THESE ARE THEY ...
“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation (persecution), and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [Gen. 49:11; Dan. 12:1.] (Vs. 15) For this reason they are [now] before the [very] throne of God and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary (temple); and He Who is sitting upon the throne will protect and spread His tabernacle over and shelter them with His presence. (Vs. 16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun smite them, nor any scorching heat. [Isa. 49:10; Ps. 121:6.] (Vs. 17) For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. [Ps 23:2; Isa 25:8; Ezek. 34:23.]” (Rev. 7:14-17, Amplified).
There are many promises given to “these are they,...” or to the overcomers, who are in the process of becoming mature and perfect sons of their Father. Among the many, rich and rewarding promises, given in the above passage of scripture, are these: we shall come out of this “great tribulation” with our “robes” washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. (“The great tribulation” is the Spirit’s description of the tests and trials of this earthly life, which are designed specifically for the elect!) We are being exalted in the Spirit to sit at His right hand, on the very throne of God, serving Him day and night in His temple! We are reigning with Him now, and the powers of man are being shaken (Rev. 2:26-27)! He Who is the Center of that spiritual throne is protecting us, spreading His tabernacle over us to shelter us with His presence! We shall hunger and thirst no more, neither shall the sun, nor any other source of scorching heat, such as His fiery presence, smite us! Our processing will then be over, for we will be perfect in Him! The Lamb, Who is in the midst of the throne, is our Shepherd! He is guiding us to the eternal springs of the waters of His Life, where we shall partake of His abundant Life! He will also wipe away every tear from our eyes! This is what the Word of God has declared that our Father is doing and will yet do for those of us who are coming out of “the great tribulation!”
The Amplified Translation, which we quoted, says this in verse fifteen: “For this reason they are [now] before the [very] throne of God and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary (temple).” “For this reason,” or because we endured the trials of “the great tribulation,” we have been exalted to the throne of God, where we serve Him day and night in His holy, heavenly Temple. It would seem that this word is suggesting that the more we suffer and are processed by that suffering, the closer we get to the Lord and the more spiritual responsibilities we will be given. This scripture also tells us that some of the promises given here apply to us HERE AND NOW! We are enduring the trials of “the great tribulation” now! As a result of those trials, we have been promoted to the throne realm NOW! We allowed those trials to purify and cleanse us, making us fit to approach the throne of the Lord! Thus, it is written, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star” (Rev. 2:26-28).
The last of the promises, given in verse seventeen, are these: “and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!” Our loving and merciful Father is guiding us to the eternal springs of the waters of His Life! All the other promises given in these verses are being fulfilled in our lives NOW, at least in part. But we have not yet been guided by the Spirit to fully drink of “the springs of the waters of life.”
Some of the promises preceding this final promise are being fulfilled in our lives NOW, before our ultimate transformation! We may think nothing much is taking place in our lives during this time of spiritual darkness, but our God is ever on the move. He waits for no one, and He is not the least bit affected by the dismal and trying circumstances that would trouble us emotionally. The darkness and the light are both alike to Him! Therefore, our Father is ever and always working within us to fulfill His plans and purposes concerning us. In the not too distant future, Father will lead us to that ever-flowing fountain of the living waters of His Life. And when He does, we shall drink to the full, to be changed into the glorious image and likeness of the ever-Living Christ of God! If we could do something to fulfill this promise, either in the flesh or spiritually, we would certainly do it! But all these promises await our Father’s timing and the moving of His Spirit to bring it all to pass!
The question now is: will we doubt the pure Word of our Father, or will we believe God’s Word in spite of the many contrary signs all around us? If we are true, called and chosen sons of our Father, it is certain that we will believe His Word! The pure, unadulterated Word of God is our lifeline! His Word is our only hope in the midst of a worldly order that is in chaos, and is battered and beaten down due to the old, sinful, Adamic nature, which is persistently manifest in all mankind! His Word and His promises are encouraging us in our daily walk as we go through this “great tribulation!” By the transforming Light of Christ, our dark and dismal days of this flesh are becoming brighter and brighter! And because of His presence within, we can see that Christ is the Light at the end of the tunnel of man’s constant and continuing darkness! By His Light, the spiritual darkness of this midnight hour shall be turned to become the constantly brilliant and ever-brightening Kingdom Day! This is the Truth of God, and we have His Word on it!
