God must have a Prepared People
Let us not have the idea that our High Priest in the heavens is filling in time while He waits for the signal to descend for His people and gather them to Himself. Can we not understand that He ascended into the Heavenly Sanctuary to accomplish a ministry in the heavens, even as He had faithfully finished the work the Father had given Him to do in the earth? By this I mean He is there as our Mediator of the New Covenant, to fulfill in His people all that He accomplished by His cross when He came to earth. As the Mediator of the New Covenant He will be faithful to minister the virtues of the New Covenant to His people, as surely as Moses was faithful to minister the Old Covenant to the House of Israel.
The apostle reminds us that Moses was faithful in all His house (Heb. 3:5). Can we not somehow believe that the New Covenant is better than the old one, and that our Mediator has more power and virtue invested in Him to finish the work in the heavens, than Moses had to minister a law of death and condemnation to a wayward people in the wilderness? God spare us from calculating schedules that are supposed to indicate the time of the Lord’s appearing.
But let us seek God more for the outworking of the New Covenant in our lives, that we might be ready to see Him, and hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”. For the Father is not the least concerned about the way we calculate end-time schedules. He is motivated rather by that inherent longing He has in His heart for a Holy Church, a Holy Bride. . .that will be compatible with His Son. All Heaven is alert and sensitive to the ministry of the Spirit in His church, for all Heaven knows that the Lamb on the throne is worthy of the very best that the Father is able to procure for the Son. And He will continue to minister to this holy church, to this beautiful bride, until she has come into the stature of grace and virtue that God has designed.
God wants a habitation for Himself. . .not of wood or stone. He had all that centuries ago, and found no delight in it. So when is Christ coming back? Let us rather change the question. How do we prepare our hearts for His Appearing? Christ is coming for a glorious Church, a spotless Bride. Has the Bride made herself ready? Our High Priest will continue to intercede for His own, until He has prepared a people who are “called, and chosen, and faithful”. And the ministries He has set in the body are only valid if they are hearing and speaking from the heart of the High Priest in the heavens. His true prophets will always seek to turn the hearts of the people from their evil way (Jer. 23:22). It is preparation that God’s people need in this hour—a “washing of water by the word”. . . not calculations as to when He will appear.
The People were in Expectation.There was excitement among the people when the story got around about Zechariah and Elizabeth, and the son that God had given them in their old age. Then many miles away there was a couple living in Nazareth, called Joseph and Mary. But before they were married the angel Gabriel came to Mary and announced she was to be the mother of the Son of God. She did not doubt what he said, but wondered how it could happen, for she was a virgin. Gabriel explained to her: “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35). Then Luke tells us the story how God arranged the registration ordered by the Emperor. Mary and Joseph were just serving God in the little town of Nazareth, just living the humble lives of ordinary peasants. But their Child had to be born in Bethlehem, according to the prophet Micah (see Mic. 5:2). Now the Emperor of Rome became part of the plan—for it was he who made the decree that all people were to register in the town of their ancestry. And so Joseph and Mary made arrangements for this arduous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And while there she gave birth to the Messiah, as the prophet had said it would be…
Then John came on the scene to prepare the hearts of the people for their Messiah. He was a Voice in the wilderness, and his message was a message of repentance. The Messiah is coming on the scene! Repent, change your covetous ways! Give to those who are needy! Be satisfied with your wages! The King is coming! Many of them repented, whose hearts were open. But like today, many of them were consumed with curiosity, and they would ask: Are you Elijah? Are you that prophet? Who are you anyway? The Pharisees want to know. But His answer was clear and concise: “I am the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord”. He was just a Voice, but in such tune with God—that it was a clear sound from Heaven. God’s prophets do not spend their time answering questions as to how, and when, and in what manner He will appear. God’s message is: “The Lord of Glory is coming. . .Prepare your hearts to meet Him!”God Most High overshadowed the whole process related to His coming, with very diligent foreknowledge and wisdom, and put it all together. It was all according to scripture, and every detail of His Appearing was prearranged and known of God—but no man could have put it together before it happened. And yet from the highest in the political and ecclesiastical realms, to the humblest and lowest of His servants. . .the whole scenario was carefully overshadowed and made manifest in the earth in the day His Appearing.