Man was created a little lower than the angels, so before he fell, Lucifer (Satan) was greater than man.1 Because Lucifer rebelled and wanted to be God, God cast him down to the earth. A vast number of angels rebelled with him. To have such a large following, this glorious creature would have had much power. He has used that same power throughout the ages to war against the God he could never supplant. He has devoted his time to making a mockery of all that is of God, becoming the accuser of every person who has ever made the choice to follow after the true and living God.
The greatest humiliation imaginable was brought upon Satan when Jesus came as a man to defeat him. What sweet revenge! What anger must have been stirred in the mind of man's greatest enemy! But nothing could keep Jesus from taking the keys of Hades and death out of Satan's hand. Nor could anything stop Jesus' Spirit from re-entering His body in the tomb, causing Him to burst forth as the "firstborn from the dead."2
Satan has lost his bid to destroy the Son of God and to keep the Ekklesia out of His Kingdom. Just when Satan and his crowd thought they had destroyed God's Son by killing Him, Jesus plundered the principalities and powers and made them a public spectacle as He triumphed over them in His resurrection.3 Because of Calvary, all attempts to abort Jesus' true Ekklesia are thwarted. The "princes" of this world had no idea of God's plan for His Ekklesia, "for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Corinthians 2:8b NKJV).
The true Ekklesia is alive and well--the gates of Hades have been unable to withstand her and many souls have been snatched from Satan's clutches.
God has always had a remnant, and the final remnant--including the faithful ones of Yahweh's spouse Israel--will soon be in His presence forever. "The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return." (Isaiah 10:21-22a NKJV). Paul the Apostle told the Romans, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Romans 11:5).
Even though the word "remnant" is used, millions of saints will worship Jesus forever. The same power God used to create man, has recreated every believer in Christ Jesus. Both Father and Son will once again experience with man the intimacy for which He created us. Those who love Jesus will experience with their Bridegroom a "honeymoon" like no other, in a timeless dimension--for time will be no more. The ecstasy of worshipping Him spirit to Spirit will be the culmination of His Bride's deepest desire while on earth. She will partake of the Tree of Life forever, and will know Him even as she is known. But first of all, Jesus' Coming begins with the battle to end all battles.
"The battle of Armageddon" has become a topic of wide interest. Even Hollywood has become caught up with the idea, and used this biblical term to create their concept of this end-time phenomenon. The word "Armageddon" is actually derived from the Hebrew word "Megiddo," which means "rendezvous."4 The real battle at Armageddon is the final battle of God against all flesh--and He wins!
In Revelation, John tells of the unclean spirits of demons coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These spirits perform signs, going throughout the earth "to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon." The kings and people of the world are being brought to a place of "rendezvous" with the King of Kings who with His presence destroys every one of them. They are coming to war against Him, but they lose! Then John tells how "a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, 'It is done!' And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth."5
The Bride of Christ, having received her incorruptible body in the twinkling of an eye, would have already been caught up to meet her approaching Bridegroom. Her mortal body cannot withstand the fullness of His presence. Jesus is coming as "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS!" (Revelation 19:16b).
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
What a glorious day when we see Jesus, "being the effulgence [Greek: off-flash]6 of his glory, and the very image of his [God's] substance!" (Hebrews 1:3a). The bible tells us, "We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2b KJV). And as Paul the Apostle said, "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." (1 Corinthians 15:49). It is only when we are changed into His image, leaving this fleshly body behind, that we will truly behold Him as He is! No longer will flesh and the knowledge of good and evil attempt to rule us. Jesus, King of Kings, will reign for ever!
The Lord described those who will see the King of Kings: "For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'" (Isaiah 57:15 NKJV). The humble and contrite ones will be those who make up the remnant.
Every person born anew is enrolled in Heaven, and will worship with the angels throughout eternity. "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect." (Hebrews 12:22-23 NAS). Can you imagine? "The spirits of the righteous made perfect!" There will be no male or female, no color, no nationality, no denomination--only one people born of the Spirit, Jews and Gentiles alike.
Not all Jews rejected Jesus, as we see in this passage where Peter was preaching. He told of how David said, "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:34b-36 NKJV). They were "pricked in their hearts" and asked what they must do, so Peter told them they must "repent and be baptized." At this point, three thousand souls came to Jesus. The Ekklesia that was birthed consisted mainly of Jews.
