CHRIST—HEAD AND BODY
Copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The term “Christ” signifies “the One who is anointed with oil,” that is, with the Spirit of God. The Body of Christ refers to those who have become part of Christ, who is the Head of the Body. Because the Head is anointed with the Spirit of God, every part of the Body is anointed with the same Spirit of God for the purpose of carrying out the commission the Father has given to His Christ.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever. (Psalms 133:1-3—NASB)
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)
When I started thinking about the Spirit of God flowing down from the Head over the Body, the two passages above came to mind. Maybe they are related.
After the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, it may be proper to consider the term “Christ” as applying to the whole Unit—Head and Body. Paul implied this, didn’t he?
The (human) body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12)
This reminds us of God referring to Adam and Eve as “Adam.”
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Genesis 5:2—KJV)
So we will consider that the exalted Head, the Lord Jesus, and the members of His Body, are one Christ, one Messiah, one anointed Servant of the Lord. With this in mind, let us see what the work of Christ, or Messiah, is to be; for it is the work of every person who has been anointed with the Spirit of God.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1)
As we read further in this chapter we see that Christ is addressing those who are of Zion, not the people of the world.
As the Spirit of God directs and empowers us, we are to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the poor among God’s elect.
We are to bind up the brokenhearted of God’s elect. The Spirit of God has given every one of us a ministry and gift so we can build up the members of the Body.
It appears to me that the large Christian organizations are set on going forth into the world to invite the people of the nations, whether or not they are members of God’s elect, to “accept Christ” so they may “go to Heaven when they die. Where in the Bible does it say we are to accept Christ so we may go to Heaven when we die?
In terms of the prophecy of Isaiah, perhaps we should give more thought to building up the members of the Body so when the Head appears they can work with Him at the task of installing the Kingdom of God on the earth.
We are to proclaim freedom to those of God’s saints who are in captivity. How many of God’s people are bound with hatred, unforgiveness, jealousy, unbelief, malice, arrogance, seeking preeminence, envy? Also many are afflicted with physical infirmities. It is our task to set them free, spiritually and physically, as the Spirit leads and enables us.
We are to proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners. I will say one thing: the current Christian teaching has more traditions in it than it does the truth of the Lord Jesus. One great error is that God has given us “grace” so we do not have to lead a righteous, holy life. Another is the unscriptural “rapture” which has the casual church-attenders caught up to Heaven to escape Antichrist and the great tribulation.
A third tradition is that the goal of our salvation is to reside in a mansion in the spirit world for eternity, doing nothing of significance. This is a far cry from the actual purpose of salvation, which is to free us from the influence of Satan and to bring us into the image of Christ and into untroubled rest in the Center of God’s Person and will.
This change from Satan to Christ is necessary if we are to be able to maintain Paradise on the earth when it is restored to us.
God’s elect are to be set free from this spiritual blindness and darkness, and it is our responsibility to do this, as the Spirit of God directs us. Such is the task of Messiah.
To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61:2)
Today is the day of salvation. It is our tendency to reserve the great things of God to the past or the future. Actually, it is right now—today—that God is moving us forward in the plan of redemption. Many who are last in time shall be among the first to enter the Kingdom.
You and I, as members of the Body of Messiah, are to proclaim the good news concerning the revelation of God’s Person and will to anyone who seeks Him now.
It is at this point that the Lord Jesus ceased reading and rolled up the scroll. The Day of Vengeance had not come. It is here now. The scroll has been unrolled. Jesus is standing at the right hand of God, ready to make His enemies His footstool. Are you ready to stand with Christ in the conflict of the ages?
The Day of Vengeance of our God has begun, and those who are in mourning shall be comforted. This is true for all of God’s elect, and also eventually for the people of the nations who will accept Christ as their lawful King.
It is the Day of Reconciliation of mankind to God and God to mankind, made possibly by the atoning blood shed on the cross of calvary so many years ago. It has begun. When it has been completed, at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, injustice shall have been removed from the earth.
The righteous shall rejoice in the abundance of peace and justice. The wicked shall be sent to their proper place, which is the Lake of Fire. There they shall become part of Satan, whom they have loved and worshiped.
And provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)
We are to provide for those who grieve in Zion. Christians with the gift of prophecy are telling us that persecution of the believers is ahead. I believe we can see the beginning of this in America, as our traditional Christian values are being downplayed as being divisive and troublesome, while alien gods are being worshiped in our streets.
I have felt led of the Lord to write three books, the intent of which is to remove from God’s people the fear of death. The first book is Godwill Castle. The second is Heaven—God’s Wonderful World. The third, actually a small picture book for young children, is John and Mary Visit Heaven.
It is my hope that after children and adults read these three books they will look forward to dying, just as I do. There absolutely is no need to grieve over the death of a child or adult. They have entered the “hols,” as C. S. Lewis would say. School is out. Vacation is here. How utterly wonderful and marvelous!
We are to bestow on God’s elect, His priesthood, a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Throughout history, and even today in many places, to be a true, fervent disciple of the Lord Jesus is to be subject to scorn. In the United States today the standard of discipleship is so low that we do not often witness such humiliation.
But, if I am not mistaken, the day soon will come when the true Christians, who may be a relatively small minority in America, will be separated from the great majority of professing “Christians” who never have denied themselves and taken up their cross. They are not following Jesus moment by moment every day and night, as a true disciple always does.
“To bestow on God’s Church the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” It seems like every day I am attacked with fear, dread, gloom, worry. It is my practice each time I feel like that to ask the Lord Jesus to remove from me, from every room of my house, and from every area of my property all that is of Satan and not of God.
Then I ask for happy prospects. God answers this prayer every time. I remain confident that if I am displeasing God in any manner He will show me so I can correct the problem with His assistance. It is His will that we rejoice always in His Presence.
“To bestow on God’s people a garment of praise rather than a spirit of despair.” When we read in the newspaper of the dreadful occurrences in our country and in the world, we are liable to receive a spirit of despair. This is not pleasing to the Lord. He would have us singing His praises, knowing that the mighty armies of Heaven always are ready to come to the assistance of any of God’s sheep who are frightened at what is transpiring on the earth.
The Lord Jesus Christ remains in control of the world. He counts the nations as a drop in the bucket of the universe He created with His Word.
We are to minister to our brothers and sisters until they are oaks of righteousness. I do not know how familiar you are with oak trees, but they are tough. You can bend them when they are seedlings. But a mature oak tree will withstand very great pressure.
Because of the unscriptural teaching of “grace” as an alternative to righteous behavior, numerous professing Christians of our day are not even seedlings when it comes to righteous behavior. They have been taught that if they even attempt to live righteously it is an affront to God’s “grace.” What a delusion this is!
It is God’s will that every member of the royal priesthood be a great oak of righteous behavior, a person who has resisted temptation until a rod of iron with which to govern the nations has been formed in him or her.
Such are a planting of the Lord. They are not righteous by obeying in their own strength the customs of their religion. Rather, they are new creations of righteous behavior. Christ, who loves righteousness, has been formed in them.
The righteous behavior of God’s saints results in the display of His splendor. The Lord Jesus told us that when people see our righteous conduct they will glorify God. People cannot see “grace” or imputed righteousness. But they can see honesty, truthfulness, and purity.
How the doctrine of imputed righteousness has been abused! How would you like to live next to a Christian who claims to be saved by imputed righteousness but who was given to rages and profanity? How would you regard his salvation? So it is true that the people of the world see the wickedness of so-called Christian people; and they do not glorify God as a result.
The way the doctrines of grace and imputed righteousness have been taught has resulted in Christian churches that do not come anywhere near displaying God’s splendor. As a result, God is punishing the Western nations, including the United States of America.
We can search out every possible financial and political solution. But it will be to no avail. We are heading toward chaos. Many will die. Other will be left homeless. There will be famine and natural catastrophes. We already are experiencing earthquakes and floods. But, at least in America, there is little talk about the relationship between our abandoning Christ and the financial and other problems.
The future is grim indeed because of the ignoring of God and the prevalence of sin. We who love Jesus are going to have to look to God continually that we might be able to save ourselves and those who hear us.
It appears that the leaders of erstwhile Christian nations, including America, are not pointing their countries toward God as being the remedy for the increasing problems. This is a huge mistake on their part, for they will go down to ruin with the countries they are attempting to govern.
