Crowns of Position, Power & Privilege

Received by Faithful Believers on the Great Coronation Day

by Pastor John Hamel


If you have not yet read the JHM study on “The Judgment Seat of Christ,” it would be good for you to do so.  There we have discussed the blessed rewards of the overcoming, victorious Christian and the shame to be faced by the carnal, compromising Christian on the Day of Judgment.  


There we also made mention of the Crowns we are about to study.  Crowns that will be distributed only to the faithful.  Crowns to be kept forever.  Symbols of position, power and privilege with the Savior.  Crowns to be proudly placed upon our heads by the Savior.  Crowns which we will in turn place at His feet, similar to the way the Elders do, on our great Coronation Day.


“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their Crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:10-11)


Let’s look at these wonderful Crowns, why they will be distributed and to whom.


The Watcher's Crown 


“Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.” (2Timothy 4:8)


Almighty God has reserved a very special Crown for all who have set their eyes Heavenward in expectation of Christ’s return.  These faithful Believers live a life of sanctification and holiness – ever ready for His return and their reward. (Titus 2:13)


Rebellious, carnal Believers have not set their hearts on receiving this Crown.  No Christian world-lings even look forward to His coming, never mind a Crown.  They know when He comes their jig is up and it’s “Shame City.” (1John 2:28)  They desire neither confrontation nor castigation. Believers who choose barrooms, worldly concerts, casinos and adult movie theatres do so at the expense of this Crown and all the power and privilege it represents.  


This is why JHM adamantly preaches the message of Christ’s soon return, imploring Believers to keep their eyes and minds Heavenward.  Only those who watch for Christ with all their hearts and all their minds will receive this honor.


The Runner's Crown


“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Corinthians 9:24-27)


In a marathon there are many runners.  However, not everyone comes in first place. This is why the Apostle Paul chose this analogy.  Millions upon millions of Christians have run the race of Christian service, but only a minority will be rewarded for their service.  Why?  


Because the race many run is simply a religious race.  They serve their denominational doctrine and not Christ’s Holy Written Word.  They are men-pleasers and not God-pleasers. They trust religion, man-made tradition and good deeds to save them. Their trust is not in Christ’s saving blood, walking in love or obedience to the higher call. Behind the scenes many of them submit to the cravings of their bodies and minds.  Christ Himself said this will never do. (Matthew 15:9) 


Paul said, “I keep under my body and bring it into subjection.” (Vs.27) 


Only the runners who run according to God’s Scriptural rules and beat their cravings into submission will receive this incorruptible Crown.  Only those who chose the work of God over the traditions of man, running the race with excellence, will receive this incorruptible Crown.  This is not a corruptible crown of decaying laurel wreath but a Crown that endures, along with all of its position, power and privilege, throughout Eternity.  Run your race with excellence and receive this outstanding Crown.


The Crown of Persecution 


“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown of Life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)


James calls this Crown the “Crown of Life.”  I prefer to call it the “Crown of Persecution.” 


James said it is given to the Believer who endures tremendous temptation, referring to tremendous persecution.  There’s lots of persecution being offered up these days.  God is pouring out His Spirit upon the people of the world in a greater way than He ever has at any other time in all of human history. (Joel 2:28-29)  Those who choose to run with God at this time will suffer tremendous persecution for doing so. 


I believe there are such unusual manifestations of the Spirit of God coming into the Earth that even individuals who consider themselves to be men and women of “faith” are going to reject those manifestations.  I believe they are going to shell out tremendous persecution to those who choose to go with this unusual move of God’s Spirit.  Jesus gave us some pretty good instructions as to how we are to handle it, when it comes to us, too.


“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:1-12)


Here Jesus said that rejoicing and being exceedingly glad during times of tremendous persecution will break the power of that ugly demonic mess right off of your life.  It’s hard to do, I know.  But if you’ll start out in the flesh, jumping up and down rejoicing before God that Satan is so threatened by you, you’ll end up in the Spirit.  The spirit of joy will supersede the spirit of oppression that attempts to take hold through persecution. This is why the Bible says “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)  Anyone who will submit to the spirit of joy in this manner will break the back of the devil during even the most extreme forms of persecution. 


