THE AUTHORITY AND THE MORNING STAR
THE AUTHORITY AND THE MORNING STAR 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.
Two of the rewards promised to the overcomer are authority over the nations of the earth, and the gift of the Morning Star. We must have both. Authority over the nations is an awesome responsibility. Such authority must be controlled by the Morning Star.
Table of Contents
THE AUTHORITY AND THE MORNING STAR
"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. I will also give him the morning star." (Revelation 2:26-28—NIV)
I have been writing a lot lately concerning the change of vision we must adopt if we are to prepare ourselves adequately for what is coming down the trail. Previously we Christians have pictured ourselves going to Heaven when we die and enjoying our mansion and the beautiful scenery. Now we realize this is not the correct vision. The Bible does not talk about going to Heaven and enjoying our mansion and the beautiful scenery. The Bible emphasis is on the return of Christ and His saints to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, the doing of God's will on the part of the nations.
This is an altogether different vision and we need to make the change if we believe it to be scriptural. Preparing ourselves for a life of ease in Heaven is one thing but preparing ourselves to return with Christ and establish justice on the earth is something far different. Preparation for life in Heaven is minimal. Preparation for returning with Jesus Christ includes total moral transformation, iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father—a completely new creation.
Can you see the reason for this?
If you are troubled about the thought of changing your hope, your inheritance as a Christian, from dwelling in a mansion in Heaven to returning with Christ as a coheir of the nations, a member of the royal priesthood, one who will govern people with the scepter of iron righteousness, it might be well at this point to read the Hebrew Prophets and then the four Gospel accounts to see if residence in Heaven is stressed or if the coming of the Kingdom of God is stressed.
We have to go by the Bible instead of our traditions. I'm sure you will agree with this.
Another topic related to our participation in the coming of the Kingdom of God, a topic seldom mentioned in today's preaching, is the resurrection from the dead. The ascension that follows the resurrection is emphasized, emphasized, emphasized until one would suppose it to be the main topic of the New Testament and the "Blessed Hope" of the Church. Well, it isn't, and our preaching is not sound. The stress on the "pre-tribulation rapture" of the believers is simply not sound teaching. It is providing an unscriptural hope of escape from trouble when the Bible admonition is to prepare ourselves to stand in the evil day.
We should be placing great emphasis on the resurrection, not on the catching up. The resurrection from the dead was the goal of the Apostle Paul. The making alive of the physical body is the conquering of the last enemy. The resurrection is the climax of the work of redemption, of restoration, that Christ came to perform. And the resurrection from the dead has nothing whatever to do with our escaping Antichrist or the Great Tribulation! It is concerned with our living once again on the earth in the Kingdom of God. Quite a different emphasis, wouldn't you say!
The ascension that follows the resurrection is being presented as an escape from trouble. (Who needs an escape from trouble when he has been raised from the dead?—ridiculous!) This is a totally illogical, indefensible interpretation of the Scriptures. The ascension that follows the resurrection is for the purpose of catching up the warriors, both the dead and the living, into the air in preparation for their descent with Jesus Christ in the attack of Armageddon.
Tremendous Bible emphasis is placed on the return of Christ and the saints to bring justice to mankind. There is little or no emphasis in the Scriptures on our laying around in Heaven with our friends and relatives.
In fact, when the Bible shows people in a paradisiac environment it is on the present earth or the new earth. Paradise originally was on the earth in or near present day Iraq.
In addition to all this, our present behavior is going to affect the type of resurrection we have, just as we see the Apostle Paul laying all else aside in order to attain to the resurrection out from the dead. The Bible states that the white robe given to the saints at the time of the coming of the Lord is "the righteous works of the saints." We are going to be clothed in our own behavior in the day of resurrection. We certainly are going to reap what we are sowing as a Christian.
Our vision, then, is not that of being caught up to Heaven. Our vision is that of being raised from the dead, of standing on the earth in a glorified body, of being caught up to meet the Commander-in-Chief in the air, of descending with Him on a white war stallion to take control of the earth.
This is the true Bible vision. The other vision of our future is not scriptural. You might find it of interest to reread the Scriptures in terms of these two different visions and see which one you perceive to be closer to what is written.
