The Coming of the Christ

(Note from Ron McGatlin: This is a great teaching from the Word on the reality of the coming of Christ with detail word definition. A great read for everyone.)

With God establishing certain times and seasons in which He accomplished those things He purposed, and with a people living during today’s time and season, most of Christendom should be aware of a certain teaching. That is, an awareness that there is going to be a soon coming again of the Christ. While most Christians believe this teaching to be true, the attitude of many is that they are not really looking for that coming. While most church people claim to believe in His coming, most live a life-style that offsets any true showing of this belief. Could we not say, along with the writer of Matthew, that a condition exists among the religious community of today that is quickly fulfilling one of the signs spoken to be aware of concerning the time of Christ appearing?

In Matt. 24:37-39 we read, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. From these scriptures, when Noah entered the ark, God’s place of safety, a place prepared beforehand by divine instruction for divine protection, all who were not in the ark were the ones taken away. Verse 39 says clearly concerning the people who were unbelievers, “and took them all away.” Thus, the flood took away the unprotected ones while Noah and his family were safe and secure to know the joys of entering into a new world after the cleansing flood.

In looking at what scriptures are saying concerning the coming of the Son of man, it is important to open our spirits and minds to the word of God. What does God’s word have to say of His coming? (Read Matt. 24:3-14). As we consider some of the key words used in this context, we shall look at what the word really says by knowing their meanings. “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” This word “coming” has the meaning of “a being near, presence.” Hence, that for which the disciples were longing to know by their question was, “what shall be the sign of your being near, your presence?” In considering the word “presence,” consider, that a presence is “that which can be seen or can be felt and not seen.” The dictionary itself declares, “Presence” to mean “the state or fact of being present, a supernatural influence felt to be nearby.” Therefore, in this context, the coming of the Christ points to a people knowing the feeling of a supernatural presence felt to be present or nearby.

A question arises as we consider the influence of a supernatural nature and a divine spiritual presence that is nearby. We know that Jesus lived among humanity for 33 ½ years as a visible expression. However, when He returned to the Father, as the Son, the risen one, He instructed the disciples in Luke 24:49, “… behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high [this defines the meaning and purpose of the Holy Spirit]”. The Holy Spirit is of the invisible realm, a realm that the natural eye cannot see, except when the manifestation of His presence appears through the receiving ones.

Therefore, while waiting in Jerusalem and on the day of Pentecost, this power from on high, the Holy Spirit, came. It not only filled (furnished) the upper room but it filled (influenced) the 120 who were present in the room. While the Holy Spirit remained invisible to the natural eye, His coming (presence) resulted in some natural expressions. At its appearing, a mighty wind blew and cloven tongues (tongues distributing and parting themselves) like as of fire were evident. (Read Acts 2:1-4). Here the presence of the Holy Spirits coming, or presence was an influence, a supernatural expression that was present and heard because of the speaking of unknown tongues.

Back to Matt. 24:3 and looking at two other words of importance in the phrase, “the end of the world,” let’s consider “the end” and “world.” This word “end,” used many times in this chapter but has two different meanings. In verse 3, it means “meeting together of all that marks the consummation of the age.” This marks the end of one age and the beginning of another. However, in verse 6, 13, and 14 the word “end” means “the actual end.” This reveals that God is more than willing to show us even more than we ask for. This shows that while the disciples were limiting their question concerning the immediate age (a time) in which they lived, Jesus was more than willing to release unto them an understanding beyond their question. He unrolled the scroll of time for them to understand God’s order through the ages (many periods) until the actual end of time. God was and is desirous to reveal, even now, His will and purpose in the restoring of man, with each man coming forth in his own order, until the restoration of all Gods purpose.

