THE CREATION OF THE ETERNAL PERSONALITY

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Words of Righteousness)

THE CREATION OF THE ETERNAL PERSONALITY Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

By forgiving all the sins of the new believer the atonement made by the Lord Jesus gives him a fresh start in the Presence of God. In addition the Word of God, Christ, is born in him. He now is without condemnation and will remain without condemnation as long as he abides in Christ. God’s plan for him after his fresh start is that he be made a new creation in Christ.

Table of Contents

The Role of Imputed Righteousness The New Inner Man and the New Outer Man Being Saved as by Fire The Creation of the Eternal Weight of Glory The White Robe Conclusion

THE CREATION OF THE ETERNAL PERSONALITY 

The Role of Imputed Righteousness

Let us begin by stating the main idea of the following pages. Man is composed of an inward nature and an outward nature. Both of these were born of human parents.

To enter the Kingdom of God means the inward, adamic nature is crucified and the Divine Nature of Christ is so fused with the human soul and spirit as to produce a new inward nature. This process does not happen instantaneously but line upon line, rule upon rule, command upon command. Here a little and there a little our adamic nature is crucified and Christ is formed in us.

While this process of transformation is taking place a new outward man, a counterpart of the new inward man, is being fashioned before the throne of God in Heaven. What is in the inward man, both good and evil, is in the outward man or affects the heavenly outward man in some manner. The outward man will be a perfect vehicle for the inward man and will reveal the inward man; unlike today where we cannot determine the nature of an individual by looking at his outward man.

In the Day of the Lord the heavenly outward man will be given to the inward man of the believer as a reward, either for good or for evil. We shall reap what we have sown. This is the manner in which the eternal personality is created.

The purpose of the new covenant is to produce a new creation, a new blend of Christ and a human being. 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:7)

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)

The putting of God’s laws into our mind and heart is equivalent to having Christ formed in us, for Christ is the Word of God.

The fundamental message of evangelical Christianity is that God will impute (ascribe) righteousness to whoever is willing to believe in the Lord Jesus. This is scriptural and indeed is good news. But the concept of imputed righteousness has been moved beyond its assigned role. It has been carried over into the rewards assigned to the victorious saints such that becoming a ruling priest in the Kingdom of God is imputed to us apart from any effort or transformation of personality on our part—so the current teaching goes.

God instituted imputed (ascribed) righteousness so people can enter and maintain the program of transformation into a new creation and at the same time remain without condemnation in God’s sight. 

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: (Romans 4:11)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)

In the present hour imputed righteousness is almost the only aspect of salvation that is understood and preached. Now the Lord is revealing the actual work of the Kingdom of God, which is the development of truly righteous people who will be able to govern and bring justice to the nations of the earth.

The doctrine of imputed righteousness is presented by the Apostle Paul in Chapters Three through Five of the Book of Romans. On the basis of the atonement made by Christ on the cross, God freely forgives those who place their faith in Christ. God assigns righteousness apart from the works of the Law of Moses to all who believe in the Lord Jesus.

We might point out in passing that Paul, in the Book of Romans, contrasts the grace of God in Christ with the Law of Moses. Paul never contrasts the grace of God with righteous behavior because the purpose of God’s grace in Christ is to produce righteous behavior. 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

"Created in Christ unto good works," that is, works of righteousness.

We Gentiles, not being acquainted with the Law of Moses, have interpreted the Apostle to mean that God is saving us by grace so we are not obligated to live righteously. This single misunderstanding has destroyed the moral strength of the churches of Christ.

Imputed (ascribed; legal) righteousness is not actual righteousness of behavior and is not to be confused with actual righteousness of behavior. The new believer although without condemnation in the sight of God is still far from being an entirely new creation. He or she still may love the world spirit, may be malicious and lustful, selfish and self-centered. He or she is not as yet in the moral image of Christ or abiding in untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.

A little thought on the part of the reader will show that a worldly, lustful, self-directed believer, although considered righteous because of the atoning blood of the cross of Christ, is of little or no use for God’s Kingdom purposes.

He is not qualified to return with Christ and govern the nations properly.

He is not qualified to be part of the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

He is not qualified to march in the army of the Lord.

