All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
April 12, 2009
I SHALL RETURN
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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This mini-book is the first in a number of mini-books on the subject of the Second coming of the LORD. I would encourage everyone to get the complete series. We are in the last days, and we need to understand the days we are living in.
There is a lot written in the Scriptures about "the Second coming of the LORD." The Prophets of the Old Testament wrote about the Second coming of the LORD. Jesus spoke about His Second coming. The angels spoke about the Second coming of the LORD. The Apostles wrote of the Second coming of the LORD.
Many Christians have also spoken of the Second coming of the LORD over the years, saying the LORD shall return on a certain date. Yet, the date they spoke of is already passed, and the LORD still has not returned as they said He would. That does not mean that what has been spoken and written in the Bible will not come to pass.
One thing is sure, the LORD will return according to the Scriptures. The Second coming of the LORD will be soon, for the days preceding His Second coming are seen wherever we look, in the world and in the Churches today.
It seems there are many different versions of when the LORD will return in His Second coming? In the past thirty years, there have been many dates set as to when the LORD will return in His Second coming. As you know, all of those who said He would come before now have been wrong. We are still here, and the LORD did not return according to their idea of when He would return.
Yet, I do not want anyone to think I know when the LORD will come in His Second coming. There are many different ways that many have used to determine when the LORD will return in His Second coming. Yet, we do know, God the Father does know the time of the Second coming of the LORD. Therefore, that time is not something that no one knows. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said to His disciples, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Therefore, the angels do not know. The Prophets do not know, but God the Father does know.
The question is, is it the time of the LORD's Second coming? Have we truly come to that time, in which Jesus and the Prophets spoke of as His Second coming? At the same time, in consideration of all this, it is written in Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
It is very possible that God the Father will reveal the time of the Second coming of the LORD to certain of His Prophets. But, when will God reveal this? There is something very few Christians understand concerning the Scriptures. That is, it has already been written in the Scriptures. But, it has been hidden from those whom God has not chosen as His very elect. Therefore, the "very elect" could know before the LORD returns. It could be revealed to them, that they are not deceived along with all those who are deceived.
Jesus was prophesying in Matthew 24:24, when He said, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." This is a dual prophecy. First, it is speaking of the time prophesied by Daniel, of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD (Matt. 24:15). But, secondly, it is speaking of the Second coming of the LORD. It can also be speaking of the last day, called "the great white throne judgement" (Rev. 20:11-15). Many prophecies are dual, and we should not overlook that aspect of prophecies.
I could give my opinion of the time of the Second coming of the LORD. But, that would not help anyone, being it is only my opinion. But there are some things that should not be overlooked by Christians today, concerning the Second coming of the LORD. These things are very important for every Christian to know and understand.
The Second coming of the LORD will effect every Christian. Every Christian will see the Second coming of the LORD. Every eye shall see Him, coming in His glory (Rev. 1:7). This would include those who are already in heaven, as well as those who are still here on the earth. Therefore, everyone should be ready for the Second coming of the LORD. This is not a subject we can neglect, and set aside as we live our lives out here on earth. We will see the Second coming of the LORD. I believe even those in Hell will see the Second coming of the LORD. Oh, how terrible it will be for those who had an opportunity here on earth to be ready for the Second coming of the LORD and did nothing to prepare themselves for that Great day.
Let us be prepared for the Second coming of the LORD, that we are not deceived by the false prophets when that day comes. Let us be certain that, if we remain until that day, we will be among the very elect that shall be saved when the LORD returns. Remember, "...the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2).
I SHALL RETURN
In this "Part 1," we must look at the return of the LORD Jesus Christ that is spoken of throughout the Scriptures. There are certain aspects of the Second coming of the LORD that are important to see. There is the comparison of the First coming of the LORD to the Second coming of the LORD. They are different in many ways.
In the First coming of the LORD, He came as "the Lamb of God" that takes away the sin of the world. In the Gospel of John it tells of John the Baptist identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God. In John 1:29, it says, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
The First time Jesus came into this world, He came as "the Lamb of God." From the beginning, when the Angel appeared to Mary, it was told to Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus. In Luke 1:30,31 it says, "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God...And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."
The name "Jesus" in English is the same as the name "Joshua" in English. In the Hebrew, the English translation is "Joshua," meaning "Jehovah is salvation." Therefore, the name "Jesus" identified Him as the Savior that was to come into this world according to the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, the name Joshua, (Jesus) was used in type and shadow of our LORD Jesus Christ, who would come to take away the sin of the world.
The first prophetic message of Jesus coming into this world is in Genesis 3:15. There it was prophesied that Jesus would come, born of a woman, defeat the Devil, and redeem mankind from the powers of Satan.
From Exodus on, there were many types and shadows of "the Lamb of God" coming to shed His Blood for the redemption of mankind. The blood sacrifices of animals and fowl were all "types and shadows" of the blood of Jesus Christ, which was the only Blood that could take away the sin of the world.
