HIERARCHY OF FOUR VARIETIES OF BLESSEDNESS
The basic biblical precept of the Kingdom Gospel and mission is that all humanity
• is lost, perishing and dead in their sin,
• is enslaved by the devil, is under divine wrath and condemnation (John 3:35-36; Eph 2:1-3) and
• is in dire need of eternal salvation only possible by divine intervention; which salvation has been powerfully accomplished and graciously offered by God through Jesus Christ (John 3:13-19).
Christ was preordained in eternity before all time by God to judge the living and the dead but was presented and proved in time to be the Christ and the eternally reigning Son of God by His incarnation, resurrection and ascension (Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom 1:2-6).
The basic biblical purpose of Christian mission in the world is to share with all humanity the Gospel of this distinctly boundless blessing of eternal salvation freely offered, revealed and brought to the world through Christ. This eternal salvation is far beyond every other available levels and options of blessedness ever sought and imagined or attainable by humanity (Eph 1:17-23; 3:16-21). This REVELATIONIST and REDEMPTIONIST perspective of the Christian witness was testified by Christ and His Apostles.
(19) The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
(20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
(21) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
(22) You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
(23) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
(24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
(25) The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”
(26) Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
(24) The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in shrines made by human hands,
(25) and he isn’t served by hands as if he needed anything. He himself gives everyone life, breath, and everything.
(26) From one man he made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth, fixing the seasons of the year and the boundaries they live in,
(27) so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never far from any one of us.
(28) For we live, move, and exist because of him, as some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children, too.’
(29) So if we are God’s children, we shouldn’t think that the divine being is like gold, silver, or stone, or is an image carved by human imagination and skill.
(30) Though God has overlooked those times of ignorance, he now commands everyone everywhere to repent,
(31) for he has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice through a man he has appointed, and he has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Christ came down to graciously grant us the experience of eternal salvation as free redemptive blessing which by far outweighs and outlasts all levels of blessedness that humanity may think, imagine, ask or ever know (Eph 1:3-4, 17-23; 3:16-21): whether by human actualisation and human speculation or even by prophetic revelation. Every human is responsible for the level of blessedness one chooses to seek because every level of blessedness has its eternal consequence after death.
The workings and worth, powers and purposes of the four levels of blessedness are attested to all over the Scripture. Here are some examples:
4. SALVATION in Christ as the eternal heavenly heritage to all humanity whosoever believes.
(28) For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
(1) God, having spoken in former times in fragmentary and varied fashion to our forefathers by the prophets,
(2) has in these last days spoken to us by a Son whom he appointed to be the heir of everything and through whom he also made the universe.
(3) He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of his being, and he holds everything together by his powerful word. After he had provided a cleansing from sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Highest Majesty.
(12) There is no salvation by anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.
(13) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and found out that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and realized that they had been with Jesus.
3. REVELATION as found in the experiences of Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets.
(39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
(40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
(9) Really, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and even more than a prophet!
(10) This is the man about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
(11) Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has appeared who is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
1 Corinthians 13:9-10
(9) For our knowledge is only in part, and the prophet’s word gives only a part of what is true:
(10) But when that which is complete is come, then that which is in part will be no longer necessary.
2. SPECULATION of human wisdom and curiosity all through the ages.
1 Corinthians 1:21-25
(21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know God, God decided through the nonsense of our preaching to save those who believe.
(22) Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom,
(23) but we preach Christ crucified. He is a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to gentiles,
(24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom.
(25) For God’s nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
(8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
(9) For in him dwells all the fullness of the Deity bodily.
1. ACTUALISATION to meet humanly felt-needs, satisfy selfish and mundane passions and pomp.
(15) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
(20) But God said unto him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have prepared?
(21) So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
1 Corinthians 15:19
(19) If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.
1 John 2:15-17
(15) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him,
(16) because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.
(17) And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.