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(A Balanced Faith)
REDEMPTION WAY about Heaven; salvation (gospel); eternal life; blessing; our course; judgments; the Lord's sacrifice, reign, kingdom, glory and purposes; etc. CHURCH TRUTH about baptism; the gathering of believers; the collective testimony; obedience; a Godly path; the Lord's glory and honor; etc. SPIRITUAL LIFE about worship; the love of God; devotion; maturity in faith; trials; peace and joy; holiness; communion; charity; service; the Lord's glory and praise; etc. GENERAL MINISTRY about the Creator-God; Trinity; Bible overview; God's plan; Bible subjects; the OT & NT; Christianity; sects and cults; God's honor; etc.
Site updated on: November 29, 2017
Established 2000 A.D.
Holding forth the Word of life - Phil. 2:16
Holding fast the
faithful Word - Titus 1:9
See thoughts about God's recovery of church truth for His testimony and our pathway as believers, from that revival of 1827 AD shown herein
May God bless this site
to all readers
December Edition, 2017 www.biblecounsel.net or www.biblecounsel.homestead.com Scriptural Newsletter
WELCOME HERE FRIENDS! It is hoped you will find this site to be very helpful. All questions and comments are welcome and held confidential. This web site is non-sectarian ministry to encourage the reading of God's Word, and for serious seeking after truth. It values God's work of revival in the early 1800's, with which it is associated, and urges readers to learn about it (see Church Truth page and Feature pages above). It is always the desire and hope here to obey and honor our Lord, and encourage and seek the spiritual welfare of all people. No thought here is to condemn personal faith, for each one must look to God in their personal life, but speaks to spiritual life and the holy gospel truth by Bible-only, and what the collective testimony ought to be in this world.
Everyone may participate in the ministry of this web site, by telling their friends to visit here. We hope all will find some ministry to help, and perhaps a nice challenge for their faith. Surely "the time is short", as God says, and surely we need to also "be about (our) Father's business". See the message and testimony at Site Manager Page. The writer does not have all answers, but will be glad to share what has been learned over many years. Questions and contrary views in a helpful way are appreciated.
Papers and comments here are changed periodically, and are personal convictions. Serious seekers after church testimony might well see Christian Assembly page: F4. There are many pages for help and encouragement --- SEE INDEX ABOVE FOR A BIBLE STUDY --F8. The manager may not have answers for all questions, but is glad to share what he has and be of some help. He is not perfect and revisions and updates seem needed at times to clarify thoughts, so one might note the revision date on any papers they wish to copy (set your print margins at .25). Any copies made should not be altered or taken out of context.
A true and faithful believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, will walk with Him and talk with Him daily, until that day when one can see Him and be with Him forever in the Father's house. - RLD, 12/09
"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST"
CONSIDERING THE COMING OF CHRIST
It was a glorious thing when the Lord Jesus, the Christ, came from Heaven to this world as a man, and faithful souls have rejoiced in that hope. The angels praised God at His birth, saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). All mankind ought to rejoice and be glad for the gift of God (Rom.6:23), but alas He was rejected and today He is mostly ignored by the world. - By R. L. DeWitt, 2000
Today our thoughts ought to also turn to the soon coming AGAIN of the Lord. Some professing Christians are confused about the return of the Lord Jesus, and choose to believe that the church (the bride of Christ) will endure the wrath of God along with all men, in judgment against this world during the tribulation period foretold. That is not what the Word of God shows, but that the bride who will be translated (raptured) to Heaven one day (perhaps soon) will come with Christ at that time of conquest. Let us see here what the Word teaches.
In the Holy Scriptures we find the "day of Christ" (1 Cor.1:8; 1 Cor.15:51-52; Phil.1: 6,10; Phil. 2:16; 1 Thess.4:13-18), which speaks of the translation (often called "rapture") of the church up to Heaven; and there is also the "day of the Lord" (1 Thess.5:1-5; 2 Pet.3: 10; Jude 14-15), which tells of the second appearing of Christ to vanquish His enemies and reign; and there is the "day of God" (2 Pet.3:12), which shows God's final judgment after the millenial reign of Christ. One ought to see the different aspects of the return of the Lord Jesus, the Christ of God, and see how it affects mankind.
