THE CLOCK OF GOD, Part 4, MARK OF THE CROSS

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of the filth practised in it." ---Ezekiel 9:4

CHAPTER 14

The Royal Priesthood

He was in the world that had its being through him
and the world did not know him."

John.1:10

_____________

Scripture tells us that Jesus created the earth.

John's declaration has immense significance, but his extraordinary quote is such an enigma that few in Christianity have ever tried to explore its implications.

It is certainly obvious that Jesus shared immense power with God in heaven long before he submitted himself to the lower status of a mortal human being. And the Bible shows that he resumed this stately position soon after his crucifixion and resurrection.

"Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me with that glory I had with you before the world ever came into being." (Jn.17:5).

An even greater glory is to be His as well. God has determined that Jesus is to be crowned King of the third (2 Cor.12:2) and highest Heaven. That coronation, celebrated even now in prophecy, will accompany the day of Judgment at the world's End. (Dn.7:9-14).

After Satan corrupted the world (a world which scripture calls Eden), God annihilated it in a flood and Jesus was brought in to remake it for a rescue. (Jn.1:10).

That remake is the Babylon we know, the threshing-stone upon which all mankind is now being tested by wickedness and violence. The words of the prophets are very clear in this respect. Violence and wickedness are the feet of the pagans, and the children who are being trampled by them constitute the vintage of God.

In the end, unrighteousness will rise to such a fever pitch that the trampling will reverse, becoming God's own, and it will consume Babylon irrevocably in flames ignited by its own hand.

Even though Jesus himself fashioned our planet's character and substance, he did so only to prepare it so that it would present his sacrifice in terms so perfect that God's plan could be carried out exactly as He intended it to be.

Coming here to rescue us, Jesus lowered himself to the status of a man.

Although He appeared in this world the peasant son of a poor carpenter, born in the feeding manger of a cattle stall, Jesus was God's only Son -- the first person in the royal family of God, and the king-elect of the new creation -- a kingdom so vast that our own universe is dwarfed by it in comparison.

In the lineage of the royal family of God, Jesus was different than His brothers and sisters. From the instant of His creation, He was born to the throne.

We can see the same principal in our monarchies on earth in the first-born sons of kings before they ascend to the throne.. They are princes -- very special princes of course, but not yet kings.

Because He was not yet king, during His stay on earth Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace. In the new creation He will be the King of Peace.

And here there is a difference between God's world and our own. To God there is no past, present or future. All are one to Him. Therefore, what God intends to do, He has already done. (Rv.21:6, Ps.22:31).

If God intends to crown Jesus King, then his Kingship extends from the beginning of the past to the ends of the future, because God exists outside of time.

Even so, there is going to be a single event very soon that will fulfill every word in the prophetic sequence. Scripture refers to that event as a grand coronation -- the wedding feast of the bridegroom of the new covenant.

It is important to note that when Jesus walked on earth the Trinity had not yet been formed: "There was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified." (Jn.7:39).

Unglorified, and dwelling in flesh, Jesus could say, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (Mt.19:17). Nothing short of divine celestial coronation could alter that statement.

The Bible testifies that the Holy Spirit appeared on earth 52 days after Jesus was crucified. At some point in the sequence of those 52 days, then, the Trinity had been formed. It was not an event anyone on earth saw; we can see only its results.

In the glorification which occurred at that time, Jesus was brought back to heaven to share "that glory which I had with the Father, before the world was ever made." (Jn.17:5).

That glory, while it returned Jesus to the highest realm of royalty, did not, of itself, make Him King. Until the coronation, Jesus remains King-elect. His royal kingdom, even now still closed, is being readied for habitation in the highest heaven. His coronation will will mark His marriage to that new kingdom, and it will confirm our prophecy of the existance of the Trinity -- a Godhead in three parts.

By elevating us to the status of brotherhood with himself, Jesus made it possible for humanity to share in his equality with God.

