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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The New Jerusalem, #3
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)
Redemption is the restoration of what has been lost to mankind because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The primary work of redemption is the removal of every trace of the work of Satan from the believer, not the moving of the believer from earth to beautiful surroundings.
We are being moved from Satan to God, not from earth to Heaven.
"From darkness to light." "From the power of Satan unto God."
There is only one means of entering through the gates into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that is by keeping the commandments of God—the scriptural commandments of righteousness and holiness, and the directives given to us personally by the Lord Jesus as He guides our lives.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
If there were one thief, one gossiper, one murderer in the entire new Jerusalem, which is the Wife of the Lamb, God would turn away from it. God and the Lamb abide in the city in open revelation and manifestation of Their Persons. There are no sinners in the new Jerusalem.
How and when do we become fit to enter the new Jerusalem?
How is by the Lord Jesus Christ. He deals with us continually until the sin and self-love are destroyed out of us. Dying and passing into the spirit realm do not remove sin and self-love from us. Sin and self-will originated in the spirit realm.
When may depend on us. It is God's will that each day of our Christian life on the earth we pay close attention to the work of the Holy Spirit as He guides us in putting to death the deeds of our body. The Spirit leads us into the likeness of the death of Christ so our sin and self-seeking may be crucified.
But many believers do not follow the Lord in sanctification, or they may not have time because of a "deathbed conversion." What about them? When will they be made fit for residence in the Kingdom of God?
This we cannot answer with clarity from the Scriptures. We understand that those who know the Lord's will and do not perform it in this present life will be dealt with harshly. Some will be thrown into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We understand also that sin and self-will never shall be permitted to enter the new Jerusalem. We cannot enter by grace, by Divine forgiveness, by mercy, or by any other alternative to godliness of character. The new Jerusalem is a holy city. A massive wall prevents the sinner from entering it. There is nothing in it that defiles.
It is one matter to have the Lord forgive our sins. It is another matter to have the Lord transform us so we behave righteously. There currently is doctrinal confusion on this point.
To be continued.