Christian Churches of God
(Edition 1.2 19950925-19970830)
This paper deals with the two aspects of the Feast of Trumpets. The first is the return of Messiah. The second aspect is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994, 1995, 1997 Wade Cox)
(Summary by Harold Derksen, Ed. by Wade Cox)
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Return of the Messiah
Christ was sent into the world to save mankind by taking away the sin of the world (Mat. 1:21; Mat. 9:6; Mk. 3:28) as the lamb (Rev. 5:6-8). Christ came into the world to bear witness to the truth (Jn. 18:37). He was slain from the foundation of the world as an exercise of God's divine prescience (Rev. 13:8). His Kingdom is yet to come to the earth. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of times for our sake (1Pet. 1:20).
Unless humanity believes that Christ is Messiah they will die in their sins (Jn. 8:24). Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures and he was buried and raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1Cor. 15:3-4). On his resurrection he ascended to his Father and our Father and his God and our God (Jn. 20:17). He sits on God's right hand with angels, authorities and powers subject to him (1Pet. 3:22).
The development of the Church
Christ was absent for a long period so that the full number of the elect could be brought out (Rev. 7:3). The Church developed over the period of the two thousand years to fulfil the plan of salvation. The period prior to the return of the Messiah is marked by tribulation and apostasy. The first of Tishri is the Feast of Trumpets, which heralds the arrival of Messiah.
The sequence in Matthew 24:3-51 commences the false religious structure of the first seal, which follows into the other seals of war, famine/pestilence and death. There is thus a long persecution and then a tribulation caused by war. The elect are persecuted and then there arises under this last system a false religious structure such that it would deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. The next phase is that of the heavenly signs of the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17. See Matthew 24:29.
The last aspect of the last phase, before the earth is allowed to be harmed, is the judgment of the elect (see Ezekiel 34). In the last days, the shepherds take care of themselves and not the sheep (Ezek. 34:4-5). The shepherds are then removed. Christ will judge the sheep by how they treat one another (Ezek. 34:17 ff). The destruction of the sheep is seen as being a serious problem.
The second coming of Christ
Christ came first as the sacrifice for the redemption of sin and not as King Messiah. Nevertheless he was acknowledged, by some through the Holy Spirit, as the King of Israel (Jn. 1:49; 12:13-15) thus fulfilling prophecy (Zech. 9:9).
Christ said, by parable, that he had to go away and then return (Lk. 19:12). He will come again in power, accompanied by the Host of heaven (Mat. 25:31) as King Messiah (Rev. 17:14). His coming will be clearly visible as lightning in the heavens (Mat. 24:27). He will reign in power with the resurrected saints (Rev. 20:4).
The Messiah will come to the Mount of Olives. With his elect he will establish his government. He will rebuild the Temple (Acts 15:16); reintroduce the biblical system; destroy the man of sin at his coming (2Thes. 2:8) and, subsequently, the world powers. The Lord will destroy this apostate system with the breath of his mouth and the appearance of his coming (2Thes. 2:8).
The millennial reign of Christ
The millennial reign of the Messiah is specifically mentioned in Revelation 20:2-7. Christ will establish a reign on this planet for a thousand years with the resurrected saints (Rev. 20:3-4). This is the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5). The rest of the dead do not come to life until the thousand years are ended (Rev. 20:5). This is the second or general resurrection.
Satan will be bound for a thousand years and sealed in the bottomless pit or tartaros, the place of the fallen angels (2Pet. 2:4).
During this thousand-year period, Christ will re-establish the Kingdom according to the biblical laws he gave at Sinai. This will occur from the day that he stands on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4,6 ff). The nations will wage war against Jerusalem and will be destroyed (Zech. 14:12).
Everyone who survives of the nations shall go up every year to worship the Lord of Hosts and keep the Feast Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16). The Sabbath and Holy Days will be mandatory and the law will issue from Jerusalem. Those nations which do not send their emissaries to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles will receive no rain in due season (Zech. 14:16-19).
At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released again to deceive the nations over all the earth (Rev. 20:7-8). They will again be gathered for battle, but will be destroyed by fire (Rev. 20:9); and then Satan will be destroyed. The general resurrection will then occur, and the judgment (Rev. 20:13-15).
Christ will come with the shout of the archangel Michael and at the last trumpet blast (1Thes. 4:16-17; Rev. 11:15). When the Son of man comes in all his glory, to be glorified in his saints (2Thes 1:10), with his angels, he will separate people and deal with them (Mat. 25:31-46).