"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)
First of all we notice the condition: "To him who overcomes and does my will to the end." The condition is not that we are "saved," or have taken "the four steps of salvation." The condition is that we overcome, and then that we do the will of Christ to the end: that is, to the end of our life or until the Lord returns.
To "overcome" means that at any given point of challenge time we are doing the Lord's will. Every time we have been pressed with worldliness, or the lusts of our flesh, or a willingness to persist in our own path instead of obeying the Lord, we have yielded to the Lord and acted according to the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. Nothing less than this is accepted if we hope to return with Jesus Christ and rule with Him.
In order to overcome there must be a point at which we declare ourselves crucified with Christ and risen with Christ. Until we do this we cannot gain the victory over sin. We will wrestle with this lust or that ambition but never succeed in gaining total victory.
We have to count ourselves crucified with Christ and risen with Christ. We are not "trying to die," we are dead. Then as we meet the daily challenges of the evil in our personality we turn away from sin and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to remove ourselves from temptation. We have declared ourselves to be dead and we behave in a manner suited to our declaration. There is power to do this if we are abiding in Christ.
We do not wrestle ineffectually with sin or self-will. We declare we have died with Christ and have risen with Him. Then we look to God for grace each day to act according to our declaration. This is what it means to "overcome."
We have to keep on doing the will of Christ until we die or He returns and catches us up to meet Him in the air. If we put our hand to the plow of the Kingdom and then look back we are not fit for the Kingdom. We keep on, keep on, keep on. We do not look back. We keep on doing the will of Christ.
The believers today are saying, "This is too strict. This is too hard." In some instances their ministers are encouraging them in this rebellion against the Word of God.
The gospel that is being preached today is not the Gospel of Christ, in many instances. The believers have been pampered until they no longer fear the Lord. They and their ministers may spend eternity together, but they will not return with Christ to govern the nations of the earth.
We must overcome and we must obey Christ until the end of our life or until He returns. These conditions cannot be changed. If we do not meet them we will not be given authority over the nations or the morning star. Can you say "Amen" to the Word of God?
"I will give authority over the nations." It is important to remember that the term "nations" does not refer to the kind of nations we have today, such as France, Germany, and England. Large nations of this type did not exist when the New Testament was written. The Roman Empire was in power.
"Authority over the nations" merely means authority over people, the right to command what they do, a right backed up by the iron of the Spirit of God.
Think about today. Could you accomplish good in the world if you had the authority to command the behavior of people? You bet you could!
You would stop the practice of aborting infants for the sake of preserving the "reproductive rights" of the mother, wouldn't you?
You would stop all child molestation.
You would stop all drunkenness.
You would stop all murder.
You would stop the foolish, self-serving behavior of our political leaders.
You would stop the unequal distribution of resources such that some people have so much money they could not spend the interest in their lifetime while other equally worthy people continue in poverty and sometimes starvation.
You would stop the educating of children in the practice of witchcraft. You would not permit them to be taught that the only god is the god in their own personality.
As a Christian you would do all these things if you had the authority, wouldn't you?
Of course you would. You would bring into existence a righteous, loving, peaceful world in which everyone did the Lord's will and worshiped Him.
Well, this is a true vision of your future. It is not to sit on a couch in your mansion with nothing to do. Rather it is to return with the Lord Jesus and bring righteousness and justice to the nations of the earth.
How does this sound to you?
Or would you rather lay around in your mansion and do nothing?
Think about this. Your answer reveals the type of person you are, doesn't it?
"He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery." This sentence tells us that when we return with Jesus to govern the peoples of the earth they will still be people. They will be as they are today, stubborn, resentful of anyone who tries to change them. Even though you are attempting to change them for their own good because their practices are destructive (just as is true of how God deals with us), they will fight against you.
You will need the iron of the Holy Spirit to crush all resistance, otherwise peace and justice cannot be brought into the world. Can you see the logic of this? And you thought you were going to do nothing forever! Why do you think God is teaching and training you? So you can go to the great retirement home in the sky?
