THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMES TO EARTH
The holiness of the Lord, Who is our God and Father of all, is beyond the understanding and experience of many people of this world. We cannot possibly imagine how holy and righteous God is. Not only is the Lord holy and righteous, beyond our understanding and experience, but His kingdom is also holy and righteous, for it is the realm of His dominion. Just as God is holy and righteous so also is His kingdom. The Lord will reveal Himself to us as the Holy One, if He has not already done so, including all that He is to us concerning our life in this realm. And when He does we will understand Him to a greater degree. He said through the prophet Isaiah, "Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel... I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King" (Is. 43:14 & 15). Here, in these two sentences, our Father said He would reveal Himself to us in His fullness, as we should know Him in our earthly walk with Him.
He is revealed to us as our redeemer, as the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, the creator of Israel, and as our King. By the Spirit of revelation, we will know and experience Him in a greater way than we have ever known or experienced Him before. Then we will highly revere, respect and honor Him as our Lord and King, and will obey His every word. However, the Lord knew some of His people would not respect Him enough to obey His word and do His will, so He gave us a word of promise and blessing to encourage us. When He wanted Israel's obedience, the Lord reminded them of His wonders, "what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine" (Ex. 19:4-5).
Without a doubt, we all have witnessed or experienced something of the wonders and the holiness of our Lord as we have walked with Him. We witnessed His signs and wonders and His mighty power, so that we are acquainted with Him in a way few others are. We have seen enough of His holy wonders and miracles so that we respect, revere and honor Him and will do all He tells us to do. The Lord said, "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people" (Ex. 19:5). Indeed, those who respect, revere and honor their Father in heaven, and who obey His every word, are a peculiar treasure unto Him above all the other people of this world. This must be true of us if we are to become the manifest sons of God, who shall release the whole creation from its bondage to sin and death.
Put off Your Shoes, for You are Standing on Holy Ground
Moses also experienced something of the holiness of the Lord when he was called to meet with God at the top of the mountain. The Lord said to him, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Ex. 3:5). As it was with Moses, so it is with us in this new Day, when the kingdom of God is coming to the earth in a greater way. To stand on the holy ground of the kingdom of God, we will have to take off our "shoes." This means we must cease our old religious, church-order walk of the past and wait on the Lord for His leading. The Lord has a new walk for us in His holy and righteous kingdom. The new order of the kingdom of God has come to the earth; the old order has ended, and we are expected to walk a new path in God. All who are chosen of their Father as His sons will respect Him and His holiness, and will amend their ways.
The Lord told Moses, "Draw not nigh hither." In other words, the Lord was telling him, "You cannot come any closer to the realm of My dominion until you show respect for Me and My holy Presence." Moses was called of God to lead Israel out of bondage by the miracles, signs and wonders of the Lord. To do this, the Lord required that he change his ways, begin to walk a new spiritual path and go in a different direction. So the Lord told Moses to take off his shoes, for the place where he was standing was holy ground. Beloved, we are standing on holy ground! The kingdom of God has come to the earth in a new and greater way, and the Lord's faithful and obedient elect are now standing on the holy ground of the greater glory and purpose of the kingdom of God. If the Lord has called us to walk with Him in His kingdom to the holy heights of His fullness, then we are standing on holy ground, spiritually speaking, and are being called upon to symbolically take off our "shoes." We are called of God to repent of all the old religious ways of the past, that we might walk with our Father in the power and glory of the new order of the kingdom of God on earth. And to do this, we must take off our "shoes," cease walking as we did in the past, and wait on the Lord for His guidance to lead us onto the new, kingdom path.
Moses was told to take off his shoes, for God wanted him to quit walking as he had in the past. No longer would Moses walk and live in the same earthly manner as he did in his past life, for God was calling him to walk a new and higher, more spiritual walk with Him. By taking off his shoes Moses would then end his old life with its more carnal, earthly walk and trust the Lord to lead him in a new and different spiritual direction. And when a person literally took off their shoes in those days, they could not go very far without them. There were no paved paths, the mountain trails were undoubtedly very rocky and would cause harm to a person's bare feet. But Moses obeyed the Lord and approached Him with bare feet. God had called him to remove his shoes, thus indicating that Moses would walk a new spiritual path with Him. It was a spiritual path he had never walked before, and one also that no other person had ever taken before in the history of the world.
