Welcome to Volume 4 of Executed to Suppress His Message.
In Volume 1 of Suppressing the Words of Christ we saw how money-funded, institutionalized religions suppress the teachings of Jesus Christ, so they can promote their own particular doctrines and beliefs. And now with this volume, we continue to address these suppressed teachings.
In Matthew 22:14, Jesus said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” And then in John 6:44-45, and John 6:65, Jesus explained how no one can come to Him, unless God the Father grants His offer of salvation, then draws or calls that person to Christ.
But what is God’s purpose for calling Christians? Does God draw certain people so they can be saved, while the rest of humanity is forever lost? Or is there some other purpose for God’s calling?
1 — The Christian Calling
That God calls Christians to repent of their sins and accept Christ, and thereby escape God’s punishing wrath so they can go to heaven.
But Jesus Christ taught:
Christians are called to be kings and priests whom shall rule over and eventually own the Kingdom of God.
Many Christians believe that God has specially chosen them to spend a blissful eternity in heaven, while He sends the rest of humanity off to Hell. Here’s one of the Scriptures that lead to this conclusion:
I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (John 10:9).
And if we were to study no further, we easily could come away thinking that God’s purpose for calling Christians is salvation itself: that is, to escape the penalty of sin and obtain eternal salvation in heaven.
However, Romans 8:28 shows that God’s calling is more complicated:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
The apostle Paul wrote that God has a specific “purpose” for calling Christians. And just like everything else in Christianity, we cannot simply assume what that purpose is: we must allow the Scriptures to explain what Paul meant.
God’s Calling: An Invitation
With the passage quoted above, the original Greek translated “called” also means invited. So God does not simply call people, He also invites them to do something. Here’s an example:
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1).
Did you notice how Paul’s calling included being “set apart” for a special purpose? God invited Paul to be an apostle.
So what has God invited you to do?
Why Did God Call You?
Few know it, but the Bible shows that just like Paul, God calls each and every Christian to perform an occupation — and it’s an occupation that goes far beyond your personal salvation.
God’s purpose for calling Christians is well-documented in the Scriptures. Jesus talked about it. The apostles and prophets wrote about it. Furthermore, this occupation is so incredible — so awesome — that it makes all the rewards of this earthly life pale into insignificance.
But you’ve probably never heard anything about this calling.
Because institutionalized Christianity has suppressed this knowledge.
Frankly, you’re going to be surprised and even amazed when you learn the incredible purpose for your Christian calling. And once you learn why God called you, I guarantee that this knowledge will change the way you look at Christianity, the way you look at God, the way you look at humanity — and most importantly, the way you look at yourself.
2 — The Christian Reward
Let’s read the words of Jesus Christ as he spoke to His disciples. And as you read through what Jesus said, I want you to remember how all Christians are His disciples.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus said the Christian reward is something “great.” And here the Greek means much, many, and large. Also note how this reward is “in” heaven. So the Christian reward is not just going to heaven — it’s something Christians receive after they get to heaven.
I hope you are becoming interested in this reward. So let’s continue with Isaiah 64:4:
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him (KJV — also see I Corinthians 2:9).
Isaiah wrote about the reward God gives to those who wait on Him – people that are now called Christians. And according to Isaiah, this reward is so great that at the time he wrote this passage, it had never been perceived by the human mind!
So has your church told you about this reward? Probably not.
Unfortunately, Isaiah could only write in generalities. It would be over 700 years until Jesus revealed the true nature of this heavenly reward. But now that we have the teachings of Christ, we can piece together the ancient puzzle of what God promises to those who worship Him.
And once you get your arms around the rewards of being a Christian, you will find an eternal blessing so incredibly glorious, it will change the way you look at everything!
The “Unknown” Christian Calling
So why does God call Christians out of this evil world? And what is this “great” heavenly reward for Christians? Most churches teach that God rewards Christians by saving them from their sins through Christ’s sacrifice, then ushering them into heaven rather than Hell. What will Christians do in heaven? No one seems to know.
This modern doctrine states that Jesus had to die for just you. So even if you were the only created human being, Jesus would still have had to die. And because salvation is perceived to be all about you, most churches describe Jesus as your “personal” Savior.
To assist with your personal salvation, today’s churches have become high-tech centers of activity. Most incorporate multiple pastors, live music, video presentations, and the latest audio-visual effects. Worship services and activities are carefully designed to keep you interested, to keep you coming back, and to make sure you don’t fall away and become one of the lost.
