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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #16
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)
We know from the Scripture that we shall behold Jesus as He is, in the Day of His appearing. We understand also to see Jesus as He is requires a change of us into His image.
The Apostle John knew Jesus as well as did any of the other Apostles. But when John beheld Jesus on the Isle of Patmos he was overcome. We cannot see Jesus as He is while we still are in our flesh-and-blood mortality. We must be changed before we can see the Lord.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)
Today we are being prepared to dwell in the Presence of God Almighty. Only the righteous can exist in the Presence of the Lord. Apart from holiness, no individual ever will be able to abide in God's Presence.
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; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off. (Isaiah 33:14-17)
The Christian churches of our day are ignorant of the Kingdom principle set forth in Isaiah 33:14-17. They believe they will "see the king in his beauty" while they still are living in their sins and self-seeking. They think they will be caught up in their sins and self-centeredness to walk merrily with the Lord Jesus. They have a false image of Jesus.
The believers have been taught to envision Jesus as a kind of Santa Claus who one day will come and bring them to a land of toys. The truth is, the Lord Jesus Christ is a blazing Furnace. His Presence consumes all sin and self-seeking.
Jesus died for our sins. He expects us to receive the atonement He has made for us and then to take up our cross and follow Him each day. He expects us to lay down our lives, to hate this world system, and to live as strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Christ expects us to be His bondslaves.
Jesus told us if we do not hate our lives, setting aside all our interests for His sake and the Gospel's, we are not worthy of Him.
Life in this world is finished for the true saint. The saint lives for the Day when His Lord will appear. The true saint experiences much tribulation in this world as the Lord burns away that which cannot survive the Presence of God. It is a painful stripping. But the end of the burning is the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
To be continued.