GP 1617Comp. 5/83
—Our Victory Celebration in Heaven! BOF Part 8
(Compiled by Apollos from the writings of Father David.)
1. WHEN JESUS COMES BACK TO RESCUE HIS CHILDREN, HIS CHURCH, OUT OF THE HORRENDOUS HELL ON EARTH OF THE TERRIBLE GREAT TRIBULATION, it will be our glorious Exodus from this horrible World! He will come & "gather together" His saints, His children, "from one end of Heaven to the other" & "so shall we ever be with the Lord!" (Mt.24:31; 1Th.4:17.) PTL!
2. HE COMES BACK TO CATCH HIS BRIDE OUT OF THE EVIL CLUTCHES OF THE ENEMY & to take her into His bosom!—A union which is so thrilling & exciting & will be such ecstasy that it is called the Rapture! Jesus comes for His Church, His Bride‚ as her Bridegroom, & He catches her up from this horrible Earth & out of the grasp & the grip of her enemies & saves her! Jesus catches us up from this World into the air, into His arms, uniting us all as one with Him, & then whisks us away to the grandest, most glorious & thrilling wedding party that's ever been held—the great "Marriage Supper of the Lamb"!
3. WE WILL BE TAKEN OUT OF THIS OLD WORLD to the great Wedding Feast, the Grand Homecoming Party, the Celebration of the Victory! The Bible calls it the "Marriage Feast of the Lamb" because it will be the great Wedding of the Bride, His Bride—all believers, the entire true Church of God‚ the true believers in Christ, all of them counted as one great Bride though it be composed of millions—marrying Jesus at this great celebration in Heaven, this great Wedding Feast, this great party!
4. "AND I HEARD AS IT WERE THE VOICE OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, & as the voice of many waters, & as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Allelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Let us be glad & rejoice, & give honour to Him: for the Marriage of the Lamb is come, & His Wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean & white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!" (Rev.19:6-9.)
5. YOU'LL KNOW YOU'RE REALLY BLESSED TO BE WITH THE LORD IN THIS GREAT MARRIAGE SUPPER WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHAT'S GOING ON BACK ON EARTH AT THIS TIME!—Because right after the Lord rescues & raptures us out of the Tribulation & persecution that the wicked of this World caused us to go through, the horrific Seven Vials of the great Wrath of God are going to be poured out upon the Antichrist & his people in horrible, terrible plagues such as the World has never known! While we're having a wild party & lots of fun upstairs, having Heaven in Heaven, they're going to be having Hell on Earth downstairs!
6. LIKE AN INVITATION FROM ABOVE AFTER "THE EARTH CASTS OUT HER DEAD" (IS.26:19), JESUS CALLS TO HIS CHURCH: "COME, MY PEOPLE, ENTER THOU INTO THY CHAMBERS, & shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation (the Wrath of God) be overpast. For the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the Earth for their iniquity!" (Is.26:20,21.) The Bridegroom comes for His Bride, takes her safely away into the Bridal Chamber, shuts the door, & we have the Marriage Celebration with Him!—While the wicked, Christ–rejecting forces & followers of the Antichrist partake of the Wrath of God!
"THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST" (2Co.5:10.)
7. AT THIS TIME WE'LL NOT ONLY GO UP & MEET THE LORD & ENJOY THE WONDERFUL MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB‚ BUT WE'LL ALSO FACE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, in which all the Christians who have ever lived will be judged & rewarded for their successes & their obediences, or chastised & condemned for their failures, & then enter into the particular places that God has seen fit for them to occupy in His Kingdom on Earth over the surviving unsaved people who will remain here for a thousand-year period known as the Millennium. (For details on the Millennium, see the Chapter of this book devoted entirely to this period.)
8. JESUS SAID, "BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY; & MY REWARD IS WITH ME, TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK SHALL BE." (Rev.22:12.) Every saved Christian will be rewarded at the Throne of Christ according to his works. Now don't get this judgement & rewarding of the Christians‚ the born-again‚ the saved‚ mixed up with the great final judgement of the unsaved, which is an entirely different occasion at an entirely different time! The judgement of the unsaved dead takes place a thousand years later, after the Millennium, when they are all raised to meet God at the Great White Throne Judgement described in the 20th Chapter of Revelation, which we will cover shortly.