We have been speaking, to this point, of building up the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is not built up in the Head for no reason. It is being prepared to work with the Head in installing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
Now we will turn to the verses that describe the task of bringing justice to the nations. It is obvious that if the members of the royal priesthood are to bring restoration and justice to the world, they themselves must first be built up into oaks of righteousness. We have described how the Body of Christ builds up itself in love.
They (the members of the Body of Christ) will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:4)
The above is an interesting passage, isn’t it? When and how did all this devastation occur?
One possibility is the invasion of the earth by Christ and His army of saints and angels. I am not referring now to the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation when Christ attacks the armies of Antichrist in the Battle of Armageddon. Rather, I am thinking of the second chapter of the Book of Joel.
According to my understanding, the second chapter of Joel is a description of Christ and His armies of saints and angels going through the earth, after the Battle of Armageddon—the battle described in Revelation, chapter nineteen.
Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste—nothing escapes them. (Joel 2:3)
As soon as Antichrist and the False Prophet have been confined in the Lake of Fire, and Satan thrown into the Bottomless Pit, there remains the task of cleansing the earth. The wicked people must be removed. Unclean spirits that were not dealt with during the Battle of Armageddon must be driven into the Land of Darkness in the spirit world.
Every Antichrist building in the cities of the world will be razed to the ground. Most of the aspects of the Antichrist civilization such as automobiles will be vaporized, along with the larger highways.
None of these will be needed, as Christ, governing from Jerusalem, sends out His victorious saints to govern the nations, great and small, of the earth. The conduct of life on the earth will be slowed down as people learn to obey God rather than rushing about in their self-will, driving themselves to accomplish goals that are not pleasing to God.
The victorious saints, as will be true also of the Lord Jesus, will be in resurrection bodies, in that they are the sons of the resurrection. The saved people of the nations of the earth will be in human, flesh-and-blood bodies.
I don’t believe there has been another time in the history of the world when flesh-and-blood humans have been governed by people who have passed through death and now are immortal.
Since the sons of the resurrection will be assisted by warrior angels, obedience to God will be enforced on the earth. This form of government will persevere until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, at which time Satan will be released from the Bottomless Pit and permitted to test the work that has been done during the Kingdom Age.
If my understanding is correct, the purpose of the Kingdom Age, the interval of time between the next appearing of Christ and His saints, and the final judgment and resurrection, is for perfecting the reconciliation to God, both of His resurrected saints and also of the members of the Church who were not in the first resurrection. They will remain in Mount Zion in the spirit world, awaiting the day when they will descend to the new earth as the new Jerusalem.
Since the sons of the resurrection will have such power over mankind, it is of supreme importance that these resurrected rulers are strictly obedient to the Lord Jesus; that they are “dead” to their own desires and ambitions. During the Kingdom Age, and afterward throughout eternity, God will permit only those who love the people assigned to them to continue their rulership.
They will govern with Divine authority. The necessary iron is being formed in them now, as they overcome the forces that come against them that are attempting to move them away from God’s perfect, complete will.
It is likely that the larger nations, such as America, China, and India, will be divided into smaller communities. Large countries do not lend themselves to the kind of loving relationships among people that God demands.
Schools and universities will be constructed. It may be true that the major occupation of the Kingdom Age (Millennium) will be instruction, both in the physical and spirit realms. The foremost topic of instruction will be the absolute rule of Jesus Christ.
No individual will be permitted to remain in the new world of righteousness who does not gladly receive Christ as his or her Lord. No exception to the total rule of Christ ever will be permitted—no, not for eternity!
The two great laws of the Kingdom, to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves, will be taught and enforced in the physical and spirit realms. As we might expect, given the centuries in which people have governed their own lives, living in selfishness and hate, the instruction will continue into the ages to come.
The new sky and earth will not be formed until the Tabernacle of God, which is the glorified Christian Church, and also the saved people of the nations, have been brought into conformity to the standard of behavior that God requires. Then the present physical world will be done away; those in the Book of Life will be brought forward to citizenship in the new world; and those not in the Book will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
This is not the end of the instruction, however. The victorious saints will continue to govern the saved people of the nations, because continual instruction in righteousness and obedience to Christ will be necessary. Anyone who will not conform to God’s standard of behavior, and the absolute rule of Christ and His saints, will not be permitted to partake of the refreshing and healing of the Tree of Life and the Water of Life.
