CANAAN Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a representation of the Christian redemption. We understand that deliverance from Egypt symbolizes our salvation from the world and sin. But exactly what does Canaan, our land of promise, typify?
Canaan cannot represent Heaven. The Christian Church is not moving toward an armed invasion of Heaven! What is our land of promise if it is not Heaven?
Table of Contents
Introduction Being, Doing, and Environment To Attain Union With Christ and Gain Immortality in the Body To Gain Authority and Power to Rule Our Circumstances in the Person and Presence of Christ To Obtain Total Deliverance from All Behaviors That Bring the Torment of Divine Judgment Upon Us To Learn to Live by Every Word That Comes From the Mouth of God To Become a New Person in the Kingdom of God, the Old Adam Having Passed Away To Share with Jesus Christ the Inheritance of the Nations of the Earth To Have Christ Formed and Dwelling in Us To Be a Member of the Royal Priesthood To Have the Eternal Assurance of Life, and Recognition in the Court of Heaven To Be an Integral Part of God's Dwelling Place Forever To Belong Eternally to God To Be for Eternity a Part of the New Jerusalem To Be an Eternal Part of the Newness of Christ To Be in Daily Communion With the Lord To Govern All the Works of God's Hands To Inherit Everything God Has Made New Conclusion
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Exodus 3:8—NIV)
"A land flowing with milk and honey"!
The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a representation of the Christian redemption. We understand that deliverance from Egypt symbolizes our salvation from the world and sin. But exactly what does Canaan, our land of promise, typify?
Canaan cannot represent Heaven. The Christian Church is not moving toward an armed invasion of Heaven! What is our land of promise if it is not Heaven?
The Book of Hebrews terms our inheritance the "rest" of God. The rest of God has to do with the fact that God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh. Thus our task in life is not to plan our own destiny but to find out what God has determined for us from the beginning.
The rest of God has to do also with the Sabbath day. The eternal Sabbath rest is found when we do nothing of ourselves but look to Jesus Christ for all that we think; every word we speak; every deed we perform. This is the way the Lord Jesus always lives—resting in the Person of God.
Indeed, a major part of our Canaan is gained when we are trusting in God to will and to do in our personality all that is pleasing to Himself. Only then can we enter eternal joy.
The highest good, the most splendid circumstance, is achieved when what we desire to do most fervently is that which God desires most fervently that we do. There is nothing better than this in all of existence! Such joining of our will with the will of God is an extremely important aspect of our Canaan.
When we determine to reach out for our inheritance we find it is occupied by the enemy, just as was true of Israel in ancient times. There is no part of our inheritance that is not occupied by the enemy. He will contest every inch of ground, so prepare yourself for a vicious, prolonged fight.
When we came out of Egypt the Lord did all the fighting. When we enter the land of promise we have to do the fighting, and the Lord helps us.
Just as soon as we determine to set our whole personality toward laying hold on God's promises we meet determined opposition.
In other writings we have looked at the rewards to the victorious saint, set forth in the Book of Revelation, as steps toward the first resurrection from the dead—as indeed they are. In this present brief article we will view the same rewards as aspects of our Canaan.
Our land of promise must include three elements: an environment, what we are to become, and what we are to do.
Mankind was created in a garden, in Paradise. The memory of that garden, of Paradise, is in all of us. This is why we desire to go to Heaven. We want to go back to our original environment where all is love, joy, and peace.
However, it is useless for us to return to Paradise until we ourselves have been changed and been appointed some kind of role, something to do. We would not be content no matter how wondrous the environment were we to have no role in the Kingdom, no responsibility. We might think we would be happy doing nothing but visiting our friends for eternity, but I doubt we would satisfied if such were the case.
If we are to enjoy and hold Paradise, once we attain it, we must be changed radically. Another reason for our being changed radically is that the adamic nature is totally unqualified to assume the Kingdom roles that are to be fulfilled by the royal priesthood, such as being part of the eternal Temple of God, a member of the Body of Christ, a part of the Bride of the Lamb, and so forth.
Nowhere in the Scriptures, to my knowledge, does it state we must overcome the enemy in order to go to Heaven, to Paradise. But every move we make toward laying hold on the being and doing that have been assigned to the sons of God is bitterly contested by Satan, the fallen angels, and the demons.
We have come now to the time when the Lord Jesus is ready to lead His soldiers into the conquest of the land of promise. Our land of promise, our Canaan, is set forth in the rewards to the overcomer, found in the Book of Revelation.
Each of the rewards is an area of being and doing necessary for our achieving perfect joy and rest in the Presence of God and Christ.
The following are the areas of being and doing that constitute our land of promise. Once we attain these areas God will furnish a perfect environment. But to enter the perfect environment before we are changed would be to invite another rebellion against God. This is why Satan would have us concentrate on going to Heaven and forget about attaining these areas.
In order to lay hold on the areas of our land of promise we have to overcome. We have to overcome, to conquer, because we are being opposed by a skillful adversary with centuries of experience.
The teaching today in some Christian circles is that once we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior we automatically are an overcomer. If this were the case the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation would make no sense at all.
The thinking seems to be that faith (actually belief, or imagination) in and of itself is the victory that overcomes the world."
The problem is, "faith" is defined as mental assent to orthodox doctrine. Belief alone is not what is meant by overcoming. Yet we have to have faith in order to overcome.
Let us say we are harboring resentment against someone. Such resentment is spiritual death no matter what the individual may have done to cause us to be resentful. Now, what does it mean to overcome this spiritual death, this work of Satan? Are we merely to believe because we have faith in Jesus we are not resentful? We have overcome resentment? This is nonsense.
To overcome resentment we have to judge this behavior to be unacceptable to God, fit only for the Lake of Fire. Then we must confess our sin to God and after that vigorously—with all the strength we possess—denounce, renounce, and resist this invasion of our personality. We keep praying, confessing, denouncing, renouncing, and resisting until all resentment is totally gone. In order to attack the enemy in this manner we have to have faith. This is how faith becomes the victory that overcomes the world. It is the good fight of faith that conquers the enemy.
