CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS GO TO WORK

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS GO TO WORK

Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

The more that human beings attempt to straighten out the world the more corrupt the situation becomes. This is because the heart of man is corrupt. We are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The solution to the chaos is the return of Jesus Christ to govern the nations. This is the blessed hope of the Christian Church, although our hope has become confused because of the unscriptural emphasis on a "rapture" of the believers to Heaven in order to escape Antichrist and the great tribulation.

It is time now to refresh the original blessed hope of the Church, because the way we view the purpose of the return of the Lord, and our role in His return, directly affects the diligence we apply to our discipleship today.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Necessity for Cultivating the Heavenly Life The Return of the Lord The Army of the Lord Driving Satan From the Earth The Release of the Material Creation The Rule of the Iron Scepter The Going Forth of the Law From Mount Zion Bringing Justice to the Nations Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins Bringing the Immature "Sisters" to Maturity The Last Great Rebellion Conclusion

CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS GO TO WORK

Introduction

The world is heading toward chaos in every area of human life: morals, education, medicine, economics, the military, the arts and sciences, the vocations. While there are advances in knowledge, justice and wisdom in the use of the knowledge is not always present. For example, the Internet, a significant leap forward in communication techniques, is sometimes used to defraud the unwary, to purvey pornography, to instruct young people in the construction of explosives. With all the progress in science and technology, a small percentage of the earth's population is overweight while multitudes are starving.

The more that human beings attempt to straighten matters out the more corrupt the situations become. This is because the heart of man is corrupt. We are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The solution to the chaos is the return of Jesus Christ to govern the nations. This is the blessed hope of the Christian Church, although our hope has become confused because of the unscriptural emphasis on a "rapture" of the believers to Heaven in order to escape Antichrist and the great tribulation.

It is time now to refresh the original blessed hope of the Church, because the way we view the purpose of the return of the Lord, and our role in His return, directly affects the diligence we apply to our discipleship today.

I'll tell you what got me started on this essay. I was doing my devotional reading last night and it so happens I am in the Book of Isaiah.

I ran across several passages that have to do with Christ returning and bringing justice to the nations.

For example:

"Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm." (Isaiah 51:4,5—NIV)

"My justice will become a light to the nations."

Just prior to this promise of justice to the nations we see that God is going to bless His people.

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. (Isaiah 51:3—NIV)

Here is the pattern. God will build up Zion. As soon as He does, Christ will appear with His saints and bring justice to the nations of the earth.

For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. (Psalms 102:16—NIV)

I laid my Bible down and began to think. The world is in terrible shape today. Tonight on the news we heard about the fall of the stock markets around the world, the worsening problem in Iraq, and the slaughter of men, women, and children in Kosovo. Not a bright picture. Any one of these dangerous situations has the potential to radically disrupt the lives of multitudes of people.

As we think about the governments of the world we realize they are controlled by self-seeking leaders who will do anything to retain their power, even if millions of their countrymen suffer. We consider the super-rich individuals who play their games with money without considering what is happening to the rest of us.

There is no hope for the bringing of justice to the ordinary members of the nations.

Yet there is a hope, a future for the world. The Bible promises that Jesus Christ will return with His saints and powerful angels and bring justice to mankind. Isaiah has quite a bit to say about this, as does the Book of Psalms also.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah That your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Selah May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. (Psalms 67:1-5—NIV)

God will return in Jesus Christ and in the saints to bring justice and gladness to the people of the nations of the earth. This is the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God.

And then I asked myself, how in the world did we get into this mansions in heaven idea, golden slippers, rapture, and all the rest of the mythology? How did Christianity ever become so self-centered, forgetting what the Scriptures say about the Gospel of the Kingdom, the bringing of justice to the nations?

How did the Christian salvation get turned into a means of bringing untransformed Gentiles into Paradise without regard to the bringing of justice to the nations? How were we able to turn faith in Christ into an escape from Hell instead of the transformation of believers into new creations of righteous behavior who would be able to serve as the moral lights of the world?

How did we drift so far away from the Bible?

When I was in Bible school I was taught that God has two brides, a Jewish bride and a Gentile bride. The Gentile bride is destined to go to Heaven to recline on sofas in fabulous mansions while the Jewish bride will fulfill on the earth what the Hebrews Prophets have spoken.

I have been out of Bible school for fifty years and have had a chance to read the Bible for myself. I am here to tell you this idea of a Gentile kingdom in Heaven and a Jewish Kingdom on earth is totally unscriptural. It is this teaching that has cut off the Christian churches from the Prophets, leaving us with no clear vision of our destiny in Christ, why we were saved, why we must press forward to maturity in Christ, why the Lord deals endlessly with us night and day.

Any smart high-school student could prove easily from the New Testament that the two-kingdom doctrine is absolutely against the plan of God.

For example, Paul taught in Galatians that those who are in Christ are the one seed of Abraham. Paul's teaching here is clear, without possibility of ambiguity.

If Christ and those who are part of Him, whether Jewish or Gentile, are the one Seed of Abraham, and beyond doubt the nations will be blessed through the one Seed of Abraham, where, then, is the Jewish Kingdom?

If we Gentiles, having received Jesus Christ, have been grafted into the one Olive Tree, which is Christ, where then is the other olive tree?

The two-kingdom, two-bride doctrine is woefully unscriptural.

But more than that, this unscriptural philosophy removes the motivation from Gentile Christians to press forward to maturity in Christ. If our goal is to recline on a sofa in a mansion in the spirit realm, what need is there to press forward to maturity? But if our goal is to return with Jesus Christ to bring justice to the meek of the earth, and if bringing justice to the nations will necessitate a confrontation with all the forces of Hell, then spiritual maturity is required of us.

