In Simple Obedience Turning Your Heart Back To God and being received by Him
To all who call on the name of Jesus holding on to a great hope of salvation. As the day of that salvation draws nearer I must confess a burden for all that hold the common hope of salvation. I am reminded over and over in scripture that we must make our calling and election sure. The images are clear of God's final harvest. Through several accounts the common theme being emphasized that the harvest is broken down into two groups. Those who do indeed inherit eternal salvation and those who thought they would. It is incredibly sad to have lived a life full of anticipation and hope in Christ only to find out when it is too late that what you thought was faith was in vain. What was anticipated as a common hope instead harvests a common disaster. This is not what Jesus shed His blood for. His blood was shed with all the power and ability to secure us firmly and eternally. We find no fault with the love and grace of God in His desire and abilities. Rather it is we who must fall on our face in humility to find the grace needed that insures us that what we expect we receive.This hour is calling all of us back to our knees to find the humility that God seeks in us. Though we be teachers, though we be pastors, prophets, evangelists, though we have called out Lord Lord and done many great works it is nevertheless imperative that we be not found lawless and imperiled in our heart and soul. If Paul explains for us the goal set for all that call on the name of Jesus as found in Ephesians, then we could appreciate Peter's council of how that goal is reached. Consider the following:
Till we all
come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto
a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Eph 4:13-14)
The path to that goal:
Simon Peter, a servant and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2 Pet 1:1-10)
What makes us perfect is deliverance from "Every wind of doctrine" and fruitfulness in the knowledge and character of Christ. Take notice in particular that knowledge and character grow hand in hand. Our initial knowledge of Christ should develop a Christ-likeness. Our Christ-likeness is evidence of our love and faithfulness, and our faithfulness then produces all fruitfulness in perfect knowledge. In other words don't put the cart before the horse. Patience and self control are in that list, for as much as we would like to know all the mysteries of God, know first that God requires a pure spiritual life before He fills you in to all knowledge. Jesus taught, first the death of the seed, then the growth of the stalk, then finally the fruit. Peter plainly states shortcuts produce spiritual blindness. So friend are you willing to continue to make your calling and election sure? Christianity has 1900 years of shortcuts to overcome. These shortcuts have produced blind leaders creating multitudes of false doctrines. We need to go a bit further so as to fully realize the origin and effects of false doctrine. As a point in fact Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John all emphatically warn us concerning the creeping in of false teachers.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. (Mat 7:15-16)
And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Mat 24:11-14)
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Mat 24:24)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (2 Pet 2:1-3)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thess.2:4)
Carefully considering these scriptures allows us to know that in order for us to secure our salvation we must be able to discern what is false from what is true. Jesus tells us that false teachers are coming disguised as sheep. John tells us these false teachers are operating under the spirit of antichrist. Paul tells us that the effect of all this false teaching causes a falling away that culminates in the arrival of the man of sin, the Antichrist. Jesus said "You shall know them by their fruits" Even though they outwardly appear as sheep, even though they are endowed with miraculous powers, inwardly they are described as ravening wolves, pernicious, covetous, and teachers of heresies. A closer look at the original Greek gives us further insite into the motives of false teachers. The Strong's definitions are as follows.
The word ravening: 727. harpax, har'-pax; from G726; rapacious:--extortion, ravening.
Rapacious means greedy, therefore they are willing to extort us. The motive of their heart is for material gain, not true concern for your soul. This goes hand in hand with Peter's description stating that they are covetous, desiring to make merchandise of you.
The word pernicious: 622. apollumi, ap-ol'-loo-mee; from G575 and the base of G3639; to destroy fully, destroy, die, lose, perish.
The result of the damnable heresies taught reaps total destruction. It is with this latter subject I will continue to expound upon. Since the death of the Apostles, Christianity has endured some 1900 years of false teachings. As originally stated my heart is burdened in that because of these teachings Christianity is in a state of disunity and discord. Even though we all teach out of the same Bible we fail to reach one accord. This demonstrating the continued power of the spirit of antichrist to hold onto the minds of those unaware of their need to be set free. Our hope must by all means include the deepest desire for all truth. Jesus said,
"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)
"Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Th 2:10)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim 3:1-7)
Isn't it incredible to see churches on every corner, hear hundreds of different preachers on the radio, the internet, TV etc. all preach up a storm all out of the same Bible yet forever being in disagreement on this issue or that. Ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth! My friend Truth is a person, Jesus is the Truth. Remember Peter's words know Jesus in character and actions, in all holiness FIRST, then you will never be barren in understanding ever. You see teaching spiritual purity and holiness, teaching repentance from all sins just doesn't fill the offering basket as fast as the make me feel good, heal me, bless me, make me rich doctrines prevalent today. Now while God does provide for our needs, our walk with God needs balance. God help us see.
