THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Words of Righteousenss)

THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

We Christians celebrate the idea that Christ is with us. Christmas and Easter are observances having to do with the greatest of all moments of world history. Emmanuel! God with us! The restoring of Eden's loss has commenced.

But the fact that God is with us, unbelievably glorious as it is, pales beside the greater glory. The mystery of the Gospel is not Christ with us but Christ in us.

Table of Contents

Introduction Adam and Eve The House of God What It Means To Have Christ Living in You Cut Off From the Head! Conclusion

THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27—NIV)

Introduction

The idea of Christ in us, the Temple of God, the Morning Star, the feast of Tabernacles, are old fires to warm my hands over. Let me tell you why.

A half-century ago there was a young man just out of the military. He had been called to preach, while stationed with the Marines in Sasebo, Japan. The colleges were flooded with returning GIs. He finally was accepted in a small Assembly of God Bible school. There the students persisted with him until he spoke in tongues.

All this was new to him since he had not been brought up in a Christian home.

In 1948, the year Billy Graham began his preaching in Los Angeles, William Branham over in Phoenix was demonstrating power perhaps not seen since the days of the Apostles, and Israel became a nation, in that year the Lord spoke to the young man about what God was going to do after His people had experienced the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Pentecost.

I mean, this is wild. The former Marine was as green as grass about spiritual matters, but the Lord spoke about the move of God after Pentecost. The understanding was couched in terms of the feasts of the Lord of the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus. Whoever heard of the feasts of the Lord in those days?

The term "Pentecost" refers to the fourth feast of Israel. There are three more feasts.

The student checked with a distinguished Pentecostal teacher, Brother Oliver Ellenwood, who seemed to feel the message was from the Lord.

Soon after this the student wrote a booklet titled "The Temple of God." Then the book was about fifteen pages in length. Now it is considerably longer.

Driving to church last night I marveled that after fifty years the message of Christ in you, the Temple of God, although far fuller and richer than at its origin, is still essentially the same. After many dangers, toils, and snares, it is still the same. It has stood the test of time. This proves to me it was from God.

The Pentecostal-Charismatic people are at a crossroads today. We either are going to take our ministries and gifts and try to save the world, or we are going to return to Jesus and find out what His plans are. You know, there is nothing like asking the foreman what you are supposed to do on the job.

When God moves from one feast to another we are to do no work but listen and find out what we are supposed to do. Today is one such period. When we stop and listen we hear the Lord saying, "I stand at the door of your personality. If you allow Me to enter we will dine together on My body and blood. I will reveal to you the mystery of ‘Christ in you.’"

Let me now, as the Spirit enables, share with you some of the marvelous aspects of "Christ in you" that have been made known throughout the past years. May they be a blessing and help to you.

Adam and Eve

The whole mystery is right here in Adam and Eve. God took a piece of Adam and from that piece drew out Eve. From Eve's toenails to the last hair on her head she was Adam. Eve was Adam in another form. Eve could not marry another person because it would have been Adam marrying the individual.

There was no wedding ceremony. Eve was created from Adam and was Adam.

This is what it is all about.

God created man to be one with Himself. This is why, unlike the angels, we are either male or female. We are incomplete. No angel can be joined to another angel or to God.

We were made to be one with God, to be God's dwelling place, His sanctuary. We are of little significance until we are part of God.

Christ went to the cross to prepare a place for us in the eternal House of God, which is Christ—Head and Body. First the atonement for sin was made and the sanctuary in Heaven was cleansed. Then the body and blood of Christ were made available to us.

The "deep sleep" of Calvary came upon the Lord Jesus, and His body and blood were multiplied like the loaves and fishes. Now those who have been called from the foundation of the world are given the body and blood of Christ to eat and drink.

The process is this: our adamic personality is struck down by the tribulations through which we are brought. As our adamic personality is brought down (crucified) our new life springs up. Our new life is drawn from the body and blood of Christ just as Eve was drawn from the piece of Adam.

