“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”
1 Corinthians 12:13
By One Spirit
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you”
1 Corinthians 12:21
Anyone with a vital, living relationship with the Head (Christ Himself) cannot say: “I have no need of thee”! Only those who live independently, disassociated from the Law of Life, can say “I have no need of thee”. If the eye is not intrinsically attached to the Head, it has no sense of its relationship to the rest of the Body of Christ. There is an inherent blindness that will isolate and insulate that one from the wonder of His Life.
A disconnected member has no divine enablement to “feel” the heartbeat of the body. “I have no need of thee” is a revelation of one’s true spiritual condition. The deeper our union with Him, the deeper will be a corresponding desire for a relationship with all others who share this common heartbeat. The power of His Life breaks asunder the carnal bonds of denominations, closed and isolated fellowships, and disconnected cliques.
Pride, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, and the desire for preeminence, will sever the bonds with Him who is the life, the heart, and the author of peace.
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”
The only means through which we can be ONE Body is by living in the ONE Spirit. To be outside the Life of the ONE Spirit is to be alienated from the ONE Body. Doctrines, teachings, and religious dogmas have nothing to do with this ONENESS. Those who live in Christ do not compromise truth for oneness because the Spirit of Truth pulsates within. They know the truth, the truth (Christ Himself) lives within, and He alone produces unity in hearts that can never declare “I have no need of thee”.
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death”
1 John 3:14
The authenticity of our relationship with Him who is THE LIFE is revealed in our love and concern for our brothers and sisters. It is the carnal, the disconnected who are oblivious to this truth.
“By the figure of the vine and the branches, Christ illustrated not only the relation that should exist between him and his followers but also the union between every believer and his fellow believer. The branches of the vine are related to each other, but they are not alike. Each has its own individuality, which cannot be merged into that of another, but all have a special connection with each other. The root that supplies nourishment to one branch supplies nourishment to every other branch. Each must depend alike on the vine for sustenance; all must be joined to the parent stalk. The life and growth and fruitfulness of each depend alike on the parent vine. In obedience to the laws of nature, their common hold of the true vine make them one; in their diversity there is unity.”
“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
God’s Word is not only an expression of Him – but it is also anextension of Himself. He is His Word and His Word is Himself (John 1:1). In both the Old and New Testament we read that our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). Those who bear His Living Word within will know the truth of this in the corresponding measure of their walk. His Word is the very expression of His Nature, His Thoughts, and His Ways. Words without fire are words without unction. Men cannot touch His Presence and remain unaffected, apathetic, and unconcerned about His inheritance in the earth. His presence is fire and glory. His zeal for His House (Psalm 119:139, John 2:17) in the earth is a consuming fire within the hearts of those who have His Word.
This fire consumes and purifies those who bear it to speak with an intensity to all who would hear. This fire cannot be quenched, compromised, or contaminated by the tepidity of religious men who desire something less than God Himself. It is antagonistic to the stagnant, and to those who are complacent in their approach to God. To those who desire to walk and live within the presence of a Holy God, it is the necessity of life. It is the work of God to bring His people to such expressions.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire“
“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones”
Becoming One is the result of following the One Shepherd
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”
Unity is inevitable where God reigns. Within the secularized landscape of Christendom, there are many who hold to the teachings of men, the agendas of men, and the ways of men. This allows the self to remain intact while claiming to follow the Crucified One. The true child of God who follows the Voice of the Shepherd cannot remain in the shallows of separation and division. Those who hear His voice grow INTO the ONE FOLD because they follow the ONE SHEPHERD. Unity of heart is the incomprehensible work of the Spirit of Christ. There is a fusion in the fire of His love of those who follow Him alone.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22
Only through obedience can we know this unifying power. Those who cling to mere teachings of the Shepherd without the corresponding obedience to Him will never feel the fervency of the power of the love of God. It is His Voice that draws and gathers His Own. In the act of abiding in Him, the unifying wonder of His Life joins member to member.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Unity is the result of a New Creation Life that transcends pride, variance, strife, and the divisive ways of men. Obedience to the truth is how the old leaven of the natural man is put to death (mortified Romans 8:13) by the Spirit of God in those who desire purity of heart. It is the “pure in heart” who see God; it is the pure in heart who are brought “unto the unfeigned love of the brethren”. This purity can only be known by each one “obeying the truth” in the sanctum of their own hearts. Unity is the offspring of obedience. Those who hold only to the tenets of Christ, though loved of Him, will never truly touch the power of this unifying love. Unity cannot be known apart from obedience, for unity, the true Unity of the Body of Christ is the result of His Lordship in our lives.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
His Lordship is revealed by our obedience. It is the un-crucified self with all its passions, its desire for pre-eminence, it’s holding of unforgiveness, its refusal to humble itself, its inability to feel the press of His Spirit to seek reconciliation, its lack of understanding the need to preserve the Unity of the Spirit, that can never fathom the depths of the Love of Christ.