In considering the word “world” as used in verse 3, it has the meaning of “an age, or age time, the duration of which is indefinite, and may be limited or extended as the context of each occurrence may demand.” However, as used in verse 14, when talking about the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the entire world,” this word “world” has the meaning of “the world as inhabited. It is from a verb meaning, to dwell. It is used of the habitable world, the civilized as distinct from barbarian, distinct from the world “kosmos” which is the world as created.” Remember, in considering the truth of this context there are only two seeds in this world, a seed chosen to worship God, the true seed of Abraham and another seed that shall worship the beast scripture speaks of, especially in the Book of the Revelation. In seeing the distinction between the two seeds, these two seeds shall continue until such a time as when the word is fulfilled that declares that every knee shall bow to worship God.

This shows us the importance of knowing the word as revealed by the Holy Spirit. We have a need to look closely at each scripture to receive revealed truth and a God given understanding. Humankind of today has tried narrowing God down to such a small limited size, thinking that they can contain Him in the prison house of their own limited intellect. We must and will become a free people, as we free ourselves from our own intellectual limitations, wherein we begin to see that God’s plan and purpose came from before the foundation of the world and the creation of man.

The Word declares that all in Christ will know restoration, as God, through the ages continues His work until all things that are His are returned to Him. Man would seek to limit God, but God, before the end of time shall bring forth each receiving soul in their own order in Christ, to a place of restoration. In understanding this truth, we must see that the presence or coming of Christ is not restricted until the entire world and every creature has heard the gospel of the Kingdom. The presence of the Christ shall come forth unto each vessel according to his or her own order by the seeing, hearing and understanding of the gospel of God’s Kingdom.

With God’s purpose, being laid before the foundation of the world, each order of His coming (presence and influence, a supernatural divine spirit felt to be present) has likewise been laid and God shall cause each appearing to come forth according to that purpose, that order. Does the Word show us the order of His appearing? Is it something that God desires to reveal unto us? In 1 Cor. 15:20-26, God begins to reveal the order of progression in which He shall make all things live. This order of God’s choosing has its beginning and ending in God. At the time of His choosing, God imparts into that people an eye to see and an ear to hear. The hidden secrets that were not known before are revealed to bring forth understanding. As God reveals these mysteries to a people, they not only begin to hear, but the word itself has the power and the authority to bring it into complete fulfillment through faith and obedience. Herein a work is begun which brings about the perfecting of that word of promise and purpose.

Matt. 13:35 declares, “… that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world”. Also, in Matt. 13:10-11, “And the disciple came, and said unto Him, why speak Thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries [the secrets, or the things thus far kept secret] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

Man, by a lack of knowing is in bondage to carnality until God draws a people at the time of His choosing. God will give those yielding ones understanding, by the Holy Spirit, of God’s purpose at the time for any given Godly order to come forth. What of you, are you at peace with your spiritual condition and understanding? On the other hand, is something stirring in your person? Is God’s desire at work to bring you into a greater place in Him, a bringing you into a place that you have not experienced before or walked in yet? Is the Holy Spirit now at work to lay and establish a new order of people in the earth that the next line concerning the coming of Christ, His presence, His will and purpose is manifest?

Back to 1 Cor. 15:22 it declares, “In Adam all die.” This understanding is ours because God reveals our sinfulness to us while offspring of the Adam man. He quickens the receiving man through the power of the Holy Spirit into knowing that all have sinned, therefore all have died. The result of this death is that the flesh and blood body, the one formed from the dust of the earth, shall return to that from which it came. As humanity continues to live after the dictates of the natural Adam man, their destiny is to know a literal grave, the returning to the dust from which God formed the man. (Read Gen. 3:19 and Rom. 5:12-19). The knowledge we have concerning our lot with death will be a sure experience, that is unless God, after the order of His purpose, awakens us to a higher understanding. This understanding stated in 1 Cor. 15:22, “in Christ shall all be made alive.”

The greater truth here is that life is of a certainty, if the prerequisite is entered, which is a living “in Christ.” This word “in” as used here is a preposition that denotes “being or remaining within, with the primary idea of rest and continuance.” This speaks of more than a one-time happening but is likened to the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years, (Read Luke 8:43-48), she touched Him and became whole. The word “touched” being used here means “attached to”, implying that she attached herself to His glory, never to let go. “In Christ” brings life. It will separate us from the realm of death by our remaining in or attaching ourselves to Him. A question often asked concerning Christ coming is when will it be and how will it happen? 1 Cor. 15:23 reveals, “But every man in his own order.”

