It is true that God is doing many things in this day, but what is His primary concern? What is the one thing He is most interested in accomplishing?
In order to find the answer to this question we are going to take a look at a few scriptures concerning the Church Age. First, we must be aware that the Church Age in the Scriptures is measured in different terms, depending upon the message the Holy Spirit is revealing to us. For example, the apostle Paul used the term “day of salvation” to describe the Church Age when he said, “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2). This is a most fitting description of the Church Age, for it is a day (a period of time) when salvation is available to all mankind.
A day can be an indefinite period of time. It may be a 24-hour day, or it may be a period that covers an entire age, such as the Church Age, or it may cover a time period consisting of a number of ages. We are told in II Peter 3:8 that a day can represent a thousand years. Each of the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation represents a particular age in the Church Age. Thus, the Church Age can even be thought of as a week of ages.
The prophet Hosea describes the Church Age as three days. Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Hosea 6:1-2. Jesus confirmed this when He said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40). Literally this is applied to the earthly grave of Jesus between His death and resurrection. The spiritual application is to the hearts of earthly men during the Church Age.
Hosea’s prophecy immediately gives us some insight into God’s main concern in this day. Since he gives the time period of the Church Age as three days, the third day would be the last portion of the Church Age, which would be the day in which we are living. His emphasis on the third day is on the raising up and restoration of the Church. Though the Church has been torn and smitten, it will be healed and bound up. After two days, on the third day, it is revived and raised up that it may live in the presence of the Lord.
Since Jesus has relinquished His individuality to be the Head of a many-membered Body of Christ, Scriptures that relate to His ministry also relate to the ministry of the Body of Christ. Jesus not only confirmed the prophecy of Hosea, but He made it more emphatic. He said, “I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:32). Jesus is speaking prophetically of the Church Age: on the third day the many-membered Body of Christ will be perfected. It will come into the fullness Paul spoke of when he said that the Church would “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
It is obvious that God has had a different emphasis in different time periods. His emphasis in this day, however, is ministry to the Body of Christ. His primary interest at this time is the perfecting of the Body of Christ. And what is most important to Him should also be most important to us. We are approaching the day of consummation, and God’s work on earth cannot be finished without the sons of God being perfected. They, with Jesus as their Head, will be the ministry of fulfillment.
The ministry of salvation will continue because the Church Age is “the day of salvation,” but that is not the main focus of God right now. History has proven that the message of accepting Jesus as Savior will never get the job done. I can already feel some yelling, “Heresy!” Every knee will never bow and every tongue will never confess that Jesus is Lord until the ministry of the rod of iron is placed in the hands of the sons (Philippians 2:10; Revelation 2:26-27).
If it sounds like I’m putting down the ministry of preaching Jesus as Savior, I certainly don’t mean it that way. Thank God for those who have proclaimed Him Savior, and thank God for those who have heard and accepted Him as their Savior. But the job will never be done until there are sons who have authority to bind the strong man, to set the captives free, to bring down Mystery Babylon, and to loose creation from futility (Romans 8:19-22).
Many sincere preachers have labored hard and seen little for their efforts. They have preached their hearts out and have seen very few saved. The sons of God will proclaim Jesus as Savior, but more than that they will proclaim Him Lord. The reason so many sincere preachers haven’t had an effective ministry is because they haven’t broken through to God, to the authority that is needed to get the job done. So God’s emphasis is creating a many-membered Body of Christ. They will be given authority to not only proclaim “the acceptable year of the Lord” (the day of salvation), but they will also proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2). They will be the Lord’s “battle ax and weapons of war” (Jeremiah 51:20).
All of God’s people will not enter into this ministry of authority. It will only be a remnant that enters sonship, but all will benefit from it. It will be as it was with Joseph. God wanted to bless the whole family, but only Joseph had the heart to go through what it would take to receive the authority. You see, when God wants to move He looks for someone to move through. He took Joseph through many difficult trials and tribulations. After Joseph was prepared and made ready, God brought him immediately to the place of authority. When his brothers stood before him, afraid for their lives, Joseph said, “Be not grieved…that you sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life…, to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance…Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 45:5,7; 50:20).
Much of the Church-world will not understand what God is doing today and will also have ill feelings toward those whom God is dealing with (the Joseph company) to bring them into authority. Yet God loves them, too. He brings a remnant through trials and tribulations so they may have authority to bring deliverance to all His people. For this reason, God’s primary concern in this day is to create a Christ-Body that can accomplish His will in the earth.
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose