is yet to unfold. The kingdom of God within, yes but ultimately there will be a consummation of the kingdom upon the Earth when the bridegroom king comes to reign. And the catalyst, the switch, the lever that will prophetically shift us into the dispensation of the coming of Jesus Christ is when the Bride has made herself ready.

I don’t believe that we are raptured in some obscure fashion, or in some secret mysterious way. Let me put it like this, I believe scripture teaches that the Bride is prepared upon the Earth. I believe she is prepared upon the Earth and that there is only one bride. Not a Jewish bride and a Gentile bride, so how can the Gentile Bride be raptured before the Jewish Bride? No, the two will become one upon the Earth, and when they are ready, because they have become the fullness of Christ, then he will come again and take her to himself. There is much controversy about what is called replacement theology. And I don’t believe in replacement theology in the way that others might, and yet I do believe in replacement theology in that there will be no more Jew, but neither will there be gentle either! So it’s not only Israel that will be replaced but also the gentile. What is Israel and the Gentiles to be replaced by? They are replaced by the Bride. Hallelujah.

It is the Bride that He is coming back for, it is the Bride who gets herself ready to a point where heaven will say now the Bride is ready.  There’s something prophetically that shifts at that time. So what I’m saying is that we are not on some automated timeline where we can just do our own thing, separate from what God is doing as though it was ok, it’s not ok. We have to know and understand God’s heart and what he’s after, and he’s after a bride for his Son!  We cannot say “Oh everything is ok because God has set the time and all I have to do is hang in there because it is predestined for the Lord to come again“. No, there’s something that we need to do. Something that we cannot be passive about. Something that we should be proactive in. And which we need to be doing here and now and there is a measure of the Holy Spirit and a measure of his Kingdom and His grace that is available to us when we align ourselves to who we are, as his beloved bride.

In Revelation 22 we will find in verse 17 that the Spirit and the Bride say “come“.  I’ve always understood this in the past in a different way to the way that I understand it now. The change in my understanding happened when I recognised that there was something in me that was already calling come. In the past I saw this call of the Spirit and the Bride, would be something that would happen in the future but not now. I saw it as something that would happen only when the bride has made herself ready, because as I wrongly believed, what bride would call for her husband to come until she is ready? But I recognised a deep longer and desire in me, that I wanted to call come now, and indeed I was already crying come, and I am still crying come. In fact, I believe that call to come, is within the heart of every child of God, because the Spirit within every believer, has awakened them to know that they belong to Him and that they are only complete when they are with him, and they are not complete until He has come for them. And so it changes our understanding of this Scripture, that to cry come isn’t something that we can put off until some time in the future, but it’s something that we need to do now. Why? Because the bride needs the bridegroom to help her to get dressed, and when she calls Come, she is positioning herself in a way she can receive the Bridal outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help her to get dressed.

The Bride understands that her completion will only come through the bridegroom. She isn’t looking therefore, for any other kind of fulfilment. For there is no other satisfaction that she looks or craves for, other than her wedding day and consummation with the groom. The Bride is not set upon her own course, or working towards her own ambitions, instead she knows that her fulfilment will come when she sits beside her husband upon his throne to reign with him.  The Bride knows that she needs the bridegroom. This is the key that made a difference in my interpretation of how this scripture fitted into the timeline of God. Because I no longer saw this as happening sometime in the future, but the timing of this was reversed when I recognised the call within my own heart for him to come and the realisation that the Bride cannot get ready until she begins to cry come. When the Bride cries come she is positioning herself in a way spiritually before him, and she is opening her heart and embracing her identity of who she is and agreeing with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is already saying Come. She is aligning herself with the Holy Spirit and the Eternal purpose of God when she cries “Come”. Hallelujah.

That’s when I believe this outpouring of the holy spirit that is reserved only for the Bride will be released. Because we’re not even asking for another revival. We’re not asking for another outpouring of the holy spirit, we’re asking for the Bridegroom. The Holy Spirit’s commission is to lead us and to prepare us and to bring us to the bridegroom. So when Jesus is seeing his church praying for the holy spirit and not for Him to come, how do you think that makes him feel?  I wonder what father and son and holy spirit say to one another when we are asking for the Holy Spirit and not for the bridegroom himself. Let us not be those who call for the Holy Spirit without understanding the Holy Spirit’s role is to prepare us and take us to be with the Bridegroom. I believe the cry of his heart, the prayer that Jesus longs to hear more than any other prayer is the prayer of his Bride calling upon him to come. Because he is the bridegroom, and the cry of his heart more than anything else, is not that we should do this or do that, but that we should ask him to come. Because when we ask him to come, it means the time is near for His return. And maybe the Son will turn to the Father with longing in His eyes and say Is it time Father, can I go and get my wife. And maybe the Father will say looking lovingly and knowingly to His Son, Not just yet Son, but soon, let us send the Holy Spirit once more, that He will bring her the garments she needs to help her to get dressed! O the joy that he must experience when his Bride is asking for him to come. Wow, could you imagine how his heart leaps when he sees his bride calling Him. It is a clear message from Earth to Heaven that the Bride is getting herself ready.

So let’s conclude the first part of this message here and we will come back to this in part 2. So please make sure you continue in this lesson with part 2 because we’re only half way and the best is yet to come.

Lord we thank you for all that you are and all that you have done. And we call upon you now for you to come. Come Lord in your glory. Come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. O Lord we call upon you to come as your bride. May our hearts be connected with yours, as we eagerly await for your return. In Jesus name amen.

The Call to Come, Part 2

Welcome back to the continuation of the Call to Come message.  In this session part 2 we will conclude this core teaching which serves as a central foundation stone to the Call2Come movement. And so it’s my hope that I am able to impart something of the understanding and passion that fuels everything we do at Call2Come, and pray that this message will impact your life in a way that brings blessing and hope for the future that awaits us, as we draw near to the time of our Lord’s return.

In part 1 of this message, I shared about the bridal paradigm, and taking a fresh look at Scripture with a different lens or viewpoint to see how the Bride of Christ is so central to the Word of God. The fundamental principle that we discussed, was centred around Rev 22:17 which reads, “The Spirit and the Bride say “Come!” I had always seen this as something that would happen at some time in the future and just before the Lord’s return, but as I described in our last session, that I now see this as the complete opposite, and that we need to be calling upon Him to Come today. In fact, for the Bride to become ready she must love like the Bride, worship like the Bride, and pray like the Bride, and the necessary prayer of the Bride is the call to come. When she prays Come, she aligns herself with the Holy Spirit who is always saying Come, and into her bridal into. She re positions herself in a way that enables her to get dressed. Well that was Part 1 and so now we will conclude this message with Part 2.

Before I begin, I just want to quickly point out our contact details which you can see on the screen. This teaching plus all our other teaching is available on the website at www.call2come.org or you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook with the username @Call2Come. My name is Mike, and I am the co-founder and director of Call2Come, together with my dear friend and co-director Dr Howard Barnes.

Ok, let’s get started.

Acts 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

Acts 3:21 the Bible says that He is received in heaven until the restoration of all things. Jesus is in heaven longing to return, but cannot yet return because the Bride has not yet been restored. For she must get herself ready, and yet the preparation of the bride is about us and what we do and what we believe whilst we are here upon the Earth. The Bride is about us. It’s not something that’s automated in the predestination of God.  It’s not something that would just happen naturally, but it’s something that we have to be proactive about. And to do that we have to get rid of our old mind-set and systems of theology. There’s nothing wrong with theology, we need theology to have correct doctrine, but there’s a way in which theology can be put together.  Each doctrine is like a building block and we can put those building blocks together in different ways, so that they create a paradigm or perspective of looking at scripture. The doctrines remain unchanged, but the perspective can be very different depending on how they are put together. What I’m saying is that we need to have a fresh look at what the Bible teaches and look at it from a position of being the Bride. When you see the bride, you cannot un-see. But to see the Bride requires that we allow the Holy Spirit to change our mind-set and position us somewhere we haven’t been before, so that we can see the Bride and then embrace our bridal identity. We will call this the Bridal Paradigm. There’s a way in which we can put theology together, but unless it presents a picture of the bride and the bridegroom, then we are not seeing the fulfilment of God’s eternal purpose when Jesus Christ comes again in great glory on the clouds, because He’s not only coming to reign but He’s coming to marry His bride. May the building blocks of our theology and doctrine portray a picture that describes both the fullness of who he is but also describes the undenying reality of His Bride.

