CHRIST IS EVERYTHING

CHRIST IS EVERYTHING 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.

After we have served the Lord for a season, Christ should begin to fill our vision. He should keep enlarging until He is present in all of our thoughts, words, and actions. There should be no aspect of our living, moving, and being that is not in Christ and of Christ.

CHRIST IS EVERYTHING

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Ephesians 1:9,10)

After we have served the Lord for a season, Christ should begin to fill our vision. He should keep enlarging until He is present in all of our thoughts, words, and actions. There should be no aspect of our living, moving, and being that is not in Christ and of Christ.

Notice how King David kept the Lord before him at all times. This is what we should do also.

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalms 16:7,8)

Imagine! David served God under the old covenant. Yet, he lived the life of faith in the Lord. This shows us that the righteous always have lived by faith. Living by faith is not a unique feature of the new covenant. In fact, the new covenant is a continuation of the old in that all of the aspects of the old are in and of Christ, and in and of us in a greatly improved form.

Perhaps because of the influence of the philosophy of Gnosticism, the Christian churches have come to regard Heaven as the goal of salvation. Heaven is not the goal of our salvation, Christ Himself is.

Notice how the Apostle Paul expresses his goal:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3:8,9)

Paul was seeking to win Christ—and this toward the end of his life on earth!

There is a big difference between waiting to go to Heaven, and seeking to win Christ. While we are waiting to die and go to Heaven (which most of us put off as long as possible, revealing it is not a genuine object of our interests) we are apt to live in the impulses of our flesh. But when we make seeking to win Christ the object of our endeavors, we are busily engaged every day in looking for Jesus and looking to Him for every decision we make.

It is noteworthy that even under the Law of Moses, provision was made for looking to the Lord for His decisions.

Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD. (Exodus 28:30)

"The means of making decisions."

It has become fashionable in our day to attempt to make Christ our servant. Books are published and sold that tell us how to use Christ to have a better marriage; how to use Christ to make money; how to use Christ to get ahead in the world; how to use Christ to improve our life in every way.

We always ought to ask the Lord for help in every aspect of life. But this is not what I mean by looking to Christ for every decision. I mean we get up in the morning with one goal, and that is to express in our personality the will of God. Then when we come to a point of decision we look instantly to the Lord so we will know how to continue to do God’s will.

We are to be the expression of God in His creation. We are the flesh being made the Word. This is the new covenant.

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them 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." (Hebrews 8:10,11)

The eternal moral law of God is transferred from tables of stone to our heart. Thus we continually are looking to God so we will know how to put into practice the commandments of Christ and His Apostles found in the New Testament.

We Christians are to be the dwelling place of God. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is to be in our heart. We are to be the Presence of God in His creation. That is why written on us will be the name of God, the name of the city of God, and Christ’s new name.

When such is our point of view we are looking constantly to Jesus for His direction in every decision of life, from the least to the greatest. We are not looking to Him to help us accomplish our own goals but to help us accomplish His goals.

Christ is to be all in all to us, the focus of everything. He is to grow until He fills our world.

Christ is to become to us the great I Am, the Son of the Father in truth and love. He was, He is, and He shall be the Center and Circumference of the universe.

He Himself is our Resurrection. It is not only that He will raise us in the last days, He Himself Is our Resurrection and our eternal Life.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; (John 11:25)

Christ Himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is not that He merely shows us the way, tells us the truth, or gives us eternal life. He Himself Is these three needed elements.

There is no truth except Christ. What people call truth is merely a report concerning what exists at a particular place and time. This is not truth, it is nothing more than a description of what Christ has created. Truth, which Christ is, gives us understanding concerning everything that exists.

When we go through life without Christ we understand little or nothing concerning our life and environment.

Christ Himself is our Wisdom from God, our Righteousness, our Holiness, our Redemption.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (Colossians 1:30)

Right at this point there is an error in Christian thinking. It is not true that because we have taken "the four steps of salvation" or have confessed Christ that we have all wisdom, all righteousness, all holiness, and all redemption. Rather we have to press into Christ and interact with Him at all times of the day and night if we are to obtain the wisdom, the righteousness, the holiness, and the redemption that are in Him.

