THE CHARIOTS OF GOD ARE THE TRUE CHRISTIANS
Copyright © 2016 Robert B Thompson. 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.
Mount Bashan, majestic mountain, Mount Bashan, rugged mountain, why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the Lord himself will dwell forever? The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious—that you, Lord God, might dwell there. (Psalm 68:15-18)
“Gifts from people.” Perhaps better translated as “gifts for people” (compare with Ephesians 4:11).
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. (Psalm 68:18—KJV)
The purpose for the gifts given to us by the Lord through the Spirit of God is that “the Lord God might dwell there.” That is, as the gifts cause us to mature in Christ, we become suitable as a home for God and Christ.
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)
We may already have the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. His task is to prepare us for the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in us until we are filled with all the Fullness of God. This is the marriage of the Lamb; and, like Eliezer of old, the Holy Spirit enables this marriage.
Growth in Christ is an increase in the ability to understand the will of Christ at all times, and an increase in the faith, courage, and determination to do that will. Our attitude is to be one of listening and waiting. If we have a need or desire for something, we are to let our request be made known to the Lord, with thanksgiving. Then we are to resume our attitude of listening and waiting, meanwhile continuing with our daily tasks.
This does not mean we never are to persist in prayer. There is a time for praying repeatedly about an issue. Jesus will lead us in this, in the appropriate instance.
We never are to seek healing or to fulfill some need or desire by a metaphysical device, such as visualizing, speaking the word of faith, or some other similar method, apart from the express direction of the Lord.
Before I go any further, let me say that the purpose of this essay is to make Christian people aware that the members of the elect, the Church, the Royal Priesthood, are to be the chariots of God. This means that whatever we may doing at any time, we are to remain aware of the Presence of Christ such that what He desires of us, we will do immediately if possible, unless it is for the future. My practice throughout the day is to ask Jesus if I am where I am supposed to be, and doing what I am supposed to be doing.
Whether we are on earth or in the spirit world, pursuing a vocation we enjoy, or listening to music, or conversing with a friend, we must obey the wishes of Christ. If we find obedience to some particular issue threatening to us, then we are to pray for faith, courage, and wisdom so we can obey.
Instant obedience is required for anyone who is a chariot of God. We do not expect God to follow our lead. We walk with God wherever He chooses to go.
It may be of interest to note that before He had a chariot, God used to ride on the cherubim.
He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. (Psalm 18:10)
In fact, the cherubim that covered the Mercy Seat were referred to as the “chariot.”
He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
(I Chronicles 28:18b)
I do not believe there is a greater shift needed in Christian thinking than the change from viewing our salvation as that which benefits us, to that which benefits God. Such a change is necessary if we are to escape the snares set by those who are telling us we are to be wealthy and prominent in the present world. It is possible that the viewing of salvation as being primarily an act that benefits us rather than a provision that benefits God, may have arisen from the popular teaching that Christ came to deliver us from Hell. Yet, there are passages that show clearly the interest God has in our salvation:
“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? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1,2)
Perhaps we can add safely that it is people who are humble and contrite in spirit who can provide a house and resting place for God. Also, at the birth of the Christian Church:
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? Has not my hand made all these things? (Acts 7:49,50)
Drawing on additional passages, I would say that God needs and desires a house, a home, a resting place, and a location for His Throne. And perhaps a means of transportation!
Returning to our initial Scripture: “The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands.” It appears to me that the words “the chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands” have a special meaning for the idea that God is moving from Mount Sinai, the Law of Moses, to Mount Zion, the Christian Church.
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. (Hebrews 12:22,23)
From our first Scripture, “The Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.” God’s sanctuary is the Christian Church, the Church of the Firstborn, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.
One translation claims that the thousands of angels are engaging in a special time of rejoicing, probably because they perceive that God is moving toward the development of His Kingdom.
We understand that the angels are not the chariots of God, in that God does not make His home in angels or find His rest in them, as He does in human beings. God never will place His Throne in an angel.
God never meant the believers to be another god in the universe. Rather, He designed us to be an enlargement of Himself, a chariot in which He can visit all parts of His creation. The animal, adamic nature of man cannot very well serve as a chariot of God. It is the new life in us, the resurrection Life of the Lord Jesus, that is suited to be a chariot of God.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
But what is this about “the chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands”? Why should this be inserted into a prophecy about the Lord moving from the Law of Moses to His sanctuary? I believe that the members of the Church, of Mount Zion, are being fashioned as chariots of God—the means by which He can move at will among His creatures on the new earth. It is possible also that in the distant future, the new earth will be overcrowded because people do not die, and thus groups of people will move to other heavenly bodies. By using His saints as chariots, God could visit those who have moved.
There is a passage that interests me:
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (Revelation 3:12)
The expression “never again will he leave it,” referring to the Temple of God, surprised me. Then it dawned on me. They never shall leave the Temple of God because they are the Temple of God. They are the new Jerusalem. They are Mount Zion, the eternal sanctuary of God. The name of God and of the Holy City is on them.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka [weeping], they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:5-7)
They are God’s chariots, and they can bring God’s Presence, including the water and food of eternal life, which are the blood and flesh of Christ, and healing when needed, to the multitudes of people whom God has saved to the new world of righteousness.