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
It is without question that God wants us to be free from all deception and this can only come from not just head knowledge of truth, but also a knowledge of The Truth, Jesus our Savior. As mentioned we all read the same Bible, yet this coming to a place of one accord remains illusive. Why? Even though I believe sincere hearts can and do find a saving knowledge of God's perfect will, nevertheless a large part of Christendom remains snared by the spirit of antichrist. My burden has caused me to seek God for an answer for this dilemma and I now believe the Word of God has an answer to the needs of the hour. I believe God's Word has shown that just as it is the spirit of antichrist that keeps hearts deceived and out of God's will, it is then the spirit of Elijah that will turn these hearts in a great revival towards God's full restoration. Not once, not twice, but three times in Holy writ do we find God employing what is called the spirit of Elijah in preparing the hearts of the people to turn back to God. The first time through the ministry of Elijah and the second time through the ministry of John the Baptist.
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:13-17)
The latter part of this portion of scripture describes exactly what the ministry of John the Baptist would be as he operated in the "Spirit and power of Elijah." Take note how he would turn hearts, how the disobedient will gain wisdom, and how he would make a people ready for the Lord. In Elijah's day he asked the people, "How long ye halt between two opinions?" It is this ability to break the deadlock between serving the One True God and holding on to false dead idolatry that best describes this ministry. I think you could see that this generation can certainly use this ministry, and most fortunately the promises of God's Word does indeed provide for this hope. We are expecting the third advent of the ministry of the spirit of Elijah to occur in these last days, again preparing a people before Jesus' Second Advent.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Mal 4:5-6)
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Rev 11:3-13)
While it is evident that a majority of the world hates these guys, at the end of their ministry this is the one and only place in Revelations that records anyone on earth giving God the glory. This is the whole point and purpose of a ministry ordained of God that prepares the hearts of a people to be ready for His advent. Elijah was successful in bringing about a revival in his day. John the Baptist was successful in his preparing for the Messiah in his day and this ministry will again succeed in its purposes as we approach Jesus' Second Advent. In our quest to be among those that are prepared and do indeed apprehend in the great hope of salvation, I will continue to examine the ministries of these great men of God with the hope that our hearts turn in finding truth. God delights in new beginnings. His mercies are new every morning. No matter how long we have been serving God, humility admits that we are all babes in His sight. As babes we need a fresh new perspective, a new start, a re-examining of all our beliefs to find out if they will stand in the light of God, or if they will be cast down with all falsehood. As previously stated this thesis is born out of a burden and desire that causes me to examine all the evidence, the full council of God's Word. The True Word of God will wash away blindness and allow us to see where traditional Christianity has missed the mark, and where modern Christianity still clings to old traditions that are rooted in false doctrine, mixed with the later rain promises of Holy Ghost powers. Saint of God, true Holy Ghost power is that of total regeneration, renewal, revival, restoration, and leading into all truth. The command of God is to come out of Babylon the harlot, the mother of all false doctrine. How could we hold onto doctrines whose roots and origin are in the heart of the antichrist soul damning religion? We need the spirit of Elijah to turn our hearts fully back to God. This thesis will not be a re-hash of what is already in dispute, but a tiebreaker in the spirit of Elijah.
As mentioned, we all read out of the same Bible, yet we fail miserably to come to that place of unity in the faith. We read and study and yet our opinions differ. God has preserved His wonderful Word for all these generations. His Word has been expounded extensively and exhaustively. Yet for all our learning are we coming to the knowledge of the truth that scripture alludes to? In searching for an answer that conclusively leads us to understanding the perfect will of God, scripture reveals what I call God's MO or method of operation. An easily identifiable pattern of operation that in some cases predates history and clearly shows that God has a way of doing things. Why is this important? Because this helps us figure out when a teaching is the teaching of man or if a teaching is a truly God ordained "Thus saith the Lord" So to anyone truly sincere in knowing the perfect will of God, the value of understanding God's MO is evident. I want to say that it goes without dispute that this teaching must line up with the Word of God exactly, and go further in bringing us to a conclusive understanding, leaving out the human margin of error that leaves us divided and confused. Please prayerfully consider the following scripture as we endeavor to prepare ourselves to meet the Lord.
