When “Armageddon” comes, it will be more of a personal disaster for many people rather than some remote war in the Middle East.*
The return of Christ will bring destruction to many, and salvation to relative few. What will occur is that the Spirit will come upon people to ascertain whether or not they are God’s children. Those who have no spiritual base will be consumed by the Spirit, and those who have spiritual basis for survival, will survive.
What we do not appreciate is that Jesus himself underwent his own Armageddon. The suffering he underwent on our behalf, for us, because of us, was similar to the Armageddon “process”. We talk of Christ “suffering the wrath of the Father”, and this is the equivalent process of Armageddon. When Christ was walking the earth, we see him dealing with “temptation” and those who opposed and tried to provoke him.
But when we get to the cross, the focus shifts to the “end game” and things hot up significantly. Now he is no longer involved simply in conflict with temptation, but also the source of that temptation. Man had been corrupted by deviation from God’s perfection. Now the perfect one had come inhabiting the fallen nature of man. Christ was to be the first of the original creation to pass through the designed intention, and to be made perfect, that is, to become immortal, to enter into God’s kingdom, and to be seated “at the right hand of God”.
This could not happen until every single aspect of imperfection, unholiness, was dealt with by Christ.
But he could not be made perfect while any imperfection remained. Within man lay the residual of sin from Adam, which Christ had inherited through Mary. Before he could pass into eternity, as an immortal, as we all hope to, every atom of his being had to be perfect. His DNA had to be altered is a descriptive way to put it, because that which was inherited from the mortal, that which was corrupted having been passed down from Adam to Mary, had to be “cleansed” or changed [purified] to conform with the true image of God.
“The high priest” had to offer sacrifices for himself as well as the people. He was mortal and fallible, and had his own sins. But the greater sin lies within the corrupted nature of man, that continually seeks to corrupt the processes and image of God and his purpose.
“Every man is tempted when FROM WITHIN, BY HIS OWN EVIL DESIRE, HE IS LED AND ENTICED.”
Christ contained this same nature that he had resisted in himself and opposed in others. This nature had to be dealt with totally. The process of this being “dealt with” was to be distressing and painful. We see it starting in the garden, where Jesus starts to die from the stress of it. On the cross we hear him say “My God..Why have you forsaken me”. That same sense of abandonment that Adam felt, that we also feel, when sin is upon us, and the wrath that is the anger from the friction involved with the two states, righteousness and unrighteousness, in conflict, is being felt in Christ, in his body, which is to be the battleground of the “final Armageddon” as far as Christians are concerned, because it is here that their SIN NATURE is being dealt with once for all.
Yes, this is the “once for all” that Christians speak of in relation to where they stand before God. But notice that it is not that “all sin is dealt with for all time”, so much as Christ has dealt with it for us for all time, if we will have it that way. If we sin, it is still sin, but if we are Christians, we know this sin cannot stand because God forgives, and his love will wash away the sin from our conscience and being, and this has been already proved and evidenced in the act that Christ performed to free us from “this body of death”.
So Christ, now “on his own”, has to confront with HIS righteousness, the unrighteousness that is contained in his flesh. The patterning of sin that is the voice of the tempter within. It has to be utterly destroyed, similarly to Old Testament references to the “wicked cities” and to New Testament references to “put to death whatever is sinful [earthly] within you”.
When Christ had “finished”, his DNA (to use a word indicative of actual, real change) was clean, altered or defused of sinful influence, he was restored, he had restored, the original creative design, to its original pattern, but now also that he had experienced the process of battling with the human condition, [death] and had completely overcome it.
He said “It is finished”, and gave up his life. There was nothing further to be achieved, he had done what he came for, to “destroy the works of the Devil”. [by destroying the inner “devil” himself ]. John now says those who are born of God “cannot sin, for God’s seed remains in him..”
Christ, the actual real Christ, in his body, was immortalised. Jehovahs Witnesses have said something about “his body dissolving into gasses.” But no, his actual body was transformed into an immortal body, it changed state, its DNA having conformed to God’s DNA. “I will not allow my holy one to see corruption”, or similar.
Once immortal, he “became the source of eternal life for all who obey him”. He “became a life giving Spirit”. What happened at Pentecost was that the Holy Spirit, who was Christ, was the gift of new DNA to all who would receive it. (him).[he was perfect, his gift of himself as Spirit was the gift of his perfect self, whose “DNA” was perfection.]
This new DNA was God’s seed, [being the living word, Jesus] and was the means by which people could be “born again”, having surrendered their life in the symbolic death of baptism. Buried with him. And if so, raised with him. The promise was to the “seed” singular, but followed to all those “in” him. [and he in them]. By faith in Him, by his death and resurrection, and faith in the availability of his Spirit [Himself ] to them.
God is love, and he knew there would have to be provision for sins and the sin nature that generated them, and so he made a point of the sin nature of “the body thou hast prepared for me” being obviously displayed as a “sacrificial lamb”, to destroy sin and its mechanism within that body, within the personage of the innocence of Christ, who did no personal sin, had no debt of sin, but yet who was made mortal like us. And this portrayal of the conquering of death is shown so that we might have faith in God and his son, who provided “so great a salvation” for us.
Christ, having freely made available to all, the Spirit of life, having given himself for us, now gives himself to us, so that by his Spirit we might have built within ourselves the same DNA patterning that he has, or, at least, that which existed in Adam before the fall. So that we by faith (which is the substance of things unseen) become like him, and that patterning become permanent when he returns.
“So far as the East is from the West has he removed our sins from us” Christ destroyed death within himself, and so “abolished death” for us, so that we might respond and take the offered life and immortality. We don’t have to be “perfect”, (though we should strive to be), because we have within us that which is perfect of him, and our own “Armageddon” will reveal what we are or are not.
[and Christ comes again, inhabiting the fallen nature of man] *nonetheless, war in the Middle East is still coming closer.