Here the understanding of some more words from the context becomes very important. As we look at the words, we should also understand that the scripture, when we allow it to, would interpret itself. In verse 22, the word “Christ” is the Greek word “CHRISTOS” which means, “to anoint.” Thus, Christ not only speaks of the person, but an anointing that enables that person to be what he is in Christ. 1 John 2:20 declares, “But ye have an unction [same Greek word as anointing in 1 John 2:27] from the Holy One, and ye know all things”. This word “unction and anointing” are from the same Greek word “CHRISMO” which has the meaning of, “smearing, the endowment of the Holy Spirit.”

The anointing then is a smearing like oil or a covering, a divine endowment, an enablement to become and fulfill the will and purpose of God. With such an anointing, we can know the reality of a life that lives “in Christ.” Is this a life of impossibility? We, the body of Christ are not just one member called Jesus, but a many member body. Therefore, the anointing of Christ is not for just the first-born son (the Head – Jesus), but also the many member sons that make up His body. (Read 1 Cor. 12:12-27). Jesus will not stand alone, but He, with the many member body making up the Christ, is the anointed of God.

In looking back to scripture in 1 Cor. 15:23, let’s consider the word “order.” This word means “something orderly in arrangement, a series, or succession.” With all being “made alive” (quickened) in Christ, He declares that His life shall find its fulfillment as it touches all things, but, the life of Christ only touches these things in the series or succession that is according to the foreordained arrangement that God purposed in Himself. With this being the case, it would do us good to follow the succession as revealed in the Word. In following the Word of God, we have the knowing that God shall leave nothing out. God shall restore, through each series of steps taken, in the order of His purposed restoration.

The first in order from verse 23 is “Christ the first-fruits”. Who is Christ? Is He not a many member body? If so, as verse 22 states, “in Christ shall all be made alive,” comes forth after Jesus Christ in His first appearing for 33 ½ years. These many member first-fruits receive a quickening after two days or two thousand years after His resurrection, to become the many member visible expression of God’s first-fruits in the earth. This appearing speaks to us of a ministry that comes forth, in the Christ anointing that will be without measure (John 3:34). These anointed ones are sent forth to minister the gospel of the Kingdom of God, to speak of the knowledge of the mysteries and to make ready for the establishing of God’s Kingdom on this earth.

John 3:34 declares, “For He Whom God hath sent speaks the Words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him”. The sent forth ones spoken of here are not only Jesus, the first-born son, but also the many member sons of God, His Christ, and the first-fruits of God. These first-fruits are prepared, in the order of the gathering of the harvest, for His indwelling presence to be in them while here on earth. This word “first-fruits” is from a root word that means “to commence (in order of time); first-fruits”. In the Old Testament, a wave offering of the first-fruits offered as a sacrifice to God is a type of the ones received by God to usher in the full harvest.

(Read Lev. 23:10-12). These scriptures show us that with this wave offering unto God, they offered a lamb as a burnt offering to God. This burnt offering was a type that Christ fulfilled, bringing the first-fruits and the lamb together again. In this, they become one in Christ as prayed for by Jesus. John 17:20-22, “Neither pray I [Jesus] for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one”.

As we continue to look at this first-fruit people, in Rom. 8:22-23 we are shown a truth concerning the manifestation that shall have its beginning in the order that commences with this company of people. “For we know that the whole creation groans and travailed in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the first-fruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Note that all of creation is groaning and travailing for this time of redemption, the beginning of a new creation people. “Redemption” in this context means “ransom in full,” which speaks of the restoration of the whole man, spirit, soul, and body. This groaning is an experience of the “first-fruits” as they wait for their time of adoption.

