THE FRIENDS OF GOD

Copyright © 2017 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.

If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, when they realize their guilt and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect. (Leviticus 4:27,28)

One of the purposes of grace is to relieve us of the necessity for bringing animals for a sin-offering. Now we can fasten our attention on the Lord Jesus and obey Him. To define Divine grace as an alternative to obeying Christ and God is a hideous perversion of God's intention.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:1,2)

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John1:12,13)

CONTINUING TO BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus stated that until we are born again we cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God. It appears that there are millions of Christian believers in the world today who profess to be born again. But their goal is go to Heaven. They do not often refer to the Kingdom of God, seeming to know nothing about it.

Perhaps the way we use the term "born," and the manner in which Jesus is using it, are not the same.

We refer to physical birth as being "born." But I might venture that a person actually is born when the egg is fertilized. Then come the several months while the developing person is attached to the uterus and the development of the human being takes place.

If we think of "born again" in that manner, we can see there may be a lengthy period of time during which the new creation is being fashioned.

Today many Christians are approaching maturity in Christ. As a result they are seeing and entering the Kingdom.

Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." (John 3:3)

The following exhortations are a guide to help us keep being born again until we reach maturity.

Make sure that you pray every day, have fellowship with the Lord—ask to know His thoughts, words, and actions; overcome sin each day.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Read the Bible each day, ask the Lord what He is saying to you. Make your Bible reading a time of fellowship with Jesus!

Have fellowship with fervent believers on a regular basis. Not grace grace—rapture rapture. Fervent cross-carrying disciples is the crowd you want to be with.

THE FINAL RESULTS OF CONTINUING TO BE BORN AGAIN

We have a personality change. We note that our former ways of behaving have vanished. New behaviors can be seen. They are of God, not of our former personality. We behave in a righteous, holy manner. This change does not take place all at once but over a period of time.

We walk forward on iron feet, looking to the Lord Jesus for every thought, word we speak, and things we do. Our way is that of iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father.

We will never compromise with sin. We are moving toward total victory over all that is not of the Father. Thus we become heirs of all that God brings forth in the new creation.

He who is overcoming shall inherit all things, and I will be to him -- a God, and he shall be to me -- the son—YLT, (Revelation 21:7)

We have become the promised new creation.

It is true also that God and Christ shall come to dwell in the new creation.

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23)

I do not understand why more is not made of the verse above, unless the current error that there is only one Person in the Godhead is prevailing. It is also thought that since the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, the Lord Jesus also is dwelling in us.

However, as we press onward in the Lord Jesus, He soon makes Himself and the Father known to us. Thus we are becoming the eternal dwelling place of all three members of the Godhead.

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)

Prior to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, God's chariots were the cherubim. But the Scripture suggests that the members of the Body of Christ are to be the chariots of God.

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. (Psalms 68:15-18)

Notice, that the passage above, "you received gifts from people," is stated in the fourth chapter of the Book of Ephesians, referring to the Body of Christ.

"The Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary" means God has come from the Law of Moses into His Sanctuary, which is the Christian Church. It may be true that God now will take a multitude of chariots from His people who constitute Mount Zion, the Christian Church.

The mountain where God chooses to reign is Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22).

The Lord finds His "house" and "dwelling" in the Christian Church, which is the Body of Christ!

God and Christ make Their home in each one who is a part of the Body of Christ. Such is our destiny as Christian people. From this "home," obedience to God and the worship of the one God will spread throughout the creation.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him,

and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

The Servant of the Lord is Christ—Head and Body.

Included in the results of continuing to be born again is the change in our body, often referred to as the "resurrection." In the process of resurrection, our human body, whether dead or alive at the time, will be reassembled and clothed with a body from Heaven. The body from Heaven will reflect our behavior on the earth. I do not find in the Scripture that grace and mercy will enter at this point. We will look like what we have become during our sojourn in the earth.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)

This is the resurrection of the dead. It has little to do with going to Heaven. Rather it is a transformation of the "house" in which our spirit lives.

God's judgment on us is expressed in the manner in which we appear when we have been resurrected.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

We understand therefore that being born again does not occur in its fullness the moment we say "I accept Christ as my Savior."

Rather, that is the point at which we receive the forgiveness of our past sins. The forgiveness of past sins is held in trust for everyone who will receive the Lord Jesus as their salvation. They no longer have to bring an animal to be sacrificed. The one Sacrifice was made on the cross of calvary. A person has only to receive the Lord Jesus as their sacrifice. The atoning blood of the cross will be applied to them.

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The following topics are general exhortations concerning the christian life.

God would have us be cheerfully, promptly, and completely obedient to Him at all times and in every circumstance. We can do this by praying continually.