We understand from all this that we just now are being oriented to the Kingdom of God. We who are last in time have the opportunity to be among the first to enter the Kingdom of God, as we confess and turn away from our sins, thus preparing ourselves to be raised from the dead and caught up to meet the King in the air as He prepares to set up His Kingdom on the earth.
Now we see the responsibilities and tasks for which we are being prepared. The ancient ruins, made so by Joel’s army perhaps, must be rebuilt. The places long devastated must be restored. It is my impression that the work of rebuilding and restoring will take place under the supervision of the kings whom Christ sets over the various geographical areas of the earth.
The cities that have been devastated for generations will be renewed. There shall be cities on the present earth, during the Kingdom Age. But if my understanding is correct, money will not be used as a means of commerce. Have you ever noticed how much of the evil in the world of today is due to the desire for money?
I can visualize a civilization in which each person has a contribution to make and does so without a thought a charging anyone. Products are supplied freely to everyone who has a need. If my information is correct, this is one of the ideas behind communism. But communism cannot possibly be effective while there is wickedness and self-centeredness in the hearts of people.
Before a perfect civilization can be constructed, people must be cleansed of evil.
I think God’s angels will be active, making certain that everyone is doing his or her share of work, and no one is receiving more than he or she needs. There never can be rich or poor in a society over which our Lord rules. Rich people often have more than they need, and poor people do not have the necessities of life. This situation is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God.
All of this may seem impossible. Not only is it possible, it is going to take place as human beings are reconciled to God, and God to them. God will have no world in which there are rich and poor. Everyone will be doing joyously that for which he or she has been created, just as was true in the Garden of Eden.
People who are greedy or too lazy to do that for which they have been created will be brought to places of instruction. Any individual who refuses to be corrected will be punished.
Those who are incorrigible will be removed from society for as long as necessary—in some instances, removed permanently so they cannot ruin the peace and joy that God has planned for His children.
The problems that curse our present world arise as people try to live their lives without Christ. It is as simple as that; and there is no solution other than learning to look to Christ for guidance in how we should live our life.
The great political leaders of the world vaunt themselves as they try to bring about peace by one means or another. They all will be brought down to the dust while the meek inherit the earth.
Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. (Isaiah 61:5)
Here is an expression of a concept that largely is unknown to the Christian people. The concept is that there are two sets of people who will be saved to the new world of righteousness. The first set is God’s, elect, His royal priesthood, His called-out people, His Israel, whether born Jewish or Gentile. This is the new Jerusalem, the holy city, the Christian Church.
The second set is much larger in number. It consists of the people of the nations who have been saved, the “sheep” of the nations, we might say. The first set composes the royal priesthood, the holy ones, the saints, whom God has chosen. Their role in the creation is to bring God to people and people to God.
I do not know why our Christian leaders do not teach the people God draws to Christ that they no longer are of the world. They are not of the world just as Jesus Christ is not of the world. This does not mean Christians are going to go to Heaven when they die and the rest of mankind will go to Hell. It means rather that God has chosen them to represent Himself to mankind.
Perhaps our dislike of the idea of an elite group of people hinders us from seeing clearly what the Bible states in many places. But it is certain that there is no possibility of understanding the Kingdom of God until we become aware there are the called-out people referred to as the Church; and then there are the remainder of mankind. Whether or not this is in accordance with the philosophy of democracy, it nevertheless is what the Bible teaches.
Now let me repeat:
Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. (Isaiah 61:5)
The “aliens” are people of the nations of the earth whom God has saved from wrath. “Your” refers to Zion, to the “oaks of righteousness.” People who are not of Zion will works the fields of the royal priesthood. This is as plain and as clear as it can be.
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)
Now we readily can see why we need to be made oaks of righteousness. We will be regarded for eternity as the priests of the Lord, the ministers of God. Who will regard us in this manner? The people whom God has saved from the nations.
There have been times in history when the priests of various religions have been corrupt. This shall not be true of God’s priests!
The wealth of the nations will be brought to the new Jerusalem.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
God has called us out of the world to be “saints.” Saints means “holy ones.” We are holy because we belong to God in a special way, just as was true of the Aaronic priesthood. We are not of the world just as Christ is not of the world.
