DAY OF FELLOWSHIP
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
In between the resurrection of Christ and His ascension to Heaven there was a period of forty days. Christ had fellowship with His disciples during those days. I believe there will be a period of time between our resurrection and our being caught up to meet the Lord in the air. I am referring to this interval as the “Day of Fellowship.”
THE DAY OF FELLOWSHIP
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
First Thessalonians 4:13-18 is mainly about fellowship. It includes the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the deceased saints, and the living saints being caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. (I Corinthians 15:51,52 tells us that the living saints will be changed when the dead saints are resurrected.) The next chapter, Chapter Five of First Thessalonians, begins with some thoughts about when the coming of the Lord will take place.
But the purpose for First Thessalonians 4:13-18 is to comfort the living saints with the knowledge that they will be reunited with their deceased loved ones, and then caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. In other words, the subject is renewed fellowship.
Incidentally, we will be caught up to meet Him in the air as He prepares to descend and establish His Kingdom on the earth. There is no scriptural basis for the current view that when we are caught up into the air to meet the Lord He then will carry us up to Heaven.
All people grieve when a loved one dies. Christian people also grieve when a loved one dies. They believe the departed person has gone to be with Jesus, so they are not grieving because their relative or friend has come to harm. Rather they are grieving because they won’t see him or her for awhile. The departed soul has become invisible. Isn’t that the problem?
Today we would say, “There is no need for you to grieve, because your loved one is in Heaven with Jesus, and you will see him or her when you die and go to be with the Lord.”
But notice carefully that the Apostle Paul did not say this.
Why didn’t he say the same things we do today? Because the Apostles never emphasized that when we died we would be with our loved ones in Heaven. Never once!
The Apostle Paul mentioned that he would be better off if He died, because then he would be at home with the Lord. But the idea of renewed fellowship after death taking place in Heaven is not an emphasis of the Bible.
Maybe we ought to get our teaching in line with the Bible. How do you feel about that?
Paul said God would bring with Jesus, at His coming, those who have fallen asleep in Him. This is the historic coming of the Lord, as described in Matthew, Chapter Twenty-four. It is not, as is taught today, a special secret coming of the Lord before the historic return of Jesus. The Lord warned us against such secret appearings, didn’t He?
Now I want you to begin to picture the second coming of Jesus.
- There shall be a loud command.
- There shall be the voice of the archangel, probably Michael and his warrior angels shouting for the battle.
- There shall be the trumpet call of God.
- The Lord Jesus shall descend with the dead saints to the level of the air. I don’t believe these dead saints have been laying around on couches in their mansions. My personal opinion is that at least some of them have been teaching the people who have died and never have learned about the Lord during their lifetime on the earth; and otherwise assisting the Lord with His heavenly tasks. Perhaps many of them have been surrounding us, taking care of us and learning what God is speaking through His apostles and prophets on the earth.
- The Lord will remain poised in the air with the riderless white war stallions.
- The deceased saints then will descend to wherever their bodies are and call them back to life. They will reenter their bodies and stand upon the ground.
- At the same time the living saints will experience change in their bodies. Their bodies will be infused with immortality.
- Now we have millions of immortal people standing on the earth, the great majority of whom have just come back from Heaven. Most of them have been in Heaven for thousands of years; others only a short while.
Stop the camera right now. The Day of Fellowship has arrived.
The passage in First Thessalonians does not tell if there will be an interval of time between the making immortal of the dead and living saints, and their being caught up to meet the Lord in the air. However there were 40 days between the resurrection of the Lord and His ascension to the Father, and our resurrection and being caught up probably will be patterned after His.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:22)
I believe there are two reasons why God will give us a space of time before He catches us up to meet the Lord in the air. First, to permit us to become adjusted to our new state of immortality. Second, to thoroughly enjoy the most wonderful time of fellowship in the history of man.
Now, I have written much on the subject of the two resurrections. I don’t want to pursue this now, except to comment that this first resurrection, which is the resurrection of the royal priesthood, is limited to those who have died in Christ; or who are living in Christ, if they are alive at the time of the Lord’s coming.
To be “in Christ” means much more than the religious experience of most American believers. To be in Christ, where Christ actually is our life, is beyond most churchgoers. They are good people, and they believe in Christ I am sure. But they do not live as a disciple. They do not deny themselves, take up their personal cross, and follow the Lord each day.
Their life continues much as was true before they were converted to Christianity. They are occupied with making a living, with their families, their vacations, their retirement. They believe there is a God and they go to church; otherwise they are eating, sleeping, working, playing, reproducing, marrying, giving in marriage, building, tearing down, planting, reaping. Living in continual prayer, continual interaction with Jesus, is not known to many of them. They do not live as members of the royal priesthood.
They will be resurrected at the time of the general resurrection of the dead, after the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been concluded.
