The Coming of the Lord....in the Clouds

I have deliberately not called this "the Second Coming of Christ". Because we have been given a wrong picture by popular preachers.  Let me give you the real picture that scripture reveals to us how the Lord will manifest Himself in all the earth.

I need to spend several blogs to give you what I believe is the real message of scripture on the coming of the Lord....as opposed to the fevered imaginations of well meaning preachers. 

The problem is that Christians today are much like the Zionists of Jesus day.  They want the Messiah to come out of heaven with an army of angels and smite the earth with plagues and kill and destroy sinners and then set up a theocracy in Jerusalem. I have done an extensive study of the Jerusalem Church and the Judaizers who took control of the Church and stirred up the Zionists with "Messiah is coming back!" and everyone got excited that all the prophecies of David's throne being restored by the Son of David had come...so they precipitated a war with Rome expecting that Jesus was going to come out of the heavens with an army of angels and vanquish the Romans and restore the Kingdom of Israel.  In 64 AD they started their break with Rome and in 66 AD they declared war on Rome and 42 months later in 70 AD more than a million Jews were crowded in Jerusalem surrounded by the Roman army but eagerly expecting a divine miracle.....yes Jesus did return as He said in Rev.22 "Behold I come quickly"...He came in judgment on Jerusalem and the Jews and finished that era.

The tragedy was that only a small handful had remembered what Jesus said "when you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies...flee to the hills".  That small group made it out to Petra. The rest were slaughtered inside Jerusalem by starving rampaging mobs and invading Roman soldiers.

This was the battle of Armageddon that Jesus warned the New Testament church in the Revelation by John would come. It was the end of the age.  We are once again at the end of an age. And I predict we are once again many in the Church are going to repeat the great mistake of the Judaizers of the New Testament church.  Every preacher I hear speaking on "the end times" is predicting a great coming battle in Israel, but Jesus is coming in the clouds with the army of heaven to rescue "His people" and set up a 1000 year Jewish kingdom and He is going to reign over the earth from Jerusalem.

None of this is true.  Jesus had no intention of setting up a Jewish kingdom 2000 years ago and He has no intention of doing that now.  I have already in my writings explained to you why there is no 1000 year Millennium kingdom (His Kingdom if forever), there is no 7 year Great Tribulation...the great tribulation happened exactly as Jesus said it would...to that generation from 33 AD to 70 AD when as He predicted the great Temple of Jerusalem would be so dsestroye3d that not one stone would be left on top of another.

So here we are at the end of the Apostolic age and in a transition to what I call the assembling of the heavenly Temple on earth so that the Lord can come in the clouds and take up residence on earth.  This coming of the Lord that I am about to describe to you is in fact typed out extensively in the Old Testament and when I show you the scriptures then you are going to see what Paul the apostle was trying to describe....because he read it in the scriptures!  It is always better to let scripture interpret scripture and not the imaginations of men.

Before I do so let me first point out the problems with this popular idea of Jesus sitting in Jerusalem running a bureaucracy to rule planet earth for 1000 years.

Would you really recognize Jesus in the flesh if you saw Him?  I ask this because people throughout the gospels seemed to have difficulty recognizing Him and that includes His own friends.

When the temple guards came to arrest Him they needed Judas to point Him out.
After His resurrection Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him in the garden. One the road to Emmaus He walked and talked extensively with two of His disciples and they did not recognize Him. The disciples fishing did not recognize Him when He spoke to them from the shore. He seemed to be just an unremarkable common looking person.

Do you really want to see Him?  John the apostle will tell you about really seeing Jesus. He knew Jesus as a friend and fishing buddy.  Then he saw a glorified Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.  But do you know when he saw the real Jesus? Read it in the first chapter of the book of Revelation....John fell down as dead absolutely terrified.  And he said he was in the spirit when this happened otherwise he would have been dead.  John knew Jesus as a man....John saw Jesus as God.  This is what he wrote afterwards.....

1 John 3:2 "Beloved now are we the sons of God and does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him in order that we may see him as he is."

Jesus is not coming back to earth as a man.  He is God! God is Spirit.  You need to be like Him...that is you need to be in a spirit body to see Him as He is...God!  John tells us He is going to appear....but just as the angels told the disciples when Jesus went to heaven in a cloud...in like manner will He return.  He left the earth manifesting Himself to His people...His return is the same way....coming in a cloud manifesting Himself to His people.  And they will manifest Him to the world for all to see!

Let me give you the typology from Old Testament scripture....

