I'm going to be speaking on a subject this morning that makes some believers look up with expectation and say, "Hallelujah" and the hope just stirs within. It makes others a little fearful, for fear it might happen before some things that they may be doing or take place. It's a message that may make others say I certainly wish that pastor would get wise to the Word and know that there's been a little misinterpretation concerning the return of Christ. But regardless of which position you have taken, I want you to recognize that what I'm giving you is something that God has challenged me with. Not for the sake of putting people in categories or for doctrinal argument. For what I'm giving you today is not on the basis of doctrine. It's on a basis, a drive that God has placed in my heart, a truth that I would miss God if I didn't share. And in given it it's no way a put down of people who see things differently. For when Jesus returns He will not open up our heads to see how intelligent we are or how well we have known the Bible, He will look in our hearts and see if Jesus lives there. And it is Christ within that is our hope of glory.
I told a man this week. He said he was a little concerned about missing the light on this particular subject. I told him we're brothers, we love the same Lord and about half way between the earth and heaven, you may be kind of surprised but it won't make you feel bad. You'll be glad you were mistaken in your thought because of what Jesus is doing, in taking us to be taken with Him. Since this is so important to God it must get out and I know the Lord will honor it. And as He has given the other messages wings He will give this message wings. He wants us to know that something is happening.
In thinking about the coming of Jesus I thought of it in God's big plan like a picture puzzle. How many of you have put a picture puzzle together? I helped my daughter put one together once. I had a piece that almost fit right in the middle. It had the right points but it just wouldn't go and I got out a paring knife and it only took a little tiny bit of shaving on it on one spot. I got it to fit so good. But do you know what happened a little farther down? There were about six other pieces that touched that piece and nothing fit. So when we have to tailor a truth to fit what looks like it would be a situation or condition, we might make it fit that little spot that we're touching at the moment but watch out, there's coming a lot of other pieces that won't fit.
One thing about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, every major truth in the Bible touches it. And if you carve a little piece of it to fit a certain situation, watch out. You're going to have to start carving and your paring knife; you will never be able to put it down. And I'd like to mention some of these truths, the certainty of the return of Christ. Jesus spoke of His return and gave a lot of different parables and illustrations about his coming. But some of these pieces to God's great big picture look like a puzzle to us.
He spoke of his people as being watchers. Watch, for that day is coming. What I say unto you I say unto all, watch. So it becomes then that the watchers look for day. If you don't have the second coming we some how lose the connector for those people he says to watch. Watch for His return. I think of Jesus Himself saying that He has purchased us with His own blood and He's coming back to claim his purchased possession. So it is the purchaser's redemption day. When he comes with the blood marks and says "I have paid the price. I'm taking the one that I have purchased." It is the purchaser's redemption day. Without that second coming, that part of the puzzle doesn't fit.
Then Jesus spoke about the building. He said that we were builders and He's a builder and He's building a great edifice of His church. And He said that day when He comes is going to be the day when the last nail is driven. That body is completed. He's going to be taking that church. That body with Him. It is the builder's completion day. Without the hope of Jesus coming we leave the building incomplete. Then he speaks of the great harvest day, there's coming a time when the harvest of the world is going to be reaped. And so it is what He terms in the Bible, Husbandman's harvest day when he gleans the harvest. We have to leave the harvest incomplete without this. Can you see how many things tie to it? It has to be, it's a requirement, and it has to take place.
Then he spoke of it as the laborers pay day. On that day when Jesus comes, He has sent laborers out into His field; some are laboring long hours, some maybe for a brief time. But he said it is the laborers pay day. Then he spoke of his people as being the sons of God. Now I realize that there are people who in an effort to try and find something a little more deeper than what He is really saying have been able to put together a doctrine here and who the sons of God are. And they picked and set a certain little group of people out; these are the sons of God. But do you know what the Word tells us that beloved, and it's written to all of us, it does not appear what we're going to be but when He shall appear we're going to be like him for we shall see Him as He is. And the verse just before that says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called His sons." And John is talking about the same thing Paul was referring to. John is saying that this manifestation day is when we are going to be like him. It's the sons' manifestation day. The key part, the thing that it's all about, the bottom line of all of these things would be incomplete if Jesus wasn't coming back. Then He spoke of the church as being a bride and the bride is in expectation of her wedding day. And this is the bride's wedding day. There's going to be a marriage supper of the Lamb that's held. Hallelujah. Then not only is it going to be complete for the bride, the Word tells us that Jesus is going to be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. There's coming a time of coronation. Now I realize that in a sense, every believer who's accepted Him has already crowned Him. But there's coming a day when universally he is going to be crowned the King of kings and the Lord of lords. It's the coronation day. We can't miss that. So we know very definitely that Jesus is coming. Then not only that, then not only the various expressions from parables and other teachings but the very resurrection itself is bound up in the teaching that Jesus is coming. You cannot read of the resurrection in the Word without reading of the return of Jesus. You read about in the 15th chapter of first Corinthians the beautiful story of the day of the great resurrection and then he said the return of Christ in that moment, "in the twinkling of an eye the corruptible is going to put on incorruption. Those who are alive, the mortal, shall put on immortality. And we're going to be like Him in sharing His life." In first Thessalonians chapter four where he tells us not to worry about those who are already asleep. When Jesus comes, God is going to bring them, their spirits with Him. And the body that is sown is not going to be raised but a body coming forth from the seeds of that death, is going to spring forth a glorified body. It's tied to the coming of Jesus. Oh what a gloomy life this would be, the sun would be forever set if Jesus was not coming. For if in this life alone we have hope we make ourselves miserable. The thing that makes all of these other things good is the fact that Jesus is alive and we have hope beyond the things of this life.
