By Dan Luehrs
It may be peculiar to entitle a chapter “The End.” Teaching on the end times seems to be a hot button topic in the church that will usually draw crowds to hear the newest revelation on what the preacher believes God has shown them. In recent years, some Christian movements have come out with a different end-time scenario’s than what has been typically taught in the church. But still, most mainstream Christians believe that the end pertains to a time when all people on the earth will be destroyed by the Antichrist while all the Christians being raptured out of the earth so that God can get rid of all the bad apples of mankind. While others believe that the earth will simply be annihilated by atomic bombs and life will cease to exist on earth as we know it because the earth will be inhabitable. But will there ever be an end to life on earth? No.
I believe that the words the end mean something much different than what we are taught to believe, and the words are much greater in depth than we can even imagine at this time. We know that the end is coming because Jesus said that there is an end coming in Matthew 10:22: “And you will be hated by all on account of my name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” We can clearly see that an end is coming, but Jesus never said what the end is. But He did give us some clues of what the end is in Matthew 13:39: “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels” (kjv). Jesus said quite clearly that “the harvest” is the end. Again, church tradition teaches that the salvation of all the lost in the world is the harvest. They teach that there is one last person on earth that will be saved, then Jesus will come and rapture us away to heaven so that the Antichrist can kill all that he wants to in his reign of evil on earth. But they don’t realize that God is waiting more patiently than they are for the harvest, which is the seed that He has planted in the hearts of His people when they were saved. The seed of Jesus is planted within every believer’s heart so that it might grow up into His likeness and then be harvested.
Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer [God] waits for the precious produce [the harvest of Christ’s likeness] of the soil [us], being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
James 5:7 (nas)
Jesus likened us to the four types of soil found in the book of Mark 4 where Jesus explains that we need to be good soil that will bring forth a one-hundred-fold harvest in us where the seed is planted. But it is only when the crop permits that it is harvested, for the seed must have an end to which it was sown. And that end is the harvest, the very likeness of the seed that was sown—Jesus. So it is with the sons of the kingdom that have been sown to grow into God’s likeness; when the seed is fully grown, they are to be harvested.
And the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one.
Matthew 13:38 (nas)
The children of the promise are counted as the seed.
Romans 9:8 (nkjv)
The end is the harvest; that is the end of the seed that was sown in us. Our end is for us to receive God’s eternal life—the crown of glory. When we have finished the course laid out for us, we will receive our full reward, the likeness of Jesus: “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:22–23, nkjv). Eternal life is not just life that goes on and on, but it’s God’s life given to us so that we can give it away to others just as Jesus does. Jesus said that He is the eternal life because the Father had given it to Him even as He freely gives it to us on our harvest day. That will be the day that we will be given authority to rule and reign throughout eternity with Jesus.
Possessing the Kingdom
But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.
Daniel 7:18 (nas)
The book of Daniel is known as an end-time book. The phrase “The end” is spoken of much in it. Many people believe that it contains the pattern for how the end will come on earth and who are the main countries that God will use to bring about His desired end. Some of what they say is true, but much of it is not. Most Bible teachers never—I mean, never—delve into the truth of the saints ruling because they simply do not comprehend, or maybe not even believe, that they are called to rule and reign with Jesus. The final decree has been written for all ages to come: “The saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom.” That kingdom is the Lord Jesus Christ in all His power and glory manifesting through His people. This cannot and will not change. Jesus said plainly in Luke 12:32: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Even though we are little in numbers and power, still the Father gladly gives us the kingdom with power and glory to do a work with Him, to turn the earth from being a sinful planet unto righteousness.
This will not come about in our timing or by our power, but in God’s perfect time: “For the end is still to come at the appointed time” (Daniel 11:27, nas). We will be given a crown (authority) to rule and reign with Jesus for overcoming in this life. However, this crown is not an earthly one that we wear upon our heads for others to see. No, it’s a crown of God’s authority that can be seen upon us as we go forth and minister in His glorious life to set mankind free from the bondage of sin and death. “That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21, nas). These ministers of the true gospel will be the ones who will preach in the power of the truth to destroy the man of sin, which abides in every human being. Their words will deliver mankind from the power sin.
And he [the man of sin] will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
Daniel 7:25–26 (nas)
The dominion of the man of sin in us will be taken away and destroyed forever. Hallelujah! No longer will the man of sin be able to control the human body through the sinful mind and heart because he will be no more. The Spirit of the living God will be inside of every person so that they will be yielding to Him and walking in true righteousness so that the kingdom of God will reign in and over every person upon the earth: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27, nkjv).