Rev 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

In a moment we’ll take a look in Revelation 21 and glean a few more things in our journey to understanding the Bride. But just a quick introduction into what has taken place up to that point. Remember, John has received the revelation given to Jesus and sent to John by an angel. Then in Revelation 4 it says that John heard a voice calling him to come up here and I will show you what must take place after this. Then from Revelation 4 to Revelation 21 we haven’t heard Jesus or the Father, but those chapters contain the events which are described to us with the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls. Then we get to the final chapters of Revelation, and both Father and then Son come back into full view. Here they make the final summation of all scripture like a closing argument or appeal.  In a moment we’ll read the final declaration and revelation of what Jesus says about himself, but before the Son Jesus comes on into view, we see the Father.In verse 5-7 of chapter 21, it says He that is seated on the throne says “See I am making everything new. Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true. He said to me. And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Who is it who is speaking here?  The passage says I will be his God and he shall be my son.  So this is Father God who is speaking and He says I am the alpha and Omega I am the first and the last the beginning and the end.

But then in Revelation 21:9-11 it reads Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.”

John describes that he was then transported or carried away in the spirit to a mountain that was great and high.  John was being shown the Bride but in order to see the Bride, the wife of the Lamb, he had to be taken somewhere very specifically. And I believe that to see the Bride we have to change our point of view. John was taken to a place that he wouldn’t be able to get to by his own mind or rational or argument, but he was taken there by the Spirit of God to a place that was high, to an elevation in which he could see things from God’s perspective, from heaven’s perspective and not from the position of standing upon the Earth. For us to see the Bride, we have to see things from God’s perspective from a high and lofty place and then we can behold and see what God sees, and what he sees is his bride. Hallelujah. Oh, let the Holy Spirit take us to that place. May the Holy Spirit take us to a place that we haven’t been before. To that holy Mountain so that we can understand and see who we truly are. You are the Bride and I pray that your eyes may be opened that you may behold the glory of all that he is and all that you are when you are in him. Be the Bride. Be part of the Bride. He’s coming back for his bride it’s the Bride who will reign with him. Be ready. Get dressed and ready, for Jesus is coming back for his bride.

So, in revelation 21 as we have read, we find the declaration of the Father when he says I am the alpha and Omega. and John describes in these chapters as best he can what he sees. He describes that he saw the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven dressed like a bride. Beautifully dressed for her husband. He describes gates and walls and foundations. He sees that the walls are made of Jasper and the gates are made of pearls and on the gates, he saw the names of the tribes of Israel, because you can’t get in to the New Jerusalem other than through the gate of Israel. But then the foundation was on the names of the Apostles who represent the church. We are given this beautiful picture and vision of the One New Man, both Jew and Gentile now coming together as The New Jerusalem beautifully dressed for her husband. And now, finally, in Revelation 22, Jesus comes to take centre stage, and we are given the final revelation and declaration that Jesus makes about himself.

Within this final chapter, there is a particular word that in Greek is the word “Erchomai”. and this word means to “come”. We find the word “erchomai” used seven times in this final passage of scripture. Let me show you where we find this word. Jesus says in verse 7, I am coming soon and this word coming is the word “erchmomai”. and then in verse 12 he said behold I am coming soon and the word is used a second time the word “erchmomai”.  Then continuing in verse 17 we read the Spirit and the Bride say come and this word “come” is again, the word  “erchmomai”. Let him who  hear say “come”,  and let him who is thirsty “come”,  now five times we have read the word “erchmomai”.

And then finally in the last verses of scripture Jesus closes with this statement and encouragement to us when he says “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”. And then John finishes with his closing summation and prayer “Amen, even so come Lord Jesus!”.  Now we have the 6th and 7th use of this word “erchomai”. So if you want a biblical reason or instruction why you should pray “Come” then we need look no further than in John’s closing prayer because he himself closes the very pages of our Bible when he says “Even so come Lord Jesus!” and there we find the 7th use of the word “erchomai”. In John’s prayer, he is agreeing to all that Jesus has done and all that he has said. When he said amen, he’s saying “yes Lord I agree”. “Yes lord come“. Lord you said you’re coming my response is come!

Revelation 22:12,13 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Remember we just read in chapter 21 these same words “I am the alpha and Omega” but on that occasion, it was the Father who said I am the Alpha and Omega. Now here we see that it is Jesus making the same declaration. That’s because the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father, and together with the Holy Spirit they are completely one. The Holy Trinity of three in one. Jesus is the fullness of God, He is God.  He says “I am the Alpha and Omega”  I have always been and always will be the first and the last. I am the beginning and I am the end. I stand before you it is me Jesus who speaks to you and my name the name that was given to me at my conception within the Virgin Mary was the name Jesus.  Jesus the man.  Jesus God. You need look nowhere else, but it is me. Jesus is saying I am Alpha, Omega and I stand before you and invite you to come “He that is thirsty let him come.”

Then we read the final revelation that Jesus makes about himself in verse 16. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, I am the Bright and Morning Star.” The final summation of all that Jesus is, here contained within the statement. He said, “I am the root and the Offspring of David I am the bright and Morning Star”. He is the root of David which means that Jesus didn’t come from David, but David came from Jesus. Before David was Jesus was. Jesus is the root of David he is the pre-existing King. He is the king, has always been the King, and that because Jesus was King, David received from Jesus his lineage as king. Jesus was the root of David. It was a picture of his deity, it was a picture of Jesus as the God King. Because He is the root of David.

But then Jesus said I am the Offspring of David. And we know that there were many prophecies given to David that he would always have someone who will sit on the throne in Jerusalem. All the fulfilment and coming of the kingdom will be through the lineage of David as was prophesied. And now Jesus is standing here and He’s saying that I am the Offspring of David.  Jesus was saying I am the fulfilment of all prophecy that you have been waiting for. Of everything that you had believed would happen on my first coming it will take place on my second coming. The messianic promise, the waiting for the Messiah and the King to return to Jerusalem will be fulfilled when Jesus Comes again.  On his first coming the Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come and to triumph over Israel’s enemies. For him to come in glory, because that’s what they read when they read the prophets, that he would come again in great glory. And yet if Pontius Pilot was still on the throne, then the promised one who was to come had not yet come, or at least not in the manner which they expected, which is why the disciples asked Jesus before he ascended to Heaven Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom?

And since that time the Bible says that the cloud took him out of sight and he hasn’t been seen since for 2000 years because he’s still in heaven, received in heaven and is still there. And now in this revelation Jesus is making his final statement that I am the Offspring of David I am the one who will fulfil every longing, desire and the fulfilment of the promise that was made to you more than two thousand years ago. I am that one. Jesus said I am the root of David, showing him as the God King, but also I am the Offspring of David, showing Jesus as the man King the human King that Jesus is fully God and fully man and is King.

And now concluding the final revelation of Jesus.  I am the bright Morning Star. The bright morning star you can still see today. The morning star is known as the planet Venus. And Venus other than the sun and the moon is the brightest object in the sky. You can see it very clearly as a bright object in the night sky. Without getting too scientific, just to say that Venus orbits the sun inside the orbit of the Earth around the sun. That means from our perspective upon the Earth, Venus is always close to the sun, the furthest it can ever be when looking at it from the Earth is 47 degrees. And so, depending on where it is within its orbit, Venus will either be seen as the morning star or the evening star. But when Venus is the morning star it is because it is going before the sunrise. In other words, Venus appears before the sun or a new day. Before a new day dawns, the Morning Star rises. Jesus uses this picture and understanding when he says I am the bright Morning Star. I will come again and it will herald in a new day and a new age. When Jesus Comes he will bring with him a new day, a millennial age, a new dispensation. Jesus says make no mistake I am coming again.

And because of this very fact that Jesus Christ is coming again, it is because of this that we can have solid unshakeable hope today. We know that there is a glory that awaits us. We know that whatever we have to go through, whatever is required of us, through the ups and the downs we have a hope that is eternal, in which the writer of Hebrews 6:17-19 describes as an anchor to the soul.

Heb 6:17-19 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

God’s purpose is unchanging throughout all history. What he has intended, even from before creation, no matter what you may see being played out across the face of the Earth, God is still very much in control and bringing His purpose to pass. That Jesus Christ is coming again. And because he is coming we have hope today. It is worth it. Let us exchange everything for this one truth that My Redeemer Lives. To know that he is coming again. To know that this same Jesus Christ, the one who bled and died upon the cross for me, that his love has never waned. His passion and his love that took him to the cross, to suffer the agony of the nails that would be driven through his hands and his feet, has never diminished for 2000 years. The same intensity of desire, the same passion of his heart, the same unconditional love that allowed him to sweat drops of blood and to declare not my will but thine be done, that same love of our Lord Jesus and longing for His Bride has not wavered for 2000 years.  Surely Jesus deserves his bride and he deserves all the glory. Every tongue that was supposed to confess and every knee that should have bowed on His first coming, will not be denied him again on his second coming. His first coming was heralded by a star from the East and only a few wise men saw and followed it to find the King, but on his second coming He needs no star to go before him, because He himself is the Bright Morning Star. And this time every eye shall see him because as lightning in the east is visible in the west so will be His Glory when He comes again on the clouds.

