"And it came to pass when the time was come that He should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." (Luke 9:51)
As the passion of our Beloved Lord comes once more acutely to our attention because of "the cross," it is well that we meditate again upon The Apostle Paul’s words in Hebrews 12:3, Dia.: "Consider him attentively who has endured such opposition from sinners, so that you may not be wearied, being discouraged in your souls."
The annual observance of our Lord's death occurs this year after six P.M., April 17. We will celebrate at 2501 Morningside Drive, Mount Dora, Florida and we invite all of like mind to join us.
The Bible is very positive on the subject of the proper date for observing this sacred event: "And ye shall keep it up [the lamb] until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.'' (Ex. 12:6) From this clear statement it should be readily clear that the condition of the moon is by no means a determining factor. The only consideration of the moon is to determine Nisan 1; and once that is established, then it is fourteen days until the observance should be held. Nisan 1 is established by the moon which becomes new nearest the Spring Equinox - unless that moon would date the "remembrance" before the Vernal Equinox - in which case the new moon of the following month should be used. Never before the Vernal Equinox is a hard and fast rule determined by both Brother Russell and Brother Johnson.
To memorialize our Lords death means to observe the memory of it, as the word indicates. The ritual for this memorial was established by Jesus Himself as recorded by the various Gospel writers; and we offer the record from Luke 22:19,20: "And Jesus took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is of the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. "According to the Matthew account, when Jesus gave them the cup He said, "Drink all of you out of it.'' (Matt. 26:27, Dia.) Thus, the drinking out of the one cup emphasized the oneness of those that night, as well as all those throughout the Gospel Age who would partake of it "till he comes. "
Some may inquire whether the Apostle 's statement concerning the Lord's Supper, that it shows forth the Lord's death "till he come" (1 Cor. ll: 26), should not be understood to limit its observance and to make it no longer proper, since we believe that He has come. We answer, No; it will be proper to celebrate our Lord's death and our consecration down to the time when we shall have finished our course by actually dying.
The institution of this service was given after the Passover supper, which the Jews observed each year on Nisan 14 - just as Jesus and the Apostles were doing that night. Even to our time the Jews still observe the Passover once each year, although they are often a day or two off in determining the time; but the orthodox Jews still keep the feast with a solemnity befitting the memory of that awesome night in Egypt, when the Angel of Death passed throughout the land and smote the firstborn in every Egyptian house - from the least to the greatest; but at the same time "passing over" every Jewish house where the blood had been sprinkled on the doorpost and lintel, and none of them were slain that night so long as they remained "under the blood." There is nothing in the record to indicate that any of them disobeyed that edict that night.
JESUS OUR PASSOVER LAMB
But we are told that “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” However, instead of using the lamb and unleavened bread, we use the symbols that Jesus Himself instituted the night before He died - the unleavened bread and the wine, being substituted for the lamb and bread. Some may object to this course, but there is no record at all that the early Christians ever again used the lamb and bread; it was always the bread and wine!
"It is the Lord's passover" is given for emphasis - not a thing to be regarded shabbily. "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." (Rom. 12:11) Thus were the Jews impressed with the dangers and difficulties of the journey ahead of them - just as the meticulous instructions for the preparation were also vividly lodged in their minds. This same logic is to be seen in the fact that they were to select their lamb on Nisan 10, which would allow them four days of meditation and sober examination, all of which was very strictly followed in the Memorials in the years ensuing, even to the time when Jesus arrived.
In the type the lamb was taken up four days before it was killed; and that was typical of Jesus, the Greater Lamb, presenting Himself to the Jews four days before He was "lifted up." But there was another compelling reason for the four-day interval. That most memorable of nights, when the Angel of Death would "pass over" the Jewish first-born, was not to be approached flippantly or carelessly. As each family took up its own lamb, and removed all leaven from the home, the course of these four days would put them into a proper mental attitude and contrition of heart for that awesome night . And this is well in keeping with St. Paul's words to all who commemorate the antitype; "Let a man examine himself" (1 Cor. 11:28,29) - not five minutes before the service, perhaps in public confessionals; not just an hour before the service; but let each do so in "sincerity and in truth" during the days preceding it.
