Pastor (Captain) A M Samuel
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, “I will build my “Church”, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mat. 16:18). Why does God want to build His “Church” on this earth?
What is the objective of the “Church”? Many think that it is for the salvation of the lost souls, some others have the opinion that it is to solve the problems of mankind so that every man may enjoy life to its fullest. But when one studies the scriptures clearly he finds out that none of these is the objective of the existence of the “Church” on this earth.
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22)
Almighty Jehovah God commanded the children of Israel to make Him a sanctuary – “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” God did not ask the children of Israel to make a memorial for Him. The “Church” is not a memorial for God, but it is the dwelling place of the most high. Why does this almighty awesome God whom the heavens cannot contain, desire to dwell on this small earth? Is the heaven not enough for Him? On this earth Satan, the fallen angel is deceiving the people and ruling over the people as “the god of this world” (2Cor. 4:4) He has made the people his slaves and through deceit is taking them towards eternal hell fire.
Why did God ask Israel to make a dwelling place for Him?
So that the children of Israel could call the gentiles who were worshipping all kinds of idols, thinking them to be God, and show them the real glory of the eternal God who is the creator of the whole universe. They may understand that “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples make with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things:” (Acts. 17:24,25).
Today many saints do not understand the seriousness of the “Church” – the divine institution that Christ is building on this earth. They think it is a social gathering place for all Christians to enjoy life. Many think that it is the place to make money, to earn respect,and to show off before others. Dear Brothers and sisters have you ever understood the seriousness of the “Church”. May the Lord open your eyes to see the “Church” as the Lord sees it?
The awesome presence of God
In Exo. 19:10-15 we see the seriousness of God’s presence, how awesome His presence is. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying. Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death; There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, be ready against the third day; come not at your wives.”
Mount Sinai was not God’s dwelling place but Zion is His dwelling place. On Mt. Sinai even though Jehovah God did not come with all His glory but yet for that occasion the people took three days to prepare themselves and they were commanded that if anyone dared to touch the mountain he should be stoned or shot through even if it be an animal or human being. See how seriously God views His presence. That particular animal or human being was not merely to be punished but had to be shot through, or stoned without any mercy because it dared to play with God’s presence.
And after three days when the Lord descended on the Mount He told Moses on two occasions to warn the people “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them. And Moses said unto the Lord. The people cannot come up to mount Sinai for thou chargest us, saying, set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. And the Lord said unto him, away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou and Aaron with thee; but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord; lest he break forth upon them.” (Ex. 19:21-24)
If almighty God was so severe in His command to the children of Israel who were under the Law, what do we expect? The Lord to be lenient with His “Church”, which is His glorious dwelling place? He told Moses to charge the people twice. When Moses insisted that he had told them earlier and a barrier had been erected to keep away the animal and the people. What did Jehovah God say, “oh I forgot that”? No! Look at His words to Moses, “away, get thee down…” If the children of Israel did not dare to play with Mt. Sinai what do we think we are doing inside the “Church”? Is the “Church” less terrible than Mt. Sinai? But the tragedy is that today the seriousness of God’s presence is not felt inside the “Church” because it is no more the dwelling place of the One who paid the ransom for it, but the devil in the name of “another Jesus” is dwelling inside.
Look at the first century “Church”. Brother Ananias just dared to lie to the Holy Spirit and he fell dead. He did not get time to repent. His wife followed him to the pit. This is God’s glory where man dares to play with God he gets a taste of His presence. But the times have changed. Believers and ministers think that they are free to do what they want inside the “Church”. Some have made it a clubhouse, a place for recreation. As ministers of Christ we should tremble at being given to opportunity to serve Him in His glorious temple.
Jehovah God came down on Mt. Sinai in the sight of Israel so that His fear may be there in them and they may not sin. He wanted the children of Israel to know how seriously God looks at sin and how holy He is. When we know the seriousness of the “Church” we will not commit sin. One should always remember that after being baptized in water a believer is seated in “the heavenly places”. (Eph. 2:6). Though he is physically on this earth, but spiritually h is up there in His presence.
Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion
“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest. And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned; or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and “Church” of the firstborn, which are written in heaven and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Heb. 12:18-23).
Look at the difference between Mount Sinai and Zion. Man could touch Mt. Sinai, because it was on this earth, can anyone touch Zion, which is in the third heavens? How grateful we ought to be to the almighty God who has seated us unworthy people on the heavenly places – Mt. Zion that is the dwelling place of God. The sight of Mt. Sinai was so terrible that even Moses who talked to God face to face. His ‘self’ had been removed by going through the 80 long years to training was frightened at the sight of the whole mountain quaking and up in smoke. This frightened, trembling Moses was no ordinary person. He himself had seen God in the burning bush on Mt. Horeb after nearly spending over two third of his life undergoing severe training.
Now a day’s servants of God do not have the Horeb experience in their personal life, they want God’s anointing on their ‘self’ so that they may be free to do what they please. Till our ‘self” is removed we will never reach Mt. Horeb. Remember before climbing Mt. Sinai, you have to come to Mt. Horeb and there only will you see the burning bush, not while living in the comforts of Pharaoh’s palace.
Today majority of the so called servants of God who dare to play with the body of Christ are those who have got some kind of a degree and who have never had the burning bush experience in their lives. They have not yet reached Mt. Horeb, they are still in Egypt living in the comforts of the palace and trying to kill the Egyptian and trying to deliver the people on their own strength or tending their father-in-laws sheep in the wilderness. They have the certificate claiming that they know how to run the “Church”, but God has got nothing to do with them.
Dear saints have you seen the burning bush? If not then how will you understand the seriousness of God’s presence? When one sees the burning bush he remembers his shortcomings and not one of his good qualities. Once our “self” is removed then only will our eyes open to see our shortcomings.
Look at Moses in Egypt while he used to live in the palace of Pharaoh, though he used to stammer then also but he killed the Egyptian, he was looking at his abilities only and not at his shortcomings. But the life in the wilderness turned it all inside out. Now he just sees his shortcomings. He sees his inabilities – stammering lips. In Egypt he looked at his abilities, now he sees his shortcomings.
After Mt. Horeb Moses is a changed person, he is entering the same land from where he had fled forty years ago frightened from the King, fearing for his life. Now he is directly going to his former home, the palace of the Pharaoh what for, to deliver his people. The king is frightened; just one man has turned the mighty Egyptian kingdom upside down. Plagues are raining down on the land of Egypt; the magicians of Egypt are all powerless before this man. The mighty king is on his knees pleading before this stammering Moses, who just has a stick in his hand. Why? After being on Mt. Horeb this man is no more the son of the daughter of Pharaoh, but is now standing as the “god of Pharaoh” (Exo. 7:1cf).
Our nation needs some Moses’ who are the “god of Pharaoh”. The “Church” of God does not lead weak leaders who are standing before the political leadership of the country with memorandums in their hands, but leaders who have been to Mt. Horeb who make the leaders of the nation bow down before them. Let our nation see men like Elijah’s, John the Baptist’s and Elisha’s who will not bow before anyone. Let persecution start and let martyrs arise. Let us understand the awesomeness of the “Church” of God.
2. Daring the presence of God
“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore: (For they could not endure that which was commanded. And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart; and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake, But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. And to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and “Church” of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:18-24)
Here almighty God is putting so many restrictions for the people when He descended on the mountain that could be touched by mortal man or beast. Then how much more severe will He be when we approach Mt. Zion which is His dwelling place which no mortal being can ever touch. Sinai was not His dwelling place.
We the saints of the New Testament have not reached Mt. Zion, because of our good deeds but it has become possible only through the Cross of Calvary. We have come near only after ‘a new man’ has been formed within us by the power of His word, we have become new creations, and we have become His children, who once were His sworn enemies. The Divine seed was implanted within us to turn our human nature into divine nature, so that we may be like Him.
The command that was given to the children of Israel was that, if anyone dared to touch Mt. Sinai he had to be stoned or shot through, then can we escape after committing sin thinking that we are living in the “Dispensation of Grace” and our beloved father will forgive us, no matter what we do.
In the New Testament the founder of the “Church” has entrusted His servants to hand over erring children into the hands of the enemy of the “Church” – Lucifer, so that the holiness of the body of Christ can be preserved. Apostle Paul mentions about that – 1Cor. 5:5; 1Tim. 1:20.
The sight of the quaking Mt. Sinai was so terrible that Moses began to tremble. We should understand the terribleness of the sight of God’s presence, then only will we not fool around. According of Eph. 2:6 we are “already seated in the heavenly places” This is already in the past tense, and not something that is going to happen sometime in the future.
