It is Finished

It is Finished!

John 19: 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Salvation is a Finished Work
Salvation is a Finished Work of the Lord Jesus

It may seem like an odd scripture with Christmas approaching; more like an Easter message. But for a Christian every day is Christmas and every day is Easter.

The Carnal man will look upon this scripture, and the context of it, and say that Jesus had fulfilled the final prophecies of his life, and said it was done, and died. While this is true, there is a far deeper spiritual meaning to what he said. What exactly was finished?

What did he come to accomplish? There are lots of ways to take this line of thinking. But this is the direction that the Lord put on my heart for today.

Matthew 5: 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The first thing we see is that the Lord Jesus came to fulfill the law. Now in every law there are two distinct components. First there is a commandment, a do, or do not part. Second there is a penalty for transgression of the first part. Most people don’t realize this. That is why they do not understand how Jesus could fulfill the law. He did not change the do, do not part. He simply took the penalty for it upon himself. For example:

Exodus 21:12 12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

There are two distinct parts. 1) if you hit someone and they die, and 2) you shall be put to death. Jesus fulfilled this law. Does that mean you are now allowed to hit someone and kill them? NO! It means that Jesus took the penalty upon himself. If you had killed someone, and you repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, then Jesus Christ took the penalty of death upon himself at the Cross of Calvary. This does not give us license to sin, it justifies us from our sin. Big difference. They are completely different ideas.

Romans 6: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Jesus Christ took the penalty of the law upon himself. The commandment is still there. The commandment is still in force. The penalty is still in force as well if we are not under the blood covenant of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ laid down his life and took it back up. We do the same thing in baptism. We lay down our lives with him, crucify our old man, our old nature, with him. The difference is that we do not pick our old lives back up. We pick his life up, or more correctly, his life, the Holy Spirit, picks us up. Then we no longer live, but it is Christ Jesus living in us.

Galatians 5: 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Therefore the corollary of that is If ye are NOT led by the Spirit, ye ARE under the law. Do you realize what that means? Every single soul that is not under the blood of Jesus Christ, that has not entered into the covenant of the New Testament, is still under the law. The Whole Law!

When they come up in the white throne judgement, they will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ using the entire letter of the law. They will be held accountable for every single law, every single ordinance in the Old Testament of the Bible.

It is finished! It indeed is. But we still must receive it! If we reject the pardon that was signed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we will be called to answer for every single letter of the Law of Moses.

It is finished! For the children of God, it is finished!

1 Peter 2: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

When were you healed? You and I were healed 2,000 years ago. It is finished!

But do we act that way? Do we act as though it is finished? We have a promise of the Lord. Every single disease, every single sickness, every single ailment we will ever get has already been healed! It is finished.

2 Chronicles 16: 12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

Now Asa was not an unbeliever. He had a long history with the Lord, and with the supernatural power and might of the Lord God Jehovah. He also had a promise of the Lord spoken to him by a prophet:

2 Chronicles 15: And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

King Asa had the Word of the Lord. The prophet was sent and brought him the message of the hour. Do we have a message? Are we going to trust in the Lord, in the message, in the Word of God?

King Asa saw the Lord deliver him from undefendable odds. And the Lord not only defeated his enemies, he was given 35 years of peace. That is supernatural in any era. Yet after all that, after 35 years of supernatural experiences, after hearing the words of a vindicated prophet, when trouble came, he rejected the way of the Lord and sought the arm of flesh. And it cost him his life.

Why? Because with King Asa, it was not finished!

2 Chronicles 15: 16 And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.

He did run well. He cut down the idols and burnt them. He cast out the idolaters. He was a message believer! He was justified in his day. He was sanctified in his day. He sanctified all of Israel!

BUT, “the high places were not taken away out of Israel”. His new birth was not complete!

Ezekiel 36: 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The new birth is not a single event. It is several events locked together. It is just like the natural birth. The baby is conceived. We often forget that part in discussing the new birth. The baby is conceived first! How? A seed is planted and the seed grows, and the seed bears fruit. That fruit is the baby.

The first thing that happens in a new birth is the planting of the seed, which is the Word of God. The life in that seed is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 that “my words are spirit and life”. The first step in the new birth is that someone like you or I, someone who carries the seed, plants it in the heart of the heathen. Big word to use in this politically correct day. We are all heathens once too.

The life in the seed is the Holy Spirit. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, then the seed is dead inside of us. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, then the seed that we plant is a dead seed. That is why we have over 1,000 denominations on earth with 3 Billion people calling themselves Christians, all preaching out of the Bible, and planting DEAD SEED!

2 Corinthians 3: Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

If we preach the Word of God without the Holy Spirit, we are planting a DEAD SEED, a seed that will rot and kill the host. We will kill people with that dead seed. How can the Word of God bring death?

2 Samuel 6: And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

They were carrying the Word of God, the Ark. They had a good intent. They had no evil or malicious intent in their hearts. David, the King that the Bible says was a man after God’s own heart, led the way. They had musicians out in front. They had a program, a religious program that looked perfect. They had everything lined up but one. The wrong people were handling the Word. The Bible says it must be carried on the left shoulders of the Levites, over their hearts.

And when the Word of God went forth without the Spirit of God, then even the righteous man Uzzah died. Without the Spirit of God, the Seed of God, the Holy Bible, is DEAD.

Without the Holy Spirit, the message of the hour will bring DEATH! It is a dead seed without the life of Christ in it. That is why we have so many churches, preaching the Bible, and yet all they can create is still born babies.

So the new birth starts with the planting of the seed, the live, spirit borne seed. Then the seed germinates. A baby germinates for 40 weeks. Forty is one of God’s special numbers. Moses was on the mountain for 40 days. Jesus fasted for 40 days.

The seed of the Word of God will germinate in the heart, watered by the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit does not indwell at this point, it anoints. There is a different. Remember Jesus said the Spirit would be with us, AND in us. And is a conjunction. Two separate events.

Then we get to the point where we usually start speaking on the New Birth. First we have Justification, then we have Sanctification, then we receive the Spirit.

1 John 5: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

It is the Spirit that bears witness. Not the letter. The birth is water, blood and spirit. Just like a physical birth, first the water breaks, then the blood, then the baby. So too with the new birth. First the water, the justification in baptism. Then the blood, the sanctification. Then the filling of the Holy Spirit. Three definite steps.

And again the Scripture says here that “the witness of God is greater”. The witness is the Holy Spirit. Our witness without the Holy Spirit, is the witness of men, and it is powerless. It becomes a second had gospel.

Acts 19: 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

These seven men had heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had heard the message of the hour from the mouth of the prophet. Not only had they heard the message, they also saw the vindication in signs, wonders and miracles.

But for them it was not finished!

They had the letter, but they did not have the spirit. They came with a second hand gospel. They came quoting the prophet but without the spirit, they simply had the testimony of man. The testimony of God is greater. For the seven men, it was not finished. They had the message, but they did not have the Spirit or the Revelation of the message.

Is it finished for YOU?

We have to make this personal, intensely and completely personal. Do you have the Revelation and the Spirit? Is your new birth complete? Is your faith complete? Only you can answer that.

Are you trusting completely in the Lord today? Asa could not. He had the message. He heard it from the mouth of the prophet. He had 35 years of supernatural experiences with the Lord. Yet it was not finished for him. He did not take away the high places. He did a lot. But he did not do it all.

David, the man after God’s own heart, the anointed King of Israel, did almost everything. He had the musicians. He had all but one thing. He failed to get the Levites to carry the Word. He failed to get the Spirit of God in the picture. He had the letter, but not the word. He was planting a dead seed.

That can happen in our message churches today, and indeed it is happening. It was even happening when Brother Branham was here. He warned of it. He warned of the need for repentance before baptism. He said we are going in dry sinners and coming out wet sinners. He said we were creating still born Christians. It is the same today. Where is the Lord today? We have the message. We have the quotes. We have the music. We have fancy Churches. We have big buildings, great architecture, beautiful interiors, lights and sounds, audio visual systems, professional musicians and singers. We have preachers in $5000 suits.

They are Ox Carts!

The Word of God is not carried in a building, or an organization, or a system, or a program. It is not carried in a denomination. They can only carry the letter, the dead letter.

The Word of the God, the Spirit of God, can only be carried in the hearts of the Christians. The Lord dwells in the hearts of the Bride of Christ, and nowhere else.

Judges 6: And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites, That the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 10 And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. 11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

There are a few things to look at here to tie things together. First of they were sent the Prophet. The Prophet told them of all the power of the Lord God vindicating his word and his promises to them over the years. He is telling them that for them it should be finished.