It was to this revelation, that Jesus made about himself that he was the Bright Morning Star, that we find the one response that there can ever be to this unveiling of who Jesus is, and we read it in revelation 22:17. There is no longer the time or the inclination for our cleverness or own ideas or political manoeuvring or wrangling or anything else except the one prayer that we are left with. The prayer that the Spirit and the Bride agree together in saying.  When we know who we are and who Jesus really is, there is only one thing left that we can say and that is to “Come!”

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

This is the passion of my heart and it led to the movement that is now known as Call2Come. It is my life’s message. That as a church, as a people, as the Bride, that we should be calling upon the bridegroom to come. Because when we pray come I believe we position ourselves into unfamiliar and yet strangely warming territory. Because it is as the Bride that we can lay everything else aside. It is as the Bride that we shall find oneness and unity not only with him but also with one another. There is no longer room for denomination or anything else that separates us because there is one bride and one bridegroom.  This is a paradigmatic shift that changes everything. It changes the way that we should see ourselves and in the way that we should see the church.

The Second Coming – Part 1

The Second Coming Part 1

Welcome to this Call2Come training session which forms part of our foundation course. The aim of the foundation course is to provide a solid biblical foundation covering the core elements of the Call 2 Come movement. You can find out more about Call2Come on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter username call2come.

It is worthy of note, that there appears to be an imbalance in the importance and implications of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the amount that the subject is taught within the local church, or understood by the believer. Indeed, in my own experience the subject features rarely as the subject for discussion or sermon from the pulpit. Far more prevalent is the emphasis upon outworking the Christian Faith in the context of everyday life, and yet even the smallest look into eschatology (the study of the end times) reveals how the certainty of things to come in the future should have a direct bearing on how we should live our lives in the present. But much more than that, in the overall plan and purpose of God, the hope of what is to come provides the very motivation and justification of our Christian experience. We talk of salvation, one might ask, salvation from what? Or the understanding that we will live for ever, raises the question where will we live, and on what basis will God determine my eternal destiny. Is it enough to simply confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour at a time of repentance to secure my place in Heaven or will the dividing line between Heaven and Hell be influenced by other criteria. It can be all too easy to diminish the importance or place of the Second Coming, or to disregard it all together, opting instead for a more immediate theology and quick answers to life’s challenges. But one of the primary focuses of Jesus’ teaching was on the “end times” and He repeatedly warned us of being ready for it. And so that’s what this course on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is all about. I want us to take a couple of lessons, breaking the subject down so that we have a full biblical grasp and understanding exactly what the Bible teaches about the Second Coming and just as importantly, what it doesn’t say about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

But before we begin our study just a quick introduction to Call2Come and about myself. The passion that fuels everything we do at Call2Come is really the urgency of the hour in which we live for the Bride of Jesus to get herself ready, because we believe that Jesus is returning very soon. And yet as we will see from our study, we don’t believe it will happen until certain events have been fulfilled. But I’ll leave that for another time and just say that you can find out more about us on our website or on Twitter or Facebook and the details are there on the screen. The website is www.call2come.org and you can find us on Twitter or Facebook with the username Call2Come. My name is Mike and I’m the co-founder and director of Call2Come together with my friend Dr Howard Barnes. And together we believe the Lord has commissioned us with the mandate to help prepare the Bride. And so, without using any further time let’s move into our study on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

To begin with we’ll take a look at some of the many scriptures in which the Coming of Jesus Christ has been foretold, and then I want to spend the rest of our time delving deeper into the Word of God to look especially at three aspects of this world wide and climactic event. These are

  1. The nature of His return – discussing who, where, and how will Jesus return.
  2. The necessity of His return – and answering why it is so essential that Jesus does return, and then
  3. The nearness of His return – to see what Jesus told us concerning when He would return

There’s quite a lot to cover, and so we’ll break these sections up into separate lessons so that’s there will plenty of time to soak in what’s being taught, and allow time for personal study and questions.

So, let’s take a look at a few scriptures to get started.

The Second Coming is one of the most frequently mentioned doctrines in the Bible. In the New Testament, one out of twenty-five verses refers to the Second Coming or to the rapture, and in both the old and new testaments, His Second Coming is referenced eight times more than His first coming. In the New Testament alone, the Lord’s Second Coming is mentioned over 300 times. And the only doctrine that is mentioned more than the Second Coming, is the doctrine of Salvation.

The advent of Jesus Second Coming is something that was foretold many times and by many people over the course of history. Let’s take a look at what the prophet’s wrote about the Second Coming. in the book of Jude 14 and 15 it reads:

Now Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied about these men also saying “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgement on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude 14,15

I was watching in the night visions and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. Then to him was given dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all peoples,  nations,  and languages should serve him. His Dominion is an everlasting Dominion which shall not pass away and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. Dan 7:13,14

Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west making a very large valley:  half of the mountain shown move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Zech 14:3,4

In the New Testament, we find reference to the Second Coming in 23 out of the total 27 books contained. And all of the New Testament writers spoke about it. The advent of Jesus Second Coming is something that was foretold many times and by many people over the course of history. We’ve seen what the prophets had to say now let’s look at what the apostles taught us.

Apostle James writes: Therefore be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the Earth waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7

Apostle John writes: And now little children abide in him that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.1 John 2:28

Apostle Peter writes: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the Earth and the works that are in it will be burnt up. 2 Pet 3:10

Apostle Paul writes:  Now Brethren concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ has come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed. 2 Thess 2:1-3

The Angels

One of the key scriptures that’s used to teach about the Second Coming we find in the first chapter of the Book of Acts. This was a time when Jesus had died and resurrected and He was spending some time in His resurrected body with His disciples, and we read that Jesus taught them many things concerning the kingdom of God. His disciples asked him “Lord are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom?”  and we know Jesus replied  saying  “it’s not for you to know the times set by my Father, but instead wait for the gift promise to you and you will receive power to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world.”  After that we see that there was a time when Jesus ascended into heaven and specifically it says in Acts 1:10 and 11 that while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said “men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.””

Jesus

And so we have seen what the prophets have said. And what the apostles taught us, and also that the angels themselves gave instruction that Jesus would return. But now let’s look at what Jesus himself taught us.

” I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…… You have heard me say to you ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said I am going to the Father for my Father is greater than I” John 14:18.28″

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of Heaven to the other.” Matt 24:30.41

Ok now that we’ve seen just how much the Second Coming is taught in scripture, let’s go a little deeper into the word and look for answers to the following three questions

  1. Who is it who is returning?
  2. Where will this dramatic event take place?
  3. How will the Second Coming actually happen?

It might seem odd but when talking about the return of Jesus Christ, there’s a very important question that we must ask: Who is it that’s actually returning? Of course, we know that it’s Jesus, but since Jesus returned to Heaven He hasn’t been seen for 2000 years since the clouds hid him from sight when He ascended from the Mount of Olives. Can we be sure of who it is who’s actually coming? So the question we ask is: Will Jesus return as the incarnate Son of Man or as the pre-existent Son of God? Well let’s have a look again at the verse we’ve just read in Acts 1 verse 11. Here it says (and this is the angels talking to the disciples as you remember when Jesus was going up into the clouds that hid him from sight), the angels told the disciples that this same Jesus will come back. The point here is that the angels used His human name. This was the name that Jesus received when conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary that His name shall be Jesus.  And so, the angels are telling us that this same Jesus, in other words the human Jesus, as the incarnate Son of God as the Son of Man. The angels emphasised that He will return as the same form as the Jesus that  ascended.

Hebrews 13:8 the writer say this “He is the same yesterday today and forever.” In other words this same Jesus will not change. He is the same. He is the same 2000 years ago as He is today. He will return in the flesh. That is, the Jesus which ascended from the Mount of Olives is the same Jesus in all His glory in all His humanity and in all His deity. The person that He was when He ascended is the person that shall come when He returns. Jesus retains His humanity. So our question will Jesus return as the incarnate Son of Man or as they pre-existent Son of God, as we have seen it is the same Jesus i.e. the incarnate Jesus, Jesus the Son of Man as He is also the Son of God.

In 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus.”  There is a man in heaven. He is the first fruits. There is a man Jesus Christ who lives in heaven at the Father’s side. He is a man as He is also fully God, but also fully man. This is important for it is because Jesus is fully human as He is fully God, that He is able to serve as the high priest who can sympathize with us and represent us before God. If you want to read further than look at Hebrews 4:15 or Hebrews 6:20. So the answer to our question is:  Jesus will return as the same person He was at His ascension into heaven. He will return as the Son of Man fully human but fully God.

We know that Jesus has kept His human name even after His ascension into heaven. Even in the revelation given to John Jesus calls himself by the name given to him at His birth. As we find in Revelation 20:16 “I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David and the Bright and Morning Star.”  But just as He received the name Jesus on His first coming, so it is that He will be known by a new name on His Second Coming.  In Revelation 19:12-13 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called the Word of God.