There are any number of so-called “Christians” today, who doubt God’s infallible Word and make a mockery of the Truth that He is! When I quoted the scriptures regarding a future event to one of those “Christians,” their reply was, “I will have to think about that.” They needed to “think about it” because their carnal mind is all they have to guide them on their spiritual journey through this life. Most Christians would rather believe the “Left Behind” doctrine, which was conceived in the carnal mind of man, than they would the pure Word of the Lord, promising the full salvation of all! H.L. Mencken, the late American journalist, critic and editor, once said, “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” No truer words were ever spoken! This is especially true concerning our current governmental and religious leaders!
The original truth of this statement is found in the scriptures, where it is written: “The days of visitation and punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is [considered] a crazed fool and the man who is inspired is [treated as if] mad or a fanatic, because of the abundance of your iniquity and because the enmity, hostility, and persecution are great. [Luke 21:22.]” (Hos. 9:7, AMP). Indeed, because of Israel-America’s many corporate and individual sins and iniquities, the messengers of the Lord, who attempt to tell the truth and speak on the Lord’s behalf, are considered to be fools and the spiritual man is regarded as a mad man or a fanatic.
When Jesus spoke to the people, telling them about His Father in Heaven, and that He would lay down His life and take it up again, truths that were beyond their limited understanding, “many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?” (Jo. 10:20). If the religious crowds said that of Jesus in that day, they will certainly say that of us in this day as well. The Apostle Paul preached Christ to the Jews, but they rejected him and his message and insisted that he should die for preaching what they considered to be error. So Festus, the procurator of Judea, brought Paul before King Herod Agrippa, where Paul was allowed to testify on his own behalf. When Paul told how he preached Christ to the people, telling them that Jesus must suffer and die and then be raised from the dead, “Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he (Paul) said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but (I) speak forth the words of truth and soberness” (Acts 26:24-25). So it is today! Speak forth the words of truth and soberness to the people today, as Paul did then, and the so-called, “Christian,” religious crowd will accuse you of being mad!
Such “Christians” obviously are not sons of God, for they are not being led by the Spirit! Nevertheless, the Lord loves them and will eventually awaken them and lead them to higher spiritual realms in Him, by His Spirit. But we should not, yea, we must not, be guided by the old, sinful Adamic mind, as they are! As we remain faithful to our high calling in God, we shall create a spiritual path leading them all out of their spiritual darkness. Because of the Christ within and the Spirit of sonship, with which we are anointed, we are walking the path of Life and will believe the pure, unadulterated Word of our Father, which will lead us to experience the fullness of that Life, which He is! Our Father has given us the faith of the Son of God, making it possible for us to believe His Word and walk it out, by the Spirit. And that is what we are doing!
Our Father has given us many “exceeding great and precious
which shall surely be fulfilled in spite of the false prophets who declare a contrary word. “This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers” (Is. 44:24-26, NIV).
The Suffering Jesus
The “great tribulation,” or the daily tests and trials of this life, are working in us and for us to bring us to perfection and to the fullness of His so great salvation. And there is One Who has gone on before us, leading the way to that fullness in Him, by the Spirit! His earthly name was Jesus, but His Heavenly, spiritual Name is Christ the Lord! The man, Jesus, suffered emotional agony and mental distress such as we will never ever know! We cannot possibly know how He suffered in this “life,” as the Heavenly Spirit within Him was forced to endure the things of earth. Imagine Christ, the Spirit of the Son of God, coming down to this world to dwell in the flesh and blood body of the man called, Jesus. He lived every day as the Spirit of the Son in an earthly body of flesh and blood. He came down from the “ivory palaces” of the Heavenlies of Spirit, to live and dwell as a man of flesh and blood in this world. What could be more distressing and aggravating to Jesus, especially since He knew He was the Christ, the Son of the living God! Jesus might have reasoned, as perhaps we do also, that since He is the Son of God, why should He be led to suffer and die as He did? Should not the Son of God, the Lord of all and the King of Israel be exempt from such suffering?
Of the man called, Jesus, it is written, “WHO HAS believed (trusted in, relied upon, and clung to) our message [of that which was revealed to us]? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been disclosed? [John 12:38-41; Rom. 10:16.] For [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like one from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him” (Is. 53:1-3, AMP).