Therefore, Jesus came as "the Lamb of God" that took away the sin of the world. Many times Jesus was called a Lamb. He was the Lamb that was slain, and His blood was shed for our sins.
The greatest example of this type and shadow is in Exodus, Chapter Twelve. This was the Passover, when the Lamb was slain and the blood was placed upon the door posts and over the door of the houses wherein the Children of Israel were staying.
There are many important things that should be understood concerning the Passover in Exodus, Chapter Twelve. One of the most important is "the Blood of the Lamb" that was slain that night. It did save the Children from the Destroyer that passed over Egypt that night.
Another important thing about the Blood was that it brought healing to all those who were feeble that came out of Egypt. Psalm 105:37 says, "He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes." Healing was included in the Blood of the Lamb already at the Passover.
Another important thing about the Passover was that it was to be "the first day of a new year" for the Children of Israel (Ex. 12:2). Until that time, the first day of the year for the Children of Israel began in the fall of the year, dating back to the creation of man.
Now, the Children of Israel were told to begin their calender with the Passover. For the Children of Israel, this was to be a new beginning, whereby God would be their GOD, and Pharaoh would no longer rule over them. They would no longer be under the slavery of Pharaoh (a type and shadow of Satan).
This also is a type and shadow of the New Birth for Christians. A new life. A new birth into the Body of Christ when they are born again. Their old life in the flesh is about to pass away, and a new life has begun in the Spirit.
This new birth makes a Christian a Child of God (born from above, by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit) (John 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23). It is not a work of man, but of God (John 1:13).
What was a type and shadow in Exodus, comes to pass in the lives of individuals when they receive Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. "The Lamb of God" came to save people from eternity in hell, and translate them into the Body of Christ. It took "the Blood of the Lamb" to redeem us from the powers of Satan, into the family of God.
This was one of the main purposes for "the Lamb of God" to come into this world. He came as a man (the Son of Man), to deliver us from the powers of Satan into the Body of Christ. Jesus was, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). This was God's plan for the redemption of mankind. We are redeemed by "the Blood of the Lamb."
There is a lot more to this "new birth" that many Christians know nothing of. In the New Birth, we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." We are a new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
This makes things a whole lot different than most Christians understand. Those who are still in Christ (when they die on earth), will not experience eternal death according to 1 Corinthians 15:22, which says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
All of this is wonderful for those who are "in Christ." The types and shadows throughout the Old Testament are important to understand. They give us a lot of information that can be very helpful in these last days.
We must understand the types and shadows of the Old Testament. The Children of Israel that came out of Egypt were free of Pharaoh and his slave masters. Yet, only those under twenty-years old entered into the promised land.
This is a type and shadow of Christians today. Will all who are "born again" enter into heaven when they leave this earth? The answer to that question is revealed in the Second coming of the LORD.
In the First coming of the LORD, the Son of God came as "the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world." He came to offer eternal life to those who would receive Him as their LORD and Savior.
In the Old Testament "type and shadow," the LORD sent Moses and Aaron to bring the Children of Israel out of bondage, and offer them the opportunity to enter into the promised land. This was a covenant the LORD made with Abraham (Gen. 15:13,14).
When a covenant is made, there are two or more parties involved. Covenants are not one sided. Each one must keep their part of the covenant. If one does not keep their part of the covenant, the covenant "with them" is broken and no longer in effect.
What happened to the Children of Israel that did not keep their part of the covenant that the LORD made with Abraham? Hebrews 4:2 tells us they did not mix faith with the promise. Therefore, they did not enter into the promised land.
What about born again Christians? Will they all enter into eternal life in heaven? Evidently, according to Revelation, Chapters two and three, there are many who will not enter into eternal life in heaven. Why?
In Revelation 3:3-5 it tells us, "there are many who have defiled their garments, and their names could be taken out of the Lamb's book of life." Look at Revelation 3:4,5, which says, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." According to this, those who do not overcome, could have their names taken out of the Book of Life. Once their names are taken out of the Lamb's book of life, according to Revelation 20:15, they will be cast into the Lake of fire.
According to Revelation 3:15,16, there are many whom the LORD will "spue out of His mouth." Jesus said, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
What many Christians do not understand is that they must keep the covenant that they entered into when they were born again of the Spirit and the Word of God. There is more to being a Christian than just being born again. There is the responsibility of keeping the covenant that we entered into when we were born again.
When the LORD returns in His Second coming, He will not come as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." When the LORD came as the Lamb of God, He came as a man, in the likeness and image of man. He came in the flesh, and lived in the flesh as a Man. He died in the flesh, and the arose again from the dead.
In His resurrection, He became "Christ, the Head of the Body of Christ." Now, He is Christ in the Spirit. He still has His body of flesh and bones. But, He is no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, when He arose again from the dead, He returned to the Father, took up His position at the right hand of God and is now "to come" in a Second coming, as a Judge of all unrighteousness.
Christians who have left their calling into the body of Christ, and followed after the works of darkness will be judged according to their works. This judgement could be final, and many Christians could be cast into the lake of fire.