Then we find the angel appearing to Gideon. Gideon responded with a very simply question. If God is with us, where is the supernatural vindication of a living God? Can we say the same today? If the Lord God is in our midst, then we have a healer here. If Jesus Christ is here, then there is deliverance. If there is a living God with us, then there will be supernatural signs, wonders and miracles. If for us it is finished, then we will most certainly have the fruit of it in full blossom.

And the third point, the angel did not say to Gideon that the Lord is with Israel, he said the Lord is with you.

The Lord God is with YOU! Go in thy might. Have I not sent thee?

The Lord God is with YOU Saints of God! 

The only presence of the Lord God Jehovah, the Holy Spirit, is in the hearts of the children of God. He is nowhere else upon the face of the earth, except in you and I. When the rapture comes, it is the Spirit of God leaving this world, and anyone that is filled with that Spirit goes along for the ride. No Holy Spirit equals NO rapture.

Romans 10: 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

How shall they preach except they be sent? They will plant dead seeds! We can preach the gospel, we can quote the message and even perfectly imitate the Prophet’s voice, but without the Spirit, without being SENT, we will plant dead seeds. Our words will simply be the testimony of man and rot in the hearts of the people. It will make them sick and they will spiritually die.

Have I not sent you? Are you sent? Have you all been sent?

Mark 16: 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Go YE into all the world! If you are born again, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, if for you it is finished, then YOU have been sent. The harvest is ripe, but the labourers are few, and far between.

Is it finished?

Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature. Preaching is not reserved for the preachers. There are five ministries from behind the pulpit, but all people are preachers. Even the women! Whoa that shocked someone. There are five pulpit ministries, Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, Apostle, Pastor. Notice there is no title of “preacher”. We are ALL preachers. We preach the gospel by living it and by testifying of it.

Acts 18: 24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

They expounded to him. We are all supposed to testify. We are all supposed to bring the gospel. We are all supposed to go into all the world and tell every soul we meet of Jesus Christ and what he did for us.

That is not to argue doctrine. NO. We are supposed to introduce people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Tell them what he did for you. Tell them how you got saved. Tell them how you got delivered. Tell them how you got healed. Tell them of the signs, wonders and miracles that you have personally witnessed in your life. Do that. For that is our job as Christians. We are sent to be written epistles read of all men. ALL men. Go into the world by the Spirit of the Lord and let the world read Jesus Christ in you.

Do your neighbors know that you are Christians? Do they know the message of the hour? Have you told them about Jesus Christ? Have you testified to them of the signs, wonders and miracles that the Lord Jesus has worked in your life? Have to testified of salvation, of deliverance, of healing?

How about the people you work with? Does your boss know about Jesus Christ? Your customers? Your vendors? The guy who mops the floors? The receptionist? The forklift driver? You have been sent! Did you think you got that job by accident, or because of your qualifications? The Lord gave you that job, and he gave you that specific job for a specific purpose. You have been sent to them. You are an ambassador of Jesus Christ to them. That is your job.

2 Timothy 4: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Preach the Word! Not just in season, but out of season. Preach it where and when it is accepted and welcomed. Preach it where it is hated and rejected. Preach! Reprove. Rebuke. Exhort.

Finish it! If you dare.

Luke 9: 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

If it is truly finished for us then we will not be ashamed of him. We will have no problem testifying to everyone we meet. We will look for an in, an opportunity to, any opportunity to talk to everyone about the Lord Jesus Christ. We will express God’s opinion in every conversation, on every topic. We will be ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Kingdom of Heaven. We will plant the seed of God, the Word, by the Spirit. And we will do it all day, every day, with every soul.

Is it finished?

If we are ashamed of him, then it certainly is not finished; not for us.

The work is complete. The price has been paid. There is nothing that the Lord God can do for you today because he has already done everything. The atonement is paid. He cannot heal you because he healed you 2000 years ago. He cannot save you because he saved you two millennia ago. You have already been delivered. Your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world.

It is finished!

The problem is with us. We need to accept it. That is all we have to do. We need to accept it, to believe it and receive it into ourselves. We need to allow it to be finished. That is what the Lord is waiting for. He is waiting for us to attain perfection; for us to allow ourselves to be made perfect. He is waiting for us.

It is finished!

Let it be finished!

Are you sick? Are you waiting for healing? It is Finished!

Are you suffering from oppression? Do you need deliverance? It is Finished!

Do you have financial issues? Do you have work problems? Do you have family problems? Do you have issues that the world says you cannot overcome? Has the doctor written you off? Asa trusted in the doctors. The woman with the blood issue did the same. Then she heard about Jesus. And when she touched the hem of his garment, it was finished!

Blind Bartemaeus begged for his dinner. But when he heard that Jesus was there, it was finished!

It is Finished!

We have the message! We have the gospel. We have the written Bible. We have the fivefold ministry. We have the gifts. We have the fullness.

But is it finished for us, or are we waiting for more? Is there something missing for us? Do we lack? Is there a need that you have, that you know should be finished, but you cannot realize it in your life? Is there a battle that you cannot overcome? Do you feel overwhelmed?

Reach out and touch the hem of his garment. IT IS FINISHED!

Tailor Your Message

Think of your audience first.

As Christians we are all zealous to spread the word of God. We want to share this wonderful gift with the whole world. We want everyone to benefit as we have. We want them to experience healing, deliverance, salvation. We want the Lord to work in their lives in signs, wonders and miracles as he does in ours. And we want the devil destroyed, and his works destroyed along with him.

The new birth is like the physical birth. Water, blood and spirit in proper order. When a physical baby is born, first the water breaks, then comes the blood, then the life of the baby. It is the same with the new birth, the spiritual birth. We become Christians only through the new birth. We cannot join Christianity, we must be born into it. For verily the Lord Jesus told us that except we be born again we shall in no wise see the kingdom of God.

First comes the water, the justification. As Ezekiel words it, our heart of stone is removed and we are given a heart of flesh. We are sinners, lost, strangers and foreigners, alienated from the kingdom of the Lord God. We are blind and in total darkness. Then the Lord Jesus justifies us. The Holy Spirit speaks to our heart through the revealed word of God. He is the one who reveals it to us. Someone brings us the word and the Holy Spirit makes it real, opens our eyes to the light, and witnesses to our heats that it is the absolute, unerring truth. We are convicted. We repent and get baptized in full immersion in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins as we are commanded in Acts 2:38. We are now cleansed of our sin. Cleansed of ALL sin. In the eyes of God we are perfected. When he looks upon us he sees only the blood of Jesus Christ covering us. We are now guiltles for we have entered into the blood covenant of Jesus Christ.

But that is not enough. It is a start, and a good one, but we need to push out into the deep. We now need the blood applied to our life. We need to apply the blood to every aspect of our beings. The blood sanctifies us, delivers us from all evil, all iniquity, all sinfullness. It frees us and separates us from the world. It overcomes our flesh. Our flesh will remain sinfull until the rapture, but now our hearts hate the sin that we used to revel in. Sanctification makes us pure. Sanctification sets us apart for service.

Then Acts 2:39 can be fulfilled. We are filled with the Holy Spirit in the baptism of fire. Now the very God of heaven dwells inside of us. Our life is over and we live, not by our life, but by his life. We are branches grafted into the vine of Jesus Christ; his life sustains us and we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Are we done? NO! We have only begun. We are born again, babies. Now we must grow to the adoption where the Lord God places us as sons and daughters.

When dealing with people we need to look at where they are on this path. Are they even on this path yet? We need to tailor our message to them personally. We need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit so that He can tell us what to say and when.

To the sinner we speak of sin and righteousness and the salvatin of Jesus Christ. It is very black and white and we are duty bound to keep it as straight as possible. Greyness is of the devil. It is either good, or bad. There is nothing in between. Can a river give good water and bitter water at the same time?

To the justified we speak of the deliverance and overcoming power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We share our testimonies. We pray with them. We teach them. To the Holy we speak of the deeper spiritual things. To the Holy, the new born seed, we uncover the message of the hour. To the holy we speak of deep truths.

To the adopted, we often just let them speak to us.

May the Lord bless you.

Called Us to Glory

Subject: Church vs. Bride

 

And the Spirit of the Lord descended like a Dove
And the Spirit of the Lord descended like a Dove and remained upon him.

I have talked with many people who are put off by religion in general. I too had the same attitude towards churches and religion. Then I realized that there is a difference between the church and the bride of Christ. There is a difference between them that call themselves Christians and those who God calls Christians. I found out that the book of Acts is being replayed in the lives of real Christians all across the planet every day. When I met Jesus Christ for myself, then the book of Acts started playing out in my life too.

