THE NEW WORLD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. 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.
A new sky and a new earth are on the way. No doubt the new sky and the new earth will be much more beautiful than we possibly could imagine. But the beauty of the environment is not the best part of the new world to come; the most desirable feature, the essential aspect, is that all the people will be righteous.
THE NEW WORLD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (II Peter 3:13)
Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. (Isaiah 60:21)
I have spent a good part of my adult life writing to the members of the royal priesthood, to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is written to God’s priests, to the future rulers of the world. The royal priesthood began with Abraham and Sarah; continued through physical Israel; then through a remnant of physical Israel and Gentiles; and will return to physical Israel when the full number of Gentiles have been added to the Olive Tree.
Israel, all of God’s elect, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth, have been chosen from the beginning of the world to be more holy than other people. This does not mean they are better people, it means they have been chosen by the Lord to be close to Him and to serve Him.
It was true of the descendants of Levi that they were more holy, closer to God, than the remainder of the Israelites. God Himself was their inheritance.
The priests, who are Levites—indeed the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. (Deuteronomy 18:1,2)
The members of true Israel are the family of God. They are one in Christ in God. They will come down through the new sky and be installed forever on the new earth as the Kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem.
It is God’s will that every person repent and be saved. All God asks of each one is that he or she receive Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior.
But this is not the case with God’s elect, the royal priesthood. The demands on them are total. They are required to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus every day.
Evangelism has continued from the first century. Millions have believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have sought forgiveness and eternal life through His name.
However, another work has proceeded from the first century to the present. This is the calling out and perfecting of the rulers of the new world of righteousness that is to come. It is not enough that these future kings and lords place their faith in Christ and be baptized in water. They must assign their lives to the cross and press forward in Christ until they are living by His Life.
And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9,10)
Perhaps most Christians have been taught that they shall reign with Christ—based no doubt on the above and similar passages. However the Book of Revelation is clear that only the overcomers will reign with Christ.
It is as though the Spirit of God moves through the churches and summons people to the life of victory in Christ. Those who have ears to hear the Spirit respond by turning their lives over to the Lord. The remainder continue in their church-going religion.
If I am hearing the Lord correctly, some of the highest thrones in the Kingdom have been reserved for people alive today and for the next generation of believers.
This has been the primary purpose of the Church Age—to call out those who will govern in the future—God’s kings and priests.
And may I say in passing, that we have to fight to secure our place in the royal priesthood. The composition of the Kingdom of God is not inevitable. Our future, our rank and role in the Kingdom of God, is going to be what we make it, to a certain extent.
I say to a certain extent because God’s assignment to ranks in His Kingdom operates according to election. But, like the Apostle Paul, we have to press forward with continued, unrelenting diligence if we are to grasp that role in the Kingdom for which we have been grasped.
There is an open door today, and it may be true we can go as high in the Kingdom as we choose, realizing that the higher the rank the closer we have to be to the Lord. It is the greatest of all invitations. I wonder how many will follow the Apostle Paul in counting all else as garbage in order to attain the fullness of God that is available to him or her?
It is possible for someone to take our crown. If we are not found worthy of a high rank in the priesthood, there are others who will be only too glad to assume our place.
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4)
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so no one will take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)
So we have to be totally diligent and lay hold on all God is providing for us.
As Jesus said, many that are last shall be first. We are among the last so the opportunity is here for us to ascend the thrones in the air that govern the earth.
We must grasp the difference between being “saved” and being chosen to be a member of the governing priesthood. When the Apostle Paul spoke of not having attained to all that God had called him, he obviously was not speaking of being saved. He was referring to his role in the first resurrection, the resurrection of the blessed and holy priests of the Lord.
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9)
The above verse obviously is not speaking of merely being saved. We are referring to the minority of the world’s people who have been chosen to be close to God in a unique manner. To be saints, “holy ones.”
We have to fight through a multitude of distractions and competing forces if we are to seize and maintain the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.
A general call of evangelism has been included throughout the Church Age. But the greatest work of evangelism will occur as soon as God has accomplished His work in the Church, in the Israel of God.
We see the worldwide evangelism in the following passage.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:1-5)
Jesus spoke of the above worldwide revival when He said as soon as the believers are one in Him and the Father, the world will believe.
