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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Bright and Morning Star

The Old Testament ends with the messianic prophecy that “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). In context, this prophecy anticipates the inauguration of Israel’s Golden Age. Messiah will come to Earth, vanquish Israel’s enemies, and restore Israel to an intimate relationship with Himself (see 3:16—4:3). This apocalyptic sequence comprises Israel’s hope.

The New Testament closes with a reference to Jesus’ second coming. He came to Earth the first time as the incarnate Word, the baby of Bethlehem. He will come to Earth again as the invincible King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11–16). Revelation 22, the last chapter of the New Testament, records Jesus’ promise to return “quickly” (verse 12) and identifies Him as “the Bright and Morning Star” (verse 16).

The morning star appears just before the sun rises. The order is noteworthy, because before the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in His wings for Israel and fulfills Israel’s hope, He will appear as the Bright and Morning Star to fulfill the Church’s blessed hope. He will snatch the Church from the Earth to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17).

I have found no scriptural reason to suppose Jesus cannot rapture His Church today, but He may not do so in my lifetime. Suffice is to say we should maintain an any-moment anticipation and an every-moment dedication.

May some of the luster of the Bright and Morning Star shine through you and me today and throughout the New Year!

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