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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Church and the World, #7
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen [nations] for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (Psalms 2:8)
Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles [nations], and that their kings may be brought. (Isaiah 60:11)
It is abundantly clear, in the above verse, that "thy gates" refers to the Lord's elect, and the "men" who come to the gates of the Church are saved. Certainly they are not coming from the Lake of Fire. Yet they are not part of the Church.
The Church and the nations of the saved can be observed also in the sixty-first chapter of the Book of Isaiah—the passage of Scripture the Lord Jesus read at the beginning of His ministry.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)
"That they [the members of God's elect] might be called trees of righteousness."
First the members of Zion are built into "trees of righteousness." Then the trees of righteousness, who are the Israel of God, the Lord's elect, serve as a royal priesthood to the nations of saved peoples of the earth. Notice the following:
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:5,6)
Here we are shown the Lord's "priests," and also the nations of saved peoples of the earth (the "strangers") who recognize that the saints are representing the Lord God. Since the elect at that time already will have been raised from the dead, and this will not be true of the nations of the saved whom they will be serving, it appears that the saints will be ministering to the nations while clothed in their glorified bodies. The nations of the saved will still be flesh-and-blood people. During the Kingdom Age the members of the royal priesthood will be filled with eternal resurrection life in spirit, in soul, and in body.
The saved peoples of the earth will recognize that God is tabernacling in us because they will see engraved on us the name of God, the name of the new Jerusalem, and the new name of Christ (Revelation 3:12).
The nations of the saved will not be permitted to choose whether they wish to come to experience the Glory of Christ in the saints, they will be required to do so.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)
To be continued.