Where are we?
A child of God when he is on this earth has two personalities the physical and the other spiritual. Today there are many in the “Church” who have no new life experience, though they have taken water baptism in the name of father Son and the Holy Spirit,
In 1John. 5:6 we read, “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth.”
Here in this scripture we see that in the case of Jesus Christ our Lord three bear witness of who He is – The water, The Blood and the Spirit. In the same way in the case of a child of God these three have to bear witness of who we are, just taking water baptism and having our name added to the “Church” register is not enough. The pastor may have added your name in the “Church” register, he will conduct you r marriage and your funeral, but is the blood and the Spirit bearing witness of who you are? If not then, who are we? Does God know us? We know God, but does He know us?
A new man has to be born within us, who is in the likeness of the One who has created him. This new man can never commit (enjoy) sin. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” God’s children are born at the Cross, and they only will be in New Jerusalem. Satan knows this fact, and he trembles. He is not worried from those for whom; neither the water, blood nor Spirit bear witness.
For the one who is born at the Cross the fear of death is finished. He has got immortal life. Just see for yourself whether there is a “new man” inside you. Why are we not afraid of committing sin? Today there are many spirits working inside “Church” imitating the Holy Spirit.
Few years back while I was ministering in Kerala, a state in southern India a senior pastor approached me one evening. He had been in the Lord’s ministry for 42 long years. He had approached me for spiritual counseling. He had been fasting for 40 days. After he had finished the fasting he received a great anointing and along with that he got the gift of healing. Many people began to come to him for being prayed. He could know in his spirit that a person with a particular malady was going to approach him, before the person had reached his house. He had got enough of money. He had to keep a bucket so that the people could pour in their offerings. So much was the offering. Very soon he had become famous, and people from far and near had begun coming to him and many were being healed. But inspite of all this he was restless in his spirit. He felt something amiss. He had been doing all this in the name of Jesus. He asked me to pray for him, when I prayed I also sensed something wrong with the anointing. I asked him does the Holy Spirit convict you of any wrong doing during the days of fasting. Then he thought for a while and then answered.
On two occasions he remembered of telling lies. He said that on two occasions some pastors had come to spend time with him in prayer. They had enquired of him whether he was fasting completely without taking any food supplements, and he said that he just drank water and nothing else. They believed him. But the truth was that he had been taking boiled rice water during the nighttime. I then asked him are you really sorry for the lie you have said. Though it seems to be small before others but in the eyes of God this is big. With tears he told me, that he understood his mistake and he would publicly confess his wrongdoing. Then I knew that he was sincerely anxious about his condition and I prayed for him and the deceiving spirit that had taken hold over him left him. He received a fresh anointing from the Lord and then he said now I am happy after so many days. He then said with tears I do not need any money any more, even with a hungry stomach I will serve the Lord.
Just see how the deceiving spirits take control of our lives even without our knowing about that. But if we are sincere than the Lord He will deliver us. Today these “deceiving spirits” have anointed so many servants of God and they have been ministering on the pulpits in our conventions. We think that anyone who takes the name of Jesus is from the Lord. The Lord himself said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mat. 7:22,23) Who are these?
Today so many youngsters are praying for power ministry, for great anointing without straightening their own lives. If you are one of them, then please be careful. If you are just praying for an anointing you will get one, but the one who anoints is not your savior but Lucifer. You will get the gifts that you long for. Remember “another Jesus – deceiving spirit”, can bless you with a powerful ministry, full with anointing, and gifts and money. But be careful the Lord will say “I know you not”. Therefore before asking for power ministry and gift’s straighten out your lives, ask yourselves is the Lord happy with my life. We need to set things in our life in order then only seek his anointing.
Deception of comforting Jesus!
We are living in a day when many are getting visions of smiling Jesus. Many have been fooled by these visions. The Jesus that they see in their visions is one having a flowing beard and full of mercy and compassion, the ones that we see in many Christian homes. Its high time that we check these visions and not believe all that we see. The enemy Satan appears in this form and has deceived many sincere believers. Visit the link to “Is this your Jesus?”
How does real Jesus Christ our Lord appear? His real picture is seen in the book of Revelation where He showed His real features to John His beloved disciple who was in the isles of Patmos.
John the beloved disciple while he was on the isles of Patmos was completely worried about the care of the seven Churches where he had been ministering. He was thinking now who would take care of the sheep that the Lord had entrusted into his care. At that time he sees the Lord in his vision. The same Lord on whose bosom he used to lay his head, while he was on this earth. What is the appearance?
“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as while as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto the brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharper two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 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. 1:12-18)
While John is worrying about the care of the seven Churches he saw One like a Son of man in the midst of the lamp stands. This same picture is seen in Dan. 7:13, in which the kingdom and the power and the dominion are given by the Ancient of Days to one like a son of man. As we know from Jesus’ use of it. Son of Man became nothing less than the title of the Messiah. He is making it plain that he is seeing the same Lord Jesus Christ. He sees him walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks it is to tell him that the Lord himself is walking in the midst of his “Church” and John did not have to worry. It is His “Church” and He is walking in the midst of it.
His head and his hair were “white, as wool, like snow”. This is the description of the Ancient of Days in Dan. 7:9. It stands for great age; and it speaks to us of the eternal existence of Jesus Christ. It also stands for stainless purity.
His eyes were as “flame of fire”. We read about this in Dan. 10:6 also. We have an impression about his eyes while He was on this earth. We have the vivid picture of His eyes sweeping round a circle of people (Mark 3:34; 10:23; 11:11); sometimes His eyes flashed in anger (Mark. 3:5); sometimes they fastened on someone in love (Mark. 10:21); and sometimes they had in them all the sorrow of one whose friends had wounded Him to the quick (Luk. 22:61). Today also we think that Jesus is looking at us like that. Dear friend that were his eyes when He came in search of us sinners. But how does He look at us after He has paid the price on the cross of Calvary. He has shown His love on the cross. After that He does not have to show His love. No man will ever love us like that, but now through His eyes He shows us His awesomeness. His true nature to us.
His feet were “like beaten brass”, as if it had been refined by fire in a furnace. The word translated beaten brass is chalkolibanos. No one really knows what the metal is. Perhaps it was that fabulous compound called electrum, which the ancients believed to be an alloy of gold and silver and more precious than either. The brass stands for strength. He has crushed the head of Satan with these feet, and the shining rays stand for speed, for the swiftness of His feet with which He crushed the head of the serpent.
His voice was as “the sound of many waters”. This is the description of the voice of God in Eze. 43:2. The voice of God is not confined to one note. Here it is like the thunder of the sea. It can also be like a still small voice (1King. 19:12) or, as the Greek version of the Old Testament has it, like a gentle breeze. It can thunder a rebuke; and it can croon with the soothing comfort of a mother over her hurt child.
Look at the position of John. He has been thrown into this island of Patmos all alone with no one to give company. History says, that before coming to Patmos he had been put in a pot of boiling oil but that did not hurt him and finally the Roman emperor had to banish him here. If we were there in his place what would have been our situation. Humanly speaking, he needs comfort, because he is alone. But what does he get. He sees the vision of the One who has shed His blood on the Cross. He is not the comforting Christ saying do not worry I am there with you till the end. Just remember my promises. I am coming quickly.
That is what we expect when we are in trouble. We want our Lord to comfort us in the time of the crisis, and it is at this time that many of us see a smiling comforting Jesus. But that is not the real Jesus, who showed His real personality to John and what was John’s reaction. “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead”. All his worries are gone he is strengthened.
What is our reaction when we see visions of this smiling so called Jesus? We become full of self-pity. We begin to cry. We hear a voice also, my son or daughter do not cry I am there with you. We become weaker to face the crises, and we think at least my Jesus is there to help me out of this mess. We are no longer thanking God for the mess, but we become restless to get out from this mess. Just see for yourself how this smiling another Jesus who comes giving comfort is deceiving us. This may shock you. The real Jesus Christ our Savior will not show His love now, He has shown it long time back, and this is the time to show His awesomeness, so that fear may no more reign in our lives, but we may be strengthened seeing whom we are following. Look at the reaction of John after he saw Jesus and our reaction after we see a smiling Jesus in the vision. Are we seeing the same Jesus? If so then why are you not strengthened in the faith, still crying on.
When Isaiah the prophet saw the Lord in the vision, he cried out “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King the Lord of hosts”. Another person who had seen the vision of Jesus was Saul of Tarsus, when he saw Jesus Christ, he fell down from his horse and all that he had to say was “what wilt thou have me to do?” Acts 9:1-6.
