The Parousia, the Seventh Trumpet and the Harvest

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Some have confused the matter concerning the parousia, and have evidently misread the arguments of many of the Bible Students so as to conclude that the word “Parousia” is being interpreted as having the definition of “invisible presence.” In other words, some have made the claim that Bible Students who believe that Christ’s parousia is invisible are presenting the word “parousia” itself as carrying the meaning “invisible.” Without judging the motives of those who would present this kind of argument, in reality the argument diverts attention from the invisible aspect of Christ’s return to the word “parousia” itself, and ends up being a strawman argument.

Some have cited some works of the Greeks and Romans concerning this, as alleged proof that the the word “parousia” does not mean “invisible.” Of course, the Romans and Greeks of the first century, not knowing or understanding spiritual matters, would not think of the word Parousia as expressing a spiritual presence that could not be seen. — 2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:7.

Nevertheless, the word parousia, of itself, does not prove either a visible or invisible presence, and we don’t believe most, if any, Bible Students have intended to leave that impression.

Jesus, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, and having once for all time offered up his flesh, will never be seen in that flesh again. (Hebrews 7:27; 9:28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18) However, this does not rule out the possibility that Jesus may manifest himself as did the angels of Yahweh in the Bible, who appeared as “men,” ate as men, and looked like men, manifesting themselves with a body of flesh. — Genesis 18:2,8,22; 19:1,5; Judges 13:2,6,8,9; Luke 24:4.
See the study:
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
http://atonement.reslight.net/archives/1.html

However, Jesus does indeed return bodily, with a body, that is, with the spiritual, celestial body, and with its glory. He no longer has the body of a man, a glory a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9) Having offered (to his God in heaven) his terrestrial, earthly, fleshly body for sin, once for all time (John 6:51; Hebrews 7:27; 9:11,12,24;10:10), he will never again be seen with that body. (1 Corinthians 15:40,44) Now being a life-giving spirit, he comes again from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:40,45-48), during the blowing of the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 8:2,6), with a celestial, spiritual body, resulting in (not necessarily in the order given):

(1) The end of the age, during which a harvest of the people of God begins. This harvest begins while the nations are still blinded by Satan, but it ends after Satan is abyssed, when the saints, the sons of God of this age, will be manifested and “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father.” (Matthew 13:3-43; Romans 8:19} Unlike many Bible Students, however, we do not believe that this harvest reveals who is of what class by any visible manifestation, except until after Satan is abyssed. Jesus said that the tares, not the wheat, are first gathered and bundled. (Matthew 13:39,40) Although the human servants of God labor in the harvest work, the harvest work itself is not entrusted to men, who would surely misjudge and treat much of wheat as tares, but it is entrusted to angels.

(2) The nations become angry, resulting in a great “time of trouble”, during which time the people in general do not take notice of the parousia. — Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; Revelation 11:15,18; Daniel 12:1,2.

(3) God’s wrath upon the children of wrath of this age comes to its conclusion — Ephesians 2:2,3; 5:6; Revelation 8:1.

(4) The dead are raised and the unjustified in this age are judged individually during the “last day” — Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 7:9,10; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28,29; 6:39,40,44,54; 12:47,48; Romans 2:16; 3:6; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; 20:11-15.

(5) God’s servants, prophets, saints are rewarded in the first resurrection. — Isaiah 40:10; Daniel 7:9,10; 12:1,2; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 3:8,14; Colossians 3:24; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 15:18; 20:4; 22:12.

(6) Those who would destroy the earth are themselves destroyed after the judgment day. — Psalm 37:10; Revelation 15:18; 20:8,12; 21:8.

Thus, the seventh trumpet begins to sound while the nations are still ignorant and are angry, and continues to sound until after the millennial age, up to the age of the ages, the eternal age.

Of Moses, it is said that, “he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) In context, “him” could be referring to the prehuman Jesus, who, before coming the earth, had the glory of the invisible, the celestial — the glory that he did not have while on earth. (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) Or, more than likely, “him” probably refers to the God and Father of Jesus, who is the “invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Either way, Moses saw him who is invisible by the eye of faith, not by literal sight, for he did not see that which is invisible by means of the physical eye. The point is that “seeing” does not necessarily mean seeing with the physical eye.
On the other hand, the Jews in general saw Jesus at his first appearing in the flesh, but did not see who he was — the Messiah — which could only have been seen with the eye of faith. They did not recognize him. (John 1:10) Nor could they “see” the God and Father in Jesus. (John 14:9) Having seen Jesus in the flesh, however, Jesus said of the world that had seen him in the flesh, that they would see him no more. (John 14:19) Since they had only seen him in the flesh, and had not seen him with the eye of faith as the Messiah, the son of God, then this can only mean that they will never see him in the flesh again. They will see the Son of Man coming [Erchomai] on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. — Revelation 1:7.