Satan has managed to drive a wedge between Israel of the Old Testament and the Church of the New Testament. He has done this because the Kingdom of God will always be associated with the nation and land of Israel, and yet derives its authority and power from Jesus Christ.

The truth is, Israel of the Old and the Church of the New are one olive tree. They are absolutely one new man, inseparable, the one Seed of Abraham through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul taught that those who receive Christ, whether Jewish or Gentile, are one new man in Christ. Once we are born again of the Spirit of God we no longer are identifiable by race in terms of the Kingdom of God. As to culture, yes, we may be quite different. But in the Kingdom of God we are of the one body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is what the Scripture states. This is what is true.

All of the promises of the Messianic Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, that are found in the Hebrew Prophets, have to do with Jesus Christ and those who are part of Him. There are promises in the Prophets that apply to the physical land and people of Israel. But the promises referring to the coming Kingdom of God apply only to Jesus Christ and His Body.

Paul said the Deliverer would come from Zion and remove godlessness from Jacob. This means when Christ appears with His saints they will bring salvation and the Presence of God to the physical people and land of Israel.

If you as a Christian want to read about your destiny, read the Hebrew Prophets. You, being part of Jesus Christ, are spiritual Israel, the one Seed of Abraham, a branch of the one Olive Tree that has its roots in Abraham and the other patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament.

This is why the Book of Hebrews, when it teaches us the meaning of "the righteous shall live by faith" uses exclusively the saints from the Old Testament. They are one with us and we all shall be made perfect together in one Body of Christ.

And so the doctrine that there are two kingdoms and two brides of God, a Jewish kingdom and bride and a Gentile kingdom and bride, is as destructive a teaching as could be developed. Let us who love the Lord flee from this unscriptural doctrine at once.

The Necessity for Cultivating the Heavenly Life

Recently I have been dwelling on the duality of the Christian personality. We have an earthly adamic life on the earth, and then we have a new born-again life in Heaven at the right hand of God.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your  life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4—NIV)

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:6—NIV)

I have written two brief essays on the fact of our heavenly life, titled The Necessary Orientation, and Pursuing the Heavenly.

It is God's will that we cultivate our heavenly life each day. To do this we count that our earthly nature has been crucified with Christ. We cooperate with the Spirit of God as He requires that we put to death our love of the world, the lust and appetites of our flesh and soul, and our self-will. The reason Christians have a problem with such total sanctification is they do not understand that their adamic nature, their entire adamic personality, is to be placed on the cross and kept there as a living sacrifice to God.

Neither do many Christians understand clearly that they have a new life in the heavens with the Lord Jesus Christ. They are seated with Christ at the right hand of God on a throne above every other authority and power in the universe.

Our life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear we shall appear with him from our position at the right hand of Power.

But for this to take place it must be true that Christ is our life. We have many chances each day to make Christ our life. Whenever we are faced with a decision to either give way to our adamic nature, or else to wait on the Lord until we obtain His grace, we can choose to make Christ our life. We can choose also to yield to our earthly nature and thus miss the opportunity to nourish our life that is in Heaven.

It is as simple as this. The Christian fight of faith is the struggle each day to strengthen our life in Heaven at God's right hand, or else to satisfy the impulses of our flesh and carnal mind.

When we read the Prophets we understand God intends to bring justice to our weary planet. The point is, God is going to bring that justice through Christ and His saints. It is useless for the Lord to return until His saints are mature enough to work with Him in establishing His righteous Kingdom on the earth. We can, according to Scripture, hasten the Day of the Lord by living in a godly manner.

Can you see now why it is imperative we have a clear understanding of what will take place when the Lord returns, what our role will be and why we have to press forward to maturity?

Do you see why the teaching of a "pre-tribulation rapture" in which immature believers fly away by grace to a mansion in Heaven, there to do nothing but enjoy themselves for eternity, is so misleading and destructive?

Can you see the grief we bring to the Lord Jesus Christ by our flight-to-Heaven doctrine? He is waiting at the right hand of God for His enemies in us to be brought under His feet so He can claim His bride, return to Jerusalem to be united with His physical brothers, and then inherit the nations of the earth. When we spend our time jumping up and down next to our pew in the hope we will be removed to Heaven where we can enjoy ourselves, can you understand how the Lord is grieved at this total departure from what is written in God's Word?

It is time now for all sincere Christians to get on with the job of putting to death through the Spirit the sins of our flesh, and strengthening our new life in Heaven so we can return with the Lord and bring justice to the nations. We must set our hearts on things above, praying, studying the Word, gathering with fervent saints, finding out what our gifts and ministries are so we may build up ourselves and the other members of Christ's body, giving of our means, not being conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewing of our mind that we may prove God's will.

The Return of the Lord

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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:16,17—NIV)

The above passage is the foundation for the unscriptural teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture to deliver the believers from Antichrist and the great tribulation.

If you will read the passage carefully you will see there is no mention whatever in the verses or their context that the purpose of resurrecting the dead in Christ, or catching up the saints to meet the Lord in the air, has anything to do with escaping Antichrist or the great tribulation.

Paul wrote these words, not to give the believers hope they would be removed from trouble but to comfort them concerning their dead relatives. I use the passage at funerals, telling the grieving relatives and friends that they will see their loved ones again.

