PERFECTING AND RAISING THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
Copyright © 2015. Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Although we may not realize it as yet, the most desirable event in the creation of God is the development of a governing priesthood.
We may have made our goal to be attaining to residence in the eternal Paradise. We would discover, once we were in the present Paradise in Heaven, that we would be neither fulfilled nor happy. Why is this? It is because the war between good and evil still is being waged. We now may be about halfway through the conflict and looking forward at this time to complete victory.
Until Christ and His Body, the eternal Royal Priesthood, have been brought to the fullness of maturity and are governing the creation with the rod of iron righteousness, there always will be sorrow, pain, confusion, sickness, tragedy, remorse, disobedience to Christ and God, and every other problem. Consider the world today. Apart from the uproars of nature, and after the removal of all disobedience to Christ, the earth (with modifications) would be an ideal home for mankind. Far, far better than the spirit Heaven. That is why Satan made haste to come down here. “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”
What then is wrong? It is disobedience to God.
How can this be corrected so we can enjoy the earth? Only as God brings the members of the Priesthood to personal holiness and obedience, and gives them, under the Lord Jesus Christ, absolute authority and power over all God has made.
What part of the war against evil is being conducted in the present hour? The issue at the present time is bringing to maturity those who have been chosen to be members of the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood, the Church.
So what is the plan? The purpose of the two thousand years of the Christian Era is to select and train the members of the Royal Priesthood. God’s plan is to conduct an early resurrection, which will occur when the Lord Jesus returns. At that time, a firstfruits of the Priesthood will be changed bodily (resurrected) and be caught up to the staging area in the air. When the army of saints and the army of angels are prepared fully, the host of Heaven will descend, with the Lord Jesus at the head, and install the Kingdom of God on the earth.
These saints, with the assistance of God’s angels, will govern the earth with the rod of iron righteousness for one thousand years, giving the remainder of the Church an opportunity to come to perfection. When the new Jerusalem, which is the Church, the Bride of the Lamb, the Royal Priesthood, is mature in Christ, God shall create a new earth. Then the new Jerusalem will descend from Heaven and be installed on the new earth.
That is God’s plan. That is the Kingdom of God. Righteousness, love, joy, and peace, will increase forever.
One can see from this that all depends on the perfecting of the Priesthood, for it is they who will install and maintain Paradise on the earth. Bringing the Priesthood to maturity is our goal at this time.
To bring the current church-people to Heaven would be to bring our worldliness, sin, and self-seeking into the spirit realm. Nothing of value would be accomplished.
Think for a moment about the problems in the world today. Isn’t it true that much of the problem comes from the leaders of the nations? They are immoral, condoning the abortion of infants. The God of Heaven will send disaster on the earth while infants are murdered.
Then there is the practice of homosexuality, the reason God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain. God will send disaster on the earth while any form of gender confusion is exhibited.
The worship of money instead of the worship of God will always cause tragedy of all sorts. Our culture is based on competition, but the new world of righteousness will be based on sharing.
The leaders so often are self-seeking, arguing among themselves about the ownership of land, and commerce. There never can be peace while the heads of state are arrogant, egotistical, putting their own welfare above that of the people whom they are supposed to be serving.
This is why a new holy leadership is absolutely necessary if we are to have righteousness, love, joy, and peace. What would it be like on the earth today if Christ were at the head of the United Nations and His faithful servants were governing the nations of the earth with the rod of iron righteousness, perceiving themselves as the servants of their subjects? Our world would be a happy place indeed.
In order for the new world to be perfect, Christ would need to be formed to some extent in each citizen, young and old. Also, the Spirit of God would need to be very present among us. In addition, Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, all fallen angels, all demons, and every person who would not do the will of Jesus Christ promptly, completely, and cheerfully, would need to be confined in the dungeons of the Lake of Fire. Only then could Paradise be restored and maintained.