“Christ” means “Anointed One,” as I have mentioned previously. “Christian” is a diminutive of Christ. Christians also are anointed ones. We are holy and anointed ones. We have been chosen by the Lord to serve Him as priests whose role will be to govern the peoples of the world. For this reason our training in the present world is strenuous and prolonged.
It is easy to see why Satan has turned our attention to the idea of going to Heaven to live forever. Satan does not want us serving God as a priest among the peoples of the earth, whom Satan regards as his possession. But God has determined otherwise, and for this reason is creating a kingdom that will govern the works of God’s hands for eternity.
The Kingdom of God is the rule of God from within the saints over the nations of the earth.
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. (Isaiah 61:7)
We Christians, as was true of our Lord, must always be prepared to suffer shame and humiliation. I do not see this in our country, America. Rather, because of our ability to vote leaders in and out, we may suppose that somehow it is our right to act as rulers and governors.
However, acting in positions of rulership of the peoples of the earth is not our true role in the present hour. Rather, our task is to be a witness of God’s Person, will, ways, and eternal purpose in Christ. When our Lord Jesus was presented with the opportunity of being a king, He refused.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
The Lord did not meddle in the politics of the Roman Empire, although I think I read somewhere there were Jews who did. The Apostle Paul was treated as the filth of the world. He was not active in politics, nor were any of the other apostles.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
You know, I believe some humbling needs to take place in our country, especially with us Christians. We would exalt ourselves and claim that we are deserving of respect and high status because we are God’s favorites.
The Apostle Paul told us we should adopt the attitude of Jesus. God did in time exalt Jesus, but not until He first had made Himself of no reputation.
Let us think again about the passage below:
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. (Isaiah 61:7)
First comes the shame. Then come multiple blessings. If we are willing to humble ourselves, accept the imprisonment of our personal cross, follow Jesus meekly, then when the Kingdom of God comes to the earth we will have a double portion and everlasting joy.
But that is not yet. First we must go without the camp, so to speak, bearing our cross of humiliation and abasement. Until we are willing thus to humble ourselves, Christ will not regard us as His brothers or members of His body. It is the way of the cross that leads home. The cross always comes before the crown.
For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; and I will faithfully give them their recompense and make an everlasting covenant with them. (Isaiah 61:8—NASB)
The expression “robbery in the burnt offering” reminds me of the following verse:
Who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation. (Luke 20:47)
I think “robbery in the burnt offering” is speaking of religious leaders building cathedrals on the backs of the poor; pleading with poor people to give, give, give, while the bishops and pastors are living in luxury. God hates this sort of religious activity, but it goes on all the time.
I think we Christians in America believe we deserve justice, and some of us may be prepared to sue whomever we think is taking advantage of us. But once we are called out from the world as a holy one of God, we no longer can expect justice. If we are permitted to live without being persecuted we are better off than Christ was, and most believers during the Christian Era.
The Lord Jesus is well aware when we are treated unjustly. He also was treated unjustly. He perceives when we are being robbed and treated unlawfully. We may think He has forgotten us or doesn’t care that we are not being treated fairly. But this is not the case.
If we have been true to Jesus, and have suffered as a result, He is ready to reward us. His covenant with us is everlasting. When He is satisfied that we have been faithful to the point of death, He will bring us to fullness of joy, to pleasures forevermore.
So hang in there! Don’t quit! Your day will come, as will mine also. We have set aside our own life that Christ may live; so that He may have the spotless Bride He desires. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a King. King’s do not forget those who helped them when they had a need.
Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed. (Isaiah 61:9)
By being faithful to Christ we are laying up treasures for our descendants. The blessing of God will be on our children and their children after them. God never forgets those who have been faithful Him, no, not for a thousand generations.
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
This is why the Apostle Paul told us to rejoice always. We may have been brought very low during our lifetime. But splendor beyond our imagination awaits us shortly. Every righteous deed we have done, as the Spirit of God has enabled us, is being fashioned into a robe of righteousness that will clothe us in the Day of Christ.
This is what Paul means when He says that when we are brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ we will receive the things done in our body. We are adorned as a member of the royal priesthood, and also as the Wife of the Lamb.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
Do you remember that the Lord Jesus said that we are being made one in Him in the Father that the world would believe? Can you see this in the verse above? It is the Father’s will that the world behold in us righteousness and praise, and thus glorify God.