Christ must be formed in us. Our personality must become an entirely new creation in which all the old has passed away and what remains is of Christ—every tiny aspect of it!

We are being made the counterpart of Christ just as Eve is the counterpart of Adam. We are to be Christ in another form, not a competitor of Christ but a part of Christ, a tree of life growing out from the roots of the greater Tree of Life. This is God's will—that Christ may be multiplied until He "fills everything in every way," and the Church is His fullness.

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22,23—NIV)

The House of God

We know the purpose of the gifts and ministries given by the Spirit of God are for the purpose of building every member of the Body of Christ to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ. We know such maturity is accomplished as our adamic nature is crucified and Christ is formed in us.

We understand these things are true. But what purpose is served by having Christ brought to fullness in us?

The purpose is to create a house, a resting place, for the Father and Christ.

"What house will you build Me? What is the place of My rest?" In this question we find the central purpose for the creating of man as a race distinct from the other creatures of God.

God needs a house, a place of rest for Himself. Only Jesus Christ meets the specifications for the eternal house of God. Therefore God dwells in His fullness in Christ.

But in God's House there is not just the chief Cornerstone there are many places of abode for God, many living stones. The Body of Christ, the fullness of Christ, is composed of these numerous places of abode. This is the mystery of the Gospel—Christ in us, the hope of the Glory that will be revealed when we all have been brought to the unity of the faith, to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Are you with me thus far? Isn't God's plan stupendous?

As far as I know, the first indication of God's intention appeared soon after the Jews left Egypt.

You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. (Exodus 15:17—NIV)

"The place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling."

Think about this. We are speaking of a dwelling place for God.

When the Lord Jesus spoke of many rooms in the Father's house we, being self-centered, began to plan on going to a mansion in Paradise. The emphasis is not on a mansion for us, the emphasis is on the Father's house. This is what is important.

The Lord Jesus returns to us in the Spirit and brings us to where He is in the Father. Jesus is the way to the Father. We need to get more concerned about the Father's need for a house and place of rest than we are about having a mansion and a backyard full of diamonds. Do you agree?

The place You made for Your dwelling. This is what is important.

A little further in Exodus we find these words:

"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." (Exodus 25:8—NIV)

For whom was the Tabernacle of the Congregation prepared? For God!

Then in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus we find seven feasts of the Lord. The fourth feast, as we have said, is Pentecost. The last and greatest of the feasts is that of Tabernacles, or Booths. What this tells us is that the program of salvation will proceed past Pentecost until a house, a booth, has been prepared for the Lord.

This is where we are today. God is ready to move past Pentecost.

The following passage reveals that the purpose of the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ is to prepare a house for God, a place of rest for Him.

When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious— that you,  O LORD God, might dwell there. (Psalms 68:17—NIV)

You may recognize that Paul quoted this passage in the fourth chapter of the Book of Ephesians, referring to the ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We easily can infer from this that the purpose of the ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit is to build the Body of Christ to maturity so the Lord God may have a dwelling place.

Then the grand pronouncement was made:

This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?" (Isaiah 66:1—NIV)

When the Father's house is mentioned, in John 14:2, people assume Heaven is meant. But Heaven is not the Father's house. Heaven is the throne of God. A need for a house, a resting place, remains.

The same question is asked at the time of the murder of Stephen.

Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? (Acts 7:49—NIV)

Since the Sanhedrin viewed Herod's Temple as God's house, this was an irritating question. Yet the question of God's house, His resting place, is central to the entire Divine operation from the beginning of the world.

Now notice carefully, referring to the one new Man—Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ:

Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:20-22—NIV)

The "whole building" mentioned above is the "Father's house" mentioned by the Lord Jesus in John 14:2. In the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation we see the Church, the eternal House of God, the Tabernacle of God, descending through the new sky to rest forever on a high mountain of the new earth. The throne of God and of the Lamb are in it. This is the Wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem, the holy city.