Isaiah, the anointed prophet of the Lord, saw Jesus as He was: a man of flesh and blood, Who was mightily anointed of the Spirit. Isaiah did not give a description of Christ, the Spirit, in this prophetic message! But He did give us a true and honest description of Jesus, as He appeared and as He was IN THE FLESH. Christ, the Spirit, can never experience the sorrow, pain, grief or sickness of a human being! Christ, the Spirit, is not of this world, therefore, He could never ever experience the comeliness, or the royal pomp and ceremony, given to the kings of this world, nor should we look at Him that way! Jesus, the Christ, as the Servant of God, grew up like an ordinary man of this world, as a tender plant and like a root out of dry ground. He grew from a babe in a manger to a teenager and then to a full-grown adult, who was motivated by another spirit, which was the Spirit of His Father! And every single day of His earthly journey He experienced the sufferings common to the life of this world. Jesus represented the Spirit of the Father and the Son; He suffered in great agony of soul, as He was forced to endure much of what this “life” of sin and death entails!
We have all seen pictures of Jesus in some churches! But they do not depict the Jesus of Isaiah’s prophecy, for they were obviously painted by someone who did not know how He is revealed in the scriptures. Isaiah saw Jesus by the Spirit and as He was in this world. Contrary to the usual pictures of Him we see today, Jesus was not the sweet, gentle and handsome man that we have seen in pictures in some churches and Bible book stores. Rather, “He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like one from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him!”
This is certainly not how they depict Jesus in pictures of Him today! Nor do the lives of most “Christians” today show forth the suffering Jesus that Isaiah saw by the Spirit! We certainly do not want to glorify suffering! But we need a fresh understanding of Jesus, the man of flesh and blood, including all He went through in this world, that we may clearly understand God’s purpose for the tests and trials in our own lives, which is “the great tribulation” that we are all going through to become all that HE IS! Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered and so are we (Heb. 5:8-9)! Christ, the Spirit within Jesus, came from the very heart of God and needed not to learn anything! But Jesus, the man of flesh and blood, needed to learn all the hard and challenging lessons of sonship, just as we do also! Our spirit also came from God (Ecc. 12:7), but not from His ruling Center. Jesus was the Christ from His birth (see Mt. 1:1, 14:33 & 16:16)! But we had to be saved and filled with the Spirit to begin to know God’s ways and have some spiritual life! Although He was anointed of the Father with the fullness of Christ from His birth, Jesus had to suffer in this world to learn the ways of sonship as it relates to mankind. Not until Gethsemane did Jesus completely surrendered His sorrowful soul and His carnal mind to His Father’s will, to receive the greater wisdom of the mind of Christ (see Mt. 26:36-42). And we are doing as He did, by that same Spirit of sonship!
The writer to the Hebrews explained this truth much better: “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:10-18).
Who is it that has suffered through the sin and death of this world? It was not Christ, the Spirit, Who suffered! The Spirit of the Son of God cannot suffer, for He is not of this world! It was Jesus, the fleshly, earthly manifestation of the Son, Who suffered and died, to become the Captain of our salvation and the anointed Christ Jesus, Who would lead all His other sons to experience full sonship, just as He did and by that same Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God, took part in our flesh and blood experience, that He might, through this death, utterly and completely destroy him that had the power of death, which is the devil. And by that one act, He has delivered us from the power of death, even that death to which the whole human race is in bondage and has been throughout the ages of this world. He was made flesh and blood, like unto us, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, and make reconciliation for the sins of the people. He suffered the temptations of this life that He might “succour,” or aid and relieve, those of us who are tempted. He fully understands all we are going through in this life! The Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior, Lord and King; He also is our faithful and compassionate High Priest!
These Are They, ... who are Mature, Spiritual Warriors
“Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war” (1 Chron. 12:1). The war referred to here was the war between Saul and David. Saul had just died, but David continued to keep “himself close because of Saul,” which is to say that David concealed himself and stayed away from Saul and his supporters. The war continued and became more intense after Saul’s death. David had a small army of valiant men, but now more “mighty men” came to join in the revolution that was necessary to fully establish the kingdom of David. Those “mighty men” obviously came to join David’s army by the leading of the Spirit. And they were among the best and most experienced warriors available!
