THESE ARE THEY ...
To make the transition from church order to Kingdom order, from the realm of inpartness to the more glorious realm of fullness and completeness, from Pentecost to Tabernacles and from man’s corrupt governments to the perfect government of the Kingdom of God on earth, as the elect are doing now, requires that we remember our “roots.” We should remember where we came from, where we are going and Who is leading us onward and upward to our appointed destiny. We should also remember that we are rooted in Christ; we are anchored in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we are grounded by the workings of old rugged cross in our lives! These are the CONSTANTS that will remain in our lives as we go through this very strange time of transition! Our only desire now is to do our Father’s will! We are not reaching for some unattainable goal! We have no personal interests! We are not striving for personal gratification or glory! And we are most certainly not trying to establish another church, another fellowship, or another group, denomination or doctrine!
As we grow spiritually, looking to the Lord and following Him only, by the Spirit, we will make the transition from church order to Kingdom order! “These are they...” who are making that transition, by the Spirit! And as we make that transition, we will be required to make many changes, not only in our walk with God, but in what we believe as well. The Kingdom of God is an entirely different order from what we have known in the past. This is one of those few times in the history of the world when our Father is establishing an entirely new order in the earth: it is the new order of the Kingdom of God on earth! The changes we will be asked to make, both in our lives and in our belief system, will undoubtedly challenge us. It seems that whenever we receive a new truth, that new truth raises more questions than it answers. The Kingdom of God is like that! And God is also like that! He is doing a new thing in the earth! And the new thing our Heavenly Father is doing now is so revolutionary, so radical, so dynamic, and so challenging, that we may wonder if we are losing all sense of spiritual direction and purpose. But it is at such times as this that the holy Spirit will speak to our inner man of the spirit, reminding us, with His still small Voice, of the importance of these few words from that wonderful old song: “I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown!”
To hear His still, small Voice at a time when we may be confused and troubled by all the necessary changes, can only encourage us and assure us that we are indeed on the right path! As long as we “cling to the old rugged cross,” we may be sure we will make it all the way Home! Furthermore, we shall continue to “cling to the old rugged cross,” which is the cross of Christ, believing and knowing that we shall “exchange it someday for a crown!” Our Father is ever faithful! He will faithfully and with loving concern and forethought, gently lead us to our appointed, spiritual goal, which is to wear that heavenly, spiritual Crown, and rule and reign with Christ in His blessed and glorious Kingdom.
Some days, when I wake up in the morning, the words to that old song are cheerfully reminding me of the continual and effectual workings of the cross of Christ in my life. It is then that I KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my heavenly Father is leading me! And I also KNOW that He will apply the cross of Christ to my life whenever He detects a carnal, fleshly tendency to deviate from the path, and go my own way. The work of the cross of Christ in our lives keeps us on the true path, and prevents us from going in another direction! And by the effectual work of the cross of Christ in our lives, we know we will make it to sonship fulfilled! Others before us, such as the Apostle Paul, knew of the effectual power of the cross of Christ in their lives. It was Paul who gave us a true word of wisdom, when he wrote: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14).
I call it “the cross of Christ,” as the Apostle Paul did, for there may be other crosses at work in people’s lives. Just because we are sorrowful and may be going through some pain, affliction or suffering, does not necessarily indicate that we are sons of God, who are on the right path and who are being tested and tried, to qualify for Kingdom service. Many people are suffering during this midnight hour! Everything that can go wrong during this night of nights is going wrong! Sin, sickness, poverty and suffering of every kind and description are taking place tonight! But to suffer does not always indicate that we are being tried and tested as sons of the living God, or as kings and priests in His Kingdom!
The whole creation is suffering, and we are suffering along with them (Rom. 8:22-23). Yet our suffering, or our cross, is called, “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That cross of Christ is a unique experience for all the sons of God. It is that specific “cross” experience in our lives, which makes us sons of the living God, and establishes and confirms our sonship! And His cross at work in our lives is preparing us to wear the Crown of Life and reign with Him! The cross working within us is the evidence of our sonship! Besides this, we have this further evidence: “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children (or the sons) of God” (Rom. 8:16). And our suffering, or our cross, is purposed of our Father to bring an end to all suffering, all poverty, all sin, all sickness, all sorrow and all death everywhere! And as we continue to “cling to the old rugged cross,” we will indeed “exchange it someday for a crown,” to reign with Christ in the righteous Kingdom of our Father!
