September 16, 2018 The Wedding Feast in the Air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
loved His Son, made Him the Heir,
and created heaven (the spiritual world) and all creations for Him (Heb 1:2).
The Son of Man finally humbled Himself and became man (Phil 2:6-8).
He purchased mankind with His blood – they are the church (Acts 20:28).
The church is His bride and His wife (Rev 21:9).
He abolished the Law at the cross and freed us (Heb 8:13).
The saints are truly free (Jn 8:32).
Those who receive grace are married to the Son of Man (Hos 2:19-20).
They will see the Lord in the air at the resurrection. This is the wedding feast (Rev 21:1-4).
We were sanctified by faith (1 Pet 1:15-16),
received His grace and became His wife.
The reason we look forward to the Lord’s advent
is to wait for the wedding feast (1 Thess 4:15-16).
Think about the wedding feast in heaven.
Heaven (the spiritual world) and the heavenly host in it will celebrate.
It is the greatest joy which can only be seen in heaven (the spiritual world).
We must be justified by faith,
receive grace, experience salvation,
and finally attend the wedding feast in the air.
○ The Holy Spirit sealed and personally guaranteed this.
The saints must belong to the Holy Spirit.
○ If we are justified,
we should receive grace by the Holy Spirit,
and attend the wedding feast as the Son of Man’s wife.
○ This glorious wedding feast is our hope.
We must stop misfortunes preventing us from attending the wedding feast
and finally greet it.
※ Our faith is holiness,
and the final resurrection. This is our hope.
‘That man’s conduct is clearly at fault, so that is why he has such a bad reputation!’ Still, all day long, I am enduring slanders and am suffering a pain that is worse than the pain of receiving a great beating against the flesh. One’s honor is simply just one’s honor, but like it has a life of its own, it knows pain and it knows death. Even now, I feel it being trodden on and broken to pieces. Therefore, I know too well that pain to the honor is more painful than pain to the flesh.
Then, what is the relationship between a person’s honor and a person’s soul? One’s honor is so precious that one will naturally do all that one can do, even if it means the death of one’s flesh, to keep it from being put to shame. But honor itself has no interest in whether the soul gets diseased and goes to its death. The preservation of honor is, therefore, the perishing of the soul. I am thankful that first and foremost, I had pursued the love of my soul before the love of my honor. My honor has now been sacrificed so that my flesh has been worn out and broken to pieces, but for the sake of the flesh I did not move my honor. Within this vessel of the flesh abides my soul, but even if this vessel breaks, and even if the soul no longer abides within the flesh, I know that my soul already abides within the bosom of the Lord. Therefore, I have no worries.
Right now, within this world, my honor is suffering great trials. They have poured a garbage bin over it, have given it a beating, have trodden all over it, have ripped it to pieces, and have left it for dead. In this way, my honor has completely died. Yet because of my honor, I still get deceived again and again. But I am not a man of honor, but I am a servant of the Lord. And the servant of the Lord must follow the Lord wherever he goes. If the Lord has gone to the place of persecution, then that is the very place I also must go.
The Lord’s honor had already fallen to the floor when he was hung on the cross and received curses. In this way he received the world’s greatest slander. The Lord’s honor had already been put to death by the function of the punishment of sin given by the cross. But after three days he rose from the dead, and from that day on, the Holy Spirit glorifies the name of the Lord, and continues to do so. Already my name has been recorded in the Book of Life that stand before God, whilst the name that I possess on this earth has become a dead corpse. Our Lord had received the commandment to die, and just as he had put this to work and put it into practice, I also have received this same commandment from God, and I must, accordingly, die a holy death.
O Lord! Your servant has exchanged his honor for the Return-to-the-Word Spiritual Mission. Now the Return-to-the-Word Movement is the life of my soul, the life of my flesh, and my inheritance that I have received from you! Therefore, I pray that from the lips of your servant would come only the truth, and from the hand of your servant would come miraculous powers, and from the heart of your servant would come the heart to love your souls most fervently. I pray that your servant would not be deceived by this world, that he would have no fear of this world, and that he would only be filled with the joy that you yourself are joyful with.
You, O Lord, have said that, “If anyone says ‘Raca’ to his brother or any other harmful words, it would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be dropped into the bottom of the sea.” Therefore, I pray that your servant will not have any harmful or false words to come out of his mouth, but just as you have given your servant the authority to minister solely to your souls, I pray that I might do this work wholeheartedly. Jesus is my one and only Master. I pray that you, O God, would make me imitate my Master! This is the wish that I earnestly have my whole life!