The new Jerusalem will dwell among the saved nations of the earth. Through the saints who compose the new Jerusalem God will wipe away the tears of saved mankind. This has been God's plan from the beginning and is the reason for the creation of the Church, the royal priesthood.

What It Means To Have Christ Living in You

How do we pass from Pentecost to the place where Christ is living in us? How do we arrive at Paul's level of maturity: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet it is not I who am living but Christ who is living in me?"

We see here that Paul stands in relation to Christ as Christ stands in relation to the Father. Christ lives by the Life of the Father and Paul lives by the Life of Christ. Christ can do nothing of Himself apart from the Father. Paul can do nothing of Himself apart from Christ.

This is the state of being to which every member of the Body of Christ is called.

But how do we get here?

There are two aspects of "Christ in you." The first aspect is the transformation of our personality as every particle is brought down to death and then raised again in Christ. The second aspect is the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in this transformed personality. God will dwell only in Christ, and only in us to the extent Christ has been formed in us.

Does this make sense to you?

Let's think for a moment about the first aspect—the forming of Christ in us.

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19—NIV)

The problem is that of our will. We can make little progress in having Christ formed in us until we count that we have been crucified with Christ and resurrected with Christ.

We must turn over our life to Jesus, not just as a doctrinal stance but in actuality. We must give up our life that Christ may become our life. Once we make the determination that our first personality is to be assigned to the cross and our new born-again personality is to be in Christ at the right hand of God, the Spirit of God then brings us through situation after situation in which our adamic nature can be brought down to death.

We say "can" be brought down to death because we have a choice as we come to each point of death. We can blame others for our discomfort. We can cling to our life, our hope of joy. We can save our life. If we do this our self-will remains intact and Christ is not formed in us. In so doing we forfeit all hope of appearing with Christ, for those who appear with Him and work with Him in the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth are those whose life He is.

"When Christ who is our life shall appear . . . ."

You know, the most dangerous of all spiritual places to find yourself in is to have trusted in the blood atonement for the forgiveness of your sin, to have spoken in tongues and perhaps prophesied, to have been saved and to have experienced the Life of the Spirit of God, and then to cling stubbornly to some desire, some hope, some ambition, some plan of your own.

Why is this such a dangerous condition?

It is dangerous because Satan, who also wants the joy that attends the Presence of God, preserves his own will. This is the most distinguishing characteristic of Satan—he exerts a will other than the will of Christ.

When he enters the assembly to enjoy the spiritual activity he notices that you are holding on to your own way even though you profess faith in Christ and speak in tongues. Satan has access to your personality through your self-will. The first thing he will do in you is to point out the faults of the saints. You will find yourself hopelessly bound with a spirit of gossip and slander. You will become a member of the synagogue of Satan, the synagogue of the accuser of the brothers.

Every time God moves forward in the Divine plan the religious people who are full of self-will cry, "This is the work of the devil."

Why do they do this? It is because their insistence on running their life the way they want to provides an open door for the accuser of the brothers.

The Pentecostal-Charismatic movement is at this very fork in the road. The believers who attempt to use their gifts to save the world, not hearing from the Lord but going by what they perceive to be the need, will become the False Prophet mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

The believers who turn to Christ and wait to hear what He is saying, who will set out to meet the needs of people only as He directs, will become an object of accusation and slander. The believers who are active in their own religious works will come against the remnant of people who choose to put their own life on the cross with Jesus.

Every time you come to the end of yourself because of trouble, pain, or danger, you have a wonderful opportunity to call on Jesus that His Life, His body and blood, might lift you up. Every time you die in this way and come to life in Jesus you are eternally changed.

Like Paul you are living by His resurrection and sharing His sufferings. You are counting every aspect of your adamic life as loss for Christ, as so much garbage, that you may become a new creation in which all the old has passed away and all the new is of God through Jesus Christ.

Does such a transformation, such an exchange of your life for His, interest you? Then tell God right now this is how you desire the rest of your life to be conducted.

