Now the dispute is specifically about the return of the lord, which is the greatest dispute in the church.
The action of the scene shows the return of the lord, when He said to them, why do you dispute among yourselves. This indicates that for a short interval he was not among them, and then rejoined them to find them in the dispute. And it is a dispute that only He can settle. As a picture of the Church today, it shows a very interesting point. If we are disputing among ourselves, it means Jesus is not with us! Because only He can settle the dispute. And He will settle it when he comes for he says he will put all things in order when he comes.
This is not to contradict His word that says I will never leave you or forsake you.
... and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20 ... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5 It only means that He is not with us in full measure. Consider how he was with Joshua as Captain of the Host.
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Josh 5:13-15
We can apply this to today's church. Note that Joshua asks: Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? The answer he gets is not what he expected. The question is a either/or type question. The answer is NO!
Does it make any sense for Joshua to ask a soldier in his own army 'whose side are you on?' Does it make any sense for this soldier to be hanging around the camp with his sword drawn? But as we discover, the man is the Angel of the Lord; the man is the Lord! When Joshua heard his voice he knows who it is, and worships.
" ...as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come." This is saying the Lord has come to his people to take charge of the battle. It points to the second coming of Jesus, the spiritual coming, not the physical. It's saying when the Lord comes to us, as the latter rain for example, it's not to take one side or the other in our petty doctrinal disputes. When He comes to us, He is coming to Take Charge. He's coming to Take Over!
What is the point of the drawn sword? The sword speaks of the word, in this case the word of judgment. We see the angel of the Lord with sword drawn in his hand in the story of Balaam. Once Balaam realizes who it is, he worship as Joshua does. We also see it when David sees the angel at the threshing floor of Ornan. Here the context makes it clear that the drawn sword speaks of the Lord's judgments being carried out.
This tells us that He will come to us in a time when we can see His Judgments being carried out. For we know that Judgment must begin at the House of God.
Now lets look at the second fulfillment of verse 16 above. Jesus' answer to the disciples request for clarification seemingly doesn't clarify anything.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Just as Joshua didn't get an expected answer to his 'either/or' question, neither did they.
But what he is saying here is telling us what will accompany his return. Weeping, lamentation, sorrow and travail will be our part. This will be from the Judgments Of God being carried out. And the Judgments come first to the house of God.
Once the judgments are over, a new kingdom will be birthed into the earth.
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:
He will reveal Himself to us and we will know is and we will kno s is the Sabbath of Rest, a
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