The Coming Baptism of Light
As Christians we tend to come from unique schools of thought concerning the end times. Some believe the Rapture could occur at any moment; others see the church going through some if not all of the tribulation. Still others are trusting that, whenever the Rapture occurs, they will be prepared.
The Bible itself focuses on dark and foreboding events occurring during the last hours of the age. I do not want to minimize that focus, for it is real. Yet there is more on God's calendar that the Rapture or tribulation. I believe there will be a baptism of light for those who truly follow Christ.
Evidence of Christ's Presence
Consider: Immediately prior to the Transfiguration, Jesus told His disciples something remarkable. He said, "There are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power" (Mark 9:1). Jesus plainly stated that some of His first-century disciples would see the "kingdom of God after it has come with power."
Jesus was not speaking of the Rapture or even the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He was speaking of the Transfiguration. Indeed, all four Gospels tell us about a week later Jesus took Peter and James and John up to a high mountain where "He was transfigured before them" (Mark 9:2).
What Jesus revealed to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration was a picture of the end-time manifestation of the glory of God in the kingdom church. Jesus truly showed "some" of His disciples -- Peter, James and John -- what the Kingdom of God would look like "after it has come with power" (Mark 9:1).
Stay With Me
The Transfiguration is a picture of what I call the "baptism of light." It is Isaiah 60 fulfilled. It is the kingdom cleansed of tares, where the "righteous will shine forth as the sun" (Matt.13:43). It is Daniel 12:3, where "those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven." It is the bride of Christ putting on her fine linen, "bright and clean" (Rev. 19:8).
But it is not the Rapture. I believe in the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18). The baptism of light is before the Rapture. In the Rapture our bodies will change, the mortal putting on immortality, etc. During the Transfiguration, Jesus' body stayed essentially the same, other than it was radiant with light. He still suffered and died. In the Rapture we will never die.
The baptism of light is the culmination of what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:18).
The word translated "transformed" is the same exact word translated "transfigured" in the Gospels.
The Transfiguration. The baptism of light. You see, this is what awaits the overcoming church at the end of the age.
As Jesus said, "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me" (John 17:22-23).
This is why when we see darkness covering the earth a part of me is encouraged. For it is in context of deep darkness covering the people that Christ utters His command: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you" (Isa. 60:1-3).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~The meat of this message is taken from Pastor's book, The Days of His Presence, where this teaching is expanded upon.