Following Ezekiel's description of the end of all flesh, he gives a brief summary of Israel's plight and her final restoration. He tells that the Gentiles shall know how God hid His face from unfaithful Israel and sent them into captivity for their iniquity, giving them into their enemies' hands to be dealt with. "According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them." (Ezekiel 39:24 NKJV). Then the Lord says, "Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name." (Ezekiel 39:25b NKJV). As He promised, God WILL have a remnant of His people Israel. In bringing them out of their enemies' lands, and when He is hallowed in them in the sight of all the nations, He tells us "then they shall know that I am the LORD their God." Israel will have finally been brought to the point where they WILL acknowledge God as the LORD God. "'And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD."7
The LORD had made a similar promise to them in Hosea: "I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD." (Hosea 2:19-20 NAS). How could they escape the betrothal of their loving Husband? "For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the head of the nations [on account of the chosen people, Israel]. Proclaim, praise, and say, The Lord has saved His people, the remnant of Israel!" (Jeremiah 31:7 Amplified).
The Lamb's wife
All the hosts of Heaven are rejoicing at the prospect of the arrival of the Bride of Christ. Angels have worshipped the Almighty since the beginning of time, but their worship can be surpassed only by the worship of the Bridegroom's wife. The day for which He has longed will have finally arrived. There is such excitement in Heaven as a call goes out for praise to be given to God, resulting in what sounded like "many waters" and "mighty thunderings." And then: "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." (Revelation 19:6b-7 NKJV).
Among the visions given to John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ was a vision of the Bride, the "New Jerusalem." He describes her as the "holy city," "coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2b NKJV). One of the seven angels with the last plagues spoke to John, saying, "'Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.' And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. . ." (Revelation 21:9b-11 NKJV). The Lamb's wife has been born from above and comes down "out of heaven from God." The next several verses describe the beauty of this vast city made up of every one who remained true to Jesus.
It is ironic that the adornment of Lucifer, as described in Ezekiel 28:13, is very similar to that of the Bride of Christ--Holy Jerusalem. Lucifer's beauty had gone to his head, causing him to exalt himself. And now the one he desired for himself is the Lamb's wife--beautiful, radiant, and in the presence of her Husband.
It is hard to fathom the beauty of this Holy City. No longer is she in her fleshly body, but is one with both Father and Son in an immortal body. Jesus' prayer of longing in John 17 has been fulfilled.
There is no temple in the Holy City, ". . . for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light." (Revelation 21:22b-23 NKJV).
Eye has not seen - Ear has not heard
But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV).
As He comforted His disciples, Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3 NAS). This promise is for all who have gone the way of the Cross and become a part of the remnant--the TRUE Bride of Christ.
Anyone on this earth who has ever known the richness of God's presence has only an inkling of what eternity with Jesus will be like. I believe the wonderful, exhilarating sense of euphoria experienced here is what we will know--on a much larger scale--for ever. Some have written books of their experiences at the point of death, as have others who have gone and come back from the Other Side. Having had a glimpse of Heaven, their desire was not for this life.
One day very soon, we will meet the spiritual giants who spread the true Gospel. These humble servants will lay their crowns at Jesus' feet, as will all saints--both great and small! All glory will be given to Him forever.
There will be children laughing, playing around the throne and worshipping Jesus as only a child can. Whole families will be reunited, bodies will be whole--no missing limbs, no blind eyes, and no deaf ears.
We are told that there will be no tears and no pain. "And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more: the first things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4).
Heaven will be filled with the most beautiful colors--profusely more than in all creation. There will be no drab gray or black, and no darkness--only light. The Light will be the brightness of the Son of God. Jesus will be all we need!
The prayers of saints on earth must be like music to the Father's ears. Several years ago, my husband and I attended a prayer meeting while visiting friends in the Southern U.S. Several hundred people were all praying quietly and reverently, and I heard what seemed to be a giant pipe organ in the sky. The beautiful sound was unforgettable, as though a gentle breeze was blowing through the pipes making heavenly music. How blessed I am to have been given a small taste of Heaven!
The bible tells us there will be music in abundance throughout Eternity, and the swelling of millions of melodious voices in praise and worship will fill the whole universe. Wonderful music which causes our hearts to swell in praise to God cannot begin to compare with the sounds of worship in Heaven. The music of Heaven will far surpass any that has so blessed us, such as my favorites, "The Hallelujah Chorus," "Holy, Holy Holy Lord," "How Great Thou Art," and "We Shall Behold Him"--to name only a few.
Eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will include not only the music of which we will never tire, but there will be conversations with saints of all the ages: from Abel to Enoch, Noah to Abraham, David to Paul, and every godly man and woman who has walked this earth. We will have endless eons to explore the joys that await us. I personally look forward to meeting Paul the Apostle and seeing his eyes--no longer defective, but perfect!
Best of all, WE WILL SEE JESUS the One Who cried on the Cross "It is finished!" Now once again we hear Him say, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." (Revelation 21:6b-7 NKJV).
THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SAY, "COME."
1. Hebrews 2:7-9
2. Colossians 1:18
3. Colossians 2:15
4. Greek #717
5. Revelation 16:13-18 NKJV
6. Greek #541
7. Ezekiel 39:26-29 NKJV
The final word: "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." (James 5:19-20 NKJV) .