THE ROAD TO GLORY
So, understanding that we are to be a complete revelation of Jesus in the world and that
only those who "overcome" in this Age will be
ready for the work the Lord has planned for us in the Millennial Age to
come, let us now consider the process of preparation.
Leading up to us ruling with Jesus are twelve steps. These are the twelve
basic steps of Christian faith. If we are to be fully prepared for God's
Purpose we must go through every one of these steps. There are no short
cuts. They are as follows:
"LOST": In the world without Jesus we are in the "kingdom
of darkness" and totally lost. "All have sinned and fallen short of the
glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
Even "if we say that we have not sinned we deceive ourselves and the truth
is not in us." (1 John 1:8). There is no hope for those who are lost in
the kingdom of darkness, and death is all there is. Satan has ensured that
no one leaves his kingdom alive.
"CALLED": Jesus said, "You have not chosen me but I have
chosen you" (John 15:16) and he has sent his faithful disciples out into
the kingdom of darkness to "call us to himself" (Matthew 28:19-20).
"CONVICTED": Jesus said," When he (the Holy Spirit) comes,
he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment" (John
16:8-11). Jesus has died to open the way for us to be free from sin. But
how do we know that we are sinners? We have no standard to judge by. What
is righteousness? God provides an answer through the Holy Spirit. By presenting
us with a "standard " to compare ourselves to (the ten commandments), the
Spirit shows us that we "have fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans
3:23) and draws us to God's mercy. Only then can we truly appreciate the
work of the Cross. Only from the depth of our wretchedness can we fully
appreciate what Jesus went through for us and the wonderful "grace" God
has shown to us. The Holy Spirit, by convicting us of our sin, draws us
to the cross of Christ.
"REPENTANCE": When the Holy Spirit holds up the mirror of
perfection to our sin we see ourselves as we truly are, sinners. Then we
cry from the heart "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God" (Psalm 51). God's
eternal answer is " if the wicked will turn from his sin.... he shall not
die. All his sins shall not be mentioned to him" (Ezekiel 18:21-23). God
has no desire that sinners should die, but he would rather they repented
of their sin and came to a new life in Christ.
"NEW BIRTH": "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Those who are called to be a part of the Church
are called to be "partakers of the Divine Nature" (2 Peter 1:4). The "new
birth" is for the purpose of changing us from the "human nature" to the
"Divine Nature". This lines up with other teaching in the New Testament
for we are told that "flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of
God" (1 Corinthians 15:50). When we ask Jesus to be our Lord our old human
nature is crucified with Him on the cross and God raises up His Divine
Nature in us. This is the power of His resurrection working within us.
"SPIRIT BAPTISM": John the Baptist
said "I truly baptise you in water, but he who comes after me.... will
baptise you in the Holy Spirit and with fire" (Matthew 3:11). Jesus said,
" When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be anointed with power
and you will be my witnesses... throughout the world" (Acts 1:8). The Holy
Spirit is the third member of the God head. He is the same as the Father
and the Son. He comes to continue the work that Jesus began. He comes to
make God known to us and establish our new relationship with Him as His
sons. The baptism in the Spirit is the "anointing" from Jesus which makes
us a part of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). It is also the
impartation of the gifts and power of Christ (John
"BAPTISM OF FIRE": The baptism of
fire is when our lives are immersed into the fire of adversity to test
if it is built on the truth of God or our own frail human efforts (1 Corinthians
3:13 - 15).
"FRUIT": God is looking for character
in us. Everything that we go through is for a purpose. It is so that we
might grow in character and stature in the things of Christ (Ephesians
4:11-16). God wants to develop "fruit" in our lives. These things grow
in us through our experience of the grace of God in ALL circumstances.
God is calling a people of character, not a people of "power". God has
all the power He needs to do what ever He wants. What He needs are people
who will be able to reign with Jesus in His Kingdom. This requires character,
drive and a sense of enduring purpose even under the most difficult conditions.
"MINISTRY": When Jesus ascended into heaven he cast
down the Holy Spirit to his disciples so that they could continue the
work he began (Matthew 25:14-30). We are called to do all the things which
Jesus did and even greater things (John 14:12). This is our "ministry".
"THE RAPTURE": Because we are the
"first fruit" of God's purpose, we are special to God. Just as the first
fruit of the land was taken into the temple as an offering to the Lord
(Deuteronomy 26:2-4), we shall be taken into the heavenly temple (1 Thessalonians
4:16-18) as an offering, "acceptable to the Lord" (Romans 12:1).
"RULE": This is God's ultimate plan for us, that the saints
may judge all things in both heaven and on earth (I Corinthians 6:2-3).
Through the saints, God will "gather together in
one, all things in Christ, both in heaven and on earth" (Ephesians