As a result of standing on holy ground, near to the presence of the Lord, Moses was empowered of the Lord to lead His people, Israel, out of Egyptian bondage and into their promised land. God was going to do new things through Moses as a result of his faithfulness and obedience, and those new things had never been done on earth before. God made a covenant with Abraham regarding the nation of Israel, with promises abundant. But it was Moses who was uniquely called of God to begin to fulfill those covenant promises. It became the divine call and earthly responsibility of Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage and into their promised land. God had plans for the work and service of Moses that involved miracles, signs and wonders to bring to pass His sovereign and holy purposes for Israel. Those plans and purposes for Israel's deliverance out of Egyptian bondage were so glorious and wondrous that it required a spiritual renewal in the life of Moses. And the first thing God required of Moses in his spiritual renewal was that he take off his shoes, for he was now on holy ground.
Imagine how drastic a change that was for Moses. He was taken
by God from the back side of the desert, away from tending his father-in-law's
sheep, to a high mountain that was sanctified and made holy by the awesome and
glorious presence of the Lord. This former fighter and killer of an Egyptian,
and a shepherd of sheep, was to be transformed by the Lord to become a man in
whom God would entrust His holy and awesome power and glory. Formerly, Moses
used a shepherd's staff to do his work tending sheep. But in his new spiritual
walk, Moses was given a rod which would be used to become a serpent, and also
for other wonders that would challenge the magicians of Egypt. With that rod
Moses would do signs and wonders, which were necessary to convince Pharaoh to
let God's people go, and lead the nation to their promised land. In due time,
Pharaoh did let the nation of Israel go from them into the wilderness, on the
way to their new land of promise and abundance. Their new land of promise was
a land flowing with milk and honey, as a result of the blessings of the Lord.
The call and experiences of Moses parallels our high calling in God for this new Day. As Moses was taken from tending sheep to living and moving in the Spirit, so the Lord has taken some of us from all walks of life to serve His kingdom purposes. Some of us were called of God while working or doing menial tasks. Others may have been retired, elderly people who might have thought that God's purposes on earth for them were finished. The Lord called and chose each of us to serve Him as His sons, with the holy purpose of becoming manifest sons of God, thus bringing deliverance to the whole creation. And as Moses performed miracles, signs and wonders, by the Spirit, wondrous works that no other person had ever done before on earth, so also has He called us to do new things in the kingdom of God, things that very few people have ever done on earth before.
Later, Moses was able to declare by the Spirit, "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation." (Ex. 15:13) In this case, the Lord delivered all Israel out of the bondage of Egypt into the glorious freedom and victory of walking with Him in obedience to do all His revealed will, even though that walk was to take them through the waste-howling wilderness of Sinai. By the Spirit, Moses referred to all Israel as the "redeemed" of the Lord. God led the nation out of Egypt's bondage into the wilderness, with the promise that He would lead them to their new land of promise. But Moses saw beyond the immediate future, which included Israel's possession of earthly lands. He saw every Israelite fully established in their ultimate and true inheritance, which is the Lord's "holy habitation."
We are also seeing beyond the immediate state of things in this world to understand that all the people of every nation on earth will be fully established in the kingdom of God. There, in that realm of His holy and abiding presence, those multitudes will ultimately be gloriously saved and completely transformed by the mighty power of the Lord our God. They will join us in our Father's "holy habitation." But first the manifestation of the sons of God must take place, thus setting the example for the redemption and full salvation of all. We are the firstfruits of all mankind, and our transformation and manifestation will inspire them to follow our Godly and righteous example.