Modern churches will teach you how to have a happy marriage and how to repair a bad one; they’ll instruct you on how to raise your children and have a good family; they’ll even show you how to be successful with your career and finances. And of course, these “personalized” teachings only reinforce the idea that Christ created His church to help you with your personal salvation.
So it never enters your mind that God might have called you for something beyond being saved.
3 — The Gospel Reveals Our Calling
Let’s move on to a different subject by reading Malachi 3:1 (KJV), where we find a prophecy about Jesus Christ:
Behold, I will send my messenger (John the Baptist), and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord (Jesus Christ), whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Malachi’s prophecy predicted how Jesus would bring a message. But what was that message? Did Jesus bring a message of personal salvation? Or was His message about something else?
The gospel of Jesus Christ (His message) changed the entire face of religion. It brought hope and transformation to a sinful world, while it dramatically changed the direction of peoples’ lives. Some who heard this message sacrificed everything they owned to share it with others. These 1st Century Christians discovered an incredible spiritual purpose — something that had never entered their minds.
And they learned that God was calling them to carry out a responsibility that today, few Christians know anything about.
Unlike the gospel messages heard today, Christ’s message was not about spiritual self-motivation. Neither was it about Christian fellowship, participating in church activities, how to have a successful marriage, or how to properly raise your children. And it was not about entertaining Christians at church once a week, in order to keep them from falling back into the world.
Think About This
Jesus brought a specific message for Christians. But you’ve probably never heard that message – because modern churches do not share it.
Why God Calls Christians
So why did God call you to become a Christian? We know that God offers us eternal life, but what will you be doing for all eternity? In heaven, you won’t need to eat or sleep. And there will be no need for exercise. Neither will you be required to work in order to pay for food and shelter.
So what will you do with all your free time?
Some Christians believe they will spend eternity praising and glorifying God – singing psalms and praises year after year, and century after century. And 100 million years from now, they’ll still be praising and singing, rather like some giant church choir that never sleeps, never eats — and apparently, never gets a day off.
Other Christians believe in something called the “beatific vision.” This belief embraces the idea that God saves us for the purpose of experiencing the joy and happiness of seeing Him face-to-face. Thus it’s claimed that resurrected Christians will be sitting around heaven for all eternity, experiencing some kind of “spiritual rush” from being in God’s presence.
But here’s the real truth: Most Christians don’t have a clue about what they will be doing in heaven.
And yet, Jesus did explain what His disciples will do in heaven — and in great detail. So isn’t it time you learned what your Lord said, so you can understand the purpose of your Christian calling?
4 — Jesus Explains the Calling
Today, the average Christian spends a great deal of time and energy worshiping and praising their Lord and Savior. But Jesus did not come to planet earth to be worshiped and praised. Did you know that?
Look at what our Lord said in Luke 22:27:
For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
Jesus did not seek worship and praise from His disciples. Instead, our Lord came to planet earth so He could serve others.
We can learn more about this “serving” concept in Matthew 20:20-21 & 24:
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”
And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.
Picture this situation: Jesus had called twelve apostles. But two of them — with a little help from their mother — wanted exalted positions above the others. So the remaining ten were indignant about this request.
So let’s read how Jesus responded in verses 25-28:
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Think About This
Once again, Jesus explained how He came to earth to serve others. But this time, He added something of profound importance: just like their Lord and Savior, God calls Christians to be dedicated to the service of others.
Let’s look at what Jesus said in John 5:17 (CEV):
My Father has never stopped working — and I work.
Here the English words “working” and “work” are translated from the Greek ἐργάζομαι. So I consulted several Greek lexicons (dictionaries) to make certain of what this word means. And each reference defined this word as work, toil, or labor at some task or occupation.
Therefore, God the Father and Jesus Christ are not lounging around heaven, listening to violins and accepting the worship and adoration of others. Instead, both of these great beings have occupations — and Jesus said their occupation is that of “serving” others.
And we just read how those in Christ’s church are called to do the same thing: to serve others.
5 — The Gospel Is An Invitation to Serve
The gospel of Jesus Christ reveals the eternal destiny of Christians. It tells us what Christians will be doing for all eternity. And as we have already seen, the Christian calling is deeply rooted in serving and helping others.
Yet modern Christianity preaches a different gospel — one which states that sinners have the possibility of repenting, being saved, and then going to heaven. So church-goers hear a lot about Christ’s sacrifice, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, and going to church. This modern gospel is all about how God can help you and other sinners get to heaven, rather than how you can help God execute His plan for humanity.
And this is why modern Christianity focuses on what Jesus has done for His disciples. Churches proclaim the greatness of Christ’s sacrifice. Jesus is worshiped in song and prayer. Signs and billboards proclaim how the Lord died so we could live; while uncountable sermons, books and movies graphically depict His suffering.