In the beginning, we so stupidly ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil when God had planted Paradise on the earth. Well, we lost Paradise. God sent the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven to help us regain Paradise on the earth—not to do all the work Himself, as some are teaching—but to help us regain and keep Paradise once it has been regained.
From what I have written, I think we can see the need for each of us who is part of the Christian Church to cooperate with the Spirit of God as He is preparing us for the early resurrection. To attain to the early resurrection, we must:
- Be involved with the world only as much as necessary.
- Put to death the urges to sin in our flesh.
- Always obey Christ promptly, completely, and cheerfully.
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5)
I think the idea of the Christian Church being a Royal Priesthood who will supervise and bless the people whom God saves from the nations is not preached as frequently as its importance warrants. The Church consists of people who are called out from the ranks of mankind to represent God to people and people to God. The two thousand years from the time of Christ is the Church Era. Its purpose is to call out and train those who will install and maintain the Kingdom of God on the earth, and ultimately throughout the creation of God.
Apart from this understanding, the Scriptures, especially the last two chapters of Revelation, are deprived of much of their meaning.
One cannot avoid the fact that the New Testament shows the simple, direct means of being saved from destruction; and also the complex and totally demanding requirements placed upon those who wish to press through to the hundredfold reaping of Christ in their personality. I believe:
- The hundredfold reapers of Christ, shall we say, consist of those who attain to Paul’s goal—the first, or early resurrection from among the dead.
- The sixtyfold also are of the Royal Priesthood. The thousand-year Kingdom Age, during which the hundredfold govern the nations alongside the Lord Jesus Christ, is for the purpose of bringing to maturity those (the sixtyfold) who are of the Bride but were not ready to govern with Christ at the time of the first resurrection of the dead.
- The thirtyfold reapers, then, would be the people whom God has saved from the nations of the earth. They will outnumber
greatly the members of the Royal Priesthood and are the inheritance of the priesthood. They are within the righteous
boundaries of the curtain, to use a figure from the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
They are the “sheep” whom the Lord Jesus separates from the “goats.” The difference between the sheep and the goats has to do with how they treated the Lord’s “brothers,” the members of His Body.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31,32)
I suspect that by this time, I already have mystified multitudes of good Christian people. But I think if you bear with me, you will discover some explanations that will be of value to your discipleship.
I am going to employ the term, “resurrection from among the dead.” This resurrection (out from) is the “first” resurrection, I believe. This will take place when Jesus next appears.
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.
They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
I am persuaded that attaining to this priestly resurrection was the goal of the Apostle Paul, toward which he was pressing so fervently.
And so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection [Greek exanastasis] from the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
Ex-anastasis implies a resurrection “out from.” I am not certain the word “resurrection” with the preposition “out of” prefixed is used more than once in the New Testament. But I believe “first resurrection” could be viewed as a resurrection “out from” the dead.
The extraordinary consecration of those who attain to the first resurrection can be observed in Revelation chapter 14:
No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:5)
It does not require total knowledge of every aspect of the Kingdom of God in order to attain to the first resurrection. But it does require that Christ is formed in us, and that through Christ we live in victory over every prompting that would urge us to disobey Christ. What would Paul would have been like had he attained to the early resurrection? He would be completely free from worldliness. He would dominate and put to death the urges to sin in his body. He would be free from headstrong behavior so there no longer would be a need to permit Satan to afflict his eyes so the power of Christ would not be hindered.
Likewise with us. We will have attained to the early resurrection when we have turned away from electronic games, movies, and parties, and all other unnecessary attachments to the world. We have put to death the urges to sin that reside in the members of our body. And we obey Christ promptly, completely, and cheerfully. Then we are an eternal priest of God, serving the Lord Jesus Christ. He always is the Head of the Body of the Anointed Priesthood.
In addition, the priests of the Lord will pray for a diamond-hard soul that will always remain faithful and true, and a razor-sharp will that always will choose to do what which is righteous and God’s will for us.
