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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Army of the Lord, continued
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:9)
The Lord Jesus prayed for the members of His Body, the Israel of God. The Israel of God includes all who are called of God whether Jewish or Gentile by race. There is no such thing as a Jewish Church or a Gentile Church. There is only the one Body of Messiah. The Apostle Paul taught this clearly.
Israel is the royal priesthood, the Olive Tree, God's elect, His anointed, the Kingdom of God. By Israel we mean the one Seed of Abraham. The one Seed of Abraham is Christ and all who belong to Christ.
All who are part of Christ will appear with Him when He returns to earth. These people will compose a large, powerful army that will drive Satan and his works from the earth.
Based on the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews we believe that God's saints began with the "righteous Abel." How did the saints of old become joined to Christ? We cannot answer that. But we do know that they without us cannot be made perfect, implying they all are one with us in Christ and therefore part of the one Body of the Christ, the Servant of the Lord who is to come and bring justice to the nations.
Referring to the saints of history:
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39,40)
What will the coming of the Lord be like? What do the Scriptures tell us about the appearing of Christ?
Let us begin our study with a review of Paul's epistle to the church of the Thessalonians.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13)
The words that follow in First Thessalonians were written to comfort Christians whose loved ones, fellow believers, had died before the Lord Jesus had returned.
If we would understand Paul's words to the Thessalonians we must put ourselves in their place. We must see the vision of the Day of the Lord in their terms.
The Thessalonians viewed the appearing of Christ according to what they had been taught from the prophecies of the Old Testament. The Apostles always taught from the Old Testament.
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (Acts 15:15)
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: (Acts 26:22)
And when they had appointed him [Paul] a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (Acts 28:23)
To be continued.