“And Lead us Not Into Temptation”
As we continue with our consideration of the prayer Jesus told us to pray, which is “Our Prayer,” this phrase is the next portion of the prayer we should consider. When we pray this portion of “Our Prayer,” we are asking our Father to prevent us from being tempted of the evil one. We are asking Him to deliver us from the evil of every condition of this world, from evil men, from ourselves, and from the evil of going our own way. The Psalmist David, prayed a similar prayer, when he said to the Lord: “LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties” (Ps. 141:1-4). David’s prayer is a model for the prayer our Lord told us to pray. “Our Prayer” will include all that David prayed. Often I have prayed, asking my Father to “set a watch” before my mouth, that He would “keep the door of my lips.” This is more important than we may realize, for our greatest “sin,” which means “to miss the mark,” is often the “sin” of saying something we will regret later, something for which we will have to repent!
James said this about the tongue and the power of our words: “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. If we set bits in the horses' mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man's nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But THE HUMAN TONGUE CAN BE TAMED BY NO MAN. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:2-8, AMP). What strong words these are! Yet, the power of the tongue is aptly described by this anointed Word of the Lord!
No wonder “Our Prayer” contains the all-important plea: “lead us not into temptation!” Why do we need our Father’s help to “lead us not into temptation?” Why do we need His help in controlling our tongue, along with the rest of our carnal nature? Because God’s Word tells us: “THE HUMAN TONGUE CAN BE TAMED BY NO MAN. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.” And so it is with the entire human condition! Only God can tame the carnal side of man, including the tongue! Without His power to rule and reign in our lives, the tongue of man, along with the rest of our carnal nature, continues to be “a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison!” But with the Lord’s powerful support and help, and as the supreme King and sovereign Lord of our lives, our Father in Heaven will truly make us perfect, even as He is perfect!
The Psalmist David asked the Lord, “Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” The word “incline,” as used here, means to bend away, including moral deflection. It is a request for the Lord’s help in our lives! We are asking Him to bend us away, or turn us away, from the evil of sin, and of those who work iniquity. In praying as he did, David was saying the same thing that is part of “Our Prayer.” Whether we pray, “lead us not into temptation,” or “incline not my heart to any evil thing,” we are asking the same thing of our Father. And then the Apostle Paul confirmed this prayer and promised the Lord’s help to meet our need, when he wrote, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,” (Rom. 12:21). And also, “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil” (2 Thess. 3:3). May the Lord, Who is ever faithful, establish us in Christ and in His Truth, and keep us from all evil, that we may sit upon the throne of His Glory and reign with Him!
The word “temptation” is an interesting word, as used in “Our Prayer!” The original Greek word means a putting to proof by the experience of good and evil, including discipline that may include adversity. That original word is taken from another word, meaning to test. Just as Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested of the devil, so also must we be tested of the evil one, to show that we are maturing sons of the living God! Sometimes we are aware that Father leads us into the temptation of evil, to test us and determine our maturity in Christ. The immature may not understand this! But those who are growing up in Christ, beyond the stature of babes in Christ, will readily know and understand this truth. Unless we are tested, how shall it be known that we are mature sons of our Father? All God does in our lives must be tested of the devil, which includes our experiences with good and evil.
Everyone must be tested and tried by the evil one, including the multitudes who shall be saved during the Kingdom age! The devil, who has been bound for “a thousand years,” shall be loosed at the end of that time period, to test and try those believers who came to Christ during this “thousand year” period of the Kingdom age (see Rev. 20:1-3). And since we are the firstfruits of those multitudes who shall be saved during the “thousand years,” we must also be tested and tried by the evil one, to determine our spiritual maturity and prepare us for our transformation into the glorious image and heavenly likeness of Christ, our beloved elder Brother!
Then, that great day will come forth in the full glory of the Lord! And then those multitudes will come to Christ, to be wondrously saved and live the Life of Christ in blessed and glorious fullness! Thus, it is written: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE” (1 Cor. 15:21-22). When we stand perfected, glorified and in the image and likeness of Christ, the multitudes will then follow us into the fullness of the Kingdom of our Father! It will be worth all we have gone through to see the multitudes transformed, as we have been! So, we will keep walking and pressing on, always being aware of those CONSTANTS in our lives, which are keeping us on the true Path of Righteousness! And by His grace we are making it!