This sermon is for you. God gave me this scripture and opened it up to me by revelation from the Holy Spirit that I might be able to pass that same gift on to you. But as I always caution people, do not believe me, do not take my word, but go back to the scriptures and see if what I tell you is right. And if it lines up with the scriptures then accept it. Take God’s word for it. Our absolute must be the Bible.

Here I have taken my original notes that I used to preach on the subject, and edited them to make them readable. I pray that you might find them useful. As such I would like to take for a text John chapter 17 and verse 22. And for a subject on that text I would like to concentrate on the theme of the Glory of Jesus Christ and how we are called to glory. And for a subtext we will observe how the Church and the Bride are not one and the same.

John 17:22 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.

Here we see Jesus at the end of his ministry praying openly for his followers. After reading this scripture a number of questions came to mind. I find that learning is often better served by asking the right questions, rather than just trying to find better answers to less perfect questions.

This is a very short scripture indeed but it carries an enormous message for us. It says that God gave Jesus glory. And it then says that Jesus gave out that same glory to a select group of people. Then it says he did it so that they might become one even as Jesus and God are one. This simple scripture brought up ten interrelated questions in my mind.

  1. What is Glory? Is it tangible or figurative?
  2. How did God give glory to Jesus?
  3. When was this glory given?
  4. How did He, in turn, give it away?
  5. When did He give it?
  6. Who, exactly, does He give it to?
  7. How do we qualify to get it?
  8. How do we know we have it?
  9. Can we loose it once we have it?
  10. How does this glory make us one with each other?

The answers to all ten questions are woven so tightly together that in order to properly answer one we have to answer all ten. And we will know if each answer is right because the scripture must run true; line upon line, word upon word, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. If our doctrine gets to a point where we get stuck in a scripture then that is a sign our doctrine is completely wrong. The Bible always perfectly agrees with itself!

Paul said that if we preach anything different than what is written we are accursed, Peter said if we wrestle against any scripture we do so to our own damnation and John said if we add or take away we are given plagues and our names removed from the book of life. We must stay with the written word of God. If we get to a point where we have to explain away a scripture to make our doctrine work then that is a sign that our doctrine is wrong and we must go back and start over.

So the answers to all ten questions must all agree with each other in the scripture or we have to go back and start over. And each and every answer must run with the message as well for it is the Revealed Word of God for the Hour. The prophet told us to preach what is on the tapes. He didn’t mean to quote him like a parrot, to preach Jesus whom Branham preaches like the seven vagabond sons did in Paul’s day earning for themselves a good beating and demonic possession. He meant that if our doctrine does not line up with what is put down on the tapes and vindicated by the Holy Spirit in signs wonders and miracles, then we had better fix our doctrine because we are wrong.

So let’s, by the grace of God, get some Bible answers for these Bible questions.

Our scripture here says that Jesus got Glory and gives Glory. He gives his glory to a select, special, elect group of people. And it is the same glory that God gave to Him. So let’s start by finding out exactly what is glory?

The original word for Glory found in the Bible is the Greek word Doxa, which means Splendor, Brilliance, Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise. That is a pretty big definition. Today we think of glory as popularity or public notoriety but the Bible has a very different definition. There is nothing popular about it.

So what is this Splendor, this Brilliance, this Awesome Light that radiates from the presence of God that is associated with acts of power, honour and praise?

How and when did God give His glory to Jesus. What is the defining moment in scripture when God gives his glory unto the Lord Jesus Christ? He said that God gave it to him, so there must have been a time when he did not have it, a moment at which he received it, and a time in which he carried it. At the time of his speaking in John as we just read, Jesus notes that he has already received it. So we must look back in time to find where and when he got it.

Look at the life of Jesus on earth. Not much is noted about him for the first 30 years of his life. Many have speculated about him in this time and the Bible gives us just enough information to see that they are all wrong. He was not studying with mystics out east etcetera, he was living in Nazareth as a devout Jew working in Joseph`s business as would be the tradition of the time. He lived a normal life.

He had no defined ministry, to the point where the people from Nazareth didn’t think much of him. Sure he was a nice guy, and pretty smart especially about the scripture, never got in trouble as a kid, didn`t run with the bad lot, but he was just a carpenter, one of the boys, one of Joseph’s sons. He grew up down the street and played games with us as kids. There was nothing too great or spectacular about him. He was not a pretty boy either. The Bible says that there was no beauty in Jesus that men should be attracted to him. He lived as one of us, an ordinary average guy.

The people from Nazareth where he grew up and lived could not believe that He was the messiah. When He came back to them they didn’t believe. He couldn’t even work miracles there because there was no faith in the people. They could not wrap their minds around the fact that this fellow from down the street was a prophet, priest and king. He was the great I AM but his neighbors could not see it. He was the saviour of the world but his friends, those who should have known him best, were blind to it. Isaiah chapter six says that he was “Prince of peace, the councillor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father”. Here was God himself, the creator of all things, veiled in human flesh and the ones who were closest to him could not see him. That should be a humbling wake up call for us. Do we truly see Jesus Christ today? Do we see him for who he really is? Do we have the revelation of the godhead? That is a whole separate sermon, or series of semons.

So when did His ministry start? When did he lay down the carpenter’s hammer and start showing himself as the messiah?

St. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the spirit of God descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him.

John the Baptist was the messenger of God sent to forerun the first coming of the messiah. According to the Old Testament prophet Malachi, John is the third coming, or manifestation, of the spiritual ministry of Elijah. Jesus also confirmed this in the scriptures telling his disciples such. John, God’s prophet messenger, saw a vision of the Holy Spirit of God descending from heaven and resting upon Jesus Christ. The spirit of God, the pillar of fire descended from God and rested upon Jesus Christ like a dove. And it stayed there! The Bible said it “abode” upon him. This was not a one-time transient event, God came and God stayed.

Jesus was always the Word of God manifested in flesh. He was always the only begotten Son of God. For thirty years he walked the earth as a man, but here we see God putting a seal on His son. God was putting an AMEN upon Jesus Christ for the whole world to hear. He sent his prophet ahead and prepared him to make the announcement and then vindicated Jesus Christ as the one anointed Messiah to all mankind. Here God officially says “I approve of you and of your life and of everything that you are, and in thee am I pleased to dwell” and He does it through a vindicated prophet. The glory of God, the pillar of fire, the Holy Spirit comes down from heaven like a dove and rests upon Jesus as a crown of glory for the eyes of the prophet to see.

And it stayed there!

And from that moment and that place in the desert we see the miraculous ministry of Jesus on earth began. He started His ministry AFTER he received the glory from the Father, not before. That is an important note we’ll pick up later. He had the power, wisdom, knowledge, virtue etc. but it was not until AFTER He received glory that he began his ministry. He was the only begotten of the Father. He was the great I Am. He was the Messiah. He was the word of God made flesh the whole time but he did not begin his ministry until after he received glory from God.

So we see God giving His glory, His “Doxa”: His Splendor, His Brilliance, His Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise unto Jesus. We see it as the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and abiding on him. All that power, all that splendor, all that brilliance, all that awesome light that radiates from God’s presence with acts of power honour and praise, veiled as a dove and resting solely on Jesus Christ glorifying Him above all that is, was or ever shall be!

The pillar of fire, the spirit of the great creator himself, the fullness of God lightened on the man of Jesus Christ for in him dwelt the fullness of the godhead bodily. Not some, not most, but ALL, the complete fullness of everything that is God was in Jesus Christ. All that God is was poured into the man Jesus. All of God’s glory is given to Jesus. All of God’s splendor is given to Jesus. All of God’ Brilliance is given to Jesus. All of Gods awesome light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour, and praise is given to Jesus. He was all in all. He was the complete fullness of everything that is God. He was the alpha and omega the beginning and the end, the resurrection and the life. Jesus Christ, a man of flesh and blood like you and I, was standing there dripping wet and soggy in the water of the Jordan River beside that prophet with hundreds if not thousands in attendance and the Glory of God resting on him for a testimony to all mankind. THIS IS MY SON AND IN HIM AM I PLEASED TO DWELL!

If you feel blessed now, it is only going to get better. It is so unbelievably wonderful I find myself reading it over and over.

Jesus said the Glory that you gave to me I am giving to them. Oh what a wonderful glory that is. “The glory that you gave to me I give to them”. Now we have to slow a little. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, do you realize what Jesus Christ is saying here? Do you really understand the depths of his statement? We have been splashing in the shallows long enough, let us go out into the deep now.

The glory that God gave to Jesus Christ, he in turn is giving to us.

The Doxa that God gave to Jesus, he is giving to us.

The Splendor that God gave Jesus, Jesus is giving to us.