And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:13-17)
God has established a precedent in determining truth
At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (Deu 19:15)
In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Mat 18:16)
Not only does God make the rules, but He also adheres to His own rules. In order to teach us and firmly establish His perfect will, He has used many witnesses.
Just to mention a few we have:
The witness of creation
Doth not even nature itself teach you.. (1 Cor 11:14)
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. (Psa 19:1)
The witness of the nation of Israel
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. (Isa 43:10-15)
What advantage then hath the Jew? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (Rom 3:1-2)
The witness of God's prophets
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet 1:19-21)
The witness of His Word
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89)
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation . (Heb 6:17-18)
The witness of His Son
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Heb 1:1-3)
The witness of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:27)
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:13-14)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Rom 8:14-16)
The witness of the last day prophets
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Rev 11:3-4)
I've pointed all this out because I have found that all too much of today's teachings are out of balance with the whole witness before us. We must consider the whole council of God. All these sources of knowledge compliment and add to each other and NEVER contradict one another. If it is our endevor to reach a place of spiritual maturity where we cannot be influenced by the lying voice of the spirit of antichrist then it is evident we need all the resources God has allowed for our benefit and growth. What I hope to accomplish here is to look directly at God at work, examine His methods of operation and come to the realization that there is a signature marking a truly God ordained doctrine.
The Salvation Three Step 1, 2, 3
God is our Saviour, we might as well begin with the subject dearest to His heart, the salvation of your soul.
The Witness of Creation
O.K. let's watch God at work at creation.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:1-2)
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. (Gen 1:9-10,13)
Keep in mind that Scripture is revealing a pattern that has been God's way of doing things from the very beginning. What is evident here is that in the beginning the earth was in a state of chaos. God began making the earth habitable AFTER drawing it out of the waters. This becomes significant because it is part of a pattern emerging 1) Remove from chaos, 2) Draw out from water, 3) Make it habitable.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen 2:7)
We can again apply the pattern in the creation of man. God took dust, dry insignificant, blow in the wind dust. But how does dust become moldable, and pliable in the hands of God? Add water of course! But then how does lifeless mud become alive? By the power of the infilling of the Spirit of God, making that mudball a habitation of the Spirit. Does this still fit the pattern? 1) God removed the dust from from nothingness, 2) He added water to make it moldable, 3) Then made that which was formed into a habitation.
The next instance where we find this pattern is in the account of Noah.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Gen 6:11-13) And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. (Gen 6:17-19)
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Gen 7:23-24)
In this account we find that the earth once again became corrupt with the sins of man so in order for God to continue his plans for mankind He had to cleanse the earth again. So God revealed His plan to Noah through whom He would repopulate the earth. His plan included 1) The separation of Noah, his family, and animals, from the judgment of sin, 2) the baptism of the earth thereby destroying the effects of sin, 3) The reintroduction of the righteous family (God's habitation) preserved.
The Witness of the nation of Israel
In the day that God chose to create the nation of Israel, again He revealed His plan to Moses. Again this plan included provision for the separation of the people from bondage, the destruction of enemies of Israel, and the glorious manifestations of the presence of God.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exo 12:1-2)
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Exo 12:13)
But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. (Exo 13:18)
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: (Exo 13:21)
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exo 14:29-30)
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; (1 Cor 10:1-2)
God did an unprecedented and sovereign work in the creation of a people who were chosen to bear His Name:
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. (Exo 9:16)
In the creation of a people chosen to declare the name of God throughout the earth God 1) separated them from the rest of the world, 2) Baptized them all in the Red Sea, where the power of him who kept them in bondage was destroyed, 3) Personally led them and protected them and provided for them as His presence was manifested among them as a pillar of cloud.
After the creation of the nation of Israel God gave Moses a plan to build a sanctuary, commonly called the tabernacle in the wilderness. This one topic alone is incredibly detailed and full of types and things having a symbolic nature that this could be another whole volume of information. I will be very brief here dealing only with the most basic elements. The Tabernacle plan was ordained by God, in which God gives incredible detail in the exact procedures of worship. Basically the sanctuary had three elements, the tabernacle, the laver where they were commanded to wash and the alter of sacrifice. All this was surrounded by a high curtain creating sort of a courtyard. This set up was literally commanded to be in the very center of the congregation of Israel. It was here that God said He would meet and commune with His people. For the forty years that they wandered in the wilderness this portable sanctuary was the very center most object of their lives. How incredibly awesome it must have been to at any time just look out and see God as He manifested His presence as a cloud hovering like a mother hen over her brood. God covered them and spoke to them and led them and provided for all their needs. How glorious! Here again, we see in this God ordained method of worship, God instituting 1) The alter of sacrifice representing death and repentance 2) Washing at the laver, "That they die not" 3) The tabernacle, the habitation of the presence of God.
