Friday, January 11, 2013

He is Coming in the Clouds

   Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; 
   even from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 
   and made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.   
    Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him will see Him, and all the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Rev 1:4-7 

The Sequence of Events

 In verses 4-7 we have, in a very concise form, the history of the earth.  
  1. First, we are introduced to Him who is and who was and who is coming.  Then we learn that God the Father sits on a throne.
   2. Next, John extends grace and peace ... from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness.  
         a. Christ was a faithful witness, during His earthly ministry, and
      b. He is the First-born from the dead and He also ascended to heaven to be the Ruler of the kings of the earth.  He will take His kingdom when He comes back to earth.

   3. Then the scene changes and we meet The Church; those people whose robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. 7:14
   a. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.  There are numerous facets involved in being cleansed by the blood of Christ.  First of all,
  • as in Adam all die. 1 Cor. 15:22.   All humans inherited death and a sinful nature because all of us are the offspring of Adam.  This problem must be taken care of by His own blood before we can move on.
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23.    Here we are speaking of our negative actions (sins); those things that we do even though we know we shouldn't.
  • Going to church or mass or even to confession is not going to mitigate those sins by even one iota.  We cannot do anything right which will subtract from the sins we have done.  The only thing that washes away our sins is His own blood.  This can only be done by sincerely confessing our sins and asking Jehovah to forgive us.  This step is often called "regeneration".
  • His own blood also provides sanctification for us.  Sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration. Easton.  To sanctify means commonly to make holy, that is, to separate from the world and consecrate to God. ISBE.  In a normal situation this means that the longer a person is a Christian the more Christ-like that person becomes.
  b. He made us kings and priests.  Some translate this as "a kingdom of priests".

   to God and his Father — There is but one article to both in the Greek, therefore it means, “Unto Him who is at once God and His Father.”  In English, we would understand it more accurately if the word and would be replaced with a comma.

   C. and to Christ's Father be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1:4-6

   4. Last, we read of the next great event in the history of the world.  That is when He comes with clouds and every human will see him.  Some already pray, Even so, come, Lord Jesus, 22:20, and others, those who blaspheme Him or ignore Him now at that time will cry to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 6:16

   We recall from Acts 1, that when Christ ascended into heaven, while they watched, ... a cloud received Him out of their sight. And 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."

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Rev. 1:7.

When He comes back, the Roman soldiers who drove the nails into His hands and feet; the soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a sword; the pious Jews who condemned Jesus, all the self-righteous hypocrites since then and all those who are part of The Church of Christ, those who are washed ... His own blood will see Him.  Every eye in every tribe of the earth will see Him and they will mourn. 

   The Living Bible writes, And the nations will weep in sorrow and in terror when he comes.  When Christ returns He is not coming as a "pussy cat".  Later, in chapter one, a description of Christ is given; his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass (in the Bible, brass speaks of judgment).  

   Paul wrote of the return of Christ in these words, at the revealing of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with the angels of His power, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thes. 1:7-8.  That is the Christ we will all see, and yes, all of us will fall on our knees in obeisance.

   Life is short; Death is sure; Sin the cause; Christ the cure.

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