Romans 8:18-19. I'm going to be bringing you some truths that have been brought to me that I have picked out of the various messages that Gabriel has brought right from God's heart. I feel it's something so important. I want it to be clenched in your heart because there are people here that will never be the same as a result of this message. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waited for manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity not willingly but by reason of Him who had subjected the same in hope because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption unto the glorious liberty of the children of God. And not only they but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the Spirit even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption to with the redemption of our body."
Not only is God going to take care of our spirits and make us a spirit person. But God's great plan, and as he created these bodies of ours, God made provision that these bodies also by the divine current of His life and of His power be redeemed. We're waiting when we will not be subject to the hurts, the pain, the sickness, the bondage. We're waiting for that day when Jesus comes and we're going to be released from the bondages, from the lock of time and space that holds us here. It's coming. It's about ready to happen and that's what takes place when we read those verses in John the third chapter, that when he shall appear as we catch a glimpse of Him through the eye contact of seeing Him, there's going to be a divine current that goes down through us and the faults and those things about us, those mannerisms and quirks, those other things that make us unlovely are going to disappear. Human weakness is going to dim and fade and we're going to be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. It's going to happen. Jesus is coming.
Now I realize that there's quite a teaching about people making themselves by tools that God has given to us, making ourselves perfect without spot and without wrinkly. They feel in their heart, they've been taught that in order to stand before God, in order to be in that number they're going to have to be without spot and without wrinkle spiritually speaking. And I've asked hundreds of people that have contended that this is the truth; I've asked them, "right now if you were to stand before God, are you without spot and without wrinkle of any kind?" And I've seen them hang their heads. I have yet to have one person positively say I am without spot and without wrinkle in my own physical being. But it's something they must strive for they say. God would not create a plan that didn't work. He has a plan and it's his responsibility as we place our faith and our trust in Him. As that source of divine energy goes through us the wrinkles are going to be ironed all out. The spots are going to disappear. We're going to be like Him for we will see Him as He is.
I wonder how many of you have entertained fear of that day of standing before God without spot or wrinkle and you're really concerned about this wondering how in the world you were ever going to reach that point. Could I see your hands? Alright, the Lord tells you that you don't have to be concerned about that, that's His concern. Do you know what your concern is? Abiding in Him, keeping your arm linked in His, keeping that faith firm in what He has accomplished. When you know that those things that may look like mountains to you that you're having such a hard time in overcoming, when you know that they're not between you and God but they're something that God wants you to shave free from your life that you might bless others still more. But when you know that those things are not separating you from God you can push them off and kick them out of the way. It's when those things look like mountains to us. Anything that you would feel would keep you from heaven suddenly becomes a big thing if it's no bigger than a thread. That little old thread looks like a giant rope if you feel that thing is somehow standing between you and God. But when you realize that you belong to Him and He has so much invested in you that because of your faith in what He has accomplished. You're able to shove that old dirty thread off to one side. And people are finding victories they never thought existed before because they quit wrestling with things and they've started using their spiritual energies to be a blessing to others. Jesus is coming folks. Praise God. It's a divine certainty.
Jesus made reference to it in the teachings throughout the Word. That even our restoration, His whole plan of restoring us and presenting us to the Father has to do with the return of Jesus. It is a certainty because the scheme of redemption all the way through the bible is not complete without the return of Christ. His coming for the first time was as an offering for sin. The Word tells us when He comes again it will be without an offering for sin but to redeem those, and bring those that He has redeemed. The first time He came to be crowned with thorns. The second time it will be to be crowned King of the universe.
