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essay: Rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

August 24, 2015

The Rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

1 Cor 2:9  “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, and have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Matt 6:20,21 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

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1. Military and Athletic Analogies to Rewards, 2 Tim 2:45 “No soldier on active duty entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life [a person on active duty does not live a normal life], so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” Verse 5, “Furthermore, if anyone competes in the athletic games, he does not receive a winner’s crown unless he trains according to the rules.”
1. The athlete had to undergo ten months of strict training just to qualify to participate in the games. He had to enter a registered state gymnasium, analogous to living in the divine dynasphere. Every athlete went through identical training no matter what his event. This is analogous to every believer having the identical divine dynasphere as the place in which we train and compete. We must fulfill the training rules of the protocol plan of God. Only the protocol Christian is living the Christian way of life, therefore, is qualified to compete in the angelic conflict.
2. The ATHLETAI were the ones who trained under the rules of the national gymnasium for ten months. You were not allowed to leave the large walled area of the gymnasium for ten months, and had to exercise under the authority of the GUMNASIARCH, the ruler of the gym (analogous to the pastor). It was a very well-paying job. He had marshals under him who watched the athletes. He wore a purple robe with white sandals, and is analogous to the pastor. The marshals were comparable to the deacons.
3. Disqualification is analogous to function inside the cosmic system. They trained not only the body, but the mind as well. After the completion of the ten month course, the athlete was allowed to compete.
4. The athlete followed a set of very strict rules which constantly tested his motivation, decisions, and momentum. This is analogous to the concept of daily perception of doctrine and momentum testing. You could not leave for any reason.
5. Everyone did the same exercise under the same authority. There were eight to ten exercise periods during the day. Everyone received group exercise naked outdoors regardless of the weather (analogous to everyone getting the same doctrinal teaching). Daily trumpet calls had to be met at various times (if you missed one you were disqualified). Everyone had equal privilege and opportunity to compete. Each class was preceded by a warning trumpet during which time the athlete reported to his trainer, the ALEIPTEI, who rubbed him down with olive oil. This is analogous to rebound before perception of doctrine. The athlete wore no clothes, analogous to the filling of the Holy Spirit.
6. All the athletes ate the same food: wheat, cheese, figs, no wine, no sweets. This relates perception of doctrine to strict academic discipline. You were on a strict diet, which everyone ate (other foods being analogous to distractions of the cosmic system).
7. All earthly distractions were prohibited during the ten months, including contact with family, friends, no sex, no social life.
8. The AGONISTAI were people who just worked out to stay in shape, which is just sheer agony; analogous to the believer in the cosmic system. This is analogous to arrogance in the cosmic system, which is sheer agony.
9. 1 Cor 9:2427 illustrates how we compete to reach a reward which is imperishable. “Run in such a way that you may win.” Verse 27, “but I discipline my body and keep it in training, lest possibly, having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”
10. Each winner in the national games received a crown of ivy leaves, which represented the rewards he would receive when he returned home (analogous to us receiving eternal escrow blessing when we go home to heaven). He had a special entrance cut into the wall of the city through which he passed when he returned. A plaque was put up after the wall was sealed up again. He rode in the best chariot through the city in a parade; he received a lifetime pass to all future games; a great amount of money; an ode was written by a poet; a statue was put up in the public square; his children fed and educated at public expense; he was exempt from all income taxes for life.

