Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ready for Your Heavenly Reward?

There are 3 types of saints mentioned in the Bible, the Old Testament Saints, the New Testament  or Church Age Saints and the Tribulation Saints. The Church Age believers wear white linen or a raiment, which is the wedding gown of the bride of Christ. The church is the bride of Christ. It was a garment referred to in Revelation 4, that the person wearing it was arrayed, or granted to ability to wear this amazing linen garment. You don't have to guess what this is exactly, because the Bible tells us what it is, it is the righteous acts of the saints. Don't be confused, King David was a saint, an Old Testament Saint. You and I are saints, if we trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that we are all saints. Some people might call it heresy to say that but that is only those bound by the man made legalism of their religion. Paul refers to the church believers in Corinth as saints in the opening verses of 1 Corinthians. When we hear about people being "sainted" based on their acts, that is man-made stuff. That is the truth according to the Bible, God anoints His saints, based on their faith in Christ alone.

To recap what we learned yesterday, is that we know the 24 elders represent the body of the church in Jesus Christ, that has access to His throne anytime they want. They are also sitting at rest on those thrones around the Throne of God.

Hebrews 1:3 ~ "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Jesus didn't need our help. He is sitting down right now in heaven. It appears according to Scripture that the only time He stands up, according to Acts is to receive in death one of His children. Stephen says, He saw Jesus standing at the throne room of God. Other than that, Jesus is resting. If Jesus is resting, shouldn't we be resting? Should we take rest in His promises?

John 17:3-5 ~ "Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. "

John 19:30 ~ "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

The work is finished that God sent Jesus to do. There is a unique proximity and a unique practice when we get to heaven. We will be at absolute peace and rest in heaven. These 24 elders have a unique protocol before God. It is the clothing they wear.

Revelation 4:4b ~ "clothed in white raiment."

The 24 elders wear a unique garment before God. The garment of the redeemed.

Revelation 19:7-9 ~ "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "There are the true words of God."

Revelation 5:8-9 ~ "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

The protocol is that these are saints, declared so by God who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. If you get that in your heart and head, the Holy Spirit sanctifies you unto the will or work of the Lord. That will or work, we will never be fulfilled in this life, until we are doing that in this world. We want Jesus as Savior in our life, but not Lord of our life. If you are doing God's will in your life, nothing will stop you. God will keep putting things on your heart until you move in such a way, you are a force to be reckoned with. Nothing will stand in your way. That is the joy of serving Him.

The garments are the righteous acts of the saints. It is what we do, and we love doing it. Ah come on, let's go feed the homeless so I can get a white robe!" That is not the attitude God is looking for to obtain your white garment. That's religion actually. They wear white. That is why we believe this is referring to the body of believers or the church of Christ.

These 24 elders also have a unique possession before God.

Revelation 4:4b ~ "and they had crowns of gold on their head."

There are two words in the Bible for crowns. (1) is "diadem" = reserved only for a king. (2) is "stephanos" = is given to a conquering soldier or winning athlete. Jesus wears a diadem. He is the only one. Stephanos was given like a laurel wreath. It means you won!

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ~ "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

This crown is the crown of completion. The 24 elders have a unique possession from God.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 ~ "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? It is not you?"

2 Timothy 4:8 ~ "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

James 1:12 ~ "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised for those who love him."

The believers crowns.

1 Peter 5:4 ~ "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

The one you got in the world would fade away or die. This one doesn't. It will never fade away. 

Revelation 2:10 ~ "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you a crown of life."

Crowns are rewards given in heaven.

Revelation 4:10 ~ "the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne."

You might not think you need a crown in heaven. You might think you are too humble or meek to get one. If God gives you a crown, you'd better take one. The crown He gives, is in response to in this life. If the elders represent the church of God, the believers, you don't think you will be falling down before the throne of God? Oh yes you will! What else do they do? They cast their crowns before God, in honor of Him. They give back what He has given. It brings Him glory! With that being said, you want the crown! No one is going to be comparing crowns in heaven. You want to have as much reward in this life, we want to give gifts to Jesus, to give Him all the glory. It is to bring Him all the glory and honor, because He alone is worthy.

1 Corinthians 3:8 ~ " The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor."

1 Corinthians 3:14 ~ "If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward."

Colossians 3:23-24 ~ "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

We need to re-evaluate the way we spend time in prayer, in praise and worship, in attending the church and make sure our heart is in it. Ask God to change how you spend that time and make sure you are doing it for His glory and honor and not out of obligation of what we think we ought to do. That is religion, not a relationship. This is merely just a practice for the things to come in heaven!!!

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