Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Lamb and the Lion Pt.3 –The King Rules

Forever, it seems, one of the problems in the life of humanity has been inequality. There has always been this caste system in the world that places people on different rungs of a ladder. I am not talking so much about things that must be, such as business leadership, God –ordained institutions, or governments as much as I am talking about culture. Maybe it could be defined as the “Racism of Standing”; that pervasive attitude of “betterness” or “superiority” that is condescending toward humanity and treats others as less than human.  It is true that racism is part of the issue but not the whole.  Inequality is not divine but rather is the lowest form of civility. It seeks to elevate some at the expense of destroying others. It stands in stark contrast to the divine concept of all being equal in God’s eyes. Objectors may say that it not so; for God chose Israel and elevated them over all other nations. A careful study of the Scripture reveals the following:

Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you, Deut. 9:4

And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day, Deut. 4:37-38

Clearly, God’s reason for choosing Israel was not because they were more righteous or better than other people but because of the love with which their forefathers Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob showed toward Him and He reciprocated with His covenantal promises, Gen 12:1-3. This is normal behavior and in no way negates the love of God for all people because we all show love in some way toward those who show love to us—even those without God do this, Luke 6:33. Also, the nation was chosen for a mission which included taking God’s love for all humanity throughout the earth. They were to be the messengers, the bearers of God’s standard, heralds of truth but not in condescension and inequality; for the Lord God love’s all people equally and desires us to do the same. But this divine concept of equality has been corrupted and morphed into a society where outward judgment overrules inward justness. In other words outward appearances and associations overrule what’s in the heart.

This twisted view of others has not evaded government either. The Scripture teaches that the government (which by necessity has rank) is an institution of God for our civility and welfare, Rom 13:1; for our good not for evil, Rom 13:4. But as we all know human government by its nature will never be perfect; because of humanity it will always be stained by sin. One need not go too far back into history to learn of the horrendous atrocities that some governments have inflicted upon the people; to wit: Hitler, Mussolini, Amin, Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Mao Tse-tung and the list goes on and on. All ages have seen some form of this God-ordained institution corrupted. If Solomon were alive today he would surely say again, this too is vanity and grasping for the wind. It seems that everything mankind touches they corrupt-even the good gifts of God. But alas, there is good news! The day is coming in which equality will be meted out to all and it will come through the Righteous hand of God:

​​​​​​​He will take delight in obeying the LORD. ​​​​​​He will not judge by mere appearances, ​​​​​​or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.
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He will treat the poor fairly, ​​​​​​and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. ​​​​​​He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, ​​​​​​and order the wicked to be executed.
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Justice will be like a belt around his waist, ​​​​​​integrity will be like a belt around his hips.
--Is. 11:3-5 (see also Ps. 98:9)

Today we would love nothing more than to see all war ended and all governments mete out justice with equity, but we all know it will never happen. Yet the world continues trying in their own un-godly way. In America, this past week, the news headlines concerning the Democratic Convention are blasting out the following headline:

This is the paragraph that was in the 2008 platform:
“We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Now the words “God-given” have been removed. The paragraph has been restructured to say this:
We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” CBN

The name Ichabod which may mean, “Where is the glory?”; But in reality means “no Glory” is the banner this convention is allegorically flying. Even though the public outcry forced them to put God back into the platform, reality is, they really did not want too. Taking God out of American government is the ultimate rejection and spells nothing but disaster. It’s for reasons such as this that so many believers wish the return of Christ to come soon. For we know when the day comes true justice, true equity and true life will finally come. Wars will indeed cease for a season and strife will be all but ended. In that day, you would think that God would just wrap all things up into eternity and we would all be whisked into the eternal hereafter without any more human or spiritual drama, but it is just not so.

