Blogging for the Kingdom of God
(December 11-12, 2008)
blog posts & e-mail excerpta and so on:
I went info fishing for a few weeks getting into debates at various blogs and via e-mail exchanges with several seminary-trained pastors about the idea of some believers being called "overcomers" or "joint-heirs with Christ" and thus being rewarded accordingly, while many other believers, (living carnal & unfaithful lives), will surely suffer loss, (these are also by faith being saved and an heir of God BUT not a joint-heir with Christ, therefore not ready, not mature for all the inheritance responsibility of the coming kingdom), and these saved-but-carnal will receive stern but loving discipline from the Lord. Many scriptures supporting these ideas are in both the Old and New Testament. These same scriptures have been debated, squeezed into religious dogma, ignored, and many times glossed over because of the difficulties they present to the traditional Christian mind-set. Careful reading, free of textural abuse interpretation, and humility will allow anyone to discover these precious truths that most of mainline Christianity NEVER teach about. This teaching of overcoming will really shake the faith-roots of any open-minded, God-fearing believer into a repentant heart and thus allow a freshly balanced perspective on salvation and rewards.
What follows are some quotes from e-mails and blogs where I attempted to reason with these aforementioned pastors.
Like I have said before, (elsewhere to pastor George Zeller), the overcomer/ rewards theology/ millennial exclusion teaching, as a former fundamentalist baptist staff member is NOT something I looked for nor saw in the word, until it was shared with me over 25 years ago.
I have watched the lives since then of many of those dear saints who live according to these teachings and by their fruits ye shall know them. These men and women ARE different. They live very simple, holy lives and are 110% dedicated to the Lord God. It is as if Christ himself and the humility of the knowledge of the Lord God is so full and overflowing in their lives. I am speaking now of Stephen Kaung, Lance Lambert, Hosea Wu, Dana Congdon, Ernie Hile and some very close older brothers and sisters I still keep in touch with. I meet, and drink in, … Jesus … so very vitally amongst these “overcomers”. It is very hard to describe this however but when folks bask in the Lord daily — it shows or I should say He shows. . . .
It is amazing how many teachers, preachers, pastors and parishoners have in essence NO sanctified walk with Jesus. They just do the church gig and very little of Christ is seen week to week. This is a tragedy!
Where is the devout worship and a holy awareness and glorification of the God of the Universe of loving praise to the Lord Jesus?
He is lost in our quarterlies, lost in sermonettes and touching guidepost-anecdotal stories, lost in much busy-ness, this programmed activity, that special help class, and yet one more business meeting. I have rejected the invitaiton and nomination to be a deacon twice because I refuse to be part of the same-olde dead religious hierarchal system ... Jesus has NO headship ... no place for Him to be solely worshipped in Spirit and truth. It is the same sad story all over the planet where churchianity reigns. The pastor runs the whole show and Jesus has very little say . . .
Can you say Nico-laitian-ism? Reformed Theology almost got it right . . . but left too much Catholicism in place.
Churchianity has eclipsed the presence of the Lord. We have all our answers pre-packaged, all our theology and tradition spoon-fed to us as gospel, reams of books to make us feel confident as believers and firm in the aspects of the faith we find comfortable.
BUT WHO IS LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD ANYMORE??
Very few honor His word and what it is REALLY saying. Very few care to step outside the box, move outside of our rutted paradigms and go out to meet the REAL Jesus instead of the idol of Him we have embraced. We make our age-olde, man-inspired teachings and doctrines into idolatry if the Spirit shows us a new thing of Him and we decide to refuse to listen to Him. This is very dangerous ground!
And so many critics ask, “What is an overcomer anyway?” Some elite, special group? No. Will the entire Church/Body of Christ all as one be glorified and come to fullness and reap the glory of God in eternity? Yes! Will the Body of Christ all be fully made into His likeness and know Him? Yes! Does he promise rewards to us. Yes. Does he promise to be with and help us all? Yes. So, what is an overcomer anyway? Is an overcomer like the self-righteous Pharisee?