Lucifer who is appearing before us as the angel of light is deceiving us. You may ask then why is the Lord not warning us. He has given us the scripture His Spirit and His servants, but inspite of all this if we do not understand Him then what more should He do, allow the deceiver to deceive us, because our desires are not leading us closer to our Master but is taking us away from Him. He is a God of principles; He will not interfere in our freedom. He has shown His love on the Cross of Calvary. Do not think that He will always keep on showing His love so that we may just cry over of problems filled with self-pity. It is my sincere prayer that the Lord may open your spiritual eyes to understand the wiles of the enemy.
When we see the resurrected Jesus our pride, will be shattered, self will be gone, we will kneel down and come to perfect submission. Let us decide which Jesus we want to see. The real Jesus Christ our Savior or “another Jesus – the deceiver”.
3. Who will rise up?
We have seen the situation in which John was, contrary to all our expectations we see how Christ appears before him. These days when a child of God is undergoing through some problems, so called prophets will appear from nowhere taking the name of Jesus and speak of comfort. This is not the real Jesus speaking through them but “another Jesus”.
On the isles of Patmos when John saw the risen Lord he forgot all his worries and is strengthened and he starts writing letters to the seven “Churches”. When “another Jesus” appears before us, we get comforted and we begin to cry with self-pity, but when the resurrected Savior appears He transforms us but He will not remove the troubles. “Another Jesus” helps us to develop or cultivate our “self”, but the real Jesus will tell us that I gave you time to deny yourself but you did not, but now we cry. Another Jesus will dwell in our ‘self’ and give visions and dreams.
Till now John was worrying about the seven “Churches”, but after seeing the vision he is writing to the seven “Churches”. He is now no more frightened of the Roman Empire. He writes strong warning letters to these “Churches” who were worrying for his safety. What they get, letters of warning. If another Jesus had appeared to John, there would have been a lot of difference in the letters John wrote to these “Churches”.
Today a deceiving “another Jesus” comes near us and deceives us through visions and prophecy because we are crying for deliverance from the problems. John while on the isles of Patmos was not praying for his deliverance. Today majority of the saints to not want to suffer for Christ. John is not concerned about his personal well-being, but about the spiritual well being of the flocks back home.
In Rev. 2:1-5 we see He is not consoling the “Churches” he is pointing out their mistakes, warning them. As Pastors we have to check and see ourselves, whether “another Jesus” is hiding within us and ministering to the children of God. Are we always giving comfort to the saints or warning them of their spiritual shortcomings. Today through many servants of God ‘another deceiving Jesus’ is ministering in the “Churches” because the minister has not completely offered himself to the Lord. He has not “denied his own life”, as the Lord wants us to do in Luke 14:25,26. Therefore all this is going on. Today for the servants of God their family is their primary concern and the ministry is secondary. No wonder “another Jesus” has taken over leading the ministers and their churches.
Today we can see that there are so many “tares” growing inside the “Church”. There was a time when real wheat was growing in the “Church”, but “another Jesus” sent his anointed people who came with the wild seeds and while the servants of God were not careful came and sowed the tares inside, and now the “Church” has become a group of mixed people.
In the time of Apostle John there were such types of people also, look at what he writes to the “Church” of Smyrna, he writes about some “who claim themselves to be Jews but are not but are the synagogue of Satan”. Look at the mess in which the “Church” is in. The tares have out grown the wheat. Look at the servants of God today? There was a time when they had difficulty to feed their children, but their “Church” was on fire, their believers took on the world challenged the enemy, but now the servant of God has a comfortable life, his kids are studying in the best schools in town, there is no problem in his life, what a life style. Today the servant of God is after worldly things therefore the folk of his “Church” are also after the wealth of this world.
If “another Jesus” had comforted John he would not have warned the “Church” at Smyrna like he did. He would have thanked them for their prayers. And he would have seen vision of his own deliverance and not about the spiritual condition of his folks.
Repent or else!!!
Look at what he is writing to a “Church” that is anxious for his deliverance. He is not mincing his words Christ says “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the Churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.” (Rev. 2:14-16)
How come the Lord is saying that I will come to fight? Look at the background of the “Church” it has the name of a martyr in its Church rolls but still He says that I will fight. If “another Jesus” was speaking to this “Church” he would have said let them build a memorial for Antipas. If another Spirit were working it would have counseled the people to start Antipas charitable fund.
Doctrine of Balaam?
The Lord warns, “Thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
What was the doctrine of Balaam?
As long as the children of Israel were maintaining their separation from the gentiles in all aspects of their lives, no power on earth was strong enough to stop them from their march to the Promised Land. Balak the heathen king tried to hinder their progress by bringing in the Lord’s prophet when everything else failed. Now look at what the prophet had to say concerning the people of Israel.
“How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his?” (Num. 23:8-10)
“Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel; according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel. What hath God brought! Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion; he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey and drink the blood of the slain.” (Num. 23:23)
When Balaam was not able to curse the children of Israel, he counseled Balak to try to break the separation of the people of Israel, because the strength of Israel lay in its separation with the gentiles, because of which Jehovah God was there in their midst. He knew if they mingled with the gentiles God would forsake them. Accordingly Balak laid the trap and the children of Israel fell for it.
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the Judges of Israel, say ye every one his men that ere joined unto Baalpeor.” (Num. 25:1-5).
In the same way today the power of the mighty “Church” has been destroyed because the children of God are going whoring after the world. The servants of God who are supposed to lead the way have thrown the doctrine of “Separation” to the wind for selfish needs. Today to get position and money they are willing to marry off their children with others who have scant regard for the precious doctrine of the separation. Things have come to such a pass that those who preach and practice the doctrine in their lives they are being ridiculed not by the heathens but by the people whose parents once upon a time counted it a privilege to suffer for the sake of standing for the “Doctrine of Separation”. Today the servants of God want recognition. They will go wherever they get a position.
Today what is the experience of the Church, the Chief Shepherd who should have been shepherding the Church to the green pastures, is standing outside the Church and knocking at the door He says “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20) How did He go out? When we forsook the doctrine of Separation, He cannot dwell with us. He is a Holy and righteous God. He Is not man who changes. Today the sheep have sent out the shepherd demanding that they be led to the pastures of their choosing.
If we want the glory of God to return to the “Church” we have to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice as Paul says in Rom. 12:1 “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.”
Look at the pre conditions Jehovah God puts before the children of Israel before they have to see Him “they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, be ready against the third day; come not at your wives.” If God was so strict with them concerning separation then how much more with us the True Israel – His “Church”. In 1Cor. 6:19,20 we read about God’s demands for separation “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. And in your spirit, which are God’s.”
When the children of Israel went whoring, what was the command of God to Moses “And the Lord said unto Moses take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.” If God did not spare the heads of the people of Israel, then will He spare the servants of God who themselves go whoring after the world and encourage the “Church” of Christ – The Bride of Christ to also go whoring?
God had given the law to the children of Israel “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you. Ye shall hence forth return no more that way.” (Deut. 17:16) But we see that the very wise king Solomon went after the horses of Egypt.
“And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt and linen yarn; the king’s merchants received the lined yarn at a price And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty; and so for all the kings of the Hittities, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring out by their means.” (1Kings. 10:28,29)
Along with the horses came the daughter of the Pharaoh. He took wives of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel. “Ye shall not go in to them neither shall they come in unto you for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods; Solomon clave unto these in love.” This same King Solomon who built the beautiful temple on Mt. Moriah, for Jehovah God and prayed that beautiful prayer at the dedication went after the advice of his wives “who turned him away for following the Lord and he built an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon”. (1Kings. 11:1-8).
The greatest tragedy, the wisest man on the earth who built the beautiful temple in Jerusalem, does not find his name mentioned in the list of heroes of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. There we find mention of Rahab the harlot who was a heathen, Samson’s name is there who lost his anointing. But Solomon’s name is not there. Always let us remember if we try to twist the word a little, the consequences will be too great.
For the saints of the New Testament period the express command of God is that “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Cor. 6:14-18)
We are living in the last days, when the powers of darkness using different tricks is trying to destroy the “Doctrine of Separation” of the “Church” so that she may go whoring after the world. The time has come for Nehemiah to rise. Look at Nehemiah of the Old Testament; What for is he is crying? He has a secure job and a bright future why is he crying? He is looking at the pitiable condition of Jerusalem the place where the beautiful temple of the Lord once stood. Now his heart yearns and he breaks down thinking about the city. The walls are broken down He does not have any rest in his mind. Is there anyone who will arise like Nehemiah to rebuild the broken walls around the “Church”? Stand for the doctrine of Separation. Do we yearn for the glory of God to return to the “Church” today?