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
This is the complete sentence, as given in “Our Prayer!” Not only are we asking our Father to “lead us not into temptation,” but we are also asking Him to “deliver us from evil.” There are two parts to the same request. In the first part, we are asking our Father not to lead us into temptation. We are acknowledging our Father’s leadership and guidance in our lives, and are giving Him the glory for leading us as He is. We thus acknowledge Him as our King and our Lord, and that He is well able to lead us into temptation, if and when it is His plan to do that. The word “lead” means to carry inward or to lead us into something, while the word “temptation” means a putting to proof. Therefore, we understand that Father can lead us into temptation, or put us to the proof, if that is His will! Just as the Spirit led Jesus to be tempted, or put to the proof, by the devil, so He may also lead us to be tempted and tested of the devil. Every experience of evil that we go through, which is purposed of our Father to put us to the proof, will bring us to greater maturity in Christ! Yet, only those who have matured spiritually to a certain level will be able to endure the tests and temptations of the evil one, and come through that test in victory.
While we acknowledge Father’s authority over our lives to lead us into temptation, according to His wise plan and purpose, our desire will always be that He would “deliver us from evil!” When we pray this portion, we are firmly declaring that we do not want evil to control us - EVER! We do not want any evil in our lives - EVER! But if it is His will to use evil to test us, or to put us to the proof, as He did Jesus, then we will surrender to the perfect will of our Father in Heaven! The major portion of this prayer, which is “Our Prayer,” is “THY WILL BE DONE!” And it is my conviction that if we pray this portion of “Our Prayer” and mean it with every fiber of our being, we will not need to pray the remainder of that prayer! When we pray from the “closet” of our spirits to our loving and merciful Father in Heaven, saying the words, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” nothing else need be said! The entire prayer is summed up in these few words: “Thy will be done!” That is all our Father needs to hear from us!
What does it mean, “deliver us from evil?” The word “deliver” means to rescue, and to rescue someone in haste. It portrays someone rushing to rescue a drowning man from the swift current of a river. We are asking Father never to allow evil to gain control of us, but to rescue us from evil when that evil is about to drown us in its swift current of spiritual darkness, sin and iniquity. The word “evil” refers to something or someone that is hurtful and vicious, full of mischief, malice and guilt, including the devil and sinners. When we pray “Our Prayer,” we are asking our Father to deliver us from the power and influence of all evil, including those who are evil, as well as those who do evil things. And when we pray “Our Prayer,” we have every confidence and full assurance that Father will hear us and will indeed “deliver us from evil.”
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.”
This closing line of “Our Prayer” is as a doxology; it is a song giving praise to the Lord, acknowledging that the Kingdom is His, including the power and the glory of that Kingdom, which shall endure forever and ever! The reign and dominion of the whole world belongs to our Father! There is nothing in all the universe that is not under His dominion and that He does not control. He even controls the corrupt powers of man, which are now at their worst! Only a few times in man’s history has the world experienced such spiritually depraved individuals reigning on earth and ruling in the governments of man, including our own, as they are now! Yet, we may confidently affirm that the dominion of the world is in His hands! All of it is under His control, and shall remain under His control, until everything everywhere is restored to Heavenly fullness and completeness! The Day has come and will continue to come when Christ shall reign and all His sons with Him, removing all the kingdoms of man and replacing them with the just and righteous reign of the Christ in blessed fullness and completeness! And what a Day this shall be!
According to Strong’s Concordance, the entire sentence, which is the last part of verse thirteen of Matthew chapter six, is not a part of the original text. The entire sentence, which is: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” was all added by the translators. Yet this last portion of “Our Prayer,” is generally accepted as part of the scripture. Once again we can see that David had a tremendous part, by the Spirit, in determining the words and the tone of “Our Prayer,” when he prayed, saying: “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11).