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. (Exo 25:8-9)
Click to see graphic of Tabernacle
This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee. And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God. (Exo 29:42-46)
Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations. (Exo 30:18-21)
When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses. And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. (Exo 40:32-38)
The witness of His prophets
Elijah and John the Baptist, men ordained for the express ministry of preparing the hearts of men to meet their God. Here an examination of this ministry continues to build and reveal to us God's work of saving mankind.
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. (1 Ki 18:21-24)
And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. (1 Ki 18:30-39)
At the command of God Elijah orchestrated a demonstration that would prove that our God is the true God. According to the word of the Lord, 1) Elijah repaired the altar of God, placed a sacrifice on it, and 2) then baptized the whole thing. 3) God then mightily demonstrated His approval of Elijah's methods by consuming the entire set up, altar, sacrifice, water and dust, all drawn into heaven. Then the people glorified God and destroyed the false prophets of Baal. When presented with unquestionable truth the people readily did away with that which is false. They came to a place of unity under the ministry of Elijah. God help us in this generation to find the same grace. From the beginning of time God began a pattern of operation. With each subsequent juncture in the history of man the pattern repeated itself and more depth of truth was revealed. Out of the void of nothingness, confusion and chaos God draws to himself out of water that which he chooses to make a habitation for himself. Let's continue to look at the ministry of John the Baptist.
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? (John 1:24-25)
Note the question to John, Why are you baptising if your not Christ? This indicates that they would anticipate that baptising would be part of Christ's ministry. Which also indicates how baptism was a normal accepted routine in Jewish life. In Jewish conversions the convert was required to be baptized. They fully understood the meaning of baptism as a symbol of rejuvenation, cleansing, birth, coming to life, leaving death behind. From the beginning of time baptism has been God's way and apparently this method of operation was ordained to continue until the end of time. Onward we go.
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. (John 1:32-34)
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:1-5)
The witness of the Son
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Mat 3:13-17)
After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. (John 3:22)
When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (John 4:1)
Jesus not only was baptized because he said it was the righteous thing to do, but He commanded His disciples to baptize as well. Jesus Himself instituted the 1, 2, 3, plan of salvation examine the following carefully.
1) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 2) Except a man be born of water 3) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:3-7)
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day And that 1) repentance AND 2) remission of sins (born of water) should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem And ye are witnesses of these things. And, 3)behold, I send the promise (born of Spirit) of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:45-49)
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4-5)
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
The witness of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles
The witness of Peter speaking of Christ on the day of Pentecost:
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear (Acts 2:33)
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, (Peter let them know they were guilty!!) both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, 1) Repent, 2) and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, 3) and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:36-41)
I could go on throughout the rest of the Book of Acts and the Epistles showing that repentance, baptism in Jesus Name, and receiving the Holy Ghost were consistently taught by the Apostles but for the sake of time I want to make some brief comments. From the very beginning of time and throughout the church age God has consistently and repeatedly used the same method of operation over and over again. Over and over the witness of the men of God has been that God told me to do it this way. Any other way has come by false teachers operating under the spirit of antichrist. We have a very great cloud of witness hovering over us! This cloud wants to move forward, we must pull up our tent strings and in obedience follow where God leads. In creating the world, in creating a nation, and in creating a church, God draws and God calls out of chaos, out of nothingness, out of bondage and out of sin. This is what God has shown us to be repentance. That which has come forward out of the former state of being, (in darkness, in bondage, in sin) God brings through water. In the water which Paul describes as a grave, your past if forever removed and forgotten (ex. the old world, the power of Pharoah, the judgment of sin) This is what God has shown us to be baptism for the remmision (removal) of sin. Then finally into a clean vessel God makes His abode. In this church age God fills us with the Holy Spirit and we then are the temple of God. We take on God's name in baptism (which is Jesus) and we then become a witness for the Gospel.