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:23)
How often we focus on evangelism when the Lord is emphasizing the growth of the believers to the stature of the fullness of Christ, to the maturity necessary for those who are to govern the new world of righteousness. We know from the Book of Acts how easy it is for the Holy Spirit to add people to the Church. The difficult task—that for which the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit have been given—is to bring each member of the Church to the unity of the faith, to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Those who are successful in overcoming all the forces of sin will serve as the rulers of God’s new world. They have been called, then chosen, and then proven faithful. As we might expect, before God will entrust the governing of people to any individual, that person must pass through every conceivable trial. He or she must be proven faithful beyond all possibility of disobedience. Can you see reason for this?
Looking around us we might come to the conclusion that there are few believers who are truly living according to the New Testament standard; who are denying themselves and carrying their cross; who are presenting their body a living sacrifice; who are overcoming sin.
It may be true that most churchgoers in America have their eyes fixed on a mansion in Heaven, not on the role of king over a nation. However, we do not know what has been true in every country throughout the Christian Era. Maybe we in America are lukewarm and are not aware of it.
Because the scepter of Christ’s Kingdom is a scepter of righteousness, because it is God’s intention that every individual in the new world live in righteousness, the demands on those who are to serve as kings and priest of the new world are total. Every thought, every word, every action, throughout every day and every night, is examined. It seems as though God is dealing with us endlessly—and He is!
If we are to emerge as one of God’s rulers, we can expect to be tested severely. The higher the rank to which we have been called, the deeper the foundation that must be laid. The hotter the fire to be endured. The more bitter the cup that must be drunk.
There are some who persevere through the training until the end of their life. These are jewels in Christ’s crown. These are stars that shine forever because they have turned many to righteousness.
As I said previously, God’s elect are holier than other people. Holiness is a calling. Righteousness, on the other hand, is required of every person. The descendants of Aaron were more holy than the Levites; the Levites were more holy than the remainder of the Israelites. However, all Israel was a holy nation, a royal priesthood.
But God requires righteousness of every individual on the earth. There are no degrees of righteousness as there are of holiness.
I have spent many years writing to and about God’s elect. The Bible is written to God’s elect, for the most part. Do you remember that the Lord said: “I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given me”?
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (John 17:9)
The members of the priesthood, who will in the future come to earth as the new Jerusalem, represent a small minority of the people who have been born on the earth. Also, they will be a small minority of those who will saved to live on the new earth, which will come into view at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
It is God’s intention to restore Paradise on the earth. But for Paradise to be maintained it must be inhabited by righteous people. God will not accept one unrighteous person in Paradise.
So God is developing a Kingdom. The King of the Kingdom, the Lord Jesus, was tested severely. He learned perfect obedience to God by the things He suffered while on the earth.
Next in line will come the overcomers, the victorious saints. The overcomers will inherit all things. God shall be their God and they shall be God’s sons.
Next are the remainder of the elect. They have their place in the new Jerusalem for they are of God’s family. However, I doubt that they will have the power and authority that will be entrusted to God’s firstfruits.
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. (Revelation 14:4)
All the members of the royal priesthood are God’s family, the rulers of the world to come.
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)
The royal priests are a minority of the citizens of the new world of righteousness. But they are necessary if righteousness is to prevail in the Paradise that will be on the new earth.
Now that we have described the governing priesthood, let’s think for a bit about those who are will be governed by the priesthood. These are all the saved people from the beginning of the world, and they are very great in number.
Their life will be delightful:
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:3,4)
The “tabernacle of God” is the Church, the royal priesthood. It has come down from Heaven to be placed among the people living on the new earth. These people now shall be God’s people, and God shall be with them through His Church, His tabernacle.
Whereas the Divine demands on the rulers of the Kingdom are total and absolute, it is relatively easy to please God enough to find our place in the new world of righteousness. All that is necessary is that we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior, and Jesus Christ as our Lord. Whoever will not receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has no hope of ever living in the new world of righteousness. He or she may be may be a righteous, noble person. But to reject Jesus Christ is to bring condemnation on one’s self.
