III.D.4 The Prophets of Strong Drink

Part  III  –  Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart D  –  Positive Confession

Article 4  –  The Prophets of Strong Drink

By Daniel Irving

(Note:  This article may be viewed in video format by clicking on the link below)

a. Micah’s Prophecy

b.  Casting Aside of the Pentecostal Teaching for Strong Drink

c.  What is Strong Drink?

d.  Drunkenness & Nakedness

e.  Prophets of Strong Drink:  Walking in the Spirit & Falsehood

Drunken 14a.   Micah’s Prophecy

The prophecies of Micah include an allusion to prophets who shall lead men into a drunken condition, and rejection of sanctification:

Arise he, and depart; for this is not your rest;  because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.   If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink;  he shall even be the prophet of this people.          Micah 2:10-11 Whiskey Pour 03

This prophecy of Micah, speaks of a drunkenness, which shall occur among those people who should have found rest in the sanctification of Christ.  The Hebrew word translated “rest”[1] in Micah’s prophecy, commonly appears in OT Scripture where the context points to the “rest of God” that is promised to His elect.  This promise, so central to the Gospel, (according to Micah’s prophecy) is somehow removed from the reach of those who are told they must “depart, for this is not their rest.” They have violated a trust.  They have “polluted” their ministries with lies, and with false teaching.

The Hebrew word translated “polluted” is the most common word translated “defiled” in the KJV.  It is commonly translated as “unclean”, and is one of several words that are occasionally translated “polluted” in the KJV.Dirty Water 01

The Hebrew word translated “prophesy”[2] is normally translated “drop” in the context of the dripping of a liquid.  However, we find that a more in-depth study of the word extends its meaning to the prophetic word.[3]  The prophets are said to “drop” their word upon the land.

The Hebrew word translated “prophet” is not the common word for “prophet” in the KJV.  The word literally means to “drip” and is a common metaphor for the “dripping” of a liquid.  Wine DropTherefore it is sometimes used to signify the effect of God’s word.  As a prophet is said to “drop” the words of God on a land, he might be considered to be a “dripper” of God’s word (which is how this phrase literally reads, ie. “he shall be the dripper (ie. of prophecy) for this people.”

b.    The Casting Aside of the Pentecostal Teaching for Strong Drink

That men are to make demand upon God for the things of heaven, rather than to make request of God through prayer and supplication was substantially introduced through the testimony and ministry of Rodney Howard-Brown.RHB 03

Within Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema organization during the 1990’s, there arose a truly phenomenal ministry of signs and wonders.  The ministry Rodney Howard-Browne was unlike any other in recorded history.  Characterized by overt supernatural phenomenon, the Howard-Browne ministry added the sign of uncontrolled laughter to those traditionally charismatic signs of shaking and falling under the power.  As well, Rodney Howard-Browne’s account of how he received this anointing must be considered one of the most peculiar testimonies of all time.  The event occurred in 1979 in his native South Africa just after he turned eighteen years of age.  The young Rodney was crying out to God to manifest Himself.  He writes that upon God telling him he must first hunger and thirst, his response to God was that God should “just give it to him” as he “deserved it.”

The manner in which Howard-Browne received his anointing seems to have carried into his teaching, which encouraged men to “place a demand upon the anointing.”[4]  Certainly, to a certain extent he was primed for a theology of demanding power from God given his Positive Confession/Word of Faith roots in Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema organization.  Howard-Browne’s added contribution to Positive Confession theology, was to remove it from a Pentecostal framework entirely, so as to constitute a rejection of the classical Pentecostal teaching, that we are to Ask, and Tarry, and Petition God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Howard-Browne asserted (sometimes through third parties who spoke in advance of his own ministering of the “Holy Laughter” anointing to an audience) that just as anyone baptized in the Holy Spirit can speak in tongues at will by “beginning in the flesh” to speak (an incorrect notion of Pentecost,) so men may invoke the anointing of the Holy Spirit by “beginning in the flesh” to laugh, and the Holy Spirit would then pick up the initial effort and engage with the man.  In this way, Mr. Howard-Browne would invite his audiences to join in his own laughter, until a spirit moved upon the audience to empower their initial efforts “in the flesh” with supernatural, uncontrolled, uproarious laughter.

Aside from the fact that Mr. Howard-Browne’s doctrine was an incorrect statement of the classical Pentecostal doctrine of tongues,[5] his assertion that his audiences could “do the same with the laughter,” ie. “begin in the flesh,” and allow the Holy Spirit to “meet them,” quite dispensed with Pentecostal teaching altogether, as audiences were invited to participate in his spirit en mass, without any concern about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, there seems to have been little concern as to whether those in his audiences even accepted the Gospel orthodoxy concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ before joining in the “drinking.”

  1. What is “Strong Drink?”

Reference to strong drink first occurs in the Mosaic law’s prohibitions on drinking alcohol under circumstances that would conflict with one’s spiritual-duties, beginning with the admonition to Aaron, the high priest of Israel:High Priest

Lev 10:9  Do not drink wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go     into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die:

We are also told that in the wilderness, the children of Israel drank no alcohol, and this fact is related to their coming into the knowledge of God.  We read:

Deu 29:6  Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink     that you might know that I am the LORD your God.

That is not to say that alcohol was forbidden by the law.  It was not.  Otherwise, it would not have been used by the Hebrews throughout their history.  In fact, there is even a Mosaic offering which required the use of “strong drink” as a libation.

& the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of a hin for the one lamb:  in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine[6] to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.         Num 28:7

Curiously, the most notable reference to “strong drink” in the law was in the context of the annual return of the “tithe” to the Lord:Wheat 05

  Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field brings forth year by year.   & thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God,  in the place which He shall choose to place his name there,  the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, & of thine oil, & the firstlings of thy herds & of thy  flocks;  that you may learn to fear the LORD thy God always.                               Deut. 14:22-23

The stated-reason for the return of the tithe annually is curious, ie.; “that you may learn to fear the LORD thy God always”.  Therefore an association is stated between the return of the tithe (a principle akin to repentance)[7] and abiding in the “fear of the Lord” (a principle akin to our sanctification in Christ).[8]  This is an important principle and association to bear in mind.  Reading further:

And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it;  or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set His name there, when the LORD thy God has blessed thee:                 Deut. 14:24

Therefore what is presented in this instruction given by Moses is, essentially, an alternative to repentance, ie. if you cannot “return the tenth” (ie. a symbol for true-repentance as the work of the Holy Spirit) then there is only one option for the ineffectuality of Grace:

Then shalt thou turn it into money, & bind up the money in thine hand, & shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: Cash 01 & thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drinkor for whatsoever thy soul desires: & thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, & thou shalt rejoice, thou, & thine household,     Deu 14:25-26

Strong drink therefore stands as a substitute for something.  What God required of the man, the man was not able to bring.  What did God require?  That for which He imparted to us His Spirit.  God wanted repentance, and its good fruit.  For with repentance, God may deliver the soul from its bondages to this world; to Sin, to material things, to improper desire and selfish ambition.  This is the principle of the Tithe which is God’s return on investment from the Person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.  But what if the man is unable to keep this appointment so as to come into the knowledge of God?  He is given strong drink, if that is what he desires.Wine

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.                                                   Pro 31:6 

Let them forget their true end by means of a deceived heart.  Let them commence upon a vicious cycle of self-deception wherein sin begets darkness, and darkness begets more sin.  This is a truly insidious condition, and therefore we are urged to . . .

. . .  exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today”;  lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.                                          Heb 3:13

“Sin” is an intoxicating-agent:

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: & whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.                                                                Prov. 20:1

Therefore we learn (from the Proverbs) two-things about “strong drink”:

  1. Strong drink is for the “perishing”.
  2. Strong drink is a “mocker”.

Why do they “perish”?  Because “they receive not the love of the truth”.

  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish  because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  II Thess. 2:10

Why do they “receive not the love of the truth”?  Because they regard the truth to be foolishness.Cross 13

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.                                   I Cor. 1:18

And why must they perish after rejecting the truth?  Absent a remedy for sin, they are left “in their own corruption.”

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken & destroyed,  speak evil of the things that they understand not; & shall utterly perish in their own corruption                                                                                    II Peter 2:12

What characterizes their perishing?  Despising, at a time they should be repenting.

Therefore Paul warned the Jews at Pisidion-Antioch that by rejecting the witness of the Holy Ghost, they brought upon themselves the prophetic-judgment of perdition:

  Behold, you despisers, & wonder, & perish; for I work a work in your days,  a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.     Acts 13:41

What was the sign of their perishing in their own corruption?  Sinning with their mouth against the Spirit’s work.  And, as it turned out, the Jews did in fact, reject the preaching of the cross:

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy,  & spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting & blaspheming.                                                                                      Acts 13:45

The speaking against Christ is a sign:Temple Presentation

And Simeon blessed them, & said unto Mary his mother,  “Behold, this child is set for the fall & rising again of many in Israel; & for a sign which shall be spoken against;                               Luke 2:34

The mocking of the sacrifice of the Son of God is the sign of perdition; the evidence one is perishing in his own corruption.  Therefore, we have the prophecy:

They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.                                                                                      Ps. 69:12

To “speak against” the Person or purposes of Christ (particularly at a time when men are entering-in at the gate) is “the song of the drunkards.”

So then, what is spiritual-drunkenness?  To reject, or to lack due-regard for truth at the time and place God’s Spirit is calling men to salvation and to repentance.  As for these, God gives them over to delusion, and an intensification of sin’s bondage.  Therefore, they are directed into their own lusts:

& thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drinkor for whatsoever thy soul desires . . .  Deut. 14:26t

Strong drink therefore intensifies men’s bondage to the things of this world.  Drunken 01It causes men to descend into further depths of sin intensified by lack of repentance.  The effect of failing to perceive one’s day of salvation is, itself, spiritually-intoxicating.

So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert & sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night & those who drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be soberhaving put on the breastplate of faith & love, & as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.                                            I Thess. 5:6-9

To be spiritually sober is to be cognizable of our need for the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and to be attending upon His word and His Spirit.

Certainly this may only be applied in a spiritual sense.  This same prophet, Isaiah, applies the analogy of drunkenness in chapter 56, to being spiritually-unprepared.  Likewise, the Lord conveyed to us the same:

“and take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, & so that day come upon you unawares.”                                                  Luke 21:34

That the Lord uses the concept of drunkenness metaphorically seems apparent from statements made by the apostles.  First Thessalonians Chapter Five regards the sudden destruction that shall come near the final days:

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.   For they that sleep, sleep in the night; & they that are drunken, are drunken in the night.                                                                                     I Thess. 5:7

These statements are obviously of the same figurative language used by Christ when describing the spiritually unaware.  “Sleep” alludes to a condition of being unaware of what is happening around us.  The carnal man is asleep regarding spiritual matters.  “Drunkenness” alludes to the frivolity and recklessness of sinners concerning spiritual things.[9]  Thus Peter writes:

“Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit,……    fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.   As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts, which were yours in ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior;  because it is written; ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’”.               I Peter 1:13-16

The association is clear between spiritual insobriety, and between such things as lust, disobedience, and unholiness.

d.   Drunkenness & Nakedness

The prophets make numerous references to strong drink.  Is it alcohol to which they are referring?  Or is it rather a spiritual meaning which is intended?  The first mention of alcohol in Scripture does not occur in an especially positive context.  We read that after planting a vineyard, Noah made the mistake of drinking to excess:Mocking Noah

And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.                                                                                      Gen. 9:21

Thus, in the first instance of drinking wine in scripture, an association is established between drunkenness and nakedness.  We might next inquire whether this association is repeated.  We find that the prophets do support this association:

Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz;  the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.                                        Lam 4:21

  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!                                                                                Hab 2:15Drunken 06

What is the reason for this association between drunkenness and nakedness?  We might begin by appreciating the fact that both principles are spiritual, and the Gospel alludes to a spiritual drunkenness and a spiritual nakedness.  According to the prophets, these two principles bear close association.  Isaiah prophesies:

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine enflame them.   And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine are in their feasts;  but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operations of his hands.        Is. 5:11-12 

“Rising up early” is something of a theme in prophecy given its repetitious-use (particularly) in the prophecies of Jeremiah, wherein the Lord refers to His “rising early” for the cause of converting the recalcitrant-heart.[10]  Snively Sunset 06This signifies the new day as a peculiar time for the God to speak to the heart.  And He does so through the means of His grace and goodness; as Paul writes concerning the unrepentant to whom God speaks:

  Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness & forbearance & longsuffering;   not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?        Rom 2:4

Therefore, what is it that rises up early to speak to men?  The goodness and grace of God.  And after judgment is poured out, the prophet nevertheless expresses hope in God’s mercy:

Remembering mine affliction & my misery, the wormwood and the gall.   My soul has them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.   This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.   It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.   The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.   The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.                                                                                       Lam 3:19-25

Therefore, what does the morning signify in the gospel?  The time to awaken.  Not a time for drinking.  In fact, we read:

Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness.                       Eccl. 10:17

The morning is a time for awakening unto righteousness and behold the God who manifests Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God:   I speak this to your shame.                                            I Cor. 15:34

But while some use the morning advent of the witness of Christ to “awake unto righteousness,” others will use the special season of God’s grace to transgress His mercy through drunkenness.  They sin away, their day of grace.  Then, comes the night:

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine enflame them.                              Is. 5:11

What is spiritual-drunkenness?  To receive spiritual things while lacking a due-regard for Christ’s truth.  The result, is clear from the prophets.  Spiritual drunkenness results in an intensification of sin’s bondage. 

e. Prophets of Strong Drink: Walking in the Spirit and Falsehood

Recall our text prophecy:

Arise he, and depart; for this is not your rest;   because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.   If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink;  he shall even be the prophet of this people.                              Micah 2:10-11

How is it that some of those who should have entered into God’s rest, are turned away?  If we believe the prophecy, it is through the pollution of the prophetic gifts and ministries; through false teaching, leading to idolatry.  The Bible tells us plainly that desire for the material constitutes idolatry:Golden Calf 01

  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;   fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence,  and covetousness, which is idolatry.               Col. 3:5

If we are commanded to “flee idolatry,”[11] then we are commanded to flee covetous desire, ie. the desire for attainment in this world; the desire for material things, and for worldly advancement.  The Lord tells us plainly that His kingdom allows no rival:

  No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other;  or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  You cannot serve God & mammon.                                         Luke 16:13

The Word of Faith, Prosperity, and Modern Prophetic movements have attempted just that through their teachings.  They have directed the eyes of the Church upon the things of this world, rather upon those of heaven.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,  where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.   Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.                                             Col. 3:1-2

False teachers, will direct the affections of men into the things of earth; into material things, and natural concerns.  By so doing, they prevent the Church from attaining that true blessing of God which God would have them look to, and place their hopes in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through Christ, we receive God’s life given to men:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us  wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:                  I Cor. 1:30

God would sanctify them through this hope. Therefore, it is not without reason Paul urges us to “seek those things which are above.”  God will give us that which is eternal, but only if that is where our desires are.  If our affections are in this world, we cannot be fed with the Divine life of God.  If  our hope is in the material and our confidence is in the flesh, then we will pursue a false god, a corruption of wisdom, and an idol.  Rather than receiving sanctification from heaven into the likeness of Christ, we receive just the opposite, the imprint of the god of this world.  In this way, the Church has been corrupted, and does not find its sanctification.

We find that many of the most brazenly false teachers are equipped with powerful manifestations in their meetings.  And indeed, power from heaven is what their listeners will need if they are to overcome the Satanic counsel they are given from the pulpit.  Much satanic counsel comes in the form of doctrines relating to Positive Confession teaching, and involve so-called “kingdom laws” of “sowing” in order to reap financial rewards.  kenyon ewThese teachings were originally advanced by the controversial theologian, E.W. Kenyon in the early 20th century.  Kenyon taught almost exclusively on the principle of Faith as an assertive principle which may be wielded by the believer to make change in the material.

One of the best-known devotees of Kenyon’s teachings, was the Pentecostal minister, Kenneth Hagin.  Hagin picked up Kenyon’s teachings near the time of the Latter Rain Revival in the late 1940’s, and promoted Positive Confession theology in Pentecostal churches throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Hagin particularly focused upon Faith as a means to reaping in the material.  Hagin founded a movement which became known as the Faith Message, aka the Prosperity Gospel.  His organization, the Word of Faith, became virtually synonymous with the Prosperity Message beginning in the 1970’s. Hagin WOF The modern day phenomenon of a spiritually empowered uproarious laughter appears to have originated within Hagin’s Word of Faith organization, and to have spread most effectively through one of his ministers, Rodney Howard-Brown.  Kenneth Hagin’s allusions to sending angels for money, may be credited with the modern heresy of commanding angels for the accumulation of wealth.

With its focus upon physical health and material prosperity, Hagin’s Word of Faith movement advanced within the Pentecostal Church, and became a treacherous source of stumbling within the community of the Spirit-baptized.  Hagin was extremely influential in bringing many Pentecostal ministers within his teaching, as his doctrine of material benefits through the anointed power of God clearly worked.  The Spirit-baptized discovered they could have salvation and the world with it.  One of the most well known, and most blatant champions of the Prosperity Message, was Kenneth Copeland.  And there is a long list of well known ministers attesting to Kenneth Hagin as their source of inspiration and their “spiritual father,” for having taught them the “Biblical” principles of sowing and reaping.  Hagin’s teachings are now a substantial feature of the modern prophetic movement, which consistently operates in realm of sham signs and wonders.

The draw of these false teachers is that power and a dynamic anointing appears to be a common aspect of their meetings.  Their listeners precariously straddle between two views; whether to serve Christ, or whether to serve the god Mammon.  Certainly, they cannot do both:

You cannot serve God and mammon.           Luke 16:13 

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?   whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.         James 4:4-6

This would appear the dynamic at work in the worldly Christ-professing church which straddles peculiarly atop the wall between light and darkness; between Truth, and the World.    Satan works to transform himself into an angel of light; that he may wrench truth of the hand of its possessor; that he may turn: a half-truth into a lie, a lie into a heresy; and a heresy into apostasy.  Therefore, there is an urgency to the Spirit’s call that we “come out” of Babylon before her judgment strikes.  And If their day of salvation is still available to them, then God will give more grace:Tequila Sunrise 02

 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace.   Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.       James 4:5-6                        

What shall we say then of those ministers who teach that the sign of God’s blessing is the accumulation of material wealth? They flaunt the payment they receive for their service of the god Mammon; their reward as prophets of Mammon.  We are warned of those “who run greedily after the error of Balaam,”[12]   But we are told that upon such as these, God shall deliver them up to strong delusion:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;  because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.   And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:                                                                       II Thess. 2:10

This spirit of delusion is provided for in the law of Moses, which states:

& thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drinkor for whatsoever thy soul desires: & thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, & thou shalt rejoice, thou, & thine household,                                  Deut. 14:26

Therefore, those false teachers who work to direct the Church to themselves and to the mean things of the material world; shall become drippers of strong drink, deluding the slumbering Church, which does not perceive its own complicity in the world’s regress into ever more direct demonic inspiration and agency.  An apostate Church, so long as it resists the testimony of Christ, shall give away its strength to spoil, and empower carnality in the hearts of the heathen, leading to the final apostasy.

But according to James, there is tremendous hope which awaits those adulterers and adultresses to the world spirit, on the day when they truly hear God’s voice, and turn from their wicked ways.  And so James continues:

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.   Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.   Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning,  and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.     James 4:8Weep 04

Only the repentance of the Church shall put off the closing of the door of salvation, and the final apostasy.

Prophecy tells us that the Church shall run the peril of delusion by her own false teachers and false prophets, who prophesy by the spirit of falsehood.

For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.                                                                                      Jer. 29:9

As the days become more perilous, some of these teachers will be openly and clearly displayed as false.  For instance, one of the more flagrant preachers of the Prosperity heresy is the self-proclaimed apostle, David Taylor.  01Although Taylor appears to move in dramatic phenomenon within his services, somehow he felt led to predict the outcome of the 2013 Superbowl through the “spirit of prophecy.”  Mr. Taylor publicly announced that God had revealed to him the Denver Broncos would defeat the Seattle Seahawks.  That particular Superbowl would also be known for an extremely sexual, to the point of obscene, performance by Beyonce’, who interposed satanic ritual in her halftime act.  The result of the football game did not go Mr. Taylor’s way.  The Broncos lost to the Seahawks by an astounding score of 43 to 8.

For those who regard such men, and who cannot see the folly of predicting the outcome of a sporting event by prophecy, perhaps the erroneousness of the prediction may help them.   If the self-promotion and false teachings are insufficient to convince men away from their path of serving the god of this world, then perhaps poorly-conceived, worldly, and inaccurate prophetic statements might.  But David Taylor is by no means alone.  He is part of a large contingent of false teachers and false prophets that have gone out into the world, adopting the world’s measuring standard, rather than the standard of God, which is the testimony of Jesus Christ.  But they shall stumble by their assumption that the world is any standard, and that its ways are anything but demonic.

Why did Mr. Taylor presume to use God’s gift to predict the Superbowl’s outcome?  He stated his reason plainly, as being “because sports is so huge to human beings in America.”  Indeed, sports constitutes a tremendous occupier of the hearts and minds of the carnal, as do other earthly distractions to faith and to things eternal.  Sports represents a domain of this world which constitutes a heavy attraction for the earthly-minded, and which has distracted untold numbers from attending to the things of Christ.  And so long as repentance and “coming out the world’s spirit” is delayed, so much will Babylon grow increasingly wicked.  The sins of Babylon shall mount up to heaven until God cannot withhold His hand from wrath.

This dynamic is evidenced not only in the increasing wickedness of the world, but in the deeper forms of apostasy that are arising among the Christ-professing; apostasy which is now accompanied by supernatural signs and disturbing phenomenon.  Crowder 01Not content with the errors of their fathers, younger, brasher false teachers are arising, and showing themselves willing to push into new frontiers of blasphemy and apostasy from the Gospel.  The intoxicating drink of Babylon shall gain strength in its deluding effects causing vain professors of Christ, (and the world with them) to bring forth something the world has heretofore not seen.

[1] H4496   menûchâh  menûchâh  men-oo-khaw’, men-oo-khaw’  Feminine of H4495; repose or (adverbially) peacefully; figuratively consolation (specifically matrimony); hence (concretely) an abode: – comfortable, ease, quiet, rest (-ing place), still.

[2] H5197  nâṭaph  naw-taf’  A primitive root; to ooze, that is, distil gradually; by implication to fall in drops; figuratively to speak by inspiration: – drop (-ping), prophesy (-et).

[3] See commentary on Micah 2:6  “Do not speak, so they speak out.”

[4] Immediately after relating his testimony of receiving an anointing and experiencing ministry under the anointing, Mr. Howard-Browne relates his teaching on Placing a Demand on the Anointing wherein he provides the Gospel account of the woman with an issue of blood as someone who “placed a demand on the anointing on the life and ministry of Jesus.”  Ibid. pg. 81

[5] Classical Pentecostal teaching distinguishes between tongues as a sign evidencing baptism in the Holy Ghost, and tongues as a gift of the Holy Ghost.  Pentecostal doctrine regards the sign as universal evidence, while the gift is not necessarily given at the time of Spirit baptism that would allow the recipient of the Holy Spirit to continue to operate tongues at will.

[6] Although the KJV renders it “strong wine”, this is the same Hebrew-word normally translated; “strong drink”.

[7] See commentary on Isaiah 6:13  “yet there will be a tenth portion in it” for discussion of the return of the tithe as associated with repentance.

[8] Isaiah 8:13Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; & let him be your fear, & let him be your dread.”

[9]See commentary on Habakkuk 2:5 discussing; “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man”

[10] See commentary on Zephaniah 3:7  “But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds” for these references of Jeremiah’s prophecy to; “rising up early”.

[11] I Corinthians 10:14, I John 5:21

[12] Jude 11

Posted in 3D. POSITIVE CONFESSION (Application to Pentecostal Theology) | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

VII.C.2 The Rule of the Saints

Part VII – Transactional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart C – Glorification

Article 2  –  THE RULE OF THE SAINTS

By Daniel Irving

a.  The Promise of God’s Rule through Humanity 

b.  The Scepter of Christ’s Authority within the Believer

c.  The Rod Wielded by the Believer

d.  The Reign of the Saints Upon the Earth

e.  The Manifestation of the Rule of Christ in This Present Age

f.  God’s Rule in the Dispensation of this Present Age

 scepter 03

Article 2

The Rulership of the Saints

a.  The Promise of God’s Rule through Humanity 

To the overcomer is promised authority over the nations.  We understand this rule to have the nature of being in Christ, in the Father.  This rule is therefore Divine and spiritual.  We have the example of the overcomers in Laodicea, who are promised they will be given to sit with Christ on His throne with His Father.  And Christ tells the angel of the church of Thyatira:

“And he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”                                  Rev. 2:26

The English word “nations” is the Greek-word; eth’-nos,[1] which is universally and interchangeably translated as both “Gentiles” and “nations” in the NT.  Although nearly synonymous, it is arguable that this should have been rendered “Gentiles” rather than “nations” as the Gentiles stand in allegory for the unregenerate of humanity. On the other hand, both the mystical and the literal meanings may certainly be what is intended.

This “authority” bestowed upon the overcomer seems to have as its primary fulfillment, the authority granted a spiritual “Jew”[2] over the spiritual “Gentile” which arises in the law and in prophecy.  In fact, this principle begins in the story of creation, extends through the patriarchs, through the law, and continues into the books of prophecy.  In the story of creation, we read the oracle of God that man was to rule over creation.[3]  When the man transgressed and was consigned to death, this did not annul God’s expressed will that man rule.  However, it became rather the “seed of the woman” who succeeded to the promise.  It was the seed of the woman who was foretold would bruise the serpent’s head.[4]

God called out Abraham and promised him that “kings would come out of him;”[5] a continuation upon the oracle that Divine rulership was the purpose of man’s creation.  Hundreds of years later,  the Law given to Moses promised Israel:

And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath;  if that  thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God,  which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.    Deut. 28:13

By adherence to God’s covenant, Israel would stand above the nations.  Israel held the promise of an eternal dominion.  Thus when its first king (Saul) sinned against God, it was prophesied as follows:

And Samuel said to Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly:   thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which He commanded thee:    for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever.        I Sam. 13:13

Thus David succeeded Saul in the continuation of the promise of an eternal dominion intrinsic to the creation of man.  Thus God says of David:

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.                                              II Sam. 7:16 

From thereon out, it was the lineage of David through which the prophets foretold an eternal dominion which was destined for the Jews:Sunset Behind Jerusalem

  Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes  sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses,  they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.                 Jer 17:25

Jeremiah seemed to be prophesying against himself, when he foretold the destruction and captivity of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon, but restored seventy years later for the purposes of bringing forth that King over all things which God had promised that nation.  Upon the birth of this great king, wise men traveled from the east to inquire: Abraham Journeys

Saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?   for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.                                        Matt. 2:2

These wise men would not have sought to “worship” a mere earthly king.

In the first century A.D., when the Hebrew nation rejected the promised king born (after He was born unto them from heaven) the nation of Israel was overthrown entirely.

The meaning of man’s creation was, of course, fulfilled in the appearing of Jesus Christ – whose station as the “Last Adam”[6] fulfilled the prophecies of an eternal kingdom having boundless membership.  Even as Adam was the progenitor of flesh and blood, Christ became the progenitor of the spiritual-man, and so, the firstborn of those given to rule over all things as sons of God.

The spiritual Jew is that one who is brought into the new birth through the sanctification of Christ.  Jesus Christ is the prophesied “seed of the woman,” the true “son of David,” the true “king of Israel,” and the only true “overcomer.”  Therefore Jesus promises the church at Thyatira: “he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end” shall be given authority.  Not anybody else’ works . . . but My works.  These were the works of the Father given to Jesus to perform, to the Father’s glory.  This work was His life, His death, and His resurrection.  These three vital aspects of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ stood prerequisite to His sitting down upon the throne of His Father and his accession unto the absolute dominion.  Likewise, this absolute authority over the nations is held forth the overcomer:Shattered Pottery 01

And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:  even as I received of My Father.                            Rev 2:27

The overcomer shall be entrusted with spiritual authority of a type so absolute as to be analogized to a “rod of iron.”[7]  This conveys an authority that is; unyielding, quick, and absolute.  What is this “rod of iron?”  It is the authority of Christ working within the man as the Holy Spirit perfects the image of God within.[8]   Thence, the “perfect man” shall be “like his Master:”

The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.                                                                                 Luke 6:40 

Therefore there is a perfection of the knowledge of God which completes a man.  And what is the completion of the “perfect man?”

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:   because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.                                                I John 4:18

One attribute of this “perfect man” is that he is in control of his conduct so as to give no cause for offense:

For in many things we offend all.   If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man,    and able also to bridle the whole body.                        James 3:2

Therefore all the members of the body, are under the positive-control of the “perfect man”.  If a man is under the positive control of the Spirit of Christ, he can wield an authority placed in his hand for the purposes of Christ, as this is that authority which already commands his inner being, mortifying sin, cleansing the heart, and maintaining the “inside of the cup.”  When the power of Jesus Christ’s sanctification is turned outward, it shall act as the agency of Divine authority over the nations.  This is the rod that breaks the nations, as is foretold of Christ:  Shattered Pottery 01

Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel                 Ps. 2:9

b.  The Scepter of Christ’s Authority within the Believer 

The full verse of Psalm 2:9 reads:

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;  thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.                                     Ps. 2:9

This word translated “rod” is shay-bet’.[9] This word can be translated either “rod,” “tribe,” or “scepter.”  In fact, in its first usage in the Bible, it is translated “scepter.”scepter 03

  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet,   until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.                 Gen. 49:10

A scepter is a symbol for the authority to rule.  The rule of Christ occurs within our hearts at such time that we are sanctified in His righteousness.

Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever;   the scepter of thy kingdom is a righteous scepter.                                  Ps. 45:6

A prophecy of Micah uses this very same word, shay-bet, in reference to the means of Christ’s rule within His flock:

Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood,  in the midst of Carmel:  let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.                                                                                       Micah 7:14

To have the rule of Christ is to have eternal life.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God.                                                       Rom 8:14

Led by the spirit of God, these abide forever, as “he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”[10]

The “scepter” by which Christ will shepherd His people is His authority wielded by His Spirit within His body; the “Righteousness One,” Who is “Christ, in you, the hope of glory.”[11]  scepter 02 That authority is experienced by all the sanctified when they perceive that a higher authority has intervened to overrule their carnal passions and their worldly ambitions.  That authority is the lordship of the Spirit of Christ which itself operates to mortify sin in the body and is the rule of the Holy Spirit within the believer.

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;  but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  Rom 8:10

Whose righteousness?  The righteousness of Jesus Christ, Who is now “in you.”  By faith, our sins are now upon the Cross where Christ bore them into death. By the same faith, we believe that Jesus Christ (the Righteous One) was raised from the dead.  Therefore what is left for believers to procure from the Spirit of life?  His righteousness.  Therefore, the Lord has a flock that are led by His righteous scepter within themselves.  The Puritan author John Bunyan writes of this principle:[12]

When Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteousness of the law, it is said it was fulfilled in us, because indeed fulfilled in our nature:  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh;Bunyan John 05 God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,”  But because none should appropriate this unto themselves that have not had passed upon them a work of conversion, therefore he adds, “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  For there being a union between head and members, though things may be done by the head, and that for the members, as if not done only by the head.  The “righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us;” and that truly, because fulfilled in that common nature which the Son of God took of the Virgin.  Wherefore, in this sense we are said to DO what only was DONE  by him;  . . . . he doing in his common flesh what could not be done in my particular person, that so I might have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in me, my flesh assumed by Christ; though impossible to be done, because of the weakness of my person.

John Bunyan here speaks of Christ’s strength becoming the strength of the Believer, the effect of which is to deliver from Sin’s bondage, and to maintain the man against Sin’s intrusions.  And this is the principle of which Paul speaks in his letter to the Romans:

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;  but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.       Rom 8:10

c.  The Rod Wielded by the Believer

Christ’s rule within the believer is also expressed as an outward authority.  But that outward authority cannot be utilized in opposition to the nations until such time as the body of Christ comes into its maturity in the image of Christ.  We know the apostle Paul was given a “rod” by Christ for the purpose of maintaining Truth and order within the body of Christ.  But this was not an authority over the nations.  He writes, concerning his authority over the Church:

What will you? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?                                                            I Cor. 4:21

Paul explains this principle in more depth in his second letter to Corinth.  He intimates that ultimately the saints will be given an authority to execute even vengeance.  He says:

and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  Do you look on things after the outward appearance?    If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again,  that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.  For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority,   which the Lord had given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:                                     II Cor. 10-:6-8

In alluding to a “readiness to revenge,” Paul uses the Greek-word; ek-dik-eh’-o,[13] which means to “avenge”.  It is used by Paul when he writes:

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:         for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay”, saith the Lord.

The word is used only two more times, both are in the book of Revelation in reference to the wrath of God avenging the blood of the saints.[14]  Therefore the word does not mean to merely correct or discipline; rather the word seems to connote a violent-retaliation, or to severely punish.

Paul tells the Corinthians that even though it may appear he is boasting, he will not let that prevent him from warning them concerning this authority he wields from Christ:

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority which the Lord had given us for edification, & not for your destruction,  I should not be ashamed:                                                                                      II Cor. 10:8

He explains that his purpose is not to frighten them, but to warn them, lest they presume against they operate in presumption and Paul be forced to come to them with this spiritual rod, which he loathes having to use.[15]  He continues:

That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.  For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful;  but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.    Let such a one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent,  such will we be also in deed when we are present.                                                                                      II Cor. 10:9-11

What is remarkable about this rod of Christ’s authority given to Paul is that it appears to have been an authority subject to his volitional choice to use or not to use.  There is even indication that he was in control of the subject as well as the means.  For instance, he names two Christians who could not be prevented from blaspheming, and informs Timothy concerning his actions as follows:

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.                           I Tim. 1:20

d.   The Reign of the Saints Upon the Earth

The rule of God in the earth is commonly mistaken as belonging to the next age.  Lamps & Virgins 04However, the apostles clearly taught the rulership of Christ as a principle of the present age.  It is in this age that we are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”[16]  Many would suggest that our overcoming wickedness is deferred to a future dispensation.  Jesus came to us in this natural order, in a natural body, to redeem the whole man.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.                        Rom. 5:17

Therefore when we read the book of Revelation we are to understand that it refers to this age when it says: 

And Thou hast made them [to be] a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.                                              Rev. 5:10

How is it that these have been made “kings and priests unto our God”?  We know from the preceding verse (v.9); “for Thou was slain anddidst purchase for God with Thy blood . . .”  Therefore these are the “purchased” from among mankind for God’s purposes in Christ.  As Christ is both “king” and “priest” of God, so has He purchased a nation by the means of His blood as the foundation and means of justifying and consecrating a holy priesthood and to cause them to “rule” on earth.  Andrew Murray recognized this principle as applicable to this age when he wrote:Murray - Andrew 06

Live constantly exercising faith in the assurance that; “the blood . . cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7); yield yourself to be sanctified and brought near to God through the blood; let it be your life-giving nourishment and power.  You will thus have an unbroken experience of victory over Satan and his temptations.  He who walks with God  as a consecrated priest will rule as a conquering king of Satan.  Believers, our Lord Jesus, by His blood has made us not only priests, but kings unto God, no only so that we may draw near to God in priestly purity and ministry, but also that in kingly power, we may rule for God.  A kingly spirit must inspire us, a kingly courage to rule over our enemies.  The blood of the Lamb must increasingly be a token and seal, not only of reconciliation for all guilt but also of victory over all the power of sin. [17]

The book of Revelation declares that the saints “shall reign on the earth.”  scepter 02While this refers to the first resurrection, scholars normally mistake this for the physical resurrection.  Rather this is the resurrection of Jesus Christ appropriated by faith unto the usurpation over this body of sin. This is the Feast of First Fruits wherein the body of Christ has overcome the principles of sin and death via Him Who went before.

Keep in mind that it is the twenty-four elders that are singing a prediction of what shall occur as a result of the breaking of the seals.  The result of the word of God going forth is expressed as: “we shall reign on the earth.”  This is a declaration of the Feast of First Fruits as typifying the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which the Church partakes-in mystically through the Spirit of Christ.  Later (Ch. 20) we find the fulfillment in the church coming to life, which is not the physical-resurrection of the church (which many Bible scholars suppose it to be) but an allegorical resurrection of the soul raised in the deliverance from the authority of this world and from the service to sin’s bondage.  They now “reign on the earth”, ie. they reign over the power of sin and death even while in their mortal bodies.

Perhaps Paul is one of these 24 elders, as we find him singing this predictive-song when he tells the Romans:

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.                                           Rom. 5:17

Although Paul states it; will reign”, he is clearly speaking of the here-and-now.  For what is “reigning” is “grace unto righteousness”, as synonymous with “eternal life” (as opposed to the dominion of sin and death.)  Therefore  Paul adds:

. . that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                      Rom. 5:21

If such things as “grace,” “righteousness,” “deliverance from sin.” and “eternal life” are principles reserved exclusively for the next age (which the gospel vigorously proclaims they are not) then so is the concept of “reigning in life” relegated to the next age.  But it is not relegated to the next age. For by Paul’s words, these two principles are one-and-the-same!  The “reigning in life” refers to reigning in this mortal body in the very face of the god of this world!  And this is a fulfillment of the prophecy:Rod of Iron 01

 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:  Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.                                         Ps. 110:2

If this prophecy referred to the next age, there would be scarce “enemies” over which to “rule.”  This operates as a fulfillment of the Gospel during the time of our sojourn in this physical body, and it all began with Christ being seated in the heavenlies and His Spirit being poured upon the church.  Therefore, upon the Church receiving Pentecost, Peter made repeated reference to the first verse of Psalm 110:[18]

The LORD said unto my Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”                                      Ps 110:1

For there is a consequence which shall occur in the earth as a result of Christ being seated in the heavenlies.  That consequence falls heavily upon the backs of His enemies of whom the Spirit of Christ shall assert His authority:

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:   Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.                                       Ps. 110:2

This was the Gospel preached by the apostles, ie. that the power of God would intervene on behalf of the body of Christ in order to ruin the authority of Satan over the flesh of men.

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,  in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:   thou hast the dew of thy youth.             Ps. 110:3

When the people of God are dead in judgment, dispelled of their own efforts, only then shall they; “be willing” to concede to the only power that can conquer sin and death in the flesh.  They shall find this power in that original Gospel hope they received when they received the Holy Spirit.  They themselves are without basis in hope because of Sin, but as to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, “thou hast the dew of thy youth.”  Therefore God’s people suddenly realize an impunity over they that were once too strong for them, as the apostle writes:

  Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God,  who also makes intercession for us.     Rom. 8:34

He makes intercession, because:

The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”                   Ps. 110:4

And there is none closer to the throne of God than the Lord Jesus Christ; no one closer to the heart of God.  Throne 01Therefore the enthroned Jesus Christ is the authority that acts in disdain of the authority of this world under Sin and Death.  Principalities that once sat enthroned over the flesh are suddenly broken of their control over the man.

The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.  He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses.                        Ps. 110:5-6

But as to the kings and priests born of the Spirit of God, we read God . . .

. . .  hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.                                                                                      Rev 5:10

The Greek word translated “on”[19] (KJV), “upon” (NASV), and “over” (Interlinear Version) is; epi, which is used in English as a prefix meaning (primarily); “on” or “upon.”  For instance, this Greek word stands as the prefix for such English words as:

–          the epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the earth’s surface directly on top of the focal-point of an earthquake.

–          The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, ie. the layer that is atop the rest.

–          Epigeal means on top of the ground or earth.

–          “Epitaph” means (lit.) “on the tomb”, as something written on a tombstone.

Therefore they shall reign “epi” ie. “on” or “upon” the earth.

Because the saints are to “reign upon the earth,” the teaching to the effect; “so long as we are in the body we must sin” (although orthodox to the thinking of the main Christian denominations) is utterly Satanic.  This teaching is that “covenant with death,” or (in other words) that covenant with Sin which is made by those merely religious, for whom religion is a carnal refuge.  This is the refuge referred to in Isaiah’s prophecy:

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;       Is. 28:18a 

The teaching that we must always sin so long as we operate in a flesh and blood body, is in opposition to Scripture.  Demon 01The teaching is nothing more than a way to accommodate the unbelieving who comprise the vast majority of Christiandom; a method of relieving the minds of men and women who have not rightly received the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But when this lie is proffered to those that have received the Holy Spirit and the promises of the Gospel, it becomes a deception of antichrist, ie. the “lie” that contradicts the apostle’s words:

Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither known him.                                                                                      I John 3:6

  We know that whosoever is born of God sins not;               I John 5:18

e.  The Manifestation of the Rule of Christ in This Present Age

The concept that the saints are to reign in this present dispensation is fraught with the potential for presumption.  Many Christians today have been led astray by teaching that they are to assume a literal ruling posture over the nations by failing to heed the Lord’s warning that His kingdom is not a tangible earthly kingdom like the earthly kingdoms we can see.  The Lord expressed this in no uncertain terms:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees  when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation; Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’   For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”                        Luke 17:20-21

The rule of God is spiritual.  The rule of God is the conquering of the works of Satan within the spirit, soul, and the body of the believer.  The kingdom of God works within.  If “the kingdom of God is within you,” and there is no visible observation to occur, then how can the saints imagine the establishment of a government styled after earthly kingdoms?  And yet the saints shall somehow rule the nations.

We know that we are to walk in this world in the same way that Christ walked.

The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.                          I John 2:6

How did Christ walk?  Did Christ take tangible authority over men?  To the contrary:

  When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force,  to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.       John 6:15

Yet (on the other hand) “to this end was [He] born, and for this cause came  [He] into the world.”  Jesus acknowledged that He was “king of the Jews” before Pilate,[20] and He was thereafter ridiculed for this acknowledgement:Mocking Christ 01

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”                                    Matt 27:29

Thereafter Pilate identified this as being the crime for which He was crucified:

And set up over His head His accusation written, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”.                Matt. 27:37

As He hung on the cross, He was continually mocked by this title of “King:”

He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  If he be the King of Israel let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.                                 Matt 27:42

To the unbelieving world, Jesus is no king.  Rather He is made king by faith, and through the means of faith, the Spirit of holiness makes His kingdom that kingdom which is enduring.  But why did Jesus continue to suffer the torment of the Cross and the insults of His enemies?

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this worldIf My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight,  that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.     John 18:36

God was about to establish an eternal kingdom; one unshakable; a kingdom which would shatter every other authoritative agency, whether earthly or in the heavens.  God was about to perform a work of His Spirit.  The Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, God would give to humanity – that humanity as well, might subject themselves in humility to the righteousness of God.  He was about to be king over a kingdom of those truly ruled by the Spirit of God.

Pilate therefore said unto him, “Art thou a king then?”  Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king.    To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the worldthat I should bear witness unto the truth.   Every one that is of the truth hears My voice.                             John 18:37

At some time God will take His great power and rule over all things through the agency of His Christ.[21]  But before dominion over all things is taken, there must first be a dominion that is taken over those redeemed.  This is by the power of God’s mercy exhibited at the Cross.  And so, Paul writes:

That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.                              Rom 5:21

As we were told by the evangelist,Lamb Sacrifice “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,”[22] even so, those that (through the agency of the Spirit) can see Christ with the eyes of their heart, will know His rule by the operation of the Spirit of Grace.  This is the kingdom of God and of His Christ.  Therefore (as far goes eternity) Christ is the only sovereign:

Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate,  the King of kings and Lord of lords;        I Tim. 6:15

f.  God’s Rule in the Dispensation of this Present Age

While the saints of God may not presently have the perfection of mind to reign in the authority which is coming, by faith, they nonetheless possess the rule of God over their enemies.  While Jesus Christ did not assert earthly dominion over men, the Father nonetheless ruled over His enemies even as he walked among them.  Recall His response to a death threat from Herod:

“Go ye, and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures  today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.                          Luke 13:32

Having His mind steadfast on the will of His Father, the Lord needed fear no earthly potentate.  The servants of Satan have no power to interfere with God’s work until God’s work has been accomplished.  Jesus told His Father . . .

I have glorified thee on the earth:   I have finished the work which You gave Me to do.              John 17:4 

Once Jesus “finished the work,” the agents of Satan were only then given leave to do their work to perfect the sacrifice.  But until that time, the hand of God would allow no interference:

Saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.         Ps. 105:15

While there seems no modern example of the authority of Christ being wielded by a man, there are certainly examples of the authority of Christ being wielded by God in guarding the messengers He has sent.  Over the past few hundred years, there are many accounts of mockers, hoodlums, and those who have attempted violence upon men anointed for God’s purposes being Divinely prevented and struck down.  For example, during the evangelistic-ministry of Marie Woodworth-Etter, there were numerous accounts of disorderly persons being Divinely silenced.  Some of the press accounts read as follows:Etter 02

. . . The mutterings and discontent which were heard at first have subsided, and the tongue of vituperation and calamity has been quelled and hushed since laughers, scoffers, and jesters have been stricken down in the aisles.   – Indianapolis Journal, January 27, 1885

A young man, who sat is derision and was scoffing at the scene before him, at once was struck down and lay for hours apparently dead, and when he came to, proclaimed the tidings of a separation from all sin.    – Ft. Wayne Gazette, January 23, 1885

We read in one media-account of an intoxicated man who . . .

. . .determined on breaking up the meeting, he marched within ten feet of the pulpit and began a torrent of profane abuse until, as he says, his tongue failed him.  He sat silent, annoyed at being overcome by a woman who had caused this result without making any special effort in his direction.  He seems as he says when asked what his sensations are like, not to understand what it is, but replies in the injured tone of a man who has been personally affronted; “Go up yourself and find out.”                                                                           – New York Times, January 30, 1885

Manifestations such as this are a clear indication that God will not allow his servants to suffer an interference or a violence until His purposes have been accomplished in them.

And if we walk in the Holy Spirit’s anointing, the hand of God will allow no harm to come until the proper time.  While this is not the same as what Paul describes in his second epistle to Corinth, when he refers to “a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled,” it nonetheless constitutes the rule of God within the man; sanctifying the sacrifice, and ushering the sacrifice to the proper place of sacrifice at the proper time.  Therefore Jesus said:

  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.   I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.   This commandment have I received of my Father.                                                                                      John 10:18

There was no coercive agency which committed Christ to the Cross.  The sacrifice of God is always a free and volitional choice to do God’s will.  This was made very clear by the Lord, ie. that the power to lay down His life belonged to Him alone.  But the end result was that Christ sat down on the very throne of His Father, God Almighty.  And if the saints would accept Christ’s invitation to sit down on His own throne, the kingdom of God must be established within them, and they must show themselves faithful to God’s call unto the sacrifice.  This applies to those who would follow Christ into suffering.  They must be willing.  But what is the end of such suffering?  The end of such suffering is rulership with Christ:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:                                                                                      II Tim. 2:12

The modern signs and wonders movements emphasize this principle of rulership while underplaying (if not completely disregarding) this principle of following Christ in suffering, and thereby completing God’s will in the man.  In fact, they don’t even get as far as the issue of suffering because they deny the doctrines of sanctification which are antecedent to the principle of faithfulness to one’s personal cross.  But those who overcome the beast and his image “are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

And if it is difficult that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?  Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.                                                                                       I Peter 4:18-19

By trusting in our Creator to perform according to His promises, we demonstrate the faith of Abraham.  Abraham Counts StarsWe have the pressure and distress of His hand upon us to shape and mold us into a vessel of honor.  Therefore the process of sanctification is the path to authority over the nations; a rule that is truly the rule of God.  Patiently enduring suffering according to the will of God, is what allows God to perfect us into the image of His king.  And this is why suffering leads to sanctification, and sanctification leads to rulership.  Therefore the process of sanctification will entail difficulty, struggle, and suffering.  And when the time comes for the sacrifice to which we have been called, it will be mature and without blemish before God.


[1] G1484  ethnos  eth’-nos  Probably from G1486; a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan): – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

[2] For discussion of the “spiritual Jew” see commentary on Isaiah 62:2  And the nations will see your righteousness,

[3] Genesis 1:26-29

[4] Genesis 3:15

[5] Genesis 17:6

[6] I Corinthians 15:45

[7] See journal entry for December 5, 2008 discussing the need to subordinate all aspects of our power to dominate men and creatures to the authority of the Spirit of Christ.

[8] See commentary on Micah 7:14   Shepherd Thy people with Thy scepter” in the part discussing (a) “Rod” as Christ’s Authority within the Believer.

[9] H7626  shay’-bet  From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, that is, (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (figuratively) a clan: –  X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.

[10] I John 2:17

[11] Colossians 1:27

[12] See Justification by an Imputed Righteousness, John Bunyan, G.AM. Publications, pg. 9

See also commentary on Revelation 2:27  “He shall rule them with a rod of iron” discussing the inward perfection that necessarily precedes outward authority.

[13] G1556  ekdikeō  ek-dik-eh’-o   From G1558; to vindicate, retaliate, punish: – a (re-) venge.

[14] Rev 6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy & true, dost      thou not judge & avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 Rev 19:2  . . . for he has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her      fornication, & has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

[15] I Corinthians 4:21

[16] Romans 8:37

[17] The Power of the Blood of Christ, by Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

[18] Acts 2:34, 5:31

[19] G1909   epi   ep-ee’   A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.: – about (the times), above, after, against, among, as long as (touching), at, beside, X have charge of, (be-, [where-]) fore, in (a place, as much as, the time of, -to), (because) of, (up-) on (behalf of) over, (by, for) the space of, through (-out), (un-) to (-ward), with. In compounds it retains essentially the same import, at, upon, etc. (literally or figuratively).

[20] Matthew 27:11

[21] I Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15

[22] John 1:29

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III.D.8.a The Heresy of Demanding from God

  Part III  –  Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart D  –  The Positive Confession Movement

 Article 8  –  The Violent, Taking by Force

Section (a)  –  The Heresy of Demanding from God

By Daniel Irving

i.    The True Gospel Means of Procuring the Rightly-Oriented Hope

ii.   The Principle of Receiving Spirit from God

iii.  Asking for the Gift of the Holy Spirit

iv.   We Do Not Demand the Spirit God Gives

v.    The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Given & Operated According to God’s Will

vi.   The False Testimony of Man as Presumption in the Place of Faith

vii.   Demanding the Anointing; The Rise of Rodney Howard-Browne

viii.  Spiritual Violence as a Fruit of Non-Repentance

Jerusalem 70ad

Section (a)  –  THE HERESY OF DEMANDING FROM GOD

i.  The True Gospel Means of Procuring the Rightly-Oriented Hope

The previous article (Article 7) related to the principles of Faith and Patience that constitute a proper Biblical orientation toward God and a proper orientation toward the scriptures.  As related in that article, the theology of Positive Confession formulated by E.W. Kenyon in the early twentieth-century and which was effectively advanced by many empowered charismatic ministries of the latter twentieth-century, worked to distort the proper premises of Biblical Faith and Patience.  Leaders of the Faith movement, taught their followers to assume a rather assertive and resolute posture in terms of receiving things from heaven, wherein the principle of Trusting in God began to resemble obstinacy and the principle of petitioning God began to resemble the making of demands.  The Faith movement’s unique and aggressive manner of approaching God was fostered by an orientation which viewed the teachings of Christ and His apostles as kingdom “principles,” the asserting  of which requiring God’s favorable response.

This article will undertake an explanation of the heresy which seems to have been particularly introduced through the signs and wonders ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne.  RHB 01A functional assessment of this ministry and explanation of its heresy will require the laying of a clear foundation in regards to the proper means of receiving things from heaven.  Therefore, the first half of this article will be for the laying of that foundation.

The Lord gave us a very clear commandment on how we are to procure from the hand of God those things necessary to serve His purposes in the obedience and sanctification of men.  We are to persistently ask.  Recall the Lord’s directive on obtaining bread for others (an allusion to the procurement of sanctifying truth:)

Yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. Knock & it Shall be Opened And I say to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”        Luke 11:8-10

The Lord does not qualify this commandment or set any prerequisite upon receiving.  What about obedience?  What about holiness?  Are these not prerequisites?  We might understand why the Lord did not place any prerequisite upon the asking when we consider it is precisely these things we are our asking for!  We are to “seek His kingdom and His righteousness.”  Therefore it does not follow that righteousness and sanctification would stand prerequisite to asking for righteousness and sanctification.  If we are asking for those things God commands us to ask for (ie. His kingdom and His righteousness) this contemplates some measure of faith in itself. Therefore the Lord can assure us that “everyone who asks receives.”  Persistence in asking itself demonstrates Faith.  And what is being sought from heaven?  Those things of the kingdom of God; those things alluded to by Paul when he writes:

But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:              I Cor. 1:30

To obtain Christ is to obtain these precious things of eternity.  To rightly perceive the Lord’s teachings on receiving from heaven, involves some perception of the true object of our petition.  If our desire is set upon eternal things, God will satisfy that desire with His own holy nature, which is Christ.  But conversely, if our desire is set on earthly things, there is every reason to believe God will satisfy that desire as well.

And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.                                                                                      Ps. 106:15

This should be a warning to us, lest our desires be wrongly directed toward things other than knowing God through the Person of Jesus Christ.  The rightly-oriented hope is set upon those things of God’s kingdom as Paul expresses:

But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:             I Cor. 1:30

If our hope is rightly-oriented in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, then we are rightly-oriented to receive of God’s Spirit.

ii.  The Principle of Receiving Spirit from God

The prophecy of Isaiah expresses this principle of receiving Spirit from our Creator and Lord:Stars 03

Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people on it, and spirit to them that walk therein:   I the Lord have called thee in righteousness . . .   Is. 42:5 

God expresses what is His purpose in given men life and giving men spirit.  The purpose is righteousness.  Not moral conduct, but that righteousness expressed by Paul when he wrote:

But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:                 I Cor. 1:30

The righteousness brought as God feeds us with His own eternal being; the Spirit of His Son, slain for sinners is the righteousness of which Isaiah speaks.  This is the kingdom brought by God.

On the other hand, God gives life to all humanity.  Isaiah’s prophecy state that God, “giveth breath unto the people on it.”  Indeed, God gives spirit even to all things, as we learn from the 104th Psalm:

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom have You made them all:   Beaststhe earth is full of Thy riches.  So is this great & wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small & great beasts.   There go the ships: There is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.   These wait all upon You; that You may give them their food in due season.    What You give them they gather:  You open your hand, they are filled with good.   You hide Your face, they are troubled: You take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  You send forth Your spirit, they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.                     Ps. 104:24-30

Whether the creature understands or does not understand, he is continually in need of the liberality of God for anything good.  The very spirit of the creature comes from God.  And when God withholds His Spirit from the creature, life itself is withheld.  God gives them of Himself in order that they have consciousness and vibrancy.  And man is no exception.  God gives “drink to very beast of the field” so that even “the wild asses quench their thirst.”  His liberality goes out to men of every stripe.  Jesus did not say without a basis in spiritual things, that our Father in heaven “sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”[1]

Therefore, the creature has every reason to hope in the liberality of God to bring them the things to prosper in this life.  For we read of God’s provision for men, that He brings:Wine

. . .  wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.                            Ps. 104:15

Man’s needs might be a bit more complex than the “beast of the field.”  For man is made to worship God and to offer up spiritual sacrifices in righteousness.[2]  This truth is no-less true even if men be ignorant of it.  Man rejoices in such things as; music, literature, drama, relationships, food, nature, only because God gives him life and the spirit to give these things vibrancy.  When God withdraws His Spirit, these things cease from meaning.  They become hollow shells, without substance, without the life which the Creator gave.  This is why Paul warned those he preached to lest they forget the God who gave them the essential joy of natural life itself:Paul before Ruler 01

  Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.   Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.              Acts 14:16-17

Something truly miraculous and wonderful was occurring. God was intervening in the natural creation in order to bear a witness to the brutish things of this world that they must stop, and consider the declaration that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”   In their brutish-condition as creatures they had been blessed by God in the form of “rain from heaven & fruitful seasons, filling our hears with food & gladness”.  But now God had a higher calling for men.  They were being called into the righteousness of Jesus Christ; invited to share in God’s eternal nature; that they would not have to perish as part of the cycle of temporal life lived by the brute, wherein their Creator will:Dead Livestock

. . . take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  You send forth Your spirit, they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.                    Ps. 104:29

There is a new Spirit that God will give men that will allow men to offer up the sacrifices of righteousness that come from His own eternal being.  These are the sacrifices of walking in the love demonstrated by Jesus Christ.  Paul writes:

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.            Eph. 5:2

This is God’s eternal purpose in humanity, although much of humanity will reject His purposes.  But there is a “wine” and an “oil” that God will bring as testament of His love; a truth revealed in the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. The true life is God, and the true revelation of God is Christ.  Therefore what does man do with the “wine” and the “oil” that God provides? Does he offer up sacrifices in thanksgiving and righteousness?  Or does he rather spend God’s resources on idols?  The wine and the oil may persist for a time as testament to God’s love, but ultimately, His truth must be purchased.[3]

Isaiah’s prophecy reads that God . . .

. . .  giveth breath unto the people on it, and spirit to them that walk therein:                                                                                      Is. 42:5

If we would walk in the Spirit of Christ, we should know that this does not occur by opting to walk in ways contrary to His commandments and the pattern established in His own life in the flesh:

He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked       I John 2:6

As our Creator, God gives His Spirit to all things:River 11

He sends the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.  They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.        Ps. 104:10-11

Not only that, but according to prophecy, He provides his creatures with the spirit in which they are inclined to walk.   If they are inclined to walk in the spirit of this world, He will give to them liberally.  If they be of a legal inclination and are inclined to rely upon the Law for their justification, they shall drink of that spirit.  But if they walk in the truth of Christ, He will give them of His own Holy Spirit.  For Jesus Christ was “Holy”, and God’s Spirit was the Spirit in which Christ did walk.  When we sanctify Him as our Lord and walk in His commandments, the Spirit which carries us in that way can be no other than the Holy Spirit of God.