The word clearly warns believers about a coming kingdom and being ready for it. This earthly kingdom is NOT salvation or eternity. It is a literal entity that will exist physically, here on the Earth, subject to this planet’s time and space. The Lord warns believers about this very special time in Earth’s future history, a literal fulfillment of His prophecies to Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Paul, the prophets, Paul, the Church of Jew and Gentiles, tribulational saints too — all are invited and urged to rise to ALL this kingdom offers. An overcomer SEES this place and SEES the Lord as the Servant King Overcomer/Conqueror and Lord and in this life, in the HERE & NOW, lives daily as if this kingdom is even at the gates, and this Kingdom’s Rule dictates their lives daily. That coming King is their absolute sovereign king right now, today and tomorrow. That is what drives an overcomer.
Overcomers are not people who view themselves as inherently righteous or more righteous than the next bloke. Overcomers are people that have in essence given up all hope on securing their own righteousness.
Overcomers set aside all hope of living righteously on their own strength by their “giving up” on their own self-righteous flesh/soul and thus turn by faith to a daily cross of obedience by acknowledging that only by Christ in them, by absolute denial of self and cooperating humbly with the sanctifying Spirit of God will they ever see the sanctification God wants.
Overcomers have finally taken a total reality check between themselves and Jesus. They die daily, crucifying their soulish strivings, and submit to God’s will through a real type of trial & suffering of obedience. IT IS WORK TO DIE! To learn how their Savior learned to submit ALL to the the Father is not a walk in the park. But setting one’s face to the unseen city, the coming kingdom and the joy of the Lord’s rule — ah, now that truly brings a certain fellowship with Jesus — that the weekly church pew session or sunday school quarterly-driven class meeting rarely offers. You want life? You want to taste the reality of the Spirit’s closeness? Then walk the walk of the Overcomer Jesus and die to yourself.
There’s no bragging here, no self-righteousnes being polished, no room to EVER say, “Yo look at my righteousnesses now dudes.” What righteouness is seen will be CHRIST’s! His resurrection life keeps the overcomer going day by day, whether suffering in a communist prison cell like Watchman Nee or doing the olde 9 to 5 suffering mistreatment daily under an ungodly supervisor at work.
The Lord God of Israel sees it all and one day we will stand before the Bema Seat of Christ and he will judge each of us for the works of this righteous dieing to self. Some will suffer loss and taste of the Lord’s loving disciplinary exclusion. We reap what we sow. Others, the overcomers will stand, reflecting the righteous obedience of many sufferings they chose to accept in this life. Christ will already know them in a special fellowship He too suffered right up to Calvary itself. These overcomers that died to live will inherit the kingdom, now full of servants made now to serve the nations, to serve their God as Christ served the Father. The last are now the first. The meek inherit the earth. The ruling and reigning is not an overcomer’s goal. It is to see their Lord face to face and see Him smile and hear Him say, “Well down . . .” That is the joy of the overcomer! It’s a love thing really, a Bride thing, a Marriage thing. We are saved not to wallow in grace but to become bondservants TODAY and HEAR and KEEP and DO the will of the Lord — daily. This is the overcoming faith, that so great a faith.
Christ matured in us by obedience is the ONLY righteousness that will stand. All the religious stuff we busy ourselves with after we are saved just may count for one big fat zero — think about it. The Hebrews surely kept doing the religious gig in the wilderness but did it get them into Canaan? No. Their unbelief and religion did not help them inherit what was theirs. They refused to face death and believe God — so most of them wandered their religious lives right into the dust of the desert. Only Joshua, Caleb and the young generation entered into the rest, the promised land that their stubbornly fearful and religiously jaded parents were excluded from.
This is still happening today. Read Hebrews without a paradigm in place and you will see overcoming and kingdom exclusion. It is the best explanation of this confusing book.
~ so there we are . . . believers in different camps with different views . . . nothing has changed in this matter really in all of Christendom.
Some see, some don’t.
Many are called and few CHOOSE to be the chosen.
May the Lord richly bless you with NEW revelation on this issue. God bless
And here's another posting of mine . . .
Back in November I made a comment saying we needed to understand the truth of "Lordship Salvation" and I actually used this term to mean living out our salvation with Jesus as our Lord as part of an obedient life leading to maturity into Sonship and a view towards conditional inheritance taught in the scriptures.
