THE THREE DAYS OF THE LORD
Copyright © 2012 Robert B Thompson. All Rights ReservedScripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The First and Second Days
The Third Day of Preparation
Life on the New Earth After the Third day of Preparation
The First and Second DaysDay One—Introduction to the Kingdom of God.
Day Two—The Second Half of Day One
Day Three—Getting the peoples of the earth and the inhabitants of Mount Zion, the Church in the spirit world, ready for the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. (often referred to as the "second coming)
And after the time of readiness:
The coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth; and life under Kingdom rule. When thinking about the coming of the Lord to the earth we have to consider these three great "days."
After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. (Hosea 6:2)
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there (John 2:1)
He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal (the work will be finished).'" (Luke 13:32)
There shall be three "days" when the Lord Jesus works to reconcile people to God. During the three days it will be on this present earth,
After the third day He will come with His Bride from Heaven to the new earth. The Bride will be named "The New Jerusalem."
During the first and second "days" He will work on the earth for approximately 2000 years.
During the third day He will govern the earth for 1,000 years.
After the third day He will be here for eternity.
A word of clarification is needed. There will be two "days" during which Jesus works in the earth (although He is in Heaven most of the time), and then a third "day" during which He governs the earth with the Firstfruits of His Church. The third "day" is Christ's second coming.
He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal (the work will be finished).'" (Luke 13:32)
There will be two times when the Lord "comes" to the earth in visible form. The first coming of Jesus is described in the four Gospel accounts. The second coming of the Lord in visible form has not happened yet. Many of the churches believe that His second coming is to carry the believers to Heaven.
This is not true. The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is to set up His rulership over the nations of the earth. He will select a few of the living believers, who are prepared, to join His army and govern with Him.
So there can be confusion.
Christ's first coming lasted for 33 years, and then He went up to Heaven.
His second coming, the Kingdom Age, will last for a thousand years, until it is time for the final resurrection of the dead and the coming down to the new earth of the new Jerusalem, which is Christ and His Royal Priesthood, the glorified Christian Church.
The three days of the Lord's working in His Church are a different matter. During the first two days, the Church Age, the Lord ordinarily is not visible to us, except for the first 33 years.
As for the Millennium, the thousand years of preparation for the new world of righteousness, it is not clear to me to what extent Christ will be visible.
So the first two "days" correspond to Christ's first coming, while the third "day corresponds to the second day of His coming.
Speaking of life on the new earth after the third day:
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 22:3,4)
The Tabernacle of the Congregation portrays the two days and then the third day of Christ's working in the earth.. The Tabernacle was divided into two parts. The first part, the Holy Place, was 2000 cubic cubits in volume. The second part, the Most Holy Place, was 1000 cubic cubits in volume
We learn from the above that mankind will not spend eternity in Heaven but on the earth. Our journey is not from the earth to Heaven but from mortality to resurrection life in a transformed body. We are not destined for life in Heaven. Rather, God is destined for life on the earth.
Most of us know about the first two days since they are described in the four Gospel accounts and the Epistles of the Apostles.
What were some of the accomplishments of the first two days:
An atonement was made, on the cross of Calvary, for the sins of the whole world. The emphasis has been on the forgiveness of sins—so much so that in our day Christ and grace appear as an alternative to doing God's will in the transformation of our personality into the image of God.
Christ obeyed all the laws of Moses. Then the innocent Lamb was slain on our behalf—the innocent on behalf of the guilty.
Another major message of the first two days is that of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, and the accompanying need for repentance on our part, leading to eternal life. The Gospel of the Kingdom.
This message has been changed into a religious formula (accept Christ and you will go to Heaven when you die) until much or most of what the Apostle Paul taught has been relegated to the ash bin. How often have we heard a minister express a need to attain to the resurrection from the dead?
The Christian Church, the Body of Christ, came into existence.
The first disciples and apostles were called and sent out.
The Father, God's Son, and the Holy Spirit were revealed to the world.
To show us the Way to the Father, to God.
To tell us about being born again.
The Sermon on the Mount and other commands of Christ were issued.
Christ preached resurrection and He Himself was resurrected, bringing an end to the fear of death.
