FOUR ASPECTS OF OUR INHERITANCE
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.


There are at least four aspects of our inheritance, of the Divine rest to which we have been called. The Book of Hebrews is one long warning to Christians to not come short of Godís rest, to not cease pressing forward toward the mark that has been set before us. If, after having received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we do not then continue joyfully in His Presence, living diligently as a disciple, we shall be judged as having neglected our great salvation.


Table of Contents

The Persons of God and Christ

The Fullness of Resurrection Life

The Nations and the Farthest Reaches of the Earth

Paradise


FOUR ASPECTS OF OUR INHERITANCE

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1óNIV)

There are at least four aspects of our inheritance, of the Divine rest to which we have been called. The Book of Hebrews is one long warning to Christians to not come short of Godís rest, to not cease pressing forward toward the mark that has been set before us. If, after having received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we do not then continue joyfully in His Presence, living diligently as a disciple, we shall be judged as having neglected our great salvation.

The Persons of God and Christ

The first and most important aspect of the inheritance of the royal priesthood, the Church, is the Persons of God and Christ.

The religion of Christianity has adopted Heaven, or Paradise, as being the main goal of the Christian. This is not accurate. Eternal life on the new earth may be the most important inheritance of the members of the saved nations. However, the primary inheritance of the members of the Body of Christ is God Himself.

This was true of the priests of Israel. They had no inheritance among the tribes because God was their inheritance.

The Apostle Paul had set everything else aside that he might come to know Christóand this toward the end of his life!

We think because we have made some initial profession of faith in Christ that we know Christ. This is not true. Many years of patiently seeking Christ bring us only to the threshold of knowing Christ.

The opening verses of the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John are preached quite frequently in Christian churches:

In my Fatherís house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2,3óNIV)

Perhaps due to the influence of Gnosticism on Christian thinking the above two verses have come to mean the Lord Jesus is building houses for us in Heaven. Soon He will return and bring us to those houses where we shall dwell forevermore. But there is no other passage from the Scriptures in support of this interpretation!

This would be a nice thought if it were supported by the remainder of the New Testament, but it isnít. The New Testament is not about saved people going to Heaven but about Christ and His saints returning from Heaven to install the Kingdom of God among the nations on the earth.

In the first place, the Fatherís house is not Heaven. The Fatherís house is always Jesus Christ. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead.

The many "rooms" in Christ refer to the saints who are being made through Christ the dwelling place of God.

Christ has gone to the cross, and then into the holy place in Heaven, to sprinkle His blood, to make intercession for us, and to shed forth the Holy Spirit so we might have a place in the great house of God. This is how Christ prepares a place for us.

When Christ says He will return to take us to be with Him where He is, He is not referring to Paradise. Christ dwells in the Father. This expression is not referring to His second coming in the clouds of glory for all the world to see. It is speaking of Christ coming to us in the Holy Spirit so we might be with Him in the Father; not just in Paradise, but in the Father.

The fourteenth chapter of John, if you will notice, is speaking of the Father dwelling in Christ, and then of Christ and the Father coming to dwell in the saint who keeps the commandments of Christ. There is no mention in the fourteenth chapter of John of Christís return to the earth.

The Lord Jesus Christ is not the way to Heaven, He is the way to the Father. The right hand of the Father is our goal.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6óNIV)

No one comes to the Fatherónot merely to Heaven, but to the Father!óexcept through Jesus Christ.

Heaven is a place. The Father is a Person. There is a difference between going to Heaven and going to the Father!

In the fourteenth through the seventeenth chapters of the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus never once speaks of returning to Heaven, only to the Father.

Our preaching needs revising. We are pointing the believers to Heaven when we ought to be pointing them to Christ, and through Christ to the Father.

But what is the difference? When we speak of making Heaven our home through grace, our religion becomes one of waiting to die to go to Heaven. When we speak of the Father being our inheritance, we set out immediately to come to know Him. We come to the Father every day through Christ. Learning obedience to the Father is what the Christian salvation is all about.

"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27óNIV)

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ĎI am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.í" (John 20:17óNIV)

We in Pentecost know Christ to a certain extent, and also the Holy Spirit. Now we need to know more about the Father. I understand whoever has the Son has the Father also. I know this is true. Nevertheless it is as I have said. If we will seek Christ with all our might He will reveal the Father to us. Then we shall be filled with joy because we will realize more fully that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is also our Father; the God of our Lord Jesus Christ is also our God.

One of the most important issues of our day is that of learning obedience to the Father. We must obey God perfectly, sternly, and joyously in every detail of life. The Lord Jesus will help us be obedient to God if we will ask Him.