I realize now that this term "Lordship Salvation" is tied in with the false doctrine of faith plus works = eternal security. This idea of "Jesus-and" for secure salvation is ABSOLUTELY a bogus gospel. So, lemme make it clear -- I am 100% for this: simple belief in Jesus and free grace from God is ALL that's needed for eternal security. Hyper-Arminianism's fear mongering & Blind-to-rewards theology/deaf-ear-to-the-word Calvinism are two of the biggest problems in the realm of Christianity today. I wish that seminaries and theology profs would teach these camps of soteriology as the THEORIES like Darwin's macroevolution that they are. We need less doctrinal-worship and more trust in the Spirit to lead us into ALL truth and not some moldering psuedo-gospels of learned men.
Remember that seminaries were birthed by the Roman Catholic Church to maintain and enforce their powerful hold over the laity. Protestants, instead of completely severing themselves from the Catholic ways merely played "copy-cat" and the my dog's bigger than your dog game.
Nowhere in scripture is it taught that we need seminaries for the Church to thrive. In fact, seminaries promote a clergy-laity system that in and of itself impedes the spiritual life and growth of the Body of Christ.
It is long past time we humble ourselves before the Almighty and be sensitive to the Spirit of God, Who is now all too silent to us, dwelling quenched in the Body of Christ, overthrown by rigid churchianity and the false doctrines of men. God help us!
And here's another reply posting of mine . . .
You are in GRAVE ERROR when you say Kingdom Exclusion(KE),
"promotes salvation by works; second, it is nonexistent in scripture"
KE, has NOTHING to do with salvation at all -- you know that but you choose to confuse your readers about this. Most every KE or rewards theology adherent I have read teach ETERNAL SECURITY apart from works. YOU KNOW THIS!! Why confuse folks like this? You know Hodges, Dillow, Nee, Kaung and many others teach OSAS (once saved always saved) and not a works-based salvation -- EVER!
It is dishonest when we hide the truth. KE proponents I read hate the "Jesus-and" Arminian false gospel of salvation+works=fully saved. Speak the TRUTH.
2ndly, You frequent many blogs, are aware of many scholarly works detailing the CLEAR evidence of KE in the word and you falsely claim here that it is non-existent in the scripture!! Amazing!
Instead of giving falsified statements to your readers, take more courage and speak the truth rather than CONFUSE yourself and your readers about KE.
Do NOT offer your opinion as fact and more importantly, if you are going to be an fair info source for fellow believers, steer them to the authors and teachers who have found more than enough evidence of KE and have been brave enough to speak it and teach it to the Body of Christ rather than ignore it like the Hebrews ignored clear warnings from the Lord in the wilderness. Look what it earned them . . .
insert typical "I am right and you are wrong" comments/reply
I have seen how you respond to fair amounts of MANY scriptures across the OT and NT from several people and even scholarly exegesis of original languages that point clearly to a conditional walk after saving faith that leads one to either rewards in the coming kingdom or tearful loss.
And what do you do?
You reinterpret what is offered to fit your paradigm or you seem to ignore or "laugh off" what is offered. So why bother doing this for you again? It seems pointless.
When we ask for evidence with our unconsciously favorite filtering system of self-imposed blinders in place we are not truly looking for evidence but only looking for weakness in the "evidence" offered. That is exactly what the evolutionists do when creationists offer evidence. One endless game of paradigm bumper cars is what we are experiencing.
As I have suggested to you elsewhere and now here is to do what I and others have done ~ and then have subsequently come to understand this biblical viewpoint.
Set aside what you THINK you know is "fact" (tight paradigm/logic system theology) and approach new evidence as open-minded as possible. If you CAN actually do this -- either one or the other view or a novel/possibly revelatory Spirit-driven synthesis will emerge! How cool would that be!? Now that is what walking in humility and in the Spirit of Truth is all about. Most of the men we idolize in the past as pioneers of truth and reformers ALL DID THIS! Why are we usually such "sucking-up" weenies in churchianity? Sometimes a bit of rebellion is what God needs from us. It is healthy.
I did this rebel/reformer "walk way from it all" gig ~ 30 years ago, leaving my paid staff position as an independent fundamentalist legalistic baptist and rediscovering who I was in Christ and after 3 years of a dark wilderness of spirit. Then the Lord gave me a new vision of Himself. Now some 25 years later, I am taking a very serious NEW looking into these teachings of Nee, Kaung, Lambert, T. Austin-Sparks, Hodges, Dillow et al and the more I ask God to open up to me about this whole rewards theology/overcomer thing, the clearer it becomes at how very, very bound-up mainline traditional Christianity has become in its dead-end theological wasteland.