The Lord Jesus is always knocking. Keep your heart open to Him all the time. He is requesting your obedience and worship. He will give you to drink of His body and blood, which are eternal resurrection life.

In the present hour of increasing sin, Christ is more present with us than has been true previously. Ask Him to be more real to you.

The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John tells us that Christ will come to us in these days and become our Life.

The fifteenth chapter of John exhorts us to live in Christ.

The sixteenth chapter of John instructs us that while the world will not see Jesus in our time, we indeed will see Him because He will be born in us. He then will be in us as well as with us.

The seventeenth chapter of John makes clear to the members of the Church that they are not of the world just as Christ is not of the world. The Church is separate from the world.

The opening verses of the fourteenth chapter of John reveal to us that in Jesus, who is God's House, there are many abiding places. The Lord Jesus went to the cross, and then to Heaven, to prepare a place for us in Himself.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." Jesus is in the Bosom of the Father. His desire is that we also make the holiest place of God our dwelling place that we might we might be in Him and with Him for eternity.

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10)

It is not true that Jesus and the Father are the same Person. Rather it is true that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him. We are to dwell in the same union with Him as He is in union with the Father. But this does not make us the same Person as the Lord Jesus.

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." This is a fantastic promise. However it shall come to pass in the day in which we are living if we keep our hearts open to the One who desires to live in and through us.

We are to set aside our own life that Christ may become Everything.

When The Lord returns to His Church, prior to His appearing in the clouds for everyone to see, we will be living by His Life. Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23) Such is the full spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.

The following passage, from verse six of the 66th chapter of the Book of Isaiah, describes the revelation of Christ in His obedient saints in the time in which we are living. Christ who is brought forth in the Church will put an end to Satan.

Hear that uproar from the city,

hear that noise from the temple!

It is the sound of the Lord

repaying his enemies all they deserve.

"Before she goes into labor,

she gives birth;

before the pains come upon her,

she delivers a son.

Who has ever heard of such things?

Who has ever seen things like this?

Can a country be born in a day

or a nation be brought forth in a moment?

Yet no sooner is Zion in labor

than she gives birth to her children.

Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord.

"Do I close up the womb

when I bring to delivery?" says your God.

Compare the above passage with Revelation, the twelfth chapter: "She gave birth to a son, a male child, who 'will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.'" (Revelation 12:5)

In actuality, Chapters 10 through 12 of the Book of Revelation should be one chapter. They are telling us of the unprecedented power of the witness of the Kingdom of God coming to the earth that shall be given in the closing days of the Church Era—that is, today. Indeed, the seven thunders are ready to speak!

The great revival that is approaching us and is in fact upon us is different from previous acts of God in that it is not a revival of forgiving our sins but of removing our sins. The Levitical Day of atonement utilizes not one goat but two. There is the goat of forgiveness and then the goat pointing toward the removal of sins.

When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. (Leviticus 16:20)

That atonement is the goat of forgiveness, which is followed by the goat of removal.

He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness. (Leviticus 21,22) (the goat of removal of sins)

When man was created, God declared that man is to be in God's image. If a person who lies is forgiven of their lies, they have not been created in God's image with respect to lying. However, if the Holy Spirit removes the practice of lying from the person's personality, then the individual has been created in God's image with respect to lying.

The difference between previous revivals and the two witnesses of the coming of the Kingdom is that the two witnesses will emphasize the removal of sin itself, not just the removal of the guilt of sin; for the Kingdom of God is the rule of God, not just the forgiveness of unclean behavior.

Let's think for a moment about the two witnesses of Chapter Eleven of the Book of Revelation. Who are they?

I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Revelation 10:10,11)

The promise of the new end-time prophecy was directed to the Apostle John, representing the ministers of the Christian churches. They previously had preached the forgiveness of sins. Now they shall be commissioned to preach both the forgiveness of sins and the removal of sinning. This is the Kingdom of God.

The thought of the removal of the bondages of sin indeed is sweet in our mouth. But the process can be bitter. This is why the commission is followed by the announcement of the judgment of those who are worshiping at the Altar of Incense.

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers." (Revelation 11:1)

Those who are worshiping at the Altar of Incense are facing the Veil, signifying they are crying out, "Not my will but Yours be done." These are the Christians in whom Christ is being formed. They will bear the witness of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Many voices are telling us that God is ready to pour out His Spirit upon us as in days of old. Thank God for each such encouraging word. If I am not mistaken, the most optimistic of these prophecies is coming a bit short of the Divine Majesty that is to be expressed in our day.

Fundamental to the revelation is the forming of Christ in the members of His Body, His Church. The Male Son in Revelation chapter twelve is the Body of Christ, as I see it.

The two witnesses of the coming Kingdom consist of (1) Christ being formed in each member, and (2) each victorious saint. This pattern of one witness being visible and one invisible may be noticed in the case of the Father and the Son being viewed as two witnesses in order to fulfill the legal requirement of the Law of Moses.