Strong and mighty warrior-saints are also needed to fully established the Kingdom of God in all the earth! They must be very spiritual saints of the Lord! And they also must be mature believers and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ! No mere babes in Christ can be a part of this army! The army of the Lord is no place for milk-fed, immature infants! The writer to the Hebrews told of the sufferings of Jesus, that He learned obedience through the things He suffered, and was appointed a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec, as a result of those sufferings. Then, we read, “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to DISCERN BOTH good and evil” (Heb. 5:11-14).
Apparently the author of the book of Hebrews had something more to say about Melchisedec. What he wanted to tell them was “hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing,” so it remains unwritten in that passage of scripture. Whatever it was that was not revealed in that scripture, it obviously had something to do with the Melchisedec priesthood and the interplay of good and evil. (Even though there may be portions of truth missing in this passage, we know our Father is revealing ALL TRUTH to His elect in this hour, by the Spirit!) But those Hebrews, to whom this book is addressed, were not mature enough to handle such deep truths! They were “babes,” for they could not take the strong meat of the word that would have enabled them “to discern both good and evil.” Such immature “babes” will not rule and reign with Christ! The Spirit says of them, “ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe!”
To rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom, we must be fully matured and disciplined sons of our Father! Kingdom kings must be able “to discern both good and evil.” Kingdom kings are not dull of hearing! Kingdom kings must be mature, adult “teachers” of the word and the ways of the Spirit in the Kingdom of their Father! Kingdom kings have grown spiritually beyond the “milk” stage! Kingdom kings, who rule and reign with Christ, must know the difference between good and evil, and are pleased that their Father shares some of His truths and mysteries with them! Kingdom kings are able to partake of the strong meat of His Word and His Truth! Kingdom kings must also be able to judge between what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil and what is spiritual and what is earthly and carnal. Kingdom kings are able to “hear” the Voice of the Spirit, when He reveals evil, wherever that evil may be! And Kingdom kings also are mature enough to be very skillful “in the word of righteousness!”
The qualifications of the Melchisedec priests who reign with Christ are many and varied, but most important of all, they must be able to judge mankind with true and righteous judgment and justice. The Apostle Paul attempted to correct a problem in the church at Corinth. He wrote to them, saying, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall JUDGE THE WORLD? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall JUDGE ANGELS? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Cor. 6:1-3) The saints of God shall judge angels and the world! Daniel prophesied, “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Dan. 7:18). What an awesome responsibility that is! That is most certainly not a work to be done by immature babes in Christ!
God will never ever entrust such a responsibility to mere babes, who cannot stand the strong meat of the Word, and “who by reason of use have (not had) their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” In other words, it is through “USE,” or through our present, everyday experiences, that we are having our “senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Has the Lord ever revealed evil to you, by His Spirit? If so, then “by reason of use (you) have (are having) their (your) senses exercised to discern both good and evil!” To know where or in whom evil dwells may not change anything, but the revelation of both good and evil, given to us by the Spirit, is bringing us to maturity and preparing us to rule and reign with Christ, with His mind and His wisdom. We need the experiences of good and evil to make us fit to judge and reign in the Kingdom of our Father. This does not mean that we should go on a “witch hunt,” looking for devils and demons everywhere! The Lord will reveal good and evil to us by His Spirit, if and when He wants us to know and understand the mysteries of His Kingdom, as well as the mystery of iniquity (see Mk. 4:11-12, 2 Thess. 2:1-10)!
We must have our “senses,” or our discernment, sharpened to be able to discern between good and evil, especially concerning people! Jesus Himself said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21). There are many so-called “Christians” in the world today, and they are not all true believers! I am not being critical or negative, nor is this my own determination! Jesus made it abundantly clear that some of those, who cry “Lord, Lord,” are not true, genuine believers, for they are not doing all the will of their Father in Heaven! Kingdom kings must know the difference, and they surely will, by the revelation of the Spirit within them!
The Difference Between Eating of the Tree of Life and Eating
of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:9, 16-17). I believe the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was in the Garden of Eden, represents the law without Christ, or apart from Him! It is the keeping of the law in the flesh or by the flesh, without the Spirit of Life from God! And I also believe that the tree of life represents Christ! He is our Source of Life! Christ is the only Source of that true Life, which is necessary to change us into His image and likeness!