Right here is exposed the dreadful current teaching of grace and imputed righteousness. The world cannot see imputed righteousness. The world sees our behavior. I understand that Paul spoke of grace and imputed righteousness, to get us started following the Holy Spirit instead of the Law of Moses. But the Apostle Paul in several places warned us that if we Christians follow our sinful nature we will die spiritually; we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Is there a contradiction here? Not at all. When we come to the Lord Jesus, Christ covers us so our past sins are blotted from God’s sight. We are given Divine grace so we can leave the Law of Moses.
But such is not a permanent relationship to God. If that were the case, the Kingdom of God would be a house of cards. Rather, the intention of God is that we now follow the Spirit of God as He conforms us to the moral image of Christ and brings us into untroubled rest in the very Center of the Person of God and His will.
The present teaching of grace and imputed righteousness is an unparalleled disaster in Christian thinking. The result is baby Christians who hardly are oaks of righteousness. They are as spoiled children who demand that they have all they desire and never suffer. Their favorite saying is, “Christ suffered so I don’t have to suffer.”
Well, we are going to pay a bitter price for this unprecedented error. Divine judgment is approaching our nation because of the abundance of sin. There is an abundance of sin because the Christian churches, which are supposed to be models of righteousness and holiness, are filled with every sort of evil spirit: malice, haughtiness, selfishness, sexual lust, gluttony, seeking preeminence, unforgiveness, and jealousy.
Whatever kind of unclean spirit there is can be found in the Christian churches!
All of this because the New Testament is not being taught. In its place Sunday after Sunday is “grace-rapture-Heaven.” This is not food for the sheep, and the man behind the pulpit is not feeding the sheep, as the Lord Jesus commanded Peter.
When we consider that the Church has been created by the Lord to represent Himself to the nations of saved people, we can understand that grace (as it currently is taught), imputed righteousness, and the idea that God sees us through Christ so it is immaterial how we behave, are destructive of God’s intention.
Every member of the Body of Christ is to be a witness of God’s Person and will. How can anyone be a witness of God’s Person and will unless he or she behaves as God does?
If you wish to know how a Christian should behave, ask a person of the world. He will give you a lesson in righteous behavior.
As I have mentioned, we are proceeding toward Divine judgment of the formerly Christian nations. Many will die and go to their proper place in the spirit world. The true Christians may have to assemble and worship in hidden places, as is true in some parts of the world today.
It is likely that the majority of those who today profess to be Christians, the nominal church-attenders, will join the ranks of those who are persecuting the fervent disciples. This separation and persecution will serve to purify the holy remnant so when the Lord appear they will be ready to be transformed and caught up to meet the Commander in Chief in the air.
Today we have a brief space of time in which to prepare ourselves. It is not helping that so many Christian leaders are still acting as though nothing bad is going to take place in “good old America.” They are not listening to the Spirit of God, who is warning us to prepare ourselves by walking closely to the Lord Jesus.
We may be blaming the present government officials for the financial problems, and the immoral decisions that are being made concerning abortion and sexual perversions. Some Christian leaders are seeking to promote political actions that will bring more conservative politicians into office.
If they succeed, it might help us for a season. But the basic problem, that of a lack of a strong moral testimony on the part of the Christian people, may persevere. In that case, no amount of conservative leadership will bring our nation back to financial or moral strength.
There is one fact we can count on. The Lord Jesus Christ remains in control. He will ensure that those who trust and obey Him, and their loved ones, will be protected by His angels. Should they die they will go to a place of rest until the Lord is ready to appear on the earth.
We must learn not to fret when we see evil increasing in our country and in the rest of the world. The godless may exalt themselves for a season and make their boasts. But in the end, the Bible will prove to be true. The wicked will be brought to nothing and the righteous will prevail. This truth is as a great granite rock that cannot be moved in any manner whatever.
So rest in Christ. Bring Him into your life several times every day. Rejoice in His faithfulness. Sing hymns of praise. It won’t be too long before you are singing and dancing in the heights of Zion.
But the wicked will dwell in a dry land, enduring the darkness and pain that they have brought upon themselves by their behavior, whether or not they profess to be Christians.
(“Christ—Head and Body”, 3332-1)