As we have stated, each of the items listed below is an area of being and doing that is necessary for us to attain if we are to enter the rest of God and fulfill our responsibilities in the Kingdom of God.To attain union with Christ and gain immortality in the body. To gain authority and power to rule our circumstances in the Person and Presence of Christ. To obtain total deliverance from all behaviors that bring the torment of Divine judgment upon us. To learn to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. To become a new person in the Kingdom of God, the old Adam having passed away. To share with Jesus Christ the inheritance of the nations of the earth. To have Christ formed in us and dwelling in us. To be a member of the royal priesthood. To have the eternal assurance of life, and recognition in the Court of Heaven. To be an integral part of God's dwelling place forever. To belong eternally to God. To be for eternity a part of the new Jerusalem. To be an eternal part of the newness of Christ. To share intimately with Christ at all times. To govern all the works of God's hands. To inherit everything that God has made new.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7—NIV)
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54—NIV)
Notice that the tree of life is still in the Paradise of God. Notice also that the "right" to eat from the tree of life is not granted because of our faith but because we overcome the enemy.
It is our point of view that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life. In order to gain eternal life and finally attain the immortality of our body we must continually eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ.
Eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood is something we are to do at all times. We learn to live in this manner.
Notice the following, for it is one of the more important verses of the Scriptures:
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57—NIV)
Think about how Jesus lives because of the Father. Every part of Jesus, every breath He takes, every thought He thinks, comes from the Father. He and His Father are One, meaning that Christ is totally dependent on the Father for all He is and does.
The same is to be true of us. Every part of us, every breath we take, every thought we think, is to come from the Lord Jesus. We and Jesus are to become one just as He and the Father are One.
Now, how do we gain such oneness with Christ? By continually feeding on Him. By continually eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
How do we do this?
Each Christian each day is faced with choices, decisions concerning what to think, what to say, what to do. Because we have two separate natures, an adamic nature and a new born-again nature, we have to decide which nature will govern our thoughts, words and actions.
The world, our flesh, our self-will, Satan, and other forces pressure us to decide in a certain way. The Bible, the Spirit of the Lord, and other godly influences also seek to guide what we do. We are the one who makes the decision as to which force should be the one to make each decision. This is how the Christian life operates.
When we follow our fleshly desires we continue in spiritual death. When we follow the godly influences God has provided, we are given the body and blood of Christ in the spirit realm. The body and blood of Christ are eternal life, the Life from Heaven. In this manner we strengthen the eternal life within us.
If we choose to live by the body and blood of Christ we attain resurrection in our inward nature. When the Lord appears our body will be made alive with the Life of God because of what has been accomplished in our inward nature.
But if we choose to live according to our fleshly desires we do not attain resurrection in our inward nature. When the Lord appears our body will not be made alive with the Life of God because the prerequisite life has not been formed in us. It is as simple and straightforward as that. In this instance we will not attain immortality in our body. I am not clear what then takes place with the believer who has failed to choose to live in the Life of Christ, but the Scripture speaks of corruption and destruction.
Learning to live by the Life of Jesus Christ, to become one with Him in every aspect of life, is an area of our land of promise. It affects our entire existence.
While Satan does not seem to be overly concerned about our dying and going to Heaven, He is terribly anxious that we not become such an integral part of Christ. In so doing we become a threat to Satan's kingdom.
One device Satan uses successfully to prevent the believers from entering this area of their land of promise is to promote neglect, disinterest, and a casual approach to their salvation. This is particularly true in America where there are so many interesting diversions—things and situations that occupy our attention and time.
Satan deceives us into leaving our first love of Christ. We grow cool, not having the intense relationship to Christ that insures our partaking of His body and blood. We treat our salvation casually, only addressing the things of God when it is convenient. Many other enterprises become more important to us than our walk with Christ.
Soon we are occupied primarily with eating, sleeping, playing, working, and reproducingthe life of the animal. Eternal resurrection life begins to leave our inward nature, although we still regard ourselves as a Christian. We have been burned badly and we do not realize it.
The Lord mentions the "practices of the Nicolaitans." Some commentators have viewed these practices as that of dividing the one Body of Christ into priests and people.
Another scholar mentions a Nicholas of Antioch who sought to reconcile the churches to the ways of the local Roman community.
Still a third believes the practices of the Nicolaitans to be those of the Gnostics, who pursued either extreme asceticism or abandonment to fleshly lusts.
Since we do not know for certain, I think the Lord is telling us that any practice or doctrine that leads us away from the most intense, continual interaction with Himself is hated by Him and ought to be hated by us.
The Lord does not take a bland, casual attitude toward anything that would come between us and Himself. Neither are we to be casual or neutral about the distractions and temptations of our environment.
We may notice that Adam and Eve lost the right to eat of the Tree of Life because they did not overcome the challenge placed before them.
If we do not overcome the challenges place before us we will lose the right to partake on a daily basis of the body and blood of the Lord. Then, when the Lord returns, we will not be gathered to Him, because it is His body and blood in us that will raise us in that day. Satan has been successful in preventing us from entering our land of promise.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54—NIV)
Do not suppose for one moment that grace, mercy, correct doctrine, or anything else will raise us to Christ in that Day! Only His body and blood will do that. We are in a state of apostasy in America and we need to get back to an intimate relationship with Jesus. We are not nearly ready for the coming of the Lord! We are not living in perfect oneness with Him.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10—NIV)
To be able to rule, in the Presence of Christ, over all our circumstances—that is an objective worth pursuing.
It is God's will that Christ be totally subject to Him. It is God's will further that every child of God be in total subjection to Christ just as Christ is in subjection to the Father.
When we begin our Christian walk we worship many things, circumstances, and relationships. We do not realize it, but we are in bondage to them.
A great part of our Christian life consists of the Lord removing the powers that stand between Christ and us and putting them under our feet.
