Some churches believe they are “the only true church,” like Catholics. Others believe they have “it” (doctrine) right, and therefore they will be the only ones “saved” (ex. Seventh-day Adventist). Even among the more “spiritually” minded are righteous hopes and agendas, but they are still emboldening Apostate Christianity by their churches.

House

The following is a review of the Shekinah Worship Center in Lancaster, CA with their pastor Joseph Sweet and comes from their recent “Prophetic Conference” which is held annually.

E-Book-LPC-2015 2

On the front page of their conference publication is this quote:

“‘A House for His Glory, A Light to the Nations!’ Colossians 1:27.” (2015 Lancaster Prophetic Conference Ebook, Shekinah Worship Center, November 2015, p.ii)

This is however what Colossians 1:27 says:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)

Please notice that there is no mention of a “house” or church. It says that the riches of the glory (which is Christ) is in “us,” and “we” as individuals are to let “our” light shine before others (Mat.5:16), not a church. 

Pastor Sweet shared a dream that may mean nearly the opposite of how he interpreted it:

“I was invited to speak to a church and I went to the church and the church was a house. How many of you know that a house of God is the church of God.” (p. 74)

If his dream was from God (and it very well may have been), a true representation of a “church” was used, which was a “house.” In the New Testament we have many examples of the “church” or Believers meeting in “houses” but never in “churches” like we do today. Sweet concedes that a “house” can be a “church of God,” but does not follow the New Testament pattern. He is endorsing Apostate Christianity with his own physical church.

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things? (Acts 7:48–50)

God is in us and would like to increase His glory within us:

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The idea of a spiritually powerful place is admirable, but can replace personal spiritual empowerment, and a personal relationship with God through increasing His spirit that IS already within us. The worst part about Apostate Christianity is it makes other things seem spiritually essential to a person’s life that are not actually based on scripture (viz. pastors and physical churches which are not based on what Jesus taught. We will be judged by how well we followed the teachings of Jesus.).

A glory-filled Believer is more mobile than a physical church, and more capable of fulfilling people’s needs. Remember, Jesus “sent” Believers “out”: Mrk.6:7, Lk.10:1, Mat.10:5–24, Mat.24:14, Mat.28:19-20.

Apostolic

Continuing with his dream:

“I heard a voice say, ‘I want you to speak on the apostolic’.” (p.74)

“I said the apostolic is when the Lord Jesus, just himself, personally encounters a person…He encounters them and He personally commissions them. That is how the apostolic begins.” (p.75)

In his dream Sweet recalls walking through the house/church and finding no one interested in the “apostolic.” People were more interested in socializing than anything else. This was disturbing to Sweet, who takes his relationship with the Lord more seriously then those in his dream. He decided to leave and went for his car in the garage:

“You know in dreams and visions, your car represents your ministry, your calling; your ministry.” (p.76)

“Now the garage where there is five or six cars parked in, all of sudden begins to tremble. And it just crashed into the ground and the ridge of the roof was now about three feet above the ground. The entire structure was destroyed. All the cars were destroyed in it. Then I realized; it was like I had x-ray vision; there was no foundation built. There was no foundation. It was built on a sinkhole. I remember standing in awe thinking, ‘Wow!’ While I was thinking ‘Wow!’ every car was destroyed including mine.

In other words: Don’t invest into the lukewarm church. While I’m thinking that, this large house of about five to ten thousand square feet begins to tremble. I could look and see with x-ray vision; there is no foundation. The house began to tremble and it crashed down.” (p.77)

“Now the timbers were broken the structure was destroyed but it had gone down in such a way that the structure was destroyed but the people were okay.” (p.77)

What is missed by Pastor Sweet is his car or ministry was destroyed, and yet he is not a “lukewarm” person. The church/house may have been destroyed for being “luke warm” but why was his own ministry destroyed? Because he said, there was “no foundation.” We all know the famous “foundation” verse:

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24–27)

In the above analogy Jesus likened the foundation to those who “do His sayings.” The reason Sweet’s ministry is destined to fail is because it is not based on what Jesus said, it’s based on the teachings of man. “Luke warm” speaks to a “state of being” not the quality of a foundation.  

“Here’s what the Lord said to me: Just as I was unprepared for what was coming, he said, ‘I am going to release the apostolic without warning. The church is not prepared for it.’ He said I am going to release the true apostolic. He said for those that reject it; the churches and the ministries that reject it; they will fall. They are not built on a foundation that will be able to sustain what I am about to release in the earth.