There is a peculiar passage in the 104th Psalm which reads:

You hide Your face, they are troubled: You take away their breath, they die,                                                                                       Ps. 104:29

When God “hides His face,” the effect is to “trouble” the spirits of His creatures.  We find that He sometimes does this in His redemptive work with men.  Psalm 30 relates:

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”  Lord, by your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;   You hid Your face, and I was troubled.    Ps 30:6-7

What does this verse communicate concerning God’s purpose in hiding His face?  David confesses that it was in his “prosperity” that he said “I shall never be moved.”   Is he referring to his worldly prosperity or to his spiritual prosperity?  Obviously, he is referring to the latter, for his next statement is “Lord, by your favor You have made my mountain stand strong.”  David is speaking of his thriving under the anointing of Christ wherein the righteousness of Christ is being established as a “strong mountain” within his own nature.  However, given the effects of the flesh, presumption creeps in to defile God’s work.  Therefore David tells the Lord, “You hid Your face, and I was troubled.”  When God hides his face, our spirits are “troubled,” for our very life comes from Him.  Why then, was it necessary that David be “troubled” by the Lord hiding His face for a time?  The answer is, For the same reason why Paul was troubled in his own spirit:

  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead:                               II Cor. 1:9

This is the answer; “. . .that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God.”  In our prosperity, we are apt to presume and carry with us a misimpression upon whose life we carry.  If we carry the life of Christ, it is not our own, but is ministered to us by the Spirit of God vicariously.  The danger is presuming upon this life.  Therefore God, in His mercy, grants to us “the sentence of death in ourselves” that we may keep looking to Christ and to keep our hope steadfast upon Him.

Why was Paul divested of strength in this world?  Why was he constantly being exposed to the sentence of death?  As an earthly creature, he was being exposed to the death-sentence that resides upon all creation, a sentence that is inclusive of the saints of God, albeit hidden by a veil to the rest of the world.  Paul had chosen to walk in the gospel that he preached.  He was bound in covenant to the Son of God.  As such, the Spirit of Christ, was the Spirit that Paul was in covenant to “walk.”   Christ had come into the earth and was put to death in the flesh.  In so doing, He put to death, Death itself.  Christ was given the authority over Death itself:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same;  that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.                        Heb. 2:14

Therefore the power to walk in the Spirit of Christ, is power that derives from Christ’s resurrection!!  Fellowship in the death of Christ is to also fellowship in His resurrection.  But the true efficacy of the latter witness requires a comprehension of the former.  To know His death is to truly know His resurrection.

 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection;  and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;         Phil. 3:10

Just as belief in His death is prerequisite life in the Spirit, so conformity with His death is prerequisite to conformity to His resurrection-life.  As the prophecy of Isaiah declares, God gives “spirit to those who walk in it.”

For the believer in Christ, this means only one thing.  And this is great encouragement!  Do we desire to “walk in the Spirit”?  It may take baby steps.  Therefore Paul told the Corinthians:

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.                 I Cor. 11:1

The Greek word translated “followers” actually means “imitators.”[4]  Paul certainly was one who walked in the Spirit, and yet he simply says; “I am an imitator of Christ!”  Nothing magical.  And he tells them; “Therefore imitate me also!”  He is saying; “Christ was gentle.  Therefore be gentle.  Christ was loving. Therefore be loving.”  As we walk this way, God will give the true Spirit.  This is what it means to truly walk in the Word of Faith.  But when we place any emphasis upon the material things of this world, we tragically opt for less.  We receive an abundance of that spirit which must come under the authority of Death.

iii.  Asking for the Gift of the Holy Spirit

But did not the Lord not say, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it?”  He did.  But this promise came within a context of relationship.  For the statement that follows this promise is:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.                       John 14:15

Jesus said that by keeping His commandments, we demonstrate that we love Him.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me:  and he that loveth Me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.                               John 14:21

The manifestation of Christ, is the manifestation of God’s imageHeaven 01 The purpose of receiving anything from heaven is that ultimately, Christ, as the image of God, manifest Himself, that we might be established and grow in that knowledge of what we have seen.  A shorter term for this principle is sanctification.  But if we do not keep His commandments, there is no such promise that He manifest Himself to us.

John makes it very clear that keeping the Lord’s commandments is prerequisite to the generalized promise of obtaining all of our petitions from heaven:

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.                        I John 3:22

Therefore, we perceive two forms of petitioning God: The first form relates to the plea of the needy for the things that would bring us sanctification, and the second form, comes from the place of sanctification itself; the abiding in the knowledge of God received.

Having these two principles of receiving from heaven, which principle might apply to petitioning God for the gift of the Holy Spirit?  The answer is clearly the former. This is so upon the direct authority of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:Prayer 02

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:  how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?                   Luke 11:13

God places no prerequisite to asking for the Holy Ghost.  The reason for this is self-evident.  The Holy Ghost is the very agency of our sanctification, as the apostles clearly teach:

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spiritunto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:      I Peter 1:2

After Paul warns the Thessalonians that God had called them to be “holy,” he writes:

He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.                                        I Thess. 4:8

There is no sanctification without the agency of the Holy Spirit, therefore Paul writes:

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God,  that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.                            Rom. 15:16  

Therefore the gift of the Holy Spirit is not predicated upon any attainment in spiritual things.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is available for the asking.  In this way, it is God’s agency through which spiritual things are attained. The Holy Spirit is the vital agent of the Church’s sanctification and redemption.  And clearly, the only prerequisite to receiving the Holy Spirit is to have sufficient faith to ask.  When the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit on the basis of simply hearing with faith, Peter observed:

And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness,  giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;   And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.                     Acts 15:9Zech 10 1 Pasture

The prophecy of Zechariah exhorts us to “ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain.”[5]  Rain is a clear allusion to the outpouring of God’s Spirit.  But does this imply that we are not to ask for His Spirit at other times?  The answer is clearly, No.  We understand there are times and seasons of God’s particular choosing, e.g.

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.                                                                                      Is. 55:6

However, these times and seasons are known unto God.  Therefore the rule for men, is the Lord’s commandment, in which He tells us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”[6]  The kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”[7]  Therefore, obedience to the Lord’s commandments, includes the obedience to His commandment that we petition God for the gift of the Holy Spirit.Bright Cloud 1

He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.                       Eccl. 11:4

We must always regard today as the acceptable day:

For he says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.”     behold, now is the ‘acceptable time’; behold, now is the ‘day of salvation’.       II Cor. 6:2

We may receive the Spirit of God within a time of rain, or we may receive the Spirit of God outside a time of rain.  Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him”.[8]  He did not say to wait for a time when you think God to be willing.  He simply commanded us to “Ask.”  The very fact that one has the desire to call upon the Lord is sufficient indication that it is, in fact, God’s time to give His Holy Spirit to us.  As to the precise moment, that is also the prerogative of God.  Therefore we do not demand, but we rather ask; and that, with the confidence that God will give.

 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:   how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?                                                                                       Luke 11:13

By our asking God for His Spirit, we commence upon a way of trusting in God to hear, to answer, and to deliver.  We acknowledge God’s ways as best. We affirm that it is God Who brings His kingdom in His time.  We affirm the work of sanctification as His to perform, in His way,  in His time.  Within this rule, the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is the more certainly laid.  And when the day of trouble comes, our responses to God will demonstrate that same trust with which we asked Him for His Holy Spirit.  We will trust in God and He will deliver us in His time, in His way.

Those who do not trust that God is true to His promises, cannot be sufficiently motivated to petition God for those promises.  They sleep through the day God would have granted them entry into eternal things.  We are continuously warned against this sad prospect:

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Sluggard Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.           Prov. 6:9-11

  Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.                                          Prov. 19:15

Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.              Prov. 20:13

The “sluggard” is simply one that is without faith in the promises of God.  These do not expend the time and effort to receive eternal things.

The soul of the sluggard desires, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.                   Prov. 13:4 

Having demonstrated sufficient faith to petition God for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and having trusted God to baptize us into the body of Christ us in His time, God will baptize us into Christ.  He will baptize us unto a day in which He will reveal His salvation in a mighty way upon our soul, so that one day we may say with David:

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointedHe will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.    Ps. 20:6

Those anointed in Christ are peculiar objects of God’s salvation.  These have been marked for deliverance according to God’s timing and purposes.  Therefore it is important they understand this principle of waiting upon God in obedience.  The Gospel principle of prayerful petition serves the broader purpose of God’s plan for our redemption.

iv.  We Do Not Demand the Spirit God Gives

If we desire the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are directed to Ask of God.  We are told to ask persistently.  Knock & it Shall be OpenedPersistence in the petition comes with the promise that we will certainly receive.  But in regard to procuring heavenly things, there is no basis in God’s word to cross the line into making demands upon God.  We do not procure anything from God in this manner.  Our Lord Himself did not demand, but asked of His Father.  Prophecy relates of Christ:

  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.                                                                                       Ps. 2:8

Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.        Ps. 21:2

Likewise, prophecy directs us to “ask” for restoration and guidance into His kingdom:footpath

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.                                     Jer. 6:16

Consider that when the Holy Spirit was first given to the Church, it was not on the basis of any Divine imperative, nor was it based upon a claim of right.  Rather, it was based upon the prayer of Jesus Christ made to His Father:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;                                           John 14:16 

Jesus made it very clear how it is we are to obtain the things of God:

Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:                                                          Matt. 7:7 

. . . how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?                                        Matt. 7:11 Prayer 06

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.                                                                                      Matt. 18:19 

  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.               Matt. 21:22

  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.                     John 14:13 

And so did the Lord’s apostles teach prayer and petition as the means of receiving from God:Prayer 01

. . .  but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving  let your requests be made known unto God.             Phil. 4:6

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.                                                   I Tim. 2:8

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally . . .                                                                                      James 1:5Prayer 02

. . . yet ye have not, because ye ask not.   James 4:2

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.     I John 5:15 

This model of prayer and petition is no different in regard to receiving the Holy Spirit.  Prophecy directs God’s people to “ask” God for His Holy Spirit:

Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.                                                                                     Zech. 10:1

Jesus told us to ask for the Holy Spirit:

how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?              Luke 11:13

We do not demand anything from God.  To demand demonstrates a distrust of God’s will, His ways, and His timing pertaining to the things of His own eternal kingdom.

v.  The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Given & Operated According to God’s Will

We are warned in many places in Scripture of the Divine wrath which abides upon men who do not truly repent despite having been witness to signs and wonders.  For instance, consider the apostle Paul’s warning to those skeptics at Pisidion-Antioch that by unbelief in the wake of the Spirit’s witness, something would come upon them of which the prophets had spoken:Paul before Ruler 01

Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you; “Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.”                    Acts 13:40-41

Those events in the region of Lycaonia were marked by miraculous signs as Paul and Barnabas traveled through the cities of Derbe, Iconium, Lystra, and Pisidion-Antioch.  These were similar to the miraculous events in Capernaum under the ministry of Christ.  Recall that the Lord particularly denounced those cities in which His greatest miracles were performed:Hell 01

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell For if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom,  it would have remained until this day.  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.         Matt 11:23-24 

Something truly miraculous had occurred, as God was intervening in the natural creation in order to bear a witness to the brutish things of this world that they must stop, and consider the declaration that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  For it is the rejection of this revelation that constitutes antichrist and the “gates of hell.”  For there is a sin greater than all the sins of the flesh combined.  What sin is that?  Defaulting upon one’s day of grace.

Therefore signs and wonders play a critical role in God bearing witness of Himself.  Signs and wonders operate through the gifts and ministries of the Church. God gives these gifts and ministries according to His own purposes in testifying of Himself through signs and wonders.  We know well from apostolic teaching that the Divine gifts are placed into human hands at the will of God, that men may preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and bear a witness of God’s effectual agency toward them.  For instance, after the writer to the Hebrews warns against “neglecting so great salvation,” he then writes:

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders and with divers miracles,  and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?                                                                                      Heb. 2:4

By this we know that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are given according to God’s will, not as a consequence of the will of men.  While God wants that men should desire the gifts of the Spirit,[9] and He would have them be in a posture to receive,[10] there is no place for commanding the gifts or offices of God.[11]  And this principle holds true in terms of their operation.  We do not command the demonstration of a supernatural gift.  Rather, we look to God to extend to us faith for its operation.  Thereby, the gift is operated by God, although by an earthly messenger.  Therefore Paul writes:

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;             Rom. 12:6

We do not prophecy according to our own desire and whim.  We prophecy at such time the faith is present and bearing witness through the Holy Spirit’s unction that we do so.

vi.  The False Testimony of Man as Presumption in the Place of Faith

Within the context of the testimony of John the Baptist, Jesus said:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.                    Matt 11:12

Jesus confirmed the testimony of John the Baptist as a true testimony.[12]John the Baptist 10

Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.           John 5:33 

John’s testimony was to “prepare the way of the Lord.”[13]  John’s testimony became the prototype for that to be borne by the Church; a testimony having purpose in preparing men to rightly receive the witness of Christ when that witness comes.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, the testimony of man concerning Jesus Christ was severely corrupted within the Charismatic movement, and particularly within the popular sect known as the Word of Faith movement, and its offspring, The Prosperity MessageCopeland - Kenneth 04Building upon Positive Confession theology as formulated by E.W. Kenyon were such innovators as Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland, who developed a system of teaching on how man is to procure from heaven, which treated the kingdom of God as a set of principles and rules which God was bound to follow.  As stated earlier, they taught their followers to assume an assertive and resolute posture in terms of receiving things from heaven, wherein Trusting in God assumed the character of obstinacy, and where the issue of what was God’s will for the man, became a matter of what the individual decided was God’s will for the man.  They taught their followers that once the rules of God’s kingdom were learned, they could be acted upon so as to compel God upon His own word.  Common verses asserted were:

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.             John 14:14

Faith was taught as a principle which could be invoked through the spoken word and by standing steadfast in that thing spoken.  Certainly there is some support for this in Scripture.  Jesus said:Mountain into Sea

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.                    Mark 11:23-24

So what is the problem?  Is it no so, that Christ taught His followers the power of believing, and the power implicit within a word spoken in faith?  As for the Faith movement, the problem resided within a myopic emphasis upon portions of God’s word while neglecting the full counsel of God.  Jeremiah prophesied of such false teaching in the Church:

But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words,   then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.                Jer. 23:22 

The Faith movement was ready to take hold upon the fantastic aspects of the Gospel, but its teachings did not exhibit a readiness to take hold upon God’s full counsel.  For although Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it,” what is His very next statement, but:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.                          John 14:15

The Lord gave us commandments which bring us into self-effacement, the deferring of our interests to the needs and desires of others; whereby God may sanctifying every deed, word, and thought in His knowledge.  In this way, God may minister to us His own Holiness and His own Holy Spirit.  Therefore the Lord’s next statement is:

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter,  that he may abide with you for ever.                            John 14:16

God’s love is ministered to us through the agency of His Holy Spirit through a reciprocating operation of our keeping Jesus’ commandments and returning the fruit of His sacrifice.  In this way, there is continuity of fellowship in Him, and communion is maintained.  The keeping of His commandments becomes the sacrifices of a pure heart.  The full counsel of God includes these principles of sanctification.  But these were neglected in Positive Confession teaching.

In Mark’s Gospel, in the place the Lord expresses the power of Faith to move the hand of God, this is how the Lord continues the statement:

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.                Mark 11:25-26 

Therefore, if we presume to move the hand of God using the prayer of faith while we operate with “ought against any,” what shall be the fruit of that prayer?  If our spirit is not chastened to the ways of Christ, and if we pursue our own aspirations at the expense of righteousness, do we really want God’s hand to move according to “what things soever we desire?”  Woe unto us, should we force the hand of God to give us our evil desires through an aggressive assertion of His Word!  The wiser prayer would be a call for God’s mercy in our rebuke, our discomfiting, and our chastening.  That way, God may determine the timing and terms of His blessing.  And then, truly, we can say . . .

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.                                                                                      Prov. 10:22

And what of Luke’s account in the place the Lord expresses the power of Faith to move the hand of God?  This is how the Lord continues the statement in the Gospel of Luke:Plough in evening

“But which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say unto him when he has come in from the field, “Come immediately and sit down to eat?” But will he not say to him, “Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself And serve me until I have eaten and drunk; and afterward you will eat and drink?”  He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?   So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, “We are unprofitable slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.”                        Luke 17:7-10

The Lord compares the exercise of dynamic faith to eating and drinking.  His disciples had just made the request of Him, “Increase our faith.”[14]  Did the Lord grant them this desire?  No.  He told them there was an order of things which they must observe.Lamps & Virgins 04

Firstly, there is an issue of having proper attire for the presence of God; an allusion to sanctification.  There is an issue of having one’s service completed in His sight; an allusion to obedience.  One does not walk into God’s presence as a servant would do from the field and begin to presume upon any autonomy of action.  Therefore, the proper attitude is to consider ourselves “unprofitable slaves.”  And even so, this contemplates we are walking in obedience to the Lord’s commandments. But this was not at all the teaching formulated by E.W. Kenyon, advanced abroad by F.F. Bosworth and the Voice of Healing stable, and which was turned into a theology of self-fulfillment through the corrupt teachings of such men as Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland.  From the heresies of Kenyon arose a movement so popular it nearly became the Charismatic orthodoxy; the teaching that  the exercise of  God’s power was subject to man’s control and use for his own earthly interests.

vii.  Demanding the Anointing; The Rise of Rodney Howard-Browne

There have arisen, in this day, many charismatic ministries which bear the indicia of rejecting the yoke of Christ.  The most fertile soil for such ministries has been, for sure, that provided in Positive Confession theology through its emphasis upon the spoken word as the means of wielding God’s power.  The new thing, however, in which charismatic circles are awash is spiritual brashness and insolence even as a matter of doctrine.  That men are to make demand upon God for the things of heaven, rather than to make request of God through prayer and supplication was substantially introduced through the testimony and ministry of Rodney Howard-Brown.RHB 03

Within Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema organization during the 1990’s, there arose a truly phenomenal ministry of signs and wonders.  The ministry Rodney Howard-Browne was unlike any other in recorded history.  Characterized by overt supernatural phenomenon, the Howard-Browne ministry added the sign of uncontrolled laughter to those traditionally charismatic signs of shaking and falling under the power.  As well, Rodney Howard-Browne’s account of how he received this anointing must be considered one of the most peculiar testimonies of all time.  The event occurred in 1979 in his native South Africa just after he turned eighteen years of age.  The young Rodney was crying out to God to manifest Himself.  He writes that upon God telling him he must first hunger and thirst, his response to God was that God should “just give it to him” as he “deserved it.”  He further relates:

As I prayed that day, I told the Lord, “Either You come down here and touch me, or I am going to come up there and touch You.”  I was desperate.  I must have called out to God for about twenty minutes that day.  Suddenly the fire of God fell on me.  It started on my head and went right down to my feet.  His power burned in my body and stayed like that for three whole days.  I thought I was going to die.  I thought He was going to kill me.  I thought, “He has heard my prayer, ‘Either You come down here and touch me or I will come up there and touch You,’ and now He has come down here and touched me and He is going to kill me and take me home.”  I was really praying, “Lord, I am too young to die.”  In the fourth day I am not praying, “O Lord, send your glory,” I am praying, “Please lift it off me so that I can bear it.”  I was plugged into heaven’s electric light supply and since then my desire has been to go and plug other people in.[15]

In 1980, Howard-Browne went into fulltime ministry, traveling throughout South Africa with a young group who ministered in music and teaching.  He soon learned that he held a dramatic gift when a young woman (a member of his ministry team) approached him in the vestibule of a Methodist church they were visiting and requested prayer for back pain.  He writes that as he went to lay his hands on her . . .

I got my hand halfway to her head, almost like a gunslinger would draw a gun out of a holster and point it at his opponent.  Suddenly, unexpectedly, it felt like my finger tips came off.  I felt a full volume of the anointing flow out of my hand.  The only way I can explain it is to liken it to a fireman holding a fire hose with a full volume of water flowing out of it.  The anointing went right into her.  It looked like someone had hit her in the head with an invisible baseball bat and she fell to the floor.[16]

As Howard-Browne prayed for the rest of the team, they all fell under the power of God.  While preaching, the Lord told him, “Call all those who want a blessing.”  He was told to simply lay a finger on each one:

I walked over to the first person and said, “In the name of Je . . .” I did not even have time to say, “sus,” when the power of God threw that person to the floor.  I went down the line and everyone went out under the power.  They hit the floor just like someone had slammed them in the head with a Louisville Slugger.[17]

The gift seemed to withdraw after a couple of weeks, and Howard Browne sought God for a full manifestation.  He writes that God told him, “Son, this anointing is all Me and has nothing to do with you,” and that it was “as He wills, not as I will.”  Howard-Browne writes:

The Lord then said to me, “You are just a vessel through which I am flowing.  You cannot earn this anointing; it’s given as I will.  If I gave you a key and you could get this anointing at anytime, you would begin to think it’s all you and not Me.  Because you know it is Me that is doing this, you will have to give Me all the glory.[18]

The manner in which Howard-Browne received his anointing seems to have carried into his teaching, which encouraged men to “place a demand upon the anointing.”[19]  Certainly, to a certain extent he was primed for a theology of demanding power from God given his Positive Confession/Word of Faith roots in Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema organization.

Rodney Howard-Browne pastored the Rhema church in Johannesburg, South Africa for two years before immigrating to the United States in 1987 and entering upon an itinerant ministry across America.  The well known laughing manifestation first erupted while Howard-Browne was preaching in Albany, New York in April of 1989. RHB 05 After feeling a sensation like “a heavy blanket” come over him, people began falling from their seats; some laughing, some crying.  Howard Browne states they resembled “drunken people.”[20] Several months later in Pittsburg, another scene occurred wherein people were lying prostrate on the floor.  Howard-Browne writes:

The presence of God came in like a cloud and people were filled with joy.  It was bubbling out of their bellies.  People were totally drunk in the Holy Ghost.  The anointing of God was on them and they were in a place of total Holy Ghost ecstasy, total joy.  They were beside themselves.  The Lord spoke to me and said, “You are tasting the powers of the world to come.  This is a little bit of heaven, a glimpse of glory.[21]

In 1993, Howard-Browne was invited by Pastor Karl Strader to bring his anointing to Strader’s Carpenters Home Church in Lakeland, Florida; an Assemblies of God mega-church. RHB 04 Originally scheduled for a single week, the publicity of the meetings being broadcasted by radio brought so many people to the services that Howard-Brown held several weeks of meetings wherein three to four thousand persons attended each night.  These meetings are known as the first Lakeland revival; the so-called second Lakeland revival occurring in 2008 under Todd Bentley.                                                                                                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpjB6OvyLuI

Videotape of some of these services may be seen on the internet, and presents a bizarre picture of persons falling, shaking, moaning, screaming, prostrated on the floor, and staggering almost comically about as if intoxicated. Meanwhile, Howard-Browne mills amongst the congregation saying such things as, “Have another drink,” and quoting the apostle Peter’s words, “These are not drunk as you suppose.”  Throughout the meeting the audience continues to howl with the laughter characteristic of early Howard-Browne meetings.  When he asks for a raise of hands of those who want to be prayed for, a majority of hands seem to go up.  The name of Jesus Christ is scarcely mentioned at all.

Howard-Browne’s anointing would soon enter into the Vineyard organization after Vineyard pastor, Randy Clark, traveled to Tulsa in order to have Mr. Howard-Browne lay hands on him.[22]  Clark - RandyClark immediately introduced the anointing to the Toronto Airport Vineyard, and this resulted in the dramatic events of January 1994, and the movement which became known as the Toronto Blessing, or referred to by its critics as the Laughing Revival.  In fact, Howard-Browne’s ministry seems to have been the catalyst sparking a series of spiritual movements, and which appears to be the most significant common denominator of most of the outwardly supernatural phenomenon in the Church over the past twenty years.  The phenomenon often referred to as “Holy Laughter” was occurring well before the 1994 events in Toronto.  While the Toronto Blessing has a clear link to the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, the phenomenon of hysterical laughter was occurring in Howard-Browne’s services several years prior to its coming to that city.  From Toronto, the phenomenon spread throughout the world, causing its best-known Australian critic, Andrew Strom, to write:Strom - Andrew

Virtually every Charismatic or Pentecostal pastor in New Zealand was into this movement.  Even many from the Assemblies of God – and other so-called “conservative” Pentecostals!  And even some Baptists!  It was a nightmare.  Entire meetings would be spent, week after week, in seeking strange “experiences.”  Whole churches would be convulsed with hyena-like laughter, “drunken” antics, jerking, barking, roaring, and animal-like convulsions.  It was like a lunatic asylum – it really was.  Everybody was “soaking” in this new anointing.  Everybody was doing ‘carpet time.’  It got to the point where you didn’t dare let anyone lay on hands and pray for you anymore.[23]

Rodney Howard-Browne is widely recognized as the source and chief apostle of a movement that has profoundly changed the essential character of charismatic Christianity in the world today.  Few charismatically-oriented religious organizations have been left untouched.  The effect of Howard-Browne’s ministry among those organizations embracing the phenomenon has been to virtually discard Biblically-mandated discernment and standards of practice.  As well, there has resulted a proliferation of movements and organizations which seem peculiarly focused upon supernatural phenomenon, novel pet doctrines, and angel sightings.  A great many other organizations have hardened themselves to the prospect of ever embracing the miraculous in their own assemblies on the basis of the abuses they see in the present.

As is typical for many teachers of error, Rodney Howard-Browne is himself resistant to applying Bible to the phenomenon seen in his services (His mantra, “These are not drunk as you suppose,” excepted.)  In fact, in watching a typical Howard-Browne meeting, one can point out dozens of ways in which the teachings of the apostle Paul are violated in terms of order in the assembly and decency in the operation of spiritual gifts, leading one to ask, What will this state of affairs mean should a move of the Holy Spirit occur?  And, How many more will be led astray by Rodney Howard-Browne’s teaching that to receive from God, one must put a “demand” upon the anointing?

Many false teachers are now engaged in promoting Rodney Howard-Browne’s unfortunate contribution to charismatic doctrine.[24] Dufresne - EdOne of the first from the stall was the heavily entrenched and anointed Rhema stalwart, Ed Dufresne.[25] He published his book, Faith That Makes a Demand on the Anointing, in 1996, shortly after the doctrine was asserted by Rodney Howard Browne.  This new era of brashness before God is widely promoted by many self-proclaimed “prophets” and “prophetesses,” who speak of one’s personal fulfillment in the world as simply requiring one places enough “demand” upon God, e.g.:

Why hasn’t it manifested yet?  A major part of faith is to put a demand on the anointing in faith believing.[26]

These teachers go so far as to identify God’s people as the “violent” who must use force with God, as Aduke Obey writes:

There cannot be a supply except there is a demand!  This economic law also applies to spiritual matters.  You cannot get anything from God unless you are desperate for God!  The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and only the violent can take it by force![27]

But those who will come to know their Creator through the Holy Spirit’s work in revealing Jesus Christ will not be those who found their place by forcing their way.  Prayer 03These will come into the knowledge of God through the means God has appointed, including persistence in asking:

Yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  And I say to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives;  and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”         Luke 11:8-10

But a day is coming when, in the awareness of our sins, every demand in the world will be insufficient basis for God to hear.  In that day, we must hope in the sufficiency of Someone other than ourself to justify.

viii.  Spiritual Violence as a Fruit of Non-Repentance

But there is another question raised by this injury done to Gospel: What is the end of the present error?  How far will this apostasy go?  And, Will God, in His mercy, draw men back from the brink of destruction?  Thus far, there is every indication that false teachers are continuing to drive many over the cliffs, taking advantage of the present inebriated condition of Christianity to build upon the error of E.W. Kenyon and to build upon the error of the many teachers who integrated his teachings into their own ministries.  But still, we stand by the apostle Paul against even angelic beings preaching a “Gospel” inconsistent with the apostolic Gospel:Angel of Light

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.     Gal 1:8

Recall again the Lord’s words:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.       Matt 11:12

The “kingdom of heaven” is brought to men.  But it is ruled by One man; the Lord Jesus Christ.  As coming from heaven, the kingdom of God is ruled by the One Who came down from heaven.  Jesus told us Whose will is concerned when it comes to the kingdom of God:

For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.                                   John 6:38

And as Christ did the will of His Father, we perform God’s will through Christ, Who said:

As my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.       John 20:21

Jesus, by performing God’s will upon the earth under the duress of men violently opposed to the ways and purposes of God, was established King of God’s eternal kingdom in which God’s will is is performed.  This is a kingdom that belongs rightfully to only One.  He who resists the true King Who came down from heaven to rule, is (prophetically speaking) spiritually violentBright Cloud 1 If the elect perform God’s will in the days of violent men, antagonistic to the Creator, to His Christ, and to His elect, then they will certainly perform God’s will in the day when the violent have perished and the elect inherit “new heavens and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness.”[28]

We live in a time when signs and wonders are undoubtedly occurring within the context of the name of Jesus Christ, or at least under those who presumably minister in the Lord’s name.  We know that the purpose of signs and wonders is to convince sinful and carnally-inclined human beings to repent.  Again, it was in the midst of the signs and wonders occurring under his own preaching, that Paul declared the words of the prophet Habakkuk:

Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you; “Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish;                  Acts 13:40

If there is a purpose in signs and wonders, it is to bring humanity to repentance.  And what if repentance does not come?  Consider the seventh Psalm:Sword of Word

If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.  He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts.                         Ps. 7:12-13 (NASV)

While the wicked are received into God’s presence by the virtue and sacrifice offered by Christ, the object of this mercy is to effectuate a repentance that leads to the good fruit of the Spirit.  What happens if this repentance does not occur?  God “will sharpen His sword.”  What is the “sword of the Spirit”, but the “word of God?”[29]  The “witness of the Spirit” distills into the “witness of the Word,” a witness characterized by judgment upon the ungodly.  Therefore, having resisted repentance, the sinner is not left unchanged, but begins to “travail in wickedness,” and to dig His own grave, spiritually-speaking:

Behold he travaileth with iniquity, and he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.  He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.                                                                                      Ps. 7:14-15 (KJV)

If we believe that the righteous man has a travail, then so does the wicked.  So long as they remain hostile to God, they travail in His presence.  If they continue to dwell under the law while confronted by the presence of the Spirit of Grace, their carnality will continually gain the upper hand on them and gain strength.  By refusing repentance they pull the lid of their covering (which is the Law) harder down upon themselves, along with its curses.  Since they must continually deny truth in order to self-justify, those nearer to the Lord become their target of accusation.  The “pit” they dig is their own resort to the spiritual principle of Law through self-justification.   This manifests in hostility and accusation against others.  But in their self-justifying, they reject the justification that is ministered unto them by faith, and which affords them place within the body of Christ.  Therefore they “dig a pit” intended for others which only serves to ensnare themselves.  But . . .Abimelech & Millstone 01

His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.   Ps. 7:16 (KJV)

We see now that this “violence” is ultimately intended to come back around to destroy the violent!  Notice that Jesus followed His statement concerning “violent men” with the statement, “for all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.”  What did the law and the prophets testify to?  Judgment upon the ungodly and sinner!  The Law and the prophets were put in place due to transgression[30] and testified against the ungodly.[31]  In other words, ungodliness in man was held at bay by the Law and prophets which testified against them, much as the whip renders the lion submissive.