Christ spoke to Matthew of His second coming, and in the Book of Revelation what will be true during the third coming.
Christ revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus, after Christ's death, and revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to His Apostle, Paul.
The Christians were made aware of the Body of Christ and the Royal Priesthood.
Matthew spoke of the tribulations that would occur prior to the Lord's second coming.
For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24:5-8)
The wars and other disruptions of our life are the beginning of birth pains of the Kingdom of God. These are taking place today, just as the Lord Jesus prophesied.
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:9-11)
If I am not mistaken, we can see in America the beginning of a turning away from Christ. People do not revere the Lord Jesus as they used to.
I do not as yet see people betraying each other. Perhaps that is taking place in other countries.
I am 91 years of age, and there certainly has been a change from the early emphasis on Christ and His Gospel.
There are false prophets and deception in our day. The emphasis on material prosperity, and the placing of Christian people in places of leadership in the culture of the world, are not of Christ. True Christians are found among the lowly, not the rich and famous.
I believe the False Prophet will lead people into the trust in money as being the important aspect of our life. It may be true that he is closer to us than we realize. I notice on the television the shallowness of the American entertainment media. The drift toward empty materialism takes place so slowly that it is difficult to perceive; but it is abominable.
To this point, in Matthew 24, there is no mention of a catching away of the Church to Heaven. Rather it is a warning to us who are living on the earth of the need to maintain the separation of the Church from worldly values. We are to be guarded while we live here, not looking for a momentary carrying off to Heaven.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12,13)
I know of an instance where a pastor had his people stand in front of their chairs and jump up and down, practicing for an any-moment "rapture." The people are not taught that they are to stand against the evil and materialism of our culture because they are about to be carried up to Heaven. Can you see the lie in this unscriptural teaching and the harm it has done to the Christian disciples? There is no such emphasis in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
At some early point in the History of the Christian Church the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was changed into the gospel of Heaven—that the goal of the Christian salvation is to bring people to Heaven after they die.
I am not able to estimate the damage that has been done to the Christian churches by the change from the goal of being changed into the image of God that we may participate in His Kingdom, into the goal of going to Heaven when we die.
It is refreshing to see how in our day, at least in America, God's ministers are beginning to preach about the Kingdom of God. This theme is appearing also in the new hymns and choruses.
The notion that once we are admitted to Heaven we will live an enjoyable life for eternity, having no responsibilities, is fallacious. What scriptural basis do we have that we will be living in a mansion, doing nothing of significance?
The answer is, "None." It is tradition—nothing more.
First of all, what makes Heaven "heavenly" is the people. If the people were like the church people of today, it would not be very "heavenly."
So the idea is that each person entering Heaven is changed into our idea of a heavenly being. Isn't that correct? Again, we have no scriptural basis for the idea that entering Heaven in the spirit world changes a person's personality.
I believe the sinful motives that dwell in our flesh cannot accompany us wherever we go after we die. But what we are as a person most assuredly shall follow us when we die. If we are a sinful, grasping personality when we die, there is nothing to indicate that we will not be a sinful, grasping personality in Heaven.
The necessary change from Adam to a new creation begins in this present world, amid much suffering. And we must cooperate with the program of change. I do not believe many Christians cooperate with the Spirit of God as He seeks to make them holy, although some do.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. (I Peter 4:1)
So our whole idea of getting saved so we can go to Paradise when we die is not based in the Scriptures; and Scriptures are the only record we can depend on.
Salvation has to do with entering the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not a place. The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the believer. The Kingdom of God grows in us after we accept Christ, if we pray each day, read the Bible each day, and fellowship with intense believers on a regular basis.
Also, and of the most importance, is that we follow Christ day and night, and obey Christ conscientiously in every demand He makes on us. We are to interact with Jesus at all times and in all circumstances. When we cease looking to the Lord Jesus for all we are thinking, saying, and doing, we are an easy mark for Satan. I think most American professing Christians are an easy mark for Satan. He deceives us readily.
