In the conclusion of this series let me say up front what we don't know is way more than we know. The Word only gives us brief statements or sketches of what is to come, and I suspect once on the other side many times we will observe: "Oh....that's what that meant." Such is the nature of prophecy - always understood fully after it happens.
But let me summarize thus far:
The ones invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as we saw previously, are those who died in Christ before the Feast of Trumpets' 'catching away', or were alive to hear the Last Tump and were as Paul said, 'changed' to ever be with the Lord. (I Corinthians 15: 40-55)
Those who die in the Lord during the Tribulation, which is happening on earth while the Marriage Supper is going on in heaven, obviously aren't in the Marriage Supper, but will be among those ruling and reigning with Christ in the Millennium. (Revelation 20: 4)
We saw in Matthew 25 how upon the return of the Lord He will divide the nations between the 'sheep' nations and the 'goat' nations. In Zechariah 14 we saw, some heathen nations will refuse to go to the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the King, and if they refuse then the Lord will stop the rain in their nation, presumably until they repent.
Our glorified bodies
In I Corinthians 15: 39-50 Paul says in part: "So also is the resurrection of the dead....there are bodies terrestrial and bodies celestial. The glory of the one is one thing, and the glory of the other is another thing. Flesh and blood shall not inherit incorruption...I show you a mystery, we will all be changed..."
He is talking about the glorified body we are to receive at the resurrection of the righteous dead. In Romans 8: 22-23 we are told all of creation 'groans and travails' in pain awaiting the revelation of the 'sons of God'. And we ourselves also groan and travail, yearning for the redemption of the body.
The redemption of the body he is talking about is not the theological truth that Jesus has redeemed us, but the literal fulfillment of that redemption - when we receive our glorified or celestial, bodies. We groan for this.
He says the same thing in II Corinthians 5: 1-8, reminding them they have a body made without hands in heaven, and for this we groan - Not, he says, that we want to prematurely end this body's existence, just that we groan in longing for the new body and age to come. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" was his conclusion.
The first thing I remember the Father telling me when I was a teenager, maybe 17 years old, was about the glorified body: "When you receive your glorified body you'll find it is not subject to the natural laws of the earth." I asked, "What do you mean?" and He replied: "If you want to walk you can walk. If you want to run you can run. If you want to float you can float, if you want to fly you can fly. If you want to be somewhere at the speed of thought you can be there."
Jesus is the first born of many to follow, from the dead, and the way He would appear and disappear to people, even behind closed doors, is a picture of us in our glorified bodies. Yet notice that He was able to eat bread, fish, and honeycomb with the disciples after His resurrection. (Luke 24: 42, Mk 14: 22 (implied))
That means our glorified body can eat food which is of the earth; a lower order of creation. But do you remember Elijah in I Kings 19: 4-8 who ate the meals provided by the angel, and that heavenly food lasted him 40 days? That shows us heavenly food is of a higher nature like our glorified bodies, and that life from above is like super food to the lowly earth-body we have now. Elijah went 40 days on the strength of that one meal.
We will reign on earth in our glorified body. You will be flowing in the words of knowledge and wisdom and other gifts as needed in order to rule and reign properly, righteously, before the righteous and unrighteous alike. You and I are going into government service, but with glorified bodies and the gifts of the Spirit!
A look ahead
Consider when Jesus returns and rules as King over all the earth, He does so from Jerusalem, Israel finally taking her place as leader of the nations of the earth at last.
There are 55 uses of the word 'kingdom' in Matthew, the vast majority used when Jesus is talking of the kingdom of heaven. There are 154 uses in the New Testament. So we need to think what being royalty in a kingdom means for that is how we are defined in Christ: Royal children of the King.
We who know Jesus are in the process of making Him King in every facet of our lives. In every area of life we know Him as Savior. But knowing Him also as King is a life-long process called discipleship.
We who know Him are submitted to Him in our hearts, though not always obedient in our minds or bodies. One day our glorified body will complete our trinity: Our spirit, soul, and body will be one in Him. We will flow from our spirit, out to our soul which will be 100% renewed in Him, to our body which, being made of heavenly material, wants to obey, and is in fact eager to obey the Lord in all things.
Gone will be this earth-suit that wants to go the way of the earth and world, in a constant struggle as Paul noted in Romans 7, between that which we want to do and that which we end up doing. Gone will be that struggle forever.
Being whole and made 100% of heavenly material, our spirit, soul, and body, will never again wonder if in 10,000 years we might rebel and reject Jesus, or that we might commit some sin in the Millennial age and be cast out - NO! We will be 100% made of celestial, heavenly material, flowing as we were designed, spirit to soul to body, in perfect harmony.
We are royalty, we will inherit the earth. Remember that when events of this life get us down. It is but for a moment, and no matter what man thinks of you now, when Jesus stands beside you and tells the Father that He knows you - that settles all opinions about you. "Now are we the sons of God, but it doesn't yet appear what we shall be, for when He comes, we will see Him as He is (full glory)." I John 3: 1-2
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
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