The Brilliance that God gave Jesus, he in turn is freely giving to us.

The Awesome Light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power, honour and praise that God gave Jesus is now given to us.

Did Jesus take all that Glory that we just talked about, ALL the glory of the complete fullness of all that is God and give it to his elect?  He said he did. He did not say that he gave us a piece of it, or a copy of it, but the very self same glory that Jesus Christ received when the Holy Spirit of God came down in fullness and indwelt him, he in turn has given to his earthly Bride.

Jesus said that he took the glory that God gave to him and gave it to them. Amen? Are you Bride? It is given to you!

So then we must have his splendor. We must have his Brilliance. We must have his awesome light that radiates from God’s presence associated with acts of power…honour…..and praise. We must have it because Jesus Christ said that he gave it to us.

Here is a point of contention that many have brought up through unbelief. I have had many a “scholar” and “theologian” tell me that it was just for the apostles, just for the first church age etcetera but with no scriptural backing. They did not receive the glory so they then have to explain the glory away or humbly repent and receive it. Pride will prevent them from receiving it. So let us look at that argument a moment.

Let us now look to find out who the “them” that Jesus talks about here are? Is he talking about the world in general? Is he referring to the Jews? Does Jesus mean the church? Is he speaking about the apostles only? Or maybe is he talking about the gentiles? Could it be the Catholics, or the Lutherans or the Pentecostals? Who exactly did Jesus give this glory to?

A little confusing isn’t it? If we look to the context of the prayer he was praying we can narrow it down a little.

John 17: 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me for they are thine….20 neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their words.

That helps a lot. Jesus said he would give the glory to those which shall believe on him, who are given to him of the father. So it is not for the Jews per se, and not for the gentiles per se, and certainly not for the world, for Jesus specifically said he is not praying for the world. It is for the believer. It is for those who God has chosen out of the world and given to Jesus Christ to believe on him. And not just for the apostle or the first church age because Jesus specifically said it is “for them also which shall believe on me through their words”. For the first age and for the ages to follow who believe on the words of those from the first age. It is for every single believer down through all time.

Jesus Christ has promised his glory, the same glory which he received, will be given to every believer, regardless of where or when they live. If we believe on Jesus Christ through the words written in the Bible then the promise of the glory of God is for us.

I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.

Now we can also see that it is not random but that we are called to it by God himself. He has called us unto his eternal glory. The glory is eternal. The glory is not just for a time, not just until the next revival, not until next Sunday, not until you make your next mistake, but the glory of God that Jesus Christ gives unto those that believe on him is forever and ever, time without end, Amen.

If the glory will never fade, will never die and will last forever does that mean once we got it we can never loose it? We’ll see that a little later too. The Glory is eternal. The Holy Spirit, God is the only eternal. There is no eternal life outside of God and only God has eternal life. For us to have eternal life, God himself must be dwelling inside us. Without that indwelling we do not have eternal life.

This is another example of the Holy Scripture running true again. He has called us. We are called by God. We are called but remember many are called but few are chosen.

Now we see another topic showing up. Many are called but few are chosen. Is that what Jesus said, many are called but few are chosen? This pattern runs all through the Bible. There are two groups of believers. There is the Church, called and the Bride, both called and chosen.

Romans 8: 29 For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and who he called, them he also justified: and who he justified, them he also glorified.

The word “predestinated” will get a lot of people’s fur up. But that is the word that God uses. God knew before the first sub-atomic particle was created who would and would not receive his words. He knew how many hairs I would have and how many would be left this morning. And he wrote the names of his children in the Lamb’s book of life before the earth ever existed. Way back beyond eternity God had you in his mind. You are the expressed thought of God. Think about that for a moment. You are the desire of God’s own heart expressed for all to see. Let’s look a little closer now from a different angle.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thinks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are both called and chosen. Is there a difference between those who are called and those who are chosen? Are all who are called also chosen? Jesus said no. So then there are two distinct groups here in these scriptures. Two distinct groups, yet somehow the same group, for the scripture does not differentiate them here. How could that be?

II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us unto glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.10 Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make you calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

Make your calling AND election sure. We can be both called AND chosen. Two groups made from one! The called out church AND the called out and chosen bride. This relates back to the parable of the ten virgins. There were ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom. They all had their lamps lit, but the bridegroom tarried, and when he finally came, only half of them were ready and the rest were left behind.

Look very carefully here and note that they were all virgins. They were all called. They were all justified. Peter says that those who don’t get chosen, the foolish virgins, “have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins”. The foolish virgins were purged by the blood of Jesus Christ. They repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins according to Acts 2:38. The foolish virgins were made pure and white just like the wise virgins. But only the wise virgins, only the bride is elected. She is the “elect lady”. Why is this so?

What sets the bride apart from the church? Quite the mystery isn’t it? They are both bride material as we have just seen. They are both called by God for eternal life. They are both pure. Their sins are all washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, church and bride the same. Their names are ALL written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world. Think about it. Both had a testimony with their lamps lit. Both believed and testified the message of the hour. The foolish virgins are message believers.

What is the difference? What sets the Wise virgins apart from the Foolish virgins? The answer is OIL! Amen? OIL! Oil always types the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Things are coming together now. The wise virgins and the foolish virgins all testified of the message and all believed the message but the wise also lived the message and were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is not enough just to be justified. It is not enough even to be sanctified. We must be glorified if we are to be the bride of Christ. Only a glorified bride will be raptured.

Paul said in Thessalonians that we are “called to the obtaining of the glory”. The obtaining or receiving of the glory, the Bride is to be called to the obtaining of the Holy Spirit. All Christians are called to it. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does, it calls us to the obtaining of the glory of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is called to it but not every Christian is chosen and elected to it. The whole church is called to it but only the bride is chosen and elect to it. And they all tried to get it. Get this point. They ALL tried to get oil. The foolish virgins just started too late and looked to the wrong source. Isn’t that what the Bible says? Look carefully, they tried to get oil. Let’s look at the scripture.

Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise GIVE US OF YOUR OIL; for our lamps have gone out. 9 But the wise answered saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Do you see it? They all tried to get oil. They knew they needed it but they realized it too late, and they went to the wrong source. They were called for it. They were virgins like the others. But they were lazy. They were lukewarm about it. They did not practice Christianity, they practiced churchianity. They looked to men for salvation for once they realized they needed oil they went to men and not to God. They look to their pastors for their absolute not to God. They were still carnal. Paul preached about it how one said they were of Apollos and another of Paul and another of Cephas. We have the same thing going on today. One of this preacher, and one of that group. It is the spirit of denominationalism. It is not of God.

They were the church. They were justified every one of them. Every one of them was water baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in full emersion. Every one of them believed the message of the hour. Every one of them recognized the Elijah visitation of their day. Every one of them believed the message of the hour. They were even sanctified most of them. But none had gone further. They were still splashing in the shallows and never truly pushed out into the deep. They were satisfied to be good, decent church going citizens.

Ephesians 1:4 according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

They were most certainly called and they were justified but they were not chosen, not elect, not glorified. God through foreknowledge knew all of us. By this foreknowledge he elected a chosen bride that he knew would keep pushing, keep fighting, keep knocking, keep asking and seeking until the day that he calls them home. This is the group that he elected to be his bride and he elected them out of the called out ones, out of the church.

God called two million Israelites out of Egypt through his prophet Moses. Every one of those people was a believing Israelite. Every one of them followed a vindicated prophet. Every one of them saw signs, wonders and miracles in the desert for forty years. Every one of them was baptized in the Red Sea. Every one of them ate manna in the wilderness and drank from the Rock in the desert. The Bible says so. And of the two million adults that God called through his prophet Moses, he only elected two souls, Joshua and Caleb, to enter into the Promised Land.

What a mystery this is indeed. There is a biblical mystery of glory.

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is make manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The mystery of glory is Jesus Christ IN you. Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Glory of God, IN you. That is what happened at Pentecost. It is not just Jesus with you. It is not just memorizing scripture. The mystery of Glory is Jesus Christ dwelling inside you. Look what Jesus said of it in John.

St. John 17: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Jesus said “I in them”. The mystery of glory is Jesus Christ literally dwelling and living inside of you. This is the mystery that was hidden for all time. It was hidden from all ages. It was hidden from all generations. This mystery of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was hidden from everyone, even the prophets. And the Bible says that this ageless mystery is now finally is made manifest to his saints. How is this mystery made manifest? It was hidden from everyone. Even Moses didn’t know it. How does God interpret his word? God interprets his word by making it come to pass, is that right? So then he must have interpreted this mystery by making it come to pass too.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up; with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. 17 AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and you young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

This is so beautiful. Slow down here and read carefully so you don’t miss it. How did Jesus Christ give us His Glory, the Glory which he received of the father? The very same way He received it. God does not change so if we got the exact same glory that Jesus received, then we must have gotten it in the exact same way that Jesus received it. If we were baptized by the Holy Spirit we must have been baptized in the exact same way that Jesus was baptized by the Holy Spirit. So where in the Bible do we see people being anointed the same way that Jesus was anointed?

