When Jesus Christ returns as Supreme Ruler to establish the world-ruling Kingdom
of God, will YOU be one of Hisassistants?How can one be TRAINED to rule with the
The SAVIOUR of mankind came to earth more than 1,900 years ago with a message-the,
good news of the comingKingdomofGod. Wecallthatmessagethe"Gospel"-anoldEnglishwordthatmeans"goodnews."The Kingdom of God will rule over all nations.
and the Supreme Ruler on earth will be Jesus Himself.But Christ will not rule over
thousands of millions of people all by Himself, while Spirit-born Christians take
an eternal vacation and playing on harps with nothing to do!The Bible shows they
will rule the earth with Him!
BORN TO RULE
Whenyou, if you are a Spirit-begotten child of God, are destined, when born of God's
Spirit into the ruling Family of God, you are to reign as a far greater and ETERNAL
KING than any earthly king of this world today! You are the heir ofa spiritual King! (Rom. 8:16-17).
And as the royal heirs of God’s kingdom, the Christian life is the preparation and
training necessary forruler-shipintheeternalKingdomof God'.
SAINTS TO RULE IN GOD'S KINGDOM
A kingdom is a nation as well as a government. The Kingdom of God is the divine
nation or Family of God, presently composed of God the Father and God the Son (Christ)
in heaven, and of Spirit-begotten sons and daughters--not yet born---on earth.God'sFamilyisarulingFamily. AnditistheSpirit-begottenchildrenofGodwhowill,atthefirstresurrection, be born of God and become part of that divine ruling Kingdom!Notice-"And the kingdom and dominions and the greatness of the kingdom under the
whole heaven, shall be given to thepeopleofthesaintsofthemostHigh,whosekingdomisaneverlastingkingdom,andalldominionsshallserve andobey him" (Daniel.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection... they Shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shallreignwithhimathousandyears"(Rev.20:6).
Those whom Daniel called "saints" will be resurrected or changed to immortality
at Christ’s return and given positionsofruler-shipinGod'sKingdom. Butwhowilltheyruleover? Andwherewilltheyreign? Notice Revelation 2:26-27: "And he that
overcomes...tohimwillIgivepoweroverthenations:andheshallrulethem witha rod of iron."TheKingdomofGod,withChristasKing(Rev.11:15;19:16),willruleoverallmortalsonearth(Rev.5:10). And the law by which Christ and the immortal
saints will rule is the law that expresses the loving nature and character of God- the Ten Commandments!
REWARDED ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS
GodhasanexcitingfuturebeyondimaginationinstoreforthosewhowillinglyfollowHiswayoflife,growand overcomespiritually.NotonlywilltheyinheriteternallifeasthefreegiftofGodandbecomeeternalmembersof the God Family, they will
also be rewarded-not with the temporary rewards of men, but with rewards of eternal
responsibility.Every Christian's reward will be exciting and fulfilling for all
InGod'sgovernmentwillbemanyimportantofficesofresponsibility.Godwillgivetheseresponsibilitiestothose who have qualified for them during their training
period. In complete fairness, all will be rewarded according to the "works" they
did during their Christian lives (Matt. 16:27). And because every member, when born
into God's Family, will be completely yielded to God's government, everyone will
be completely satisfied with the responsibilities and power God will give them.
Let's understand how God will reward those who have been freely given the opportunity
to become His children.Let's see how one can prepare for exciting power in God's
But before we begin, get your Bible, some paper, and a pen or pencil. Look up the
Bible verses given in answertothequestionsandreadthem. Youmayalsowanttowritethesescripturesdown. Manyofour students have discovered that writing
them out helps to increase their understanding and memory. Now let's begin.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS DUAL
GodhasamessageformankindthatissoimportantHecommissionedHisownSontobethefirsttodeliverit. As we learned in Lesson 18, that supremely important
message is the Gospel the good news-of the coming Kingdom of God (Mark 1: 14-15).That same message is being proclaimed to the world today by God's Church!
Actually,thecentralmessageoftheentireBibleisthecomingKingdomofGodonearth. Theancientkingdom of Israel was a physical type or forerunner of the Kingdom
of God. Many of the prophecies of the Bible show how God's Kingdom will be established.
Jesus' life and teachings, and His sacrifice and resurrection reveal how wemaybecomemembersofGod'sKingdom. Christ,theKingofthatcomingKingdom,andHisapostles preached about many aspects of the Kingdom of God.
Let'sbrieflyreview,first,whattheKingdomofGodis.Lesson18showedthatGod'sKingdomwillbealiteral government ruling over the nations of earth. Nebuchadnezzar'sdreamofthegreatimage,asrecordedinDaniel2, makes that very clear.But the
Kingdom of God is more than just the government of God. It is also the Family of
God, into which humans may be born as spirit members. As a governing or ruling family,
it will exercise jurisdiction over all nations on earth-and, ultimately, over the
Let's understand more about these two aspects of God's Kingdom, beginning with the
Family of God.