What is the “true” apostolic? Sweet makes the case that it’s about a close relationship with Jesus Christ, where He comes and visits you. While it is true that Jesus would want “all His people to be prophets,” and no doubt He would like to visit every single person, a “true” apostle will do what the Master said to do. The preoccupation with “glory” and “revival” by Sweet and others can be viewed as misdirection to the greater needs that plague our communities – not taking care of “the least among men”, and dividing communities by our churches.

Jesus said that He was “the least among men,” and whatever we do or do not do to “the least among men” we are doing or not doing to Him. A true follower of Jesus Christ will do the works that He did, and His teachings, and not just focus on “more glory,” “more signs and wonders,” or “more revivals”:

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31–46)

We know what the commission of the Twelve Apostles was:

5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (Matthew 10:5–24)

Fearmongering

It must be hard speaking to large groups (church on Sundays and conferences) and not sensationalize things. Pastor Sweet is of course not the only one who is concerned about his safety, and what the future holds. There are local and national matters, and then there are prophecies to be concerned with. It’s normal for people to connect or even expect the fulfillment of prophecies in their own town or nation, but certainly there is some nation or town already experiencing such atrocities and they believe the prophecies are being fulfilled right now.

“Apostolic is not a four colored card that says apostle doo-dad and a network of churches. Apostolic builds people and communities to become habitations of the glory of God. What follows the apostolic? Persecution, rioting and judgement. That’s the New Testament. We want the true apostolic. But when the true apostolic comes what’s right behind it is satanic persecution, rioting and judgement.” (p.79)

Faulty Framework

It’s unfortunate that such a wonderful man is caught-up within the faulty framework of Apostate Christianity and giving the teachings of the apostles more weight than the teachings of the Master.

“Listen, the fire of God is coming to everything that I’ve done in my life. Everything we do as believers. Every believer has a ministry. Every believer is a ministry. Every church. When God weighs me, when He weighs a church, a lot of it is going to burn up.” (pp.80-81)

“We have the same call as Jesus: to know Him, to be conformed to His image, and to manifest Him. Anything outside of that is wood, hay and stubble. It doesn’t matter if we can prophesy and heal the sick. It doesn’t matter how big our ministry is, how big our church is, how many people watch us. It doesn’t matter.” (p.82)

“Which means that when it’s all said and done and I step on the spiritual scale, I only have weight to the degree that laying down your life type love has been formed in me. That’s the foundation the church is to built on.” (p.83)

“This is the foundation: 1. To know Jesus, 2. To Conform to Him.” (p.83)

“1. We would know Him, 2. We would be conformed, 3. We would manifest, 4. We would abide in Him. That’s the foundation that every Christian church, every Christian walk, every Christian ministry must be built on. That’s got to be our root.” (p.84)

One of the problems with Apostate Christianity is that it separates everyday life from Christ by sequestering Him to “churches” when in reality, He taught nothing about church life but everything was about everyday life as demonstrated by the Sermon on the Mount (Mat.5-7).

Build My Church

“Here is what Jesus said. “I will build My church.” Now we got it backwards sometimes in the church. We get our focus on getting people to do stuff: building organizations, having meetings, having programs, building structures, making the church grow, doing our stuff. But Jesus said; the first thing is; Christ is formed in you and I will build the church. We need to let the Lord build the church. We need to go back to apostolic divine order of Christ being formed in us.” (p.87)

How Jesus would “build His church” has been disputed over the years with Roman Catholics leading the march. It’s their view that Peter was their first “pope” and they’ve had a direct line of succession ever since. Thus, they argue, because their church is in fact built on “Peter,” it will never falter. Christ is our “sure foundation” (Isa.28:16) – no one else. And the fact is, there has not been a direct succession from Peter.

So what did Jesus mean? Here’s the context:

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. (Matthew 16:13–20) 

Had any of the other disciples answered Jesus in the affirmative, His reply would have been the same, for example: “Blessed art thou John,” or “Blessed art thou James,” etc. What is missed by readers is the next part: “flesh and blood hath not revealed it,” or in other words: “you have not judged my book by its cover.” Didn’t Jesus teach not to judge wrongly and didn’t He say that God looks on the inside:

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: (Matthew 7:2)

7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus replied in kind saying I also know who you are:

18. And I say also unto thee—that is, ‘As thou hast borne such testimony to Me, even so in return do I to thee.’

That thou art Peter—At his first calling, this new name was announced to him as an honor afterwards to be conferred on him (Joh 1:43). Now he gets it, with an explanation of what it was meant to convey. (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary)

That honest exchange is what Jesus said should be among Believers, keeping in mind the definition of “church” is “ecclesia” which means “Believers called into the public.” This honest exchange is how the public and communities would be built up by Believers. So long as honesty is the medium of exchange, hell will never penetrate. Jesus was not speaking of a religious organization, be it a single church, or a worldwide denomination.

