In the previous blog, I began laying BACKGROUND to support THE ANSWER to this question: “Who PERFORMS the WRATH of God? Since the CONCEPT of JESUS as A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE is so FOREIGN to our COMMON understanding of the SAVIOR, I took the time to CAREFULLY develop it.
Today, we’re ready to move forward. We’ll BEGIN by looking at the scripture Jesus QUOTED when HE BEGAN His earthly ministry--at His FIRST COMING. Wondrous truth is REVEALED for us.
To SEE it, let’s COMPARE two scriptures. First, we’ll look at what Jesus said of His MINISTRY in Luke 4:18-19.
After Jesus had been tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He journeyed to a Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath day. There, He took a scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and unrolled it to a particular passage, a portion of scripture with which HE STARTED His earthly ministry.
He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has ANOINTED Me to PREACH the GOSPEL to the poor; He has SENT Me to HEAL the brokenhearted, to preach DELIVERANCE to the captives, and the RECOVERING of sight to the blind, to SET at LIBERTY them that are bruised, and TO PREACH the ACCEPTABLE year of the Lord.” AND HE CLOSED THE BOOK.
That’s wonderful! Jesus CAME as a GIFT from God to mankind. By His FIRST coming, Jesus USHERED in the GRACE of God. He brought RECONCILIATION by His death at the cross. He brought VICTORY by his RESURRECTION from the dead. The CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST is founded upon the OUTWORKING of God’s GRACE through Jesus.
But that’s NOT ALL. When Jesus QUOTED Isaiah’s prophecy, He stopped RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of a sentence! An INTERRUPTED SENTENCE has REMAINED INTERRUPTED--for TWO THOUSAND YEARS! What ELSE SHOULD HAVE been SAID by Jesus (in order to QUOTE Isaiah totally)? Why didn’t He FINISH reading that scripture?
Let’s look at Isaiah 61:1-2.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to PREACH good tidings unto the meek; He has SENT Me to BIND UP the brokenhearted, to proclaim LIBERTY to the captives, and the OPENING of the prison to them that are bound; TO PROCLAIM the ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord, AND THE DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD…”
Why DID Jesus NOT finish the sentence in the Luke version of this propehcy? WHY did He NOT say “THE DAY OF VENGEANCE OF OUR GOD.”?
BECAUSE Jesus’ FIRST COMING was NOT the TIME for God’s VENGEANCE!
Jesus’ FIRST COMING was to PERFORM God’s GRACE.
We, in THE CHURCH, have BENEFITED from God’s GRACE for TWO THOUSAND YEARS. We have the GOSPEL, the GOOD TIDINGS preached to us. We are the BROKENHEARTED who receive God’s HEALING. We are the CAPTIVES who have received God’s DELIVERANCE. We are BRUISED PRISONERS who have received God’s LIBERTY. We’re LIVING in THE AGE of the CHURCH, which is THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord!
Jesus NEVER uttered the words “AND the DAY of VENGEANCE of our God” when He STARTED His MINISTRY at His FIRST COMING. This is BECAUSE the CHURCH is NOT UNDER God’s VENGEANCE (or WRATH). In fact, the DAY OF VENGEANCE will NOT appear until THE TIME of the TRIBULATION!
What does God say about THE CHURCH in relation to His DAY OF VENGEANCE? Let’s CAREFULLY read 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8.
“Seeing it is a RIGHTEOUS THING with God to RECOMPENSE (repay) TRIBULATION to them that TROUBLE you; and TO YOU who are TROUBLED “REST” with us, WHEN the LORD JESUS shall be REVEALED from heaven with His mighty angels, in FLAMING FIRE taking VENGEANCE on them that KNOW NOT God, and that OBEY NOT the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
In this passage, the Apostle Paul tells us (THE CHURCH) that God will REPAY TRIBULATION (intense trouble) upon those who HASSLE the CHURCH. When that TIME of RECOMPENSE (repaying) occurs, we (the CHURCH) will BE AT REST with the Apostle Paul and OTHER TRUE Christians. Earlier, in 1 Thessalonians, we’re assured of THE RAPTURE, and WITH it the ADDED COMFORT of knowing we’re NOT APPOINTED to the WRATH (which DEFINES the Tribulation). Our RAPTURE will happen PRIOR to that intense TIME of JUDGMENTS.
WHILE we’re AT REST (in our MANSIONS promised by Jesus--AFTER the RAPTURE of the TRUE CHURCH), Jesus is THE ONE Who will PERFORM the VENGEANCE of God. HE will REPAY the enemies WITH TRIBULATION. JESUS will be REVEALED from heaven WITH His MIGHTY ANGELS (just like it’s pictured in MANY PLACES in Revelation 6 through 19). With FLAMING FIRE, Jesus and His ANGELS will TAKE VENGEANCE upon PEOPLE who DO NOT know God, and who DO NOT obey the gospel. It’s within THAT TIME (the intense TRIBULATION)--that JESUS will PERFORM the LAST PHRASE from Isaiah’s prophecy, FULFILLING “the DAY of VENGEANCE of our God.” Jesus will do it! Jesus will perform it! Jesus BRINGS the WRATH of the LAMB as He opens a SEVEN-SEALED SCROLL in Revelation 6.