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a. Two Greek words are used for crowns.
(1) STEPHANOS, a reward in athletics and the military.
(2) DIADEMA, a crown used for a king. Certain rewards for believers are called STEPHANOS. DIADEMA is not used for the believer’s rewards in the Bible.
b. STEPHANOS is the exact equivalent to the Latin word CORONA. The STEPHANOS is comparable to our medal of honor. There were six categories of such crowns given by the military. Each had a great monetary reward that went with it.
(1) CORONA OBSIDIALUS or CORONA GRAMINIA, a golden wreath woven of golden strands; also called golden grass. This guaranteed $150,000 taxfree income a year.
(2) CORONA CIVICA, wreath of golden oak leaves, given for the highest type of valor in battle or for unusual acts performed by a civilian.
(3) CORONA NAVALIS, the medal of honor for the navy. It was given to the first sailor to board an enemy ship during battle.
(4) CORONA MURALIS, awarded to the first soldier to scale the wall of a besieged city or reach the enemy lines, similar to our Army Distinguished Service Cross. This was only given to enlisted men.
(5) CORONA CASTRENSIS, awarded to the first soldier to reach the enemy lines in a battle, or to any enlisted man who did unusual things in battle.
(6) CORONA TRIUMPHALIS, awarded to a victorious army general who commanded a winning army, or men who did secondary things of valor, comparable to our Distinguished Service Cross.
c. The most highly decorated soldier lived in the second century B.C. according to Livy. His name was Spurius Ligustanus. Four times he was the senior centurion for the legion as an award for bravery. He won 34 decorations, including six CORONA CIVICA, the second highest. So even while serving in the army, he was one of the wealthiest men in the Roman Empire.
d. Paul used this concept as a metaphor to illustrate the decorations awarded to winners at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There are three categories of crowns for believers in the Word of God. The first two are available to all believers; the last is available to pastorteachers only.
(1) The crown of righteousness.
(2) The crown of life.
(3) The crown of glory.
e. The warning regarding crowns, Rev 3:11, “Hang on to what you have, so that no one takes away your crown.” cf 2 Jn 8.

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2. The Crown of Righteousness.
a. This crown is awarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ to the Church Age believer who fulfills the protocol plan of God by the advance to gate #8 or spiritual maturity. This believer has advanced from spiritual self-esteem plus providential preventative suffering to attain spiritual autonomy, and from spiritual autonomy plus momentum testing to attain spiritual maturity.
b. This is given to mature believers with emphasis on their attainment of gate 8 in the divine dynasphere. It emphasizes functional virtue directed toward man and circumstances; i.e., the modus operandi of your royal ambassadorship and the fulfillment of the royal family honor code.
c. The believer who wears the invisible uniform of honor (Eph 6) will receive the crown of righteousness. The function of impersonal love is the manifestation of the invisible uniform of honor. The crown of righteousness is given for your virtue, honor, integrity, passing momentum tests, and fulfillment of the royal family honor code.
d. 2 Tim 4:78, “I have fought an honorable fight [advance to spiritual maturity]. I have completed the course [execution of the protocol plan of God]. I have guarded the doctrine [as #1 priority]. In the future there is reserved for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me in that day, and not only to me, but to all [winners] who have loved His appearing.” He perpetuated spiritual self-esteem and spiritual maturity. As a mature believer, the perpetuation of spiritual maturity means to continue learning the Word of God daily.
e. So the crown of righteousness is a decoration for the attainment, perpetuation, and activity of spiritual maturity. This crown is presented to those believers who advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood.
f. Accompanying the crown of righteousness is a tremendous amount of extra privileges, blessings, and opportunities in the eternal state.

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3. The Crown of Life. See Jn 15.
a. This crown of life is awarded to the Church Age believer who in spiritual maturity passes evidence testing. By passing evidence testing, the mature believer has glorified God to the maximum and so will receive the crown of life. Evidence testing is administered by Satan as an extension of the angelic conflict.
b. Rev 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Note that the devil is about to cast some of you in prison, that you may be tested and you will have special persecution ten times. Keep on being faithful even until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
c. Jam 1:12, “Happy is that person who perseveres under testing, for once he has passed the [evidence] test, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.” This tells us that happiness is not confined to prosperity, to having things going your way. The happiness provided by Bible doctrine exists under the greatest categories of adversity.
d. The crown of life is awarded to all members of the royal family of God who utilize the problem-solving devices and advance to maturity and then use +H to pass evidence testing.

