THESE ARE THEY ...
One of the elders of the heavenly Kingdom saw a group of saints arrayed in white robes. The elder then asked the question, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” Since it was John’s vision experience, it must have been John who replied to the elder, saying, “Sir, thou knowest!” The elder replied, “THESE ARE THEY which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (see Rev. 7:13-14). Who are these? They are the elect remnant, the sons of God, who have been in the process of becoming mature and manifest sons of their Father. They have gone through great tribulation, which is not a designated time of tests and trials for the whole world of mankind; but it is that tribulation which is intended of our Father to bring forth sons of God in the image and likeness of Christ, their elder Brother. The “great tribulation” we have all been going through is that set of tests and trials that will replace our old, worn-out fleshly garments of this life, with the new, fresh and pure “white robes” of the radiant and transforming Life and Glory of Christ. O to be arrayed in those “white robes!” And we surely shall be when our tribulation experiences have ended and we come forth as overcomers, changed into His glorious image and likeness.
Part of the question the elder asked was, “and whence came they?” Or, as the Amplified translation has it, “from where have they come?” And the answer is, “These are they which came out of great tribulation.” They did not come out of a glorious and happy camp meeting with crowds of people worshiping the Lord in rapturous praise, singing happy choruses with jubilation and great joy; they came out of great tribulation! They did not come out of a life of ease, prosperity and perfect health; they came out of great tribulation! They did not come out of a life of constant joy and peace, with many happy friends; they came out of great tribulation! They did not spend their days “hob-knobbing” among the “big-wigs” of religion; they came out of great tribulation! The Amplified translation suggests that tribulation means persecution. And that may very well be included in the meaning. The persecuted ones, those who, like Jesus Christ, the first Son and our pattern Son, endured the persecution of the religious crowd. These are they who have also come out of great persecution, because of the carnal-minded doctrines and opinions of the church system! “These are they..” And when they have been fully changed and transformed by the power of the resurrected Christ of glory, their Father will be proud of them. He will then be able to say, with spiritual pride, honor, respect and joy, “these are they...” What joy we will bring to our Father when He can say of us, “these are they...”
The word “tribulation” comes from the Greek word “thlipsis,” and means pressure, whether literally or figuratively. That Greek word is also translated as afflicted, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation and trouble. All these forms of tribulation have been and are working in our lives to bring us into the image and likeness of the risen Christ of glory. And I am sure we will all agree that Father has used every one of these forms of tribulation to bring us to the degree of maturity to which we have grown in our sonship experience. He has withheld the use of none of the tools at His disposal, which were a necessary part of our spiritual growth.
Who are these? “These are they which came out of great tribulation!” And what were they wearing? They “are arrayed in white robes!” The white robes indicate the purity and holiness of the righteousness of Christ (Rev. 19:8). But, while that is true, the white robes we shall wear represent much more than that. We will certainly become the righteousness of Christ, but we shall also be clothed upon with those garments that represent the fullness of His Life! As it is written, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Cor. 5:1-5, NIV).
I like that last verse: “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Our Father created us for this very purpose: that we might become like Christ, bearing His glorious image and likeness! It is HIS PURPOSE that is being fulfilled in us! We did not decide one day in the past that we wanted to become a manifest son of God! This high calling is beyond us! It is something greater than ourselves! It is a calling in God that we may not yet fully understand! It is not something we could choose, as if we had a choice in the matter. Rather, we were chosen by our Lord and Master. Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (Jo. 15:16). The Lord chose us, and He is making all the decisions for us! Since that is true, we are assured that He will see us through to the end, which is to come forth in His very likeness. God has also given us His precious holy Spirit as a deposit, or as a down payment, on the rest of our inheritance, thereby “guaranteeing what is to come.” Amen! Our transformation into the image and likeness of Christ is thus assured and guaranteed! It shall take place exactly as God has already planned and purposed it to be! He made us for this purpose and then gave us His Spirit as a deposit, thus guaranteeing our future as a manifest son of God in the blessed Kingdom of our Father! And as we travel on this spiritual journey, becoming more like the Lord, we will realize that He is making all the choices for us!
