Compiled and Edited by
Edward J. Reiter
Copyright © 1995, 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
This devotional is a collection of excerpts from over two hundred books written by Robert B. Thompson about the Kingdom of God.
The titles of the books appear in alphabetical order. Each day’s devotion begins with a book title followed by a Scripture verse which emphasizes the selection for the day.
Early on in the devotional, the passages presented are brief allowing for a gradual orientation to the Kingdom concepts being introduced. Later in the work, the devotions are more extensive, building upon previous meditations.
An optional prayer is found at the end of each day’s devotional reading. A suggested Scripture reading below the date substantiates the entire day’s devotional selection.
Edward J. Reiter
Table of Contents
John 15:1-4ABIDING IN MESSIAH
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)
God the Father has planted a Vine, and He is watching over it and taking care of it. The Vine is spiritual but its fruit is visible in the earth.
The fruit of the Vine is righteousness and praise, and the fruit will appear in the sight of the nations of the earth.
Messiah Jesus is the Vine. We Christians are the branches. God is looking for fruit in our lives, the fruit which is the image of His Son.
The image of Messiah is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control. These are the characteristics of the Kingdom of God.
As we abide in Messiah, His godly image begins to come forth in our personality, and also in the personalities of those to whom we are ministering. We are bringing forth the righteousness and praise, the godliness of the Kingdom, in our own lives and in the lives of others.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to abide in Jesus every minute of every day. Help me today to live in righteousness and praise all day long. I pray You would find increasing fruit in my life for Your glory, Amen.
II Corinthians 5:19THE AGE OF RECONCILIATION
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
Before the heaven and earth were created there existed a universe of intelligent beings. All were created by God the Father working through the Logos, the Word.
Satan, who apparently was one of the most exalted of the heavenly rulers, decided to lift himself above the other stars of God, above the Father’s will for him. The poison of discontent and rebellion against the Father began at the highest level of the heavens and spread throughout the universe, entering man the moment he was created.
We now are approaching the age of reconciliation, the era when God will enable His creatures to be reconciled to Himself.
Prayer: Father, I believe the heaven and the earth were created by You through the Word. Help me, Lord, to become fully reconciled to You, Amen.
John 14:18THE APPEARING OF MESSIAH
if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection [Greek: out-resurrection] from the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
A prior judgment and transformation of our spiritual nature is necessary if we are to participate in the first resurrection—the resurrection from among the dead that will occur when the Lord Jesus appears.
The saints who will be glorified in the resurrection that occurs when Jesus is revealed, who will be like Him and who will see Him as He is, will not be judged after their glorification.
They already have been judged and sentenced to everlasting life, to the resurrection from among the dead. They are alive forever with the Lord, being an integral part of Messiah’s appearing. The second death no longer possesses any authority over them.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be judged now, in this life, before Jesus returns. Lord, today let resurrection life lead me into Your glory, Amen.
Revelation 20:4-6ASPECTS OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
The Book of Revelation is a description of the Day of the Lord. The emphasis is on the return of Messiah Jesus to the earth, the resurrection of the dead, and the Divine judgment on the conduct of human beings.
Participation in the first resurrection from the dead is not imputed to us by the Lord, nor is it given to us on the basis of mercy.
Rather, the first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection of God’s kings and priests, must be attained. It is the consequence of permitting the Lord to crucify our Adamic nature and form His own Substance and image in us.
Prayer: Father, I would like to be a candidate for the first resurrection from the dead. Help me today to begin attaining it by allowing You to crucify my Adamic nature, and form Jesus in me, Amen.
Philippians 3:8-14ATTAINING THE FIRST RESURRECTION
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1,2)
The first resurrection from the dead is Messiah Jesus. He is being formed in us now. If He is not, then we are not attaining the first resurrection.
Either we are gaining the resurrection today or else we are losing the resurrection today. The Day of the Lord will not cause a change in our personality; rather, it will be an unveiling of that which has been prepared patiently throughout our pilgrimage on the earth.
If we are seeking the things that are above, if our attention, our love, our interests, our hopes, continually are focused on the Throne of God, on Messiah Jesus who is at the right hand of God, then we are attaining the spiritual dimension of the first resurrection from the dead.
Prayer: Father, help me to set all my affections upon Jesus today, hour by hour, Amen.
Hebrews 1:1-1ATTAINING THE INHERITANCE
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, (Ephesians 1:11)
The Father offered a marvelous inheritance to the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and the Lord Jesus had to overcome all enemies and gain His inheritance. He had a work to do and He finished it.
To each one of us the Father is offering a marvelous inheritance—that of being a son and heir of God. To no angel has such an inheritance ever been offered. But it is being offered to us.
We are required to overcome, through Messiah Jesus, all the enemies that would seek to prevent our attaining our great inheritance. We have our own work to do and it is up to us, by the Lord’s help, to finish it in the same spirit of faithfulness the Lord Himself manifested.
Prayer: Father, I desire the great inheritance that Jesus purchased for me. Lord Jesus, help me to overcome even as You faithfully did, Amen.
Luke 8:5-16ATTAINING THE OUT-RESURRECTION
who will transform our lowly [humiliating] body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:21)
The traditional understanding is that every person who makes a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus the Messiah and is baptized in water will participate in the first resurrection from the dead.
The traditional understanding does not agree with the third chapter of the Book of Philippians nor does it agree with the parables of the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught us.
The Kingdom of God, the resurrection, is a living Seed that enters us causing us to be born again. If we would attain the out-resurrection we must conscientiously nourish the living Seed. Otherwise, the Seed, the resurrection life, will wither away or be choked out before it can bring any fruit to perfection (Luke 8:5-16).
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the traditions of men and align my life with the Word of God. Lord Jesus, help me to nourish the living Seed within me, Amen.
Isaiah 60:1-3A BASIC CONCEPT
“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. (John 17:21)
We cannot comprehend the Divine plan of salvation, or the Kingdom of God, until we grasp the fact that there are two classes of saved people—the elect (the Church), and the saved nations.
There also are people who are not saved, that is, they are not accepted of God for one reason or another.
The primary purpose of the two thousand years of the Christian Era has been to bring the elect, the saints (holy ones), to the maturity God desires.
As soon as the elect, or at least a firstfruits of the elect, have come into the unity with the Godhead to the extent God desires, many nations of the world will believe that God has sent Messiah Jesus and will come to the spiritual light emanating from the Messiah—Head and Body.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be one with You and Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Exodus 12:1-14BEHOLD THE LAMB!
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
“This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ (John 1:29,30)
The Passover commemorates the release of the Jews from bondage in the land of Egypt. In spiritual terms, Egypt represents the world spirit.
The actual Passover celebrated in Egypt over 3,000 years ago was an expression, a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate sacrifice.
The Passover lamb portrays Messiah who is to come and deliver God’s people, not from Egypt but from the wicked world spirit.
In Passover, God is telling us that release from slavery to the wickedness of the world can come only through the blood of the atonement made by Messiah and through eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Messiah.
Prayer: Father, thank you for my Passover lamb, Jesus Your Son. May His blood and Your Spirit deliver me more fully from the wicked world spirit around me, Amen.
Ephesians 4:11-16BEHOLD MY SERVANT !
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles [nations]. (Isaiah 42:1)
The Servant of the Lord is Messiah, the Anointed Deliverer. He is the One sent from God to bring deliverance to God’s elect.
At the next appearing of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, His saints will be revealed together with Him.
The saints constitute the Body of the Messiah, the Body of the Anointed Deliverer, the Church, the Wife of the Lamb.
The Church will have become eternally one with Messiah by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. God will establish His Kingdom and bring justice to the nations through Messiah—Head and Body.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to become one with Your Servant, Messiah Jesus. Today, may His body and His blood be the complete source of my life, Amen.
Acts 26:16-18BELIEF IS NOT SALVATION
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! (James 2:19)
Throughout the history of the Christian Church great emphasis has been placed on the individual’s agreement with and profession of the accepted positions and beliefs concerning what is the correct understanding of the areas of knowledge.
Knowledge plays a very important role in the Divine salvation. There is a need for people to be aware of the existence of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of the righteous and holy Nature of God.
There are aspects of the rebellion of the angels, and of the entrance of sin into the world, that when we know of them help us understand the presence and results of sin in the human personality and the need for forgiveness and deliverance.
However, a correct belief and profession of the facts of the Kingdom of God is not salvation.
Prayer: Father, help my beliefs and profession about the Kingdom of God translate into living proof of the power of Your salvation, Amen.
Leviticus 23:24THE BLOWING OF TRUMPETS
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. (Psalms 24:7)
There were seven “feasts of the Lord.” These seven feasts are set forth in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus.
Each of the seven feasts has a great Kingdomwide fulfillment, and each has a personal fulfillment in the life of the individual believer in Messiah Jesus.
The Kingdomwide fulfillment of the blowing of Trumpets is the blowing of the seven trumpets, as described in the Book of Revelation. The saints will be raised from the dead at the seventh trumpet, and the kingdoms of this world will come under the rule of God and His Messiah.
The personal fulfillment of Trumpets is the coming of King Jesus to us to set up His Kingdom in our personality.
Prayer: Father, my desire is for Jesus to set up His Kingdom in my whole personality. Come, Lord Jesus, come, Amen.
Luke 14:16-24CALLED TO BE SAINTS
“As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:18)
Each of God’s elect, His saints, has been sent into the world by the Lord Jesus just as the Father sent the Lord Jesus into the world.
The Father sent Jesus into the world to bear a true witness of the Father. The Lord Jesus has sent each of His chosen into the world so he or she may bear a true witness of the Lord Jesus.
The calling of each saint is to reveal the Glory of God in Messiah Jesus. This does not mean that every saint is a preacher or teacher or is called to leave his job and trust in Messiah for his wages.
It does mean that the foremost responsibility of every member of God’s elect, his purpose for being on the earth, is to reveal Messiah in his life and behavior. Every other employment is for temporary, practical purposes.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to bear a true witness of the Lord Jesus. Today, let everything I say and do at home or at work reveal Him, Amen.
I John 3:1-3CHANGE
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2Corinthians 3:18)
The Christian salvation is not a preserving of what we are but a changing of what we are. We are to be transformed, and the process of change often is painful.
God has a purpose in our pain. If we are not transformed we cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God, for there is neither sin nor self-seeking in the Kingdom.
Following and obeying the Holy Spirit as He leads us through hardship and tribulation brings down our old nature and raises up a new creation. A transformation takes place and we are changed into the image of the Son of God.
Prayer: Father, do not let me stay the way I am, but change me from glory to glory. May the Holy Spirit guide me along this path of transformation. And Lord, when the way becomes painful, help me to keep my eyes on Jesus, Amen.
Jeremiah 3:16,17A CHANGE OF EMPHASIS
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just [righteous] men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23)
All we associate with Heaven, the blessing, the peace, the joy, the wonder, the beauty, the holiness, the music of the angels, and—best of all—the Presence of the Father and the Lord Jesus, are coming to the earth.
Men will speak of the Ark no longer or of any other sacred object. Now we will have the Person of God among us to love.
All we have hoped for in Heaven will have come to the earth. We will have the best of both worlds for an eternity in which each moment will be more glorious than the preceding.
Prayer: Father, I desire Your Presence more than the glories of a place called Heaven. Let me be at Your side forevermore, Amen.
Romans 6:1-10CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY!
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
An understanding of the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans makes clear the role of righteousness and holiness in the Christian salvation.
The consequences for the believer of continuing in sinful conduct is spiritual death while the result of cooperating with the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds of the flesh is eternal life.
Through Messiah Jesus, the Christian has the power to choose to obey sin resulting in spiritual death, or righteousness resulting in eternal life.
To understand the sixth chapter of Romans is to understand God’s program of salvation from sin.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to lay down my life, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus. Today I reckon myself dead to sin but alive to God, Amen.
Romans 8:28-30CHOSEN TO RULE
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
God’s rulers were (are) all known to Him from the beginning of the world. Each comes into the world at a specific point in time and through the circumstances of his life is molded into the chosen vessel of service.
Some people are born into the world for the purpose of being made rulers in the Kingdom of God. They were chosen to be of first rank in the plan of God before God framed the world.
If God has chosen us from the foundation of the world to walk in good works and authority in the Kingdom, He will carefully oversee our deeds, words, and motives. No area of our personality or behavior will be left untouched by His Virtue and will.
The rulers of the Kingdom must be perfected in the earth. It is here we learn patience. It is in the earth that the pearl in us is formed by the continual irritations of life. The pearl in us is a gate of the new Jerusalem, a gate through which people may enter and find God.
Prayer: Father, if You have called me to rule, let me do so with diligence, Amen.
I Peter 4:12-18THE CHRISTIAN AND JUDGMENT
which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; (II Thessalonians 1:5)
The Scriptures teach plainly and in several places that every person who has ever lived will be judged, including the believers in Messiah Jesus.
Each individual will be rewarded according to his deeds, according to what he has done during his lifetime on the earth.
The Scriptures teach also that judgment begins with the saints and that the afflictions and tribulations that come upon them are Divine judgment.
Prayer: Father, I believe the Scriptures do teach us that we shall be judged according to our works. I choose to obey the Word, and not the traditions of men. Lord Jesus, help me today to allow You to deliver me from evil works, Amen.
I John 2:1-6THE CHRISTIAN AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
It has been difficult for Christian people to understand the relationship between the Law of Moses, particularly the Ten Commandments, and salvation through the grace of Messiah Jesus.
The typical Christian reaction to this question is, “I am not under the Law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
What is the scriptural relationship of the Ten Commandments to the Christian redemption?
Perhaps the truth can be arrived at more readily when we change the traditional goal and means of the Christian salvation to the scriptural goal and means.
Prayer: Father, I want to keep Your commandments, every one of them. Lord, I believe You can help me to keep your Word, and if I do, You will keep me in the hour of temptation, Amen.
II Corinthians 5:1-11CHRISTIANS SHALL BE REWARDED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. (Revelation 3:2)
There is a widespread belief among Christians that they will not be rewarded according to their works. The Scriptures do not support this confidence.
The Apostle Paul never taught that Christians are not judged and rewarded according to their works, nor did Jesus, John, Peter, James, Jude, or the writer of the Book of Hebrews.
This teaching is a Christian tradition. It is not found in the Scriptures. It is not of the Holy Spirit of God.
If the Christians of today had any idea of the terror of the Judgment Seat of Messiah Jesus, if they had any concept of the humiliation, pain, and loss of reward facing them in the near future, the churches would be on their face in an agony of repentance and confession of sin.
Prayer: Father, clearly we shall be judged by our works. Let mine be fruitful, Amen.
John 17:15-26THE CHURCH
so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:5)
One of the great purposes of the past two thousand years of the Christian era has been the creating of the Body of Messiah.
The Body of Messiah is the Church, the Wife of the Lamb, the very representation of Messiah Jesus and God in Him to the world.
It is our point of view that as yet we possess an extremely faint notion of what God means by the Church. The seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John may be the best description in the Scriptures of the Church of Christ.
Messiah Jesus has sent the Church, His Body, into the world as the living revelation of the Person, the Word, the way, the Nature, the Substance, the eternal purpose of Messiah. All that the Lord Jesus is He has placed forever in the Church so that the Church may be the perfect and complete manifestation of all that Messiah Jesus is and does.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be one with Jesus even as He is one with You. Lord Jesus, make me part of your Bride, Amen.
Revelation 3:1-5THE CHURCH WITHIN THE CHURCHES
My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, the only one of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The daughters saw her and called her blessed, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. (Song of Solomon 6:9)
The Christian churches of today consist of those whom God has called out of the world plus a multitude of people who have been brought into the assemblings by means other than the drawing of the Holy Spirit of God.
Within the churches there is a firstfruits, a warlike remnant who are faithful workers in the organization but whose hearts are married to the Lord.
In the days to come the holy remnant will be called out of the babylonish confusion of institutionalized Christianity.
They will be purified by the fires of tribulation and will be prepared to meet the Lord when He appears.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be part of the firstfruits, to come out from the religious traditions of men. Lord Jesus, purify me today and let me walk with you in white, Amen.
Isaiah 60:4-22THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given Me, for they are Yours. (John 17:9)
Today’s understanding of the Kingdom of God is that there will be two groups of people in the age to come: the saved, and the lost.
This is not the case. There will be three groups of people in the age to come: the Church, the nations of the saved, and the lost.
The Tabernacle of the Congregation is a model of the Kingdom of God portraying the saved who rule (Israel, the elect of God), and the saved who are ruled (the saved nations of the earth—Revelation 21:24). In addition there will be those (hopefully few in number) who are lost forever to God and His saints.
Prayer: Father, help me to better understand Your plan of salvation. Enable me to cooperate with what You have planned for my life. Let me find the place You have chosen for me and help me to be ever faithful, Amen.
Daniel 9:24-27THE CLOCK STARTS TICKING AGAIN
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days [3½ years], clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)
It is our opinion that the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation describes the seventieth week of Daniel, the time when the clock resumes ticking for the nation of Israel.
The first half of the week will consist of the latter-rain, double-portion revival that is prophesied in the Old Testament.
The latter-rain revival will result in the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations for a witness.
The last half of the week will include the reign of Antichrist and the great tribulation.
Prayer: Father, make me ready for the last days. Wash me and cleanse me today. My desire is to find my place in the latter-rain revival and be Your witness, Amen.
Psalm 149:5-7THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
Messiah Jesus did not set up His Kingdom on the earth at His first coming because mature warrior-saints were not available at that time.
One of the main purposes of the two thousand years of the Christian Era has been the development of a mature army, an army that has been brought to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah.
There must be a company of strong people in whom and with whom God in Messiah Jesus can drive all sin and lawlessness from the face of the earth.
Prayer: Father, may Your kingdom come and may Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Let Your perfect will be done in my life today, in everything I say and do. And Lord, let me become mature in Jesus and become part of Your company of strong people in whom Messiah Jesus can dwell, Amen.
Luke 17:26THE COMING OF THE LORD
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Our vision of the return of Messiah Jesus to the earth affects the sincerity with which we prepare ourselves to do our Lord’s will.
The present evangelical expectation is confusing, focusing on meeting the desires of people rather than being a true witness of the Person and will of almighty God.
Our current understanding is in error. It is leaving the believers unprepared for the spiritual desolation on the horizon.
The great and terrible Day of the Lord is at hand. Let us without delay cast aside our myths and traditions and search the Scriptures.
Let us pray that we may be accounted worthy to escape spiritual destruction and to stand before Messiah Jesus in victory.
Prayer: Father, my prayer is to be accounted worthy for the return of Jesus, Amen.
Revelation 22:1-5THE COMING OF THE THRONE
Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? (Isaiah 66:1)
What is man? Man is destined to be the throne of God.
In the present hour the preparations for the moving of the throne of God from the heavens into the hearts of the victorious saints have begun.
No more awesome occurrence than the moving of God’s throne, no event of more significance for the spirit and material realms, could be imagined.
An age of horrors is upon us. The provision God has made to save the righteous during the age of horrors is to place His throne in a holy remnant so they can serve as a hiding place for all who call upon the Lord in the dark hour.
Prayer: Father, please make my heart Your very throne. And prepare me, Lord, for the dark days ahead, Amen.
Joshua 1:1-9THE CONQUERING PERSONALITY
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)
The reason the earth remains in darkness is that the members of the Body of Messiah are immature in the things of God.
They have not had created in them the conquering personality. They speak of going to their eternal home in Heaven, not realizing that God has given the world to them. They are not soldiers, they are sheep.
We are living in an hour when Messiah is ready to convert his sheep into soldiers. The “new creation” of the Kingdom of God is a conquering personality.
The purpose of ministry is to create the conquering personality. Ministry is temporary—a means to an end. The conquering personality is eternal.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to become a mature member of the Body of Messiah. Lord Jesus, create in me a true conquering personality that I may be a new creation in You, Amen.
Philippians 3:13-14THE CONQUEROR
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:7)
The rewards assigned to the overcomer that are described in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation are aspects of the first resurrection from the dead.
They are the life, authority, power, and union with God through Messiah that God’s kings and priests must possess if they are to perform their predestined roles in the Kingdom of God.
What does it mean to overcome, to conquer? Is it necessary for the Christian believer to be a conqueror in order for him to attain the first resurrection, to rule with Messiah at His appearing?
If so, how does the believer become a conqueror? How can the disciple be sure he is living as one of Messiah’s conquerors?
Prayer: Father, my desire is to attain the first resurrection and rule with Messiah Jesus. Lord Jesus, lead me in the path of discipleship today, and conquer all my enemies, Amen.
I John 2:1-5A CONTEMPORARY ERROR
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (I John 5:3)
How are Christians to regard the admonitions and warnings of Messiah and His Apostles?
Are we to regard them as Christian law that we are to follow after the manner of the Law of Moses? Are we to consider them important moral guidelines that we ought to heed whenever convenient, knowing that we are not saved by doing these but by our profession of faith in Christ?
Or are we to view the commandments and warnings given by Messiah and His Apostles as the Word of God that we must keep, as He gives us the wisdom and power, with the understanding that it is only as we obey them that we enter the Kingdom of God?—that we show our love for Messiah and become candidates for the fullness of God?
Prayer: Father, I believe Your commandments are to be obeyed, today and forever. Today, by Your grace and help, I will take heed to the admonitions and warnings of Messiah and His Apostles, Amen.
I Peter 1:10-12THE CONTINUITY OF THE TESTAMENTS
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
There has entered Christian thinking the belief that the New Testament describes a “dispensation of grace” different from (almost unrelated to) the previous working of God with men, particularly with Israel—God’s elect.
The interpretation of the Apostle Paul’s doctrine to mean God has introduced to mankind a new plan of salvation by “grace” that excuses people from the penalties of sin and rebellion, with the intention of bringing them into Paradise in their untransformed state, is unscriptural. Such is not the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
There appears to be great misunderstanding today, not only in the relationship of the new covenant to the old covenant but also in the relationship of the events and doctrines described in the New Testament writings to the events and doctrines set forth in the Old Testament.
Prayer: Father, separate me from the traditions of men, and cause me to understand fully the relationship between the old and new covenants, Amen.
Ephesians 2:11-22THE CONVERGENCE
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. (Isaiah 62:1)
The promises of God concerning the Kingdom always are to Jerusalem. Those who would press forward in God today must become rightly related to Israel, for the promises of the Scriptures are to Israel.
Convergence is an important concept to grasp in the present hour. The Kingdom of God is a convergence of the spiritual and material realms. The fullness of what today is in Heaven at the right hand of God is destined to find material expression in the earth in the Day of Messiah.
Another convergence must be considered also, and that is the convergence of the Christian Church, which is the Body of the Messiah, and the land and people of Israel.
Spiritual Israel and natural Israel will come into glory at the same time, and the light of the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will issue from the saints and cover the whole earth.
Prayer: Father, make me one with Your house of Israel, Amen.
I Corinthians 1:17-31THE CROSS AND THE NEW CREATION
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:6)
The cross is the center, the core of the Kingdom of God. Every member of the Kingdom of God is to view the creation from the cross.
The saint does not seek his own will but the will of God. The cross ensures that the will of God is done in the Kingdom of God.
Being crucified with Messiah purifies the believer of self-will. The cross of the saint destroys self-will, personal ambition, fleshly enthusiasm, self-centeredness, self-love from his personality.
Living a crucified life means there always is a point of pain in our consciousness. We never can completely relax, settle back and be at ease in Zion.
Prayer: Father, I believe that without the cross there is no Kingdom of God. I choose today to enter more fully into my crucifixion with Messiah. Lord Jesus, help me today to pick up my cross and follow You completely in all that I say and do, Amen.
Leviticus 23:26-28THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
There were two principal observances that made an atonement for Israel on the Day of Atonement. The first observance involved the slaying of a goat. The blood of the goat was sprinkled on and before the Mercy Seat as a sin offering for the people.
The second observance was conducted with a living goat. The High Priest confessed the sins of Israel, putting them on the head of the living goat. The goat then was led away into the wilderness, bearing on itself all the iniquities of the people of Israel.
The redemption of a human being must include the pardoning of the guilt of his sin and also the removal of the presence of sin from him.
Before a person can be healed morally, obtain full fellowship with God, and enter his Divinely appointed inheritance in the Lord, his sins must be forgiven and the presence of sin removed from him.
Prayer: Father, I desire not only forgiveness, but the complete removal of sin from my life, Amen.
II Thessalonians 1:7-10THE DAY OF THE LORD
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:42)
Our vision of the return of Messiah Jesus to the earth affects the sincerity with which we prepare ourselves to do our Lord’s will.
It is necessary that Christian people study the Scriptures concerning this supremely important event and not just accept the traditions that have been handed to us.
Many of us have trusted that the saints will not be called on to endure tribulation. Yet, this is not borne out by church history or by the Scriptures. One area of confusion concerns the great tribulation. The difference between tribulation and Divine wrath is not always made clear.
Tribulation is necessary for the perfecting of the saint. We enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation. Wrath falls on the wicked and is nonredemptive. God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord, Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, I want to be ready for the Day of the Lord. Keep me from deception, O God, Amen.
Matthew 24:29-31THE DAY OF MESSIAH
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away [rebellion] comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [destruction], (II Thessalonians 2:3)
The Day of Messiah, the Day of the Lord, the second coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah to the earth, is the blessed hope of the Christian Church.
It is the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth—that which was preached by John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Apostles of the Lamb.
In this booklet we are speaking of Messiah’s return in glory, the Day of Redemption, the promised worldwide revelation of the Messiah to set up His Kingdom on the earth.
We are stating that there shall be no secret coming of the Lord for His Church before His worldwide appearing, and that the current teaching of a pretribulation “rapture” is a very destructive error.
Prayer: Father, the return of Messiah is my blessed hope. Come, Lord Jesus, come, Amen.
Galatians 2:16-19DEATH AND RESURRECTION—THE HEART OF THE NEW COVENANT
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
The sixth chapter of the Book of Romans may well be the clearest exposition of the new covenant to be found in the Scriptures.