We stated that there are two aspects of "Christ in you." The first aspect we have just discussed. It is the transformation of what we are, a change from an adamic soul to a life-giving spirit. Christ is formed in us and He is the Tree of Life. As we mature in Him we also become trees of life so other people can partake of Divine Life through us.

The second aspect of "Christ in you" is the coming of the Persons of the Father and the Son to dwell in our transformed personality. Christ is coming to dwell in Christ, so to speak.

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23—NIV)

When this fullness of God comes to dwell in us through the Holy Spirit we have become a tree of life. We have become a representative part of the very Throne of God. It is to this end we have been destined.

Now that the Morning Star, the herald of the Day of the Lord, has risen in our personality, we are qualified and competent to return with the Lord Jesus and help establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

The Lord Jesus gives us the authority to govern the nations, and then He gives us the Morning Star, Christ in us, so we will not be ruling over people in our adamic nature. This would be terrible for them and for us!

Please notice the condition for the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in our personality: "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching." This is the condition, that we obey the teaching of Christ and His Apostles. In fact, teaching people to obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles is the main point of the Great Commission!

Now, this is where Satan has attacked the Christian churches. Satan has provided us with "another gospel," a gospel that claims we do not have to obey the teachings of Christ and His Apostles because we are "saved by grace."

The teaching that salvation is solely by forgiveness and it is not critical that we keep the commandments of Christ is antinomianism, a form of an ancient philosophy called Gnosticism.

The Christian teaching of our day, which is worldwide, is that we do not have to keep the commandments of Christ to be saved. We go to Heaven "by grace." This is not scriptural. It is utterly destructive of God's intention to build a house, a place of rest for Himself.

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23—NIV)

The condition on which the Father and the Son will make their eternal abode in us (their "mansion" in us—same Greek term as in John 14:2) is that we obey the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles. God and Christ will never make Their abode with us, Their "mansion" with us, unless we obey Christ.

Now we can understand why Satan has issued the false doctrine of "grace." Satan knows that until we begin to obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, of which there are hundreds in the New Testament, his kingdom is in no danger.

There appears to be little understanding in Christian circles of how deadly, how destructive the teaching of lawless grace is. The moral character of the churches in America has been destroyed by this doctrine. The moral cesspool into which our government has fallen reflects the doctrine of lawless grace taught in the churches.

Lawless grace, the doctrine that to be saved we need only make a profession of faith in Christ without a transformation of our personality, must be driven from the churches immediately. If it is not, our nation will be visited with terrible judgments! God has given His Son to speak to us but we are not hearing Him. We have invented a "dispensation of grace" by means of which we hope to go to Heaven by doctrinal belief. There is no new creation in it. There is no house of God, no resting place for God in it.

Let us not imagine for one moment that an individual can profess faith in Jesus Christ and this mental assent to theological truth makes the person suitable as a house for God; as a resting place for God. How could it? Nothing has taken place in the personality. Christ has not been formed. The personality still is characterized by worldliness, lust, and self-will. Is such an untransformed believer, an individual who has never taken up his cross, qualified and competent to be the eternal dwelling place of God? This is absurd!

Sometimes I think our present doctrine of lawless grace is schizophrenic—split off from reality.

The Christian teaching of today is unscriptural, and moral chaos has resulted. It is not too late for us to change, but perhaps soon it will be too late!

Cut Off From the Head!

There is another aspect of "Christ in you" we would like to mention.

Throughout Christian history, it appears, the believers have attempted to do the work of God according to their own understanding. There have been notable exceptions to this.

When we Christians see the need that is present in the world, and yet have not learned to die to our own enthusiasm and ambition, we go forth to "build three tabernacles," not knowing what we are doing, just as was true of Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration.

It is my personal belief that at any given period of time, most of the Christian work is being performed by conscientious people who do not know what the Lord's will is. They are guessing and making assumptions. But they have not heard from God.