God will have no disobedient children. We must learn obedience if we hope to be accepted by Him.

God the Father is so great as to be virtually unknowable. The same is true of our Lord Jesus Christ, for in Him is all the fullness of God. Christ is a representation of God that we can at least approach. Christ has become a Man so we as men might gain some understanding of Him and have fellowship with Him. Ultimately Christ shall bring us to His Father that we might know the Father also.

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21óNIV)

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23óNIV)

Let us say again that whoever has the Son has the Father also. The point is, our initial acceptance of Christ does not bring to us the fullness of the revelation and possession of the Father and the Son. Coming to know Christ, and the Father through Christ, requires a lifetime of patiently following the Spirit of God as He brings us to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.

When we come to Jesus Christ we discover He is the Way to God. We find ourselves in a pasture of incredible splendor and delightsówaters to swim in; a river that cannot possibly be crossed. There is no end; the marvels continue forever and ever.

Whoever has Christ has all things, including all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All that we gain in the world apart from Christ is so much garbage.

God is God and the creation is the creation. Only God is inherently, truly desirable. Nothing in the creation is inherently desirable to us. It is only as God makes some aspect of the creation desirable to an individual that it becomes truly desirable.

If something other than God were inherently desirable to us it would be an idol. Only God is to be worshipedónothing and no one else.

Whenever the Lord sees that one of His elect is too fond of some part of the creation He moves in such a manner that this bondage is broken. No matter how much we may desire something, if God has not given that desire to us it is a bondage. It may appear to be a source of endless delight, but it is not. It eventually will turn to ashes.

Only God is God. Only He is worthy of our worship and adoration.

When God is satisfied that He alone is our God, He then is able to make some aspect of His creation desirable to us. In God there are endless delights. At His right hand there are eternal pleasures. In His Presence is fullness of joy.

We may think Paradise would be wonderful. But Paradise is not desirable unless God and other people are there. And if the other people are not those whom God has given to us, then Paradise soon would become a place of trouble for us.

We may think the wonders of Heaven would satisfy us. Impossible! Our heartís cry is for God and loving relationships with people, not for things. How long does it take us to learn that this is true?

When God is with us and in us we can find contentment wherever we are. But when God is not with us or in us, there is no place that is any better than a muddle of confusion.

The best part of the original Eden was that God was present. Apart from God we soon come to an end of joy and peace.

It is sensible to wish to escape Hell and go to Paradise. But this is not the emphasis of the New Testament. The emphasis of the New Testament is eternal life, that is, the Life that is God and Christ.

We have churches full of people who are satisfied that they have escaped Hell and are on their way to Paradise. But they are not being pointed toward a fuller knowledge of God, in many instances. They are not, as was true of Paul, laying aside all else that they might come to know Christ.

Because the believers are not seeking to know Christ in a fuller measure, we have assemblies filled with spiritual babies. They are no threat to the kingdom of Satan. They are not a testimony of good works that the secular world can observe. In fact, it often is true that they cannot get along with one another.

We have been called to preach Christ, not Heaven. Let us now return to the Scriptures and do Godís will, for days of trouble are approaching the United States of America.

The first, and most important aspect of our inheritance, is composed of God and Christ Themselves.

The second aspect of our inheritance is life lived in the fullness of the Spirit of God.

The Fullness of Resurrection Life

Our introduction to life lived in the Spirit of God may have occurred as we spoke in tongues for the first time. Speaking in tongues does not indicate, however, that we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Rather, tongues is the way into the rest of God, into life lived in the Spirit.

Being filled with the Spirit gives us the power to bear witness of Jesus Christ, and also to gain victory over worldliness, lust, and self-will.

It is Godís will that every saved individual walk in His Spirit rather than in the wisdom and passions of the flesh.

There are only two ways in which a person can live: in the flesh, or in the Spirit of God. To live in the flesh is to dwell constantly on the desires of our body, soul, and fleshly mind. To live in the Spirit of God is to dwell constantly on Christ and Godís will. This requires daily prayer and meditating in the Scriptures.

The only acceptable orientation to the Christian life is that we have taken our place with Jesus Christ on the cross, have risen with Him, and now are living in Him at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. This is the dual position we are to take by faith and maintain by unrelenting faith.

As we reckon ourselves dead with Christ and risen with Christ, the Holy Spirit begins the lifelong work of changing our desires from the things of the flesh to the things of the Spirit. As the Spirit does this, and we cooperate with Him, the blood of Jesus Christ continues to cleanse us from all sin. This is the true Christian life.

Every day there are problems set before us so through the Spirit of God we might grow in Christ.