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

It was the exact same glory and it manifested itself in the exact same way. I hope you see it. It is undeniable in the scriptures. In order for us to receive the Holy Spirit we must receive it in the exact same way that Jesus Christ received it or it is not the same spirit.

The Bible says that there “appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it SAT UPON EACH OF THEM”. And we read that when Jesus received the glory that “God’s spirit descended like a dove and it abode on Him”. Was it the same manifestation? Was it the Same Glory? Or was it different? It had to be the same. AMEN! EXACTLY THE SAME! JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY TODAY AND FOREVER!

It has to be the same or it wasn’t God. And it has to be the same today or it isn’t God. Jesus was baptized in water and then the Holy Spirit, the Glory came to Him and stayed with him. We are baptized in water in His name and His Glory will then come to us and stay with us.

Do you think you can receive the Holy Spirit by being baptized in any other way than Acts 2:38? NO! It is not possible. God has provided a way, Jesus Christ is that way and Jesus said no man can come but by him and all others who try to come any other way are THIEVES AND ROBBERS. (John 10:1 look it up when you get home). We even find that in Acts chapter 19 a group of honest believing Christians could not receive the Holy Spirit because they were not baptized in Jesus name. And we then find that as soon as they were rebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ they received the Holy Spirit.

Now we noted that Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until after he received the glory of the Father. So too did the disciples not minister before they received the glory of Jesus either. In fact they were forbidden from preaching until they were glorified. Jesus said to them to go to Jerusalem and wait. What did he tell them to wait for? Did he say to wait until you get a degree, until some university offers you a PhD? Did he tell them to wait until they were a certain age? Did he tell them to wait until they get voted in by an assembly?

Jesus said to go and wait until you are “endued with POWER from on high”! Go and wait for the Glory of God! The Holy Spirit is the power of God! Not by might, nor by strength, but by my spirit said the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the Splendor of God! It is the Brilliance of God! It is the awesome light that radiates from God associated with acts of power, honour and praise! It is the Holy Spirit that does the works, the signs wonders and miracles in our ministries. It is the Holy Spirit that heals the sick, that raises the dead, that saves and delivers, and prophesies. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks in unknown tongues and interprets tongues.

II Peter 1: 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

The Holy Spirit is power. It is glory. Amen! It is given to us. He gave us “ALL THINGS”. How? Through knowledge of Him who called us to GLORY and virtue. Virtue, that comes up a little later too.

So now we know what the glory is. We know how Jesus got it and when he got it. We know how we are to receive it. We know how he was able to give it to us. We still have only answered half of the questions.

When is it given to us? Good question. That is a very important question. How do we qualify to receive it? That is probably even more important to ask.

We have touched on that a little. We said earlier that we must be both called and chosen, but what does that mean in practical sense. Often we find ourselves quoting a verse and not really understanding how it applies to the here and now. Do we have choices here or is God unfair? Of course we do but God knew what choices we would make before hand so that is how he was able to predestinate us. And then He reveals it to us but not to others.

Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

So God predestinates us, calls us, and reveals his word to us. He also says that this revelation is only given to the called. If we are not called then we will not know any of the secrets of the Kingdom of God. We might be religious, we might attend church every Sunday, we might even be a preacher, or a bishop or a pope even, but we will have no light to know the meaning of the scriptures. Sure we will be smart. We will even memorize the letter of the Word, but we will be in complete darkness. We will never understand the godhead, baptism, the Lord’s supper, or this topic that we are discussing here.

So how do we go about becoming qualified? Peter tells us in two separate places.

Acts 2:38 Repent every one of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is unto you and to your children and to all who are afar off even as many as the Lord God shall call.

We mentioned this scripture earlier but is that it? Seems too simple doesn’t it? All we have to do is to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and we are qualified to receive the Holy Spirit? Is that all you have to do? YES! Baptism is straight forward. You get someone to completely immerse you in water and bring you back up again in the name of Jesus Christ and you are baptized according to the Word of God. Simple yes, but who is doing that today? Today if they even will immerse you, it is difficult to find a church that will baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ. They all use titles today but that is not according to the Bible and God will not accept it or count it as a baptism.

But what about repent? That is where we tend to fall down. Repent is not a one time thing. It is ongoing. It is making right what was wrong. How do we make right what is wrong in our lives? How do we sanctify ourselves? God cannot dwell in an unclean vessel. So how do we get clean? We are cleaned by the Word of God. The Bible calls it washing with the pure water of the word. Repent, fix what you broke, get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and then get sanctified for your glorification. If you stole something, pay it back. If you lied, go tell the truth.

2 Peter 1: 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, 6 and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

What is charity? It is not giving to the poor for Paul writes though I give all I have to the poor and have not charity it profits me nothing. The original Greek word is Agapos which means the love of God. It is not human compassion that the Greeks called Phileo. This love is Holy and pure, this love is God. This love is the Holy Spirit.

It is the Glory, the Splendor, brilliance, awesome light radiating from the presence of God associated with acts of power, honour and praise. Peter said “IF ye do these things you will never fall and you will make your calling AND election sure”.

There are three that bear record on earth, water, blood and spirit. Ezekiel says I will give you a new heart, justification, and a new spirit, sanctification, and MY Spirit, Glorification. But not for all, because some are content with sanctification and some are happy with justification. But there are some that feel that extra tug in their hearts, that sense of urgency, a desperate longing to be in the presence of God. They seek out the oil now, they seek it out daily. They aren’t happy just being church, they want, they need, long to be the bride of Jesus Christ. They do not rest until they have been sealed with that Spirit of promise. And once they are sealed, they still cry out for more of God.

But what of those who don’t? What happens to the church? Where are they in and after the rapture? In the rapture, Jesus says, two will be together, one will be left and the other taken. The rapture will come and go and they will not be included. Then the tribulation strikes the earth. How about receiving glory then? Is it too late for oil, to late for glory after the rapture?

1 Thessalonians 4: 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

There are a couple of points we should note from this scripture. Here we see Paul telling us the series of events that make up what we collectively call the “rapture”. First the dead in Christ are risen. Then we which are still alive are caught up with them in the air. Then we all meet Jesus Christ in the air and remain with him forever. The point we need to see here is that if Jesus is meeting us in the air, he is no longer on the mercy seat making intercession for sins. Once Christ rises off of the mercy seat to claim his bride there will be no more mercy for any gentile anywhere on earth. If we look to Romans chapter eleven we can see that this is confirmed. Paul writes that the eyes of Israel are closed until the fulfillment of the gentiles. Once the rapture takes place, there is no more mercy for any gentile, no more salvation available. God then turns to Israel with two prophets, Moses and Elijah who will turn the hearts of 144,000 Israelites to Christ with a message that is vindicated with signs wonders and miracles. And in the book of Revelation we can read this:

Rev 22:10 And he said unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Once Jesus gets off that mercy seat, as you are is how you stay. If you are justified you won’t be able to move forward to sanctification, if you are sanctified you won’t be able to move forward to glory. And if you are lost, there is no salvation to be found at all. The church is saved but she is saved Before the rapture. She goes through the tribulation and comes up in the white throne judgment, but her salvation came before the rapture. Don’t take my word for much, but you can believe me on this, “YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION!”

Now we have to examine the idea of the Church versus the Bride a little deeper. Let’s look to Abraham for an example back in the book of Genesis. Three “men” came to Abraham one day and Abraham, speaking only to the central character, called him Lord, and the other two went off to Sodom. Notice that the messenger with the message of promise, the Lord, came to Abraham but not to Lot. Lot got the message of impending judgment.

Abraham, the Bride, got a single messenger, while Lot, the church, got multiple messengers. Enoch, the bride, got the message of promise and was raptured, Noah, the church, got the message of judgment and went through the tribulation.

In each age God sent a Single messenger to the bride, and multiple to the church. One Luther and hundreds of others. One Wesley and hundreds of others. One Branham and hundreds of others. The message of the hour is not for the church. It is for the bride alone, for only the bride will receive it. The church can’t take it, she has to try to change it, to water it down or inject her own ideas into it. But the bride, she takes it as it is written, as it is spoken, and believes it and obeys it. She is justified, sanctified and glorified.

