|1 Peter 4:12-13 |
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; [Before purification and salvation, your faith must be tested in several trials, in which you must grievously suffer in order to be purified of sin. Salvation comes after suffering in various trials. "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and scourges every son whom he accepts. If you are without chastisement [correcting rebuke and discipline], of which all [true sons of God] must share, then you are illegitimate, and not sons." Heb 12:6,8. Salvation comes after suffering; in fact, there are seven trials every son must endure before salvation and being accepted as a son.]
13 But rejoice, since you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, so that when his glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy.4
4 do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; Supernatural suffering is painful. This is the tribulation: we must go through many trials and tribulations to enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22. As John confirms: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. Rev 1:9.
William Dewsbury has outstanding words of encouragement to those of us who are wounded and suffering in tribulation:
"Let this go abroad among all the afflicted and wounded in spirit. With care send this to them.
Dear child, who cries, over all the world, and beyond all the pleasure, pomp, and vanity therein, for the enjoyment of the light and countenance of God;—fear not, neither be discouraged, because of the violent assaults of the enemy, who seeks to draw you into the carnal reasonings of your spirit, and in it to kindle a fire to yourself, and causes you to walk in the light of the sparks that you have kindled;—and this you have at the hand of the Lord, in going from his counsel, you lie down in sorrow. Few know your great distress; but, to the Lord it is known, and to those who have walked in the same paths. Oh, you dear and afflicted soul, who live in the deep sense of the working of the evil one in your mind, and many times are ready to say,— Never was any like unto me, nor any sorrow like unto my sorrow:—and in this languishing, despairing, mourning of your soul, all things are made bitter to you as the waters of Marah. Thus are you driven from all comfort, as a child without a father, a desolate widow without a husband and as a stranger whom no eye pities, in your apprehension; sometimes saying in your heart, in the heat of the temptation, and the fire you have kindled, Oh, that I had been any creature but what I am! or, if it were the will of the Lord, that he might shorten my days, that I might not be any longer on earth to sin against him! For in your own sense and feeling, you, walking in the sparks you have kindled, in carnal reasonings, discerns not anything but wrath, on every side, horror, misery, and distress, and great languishes; secretly crying out in your heart,—Oh, that I were alone in the wilderness, or in a cave, or den of the earth, that I might never see nor hear any of the sons of men any more, but in secret retire, even roar and mourn out my days until I die. Oh, you child of the morning of the pure eternal day of the God of Israel, hearken no longer to the enemy, who said, there has none traveled where you are [traveling,] neither drunk of the cup that you are drinking. He is a liar, who goes about to destroy your precious soul. In the word of the Lord God, I declare unto you, I drank the same cup, with my faithful friends, who are born of the royal seed, every one in their measure have traveled in the same path, and have endured the same temptations, and walked in the light of the same sparks, and lain down in sorrow, in the sense of the same misery as you mourn under this day. No longer lend an ear unto the enemy, and to the thoughts of your heart. Arise, arise, in the light of the covenant, and stay your heart; and the Lord God, he will throw down the enemy of your peace, destroy the carnal reasonings of your mind, and put out the fire that you have kindled. He will deliver you forth of the horrible pit, and set your feet upon the Rock of Ages. You shall tread down the enemy of your soul, in the sensible feeling of the bowels of the love of the Father, who will manifest himself to be a father to the fatherless in you, and a husband to that mournful widow, and a comfort to that immortal babe that mourned in you, in the uprightness of your heart, to do the will of the living God. So, in the power of his might, stay your heart; and tread upon all doubts, fears, despairing thoughts, questionings, reasonings, musings, imaginations, and consultings. Arise over them all in the light of Christ. He will lead you into the banqueting-house of the pleasure of our God, where you shall sit down with me and all the redeemed of my Father, who are born of the immortal seed, and have passed through great tribulations, and have washed our garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore do we now stand before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his holy temple. And this shall be the portion of your cup, if you diligently hearken to the counsel of the Lord, which calls you to trust in him. He will embrace you in the arm of his love, and you shall praise his name forever! God Almighty, in his light and life, raise up your soul, and establish your heart in his counsel, steadfastly to wait for his power to lead you, in the cross, out of all unbelief, and cause you to lie down at rest in obedience to his will: where you shall drink the cup of the salvation of God forever."
so that, when his glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy. Peter is talking about Jesus being revealed as an imminent event, not thousands of years later. For the revelation of Jesus Christ is a personal experience of individual purified believers. The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
There is an entire web page on this site devoted to this second appearance: The Second Appearance of Jesus is Within the Hearts of Purified Believers.