Current teaching may leave us with a static head-belief. True salvation is always dynamic, always taking place. Our experience of yesterday is fading away. Salvation, wisdom, redemption, righteousness, holiness, are of today and are derived from our immediate involvement with Christ.

The Apostle Paul has informed us that at the coming of the Lord the dead in Christ shall be raised, and then ascend to meet the Lord in the air.

We need to think more carefully about the expression "the dead in Christ."

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (I Thessalonians 4:16)

"The dead in Christ" is not referring to those who have made a profession of faith in Christ, and then have never denied themselves, taken up their cross, and followed the Lord. Such people are church members—nothing more.

To be "in Christ" means to be abiding in Christ; following in the steps of the Apostle Paul; always pressing forward to grasp that for which we have been grasped from the foundation of the world.

To be "in Christ" is speaking of the rest of God, the state of being where we have ceased from our own works and are living in the will and Presence of God at all times. We are having daily fellowship with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Only those who have lived and died in the Presence of Christ are authorized by the Word and competent by training to be raised from the dead, and then to ascend to meet the Lord in the air at His coming.

They are authorized because the Word stipulates that only the overcomers receive the crown of life.

They are competent by training because they have centered their entire life in Christ. The Holy Spirit has trained them day and night in spiritual warfare. They have been prepared to ascend to Christ, to take over the thrones in the air that control life on the earth, to mount the war stallions, and to ride behind the King of kings in the ferocious cavalry charge that is the Battle of Armageddon.

It appears most Christians, in America at least, are not living the life of victory over worldliness, lust, or self-will. They are not immersed in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, or stern obedience to the Father. They would lose the Battle of Armageddon because of their foolishness and disobedience.

In fact, numerous American Christians spend their lives making as much money as they can, looking forward to the day when they can retire and pursue their fun in security and luxury. They are as the man in the Gospels who built bigger barns so he could take his ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Can’t you just picture such as these being raised from the dead and then caught up to be with Christ and His mighty men of war! Can you see how unscriptural and illogical current teaching is?

We Americans are facing days of great peril. If I am hearing from the Lord, America will not be destroyed but may lose its place of leadership in the world. During this season there will be revival. But the American people shall be chastened severely for their love of pleasure, and for forsaking of the righteous ways of the Lord.

How are we to survive? We are to survive by means of the promises of the ninety-first Psalm, which guarantee protection to those who are dwelling in Christ.  God will be a shield and defense for the serious disciple, but the lukewarm American Christians are assured no such privilege.

If we are to survive the war and the possible persecution that is at hand we will have to be living in Christ. All that we are and do must be of Him, in Him, through Him, with Him.

We must have more than a statement of faith. A statement of faith often is nothing more than a denominational device to insure we are within the boundaries of a specific institution. There is no life or safety in a statement of faith. The life and safety are found only in Christ—not even in Heaven itself!

Notice the following declaration of the Apostle Paul, for this is what it means to be a true Christian, to be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20,21)

"To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Can you and I say this in all truth and sincerity? Is it true of you and me that for us to live is Christ and to die is gain? If not, we need to come to Christ and ask Him to make this a reality. For such is the genuine Christian discipleship. This is what it means to be a Christian. The rest is nothing more than membership in a religion.

The following statement of Paul has been a favorite of mine, and I hope of yours also:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The above is Paul’s explanation of why it is true that he is not a sinner even though he has left the Law of Moses.

Paul is not living. Christ is living in him.

Paul says "I live by faith in the Son of God." When Protestants speak of "living by faith" they mean holding firmly to their statement of faith, hoping this will cause them to be righteous in the sight of God. They are mistaken. To live by faith means to have given to Christ each aspect of our life in order that each aspect might be nailed to His cross and then raised again in Him at His pleasure.

God is making all things new, not all new things. This means everything in the universe, all creatures great and small, are to be summed up in Christ.

The first creation died on the cross. The new creation began when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Every creature in the new world of righteousness will be part of Christ and governed by Him.

The whole old world died on the cross. The whole new world was raised with Him. All who are saved are to become part of His resurrection.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Ephesians 1:9,10)

You and I, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit, must place all of our things, circumstances, and relationships on the cross. Every moment of our day and night must be of Christ, as we pray without ceasing. Any part of our day or night that is not of Christ is loss for Christ, loss for us, and loss for the people of the world. Any aspect of our life that comes from our old adamic nature and not from Christ is loss for the people of the world because they cannot find eternal life except as we become a new creation in Christ.