Greater Works and Greater Things in this New Day
I am not being boastful when I declare this, nor am I denigrating the life and ministry of Jesus. But we shall do greater and more glorious, spiritual works than any man has ever done on earth before, including Jesus. Did not Jesus Himself say, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12)? All who fully see and understand our Father's plans and purposes for us in His kingdom will obediently take off their "shoes," symbolically speaking, for we are spiritually walking on the holy ground of the kingdom of God. The present order of the kingdom of God on earth is the holy realm of our Father's earthly dominion, and no one has ever walked in the Spirit where we are walking now. It is imperative, therefore, that we remove our "shoes," spiritually speaking, for the holy ground of the kingdom of God requires a new, spiritual walk with God.
Joshua was also called of God in a very special and unique way to do new things, things that no one else had done on earth before. He was to conquer the city of Jericho, which was "shut up because of the children of Israel," so that none went out of the city or came into it. And it was this same Joshua, a noted warrior in Israel and Moses' servant, who grew to such stature in God that he commanded the sun to stand still and it obeyed him. The Lord began His work of separating Joshua unto Himself and His purposes by sending a heavenly messenger to give him a word from God. The Lord knew Joshua was comfortable in His presence and that he would welcome Him or His heavenly, angelic messenger. How did the Lord know that Joshua loved the Lord and was comfortable in His presence? He knew it by the Spirit, and also by one particular experience during Joshua's early life and training.
Hidden in the scriptures is a brief illustration of Joshua's love for his Lord and His desire to be in God's presence. At one time, when the Lord appeared to Moses in the tabernacle and spoke to him "face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend," the young man, Joshua, Moses' servant, remained in the tabernacle while the Lord was visiting with Moses and speaking to him face to face (Ex. 33:11). Others might have fled from the presence of the Lord that day, but Joshua wanted to remain in His presence as much as he could. So he stayed in the tabernacle while God appeared to Moses. By this experience, the Lord knew the heart of Joshua and that he was a man who loved His Lord and welcomed His awesome and holy presence.
The Lord knew that Joshua would welcome Him and any of His heavenly messengers the Lord might send, and that Joshua would HEAR what the Lord or His messenger had to say to him. That heavenly messenger, possibly an angel, appeared to Joshua and gave him the word of the Lord. And what was the word of the Lord to Joshua at that time? It was the same word He gave to Moses, for Joshua also was called to do new things in the Name of the Lord to bring to pass God's purposes for Israel. And that word was, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy" (Jos. 5:15).
Joshua also was asked to remove his shoes, which means he was to cease walking as he had in the past, and begin to walk a new spiritual path and a more holy walk with his God. Mighty wonders were to be done in the Name of the Lord by Joshua, to continue the work that Moses began. Therefore, the Lord began to prepare Joshua for that work, and would lead him on a new and more spiritual path. But first he had to remove his shoes from off his feet, as Moses was required to do, for he too was standing on the holy ground of spiritual power and glorious manifestations of the mighty God of Israel. Joshua also was called to do exploits that were unknown by anyone at that time. And, like Moses and Joshua, we also will do wonders in His Name. Therefore, we also shall symbolically remove our shoes, for we too are standing on the holy ground of the kingdom of our Father.
Look at all the elders of the past and the great heroes of the faith and you will see that they were all called and chosen of God, and then separated unto the Lord for His holy purposes. They obeyed His every word, so that they stood out from the crowd in their devotion and service to God. And that is why their names are mentioned in the great faith chapter (Heb. 11). They all had the faith of God to believe that what He had promised would surely be fulfilled. Their lives were totally committed to their sovereign Lord and His holy purposes! And they all accomplished great things for the Lord and for the honor and glory of His kingdom! By the faith of God those "elders obtained a good report."
It is written, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Heb. 11:4). But how did Abel know to offer unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain? He knew it by the continual and abiding relationship he had with his Lord. The Lord either spoke to his spirit, telling Abel what to do in that case, or God simply led him to do what he did. In either case, Abel did what he did by faith. He had an ongoing communion and fellowship with the Lord, so that he knew the right thing to do in that situation. And in doing what he knew to be the will of God, Abel was rewarded as a man of faith.