We can observe the difference between those who attain to the first resurrection, and the rest of the church people, in Revelation chapters two and three, in that those who overcome the evil that comes against them are singled out for unusual Divine endowments. The believers who gain victory over Satan and his helpers are awarded many elements of fellowship with Christ and authority, which actually are steps toward the first resurrection from the dead. The destinies of the rest of the believers are not as pleasant.
The victorious saints, the participants in the first resurrection, will receive:
- The right to eat from the Tree of Life—the resurrection. The original punishment, in the days of Adam and Eve, was removal of access to the Tree of Immortality.
- The victor’s crown of life. This makes us think of Melchizedek, who governed by the power of an endless life (Hebrews 7:16).
- Not hurt at all by the second death.
- “I will give some of the hidden manna.” The manna is the body and blood of Christ. It is given on a regular basis, but only to those who are gaining the upper hand over all willingness to disobey the Lord Jesus.
- A white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Can you see how Jesus works with individual believers?
- Authority over the nations. Each victorious saint “will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
- The morning star. The Morning Star is Christ in us. We are to prayerfully take heed to the Scriptures until we can be guided by Christ in us, which is the new Covenant. However, it is my opinion that the Scriptures always will be necessary.
- Walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. This means that the believer walking in victory in Christ is a member of the Priesthood.
- “I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” It is important for our well being that our name is known in Heaven.
- Christ sets before His champions an open door. No one can close that door until God’s will has been completed.
- Keep you from the hour of trial. This does not mean to carry us to Heaven, as some teach. It means to guard us during the hour of trial.
- “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.” This means the believer who lives in victory will represent God and Christ throughout the creation. They will be known as “the priests of the Lord.”
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)
“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” This is our inner communion with Christ. He will dine on our obedience and worship. We will dine on His body and blood.
“I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Here is the ultimate promise. In each victorious saint, God will find a home, an area of rest, a place in which to establish His Throne.
The victorious saints will inherit all that God is making new in Christ. These are those who shall be gathered to Christ when the trumpet sounds. They shall be changed into immortality in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up together with those who have returned with Christ to the station in the air where the Lord and His armies will assemble. From there they shall descend and install the Kingdom of God on the earth.
In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
(I Corinthians 15:52)
If I am correct, in our day it is assumed that everyone who “accepts Christ” will fly up to Heaven when the trumpet of God sounds. To teach such a thing is to invite spiritual delusion, a false sense of security. In fact, when Lot left Sodom, destruction fell on the cities of the plain. In like manner, when the victorious believers are changed and caught up to Christ’s staging area in the air, the vials of wrath will be poured on those who are left in the earth.
Since the return of Christ is to install His Kingdom on the earth, is it sensible to teach that the casual believers of today are qualified and competent to work with Him in this endeavor? This is absolutely ridiculous!
Now let’s take a look at the “rewards” to those believers who do not choose to make the effort to defeat the enemies of God and Christ:
- The danger of losing their testimony of Christ.
- No access to the Tree of Life. This means they must remain in their adamic state.
- They can be hurt by the Lake of Fire.
- Some will suffer intensely.
- They will not govern with Christ.
- Christ will come to them like a thief.
- They will not wear the robes of the priesthood at this time.
- They remain in danger of having their name blotted from the Book of Life.
- The Lord views them as wretched, poor, pitiful, blind, and naked.
- The worst outcome of their casual approach to the Christian life is that they will not receive the increments of fellowship with God and power and authority that the dedicated saints will receive.
People speak of “going to Heaven.” What do they imagine Heaven will be like? A fantasy world of no responsibilities and no suffering? Notice that Revelation chapters two and three do not present this kind of a world after our death. The Divine endowments assigned to those who are overcoming the accuser are abilities given to a governing priesthood, not playground equipment for today’s pleasure-loving church-goers. The Scripture states that Christ and the members of His Body will bring justice to the nations, not play happily in Paradise chasing butterflies!