Thank God! For some curious reason, He has allowed me to stumble out of this steeple-laden, pulpit-driven confusion and to stand once again in the Psalmist David's great plain of openness, that high place, with a widened, clear perspective -- across the decades and even the millennia behind me. Now, at last free of all this ad hoc theology here and that legalistic quicksand there -- I can see Him and His eternal purpose. I can see so much more of what the kingdom is all about . . . how humbling, how amazing it all is . . .
I so wish, others could see what the true heart of the Lord is for His people . . .
And here's another posting of mine after facing a certain unswayable and unteachable spirit in blogs, etc . . .
It is has become apparent to me today that a certain brother here seemingly has no true desire to be one of the humble "he who hath and ear, let him hear" believers. In this blog and when commenting to others at his his own blog and reading his barbed & at times quite misinformed and/or misleading posts elsewhere -- it is all about "show me where", "give me a scripture", "quote me something", etc ad nauseum. Sadly, we encounter him as a hard surface that we here and others elsewhere simply can only seem to bounce revelation we have off of . . . it's the Spirit's turn now.
I have ceased to continue with him at his own blog and will have to do so here. I get the same type behavior with my many e-mails to George Zeller w/ his copy-paste type mails from his olde writings vs real-time chat. So many internet pit-bulls are running after the late Zane Hodges & Jody Dillow because there is LIFE there, a newness of manna, and the Spirit's revelation that mainline theologians cannot bear to swallow. They have become as concrete and pillars of salt spending too much time looking back on churchianity's "glory days" for answers. These guys just snap at ideas that bother them, run off & throw up walls for folks to climb over and erect hoops for others to jump through and instead of honestly considering a plethora of data being offered in e-mails and blogs, as well as reams of excellent tomes already covering what's available on the issue. It is like talking to defensive soldiers on their crumbling paradigmatic castle walls who refuse to listen to clear evidence but prefer stale manna hoarded up in their safe-houses.
I am now done with this endless "blog-bouncing ideas contest" here and elsewhere and will concentrate moreso on my own website GenericChristianMystic.com and be corresponding instead via private e-mails as able in these final days.
Quotes from ome of the e-mail exchange on overcoming I had with George Zeller follows:
My e-mail Response: to George Zeller of Middletown Baptist Church
Who Will Reign With Christ?
~ George Zeller
It is interesting to scan the pages of the book of Revelation to see what it teaches about believers ruling with Christ and to see if this privilege is limited to some elite group of saved persons. "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" (Rev. 1:5-6). This passage teaches that all blood-washed believers have been made kings and priests unto God. And as kings, we must rule. Also, as the church of God we are the bride of Christ, and shall not the queen rule with the King?
First off, we must always interpret the word in a way that doesn't just serve to only support our traditional paradigm & psuedo-biblical-worldview (I suggest the book Biblical Dyslexia to help explain the RIGHT way to approach scripture.) Anyways, back to the word -- to quote Rev. 1:5-6, and leave it as a full prooftext teaching about the whole church being kings/priests is simply "text w/o context as pretext". Secondly, your statements re: the church and the bride being the same holy group is NOT supported by Rev. 1:5-6, even though the queen, the bride, the blessed Rebekkah type of the OT WILL indeed rule. The Bride makes herself ready. This indicates cooperation with the Spirit of God who never goes against our free-will in the sanctification process. Even the Lord Himself told us to watch and be ready. We are to occupy, to stay awake and not sleep, to become, via cooperation with the Lord, his enduring, daily dieing bondservants.
Ah, now comes the crux of this Rev. 1:5-6 passage, read carefully Rev. 1:1
( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=73&chapter=1&version=47 )
and see who is being addressed in this scripture . . . (drum roll) . . . I quote,
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place."
The word servants here actually means bondservants in the Greek. This is a SPECIAL class of servant above and beyond a regular slave. Read up on your ancient Bible-times history to understand what makes a bondservant essentially the same as a an ultra-dedicated, sold-out, no-turning-back, faithful servant (overcomer). The apostle John addresses the bondservants and it is to THESE certain type of believers that Rev. 1:5-6 refers to and NOT the whole church.
Also the prior verse 3 says:
"Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near."
