THE KING OF GLORY
THE KING OF GLORY(Taken from "The King of Glory," an excerpt from, What I Have Learned From the Lord.Copyright Š 2012, by Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
I can't remember when I began to realize that going to Heaven to live forever in a mansion is not the goal of the Christian salvation. My book, The Land of Promise, may be my first effort to point out that it is the earth that is our land of promise.
Having been a student of the seven feasts of the Lord, I knew that the celebration after Pentecost is the Blowing of Trumpets. When I looked up what was true of this observance, I noticed that Trumpets is the Jewish New Year's holiday.
The Jews have two years, just as we in America do. We have a calendar year that commences on January 1. Then we have a business year that commences on July 1.
The Jewish religious year commences on Abib 1, the month of the Passover. Then there is a year of "kings and contracts" that begins on Tishri 1. It is Tishri 1 that is celebrated as New Year's day. Could we say that the observance of Trumpets means God is ready now to reveal that His intentions are in the earth? Our citizenship is in Heaven, but our inheritance is in the earth and earth's peoples.
I found this concept of two overlapping years to be significant. Since the seven feasts of Israel each have a spiritual fulfillment in God's program of redemption, the Blowing of Trumpets must mean that something of importance occurs in the program of redemption after the celebration of Pentecost.
The previous century, the twentieth, obviously was the Pentecostal century, in that speaking in tongues spread throughout the world. Now we are in the twenty-first century. Is God telling us something in the pattern of the seven feasts that has to do with a step forward in the program of redemption?
For the two thousand years of the Christian Era, the Gospel has been interpreted to mean that Jesus came to earth in order to save us by bringing us to Paradise rather than Hell when we die; to save us from earth to Heaven. How many millions of people have received Christ with the expectation of spending eternity in a mansion in Heaven after they die!
God, who never wastes anything, permitted the Gospel of Heaven to continue to be preached, because people were receiving Christ, and this is what God desired.
But now we are coming close to the return of the Lord. When the Lord appears with His victorious saints, they are going to install the Kingdom of God on the earth. This, of course, was the original Gospel, preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, and the Apostles of Christthe Gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
It is easy to understand how the original Gospel of the Kingdom of God coming to the earth was changed to the Gospel of Heaven. The religions at the time of the Apostles preached some kind of Heaven as the reward for following the teachings of the religion. The temptation was to ignore what the Apostles actually taught, and begin to emphasize eternity in Heaven as the goal of being "saved," so we could be like the other religions.
You may notice that the resurrection of the dead, other than the resurrection of Christ, is not emphasized in today's teaching. This is because people plan an going to Heaven, when they die, and remaining there forever. If this is the case, what is the purpose of a resurrection?
And so Bible teachers have invented a "rapture" that will bring us to Heaven to avoid Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. Meanwhile the resurrection of the believers so they can inherit the earth is largely ignored.
We understand, therefore, that for us to enter the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets is of the greatest significance. This means that the Trumpet of the Lord soon shall blow and usher in the doing of God's will on the earth.
It is my point of view that Psalms 24 is directed especially toward the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets.
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalms 24:1)
The emphasis of the Spirit of God from now on will be the earth, and everything it, including the nations. The nations and the farthest reaches of the earth are the inheritance of the Lord Jesus. Since we are co-heirs with Christ, it follows that the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth, and not Heaven, are our inheritance also.
However, before we can inherit the nations and the earth, we must become part of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is an actual government. It will govern the earth and its peoples for eternity. In the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation, the Kingdom of God, that is, the government of the Kingdom, is shown as the new Jerusalem, the holy city.
The people of the nations who have been saved will be governed by the saints who compose the new Jerusalem, so they are part of the Kingdom in that sense.
To see or enter the Kingdom of God we must be born again. This is to say that Christ, the King, must be born in us. As I understand the Scriptures, everyone who lives on the new earth will have a portion of Christ, of the Kingdom of God, in him or her.
However, the saints, the Royal Priesthood, who compose the new Jerusalem, will have more of Christ in them than is true of the nations of saved people whom they govern.
The above is a simple, straightforward pattern; but it may take the reader some time to absorb it because it is a bit different from what has been our understanding to this point.