He is not a true witness of God.

He is not qualified to be part of the eternal Temple of God.

He is not qualified to be a part of the Body of Christ.

He is not qualified to receive the rewards assigned to the overcomer.

He is not qualified to be part of the glorious Wife of the Lamb.

The above are just a few of God’s Kingdom purposes for His Church. The believer whose only righteousness is that which has been imputed to him is neither authorized by the Word nor competent through training and experience to participate in these or any other of the roles and tasks of the Kingdom of God. Only those who are being formed in the image of Christ and being pressed into untroubled rest in the Father through the Lord Jesus are eligible and competent to participate in the numerous roles and tasks of the Kingdom of God.

How could a worldly, lustful, self-willed sinner be a true witness of God, a part of the Temple of God, a part of the new Jerusalem? Can these be imputed to him, or experienced by him by means of imputed righteousness?

What a vain, incompetent situation that would be!

How would you like to live in the new Jerusalem if it were filled with gossips, slanderers, fornicators, murderers, those who will not forgive, liars, thieves, drunkards who all had received imputed righteousness but had never been transformed in personality? How would this differ from the church world of today? Would this be a holy city?

One of the most important ideas we will present in this booklet is that no aspect of the Kingdom of God, including eternal life, is imputed (ascribed legally) to us, with the sole exception of a covering righteousness. The covering righteousness imputed to us when we first come to Christ and as we press forward in the development of the new creature is to keep us without condemnation while we yet are not mature in righteous behavior.

Legally assigned righteousness is not the primary grace of the new covenant. To enlarge the concept of imputation beyond its very limited role is to bring total disaster and chaos into the Divine plan of salvation. This is what has taken place in our day. Now it is time to get on with the work of bringing forth the new eternal creation. 

The New Inner Man and the New Outer Man

The new personality consists of a new inner man and a new outer man. Much has been written by deeper-life teachers about the new inner man; perhaps not as much about the new outer man.

The new inner man is Christ in us. The new outer man also is Christ and will be a direct reflection of our new inner man.

The Kingdom of God is the new creation. Our first personality, the flesh and blood creation born from our earthly parents, will not inherit the Kingdom of God. It is corruption, being little more than an intelligent animal. 

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50)

"The flesh profits nothing," as the Lord said.

When we receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior we are born again, that is, the Life of God is implanted in us and begins to grow. As we follow the Spirit of God each day the body and blood of the Lord are fed to us. A new creature is formed from this "hidden manna."

Each day the first personality is struck down. Each day the new man is strengthened. As the new man is formed in us, a counterpart, an outer man, is formed in the Presence of God in Heaven. In the Day of the Lord the new outer man will clothe new inner man. This is our eternal personality, the personality that we shall be throughout the countless ages to come.

We do not say it will be impossible to grow in Christ after we die. It seems probable to us that we shall. However certain basic aspects of character can be formed only in the furnace of affliction found in the earth—in particular the capacity to rule. 

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (II Timothy 2:12)

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)

If we do not follow the Lord as we should we may discover in that day that we have lost forever the opportunity to be of first rank in the Kingdom or to be as close to the Lord’s Presence as we desire.

There is a wonderful, terrible justice in the fact that we shall reap precisely what we sow. If we have followed the Lord diligently, walking in stern obedience to our Father in Heaven, we will reap an abundance of eternal life and glory. If we instead sow to our animal appetites we will reap corruption and contempt in the form of a corrupt outward man. 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

It is of the utmost importance for the Christian to understand that today—right now—he is shaping his eternal personality. What he is becoming now as he follows Christ with more or less diligence will be revealed in the Day of the Lord. The body with which he is clothed will portray in itself what he has become in his inner personality. Grace and mercy will not enter at this point. The purpose of grace and mercy are not to change what we reap in the Day of the Lord but rather to help us today to sow seed that will result in the kind of reward we desire. 

Being Saved as by Fire

Sometimes believers claim that we need not worry too much if we do not serve the Lord because we shall be saved as by fire. 