THE RULING FAMILY OF GOD
The coming government of God on earth will be administered by the ruling Family of
God. When Jesus came preaching about the Kingdom of God, He was talking about the
Family of God, and how humans, through Him, may be born into it.
1 . DidJesus,inHisconversationwithNicodemus, reveal the family nature of
the Kingdom ofGod? John 3:3, 5.
Comment:ChristshowedthattheKingdomofGodistheFamilyofGodintowhichwemaybebornasGodBeings (no longer human beings, but divine beings)-literally BORN
of God's Spirit into the very God Family!Aspreviouslessonshaveshown,GodisnotasimplePersonage. TheHebrewwordforGodisElohim(Gen.1:1), which is plural,
meaning "Mighty Ones' " God is a family of Personages, or "kingdom" composed of more
thanonebeing.Thereisthemineralkingdom,theplantkingdomandtheanimalkingdom.Thenthereisanangel kingdom created by God and composed of spirit. And then,
high above all, is the God Kingdom. In other words, the Kingdom of God!
2.What is the pattern of government God has set for the human family?Eph. 5:23-24;
Comment: Godcreatedthehumanfamilytobea physicaltypeofHisownFamily.ThereforeGod's Family has a ruling structure, with various responsibilities to be fulfilled
by Spirit-born children of God, all organized into a world-ruling government!
GOD'S PERFECT GOVERNMENT
In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam the opportunity to replace Satan as world ruler.
Adam failed by making the wrong choice. Four thousand years later, Jesus Christ
came as the second Adam and, by obeying Godperfectly,qualifiedtoruletheearth.ButChristdidnotimmediatelybeginruling.Hereturnedtoheavenand established
His Church on earth through God's Spirit, thus making it possible for many to qualify
to rule with Him. Itwouldbenearly2,000yearslaterthatChristwouldreturnfromheaventorestorethegovernmentofGodover the entire earth (Acts 3:19-21).
1.WhentheKingdomofGodisestablishedonearth,willittakeoverthegovernmentsofthisworld? Rev.11:15.Who will become King over all the earth?Same verse;Zech. 14:9; Rev. 19:16.How long will He reign? Rev. 11:15.Did Christ clearly state
that He was born to bea king?John 18:37.
Comment:These scriptures reveal that God is Supreme Ruler, and that the government
of God will takeoverthegovernmentsofthisworldatChrist'sreturn. TheBibletellsusintheplainestoflanguagethatJesus Christ was born to be King of the
earth.He will rule all nations and His government will last forever!
2. What did Christ say to Pilate to show clearly that His Kingdom had not yet
been established on earth? John 18:36.
Comment: Christ's Kingdom is not part of thisworld'scivilization. Itwillnotbegintoruleonearth until His Second Coming.
Comment: When the Kingdom of God takes over thegovernments of this earth and the1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ begins (commonly called the Millennium), His rule
will bring peace, happiness and joy to all mankind.Notice that in the Millennium
there will be babies and young children on earth. They will be mortal, flesh and
bloodhumanbeings-notspiritbeings.AndsinceSpirit-begottenChristianswillhavealreadybeenmadeimmortal Sons of God at the resurrection, there will be both mortals
and immortals living at the same time throughout the Millennium.
4.Where will Satan be during the 1,000 years?Rev. 20:1 3.
Comment: Satan will be put away where he can do no harm. He will be gone and Christ
will be here! Instead of the evil spirit or attitude of Satan pervading the atmosphere,
influencing everyone and causing evil as it does today (Eph.2:2),theHolySpiritofGodwillinfusetheatmosphere! TheHolySpirit,represented by "living waters"
(Zech.14:8;John7:38-39),willflowoutfromChristandbegintohealthespiritualproblemsof mankind.ThegovernmentoftheworldtomorrowwillbebasedonGod'slawoflove. WiththehelpandinspirationofGod's Holy Spirit given to them, people
will begin to truly love one another-to have godly concern for fellowman. God'sgovernmentwillnotbeademocracy. Itwillnotbesocialism,communismorfascism. Itwillnotbe humanmonarchy,oligarchyorplutocracy. Itwillnotbeman'sgovernmentoverman. Manhasprovenhisutterincapability of ruling himself!
It will be divine government-the government of God. It will not be government from
the bottom up. The people willnotvotetheirleadersintooffice. Notimeormoneywillbewastedoncampaigningandelections. Itwillnot be government of or by
the people-but it will be government for the people. It will be government from
the top (God Almighty) down.Intheworldtomorrow,allofficialswillbemembersofGod'sFamily-divinespiritbeings,appointedbyChristHimself even down to the
level of mayors over cities.TheBibletellsusthatundertheleadershipofJesusChrist,God'sgovernmentwillproduceautopianparadiseon earth. As we learned
in Lesson 4, God will begin to work first with the descendants of the children of
Jacob. Using them asa model and example, God will rebuild and bless all nations!
COMPLETELY NEW CIVILIZATION TO BE BUILT
TheKingdomofGodincludesmuchmorethanbringingthisworld'sgovernmentsunderGod'srule. A completely new civilization will have to be built!Let's understand.