David sang a song unto the Lord, saying in that song, “The Lord lives; blessed be my Rock, and exalted be God, the Rock of my salvation. It is God Who executes vengeance for me and Who brought down [and disciplined] the peoples under me” (2 Sam. 22:47-48, AMP). Indeed, it is God Who executes vengeance for us, and Who also does many other wonders for us. When we acknowledge the Lord and His sovereignty in all things, in our lives and in the world around us, we then exalt and magnify Him, rather than our own feeble wisdom and strength. David added this further truth: “He is a Tower of salvation and great deliverance to His king, and shows loving-kindness to His anointed, to David and his offspring forever” (vs. 51, AMP). The Lord truly is our Tower of salvation and deliverance. And He shows loving-kindness to His anointed, who are the elect and chosen of the Lord! He was that to King David, and He will be that to all His other co-kings as well.
In another psalm, David also said, “As for God, his way
is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that
trust in him.
For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip” (Ps. 18:30-36). Who is it that girds us with strength and makes our way perfect? It is the Lord! Who makes our feet like hinds’ feet, giving us the spiritual swiftness and agility as of a young deer? It is our sovereign and omnipotent Lord and King! Who is it Who sets us upon our appointed high places in the Spirit with Him on His throne? It is our Lord and Master! Who teaches our hands to war in the Spirit? And Who has given us that special shield of Salvation, which shall bring us to experience the fullness of the Life of Christ? Whose right Hand holds us up; Whose gentleness is making us great, and Who has enlarged our steps throughout our spiritual journey, so that our feet did not slip? IT IS THE LORD, and no one else! He is everything to us! He will make all our decisions for us, and we will trust Him to do it! And when He does, all that David said about the Lord working in his life, will also be true in our own lives as well!
The Apostle Paul also told of the sovereignty and omnipotence of our Father, when he wrote, “We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] [Ps 118:6.]” (Rom. 8:28-31, AMP).
Other Christians may rejoice in the decisions they think they made with their own carnal minds throughout their spiritual journey. But the elect of the Lord are called and chosen by Him and for Him! They give all the credit to the Lord, and to Him alone, for calling and choosing them as He did! And we know that, since God called us and chose us for Himself, all that happens to us is taking place for a reason, according to His grand design and holy purpose! Our Father knew us beforehand; He foreknew us and also foreordained that we should be molded into the image of His Son, and share His full likeness. And those whom He foreordained, He also called and justified, thus putting us in right standing with Himself. And those whom He justified, He also glorified, meaning that He raised us to a heavenly dignity, condition or state of being in His glorious Kingdom of Love. And because He first loved us and foreordained us to walk this path unto perfection, who can be against us? Or who can be our foe, if God is on our side? Therefore, IT IS GOD ALL THE WAY! Without Him, we could never have made it this far! But with Him, we will walk this high road to Life, knowing that we shall reach the appointed goal. And all this is true because He first loved us! When we have reached the final goal, not one of us will ever be able to take any credit for what we have done! IT WILL BE GOD ALL THE WAY!
Then the Apostle Paul asks the question, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of GOD'S ELECT? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:33-37). The question is asked, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of GOD'S ELECT?” This question is asked regarding the ELECT, and not of other Christians. God’s elect are the sole subject of this scripture! Other Christians are not in the same place spiritually as are the elect. The elect are guiltless before the Lord and also before the world, for the Lord, Who has chosen them and foreordained their walk in Him, made them holy even as He is holy. Our Father called us to walk this walk in the Spirit! We did not choose this path! It is God Who chose us before the foundation of the world and Who also justified us. Therefore, we are blameless and guiltless before the Lord, and have full access to all His abundant promises, provisions and purposes.
Regarding GOD’S ELECT, the Spirit has asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” The answer, for all the elect, is, NO, nothing shall ever separate us from the love of God, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works of the Kingdom of God (Eph. 2:10)! It is also written of the ELECT, and not of other Christians, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Who else but the elect have been set aside by their Father for full sonship? Who else but the elect are “killed all the day long?” Who else but the elect “are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Are other Christians suffering as we are suffering? And are they suffering for the same purpose? No, they are not! Are other Christians “killed all the day long,” or are they “accounted as sheep for the slaughter?” Not like we are! Only the elect are set apart by their Father for this high calling of God in Christ, which also puts them in jeopardy of suffering the agonies of the cross of Christ, making them true sons of their Father!
