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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Grace, and the New Covenant, #13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:13,14)
The present overemphasis on evangelism, to the neglect of bringing the saints to maturity. It is as though all of the health services of a nation were directed toward the birth of babies and virtually no attention was paid to any other form of health need. It seems to us that the present effort to increase church membership without an accompanying emphasis on spiritual maturity is not coming from the Holy Spirit of God.
There is no emphasis in the Prophets on acquiring large masses of people but much emphasis on righteous, holy behavior. Almost always the significant work of God was performed through one person. The nation of Israel, on the other hand, was backslidden most of the time.
Which is better: to have five people who are growing in the image of Christ and pressing into God's rest, or five thousand spiritual babies living in the appetites of the flesh and soul who continually are fighting among themselves? All of us would probably agree that five mature sons of God are more likely to install God's Kingdom in the earth than would be true of five thousand babies. We believe this! Let's act on our belief!
What is the goal anyway? Is it to bring God's Kingdom into the earth or is it to collect thousands of people in a building?
Jeremiah stood virtually alone, resisted by most of the people of Israel—even after the fall of Jerusalem. The names of the Jews of that day are buried in the dust of history. Jeremiah remains as a Prophet, a righteous man, the voice of God for his generation.
Let us gain perspective by this fact. Most of the hurrying to and fro of the church people of our day will not survive our own generation. Occasionally there may be an individual who is doing God's will and who therefore will join the ranks of the eternal witnesses of God.
Lord, help us distinguish between the precious and the worthless in our day!
The division of the one Body of Christ into a Gentile church that will remain in Heaven and a Jewish kingdom that will govern the earth. Not only is the two-kingdom teaching totally unscriptural, it also is very damaging in terms of biblical interpretation. If we envision a Jewish kingdom on earth and a Gentile kingdom in Heaven, then we have to explain the several statements of Paul that emphasize the oneness of the Body of Christ.
There then would have to be two olive trees, and this cannot be. How could the Lord have two brides? Where does the new Jerusalem fit into this manmade scheme?
The idea of a Jewish kingdom on earth and a Gentile kingdom in Heaven is pure mythology. Jeremiah and the other Prophets would feel badly because they were not permitted to enter the fullness of glory that today is in Heaven. So would the Apostle Paul.
But the Gentiles would be even more chagrined when they saw the Divine Glory that is coming to Jerusalem as Christ takes His seat on the throne of David. They are required to remain in Heaven while the Throne of God is being established in Jerusalem.
To be continued.