The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Judges of the Kingdom, #4

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)

The victorious saints are the judges of the Kingdom. They will be given the most awesome responsibility of all—the authority to forgive sins or retain them, to admit a man or angel to Paradise or to deny entrance to the Kingdom of God. In order to exercise such tremendous authority, the saint must be so wrought in the Divine crucible that there is an iron hardness against sin in his personality, and yet the ability to judge in an understanding and compassionate manner—to judge with the judgment of God Himself.

There is an actual city, we believe. But in addition, the new Jerusalem, as described in the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the Book of Revelation, reflects the personalities of the members of the Wife of the Lamb, whatever material fulfillment it may have.

The new Jerusalem is the ruling city and the precious stones are the nature of the rulers who make up the city. The victorious saints are the wall against sin, having been created so by the things they have suffered. It is those who have suffered who will reign with Christ (Romans 8:17; II Timothy 2:12).

It is the "barren," the believers who have borne their cross throughout years of self-denial, patiently exchanging their life for the Life of Christ, who will serve as the glory of God throughout eternity in all places where they are. Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54:1)


O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. (Isaiah 54:11)

Thus it is with Israel—especially the rulers, prophets, and priests of Israel.

The promises to the overcomer, of the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation, are not prizes that will be handed out to us as we wait in line in Heaven. While there may be an element of this in the rewards the Lord will bring with Him, the crucial aspect of the promises is the development of Divine Life in our personality including the formation of grace, power, compassion, understanding, wisdom, and authority, coupled with opportunities for responsibility and service.

The heavenly rewards are stages of glory and nearness to the Lord in His Kingdom that we attain by our willingness to enter the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. Some of the rewards are expressed in us now while the fullness of all of them is reserved for the coming of the Lord, as we understand it.

It is only as we are willing to be changed into the death of Jesus that God is able to create in us the new man, the life-giving spirit who is "the Lord from heaven." The first man is of the earth—earthy. The second man is the Lord from Heaven (I Corinthians 15:47).

It is the second man who inherits the glory of the Kingdom and is the Kingdom.

To be continued.