Now I wanted to present a couple of thoughts as to what the return of Christ looks like from God's side. I remember so well that first night about two in the morning, the thought of an angel was the farthest thing from my mind. It was on June the 18th last year of 1978. And I felt two giant hands on my shoulder sitting me up in bed. I knew the door was locked. I really had a jolt that night. I thought someone had gotten into our house. And if someone got in, a thief or someone to do bodily damage I always figured that I would be a pretty good match for them. But I did have thoughts at the moment when I found I could not twist even out of the grasp. I had a fleeting thought; this is the wrong kind of a person to be coming in here. I was totally helpless and I sat up in bed. He brought me that message good news for you and your family.
And that night the very first time he came his message was not the message from the heart of an angel it was from the heart of God. That first message, he went back into the Old Testament and into the new. He showed me the places where he was referred to and his great function in the unfolding of God's plan. One of the things that he referred to was the fulfillment, he talked to me about God's great timeline and how it was never late or early but always on time. He made reference to the children of Israel being in the land of Egypt. And God said "you're going to be down there 400 years and after that I'm going to bring you out with a strong arm." When the time was up God came down and he led the children of Israel out. He told Noah how long he was going to be in the ark when he told him how long it was going to rain. He pointed out different things through the Word of God. He pointed out about Israel being in Babylon for 70 years and after 70 years it was over. He pointed out the promise of the coming Redeemer from a given point until Jesus was to come and become a sacrifice for sin was 483 years from a given point. It happened exactly as he said it would happen. He was the one, Gabriel was the one, the messenger from heaven that brought the word that another phase from God's plan was unfolding, that a chapter was being closed.
Then he asked me the question, would you like to see in heaven when one of these things took place, when the time clock rang and it was ready to go. And I said I would like to hear about that. I'd never seen anything from that side before. And he gave me a living panorama of what was happening. I saw there the angel of the Lord coming to God the Father. And he said, "How long are you going to leave the children of Israel, Your people, in captivity in Babylon?" he said, "how long are you going to be angry with them?" God said the time is up, the 70 years is up right now. And he said He spoke favorably, comfortably to the angel. And he said, "angel take this message back to them, it's a comfortable message, tell them that they have hurt long enough. And it's time for them to go back home. That everything is all in readiness. I've put all the pieces together. Tell them that though I was angry with them that right now I've turned from my anger and that I feel with them and am merciful and am preparing their escape."
Then Gabriel said, "Now would you like to see what happened on earth during this time?" And he let me see a panorama of truth, a time of Ezra. And as I saw this king that God had chosen long before who did not even know God who suddenly told some of his friends "I feel something stirring around down inside of me, I wonder what it is." They said what do you feel? He said "you're going to think I'm crazy or something wanting to get rid of all of these slaves we've got. But I feel like the Lord God of Heaven wants me to build Him a house over there in Jerusalem." They looked at him like he had lost his mind. But he said, "My heart is stirred up, I've got to do it. Furthermore so that I won't be able to back out of it, write it out, seal it, it has to happen." Then this angel that stirred up his heart, a bunch of others went around to all of the people and the children of Israel suddenly felt a signal, a stirring down inside of them. Excitement began to mount. And then he started to stir up all of the people who were staying there. And he said hey I think it's the most wonderful thing that you're going back. And they gave them all kinds of money and equipment and people to help them on the way. This was taking place right on the earth. The children of Israel felt the literal stirring in their hearts. The scene in heaven is found in Zechariah 1:12-16. You might not read it in the same words that I gave it in but not once have they quoted the King James Version or any other version but they've let me see the truth that is there. The other is in Ezra chapter one where the Spirit of the Lord stirred up the heart of Cyrus the king.
And then, if you want to read something exciting and boy my own heart got so excited because of the message on families. You see, he was tying it all together again that he wanted the families; the families were going to be going home. God loves the family so much. And he showed me all three of those first chapters of Ezra and you'll get so tired of reading it because as you read verse by verse, "and the family of so and son, and the family of so and so," they all got together and they decided to go back home. It wasn't the individuals but God takes plenty of individuals but He's concerned about your whole family. So as you read this it was such a clincher to that truth that the families were under focus and they were being led out.
I asked Gabriel at what time if he could tell me about how near the return of Christ. He said "I cannot tell you, I do not know. I have access to everything on God's timeline except this one thing and I do not know. God has reserved this for himself." But he said "I can tell you this. That right now there is more excitement and activity in the courts of heaven than there has been at any time since Jesus came the first time." Praise God. Something's about ready to happen. It's a fact too that the angels of heaven have been sent forth, brought into the world to bring people to Himself. I think of a parable in Luke, Jesus is talking about the time when there's going to be a great feast that's given. He said that a lot of people had been invited to the feast and they didn't want to come, they all had different excuses. So he said they went out and they called some other people and they came. Then he said go out and call and get the people that have no right or reason to come, the blind, the halt, the maim, people that could in no wise come before God because there's something wrong with their walk or sight, they're crippled, they're not the kind that could be chosen to come to this great supper but go get them anyway and so he did. He said there's still some room, now I want you to go out and this time don't listen to any objections, go out there in the highways and into the hedges, behind the rocks and the trees, in the holes in the ground wherever you can find them and compel them to come in for there is room in my house. Then he told me about the force of angels that he had brought into the world. And there instructions are "do not listen to any objection." It's the final call. Jesus is coming.