Before we become too harsh with people, we must realize that often when people “reject Christ” they actually are rejecting Christians or the Christian religion. An individual cannot truly reject Christ, and thus bring upon himself banishment from God’s Presence, until he or she has really seen the Lord and has beheld the atoning sacrifice He made on the cross. To see Him as Lord and as the Sin-bearer, and then to reject His rightful claims on us, is to ensure eternal separation from God. God meets man only at the cross—nowhere else.
God loves the people of the world, although not the Antichrist spirit of the world. God is ready to receive all who will acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ in His rightful role. My personal opinion is that the great majority of people born on the earth will find their places in the new world of righteousness.
It is not difficult to be “saved,” in the sense of being spared destruction and permitted to enter the new world of righteous people. All we need to do is be a decent person, and not refuse Christ when He is presented to us. We do not have to go through the processes of death and resurrection required of the governing priests. The inheritance of the royal priesthood is God Himself, while the inheritance of the meek of mankind is the earth.
The priests must be pressed into God and Christ until they are one with Them. Love for Christ and God must be a passion with them. Their eternal resting place is in the center of God’s Person and will. “Peter, do you love Me?”
But it is not this difficult just to be permitted to live in God’s Kingdom.
I read an account once of a statement by Dr. Phillips, one of the translators of the New Testament. As I remember the story, Dr. Phillips was sitting in front of his fireplace. C. S. Lewis, already deceased, appeared to Dr. Phillips and said, “It’s not so difficult.” I have never forgotten this, because I felt C. S. Lewis was telling us that to live in God’s Presence does not require spiritual heroics.
My wife, Audrey, had a friend who was a bookkeeper. The bookkeeper told Audrey that her mother appeared to her in a dream. The mother said, “It’s not that difficult”—surprisingly what C. S. Lewis said.
One time Don Schulte, who now is deceased, had an operation. When Audrey and I went to see him in the hospital he was ecstatic. He told of seeing some robed figures standing by a beautiful waterfall.
I envision a great sea of people in the spirit realm, all living in a place of beauty and peace, waiting for the Day of Resurrection.
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. (Revelation 20:13)
Hades, or Hell, is holding the wicked of the earth in torment.
Death gave up the dead who were in it. A peculiar expression, isn’t it. My opinion is that the dead who were not wicked enough to be tormented in the fire are those who killed their spiritual life by their love of the things of the world. They were not wicked, necessarily. They lived in the ways of the flesh, the life of the animal, having no spiritual life in them. They have no knowledge of God. Maybe I am incorrect in this, but I think of them as being in the outer darkness.
The sea also gave up its dead. I believe the sea is the mass of mankind who are not members of the royal priesthood. Some who have had near-death experiences have remarked about the great number of people in the spirit realm going about their business in peace and joy.
So if you have a relative who seems to be a decent sort, but who has shown little or no interest in God or Christ, do not despair. It is just that the calling of God is not on them as it is on you. Membership in the holy priesthood is by Divine appointment.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34,35)
Think of it! God accepts men who fear Him and do what is right.” In other words, God accepts people who are decent.
Am I saying people can have eternal life apart from Christ? Not at all. When an individual has Christ presented to him, he must acknowledge His Lordship. Only in Jesus Christ is there eternal life.
But I am saying that a person who never has had Christ presented to Him clearly in this world can receive Christ after death. Otherwise, how would godly people who lived before Christ was born enter the Kingdom of God? How would Abraham be born again and enter the Kingdom if it were not possible for people to receive Christ after they die? Why would Christ have preached to people who lived at the time of Noah if it were not possible for them to be saved?
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, Through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison (I Peter 3:18,19)
Or should I hold to the position, as some do, that people who never have heard of Christ—even babies—are doomed to spend eternity in Hell because they never have “accepted Christ”?
Let me ask you a question. Who would you rather have fellowship with: someone who had never heard of Christ but who was decent, friendly, and honorable; or someone who had “accepted Christ” but who was a liar, treacherous, slanderous, determined to have his own way, fraudulent, and morally filthy (as is true of numerous professing Christians)?
You probably would choose the individual who was decent, friendly, and honorable. So would God!
We have made the Christian religion a system whereby abominable people can cover themselves with the correct terminology in order to be candidates for Paradise, while the important values, such as faithfulness, kindness, and honor are considered of little consequence. Thus we join the ranks of the scribes and Pharisees, and we shall go to be with them when we die.