Paul wrote of the law, saying, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death” (Rom. 7:5). Therefore, according to the word of the Lord, if we eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil without Christ, or try to fulfill the law in the flesh without Christ, we shall die! But to partake of Christ, the Tree of Life, by the Spirit, is to receive His Life and all else that pertains to the abundant riches of the Kingdom of our Father. Christ is the Tree of Life! As we partake of Him, in the Spirit and by the Spirit, we will then have access to every other “tree” in the Garden of God, including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That which brought forth death by the works of the flesh, will bring forth Life when we are in Christ! To eat of Christ, Who is the Tree of Life, is to partake of every other tree that was in the Garden. The trees that were forbidden to partake of in the Garden, are now fully accessible and good for us IN CHRIST!
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden fruit when we were outside of Christ, or without Him! Realms that were once closed to us when we were in the flesh are now opened to us and accessible to us because we are IN CHRIST! The forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden has now become good and proper food for those mature saints who are partaking of Christ, the Tree of Life! While we were in the flesh in the Garden of God, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden fruit! But those mature believers who are IN CHRIST, may now freely partake of the fruit of all the trees in the Garden of God, including the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! To become mature sons of our Father who are “of full age,” we must have our “senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We must partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not by the flesh or in the flesh, but by the Spirit and from our in Christ relationship!
Years ago we met some young people who had been saved from the so-called “hippie” culture. The Lord wondrously transformed their lives and made them His own sons. One of them said to us at that time, “I have been in high and lofty places without Him, now I want to go in high and lofty places WITH HIM!” The world has gone mad experimenting in the flesh and without Christ, as some visit those high and lofty places of man’s religion! But like all the religions of man, such practices will only lead to death. To try to be spiritual without Christ is to bring forth wood, hay and stubble! But to live and move and have our being IN CHRIST, is to walk the high places with Him in the Spirit, and to partake of all that HE IS! Without Christ, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is forbidden fruit; but with Him that once forbidden fruit becomes the strong meat that is necessary for our spiritual growth and development unto full maturity and sonship in Christ!
We are Becoming all that God and Christ Are
Now, let us “hear” what the Lord had to say after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit: “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Gen. 3:22-24). Imagine that! The man, Adam, had become as God, knowing good and evil, by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Is that not the purpose of our spiritual walk: to become as Christ and as God? Is it not our Father’s purpose that we should become “as He is in this world?” (1 Jo. 4:17)
It is our Father’s declared purpose to raise us up, by the Spirit, and make us to be like God and like Christ in the Kingdom of our Father. Thus it is written, “I have said, YE ARE GODS; and all of you are children of the most High” (Ps. 82:6). Jesus quoted this same passage, when He said, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (Jo. 10:34). Then Jesus said, “and the scripture cannot be broken” (Vs. 35). The prophetic Word of the Lord has also declared, “In that day ... the house of David shall be as God” (Zech. 12:8). “The house of David” represents the ruling family in Israel; they are those who shall reign with Christ in His Kingdom! Indeed, we are becoming as God, for we are being made into the image and likeness of the Christ of God! It is also written, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jo. 3:2). John also wrote to say, “If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (1 Jo. 2:24).
Paul wrote to the Philippian saints, telling them and us as well, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:5-6). And Jesus prayed for us, asking the Father, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jo. 17:21). To be like God; to be as God; to be in the Son, and in the Father; to be equal with God; and to be one in both the Father and the Son; this is our Father’s written, prophetic plan and purpose for us! “And the scripture cannot be broken!”
Every one of our Father’s plans and purposes for us must
be fulfilled by the Spirit, through Christ the Lord, and not by the works of
the flesh. The Apostle Paul wrote of a coming time of deception, which is the
present hour, when he declared, “Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth
in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
There is one who would like to impersonate God, sit in our temple and also in
the holy, heavenly Temple of the Lord, and show himself to be God! And that
one is not a single man or woman, or an individual of this world; he is old
Adam, the man of sin within all mankind, who once sat in our individual temples
Sinful, old Adam is the man of sin who dwells within our flesh, and in the part of us that is carnal and of this world. “He” also poses as God, sitting in God’s holy Temple impersonating the Lord, deceiving many Christians today. But “cherubims,” or the angels of the Lord, stand guard at the entrance of the Garden of God, which also is the entrance of the House of the Lord (Eze. 10:3). Those angels have flaming swords that turn every way, to guard the tree of Life and prevent the carnal man from entering (Gen. 3:24)! It is therefore impossible for any man outside of Christ, or without His indwelling presence, to ascend those heavenly, spiritual heights. Christ is the “ladder” to the Heavenlies of Spirit (Gen. 28:12, Jo. 1:51)! Without Him, Who is the “ladder,” no man can ascend the utmost heights of the Spirit of God! But because of the Christ within, we are ascending in the Spirit on the “ladder” of Christ to partake of Him and become all that HE IS! Blessed be His holy Name!