People are concerned about their relatives. “What if I am raised when the Lord comes, and my relatives and friends are not there?” There is no problem. If God has deemed them worthy of life, they will be raised and made ready to enter the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord. If you were raised with the royal priests, you will be able to meet them when they are raised. (Don’t forget, you will be seated with Christ on the white throne, and will participate in the work of judgment.)
You will always be able to come down and fellowship with them. However, they will not be able to ascend to the level where you are.
Now, picture in your mind’s eye. The Lord is in the air immediately over the earth, waiting with the warrior angels and the white war stallions
Look around you. You are surrounded with millions of immortal saints, all rejoicing in the Lord.
“Joe, we’re over here. Come over and join us.”
“People from First Methodist are over here.”
“There’s Aunt Mary. I haven’t seen her in ages.”
“Mary, yoo-hoo. Grandpa and Grandma are over here.”
What will the wicked be doing? They will be watching all this, unable to do a thing about it. God has set a table before us in the presence of our enemies.
But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. (Revelation 11:12)
“Up to the heaven in the cloud (Greek).” The above verse takes place at the time of the sounding of the last trumpet, so I assume it is speaking of the resurrection and catching up of God’s witnesses of all time.
Notice the similarity to the Lord’s ascension:
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. (Acts 1:9)
Here they are. Resurrected. Standing on their feet. What can their enemies do about it? Absolutely nothing! Their enemies are terrified. There will be no “secret rapture.” The resurrection and catching up of the saints will be the greatest witness of God ever given to mankind.
Then God commands His witnesses to come up where He is.
I realize the text says they went up to the heaven in the cloud. But we know, from the passage in First Thessalonians, that they were caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, not in the spirit Heaven.
The problem is, the Greek language does not differentiate between the sky and the heaven. The translators choose whether to translate the Greek term “heaven” or “sky.
For example, in Revelation 11:6, we have the following:
These men have power to shut up the sky so it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. (Revelation 11:6)
Look at the word “sky” above. The King James version translates this word “heaven.” It is the same Greek word.
Now, in Revelation 11: 12, the New International Version translators decided to translate the same word, “heaven.”
The New International in Revelation 11:6: ton ouranon is translated “sky.”
The New International in Revelation 11:12, ton ouranon is translated “heaven.”
So given the passage in First Thessalonians, which states we will be caught up into the air to meet the Lord, Revelation 11:12 probably should say “they went up to the sky in the cloud while their enemies looked on.”
Picture the saints in groups (I think God likes people in families). Perhaps this is the occasion Paul was referring to when he said the people to whom he ministered would be his crown of rejoicing at the coming of the Lord.
Can you imagine how wonderful it will be as we become adjusted to the thought of immortality, and see people whom we have not had fellowship with for many years!
We probably will see many notables whom we read about in the Bible, surrounded with admirers.
When we are ready to go up to meet the Lord (there is nothing the wicked can do to harm us), the same power that lifted Jesus from Hell will reach down and begin to draw us up into the air where the Lord is.
I say begin to draw us, for this will be a slow, grand procession. It is almighty God demonstrating His power and glory in the sight of the wicked, so there will be no rush.
I think we will disappear from sight for a period while we are assigned our place in the army of the Lord. Perhaps we will be covered with our heavenly robe at this time, I am not certain. But it seems likely.
Then we will mount our war stallions, for this is a cavalry charge. Down through the clouds we will come, with the Lord Jesus leading the attack. If I understand the battle plan correctly, we will use the dried up bed of the Euphrates as a staging area, and then charge across the desert toward Har Megiddo, driving everything before us.
You can understand from this why only those whose life Jesus is are qualified and competent to be raised in this first resurrection. The average American churchgoers of our day are not nearly prepared to mount war stallions and attack Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the armies of the wicked.
Now let think about some of the things the Lord Jesus did during the time between His resurrection and His ascension into the sky, or into Heaven, as you will.
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. (Acts 1:9)
He had enjoyed a period of time with His disciples just prior to His return to the Father.
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men 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. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:3-8)
The Lord talked to His followers over a forty-day period about the Kingdom of God. He ate with them. I think we will have an opportunity to eat together, probably on several occasions, while we are alive on the earth and before we are caught up to meet the Lord.
And that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, (I Corinthians 15:5-7)
I think Paul is using these instances to prove Jesus Christ indeed had been raised from the dead. Perhaps he was countering the Gnostic belief that Christ did not rise from the dead in bodily form.
Suddenly Jesus met them (Mary Magdalene, the “other Mary,” and the disciples). “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:9,10)
What a time of rejoicing?
When they saw him (the eleven disciples), they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“Some doubted”! This is amazing, isn’t it. But it does show us that even if we could see the risen Jesus, we would not believe unless our heart had been prepared.