The crucial aspect of new-covenant grace is our union with Messiah in His crucifixion and our union with Him in His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God.
Our union with Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection distinguishes the Divine redemption from all other religions and philosophies.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from evil and lead me not into temptation. Help me to take my place in the death and resurrection of Your beloved Son. Lord Jesus, our union is essential. Let it increase today, Amen.
Romans 5:8-10DE JURE AND DE FACTO SALVATION
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
He who believes in the justifying blood of Messiah Jesus has been forgiven his past sin and disobedience to God’s will. This is de jure salvation—salvation by the Lord’s legal provision for us. Through it we receive the authority to be children of God.
But eternal life is maintained by actual (de facto) righteousness. There can be no Divine, eternal Life where sin and self-will are active except as God is leading the believer toward deliverance from such behaviors. Imputed (assigned) righteousness is a temporary provision.
Imputed, de jure righteousness is not the Kingdom of God but a provision God has made so people may be able to press forward to the righteousness of behavior that is the Kingdom of God. Ignorance of the proper roles of de jure and de facto righteousness lies at the root of the current evangelical error.
Prayer: Father, lead me along the path from imputed to true living righteousness, Amen.
I John 3:5-7DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
There are two kinds of righteousness that come to us as part of the new covenant. The first is imputed (assigned) righteousness.
The second kind of righteousness is actual deliverance from the nature and the effects of sin.
Today there is little understanding of the second kind of righteousness. Yet, it is the second kind of righteousness that characterizes the new covenant.
There are relatively few verses in the New Testament that speak of imputed righteousness. However, there are numerous passages in the New Testament that proclaim the necessity for the practice of righteous behavior on the part of the believer.
Prayer: Father, in You I take hope that I can be delivered from the body of this death. Lord Jesus, in You there is power over sin and death, lead me into absolute victory! Amen.
2 Peter 2:20-22THE DESTRUCTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
True faith in the Lord Jesus the Messiah produces honor and integrity in the human personality. The maturing saint learns to act righteously, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
The deceptions prevalent in current Christian thinking work against the producing of actual righteousness, of righteous works, of honor and integrity in the believer in Messiah Jesus.
These teachings are not pardonable misunderstandings of theological details, they are of the spirit of deception. They come from the enemy. They are destroying the work of God.
Prayer: Father, I desire to spring forth and live righteously before You and the nations of the earth. Lord Jesus, lead me today in paths of righteousness, Amen.
Leviticus 23:1-4DEUTERONOMY 16:16
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. (Deuteronomy 16:16)
The gathering of the Hebrew males in observance of God’s command in Deuteronomy 16:16 typifies the three platforms of the Christian salvation:
- The feast of Unleavened Bread portrays the blood atonement, repentance, water baptism, and the born-again experience.
- The feast of Weeks (Pentecost) speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit—He who in faithfulness prepares the Bride for the Bridegroom.
- The feast of Tabernacles represents the coming of the Father and the Son to take up their eternal abode in the saint
Prayer: Father, so much of Christianity believes that there are only two great works of redemption. Lord Jesus, take me past Pentecost into the Tabernacles experience, Amen.
2 Timothy 2:1-7THE DISCIPLE
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)
There are two kinds of “Christian” believers in the world—the church-attender and the disciple. Only the disciple is a true Christian.
The question is, what is a disciple; for it is the disciple who is the genuine Christian.
The Lord Jesus described what He means by a disciple.
How many “Christians” of our day have forsaken all in order to follow the Lord? Not very many, it appears. How many are following the Master, bearing their personal cross? Not very many!
The Christian churches of today are filled with church-attenders. They call themselves “Christians” but they are not! They are not disciples of the Lord Jesus-not at all! They simply are not genuine Christians.
Prayer: Father, make me more than a church-attender, make me a true disciple of Messiah Jesus! Amen.
Luke 12:47-48DIVERSITY OF DESTINIES
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, (Hebrews 9:27)
Christians do not pay enough attention to the different destinies available to those whom God saves from destruction. For each person who escapes the Lake of Fire there exists a wide array of roles and opportunities for service. These range in authority and glory from being seated in the throne of Messiah to being “saved; yet so as by fire.”
Christian teaching and preaching leave people with the impression that only two choices of destiny, to be saved or lost, are available to mankind, and that all the saved are given much the same reward. However, it is not true that the destinies of all the saved are so similar there is not much point in examining the issue.
The differences in destiny among the saved are indeed important. The rewards the Scriptures hold out to us are desirable. They will be our possessions for eternity. The fear of punishment and the hope of glory provide us with the strongest of motivations to serve the Lord with all our mind and strength.
Prayer: Father, today I desire to serve You with all my mind and strength, Amen.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:8)
In the timeless vision of God, man has been crowned with glory and honor. Man is destined to be above the angels in authority.
Today man is proud, spiritually weak, self-centered, rebellious, hard of heart. He is under various teachers and rulers. He has been placed below the angels temporarily in order that he may experience suffering, humiliation, and the denial of his desires.
To the man who is faithful to carry his cross and endure hardness as a good soldier will come the dominion promised him from the beginning.
Prayer: Father, I bow before Your glory and truth. Today let me see, anew and afresh, what You have in store for the person who follows You into complete union with Messiah Jesus. Lord Jesus, You are the captain of my salvation. You I obey, Amen.
I Peter 4:1-11DYING IN THE LORD
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
The fourteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation portrays the firstfruits of the Lord, the holy remnant who, through Messiah Jesus, have overcome sin and now stand before the throne of God. The lie with which human nature is filled has been destroyed from them.
Divine judgment in the house of God, and the shaking of all that is not found in the Lord, are the burden of the hour.
Those who are willing to follow the Lord into judgment, death, and resurrection, will stand in the darkness and save many.
Those who choose some other way, evading the personal cross of death to the Adamic personality, will continue to deceive themselves and their followers.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to enter into the death and resurrection of Jesus. I trust that if I do, You will raise me to glory, Amen.
Ephesians 1:10-12EAGLES’ WINGS
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. (Exodus 19:4)
We are brought out of Egypt on eagles’ wings but we enter our inheritance, our land of promise, on our feet.
God has given us everything in Messiah Jesus. All that people could desire, and eternity in which to enjoy it, are ours the moment we receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
But we must lay hold of our inheritance, maintaining it, developing it, perfecting it.
The Scriptures are clear that to neglect our great salvation is to risk disaster.
Prayer: Father, I believe You have given me every good thing in Jesus Christ. In Him, I lack nothing. Lord Jesus, today let me take my place with you in the heavenlies. In everything I say and do today, let me be pleasing in Your sight, Amen.
Psalm 45:3-7THE END-TIME JUDGMENTS
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (II Peter 3:10)
The seven trumpets announce the coming of King Jesus to destroy His enemies, beginning with the forces of darkness that bind His own people.
The blowing of the seven trumpets will result in the great tribulation. The purpose of the great tribulation is to separate the true people of the Lord from Satan, from Antichrist, from the False Prophet, and from Babylon.
The blowing of the seven trumpets represents those interventions in human history designed to humble and purify the Bride of the Lamb and to prepare mankind for the coming of the Lord.
Prayer: Father, deliver me completely from the darkness within me and bring me into Your marvelous light. Today Jesus, make more ready than ever for Your appearing, Amen.
I Corinthians 6:9-10ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
We Christians speak of “going to Heaven” as though the goal of the Divine redemption were to bring man to the spirit world to make his eternal residence there. We sing of going to a place—to a paradise that will put an end to all our pains and dreads.
But the Scriptures speak of entering or inheriting the kingdom of Heaven. This is a different concept from that of merely going to a delightful place.
Because the Kingdom of Heaven is God in Messiah in the saints performing God’s will, the “heaven” we desire is not, first of all, a place but a state of being—a state of being based on a set of relationships with God and people.
The condition of each individual depends upon where he is with respect with God and where he is with respect to the universe. If he is far from God he soon will be living in Hell. If he is dwelling in the bosom of the Father with the Lord Jesus he soon will find himself in the Paradise of God.
Prayer: Father, I desire union with You more than a place in glory, Amen.
Hebrews 3:7-19ENTERING THE LAND OF PROMISE
“From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. (Joshua 1:4)
The Book of Joshua is an illustration of what will occur at the end of the Church Age.
The death of Moses and the installation of Joshua as leader illustrate the change of the Lord Jesus from Shepherd to Commander in Chief of the army of God.
The two spies portray the dedicated disciples in the present hour who are pressing into the promises of God and returning to describe them to the remainder of the Church.
The Israelites crossing Jordan and attacking Jericho represent the saints of Messiah Jesus entering their land of promise.
The people of Jericho typify Satan and his demons who at this time are inhabiting the inheritance promised to the Lord’s elect.
Rahab signifies the people of the world who will assist the saints of the last days, thus saving themselves and their loved ones.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from a heart of unbelief, and lead me today more fully into my inheritance, Amen.
Hebrews 12:22-29ENTERING THROUGH THE GATES
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
The Glory of the Lord will fill the earth in the ages to come.
What we think of as Heaven will be found in Zion, in Jerusalem, in the holy mountain of the Lord.
It is not enough to die and pass into the spirit realm.
Our objective is to enter through the gates into the holy city of Jerusalem.
The new Jerusalem will be all we mean by the term “Heaven.”
Prayer: Father, I desire the right to eat of the tree of life and to enter into the New Jerusalem. Lord Jesus, help me today to keep Your commandments and live by Your body and blood, Amen.
Jeremiah 31:31-34THE ETERNAL LAW OF GOD
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26)
Perhaps the greatest error in Christian thinking is that Messiah’s grace brings us eternal life and fellowship with God apart from our obedience to the eternal moral law. It is a misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul of enormous significance. This error has wrecked the work of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Eternal life can exist only where there is obedience to the eternal law of God.
The eternal law of the Lord God of Heaven never changes. It has existed from eons past. It abides today and will endure throughout the eons yet to come. It never shall change or pass away. The eternal law was given to Moses to pass on to Israel, and through Israel to all mankind. At that time its expression was somewhat hindered because of the limitations of our flesh.
Now that we have been born again of Messiah, and the Spirit of God is dwelling in us, we can begin to respond to the fullest implications of this holy law.
Prayer: Father, I desire absolute obedience to Your eternal law, Amen.
John 3:14-17ETERNAL LIFE
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
We understand that to have eternal life is to live, move, and have our being in the Presence of God.
We understand also that Messiah Jesus Himself is eternal life.
The message of Easter is not that Messiah’s Spirit was raised from the dead.
The physical body of Jesus—His flesh and bones—walked out of the cave of Joseph of Arimathea.
Messiah arose physically. Messiah Jesus came in the flesh and was raised from the dead in the flesh.
This is the marvelous, incomparable hope of the Christian faith.
Prayer: Father, the resurrection of Jesus is essential to my faith. Make eternal life more real to me today that ever before, Amen.
Revelation 21:1-7THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
Before the heaven and earth were created, God saw in His mind the new heaven and earth, and the new Jerusalem. When God created the first heaven and earth and all of earth’s inhabitants, including man, God knew every event that must transpire before it would be possible for Him to bring forth the actual heaven and earth that He had in mind, and a government that would bring righteousness, peace, and joy to the inhabitants. After all had been created in timeless vision, God rested. Our sole business in life is to enter that rest, that finished work of the Lord God and His Messiah.
Each human being is occupied with creating heaven and earth according to his own desires, fashioning himself and his destiny as he sees fit. But God invites us to enter His rest, that is, into the heaven and earth which God has chosen. Also, God knows what our destinies to be. All that God asks is that we cease from our own works and receive the heaven and earth, and the personality and role, that He has chosen for us.
Prayer: Father, make it my business to find and enter Your rest, Amen.
Romans 12:1-3THE EXERCISE OF FAITH
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
No term is more familiar to Christians than faith. Faith is discussed in association with Divine healing, financial need, and success in living the Christian life. It is important that we understand the difference between mental faith and scriptural faith, and how to apply scriptural faith in our hour of need.
There is a modern concept that faith is a spiritual force we can use to manipulate our surroundings. We can learn to use faith to get what we want. We can command the angels. This is the spirit of religious delusion that has “two horns like a lamb” and that speaks “as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). It is to attempt to use the power (the horns) of Messiah (the Lamb) apart from entering into the death and resurrection of Messiah. It is to remain a spiritual single and yet try to draw on the bank account of Messiah.
Prayer: Father, teach me what You mean by “the just shall live by faith,” Amen.
Galatians 2:1FAITH AND FRUIT
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)
The Scripture presents two separate viewpoints of righteousness. Paul stresses that we are made righteous by our faith in Messiah. James emphasizes that we attain righteousness by means of righteous works.
The believer who embraces the Lord, sharing each day in the death and triumphant resurrection of Messiah, reveals in himself or herself both the faith and the fruit that go together to form the true salvation that God has given us in Messiah Jesus our Lord.
Faith and godly behavior fit together in the new covenant concept of fruit—the fruit of the new creation. The God of Heaven requires the fruit of godly behavior as part of salvation by faith.
The healthy, growing Christian will bear the fruit of Messiah-likeness in his personality. If over a period of time there is no change in the personality, then something has gone wrong. Spiritual sickness is present. Spiritual death will occur unless steps are taken to correct the deficiencies.
Prayer: Father, today lead me in the perfect balance of faith and works, Amen.
Luke 16:1-8FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP
“So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ (Luke 16:2)
It is time for men and women of God to come forth—men and women who are on the Lord’s side. There always is an adversary relationship in the Christian ministry. The people whom we serve are debtors to God. They will, without realizing it perhaps, bring pressure to bear on us, hoping we will minimize God’s demands on them.
They believe that if they can get us to say they are acceptable to God as they are, somehow it will prove to be true; if we change their account they actually will “owe less money.”
The Lord’s debtors, His followers, are holding us responsible (as indeed we should be held) to say to them precisely what God is saying to them. Yet, they will pressure us to relax the demands of God. The minister of God who yields to this pressure, who attempts to gain security by seeking favor with the people, who misrepresents their debt to God, is worthless in the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, I desire to be utterly faithful in the stewardship You have given me, Amen.
Leviticus 23:34-44THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:34)
There were seven “feasts of the Lord.”
Each of the seven feasts has a Kingdomwide fulfillment and each has a personal fulfillment in the life of the individual believer in Messiah Jesus.
The Kingdomwide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the eternal reign of Messiah Jesus.
The personal fulfillment of Tabernacles is the coming of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit to make Their eternal home in the personality of the saint.
Prayer: Father, I believe that today You are calling Your people to go past Pentecost and on to Tabernacles. Come to me, with Your Son Jesus, and make Your eternal home in my personality. Lord Jesus, fulfill Your will in my life today, Amen.
Hebrews 4:8-11THE FEASTS OF THE LORD
“And the LORD spoke to me, saying:
‘You have skirted this mountain long enough; turn northward. (Deuteronomy 2:2,3)
What can we expect after we have experienced Pentecost?
Toward what, precisely, do we press after Pentecost, after we receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit?
The Jews under Moses were given seven holy convocations to observe annually. Do you know what they were? Do you know how they apply to our Christian walk?
The Feasts of the Lord explains the plan of redemption, how we move with the Holy Spirit to the rest of God, to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, to the fullness of the salvation that is in Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to move with the Holy Spirit on to the rest of God. Do not allow me to settle for anything less than the fullness of the salvation that is in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Revelation 20:11-15THE FIRE OF GOD
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death [lake of fire].”’ (Revelation 2:11)
It is apparent that there is more involved in the second death than just the wicked being cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
The wording of the Book of Revelation suggests that the second death has authority over the believer until he, through Messiah Jesus, gains victory over the works that God condemns. The second death has authority over all sinful behavior!
Our God is a consuming Fire. His fire comes upon us now and separates us from our sins. If we are not willing to be separated from our sins, we run the risk of having the Lake of Fire claim us for its own.
The second death, the Lake of Fire, has Divine authority over fearfulness, unbelief, abominations, murder, fornication, sorcery, idolatry, and lying. Until we are free from these the second death has authority over us.
Prayer: Father, burn in my heart as a flame of fire and help me to overcome the second death, Amen.
Revelation 20:1-15THE FIRST AND SECOND RESURRECTIONS
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This [living again] is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)
The first resurrection is not the general resurrection of salvation.
It is a special advance resurrection for the purpose of changing the occupants of the spiritual thrones that govern the earth from fallen angels to the Lord’s victorious saints.
The first resurrection will take place when the Lord Jesus returns, at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Its mission is to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The judgment of most people and their entrance into eternal life or eternal death will take place at the second resurrection.
Prayer: Father, there is much confusion in the churches today concerning the resurrection of the believer. Deliver me God from all that is false.
John 5:25-28FIRST CORINTHIANS, FIFTEEN
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)
The main vision of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is that of the resurrection to eternal life.
Every person who has lived on the earth will be raised from the dead, some to eternal life and some to judgment and possibly shame and everlasting contempt—if not worse!
Because of the numerous errors contained in present-day evangelical theology, the hope of the bodily resurrection to eternal life, and the fear of meeting the consequences of ungodly behavior, have all but disappeared from Christian preaching and teaching.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to awake to everlasting life. Deliver me from all that would bring shame and contempt. Lord Jesus, lead me in paths of obedience and righteousness today for Your name’s sake, Amen.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18FIRST THESSALONIANS 4:13-18
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13)
Can we state reasonably that the Lord Jesus, as recorded in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, suggested in any manner that there was to take place a glorious appearing from Heaven, a shout of battle from the armies of Heaven, the powerful cry of the chief angel, the trumpet of God, and the resurrection of the dead and living saints, before the coming that He told His disciples about in Matthew 24:30,31? And this against the express declarations of the Apostle Paul?
Messiah Jesus is coming from Heaven and we shall be caught up together with all the saints from all time to meet Him in the air.
But we must prepare ourselves today because the Day of Messiah will not come until there has been a worldwide revolt against all lawful authority and the Satan-filled man of sin is revealed.
Prayer: Father, help me today to prepare evermore diligently for the return of Jesus, Amen.
Revelation 12:12-17FOOD SACRIFICED TO IDOLS
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:14)
Many people of today partake of “food” sacrificed to idols. Not all of these idols are commonly referred to as sin, but each of them is often a source of gratification for demons. One of the most important aspects of moral deliverance is a clear, well-defined statement of the problem. It does little good to ask the Lord to remove all sin from us. We have to specify exactly what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us, precisely what has come to our attention.
It is better that we discuss our problems as sin. Many of the “foods offered to idols” can be referred to as a psychological problem. Often such an attitude is helpful in encouraging the individual to work through his or her problem without excessive condemnation or spiritualizing. However, it is well to keep in mind that evil practices have a demonic counterpart. When we denounce them as sin the Divine judgment comes to our assistance.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from food offered to idols, Amen.
Isaiah 2:2-4FOUR ASPECTS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. (Psalms 102:22)
Four aspects of the Kingdom of God need to be considered:
- the Feast of Tabernacles and its relationship to the Kingdom of God;
- the oneness of the Scriptures, of the Israel of God, and of the Kingdom of God;
- the nature of the new covenant;
- the role of Israel among the nations of the saved.
It is difficult to comprehend the Kingdom of God until these four areas are understood.
Prayer: Father, lead me into a greater understanding of the Kingdom of God. Teach me the importance of the Feast Of Tabernacles, the oneness of the Scriptures, the nature of the new covenant, and the role of Israel among the nations of the saved as they relate to Your Kingdom, Amen.
Revelation 11:15-19FOUR ASPECTS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.” (Isaiah 42:4)
The booths of the Feast of Tabernacles speak of the dwelling of God in Messiah in us, and therefore of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the Presence and rule of God in us.
The Old and New Testaments constitute one Word of God to mankind, particularly to the Israel of God. The entire Scriptures speak of one God, one Spirit, one Messiah; of loving mercy, of practicing righteousness, of walking humbly with God.
The new covenant includes the grace of forgiveness but has much more to do with righteous and holy conduct. The grace of God in Messiah Jesus is not a ticket to Paradise. It is the power to change our deeds as our mind and heart are changed.
God’s Israel, the olive tree, the Seed of Abraham, is to serve as a royal priesthood over the nations of the saved peoples of the earth. The nations of the saved will walk forever in the light of the new Jerusalem.
Prayer: Father, Your will be done, Your Kingdom come, Amen.
Psalm 111:1-110FOUR TYPES OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION
He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name. (Psalms 111:9)
Redemption is the restoring to the rightful owners of what was stolen from them, or what they forfeited for some reason, or what was wrested from them by force. The natural right of mankind is to be in God’s image, to have union with God, to be fruitful, and to have rulership over God’s handiwork. These original rights were taken from mankind by evil, unclean spiritual forces in the heavenlies.
Through Messiah, God has set in operation a complete plan that will totally redeem mankind and restore to His obedient children all that was taken from them by the ancient adversary who seeks their ruin.
There are four great types of the Divine plan of redemption. These four types are found in the Old Testament. They are the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the seven days of creation, the wilderness wandering of Israel, and the feasts of the Lord. Each of these four are divided into seven principal parts, and each part gives us insight into the program of salvation.
Prayer: Father, redeem me fully, Amen.
Hebrews 10:38-39FROM EGYPT TO CANAAN
“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. (Joshua 1:3)
The exodus of Israel from Egypt, the wandering in the wilderness of Sinai, and the entrance into Canaan constitute one of the greatest of the Old Testament types of the Christian salvation.
Traditionally, Egypt is regarded as a type of the earth, the wilderness wandering is viewed as a type of our life upon the earth, and Canaan is considered to be a type of Heaven.
These views are incorrect! Egypt is a type of the world system, not a type of the earth. The world system is wicked but the earth itself is not wicked.
The wilderness wandering is to some extent a type of life lived on the earth in which our instruction and testings take place here.
But by no means is Canaan a type of Heaven, unless by “Heaven” one means the Presence of God in Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, lead me through the wilderness and into Your heart, Amen.
Romans 8:28-39FROM JUSTIFICATION TO GLORIFICATION
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
God has a purpose, a plan, a method, an objective. If there is an area of greater confusion in Christian thinking than that of God’s eternal purpose we do not know of it.
According to current thinking, the purpose of God is to bring us to Heaven when we die. However, this objective is not found in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
The scriptural purpose of God is set forth as follows:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
The principal goal of the Christian redemption is to change into the image of the Lord Jesus those whom God has predestined and to glorify them together with Messiah Jesus. Messiah then will be the Firstborn of many brothers.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be changed into the image of Jesus, Amen.
Ephesians 1:1-14FULFILLING THE VISION
that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. (Ephesians 1:10)
In the beginning God endowed man with the fullness of blessing—an inheritance truly worthy of the sons of the Mightiest of all kings and lords:
- To be in the image of God.
- To be male and female, that is, capable of entering union with God and with one another.
- To be able to reproduce his own image.
- To govern all the works of God’s hands.
God has given us a vision. He has shown us what He had completed in vision before the foundation of the world. The total restoration has been completed in God’s mind all the way to the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Now God is resting. Our task is to follow the Lord Jesus into that rest, into that finished work.
Prayer: Father, finish the work in me, Amen.
Ephesians 1:15-23THE FULLNESS OF GOD
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God [the Church] is with men [the saved nations], and He will dwell with them, and they [the nations] shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)
Seven feasts of the Lord are set forth in the Book of Leviticus.
Each of these seven feasts has a Kingdomwide fulfillment and each has a personal fulfillment in the life of the believer.
The personal, spiritual fulfillment of the first four feasts are preparatory works.
The last three feasts must be fulfilled in us before we are prepared to meet the Lord when He appears and to rule with Him over the nations of the earth.
The spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts is the coming of the Kingdom of God to us.
Prayer: Father, fulfill in me Your complete work of salvation. Lord Jesus, redeem me thoroughly with Your Spirit and blood, Amen.
Malachi 3:1-6THE FULLNESS OF SALVATION
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)
Messiah is entering the members of His Body in the present hour, preparing each of us for the fullness of God.
He is casting out what does not belong in the eternal Temple of God, in the Wife of the Lamb.
The entering of God into us will continue to increase until the fullness is revealed at the time of the appearing of Messiah Jesus in the clouds of glory.
We are growing together until the fullness has been attained and received.
Prayer: Father, You are my refining fire. Burn out of me God all that is displeasing to You. Lord Jesus, today cause me to grow in You, Amen.
Acts 3:21THE FULLNESS OF SALVATION
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
There are at least seven aspects of the Christian salvation:
- Salvation from guilt to forgiveness.
- Salvation from spiritual death to spiritual life.
- Salvation from spiritual bondage to spiritual freedom.
- Salvation from disobedience to obedience.
- Salvation from Satan’s image to Messiah’s image.
- Salvation from emptiness to fullness.
- Salvation from bodily corruption to bodily incorruption.
Prayer: Father, I am a candidate for the fullness of salvation which is in Messiah Jesus. Lord Jesus, today save me to the uttermost, Amen.
II Corinthians 6:14-18THE GAP OF LAWLESSNESS
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (Romans 7:4)
Many—perhaps most—of the believers in Messiah are living in the gap of lawlessness.
They have been taught that the Law of Moses does not apply to them but they do not understand how to enter the law of the Spirit of life.
They do not realize we have become dead to the Law of Moses in order that we may be married to Messiah Jesus, not so we can live as we please.
They are waiting to die and go to Heaven so they may be happy.
The Kingdom principles of righteousness, peace, and joy are not known to them.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from any traces of the gap of lawlessness in my life. Lord Jesus, my desire is to be married to You and bring forth fruit worthy of the Kingdom, Amen.
2 Peter 3:14-16THE GIFT OF AN OPPORTUNITY
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20)
The Christian salvation is the gift of an opportunity. Eternal life is the gift of an opportunity. There are gifts that require no action on our part. Then there are gifts such as a piano that, if we are to obtain the value inherent in them, require a great deal of effort on our part.
The salvation, the eternal life, the glory, the joy, the peace, the redemption in Messiah Jesus are always an opportunity. It is what we do with this opportunity that determines whether or not we actually gain glory, joy, and eternal life.
