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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Day of Christ, #11
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (I Thessalonians 4:17)
How long Christ and His saints will remain in the clouds before descending to the Mount of Olives is not known to us. Neither do we know what will be accomplished at that time. This may be a period for the assigning of roles, responsibilities, and rewards.
It is not reasonable that the members of His army will be judged when they ascend to be with Jesus, as some are claiming. The army of royal priests have been judged while living on the earth. To rise in glory to be with the Lord is not so they may be judged but is in fact their sentence—their reward for being faithful unto death. The remainder of the dead will not regain their bodies until the end of the thousand-year period.
One point must be brought to the attention of God's people with great emphasis. The first resurrection from the dead is for the royal priesthood. It is the time of giving the spiritual thrones that govern the creation to those who through Christ have overcome Satan, the world, Antichrist, and their own lusts and self-will. The following passage appears to us to imply strongly that not all who profess belief in Christ will attain the first resurrection from the dead. Rather, the first resurrection is for the overcomers, for those who are prepared to be revealed with Christ:
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: upon such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
Christ may abide in the air for a long period of time, establishing the thrones of spiritual authority and sending the wrath of God on the rebellious of the earth. Perhaps those who are alive on the earth at His coming, and now have been changed and have ascended with all the saints, will have this opportunity to find their positions in the army poised to invade the earth.
Then, with the pealing of the trumpets of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and His army will proceed downward until their feet touch the Mount of Olives—no doubt at the place from which He ascended.
His generals and mighty men await His command. He sends them to Har-Magedon, north of Jerusalem, there to crush the forces of Antichrist.
Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem upon the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:3-5)
To be continued.