Is not the condition of the “Church” today the same as that of the “Church” of Pergamos. They were faithful to Christ’s name and held the faith, they were strong regarding the theological doctrine, but they did not remain separated from the world but mixed up with the paganism. The rest is history. Will we allow the same to happen to the “Church” of today?
Kill the priests
Look at Elijah on Mount Carmel before the priests of Baal and the children of Israel, He rebuilt the broken down altar. He placed 12 stones, he could have offered the sacrifice on the broken down the altar in his zeal to show the strength of God but he did not do that. He took twelve stones and then rebuilt the altar. After the fire descended and consumed everything, Elijah is not laughing, but he took the sword and slew the priests of Baal, why?
It has been proved that Jehovah God is almighty then what is the point in killing the priests. He knew if they were left alone they would again destroy the separation of Israel. Elijah knew that the rain would come only after the priests necks have been cut. Real revival will only come when men like Elijah rise with swords in their hands to kill the priests of Baal.
Look at Phinehas he had the spear in his hand (Num. 25:7). That great zeal was there within him. What do we want? Let us sincerely check our selves. Do we want gifts of healing or want the sword to slay. Are we willing to build the altar with 12 stones? The teaching of Balaam has to be thrown out. He is not a heathen prophet but the prophet of the Lord strayed away from the right path. Today the “Church” is being led after the world not by the gentiles but by the very ones who had to see that the “Church” maintains its sanctity. There was a time when the enemy stood outside and tried to attract the saints but he was not successful, but now he has come inside in the garb of ministers and is taking the people outside to the world, by showing some miracles.
It is high time that anointed servants of God like Elijah stand up who not only will build the altar, but also will take the sword in his hand. When the prophets of Baal are slaughtered on Mount Carmel then only will real revival come. The psalmist says, “My heart was hot within me. While I was musing the fire burned, then spake I with my tongue.” (Psa. 39:3).
The Doctrine of Nicolaitanes
After dealing with the doctrine of Balaam, now the Lord warns the Church of Pergamos concerning the “Doctrine of Nicolaitanes”. The Lord says, “which thing I hate” (Rev. 2:15) The Ephesus “Church” Age hated these Nicolaitanes, so did the Apostolic Age reject this heresy, but the “Church” of Pergamos accepted it. Their doctrine was of a strong ecclesiastical hierarchy ruling over the laity, which has never been conducive to a strong spiritual condition in the “Church”. The laymen were given no voice in the “Church” affairs, but were required to obey blindly the decrees of the clergy. The clergy then gradually seemed to gravitate to an impractical ivory tower type of existence that separated them more and more from the people.
The Twenty-Four Elders
Today we can see this doctrine being followed by the very well known Church group – “The Pentecostal Mission” formerly known as “The Ceylon Pentecostal Mission” (C.P.M). They teach that there is a lot of difference between the laity and the ecclesiastical hierarchy, because the ministers (brothers, Pastors, mothers and sisters) have sacrificed their personal interests by not marrying but are serving the Lord, because of their deep dedication the laity can not match them and never be the same like them. Their standard in heaven will be higher than that of the believers. To support this teaching they quote from the scriptures;
“And I looked, and, lo, a lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand having his father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they, which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they, which follow the lamb withersover he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile; for they were without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:1-5).
Let us look at some of the explanations they give to support this doctrine.
Firstly, Here the ministers of this Pentecostal group identify themselves with the “hundred and forty and four thousand’ who are not defiled with women for they are virgins.” They say that this is the “bride”. We have no problem if they want to identify with this group.
But remember how clear the scripture is. The “Church” is the Bride; she will not stand, but will sit with her Bridegroom. The “Church” is the group of 24 elders represented in Rev. 4:1. The saints will judge the world that is what Paul says
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? (The Pastor and his sheep’s both) And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Cor. 6:2,3).
In the Book of Revelation we read “And when he had taken the book the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongues, and people, and nations; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.”(Rev. 5:8-10)
Nowhere in the scriptures do we find mention that there will be difference between the ministers and the believers. They all shall be “kings and priests”.
The 24 elders represent the Bride the “Church”. There are many schools of thoughts concerning the real identity of this group. Some of them are mentioned for your reference. Some say they are-
Men of Conscience dispensation.
They are overcoming angels
They are Old Testament and New Testament saints.
The “24 elders” are in fact the representatives of the New Testament “Church” – The bride of Christ. The number 24 is connected with the Levitical priesthood (1Chr. 24) King David had divided the Levitical priesthood into 24 courses for ministering in the Temple. They had 24 elders to represent the entire priesthood. These Levitical priests were thousands in number. The number 24 therefore represented the entire priesthood, that is the New Testament “Church” who are a “royal priesthood”. Look at the song they are singing, their song in Rev. 5:8-10 proves that they are redeemed saints.
Secondly, the CPM “Church” teaches that the ministers are the “first fruits” of the “Church”. But according to 1Cor. 15:23 “But every man in his own order Christ the first fruits; afterward they are Christ’s at his coming”. Jesus Christ is the first fruit not the ministers. The first fruits mentioned in Rev. 14 are of the Jews. It is clearly mentioned in Rev. 7.
Thirdly, does getting married makes one unholy. If so then what does Heb 13:4 mean “marriage is honorable to all, and the bed undefiled;” If marriage defiled a man then why did God institute marriage in the first instance.
According to the scriptures, who should be a Pastor? Apostle Paul lays down the guidelines for that – “This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the “Church” of God?) (1Tim. 3:1-5)
Paul further writes to Titus, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Tit. 1:5-9).
This does not mean that a servant of God has to get married. If he has the call to live a life all alone it is good but that depends on His call, but if he has to be a pastor taking care of the “Church” he has to get married. There is no biblical basis to teach that there is difference between the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the laymen. 1Pet. 2:9 says “But ye are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
The servants of God and the believers all have to become the disciple of Christ. They have to grow to His stature, there is no two standards. The only difference is that they servants of God will get their rewards after their work is reviewed in heaven.
Servants not Masters
There are many servants of God who make the believers their slaves. I know one Pastor in Punjab state, who demands that his believers respect him as though he was a king. Once I went to visit this so called great man of God. Tea was served for us, and an elderly person who was old enough to be the father of this man, went down on his knees and offered him tea in a special tray. That is how this so-called servant of God has taught his believers. When he comes for meetings, there are youths dressed in army fatigues to give him a guard of honor, flowers are showered on him. They take him to the platform and give salute and stand as bodyguard around him. Which spirit is this?
Today many servants of God want the title Reverend, even most Reverand, added to their name and if we do not use it they feel hurt. Only God has the right to use it. Psa. 11:9 says “he sent redemption unto his people; he hath commanded his covenant for ever; holy and reverend is his name” Who is mortal man, to claim that title. There is no difference between the pastor and his believers. The truth is that the Pastor is the servant of the believers whom God has entrusted into his care. With such attitude he has to minister. He has not been chosen to be ministered to, but he has to minister. If Christ has set an example for us then who are we to change the pattern if that is being done, then the spirit working is not the Holy Spirit but that of “another Jesus”.
Paul the great servant of God says, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 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. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death” (Phil. 3:7-10).
Look at the example that Christ has set before us. “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” (Heb. 13:12,13)
Let us search our hearts, where do we stand. It is the Lord speaking to you in these last days. Let us set things right. One day we will be held accountable. If we truly love the Lord then let us stand for holiness. Let us understand the wiles of the enemy and force him out of the “Church”.
4. The Glorious Ministry
When we study the scriptures we can understand clearly that there are four glorious things in connection with the Church-
The Glorious “Church” – Eph. 5:27
The Glorious Gospel – 2Cor. 4:4; 1Tim. 1:11
The Ministry of Glorious Covenant (Testament) – 2Cor. 3:6-11
The Glorious Power – Col. 1:11
Let us see what these means. What is ministry? Today many people have different notions about the Lord’s ministry; we can see many kinds of ministries going on, all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today when youngsters troop out of Bible schools and seminaries with degrees on their heads not hands, they have different notions about the ministry. In the midst of all this confusion what does the Bible say about the Lord’s ministry? What does the Lord want to do through us? We are living in times when many are hell bent on doing something for the Lord, for that they marshal all the resources that the world has provided. They move around with laptops and files trying to show people the great burden that the Lord has given in their hearts to win the nation. And how they are going to go about it. But what does the scripture say about it.