Enoch Translated to Become an Example for us
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that HE PLEASED GOD" (Heb. 11:5). In my opinion, Enoch was one of the greatest of the heroes of faith! He undoubtedly was the most relevant for us! He accomplished in God what we must experience at this time. Miracles, signs and wonders, and many other wonderful manifestations of the power of God, are glorious and exciting to witness! I have seen it all, as many of you may have also, but I confess to you that those manifestations mean little to me now. My spirit groans within me for a manifestation of the new Life of Christ, which is that glorious and magnificent resurrection Life that Enoch experienced. The creation was not set free by all the miracles and wonders of the past, nor will it be set free by any more miracles or signs and wonders now or in the future. What the creation needs - what the creation is intensely groaning and travailing for - is the manifestation of the sons of God (Ro. 8:19)! And only the manifestation of the sons of God will release all mankind from the bondage of sin and death, meet all their needs, and set the whole creation free.
Of Enoch, the divine record states, "before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." I believe that is where we are now in our spiritual progress. In God, we stand now as Enoch did then, before our translation! In other words, our transformation, or our bodily change from this fleshly body to a new body just like Christ's, is just before us. Something wonderful, divine, supreme, amazing and astounding may soon take place! And that wonderful thing will be the manifestation of the sons of God; it will be the same experience Enoch had when he was translated from this fleshly realm of sin and death into the holy, heavenly realm of Life with God in the Spirit.
Standing as we are, before our translation, with our bodily transformation just ahead of us, we must be found PLEASING GOD! As it was with Enoch, who is our example of faith, let it also be with us. Before his translation, Enoch had this testimony, that HE PLEASED GOD! And may that be our testimony as well, as we approach our glorious transformation! Have you ever wondered what it might be like when we are transformed and translated from this realm of flesh into the realm of Spirit? Those who knew us and our walk with the Lord during our earthly lives might consider the kind of life we lived to experience the awesome power of God that we did. They may want to pattern their life after ours to achieve the same blessings that we achieved. Will they be able to say of us, as they did of Enoch, "before his/her translation he/she had this testimony, that he/she pleased God?"
Enoch had a son, which he named Methuselah, when he was sixty-five years old. The record continues, "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:21-24). Enoch did not merely walk with the Lord for a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, but he walked with God every hour of every day, every week, every month and every year for three hundred years! Thank God, there is no time requirement in His kingdom! A young person can be blessed and rewarded of the Lord with the Life of Christ just as well as an elderly person can. It is not necessary for us to walk with God for three hundred years, as Enoch did. But it is necessary that we walk with Him during the life-span our Father has allotted to us while on this earth. From the time that we first heard His word of promise regarding sonship and became a growing, maturing son of God, unto the end of our appointed days in this realm, our testimony should always be that we walked with God and pleased Him.
Enoch walked with God for three hundred years! Of course, there are many details of Enoch's life that are missing from the scriptural account, but we all should know something of the trials of this life that made him the man of God that he became. Of course he was tested and tried. Most certainly, Enoch experienced the boredom of the endless days, weeks, months and years of this "life," when there may have been no concrete evidence of the work of the Spirit in his life. Without a doubt, his physical body, after more than three hundred years of working and living in this earthly "life," lost the vitality, energy and health of his youth. Knowing what we do about this "life" of constant tests and trials for those who are apprehended of the Father for His holy purposes, we can well imagine what Enoch must have endured for almost three hundred and sixty-five years. And I am certain also that the people of the world around him mocked and ridiculed him, and possibly even criticized Enoch for his absolute and complete devotion to his Lord, and considered him to be extremely religious. Like Jesus, the first Son, Enoch also may have been "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," and they undoubtedly hid, as it were, their faces from him (Is. 53).
"Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Here is the secret to gaining that Life and the glory to come! Keep walking with the Lord continually, every hour, every day, every week, every month and every year, as Enoch did, for as long as Father has determined that we should live this "life." And as we do so we shall surely be changed into the glorious image and likeness of Christ, as Enoch was! As we keep walking with God, doing His will and pleasing Him, it will also be declared of each one of us, "he/she was not; for God took him/her." What a wonderful, celestial glory awaits us as we keep walking in the Spirit with our Father!