The Winnowing Fan must still cleanse
If we were to picture the coming Millennium as the complete end of life on earth and the commencement of heaven itself then there would be no room for flesh and blood, instead all things would be spiritual—forever. But that is not what the Scripture teaches. There is still a winnowing fan to be used to separate the wheat from the chaff. Consider the following; it is true that all believers of all ages past will be resurrected and return with Christ from heaven to rule with Him on earth, Zech. 14:3-5; Jude 1:14, 1 Thess. 4:14 (NKJV). That occurs at the end of the seven-year tribulation period just prior to the start of the Millennial Kingdom. At that time we will be in our glorified bodies, the spiritual ones Paul spoke about in 1 Cor. 15:40-49, that bear the image of the heavenly Christ. But these passages also speak of judgment that will come at the same time as Christ descends to the Mt. of Olives and fights against the armies of the world that have strived to take His name out of any vestige of public life. These are unbelievers who have chosen to fight against the Lord Himself by enlisting in the armies of Hell, Satan—via Antichrist, as their one world leader. They also are still in the Flesh and Blood body they were born with. Imagine it, a body that cannot even overcome the lusts of the flesh deceived to think it can fight against the Living God and win! The power of deception seems limitless. The conviction to remove God and exalt man will come to a swift end just as quickly as it was elevated to power—just as the passages above state, (see also 2 Thess. 2:8).

During this time of judgment it is important to understand not all people will die in this end-time scenario. As a matter of fact Jesus said in Mt. 24:22 “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Couple that with the revelation of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 15:50, “Flesh and Blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, …” and you will see that those that survive the tribulation will be awaiting entrance into the Millennium in their flesh and blood bodies. This is not contradictory when you consider that 1 Cor. 15:50ff concerns the resurrection/rapture not the earthly rule of Christ. But concerning this earthly rule of Christ, the Millennial Kingdom, we are told in Scripture flesh and blood will indeed be present to repopulate the earth. Just prior it’s beginning the Judgment of the Nations occurs, Mt. 25: 30-46. It is here that Jesus separates the Sheep (righteous and obedient) from the Goats (unrighteous and disobedient) and the righteous enter into the Kingdom—yes, in flesh and blood. In my book Those Who are Wise Will Shine I refer to the reason that Christ must still wield His Winnowing Fan, I state:

But this time period (Millennial reign) will also be characterized by the same disdainful, skeptical, and even cavalier attitude of the people in Nimrods day. Are you acquainted the idiom familiarity breeds contempt?

At the onset of this new period of Christ’s physical rule, all the earth’s inhabitants will believe in Christ. The judgment of the Sheep and the Goats of Matthew 25 will have taken place. From these believers, the earth is repopulated and several new generations of descendants will spring up. Those future descendants will have not been physically privy to having survived and witnessed the great seven year time of trouble that was inflicted upon humanity—the tribulation. Sure, they will know of it, and its history will be a big part of their life due to the annual representative delegations required to visit Jerusalem each year, in order to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (see Zech. 8:23, 14:16-21; Ez. 40-48). But predictably as those future generations reach adulthood, many will just see it as an event of the past—just another irrelevant and sketchy point of history.
Today, we look forward to ruling and reigning with Christ as priests and kings. It will be an awesome time. Nevertheless, in that future time, living in a near perfect world where Christ physically and bodily rules from Jerusalem will be all most of the populations of earth have ever known, therefore to them it will be the norm of the day. In a word, it will be as familiar as the rising sun. Because of this, many will become apathetic and eventually venture away from the Lord and His form of government:

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Is. 9:6)

Many of them will begin to drift, as many believers were doing at the time of the great persecutions of Rome, during the first century A.D. (Heb 2:1, 3:12). With the drifting, comes apathy toward the things that are worthy and holy, soon they begin to rebel from the Lord and from the teaching that had been handed down to them (see Zech. 14:17). This time they will not be able to blame Satan, because for a season, he has been rendered of no effect (Rev. 20:3, 7-10). However, near the end of the period, he will be released to gather the rebellious nations together against the Lord in battle. This will serve as the final winnowing fan that God will use to separate the wheat from the chaff. (Henderson - pp. 121)

What’s Next?
After the final winnowing has occurred and Satan is cast into the lake of fire the earth will be completely renovated and the New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven as a bride adorned for her bridegroom and our New home will appear, Rev. 21-22. It is then that all flesh will be gone and only believers in glorified bodies will remain. We will be cradled in the arms of God forever and ever. Praise God! What a wonderful time it will be.


God Bless!!

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