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Before any campaign is to be mounted, these words of Jesus must now be brought out and practised: “…suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”

The teaching is about the cost of being a disciple, that is, for those who are yet to become disciples, much less completed their course of discipleship. However, for those who have completed their discipleship and are now facing the unveiling of their election, then the parable itself has a message for those who would be kings.

For all who aspire to return with Jesus for the millennium and so reign with Him… no, reign under Him as one of His kings or lords, that cost is martyrdom – a preparedness to lose one’s head for the sake of his testimony and the word of God. It is to pay the ultimate price of one’s faith… to be killed for it without killing others. Those who choose that path do not need power as much as they need faith, for the presence of the power of the Holy Spirit can prevent one’s martyrdom. Indeed, Paul was not martyred until it suited the Lord when he was beheaded in Rome.

However, for those who choose to remain alive until He arrives and be those who are mentioned by Paul – According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. …we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air – will certainly need miraculous power to remain alive through the days of distress that are coming. The cost of waging such a campaign for Life has rarely been accounted for, for the very thought by most who are believers that they should fight to stay alive until Jesus arrives has rarely been entertained, much less spoken of, and has definitely not been taught and never practised by any group. Although many have been deceived by those who claim to know the day of His arrival and have prepared themselves for His arrival on the prophesied day, only to find themselves severely deceived. However, we do not deceive anyone, for we have no arrival date to announce, but rather, we can only prepare ourselves to endure until He does arrive.

When the king of 10,000 men sits down to consider whether he can win the battle against the opposing army of 20,000, what are the things he must consider? Does he look only at the size of his army and then give up? Of course not, for if the mere size of armies can win wars, then the victory will always go to the more numerous. There are enough historical battles and wars that show that an army of 10,000 can win against 20,000. As such, in considering the cost of winning his war, the king of the lesser army must first know the condition of his army, that is, its morale, its strength and its equipment… and above all else, he must have the strategy to multiply the power of his army to negate the superior numbers of his enemy. As such, as important as the equipment of the army and its strength are, that is, the power of its weapons and the morale of its troops are important… the strategy is of paramount importance.

Indeed, even if the eleven did go to Galilee on resurrection morning with the women and what God had in mind was witnessed and received, they would still be but a small group, and even if they did have the miraculous powers, they would still be easily bogged down by the sheer weight and number of those who need to be preached to, healed and fed so that the primary aim of having the Gospel preached to all creation and the making of all nations into disciples can be delayed again and again. For even if they had the fullness of miraculous power, a campaign of attrition would have slowed the progress to decades, then centuries and then millenniums. And that is exactly what has happened and all the more so because we never received the fullness of the power allocated because our obedience was not complete.

Remember Paul wrote to the Corinthians this verse: And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. Completion of obedience is what they are waiting for in Heaven, which means they are waiting for all the commands Jesus gave to the disciples concerning the preaching of the Gospel, the discipleship of the nations, and the repentance and forgiveness that is to be preached in His Name to be completed, even as the individual disciples are completing their obedience to commands that are for each person and for the church to practise amongst themselves.

Thus, it is a threefold campaign of obedience… and the war itself is to be waged not against evil as a primary target, not against Satan as a primary target, not against sin or Godlessness as a primary target, but rather, a war that we must wage against ourselves, within ourselves, for the completeness of obedience. Disobedience to the commands given them was the downfall of the eleven when they were told to go immediately to Bethsaida after the feeding of the 5000 and to go to Galilee on resurrection morning. No amount of worship or bravado with faith or piety can make up for the damage done by disobedience. Even repentance does not make up for what obedience delivers… for repentance is merely the acknowledgement of the act of disobedience and the desire, will and wish not to repeat the disobedience. It is in no way a substitute for obedience, for where there is obedience there is no need for repentance.

As such, the true cost of kingship is far greater than that of discipleship. Discipleship merely asks for the giving up of houses, fields and family, even life, but kingship depends on obedience.

For king Saul lost his kingdom not because he murdered or committed adultery as David did, nor because he worshipped false gods as Solomon did and Jeroboam also did, but because he kept what he thought was good and thought harmless to Israel… keeping the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. But God said to Samuel, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from Me and has not carried out My instructions,” which was, “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” It was because he did not obey as Samuel said, “Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?” It was against Saul’s excuse of, “But I did obey the Lord,” that Samuel replied, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” Saul’s repentance allowed him to live a little longer, but did not prevent God from anointing David as his replacement.

The moment the eleven chose to lock the doors and stay in Jerusalem on resurrection morning, the decision to have another group who will walk this Earth as kings of the Kingdom of God to usher in Jesus’ arrival was made, and the keys of the Kingdom of God were left on the Mount of Transfiguration as Jesus came down the mountain to go Jerusalem via Emmaus. To regain their place as kings themselves, each and every one of the eleven went the way of martyrdom… for after all, it was their decision to choose the seven that saw Stephen martyred and they did not have the power to stop the stones from putting Stephen to sleep.

So the campaign strategy, the primary objective of this campaign and the cost of this campaign is about obedience. Firstly, it is about personal obedience… each and every elect obeying first that which the Holy Spirit tells them to do… as the Lord said to Peter, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” As such, the practice of personal obedience is measured by our practise of the written words of Jesus so that we may be ready for what the Spirit commands us to do, even beyond that which is written. For you are not Israelites and you are not Corinthians of the first letter, so the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written,” does not apply.

Then out of that personal obedience comes the campaign to wage the war of corporate obedience to the words of Jesus we are to practise amongst ourselves until we are ready to obey that which is spoken by the Spirit but is not written, because no one went to see what God had prepared, no one went to hear what God wanted to say so that their minds would conceive more than they knew or understood on the mountain that morning almost two millenniums ago. The command “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” is merely practice for even harder and more challenging commands that the ears of the eleven were not ready to hear, even by John 14.12.

And out of that corporate, out of the obedience flowing from within each individual to the church, then comes the third campaign, that is, to wage the war of obedience for the commands we must obey as a body in our interaction with the world and the creatures that surround us. Again the practice, even the fulfillment of the commands of Matthew 28.18-20, Mark 16.15-18 and Luke 24.46-49 are just that… merely practice so that we may be ready to obey the commands of the Holy Spirit concerning what else we must do to finish the preparation of this world for the coronation of our King, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

So the cost of being a king under God is not sacrifice, but obedience, for where there is obedience, there is no need of repentance or sacrifices for the atonement of sins.

Christ, the Lamb of God, set us free so that in Him we are free to obey. The grace of God is not a license to sin… no, it is a license for obedience. All who are in Christ are free to obey whatever the Lord God commands them to do, and if all that which Jesus did are not all written down… then how much more what God has prepared for us to do are also not written yet.

Here is a trustworthy saying: Obey and there is no need to repent.

Amen.

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