Notice there is no mention of leaving the earth and going to Heaven. The saints meet the Lord in the air. They go up to meet Him as He descends to the level of the spiritual thrones that govern the earth. These thrones had been occupied by wicked spirits. The thrones in the air are now vacant, ready to be taken by those saints for whom they have been prepared.

Notice that the dead in Christ, many of whom have been in Heaven for thousands of years, have returned with the Lord to claim their bodies from their place of burial. Now they are standing on the earth in glorified bodies.

The living saints, who are spiritually mature enough to sustain the change from mortality to immortality while standing on their feet, are also glorified.

This is the army of the Lord. Do you think these warriors in glorified bodies, living by the life of the Spirit of God, could be harmed by Antichrist or the great tribulation? Let us not be foolish!

Slowly, majestically, in the sight of Antichrist and the wicked of the earth, the army of the Lord will rise to meet the Commander-in-Chief in the air. There they will mount the white war stallions in preparation for the onslaught of Armageddon.

Don't you think the heroes of faith who have returned with Christ and received back their bodies from the ground would be somewhat dismayed at the thought of returning to Heaven to wait another seven years before they can assume their places of rulership (as is often taught)? They are kings and they are anxious to inherit their kingdoms!

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10—NIV)

The moment they rise from the earth the fury of God's anger will fall on those who have been left behind. This is not the great tribulation but the Day of Wrath.

Notice the following verses, which are in context with the above passage.

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so this day should surprise you like a thief. (I Thessalonians 5:2-4—NIV)

To say that Paul has changed the subject, that I Thessalonians, Chapter Four is not speaking of the historic Day of the Lord, and that Chapter Four is not speaking of the same event as the first and second chapters of Second Thessalonians, is to defy every principle of biblical interpretation. The "pre-tribulation rapture" is a "private interpretation." It is one of the deceptions that Jesus warned us would be prevalent in the closing days of the Church Age.

We see, then, that a close look at the "rapture" passage causes the doctrine of the "pre-tribulation rapture' to evaporate like dew when the sun rises. It is not verified by the Scripture. It is a myth, a delusion, a device to keep God's people from preparing themselves to stand in the evil day.

I think it is time for God's leaders and statesmen to turn this thing around and bring a true description of the future to the Lord's people.

The Army of the Lord

After the Israelites passed Mount Sinai the Lord directed them to organize as an army in preparation for the invasion of Canaan.

In Bible typology, Mount Sinai is representative of the Jewish feast of Pentecost. The next feast after Pentecost is the Blowing of Trumpets—war, in other words. Thus in the type of the organizing of Israel into an army, and the feast of the Blowing of Trumpets, we see that the next event after Pentecost, after the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, is preparation for war.

We notice today that the choruses being sung are often on the subject of war. It is time for the Christian people to be organized into an army, the army of the Lord.

When the Lord Jesus returns with His saints they will be resisted by the armies of the wicked. Therefore they must return as a disciplined army—saints who are invincible because they already have died and been brought back to life in Christ.

Having been associated with Christian churches for over half a century it is my opinion that many of us older people will neither understand nor enter into what God is doing today. We have fought our fight to this point and now we are ready to let the next generation take over.

However, there may be a few Joshuas and Calebs among us who can make the transition from "Sweet Hour of Prayer" to "He Is the Living God." Perhaps you are such a person.

It is obvious to those who work with children that there is an unusual spirit of understanding on the younger generation. They are called to "go across Jordan."

Now what does this mean? It means they will be willing to leave their earthly nature, the worldliness, lust, and self-will, on the cross with Jesus and press forward until they lay hold on their life at the right hand of God. They will actually do what our generation has only talked about.

In America, at least, this spiritual maturing probably will take place during a period of great trouble. Our nation today is in a horrible condition before God. We can expect severe Divine judgment until we cease aborting babies and get rid of the filthy television shows with their endless emphasis on lust and marital infidelity.

We in America are as Sodom and Gomorrah and we can expect a similar destiny. God is not a respecter of persons.

It is my opinion that out of this cesspool of moral horrors God will prepare Christian warriors who once and for all will put Satan behind their back and press forward to the right hand of God in Heaven. Then we will see the conflict between God and Satan, and finally the return of the Lord with His mature saints to bring justice to the nations of the earth.

A terrible, wonderful future awaits us. Terrible for the ungodly and the hypocrites. Wonderful for those who love Jesus.

What is the true vision of the Day of the Lord?

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand— A day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. (Joel 2:1,2—NIV)

A large and mighty army. A great people and a strong. This is the true nature of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He will not appear until these saints are ready to appear with Him. He must become their life—the life of each one of them without exception. There can be no Achans in this camp!

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14,15—NIV)

A careful study of the context of this passage from Jude will reveal that the "holy ones" will judge the hypocrites in the Christian churches. These will be the first to be dealt with by the army of the Lord.

This is why the trumpet is blown in Zion. This is why fearfulness surprises the hypocrites.

The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (Isaiah 33:14—NIV)

It is the sinners in Zion, in the churches, who will experience terror at the coming of the Lord. There will be trembling and a rupture rather than a hilarious "rapture." Only those who are walking in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father can dwell with the consuming fire.

When the Lord Jesus appears His saints will appear with Him.

On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (II Thessalonians 1:10—NIV)

When the Lord appears from Heaven His name will be "Faithful and True." To be faithful and true is to have integrity. Those who ride with the Lord also will have integrity. There will be no church foolishness and deviousness, immorality, covetousness, seeking of preeminence, gossip, slander, malice, in this army. These are a kind of Christian we are not always accustomed to.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14—NIV)

The fine linen is the righteous behavior of the saints—behavior that reflects the formation of Christ in their personalities.