It is also interesting to see that Enoch is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Lu. 3:37). Luke gives the earthly or human genealogy of Jesus as a man, going all the way back to Adam; while Matthew gives His kingly, royal, faith genealogy as the King of kings, beginning with Abraham (Mt. 1:1-17). Human genealogy means little to God, but kings and men, including the man, Christ Jesus, were usually required to produce a genealogy. That is why the genealogy of Jesus is given in the two Gospels. And, in this regard, our Lord Jesus Christ fully qualifies as both a man and a King! Furthermore, Enoch is also declared to be "the seventh from Adam." This tells us that God allowed the decline of man into sin and darkness until the seventh generation, or until the fullness of time. Enoch, being the seventh (meaning fullness) since Adam, was the man of faith who was chosen to manifest or display the mighty power of God to transform His people. And as Enoch was "the seventh from Adam," so also are we the seventh, or the fullness of man at the end of the ages of man, who shall usher in the glorious morning of this new Day of the kingdom of God on earth by being transformed into the full image and likeness of Christ. To attain to that glory, we will have to go God's way! We must symbolically remove our "shoes," for we are standing on the holy ground of the kingdom of God!
It was Jude who referred to Enoch as "the seventh from Adam." And it was the man of faith and the great patriarch, Enoch, who prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15). In other words, it is by the glorious coming or appearing of Christ to us and within us that we shall be transformed. And when He comes, Christ will appear or come "with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all." This is the Day of the Lord and also the Day of His kingdom reign in a greater way. It is Father's plan and purpose for this Day that He come or appear with His many saints of the heavenly realm to bring judgment upon all in this world that is not an expression of the righteousness of Christ. All shall be judged of the Lord and convinced of the error of their own wilful ways, and then forgiven and reconciled to the Lord, by His Spirit. When we see the sins and iniquities of man being openly revealed and brought forth, as they are today, we should then know that the Day has surely come when the Lord is judging "all that are ungodly" in this present world.
It is written of Enoch, "before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." We will walk the path of Life with our Father by doing only and always His perfect will and by pleasing Him, as Enoch did. And how can we please God? The writer to the Hebrews gave us the answer. "But WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to PLEASE HIM: for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). Our path may get rugged and rocky at times! The things we see in this world may cause us to lose our faith and compromise the way of the Lord. But the ultimate prize will be given to those who do not give up the race! The ultimate prize of the Life of Christ will be given to those who finish the race! It means little to have started the race, or to be in the race at all; it means everything to finish the race! Jesus said, "he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Mt. 10:22). Therefore, the ultimate prize of the fullness of salvation and the Life of Christ will be given as a free gift to those who endure to the end.
And Peter also wrote to tell us, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and HOPE TO THE END for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pe. 1:13). We should remember that these men of God were inspired of the holy Spirit to write what they did. And they wrote it specifically for us on whom the end of the ages of man are come! Peter also referred to our high calling of God in Christ, or to our transformation and manifestation as sons of God, as "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven (or in the realm of Spirit) FOR YOU, Who are kept by the power of God through faith UNTO SALVATION ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pe. 1:4-5). So wondrous, awesome and miraculous are these truths pertaining to the new Life of Christ, which is reserved for us, that Peter said they are "things the angels desire to look into" (1 Pe. 1:12). The angels may want to look into these blessed and glorious things, but we are the people who shall experience them, for they are reserved in the Spirit just for us.
We are to "hope to the end." To the end of what? No doubt, the end for us is the end of our days of testing and probation in this life. More than that, "the end" also refers to the time between now and when the Lord will appear to change us. The end for the apprehended ones, according to Peter's message, continues unto the revelation or unveiling of Christ in a manifestation of that so great salvation that is "ready to be revealed in the last time." The end is determined, either by our span of life or by the last time, which is the end of the ages of man, when Christ will be revealed and manifested to us and within us to change us into His full image and likeness.