God has given all authority and power to Christ, and Christ issues the same authority and power to those of the churches who are willing to be crucified with Him and to live through Him.

I do not know what your vocation is. I at one time was involved in public education. The truth is, no matter what our vocation is, we can do a better job if we are immersed in Christ. This is because in Christ are contained all knowledge and wisdom concerning every feature of the creation.

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2,3)

If our life is divided between the sacred and secular we are coming short of the Glory of God. Christ is jealous concerning any part of your life that is not being brought to Him for His inspection and involvement. He wants us to be an integral, eternally incorruptible part of Him. He wants us to be a part of His Body, completely responsive to the Head.

When we are not totally responsive to the Head, we represent a defect in the Body of Christ.

He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (Colossians 2:19)

According to my present understanding, the Body of Christ is one in Heaven and on the earth. At any given moment of time, the greatest part of the Body is in the spirit realm, a small fraction being alive on the earth. The entire Body is growing together so every member might come to perfection at the same time.

All of the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ are given for the purpose of building up the Body to the stature of the fullness of Christ.  As the Body is coming to maturity, and especially after the process is complete, it will serve as the light of the world because the Presence of God in Christ will dwell among the people of the world. 

We of the royal priesthood are to forsake all that we are and do (as the Spirit guides and enables) so we more perfectly may become an integral part of Christ, just as Christ is an integral part of God. The Whole, the saints in Christ in God, is to be one great Entity, the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Throne of God and of the Lamb.

We are being fashioned in Christ that we might serve mankind. We must be made acceptable to God and acceptable to people, if we are to serve them as members of the royal priesthood.

Thus we can see that we accomplish our destiny, the reason for our existence, only as Jesus Christ becomes everything to us.

How great is Christ? Greater than all we can imagine.

God the Father is totally incomprehensible to us. Only in Jesus Christ can we begin to understand God.

As for the people of the world, they understand neither God nor Christ. God has sent Jesus Christ that the saints might come to know Christ and through Him the Father. When we are one in Christ in God, then the world will know God has sent Christ, and loves the saints as He loves Christ. The people of the world realizing and accepting this are then in a position to receive God’s love and Presence at the hand of the saints.

What I am saying is that until Christ fills our whole horizon, we still have a way to go in God. If we have been called to be a member of the Church, the royal priesthood, there is to be nothing of our life that is not a part of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How great is Christ?

The Lord Jesus walks among His churches as the great High Priest of God.

And among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"  dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. (Revelation 1:13)

He holds the seven stars, the Christian churches, in His right hand.

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: (Revelation 2:1)

He Himself is the Tree of Life. He was in the garden in Eden. He gives us of His body and blood that we might live, and that He might raise us at His appearing.

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)

The Lord Jesus was the Beginning of all things in the first creation, and in Him the first creation was finished on the cross. He came to life again as the Author of the new creation.

When we are in the Lord’s prison it is comforting to know He who began our salvation will finish it in glory, if we just endure patiently to the end.

To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. (Revelation 2:8)

It is the Lord Jesus Himself who will give us the crown of life if we are faithful unto death.

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)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who holds the sword of the Spirit.

To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. (Revelation 2:12)

It is the Lord Jesus Himself who fights against sinners in His churches.

Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:16)

It is the Lord Jesus who gives the hidden manna and the white voting pebble to the victorious saint. Our understanding of the hidden manna is that it is the body and blood of the Lord that are given to us every time we overcome temptation. The white voting pebble, as we see it, means we have passed from the ranks of the called to the ranks of the chosen.

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. 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)

The eyes of Christ are like blazing fire, signifying that He sees through all of our guile. His feet are like polished bronze, revealing that Divine judgment is exercised wherever Christ walks. Christ knows—He knows!—our deeds, our love, our faith, our service, and our perseverance. Christian teaching of today claims that God does not see what we do. This is not true. God is instantly aware of every one of our thoughts, words, and actions.