Do you want to know what your idols are? Think of those things, circumstances, and relationships that would grieve you terribly if they were removed—grieve you to the point of questioning the goodness of God.
These are your idols. You are in bondage to them even though it seems to you that you are not.
You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve. You shall love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Part of our rest, our land of promise, is to rule, in Christ, over all that is about us; to not be subject to fears, desires, lusts, the opinion of people, or anything else that would cause us to act in a manner contrary to the manner in which we think God would have us act.
At one time I was bound by an attraction to classical music. The Lord asked that I give it up. This I did. Now I can take classical music or leave it. It no longer has a grip on me. I rule it. It serves me, not I it. Since the Lord has burdened me to write the things I have heard from Him over the last fifty years, I do not have time to practice the piano. I expect that in the next life, if this is what I desire to do, I will have all the time, strength, and instruction I need to further my ability.
Music no longer is a god to me.
Becoming obedient to Christ alone so we are free to rule joyfully and gloriously in every circumstance is a very desirable state in which to live.
How does God develop such rest in us? He permits Satan to put us in prison, in situations in which we are denied our fervent desires and compelled to do that which displeases us. We can be in such a situation for many years.
While we are in prison our gods speak to us to find a way out. But we have to break God's laws in order to break out of the prison.
If we wrench our circumstances, probably harming people in the process, we lose all the value of that which the Lord planned for us. We remain an adamic creature.
If, however, we wait patiently for the Lord to bring us to joy, our bondages are broken. We are set free to govern our circumstances in Christ. We no longer are bound by the several fears and lusts that had us chained.
So far we have seen two great areas of being and doing that must be brought into subjection if we are to be able to enjoy the Paradise of God, the new environment planned for us. These two areas are perfect union with Christ and the authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances.
What else must be brought under subjection?
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:11—NIV)
Freedom from being tormented by God's judgment by means of deliverance from the kinds of personality over which the Lake of Fire retains authority.
Christians have sometimes been taught they are free from the authority of the Lake of Fire forever, on the basis of grace. This is not the case. We have a temporary reprieve while Christ is giving us an opportunity to change. But God has given the Lake of Fire authority over certain types of behavior. Either we are delivered and changed, or else the Lake of Fire will claim us.
We have attained a very important objective when we have no more fear of being harmed by the Divine judgment.
The following personalities ultimately will be incarcerated in the Lake of Fire.The cowardly. The unbelieving. The vile. The murderers. The sexually immoral. Those who practice magic arts. The idolaters. All liars.
"Their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8—NIV)
There are numerous Christians who are cowards, who are unbelieving, who do vile things such as slandering their fellow believers, who are filled with hate and rage, who are sexually immoral. Some practice magic arts. Some worship money. Many are liars.
In the last days the angels of God will assist the saints as they seek to be delivered from these kinds of attitudes and behaviors. God is ready to help every believer who asks to be delivered.
But none of these behavior will be permitted in the Kingdom of God. The Lake of Fire retains authority over them. The Christians who refuse to be delivered will finally be cast into the Lake of Fire because they are in rebellion against God. Any Christian of this kind, if he or she were admitted to the company of the saints in Paradise, would bring discord and pain just as he does today. God will not permit this in His Kingdom of love and peace.
One major aspect of our land of promise is perfect union with Christ.
Another major aspect of our land of promise is the ability, in Christ, to govern our circumstances.
A third major aspect of our land of promise is freedom from the danger of suffering torment from Divine judgment.
Let's see what the next area is that needs to be invaded and conquered.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. . . . (Revelation 2:17—NIV)
God fed His people with manna day by day so they would learn that man is not to live by bread alone but by every Word of God.
Isn't it true that some of the experiences we have challenge us to trust God for the provisions we need? God has a way of bringing us to the place that we cannot help ourselves, we have to depend on Him. We do not always enjoy the feeling of helpless dependence.
We need to grow in this area of our land of promise. We need to come to the place that we rejoice in the daily provision, knowing that God will never fail us. He is absolutely faithful.
Sometimes we are brought to the brink of disaster. But somehow that which we feared did not take place. Or if it did, and we continued to look to the Lord in loving trust, it is not long before we hear that quiet voice assuring us that all will be well. And so it proves.
We have our own ideas of how our life should proceed. Sometimes we are correct. At other times God has a much better idea. We may seek to fortify ourselves by amassing more money than we need or attempting to move away from that which is threatening. It is hard for us to believe God will take care of us if we keep looking to Him.
The American people are very concerned about the malfunctioning of computers when the next millennium arrives. Some are stockpiling food or taking other steps to insure their safety and well being.
But the Lord said if we save our life we will lose it. We are so afraid of death, aren't we? Yet we want to go to Heaven, or at least we think we do.
I do not recommend carelessness when it comes to providing a reasonable amount of security for ourselves and our family. A fool does not come to a good end.
But we need to listen for God's voice. Is He telling us to stockpile food or are we listening to our fears? Is God telling us to move? Perhaps God would tell us to stay where we are so we can help people. If He tells us this, He will provide.
Sometimes the very move we make to escape brings us directly into the line of fire.
Wisdom, direction, strength, resources are provided day by day for the saint who is trusting God. Isn't it so? Have you found it to be so?
We will have taken a giant step into our land of promise when we can relax and trust God to help us step by step, hour by hour, as we look for His assistance.
Each time we do God's will we are fed with hidden manna. Our food is to do the will of God and to finish the work He has assigned us.
The manna was not hidden from the Israelites. They did not have to search for it, they just went out and collected it.
This is not the case today. The manna is hidden. It is not available to the casual Christian. It is given only to those who are fighting the Lord's battles, who are doing His will. They are the ones who are being nourished by every word that comes from God's mouth.
They are the ones who remain true to Christ even though everyone is against them. They flee from the love of money and from immorality.
Whatever the teaching of the Nicolaitans was, it produced casual Christians, just as is true of the love of money and immorality. It may have been antinomianism, the philosophy that offers salvation by belief alone apart from any change of behavior. Gnosticism (the overemphasis on the role of knowledge) and antinomianism (the overemphasis on the role of grace) prevail today in Christian teaching and preaching. They produce spiritually listless and disabled believers.
