Message Nine: The Lord's Recovery versus the Present Evil Age and the Eschatology of the Church
  • 2015-11-01,
  • 上傳者: 洪國恩,
  •  0
Scripture Reading: Gal. 1:4; 5:4; 6:13-15; Rev. 11:15; 19:7-9; 21:2, 10-11
I. The Lord's recovery is versus the present evil age—the evil age of religion—Gal. 1:4:
A. Galatians 1:4 says that the Lord Jesus Christ "gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us out of the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father":
1. An age refers to a section, an aspect, the present or modern appearance, of the world as the satanic system, which is used by Satan to usurp and occupy God's people in order to keep them away from God and His purpose—Eph. 2:2; 1 John 2:15-16.
2. According to the context of Galatians, the present evil age in 1:4 refers to the religious world, the religious course of the world, the Jewish religion; this is confirmed by 6:14-15, which speaks of the religious world which to the apostle Paul was crucified.
3. The purpose of Christ's giving Himself for our sins was to rescue us, to pluck us, to extricate us, out of the present evil age—1:4.
4. Christ's death on the cross to deliver us from the present evil age was according to the will of God, which concerns Christ and the church—Col. 1:9.
B. Religion is something formed by the human mind under Satan's instigation and inspiration in order to oppose God's economy—1 Tim. 1:4; Eph. 1:10; 3:9:
1. Religion is something for God and for the benefit of people, yet it is without Christ and apart from the Spirit of Christ—Gal. 5:4-5; 3:1, 5, 14, 24.
2. To be religious is to worship God and serve God without Christ or the Spirit; whenever we become religious, we become ensnared in the present evil age.
3. Satan formed the religious world to keep us away from God, the will of God, and God's eternal purpose—1:4; 5:4:
a. Satan utilizes religion to keep people from Christ and the church as God's will.
b. As long as Satan can keep us away from Christ and His Body as the will of God, he is satisfied—Col. 1:9; 4:12; 1:18; 2:19: 1) The religious age is evil because it keeps people from Christ and the church—Eph. 5:32. 2) Nothing is more evil in the sight of God than that which keeps us from Christ—Gal. 1:4; 5:4. 3) The religious snare deprives us of all the benefits of the indwelling Christ—1:15-16; 2:20; 4:19.
4. The Lord has no way to fulfill His purpose in religion, including Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism.
5. Between us and religion is the cross; religion as a world has been crucified to us, and we have been crucified to religion—6:13-14.
C. For Paul, the present evil age was Judaism; for us today, the present evil age is deformed and degraded Christianity—1:4; Matt. 13:31-33, 44-46:
1. We need to realize how much we need to be delivered from the influence of religion in the present evil age.
2. The church is the living Body of Christ, but what surrounds us today is a religion—deformed and degraded Christianity—full of traditions, organizations, performances, and falsehoods; the Lord cannot accomplish His purpose in this situation.
3. We all need to be delivered from religion, from Christianity as the present evil age; we must come out of Babylon, and Babylon must come out of us—Ezra 1; Rev. 18:4; Zech. 3:1-4.
4. The history among us in the Lord's recovery has been a history of coming out of Christianity—a history of coming out of and being outside of the present evil age—Gal. 1:4; Heb. 13:12-13.
5. Because the Lord's recovery is different from today's religion—deformed and degraded Christianity—it is impossible for there to be reconciliation between the recovery and Christianity—Matt. 13:31-33, 44-46; Rev. 18:4; 19:1-3, 7-9.
6. We need to maintain the gap between the Lord's recovery and Christianity; the wider this gap is, the better, because it is a gap between us and the present evil age—Gal. 1:4.

II. There is not only an eschatology of the world, the study of the end of the world, but also an eschatology of the church—Rev. 11:15; 12:10; 21:2, 10-11; 22:16:
A. The eschatology of the church involves the Catholic Church, the Protestant church, and the original and recovered church.
B. The expression the recovered church refers to the original church, the church according to the divine revelation in the Scriptures—Matt. 16:18; 18:17; 1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 1:11:
1. The apostles established the original church, but even while Peter, John, and Paul were still living, the church fell from its original state to a degraded state, a deformed state, even a transmuted state—1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:18-21.
2. As indicated by 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John—letters of recovery—the recovered church came into being not long after the original church had been established—Acts 14:23.
C. The real condition and end of the Catholic Church are revealed in Revelation 17.
D. In the Protestant church there are many "tares," false believers—Matt. 13:37-42.
E. The original and recovered church is the genuine church—1 Cor. 1:2; 3:9, 16-17:
1. In the recovered church we always take the narrow way—Matt. 7:14.
2. Those who participate in the recovered church learn the special lessons of the Christian life:
a. To know Christ—Phil. 3:10.
b. To know the flesh and the self—Rom. 7:18; Matt. 16:24.
c. To learn how to be crucified to live the God-man life—Gal. 2:20.
F. Protestant church, and the original and recovered church:
1. He will summon all His genuine believers in every kind of church to His judgment seat to be judged and dealt with by Him—2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5.
2. In that judgment the Lord will discern whether they have built with gold, silver, and precious stones or with wood, grass, and stubble—3:12-15.
3. The overcomers who are transformed into gold, silver, and precious stones will be rewarded to be in the New Jerusalem in the thousand years of the kingdom—Rev. 2:7; 3:12.
4. Religion will be terminated, but the bride of Christ will be prepared—19:1-4, 7-9.
G. Eventually, all genuine believers will be in the ultimate consummation of God's purpose—the New Jerusalem—21:2, 10-11.
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2015-11-01 12:58:00
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