"Just as I have received authority from my Father." You can't just begin to order people around. You have to have authority. God gave the Lord Jesus the authority to govern the creation. Jesus is passing on this authority to you so you can bring order out of social chaos.
God sees people and cares for them. His intention is to bring people to joy. He has the power to do this. Through Jesus we will receive the authority and power to bring people to joy. But, like us, they will kick and scream as they seek to maintain their own destructive ways. Is it that way with you? Do you kick and scream as God tries to bring you to joy?
Do you even believe God is bringing you to joy? This was the question that Satan raised with Eve. Faith in God means we believe God sees us, He cares, He is bringing us to joy, and He has the power to do this. You have to hang on to this faith through every trial, every suffering, every frustration or else you will fall by the way.
"I will also give him the morning star." (Revelation 2:28—NIV)
If we were given authority over the nations, but not the morning star, we would increase the chaos in the universe.
The morning star heralds the new day in us, the day of the Lord. I use a lower-case "d" in day of the Lord because I am not referring to the worldwide Day of the Lord when I speak of the day of the Lord that is being created in us. The worldwide Day of the Lord will come to the earth as the Lord Jesus Christ and those in whom the day of the Lord has been formed return and bring the Presence of God with them.
As Christians we are to pay close attention to both the Old Testament and the New Testament. By these we make our way righteous, acceptable to God.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (II Timothy 3:16—NIV)
As we obey the Scriptures (not the Levitical ordinances of the Law of Moses), and only as we obey the Scriptures, the Morning Star, Jesus Christ, is formed in our personality.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (II Peter 1:19—NIV)
In the physical realm the morning star is the planet Venus, which appears in the sky just before the dawn of the new day.
Another description of the morning star rising in us is as follows:
On that day you will realize I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:20—NIV)
Notice the expression, "on that day." "That day" is the day of the Lord that has its rise within the believer who is paying attention to the Scriptures. It occurs as we live by the Life of Jesus.
We would not want to have authority over the nations, the power to break them to pieces with the scepter of iron, unless we were living by the Life of Jesus. Can you see the sense of this? Authority and power apart from a life controlled by Jesus would be a danger in the creation of God.
We understand, therefore, that the reason God deals with us day and night, night and day, moment after moment, year after year, decade after decade, is that we may be able to govern people in a righteous and holy manner, teaching them to be obedient to God, as we are being obedient to God ourselves. This is the Kingdom of God that is coming and we enter it through much tribulation.
The preachers of today who are saying to the believers in effect, "Take your bill and change the amount you owe the Lord," are doing them a terrible disservice. They are leaving the people with the impression they can avoid the suffering that all true Christians endure as their personalities are transformed, and still rule with Christ. God will not permit this and so the ministers who are currying favor with the people by changing the amount they owe the Lord, so to speak, are really their worst enemies. They are taking their crown of rulership from them.
Unless I am mistaken, many of today's American Christians when they die are going to find that by trusting in lawless grace and the pre-tribulation rapture to save them and bring them to Heaven they have missed the plan of God for their lives. They did not receive the love of the truth and God has deluded them, just as Paul warned. This is a very serious problem in America and unless God blesses us with tremendous trouble, trouble that will bring us back to the fear of God, we are not going to have much of a resurrection. We may not be removed from the Kingdom of God but the rich inheritance of coheirship with Christ will have been lost forever.
These are serious days indeed. We have turned away from God with our foolish teaching about grace and the rapture, and our country is in moral chaos because of the wrong doctrine in the churches. Let us now turn with a glad heart to the Lord and begin to keep His commandments and to prepare ourselves for the age of moral horrors we are entering. If we will guard the word of His patience He will guard us, keeping us from the sin so available in our culture.
Numerous Christian leaders and people are being torn down from their position with Christ at the right hand of God by the pornography available on the Internet. Don't you be one of them! Divine grace does not cover this sort of behavior. God sees what you are doing! Christ knows your works!
Now we have said the Morning Star is Christ and its rising means the day of the Lord is being born in our personality. We have stressed that awesome authority and power will not be given to people whose life is not Christ. The Bible says "When Christ who is our life shall appear, then we shall appear with Him in glory." We have to be crucified so it is Christ who is living in us. Otherwise we are neither eligible (in terms of the Scripture) nor competent to return with Jesus Christ and govern the people on earth.