And this text means exactly what it says; the Lord's people are not to examine each other; each is to examine himself. There are just two reasons why any should be disfellowshipped - gross immorality, or gross doctrinal deflection. Aside from these two reasons, none are to be debarred from the Lord's Memorial. The other position of the text permits reasonable liberty toward all who partake - "he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself. " The justice of God is grandly demonstrated in St. Paul's words. We may not like the personal habits of others; we may consider them uncouth in appearance, speech, or mannerisms; but we are not to pass judgment upon such to disfellowship them from the Memorial assembly. We may be seated next to such a person; may be acutely cognizant of his limitations in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit; but we have the clear assurance that none of that will "rub off" onto us. If we have perhaps been overly liberal in admitting some to that solemn feast, we have the written word that such "eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself. So the matter is pretty much an individual one as regards the general run of human frailties: The Faithful should examine himself; the unfaithful imbibes condemnation to himself. Therefore, we are justified in erring toward the liberal viewpoint, as against too rigid a position.
After giving charge to Israel to keep the Passover, God then gave command for an annual commemoration: "This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever." (Ex. 12:14) Forever meaning age-lasting, the ceremony was to continue each year until the end of the Jewish Age - when the antitype would appear. Here we would emphasize that there was only one Passover - the one in Egypt; in subsequent years its observation was simply a memorial - much the same as we observe birthdays, wedding, anniversaries, etc. In the Memorials the Jews did not sprinkle the lamb's blood on the doorpost because none of them were in danger of dying then.
So also, there was but one antitype - "Christ our Passover"; the bread and the wine once each year being merely a Memorial of Him who perished on the cross. And as the Memorial of the typical Passover was to be celebrated once each year, so the antitypical Memorial is to be celebrated once each year.
Following the institution of the Supper which memorializes His death, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn, and then went out of the city to the Mount of Olives opposite - a distance of perhaps a mile. Apparently several important lessons were given to the disciples enroute to Gethsemene. These St. John's Gospel records in Chapters 15-17.
The word Gethsemene signifies an oil press - a name that is full of significance. When we remember that Jews used the oil of the olives both for food and for light, and that Jesus is the Nourisher as well as the Enlightener of the world, we see a special fitness in His having His trying experiences, which almost crushed His soul, in a garden used for the crushing of olives and extracting their oil.
Gethsemene was not a flower garden, but an olive orchard or garden. The supposed site is still carefully preserved. In the garden are some very ancient olive trees. The Garden is supposed to have belonged to some of Jesus' friends; and there is claimed to be some evidence that John Mark, the writer of the Gospel of St. Mark, was the lad who was awakened from his slumbers by the commotion incident in Jesus' arrest and who came forth in his nightgown. (Mark 14:51,52)
Arriving at the Garden, Jesus left eight of the Apostles near the entrance, and went further into its shade with Peter, James and John. All were to watch, to be on guard against something that was to occur, something of which Jesus knew, but which seemed most improbable to the Apostles. They were unable to comprehend the Master' s despondency even though they sympathized with Him.
It was midnight and they were accustomed to retiring early. The strain of the evening, and weighty lessons which the Master had imparted, reacted in drowsiness. They slept, instead of watching and praying. This was true even of the three nearest to the Master.
Wishing to be alone in His communion with the Father, Jesus went a stone's throw farther into the shade by Himself. Time and again, in the agony which came upon Him, He came seeking human sympathy, only to find His dearest ones oblivious in sleep. Well had it been expressed by the Prophet, "Of the people there was none with me." (Isa. 63:3) He trod the winepress of grief alone.
Not until He had finished giving admonitions to His Apostles and had left some to watch at the entrance of the garden, did the Master seem to give special thought to Himself and to the momentous events anticipated within a few hours. As He was leaving His favorite three, He gave utterance to the weight of oppression which seemed suddenly to rest down upon His soul. He exclaimed, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death!" (Mark 14:33,34) - I feel as if I would die now, without coming to that great crisis which is before Me. We read that "He was greatly amazed and sore troubled." The Greek is equally strong, signifying utter amazement and anguish, carrying the thought of loneliness, homesickness, and friendlessness.