Everyone when he dies goes to be with his own people. This does not mean his relatives necessarily. It means to people of his own kind.
Ishmael, for example, was gathered to his people. I rather doubt he went to be with Abraham, his father.
The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:11,12)
Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. (Genesis 25:17)
By the time he died, Ishmael most likely went to be with those descended from him, who were like him. Ishmael’s descendants “lived in hostility toward all their brothers.”
I suppose “all their brothers” means other peoples who lived near them.
When we die, you and I will go to be with people like ourselves. Those of higher spiritual attainment can come down from their place in God and visit with us, but we cannot go up to them.
The wise person will decide what family of people he desires to be with. Then right now—today—begin to act like that family.
No longer will the saint be forced to live with a relative who made his life miserable by selfish, destructive behavior.
This is one reason why the new world of righteousness will be so wonderful. Not only will the splendor of the environment be breathtakingly beautiful beyond all we can imagine, but the people will be all righteous. And we will spend eternity with those who are like us.
Remember how the Lord told us who His family members are?
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!” (Mark 3:33,34)
And so it is with us. Our true family is not necessarily those to whom we are related by blood.
The Apostle Paul spoke of those to whom he ministered as his objects of rejoicing in the Day of Christ.
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (I Thessalonians 2:19,20)
Without doubt Paul had a family in Tarsus. But these were not the people he was hoping to be with.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that our destiny is not inevitable. We are determining our future today. It appears one of the greatest enemies we Christians in America have is an apathy that prevents us from pursuing Christ with the diligence required to press through the blanket of spiritual oppression rests on us. We are smothered under materialism. This apathy that we experience is based on a sense of inevitability—that somehow everything is going to work out fine and we all are going to be singing and dancing in Heaven after we die.
This is not at all the case. Opportunities are available in the Kingdom right now. How long this will be true I do not know. If we do not press into Christ with the same diligence that the Apostle Paul demonstrated in the third chapter of the Book of Philippians, we are going to be pierced with remorse when we see that Satan has deceived us and we have lost our birthright for a bowl of lentil soup, so to speak.
The people on the new earth will be free from death, sorrow, and pain. They shall come to the Spirit and the Bride that they might drink of the water of life. They shall be healed by the leaves of the Tree of Life, that is, by the Divine Virtue that is in Jesus Christ and His Body, His Church.
The people on the new earth will be able to come up to the new Jerusalem at any time and be taught and refreshed by the saints, in whom Christ will be dwelling, and God in Christ.
The citizens of the new world of righteousness will have opportunity to see the result of rebelling against God.
“From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD. “And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” (Isaiah 66:23,24)
The people on the new earth know they will not be permitted to come and be refreshed if they are not living righteously.
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)
The people on the new earth will have a wonderful environment in which to live.
It will be relatively easy for the inhabitants of the new earth to obey the saints and live righteously. There will be no Satan to deceive them; no demons to harass them. There will be no Antichrist worldly spirit to seduce them into the worship of material affluence.
Also, the Spirit of God will fill the earth, and people will be taught how to live in the Spirit of God rather than in the appetites and demands of their body and soul. It will be a simple, straightforward matter to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. There will not be the forces that there are now that must be overcome if a person is to live righteously.
The evil will have been driven from the earth by the sons of God.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. (Romans 8:19)
The present earth, and then the new earth, will be marvelous places in which to live because of the absence of sin.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:5-9)
The following is a verse that describes the type of person the Lord wants in His new world:
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
This is a righteous person. God intends to put His eternal moral law in the mind and heart of every saved person. As He does, the individual will act righteously; love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
We are not describing the holiness of the priesthood here, but righteousness. Holiness is our Divine calling as a member of the royal priesthood. Righteousness is our relationship to other people, and also to God. But this standard of relationship is absolute. It is not by calling and it does not exist in degrees. God will not accept unrighteous behavior on the part of any person, and He requires that each individual walk humbly with God.
- Every person of the new world must act justly.
- Every person of the new world must love mercy. God will not accept unmerciful people.
- Every person of the new world must walk humbly with God. God will not accept any person who is proud, defiant, who acts independently of God. A humble walk with God is required of every individual on the new earth.
You know, God can create a beautiful environment, or ten thousand beautiful environments, in the blink of an eye. But to develop righteousness in a human being, while maintaining the person’s uniqueness, creativity, and love for God, is a painstaking process.
