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Series: Judgement, The Corporate Man.
Sunday am 17 November 2013 – Kobus Swart
1 Pet. 4:17; Acts 17:30; Isa. 59:19-KJV; Isa. 18:3; Isa. 31:9; Isa. 62:10-12;
Jer. 4:6; Jer. 50:2; Isa. 17:30,31 (JB Phillips version); Eph. 1:10;
Col. 1:15-17; Rom. 8:28-29 (The Message); Rev. 20:7-10
For it is time for judgement to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the Gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17). This is quite a confronting Scripture. Where does the Lord begin with His judgement? In the household, in the Church! Yes, that is where He starts! Judgement is not quite what we grew up to believe. Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all, everywhere, should repent, for He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31). There is only one such a Man – Jesus Christ the Lord! Philip’s version says, God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in justice, by the standard of a man whom He has appointed. That this is so He has guaranteed to all men by raising this man from the dead.
You know that all our standards of measurement; that of volume, mass and distance, are securely stored in a safe in a safe place in France. This is to preserve that standard by which everything else is measured, or judged.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise a standard against him (Is 59:19-KJV/Ampl). All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on earth, as soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it. As soon as a trumpet is blown, you will hear it (Isaiah 18:3). It is beautiful to see these verses basically confirming one point about the ‘standard’. And his rock will pass away because of panic and his princes will be terrified at the standard, declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem (Isa. 31:9). Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples… (Is 62:10-12).
Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, ‘Babylon has been captured, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered; Her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered’ (Jer 50:2 See also Jer 4:6).
Let us get a New Testament perspective on this standard. “God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world by the standard of a Man whom He has raised from the dead as proof”. This Man whom He has raised from the dead is Jesus Christ. But to clearly understand what it means, that Man, Jesus Christ, has also come to bring many sons to glory! He came as the first-born of all creation. He is called the first-fruits. He does not mind us being called His brethren. He is busy raising the standard to express the corporate Son in the earth. That is why we understand the Scriptures which say that all human history will be consummated in Christ (Eph. 1:10). Follow these indicators towards the corporate Man becoming the standard in the earth.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:15-17). “And He is”, talking about the corporate Son, “the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation”. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything (Col 1:18).
This is why Rom 8:28-29 is so important to bring into the picture. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God has a plan and is allowing circumstances in our lives, situations in our lives, the detail of our everyday life to be used for our good. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who loved him along the same lines as the life of his Son. Other translations tell us to conform to the image of the Son. The son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape, (or standard), of our lives there in him.
Then we understand John 17 through fresh perspective, where Jesus prayed, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21). When the world sees the standard it will bring them to a place of believing the gospel. It is not just about talking and preaching; it is about becoming and demonstrating us being part of the standard of His Son.
The Book of Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ. This book must be read through that one lens – looking for Jesus Christ. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10). Let your imagination go a little. Why would God let satan loose from his prison? We do not know exactly what happened next except that fire fell from heaven and satan was destroyed. He and all he had collected fell short of the standard. Maybe God wanted to show off a little by raising the standard? Satan could not touch the saints! They have become part of the STANDARD! Read these verses, looking for the revelation and demonstration of Jesus Christ in the sons.
God is measuring His church. Judgement has begun in the household of God. God is busy shaking everything so that only the unshakeable kingdom will remain. The unshakable kingdom also represents the standard. Everything else which can be shaken will be shaken, including both your faith and mine.
Every person on this Christian journey will be tested. Allow the testing to come. Do not run away from it; do not postpone the dealings of God. Run towards it with open arms and say, “Lord, judge me now, measure me now. I want to be part of that corporate standard, the measure which has been set by Jesus Christ Himself!” God is going to judge the world in righteousness against the standard of a Man whom He raised from the dead! part of that corporate standard, the measure which has been set by Jesus Christ Himself!” God is going to judge the world in righteousness against the standard of a Man whom He raised from the dead!