This word “adoption” is a word that means, “the placing as a son (in respect to God)”. Hence, Jesus, the firstborn son, now accepts the first-fruits at the time of the “adoption” to become a many member son that partakes of all the privileges of the family. These “sons” become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ:” (Rom.8:17). These heirs become the anointed ones that establish the Kingdom of God in the earth. These “sons” are they, which for only a season, are under teachers until the appointed time of adoption. These co-heirs are they that have come out of bondage to the world’s basic elementary rules, to become “sons,” God’s visible expression on the earth. (Read Gal. 4:1-7).

The fullness of time for the coming forth of these first-fruits to appear in the earth is now at hand. What is your expectancy concerning the things of God? Are you hearing a trumpet, a message of restoration beginning to sound? Is a groaning felt within your being? Could it not be that the first-fruits people are in the birthing channel, waiting for the last push that they might make their appearance? “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures”. (James 1:18). Thus, God’s will and purpose is to begat His first-fruits. “Begat” in this scripture means to “breed forth, to generate, to bring forth.” How, but by the word of truth which is now being spoken to reveal the hidden mysteries which have been kept secret since the world began.

This “word of truth” is generating, is bringing forth into existence God’s good and perfect gift to all creation. He is birthing and manifesting the sons of God. It was John, in the revelation of Christ, who saw these sons in their glory. These sons are those that stand with the Father in His glory, with His nature written in their hearts and minds. These sons, not polluted by the world’s religious systems, declare unto creation a new sound as a spiritual virgin, pure in the spirit of God. There remains nothing in them, which the world can touch as they follow only God’s true purpose in all things, to remain without fault. These are those first-fruits people of God. (Read Rev. 14:1-5).

Now the time for these sons to come forth is at hand that they might bring down all deceiving forms of religion. Is the time of tribulation, one such as the world has never seen, now to come forth? The system of the first “Adam” man has run its course and this declaration is coming forth, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon (bondage and confusion – man-made religious systems) the great”. This is that system which has polluted man, which has kept him captive from the truth, making him a prisoner of death. Nevertheless, truth, in the form of these sons, is now to come forth, truth that makes mankind free from the law of sin and death.

These first-fruits of Christ appear and the truth they bring ushers in God’s judgment, God’s avenue to separate all forms of damnation, condemnation, and accusation from the next order of people. This word “judgment” is the Greek word “KRISIS” from which our English word “crisis” comes. It has the meaning of a “turning point.” This means then, that another “turning point” will come forth in the earth, to gather another order of people unto our God. (Read Rev. 14:6-16). Lest we forget, let us turn back to 1 Cor. 15:23 and note that with “Christ the first-fruits” having come forth, we are further shown, “afterward they [the bride] that are Christ [head and many membered body] at His coming [presence]”.

With many folks being concerned about their loved ones that have passed on, the scriptures, allow us to rest in Christ with this concern. In 1 Thess. 4:13-18 (Read), Paul writes to us concerning those who have passed on, as well as those that remain. In allowing God’s Spirit to minister to us, from this context, we want to take time to realize the true meanings of another set of words that our spiritual understanding may continue to increase. In commencing with God’s order to restore all back to life, the first-fruits have made their appearance and now the “afterward people” comes into focus, in the series or succession of God’s plan. Judgment, the “turning point” of another order of people will begin and is to be finished. This is the fulfillment of the ministry of the “sons” with these “afterward” ones now ready for Christ presence to come at their fulfillment.

1 Thess. 4:13 speaks of those who have “fallen asleep.” This term means, “To fall asleep (unintentionally), used of death.” This context allows us to realize that the portion of people, those who have remained in Him, but have died are with Christ (first-fruits) at the time of His coming. For the Lord shall descend from “heaven” (the spiritual, invisible realm) with a divine purpose and according to the order of His arrangement, to accomplish God’s will. Where is the heaven from which He shall descend? “Descend” is a word meaning, “Come (step) down.” Thus, at a “shout,” a word that is “a word of command,” the Lord Himself “steps down” from heaven (from the invisible to the visible).