Then Paul closes his special chapter regarding “God’s elect,” by saying, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). We will surely experience all the things mentioned in these verses, yet we are fully persuaded that none of these things, circumstances or experiences, shall ever separate us from the overwhelming Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Tribulation, even “great tribulation,” which the elect are going through, does much good for us and within us. As the apostle wrote, “we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:3-5). The natural man finds it difficult, if not impossible, to “glory in tribulations,” for the flesh and the soul of man will suffer greatly going through them. But the spiritual man is strengthened in tribulations, while the flesh and the soul of man is crucified. Thus, we are brought more and more into the image and likeness of Christ by going through the processings of “great tribulation” within us. And what is the end result of our present “great tribulations?” It is that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us!”
Patience is also something we surely need to become whole and perfect, fully fit to become like Christ. James wrote “To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations,” to say, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (Ja. 1:2-4). What is the end result of our present walk of faith? Or, what is Father’s ultimate intention for us? It is for us to be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing!” How many times have we heard it said that no one can attain perfection? Most certainly, perfection is not attainable in this life! But we are foreordained and predestined of our heavenly Father to live another life, which is the Life of Christ in holy and glorious fullness. And when we do, we shall indeed be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing!”
We are told to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations, or when we are tried and tested by the circumstances of this “life” that surround us, or when we are put to the proof, by experiencing discipline or adversity. And as we go through those times of adversity, we must KNOW that that experience is working patience within us. Patience here means cheerful or hopeful endurance, or constancy. It is necessary to our attaining perfection. And when patience has done her perfect work in us, we shall then be made “perfect and entire, wanting nothing!” To be “perfect” means to be complete. Perfection is the end or the conclusion of an act or state, such as the end of God’s work within us. Perfection is the end result of His handiwork in us! It is completeness! It is that which indicates full age, or full maturity.
To be “entire” is to be complete in every part; to be perfectly sound. If there should be anything lacking in the meaning of perfection, it is made complete by the use of the word, “entire.” And when a person has become “perfect and entire,” they will truly want nothing more, for there is nothing more possible! There is nothing more than “perfect and entire!” It is sonship completed and fulfilled! It is the completeness of a fully matured son of God! When sons become manifest sons, they will want no more, for they are “perfect and entire, wanting nothing!”
It was Paul who also wrote to the Philippian church, saying, “For IT IS GOD WHICH WORKETH IN YOU both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Let us make sure we know Who is working within us, both to will a thing or a purpose, and then to do that thing and fulfill His purpose! IT IS THE LORD, and Him only! He is fulfilling His good pleasure, not only within us, but also in the whole world around us and in the entire universe as well. Elihu was one of Job’s younger friends. After hearing what others had to say, Elihu then said to Job, “Behold, God does all these things twice, yes, three times, with a man, To bring back his life from the pit [of destruction], that he may be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:29-30, AMP).
Our Father is always and constantly working, both within us and around us, to bring our lives back from the pit of the destruction of sin and death. Because He loves us with an everlasting Love, Father will keep working with us until we reach the final goal. He may even repeat His work within us if necessary, for He never fails or gives up on us. If we fail to learn a lesson in one experience, He will keep trying, “twice, yes, three times, with a man, To bring back his life from the pit [of destruction], that he may be enlightened with the light of the living.” Love cannot fail! Therefore, God, our loving and merciful Father, can never fail in all His wonderful works on behalf of His called and chosen elect!
There is a most wonderful example of the demonstration of the power of the Kingdom of God as a result of the life Daniel lived. It was a result of Daniel’s life, not his words alone, that turned the heart of King Darius to love and worship the Lord God of Israel. When Daniel was miraculously delivered from the lion’s den, King Darius made this decree: “That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions” (Dan. 6:26-27).
