I WILL BE HIS GOD
I WILL BE HIS GODCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
I do not like to talk about novelties, or to get spooky, mystical, or impractical. I absolutely refuse to get into matters that do not lead to righteous living. But there is a verse that disturbs me. I have been a disciple of the Lord for many years, and I know that God's written Word always is fulfilled perfectly and completely. I wonder how the verse in question affects you?
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
I believe that every word of God is heavier than the combined weight of the sand on the seashores of the world. But the implications of the verse above indeed are far reaching.
The expression "all this" refers, I assume, to everything God is making new in Christ. God is not making new things. He is pleased with what He made in the beginning. Rather, He is making all that He has created to be new in Christ.
Speaking of Christ:
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16,17)
Christ has created all things. Now He is ready to possess all things. Christ will fill all things. The Firstfruits of the Church is the beginning of the process of Christ filling all things..
"He who overcomes." What does it mean to overcome? It means that as the Spirit leads and enables us we are to bring Christ into everything in our Life is which He is not predominant. To not overcome is to persist in clinging to our adamic personality. All Christians are invited to become victorious saints; but I tell you, to be an overcoming saint requires more than a casual church membership!
All I have said so far is understandable. Now we come to the part that troubles me.
"I will be his God and he will be my son." If we overcome all that would resist the filling of us with Christ, we will inherit all that God is making new in Christ, and the Father will be our God and we will be the Father's son.
Are we to say, those who not embrace Christ fully will not inherit all that God is making new in Christ, the Father will not be our Father, and we will not be the Father's son?
This is what is implied here, and that, of course, troubles me. I do not like rips in the seamless robe of Christ. I do not like elitism. I know there are those who espouse theories about the sons of God marrying the rest of the Church, in that the sons of God must be male and the Church is female, being the Bride of the Lamb.
I do not accept this sort of thing. Not only do I not see it in the Scripture, but I don't believe it leads to righteous behavior, only conceit.
But then there is that Revelation 21:7. It just won't go away. It has to mean exactly what it says. It says that it is those who overcome who shall inherit all that God is making new in Christ, and of whom God is their Father, and who are God's sons.
I suppose this can be gotten around somehow; but this is what it says, and I am founding my life on the Bible when I understand it and when I don't understand it.
I liken it to a jigsaw puzzle. When you find the right piece, you do not have to force it in place. It just fits perfectly. Did you every notice that?
Have you ever thought much about the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation? I don't think I ever have heard them preached, but they are in the book that is bound with a curse and blesses those who read it.
The increments of Divine Virtue and the roles of authority that these chapters set forth are designated for the "overcomer." You may notice that they are the blessings and roles we assign ordinarily to everyone who "accepts Christ." But the Word of God, that cannot be altered in any manner, stipulates that they are for those who overcome.
I feel confident that most Christians will say that the two chapters do not, or could not, mean what they state. How could they? We are saved by grace, aren't we? How could some believers be more holy than others or have a higher place in the Kingdom, ore be closer to God?
That does not fit our American concept of democracy---that all men are created equal.
As I stated previously, I do not like engaging in novelties or special interpretations of the Scriptures. However, there is something here that needs to be made plain, I believe.
I teach that there is the Church, the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood. These all are God's elect. They will appear on the new earth as the new Jerusalem.
All of the creation moves by the power of God. All people will be raised from the dead by the power of God. All of the angelic creatures live by the power of God.
Then there is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, who is a member of the Godhead, is given to the priesthood. Thus they are holier than those sheep who are saved from the nations of the earth. Because of the Holy Spirit, the members of the priesthood are able to bring the Presence, blessing, and judgment of God to the nations of the saved people, who are not of God's elect.
This is what I teach. It does not seem to be common knowledge among Christian people; but it is a scriptural fact that there are the elect, and then there are the nations of people who are the inheritance of the elect.
The idea has crossed my mind that God, all through the history of man, has been stockpiling people in the spirit world. When He is satisfied with the people He has laid up (although I believe more will be born as the Kingdom expands), He will put each person in His Kingdom where he or she fits; although some have been wicked and will have to be incarcerated.
