THE DIVINE PLAN
Copyright © 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
I think the Bible and the Christian salvation are not always understood. To listen to today's preaching, one might conclude that the Gospel of the Kingdom has to do with helping people get to Heaven. Although neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament talk about getting people to Heaven, nevertheless this impression persists.
Actually the theme of the Bible is the conflict between good and evil.
In the beginning of mankind, God pronounced His creation "very good."
Then evil entered. But the evil did not originate with the man and woman or the earth, but came from Heaven. Therefore making the central idea of the Bible that of bringing people from the earth to Heaven is not realistic.
The actual theme of the Bible is sin and rebellion, and what God is going to do about it.
God has a long-range plan. God's plan is to create a Kingdom in which His will is done and all sin and rebellion are removed for eternity. The Kingdom consists of human beings whom God has created in response to the rebellion of the angels.
The Kingdom is both internal and then external. The Kingdom of God is conceived and formed in human beings as Christ is conceived and formed in them. It's external dimension will be revealed when the Lord returns with the saints in whom the internal Kingdom has been formed.
Thus God is creating His will in people, so they can maintain Paradise on the earth once God restores it.
There are two classes of people in the Kingdom. First of all, there is the Royal Priesthood. This is the family of God and derives its name from the Father. The Royal Priesthood is the government of the Kingdom.
I refer to this second, much larger group, as the "sheep nations." I take this term from the twenty-fifth chapter of the Book of Matthew, where Jesus divided the nations of the earth into the sheep and the goats.
According to the Lord Jesus, the Kingdom is the inheritance of the sheep.
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." (Matthew 25:34)
The goats are those people of the nations who did not provide assistance to Christ's brothers, the members of the Royal Priesthood, when they had need.
The Lord said to the "goats," "When you did not help My brothers when they had need, you did not help Me."
He then sent the "goats" into eternal punishment.
Measuring from the time that Satan rebelled, to the coming down to the new earth of the new world of righteousness, I would say we are about halfway through the program of putting an end to sin and rebellion.
The creation of the spirit world and its creatures was the first step.
The creation of the physical world, including people, was the second step. Both the spirit worlds and the physical worlds and their inhabitants were created by the Father through His Word, whom we know now as the Lord Jesus Christ.
Next is the 6,000 or so years of the history of mankind.
Next was the atonement made by Christ for the sins of the world.
Next will be the return of Christ, the raising of the victorious saints, the catching up of the victorious saints into the air, and then the descent of Christ and His called, chosen, and faithful saints to work together in the task of establishing the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, on the earth.
This will be followed by a thousand years, literally or symbolically, which I term the "Kingdom Age." During the Kingdom Age an army of saints, after the victory at Har Magedon, will go through the earth judging and removing all evil people and all the works of the Antichrist civilization. This army is portrayed, I believe, in the second chapter of the Book of Joel.
Then Christ and His saints will rule the nations of "sheep" living on the earth, those who were not removed from the earth by Joel's Army.
Satan will be in the Bottomless Pit. Antichrist and the False Prophet will be in the Lake of Fire.
Christ and His saints will govern the nations of sheep with the scepter of iron. The scepter of iron is the iron righteousness of the characters of Jesus Christ and the members of the Royal Priesthood.
I might mention that the nations of saved people are the inheritance of the Royal Priesthood. This can be seen clearly in the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation:
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
"It's light" is referring, of course, to the new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem is the city of the Royal Priesthood.
If my understanding is correct, throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age the saints who are governing the earth will have ready access to the new Jerusalem, which yet will be in the spirit realm. They will minister to these less mature members of the Church, of the Bride of the Lamb, until they also come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, as the Apostle Paul promised.
The less mature members of the family of God were not resurrected and caught up when Jesus appeared, prior to the Kingdom Age. They were not prepared to descend to the new earth and minister the Presence of God to the nations of "sheep."
If my understanding is correct, the spirits of the less mature members of the Church, who were neither qualified nor competent to be raised to life and caught up to meet the Lord in the air, will be sent to the heavenly Jerusalem when Joel's army cleanses the earth.
Those who were Christians in name only and who practiced the sins of the flesh will be treated as though they were sinful people of the nations. There is no eternal life in them.
One of the purposes for the thousand years between the return of Christ to the earth and the final judgment is to give the less mature members of the Church an opportunity to grow in Christ.
I am not suggesting that a Christian can live a careless life here and then be brought to perfection in the new Jerusalem.
We already, right now, have come to the new Jerusalem, which is in Heaven at this time. If we do not obey the commands of Christ and His Apostles, we will be removed from the city and be counted as an unsaved person.
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)
If we, as a professing Christian, continue to yield to the works of our sinful nature, we will lose our inheritance in the Kingdom. We will be removed from Mount Zion and continue our life just as any unsaved individual, while still professing to be a Christian.
At the final judgment we will be judged according to our works. If our name is found in the Book of Life, we will become a citizen of the new earth. If our name is not found in the Book of Life, we will be assigned to the Lake of Fire.
You know, because of the teachings of lawless-grace, the escape-by rapture, once saved always saved, the Christian people in many instances have lost the fear of God. We do not realize how dreadfully serious are the issues I am writing about.