All these events happened and these words were spoken during the period between His resurrection and His ascension into the sky. Important ministry occurred during this time, and the same may be true of us before we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:9-20)
Notice how the Lord rebuked the eleven disciples because they had not believed those who had seen Him. I wonder if the people on the earth will refuse to believe those who have seen the risen saints. I wonder also if people believed those saints who arose after the Lord’s resurrection and appeared to people in Jerusalem.
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (Matthew 27:51,52)
If people have had such a difficult time believing those who have seen people who have returned from the dead, maybe we better pray for faith. In the day of the Lord we are going to see millions of people who have been raised from the dead.
We need to keep in mind the faith that will be required of us if we are alive when the Lord returns. Enoch was translated by faith. We are going to need faith to believe what we are seeing. Also, as we feel our body begin to change from mortality to immortality, we are going to need faith to keep on going forward into a new state of being.
I feel certain if our faith fails we will not be able to make the change from mortality to immortality. We may be overcome with nostalgic feelings concerning our former life, and draw back in unbelief. Remember Lot’s wife!
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; But they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning But didn’t find his body. They came and told us they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together And saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, And he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke 24:13-52)
Here the Lord was teaching Cleopas and the other man. Many we will have a chance to do some teaching before we are caught up.
We will have flesh and bones when we are raised, and people will be able to touch us. We will be able to eat broiled fish, and perhaps other food also.
I know this mortal body of ours is going to be raised from its place of interment and be filled with the Spirit of God. I know also that there is a heavenly body, fashioned according to our behavior on the earth, that will clothe our immortalized body.
Our house from Heaven will be a part of our reward, our inheritance. But I am not certain at what point we will receive our heavenly robe.
In the case of the Lord Jesus, it appears to me that the appearances we are including occurred prior to His glorification. You remember that the Apostle John saw the Lord after His return to the Father, and He was nothing like He was during his pre-ascension appearances—the ones we have mentioned above.
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, And among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 12:1-15)
In the present hour we are being conformed to His inward image. But I have no doubt at some point we will be in His outward image, as in the passage above. When we will receive the fullness of the outward image is not clear to me; but I think it probably will take place after we are caught up to meet Him in the air.
If we are changed into His outward image, as members of the royal priesthood, and after that descend on the white war stallions, it seems to me Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the wicked peoples of the earth will be terrified indeed. Does it seem that way to you?
Remember, the Bible says, when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
he turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But 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.
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me? “He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Then he said to him, “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 20:14-21:25)
We conclude, then, that the Lord Jesus accomplished much during the forty days before He went to the Father. “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.”
When John said “Jesus did many other things,” perhaps He was referring to the Lord’s activities while still on the earth, before He ascended into the cloud.
If the Lord gives us 40 days, before He calls us up to Himself, I wonder what we will be doing. What would you do during that period?
I imagine it will take us two or three hours, and then we will be adjusted to the fact that we are immortal. We have no fear of Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, the False Prophet, or anything else. Nothing can hurt us now!
We may spend a day or two renewing old acquaintances.
I don’t know if you are like me. I do not like to just sit and talk After a day or two greeting old friends I will be ready for action. Perhaps the Lord will have us minister to people who will need wisdom and comfort at that time. That’s what the Lord did, didn’t he.
Or God may show us what nation or what area we will be governing during the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Just think! We could go to the hottest or the coldest climate on the earth and never be affected by the weather. In fact we will be able by faith to move mountains, to alter ocean currents, to open up springs of water, so areas of the earth currently uninhabitable will be productive places in which to live.
What would you like to do, once you are immortal? Perhaps your greatest joy would be seeking out relatives and friends, or your ancestors that you have heard about. Maybe you would like visit the place of your birth.
Scholars say there was a Roman custom that the elders would go out to meet an important personage as he approached their village. Then they would accompany him when he entered the village. I think this is why we shall be caught up to meet the Lord—to accompany the King at His return to the earth.
When Christ who is our life shall appear, then we shall appear with Him.
After we are caught up and then descend with the Lord, there shall be war for a season. After Antichrist and the False Prophet have been thrown into the Lake of Fire, we will go up to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to see Jesus crowned King of kings while sitting on the throne of David.
Then we will be sent out to various places on the earth to begin the rule of the rod of iron.
Let me say once more: to participate in the greatest of all days of fellowship we will have to be abiding in Christ; not just a churchgoer, but a genuine disciple of the Lord. The priesthood will be raised at the coming of the Lord, but the remainder will not be resurrected until the conclusion of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
This first resurrection, the resurrection of the Lord’s priests, must be attained to.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, And so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10,11)
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
Let’s look forward to the great Day of Fellowship that soon shall be ours to enjoy.
(“The Day of Fellowship”, 3696-1)