The gathering of Israel
Messiah will return to save the planet, not to destroy it. From the beginning of sorrows the persecution shall take place. The planet will destroy itself. Messiah will save the elect (Mat. 24:9-22)
On the return of the Messiah, the elect and the survivors of physical Israel, some of whom will be used as priests, will be gathered to Jerusalem from the four corners of the earth (Isa. 11:12; 66:19-21).
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
The command of the archangel (Michael) is the commencement of the intervention of the celestial Host in the affairs of mankind. It symbolises the end of the six thousand years under the fallen Host. This command precedes the first resurrection of those of the elect who are termed dead in Christ (cf. 1Thes. 4:16-17). These people are the elect who are termed as fallen asleep (1Cor. 15:6,18; 1Thes. 4:13-15; 2Pet. 3:4). Together with those of the Church who are still alive at the coming of Messiah they will go to be with Messiah at Jerusalem at his return.
In the gospels this event is termed the marriage supper. The marriage supper parables have much to say about the types of people who are involved in the Church and who constitute the elect.
The first analogy is that of the invited guests. The concept of the invited guests at the day of the Lord is not a New Testament concept. It continues a prophecy in Zephaniah 1:7-18. Thus, the guests are prepared for the day of the Lord. The full and sudden end of the earth is however preceded by the occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-27).
These heavenly signs are mentioned in the Old Testament in Isaiah 13:10 and Joel 2:10. The signs in the heavens fall into a set sequence in the book of Revelation termed the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-17).
The sixth seal of the heavenly signs signals that the persecution of the brethren is at an end. That persecution is shown from the fifth seal as being in two stages (Rev. 6:9-11). Thus, the brethren in one persecution were told to wait for the sequence of the systematic slaying of their brethren in subsequent persecutions.
The Son of man was presented to the Ancient of Days and to him was given the Kingdom of God (Dan. 7:13-14). This is the sequence and position of Christ that cannot be understood in Trinitarianism.
The guests invited to the wedding feast were those of the holy people who did not accept the Messiah. The servants who sent the invitations were the prophets who were killed by the religious establishment of the day (Mat. 22:1-14). The Pharisees understood that Christ spoke in relation to them and sought to trap him (Mat. 22:15) in order to kill him as they have the prophets over the ages.
The Jews were thus kept from the exclusive privilege of the priesthood, and the Kingdom of God was extended to the Gentiles. The elect were composed of all nations and also they were of good and bad. The body of the Church was not comprised of faultless people and they were not to stand in judgment of one another as to how they were called.
The wedding garment
The one categorical requirement is that each of the guests has a wedding garment. This garment is also noted as a white robe of martyrdom from Revelation 6:11 and also from Revelation 7:9-14. These came out of the great tribulation. They were perfected through tribulation and the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
The requirement to be at the wedding is also to be invited by God as we note from the comment that many are called but few are chosen (Mat. 25:1-13).
The betrothal to Christ is arranged by God who gives the elect to Christ in marriage. They are then required to prepare for their wedding. The oil lamps are the lamps of the Spirit. Those who took no oil with them are those who were not prepared through the baptism of the Holy Spirit on repentance. Those who were ready went in to the marriage feast and those who were not ready were shut out. These foolish virgins were called but not chosen for the first resurrection. They go into the second resurrection along with most of mainstream Christianity.
The lukewarm church from Revelation 3:14-22 is self-righteous. It thinks that it has all the wealth of the Kingdom and, in fact, it is spewed out of God's mouth. This church, except for some individuals, has to obtain wedding garments under trial.
Thus the marriage supper of the lamb is a source of great distress for this church. The white garments seem to be bought by the fire of tribulation. Repentance is the key deficiency of this church. The self-righteousness of its leadership blinds it. If this is the last era then it is in for another series of trials. The leadership of the last church era has the great apostasy present amongst its ministry.
When Messiah comes he will slay the man of sin who is depicted as being in the Temple of God. He is thus at the very least a senior Christian figure. The elect do not accept that mainstream Christianity is the Temple of God. The false religious system is the whore. So a church of the last days must contain the figure we understand as the man of sin. The sheep, however, are scattered and a messenger is appointed in the last days to tear the sheep out of the hands of the shepherds and give them to govern each other so that they might be judged. This process is termed the Measurement of the Temple. This is examined in the paper Measuring the Temple (No. 137).