If you are acquainted with church people you can see how desperately they need to understand the importance of dying with Christ and living with Christ. Their concept now is that Christ is coming to catch them up to Heaven, bring them through a judgment seat where they will hear nothing but praise for their behavior, and then attend a marriage banquet. After seven years of living the good life in Heaven they will suddenly be transformed into regal kings and ferocious warriors and fall upon Antichrist, the False Prophet, the kings of the earth, Satan, and the fallen angels, like "wolves upon the fold." This of course is nonsense, pure mythology.
It really is time for a reformation of Christian thinking.
To gain some idea of the Day of the Lord let us turn to the Book of Isaiah. The following verses or fragments of verses are taken from the second chapter.
The mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains.
When mountains or hills are mentioned in the Prophets the reference is to places of authority and power. The above sentence means God's Temple, which is Christ—Head and Body, will be established as the supreme authority on the earth. But before this is possible, as we have mentioned, the Father and the Son must be established as the supreme authority in us. Can you see the reason for this?
All nations will stream to it.
When Christ and His saints return, the armies of Antichrist and the kings of the earth will be destroyed. But there will remain multitudes of peoples on the earth. They will come to the saints because of the Glory of God resting on the royal priesthood.
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."
The sons of God will occupy the thrones in the air that govern the spiritual atmosphere of the earth. They will drive Satan from every area of the earth where he is entrenched. This is why people will choose to go up to Jerusalem to seek the Lord—the demons will not be present to confuse their thinking.
He will teach us his ways, so we may walk in his paths.
People will want to learn about God and His righteous ways and our job will be to teach them. Unfortunately this does not mean some of them will not be stubborn and rebellious and have to be chastened severely.
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
You can understand if we are to enforce the commandments of Christ and His Apostles on mankind we first will have to obey them ourselves. The massive error of Christian teaching is that Divine grace is an alternative to keeping God's commandments. It is true rather that Divine grace is the enabling wisdom and power to keep Christ's commandments.
If we do not keep Christ's commandments we do not love Him. Numerous American Christians do not actually love Christ. They prove this by refusing to keep His Commandments. The "four steps of salvation" are their "fire insurance." The love of God is not in them or they would keep His commandments.
The commandments given in the Sermon on the Mount will be enforced on the saved nations of the earth with an iron scepter.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
The great need of today is for Christ to come and bring justice to people. The meek are being stepped on, crushed down into the mud. The wealthy and ambitious hoard the earth's resources to themselves as they indulge in every luxury. God sees everything that is taking place and has a plan for correcting the problem. The meek yet shall inherit the earth and there is nothing the wicked can do about it.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
In our day the world is attempting to establish peace through an increasingly authoritative and powerful United Nations. Peace will never come through the United Nations. What will come will be the wickedest rule ever to curse the peoples of the earth, the rule of Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Well-meaning people hope the United Nations will bring peace. But the wicked will seize control of the United Nation and the final result will be vicious persecution of the Christians and Jews. There will be no genuine peace until Jesus Christ returns. You can count on this.
Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
As we choose to relinquish our decisions to the Lord, to lose our life in the Lord instead of trying to save it, to trust Him with all our joyous hopes, to put our treasures in Heaven, take up our cross, and follow Jesus, the light of the Lord arises in our heart. As we walk in that light the blood of Jesus Christ keeps us free from all condemnation and we have fellowship with God.
But when we persist in walking in the darkness of our self-will the blood of Jesus Christ does not keep us without condemnation and we do not have fellowship with the Father, even though we make a profession of faith in Christ. The Christian congregations of our day need to understand this; it is not always made clear to them.
If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (I John 1:6—NIV)
You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob.
We are in a period of apostasy today, especially in the United States. Instead of the Gospel of the Kingdom being preached we have a collection of myths about grace that requires no new creation, mansions in Heaven, and an unscriptural "rapture" that will take us to Heaven. It is this unscriptural, ear-tickling "gospel" that accounts for the eternal babyhood of the believers. Our country is in moral chaos because there is no light of good works coming from the believers, just a lot of grumbling about how terribly the unsaved people are behaving.