The word “descend or step down” speaks more in the light of moving from one dimension to another. Can a person not move from one dimension to another without traveling through outer space and can more than one-dimension dwell in the same space at the same time? If a Being lived in a higher dimension and stepped down into another lower dimension, would it not have the appearance of coming out of nowhere? Thus, in like manner, the Lord steps down from heaven (one dimension) to make His presence or appearance known (in another dimension). From where did He descend? Will He not simply “step down” from the place that He ascended too? Where did He ascend too? “Ascend” from the Greek means “to go up, to grow or spring up, and to come (up)”.

Now, what is it that the word “heaven” means? Its meaning is “elevation, the abode of God, happiness, power, eternity, the spiritual.” Thus, the same Jesus who ascended (grew up spiritually into the abode of God, was elevated into the spiritual realm of happiness, power and eternity), He simply stepped into a higher realm or dimension. Therefore, when He descends with a command, He shall step down again into a lower realm. This lower realm is the realm wherein man abides in His natural and carnal nature. However, Christ shall step down, out of the eternal realm of happiness and power, to gather from this earthy realm of unrighteousness, from the realm of time, a people to be elevated, to step up to that spiritual realm of happiness and power, the abiding place of God. Could this elevated realm simply be a higher order flowing through them from God?

Thus, a question to consider, is there any evidence in this context of a physical moving into another geographical place in outer space? Does it not rather speak of a growing up, from out of a fleshly earthly realm of carnality, the prison house that keeps a people from seeing that which is of the spiritual, into knowing the heavenlies, the invisible realm? The visible prison house locks in a people wherein they can only be motivated by the natural senses, that realm called death. If this is true, a people, released from that house of death, the natural sense realm, are elevated to a spiritual realm called life, one that enables them to become a redeemed people in spirit, soul, and body, to dwell in God’s abode of the Spirit.

This abode is not off somewhere else or on another planet. It is simply an invisible realm where the natural senses are concerned. Is not God omnipresent? If God is everywhere, can your natural eyes behold Him? No, but what about that people who have been awakened to know a birthing into that realm or dimension where God dwells, will they not be able to see Him in that realm? Who was it that Adam walked and talked with? God has spoken and declared, “I will restore unto myself a people, I will be their God, and they shall be my people, my expression.”

The Lord descends from heaven with a shout; a trump blows loud and clear. Are you not hearing a trumpet, a message, sounding out today? With this sound, “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” This word “rise” is a verb that has the meaning of “to make to stand up.” “To stand up,” insinuates that a condition existed, one of being inactive. It speaks of a lack of participation because the faculties needed to be actively involved, are missing or not functional. However, in this scripture, we observe that those who are dead will stand up again. They will be able to participate again. This speaks to us of a people who had lost their ability to be visible in their expressions. In this death or sleeping condition, they have not the ability to manifest the image of God to the visible creation. However, these shall “stand up” first. They shall return to a place in God, wherein they can again have a visible vehicle of expression, to manifest God’s purpose in the order God has willed for them. Were there not a people who came forth from their graves in the day of Jesus’ resurrection, which came forth to walk the streets of Jerusalem? Matt. 27:52-53 says, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

1 Cor. 15:23 continues to read, Afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming [presence]”, now has its fulfillment in 1 Thess. 4:17, “then we which are alive [those not yet redeemed as the first-fruits] and remain”. This word “remain” has the meaning of to “survive.” This speaks to us of a people who, during the time of God’s judgment, in the time of tribulation, they “survive.” They survive by staying alive during the time of judgment (separation or the turning point) that is taking place during that season. As the many member first-fruits minister a message or trumpet the word of life unto them, they begin to overcome the turbulent world. These first-fruits are those priesthood ministers of life that shall minister to the rest of the harvest. These that remain (survive), shall therein be “caught up together with them (the dead in Christ that have stood up again)”.