After this time of testing and trials in this life, we will be given dominion according to our walk with God and how closely we resembled His Son. Why would God give any part of His kingdom to someone that did not have the kingdoms best interest at hand? What president would appoint an ambassador to another country that he did not fully trust to represent the United States of America abroad in good faith? He wouldn’t. Just as God would not appoint a person that He could not trust with the power of His kingdom. God is raising up sons that will have the likeness of His Son through their suffering so that they can be fully trusted with His power and glory to bring truth and ever lasting change to the earth. “In bringing many sons to glory [the kingdom], it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10, niv).
Go Your Way
And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.”
Daniel 12:9 (nas)
But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.
Daniel 12:13 (nas)
Be hopeful, my friend, for there is an end to all the madness that you are living in or that you will ever encounter in your lifetime, so don’t despair. Daniel was clearly shown that what he was given would not be understood until we were at the end. Much has been revealed about the book of Daniel in our day, but I believe the end started when Jesus died on the cross, for that was the beginning of the end to the man of sin within us. Not until that time were we even able to war against the sin within us; we were simply sinners without hope of ever being freed from the power of sin. I believe the New Testament, and especially the book of Revelation, is the book that God has given us as a key to understanding the book of Daniel more clearly. But to put it simply, each of these books has an ending to the sin problem of man, and it all ends in God who created all things.
Many Christians would say, “Sin is not dead in me, for I was just tempted today.” We must realize that just because we are tempted, that does not mean we are not saved or that the power of sin is not broken in us. When you received Jesus, the power of sin and death were broken in you. You still may say, “I am still warring against my flesh daily.” That’s good because it shows you that you are saved. If you were not saved, you wouldn’t care less if you gave in to your sinful desires, but because you are saved, you care, and that is a true sign that you are indeed a child of God. Read Galatians 5:24: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections [the sufferings] and lusts [strong desires]” (kjv). Do you see what this verse is saying to us? When we are warring against sin, we are suffering against the strong desires to sin from within. It is at this very time when we are crucifying the flesh, and it hurts to kill our own fleshly desires when they are dying within us. This is good for us because we are becoming overcomers in this life.
Here is another great verse for you to war against the flesh with: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh [or against the flesh], arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh [against the sinful nature], hath ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1, kjv). Do you see it? Our suffering in the flesh is a true sign that we have stopped wanting to sin. God is allowing us to live in this sinful nature for Him to make us into the true nature of Christ, and that only comes about when we yield to Him in our time of temptation or testing. But before we can possess all that God has for us, we must allow God to possess us from within with the power of His Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit of God, we will not obey the strong desires of the flesh. (See Galatians 5:16.) By that, I mean, we are to receive our life from abiding in Jesus and from Him alone if we are going to make it through to the end. We can get our life from the Spirit of God if we are drawing from Him every day, and while we are at it, it might as well be every waking moment if we are going to make it to the end. We are going to get our life-sustaining power from something, so it might as well be from God.
wants to give us life by knowing Him, for He has promised us His life if we
will seek His will in all things: “So as to live the rest of the time in the
flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2, nas). Even as Jesus
suffered against the flesh in the will of the Father, this verse clearly tells
us that God wants us to suffer against the struggle of sin also. This is the
will of God for us. This is how God is proving us to be found faithful in our
trials; our faith then becomes more valuable than gold that perishes through
the fires of life: “That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold
which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in
praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
(1 Peter 1:7, nas).
In 1 Peter 4:1, he encourages us to suffer with Jesus against sin, and that we are to arm ourselves with the same mind as He was so that we can make it through the assault from the enemy. He says in chapter 4:13, “We are shares or partaker of Christ’s suffering.” We must understand that when we are suffering against sin, we are being prepared by God to receive His glory, which is the very likeness of Jesus at His coming. But God uses the very thing that we hate: hardships, trials, and yes, even sin in our life that God has allowed so that we will be changed into His likeness. We claim that we are so weak against the sins of the flesh, and we are, but God has a master plan for us, and it is His will for us to stand against sin to make us strong. “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Peter 4:13, nas). We must keep our eyes on the joy set before us and not on our cross that we are called to bear. As we rejoice in faith at these things that try us, we are being changed trial by trial, so why not rejoice, for what are our alternatives, depression, the life of sin and death? No, we have been called to a much greater hope and joy set before us—His likeness.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 (kjv)