Will the Lord Come for Us?

The Differentiator magazine:
Vol. 21 New Series December, 1959 No. 6

A friend in Ohio has very kindly sent me some leaflets and pamphlets, including one dealing with Phil. 3:20. Just whether this is connected with an article in the October, 1958, issue of The Differentiator, on "Earth our Future Home?" I am not aware, though possibly it might be. The pamphlet was "Truth for Today," but undated. It dealt with the Greek word Politeuma, generally taken to mean our citizenship, homeland, or home, "in heavens."

I do not know the writer, but it is evident that his knowledge of Greek was limited. The Greek has two little words meaning "out of which," ex hou, which the writer twice spells as ek hou.
But he is quite correct when he says the words "out of which" refer to our citizenship or commonwealth in heavens. Yet he says the key to the verse is that it is out of our citizenship in heaven that we derive our hope. "Paul's point is not that the member of the joint-body is looking for the Lord to come down out of heaven. It is rather that by virtue of a citizenship in heaven we have a hope, an eager expectation."

The Revised Standard Bible says in this verse "we await a Savior." Most of the modern translations read thus, or use wait for, expect. The roots of the Greek verb (apekdechomai) are from-out-receive. From and out of our Homeland in heavens we are to receive Someone in due course. The Lexicons give the meaning as: expect, look for, infer; assiduously and patiently to wait for. In Modern Greek the meaning is wait for, expect, look for, hope, wait for with earnest expectation.

Hebrews 9:28 says that Christ will be seen a second time by those awaiting Him, apart from sin. Does this mean that they will ascend to heaven somehow to see Him? Or are they to wait where they are? We too are awaiting sonship (Romans 8:23). We cannot reach it by ourselves; it will come to us when God grants it.

But we are earnestly awaiting a Saviour who will transfigure our humble body, and make it like His own glorious body. Does it not look as though His coming and our change will take place at the same time, just as in 1. Thess. 4 and 1. Cor. 15:51-52? Our writer says the verse does not mention anything about the Lord coming out of heaven for the church of the Mystery. "Rather Paul is giving the source of our hope to be far above all. Therefore the glorious change described in v. 21 will take place for His body, not in a resurrection accompanied by a shout of command, the archangel's voice and the trump of God, but in a quiet, secret one where Christ the Head and the church which is His body are united and manifested in glory (Co1. 3:4)."

Indeed, it would be most interesting if we could get more information about this secret removal of the church. Where do we find it mentioned? When Paul wrote in 1. Cor. 15:51-54 that "we shall all be changed in an instant, in an eye wink, in the last trump. . . ." he included himself as one who would then be changed. But where does he later on write that he would be changed in a quiet and secret manner, quite different from that mentioned in 1. Cor. 15 and 1. Thess. 4:15-17? Will it not be a great honour for the Body of Christ that the Lord Himself should descend from heaven for us? Is it not good enough for us that we should meet Him in the air?

Apparently our writer thinks 1. Cor. 15 and 1. Thess 4 are just not good enough for believers who are to be "far above all," not only in location, but in rank and honour. But there is no word in the Greek of the Bible which means "far above all." Our writer refers to Col. 3:4, which does not state; that we should be seeking that which is "far above all," but merely that which is above, "where Christ is", one sitting at the right hand of God." The manifestation mentioned here could well be that described in 1. Thess. 4.