We might therefore gain a sense of the relationship between miraculous signs and the objective in repentance.  And this relationship may not be as dependent upon the issue of the integrity of the messenger as we might suppose.  As to the motivational integrity of the minister, recall Paul’s words:

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.             Phil. 1:18

As to doctrinal integrity, consider the words of Jesus Christ, after he was told of a man performing miracles in His name, but who did not follow (presumably) His teaching:

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to hinder him because he was not following us.”  But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who shall perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.  For he who is not against us is for us.”      Mark 9:38-40

Here we have an account of a miracle-ministry that was walking errantly.  The minister was not following the teachings of Christ, and yet his ministry was confirmed with signs and wonders.  In actuality, what was being confirmed was not his doctrine, but the power in the name of Jesus Christ.[32]  But how could the power of the name of Jesus be held in the hand of someone that walked errantly from Christ’s teachings and authority?

Recall Peter’s words when the first miracle was performed by the church in the healing of the lame man in the temple.  After the lame man leaped about praising God:Peter & John in Temple

and while he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”           Acts 3:11-12 

Peter was very quick to discern that the name of Jesus must be held forth as the source of the miracle.  Other ministries we have known in our own generation have not been so faithful as Peter and John in giving the glory to God.  Nevertheless, Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who shall perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.”  Not a high standard of truth for sure!  But this demonstrates that the vital principle is the honoring of Jesus’ name, that when men fall under condemnation, they may lay hope in that one name given men by God.


[1] Matthew 5:45

[2] I Peter 2:5

[3] Revelation 6:6

[4] G3402  mimētēs   mim-ay-tace’   From G3401; an imitator: – follower.

[5] Zechariah 10:1

[6] Matthew 6:33

[7] Romans 14:7

[8] Luke 11:13

[9] I Corinthians 12:31  But covet earnestly the best gifts:

[10] I Corinthians 14:12  Even so ye, forasmuch ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excell to the edifying of the church.

[11] Romans 12:6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

[12] John 10:41

[13] Matthew 3:3

[14] Luke 17:5  And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

[15] The Touch of God, by Rodney Howard-Browne © 1992 R.H.B.E.A. Publications, pgs. 73-74.

[16] The Touch of God, by Rodney Howard-Browne © 1992 R.H.B.E.A. Publications, pg. 76.

[17] Ibid. pg. 77

[18] Ibid. pg. 79

[19] Immediately after relating his testimony of receiving an anointing and experiencing ministry under the anointing, Mr. Howard-Browne relates his teaching on Placing a Demand on the Anointing wherein he provides the Gospel account of the woman with an issue of blood as someone who “placed a demand on the anointing on the life and ministry of Jesus.”  Ibid. pg. 81

[20] Ibid. pg. 98

[21] Ibid. pg. 100

[22] The Quest for the Radical Middle; A History of the Vineyard © 1999 Vineyard International Publishing, pg. 278.

[23] Kundalini Warning; Are False Spirits Invading the Church? by Andrew Strom © 2010, Published by Andrew Strom at Revivalschool.com, pg.  14.

[24] For instance, see How to Put a Demand on the Anointing, by John Eckhardt

[25] Dufresne may be seen in more than one Kenneth Hagin meeting coming under the strong influences of Kenneth Hagin’s anointing, and seems to have ministered under similar power in his home church in Arizona.

[26] Putting a Demand on the Anointing, by “Prophetess,” Frances Lloyd at website dailygoldenfootprints.com.

[27] Putting a Demand on the Anointing, by Pastor Aduke Obey at website houseofrefugeng.org.

[28] I Peter 3:13

[29] Ephesians 6:17

[30] Galatians 3:19  “Why the Law then?  It was added because of transgressions…”

[31] John 5:45  “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father, the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.”

[32] See commentary on Zechariah 11:1  that a fire may feed on your cedars” for discussion of the concept of “Solomon’s porch” as indicated the Spirit’s witness to the world affirming the name of Jesus as the Christ.

Posted in 3D. POSITIVE CONFESSION (Application to Pentecostal Theology) | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

III.D.7 Defaulting from Faith and Patience; The Spirit of Antichrist

  Part III  –  Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart D  –  The Positive Confession Movement

 Article 7  –  Defaulting from Faith & Patience; The Spirit of Antichrist

By Daniel Irving

a.  Intro to a Series of Articles Exposing the Error of Positive Confession Theology

b.  Christ’s Work in Negating Natural Means of Attainment

c.  The Breaking of Sin’s Bondage as the Mark of the Covenant

d.  The Headship of the One Who Died for All

e.   Faith in Jesus Christ as the Divinely-Appointed Means for Overcoming Death

f.   The Promises of God Realized through Faith & Patience

g.  The Children of Abraham as Perceptive to God’s Ways

h.  The Satanic Insensibility to God’s Ways

i.   The Shaking of all Foundations

j.   The Spirit of Antichrist

k.  Satanic Headship over the Deceived through Fleshly Confidence

Lucifer falling 01

Article 7 – 

DEFAULTING FROM FAITH & PATIENCE; THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST

a.  Intro to a Series of Articles Exposing the Error of Positive Confession Theology

There have arisen, in this day, many charismatic ministries which bear the indicia of rejecting the yoke of Christ.  The most fertile soil for such ministries appears to be that provided in Positive Confession theology through its emphasis upon the spoken word as the means of wielding God’s power. Certainly The Positive Confession proclamation that God’s power is to be vested into the hands of men, has been preached abroad as if it were itself the evangelistic message. This corruption of the Gospel has been voraciously consumed by many Christians through the Faith Movement, aka the Faith Message, given its assertion of an assertive and volitional faith as the means of achieving self-determined objectives.  The teaching quickly digresses into such base doctrines as the Prosperity Message, Christian Dominionism, etc. which assert that God’s power may be brandished by men, in such a way as to serve their own material purposes.kenyon ew

Given the witness of the scriptures, such a manifestly perverse doctrine would have been unlikely to have known the degree of success it realized in the twentieth-century had it not been carried on the strength of false spirits, so as to give the corrupted message a vibrancy and a vitality sufficient to overcome sound thinking and the adherence to sound doctrine.

We begin a series of articles which will assess Positive Confession theology in the light of Scripture, and which will implicate Positive Confession teaching as a deception which has done tremendous damage to the twentieth-century Pentecostal renewal, and which continues to play havoc in charismatically-believing assemblies.  Hagin WOFThese were the teachings originated by E.W. Kenyon[1] and effectively advanced by a host of charismatic ministries in the latter half of the twentieth-century, and particularly so by such figures as Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland.  This article will provide some foundation for articles to come.

b. Christ’s Work in Negating Natural Means of Attainment

The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, revealed God, in flesh.  This is made clear by Paul, who wrote that in Jesus Christ, “God was manifest in the flesh:”Shepherds Visit

  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels,  preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.                           I Tim. 3:16

God humbled Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ.[2]  When we follow after the righteousness of Jesus Christ, are forgiven of sin and justified by His blood sacrifice, and thereafter grow in the strength and power of His Spirit as “partakers of the Divine nature,”[3] we become a part of the “mystery of the gospel;” a marvel to be revealed in its time.  Somehow, it is also considered significant by the apostle, that, within this mystery of godliness,” angels did observe this phenomenon of God assuming flesh and blood; the likeness of a fallen creature.

And what did the angels observe?Crucifixion Feet

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.                       Rom. 8:3

The Incarnation of God, His Atoning Death, and His Resurrection; all performed in a human body of flesh and blood, worked a marvelous thing before the eyes of angels. Spiritual principalities, having their authority in the Law, witnessed that authority be not just undermined, but negated entirely in terms of its power to give the creature standing before God:

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin.               Rom. 3:20

. . nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.                    Gal. 2:16

The revelation of the Gospel is the negation of the Law as a basis to justify before God.  Therefore, this revelation also removed the Law as the means of attaining unto the dominion over all things, which God decreed, in man’s creation, man should have.  This was a remarkable revelation to spiritual principalities, whose power derived from the Law. Angel 01 Jesus Christ established that true godliness and the authority to rule were founded in another source.  With the coming of Jesus Christ, a revelation was made to angelic authority that had afore been kept hidden from their apprehension, although; “things the angels desire to look into.”[4]  And why should they not have “desire to look into” this matter of God assuming flesh?  For by so doing, humanity found a place above even the angelic realm:

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;  angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.                          I Peter 3:22

This occurred because God assumed flesh and blood.  This was a remarkable turning of the tables upon spiritual entities, whose dominion over natural things depended upon their subjugation of humanity.  And what was their power to subjugate humanity?  It was the authority of the Law.  For through the Law, comes Sin, and through Sin, comes . . . Death:

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.        I Cor. 15:56

Satan’s authority to subjugate men derived from Death, as the product of the Law’s authority over the sinner.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;                             Heb. 2:14 

And notice what the writer to the Hebrews particularly associates with the overcoming of Death, and so, the Power of the Devil; the Incarnation of God in human flesh and blood.  For we read:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and bloodhe also himself likewise took part of the same;                Heb. 2:14

And the result?  Victory over the bondage of Death:

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.                                                                                      Heb. 2:15

And what does Paul tell us is the cause of Death?  Sin.  Christ’s death and resurrection for sinners, was the breaking of this principle:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.                                  Rom. 8:2

c.  The Breaking of Sin’s Bondage as the Mark of the Covenant

If Christ’s death and resurrection for sinners, was the breaking of this principle, then what is the effectual working (or result) of this principle?  Paul tells us:

. . .  sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law but under grace.                                                                                      Rom. 6:14

So what is the sign that the Law has lost its power to condemn?  It is the loss of sin’s control over the sinner.  The breaking of sin’s bondage is the sign of God’s covenant.  Christ’s breaking of the Law’s authority over transgressors is fulfilled in the breaking of Sin’s bondage.  Therefore, this is the mark of the covenant.

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.                                                                                      Rom. 11:27Keys

Death is robbed of its power, and therefore the Devil is looted of his treasure in men.

d.  The Headship of the One Who Died for All

Of the atoning death of Christ, Paul writes:

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge,  that if one died for all, then were all dead:                                      II Cor. 5:14

As “God was manifested in the flesh”[5] in the person of Jesus Christ, God therefore identified with sinful humanity, as a member of the same.  In assuming human form, God made no distinction when the sins of humanity came to bear upon a single member of humanity.  But how could One die for all?  The answer is through His eternal nature as our very Creator.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;                       Is. 54:5  

If Jesus Christ had not been our very Maker, He could not have been our Redeemer.  This relationship is made plain by prophecy:Pottery 02

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer and he that formed thee from the womb,  I am the LORD that maketh all thingsthat stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;                     Is. 44:24  

As our Creator, Jesus Christ, could stand as One for the Many.  As flesh of our flesh, all authority and judgment were committed to Him.  Jesus said that His Father had:

. . .  given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.                              John 5:27 

As the head of authority over humanity, Christ stands in the promises Given to man upon His Creation.  John the Baptist 05In assuming His office as the Christ at water baptism, He consented to that role of taking upon Himself the curses that had befallen humanity, but with the reward of all the promises to humanity.  Christ inherited all things through standing in flesh and blood.  This is even the nature of the Person and office of Jesus as the “Christ.”  United to humanity by His flesh, this is how Christ was able to die for the sins of humanity.  Therefore, Jesus Christ’s atoning death for humanity contemplates His headship of humanity, else one from among humanity could not have died for the whole.

Immediately upon speaking of the authority given Him as the Son of Man, Jesus began speaking of resurrection.  His conquering of Death constitutes a message of joy for the elect.  But not only this, His overcoming of Death constitutes a message of terror for the perishing.  For having overcome Death in the body of a man, Christ exposed Death as no covering for Sin.Graveyard 04

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming,  in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of lifeand they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.                 John 5:28-29

Therefore, any so-called “gospel” which does not lay its emphasis upon the release from sin’s bondage and continuation in holiness through the abiding in the Sprit of Holiness, is incomplete, even “death in the pot.”Death in Pot

So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, “O thou man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they could not eat thereof.                                       II Kings 4:40

But with a fuller teaching of the Gospel, God intimates through this account of Elisha’s miracle, that by calling out to Him, He will heal the breach brought about by an incomplete Gospel message:

But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, “Pour out for the people, that they may eat.”  And there was no harm in the pot.     II Kings 4:41 

A partial Gospel will perpetuate man’s bondage to Sin, and therefore, the result is Death. By adding what is lacking, God may heal the breach.  The greater danger is that brought by a false Gospel, which works to solidify the bondage to Death via a satanic spirit of deception.  If such a “gospel” comes with signs following, its effect (if not its intent) is to destroy that which Christ came to save; the human soul.

e.  Faith in Jesus Christ as the Divinely-Appointed Means for Overcoming of Death

As earlier quoted of Paul:

. . .  sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law but under grace.                                                                                     Rom. 6:14

But this principle of allowing the Spirit of Life His agency to break the power of Sin and Death does not occur but through the means God has ordained for it to be broken.  What is that means through which the Holy Spirit breaks the power of the Law over the transgressorFaith.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.                                        Heb. 10:39

Faith is the divinely-ordained means of our standing before God in Christ.  For God Himself has provided that object upon which His elect may fix their hope; Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross.  Shepherds VisitThus we perceive why there is that continuous prophetic call to “Behold,” when it comes to the Person and work of Jesus Christ:  “Behold, a virgin shall conceive;” “Behold,  My Servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one in whom My soul delights.  I have put My Spirit upon Him.”  When prophecy begins with the exhortation that we “behold,”[6] it is never without significance.  When we see this word preceding a prophetic declaration, this constitutes a special exhortation that we “see;” that we perceive something very important.  How are we to “behold”?  We “Behold” with our heart.  For a true comprehension will require an awakened heart.  But the object of focus for the awakened heart, is Jesus Christ, and Him alone. 

Man’s inheritance has already been attained for him through the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  Because of this, it is very easy to misunderstand and to presume upon that inheritance, as what has occurred within most of Christiandom.  But God’s word is clear:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.                                              Heb. 12:14

The world perishes by reason of SinSin derives from unbelief. Likewise do those making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, perish for unbelief, despite that profession.  Were we to believe in the Son of God, Sin would ultimately be conquered in our mortal bodies.[7]  Therefore, ultimately, although we are justified by Faith, the proof of that faith, will be sanctification of the Spirit.  The doctrine of justification does not contravene this principle.  This is, perhaps, the greatest misunderstanding within Christiandom, both today and historically.

Sin will continue to be an issue that separates humanity from God regardless of whether we are in the world, or within the church!  While there is a time of forbearance, prophetically referred to as the “time of the Gentiles” in which the sinner is received into Christ, there is a timetable at work in redemption.  What follows is a shutting of the door upon those whose works continue to exhibit the mark of unbelief, profession or no profession.  Or else, why would John tell us that:

. . . everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.                                                                                      I John 3:2-3

The dynamic is clear; We see something with our heart, and we believe.  We “behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sin of the world.”[8]  But although many will be made privy to the witness of Jesus Christ, tragically, they will not believe for the seeing.  Jesus said:

But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.                                                                                      John 6:36 

John tells us that our very resurrection will come as the result of “seeing Him as He is:”Heaven 01

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.                          I John 3:2

Therefore we shall be changed at His appearing by virtue of being able to “see Him as He is,” through the lens of holiness:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:      Heb. 12:14

Without “holiness,” we shall not “see the Lord.”  Without seeing the Lord, we shall not be changed at His appearing.  Therefore without holiness, there is no physical resurrection for those that maintain they are the Church of Christ.  Holiness is the essential component of our resurrection.  Therefore, the question becomes, How are we to be made holy?  The answer, is through the very same means; through seeing Him:Christ Teaching 02

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”                     John 1:29

There is an inheritance for holiness.  But holiness derives not any other way, but through “beholding the Lamb of God.”  Holiness is the Person of Jesus Christ.  Therefore the inheritance of God belongs exclusively to Him, and to none other.  And through His cross, Christ has chosen to share His Holy nature with humanity, through the means of Faith.

f.  The Promises of God Realized through Faith & Patience

Through faith we are empowered for patienceWe endure, as the Holy Spirit performs the work. Jesus said:

In your patience possess ye your souls.                               Luke 21:19

Possess our souls, as opposed to what?  What is the alternative to possessing our own souls?  By implication, rather than having another than Christ possess them.  For we are preserving them for the coming of the Lord.  If they are possessed by the spirit of this world, then they are not available for the work of the Spirit by which He would sanctify us.

What are we told is necessary for the working of patience?  “Tribulation.”  Paul tells the Romans:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; Knowing that tribulation worketh patience& patience, experience, & experience, hope; & hope, maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts  by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.                            Rom. 5:3-5

Paul provides us with the process of redemption beginning with that essential element of progress in the kingdom, ie. tribulationFlood 11 Paul is describing the Divine process by which God sanctifies His elect.  Because this is a Divine process, therefore it is also Divinely-ordained tribulation having purpose in a Divinely-induced patience.  God will appoint for us times of testing and tribulation through which we are to endure patiently.  What are we to endure?  Anything unpleasant that requires enduring.  If we are persecuted because of our hope in God’s kingdom, we endure it:

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions & tribulations that you endure.:             II Thess. 1:4

Whatever we find difficult in the world, we endure for the sake of our profession:

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.   II Tim. 2:3

Sometimes, what we must endure comes directly from God in the form of Divine chastisement:

If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;  for what son is he whom the father chastens not?        Heb. 12:7

For the elect, there are a variety of things to endure that the world is generally not called upon to endure.  But we should consider that we have laid for ourselves a good foundation in Christ.    Therefore, it is God who says; “I will now allow you to glorify Me through what I have wrought heretofore in you through My Son.”  Jesus glorified His Father in suffering the things He suffered.[9]  Suffering for the Divine-purpose entails a glory which we cannot imagine in our present life.

But what would be the alternative to patiently enduring?  Acting-out impatiently and spoiling God’s purpose in calling us.  Such would be a very sad result indeed.  Therefore we are told that it is through “faith and patience, we inherit the promises.”[10]

In this way, humanity may share in that inheritance of eternal life and made partaker in the nature of God.  Heaven 01But humanity only has a part through the means of Faith.  In this way, the integrity of eternal life is kept within the power of God’s hand, to disperse as He wills; not as we will.

The work of God is performed when a man has seen something of God’s revelation of Himself; which is Christ, and obediently endures in that knowledge. This is the path to greater revelation knowledge.  This was the path taken by Moses, of whom we are told:

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.                        Heb 11:27  

However, there is a boundary between Faith and Presumption that is crossed when men reject patience as the means of preserving their souls.

g.  The Children of Abraham as Perceptive to God’s Ways

Jesus Christ revealed the Person of God to men through the empowerment of Faith to break the bondage to Sin and Death.  This is the work of God; This is the way of God; This is where His heart is; This is His very purpose in creating man.  The receipt of this principle of Faith is what brought God to refer to Abraham as His friend.

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed Godand it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.                                                                                      James 2:23Abraham Counts Stars

And so all of Abraham’s children, as numerous as the stars of heaven, consist of those granted of God the ability to receive through the means God has ordained; through the means of Faith.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.                   Is. 41:8

But, sadly, there are many who cannot receive God’s ways.  They presume for themselves a status on the basis of their own efforts.  However, God will disabuse these of the Law through the means of their own conscience.

The preaching of the Gospel will equip even the unbeliever with sufficient information to know better than to assert a means other than Faith for attaining unto the kingdom of God.  Therefore, while the majority of men will assert Faith by doctrine, yet many perceive Faith wrongly.  Lacking true faith, which is an abiding trust in God, they perceive Faith, as itself, something to be attained.  Therefore, they perceive Faith as itself a force to be acquired and controlled by their own hand.  But God will not allow it, as Paul makes clear:Pharaoh with Dead Son

What shall we say then?  There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, & I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP,  TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, & THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, & He hardens whom He desires.                  Rom. 9:14-18

This is a difficult truth to work into our understanding.  For in our hearts, we always believe that we retain the ability and the autonomy to come unto Christ for salvation.  But this is not an accurate understanding of salvation.  The ministration of Grace is what breaks the power of sin.  This can occur as a dramatic and sudden transaction, or it can occur by increments, and usually, by bothGrace is the irresistible force that operates on the day of salvation whether we be “far off” or “near” in respect to the Lord and His truth.[11]

We might perceive, then, why Grace is so precious as to be reserved for the sovereignty of God to minister.  It is not for the man to transact as he would upon a contract.  Therefore God says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,”[12] and He will withhold mercy upon whom He will.  He will even harden men and angels unto destruction.  For this is God’s peculiar treasure which He has purchased Himself through the sacrifice of His Son, the fruit of which is the very knowledge of Himself.  Faith is the gift of God;  It is not self-procured, except at our own peril.

h.  The Satanic Insensibility to God’s Ways

The children of the Devil cannot receive God’s ways because they cannot hear what God is saying.  God’s ways require a special ear.  The hearing ear, is a metaphor for Faith.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.                                                                                      John 8:43

The children of the Devil are the non-believing.  But they are not necessarily the non-professingNon-belief, is to have seen a thing, and yet to persist in unbelief.    Recall the Lord’s words to those Jews who were professing belief in His person.  Even though they refer to Him as “Lord”, He tells them:

“But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.”                                                                    John 6:36

So much for a profession of faith as constituting “belief!”  Those professing Jesus to be the Christ, somehow, constituted the most deluded of all men.  For they had not the excuse of ignorance.  Even having been privy to the manifestation of God, they did not “believe the report.” This was remarkable to John, who later laments using the words of Isaiah, saying:

  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?                                                                                      John 12:37-38

Were they now free to simply walk away and live their lives as other men?  They were no longer any other men.  They were those “to whom the Gospel was preached,” of whom Jesus said:

“If He called them ‘gods’, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),                  John 10:35

Somehow the gospel of God works a change in the man regardless of whether he succeeds unto eternal life.  He can no longer rest in the ignorance of his flesh.  He has seen the light, and now it is for him to either walk in the light, or to choose darkness.  “Choose this day” was the ultimatum delivered by Joshua after the people saw the land.[13]Illumined from Above 01

“And this is the judgment; that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.                       John 3:19

They were no longer able to die as men.  They had seen too much of God to reject the Light without an elevated consequence.  Therefore the prophecy declares:

I have said, “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High.  But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.             Ps. 82:6-7

They had been made privy to the spectacle of angels.  The mortal had been elevated to the destruction decreed for the other competitors with God; the “gods” so-called.  This should be a warning that light is not rejected without consequence.  Therefore, the Devil’s children are revealed within the same Light they reject. Recall the Lord’s words to the unbelieving:

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.                                                                                      John 8:43

What revealed them as children of the Devil?  Seeing in unbelief.

They did not have residing within themselves that which would allow them to receive the Truth- manifested.  God’s ways require Faith; not “faith” as an assertive chasing after signs or after blessing, but as an ear that perceives the truth when once it is spoken.  Having not this ear, the children of the Devil cannot receive God’s ways, as much as they may try.  Their efforts shall drive them rather to action against God’s witness of Himself.

i.   The Shaking of all Foundations

As the Savior of the world, Jesus is to be given a kingdom.  Until that kingdom is come, He is as Prince in waiting.  Recall the parable of the talents, wherein the Lord is represented as a “certain nobleman who went to a distant country to receive a kingdom.”[14]  In regards to this kingdom, there are opponents and usurpers who occupy positions of great authority in the heavens.  However, the truth is that Christ only has ascended:

  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:    Eph. 1:21

While the Lord Jesus Christ occupies the place of all authority, there continues to be disobedience and rebellion in this present age.  The question arises of why has Christ not asserted His ascendant power in order to force the kingdom of God upon men.  We know that one day He will do exactly that, as is proclaimed by the twenty-four elders before the throne, who fell on their faces:Elders 24

Saying, “We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign.        Rev. 11:17

This shall be an overwhelming and devastating power of a type we do not understand nor could we comprehend, as it is a power which even transcends material things.  It is a power commanding the material and the spiritual realms.

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”  And this expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things,  in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.                                                                                      Heb. 12:26-27

If there is coming a second time when God shakes both heaven and earth, what was the first time there was a “shaking?”Sinai 01

The shaking of Mt.Sinai bears allusion to the threats of the Law as portending Death.  God bears a witness in this world concerning his indignation upon Sin.  The witness of the Law is a vital witness which must be believed.  While the Pharisees paid service to the Law, they did not truly receive its witness.  Thus Jesus said to them:

 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”                   John 5:45-47

Although religious, they did not truly believe the doctrines they presumably received.  And this is very true for much of “Church” in our day, who do not believe the apostolic witness concerning the condemnatory power of Sin, nor the power of the Gospel to deliver there-from.  But the apostolic witness is clear for those who have resorted to Christ:

“. .  sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.            Rom. 6:14

But to believe anything less, is to believe that Sin continues to reign supreme; that the victory of Christ over the grave never occurred.  Through unbelief, the religious-professor of Christ makes peace with the enemy of God that is Sin.  In making peace with Sin, they have entered into covenant with Death.  But the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ have contravened any refuge in Death.  Thus the prophecy:

  And your covenant with death shall be disannulled,  and your agreement with hell shall not stand;          Is. 28:18

To make a “covenant with death” is to have agreement with, or make accommodation for Sin to persist of its dominion over us.  How could the Bible-believing do such a thing?

Here is where faith plays a crucial role in salvation.  For while it is by faith that we “live unto Christ,” it is also by faith that we “die unto the Law.”  If we believed Moses, and the shakings at Mt.Sinai, we would believe the witness of life in Christ as well. Michaelangelo Rome Does Moses bear a true witness?  He bears a true witness, and one that leads to death:

And I was once alive apart from the Law; But when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died;  And this commandment which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me..           Rom. 7:9-11

The Law bears a true witness which we cannot measure up to, though we try.  Therefore the problem for the religiously-minded (and as well, the Pharisee) is not that they believe the Law’s witness, their problem is rather that they don’t.  For it is a witness against their works, against the deceits of their heart, and testifies by a defiled conscience.  If there was any faith in God at work, they would cease their resistance to acknowledging the uncleanness of their motives, ambitions, desires, and intents of their heart.  Pharisee 02Since they do not truly receive the former witness, they cannot even begin to consider the latter witness.  Therefore the Lord says:

“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.”     John 5:39-40

Therefore, while the vain professor of Christ seeks after eternal life, and while they rely upon a distorted definition of Faith to presume themselves heirs to the promises of God, they have not received the witness that is prerequisite to receiving the One Who is the true heir of the promises of God, even Jesus Christ, His Son, and ours.

Failing to perceive the condemnation of the Law upon their evil works, thoughts, and intents, they maintain a level of comfort within Sin’s dominion, as if in agreement with Death itself.  This is “Death” with a capital “D,” ie. Death as a personage.    By making an agreement with Death, who are they now in league with?[15]

. . . he that had the power of death, that is, the Devil.               Heb. 2:14

But if men will not believe Moses, how will they believe even if One were to rise from the dead?[16]  If they fail to receive the witness of their own corruption and its eternal consequence in damnation, then what good would it do them for God to reveal the Gospel of Christ to their heart so as to deliver them from that bondage?  Therefore, these must suffer the ultimate terror of the loss of their spiritual underpinnings when God shakes not only earth, but heaven as well.

j.  The Spirit of Antichrist

If perfection of design was the means of attaining, then Satan would have attained.  If the champion over God’s creation, earned his place through strength, charm, intelligence, or eloquence, then the “anointed cherub that covereth”[17] would be the likely ruler over all things.  For it is prophesied of him:Angel of Light

. . . Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.                                             Ez. 28:12

But consider what shall be the end of the very perfection of beauty and of wisdom:

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.   Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee:   thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.                                           Ez. 28:17-19

In all its endeavors, labors, battles, and commerce, the world strives by those means affirmed by the “god of this world.”  The means used by this world involve natural principles under the authority of the spiritual agency of the Law.[18]  But the Gospel of Jesus Christ overturned these premises and exposed the assumption upon which satanic power is based, as a Lie.  This Lie is spiritual because so is the Law spiritual.  Thus Deception flows in the spirit of Unbelief.  And, just as Faith constitutes a dynamic power unto salvation, so does unbelief in the face of God’s witness of Himself constitute a dynamic power unto perdition. This is the spirit of Antichrist. This is the spirit who empowers those that have seen, and yet do not believe.

