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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Two Appearances of the Bride, continued
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8—NIV)
That Paul was laying down everything of fleshly significance in his life in order to gain Christ, and this toward the end of his ministry, the argument that we already have attained the first resurrection by "identification with Christ," or some other silly reasoning so common in our ear-tickled generation of American Christians, is immediately dismissed as irrelevant.
The bottom line is, if you or I wish to attain the first resurrection, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, we must gain Christ. We gain Christ only by the most sincere, consistent, diligent pursuit of Christ throughout our discipleship.
You can take it for granted that you will be raised in the second resurrection. You cannot take it for granted that you will be raised in the first resurrection when the Lord Jesus appears and raises the "dead in Christ."
If the Apostle Paul toward the end of his life was striving with all his might to attain the resurrection from the dead, to know Christ, to know the power of Christ's resurrection, to share in Christ's sufferings, then we fragile American "babies" need to call on the Lord to help us in our smugness and ignorance of Kingdom realities.
We see, then, that the Lord Jesus will raise His saints and place them on the thrones of glory in the air. Then He and they will descend and He will be crowned King of kings on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There is no power in the heavens, on the earth, or in the dark regions under the surface of the earth, that in any manner can prevent Jesus from coming and receiving the inheritance promised Him by His Father.
In like manner (are you listening to me?) there is no power or authority in the heavens, on the earth, or in the dark regions under the surface of the earth, that in any manner can prevent you from attaining the first resurrection from the dead. If there is no robe of righteous acts to clothe you in the Day of Christ it is entirely your own doing. The Lord Jesus has made every provision necessary for your complete victory, for your attainment to the first resurrection.
Why don't you rise up in faith right now? Lay hold on that which God has promised you. The inheritance of total victory shall go to whoever will believe God and care enough to press forward to the mark set before him or her as an individual.
The facts and dynamics I have written in this essay are scriptural. Reread the New Testament and decide for yourself if I have cut a straight course in the Word of truth.
If I have, then do not be slow to call on the Lord. He assuredly will hear you. He always is looking for mighty men for His army. (from Two Appearances of the Bride)