As our Father delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, so also shall He deliver us from this realm of sin and death, by clothing us with those “white robes!” As a result of Daniel’s living witness or testimony to that heathen king, Darius decreed that everyone in his kingdom should worship the God of Daniel. Imagine what we will do among the nations when we manifest the power and glory of the Kingdom of God to all men and all nations! Nations will then come running to us (Mic. 4:2, Zech. 2:11)! Then, our Father will be able to say of us, with satisfaction, honor and praise,“these are they!”
Early in the history of Israel, when they were in bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt, the word of the Lord went forth, saying, “These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron” (Ex. 6:27). Two men were called of their Father to deliver Israel out of Egyptian bondage. Just two men, but that was all that God needed! Today He has a small but strong, anointed and patient remnant in the earth! These are they . . . who shall bring forth deliverance, first for themselves, second for the Israel of God, and finally and ultimately, for the masses of this world! Egypt is a type of the world and its systems. And as Moses and Aaron were called of God to bring out the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, so also are the holy remnant of the Lord called to bring God’s people out of the bondages of this world and its corrupt systems of man. And like Moses and Aaron, we shall not fail to fulfill the awesome and wonderful plan and purpose of God for this troubled world.
It is our Father’s purpose to conquer the nations, defeat them and nullify their power, by the greater power of the Kingdom of God. And we are the messengers, the ambassadors, and the Melchisedec priest-kings of that Kingdom, which shall put all other governments, kingdoms and nations under the feet of this Christ. Thus, the prophet wrote: “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought and planned, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand– That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains I will tread him underfoot. Then shall the [Assyrian's] yoke depart from [the people of Judah], and his burden depart from their shoulders. This is the [Lord's] purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth [regarded as conquered and put under tribute by Assyria]; and this is [His omnipotent] hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Isa. 14:24-27, AMP).
God’s land and His mountains represent the Kingdom of God on earth. In His land and on His mountains, which is the Kingdom of God on earth, shall the Lord subdue all the kingdoms of man and put them all under His feet, which we are! David already sang this song indicating that it is a finished work: “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Ps. 72:18-19). How can the whole earth be filled with His glory if there still are enemies within it? It is an impossibility! All the enemies of Christ shall be put under His feet, by the power of the reign of Christ! And then the whole earth shall be filled with His glory! Amen, and amen!
The Lord has already given His Word, declaring that it was His purpose to call forth an obedient people, a people who would do all His will. Then, God declared that He would raise that called and chosen people up above the level of the nations of this world, and fulfill His purpose with them. Thus, it is written, “And the Lord has declared this day that you are His peculiar people as He promised you, and you are to keep all His commandments; And He will make you high above all nations which He has made, in praise and in fame and in honor, and that you shall be a holy people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.” (Deut. 26:18-19, AMP). How has the Lord raised us up to be above all the nations of the world? By setting us up on His royal throne of power and authority in His Kingdom, which is exalted above all the nations and the governments of man! In spiritual reality, there is none as high as Christ and His chosen sons of God are now! We are exalted high above the nations, not to rejoice or boast of our exalted position in Christ, but TO FULFILL THE WORD AND THE WILL OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN! We have no other reason or purpose for our existence than that!
The Psalmist also said, “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory” (Ps. 97:5-6). The hills represent the governments of man in the earth. And all the governments, dominions and kingdoms of man on earth, or anywhere else, shall melt at the presence of the Lord. By the mighty power of the Spirit and Presence of the Lord, which is the essence and the authority of the Kingdom of God, every government of man, whether large or small, shall melt and be removed from the world to exist no more.
The Lord thought this truth was so important that He repeated to Israel, saying, “IF YOU will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:1-2, AMP). Have you ever noticed that some of the promises of God come with conditions? The Lord says, “I will do this and this, if you will hear my voice and do my will.” God’s promise, declaring that He will raise us up above the nations, is conditioned upon our hearing His word and doing it! And then, if we meet His conditions, the many abundant promises of God will then OVERTAKE US! Those promises, given in the rest of that chapter, will not merely happen to us as if in a casual way, but they will OVERTAKE US. His promises fulfilled will come upon us by surprise; they will come upon us and overtake us, so that we will wonder at the goodness, grace and mercy of our Father.