At their faces the hypocrites of the churches and the wicked of the earth will be horror stricken, realizing that the game is over. Judgment has come and it knows no favorites.

But the meek of the earth will come with rejoicing, bringing their children with them to present to the Lord. What a day for the righteous, as justice has finally come to them. What a nightmare of agony for those who have lived for their own pleasure on the earth, harming other people in order to secure their own comfort and satisfaction.

The day of reckoning has arrived, administered by the saints.

May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD. (Psalms 149:6-9—NIV)

Driving Satan From the Earth

When we think about the Garden of Eden we are amazed. How could Paradise actually have existed on the earth? But it did.

Man permitted Satan to enter. We have had six thousand years of agony as a result.

Now, this is important to understand. Jesus Christ did not appear in order to drive out Satan by Himself, He appeared to enable us to drive Satan out.

This begins with us as an individual. From what I have seen I think some of the believers expect Jesus to do all the work in their salvation. He will never do it. Rather, Jesus guides and empowers us, but we have to do the casting out.

Say you are bound with profanity. The thing to do is to tell Jesus you do not want this in your personality any longer. Renounce profanity. Denounce it. Assign it to the Lake of Fire where it belongs. Get rough with it.

When you take your stand the Lord Jesus will help you. You finally will get totally free from it.

But if you wait for the Lord to remove the profanity without any effort on your part you will be disappointed with the results.

The reason people do not get delivered from alcohol is they do not pray until they really want to get rid of it. Until you really want to get rid of this devil it will remain in you no matter how many times you are prayed for.

And so with all the rest of our worldliness, lust, and self-will. We have to pray and follow the Lord until we are strong enough to make up our mind we are through with the sin. Then the Lord will help us drive it from us.

The same is true of the whole world. The sin will not be removed until the Lord appears with people who really want it removed. Then He will empower them to drive it totally from the earth. These are God's "untouchables." When Satan comes he can find no place in them. You can be one of God's untouchables but you will have to work at it. It is a hard fight.

Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things, says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 4:3—NIV)

The wicked will be ashes under your feet, not under the Lord's feet but under your feet.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20—NIV)

We are the Body of Christ, including the feet of the Body of Christ. The feet burn as bronze in an oven, the bronze of judgment. The Lord will make the place of His feet glorious because they will drive sin from the earth.

We had believed we would never get the final victory over sin while living on the earth, that victory over sin would come about somewhere in Heaven. This is faulty reasoning because sin began in Heaven. Deliverance from sin is not found in Heaven, only in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as we abandon our earthly life to the cross with Jesus and press into our new life at the right hand of God that we can gain the strength to renounce sin.

Sin is a question of truth and choice. Jesus Christ has all power. To obtain deliverance we must decide this is what we truly, finally want. We can lay hold on enough power to decide what we truly want by going to the Lord constantly for that power. Once we make the decision we do not want to sin, in whatever area we are concentrating on, the Lord will furnish the power to keep us from sinning. He gives us the power to decide, and having made the decision He gives us the power to get rid of the sin. He came to destroy, not forgive, the works of the devil.

Sin has power only as long as we yield to it. Once we can gain the determination to renounce and denounce the sin, the power of the Lord is at hand to destroy the works of the devil.

When the sons of God appear with the Lord they will denounce and renounce all sin. Then it requires only one angel to chain Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit.

The Release of the Material Creation

The Christian churches for a long time, maybe from their beginning, have not understood that God intends to remove sin from the earth. Paradise was on earth in the beginning. Paradise will once again be on earth when God has finished redeeming the earth, only this time Paradise will be protected by a great wall.

Paradise is in the spirit realm at the present time. And so traditionally the goal of salvation has been presented as eternal life in Heaven. This goal has served to the present hour. Now that the Kingdom of God is ready to come to the earth the Spirit of God is opening the Scriptures to us so we can see that the goal of redemption is not eternal residence in the spirit realm but the release of the material creation into the liberty of the children of God.

That  the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21—NIV)

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12—NIV)

The release of the creation will not come about as God pours out glory from the clouds. Rather the release will come at the hands of the sons of God. Man permitted sin to enter the earth and produce corruption and death. Through Jesus Christ, man will be able to drive sin, corruption, and death from the earth and fill all nature with the Holy Spirit.

This is the meaning of the following:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:3,4—NIV)

The dwelling of God is the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ. When the Church comes down from Heaven to rest on a high mountain of the new earth the Presence of God will be here. Then through the Church God will wipe every tear from the eyes of the people of the saved nations, bringing death, mourning, crying, and pain to an end.

It is as simple as this.

The problem is that of removing sin from the Church and bringing Christ to maturity in the Church. For until sin has been removed from the Church, and Christ has been brought to maturity in the Church and is dwelling in the Church, it is not possible for God in the Church to release the nations and the physical creation into the liberty of the children of God.

In the days of the Apostles the Spirit of revelation and power was present on the earth, not in the atmosphere but in the Apostles. We know from the Epistles that the members of the churches were as carnal as we are today. Nevertheless the truth of the Kingdom of God was preached. The groundwork was laid well.

When the Apostles died the Spirit of revelation and power was withdrawn. Then began the long struggle by God's people to regain for themselves that which had been present in the Apostles.

Today much of the original revelation has been restored. Now it is time for the conflict of the ages to begin—God against Satan; the Holy Spirit against the False Prophet; Christ against Antichrist.

The main problem of the last days will not be worldliness or physical lust, although these will be very present. The main problem will be self-will. Man will be exalted. Man will be in control. Man will look for "the god within him." This is Antichrist.