And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. (Isaiah 61:6)
The elect of today, who are pursuing their rigorous, sometimes painful, discipleship, are being prepared to be members of the Royal Priesthood. They shall bring the Presence of God throughout endless ages wherever His creatures are found. How wonderful to be a chariot of God! It is well worth the seemingly endless chastenings and exhortations to righteous, holy, obedient behavior.
Christ is being formed in us. Since there cannot be two captains of a ship, either Christ must reign in our life, or our first personality must guide our thinking, speaking and behaving.
The Christian discipleship is a prolonged struggle between the two natures. If we yield to our old adamic personality, being content to just be “saved” (although this is in doubt), and we do not look to the Lord Jesus for every aspect of our being and doing, the eternal life we were given initially will finally wither and die and we will be unable to fulfill our election as a member of the Royal Priesthood.
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. (II Peter 2:20,21)
If we are to be of service to God as a house, a home, a resting place, a location for His Throne, and now a chariot, so that He, through us, can govern and bless the people He has created, then the manner in which we view our relationship to God will need to be changed radically.
There is a move among Charismatic believers in which the dominant theme is self-realization. We are to develop our inner potential until we are playing an important role in business, education, government, or some other aspect of our culture. Without doubt, this new emphasis is the False Prophet, the helper of Antichrist, set forth in Revelation chapter 13 (the second beast).
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11)
You would think, wouldn’t you, that Christian people would know that anyone who was telling them they were to be wealthy and prominent in the present world was not teaching according to the New Testament text. The churches where such pastors and teachers are emphasizing their lies are exciting places to be. When the minister touches someone, that individual is expected to fall down, which they do. Some of them then talk to their friends on their cellphones while they are lying on the floor. They are supposed to be under the immobilizing Spirit of God, but sometimes this does not appear to be the case.
People like to be told about a great door opening before them that—if they only will believe—shall bring them into a marvelous destiny. Could you picture the Lord Jesus, or any of the Apostles of the Lamb, telling their followers that a door was ready to open before them that shall enable them to experience a most marvelous destiny? That did not happen for John the Baptist, did it? Nor did it take place for the Christians who were forced into the arenas of Rome. Nor is it taking place today for Christians in Iraq, including little boys and girls.
How could it be that intelligent Christian people cannot recognize that they are being lied to? It is because their pastors have not taught them that in order to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus, we must give up all we have. We must take up our cross and follow Jesus at all times.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26,27)
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)
Their pastors have not taught them that if we seek first the Kingdom of God, the necessities of life will be added to us. They have not taught them that we enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation. Are there any mega churches that actually preach discipleship? Are there any churches that place more emphasis on bringing the believers to maturity in Christ than they do on evangelism?
If time has not been spent on bringing the members of the congregation to maturity in Christ, warning them that sometimes we must suffer if we are to stand true in Christ, then they can be deceived by those who are telling them they can be rich and powerful in the present world.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:9-10)
How can the Father and the Son live in a house, or home, or find rest, or place for Their Throne, in someone who is endeavoring to gain wealth and power in our present world? And they certainly cannot be a chariot of God! If we are making the pursuit of wealth the most important aspect of our life, we will not be sensitive to the will of Christ. We will be our own chariot, not the chariot of God.
To be a chariot of God, we must be thinking as God is thinking. We must be speaking as God is speaking. We must know beyond doubt that we are where God wants us and doing what God desires. How could it be otherwise? The people of the world, both saved and unsaved, are not interested in our opinions. They want to hear from God, and God desires to guide and bless them. It is not possible as long as we are trying to follow our own plans, endeavoring to be wealthy and successful in the world.
At all times, we must be aware of the needs of God and other people. We must pray for faith and courage so we can do what Jesus is telling us to do. We must have wisdom and knowledge so what we say is coming from Christ and not from our own ideas.
The decisions we are making today are utterly important. We are building a foundation for our ministry to God during future ages. After we are resurrected and receive our glorified body, what then?
The Christians of today, both fervent and lukewarm, are waiting and hoping for a “rapture” that will remove them from the earth, and they then will enter a place where they are free from the cares and worries of the present world. I do not believe this will happen. When the Lord returns from Heaven with His saints, He is on His way to destroy all evil influences from the earth. He will be looking to the earth, hoping to add to His army some who are living physically at the time. Those who wish to be joined to Him and resurrected at that time will need to be living by His Life in order to join the army from Heaven. There is no place in the army for those who are consumed with their own interests. They would be a danger to their fellow soldiers during the conflict.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
“Who is your life.” Whether we come from Heaven with Christ, or are living on the earth at the time, if we wish to appear with Him, we must be living by His Life. Those who qualify to be accepted by Him when He returns will govern the nations of the earth.
I am not certain how the Christians will fare who were not qualified to go with the Lord. I would think they will be terrified when they realize they are going to experience the results of their carelessness. Perhaps they will find a place among the people of the nations who are governed by Christ and His disciples, but I have no scriptural support for this.
I think, if we are wise, we will prepare ourselves today to be a chariot of God. There will be ages upon untold ages of the future when we will serve God as His chariot, meanwhile being further conformed to the image of Christ.
Now is the time to get ready for future opportunities for service to the Lord.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 22:3,4)
(“The Chariots of God are the True Christians”, 4258-2, proofed 20210902)