God has given us the opportunity to attain resurrection life, to gain a change of character, power, glory, eternal residence in the new Jerusalem, and an eternity of service and rulership in a new world of righteousness.
Best of all we have the opportunity to become God’s son. How we respond to this opportunity, this “piano,” will determine our role in the Kingdom of God—the eternal Divine rule soon to come to the earth.
Prayer: Father, help me today to take full advantage of the opportunities You have given me, Amen.
Isaiah 4:2-4GLORIFIED IN HIS SAINTS
when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. (II Thessalonians 1:10)
The Christian churches of today are a mixture of righteousness and sin. They are not ready for the Lord Jesus to be glorified in them.
Therefore, persecution and tribulation are about to come on the Christian churches. From now until the Lord appears His Churches will experience every possible form of chastening and testing. The purpose of the suffering is to purify and unify the one Church, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of the Messiah, the new Jerusalem.
The persecution and tribulation will continue until the Church has been made ready for the Lord’s appearing. Then the Lord will be revealed from Heaven and be glorified in His purified and unified Body. The saints will enter rest at the coming of the Lord because the power of the Lord now has made them more powerful than those who had been persecuting and afflicting them.
Prayer: Father, I desire to be called holy, and live in the New Jerusalem. Be glorified in me today, Amen.
Acts 7:45-50THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH
in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
The traditional understanding of the goal of the Church, of the Christian discipleship, is eternal residence in Paradise.
But our goal is not to go to Heaven to live forever.
Our goal is to learn to live in the Spirit that is from Heaven, from God, so that when the Lord Jesus returns to earth we may return with Him in the fullness of the glory and power of Heaven.
The goal of the Christian redemption is not a place. Our goal is the eternal Life that Messiah Jesus Is.
Our goal is to dwell in God, in the glory and joy of His Presence.
Our final destination is the earth, for the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth.
Prayer: Father, I long to dwell in You, and for You to dwell in me fully. Lord Jesus, today draw me into complete union with You, Amen.
Numbers 32:1-15GOD OR CATTLE?
And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?
“Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them? (Numbers 32:6,7)
Multitudes of the Lord’s people are satisfied with their spiritual development.
They are ready to settle down and make a little nest in the world, enjoying what they think they have attained in Messiah Jesus to this point.
They do not seem to have in them the fierce gladness of the victorious saint, the joy of seeking the Lord and of pressing on to the fullness of the possession of God in Messiah.
They do not love God. They do not have a heart to press into marriage to Jesus. They may love the things of God or the things of the churches or what God has done for them. They may desire to go to Heaven to “live in a mansion,” and they are afraid of Hell. But they do not love God Himself. They do not love Messiah Jesus.
Father: Father, deliver me from complacency, today and forever, Amen.
Titus 2:11-14GOD’S UNFOLDING PLAN
“For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (Malachi 3:6)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
God never changes. The Scriptures teach and we Christians acknowledge that God never changes.
But there is pressure on us to accept that the “God of the Old Testament” was different somehow from the “God of today.”
The truth is, He was not different. The living God does not change.
It is true also that God’s plan for man including man’s obedience to the eternal moral law, his acquiring righteousness by faith, purity of heart, meekness, and a multitude of other conditions and relationships, has not changed from the time of Adam and Eve and never shall change.
Prayer: Father, You are the living God and I believe You do not change. Lead me today to find my place in Your plan of salvation, Amen.
John 14:1-6GOING TO THE FATHER
“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given Me, that they may be one as we are. (John 17:11)
There is an important difference between the goal of going to Heaven to live in a mansion, and working with the Holy Spirit as He prepares a place in Jesus for us, and a place in us for Jesus and the Father.
Our growth to spiritual maturity may be affected by which of the two goals we choose.
The wrong goal and the wrong way will cause practical mistakes in the Christian life.
A multitude of believers are holding their “ticket to heaven” while they continue to live in the flesh, instead of pressing forward each day to union with the Father through Messiah Jesus, which is eternal life.
Prayer: Father, my one and only goal is to be in absolute union with You. Lord Jesus, today draw me closer to You than ever before, Amen.
Ezekiel 37:21-28GOING TO HEAVEN
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)
The concept of going to heaven when we die is one of the most deeply ingrained of the traditions of Christianity.
As far as we know, the phrase “going to heaven” does not appear even one time in the New Testament.
The Apostles of Messiah Jesus preached the return of Messiah in His Kingdom, not our going to Heaven.
We may have assumed that they preached or implied that the righteous are going to make Heaven their eternal home, but they did not do so.
Such is our tradition and it needs to be examined, for the wrong goal leads to the wrong approach.
Prayer: Father, make the focus of my life a right relationship with You. Lead me in your truth O King Eternal, Amen.
Genesis 1:26-31THE GREAT DESIGN
But one testified in a certain place [Psalms 8], saying: “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? (Hebrews 2:6)
In the beginning God spoke four things concerning man:
- He is to be in the image of God.
- He is to be male and female.
- He is to be fruitful, filling the earth with the image of God.
- He is to govern all the works of God’s hands.
This is the great design. All the workings of God are moving toward these goals. The four aspects of man are in a primitive form as yet. They are to be greatly expanded and glorified.
Prayer: Father, thank you for being mindful of me and including me in Your great plan of redemption. I yield all that I am today to You, and trust You completely, Amen.
Genesis 3:1-5THE GREATEST LIE EVER TOLD
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
The numerous passages of the Epistles that warn us concerning the consequences of sin are often preached to the unsaved, but none of them were written to unsaved people.
Unsaved persons are already dead in their sins.
It is the Christians who will lose their eternal life, who will slay their own resurrection, if they continue to live according to the lusts of their flesh.
But what do we hear from pulpit and pew?
You shall not surely die!
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the great lie! I believe that Jesus came not only to forgive my sins but to deliver me from the power of sin. Lord Jesus, lead me not into temptation but deliver me from all evil, Amen.
II Corinthians 6:17-7:1THE HISTORICAL DISASTER
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:11,12)
It appears that the Catholic Church emphasizes its rites and the Protestant churches stress the grace of forgiveness.
In neither case is a transformed moral personality shown to be the purpose of the Divine redemption.
In many instances righteous behavior is held to be desirable but not the necessary outcome of the Christian salvation.
We Christians have suffered and the world has suffered because of our lack of righteous behavior.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Lord Jesus, today cleanse me from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, Amen.
Exodus 30:22-31HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)
It appears that one of the most important messages that the Tabernacle of the Congregation has for us today is that of the need for holiness. Every member of God’s elect is to be a saint, a holy one. What does it mean to be holy to the Lord?
It means to be separated to God for His special purposes. It means to be free from all unclean spirits and filled with the Presence of the Lord. A holy human heart follows the Lamb wherever He goes. A holy human heart is reserved for God’s use. A holy human heart refuses the influences of unclean spirits.
The concept of spiritual progression from least holy to most holy is illustrated by the design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The Most Holy Place was the location of God’s Presence. We learn from this pattern that the Christian life progresses toward complete sanctification, and that the culmination of Christian experience concerns the place of residence of God Himself. The completely sanctified Christian heart is God’s Holy of Holies.
Prayer: Father, bring me into the Holy of Holies, Amen.
Psalm 2:1-6THE INHERITANCE
“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. (Joshua 1:6)
The inheritance of the people of Israel was Canaan, the land of promise.
The Christian tradition is that Heaven is the land of promise of those who believe in Messiah Jesus.
It is true that there is a place in the spirit realm called Heaven. But the destiny, the goal of the Christian saint is God Himself.
God is our inheritance, our home. The cry of our heart is to be at rest in the Father through Messiah Jesus and then to be in a position to express Messiah’s love to other people.
This is the land of promise toward which we are struggling while we are in the wilderness of the world.
This is home. This is the inheritance.
Prayer: Father, You are my true inheritance, my only home, Amen.
Psalm 2:7-12THE INHERITANCE
Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. (Psalms 2:8)
A second aspect of the inheritance, the land of promise, “Canaan,” the goal of Messiah and His coheirs, consists of the nations of the earth and the earth itself.
Messiah wants the nations. Messiah wants the earth. Mansions and streets of gold in Heaven are as nothing in the sight of Messiah when compared with the love of just one person of the nations of the earth.
Messiah created the heavens and the earth. He can have either or both for His inheritance. He has chosen the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth for His special inheritance. As glorified Man He already has authority over all things.
What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is Messiah doing God’s will in the earth. The Kingdom of God is the rule of Messiah Jesus with and through the saints over all persons and things in the heavens and on the earth.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that the nations are the inheritance of Your Son!
John 14:7-11IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:23)
When Jesus spoke of the Father’s house He was referring to Himself.
God the Father dwells in His fullness in Messiah Jesus.
Messiah Jesus is the only true and eternal House of God.
Messiah is not bringing us to beautiful homes in Heaven,
He is bringing us to rest in the Father.
It is the same rest Jesus enjoys—God resting in Him and He in God.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that Messiah Jesus is the only true and eternal House of God. Lead me today, Lord Jesus, in to union with You and the Father. In You alone I find my rest, Amen.
Luke 17:20-30THE INNER AND OUTER KINGDOM
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
The Kingdom of God always is an inner kingdom. The outer form of the Kingdom is a manifestation and effect of the Person and rule of God in Messiah. It is established in the personalities of the individuals making up the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God must be born in us. It is the Kingdom of God that is born in us when we are born again. The Cornerstone of the Kingdom is the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Messiah Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. Jesus is the Being, the Substance, the Authority, the Power, the Glory, the Truth, the eternal Life, of the Kingdom of God.
Whoever is not a part of Messiah Jesus is not a part of the Kingdom of God. He may be being governed by the rod of iron of the Kingdom, but He himself is not part of the Kingdom until Messiah has been born in him and rules in him.
Prayer: Father, govern me from Your place within me. Lord Jesus, rule today in every aspect of my personality, Amen.
2 Timothy 2:8-13THE INNER RESURRECTION
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (Philippians 3:10)
God already has raised Messiah Jesus from the dead.
That resurrection is the foundation of the Christian redemption.
But it is the resurrection of Messiah Jesus in our heart that is to be the focus of our attention.
Our resurrection is Messiah Jesus. We are part of His resurrection. He is alive in us. His resurrection from the dead is magnified in us.
This is the aspect of His resurrection that Messiah desires. He is seeking to reveal His life in us. The world will behold the risen Messiah in us.
Prayer: Father, my desire is know Jesus and the power of His resurrection. In my weakness, help me to become willing to know the fellowship of His sufferings, Amen.
2 Chronicles 26:16-21IN THE YEAR THAT KING UZZIAH DIED
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1)
King Uzziah went into the Temple of the Lord to burn incense to the Lord.
Burning incense by someone—even a king—who was not of the descendants of Aaron was a grievous breach of Levitical law punishable by death.
King Uzziah represents self-exaltation and self-will in the Christian.
It is impossible to behold the Lord’s glory when we are filled with self-love and are pursuing our own will and way.
When self-exaltation and self-will die, then we shall see the Lord sitting on His throne—high and lifted up.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from trusting in my own strength. Remove from me all self-love and self-will lest I deny you in the day of trouble. Lord Jesus, I long to see only You high and lifted up, Amen.
Hebrews 3:1-6IS THE CHRISTIAN SALVATION CONDITIONAL?
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
How many Christian believers are living careless lives, are not forsaking the world, not laying down their life, not taking up their cross, not following Jesus with their whole heart and mind, because there has been implanted in them the idea that no matter what they do they will go to Paradise when they die?
There is a multitude of such misinformed believers. Through their sin and disobedience the Christians are destroying their own resurrection.
The blame lies at the door of those who, in spite of the many statements of the New Testament to the contrary, teach that salvation is unconditional with respect to the behavior of the individual.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the deception that my salvation is not conditional. Help me to hold fast my confidence and my rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, Amen.
Hebrews 6:1-12IS THE CHRISTIAN SALVATION CONDITIONAL?
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, (Hebrews 6:11)
The truth is, each Christian is permitted to remain in Messiah on the condition that he bear the fruit of righteous conduct.
If he does not bear the fruit of Messiah-likeness, God shall remove him from the Vine, from Messiah.
Our salvation indeed is conditional.
Each of us shall appear before the Judgment Seat of Messiah so his behavior in the world may be revealed and evaluated.
We will be saved if we put our trust in the Lord Jesus, looking continually to Him, enduring faithfully throughout the many tribulations and testings that come upon us during our pilgrimage.
Prayer: Father, I desire to bear fruit that remains. Prune from me all that is unrighteous, and raise up the life of Jesus within men, Amen.
Revelation 12:1-17ISRAEL—GOD’S CONQUEROR
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Revelation 12:11)
In the last days the saints, because of the working of Messiah Jesus in and with them, will overcome Satan.
Satan then will be cast down from the heavens to the earth. Finally, Satan will be bound by one angel and hurled into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:2).
We are to be God’s conquerors, His Israel, His sons.
God shall not give His glory to another. We who carry the Glory of the Lord must die and be raised again in Messiah. It must be Messiah who is living and not us.
If we are not willing to die, Messiah cannot live. Only Messiah is the Conqueror. If we would conquer with God we must die so the only true Conqueror can overthrow the adversary.
Prayer: Father, truly only Messiah is the Conqueror. Help me to die in Him so that You can raise me up in Him, Amen.
Romans 9:1-8ISRAEL IS THE CHURCH
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
Israel is the Christian Church.
The Christian Church is Israel.
The Christian Church does not replace Israel, it is Israel and always has been Israel.
Although the New Testament writings reveal clearly that there is only one Israel, only one Church, only one elect whether Jew or Gentile by birth, there persists to this day the mistaken idea that there is a Christian Church that is not Israel.
It is impossible to cut a straight course in the Word of truth until we grasp the concept that there is only one Israel of God.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand more clearly what You mean by the Israel of God. Lord Jesus, in You I am part of the seed of Abraham. Let me live worthy of this calling, Amen.
Hebrews 8:8-11ISRAEL—SPIRIT AND FLESH
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
There are three misconceptions and one true Scriptural concept of the relationship between the Christian Church and the “Israel” spoken of by the Hebrew Prophets. The three misconceptions are as follows:
- Christianity has to do primarily with the Gentiles and has little to do with the Jews and the nation of Israel.
- True Israel is spiritual, being the believers (mostly Gentile) in Messiah Jesus; and God no longer considers the Jews and geographical Jerusalem as being Israel.
- There will be a predominantly Gentile Church in heaven and a Jewish kingdom upon the earth.
The true Scriptural concept is that Israel is one. There is one fold and one Shepherd. There is one Body of the Messiah. There is one Wife of the Lamb. There is one Kingdom of God. There is one new Jerusalem. There is but one Christian Church, one Church of the Anointed, of the Messiah.
Prayer: Father, lead me in Your truth, Amen.
John 10:16ISRAEL—SPIRIT AND FLESH
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (Ephesians 2:19)
Let us stand fast in the true Scriptural concept. The coming of the Kingdom of God is hindered when we accept any division between the Christian Church and the people and land of Israel.
Let us destroy the middle wall of partition that Satan and human self-seeking have established. Let us recognize the unity of Jerusalem, of the Church of the Firstborn, of Zion.
When the full number of Gentiles has been grafted on Messiah, on the one Olive Tree of God, God will turn once more to physical Israel, pouring out His Spirit on the Jews and bringing them into the one Body of the Messiah, the one Olive Tree.
All Israel, all those who are of Messiah by promise, will come to perfection together in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
Prayer: Father, I desire to live in unity with all those that are part of the one true Israel of God, Amen.
Isaiah 55:1-13IT IS TIME FOR A REFORMATION OF CHRISTIAN THINKING
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 55:7,8)
We are in an hour of spiritual lukewarmness.
It is time for a reformation of Christian thinking and behavior, particularly among evangelicals.
The bulk of today’s Christian teaching and preaching is taken from our traditions, not from the Word of God.
Such doctrines as salvation by belief alone, the pretribulation “rapture,” the existence of a “Gentile Church,” the continual emphasis on the goodness of God to the exclusion of the severity of God, the various “positive-thinking” positions, cannot be found in the Scriptures.
Prayer: Father, I am a candidate for a reformation of my beliefs and thinking. Help me, O Lord God Almighty, Amen.
Jeremiah 4:1-14IT IS TIME FOR A REFORMATION OF CHRISTIAN THINKING
O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you? (Jeremiah 4:14)
There are a number of major misunderstandings in Christian thinking.
For example, we have been taught that righteousness and eternal life are perpetually assigned to us solely upon our acknowledgment of the theological facts concerning Messiah Jesus, that our behavior in the appetites of the flesh is unrelated to eternal life.
Christian preachers and teachers because of their overemphasis on grace are destroying man’s normal association of righteous behavior with God’s favor.
Can we be surprised, therefore, when there is little strength of righteousness in the Christian churches?
Prayer: Father, wash my heart from all wickedness and save me from vain thoughts about the nature of Your Kingdom. Lord Jesus, grant me a true understanding of Your divine grace, Amen.
Matthew 7:15-29IT IS TIME FOR A REFORMATION OF CHRISTIAN THINKING
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
Practice follows doctrine. The people are being destroyed because a wrong vision is being presented.
The Christian redemption does not consist principally of the forgiveness of men but of their transformation into new creatures in Messiah Jesus.
The role of forgiveness is to authorize us to commence the program of redemption, and then to keep our conscience clear before God while the Holy Spirit is purifying and changing us.
The purpose of the eternal pardon is that we may be able to enter the transformation into righteous behavior that is the new covenant. To walk in sin is to choose death. To walk in the Presence and will of Messiah Jesus is to choose eternal life. Let us choose to abide in Messiah Jesus, laying hold on eternal life, so we may save ourselves and those who hear us.
Prayer: Father, I choose to abide in Messiah Jesus and lay a hold of life, Amen.
Ephesians 4:13I WILL COME TO YOU
“In My Father’s house are many mansions [abodes; same word in v.23]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2,3)
The purpose of the Christian Era is to construct the Body of the Messiah, to bring it to the standard of unity and maturity required for the indwelling of God and Messiah.
Messiah is the “Zion” in which God finds perfect rest. Messiah is the House of God.
There is no other house of God.
In the House of God there are many places of abode, many rooms. The saints are being built into an eternal dwelling place for God.
It is the Holy Spirit who is accomplishing this.
Prayer: Father, truly Jesus is the only house of God. I rejoice that You find rest in Him. Lord Jesus, thank you for preparing a place for me in the Father, Amen.
John 17:21-23I WILL COME TO YOU
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
The construction of the eternal dwelling place of God is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles.
The power of the Lord’s coming will be revealed in the heavens and also in the saints on the earth.
The peoples of the earth will be able to behold, not only the Glory of Messiah in the heavens but also the transfiguration of the elect who are on the earth.
As the nations witness this transfiguring glory they will believe that God indeed has sent Messiah Jesus, and loves the saints as He loves Messiah.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to reveal Your glory to the nations of the earth. Let them behold the glory of Messiah in my life today and in the day of His coming, Amen.
And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion [tested Christians] and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:3)
There is both a spiritual and a physical aspect of Jerusalem. Each aspect is now being brought to a place of readiness for rulership in the future.
The establishing and perfecting of the spiritual aspect is being conducted in the personalities of God’s elect—Jews and Gentiles made one in Messiah.
The gathering of Jews from many nations to Israel is the beginning of the physical restoration of Jerusalem.
In the days ahead the two aspects will converge and the result will be the true Church on earth without spot or wrinkle, a holy Jerusalem that will govern the nations of the earth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, perfect Your work in the days in which I live. Bring together Your people and make them one in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
John 17:1-26JOHN SEVENTEEN
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify You, (John 17:1)
With the exception of the passages that describe the suffering, atoning death, and triumphant resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John may be the “most holy place” of the Scriptures.
We find here the love of Messiah for his disciples, the attitude with which a man or woman of God should face physical death, the Divinely ordained wall that separates the Church from the world, and the glorious destiny of the saints, which is union among themselves in the Son in the Father.
The more Messiah grows in us the more we become aware that the goal of our Christian discipleship is to become one in Messiah Jesus in the Father. The true goal makes clear to us that godly behavior is a necessary part of salvation. The goal of salvation is not as much to get people into Heaven as it is to get the Life and ways of God into people.
Prayer: Father, may the depths of glory and majesty found in John Seventeen become real in my life, Amen.
Romans 5:6-21THE JUDAIC-CHRISTIAN SALVATION
tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 2:9,10)
Judaism and Christianity, at least from the Lord’s standpoint, are not two different religions.
It is true that men have made a religion out of Judaism and other men have made a religion out of Christianity. But neither Judaism nor Christianity are religions. Both of them constitute one progressive revelation of the Lord to mankind. Neither one came about as man sought God. Both of them originated as aspects of one Divine revelation.
The unfortunate cleavage between Judaism and Christianity has occurred because of human frailty. Christianity actually is nothing more nor less than the unfolding of true Judaism, that is, of the revelation given to Moses and the Prophets. The purpose of the Judaic-Christian salvation is to solve the original problem of disobedience.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the power of religion and bring me into a living relationship with You forever, Amen.
I Peter 2:1-12JUDGMENT, REDEMPTION, AND THE FIRST RESURRECTION
And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10)
There are two principal resurrections from the dead. The first resurrection will take place at the beginning of the thousand-year period known as the Millennium. It is a resurrection out from among the dead, a resurrection of a firstfruits to the Lord. It is the resurrection of the royal priesthood.
The members of the royal priesthood will be given back their bodies when Jesus appears so they may rule on the earth with Him throughout the thousand-year period.
The second resurrection will take place at the end of the thousand-year period. The second resurrection is the resurrection in which people either are saved or lost. It is at the second resurrection, the general resurrection of the dead, that the dead are brought from many areas of waiting in order that they may appear before the Judgment Seat of Messiah and be judged according to their works.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be a member of Your royal priesthood, Amen.
I Corinthians 3:10-15JUDGMENT AND REWARDS
eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, (Romans 2:7,8)
The resurrection, the awakening of the physical body, is not eternal life.
All persons shall be resurrected.
It is the recompense, the experience that follows the resurrection, that may prove to be eternal life.
The awakening itself is neither eternal life nor condemnation. The issue is what we have done, what we have practiced. If we live a godly life we will be raised to eternal life.
If we practice evil we will be raised to wrath and punishment. In the Kingdom of God, judgment and rewards are directly related to what we have done in the body.
Prayer: Father, I believe I shall be rewarded according to my works. Lead me in Your truth, O God, and help me to live righteously in my body until that day, Amen.
John 5:19-24JUDGMENT BEGINS WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
There is a difference between Divine judgment and Divine wrath.
Divine wrath destroys.
Divine judgment brings us to repentance.
God leads every saint through much tribulation and suffering. Such suffering is a judgment on us, a separating of the good from the evil in our personality.
Judgment begins with the household of God. It begins with the saints. It begins with those who are closest to the Lord.
The Divine judgment is not a bad thing.
It is a good thing, a blessing, a working of the love of God in our life.
Prayer: Father, it is only right that judgment begins with those closest to you. Lord Jesus, continue to separate me from all evil, Amen.
Revelation 22:12-17THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF MESSIAH
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. (Revelation 22:12)
Of the many errors in current Christian theology, one of the gravest, the most displeasing to the Lord, may be the doctrine that no Christian will be punished at the Judgment Seat of Messiah. How upsetting and frustrating it must be to God to see His Word being mutilated in this manner! How grievous an error it is that leaves multitudes of believers unprepared for what they will be facing in the Day of the Lord!
Because of this error concerning the Judgment Seat, the fear of the Lord has been removed from the believers. The truth is, appearing before the Judgment Seat of Messiah will prove to be a terrifying experience for all except those believers who are totally consecrated and obedient to God (and a sobering experience even for them, although they have gained some degree of boldness).
The Spirit of God intends that the terror of the Judgment Seat be one of the motivations that cause the believers to serve Messiah Jesus with diligence.
Prayer: Father, help me to serve You with all diligence, Amen.
Isaiah 40:1-5THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF MESSIAH IS IN SESSION
“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:2)
The sufferings of the Christian, if he is following the Lord as he should, are God’s judgments on his life: not a judgment of condemnation and wrath but a judgment of discipline to salvation.
We are saved by the judgment of discipline. Apart from Divine judgment we remain sinful, self-centered, and otherwise spiritually immature and subject to the authority of the Lake of Fire.
The Judgment Seat of Messiah has begun with the judgment of the house of God. The nearer we are to God the stricter and more immediate is our judgment. Jerusalem always receives double for her sins.
After the accounts of the righteous have been settled, Messiah will turn His attention to the disobedient.
Prayer: Father, help me today to realize Your judgments on my life are not to condemnation but to salvation, Amen.
John 1:5THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF MESSIAH IS IN SESSION
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1Corinthians 11:32)
The Lord God of Heaven disciplines every son whom He receives, and the discipline consists of fiery testings and tribulations. These are part of the normal Christian experience. They are decisions made at the Judgment Seat of Messiah, at which our personalities are being revealed.
The judgment has begun already, and it is abiding on the living and the dead. We are the living. After we are born again and filled with God’s Spirit, having died and been raised again in the spiritual sense, the work of judgment begins. We have been brought forth from the tomb, as was Lazarus, and now it is time for the unwrapping of the graveclothes.
The Judgment Seat of Messiah is in session. The first to be tried are God’s saints. Therefore, when we suffer, let us hold steady in the Lord. When we are tested we, through Messiah’s own Presence and Virtue, shall come forth as refined gold. Then we shall have no fear. Then we shall have perfect love. Then we shall have boldness in the Day of Judgment.
Prayer: Father, try me and I will live!
Hebrews 10:26-36THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38)
The meaning of “the just shall live by faith” has been misunderstood since the time of the Protestant Reformers.
As a result, the testimony of the Church has been weakened. Agreement with doctrinal statements has been emphasized at the expense of righteous behavior.
True faith is an active relationship with God that governs at all times what we are and what we do.
Faith is not merely a belief in theological facts.
Both the grace of God and righteous behavior are necessary for our salvation.
Prayer: Father, strengthen Your testimony in me by helping me to behave righteously. Let our relationship with one another be vibrant and active and let it govern me in all my ways, Amen.