All that God is, which David described in the above verse, means much more than what we see on the surface. For example, the term, “the greatness,” refers to the mighty acts of our Father. The original word suggests that those mighty acts are done in maturity, which is God in all His fullness and completeness. The term, “the power,” refers to something done with force, as by a valiant man or a warrior. It is a picture of our Father working through His Son company, doing His work with force and as a mighty warrior. The term, “the glory,” refers to an ornament of beauty, which we are with the wisdom of the mind of Christ (Pro. 4:7-9); it is something that was embellished and made beautiful, such as us. The term, “the victory,” is more properly a goal, or the bright object at a distance, toward which we are spiritually traveling. It also includes splendor in the figurative or spiritual sense. The term “the victory” generally shows a people continually moving toward the most-distant point of view, which is Christ in all His fullness! Christ and His Glory is our goal! We are becoming all that HE IS!
Since “the victory” belongs to the Lord, it is obvious that with His help, and by no other way, we shall reach that goal in Christ, which is our transformation as manifest sons of God, being made fit to rule and reign with Christ. The last term to be considered in David’s verse of praise is “and the majesty.” This term refers to the completed Christ, which includes “these are they,” who are arrayed in “the majesty” of His grandeur, forming a corporate Man with an imposing form and appearance. And that is what we shall be when we are transformed into His glorious image and heavenly likeness! We shall be wondrously adorned in the full Glory of the Lord! And then we shall be fully manifested, revealed and made known to the groaning creation, releasing them from their many bondages!
When we finally stand complete and in His image and likeness, we shall indeed be an imposing form, having the appearance of the mighty warrior-King, Who also is the Lord of Glory! To get “there” we shall keep our spiritual eye on the goal before us. And what is that goal? It is the bright Object or Image we see in the distance of time, toward which we are constantly traveling, by the Spirit! It is the Glory of God! It is Christ, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15). Christ is the bright, shining Image we see in the distance of time, toward Whom we are constantly traveling! He alone is our Goal! And as we continue traveling toward our Goal, we have these promises, which sustain us and give us renewed faith and hope: “For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29, AMP). “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49, AMP).
The last portion of the anointed psalm of David we quoted, says this: “for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11). When God’s Word declares, “for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine,” He left nothing out that belongs to the Lord. It is all His, from the cool, majestic mountains, to the hot, dry deserts, and from the many rivers and lakes, to the vast oceans of this world, as well as all the lands in between; it all belongs to Him! And all that is IN THE EARTH belongs to Him as well, including every insect, bird, fish, creeping thing, animal, and all mankind. They all belong to Him! And all the Heavens belong to the Lord as well, including all that is IN the Heavens! This includes the spirits of every person, whether saved or unsaved; they all belong to Him! And because they all belong to the Lord, He will make the final determination regarding the ultimate destiny of mankind! Contrary to the false doctrines of the church system, the multitudes shall not only be saved, but they too shall be gloriously arrayed in the image and likeness of Christ, Who is the firstfruits of all mankind. The same “ALL” who died Adam’s death shall be made alive, to live the Life of Christ in glorious and brilliant fullness (1 Cor. 15:22)!
The psalmist David, affirmed this truth, when he declared, “ALL THE ENDS OF THE WORLD SHALL remember and TURN UNTO THE LORD: and ALL the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the Kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations” (Ps. 22:27-28). All the people from all the families and the nations of this world, including the heathen nations, from one end of the earth to the other, shall remember and know the Lord and what He has done for them. And when they remember His redemptive purposes and the sacrifice He made for them, they will all turn to the Lord to know Him and be saved and transformed into His majestic image and glorious likeness!
The one wonderful Truth that assures the salvation of ALL is this: “THE KINGDOM IS THE LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations!” Because the Kingdom is the Lord’s and He is the Governor among all the nations of this world, the salvation of all mankind is assured! This is the Kingdom about which God’s Word has declared: “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). The Kingdom of God, which we shall inherit and possess and from which we shall reign, comes with certain foreordained, prophetic conditions and promises, and there is no way that we may cancel them or ignore their truth, their power, or their effectiveness! The principles of the Kingdom of God are “set in cement,” as something permanent, and no man shall ever change them, ignore them or nullify their power!
The Kingdom is the Lord’s and He is exalted as Head over ALL! Everything everywhere belongs to the Lord, and He also is the Head and the King over all things everywhere! His Kingdom shall never be destroyed; “and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44). God’s Word plainly declares that all the kingdoms of man shall be broken, consumed and removed from the earth. The rulers of the kingdoms of this world have done much harm, not only to the world but to the people of it and in it, especially to our own beloved nation! But their day is joyfully and thankfully coming to an end!