They are full of superstitions from the East.
Our teaching about Heaven comes from the religions of the East. Making our eternal home in Heaven is not a scriptural hope. The term "mansions" is a mistranslation of a Greek word that should be rendered rooms, or abiding places. I suppose every educated Christian understands this but we keep on with our unscriptural traditions.
They practice divination like the Philistines.
In the Scripture divination is associated with sorcery. The faith and prosperity messages are forms of sorcery. They seek to apply spiritual principles to affect the physical realm. I think such practices will increase in the future. We are so backslidden we cannot tell the difference between the human application of spiritual principles, and faith in God. We have faith in faith rather than faith in Jesus Christ.
God does not want us to look for formulas that will "work." This is to put the head of man on the Body of Christ. God desires people who will walk each day as little children, holding His hand, looking up to Him in complete trust; not metaphysicians who know how to "believe" something into existence or how to "speak the creative word."
And clasp hands with pagans.
God does not want us joined together with unbelievers. We are not to trust the world to help us with Gospel work. Sometimes God uses people of the world to assist us. That is a different matter and may result in a reward for them.
But we never are to join with the local community in order to get help with the work of God. The elders in the days of Ezra refused the offer of assistance from the surrounding tribes, even though the rejection caused hostility.
Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures.
The Christian churches have grown to believe the power to do Gospel work comes from money. They beg for money. Sometimes the ministry is led astray by covetousness. God's people do not seem to know the power of the Holy Spirit, His role in building the Kingdom of God.
Money is the image of Antichrist.
Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.
In those days horses represented power and material wealth. Through the centuries of the Christian Era, when the churches grew cold toward God they put their effort behind acquiring ornate buildings—temples and palaces of worship that reflected the wealth of the institution.
Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.
One of the warnings to the seven churches in the province of Asia had to do with eating food sacrificed to idols. Today these idols include the worship of money, of entertainment, of bodily lust, sometimes of eating and drinking, of comfort and luxury, of the esteem of people, of professional sports, of power over other people. We worship the things of the world system.
So man will be brought low and mankind humbled—do not forgive them.
All these destructive behaviors and bondages we have mentioned are the personality and actions of the adamic nature, even the adamic nature of Christians. If we were to receive authority over the nations and at the same time retain our adamic nature, God's will would not be performed in the earth.
What is God's response to our adamic nature?
Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty!
Because of the self-centered myths we are preaching in place of the Gospel of the Kingdom, myths proceeding from the arrogance of the adamic nature, such as the view of Divine grace as an alternative to keeping Christ's commandments, unconditional love, eternal security, a "rapture" to escape suffering and trouble, there is little fear of God in the churches. There is arrogance, pride, smugness, and an aggressive faith that seeks to command God to do whatever the individual thinks is profitable or correct.
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low.
The eyes of proud church people will be humbled. The pride of religious man will be brought low.
It was the leaders of Israel who murdered the Christ. The prophets were stoned by the Lord's chosen people. Throughout the history of the Christian Church the godly have been tortured and murdered by ambitious religious leaders.
The common people heard Jesus gladly, but the religious leaders did not.
So it is today. Whenever God moves, ambitious religious people cry "This is the work of the devil!" All Christian people who have not given their life and hopes to the Lord to be His servant are of the synagogue of Satan. They may have taken the "four steps of salvation." They may have spoken in tongues and prophesied. They may be active in their assembly. They may be doing the work of the ministry. But if the adamic life is still in them they are of the synagogue of Satan.
How can you identify them? You will hear them slander and criticize other Christians. Satan, the accuser of the brothers, is in them. They belong to his synagogue even though the other believers regard them as outstanding disciples.
Jesus does not know them, and they will discover this when they see Him. They will go up to Him expecting to be embraced. They will be driven from His Presence with harsh words.
We do not understand all the sides of Jesus' personality. The Lord can be as stern as He is loving. I do not think the believers understand this today.