But there’s a problem: Christians have become so focused on Christ’s sacrifice, that they pay almost no attention His message — and they never learn what their Lord and Savior actually wants from them.
Christians Don’t Know the Gospel
Most Christians would be surprised to learn that Jesus hardly ever mentioned His sacrifice. In fact, the Bible records only three occasions where Jesus spoke of His future sacrifice. In Luke 9:44-45, Jesus privately told the disciples he would be delivered into the hands of men. But the disciples could not understand, because the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice was concealed from them. Then in John 10:17-20, Jesus mentioned his death to a crowd of Jews. But again, there was no understanding. Instead, the crowd’s response was to get into an argument over whether or not Jesus was demon possessed.
Then later near the end of his ministry, God allowed the disciples to understand what Jesus was saying. Matthew 16:21-22 and Mark 8:31-32 record the incident. But the disciples found the idea of Jesus dying so new and shockingly radical, that Peter actually argued with Jesus!
And here’s something else that may surprise you. Although the apostles baptized, Jesus seldom preached about baptism. And to the best of my knowledge, Mark 16:16 is the only passage in the New Testament where Jesus speaks of water baptism in the context of salvation.
Now I’m not suggesting that Christ’s sacrifice and water baptism are not important and necessary. But that being said, Scripture clearly shows that Jesus preached very little about these subjects. Instead, Jesus preached a different message — a gospel message very much unlike what Christians hear today.
And why do modern Christians hear a different gospel?
Because institutionalized Christianity has packaged-up the “process” of salvation, then substituted this process for the original gospel preached by Jesus.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Christ’s gospel reveals God’s ultimate purpose for Christians. In fact, this “purpose” is the core and essence of what Jesus taught. So let’s begin to learn why God calls Christians, by looking at passages that show what Jesus actually preached:
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23).
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness (Matthew 9:35).
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:14-15).
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17).
What gospel did Jesus preach?
The gospel (which means “good news”) of the Kingdom of God.
And for what reason did Jesus ask people to repent?
To prepare for the Kingdom of God.
Now read Matthew 3:1-2, which records what John the Baptist preached about repentance:
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
So understand: both Jesus and John preached a gospel about the Kingdom of God. And this gospel states that Christians must repent in order to enter the Kingdom. And in each of the passages cited above, the subject of personal salvation is not even mentioned.
The Apostles Preached the Same Gospel
Now let’s examine what the apostles preached:
These twelve (the apostles) Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (Matthew 10:5-7).
This is an especially informative passage, because here we find the specific “gospel” Jesus instructed His apostles to preach. And once again, Jesus mentioned nothing about personal salvation.
Now allow me to share some interesting statistics. In the NASB New Testament Bible, I located 19 occurrences where Jesus spoke about salvation. Yet I found 96 occurrences where our Lord spoke about God’s Kingdom. So Jesus spoke about the Kingdom five times more than He spoke about salvation!
The reality is that Jesus hardly ever preached about being saved. Instead, the Lord focused on preaching the gospel (which means “good news”) of the Kingdom of God.
Think About This
Christ’s gospel is not about His sacrifice and how it relates to your personal salvation.
The gospel of Jesus Christ — His “good news” — is that human beings can enter the Kingdom of God.
6 — Called to Serve
Therefore, God’s calling to repentance and salvation is just one part of a “process” that leads to and equips one for the ultimate Christian goal: an eternal life serving others in the Kingdom of God.
And I’m sure you noticed how I again used the phrase “serving others.” I did this because the Bible clearly shows that resurrected Christians will not be sitting around heaven and worshiping God.
Instead, God has a heavenly occupation for Christians — and it’s an occupation that is vitally important to God’s plan of salvation for human beings. But unless you know what that occupation is, most of your Christian calling — and what you experience as God trains you for that calling — will make little sense.
So let’s begin to explore this concept that salvation is a “process,” designed to lead us into service in the Kingdom of God. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We’ve all read this verse, and I’m sure you believe it.
But have you fully understood what Jesus meant?
When Jesus said “I am the way,” the Greek translated “way” can be accurately rendered with several different meanings100:
A road or highway
A journey or trip
The figurative path to some destination, such as when Jesus said, “go not into the way of the Gentiles”
A path of moral conduct, as when Christianity is defined as “a way of life”
But notice how in all of these cases, the word provides the mental image of traveling toward some destination or goal. And so when Jesus said “I am the way,” He literally meant that He is the road, the path, the journey, and model of moral conduct by which we reach some destination or goal.