Recall there was a time when many turned away from following Christ while standing in His very presence.  Therefore he told them, “But there are some of you who do not believe.”  This was apparently a significant statement, for John then tells us, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.”[19]  Therefore, this rejection of Christ as having spiritual rather than earthly significance by those that walked so close to Him, constituted a sacrilege even warranting the Lord’s reference to Judas Iscariot.  Notice now, the verse that documents their turning away:

As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.                               John 6:66

While the verse numbering may be coincidental, or may have been by man’s design, consider that it is clearly stated that antichrist arises from those whom the Lord had called, but ultimately disbelieved:

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.                   I John 2:18-19

Thus a turning back and forsaking of the covenant in the blood of Christ once the covenant has been manifested to us through God’s testimony concerning His Holy Nature, would appear to have a most horrific meaning.

k.  Satanic Headship over the Deceived through Fleshly Confidence

As well-covered above, the unbelieving heart perceives there to be an attaining to be performed, other than the attaining which comes through faith in God, which is ministered unto us by God.  Faith cannot work in the unbelieving so as to allow them to hope in things unseen.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.                                                                                    Heb 11:1

This is the walk of faith.  We cannot see, and still we believe, much to the derision of the worldly-minded, who by means strengthening themselves in the god of this world, excel the elect in terms of earthly wisdom:Pride 02

“. . . for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”                                                            Luke 16:8

Mankind may have a wisdom from God, but it is only the wisdom given them by God for this present world.[20]  It is not the wisdom of the age to come, and it is not the true wisdom that belongs to mankind as heir to the things of God in Christ.  And so it is for anything good the world possesses, whether it be any; goodness, integrity, beauty, intelligence, peace, knowledge, vibrancy, or anything beneficial in this present life.  They possess a form of wisdom that will fade with this world.  In possessing such wisdom, they actually conduct themselves wiser in this world than do the children of light.  For they have a form of strength which the elect of Christ have forfeited for the sake of eternal life.  The children of this age, are therefore occupied with the “arm of the flesh.”[21]

Therefore, the spirit of unbelief occupies itself with the flesh.  Pride 01What the natural eye can see; what the natural ear can hear; what the natural mind can comprehend, these, the carnally-minded follow after.  The spirit of unbelief hears natural eloquence through a natural ear, and follows.  The spirit of unbelief processes natural wisdom with a natural mind, and follows.  In this way, the carnal man follows the empowerment of Satan within the carnal men.  Through this means, Satan is glorified and maintained in his rule over men.  Thus we read:

And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?  who is able to make war with him?                                                                                      Rev. 13:4

Here then, is the Lie that condemns.  For this is the Lie which leads men to worship Satan, strengthening his hold upon humanity, and allowing Satan to thereby manifest in humanity to greater degree.  Satan’s manifestation within humanity must operate within the context of a Lie, ie. a deception, to succeed.

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.                 II Cor. 4:4

Thus, it is necessary for Satan to blind men through deception if he will maintain his authority over them.  Angel of LightThrough deception, he may gain greater possession over the man, allowing him to invest his image and personality in him to greater extent. This becomes increasingly necessary as the kingdom of God shines truth upon a man’s conscience and raises his awareness of Divine things.  To maintain his kingdom in this world against the advance of the kingdom of God, requires a more robust display of the counterfeit.  Thus Satan is declared as the false light, destroying the unbelieving.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!              Is. 14:12 


[1] See the earlier article in this Subpart relating the formulation of Positive Confession theology.

[2] Philippians 2:8

[3] II Peter 1:4

[4] I Peter 1:12

[5] I Timothy 3:16

[6] H2005  hên  hane  A primitive particle; lo! also (as expressing surprise) if: – behold, if, lo, though.

[7] Romans 6:6 “  . that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

[8] John 1:29

[9] John 12:27-28

[10] Hebrews 6:12

[11] Isaiah 57:19  “Peace, peace, to those far and near.  And I will heal them.”

[12] Romans 9:15

[13] Joshua 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve;

[14] Luke 19:12

[15] See commentary on Hosea 13:14

[16] Luke 16:31

[17] Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

[18] Romans 7:14  For I know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

[19] John 6:64

[20] I Corinthians 1:20, 2:4, 2:6, 2:13, 3:19, II Corinthians 1:12

[21] Jeremiah 17:5

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VI.E.4.c The Return of Those Distant, and Those Near

  PART  VI  –     Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart E  –  Messiah-Body; Trumpets unto the Day of Atonement

Article 4  –  Times & Seasons

Section (c)   –  The Return of Those Distant, and Those Near

By Daniel Irving

i.     The Call to Return unto God via the Cross of His Son

ii.    Return from a Place Distant

iii.   Return from a Place Near

iv.   Returning to Our Place of Rest; The New Testament Principle of Patience

v.    The Church’s Rock as the Founding Strength of Deliverance

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Section (c)  –  THE RETURN OF THOSE DISTANT, AND THOSE NEAR

i.  The Call to Return unto God via the Cross of His Son

As related in the previous section, salvation may be stated as a returning, as the Spirit of God beckons us back to Himself. Abraham Journeys This was true in the walk of our forefather, Abraham, and was true in the lifetimes of Isaac and of Jacob as well.  Each new response to the call of God carries with it a revelation of His eternal Person.  In this way, the elect are called out of the world, and onto a Way.  Salvation operates through the Spirit beckoning the sinner, “return.”  Whether we are speaking of the deepest backslider, or whether we are speaking of the most steadfast of saints, it is this dynamic which applies to our redemption.  All have fallen short of the glory of God.

The prophecy of Malachi declares what will be the effect of God revealing Himself in sanctification to His people.  The effect will be true, spiritual discernment:

Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.                         Mal. 3:18

More on this prophecy later; but first let us address the principle of “returning,” represented in the first phrase.  The Hebrew-word translated; “return” is; shoob,[1] which means, literally, to return.  This word is commonly employed in reference to the return of the Lord’s redeemed unto Himself.[2]  And, as related in a previous section of this article, the salvation of the elect involves the principle of returning unto their Maker, through their Redeemer, through the means of His SpiritSalvation is their response to God’s eternal Word, ever calling His elect to return unto Himself.  Only through the agency of the Holy Ghost may those deeply backslidden and defiled, offer repentance unto God.  Likewise, only through the mercies of God ministered through the Holy Ghost, may those near unto Him through faith, maintain their path.  For God moves.  These follow God and keep Truth through no other means than the Cross of Jesus Christ.  For this is the place God may minister of Himself to the needy soul.  Therefore all men are brought by Christ through the means of that prophetic call of the Spirit of God, saying, “Return.”Prodigal 04

Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:        Jer. 3:14

The means through which these may “return,” and through which they may walk in God’s way, is  the atonement which God has provided through His eternal Son, continually justifying the heart that turns to Him.  The revelation of God’s redemption upon the heart, provides the soul with that confidence in God which will stand the testing which must come.  Therefore, these are told:

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formeth thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.                                          Is. 43:1Sheep Storm

Although we will pass through a period of doubt, rising even to the level of panic and acute distress, God will ultimately leave no doubt in the mind of those that be in Christ as to their status as belonging to Him, as this is simply not a matter to be left to doubt or to controversy.  Our Maker is establishing His eternal abode within us, and He says to us, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.”

While in the beginning, we experienced our Maker’s call as little more than an empty feeling in the heart; a hunger after God, His call will gain in its imperative until it cannot be denied by our doubting.  The beginning of God’s call was a gentle teaching of our heart, drawing us into that place where God could reveal Himself to fuller extent.  Jesus spoke of this when He said:

Is it not written in the prophets; ‘& THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD’?  Everyone who has heard & learned from the Father, comes to Me.”                 John 6:45

Although this sounds unusual to conventional thought, the elect have an experience with the Father before they even come into the knowledge of Christ.  This experience with the Father is His call.  The Lord expresses this operation of the Spirit, as being “taught of God;” a teaching which ultimately leads to resurrection:

“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.                                     John 6:44

God draws His elect to His Son that He may reveal Himself in a fuller way to them.  The place of that revelation, is at His Son’s Cross.  Therefore Jesus said:Cross 13

“And if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”  But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.              John 12:32-33

Lifted up as an object of scorn and derision, God revealed Himself as the sin offering for humanity.  The elect are drawn to this place, that their Maker may speak a clearer message, and make a deeper revelation of Himself to the man.

ii.  Return from a Place Distant

Some must repent from a place far away from God. There is a returning which is very pronounced and dramatic; often accompanied by the sudden deliverance from sin’s bondage.  While the fallen sinner whose corruption has removed him from a mouth’s confession, might sense better than most the disparity between his own life and what is God’s true righteous standard, through backsliding, he has placed himself within the grasp of Hell.  Even so, the revelation of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross will break free that bondage.  How so?  Jesus assured us that we may repent when we hear the voice of His Spirit, even though our sins be so profound and reprehensible as to have brought us into Satanic bondage.  The Lord says:Keys

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;  and have the keys of hell and of death.                   Rev. 1:18 

What does it mean that Christ holds the key of “Death?”  The first time this Greek-word appears where the reference is not to literal death, is the Lord’s words to the Jews:

  Verily, verily I say unto you, He that hears My word, and believes on him that sent Me,  has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;  but is passed from death unto life.                                        John 5:24

Death, is the spiritual state of unbelief.  Thus it is self-evident that belief in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ should constitute our release from the spiritual state of Death.  And the very power to believe is in the hands of Christ, to give life to whom He will.

What does it mean that Christ holds the key of “Hades?”  This Greek word is hah’-dace,[3] meaning “Hades” or “Hell;” a place of torment.  This place holds those who witnessed the great works of God, and yet did not repent, or else have not repented.  These have maintained their sinful ways even against Light.  We find all other uses of the word to be as follows:Hell 01

Mat 11:23  And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in  Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Mat 16:18 . . . upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, & seeing Abraham afar off . . 

Act 2:27   Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.

1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Rev 6:8     . . . his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

To understand this declaration, and to understand the relationship between Death and Hell, we might consider the apostle Paul’s warning to those skeptics at Pisidion-Antioch, that by unbelief in the wake of the Spirit’s witness, something tragic would come upon them of which the prophets had spoken:Paul before Ruler 01

Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you; “Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.”         Acts 13:40-41

Those events in the region of Lycaonia were marked by miracles as Paul and Barnabas traveled through the cities of; Derbe, Iconium, Lystra, and Pisidion-Antioch.  Their mission was similar to the miraculous events in Capernaum under the ministry of Christ.  Recall that the Lord said:Hell 02

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell For if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom,  it would have remained until this day.  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.     Matt 11:23-24 

The city of Lystra was visited by the Holy Spirit, and, as such, held a precious opportunity to become part of the eternal work of God preparing men for eternal life and preparing a bride for Christ.  The arrival of Paul and Barnabas represented, for them, a fork-in-the-road; one path leading to something too wonderful for their comprehension; the other path, leading to something too horrific for comprehension, ie. the rejection of the Spirit of God.

Something truly miraculous had occurred in that region; God was intervening in the natural creation in order to bear a witness to the brutish things of this world that they must stop, and consider the declaration that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”[4]  For upon this issue would hang either the revelation of life, or the darkness of antichrist and the “gates of hell.”  Recall the Lord’s words upon Peter receiving the revelation that “Jesus is the Christ;” the Lord contrasted that revelation with reference to its direct opposite; the “gates of hell.”

The world abides in Death through unbelief in the Person of the Son of God.  But the affirmative condition of Life, is found in the revelation “Jesus is the Christ.”  The peril, is that by missing their appointed Day of Salvation, via a casting off of this witness, Hades follows close behind.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse:  and his name that sat on him was Death; and Hell followed with him.  And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.                                                Rev 6:8 

Therefore, we are not to fear those having power over only the body.  The greater issue by far, is the life the soul.  And while the world around us is separated from that life through sin, and through ignorance, and through unbelief, and through the antichristian philosophy and influences of men, the Church, as the “Israel of God,”[5] has been appointed special season of the Spirit, whereunto God has appointed them, and granted unto them, to believe that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”[6]  For this is the revelation that shall prevent the destruction of those called out of the world by Faith:Hell 01

. . .  upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.                                  Matt. 16:18

Gates, hold men within a rejection of Jesus Christ.  They also lock them away from the truth of Christ.  And yet, we are told that Jesus Christ holds the very “keys to “Hell!”  How is this so?  This is so, because Christ went there Himself to destroy its power over men.  This is so, because God the Father raised Him up from that place of rejection; hidden away from the face of God:

Because thou wilt not leave My soul in hellneither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.                             Acts 2:27 

Therefore, just as Death constitutes no hiding place from the judgment of God, neither does Hell constitute a hiding place from the judgment of God.  Both must give up their dead unto God:

. . . and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them;  and they were judged every man according to their works.                                 Rev. 20:13

For the Lord Jesus Christ has been there. Hell 03He has exposed Hell as having its authority in a Lie.  And the resurrection of Jesus Christ exposed that Lie.  Thus, be we so far from God as to have our soul in Hell, yet God will hear us on the day we truly call upon Him.  Jesus Christ has the keys to minister faith to the heart.  And God will not leave the believing soul in a distress that is due the unbelieving.  God will break the captivity of even Hell, because of the purchase of His elect through the blood of the Cross.

iii.  Return from a Place Near

Again, whether we are speaking of the deepest backslider or the most faithful saint, both require a continual returning to the Cross of Jesus Christ as the process for their redemption.  All have fallen short of the glory of God, requiring the Spirit’s revelation of the Cross to draw them back to their first love.  Thus even those of Ephesus, although acknowledged to be faithful sentinels of pure doctrine, are told by Christ:

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;                                                                                     Rev. 2:5

Until we have attained to the perfection of our Master; a day which even the apostle Paul had not counted he had attained unto,[7] there shall be a day for repentance ahead of us, that God may reveal His holy nature to us in greater strength.  Until that day, we are counseled:

  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained let us walk by the same rule,  let us mind the same thing.                                        Phil. 3:16 

Through experiences of Faith, we hold firm to the righteous standard God has revealed to us heretofore, allowing us to walk in that Way.  But only through repentance, is that righteous standard manifested to the heart by the Spirit.  Hence, the path of our redemption, as Isaiah prophesies:Noah Sends Dove

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved;   in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.                                  Is. 30:15

We normally think of repentance as a grand and dramatic returning to the Lord out from a condition of sin and living in the world.  However, we find in this prophecy, allusion to a returning that does not occur merely once or twice in a lifetime, but a returning that occurs continuously throughout the walk of the regenerate believer in Christ.  This represents a deeper entering in upon the covenant of God wherein those principles accepted in concept at initial conversion, now become a living reality and a day-to-day ministration as they wait upon God.   The word of God becomes a process  effectuating a real and living way upon the heart and upon the mind.  These begin to daily interact with the Spirit of God through His Word.  We find this particular application of the witness [8] expressed via the text of the 116th Psalm, which begins in profound fear and trouble:Tempest at Sea

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me.  I found trouble and sorrow.  Then I called upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.                                     Ps. 116:3-4

The troubled soul thereupon realizes the mercies of God in Christ.  Therefore we read in the next verses:

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous.  Yea, our God is merciful.  The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low and He helped me.                        Ps. 116:5-6

This calling upon the Lord in the midst of the troubling of the soul, has resulted in the operation of which the prophet Isaiah speaks, and as the Psalm expresses:

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with thee.  Ps. 116:7

Therefore we have allusion to the soul entering into trouble.  Having awakened to the things of God, and having had its hopes in this world under law put away, the soul would be left destitute between two places if not for the Person and the presence of Christ.  As the regenerate believer walks in the world, as yet struggling to maintain the way of truth, complete, but as yet unperfected, the power of the law still serves to unsettle a state of rest in Christ.  However, they learn that the Spirit of God is very ready to reestablish their soul in a condition of rest.  As the Spirit of Grace meets them, they begin to build a relationship of quiet confidence and of trust in Jesus Christ.  They continuously return in their hearts because they remember the goodness of the Lord.  This is the abiding; this is continual communion with the Spirit of God.

Recall the Lord’s words the night before His death on the cross:Unleavened 1

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying,  “This is My body which is given for you: This do in remembrance of me.      Luke 22:19

We do not “remember” the Lord by a volitional act of the mind.  The Lord is to be ascertained and apprehended spiritually through the means of His Holy Spirit interacting and communing with our spirit, which is thereby regenerated.  This is the process of abiding in Christ.  The elect are continuously  brought into the remembrance of the Lord by communion with the Spirit of Grace.  Recall that the Lord said that the work of the Holy Spirit would be a work of “remembrance:”

  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things,  and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.                            John 14:26

As those near unto God, allow the Spirit of God to bring His remembrance, this facilitates their returning.  This communion with Christ is the perfecting of holiness.

Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.                                              Ps. 97:12

These return from a place near.  Those who hold fast to what they know, doing according what they know so as not to hold the truth hypocritically, although falling short in their heart, bear a wonderful promise from the mouth of Christ:Christ Teaching 02

Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”                                 John 8:31-32

The Lord’s context was the freedom from the bondage to sin.  Therefore the Lord made a correlation between continuance in His word, and God’s promise of freedom from sin and the walking in liberty as Sons of God.  Faithfulness has the reward of a deeper revelation of God, which comes in its time; in its season; and that, without the specter of eternal reprobation which stalks the backslider.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.                                                                                      John 8:51 

The only proper condition of the natural man before God is one of deep repentance and abasement.  On the other hand, the estate of Christ is a place of glory.  The glory of Christ is the reciprocal or counterweight to the lowliness of men.   Heaven 01Until we have attained to our lowly condition through faith; until we have attained to that spiritual condition bereft of our own confidences, and so undone of our own worth that we must “hide ourselves in the dust,”[9] we have yet to see as we ought; we have yet to clearly gain our vision of the glory of Christ which shines brilliantly.  The occasion of a man being brought into deep repentance is an occasion for the revealing of Jesus Christ as constituting everything to the soul.  This is the revelation of the kingdom of God.  In our repentance He shows us His own sufficiency.

For the soul who places her hope in Jesus Christ, the place of her abasement is the place of glory.  This is why the Lord tells the church at Ephesus to, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen.”  Where have they fallen from?  From that very lowly place they need to revisit in their heart.  Where they fell to, was a place of high-mindedness; a sense of completion and attainment.  The Holy Spirit causes us to remember that lower place, that God may give us a deeper glimpse of the true glory.

iv.  Returning to Our Place of Rest; The New Testament Principle of Patience

Recall again the prophecy of Isaiah:

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.                                                                                      Is. 30:15

The Hebrew word translated “quietness”[10] also appears as follows:Moon Serene 03

Josh 14:15 And the land had rest from war.

Jdg 3:11     And the land had rest forty years.

Rth 3:18 for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Ps 94:13     That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be        digged for the wicked.

Pro 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.

Is 57:20    But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest,

There is a word offered to us in the New Testament which stands as a fundamental principle to our standing in the evil day.  That word is “patience,” which means a quiet trust; a confidence in the sufficiency of the Person and the work of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, this seems precisely what the Lord was speaking of as the governing principle of our salvation, when He said:

“In your patience posses ye your souls.”  –                Luke 21:19

While we normally think of patience as a quality we either innately possess, or do not possess, this is not true according to Scripture.  If we look to the writings of the apostles, we find patience is something divinely formed within us through the means of divinely-ordained affliction.[11]

The second word of Isaiah’s phrase is “confidence”; “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”  We know that trust in the Lord is a component of salvation.[12] Therefore, prophecy tells us that these shall be “our strength.”  What is this new “strength?”  The strength of Christ is a strength which runs in contradiction to the strength of this world, under Law.  An explanation of what is the Lord’s strength is provided to us by the apostle Paul.  Because of the presumption which was occurring within the Corinthian church in terms of their regard for men who exalted themselves in the glory of their own flesh, Paul wrote at length regarding what is the true strength of Christ.  In one place Paul writes concerning the Lord’s response to his prayers for healing:Job 02

And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.       II Cor. 12:9-10

Therefore the strength that is Christ runs inversely to the strength of this world.[13]  His strength is great, because it is the strength of our Creator, who made all things.  It is not of a kind which shall perish with the world.  It is the strength of the Lord.[14]

v.   The Church’s Rock as the Founding Strength in the Season of Our Deliverance

Therefore, it is through the good profession of faith in Jesus Christ, God is able to bring us to the Cross; the place where He can reveal His all-sufficiency in Christ:  His all-sufficiency to answer for sin; His all-sufficiency as our provision for righteousness; His all-sufficiency as our source and sustenance; His all-sufficiency as our source of knowledge and light.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.                   Is. 57:19

What is this message of “Peace?”  This is the Gospel, brought in power; the declaration of the coming of God’s kingdom to rule within the man; the true peace that rules the heart and the mind; peace from a spiritual source that is God’s own Person.  The Lord is declaring that He will effectuate His covenant with two entities, ie. with those “far off”, and with those “near.”  Who does this leave out?  Only those that are neither.  Recall the word’s of the Lord’s angel to the church of the Laodiceans:Lukewarm

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.                  Rev 3:15-16

This concept runs counterintuitive to our natural sensibilities.  Whether in the world of business, politics, or any social interaction, would not we much rather receive individuals allied with us in our cause, even if mildly so, or lukewarm in their support?  Apparently this sort of worldly sensibility is not the mind of God.  The mind of God is; “be here” or “be there,” be abiding in Me, or be estranged, but whatever you do, be one or the other!  Somehow, the Lord would rather us be severed and estranged from the abiding consciousness of Himself than for us to exist in a condition of continually approaching upon holy things while our heart continues to be fed by the spirit of this world, striving under Law.  For God can save the faithful doer, and God can save the far off outcast, but there is nothing said about His salvation upon the lukewarm and half-hearted:

Recall the words of Moses concerning God’s mercy to the disbursed of Israel:Prodigal 04

So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.  If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.             Deut. 30:1-4

For the outcasts of Israel, there is a tremendous potential for the demonstration of God’s mercies in Christ!  Just as the prodigal-son had little capacity to recognize the benefits of his father’s house until he was divested of a wrongly-based hope, so do those that came to Christ for the forgiveness of their sins now see the tremendous value of that forgiveness.  They apprehend having been plucked from the fires of damnation.Prodigal 01

Only now can they appreciate the deliverance from sin’s bondage and thrive under a new Spirit ie. the “perfect law of liberty”.[15]  Until this occurs, we cannot benefit from a rest we do not value.  Amidst God’s holy things, we would only persist in the filth of our flesh.  Therefore only the Holy Spirit’s agency of returning men unto their Maker through the Cross, works salvation for the wicked.  Absent the agency of the Holy Spirit, effectuating the Cross, men cannot but transgress through the flesh.  Therefore Isaiah states:Stormy Beach 03

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.  There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.                 Is. 57:20-21

The sea constitutes an allusion to the unstable condition of faithless humanity, which casts up the mire of sin from its waves.  What, specifically, is the root cause of sin?  Unbelief.  But the work of God is founded upon belief in the Son of God, sent into the world to die for sinners, and to be raised again for their justification.  Jesus made it very clear, what constituted the “work of God” in redemption.

“This is the work of God; that you believe on Him Whom He hath sent.”                                                                                       John 6:29

Absent this terra firma, there is no ground upon which God can deliver the soul from sin and maintain that soul in a state of sanctification.  For the deliverance from sin is not the end of the work.  The believing soul, having been delivered by a work of the Spirit through the means of faith, must thereafter abide within that work lest his latter end be worse than had he never believed. But notice what the promise of God entails for that soul healed of its backsliding.  God says; “I will lead him:”Sheep 05

I have seen his ways, and will heal him.  I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him . .                          Is. 57:18

Faith is the essential element to the deliverance of God and the healing of the soul of man.  Faith allows the soul to be thereafter led in the way of holiness, anchored, and maintaining the exacting strait and narrow course, confident in the stability of its foundation in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.  Only this is the place God will invest the holy treasure of His own holy nature upon which He would call us to partake.


[1] H7725  shûb   shoob   A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again: – take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again, self again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw.

[2] See commentary on Isaiah 10:21  “A remnant will return” for study of this Hebrew-word.

[3] G86   hadēs   hah’-dace  From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: – grave, hell.

[4] Matthew 16:16

[5] Galatians 6:16

[6] Matthew 16:16

[7] Philippians 3:12

[8] This is the witness of the Word and Water.  See commentary on Isaiah 43:10  “Ye are My witnesses”

[9] See commentary on Isaiah 2:10 above discussing “hide in the dust”.

[10] H8252   shaw-kat’  A primitive root; to repose (usually figuratively): – appease, idleness, (at, be at, be in, give) quiet (-ness), (be at, be in, give, have, take) rest, settle, be still.

[11] See commentary on Isaiah 54:11-12  “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, & not comforted” for discussion of this process of working patience.

[12] See commentary on Isaiah 50:10  “Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

[13] See commentary on Isaiah 41:14  “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord.

[14] See commentary on Isaiah 26:4  “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”

[15] James 1:25

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IV.D.3 The Mysticism of a Naturalistic Orientation to the Covenant

      Part  IV  –  Application to Third Wave Paradigm

Subpart D  – Christian Zionism

Article 3  –  The Mysticism of a Naturalistic Orientation upon the Covenant

By Daniel Irving

a.     Dispensationalism’s Outgrowth; Christian Zionism

b.    The Gentile of Prophecy

c.   Kathryn Kuhlman’s Wayward Dispensational Eschatology

d.   The “Times of the Gentiles”

e.    Our Case in Point:  The Mixture of Spiritual Things with Natural

f.   A Gospel Exegesis on the Satisfaction of the Law

g.  Confidence in Flesh; the False Hope Held Forth by Angels

h. The Damaging Implications of Naturalistic Interpretations Applied to Spiritual Things

Moon 02

Article 3

The Mysticism of a Naturalistic Orientation upon the Covenant

a.  Dispensationalism’s Outgrowth; Christian Zionism

A previous article addressed the modern day error known as Dispensationalism, Darby 02originally put forward in the 1840’s by John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren movement in England.  Darby’s system of Biblical interpretation essentially found codification with the introduction of the very popular Scofield Reference Bible prior to World War I.  Through Scofield’s commentaries, Darby’s system of Biblical interpretation was able to dominate Chrisitian perception of the prophetic scriptures throughout the twentieth century.  The system was readily received by evangelicals as a legitimization of the cessationistic[1] opinions of Church leaders.  Scofield Bible Strangely, Darby’s teaching made rapid inroads amongst Pentecostals as well, even though the system repudiated the miraculous and supernatural works of the Holy Spirit for the present age.  Indeed, the teaching was even formulated with the intent to undermine Pentecostal teaching from its very origin in the 1840’s.[2]

One of the dangerous outgrowths from the dispensational system of interpretation, is the teaching known as Christian Zionism, which we began to address in the last section of the present article.  While Christian Zionism assumes a variety of forms, the fundamental similarity which its various forms share, is a rigorously literal interpretation of prophetic scripture, particularly as concerning a literal Jewish state and/or Jewish ethnicity.  The teaching asserts that one’s ethnic background has significance in the mind of God and in respect to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This teaching represents one of the most widespread and accepted heresies in modern times.  The teaching’s point of stumbling is very easily identified by its rejection of Paul’s very clear language when he wrote:Cross & Lampstand

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greekfor the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.     Rom. 10:12 

Christian Zionism stands in rejection of this basic tenet of the Gospel that God is no respecter of persons, as was established once God made no distinction on the basis of ethnicity when he gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, “Of truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.  But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.”                                         Acts 10:34-35

To declare, by doctrine, that God has reversed Himself, and that He now renders distinction between Jew and Gentile on the basis of the ethnicity of each, is to opt for the covenant of flesh.  This heresy appears destined to play a key role in the final apostasy that will arise from this world.

b.  The Gentile of Prophecy

The prophecy of Isaiah speaks of God’s purposes in sending Christ unto the Gentiles:

Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth:  I have put my spirit upon him:  He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.              Is. 42:1

The Hebrew word translated Gentiles[3] in the KJV, and nations in the NASV and Interlinear version, is the primary word for both Gentiles and for nations in the KJV.  While there is a definite distinction between the meaning of the English term nations and the English term Gentiles, the OT Hebrew seems to allow no distinction.  Gentile has a prophetic meaning, as does the term Jew have a prophetic meaning, which gives rise to the question; What is intended in prophecy by reference to Gentiles?” 

