In my first blog, I pointed out that the future of the ecclesia is celestial. Is her position, presently, together with that of her Head, Christ Jesus, hidden from sight for the world, on several places mention is made of the fact that she, in due time, together with Christ, will be manifested in glory. When Christ appears in glory, then automatically, also the people, who are inseparably united with Him. From the moment of the snatching away, she shall be with Him always (1Thes.4:17).
“for … your life is hid together with Christ in God. Whenever Christ, our Life, should be manifested, then you also shall be manifested together with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:3-4)
Years earlier, Paul had written about this to the Thessalonians:
“whenever He may be coming (in that day) to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at IN ALL who believe …”(2Thes.1:10)
Christ Jesus will then be seen, but not by Himself, alone. He will be seen, with amazement, “in all who believe”. People will see Christ… in the believers! Already, in his first letter to the ecclesia in Thessalonica, Paul wrote about this:
“… in the presence of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1Thes.3:13).
About the identity of these saints, we are not in doubt. It concerns the people who are united with their head in celestial glory. Even the prophet Zechariah already refers to them, though cryptically. When Israel shall find itself in utmost danger, shall Yahweh appear on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem …
“And Yahweh, my Elohim, shall come, and all the saints with Him.” (Zech. 14:5).
The Lord comes not alone, by Himself: all the saints with Him. Who those saints are is not explained in Zachariah. It is hidden… which by itself is a hint. For it refers to the ecclesia which was a secret in the Hebrew Bible (Eph.3:6), but has been revealed by Paul.
In due time, when the Messiah in glory will appear before the eyes of Israel and the nations, He will be seen united in heavenly glory with a set-apart people (= saints).
first published (in Dutch): 3 september 2011
translation: Peter Feddema