The exhortation to stand firm unto the end means we overcome the negative pressures on us that seek to move us away from a careful walk with Jesus. The pastors often are preaching that we are saved by grace, meaning that although we are not obeying God carefully, grace keeps us in God's favor.
As I think about it I realize that we have made Christ and grace a substitute for obeying God. The Christian situation today in America is just that bad!
When lawless grace and the "rapture" are preached to the congregation, the people will not grow if they hear that message for fifty years.
Severe judgment is about to fall on the United States, and it may be true that numerous Christians will not stand. They will abandon their faith. They will hate godly people. It will not be difficult for them to follow the False Prophet, who teaches them that God's will is that they be rich and prosperous in the world.
If you think I am being harsh you may be blind to what is happening all around you. Jesus speaking in Matthew does not mention a "rapture" that will prevent the need for our standing fast in the day of judgment.
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. (Matthew 24:15-21)
Jesus was speaking to Jewish people, telling them what would happen when an abomination was placed by Antichrist in area of the Jewish Temple. This marks the onset of the Great Tribulation. I cannot tell you what the abomination that makes desolate will be, but it has to do with Antichrist.
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.(Daniel 10:31,32)
I believe the Apostle Paul gives us a clue to the abomination that causes desolation.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (II Thessalonians 2:3,4)
It appears from the passage above that the abomination that causes desolation is Antichrist setting himself up in God's Temple and declaring that he himself is God.
Notice above that Antichrist will abolish the daily sacrifice that was made to God, and then set up the abomination that causes the great distress (Great Tribulation). And then will flatter people who already have violated their covenant with Christ.
What we Christians have to watch out for today is ministers who flatter us, telling us God wants us to be rich and successful, to have power in the world. This is not the voice of the Lord Jesus, but it will attract many nominal Christians. Rather it is the voice of the False Prophet.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:22-25)
The fact that the number of days of the Great Tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the elect tells me that that elect are suffering in the Great Tribulation. I see no evidence that the elect have been caught up to Heaven to escape the Tribulation.
Notice the following passage:
I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14)
It sounds to me as though these people had been in the great tribulation, and then had washed their robes (their behavior) in the blood of Christ. They had been in the Great Tribulation and had cleansed themselves of their sin and self-centeredness.
So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the wilderness,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)
We do not have to look for the second coming of the Lord in some special area.
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)
The catching up of those who have been resurrected when Christ appears will not be a "secret, but an open revelation of the Glory of Christ and His prepared saints.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. (Matthew 24:28)
I believe the word "vultures" should be "eagles." The eagles are those who live by the body and blood of Christ. When the slain Lamb appears in the air above us, those who live by the body and blood of Christ will be caught up to be joined with Him.
If we hope to experience "resurrection" we must be living a victorious Christian life. This is possible only as we are partaking of the body and blood of Christ in the spirit world (while we are on the earth). I am not referring to the ceremony that is performed in church periodically.
Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)
All the peoples of the earth will see the Lord Jesus Christ when He appears to earth the second time.
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
There will be those in Heaven who are prepared to follow Christ in the attack of Armageddon. There also will be those living on the earth who have prepared themselves to participate in the battle. They shall experience the change of resurrection at this time and be caught up together with those who have returned from Heaven with the Lord.
Think carefully about the following passage, and you will get an idea of the spiritual stature required of those who are joined with Christ in His second coming.
Blessed and holy are those who share 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 20:6)
How many Christian people do you know who are blessed and holy? How many have overcome all the sins mentioned in Revelation 21:8 so that the second death has no authority over them? These and these only are qualified to have the resurrection-change in their body and to be caught up to meet Christ in the air at His second coming.
Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (Matthew 24:33)
What are "all these things"?: the sun will be darkened; the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky; and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. These are the signs that herald the second coming of Christ to the earth.
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)
Since all these signs did not take place at that time, we might conclude that by the words "this generation" the Lord must mean the race of Jews.
And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:39)
This passage seems to be stating that when Jesus returns, all the people on the earth when the Lord appears will be slain, as in the days of Noah. The exception would be the Lord's Firstfruits (Revelation 14:1). The righteous were not carried up to Heaven to live in splendor. Rather the eight righteous people were kept safe while the storm raged upon the earth.
