The Story of Jesus is the Story of the Church – by Desmond Ford

Aug 23, 2015 2832

I wonder if you’ve noticed that the book of Revelation couches the experience of the church in terms that remind us about Jesus. It is magnificent to notice that whenever the Bible is writing about, somehow it directs us to Jesus.

How Jesus Builds his churchgEven in the book of Revelation, that talks of anti-Christ. It talks in terms of anti-Christ in such a way but that you can’t help but think of Jesus. We know of the true Trinity, but the book of Revelation gives us a counterfeit trinity: the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. We read about the beast – that he’s slain to death, buried in a tomb with a seal on it and then he comes up again. He rises to resurrection life. It’s on a parity with what happened to Jesus, God’s representative, who died, was put in a tomb with a seal on it and then rose up again. The whole characteristic of anti-Christ is presented as a duplicate, a counterfeit, of Christ. This is because false religion is always near the truth, the one thing it lacks is the blood – confidence and trust in the blood of Christ.

But then we look at the story of the true church. It also is expressed in terms reminiscent of Jesus. Did you notice here what it said? The church would prophesy – uphold the truths of the Old and New Testaments – for 1260 days. That’s how long Jesus preached for. Jesus when He was here on earth preached for 1260 days.

At the end of that time you will remember, Jesus had a “loud cry” experience: after the raising of Lazarus, there came the triumphant Sunday entry which drew the attention of all the people to Him. That was the “loud cry” in His experience. And then, church and state, combined against Him and sentenced Him to death.

Then there came a little “time of trouble” in the Garden of Gethsemane during which He made His decision for eternity. Then came the big “time of trouble” on the cross that was attended with plagues of darkness and signs in the heavens, with thirst and other woes. And then “It is finished”. That was followed by darkness and resurrection.

Now you see it, don’t you? The story of our Lord Jesus Christ is the story of His church. His church also is pictured as prophesying, preaching, declaring the gospel for 1260 days. Against the church will combine the church and state of the day, the false church of the abomination of desolation, anti-Christ – will join with the state to pass a death decree against the church of God. So Revelation 13 tells us, and the church will then be thrown into a little “time of trouble” following its Loud Cry proclamation. There will be a little “time of trouble” in which it must decide for the mark of the beast or the seal of God. Take one or the other. That word “mark” is borrowed from Ezekiel 9 where people are marked before the destruction.

Then comes the great “time of trouble” and ten plagues will fall and there will be thirst and darkness and a great earthquake. Ultimately will be the resurrection of glory. So, the Bible pictures the last events of the church as being a worldwide reduplication of what happened in the last days of Christ. Calvary is to be repeated all around the world except for its vicarious note. Men will be developed into the image of Christ and developed into the image of the devil. All men will be “spirit-filled” – most with the spirits of devils. But, a small remnant will be filled with the Spirit of Christ.

The scenes of the judgments of Christ, the unfairness, the false witnessing, the lying and deception – all these will take place in every part of the world. It will be a time of trouble indeed. And my main question is, “How do we prepare for it? How did Christ prepare for it? The answer is so simply you’ll forget it immediately. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way!

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from “Tomorrow According to the Revelator.”

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