EXPANDING THE WORD OF GOD
EXPANDING THE WORD OF GODCopyright Š 2012 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.
From the beginning God has had a great plan in mind. It is possible that this plan originated in God's mind before the Word of God, whom we know as Christ, came forth from God. That plan is to create a continually expanding Kingdom in which righteousness, love, joy, and peace prevail throughout.
This ever expanding Kingdom reminds me of our present universe, which astronomers inform us is rapidly expanding. As regards our universe, it is so unimaginably huge, and the distances between the heavenly bodies are so great, and such speed is demonstrated, I wonder if God is not "showing off" His unlimited power (although this may not be a proper manner in which to describe God's motive in displaying such splendor).
In any case, our expanding universe gives us a sort of picture of how the Kingdom God has planned will increase for eternity.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)
If I am correct, God's first step was to bring forth Christ from His own Being. Christ is the Word of God in the sense that He represents all that God is. Then through Christ, God created the spirit and physical worlds.
But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2)
The Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Lord, originally was regarded as the Word. Then the Word was made flesh by being born of Mary.
The world God has created always will be under God's rule. This shall continue to be true when mankind is on the new earth. There never is a time when the angels and mankind are not under God's supervision.
The Ten Commandments may have been the first time God's moral law was presented in written form. Before that time, I can't see how the angels would be able to distinguish between righteousness and unrighteousness.
To the present time angels do not have an innate sense of right and wrong I gather, in that it never is given to angels to make moral judgments as far as I can see in the Bible. But they apparently do know the difference between loyalty and disloyalty, in that God cast out of Heaven the presumptuous, self-willed Satan and those who followed him.
I do not believe angels have a conscience. But apparently conscience was the law that governed human beings until God gave Moses ordinances to teach Israel.
Noah was deemed righteous, probably because he obeyed his conscience and was a decent person. His neighbors did not do this and were characterized by wickedness and violence; wickedness as judged by their conscience, I suppose.
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (Romans 2:14,15)
Abraham believed God when God told him that he would have many children. God regarded Abraham's blind belief in God's promise as righteousness. God later added to Abraham's faith the rite of circumcision.
Then came Moses and Aaron, and through them God expanded the knowledge of what God expected of people.
There not only were the Ten Commandments, a moral law that applies to all mankind, but a number of ordinances that governed the conduct of daily life, such as the distinction between clean and unclean foods. So we see God's law expanded from the conscience of people to the scroll of the Law.
Notice that every one of the Ten Commandments deals with our relationships with God and with other people. Almost all of the other ordinances were not moral guidelines, such as the regulations concerning the Tabernacle and the priesthood; that which was ceremonially unclean; the treatment of thieves; the laws concerning leprosy; and so forth.
Please keep in mind that during these hundreds of years, God was laying the foundation for the eternal Kingdom of God, the new world of righteousness.
The next expansion of the law of God occurred with the giving of the new covenant. The new covenant is the writing of the eternal moral law of God in the human personality. This is an enlargement and refining of our conscience.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:10,11)
Notice how God through the centuries has kept increasing His rule.
The laws that are written in our mind and heart are the eternal moral laws of God. No aspect of the ceremonial law is written into our personality.
What is important to God is that we love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. All of the moral law is included in these two commandments. This is what is written in our personality. This is the new covenant.
God cannot have the ever expanding kingdom of righteousness, love, peace, and joy He desires until all people submit to these two commandments; and also obey the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely and at all times.
The full implementation of God's moral imperatives in the new world of righteousness requires three elements: the undisputed rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself is the Word of God; a governing priesthood; and people who live on the new earth but are not of the priesthood.
The first consideration is the undisputed rule of Jesus Christ. God has given to Him all authority in Heaven and upon the earth. The one sure behavior on our part that will guarantee eternal residence in the Lake of Fire is disobedience to Jesus.
The Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of God. Serving under Him as the representatives of God to the people who live on the new earth are the members of the Royal Priesthood. God, Christ, and the members of the Royal Priesthood compose the new Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling place of God.
The ruling priests, who are the Christian Church, the elect called from the ranks of mankind, will govern the new world of righteousness.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 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 22:4,5)
Such are the members of the Royal Priesthood.
The third element in the expanded government of God consists of the people from the nations whom God has saved but who are not members of the priesthood. They are the inheritance of the priesthood. They do not have Christ born and formed in them as do the royal priests.
They will live in communities and will go about their daily business just as people do today, participating in agriculture, the arts and sciences, and all the other endeavors that will bring righteousness, love, joy, and peace to everyone.
This is the Kingdom that God visualized before any part of it came into being. First God brought forth the supreme Ruler, the Word. Then through the Word, God created all things, including the spirit world and all its inhabitants.
One step at a time, God imposed on mankind His moral nature until finally the new creation was able to love God above all; to love one another as themselves; and to obey the Lord Jesus Christ in every detail.
We now are in the time when God is preparing the members of the priesthood, the brothers of Christ. Each one must become an extension of the Word, who is Christ. The Word must be formed in each of the priests until His Divine Nature is apparent in them.
Such transition from our human nature to the Divine Nature requires that our old nature must be supplanted by the new nature being formed in us. We must learn to live by the Life of Christ in every aspect of our nature. We must think, speak, and act as an integral part of the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This may seem impossible to the reader. It is not. Such a life is readily available to you.
Be sure to confess and turn away from your sins when they are pointed out to you. Ask Christ to help you with this.
Then, in everything you do during the day and night, keep asking Christ for wisdom and strength. Let Him take over your life, a step at a time. This will take a while to master, but Jesus will help you if you ask Him.
There are two prayers that are helpful that we can pray each day: the first is that we may keep our heart and mind on things above; the second is that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
This is your goal and my goal until Jesus returns.