The Saints Shall Take the Kingdom
Daniel’s prophecy tells us that “the saints of the most High shall TAKE THE KINGDOM.” The original word for “take,” is an Aramaic word that includes both receiving and holding. Thus, the saints of the most High shall receive the Kingdom from their Father and will also hold, occupy and possess that Kingdom, by the might and strength of the Spirit of the Lord! When Father entrusts His Kingdom to His mature saints, who have the God-given ability “to discern both good and evil,” they will hold that Kingdom and possess it, with the strength and the zeal of the Lord of hosts! They will take their new responsibility seriously, and will zealously hold, guard, protect and possess the Kingdom of their Father! They are mighty warriors, comparable to David’s strong warriors, who fought courageously to establish the kingdom of David. But ours is a greater kingdom, with a much greater King and a greater purpose! We represent the great God and Father of all! He will do all the “fighting” and the “warring,” while we REST! We will REST, in the Spirit and by the Spirit, for the battle is the Lord’s! We shall receive His Kingdom, by the Spirit! We will also take the Kingdom and possess it, by the authority of the Lord God of hosts! The whole creation, along with the world’s needy, are waiting and expecting to receive the wonderful blessings and benefits of the Kingdom of our Father, which we represent! And they will not be disappointed!
Jesus said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mt. 11:12). Those who would enter into the Kingdom of God must strive to enter, for His kingdom suffers a holy violence! Self must be denied and the carnal mind must be changed to conform to the mind of Christ. There are hard sufferings to be endured in this calling, for the cleansing power of the fiery presence of the Lord must be applied to our sinful, corrupt nature. We must run, wrestle and even fight, and be in an agony, to win such a prize, and to get over much opposition from without and from within. The violent will take it by force! The “violent” are the spiritually energetic saints who are willing to be seized upon by the awesome power and authority of the Kingdom of their Father. Those who will have an interest in the so great salvation of the Lord are wholly possessed of the Spirit of the Lord. They will have a strong desire to enter into the greater fullness of the Kingdom of their Father! They will have it on any terms, and will not think it to be something hard, but will, with the violence and force of the Spirit of the Lord, take the Kingdom that was prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Those who will make their calling and election sure must give diligence. The Kingdom of Heaven was never intended to indulge the ease of loafers and slouches, but will provide blessed REST for those who have labored to enter into it!
“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,” which is also to say, in a passive sense, that the Kingdom is violently treated by those who are opposed to it! The religious crowds can never understand the Kingdom, nor can they enter into it without a spiritual change. They will treat His Kingdom with violence! The Kingdom of our God is a most holy, life-changing, spiritual realm, requiring a revolution, both within and without, to fully take the Kingdom and enter into it! Yet it is not a literal revolution, resulting in an actual war or an insurrection against the established powers, but it is to be a spiritual revolution - a revolution or a rebellion against the Babylonish systems of this world that have enslaved us and made us paupers and servants, when our Father has purposed us to be kings and priests in His Kingdom! A spiritual revolution must take place to turn the people away from the corrupt, church system, and lead them to live in the greater, spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God!
Indeed, a spiritual revolution is needed to turn the hearts of the people away from the kingdoms of man to the most holy and spiritual Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ! And that spiritual revolution must begin WITHIN US, for it is within us that His Kingdom must come first, to prepare us for the Kingdom without, which shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea! Christ must first rule within us, then He can rule outside of us or in the whole universe around us! He is ruling and reigning within us, or within the hearts of His elect and chosen ones! Therefore, Christ shall also rule and reign outside of us, or in the rest of the universe, for His glory and honor! The elect of the Lord are living by the superior principles of the Kingdom of Our Father, which are diametrically opposed to the old church principles of the past! As a result of our faithfulness, the rest of the world shall also enter into the Kingdom of our Father! Father has chosen us as His FIRSTFRUITS! This means we must be the first to enter into the Kingdom of our Father! We shall “take it by force,” for we see the Kingdom as our last and final hope in a world that is torn by strife and war and economic turmoil! It is the time! We are the first to enter in and receive the benefits of that Kingdom! Therefore, many others will follow us, and the world will be changed! The rule and reign of the carnal man will end, to be replaced by the rule and reign of Christ and His sons!