Interesting here is the description of Jesus, that upon His head were many crowns.  And that He had a name that only He knew, it was a name given to himself.  So, we’ve looked at who is returning now let’s take a look at where Jesus is coming back to. Since Jesus is returning as the Son of Man, He is returning in the physical realm with a physical body, so He must return also to a physical or geographical location. In other words, Jesus has to come back somewhere geographical, a specific place upon the Earth. Before He ascended, Jesus could not be in two places at the same time. His Spirit can be everywhere but His body must be located somewhere specifically. This leads to the question. Where will Jesus return?

The prophet Zechariah 4:14 says this: on that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward and the other half southward.

Zechariah 8:3  this is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain”.

In Acts 1:11 if you remember, when the angels gave encouragement to the disciples saying “that this same Jesus would return”, He’s not only returning as the same Jesus, we now read in Zechariah that He’s actually returning to the very place in which He left. As though for two thousand years something has been on pause and Jesus is coming back as the same Jesus to the same place. So, the answer to our question is: Jesus will return at first to the Mount of Olives and then proceed into Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at the centre of the world’s land mass. Jerusalem is at the meeting point of the three continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. Jerusalem is called the City of the Great King Matthew 5:35

Ok, so we’ve looked at who is coming and where He’s coming back to, but now let’s take a moment to look at how will Jesus actually return. The first thing is that it will be a very visible coming. On Jesus first coming hardly anyone knew that He had come at all. Only a handful of people ever noticed. Even the star in the sky was only observed by those who were looking.  But His Second Coming would be very different and one that everyone will see.

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Revelation 1:7 Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Two thousand years ago Jesus was born as a baby and placed in a manger. That’s not how He’s coming again. When He comes again He will be visible and the Bible says that every eye will see him. As clearly as you can see lightning, will be as clearly as you can see Jesus coming. Everyone will see Jesus coming. Every eye will see the coming of Jesus Christ.

There are three Greek words that describe the nature of Jesus return. The first word that we find in scripture and these are Greek words is the word “parousia”. And “parousia” means to be beside, and was used generally when someone arrived to join others who expected them. But there were two particular applications which are of significance. One use is to describe the arrival of a foreign king with his army at the border of a land He intended to invade. The other use of “parousia” was used to describe the arrival of a king and his court to visit one of his cities. In this case the citizens would go out to meet him outside the city so that they might honour him by processing through the gates with him.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 and then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (parousia)

Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately saying “Tell us when will these things be and what will be the sign of your coming (parousiaand of the end of the age. So “parousia”, remember is the description of a king either a foreign king coming to the border of a land that He intends to invade, or as a king coming back, after being away, to come and visit one of his cities. And so in both of these verses when it’s talking about coming, it’s talking about the king returning either to invade or to come to take over the nation, to take over and occupy the land. Or the king returning back to that which is His own.  I think both of the uses of this word is applicable when we are talking about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Because He is the King and He’s coming to occupy, He’s coming to invade, if you like, and to take over the nations, when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our God and His Christ. But He’s also coming back to that which is His own. He’s coming to Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. He’s coming back to the world in which He made. This is the word “parousia”.

The 2nd of our Greek words is the word “Epiphaneia”. Epiphaneia is a noun meaning literally, “a shining forth; it was used of the appearance of a god to men”, Vine’s Expository Dictionary. It was used in Greek to identify a spectacular event. Thayer’s Lexicon says Epiphaneia “often used by the Greeks of a glorious manifestation of the gods and especially of their advent to help …in 2 Macc. Of signal deeds and events betokening the presence and power of god as helper”

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing (Epiphaneia) and His kingdom.

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing (Epiphaneia) of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So the idea of this word “Epiphaneia” is that it is the intervention of God for the benefit of man. It is accompanied by great light, or a shining forth, a suddenly. A sudden appearance of God in the help or the rescue of men.

Our third Greek word is the word “Apokalypsis”, which means to appear uncovered, to appear as you really are, to be unveiled. He will appear as He really is: the Son of God crowned in all His glory. Like the coronation of a monarch in all their splendour. Jesus will return not in obscurity with His glory hidden, but in full display of His majesty and who He really is. This is the meaning of the word “Apokalypsis” and unveiling. The stripping away, so that something can be seen for what it really is. That’s the word described for Jesus Second Coming is the word “Apokalypsis”.

1 Corinthians 1:7 therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the coming (revealing/”Apokalypsis”) of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13 therefore with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed (“Apokalypsis”) at His coming.

2 Thessalonians 1:7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us when the Lord Jesus is revealed (“Apokalypsis”) from heaven with His mighty angels.

When He is no longer hidden away, in this we have hope. Let us be encouraged that Jesus Christ is coming back on full display, a full revelation, nothing hidden. All that He is as the Son of God and the Son of Man together in the one person Jesus Christ, shall be fully revealed when He comes – this is the word “Apokalypsis”.

Well let’s take a break here, as we’ve already covered a lot, but we have a lot more to go through. So I pray that you’ve already been encouraged to know the certainty of these things and that has Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “if in this life only we have hope in Christ then we are of all men the most miserable.” In other words, our hope isn’t in the now. It isn’t in what’s happening today or next week. our hope is in what’s to come. It’s in what lies ahead. The glory that awaits. The blessed hope of His appearing. That’s why we have hope. That’s why we can endure whatever we have to face in today’s challenges in life, because we know that Jesus is coming back. And our hope is in the certainty of His coming. So be blessed and get dressed. For Jesus is coming back. When ready please go to part 2 of the study, and we will look at the question: Why is Jesus coming? And we will explore the different things that His Second Coming will accomplish. So may God bless you and thank you. Maranatha.

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Coming – Part 2A

Hi and welcome to part two of our study on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This series forms part of the Call2Come foundation course and the aim of the foundation course is to provide a solid biblical foundation covering the core elements of the Call2Come movement.

In part 1 I shared how apart from the doctrine of salvation there’s more scripture on the Second Coming than any other doctrine. In the Bible there are eight times more references to the Lord’s Second Coming than his first. And in the New Testament there are over 300 references to this event and we find reference to the Second Coming in 23 out of the total 27 books contained. In fact, all of the New Testament writers spoke about it. And so, it is not something that is easily ignored and yet possibly because of the nature of the subject and the challenges involved with interpretation, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ does not feature well from the pulpit or as a topic of discussion. Part of the problem is the diversity of opinion over many aspects of what is to come, and we call the study of future things eschatology.

Even a brief survey of what is being taught today around the world about the Second Coming, and other future events could quickly lead to the conclusion that the Bible is not clear on these things. And yet, the truth is that so much of what is being taught simply has no biblical rationale. Or scripture is used to support a theory or has been taken out of context or is used to argue a point that it was never intended for. This is called eisegesis or putting into scripture what isn’t there. Rather than exegesis which is taking out of scripture what is there. I don’t want to take time here on what is called hermeneutics, only to say that my approach is to take the literal meaning of the text unless there is a clear reason not to. In other words, let the text speak for itself. An example of this, is the millennium. Revelation 20 teaches there will be a period of 1000 years in which Christ will reign upon the Earth after the great tribulation. There’s no reason to change the meaning of this text and so when the Bible says Christ will reign upon the earth for a thousand years, then that’s what it means, and therefore that’s what I believe. The alternative to the literal approach is the allegorical approach, which changes the literal meaning and allegorises it into something else and often with a completely different meaning and implication. In this particular case, with the millennium it actually says there’s no millennium at all which is where the word a-millennialism comes from.

So that being said we’ll continue on our study of the Second Coming in a moment, but just a quick introduction first of all about Call2Come.

The passion which fuels everything that we do and the urgency of the hour in which we live is for the Bride of Jesus to get ready. Because we believe Jesus is returning very soon. Our hope is to communicate our passion for the bride and the longing to see Jesus return as the bridegroom king. There is an urgency upon the times in which we are now living yet, an eternal purpose remains true and unaffected.  It is our belief that this eternal purpose is found within the Bride who the father always intended to give to his Son. The Lord is in control and leading us somewhere beautiful. For those who have ears to hear may we hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. My name is Mike I’m the co-founder and director of Call2Come. You can find out more about Call2Come either on our website and you can see the details on the screen www.Call2Come.org or you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook with the username Call2Come.

Ok let’s get started. In part one we looked at the Who and the How of Jesus coming. In this session, part two we will be answering the question Why. Why is it necessary that Jesus should return at all? Why not simply rapture us and we live forever in heaven? What is it that he will accomplish that requires his coming back to Earth in order to complete? I’m really excited to get into a number of different topics all centred around this question. We’ll take our time but in fairness some of these subjects will require much more time then we have here, and so we’ll cover these in later lessons. But here my aim is to at least give an introduction in the reasons and necessity of Jesus return in the hope of answering the question why. I want to give seven reasons why Jesus will return. These are: To bring salvation. To gather us and to himself. Jesus is coming to save Israel. He’s coming to conquer his enemies. Jesus is coming to bring judgement. He’s coming to reign. And the final point and reason for his return is that Jesus is coming to marry his bride.

