Wednesday, March 13, 2013

After The Present Age Of Grace

After The  Present Age of Grace 

The last recorded event of divine history, with the exception of Paul writing his last seven epistles, is the record found in Acts 28:25-28 of the Apostle Paul judicial pronouncement of Israel’s blindness. Since that time, for over 2,000 years, there has been no fulfillment of prophecy. Prophetically, it is as if time has stood still. The chief characteristic of this present administration could be summed up in the phrase—THE SILENCE OF GOD. During this present interlude, He has not spoken, nor has He inspired any writings. He is not actively engaged in the affairs of mankind. He does not mete out punishment upon the wicked, nor does He reward the righteous. However, He is active in administering a magnificent attribute of His, which is GRACE! However, the time is running-out on the “Clock-of-Grace.”
When the current Administration of Grace ends, Christ Jesus will bring about a New World Order which will be centered in the Kingdom of God. He will usher in a Divine arrangement in which every wrong will be made right. He will begin repopulating the world in which every human being will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11). This repopulation will be achieved, mostly, by means of resurrection of the righteous dead as well as “depopulation” of the living wicked who fail to submit to God’s Government and righteous rule. This is not referring to the “rapture” or “2nd Coming.”
The present kingdom of darkness will be replaced by the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son when Christ judges the living and the dead (II Tim. 4:1). This is the next prophetic scriptural event which is to occur in which Christendom seems to unashamedly ignore.
“I am conjuring you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, Who is about to be judging the living and the dead, in accord with His advent (Epiphaneia) and His kingdom (basileia)”
2 Timothy 4:1 clearly, and unambiguously, sets forth the fact that Christ Jesus begins to review, among the dead, everyone who has ever lived, from Adam until the Appearing (epipahniea) takes place. By this review, critique, or more correctly, by this adjudication, He will determine who will qualify to live during His Kingdom Reign and who will continue to remain dead until the great white throne judgment. This determination will also be made among all of the living at that time this event is to occur. Only those who He deems worthy will enter the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. And, concerning the dead, only those who He deems worthy will live again in resurrection during this time. As I’ve said, the dead who are rejected remain dead until later judgment. One such example of a believer who would remain dead would be the malefactor who requested of Jesus to “remember me in your kingdom”. Because the kingdom had not been available to Gentiles until the door was opened to Cornelius, Jesus promise him a place in “paradise”. I believe this “paradise” to be the new heaven and earth of Revelation 21 NOT the new heaven and earth of the restoration of Israel (Isaiah 65 &66). Seeourstudy“TheNewHeavenandNewEarth”underthe“KingdomofGodStudies”

Those among the “living” who are unbelieving and, otherwise, disqualified will not be permitted to live under this New World Order. Thus, the Appearing/advent and Kingdom will bring about an evil-free planet-earth.
However, over time, as the earth’s population generates offspring, Satan will begin to produce his spiritual progeny from among some of the original inhabitants. Thus, he sows “tares” among the “wheat,” (see the Parable in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) and our study “A Misunderstood Parable” on the “Kingdom of God Studies” section of our site.
We will focus on how God repopulates the earth by means of resurrections when He begins to judge the living and the dead at His Appearing and His Kingdom. The context of this repopulation is found in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.
“20 But now is CHRIST risen from the dead, and become THE FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept.
21”For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 “But every man in his own order: CHRIST the FIRSTFRUITS (those sleeping); afterward they that are Christ's at his Parousia or appearing.
In verse twenty, the Apostle Paul uses “the firstfruit” as a figure from the Law of Moses and applies it to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ therefore verse twenty addresses the resurrection of Christ. In many other translations, Christ becoming “the firstfruits” (plural) of them that slept” seems peculiar to the English ear; inasmuch as, His resurrection was singular, not plural, as “firstfruits” would seem to indicate. Other “fruits” were not raised from the dead along with Him. The Concordant Translation clarifies this point in vs. 20 but completely confuses the matter of the “each in his own class” of vs. 23.
His resurrection was the “first of its kind.” The rest of its kind will come about when “every man [is vivified] in his own order” as verse twenty-three states. The idea of Christ’s resurrection being the first of its kind is substantiated by the Old Testament phrase, “the first of the firstfruits.”
“The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God.” (Exodus 23:19; & 34:26).
According to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, the word translated as “first” is the Hebrew word, “re’shiyth,” which means, “the first of its kind.” This certainly describes the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as found in verse 20
The crucial point to understand is that the rest of the “firstfruits” were left asleep, or in the state of death when the Lord Jesus was raised. These are to be Christ’s firstfruits of verse 23 who will be the “firstfruits” of resurrection when the Pre-Parousia/Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God is ushered in.