Those who do not repent of their unfaithfulness, their love of money, their immorality, and their casual, lukewarm pursuit of Christ, their overemphasis on belief and grace to the exclusion of the role of the keeping of the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, will never be given the manna they need for spiritual strength and wisdom. It is hidden from them. Spiritually they are weak and sickly but they do not realize it.
. . . I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Revelation 2:17—NIV)
It appears that until the present hour the Christian salvation has been presented as the Divine program for forgiving the sins of the world. It is this but vastly more than this. It is the Divine program for bringing forth a new creation.
The original problem was rebellion—first of the angels, then of mankind. Forgiving people does not solve the problem of rebellion, it only relieves the problem until the solution is found.
If a person abides in Christ an entirely new creation comes forth. Nothing of the old Adam remains. Everything of the new is of God through Jesus Christ.
When a believer is not faithful to Christ, is occupied with the pursuit of money, or with immorality, or with anything else that detracts from the fervent pursuit of Christ, a new creation is not produced. Adam remains intact.
The great error of today, as we have said, is an emphasis on grace to the exclusion of righteous behavior. The concept is that we are not obligated to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles because that would be to be "saved by works." When Paul contrasted faith and works he was contrasting faith in Jesus Christ with obedience to the Law of Moses, not faith in Jesus with obedience to the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
As long as we refuse to obey the commandments found in the New Testament, the numerous exhortations to put away the sins of the flesh and to live righteously, the new creation will not come forth. How could it?
The "white stone" apparently is a voting pebble signifying we have been found worthy of the Kingdom of God. We have been called. Our single-minded devotion to Christ has brought us into the ranks of the chosen. Then we have been proven faithful. A new creation has come into being and so a new name is assigned.
Only the person receiving the new name knows what it is. Our present name was assigned to us arbitrarily by our parents before our personality was known. Our present name satisfies the needs of our adamic nature. But the new creation that is coming forth in the overcomers is seen at this time only by them. Only they know what Christ is working in them and revealing to them.
It may be true that when the sons of God are revealed their new name, and also the new name of Jesus Christ, will be made known.
As we said, none of this will be given to believers who are continuing in their fleshly appetites and passions, not pressing into Christ in a fervent, single-minded fashion. It is hidden from them.Perfect union with Christ. The authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. Freedom from the fear of being tormented by the Divine judgment. Daily provision for the saint who is fighting the good fight of faith. And now a new creation with a new name.
Let's press forward.
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27—NIV)
The earth and its nations are a major aspect of the inheritance of the victorious saint. Satan regards the earth and its nations as his personal possession. He will use every device in his arsenal to prevent the sons of God from inheriting the nations.
This is why from earliest times the Gospel has been changed from the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth to the going of the Church to Heaven. Eternal residence in Heaven is commonly viewed as the goal of salvation.
Satan desires that the Church go to Heaven. Satan wants the earth. Satan came from Heaven. He realizes that the earth is a better, more desirable environment than the spirit Heaven.
Satan and the rebellious angels appreciate the value of the human body more than we do and seek to find expression through us.
The greatest possible inheritance, other than being forever with the Lord and becoming an integral part of the Father and the Son, is the nations of the earth and the earth itself. These are the inheritance of Christ and His coheirs.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (Psalms 2:8—NIV)
However, one would not want to inherit the nations unless they were obedient to Christ and His saints.
The present writer was a school teacher for many years. There is no more satisfying experience than to be the teacher of loving, obedient children. But to try to teach a class that is rebellious and disorderly is not at all pleasant.
In order to bring out the value that is in them the nations must be governed very strictly.
So deeply is rebellion ingrained in the human personality that after one thousand years of the rule of Christ and His saints Satan still will be able to lead the nations in rebellion against God's rulers.
When describing the forces that would arise to resist our inheriting the nations, Christ mentions Jezebel. Associated with Jezebel are sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols.
America today is bound horribly with sexual immorality. The demons of lust are finding expression through the youngest to the oldest people. If Sodom did not escape destruction, neither will America.
We Americans "eat" many foods offered to idols, including sexual lust, the amassing of money, excessive entertainment, gluttony, violence. These idols are presented each day on the television and Internet.
The purpose of these temptations is to insure that we never will inherit the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth. God will never give His nations and His earth into the hands of those who choose to destroy it with their abandonment to the lusts of the flesh, soul, and spirit.
It is ironic that excessive indulgence in the things of the flesh prevent our inheriting the physical realm.
Christ purchased the nations by His death on the cross. Every human being belongs to Him. The earth is the Lord's with all its resources. He and we will never deed the earth over to Satan. It all belongs to Christ and us. With God's help we shall press forward until all the riches of the earth are ours and Satan is nowhere to be seen.
We have to fight to gain that which God promised us from the foundation of the world.
We have to fight to enter the Sabbath rest of God, the place in God where His greatest desires for us are our greatest desires, where we delight to do His will.
We have to fight to take back the earth from the thief who stole it from us.
We shall overcome Him by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony that God is true, and by loving not our life to the death.
I will also give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:28—NIV)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the bright morning Star. Satan also is a day star but the new day he is announcing is filled with moral horrors and endless torment.
If we will patiently obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, and also glean the valuable instructions of the Old Testament, the Day Star, Christ, will rise in our heart. His rising in us announces the new day of the Kingdom of God. Christ's new day will be filled with all that is righteous; all that is holy; all that is desirable, wonderful, joyous.
We in our adamic state are not able to inherit the earth and its nations. We never could govern and bless them as God wants them governed and blessed. We must have the Day Star, Christ formed in us and dwelling in us, if we are to inherit the nations of the earth.