Which brings us to the question, can we lose it? Once we are sealed, once we are filled, once we receive the glory of Jesus Christ, can we loose it? This is an easy one to answer.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Can you loose it once you got it? NEVER! If you weren’t ready for it God would never have given it to you, and once he gives it to you He is making the testimony, this is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am pleased to dwell. God’s glory is eternal. God’s life is eternal. Once God puts his seal upon you, once God fills you with the Holy Spirit, once Jesus Christ gives you his glory which he received from the Father, you have it forever.

Here is the tough one. This one has baffled millions for years. This question stumps all the churches; the one question that seems almost without explanation to most people today. This is the question that is still argued about among the “message people”.

How do we know we got it? How do we know that we have the Glory? And taking it a step further, will we know? Will we know that we have the Glory and what will be the sign that we have it? Jesus said we would.

John 14: 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

So we will know. But how will we know? How do we know for sure if we got it?

Will we have some sensation? Will be speaking in unknown tongues? Will we shout, raise our hand, pass out, scream, run around? Will we believe the message? Maybe we will go hunting with the prophet? Some would almost say that. Is going to church or getting voted in as a deacon or a Sunday School teacher the sign? Is being baptized the sign or maybe taking the Lord’s supper?

What is the defining characteristic of the Holy Spirit in an individual? How did the disciples know they had it? What sign or evidence did Jesus tell them to look for? What were the disciples told to wait for when they were sent to Jerusalem? What ever they were told to wait for must be the sign or else how would they have known whether or not they had it. And since God doesn’t change, whatever was the sign to them in that day MUST be the sign now to us today.

Luke 24: 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

What were they told to wait for? What was the sign that Jesus said would be the evidence of the Holy Spirit? POWER! Wait until you get power from on high. The power was the sign, or evidence of the Holy Spirit. The power Peter spoke of:

II Peter 1: 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

POWER! GLORY! VIRTUE! Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Do you have power? Do you have Power over your flesh. Do you have Power to believe and obey the word of God. Do you have Power to testify about the name of Jesus Christ and all that he has done for you? Do you have power to overcome sin in your life?

It is not the gifts, they are without repentance. Jesus never told them to go and wait until they had spoken in tongues. He never told them to wait for education, or a sensation, or anything else but Power and Power from on High. The power is the Glory of Jesus Christ.

And how does it make us one? Oh my. That one is easy too. We will have One mind. We will all have One spirit. When we are filled with the glory of God, the Holy Spirit, then we will all have the mind and spirit of Jesus Christ. The bride is one with the groom, life of his life, spirit of his spirit. We will be the image of Jesus Christ, the stature of the perfect man. When we have the power we will say AMEN to every word in the Bible. We will believe it, we will obey it. We will think the way God thinks.

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ.

If you have the mind of Christ, and I have the mind of Christ, then we both have the same mind, the same thoughts and the same ideas. And if you have the Spirit of God in you, and I have the Spirit of God in me, then we are the same, filled with the same life. We will have the same spirit and the same mind. We will be one. We will be members one of another, members of the body of Jesus Christ. Maybe you are an eyeball and I am a little toe but we belong to the same body. We will have different jobs, and different gifts, but all our gifts will work together to make the body whole.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

There it is in a nutshell. We are the habitation of God through the spirit. When Jesus gives us the glory that God gave him, we become citizens of the Kingdom of God, we become lively stones fitly framed together with the other saints, and we become the habitation of God himself through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

That is what we need. It is not enough to come to church. That is a good thing but it will never save you. It is not enough to be a member of a church. It is not enough to be justified. It is not enough to be sanctified. We must get glorified. We, every one of us, needs to come to the position where we receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. The only people who will be raptured off of the earth before the great tribulation where Peter tells us the very elements will melt with a fervent heat, are those who have received the glory of God, the glory of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of promise.

The justified are saved, for that is what salvation is. We are saved from sin. Justification through repentance and full emersion water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ grants us remission, or salvation, from sin. The Sanctified are saved, for we must become justified before we can become sanctified. But only the glorified are the Bride of Jesus Christ. Only the Glorified are stolen away in the twinkling of an eye. Only the Glorified dwell with Jesus one thousand years in the new Jerusalem. Only the Glorified sit with him in Judgment.

We are all on a journey. There are two paths, one is narrow and very few people will choose it. That is the path to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. It starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your saviour and getting justified. That path requires rejecting all, rejecting the world, rejecting religion, rejecting men’s ideas, rejecting unbiblical church dogmas, and following the Bible alone. The Bible must be our absolute or we are not on the narrow path. And if we leave that path, we must go back to where we left off and start over.

It is a lonely path. It is a rocky uphill constant battle. It is a call to arms, a call to war against spirits, and powers, and principalities and powers of the air. It requires the whole armour of God. But It is also the path to glory for it is a path of glory. God lights the way with the brilliance of His glory that he promised to fill you with. And he gave us a simple prescription for receiving it which we discussed earlier. It is the only way. There is a way which seems right unto man the end thereof is death. That way is the broad easy way.

It is a wide easygoing path. It is a path of popularity, a path of worldly opportunity, a path of luxury. It is the path that most “Christians” will take. Just look to Bible examples. How many did Noah have with him? Eight souls out of the billions that were alive on earth at the time. How many got raptured before the flood? Only one man, Enoch. How many of the Israelites believed Moses and actually entered the Promised Land? Only two out of two million; Joshua and Caleb. How big was Daniel’s church? He had three men Shadrah, Meshack and Abed-nego. How many followed Jesus? In the end there were only twelve and one of them was a devil.

They do not want the narrow way. They do not want to sacrifice. They do not want to be laughed at and called “holy rollers” or “Jesus Freaks” or any other of the countless names the devil will throw at you. They do not want to crucify the flesh daily. They are too proud to admit they are wrong. They cannot repent, just like Cain of old. They do not want to be put out of their churches for testifying that Jesus Christ is still the healer, or for speaking in tongues, or for simply believing every word that is written in the Bible. They want the path of ease. They want to be popular. They want to be respected and accepted by the world and by organizations of men. They want to be lifted up by men. They want the pleasures of the world but to be called holy. They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. They call themselves Christians, they go to church, they sing and worship and pray, but inside they are a gross darkness. Cain was the same way. The end of that path is death.

But I trust that is not so of any of you who are reading this or I don’t think you would have gotten anywhere near this far without tossing the paper in the fire. You are called to glory! You are called to be the Bride of Jesus Christ. You are called to be a fellow citizen in the Kingdom of God. You are called to be the habitation of God!

Come to God’s glory today. Do not wait for tomorrow for there may not be a tomorrow. My dear brother, my sister, I am pleading with you to listen to the Word of God. Jesus Christ is pleading with you to receive him. Do not believe me for I am a man such as yourself, but take every word I have written here for you by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and take the Word of God and search it out and pray over it and see if it isn’t the absolute truth. Wait upon God for revelation. Do not go to another man, do not go to a pastor or priest, go to the high priest that can be touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Go to Jesus Christ and wait upon him to reveal to you the truth in his Word.

Follow ever after Jesus Christ. Believe and obey only the Word of God. The Bible is the word of God in print. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness of sins, sanctification from the filth of the flesh and of the world, and receive the glory of God from Jesus Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is the new birth. Be born again of water and of blood and of spirit. And as Jesus said, except you be born again you shall never see the kingdom of God. Come and see the Kingdom of God with the fellowship of the saints. Come and walk on the streets of pure gold in the city where the Lamb is the light.

So let’s look back over the questions one last time so we get it right. I have not included every possible scripture here, but rather just enough to get the point across. There are many more. I strongly urge you to study what is here and compare it with your Bible and look for more scriptures on the topic.

I’m going to ask you for the answers now. You all know them, and I think many readers probably knew most if not all of them before today.

  1. What is Glory? Is it tangible or figurative?
  2. How did God give glory to Jesus?
  3. When was this glory given?
  4. How did He, in turn, give it to us?
  5. When did He give it to us?
  6. Who, exactly, does He give it to?
  7. How do we qualify to get it?
  8. How do we know we have it?
  9. Can we loose it once we have it?
  10. How does this glory make us one with each other?

The glory of God is for you.

Salvation is for you.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for you.

Do not stop short but earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Seek, knock and ask for Jesus promised to give unto you the Spirit. I would like to finish with a brief excerpt from a book written by a precious brother who God anointed with his Holy Spirit to bring a message of salvation and hope to the Bride of Christ in these last days. His name was William Branham. I strongly recommend that you find a copy of the book (there are many, many available in print and online) and read the whole thing.