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. (Revelation 2:18,19)

The Lord Jesus punishes every believer who lives according to his sinful nature. Christ will repay sinning Christians according to their behavior. What a different view of Christ this is than the one presented currently in Christian teaching.

We are told today that Christ will not permit us to suffer. Yet, Jesus says He will cause sinning Christians to "suffer intensely."

So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:22,23)

The expression above, "I will strike her children dead," reminds us of the warning of Paul that if we take the Communion in an unworthy manner we bring judgment on ourselves, sometimes resulting in sickness or even death.

For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 11:29,30)

Christ invites each one of us to live in victory over worldliness, over the lusts and passions of the flesh and soul, and over our own self-will and self-seeking. If we will choose to follow Him into total victory, persevering to the end of our discipleship on earth, Christ will share with us His authority and power over the nations of the earth.

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)

If through Christ we overcome the evil that comes against us, He will give us the morning star. This means the Day of the Lord will rise within us announcing the new age of the Kingdom of God.

I will also give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:28)

The almighty Christ holds in His hand the seven Spirits of God and the angels of the seven churches. Thus Christ has all power over His churches. The Christian churches do not hold up Christ, Christ holds up the churches and sends down the Spirit of God upon whomever He will.

To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)

The Lord Jesus will come upon His churches as a thief when they go to sleep in apathy and unbelief. It is so important that each of us keep in instant contact with the Lord.

It often is true that a Christian church will go off on its own religious undertaking, not hearing from the Lord at all. Such a church is asleep spiritually. It may appear to be having great success, with many people in attendance. But if the elders would go to the Lord He would warn them that their supposed life is nothing more than the activity of ambitious, talented people.

Every once in a while we need to ask the Lord for a report card.

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:2,3)

The Lord Jesus invites us to walk with Him in the white robes of the royal priesthood. At the same time, He retains the authority and power to blot our name from the Book of Life. Current teaching maintains that once we "accept Christ" we can never be in danger of the Lake of Fire. This is a lie of Satan who is whispering to the Christian churches: "You shall not surely die!"

The fear of God has left the United States of America because we Christians do not believe what the Scriptures state.

If we desire to escape the peril of the second death, and to have our name acknowledged before the Father and His angels, we must through Christ live a life of victory over our sinful nature.

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. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (Revelation 3:4,5)

The Lord Jesus is holy and true. What He opens cannot be shut by anyone, and what He shuts no one can open.

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. (Revelation 3:7)

When we choose to wait patiently on the Lord, there are many who slander us. We are not to seek to justify ourselves but to keep looking to Jesus. One day He will reveal whom He loves, who truly is His servant.

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9)

There soon is to come upon the world a severe testing. If we faithfully keep Christ’s commandments, He faithfully will keep us so we are not harmed spiritually by the troubles and afflictions that now are on the horizon.

It is good to know Someone with all authority and power in Heaven, on the earth, and in the dark regions under the earth, is keeping us and our loved ones from being harmed spiritually by Satan.

I think the Spirit is speaking that we in America are entering perilous times. I am not certain what the peril will entail, only that it will be exceedingly dangerous. We have assurance of protection for ourselves and our loved ones, but only if we are abiding in Christ; only if we are faithfully, patiently keeping His commandments.

Today we have believers who are not abiding in Christ, who are living worldly lives, not being careful to keep Christ’s command that we endure patiently. They have been informed that they soon will be "raptured" to Heaven so they will not be exposed to suffering. This is not true. They have been deceived. They are not putting on the whole armor of God, and they will not be able to stand in the day of trouble.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

If we choose to live out our life as a fervent disciple, denying ourselves, remaining in the prisons in which we are placed, confessing our sins and turning away from them vigorously, Christ will expand in our consciousness until He fills all things. He then will make us a pillar in the eternal Temple of God, which is the new Jerusalem, the holy city. Christ will write on us the name of God, the name of God’s city which is to come, and Christ’s new name.

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (Revelation 3:12)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Amen of God. To all that God says, the Lord Jesus responds "Amen!"

Let each one of us say Amen to every Word of God, whether or not we completely understand it.

The Book of Revelation is a true record of the future. No matter what transpires on the earth in the future, the end will be as recorded in Revelation. Let us say Amen to God and to the Book of Revelation.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the faithful Witness of God. Of all the attributes of God, perhaps the most important to us is that of His faithfulness. Were God not faithful it would be best we never had been born.

