The most glorious and notable event that is yet to occur in the earth is the bodily return of JESUS CHRIST to claim that possession which HE has purchased with HIS own blood. The scripture says, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thes 4:16-17)
Paul describes this same event to the Corinthians saying, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Cor 15:51-52) This event is the result of HIS return, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1Co 15:22-23) Then in Romans he makes it clear that it is indeed the bodies of the saints as well as their soul and spirit that belong to the LORD. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Rom 8:23)
There is an inseparable connection between the return of CHRIST and the resurrection of the saints. HE comes back to manifest HIS absolute triumph over sin, hell, death and the grave in that momentous day. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Cor15:26) The “adoption” of HIS sons is culminated in the resurrection of their bodies from the grave into which they were committed to sleep until that appointed hour when HE would come to receive that which is HIS by decree and purchase. So is fulfilled that declaration of the angels on the day of HIS ascension back to the FATHER’s side, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
HE left in the clouds with a group of witnesses and we believe that HE is coming back in the same fashion. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev 1:7) HE left with the declaration of the angels to HIS disciples and we believe HE will come back with the same. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” (1Thes 4:16) HE left unexpectedly and with great quickness. “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev 22:7) HE left as those for whom HE died looked on, and HE shall come back in the same manner. “So, Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb 9:28) HE left in the same glorious body with which HE rose from the dead and we believe HE will come again in the same. “This same JESUS”. Those who are HIS sheep look for no other because they believe that HE is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isa 25:9) “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (IIThes1:10)
It is with that truth firmly planted in our minds that we approach the LORD’s table and partake of those elements of bread and wine which represent HIS body broken for HIS elect bride and HIS blood shed for her redemption. This shall not be repeated in the ages to come since “when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. ”There will be no more need for the shadow when the SUBSTANCE is before us. When we see him as HE is we will no longer need that supper to testify to us of HIM but we will behold HIM face to face and that which we longed for shall be realized. Even so come LORD JESUS!
It would seem quite clear to us that those for whom HE died are those to whom HE left this memorial feast and commanded us through the apostle Paul to each one examine himself and then eat that supper. This examination is not so that we can discover whether or not we are worthy to partake of it but rather to remind us that we could never be worthy of our own selves. Notice that he says and “so let him eat”, as if there is no other outcome expected from this examination. Self-examination must always drive the true sons of GOD to the feet of CHRIST to sue for mercy because we are made aware that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags in HIS sight. Yet by grace we are given eyes to behold HIM who is our RIGHTEOUSNESS and to rightly discern that this supper is a display of only that RIGHTEOUSNESS which makes us acceptable before GOD. This is to rightly discern the body of CHRIST as our perfect SUBSTITUTE, without spot or blemish.
Those who look for acceptance in anything else are those that err and turn aside from a proper discernment of that which CHRIST has done and accomplished by that which is represented in this supper. Some think that they can actually receive HIS blessing as a result of taking it, but they fail to see the temporary nature of it. Some consider that these elements actually minister salvation to them but this supper is that which passes away, only that salvation which HE has procured through the actual shedding of HIS blood and the offering up of HIS body is eternal. Some think they have a right to take this supper because of earthly affiliations but they do greatly err since the only affiliation that can give a man a right to take this supper is that which began before the foundation of the world and will continue forever, after this supper is finished.
1 Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, Once for favoured sinners slain,
Thousand, thousand saints attending, Swell the triumph of his train,
And with pleasure, Magnify his awful name!
2 Every eye shall now behold him, Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at nought and sold him, Pierced and nailed him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, Shall the true Messiah see.
3 Every island, sea, and mountain – Heaven and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate him must, confounded, Hear the trump proclaim the day;
Come to judgment! Come to judgment! come away!
4 Now redemption, long expected, See in solemn pomp appear!
All his saints, by man rejected, Now shall meet him in the air!
Hallelujah! See the day of God appear! #493 Gadsby’s Hymns by J.Cennick
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:54-57)mam