It may be noticed that we now are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Feast of Tabernacles. We are moving past the spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost. One component of the Feast of Tabernacles, as I view its composition, is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, or of Reconciliation to God.

It may be true that each member of the Body of Christ, of the Male Son we might say, is invited in the present hour to confess the sins of their flesh and their self-will. It can be seen readily why such cleansing is necessary for the testimony of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

Part of the testimony will be the casting of Satan and his cohorts to the earth. Indeed, wonderful days in the Lord are coming upon us! Let us cast aside all worldly concern and seek Christ for our part in the revolution that is at hand.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20)

THE GOAL OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Now I would like to point out a few passages that teach us there is a goal toward which our salvation is working. The goal is much more than forgiveness. It is not eternal residence in Heaven. Eternal residence in Heaven is not presented in the Bible as the objective of our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, the objective is thinking, speaking, and acting along with the living Lord Jesus as He thinks, speaks, and acts along with the Father.

We were created to be the image of God in the universe.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)

Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)

And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matthew 13:33)

To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace. (Acts 20:24)

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. (Revelation 17:14)

If we would attain to the goal of being the image of God in our behavior, we must be a called, chosen, and utterly faithful follower of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Did you ever wonder why salt was so important in the Levitical offerings? What does the salt symbolize?

Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. (Leviticus 2:13)

Remember, the priesthood and at times the worshiper had to eat the offering. I think the salt made the offering taste better—to God and certainly to people.Remember that Jesus ate the honeycomb after he was resurrected.

Abraham was the friend of God. He rejoiced in that friendship. It was not a grief to him.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. (James 2:23)

"Oh Mother, do we have to go to church today?"

Imagine a King sitting on His throne. A young slave is brought before Him in her rags. The King wants to set her free so she can serve Him in His palace.

Why don't we love the King? Why is religion so often a bore? Why isn't there "salt" on the offering?

The Apostle Peter said: "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." (Acts 15:10,11)

Why aren't we a friend of the King, so that to visit Him is our greatest joy?

Have you ever noticed that Jesus did not speak much about our going to Heaven, rather about going to the Father? None of Christ's parables had to do with life in Heaven or going to Heaven.

"No one comes to the Father except through me." Have you ever heard a minister speak of going to the Father? In fact, many ministers of the Gospel tell us Jesus and the Father are the same Person. This belief causes numerous passages of the New Testament to make no sense, especially the account of the Lord's agony in Gethsemane.

My relationship with the Father is the greatest joy of my life, and the Lord Jesus has made this relationship possible. There always is "salt" on my offering. I hope I am a friend of God and that you are too.

Keeping God's commandments should be a delight to us, not a yoke.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)

". . . He will delight in the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:3), speaking of the Lord Jesus.

I cannot speak for you, but as for me, I would rather be the friend of God than anything else I can think of. If I am not mistaken, God feels the same way about you and me.

They come out of Zion to govern the world with Christ. But they always are at home in Zion.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

Now let's think for a moment about how we get from here to there. What is the issue for now?

The present issue is the bringing forth of Christ in the fervent disciples of the Lord Jesus, and their spiritual nature being caught up in the spirit world to the highest Throne of authority and power.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who "will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)

What is the purpose of bringing the spiritual nature of the disciples to the Throne of God?

The reason for this catching up is that God's will cannot be done upon the earth until it is done in Heaven. When we read the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation we may note that in the present hour God's will is not being completely performed in the heavenlies. Satan is there accusing the Lord's people.

Therefore the task before all of us who love the Father and the Lord Jesus is to drive Satan, and the wicked angels who follow him, from their position in the heavenlies.

Now, how can the purifying of the heavens be accomplished at this time when it has not been done throughout the Christian Era?

We must keep in mind that God utterly abominates and will never tolerate willful disobedience to His known will. Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God's known will. Therefore Satan has been able to establish his presence in the heavens and continue his mischief there.

In the hour in which we are living, we are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the third Jewish celebration, the Feast of Tabernacles. Included in the spiritual fulfillment of Tabernacles, and an essential aspect of it, is the Day of Atonement, the cleansing of God's people from all self-will and spiritual uncleanness, the resulting reconciliation to God.

We are being invited by the Holy Spirit to confess to the Lord Jesus all of our thinking, speaking, and other behaving that is not in concert with His thinking, speaking, and behaving. We receive our forgiveness and then pray continually until the areas of concern are in the image of God.

Such is the operation of the Day of Atonement that prepares us for the indwelling of God and Christ in the fulfillment the Feast of Tabernacles.

We understand then that the purpose of forming Christ in the Church and the catching up of that which has been formed, to the Seat of power, is the development of perfect obedience in the disciples of the Lord Jesus, in the members of His body.

