It is through the Church that the goodness of God is revealed. It is through the Body of Christ that right-standing with God is displayed. It is through the Bride that the power of love and unity is manifested. The victory in all of this is ours because Christ already defeated the enemy in these areas (Colossians 2:13-15).
This is another valley that needs to be raised up. It’s time for the Church/Body/Bride to walk in the reality of this victory. Yes, the enemy is throwing everything he’s got in our path to trip us up. But how much of the crookedness of the path is our twisted thinking?
We all fall short while we’re on this earth. That’s why we need to “gather” together to encourage one another not to walk in condemnation, but to keep pursuing the path.
Has God been showing you something that needs readjusting in one of these areas?
Have you ever started sharing end-time truths, only to be rebuked by, “That’s just escapism?” The comment comes because few people understand the reason for the rapture. They think it means we get to escape the worst of the evil events that mark the first few years of the Day of the Lord.
We do, as God promised! But that’s not the end of the story. I hate to break this to you, but we don’t float up to Heaven to sit on fluffy white clouds to play heavenly harps. No, we have a job to do, a purpose to fulfill. It’s called the Heavenly Calling. It’s prophesied in Ephesians 1:3-14. Take a moment to read that powerful passage.
It’s pictured in the Book of Esther, one of two books that do not speak directly of God. The other is the Song of Solomon. Both are powerful portrayals of the Bride of Christ. For close to two thousand years, our Lord has been establishing His Church, building His Body, and wooing His bride. As we get closer to the Appointed Day, the essence of being the Bride of Christ will take precedence.
Before entering the King’s chambers, Esther underwent two periods of preparation. The first involved spices that purified the body and removed the toxins. The second involved soaking in precious ointments that saturated the body with pleasant aromas. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Paul explains the purpose of this preparation time: through us the Godhead diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
This is why it is so crucial that when we assemble together, we need to enter into God’s preparation time and not what humans have prepared for the service. A love-struck bride is consumed with the thoughts of her bridegroom. Speak, Beloved, what is on Your mind?
The appointed time of judgment is set in God’s plan of redemption. Before we can understand that appointed time, we need to recognize what is being judged. It is described in the first book of the Bible, in the first prophecy given in God’s Word (Genesis 3:14-15). It is the devil, in the form of the serpent. The prophecy declares that the Seed – Jesus Christ—shall trample the head of the serpent. That’s a poetic way of saying the enemy is trampled underfoot (Acts 2:35; Hebrews 10:12-14).
What does this have to do with what is happening when tragedies strike and injustice seems to go unanswered? It is the antidote, it is the remedy, that the God of love provided because of the ultimate choice every human faces. Do we choose to know good and evil or do we choose to know life connected to the Creator? We always have a choice.
Our word for good is based on God, but it falls short of God’s best. God didn’t create evil. It is the result of rejecting God. Evil is the absence of God in the same way that darkness is the absence of light. The devil, in all his twisted wickedness, is delighted when humans blame God for the suffering found in this world—suffering that is the result of the world’s rejection of God.
That fateful, rebellious choice in the Garden of Eden introduced sin, decay, destruction, and death into the world. That is the modus operandi of the enemy (John 10:10). It shifted the center of the universe from God the Creator to His creation. The individual became the focus—what we call secular humanism. Romans 8:22 tells us that the earth itself is groaning from the weight of the accumulated effects of sin on this planet. The antidote, the remedy is found in John 10:10 as well. It is Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.
Today believers have another choice. We can grumble and groan about the darkness that seems to be getting darker. Or we can understand the times according to God’s great Week and know what we need to speak forth in truth and grace to a hurting world. In short, we can be light. After all, we are to shine our light on He who is the Light of the world.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
The passage in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 also “happens” to refer to us Levelers. In case you haven’t guessed, we’re the sons and daughters of the Light. We’re the sons and daughters of the Day. “The Day” refers to the Day of the Lord, the 1,000-year Sabbath reign of Christ. Since we are “in Him,” we are in that Day. Because we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), we reign with Him in that Day.
Our time now on earth is boot-camp training for that Day.
We must grasp just how crucial it is for us to be bright, clear lights of the Day. It’s vital that we see ourselves as children of God without fault because of the finished work of Jesus as described in Philippians 2:15. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It means we’re forgiven by the grace of God and wear His robes of righteousness through His shed blood. And that should cast a new light on how we live each day. Not seeing ourselves in this way is one of the major valleys that need to be raised up.
You see, as helpful as it is for us to live in this blessed assurance, it’s even more critical that we be bright lights as the general atmosphere of these last days becomes more crooked and perverse. We’re meant to stand out as a beckon of hope in the darkness (Matthew 5:14).
Notice that the Philippians verse not only describes us as blameless but harmless as well. In other words, we’re not to use our light sabers to cut through those walking in darkness with harsh judgments. Our “Force” doesn’t work that way—at least not for now. That time is coming and it is known as the Day of the Vengeance of God against evil. Incidentally, it’s also called the Day of the Lord.
Do you have a ready answer? (1 Peter 3:15)