Yes, you can leave the way of righteousness and return as a dog to its vomit, according to the Apostle Peter. There is nothing in the New Testament that remotely suggests we cannot lose our position at the right hand of God, except a few verses taken out of context, or a non-applicable analogy of some sort.
I tell you the truth, in Jesus' name. We have been deceived. We have been told we can lead an ungodly life and still "go to Heaven" by "grace."
According to the Apostle Paul, some can be saved by fire. This means a complete loss of inheritance, perhaps starting all over on the new earth as a small child. But Paul said also that if we persist in yielding to our sinful nature we are courting destruction and the loss of our inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
Even the Lord Jesus said if we do not bear fruit, which is the image of Christ in our personality, we will be cut out of the Vine; out of Christ.
What are people thinking of when they teach eternal security? We are secure in Christ until we leave Christ by our behavior!
After the thousand-year Kingdom Age concludes with the last judgment, there will be a new sky and a new earth. The Tabernacle of God, the new Jerusalem, will be present on the new earth. The new Jerusalem is the government of the Kingdom of God.
The saints of the new Jerusalem, the Royal Priesthood, will bring the Presence of God to the "sheep" who compose the nations resident on the new earth.
If I am not mistaken, it is the saints who with Christ are the trees of Life from whom the citizens of the earth can gain eternal life and healing. The River of Life will come from the Bride. This is why it is written, "The Spirit and the Bride say come and drink of the water of life."
Such is the Divine plan from the rebellion of Satan to the new world of righteousness. God thus will make an end of sin and rebellion.
I mentioned previously that in the present hour we are about halfway through God's plan to create a righteous Kingdom. I think it is true that the final battle between good and evil has commenced. Christ, who formerly was seated at the right hand of God, waiting until God made His enemies His footstool, is now standing on Mount Zion with His called, chosen, and faithful warriors.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
The next step in the Divine plan is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish observance of the Blowing of Trumpets, and the Day of Atonement.
The Blowing of Trumpets is occurring as Christ, the King, is coming to His saints and announcing the beginning of the Day of the Lord, the time when the Lord alone shall be exalted. It is announcing also the time of judgment and reconciliation to God, the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
The Day of Atonement has begun and will last until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
Christ is beginning with those who are listening to Him. He is telling them to confess their sins, as the Spirit points them out, and by His wisdom and power to renounce and turn away from them. This is an eternal judgment.
Judgment has begun in the household of God. Every sin must be confessed and renounced. Every bit of worldliness must be confessed and renounced. Every bit of self-will and disobedience to Christ must be confessed and renounced. All that is not of the image of God must be put to death by the Spirit of God.
With the present teaching of lawless grace, the "rapture," and eternal security, I wonder how many Christian people are going to be able to hear what the Spirit is saying! But if we do not hear the Spirit, and do not make an effort to hear the Spirit, we simply can forget about being a member of the Royal Priesthood; of being resurrected and caught up to meet Jesus in the air and to descend with Him in the work of establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth.
If you do not prepare yourself today, cleaving to Jesus with all your might, I do not know what will happen to you when the victorious saints go to meet Jesus. You will be left on the earth.
Perhaps when Joel's army cleanses the earth you will be sent to a place of preparation in the spirit world. Or you may be sent to the outer darkness because of not having used your Kingdom talent diligently.
Christian teachers, in their imagination, have presented the picture of the world continuing as usual after the unscriptural "rapture." The truth is, when the victorious saints are raised to life and then caught up to meet Christ in the air, the wrath of God will fall on the world.
After that, Christ and His saints and warrior angels will destroy the armies of Antichrist and take over the nations of the earth.
Have these teachers never read that when Lot and his two girls were removed from Sodom, sudden destruction fell on the helpless people? So it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
I have said, we are about halfway through God's plan to remove wickedness from the creation. The Lord has His "mighty men" who will return with Him and exercise the Divine judgment on the people of the world.
Two armies will come with Christ. There will be the victorious saints. They will perform the judging of wicked spirits and wicked people. Then there will be the army of warrior angels. They will do the fighting at the direction of the saints.
Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. 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. (Psalms 149:5-9)
The saints wield the double-edged sword, the Word of God. The warrior angels carry out the sentence handed down by the saints. Thus there are two armies (Mahanaim).
This is why we are exhorted to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ. If we are to govern with Christ, iron righteousness must be formed in our personality. It has been given to us to drive all unrighteousness from the creation of God.
Today, in anticipation of the battles of the Day of the Lord, we are being prepared for the war against evil. The eternal moral law of God is being written in our min and heart. Thus we are the flesh becoming the Word of God.
The purpose of the Gospel of the Kingdom is to prepare soldiers of Christ who can return with the Lord and bring everlasting righteousness, love, joy, and peace to the multitudes of people whom God has created. This is to bring Paradise back to the earth where it belongs.
It is Christ and His victorious saints who will restore to us the peace and joy of Paradise, and Christ and His victorious saints who will maintain Paradise on the earth for eternity.
Justice for the nations! Righteousness, love, joy, and peace for all!
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 6:6,7)
I believe it can be seen clearly from what I have written that the contemporary lawless-grace and escape-by-rapture are entirely inappropriate and misleading.