Again, we should consider the meaning of the phrase “caught up.” This phrase means, “To seize, pluck, pull, and take (by force), a standing up again”. What an anointing, these sons of God, the first-fruits that already move in the new creation anointing shall, with authority speak forth life. These “that are Christ at His coming (presence), shall be seized and taken by that power and removed from the hands of the wicked one, that old system of Babylon that has bound and made them prisoners. Deliverance from death shall now be their lot, as these people begin to live again by the power of the Christ resurrection. They shall again know Him as He is. They shall walk and talk with Him in the spirit of the day.

Back to that part of scripture that says, “Caught up together with them in the clouds,” we want to look at the phrase “in the clouds.” As we let the Word interpret itself, we can receive a greater understanding as to what certain phrases truly mean. In Heb. 12:1 we are told, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses”, which allows us to consider, that a cloud, as spoken of in this scripture means more than a literal natural cloud floating around in the sky. In this verse, it speaks of a people, the throng spoken of in the eleventh chapter as a people of faith. They grouped together in their stand of faith, become a one-minded, one-spirited people. They become as one even though from different times, but many members moved by the Holy Spirit and seen as a cloud (throng) of people. In 2 Peter 2:17 we see the negative side, but the same truth, a people who are motivated totally for the benefit of the selfish Adam nature. Thus, they become “wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest: ….”

Again, like motivations, identify these spoken of, to be of such unity, that they are seen in their oneness as clouds, clouds that are carried about or blown around by the spirit of the world, through religious in practice, carnal in their thinking. In Jude verses 11-12, the same truth, Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds ….” Their oneness of mind makes them as clouds, but these clouds have no water (truth) to stabilize them.

Therefore, when speaking of clouds or a people that move by every wind (spirit), as the doctrines of men, can we not consider then, that the Word of God will seize the dead in Christ and those who survive to remain? They know deliverance by the word of God ministered unto them in spirit and truth. They plucked to stand up by the authority of God, into oneness with the Word to become as a cloud, becoming a one-minded people in Christ as they meet with Him (the many member body of Christ). In this truth of fact, as they meet with Him, they are simply meeting with Christ in another realm of life, the abiding place wherein God dwells.

Remember, God is a Spirit and to know Him is to know Him in spirit and truth. Therefore, these that are His at His coming (presence), become a people resurrected, spiritualized in body, soul, and spirit. In, as the scripture continues, “Meeting the Lord in the air,” we should note that the word interpreted “air” has the meaning of “to breathe unconsciously, to blow.” Does this not speak of a people that will be doing something that come naturally? Breathing, doing something that requires no conscious forethought. The results of the new covenant God promised to bring forth, is the covenant of writing His laws in our hearts and minds to receive a new nature. In Gen. 2:7, the word “breath” means “wind, divine inspiration.” This is speaking of the life of God imparted into man that his formed body might live. In Acts 2:1-2, the word “wind” means “to breathe, a breeze, breath.”

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the people in the upper room and put within them with such authority that through this power the early church had its beginning, a beginning that was to last for two days (two thousand years). We also understand that this early church was only of an in-part realm, for these two days (2000 years), but God has declared that He would usher in a greater glory in His people. This latter-day church will usher in a glory from God that shall be the beginning of another day. God has a third one-thousand-year day in which His promises speak of perfection. Here in 1 Thess. 4:13-18 we see the coming together, with the Lord, a greater glory as we meet with Him in this place of perfection, God’s spiritual abiding place, with a renewed visible resurrected body, soul and spirit.

We can see then a ministry, through the first-fruits of God, who establish His kingdom on the earth to last for eternity. First, throughout the millennial age, that which is called the thousand-year reign, a thousand-year ministry of rest, when we shall see the Christ as He is. Then we shall see another phase of God’s order come into focus as we look again at 1 Cor. 15:20-26. In verse twenty-four we read, “Then cometh the end.” The word “end” in this verse means “the actual end,” which speaks of the end of the millennial age, the perfecting of all that He began in the beginning. Many events have taken place to fulfill the coming or presence of the Lord.