1.IsGod'sChurchcomparedtoabuilding? ICorinthians.3:9;1Pet.2:5. Whatfoundationisitbuiltupon? Eph.2:19-22.Just how important isa solid foundation
to any building?Matt. 7:24-27.
Comment:The Church of God is built on God's rock-solid spiritual foundation-the
teachingsofJesus Christ, His apostles and prophets. Their teachings are based
on God's law of love-God's way of co-operation, unselfish giving and serving.But
this present world has been built ona different foundation.
Thecivilizationofthisworldwasfoundednearly6,000yearsagointheGardenofEden. AdamandEve, influenced by Satan, rejected God's government and chose se/f-government
instead. They ate of the fruit of the treeoftheknowledgeofgoodandevil,whichrepresentedSatan'swayoflife. Consequently,thisworld's civilization has been
built on the foundation of sin!
And so it was that at the very "foundation" of this present world (Rev. 13.-8), when
Adam and Eve sinned, God decreed that Christ, the "Lamb of God" (John 1:36), should
come and be sacrificed to pay the penalty of their sins and the sins of their descendants.This present evil world is built on a foundation of "sand" (Matt. 7:26)-on Satan's
way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition and strife, violence,
rebellion, contention, unhappiness, suffering and death. This world is therefore
doomed to crash.And as Jesus said, great shall be the fall thereof! (Verse 27).The foundation of this world's civilization is faulty because it is of Satan the
devil. This is Satan's civilization, started through Adam when he sinned. Therefore
this world's superstructure-its systems of government, law, politics,education,economics,religionandsocialcustoms-isfaulty,havingproducedthediscontent,unhappiness and strife that has led to the violence and destruction, the anguish,
suffering, poverty and death in the world today. The superstructure of the building
that is this world is fast crumbling and will soon be completely destroyed by God
at the return of Jesus Christ! God says, "Except the Lord build the house, theylabourinvainthatbuildit" (Ps. 127:1).Satan, not God, built this house.God is not
trying to repair this decaying and rotting civilization.Instead He sent His own
Son, Jesus Christ, as the secondAdam,tostartanew-tobeginbuildingatotallydifferentnewstructureofcivilization. Thenewcivilization will be built on God's
foundation-His way of life.Aswelearnedinthepreviouslesson,God'sChurchisthebeginning,in"embryonic"form,ofthatgovernmenton earthwhenHebeganHisChurchinthefirstcenturyA.D.
The Church started with about 120 on the day of PentecostA.D.31,whenitsfirstmemberswerebegottenby the Holy Spirit. God's Church has continued to exist through
the centuries to this day. Many more have been and are now being trained to help
rule in the world tomorrow. (More about God's training program will be covered later
in this lesson.)
2. WillmanynationsgouptoJerusalem-theworldwidegovernment-of Jesus andask
to be taught His ways?Micah 4:2.Will the earth become full of the knowledge of
Comment: Soon mankind will begin to be taught how to live God's way of life, with
God's religion, God's' education,God'ssocialcustoms,God'seconomic,industrialandmerchandisingsystems. Themillionswhohave livedinthissatanicallyinfluencedworldandarestillaliveatChrist'sreturnwillbetaughttheknowledgeofGod.
His truth will be taught throughout the Millennium.Eventually, the whole earth will
be following God's way.But who will teach the people in the world tomorrow? Certainly
not the educators and theologians of this world!
CALLED TO BECOME RULERS AND TEACHERS
Jesus is coming again, this time to restore the rule of God on earth and to teach
the way of salvation to mankind. But Christ will not rule and teach all by Himself.
1 . Exactly what will Spirit-born Sons of God do for 1,000 years?Rev. 2:26-27;
3:21; 5:1 0; 20:4, last part; Dan. 7:27.Will many be mayors over cities?Luke 19:16-19.
Comment: The Bible plainly shows that those who will be born into God's Family at
the first resurrection (which includes all Spirit-begotten saints of God through
the centuries) will rule this earth's mortals under Jesus Christ!But some doubt
whether they could ever rule, while others have no desire to rule whatsoever. Perhaps
you have thought:I don't want to rule in the world tomorrow.I just want to serve
God.The problem is that few people have ever really understood what it means to
2. Did Jesus explain the difference between the kings in God's Kingdom, and the
kings or rulers of this present world?Mark 10:42-45.
Comment: Rulers in God's Family will not be like most of this civilization's rulers.