The Psalmist, David, petitioned the Lord, promising Him, "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I SHALL KEEP IT UNTO THE END" (Ps. 119:33). And again, he said, "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes ALWAY, EVEN UNTO THE END" (Ps. 119:112). Jesus said, "He that shall endure unto THE END shall be saved" (Mt. 24:13). He also said "lo, I am with you alway, even unto THE END of the world (or, the age). Amen" (Mt. 28:20). And Paul wrote about "waiting (as we are now) for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also CONFIRM YOU UNTO THE END, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Co. 1:7-8). The Lord has confirmed us unto the end! Therefore, we will wait for Him with full assurance that He is keeping us blameless unto the great Day of our transformation or our full salvation.
The writer to the Hebrews declared that we are the house of the Lord "if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope (of our full salvation) FIRM UNTO THE END" (He. 3:6). And again, "For we are made partakers of Christ (the Life that He is), if we hold the beginning of our confidence STEDFAST UNTO THE END" (He. 3:14). He also wrote to say, "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of HOPE UNTO THE END" (He. 6:11). And John, while on the Isle of Patmos, declared, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works UNTO THE END, to him will I give power over the nations" (Rev. 2:26). Thus, it is clear that we must continue, with patience, to steadfastly trust the Lord, believe His word of truth and obey Him, not for the moment when things may be looking good, but firm unto the end! Those who do so will receive the prize!
It was David, the King, who declared, "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:8-11). If you know much about this passage, you will know that the words "holy one" are capitalized, as "Holy One," in verse ten. This is due to another of the many King James' errors in translation. Those who translated the King James Bible thought these verses referred to Jesus; but their interpretation or translation does not reveal the truth, according to the intent and purpose of the anointed word of God. The words "thine Holy One" are taken from the Hebrew word "chaciyd," meaning, according to Strong's, to be kind, religiously pious, a saint.
Therefore, the words "thine holy one" can be applied to any of the Lord's saints who have become holy ones by the effectual working of the cross of Christ in their lives. You and I are also holy ones, not just our Lord Jesus Christ. We are holy as He is holy! Christ has made us holy by the power of His holiness! Therefore, David's inspired Psalm applies to us as well as to Jesus. By the holiness of Christ we are holy! And as His holy ones, we have the assurance of the promise given by David. Our Lord will not "leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one (which we are) to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Amen and amen!
Our Father will not leave our souls in hell, which is to say He will not leave our souls in the region of the dead and sinful, but will join our souls to our spirits, by His Spirit. Our bodies of flesh and blood will return to the dust of the earth from which they came. But our spirits and souls will be joined together in a spiritual union, making us to become one spirit with God. This will bring our whole being into complete and total union with Him, resulting in the manifestation of the sons of God. And our Father will not suffer the holy one that we are to see and experience the corruption of death. Instead, He will show us the path of Life, which is in His presence where there is fullness of joy. He will lead us and take us up to the utmost heights of His Spirit, there to be seated with Him at His right hand, where there are pleasures forever more. Amen, and blessed be the Name of the Lord!
His Holiness Shall Spread to Cover the Whole Earth
When King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. He saw the seraphim and the heavenly hosts, "and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory" (Is. 6:3). How interesting that verse is! The heavenly hosts were proclaiming the holiness of the Lord, obviously making it possible for them to see and understand that "the whole earth is full of his glory." And when we also see the holiness of the Lord and partake of that Holiness, the vision of His glory coming to the earth and filling everything everywhere will be ours as well.
The work of the Lord for us is to set us free from the bondages of the world, the flesh and the devil, and raise us up to heavenly places in Christ. At the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist, his father, Zacharias, prophesied the word of the Lord regarding the full redemption of the sinful world of mankind. The prophecy of Zacharias declared this wonderful word: "That he (God) would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life" (Lu. 1:74-75). What we have seen in Christendom certainly does not match up with this prophecy. Many Christians cannot live beyond the Sunday morning visit to church to live a holy and a righteous life. Either they have not experienced the salvation of the Lord promise here, or the promises of God await another day and time. We prefer to believe that God's promises are yea and amen to anyone who will believe and who will walk in the light of His revealed word.