Now, when it comes to splitting up the elect into those who are God's sons and will inherit all things, and those who do not gain victory, I am not that confident. Of course, we understand that Christ comes forth in the human personality: to a thirtyfold extent; to a sixtyfold extent; or to a hundredfold extent.
I think the following is clear to me: God allows us to be born with a sinful nature. We have a propensity toward the love of the world; toward the lust and passions of our flesh and spirit; and toward self-willa resistance to learning to live by the Life of Christ instead of by our adamic nature.
Now, why does God leave this enemies in us. Why doesn't He just remove them from us.
Can God remove these lusts and attitudes from us? Yes, according to the Scripture, He can.
Think carefully about the following:
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:26,27)
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19)
I do not believe God is speaking here about forgiveness, that He is going to forgive the sins of Israel. I believe "take away their sins" means just that. Also, "turn ungodliness away from Jacob."
It may be true that most of our sinful nature consist of unclean spirits that are dwelling in us. There certainly is no sin resident in the systems of our body. And as far as the attitudes of worldliness self-will, that problem will be taken care of if God gives us a new heart and a new spirit.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Jeremiah 31:33,34)
Consider the sovereign action of the Lord. "I will." "I will."
It sure sounds like God is going to take a hand here. I do not say that people will not be involved, or that what has been promised will not be put in the hearts of people to perform. However, the fact remains that God is going to create a people for Himself who live righteously and know the Lord.
And once more, speaking of the sovereignty of God in putting an end to sin:
As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:40-43)
If God is able to remove our sinful nature with a stroke, why doesn't He do it?
The answer may be found in the following:
"I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did." The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua. (Judges 2:21-23)
Can you see that God had the power to drive all the enemies from Canaan? He chose to let the Israelites fight their way into the land. By so doing God tested the faithfulness of their hearts.
This is why God does not just reach down and deliver us from worldliness, the lusts and passions of the flesh and spirit, and self-will. God is developing a royal priesthood who will be able to install the Kingdom of God, the doing of God's will on the earth, and then maintain it for eternity.
Now we see why the rewards of life and rulership go to the overcomers. They are the ones who battle against Satan until the iron rod of righteousness is created in them.
The pattern seems to be that when God has finished working with those who have to fight against the sins in their own personality, and who have gained victory, God is going to sovereignly remove sin from all other people, if they will obey Him. As I said previously, there will be a lot of human interaction here, but this appears to be the broad plan.
But what about those members of God's elect who do not gain full victory over the enemies in their personality?
Perhaps the next verses give us some insight. They are well worth meditating on:
We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar. I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. (Song of Solomon 8:8-10)
The "young sister" is a relative of her who is fully mature. So she is a member of God's elect, His Church. "If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her." "We will build." Who does the building? My impression is that the mature sister will do the building.
If she is a wall, that is, if she has some defense against Satan and his demons, the mature sister will build towers of silver (typical of redemption) on her. Then she will be able to help others. This is a case of the stronger Christians building up the less mature.
"If she is a door." So many Christians are doors! It seems Satan overcomes them at his will. But the fully mature sister says, "We will enclose her with panels of cedar." Cedar is a wood that is used for beauty. The interior of Solomon's Temple was finished in cedar.
There are those who are "doors." God, seeing this, by His unlimited power removes the worldliness, lusts and passions of the flesh and spirit, and self-will from them. They then are like Adam and Eve. They have no sin nature. They will be protected throughout eternity by the overcomers.
Perhaps their role in the sight of God is just to be beautiful. It is God's way to create beauty that is largely useless in terms of producing or accomplishing somethinglike flowers, or a sunset, for example. Neither of these work, but the world is better for them. Don't you agree?
"I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment." Here is the one who helps the less mature. She is a wall against sin. Her breasts are like towers, meaning that she is a stronghold against the enemy. "Towers," in those days, were places of war and defense. She is fully capable of nourishing children who will conquer the enemy.