Upon the preaching of the Gospel in the first-century, the prophetic meaning of a Gentile was made evident when the apostle Paul presented the Jew in spiritualized terms, which served as a contrast to the spiritual meaning of GentileIMG_0123The distinction is not one based upon race or national identity, but is a distinction based upon the principle of circumcision, having its gospel fulfillment in the work of the Spirit upon the heart.   This work upon the heart relates to the subjugation of sin’s power in the believer to the rule of Christ.[4]  Therefore we may understand the prophetic allusion to Gentiles as a reference to the spiritual condition of humanity outside the knowledge of God.  These are brought through that spiritual principle of circumcision, which is the work of the Holy Spirit  performed upon the heart in fulfillment of the covenant made to Abraham.  As this is a work performed by God, it is very possible to walk in a genuine Christian profession and testimony, while having yet to experience this operation of God.  This is why Paul can say of the many of the Christians of Corinth:

Awake to righteousness, and sin not;   for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.                                         I Cor. 15:34

Although the Christians in Corinth were “Gentiles according to the flesh,” they were made Jews inwardly[5] by virtue of a work performed by the agency of the Holy Ghost.  This turned Gentile into Jew.  Or do we forget Paul’s statement:

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.   But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; & circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.                                                                                    Rom. 2:28-29

Paul became a true Jew for no other reason than that he served God with his spirit.[6]  Therefore it was not his natural circumcision of the flesh, but his circumcision by the spirit that made him truly a “Jew” in the prophetic sense of the term.  Paul’s spirit was now subject to himself to rule over in the power of Christ as his proper head of authority.  Having rule now over his own spirit, his conduct, words, and thoughts now became a matter of choice rather than a matter of compulsion.  Paul had the choice of either allowing sin to dictate over his body, or to impose the rule of Christ over his members.  Hence Paul’s exhortation:

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.                                                                                      Rom 6:12

Therefore, when we consider Isaiah’s prophecy again in this light, we might see what is prophetically-intended by the “One New Man.”  Isaiah says:Christ Teaching 02

Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth:  I have put my spirit upon him:  He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.        Is. 42:1

There is a relationship between God and the Gentile established through God’s Spirit having been placed upon His only begotten Son.  When Jesus was anointed as the Christ, this relationship became evident as a progressive revelation of God, as: 1) Jesus Christ is the “servant” of God, therefore, 2) chosen, elect, and in whom God “delights,” therefore, 3) God’s Spirit rests here, for the purpose of 4) effectuating the judgment of God in such a way as to sever sin from sinner.  God’s judgment is extended to unregenerate humanity through the mediation of Christ.  God is able to render judgment on the issue of sin, with the object of salvation for the sinner.

Therefore we perceive God’s plan of redemption as having its object in “My servant” (ie. Jesus Christ, as Messiah – Head) communicated to the Church via the agency of the Holy Ghost which is the symbolism of centrally-positioned feast of Pentecost, (ie. “I have put My Spirit upon Him,”) and communicated particularly unto the “Gentiles” (ie. Messiah – body) which expresses the pre-regenerate condition of the entire body of Christ.[7]  Through the operation of the Spirit of Christ, that work is transacted which brings the true Law of God to bear upon the heart of the sinner.  When this occurs, the Gentile (a figure for the spiritual condition of the unregenerate) becomes a Jew (a figure for the spiritual condition of the regenerate.)  The spiritual man should apprehend the meaning of the Gentile as a reference to a spiritual condition, rather than to mere natural descendancy.  This is the true prophetic meaning of the term Jew.

c.  Kathryn Kuhlman’s Wayward Dispensational Eschatology

This article will use, as a case in point, an interaction that occurred between the well known minister of the miraculous, Kathryn Kuhlman, and another notable individual that came as a guest on her television show during the early 1970’s.

We should first observe that there has been no ministry in modern times more consistently full of the presence and power of God to heal than the ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman.  Khulman 02The few miracle services that were video recorded demonstrate that God still testifies of Himself through the power of miracles of healing, and that He will supernaturally transact in the lives of men.  Ms. Kuhlman was very careful to ascribe the power to God to Jesus Christ as the true object of our faith.  When she walked in the ministration of this gift, she facilitated the work of God to give glory to Jesus Christ.

That being acknowledged, it becomes necessary to observe that Ms. Kuhlman also made forays into teaching.  In so doing, she was not always sound in her doctrine.  In fact, on the authority of Scripture, it would seem reasonable to conclude that Ms. Kuhlman walked in a degree of presumption when operating as a teacher, for Paul writes:

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.  For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.                                                                                      I Tim. 2:12-14

While the gifts and ministries operate without respect to male or female through the agency of the Holy Spirit, it does not follow that the gifts and ministries should operate in a way contradictory to  Scripture.  Because there is an anointing of God’s Spirit to heal, or to transact in the covenant, does not mean there is an anointing to do that which runs contrary to God’s express commandment.  Khulman 01Therefore when Kathryn Kuhlman undertook to teach, she was necessarily outside the scope of her calling.  Those who accepted what she said uncritically were likewise engaged in presumption with her.  While she glorified God in properly ascribing His miracle working power to Jesus Christ, the same cannot be said of her efforts as a teacher.  And if she was in presumption in this area, we can reasonably infer that the miracles at work in Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministry constituted no validation of her teachings; which were brought in contradiction to the authority of Scripture, and which sometimes constituted error.

One of the erroneous teachings maintained by Ms. Kuhlman was that doctrine commonly held in her day known as Dispensationalism, a doctrine most commonly held among Baptists.  Ms. Khulman was an ordained Baptist minister,[8] and true to the Baptist tradition, she was also a strict dispensationalist, which necessarily confounded a right apprehension of prophetic scripture.

During the third episode Ms. Khulman’s television series, I Believe in Miracles, and after declaring that God is about to bring to a close the present dispensation; the dispensation of the Gentiles, Ms. Khulman shakes her finger at the camera, and emphatically asserts her dispensational theology, saying in her characteristically slow cadence:Rapture 01

Very soon now, we’re going to have the great catching up; the rapture of the Church.  Following that, God, for seven years will keep his earthly covenants to an earthly people, the Jews.[9]

We might notice there is very little in this statement that can be found in Scripture, as neither the Lord nor did His apostles speak of any “seven years,” nor do the sciptures ever use the term “rapture,” nor is any “earthly covenant” promoted in the New Testament as a basis for hope.  While the Lord did speak of the gathering together of His elect at His appearing, He did not speak of a rapture as is meant by dispensationalists, ie. as a sudden “catching up” of believers as a separate event preceding the Lord’s coming at the end of the age.  The “rapture” teaching is a peculiar brainchild of Dispensationalism, and is false teaching.[10]  Although she was by no means an originator of Dispensationalism, her clearly anointed ministry was used to foster this error, and encouraging the Church toward naturalistic misapprehension of prophecy and doctrine.

d.  The “Times of the Gentiles”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbS6-D9C7QE&feature=youtu.be

However, there is one allusion made by Ms. Khulman which actually has place in Scripture, ie. the principle of there being a “time of the Gentiles.” [11] The Lord did tell us there would be a period He called “the times of the Gentiles” after which His coming would occur.  We further gather from Revelation chapter eleven, that the Gentiles shall trample upon the things of God.  Both the Lord’s words and Revelation chapter eleven clearly indicate this period of the Gentiles will have an end.  The Lord said of that time:

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.                              Luke 21:24Titus at Jerusalem

What was this “time of the Gentiles?”  We know that the Lord’s words did have a literal fulfillment in 70 A.D., when the Roman army under Titus, surrounded Jerusalem, and made an end of the Jewish nation.  This led to the great Jewish Diaspora, wherein the Jewish people were scattered away from Palestine, into other parts of the world.  The nation and state of Israel was dissolved.  Nonetheless, even after two thousand years, many retain their identity as Jews. 

We might ask ourselves then, how it was that some of those dispersed were able to maintain their Jewish identity despite being dissolved as a nation and scattered throughout the world.  Feast of Booths 02The answer, would have to be their adherence to a way; a way that had been Divinely overthrown when God revealed the Cross as that principle dissolving distinction between Jew and Gentile.

The Jewish nation, as a natural state, rejected Christ.  This rejection of Christ is even what became their natural and corporate identity.  Their own Torah had warned them against transgressing against “innocent blood.”[12]  We read in Matthew’s gospel that . . .

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made,  he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude,  saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.                                    Matt. 27:24-25 

Despite the warnings of Moses, those claiming stake under the Law were eager to shed the blood of the righteous just as their fathers had done before them.  Behold the ManAfter crucifying the Lord, the Jewish nation turned against the children of God that were being brought forth through faith in Jesus Christ even in their own midst within the city of Jerusalem.  The prophecies of Jeremiah warned the nation repeatedly against the principle of “shedding innocent blood in this place.”[13]  And so, Stephen became the first of many sanctified Jews, as true spiritual Jews, who would follow the Lord in death at the hands of those in rejection of Christ.  Those made innocent through faith in Christ, would follow their Lord’s example on the Cross, resulting in Jerusalem continuing its practice of shedding the blood of the innocent.  These were innocent by identification in God’s Innocent One, the Lamb without blemish.  This principle of the righteousness of God conferred upon those who believe and keep His commandments is expressed by John:

Little children, let no man deceive you:   he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.                                I John 3:7

The principle of those standing in rejection of the Gospel rising to become the implements of Satanic persecution of the body of Christ is expressed in the revelation given John:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.                                                                                      Rev. 12:17

Satan cannot prevent the processes of faith in the Church.  He cannot prevent the kingdom of God.  All he can do is persecute the Church and kill the body.  Having been revealed through their crucifying of Christ, those in rejection of Christ proceeded to persecute His Church.  They persisted in the act of “shedding of innocent blood” against which they had been warned by Moses.[14]  In so doing, the Jewish nation heaped upon itself wrath through occupying their own day of salvation with persecution and murder of the Lord’s body.  Paul writes concerning the Jewish nation:

Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved,  to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.      I Thess. 2:15-16

Consider that Paul himself was not only a natural Jew, he had also been directly engaged in the persecution of the early Church.  Yet he was saved from wrath.  How?  Not through his adherence to Judaism, but through his putting off any natural hope in order to take on a spiritual hope.  As to the orthodox Jews, Paul refers to them as “dogs.”[15]  Very strong words!  He writes to the Church:Dogs 01

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.                           Phil. 3:2-3

“Dogs” stand as a metaphor for inveterate sinners.[16]  Notice that Paul uses the metaphor of “dogs” in reference to those having their “confidence in the flesh.”  But before we conclude that Paul is casting the Jews as inveterate sinners, consider something else he writes, when he refers to himself and to Peter as:

  We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles.             Gal. 2:15

How is this contradiction to be resolved?  By understanding Paul’s meaning as spiritual.  He who puts off the old man through faith in Jesus Christ is the real Jew, as revealed by the Gospel.  “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit.”   Paul utterly repudiates his natural  Jewishness as having any benefit before God:

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh.    If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,  an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;                          Phil. 3:4-5

Paul even mentions his persecution of the Church in his zeal for the Torah.  By so doing, he found himself condemned, but for the intervention and mercy of God.  Paul found his salvation to reside in the revelation that all his Jewishness and zeal for the law constituted “dung” to be cast off through the power of faith in Jesus Christ.  He writes: 

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:                    Phil. 3:8-9

Clearly, Paul, as a Jew, considered himself a “dog” at such time his confidence was in his birth, his heritage, his education, his accomplishments, his attainments in Judaism, or even his own moral righteousness.  Being a Jew meant nothing.  In fact, it was worse than nothing because it provided a false basis upon which he might have been tempted to rely, rather than upon the work of the Lord Jesus Christ made effectual in his own life via the Spirit of God.

How was Paul able to make this radical transition from a fleshly dog to a true JewDoor in HeavenThrough the open door of faith; that time afforded the sinner to repent; the open door afforded to the Gentile.  Therefore Paul, as a natural Jew, but a spiritual Gentile, was made a true spiritual Jew through faith.  This is what Jesus meant by the “times of the Gentiles;” that dispensation of God that is the Gospel; the body and blood of Jesus Christ as atonement for sinful flesh; the open door for the sinner, if he will repent.

This dispensation of the Gospel is called the “times of the Gentiles,” after which, there is no “rapture,” nor is there any seven year period that God will suddenly reverse Himself and begin to regard the fleshly ethnicity of men again, or change His mind concerning the merits of the Judaistic forms of service and worship.  For these things were done away in Christ.  They were eradicated as having standing before God.  Indeed, they constitute symbols of things upon which the Divine wrath abides.

So what occurs after the Gospel dispensation?  Exactly what the Lord said, would come.  The End.  The final apostasy, resulting in the end of natural things.  For what is left after God’s provision for sin and the hope offered man to share eternity as part of Himself has been rejected?  Once God closes the door upon those whose confidence in the flesh resisted God’s call to repentance, then the end shall come.  Therefore Jesus said that after this “time of the Gentiles:”Tempest at Sea

. . .  there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.    Luke 21:25-28

No “rapture;” no seven year period wherein God reverses the Gospel message to become a respecter of persons with an apparent preference for the natural Jew, but rather, the Lord’s coming.  And His coming will mean the destruction of these false confidences.[17]

e.  Our Case in Point:  The Mixture of Spiritual Things with Natural

As stated earlier, Kathryn Kuhlman was a strict dispensationalist.  Dispensationalism involves a literalistic and naturalistic orientation upon the scriptures; one aspect of which, is to retain the significance of the natural Jew in terms of the prophetic writings.

Sid Roth was thirty-one years of age when he appeared as a guest on Kathryn Kuhlman’s television show I Believe in Miracles in the early 1970’s.  Ms. Kuhlman introduced Roth, a new Jewish convert to Christianity, by the description made of him in the Washington Daily News as classed with “other very prominent young men in business in our nation’s capital as “white collared Jesus Freaks.”  Ms. Kuhlman welcomed him with the accolade:

And you’re a great success both as a Christian and as a stock broker; a very successful Christian and a very successful stock broker.[18] Khulman & Roth 01

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etqm9rZSpqU

Only a year had passed since Roth’s conversion to the Christian belief system.  He related to Kuhlman his former years as an occultist:

You see, being a salesman in sales, I’ve read every book on positive thinking.  I began to believe that the man, the individual, can do anything.  So what God did was he backed me into a corner; He stripped me of everything.  He got me involved in the psychic world.  And I didn’t realize I was tying in with the Devil when I got involved in astrology and in mind control activities.[19] 

Kuhlman asks Roth, “How did you ever get involved with that?”  Roth replies:

I was looking for power.  I found a power there.  I found astrology isn’t fake.  It works. . . . I was looking for power and I found it.  Let me tell you about some of the things I was able to do, and I’m not saying that I’m bragging, I’m trying to explain it to you. Demon 01 I was able to open up a dictionary and ask myself a specific question and just turn at random and point to a word and I’d have an exact answer to my question.  I was able to close my eyes and someone would give me the name of someone I’d never heard of before and I could describe them and tell you what was wrong with them physically .  I thought this power was really tremendous.  I began to be able to impose my will on people.  Then all of a sudden within me, a feeling said, “Where is the power coming from?”  And I went to the instructor that taught me the course, and I said, “Where is the power coming from?”  And he didn’t know, so he sent me to the instructor for the whole east coast for this particular course, and I asked him the same question, and he wasn’t able to answer my question.  And I remember at the time I had met a lot of born again Christians, and they started telling me about Deuteronomy 18, in which the Lord Jesus Christ forbids having anything to do with this sort of activity.  And I asked him about it at the time, and he said to me, “Sid, the only evil is in your mind. That’s the only hang up.  There’s no such thing as the Devil.”  And I walked away from that man, not being completely satisfied because although he told me what it wasn’t, he didn’t tell me what it was.  He didn’t tell me who I was tied into.[20]

After having an experience at a seance wherein he saw an apparition of himself rise up from his own body, and upon being warned by other spiritists to the effect that the soul sometimes does not find its way back, Roth began to become fearful concerning his occult activities and began looking to the Christian faith for answers.  He asked his wife, who had converted away from the Christian faith to Judaism, to pray for him.  One day, Roth walked into a bookstore and picked up a book entitled, The Bible, the Jew, and the Supernatural.  The book convinced him that many Jewish celebrities, including Brian Epstein of the Beatles, had lost their lives through dabbling in the occult.  Its’ author, famed New York Times reporter, McCandlish Phillips, writes:Phillips - McCandlish 02

If you are a Jew, there is a risk for you in involvement or experimentation with certain areas of the supernatural beyond the degree of risk run by a Gentile, as great as that is.  A Jew who steps into these areas for whatever reason is more likely to experience destructive effects of his person immediately, or very soon, than a Gentile is.  The door that can never be opened again slams shut faster on a Jew than on a non-Jew.[21]

Given his ethnicity as a Jew, Roth felt that although it was a sin for any man to dabble in the occult, the sin was even greater for the natural Jew, as descended from that ethnicity which had been divinely appointed as the custodians of God’s law exemplified in the Torah, and who should know better than to transgress God’s strict laws against occult practices.

Upon accepting that what he was doing was sinful, Roth said in his mind, “God you’re the only one I can turn to.” He states that upon thinking these words, “He was there.” [22]  Upon Roth’s expression of his gratitude for Jesus Christ having come into his heart, Kathryn Kuhlman looks into the camera and excitedly says:Khulman 03

Do you know that this is a very successful stock broker who is talking.  This is a businessman from our nation’s capitol.  A successful stockbroker.[23]

Sid Roth speaks further about his relationship with Christ, after which Kuhlmann says to him:

You depended on the intellect for so long didn’t you?  You’re a brilliant young man.  For the very short time I have had an association with you, Sid Roth, you’re a brilliant young man.  You’ve always known you had this ability when it would come to the mind, and you sought everything through the mind.  But you don’t get this experience through the mind.[24]

An intriguing encounter was occurring during this televised interview.  Roth - Sid 02For the man speaking with Kathryn Khulman, Sid Roth, would go on to become one of the most prominent leaders of the present day Prophetic movement, and the formulator of a key heretical teaching within that movement, known as The One New Man doctrine, addressed in an earlier section of this article.

f.  A Gospel Exegesis on the Satisfaction of the Law

While Kathryn Kuhlman’s statement that we do not come to faith in Jesus Christ through mere natural means is certainly true, there seems a disturbing undercurrent to what Ms. Kuhlman is communicating.  For consider, that she has just praised the brilliant natural mind of this young Jewish man; a man whose natural reasoning had led him deep into occult practices and into consorting with demons.  This young Jewish man has just explained to Ms. Kuhlman his reasoning in choosing to terminate occult practices, which began when he had doubts about the source of the power.  Presumably, prior to having these doubts, Roth perceived the power as originating from himself in some way.  When he realized the power was originating rather from outside himself, and that other entities may be responsible, he wanted to know who these entities were.  He did this because he developed a rational fear of where he might be going, realizing he was not the one in control of the power.  His decision to cease operating in the occult was made when he could not be “completely satisfied” in this regard.  And so, Sid Roth was disabused of the hope of satisfying his quest for power through recourse to the occult.

On the other hand, we might consider that the occult, was not Roth’s original error.  Although he violated the Torah, his underlying transgression, in terms of the Gospel, was the inward defilement of lust for power over men.  He states, “I was looking for power.  I found a power there.  I found astrology isn’t fake.  It works. . . . I was looking for power and I found it.”  The occult was only the means employed; outward actions forbidden by an outward code.  Therefore, we might ask whether the true Law of God, as that which is internal and spiritual is requited when the sinner desists from the unlawful means of satisfying his carnal lusts and ambitions.

Is God’s Law satisfied?  The answer is that it depends.   For we must understand clearly that there is no virtue in a sinner desisting from sin.  For God has declared, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”[25]  Just as Adam’s death was occasioned from the act of a single sin, and it did not matter whether he chose to sin no more, so is the same true for his posterity.  Sin is not atoned for by its discontinuance. Sacred Ht 01 Rather, sin is atoned for as a transacting work of the Holy Ghost through the means of faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.  While John’s gospel-demand for an outward and demonstrative repentance, and the renunciation of outward and demonstrative acts of sin, is certainly the necessary antecedent of forgiveness and God’s mercy, this is not how sin is put away.  The Law is not requited through the unilateral act of saying it be so.  There is more required than the mere mouth’s profession.  The Law is satisfied through the real presence of the Holy Ghost, communicating faith in the blood atonement to the man, and through nothing less.  This is the repentance that God will give.  This is the repentance by which sin in the warp is purged and its bondage broken. This is the repentance that ratifies and fulfills that which might formerly have been a mere volitional change of mind.  

Therefore, let us ask the question again;  Was the Law of God, as that which is internal and spiritual, requited when Mr. Roth desisted from the unlawful means of gratifying the carnal lusting that led him to consort with demons?  According to the Gospel, the answer is “Yes,” if the Holy Spirit was the motivating agency.  Only the Spirit of faith in Jesus Christ can justify, as Paul writes:

. . that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.      Rom. 10:8-9

Might we do one without the other?  That would miss Paul’s conditions of “salvation.”  To “confess with one’s mouth” without “believing in one’s heart” is of no justifying value as void of the Holy Spirit’s agency.  That would be to have a form of godliness, while denying the power thereof; the vain religion we are commanded to “turn away” from, whether it comes in the name of Jesus Christ or not.[26]  On the other hand, what if the call of God is upon us so that we believe, but do not profess?  Does this constitute “salvation”?  The inference from the apostle’s words is that it does not.  One form of faithlessness holds to the semblances while resisting the true agency of God’s Spirit.  The other, leads us into idolatry, and runs us into the danger of apostasy, because where there is no faith, even be there a confession, something that is not Christ will surely find its way into the void.  We will do service to that in which we trust. Therefore, where there is faith in Jesus Christ, there will be wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.[27]  Where this is lacking, there will be worldly-mindedness, continuance in sin, reprobation, and perdition.  The void of faith will be filled by Satanic influences, profess Christ as we might.

Therefore, the question for Mr. Roth becomes plain.  Upon what would he place his confidence?  Ms. Khulman saturated this young man in praise for his brilliant (Jewish) mind upon which he trusted, but which, in fact, led him into consorting with occult forces, and nearly to his damnation.  But listen to her final statement:Khulman & Roth 01

Sid Roth, you’re a brilliant young man.  You’ve always known you had this ability when it would come to the mind, and you sought everything through the mind.  But you don’t get this experience through the mind.[28]

g.  Natural Confidence as Coming under the Authority of the Law

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul is writing to an assembly of believers which had been influenced by Jewish Christians to regard the things of the Law as somehow a significant component of their salvation.  Paul writes to them that their faith is not subject to outward codes and natural principles.  He writes:

  Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world,  why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not;)                                           Col 2:20-21

Prior to the circumcision of Christ, man’s confidence resides in the flesh as pertaining to things outward and natural, rather than having an orientation toward things spiritual.  Those things spiritual are wrought in God through His revelation of His Son.  In this way, God’s Son is birthed within our humanity.  The natural man has his orientation upon the material things of this natural world.  For instance, in the same chapter where Paul discusses what is the true (ie. spiritual) circumcision, he also writes that our death with Christ is a death died to this world.  Through this death, our confidence may be rightly orientated toward the Person and agency of God, rather than in the person and agency of men.  Our confidence may become rightly placed.Begger Lazarus 01

With the revelation of Christ, comes the discarding of what was formerly our strength in this world, to take up a strength that operates by an inverse principle to that of our own; the strength of God that comes through means of Faith.  We discard the flesh as our governance, ie. that spirit which formerly allowed us to succeed in the world via natural strengths and natural principles that do not (and neither can) subject themselves unto God.  Those trusting in the flesh may maintain the advantage over men, but they are not open unto God.  They retain the foreskins of their heart, concealing themselves from close examination of their inward motives.  Therefore they have freedom to dissimilate.  The show they make in the flesh is a false representation of the true state-of-affairs within.  They may project such noble things as; sincerity, integrity, confidence, eloquence, etc., but they conceal something inwardly that is growing increasingly foul and corrupt; a foundation that is bound to collapse when pressed in judgment.  For our behavior and words (the mark of our hand and forehead) sits upon a spiritual foundation.  That foundation is either founded in Law, with its trust in flesh and its animation in natural things, or it is founded in Grace, which animates those that have been disabused of their hope in the natural.

If our confidence is founded in Grace, then it is founded upon the spiritual principle inaugurated in the blood of Jesus Christ.  If it be founded in Law, then it is a foundation that remains subject to the angelic authorities which stand sentinel over natural things; a system which God has a declared an end to.  Therefore in the same breath that Paul warns the Colossians away from natural principles of the Law, he also warns them away from fascination with angelic beings.  He writes:

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels,  intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.                                                                                     Col. 2:18-19

As these words come within the context of opting for natural principles, they infer an association between: embracing natural principles of Law, and the fellowship of angels.  While these things played a role prior to the coming into of Faith, they become increasingly corrupt as the day of salvation is put off.  Recall that . . .

. . . before faith came, were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.                                              Gal. 3:23-25

Stephen tells us (as we are also told in other places of Scripture) that the Law was even received through the mediation of angels.  Stephen speaks to those:

Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.                                                                                      Acts 7:53

Perhaps then, we may perceive the innate futility in persisting within a spiritual principle we can in no wise fulfill.  For Stephen speaks not only to those Jews who were about to make him the first Christian martyr, but even to all humanity, Jew and Gentile alike, when he calls out those “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”  For Paul maintained that the Gentiles themselves were possessed of the law; it having been impressed upon their conscience.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their heartsand their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,                 Rom. 2:14-15

Therefore, while we may not be subject to the mosaic covenant as natural born Jews of old,[29] we all nonetheless operate under the spirit of the Law[30] along with the rest of humanity.[31]  And what does this moral law tell us, but not to steal, not to kill, not to commit adultery, etc.  While we may have a fairly good track record of avoiding outward violations, we know from the Gospel that what God is primarily concerned with is the heart, ie. that which is inside the cup.

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.                Matt. 23:26

Our own works simply will not prevail in the day our conscience is borne upon by the weight of God’s immutable Law. Angel 01 In that day, no angelic being will intervene to save a man on the day he stands alone with his conscience in the wake of damnation.  The Law governs those whose orientation resides in natural principles and who place their confidence in natural things.  Upon those who trust in flesh, the curse of the Law resides:

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his armand whose heart departeth from the Lord.                        Jer. 17:5

While these may be children of Abraham in regards the profession of their mouth, the true children of Abraham are those known of God as justified by the principle of faith; the true child of Abraham was Isaac.  His other child was Ishmael; the child of the bondwoman.  These are the prophetic “children of the flesh,” of whom Paul refers when he writes:

That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Godbut the children of the promise are counted for the seed.                   Rom 9:8 

Neither are these “children of promise” the natural offspring of Isaac. Paul is speaking spiritually of those receiving the Gospel, toward which the natural offspring of Isaac (ie. the Jews) were the primary antagonists.  Those who continued to assert their national heritage as a thing of significance, were apostate, as they continued to exalt what God had declared null and void through the Cross.  Therefore Paul tells the Galatians that those who continue to emphasize fleshly forms and service, are, in fact, antagonistic to the Cross of Jesus Christ, and therefore to the Spirit of God:

  As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.                        Gal 6:12-15

h.  The Damaging Implications of Naturalistic Interpretations Applied to Spiritual Things

To assert that being a natural Jew means anything under the new covenant, is to assert Christ did not do what He did.  What He did, was to nullify the role of flesh in God’s purposes.  This is why to lay significance upon the flesh is to walk in contradiction to the Gospel and in contradiction to the witness of the Holy Ghost; something that if persisted in, results in apostasy from the Gospel.  The Jews were engaging in such apostasy through glorying in their ancestry.  But the Gentiles were as well, glorying in flesh.  Recall that Paul had to rebuke the Corinthians for exalting men because of their fleshly abilities.  He warns them that God has chosen rather the “base things of the world, and things which are despised:”

That no flesh should glory in his presence.   I Cor. 1:29 

To glory in flesh violates principles of the new covenant whether we are Jew or Gentile.  Paul continued this rebuke in his second letter in the wake of men who were being elevated before the Corinthian assembly as objects of fleshly demonstration.  These, Paul referred to as “false apostles, deceitful workers”.[32]  Why were they “false apostles and deceitful workers?”  Paul tells us:

Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.           II Cor. 11:18 

The false workmen were those finding significance in their fleshly pedigree and fleshly abilities; things nullified through the principle of the Cross. 

Returning to our case in point, we might find Ms. Kuhlman’s words to Sid Roth perplexing.  Rather than disabusing Mr. Roth of his carnal trusts, she oddly praises the brilliance of his mind.  While she rightly states that faith is not within the realm of the natural mind, she does not challenge his underlying error tying significance to his status as a natural Jew.  While she rightly states the case for Faith as NOT a matter of the intellect, and in so doing, gave glory to God, the same cannot be said of her doctrine; a doctrine which, in fact, supported Roth’s false assumptions, and which would lead to his prominence as a teacher of heretical doctrine, The One New Man.  Recall her words:Khulman 01

Very soon now, we’re going to have the great catching up; the rapture of the Church.  Following that, God, for seven years will keep his earthly covenants to an earthly people, the Jews.[33]

What began as a novel doctrine arising in the 1840’s, at the same time as Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, and Christian Science, was able to take deep root in the thinking of orthodox Christianity through the Scofield Reference Bible.  The teaching of Dispensationalism undermined the work of the Cross, through subordinating the Person and work of the Holy Ghost to natural and fleshly principles, and through that teaching, Christian Zionism was able to achieve credulity so as to establish itself as the “orthodoxy” of the twentieth-century.  Today there are signs suggesting that Christian Zionism may be on its way to becoming empowered much as the Prosperity Message of the latter twentieth-century was empowered.  If so, this false teaching stands to emerge as the final apostasy.


[1] Cessationism is the theological belief that the overtly miraculous works of the Holy Spirit no longer occur today, as they did in the first century.