The Lord Jesus Christ, like His Father, is faithful. Christ faithfully bears witness of God. We are being made in the image of Christ. We must be an absolutely faithful witness of God and of the Lamb, if we are to please God and receive the rewards designated for the overcomer. A partial, compromised witness of God is not acceptable in the Kingdom.

Christ is a true witness of God. Of the numerous religious leaders of the past and the present, only Christ bears a true witness of God.

Christ governs God’s creation. Sometimes it appears evil forces will succeed in ruling the creation. It shall not happen. Christ permits evil to continue because it is accomplishing His purposes in bringing forth a perfect priesthood. When that purpose has been accomplished, the Lord will return and put an end to sin.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. (Revelation 3:14)

Christ is so colossal He holds all the churches in His mouth, as it were.

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:17)

Christ rebukes and disciplines those whose ways are not perfect in His sight. The continual rebuke and discipline of the Lord are to be greatly desired by us until they have accomplished their intended purpose.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

In our day, perhaps as never before, this awesome Christ is standing before us. If we are willing to receive Him, He will enter our personality and dine with us. He dines on our obedience and worship. We dine on His body and blood.

This promise is given to the worst church of all, the church of the rights of people and of man-centeredness. Now, when self-seeking is becoming the highest value held by the nations, the opportunity is given to be the dwelling place of Christ and of God in Him

Our culture is inviting us to be filled with our own ways. Christ is asking us if we would prefer to permit Him to be seated on the throne of our life. Such is the fundamental choice to be made by God’s people in our time.

If we will step aside and allow the mighty Christ to govern from within us, He will accomplish the purposes of God in us and through us—even during the age of moral horrors which now is on the horizon. No man will be able to work during the approaching darkness, but those who "die in the Lord" will continue to bear abundant fruit—the fruit of the moral nature of Christ in themselves and in those whom they influence.

But those who choose instead to retain their own life, their own way, will lose their life and find themselves in torment.

The issue is that of the throne of God. Man was created to be the throne of God, the origin of His will. We will be the throne of God or the throne of Satan. We are dust and are not capable of being a third power in the universe.

Christ and God will rule from within us or Antichrist and Satan will rule from within us. The choice is ours. To choose God is to enter incredible joy. To choose Satan is to enter incredible torment.

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. 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 3:20,21)

God has placed Christ on an eternal throne.

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. (Psalms 45:6)

God has anointed Christ with the oil of joy.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (Psalms 45:7)

God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)

Christ is the Lion of Judah who alone is authorized to remove the seal from the hearts of people.

Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. (Revelation 5:5)

All the creation was brought forth through Him.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)

God will put all of the enemies of Christ under His nail-pierced feet.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he "has put everything under his feet."  Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:22-28)

God has given the Lord Jesus Christ all authority in Heaven and upon the earth.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)

All the Fullness of God dwells in Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:9,10)

Christ is the chief Cornerstone of the eternal Temple of God. We also are living stones of that temple.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

All the universe was created by Him and for Him. Jesus Christ is supreme over all.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

Now we can see why our entire Christian discipleship is to be devoted to knowing Christ, to gaining Him. All day and all night we are to be focusing on Him, on the risen Lord.

The religions of the earth have been created by people as they have sought to find favor with God, and also to protect themselves from harmful spirits.

The Christian salvation is different from these. The Christian salvation consists of a human being turning aside from his or her own ways and seeking to dwell in the Presence of the living Son of God.

Paul had turned aside from the Law of Moses and was totally dedicated to knowing Christ. Because Christ Himself is the Resurrection from the dead, Paul spoke of His pursuit of Christ as that of attaining to the resurrection that is out from among the dead. Paul desired to live by the power of Christ’s resurrection and to share in the sufferings of Christ.

Paul advises all Christians to be of the same mind, having the same supreme goal in life.

Let each one of us press past the forms and ceremonies of religion, to pursue the God of the house of God. The God of the house of God is the almighty Christ, the supreme, risen Lord of all the creation. Let us pursue Him with single-minded diligence until He Himself fills everything that was, is and shall be.

Amen and amen.