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In the days when kings went to war against other kings, those who were captured and not killed were ransomed by their people so that their king might be released back to them alive. The ransom would always be some treasure – silver or gold, concessions of land or trade – with a higher value extracted if the king was worth more to his people.

The truth of it is this: If Jesus is your King… then your King paid a ransom for your life with His own life so that you have in effect been ransomed by a King. Only a king can be worthy to be ransomed by another king. As such, when you now look on your life in Christ, this one question by Jesus, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” carries an importance for those who will be His lords and kings… and of more importance than ever.

After all, who died for you, who saved you? Whose work is it that permits any of us to have a hope or a future? Whose Spirit has been baptized into us… a Spirit whose holiness is so supreme that blasphemy of Him is unforgiveable in the eyes of the Father and the Son? Is it not Jesus and Jesus alone who has done all this… and that for you and me?

As such, your loyalty in listening to Him and obeying Him first and only will be the test of the suitability of your kingship… and since those who are of this age who seek to remain alive until He arrives do not have martyrdom as the fruit of their loyalty and obedience… then the hallmark can only be seen in your life. And that hallmark is how you would listen to Jesus… not if you listen to Him.

How you would listen to Jesus is defined by who you say Jesus is for you. When Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” this had been told to him by the Father as Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in Heaven.”

You see, Jesus was not the Saviour to Peter, for Jesus did not rescue him from a crowd that was about to stone him; nor was He Peter’s Healer, for Peter was not born blind or had an issue of blood; nor was Jesus his Deliverer, for Jesus did not have to drive out seven demons from Peter at the time Jesus asked Peter this question… so that when Peter was challenged about his association with Jesus, Peter denied Him. But the man who was born blind was not afraid to challenge and even taunt the Pharisees when they kept asking him… “I have told you already and you did not listen.Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become His disciples, too?” So then, what you would do for Jesus does depend very much on what you have experienced Him doing for you, even though many whom Jesus healed never came back to thank Him. However, we are not speaking of ingratiates, but rather of those who have enough agape for Him that they might do something for Him.

Even though Jesus has spoken about those who laid down their lives for Him, in truth, it is not us laying down our lives for Him that He is after, for as He has said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” Rather, it is us laying down our lives and living our lives for Him – not dying for Him – that He truly seeks, which is why He has said, “…and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” Our forebears were martyred because of the loss of power and the loss of the command, “Listen to Him,” and not because of the will of God. For had power been retained because each and every disciple had remained faithful in listening to Jesus, then there would have been more who can testify to John 11.26 now than those who wait in the hope of John 11.25: “He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.”

As such, as the eleven and all the other forebears did much to leave for you and I, this present day religion called Christianity with an intact library of 66 books so that we too might be saved and live for God… it still comes down to this one truth: Jesus alone died for you and I whilst we were God’s enemies and it is His Name that gives us the salvation, the hope, and indeed, everything that God has promised.

So if it comes to choosing between James and Jesus… who should you choose? If it comes to listening to James versus listening to Jesus, who would you choose? Who was Apollos that you should follow him, even Paul, unless they too were following Jesus? Who were they – that you would listen to them unless they are getting you to listen to Jesus – in the mistakes they made in not listening so that we might avoid making the same mistakes?

So, who do you say Jesus is? For to Mary Magdalene, He was the Man who drove seven demons out of her and gave her back her sanity. To the blind man in Bethsaida, He was the One who opened his eyes. To the woman with the issue of blood, He was the One who healed her when no one else could. To the woman caught in adultery, He was the One who did not condemn her. If He is your Saviour, He redeemed you. If He is your Healer, He healed you. If He is your Rabbi, He taught you. If He is your Master, He employed you. If He is your Friend, He befriended you. If He is your Brother, He adopted you.

But now, what if He is your King and He has also done all these to you and for you? The word is… He ransomed you. Jesus Christ is the King’s Ransom for you, and what King would ransom a commoner like you and like me with His only Son, unless there is the possibility that in you and I are also kings?

Now then, if He is indeed the One who ransomed you to give you your freedom and your hope, what should you do? Firstly, it is to listen to Him to the total shutting out of all others unless they have something to say about Jesus that can add to your knowledge of Him. For if He is your King, the Son of your King who ransomed you… what would you think of those who did not listen or obey Him even though they are your forebears, your fellow servants, imperfect men like you? Though you would acknowledge them, you would not place their words ahead of Jesus’ words… and that is why who you say Jesus is to you is all important.