Again we see, a conditional blessing involved to those of the churches in Asia being addressed to HEAR and KEEP. When we go further into the later chapters of Revelation, many scriptures flesh out EXACTLY who are the ones of the churches that will indeed inherit the promises of Rev. 1:5-6 and sadly only those referred as overcomers gain the "kings and priests" status.
[[end first part of response]]
Zeller continues . . .
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:9-10). Notice the added information supplied by this passage. These blood-bought kings and priests had been redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation. As kings they must rule, and we are here told the location of their reign: "We shall reign on the earth." Nothing is said about a special class of blood-bought believers. These statements apply to all.
Wow! I love the word as the word is its own best commentary! Thanks, George, for sharing these verses as the Lord opened up something very precious and BRAND NEW to me this day! At first, upon reading Rev. 5:9-10, I thought I know I have read this many times before and always assumed prior to 1982-83? that this meant all the saved and then after my 1982-83? revelation of the overcomer concept, that it must refer to the overcomers. But today, in order to answer you, I found some very interesting things out.
First off, there are some confusing variety of other translational phrases used when referring to verse 9's "redeemed us" in the KJV translation. The "us" is missing sometimes and sometimes is phrased "bought a people" or "purchased men" instead of the KJV's "redeemed us".
The same issue arises when you look at verse 10 where the KJV uses the "made us" when many other translations use "made them". I can't read Greek but many translators must see this new song being sung as referring to a people in the 3rd person sense, wherein the 4 living creatures and elders are the ones singing -- about a redeemed people -- and not an "us" which would mean the 4 living creatures and the elders are confused before God. The KJV, I believe is in error here, (as in many other verses), having the new song being sung in a 1st person sense. The redeemed are NOT the ones singing here -- at least they aren't singing yet . . .
So let's assume the KJV is right here about the "us" and go to Revelation 14: 1-5 and we find a special group, a select group of beleivers being specially able to learn and "sing a new song"! Verse 3 states, "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth."
I believe, as many others have reasoned out, that in scripture, many times a literal reading of and adamant adherence to numerical values is NOT needed always but the number can point to other spiritual things in the way the Lord deals with this world. I believe the 144,000 indicate merely a type of completion, perfection and fulfillment instead describing am actual 144,000 people. My opinion here of course . . .
So we have a select group that are further described in Revelation 14: 1-5 as being chaste, set apart, obedient, redeemed, absolute followers of the Lamb, firstfruits, without guile or fault. (Hmm, sounds like they made themselves ready via absolute daily cooperation with the Lamb.) You might say, well the 144,000 are the whole Church or maybe some super Jew-Gentile tribulational heroes. Whatever . . . but look at verse 1.
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."
Wow! This verse clinches absolutely who these redeemed singers of a new song actually are! How? I ask you now to turn to Revelation 3:12 and see what said to the believers in the assembly in Philadelphia.
"He that overcomes, him will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more at all out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven, from my God, and my new name."
Whoa! The 144,000 are overcomers! They are written upon by God Himself, singing the new song of Rev. 5:9-10!! I rest my case. Thank you Lord for your blessed word! The Spirit of truth is here to help each one of us if we will but ask, seek and knock.
[[end second part of my response]]
Zeller adds . . .
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:6). We have already seen that all blood-washed, blood-bought believers are made kings and priests unto God. Here we are told that they will all reign with Christ a thousand years (this will also include the tribulation saints according to Rev. 20:4). All who are part of the first resurrection ("the resurrection of life"–John 5:29) will share in this reign. It is interesting that Joseph Dillow, in his textbook on who shall someday reign with Christ (The Reign of the Servant Kings) says nothing about any of these passages in Revelation (1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:4-6), apparently because they contradict his theory. Hodges teaches that Revelation 20:6 does not refer to all believers, but only to those faithful believers who are the HEIRS of the kingdom (Grace In Eclipse, p. 75). This is another example of forcing the text to fit one’s theological view.
[[ my response ]]
Well, that Rev. 20:6 wording really stymied me for sure, as at first glance it indeed seems to say, that all believers resurrected gain rulership -- until did a bit of Googling and found a fascinating and scholarly word study of the verse's "hath part" phrase which can be better said "hath a portion" or as the phrase is used in other places in the bible is interpreted as "hath an inheritance" or as we speak now "has what is due them" or "has what something their earned or are entitled to" . . . well, well, well! Now that really puts a new spin on Rev. 20:6 indeed! It indicates that in the first resurrection we can have the hope of a having a "portion", an "inheritance" or some might say a deserved "birthright".