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (I Corinthians 3:15)

The reason they hold such a dangerous idea is they suppose salvation consists of bringing a forgiven adamic personality to an unchanging Paradise. "No matter how we behave, Paradise is Paradise. Just to enter Paradise would be all that anyone could ever wish." And they are relying on imputed righteousness as being their ticket to Paradise.

But salvation does not consist of bringing an unchanged Adam back into Paradise. Salvation consists of creating a new Adam and after that bringing him into a new world in which what he has become in Christ is revealed for all to see.

A few days ago we had a kind of vision, as we were musing. We saw a Christian man whom we know well. He is a good person, loves the Lord, but he is not surrendering his will to the Lord as he should. He is trying to serve the Lord in his own strength and as a result is full of scheming and conniving.

In our vision we saw him as a young boy, now free from scheming and conniving, working vigorously at some project or another.

After that we saw a Christian woman whom we know. She also is a good person and loves the Lord. However there is much meanness and bitterness, as well as selfishness, remaining in her personality. She is not overcoming her personality but is rejoicing in it. She has caused some people to stumble because of her influence on them.

We saw her as a girl of ten or eleven picking flowers. She was free of her former personality. She came toward me holding a flower in her hand. I could see in her face she was oblivious to her past history, having no awareness of the kind of person she had been.

What had happened to these two individuals? They had been saved as by fire. Because they did not gain victory over these undesirable personality traits, traits not worthy of the Kingdom of God, the Lord Jesus had burned away a great part of their personality along with all their achievements. They were not fit to return with the Lord as ruling majesties of glory. But in His love the Lord found a place of activity for them suited to their development. Who knows what progress they could make during the eternities to come?

We are not suggesting by this that careless believers will be brought into the Kingdom in any case. Perhaps it is true that some will and some will not. There are terrifying verses of Scripture that warn us concerning the careless Christian. 

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

Being saved as by fire is not a situation to be desired. One may suffer very great loss of inheritance! 

The Creation of the Eternal Weight of Glory

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (II Corinthians 4:17)

As we have stated previously, flesh and blood, that is, the adamic personality, cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. It is an animal creation. 

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50)

The Kingdom of God is a new (not a renovated) creation. This is why we must be born again. 

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (I Peter 1:23)

That which is in us is Divine. It is not a reformed, made-over adamic personality. 

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1:4)

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (John 6:53)

Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes of Christian thinking is viewing our salvation as the means of bringing our untransformed adamic personality into Paradise on the basis of "grace."

The new covenant is not primarily a covenant of forgiveness although forgiveness is an essential aspect of the new covenant. Rather, the new covenant has to do with the transformation of the inward and outward man, the outward man being transformed in Heaven while the inward man is being transformed on the earth.

Notice again the nature of the new covenant. 

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)

The putting of God’s laws into our mind and heart is another way of saying Christ is being formed in us. 

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

Notice carefully it is not Christ-likeness that is formed in us but Christ. It is the Divine Nature, the body and blood of the Lord. If we do not understand that the new covenant is the rising of the Day Star, Christ, in us, then we do not understand the Kingdom of God, supposing Christianity to be another religious philosophy.

The new covenant is the forming of Christ in us. 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

There is to be nothing of the old nature remaining. 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (II Corinthians 5:17,18)

"All things are become new." "All things are of God."

Anything less than this comes short of the Glory of God.

The new covenant is essentially a covenant of transformation.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)

Our change is accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord as we behold the Glory of God in Christ.

What is the standard toward which the Lord is bringing us? Nothing less than the image of Christ. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:13)

But how does this change in the inward man, with the consequent change in the outward man that is being fashioned before God in Heaven, work out in daily life? The change works out by means of the troubles we suffer.

When we are baptized in water we are stating our adamic nature has been crucified with Christ and our new born-again inward nature has been raised from the dead and has ascended with Christ to the right hand of the Father. This is the position we are to maintain by faith.

Then God will begin to send tribulation on us for we enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation.

It is of extreme importance that we respond correctly to the pains, frustrations, deferred desires, wearisome chores, and other causes of suffering that come to us. The correct response is to take every pain and dread to God so our adamic nature will die and Christ will be formed in us.