The real ministry that the Lord has commanded us to do and the purpose for which we have been commissioned is not do some social work, or to heal some sick, or to raise some dead, neither to preach prosperity to all. That is not the purpose, but the real purpose of ministry is to destroy the stronghold of Satan in an individual and deliver him from the old serpent’s bondage, and to make him a dwelling place of the most high God.
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27)
Moses was commanded to build a dwelling place for God, which was a sanctuary that was for a short time, and for that he had the divine commission, in the same way; we have been commissioned for something greater than that. He had to build it on the sands of the wilderness of Sinai, we have to pull down the strongholds and then build in the hearts of the enemies of God. We are not to convert the people from one religion to another; therefore before building we have a lot of demolition work to be done.
Demolish all that is not according to the plan of God. Today there are many ministers who are going around trying to repair the old houses, conducting healing campaigns, power campaigns and what not, even if you repair the house, and if the old owner is not thrown out what is the point in doing all this. Till the owner is not thrown out there is no point in repairing the house.
Ask Moses what is he up to, and the look on his face will tell you that he is a man under orders to build something and no one is going to stop him, let what may come. He says I am building the temple of the most high God. He had to face so many obstacles while building a unique building, the builders were used to making bricks only and this building had no use for bricks, imagine how much problems he had to undertake, but he did it, his reward was that the Shekinah glory of Jehovah God came and filled the temple.
When we also go out building the house of God within every individual lot of problems will come. The first century saints knew their work and they got about it in earnest and the world started shaking, they shook the cities, nations, and empires. But they did it.
What are we doing in the name of Jesus? The most powerful man on earth, George Bush or his allies did not get this privilege, but God has chosen us unworthy people to do this job. Moses came down from the Mount with a commission and he was determined, for the commission that we have been given, our Master has given us all power in earth and in heaven and has just asked to go and be busy with it. He is coming.
The one who knows about the commission that he has got in his hands will not worry about the resources, it will come in the right time. He is determined to get the work done. When the American President George Bush gave the written orders to Tommy Franks the commander in chief of the allied forces to attack Iraq and to take it, he did not worry about anything he just went about it. He was not worried what the United Nations will say, or what Saddam Hussein and his friends will say, he just got the orders and he got the work done, using all the resources at hand, it was the headache of George Bush and Tony Blair. They ran around to get the world opinion, but the General got busy with taking Iraq.
In the same way we have to go about our work. Our Master has ordered us to go about our work in earnest more than two thousand years ago, and what have we done, sitting down and worrying. Making plans to start a big organization and be famous. We are under divine commission the god of this world has to bow down.
Our Lord Jesus while He was on this earth He needed a colt for his last journey into the city of Jerusalem. When He sent the disciple for the colt saying, “Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them” (Mat. 21:2,3).
Let any country pass any bill against the work of the Lord. In India states are passing bills to stop conversion. But I know for sure no obstacle is big enough that the Church will not trample under her feet. No one is going to stop the work of the Lord in India or anywhere else in the world. The powerful Chinese government has not been able to stop it. Many bills came and went by, many dictators rose up but where are they. The “Church” is marching on.
The building of the “Church” was not the idea of some human beings, who had no other work, but it is divinely ordered and the workers are going about in haste as though they are possessed and no one is going to stop them. We have the order to build. The divine order is in the hands of most of the people of the world. (Matt. 28:18-20).
If Moses had got this job how happy he would have been. The ministry for which we have been chosen is more glorious and powerful than the ministry of Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist. If the Old Testament men moved ahead fearlessly, then who are we to fear? Without fear we have to go and first bind the strongman, then demolish the strongholds he has built within the hearts of the people and then build the house of God for almighty God to dwell within him. I was not worthy but He counted me worthy. Therefore I enjoy more power and authority than the Prime Minister of India or President George Bush of the United States. Heaven’s resources are there at my disposal when I go about the job the way heaven designed it to be done.
Many servants of God do not know what for they have been called. Today when we look at the mission field we see many workers, many of whom have not been called at all for the ministry, but have come seeking good money and fame. Therefore they do not know how to go about the work. They do not have the anointing. God’s anointing is not for everyone. The Lord will do his ministry through those whom he has called from the mother’s womb. Therefore today we see many beggars walking around with the begging bowl, begging in the name of ministry. What are the modern day Bible schools churning out, anointed servants of God or modern day sophisticated beggars.
Look at Moses walking around with authority he does not care for the counsel of the elders of Israel, or for that matter, you will not find him taking counsel from his elder brother or anyone else. Its not because there is no one to give him counsel, even his father-in-law is there ready with ideas but nothing doing. He says I don’t need your advice; there is no place for human counsel in the holy work of the Temple. He did not constitute a temple committee on descending from the mount, and nominate a president or secretary.
We should always remember that we are accountable to the one who has commissioned us. The day of accounting is fast approaching. We have been fooling around with the resources that have been kept at our disposal. We have been using it to fulfill our own desires and affections. Using it on us. Is not that a fact?
Our Lord Jesus healed the sick in the beginning of His ministry. He sent out His disciples also to heal the sick and to cast out the demons, all this was for the preparation of the kingdom that was to come. But when He was about to leave this earth, He did not ask the disciples to heal the sick, but commanded them to make disciples. Why was there so much turmoil in the first century? The apostles were not going about doing some social work. But they were building the House of God in every heart. The work started on the day of Pentecost. A whole lot of priests also came out and left their robes and forgot about offering sacrifices on the altar or burning incense. Now they knew the truth. They apostles had filled Jerusalem with the Gospel. Paul went on to build among the Gentiles.
While he was busy with the building work in Lystra the enemy Satan came forward with deceit. The people gathered around him seeing the miracle he had done. “And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. When the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out. And saying, sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Also in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways…”
But we see after the end of the message “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch, and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city; and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” (Acts 14)
In the same way, in these days also Satan comes against the servants of God, he will not come against those who are just busy repairing the house (healing the sick) “Another Jesus” is trying to stop this work by providing social gospel. When real work starts instead of flowers we will get stones.
In Ex. 25:8,9 Moses got the commission “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” And he was reminded “and look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shoed thee in the mount.” Exo. 25:40
The pattern for the building of the “Church” is the same everywhere. The same pattern has to be followed that was given in the first century to the saints. It is the same everywhere; we have no right to change it with the change of time. The first century pattern has to be followed in the 21st century we have no options. . In Exodus chapter 40 it is mentioned seven times “as the LORD commanded Moses” (verse 19,21,23,25,27,29,32)
Moses accomplished everything according to the commission given to him. But this house was not for him. Still he is happy. When glory came and filled the house, he did not find a place within it. In the New Testament we see Paul writing to the saints, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, “ (Acts 20:20) At the end of his life he says, I have run my race, kept my faith and fought a good fight.
Wherever he went Paul was busy building the dwelling place of God. While in the Jail also he kept himself busy by building the house of God in the hearts of soldiers who were bound with him in the stocks to keep guard over him. He even tried to build the house of God in the heart of King Agrippa. “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28. Look at Paul, he had gone to Rome not as a free man, but as a prisoner, but then also there he was busy building the temple of God, that is true ministry from where did he get money. He did not beg around.
In the first century the persecution against the “Church” scattered the people, “As for Saul, he made havoc of the “Church”, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:3,4) Those that were scattered were not begging around. Wherever they were they turned the world upside down, and what did the world say about them “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;” (Acts. 17:6)
Today in India a lot of people who were once attending Churches have returned back to the heathen fold under threat from the gentiles. Why is this happening? Anyone in whom the temple of God has been built will never return back, but those who have got nothing to do with Jesus and who came for material gains will go back under trying circumstances.
Today the majority of ministry is among the poor and the impoverished and very rare do people see people working among the men of high society, the reason we think, let Lucifer take the high society people and Jesus the rubbish, whom the world does not want. When will this attitude change? This can only happen when we get power.
If Moses’ ministry was so glorious then how much more is ours? When He went about his work and he saw the people going whoring after the gentiles image he killed 3000, who gave him the right to kill the people, not only that he broke the image into pieces and mixed it with water and made the people drink, who told him to do that?
Today in the market we see many companies offering many kinds of schemes for the people to anyhow lure them to buy their product. If they buy a refrigerator they will get a box free or something like that. All this is the marketing strategy of the manufacturers to sell their goods, in the same way, in the Christian arena many are trying to sell Jesus with healing, material benefits etc. Jesus’ ministry is that of authority. Because the first century saints were working with authority, God gave his anointed servants the power to hand over the erring believes to Satan so that the purity of the Church may be maintained. Therefore Paul says, “holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1Tim. 1:19,20)
A servant of God should move around with that authority and determinations that wherever I go I will build with authority because I am building a Glorious house therefore the gospel is also glorious.