The first thing that Jesus will do when he comes to Earth in his Second Coming, is to bring salvation with him. Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many: and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring Salvation to those who are waiting for him.

He will appear a second time to bring Salvation to those that are waiting for him. This raises an important understanding over the process of Salvation. This scripture suggests that the process of Salvation is not yet fully complete, or that we have not yet received our salvation since Jesus is bringing salvation with him when he comes. We are not yet fully saved but we are in the process of being saved. Salvation is a process. There is a part which is not yet saved – our body, still under the law of sin and death. Our forgiveness is complete, and certainly Jesus doesn’t need to die again for our sins.

Philippians 3 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things unto himself.

Romans 8:23 and not only the creation but we are ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies.

So in answer to why Jesus is returning he’s coming back to bring salvation with him. Our salvation will only be fully complete when he comes. Romans 8:23 says we grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. The redemption of our bodies. I don’t want to go into the once saved always saved subject here only to say that we have not yet fully received our salvation.  We have tasted the first fruits but there is so much more. Until we are changed to be like him when we see him like he is, then we have not yet fully entered into the Salvation transformation or experience as Jesus taught us or as portrayed in scripture.

The second reason why it is that Jesus will return back to planet Earth is to gather us unto himself that we might be with him. John 14:3 and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also.

Jesus is returning to earth, so if we are to be with him then we also will be returning to earth, since we shall always be with him. If Jesus is here then we will be here. It is because we shall live upon the earth that we will require a new body.  It will be a glorious body like his body this is known as the first resurrection and will take place upon his Second Coming.

Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “for this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

Oh the blessed gathering of the Saints.  What a time it will be. As Jesus told Thomas in John 20:29 “blessed are they that believe and have not seen him.” That’s you and I. We haven’t seen him, yet we believe and there will come a day when Jesus will gather us to himself and we shall see him as he is. Our faith will be rewarded when we are gathered together to be with him. It is the longing of the human heart that has been awakened to the Eternal Divine that is God. That we should be with him. It is the longing of our hearts to be home. He is home.  We know that we are no longer citizens of this world but more so, citizens of Heaven. If that is true, then we are aliens here in a foreign land. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:11 he says “brothers I urge you as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires.” He’s saying I urge you, that since we are foreigners and exiles here to abstain from sin. Paul says the same thing in Philippians 3:20 “for our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly await for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.” When Jesus returns he is coming to take us home. We will be gathered to be with him forever. But more than this we will also be gathered to each other. Those who have gone before and now sleeping in Christ and all those who are his across the face of the Earth, we shall all be caught up to meet him in the air when he comes in power and great glory. This is our hope and the reason for his coming. To fulfil his promise that he would return and take us to be with him forever. This is the second reason Jesus is coming. To gather all those that are his to be with him.

The third reason Jesus will return is to save Israel or the Jews. This isn’t to say that salvation is not already available for the Jews until he comes. On the contrary many Jews believed on him at his first coming and have done ever since for 2000 years.  But as a nation Israel has many prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled and are not replaced by the church as in replacement theology. Let’s look at some scripture.

Romans 11:26 “and so all Israel will be saved as it is written: “the Deliverer will come out of Zion and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob””

Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of Grace and supplication so that they will look on me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a first born”

God’s covenant with Israel was an everlasting covenant.  And He has a plan that includes both Jew and Gentile. In Jesus’ first coming the Jewish prophetic timeline was on pause for the sake of the Gentiles. But the time will come when both Jew and Gentile shall become one.

Ephesians 2 14-16 “for he himself is our peace who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation having abolished in his flesh the enmity that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in Himself one new man from the two thus making peace and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross thereby putting to death the enmity”

The key word here is “one new man”. That Jesus has abolished the dividing wall that separated Jew and Gentile in his own body and that through his death has abolished those laws and commandments to bring Jew and Gentile together to make one new man.

Another scripture Romans 11:25 says “for I do not desire brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery lest you should be wise in your own opinion that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

As a nation Israel rejected Jesus as their messiah on his first coming. That will not happen again on his second coming. But as Paul writes in Romans that we should not be arrogant or proud concerning our opinion of Israel indeed we should be humbled. Because the blindness that Paul speaks of here that has happened to Israel, has allowed Salvation to come to the Gentiles.

It was always necessary for both Jew and Gentile to be saved this is part of the mystery of the ages. But the Lord has promised a messiah for Israel. And whilst they rejected him once, the next time they will see him as he truly is and yes they will look upon the one they pierced and mourn for him but it will not end in bitterness or mourning or rejecting their messiah, but with rejoicing and a new Song. And both Jew and Gentile shall come together. No longer with the wall of hostility between them or division by ethnicity, but instead they shall be formed into a new being. Where there is no more Jew or Gentile. A new identity. Or as the Bible teaches one new man. This can only happen when Jesus returns to save Israel. So that’s the third reason for Jesus returning. He is coming again to save Israel so that together with the Gentiles they shall become the one new man.

The fourth reason that Jesus is returning to Earth is to conquer his enemies.

Revelation 19 11-16 “And I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon it was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean. And out of his mouth goes forth a sharp sword that with it he should smite the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.”

Exodus 15:3 the Lord is a warrior the Lord is his name.

Isaiah 42:13 the Lord will go forth like a warrior he will arouse his zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, he will raise a war cry, he will prevail against his enemies.

When Jesus comes he isn’t coming as timid or weak. But he’s coming as a man of war. He’s coming as a warrior. He will raise a battle cry, the war cry. He’s coming to make war and to prevail against his enemies.

Leading up to the Lord’s Second Coming we know that wars and rumours of wars will increase but more specifically there will be an increase of hostility towards Jerusalem and Israel.

Zechariah 12:3 and it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

The nations of the Earth shall gather to come against Jerusalem.

Revelation 16 13-16 and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the Earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. “Behold I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.

The Battle of Armageddon, the scripture teaches will happen just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and we find more about that in Revelation 19.

In addition to Armageddon there are two other particular conflicts against Israel which are mentioned in the Bible that precede the Lord Second Coming. These are:

The Middle East War Psalm 83:2-5 For behold your enemies make a tumult. And those who hate you have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against your people and consulted together against your sheltered ones. They have said “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation that the name of Israel may be remembered no more”. For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against you.

If you have a look at Psalm 83, you will find in that Psalm there are 10 different people groups and Nations which are all Israel’s neighbours. They all border Israel. They have a history with Israel. They are the people groups or nations in the closest vicinity to Israel. This particular Psalm was by Asaph who was known to be a prophet or seer. And though this psalm is a lament, it doesn’t refer to the political or national situation at that time, but Asaph was seeing something that would happen in Israel’s future, and even until our time today, has not yet happened in the way described. And we call this the Middle East war, which is comprised of the Nations or people groups which border Israel’s territory.  As the Psalm here says those nations will form a confederacy against you, which is Israel. That the name of Israel may be remembered no more. So that’s the first conflict that will take place as the time of Jesus Second Coming approaches.

The third conflict in addition to Armageddon and the war in the Middle East we find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and is commonly known as the Gog and Magog war. Just to mention at this point that this is not the same Gog and Magog that we find in Revelation 20. In that particular case that happens after the millennium. The Bible teaches that after the millennium Satan will be let loose to deceive the whole world or all the nations of the world. To gather them together to come against God’s people. To come against Israel and Jerusalem. But in that particular occasion right at the end of time after the millennium it says that fire will come down from Heaven and consume them and they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. That’s a different outcome and a different victory than the one described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. So that’s Gog and Magog after the millennium, and there are differences to the conflict described here in Ezekiel 38 and 39. I’ll cover Gog and Magog more in a separate teaching, but just to look at a couple of verses here in chapter 38 of Ezekiel.

But before we read these verses just to understand that this was a prophecy given by God to Ezekiel and he spoke to Gog of the Land of Magog. So as we read these verses just bear in mind that this prophecy is speaking about Gog.

“After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the Nations and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend coming like a storm covering the land like a cloud and all your troops and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord God “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind and you will make an evil plan. You will say “I will go up against a land of unwalled villages. I will go to a peaceful people who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates …”

So this prophecy is speaking to Gog of Magog and it’s not talking about Satan being let loose to rally the nations of the world after the millennium. But is talking about a leader or a prince or a king called Gog from the land of Magog. And if we had time we would look at the rest of that chapter, where it doesn’t talk about the whole world but actually about a select number of nations all within the Middle East, but not the nations that we find in the Middle East war of Psalm 83, yet nevertheless nations within that geographical region of the world. And the prophecy says that in the mind of Gog and evil plan will be conceived. And Gog will rally the nations together to come against Israel. This is the Gog and Magog conflict that will happen very close to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

So, when looking at this reason for Jesus coming again which is to conquer his enemies the conflicts which will take place around that time or leading up to that time will be the Middle East war, the Gog and Magog war but also of course the Battle of Armageddon which will occur immediately before Jesus return which we find in Revelation 19. This is a vast subject that I’ll cover in a separate teaching but for this lesson it is suffice to say that there will be many enemies who will gather against Israel and Jerusalem at various times leading up to the Second Coming. But the Lord will defeat all his enemies.