Jezebel represents the worldly spirit, the partying spirit, eating, drinking, and making merry. Those who are willing to turn aside from the worldliness of Jezebel will inherit all that is desirable in the world and then will make new in Christ every aspect of their inheritance.Perfect union with Christ. The authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. Freedom from the fear of being tormented by the Divine judgment. Daily provision for the saint who is fighting the good fight of faith. A new creation with a new name. And now the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as our inheritance.
Let's press forward.
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. . . . (Revelation 3:4,5—NIV)
To walk with the Lord Jesus Christ in white means the person is a member of the royal priesthood. Each member of God's elect has been called to be part of God's Israel, of the royal priesthood. One of the desirable features of being part of the royal priesthood is that we will be raised from among the dead at the coming of the Lord.
The resurrection from the dead is divided into two parts. The first part will take place when the Lord returns. This aspect of the resurrection is for the royal priesthood only. Each of these people has been judged previously. The second death has no authority over him.
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6—NIV)
The second part is for the remainder of mankind. Each person will stand before Christ and His saints and the books of record will be opened. Each individual will be judged according to the things written in the books, according to his works. If a person's name is not found written in the Book of Life he shall be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
We assume, therefore, that the remainder of those who stand before the great white throne will be saved from destruction and brought into the new world of righteousness. These are the inheritance of the royal priesthood.
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:46—NIV)
Here is a most remarkable and alarming idea. It is that of the many Christians of Sardis, only a few had not soiled their clothes. What does this mean? This means the majority were not careful to confess and renounce the sins the Holy Spirit showed them. They were careless, justifying their behavior, or too spiritually lazy to do anything about it. Thus the robe prepared for them in Heaven remains filthy.
The royal priesthood, the army that will follow the Lord Jesus in the Battle of Armageddon, will be clothed in fine linen. The fine linen has been woven by the righteous deeds of the saints.
It is quite obvious that numerous Christian people will not walk with Jesus Christ in the white garments of the royal priesthood. They are not careful to gain the victory over sin. They have been called to the priesthood but then have responded negatively so as to prevent their passing to the ranks of the chosen and then on to the company of those who have been proven faithful.
The Christian church of Sardis was like so many today. It was considered to be alive because it was growing rapidly in numbers and filled with excitement.
But it was spiritually dead because its activities proceeded from human talent and energy.
Such an assembly would not press the believers to keep their garments clean. The leaders know that if (at least in America) you want to collect many people under your roof, you do not stress putting to death the sins of the flesh through the Holy Spirit. If you speak pleasant things to the members of the congregation and curry favor with them you gather the people but you do not qualify them to be members of the royal priesthood of God. You betray their trust in you.
. . . I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (Revelation 3:5—NIV)
How wonderful to never again have to worry about having our name blotted from the Book of Life! But such assurance is guaranteed in writing only to the victorious saint.
The Christian preaching of today is that once we "accept Christ" it is not possible to have our name blotted from the Book of Life.
But the Lord Jesus is addressing the Lampstand of God, the Christian church in Sardis. How do we know this? Notice the expression: "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes." I do not believe non-Christian people have "clothes," in the sense the word is used here. So the Lord is implying that Christians who do not gain the victory over sin are in clear danger of having their name blotted from the Book of Life.
The Lord was not pleased with the church in Sardis. He referred to it as "dead." He warned it to repent.
I think we had better get back to the Bible. We are not preaching the Word of God to the American Christians but in many instances are telling them soft, pleasant things so they will be pleased with us. We are currying favor with them instead of bringing to them the warnings of the Epistles of the New Testament such as Hebrews and First John. We are not telling them that the Book of Revelation holds over their head the danger of being blotted from the Book of Life if they do not wash their robes continually in the blood of the Lamb.
We Christians in America are too soft. We are spoiled babies. We can gain perspective by reflecting on the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Sudan, and what took place when Jesus Christ was crucified, in order to gain some idea of the severity of life and salvation. We have been seduced by Satan to the extent we are losing our place in the royal priesthood.
The saints in Heaven are witnessing what we are doing today. What must they think when they see the antics that take place in the name of Christianity? If we do not want to be ashamed when we see them we must start gaining the victory over worldliness, bodily passions, and self-will. Otherwise we have no assurance we will not be blotted from the Book of Life.
Those who would be acknowledged before the Court of Heaven, before the Father and His angels, must come out of the dead churches and strengthen their spiritual life by remembering their original commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. They must repent and do again their first works of prayer, Bible reading, and gathering on a regular basis with fiery believers.So far we have attained perfect union with Christ. The authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. Deliverance from those behaviors that keep us in dread of being tormented by the Divine judgment. Daily provisions as we fight the good fight of faith. We have become a new creation and have been given a new name. We have received the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as our inheritance. We have become a member of the royal priesthood. We have the eternal assurance of life, and recognition in the Court of Heaven.
What other area of our Canaan awaits our invasion?
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. . . . (Revelation 3:12—NIV)
This verse caught my eye when I was a young Bible student. I still regard it as a major aspect of the land of promise toward which I am pressing.
What a marvelous destiny to become an essential part of the eternal dwelling place of God. I say essential, because each pillar in God's temple is part of the strength and symmetry of the whole. You could not remove one pillar without doing enormous damage to the temple.
The creating of the eternal house of God, made of living stones, is one of the major topics of the Bible. Jesus Christ is the chief Corner Stone of God's house.
There are many rooms in the Father's house. To be a pillar in this great edifice is a hope of all hopes.
Having attained this high place in God, the saint will never again leave it. How could this be? It is because the house of God is a living tabernacle. It is present wherever we are. Wherever the victorious saint is, this is where the pillar of the temple of God is.
. . . I will write on him the name of my God . . . (Revelation 3:12—NIV)
If we are a pillar in the eternal Temple of God we will have the name of the Father written on us. This tells whoever sees us that we belong to God.
Notice below the attitude of the saved peoples of the earth—those who are our inheritance—toward the saints.
And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. (Isaiah 61:6—NIV)
It always is the role of Israel to be the priests of God among the other nations of the earth. It is through the Seed of Abraham that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed The Lord Jesus Christ and those who are part of Him are the one Seed of Abraham of whom the Bible speaks.