Sheep and Goats
The Judgment of God upon His own is pronounced upon the nature of the individual, not upon the beliefs of the individual.
“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: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left”
The sheep are those who have received the Lamb of God and have allowed His Life to permeate their own heart by virtue of being partakers of the Divine Nature. The goats are those who may have experienced the “new birth” but failed to allow the nature of Christ to bring them into submission and obedience to Him. They may cry out “Lord, Lord…” and perform miracles and great “Christian” works yet have never been “known” of Christ Himself. They may have sat under His teachings, known His word, taught others, prayed, and a host of other things; everything except obey His Word and humble themselves to the WAY of Christ. These are the goats who by their very nature believe the things of Christ, but will not submit themselves to the doing of His Will. It takes the Life of Christ to obey the Will of the Father. It is that same Life that unites them into ONE BODY.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…”
1 John 1:7
The Refiner’s Fire is the showing forth of His wisdom being brought to bear upon those whose hearts long to bear fruit unto Him.
“And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them…”
If our heart’s desire is to be re-created into His likeness, we must seek to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). The purpose of God’s Spirit is to “quicken” us, to transform us “by the renewing of our minds” whereby we are “changed from one glory unto another”. No individual truly called of God has escaped the depths of loneliness, separation, misunderstanding, and rejection. It is the forging of the fire which draws out the impurities of our own selves – the very construct of our wrongness. In God’s wisdom, He uses our circumstances to complete His work in us. If He spared not His own sinless Son, who are we to escape His loving and determined means to “bring many sons to glory”?
For the Jacobs to become Israels, God must use the Labans to bring purity, purpose, and movement. Man left to himself will remain in desert places, and tarry in stagnant situations, even as the sands of time exhaust the brief moments of our life here. It is in the antagonism, the strife, and the pressings of God that men leave the former things only to discover later God was in the exodus from our Egypt.
“As an eagle stirreth up her nest…”
God’s stirrings will press His own to movement; journeys which bring separation from the former things so that the new is readily received. It is in the journey with God where the crucible is known and the renovations of our being are realized. We experience the wrestling with God at our Jabbok where our natural man is crippled and we begin to comprehend Him whose name is “wonderful”. We discover the two-fold meaning of Jabbok*: our “being emptied out” and Christ being “poured in”. The exchange and transactions of God are not without price nor are they without great reward. The sorrow becomes the matrix of a Joy of which only the broken may know.
For the pilgrim of faith, the call to heavenly places propels him on through valleys, deserts, and lonely paths where the pure air of His presence is worth it all. The promise of God stands:
“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
In the dark places, the days of mediocrity, the days where our heart’s fire burns low, we learn “The Lord is thy keeper” (Psalm 121:5) and the restorer of our souls!
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds…
“Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance”
The abundant life is a tested and purified life.