True Apostolic

“What God wants to build in the church cannot be sustained. The glory of God cannot be sustained unless it’s on a people who have Christ Jesus as our foundation. The apostolic burden is that Christ would be formed. Here are some other Scriptures; look at the goal of the apostles: Colossians 1:28: ‘Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.'” (p.87)

Jesus was love personified. If we want to perfectly emulate Jesus then we need to work on how well we are loving others, that’s where are focus should be:

5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:5–6)

12 If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (1 John 4:12–13)

The spirit of God is not just healings, tongues, or “signs and wonders,” it is about loving one another, which is accompanied by the true spirit of God, not the false spirit which sensationalizes everything as a form of diversion from where our real focus should be. The true apostolic is following the words of Jesus, not the words of the apostles.

The apostles added many things never sanctioned by Jesus. Real “maturity” accepts this realization and returns to the simple truths Jesus Himself taught in the four gospels.

“We have to know what God wants of us and then we need to start pursuing it.” (p.90)

“If we can regain the New Testament mindset, that the apostles had; they received from Jesus directly. God’s will and intention is for every believer to come to the full stature of Christ. His will and intention is for every church to become a habitation of His glory. That we become embassies and centers of His glory here on earth.” (pp.90-91)

One

“Paul said I’m going after full union with Jesus. I go after full union. That’s what Jesus prayed in John 17:21. He said, ‘Father, I pray that they may be one, as You and I are one. They may be one in Us, just as You and I are so that the world may believe.’ Listen, the best evangelism program is to become one with Jesus. Then you’ll be sought out. We’ll be hunted after. People will look for us to get saved. Amen.” (p.91)

Who is Jesus? “The least among men (Mat.25:40,45).” If pastor Sweet means that the “best evangelism program” is to address the poorest among men, i.e. Jesus, then He’s on the right track. Being “one with Jesus” means we need to be on the same page with His teachings, rather than pursue a firsthand experience for the sake of the experience. We will spend eternity in His presence IF we follow what He has said. Glory seeking, for the sake of glory itself is misdirection, as marvelous as it is.

The true meaning of the “be one” admonition is about getting along with others, because if there is “love” among neighbors, God will be there, for God is love. Look around at all the different denominations. Have Believers fulfilled that admonition? Not yet. As soon as they close their churches or convert them to Community Centers, THEN religious walls of separation will be gone, and the public will no longer feel “less than.”

There’s no difference in the eyes of the hurt and lonely between the cliques they were not a part of at High School, the rich gated communities they don’t live in, or churches where Christians separate from everyone else. Jesus sought to break down those walls.

Foundation

“That tells us, the reason God called us is that we will come into full union with Him. Full.” (p.91)

“Now, here’s what Paul just said. Paul said I’m going full steam for the goal of my life which is full union Jesus in this life. Now that’s the proper foundation that every believer should be built on. If we don’t have that foundation; and I know it’s a process; but if that’s not laid in our heart; Jesus is the goal, Jesus is the light, Jesus is our reward, Jesus is our wisdom, He’s our portion. Not my ministry. Not how big it is, not my church; Jesus; we’re going to be really shocked if we focus on our ministry more than we do on abiding in Christ.” (p.92)

If by “abiding in Christ” Pastor Sweet means “abiding with the poorest among men,” then he’s on the right track. The one approach is selfish, the other selfless. No where did Jesus give a commandment to have “full union” with Him. What He did command, several times, is to “love one another”:

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:12–14)

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Luke 9:24)

That’s the true, safe foundation – losing ourselves in the service of others – directly, and not through a church which seeks to build itself up. Their selfish works will be burned up.

“Paul said, ‘I’m pressing for full union with Jesus and everyone who is mature has this mind. If you think different, God will show you.'” (p.92)

“Leaders, pastors, teachers, we need to be seeking ourselves.” (p.93)

“This is the foundation that must be laid and established in our hearts to withstand the shakings that are coming. In fact the shakings that are coming will help us get on the foundation. The shaking will help us to identify the things we trusted in the things we look to. When the shakings come and things shake and fall down, don’t weep over it, give God praise for it. Let it fall. I want all my rude awakenings now. If there’s things that need to go, and I’m sure there are in me, Lord, let it happen now.” (p.93)

“This is the foundation the house of God will be built on and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Remember Jesus said I’ll build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail. He builds His church with living stones formed in Christ. Evangelism is not the foundation. We must evangelize, but evangelism is not the foundation of the church. Societal transformation is not the goal; it is not the foundation. Please don’t misunderstand me. Taking the seven mountains is not the foundation for the church.