So, we have established the fact that verse 20 deals with the resurrection of Christ Himself. What most people miss, is the fact that there are TWO CLASSES of resurrections mentioned in verse 23. They are separate and distinct. Neither of them have a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ since He had already been mentioned in verse 20 as being raised as “the first of the Firstfruits.” So let’s examine verse 23.
The subject of verse 23 is dealing with “Yet each [man] in his own class”
Class 1: “Christ the firstfruits”: This class of resurrections are those who are sleeping and raised each in his own class or order.
Class 2: Are “thereupon [those who are] Christ’s in His presence (Parousia) at the conclusion of the Pre- Millennial Kingdom era who are most likely the martyrs of the tribulation period.
“Each man” certainly does not apply to the Lord Jesus. He is not included. It refers to each man who is to be made alive and who will live during the Kingdom. Some translations say “each man in his own order”. The word for “order” is “tagma” (NT:5001). According to Thayer’s Lexicon, tagma is a military term “for a body of soldiers, a corps, hence, a band, troop, class.
Paul specifies several distinct bands, or classes of those raised from the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:23. Jesus Christ cannot be in this “class.” Therefore, to equate “Christ the firstfruit” as Christ’s Own resurrection is not logically consistent with the meaning of the text. However, this is the standard interpretation of “Christ the firstfruits” in verse 23.
The Interlinear Bible – New Testament discloses that the word, “the,” was not in the Greek text. It was added by the translators. If the phrase was literally translated, it would read, “Christ firstfruit.”
“Christ’s firstfruits,” is not raised all at once. When the Kingdom comes, every man who qualifies to be raised in resurrection will be made alive in his own order. Every man will belong to a God reckoned “class.” The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary states that the Greek for “order” is “rank,” or “regiment.” So, according to this commentary, it will be “Every man in his own rank, or regiment.” This begins an orderly succession of resurrections as if in military precision. It will not be a general resurrection, but it will be each man in his own order, or rank, or regiment, or troop. They will live under the Government of the Lord Jesus Christ as He rules from heaven. Therefore, we see that there will be a series of resurrections. How many? We are not told. Over how long a period of time will this class of resurrections continue? We are not told this either. But, the “Firstfruits Classification” of resurrections will be early-on in the Kingdom of God. See endnotes [1]
The second classification is ─ those who are Christ’s at His Parousia [2nd Coming]. Their resurrection will be at the conclusion of the Kingdom—that is, the Consummation of the Kingdom when Christ will be physically “present” on the earth during the 1,000 years.
Of course, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, the Ecclesia, which is His Body was not yet revealed or in view. The truth of the present administration of the Secret as outlined in Ephesians and Colossians had been concealed in God from the eons and generations. For the sake of this study, we will not consider our relationship to the resurrections, as found here in detail, other than to say that we will be changed, or made alive as per Philippians 3:11 as we relate to a prior, or out-resurrection—exanastasis. Listen to my audio entitled “Is The Resurrection of Today’s Calling Unique.”
The believers to whom Paul wrote during the Acts of the Apostles understood many things which present day dispensationalists don’t. One thing being; they knew what their hope was. Their expectation was the coming of the Kingdom of God, not the Parousia of Jesus Christ (the 2nd Coming). He will not return until long after His Kingdom has been established in the earth and Israel is established as a great nation over all the earth. The next line will illustrate the two Classes of resurrections.
Each in his own order ─── Interval during the Kingdom ─── Christ’s at His Parousia
The consummation of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:3) will be the return of Jesus Christ (i.e. the Parousia). Then, the “afterward” of 1 Corinthians 15:23 comes into play; “thereupon those who are Christ’s at His Presence (Parousia).
“Thereupon” means after a long duration of time under the rule of Jesus Christ FROM HEAVEN, He will vivify those who were martyred “in Christ” during the Kingdom era. This occurs when He returns {i.e., His Parousia]. Those who will die “in Christ” during the Kingdom era will be the ones who will have suffered martyrdom at the hands of the warring rebels, to wit, the forces of the anti-christ. The martyr’s loved ones’ who are “surviving” should sorrow not because their loved ones will rise, again, at the Parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 4:15-17).
“For this we are saying to you by the word of the Lord, that we, THE LIVING, who are SURVIVING to the presence (Parousia) of the Lord, should by no means outstrip those who are put to repose (martyrs) for the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead (martyrs) in Christ shall be rising first, Thereupon we, the living who are SURVIVING, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord."
Think about this for a moment. If the “each in his own class” resurrections of I Corinthians 15:23 doesn’t occur well before the "2nd coming", then when will “each man” be made alive in “his own class”? These classes (plural) have to be before the “presence” or 2nd Coming. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, or 1 Thessalonians 4:16 refer to an ORDERLY SUCCESSION of resurrections at Christ’s Parousia. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that it will be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. This is only 1 of the multiple “classes”.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and I Corinthians 15:51-52 describe the same resurrection “at His presence”

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead (martyrs) in Christ shall be rising first, Thereupon we, the living who are SURVIVING, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord."
I Cor. 15:51-52 “Lo! a secret to you am I telling! We all, indeed, shall not be put to repose, yet we all shall be changed, in an instant, in the twinkle of an eye, at the last trump. For He will be trumpeting, and the dead will be roused incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
The above two verses do not describe every man being made alive, in his own order, as 1 Corinthians 15:23 does.
In this 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, we have a historical account (verse 20) of Christ Himself being raised out-from- among the dead in 29 A. D. Then, we have a prophetic mention of the resurrections of “Christ’s anointed firstfruits,” then, many years “thereupon,” “they that are Christ’s at His Coming [Parousia],” verse 23. Think about it, if the expectation of today is a resurrection of Christ’s “2nd Coming” as Christendom supposes, then when did the “each in his own order” occur?
All of this has been said in order to point out that, according to God’s Word, there will be Pre-Parousia resurrections which will repopulate the earth for the Kingdom of God. The Ecclesia, which is His Body (Eph. 1:22-23), will not be part of the each in his own class resurrections of Christ’s Firstfruits, even though some teachers think so. We will be graced with a prior and more excellent resurrection, that is, one that is more noble in distinction and character than that of the Firstfruits Resurrection of previous administrations and dispensations of God. (The resurrections of the present Ecclesia of His body will be associated with Paul’s resurrection as mentioned in Philippians 3:11).

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