The word “coming” in Revelation 1:7 is not “parousia,” but a form of the verb “Erchomai,” — to come. However, we have no doubt that it is reference to “coming” in the days of the son of man, the parousia. (Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26) The statement here is not that he comes on a cloud, a singular cloud, but rather “clouds.”

Another scripture describes this event in the Old Testament:

I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. — Daniel 7:13.

Again, the reference is to clouds, plural, not a cloud, singular. Prophetically, the plural can used to represent two, as “times,” representing two times. (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14) Regardless, there is the possibility of at least two clouds being spoken of, indicating the possibility of two symbolic meanings. A cloud or clouds can represent: glory (Exodus 16:10; Ezekiel 1:28); guidance (Exodus 13:12); covering of sin (Isaiah 44:24); darkness (2 Samuel 22:12; Job 38:9; Psalm 18:11; Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15); a covenant, a promise of God (Genesis 9:13,16); God’s anger (Lamentations 2:1); alienation from God (Lamentations 3:44); storms (Ezekiel 1:4; 38:9; Luke 12:54; Jeremiah 4:13; Nahum 1:4); a hiding of the sun (Ezekiel 32:7); majesty (Isaiah 14:14); a communication from God (Exodus 24:16; Psalm 99:7; Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:35); trouble, distress (Ezekiel 30:3; Zephaniah 1:15).

In Daniel 7, the one like a son of man, in coming with the clouds, comes before the Ancient of Days, that is, Yahweh, and is presented to him. As a result, there was given to him an everlasting dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. (Daniel 7:14) This brings us into the age of the ages, the everlasting age after the millennial age, the age that will never end.

In Revelation 10:1, we find a reference to an angel coming in a cloud (singular).

Revelation 10:1 I saw another mighty angel coming down out of the sky [heaven], clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

Here is depicted an angel clothed as with a cloud. Of course, the language is symbolic. The “angel” is either Jesus or a messenger (angel) representing Jesus. Jesus, of course, will come as the “sun of righteousness.” — Malachi 4:2.

The “rainbow” probably represents the new covenant, which will be the means by which the seed of Abraham will bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
This angel is clothed with a cloud, a symbol of majesty, and yet we believe that it is also includes a symbolism of mystique, as a cloud hiding the sun, producing darkness. The angel has a face like the sun of righteousness, as a great ruler, but he also has feet like pillars of fire, representing a distressful situation and/or destruction. “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh’s wrath, but the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy.” (Zephaniah 1:18) “My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zephaniah 3:8) In this is pictured the wrath of Yahweh (Revelation 11:18), which wrath is brought to a finish during the blowing of the seventh trumpet, by means of seven symbolic bowls that are poured out. — Revelation 11:15,18; 15:1,7.

Revelation 10:2 He had in his hand a little book open. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land.
Revelation 10:3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation 10:4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don’t write them.”
Revelation 10:5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky,
Revelation 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay,
Revelation 10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets.

Thus, we believe this cloud appears either shortly before or at the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the last trumpet. The prophetical statement is that when the angel is about to sound his trumpet, the last trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. The Greek word rendered “about” — transliterated as “Mello,” does not necessarily mean “about,” as though it was something yet to happen. We believe that it can also refer to the actual “being about” of something, that is, the actual doing of what is being spoken of, and we believe, in accordance with the context, “in days of the voice of the seventh angel,” that this is meaning of Mello in Revelation 10:7. When the seventh angel, having the seventh trumpet, is about the business of blowing his trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. Many believe that this mystery refers to completing the mystery members of the bride of Christ, but we believe it refers to the completing of the mystery pertaining to the ages; in other words, it pertains to bringing to completion God’s purpose of the ages (Ephesians 3:9,11,Young’s Literal), which would bring us to up to the foretold “world without end,” or the age of the ages, the final age that never ends. — Isaiah 45:17; Ephesians 3:21, See Young’s Literal for Ephesians 3:21.