[2] See Part IV, Subpart B for articles going into more depth on this subject.

[3] H1471   gôy  go’ee, go’-ee  Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts: – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

[4] See commentary on Isaiah 52:1  For the uncircumcised & the unclean will no more come into you.

[5] Romans 2:29  But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

[6] Romans 1:9

[7] See commentary on Joel 2:29 for discussion of the principle of salvation being extended to even the “slave” via the Spirit of God.

[8] Kathryn Kuhlman was an ordained Baptist minister.  See Forward written by Samuel Weiss to her book  I Believe in Miracles by Kathryn Kuhlman, (c) 1962,  Prentice Hall, at pg. 11, which says of Ms. Kuhlman, “. . . this Baptist ordained minister began to preach on healing by the power of God.”

[9] Kathryn Kuhlman, Episode 3 of Kuhlman’s television series I Believe in Miracles.

[10] Hopefully there will be time for an article on the Rapture error.

[11] Luke 21:24

[12] Deuteronomy 19:10, 13, 21:8, 9

[13] Jeremiah 7:6, 22:3, 22:17

[14] Deuteronomy 19:10, 13, 21:8, 9

[15] Philippians 3:2 “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

[16] Matthew 7:6, 15:26, Revelation 22:15

[17] II Thessalonians 2:8

[18] Dialogue between Kathryn Kuhlman and Sid Roth, Episode 34 of Kuhlman’s television series I Believe in Miracles.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] The Bible, the Supernatural, and the Jews, by McCandlish Phillips, © 1970, The World Publishing Co., pg. 6.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ezekiel 18:4, 18:20

[26] II Timothy 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

[27] I Corinthians 1:30

[28] Ibid.

[29] I say “at one time were” as even a natural-born Jew today is no longer under the mosaic covenant, since the distinction between “Jew and Greek” itself was abolished by the work of Christ (Gal. 3:28)

[30] Romans 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

[31] See Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis for excellent treatment of this concept.

[32] II Corinthans 11:12-13 

[33] Kathryn Kuhlman, Episode 3 of Kuhlman’s television series I Believe in Miracles.

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VI.E.4.b Seasons of the Timeless and Eternal

  PART  VI  –     Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart E  –  Messiah-Body; Trumpets unto the Day of Atonement

Article 4  –  Times & Seasons

Section (b)   –  SEASONS OF THE TIMELESS & ETERNAL

By Daniel Irving

i.    Redemption as Ever Turning & Returning to God’s Holy & Eternal Person

ii.   Reprobation as the Rejection from God’s Holy and Eternal Person

iii.  The Inadequacy of Feast Day Symbolism in View of God’s Eternal Nature   

Stormy Beach 02

Section (b)  –  SEASONS OF THE TIMELESS & ETERNAL 

i.  Redemption as Ever Turning & Returning to God’s Holy & Eternal Person

Men typically enter into presumption when they begin to focus upon the when of God’s work.  While the work of man operates within principles of natural time,[1] God’s work transcends natural time.  Scripture does not subordinate God’s work to principles of natural time, and, therefore, neither should we.  Peter expressly warned us against bringing natural time into our view of redemption.  When writing on the subject of salvation, Peter relates:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,  that one day is with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.     II Pet. 3:8

Peter’s context is the fulfillment of the work of God in the salvation of some, and in the destruction of all things.  But Peter cautions us that our own apprehension of Time is apt to confuse us, given that God’s nature, which is the very substance of salvation, is eternal.  When we begin to view the plan of redemption in futuristic and human terms, we begin stray from its meaning and present-moment vitality.  To abide in Christ, is to grow in this knowledge of God’s eternal nature, which is holiness.  Christ is that eternal dwelling, of which Moses speaks.  In fact, in cautioning the Church on this issue, Peter is actually using the prayer of Moses found in the 90th Psalm, which begins:

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.          Ps. 90:1

This timeless nature of God belongs to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Who said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.”[2]

When Peter explains the last-days error of the ungodly, he draws from this prayer of Moses, which states that God’s people have a “dwelling place in all generations.”  Feast of Tabernacles 01This dwelling place, is Jesus Christ.  We have an eternal dwelling place in Jesus Christ because in Him, God’s eternal nature dwelt among us, and sacrificed Himself for us.  Therefore the next verse of the prayer declares Christ’s eternal nature:

even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.                                                               Ps. 90:2

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega.[3]  He is not waiting to become the Omega.  As all things are finished in Him, so is His work an eternal work.  His work began before the foundation of the world, and it was finished as well before the foundation of the world.[4]  As the purpose of His coming was to save men, this makes His presence among men through the agency of His Spirit, a vital matter.  For it is through His Spirit, he draws men back to their Creator. The Spirit of Christ beckons the sinner to “return.” Therefore, in the next verse, Moses prophesies of the work of Christ, saying:

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, “Return ye children of men.”                                                                                      Ps. 90:3

The Spirit of Christ beckons men to return to their Creator, through their Redeemer, the One True and Living God.  Therefore, His salvation is not one that operates despite men heading in the way of destruction.  No.  But His salvation operates through the Spirit of prophecy beckoning the sinner  “return.”  The salvation is His eternal Word, calling the elect to “return” unto Him.  And this is true not only for the most depraved sinner, but for the most perfected of saints as well.  Prodigal 04For all have fallen short of the glory of God, and there is no way home but the Cross.  Therefore all must be brought through the means of that prophetic call of the Spirit of God which says “Return.”  This is true for the first instant of Faith, and it is true for each moment of redemption’s walk.  And this is why God is married to the backslider, and why His eternal Word is:

Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:       Jer. 3:14

And what is the means through which these may “return,” and through which they may walk in God’s way?  The answer, is through the means of the atonement which He has provided, continually justifying the heart that turns to Him.  Whether first awakened to Faith, or having walked many roads with the Lord before, all who come, come at the call of His eternal Word to “return.” They return to their Maker, through their Redeemer.  The means is through His eternal SpiritRepentance is an eternal principle, because it is paid for by the Everlasting One, effectuated by the Everlasting One, and forever maintained by the Everlasting One.  God’s salvation is even Himself.  And therefore God’s salvation is eternal, as derived from His holy nature.  Therefore the same principle of eternity that is the nature of God, applies to the nature of redemption.  Thus Moses follows up his explanation of salvation as the purpose of God, with statement, utilized by Peter:

For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.                                               Ps. 90:4

This is precisely what Peter is saying in his second epistle; ie. the work of God in redeeming men is innate to the timeless nature of God.  Prodigal 01They are not saved in the conventional way we suppose.  Therefore the work of God in the affairs of men and the eventual destruction of the rebellious is not to be viewed as a far-off and futuristic event.  If “now is the day of salvation,”[5] then “now is the day of its loss,” if not apprehended through Faith.  And if the fruit of eternal life may be experienced today, then the fruit of its loss may be experienced today.  Paul did not speak of God’s wrath in purely futuristic terms when he spoke of those rejecting Christ.  He wrote, “for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”[6]  God’s love is as true and efficacious today as tomorrow.  But so is His wrath.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;   Rom 1:18 

What operates within the realm of Time is the revelation of these things with respect to ourselves; for we reside in temporal bodies, subject to the progression of natural time.

ii.  Reprobation as the Rejection from God’s Holy and Eternal Nature

Further, Peter foretells that it will be the passage of ordinary Time, which facilitates the rise of scoffers, who in their carnal thinking in terms of salvation, will reject the Gospel entirely.  He writes:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.                                    II Peter 3:3-4

The sign of the end-time apostasy is when men, even as a matter of profession, give up striving for the soul’s sanctification, and dispense with inhibition in respect to the carnal appetites.  Their unbelief will assume new dimensions once the revelation of Christ to their inner-man has been rejected.  The outward sign of their reprobation will be the open exhibition of their passions and cravings.  Earthly lust and indulgence is therefore the sign of spiritual reprobation, that principle of which Peter speaks.

Reprobation operates the more heatedly as the presence of God grows in the earth absent the response of repentance, which characterizes the elect.  This is why unbelief is such an horrific condition.  While their works constitute an implied denial of Christ, their inner thoughts will spill over as blasphemy and an express rejection of Christ as God’s presence draws closer.  While their mouth is even denying Christ, their apostasy will itself be fulfilling God’s purposes in their destruction.

Reprobation 01 The passage of natural time will exacerbate what is their more basic error, which  lies in respect to their non-apprehension of the eternal Personhood and work of God.  Not discerning the eternal nature of holiness, they did not discern the eternal nature of His works.  Not discerning the eternal nature of His works, the revelation they shall receive, shall be that of their own temporality.  Thus they shall be joined to that spirit fallen from heaven, who suddenly perceives as well, that “he has but a short time.”  The reprobate are destroyed by the revelation of their own temporality; a revelation which will drive them ever deeper into the quest to satiate carnal nature, giving feast to the world of the demonic.

iii.  The Inadequacy of Feast Day Symbolism in View of God’s Eternal Nature  

We are in the fourth article of the Subpart dealing with the transitional relationship between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, entitled, Times and Seasons. Relational Diagram This seems a particularly appropriate place to address this principle of spiritual seasons, as it is generally subsequent to our response to the Gospel (ie. that having representation in the feast of Trumpets) and our experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, when we become particularly sensitive of the reality of spiritual seasons in Israel.  These seasons find structure in the Hebrew calendar established under Moses, and are represented in the Levitical Feasts of the Lord.  These feasts were celebrations appointed for their particular seasons.

These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.          Lev. 23:4 

Thus here is where the Law provides explanation for the seasons, or they would remain vague theological concepts.  Through the Mosaic ordinances, we are provided with explanations, symbols, forms, and rituals, which serve to give a semblance of shape and form to the formless realm of spiritual things.  Naturally, they are insufficient for the task.  Yet they are nonetheless useful in gaining insight and learning doctrine.  Feast of Booths 02The Mosaic feast days describe God’s plan of redemption for Israel, which is the Church.[7]  In their mean form, as literal days of the year, the feasts were to be kept by Israel after the flesh, ie. by natural born Jews.  But in their heavenly form, they are to be kept by Israel after the Spirit.

If we understand that redemption, is not a principle which lends itself to the human concept of Time, then we might perceive that neither do these Levitical feast days lend themselves to natural time.  While, in the natural and historical sense, they were used to mark dates and times on the literal Hebrew calendar, the true meaning of the feasts are spiritual.

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the thingscan never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year  continually make the comers thereunto perfect.     Heb. 10:1

Just as the sacrifices of the Law have no real spiritual efficacy, so neither do ordinances or rites of the Law have any spiritual efficacy.  They serve only to provide a shadow, ie. a conceptual representation of something that cannot be seen. Its priests and Levites were those . . .

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,                                                                                    Heb. 8:5 

And what did they serve as a symbolic representation of?  Spiritual truths relating to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ; things pertaining to the invisible realm of heaven.  The Law, and therefore the feast days which are a part thereof, are earthly representations of spiritual things.  Therefore they are also temporal representations of eternal things; the substance being the eternal.Trumpets 01

  Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respected to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are of a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.                                                                                      Col. 2:16-17 (NASV)

Therefore, we understand that crude, material representations of God’s plan of redemption are insufficient.  They are void of substance, except as objects of contemplation, useful only as tools to glean natural insights.  The true matter of spiritual things cannot be represented.  Whereas God’s nature is eternal, so is redemption made a part and substance with God’s eternal nature.  If redemption is an eternal and timeless concept, then what can it mean to break a timeless concept into parts for thoughtful examination?  Each part is itself infinite.  It cannot be done.  This itself is an insight to hold when considering the lamp-stand model.


[1] Psalm 104:23

[2] John 8:58

[3] Revelation 1:8, 1:11, 21:6, 22:13

[4] Revelation 13:8  “. . of the book of life of the Lam slain from the foundation of the world.”

[5] II Corinthians 6:2

[6] I Thessalonians 2:16

[7] Galatians 6:16, Ephesians 2:12

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VI.E.4.a The Ordinances of Heaven

  PART  VI  –     Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart E  –  Messiah-Body; Trumpets unto the Day of Atonement

Article 4    –  Times & Seasons

Section (a)   –  THE ORDINANCES OF HEAVEN

By Daniel Irving

i.    The Sign of the Stars

ii.   The Sign of the Sun and the Moon

iii.  The Role of Sun, Moon, and Stars in Signifying the Seasons

iv.  Critical Station of the Moon as a Sign to the Earth

Stars 02

Section (a)  –  THE ORDINANCES OF HEAVEN

i.  The Sign of the Stars

The prophetic principle of times and seasons is first expressed in the story of creation, where we read:

Then God said,“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens  to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;        Gen 1:14

Following the account of their creation and signification as for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years, we find the next allusion to the stars as coming in the promise made to Abraham concerning his progeny.  We read that God . . .  Abraham Counts Stars

. . .  took him outside and said,“Now look toward the heavens,  and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”  And He said to him, “So shall your descendents be.”           Gen. 15:5

Abraham was to be used in a profound and eternal way, and as an example of what it means to believe God unto eternal life.  And He would have “children;” as those following in his pattern of faith toward God.  Not Jews by the flesh, but Jews by faith.  Natural descendency was not the issue.  Therefore, Jesus told the Jews:

“If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.                                                                                      John 8:39

Therefore, we are to understand the children of Abraham as an allusion to those following Abraham in the steps of faith.  Abraham has spiritual children who are represented in the stars of heaven, as signs to the rest of the world.  These  children are those to whom the prophets speak, when they exhort:Abraham Journeys

Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you:  for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.  For the Lord shall comfort Zion: He shall comfort all her waste places.  And He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord;  joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.      Is. 51:2-3

After telling us to “look to the rock;” (v.1) an allusion to that object of faith established by God as immovable, which is the Person and work of Jesus Christ,[1] is the prophecy now telling us to look elsewhere?  Are we now to look at an Old Testament patriarch?  Rather, the prophecy is directing us to look to the principle typified by Abraham, which, according to Paul, is justification by faith.  Paul writes:

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to our flesh has found?                       Rom. 4:1

This is where Paul commences a lengthy explanation of the allegory posed in Abraham.  Paul has just spent the first three chapters of his letter to the Romans repeating the curses of the Law against all humanity including God’s own people.[2]  However, despite the cursings of the Law, Abraham, “our forefather,” has found something wonderful.  What is that?

“Abraham believed God, & it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”                                                                                      Rom. 4:3

A principle too-simple! And although, as the stars of heaven, Abraham’s seed must go through difficult times of testing wherein they may even face the terror of spiritual things, yet they are given a wonderful assurance.  And despite the railings of spiritual forces against them, they shall not be made ashamed.  For God saves them by a new principle:

Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.                                                                                       Is. 29:22Stars 03

The stars of heaven represent those whom by faith, enter upon the promises of God.  They are signs to  be observed by the world.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel.                                       Is. 8:18

When once the heart takes hold of this principle, false manifestations will have little influence.  The true sign given men, is the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the work of His Spirit in men.  Jesus said:

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.                   Matt. 16:4 

What is the Spirit of God communicating when He says; “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel”?  What are these “signs and wonders?”  The miracle that is innate to the very meaning of the sanctified in Christ, which is the evidence of faith:Heaven 01

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men,  in that he hath raised Him from the dead.   Acts 17:31

What is this “assurance unto all men”?  How is it that all men can be said to have been “assured”[3] that Jesus rose from the dead?  The Greek word translated “assured” will surprise us greatly!  For this is the same Greek word universally translated “faith” in the KJV!  Therefore this is the word Paul uses in this fundamental statement of our faith:

For by grace are ye saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:                            Eph. 2:8

The assurance all men have that Jesus was raised from the dead is the assurance of “faith”.  This “assurance” is not merely a mental assent to the truth, but is rather more substantial.  For with this truth comes the witness of heaven borne by the Spirit of God:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.     Rom. 10:9

Faith is given by God as the evidence of what He has accomplished in Christ Jesus:

  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.                                                                                      Heb. 11:1

Those that “behold” this evidence that is unseen, themselves constitute signs to the rest of the world through whom God moves and works by the Spirit of His Son.  Thus Scripture uses the stars of heaven as the prophetic metaphor for these children of faith.

ii.  The Sign of the Sun and the Moon

The sun is a common metaphor for Christ, one of the prophecies concerning Whom, is:Sun 01

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun;   and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.          Ps. 72:17

This is because as the sun is the “light of the world,” so is Jesus Christ.[4]

“I am the light of the world.    He that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”                    John 8:12

But as Jesus Christ is the light of the world, so those following Him, constitute a source of light as well.  Therefore Jesus told the Church, following in His commandments:

Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.                                                                                   Matt. 5:14

Just as the sun burns with the same intensity without respect to its station in the heavens, so does Christ constitute an unchanging witness of God.

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.         Heb. 13:8

But just as the Lord implies, when he exhorts the Church not to hide its light, the Church does not always give a true and unchanging witness of Christ.  Moon Phases 01The Church goes through phases ranging from a brilliant reflection of Christ to the world when it is “full,” through various degrees of light, until bearing very little of the sun’s light, and appearing substantially dark.  Therefore the moon is particularly identified as marking the spiritual “seasons.”  We read in the Psalms:

  He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.                Ps. 104:19

The Church is to bear a witness of God even where the direct light from Christ is no longer evident to men.  The Church is to bear a witness to the world particularly in times of darkness.

Together, the sun and the moon represent Israel.  They constitute a metaphor for the light that is Christ, both head and body.  Just as the moon does not shine her own light, but the light of her source, Who is Christ, so does the Church radiate from a source independent of herself.  We gather this interpretation of the prophetic metaphors from Joseph’s dream:

“I have dreamed a dream more, & behold, the sun, & the moon, & the 11 stars made obeisance to me.”  And he told his father & his brethren; and his father rebuked him, & said unto him; “What is this dream that thou has dreamed?  Shall, I, thy mother, and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?  And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.        Gen 37:9-10

Jacob interpreted Joseph’s dream to mean that the sun and moon referred to himself (ie. Israel) and his wife, Rachel.  Together, they are Israel; the eternal witness of God.  Therefore we read concerning “the Lord, the God of Israel:”[5]

They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.                                                                                      Ps. 72:5Moon 03

The sun and the moon represent the witness of God put forward to humanity.  In the purity and majesty of Christ’s truth, the witness is clear:

  Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners?         Songs 6:10

iii.  The Role of Sun, Moon, and Stars in Signifying the Seasons

The sun, the moon, and the stars stand allegory for the prophetic role of Christ, the Church, and those saved through faith in Jesus Christ, in terms of the witness they represent to the world.  This relationship is expressed in the very first chapter of the Bible: 

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on earth”, and it was so.                                                                                      Gen. 1:14-15

But if the lights of heaven never changed without respect to earth, they could not adequately be a marker of times and seasons.  We have prophecy which foretells the darkening of both sun and moon.[6]  One of the most telling of these prophecies is found in Isaiah chapter 13:Moon 02

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light:   the sun shall be darkened in his going forth,  and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity;   and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.                             Is. 13:10-11

The darkening of the sun, moon, and stars signify the shutting out of the light of spiritual truth; the witness of Jesus Christ, allowing transgression to increase in the Church and in the world, resulting in wrath upon the unrepentant, but Grace upon the repentant.  The kingdoms of this world and those principalities having their authority over the human spirit as subject to the Law shall be punished and brought low in order that they may be overthrown for the sake of the man’s subjection to the Spirit of Christ.  Therefore the next line of the prophecy reads . .

And the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, & the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.    Is. 30:26 (NASV)

When Isaiah refers to the “light of the moon,” the Hebrew word translated “moon”[7] is le-bah-nah, and only occurs in this single context in Isaiah.  It derives from the Hebrew word for white, and relates to the name of the country of “Lebanon,” which was seen from a distance as white because of its snow-capped mountains.  But this is not the primary Hebrew word for “moon.”  Therefore we might infer that the “whiteness” of the moon is to be emphasized in Isaiah’s prophecy.

What is the “light of the moon”?  To understand the general purposes for the moon as a symbol in prophecy, we must first look to the story of creation.  We find that the lights which God set in the heavens were established for explicit purposes:

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on earth”, and it was so.                                                                                      Gen. 1:14-15

We find that the lights that God placed into the heavens served four primary purposes, those being to:

1)                   divide the day from the night,

2)                   give light to the earth,

3)                   mark the time and the season

4)                   serve for signs

We find that, as a matter of fact, references to the sun and the moon and the stars in prophecy seem to arise in all four of these contexts.  But we find that the moon stands both prominent and distinguishable in this regard.  We also note that all of these purposes seem comparable for the stated-purpose of God’s peculiar people (ie. the Church) in their capacity as a witness of Christ.      Let us consider each purpose:

i.  The Dividing of the Day from the Night

The Genesis account does not speak specifically to the moon.  Rather it speaks of the; “lights in the firmament”.[8]  Generally speaking, the sun and the stars divide the day from the night as, by definition, the sun is present only during the day, and the stars are evident only at night.  However, the moon is visible both at night and during the day and therefore stands distinct from the sun and the stars.  Therefore while this purpose is generally true for the “lights in the firmament,” it is not particularly true for the moon.  However, prophecy does particularly distinguish the moon as having its purpose for a light at night:Stars 02

Thus saith the LORD, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:                  Jer. 31:35

However as to the remaining purposes, the moon stands prominent in prophecy.

ii.  The Shedding of Light upon the Earth

Consider the following prophetic references to the role of the moon as providing light for earth:

Is 30:26             And the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, & the light of the sun will be seven times brighter,

Rev 21:23         And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, & the Lamb is the light thereof.

Does the church have a purpose of being a source of light for the world?

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.                                                                                      Matt. 5:14

iii.  The Marking of the Times and of the Seasons

The moon stands prominently as a marker of times and seasons precisely because it is the only heavenly light known for its peculiar phases.  The moon runs a regular cycle.  As the moon marks the literal lunar months, so does the Church mark the prophetic cycles:

Ps. 81:3       Blow up the trumpet in the new moon in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

Ps 104:19    He appointed the moon for seasons:

Ez 46:1             . . . but on the sabbath it shall be opened, & in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

Ez 46:6             And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish,

Amos 8:5          Saying, “When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn?

Is prophecy particularly concerned with the position of the moon in the sky in relation to earth? Moon Phases 01 No, indeed.  But prophecy is particularly concerned with the orientation of the Church in respect to Jesus Christ, her source of Divine light, and the Spirit of God, and Truth. Therefore the Church has purpose in signifying the times and seasons of the Spirit of God.  The church certainly bears a witness to the world of God’s timing in spiritual things:

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.     John 3:8

Those born of the Spirit have a purpose in bearing objective evidence of the movement and work of the Spirit of God.  Being animated by the Spirit of Christ, they bear a witness of Christ.

iv.  The Moon’s Role as a Sign

The Church, as the anointed body of Christ, is to serve as a sign to the world, whether a light reflecting the majesty of God’s holiness in Christ, or whether in the absence of such:

Ps 89:37   It shall be established for ever as the moon and as a faithful witness in heaven.

Is 13:10   . . . and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Ez 32:7             And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, & the moon shall not give her light.

Joe 2:10  . . .  the sun & the moon shall be dark, & the stars shall withdraw their shining:

Joe 2:31        The sun shall be turned into darkness, & the moon into blood, before the great & the terrible day of the LORD come.

Rev 6:12       & the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, & the moon became as blood;

Rev 8:12     &  the third part of the sun was smitten, & the third part of the moon & the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened,

This aspect of the church is also fulfilled in any Spirit-baptized believer in Christ:

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.                                                                                      I Cor. 14:22Moon 03

That the church constitutes any sign comes by virtue of its placement in the heavens.   If the Church shines any sort of light, or reveals the times and seasons of God in Christ, it is only to the extent that the Church occupies a heavenly place.  The Church’s witness goes only so far as the Church enters upon the words of the apostle that God:

. . . has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:        Eph. 2:6

But what particularly does the moon signify? Recall again Joseph’s dream:

And he related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him “What is this dream that you have had?  Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground.”                                                                                      Gen. 37:10

If the sun stands for Jacob as a prefigure for Christ, and the moon symbolizes Rachel as a prefigure of the Church, then the moon logically symbolizes the Church, as the presumptive entity being prepared as the Bride of Christ.  The moon is so apt metaphor!  For even though it does not compare to the glory of the sun, it occupies the same relative size in the sky as does the sun.[9]  As Christ appeared in His humanity and had no particular visual glory beyond that of a man, so does the earthly witness of the Church appear in its humanity, and in this sense, is no greater or less than the humanity of Jesus, even though the true and unrevealed glory of Christ infinitely exceeds that of the Church, who without Christ is dark.

Secondly, the Church, symbolized by the moon, has no glory but that reflected from Christ, represented by the sun.  The Church is witness of God only so far as it reflects the image of Christ.  Therefore it is said of John the Baptist, who prefigured the Elijah-witness of the Church:

There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.  He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.  There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.           John 1:6-9

Do we perceive then how entirely suitable is this metaphor presented in the sun and the moonBronze Gilding 02While the true light may be hidden from sight, the world has the witness of the Church, who has been anointed by the Spirit of God to stand despite a world darkened by the absence of Christ’s direct witness of Himself.  The moon has no light of its own, but reflects the true light of the sun.

Thirdly, Christ’s glory shines continuously throughout all phases of the moon and does not diminish in its strength.  James alludes to this metaphor when he writes:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,  with whom is no variableness,  neither shadow of turning.                                                                                      James 1:17

Just as the sun does not vary in its brightness, nor is it capable of presenting or casting a shadow, so is God’s witness gloriously perfect in every respect.  But as to the Church, is there variableness in its witness? Moon New 01 Indeed.  The Church, as does the moon, regularly diminishes to the point of near darkness, to the point of apostasy from the Truth.  The Church, as well, increases to a fullness in regular cycles to the extent that she renders a full reflection of the witness of Christ to the earth.

Finally, consider the question, When is the moon the fullest and brightest?  The answer is, at such time the earth is the darkest from the perspective of the moon.  A darkened face of the earth means a full moon.  And again, When is the moon the darkest?  The answer is when it stands in the way of the sun respect to the earth.

Yes, it almost appears that the earth-moon-sun relationship was preordained as a symbol for Christ and the Church.  Moon Serene 03Therefore Solomon calls her “fair as the moon”.[10]  The moon is the “witness of man” concerning Jesus Christ.  It may be full and bright, or it may be absent and dark.  Of its brightness, we have the testimony and witness of John the Baptist as a pre-figure. And this is why the Lord directed the Jews back toward John the Baptist when they began stumbling over His witness.  He said to them:

You sent unto John, and he bore witness unto the truth.  But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved.     John 5:33-34

iv.  Critical Station of the Moon as a Sign unto the Earth

The witness of Christ is the true and undiluted witness of God, which the world cannot receive in undiluted form absent the Gospel message and preparation by the Spirit of God.  This preparation of men through the agency of the witness of God’s Spirit in the Church, is therefore an essential part of God’s witness to the world.

There is another metaphor for the children of Abraham.  They are referred to as “sand” for their multitude.  Recall the prophecy given to Abraham:Stormy Beach 01

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;                 Gen. 22:17

According to prophecy, the sand of the seashore occupies a crucial function in respect to the nations, whose chaotic motions have their source in the spirit of sin and rebellion.  Jeremiah’s prophecy states:

“Do you not fear me?  Declares the Lord.  Do you not tremble in my presence?  For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.  Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.  But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; They have turned aside and departed.”       Jer. 5:22-23 

The Church is that buffer which stands between the world and perdition.  The sea is a depiction of lost humanity, subject to every spiritual wind which blows upon it. Stormy Beach 03 This stands in contrast to the rock upon which is founded the Church, which is the revelation of the Person and work of Jesus Christ.[11]   Unbelieving humanity is a turbulent and chaotic mixture driven by spiritual currents, and always in need of boundaries and limitations lest they overrun their containment, and commit unpardonable transgression.  This relationship between the Church and those outside Christ was first conveyed by Moses:

When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.                         Deut. 32:8

This is not speaking of a literal nation or of literal nations.  The sea represents those outside Christ, without attachment to their true spiritual headship in respect to God.  Lacking the knowledge of their true headship, they are perpetually tossed about in all their motions, animated by a great variety of currents and winds, rather than by God’s Spirit.  In this state of enmity, their Creator has established a boundary for the purpose of preventing the final sacrilege of apostasy.  The Church of Jesus Christ is that entity within the world for which God Spirit’s has purpose in fulfilling God’s plan of redemption.  The Church is the place of the coming to birth of God’s progeny through the work of Faith in Jesus Christ, as His Spirit continually brings forth children of Abraham.  These children of Abraham are themselves sinners called out from the world to bear a witness.  As such, they occupy a position of forgiveness, Grace, and God’s forbearance with men for the sake of Christ.  Thus they occupy a barrier between the vulgar and chaotic things of this world, and those inviolable principles of God’s holy nature.Stormy Beach 02

Therefore, it is to the benefit of the nations that there exists a body of mankind delineating a boundary and buffer of truth and intercession, that God may have place among men, and that the transgression of the final apostasy be forestalled.  Without this buffer of the Church, the final apostasy would lead to the full blossom of transgression and the spiritual desolation of humanity.