Opposed to this will be the godly remnant who will suffer the crucifixion of their deepest self that Christ may be formed in them. Although they will be despised by the world and most of that which terms itself "Christian," those in whom Christ is formed will prevail in the end.

There will be mighty revival in the closing days of the Church Age. Out of this revival will come a handful of people who are willing to lay down their earthly life and pursue their new born-again life in Heaven at the right hand of God. These are the ones who will rule with Christ, appearing with Him in the Day of the Lord and bringing release to the material creation.

The end-time, latter-rain revival of the closing days of the Church Age is symbolized by the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The forming of Christ in the saints and their pursuit of life at the right hand of God is symbolized by the birth of the male Son of the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation.

It is the Ruler of the age to come that is being formed in us. This is why we must be willing to let the Spirit remove worldliness, lust, and self-will from us.

Remember, the wonderful glory of the Day of the Lord will not drop down from the clouds. It will come to the earth through Christ and His saints and be managed by them.

The Rule of the Iron Scepter

"Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery." (Psalms 2:8,9—NIV)

God the Father invited God the Son to pray. The Son was to pray for the nations and the ends of the earth. The Son is to govern the nations with a scepter of iron, dashing all resistance as one would smash a clay pot with an iron bar.

This is total rule, allowing no resistance of any kind.

We see therefore that Christ will return and rule the nations of the earth, although first He had to be offered for the sins of the world.

But Christ will not rule alone. There are coheirs of the nations and the ends 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—NIV)

The rule of Christ and His saints will be righteous, bringing justice to all people on the earth. This does not mean every person will be saved. There will be "goat nations" who refused to aid Christ's brothers during their sufferings on the earth. These will be led away into the fire.

It can be seen that the Christian salvation has a lot to do with rulership. If Christ were to rule alone He would have set up His Kingdom two thousand years ago. He certainly had the power to do this. But He has chosen to divide the spoil with the strong, to have many associates governing with Him and inheriting the wealth of the nations.

See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. (Isaiah 32:1—NIV)

We may not appreciate in the present hour the desirability of inheriting the nations, but we shall some day.

As we used to say, the cross goes with the crown. So it is that if we are to govern with Christ we must suffer with Him first.

If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (II Timothy 2:12—NIV)

We have to suffer because we are made perfect through suffering, just as Christ was made perfect through suffering. We have to learn obedience through suffering just as Christ learned obedience through suffering.

When we suffer in the flesh we stop our sinning, as Peter tells us. It is only through suffering that we are enabled to live by the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. As long as we are strong in our own strength we cannot be trusted with the degree of power and wisdom that is to be allocated to the brothers of Jesus Christ. We must be brought down to weakness and helplessness so the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.

The peoples of the nations want to see Jesus. They want God. They do not want well meaning religious people going through their fleshly antics. It is only as Jesus lives in us that we are bread for people.

The Book of Second Corinthians in several passages tells of the extraordinary sufferings of the Apostle Paul. Yet from this ever-dying man came the Epistles that have changed the course of the history of the world. Tremendous fruitfulness requires tremendous pruning.

We may start out wanting to be a great apostle or great leader of some kind. But when God begins to reveal to us what such elevation would require we may decide the wisest course is to settle for what God wants us to be, for we will just be able to manage to cope with those requirements.

We may desire to be at the right hand of Jesus when He appears. But can we drink the cup? Can we be baptized with the baptism? We can if this is the place appointed for us.

The Going Forth of the Law From Mount Zion

Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3—NIV)

I think the above verse reveals the convergence of the spiritual Israel, the Christian Church, with the physical people and land of Israel. Mount Zion will consist of the physical people and land of Israel brought to life by the coming of the Lord Jesus and His saints to dwell among them.

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." (Romans 11:26—NIV)

The Deliverer, Jesus Christ and those who are an integral part of Him will descend from the heavenly Zion and save the earthly Zion. From there they will govern the nations of the flesh, that is, "Esau."

Deliverers will go up Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD’s. (Obadiah 1:21—NIV)

The "many peoples," of Isaiah 2:3, are people who have been saved from the nations of the earth.

I believe they will be going up to Jerusalem to experience the Presence and blessing of God, as well as to be taught and guided in His righteous ways.

I believe also that the house of the God of Jacob is Jesus Christ and those who are part of Him. There is no house of God other than Jesus Christ and those who are an integral part of Him. God no longer will dwell in a temple made with human hands.

So here we have a picture of Christ and His saints bringing the Presence and blessing of God to people on the earth, and teaching them the eternal moral law of God. The eternal moral law of God is written in our mind and in our heart as Christ is formed in us, because He alone is the Word of God.

The Sermon on the Mount gives us some idea of the eternal moral law of God, of which the Law of Moses was an abridged, covenantal, negative version.

I think, from the types of the Old Testament, that when the Lord comes He will establish His throne in Jerusalem. He will be surrounded by those who have appeared with Him.

All of those living in Israel at that time will be brought into the Kingdom of God, just as Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus was brought into the Kingdom of God almost against his will, so to speak. God has the power at any time to bring someone into His Kingdom.

The saints will govern the earth throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age. They will be ruling over flesh-and-blood nations, as far as I know, governing them with the iron scepter of the Spirit of God.

I don't think the whole Church will be involved at this time. Most of God's elect will still be in Heaven, it appears.