It is well for us to consider that the earth is the Lord's and all who dwell on it, because sometimes we of the Church regard ourselves as the only people God cares about. God is just as much the God of the whole earth as He is the God of Heaven. As I said previously, the earth and its peoples are our inheritance.
For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. (Psalms 24:2)
Everything with which we are familiar has been founded upon the seas. That is, it is unstable. That is why we are looking for a city that has foundations. The new Jerusalem is built upon Christ and His apostles. Christ is God's Rock, and never shall be removed.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalms 18:2)
All life outside of Christ is unstable. Everything can be shaken. Only that which is built upon Christ and is Christ, one might say, will be secure when God shakes the earth and the heavens, as He has promised to do.
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." (Hebrews 12:26)
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. (Isaiah 2:19)
We of today have built our institutions. We have amassed money. We hope that what we have created will save us in the day of trouble. These things certainly will not protect us. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is the Rock on which we can stand in the day of trouble that is ahead.
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. (Psalms 24:3-5)
In another place I already have brought up the following issue: Today's teaching claims that we can ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place by grace, and receive blessing and be declared righteous by the Lord by grace alone.
Is that true, or must we have clean hands, a pure heart, and not lift up our soul to an idol or take the Lord's name in vain if we are to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place?
This is the basic question of our day. Has God given us grace such that our attitude and behavior do not matter, or is this teaching of grace a deception that has led the Christian people away from God?
It appears obvious that we are in the midst of a shaking of some sort. Our nation is not doing well at all. My personal opinion is that the old America, the way of life that we took for granted, will never return. We are being faced with new realities.
Our President declared to a foreign country that America is not a Christian nation. He himself never gives glory to God, as far as I know. We have never been in such a situation before.
The issue of grace versus the new creation has not been raised sufficiently, it seems to me. The traditions of our country, plus our common sense, have kept us Americans from serious breaches of God's eternal moral law, that which is written in our conscience.
But no longer is this true. The very worst kinds of sins are being practiced and are seeking respectability and acceptability. And it appears there is no strength to resist. Why is there no strength to resist? Because the leaders of the churches are preaching that the values of Psalms 24 no longer are applicable. We can stand in the Presence of God in our moral filthiness because we have been "saved by grace."
Now I am going to make a statement that I believe to be true: "Our country will never regain any kind of footing in the world until we declare that the 'grace' teaching is not scriptural, and that God requires righteousness and holiness of attitude and behavior if we are to have fellowship with Him."
We have been grievously deceived, as the spirit of humanism has developed a plan by which we can be accepted by the God of Heaven and still yield to our sinful nature. We should know better than this! An intelligent high-school student could prove from the New Testament that the grace teaching is not scriptural.
I cannot emphasize too strongly that we are in deception. The result of the grace teaching is silly believers who do not fear God; who are enjoying their church life because it does not make demands upon them. They do not fear God, believing that He loves them too much to permit them to suffer. One "Christian" lady was heard to say, "If I thought God would let me suffer I would not serve Him." This is what the current teaching is producing.
People still will maintain this unscriptural viewpoint when they are having severe medical and family problems, so powerful is the delusion of grace.
If the current "grace" teaching were true, we should tear Psalms 24 out of our Bible, because it is meaningless.
The Apostle Paul did preach "grace" as a means of coming out from under the restrictions of the Law of Moses. But Paul never preached grace as a substitute for the new creation of righteous behavior. Paul was a preacher of righteousness, not of a delusion whereby Christians can keep on with their worldly behavior and still be acceptable to God.
I hate to see the beloved traditions of America and England being overrun by sexual lust and other religions, but this is what is taking place. We are throwing away that which enabled us to prosper among the nations.
Do you see any other nation that has prospered as America has? Those of other religious persuasions are coming to our land, not we to theirs. Why is this? It is because God has blessed the Christian believers. But we in our ignorance and arrogance are throwing away what was earned by God-fearing people.
God is raising up people who wish to destroy America, and they may succeed. We may look to our military might, our money, our political leaders to save us. They cannot save us, because the forces coming against us are spiritual. God no longer will help us because we have turned our back on Him.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah. (Psalms 24:6)
Whether we like it or not, what I have just written is the truth. The next few years will bear it out. We Americans no longer are the generation of those who seek the Lord. We have our television comics who mock Christ.