9. BUT WE WHO ARE RESURRECTED & RAISED & RAPTURED TO BE WITH THE LORD AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION, we'll get our rewards right away up in Heaven at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!—There will be a great feast & a great ceremony & God will pass out the gifts, the presents‚ the rewards to all of those who loved & served Him!—Isn't that wonderful? That's going to be better than Christmas!—When Jesus passes out the presents to all the children who've been good!
10. "FOR WE SHALL ALL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God. For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (Rom.14:10,12; 2Co.5:10.) When Jesus sits on His Judgement Throne, He's going to pass out the prizes & the surprises & the rewards.—Or in some cases, maybe no rewards.
11. BUT REMEMBER, REWARDS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SALVATION! The rewards are something you work for & you earn by your faithfulness & your diligence & your hard work & your soul-winning! But a lot of Christians get confused by the Bible verses on rewards & crowns & apply them to salvation, & then think they've got to work for their salvation.—But you can't work for your salvation!—It is a free gift of God! (See Eph.2:8‚9; Tit.3:5; Mt.16:27; Rev.22:12.)
12. WE DON'T EARN SALVATION‚ WE CAN'T WORK FOR SALVATION—IT'S A GIFT! But we can work for rewards & we can earn special praise & special commendation from the Lord! A special, "Well done, thou good & faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" (Mt.25:21.) He says that some He'll make rulers over one city, some over a few cities, & some over many cities. "For he that is faithful in that which is least is also faithful in that which is most." (Lk.19:17; 16:10.) So although your works in this life aren't going to help to get you into Heaven, they'll have a great deal to do with your reward, a great deal to do with the way you shine, & a great deal to do with your position once you're there.
13. SPEAKING OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAVED at the end of the Tribulation, His Word says, "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the Earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, & some to shame & everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; & they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever & ever." (Dan.12:2,3.) In another place He says that the luster & glory of resurrected Christians will differ. (1Co.15:41,42.) Those who have won many to righteousness will shine as the stars, but those who haven't done much for the Lord will be pretty dull.
14. EVERYBODY WHO BELIEVES IN & RECEIVES JESUS RECEIVES SALVATION, receives Eternal Life, & is going to make it to Heaven. But the starry crown, like the old song they used to sing‚ "Will there be any stars in my crown?"—that's something you work for. Jesus said, "Be thou faithful unto death, & I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev.2:10.) And the Apostle Paul, at the end of his ministry, shortly before he went to be with the Lord‚ said, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: & not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." (2Ti.4:7,8.)
15. SO THE CROWN & FUTURE REWARDS ARE NOT YOUR SALVATION! You already have Eternal Life through His Son, which is the Gift of God, & you cannot lose it‚ for He will keep you! (See Jn.6:37; 10:28,29; 17:3.) This crown is your reward, given only to winners!—Only to those who run & win the race!—To fighters for the faith who are faithful to the Lord!
16. BUT WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THESE SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS WHO LIVED SELFISHLY FOR THEMSELVES ALL THEIR LIVES?—That didn't give a damn about other people? They claimed to have faith in Jesus as their Saviour, but they went to church on Sunday & then said goodbye to God, "I'll see you next week!", & lived totally selfishly for themselves! Even though they were saved & knew Jesus, they didn't tell others about Him‚ they didn't witness, they didn't give Christian literature to those who needed it‚ & they didn't obey His command to go into all the World & preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mk.16:15.)
17. ABOUT ALL YOU CAN SAY FOR THEM IS THAT THEY BELIEVED.—Apparently they must have confessed Christ in some way, at least the first time when they joined their church or whatever, at least they didn't completely deny Him. Then perhaps they confessed Him before others when they were practically forced to‚ when they had to let people know they were a Christian.—But they were ashamed of that fact & they were ashamed of Jesus & the Name of Jesus. They didn't completely deny Him before others, but they were ashamed.—What kind of reward will they get at this great Wedding Supper & Judgement Seat of Christ?
18. JESUS SAID, "THOSE WHO ARE ASHAMED OF ME & MY WORDS IN THIS WICKED & ADULTEROUS GENERATION, I WILL BE ASHAMED OF THEM BEFORE THE HEAVENLY FATHER & ALL THE HOLY ANGELS!" (Mk.8:38.) The Lord is going to be ashamed of them! But those who are not ashamed of Him, but boldly witness & confess Him before others, He will honour & confess them before all Heaven!—"Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father & before the angels of God in Heaven!" (Mt.10:32; Lk.12:8.)