After the thousand-year Kingdom Age the earth and sky to which we are accustomed will pass away with a great noise. Then a new sky and earth will come into view. Down from the new sky will descend the new Jerusalem to be established on a high mountain of the new earth. The new Jerusalem will consist of all of God's elect, not just the firstfruits that governed during the Kingdom Age.

It seems likely that the nations living on the new earth will not be flesh-and-blood people, because the former things have passed away. What they will be like we will have to see when we get there.

But the pattern will be the same as during the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The nations will come up periodically to "keep the feast of Tabernacles." This means they will come to enjoy the Presence of God in Christ and the saints, being nourished and healed as they partake of the Spirit of God and of the fruit and leaves of the Tree of Life and the other trees of life growing from the roots of the main Tree, Jesus Christ.

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. (Zechariah 14:16,17—NIV)

Bringing Justice to the Nations

"Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm." (Isaiah 51:4,5—NIV)

The nations of today are in sore need of justice. Whether governed by a democracy, a socialist system or a feudal system, we can see that the leaders lay up wealth and comfort for themselves while multitudes of those being ruled are often without even the necessities of life.

Whenever a wealthy nation attempts to send food to an impoverished country the food ends up on the black market and the wealthy and powerful become even more wealthy and powerful. It is sickening!

For thousands of years the meek and poor of the earth have tried to keep alive and maintain their families, sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully.

The Bible does not have much good to say to the wealthy. God loves the poor. God is with the humble, the needy, the orphans, the widows. Those who assist the poor and needy are approved of God.

The Gospel is to the poor, the Lord Jesus said, and the common people heard Him gladly. It is always this way. Occasionally there is a person of means who really loves the Lord. But these are the exception.

God's way is to bring down the high and elevate the lowly. The whole world is an example of this principle. Those who mourn now shall be comforted in the future. Those who laugh now will mourn later. The rich man was in the torments of Hell. The poor man was in Abraham's bosom in the midst of peace and glory.

Those who are high shall be abased. Those who are least esteemed in this world shall be exalted.

Justice is coming to the nations with the return of Jesus Christ and His saints. Until they come the lack of justice shall prevail. This is why all who would aspire to the life that is hidden at the right hand of God must learn to be meek and lowly, to set others before themselves, to be purged from all self-seeking and self-aggrandizement.

We know when the Lord Jesus is governing the earth we all shall be treated fairly. The saints who come with the Lord must be worthy of that same confidence. The ruling saints will be untouchable as far as graft and favoritism are concerned. They will judge fairly every situation that comes before them because they will not judge according to their own eyes and ears but what they see and hear with God. This is the way Jesus judges.

We must learn to be blind and deaf today if we would be perfect in judgment. We must cease our criticizing of the actions of people and wait until we hear from God before we form an opinion. Such restraint is impossible to Adam. Only the new man who abides in Heaven with God is able to stop judging according to man's judgment and wait to hear the heavenly verdict.

Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins

They 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—NIV)

The saints who appear with Christ will have the responsibility of rebuilding the places of ruin and devastation on the earth.

Antichrist is the abomination that creates desolation. Whenever man acts according to his own will and judgment, not looking to the Lord for guidance, he creates havoc.

We see today in the places of greatest education the moral desolation that is taking place. Today in America the families are at risk. During holidays the strife in families is so great that the police can scarcely cope with the emergency calls they receive. Sometimes when the police go to a house to answer a call they themselves are killed.

In America murders are being committed by young people and children. Some of the largest cities are nearly in anarchy. The police cannot control the gangs or the traffic in drugs. Violence abounds to such an extent that a person would be safer at night in the jungles of Africa than on the main street of a large American city.

Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, should be a showpiece of community life, reflecting the highest ideals of the American way. Instead it is a wretched place of drugs, alcoholism, of murder and other forms of violence.

When man governs, desolation results. When the Antichrist world is crying peace and safety there will be unbelievable desolation on every hand. As long as man can express his own will he thinks he is living in Paradise, even though it is apparent to those looking at him that he is in a wretched condition.

Such perversity and blindness are true today where our government is attempting to force the American way of life on other countries, not recognizing that in some respects these other countries have a more wholesome social structure and are more moral than we.

We are the blind attempting to lead the blind, when one considers the urban areas of our nation. We are ready to colonize Mars but we cannot cope with AIDS or gangs or drugs or alcoholism or violence. Before we investigate life on Venus we ought to pour these billions of dollars into cleaning up New York City and not leave it all up to David Wilkerson to do. What blindness!

In addition to the devastation caused by self-seeking man, when the sons of God invade the earth at the coming of the Lord they will destroy the works of the flesh.

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—NIV)

The earth and its peoples must be purified by Divine judgment and fire before righteousness, peace, and joy can be established. All that is of wickedness must be torn down before justice can prevail. God wounds before He heals. He expresses His anger before He comforts. This is His way.

So we see that a great work of rebuilding will proceed under the administration of the sons of God.

The concept of building up the saints before the saints can rebuild the world is found in Isaiah, Chapter Sixty-one.

Here we find the Spirit of God rests on the Lord Jesus that He may build up the members of His Body in preparation for the great work they have to do when He appears with them.

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—NIV)

When the Lord Jesus ascended He took of the Spirit resting on Himself and distributed it on the members of His Body in the form of gifts and ministries. The purpose of the gifts and ministries given by the ascended Christ is to build each member of His Body to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

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—NIV)

The people of the Christian churches are bound with many sins, fears, and problems. It is time now for God to execute vengeance against His enemies that keep the saints from the fullness of joy. The things that bind us are destined for the Lake of Fire as we let the Lord remove them from us. If we cling to them, then we ourselves are candidates for the Lake of Fire; for the Lake of Fire has authority over all the enemies of the Lord. Christ must wait until God brings all these under His feet.