They will not be harsh dictators. Those occupying positions ofruler-shipintheworldtomorrowwillbeservants,havingopportunityto do great good in truly SERVING
mankind by governing God's way.God's world will be built on a completely new foundation-His
way of life, which is the way of His law of love. The divine kings of the Family
of God will be servants of God and humanity. Each divine ruler will serve his subjects
by ruling in genuine love and concern (I John 4:16), never acting selfishly. They
will rule for the benefit of others, not themselves!Yes,theywillhavethepowertostabilizetheworldandenforcepeacewhennecessary,whichwillbeespecially
neededatthebeginningoftheMillennium. TheywillalsohavethecompassionrequiredtohelpthesurvivorsoftheGreatTribulation-tohealthem,teachthemthecausesoftheevilsoftheworldtheylivedin,andteachthemGod's way to peace, happiness
3. Inadditiontobeingrulers,willtheSonsofGodalsobepriests? Rev.1:6;5:10;20:6. What is the function ofa priest?Mal. 2:7.
Comment: JustasancientIsrael'sprieststaughtGod'sway,Spirit-bornmembersoftheGod's Family will also be teachers of God's way of life, helping to eventually
bring the knowledge of the way to salvation to everyone in the world tomorrow.In
addition to being the Supreme King over all nations, Christ will also be the Supreme
Educator. To bring mankindtorepentance,Christwillre-educatetheworldtoGod'swayoflife-thewayofGod'slawoflove-sothe people may, of their own free will,
decide to follow His way.Re-educating mankind to God's way of life will receive
top priority.Under the direct supervision of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God will
restore the laws and rule of God to the entire earth.As the world becomes re-educated,
people will begin to experience the blessings that result from obeying God's law
of love. There will be peace, co-operation, vibrant health, abundance and joy. And
the whole world will come to understand God's purpose and Master Plan for mankind.But God will not begin saving the entire world until He first has teachers trained
to help Him teach the way of salvation.
Aswelearnedinthepreviouslesson,GodwillnotsavemillionsuntilHefirsthasthousandsofteachers. Thisis why God is training the thousands He has called into
His Church today.While on the earth, Christ wasa teacher, as well asa messenger
and announcer of the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. He personally instructed
His apostles in the way of God. He then commissioned them to teachotherswhattheyweretaught(Matt.28:19-20). ThosewhomGodhascalledtobemembersofHis Church
and who have been taught by His ministers down through the ages will have been trained
to become rulers and teachers during the Millennium!TrueChristianstodayshouldhaveaburningdesiretobringGod'swayoflifetotheentireworld-toteachGod's
wonderfulwaytopeace,joyandabundance.Andthey'llbeabletodojustthatwhenChristreturnstosetupthe Kingdom of God and they are born of God!But to qualify-to
be properly trained-to serve and teach in the world tomorrow, true Christians must
learn to serve and teach now.The only reason any person is called to salvation now
is to QUALIFY to help in ruling and teaching in the world tomorrow-to help call and
save those alive then. God hasn't selected certain ones today for special favours;
He has called them fora special purpose-a tremendous JOB to do!Spirit-begottenChristiansarenowintrainingforsignificantrolesinhelpingtoteachtheworldGod'swayandto administer the government of God for the good of all mankind. The
rest of this lesson will clearly show that the Christian life is one of preparing
for great service in tomorrow's world!
GOD'S TRAINING PROGRAM
True Christians are now in training for responsible positions in God's soon-coming,
world-ruling government. This training comes through living the Christian life, which
is following the way of God's government! It is the training God's Spirit-begotten
children must receive to administer His government in the Kingdom of God.
God Himself laid out the plan of salvation and the method by which humans may be
trained and prepared to become, through the free gift of God, Spirit-born members
of His ruling Kingdom. God's divine Family will be highly trained and superbly organized,
having learned God's pattern of mutual teamwork and cooperation to function perfectly
together. The initial steps to salvation are actually the beginning of one's preparation
for God's Kingdom.Let's understand.
1 . To eventually be born into God's ruling Family, we must first be begotten by
His Spirit. What conditions must we fulfil before God will beget us as His free
gift?Mark 1:14-15; Acts 3:19.
Comment: Repentanceandbeliefarethefirststeps. BeliefinvolvesbelievingwhatJesustaught about the coming Kingdom of God, as well as believing on Him as
personal Saviour.To repent means to turn around and go the opposite direction-to
forsake our own way, which is contrary to God'slawandturntoGod'sway,whichisthewayofHislaw. Itmeansrejectingourprevioussinfulwayoflife and willingly
yielding ourselves to God's government.Before we can be allowed to govern others
in the world tomorrow, God must know that we will submit to His rulenow!SincetherewillalwaysbeachainofauthorityfromGodtheFatherthroughJesusChristandondown, we will always be under authority.So learning to rule begins with submission
to God's rule.
2. What is the next step toward one day becominga member of God's ruling Family?
Comment:BaptismistheoutwardsymbolofourfaithinChristasourSaviour,andofourturningfromourpast lifeofsintoalifeofobediencetoGod. ItsymbolizesourrejectionofSatan'sway-thewayofthishuman civilization he has inspired-and
turning our allegiance and loyalty to God and His soon-coming Kingdom.Baptism and
the laying on of hands of a minister of God for the receipt of the Holy Spirit also
shows our recognitionof,andsubmissionto,theauthorityGodhasplacedinthecalledandchosenministersofHisChurch. Andthroughtheconsequent begettal of
God's Spirit, we become part of His government-in-training-His Kingdom in
embryo, which is His Church (ICorinthians. 12:13).