Because some may find it difficult if not impossible to experience that quality of life in the Spirit that Zacharias foretold, it does not change the power of the word of our Father. In spite of the past failures of man, a perfect man is coming forth in this great Day, and that Man/Son company will fulfill all that God's word has promised. They will indeed "serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our/their life/lives." This is our Father's holy word of promise to us! We will accept His provisions whereby this quality of life may be lived to the fullest extent, by the power of the indwelling Spirit. God is God! He is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent. What He has declared is the anointed truth of the living God, and we will live daily as if His word is fully ours to appropriate. This, I believe, is the holy path to sonship fulfilled and manifested! There is no other way, but God's way!
Paul gives us additional, spiritual advice on how to appropriate the holiness and righteousness of God. He wrote to say, "for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end EVERLASTING LIFE" (Ro. 6:19-22). Paul also tells us that Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Co. 1:30). Thus, by the power of the indwelling Christ, we have access to all He is, including righteousness and holiness.
Paul also gave us this word of truth: "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Co. 7:1). And when we have perfected holiness in the fear of God, we will then have everlasting Life, for true holiness leads to His Life! The writer to the Hebrews tells us that our fathers in the flesh corrected and chastened us for a few days, and we revered them for it. Then he declared that our heavenly Father, the Father of spirits, chastened and corrected us "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness" (He. 12:10). We also know it is by seeing the Lord as He is, that we will be transformed into His glorious image and likeness. Therefore, we will "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (He. 12:14).
There is a spiritual path for all the elect of the Lord to
take at this time. And that path or way is called, "The Holy Way; the unclean
shall not pass over it, but it shall be for the redeemed; the wayfaring men,
yes, the simple ones and fools, shall not err in it and lose their way"
(Is. 35:8, Amplified). I may be quoting a lot of scripture, but there are some
verses and passages that are well worth considering reading many times. One
such excellent verse is found in the Amplified Bible. The Lord is speaking through
His anointed prophet, Ezekiel, telling the house of Israel that they have profaned
His Name among the nations, just as Christendom has done. Then the Lord says,
"And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name and separate it for
its holy purpose from all that defiles; My name, which has been profaned among
the nations, which you (Israel of the past and all of Christendom today) have
profaned among them; and the nations will know, understand and realize that
I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, calling forth loyalty and obedient service],
when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated IN YOU BEFORE THEIR
EYES AND YOURS" (Ez. 36:23).
Isn't that a wonderful Word? God is going to vindicate His great Name, which has been profaned among the nations up to this point in time! And He is using us to do it, by vindicating His holiness IN US BEFORE THEIR EYES AND OURS! And what a display or manifestation that shall be! Our Father has called us to symbolically remove our "shoes," for we are standing on the holy ground of the kingdom of God, where every anointed word of our Father shall be graciously and joyously fulfilled. He is also calling us to be separate and set apart from all the defiling systems of man in this world, and is "calling forth (our) loyalty and obedient service" in His kingdom from every one of us. The Way of the Lord is before us; if we have obediently removed our "shoes," we have only begun to walk this Holy Way, which is the way of the kingdom of our Father. And we are assured that this new, kingdom Way will lead us to that glorious and promised "end," which is EVERLASTING LIFE; it is the fullness of the Life of Christ that will change us into His image and likeness and set the whole creation free of its bondage to sin and death.
The prophet Ezekiel followed up the previous Word, by saying, "Thus will I demonstrate My greatness and My holiness, and I will be recognized, understood and known in the eyes of many nations; yes, they shall know that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, calling forth loyalty and obedient service]" (Ez. 38:23, Amplified). Do you realize that we are the only manifestation of the kingdom of God there is in this present world of sin and darkness? Christ is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is King of the whole earth and of the universe, but there is no other evidence of His sovereign reign except in the lives of His chosen elect. We are the only evidence of the Kingship and the Lordship of Christ there is in this world at this time!
Christ must be the King and the Lord of our lives. Otherwise, there is no evidence of His sovereign authority any where. If He cannot rule and reign in our lives, where can He reign? If His people will not acknowledge His Kingship and His Lordship, who then will? He must demonstrate His greatness, His holiness, and His sovereignty in our lives. And if He cannot do that, then His authority as King and Lord is in question. He has no kingdom unless it is proven that He can rule His people. But, thank God, His authority as King and Lord is unquestioned, for God has a people at this time, a small remnant, who are His in the full sense of the word. He rules and reigns in our lives, and we honor and obey Him as our King.