Yes, Jesus will be THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE during the “DAY OF THE LORD,” the HOUR of the TRIBULATION, also known as the SEVENTIETH WEEK. (Daniel 9:24-27--a PROPHECY which is DETERMINED upon ISRAEL and upon their HOLY CITY--Jerusalem).
Now, let’s look at some good news:
I’ve HEARD a WARNING--which goes like this: “If you DON’T WANT to SEE Jesus as the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE bringing GOD’S VENGEANCE, then ACCEPT Him by faith NOW, in the ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord.” This statement parallels the thought in 2 Corinthians 6:2.
“(For He (God) says, I have heard you in a TIME ACCEPTED, and in the DAY of SALVATION have I SUCCORED [helped, aided, relieved] you: behold, NOW is THE ACCEPTED TIME; behold NOW is the DAY of SALVATION.)”
The scripture ABOVE is another QUOTE from the Prophet Isaiah, SO let’s ALSO look at Isaiah 49:8 (first part of the verse).
“Thus says the Lord, In an ACCEPTABLE TIME have I heard you, and in a DAY of SALVATION have I helped you: and I will PRESERVE you…”
If you DON’T want to SEE Jesus as RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, acting in the VENGEANCE of God, then TURN to Him now, and RECEIVE Him, in this ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord, in this TIME of SALVATION, when God’s GRACE is YET predominant.
Once the TRIBULATION’S JUDGMENTS begin, you “MIGHT” be SAVED, but it WILL be like COMING THROUGH a FIRE.
[In a PREVIOUS blog, I mentioned some TRIBULATIONS SAINTS who STOOD on a sea of glass MINGLED with FIRE as they SING the SONG of MOSES. (Revelation 15:2-3.)]
During the TRIBULATION--God will no longer OPERATE in a TIME OF GRACE, the ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord through THE CHURCH. Instead, God RESUMES dealing with (and WORKING THROUGH) His NATION of ISRAEL during THE DAY of His WRATH. God’s RECOMPENSE (repaying His enemies with punishments) will occur. In THAT TIME, the Holy Spirit will NO LONGER “indwell” believers, but He will FALL upon VARIOUS individuals like He did in the Old Testament--for specific TIMES and PURPOSES. The TRIBULATION is “the DAY of VENGEANCE of our God.” God’s MANNER of operation (His DISPENSATION) will be DIFFERENT then.
Yes, God will show MERCY on SOME people in the MIDST of His VENGEANCE, but it will NO LONGER be an ACCEPTABLE YEAR of the Lord (as it HAD BEEN DURING the CHURCH AGE.) The FOCUS will have CHANGED. God will DEAL harshly, with WRATH and VENGEANCE, punishing the WORLD of CHRIST-REJECTORS, SATAN, ISRAEL and ALL OF THOSE who were INDIFFERENT and NOT READY during the FINAL PART of the CHURCH AGE.
In the MIDST of this PUNISHMENT, Israel, plus those who were INDIFFERENT or IGNORANT about Jesus (therefore MISSING the RAPTURE), will RECEIVE MERCY mingled WITH JUDGMENT. One-third of Israel, plus a Great Multitude of Gentiles, will be saved--like coming though a FIRE. (Many will be MARTYRED, because this will be the WORST time of VIOLENCE and UPHEAVAL since the “days of Noah!”)
Therefore (you who read this) while THE CHURCH remains on earth, ACCEPT Jesus NOW. Receive Him as SAVIOR and LORD in this ACCEPTABLE TIME, in this AGE of God’s GRACE! Yes, NOW is the TIME of SALVATION!
We’ve only STARTED seeing PICTURES of Jesus, Who PERFORMS the WORKS of His Father’s JUDGMENTS in “the DAY OF VENGEANCE.” In the NEXT blog, I’ll show you additional SCRIPTURES which PROVE this fact. They offer FURTHER reasons WHY----BEFORE the DAY of VENGEANCE arrives, the TRUE CHURCH will be RAPTURED.
May you BASK in the PERFECT PEACE that Jesus gives. AND don’t forget to thank Him for being your SAVIOR and LORD.
Be abundantly blessed, SAVED and READY.
EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS. THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SAY, “COME.”
TRUE CHURCH--We will NEVER fall under the RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS performed by the SAVIOR OF OUR SOULS. We’re SAVED by the EXTREMELY HIGH COST of His SHED BLOOD!