While His action sanctified us and made us royal, it did not deify us. Kingship and royalty are not the same. While all kings are royal, most royals never become kings. We can see that clearly with royal families on earth. Royalty encompasses many people who can never mount the throne.

In royal monarchies on earth there can be many princes and princesses -- brothers and sisters to the king. But there can only be one king. Thus a royal family can be quite large, but the lineage of the king always remains small and unique within that family.

In heaven, divinity is a title which God has reserved for Jesus and the Holy Spirit alone. As we saw in the last chapter, the word God is not a name, it is a title. It means King of Kings and implies absolute authority. Jesus has been elevated to that role by the prophecy of the Trinity, which the Holy Spirit has encouraged almost all Christians to believe.

Since the coronation of Jesus has not yet occurred, the Trinity is prophecy. In fact, until the Second Coming, everything we think or believe about Him or read in the Bible remains prophecy. We believe today only through faith, not proven fact. This process is essential to our salvation. For it is only by faith that anyone can be saved.

The Second Coming is the confirmation of all Christian prophecy. The coronation that is to be the climax of that event will trumpet God's official proof to all creation that our witnessing was true -- that Jesus absolutely is the Lord and master of all the universe. On Him God has set His seal. Even now He is wrapped in the elegant robes of a celestial royalty that is infinitely superior to anything we know, and He has invited us to join Him in that glory as brothers and sisters.

His offer is open to everyone, and is, He said, easier for the poor to accept than the rich. But the reward of acceptance makes all wealth and earthly power pale to insignificance by comparison. Simple compliance brings eternal life. In His train, death disappears and never returns.

Royalty and eternal life -- that is what this King has offered to each one of us as He prepares to mount His shared throne with God and the Holy Spirit as the reigning power of creation's vast and spectacular new kingdom.

When God allowed us to join Jesus as brothers and sisters, He made us a part of heaven's Royal Family, but He did not make us gods. We can see that easily by examining the priesthood of Christ, and studying how it differs from our own.

Scripture explains that the priesthood of Jesus Christ is of a lineage called Melchizedek. "Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born, on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days. God has sworn an oath which he never will retract, 'You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and forever." (Psalm 110:3-4).

Our priesthood, however, comes through Peter. We can see the difference between these two priesthoods in the schematic of the Hebrew Law. While"...there was...a covenant with David...a royal succession from father to one son exclusively...the succession of Aaron passes to all his descendants." (Sir.45:25).

As most of us are easily aware, King David was the metaphoric counterpart of Jesus Christ. Aaron, on the other hand, as the high priest of the old covenant, prefigured Peter, the high priest of the new. Both David and Aaron were Old Testament persons to whom God assigned the task of prefiguring individuals in the New Testament. The Old Testament is the schematic on which the New is based.

This implies that the eternal priesthood of the royal family in heaven exists in two parts -- one for divinity and another for all royals under divinity. Christ's divinity will last forever. It will never change. Nor will our relationship to it.

As we have already seen, in the Old Testament schematic, the priesthood of Aaron was itself further divided into two parts, one high, the other low.

We can see this same division repeated in Christianity through Peter. Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ belongs to the high priesthood so that they can offer on the holiest of all altars the highest sacrifices Jesus has made acceptable to God.

The lower priesthood, as we have said before, is fulfilled in the ministers whose task it is to care for the services and upkeep of the churches (See footnote).

Obviously, most members of the low priesthood carry both high and low priesthoods simultaneously, so that they can make offerings on both altars -- man's and God's -- at the appropriate times.

When the day arrives for all those God has chosen to enter the kingdom of heaven, the lower priesthood -- the priesthood of ministry -- will be left behind. It only exists for the sake of the earth. When the earth disappears, there will be no need for it anymore.

And when it disappears it will be replaced by the Royal Priesthood of the Trinity.

At that moment, the cosmic coronation Daniel foresaw will take place in fact and will bear dramatic witness before awestruck eyes that the sovereignty of Jesus is transcendent over all creation and that His reign will last forever.

NEXT
Clock of God, Chapter 15,
"The Seven Churches"

The Clock of God - Contents


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