19. SO SOME WILL BE RAISED TO EVERLASTING GLORY & SHALL SHINE AS THE STARS, but some to everlasting shame & contempt—even Christians in Heaven! Some are going to have to bear everlasting shame & contempt because they didn't do their job & they weren't faithful & they lived selfishly. It's like they were just saved by the skin of their teeth, but they didn't have enough love & enough gratitude to be thankful or to show it by their works!
20. GOD'S WORD WARNS THAT "OTHER FOUNDATION CAN NO MAN LAY THAN THAT IS LAID, WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST." (1Co.3:11.) Jesus is the only foundation upon which we as Christians can build anything of lasting, eternal worth or value. And although receiving Him & His salvation is an absolutely free gift of God's grace, what we do with our lives afterwards is up to us!—"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver‚ precious stones, wood‚ hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; & the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." (1Co.3:12,13.)
21. "IF ANY MAN'S WORK ABIDE WHICH HE HATH BUILT THEREUPON, he shall receive a reward." (1Co.3:14.)—If, having received Jesus, you give your life to Him, live for Him & serve Him & tell others about Him, when you finally stand before Him at this great Judgement Seat of Christ, your works will endure the test, even as gold & silver endure & come through the fire‚ & they will "abide" & remain & you will receive a glorious reward! "That the trial of your faith‚ being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise & honour & glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ!" (1Pe.1:7.)
22. BUT "IF ANY MAN'S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE!" (1Co.3:15.)—If you've received Jesus, but like the seed sown among the thorns & the tares, you "go forth & are choked with the cares & riches & pleasures of this life, & bring forth no fruit to perfection" (Lk.8:14), having done nothing for Jesus in thanksgiving—no witness for Christ, no souls led to the Lord—your works shall be burned as wood, hay & stubble, & there will be no glory! You'll still be saved‚ but oh‚ you'll suffer such a sad loss!—Because you were such a loss!—To God & His service for others!
23. GOD MUST BE SO SAD & SO DISGUSTED WITH SUCH PEOPLE!—After all He's done for them & all He's given them, even His Own Son & Eternal Salvation, they're still not thankful enough, not really grateful enough to serve Him! They may acknowledge Him with a little thanks now & then, maybe they pray a little when they get in trouble or need something, but they're not grateful enough & don't love Him enough to really serve Him!
24. THEY JUST ABSOLUTELY SEEM TO BE A TOTAL LOSS AS FAR AS THIS LIFE'S CONCERNED & will probably be down in the basement of Heaven shining shoes at the bottom of the totem pole‚ God's going to be so ashamed of them!—Imagine! "Some raised to everlasting shame & contempt!"—Boy oh boy, that's almost as bad as having to go to Hell, to have to live in Heaven but yet be ashamed of yourself forever, like so many uncommitted churchy Christians are going to be!
25. THEY MUST BE LIKE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL THAT GOD LET DIE OUT THERE IN THE WILDERNESS!—They were probably saved, at least they believed in God, but they forfeited & lost all the blessings & all the crowns & all the glory & all the rewards & everything else because of their damnable lack of faith & constant complaining & murmuring & unwillingness to really serve God! (See Ps.106:13-43; Ac.7:36-43; Heb.3:7–19.)
26. SO CHRIST'S TIME OF JUDGEMENT, HIS JUDGEMENT SEAT AT THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB, IS NOT GOING TO BE A VERY PLEASANT OR HAPPY TIME FOR SOME PEOPLE. Many, thank God, are going to have their works remain, because they're built of gold & silver—true, pure, tried & tested. But others are going to have no works left at all! God is going to greatly reward some, but others will have no reward at all! They'll just be thankful that they even got in, that they're even saved.—But imagine how ashamed they'll be!—And how ashamed God will be of them!
27. BUT THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY SERVE HIM, LIKE THOSE IN THAT HALL OF FAME IN THE 11TH CHAPTER OF HEBREWS, all those great men & women of faith, God as good as says that He's proud of them! He's not ashamed to be called their God because they're pilgrims & strangers here & they seek an Heavenly City, whose builder & maker is God! They're not satisfied with this World, they want something better!—"They desire a better country, that is, an Heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a City!" (Heb.11:16.)
"ONLY ONE LIFE..."