Solomon's Temple

In 1 Kings 8 we have the wonderful description of Solomon building the temple in Jerusalem.  The scripture says that not one stone of the temple was cut on site.  All the stones were carefully cut and sized far away and then brought to the temple site to be fitted without the sounds of hammer or chisel. Then when the temple was finished this is what happened....

"And it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy place that the cloud filled the house of the Lord so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord."

Moses Tabernacle

Here is what scripture says (Ex. 49:34-35)....

"Then a cloud covered the of the congregation and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation because the cloud abode thereon and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle."

Can you see what it means for the Lord to return in the clouds?  It is His glory that is going to fill His Temple, which is His Church....and that is how the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea....because His Temple, His Bride, His Church is growing all over the earth!

The Work of the Apostolic Age

I have been talking about a 2000 year Apostolic age that started at the launch of the Church on the day of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the second foundation of the great city of God....but what is it and what is its purpose?

The Apostolic age is the age of the gifts of the Spirit and most importantly the five - fold ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher pastor...for what purpose?
Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 4:13...

"Till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Elsewhere he says the ministry gifts were given to us "for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry".

Paul recognized that we individually and we as the Church are now the Temple of God...
"Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16) 
"And you are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord"  (Eph. 2:21)

And it is the job of the ministries of the Church in the Apostolic age to shape the stones and build the temple of God on earth so that the Lord can find a habitation on earth that can be His image to all mankind on earth.

Two great mistakes that people make is to think "Oh we can never be like Christ" when that is exactly the purpose of the work of the Holy Spirit working through the ministries in the Church to get us as a collective Body of Christ to one day look like Him, talk like Him, think like Him and most importantly act like Him.

The second great mistake is to think that once the Church has achieved this level of a "spotless Bride without spot or wrinkle" then the Lord is coming to take us out of the world! Not so...Jesus Himself prayed "Father I pray not that you take them out of the world..."  By the time we get to the end of the Apostolic age and the Lord has brought us to a level of maturity as Church...then it is time for a far greater anointing of power to do the work of the ministry (more on that in later blogs).

Now this is exactly the picture that we see in 1 Kings 8 of the construction of the great temple of Solomon.  Each individual stone is being fashioned in some far away quarry and then when they are all ready they are brought to Jerusalem to be fitted in place one to another according to the divine pattern.

And when the temple is completely assembled the great glory cloud of the presence of the Lord came down from heaven and filled the place so much so that the priests could not stand init and the same with Moses in the Tabernacle; when it was completed the great glory cloud of the Lord filled it so much so that Moses could not stand in it.

This is now happening all over the world.  People that you and I have never heard of in all nations of the world are being shaped and discipled by the Lord through the ministry of the Church.  They are growing in maturity. They are starting to taste what the scripture calls "the power of the age to come".  They are enduring hardship and sacrifice for Christ.   The image of Christ is being formed in their lives.  The Lord is getting ready to assemble His great earthly tabernacle for Him to manifest His presence and power in the earth as has never happened in the history of the world.

Do I believe in the physical appearance of Jesus Christ once again on earth? You bet I do! But I believe it is exactly the same as when He left...40 days after His resurrection He appeared in His resurrection body to His disciples. Paul tells us that He appeared to over 500 people before his ascension to heaven.  In like manner is His return. And you know what is really exiting?  It is already happening!  All over the world we are hearing of the appearance of Jesus to people and small groups even in the most strangest of places like appearing to Moslems who then convert to Christ like Paul did.

But I believe that the world is going to see Christ in us His Church....but we are going to see Him as He is.  The world cannot see Him but we can.  As He prayed to the Father "You in me and I in them, that they may be one" so that the world can see God.

Phillip asked Jesus "Show us the Father" And Jesus answered Him "If you have seen me you have seen the Father".  Why because Jesus spoke what the Father told Him to speak, did what the Father showed Him to do.  That is what it means to come into the full maturity of the Son of God. We speak like Him, we act like Him.  That is why He said "Greater works shall you do because I go to the Father".  The world says show us Jesus, we will one day be able to say as a Church, "If you have seen us you have seen Christ."

The time of greater works is now coming soon. 

We are coming to the end of the Apostolic Age.  It is a new "end times".  Once again the proclamation is going out in the Church "Jesus is coming".

And like at the end of the last age yes He is coming for judgment of the world system but He is also coming in His saints in far great manifestation of His power and glory to heal the nations and disciple them into His Kingdom.

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