Does Anybody Know About The Judgment Seat Of Christ?
By Billie Marie Zal
We can’t get away with one thing when we belong to Jesus Christ. We think we can; we even sometimes HOPE that we can. But we might as well forget about it.
The Bible is clear on our relationship with Him, once we are born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. There is nothing left of “us” to own. We have, in effect, claimed to the world, to angels, and to men that “Everything within us has to go.” And yet - does all of it go?
Ignorance of the Word of God is a dangerous thing. God does not speak outside of His Word. He expresses His love for mankind by His creation, true. We look at the stars, billions and more billions of them, and we know that they did not just “happen” as scientists would like to believe. It would take more faith for me to believe that the galaxies “just happened” than it would for me to believe that God is who He says He is. Things don’t “just happen” and no matter how hard man tries, he cannot create life. He can use what has been created; but he cannot be God. For God is the only One who can create life.
We can look at the flowers. I spend a lot of time examining each blossom, with a sense of awe filling my heart as I notice that nothing is out of proportion: each petal is neatly folded, each mark on the bloom is arranged in exact line with the next mark. When lilies unfold, who has ever seen anything more beautiful? Jesus said so Himself when He told us, “Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
I look at butterflies. I’ve never seen so many butterflies as we have this early summer. I will sit on the swing and wait, and here they come. Orange ones, brown ones, almost-black ones, white ones…..even a Swallow-tail came flying the other day. And again, the butterflies have no defects in their patterns. They are perfectly made by our Father in Heaven. I often have the “knowing” that there will be millions of butterflies in Heaven.
Then there are the birds: we are so blessed here, because we live within the big “flyway” that the birds take on their migration from North to South.
Bright yellow and black Goldfinch fight for feeding positions on our feeders out back. I lose a lot of “should be working time” just watching those gorgeous birds. The hummingbirds come from 2500 miles away to nest here and I am rewarded by their scolding when I sit too close to their nectar feeding stations. They are such brave little birds! We have Owls across the highway on our other acreage and in the night they call out and I answer them. And there are Purple Finch, Swallows, Sparrows (we welcome them, they are the ones who Jesus speaks of in His Word), and Red Shouldered Hawks, Turkey Buzzards (how I love to watch them soar with the winds), plus Robins, Phoebes, and every other species whom God sends to our mountain.
And this is well and good, and we should definitely spend time thanking God for all His wondrous works. But we should also spend time in studying His Word to find out each day what else is there within us that might hinder His power and love toward others.
I have always said that the only reason we are here after we are born again is to get all of the “Old Man” or Adamic nature, crucified WITH Christ before we all set out for Glory.
When we are born again, it is true that we are regenerated and the process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit sets in. But unfortunately this is exactly where a great number of new-born believers just stop. I was told, for example, by a “counselor” in a liberal church that I was already cleansed and since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, I needn’t bother with concern about sin in my life.
But I WAS concerned. I couldn’t see why anyone would take this “so great a salvation” and then go on living exactly like one did before. What good would it do us? We would not only be miserable if we “continued in sin that grace may abound” but we would be doing great harm to the Body of Christ. It is a disgrace to the cross of Christ to continue in deliberate, willful, premeditated sin AFTER our new birth.
What we need to know, and to live, is the truth that we are entrusted with that “Name that is above every name - JESUS.” When we are baptized into that Name we have to see how imperative in our lives must be the cross and the resurrection. We have to stand on the ground of baptism or the reality of the Cross. By this, I am not talking about getting sprinkled with water or being dunked in a river, I am talking about the principle of the cross in dealing with
our natural life. The fact that we are baptized (by God’s Spirit the moment we recognize our hopelessness in overcoming sin) then we must be assured that all that we are (even after our claiming the new birth) must go through death daily.
This is the part that few Christians think about, or desire. It hurts to go through death daily. But why else would we have sin in our life AFTER we are born again, unless sin is there?
This was the one thing that could have taken away my joy after I was born again on a cold, snowy night in Chicago. I thought that night surely I would never sin again. I did not WANT to sin again. And for a few weeks, I literally floated on a cloud of joy and peace.
But, just as God’s Word tells us, we still have one part of Adam’s nature within us because our physical bodies are not yet redeemed. And that causes trouble. It’s like having a certain clock on a certain wall in one of your rooms in the home. One day you decide to move it, and you do. But for a little while you will automatically glance at the “old” wall to check the time. It takes awhile to realize that it’s no longer there.
Sin is like that. Say, for example, you gossiped all the time before you were born again. You are saved, and God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within you. Your own spirit, once dead because of the original sin, desires harmony with the Holy Spirit. But you find yourself in a group where gossip begins and you resort to the old habit. You join in. And you are miserable.
How do you get the victory over the sin? You must go to the New Testament daily, and read the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, who is the only one to whom God revealed the “Mystery of the Church.” Even the disciples were puzzled by what Paul taught. They were Hebrews, and God has a place and a time for them to reign. And of course they were witnesses to the great Love of God through the sacrificial death of His Son.
But the Church was to be a “peculiar people” and never mix with the world system. The members of the Body of Christ by revelation would stand as a beacon of hope and freedom from the lusts of the world. The only way to accomplish this nature is by death: remembering that God not only saved us from the penalty of sin, but He also saved us from the guilt and the POWER OF SIN.
That is why things never seem to “go right” for most Christians. We are not promised wealth, health, and happiness. We are promised eternal life, and a day by day “dying” to the
old man, that our “new man” (spiritual life) might become more and more recognizable as we mature in Christ.
I remember once when God first called me and I was living in one room in a dark basement. Because I had recognized my need to die to the things which once held me captive, I didn’t mind living there. It was in a way one of the best times of my life because it was there - during those seven years - that I discovered that within my heart there were things that needed to be forsaken: anger, stubbornness, covetousness, self pity, all the things we live with and never think anything about until we are claimed by God to be His own.