Transformation of society can be a byproduct of the foundation of Christ laid in the hearts of people. It might seem subtle but it’s a big difference. The kingdom of God is inside us. It’s Christ in us the hope of glory. I’m not saying we don’t want to influence society, but that is a byproduct of pursuing Jesus; laying the foundation of Jesus.” (pp.93-94)

The problem with this approach is it attempts to be fulfilled within the faulty framework of Apostate Christianity, therefore it will never work. There’s not much difference between this approach and a bunch of monks held-up in a temple seeking “nirvana” and having no influence on society. Jesus came to the Jews and said to them “come out of religion and into the public,” i.e. that’s the true meaning of ecclesia.

“If our goal is we’re going to transform this town; you can labor to do it and miss Christ being formed in you. But if we have Christ formed in us, all the towns that God wants to happen, through us, will. We have to have the right divine order. I hope I didn’t offend anybody.” (p.94)

How can you not do it without Christ being formed in you! “When we do it to the least of these we are doing it to Him.” “If we say we love Him but love not our neighbor, the truth is not in us.”

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
12 If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 
20 for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4)

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (1 John 3:18–19)

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)

Pastor Sweet & his wife have been trying for 25 years to indirectly change Lancaster, but they are still striving for personal righteousness and Lancaster is the same. 

Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ. 

In 1991 Joe and Melinda, his wife of 28 years, planted Shekinah Worship Center in Lancaster, California. It has since become an oasis of the Presence of the Lord for all who are hungry.1 

That is a very unfortunate statement for Pastor Sweet to have made, very sad indeed. As often is the case, when we speak, what we say or focus upon is usually what we personally need more than anyone else. In one statement Sweet justifies a selfish, monk type of existence with a “full union with Jesus” spin on it, and in the next statement he condemns what he just said. Speaking from the heart, this often happens.  

“But Christianity 101 according to Jesus always starts with this: deny self, take up the cross, follow Me.” (p.95)

“Now today we have all kinds of messages. How to get your blessing. How to get your breakthrough. We use the Bible as a menu and find just the positive messages and we’ve raised up a generation of people who are self-centered. (pp.95-96)

The apostle Paul said one thing would not fail – charity:

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:1–2,11)

Pastor Sweet would make a great Mayor, city Councilman, or any of a number of public servant jobs where he could bless all the people of Lancaster directly.

Neville Johnson

At the same conference Neville Johnson offered the following view point:

It’s not what we have done for the Lord that will count in heaven, it’s who we have become. How much we have become like the Lord is the only thing that counts. (p. 211)

Contrast his view with what Our Lord said:

45 Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31–46)

This is what James said:

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (James 2:14–25)

We will actually be judged by our works, not on what we have become:

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (Revelation 20:12–13)

Our heavenly rewards will be based on what we did, not what we “became:”

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20)

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)

God’s love compels a person to act. The more endued with God’s love, the more compelled they are:

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
12 If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 
20 for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4)

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (1 John 3:18–19)

“The greatest love” is to lay down your life for another, like Jesus did:

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12–13)

There are dispositions within us that cannot be achieved unless we act, which in plain terms some would call “karma” and others the “law of replenishment.” If we consider the Parable of Lazarus and the Richman, we learn that though one may leave this earth in a somewhat depleted state, God will bless them with replenishment and very quickly their stature will be increased.

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Luke 16:19–25)

There is a river and a tree with both fruit and leaves for the cleansing, healing, and rejuvenation of souls as they enter heaven:

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1–2)

Oden Hetrick, who by all accounts made more visits to heaven then anyone said this:

This crystal River of Life is not cold and wet like earthly water. We can breathe under the surface because this water is a manifestation or appearing of the Spirit of God. Walking in this river is walking in the Spirit, and these waters remove the scars and memories of sin from the souls and minds of the saints whose home is in Heaven. The sins themselves, of course, must be removed on earth by the blood Jesus shed on earth. (Inside the Gates of Heaven, Chapter 10)

Being the love of God manifested on this earth does not come without scars – if we are engaged in service to our fellowman and not hiding within church walls. The earth is Our Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and Believers are the salt of it. How else can the earth be “salted” unless Believers are among people and in the world. Without question, it is not possible to not have God’s love and still desire to serve others. Just like it’s not possible to be a godly person and not have developed the traits described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  

 

Before Jesus Comes #1

The Good News that Jesus taught [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John]  must go to all the world:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

Before Jesus Comes #2

A Christian apostasy must take place:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [when Jesus returns] shall not come, except there come a falling away first.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Before Jesus Comes #3

The deceiver who caused the Christian Apostasy must be revealed:

And that man of sin be revealed.   (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

*For more details get the book: Before He Comes.