Our Comfort in Hope (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Thessalonians 4:14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The “asleep in Jesus,” refers to the believers who have passed away, believers who did have the hope of Christ returning for them. We also “believe that Jesus died and rose again.” God in this verse is comforting the living, letting us know that the sleeping believers’ hope of the return of Christ is still true, and still a future event, and God has not forgotten them because He will bring them with us into heaven at the “gathering together.”

I Thessalonians 4:15 – For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord {revelation}, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord {Christ Jesus} shall not prevent {precede} them which are asleep.

The Bible uses the word “asleep” for believers who have passed away, and it is an accurate translation because Christ indeed will raise them from the dead. They will feel as though they just woke up from a good night’s sleep, and they will have new bodies that live for eternity.

I Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

When Christ returns, the sleeping (dead) believers will rise first, this is the order in which the Bible reveals to us. When Christ returns during this “gathering together,” he himself only comes down as far as the clouds, and the believes who were once alive will be raised up and out from among all the rest of the dead to meet Christ in the clouds above. This is why the angel said to the Apostles in the Book of Acts 1:11 “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is what the Apostles saw “while they beheld, he {Jesus} was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Thus the return will be similar because believers will be gathered up in like manner to the gathering in the clouds, and from thence it’s off to heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we {believers} which are alive and remain {here on earth} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the “gathering together.” This is your hope, to “ever be with the Lord” where everlasting reunions with families, loved ones, and friends will commence and never end. This is the hope that God in Christ has given you for your comfort, for your future goals, for at that time God will dry all your tears in the warmth and love of His divine presence. Your body will also be transformed at the “gathering together” from an earthly to a heavenly body, and from a mortal to an immortal body!

I Thessalonians 4:18 – Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Obadiah – Revealing Our Deliverance

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Obadiah, Jesus Christ is the deliverance that shall be on Mount Zion. He is the hope of Israel, and the Savior of the world.

In the Old Testament, there were no references to the mysteries of the current Church of God living in His grace and enjoying the freedom that would come with Christ and the Church of God which has now become immersed in the grace of God.

The Epistles call the grace period of today a mystery, and it is not recorded in any detail in the Old Testament Scriptures, yet the prophets of old knew beyond any doubt that something was coming between the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow (I Peter 1:10-12).

The sufferings of Christ can be followed throughout the Old Testament, and are written in explicit detail in the Gospels, while the glory of Christ can also be seen throughout the Old Testament, and in the Book of Revelation, as well from many passages now recorded in the New Testament.

In Obadiah 17 we read, “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness.” This is a reference to the times of the glory of Christ and of Israel, still a future event.

Luke 4:17-21:
-17: And there was delivered unto him {Jesus} the book of the prophet Esaias {Isaiah}. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
-18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath 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,
-19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
-20: And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
-21: And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

These verses that Jesus read are recorded in Isaiah 61:2-3, but after Jesus read “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” he stopped reading, he closed the book, he sat down, and then said, “this day is this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”

In Isaiah where Jesus was reading he stopped right in the middle of a verse of Scripture, which continues “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Why did Jesus not finish the verse? Because the day of vengeance has yet to happen, and if Jesus would have read “the day of vengeance,” then Jesus would have been wrong. However, at that moment in time the acceptable year of the Lord was happening right before the eyes of those living in the first century.

The day of vengeance is a period of time in the future and we should note that that day (which is an entire age, not simply one single day) is specifically a day of vengeance against Lucifer and his legions of Devil spirits, and unbelievers. However, the vengeance of God is not imposed against us in the Church of God, or the believers who will be living on earth during those days.

The conclusion to the day of vengeance was the period of time that Obadiah was speaking of, the deliverance in Zion; it would be the time that the glory of Christ is manifested with his personal presence again on earth when he reigns supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Something incredibly wonderful happened after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, and that was that a new age of divine grace began to be enjoyed by believers.

The age of grace will remain in effect until our gathering together, when we meet Jesus Christ in the clouds above (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Isaiah 61:3 reads, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” The acceptable year was when Christ was physically here. The day of vengeance is still a future time, but the current time in which we live is represented with only a single comma between: “. . . the LORD, and the day of vengeance. . .”

When Jesus proclaimed the acceptable year, it certainly was; however, he was rejected and eventually crucified. The acceptable year concluded with his sufferings on the cross and then his resurrection ushered in our current age of grace when anyone can be saved.  Today in God’s grace is the day of Our Deliverance because we have believed in our Lord and Savior’s completed work.