- Published: 05 June 2011
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These are the hopes respectively of the dispensation of promise and the mystery. The gathering together (some say rapture) concerns an earth people, who here on the earth expect the coming of the King. Among those who go out to meet Him at His coming are the five wise virgins; the foolish ones not being ready, miss it. The manifestation concerns those whose citizenship is in the heavens, who are seated with Christ at the right hand of God. The manifestation is to be in the heaven of the heavens and to the principalities and powers there. Those who take part in it are those who are there, those whose life is hid with Christ in God.
So the gathering together is for earth-dwellers; and the manifestation is for heaven-dwellers. The gathering together was not a secret hid in God from ages and generations. This resurrection and the change that is a part of it are revealed from the Book of Genesis and throughout the Scriptures. Hebrews 11:10 clearly tells us that Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. On that day, when the Lord comes to meet them in the air, the dead in Christ will be resurrected and the faithful ones who are alive will live forever, that is, be changed (1 Cor. 15:52). But the Truth that there would be a people that should have a resurrection in glory and be manifested with Christ the Head was not known to other ages and generations till revealed by the Apostle Paul after Acts 28:28 (see Eph. 3:4-5) .
In the gathering, the believers are caught up (1 Thes. 4:16-17) to the air (not heaven) to meet the Lord as He comes to take over the kingdoms of this earth and rule on the throne of His father David. When Satan is cast out and his angels with him, then the steadfast believers will meet Christ in the air where they will rule and reign with Him as their reward for their faithful stand. All, the guests and the virgins will then return with Him to the earth where a marriage supper will be observed and the King will take over His rule on the earth. At one time the people of Israel were invited to this marriage, but they refused the invitation and even killed some of the servants who gave it. But a day is coming when other servants (angels) will come and gather scattered Israel from the highways (among the nations) and bring them to the supper. These are the nation, a nation born in a day, who will bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, taking the place of those rejected. These are earth-dwellers.
But the manifestation does not pertain to the earth and those that dwell in it. Christ will emerge from the Shekinah glory to be manifested (seen) in the heaven of heavens and it is promised that when He is manifested, then His Church which is His body will be manifested with Him. The members, both living and dead, are there in purpose and potential as their lives are hid with Christ in God and will continue there till their resurrection and manifestation in that place (Col. 3:1-4). Nowhere do we find any of these will be resurrected here on the earth and then have to be transported to heaven for they are seated in Christ Jesus in the heaven of heavens now.