. . . and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; . . . (Revelation 3:12—NIV)
The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the eternal tabernacle of God. It is a living tabernacle, a living temple.
In the present hour God has a temple in Heaven. Heaven is God's throne.
Because of the rebellion of the angels God is moving His throne to the earth. For eternity the Church of Christ will be the new Jerusalem, the Throne of God.
When God created man and the physical realm He brought forth a realm infinitely better than the unclothed spirit realm. But as the human body is dead without the spirit, so is the world of nature, including our own bodies, dead apart from the Life of the Spirit of God, the life of Heaven.
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God's commandment the spiritual life left the physical realm, leaving it dead. But the death of the physical realm is not permanent. The physical realm was made subject to frustration and corruption in the hope that in the future God can restore the life of the spirit realm to the material creation. This God will do at the hands of His sons.
Earthly Jerusalem is in bondage with her children. When the Lord Jesus descends with His saints He will bring Jerusalem to life spiritually, taking away the sins of the people.
Later, when the present world passes away, the true, eternal Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that is in Heaven today, will descend through the new sky and come to rest on a high mountain of the new earth.
While there no doubt will be a real, stationary Jerusalem on the new earth, yet it appears the new Jerusalem will have a counterpart such that it will be wherever the saints are.
The Lord Jesus Christ has this power of multiple presence now. He never leaves the right hand of God in Heaven. Yet He is among us when we gather in His name. Soon His conquerors also will have the power to be in many places at once.
. . . and I will also write on him my new name. (Revelation 3:12—NIV)
Jesus Christ never changes. Yet, in accordance with the fact that He is the Firstborn from the dead, the First of the new creation, He has a new name. The new name of Jesus Christ tells what He has become since He walked the earth in a human body, sharing in our pain, and then was crucified.
I think Christ has grown more "human" since the time He shook Mount Sinai and threatened the people and animals with death if they drew near. Yet He remains the Word of God made flesh.
We also have been given a new name in keeping with the fact that in Jesus Christ we are being made a new creation. But now we see that the new name of Christ is to be written on us. This is an indication we are married to Him. We are the Bride of the Lamb, the eternal counterpart of Jesus Christ.
The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. (Isaiah 62:2—NIV)
One of the greatest enemies we have is that of our self-will—our frantic desire to remain what we are. Worldliness we can put away. The lusts of the flesh we can drive out by the Spirit of God.
But when it comes to self-will, self-centeredness, self-love, self-seeking, self-importance, self, self, self, we draw the line. "I want to be me," as someone moaned.
The only solution to our destructive desire to remain what we are is our personal cross. When we carry our cross faithfully for a period of time it destroys from us that which constitutes our adamic nature. There is much good in the adamic nature of most people, but all of it must be removed before we can enter the fullness of union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The two shall be one, the Bible declares. But the two remain two until one of the two decides to relinquish his or her right to remain as a separate entity.
If we would enter our land of promise we must surrender our right to be ourselves. We must enter the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord. He must become our life.
In my opinion, the greatest challenge facing the Christian churches of our day is that of surrendering their right to go forth and try to save the world with the gifts they have, relinquishing their right to plan and scheme how they are going to deliver mankind.
The Lord is not asking us to save the world. He is asking us to abide in Him. To let go and trust the Lord to build His own Kingdom can be a terrifying choice to the intense religious individual. But until we turn to the Lord in humility and set aside all our plans, religious as well as secular, we cannot enter the rest of God, the land of promise. We absolutely must cease from our own works if we are to enter God's rest.
This is difficult because today the emphasis is on important ministers building ever bigger buildings, creating ever bigger institutions. The minister who instead looks to the Lord for every breath may be regarded as a "loser"—a person lacking in faith, drive, ambition, talent.
In order to be married to the Lamb we have to accept His headship. In order to dance with Jesus Christ we have to let Him lead. He simply will not turn over His role as God's Administrator to men who are attempting to direct the Holy Spirit in revival.
What are some of the roadblocks Satan throws up as we seek to become a pillar in the Temple of God, an eternal part of the Father and the Son?
One roadblock is the synagogue of Satan. The synagogue of Satan consists of self-centered believers. They are used by Satan to accuse the true worshipers of Christ. They never have accepted the idea that they must surrender their will to Christ. Therefore Satan, the accuser of the brothers, is able to use them to cause division, to gossip, to slander God's servants.
If we respond in any way to their slander we have a difficult time finding our place in the Temple of God. Our adamic nature is provoked by the things that are said about us. We must leave all such accusations in the Lord's hands if we would become a new creation. We just have to pray enough to make certain we are pleasing Him, doing His will in all matters.
We have to endure patiently the years during which God's promises to us are suspended. We must keep the word of Christ's patience.
Americans place a high value on getting out and doing things. The concept of waiting, waiting, waiting for the mind of the Lord is not part of our culture. We want action and success and we want it now.
If we expect Christ to guard us during the hour of testing that is to come upon the whole world we must guard His Word and wait patiently for Him.
Another roadblock consists of people who would take our crown. Sometimes relatives or friends do things that tempt us to come down from our high place in God. We may be pressured to move ahead of God. Someone we love or respect may advise us that we are going in the wrong direction. This may be true and so we must be very prayerful and not arrogant.
One of the greatest dangers occurs when someone injures us spitefully or wrongfully and we develop a root of bitterness, not being able to forgive and lay aside the injustice.
We may be tempted to engage in immoral behavior
Our position in a denomination or church, or in some other institution may be at stake if we continue looking to the Lord and doing His will.
Some prominent ministers of our day have been brought low because of immorality or a desire to become rich.
