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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Eight Appearances of the Victorious Saints, continued
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
It is believed commonly in our day that all who make a profession of Christ will be raised at His coming. It is our point of view that the Scriptures do not confirm this. Only the victorious saints are authorized and competent to be raised and to rule with Christ at His appearing.
This does not mean that all other believers will automatically be assigned to the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:4-6 is not describing the resurrection of salvation but the resurrection of the royal priesthood.
The general resurrection from the dead, in which every person will be judged according to his or her works, will not take place until after the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been concluded. At that time the righteous will enter eternal life in the Kingdom of God and the wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (I am only too well aware that this is not what is commonly taught by Evangelicals, but I think that it is the scriptural position.)
It is clear from the description given in Revelation 20:4-6 that we are not dealing here with basic salvation from wrath. No books are opened because these saints were judged during their lifetime on the earth.
When Jesus returns the victorious saints will be changed into eternal life and rise to be ever with the Lord. They will not be judged after this. How could they be? They already have been sentenced to eternal life. Rather they have confessed their sins and have turned away from them during their discipleship.
When we confess our sins and turn away from them we are forgiven and cleansed. This is an eternal judgment. Our sins never will be mentioned to us again never! provided we do not return to them.
You can see how desirable the first resurrection is, how it is worth your total attention and effort. Paul was striving to attain the out-resurrection, and this after many years of ministry.
People may ask, "But where does grace fit into this picture. Aren't we saved by grace?
Yes, we are saved by grace. But Divine grace is not an alternative to our serving the Lord with all our might. Rather, Divine grace is the motivation, power, and wisdom that come to us from the Lord so we indeed will turn away from sin and follow Christ with a pure heart.
We of today have made grace an alternative to righteous conduct. Grace is not an alternative to righteous, holy conduct. Grace is God in Christ providing for man all he needs to become a new creation, a new creation that walks in newness of life. The newness of life is one of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. Is that correct?
Well, is it or isn't it?
The rest of the dead, meaning all who did not attain the first resurrection, will be raised at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. We Evangelicals often refer to this as the "White Throne Judgment."
Do you know who will be sitting as judge on the White Throne? Christ and His victorious saints.
The Father judges no man but has committed all judgment to the Son. The Son, Jesus Christ, has shared the authority of judgment with His saints. This is taught commonly in the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New.
To be continued.