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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Going to the Father, #7
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; (Isaiah 33:14,15)
It is not possible to have fellowship with God solely on our profession of faith in Christ. Fellowship with God is possible only as we walk righteously and speak uprightly (I John 1:6). The righteous always have walked by faith in God. This was and is true under all covenants. Living by faith means that God, rather than sin and self is the center of our personality, our motives, and our actions.
God never intended doctrinal belief in the Lord Jesus Christ to be a substitute for, an alternative to, true scriptural faith—the faith by which the righteous of all ages have lived. The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews, drawing on the lives of the patriarchs, gives us some examples of what it means to live righteously by faith.
Righteousness always is imputed (ascribed) to those who think, speak, act, hear, and see by faith in God. The saints of the old Testament and the saints of the New Testament are the same in this respect. The difference between the two covenants is that today we have more Divine grace by which we can live and move and have our being in the Presence of God.
It is God's intention that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ be the source of all forgiveness, wisdom, and power so that the saint learns to think, speak, act, hear, and see in righteousness in the same manner in which God thinks, speaks, acts, hears, and sees.
One reason our goal must become union with Christ rather than eternal residence in Heaven is that the true goal immediately makes clear to us that godly behavior is a necessary part of the Kingdom of God.
Godly behavior is of first importance in the Kingdom of God (the Kingdom is first, righteousness—Romans 14:17). Righteousness is the only pathway to eternal fellowship with the Father through Christ.
Apart from righteousness and holiness, no person ever will see the Lord. It is the pure in heart who see God.
The purpose of the grace of God in Christ is to convert sinners from lawlessness to godly behavior.
The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit wherever we are, not evacuation to the spirit realm.
The goal of the Kingdom of God is not to get people into Heaven, it is to get the life and ways of Heaven into people.
Back to John 14:2. The critical question here is, what is God's house? If God's house is Heaven, Jesus has gone to prepare houses for us in Heaven and we are in error in what we are teaching in this booklet.
We understand that we do have "a house which is from heaven," a spiritual body with which we shall be clothed (II Corinthians 5:1,2). Also, we have no doubt that when we die we will go to a fine dwelling place in the spirit realm—perhaps to God's own palace. We find pleasure and hope in this thought.
Our point is, however, that houses constructed from cedar, mahogany, and marble are not under discussion in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John.
To be continued.