St Paul assures us that the Master's Gethsemane experiences were linked with fear- not fear of dying, but fear of remaining dead, fear that He would not be accounted of the Father worthy of that glorious resurrection which had been promised to Him on condition of absolute obedience. St. Paul says, "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him out of death [by resurrection], was heard in respect to things which He feared. " (Heb. 5:7) He was saved out of death; and more than this, He was given the assurance by the Father that He would be saved out of death.
This is the explanation of the statement that an angel of God appeared to Him in the Garden and strengthened Him - gave Him the assurance from the Father that He had been faithful up to that moment, and that the Divine blessing would be with Him in the hour of trial just at hand. From that moment onward, all the fear and agony were gone. If the Father had approved Him thus far, and if the Father's blessing and smile went with Him, He could endure all things, come what might. Throughout the remainder of that night, and following day, Jesus was the calmest of the calm, under the most trying circumstance. He comforted those who wept about Him; He committed His mother to the faithful St. John, etc.
"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." (John 6:53) In this chapter the Lord is addressing the Jews, who believed not on Him, but murmured because He told them He was the true Bread from heaven. His expression, "eat the flesh and drink the blood," had a deep spiritual significance which none but the Israelites Indeed could receive. And this is still true today. The world, when dealt with in the next age, by Jesus, will indeed have the opportunity to eat of His flesh - to appropriate the merits of His sacrifice; but they will have no opportunity of sharing in His cup - of drinking His blood. Symbolically, the cup signifies the sacrificed life. The world will have no share in the suffering of Christ, represented in the cup.
"The flesh of the Son of Man" represents restitution to human privileges, i.e., the means to its attainment, and restores to man the life which he had forfeited - the life lost in Adam - human life, earthly life. It will be the gift of God through Christ. But the supplying of this Bread will not be sufficient. The world will need to eat of the Bread and have the assistance the Lord will give them through His Kingdom. Jesus said, "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread he shall live forever." (John 6:51)
The Bread from heaven was our Lord's flesh, which He was to give for the life of the world. And Jesus explains this to be what was typified by the manna that fell in the wilderness. He said, "Your fathers did eat manna [in the wilderness] , and are dead. He that eatheth of this Bread shall live forever." (John 6:49-51) He also said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24) And He did fall into the earth and die. And the Church became sharers with Him in His death. They participate in His suffering and death, which the world will never do. They share in its outcome.
Do Youthful Worthies partake of the Lord's Supper? Most certainly they do! They are thankful and appreciative of what our Savior has done for them. They do not "suffer with Christ," nor will they "reign with Christ," - therefore they partake of the wine and bread, symbolizing our Lord's death as the Lamb of God and symbolizing their tentative justification. Their trial is for faith and obedience and not for life as was the saints trial, although they make the same kind of consecration as did the spirit-begotten: "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger [the unbegotten], as for one of your own country [spirit-begotten]." (Lev. 24:22) Moreover, the Youthful Worthies are tentatively under an Advocate through their Tentative Justification, and are tentatively Sons of God.
When our Lord said, "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed" (John 6:55), we understand Him to mean that this is the most valuable food and drink ever known. No other bread has such value, and no other drink could be so precious as this.
All the work of the Gospel Age, is the getting ready of the food for the world, and of the blood which will be sprinkled upon them.
At the beginning of the Millennial Age - as soon as the Church is joined to her Head beyond the veil - the blood will be sprinkled to satisfy justice for the world. Then, as the Mediator, Christ will proceed to do a work for all who will receive it. And that work is symbolically represented as sprinkling the people with the blood. In other words, every member of the race will be privileged to come into Covenant relationship with God through the Mediator, by accepting the terms which He will hold forth during the Millennial reign. This is "good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." (Luke 2: 10) If they meet the requirements during the Messiah• s reign, by the close of that period they will be perfect; and He will present them before the Father, and all who endure faithfully the test then applied, will be received into full covenant relationship with Him.