Jesus is not the destination; instead, He’s the “path” we travel to reach our destination.
And please do not be offended by that statement. Because we just read over and over, how our Lord declared our Christian destination or goal to be the Kingdom of God.
So consider this analogy. If you drive across the United States from California to South Carolina on Interstate 40, your destination is not Interstate 40, it’s South Carolina. Yet without the interstate highway, you might get lost and never reach your destination. Therefore, you require the interstate highway in order to reach your destination.
And in the same manner — even though your Christian destination is the Kingdom of God — the way, road and moral path to the Kingdom is Jesus Christ. And without Jesus, His sacrifice, His teachings, and His leadership, there is no way to reach the Kingdom of God.
So if you want to reach the Kingdom, it’s mandatory that you accept and follow God’s “way” to the Kingdom — which is embodied by Christ’s example, teachings, and sacrifice.
Think About This
Institutionalized Christian religions have confused Christianity’s spiritual path (which is Christ), with the ultimate goal and purpose for the Christian calling, which is to serve in God’s Kingdom.
7 — The Christian Journey
God calls Christians to a great spiritual journey. And without any doubt, no one better understands how to succeed in this journey than Jesus Christ. And we just read how when traveling this spiritual journey, Jesus instructed His brothers and sisters to focus on the “purpose” for which God calls them: to prepare for the Kingdom of God.
But what will Christians be doing in the Kingdom? And why does our Lord consider this calling to the Kingdom greater than our personal salvation and eternal lives? We can begin to find the answers in a Biblical passage that records a heartfelt discussion between Jesus and His twelve disciples, the day before Jesus was executed.
The scene is the last Passover supper. In a matter of hours Jesus would be arrested, dragged through the streets, brutally tortured and then murdered. So if there ever was a time when the Lord wanted His followers to focus their attention on His extraordinary sacrifice, this was surely it. And indeed, Jesus did discuss the body and blood of His sacrifice, and how He wants His disciples to remember what He gave for them.
But then Jesus changed the subject and focused on something else. Luke 22:28-30 records what He said:
You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
You can bet your next paycheck that this got the apostles’ attention!
Remember, this conversation took place only hours before Jesus prayed in such agony that He sweat blood. It was one of the most crucial times our Lord’s human life. But at his critical juncture of His life, what did Jesus share with His disciples?
Did He go on and on about the greatness of His sacrifice?
Did Jesus remind the apostles of how they needed to repent and live holy lives?
id He reiterate the importance of the their personal salvation?
No, Jesus did none of these things.
Instead, He focused on the “purpose” for the apostle’s Christian calling: these men would sit on thrones in God’s Kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Think About This
Even though the apostles were given the job of spreading the gospel on earth, their true calling was to eventually rule in the Kingdom of God.
So try to put yourself in the place of these men. You have just spent over three years following the prophesied Messiah, as He preached the gospel of the Kingdom. But now the worst thing imaginable is about to happen: in a matter of hours, your Lord and Savior will be executed to appease the Jewish religious authorities.
Certainly you are shocked and stunned, as you begin to realize that Jesus really is leaving you behind. From now on, there will be no divine Savior to protect you from unbelievers, Jewish religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers. You feel lost, worried and scared, as you wonder how you can go on without the miracle-working security of Jesus walking alongside.
So Jesus shares something to keep you going — a spectacular vision of your future in heaven — something to keep you focused on your spiritual goal in the Kingdom of God.
But note these points:
Jesus says nothing about their personal salvation. Neither does He remind them of their need to repent, obey God, and live a holy life.
Instead, the Lord reiterates His gospel message: the good news of the Kingdom of God — and specifically what they will be doing in that spiritual Kingdom.
They will be sitting on thrones, ruling over God’s Kingdom!
8 — Promises for All Disciples
The promise Jesus made to His apostles was fabulous: to sit on a heavenly throne in the Kingdom of God, ruling over the Israelite nations. But did you know that Jesus has similar promises for all Christians?
So let’s begin to discover these promises by reading I Peter 2:2-3, where the apostle addresses ordinary Christians — those who are traveling the “way” of Jesus Christ, moving toward their spiritual goal in the Kingdom of God:
Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord (KJV).
Peter told ordinary Christians they must “grow” in respect to salvation. But salvation for what purpose? For an eternal life of ease and relaxation in heaven? Or was Peter saying that Christians must grow for another reason?
Peter provides the answer in the next verses:
And coming to Him (Christ) as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:4-5).
Peter wrote that average, ordinary Christians are destined to be part of a special holy priesthood that will be responsible for offering up spiritual sacrifices to God.