Revelation 3:7-13KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)
There is coming upon all the world an hour of testing. The hour of testing will examine those who dwell on the earth. If we would be kept from the destructive elements that accompany the hour of testing we must patiently guard Messiah’s Word, being diligent to observe, through His Presence and power, that which His Word commands.
We must keep the Word of Messiah with the same diligence with which we trust Messiah will keep us. Through Messiah’s unceasing watchfulness we shall be enabled to escape being harmed spiritually by all of these things that are coming to pass on the earth. We shall not lose our soul but shall believe to the saving of our soul.
The “hour of temptation” of Revelation 3:10 is not referring to the wrath of God that is to be poured on the earth, the judgment and vengeance on sin and rebellion. Rather, it is speaking of a severe and prolonged examination of the condition of the hearts of people as they are exposed to an exceedingly seductive, enticing environment.
Prayer: Keep me, O God my Father, Amen.
Romans 8:18-21KINGDOM CONCEPTS
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles [nations] shall come to your [God’s elect] light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:2,3)
The end product of our striving to serve Messiah is the formation of Messiah, the Kingdom, in us.
Messiah in us is the mystery of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is the new creation that results from the development of Messiah within the believer.
The result of bringing forth Messiah within the human being is a new creation, a new personality, a unique expression of God.
Each saint has been called to be God’s servant and a unique manifestation of God to the ages of ages.
Prayer: Father, my desire is for Messiah Jesus to be formed in me completely. Lord Jesus, I am Your servant, bring forth the new creation in me, Amen.
Daniel 7:18THE KINGDOM FROM HEAVEN
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:1,2)
Some believe that the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are two separate kingdoms. It seems obvious to us that such is not the case, for three reasons: (1) the same parables to which Matthew refers as parables of the Kingdom of Heaven are referred to by the other writers as parables of the Kingdom of God; (2) there is no evidence that either John or Jesus preached about two different kingdoms, speaking part of the time about the Kingdom of Heaven and the remainder of the time about the Kingdom of God; and (3) the Prophets of Israel announced the coming of but one Kingdom.
The Kingdom that is at hand, the Kingdom we await with such great joy, is the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom from Heaven. It is the Kingdom of God because God is the supreme Ruler of it. It is the Kingdom of Heaven because Heaven is the throne of God, although one day the throne of God will come to rest on the new earth in the new Jerusalem.
Prayer: Father, may Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done now and forever, Amen.
Psalm 24:1-10KINGDOM INSTRUCTION FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:
“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. (Joshua 1:1,2)
Change comes in the Kingdom of God, and in the lives of the people who are associated with the Kingdom of God.
For forty years, Moses had represented God on the earth. Whenever the Israelite thought about God, no doubt he thought about Moses.
There came the moment when Moses died.
God has a plan for today. He is preparing an army that will invade and conquer the earth. Moses is dead. Now God will speak to Joshua. God performed one aspect of Kingdom work through Moses and a different aspect of Kingdom work through Joshua. The Lord Jesus has been as Moses and now is coming to His Church as Joshua.
Prayer: Father, Moses is dead. I will now follow Jesus to war, Amen.
Daniel 2:44THE KINGDOM OF GOD
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, (Ephesians 1:9)
The Kingdom of God is God in Messiah Jesus in the saints governing the creation of God.
The Kingdom of God is the eternal union of the Life of God with all that is found worthy in the material realm.
The Person and Life of God provide the government, the life, the righteousness, the holiness, the love, the joy, the peace, the significance, the wonder, the glory of the Kingdom.
The people, creatures, and things of earth provide the substance and visible form of the Kingdom.
Prayer: Father, I long for the Kingdom of God to be fulfilled in my life. Help me to find the role You have chosen for me. Lord Jesus, lead me into Your fullness, Amen.
Genesis 1:1-23THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)
The Lord Jesus is coming soon. We know that. The thousand-year Kingdom Age, the Millennium, will be a reality on the earth in the near future.
Most believers in the Lord Jesus the Messiah may understand that this is true. What we may not understand is the kind of events that take place when God moves from one creative day to the next; what we can expect to happen during the period in which we are living.
Whenever we pass from one “day” of God’s working to the next there is a season of preparation. The Spirit of God broods on circumstances that are chaotic in terms of what God envisions as being His eternal purpose in Messiah. There is a period of unsettledness and sometimes tribulation and persecution. There also is the appearance of two witnesses. The witnesses proclaim the new day at hand.
Prayer: Father, truly the Kingdom of God is at hand. Help me to be alert to the moving of the Holy Spirit in the earth today, Amen.
Genesis 1:24-31THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1,2)
The original six days of creation of the universe, and the seventh day of Divine rest, are a foreshadowing of the seven eras of God’s plan.
When we state that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that the Lord Jesus is coming soon to set up His rule on the earth, we are saying that we are entering the period of transition from the fifth day of creation to the sixth day of creation. By day of creation we mean a period or segment of God’s working as He proceeds toward the attainment of the eternal purpose He has determined in our Lord, Messiah Jesus.
It is the purpose of Messiah in the Church to bring the rule of God into the personality of every saved person on the earth. This is the work of the Kingdom—the bringing about of the doing of God’s will in the earth as it now is performed in Heaven.
Prayer: Father, as Your plan of redemption moves toward its goal, draw me ever more into union with Jesus, Amen.
Deuteronomy 8:2,3THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (Hebrews 5:8,9)
When we are considering reconciliation to God there are three issues that must be dealt with thoroughly: our choice of environment, our personality, and our knowledge of the Lord.
Of the three aspects, the unique purpose of life on earth is the knowledge of the Lord, including faith, trust, and hope in the faithfulness of God’s Word, the conversion of our will to perfect rest in God’s will, humility, total dependence on the Lord, and joyous obedience to the Lord.
Our environment and personality can be transformed readily in the spirit realm or on earth, for they are sovereign acts of God. But God uses the dark scenes and problems of earth to teach us how to please God and walk with Him.
Prayer: Father, I desire to know You better. Help me to learn from the things which You allow me to suffer, Amen.
Hebrews 3:12-19THE LAND OF PROMISE
“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;
“a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; (Deuteronomy 8:7,8)
Exactly what is the Christian land of promise? What is the ultimate victory of the Christian battle? Toward what are we moving? Is the Christian promised land Heaven? Paradise? The new Jerusalem? The resurrection from the dead? Messiah Jesus Himself?
The land of promise of the Hebrews was described specifically in several passages of the Old Testament writings. The land of promise of the Christians also has been set forth in the Scriptures, but it is far more comprehensive and marvelous than was true of the Old Testament land of promise.
The redemption that is in Messiah Jesus has a specific beginning, a specific working out in our life, and a specific conclusion—a goal that we are to press toward. All of the goal is summed up in Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, lead me onward, O King Eternal toward my rest in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (Revelation 3:15)
We now are approaching the age of Laodicea. We are in the closing days of the rule of man. People have become lovers of themselves and are increasingly concerned with their “rights.” Humanism is the religion of the hour.
Laodicea speaks of the Lampstand of God, the Christian Church, corrupted by man-centeredness. The Laodicean “gospel” does not look to the coming world of righteousness but concentrates on making the present world safe and comfortable for Christians. The wickedness of the church of Laodicea proceeds from a false image—the image of man as the center of the universe and God as the means by which man becomes that center. The spirit of Laodicea abounds in the Christian churches of today.
The true saints of Messiah Jesus will never participate in the church of Laodicea. They understand that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not a plan for the advancement of mankind but the witness of God concerning the doing of His will in the earth.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from all that is Laodicea, Amen.
Genesis 29:16-28LEAH AND RACHEL
Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. (Genesis 29:16,17)
Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob, symbolize two aspects of redemption that are necessary if we would inherit the Kingdom of God.
Leah, the lesser beauty, represents the rigors of discipleship, the part of salvation that is painful to us.
Rachel portrays what we desire of God and of life—the part of our Divine calling and inheritance that brings joy to us.
We endure Leah, the cross, because of the joy of Rachel set before us.
Leah gives us the spiritual strength necessary for rulership in the Kingdom while Rachel brings the compassion of heart that reveals the Presence of God to the nations.
Together the two bear much fruit.
Prayer: Father, it is good to labor for both Leah and Rachel as Jacob did. Help the fruit of both work deeply in my life, Amen.
1 Samuel 15:22,23LEARNING OBEDIENCE THROUGH SUFFERING
For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? (Hebrews 12:6,7)
We Christians suffer many tribulations and pains throughout our discipleship. It is a comfort to know that when we are serving the Lord diligently, our troubles are not chance occurrences, or pointless harassments, but are the disciplining hand of the Lord.
Life on earth is a time of testing. It is a probationary period. What is the purpose of the troubles we experience continuously in the world?
These pains and dreads discipline us; they teach us obedience to the Father; they drive out of us the love of the world.
Obedience! We learn obedience to God through the things we suffer.
As was true of the Apostle Paul, when we are faithful in our prisons and sufferings, other people are blessed.
Prayer: Father, help me to learn obedience through the troubles I experience, Amen.
Romans 7:1-4THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ (Jeremiah 33:16)
When the meaning of the expression “the Lord our righteousness,” becomes clear to us, then we understand the Divine salvation. Until we grasp this concept, Judaism and Christianity are religions consisting of various doctrines.
The true salvation of the Lord is marriage, a union of God and the saint. The believer dies to the Law of Moses in order that he may be married to Messiah.
The Divine marriage is being preached today, and the firstfruits of the Bride will hear and come away in their hearts to the Lord. The remainder of the Lord’s people will continue in their struggle with God, and each will be judged according to the manner in which he or she has served the Lord.
Marriage to Messiah Jesus is the sternest bondage and the most glorious freedom available to mankind.
Prayer: Father, draw me ever more deeply into marriage to Messiah Jesus, Amen.
John 12:1-8THE LOVE OF MONEY
This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. (John 12:6)
There were three crosses on Golgotha: God was crucified; the saved criminal was crucified; the unsaved criminal was crucified. Nor did Judas escape. He also was “crucified,” so to speak.
There is no way to escape crucifixion in this world. Those who enter willingly into the cross of Messiah are lifted up in His omnipotent resurrection.
Those who choose the way of riches of the world, trusting that their money will give them the power to escape the tribulations of life, destroy their relationship with their Creator.
In the end, all are “crucified” in one manner or another, and the possession of great wealth cannot prevent it.
Messiah has warned us plainly: no man can serve both God and money.
Prayer: Father, deliver me completely from the love of money and let me serve You alone, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:34-45THE MAINSPRING
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)
It is our point of view that fundamental Christian theology is in need of a reformation. While there are several errors being preached today, the common denominator appears to be the concept that the Christian redemption consists primarily of forgiveness, with the objective being eternal residence in the spirit Paradise (Heaven). As venerable as the grace-Heaven teaching may be it simply cannot be supported by the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. Furthermore, the doctrine of “justification by faith alone” has destroyed the moral strength of the Christian churches.
The true salvation, the only true Divine redemption, takes place as the believer enters the atoning death of the Lord Jesus and His triumphant resurrection. Flesh and blood cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. It is only as we change from a mortal soul to a life-giving spirit that we enter the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, You alone are my hope and salvation. Cause me to come to You and drink the water of life, Amen.
Hebrews 11:32-40THE MAINSPRING
Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)
The goal of the Christian discipleship is to obtain a “better resurrection” in the future. In order to accomplish our goal we must not “accept deliverance” in the present hour: this is to say, we must deny ourselves now and press into the sufferings and resurrection of the Lord. We must put all of our treasures in Heaven. We must set our affection on things above where Messiah and we are seated at the right hand of God.
Let us not be lazy and careless. It is time to take the Kingdom. The Kingdom is Messiah Jesus Himself—life lived in His Presence. The rewards go to those who, through the Lord Jesus, overcome all opposition. The prize is marvelous beyond all description. Whoever will choose to do so can gain the fullness of the inheritance.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to seek a better resurrection. I do so by taking up my cross and allowing You to bring me down into death so that I might be raised up in glory, Amen.
Isaiah 26:12-20THE MANIFESTATION OF MESSIAH
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
The Lord Jesus will come both in and with His saints. In the spiritual sense, Jesus is here now. He is building His Church. His second coming, in one sense, will be as that of a person returning from afar but in another sense will be a bodily manifestation of what already is here.
One of the greatest errors that the believer can make is to become preoccupied with the things of the world and neglect the development and maturing of the inner kingdom, the inner coming of the Lord. If he falls into this error he will wait in vain for a “rapture,” for participation in the outer manifestation of the coming of Messiah.
The all-important inner work is being performed now, and we must come out of the world and “go to meet the Lord.” This is true of the salvation experience, of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and of the “Tabernacles” experience.
Prayer: Father, help me to devote more time to the development in my life of the inner kingdom and coming of the Lord Jesus, Amen.
I Peter 2:5MANSIONS IN HEAVEN?
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Corinthians 3:16)
The original “blessed hope” of the Christian Church was the return of the Lord Jesus the Messiah to the earth to set up His Kingdom. This is the teaching of the Hebrew Prophets and also of the writers of the New Testament. But today we are looking for the Lord Jesus to come and carry His Church up to Heaven so the believers can live forever in mansions of gold.
The hope of going to an eternal mansion in Heaven is not based on the Scriptures. In fact, this belief actually leads away from the redemptive purposes of God. It contributes to the spiritual babyhood we see all about us. It is true rather that God is building an eternal dwelling place for Himself, of which Messiah Jesus is the chief Cornerstone and we are living stones. The concept of the eternal House of God has support in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
It is we who are the places in which God in Messiah may find His eternal rest. It is we who are the mansions. God in Messiah in the saints compose the Kingdom that will be established for eternity upon the earth.
Prayer: Father, make me Your house, Amen.
Revelation 19:5-9THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:7)
There are four stages of the marriage of the Lamb: the formation stage, the reconciliation stage, the union stage, and the manifestation stage.
The manifestation stage is the closest phase to what we would refer to as a wedding ceremony. But there is an important difference between the manifestation stage of the marriage of the Lamb, and a wedding ceremony as ordinarily conceived. In the case of a marriage today, the actual marriage, the uniting, follows the wedding ceremony—if in fact a union ever does take place.
However, the marriage of the Lamb occurs as the believer takes up his cross and follows the Lord Jesus. The marriage supper of the Lamb, which will take place at the return of the Messiah to the earth, will be the manifestation of the marriage of the Lamb that was accomplished previously. It is the previous operations that are essential.
Prayer: Father, in Your strength I rejoice in the need to make myself ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb, Amen.
Revelation 11:3-6THE MESSAGE OF THE TWO WITNESSES
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. (Isaiah 40:1)
The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation does not present the message preached by the two witnesses. Rather, works of judgment are emphasized in the eleventh chapter because the witness is preparing the way for the soon coming of the resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment.
Divine works of judgment are a necessary aspect of the last-day testimony because of the resistance of the nations to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and also because works of judgment portray accurately the attitude of God toward the earth and are a forerunner of what is to be expected when the Day of the Lord arrives.
We believe that the actual message the two witnesses will proclaim is announced in Isaiah, Chapter 40. In addition to their warning to the nations the two witnesses will speak comfortably to a wounded, distraught “Jerusalem.” Complete spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical healing is the “children’s bread.”
Prayer: Father, may both the work and the message of the “two witnesses” have their proper place in my life and heart, Amen.
Isaiah 51:1-11THE MESSIAH
And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” (Isaiah 51:16)
God the Father has given three commissions to Messiah: to plant the heavens,
to lay the foundations of the earth, and to say to Zion, “You are my people.”
These are the three issues with which all of God’s people are to be concerned: the condition of the heavens, the condition of the earth, and the condition of God’s Israel, His Zion.
The heavens always are created before the earth. There still are wicked lords of darkness who rule in the heavenlies above the earth, and we have to struggle against them.
As we wrestle against the rebellious lords of darkness, our spirit is perfected in the heavenly Mount Zion.
Prayer: Father, help me to learn the significance of Your commissions to Messiah. May I become concerned with that which concerns You, Amen.
Isaiah 51:12-23THE MESSIAH
For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. (Psalms 102:16)
Messiah has been commissioned to plant the heavens with the righteousness that is in and of His own Person. This righteousness is formed is us as we choose to love righteousness and hate lawlessness.
The second issue facing each person whom God has called is the doing of God’s will in the earth. God’s will is that Messiah fill both the heavens and the earth, becoming the foundation on which all that is found in the earth is built. There is no foundation other than Messiah Jesus on which mankind can build. The earth has no foundation until it is founded on God’s Messiah.
The third issue is that of assuring each person whom God has called that God loves him, that his destiny is to abide in Jesus and Jesus in him, that he is to cleave to the Lord in perfect union, perfect marriage. Messiah always comes to those whom God has chosen for Himself, and says to them, “You are God’s people.” We must be told this many times, and in numerous ways and forms, before we are totally willing and able to turn away from the world.
Prayer: Father, I belong to You, Amen.
Exodus 25:1-9MESSIAH IN YOU
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
One of the principal purposes of God in the Christian Church is the construction of an eternal dwelling place for Himself.
It is very difficult for the Lord to come into a satisfying relationship with His creatures. The Body of Messiah, which is the Temple of God, removes that difficulty by becoming the hand and heart of God extended to people everywhere.
Messiah Jesus Himself is the eternal House of God. God the Father finds His rest only in Messiah Jesus, never in a physical structure, or in any creature in whom Messiah is not dwelling.
Messiah in us is the hope of glory. The Kingdom of God is Messiah in us. All of God’s purposes are fulfilled as Messiah is formed in us.
When Messiah is formed in us, Messiah Himself will come with the Father and They will make our personality Their abode for eternity.
Prayer: Father, make me a part of the eternal House of God, Amen.
John 15:5-8MESSIAH IN YOU
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
God desires that the Incarnation, the Expression, of Himself be magnified and multiplied so that every person on the earth may have access to Him. Therefore, God is magnifying and multiplying Messiah; for God will dwell only in Messiah. Messiah is the House of God.
God is magnifying and multiplying Messiah by creating the Body of Messiah. As Messiah is being formed in the members of His Body, He is being magnified and multiplied.
It is not that Messiah-likeness is being formed in us that is so crucial to the purpose of God, it is that Messiah is being formed in us. Messiah is the true Vine. We are not additional vines, we are branches growing out from that one true Vine.
As Messiah is being formed in the members of His Body, He comes through the Spirit and dwells in those transformed members. As Messiah comes and dwells in the members, God dwells in Messiah in the members. He who has the Son has the Father also.
Prayer: Father, form Messiah in me, Amen.
John 14:21-23MESSIAH IN YOU
in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21,22)
God in Messiah in the members of the Body of Messiah is the Kingdom of God that John the Baptist announced, that Messiah Jesus proclaimed, that Paul taught, and that will be revealed to the world at the appearing of the Lord Jesus the Messiah from Heaven with the saints and holy angels.
Messiah in us is the mystery of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Messiah is the House of God, the eternal Temple of God.
When Messiah is in us, the House of God is in us. When we are in Messiah and abiding in Him, we are in the Temple of God and abiding in it.
When we are abiding in Messiah, and Messiah in us, God’s plan for our life has been brought to completion and perfection. We have become a living stone in the eternal Temple of God.
Prayer: Father, may Your plan for my life become complete and perfect as I daily abide in Messiah, Amen.
I Corinthians 12:1-11MINISTRY BY THE SPIRIT
for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:12)
There are organizational problems in the Body of the Messiah, the Christian Church.
At least three issues that must be addressed:
- The operation of ministries and gifts by the members of the Body.
- The defining of the office of elder.
- The imposition of organizational assignment on leadership and ministry rather than the development and operation of Spirit-chosen ministries and gifts.
The crux of the problem is the issue of the head of man versus the head of Messiah Jesus, on the Body of the Messiah. This has been a weakness throughout Church history. We have inherited two thousand years of human-directed church government.
We must in our generation make the transition from ministry by organizational assignment to ministry by the Spirit of God.
We must make it possible for the Spirit to direct the churches.
Prayer: Father, may the Spirit prevail, Amen.
Hebrews 12:1-10A MISSING ELEMENT
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; (Hebrews 12:5)
A key ingredient is absent from the preaching and teaching of numerous evangelical churches.
The missing factor is an understanding of the role of tribulation, of chastisement, of Divine judgment, of suffering in the Christian redemption.
The source of the error probably is the humanistic, man-centered, anti-Christian philosophies which have begun to dominate Western thinking. Overemphasis on the place of forgiveness in Christian theology has left the Church without the means to grow to maturity.
The missing element is the understanding that after God forgives us He judges our personality.
Allowing cross-carrying obedience to complement our complete forgiveness in Messiah brings forth the righteous rulership God will utilize in His Kingdom.
Prayer: Father, judge me ever more so thoroughly, Amen.
II Thessalonians 2:8-12MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Four great contemporary lies have rendered the Christian churches virtually helpless in spiritual warfare:
The interpretation of God’s grace in Messiah as an alternative to godly living, an alternative that makes the believer acceptable to God and brings him into fellowship with God even though he is unrighteous, unholy, and disobedient in behavior.
The idea that God no longer is a God of wrath; that it no longer is necessary for the saints to work out their salvation with “fear and trembling”; that there is no need for any saint to fear the Judgment Seat of Messiah because no believer in Jesus will receive the evil he has done in his body.
The concept that the purpose of the resurrection and ascension of the saints is that they might not be exposed to persecution and suffering in the world.
The current emphasis on the use of “faith” to acquire material gain and to govern contemporary society.
Prayer: Father, lead me in Your truth, Amen.
Revelation 14:1-5THE MOUNTAINS OF BASHAN
A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; a mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain [Zion, the Body of Christ] which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever. (Psalms 68:15,16)
Bashan symbolizes that which is exalted in the flesh, that which God’s people will conquer as they make their way toward the rest of God.
The elect have labored for many centuries in the bondage of spiritual ambition. God will bring His chosen people from the bondage of sin and self-will and establish them on Mount Zion, the place of their true inheritance.
Salvation and eternal life are found only on Mount Zion.
The mountains of Bashan, of human endeavor, strive in vain to give life. Eternal life comes only from the Father through the Son, the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Receiving Messiah does not solve the problem of self-will. We are not converted from self-will until we have allowed the Lord to remove self from the throne and assume His rightful place as King of our personality.
Prayer: Father, remove all self-will from me and be King of my personality, Amen.
Jeremiah 17:5-6THE NATURE OF SIN
The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. (Psalms 10:4)
The new covenant is not primarily a waiving of the consequences of sin. It is, rather, the God-given opportunity to climb out of the pit, to release ourselves, through God’s grace, from the chains of darkness.
God has commanded us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Putting our material needs first, and the Kingdom of God second, is sin. Through the Lord Jesus the Messiah we can make the seeking of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness the highest priority of our life. We can resist the lusts of our flesh. We can be delivered from self-centeredness and enter untroubled union with God.
There are three principles that govern eternal life: living by faith in God rather than by faith in what we can see and do; behaving according to the laws of righteousness and holiness; and abiding in oneness with Messiah Jesus, not as a separate individual. To violate these principles is to sin.
Prayer: Father, today, I seek first Your Kingdom and righteousness, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:16-24THE NEW CREATION AND THE RESURRECTION
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (I Corinthians 15:22,23)
The first and most important fact we must consider is that the race of Adam will not be brought forward into the new age, into the new heaven and earth reign of Messiah Jesus.
Flesh and blood will not be saved and brought into the Kingdom of God. The Christian redemption is not a saving of what we are but a change of what we are. The entire Adamic race died on the cross.
The Kingdom of God is an inner rule of God. God dwells only in Messiah Jesus. Messiah Jesus dwells only in the new creation that has come into being from His body and blood. Messiah Jesus abides in the new man of the heart, not in the Adamic nature.
The new creation is the Kingdom of God, the Temple of God. The new creation is the resurrection from the dead and will worship and serve God to the ages of ages, a world without end.
Prayer: Father, in Adam I am dead, but in Messiah I shall live. Raise me up in the life of the new creation, Amen.
Isaiah 54:11-17THE NEW JERUSALEM
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:26)
The new Jerusalem is the center of government of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God. There is an “old Jerusalem” on earth today symbolized by Hagar, the slave of Abraham and Sarah. But the new Jerusalem is above us in the spiritual realm.
The new Jerusalem will not appear for mankind to behold until the end of the thousand-year period, at which time there will be a new sky and a new earth. Then the holy city, the Wife of the Lamb, the Kingdom of Heaven, will descend from God out of Heaven and be established forever on the new earth.
When we Christians speak of going to Heaven we mean going to the new Jerusalem. Paradise, the tree of life, the River of Life, the Throne of God and of the Lamb—all are within the gates of the holy city. The new Jerusalem is the mother of every true saint of God.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be part of the New Jerusalem, the very Throne of God and of the Lamb. Lord Jesus, perfect the thing which concerns me, Amen.
Isaiah 11:1-10NOT RETREAT BUT RESTORATION!
“whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21)
The belief that eternal residence in Heaven is the goal of salvation is widely held in Christianity.
However, such is not the emphasis of the Scriptures. It is our tradition and it has had an unfavorable influence on the spiritual maturity of the believers.
The entire Scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament, are one revelation of Messiah and His Kingdom. They are one whole.
They speak of restoration. They proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
They tell of the restoring to mankind of the Presence of God and the beauty of Paradise—of all that was lost in the beginning.
This is the meaning of the term redemption.
Prayer: Father, restore me to Your Presence and Kingdom, Amen.
Romans 6:11-18NOT UNDER THE LAW BUT UNDER GRACE
For sin shall not have dominion [control] over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
The idea that we are not under law but under grace is being interpreted today to mean that righteous behavior, while it is desirable or shows that we love Jesus, is not an essential aspect of our salvation. We are saved by grace (forgiveness and mercy) alone, it is maintained, and not by righteous behavior.
What is the relationship of the Law of Moses to the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus? The answer to this question is important to the dedicated Christian.