* Jabbok. Hebrew pouring out or emptying. (Bullinger)
“Ifwe love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12
God measures our life in Him by the Love we have for one another. Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues, and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for His people. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14
Authenticity is the fruit of a life lived in God. The Life of Christ is the sole bonding agent which fuses one member to another. Obedience is the means to this purity by which our relationship with our brothers and sisters becomes filled with the wonder of God Himself. An impure heart is filled with mixed motives, carnal and self-seeking desires which by their very nature prevent the true union of His Spirit and Life with Him and one another.
“Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart…”
1 Peter 1:22
Transformation and change are the natural order of those who are active and current in their relationship with Jesus. Those who merely subscribe to the tenets of the “Christian” faith remain unaffected by the wonder of His life and Being. Change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, tasting of His Goodness, Mercy, and Holiness. One cannot touch His presence and not grow in the reverence of who He is. Without change, there is no understanding of the fear of the Lord.
“Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God”
Knowledge may increase, familiarity with the things of God may have the appearance of being good and deep, but it is in the crucible of growth that our relationship is revealed. He came moreover He is come to work within our hearts fundamental and revolutionary transformations from what we are into the image of Christ. This transition from fallen Adam to the Risen Christ is the vehicle and means by which we are moved from an isolated and selfish entity into the substance of being “members one of another”. The validity of our walk with God is revealed in those who are being united by faith into One Body, One Life, and One Heart! Jesus prayed for this, He gave Himself up to cruel and wicked men to pay the price of redemption to this end. Not only did He give Himself as an offering but He is even now giving Himself to us to make it so. Those who do not feel the pull and the cry for this union of hearts within the wonder of His life have become distant and unable to hear the Spirit of Truth.
“Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The one saying to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes”
1 John 2:8-11
Indifference is hatred held in apathy. They who are indifferent to the members of the Body of Christ around them are walking in the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light is simply the life of Jesus beating within our hearts.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men”
The Unity of His people will never come from God moving without… Its wonder can only be known by the work of Grace within our hearts. It is not an event, it is a life, it will not come with observation (Luke 17:20). They who live in His Light know of this unity. Just as Jesus prayed… “that they may be ONE IN US”. Unity is the fruit of our relationship in Christ.
“And this is the writing that was written,
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.”
The “handwriting is on the wall”. This is no longer just a rhetorical quote. The Almighty God has made a declaration of judgment. It is a judgment upon North America. Just as Belshazzar in his prideful heart ridiculed the precious things of God, so this generation has mocked God and He has spoken “UPHARSIN” over our land. His Word in Daniel’s day was written in the Ancient Chaldean language and could only be read and interpreted by one who walked in the Spirit of God and understood that Judgment was about to fall. There are few in the church today who “see” the handwriting on the wall. There are few, as the Prophet Zephaniah declared, who can hear“the voice of the DAY of the Lord”. There is a voice in the Day calling us to repentance and preparation for His coming.
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near,
and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord” Zephaniah 1:14
The great Day of the Lord is upon us and it will be unveiled in successive judgments. God’s determination is fixed. He will harden men’s hearts, and, in their fury, they will gnash their teeth. This will increase the suffering of God’s people even as did Pharaoh in the beginning of the plagues, but the Holy Verdict will accomplish God’s own purposes. God judgments will bring affliction upon all; the same fire which consumes the wood will purify the Gold. How little we comprehend of the Holiness and Majesty of our God!
God is speaking the final word of the sentence passed upon Belshazzar to North America. He speaks of division, lawlessness and anarchy. The rider of the Red Horse is coming, and his mandate is to take peace from the earth. The chaos and rending of division have begun and there is no stopping it.
“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” Revelation 6:3-4
UPHARSIN* means DIVIDED. “A nation divided against itself cannot stand”. The once proud and mighty nation will be swallowed up in its own destructive ways. We must prepare for the dark hour which is upon us.