Think About This
Of course, you’ve never heard any of this at your church – because preachers want you to believe they are Christ’s spiritual priesthood.
So who will you believe: Your pastor? Or the apostle Peter?
So let’s continue with what Peter wrote in I Peter 2:9:
But you (Christians) are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Peter wrote that God’s people — common, ordinary Christians — are specially called and chosen to be part of a royal priesthood, whose function (occupation) is to proclaim God’s excellencies. And here the Greek means moral goodness.
So let’s examine the phrase “royal priesthood.” The original Greek translated into the English “royal” means kingly. And thus ordinary Christians – people like you and me – will be part of a priesthood that functions as priests and kings in God’s Kingdom.
And is this not precisely what Jesus told His apostles, the day before He was crucified?
Can This Really Be True?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Oh come on now, you can’t get all that out of just two verses.” And that’s a fair observation. But there’s a lot more we’ve yet to cover on this subject.
So let’s continue with Revelation 1:4-6:
John to the seven churches which are in Asia …
Here John was writing to Christian churches, sharing a message designed specifically for Christ’s disciples. Let’s continue:
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (KJV)101.
Revelation is a book of prophecy. And in the same manner as what Peter wrote, this prophecy describes how Christians are destined to be God’s kings and priests in the Kingdom of God!
Let’s now read Matthew 25:14-15, where Jesus elaborates on His servants ruling over others.
“For it (the Kingdom of Heaven; see verse 1) is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.” To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.”
This parable is about servants who were given “talents.” The 1st Century talent was a measure of weight that amounted to approximately 75 pounds. Typically, the talent was used to measure the weight of precious metal coins.
In April of 2017, a talent’s weight of silver was valued at $18,966. While the same weight in gold was valued at $1,385,559.
Thus the Master entrusted his servants with fabulous sums of money!
Now focus on the phrase “each according to his own ability.” The Greek translated into the English “ability” specifically means miraculous power. And within the New Testament, this word is used dozens of times to refer to the miracle working power of God and His angels – which suggests that Jesus was talking about the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit.
So the Lord’s servants (Christians) are given something of great value, according to the amount of the Holy Spirit they possessed. Then the Lord asks His servants to build upon what they had been given for something in the future.
Let’s continue with Matthew 25:16-21 (KJV):
Then he that had received the five talents (something of great value) went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money (this man didn’t want to build upon the spiritual gifts Christ gave to him).
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Did you notice that the “joy” of the Lord — the servant’s reward — was rulership?
Now continue with Matthew 25:22-23 (KJV):
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
And so again, the servant’s reward was rulership. And to confirm that Jesus was talking about Christians becoming rulers in the Kingdom of God, we only need to read what He said in Revelation 2:26-27:
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron …
Are You Finding This Hard to Believe?
Even if you’ve been a Christian for many decades, you’ve probably never heard any of this before. It would be most unusual for a church to tell its members they will rule over God’s Kingdom. And if preachers were to tell their congregation they are God’s kings and priests in training, the members might start asking where the preacher got his authority!
So is this doctrine of Christians ruling in the Kingdom really true? Psalm 118:8 contains a Biblical principle that will allow you to answer this question:
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
According to the Bible, it’s unwise to place your trust in what human beings tell you. Real spiritual security can be found only in the words of Jesus Christ. Therefore, before you accept that you’re going to be a king or priest in God’s Kingdom, you should demand to see rock-solid biblical evidence proving this assertion is factual. An interpretive parable might not be sufficient evidence. And the thoughts of the apostles may not be accurate. And even though we have seen one affirmative statement by Jesus, the Lord suggests that every fact should be established by two or three witnesses (Matthew 18:16).
So we need one more simple and unambiguous statement — directly from God — that clearly announces “Christians will rule in the Kingdom of God.”
So let’s go back to the Book of Revelation, but this time to Chapter 3. If you’re looking for another statement — directly from God — on whether or not Christians will rule in the Kingdom, this is where you will find it.
In this passage, Jesus makes a promise to those who overcome Satan. And since only Christians can overcome the Devil, we know this promise was made to Christ’s disciples. Read Revelation 3:21:
He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Think About This
You just read the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord, Savior and The Word of God. And according to Jesus, if you overcome Satan and grow as a Christian, your eternal destiny is to sit with Him on His throne, ruling over the Kingdom of God!
9 — The Destiny of Christ’s Church
It’s my hope that you have begun to see the marvelous truth of how God calls Christians to be eternally-living kings and priests, ruling over a heavenly Kingdom. Yet there’s a great deal more to Christ’s message we have not yet discussed. So let’s continue.