Let us say we are tempted with some lustful, unlawful act. It may be adultery. We know the Bible says that adulterers (Christian or not!) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

We now have a choice. We can yield to our fleshly desires (sometimes intensified by demons) or we can call on the Lord until we gain enough strength to resist the pull of the flesh and Satan.

If we become strong enough to put to death this fleshly lust, a part of us dies. But then the body and blood of Christ are fed to us in the spirit realm and the Spirit of God raises us into newness of life.

Death, and life! Death, and life! Death, and life! This is how we pass from life lived in the flesh to life lived in the Spirit of God.

There is coming a day in which we shall be raised from the dead. What we face in that day depends on how we are responding to the Spirit of God today.

If we continue to live our Christian life in the flesh, neglecting daily prayer, neglecting daily Bible reading, not assembling with fervent believers, not seeking the gifts of the Spirit that we may build up the Body, not giving of our means, not pressing forward in Christ, then, when we are raised from the dead, we will be a naked spirit. Whether Christ sends us to the outer darkness or permits us to enter His Kingdom, we will be a naked spirit. None of the glorious rewards will be ours. We will be saved by the fiery judgment that burns away whatever we have accomplished on the earth.

If we continue to live our Christian life in the Spirit of God, praying fervently each day, meditating continually in the Scriptures, assembling faithfully with fervent believers, seeking diligently the gifts of the Spirit that we may build up the Body, giving generously of our means as the Lord directs, pressing forward in Christ with all of our might, then, when we are raised from the dead, we will be given the fullness of the Holy Spirit; in addition, a body which is created from eternal life.

This is how we attain to the first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, the resurrection that will take place when the Lord Jesus returns to earth to call up His army to Himself.

(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:5,6óNIV)

Paul was setting aside all else that he might come to know the power of Christís resurrection and the fellowship of Christís sufferings. Paulís object was to attain to the resurrection which is out from among the dead, that is, the crown of eternal life.

Our rest, our inheritance, our land of promise, our Canaan, is, first of all, Christ and God. Next in importance is life lived in the fullness of resurrection wisdom and power. When we become a tree of life we can return with Christ and pour out the Life of God into the dead sea of mankind. This is our destiny as the dwelling place, the Throne of God.

When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,~where it enters the Sea.~ When it empties into the Sea,~the water there becomes fresh. (Ezekiel 47:7,8óNIV)

The third aspect of our rest, our inheritance, is composed of the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth.

The Nations and the Farthest Reaches of the Earth

Until God imparts His love for people to us we cannot appreciate the verses that tell us we shall be coheirs with Jesus Christ of the nations of the earth.

For so long we have been regaled with mansions, backyards filled with diamonds, and golden slippers, that our salvation has taken on the characteristics of a myth.

Perhaps we think great wealth would bring us happiness. It might help us to observe the wealthy of the earth and see if their gold has brought them lasting happiness, or if they are bound with an insatiable greed to heap to themselves more and more money. Do they have peace and joy? Probably no more peace and joy than many people who have only the necessities of life.

Many of us realize the most precious aspects of life cannot be purchased with money.

So fabulous mansions in the spirit world are not that desirable after all. The only worthwhile inheritance is people.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (Psalms 2:8óNIV)

We need to pay more attention to the above verse.

God the Father invited the Word to pray to Him. The indicated request is for the inheritance comprising the nations and the ends of the earth.

We are coheirs with Christ. Our inheritance also is the nations and the ends of the earth.

It seems the Word of God, Christ, had to be asked to pray for the nations and the ends of the earth. It may have been a prayer He ordinarily would not have prayed.

The same is true of us. Until God puts on our heart a prayer for the nations and the ends of the earth we might not think of them as being an important aspect of our inheritance. The truth is, after God and Christ Themselves, and life lived in the fullness of the Spirit of God, the nations and the ends of the earth are the most desirable of all possible inheritances.

So often we are urged to go forth and save the sinners throughout the world. This is a worthy exhortation, but God has to make it real to us before it elicits much of a response in us. God has to give us a genuine love for, a burden for some particular group of people before our "call to the nations" becomes more than a burdensome religious duty.

People are the "stones of fire" among whom Satan desires to walk. Satan left the heavens to walk in the earth, because Satan knows far, far better than we that the earth and its people are of much more value than the heavens.

God has to give us of His love for people before we can appreciate the value of this inheritance.

As we stated previously, there is nothing of the creation that is inherently desirable. It is only as God makes it desirable to us that something is truly desirable.

This is very true of people and the ends of the earth. First we have to die to our fleshly desire for people and the earth. Then God brings forth through Christ a desire in us for the people and the earth that He intends to give us for an inheritance. At this point our eyes are opened and we see why God invited Christ to choose the earth and its peoples for His inheritance.

Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:3- 5óNIV)

When the Lord returns, His glory will be seen not only with us but also in us. The saved nations of the earth will see the Glory of God and be drawn to it. Then we will inherit many people. Then our heart will throb and swell with joy, because it is for this inheritance that we have been prepared throughout our Christian life.

The nations who were not destroyed at the time of the Battle of Armageddon will come to our light, the light of Christ shining forth from within us.

Our sons and daughters will come to us. Then we shall experience joy such as we have never known.

God loves people, but He cannot approach them or communicate with them. Therefore He is preparing ChristóHead and Bodyóto be a living temple through which He can have fellowship with His creatures. The whole Servant of the Lord, Head and Body, will be ImmanuelóGod with the nations of the earth.

People are our inheritance, more important than anything except God and His Life. It is in loving relationships with people that we find our reason for being; that we experience total fulfillment. Things, environments, and circumstances are of little worth apart from people.

Now we have God and Christ, the fullness of eternal life, and the inheritance of people. These come first. The final aspect of our inheritance is Paradise.

Paradise

At one time Paradise was on the earth in the form of the Garden of Eden. All that anyone could ask for, a perfect environment, and also the Presence of God Himself, were at one time on the earth in the region now known as the Persian Gulf.

When man sinned, Paradise was drawn up and located in the third heaven, as we understand from the experience of the Apostle Paul. God withdrew and all of nature died. That which had been animate and joyous was now filled with weeds, insects, and every other curse. Man had sold himself to Satan, therefore war, murder, and violence have been the primary characteristic of mankind throughout world history.

But in our heart, perhaps in our subconscious mind, we remember the garden, the Paradise in which we were created. We now refer to it as "Heaven" because that is where God and Paradise are located in the present time.

When we say we want to go to Heaven we mean we want to return to the Paradise which man enjoyed in the beginning. We do not want to pass into the spirit world as such, because that is the home of the angels. It is not what humans actually desire.

When we think of Heaven, trees, flowers, clear streams come to mind. Above all we desire peace and freedom from dread. Without realizing it we are desiring to return to the Garden of Eden.

Satan understands that the earth is a more desirable environment than the spirit heaven. This is why he came here as soon as the earth was created. This is why Satan walks up and down in the earth, as he informed God when Job became an issue.

We do not want to go to Heaven unless it is to be with God or our loved ones. What we want is the peace and beauty of Eden. Think about it.

Well, Eden shall be restored. The difference now will be that the inhabitants of Eden will be governed by the royal priesthood. Satan will not be permitted to enter.

Every time God moves forward to a new day He sends two witnesses in advance to prepare people for what is about to take place. The sixth set of two witnesses are described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. They are Christ and His Body ministering under a double portion of the Holy Spirit.

The two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter Eleven, will bear the most powerful testimony of Godís Person and will ever to be seen in the earth.

After the testimony has been subdued for a season so the fullness of wickedness may be revealed in the earth, the witnesses will be raised up by the power of the Spirit of God. Then the witnesses will be caught up to God so they may return as an army of warriors, riding the white war stallions, ready to drive Satan and all of his works from the earth.

As always is true of each set of two witnesses, the new day will come forth from the witnesses. Thus Paradise will be returned to the earth at the hands of Christ and His saints.

It is the saved people of the nations of the earth who will enjoy Paradise. God dwelling in His Tabernacle, Christ, Head and Body, will wipe away the tears of mankind. Every person on earth will dwell in peace and contentment and pursue the vocation to which he has been called.

Will the saints also enjoy Paradise? Of course. But their main joy will be God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the peoples of the earth.

Thus we see the four aspects of our inheritance:

God and Christ.

The fullness of life lived in the Spirit of God.

The saved peoples of the earth.

Paradise.

All of this constitutes the Kingdom of God. We shall inherit the Kingdom of God and all of its wonders provided we live today in the power of Christís resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.

If, however, after having been called to be a member of the Church, the Body of Christ, we then choose to neglect our salvation, but decide instead to live in the lusts and passions of the world, the flesh, and our self-will, our crown will be given to another. We ourselves may be saved as by fire, or assigned to the outer darkness, or thrown into the Lake of Fire. God is very strict as well as very merciful. Christ paid a horrible price on the cross that we might inherit the Kingdom of God, and God is not pleased when we view our great salvation lightly.

We have the opportunity today to press into the fullness of the inheritance set before us. Much has been given to us. But if we are to lay hold on that mark we will have to be far more serious about our discipleship than currently is true in the Christian churches in America.