We recognize Christ as our King and as our Lord; we worship Him as that, and we obey His every word, to demonstrate to all the world that He is our King and our Lord, both in word and in deed! Then the world will see that Christ is indeed a King and that He has an increasing, progressive, active and functioning kingdom, with all the power and authority necessary to rule all nations in righteousness, holiness, justice and peace. They will see that He is indeed the King of kings and the Lord of lords! The people of all the nations of the world will then bow at His feet to freely and joyfully accept His provisions and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, thus fulfilling the anointed word of the Lord (Ro. 14:11, Phil. 2:9-11).
The Elect, Prophesying by their Deeds, not their Words
By obeying our Father's word and fully acknowledging Christ as our King and Lord, both in word and in deed, we are establishing a prophetic example. Daily, as we walk in obedience to our Lord, we are fulfilling the prophetic word of the Lord. We are a prophetic people, for the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10), is working in us and with us to fulfill our Lord's holy word. I really cannot say that we are the "two witnesses" spoken of in the book of Revelation, but I can see that we are certainly doing what the Lord said they would do. For example, it is possible that we are those who will "prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (Rev. 11:3). To prophesy does not mean that we are standing on a mountain top somewhere with a trumpet in our hands, sending out a call for others to hear us preach the word of the Lord. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and since He is within us, we are fulfilling prophecy because of His indwelling presence.
Our lives are the testimony of Jesus, and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. By His Spirit, we are fulfilling His anointed, prophetic word as we walk with Him and please the Lord. Therefore, we are those who have or will yet prophesy "a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." To be clothed in sackcloth means to be in a humble, contrite and repentant state. The original word translated "sackcloth" comes from a Hebrew word, meaning a sack, like a grain sack, that is porous and rough, which is worn as a sign of grief. Indeed, all the elect, who are chosen of the Lord, and who are becoming manifest sons of God, are prophesying by deed, not in word; and they are prophesying "clothed in sackcloth." These also have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power to smite the earth. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast from the bottomless pit will overcome them. "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:7-8).
Multitudes would flock to us to hear us speak in glowing terms of all the great things we are going to do for the Lord. But the crowd thins considerably when we remind people that if we expect to reign with Christ, we shall also suffer with Him. If we hope to become manifest sons of God, we shall first die to the flesh and cease walking in the ways of man. And to suggest that we will prophesy the word of the Lord by our living example, many would say a glad amen to that. But when it comes to dying at the hands of an enemy, and lying on the street of the great city, which may be the new Jerusalem, the crowds will dissipate; they will lose their zeal and their enthusiasm, and would even brand you a false prophet if you dare to tell them that they will also have to surrender to the word of God, which declares emphatically that we will lie on the streets as a dead man, and be seen by many in that "dead" condition. But we cannot choose which part of the word of the Lord we will believe and obey. Our Father has us on a path that leads to ultimate victory and everlasting Life forever. And that path also includes a period of suffering, and dying out to the flesh and the things of the world.
God's word also declares that we will be seen in our "dead" state by many people of every nation. Those who dwell on earth, or those in an earthly, worldly state, spiritually speaking, will rejoice over us and make merry, because we can no longer prophesy. They rejoice because of our "dead" state, for our prophetic ministry tormented them. "And after three days and an half the Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them (or to us), Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them" (Rev. 11:11-12).
Thank God! The Spirit of Life from God will enter into us, and we will be transformed into His image and likeness. By the Spirit of Life, we shall be changed! Our trials cannot hurt us; they are preparing us for that Glory. The days we are in our "dead" state are measured, to indicate that it will be a relatively short time. The days of our prophesying were twelve hundred and sixty days, while the time that we are in our "dead" state will only be 3 ½ days. Paul wrote of this, when he said, "For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but FOR A MOMENT, WORKETH FOR US A FAR MORE EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY." Keep walking with the Lord and pleasing Him, saints of God, and we shall receive the prize, which is His more abundant Life!
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, PORTLAND, OR 97298-0055