Rewards and the Millennium
Our Lord taught quite extensively on the difference between gold, silver and precious stones (pure works before God and in His Power) and wood, hay and stubble which will burn at the Judgment Seat immediately following the rapture.
Works in our own power (without fasting and prayer for the Spirit's power) are usually self glorifying (to a degree which varies but degree will not matter) and will be burned. Our Lord promised us the power of His Spirit if we would relentlessly seek it. (Luke 11). Any work done leaving the Spirit of God out of it are of the flesh (therefore will be burned). Pure works before God will never welcome earthly recognition, admiration or congratulation from other believers.
Any reward, recognition, congratulation or praise received down here and welcomed by us for any work associated with the church will be burned (we have our reward already) which indicates to me that there will be no double-dipping of rewards. It is either wasted here for a short time or it is enjoyed Spiritually for eternity. It is our choice which way we want to be rewarded.
I Cor 3: 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 14 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (Yes Christian, there will be loss at the Judgment Seat. It may not matter to you now but it most certainly will then or else the Lord would not declare it as "loss"). This among other reasons explains our tears for a 1000 years.
The key word our Lord used was "secret". Not done (even partially) to be seen of others or done for church office election or done for recognition within the church or done for the pastor(s) to be pleased by. Click on this word search "secret" in the NT and you will see what I am referencing here. If we do things to be seen of our pastors or church members, we receive an earthly reward only. One of many Scriptural examples:
Matt 6: 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (all rewards our Lord discusses in the NT are Heavenly, Spiritual rewards and never earthly).
Heavenly rewards will not come to anyone who speaks of their works, deeds, etc. whether overtly or in innuendo to others. Think about it for a moment: If a believer mentions their good "deeds" to others even with the most innocent of tones, it is in fact, boasting (at some level) and they have their reward already here. Our sin nature craves attention, approval and praise from others. So there is no need to claim we don't think of or worry over rewards as if we are somehow "above" that. This is the type of reaction that demonstrates this "innuendo" and error of the true meaning of Heavenly rewards. Losing our lives in this world results in these rewards. These rewards come by "crucifying self" and life through Jesus Christ and never for earthly praise. If a believer dies to self as Christ did for us, then earthly praise will no longer hold any interest to them.
Much of the planets infrastructure will still exist post-Armageddon. The level of technological advancement which marked man's pinnacle of ingenuity, pride and greed will most likely no longer exist however.
Most people alive today (7.5 billion) and alive at the rapture will have not heard the Gospel clearly previously and will have ample opportunity to believe during the tribulation. There will be children born during the tribulation and billions (as far as can be understood by Scripture) remaining afterward who survived because of where they lived (examples like India, China).
It is obvious in Revelation that the 2 primary Witnesses will work their mission in the "industialized" parts of the world which the antichrist controls, while the 144K witnesses sealed by God will be dispersed to all the remote corners of the earth to spread the Gospel to those who have not clearly heard it before. Much of rural areas worldwide will still be intact but no cities.
Life will pick up and continue at the start of the Millennium but now His Reign has begun and Christ rules on His Throne in the new Jerusalem and His saints judged during the tribulation and rewarded will rule with Christ over all the world's governments. It is indicated in Scripture that there will be no government official who is not a martyred saint in a glorified body during the millennium.
Mayors, governors, national rulers (titles, functions may not be the same but the basic premise will be) will be His saints ruling and reigning with Him under His rod of iron. Those who died to self and served our Lord the most (Bible persecution like the early disciples and tribulation saints) and the most secretly (as He clearly commanded) will undoubtedly have the highest offices during the millennium. This of course leaves out the "big name" Christian authors, leaders, pastors who have their rewards already from the praise of men, their profit-making merchandise of God, their love for name recognition or mammon in all its forms.
Everyone our flesh thinks will be a big shot in Heaven due to their seeming "success" for "Christ" ....MOST ASSUREDLY WILL NOT BE. Our Lord taught this clearly to His disciples. Matt 18:4, 23:11, Luke 22:23-29, ETC......... See Billy Graham and Others Like him for more information on this subject.