The prophet of the Lord predicted this present war between a certain “little horn,” or power, who spoke “great words,” and the saints of God, when he said, “I beheld, and the same horn (power) MADE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM; UNTIL THE ANCIENT OF DAYS CAME, AND (then) JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN TO THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan. 7:21-22). The whole creation awaits the coming of Him Who is “the ancient of days!” When He comes, judgment shall be given to the transformed saints of the Lord, who shall possess the Kingdom and reign in that Kingdom over all. The Kingdom of God shall not be left to other people, but it shall remove and replace all the other kingdoms of man! And then the Kingdom of God, including the greatness and the power of that Kingdom, shall be given to the saints of the most High! And “these are they,” who shall reign in that Kingdom, releasing the whole creation from its bondages and restoring all things, bringing praise, honor and glory to the Savior, Lord and King of all!
The anointed prophet of the Lord gave a further word concerning that one “little horn,” or power, when he declared, “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they (the saints) shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they (the saints) shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Dan. 7:25-27). Surely our current “pharaoh,” who is a vital part of that “little horn” (or power) of Daniel’s prophecy, is doing all this and more, deceiving the “Christians,” to fulfill the prophetic Word of the Lord! God has sent into Christendom, or into the minds of most “Christians,” a “STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE: That they all might be damned (meaning to be tried and punished) who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (see 2 Thess. 2:1-12, especially verses 7-12, which applies to all of Christendom, or to all the so-called “Christians” in the church system, at this time).
And then the prophet Daniel added this Word: “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart” (Dan. 7:28). Thank God for “the end of the matter!” We have come to the end of the matter! We have come to the end of the age! We have come to the end of man’s corrupt misrule! And we have also come to the end of all war and strife, and also to the end of all bondages everywhere in all the earth! But we will not be troubled as Daniel was when he thought upon the seriousness of these times, which was revealed to him by the Word of the Lord! Rather, we will confidently face the future with God, knowing that the end of man’s day has come! “The end of the matter” is not something we should fear! It is a great truth that should cause us to lift up our heads and rejoice! Some may react in fear, but we will heed the Word of the Lord, which is the Word of our beloved elder Brother, Who told us: “And when these things begin to come to pass, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS; FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH” (Lu. 21:28).
Another “sign post” marking the transformation of the sons of God, which also is the manifestation of the sons of God, has now been established! And all these things, which are coming to pass now, affirm and confirm to us that OUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH! We need not look to another Day, or another time, or for other circumstances to take place, for this is the Day of our redemption; it is the Day of our full salvation! And despite all the errors, the deception and the false doctrines of the church system, the Lord has His faithful elect outside the church system and also outside the “meeting” realm, who love the truth and are obediently and faithfully walking with Him “in white.”
After revealing the negative side of things in this world,
which would take place at the end of the age, Paul then wrote this great truth:
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved
of the Lord, BECAUSE GOD HATH FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO (FULL) SALVATION
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess.
2:13). “These are they..,” who are predestined to receive that full
salvation, which was promised them from the beginning! And we shall receive
that full salvation “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of
the truth!” May we submit to the cleansing work of the Spirit, and believe
all the Truth, as He reveals it! We are the people of this holy purpose, who
were chosen by our Father from the beginning, and this is our Day of full salvation!
And then Paul concluded that chapter, by saying, “He called you to this (full salvation) through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thess. 2:14-17, NIV). We will surely stand firm in the faith and in the revealed Truth of Christ and of His Kingdom, knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, will encourage our hearts and strengthen us in every good deed and word, that we “might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen and amen!
Christ is Both The Door and The Way
To be chosen of our Father and share in the Glory of Christ, we must be free of all the false doctrines, religious traditions, and the empty ceremonies of the church system! And we must also know Him Who is the one Door and the one Way! To know Christ as the Door and as the Way is not something new for any one of us. I have no doubt whatsoever that all the elect came to this Way of sonship by that one Door! But there are many attempts being made today to deceive the elect and lead them onto another way. Apparently, our blessed Lord was concerned enough about the future for His elect, that He said this: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, AND LEADETH THEM OUT. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, HE GOETH BEFORE THEM, AND THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:1-5).
