- Published: 14 April 2011
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I was delighted to find a Bible verse listed among the Google gadgets for my Homepage--thank you. I have studied the Scriptures for years and find your doctrine to be correct. I am interested, however, to know your understanding of Scripture in regard to the body of Christ during the Milinium. Will we be in the heavenlies or on the earth? I am not sure about the differences between those who adhere to the Acts 9 Vs Acts 28 teachings. As I mentioned already, one area where I'm confused is end times..."Where will the body of Christ be?" I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and look forward to your reply.
Your Sister Christ,
God Bless your beautiful heart and thank you for writing it is always a blessing to hear from someone who believes The Mystery. You questions are good ones and the short answer is
in Ephesians 1:18 Paul is praying that ye may know what is the hope of His calling.
We are prepared by the will of the Father (1:4), the work of the Son (1:7), and the witness of the Spirit (1:13). These form a basis for the prayer, At the beginning of the prayer, Paul asks that the recipients be readied by 3 gifts; the spirit of wisdom, revelation, and enlightened eyes,
The 3 main parts of the prayer are that we may know; what is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance, and what the greatness of His power. These all give us a setting for our subject: What is the Hope of His calling?
There was a time when Gentile believers attending the Synagogue had no hope (2:12). What hope there was belonged to Israel. After Acts 10 the Gentiles could by faith through grace share in the hope of Israel. But actually the Gentile believer of that time was without hope,
Even in Acts 28 Paul was in bonds for the hope of Israel, even after he had been preaching to Gentiles for many years. That was Paul's hope.
So there was a time or season when Gentiles were without hope. 'But now' in 2:13 marks the change, and the Gentile believers have had a hope ever since.
But this is God's hope in our text. So what was it? We find calling and hope linked together in 4:4. There must be a close relationship. Colossians 1:27, 'Christ among you (Gentiles) the hope of glory,' shows that ultimately Christ is the hope. And where our hope is marks the place where our calling is. We are called to be in heavenly places where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We also note in 2 Timothy 1:9 that our calling is a holy calling and is connected with a purpose that goes back before age times. Our choice was also made before age times, before the overthrow (1:4).
Israel had a calling and a hope. But they were connected with a land and a people here on the earth awaiting the coming King of glory. That was when salvation was of the Jews,
But now, after Acts 28:28, salvation is of the Gentiles and there is a new hope and calling. So we dare not confuse the two. We can preach Christ today without any reference to Israel or Israel's covenants, We can preach Christ today without any reference to the earth and the kingdom that is coming.
This hope of His calling was a part of the secret, or mystery, that was hid in God from ages and generations. But it is NOW made manifest to the saints. These saints are members of one body. This secret, the dispensation of the mystery, completed the Word of God. It is the last word.
Our hope? When Christ who is our life is made manifest, then shall we also be made manifest with Him in glory. His calling and our calling have placed us far above all principality and power,
The hope of His calling has such a high spiritual level that there is little historical detail as to how, when, and where it will be completed.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Notice the apposition here. The great God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God manifest in flesh (1Timothy 3:16).
And where will this appearing be? It will be in glory, Colossians 3:4, When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. So in glory answers the question, Where? Again we find that Christ, God manifest in flesh, was received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16). With these witnesses it is no problem to find the place or location of the hope. It is in glory.
But where is glory? That question is also settled for us. Five times we find it mentioned in Ephesians. In the Greek it is en lois epouraniois, and is translated 4 times as In heavenly places and once as in high places.
Before Acts 28:28 this hope and place is never mentioned by such terms. It is mentioned in Hebrews as holiest or holy of holies. The first occurrence in the Bible is in Deuteronomy 10:14 as The heaven of heavens. It was known by the ancients, but no mention of anybody or being in that place except God Himself.
And this place is the hope of the church which is the body of Christ. That hope is so real and so certain that we are said to be, quickened together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. There is where our homeland or commonwealth (citizenship) is (Philippians 3: 20). So we can feel that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world. Our home is not here.
Our life is hid with Christ in God until that day of manifestation when we shall be manifested with Him in glory. And it is now further revealed that there are powers in that place. They are specified as principalities, powers, mights and dominions. And these are made one with the church and Christ head over both making them one family of God. See Ephesians 1:9,10.
However, at the present time, the church is making known the manifold wisdom of God to these powers in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10.
Note that none of the foregoing mentions of the hope have anything to do with the personal presence of the Lord on earth, His coming in clouds, and His kingdom on earth. All this was the hope of Israel, God's earth people. And this includes the new earth and the New Jerusalem, which will be on the new earth.
In view of this great hope, we should walk worthy of Christ, worthy of this great calling. And something else, and of great importance, is the fact that there can be rewards, prizes, and crowns for those who are faithful. These are for works, that is, allowing Christ to work out His work today in and through us. The secret of joy and peace is Christ living in us. If we endure (suffer) we shall reign with Him.
All God's Blessings,