Zechariah 12:9 and on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem

The Second Coming – Part 2B

Hi welcome back to the continuation of our series on the second coming of Jesus Christ. in our lesson today we are continuing with part 2, looking at the reasons why Jesus is coming back to Earth. In the first part of this lesson we discussed four out of the seven reasons why Jesus is coming,  and now we will conclude part 2 and discuss the remaining three reasons.

If you missed part 1 or the first part of this lesson part 2, then you can find these by going to our website at www.call2come.org, You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook with the user name @call2come. But let’s continue now with our teaching, looking at the reasons why Jesus is returning.

Last time we looked at the first four reasons, and said these were: To Bring Salvation;  To Gather us to Himself;  To save Israel; and the fourth reason we looked as was Jesus is coming back to Conquer His enemies. And so in continuing we will look at Judgement, Jesus is Coming to Judge, He’s also coming to reign, and the last and most glorious reason for His return, is that Jesus is coming to marry His Bride.

So, let’s now look at fifth thing that Jesus will accomplish when he comes again. I refer here to the judgement. That when Jesus Comes he’s coming to judge.

A key characteristic of the nature of God is that he is just. And because he’s just there must be justice and for justice there must be judgement.

Psalm 9:7,8 but the Lord abides forever; He has established his throne of judgement.  And he will judge the world in righteousness;  He will execute judgement for the peoples with equity.

Isaiah 61:8 I the Lord love justice I hate robbery and wrong doing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.

God the Father is not going to judge the human race but has delegated this role to his Son Jesus who is the Son of Man. Jesus fully human knows what it is like to live the life we have lived, and so we are without excuse and we will stand before the One who fully understands us.

John 5:20,27 for the Father judges no one but has committed all judgement to the Son ….  and has given him authority to execute judgement also because he is the Son of Man.

When Jesus returns he will be coming to judge. But this is not the same as the Great White throne judgement which happens after the millennium, instead, this judgement is known as the judgement seat of Christ and applies only to those who are saved and it takes place after the first resurrection, which is the resurrection of the righteous. The second resurrection doesn’t take place until after the millennium and we see that in revelation Chapter 20.

So this judgement is a different kind of judgement to the one we find at the Great White throne.  This judgement is not about sin for Christ himself has borne the punishment for our sin. The punishment that brought us peace as we read in Isaiah 53. Instead it is a judgement over works that we have done whilst we waited for his return.

2 Corinthians 5:10 “for we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done whether good or bad.”

Revelation 22:12 Jesus is speaking and he says “Look I am coming soon my reward is with me and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” This is a judgement of reward based upon what was done in the body whilst waiting for his Second Coming.

So, as we have seen when Jesus Comes again he is coming to judge the works done by believers whilst in the body this is also known as the  “Bema Seat” judgement of Christ. But it is important to add that there will be another judgement that will take place on the Second Coming and this is known as the Sheep and Goats judgement.

Ok what am I saying? I’m saying that on the second coming of Jesus we find in scripture two judgements described for us. These are the Bema Seat judgement of Christ which is the reward to those saved whilst in the body. But also, there is another judgement that happens when Jesus returns and this we find in Matthew 25 31-46 which is the Sheep and Goats judgement. let’s see what it says and will look at Matthew 25:31-33

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him then he will sit on the throne of his glory.” (So here is describing the Second Coming of Jesus). “Before him all the nations will be gathered and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

There are two judgements that happen when Jesus Christ Returns. Let’s take a few moments to compare these two judgements to see whether they are referring to the same event or actually they are indeed different, and two separate judgements. Well they both happen when Jesus Returns but in Revelation 22:12 it says “look I am coming soon my reward is with me and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” This is referring to the Bema Seat judgement because it’s a judgement of reward when Jesus Comes rewarding those who are his.

And now with a look in Matthew 25:31-33 but when the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

And so a judgement not of reward not separation.

And so, it seems to me that these are talking about two different judgements. They both happen when Jesus Returns but the Bema Seat is about reward whilst the Sheep and Goats judgement is not about reward it’s about separation. The Bema Seat is for the saved whilst the Sheep and Goats judgement in our reading of Matthew 25 speaks about the nations.

The word nations in Greek is the word “ethnos” and means a people group.  It’s the same word used in Matthew 28:19 which if we remember says “go ye therefore into all the world and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  But the word here “ethnos” is the word used for nations. Well, obviously we’re not baptising a nation but rather, we’re baptizing the people of the nation.

So when it says in the Sheep and Goats judgement that He will bring the nations before him, he’s saying that the people of those nations, will be brought before him, or another way of saying this is that the people of the world will come before him.  This is a different description to those who are saved and the judgement is a different judgement because in the Sheep and Goats judgement it’s not a matter of reward but a matter of separation. For those who are deemed to be good they are all invited into the kingdom of God. But for those who are deemed to be unrighteous or evil they are shut outside.

The Sheep and Goats judgement will be for everyone (the people from all Nations) who are alive when Jesus returns again in glory which will be at his Second Coming. The basis of this judgement is on how those living treated the “brethren” of Christ.in Matthew 25 verse 40 “and the King will answer and say to them assuredly I say to you in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me.”

We’ll come back to this another time but for now what I’m saying is that the Sheep and Goats judgement will be for everyone the Greek word “ethnos” or nations is the word used here.

I should also mention again that this is not the Great White throne judgement because we know that happens after the millennium. This judgement as we’ve already seen happens after Jesus returns in glory with his angels which is before the millennium at his Second Coming. This judgement differs from the Bema Seat judgement because it also includes the wicked.  And the result of this judgement is not about reward but whether the person being judged will be separated from the Lord into eternal punishment. Remember that the second Resurrection doesn’t take place until after the millennium as revelation 20 teaches. We know this judgement takes place at the Lord Second Coming and so therefore cannot include those who have already died because they haven’t yet been resurrected. Instead I therefore see this as applicable to those who are alive when Jesus Returns and not those who have died previously. Because the rest of the dead, those who are not his and therefore not raptured, will not rise until after the millennium.  So this judgement that happens when Jesus comes is for those who are alive at that time. This would be after the great tribulation but before the millennium.

We know that during the great tribulation untold millions of people will die. Both saved and unsaved but not everyone. There will be some who will have survived both saved and unsaved. Those that are saved will have been raptured in the clouds when he comes, but what about those left upon the Earth? Some of these will be destroyed because they will be amongst those who come against Jerusalem as in the Battle of Armageddon, but what about those who are neither yet saved but neither have they bloodied themselves with the blood of the Saints. What if they instead have shown kindness to those who belong to the Lord. By visiting them in prison, by feeding them, by clothing them when they were naked. As we know during the tribulation there will be tremendous persecution against those who refuse the mark of the beast, they will be put to death, they will be persecuted and there will be tremendous suffering of the people of God. Is it that this passage refers to such people who will show kindness during this time?  I believe it’s possible that yes, it is possible this passage is speaking about judgement for those who were alive when he comes but specifically referencing how these people have treated those who belong to the Lord or as Jesus himself called them my brothers. Those that are his, those that are saved, surely they know that when they show love to their fellow man that they are loving and serving God. Why is it then, that in this teaching they should seem so surprised? If you remember in the passage it says Lord when did we do these things? Interesting isn’t it. Why is it in this teaching that those who are classed as the sheep did not know this fundamental truth of the Christian Faith? Well there’s a thought, but we’ll leave it there and come back to this another time.

in our discussion of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ the next reason why Jesus will be coming back is that Jesus is coming back to reign.

Acts 1:6 Therefore when they had come together they asked him saying Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?

It’s an interesting question isn’t it?  Jesus had been with them for three and a half years, he had performed all of those miracles, he’d raised the dead, cleansed the leper, gave sight to the blind and walked on the water.  And yet here we find the disciples asking “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” There was so much more that was yet to be fulfilled with the messianic promise. So they were asking this question knowing that the kingdom had not yet come to Israel. That there was not yet a king on the Davidic throne. The messianic promise has not yet been fulfilled until the throne of David has been restored and the branch of Jesse sits upon the throne in Jerusalem. Until that point in time there is still an expectancy, a longing, there is still unfulfilled prophecy relating to Israel. So the disciples are asking Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?