28. I WALKED THROUGH A HOUSE ONCE, A MILLIONAIRE'S MANSION, & the hostess pointed to all the luxury & the comfort & the wealth & she told me, "I was once called by the Lord to be a missionary, I was called to serve God, but I fell in love with this millionaire & married him instead." Then she said‚ "See all that I traded God for?"—Imagine!—How tragic! What failures some people become when they miss God's best because they are just too lazy or unwilling or don't love Him or others enough to serve Him!
29. SUCCESS IN THIS WORLD IS A GREAT DEFEAT IF IT TAKES YOU OUT OF GOD'S WORK! The Devil's success is a defeat for the Lord! Some people put their hand to the plough for a little while, but then they look back—meaning that they are sorry they have to plough‚ they are sorry they had to forsake-all & leave home & go out in the field to labour for the Lord. And like Lot's wife, they give a longing loving backward look &—Bam!—The Lord just lets'm go back & that's the end of their service or usefulness to Him! This is why Jesus said, "He that putteth his hand to the plough & even looks back is not worthy of Me!" (Lk.9:62.)
30. SO MANY ARE LIKE THE RICH YOUNG RULER WHO CAME RUNNING TO JESUS, YET HE WENT AWAY SORROWFUL.—They're such sad cases!—So pitiful! Jesus told them to "forsake all, give to the poor, & come follow Me" (Mt.19:21), but they have gone back sorrowful because of the riches of this life, considering them of more value than the riches of Christ, & they choose to "lay up for themselves treasures on Earth, where moth & rust doth corrupt & where thieves break through & steal"—instead of laying up for themselves eternal "treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt & where thieves do not break through nor steal." (Mt.6:19,20.)—"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!" (Mt.6:21.)
31. THANK GOD FOR MEN LIKE MOSES WHO FORSAKE THIS WORLD! He looked beyond because he saw Jesus & had an eye on Eternity & its great rewards. "For he counted the riches of Christ greater than the riches of all Egypt!" (Heb.11:26.)—The greatest & most powerful & richest nation on the face of the Earth in that day, of which he could have been Pharaoh, couldn't compare to Christ!
32. HE COUNTED THE RICHES OF CHRIST GREATER THAN THE RICHES OF THIS WORLD, "for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward"—far greater than all the riches of this whole World combined & all of its selfish pleasures & selfish interests. TYJ! So "he chose to suffer affliction with the children of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of this life for a season." (Heb.11:25.)
33. WHATEVER THIS LIFE & THIS WORLD HAS TO OFFER, IT'S ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE! But salvation, souls, children & service for the Lord are forever, they are eternal! "For this World passes away & the fashion thereof, but he that doeth the Will of God abideth forever! For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (1Jn.2:17; 2Co.4:18.) Hallelujah! So "love not the World, neither the things that are in the World. For he that loveth the World, the love of the Father is not in him!" (1Jn.2:15.)
34. THE ONE WHO IS WILLING TO SEEMINGLY LOSE IS GOING TO BE THE GAINER! "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose!" Jesus Himself said, "He that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for My sake & the Gospel's‚ the same shall save it!" (Mk.8:35.)—And a lot of others besides!
35. THAT'S WHAT I CALL A BARGAIN, TO GIVE UP THIS TERRIBLE OLD LIFE in this horrible old World for a beautiful eternal life in Heaven! Amen?—With all of our friends & family & folks we've won to the Lord forever! What could be better than that? I'd call that a bargain! I call that a real cheap price to pay for these eternal dividends, these eternal rewards & life with the Lord & His Family in Heavenly places forever! Hallelujah! TYJ! PYL!
36. "ONLY ONE LIFE, 'TWILL SOON BE PAST!—ONLY WHAT'S DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST!" What are you doing?—For whom?—Will it last forever for Jesus & others? He's coming soon! Will you be glad?—Or ashamed forever?—Sorry forever! Quit wasting time!—There's not much left! Now is your last chance to serve Him & help others!
37. NOW IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!—TODAY!—Tomorrow it'll be gone forever! Did you spend today's precious time for Him & His?—For Eternity?—Or is it gone forever? How will you answer Him? What will you say? How can you face Him & others then‚ if you're wasting life on yourself & nothing now? It's better to die for something than to live—& die—for nothing! Which are you doing? "Start living TODAY! There's only ONE WAY!"—For JESUS!