5. The Glorious Walk
“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; Looking diligently lest any man fall of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.” (Heb. 12: 12-18)
Here in this scripture we see Paul exhorting the saints concerning the Christian walk. For many the Christian walk is a struggle. Here the Spirit of God is dealing with certain aspects of our lives.
“Make straight paths for your feet”. Many a times we make crooked paths using our corrupted intelligence. David the psalmist says, “Help O lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbors; with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.”
“Who shall abide in the Tabernacle? Who shall dwell in the holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that back biteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” (Psa. 15:1-3)
Today we can see that there are many who don’t say lies, but they will not speak the truth either. These are the people who have a double heart. God hates such people. They cannot dwell on the holy hill. One has to always speak truth from the inside of his heart.
According to Isa. 33:14-16 we read “The sinners in Zion are afraid: fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppression, that shaketh his hands from holding bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood. And shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high; his place of deference shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”
We have to be careful concerning our Christian walk where we are dwelling. We are seated in the presence of the “devouring fire” that shows the awesomeness of almighty God.
Heb. 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” We are being sanctified daily, we have to be sanctified in each aspect of our life. God desires that we be holy as He is holy. 2 Cor. 3:18 says, “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.”
Though the Lord has chosen us for His great ministry, it is not because of our righteous works, but purely by His grace. Therefore Paul says, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, When I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Cor. 9:27).
Paul writes to the Romans “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Our ministry is not the sign of our holiness. Our body is not delivered till now. If we are not careful our believers whom the Lord has given to our charge will be in heaven in glory and we will be walking in everlasting shame.
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15)
The “root of bitterness” can come anywhere, in home, “Church”, ministry if we are not careful, it will be dangerous for our Christian life.
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:16)
There are two kinds of fornications
2.Spiritual fornication, both of them is sin.
The Old Testament standard for adultery was that if a person was caught in the act he was called a fornicator after he had committed the sin. But the New Testament standard is far higher than that Mat. 5:27,28 says, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” For the New Testament standard, no proof is required for a person to be called an adulterer.
A child of God should have the golden plate on his forehead, with words engraved, “Holiness unto the Lord” The Old Testament High Priest had such a plate, which symbolized that he is holy unto the Lord. The enemy will try his level best to remove that plate. When he does not succeed, the will throw dirt at us. If the holiness plate is removed when we have consciously committed the sin, we will be fearful. If we are careful and the enemy throws dirt of allegations against us, and if we remain in the Holy Place the rain of God’s grace will wash away all the dirt.
“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls; and heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children” (2Pet. 2:14) When God sees us, we should be holy from head to foot. Adultery is not real love but it is lust. Animals are after it. We should know that we are not animals. Satan will make this issue of adultery a big mountain before us, and show us that it is the greatest and most difficult to overcome sin. But as one grows in the Lord he knows that it is one of the most easiest to overcome sins. We should remind ourselves that I am not an animal and this is enough to overcome this sin.
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” 1 Tim. 5:6, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” (Tit. 3:3)
Today many saints believe that marriage is license for sex. They think that they do not have to control it. Remember we are not animals, once we were slaves of these base lusts, but now when we are in the Lord, we need a lot of self-control, until we don’t have that, the enemy Satan will make fun of us. Therefore Paul the apostle says to the Corinthians “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” In his letter to Timothy, Paul says, “For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2Tim. 4:6,7) We all have to fight a good fight.
In Eph 6:12 we read that “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. If we have to wrestle with these powers we have to be over comers in our daily lives. All these satanic powers are slaves of sex themselves. So when we are leading an overcoming life these powers know who we are. Therefore Paul writes to the Corinthians “Flee fornication, every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1Cor. 6:18)
There is lot of difference between “Agape love” and adultery. Adultery is not love but lust of the body or craving of the body. When a person commits physical adultery it affects the lives of only two persons, but through spiritual fornication the life of scores of saints are polluted or destroyed.
When a person commits physical adultery he knows that he has done something wrong, but the danger with spiritual adultery is that we do not know that what we are doing is wrong at all. What is spiritual adultery? Jam 4:4 says, “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” If we are loving the world, the word of God calls us “adulterers and adulteresses” The “Church” has been called to dwell alone, not to be mingled with the world. If we love the world we are becoming the enemies of the Lord. The Lord has said, the world will hate you because I have chosen you out of the world.
Today many servants of God are trying to sell the body of Christ for political gains, to get money. There are pastors who will welcome political leaders to come and woo the voters from their stage. Then they bargain with the political leaders, we will give you votes what will we get in return. This is happening in the Churches in many places. They are trying to sell the body of Christ for which Christ has shed His precious blood.
A time is coming when the doves are going to fly away to their eternal home and the pigs will be left behind, pigs are those who are always craving for material things in their lives they are not bothered about their spiritual lives.
It is high time that the saints be perfected. We all have to grow to the stature of Christ; there is no difference between the pastor and the believers all have to grow to His stature to be in His bride.
“And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed”. (Heb.12: 13) This scripture shows that there are many lame on the way to Zion. The lame are those who keep on falling thinking God will forgive them. Let us check ourselves and see what is our condition. “Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)
6. The depths of Satan
“But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” (Rev. 2:24) Here we read about the depths of Satan.
There are four mysteries revealed in the scriptures –
1.Mystery of the “Church” – Eph. 3:3. Revealed to Paul.
2.Mystery of godliness – 1Tim. 3:15,16 God became man.
3.Mystery of iniquity – 2Thes. 2:7
4.Mystery Babylon the Great – Rev. 17:5
Let us study about the “Mystery of Iniquity”. A servant of God should be well versed in the art of spiritual warfare. He should know the tricks of Satan, then only will he be able to fight and help his believers to fight spiritually. The Holy Spirit, the third person in the holy Trinity is there within us, “Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.” (John 16:13)
Therefore the servant of God should be prepared before hand to face any eventualities. The Holy Spirit will warn us before hand, and if we heed the warning that will save a lot of pain. We have to take time to understand the depths of Satan, the way he works. Many do not have time for this, because they are always thinking about themselves and the world. Paul the apostle says, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air;” (1 Cor. 9:26) Paul is not saying some hearsay, he knows what he is doing he is seeing the enemy and punching him, from this we know the authority which God gives to His children.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2Thes. 2:7)
The “Mystery of Iniquity” has its origin in Babylon. In the beginning there was just one religion. Lucifer then made many religions to confuse the people and to keep them away from the real creator of the whole universe. Look at the love of God, He created man out of the dust, gave him a body, soul and spirit, gave him a conscience and gave freedom to decide for himself. He is no one’s slave, that was what God desired, but man because of his own sin fell away and became the slave of Satan, his adversary. Though he is a slave of sin and Satan he is in search of true God he is not satisfied with his religion or rituals because there is a spirit within him.
Now the latest trick of the enemy is to fool the world with the concept of one world religion. – One is all and all is one. Who is the one working behind this?
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; And upon her forehead was a name written, ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.’”
The woman and the beast are not one but two. The “Beast” has its origin from old Babylon it has seven heads and ten horns, full of names of blasphemy. Look at the present movements around the world all religions are uniting together. The Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope is furiously working towards this. Pope on one hand is trying to unite all the various sections of Christians and then trying to unite all other religions together. The present pope has the distinction of being the most traveled Pope in the history of Papacy. Even in his old age he is traveling around, making saints.
This is all under a well-planned strategy for the revealing of the “Mystery of Iniquity” Mystery Babylon is the “One world religion” where all the religions will sink their difference. Today we can see the charismatic movement and the ecumenical movement gaining speed in the Christian fold.
Prophet Joel says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour our my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” (Joel. 2:28-30)
Today there are different kinds of spirit working which are duplicating the work of the Holy Spirit. If one goes to a heathen temple or worship place, there today one will see people worshiping, clapping hands, jumping shouting, saying unknown tongues and what not. The Holy Spirit has not come to give us unknown tongues neither to make us happy but to convict us of our sins and so that we may be holy as He is holy. But in the Churches today another spirit is working which is duplicating the work of the Holy Spirit and the servants of God are not able to discern it.