This is why the overcomers inherit all that God makes new in Christ. This is why the overcomers are referred to as "God's sons." He is their Father and they are His sons. They stand in victory before Christ and help others to stand.
How about those who do not overcome? They are God's children, but not His sons, according to our frame of reference here. Once God sovereignly takes away an individual's sinful nature, leaving him or her innocent, there is no manner in which he or she can become an overcomer; a victorious saint. Therefore the roles and tasks designated for the victorious saint are not available to that person, since he has no opportunity to gain victory over sin.
I do not enjoy making a distinction between the "son's" of God and the "children" of God, but there it is. There is a distinction in the Greek language. The term for children is tekna. The term for sons is uioi.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children (tekna) of God(John 1:12)
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (uioi) of God. (Romans 8:14)
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son (uios). (Revelation 21:7)
I do not wish to make a case that some Christians are sons of God and some are children of God, and thereby cause conceit and division. If we receive Christ we are a child of God. If we are walking in the Spirit of God we are sons of God. It is apparent that some Christians have never gone beyond believing in Christ. Others are enjoying the Spirit-filled life. If we live the life of victory in Christ, we will inherit all that God is making new in Christ, God will be our Father, and we will be God's sons. These things I know.
Then there is a company of Christians who are a firstfruits to God and the Lamb. They stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb. The names of the Father and of the Lamb are written in their forehead.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)
I have never in my life heard anyone preach from these two verses. Why is that? These are marvelous promises. They ought to be preached several times a year. They give people a goal to press toward.
Are the ministers of the Gospel afraid to preach the promises of the Bible? After one service in a church in Iceland, the pastor said to me, "There people are all babies. This is a nursery. You have to give them milk."
I had not preached anything "deep" to them. I just had not repeated "how to get saved." What are pastors afraid of that they do not present something beyond how to get saved?
One time someone said, "We have to preach the salvation message at every service because an unsaved person may be present." Maybe there are a hundred and fifty people present. One hundred forty-nine of them have been saved for over twenty years. They are God's sheep and hungry for food on which they can grow.
It simply does not make sense and, in fact, it is criminal to leave the faithful members without food by which they can grow. Something should be done about this practice, because I believe it is far more common than we could wish.
Perhaps if we listened to the Lord He would give us something for the experienced Christians, and at the same time bring Christ to those whom He has chosen for salvation.
One time I was listening to a chaplain read from Ezekiel. What he was reading had nothing to do with being saved, but God touched me where I sat and I was born again right then. So I am under the impression that if we would concentrate on building up the saints, instead of trying to make more babies at every service, God might do something surprising.
We have made a systematic religion out of what could be a natural moving of God among people. There are ministries of evangelism, to be sure. But I think sometime we lay our hand on the Ark instead of letting God do things the way He wants to. In other words, we should spend time listening to Christ instead of filling each moment with religious activities.
The fact that there is such a thing as a "firstfruits" company should be emphasized in our day; because it is now that God is filling some of the highest thrones in the Kingdom. Many who are last in time shall be first in the Kingdom.
Out of the multitudes of Israel, Christ chose twelve people. God had identified these people while Christ was praying all night in prayer.
Then, when He was to be transfigured, Christ chose three of the disciples to be with Him on the mountain. I imagine that God was the one who selected the three.
James and John asked Christ if they could sit on His right hand and left hand in His Glory. Christ did not respond to them by saying they should not be ambitious. Instead, Christ said that such high positions were not His to assign, but they would be assigned by the Father to those for whom such elevated positions had been prepared.
"But to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." (Mark 10:40)
The statement of Christ (above) is remarkable! There is a place at Christ's right and a place at Christ's left prepared for two people, or perhaps for many people. The point is, there are ranks, roles, and tasks in the Kingdom of God.
While it is true that Christ did not directly rebuke James and John, He did remind His disciples at a later time that those who would be great in the Kingdom must be content to be a servant of his brothers and a slave of all.
God's people should be aware that there are rewards to be gained by living the victorious life; that they must have the mind of a servant and not of a political ruler, and that there is a cup to drink and a baptism to be baptized with.