This means that, in my opinion, following the Judgment Seat of Christ, thankfully, something we cooperate with in this life, that overcoming resurrection life of Christ remains, and thus a "portion" is earned by righteous works. So those so judged that suffer loss and are not counted faithful servants. Sadly, these unfaithful and unwise ones could have had talents and righteous works to present the King in the first resurrection but instead they are found naked, empty-handed and unfit to "have portion" to "have inheritance" in the first resurrection. Instead, they must be sent off into an outside place beyond the light of the immediate presence of the Lord they failed to honor in this life.
Here's some examples of how "hath part" is used elsewhere:
Proverbs 17:2 "A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part [or a portion] of the inheritance among the brethren."
Luke 15:12 "And the younger of them said to his father: ‘Father, give me the share 'portion' of the wealth that is to become mine.’ So he divided his assets between them."
Rev. 20:4 obviously echoes this interpretation because it refers to martyrs gaining exactly what they earned by enduring even unto death during tribulation. Thus, here as well, they GAINED the right to rule and reign by their very obedience in suffering! They could have said no and turned from the beheadings and taken the mark. Instead, they held fast to the very end. These are those in Rev. 20:6 who so earned and this "hath part" or "hath a portion, an inheritance" awaiting them upon coming to life in the first resurrection. Hallelujah! It is so clear now! Wow!
I cannot comment on Dillow or Hodges but only offer the truth I have which clearly sets aside the notion that all Christians, even the unfaithful, unwise, unfit and unloving will somehow suddenly get zapped into martyr-like readiness to rule and reign with Jesus. It makes no sense in light of all the word's many warnings to believers to not be caught unawares when time's up for them.
[[end third part of my response]]
Zeller winds it up . . .
It is interesting that Paul taught that all saints, including the Corinthian believers (who had serious problems with carnality), would someday "judge the world" and "judge angels" (1 Cor. 6:2-3). It is inconceivable that this could be done apart from reigning with Christ, the One who is the final and ultimate judge of all men and all angels. "Judging" the world and angels in 1 Corinthians 6 refers, indeed, to "governing," "ruling," or "reigning over," as in Matt. 19:28 (judging the twelve tribes of Israel) and Rev. 20:4a (judgment was given to those seated on the thrones). This is just one more indication that all saints will rule with Christ, not just some special class of "overcomers."
[[ my response ]]
Again, you MUST balance such corrective or disciplinary diatribe scripture verses to the carnal Corinthians with the many conditional warnings in the writings of the word. Paul himself clearly speaks of his own fears of failing the ultimate prize, missing a high calling in Phillipians 3. Paul knew that our highest calling would involve ruling, reigning, judging -- even angels!! But in so many other word places, he and others warn believers to strive, to work, to make sure our calling to such things as judging angels, etc, etc. He was trying to get carnal believers to wake up from petty lawsuits and squabbling by alerting them to the very real future believers could see one day -- to sit as judges themselves over powerful beings such as angels. Paul hoped this reality would shock them into better things. That's all that is happening here and 1 Cor. 6:2-3 is NOT a final prooftext to discount the overcomer concept the word proclaims.
Matt. 19:28 is again a CONDITIONAL promise if you care to read carefully the verses before and after. Here you go:
Matt. 19:27 "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"
Matt. 19:29-30 "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."
The kingdom reign, the portion, the inheritance is costly. Only salvation is without cost and freely given. Children of God must choose to become mature sons. God will make true for us ALL He promises IF we cooperate. There is no other way in discipleship. If we think so, we are like the foolish young ruler of Matthew 19 who turned away from the cost of ultimate self-sacrifice. In sorrow he choose to refuse the Lord's offer. He fell short of the whole portion offered him.
Matthew 19:21-22 "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."
What we Christains value and cherish here many times has no value, no portion in the coming kingdom of God. Many are called to this inheritance but few choose here and now to be the chosen there and then.
May the Lord open our eyes to ALL He is.
God bless your journey . . .
