The Daily Word of Righteousness

Salvation Through Judgment and Suffering, continued

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

What we are experiencing on earth our fellow members in the spirit realm are experiencing at the same time. If this were not so, how could it be true that the ministries of the Body labor until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity as measured by the full stature of Christ?

How could the entire Wife of the Lamb get rid of her spots and wrinkles unless the work of moral transformation proceeds independently of whether or not we are alive in the flesh?

How about the patriarchs of old? How could they be born again if it did not take place in the spirit realm? How could they receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit if it did not take place in the spirit realm? How could they receive the baptism with fire if it did not take place in the spirit realm? How could they press on to the fullness of God if it does not take place in the spirit realm?

They cannot be made perfect apart from us. This fact suggests that the Body is built up by that which every part supplies independently of whether the members are alive on the earth or living before God in the world of spirits.

Our tradition implies that punishment, learning, and spiritual growth cannot take place in the spirit realm. If this were true the great majority of the members of the Bride of the Lamb are condemned to remain at their level of spiritual growth until the day of resurrection or perhaps throughout eternity.

Perhaps with the coming of the Lord at hand and many members of the Body positioned before the veil, bowing in death to self at the Altar of Incense so to speak, we will become more aware of what is taking place among our brothers and sisters in Heaven. And why not? It certainly is true that when the Lord comes there will be a convergence of the physical and the spirit realms.

No doubt our Lord Jesus lived in both realms. There are inferences in the lives of the Hebrew Prophets that suggest they walked under more of an open Heaven than we do. Moses and the elders sat at table with the God of Israel. May God hasten the day.

"As the tree falls so shall it lie," the Bible says. This is true. What we are, we are, and after death comes the judgment. But since the result of our being judged on the earth is chastening and not destruction, it may be true that after we die the judgment may be a chastening and not destruction.

Please note we are not teaching there is a purgatory or that we have a second chance after we die. We are in no manner implying either of these concepts. These ideas proceed from the viewpoint that our goal is eternal residence in Heaven. Since our position is that our goal is not residence in Heaven but perfection of redemption, that is, transformation into the image of Christ and untroubled rest in the Father through Christ, the concept of purgatory or second chance is not at all appropriate.

To be continued.