Satan is a liar, and has lied to many Christians, getting them to think they can continue walking in darkness and still enter into heaven when they leave this earth.
The Children of Israel who did not mix faith with the Word spoken to them did not enter into the promised land. They did not keep their part of the covenant that the LORD made with Abraham. Abraham kept his part of the Covenant the LORD made with him, because he obeyed the LORD.
The LORD said to Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee" (Acts 7:3). Abraham obeyed the LORD and left, not knowing where he was going. When the Children of Israel were told to enter in and take the land of Canaan, they refused, saying, "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we" (Num. 13:31). Therefore, those over twenty did not keep the covenant, therefore they did not enter into the promised land.
Christians today who do not obey the LORD, and "walk in the Light as He is in the Light" are in the same position as the Children of Israel who did not enter into the promised land. We have a covenant with the LORD, being we are in Christ. But, we must keep our part of the covenant and walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
In 1 John 1:5-7 it says, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." There is a lot more to walking in the Light than just being born again.
When the LORD returns in His Second coming, He will be coming for those who are walking in the Light, not for those who are walking in darkness. Satan has lied to many Christians, getting them to think they can do many of the things the world does and not be judged for their works.
There are many places in the Scriptures where it makes it clear, not everyone who says they are a Christians will enter into eternal life in heaven. Only those who do the will of the Father.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Very few Christians understand what Jesus is saying to those who try to enter into heaven because of their works, which they claim should allow them to enter into heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 7:22.23, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?...And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
When we understand what Jesus is saying in Matthew 7:21-23, then we will understand what will happen to many when the LORD returns in His Second coming.
The LORD is not coming in His Second coming as "the Lamb of God." He is coming as "the Lion of Judah," the conquering King. The LORD will come as "the Judge of all unrighteousness."
When the LORD comes in His Second coming, He will separate the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32-34). Those in the body of Christ, who come in sheep's clothing, and take from among others that which they desire for themselves could find themselves among the goats when the LORD comes in His Second coming. Matthew 25:31-46 is prophetic. Jesus is prophesying of His Second coming.
If we study the Scriptures closely, we will find many warnings for those who do not walk in the Light. The complete book of Jude is written mainly about those who are in the ministry, but are not being led by the Holy Spirit. They are operating from their natural mind, doing the desires of their mind. They are taking advantage of every sort of thing they can, claiming to be doing the work of the ministry.
To do the work of the ministry, we cannot do it according to our own desires. We cannot do the work of the ministry according to our own ability. We cannot do the work of the ministry from the flesh.
All ministry work must be done by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must be in control of all ministry work. Whatsoever is not of the Holy Spirit, is not acceptable by the LORD.
All the true "gifts of the Spirit" are under the control of the Holy Spirit. All true "ministry gifts" are under the control of the Holy Spirit. All "fruit of the Spirit" are under the control of the Holy Spirit. Only that which the Holy Spirit is in control of will be acceptable to the LORD when He returns in His Second coming.
All works of the flesh will count against those who walk after the flesh. Walking after the flesh brings corruption (Gal. 6:8). Only those who walk after the Holy Spirit will receive a reward for their work in the ministry. Galatians 6:8 tells us, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
There are conditions attached to eternal life. These are clearly spoken of all throughout the Bible. We must view the Scriptures all the way from Genesis through Revelation. We cannot take a few verses out of the Bible and say that is the total truth, and live only based upon what we want to believe. It is not what we want or desire that counts in the Second coming of the LORD. It is what is revealed in the complete Bible that must be taken into account.
There is much to understand concerning the Second coming of the LORD. Many Christians today are "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14).
Today, Christians should know and understand what God is doing in the world and in the Churches. Yet, there are so many false operations among Christians that many are taken in by the snare of the Devil.
It is important to understand the Second coming of the LORD. When the LORD comes as "the Lion of Judah," He will judge the Churches similar to what is written in Revelation, Chapters two and three. The Churches today, should be taking note of what the LORD had to say to the seven Churches. Therefore every person "individually," must establish their own "relationship and fellowship" with the LORD in such a way that they will not be among those whose names are taken out of "the Book of Life."
Christians cannot believe every doctrine that comes their way. The Bible is clear as to what Christians should believe and what they should not believe. The Bible is clear as to what Christians should do and what they should not do.
Many Christians today "are not" following the leading of the Holy Spirit. They are following "the teachings of men." They are being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14).
Within many Churches today, there are false manifestations of spirits that are drawing many Christians "into perdition." They think they are doing what the LORD sent them to do, but they are causing many Christians to follow after other spirits.
The Apostle Paul said, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God...Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood...For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock...Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:27-30).
Every Christian today needs a clear understanding of the Second coming of the LORD. For the days preceding the Second coming of the LORD are very near. In the LORD's Second coming it will not be as "the Lamb of God," but as "the Lion of Judah."
For more information on this subject, get Part 2 of "I SHALL RETURN." These parts can be downloaded from our Web sites.