|2 Thessalonians 1:5-7 |
5 Which is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you suffer.
6 It it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you;
7 And to you who are afflicted, to give rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,1 [Believers that are alive on earth receive rest with Paul when Jesus is revealed! More certain evidence that the appearance of Jesus, (you see Jesus as He is revealed), is to be experienced by purified believers while still alive on the earth.]
1 It it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you; And to you who are afflicted, to give [given by God] rest with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven... Paul is saying that when the Lord Jesus is revealed, you will enter the rest with us, (Paul and others were already in the rest, already in the kingdom).
This is the rest referred in Hebrews 4, the rest that you must make every effort to enter. This is rest from fighting your enemies, like the children of Israel were given a rest in the promised land, after they had defeated their enemies; except our enemies are lust, envy, lying, greed, sexual immorality, anger, etc. This is even to rest from your own thoughts, your own words, your own works; to be prompted and energized by God in thoughts, words, and deeds — as Jesus was prompted by God in thoughts, words, and deeds.
You enter the rest when the Lord Jesus appears in your heart, when the Lord Jesus in revealed from heaven; when he appears the second time.
he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation to those who are waiting for and expecting him, Heb 9:28; the end of grace.
This is the end of grace, to receive salvation, to enter the rest, to enter the kingdom, to enter union with God, as a new creature.
2000 years ago, he told us to Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Mat 6:33
We are supposed to ignore the pursuit of food and clothing so that we can dedicate ourselves to seeking the Kingdom of God.
2000 years ago he told us to pray the Lord's Prayer, including to pray: Your Kingdom come.
These commands make no sense if the Kingdom of God is only coming to a generation thousands of years later.
But Jesus is neither guilty of cruelty, or stupid, for telling every generation for 2000 years to make this their first priority;
for every generation has the opportunity to enter the Kingdom, which is in them, and does not come with outward or visible sign.
He said: For the Son of man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he will reward every man according to his works. (Not just a particular generation.) Mat 16:27-28
Some standing here will not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Mar 8:38, 9:1, Luke 9:26-27
Those not purified, to see Jesus' coming in them before death, see him as they die, as all peoples, all nations, all generations do.
Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye will see him, and they also which pierced him: (also, the Jews 2000 years ago)
and all kindreds of the earth will wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Rev 1:7.
2000 years ago, to the Jewish High Priest and the Pharisees at his trial, Jesus said..
you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels is not a particular generation in our time or later.
From Francis Howgill's outstanding writing describing the revealing of the Lord in general:
The Lord God of the whole earth, who lives forever, even the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; whose throne is established in righteousness, who rides on the heavens and shines forth in his eternal excellence from the firmament of his power, is manifesting himself as in the days of old, and is revealing his righteousness as in the years past; and is pouring out his Spirit on his sons and daughters, according to his promise; and of the blessing of the everlasting hills. The Lord, who appeared at Sinai in the burning bush unto Moses his servant; who rose up from Mount Seir; and shined forth in his brightness from Mount Paran; and comes in ten thousands of his saints; even he from whose right hand went a fiery law, so that the people could not behold his glory, has now appeared in this day the day of his power, and is appearing; whose brightness shall make dim all the world's glory, and stain its wisdom, and shut it up in utter darkness. The shadow of death shall flee away; and all the haughty and lofty princes of this world shall be horribly afraid; the beasts shall go into their dens when the day appears; and the lambs of the everlasting fold shall come forth, and be fed in the fat valleys, where the springs of life compass about all the banks; and they shall rejoice in their Shepherd, and say: "The Lord is my Shepherd;" which many at this time, who have seen his wonders as in the days of old, and his noble acts which the fathers have told of, who are fallen asleep and are at rest in the Lord, do admire at, and say: " What has God wrought?" God is now bringing many to see what those witnessed to be true; and to have the same fulfilled in themselves. Honor and praise to Him forever, who is the stay and strength of all His people forever. The day of the Lord has dawned, and the light has appeared that manifests all things which are reprovable; and the Day-star has risen in the hearts of many. This day when it appears, discovers all things, and makes all things manifest to those to whom it appears; as is declared by the Spirit of Truth in the Scriptures of Truth; "and every man's work shall be tried of what sort it is.” And this day has appeared to many who have waited for it; praises to the Lord! And now they see everything in its ground and rise; and every tree and fruit is seen according to its kind, whether good or bad; and every man's work is obvious to every one who is in the day, and upon whom the morning of righteousness has appeared, and the Sun of Righteousness has shined, whereby that which is reprovable and condemnable in everyone is seen, and that also which is justifiable and unreprovable.
God is a spirit, his day is spiritual, and is seen with a spiritual eye. It is pure light, pure brightness; the pure shining forth of the Lord in his glorious excellence; holiness shedding itself abroad in its glory — purity spreading itself in its immeasurable excellence. It can only be seen as it is in itself by the children of light, that are born of it. The natural day receives its brightness from the sun; the spiritual day receives its brightness from the Son of Righteousness, by whom it is brought forth, who causes it to spring from on high, who is the Fountain of life, without whom nothing was, or is made. As the natural day receives its clearness from the natural sun, and is discerned by the natural eye of the natural man; and all things natural are seen and discovered by and in the natural day, and are obvious to him that has his sight; even so from the Sun of Righteousness! the Lord of glory, light, and purity, the day of God receives its brightness; and it is discerned by the spiritual eye of the spiritual man, who is in the image of the Father, brought forth in life from God the Father of life, by Christ Jesus the Life of men, the Light of the world. This is the birth which is born from above, which is of the nature of the Father, and of the Son, and of the day. Only he, who is of this birth, comes to behold this day, and discerns all things of the Father's kingdom by it, and likewise the hidden things of dishonesty, and the works of darkness, which are brought forth by the prince of darkness, who is shut up in eternal and utter darkness; which is his residence, and shall be the residence forever, and of all the workers of iniquity that bear his image.
Yet some may say that this day has not appeared to any in this age. But if a man who is naturally blind should say that there is no light in the day nor in the sun, because he sees none; is there then no light in the day, nor in the sun? And what if all things are alike unto him, day and night, so that he can not distinguish between the two; does this then make void the claim of those with a natural eye who can see both the sun and day? And if those who are spiritually blind, and are children of the night, say they see nothing of the day of the Lord, or of the discovery of the things of God, or of his glorious appearance, which many do witness, does this render their sight void, who have seen into the things of God’s kingdom? The unbelief of some does not make the faith of those who do believe void — may God so forbid.