Many are not ready to believe what I say, I just want to tell you one of my personal experiences, many years ago while I was working in the Indian army, I was in Bawanipet a place close to Pune in Maharashtra, I had gone there to do a special course at the Kirkee engineering college. While I was there, I used to go to the CPM Church there. In those days pastor English Chacko was pastoring the “Church”. One Saturday evening when I had gone there I heard a sister prophesy, but I became restless hearing her prophecy concerning someone.
So after the meetings was over, I asked the pastor If we could spend time with this sister in prayer, the pastor was eager for that, he told me that she will tell all your mistakes. Then I along with the pastor, and sister of the faith home and the husband of this prophetess started praying. Immediately I sensed that the spirit working in her was not the Holy Spirit I rebuked her. She immediately got up and attacked the pastor. She tore her own clothes.
I then asked the husband whether his wife beats him at home, because the Spirit of the Lord revealed it to me. And to the surprise of all the husband who is a man of reputation holding a high ranking job said that before coming to the meetings his wife – this prophetess had slapped him and the marks are still there on his face. Then around midnight we had to deliver this woman from the demon possession, she was delivered from the gift of prophesy too.
Next morning was Sunday, and to our surprise, the Pastor handed over the Church to the assistant pastor and went to the railway station saying he will return to Madras and will not do the ministry till the Spirit of God anoints him with the gift of discernment. I thank God for the attitude of the Pastor, he told me that for the past seven years this lady was leading the Church. She used to prophesy and tell the pastor what to do and where to go.
In like manner in so many places prophets and prophetesses are leading the Churches. And the servants of God are not in a position to discern what is going on. So many Churches have been destroyed because of this. We should not get carried away, we are living in dangerous days, don’t believe every prophesy. Check the prophecies according to the Word of God that is what the first century saints did. But today we are waiting for a prophet to come, and we grasp each and every thing they say, there are so many who walk around with a tape recorder trying to record all that the prophet has said concerning them. Where are we headed for?
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through this subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2Cor. 11:2-4)
Here the apostle says, that, “I have espoused you to one husband.” Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom of the ”Church” which is His Bride. Look at the subtlety of Satan when he came to the Garden of Eden. Eve thought that Satan had come to help her with his wisdom. That was Satan’s deceit. He comes as a counselor. Satan is trying his level best to distract us from looking onto Jesus; he wants to break our relationship with our bridegroom.
“Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou act an offence unto me; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”. (Mat. 16:20-23)
But before Jesus called him “Satan” From the mouth of Peter a great mystery had been revealed to the disciples, “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my “Church”; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. (Mat. 16:16-18)
Peter was a man who got a great mystery revealed that the One with whom they all had been walking was not a leader or a great man, or a prophet like John the Baptist or Elijah or Moses, but was in fact the Son of the living God. A title that no mortal man had the right to take, but inspite of that also he was taken over by Satan and his deceit, but Christ immediately understood it and rebuked him. How many times, we have not known the deceit of the enemy and have been fooled around. We think it is the Holy Spirit that is leading us, but the truth is that the enemy in the garb of Holy Spirit is making a fool of us, and we do not know it, and God does not reveal it to us, because we are not sincere in knowing the will of God. All that we pray for is God’s blessings upon our corrupted will and desires and affections.
The Christian walk is on the “Narrow Path” “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”. This is the path on which we have to walk. Why? Why? Is not God happy when he sees us happy, is he angry with mankind for crucifying His son who came loving us down to this earth?
This is a puzzle for many believers and ministers also. Many preach that we have to live like King’s kid and not like others. God wants to see us prosper before the gentiles so that they may know who God is. These are desires of majority of Christians.
Why does God want to make us walk in the “Narrow path”? He has dealt with our sin on the Cross, he is not angry with us, we have been delivered from the bondage of sin, and sin that bound us has been crucified on the cross. But the corrupted human nature is still there in us, we have to grow unto His divine nature, just believing on the Cross of Christ is not enough. He did not give His life so that we may enjoy life on this earth. But that we may overcome the desires of the flesh mortify the deeds of the flesh our human nature may transform into His divine nature that is why He makes us to walk on the narrow path. When trials and sufferings comes in our lives, that is the time for us to deal with our human nature and to mortify it through the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The enemy Satan never wants our human nature to transform, he will never be happy if there are sufferings in our lives. Many think that it is Satan who is troubling us. It is God who has permitted Him. If Satan has his way, he will try to remove the thorns and replace them with flowers, he will try to widen the path of a child of God, so that he may be happy and may not transform and his human nature may be there within him, if that is so, then he will never sit on the throne with Christ and reign for evermore. Majority of saints have been fooled by the ploy of Satan. What a pity.
Therefore Paul writes to the Corinthians “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him”(2Cor. 11:4).
Paul is warning the Galatians “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ”. (Gal. 1:7) There are many who are perverting the Gospel. How?
They preach a comforting Christ, they say Christ died on the Cross so that all your sorrows may be removed and you may have a happy life He will all your sickness he has paid the price. There is no doubt that Christ died on the Cross and he paid the price for our physical healing, but just see for yourself, did Christ did all this just for us to enjoy a comfortable life, don’t the heathen gods and goddesses heal. Arte not people getting healed in the hospitals, what was the point in Christ dying on the Cross, those who get healed in the hospital don’t believe on the Cross.
The fact is that Christ died on the cross to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Today from majority of our platforms a comforting, soothing Christ is being preached so that men may enjoy life, but what did our friends preach in the first century. They did not go to any Bible colleges or seminaries, but they preached, “Crucified Christ. ”For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, unto the Greeks foolishness.” (1Cor. 1:22)
When the children of Israel were about to leave the land of slavery what did they have for their last supper, what was their food, what were they commanded to eat. “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.” (Exo. 12:8,9).
Why did God make them eat this roasted flesh with bitter herbs? Have you ever thought about it? What does that hold meaning for us in the New Testament? The roasted flesh represents Christ who was roasted on the divine fury over sin on the cross of Calvary, bitter herbs represents the sufferings that are allowed in our lives to remove the poison of sin stains that are still there in our lives. . But today majority of saints share about Christ with the gentiles saying come he will heal all your sickness, solve all your problems. They are not preaching the “crucified Christ” but a “comforting Christ”. Jesus our Lord said “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:38)
If we eat this “crucified Jesus” we will not be afraid in facing the problems of our lives we will enjoy walking on the narrow path that leads to glory land. When the Lord Jesus was healing the sick a great multitude was there following Him wherever He went. They were in search of him always, but from the moment he started preaching tough the people started forsaking him. “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve will ye also go away? The Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:66-68)
Let a wave of persecution start, many of our “Church” halls will become empty. Many of the servants of God will quit; they won’t have any explanation for the sufferings that are going to come. The “Narrow path” is not to get something in life, but to sacrifice. When Jesus left this world, He did not leave his clothes for us, or a big account in the Jerusalem central Bank for the believers in a Jesus fund. He left them empty handed. He gave them a commission and a promise that He is there with them till the end of the age. He did not have His own house, or a colt. Now look at the ministry of some great men, it is a fashion now to build head quarters, using all the hard earned money of the saints, coaxing them to give for the Lord, sow your seed.
The famous Benny Hinn the Messiah of many Christians is busy building his great headquarters in the USA. He is distributing his brochure “Presenting His World Healing Center” long time back, which he claims is his International Partner Headquarters which will include a International partner center, The healing Prayer Tower, the People’s healing gardens, the healing garden will have the eternal Healing flame which will be lit 24 hours, there will be a healing stream, which will flow throughout the gardens then there is the healing fountain, where one can enjoy the presence of His so called God The Healing hall of faith will house great miracle ministries of the past and present. No place for true doctrine. May be in days to come heathen gods and goddesses too will fight for a place there.
Look how cunningly he is going about collecting money. The Names of these founding partners who are able to give $ 150,000 will appear on the cornerstones of the People’s cathedral of Healing. If you give a gift of $30,000 your name will be recognized by a plaque in the healing hall of faith of a loved one, to be inscribed on the privacy walls surrounding healing scenes in the healing gardens you have to give $ 15,000. If you give $ 4000-8000. Your names will be inscribes on the beautiful fountain of healing. So finally God will have some sponsors for his stream. On the banks of the Healing stream, which runs through the healing gardens, will be lined with stones bearing the names of those who give the special gift of $ 2000. If you cannot afford that much then a gift of $ 1500 will be remembered at the special eternal flame of healing to commemorate a loved one who has gone on before you, or to memorialize the names of family and friends. And at the least if you can give $ 150 or more your name will be a permanent part of the Prayer tower reaching out to millions with the message of healing to the ends of the earth.