The incorrect response to pain and frustration is to blame people and the other tools that God uses, seeking to justify ourselves. When we do this we become filled with bitterness and anger, unforgiveness and a spirit of revenge. When this happens our inner nature is filled with spiritual darkness and the program of transformation ceases. At the same time our house in Heaven is being affected adversely.

Every day the believer makes the decision whether to grow in Christ or to become spiritually dwarfed by remaining in the chains of unbelief and bitterness.

Let us look now at how the Apostle Paul responded to the multitude of afflictions that came upon him. 

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (II Corinthians 4:8,9)

Trouble, perplexity, persecution, being cast down. Does that sound like your situation? How are you responding to your troubles?

Paul always was being brought down to death. Paul always was being raised up by the Lord Jesus because he looked to the Lord rather than to his circumstances. This is the means by which Christ is formed in us. 

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (II Corinthians 4:10)

As we in our adamic nature are brought low Christ is raised up—provided we look to Him and do not become angry with people and circumstances. He must increase but we must decrease. 

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (II Corinthians 4:11)

If we would have the Presence of the Lord in us and with us we must accept as cheerfully as we can the troubles that come our way. We are made weak so His strength may be revealed. The resurrection power of the Lord flows only from the cross. 

So then death worketh in us, but life in you. (II Corinthians 4:12)

It is the Lord’s will that each believer come to maturity. As he leaves the state of spiritual babyhood, the people around him begin to experience the transforming Glory of the Lord.

The Apostle Paul was willing to share the sufferings of Christ. As a result the resurrection Life of Christ has flowed through Paul’s Epistles and has affected civilization for two thousand years. 

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; (II Corinthians 4:13)

The issue is faith. If we are to accept our tribulations in a profitable manner so they result in our transformation and in the transformation of those around us, we must believe that God Is; that God cares; that God knows the details of our life; that God is good and to be trusted and will insure that all things that happen to us will work for our good. Therefore we speak these promises in faith, overcoming Satan by the word of our testimony. The same circumstances can make us a ruling king or a spiritually stunted, bitter, barren, unchanged descendant of Adam. 

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (II Corinthians 4:14)

We know that God raised up the Lord, that the Lord is alive. We know also that God has raised up us and those who hear us. In order to overcome us Satan would have to overcome the resurrection of the Lord; and this he was not able to do and yet is not able to do. 

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. (II Corinthians 4:15)

There comes a point in our life when we realize the things that are happening to us are for the benefit of other people. We would enjoy going home to be with the Lord. But it is necessary we remain for a while so that a greater good can come to other people. 

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (II Corinthians 4:16)

"In view of the fact that good is coming from my troubles I will not faint, I will keep on going forward in the Lord," Paul is saying. "My outward form, my body, is perishing; but my inward man is being renewed each day by the resurrection Life of Christ."

This process of death and resurrection is the manner in which the eternal personality is created. 

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (II Corinthians 4:17)

Notice it is Paul’s afflictions that are producing the eternal weight of glory. The eternal weight of glory is the transformed inward man accompanied by the transformed outward man. 

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:18)

If we are to make a success of being transformed into Christ’s image we must not look too carefully at the tools God is using to form us. How easy it is to blame people or circumstances for our pain! But when we do we do not derive the good that God has planned for us. When we turn our eyes away from the Lord and seek satisfaction from people we injure our own personality. We must let God deliver us and justify us.

This is not to say we should not pray when trouble comes. We should and we must. We always and continually are to tell the Lord what it is we desire. But we must not seek to achieve our objectives by force, manipulation, or some political move calculated to outwit our adversaries.

The firstfruits to God and the Lamb are free from guile. They are straightforward with God and man, looking always to the Lord to deliver them from every trouble. 

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (II Corinthians 5:1)

We do not worry about the death of our body because the eternal weight of glory formed in our inward nature has its counterpart in Heaven. The weight of glory is a dwelling place for our inward nature and it is eternal, not temporary like our present body. 

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15:54)

In the day of resurrection the Lord Jesus will raise our deceased mortal body from the ground. Then our house from Heaven will clothe our resurrected mortal body. This is the gold on the wood that is observed when we study the articles of furniture of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. We see from this that our present mortal body will be raised from the dead and become part of our eternal personality. 