Our Lord's pure laws will be enforced by us upon all mankind. There will be no more war nor soldiers/weapons of any type. The curse will be lifted and all animals will live in harmony with predatory instincts removed and even lions will eat the straw of the field and be as pets. The earth will provide fertility as never before post flood, areas uninhabitable will all be the same again as before the flood. The dew canopy will be over the earth again and what were once deserts and polar ice caps will be fertile planes, etc..Isaiah 2, 11, 35, etc.
Matt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Redeem the time...............Because the Judgement Seat will not be pleasant as many falsely believe.
The wiping away of tears occurs after the Great White Throne Judgment at the time of the New Heaven and New Earth. I believe it indicates the beginning of Eternity, all things New including no memories for us. This explains the wiping away at that time.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
I believe the Judgment Seat during the Tribulation will cause the initial tears for us and we will carry our memories throughout the 1000 year Kingdom. However, as with us now, time heals to a certain extent. Our ruler-ship with the Lord during the millennium will be a great time of wonderful joy and not allot of thought over these memories will occur as time during the 1000 years goes on. However, after Satan is tossed into the lake of fire for good, then comes the Great White Throne Judgment in which we will witness and watch as those we knew during our physical lives are condemned for eternity: family members, loved ones, friends, neighbors, etc... I believe it will be a time of great sorrow for us but will not last much longer after this. All records revealed, all secrets brought to light, all wasted opportunities exposed.....
I believe Luke 11 indicates this. I believe the wording the Lord uses is clear and certain in that our walk with Him and our effectiveness as witnesses is in direct correlation with the sincerity and amount of our earnest prayers for His Spirit's Power. If we want His Power enough, we will beg for it incessantly. Fasting is a demonstration of our earnest willingness to die to self to obtain this Power. It is a demonstration to God that we really want His Power. God wants us to be totally dependent on Him, that is what He has always wanted. Recall Luke 11 and our Lord's story of the neighbor who needed 3 loaves. The neighbor would not stop asking, he would not leave his neighbor's door until the neighbor gave him what he needed:
Luke 11: 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. Importunity is a rare word and appears only one time in Scripture right here in Luke and it means incessant begging.
Later in this context, the Lords explains:
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Please keep in mind that I refer to the Scriptural explanation of the Spirit who is here to proclaim Christ and never Himself.
Our Lord started His ministry on earth with 40 days of fasting and prayer. This is our primary example to follow. How can anyone hope to Spiritually (truly) succeed in ministry without total reliance on the Spirit's Power? We spit in the wind when He is not the center of ministry and sole power-source for His Work. Clever words never work on the heart, nor clever gimmicks, schemes or entertainment programs at church.
Please do not mistake this for the large churches of today. None exist according to the example of the New Testament churches in Acts. These false "churches" are built with clever marketing gimmicks and hard work by the worlds wisdom, NEVER the Spirit of God. God never empowers wolves in sheep's clothing.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, sayeth the Lord is God's principle from cover to cover.
It is a strange paradox between the Spirit's power and our flesh. Any work done without reliance on the Holy Spirit is a waste of our time on earth and will be burned.
Fasting if done sincerely and only between the person and God is demonstrated throughout Scripture and desired by the Lord from us, examples in the NT:
Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
I study things like Matt 17:21 and Mark 9:29 with their context and what I see is a correlation between the demon possessed child of this context and the hard-hearted people in my life that simply will not accept the Gospel. In many ways they are demon possessed. Not in the physical way described in this text but their hearts are darkened and hardened by Satan's socioeconomic world system which in many ways is demonic possession. Satan controls communications, media, governments, Hollywood, education, you-name-it down here. Jesus Words to His disciples were simple: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Trust this friends, it will not be the clever oratory of the "mouthpieces" that are considered by the Lord as great in Heaven, it will be the quiet, behind-the-scenes prayer warriors (men and women) who are deemed the greatest in Heaven. Why, because the Lord already knows and trusts them intimately.
I Cor 1: 17 not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. Later in this same context the Lord says in verse 29: That no flesh shall glory in His presence.
The Spirit's power is NOT automatic for us, we must reverently nag God for it.
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