During this reign of the Christ, all will have been brought to a knowledge of the truth, (1 Tim. 2:4) the true light will have enlightened every man, ever born into the world.
Posts Tagged ‘ Millennium ’
Death is the cessation of life. If Jesus had not paid the price for Adam thereby lifting the curse of death, all would remain in their graves.
Hence, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, from its first announcement in the Scriptures, has called for the strongest faith on the part of believers and has excited the general resentment of unbelievers, who seem to find it easier to believe anything else respecting the dead.
None will deny that throughout the Gospel Age there is a large class who have never heard of the only name given under heaven and amongst men whereby they must be saved and who, therefore, have never had an opportunity of becoming members of the Lord’s flock. That they have gone to heaven without a knowledge of the “only name” is unscriptural as well as unreasonable, and that they have gone to eternal torment without an opportunity for salvation is equally unscriptural and unreasonable. That the Lord intends to use the Very Elect Little Flock of this Gospel Age as his kings and priests during the Millennium, to carry his mercy and favor to all of these and to give them an opportunity of becoming members of the human flock to whom he will be pleased to give eternal life, is both reasonable and Scriptural.
God’s love was not previously manifested; for over four thousand years only the severity, the justice of the divine character was manifested, though a hint was given to Abraham and subsequently through the prophets, that God had kind sentiments toward the fallen and tainted race, which in due time would bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
The lesson is in harmony with the Scriptural declaration, “Blessed is the man who is not condemned by that which he alloweth.” That is to say, the ungenerous, the unkind, are very apt to blame others strongly for misdemeanors of which they themselves are guilty. The man whose words respecting others do not condemn himself is to be congratulated as a happy man indeed. The person whose criticism of others is so kindly, so generous, so merciful as to not involve a condemnation of his own course is certainly an exceptional man or woman. We call to remembrance our Lord’s words, “With whatsoever measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again,” and, interpreting our text in harmony with this, if our words are generous and kind, loving and benevolent we shall receive similarly kind treatment of the Lord. If our language respecting others be harsh, cynical, critical, unkind, we may expect reproofs from the Lord.
Why? Because all mankind are by nature fallen, imperfect, depraved; and the person who sees the faults of others and fails to see his own, needs the correcting chastisements of the Lord to show him his true condition reflected in his course of conduct and language toward and respecting others: he indicates that he himself needs to be taught some very important lessons without which he will not be prepared to make progress toward the Divine standards of character.
Paul was entreating the Thessalonians: “We beseech you, brethren, concerning the presence [Greek parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him.” He was the apostle who showed, particularly, that at the end of the Gospel Age, the presence would be a period of time and that those who slept in Christ would be raised first. Later the feet members of the body of Christ would be invisibly and spiritually raptured as a group. As pictured by Elijah’s being taken up by a whirlwind, a class will be taken together. When John the Baptist was beheaded, he portrayed the last members of the body of Christ.
At the end of the age, there are two collective gatherings of faithful Christians: first, the dead in Christ and then the feet members at a yet-future date (1 Thess. 4:17). In between these events, saints who die as individuals do not sleep but are instantaneously changed (1 Cor. 15:51,52). When Paul uttered these words, however, he was probably thinking of himself and the brethren at Thessalonica, rather than the feet members especially, but he was quite aware of both.
If we were not familiar with Present Truth and the teachings of all the great Reformers, we might think of the “man of sin” as a literal being, as some wicked person, but it is the false religious system just as the “man of God” is the true Church, a collective body made up of component parts or “joints.” The ideal is the picture of Jesus as the head and the Church as the body parts. Similarly, the man of sin is an organization with a person (the pope) as the head and the corresponding component parts of the Antichrist system (the Papacy) as the body. The man of God is The Christ, The Elijah,with Jesus as head. The man of sin is the Antichrist, the Papacy, a religious system, with Satan as its head. As the head of the man-of-sin system, Satan works through Papacy, whereas Jesus, the head of the man of God, works through the congregation.