*Note: UPHARSIN - defined “…thy kingdom is divided, or broken into pieces, and given to the Medes and Persians. The meaning is not that the kingdom was to be divided into two equal parts, and the one part given to the Medes and the other to the Persians; but פְרַס is to divide into pieces, to destroy, to dissolve the kingdom”Keil & Delitzsch
“PERES*; Thy kingdom is divided”
*NOTE: “Peres - In Dan 5:25 this is “Upharsin.” These are but different forms of the same word - the word in Dan 5:25 being in the plural, and here in the singular. The verb (פרס peras) means, to “divide;” and in this form, as in the previous cases, it is, according to Gesenius, participle meaning “divided.” Albert Barnes
Upharsin– Speaks of plural “dividers” and factions at work in a nation while the Peres speaks of the resulting division as the singular outcome. God is bringing this division and chaos to the nations in order to work His unity in His divided and carnal Church. All these things are working together for His purposes in the earth. The siftings of His Spirit are upon us and there will be divisions in the “professing” church for He will fully reveal them who serve the Lord from those who serve Him not (Malachi 3:18). He will fully answer the Prayer of Jesus in John 17… “That they may be one”. The pride and desire for pre-eminence will be broken in His House with the intent that they who are His will be fused in a love so deep, so pure and so divine that the world will marvel at His Work within the True Body of Christ. He is determined and will leave nothing of the residue of the fallen Adam nature to linger in His holy bride. (Brian Troxel)
“MENE*; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it”
MENE, MENE* means we have been measured. The literal Hebrew: Numbered as if falling short in stature and its length of days are finished*(see below). God is thorough. His judgments are meted out from beginning to end. In the Book of Revelation, He reveals Himself as “the beginning and the ending”; (not end but ending). His endings are a process; they tear down, they divide, they bring famine, pestilence and woe. When He judges a nation its ending is complete as it was in Egypt. It was an unrelenting series of Judgments to bring the land to desolation and great sorrow. In the midst of His judgments on Egypt He hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to bring His full justice upon their pride and arrogance. The ending of our land has entered its final stages. God has brought us to the precipice of a new day and with it comes the four-horseman. The great seals are even now being removed and their decrees are bringing the ramifications of judgment which will culminate in God’s glory.
*Note: MENE defined “Daniel accordingly interprets מְנֵא thus: God has numbered (מְנָה for מְנָא, perf. act.) thy kingdom, i.e., its duration or its days, וְהַשְׁלְמָהּ, and has finished it, i.e., its duration is so counted out that it is full, that it now comes to an end”Keil & Delitzsch
When God pronounced judgment upon the faithless and wicked priesthood of Eli, the prophet declared: “For when I begin, I also make an end”. The beginning of God’s work in our land is the end of a manner of life as we now know it. The insolence and pride of the Laodicean Church was one of frivolity and ignorance of her true condition; a deceptive, lethargic ethos to which God spoke “be zealous therefore, and repent”. May we have ears to hear and, more importantly, may we have hearts to respond to His assessment of our condition.
“TEKEL*; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting”
TEKEL* – We have been weighed. God’s judgments begin in secret and we see in His Word the process by which His judgments infiltrate the fabric of a nation upon which His Hand will fall. In the Book of Romans Paul sets forth the subtlety of His ways:
“Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves; who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error”
We must see that the rise of sexual perversion is God’s judgment upon a nation. Because they refused to acknowledge God, HE GAVE THEM OVER to be slaves to their lust and its consequences. May God open our eyes to the truth that His judgments have already began and there is no turning back. Paul goes on to describe the culmination of His Verdict whereby they are given over to a reprobate mind, incapable of repentance. Paul in his day was speaking to the Roman Empire; that same end is now upon us.
The Church has been weighed; her witness has been tarnished, her light is dim, and her words carry little weight or power for she has forsaken truth in the pursuit of worldly success. In her lust for worldly wealth, power and recognition she has denied the Call of Christ who, in His devotion to the Father, “made Himself of no reputation” and “humbled Himself” in perfect obedience. Instead, she has built extravagant buildings, and elevated various “ministries”, each one vying for the attention, allegiance and money of God’s people. In our own worldly lusts for gain and recognition we have fabricated a gospel to appeal to the masses; to fill our pews in order to justify our own ends. God is coming and He is going to humble and strip His people from the Babylonian garments, the shekels of silver and the wedge of gold (Joshua 7:19-26). When HE has finished His endings in our land, He will have a pure, humble and holy people and great will be the Kingdom of His Peace.