3.What is the next step in God's training program forruler-ship in His Kingdom?2 Pet. 3:18; 1:5-11.
Comment: UponourreceiptofGod'sfreegiftoftheHolySpirit,wehavebeenbegottenof God. Butweareonlyspiritualembryos,notyetbornagainasGodBeings-notyetdevelopedforthepurpose Godhascalledus,notyettrainedtobedivinerulersandteachersinHisKingdom. Tobecomeproperlytrained, spiritual growth-character
development asa result of obedience to God-must occur within us!
God has supreme spiritual character. He is holy, righteous and perfect. We, to
be actually born of Him-born intoHisrulingFamilyasHisdivinechildren-mustbechangednotonlyfromhumanfleshandbloodtodivinespirit, butfromoursinfulhumannatureintoGod'sdivinenature(11Pet.1:4),whichreflectsHisholy,perfectcharacter (I Pet. 1:16; Matt. 5:48).God's spiritual character must be in the process
of development in us throughout our Christian lives!What, precisely, is the character
God wants His begotten children to be developing? It is a combination of knowledge,
attitude and action: the knowledge of what God defines as right as opposed to wrong-knowledge
learned by studying God's Word-and the desire and actual DOING of the right, despite
temptation to do wrong.Godly character is the possession and practice of love, patience,
mercy, faith, kindness, gentleness, meekness, temperance, self-restraint and right
self-direction. This kind of character involves knowledge, wisdom, purpose and ability,
all properly controlled and developed through independent choice.Holy,righteouscharacterissomethingthatisdevelopedonlythroughexperience.Experiencerequirestimeand circumstances.Therefore God allows the time and circumstances that enable
us to develop this character.But this is not our character. It is actually the
character of God-holy, righteous character motivated by Him, inspired by Him, and
built by Him in us through our willing obedience to His law.
4. In what one word canGod'scharacterbesummedup? IJohn4:16. AndexactlywhatisGod'spartin building His character in Spirit-begotten Christians?Rom.
Comment: TheHolySpirit,whichtheFatherfreelygivestothosewhorepent,believeandare baptized, enables God's children to understand the Word of God-the foundation
for character development. God's Spirit also supplies the spiritual love and faith
needed to obey God's law of love, which is the basis of His government.But God's
Spirit does not force one to obey God. God's character cannot be forced upon people.
It can be developed only through willing, voluntary choice-by those God calls to
be Christians (John 6:44) actively choosing to be led by God's Spirit throughout
their mortal lives (Rom.8:14).Thatisthespiritualtrainingthat prepares us forruler-ship in the Kingdom of God!
And when we are born of God at the resurrection, we shall be perfect as God is, for
God will have developed in us, with our yielding, perfect character. It will then,
by nature, be established in us forever. (I John 3:9). We will then be ready to
assist Christ as holy and righteous co-rulers in the world tomorrow.
5. Jesus Christ overcame the temptations of Satan the devil (Matt. 4:1 -11). He
was severely tempted, yet through the power of God's Spirit, He resisted and overcame
Satan, and remained faithful to God and His way until death.Must Christians, to
be able to assist Christ, also overcome?Rev. 3:21.
Comment: Jesus had to qualify to replace this world's presentruler. Functioningasahumanbeing, He had to resist and overcome the intense temptations of the devil.
And all who are called by the Father to rule with Christ when He restores God's
government on earth must also qualify to rule-must turn from Satan's way, resist
and overcome his temptations. They must strive to root out Satan's attitude and
way, and learn to obey God's law of love, which is the way of His government.ChristresistedallevilinfluencesperfectlybecauseHehadthewillandfullmeasureofGod'sSpirit(John3:34). Though we do not have the fullness of God's Spirit now,
we can, with the help of the measure of the Spirit God grants us, begin to resist
and overcome Satan, this world and our own carnal nature.Through the process of
overcoming the sinful pulls and impulses of the flesh, the world and the devil, and
submittingtoGodandHisway,spiritualcharacterisbeingdeveloped. WeareyieldingtoGodtobuildwithinus His very character.Thus we are preparing and qualifying
to rule and teach the nations with Jesus Christ!Butnoonecanovercomeforus.
our part, together with the power of God's Holy Spirit, to become the spiritually
minded and motivated persons God can use in His Kingdom.
HOW RESPONSIBILITIES WILL BE DETERMINED
As our Saviour and elder brother-"the firstborn among many brethren"-Jesus Christ
has already qualified for the highestofficeunderGodtheFatherintheworldtomorrow.
Nooneelsecaneverreceivethepositionof authority the Father has promised
to Him in the government of God.CertainotherindividualshavealsobeenpromisedparticularpositionsofresponsibilityinGod'sKingdom.King David will rule over
the 12 tribes of the reunited nation of Israel (Ezek.37:21-22,24). Eachofthe12apostles willruleoveroneofthetribesofIsrael(Matt.19:27-28).AndGodhasalludedtootherpositionsofruler-shipfor otherover-comers who have lived
before us and are to be in His Kingdom (Heb.11:4-40). Theyhavealready been trained
and will be given responsibilities in God's ruling Family, though God has not revealed
what their positions will be.IntheKingdomorFamilyofGodtherewillbevariouspositionsofresponsibility,foranentirelynewcivilization must be built on earth-built
this time to God's specifications. It will take many different, vital jobs to recreate
world society as it ought to be.You, if you are a Spirit-begotten child of God,
are now being judged for your future job in God's Kingdom (I Pet.4:17). YoushallberewardedwithanofficeinGod'sgovernmentaccordingtoyourworksinthislife!