First, Christ the remnant first-fruits have come into a perfected manifestation. Next, Christ and the bride of Christ are coming forth from the abode of God into a visible manifestation of that spiritual expression of God. (Read Rev. 21:1-5). With the bride coming forth, the Word states that all former things (death, sorrow, crying and pain) are now passed away and then cometh the end, when He shall make all things new. Here we shall know the God of all creation, for even the servants shall see His face and receive from Him. The first-fruits of Christ, the overcomers, have joined Him in His throne, along with the bride who shall be placed at His (plural) side, while the servants, the saved nations, which are now included, shall stand in the light of God to be with Him forever. (Read Rev. 22:1-5).

Before ending this chapter, we again are mindful that the promise of His presence has been and is still among us. The signs are all around us to fulfill each promise. James 5:7-8 is an exhortation that God, while long in patience to bring forth the harvest, shall wait until both the early and latter rain has come forth. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [presence] of the Lord, Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming [presence] of the Lord draws nigh”.

This is the spiritual outpouring that brings forth the spiritual fruit within and out from a people. The early rain has come forth and the latter rain is now pouring as promised. Its pouring forth shall cause to spring up the bringing forth of men who are growing up out of the realm of death. Both the early and latter rain shall fall together to finish the gathering in of a full harvest. Man shall grow up into his place, with “every man in his own order.” Even though the mind-set of carnal creation says, “where is the promise of His coming?” God is “not slack concerning His promise,” but is faithful in the work of perfecting His people into his likeness and image.

In this, He shows us the need to dissolve some heavens (mind-sets). (Read 2 Peter 3:1-14). Could it be, in verses 10 through 12, that with “heaven” being a place of “elevation, spiritual, the abode of God”, that the heaven in the invisible realm of man’s soul has been polluted with doctrines of death, man’s traditions and doctrines that have their source and beginnings in man’s carnal mind? God has said that the old heavens (carnal religious soul) and earth (man’s fallen body, formed of the dust of the earth) will dissolve. These scriptures show that in the day of His coming (presence), in each man’s order, with a great noise the old heavens will pass away. Could this great noise be speaking of the resistance that exist in stubborn man as he seeks to remain his own god instead of humbling himself before the one true God?

These elements shall pass away with fervent heat, with the earth (old man) and his works. The word “elements” has the meaning of “elementary rule” which has made us prisoners of a system that the world uses to rule over all people. This world’s systems of rulership are of such basic, elementary rule, that in all its knowledge, the world has evolved into nothing more than a system of governments and laws that promote lifestyles such as in Sodom and Gomorrah. However, God has promised to replace those old lifestyles through the redeeming order of His appearing. Therefore, let us turn away from these worldly elementary rules and release our hearts to cry “Abba Father,” that we might take our place in God’s order.

Col.2:8 & 20-23 again speaks to us a caution concerning these elementary rules. (Read Col. 2:20-3:10). The word “rudiments” in verse eight is the same Greek word interpreted as “elements” in 2 Peter 3:10. Not knowing the manner of the world and spoiled by the elementary rules that only satisfy the desires of the flesh. Again, in Heb. 5:12-14, we receive instruction concerning the “first principles,” the same Greek word as “elements.” Therefore, elementary rules simply keep a people from growing and maturing in the things of the Spirit. They keep us in the position to remain a babe concerning the things of God. A babe, spiritually, is one that is not able to speak, one that has not the ability to converse in the truths of the things of our true God, unto the manifesting of His nature. A babe has not the ability to bring forth God’s image from the invisible to the visible.

Thank God, this is again the day of His coming. His presence is making itself known to His people and because a people know Him in His presence, they are truly becoming His people. Is not our redemption even now upon us, redemption in a full measure in spirit, soul, and body? Thank you, Father, for you have chosen us from before the foundation of the world. You have redeemed us and are bringing us forth to fulfill your will and purpose in you, you are truly coming. Amen

Duane Stewart
A Voice of Gathering Saints

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