Now we come to the main thought of the morning star:
The LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
We know the morning star is being formed in us when all the works of the carnal nature no longer are exalted. We have entered the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles, the time when the twelfth chapter of Isaiah is chanted.
In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." (Isaiah 12:1-6—NIV)
In that Day! In that Day! The Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day!
That day is the Day of the Lord, created first in the saints and then brought through them into the earth. You will know the morning star has been given to you, the Father and the Son are dwelling in you, when the Lord alone is exalted in your life.
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. (Isaiah 2:12-18—NIV)
THE LORD ALONE WILL BE EXALTED IN THAT DAY!
All these figures of speech, the tall and lofty cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, the towering mountains and all the high hills, the lofty towers, the fortified walls, the trading ships and stately vessels refer to the pride and ambition of the carnal nature of man, including religious man. Until all these are brought down into the dust we are nothing more than a religious person.
We may claim to be a Christian. We may claim we belong to Christ and are abiding in Christ. But an unwillingness to enter the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to live each day and night in the crucifixion of Jesus and the power of His resurrection, proves we are nothing more than a religious person and need to be brought down to the dust in abject humility and abasement.
If we save our life we will lose it. If we lose our life in Jesus we will find it and all that we need will be added to us.
The question is one of how we pursue joy. If we hold onto that which we "must have," not giving it to Jesus, we are seeking to save our life. If we put our treasures in Heaven, giving every desire, every decision to Jesus, looking to Him alone to give us each day the joy He wants us to have, then we have truly died in Him and are living in His resurrection. Then and only then are we qualified and competent to be given authority over the nations.
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:19-21—NIV)
The above was written to Israel, the people of the Lord, as well as to Christians, who also are the Lord's people.
We have been taught that the coming of the Lord will solve all of our problems. There will be an end of our pain and dread. The Jews as well as the Christians look forward to the coming of Messiah as a time of joy and peace.
We are depending on our traditions, not on the Scriptures. The coming of the Lord will be great and terrible for Jews and Christians alike. Unless we have served the Lord in righteousness, and holiness, unless we have obeyed God, doing His will from the heart, the Day of the Lord will be a time of weeping as our sins are revealed.
We Christians have many myths about mansions in Heaven and backyards filled with diamonds, how we are going to live forever in Heaven, walking on a golden street in golden slippers, playing a harp. We hope to spend the days in small talk while the children play with the angels. How peaceful! How wonderful!—unless you are a busy person like myself who cannot stand small talk or doing nothing. If there is nothing to do I make up something usually, although I do like to read. Do you suppose there are books in Heaven? I enjoy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Do you think they have that there?
If there is nothing important to do we could at least read!
Well, that is one vision of the future. I don't think we need to be given the Morning Star so we can read, do you?
But then we come to this amazing pronouncement!
"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. I will also give him the morning star." (Revelation 2:26-28—NIV)
Authority over the nations? I was a public-school teacher for many years. I had authority over the children. Some of them were rascals but I grew to love them and I think they loved me. The kids and I had a terrific time and I dreaded the day would come when there was no new class to greet in September.
Maybe there are children in Heaven who need teaching!
Are you really looking forward to having authority over the nations? Many of the people placed in your charge will be rascals. They will keep you busy with their antics. Forget about sitting on your couch in your mansion.
But you will grow to love the people God gives you, and they will love you. Then you will realize people are the only inheritance worth having.
If you were to govern them in your carnal nature you would kill many of them with your scepter of iron before a few weeks had passed. But you have been given not only the scepter of iron but also the morning star. The Father and Jesus are living in you. Because you are ministering to the Lord's inheritance you will be filled with the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, with all the fullness of God.
The nations and the farthest reaches of the earth are the inheritance of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also our inheritance because we are coheirs with Him. This is why God is training us so carefully. God already sees us overseeing those whom He has given to us. The pressures on us now are to prepare us for those whom we will be governing. Do not let one precious lesson slip by. Take full advantage of all He is bringing your way, whether painful or joyous. Nothing is to be wasted.
You will have eternity to enjoy your inheritance in the Lord. Make sure you cooperate with the Spirit of God as He prepares you to enjoy and maintain the role in His Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.