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:11)

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: (II Corinthians 5:2)

We seldom hear Christian people groaning to be clothed with their heavenly body. This may be because we are not suffering as much as the Apostle Paul. We are not in prison or being beaten for the Gospel’s sake. Another reason is we may have been taught we are going to a mansion in Heaven rather than that we shall be clothed with a body that has been fashioned according to our proper or improper responses to our afflictions.

We seldom meditate on the thought that our "mansion" will reflect the inward transformation we have experienced. But this is a fact. Ordinarily the concept of the "glorified body" is that each believer will receive a body much like that of the Lord Jesus. If the writer understands the Scriptures, this is not true at all. Each believer will receive a body expressive of his or her personal spiritual development. 

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (I Corinthians 15:41,42)

The believers who are destined to occupy positions of tremendous authority and power in the Kingdom, such as those who will be on the right hand and left hand of the Lord when He returns, will be clothed with gigantic bodies, galactic in strength and glory. These bodies will be given to them provided they are willing first to drink the cup of suffering that is their necessary portion.

Other believers will receive bodies adapted to their assigned role in the Kingdom if they follow the Lord faithfully in pressing toward the mark set before them. God’s stars will differ in glory. 

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (II Corinthians 5:3)

The idea here is that if we do not have an eternal weight of glory laid up for us in Heaven we will be a naked spirit when we lose our physical body. Notice how the Apostle Paul refers to an individual whose spirit is saved in the Day of the Lord. 

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5)

There is an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God, and then there is a minimal entrance. There are greatest in the Kingdom and least in the Kingdom. "One star differs from another star in glory."

It is important that every believer realize his actions today are creating his eternal personality, for good or for evil. 

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (II Corinthians 5:4)

Paul continually lived in danger and afflictions. He desired to put on the body of glory that had been created by his affliction.

Our present mortal body is destined to be made alive provided we put to death the deeds of our body by the spirit of God. 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:11-13)

Our mortal body will be made alive when it is clothed with our body from Heaven. 

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (I Corinthians 15:54)

If we have responded improperly to the tribulations (chastenings) of the present life, there will be no body of eternal life with which to clothe our mortal body in the day of resurrection. In this instance we shall not have attained the first resurrection from the dead. 

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)

Paul goes on to say: 

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [pledge; guarantee] of the Spirit. (II Corinthians 5:5)

Notice the wording here. God has prepared us or made us so we may be clothed with incorruptible eternal life. In John 14:2 the Lord told us He was going to the cross and then to the Father in order to prepare a place for us. Now Paul is telling us that we are being prepared to dwell in a house of eternal life.

The Holy Spirit we have now is a guarantee that one day our entire personality will be filled and motivated with eternal Divine Life. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)

Our daily struggles are our opportunity to be filled with the Divine Virtue of the Lord Jesus so that God may regard us as authorized and competent to be clothed with eternal life—authorized and competent in that we are in the moral image of Christ and are dwelling in untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.

Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord and were forbidden to partake of eternal life. 

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (II Corinthians 5:6)

As long as this present mortal body is our home we are absent from the Lord. Notice that nothing is said about being absent from Heaven. The best feature of physical death is that we will be at home with the Lord! Paradise is a wonderful environment but our goal is to be with the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, far above every other personage. If we are abiding in Christ we also are at the right hand of the Father, far above every other personage. 

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (II Corinthians 5:7)

It has pleased God that the righteous exercise faith in order to gain an eternal personality that is authorized and competent to partake of the full inheritance of the sons of God. We cannot see what is being prepared for us in the heavens—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Eve was tempted successfully because she did not fully trust that God was keeping her from pain by forbidding her to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let us never, never, never doubt the goodness and wisdom of God when He commands us to do something or refrain from doing something. 

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8)

The true saint longs to be at home with the Lord—at home with the Lord! However marvelous may be the palaces of glory, if the Lord were not there it would not be "home."

When the Lord returns to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, on the earth, then that is where "home" will be for us. "So shall we ever be with the Lord." "That where I am, there you may be also."

This world is not our home even though we are at home in the body. All that the term home means to an individual will be realized only when he or she is present with the Lord. 