I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. — Revelation 14:14
Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” — Revelation 14:15
He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. — Revelation 14:16.

Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” — Matthew 13:30.

The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. — Matthew 13:39.

The “age” being referred to this present evil age, the age in which Satan is god. — Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4.

By saying that the “harvest time” is the end of this age, and then describing events that take place during that “end,” Jesus shows that the “end” is not something that happens suddenly, but that the “end” itself — being “the time of the harvest” — is a period of “time.”

Revelation 14:14 depicts one like a son of man coming on a white cloud, a cloud of glory, and he has a sharp sickle in his hand.Revelation 14:16-20 shows that the sickle is used to harvest the earth.

When Jesus comes, one of the things he accomplishes is the harvest of the earth by means of his angels. This takes place during the “end” of the present evil age, while Satan is still the “god of this age.” As long as Satan is still blinding the minds of people, we know that this “harvest” has not ended. Nevertheless, the harvest does take place as a result of Jesus’ coming on the clouds.

Thus we conclude that the harvest has been going on, especially since about 1874, with an influx of worldly knowledge that is separating the tares from the true wheat. Jesus said that the tares were to be first separated from the wheat (Matthew 13:30), again indicating a time involved; the tares are thrown into the fiery furnace (symbolic of the the severe part of the time of trouble), and the wheat is gathered into the barn (representing a condition of spiritual safety; the spiritual ark, true faith in Jesus’ sacrificed body with its blood by which we are sanctified, set apart — Hebrews 9:12,14; 10:10,29). Then, after this, the wheat — the righteous — will shine forth as the sun, depicting the age to come, when Satan is abyssed so that he cannot deceive the heathen. — Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 20:3.

Jesus indicated that the foretold time of trouble is pictured by what happened in Noah’s day, thus, it is possible that the last part of the foretold time of trouble is depicted by the 40 days’ flood of Noah’s day. (Genesis 7:4; Matthew 24:37,38) We are now certainly experiencing a flood of knowledge now available through the internet and other means of fast communication. More and more professed Christians are falling into infidelity as a result of this influx of knowledge, thus proving themselves to be tares, rather than wheat. This increase of knowledge, however, brings discontent among the masses, and greed, and thus is also a source of trouble, and ends up being like a fiery furnace, as “fiery feet” stomping upon the people, with the trouble becoming so bad, that unless the days should be cut short, no flesh will be saved. — Matthew 24:21,22.

Addendum:

One asks if we believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and “inspected the temple”.

While we probably not put it that way, we do believe that Jesus began the harvest work related to the separating of the tares from the wheat; this is indeed an inspection of all who profess to be Christian, and since those who are being called to follow Jesus are spoken of as the temple of God,  one could say that this is a inspection of the temple. Many claim that the harvest is carried out along physical lines, but we believe the harvest is along spiritual lines, and that is carried out, not by the servants of Jesus in the flesh, but by the angels.

The questioner further asks:  “Did jesus make a decision during that time period and make a chosing of a particular group?”

The questioner is evidently asking if we have a belief similar the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim that Jesus, in 1918, inspected the temple, and approved of Rutherford’s religion, to which our answer is no. We need to remember that that the choosing of the faith seed of Abraham has been going on ever since the first century. In 1874, we believe that a special period began which is called the “harvest”. However, we also believe that the choosing of the wheat class at the end of the age is done by means of the angels, and therefore, we conclude that the wheat class cannot be represented by any physical group, such as the Bible Students. The revealing of the wheat, however, cannot be until after Satan is abyssed.

The questioner further asks: “Did jesus really return and examine babylon the great, and then appoint a certain group? Was that the great tribulation? “

By “group”, I assume this refers to physical outward group, such the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Bible Students movement. We have no reason to believe that Jesus has appointed a certain sectarian group, nor a certain individual, etc., to be “the true religion”, or “the true church.” Babylon the Great represents sectarianism, denominationalism, organizations (and associated false doctrines created by humans) that separate the sheep. To come out of Babylon the Great would signify rejection of denominational sectarianism and, and to the extent possible, the doctrines of men associated with such demoninationalism. The destruction of Babylon the Great signifies the destruction of all kinds of sectarianism and denominationalism. God is not going to allow such sectarian divisions to continue in His kingdom.