In order that any of the race of Adam might profit by the sacrifice of Jesus, it was necessary that He should rise from the tomb on the Divine plane of life, that He should ascend to the Father and deposit the sacrificial merit of His death in the hands of justice, and receive from the Father "all power in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28:18) As related to the world it was necessary also that, in the Father's due time, He should come again to earth, a glorious Divine Being, then to be to the whole world a Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King, to assist back to perfection and to harmony with God all who will avail themselves of the wonderful privileges then to be offered.
It is needless that we seek to dispute as to which was the more important event - the death of Jesus or His resurrection from the dead. Both were equally important. Had He not died there would be no basis for a reconciliation of Adam and his race, condemned to death. Had He not risen there would have been no call of the Church during the Gospel Age to be the Bride of Christ. Neither would there have been use for the promised Mediatorial Kingdom to be established at His Second Presence for the blessing of Israel and the world.
Be it noted that those who condemned Jesus to the cross were not the "beggarly elements" of that time, not the irreligious; it was the "good" people who were guilty of that - those who would not cross the Gentile door "lest they should be defiled for the feast." (John 18:28) And "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The heathen Pilate strove to avoid the tragic miscarriage of justice; and it was the High Priest of Israel who "had the greater sin" in the matter. It was those people schooled in the Law, who "sat down and watched Him there" (Matt. 27:36) - watched the tragedy of the cross as the idly curious might watch a street-corner side show - watched the final hours of agony of "the Lord of Glory" with a calloused indifference that would be unbelievable were it not written in the sacred record.
And Jesus knowing in the final hours of that awful night, that He had "finished the work God gave Him to do," (John 17:4) resigned Himself to what was to be. The time for controversy had passed - "now is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53); so He "held his peace." (Matt. 26:63) "No man taketh my life from me; I lay it down of myself." (John 10:18) There is in this a lesson for us, too. The day previous and the day following observance of the Memorial should be a time of calm meditation insofar as lieth in us. If any wish to be contentious at that time, let them go their way for the time being; there will come more suitable occasions to answer such.
As always, we counsel the reading of Brother Russell's treatise on the Passover in Volume 6. We also, suggest the reading of Exodus 12 with Berean Comments five days before the Memorial; then the same with the pertinent writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with Berean Comments. This should be most refreshing and helpful for a "man to examine himself."
With this comes Christian love to all God's people wherever they may assemble. And we offer a prayer for the Lord's nearness and rich blessing in the preparation for, and participation in this coming service. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." (1 Cor. 5:7)
A POIGNANT IRONY
One of the most poignant ironies in the history of the Christian religion is the close association of astronomers after Copernicus with the Roman Catholic Church, which censored Galileo for the then-heretical view that the sun was the center of the solar system, not the Earth.
This irony is spelled out in numbing detail in an article in The Sciences, which traces the relationship to the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. It was there decreed that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. You can do this fairly easily, of course, by recognizing the equinox, waiting for the next full moon and celebrating Easter the following Sunday. But a week at most to prepare throughout the world for the celebration obviously isn't enough.
To complicate the issue, the equinox and the full moon don't take place at the same times all around the globe, but having Easter celebrated on many different days wasn't appealing to a church promoting its "unity and universality," as the article put it. So the church calculated the date several years in advance and distributed calendars calling for Easter to be observed on a particular Sunday. The church's calculations were inaccurate and got worse.
So astronomers were called in to calculate the period between vernal equinoxes. They used a meridian line and a hole in a high window or ceiling to mark where the sun touched the line and then counted the days until it touched that same place again. Cathedrals were the only buildings large enough to allow this to be done with any degree of accuracy.
In effect, the church aided the scientific quest that established the sun's position at the center of the solar system, which church dogma denied.
(Winston-Salem Journal, September 3, 1999)
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT
The year was 1947 and Jewish Agency leader David Ben-Gurion faced an almost impossible decision. All about him were Zionist officials, considering themselves to be pragmatic, urging him to accept the United Nations' partition plan which would grant to the Jews a small and emaciated homeland within the territory of Mandatory Palestine, Vigorously, however, opposing the ceding of any territory to the Arabs, were the others, those who sincerely argued that the emerging Jewish state could never survive within such indefensible borders. Torn between the two camps, Ben-Gurion understood that resting heavily on his shoulders was a fateful dilemma that would effect world events and Jewish history for decades to come.