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4. The Crown of Glory.
a. This is awarded to pastors who faithfully study and teach Bible doctrine to their congregation, doctrine by which the pastor and positive members of the congregation will attain spiritual maturity. There are four categories of pastors in the Church Age.
(1) The cosmic pastor, who lives in cosmic one and two, is distracted by social action, crusader arrogance, and is totally disoriented to reality. He is very arrogant, selfrighteous, and ignorant of doctrine.
(2) The baby pastor high profiles his own personality while low profiling the Word of God. He only evangelizes and gives moral lectures.
(3) The adolescent pastor teaches some truth but is distracted by various forms of high profile. He is selling his own personality (rather than teaching doctrine) by visiting the sick, calling on the congregation, and conducting programs. He can be a pseudointellectual, a crusader, a bleeding heart, selfrighteous, a pleasing personality, or arrogant. He appeals to those with negative volition toward Bible doctrine. He doesn’t have the time to study.
(4) The mature pastor through personal study and teaching advances to gate 8 of the divine dynasphere and is leading his congregation there. He has fulfilled the concept of gate 5,6,7,& 8 and therefore has the crown of righteousness as well. He emphasizes doctrine and is a prepared person academically, knowing where he stands theologically. He focuses on the message, not his personality. Heb 6:10.
b. The motivation for the pastor is occupation with the Lord. 1 Pet 5:4, “And when the Chief Shepherd [our Lord at Judgment Seat of Christ] appears [Rapture], you [faithful pastors] will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
c. Phil 4:1 personalizes this concept: “Therefore, my brethren, loved ones [congregation who is respected for their faithfulness], deeply desired ones, my happiness and my crown, keep on being stabilized [winners of the crown of righteousness].”
d. 1 Thes 2:1920, “For who is our hope or happiness or crown of boasting [glory]? Is it not you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? [At the Judgment Seat of Christ, those who have attained spiritual maturity are the crown of glory for the pastor.] For you are our glory and our happiness.”
e. The pastor’s boasting or crown of glory is received because certain members of his congregation do two things by listening to the teaching of the Word: they take the giant step to spiritual self-esteem, and they take the victory step to spiritual maturity where they can receive evidence testing to glorify God to the maximum. So the happiness of the pastor comes from the positive response of those faithful to the teaching of the Word of God. The pastor’s happiness is different from that of anyone else.
f. Protocol believers are the basis for the pastor receiving the crown of glory.
g. The danger to the pastor is given in 1 Cor 9:2427. “Do you not know that those who run a race all run but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises selfdiscipline in all things. They do not receive a perishable crown but an imperishable crown. Therefore, I do not run without a goal. I do not box like a person beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and keep it in training, lest having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

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5. The Ultimate Decoration: the Order of the Morning Star.
a. The winner who receives the above crowns not only has vast estates in the eternal state, but he receives this decoration and others that go with it. This decoration is taken from and named after our Lord’s third royal patent, “King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bright Morning Star,” mentioned specifically in Rev 22:16 and 2 Pet 1:19.
b. The Order of the Morning Star is given to winners as the highest of all decorations in escrow blessings given by God. It is a part of the new order of chivalry in the eternal state for the royal family. This decoration is awarded for the maintenance of spiritual maturity in what may be called an ultra grace status.
c. This decoration is mentioned as a part of escrow blessings for the eternal state in Rev 2:26,28, “Furthermore, the winner, even he who keeps My assignments [execution of the protocol plan of God] until the end [perpetuation of spiritual maturity through evidence testing], to him I will give authority over the nations.” Verse 28, “Furthermore I will give to him the order of the Morning Star.” The mature believer will be a king over a Gentile nation and rule during the Millennium.
d. Receiving this decoration is the highest manifestation of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ in the Church Age. This same title was given to Him at the ascension and session and is related to both the strategic victory and tactical victory of the angelic conflict. Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to declare these things to you for the churches; I am the root [Jesus Christ as eternal God], and the descendent of David [Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union], the bright morning star [His title for the First and Second Advents].” In Num 24:17, His title is related to His strategic victory, “I see Him, but not now, I behold Him, but not near. Behold, a star [Christ as the morning star] shall come forth from Jacob [First Advent] and a scepter shall rise from Israel [Second Advent].”
e. Mt 2:2 is a reference to the morning star related to the First Advent. Bible doctrine is related to Christ as the morning star in 2 Pet 1:1921, “and the morning star has come up” (Second Advent).
f. The Order of the Morning Star is named after our Lord’s royal title and is given for historical impact in the Church Age. It authorizes the recipient to reign with Christ in the Millennium and hold the highest privileges for all eternity. These believers can eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God, located in the New Jerusalem.