On the other hand, the tares are now being revealed as false Christians, often denying the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, accepting the idea that man got here by evolution, etc. Many of these tares openly deny Christ, and openly declare themselves as deists, agnostics, atheists, etc., while others retain the name of Christ, but in some way deny the power of blood of Jesus. Indeed, one can often hear of some claiming to be a Christian atheist, Christian agnostic, Christian deist, Christian Wiccan, Christian Buddhist, Christian Spiritualist, etc. We do believe, however, most of the Christians who profess Christ today will be found to be of the tare class. Nor does joining in association with the Bible Students movement make one of the wheat class. This does not mean that those who are found to be tares will be eternally destroyed, as the JWs teach; it simply means that their outward standing as a servant of Christ will eventually be burned up in the furnace of the time of trouble. No one amongst mankind, however, has been given any authority to point to this or that professed Christian and say “You are a tare,” although many are claiming they have authority to do so. Likewise, we have no authority to claim that one is of the wheat class because they belong to the Bible Students movement. Nor can we believe we have any authority to designate who among the “wheat” class will be found to arrived at the goal, the mark, of the prize of our high calling, so we should say to this person: “You are one of 144,000”, and to another, “You are not one of the 144,000.” We believe that all three major classes of Revelation 7 will be revealed after Satan is abyssed.

Thus, we do not believe that Jesus came in 1874 to inspect and approve any outward “group” as being approved as the JWs teach in doctrine concerning 1918. The inspection is of individuals, not of an outward “group.” Nor do we teach, as to the JWs, that one has belong to and/or recognize the Bible Students, Charles Taze Russell, or any other outward group, etc., in order to be saved, as as to live into the new age.

As Charles Taze Russell pointed out many times, the true church is not about an outward organization, but it pertains to individuals.

See also:

The Great Multitude
The 144,000 and the Twelve Tribes

Charles Taze Russell and sectarianism

The questioner asks if we “are saying that jesus inspected the temple in 1874, and found that the sect called ‘russelites’, or ‘bible students’ were thus in an approved condition?”

We do not know of any place that Russell taught expressly that Jesus “inspected the temple” in 1874, but Russell’s view of the temple had nothing to do with any external sect, group, denomination, etc. His view of the temple was that the temple is the church that belongs to Christ. Russell was non-sectarian.

Russell stated:“the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly — whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.— and none others…. Do we not see that a part of our mistake was in calling the outward organization the Church of Christ, instead of remembering that the Lord alone writes the names of the Church, that He alone reads the hearts, that He alone is the Judge, and that He alone has the right to blot out the names of those who become reprobates?… We must see that the Church is a comparatively small company of saintly footstep followers of Jesus, irrespective of sectarian lines.”

And Russell stated: “all who are worshiping any church organization should be warned. See thou do it not.’ These are thy fellow servants.‘Worship God.’`Rev. 22:9`.”

He further stated:“so far as the true Church is concerned, the only authority in it is the Lord, the Head of the Church, and his Word, and the words of those whom he specially chose to be his mouth-pieces, the apostles.”

And,“we believe that in every nation and denomination there are some true saints of God, members therefore of the true Church of God.”
http://ctr.reslight.net/?p=505

Thus, Russell viewed the temple of God to be any true Christian, regardless of what external group or denomination he might be associated with. His view of the temple of God was not restricted to a “group”, such as the Bible Students, nor a denomination, nor a religious organization, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Indeed, Russell preached against the kind of authoritarianism and sectarianism that is found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.

See: Charles Taze Russell and the one true church

Related

Russell’s Disappointment Over 1878
The 144,000 and the Twelve Tribes – Revelation 7
Astrape in Luke 17:22; Matthew 24:27
Bible Chronology and Bible Time Prophecy

Luke 1:1-20 – Shepherds Glorify Jehovah


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[The Companion Bible]


(The World English version of the Bible is used throughout unless otherwise stated, with the holy name supplied in appropriate places. Tags are linked to the American Standard Version)

Luke 2:20 – The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising Jehovah for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them. — Restoration Light Improved Version

The story of Jesus’ birth is often repeated during the days approaching the holiday known as Christmas, due to the traditional celebration of birth of Jesus on December 25. We believe very few, however, ever fully comprehend the meaning of the words spoken. Although we do not agree that Jesus was born on December 25, and although Jesus never told us to celebrate his birthday, the attention that traditional Christianity gives to that event at this time of year certainly provokes thought concerning that wonderful event, and affords opportunity to tell others of the meanings behind the powerful words spoken on the day of his birth.