After the Kingdom of God has been established, and people are living on the new earth, then the “sheep” will be living in a wonderful world, much like we imagine Heaven to be. They will be supervised and blessed by the Lord’s priests.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. (Isaiah 65:22)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
But at the present time, we may be about halfway through the struggle to cleanse God’s creation of evil. The battles are not over as yet. So Heaven and the physical creation will be areas of war and tumult until every person who is disobedient to Christ has been incarcerated in the Lake of Fire, along with the disobedient spirits.
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Notice in the passage above that it is not just sins that are consigned to the Lake of Fire, but people who have permitted themselves to be conquered by these sinful forces.
There lies ahead of us a tremendous task. It is to rid the creation of all evil, of every person and spirit who will not obey Christ, which is to not obey God. God has called out a Church from the members of mankind who will master the principles of iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to God.
The Church will be divided into two parts, just as the Tabernacle of the Congregation was divided into a Most Holy Place and a Holy Place.
- The Most Holy Place is represented by those who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, of Revelation chapter 14.
- The Holy Place are “little sisters” of the Bride, in the present hour. But they will be ministered to, while residing in Mount Zion, during the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Perhaps some of the hundredfold saints will work with them at that time.
The new Jerusalem, which is the Bride of the Lamb, will not descend from Heaven until every member of the Bride, the Royal Priesthood, the entire Tabernacle of God, has been brought to full maturity in Christ. Then the holy city will descend from Heaven and be installed on the new earth. This delay is necessary because there can be no member of the Priesthood who is not mature in Christ and equipped to bring the will and blessings of God wherever there is a need among the “sheep” who have been saved from the nations.
There it is! An easily-understood design conceived in the mind of God even before Satan fell, as God knew he would. It is a plan worthy of the God of Heaven. Since God sent forth His will, and then rested, He has been watching over His Word to perform it.
Let every one of us Christians dedicate ourselves every moment of every day and night to entering that “rest” of God, obeying every wish of our Lord Jesus Christ, promptly, completely, and cheerfully. We are to cease from our own works, choosing instead to press forward in the destiny engraved for us in God’s will.
To attain to the early resurrection, one must (1) be involved with the world only as much as necessary, (2) put to death the urges to sin in the flesh, and (3) always obey Christ promptly, completely, and cheerfully. To the reader, this may sound impossible. It is not. It is our part to pray, obey, asking God to make this state of sanctification true of us. It is God’s part to make such holiness a reality in our life.
And He indeed shall do this if we pray and obey faithfully.
The Coming of the Royal Priesthood
I heard in my soul what I thought was thunder.
No, I considered, it is the drums of El Shaddai.
That was not it either. It was the sound of the tramping of a million infants marching on holy ground.
It is the blessed, terrible advance of the Royal Priesthood!
They yet are young but powerful in the Lord.
They shall establish before them the new world of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today the wicked sneer at the righteous.
They congratulate themselves and look around arrogantly.
They shall be as garbage; worthless dung.
They cannot stand before the army of the Lord.
The wicked shall be swept into Hell. The sulfurous smell of their burning will fill the Land of Darkness for many generations.
God yet shall arise, and His enemies shall be scattered.
The children of the future will read of these dark days, the stuff of legends, when the wicked mocked the righteous
God’s rainbow promises shall shine for eternity, although the children of today are exposed to the abominations of the wicked.
The records of the current phantom scenes shall be filed in the Celestial Library. But they must be guarded closely, lest a finger touch them and they disolve into wormy dust.
That will be the memory of what seems permanent today.
O wicked ones, you had best imagine your future, and turn and seek righteousness before there no longer is time.
Where will you be found when the harps of Heaven have drowned forever the raucous horns of Hell?
Dr. Robert B. Thompson
(“Perfecting and Raising the Royal Priesthood”, 4265-2, proofed 20210902)