Whenever a question arises concerning a commandment of the Old Testament, our standard response as believers often is, we are not under the Law of Moses but under grace. One wonders if we really understand what we are saying. We cannot mean that the Torah, the Law, has been abolished, for the new covenant is the writing of the Torah on our mind and heart. This hardly is an abolishing of the Torah!
Prayer: Father, teach me the true relationship of the Law and grace, Amen.
Romans 11:16-26THE OLIVE TREE
searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (I Peter 1:11)
If we would understand the one Israel of God, the one Kingdom of God, the one Messiah, the one hope of redemption, we must have a clear understanding of the one Olive Tree.
The Olive Tree is neither of the Jews by race nor of the Gentiles by race even though it is in a Jewish context. The Olive Tree is the Spirit of Messiah.
The Olive Tree spoke to Abraham. The Spirit of Messiah called Abraham from the city in which he was dwelling, leading him forth to the land of Canaan. The Divine inheritance was given to Abraham and to Abraham’s Seed. Abraham’s Seed includes the Lord Jesus the Messiah and those who by faith have received Messiah and become part of Him.
The branches of the Olive Tree are always in accordance with the promise of God. The branches were chosen of God before the foundation of the world. No man at any time has gained a place in the Olive Tree by means of his own righteousness or striving. The inheritance is by faith in the promise of God.
Prayer: Father, I live only in You, Amen.
Ephesians 3:1-6ONE NEW MAN
having abolished in His flesh the enmity [between Jew and Gentile], that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two [Jews and Gentiles], thus making peace, (Ephesians 2:15)
The Christian Church and the people and the land of Israel are on a converging course.
They will become one when Messiah Jesus is crowned King on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
The people of Israel are not to become Gentiles; rather, the Christians are to become members of Israel, not by naturalization procedures but in the Spirit of God.
Christianity is not a religion separate from Judaism. In the Lord Jesus the Messiah, eternal life and substance are given to the symbols and hopes of Israel.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the traditions of the Church which separate Christianity and Judaism. Lord Jesus, grant me a deeper understanding of the Israel of God, Amen.
Isaiah 44:1-8ONE SALVATION
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Hebrews 8:10)
There is one salvation, not two.
There is not a Jewish salvation and a Gentile salvation, a Jewish kingdom and a Gentile kingdom, a Jewish bride and a Gentile bride, a Jewish church and a Gentile church. The Divine salvation is in the Lord Jesus the Messiah and in those who have been made an eternal part of Him.
The true salvation is one progressive revelation of God. There indeed has been a change of covenant. However, both the old covenant and the new covenant were made with the one elect—God’s Israel, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth.
The old covenant was written on stone and the new covenant is written on the heart. The two covenants require righteousness, holiness, and obedience on the part of Israel and on the part of all who would partake of the salvation of the Lord.
Prayer: Father, make us one in You, Amen.
Isaiah 45:15-25ORIENTATION TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
What is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?
The Gospel of Messiah Jesus is the Good News of a Kingdom coming to the earth. The Kingdom of God will establish righteousness, peace, and joy throughout the creation.
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, of the Kingdom of God, is the coming of the rule of Heaven into the earth.
The Kingdom of God is Messiah Jesus: Messiah with us, Messiah being formed in us, Messiah dwelling in us, Messiah central in all things in the heavens and on the earth (Ephesians 1:10).
Wherever Messiah is, or any saint in whom Messiah is Lord, there is the Kingdom of God. There is the rule of God. There is the power and wisdom of God to release the world into righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, I yield my life to You. My desire is for You to rule supreme in all that I say and do, Amen.
Isaiah 14:12-23THE ORIGINAL SIN
For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; (Isaiah 14:13)
The original sin always is disobedience, not murder, adultery, or covetousness, but disobedience.
This is why both Messiah and Abraham, and then every member of the governing priesthood, must be tested rigorously in the area of stern obedience to the Father.
Only the Divinely appointed suffering can burn out of us our instinctive rebellion and self-love. Only the flames of tribulation, the suffering found not in Paradise but in this present world, can destroy self-centeredness from us.
God wants us to realize that insisting upon our own will, our own independence of thought and action, is sufficient to change us from a child of God filled with Divine Light and Life into a ghoulish monster of darkness and depravity.
Prayer: Father, burn out of me with Your holy fire all disobedience and deliver me from my own self-will, Amen.
Colossians 1:10-29OUT OF THE WORLD OR OUT OF THE EVIL?
“I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep [guard] them from the evil one. (John 17:15)
The common understanding of the work of salvation is that we shall be removed from this world of pain and fear and brought to a different world (Heaven) where there is no pain or fear.
The Scriptural description of the work of salvation is that we are being removed from the person and power of Satan and brought into the Person and power of God in Messiah.
There is an important difference between these two concepts. Our understanding of what we are being saved from as well as the destination we are moving toward directly affects the manner in which we apply ourselves to our discipleship.
There is a practical difference between viewing Heaven as the destination of our spiritual pilgrimage, and viewing eternal union with the Father as the destination of our spiritual pilgrimage and discipleship. Our choice of goals has an effect on how we live as Christian people.
Prayer: Father, union with You in Messiah Jesus is more important to me than going to Heaven, Amen.
2 Peter 2:1-19THE OVERCOMER IS THE TRUE CHRISTIAN
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit, in the days in which we are living, is indicating that God is calling out from the churches a holy people, a royal priesthood.
Various terms are being employed for these victorious saints: the Bride, the sons of God, the brothers of Messiah Jesus, the remnant, the victorious saints, the Body of Messiah, and so forth.
Those who respond are the true Christians. Those who do not pursue the Christian discipleship with enough vigor to gain victory over the world, Satan, the lusts of the flesh, and self-love will receive none of the blessings we associate with being part of the Church.
The victorious saints, those being transformed into the image of God in relationships, in service, and in holiness, are the true Christians, the true royal priesthood.
Prayer: Father, I choose today to respond to the call to become part of a holy people, a royal priesthood, Amen.
Daniel 7:21-22OVERCOMING THE SAINTS
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)
The Scriptures teach that many of God’s people will be overcome in the last days. They will fall by deception—the result of maintaining their sin and self-will.
The issue is one of judgment. Because we saints do the works of Satan, because we are lawless and love the world, sin, and our will, God is not free to judge Satan. The saints must be chastised severely until the sin and rebellion are driven from them. Only then will God be justified in casting down Satan from the heavens. The saints must overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb, the testimony performed in them by the Spirit, and their obedience to the point of death.
It requires both blessing and suffering to make a Christian disciple in God’s image and perfectly obedient to Him. The fiery trials that will come upon the saints will result in their perfection as the firstfruits of the Bride of the Lamb.
Prayer: Father, drive from me all sin and rebellion, and perfect Your work in me, Amen.
2 Peter 1:16-19PARTICIPATION IN THE PAROUSIA
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
The Greek term parousia appears twenty-four times in the New Testament, most often concerning the coming of the Lord. While parousia may be translated “coming” there also is the concept of “presence.”
The emphasis appears to be not as much on the return of the Lord from a far distant place as on the manifestation of what always has been near at hand and already is true to a great extent in the saints. The Mount of Transfiguration witnessed a parousia of the Lord in that what already was present was revealed more clearly.
The parousia is Messiah’s bodily appearing, His presence, the manifestation of what is not far from us but is concealed in the present hour. The parousia is eternal. It is Messiah with us. The new Jerusalem is the eternal form of the parousia. The coming, the parousia, of the Lord and His saints is just that—a coming, a presence. The coming of Messiah will result in the coming of the saints, not the going of the saints.
Prayer: Father, make my life a preparation for the revealing of Your glory in and through Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Isaiah 61:1-11PERFECTING THE CHURCH
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of [maturity as measured by] the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)
The term church means “called out from.”
Each true saint has been called out from among the peoples of the earth in order that he may become, through the Lord Jesus the Messiah, the priest of God, representing God to the nations of saved people.
We have not been called, justified, and glorified so we may sit up in heaven and enjoy the scenery! We have been chosen of the Lord so God may have a living temple in which He can live among men, ruling them, teaching them, and blessing them with His Glory.
The Christian Church is destined to become perfect and perfectly united in Messiah in God. We believe Messiah will employ a firstfruits of the Church to assist in the bringing about of the completeness and perfection He requires in His whole body.
They will work with the Lord Jesus in establishing the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, help me today to grasp more fully Your call on my life to become a priest of God, Amen.
Isaiah 51:15-16THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE MESSIAH
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32,33)
There is only one Messiah, one Body of the Messiah, one goal, one destiny. The Head of Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord of Heaven and earth. The Messiah includes the Lord Jesus, who is the exalted Head, and also the saints who form the Body of the Head.
The members of the Body of the Messiah are called out from among the nations of the earth, including the Jewish nation, by election, by the predestination that works according to the foreknowledge of God.
But then we have to give total diligence in order to make our election certain. Only those who come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah, will participate with the Head, Jesus, in the work of the Messiah.
Prayer: Father, I treasure the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, make me an essential part of Him today, Amen.
Galatians 5:13-26THE PERVERSION OF GRACE
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! (Galatians 2:17)
The current fundamental misunderstanding of the Kingdom of God, the poison that undermines the will of the Christian to resist sin, to overcome the devil, and that has led to so many other destructive teachings and practices, is a perversion of the Apostle Paul’s doctrine of grace.
The Divine grace in Messiah Jesus has been grievously distorted and misapplied among us Gentiles. We do not understand that Paul was contrasting the works of the statutes and ordinances of Moses, such as circumcision, with the grace of God in Messiah. Instead, we are assuming that Paul was contrasting godly behavior with the grace of God in Messiah.
It is impossible for Paul or anyone else to contrast godly behavior with the grace of God in Messiah, because the grace of God in Messiah always will produce godly behavior if it is applied correctly.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the perversion of grace and instead cause it to produce godly behavior in my life, Amen.
II Corinthians 5:14-21PHILIPPIANS 3:11
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14)
Philippians 3:11 is one of the most significant of all the verses of Scripture because it identifies the goal toward which the plan of salvation leads.
The Christian salvation is not a plan whereby the untransformed person can escape Hell and go to Heaven when he dies. Rather, the Christian redemption is a change in the individual so that he can have fellowship with God. Fellowship with God brings immortality to man and eventually leads him into Paradise.
The current concept of salvation is largely mythological. It proceeds from man’s love for himself. It accounts for the present ungodliness among the members of the Christian churches. The true scriptural salvation is a change in the individual. Fellowship with God is possible, not through our partaking vicariously of the perfection of Jesus but through the working in us of a new creation.
Prayer: Father, make me a new creation in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Hebrews 5:4-9THE PINNACLE
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle [gable, edge] of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. (Luke 4:9)
The three temptations of Messiah represent the three ways in which all men are tested: we are tested concerning material survival (turn the stone into bread); we are tested concerning sin and the lusts of the flesh (the kingdoms of the world); we are tested concerning obedience (the pinnacle of the Temple).
The third test, that of the pinnacle, is a difficult experience for some of us. The devil brings us to Jerusalem for this test, to the arena of church activity. We may be placed in God’s prison of weakness and futility after we have had the vision of the needs of the world and God’s plan to meet those needs, and after we possess an understanding of what the Lord will accomplish in the Church.
For many saints, the prison of seeming uselessness may be the most difficult test of their faithfulness to God. Before we can move ahead to God’s fullness we must have our pinnacle experience. We must be brought to the place of helplessness.
Prayer: Father, I trust You to bring me through the pinnacle, Amen.
2 Peter 1:1-11THE PRESENT TRUTH
For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (2 Peter 1:12)
After we received the baptism with the Holy Spirit in 1948 the Lord saw fit to impress us that the next Divine move after Pentecost would have to do with the Church receiving a greater measure of Messiah in us, and that before we receive a greater portion of Messiah the Lord must bring us through the Day of Atonement.
There are seven feasts of the Lord. The Church has been as far as the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost, the fourth feast.
Now it is time for the Church to press forward to the fullness of God, to the spiritual experiences portrayed by the feast of Tabernacles—the last great convocation of Israel. This is the present truth.
Prayer: Father, I desire to move past Pentecost through the Day of Atonement and on towards Tabernacles. Lord Jesus, bring me through to fullness in God, Amen.
Psalm 95:1-11PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK
So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” (Psalms 95:11)
The rest of God is not Heaven. The land of promise is not Heaven. The land of promise is the earth and the nations of the earth. The rest of God is the place of abiding in the bosom of the Father until all our enemies have been made our footstool by means of the sovereign working of Messiah in us.
The land of promise of the Hebrews was described specifically in several passages of the Old Testament writings. The land of promise of the Christians also has been set forth specifically in the Scriptures. In many instances we Christians have little or no idea what our promised land is. Therefore, we cannot address ourselves as we should to the struggle.
We must look to the Holy Spirit to interpret the Old Testament type of the land of promise for us so we can set ourselves toward the true goal of the Christian life and not become weighed down with the aimlessness, carelessness, and indifference to spiritual growth that so readily can overtake the person who has no clear mark toward which he or she is pressing.
Prayer: Father, I desire Your rest, Amen.
I Peter 2:9A PROPHET TO THE NATIONS
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
There are two things to keep in mind when discussing the ministry of the prophet. First, every saint is a prophet to the world; second, the ministry of the prophet has little to do with revealing the future. The gift of the word of knowledge reveals the future on occasion. The Spirit of prophecy, which is present whenever fervent disciples assemble, may or may not speak of the future.
The role of the prophet has to do with a person who stands in the Presence of God and pronounces the holy will of the Father.
The Christian is to rebuke the world concerning righteousness. The prophet rebukes the Christian concerning righteousness. The older prophet rebukes the younger prophet concerning righteousness. The Lord Jesus rebukes everyone concerning righteousness.
Prayer: Father, help to understand more clearly the ministry of the prophet. Lord Jesus, I receive Your rebukes and choose to awaken to righteousness, Amen.
Isaiah 62:1-7THE PURPOSE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
God does nothing without a purpose.
If He has determined that His elect will be upon the earth throughout the great tribulation, then He has a glorious result in mind.
The Church will be purged of its spots and blemishes and will be brought to the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah.
There indeed shall be great tribulation, fiery trials in the last days that will bring forth a glorious church on the earth.
The branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious for those of Israel who have escaped the seductions, lies, and terrors of Antichrist.
The perfect Head will be placed on a perfect body.
Prayer: Father, may the fiery trials ahead bring forth a glorious church on the earth, Amen.
Ezekiel 37:9-14THE PURPOSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE PRIESTHOOD
“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father; (Revelation 2:26,27)
The resurrection of the royal priesthood is the final victory.
It is the overcoming of the last enemy—physical death.
When the members of the royal priesthood have been raised from the dead they shall be able to stand once more, now in Spirit-filled glory, on the earth.
They shall possess the power, the rod of iron of the Spirit, to enforce God’s will on the nations.
They shall teach the saved people of God’s ways and bring His Presence to them.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to overcome all those things which keep me from total union with You. Lord Jesus, make me a part of Your royal priesthood, Amen.
Hebrews 11:13-16THE QUEST
“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just [righteous] shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)
The righteous live by faith.
One important aspect of living by faith is that of the quest. The righteous individual is he whose entire life upon the earth is a quest, a quest for something not yet a reality upon the earth. The righteous person always is a stranger and an exile in the present world.
God revealed Himself to Abraham, and afterwards Abraham spent the remainder of his life seeking God. He endured as seeing Him who is invisible. Abraham was on a quest, looking for something that cannot be found in the world. He was a visionary. He was not at home here.
So it is true of every individual who would please God by faith. He must adopt the attitude that the world is not his home. He must spend his days looking for God.
Prayer: Father, I choose today to live by faith, to not make my life here on earth my home. I determine instead to spend my days enduring all that I must, as seeing Him who is invisible, Amen.
Romans 8:10-14RAPTURE OR RESURRECTION?
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (I Corinthians 15:19)
The return of the Lord Jesus the Messiah to the earth and the raising of the bodies of the saints have been the hope of the godly from the days of the Apostles of the Lamb, and ought to be the hope of the believers of our time.
Instead, an unscriptural emphasis on the ascension (“rapture”) of the saints has been inserted in place of the historic hope. The emphasis on the ascension of the saints rather than their resurrection has destroyed the spiritual vitality of the Christian churches.
The resurrection to eternal life is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Gospel—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. We attain the resurrection to life by overcoming the world, the satanic lusts that dwell in our flesh, and our self-will.
If we live in the lusts of the flesh and soul we will die spiritually. If we, through the Holy Spirit of God, achieve victory over the world, sin, and self-will, we will attain eternal life.
Prayer: Father, my hope is the resurrection through life in the Spirit, Amen.
Psalm 40:1-17THE REBELLION
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
There is a rebellion among God’s creatures. It appears that many spiritual personages of high rank have rebelled against God, against His rulership, His will. How large a number of these spiritual beings have rebelled against God is unknown to us. It appears likely that many angelic beings are included in the rebellion.
We say are included because the rebellion never has been put down. In fact, it still is spreading. Wicked spirits still are influencing mankind from their thrones in the air. Also, every time a human being is born a new rebel comes into being.
That the rebellion never has been put down is evidenced by the conditions that exist on the earth in the days in which we are living. God’s solution to the continuing rebellion is not to transfer mankind from the earth to Heaven but to create in people the Person and Life of the obedient Messiah.
Prayer: Father, create in me the Person and Life of the obedient Messiah, Amen.
Revelation 21:10-17REBUILDING THE WALL
Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (Revelation 21:12)
The last chapters of the Book of Revelation speak of a holy city with a wall. The wall serves to keep away from the Presence of God what is unclean, and also to maintain the separation between the elect and the world—between the Church and the saved nations of the earth. In most of modern Christianity this wall has fallen down, its gates “burned with fire.”
Today, through the Holy Spirit, God is rebuilding this wall in the heart and will of those whose whole life is given over to Messiah Jesus.
As soon as it has been completed the wall will allow the members of the New Jerusalem to serve as guardians of the holiness of the city and as gates of access to the Throne of God.
Prayer: Father, rebuild the wall in my life and create in me a heart of obedience. Lord Jesus, today I choose to obey, Amen.
II Thessalonians 1:2-5RECONCILIATION BY FIRE
“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:10,11)
There is a baptism with the Holy Spirit.
There is also a baptism with fire. The saint is to be baptized both with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
The baptism with fire is, as the context suggests, the cutting down of every tree that does not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness and the casting of the barren tree into the fires of Divine judgment.
It is the fanning of God’s threshing floor in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, and the burning of the chaff with fire that cannot be extinguished. It is the purifying fire of judgment that reconciles the saint to God.
Prayer: Father, separate me from all the chaff in my life and bring forth the good fruit of righteousness, Amen.
Isaiah 11:9THE REDEMPTION OF THE CREATION
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:20,21)
Because of the sin of Adam and Eve the material creation was placed by the Lord under the bondage of corruption. But the Lord has bound the creation in corruption and futility in the hope that one day He may find the physical creation worthy to be released into the glorious liberty of eternal life.
The Scripture teaches that all of the material realm (including its inhabitants) that God deems worthy of salvation, together with the elect of the spiritual realm, will be made one Kingdom in the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Let each one of us who is spiritually alive lay down his life, deferring his own pleasures, until the redeeming Life in Messiah Jesus flows through us and restores the Life of Messiah to the entire creation of God.
Prayer: Father, I long for the day when the physical creation is released into the glorious liberty of eternal life which is in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)
Precisely what is our rest, our mark, our land of promise, our heaven?
Our heaven, our paradise, our land of promise, is: a loving, joyous, and peaceful relationship with God, and loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships with people.
This is the goal. This is the mark. This is heaven.
The greatest joy and the greatest pain which anyone can experience are in the realm of relationships. Our being, all we do, and everything in the universe, is secondary in value and importance to relationships.
The importance of relationships is reflected in the two laws on which all the other laws of God are based: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30,31).
Prayer: Father, increase my understanding of the value and importance of relationships, Amen.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
The goal of every emotionally healthy human being is love, joy,and peace. Love, joy, and peace can come only through relationships. Therefore, our Christian discipleship on the earth is occupied with the developing in us of a loving, joyous, and peaceful relationship with God, and loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships with people.
Our entrance into the rest of God, into the land of promise, depends on our successful transition from a self-centered soul in an animal body into a spirit in untroubled union with God in a spiritual body. Love, joy, and peace are possible only when our relationships with God and people have been touched by the Lord. Relationships are made right as through Messiah we are changed from a living soul into a life-giving spirit.
The relationships that are not filled with Messiah Jesus are temporary. The relationships that will survive for eternity are those established by and in Messiah as we are fitted into our place in the Body of Messiah.
Prayer: Father, rule in my life today, Amen.
II Corinthians 7:1THE RELEASE OF THE MATERIAL CREATION
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
The Lord God of Heaven created the material realm, including the bodies of human beings.
The material creation was “very good” when it was made and it still is very good. The weakness of Eden did not lie with the material creation. The problem had to do with the fact there was not found in man a spirit capable of governing the paradise which the Lord God had placed upon the earth.
One of the main purposes of God is Messiah is to develop ruling spirits who will be able to bring order and eternal life into the material creation.
The Kingdom of God is the governing of the material creation by righteous and holy spirits who are in perfect obedience to the Father in Heaven.
Prayer: Father, I believe Your creation is very good, only our sin has polluted it. Lord Jesus, develop in me today a righteous and holy spirit, Amen.
1 Samuel 14:1-16THE REMNANT
And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. (Isaiah 10:20,21)
When God performs a deep work in His people He often does it through a remnant, such as the three hundred of Gideon’s army. The Scriptures reveal many instances in which God used just one or two people to advance His cause.
In the last days another remnant, a group of warriors representing the heart of the Bride, will be used mightily by the Lord in the work of judgment.
These will walk in white with Jesus, being worthy of union with Him.
The remnant will serve as the source of spiritual deliverance in the earth, even in the darkest hour of the tribulation.
Prayer: Father, create in me a faithful heart and let me take my place in Your last days remnant, Amen.
Jude 1:4REMOVING THE TARES FROM THE WHEAT
“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, (Matthew 13:41)
The wheat and the tares!
It is important for us Christians to remember that God does not divide the world into Christians and non-Christians but into the wheat and the tares, the righteous and the wicked. There are wheat and tares within the churches as well as in the world.
From its beginning the Christian Church has been a mixture of wheat and tares. The wheat and the tares, the righteous and the lawless, have grown side by side in the Kingdom of God. Now it is time for the tares to be removed from the wheat, and for the righteous to “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
In the day in which we are living the Lord Jesus has begun the work of removing from His Church, His Kingdom, that which is not of His righteous Nature.
Prayer: Father, remove the tares from my personality, and cause righteousness to shine forth for Your glory, Amen.
Philippians 3:15-21THE REQUIREMENTS AND PURPOSES OF THE TWO RESURRECTIONS
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice (John 5:28)
There are two principal resurrections of the dead.
The first resurrection will take place at the beginning of the thousand-year period, at the time when Messiah Jesus returns to earth with His saints and holy angels.
The second resurrection will occur at the end of the thousand-year period, after the earth and sky to which we are accustomed have passed away.
The purposes and requirements of the two resurrections are an important part of the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The first resurrection has to do only with the royal priesthood of God. No judgment will take place at the first resurrection. The first resurrection itself is the sentence handed down from a prior judgment. However, the second resurrection will be followed by judgment at the hands of Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to be raised in the first resurrection, Amen.
Psalm 132:1-18THE REST OF GOD
Arise, O LORD, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength. (Psalms 132:8)
God always is pressing forward with His people. The Ark of the Covenant represents the Glory and Presence of God. The Ark was unique among the furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation in that the staves (carrying poles) were not removed from the Ark when Israel made camp in the wilderness. The “Ark” always is forgetting what is behind and is moving toward the fullness of God’s eternal purposes in Messiah Jesus.
It is time for the saints to die to self. It is time for the saints to cease from their dead works and to rest their hope in Messiah Jesus. God knows exactly what He is doing, what He will accomplish. Our task is to be diligent to enter God’s rest, not our own rest.
The purpose of our redemption is not that we may be victorious and at peace, it is that God and Messiah may be victorious and at peace. Let us abandon at once our self-seeking and seek rather the pleasure of God. Then God will find rest in us and we shall find rest in God.
Prayer: Father, into Your rest I come! Amen.
I Corinthians 15:12-15RESURRECTION
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)
Since the times of the Protestant Reformers the original apostolic doctrines have been in the process of being restored to the Body of the Messiah.
We now have arrived at the concepts of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Eternal judgment follows the resurrection in that we must die and then be raised before we are judged.
The resurrection to eternal life is the central hope of the Christian Church. Perhaps the most notable of the truths being restored to us is that the resurrection to the fullness of Messiah’s Glory, the resurrection in which evangelical believers expect to participate, must be attained.
Prayer: Father, restore to me the truth and the glory of Messiah’s resurrection, which is my hope for eternal life, Amen.
II Corinthians 4:6-18THE RESURRECTION AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (II Corinthians 4:16)
The goal of the Judaic-Christian redemption is eternal life. Eternal life has two aspects: eternal life in our inward man (spirit and soul) and immortality in our outward man (body).
There are at least three concepts associated with the resurrection from the dead: the elements of the redeemed personality; the role of the conversion of the inward man in attaining the resurrection to life; and receiving the results of our choices.
The bodily resurrection to eternal life, which is the Christian hope, can take place only if the inward man has been transformed previously. Only those believers who have pressed forward to the mark, the mark being the transition from the Adamic nature to the new nature of the Substance of Messiah, are eligible for resurrection to eternal life and glory when Messiah Jesus appears in the clouds of the heaven.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to pursue eternal life in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
James 1:2-4REVELATION 3:10
“Because you have kept [guarded] My command to persevere, I also will keep [guard] you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament Scriptures teach us by statement and example that God will allow us to be exposed to trials, and also, if we meet His conditions, that He will protect us so we are not harmed spiritually, so we are never separated from His love. Our responsibility is to carefully guard and obey the word of Messiah’s patience.