The apostle James wrote something you may have never heard or read:
Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5).
According to James, those who are rich in faith — and this can only mean Christians — will inherit God’s Kingdom! And with great certainty, the Greek translated into the English “heirs” literally means an heir or inheritor.
Now read what Jesus said to His disciples (Christians) in Matthew 5:3:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
So Jesus agreed with James: the Kingdom of God belongs to the poor in spirit (but rich in faith; i.e., Christians).
Now look at what our Lord said about His “sheep”, which again refers to Christians:
All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:32-34).
And finally, read what Jesus said about His Church in Luke 12:32:
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the Kingdom.
Think About This
The above are the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior and the Word of God. And according to Jesus, resurrected Christians will not just rule over God’s Kingdom, they will actually take possession of and literally own the Kingdom of God!
10 — The Bride and Her Kingdom
So consider the destiny of Christ’s Bride, that collection of individuals who accept and work at God’s calling to be Christians:
They will be kings and priests who rule over the Kingdom of God.
They will sit with Jesus on His throne.
They will inherit and actually own the Kingdom, which God the Father will give to them as their eternal possession.
Yet one question remains: Why does God grant all of these blessings to Christ’s Church? Is the Father rewarding Christians for their obedience and work at overcoming human nature?
Or is there some other reason?
God’s Purpose for Christ’s Bride
We’ve now come to the point where we can identify God’s ultimate purpose for Christ’s Bride (the Church), along with the eternal occupation God assigns to those He calls to be Christians.
Look at Revelation 22:17:
The Spirit (Christ) and the bride (the resurrected church) say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
If you read Volume 3 (God Promised to Save Everyone) of Executed to Suppress His Message, you learned how God intends to offer salvation to every human being whom has ever lived on planet earth.
And yet, God does not do this by Himself. As we just read in Revelation 22:17:
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
Christ’s Bride — the new owners of the Kingdom of God — will be busy helping her Husband fulfill an important promise:
I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance (Isaiah 45:23).
Think About This
Almost 3,000 years ago, God promised salvation to every human being who has ever lived on planet earth. And it’s Christ’s Bride — resurrected Christians — who will help her Husband fulfill this promise!
11 — The Glory of the Kingdom
Isaiah 9:6-7 contains a prophecy that possibly more than any other, explains what God has called Christians to do:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government [Hebrew: empire] and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (KJV).
Try to stretch your imagination and grasp what this prophecy foretells:
God has called average, ordinary Christians to govern an eternal heavenly Kingdom that will never stop growing!
So if you are a born-again Christian, it will be you — yes you — who will own, manage and spread judgment and justice throughout this spiritual Kingdom that will grow forever without end. As part of Christ’s Bride, you will be given wisdom, power, prestige, and glory. And throughout all eternity, you will have joyful challenges to keep your life interesting.
Notice how Psalm 16:11 describes this joyful eternal life:
You will make known to me the path of life (what Jesus teaches); In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand (where the Chief Priest, the Bride’s Husband sits) there are pleasures forever.
The “way” of Jesus Christ — the spiritual path that leads to ruling in the Kingdom of God — will produce challenges and pleasures that will endure for all eternity. And the more you study this topic, the more promises you will find.
Let’s now read Daniel 12:3 for yet another promise to those who are part of Christ’s Bride:
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Let’s also add what Jesus said in Matthew 13:43:
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let the person who has ears listen!"
Who shines like the sun and stars, full of limitless spiritual power? Those who lead many to righteousness — which is precisely what Christ’s Bride will be doing in her Kingdom!
The Desire to Rule
There’s something within every man and woman that wants to conquer his or her environment. And so throughout history, people like Napoleon and Alexander the Great fantasized about conquering and ruling over the world. And even today, many entertain themselves with imaginary tales like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, where people acquire great powers to rule over the universe.
But Christianity is not a dream or fantasy — and neither is your Christian calling.
The Scriptures reproduced within this volume may sound like science fiction; yet if you are a born-again member of Christ’s Church, nothing is more “real” than the fact that God created you to rule over His creation.
Therefore as a Christian and disciple of Jesus Christ, your spiritual calling goes far beyond your personal salvation: for God specially chose and called you to play an essential role in the salvation and eternal destiny of all whom have ever lived.
Let’s read about this in Romans 8:19-21 from the American Standard Version:
For the anxious longing of the creation (everything God has made) waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God … in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Think About This
God has given His spiritual children (born-again Christians) the responsibility for correcting all the wrongs within His creation. And that’s not just ruling over and controlling planet earth — that’s ruling over and controlling everything that exists!