The angels announced to shepherds in the field that the news of Jesus’ birth is gospel, “good news”, “glad tidings” of great joy to all people. In this connection, they said: “there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Jehovah’s Anointed One.” (Luke 1:8) The shepherds, being of part of the Jewish people, would have understood the greatness of this announcement. They probably knew of the prophecies that speak of this one who as to come, who was be anointed by Jehovah (Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 6:1), and probably were greatly overwhelmed by such announcement. They must have been humble shepherds who loved Jehovah their God in order to have been chosen out of all the people in and around Bethlehem to receive this grand announcement by the angel of Jehovah.

The angel said that this baby was to be a savior. The shepherds probably did not know the fullness of the word “savior” as applied to Jesus. As we learn from the rest of the New Testament, Jesus was the savior, not just of Israel, but the whole world. In order to be such a savior, the birth of Jesus had to be very special. Why? The Scriptures are most careful to point out to us that he was not begotten after the usual manner — that he had no earthly father, but was begotten by the holy spirit. (Matthew 1:20 — the Greek word for “begotten” is often rendered as “conceived” in many translations in this verse.) The necessity for this is manifest. The father is the life-giver, the mother is the nourisher of the offspring. If Jesus had received His life from a human father it would have been tainted, impaired, under condemnation of death, as is that of all others. This would have frustrated any work on his part as the world’s Redeemer, because no man born under the condemnation in Adam could have redeemed another, much less the whole human race, as the Psalmist declares. — Psalm 49:7.

God’s wisdom and love, however, is displayed in the method of redemption that He chose. He condemned all in one, so that only one sinless person would be need to redeem mankind. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) In order for Jesus to be able to give his life as a redemption price for Adam’s life (and for the life of his race, forfeited by disobedience), it was necessary that Jesus be incorrupt, sinless; as we read, He was “holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners.” (Hebrews 7:26) And again, we find that his body was prepared by Jehovah, so that when he became flesh (John 1:14), Jesus was not tainted by the sinful flesh as all mankind has received through Adam’s disobedience. — Hebrews 10:5.

It is not enough, then, that we only recognize Jesus as good, well-intentioned in mind. We must see in him human perfection, sufficient as a sacrifice to offset the forfeited life of the first perfect man, Adam. And we must see also that he was begotten from above — that his life as the babe was a transferred life-principle from a pre-human condition, mentioned by our Lord when He prayed to the only true God, “Glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:1,3,5) The apostle Paul explains to us that “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.” — 2 Corinthians 8:9.

FOR OUR SAKES HE BECAME POOR

Few babes in all Judea or in all the world were born in a more humble place than Jesus. Joseph and Mary had gone to their native city, Bethlehem, for tax registration, under the imperial edict. The little city was crowded with others on similar errand. And so it came that Jesus was born in a cattle stall, where Joseph and Mary had been compelled to lodge for the night. Ah! we cannot wonder that it is difficult for many to understand why our Heavenly Father sent forth His son for our redemption under such ignominious conditions! Those who have the spirit of God will certain seek to understand the deeper things of God as related to the Jesus’ purposes for coming into this world. — Psalm 92:5,6; 1 Corinthians 2:10

FEAR NOT!–GOOD TIDINGS–GREAT JOY–ALL PEOPLE

The Message of the angels was surely an inspired one, fully in harmony with God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 28:14; Acts 3:25) — only an enlarged statement of the same — the same “all people” to be blessed — and it was still good tidings and it still meant great joy; but then, two thousand years later, the message of the angels pointed out the very individual through whom the good tidings would have fulfillment — the babe of Bethlehem.

The angelic announcement, “Don’t be afraid,” is interesting. All humanity realize that they are sinners and naturally have forebodings. They find it difficult to believe that the true God is really gracious and loving. The gods of the heathen nations are ferocious, unloving and unlovable. But the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), “the Father of mercies” (2 Corinthians 1:3), is a “God of love” (2 Corinthians 13:11), who delights to use His divine power for the blessing and uplifting of His erring creation. (Romans 8:20,21) Therefore He was peculiar in sending the message of “good news of great joy which will be to all the people,” as well as in sending His only begotten son at great cost to be man’s redeemer — that He might be just and still be the justifier of those who believe. — Romans 3:26.