“I am come for thy words”
God is coming for our words. He came to His beloved Daniel for he was a man of integrity. His words carried the weight of one who feared and honoured God; for that he found protection under the wings of the Almighty. God came for Peter’s words who spoke right things but did not know the true condition of his heart; he failed in the day when he should have stood. God is coming for our words; our words which come from untested hearts, words uttered that are not backed by the life we live. Words spoken by the disobedient are idle words (in the Greek: words without works). God dealt with Joseph’s brothers who assured him (not knowing he was Joseph) “we be true men”; words without weight or substance. God weighs our words, our actions and the true intents of our hearts. We may hide them in garments of religion, but God searches hearts and will render to every man a just recompense in the Day we stand before Him.
“Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed”
1 Samuel 2:3
TEKEL – Our actions and our words are being weighed in the balances of God.
*Note: TEKEL defined “In תְּקֵל there lies the double sense that the word תְּקַל, to weigh, accords with the Niphal of קָלַל, to be light, to be found light (cf. תֵּקַל, Gen 16:4). The interpretation presents this double meaning: Thou art weighed in the balances (תְּקִלְתָּא) and art found too light (like the תֵּקַל). חַסִּיר, wanting in necessary weight, i.e., deficient in moral worth. תְּקִלְתָּ”Keil & Delitzsch
Are we living lives of moral worth? Is the weight of His righteousness brought to bear in our lives by how we live, in how we cherish and speak truth to our brothers and sisters? Are our business dealings ethical and free from deceit and covetousness? Are we good and faithful stewards in our service to our employers? Do our words carry the weight and life of Christ to effect change in the lives around us? Are our children raised in the fear and the admonition of the Lord? How will we be weighed in His balances when this life is over?
“TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances,
and art found wanting”
I do not like to share these things as I feel the weight of them and must consider myself in the light of them. The division has begun in North America and the rent will become violent to the point of an incomprehensible un-civil war. We must not get embroiled in the quagmire of politics. The Church is to be a light concerning the Kingdom of God not the politics of men. May we overcome evil with good.
“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”
For the true child of God there is no darkness through which He does not intend to bring us to greater light. There is no trial so great that the Great Shepherd does not watch over the soul of His Own. There is no sorrow and no separation so great that it cannot be compensated with Himself. Let us face this coming year with an understanding that His sovereign Wisdom is at work for our eternal benefit.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion”
It is needful that we prepare our hearts for the things which lie ahead. Things are changing quickly as God is allowing a time of suffering and counting the cost. A cost-less gospel is about to become a precious Gospel. Religious liberties as we have known them will give way to intimidation, prison and even death. Yet in the midst of all this a new-found liberty will be born in those who have followed Him with a full heart; it is called the liberty of the Spirit. It is the same liberty that Paul had in prison, the same liberty the disciples had in the Macedonian prison to sing and worship God, the same liberty of Peter and other disciples who rejoiced in being found worthy to suffer for His Name. A new day is dawning upon the North American Church; which for the most part it is still fighting for a way of life that has failed to produce an overcoming church. God in His wisdom will bring a purging of the filth and the infiltration of the world from His House. Just as Jesus with great vehemence drove the money changers out of the Temple in His Day, He will once again purge the haughtiness from His House of whom we are. The divisions, the strife, the competition and the contagion of pride gives testimony that the liberty we have enjoyed thus far has not furthered His Glory in our midst.
Let us receive from Him this chastening that in the purging of all worldly contaminants He may reveal to the world a broken, pure and holy people. May we turn to Him in the secret places of our hearts with repentance and sorrow knowing that from such God will not turn away.