The Power and Authority of Christ’s Bride
In His first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul reminded 1st Century Christians of certain things they had previously known, but apparently had forgotten. Yet today, most Christians have never even heard what Paul shared with these brethren.
So let’s read what Paul wrote:
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? (I Corinthians 6:2-3).
Do you remember how Jesus told His apostles they would be sitting on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel? So who will God use to judge the rest of humanity?
Paul just told you.
Now look at I Corinthians 6:3, where we find another responsibility that God assigns to Christians:
Know ye not that we shall judge angels?
Millions of rebellious angels need to be reconciled back to God — and this verse suggests that God will accomplish this with the help of Christ’s Bride.
Are you beginning to understand what it means to be a Christian?
Christians: Called to an Occupation
Dear reader, I ask you to carefully and thoughtfully read through Revelation 19:7-9 & 11-16:
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'”
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God (Jesus Christ). And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
[Question: Who are these armies?]
From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
[Question: Did you notice how these armies help Christ rule?]
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Dear reader, please allow me to ask a favor of you. Please obtain a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Then write down the last part of verse 16: “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”
Now take your piece of paper and cross out the word “kings.” Then above it, write your name. Now cross out the word “Lords.” Then again, write your name.
Now read what you wrote — and never forget what you just read.
Because this is the reason God called you to be a Christian!
Christians: Called to Serve
In Chapter 10 we read a promise God made in Isaiah 45:22-23. And as you might remember, this promise was so important that God swore by Himself to perform it.
Here is that same promise in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible:
I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved.
I alone am God! No others are real. I have made a solemn promise, one that won’t be broken:
Everyone will bow down and worship me.
Try to visualize what is being described here: tens of billions of people bowing down to Jesus Christ for the first time in their lives. Most of these people will be frightened. They will need someone to put an arm around them, explain what is happening, show them what a loving God is like, and then teach them their eternal destiny in the Kingdom of God.
And if you are a Christian — and if you really are a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ — then God has called you to help and care for these billions of people.
Jesus has given you the greatest opportunity and eternal adventure ever imaginable:
He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
12 — God Honors Christ’s Church
So far, our discussion has focused on God giving the Kingdom to Christ’s Bride, along with how the collective Bride will serve as eternal kings and priests who will rule over their Kingdom. But now we come to the spectacular conclusion of this story: the incredible honor and glory God the Father gives to Christ’s Bride. And even though it may seem hard to believe, this special status overshadows everything else the Father has promised to Christ’s Church.
Let’s begin to discover this special honor and glory by reviewing John 17:11, where our Lord was praying to God the Father on behalf of His apostles. Here Jesus describes a deeply intimate relationship between the Father, Himself, and the apostles — a relationship that literally defies the imagination:
I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves (the apostles) are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
Jesus explained how He and God the Father are spiritually one: one in Spirit, one in mind, and one in purpose. Then He went on to request that God would grant this same “oneness” to His apostles.
Now let’s continue with John 17:20-23 and read what Jesus said next:
I do not ask on behalf of these alone (the apostles), but for those also who believe in Me through their word …
that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in us …
so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them …
that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity …
There’s a lot of information in these verses, so let’s carefully consider them.
First, Jesus asked that every Christian would share the same intimate spiritual oneness that He and God the Father possess. But then Jesus went on to state that His disciples had already received the same glory that He and the Father have. And finally, Jesus prayed that His entire Church would be forever one with both of these great beings.
Then a few years later, the apostle Paul documented how the Father had honored the Lord’s request:
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).
Therefore if you are a born-again Christian, the following is true:
Now let’s read John 14:23, where we find our Lord’s explanation of what it means to be “one” with God:
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
And here the Greek translated “abode” means a residence.
The New Covenant — A New House for God
Under the Old Covenant, God resided in the Tabernacle, and then later in the Temple. However, under the New Covenant, God does not dwell in physical structures. Notice what the Bible says about the New Covenant House of God:
Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we (Christians) are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end (Hebrews 3:5-6).
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15 — KJV).
The author of Hebrews and the apostle Paul both shared the news that God has moved into a new house: and this new house is the collective members of Christ’s Church.
Paul further explained this amazing event in Ephesians 2:19-22:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
So please understand:
Once the New Covenant began with Christ’s resurrection, God moved out of physical tabernacles and temples, and made His eternal home inside the members of Christ’s Church!