The message declared that a Savior had been born — the Anointed One of Jehovah. He was to be the antitypical Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-22; Acts 3:17-26), the antitypical Aaron (Exodus 31:10; Hebrews 3:1), the antitypical Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20; 7:15), the antitypical David who sits on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:34). In addition to the qualities pictured in these various typical characters, he was, also, the Son of the Most High. (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32,35) He was to be the promised Savior — the Deliverer — the mediator of the New Covenant, so long looked for, hoped for, prayed for. — Jeremiah 31:31; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 8:13; 9:15.

There is a special force or meaning in this word Savior as applied to the Jesus as the savior of the world; it signifies more than just saving one from one’s sins, but it also includes the thought of once having been delivered, such a person has been given new life, a life apart from the condemnation that mankind has been under through Adam — a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) As such, Jesus becomes the “last Adam” as the father of a regenerated, born-anew, human race, “the life-giving spirit.” (Matthew 19:28; John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 15:45) What had man lost and what would he wish to have back? The Scriptures answer that Adam lost life and came under the penalty, “dying you shall die.” (Genesis 2:17, J. P. Green’s Literal Translation) He did not lose heaven, for he never possessed it. He lost life on earth, an Eden home, life as a sinless human. He also lost the prospect of attaining incorruption so as that even the threat of death would no longer be a possibility. (1 Corinthians 15:54) Thus, Peter and Paul show that Jesus came to restore mankind back to what was lost by means of Adam’s disobedience. — Acts 3:21; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Peter 3:18.

Hence, as we have seen, Jesus was provided with a sinless human life, crowned with a glory a little lower than the angels, that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), and that by thus suffering, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18), paying the wages of sin (Romans 6:32; 1 Corinthians 15:3), he might become the redemption (Greek, apolutrosis, payment by ransom, Strong’s #629) of Adam and all his race, with a full right to restore to perfect life and to all that was lost as many as would receive it at his hand — thankfully. (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14) Throughout his entire messianic reign of a thousand years Jesus will be the world’s Life-Giver, opening the books of truth to them and raising the willing and obedient up out of sin and death conditions to perfection and everlasting life and terrestrial, human blessings. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 25:6-8; 29:18,24; 35:8; Revelation 20:3,12.

But Jesus also does a work for the church, the “elect,” a part of which becomes his bride and joint-heirs in the Kingdom, and this blessing to the church begins before the setting up of His Kingdom in all the earth. (Daniel 2:44) The church “are by nature children of wrath even as others,” (Ephesians 2:2,3) and they are indeed reckonedly restored to what was lost in Adam, being reckoned alive as was Adam before Adam sinned. This is the reckoning that is accounted to them by the blood of the new covenant. (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; 1 Corinthians 11:15; Ephesians 2:1; Hebrews 10:29; 13:21) Their being made alive as new creatures gives them the reckoned standing as though they were living on earth on the age to come, “sons of the day,” (1 Thessalonians 5:4,5), the day — the age to come — when old things will have passed away, and all things will have been made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 6:5; Revelation 21:1-5) As such, those sanctified by the blood of the new covenant are reckoned as sons of God, equal to the sonship that Adam had before Adam sinned. (Luke 3:38; Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26) Being sons, they are heirs of God (Romans 8:17), heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7), as Adam was an heir of God, with such a hope of eternal life, before he lost that heirship through disobedience. (Genesis 2:16,17; 3:17-19; Romans 8:17) Because the church is reckoned alive in this age, before the general blessings of the world take place in the age to come, they are thus spoken of as the church of the firstborn, the first fruits to God, having recieved the first fruits of the spirit. — Romans 8:23; Hebrews 12:23; James 1:18.