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. (II Corinthians 5:9)

The further we go with the Lord the more we realize our life on earth and our life in Heaven are one. Even though while in the mortal body we cannot see the Lord as we would like, and are bound with time and distance, we nevertheless are to behave ourselves as though we are with the Lord—which indeed we are.

One of the great misconceptions of modern teaching is that all will change when we die or when the Lord comes. The truth is, what we are, we are. If we have little desire to be with the Lord now we will have little desire to be with the Lord then. If we are careless, spiritually lazy, disinterested in the things of the Kingdom, disobedient to God, then we still will be careless, spiritually lazy, disinterested in the things of the Kingdom, and disobedient to God when we leave the mortal body and pass into the spirit realm.

If our conduct is not acceptable to Him here it will not be acceptable to Him there. Here we can conceal our true nature. There our true nature will be revealed for all to see.

What we are sowing now we shall reap then. And so we labor that we may be completely acceptable to the Lord at all times and in all places. 

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)

Because of the extreme emphasis on imputed righteousness in today’s preaching and teaching, the verse above is not always presented exactly as written. Teachers of the Bible who are thoroughly founded in the all-inclusiveness of imputation find it difficult to reconcile their belief with the concept that a Christian could receive bad at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Some have gone so far as to say that the Judgment Seat [Greek beema ] of Christ will be a sort of sports-awards banquet in which the participants will receive prizes but no one will be given less than an honorable mention. Certainly no individual will be punished!

All that is needed to correctly interpret the verse is to keep it in context. It is referring to the eternal weight of glory—the inward (and consequently outward) personality of the believer as he or she copes with the tribulations of life.

What II Corinthians 5:10 means is exactly what it states. If the believer has responded to his afflictions by bearing his cross after Christ, sternly obeying the Father in all matters, then he will receive the consequence of his actions in the form of a body of great glory and authority.

If the believer has responded to his afflictions by blaming people, becoming angry, sinning against the Lord, disobeying God, then he will receive the consequence of his action in the form of a body void of the inheritance of the sons of God.

We shall receive the good we have done and the bad we have done. If we have served the Lord and then have turned away from Him and have begun practicing evil, then the good we had done will not be mentioned and we will be rewarded as an evildoer.

If we have rebelled against the Lord and then have repented, have confessed our sins, have turned away from them and begun to practice righteousness, then the bad we have done will not be mentioned to us and we will be rewarded as a righteous person.

The above statement might sound strange to someone who knows nothing of the Christian salvation except imputed righteousness. But our position is scriptural. 

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (Ezekiel 18:24)

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. (Ezekiel 18:21,22)

But, someone will counter, that passage is from the Old Testament. This is true. But such spiritual principles are not restricted to the Law of Moses but are part of the eternal moral law of God and never change.

One can find the same principle in the New Testament. 

Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (Romans 2:6-8)

Here is the perfect justice of God. We shall receive the good we have practiced and the bad we have practiced. The purpose of the blood of the cross, the mercy of God, the grace of God, is not to change the Kingdom law of sowing and reaping such that we can sow sin and reap eternal life. Rather, the purpose of the blood of the cross, the mercy of God, the grace of God, is to encourage and strengthen us so we can begin to sow in righteousness. For the inviolable moral law of God states we shall reap what we sow. 

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)

The kind of eternal personality we shall have depends on our decisions and actions today. 

The White Robe

The Scripture in many instances refers to our new outward man as a "robe." We will be robed according to the status assigned to us in the Kingdom of God provided we have pressed forward toward the mark set before us. 

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:4,5)

Notice that of the entire Christian church in Sardis, only a few had kept their garments clean by daily confession and repentance. Their reward is to be clothed with the white robe of the priests of the Lord, the house from Heaven that has been kept clean and white by their conduct on the earth. The remainder of the church is not qualified to be a part of the royal priesthood.

Although some of the defeated believers may be saved as by fire, as we have pointed out previously, there always remains the danger of having one’s name blotted from the pages of the Book of Life. To maintain that a Christian could never have his or her name blotted from the Book of Life, as some are doing, is to take a scornful attitude toward the Scripture.