We have our entertainers who, in their wild appearance and gyrations, demonstrate that they are demon possessed; and we who are supposed to be seeking the face of Christ are laughing as though the demons are funny.
There are afflictions coming upon people that reveal the presence of demons. We can see in the Bible the counterparts of these afflictions. Yet we are so well educated we know better than to attribute the symptoms to demonic interference. But the natives in the bush realize very well what is going on. It is ironic, isn't it, that we have been educated beyond our intelligence. But that fact does not help the sufferers.
Perhaps it is time for another Book of Lamentations, one bewailing the destruction that is coming upon America.
The first chapter of the Book of Isaiah is descriptive of Americadue largely, I believe, to the unscriptural use of Divine "grace" as an alternative to righteous behavior.
Now we come to the solution that God has provided for us, knowing what it would be like in the closing days of the Church Age.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalms 24:7)
It is time now for God to do business in the earth, in the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets. What is God's answer to the demonic antics of the last days? It is to enter the believers who will open the door and permit Him to become their life.
Notice the following passage:
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Revelation 3:20-22)
When we open our personality to Jesus and let Him be our life, we overcome the world. When we overcome the world we are given the right to sit with Christ on His Throne. This is the answer to the Antichrist world system that currently is prevailing in the world.
It is not the gentle Shepherd of the twenty-third Psalm who enter us, it is the King of Glory. But who is this King of Glory who is knocking on the door of our heart today?
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:8)
The King of Glory is the Lord mighty in battle. Such is the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets. The Trumpets announce the Warrior-King who has come to destroy His enemies, beginning with His enemies in the believers who are closest to Him.
We are in the last great battle, and this is why there is so much evil in the world and in our country. God is facing Satan. Christ is facing Antichrist. The Holy Spirit is facing the False Prophet. Is it any wonder the spiritual darkness is increasing? We humans cannot stand against such spiritual Colossi except as Christ is living in us.
Again we are commanded:
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Psalms 24:9)
Christ is knocking firmly. He understands well that we are but dust and cannot possibly prevail against the rulers of the spiritual darkness. Christ never will open the door. We have to open it and ask Him to enter.
How often are we to do this? Every moment of every day and night for the remainder of our life. Only then will we be able to stand on Mount Zion and help others to stand. There is nothingabsolutely nothingthat we can accomplish in these days in our own wisdom and strength.
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty he is the King of glory. (Psalms 24:10)
Maybe you have seen somewhere, perhaps in a Bible bookstore, a picture of the gentle Jesus teaching the children. He is clothed in His white robe and sandals. He has brown wavy hair to His shoulders. Perhaps there is a little boy or girl in His lap. It is certain that Jesus loves children.
Now change the picture in your mind. Imagine the fiercest face you have ever seen. His countenance is carved in granite. The Word of God is coming out of His mouth as a sword. He is riding a giant white war-stallion. His white robe is stained with His atoning blood, because of the anger of God.
This is the Day of Wrath, the thought of which makes Hell and its demons tremble. He is leading an army of saints, followed by an army of angels, that reaches from earth to Heaven. A company of angels sound their trumpets and the blast causes the earth to shake.
People are screaming in their terror. Some are shaking their fist in anger, as though they could prevent the King of Glory from entering the earth to establish God's will.
Such is the almighty Christ, the Son of God, possessing all authority and power in Heaven and upon the earth. The powerful leaders on the earth cannot frighten or bribe Him. He is supremely powerful, as the armies of Antichrist soon are to find out.
Even in that Day He will preserve those who gladly receive Him as the King who must be obeyed in all matters. But woe, woe, woe to those who choose to resist His rule in the earth. They shall be destroyed completely.
God's wrath has been stored up since Satan first decided to take the place of God. God has withheld the full expression of His wrath until now.
This is the Person who today is knocking on the door of your heart. Will you let Him in, or will you try to manage your own life, pursuing your own desires and goals.
To accept the absolute will of the Lord Jesus as being your own will is to live to be a citizen of the new world of righteousness. To refuse the absolute will of the Lord Jesus, and to maintain your "right" to manage your own life, is ultimately to become part of Satan until you are evil itself.
Once this takes place you can never be given the gift of repentance. The Lake of Fire has authority over you, even though you may claim to believe in Christ and be a Christian.
You are lost to the Presence of your Creator for eternity.