Nevertheless, the purpose of applying the restoration of the age to come in this present age, thus calling a few out of the world, is that they might join themselves with Jesus as joint-sacrificers, that they might be joint-heirs. (Romans 8:17) Thus, their calling is referred to as “high calling”, a calling of sacrifice in the present evil age (Galatians 1:4), a calling to become partakers of the divine nature (so as to perfect the god-like qualities of the fruit of the spirit — Galatians 5:22,23) while still in the midst of a world made corrupt though lust. (Philippians 3:14; 2 Peter 1:4-10) The offer to them is that they shall become copies of the Redeemer, if they complete their sacrifice by laying down their lives, walking in Christ’s footsteps, fully relying with perfection of faith in God and Jesus, by means of the holy spirit. The promise to them is that if they joint-suffer (as Christ suffered a sacrificial death), they will be joint-heirs, jointly-glorified and will jointly-reign with Jesus. (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11,12) This agrees with Revelation 3:21, where Jesus says: “He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS

In verse 14 we have a kind of “Hallelujah” (Praise Jehovah) chorus or angelic response to the message of the angel already given. A heavenly host sang, “Glory to Jehovah in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.” How grand! How inspiring! But we have not yet seen this glorious condition achieved. The glory of Jehovah has not yet been seen by all flesh. (Isaiah 40:5) God’s will has not yet been fully accomplished on earth as it is heaven. (Matthew 6:10) Nor does peace yet wave her banner, even over so-called Christendom.

What is the matter? The apostle gives the answer that it is a secret, a mystery, hidden from past ages! (Ephesians 3:9) The mystery is that God not only intends to have Jesus for His Anointed One, to rule and bless the world, but He has foreordained also a company of footstep followers to be with Him and share His work, and this entire Gospel Age has been devoted to the work of selecting from amongst His church, all whom are espoused to Christ, an even smaller class, which eventually, at the Second Coming of Jesus, is to become “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife” and joint-heirs, jointly ruling with Jesus. In the final end, although many will have been called, many will have been begotten as sons of God, only a few will have made their calling and election sure so as actually become joint-heirs with Christ. Very few are “sealed out” of the spiritual tribes of Israel so as stand jointly with Jesus on Mount Zion in heaven. (Matthew 20:16; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 7:4-8; 14:1) Thus, the vast majority of Christians who now expect to find themselves in heaven in the last day will be disappointed when they find themselves on earth, since they failed to make their calling and election sure! But they should soon find cause for rejoicing, since they will appreciate that they still had been brought from death in the resurrection of life, so that their “spirit may be saved [delivered] in the day of the Lord Jesus.” — 1 Corinthians 5:5.

It is regarding that coming age that the apostle Paul declares that the whole creation groans and travails in pain until now — waiting for the manifestation, the revealing, of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-22) — the coming revelation of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7) and all the seed of Abraham for the blessing of natural Israel and all the families of the earth with knowledge and assistance (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 28:14; Isaiah 2:2-4; Galatians 3:18,26,29), that the willing and obedient may be recovered to the image and likeness of God and to everlasting life. What a wonderful reason for glorifying and praising God! “Therefore glorify Jehovah in the east, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea!” (Isaiah 24:15) “Praise Jehovah, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name!” — Psalm 103:1.

Much of this lesson has been adapted from the following:

http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r4941.htm

Scripture Reading:

Luke 1:1-20 (World English translation, with holy name supplied)

1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being great with child. 6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth. 7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 9 Behold, an angel of [Jehovah] stood by them, and the glory of [Jehovah] shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is [Jehovah’s Anointed One](y4). 12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising [Jehovah](y1), and saying, 14 “Glory to [Jehovah](y2) in the highest, On earth peace, good will toward men.” 15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which [Jehovah] has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. 17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising [Jehovah](y3) for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.
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(y1) = Greek, Theos, God; Jehovah is based on Psalm 103:21.
(y2) = Greek, Theos, God; Jehovah is based on Psalm 11:4; 103:19; Isaiah 42:12; Amos 9:6.
(y3) = Greek, Theos, God: Jehovah is based on Isaiah 42:12.
(y4) = Greek transliteration: “christos kurios” (both christos and kurios are anarthrous). In Luke 2:26 christon is definite, while Kuriou is anarthrous. In Romans 5:21; 7:25, we have “ieesou christou tou kuriou.” where “christou” is anarthrous and “kuriou” is definite. Luke 2:26 is rendered “the Lord’s Christ” in the World English, an obvious reference to Jehovah’s Anointed One; likewise, Luke 2:10 is also speaking of the anointed one of Jehovah, not of the Anointed One as being “lord”. — Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1.

Other studies related to these verses may be found at:

http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r5819.htm

http://dawnbible.com/2008/0812ib21.htm

The owner of this website may not agree with all conclusions reached by other authors.