God’s Word to the Church OF the Laodiceans…
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent“
This is the Word of the Lord to His Church. It has grown lukewarm, its pursuits are worldly, it is rich in the things of the world, and there is no end of teachings, sermons and programs. It is not the content which is lacking; it is the spirit in which it hears the things of God. Works without faith and Faith without works are the hallmarks of a lukewarm and lethargic people. Let us prepare ourselves for His coming; a coming which is contrary to many of the teachings of our Day!
“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap…”
He is coming to cleanse and purify His Church, to purify His people that He may receive unto Himself a worthy Bride – pure and spotless free from the corruption of the world and fully alive unto Him.
Peter declared emphatically:
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17
Before God judges the world, He must first cleanse and purify His house. It is to this end that HE IS COMING TO NORTH AMERICA!
He cares much more about the issues of our hearts than He does about our lifestyle and “freedom”. A Bondman in the Lord is freer than the richest man in the world. The true servant of the Lord is Free regardless of his circumstances and manner of living. There is only ONE place to hide in the storm which is about to break – His Name is Jesus!
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
While many quote this scripture, we must comprehend what it is saying. The place of safety is where the “shadow of the Almighty” falls. It falls upon those who abide in the “secret place” of Christ Himself.
John declares how we can know that we are abiding in that “secret place”:
“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us”
1 John 3:24
Do we keep His commandments? Do we walk unstained from this world? Do we love our brothers and sisters deeply and freely? Do we seek forgiveness from others, and in turn forgive others freely? Are we in truth “living epistles, known and read by all men”? Do we live our faith and is our life consistent with the words we speak?
The Spirit of God tells us emphatically that the evidence that He abides in us is the Divine enablement to Do His Commandments!
Let these words penetrate our hearts: “Hereby we know that HE abides in us”!! How? We honor, keep and do His Will! We deceive ourselves if we walk in disobedience to His Word yet comfort ourselves with His Word.
This is a time to reconsider our “location” in Him. Do not let tomorrow pass without considering the verity of your life in Him and His Life in YOU. Those who have the Son living and dwelling within declare the truth of it by their walk.
I share these things because of my own need for fellowship which challenges, confirms and stirs my heart to love and follow Him more deeply. We are here corporately to “present every man perfect in Christ”.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus“
Let us in godly fear turn again to Him who alone can be our hiding place in the storm which is about to break!
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”
His Second Coming Characterized to this Generation
“And it shall be in that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men being settled on their lees; who say in their heart, Jehovah will not do good, nor will He do evil. And their goods shall become a prize, and their houses a waste. They shall also build houses, but not live there. And they shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine. The great day of Jehovah is near; it is near and rushing greatly, the sound of the day of Jehovah. The mighty man shall cry out bitterly there. That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and pressure, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the ram’s horn and alarm against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress to men, and they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against Jehovah. And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh like dung. Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Jehovah. But all the earth shall be consumed by the fire of His jealousy. For He shall make a complete, yea, a speedy end of all those living in the land” Zephaniah 1:12-18
God is searching the hearts of who lay claim to His Name in this hour. He who spared eight people in the days of Noah is no respecter of persons. He is Holy and He is coming back for* something not just to something. He is coming back for a Bride who has made herself ready because of the expectation and hope in her heart. Her love is genuine and intense; she honors His word because she honors Him. At the end of the Book of Revelation she is saying the same thing as the Holy Spirit for she has become One with Him.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come”
Throughout the scriptures we are exhorted to search our own hearts, to take account of our lives unto Him and to evaluate the state of our hearts in relationship to our keeping His Word.