Satan's "power" in Heaven, his access to God we might say, will continue until three criteria have been brought forth in the obedient members of the Body of Christ who are in Heaven or on the earth. These criteria are God's response to the dreadful disobedience of Adam and Eve.

First, the candidates for friendship with God and participation in the work of rejuvenating the universe must be resting in the authority and power of the blood of the Lamb.

Second, the friends of God must be thinking, speaking, and acting in unison with Christ, just as Christ thinks, speaks, and acts in unison with God. This is the testimony that overcomes the accuser.

Third, the friends of God must not love their old life until it dies and is replaced by the Life of Christ.

Let me once again call attention to the 66th chapter of the Book of Isaiah:

Hear that uproar from the city,

hear that noise from the temple!

It is the sound of the Lord

repaying his enemies all they deserve.

Before she goes into labor,

she gives birth;

before the pains come upon her,

she delivers a son.

Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this?

Can a country be born in a day

or a nation be brought forth in a moment?

Yet no sooner is Zion in labor

than she gives birth to her children.

Two thousand years ago, before Zion travailed, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. Today, Zion is travailing and that same Christ is being formed in those of God's people who are seeking God fervently, and is being snatched up to the Throne of power.

Notice that the noise of travail in Zion, God's Temple, is that of God "repaying His enemies all they deserve."

Christ at one time was outside and now is inside the church. Please compare:

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 16:20-22)

We indeed shall see Christ again as He is formed in us.

As soon as perfect obedience to God has been formed in those who have overcome Satan, God will feel justified in empowering Michael and his angels to drive Satan from the heavenlies to the earth. Now, as the Scripture states in Revelation twelve:

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." (Revelation 12:10)

I believe we should pay close attention to the passage above. Those from Heaven are saying that the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of God, and the authority of God's Messiah, cannot come to Heaven, and then to the earth, until Satan has been driven from the heavens. God's will cannot be done in the earth until it has been accomplished in the heavens. This reminds us of the following:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

The sequence of events appears to be that while Christ and His brothers, with the Lord Jesus dwelling in them, are serving as two witnesses of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, that same Kingdom is being formed in them.

The final result of all I have mentioned is that no disobedience to God of any kind whatever will be tolerated in any part of God's creation. I believe there will be schools and other means of strengthening spiritually weak people. The willfully disobedient who will not obey Christ will be thrown into the Lake of Fire where they can enjoy for eternity the mischief of the demons.

Where we are in the present hour has been described in the text above. The days of Christian disobedience and foolishness are quickly coming to a close. Even today there are severe penalties for disobedience to God, both in the present world and also in the world we enter when we die.

But the Divine Glory to be issued to the victorious saints simply is beyond description. The true friends of God continue to obey Him completely, cheerfully, and punctually.

It assuredly requires patience with the Lord, as we appear continually to be frustrated. But the role in His Kingdom may be so exalted that God wants to be certain that no particle of our personality remains unexamined.

The coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth is at hand. Let each one of us strive to please God in every situation in which we find ourselves.

Iron righteousness. Fiery holiness. Stern obedience to the Father. These three virtues characterize every mature friend of God.

Picture the army of Christ passing in review before the Throne of God. The radiance of God is upon each warrior. They have fought the good fight, and every one of them has been victorious through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The citizens of the Lake of Fire, being confined in cages, are compelled to watch the royal parade.

Where do you and I want to be "when the saints come marching in"?

CONCLUSION

I awakened this morning picturing in my mind the confusion among the nations of the world. Is it possible that there ever can be lasting peace on the earth? Not only can there be lasting peace on the earth, but it shall be the peace of Heaven. This is the answer to the Lord's prayer. This worldwide peace is described in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation.

After the testimony of the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation, Christ will take charge of the nations of the earth. The nations shall learn peace for one thousand years. During this period the Royal Priesthood, in Heaven and on the earth as I understand it, will be coming to maturity as the rulers of God's creatures.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

The peoples of the earth who were not part of the Firstfruits of the Church, and therefore were not caught up in the air to be with Christ during the first resurrection, will continue to live ordinary lives on the earth as members of the maturing Royal Priesthood; or else as members of the nations of saved people.

Our world is in its present chaotic condition because most of the people are not obeying Christ and God. The rule of Christ for one thousand years will greatly remedy this condition. After the one thousand years, the new sky and earth will appear and the nations of saved people will be governed by Christ living within the members of His Body, that is, within the Royal Priesthood. This is the eternal Tabernacle of God.

People who refuse to obey the Lord Jesus Christ will be sent to the Lake of Fire.

God's complete will shall be performed throughout the universe for eternity. Disobedience to God and His Christ shall never again be tolerated.