These Latter Days
I have continued to seek the Lord concerning these last days and want to share some recent stirrings in my spirit. I have been inquiring about the 1000 year period revealed to John. Some have suggested we are in that period, and that the Dark Ages, or Middle Ages represents a period of great deception. We are about 1000 years from that period. To be sure we see increasing deception in this day. I earnestly avoid any crystallized concept on the subject of what we call eschatology. I would say that most true disciples of the Lord Jesus today recognize that our focus needs to be fixed on Jesus Christ Himself. He is the beginning of our spiritual lives and He is the end as well. I have written initially at length on this blog that He Himself is our reward. Every endeavor in our lives must be adjusted to the plumb line that Christ is. Our walk, our behavior must be in a state of constant refinement to ensure that. This will cause us to rest in Him who is the only way for us to be transformed. (Phil. 1:6)
I recently came across a timeline of eschatology. It was produced by a ministry I respect very much. I cannot say I know it is not correct because I simply have no confidence that I have a clear insight. A point of understanding that does not make sense to me is the concept of Jesus returning to Jerusalem, and reigning from there for 1000 years. Will He leave His throne of glory, where He has been sitting as the glorified first-born of the new creation? He is a mystery, meaning who can fathom this Man. John fell like a dead man when he saw Him. I am writing with a spirit of inquiry. It is our glory to search out the hidden realities. As He returns, all heaven will come with Him. Is that not what we are told by Paul? (1 Thess. 4:13-18) And by Jude? (Jude 14) Peter writes of His coming without a hint of a gap between His appearing and judgement. (2 Peter 3:8-13)
The timeline I saw includes a reference to Jesus’ words in Matt. 23:39. He was speaking over Jerusalem. For the first time I understood why so many quote this verse as an indicator of Jesus return, and that He will return to Jerusalem. Without disputing, I believe the surge of ministry and of true witness and testimony of Jesus in Israel and in Jerusalem in particular is a fulfillment of His words. Those who receive the ones that He sends, receive Him. They do welcome Him when they say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Yes, more needs to transpire for each one personally. And more than this personal and initial presence and coming of the Lord Jesus is yet to be revealed. The question for me remains, that in the discourse recorded by Matthew (Matt 23:39-24:1), the story continues that Jesus left the temple. Is He returning to a temple made with hands? All that is written for us by the first apostles points to, and encourages us as the temple of God. Does He have two temples?
We are hearing more and more of the cloud of witnesses and experiencing different levels of awareness of their presence. We realize they are alive, not dead. Jesus’, and Peter, James, and John’s, experience at the transfiguration is an indicator of what some have been knowing in these days. Often, when we first hear of such things, we may resist. I am quick to ask when unsure but I have learned that the Lord opens our eyes and shows us heavenly things according to His wisdom and purpose in our lives. It’s important that we be seeking Him and following. Jesus did not take a crowd up the mountain that night. He chose 3 in particular of His closest disciples and told them to tell no one until after His resurrection. They obeyed that instruction.
A dear sister here in Frederick shared this at Wednesday prayer a few years ago. She mentioned this incident of transfiguration and then asked, “What happened those other nights when Jesus went off alone to pray?” What a thought! Jesus knew what would be revealed that night. Not everyone had that opportunity. Not everyone today has the same experiences. I know some believers very well who have 3-D and trance-like visions. We hear of Jesus appearing to Muslims in the Middle East in dreams and visions. I have been keenly aware of some of the cloud of witnesses myself. For me, these were John Paul Jackson, a true teacher who passed into glory sometime ago, Bob Jones, the humble man who was known for his accurate words of prophecy, and Martin Luther. I was aware of Luther as standing tall among that crowd of His servants. Our brother Jackson, I saw seated with very long gray hair.
These spiritual sightings occurred in the last few years after following the Lord Jesus, and seeking His righteousness, for 40 years. This is not to imply that a long time is necessary for us to be close to Him. Rather, I am grateful to be alive in these times of increasing trouble, and yet strong and growing anticipation of the culmination of this age and the full manifestation of His new heavens and new earth, in which His righteousness dwells. Even so, come Lord Jesus.