He is not yet reigning physically upon the Earth and scripture teaches that his throne shall be established in Jerusalem. Also, every knee has not yet about before him. Isaiah 45:23 by myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return ” to me every knee shall bow every tongue shall swear allegiance”  that hasn’t happened yet.

When Jesus Returns he is coming as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That means he is coming to reign upon the Earth. There is a sense in which he is already reigning now but there is yet to be a consummation of his Kingdom.

Revelation 11:15 then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven saying “The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Rev 19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns 

Rev19:16 and He has on his robe and on his thigh a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Make no mistake, Jesus Christ has always been the king. That was his final revelation to John in revelation 22 when he said I am the root and the Offspring of David I am the bright morning Star.  I am the Eternal King I was King before David I will be king after David. David was King because I am King. Jesus is always King. He is the King. He is the King of Kings.  He wasn’t received as the king not by the majority at his first coming. The Crown that was placed upon his head at his first coming was the crown of thorns, but when Jesus Comes again it will not be a crown of thorns that graces His royal brow, it will be a crown like no other crown and a name like no other name. The name of Jesus Christ, He is coming in the fullness and glory of all that he is as the king coming to reign as the king of kings and Lord of Lords.

And the final reason the reason that Jesus is coming back in what we call His Second Coming is to marry his bride. This is what Call2Come is all about the message that has captivated our hearts. The one that we carry with us if we speak or preach nothing else it is to understand and to proclaim that Jesus is the bridegroom King. He is King. But he is the Bridegroom King. And he’s coming back for his bride. He’s coming back for those that are his. Those that long for his return for him to marry his bride. He’s coming back for his bride. This is the mystery of the ages that we are restored into a relationship with the Father through the Son but it doesn’t end there. That the Father might give away the bride to his Son.  Who is it that gives away the bride at a wedding? It is the father who gives the bride away!

We know this passage in Ephesians 5 well, where it speaks of husband and wife. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church” but Paul is using the relationship between husband and wife to teach us a higher truth about the relationship that Jesus has with his church. For his church is none other than his bride. And for this reason a man the man Jesus will leave his father’s house and go and be united to his wife. The man Jesus will leave his father’s house and shall become one with us his bride. That is our destiny to be one,  married to Jesus Christ. The great mystery that Paul spoke of and captivated his life and his message was to let people know, to let the church know, that they were the Bride.

Paul knew that the church was more than a body of believers and understood that she was destined for absolute oneness with the Lord the kind of oneness that is only possible and best described through the marriage relationship.

2 Corinthians 11:4 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband that I might a present you as a chaste or pure virgin to Christ.

It is necessary for Jesus to come again because his Bride is prepared upon the Earth.  Wow, let’s take a look at something Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

For the bride to be made one with the bridegroom she must be just as he is. For he cannot unite with anyone other than that which is of his own flesh. That was what Adam and Eve taught us in Genesis 1 and 2. If you remember in the creation story it says that God made man male and female he created them both and yet in Genesis 2 when we see Adam who names all the animals that pass by him and it says that Adam was alone and there was no suitable helper for him. This raises the question where was Eve? Eve was within Adam, that’s why the Lord put Adam to deep sleep and opened his side and from his rib he brought forth the Bride. The Bride of Adam came from Adam when Adam awoke he said, “this is flesh of my flesh bone of my bone”.  And the two shall become one. And we find here in the Creation the first prophetic declaration of Jesus Second Coming, for in that very chapter it says for this reason a man shall leave his father’s house. Well Adam had no father’s house that he could leave. He was the first man. It was a prophetic foretelling of Jesus and his bride.  What I am saying is that Jesus cannot wed or be united to anything other than that which comes from him. That which is of the same kind of flesh as his flesh the same Spirit as his Spirit.

And so when Paul teaches in that verse we’ve just read in Ephesians 4:13 (and we know this passage well because it talks about the five-fold ministry having been given to the church for the equipping of the Saints,) but if we carry on the reading in verse 13 we find the word “until“. In other words, the five-fold ministry and the equipping of the saints will continue until as the Bible says, until what? Until we all come into unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. To become a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

For Jesus to be united, to marry his bride, for the bride to be ready, is this accomplishment in Ephesians 4:13. That she has become the perfect man. That she has attained to the full measure of who Christ is. That’s when the Bride is ready, when she’s like Him. That is only possible when Jew and Gentile have come together. As this verse tells us there is to be unity of the faith and of knowledge of the Son of God. There isn’t unity of the knowledge of the Son of God until both Jew and Gentile recognise who is Jesus Christ really is as the Messiah and the Son of God.

That preparation for the Bride therefore is not something that happens in obscurity in heaven but is something that takes place, and can only take place upon the Earth. And therefore, when the Bride is getting ready she is getting ready upon the Earth, and therefore the Bride, the Gentile bride isn’t raptured before the Jewish. There is no Gentile and Jewish bride there is only one bride and she was both Jew and Gentile, but now will come together as One New Man. It is necessary for Jesus to return to wed and marry and rapture his bride. When she has reached unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

And so, in summary this final and most glorious reason for the return of Jesus Christ we see that just before the Lord’s return in

Revelation 19 7 “let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory for the marriage of the lamb has come and his wife has made herself ready.”

Oh Lord how we long for that day. We give ourselves for that day oh Lord. And we call upon you to come now that we in this time shall become ready for your return. The bride is central to all scripture. She is all glorious. As the Word says the woman is the glory of the man. The bride is the glory of the bridegroom and the church is the glory of Jesus Christ.

In Psalm 45:13 a beautiful Psalm, it says All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold., and yet she is at this time hidden in Christ. Why is it that today we can see the church, but who is it that can see the Bride? Well she is hidden of course in Christ. As Eve was hidden in Adam so also the Bride is hidden in Christ. Colossians 3 4 for we are hidden in Christ we are not yet revealed. Until he is revealed. And Jesus will not be revealed until his Second Coming. In the same way the Bride is not yet on full display but she is for his eyes only. But the day will come and will not be long when together with him, when he shall appear in Glory, she shall be with Him. Hallelujah.

 

We thank you Lord for these truths. I pray this word has touched your heart. I pray your heart may be quickened to understand the eternal truths of the reasons that Jesus Christ is coming back. He’s coming back to bring Salvation to us. To gather us together to meet the Lord together in the air. To save Israel. To fulfil the messianic promise that Israel still longs and waits for. There may be those who gather against us and against Israel, and they may say and think to themselves that they will annihilate Israel but they will come against the King of Kings and suffer defeat. When Jesus comes, he is bringing his reward with him, hallelujah. That we shall receive the rewards of things that we have done, even those that no one else sees, he sees, and Jesus is coming back to reward the faithful. But this time he is not coming and returning back to Heaven, but this time he is coming to reign upon the Earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And this King is no ordinary king he is the Bridegroom King. And we together with him shall reign forever and ever and we shall be his bride when he comes.

So, I pray you have been blessed by the continuation of this second part of this series on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I know we’ve covered a lot of things, so please don’t forget you can get a hold of the notes, the video or the PowerPoint presentation. Make sure you do and take time to study these things. Please keep in contact with us at Call2come and you will see our details there on the screen. There will be a third part, a concluding part to this series so I won’t take any more time now but I just want to thank you for your patience and I pray that you will be blessed. We will see you again next time. Maranatha.

The Glorious Bride

The Glorious Bride

Key Concepts

  1. The hidden glory of Jesus
  2. The revealed glory of Jesus
  3. The glory of the man is the woman (the Bride is the glory of Jesus), and the glory of the woman is from the man
  4. The hidden glory of the Bride
  5. The revealed glory of Jerusalem

 

1. The Hidden Glory of Jesus

Jesus did not openly reveal His glory, instead He purposefully chose to avoid such opportunities that presented themselves. In fact here as some figures about what Jesus actually said about Himself

He called God His Father (117 times recorded in the New Testament)

He only referred to Himself directly, four times as the Son of God (all in John’s Gospel) though He never denied it what confronted. (Luke 22:67-70)

He did however refer Himself directly more than fifty times as “the Son of Man”.