Let's thoroughly understand this important principle.
1 . How does God judge true Christians?I Pet.1:1 7;Rom. 2: 5-1 0.
Comment:Everyonehas"works"-eithergoodorbad.Thosewhodogoodworkswillreceivegoodrewards. Those who do evil works-who commit SIN (I John 3:4)-will be punished,
unless their evil works are repented of and covered by the blood of Christ. Note
that our works determine our rewards, not whether we receive eternal life-immortality
is a free gift from God for which we cannot work. But unrepentantsinnerswillreceivethe"wages"-paymentorreward-forsinwhichtheyhaveearned-DEATHforall eternity!
(Rom. 6:23). This also applies to any spirit being that has sinned.
Let's be sure we understand the meaning of the word "works" as used in the Bible.
The word "works" is translated from the Greekergon,whichmeansdeeds,actions,business. TheBibleuses this word primarily in two ways, and there isa vast difference
between the two.
When joined with "law," as "the works of the law" (primarily in Romans and Galatians),
it refers to the hard work required in performing the rituals of the law of Moses.
These rituals involved repetitive physical labour. These laborious physical rituals,
or "works of the law," were a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit, and were
in force only until Christ's death.
But where the word "works" appears alone, it usually refers to acts of righteousness
or of evil- that is, the good works of keeping God's spiritual law (Ps. 119:172)
or the evil works of disobedience (Col. 1:21). In this lesson we are concerned with
spiritual "works" (righteous conduct), not rituals of the law of Moses.
2. What will Christ bring with Him when He returns?Rev. 22:12.Who will be rewarded
then?Rev. 11:18.Will the reward be according to each person's works?Rev. 22:12;
Matt. 16:27; Rev.2:26-27; 3:21.
Comment: When the glorified Christ returns to earth to rule all nations as King of
He will assign positions of authority in His government (the "reward") to those who
are freely saved by His grace- thosewhowillhave,throughgrace,beengivenGod'sgiftofeternallifebyaresurrectionorchangetoimmortality at Christ's Second
Coming.However, most professing Christians confuse the "reward of the saved" with
eternal life.Eternal life isa gift, nota reward.The Bible clearly defines both.
3. Canwe"earn"eternallife? Rom.6:23;Eph.2:8-9. YetwhatmustwedoifweexpecttoreceiveGod's gift of eternal life?Matt. 19:16-19.
Comment:A"gift"issomethinggrantedasafavour,somethinggivenfreely. God'sgiftofeternallifecomesby His grace and favour. It is unmerited. There is absolutely
nothing we can do to "earn" it. If it were earned it would not bea gift.However,
God has set certain terms or conditions that we must meet before He will give us
immortality. Compliancewiththeseconditionsdoesnot"earn"eternallife,butnon-compliancewillresultindeath!(ICorinthians.6:9-10;Rom 6:23; Rev. 21:8).God will not
give eternal life to anyone who insists on living Satan's way.
WhatareGod'sconditions? Aswesawearlier,theyinclude:repentance,belief,baptismandobediencetoGod-in other words, cooperation with His plan of salvation.
ThosewhoaregivenimmortalityatChrist'sreturnwillreceivearewardinadditiontothefreegiftofeternallife. The "reward of the saved" is not eternal life,
but ruler-shipwithJesusChristoverthenationsofthisearth! Butnot allpositionsof ruler-ship will be equal.How will God decide which of His Spirit-born children
will be given which positions in His ruling Family?Let's notice several parables
of Christ that explain this.
4. Should Christians constantly be using God's Holy Spirit to produce much spiritual
"fruit"? John 15:1-5, 8, 16.
Comment:Usinganexampleofagrapevineanditsbranches,JesussaidHeisthevineandChristiansarethe branches. Thebranchesdonotjointhemselvestothevine-receiveGod'sHolySpirit-bytheirowneffortsor‘works’. It is the Father's doing (John
6:44; 17:9, 11; Acts 2:38-39) His GIFT it comes by GRACE.Butoncejoinedon,withthesapflowingfromthevineintothebranches(apictureofChrist'sSpiritflowinginto andempoweringus),wemustproducespiritualfruitthroughoutourlives.Ifwedon'tthentheFatherwillremove us from the vine (verse 2, first part)-cut us
off from Christ-and ultimately cast us into the lake of fire! (Verse 6).
5. Does Jesus' parable of thesower show that some bring forth more "fruit" than
others? Matt. 13:23.