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—NIV)

Zion must be built up before the Lord can appear. The saints who are to appear with the Lord Jesus must be oaks of righteousness, beautiful in holiness, glad and joyous in the Lord, always praising God for His faithfulness, thus displaying God's splendor to the world.

Only when the saints have thus been built to the stature of the fullness of Christ are they eligible to appear with Christ, capable of working with Him in restoring the desolated earth.

Do you see what comes about as soon as the saints become oaks of righteousness?

They 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—NIV)

Notice how the saved peoples of the earth will refer to those who appear with the Lord.

And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. (Isaiah 61:6—NIV)

People will recognize the members of the royal priesthood and minister to their needs. We know from the description of the sheep and goat nations that the factor that brought one group to eternal life in the Kingdom of God and the other group to the fire of destruction was the manner in which the individual responded to the needs of the brothers of the Lord.

For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. (Isaiah 60:12—NIV)

We see how God saved Rahab and her family because of her response to the needs of Israel. This same principle will continue in the next age. The saved peoples of the nations will be required to serve the royal priesthood.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.(Revelation 21:24—NIV)

We understand, therefore, from our brief review of the sixty-first chapter of the Book of Isaiah, why it is so utterly important that we work with the Holy Spirit as the members of the Body of Christ minister to each other, building up the whole Body to the standard that God requires if we are to serve Him in the establishing of His Kingdom on the earth.

Bringing the Immature "Sisters" to Maturity

As we look about us in the churches we see so few who are really living for God, who are denying themselves, taking up their cross, and following the Lord. How many of these are neglecting their salvation and will be judged severely, and how many are weak and undeveloped because of circumstances beyond their control, is impossible for us to judge.

In any case, the overcomers, the victorious saints who truly are living in spiritual victory, appear to be in the minority in the churches.

I have written quite a bit on the subject of the less mature members of God's elect and will not, therefore, go into the same amount of detail in the present brief essay. I will give you my opinion, which is based on several types of the Old Testament, and perhaps it will provide some useful thoughts

First of all, we must recognize clearly that the victorious saints are definitely a minority in the Christian churches. There are not many overcomers, many believers who really are denying themselves, taking up their cross, and following the Lord Jesus each day.

But there are some, and it is these, I believe, who will appear with Christ when He returns to earth.

But what about the majority who have not gained spiritual victory, who have not denied themselves, taken up their cross, and followed the Lord Jesus?

It appears most Christians die before they receive full deliverance form worldliness, lust, and self-will. Since no worldliness, lust, or self-will shall be permitted in the Kingdom of God, where and how will this multitude of people be reconciled to God in these areas of their personality?

I think we have always assumed that once they die and are in the spirit realm, or when the Lord comes, they will be transformed in personality. But there is no passage of Scripture to support this assumption. Also, if the Lord can wave a wand and transform people after they die, why does He require that we overcome these challenges while living on the earth? His demands on us are stern, insisting that we present our body a living sacrifice to God. Also, Jesus gave warnings of severe punishment, found in the Gospel accounts, to be inflicted on those who bury their talents, run out of oil, or live unrighteously. Jesus said those who do not bear fruit will be cut out of the Vine, that is, out of Himself.

There are dreadful warnings in the New Testament addressed to the Christian believers concerning continuing in sin.

This being the case, how can we assume after a believer dies, or at the coming of the Lord, his or her behavior will be dismissed as irrelevant? If the growth of Christ in us is so slow in the present world, how can we assume Christ will be formed in us at once when we die and enter the spirit realm?

I think it would be more scriptural to believe the immature believers will be helped to maturity by the stronger, by those who attain the first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection and ascension that will occur when the Lord returns.

It is a scriptural principle that those with the double portion assist the remainder of the household. The stronger Christians should help the weaker in every way they can.

So it is our point of view that the thousand-year Kingdom Age is the fulfillment of the Levitical Day of Atonement; that one of the tasks of the victorious saint will be to work with the immature believers until each one finds his appointed place in the new Jerusalem.

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. (Song of Solomon 8:8,9—NIV)

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; (Isaiah 42:3—NIV)

The two verses that follow may indicate that after the two "days" of the Church Age the Lord will bring His salvation not only to the remnant of Jewish people but also to the less mature of the Christians.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. (Hosea 6:2—NIV)

And He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’"(Luke 13:32—NIV)

It seems the purpose of the two thousand years of the Church Age is to bring forth and perfect a firstfruits who will be especially close to the Lord—perhaps for eternity. When this governing priesthood has attained maturity as measured by the fullness of the stature of Christ, then God will proceed with the development of the remainder of His Kingdom.

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. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:4,5—NIV)

The Last Great Rebellion

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison And will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9—NIV)

It seems incredible that after a thousand years of righteous government the nations of the earth could be deceived into attacking God's people. This tells us two things about people.

First of all, self-will is so deeply entrenched in the adamic race that no matter how justly, wisely, and compassionate people are governed, there remains the potential for rebellion. Indeed the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, although we could wish it were otherwise. It is going to be an occasion for the greatest sorrow to see people whom we have served so diligently be so ready to turn against us.

As God said to Samuel, "They have not rejected you, they have rejected Me."

The second thing we learn from the Gog-Magog rebellion is that Satan always has an entrance into our personality when any self-will remains. As long as there is a trace of self-will in us, Satan will find his way into us. Immediately we will find ourselves attacking the true work of God.