So then, who do you say Jesus is? Your King? Then do you not realize that your King has been detained, delayed and also slandered and made a mockery of because of your disobedience first and the disobedience of others? Yet we do not judge others as much as we first judge ourselves.

Jesus is detained? But He is at the right hand of the Father. True, but He is detained because He cannot move from the right hand on the throne to return to Earth to take up His throne in Heavenly glory, and as such… He is detained as it were, and held to ransom as it were. For as long as He remains at the right hand of the Father on the Father’s throne, He can only make intercession for His saints as Paul wrote: Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us, and because He always lives to intercede for them.

He cannot however do what He would also do if He were to return as King and sit on His throne in Heavenly glory here on Earth, as He has said He would… and that is to separate the nations into sheep and goats and reward them according to what they have done to His brothers and sisters, as well as settling the matter with those who did not want Him to be King: “But those enemies of Mine who did not want Me to be King over them—bring them here and kill them in front of Me.”

And in the same way as He was given by His Father as a Ransom for us that we might no longer be detained by sin and death in the Kingdom of Darkness, so then likewise, there is a ransom to be paid so that our King might no longer be detained in the Kingdom of Heaven… detained because of doubt, disobedience, ignorance and apathy. For we doubted His words and did not listen to them nor held onto them, and disobeyed His commands, remaining ignorant of the Person of the Holy Spirit and have been apathetic to His needs… for after all, James and the elders ran the church in Jerusalem and the eleven were chosen by Him so that naturally, they were all be completely obedient and never doubted Him. After all, if they knew Jesus they would also know the Holy Spirit, for They are One, and if they were sympathetic to Jesus, they would show the Holy Spirit due respect. The truth is this: If it takes a righteousness that exceeds the pharisees to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, then it will take an obedience that exceeds that of the apostles for the Kingdom of God to come in full power.

Without taking away from their works, their faith, their perseverance, everything, the truth remains this: There is no Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of Power – visible on the Earth now… and Jesus has still not returned. No matter what excuse you can come up with about His sovereign timing, His sovereign will and that He does not observe time as we do, the truth is, we cannot refute those who accuse our Lord for being a liar when they say, “Nine hundred years is not anytime soon in anyone’s definition,” for He said, “I am coming soon.”

So then, what treasures, what price needs to be paid, what ransom given so that our King can be released from the Father’s throne to return to us and take up His own throne? A king’s ransom, that’s what! And what makes up a king’s ransom? Pearls of great worth, treasures in clay jars, purest gold refined seven times in the fire – made up by people who so hold onto their testimony and the word of God that they have lost their heads already.

You see, there sits in Heaven now the King’s ransom for the life of His Son, our King, that which John saw: …under the altar the souls of those who have been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained… and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. They are set apart from the other souls who are in Heaven – the Kingdom of Heaven – separated and placed under the altar, for they belong to the Kingdom of God, and they are there until the number referred to is fulfilled, and when that is done, their King will be ‘released’ from the right hand of God to return to His own kingdom.

That is the King’s ransom… and if Jesus is your King, as He has paid a ransom for you, so… you must pay the ransom for Him. However, what an exchange, for Jesus died to ransom you from Satan… but now it is for us to live so as to ransom Him from God.

And what does it take for you to be the King’s ransom?

To be that pearl of great worth that the Pearl Merchant would sell all He has to possess, to be that treasure in the field that the Man would sell all to buy the field. To be something that so exceeds the common value of the Kingdom of Heaven that indeed, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth may be harvested and truly the Kingdom of God can come with its King.

To be that exception for the ransom… not as one who had died for his testimony and the word of God, but as one who would so live for your testimony and the word of God that you will never die until He arrives. For it is not only when the number of those who are destined to be underneath the altar are fulfilled, but when there exists in the field such a treasure that the whole field would be bought, when there exists such a pearl of great worth that all else is given up for it… that the Father will release His Son to return for His kingdom.

That is the ransom God is seeking for His Son before He will release Him back for His kingdom – men and women for whom Jesus to them is their King who ransomed them – for to Him alone is such a conviction of loyalty that, like the Levites, they would not hesitate to unleash the sword and purify the nation from those who bow down to false gods. That is the ransom demanded for our King by the Father.

So, our King lives… long live our King!

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