Continued from previous issue
HEAVEN FOR ANOINTED CHRISTIANS
IF people have the knowledge of the truth that the Kingdom of God is purposed to be fully established not only in heaven but also on this earth, they will not scramble for heaven. In the Holy Bible it is revealed that the majority of the human race who will receive the grace of life shall be made to inhabit the earth in God’s Kingdom while only a few Christians of a distinguished class will be in heaven. This is God’s own arrangement, and it is not open to question.
It is regrettable that many who profess to be Christian teachers take pleasure in feeding their flocks with stone instead of bread. They put aside the word of God in the Bible and go about preaching “the imagination and deceit of their heart”. There is no iota of truth in the teaching that all good Christians go to heaven when they die.
Some teachers step further to add that even irresponsible, careless christians and people from different walks of life and from opposing faiths, are all there in heaven. D.L. Moody, in his booklet entitled, HEAVEN and how to get there! wrote: “Among the good whom we hope to meet in heaven, we are told, there will be variety of character, taste, and disposition… There are not only three gates on the north, but on the east three gates, and on the west three gates, and on the south three gates. From opposite divisions of the theological compass, from opposing standpoints of the religious world, from different quarters of human life and character, through various expressions of their common faith and hope, through diverse modes of conversion, through different portions of the Holy Scriptures, will the weary travelers enter the Heavenly City…Moreover, it seems highly probable, indeed I think it is clearly taught by Scripture, that a great many careless Christians will get into heaven.” (Page 31- 32,37)
Man being what he is, a sinful mortal, finds it easier to swallow false doctrine than to accept the truth of God. The reason is that false teachings agree with the sinful nature and carnal desires of men and therefore give them comfort and even the hope that in doing their own will, in worshipping other gods and serving divers lusts, they will still have a place in heaven! This is why false visionaries and prophets thrive – though only but for a time. (Proverbs. 12: 19, 22) God Himself said: “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof.” – Jeremiah 5: 30-31.
To say that heaven is a place for people “from opposite divisions of the theological compass, from opposing standpoints of the religious world, from different quarters of human life and character” and so forth, is as irresponsible as it is unscriptural. Such a teaching presents the purpose of God as having no uniformity or harmony. Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the troth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14: 6) All those in the Way of Truth and Life are never opposed to one another neither are they divided in faith.
What is more, St. Paul stated: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” – Ephesians 4:4,5.
We made it abundantly clear in The Weekly Sermon of last Sunday that it is only the anointed Christians who make up the Little Flock that will be with Jesus Christ in his kingdom in heaven. Such ones who are predestinated and called to be Christ’s servants must devote their lives to the work of winning souls to him through the preaching of the gospel. To them, in particular, he gave the command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” – Matthew 28: 19, 20; Luke 18:18-30.
Concerning the distinguished Christians of the heavenly calling. St. Paul wrote: “For whom He (God) did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” – Romans 8: 29,30; see also Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11.
The twelve apostles of Jesus Christ who received the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost are the foundation members of the Little Flock. Thereafter, others were chosen both from among Jews and non-Jews. St. Paul himself who was chosen to be of this class, said: “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it. And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, To REVEAL HIS SON IN ME, THAT I MIGHT PREACH HIM AMONG THE HEATHEN: immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” – Galatians 1: 13-17.
The number of the anointed Christians who constitute the cabinet of Jesus Christ was revealed to St. John as 144,000 and they are said to be chosen from among the people of God on earth symbolized by the twelve tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7: 1-4) St. John further said: “And I looked and lo, a Lamb (that is, Christ – John 1: 29) stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” – Revelation 14: 1-5.
To be blind still, in spite of the foregoing, to the truth of God’s purpose relating to the Christians who are “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” is damnable.
No one can force himself into the class of the anointed ones. It belongs only to those who are predestinated and called by God. He (God Almighty) is the God of law and order. “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Hebrews 5: 4) And St. James stated: “Of His (God’s) own will begat He us with the word of truth that we should be a kind of FIRSTFRUITS of HIS creatures.” – James. 1: 18.