If one is clear about these things they will be able to see that the Lord is not going to pour out judgment on His bride, as some suggest; rather, He will take her out before His wrath falls. When the Lord returns visibly to the world, His bride will be with Him (Matt.24:30-31).
The following commentary from the Concise Bible Dictionary should help in giving one a good picture:
- The Second Advent -
"The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, naturally implies that He has already been here once. 'Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself...and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin (or apart from the sin question) unto salvation' (Heb.9:26-28). The 'second advent' therefore is clearly a scriptural expression. Scripture speaks of many momentous and solemn events connected with the second coming of Christ which will be found under the different headings connected with this subject.
"There are two aspects of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ which should never be confounded, namely, His coming FOR His saints, and His coming WITH His saints. These events may be thus illustrated. Suppose a large town or province revolted from allegiance to its sovereign, and refused to acknowledge his authority. After many warnings the sovereign raises an army to punish the rebels; but he knows that in that city there are many true subjects who loyally acknowledge his title and claims. When approaching the city he secretly calls out all those loyal ones, who gladly go out to meet him. He storms the city, and entering with those that have already joined him, he punishes the rebellious, and rewards those that had been faithful. Now, as the coming of the sovereign would be a day of joyful deliverance to one class, so it would be followed by judgment on the others. We find both these aspects of the coming of the Lord Jesus plainly revealed in the Scripture. 1 Thess. 4:15-18 speaks of Christ coming for His saints to their everlasting joy; and Jude 14, 15 speaks of Christ coming to execute judgment on His enemies.
"Another distinction to be noticed is that when Christ comes for His saints, including both the living and the dead, He will not actually come to the earth for them. The above passage in 1 Thessalonians says that the saints will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is often called the "rapture". It will be a meeting far too sacred for the eyes of the wicked to behold...it will be in the clouds. No separation will ever take place: those that are thus caught up will be for ever with the Lord. But the important aspect of the resurrection and rapture of the saints is, that it is God's answer in those that believe to the all-glorious worth of His own Son.
"This is the bright hope of the Christian. There is no event revealed in scripture that must take place before the rapture of the saints. They should, therefore, be expecting the return of the Lord at any moment to fetch all His saints away together (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess.1: 9-10).
"In other scriptures it is revealed that there will be an interval between the rapture (the catching away of the saints), and the Lord's coming to the earth. For instance, in 2 Thess.2 we learn that the day of the Lord cannot come 'til the antichrist is revealed, because the Lord is going to destroy that wicked one when He comes. Then in Rev.13 we find that the antichrist will co-operate with another 'beast', the head of the future Roman empire; and in Dan.9 that this latter power will make a covenant with Israel and will break the covenent in the midst of the week; all which intimates that this apparent triumph of wickedness will spread over at least seven years, otherwise spoken of as the last week of the seventy weeks of Daniel.
"That the Lord Jesus will actually come to the earth is plainly revealed in Acts 1:11: 'This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven'. 'His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east' (Zech.14:4). 'The Lord, whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple....but who may abide the day of His coming?' (Mal.3:1-2).
- The Appearing Of Christ -
"This is to be distinguished from Christ coming FOR His saints, though intimately connected with it, for He will bring them with Him. 'When Christ, who is our life, shall appear (to the world), then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Col.3:4). Here it is the manifestation of Christ WITH His own, to be followed by the setting up of His kingdom and the apportionment of rewards to His saints (2 Cor.5:10). The Lord's servant is exhorted by His appearing and His kingdom to preach the Word (2 Tim.4:1-2). The saints will be associated with Christ in His judgments at His appearing (Jude 14-15). Christ will execute judgment on the beast and the false prophet and the western powers; also on the Assyrian and eastern powers that will oppress the Jews. The Jews and the ten tribes will be restored to their land in blessing, ushering in the millennium."
The "millennium" is that promised time of one thousand years of the reign of the Lord Jesus in righteousness, before the eternal state begins, and it will be a great time of rejoicing for all who love the Christ of God. - RLD.