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. (Exo 9:16)
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that 1) Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 2) And that he was buried, and 3) that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Cor 15:1-4)
When we obey the Gospel we "Put on Christ" We identify ourselves as Christ's by identifying with Him in 1) His death our repentance, 2) His burial our baptism, 3) His ressurection our being breathed into and filled by the Spirit of God.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation (lifestyle) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph 4:22-24)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Heb 12:14)
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)
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1 Th 4:7)
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;(lifestyle) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pet 1:14-16)
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (Col 2:10-14)
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (1 Pet 3:20-21)
3) Resurrection by Holy Ghost power
That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (Rom 6:4-8)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 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. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 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. (Rom 8:9-17)
In order to see the Kingdom of God we must repent and be born again of water and Spirit. The infilling of the Spirit is our witness, our evidence, that we are indeed born of God. Then as children of God we know we have the eternal inheritance we are expecting.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:48)
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)
The new born again man, who is a new creature in Christ is given a new heavenly language.
. I speak with the tongues of men and of angels .(1 Cor 13:1)
The Concluding Witness
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Mal 4:5-6)
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (1 Ki 17:1)
And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth. (1 Ki 17:17-24)
We hear the Word of the Lord coming out of many many mouths these days. "Men of God" One uses the word to teach one doctrine, and the next uses the word to disprove that doctrine. Rather than creating unity, disunity abounds more and more. If you have considered the evidence of the witnesses I have presented please take note that rather than depending on my intellect to "Prove" anything, all I did was look directly at the very actions of God Himself. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." In those actions a very apparent pattern emerged which clearly was also adhered to by all other significant prophets and Apostles. I did not look at man, I did not present a new private revelation. I did not use my wisdom, but rather I used my eyes to see and my ears to hear. The very desire of my heart is for all to see God. For in seeing God we can see "THE" Truth that is forever settled in heaven, uncorrupted by the deceitfully wicked hearts of mankind. Truth that is uninfluenced by the spirit of antichrist. My friend, Truth is a person, it is Jesus Christ. Finding Him doesn't rely on degrees and diplomas, nor doctorates in theology. All that is required is turning your heart over to Him in simple obedience to the eternal Gospel that has been presented in this study. Elijah is a prophet of God, in studying His ministry we see a relationship between him and God. We see that he "Stands before God" and God hears his voice. Continue to consider this.
Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off (the coveteous false teachers-if you have been blessed please give your offering) as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. (Zec 4:11- 5:4)
The Word of God is a blessing to those that obey, it is a curse to them who disobey or misuse it. The above scripture is a clear indication that God will set His house in order through the ministry of Elijah. He will purge the false prophets speaking in God's name. He will purge the coveteous, ravening extortioners of God's sheep. The thief first entered God's house, very soon God will enter the thief's house and execute judgment. With churches on every corner God will be entering many houses. Could this be why a majority of the world hates the two witnesses of God? I want to remind you that I began this study indicating that when Jesus does return there will be those who do inherit eternal life and those that thought they would. Along these lines Jesus taught the parable of the Ten Virgins. Five had oil in their lamps and five went to buy when it was too late. This doesn't take a rocket scientist or a theologian to figure you get olive oil from an olive tree does it??? Who is one of the olive trees? Elijah. Who came to prepare the way before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah? John the Baptist, who Jesus said was the greatest prophet born. What was the essence of his ministry?
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,(Luke 1:67,76-77) What salvation message did he teach? In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, 1) Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 2) And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: 3) he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Mat 3:1-2,5-6,8,11)
If you want the oil that will guarantee you are ready to meet your God when He comes, who are you going to get it from? From men and organizations that have perpetuated division and confusion? From men and organizations that are held in bondage to the spirit of antichrist? The final command of God is this:
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Rev 18:4-5)
Most today can acknowledge that Mystery Babylon the mother of harlelts is the Roman Catholic church. Many will point their finger at her, yet still remain faithful to doctrines that originated in her!! Come out of her! Come out of chaos and confussion, be washed, be renewed, be restored. Remember she is the mother of many harlets. If you want the oil that gives light in the night time get it from the source of light and truth, God himself. If you truly want to be saved then I suggest you receive and obey the witness of scripture and repent of your sins, be baptized in Jesus name for the remission of your sins, and seek to be filled by the Holy Spirit evidenced by the speaking in tongues.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Rev 19:6-9)
Links to Apostolic Churches that Teach the Full plan of Salvation