When the mother of Zebedee’s children went to Jesus Christ, she requested him to grant that her two sons “may sit, the one on thy (Christ’s) right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom”. Jesus told her: “Ye know not what you ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” At that stage, her two sons answered: “We are able.” But Christ said: “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” – Matthew 20: 20-23.
The Bible clearly shows that none of the anointed Christians would go to heaven before Christ’s second presence. And before they are taken to heaven they must be changed to spirits like Christ who was resurrected a Spirit. (1 Peter 3: 18) Said St. Paul who is also one of them: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” – Philippians 3: 20, 21; see also 1 Corinthians 15: 48-53; 2 Corinthians 5: 1-5.
Furthermore, John the apostle said: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he (Christ) shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” – 1 John 3: 2,3,
From these plain scriptures we can as well see the futility in the teaching that Mary, the mot her of Christ, went to heaven body and soul. The human body otherwise known as the “natural body” is meant for this earth and not heaven. Said St. Paul: “”As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we (Paul and others of his class) have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…” – 1 Corinthians 15: 48-53.
Notwithstanding the fact that the ancient prophets and other holy men and women showed a high degree of faith in their days, it is God’s unquestionable will that the anointed Christians should hold a higher position in His holy organisation. St. Paul, having outlined in Hebrews chapter 11, how those great men and women of old including Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Rahab and others demonstrated their faith, he stated in verses 39 and 40, to wit: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us (Anointed Christians) should not be made perfect.”
John the Baptist
Great as John the Baptist was, Jesus pointed out that the least among the “Little Flock” or his anointed followers who are for the heavenly realm holds a higher position than he. Said Jesus Christ: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11) This shows that John the Baptist and those before him are not for the kingdom of heaven.
We must make it plain that it is not only the 144,000 anointed Christian that will be saved. The point is that they only will be in heaven. But all other faithful men and women woo will be saved will inherit God’s Kingdom on earth in endless peace and happiness like those in heaven. God does not make heaven for everybody; it is for Himself and a selected few as already explained. The Psalmist said: “The heavens, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” – Psalm 115: 16.
Those who are teaching that the time is coming when the earth will not be in existence are false prophets. The earth will remain forever but the evil things in it shall be destroyed. “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh”, said Solomon the prophet, “but the earth abideth forever.” – Ecclesiastes 1: 4; Isaiah 26: 20, 21.
God made this earth to be inhabited by men who will praise Him and do His will. This purpose must be accomplished. As it is written: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established It, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” – Isaiah 45: 12. 18.
The Lord’s Prayer
If only people understand the Lord’s Prayer, they will not itch for heaven. We say: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” If the kingdom comes to the earth and God’s will is done here as it is in heaven is there any need to struggle to go to heaven? And if all the good are going to heaven, who will be in the kingdom when it comes to the earth?
It is a wonderful favour and blessing to be on the earth in God’s Kingdom. And Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek: for the, shall inherit the earth.” He did not say the meek shall inherit heaven but the earth in confirmation of the psalm of David which reads: “… But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37: 9-11) If we understand this to be the will of God, as indeed it is, then it amounts to stubbornness for any of the meek to insist on going to heaven.
God has promised to make new not only the heavens, but also the earth according to Isaiah 65: 17 and Revelation 21: 1,2. Both the New Heavens and the New Earth – THE WORLD WITHOUT END – will be filled with inhabitants and righteousness according to God’s purpose and arrangement. Jesus Christ, the anointed Christians or Saints redeemed from the earth, and the holy angels will be in heaven with its Creator and Possessor – the Almighty God. But all other faithful men and women who receive the grace and justification of life will dwell on earth. St. Peter, having this understanding stated: “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” – 2 Peter 3: 13.
From this Sermon, as some have already confessed, many an honest reader now know the truth of this doctrine. For no room is left for doubt that heaven is not for all the faithful.
Blessed are they that believe.