The idea of patience is that of steadfast endurance while we are under pressure, continuing to abide in Messiah and to do His will until release and joy are brought to us. The Kingdom of God and patience go together.
We Christians are to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit with patience. We possess our souls as we wait patiently for the Lord. Messiah carefully watches over each person who carefully watches over the word of His patience and promises to guard him during the hour of temptation.
Prayer: Father, help me to endure all that is necessary for You to allow patience to bring forth her perfect work in my life, Amen.
2 Peter 3:10-13REVELATION: CHAPTERS TWENTY-ONE AND TWENTY-TWO
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1)
The heavens and the earth with which we are familiar will endure until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age known commonly as the Millennium. Then the Lord Jesus the Messiah will recall from existence the physical universe and bring into view a new sky and a new earth.
It is likely that the garden of Eden enjoyed a oneness, a union of the spiritual and physical domains that was dissolved when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. God then put a wall of separation, a “heaven” between the physical and spiritual realms.
The new heaven and earth reign of Messiah Jesus will enjoy a complete restoration of the union of the two worlds. The Kingdom of God is the eternal union of the spiritual and material realms. Paradise once more will be clothed with that which is material.
Prayer: Father, I believe in the coming of a new heaven and earth. Lord Jesus, help me today to live worthy of this treasure, Amen.
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. (Isaiah 32:1)
Next to the Lord Jesus the Messiah and our relationship to Him, righteousness may be the most important topic of the Scriptures.
Without righteousness there is no Kingdom of God. The Lord will not work apart from upright, godly behavior. He has called His elect in righteousness and to righteousness.
He has assigned righteousness to His elect with the intention of making them actually righteous in personality and behavior. Righteousness dwells in decision-making. The righteous person is the one who makes decisions that are according to God’s will. The unrighteous person is the one who makes decisions that are not according to God’s will.
God requires that each person in the Kingdom of God behave righteously. This means that he acts justly, he loves mercy, and he walks humbly with God. Here is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
Prayer: Father, my desire today is to walk fully in righteousness. Lord Jesus, be in every decision I make today, Amen.
John 4:6-26RIVERS OF LIFE
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
The new Jerusalem is the glorified Church, the Body of the Messiah. The Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be located forever in the new Jerusalem, that is, in the Bride of the Lamb.
All the saved nations of the earth will draw life, light, blessing, righteousness, joy, healing, love, peace, energy to accomplish their roles, from the personalities of the saints. The saints are portrayed as trees of life planted by the River of the Spirit of God.
The River of eternal life always flows from the Throne of God, from nowhere else. The Throne of God is being created in our heart in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
As soon as the Throne has been established in us the living water will issue from our personality. Then we shall give eternal life to those whom God sends to us.
Prayer: Father, make me a river of life and may living water flow out from my personality, Amen.
Revelation 5:1-10THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6)
There is a concept that often has been rejected by both Jews and Christians. The concept is that of the royal priesthood. The Lord informed the Israelites in the wilderness that they were a special called-out nation, a people belonging to God in a manner not true of the remainder of mankind.
In many instances the Jews and Christians have virtually ignored the fact of their calling, preferring to be regarded as no different than other people. Their unwillingness to accept their election is rebellion against the Lord.
Until the separation of the royal priesthood is understood and accepted it is impossible for a member of God’s Israel, whether Jewish or Gentile, to gain a clear picture of the program of God in the earth and thus to grow spiritually and minister effectively.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand and accept the calling of the royal priesthood, Amen.
Colossians 1:26-28THE RULER
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. (Revelation 12:5)
Chapter Twelve of the Book of Revelation describes the birth of the Ruler, the forming of Messiah Jesus in the members of the Body of Messiah.
This is the ruling Son, God’s Conqueror, who is being formed and brought to birth in order to crush Satan and his works with the Divine rod of iron.
It is not Messiah-likeness that is to be formed within them, as a figure of speech referring to an imitation of Messiah’s Personality and behavior. Rather, it is Messiah, His Substance, His Virtue, His Spirit, His Life. It is the Divine Nature, the Word of God, the Seed of God, that is formed within the saint.
The birth of the Ruler in the members of the Body of Messiah is for the purpose of governing and blessing the creation of God.
Prayer: Father, bring forth the Ruler in me and let Him crush Satan and his works under my feet, Amen.
Matthew 5:13-20SAVED BY FAITH ALONE?
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
When we tell people today that righteous behavior is an essential aspect of the Christian redemption, that apart from good works there is no salvation, we are accused of preaching “works.” Obviously, something is amiss in evangelical thinking; for it is clear that the emphasis of the New Testament writings is on the practice of righteous behavior. In fact, the purpose of our redemption is that we might perform good works (Ephesians 2:10).
God has created us in Messiah Jesus in order that we may behave righteously. The goal of both the Law of Moses and the grace of Messiah Jesus is people who behave in a righteous, holy, and obedient manner. What is wrong with our thinking and preaching? The churches of today are not beacon lights of godly behavior! One would think from what is being taught that while godly behavior is desirable, no one really expects it of the believers. What has happened to the salvation preached by the Lord Jesus and the Apostles of the Lamb?
Prayer: Father, help me to show my faith in You by living righteously, Amen.
Daniel 12:1-7SCATTERING THE POWER OF THE SAINTS
“And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. (Daniel 11:35)
The rule of Antichrist will produce tremendous desolation and destruction in the earth, as the rule of man apart from God always does.
The true saints will be required, through Messiah, to gain personal victory over the abundance of sensuous pleasure available in the closing days of the present age.
Then they will be hounded from the centers of civilization, being forced to live with their children in wilderness areas of the earth. There the disciples will dwell, with the elect Jews, under the Lord’s protection until He appears in the clouds of the heaven and calls them up to their reward.
It is written that the power of the holy people will be broken in the last days. Let us watch and pray that we may survive all that comes to pass until we stand in triumph before the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Prayer: Father, create in me faithfulness that I may stand in the hour of trouble, Amen.
I Peter 2:13-2SCRIPTURE OR MYTH?
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; (2 Peter 3:17)
There are many myths being taught today in evangelical churches. When we turn to the Scriptures the myths disappear like dew when the sun rises. For example:
- God sees Messiah and not us.
- The commandments of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels do not apply to Christians.
- The warnings of the Apostle Paul do not apply to Christians.
- The believer at the Judgment Seat of Messiah will not receive the evil he has done.
It may be noted that the four errors have the same result: they suggest to the Christian that godly living is not an essential, critical aspect of salvation. The truth is, godly living is the only sure sign of salvation and in fact a godly character and life are the Divine redemption.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from these errors of understanding, Amen.
John 5:29THE SECOND RESURRECTION
And anyone not found written in the book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
There are two resurrections from the dead. The first will take place at the beginning of the thousand-year period. The second will occur at the end of the thousand-year period.
It is taught commonly that every person who is saved will participate in the first resurrection, and all other people—those who are reunited with their bodies at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age—will be assigned to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. It is our opinion that this doctrine is in error.
There are two reasons why we believe this commonly-taught doctrine is incorrect. First of all, the Book of Revelation does not support it. Second, it gives rise to some serious problems of consistency, especially with regard to the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation.
Prayer: Father, teach me the truth concerning the resurrection from the dead, Amen.
Matthew 4:1-11SECURITY; PLEASURE; ACHIEVEMENT
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8)
Each of God’s creatures on the earth, especially the saints, must come to accept the supremacy of Messiah Jesus in all matters. It is not enough just to be saved from God’s wrath. That is important indeed. But the plan of God is that Messiah Jesus become the center and circumference of the universe.
The issue of the centrality of Messiah Jesus, which in reality is the question of what god we are worshiping, is divided into the three major aspects of living. The Spirit of God deals continually with each of us concerning these three major aspects. They are survival and security, pleasure, and achievement.
Every son of God is tested along each of these three lines. These were the three tests of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. These are the three areas in which Messiah overcame the world.
Prayer: Father, I pray that Jesus would be the center of all my attention and desires, Amen.
Exodus 19:3-8THE SEED AND THE SAVED NATIONS
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:18)
In order for us to grasp the Divine plan of redemption we must understand the design.
God is creating a Kingdom that consists of His Seed, His elect, and then nations of saved people who are to be governed by the Lord’s elect. All the desires and purposes of the Lord God, including bringing the nations to Himself that they may be blessed, will be fulfilled through the holy Seed.
The Seed of Abraham is Messiah Jesus and those who are in union with Him. Each member of the Seed is predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus and then to deliver, rule, and bless the nations of the earth.
The Seed is God’s eternal Servant. The Seed is called out from among the peoples of the earth in order to reveal the Glory of God to the nations. If the nations obey the Divine Glory they behold, repenting and being baptized, they shall be saved. Those who are disobedient will be judged by the Lord.
Prayer: Father, may Your Seed accomplish all that You desire, and may I find my place in Messiah Jesus to deliver, rule, and bless the nations, Amen.
Psalm 51:1-19SET FREE FROM SLAVERY TO SIN
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)
Each one of us was born with two problems as far as God is concerned.
The first problem is that we were born spiritually dead, cut off from God because of the guilt of Adam’s sin.
The second problem is that we have inherited in our flesh a disposition toward sin and rebellion against God.
It appears that most Christians understand quite well the extraordinary lengths to which God went on Calvary in order to remove the guilt we have inherited (as well as the guilt we have acquired because of our own sinning).
What has not been as clearly understood perhaps is the provision God has made for the second problem, that is, the bondage of slavery to sin—the compelling power in our flesh that urges us to keep on repeating the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Prayer: Father, help me to experience the provision You have made for me to be set completely free from sin, Amen.
Revelation 3:19SEVEN AREAS OF RECONCILIATION
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21)
Before we can attain rest in Messiah in God our whole personality must be reconciled completely and perfectly to God. There are at least seven areas of his being and behavior in which the saint must be reconciled to God.
Each of these dimensions must be reconciled before it is possible for God in Messiah to settle down to rest in the believer in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
The seven churches of Asia described in Revelation, Chapters Two and Three represent seven areas of personality and behavior that must be brought into conformity to God’s Personality and behavior before the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles can take place in us in its entirety.
The rewards set forth in Revelation, Two and Three are elements of the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles in the saint. The final reward is to be seated with Messiah in His throne as He has been seated with His Father in God’s throne.
Prayer: Father, reconcile within me all that would prevent me from attaining rest in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Hebrews 6:11-15THE SEVEN FEASTS OF ISRAEL
‘These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. (Leviticus 23:4)
Under Moses the Jews were given seven holy convocations to observe annually. Pentecost was the fourth observance. There were three feasts after Pentecost, showing us that there will be a further work of redemption after the Pentecostal experience before the Lord returns in the clouds of glory. Messiah does not want us to stop at Pentecost.
The Seven Feasts of Israel explains the plan of redemption so that we can move forward with the Holy Spirit to the rest of God, to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, to the fullness of the salvation that is in Messiah Jesus.
The marriage to Messiah, the possession of God Himself, is the greatest attainment of the Christian discipleship. All the other aspects of salvation are means toward this supreme end. He who is married to the Lord Jesus the Messiah has inherited all things. He who has rejected Messiah Jesus has lost all things.
Prayer: Father, take me past Pentecost onto marriage to Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Exodus 35:29-35THE SEVEN FURNISHINGS OF THE TABERNACLE
“And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the LORD has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the LORD has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1)
The Tabernacle of the Congregation may be the greatest of the biblical types of God’s plan of redemption in Messiah Jesus.
The last half of the Book of Exodus describes the construction of the Tabernacle, and references to the Tabernacle and its furnishings are found at various places in the Scriptures.
The seven elements represent, among other things, the development of Messiah in the believer. They teach us that Pentecost, for all of its glory and power, is not the fullness of the development of Messiah in the believer. There is more for us to press into, as Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:14.
The seven main furnishings portray the development of the Christian from the time he approaches Messiah initially until he arrives at the full salvation of God.
Prayer: Father, I desire to press more fully into the depths of Messiah, Amen.
Joel 2:23-32SEVEN STEPS TO THE REST OF GOD
Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning [of the Day of the Lord]; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter [harvest] and former [seed] rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:3)
The Christian salvation is a process, a definite program. The program of salvation begins when we receive by faith the atonement made on Calvary by the Lord Jesus the Messiah. The program of redemption is brought to a conclusion when we enter the promised land of the rest of God.
The Lord Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He has begun a mighty work in us. He, as Joshua of old, is bringing us into the rest of God, into the finished work, the timeless vision, the wisdom and power behind all human history, that was accomplished perfectly in God’s mind before He created the heaven and the earth.
To be in the rest of God (Hebrews 4:1) is to be free from every vestige of Satan’s influence and to be one with God through Jesus. It is time today to take the Kingdom, that is, to enter the rest prepared for God and us from the foundation of the world.
Prayer: Father, today in Your strength and joy I take the Kingdom, Amen.
Revelation 8:1-6THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. (Revelation 8:2)
The blowing of the trumpets in Chapter Eight, announces the coming of the King, Messiah Jesus, to judge His creatures.
Judgment begins with God’s saints, because we are Israel (if we are part of Messiah Jesus), and Israel is the Lord’s firstborn. Divine judgment begins with the household of God (I Peter 4:17).
The Divine judgment of the seven trumpets will perform three works in the Christian Church:
- it will purify the saints, making them ready for the Presence of Messiah Jesus;
- it will separate the true saints from the lukewarm believers;
- and it will prepare the saints to participate in the Kingdomwide witness that will be given to the peoples of the earth.
Prayer: Father, let the seven trumpets purify me, separate me from lukewarmness, and prepare me for Your witness to the earth, Amen.
Matthew 13:41-43THE “SINGLES” GROUP
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.” (Isaiah 4:1)
Paul’s gospel of grace is summed up in Romans 7:4: we are dead to the works of the Law of Moses so we may be married to Messiah, with the end in view of bringing forth the fruit of righteous behavior to God.
We are dead so we may be married, not so God may hold us guiltless no matter what we do.
The spiritual “singles” are living in a state of lawlessness. They are not under the Law of Moses, neither are they living according to the will of the living Messiah—they are not married to Him.
They are Christians in name only, supposing that their acknowledgment of correct doctrine ensures their righteousness in God’s sight. They believe in a grace that saves apart from works. This is a misunderstanding of the Christian salvation.
Prayer: Father, I have no desire whatsoever to be “single” and live in lawlessness. Draw me into union with Messiah Jesus, I pray, Amen.
Revelation 11:7-8SODOM; EGYPT; JERUSALEM
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:8)
As soon as God is satisfied that the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached for a witness to all nations He will permit Antichrist to make war against the saints.
Some Christians will be defeated morally and their witness ruined. The godly remnant will be driven from the centers of civilization.
Although such a plan is difficult for us to understand, God will allow Antichrist to overcome the worldwide witness in order to bring forth a Church without spot or wrinkle.
Deception rather than power will be the tool used to seek to lure the saints from the path of eternal life. Only the strongest will be able to overcome the deceiver, and they themselves will be purified by the battle.
Prayer: Father, strengthen me in obedience to Messiah Jesus that I might stand in the hour of deception. Lord Jesus, deliver me from deceit, Amen.
Revelation 11:9-13SODOM; EGYPT; JERUSALEM
“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
The greatest danger for the saints in the last days is the hour of temptation, not the great tribulation. Sodom, Egypt, and Jerusalem, the spirit of the world, the “street of the great city,” portray the three temptations with which the sons of God are faced:
- Sodom—the lust of the flesh;
- Egypt—the lust of the eyes;
- Jerusalem—the pride of life.
Jesus met and overcame each of the three while He was being tested in the wilderness.
The spirit of Antichrist, of lawlessness, always is engaged in tempting each of the saints in these three manners. Many have been defeated in our day. It is the hour of temptation we are to fear. It is the abounding of lawlessness, not tribulation, that will cause the love of the majority to grow cold.
Prayer: Father, create in me a heart of faithfulness to death, Amen.
Philippians 2:12-15SO GREAT SALVATION
how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, (Hebrews 2:3)
God spoke into being our salvation, our marvelous inheritance, from the foundation of the world. God has already perfected our inheritance and now is resting. We must work out what God has declared concerning us. We must “labor” to enter that rest, that finished work.
We “labor” to enter our foreordained inheritance by seeking the Lord, by studying the Scriptures, by fellowshiping with the saints, by obeying God, by giving, by serving, and by doing all the other good works of the Christian life. When we do not do our part the Divine program is delayed or destroyed.
The world, Satan, the lusts of our flesh, our self-will, and our self-love are all seeking to prevent us from attaining our predetermined inheritance. It remains possible for each one of us to let our inheritance slip away from us, incurring the displeasure of God.
Prayer: Father, today let me please You by laboring to enter Your rest, Amen.
Matthew 25:13-30SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (II Peter 1:10)
Today’s scholars and theoreticians postulate an abstract faith, an attitude toward God that gains righteousness by focusing on theological truth. They believe and teach that if a person maintains a conviction that what God has stated is true, righteousness will flow from the Divine Throne independently of the actual state and conduct of the person.
To employ trusting in Jesus as the only aspect of the victorious Christian life, not following the Spirit’s guidance in using the additional means God has provided for overcoming the world, our fleshly lusts, and our self-centeredness, will lead to confusion, passivity, despair, and finally, spiritual destruction—a complete loss of inheritance.
Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament Scriptures advocates a trust in God apart from the daily, active, diligent, intense, single-minded seeking of God’s will in every area of personality and behavior.
Prayer: Father, in Your strength, help me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, Amen.
Exodus 3:1-17THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27)
A clear understanding of the sovereignty of God in all of the affairs of His creation, particularly in His plan of redemption, is the rock upon which the Spirit-anointed remnant will stand during the dark hours of Antichrist. It may be true that the era of Antichrist, the dreadful hour of temptation, is already upon us.
The reason Christian believers have, in some instances, discarded the major Bible doctrine of Divine election, is that the spirit of Antichrist, of Laodicea, of the “rights of people,” is abiding in us. When the spirit of Laodicea has been removed from us we will be able to see clearly what the Scripture reveals concerning predestination and election.
Prayer: Father, You are indeed sovereign in the affairs of men. Remove from me all traces of the spirit of Laodicea, the “rights of people,” Amen.
Romans 2:3-11SOWING AND REAPING
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
When the writer in his preaching and writing emphasizes godly behavior, people sometimes respond by stating that a more balanced presentation of the Good News should be given. This is to say, it is necessary to stress that we are to live righteously but we must balance this stress by pointing out the grace and mercy of God.
While Gospel preaching and teaching must be balanced if it is to produce good fruit, a problem arises when we attempt to “balance” our emphasis on righteous behavior with the reminder that God’s love, mercy, and “grace” are part of the Gospel message.
In our day we are teaching God’s people that they can sow indifference and sin and reap eternal life. This would be the same as advising someone that he could plant grass seed and reap roses. To a far, far greater extent than is ordinarily taught, the Lord’s people will reap precisely what they have sown. In the Day of Resurrection they shall be rewarded precisely as their works have been.
Prayer: Father, truly we reap what we sow. Help me today to sow to the Spirit, Amen.
2 Timothy 3:1-5SPIRITUAL FORCES OF THE LAST DAYS
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (2 Timothy 3:1)
Several spiritual forces are operating in the world and will continue to be significant until the Lord returns. There are at least three major forces of the last days that are of God: the return of the Jews to the land of Israel, the latter-rain revival, and the perfecting of the godly remnant. Some of the other forces are sophisticated expressions of Satan. They are so subtle, so satanic, that only the most dedicated Christians will be able to perceive them as wicked.
The world is filled with unclean spirits and forces that are attempting to conquer God’s Lamb, the Lord Jesus the Messiah. None of them shall succeed in their objective.
Neither Satan nor any other spiritual personage or force has enough power to overcome one of the Lord’s elect. Satan’s authority over God’s people was destroyed on the cross of Calvary. Therefore, Hell uses deception to seduce the minds and emotions of the saints. There shall be much deception in the last days, and it already is present.
Prayer: Father, in these dangerous days I look to You for deliverance from deception, and to grant me a love for the truth, Amen.
Romans1:1-7A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF ROMANS
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:13)
In the Book of Romans are found definitive statements concerning the transition from the Law of Moses to the grace of God in Messiah Jesus.
Complete trust in the atonement made by the Lord Jesus is emphasized, and also the righteous personality and behavior that genuine trust and faith always produce.
Paul’s teaching concerning the transition from Moses to Messiah is not understood by numerous evangelicals. The present distortion of Paul’s teaching has destroyed the testimony and moral strength of the churches of our day.
The believer who continues to sin will die spiritually. The wages earned by the sinning Christian is spiritual death!
Prayer: Father, I cry out to You for help in yielding my entire being to righteousness, Amen.
I Corinthians 1:1-8A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF FIRST CORINTHIANS
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (I Corinthians 3:15)
If salvation were a ticket to Heaven, being saved as by fire would not be so bad after all. It would mean merely that, while we did not receive the crown of royal authority, we still would go to Paradise. To be saved as by fire is to have most of our personality, as well as our inheritance, burned away so that we enter the Kingdom of God as a naked spirit. It is an awesome loss, an incredible disaster—perhaps an eternal shame.
If the present doctrine of lawless grace were a true representation of the new covenant there would be no need to deliver an incestuous believer to Satan so that his spirit would be saved in the Day of the Lord. Why be so concerned about incest? Doesn’t God see the immoral believer as holy because of his identification with Messiah Jesus?
As in all his other writings, the Apostle Paul stresses the need for righteous, holy behavior if the believer is to possess the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, help me to live a righteous, holy life, Amen.
II Corinthians 1:1-7A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF SECOND CORINTHIANS
Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, (II Corinthians 1:9)
In the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans we are commanded to count ourselves as crucified with the Lord Jesus and risen with Him. Here, in the Book of Second Corinthians, we see the crucifixion and resurrection worked out in daily life.
Each believer who suffers with Messiah reigns with Messiah. The power by which Messiah rules is that of eternal, indestructible, resurrection life, the life that proceeds only from our crucifixion with Him.
The power of resurrection life ensured that Paul was not bound, was not crushed, was not in despair, was not at a loss, was not forsaken, was not destroyed. Paul was carrying around in his mortal body the death of the Lord Jesus. The eternal life by which Paul lived brought eternal life to those to whom he ministered.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand that the tests I am going through are for a glorious purpose, Amen.
Galatians 1:1-12A STUDY GUIDE FORTHE BOOK OF GALATIANS
But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? (Galatians 4:9)
The new covenant is not the addition of faith in Messiah to the Law of Moses. The new covenant is Messiah formed in us. Religious observances cannot add to the effectiveness of the cross. Works of the Law of Moses, such as circumcision, can only detract from the wisdom and power of the cross of Messiah. God is God.
The goal of the faithful disciple is the rest of God, that is, the condition in which the Father and the Son, through the Holy Spirit, are filling the personality. The will of the believer and the will of the Father are now one in desire, purpose, and joy. This is the highest form of the law of God.
There is no way in which the believer can improve on the Divine redemption in Messiah by adding some religious observances, such as circumcision and the keeping of holy days.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from any religious attempts to add to the work of the cross. Let Messiah in me be my only hope of glory, Amen.
Ephesians 2:13-14A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, (Ephesians 2:14)
The concept that the elect Jews and Gentiles compose the one family of God, the one holy nation, is a central theme of the Book of Ephesians.
The traditional idea, that God deals in one manner with the Gentile Christians and in another with the Jewish Christians, and that the races are identifiable in Messiah, has created havoc in the interpretation of the Scriptures—particularly the writings of the Hebrew Prophets.
There is no racial identity in the Kingdom of God. The Jew ceases being a Jew, in the Kingdom. The Gentile ceases being a Gentile, in the Kingdom of God. There is only the one Body of Messiah in the Kingdom of God. All else is of the flesh, and flesh and blood do not enter the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that the wall separating Jew from Gentile has been taken down through the redemptive power of Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Philippians 1:1-11A STUDY GUIDE FORTHE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS
being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11)
The fruit of righteousness is produced in every true Christian. The new, born-again inner man, being filled with the Virtue of Messiah, loves God and loves his fellow creatures. He behaves righteously because he is of Messiah and dwells in Messiah.
We Christians are to reveal in our conduct the new nature that has been born in us. This is the burden of Paul’s prayer for the saints and elders in Philippi.
After we have been a Christian for a period of time, the new creation that is being formed in us begins to govern the way we act, speak, and think. People notice the change in us. When men see our good works they will glorify the Father who is in Heaven.
Christians are to have one supreme goal—the full knowledge of Messiah Jesus. We are to live by His Life and share His sufferings. In so doing we attain the first resurrection from the dead.
Prayer: Father, I desire to be filled with the fruits of righteousness, Amen.
Hebrews 1:1-5A STUDY GUIDE FORTHE BOOK OF HEBREWS
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (Hebrews 2:1)
The expression “the righteous shall live by faith” is defined by the entire text of the Book of Hebrews. The righteous shall live by faith means the righteous shall live by diligently seeking the Lord in every area of thinking, speaking, and doing, throughout their lifetime on the earth—and forever after.
The new covenant is shown to be superior to the old covenant in that it removes the source of sin from the worshiper, in the meanwhile forgiving him and bringing him to the knowledge of the Lord.
The Book of Hebrews is an exhortation to experienced Christians to not ignore the program of redemption but to press forward into the rest of God, into the fullness of the Divine salvation and inheritance. The rest of God is the state of abiding in the center of God’s will, in Messiah Jesus, as one by one the several aspects of the believer’s inheritance are acquired by him.
Prayer: Father, I take heed today to press forward into Your rest, Amen.
Zechariah 4:2-14THE SYMBOLISM OF THE TWO WITNESSES
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)
It is believed commonly that the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11 are two men from ancient times who will descend from Heaven, or who will be raised from the dead, in order to bear witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
We find it more reasonable to believe that the anointed ones are a symbolic way of representing the power of the Holy Spirit to bear witness.
If we are correct in our interpretation, the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation is describing a double portion of God’s witnessing power that will enable the saints of the last days to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom for a testimony to every nation on the earth.