Comment: TheSpiritofGodisgiventoussowecanproducegoodfruit. Thefruitissimplythe resultoffollowingGod'swayoflife-ofkeepingGod'slaw.Wemustbedoersofthelaw,nothearersonly(Rom.2:13). This doing produces fruit-develops
the spiritual character of God.
Now notice the parable of the pounds in Luke 19. It shows that the degree of reward
each Christian will receive will be according to how much he grew and overcame spiritually
in this life how much good fruit he produced by his effort and the power of God's
Spirit in him.
In this parable Christ pictures Himself as a nobleman going to a far country (heaven)
to receive a kingdom and to return to earth (verses 11-12). But before leaving,
He gave an equal amount of money to each of His ten servants (verse 13).
6. Having obtained the Kingdom and returned, how will Christ judge His servants?
Comment: These servants represent Christians (ICorinthians. 7:22) to whom God has
given His Holy Spirit. Each"pound"(aunitofmoneysymbolizingspiritualvalue)correspondstothebeginningunitofGod'sSpiritwe receiveafterbaptism.
spiritual character, and help accomplish the work of God's Church.
At His return, Christ will call His servants to see how much each "had gained by
trading." Christ will want to see how much each Christian grew spiritually!
7. Will each servant's reward be proportional tohis growth-his spiritual overcoming
and godly character development?Verses 16-19.
Comment: The Christian life is a "spiritual school"-our training to be rulers, priests
and teachers in God'sKingdom. ButsomelearnmoreandaccomplishmorespiritualworkswiththeSpirittheyhavebeengiven than others. Some overcome and develop
more spiritual character than others, producing more spiritual fruit. Thus,intheKingdomorFamilyofGod,eachwillreceivegreaterorlesserpositionsofresponsibilitybasedupon the degree of his or her spiritual overcoming and how much of God's character
was developed in this life. Each will be rewarded "according to his works" (Matt.
16:27).As explained earlier, our good works cannot gain us entrance into God's Kingdom
of immortals. We are born into the Kingdom of God by His grace. But once we are
born into the God Family, our spiritual "works" during our Christian life DO determine
what office, position, rank or degree of glory each of us shall have!So it is nota matter of grace or works, but grace and works!Now turn to the parable of the talents
in Matthew 25, verses 14 through 30. This parable illustrates the fact that we will
be rewarded according to our works. But it also illustrates another aspect-God's
complete fairness in rewarding us, taking into consideration our own natural limitations.
8. In this parable Christ compared Himself toa man travelling toa far country
(verse 14).In what way did the man divide up his goods?Verse 15.
Comment: The Greek word translated "talent" istalanton, which wasa measure by which
gold or silver was weighed.
9. This time are all the quantities equal, or were amounts given according to each
servant's natural physical aptitude or ability?Same verse.
Comment: These units of money, like the pounds in Luke 19, symbolize the Holy Spirit
given to each Christian (servant). But they also picture spiritual gifts given to
each based on his own natural ability! God knows some have more hereditary ability,
greater innate aptitudes, more personality or more physical strength than others.Some also have more education and better opportunities in life.
10. Inthisparable,whatdidtheservantsdowiththemoneygiventothembeforeChristcamebackto"reckon" with them-to judge their works?Verses 16-19.How were
the first two judged?Verses 20-23.
Comment: In the parable of the pounds, all 1 0 of Christ's servants (Christians)
appear to have had equal ability, and each was given an equal portion of Spirit from
God at the start.But in the parable of the talents, God gave spiritual gifts to
each, at the start of his Christian life, according to his natural ability. To one
He gave five talents, to another two, and to another only one-according to the natural
ability of each. The person who was given five talents doubled his spiritual stock-in-trade.
Likewise, although the man with two produced less in number than the one with five,
he also doubled what he started with. He did as well in proportion to his ability!Consequentlywefinditrevealedthattowhommuchisgiven,muchisrequired;andtowhomlittleisgiven,less is required (Luke 12:48). In other words, God judges
each Christian according to how well he overcomes, yields to God, develops and grows
spiritually, according to what he has to do with!
11. Does this parable reveal that each servant who is faithful "over a few things"-that
is, over his or her limited abilities and opportunities of this life-will be rewarded
with "many things" when Christ returns? Matt. 25:21, 23. Isn'titclearlyruler-ship
that Christ promised?Same verses.
Comment:We learn to responsibly rule for the good of ourselves and others in the
world tomorrow by learning to better manage the affairs, responsibilities and powers
in our control today, no matter how small they may presently be. There are many
opportunities to grow and develop right on the job, at school or in the home-in whatever
circumstance we may find ourselves.
12. Whatwillhappentothosewhofailtoovercomeandgrowevenalittle-whofailtoincreasetheirspiritual usefulness and effectiveness?Luke 19-.20-24; Matt. 25:24-30.
Christian who did not overcome and grow spiritually.He developed no character.
These parables show that the Christian who does not grow spiritually will lose out!