285-1 SARDISEAN.CHURCH.AGE  –  CHURCH.AGE.BOOK.CPT.7

Thus the grain of wheat that became a plant for the harvest is the record of the church. And even as not all the wheat plant is wheat seed, and as not all the plant is used in the harvest, so with the church:–all the church is not the bride, and neither is it all given eternal life, but a PART of it is gathered into the garner, and a PART of it is kept that it might enter into eternal life in the second resurrection, and PART of it which is accounted chaff is burned in the lake of fire.

Be that part that is gathered into the garner. Get your oil, get your promised glory today!

May God richly bless you with his spiritual revelation.

God Working in Us

The message for today is one of encouragement. It is the message of the Lord God Jehovah working in us.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

May the Lord God add his blessing to the reading of his word.

God at WorkIt is a short scripture but there is so much in it. It is God working in you, in me. We are not Christians of our own accord, it is by the grace of God. We could not do this on our own. We did not come here on our own. We cannot understand this word of God on our own. But it is God Himself working in us.

Who here has been delivered? Did you do that or did God deliver you? Who has been healed? Did you do it or did God heal you?

Everything we have is of God. He is the giver of all good gifts. God himself is working in us for two purposes: to will or desire His good pleasure, and to do His good pleasure.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.

Your very desire for God is not of yourself but is given to you from God. We are fleshly creatures the same as the world. We lived in sin the same as the world. We were conceived in iniquity, born in sin and come into the world speaking lies. Every one of us the same as the world.

Yet there is something different about us. When we heard the word of God we accepted and believed it. When we heard the voice of the Shepard we came and followed him. Why? What makes us different? Are we holier than they are? No. Are we more righteous than they are? No. Are we smarter than they are? No. The difference is that God is working in us. God is working in us!

John 6: 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Have you come to the Son? We have all come to Jesus if we are Christians? We have come because God drew us. We can only come to Jesus if God draws us. We can only come to Jesus if God is working in us. Jesus Christ is the word of God. Amen? The message is the Revealed Word of God. Amen? So we can only come to the word, to believe the message of the hour if God is working on us. And to believe the message is not simply to parrot the prophet. To believe the message is to have the message, the word of God, the Bible, revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. That is God working in you.

But that does not mean that we can be slack and idle. We have a job too.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Prove the perfect will of God. Be not conformed to this world. Who runs the world? The devil. So be not conformed to the devil’s world, but be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Be transformed into the Word of God. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Did you ever ask yourself what this means or what it entails? What are we sacrificing? We are sacrificing our flesh. We are crucifying our fleshly desires, our ungodly lusts, for Christ. To present ourselves as a holy sacrifice unto the Lord we must be holy, and we can only be holy if the Holy Spirit dwells in us. That, once again is God working in us. It is His holiness that makes us holy.

We also have to offer up the sacrifice of praise. Jesus said if we will deny him then he will deny us, but if we will confess him, then he will confess us. Did you ever wonder why it is so hard to open your mouth and praise God sometimes? The hardest thing for people to do is to praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, even in church. The devil, and our flesh are working against us. But God is working in us, and if we choose to think God’s thoughts, then we will overcome our flesh and the devil and be able to raise our voices and praise and worship God.

God is working in us but He requires an effort from us to. Remember the wise and the foolish virgins. God was working in both of them, they were all saved but the foolish virgins worked against God, they fought against the working of God in them. Remember we are at war and the battle is in our minds. We can hinder the working of God in us. We have to be transformed into the image of Christ by the renewing of our minds. It is in our minds, our decisions, that we accept and prove the perfect will of God.

And it involves a change in us. What we were is no good. We must be transformed, changed. We must get rid of the old things. That is the circumcision of the heart. Old ideas, old ways, old feelings, old thoughts, old manners, old lives must all perish with the old man.

Colossians 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of you mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

Put of the old man with his deeds. Our old man, the person we were, must be put off with all of our old deeds. When we are baptized we are burying that old man, with all of its sins and all of its vices in water that we may be born again renewed in Christ Jesus. And we have to put on the new man after the image of Christ. Are we the image of Christ? When the world looks at us do they see Jesus Christ, or do they see the old man? Has the world seen a change in us? Are we allowing God to work in us or are we hindering Him?

Moses fought against the Lord. Caught you off guard with that. He was not intentionally fighting God, but by His Egyptian education, by the learning he received in the flesh, he was acting contrary to what God wanted. God was working in him, but his mind was not in tune with God’s word. So he tried to do what he thought was the will of God but in fact he was working contrary to it. It took another 40 years for Moses to get in to the right condition where God could work in him unhindered.

There was a young man in Israel. He was very zealous for the Lord, a Pharisee and a devout Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He studied under the best teacher that Israel had to offer. He knew the scriptures, the law and the prophets, better than any man in Israel. His whole life was dedicated to the living God of Israel to the point where there was nothing he would not do for God. But even though this man was a predestinated seed of God, he was hindering the working of God in him, that is until God got hold of him.

Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.

Paul was a predestinated seed, a chosen vessel of the Lord, an apostle, a prophet and the messenger to the first church age and yet he was hindering the working of God in him. How much more do we? Our thoughts, our ideas, our works, our lives will either hinder God’s working in us or it will complement it. What are our live like? Are we hindering the working of God in us? Attitude says it all. Let’s look at two people who were given the same message. They were both children of God. One hindered the working of God and the other complemented it.

Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years? 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. 20 And behold, you shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Zacharias was a man of God, and a preacher too. He was not an unbeliever. But because he could not understand Gabriel’s words, he foolishly rejected them. And because he rejected them the angel gave him a little time of trouble. The angel had to make a little adjustment in Zacharias so that he could come to terms with the message and yield to the working of God in him.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

So it is truly our choice. It is your choice right now. Make the right choice. Our attitude will determine how God works in us. We can either accept the Word and yield to the spirit, or we can hinder the working of the Lord by doubting what the word says to us.

Some through the fire and some through the flood, some through the water but all through the blood, some in great sorrow, but God gives a song, in the night season and all the day long. If we are called for eternal life God will have His way with us. If we hinder his working he will still accomplish that which he determines to accomplish, we will just have to suffer a little. He is not punishing us, he is chastising us. Zacharias was not punished, he was chastised. He was given a little spank by God so he would line himself up with God’s will.

It may seem a little rough or scary to think about being chastised of God but the Bible gives us direction.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7 If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, wherefore all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.

The devil will tell you the opposite. The devil will tell you that God has written you off, that you are being punished and God has left you. That is a lie! That is God dealing with you. That is God working in you. If we do not yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in us willingly of our own accord then God will give us a little spank to wake us up so that we will yield to him. Was Moses being punished when he got sent off into the desert to be a Sheppard for 40 years? No. That was God dealing with him. Was Zacharias being punished with his stroke or whatever it was? No. That was God dealing with him. Was Paul being punished when he was blinded on the road to Damascus? NO. That was God working through and in him. Some through the fire and some through the flood.

But it will come down to our attitude, to how we see ourselves and how we see God.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he said, God resists the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Is it coming together? Am I making sense to everyone? God is working in each and every one reading this blog right now. He is doing it by his word and by the incidents in our lives. He is working to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ. He is molding us like clay. He is the potter. And if the clay will not come into shape, then sometimes the potter has to bust it up and start over. But the potter doesn’t throw away the clay, he starts over from scratch with the same clay. Sometimes we get so out of God’s will that he has to bust us up and start from the bottom up. That is what he did to Moses.

Romans 6: 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Yield yourself to God. You are called for it. One way or another God will accomplish in you the things that He has determined for you. You cannot avoid it. Your name was written in the lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world and God did not do that by mistake. You fate was determined before the universe was created. What was not determined is how you will get there. You will get there, that is for sure, but you can come the easy way or the hard way, but you will surely come.

Zacharias could have taken the easy way but he did not and it cost him 9 months of not being able to talk. He was still saved. He was still the father of God’s greatest prophet. But he had to go through some fire on his journey.

What about us? What about you? Are we going to yield to God? Eventually we will. Why not take the easy way? God will mold you into the image of Jesus Christ. He has promised to do it and one way or another He will do it. It is really up to us as to which path we take. God only spanks us when we are bad. If we have a stubborn spirit God will break that thing. If we are proud God surely will humble us. If we are Laodicean and lukewarm God will surely set us on fire.