As it transpired, Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership finally opted for the UN's partition plan. In the end they concluded that the declaration of statehood was more crucial than the risk of attempting to return to all parts of the Jewish heartland. In their reasoning, they would accept "half a loaf" from the UN and continue to dream about someday in Israel's future securing for themselves the missing portions of Israel. The opponents, at the time, were bitter in their defeat, yet they necessarily had to develop their own pragmatism and move forward. They declared that they would continue to build upon all the land that Israel received and relentlessly strive, at every juncture, to eventually return to all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. There was plainly too much work ahead for any notions of despair to be entertained.
Ben-Gurion himself sympathized with this approach and he clarified that accepting the partial territories would never act to abdicate the Jewish historical claim to the entire land: "If we were offered a Jewish state in the western land of Israel in return for our relinquishing the right of the Jewish People over the whole land of Israel, then I would postpone the state. No Jew has the right to relinquish the right of the Jewish People over the whole land of Israel. It is beyond the powers of any Jewish body. It is even beyond the power of the whole Jewish People living today to give up any part of the Land of Israel"
If one were to listen to the reports from today's media or the spin put upon the current political situation by other opponents of YESHA, one might begin to believe that the future prognosis for the YESHA settlement was dim and that widespread panic had already set in. Indeed, newspaper stories assert that YESHA Council leaders are in despair, while the electronic media only provides its viewers with interviews by "men in the street" who believe all is lost. One might be led to believe that matters are bleaker for proponents of settling all of Israel, than those felt even in 1947. However, like much else about the media' s reporting when it concerns Israel, these stories are both inaccurate and maliciously deceptive. They are part of the seemingly never-ending campaign to project a misleading light on the strength and courage of the residents of the YESHA communities.
In my recent ongoing conversations with the leaders of YESHA and reports of our offices form our own sources, quite a different picture emerges. The morale, spirit and ideological commitment in settlements is still going strong. ABC, NBC the BBC, CNN and the readers of the New York Times would be surprised to find that there is no evidence of despair. What might be described as a lack of focused leadership and communication, cannot be categorized as an abandonment of determination or of discouragement by the residents of YESHA communities. Much of the public impression, then that a crisis mood is in place is wholly fabricated and completely unfounded.
Just one example of this can be witnessed in the skewed perceptions of the difficult negotiations with the Barak government over the 42 new neighborhoods which were established in recent months. While the settlement opponents and global media focused on the 15 new neighborhoods that the government had insisted upon dismantling, little coverage was given to the other 32 new neighborhoods, YESHA leaders managed to secure forever. These 32 new neighborhoods were a tremendous victory for YESHA movement, yet the entire episode was universally portrayed as a desperate defeat. Unwilling to acknowledge our success, what one saw depicted on the news instead, was the spectacle of the struggle between the group of students and settlers at the Maon Farm peacefully resisting the Army. Reports and footage of the other residents quietly living in their 32 new neighborhoods and going about their activities was simply never presented.
But as anyone who objectively follows events understands, there have been a great deal of encouraging developments in the YESHA settlement. The 32 newly approved neighborhoods are being integrated into the existing towns and citizens from around Israel are still choosing YESHA as a desirable place to live. New highways and roads, including an important four-lane traffic artery that connects Northern Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv Highway is being completed. These new roads bring hundreds of thousands of Israelis living inside the Green Line into contact with our communities as they more easily commute to work. Many agricultural and infrastructure projects are also being launched. In addition, record numbers of students are studying in YESHA schools and plans to draw hi tech industry to such cities as Ariel are being actively promoted.
Still, one must not downplay the seriousness of the events unfolding and concerns over the final status talks. Many issues crucial to the YESHA settlements and to all Israelis still hang in the balance. As the Palestinians continue to voice their demand that Jerusalem is their capital, insistence over the security of cities such as Ma 'aleh Adumim, Pisgat Ze'ev, Ne've Yakov, and Givat Ze'ev are joined with concerns over the future Jewish sovereignty of the Old City. The issue of the fall out from bringing millions of Arab refugees into Gaza is directly connected with the abilities of the Israeli economy to confront its own unemployment problems. Moreover, the matter of withdrawing from YESHA territories now has Israeli scientists and farmers anxious over the much-needed water supplies they are being asked to abandon to the Palestinians. Demands for access to roads and highways by the Arabs increases the threats of terrorism and road safety to Israeli citizens living everywhere.