It was not difficult for me to give up each natural attitude. I hated what I had been and was looking for deliverance in everything that hurt the Lord Jesus. But the reason it was not difficult was because I believe the very Word of God. He said in His Word that He knew all the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He said that He knew how many hairs were on our heads. He said that anyone who continues in sin once saved, is not only recrucifying the Son of God afresh, but also putting Him to an open shame. Had I not gotten into the Bible and stayed there, I would never have known the jeopardy that believers put themselves into when they sin deliberately after the gift of salvation.
If your words and deeds and feelings - and especially your attitudes before God do not bear any evidence of the cross, then it is necessary that God will break you by that cross, thus making you fit to enter Heaven. Whatever is left after passing through the cross is called resurrection, for resurrection is whatever cannot be buried nor annihilated after going through death. In other words, resurrection is what we have left to us after being stricken by the Lord.
In today’s popular messages, no mention is made of giving up things. Rather, we hear that we can have it all. We deserve it. We should never be sick, nor poor, nor have to do without. But this is contrary to the Word of God and if you are wise, you will turn off the TV, get out your Bible and begin to ask God, “What, in my life, needs to be taken to the cross and left there?” He will answer you sooner than you can imagine.
Each time God has taken me through something that crosses what I might have wanted, I give it up. I don’t care what it is, and He takes me at my Word. It costs EVERYTHING to follow Jesus Christ and be a member of that company of believers who have “kept the faith” and are “overcomers” on earth. These are the only people whom God can use; this might account for the fact that although millions (or billions) of dollars are sent to the professing religious bodies today, there is little or no effect on the members. They still take their “tours,”
their “cruises,” build their mansions, invest “for the future” and sit back and think nothing of the horrors that are ahead in a world that is dying.
When I came to this mountain with my “little flock” everything went wrong that could go wrong. I had no water (the well ran dry), my home was infested with fleas, the interior was filthy and needed two coats of paint, and I won’t even mention the difficulties of living with rebellious people who wanted everything NOW.
But on this day, the thirty-first anniversary of our moving to God’s mountain, I can say that my people have learned that the cross of Christ is real; we don’t get what we want; we learn to give and not expect anything in return; we love when we might hate; we refuse to compromise God’s Word even though it has cost us everything. And we have this Hope within us, because I have taught the Body of Christ that “we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” and this is where our deeds done in our body AFTER our salvation will be “tried by fire.” Anything that is done for any other motive than the pure love for Christ and hope for His glory will be burned. Those works that survive the fire will be rewarded. Those works that do not survive the fire will be burnt and the believer will stand naked and alone, with all secret motives and sins revealed and destroyed.
If we truly believe this Word, believers will lay down their “rights” to themselves, love those who hate them, and never fight back. And THEN there might be one last ingathering of people before Jesus catches up His Church and the world is left to the great tribulation. The body of flesh will be at last redeemed, and like the grand old hymn says, “Sin shall be no more.” I pray that you make it.
Billie wrote this in June, 2001.
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It looks like autumn is here, its suddenly much cooler, and the leaves are changing colors. We have had no rain for weeks. But with the cooler temperatures the trees will go dormant and hopefully survive through this draught.
This time of year always brings memories to my mind. And I have been thinking of all the experiences we have had here on the mountain. In case anyone doesn’t know we have been here for 35 years. And we knew each other many years before that. We have a long and interesting history together. There has been failure, but for the most part we have stood by each other, through thick and then.
As the memories come to mind, I wanted to tell about the many things done for me by
everyone, and just brag on everyone. But I changed my mind, because Jesus said not to do your works for others to see. And I believe that by showing off what we have done will take away from the reward in Heaven. Even if we just get an ego boost or emotional high, its still a reward.
I grew up being taught that if we live right, get an education, work hard and use our money wisely, then our life will be good and blessed by God. And we do hear a lot from the pulpits about being blessed.
But I believe blessings come in many forms. Many years ago I gave my life to God and submitted to His will, because of a tragedy that happened to me. And through that first submission to His will, my life changed. So was that tragedy really a tragedy or a blessing? I think I was blessed.
Jesus said in John 15:2: “and every branch that beareth, He purgeth it that it may bring more fruit.” The word purge means to purify, remove impurities, to clarify, etc.
I would think God should be happy if we have “fruit,” period. But no, He isn’t. He wants more; He wants growth. And so the process begins, if we let Him. And He uses circumstances, sickness, loneliness, doing without, and sometimes years in prison.
But in the end those hard times are a blessing because they prepare us for the Kingdom and determine our position and rewards there. We have had hard times here and still do, but the joy of being in God’s will is worth it all.
Prayer Requests for November, 2005
For Donald Donaho of Raiford, Florida, for his anger.
For James Bateman in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that he’ll find a good job soon.
For Michael Small of Menard, Illinois, for his Father and for his Son, Derek, that they will come back to the Church.
For Anthony Grayson at Fallsburg, New York, for a good Christian wife.
For Francis Nolan Holland’s Father, for his stomach, and for Nolan’s brother who has swelling of the ankles. Nolan is at Tucker, Arkansas.
For Timothy Haynes, his family, and all the brothers at THMU OSP.
For Jerry Crocket at Taft, Oklahoma, that he’ll be accepted into Vo-Tech.
For Jimmy Huff in Loraine, Texas, for a motorized wheelchair.
For David Painter’s Mother, Betty, in West Virginia, who has a bad heart.
For Sister Ann and the nuns in Little Rock.
For John, Ken, Jessie and Frank, our brothers on death row.
For Jay, who hurt his back.
For all of us at Wingspread, and for God to send rain to Baca Mountain soon.
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