It is the victorious Christian whose name is confessed before the Father and the Father’s angels, not the believer whose sole claim to sainthood is imputed righteousness. 

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18)

The white raiment, the house from Heaven, can be purchased by going to the Lord and asking His assistance in every aspect of life. It is especially important when we are in the midst of tribulation and pain that we do not turn away from the Lord but toward the Lord. If we will come boldly to the throne of grace the Lord Jesus will enable us to emerge in victory from every battle. In this manner we keep our inward man and our outward man white and shining. 

And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. (Revelation 4:4)

The elders of God, whoever they may be, already have been clothed with the white robe of incorruptible righteousness and crowned with Divinity. What a mark toward which to press! 

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:11)

The martyrs also have received their house from Heaven and are waiting for all things to be fulfilled so they may be revealed in the earth. 

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (Revelation 7:9)

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13,14)

The fact that John could discern that the members of the multitude were of various national backgrounds reveals that some characteristics of the present life will remain with us after death. Even though these people came from several continents, all had come out of the great tribulation. They have been careful to confess their sins and to turn away from them. Therefore the blood of the Lamb has kept them free from all sin. They now are revealing their eternal personality. 

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteousnesses] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)

The term "righteousness" in the above translation is misleading because the believer of today will assume that this is imputed righteousness. It is not. The Greek term means righteous behavior not imputed righteousness.

The clothing of the saints in their own righteous deeds is an expression of the perfect righteousness of God. It is of the utmost significance to the believer who is concerned about his or her future destiny.

The saints described here are the firstfruits of the Bride who will be raised in the first resurrection, that is, at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. They are characterized by the fact that through the grace of the Lord Jesus they have attained the first resurrection in their inner man. Now they are being clothed with the outward man, the house from Heaven fashioned from the incorruptible eternal life of the Son of God Himself. 

For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20,21)

The following verse tells us that if we do not walk in righteousness before the Lord, confessing and repenting of our sins when we stumble, keeping the commandments of the Apostles by the grace Christ gives us, then He will come when we are not prepared and we will be found spiritually naked. Then the shame of our nakedness will be revealed for all to see. 

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (Revelation 16:15)

Imputed righteousness does not qualify us to be part of the army of God. The firstfruits of the Bride are clothed with their own righteous conduct. Therefore they can ride in righteousness with the Lord Jesus for in righteousness He does judge and make war. 

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:14)

Conclusion

Let us close with our opening statements, for they present a major concept of salvation—a concept that may at times be lacking in our understanding of the Christian salvation.

Man is composed of an inward nature and an outward nature. Both of these were born of human parents.

To enter and continue to live in the Kingdom of God requires that the inward adamic nature be crucified and the Divine Nature of Christ be so fused with the human soul and spirit as to produce a new inward nature. This process does not happen instantaneously but line upon line, rule upon rule, command upon command. Here a little and there a little our adamic nature is crucified and Christ is formed in us.

While this process of transformation is taking place a new outward man, a counterpart of the new inward man, is being fashioned before the throne of God in Heaven. What is in the inward man, whether good and bad, is in the outward man or affects the outward man in some manner. The outward man will be a perfect vehicle for the inward man and will reveal the inward man; unlike today where we cannot determine the nature of an individual by looking at his outward man.

In the Day of the Lord the heavenly outward man will be given to the inward man of the believer as a reward, either for good or for bad. We shall reap what we have sown. This is the manner in which the eternal personality is created.

Do not let Satan or any person reason you out of the above truth by overemphasizing God’s grace or God’s love. The atonement made on the cross of Calvary is not a substitute for a transformed personality but the means of making a transformed personality possible.

As we stated previously, a firstfruits of your personality already has been raised to the right hand of God through Christ. Because of his jealousy, Satan continually will seek to tear you down from the throne of God. He will be successful if you do not diligently work out your salvation with fear and trembling, looking always to the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus will keep you safe in Himself provided you keep His commandments.

You have been raised in Christ as high as it is possible to be raised. Now your task is maintain your position in Christ until your whole spirit, soul, and body is enthroned forever at the right hand of God in Christ.

It is your eternal destiny that is at stake!