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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #27
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (I Timothy 6:12)
Our Christian discipleship consists of one long warfare during which we seek, through Christ, to regain the rulership of our personality. Think of it! We who have been called to rule the creation are not able to govern our own personalities. We are weak indeed!
If we expect to be entrusted with rulership when the Lord returns we must gain victory now—in this world. It is the victorious saints, the conquerors, who will be established on the powerful thrones that govern the earth and its peoples. Either we are conquering the problems God is permitting to come against us, or we are being conquered. It is as simple as that. The rulership of the creation will be given to the conquerors.
In order to understand the rewards of rulership and priesthood promised to Israel in the Old Testament and to the saints in the New Testament, two facts must be established firmly in our mind: one, there only is one true Israel, and we who belong to Christ, whether we are Jewish or Gentile by physical birth, are the promised Seed of Abraham to whom the promises have been made concerning the inheriting of the nations; and two, the world to come will consist of nations of saved people, and then a ruling nation, Israel, the Kingdom of God, composed of the ruling priests of God. The ruling nation is the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb.
If either one of these two concepts is not firmly established, the words of the Hebrew Prophets and of the New Testament Apostles will make little sense. However, if we understand the "Israel" whom Isaiah was addressing, the "Servant of the Lord," is the one Body of Christ, and that it consists of chosen people, both Jewish and Gentile, who have been called out of the world to serve as a royal priesthood over the nations of saved people on the earth, then the teaching of the Hebrew Prophets and the Apostles of Christ will be perceived as one simple concept.
The rewards that will be given to the diligent Christians are related in part to their role and responsibility as ruling priests. True Israel, the Seed of Abraham, has been chosen to be a kingdom of priests whose inheritance in Christ consists of the nations of the saved and the farthest reaches of the earth.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen [nations] for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (Psalms 2:8)
The nations of the saved consist of those persons whom Christ deems worthy of eternal life but who are not called to be members of the Israel of God.
The distinction between Israel and the nations of the saved can be seen in the following:
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)
To be continued.