The Christian people should be made aware of these three things. It will give them goals to press toward. Otherwise they spend their years as a believer waiting to die and go to Heaven by lawless-grace. What a mess we are in today because God's leaders preach their traditions instead of the whole counsel of God in the Bible!
I am interested in the following verse, which I mentioned previously:
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:26,27)
The preceding verse says:
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)
Has come in to what? From the context, I would say into the Olive Tree. But perhaps more than that! Perhaps into the ranks of the Firstfruits. I think the Firstfruits are going to play a larger role in the future than we have any idea at this time. It might be a good idea to see what is required to be a member of God's Firstrfuits, and seek to become part of this elect group (Revelation, Chapter Fourteen).
Isaiah has something to add:
"The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20)
Perhaps these passages are telling us that there will be a Gentile Firstfruits of the elect who have emerged victorious over all that has come against them. Meanwhile there will be Jews in the land of Israel who, while they have not been able to overcome their sinful nature, have been repenting of their sins before God.
These repenting Jews belong to God. They are physical Zion. Then there is an army who indeed have gained the victory. They are in spiritual Zion, which is the Church, the heavenly Jerusalem. Those in the spiritual Zion will come to the earthly Zion and, by the power of Christ, take away the bondages of sin from the chosen Jews, the Jews who have repented, so that they can walk in the righteous ways that their heart cries out for.
It reminds us of Joseph and his Gentile bride saving his family from starvation.
This is something wonderful to look forward to, isn't it? If I understand the Book of Daniel correctly, the Jews are going to suffer much under Antichrist. But when a Firstfruits to God and the Lamb have been drawn from the Gentile Christians, then these Christians will go to the faithful Jews and bring the knowledge of their Christ and spiritual deliverance to them.
Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. (Micah 5:3)
She who is in labor to bring forth the brothers of Christ is the Christian Church, as described in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation.
Many fervent Christians in our day are feeling a kinship with the physical land and people of Israel. Audrey and I have visited Israel several times. When I am there I feel like I am home, and have been mistaken for a Jew by the residents on several occasions.
One time I walked all the way around the old city of Jerusalem. While I was doing this, the Lord spoke to me. He said, "I have not forgotten my people."
If the Arab nations knew who was watching out for the Jews I think they would be more careful what they say and do!
So the thought of Christian Gentiles paying back what they owe the Jews by removing the bondages of sin from the repenting Jews, gives me the greatest pleasure imaginable.
Neither Adam nor Eve had a sinful nature. They were a blank slate, so to speak, knowing neither sin nor righteousness. This is what it will be like for people when God has His full company of victorious saints. God will remove the sinful nature from all the saved peopleperhaps at the hand of the victorious saints; perhaps also in some instances by less mature Christians on whom has been built a tower of silver.
Great things are ahead! The spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement has begun and will extend until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, by which time God shall have completed His work of redemption and reconciliation.
The spiritual fulfillment of the first goat of the Day of Atonement was completed on the cross of Calvary. There an atonement was made for the sins of the world. This is forgiveness.
The spiritual fulfillment of the second goat of the Day of Atonement has begun now, as I stated. This is the "goat" that removes the power of sin from us; not the guilt, but the power. There is an awesome difference between forgiveness and deliverance. We are entering the time of deliverance now.
Dear friend, disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, make certain that you are not wasting your time, waiting to go to Heaven by lawless grace that you may live in a mansion for eternity doing nothing of significance.
If you are just waiting to die and go to Heaven, you are missing the day of your visitation.
It is now that Christ wants you to come to Him as you never have before.
It is now that Christ wants you to confess your sins as they are shown to you by the Holy Spirit; and to renounce them vigorously and turn away from them. Christ will help you do this if you are sincere.
It is now that Christ wants you to learn to live by His Life, bringing each decision and aspect of your day and night to Him; always cultivating His Presence; speaking to him continually about all you are thinking, saying, and doing.
It is now that you are to seek the Lord until you learn to live by His Life, in His will, and find out what He wants of you at all times.
Anything less than what I have just written will insure that you come short of the wonderful glory that God has for you.