Part of entering the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles is waiting until we know what the Lord wants us to do.

If you think this is easy you haven't tried it.

Perhaps most American Christians do not hear from the Lord. The majority are occupied with the American culture, which is very colorful and exciting for many of the citizens (not for all!). They suppose if God wants them to do something He will break into their spiritual lethargy and instruct them.

Then there are many who are religious leaders. They invent one plan after another to save the world. They may have great apparent success in "getting souls saved." One may wonder how much of this is of God. Perhaps all of it, I don't know.

I do know this: when we seek to move past Pentecost into Tabernacles, so to speak, we face a major issue: do we or do we not dare to let go and let Christ build His own Church?

I am not speaking of passivity, laziness, or indifference. I am referring to a fervent Christian who seeks God daily, who reads his or her Bible daily, who is a worker in a local congregation if possible. I am speaking of devoted Christians!

But the seeker must look to Jesus Christ for every issue, every decision.

Look at the needs in our country: abortion, sexual perversion, murder, child abuse, gangs, self-seeking politicians, drugs, adultery, unequal opportunities for whatever reason.

We could give our life to any one of these causes. And some people do just this. But we accomplish little of value in the Kingdom of God until we hear from Jesus what we are supposed to do!

Today we have put the head of man on the Body of Christ. There are ambitious plans to "save souls" or bring denominations or races together or present the Gospel to every person. Are they worthy enterprises? Undoubtedly! But have the leaders actually heard from Jesus? And if having heard do they continue to hear or does the movement become self-perpetuating, the assumption being that Christ desires it to continue.

How many denominations and movements of our day would shut down if they heard from Christ?

But back to us as an individual. If we would enter the feast of Tabernacles, the booth, the house of God, the rest of God, we must go to the Lord continually concerning every detail of life. Nothing—absolutely nothing—is to be taken for granted just because it seems like a good thing.

This is what it means to hang on the cross. Once you make up your mind to think, speak, and move by the Head, Jesus Christ, you may go for twenty years without any apparent success or fruit. Do you see what I mean? How many ambitious Christians are willing to trust Christ that He will build His Church if we listen to Him and not charge out in our own wisdom and strength?

The ambitious will look at you on the cross and say, "Come down from there. If you are a true Christian, come down and show us what you can do." Meanwhile they will continue with their particular work and produce outstanding results.

But there is a Bible principle here. More are the children of the barren than the married wife. Many of the greatest moves of the God described in the Bible were done through people who had spent years of barrenness as they waited on the Lord for His promise.

There is Ishmael and then there is Isaac!

I think this business of getting the Head of the Body back on the Body is critical today. There are Christian plans galore to build churches and save souls. But often the fragrance of Christ is missing.

I heard Pat Robertson preach once on "no sweat." He was referring to the linen garments of the priests—that the priests were not to wear clothes that would make them perspire. Robertson told of the fantastic accomplishments of his ministry that were performed by the Lord as Pat followed along without perspiring.

The concept really stuck with me. I know it's true. But when we do not have this kind of outstanding fruit we begin to wonder if God is waiting for us to take matters into our own hands. "God helps those who help themselves"—this sort of thing.

I remember in Bible school, the guilt I felt because I was not going forth to save the millions sliding into Hell. The examples held up to us were those who had crossed mountains and deserts as they "burned out for Christ." The idea was to crawl on your hands and knees on broken glass until you burned out for Christ.

Being a conscientious individual I asked God to help me do my part. I promised the Lord that if He would help me I would do whatever He said. I meant it then and I still mean it.

This was the only way I could find peace. The ball was now in God's court. I will do whatever He says.

When we went back in after recess there was a prophecy given in the classroom saying, "If you mean what you have said it will be a blessing to many people."

Then the years went by as my wife and I kept looking to the Lord, looking to the Lord, wanting to serve in some manner. Maybe twenty-five years passed before God made His will known.