If the coming of the Lord signals the attack of the Battle of Armageddon, and after it is over the Lord and His saints will govern the nations of the earth for one thousand years, I am not able to understand how all the people on earth except those relative few who were resurrected and carried up to the Lord with those who had returned with Him, were slain at His second coming.
In the case of Noah, those who were destroyed were not righteous people. Perhaps the seeming inconsistency is due to the fact that at the second coming of Christ, all the wicked will be destroyed, not all the people on the earth at that time.
As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (Matthew 13:40,41)
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:44)
The verses we have examined thus far are a warning that if we are occupied with the things of the world, we will not be prepared to have fellowship with the Lord and to go with Him and do as He wishes.
Notice in the following two verses that we must not be sinning when Christ comes:
When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:4,5)
The Scripture does not teach that the Lord will make us righteous and holy when He appears. But if we are to be prepared for His appearing, we must sanctify ourselves today, with His assistance.
What we have read in Matthew to this point is an exhortation to a godly life so we may be prepared to meet Him when He comes. Would you agree with that?
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:45-51)
Notice that the reward to the faithful servant is not to go to Heaven but to be put in charge of Christ's possessions.
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (Matthew 25:25)
The ten virgins represent Christian people. Some of them were wise and kept themselves filled with the Spirit of God. Others were not careful to walk in the Spirit.
When Christ came, the wise went out to meet the Bridegroom.
The foolish made an effort to be filled with the Spirit. While they were making this effort, the Bridegroom came and the door was shut.
Notice these all were Christian people. Those who were filled with the Spirit were received by the Bridegroom. Then the door was shut; so many Christians were not able to go with Christ.
Notice also that all "woke up" and trimmed their lamps. This signifies that at the time of the Lord's second coming to the earth there is something to be done before the "door is opened." It is not a sudden sweeping up of all Christians who have nothing to do but fly into the air.
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. (Matthew 25:10)
"Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us!' "But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.'" (Matthew 25:11,12)
How would you like to hear, "I don't know you"?
Me neither. But some Christians will hear those words!
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. (Matthew 25:14)
The Bible states that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to every believer. If we use our gifts and ministries to build up the Kingdom of God, we will receive additional abilities when Jesus returns.
But if we do not use our gifts and ministries to build up the Kingdom, our gifts will be removed from us and given to someone who was diligent with what they had been given.
But we will be thrown into the darkness—Christian or not.
As in the case of the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household, the wise steward was rewarded with the responsibility for his Master's goods.
It appears that at the second coming of the Lord (the third day), He will sit on a throne and the nations of the earth will be presented before Him.
All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:32)
Notice carefully that it is the people who are separated one from another. There is no such thing as a sheep nation or a goat nation. The sheep people will be brought into the Kingdom of God. The goat people will be assigned to eternal punishment.
The deciding factor concerning who was a sheep and who was a goat is how they treated the Lord's brothers and sisters. The brothers and sisters are not pictured here in the text, but probably were surrounding the Lord's throne.
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)
The expression, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, leaves me with the impression they were present."Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matthew 25:40)
"He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:45,46)
The Third Day of PreparationThe thousand years that occur after the first and second days and before the coming down to the new earth of the new Jerusalem, are for the purpose of preparing the saved citizens of the first earth, and the members of the new Jerusalem who yet were in Heaven, for the eternal rule of Christ and the Firstfruits of the Christian Church.
The Church and the world are awaiting the third day of the Lord (that is referred to commonly as the "second coming."). I am not certain what the world thinks the coming of Christ will bring to the earth. But it is obvious that the Church to a great extent is mistaken.
The third day is the period when the Lord Jesus Christ and His Firstfruits take charge of the governments of the earth
To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one 'will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery.' (Revelation 2:26,27)
I have come to the conclusion that some of what is written in the Hebrew Prophets is describing the third day. The texts certainly are not describing the present era. Neither are they speaking of the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, we might term Isaiah the "Prophet of the Third Day."
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope." (Isaiah 42:3,4)
I do not believe we see justice on the earth today. The verses above certainly are not speaking of the first or second days so they must be referring to the third day.