Alexander Thomson

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Listing of Articles

Who is our God? Chapter 1
Who is our God? Chapter 2
Who is our God? Chapter 3
Who is our God? Chapter 4
Who is our God? Chapter 5
Who is our God? Chapter 6
Who is our God? Chapter 7
Who is our God? Chapter 8
Who is our God? Chapter 9
Who is our God? Chapter 10
Who is our God? Chapter 11
Who is our God? Chapter 12
Who is our God? Chapter 13
Who is our God? Chapter 14
Who is our God? Chapter 15
Who is our God? Chapter 16
Who is our God? Chapter 17
A Female Deity?
Acts 7:15 & 16
All Things
Amos 3:6
An Answer to the Challenge of Hell
Angels & Men One Species?
An Interesting New Version
Are You an Ambassador?
Are You a Pillar?
Are You a Witness for Jehovah?
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 1
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 2
Are You an Israelite? Chapters 3 & 4
A Special Resurrection?
Baptized for the Dead?
"Beloved" or "Loveable"?
Brotherly Love
Book Review
Colossians 1:23
Common or Unclean?
Common Sense
Did Paul Visit Spain?
Did the Lord give up His Flesh?
"Divine" Fire?
Doctoring the Holy Scriptures
Does God know Everything?
Does God will Everything?
Does your Spiritual Life seem Unreal?
Did God hate Esau?
Earth our Future Home?
Emphasis in the Scriptures
English more Archaic than Ancient Hebrew?
Ephesians 1:23
Erroneous Translations
Gleanings from A.T.
Heaven our Homeland
How is Christ God's "Word"?
How many were Crucified?
In the Christ All Shall Be Made Alive
Is Dust the Serpent's Food?
Is the Devil Impersonal?
Isaiah 26:14,19
James 4:5
Jehovah's Theocratic Organization
Jesus the Saviour
John 19:29
The Kingdom of the Hebrews
Leave it with God
Men or Mortals?
Misplaced Ingenuity
New Light on the Second Death
None Other Things
Objective Value of Prayer
Other or Different
Our Advocate
Paul's Chain
Paul the Sensitive
Paul versus James
Prevailing Prayer
Problems of Translation: I Cor. 7:21
Problems of Translation: II Cor. 3:18
Psalm 66:18
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Rogues and Rascals
Rom 9 & 10: Human Freedom & Human Choice
Romans 9:14-24
Romans 9:30 to 10:21
II Corinthians 5:16
II Peter 3:10
Seven Wicked Spirits
Shall We See God?
Sir, We would see Jesus
Should we fear God?
The Bloody Husband
The Cherubim of Glory
The Corinthian Error
The Cunning Manager
The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah
The Designation of Jesus as "God"
The Disruption Fallacy
The Disruption Fallacy #2
The Eighth of Proverbs
The Eleven "Generations" of Genesis
The Elohim
The Ends of the Eons
The Eternal Saviour-Judge
The Eternity of Hell Torments
The First Christian Convention
The Four Gospels
The Gentiles in Ephesians
The Greek Definite Article
The Hardening of Pharoah's Heart
The Hebrew Conception of Time
The Hebrews Epistle
The Hebrew Terms Rendered 'For Ever'
The Hope of Israel
The Life of Prayer
The Lord Jesus Revealing the Heart of God
The Lord's Relatives
The Lordly Supper
The Meaning of Ta Panta
The Ministry of Women Parts 1 & 2
The Ministry of Women Parts 3 & 4
The "Penalty of Sin"
The Poor in Spirit
The Primeval Laws
The Primeval Laws #2
The Problem of Evil
The Quality of Divine Love
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The Serpent of Genesis 3
The Soul and the Spirit
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 1 & 2
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 3 & 4
The Translation of Acts 28:25
The Trial of the Lord
The Truth of the Bible
The Two Seeds
The Works of Henry Clay Mabie, D.D.
"Three Days and Three Nights"
Translator's Incentive
Truthfulness and Mercy
Try the Spirits
Unto Eternity and Further
We have all been Wrong
What did Peter do?
What does Olethros mean?
What Happened to Jephthah's Daughter?
What is Destruction?
What is the Flesh?
What is the Sin unto Death?
Whence "Eternity"?
Who are the Saints?
Who is Jehovah?
Who Shall Deliver Me?
Why Pray?
Why the "Lake" of Fire?
Will God Punish?
Will the Lord Come for Us?
Will the Man of Lawlessness be Killed?


The Differentiator Revisited 2009