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g. There are at least seven privileges that accompany the Order of the Morning Star.

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(1) The uniform of honor, being invisible and worn in the soul, is exchanged at the Judgment Seat of Christ for the translucent uniform of glory worn over the resurrection body. It was first modeled by Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration, Mt 17, “and His clothes became white as light.” The uniform of glory is a monument to right decisions. The uniform of glory is given as a translucent light which covers the resurrection body. Rev 3:45, “they will walk with Me in whites…”.

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(2) The name of the winner appears on the honors list, and he is presented in the court of heaven during the Tribulation on earth. Only those on the honors list are taken to heaven and presented to God the Father. The honors list is made up of those believers who make Bible doctrine their highest priority daily. Rev 3:5, “Thus the winner shall be clothed in white garments and I will never blot out his title [the winner is knighted at the Judgment Seat of Christ] out of the book of life. In fact I will acknowledge his title in the presence of My Father and before His angels [a formal presentation].”

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(3) A new order of knighthood and eternal order of chivalry will be added to the believer’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life forever, Rev 2:17 cf Col 3:4,6. The new knighthood is given to the winner, Rev 2:17, “To the winner, I will give him blessing from the hidden manna [escrow blessing for time and eternity]; also I will give him a white pebble [the resurrection body, God’s final vote of justification – they voted with colored pebbles in the ancient world], and on that white pebble has been inscribed a new title [your royal patent in the eternal heraldry] which no one knows [you are an anonymous hero during the Church Age].”

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(4) The winner will rule with Christ during the Millennium. There are six different approaches with regard to ruling with Christ.
(a) The a fortiori approach, Rom 5:17, “For if by the transgression of one spiritual death ruled by that one, much more, they who receive in life this surplus from grace [escrow blessing] and the gift of righteousness, much more, they shall rule through that One Jesus Christ.”
(b) The sarcastic approach, 1 Cor 4:8, “You are already filled [with private sins]; you have already become rich [but not from escrow blessing]; you have become kings without us. How I wish you really had become kings, so that we might also rule with you.”
(c) The eternal security approach, 2 Tim 2:12, “If we endure [perpetuation of life in the divine dynasphere], we shall also rule…”
(d) The parable approach, Lk 19:12ff especially v.17, 19 “take charge over ten cities” = rulership.
(e) The direct approach, Rev 3:21, “The winner, I will give to him the reward of sitting with me on my throne, as I have won and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
(f) The Morning Star approach, Rev 2:2628.

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(5) The winner’s name is recorded in the permanent historical record section because of his invisible historical impact during the Church Age, Rev 3:12a. The impact of the winner is anonymous as far as the record of history is concerned, but not as far as God is concerned. The mature believer’s historical record will be recorded forever in the heavenly temple. Each pillar will have the record of his life as a winner. Rev 3:12, “The winner, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Furthermore, he will never again vanish [go outside] from history. Also I will emblazon on him the title of My God, and the name of the city of My God [this will be his pass to enter the eternal city, the New Jerusalem, a satellite city suspended above the earth in the atmosphere or in space], the new Jerusalem, which shall descend from heaven from My God; also My new title [King of kings, Lord of lords, bright morning star].”
(a) The temple of God is the eternal record center in the future. Example: the temple at Ephesus had the great deeds of people inscribed on the pillars.
(b) This temple of God will be the historical textbook of the true heroes of history. The mature believer as a part of the pivot is the true impact on history. In Gal 2:9, the mature believer is currently called a pillar of the church.

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(6) The winner receives his own coat of arms of glory, Rev 3:12b.

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(7) The winner has special privileges related to the Tree of Life, the Gazebo of the Garden, called the Paradise of God. You are a member of a special club with special parties to which only you are invited; you’re a member of the Paradise Club forever, Rev 2:7,14. Rev 2:7, “To the winner, I will give to him the privilege of eating from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.” Rev 22:14, “Blessed are they [winners] who have washed their robes [rebound], that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city [new Jerusalem].” The tree of life is the ultimate in eternal reward and blessing.