The Pattern and Example of Joseph’s Life
Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and heart-warming stories in all of scripture is the story of Joseph. It is a story of the making of a true son! Joseph was loved of his father, and for that reason his brothers hated him. Because of their hatred for him, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to a group of traders. The traders took Joseph to Egypt, where he was put in prison, tried and tested in various ways, and then was exalted to Pharoah’s throne. As the second in command in all of Egypt, Joseph stored grain during seven good years of plenty, in preparation for seven bad years of famine. We see in Joseph’s life a perfect example and pattern of the life of every true son who is in the preparatory process of ruling and reigning with Christ. As Joseph was called and set apart by God “to preserve life,” so also are we called of our Father and set apart by Him to preserve, restore and manifest the fullness of the Life of Christ, which also is the Life of the Father.
When his brethren came to Egypt to buy grain, they stood face to face with their brother, Joseph, whom they had sold as a slave. As the head of Pharaoh’s affairs, Joseph was the one who had the responsibility of doling out the grain to those in need. So it was Joseph to whom his brothers came for food. When all his brothers stood before him, Joseph revealed himself to them. He said to them, “I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Ge. 45:3-5).
How blessed we are if, like Joseph, we can fully understand and recognize that all our tests and trials are for a wise purpose in God! With the wisdom and understanding of God, Joseph was able to say to his once hate-filled brethren, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Joseph did not rant and rave at his brothers for treating him as they did, nor did he blame them. But with grace, mercy and love in his heart for his brethren, Joseph forgave them and acknowledged that his entire experience, in the empty cistern, being sold as a slave, as well as his imprisonment in Egypt, was all part of God’s plan for his life. So it is with us. All who are called to rule and reign with Christ, shall walk a similar path of tests and trials, leading to the royal, spiritual throne of the kingdom of God.
Father’s plan for us is clearly stated in the anointed and inspired Word of the Lord: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Ro. 8:16-18). And also, the Spirit has said, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:11-12). And again, we read, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Pe. 2:20-21). And finally, God’s anointed Word declares, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Pe. 4:19, see also Rev. 2:10).
It is interesting to note that the word, “suffer,” as used in 2 Timothy 2:12, means to stay under, to remain (in our trials), to undergo or bear our trials, to have fortitude and to persevere through each one of them. As sons of God growing into the full image and likeness of Christ, we know the reason and the purpose for all our tests and trials. Therefore, we will remain in our trials; we will not try to get out from under our trials, but will stay under them and in them, and will remain in the particular situation in which our loving and merciful Father has placed us. Each trial we go through is uniquely designed for our individual need and spiritual growth and also for His glory! We will continue to have fortitude in bearing our trials and will persevere through them all, knowing that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall soon be revealed IN US! We also know that we are destined to rule and reign with Christ from our Father’s throne of all power and authority. And we are assured that those who suffer with Christ shall also reign with Him! Amen!
These truths are vividly portrayed in the life of Joseph for all of us to see and understand. After Joseph suffered a while, he was exalted by God to the throne of Egypt. He became the second most powerful man in all of Egypt and among the nations of the world at that time. God had a plan for Joseph, which included all his tests and trials, and which ultimately led him to the throne of Egypt, the most powerful nation at that time. And our sufferings will lead to a much greater throne, which is the royal throne of God that rules over all nations and all mankind in the blessed Kingdom of our Father!
With all his brothers standing before him in Egypt, including Benjamin, the youngest, Joseph made himself known to them, and then asked that they return home and bring their father back with them to Egypt. Joseph also promised that all their family, along with their flocks and herds, and all their children, would be protected and cared for in Egypt, if they all returned to be near Joseph. Joseph promised to nourish the families and the nation of Israel in Egypt during the remainder of the five years of famine. When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brethren had come to Egypt to buy food, he reaffirmed the promises Joseph made to his family. Pharaoh also promised that every need of Joseph’s family would be provided, and that they could live in the land of Goshen, if they would all return to Egypt to live near Joseph.