38. AND EVEN THOUGH IT COSTS SOMETHING in self-sacrifice & personal effort in giving, as well as persecution & actual suffering, Jesus Himself promised that if you would suffer with Him, you would also reign with Him. (2Ti.2:12.) Are you going to reign now a little while & suffer a lot later?—Or are you going to suffer a little now & reign forever?—"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!" (Rom.8:18.)
39. ARE YOU WILLING TO "DENY YOURSELF & TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY"? (Lk.9:23.)—Or have you decided just to settle down safely & earn a living yearly? If so, you'll be sorry, for you will reap what you sow—& if you don't sow, you won't reap! That's one of God's laws as sure as the law of gravity! (Gal.6:7; 2Co.9:6,7.)
40. SO WATCH & PRAY THAT YE ENTER NOT INTO TEMPTATION that might lead you astray from the straight & narrow way which leads to a higher crown & greater reward! "Forget those things which are behind, & reach forth unto those things which are before. Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!" (Ph.3:13‚14.) Amen?
41. GOD'S CALLED YOU!—HAVE YOU CHOSEN HIS HIGHEST & BEST?—Or will you disappoint Him & fail Him? May God help you to be faithful to the End! "Be thou faithful unto death‚ & I will give thee a crown of life!" (Rev.2:10.)—In Jesus' name‚ amen!
42. (PROPHECY:) "BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY‚ & MY REWARD IS WITH ME & MY FAN IS IN MY HAND. Let every man examine himself according to that which is within him—whether it be of gold & of silver, or of wood, hay or stubble, which shall be burned. Beware lest thou, too, be found to be wanting! (Rev.22:12; 2Co.13:5; 1Co.3:11-15.)
43. "OH WHAT A DAY THAT SHALL BE WHEN THOU SHALT JOIN WITH ME IN MY KINGDOM TO REIGN WITH ME FOR EVERMORE! Thou shalt have such joy that thou hast never known, & thou shalt see such glories that thou hast never seen, & thou shalt know that it has been worth it all, all that thou hast suffered & all that thou shalt yet go through. (2Co.4:17.)
44. "FOR THESE ARE THEY WHICH SHALL COME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, & I shall say, Come, thou blessed of My Father, enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord, for thy works do follow thee, for blessed are they which die in the Lord, for no greater love hath any man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. (Rev.7:14; Mt.25:34; Rev.14:13; Jn.15:13.)
45. "I SHALL SPARE THEM & PROTECT THEM & BRING THEM THROUGH AS BY FIRE & they shall glorify Me & they shall enter in to the Marriage Feast of My Beloved! For I rejoice in her‚ delight in her—this‚ My New Bride, who hath oiled her lamps burning brightly & who doth lighten this World in its last dark hour! These faithful ones, these little ones, shall be raised to everlasting glory, & shall shine as the stars—as they that turn many to righteousness, & as those that remain faithful through Great Tribulation. (Mt.25:1–10; Dan.12:3.)
46. "IF THOU COULDST SEE THAT WHICH IS IN STORE FOR THEE‚ the things I have prepared for thee, if thou couldst feel that which I feel for thee, the joy thou shouldst know in time to come, thou shouldst be overjoyed for that which is to come! For thou shalt experience joys which thou hast never known! This shall be a compensation unto thee & a recompense, & thou shalt be rewarded!—For it hath not entered into thy mind, neither hath thine eye seen, nor hath thine ear heard, the glories that shall be, that I have laid up for thee, My own‚ My beloved, My beloved one!" Hallelujah! PTL! TYJ! (1Co.2:9,10.)
47. "FOR AS A YOUNG MAN MARRIETH A VIRGIN, & AS THE BRIDEGROOM REJOICETH OVER THE BRIDE, SO SHALL THY GOD REJOICE OVER THEE! Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown! He that overcometh, & keepeth My works unto the End, to him will I give power over the nations. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne‚ even as I also overcame, & am set down with My Father in His Throne!" Hallelujah! (Is.62:5; Rev.3:11; 2:26; 3:21.)
A JOB WELL DONE!
Tho' harder, rougher grows the way
As we strive onward day by day,
Yet nearer‚ brighter shines His LIGHT
As we near the end of the night!
As 'round the World we work & roam,
Each weary step brings closer home!
For journey's end will come soon—see!
—There He waits for you & me!
—And as He gathers each one in
From this old World of hate & sin‚
He'll welcome home each faithful one
With all His joy for job well done!