Others may be blessed with ways of building a church, mastering all the principles of church growth. May the Lord be with them.

But our part has been to wait, wait, wait until we know what God is saying.

What we hear God saying today is that it is time to build the Body of Christ and that we are on the brink of the mightiest revival of all time. God is stressing repentance. Also that the believers must die to their own will and turn over their life to Christ.

I believe, if I am hearing the Lord correctly, that Jesus Christ will yet be exalted in our nation. But we are going to have to have godly leadership in the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House. Also, the American populace is going to suffer numerous calamities until the fear of God returns to America.

Why don't you ask Jesus right now if this is what He is saying? I think it is.

For two thousand years the Body of Christ has, to a great extent, been separated from the Head. When the human body is separated from the head, when the nervous system is not operating properly, the brain is not connected adequately to the nerves and muscles, the result is a severe disability or paralysis.

So it is with the Christian churches. They are either moving and jerking out of control or paralyzed.

It is time for the Body of Christ to be connected to the Head. Can you say "Amen"?

Conclusion

We have seen, in this briefest of essays, that Adam and Eve portray in themselves the proper relationship between Christ and the worshiper. We are to be created on His body and blood until we become His counterpart; until we become Christ in another form; until we can say, like the Apostle Paul, "It is not I who am living but Christ."

Christ depended on the Father for every thought, every word He spoke, every action He took.

So we are to depend on Christ for every thought, every word we speak, and every action we take. We are to have the mind of Christ in all matters.

We have said God has a need. God needs a house, a place of rest. Jesus Christ is the House of God, the place of His rest. But in God's house there are to be many dwelling places. Christ went to the cross and then to Heaven to prepare a place for us in God and a place for God in us.

If we have been called to be a saint, if this is true of us, then we were created originally to be the dwelling place of God. This is our eternal destiny. If such is our calling we will never find fulfillment, perfect peace, perfect joy, until Christ is living in us and the Father in Him.

We have observed that entering the fulfillment of Tabernacles such that Christ and the Father can find rest in us requires that we choose Christ's will over our own will in every issue of life. Any aspect of our personality or behavior that is not counted as garbage and discarded as the occasion arises is incredible loss for us; incredible loss for Christ; incredible loss for the people who will be assigned to us in the future—incredible, incomprehensible loss of inheritance.

The cross is the engine that destroys our self-will. First we by faith take our place upon the cross of Calvary. Then we take up our personal cross and follow the Master. God takes us at our word and sends many tribulations and perplexities our way so our crucifixion might be accomplished in actuality. At the same time God raises us from the dead, so to speak, and we receive an added portion of eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.

Let no person reading this suppose the program of transformation from self-life to Christ-life is all joy. It is not. But God will set enough joy before us that we can carry our cross successfully to the conclusion of our pilgrimage.

We have noted that it is time to join the Body of Christ to the Head. The age of moral horrors is approaching. Deception fills the land. Every form of lust and sin is available for the asking. We can no longer survive spiritually in our adamic nature, in our religious striving and activities. We must cease from our own works and enter the rest of God. If we do not we will surely fall! Only Christ within us can bring us safely through the days that are ahead.

Rejoice in the Lord, O Christian. He has kept the good wine until now. The best is at hand. The glory of the latter house shall surpass the former.

The days of the greatest spiritual opportunity and the greatest spiritual danger are upon us. Those who turn again to Christ, separating the precious from the vile, will go on and on until they are seated on the throne of glory. Those who remain involved in the toys of civilization will be resurrected to corruption. The issues are just this stark.

All the talents go to the diligent. Outer darkness will be the home of the slothful. The foolish will have the door shut in their face.

There is no power in the heavens or on the earth that can prevent your achieving God's highest and best, only your own unbelief and disobedience can do that.

Go for the gold! Christ is for you. The righteous are cheering you on. Don't quit until you find your place in the army that is poised, ready to appear with Christ and bring justice to the nations of the earth.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." (Revelation 14:13—NIV)