These blessings promised to Israel as a result of Joseph’s reign in Egypt are typical of the blessings promised to all in the Kingdom of God. If we can remember but one thing about the Kingdom of God, let it be this: in the Kingdom of God every need of man is fully met. There will not be any needy or poverty-stricken people anywhere in this world when the Christ reigns supreme! I could tell you of the many benefits that shall exist when the reign of Christ is extended to all men and all nations, but we will let the Word of God do the teaching:
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. [Isa 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1.] But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a rejoicing and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and the sound of weeping will no more be heard in it, nor the cry of distress. There shall no more be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who dies prematurely; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner who dies when only a hundred years old shall be [thought only a child, cut off because he is] accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat [the fruit]. For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My chosen and elect shall long make use of and enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bring forth [children] for sudden terror or calamity; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall be that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. [Isa 30:19; 58:9; Matt 6:8.] The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy Mount [Zion], says the Lord” (Is 65:17-25, AMP).
Can you believe that such wonderful conditions will actually exist on this old earth? God will create a new earth; it will be the earth made so new that no one will recognize it or be able to compare it with the old earth, the world that now exists. The Lord will also create a new Jerusalem; it will be a heavenly, spiritual “city” of God, the dwelling place of God and His people, by the Spirit. Within the new Jerusalem the voices of weeping, and of sadness and crying will no longer be heard, for God will create the new, spiritual Jerusalem as a place of rejoicing, and the people within her will be made a joyful people.
The saints of the present, spiritual new Jerusalem are usually heard crying, weeping and travailing, for they are suffering through the tests and trials of this life. But in the newest, spiritual Jerusalem, their former troubles are forgotten and joy has replaced their sorrow. The more mature among them are also suffering the birth pangs of their new birth into the glorious image and likeness of Christ, their elder Brother. In the new Jerusalem “city” of the future, there will be no weeping, crying or mourning, for all has been made new. There is no longer any need for suffering and travail, for joy prevails. When a son is born into the world the mother need not travail any longer, for her joy is fulfilled! Likewise, when we are born again of the Spirit to become spirit, as in John 3:3-6, our travail will be over, for God will have brought us forth as manifest sons of our Father, thus fulfilling our joy! As a result of our transformation, the world will be blessed with all the many, abundant blessings and benefits of the Kingdom of God!
When we have been transformed, and all mankind has been changed as a result of our transformation, an infant child shall not live only a few days, but shall be considered still a child at one hundred years old. And should a sinner die at a hundred years old, they will be thought of as a child, or one who was “accursed.” In that blessed Day to come, people will build homes and will live successful and blessed lives in their own homes. Homes then will not be repossessed or foreclosed, for every man will dwell under his own vine and fig tree. There will be no lust or greed, and therefore, no mortgage or finance companies prospering on the backs of the poor and the needy. In that Day, they will not build homes for another to inhabit, nor will they plant vineyards for the sustenance of others, for in the Kingdom of God each person shall possess their own possessions. There will be no want or privation, for all greed and covetousness will be removed from the soul of the Adamic man. The days of God’s people shall be like the days of a tree, and His chosen and elect ones shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
None shall labor in vain or bring forth children for war or other forms of destruction, for they are the blessed of the Lord and their descendants are blessed with them. In that Day, it shall be that before they call, God will answer, and while they are yet speaking He will hear them. Then, the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. They shall not hurt or destroy at all in Mount Zion, the holy, heavenly city of God, for the cause of all such carnality has been removed from their minds. And finally, the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Such promises as these may sound unreal and impossible to be realized when viewed with the carnal mind, which is the mind of this world. But to those with the mind of Christ, it is a vision and a hope soon to be realized here on this tired old world of sin and shame, which has seen nothing but the many constant, confusing and continuing failures of the works of man.
God is raising up saints in the earth today who believe His Word unreservedly and who stand fast in the truth of God, no matter how it looks from the human perspective. They are not looking to the world and the things of it, but to the risen Christ of God. In seeing Him, they are also seeing the fulfillment of all God’s holy Word of Truth! When we see Him, our hearts and our minds will respond with a Spirit-birthed shout of AMEN to every prophetic Word of God! And our AMEN is an expression of our faith and trust in the Lord and in His sovereign purposes for this world. Our amen also confirms our relationship to Christ the King in the Kingdom of our Father, making us one with all the unfolding promises and eternal purposes of our God! And the cry of our hearts now is, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Amen! Man has failed miserably, but there is no failure in the Kingdom of God! And all the promises of God in Christ are yea and amen to all who believe!