The Palestinians, today, sharply focus their attention on the behavior and mood of the residents of YESHA, utilizing it as a national barometer. Like the carrion birds of the desert, they circle over the settlement squinting to observe if the media reports of our imminent collapse are true. The Arabs know that if the YESHA leaders, who have always maintained an optimistic and confident frame of mind despite the disasters brought on by the Oslo accords, are staggering in despair, then they have truly succeeded in demoralizing the entire Jewish State. For this reason alone our leaders, rabbis and families are strenuously redoubling their efforts even as the birds of prey circle above. What might be perceived as weakness or fatigue in the settlements could well spread to encouraging and fueling Arab demands in every other issue under negotiation.
Only those who are unaware of the full facts would believe that a mood of hopelessness has set in amongst our camp. Like a torch passed to us by an earlier generation, YESHA's efforts to redeem the entire Land of Israel will vigorously continue. Despite the momentary setbacks, we will strive and persist in our projects to build schools, housing and religious institutions throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In every inch of land under Israeli control we will pursue our renewal activities. Be assured that the residents of these communities have not given up any hope. They understand the historical, religious and security importance of their presence in maintaining this territory.
The turbulent political winds continue to blow but YESHA' s foundation remains strong. Together we can be proud that in the face the dream of Israel a reality. In addressing a recent One Israel Fund-YESHA event, Member of Knesset Limor Livnat noted that Israel's fortunes were a lot like the stockmarket. "Just as the market goes through its periodic rises and plunges, the Jews also have their ups and downs. In the near future, however, I for one am confident that Zionism and Israel's stock will again be on the rise very soon."
On behalf of all the YESHA communities I cannot concur more, I ask each and every supporter of our cause to continue to assist us with our renewal efforts in all the Heartland under Israeli control, firm in the knowledge that our efforts in these territories will hasten and secure the inevitable return to the entire Land of Israel.
(By Steven S. Orlow, National President, One Israel Fund, YESHA, Yesha Report, Dec. 1999)
QUESTION OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION - The New Testament is written to the Saints, but are there any texts in the New and Old Testaments meant for the world?
ANSWER - It is true that most of the Epistles are written to the Saints: "Beloved of God, called to be saints." (Rom. 1:7) "Unto the church of God ... called to be saints." (1 Cor. 1:2) "To the saints which are at Ephesus." (Eph. 1:1) "To all the saints which are at Philippi." (Phil. 1:1) "To the saints which are at Colosse." (Col. 1:2)
Thus it is clear that the New Testament is mostly for "the Saints." However, there is mention of other elect classes. For instance, Chapter 11 of Hebrews, which gives a long list of the Ancient Worthies. Also, Heb. 12:23 speaks of "just men made perfect." That Servant applies this to the Ancient Worthies, but we believe it must include the Youthful Worthies, since they are to be associated with the Ancient Worthies in the earthly Kingdom.
But the Apostle Paul addresses the world in general in his statement in Acts 3:19: "Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." To be repentant for your sins is one thing, but you must be converted (turned from your sins) or it will not mean that you are "repentant and believing." The "common salvation" is also spoken of in Jude 3. And Acts 17:31 says "he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness." What is commonly called the Lord's prayer also gives the two phases of the Kingdom - the earthly and the heavenly.
In the Old Testament this is spoken to the world: "Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be that ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (Zeph. 2:3) The meek of the earth, the humble of the world in general who love justice and pursue peace will be partly hid in this Time of Trouble. In the French Revolution, which is a type of the Day of Vengeance (the Lord's anger), favors were shown to the just, generous and kind, and extreme wrath was visited upon the oppressors; and we believe it will be so during this Time of Trouble. "Except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." (Matt. 24:22) The Time of Trouble is especially designed for the oppressors - the wicked. (Mal. 4:1)
But this will not detract from those who died before the inauguration of the Kingdom. For, "all that are in the grave shall hear his voice and shall come forth." (John 5:28,29) "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15)