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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Work of Restoration, #52
And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. (Nehemiah 3:7)
Notice that the throne of the governor is "on this side the river." One of the most misleading concepts held by the Body of Christ is that the Lord Jesus suddenly will establish the unity and maturity of the Body; that instantly we shall come under the governing influence of the Holy Spirit; that suddenly we shall be changed into the image of Christ without the need for patient, cross-carrying obedience on our part. It is being assumed that the moment we go to Heaven we will be transformed in the inner man (the spirit and soul), and when the Lord appears we will be transformed in the outward man (the body).
One erroneous tradition which contributes to this misunderstanding is the belief that the saints are saved in order to dwell in Heaven forever rather than on the earth. The Scripture declares plainly that it is the earth that is the inheritance of the Lord and His saints (Psalms 2:8; 37:9; Isaiah 11:9; Matthew 5:5; 6:10; Revelation 5:10). The whole concept of the resurrection from the dead is the taking up of our life once again on the earth, although in much more glorious circumstances.
Shifting to Heaven the work to be done here, and understanding our goal to be that of making our eternal home in the spirit realm, truly are weakening beliefs. But we find many Christians assigning the restoration of the righteousness and power of the Church to the time when the Lord comes and (as is taught commonly) carries us off to dwell in Heaven.
The thinking of many believers is that after we die physically (a defeat in itself—I Corinthians 15:26) we suddenly shall be transformed into overcomers who rule nations (although how we are to do this from our "mansions" in Heaven is not explained). This doctrine serves only to put off into the future the all-important personal victories that must be won today if we are to rule with Christ in the Day of the Lord.
The wall and gates of Jerusalem will be constructed "on this side the river," not in Heaven.
It is time now for the holiness and power of the Church of Christ to be restored. It is time now to strengthen our prayer life, to spend time each day in the Scriptures, to seek the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, to consecrate ourselves to the service of Christ. We cannot expect to receive the power of God until we are a holy people.
Behold, the Judge is at the door! Will we wait for His coming without having taken the steps that will bring us into His perfect will and power? If we bury our talents, we may find it difficult to explain to Christ why we decided to remain in the malice and wickedness of the present world instead of using our life to do His will. Jesus has warned us that the believer who buries his talent instead of seeking first the Kingdom of God will suffer much anguish in the Day of the Lord.
It is time to seek Christ now! Today!
To be continued.