Since the ungodly, to a great extent, have been removed, the third day will be a wonderful time. The knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
I think the eleventh chapter of the Book of Isaiah is telling us about the third day (the second coming of the Lord).
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—*DONE*(Revelation 11:1,2)
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)
Perhaps we need to keep in mind that toward the conclusion of the glorious thousand-year Kingdom Age the peoples of the earth, after having been governed and blessed by the Lord Jesus and His saints, will go up against the camp of the rulers. Then fire came down from Heaven and killed them all.
Life on the New Earth After the Third day of PreparationAnd I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)
It may be true that most Christians do not view Revelation 21:3 as a coming of Christ to the earth. But it is, even though it is the new earth.
The present earth and sky will be done away.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (II Peter 3:10)
Considering the size of the new Jerusalem, which is the glorified Christian Church, it is likely that the new earth is much larger than the present earth on which we are living.
Revelation, Chapter Twenty-one, is speaking of Heaven coming to the earth. The Throne of God is in the new Jerusalem. There is nothing left in the spirit heavens that we are interested in. The idea of a rapture into a permanent residence in Heaven is not attractive to people who love God and the Lord Jesus.
As I mentioned previously, the new Jerusalem is the Christian Church, the dwelling place of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the elect. The elect are the Royal Priesthood, the Body of Christ, of the anointed Servant of the Lord.
All of our training as disciples of the Lord Jesus is for the purpose of enabling us to represent God to the citizens of the new earth, and also to the citizens of any planet to which the people migrate when the new earth becomes to small to accommodate them.
The personnel of the new Jerusalem have been trained during the thousand years of the Kingdom Age, during which Christ and His Firstfruits have been governing the present earth.
Satan, the False Prophet, and the Antichrist are in the Lake of Fire, along with those whose names were not found in the Book of Life.
Many people of the nations have been brought into the Kingdom through the work of Christ and His Firstfruits. I think that people whose goal is eternal rest in Paradise are not aware that the Church, the dwelling place of God, has been created and trained to bring the Presence of God to all the peoples God has created.
Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly. (Hebrews 12:22)
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
The hope that we have of living in a world in which there is no more death, or tears, or mourning or pain will be true of the new heaven and earth rule of Christ and His saints, not necessarily of the present spirit world.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
The truth of the matter is, Heaven is coming to the earth. The hope of religious people has been to go to the spirit Heaven to live forever. The actual truth is, Heaven is coming to the earth. Our destiny has to do with the change in our body known as the resurrection, and life on the new earth under the new sky.
For some reason we have had the concept that after we die we will have nothing of significance to do. The truth is, active life really begins after we die. First we have to make some progress in our change into the image of God. Then there is the unimaginable number of tasks and activities required as God's vision of a new righteous world begins to be implemented.
Actually we are being made chariots of God so God can visit the farthest reaches of His creation, bringing all that is needed by the people. As I pointed out in my book, Godwill Castle, there will be an army of saints and angels who are always prepared to go to any scene where God's will is not being done.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6,7)
Did you by any chance notice the expression: Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end? And we were hoping to be lying in a bed with angels popping grapes in our mouth!
There is a great new world coming, and everyone's talents will be used to the full. It will be more wonderful than any situation we can imagine. And it will last forever!
We understand, then, that there are three "days" of the working of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth, and three major comings:
His first coming to die on the cross.
His second coming to prepare us for His new heaven and earth reign.
His third coming with His Royal Priesthood as the eternal Tabernacle of God, the new Jerusalem.
The first coming was to make an atonement for sin, and also to lay the groundwork for His Kingdom.
The second coming is to prepare the peoples of the earth for the final resurrection of the dead and the accompanying judgments. to warn them of the rewards to the righteous and the punishments that shall be administered to the wicked.
The third coming is the fulfillment of the vision that came into God's mind when Adam and Eve sinned, a wonderful new world of righteousness and Glory.
Let us return to the teachings of the first Apostles in which righteous, holy character and behavior were emphasized, as the disciples waited patiently for the return of the Lord Jesus and the setting up of His Kingdom.
See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. (Isaiah 54:17-19)