At the end of the brochure Benny Hinn says, “I am praying that every Partner will catch the vision, of this world Healing Center. We must secure $ 7.5 million for Phase One. Construction has begun in the first working day of the new millennium. Give your best gift to help found the World Healing and International Partner Headquarters”
When all this is going on around us, what are the children of God to do? The time is at hand for the servants of God to take the plow on their shoulders and plough the heart of every person and then to sow the precious seed of the gospel. Otherwise what is happening is that the sowers have plenty of seeds, they are busy sowing, they do not know how to sow they throw it by the wayside, on the stony place in the midst of the thorny bushes, few lucky ones fall on good ground, it is not the fault of the seed but that of the Sower. Jeremiah the prophet says, “For thus saith the Lord to the man of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” The coming of the Lord is very near. The need of the hour is for some plowers.
7. The Glorious Covenant
There are two ministries, one is the ministry of Mount Sinai (The Old Covenant) and the other is the ministry of Mt. Zion (The New Covenant).
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away; How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. for even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” (2Cor. 3:6-11)
The Old Testament ministry was a covenant of condemnation. If it was that glorious then how much more the ministry of righteousness will be glorious. The face of Moses shined with the glory after he came down from Mt. Sinai, where Jehovah God descended with little glory, then how much more should the face of the child of God shine who are standing in Zion, the dwelling place of God.
On Mt. Sinai the glory decreased with the passage of time, but in Mt. Zion ministry the glory will increase. The ministry of Sinai was that of condemnation, but the ministry of Zion is that of righteousness. Compared to the Zion ministry the Mt. Sinai ministry was low level.
In the Sinai Ministry, Moses did not take advice from anyone for building the temple; he just got orders from Jehovah God, and then commanded the people. In the same way, in Zion Mt, ministry, the servant of God is not bound to take advice from the Church committee concerning the ministry he is not accountable to them, but to the Lord who has anointed him and given him the charge of the sheep. But for that the servant of God should have a direct relation with God, He should hear from him, then only it is possible. He is the one who has to lead the committee. Church is not democracy but theocracy.
The Sinai Mt. Ministry was for a short time “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” (Gal. 3:19)
The Old Testament ministry had a time limit; it was valid till the seed of the woman came. According to Gal. 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Till Christ came the Law was the schoolmaster. But now we are not under the law of the Old Testament, but under faith. In the Old Testament ministry, a person was made righteous by obeying the law, but now it is by faith. In Heb. 11:33 we read, “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.”
We are living at a time when majority of the children of God do not know what is faith. Today people are using faith to acquire material goods. Today there are many shortsighted Christians; they cannot see things afar by faith. For them it is written “anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:18)
“Nevertheless what saith the scriptures? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” (Gal. 4:30,31)
Till the promised son Isaac came, the bondwoman Hagar and her son Ishmael lived in Abraham’s house and though it were their own, but when Isaac came they were given gifts and sent away. Hagar’s child was born from mere human impulses, on the other hand Sarah stands for new covenant in Jesus Christ, God is now dealing with men not by Law but by Grace. Her child was born free – according to God’s promise – and all his descendants must be free.
Isaac was the free child; therefore he was the heir of everything. He does not need gifts, he is heir. But for Ishmael gifts were given. Today there are many in the Church who is the children of bondwoman, therefore inspite of having the word of God and the Holy Spirit within them they still cry for gifts, that itself proves whose child they are. The child of promise is not worried about gifts. He gives gifts.
We have got everything, I am not the child of Hagar, but of Sarah whose are you decide for yourself. I was born at the Cross. Paul says to the Ephesians, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Eph. 2:19). When I am the household of God then why should I worry about the things of the world. Who will meet my needs? There was a time when I used to cry out for small things “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11) If we are still crying for material things before our heavenly father that means we are still in the kindergarten level of Christian life, we have not grown till now we are dwarfs. Christ is not coming for a baby who is always crying for milk, but for a bride, who has made herself ready for his coming.
If Moses who was the fruit of the Old Testament Law, his face shined with glory, then how much more will the face be glorious of the “heir”. When my heavenly father gave His most beloved Son for me, then why should I worry about other things in this world. Look at the contrast between the Law and the time of grace.
The Law was limited to the land of Palestine – Deut. 5:16; 11:9; 28:18; 31:13. The Law was for a specific time, from Sinai to the Cross. The Law was for a special people, – The Jews
It is for the whole world – Mat. 28:18-20.
From the Cross till the rapture of the Church. It is for all the people of the world, it is to be preached and practiced everywhere. (Rom. 2:10-17).
According to the Law, the blood of the sacrifice was for covering the sins of the Jews only and not for the gentiles, they could not partake in the sacrifices. But in the New Testament the blood Jesus is for everyone, the Jew and the gentile alike. John the Baptist says about Jesus, “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).
For the people under the law – Israel, there was the Azazel lamb that carried away their sins on the Day of Atonement. It carried away the sins of only Israel and not of the whole world, but looking at Jesus John says, he carries the sins of the whole world. The children of Israel had to send the Azazel lamb every year. But for us the Lamb of God carried away our sins once and for all. Now I do not have to fear that it will return. The yoke has been broken.
Seeing all this contrast, we can imagine how glorious is the New Testament ministry. Gabriel the archangel wonders how mortal men got this ministry. When we understand the preciousness of the ministry then we will live, walk like kings. It does not mean that we begin to live like king materially as some want us to believe, show to the world through your standard of living that you are not poor. That is wrong. With whom are we trying to compete? From where have we got the desire to show off to the world? There is no scripture for this. We have to spiritually live like kings, physically, or materially we may be lacking many things, but remember we are strangers, but spiritually we should not lack anything.
Material wealth is not the sign of kingship, but the authority, Moses was a stamerer, but still his face shined with glory, there are many today who are eloquent in their speech, but the glory is not there. The New Testament ministry will make one’s face shine with glory.
The law was for the children of Israel only, but the New Testament ministry is for the whole world. “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16; 15,16)
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47)
Moses built a Temple made up of cloth and perishable material. It had to be carried from place to place. Levites were there who dismantled it transported it from one place to another and then erected it. But our temple is a temple that is always on the move.
Moses ministry was till the children of Israel crossed the river Jordan and entered the Promised Land, but the New Testament ministry is to the entire world. When the New Testament ministry is better than the Old Testament ministry then our face should shine more (Rom. 10:9-13)
“For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many are one body; so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free and have been all made to drink into one spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13) This is the privilege of a child of God then how much more his face should be covered with glory.
Daniel the prophet says, “But the saints of the most high shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” This is the blessed privilege that we have got who once were sinners, lost in sin, washed by His precious blood we will take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever. What is my destiny? It is sure and I have no doubt. I am not walking with doubt. My future is sure and secure. Therefore the problems, that the storms that makes others cry, does not bother me the least. Because I am made of another stuff, all by His grace. Hallelujah.
Moses’ outer body shined with the glory, he did not know the difference between the “inner man” and the “outer man”. When the outer man died the glory was also gone. But by the grace of God as the sanctification work within us is coming to a finish our “inner man” is beginning to shine like the stars, the world will see it one day, now it is hidden under the mortal flesh. But the day is coming when mortal body will take on immortality. A child of God who understands this secret will not run after the perishable glory of the “outer man”. He does not care about the praise of the people.
We keep the eggs to hatch under the hen for 21 days, we count each day, and after 21 days if the egg does not hatch no one is going to paint it or overlay it with gold and make a memorial of it. It will be thrown away. You cannot remain a good egg forever. Either you hatch or you rot. What is your desire to become a painted egg or to be a hen?
Our glorious moment is coming “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their yes, and the shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:1-4)
“And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; and they shall l see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there, l and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 22:3-5)
The Lord has “made us able ministers of the new Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2Cor. 3:6)
Paul the apostle writes to the Romans, “The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:17,18)
Because of all these promises we do not have to worry about the problems that comes in our lives it is all preparing us for the glorious period that we are going to experience. It is our blessed hope. The heaven and earth may pass away but His word shall not pass away. These are the words of our Lord who gave His life on the Cross for us. I trust him. My only desire is to let His will be done in my life. Are you prepared for His coming? Where do we stand now? Do you have that blessed hope if not then what is the point in following Jesus. If the Old Testament was so glorious then how much more is the New Covenant glorious.
*Subject taught during Dhariwal Meetings – 16-22 June 2003.
MGM Ministries – Article Source: captainsamuel.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63:the-glorious-church-dwelling-place-of-god&catid=35:teachings&Itemid=27 – In 2011