The Work of Christ - Future 2 - Connection with the Earth

The Work of Christ
by Arno Gaebelein
 

2. His Future Work in Connection with the Earth.

When the Saints of God have left the earth and met the Lord in the air, when the events took place we have briefly outlined, then the Lord Jesus Christ will begin from heaven a work which will be severely felt on the earth. He begins to deal with the world in a series of judgments. From the Book of Revelation we learn that the "Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals thereof." (Rev. 5:5). The book He receives contains the judgments decreed for this earth with its apostate masses. The Lamb is seen opening the seals of the book, and as He breaks the seals the events described under each seal happen. It is His work in judgment. In the eighth chapter of Revelation an Angel is seen before an altar with a golden censer. "And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Rev. 8:5,6). This Angel is the Lord Jesus Christ. He casts down the fire of divine displeasure and judgment upon the earth. The seven trumpeting angels with their judgments for the earth are sent forth by Him. Then come seven other angels, who pour out the bowls filled with the wrath of God. We cannot examine all those judgments separately. There is no human being who can realize what they all mean and what it will be when the Lord deals with this earth in righteousness.

Israel and the Nations.

Israel and the nations will pass through those judgments executed from above. Christendom apostate, God defying and Christ rejecting Christendom, will, like Pharaoh, be hardened by them. They do not repent, but rather believe the strong delusion and accept the man of sin with his lying wonders. The Jewish people will in part be restored to their land. The great tribulation centers in their land and will be felt there in its severest form. The apostate portion of the Jews will worship the false Christ and will therefore be visited by these righteous judgments. But there is also a remnant of God-fearing Jews, who believe the Word of God, who expect the Kingdom and the King. While these believing Jews suffer, they also serve. They are the last messengers of the King. They herald once more the Gospel of the Kingdom and will bear witness of it to all the nations of the earth, before the end comes (Matt. 24:14).

Nations Learning Righteousness.

"When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9). A work of salvation will go on during those seven years of judgment, tribulation and wrath. A great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, come out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:9-17). They heard and believed the final testimony as preached by the Jewish remnant. Heathen nations will accept the Gospel of the Kingdom, while apostate Christendom is excluded, for they received not the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2).

His Glorious Appearing.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:29-30). "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen" (Rev. 1:7). "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse: and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."(Rev. 19:11-16).

The King in His Glory.

Every eye shall see Him, when He appears in glorious majesty as the King of Kings. His glory will cover the heavens (Hab. 3:3). Every tongue which denied Him will be forever hushed. His second, personal, visible and glorious coming will be the crowning and unanswerable proof of His Deity. His incarnation and all the work He accomplished on earth and in glory, can then no longer be denied. His glorious appearing will silence all His enemies. His rejection ends and His glory as God's appointed King and ruler over this earth, He purchased with His blood, begins. Every knee must then bow before Him and every tongue confess that He is Lord. And when He appears in all His glory, He does not come alone. His Saints come with Him. When He appears, then shall we also appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4). In that day of triumph and glory, He will be glorified in His Saints and admired in all them that believed (2 Thess. 1:10). Wonderful spectacle it will be, when He brings His many sons with Him unto glory! All will be conformed into the same image.

His Judgment-Work.

His feet will stand once more upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). Before Him is Jerusalem and all nations are gathered against it to battle (Zech. 14:2). The Beast will be their leader, while the Man of Sin, the Anti-christ, will do his dreadful work in the city itself. The remnant of Israel in great distress will then pray and look for deliverance. The coming of the King will bring that deliverance. They will shout then for joy and say in that day, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Isaiah 25:9). They will welcome the once rejected One. "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39). And He will fight against those nations. The great battle of Armageddon will then take place. "The beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army" (Rev. 19:19). But their opposition will suddenly be broken to pieces. "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet [the Anti-christ] that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped the image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20).

On His Throne.

"When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matt. 25:31). The judgment which will then be executed by Him is not a universal judgment (the dead are not mentioned), but it will be a judgment of the living nations in the day when He appears the second time. Some nations are put on His right side and He calls them "the blessed of my Father;" they inherit the Kingdom which will then be established on the earth. That these righteous nations are not church saints is obvious, for the church, as we have seen, was caught up in the beginning of His future work to meet Him in the air and is associated with Him when He comes in power and glory. Then there are other nations which are put on His left hand and they shall go away from that judgment throne into everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46). But what is the standard of this judgment? What they did to the Lord's brethren or what they did not unto them. The Lord's brethren according to the flesh are the Jews. During the tribulation period believing Jews will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations (Matt. 24:14). The nations who believed this last offer of mercy treated the messengers in kindness; those who did not believe the message did not treat them in that way. And when this great judgment is passed, His Kingdom of righteousness and peace will be established on this earth. Righteousness will begin to reign as grace reigns now through righteousness.