To go further and develop the governing personality in a righteous person is requiring the entire history of man, with all of its horrid expressions of Satan. For it is in the fires and filth of the world that the rulers of the new world are formed. Through Christ they overcome all the pressures of life and come forth as purified gold, ready to obey God to the death.
The Ten Commandments show us some of the standards of righteousness that God requires of all who will live before Him in the new world of righteousness. Also, there are exhortations in both the Old and New Testaments that point out the type of behavior God accepts.
For example, “You shall have no other gods before me.” God will not accept the worship of any person, animal, or thing other than Himself. This shall be true for eternity throughout the new world of righteousness.
No person shall be permitted to make an idol for the purpose of worshiping it, or bow down before any idol.
Using God name insincerely, such as “By God I will do this or that” is forbidden.
The Sabbath was a covenantal commandment pertaining to Israel. I doubt it will be enforced on the new earth. But the broader meaning of the Sabbath, that people seek to do God’s will at all times, finding delight in pleasing God, probably will be expected of everyone.
Authority will be respected.
Murder will not be permitted. Remember, the first sin committed on the earth was murder. The angels of God always will be supervising people, so murder will be prevented before it can occur. This includes all forms of murder, such as hatred, spite, malice, unforgiveness, revenge, and so forth.
It is difficult to know what form adultery will take, or if it even will be possible. But nothing like this will be permitted.
There will be no stealing. The supervising angels will make certain of that, and will notify the ruling saints if an attempt is made.
There will be no false testimony for it will not be possible to lie. All things will be open to the ruling saints.
Covetousness will not be permitted, nor will war, which comes from covetousness.
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 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. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. 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. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
It does not seem possible, does it, that the time will come when everyone is righteous. But God has determined to put an end to sin. The enemies of Jesus Christ shall be put beneath His feet by the power of the Father. A new world of righteousness is on the way.
As I said previously, the inheritance of the members of the royal priesthood is God. They are to labor to enter into perfect, untroubled rest in the center of the Person and will of God. They are to suffer every chastisement until they are in the image of Christ.
Those who are not called to the priesthood, but whom God has found worthy of His Kingdom, inherit the earth. The meek inherit the earth while the members of the priesthood inherit God.
The members of the priesthood are dealt with severely because their task is to guide the citizens of the new earth into righteous conduct; to bring them before God; to teach them of the righteous ways of the Lord; to judge them. Therefore they themselves must be perfected in advance.
When the Apostle Paul speaks of the saints appearing with Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth he says:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:5-10)
There cannot be impurity, lust, or evil desire of any kind in the new world of righteousness. Therefore every member of the royal priesthood must be completely free from these before he is qualified to serve in his appointed role. What form adultery, fornication, lust, impurity will take in the new world we do not know. But we understand these impurities are prompted by evil spirits and to a certain extent are spiritual in nature.
No form of greed will be permitted. Therefore God’s priests must be free from all covetousness and envy.
When the Apostle Peter mentions the royal priesthood, he begins by saying:
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so by it you may grow up in your salvation, Now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (I Peter 2:1-3)
In the New Testament there are several such lists of unrighteous behavior. Paul tells us those who do such thing shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
The Church is a firstfruits of mankind.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:18)
We are the first to have the Holy Spirit.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
Therefore we must be delivered from every form of unrighteousness before we can serve to rid mankind of spiritual bondage.
A bright new world of righteousness is on the horizon. First the foes of righteousness must be destroyed utterly. The conflict of the ages is shaping up: God against Satan; Christ against Antichrist; the Holy Spirit against the False Prophet.
In our day God is looking for those who will overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb; by the word of their testimony; and by loving not their lives to the death. You and I can become part of the company that overcomes the accuser so God may empower Michael and his angels to throw Satan and his angels from Heaven down to the earth.
Now is the time to take the Kingdom. The wise believer will turn his attention from all else and make certain he or she is hearing the Lord and doing all He is requiring.
We would be foolish in a day such as ours to spend all of our time and strength on the things of the world, and thus lose the opportunity to gain a place in the heart of the Father along with the Lord Jesus.
We are determining our eternal destiny right now!
(“The New World of Righteousness”, 3713-1)