Many, many pressures and enticements surround us as we seek to set our heart on things above. But as we keep our eyes steadfastly on the goal of becoming a part of God's house, the temptations, pressures, and dangers of the present world lose their ability to draw us away.We have set perfect union with Christ as our goal. Also, the authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. We seek deliverance from all behaviors that keep us in dread of being tormented by the Divine judgment. We keep on fighting the good fight of faith and thus are kept supplied with the hidden manna. We are becoming a new creation and will be given a new name as we move from the ranks of the called to those of the chosen. We are set on receiving the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as our inheritance. We desire to be a member of the royal priesthood and thus participate in the first resurrection. We want the eternal assurance of life and to be recognized in the Court of Heaven. We envision being a pillar in the Temple of God. We want to belong to God. We are hoping to be a part of the new Jerusalem. We esteem marriage to the Lamb as more desirable than preserving our own individuality.
What additional areas of Canaan remain to be conquered?
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20—NIV)
To share with Christ continually is a major part of our land of promise. One of the problems we Christians have might be termed momentum. So many fears and forces keep us going so fast we cannot hear the quiet voice of the Lord. Sometimes we hear His voice but our momentum carries us past what is being advised.
I do not know how long it will take you to slow down enough to be aware of the Lord's Presence and voice in all the details of life. I am in my seventies and have been a Christian since I was nineteen. Yet even now I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and listen carefully to all the Lord is saying.
It is a case of opening the door of our personality. In these days when the Lord comes in it may be as the Lord strong and mighty in battle, ready to drive all the enemies from the land that is our personality.
We can hear His voice if we will listen. When we let Him in we dine with Him and He with us. We dine on His body and blood. He dines on the love, worship, and obedience of our personality.
He speaks so gently that we have to listen carefully. Sometimes He wants to get our attention and knocks violently until we understand something is taking place. Has that ever happened to you?
There is this about life. Most things are actually easy but we make them difficult and complicated. Often it is sin that makes easy, simple things difficult and complicated.
Listening to the Lord and obeying Him is really easy and simple. But Satan, the world, our flesh, our love of ourselves, our relatives and friends, and many other factors and forces may complicate and make difficult what should be a gracious walk of friend with friend.
It is difficult to hear the Lord and open to Him when we are a young Christian. As we get older, if we keep on pressing into Christ, the situation begins to clear up. Little by little we learn to hear His voice and to open to Him. This is a valuable area of our land of promise.
He is right there! He is standing at the door and knocking! We do not have to run about trying to save the world. What Christ wants us to do is to let Him in so He can eat with us and we with Him. Sounds like the Song of Solomon, doesn't it?
But what about this? What about that? It can't really be that simple, can it?
Why not try it and see?
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21—NIV)
This may be the most powerful promise in the Bible. Strange, isn't it, that it is made to the worst of the churches!
The throne of Christ and the throne of His Father may be referring to great royal thrones in the heavens. But I like to think of them as being the hearts of people.
How I read this promise is that God the Father sits on the throne of the heart of Christ. When Christ overcame the world He was permitted to sit with the Father on the throne of His own personality.
So it is with us. God and Christ are enthroned in our heart. When we overcome that which comes against us we will be allowed to sit with God and Christ on the throne of our own heart.
You may not see it this way. But I think if we are faithful in permitting God and Christ to occupy the throne room of our personality, the day will come, as soon as we have been proven faithful, when we will be permitted to sit with them on the throne of our own personality.
For the true Christian there may be many years of denial, of thirst for the pleasant and joyful things of the creation as he places the Father and Christ on the throne of his personality. But the day will come when his desires are fulfilled.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick," the Bible says, "but when the desire comes it is a tree of life."
Also the Lord told us no person sets aside house or relatives or his farm or whatever else for the Gospel's sake but that he receives it all back multiplied many times over in the present age, and in the age to come eternal life.
So first we must place God and Christ unqualifiedly on the throne of our heart. Then, in due time, we shall be entrusted with authority over all the works of God's hands. The world is ours, you know.
Sometimes we wonder why God, who knows all things, created angels and people with the ability to choose their way. God knew they could sin if they so choose and bring unutterable tragedy on themselves.
One individual reflecting on this exclaimed that God brought sin into the world by making it possible for angels and people to sin.
I responded that God does not sin and never causes anyone to sin. But the only way in which He could bring into being personalities that would voluntarily choose to love and serve Him was by making it possible for them to disobey Him.
Thus God opened the gates of splendor to those who would choose to obey Him, but the gates of eternal torment to those who would choose to disobey Him.
If God created personalities who could not disobey Him they would be nothing more than puppets.
There really are gates of splendor and there really are gates of eternal torment. I choose to think of God making it possible for personalities to experience eternal joy rather than to think of God making it possible for personalities to suffer eternal torment.
Did God know, before He created Satan, that Satan would sin? I suppose He did, since God is not bound by time and can look at any point of the great tapestry He has created.
Did God know before He created Adam and Eve that they would sin? Yes He did, because the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.
Did God know before you and I were born what we will do? I think so.
But Satan, Adam and Eve, and you and I are the ones who actually choose what we will do. God does not make us choose righteousness and God does not make us choose sin. The choice is ours even though God may know what we will choose.
The most marvelous things and experiences imaginable lie before us. But when we choose to place God and Christ on the throne of our heart we must permit the deferral of all of our desires for a season. When our obedience is proved beyond doubt, just as Abraham's obedience was proved beyond doubt, and Christ's obedience was proved beyond doubt, we will be permitted to sit with Christ and the Father on the throne of our own personality.
When this takes place we have become, as the second chapter of Hebrews tells us, ruler of all the works of God's hands. But the one who profits most is God who has gained a son.
What obstacles are placed before us? What enemies seek to prevent our living in daily communion with Christ? What foes conspire to keep us from overcoming, from sitting with the Father and Christ on the throne of our heart?
In speaking to the church of Laodicea Christ mentions lukewarmness. The casual Christ will not live in daily communion with Christ nor will he ever sit on the throne of his personality with the Father and the Son. He is too interested in other things to pay close attention to the desires of the Lord. He will be governed by others who have been more consecrated to God's will.