We saints are one witness, and the Lord Jesus who works with us and confirms the Word with signs following is the second Witness.
Prayer: Father, take away from me all confusion concerning the two witnesses, and lead me to the double portion, Amen.
Exodus 40:17-38THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION
For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. (Exodus 40:38)
We may use the term house of God today to refer to a building in which Christians assemble for worship and ministry. However, this is only a figure of speech, because God lives in the worshipers themselves, never in the buildings in which they assemble.
But in our study of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, we must grasp the fact that the Tabernacle literally was the house of God.
The Creator, God Almighty, actually dwelled between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies. God spoke to Moses there, and Moses spoke directly to God. Anyone who dared to enter the Holy Place, other than the priests in the strict observance of their appointed duties, would have been slain instantly by the glory of the Presence of the Lord.
The Presence of the Lord in their midst set the Israelites apart from every other nation on the earth.
Prayer: Father, may the glory of Your Presence fill my heart and mind today, Amen.
1 Chronicles 15:1-28THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; (Acts 15:16)
In the time of King David, God’s house was divided into two parts. The Tabernacle of the Congregation was located at the high place in the city of Gibeon while the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the city of Zion, a suburb of Jerusalem.
The division of the house of God is a prophetic portrayal of what is taking place in our time as God draws out from the Christian churches a warlike remnant—people who will bring deliverance to the remainder of Israel and to the nations of the earth.
It is the responsibility of the believers who are portrayed by David’s Tabernacle to bring the Law (in Messiah Jesus), the Covenant, the judgment, of almighty God against all sin and rebellion. Therefore, they themselves must first be cleansed from all that is of darkness, from all that is not of God.
Prayer: Father, cleanse me from all darkness so that I might be a part of your warrior remnant, Amen.
Amos 9:1-15THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. (1Chronicles 15:1)
A separation is taking place today among the Lord’s elect. The majority will continue in the accustomed ways of the Lord. Salvation, water baptism, the born-again experience, the baptism with the Spirit, praise, Divine healing, the gifts of the Spirit, will continue to be given and practiced.
But the Lord Jesus is calling out from the elect a firstfruits. While the members of the Lord’s firstfruits embrace and practice all the graces we have mentioned, another element is being introduced into their lives. That element is war! The time of judgment and war against Satan has arrived, the Day of Vengeance of our God (Isaiah 61:2).
Whereas the majority will continue seeking to be blessed, the firstfruits are seeking the destruction of the devil. Whereas the majority of believers are praying for revival in the churches, the firstfruits are praying for the Lord Jesus the Messiah to come and bring the nations of the earth into subjection to Himself.
Prayer: Father, teach my hands to war and bring me to Zion, Amen.
John 7:1-18TABERNACLES, AND THE COMING OF THE LORD
On the last day, that great day of the feast [Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)
In the personal spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles the Father and the Son come to us and make Their abode with us. Then the Holy Spirit, who always proceeds from the throne of God, flows out from us as rivers of living water.
The coming of the Lord to us in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles gives us a personal knowledge of the Father and of the Son that we have not possessed previously, and is associated with the historical coming of the Lord.
The fullness of the personal spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles will take place in increments, beginning now, will grow in glory throughout the latter-rain revival that even now is commencing to mount in intensity, will develop further throughout the tribulation, and will attain completion and perfection just prior to the appearing of Messiah and will herald and flow into His appearing.
Prayer: Father, make Your abode in me and prepare me for the return of Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Revelation 12:3-9THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON
His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:4)
It is written that some of the saints of God will be overcome spiritually in the last days.
The overthrowing of the Christian witness, which may be the casting to earth of the stars of God mentioned in the Scriptures, will make possible the maturing of evil in the earth.
The Day of Judgment will not come until both good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, the wheat and the tares, have been defined clearly.
Only the most diligent in keeping the Words of Messiah, the most vigilant in prayer, the most faithful to Jesus will be able to stand in spiritual victory in the end-time.
Prayer: Father, I desire to stand in the days ahead. Deliver me from deception and create a faithful diligence in me to seek Your will alone, Amen.
Exodus 25:8-9THE TEMPLE OF GOD
“He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.
“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.
“And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.”’” (1Chronicles 17:12-14)
God’s dealings with Christian believers always are based on a specific purpose. God has a definite plan in Messiah that He is carrying out.
If we are to enter the life of victory in Messiah it is important that we recognize we are part of God’s plan that is moving toward fulfillment according to His wisdom and unlimited power.
Central to God’s plan is His desire to dwell in a living temple.
The living temple of God is Messiah—Head and Body. Messiah is the House of God. The members of the Body of Messiah are many rooms in the one House of God.
Prayer: Father, I choose to believe that Your plan is best. Help me to obey Your holy will in obtaining victory in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
John 6:43-58THE TEMPLE OF GOD
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:12)
The construction of an eternal dwelling place for Himself is one of the principal purposes of God in the Christian Church.
It is difficult for the Lord to come into a satisfying relationship with His creatures.
The Body of Messiah, which is the Temple of God, removes that difficulty by becoming the hand and heart of God extended to people everywhere.
It is God’s will for us that we, by diligent and consistent faith in Messiah Jesus, enter our individual role in the Divine plan and then rest with Messiah as the Father brings all the enemies of Messiah under His feet.
Prayer: Father, I long to find my place in the Temple of God which is Messiah Jesus. I choose to press into His glorious rest today, Amen.
Song of Solomon 8:4-7THE TENDER AGONY
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:10)
The love of God drew Messiah into total union with Himself. As soon as the obedience of Messiah had been perfected by suffering, the union was complete.
The same compelling love that perfected the union of Messiah and God is now in Messiah and extended toward those whom God has called to Himself.
The love of the Father for His elect is in Messiah, and in those who are living in union with Messiah, as a tender agony.
The Kingdom of God is God in Messiah in Israel bringing God’s Glory and righteousness to the nations of the earth. The tender agony of love will continue until God, who is Love, is dwelling in every saved person, and they in Him.
Prayer: Father, embrace me in Your love and change my heart from stone to flesh. Let the tender agony work a willing obedience in me to Messiah Jesus, Amen.
II Corinthians 5:10THE TERROR OF THE LORD
Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. (II Corinthians 5:11)
A great silliness has settled on evangelical believers. This silliness, this false sense of security, which is not characteristic of true Christianity, has arisen because there is little terror of the Lord in the churches.
There is little terror of the Lord in the churches because of a misunderstanding of the nature of the Christian redemption. It is time for Christian people to repent of their carelessness, sin, and self-seeking and awaken to the righteous behavior required by the Lord.
If we repent and seek the Lord, He will come to us and help us get back on the path that leads to eternal life. But if we do not, and continue in our carefree, presumptuous, arrogant apathy, we are facing the terror of the Lord. Will we repent or will we keep on courting the terror of the Lord?
Prayer: Father, I choose to consider the terror of the Lord. Deliver me from foolishness, Amen.
Hebrews 6:11THE TERROR OF THE LORD
but if it bears thorns and briars [neglectful Christians], it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)
Do Christian people suppose that the above verse is written to the unsaved, or to the Jews?
The Book of Hebrews is a book of warning to God’s elect that it is not sufficient merely to begin to walk with Messiah. The same confidence, the same daily trust in God, must persevere to the last moment on earth. If it does not, the believer is in danger of the burning wrath of God. The Book of Hebrews was written to seasoned, experienced Christians, not to new converts.
Numerous evangelical believers have not borne the fruit of righteousness in their lives. They have not been taught to repent, to confess their sins, to walk in openness before God and man. They suppose that God will say to them, Well done, good and faithful servant. This is what they expect to hear when they die. The truth is, they are facing terror—the terror of the Lord.
Prayer: Father, truly the fear of the Lord leads to wisdom. Today I choose to bow before You, Amen.
John 17:21THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE
The Gentiles [nations] shall come to your [God’s elect] light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:3)
The Church, the Body of the Messiah, is the instrument through which God will bring salvation to the nations of the earth. When Messiah Jesus returns to the earth and receives the Church into complete, perfect union with Himself:
- The world will believe that God has sent Messiah Jesus.
- The saints will receive the glory that God the Father has given to Messiah Jesus.
- The world will know that God loves the saints as He loves His firstborn Son, Jesus the Messiah.
- The saints will be with Jesus forever and will behold His glory.
Where will this Divine union and glory be brought into being? It will be brought into being in the sight of the nations of the world so they may believe on Messiah Jesus and be saved.
Prayer: Father, may the nations see Your glory, Amen.
Matthew 16:19THAT WHICH IS PERFECT
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (1Corinthians 13:10)
Salvation comes to us in three great platforms. The third platform of salvation is the possession of the fullness of God. It is the Kingdom of God—that for which the entire creation is groaning.
God’s desire is to build for Himself a Temple, a royal city in which He can find rest and through which He can govern His universe. That Temple, that Kingdom, is God in Messiah in the saints. It is the city that has foundations for which Abraham looked.
It is God’s intention to give His royal glory, authority, and power to Messiah Jesus and through Messiah to the brothers of Messiah. The Divine intention to give the Divine Presence and prerogatives through Messiah to the saints is in the process of being fulfilled. This is “that which is perfect.”
Prayer: Father, I long for that which is perfect, for the completion of Your holy will and plan. Lord Jesus, I trust that You will perfect the thing which concerns me, Amen.
Matthew 24:1-5THINGS TO COME
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4,5)
There are two kinds of Christians in our day.
There are those who have been brought into the churches by the devices of the ministry, and then there are those who keep God’s commandments and have the testimony of Jesus.
The first are being taught to use God’s blessings to save their lives, while the second die to their Adamic nature by taking up their cross.
Only those who are truly identified with Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection will survive the dangerous and subtle deceptions in the days ahead, including the present-day emphasis on the rights of people and personal freedom.
Prayer: Father, my desire is to keep Your commandments and have the testimony of Jesus. Lord Jesus, I take my place in Your death, burial and resurrection, Amen.
Psalm 102:13-28THREE ASPECTS OF GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN
So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory. (Psalms 102:15)
There are three dimensions of God’s redemptive work among mankind. The first dimension of redemption is salvation—preservation to eternal life in the world of righteousness that is coming. The second is the creating and perfecting of the Church. The third is the bringing of the nations of the earth under Kingdom law.
The three aspects of God’s eternal plan began with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus the Messiah and depend on His authority, power, and continuing Presence for their accomplishment.
The three aspects of redemption are working today. They will continue throughout the thousand-year period. The fruit of what is sown now and during the thousand-year period will be enjoyed throughout the new heaven and earth reign of Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, great are Your works in all the earth. Continue Your great work, O, Lord, and cause me to find my place in it, Amen.
Hosea 6:1-3THREE DEATHS AND THREE RESURRECTIONS
After two days [2000 years] He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. (Hosea 6:2)
There are three major phases of the Divinely provided redemption that is in Messiah Jesus.
The three phases are not like three rungs on a ladder we are to climb or three grades in school we are to attain.
Rather, the three phases are as three facets of one diamond. They are three dimensions of the one redemption that we possess, entire and whole, when we receive the Lord Jesus the Messiah as our personal Lord and Savior.
The redemption that is in Messiah Jesus is a powerful work, a broad work, a perfect work. It includes the growth of the believer to spiritual maturity, which is the image of Messiah; the growth of the Church, the Body of Messiah, to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”; and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Prayer: Father, how great is Your work of redemption! Reveal to me the fullness of salvation in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
John 12:20-26THREE DEATHS AND THREE RESURRECTIONS
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (John 12:24)
The believer is “born again” into the Kingdom of God and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Church, the Body of Messiah. The saint then fights his way, by the wisdom and power that the Holy Spirit gives, into the “throne” phase of redemption. He must “overcome” if he is to rule with Messiah and be God’s son.
In order to enter each of the three areas of redemption we must die the specific death God has ordained. If we are willing to go through the “deaths” God has decreed we will receive the accompanying resurrections.
Messiah asks you: “Will you be saved?”
If your answer is yes, He will bring down your old nature into crucifixion with Him and will raise you in the likeness of His resurrection. You will be protected from wrath by His blood, received of the Father, made alive by the Spirit of God, and born again by His Divine Substance placed in you.
Prayer: Father, I am willing to enter the necessary death and resurrection that accompanies eternal life, Amen.
Romans 8:16-18THREE DEATHS AND THREE RESURRECTIONS
This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. (2Timothy 2:11)
Messiah asks you: “Will you follow the Holy Spirit in sanctification?” If your answer is yes, the Holy Spirit will furnish you each day with the wisdom and power to put to death the deeds of your body. Your fleshly lusts will be brought into subjection to the will of the Spirit. In their place will flow deeds, words, and thoughts that glorify God and testify of the redeeming authority and power that are in Messiah. You will be holy and behave in a holy manner.
Messiah asks you: “Will you lose your life for My sake and the Gospel’s?” If your answer is yes, He will teach you obedience in the school of suffering. He may demand every one of your rights and privileges as a person and as a Christian. Will you allow Him to treat you in this way without grumbling and complaining? Is there any point at which you will refuse Messiah Jesus?
If you will obey the Lord through every testing He will raise you to His throne. The fullness of fruitfulness and dominion will be yours.
Prayer: Father, with all that I am, I say, “YES, Lord!”
I John 2:12-17THE THREE SEPARATIONS OFTHE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)
There are two issues presented in the New Testament writings. One issue is that of being saved, of not being cast away from the Presence of God. The other issue is that of attaining membership in the royal priesthood, of participating in the first resurrection from the dead.
In order to be saved we must believe in the Lord Jesus, repent of our ungodly behavior, and be baptized in water. In order to attain membership in the royal priesthood we must overcome our love for the world, for sin, for all that is of Satan. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the Lord Jesus every day. We must be crucified with Messiah so that He may live in us.
There are three separations that must be experienced by every member of the royal priesthood: separation from the world, separation from sin, and separation from self-rule.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to “press toward the mark”, Amen.
I John 5:1-8THE THREE TEMPTATIONS OF MESSIAH
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (Luke 4:1)
Messiah Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into a desolate area, there to be tested by the devil. Three temptations were set before Him. Messiah overcame the adversary in each of the three areas of temptation. Now it is our turn.
Each son of God is tested concerning the issue of physical comfort and survival on the earth. Also, each son of God is tested concerning enjoying the sinful pleasures of the kingdoms of this world, as opposed to denying the appetites of the flesh and spending time in prayer and in the study of the Word of God. In addition, each son of God is tested concerning steadfast obedience to the Father. Will I obey God when he asks me to sacrifice my life in order to serve Him, or should I hold on to the right to make my own decisions concerning what I do on the earth?
Each believer is tested in each of the three areas of temptation. Through the Word of God, the body and blood of Messiah, and the help of the Holy Spirit, each of us can obtain victory in the wilderness of this life.
Prayer: Father, help me to overcome in every area of temptation, Amen.
Psalm 139:13-24A TIME TO BE BORN AND A TIME TO DIE
“I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given Me to do. (John 17:4)
To one of God’s conquering saints, the above sentence is among the most inspiring statements of all Scripture; for this is the attitude with which Christian people should face physical death.
There are two important concepts here—concepts that bear directly on each of God’s elect:
- every saint without exception has been assigned a specific task to accomplish during his or her pilgrimage on the earth;
- it is possible to complete this task, and to pass over to the other shore with the glorious satisfaction that we have accomplished our appointed task.
We cannot imagine a more marvelous hope than that of hearing the Lord Jesus tell us we have diligently and successfully completed our assigned task and now can pass over joyfully into the Presence of Messiah, there to await with all saints the Day of Resurrection.
Prayer: Father, help me to finish the work You have given me to do, Amen.
Matthew 6:22-33TREASURES IN HEAVEN
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19,20)
There are two commandments here: (1) do not lay up treasures on the earth; and (2) do lay up treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:21 gives the reason: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Since the issues of our life and the words of our mouth come out of our heart, we can understand that wherever our heart is, that is where we ourselves are.
There are at least nine treasures we can lay up in Heaven. Each of these nine treasures has a counterpart on the earth. It is impossible to pursue both the heavenly treasure and its earthly counterpart. We must choose whether to lay up our treasures in Heaven or whether to lay up their counterparts on earth.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to pursue Your heavenly treasure, Amen.
Revelation 1:7THE TRUE HOPE:“RAPTURE” OR RESURRECTION?
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? (Romans 8:24)
The Apostle Paul states that we are saved by hope. If we are saved by hope, then it is important that we have the true hope.
It is the author’s opinion that the Christians of today have an unscriptural hope, a misguided hope, and that this false hope is preventing the spiritual growth necessary for survival in the coming age of moral horrors. The false hope includes an incorrect vision of the events and purpose of the Day of the Lord.
The false hope of which we are speaking is that at any moment all believers in the Lord Jesus will be removed from the earth and carried up to Heaven. The supposed removal will take place before the government of Antichrist controls the world and before the great tribulation of the last days. The false hope is the hope of the any-moment pretribulation ascension (“rapture”) of the Christian people.
Prayer: Father, cause me to live in the true hope and power of the resurrection and return of Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Romans 9:8-33THE TRUE ISRAEL
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,
nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” (Romans 9:6,7)
True Israel is the Kingdom of God, the Church of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Messiah, the new Jerusalem. Israel has been chosen by God from the foundation of the world to be His royal priesthood. By “true Israel” we mean every member of the Body of Messiah.
The Body of the Messiah began as a purely Jewish institution. It will be concluded as a Jewish institution. Although in Messiah there is neither Jew nor Greek, it remains true that the Kingdom of God is of the physical land and people of Israel.
We Gentiles who have been grafted on the root of Abraham through the Lord Jesus the Messiah are an integral part of the kingdom of priests, the holy nation of Israel. We have become part of the Seed of Abraham. We shall be an inseparable part of Messiah Jesus when He is crowned King on the Throne of David in Jerusalem.
Prayer: Father, make me a part of the true Israel of God, Amen.
Hebrews 9:11-15THE TRUE NATURE OF THE NEW COVENANT
In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)
It is the writer’s conviction that the nature of the new covenant has been misunderstood by a large part of the Christian ministry of our day. The new covenant, which is the Christian salvation, is being presented as the Divine means of forgiving the sins of Gentiles (and of a few Jews) so they may be permitted to enter heaven, there to live forever in bliss.
If we would understand the true nature of the new covenant, the scriptural definition of what it means to be “saved” must be made clear. A salvation based solely on forgiveness and transfer to the spirit paradise falls far short of the greater purpose of redemption provided by Messiah’s atoning death and resurrection.
Man in the complete image of God and in untroubled union with God, brought into being by daily transformation, is the true goal of salvation—the goal that accomplishes Kingdom purposes.
Prayer: Father, I desire to obtain all that the new covenant provides for me in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Ephesians 4:1-6TRUE UNITY
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalms 133:1)
The true unity in Messiah of the members of His Body is brought about in the Spirit of God. When two people attain the same level of union in Messiah in God, each being with Jesus where the Lord is, then they also are one with each other. When we are dwelling in Jesus with Him in the Father, then we are one with each other. This is the true unity, the true marriage of the Lamb, the true rest of God.
Any human attempt to produce oneness among people will create Babylon or Antichrist. God deliberately prevented the original race from being one by introducing a variety of languages.
Oneness among people is not a goal, it is the natural result of our abiding in Messiah. Our true goal is to be one in Messiah Jesus in God. As we press toward this goal we become one with every other person who is abiding in Messiah in God.
Prayer: Father, I desire to dwell in Jesus as He dwells in You. May the unity I have with other saints be based on our union with Messiah, Amen.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: (Revelation 3:14)
The Lord Jesus the Messiah is the Beginning. Of what is the Lord Jesus the Beginning? He is the Beginning of the creation of God.
The Lord Jesus the Messiah on two occasions has been the beginning of the creation of God. The first beginning was the prelude to the initial spiritual and physical creations. The second beginning was the prelude to the eternal spiritual and physical creations.
God has made Messiah Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The beginning, the end, and all the programs and processes from the beginning to the end have been, are and yet shall be prepared by the Father through Messiah Jesus.
The work is perfect, performed in Divine love, and shall be brought to completion.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that Messiah Jesus is the Beginning of all that is worthy in Your plan of redemption, Amen.
Ephesians 2:19TWO ISRAELS? TWO KINGDOMS? TWO SECOND COMINGS?
“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
The teaching that there are two different called-out peoples, one spiritual and one earthly, is not found in the writings of the Apostle Paul. Paul taught clearly that there is only one holy olive tree, Israel, and we Gentiles have been grafted on it. In the last days the Jews by race will be joined once again to the Olive Tree, the true Vine, the one true Stock of Abraham, which is Messiah Jesus. There will be one Body, one fold, one Shepherd, one Israel, one holy nation of kings and priests.
Any teaching contrary to this is fanciful and contrary to the Scriptures.
At one time we Gentiles were not part of Israel, but now we have been made a part of the true Israel founded on the Apostles and Prophets.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that there is only one Israel of God, neither Greek nor Jew, but Messiah Jesus all and in all, Amen.
Ezekiel 37:15-19TWO ISRAELS? TWO KINGDOMS? TWO SECOND COMINGS?
“and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. (Ezekiel 37:22)
Dispensationalism teaches that there are two kingdoms, a spiritual kingdom of Christians (primarily Gentile) and a natural kingdom made up of those who are Jewish by race. This is incorrect. There are not two kingdoms, a spiritual Gentile kingdom and a natural Jewish kingdom. There is only one Kingdom of God, of Heaven. It is the Kingdom announced by the Hebrew Prophets.
The Prophets when declaring the Messianic Kingdom did not speak to physical Israel but to us, Jews and Gentiles, who have received Messiah Jesus.
The Lord Jesus the Messiah is the only true Seed of Abraham. Physical Israel never did and never will inherit the Messianic promises, the promises pertaining to the one Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, again I rejoice that there is only one Kingdom of God, and the King therein is Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Joel 3:15-21TWO ISRAELS? TWO KINGDOMS? TWO SECOND COMINGS?
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
Of all the errors of current Christian theology, one of the most weakening and misleading, in terms of the spiritual strength and diligence of the believers, is the teaching that there will be a special, secret coming of Messiah Jesus prior to His actual, prophesied coming to establish His Kingdom on the earth.
In the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord Jesus spoke concerning His return to the earth. Nowhere in the New Testament writings is there a reference to Messiah’s returns, or comings (plural). There is not one reference to two second comings. In Matthew, Jesus stated that His coming (singular) would not be a secret and that it would take place after the great tribulation (Matthew 24:29).
Prayer: Father, deliver me from the vain traditions of men concerning the second coming of Jesus. Instead, lead me into a holy preparation for His triumphant return, Amen.
Hebrews 11:1-6TWO KINDS OF FAITH
For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. (Hebrews 11:2)
One of the modern deceptions is the emphasis on soulish faith. Soulish faith can lead to demonic assistance and to the pride of Satan. True faith comes from God into the spirit of the believer. Soulish faith proceeds from the soul of the believer. Those who practice true Bible faith are led by the Spirit of God. Those who practice soulish faith are led by their mental knowledge of the Scriptures.
True Bible faith can operate only in the context of a consecrated Christian discipleship. Soulish faith, positive thinking, imaging, verbal confession, call it what you will, can be practiced by those who are not living as faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus. In fact, soulish faith can be exercised by non-Christians or even by worshipers of demons.
True Bible faith praises God and then presents its request to God. Then it waits and trusts God to answer. Soulish faith pronounces its desire and then demands an immediate answer.
Prayer: Father, I desire the faith which is pleasing to You and obeys Your holy commandments, Amen.
Luke 22:39-43TWO KINDS OF FAITH
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
True Bible faith always will accept a change or a denial of what is being requested. True Bible faith always says, “Not my will but Yours be done.” Soulish faith regards any hindrance to the answer to its specific request as from Satan.
True Bible faith looks to the Lord and follows His timing, watching for the doors that God opens. True Bible faith waits on the Lord (sometimes for many years) for the answer to come in His time and His way. Soulish faith finds a promise in the Scriptures and demands its fulfillment now. Soulish faith is blind to God and knows nothing of God’s timing.
True Bible faith seeks worthy objectives. Soulish faith often seeks selfish objectives.
True Bible faith recognizes that we must be willing to suffer and remain in “prison” until God is ready to give us the desire of our heart. Soulish faith rejects all suffering and all “prisons” as being of Satan.
Prayer: Father, I choose to wait upon You in patience and love, Amen.
Matthew 21:28-31TWO SONS
‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:30)
The profession of Messiah has taken on a kind of magical characteristic. The issue has become an acknowledgment of the facts of the death and resurrection of Messiah. If we believe there is a God and that He has sent Messiah Jesus to die for our sins, we have pleased God. Our behavior is not essentially important because we are only waiting to go to Heaven.
There is something wrong here. It is an abstract faith, not expressing itself in godly works; and the Scripture informs us that faith apart from godly works (an abstract faith) is dead.
It is true that the Scriptures stress faith. But the “faith” of the Scriptures is the faith of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. It is the faith that seeks Messiah day and night. “The just shall live by faith” has little or nothing to do with belief in doctrine, it is speaking of the life lived in humble dependence on God.
Prayer: Father, I want to hear what You say, and do it with all of my heart, Amen.
Revelation 10:11THE TWO WITNESSES
Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. (Zechariah 10:1)
The most powerful, most authoritative testimony of God ever to be given on the earth will come in the days just before the return of the Lord Jesus the Messiah to the earth.
This latter-rain witness will not be given by an energetic, enthusiastic, talented, wealthy church but by the Holy Spirit.
The Body of Messiah is being prepared for the end-time testimony, the testimony of the two witnesses. The Divine testimony of the two witnesses will announce to the earth that the Lord Jesus the Messiah is coming from Heaven, not only to rule the nation of Israel but also to govern every nation and village on the earth.
It is time to “prophesy again.” The Spirit of God now is on the Church of God, the Body of Messiah. The anointing is being poured out from heaven. Now is the hour of the latter (harvest) rain. Messiah Jesus is coming to His people as the rain, and we must press on so we may know the Lord more fully.
Prayer: Father, may the Body of Messiah indeed “prophesy again”, Amen.