You don't have to hang your head, and don't worry about it if someone doesn't agree with you. The most harmful ammunition that satan could ever have would be if God's people were to fight over something that is the glorious hope. God doesn't want us to because he wants us to know that He's coming. But if a person somehow is unable to see it, but they have Jesus in their life, they're still your brother. I'm giving this message as a reminder of the blessed hope of the church. Often times in our day there are many people who know the truth of the second coming and have this hope in their hearts but have gone to sleep because he hasn't come yet. They're slumbering and they're sleeping. They've gone to sleep with the message on their lips. They need to hear the cry that is given at midnight a cry was given, "behold the Bridegroom comes, go out and meet Him." They need to be awakened to hear this cry.
Then there are some who have felt that since Jesus didn't show up and it might fit what we see happening a little bit better that they have taken the paring knife and have cut the corners of that piece to make it fit in all honesty, and they have been moved away from the hope of their calling, the second coming of Jesus, that hope that He speaks of, the return of Jesus. They called this the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. They said don't be moved away from the hope, and for those who may be moved away from the hope because it looks like he may not be coming and we must find some other way to understand this, he is saying turn your eyes back to the east for the Son is getting ready to arise. All of the forces of hell cannot keep the Son from arising. Jesus is coming.
Then there are those who have never accepted any truth at all of the coming of the Lord. They may be reminded you may scoff at the song of the mockingbird but you'll never get that mockingbird to quit singing or any other. We may point and curse the sun that may be rising but we'll never get it to stop rising. You cannot scoff the sun out of the sky, it's there. Then the fourth group and that is those people who have looked for and are expecting His return. This message comes to you as an assurance, as a bright ray from heaven saying it's going to happen. Keep that expectancy high. For one of those days those people who have thought that you were as nothing, they're going to see that you were truly one of the sons of God. When we see Him we're going to be like Him.
Then another great truth that was brought to me from God's heart was on the seven great priorities. Beginning with the death of Christ and His resurrection, then the baptism of the Spirit, and the carrying out of the gospel message. The last one of these great priorities just like all of the other things, His plan would not be complete without Jesus coming. The last one is the gathering together unto Him. Just before and to prepare the world and God's people for that day that they can be their best He wants them to cease from their own struggles and their own efforts to try and climb a slippery rock. To learn to lean back and to rest on the Lord and His finished work. He said "therefore there remains a rest for the people of God." They that have entered into this rest have quit struggling and they said, "Ok Lord you can do it better than me anyway." And that message today, the last one before the gathering together unto Him is the message of the covering, the completeness of the covering so that people could realize their position of safety in the Lord. That the plan that God made for us is good and it's working. And when Jesus saw it, He saw this great plan of destroying all of the sins that had mounted up against the world when offered his own blood as a sacrifice he saw the giant arms of this plan moving, destroying and shredding every sin in the world. Then he looked and he saw the destruction of sin clear down through to the end of time. Every sin. And he said they'll never have to be another sacrifice. He made one sacrifice for sin forever and he said, "Father it's working, its working good. His father looked at that great plan as it moved and He said, "It's working, sit down Son, and He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Sin has lost its power. Hallelujah. Jesus is coming.
The theme for today is look up, Jesus is coming. And you're ready for his coming, not because your struggles have reached a certain point; you have proven that you could not make those garments without wrinkle. You have proven that there are still some faults in your life. You just as well as admit it and say Jesus I accept what you did. And as you do you're going to find victories that you never knew existed. Things that have troubled you, habits that have bounded you are going to fall off like the leaves of a tree as the new life of spring comes through them. Praise God forever. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. Remember it's not what you know or how you pray, because the Spirit has to change things around to make sense to God anyway, when you pray. He makes it sound like a real prayer even if it's just a groan, the Spirit does it. It's not how we understand things. Our safety is based on the finished work of Christ. When your faith is in what He has done, quit worrying. Jesus said "I want this to be your hope, this is the good news. Comfort one another with these words." Jesus has paid it all. We can rest. We can trust Him. Take the words of the apostle Paul. So whether I sleep or whether I'm awake I am the Lord's. From your heart praise Him.