Sin. Sin is unbelief. Unbelief is the only sin. Lying, stealing etc. are attributes of sin. We do them because we do not believe in the first place. Unbelief is sin. Let not sin, unbelief, reign in you mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. The old man again. Yielding again. You have two spirits talking to you right now. Which are you going to yield too. The Bible tells us to yield to Christ and not to the lusts of our flesh because the lusts of the flesh work unrighteousness. If we yield ourselves to sin we will reap the wages of unrighteousness. If we yield ourselves to the lusts of the flesh or the things of the world we are hindering the working of God in us. God will warn us, and warn us, and speak to us, and preach to us, and finally he will chastise us. He has given us a way to walk and one way or another we will walk with him.

What is our walk? It is our service to the Lord and our service to the world.

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in knowledge of God;

Our service unto God is our lives. God is working in us, transforming us into the image of His son through his word, and working in us to both desire and to do His will in our lives. If we walk according to the spirit, then we will be pleasing to God, serving God and serving men in a godly fashion.

2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to bed the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in table of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

We are written epistles. We are the word of God in flesh today. We are supposed to be. The Bible says that we are supposed to be. Are we? Are people surprised when you tell them you are a Christian? Is it because your life does not match your testimony? Are we pleasing to the Lord?

We have the message of the hour. We have been sent a prophet of God, vindicated by signs, wonders and miracles, who brought out the hidden mysteries of the Bible, restored the lost doctrine from the Bible, and restored the faith of the children to that of the original Pentecostal fathers. We have, for the first time in history, the first time since time began, the whole Bible revealed. Every single word written in this book is now open to us. We have the greatest light that has ever shone on earth today. We have more light than Noah, more than Moses, more than Paul, for the mysteries were sealed up unto this hour.

We have the greatest truth the world has ever known. We have the pillar of fire, not just in a picture on our mantels, but right here amongst us working the same miracles that he has always worked. God is working in us, in our hearts, in our souls, changing us, teaching us, transforming us into his image. Our job is to live that life, to yield to the Holy Spirit and to resist the devil. Our job is to be the Bible to others, to show Jesus Christ in our lives. Our job is to crucify our old man with the desires thereof and to live a new life in Christ Jesus.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot mix God with the world.

Matthew 9:16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottle: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

They did not have glass bottles in those days, they had wine skins. And new wine is still fermenting. It is full of life and bubbling up with life. You put new wine in an old dried up wine skin and the pressure from the bubbles will burst that old skin.

We cannot take a patch of God’s righteousness and patch the holes in the filthy rags of our righteousness. We must do as Elisha and cast off our robes, cast off our self-righteousness and wrap ourselves in the robes of God’s righteousness. We must be justified and sanctified before we can ever be filled with the Holy Spirit and there is no way to put the Holy Spirit into an old dead carnal denominational religion.

You try putting the Holy Spirit into a dead formal denomination and it will bubble up with life and bust its way out. The upper room could not contain the 120 once the Holy Spirit indwelled them and neither will a denomination contain a Christian once God fills them today. The only difference today between a Pentecostal and a catholic is the street address. We must be born again of water and of spirit, and that new birth will set us free from all traditions and dogmas and creeds.

And if we cannot put the Holy Spirit into a religion, how much less can we put it into the world. You cannot patch up an unholy worldly heart with a Holy Spirit. It won’t stick. It is full of power and it will rend the worldly heart in two. You cannot put the Holy Spirit into an old dried up heart. It will bubble up and bust you wide open.

We need a new heart and a new spirit, then God will give us the Holy Spirit. We have to cleanse ourselves, or rather let the Lord God cleanse us, from the things of the world and the things of the flesh and the things of religion. We have to yield to the working of God in us. We have to stop resisting him. He will have his way in the end.

Look at Jonah the prophet. He steadfastly resisted the will of God. God told him to go one way and he went the other, and God sent him a spanking in the form of a storm and a big fish. If Jonah had not resisted the working of God in him then he would have foregone that whole nightmare. And look at Nineveh. When the word of the Lord came to them they accepted it immediately and suffered nothing. They were on the verge of being condemned and destroyed off the face of the earth but when the heard the message of the hour they immediately repented and received it and yielded themselves to it.

Sodom was sent a similar warning but they scoffed at the message. They refused to yield to the word of God and were destroyed of fire.

We hear the message of our hour. This generation is on the verge of destruction by fire. This generation will be like Sodom but worse for Jesus said if Sodom had seen the signs and wonders they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes and be standing today. This generation will not yield to the word of God, to the message of the hour and will most certainly be cleansed by fire.

But God is working in us. God is giving us his word. His spirit is molding us, sculpting us, transforming us into his image. All He requires of us is to yield to him and to resist the devil. All he requires of us is to choose. He is doing the work.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are His workmanship. It is God that is working in us. It is God that is changing us. It is God that forgave our sins. It is God that delivered us from bondage. It is God that healed our diseases. It is God that is transforming us and it is God that ordained us to walk in his word before the foundation of the World. And let us leave you with this last word. A word upon which you can meditate for the rest of you time on earth. A promise of God that will not pass away, will not fail and will not change.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Paul says to be confident. Be confident in his promise. Be confident in his workmanship. Has he begun a work in you? He won’t stop until he comes back for you. Be confident in that fact. Yield yourself to him, he is working in you right now. He will be working in you tomorrow. He will be working a good work in you till the rapture comes to take you home. Be confident. It isn’t us working. It is God working in us. We cannot fail for it is not us doing the work it is God himself. God is doing it and he never fails. Be confident in God.

Rejoice oh Christian and shout for God is working a good work in you. The most holy Lord God Jehovah, creator of heaven and earth, is perfecting you with his word. Yield to God and be quick to answer him. Receive of his word and of his spirit. Receive his word, believe his word and obey his word. Cry out to him day and night. Praise his name for it is God himself that is working in you. And He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. What victory we have in Jesus.

He will not fail.

The Path of Grace

We get so wrapped up in ourselves, measuring ourselves by ourselves, judging based on comparison to how good we think we are. That is human nature. That is the flesh. We become legalistic. When someone asks “what must I do to be saved” we don’t answer their question. We tell them to stop smoking, stop lying, stop stealing etc. We tell them what not to do. But that don’t save you. What saves you is the path of grace and Jesus said “straight is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it”.

Telling a drug addict to stop using will not save them, telling a drunk to stop drinking will not save them. Only Jesus Christ can save them.

The path of grace is the new birth. It, as the natural birth, comes by water, blood and spirit. The Bible says there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and there three are one and three that bear record on earth, water, blood and spirit and these three agree in one. One God, One Person, Jesus Christ. But the event of the new birth is actually three events.

Ezekiel says that God will give us a new heart, a heart of flesh to replace our heart of stone, then he will give us a new spirit, then he will give us His spirit.

When a baby is born, first the water breaks, then blood, then the life of the baby.

Israel led by Moses through the desert was baptized in the Red Sea, under the blood of the lamb at pass-over, led through the desert by the pillar of fire.

The earth was baptized in the flood, sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, and will be baptized with fire in our age where as Peter says “the very elements will melt with a fervent heat”.

So it is with us, we must be first justified, then sanctified, then filled with the Holy Spirit. That is how God does it. The Bible tells us in Acts chapter two that everyone must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and if we do, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit. So first we must be justified, and that happens when we are baptized. After we are baptized God cleans us up with the Word. We hear the word and it washes us. “Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God”. Once we are all cleaned up, then God fills us. God is Holy and thus cannot dwell in an unclean vessel. Jesus went so far to say that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit so while there is anything of the world in us, we cannot receive the Holy Spirit. We must get sanctified first.

Liken it to a man needing a drink of water. he goes and finds a glass he wants to use. It is dirty, covered in cob webs, maybe has a cigarette butt in it and some bugs. When he chooses and picks that glass he has justified it. He has put his seal on it that it is his and he is going to use it. It just isn’t fit for use yet. That is our baptism. Jesus Christ justifies us and chooses us and calls us even though we are no where ready for use. Our heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh. That man takes that glass to the sink and gets some soap and water and starts to scrub. Scrubbing and washing, working on the glass, some glasses clean up quick, some take a little extra elbow grease. Slowly things in our lives get washed out. The very desire for these things that led us astray goes away. We become sanctified. We have a new spirit.

And once we are completely cleaned out. All the bugs and junk from the world is removed. All the stains of sin are washed away we are clean, we are sanctified, we are ready for use. But you cannot drink from an empty glass. So as a man would fill that glass with cold, clean, pure water to satisfy his thirst, God fills us with living water, with the Holy Spirit to quench the thirst of the world.

So stop telling people what they need to not do, and tell them what they need to do. And what they need to do is to accept Jesus Christ as their lord, as their saviour, as their healer, as their deliverer, as their god. Don’t try to lead them away from sin, just lead them to Christ and let Him do His work on them. It is God that saves so let God do his job. Your job is to be a light.

May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you.