Face like the Sun - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8032
"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him." – Napoleon Bonaparte
The Old Testament going back to Genesis chapter three foretold of the One who would come to redeem mankind and crush Satan and all of his nefarious plans underfoot. Were one to live in each epoch that played out in those first four thousand years, they would be hard pressed to understand who, when, and where the Messiah would come from. But as the time drew closer, the accumulation of recorded Scripture narrowed the process down of the exact location, tribe, and time for who, when, and where the Messiah would come. Because those first century Jews departed from a literal, historical, and grammatical interpretation of the Scripture, they did not recognize the time of their visitation. Instead, they found themselves waiting (and are still waiting) for a Moses or David-like leader to throw-off the shackles of the Gentile overlords.
So it was, that in the fullness of time, God came down as a man, to be that spotless ‘lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world’. (John 1:29) When the Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary, she was instructed that He would be the One who would establish a kingdom with no end. (Luke 1:32-33) Although He was born a King of Kings, He was birthed in a manger. Although His birth was announced by the heavenly host, few were watching. Although He was born into anonymity, and raised as the son of a carpenter, He captivated the scholars with His wisdom at a young age. (Luke 2:46-50) He was humble, patient, loving, and obedient, and not just to the will of His heavenly Father, but also to His earthly parents. He exercised the uttermost patience in waiting to the right age to enter into the ministry. (Luke 3:23)
When He did enter, He came in power, but not arrogance. He came with full authority, never once uttering the words ‘thus sayeth the Lord’. He spoke from firsthand knowledge. He could perceive the hearts and minds (Matt. 9:4) of everyone He encountered, always pointing to the true intent of the question poised to Him, or the charge laid against Him. He defended the guilty. (John 8:3-7) He supped with the unworthy. (Luke 19:3-7) He did the miraculous; turning water into wine, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind or speech to the dumb. He cast out demons, and immediately they knew He was the ‘Holy One of God’. (Mark 1:23-24) He commanded the sea and winds and they obeyed His voice. (Mark 4:39) He preached ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’, but His message fell on deaf ears. He spoke truth about the human condition, and their absolute need to be born again. (John 3:3) He said that He was the ‘way, the truth, and the life’ and that NO man could come to the Father, but by Him. (John 14:6)
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Matt. 17:1-3
He tended His flock carefully and lovingly and prepared them by telling them ahead of time what would happen before it did. He revealed His true identity only once prior to the Cross, when He transfigured before Peter, James and John. Both Moses and Elijah (the two witnesses) along with the Father, confirmed that He truly was the Son of God. Even after this, He humbly and willingly allowed Himself to be falsely accused, beaten, charged, and put to death on a cross. He was obedient until death, willingly laying down His life so that others may live. (Matt. 20:28) On the third day, He rose again because He was sinless and death had no hold on him. By so doing, He conquered hell and the grave in the process. (Rev. 1:18) He then empowered His disciples to take His message, and proclaim it to all the world, once they had received power from on High. (Luke 24:49) He then ascended into heaven promising to return for those who were His, in the time that the Father had foreordained. (Acts 1:11)
His disciples, fulfilling the Great Commission, spread to the four corners of the earth and were fruitful. The ranks of the Church have ebbed and flowed over the last 2,000 years, and tens of millions have been added to the multi-membered, corporate body of Christ. Since Christ is the head (and we the body), He will at some future point, return so that we may be joined with Him. We are rightfully and lawfully His because He purchased us with His blood that He willingly shed on Calvary’s cross, and then sealed us with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. (Acts 20:28, Eph. 1:13-14) so that our salvation would never be dependent upon our own behavior. One day soon, He will bring us back to the Father’s house where we will dwell with Him, forever. (John 14:1-3)
Although we cannot behold the glory of God face to face in our current state, it is not because God doesn’t desire us to see Him. We cannot, because it would kill us. But when the Church of our Lord is ‘caught up’, we will be transformed, from mortal to immortal, from perishable to imperishable, and then we will see Him as He is, for we will be like Him. (1 Cor. 15:49-55, 1 John 3:2-3). Just as the true purpose of Christ’s coming was shrouded in mystery from before the foundation of the world, (1 Cor. 2:6-8), so too would Christ’s coming for His Church remain a mystery until some twenty years after the Cross, when it was given to the Apostle Paul to explain it through his epistles. The Rapture of the Church remains a sign-less, imminent event which will catch the world off guard and cast it into a period of darkness of which the likes have never been seen before. (1 Thess. 5:1-9)
After the Rapture of the Church, there will be a political and military realignment on a global scale, as the old order no longer fits the new geo-political paradigm. (Dan. 9:27, Rev. 13:1-2) When Daniel’s 70th Week starts (signing of the covenant), it will be heralded by the arrival of a powerful leader (the Antichrist) who will unassumingly rise through the political or military ranks to seize control over key positions. At one point, he will control the heads of three states or regions and will then exercise this leverage over the rest.
A False Prophet, who will seemingly do the miraculous, begins directing the world to worship the man, Antichrist, or face immediate death. (Rev. 13:11-15) Jesus forewarned us that many “Christs” would come, and would deceive many. (Matt. 24:4-5) and this Antichrist will appear as a Moses or David to the nation of Israel but inwardly he is filled with the murderous plans of Satan himself. (John 5:43) Although global domination is an end result of his temporary reign, his true goal is the destruction of Israel.
His reign only last seven years, it will be filled to the brim with the wrath of God. (21 Judgments; Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls) His plans will be thwarted over and over while God reigns down judgment upon him and those who dwell upon the earth. At the midpoint of the seven years, a great angelic war will commence and Satan, along with his fallen angels will be cast from heaven to the earth. Satan will have lost access to the heavenly realms forever and will come down in great fury. (Rev. 12:7-12) Satan will indwell this man himself and will commit the abomination that causes desolation (Dan. 9:27, Matt. 24:15), and spend the remaining time pouring out his furious wrath in trying to gather the whole world together against the remnant of Israel. He reckons that if he is able to destroy the Jews, they cannot cry out to God for salvation, thus, negating the promise of God to return and establish His own Kingdom. (Matt. 23:37-39) But he (Satan) will not succeed, because…
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory….Matt. 24:29-31
Christ will no longer be the humble, suffering servant. He will light up that darkened sky like ten thousand suns rolled up into one Divine person. Those alive at that time on the earth, as well as those in hell who beat Him, mocked Him, and crucified Him, will lift up their eyes and see Him coming in great power and glory. Having already reclaimed those who are His at the Rapture, He now returns with His Church to reclaim His rightful seat on throne of David, which is the head of Israel, who will be at the head of all nations. This time, He comes in wrath and judgment, and He will make war against those who have chosen sides against Him. When they lift up their eyes, they will see…
...Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS. ~ Rev. 19:11-16
Even So, Maranatha!