The Crown of Persecution is a Crown given only to those who remain faithful to the very end.  If Jesus came today, would you qualify for this Crown?  Or would you have to sacrifice it because of chronic grumbling over persecution?  Gripers don’t receive this Crown.  The gripers get the vipers. (Numbers 21:5-9)


The Soulwinner's Crown


“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3)


It is obvious that this verse does not specifically mention Crowns, but the inference is clear.  Jewel-studded Crowns sparkle as the stars on a dark clear night.  Where we live in Vermont we often go up to the mountains where the night sky display is breathtaking.  Stars that are billions of miles away sparkle as bright as candles flickering on a birthday cake! 


In the near future a far more majestic scene is being described by the above verse of Scripture.  The children of God who invest their lives into winning souls into God’s family will be crowned with jewel-studded Crowns which dazzle like a northern night sky forever!  All of God’s children are commanded to go out into the highways and byways and compel the lost to come into His house. (Luke 14:12-24) 


The Bible also says, “He who winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)  The reverse application of this verse is apparent.  To NOT win souls is the work of a fool!  True lovers of God will not allow work or entertainment to hinder them from winning souls.  They desire to rejoice in the Day of the Lord, knowing they did the work of a Soulwinner during their probationary period here on Planet Earth.


“For what is our hope, or joy, or Crown of Rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (1Thessalonians 2:19) 


Here Paul refers to the Soulwinner’s Crown as a “Crown of Rejoicing.”  He is expressing great delight that because the above-mentioned Believers adhered to his preaching, they would find themselves in the presence of the Lord at His coming.  As a result, Paul said he would receive the Crown of Rejoicing.  Which do you choose?  Shame or rejoicing when the Lord returns?  It’s all up to you, not Him.  You are deciding your Eternal destiny right now, not God.  God might know all about it because He’s All-Knowing.  But He’s not deciding how you will spend Eternity.  You are deciding how you will spend Eternity based upon how you spend your probationary period here on Earth.


“And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (Luke 16:9) 


This verse is simpler than it first appears.  It is actually saying, “Win souls [make friends] with your money [mammon of unrighteousness].  When you get to Heaven  [when ye fail] you’ll find Eternal friends [they may receive you] who got there safely because of your efforts.”  Is this the priority of your life?  Are you busy about other things with the money that the Lord puts into your hands for the saving of souls?  If so, you can’t expect a Crown.  You’ll get “crowned” alright, as we say here on Planet Earth, but not with the Soulwinner’s Crown.


“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the Day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14)


The Bible says at any given time in human history there are multitudes in the valley of decision.  Will you be one who goes to pluck them out?  Will you be one who does all they can to help others to go and pluck them out?  Will you have spiritual offspring when you yourself arrive in Heaven?  Will any of the millions, billions in the valley of decision be plucked out of Hell’s fires because of your efforts?  Don’t be a procrastinator.  There is no crown offered for that.  Be a Soulwinner and receive all the Eternal privilege that accompanies the Soulwinner’s Crown in Heaven.  That’s why it is also called a “Crown of Rejoicing.” 


This is one morning muster you will want to be attending as the Quarter-Master calls off your name along with how many you are responsible for safely directing towards Eternity in Heaven.


The Shepherd's Crown


“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.”  (1Peter 5:1-4)


This Crown is reserved only for the faithful five-fold Ministers, male and female.  By faithful, Peter means those who were faithful to feed God’s lambs with His Word.  However, a Minister cannot effectively do this unless he or she has been faithful to first learn God’s World themselves!  This requires great diligence, sacrifice and commitment on the Minister’s part.  This is not a Crown which will be worn by the Minister who always waited until Saturday evening to prepare a “Sloppy Joe” message for God’s people.  God does not honor the “Saturday Night Express.”  The Word of God must come first in the lives of all who intend to wear this Crown of Honor.  Sports, recreational reading, movie viewing, etc., must all take a backseat to God’s Word and prayer in order to win this Crown.  I partake moderately of all the above, but never at the expense of God’s Word or His flock!