The Church occupies a critical place in God’s dealings with humanity, as the Grace invested in the Church through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the savor in this world unto God.  When the light of the world, Who is Christ, is reflected brightly, men are brought to that place wherein God may fulfill His purposes in forgiving their sins, cleansing their hearts, and communing with their spirits; all within the auspices of Faith.  When that light is dim, as it is when there is a new moon, the hope is that God will send His message again to preach the everlasting Gospel.  Therefore, the prophecy:Moon Serene 01

  Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.  For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.     Ps. 81:3-4 

Thus the purposes of the Church are restored in each advent of God’s Spirit upon humanity.


[1]  Matthew 16:16-18   And Simon Peter answered & said, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh & blood did not reveal this to youbut My Father who is in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, & upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

[2] Romans 3:9  “…for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;…”

[3] G4102   pistis  pis’-tis  From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

[4] John 8:12  “I am the light of the world.  He that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

[5] Psalm 72:18  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

[6] Isaiah 13:10, Revelation 6:12 & 8:12

[7] H3842  lebânâh  leb-aw-naw’  From H3835; properly (the) white, that is, the moon: – moon. See also H3838.

[8] Genesis 1:14

[9] This is why a solar eclipse allows the moon to perfectly occupy the sun’s position in the sky.

[10] Song of Solomon 6:10

:[11] See commentaries on Isaiah 17:12 and 23:4.

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VI.A.5 The Object of Revelation Knowledge

Part  VI  –  Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart A  –  Messiah-Head; The Incarnation of Christ

Article 5  –  The Object of Revelation Knowledge

By Daniel Irving

a.  Knowledge of the Incarnation of God

b.  Walking in Knowledge

c.  God’s Incarnation as His Revelation to Bestow

d. Formation of God’s Children in the Womb

e.  The Question that Brings an Answer allowing for the Entrustment of our Soul  

f.  The Experience that Works Hope

g.  Called to Comprehend what is Naturally Incomprehensible

 Chalice 01

Article 5  –  THE OBJECT OF REVELATION KNOWLEDGE

a.  Knowledge of the Incarnation of God

That God manifested Himself in human flesh is a concept not apprehensible except by faith.  The incarnation of God is not mere doctrine.  The incarnation of God is part of the mystery of God’s kingdom.  God’s incarnation is something that only He can reveal.  Not a revelation of the mind, but a revelation made to the spirit, by the Spirit.  Therefore Paul writes:

  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh                                            I Tim. 3:16

This is spiritual knowledge; something foretold by the prophets many hundreds of years in advance of its manifestation, e.g.:Shepherds Visit

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.         Is. 7:14

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?    Is. 63:1

There are times we are challenged in our mind as to what we truly believe, by profession, concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  But this is not the same thing as Faith.[1]  Faith is not the acceptance of a set of doctrinal facts.  Faith is a revelation made spiritually, impacting upon the heart so as to allow an apprehension of GodFaith is the means to apprehend God’s presence, His voice, His hope.  This occurred for Peter when he declared to the Lord “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”   Consider the Lord’s response.  Did He say; “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for your doctrine is correct!”?  No.  Rather, He said:

“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee,  but My Father which is in heaven.      Matt. 16:17

The true knowledge of God, comes from God.  That knowledge is the revelation of Christ.  While we cheaply mis-define faith as a doctrinal creed; an accepted set of facts concerning Christ, this is not “Faith” as the apostles used the term.[2]  Rock in SeaNeither is the church built upon the doctrine that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  This is rather what institutions are built upon.  The true and mystical Church of the Firstborn is built upon the revelation that God manifested in flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ.  The rock to whom the Lord refers is a matter of revelation knowledge.   “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  Neither was the Lord referring to particularly to Peter, as Peter was no rock, as is shown by his denial of Christ prior to Pentecost, and his stumbling on the issue of faith even after Pentecost at such time when “certain men from James” arrived in Antioch.[3]  The Lord was referring to the revelation knowledge of the incarnation of God, as the basis and foundation of His kingdom.

While it is good and necessary that men preach and teach that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” this is not the same as the conveyance of the substance, which must come from God.  If the witness of heaven is not at work, then all that has happened is that; “flesh and blood has . . . revealed it to you.”   And if this is all that our faith is, then flesh and blood may take it away again.  It is not eternal.

b.  Walking in Knowledge

That having manifested in the flesh, God should allow that His body should die, is, as well, non-apprehensible to the natural mind. Cross of Christ Consider the quandary this presented for the Jews, who listened to Christ make reference to his being “lifted up” from the earth in death.  This caused considerable difficulty for them:

  The people answered him, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever:   and how sayest thou, ‘The Son of man must be lifted up?’ who is this Son of man?                  John 12:34

Notice something vital in this question.  The difficulty they had with the concept that Christ should die, went to the very issue of their ability to perceive the Person and work of God that is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The thought that Christ should die, resulted in the question; “Who is this Son of man?”   Having received the principle that “Christ abideth forever,” they had become attracted to that glorious revelation and quickening witness that the eternal life of God had been made accessible to men through the incarnation of God in human flesh.  How defeating must it have seemed to this revelation, when Christ began speaking of His Death!  The glory and the joy they had experienced in the presence of the Eternal One seemed to run aground by inexplicable allusions to the Death of God Incarnate.

The Lord’s next word to them was:Heaven 01

“Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not wither he goeth.  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be children of light.”            John 12:35-36

These words allude to a revelation which would come upon these witness to the Lord’s life.  As witnesses to His life, they were privy to the revelation of God which, although eternal, had yet to complete its course upon the earth.  In order for that revelation to become complete, those experiencing the witness of His life must stand in belief of that witness.  The parallel of this principle to the Christian experience is expressed by the apostle Paul when he writes:

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.            Gal. 5:25

Why is this critical?  It is because . . .

  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God; they are the sons of God.   Rom 8:14

And notice that Paul expresses the very same principle as did Christ.  Jesus told those beholding His glory to believe in what they were sensing with their hearts so as to walk within that apprehension.  He said this would result in they themselves becoming “children of light.”  Likewise, Paul tells believers to “walk in the Spirit.”  As well, Paul says that through being “led by the Spirit,” we are “sons of God.”

If we have received light, we must believe.  If we have received an apprehension of the incarnation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ, we must believe so as to operate according to that truth we have received.  For this is also the time of empowerment to comport ourselves to the holy nature that has been made manifest to our soul.  A profound work has been accomplished.  It is time to make that work effectual within the man through Faith.  Those former works of the flesh which infected all our motions in thought, in word, and in deed, must give way to the fruit of the Spirit which God intends to produce within us.

What are the perceptible effects of the Spirit of God bringing righteousness to fruition?  Paul provides this non-comprehensive list:Grapes 02

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.                               Gal. 5:22-23

Certainly, when the Spirit moves upon our heart, we sense all of these things.  But should it stop there?  Paul also tells us there should be some expression of these inner holy sentiments.  They materialize in works.  Without the works of faith, we risk the prospect of rejoicing in a light which may suddenly turn to darkness.  Recall the Lord’s words:

“Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.  While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light.”            John 12:35-36

c.  God’s Incarnation as His Revelation to Bestow

We cannot bring this revelation.  For God’s word is clear.  The revelation of God belongs to God to reveal.  Jesus said:

All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.                      Matt. 11:27

Just as Jesus Christ is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost,[4] so it is Jesus Christ Who reveals the Person of God unto men.  This is because He Himself is that revelation.  Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.”[5]  The firstborn of every creature is the child that is born unto God.  These are the sons of God.  These are the “children of light” to whom Christ refers.

The revelation of God that is Christ, even is the Kingdom of God.[6]  Therefore the preaching of the Gospel has a purpose in the revelation of the Person of God to men.  While the revelation belongs exclusively to God, we must not think it a revelation God is in any way unwilling to bring.  God’s will is to reveal His Person to men.  Therefore Jesus said:Sheep Storm

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.    Luke 12:32 

d. Formation of God’s Children in the Womb

We should then ask ourselves, Why is this revelation not immediately brought upon a confession of faith in Jesus Christ?  The answer to this question is that there is a preparation which must be performed before God may reveal Himself to His creature in a way that will ultimately seal the sanctification of His creature, rather than end in the destruction of His creature. This is why the work of our redemption is a work which must be entrusted to the hand of God.  One substantial obstacle to this committal of God’s work to God, is man’s own self-assurance.  Recall Isaiah’s prophecy:[7]

Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sonsand you shall commit to Me the work of My hands                     Is. 45:11 (NASV)

The Interlinear Version renders the prophecy, “Do you give command to me about my sons, and about the work of my hands?”  But the implication is the same.  This prophecy speaks to the presumption of men concerning spiritual matters; matters that should entirely reside within the office of God.  Christ is that office.  His is the rule of God over men that is God’s kingdom; He is the satisfaction for humanity before God;  He is the atonement for and the sanctifier of men, through whom men may stand in God’s presence without peril to their soul;  He is the expression and communicator of God to the man.  Unleavened 4He is all things God to the creature.  He is the Light of God; the Road to God; the Gate unto God; the Word of God; the Breath of God; the Bread of God; the Water, the Milk, and the Wine of God, and the Hand of God to effectuate all of God’s purposes.  He is the image of the invisible God through Whom God’s children are brought forth into eternal life.  Therefore, how can it be that men presume to stand in that office themselves in terms of their own redemption?

The Hebrew word translated “Maker”[8] simply means to “form” or to “make.”  But it is also the universal KJV word for “potter.”  The word is used twice in the following Scripture, in which it is translated as “formed:”Garden of Eden

Gen 2:7-8  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, & breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; & man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; & there he put the man whom he had formed.    

We find the Hebrew word appearing in such places as:

Jer 1:5   Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Ps 33:15  He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

Ps 94:9   He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not    see?

Ps 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my      members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

In the same way we would say in English, that a “baker” “bakes,” so it is in the Hebrew in regards this word for “potter.”  He is a “former” (ie. one who “forms.”)  Pottery 01Therefore this is the same word used whenever the word is “potter.”  For instance, this is the same word used when God says to Jeremiah:

Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words.  Jer. 18:2

e.  The Question that Brings an Answer allowing for the Entrustment of our Soul  

What God is doing is a matter concerning His sons.  He is in the process of forming them in the womb.  The prophecy declares, “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons.”  For this is a matter God would have us inquire into.  Pottery 02An inquiry which may bring a difficult, even painful, lesson if it is to be rightly answered.  As the potter’s clay is pressed and molded, so is the human soul in order to be prepared as a vessel for God’s kingdom.  But if we make this inquiry of God, He will answer such an inquiry.  He will answer the inquiry because this is His declared will.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.         Luke 12:32 

There is a troubling of soul on the way to the knowledge of God.  But the path through the valley of the shadow of Death leads to the revelation of Life.  What shall come after this revelation of our true spiritual estate and condition?  Through the dread of God shall come the manifestation of God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ.  A Person we would not have known had inquiry not been made of God; a Person Whose knowledge is even eternal life, and Whose presence brings the continual sustenance of God.  Upon this revelation:

you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.         Is. 45:11

With the revelation of Jesus Christ, sanctification, as an ongoing process of abiding in God, may progress, braced in the apprehension that God has been caretaking our redemption and salvation even when we were not.  This is a part of the apprehension of His mercy upon, and His intimacy with, His creatures.

God has made the material creation, and He has also formed the new.  When we finally “commit God’s creation over to Him” we enter upon the seventh day of His rest.  We become part of the eternal Sabbath day of God, which constitutes the perfecting of all things in Christ.  This source will come when we finally apprehend that God loves us, that He has made a sure provision for our redemption in the blood of Christ, and that He has not forgotten His covenant, but has performed His covenant even when we could not it.

What could it mean for God to say “you shall commit to Me the work of My hands?”  What is the “work of God’s hands?”   In one sense, the “work of God’s hands” is all things.  But God is directing our attention to a very specific work He is doing.  He directs our hearts to the “new thing,” telling us to “behold,” as a prophetic signal to see something with our heart:River 11

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?   I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.                 Is. 43:19

God’s provision for that “new thing” is even Himself, the rivers of life that are His own presence ministered to men, found to be sinners under Law.  This is the work of the Cross of His Son, and the “new thing,” which brings to term the new creature.

We are told that after we have “asked Him about the things to come concerning His sons,” God shall bring a result.  We shall then “commit to Him the work of His hands.”  Little do men perceive the true work before which all earthly work pales comparison.  For despite the present darkness, the earnest expectation of the creature is in this work which is God’s to perform:

 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.                           Rom. 8:19

All nature groans in anticipation for the revelation of what God is doing in bringing forth His children.

f.  The Experience that Works Hope

There is an inference to be taken from prophecy’s statement, “you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.”  The inference is that we had not formerly committed that work to God.  We refused to entrust the care of all things over to Him.  We had not the confidence in God that constitutes the rightly based Hope.  But once God has given us an experience of Himself, we begin to have a rightly oriented basis to the hope that works redemption:

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:             Rom. 5:4Pottery 03

It takes experience with God to learn to trust God, unto the removing of our own hand from the potter’s clay.  The eternal soul is His concern.  Before removing our own hand from the work, we formed an image likened to earth.  We formed the clay based upon our natural perceptions under the spiritual condition of Law.

  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.       Rom. 7:14

What was being formed on the potter’s wheel within this fallen condition under sin, guided by the Law as that principle standing sentinel over the sinner, was not in God’s image.  Pottery Damaged 01Our efforts to perform upon God’s work led only into deeper corruption.  But when God has answered our question “concerning His sons” through providing us with an experience with Himself, this shall produce a hope that is sure, as one that is rightly based in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  God says, “then,you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.”

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.   Ps. 110:3

The “womb of the morning” is none other than the same womb to which Nicodemas incredulously referred when he asked the Lord:Nicodemas

“How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb can he?”           John 3:4

He cannot.  But with the aid of the Holy Spirit’s witness, he can bring himself into a posture before God to sincerely ask the question God wants to answer for him.  That answer will be the manifestation of God Himself through the Person of His Son.  God’s expressed desire is to awaken us unto righteousness that we may find birth into a kingdom in which the light of the Spirit of God is the light that guides.

g.  Called to Comprehend what is Naturally Incomprehensible

Those called unto God’s eternal kingdom, are called to become Sons of God; Children of light;[9] who do not walk in a way apprehensible to the children of this world.

“For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”   Luke 16:8

When at last we have committed to God the work of His hands, our ways shall not be comprehended by those around us.  We are now being led by a light that the world does not perceive.Bronze Gilding 02

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.                                            John 1:5

In fact, those that walk in darkness, do not even understand the spiritual principles that govern their own behavior:

The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.         Prov. 4:19

Those that walk according to their natural senses, have no comprehension of things spiritual.  Therefore neither can they comprehend the things of Christ:

He was in the world, and  the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.                            John 1:10

But what does John write about those to whom the light was made manifest, and who received the witness it brought?  We read:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Godeven to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood,  nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.              John 1:12-13

They have been born of the Spirit, the dew of their youth”.  For them, holiness is a beautiful thing to behold.  They have beheld the Son of God, and they are enamored by the Spirit of Holiness. Pottery 07 For the love of God’s holy image, they have become subjects “willing in the day of His power.”  Willing to do what?  Willing to  “commit unto God the work of His hands.”  Which means what?  They have become willing to undergo the rigors and stresses necessary to enter into the kingdom of God.  For recall that:

  . . . we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.   Acts 14:22

The work of God includes periods of distress for soul and the natural mind.  But we know that:

If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons for what son is he whom the father chastens not?     Heb 12:7

Chastening at the hand of God is a significant aspect of the kingdom of God.  This is something we must willingly endure to come into conformity with spiritual purposes which run contrary to those natural.  What will be the effect of entrusting God and enduring in patient obedience?Snively Sunset 06

  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke,  in the midst of a crooked & perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;                   Phil. 2:15

We shall appear from the wilderness of this life with our trust affixed in God, perfectly conformed to His holy Person and purposes in Christ.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?   Songs 8:5

But although this revelation is brought only by God, it is a revelation rightly received through the means of faith. We must believe at such time God’s image is made manifest to us in the Person of Christ.


[1] For an instruction on the meaning of Faith see the Part III, Subpart C, Article 3, Section (a) entitled The Real Faith; The Testimony of Dr. Charles Price.

[2] G4102 pistis  pis’-tis   From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

[3] Galatians 2:12

[4] Matthew 3:11 & Luke 3:16

[5] Colossians 1:15

[6] Mark 9:1-2    “. . . till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.”  & after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, & James, & John, & leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves; & He was transfigured before them.

[7] This passage of prophecy is taken from the New American Standard Version, as the King James Version seems to thwart the meaning.  If one looks to the very literal Interlinear Version, the phrase is rendered as “Do you give command to me about my sons, and about the work of my hands?”  Therefore the essential meaning expressed by the Interlinear is the same as that expressed in the NASV, that being an allusion to the presumption of men in not allowing God to perform what is His own peculiar work.

[8] H3335   yâtsar  yaw-tsar’  probably identical with H3334 (through the squeezing into shape); (compare H3331); to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figuratively to determine (that is, form a resolution): –  X earthen, fashion, form, frame, make (-r), potter, purpose.

[9] Ephesians 5:8  “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”

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V.D.3.b A Salvation by Deluge

PART  V  –  Associational Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart D  –  The Day of Atonement / Witness of Water Corollary

Article 3  –  The Waters of Noah

Section (b)  –   A Salvation by Deluge

By Daniel Irving

This section of Article 3 may be viewed at the following Youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJFmh7DRBt8&feature=youtu.be

i.    The Day of an Abundance of the Knowledge of God

ii.   The Ark of Noah as a Metaphor for Sanctification of the Spirit

iii.  Salvation by Means of Destruction

iv.  The Washing Away of the False Hope

Flood 10

Section (c)  –  A SALVATION BY DELUGE 

i.  The Day of an Abundance of the Knowledge of God

There is a day appointed for the believer in Jesus Christ when he or she shall know an abundant provision of God’s mercy and presence that comes with the revelation of Jesus Christ.  This is a time of God’s choosing when the soul He has made is brought into a continual stream and abiding sense of His goodness and glory.  Such is the nature of our Creator, to take up and to embrace the objects of His mercy.  Therefore we have the prophecy concerning God’s plans for those who keep their faith in Jesus Christ:River 11

For thus saith the Lord, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.                       Is. 66:12

What is signified when God expresses the peace He shall bring to His people through allusion to a river?  The allusion clearly indicates a continuously renewing and replenishment; a source as perpetual as God is eternal.  This speaks of the continual flow of God’s presence and glory into the inner being of His creature which He has redeemed through His own eternal being in sending  His only begotten Son into the world to die.  Therefore, because God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” therefore God shall send forth the knowledge of this.  God shall extend to the believer in Jesus Christ “the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.”

Jesus Christ is the “glory of the Gentiles.”  The Hebrew word translated “Gentiles” is goy,[1] which is interchangeably translated “nations.”  Jesus Christ is the glory of the nations because in Him, God did assume flesh and blood and through Him, became a fellow member of humanity.  The whole of humanity has been a given its true King in the Person of God born to men.  Thus the prophecy:Sunset Behind Jerusalem

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.                    Ps. 48:2

The proper object of man’s rejoicing is the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ; the “joy of the whole earth.”  He is the image of the unseen God, and therefore He is the light of the world.  He is the life of God made accessible to men via His Cross.  He is “God with us,” and He has promised to be God in us through faith.  Why then should the nations not rejoice, having been invited into matrimony with God through the Person of His Son?

There is a coming day of joy for the nations at such time the Gospel is communicated with the corresponding witness of the Spirit, revealing the truth of their free access to God through the remission of sins.  While we might be tempted to perceive the interpretation of this prophecy as having fulfillment in a place and time event, better instincts might acknowledge that this time and place is even now and right here.  For the message of the Gospel is “now is the day of salvation.”  Therefore Paul, in conjunction with the Trumpet of the Spirit, states:

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.”  behold, now is the ‘acceptable time’; behold, now is the ‘day of salvation’.                                     II Cor. 6:2

This should always be the rule for those called of God, ie. today is the day of salvation;” not some hypothetical day in the future that will never come, when we might suppose the stage to be beautifully prepared.  This principle was true when God called us to water baptism.  The principle holds true when God calls us to repent and return to Him.  The principle holds for every redemptive act of God, including Pentecost, as we may receive the Spirit of God in a time of rain, or we may receive the Spirit of God outside a time of rain.  But Jesus said; “your heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”[2]  He did not say to wait for a future time when you think God to be willing.  He simply told us “ask.”

We must also consider the incredible danger in holding any other view.  For if we tarry “in the day of salvation” and do not affirmatively step up to meet God when His Spirit beckons us to respond, then we face the prospect of missing that day.  This is true at each one of redemption’s altars, whether the alter of “trumpets”, the altar of the “day of atonement”, or the altar of “tabernacles.”  If the Spirit of God has called us forward for the purposes of redemption, then “how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”   Therefore the apostles taught today as the critical day to humble our hearts and look to God for His sustenance.  In this way we will not miss the movement of His Spirit upon the waters of the heart.

Again, He limits a certain day, saying in David, “To day, after so long a time;  as it is said, ‘To day if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.       Heb. 4:7

For if we will “hear His voice” and “harden not our hearts”, we become proper vessels for the life and work of His Spirit!Pouring 03

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you I will make known my words unto you.                               Prov. 1:23

 

ii.  The Ark of Noah as a Metaphor for Sanctification of the Spirit

The words of the Holy Spirit through Isaiah compares God’s dealings with those upon whom He will show mercy with the “waters of Noah” :

In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.  For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me;  For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.                                                                                      Is. 54:8-9

The Hebrew-word translated “waters” in the KJV and Interlinear verson is inexplicably translated “days” in the NASV.  But this is the universal word for water and waters throughout the KJV.  Neither does the prophecy necessarily compare this work of grace (v.8) to the “waters of Noah.” (v.9)  The strictest rendering would not be; “This is like the waters of Noah to Me”, rather the prophecy is saying, “This is the waters of Noah to Me.”  And this is the way it is rendered by the more literal Interlinear version.

If we ask what distinction this makes, consider which of the two allusions stands as the main concern.   Which is the Divine priority?  What is of more importance in terms of the kingdom of God and God’s purposes?  Is it the literal event of a flood upon the earth, or is it the Divine judgment of humanity?  Certainly it is the latter, for which the former exists only as a shadow and metaphor.  God’s purposes are directed toward the matter of which Noah has relevance only as a symbol.  Therefore the meaning is not that God’s mercy is “like the waters of Noah”, but rather the prophecy is saying; “This is the waters of Noah. Flood 10The “waters of Noah” were only a symbol of what is happening now.  This is the real event, as if to say; “I will lift you up as if you were tightly sealed within an ark and keep you safe from the floodwaters as they cover the earth and as they engulf those that continue to dwell on the earth despite the Spirit’s witness being borne which beckons the elect into heaven.  And although “a thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at they right hand”[3] we can trust that we shall be kept in sanctification by the Spirit of Christ.  The ark built by Noah stands metaphor for the sanctification of Jesus Christ through His Spirit.  The ark is a metaphor for the means by which (as Peter writes) we “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”[4]   Therefore Peter invokes the metaphor of the ark of Noah in his explanation for the manner in which the elect shall be saved:

. . . who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited  in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared,  in which a few, that is, 8 souls, were saved through water.  The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us  (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:         I Peter 3:20-21

When Peter uses the term “filth of the flesh”, he is not speaking of literal dirt.  Rather he is speaking of that which is the flesh brings forth before God.  He speaks of a spiritual principle.  The flesh produces filthiness because the works of the flesh constitute uncleanness before God.  Peter is saying that our baptism does not in itself work our cleansing before God.  Small Muddy 02Water baptism cannot put off the “filth of the flesh.”  What water baptism represents is our response to God, and therefore a consent and petition for entry upon the work of Christ by a declaration of faith.  We, therefore, by water baptism, entrust our soul into the hands of God via a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ; which necessarily includes the keeping good conscience before God.  Through this means, God will cleanse us from our sin and establish us in His holiness, in His time.  Our role is to bring good faith and good conscience to His covenant by “keeping the feast day without the old leaven.” [5]

Notice when the salvation occurs!  Does it occur after the ark is shut up?  No, but the salvation occurs; “while the ark was being prepared.”  The flood is too late for salvation.  Salvation had been obtained by those shut up within the ark.  The day of salvation was a day of considerable length.  For it signifies the duration of God’s patience with humanity – that mystical duration of time that His Spirit consents to strive with man for man’s salvation.

iii.  Salvation by Means of Destruction

We may ask the question; Why is it necessary that God’s salvation come by the very way men are destroyed?  Noahs FloodBut consider that the salvation of the Church constitutes the reciprocal principle of the destruction of men.  The Church is saved from wrath, through the knowledge of the atonement, allowing the presence of the Spirit’s witness.  The Perishing are virtually defined as those resisting the knowledge of the atonement as it is brought to them, and therefore become objects fitted for destruction.  Just as the saints are given more provision of God’s presence unto sanctification, so are the perishing given more of God’s presence, before which to transgress through unbelief, as constituting the true nature of Sin.  This principle is expressed by Christ in His dialogue with Nicodemas:

  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, & men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.          John 3:19

And so, the darkness that condemns is the darkness that is chosen.  Darkness is chosen at such time we have the means of knowledge within our hand, but choose what is more expedient to earthly concerns.  This is the sin that condemns and the transgression that incites wrath; doing spite to the Spirit of Truth:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness                                                                                    Rom 1:18 

The greatest condemnation is for those to whom truth was most evidently brought to their mind and to their heart, and yet they chose something less for the sake of this world.  Therefore the Lord’s greatest denunciations were levied at the cities where His greatest miracles were performed.

Successive revelations of God in Christ are what constitute the bringing in of the kingdom of God.  These are not within our power, but are brought by God, in His time.  But there is a remarkable aspect of this revelation given to men: Men become empowered for righteousness because they become empowered in things spiritual.  Likewise, as the kingdom of God is revealed, so does the potential for transgression come with it.  Where there is light, there is the potential for sinning against light.  Therefore the Light which saves, is also the Light which condemns:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, & men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.            John 3:19

iv.  The Washing Away of the False Hope

What might be the reason for the prophecy referring to God’s anger in terms of an overflowing of water as in a flood?  A statement of Job may help us:Job 02

My transgression is sealed up in a bag, & Thou does wrap up my iniquity.  But the falling mountain crumbles away, & the rock removes from its place;  Waters wear the stones: its torrents washaway the dust of the earth; So doest thou destroy man’s hope.                                                                                      Job 14:17-19

Job uses the Hebrew word shaw-taf’,[6] which is the same word used in Isaiah’s prophecy (Is. 54:8) which reads, “in a flood of wrath I hid my face from you.”  Speaking by the Spirit, Job alludes to the flood as the means to wash away men’s hope.  What is the hope of man?  The hope, trust, and confidence he places in natural things.  This is the hope of the natural man in natural things.  This is the same hope from which the apostle Paul was continuously disabused:

Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves  in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;         II Cor. 1:9

If the apostle Paul had to be continuously disabused of his natural hopes in this world, then certainly the prophet Job required the same operation of the Spirit of Christ.  Certainly also do we, if we are to continue in the hope of eternal life.  To be carnally-minded is death.

  For to be carnally-minded is death; but to be spiritually-minded is life & peace.                                                                                      Rom 8:6

And God would not have those heirs of life dwelling in the things of death.  For our earthly nature does not mind the things that God would have us attend upon:

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,  because they are spiritually-discerned.                                                                                      I Cor. 2:14

Therefore so long as the false hope of the natural man is indulged through the staying of judgment, he will continue in his earthly lusts and vanities, bearing the fruit of Death, which is Sin; those things Paul lists for the Galatians:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and such things as these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.                         Gal. 5:19-21

What kingdom shall the carnally-minded, in fact inherit?  A kingdom which shall be swept by the divine “broom of destruction.”[7]  Residing in Death, these shall appropriately be swallowed up by the Grave.  The fruit of having our mind upon natural things is that we become motivated out of selfish desire and ambition.  This orientation is not spiritual, but devilish:

This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.   –   James 3:15

God’s elect cannot continue in spiritual things while following the natural mind and its natural inclinations.  Therefore, God must disabuse man of his natural hope.  He does this by bringing to bear the spiritual principle of Law; that principle which indicts the man’s conscience, and drives him to repent or be damned.  Those elected before the foundation of the world, are elected to repent unto the washing away of their earthly confidences, lest they share in the end of the wicked:

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.              Phil. 3:19

Why is it necessary that man’s hope be “washed away”?  Flood 11It is necessary because Christ came to save men, rather than to leave them in darkness, without the means to know their Creator Who loves them.  The elect of God will fasten upon the object of their redemption, the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Only in this rightly-placed confidence does the Spirit of God make the promise, “but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,” saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

Quickened to that place in heaven purchased for them, they show themselves possessed of the faith to prove the promises of God true.  They are brought into the eternal covenant of peace, forever to abide in the love and compassion of God:

“For the mountains may be removed & the hills may shake,  but My loving-kindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken”, says the Lord who has compassion on you.               Is. 54:10


[1] H1471   gôy  go’ee, go’-ee  Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts: – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

[2] Luke 11:13

[3] Psalm 91:7

[4] I Peter 1:5

[5] I Corinthians 5:8

[6] H7857  shâṭaph  shaw-taf’  A primitive root; to gush; by implication to inundate, cleanse; by analogy to gallop, conquer: – drown, (over-) flow (-whelm), rinse, run, rush, (throughly) wash (away).

[7] Isaiah 14:23

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