We will think we are serving God. We may be speaking in tongues and engaging in evangelistic work. But we also will be gossiping about and slandering the people who truly are abiding in Christ.

How do we get rid of self-will? God's answer to the problem of human self-will is the personal cross of the believer, the prisons into which we are cast.

Sometimes our prison is a marriage which, after ten years or so, has become "unbearable." There are children involved. Yet we feel we cannot take the "injustice" and "perversity" one more minute.

There are times indeed when the Lord will direct an abused spouse to leave a violent or unfaithful mate. But so often the case is not one of abuse or adultery but the clash of two self-willed people.

If this is the case, and one or the other decides he or she cannot put up with this pain any longer, and decides to leave, the damage will be great. Also, the person who bolted out of God's prison will likely never again have a chance to be among the Lord's heroes of faith. There is a first blush of the heavenly romance between Jesus Christ and the believer. If the believer chooses to avoid the route over which the Lord is leading him or her, the relationship of trust is violated. How can it ever be the same again?

One can look at David and possibly others who have sinned against the Lord and then repented. Nevertheless, this is a very, very risky business. The odds are that things will never again be the same. The individual, though he or she charges out enthusiastically "in the Lord's work," will never recover what would have been the case had they held steady in the fire.

Of course the trials can become severe. Kings are not made in paradise. Even the Lord Jesus, the Greatest of all, was perfected and learned obedience in the fiery mortar of earth.

How much more then shall we suffer as the self-will is beaten out of our personality and we come up out of the wilderness leaning on our beloved.

So few, it seems, are willing to wait on the Lord and trust Him to this extent. Yet these, and these alone, are qualified to return with Him and go about the business of installing the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Conclusion

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6,7—NIV)

We are heading toward a Kingdom so glorious we cannot imagine the least part of it. Each believer who overcomes will inherit all this glory. Overcoming is a matter of grasping the truths of the Scriptures and choosing to obey them in the Spirit of God. Overcoming is not a matter of power. Christ retains all power. It is a matter of choosing truth and living it with the help of the Lord.

The rewards for choosing to obey God's truth are assuredly not within my ability to convey even if I knew them all. But I do know that those who have set aside their own joys and hopes, have taken up their own cross, and have followed the Master patiently day after day, year after year, to the very end, will awaken to glory that cannot be imagined today.

"To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given." This alone is what is important. Man has made a religion of Christianity. The Christian religion (when it is not opposing the Son) is nothing more than a scaffolding that shall be done away in time.

All that matters is the Son. He who has the Son has the everything of God. He who does not have the Son has nothing of eternal value.

The government is on the shoulders of the Son. Eden demonstrated what will inevitably take place when Paradise is not guarded by righteous government. This is why there is a wall surrounding the holy city. This is why we who trust God suffer throughout our lifetime. It is so the self-will of Satan may be destroyed out of our personality and stern obedience to the Father created in its place.

There must be a righteous government of iron determination and strength that rules all the works of God's hands for eternity.

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5—NIV)

The saints, under Jesus Christ, will govern God's creation forever—ages without end.

Jesus Christ is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Can you see in these offices all that mankind needs to obtain survival, security, joy, and achievement? God has placed in Jesus all we shall ever need.

The government of Jesus Christ will increase for eternity. As a result, peace will increase for eternity.

Christ will sit on David's throne. This is because the political, earthly aspect of the Kingdom of God always will be associated with the physical land and people of Israel. The gates are named after the sons of Jacob. The names of the Jewish Apostles of the Lamb are in the foundations of the wall.

The reason Satan has worked so diligently to separate the Christian Church from Israel is that he understands the Kingdom of God includes both the physical land and people of Israel and the Christian Church. The two shall converge in the last days.

There can be no Kingdom of God apart from the physical people and land of Israel. There can be no Kingdom of God apart from Christ and His Church. The two are destined to be one. They are the one Olive Tree whose roots are in Abraham.

Whenever you hear talk of two kingdoms, a Jewish kingdom and a Gentile kingdom, just ask the persons involved to point out a passage of Scripture that clearly presents the two-kingdom theory. When they fail, as they certainly will, you can show that the Apostle Paul, in the Book of Ephesians, refers to the eternal house of God, built on the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone of the building, as "one new Man."

Jesus Christ will govern forever, seated on David's throne.

The Kingdom that is coming will be established and upheld with justice and righteousness forever.

The zeal of God Himself guarantees all this.

The original Gospel was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. "Repent, believe the good news, the Kingdom of God is at hand."

Somehow the good news of the coming kingdom was changed into the good news of going to Heaven when we die. God permitted this alteration to exist throughout the Church Age, so apparently no harm was done.

But now the Kingdom is at hand. We are being commanded to turn aside from our earthly life and start concentrating on our life that is in Christ at the right hand of God. This is where the battle will be fought. This is where Antichrist will be permitted to reach up and tear down those of God's host who still have rebellion in their hearts.

We can and we shall overcome if we keep choosing truth, keep bearing our cross, keep following the Lord Jesus. But there will be many who will attempt to take our crown from us. There will be many distractions and diversions as Satan attempts to draw our attention away from our position in Christ at the right hand of God.

If Satan succeeds, or if we permit people—perhaps people who have the best of intentions—to talk us down from our high position in Christ, then we will not appear with Jesus when He returns to earth.

The spiritual struggle has commenced. It shall continue over the next few decades as we await the Lord's return. Let us turn away from the pull of our adamic nature, using each pressure that comes on us to drive us further into Jesus Christ. We can and we shall gain God's fullness if we do not turn back but keep our hand to the plow.