The Prophesied Spiritual Building
In Isaiah 28:16, the prophet wrote:
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion (one of God’s names for Christ’s Church) a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
Then in Ephesians 2:20, the apostle Paul tells us what this foundational “cornerstone” is:
… having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone …
Our great God is currently constructing a new spiritual building, with the cornerstone of this building being Jesus Christ. Now read what I Peter 2:4-5 adds about this spiritual building:
And coming to Him (Christ) as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Thus on top of the foundational corner stone of Jesus Christ, the rest of God’s spiritual building is being constructed with the “living stones” of born-again Christians. And here in the Greek, the phrase “being built up” is a verb in the present tense. Therefore God’s new home is still under construction, because God is still adding Christians to Christ’s Church.
Think About This
Not only does God call Christians to rule over and actually own the Kingdom of God. But far beyond all these fantastic spiritual blessings, the Bride of Christ will be God the Father’s permanent residence — His eternal home!
God’s Purpose for His New Home
Let’s go back to John 17:21-23, where Jesus talked about how He and God the Father are making their home within Christians. But this time, let’s focus on the part that tells us “why” God desires such an intimate relationship with Christ’s Church:
… that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me (John 17:21-23).
And now you know God’s primary reason for making His spiritual home inside the Bride of Christ:
God’s eternal presence within Christ’s Bride will empower her with the love, wisdom and passion she needs to inspire the entire creation to know, believe and follow Her Husband, thereby bringing the opportunity of salvation and eternal life to everyone.
Finally, let’s look at these passages:
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind (Isaiah 65:17).
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new …” (Revelation 21:5).
Think About This
God has a great plan to restore a fallen universe. And God is executing His plan through the members of Christ’s Church!
The Glory of God’s New Home
In Isaiah 28:16, we saw how God calls His new spiritual home “Zion.” And we find this same terminology in Psalms 132:13-14:
For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. "This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
And then through the prophet Isaiah, God makes a fabulous promise to Zion, Christ’s Church:
Thus says the Lord GOD (regarding Zion — see Isaiah 49:14) …
And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet; And you will know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame (Isaiah 49:22-23).
You just read the ultimate destiny of those who are called to be Christians.
But will you believe what God said?
13 — A Change in Perspective
Allow me to suggest some new ways to look at your Christian calling:
Jesus declared that “God is Love.” And the Lord said we should love our enemies and do good to them which hate us, because this is what God the Father does.
Contrary to the doctrines of most Christian churches, the Creator God has a plan to heal and save all of His creation and most of His enemies.
Humanity is not a teeming mass of lost souls, all sold into the slavery of sin and facing eternal torment in Hell without any hope of repentance and salvation. The reality is that humanity — all of it — is the raw material God will use to create billions of spiritual children who will populate an eternal Kingdom that will never, ever stop growing.
The Christian religion is not God’s desperate attempt to save a few percent of the world’s population from the influence of Satan. Instead, Christianity is the first step in God’s glorious plan to save and redeem His entire creation.
So as a Christian, you are not some lucky individual who just happened to stumble upon Christ’s gospel, then decided to accept a God that most people do not even acknowledge to exist. Instead, you are a specially chosen and highly-honored person — someone God has called to be a king and priest in the never-ending spiritual reality called the Kingdom of God. And the life you live today, with its joys and disappointments, is the training ground where God is giving you the knowledge, experience and wisdom you will need to rule in that Kingdom.
Therefore as Christians, we should be forever thankful that the greatest power in the universe possesses such incredible love, kindness and mercy!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved.
I alone am God! No others are real.
I have made a solemn promise, one that won’t be broken:
Everyone will bow down and worship me.
— Isaiah 45:22-23 (CEV)
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14 — Footnotes
100 Reference: Walter Bauer’s A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Second Edition, pages 553-555, see Greek word ὁδός
101 There is some debate among theologians over whether the Greek βασιλεία should be translated into the English “king” or “kingdom” (the word can mean either). The answer to which translation is correct can be found in Revelation 3:21, where Jesus states how those who overcome (Christians) will “sit down with Me on My throne”; i.e., they will be kings. Also see Revelation 2:26-27, where Jesus states those who overcome will be given authority to rule over the nations.
15 — Scripture References
John 6:44:45 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
John 6:65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
I Corinthians 2:9 but just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have no entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him."
Luke 9-44:45 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men." But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
John 10:17-20 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father. A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?"
Matthew 16:21-22 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."
Mark 8:31-32 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Matthew 18:16 Matthew 18:16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
Isaiah 49:14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me."
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D. A. Taylor
D. A. Taylor
Copyright 2016 by D. A. Taylor
Prepared on 05/07/23 at 07:44:39 PM
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