The casual Christian is wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
Satan has enabled him to acquire plenty of money. His money has taken the place of faith purified by tribulation. His money has taken the place of the heavenly robe of righteous deeds. His money has blinded him to the point he cannot see the Lord or hear His voice.
So it is that the love of the world, of the things of Antichrist, seek to prevent the believer from attaining the invaluable daily communion with Christ and authority and power over the works of God's hands.We have set perfect union with Christ as our goal. Also, the authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. We seek deliverance from all behaviors that keep us in dread of being tormented by the Divine judgment. We keep on fighting the good fight of faith and thus are kept supplied with the hidden manna. We are becoming a new creation and will be given a new name as we move from the ranks of the called to those of the chosen. We are set on receiving the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as our inheritance. We desire to be a member of the royal priesthood and thus participate in the first resurrection. We want the eternal assurance of life and to be recognized in the Court of Heaven. We envision being a pillar in the Temple of God. We want to belong to God. We are hoping to be a part of the new Jerusalem. We esteem marriage to the Lamb as more desirable than preserving our own individuality. We want to be in daily communion with the Lord. We desire to sit with Christ in His throne governing all the works of God's hands.
What additional areas of Canaan remain to be conquered?
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7—NIV)
God is not making all new things. God is making all things new.
The greatest surprise we will have when we enter the next age is that there are few surprises. Everything remains the same, pretty much. The difference is that God has taken all we have known that has true value and has made it new in Christ.
All that does not have true value, that actually is wood, hay, and straw, has been burned in the Divine fire.
Dying will not solve our problems in any manner, except perhaps to relieve us from pain such as cancer. We will bring with us what we are and what we have done. If what we are and what we have done have been wrought in Jesus Christ, then we will have a reward. If we are found worthy to be brought into the Kingdom, and what we are and what we have done have not been wrought in Jesus Christ, then our works will be burned away but our naked spirit will be saved, just as Paul desired for the incestuous believer in Corinth.
There is a new world coming. The present physical universe will pass away with a great noise. But all that has been made new in Jesus Christ will be carried over into the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
Those who through Jesus Christ have fought and overcome the enemy will inherit all that God has made new.
Best of all, God will be his God and he will be God's son.
Everything depends on overcoming, on conquering the enemy. The role of faith in Jesus Christ is to give us the grasp on God's faithfulness we must have if we are to press forward to total victory.
The great delusion of our day is that belief in and of itself is the act of overcoming and therefore the factor that brings the rewards assigned to the overcomer. This is not true. This is Gnosticism, an ancient rival of true Christianity. Gnosticism is what is preached today in the name of Christianity.
We must use our faith to actually drive the enemy from our Canaan.
When we think of going to Heaven we picture arriving in a perfect environment of love, joy, and peace. Sometimes we forget that love, joy, and peace are not found in a place but are the fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God. We often do not consider the areas of being and doing that must be conquered if we are to enjoy Paradise and to bring Paradise wherever we are.But unless we obtain perfect union with Christ. Unless we possess the authority and power to rule in Christ over our circumstances. Unless we have been delivered from all behaviors that keep us in dread of being tormented by the Divine judgment. Unless we are being kept supplied with the hidden manna. Unless we have become a new creation and have a new name. Unless we have received the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as our inheritance. Unless we have become a member of the royal priesthood and are qualified to participate in the first resurrection. Unless we have the eternal assurance of life and are recognized in the Court of Heaven. Unless we have become a pillar in the Temple of God. Unless we belong to God. Unless we have become a part of the new Jerusalem. Unless we esteem being married to the Lamb as more desirable than preserving our own individuality. Unless we are in daily communion with the Lord. Unless we are sitting with Christ in His throne governing all the works of God's hands. Unless we have inherited all that God has made new. Unless God has become our God and we have become God's son.
Unless these things are true, we may be permitted into Paradise, but it will be a garden of delight that has come into existence through Christ in the faithful sons of God, that goes wherever the sons of God go, and is maintained by them.
With all the above in mind, perhaps now we have a different view of what our Canaan is. Perhaps we would not settle just for residence in Paradise but are giving thought to all that God has promised to those who care enough to follow the Spirit of God into the land of promise.
God has much at stake in our gaining the victory. To God it means the acquiring of sons, and brothers for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ has much at stake in our gaining the victory. To Christ is means acquiring a bride, and a body through which He can express Himself and serve the Father.
We have much at stake in gaining the victory. To us it means being filled with Christ and following Him wherever He goes—for eternity.
Everything is inherited by him who overcomes, who conquers the enemy. We have to have faith to overcome, but overcoming is more than having faith. It is actual dominion over the enemy.
We overcome the accuser by our trust in the authority of the blood of the Lamb.
We overcome the accuser as what we think, say and do come into line with the Word of God.
We overcome the accuser as we deny ourselves and love not our own life to the point of death.
What could be more glorious than being forever with the Lord? Only this: having the Lord created in us and dwelling in us with the Father. To be an integral part of the Father and the Son is the greatest inheritance of all.
The battle is the Lord's No human being of himself could gain the smallest part of what we have outlined above. But through Christ every human being can gain that we have presented. God has the power to bring us into every inch of the land promised to us. It is His pleasure to give us the Kingdom.
As we said, the world is ours. The only reason God puts us through seasons of tribulation and deferrals is in order to remove from us that which ultimately would be harmful to us.
We have come to the end of the Church Age. The Kingdom of God is at hand and soon will be installed on the earth with great violence. The two thousand years of the Church Era have been occupied primarily with doctrines and belief systems. After the original Apostles died men began to regard the revelatory writings of the Apostles as a religion or philosophy that could be understood by the application of reason.
Things are changing now. From this point forward the saints will be challenged to know the Lord as never before. He is coming. The King is coming. And Christianity will then be seen not as another religion but the return of God to the earth to establish His way, to rule among His sons.
The only power that can prevent us from establishing our peaceful, joyous residence in the Canaan that is before us is our own unbelief and disobedience.
So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (I Corinthians 3:21-23—NIV)
I hope to find such rest in Canaan and I hope to see you there.