There are many of those “strangers” out in the world today, along with many “voices!” But we are assured that only the “tares” (the false, counterfeit wheat, see Mt. 13:36-43) will hear the voices of those strangers and will follow them! The true “sheep” (the true wheat, or the elect), on the other hand, “know not the voice of strangers;” they will “follow him (Christ, the chief Shepherd): for they know his voice.” And “he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” All others, Jesus said, are thieves and robbers, for they are trying to come up by another way! And what is that “door” if it is not Christ, Who is the entrance, or the Door, into the fullness of the Kingdom of God, including His Life and Glory? And Who is the Shepherd in this parable if it is not Christ, the Lord, the King, and the Shepherd of Israel (Psalm 80:1)?
Just as there are many “strangers” out in the world today, attempting to deceive the elect, even so are there other would-be shepherds who would attempt to lead God’s people to follow other paths and go through other doors to enter the greater fullness of the Kingdom of God. But all other ways, doors or paths will bring us to a dead end! However, the true and faithful Shepherd of the flock knows all His followers by name, and He calls them all by name! The true sheep, who are following the true Shepherd, hear His voice. “He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” That is all it says! He leads them out!
So you may ask, out of what does He lead us? Our blessed Lord leads us OUT of the world and its corruption; He leads us OUT of the Babylonish systems of this world. And He also leads us OUT of man’s religious and political confusion, and into the Kingdom of our Father, that we may worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. And He is continually leading us OUT of this worldly realm of sin and death, and into the abundant Life of the Kingdom of God! Our entire “life” in this world is a spiritual process, during which our Father is continually LEADING US OUT. It is the work of the Spirit of the Lord to lead us OUT of spiritual darkness and into the glorious Light of Christ! If we will continue to follow the chief Shepherd of the flock of God, He will progressively lead us OUT AND OUT AND OUT, until we are completely OUT and FREE of all encumbrances, especially including this body of sin and death! And what a glorious freedom that will be!
Then Jesus told the unbelieving Jews, “ My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one” (Jo. 10:27-30). It may sound trite and common, but the truth is, to hear the Voice of the true Shepherd and follow Him, is the way to Life abundant! Eternal Life, everlasting Life, or the Life of Christ, which also is the Life of the Kingdom of God, is ours if we will continue to follow the Lord! He is the only Way! All other ways are wrong, all other shepherds are strangers, and all other voices originated with the carnal mind of man! We will not follow any of them!
And as we follow the Lord and Him only, we will be given eternal Life; we shall never perish as long as we follow the Lord and are held in Father’s merciful hand! Father gave us to Christ as a gift! Yet, by the miracle of the mystery of the oneness of the Godhead, we still belong to the Father! We are Christ’s, yet we are also held in Father’s hand, for Christ and the Father are ONE! And no man shall be able to take us out of our Father’s hand! We are eternally His and are, therefore, predestined to receive the abundant Life of our Father, in His Life-giving and Love-sharing Kingdom!
Jesus also told us the secret of His successful Kingdom service, when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (Jo. 5:19). Our Lord’s oneness with His Father was a truth He wanted us to know and experience. When we have matured, we will have a holy Father-Son relationship in the Spirit that will parallel that of Jesus and the Father! We will see the Father do a work in the Spirit and will then fulfill that work on earth. But first we are learning that we can do nothing of ourselves. What we see the Father do, that shall we do also! This is the first principle of Kingdom service!
Then, Jesus said, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (Jo. 5:22-23). Sonship, when it is fulfilled in us, will be a Life of honor and glory! We will receive the honor of man, as Jesus did, because we first gave honor and glory to our Father! When the Father is honored, we will also receive the honor, for we are His sons, who do only what we see our Father do! Our union with the Father comes with this promise: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (Jo. 5:24-25).
Jesus also told this parable: “There was in a city a
judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in
that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he
would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not
God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her,
lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the
unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge HIS OWN ELECT, which cry day and
night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge
them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith
on the earth?” (Lu. 18:2-8). I know some of the elect; they are crying
day and night unto the Lord. I also know He will avenge His own elect, and will
do so speedily! And when He appears soon, He will find faith on the earth, for
it is in the hearts of all His chosen ones!
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, Portland, OR 97298-0055