“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord”
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5
“And he that keepeth* His commandments dwelleth in him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us”
1 John 3:24
*Note: τηρέω (tēreō) “Figuratively, to obey, observe, keep, fulfill a duty, precept, law, custom, or custom meaning to perform watchfully, vigilantly, with the acc. (Mat 19:17; Joh 14:15, Joh 14:21; Joh 15:10; 1Ti 6:14; 1Jn 2:3-4; 1Jn 3:22, 1Jn 3:24; 1Jn 5:2-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 14:12)…” Dr. Spiros Zodhiates
*Note: God’s return is predicated upon His purposes in the Church and He is coming back FOR a Bride who has made herself ready, He is returning for the “precious fruit” of the earth and has long patience for its harvest. For a glimpse of this magnificent truth please read His Appearing
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard,and I am come for thy words”
There are depths in God which can only be touched through the bonds of relationship. This cry of the inner heart to know the One in whom are “hid All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is a constant of those who have touched His purity and power. As Paul breathed out in his letter to the Philippians: “That I might know Him…” The seeing of Him leaves us speechless and steals the affection for all other things from our hearts. The hearing of Him rejoices the heart and makes our flesh tremble. No wonder the Bride in the Song of Songs cries out with fulness of heart,
“I sought him whom my soul loveth”
Song of Songs 6:3
This is no casual relationship; not some acquaintance we hold in high regard. This is the eternal Love of God indwelling the human heart. It is a contradiction beyond comprehension: The All-Knowing One, the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity choosing to offer through the mystery of Redemption access, and what’s more, relationship; relationship of the same substance and depth that exists between the Son and the Father! There are no words to convey such things.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…”
The heart that truly seeks this depth in Him will also seek such depths with His people. The evidence of His faith, His heart and His Life within is revealed by the longings for these things. Faith causes us to apprehend this truth, love necessitates it and hope sustains our pursuit of it. We seek Him because He first sought us. We love Him, because He first loved us. The seeking of Him, the pursuit of Him and the longing for the depths of His Being is the result of Him living in us.
“Deep calleth unto deep…”
This is the pure language of relationship. It is the cry for ever-deepening bonds as One heart reaches out to another. It is a language without words. It cannot be articulated, expounded upon or taught. The reality is that it can only be entered into upon the grounds of His sacrifice and grace. Love by its very nature draws that which it loves to itself. Its disposition is to share, express and replicate itself in all who are near. Seeking is simply the response to this eternal call. Obedience is the result for love ever seeks to please that which it loves. To serve Him is the greatest joy in life.
It is no wonder that Daniel set His heart to understand and to the “chastening” of himself. To such a heart come the words of grace “wherefore I am come for thy words”! To hear such things from God and to know His favor is the sum and purpose of life. It is the great prize for which Paul had set his mark. (Philippians 3:14).
Blessed are those who seek Him with one pure motive: to know Him. Let us set our hearts to have that singular desire.
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God…”
In our day many consider church as somewhere one goes rather than something we are. God’s Church is made up of living stones; purified, united and joined in the harmony of His Spirit. Unity in Spirit is the reality of all who walk in His Spirit. Division and sectarianism are the revelation of the stain of flesh and the ambitions of men.
Those who overcome the spirit of this world become pillars in that heavenly temple. How we walk here, overcoming worldly affinities, determines heavenly realities.
Our Oneness in His Body here reveals the truth of our Oneness in Him. “As He is, so are we in this world”. Whatever is true in spirit must be evident in our walk here. Division and heresy, rivalry, envy and strife, are the works of the flesh. Those who walk in such forfeit heavenly rewards.
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God…”
Overcoming here is a prerequisite to the reward there. Let no one deceive you in thinking otherwise. Paul in his stinging reproof to the Church at Corinth cried out in the power of the Spirit of God:
“Is Christ divided?”
1 Corinthians 1:13
Those who dwell in the Love of God, love what He loves. Those who walk in the love of the world, love those who love them. We are called by the very love of Christ to “preserve the unity of the Spirit”. Only those who walk in the Spirit know of this “unity”. It is a unity not of this world, nor is it confined to a sect or a select few; it is the world-wide truth of all who walk, live and abide in Him. Paul wrote to Timothy to instruct us in how we are to walk and behave in the household of God, not in some sect or denomination.
“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth”
1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)
To be free from the contamination of pride is to know the depth and power of the fellowship of the Light and Glory of Christ with one another. They who separate themselves cannot know God nor the substance of His Love.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love”
1 John 4:8
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another”
1 John 4:11