“Operation Full Circle”

Christ’s Multi-Stage Rescue Mission

Introductory passages: Matthew 21:9-11 (22:41-46), Daniel 9:24-27

  1. The Descent (humiliation-Eph. 4:9)
    a. To earth (glory hidden by the flesh-Phil. 2:6-7)
    i. The King of Creation became a servant, judged according to the nature He assumed, not
    what He was from all eternity.
    b. To the “lower parts” (place of the dead-Phil. 2:8)
    i. The lowering of Jesus continued after His incarnation: suffering and death, even the
    shameful death of the cross.
    ii. But do not forget that this lowering was not without a show of glory (John 1:14, 2:11) and
    even in the “lower parts” He proclaimed His victory.
  2. The Ascent (exaltation-Eph. 4:8, 10)
    a. To the highest heaven (equality with God-Phil. 2:9)
    i. Jesus went back to where He was before (John 6:62). When He went He carried with Him His
    human nature, and by virtue of our unity with Him we now have access to the Father.
    b. To “fill all things” (Lordship over every created thing-Col. 1:15, Eph. 1:22)
    i. Jesus is no longer acting as a servant but Lord of all. There is not a single need He cannot
    provide or help He cannot give!
  3. The Rapture (deliverance-1 Thess. 4:13-18, John 14:2-3)
    a. To meet us in the clouds (not to the earth-1 Thess. 4:17)
    b. To be where He is (third heaven-John 14:3)
    i. The Bridegroom is preparing a place for His Bride.
    c. To the judgment seat (rewards for faithfulness-1 Cor. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:10)
    i. While the Tribulation is happening on the earth, the Bride and the Bridegroom will be
    celebrating their wedding celebration for 7 “days.”
    ii. This will also be a time of shame for some (1 John 2:28). Some of the believers who are
    caught up will be spiritually “drunk” like the world (1 Thess. 5:10).
  4. The Second Coming (judgment-Rev. 19:11-16)
    a. To Earth (Christ to be recognized by all-Rev. 19:19, Zech. 12:10)
    i. This time the glory of the Lord will not be concealed but will shine through His glorified
    body, as at the Transfiguration.
    ii. Two-sided glory=the time of unjust suffering will be over, and the time of righteous vengeance will be accomplished (1 Thess. 1).
    b. To remain (after Millennium…Rev. 21:22-23, 22:3-5)
    i. While the current creation will undergo restoration (before the eternal state), from the beginning of the Millennium to eternity we will live on a Curse-free Earth.
    ii. At the last, the very dwelling-place of God (Heaven) will be on Earth. There will be no more interruptions, no more waiting on God to wrap up His plan, for the “perfect” (1 Cor. 13:10) will have: no more temptation, no more rebellion, no more pain, no more sadness, no more longing for more!

*Lord’s Supper* (Luke 22:19-20)

Author: James Buddy Smith
Ark of Hope
Jasper, Georgia