“And the violent take it by force,” which is to say that those who see the Kingdom become “violent” in their spiritual approach to His Kingdom. They will endure any force necessary to receive it and enter into it. They will seize it with the zeal of the Lord God of hosts! Perhaps the most striking of the followers of Jesus were the publicans, harlots, and other open sinners, who flocked to Him in great numbers. When they heard the Gospel message, those once flagrant sinners saw their immediate need of a Savior and took Him and His Kingdom immediately, as if by force. In other words, they seized upon it with great zeal, realizing the Kingdom of God as their only hope. We are certainly not sinners as they were, but we should also seize the Kingdom as they did, for it is our last, best HOPE! May we take advantage of the tremendous opportunity we now have relative to the Kingdom of our Father, and seize upon that Kingdom, taking our place on the throne of the Lord, in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Those who “see” the Kingdom and desire it are mighty, spiritual warriors! They no longer war in the natural, but only in and by the Spirit! They are content to REST in God, by His Spirit, and let Him do the warring! They are willing to be seized upon by the power of God, which will sweep them into His Kingdom by His mighty and awesome power! And that same mighty power of God will seize many others, sweeping them into the Kingdom as well!
“The Law and the Prophets were in force until John’s
day. From then on the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed and
men are forcing their way into it” (Lu. 16:16, Phillips). The age of the
law and the prophets was in force until the day John the Baptist came out of
the wilderness declaring that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand! From that time
on, whenever the Kingdom of God was proclaimed, people believed the good news
and “forced” their way into it, or they seized upon the opportunity
and exuberantly entered into it. The old age of the law and the prophets had
prepared them for the new Day of Grace! I can fully believe that the people
of that era violently entered the Kingdom, for they had never ever heard such
good news as that! That they could be delivered of their sins by simply believing
and entering was something totally new to them. They had offered the blood of
animals and had done many other religious things, in order to secure their salvation,
until finally, one man stood forth in their midst proclaiming an end to all
that religious “stuff.” They had every reason to force their way
into that Kingdom, for they had known nothing else but religious forms and ceremonies!
The old days of drawing the blood, and burning the fat, and offering lambs,
and rehearsing the law, had now come to an end, finally! And no doubt every
one of them was ready to quit all that old religious “stuff,” and
simply worship the Lord in the Spirit and by the Spirit. No wonder they forced
their way into the blessed Kingdom of their Father!
And I believe it is highly likely that another era such as that will again come to the earth. Once again, in the not-too-distant future, multitudes will be swept into the Kingdom, seizing upon its glory and wonder, and possessing the Kingdom with all that is within them! They will gladly surrender all the old ways of the past, exchanging all that old “stuff” for the greater glories of the blessed Kingdom of their Father! Those multitudes may also appear at that time to be “forcing” their way into it, for they will have had enough of man’s ways, and will seize the Kingdom with great enthusiasm and the zeal of the Lord God of hosts! In anticipation of that great Day, may we now arise in the Spirit and seize the Kingdom, for His Kingdom is the last and best hope for all mankind! It is long past the time when the Lord’s faithful elect should have ceased all the old order works of the past age! The time is now overdue when we must cease the old order church works of the past age and embrace or seize, perhaps even with some spiritual force, the better and higher ways of the Kingdom of God on earth! And this we will most assuredly do, provided we are among those who are the called according to His Kingdom purposes!
Jesus said this about our need to violently or forcefully enter into the precious things of God: “Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselves through it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door [again and again], saying, Lord, open to us! He will answer you, I do not know where [what household--certainly not Mine] you come from” (Lu. 13:24-25, AMP). The word, “strive” is also in the King James Translation, and is taken from the original Greek word, “agonizomai.” That word means to struggle, as if competing for a prize or contending with an adversary. When we see the power and glory, as well as the many blessings and benefits, of the Kingdom of God, we will strive to enter into it by the narrow door; we may even force ourselves through that door with all the spiritual might and strength at our disposal!
With these inspired, prophetic words from the Apostle Paul, we see and understand our need to “run,” “strive, and “press”: “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” (1 Cor. 9:24-25). And, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I PRESS toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). Amen!
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, PORTLAND, OR 97298-0055