Jesus began His ministry by reading a passage from the scroll of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
Then He closed the scroll. Oddly, He stopped mid-sentence. The full line from Isaiah 61 reads, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why didn’t Jesus complete the sentence? What’s up with that?
The purpose of our Lord’s first coming was to make it possible for fallen humanity to be restored back to God. The Son of God became the Son of Man in order to pay the price for sin. In doing so, He brought forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. He established a new and better covenant established on better promises (Heb. 8:6).
If we continue reading in Isaiah 61, the rest of the to-do list is just as welcoming and encouraging. So why did Jesus stop where He did when quoting Isaiah? The simple answer: It wasn’t time yet.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that the Day of Vengeance is the Wrath of that Day, that happens as the 7th Day—the Last Day in God’s prophetic great Week—dawns. The 7th Day dawns with our Lord’s return, when He gathers the Church to take us back to Father’s House in Heaven.
This gathering marks a shift in our assignment. We are raptured and taken to the throne in order to be seated as the heavenly immortal government. Our role is to execute God’s vengeance against evil through the trumpet and bowl judgments seen in Revelation. But that’s only half of the assignment.
The flip side has to do the fact that we replace the Ephesians 6:12 hierarchy of evil forces over the earth. Through our intercession and declarations we release: (1) comfort to all who mourn, especially the newly saved remnant of the nation of Israel; (2) beauty for ashes; (3) the oil of joy for mourning; and (4) the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. For what purpose? That the inhabitants of the earth may be called trees of righteousness, that planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:2b-3).
Together with Christ, as One New Man, we finish the mission of the Good News. Together we usher in the restoration of all things. To God be the glory, forever and ever.
Recognizing our future role once we are raptured is a message of comfort, hope, and victory. The rapture isn’t “bad eschatology” as one prominent pastor declared in Charisma magazine. It’s God’s Word and His plan to complete the assignment in the only way possible. At the appointed time, by the perfected immortal government united fully with Christ in one Spirit.
In the meantime, we continue our Lord’s commission to preach the good news, heal, bring deliverance, and preach the acceptance that is available by grace through faith.