[[end final part of my response]]
As stated above, I have grown tired of trying to reason with these on-the-web brothers as there seems to be a locked-in-stone defense and uneven apologetics stance among them, which arises from NOT defending the scriptures themselves but actually in defending Christian dogma. Most pastors and theologians these days have made up their minds about their paradigms as being God's truth. This is a very dangerous way to exist.
Paul states in the word, 2 Corinthians 10:5, that our cherished concepts, high thoughts, and favorite pre-set angles of approaching scripture are to be submitted before God's throne.
"overthrowing reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and leading captive every thought into the obedience of the Christ;"
This means very plainly that our own minds, every one of our thoughts, what we learned from the pulpit, from the seminary professor, from bible studies, from our parents, from close friends, on the web, in books, at conferences, in counseling sessions, from visions, dreams and the who she-bang -- all of it -- all of it -- yes, even that idea -- that one too -- even what granpa says -- ALL of it must be in submission to one thing. What is that? How is this done?
God's Spirit gives us understanding, leading us into ALL truth. The word even says, we need not have anyone, any man/woman teach us. As He will open up truth from scripture, by revelation via the Living Word of Christ in us, we can come into an obedience to Christ, to His Spirit and THEN the knowledge of God is given. As we read, the word and rightly approach it via the supernatural wisdom of God's Spirit, then prayerfully and humbly before Him, we find the letters, the words come alive somehow. We are washed in the word, freed up from legalistic bondage, delivered from the fear of what others think.
If we approach the word with a legalistic mind, we find a legalistic God giving us rules to live by. If we approach the word with something to prove, we can usually prove anything we want to prove. It is a form of lawlessness approaching the scriptures this way. The letter of the Word used without the Spirit brings death, literally seen in our world and unseen in our souls. The word used incorrectly can bring death to our lives. Abuse of the word can drive men and women into madness and sorrow upon sorrow.
The word rightly and humbly approached, taught to us personally by the Spirit will change us, bringing His life deeper into us, sanctifying us and teaching us of Christ and the coming kingdom. And yes, the word used by the Spirit points us to a righteous way of death, a way of suffering, a way of obedience that brings into power the very same resurrection life Jesus tapped into when He was here as a man. Jesus asks us to die to ourselves, to enter into a fellowship with Him, a walk that He walked.
We cannot do it by our own fleshly, soulish, and strong-willed intellect. Believe me, I tried and tried, decade after decade, for over thirty years. The Lord finally broke my worship and idolatry of my mind, my intellectual strengths. He laid me low for seven years until I finally understood what Paul said,
"But surely I count also all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all, and count them to be filth, that I may gain Christ;" Philipians 3:8
We must lay aside ALL we are, ALL we know, ALL we are proud of having attained to, every citadel of dogma, every thought we rest in, lay it ALL down before Christ and count it as filth, that we might gain Him.
Paul was an intellectual, a deeply religious man, devoted, full of pride, full of dedication to a cause, defender of ancient, hallowed religion. But remember this, with all that revered Hebrew religion & the powerfully successful government of Rome, the Law and the Prophets, all the Jewish statutes & of that world's best educated minds -- they reasoned out their best solution before their God and then decided a best course of duty.
AND THEY KILLED THE LORD JESUS!
Paul, the great champion of intellect and religion, had innocent and Spirit-filled believers in Christ murdered, all in the name of the word, the holy word, the holy letter of the law! Can you see why incorrect use of the word, worship of the mind always brings death? Paul understood completely and he was moved by the Spirit to call all of it filth, refuse and dung -- when compared to knowing Christ.
This "hitting the RESET button" is what ALL of Christianity needs. It is time we realize that what we have invested our lives in, year by year, may actually be but gilded "wood, hay, and stubble" when we stand before the Lord's Judgment Seat. He is not interested in the multi-faceted, polished, bronze-serpent offering of our wonderful harvest from our self-styled obedience. For such, is but the offering of Cain. The Lord looks for a life of sacrifice, the blood, sweat and tears of our lives, laid out day-by-day upon the altar before Him. Out of this death-to-self styled obedience, arises Christ-resurrection life and the fruit of this sacrifical life is a sweet fragrance and acceptable to Him. It is thus God working in us to bring fruits, works of righteousness. The tree of life in us then can bring forth good fruit.
May God bring His light about these things into your heart.