He could be compared to one who thought he did not need to overcome spiritually
and grow in spiritual character. He thought he was "already saved." He didn't believe
any "works" were necessary!By doing nothing, he lost not only the reward, but he
lost out on the free gift of eternal life as well because he produced no spiritual
fruit.He failed utterly in God's REAL PURPOSE for his life.Godfreelygivesussalvationsowemayserveothers. IfwedonotpreparenowtoserveinGod'scomingKingdom, we may have taken away from us even the salvation we thought we had!
ARE YOU IN TRAINING TO RULE?
Why will Abraham, David and the apostles be assigned positions of responsibility
in the Kingdom of God? Simply because they prepared and qualified for those positions
during their mortal lives. They learned to rule by submittingtoGod'srule.TheywerewillingtodowhateverGodsaid.Theygrewintheholy,righteouscharacter
of God.Christ will not establish world rule until He has first trained His assistants.
God will not entrust the incomprehensibly great powers of His ruling Family to
those who did not, in this human life, strive to obey Him and learn to properly control
the small powers we all have at our disposal. God wants to know that we would use
His incredible power in love and self-control and according to His will for the good
of all under our authority!
1. By what great principle can a person of ordinary ability and humble opportunity
qualify for far greater responsibility in the Kingdom of God?Luke 16:10.Also notice
Comment: Welearntorulebybeingfaithful-conscientiousandhonest-inwhateverwedoaswe strivetoputintopracticetheprinciplesofGod'slawwelearnfromHisWord. Eventhepersonwhoconsiders himself or herself as having onlya little
ability and natural talent can be trained to rule-SERVE-in God's Kingdom! Butcanthatreallyqualifyyoutoruleacity-totacklethecomplexadministrative,organizationalandpersonalproblems that come up when several thousand families live together?
Yes, it can!God does not need to see you actually ruling 10 cities to determine
whether you know how to apply and observe His law. He can see, by the simple decisions
you make every day in your life, whether YOU will obey Him or go the way of this
present evil world.ThedecisionsrequiredtoliveGod'swayarereallyverysimple-theyarebasicallyamatterofsaying"yes"or"no" to God's law.
Thewayyoutreatyourwife,respectyourhusband,loveyourchildrenandyourfriendsshowsChristwhatkind ofa ruler you would be.Are you short-tempered, hard to get
along with, rebellious, uncooperative, unfair?Christ needs to know that now, before
He entrusts you with a major responsibility over many people. The KingdomofGodisgoingtobringpeacetotheworld,notmorestrife. ThosewhowillrulemustshowGodnow that they are learning the way of peace.God wants us to learn to rule
ourselves before He gives us authority over others!Whataboutfinances? Wouldyouhandlethefinancesofacitylikesomanyrulerstoday,andenrichyourselfat the
expense of others? God can tell by the way you handle your employer's money and
the time your employer pays you for.AsJesussaid,"Ifye have not been faithful
in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" (Luke
16:12). If you learn to be faithful and loyal in the small things of life, God knows
that you will be that way if given much greater responsibility!Every Christian who
is growing and developing spiritually also has his heart completely in the work God
has given His Church to accomplish. Our "works" include our part in doing God's
work getting the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the whole world as a witness (Matt.
24:14; 28:19-20), thus preparing the way for Christ's coming. God'sSpirit-begottenchildrenareHisinstrumentsinfulfillingHisgreatcommissiontoHisChurchinthe end time!Yearsofexperiencehaveshownthatthosewhoareself-centred,caringnothingfortheworkofGod's Church, not having enough outgoing concern to want
to help get Christ's message out to this blinded, deceived, dyingworld,eventuallyfallaway. Thosewhocentre theirwhole"Christian"lifeonthemselves,whoseheartsare not in or concerned about this great outgoing worldwide work of God, shrivel
up spiritually and fall by the wayside!
JustastheChurchhastwoprimarycommissions-1)topreachtheGospeloftheKingdomtotheworld;and2) to help the Spirit-begotten members grow spiritually as part
of their training for that Kingdom-so the members alsohavetwoprimarymissions:1)toactivelysupporttheChurchinpreachingtheGospel;and2)towillinglyand
actively participate in God's training program for eternalruler-shipasSpirit-bornmembersoftheuniverse-ruling Kingdom of God!Ask God daily for the understanding
and wisdom to rightly use and direct the powers, abilities and responsibilities that
are now yours so you can bea faithful and productive servant of God.Strive to be
faithful over what God has already given you, so that one day Christ can say to you:
"Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful overa little,I will
set you over MUCH"(Matt. 25:21, RSV).This life is our time of training.It is only
those who are obedient to the authority of God's government now-who learnitslaws,whoovercomeeveryfalseway,whogrowinGod'sholy,righteouscharacter,becomingmorelike Him in preparation to being born into His Family and ruling with Christ-who
will then be assigned a position of ruler-ship.Yes, you were born with the potential
to be an eternal king to RULE in the Kingdom of God! Your awesome destiny, once
born of God, is that of helping to rule the earth, and the universe beyond, as a
member of the Family of God!
Aglorious,wonderfulfuture!Haveyoubeguntowalkspiritually towards that goal?Areyouin training to rule? May our Lord God help you in that goal!