Additionally, He forbid anyone who had received revelation about His true identity to not tell anyone else. For example,

His disciples. “‘But what about you? Who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!’ … Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.” (Matthew 16:15,16,20; see also Mark 8:29,30)

Demons. “… He also drove out many demons, but He would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” (Mark 1:34; see also verses 24,25)

“Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him, and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.” (Mark 3:11,12)

“Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:41)

Those He Healed. “… He also drove out many demons, but He would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” (Mark 1:34; see also verses 24,25)

“Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him, and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.” (Mark 3:11,12)

“Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:41)

The World Does Not Recognise the Glory of Jesus

The disciples came to him and asked, ‘Why do you speak to the people in parables?’ He replied, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them … This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes …”’” (Matthew 13:10-11,13-15)

He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own (Israel), but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:10,11)

The god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the good news of the glory of Christ …” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7,8)

 

2. The Revealed Glory of Jesus

Through the Holy Spirit‘No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ … no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit … we have … received … the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:7-13)

Through the Word “… these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31; see also John 5:39,40; Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:4,5)

By the Father Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. Matt 16:17

The Mystery of God Revealed

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29)

“… He brings hidden things to light.” (Job 28:11)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2)

“Truly you are a God who hides himself.” (Isaiah 45:15)

“From now on, I will teach you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.” (Isaiah 48:6)

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:22)

“It is written in the prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’” (John 6:45)

“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence of superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified … My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words … not the wisdom of this age … we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden …” (1 Corinthians 2:1-8)

“… that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge … the mystery of Christ …” (Colossians 2:2,3; 4:3; see also 1:26,27)

 

3. The Glory of the Man is the Woman

A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 1 Cor 11:7

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. 14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her— those brought to be with her. 15 Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king. Ps 45:13-15

As we have already seen with Abraham and Sarah, the promise to Abraham could only be fulfilled through his wife Sarai (meaning princess, the royal bride). So also in the Divine Grace and Mystery of God, Father God has chosen to fulfil His promise to Jesus His Son, through the Royal Bride. Wow, what an incomprehensible thought! No wonder, the bride must be pure like a virgin, to not be tainted by the world, she must be perfect, absolutely pure and spotless without blemish. Eph 5. If the Royal Bride is the glory of Jesus the Bridegroom, then She is not inferior to Him in any way. He would never allow it, in that not because of our own worthiness or righteousness, but because of His great love, that we have been elevated to such a high position, to be considered a worthy suitor for the Son.

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Eph 1:22,23

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Eph 3:8-11

The glory of the woman is from the man. The woman comes out from the man, as with Adam and Eve, in the same way, the Bride comes out of Jesus. She is who she is because He is who He is! She has nothing of herself, but she has received everything in Him. This is the bond of love. She knows the lover’s gaze, and that His desire is for Her. She is completely in love with Him, because of all that He is. She knows that she is “dark but lovely” SS 1:5 and her desire is only for Him. She seeks nothing for herself, her desire is to be in Him, knowing complete fulfilment in the Holy Union. She takes nothing for herself, and is only interested in what delights and glorifies her Bridegroom. She is overwhelmed by grace and love, there is no place for pride or demonstration. She is consumed with resolute intentionality, to make sure that her lover receives all the glory. Though it is given to her, she does not take the glory for herself lightly, but chooses to remain in the posture of surrender. Laying at the feet of Jesus, covered by the hem of His garment over her.

 

4. The Hidden Glory of the Bride

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Col 3:1-4

This passage is very significant when it comes to understanding the Bridal relationship and the manifestation of Glory. Verse 1, begins with “Therefore”, which means it is connected to the previous instruction of Paul to the Colossians. In particular, Paul has been instructing them to not live according the rules or principles of this world. So here in verse 1, Paul is saying, because of the ability we have to be corrupted, or tempted or deceived into thinking there is some gain or benefit in the principles of this world, and therefore we can be focussed on the world’s ways more than on God’s, we must keep seeking the things above. The things above are glorious and mysterious, yet to those who seek Him diligently, they will be rewarded. There is a saying that says about another “They are so heavenly minded to be of no earthly good”. Or a reproach may be “They always have their head in the clouds”. But here, Paul says that we should have our head in the clouds. We should be focussed on the things above, the mysterious and glorious things of God, with our hopes set on things above, and things to come. And we may argue, that we must be heavenly minded to be of any earthly good. Then in verse 3, is the reason we should seek the things above and not things upon the earth, because we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God. This word “hidden” also means “concealed”. That is to say, we together with Christ are hidden in God. We are not on display, we have not yet been revealed, not in the fullness of Glory that is to come. Verse 4 underlines that our life is of Christ, and that He has not yet been revealed. Paul is writing this after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and yet he is saying that Jesus has not yet been revealed. We know that Jesus has been revealed to those whom the Father chooses, and so Paul isn’t referring to the revealing of Jesus in His first coming, but here is a reference to the unveiling of Jesus, the revealing of who He is when He returns again, in the fullness of Glory in His second coming.

“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” Mark 13:26 (see also Rev 1:7)

The Bride is kept hidden from the world. The world cannot recognise the Bride, anymore than it can recognise Jesus as the Son of God. How is it that it recognises the church, but not the Bride? She is not on display, but for His eyes only. Not until she is fully dressed, will the Bridegroom let anyone see her. I believe the Bride is the most Glorious of all mysteries in Heaven. As Paul teaches

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Eph 5:31,32

John was taken to a great and high mountain where he was shown a vision of the Bride. You cannot see the Bride from the earth! You have to ascend the high mountain, to see what God sees.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. Rev 21:9-11

 

5. The Revealed Glory of Jerusalem

In the last verse we read in Rev 21:9-11 we have the direct connection between the “Bride, the wife of the Lamb” and “the Holy City, Jerusalem”. This also ties in with Rev 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. The phrase here in v2 is “the new Jerusalem” meaning there is now both Jerusalem as in the ancient and Holy City of God, but also Jerusalem the new and glorious Bride. These two are somehow connected if not the same. In verse v10 John says he saw, Jerusalem the Holy City, and in v2 he saw the new Jerusalem, but both describing the Bride, the wife of the lamb.

This is a deep and profound mystery, and I do not profess to understand it fully, but here is what I have come to believe and accept. That the Father had a wife called Israel, and through Israel, brought forth His Son as Incarnate Jesus. He was pre-existent with the Father before Creation, but would become flesh in order to redeem those who would believe in His glory. He came for His bride and paid for her by His own blood!

But more than this, just as Father had initially redeemed Jerusalem the Holy City for His bride, so also through Jerusalem, (it would be just outside Jerusalem City walls), that the blood of His Son paid for the sins of His Father’s wife after she had been adulterous. In so doing, provision was made for Jerusalem and Israel to be restored back into the blessing of marriage covenant. Through this sacrificial act, Jesus not only paid for the sins of Jerusalem, but for the whole world (both Jew and Gentile) to create a New Jerusalem, that would become His, the wife of the lamb!!

In Ezekiel 16:6-13 , speaking of Jerusalem, Ezekiel prophesies

6 “When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare.

8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God. 9 “Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. 12 I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.

And in v32, Jerusalem is specifically mentioned as You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!”

The reference to Jerusalem in Rev 21 represents both the Old and the New Jerusalem. There is a profound mystery here. Something that brings all these things together in one new glorious revelation. I dare not speak in error, so please seek the Lord and His Word for yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. My understanding is that as the Son is eternally begotten from the Father, so also the Bride is eternally begotten from Jerusalem! Yes, the Bride comes from within the Bridegroom himself as Eve was from within Adam, but there is also a woman in Heaven and her name is Jerusalem, and she is the mother of us all.

But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. Gal 4:26

1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labour and in pain to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Rev 12:1-5

17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Rev 12:17

The Bride is because Jerusalem is. Without Jerusalem, there could be no Bride. The Bride is Jerusalem in the same way that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being”. Heb 1:3 The Father and the Son together with the Holy Spirit are One, so also the Jew and the Gentile shall be one, and that together shall become the New Jerusalem, the wife of the lamb. This abolishes any notion that Israel is replaced by the church. On the contrary, Israel and Jerusalem are not replaced any more than the Father is replaced by the Son! No, this is profound mystery but it is through the marriage of the Father and Israel (Jerusalem) that the marriage of the Son and the Royal Bride can happen. These things are all so wonderfully linked together.

As the reference to Jerusalem in Rev 21 represents the old and the new, I believe there is dual prophetic meaning and fulfilment with the prophecies of Isaiah that refer to Jerusalem. In other words, there is fulfilment for both the wife of the Father, and the wife of the Son!

Let’s take a look in Isa 62. A familiar passage, but instead of only seeing this as relating to only Old Jerusalem, let’s see this as relating to the New Jerusalem also, that is the Royal Bride.

1 For Zion’s (the One New Man’s) sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s (the Royal Bride of my Son’s) sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.

2 The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.

3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”;
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”
And your land, “Married”;
For the Lord delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.

5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
So your sons will marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you.

6 On your walls, O Jerusalem (Royal Bride), I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent.
You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves;

7 And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem (the Royal Bride), a praise in the earth.

Isaiah 62:1-7 Additions (in brackets) mine

Conclusion

O that we would set our minds and hearts on things above, and not on earthly things. May we be caught up and consumed with a holy passion for the Bridegroom, longing for His return. Let us know, that He has hidden us away from the eyes of this world, we are His alone. Yet in the fullness of time we shall be revealed together with Him in the coming of His glory and reign. Let us heed the instruction of Isaiah 62:6,7 and never keep silent. To remind the Lord, and take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem and the Royal Bride a praise in the earth.