Ministers must also lead in love.  Sheep are to be led.  Only cattle are herded.  Ministers must rule with compassion.  They themselves are to be God-ruled, not board-ruled.  God’s Church is a Theocracy, not a Democracy.  The Elders and Deacons are not to vote on whether the Minister can obey the Word or not.  That’s an insult to the Holy Spirit.  Elders and Deacons obey the Pastor, not vice-versa.


“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1Timothy 3:4-5)


Minister must not only rule the Church well, but they must also rule their own families well. A Minister who does not rule his or her own family well not only disqualifies themselves from Earthly service, but disqualifies themselves from wearing the Shepherd’s Crown through Eternity.  They lose the Crown and all the privilege that goes with it.


“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)


The Minister is also to be obeyed by all who expect great reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ!  The Minister that does not require the congregation to follow him as he follows the Word disqualifies himself from the privilege of the Crown.  The Apostle Paul said that he “magnified” his office. (Romans 11:13)  Paul meant that he held his Office in the highest esteem and that he required all who submitted to him to do the same.  This teaches respect not only for the Offices of the Holy Spirit but for all the things of God as well. 


I recently addressed a Pastor as “Pastor” while preaching in his Church in Vermont.  I was meeting him for the first time.  He said to me, “Oh, no need to call me Pastor.  I don’t want anyone putting me on a pedestal.”  I said, “I’m not putting you on a pedestal, Pastor.  I would prefer to call you Pastor, particularly in front of your people.  That will teach them respect for your Office and your authority.”  He immediately realized what he was doing wrong and repented on the spot.  All Pastors and Ministers who are making the same mistake should realize what they are doing wrong and repent on the spot.  If only for the sake of God’s precious sheep.


I recently received an e-mail from another Pastor.  He rebuked me for being “hung up on titles.”  He explained to me that he wasn’t prideful enough to use a title and felt that those who did so had a pride problem.  That poor man was so ignorant of his own Office and Calling that he insulted the Holy Spirit without meaning to do so.  I explained to him in turn what I did to the Pastor in Vermont who repented.  Still, he refused to repent and acknowledge the Apostle Paul’s admonition, continuing to stand his ground.  There went another Crown right out the window and all the privilege that accompanies it. 


Some Pastors wrongly believe they could never lose their Shepherd’s Crown. But that’s not what Jesus taught.


“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy Crown.” (Revelation 3:11)


If that dear Brother doesn’t get his thinking back in line with God’s Word, somebody else will come along and get the Crown that was intended for him.  He’ll be fortunate to get one of those corruptible cardboard crowns from the fast food burger place!  That man was so deceived by his pride that he insisted he didn’t have a pride problem.  The first indication that a person has a pride problem is the fact that they insist they don’t have a pride problem.  Everyone has to cast down pride daily.  I always say, “Deceived folks don’t know they’re deceived because they’re deceived.”


It is not a matter of pride to require the congregation to refer to their Pastor by his God-given title.  It’s a matter of obedience.  The sheep must recognize the Shepherd and his God-given authority.  It will be exceptionally unprofitable for the rebellious, uneducated sheep at the time of Judgment who have not done so.  Rewards will be taken from them, not given to them.  And a lot of it will be the Pastor’s fault.  Woe to that Pastor! (James 3:1)


The Minister who makes God’s standards his or her standards will receive a very beautiful, exclusive Crown on the Day of the Lord.  A Crown of Glory.  One that will never fade.  One that carries great power and privilege for the blessed wearer.  Look for me on that day.  I’ll let you check mine out!  You’ll say to me, “You were right, Pastor.”


The time is at hand.  Christ will come soon.  Every prophecy that required fulfillment prior to His arrival has been fulfilled.  The distribution of rewards, power, privilege and honor is also at hand.  


What reward will you receive should He come as you sleep tonight?  


Will you be honored of the Lord for successfully completing your probationary period while on Earth?  


Will you be shedding tears of shame or tears of joy?


Be Blessed, Crown seekers ... John and Barbara Hamel



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