Everything with God and His Kingdom, including His prophetic Word of promise, is sure, certain and absolute! The Psalmist declared, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7). God is perfect, and His law and His testimony are sure and certain to be fulfilled. Living in this imperfect world, as we do, we may find it difficult to assign perfection and certainty to anything anywhere. But God and His Kingdom are all that and much more! He is infinitely pure and holy, and all His works are done in perfection, holiness, righteousness and glory. And the Word of God is the same! It is written, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17, NIV).
The Holy, Heavenly, Spiritual Temple of the Lord
The Lord is building a Temple! It is not a temple made of wood or clay, but it is a holy Temple made of Living Stones. Each of those Stones is a human being who has been changed within and without and is in the process of becoming like Christ, the Original Stone. This Living Temple made up of Living Stones will be a sure house; it shall never rot or decay, for it is not of this world. God has said of this Temple, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Is. 28:16). Christ is that foundation Stone, the precious corner Stone, and He makes the foundation of this Temple a very sure foundation. And all who are built upon this foundation shall never know failure or defeat, for they are built upon a SURE FOUNDATION. Every other Living Stone that makes up this Temple shall be as sure and as strong as that original foundation Stone, the precious corner Stone, which is Christ!
It is written, for the benefit of those who are joined to that perfect and holy Kingdom Temple, “he that believeth shall not make haste.” In that Temple, which is made up of Lively Stones, with Christ as the chief corner Stone, all work is done by the Lord Himself. The Spirit of God is the moving, active Force in this new Temple, the Temple of God, by the Spirit. And every one of her Lively Stones, which we are, firmly and constantly believe and obey Him. And because they believe God, they shall not make haste to do the work of God! There is no work for any of us to do in the Temple of the Lord, for God and His Spirit will be the only working, moving, active power! Have you ever noticed, as I have, that when the Spirit of God is moving, there is no work for us to do? When the Lord moves by His mighty, omnipotent Spirit, He does all the work! When God works we have no reason to be in haste or to be anxious about anything, for God is in control. He is doing His great work, when the Spirit moves, and we need do nothing. Such is the power of God that will be manifest throughout the earth when the Kingdom of God has fully come down from God out of Heaven to the earth!
Man was given this law: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates” (Ex. 20:9-10). The six days of man are over! Man has labored and done his work for those six prophetic days on this earth, and now it is time for man to cease all his work and enter into the rest of God. It is time for man to rest while God works to finish His work on earth. Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (Jo. 9:4). The night has come; it is the night when no man can work! When we enter into the rest of the Lord, we will then realize that there is nothing left for us to do but to believe God. Jesus also said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (Jo. 6:29).
When we speak or write about God and His Kingdom, we are referring
to that which is sure, certain, absolute, perfect and complete. The world and
the things of it are just the opposite! Nothing here is sure, or certain, or
absolute, or perfect, or complete. It is all doubtful, uncertain, insecure,
unsafe, fake, unreal and a mass of confusion. But, we are members of a “sure
house” (1 Sam. 2:35), that has a “sure foundation” (Is. 28:16).
It is a “peaceable habitation”, with “sure dwellings, and
quiet resting places” (Is. 32:18). Our Father has made a “sure covenant”
with us (Neh. 9:38), with a “sure reward” (Pro. 11:18). This covenant
is an everlasting covenant that He made with us, “even the sure mercies
of David” (Is. 55:3), and the promise is “sure to all the seed”
which we are (Ro. 4:16). Also, “the foundation of God standeth sure, having
this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19). The hope
we have is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth
into that within the veil” (Heb. 6:19). And, “We have also a more
sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in
your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19). And also, “Thy testimonies are very
sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, FOR EVER” (Ps. 93:5). And
our Lord would also say to us, “be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of
God is come nigh unto you” (Lu. 10:11). Could anything be more sure or
certain than this? There is nothing more sure or certain than our sovereign
and omnipotent Father, and His mighty and all-powerful Kingdom of Love! Amen
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, Portland, OR 97298-0055