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Reigning with Him - The Book of Revelation
Week 31, 2018
This week we continue with
Those who are faithful to serve the Lord in this life, and those who paid the price of martyrdom, will rule with Him over the earth in the millennium. This is a great honor, but it is also a duty. Our reigning with Him is not just so that we are honored, but it is for the restoration of the earth to the paradise that it was originally created to be, as we see in Isaiah 11 and other places. So how do we reign?
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The teaching of the Lord on this is clear in some areas. He said that His twelve apostles would reign over the twelve tribes of Israel. He taught in His parables about how those faithful with what He entrusted to them would be given a number of cities to reign over in His kingdom that correspond to their ability. This points to this life being “training for reigning” in the age to come.
When I first considered that our reward for obedience in this life would be ruling over cities in the next, I confess to not being very happy about it. Having sat through city and county council meetings, I could not think of a more boring job. However, the way we see cities and the way God sees them can be very different. We tend to see the buildings, roads, and subways, but God sees the people. City planning of such things as buildings and roads are necessary to serve the people, but the building of cities in the millennium will be more about building people than things.
The fellowship that God created people to have with Him, and then with one another, is the most satisfying, fulfilling experience we can have. The Greek word for this fellowship is koinonia. This is a bonding so strong that it is like the bonding of the members of our body to the rest of the body. It is because of this bonding that the blood, which is the life, can flow to all parts. This is why we are told in:
I John 1:7,
If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship (koinonia) with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The blood does cleanse the body by carrying any impurities or toxins from its parts. It also brings the food and nutrients to every part of the body. Similarly, it is our connections with other members of His body through which His blood flows through to do the same for us. This kind of deep connection with members of His body is one of the fulfilling and satisfying experiences we can have on this earth, second only to our fellowship with the Lord Himself. Having this is one way that we are bringing the kingdom to this earth and preparing the earth for the kingdom.
The first prophecies I received as a new believer were a marvel beyond anything I had ever experienced. I knew that the people giving them could not have known the things about me that they were addressing—I was hearing straight from God through them. I soared on that experience for days, and considered it the greatest experience I had ever had until I was used to speak to others in the same way. That was even better, so wonderful that my main ambition became to be used by God to speak to His people.
Why was this so wonderful? I saw people changed. I saw their lives impacted for good. I’m sure that it would be a very satisfying thing to design a great building and then to see it built, but I don’t think it can compare to building people, to see people change and become what they were designed by God to be. One person is worth more than many buildings. People may dwell in buildings, but God dwells in people. When we help to build people, we are building God’s dwelling place.
This is a main reason for the church—it is the place where we learn to edify, meaning “to build,” one another.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another (Romans 14:19).
For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it (I Corinthians 3:9-10).
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 (Ephesians 2:19-22).
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