James 2:14-26A VERY GREAT MISUNDERSTANDING
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! (James 2:19)
There is a misunderstanding in current Christian theology that is widely accepted by the believers.
The misunderstanding is that people can walk in sin and self-will, not seeking to abide in the Person and way of Messiah, and still remain under the pardon of Calvary by virtue of their acknowledgment of the theological facts concerning Messiah Jesus: “we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin; we believe that He made an atonement for the sins of the world; we believe that He rose from the dead on the third day.”
No doubt the demons are well aware of these facts; yet, the demons do not have God’s forgiveness or one particle of eternal life.
The fallen lords of the heavens shall one day bow the knee to the Lord Jesus, but this will not save them in their wickedness.
Prayer: Father, bring me beyond merely assenting to the facts of the atonement. I desire an obedient life of faith and good works that is pleasing in Your sight, Amen.
Romans 6:19-23A VERY GREAT MISUNDERSTANDING
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1Timothy 4:16)
The Scriptures are eternal: if we live according to the lusts of our flesh, and according to the dictates of our self-love, self-will, and self-centeredness, not forsaking our life and following the Lord Jesus, we will die spiritually. We will slay our resurrection to eternal life.
If any man, Christian or not, practices sin and rebellion against God’s will, he shall come under the judgment of God. If any believer in Messiah Jesus puts to death, through the Holy Spirit, the lusts of his flesh, he shall enter eternal life.
The purpose of the eternal pardon is that we may be able to enter the transformation into righteous behavior that is the new covenant. To walk in sin is to choose death. To walk in the Presence and will of Messiah Jesus is to choose eternal life.
Let us choose to abide in Messiah Jesus, laying hold on eternal life, so that we may save ourselves and those who hear us.
Prayer: Father, my cry is to be holy, Lord God almighty! Amen.
Amos 5:14-20THE VISION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD
Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty. (Joel 1:15)
The vision of the Day of the Lord is one of the most important concepts of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Day of the Lord will commence when the Lord Jesus the Messiah descends from heaven with His saints and holy angels for the purpose of judging sin. He will establish His Kingdom in the earth at that time.
There exists a false, dangerous vision of the Day of the Lord. This vision proceeds from doctrines that overemphasize grace and minimize God’s call to righteousness. The believers have been lulled into an indolent, ignorant state in which Satan easily can achieve victory.
The Day of the Lord will be characterized by the sudden appearing of a strong, righteous people clothed in immortal bodies who will go through the earth, burning up the works of the flesh with eternal fire.
Prayer: Father, grant me a proper and true understanding of the Day of the Lord, and help me to stand in that day, Amen.
Psalm 18:1-20THE WARRIOR’S PRAYER
I will love You, O LORD, my strength. (Psalms 18:1)
Messiah’s warrior’s love Him with their whole heart. Messiah proves their love for Him by many strong testings until there is no doubt concerning their love. Then He is willing to divide the spoil with them.
God is our Rock, our personal Rock.
The world is characterized by constant change and commotion. People run to and fro. The wicked are as the troubled sea, being continually in motion, in a state of change. One moment they appear to be quiet and at peace. The next moment they are in a state of uproar, angry, tumultuous, threatening. There is no true and lasting peace for the wicked or for those who are in contact with the wicked.
God’s warriors are not men and women of constant change. Like their Father and Lord, they change not. The impregnable Lord is their Rock. They are bold in the hour of danger. They do not hold up the Rock, the Rock holds them up. They are as Mount Zion: they cannot be removed. They do the will of God. They abide forever.
Prayer: Father, You are my Strength, and I love You. Make me one of Your warriors, O mighty God! Amen.
Obadiah 1:17-21WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
The burden against Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” (Isaiah 21:11)
A morning is coming and also a night. God is creating deliverers—strong saints who will be able to stand and assist many throughout the night that is coming, a night during which we shall not be able to go forth into the Gospel work as we do now.
Do you want to be one of the Lord’s deliverers during the great hour of opportunity, the hour of spiritual famine?
Then store up the corn of the Word of God now. We are to take full advantage of the blessings from Heaven that are falling today so we shall be able to stand in perfect victory as Christian people until the morning of the Lord’s return.
Also, we are to rejoice because the coming spiritual and material pressures will provide many opportunities for service (as was true of Joseph) for those who have allowed God to prepare them to stand in the evil day.
Prayer: Father, I choose to store up the corn of the Word of God today so that I can stand and serve You in the days ahead, Amen.
Ezekiel 47:1-5WATERS TO SWIM IN
Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. (Ezekiel 47:5)
There are four platforms of salvation each member of the royal priesthood must experience. Ezekiel, Chapter 47 portrays these platforms as increasing levels of water.
Each time we are judged by the Lord we increase in eternal life, in the state of oneness with Jesus in God. Every time we reach a new level in God we are returned to a place of service. The more we are conformed to the image of Jesus and brought into union with Him, the greater blessing we become to mankind.
The first judgment is on the world. We are to leave the world. The second judgment is on sin. We are to forsake sin, as the Lord enables us. The third judgment is on our self-will. Our will, which is linked to our personal desires and mental understanding, must be crucified. We must make the transition from the rule of self to the rule of Messiah.
The fourth judgment is a review of the choices we have made, of the diligence with which we have responded to the light given to us.
Prayer: Father, judge me and bring me through the waters, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:48-57WE SHALL BE CHANGED!
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (1Corinthians 15:51)
The resurrection from the dead is one of the great pillars of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Apart from the resurrection of the dead our preaching is in vain and our faith unfounded.
The resurrection from the dead of which the Scripture speaks, the act of redemption that will take place at the return from Heaven of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, is not of the spirit or soul of the saint. The spirit and soul have been redeemed previously. The resurrection from the dead, the raising from the grave at the sounding of the trumpet of the Lord, has to do with the body of the saint.
The Divine redemption includes our spirit, our soul, and our body. Our spirit is redeemed by Messiah Jesus. Our soul is redeemed by Messiah Jesus. Our body will be redeemed by Messiah Jesus at His coming provided we have sown to the Spirit of God, putting to death through the Spirit the deeds of our body. The Divine salvation extends to the body as well as to the spirit and soul.
Prayer: Father, redeem me thoroughly, O Lord! Amen.
Philippians 1:9-11WHAT COMES AFTER PENTECOST?
that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:15)
Pentecost is not the last gift of God before Jesus returns.
There is a definite “more” of Jesus. There are not only two major works of Divine grace. The principal types of Scripture do not portray two stages of redemption, but three.
The three major aspects of the Christian redemption are as follows:
- Passover: salvation through the blood of Jesus
- Pentecost: the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church
- Tabernacles: the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell forever in Their eternal temple.
Prayer: Father, I believe there is “more to Jesus” than I already possess. Bring me onward to the fullness of the Tabernacles experience, Amen.
Romans 1:16-19WHAT IS FAITH?
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
The Scriptures reveal the true faith, and the understanding of the statement, “the just shall live by faith.”
True scriptural faith always comes from God into the spirit of the believer, not from the mental and soulish efforts of the individual.
True faith always is employed to find the will of God and to do it, not to get God to do whatever the Christian desires.
True faith always lives in works. There is no such thing as an abstract faith, a faith not expressed in some kind of works.
To live by faith is not to adopt a doctrinal position but to live in a close relationship with God, always depending on Him for all our needs.
Prayer: Father, grant me the truth faith which pleases You and accomplishes Your will for my life. Lord Jesus, perfect my faith in You, Amen.
Isaiah 12:1-6WHAT IS SALVATION?
I have waited for your salvation, O LORD! (Genesis 49:18)
The program of redemption begins when we are in union with Satan and reveal Satan’s image in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. The program of redemption has been completed when we are in restful union with the Father through Messiah Jesus and are revealing in our thoughts, words, and actions the image of Messiah.
One important goal of salvation is the attainment of the resurrection to eternal life. Attaining the resurrection of the saints, which Paul held out as our goal, includes death to the world, to the lusts of our flesh—to our entire old nature; and coming to know the power of Messiah’s resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. We are seeking total union with God through Messiah Jesus.
Our salvation has to do with our relationship with Messiah. We hope for the resurrection to life so we can resume our activities on the earth in the Presence of the Lord.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice in You O God of my salvation, and in Jesus, my kinsman Redeemer, Amen.
Job 14:1-20WHEN A CHRISTIAN DIES
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. (Genesis 3:4)
There are two aspects to be considered when thinking about the destiny of the Christian after his death: what he will experience when he dies; and what he will experience in the Day of Messiah. What happens to us when we die is important to us, but little is stated in the Scriptures about this aspect of our future life. The Divinely ordained Scriptures, the Old Testament and especially the New Testament, state that every individual will receive the fruit of his doings, in the Day of Messiah. Current Christian teaching does not emphasize nearly enough this most fundamental of Kingdom concepts.
Today’s Christian teaching and preaching is leaving the flock of God with the false impression that those who make a profession of faith in Messiah Jesus will neither be rewarded nor punished according to their works. The whole concept of the Judgment Seat of Messiah has been seriously undermined. This false teaching is largely responsible for the moral weakness of the churches, and consequently for the abominations being practiced in the secular realm.
Prayer: Father, help me to live so as to stand in the Day of Messiah, Amen.
Hebrews 1:6-8WHICH KINGDOM?
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)
The Bible speaks of two kingdoms that will come to the earth, one governed by Antichrist and the False Prophet and the other governed by the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Christian people think they will always be able to detect the false and embrace that which is of God. This is not true. The deception of the last days is able to delude and entice far beyond the ability of the average Christian to detect or resist.
The false day star, Satan, is already rising in the hearts of those who would imitate the Lord Jesus, who would seek His power and attempt to imitate His love, joy, and peace, but who are not willing to die to their self-love so they may come into complete union with Him.
Prayer: Father, grant me discernment to know the nature of Your kingdom, and deliver me from any imitation. Lord Jesus, I desire complete union with You, Amen.
September 16th Rom 14:11-12
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. (Revelation 20:11)
We Christians have termed the judgment that takes place after the thousand-year Kingdom Age the “white-throne” judgment.
However, the white-throne judgment is but one aspect of the Judgment Seat of Messiah. It is not a separate judgment from the Judgment Seat of Messiah of II Corinthians 5:10. The Judgment Seat of Messiah is a white throne. The Father judges no man. All judgment has been committed to the Son.
The common teaching that the Judgment Seat of Messiah is for the saved and the “white-throne judgment” is for the lost is false. When we come to the Day of Judgment, the Day of Messiah, the Judgment Seat of Messiah, all people—Christians and non-Christians alike—shall be judged and rewarded on the basis of their works. Mercy may be shown to some; but grace, in the sense of imputed righteousness, will not enter at this point.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand the implications of the white throne judgment and cause me to live holy before You, Amen.
Joel 2:1-11WHO ARE THE TWO WITNESSES?
Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you—the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (Joel 2:23)
As we understand the Scriptures, the two witnesses represent the saints who, in the last days, will bear testimony concerning the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
These saints are an army of witnesses who will testify in the fullness of the power of the “latter rain.” Their testimony will include many works of destruction of catastrophic proportions.
The evil of the end-time will be so great that God will issue a stern warning to all nations so they may prepare themselves for His coming.
The two witnesses will testify of the coming Kingdom and will illustrate the nature of the Kingdom by insisting on righteous behavior.
Prayer: Father, I desire to take my part in the army of witnesses and testify of Your power and glory, Amen.
II Thessalonians 2:1-5WHO IS “HE WHO NOW RESTRAINS”?
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (II Thessalonians 2:7)
Many of the Christian churches, in accordance with the doctrine of the “pretribulation rapture” of the believers, understand “he who now restrains” to be the Holy Spirit. The “Gentile Bride” is to be lifted up to Heaven, accompanied by the Holy Spirit. The removal of the Holy Spirit from the earth will permit the full revelation of the “man of sin.” This is what is taught currently.
While we agree that the Holy Spirit in the saints is the Power who is restraining the open revelation of the man of sin, we do not believe that the Holy Spirit Himself will be removed from the earth during the great apostasy. We believe rather that it is the witnessing power of the saints that will be overcome, thus paving the way for the full expression of Satan in the earth.
The result of the diminishing of the Presence of the Spirit of God will be the apostasy of the believers.
Prayer: Father, fill me today ever more fully with the Holy Spirit, Amen.
II Thessalonians 2:6-12WHO IS “HE WHO NOW RESTRAINS”?
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. (II Thessalonians 2:6)
The diminution of God’s Presence and power will result in the Christian witness being overcome by the lust of the flesh (Sodom), the lust of the eyes (Egypt), and the pride of life (Jerusalem), as well as by violent persecution.
Because lawlessness will abound in the earth, the love of the majority of the believers, including some of the saints who were used by God during the last great revival, will grow cold.
God will remove the power of the Holy Spirit that is restraining the Antichrist. God will give authority and power to Antichrist. The believers will be overcome by the power of darkness.
Only those saints who have the Presence of God and Messiah Jesus tabernacling in them will be able to stand and serve the Lord during the last days.
Prayer: Father, tabernacle with me and fill me with Your Presence and with Messiah Jesus today as never before, Amen.
Revelation18:4-24A WIFE BUT NOT A QUEEN
“In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ (Revelation 18:7)
The Son of God seeks a wife to rule with Him in the Kingdom of God, but not as a queen. The spirit of the queen seeks to gain an advantage through her association with Messiah Jesus, to act independently of reliance on Messiah.
The Wife of the Lamb, however, will rule from a humble and submissive union with Jesus that provides life and light to the saved nations.
If you desire to be free from every taint of “queendom,” from every trace of marriage to Babylon, covet union with Messiah Jesus. Seek earnestly to be under the control of the Head. Strive to share in His Life so you may live by Him as He lives by the Father. Do not attempt to force Messiah to go your way, to do what you want. Try to find out what He wants. He is not your servant, you are His servant, His bondslave. There is rest in that.
Prayer: Father, I would to be a member of the Wife of the Lamb, Amen.
Hebrews 10:1-14WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
The Christian redemption does not consist principally of the forgiveness of men but rather of their transformation into new creatures in Messiah. Salvation is not directed toward forgiveness alone but toward forgiveness as part of our change into righteous behavior.
The Divine salvation in Messiah Jesus is not primarily our being forgiven by the God of Heaven. Rather, it is our deliverance from the nature and works of spiritual darkness. To forgive us is not to save us. To forgive and deliver us is to save us, in the scriptural sense. The Christian salvation is not the changing of God so He is willing to accept us as we are.
The Christian salvation transforms us from chariots of Satan into chariots of Messiah.
Prayer: Father, I desire not only forgiveness, but transformation. Lord Jesus, make me Your chariot today, Amen.
John 1:6-23THE WITNESS
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18)
God is invisible. He hides Himself and we are commanded to seek Him.
Although He remains mysterious and inaccessible, God has issued a testimony of who He is, what He is, what His will is, what His ways are, what His purpose is, what pleases Him, and what displeases Him. We can see that this testimony, the Divine witness of God, is all-important. Apart from it mankind is ignorant and stands in peril of being destroyed by Divine judgment and wrath.
The Lord Jesus the Messiah is the only true Witness of God. We can behold the invisible God in the Person of Messiah Jesus. We can learn about God from who and what Messiah Jesus is. We can learn about God from what Messiah Jesus says. We can learn about God from what Messiah Jesus does. What Messiah is, says, and does constitutes the witness, the testimony, the expression, the Word of God.
Prayer: Father, though You are invisible and choose to hide Yourself, I will seek you with all my heart, Amen.
Psalm 89:19-37THE WITNESS
His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me;
It shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah (Psalms 89:36,37)
Are Christians of today bearing a true witness of God and of His Messiah? There are three ways in which each person bears witness of God and of the coming Kingdom of God: by what he does, by what he says, and by what he is. Every human being, every descendant of Adam and Eve, is in the image and likeness of God. He or she is bearing witness of Who and What God Is, what His ways are, what His will for man is, what He blesses and what He curses.
We are bearing witness of God to the heavens and to the earth by what we do, by what we say, and by what we are. Whether or not we are part of a religious organization, we are bearing witness of God. We are testifying—giving our version, our opinion, concerning the Day of God that is coming, concerning what God will be like when we behold Him. We are not neutral: we are gathering with Messiah or we are scattering what Messiah is attempting to gather.
Prayer: Father, make me a true witness today, one who gathers with Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Psalm 105:1-22WITNESSES; KINGS; DELIVERERS; SERVANTS
But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. (Psalms 9:7)
Our God is a God of preparation.
God uses three devices in order to prepare deliverers (and sons): rejection, temptation, and imprisonment.
Every true saint (and we emphasize true because of the immorality and self-seeking prevalent in contemporary Christianity) will be tested with rejection, with enticement to sin, and with imprisonment.
If the disciple passes the three tests he will move forward to become a witness, a king, a deliverer, and an eternal servant of God.
He who overcomes in each of these three areas will inherit all things, and God will be his God, and he will be God’s son.
Prayer: Father, I thank You that You are a God of preparation. Prepare me O, Lord for the work ahead and grant me faithfulness to endure rejection, temptation and imprisonment. Lord Jesus, I look to You today for strength to overcome, Amen.
John 17:14-17THE WORD TO THE ELECT
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 14:2)
There is a Divinely constructed wall that stands between the elect and the world. The Scriptural passages that control the destinies of each of the Lord’s chosen can be found throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. These passages are clear: there is a Divinely ordained difference between the elect and the remainder of mankind.
Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, but He explained the meaning of the parables to His chosen. Only three from among the chosen disciples were allowed to behold His transfiguration. We can see three levels of opportunity displayed here: the multitudes, the chosen, and the three from among the chosen.
A level of opportunity in the Kingdom of God is not earned, it is assigned by Divine election. (Although who can say what God will do on the behalf of any individual who seeks Him with a perfect heart?)
Prayer: Father, I desire to be called, chosen and faithful, Amen.
Ezra 1:1-3THE WORK OF RESTORATION
I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:26)
To have, to lose, and to regain is the fundamental design of life. It is the basic story of human beings on the earth. It is the story of redemption. The concept of restoration is one of the most important ideas of the Scriptures. The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi have to do with the work of the restoration of Jerusalem after the years of captivity in Babylon.
The restoration of the Temple of Solomon and the rebuilding of the wall of the city of Jerusalem are illustrations of what is to take place in the Body of Messiah, which is the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb. The Book of Ezra portrays the restoration of the Temple of God. The Book of Nehemiah describes the rebuilding of the wall of defense of the city of Jerusalem. The Book of Esther typifies the purification of the Bride of the Lamb as she is prepared by the King’s servants for her marriage to the greatest of all Kings, the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Prayer: Father, restore Your great work, O God my Savior, Amen.
Nehemiah 1:1-9THE WORK OF RESTORATION
Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (Isaiah 58:12)
The program of the restoration of the Glory of God in the earth has continued to this day. We are living in an hour when the spiritual pace is accelerating. No longer is there time for people to plan their own life in such a manner that some small portion of it is assigned to Messiah. Such lukewarmness will be brought to judgment very soon. Messiah will have our whole life or we will not be able to enter our inheritance in the Lord.
From now on it is necessary to move forward in faith one day at a time, and may God grant us the wisdom to redeem the fleeting hours. Great rewards are offered to those who will lay aside every other consideration and begin to seek Messiah in earnest. God proposes to do a final work of righteousness that will result in everlasting righteousness. Let us rise to the occasion and make every day profitable for Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, restore my paths today, and help me to find my place in Your work of righteousness, Amen.
Acts 26:13-20WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (Philippians 2:12)
Typical evangelical preaching in our day presents the Christian salvation as a ticket to Heaven. A few “key verses,” such as Romans 10:9,10, are lifted from their contexts and used to “get people saved.” Numerous people have “come to Christ” in just this manner, including the present author. The “ticket to Heaven” approach to the Divine redemption has been of great benefit until the present hour.
However, the nearness of the Day of the Lord is bringing with it a renewed understanding of the salvation that is in Messiah Jesus, a much broader perspective and one that embraces all that is presented in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
It is the change from ungodly behavior to godly behavior that itself is salvation. It is the change from the image of Satan and union with Satan to the image of God and union with God that constitutes the Divine redemption. If we present ourselves to the Lord each day so that this change may take place, then we will be spared in the Day of God’s wrath.
Prayer: Father, bring me into Your image and union with Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Acts 1:1-11YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER
And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” (Revelation 10:11)
The “former rain” of God’s Holy Spirit is described in the Book of Acts. In the days just prior to the return of Messiah Jesus the “latter rain” of the Spirit of God will fall. The former rain resulted in the spreading of the Gospel witness, the testimony concerning the soon coming of the Kingdom of God, to the ends of the earth. The latter rain also will result in the testimony of the Kingdom of God going forth to all the peoples of the earth.
It is our point of view that when the Spirit spoke to John “You must prophesy again”, the Spirit was referring to the latter rain that was announced by the prophets of Israel. The latter rain is the “again” prophecy. The end-time, latter-rain witness of the Kingdom of God will be prophetic in nature. The members of God’s elect will become a part of the great Light of the world, the Body of Messiah, the Lampstand of God.
Prayer: Father, pour forth the rain of Your Spirit abroad in my heart in greater fashion than ever before. Lord Jesus, burn brightly in my life today, Amen.
Romans 11:1-15YOU ARE MY PEOPLE
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28,29)
The Gospel of Messiah Jesus belongs to the Jews.
There is no such thing as a “Gentile Church.” Over the two thousand years of the Church Era the Divine salvation has been associated with non-Jews until the term Gentile has come to mean “a Christian as distinguished from a Jew.”
The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven originated with Jews, will end with Jews, and is the possession of Jews. It is the “children’s bread.”
Let every elect Gentile now recognize his debt to the Jewish Apostles and treat Jews according to the truth of God—as the race to whom the Gospel, by Divine right, is given first.
Prayer: Father, I choose to recognize my debt to the Jewish Apostles and the Jewish people, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:45-49YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
The central issue of the Kingdom of God is that of being born again.
Two separate races are involved in the Divine plan of redemption. Two kinds of creatures must be taken into account if we would understand what God is doing. The first race is from Adam. The second race is from Messiah Jesus.
Messiah Jesus is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, of a new race. The new race consists of life-giving spirits who have souls fashioned in the image of the Soul of God their Father.
The first race is temporary and its environment is temporary. The second race is eternal and its environment is eternal.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice in being born again in Messiah Jesus. Make me a new creature in Him, and let me walk in righteousness today, Amen.
Psalm 19:7-17YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NEAR
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)
The advance guard of the Christian Church is moving past the Pentecostal experience. The next aspect of redemption to be brought to the attention of God’s people is the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We are moving toward the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. Whenever Messiah is near there always is an abundance of false Messiahs. This is true today. Some are proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God, but it is a man-directed kingdom. An effort is being made to place the head of man on the Body of Messiah.
The question is, will the redemption, the Kingdom all believers hope for, come into being through the efforts of the Christian people, or will the Kingdom of God come from Heaven with the appearing of the Lord? Should we attempt to employ our faith and God-given gifts to bring in the Kingdom before the Lord appears? Or should we take up our cross and meekly trust in the Lord Jesus until He shows us what to do? Here is the difference between the False Prophet and the true Day Star.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to pick up my cross and trust in Messiah Jesus to lead me in all truth, Amen.
Psalm 45:6-11THE ANOINTED DELIVERER
You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions. (Psalms 45:7)
Why is God creating the Body of the Messiah? What are the Divine purposes that the Body of Messiah will accomplish? What will the Body do when it has attained the fullness of the stature of the Messiah?
Jesus of Nazareth is both Lord and Messiah. He is the very Word of God, and is Messiah, Christ, the Anointed Deliverer who was, and is, and is yet to come.
The members of the Body of the Messiah are just that—members of His body. We capitalize the word Body, not from any false idea that we are anything more than believers in Messiah Jesus, but in recognition of our relationship with Him who indeed is “very God of very God.”
Messiah Jesus is the true Vine. We who believe in Messiah are nothing more—but nothing less—than branches growing out from the one true Vine.
Prayer: Father, I rejoice that Messiah Jesus is the Anointed Deliverer and that You are making us one in Him, Amen.
Deuteronomy 31:24-29THE ARK OF HIS COVENANT
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19)
The Ark of the Covenant was lost when the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem. The Ark will not be seen until the Lord Jesus returns.
What is the significance of the appearing of the Ark when the kingdoms of the world are put under the authority of Messiah?
The appearing of the Ark at the coming of Messiah tells us that it will be the warlike remnant, the holy priesthood, who will rise to meet the Lord in the air.
The Ark also portrays the mature character of those who are eligible to participate in the return of Messiah. It is those whose character reveals the Ark of the Covenant that will be raised in the first resurrection and will rise to meet the Lord Jesus when He appears in the clouds of glory.
Prayer: Father, help me to mature into the character which will reveal the Ark of the Covenant in the Day of Messiah, Amen.
Habakkuk 3:1-19THE ARMY OF THE LORD
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. (Amos 5:18)
The world of our day is becoming increasingly sinful. Judaic and Christian moral values, once held in high esteem, are now scorned as the obscene rules of the Judaic-Christian religion. In some instances “Jehovah” of the Old Testament is viewed as the evil side of a god with Satan being the other side of goodness and light. As a result every form of crime and debauchery is on the rise. The daily announcements of the newspapers are enough to cause the meek of the earth to despair. But there is hope! Messiah is coming! Messiah will put an end to evil and bring righteousness, peace, and joy to the saved peoples of the earth.
The Day of the Lord is at hand. Messiah is coming. Jews and Christians understand this. But what will be the nature of Messiah’s coming? The Lord is coming with His army to destroy sin and establish righteousness on the earth. The appearing of the Lord and His army is good news for the meek of the earth but a fearful prospect for the wicked.
Prayer: Father, come with Your army O Lord, and establish Your Kingdom! Amen.
Psalm 2:8A BASIC CONCEPT
“Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. (Isaiah 60:4)
The saved nations will be brought into eternal life in Paradise on the earth. The Kingdom of God has been prepared for them.
The saved nations are the inheritance of Messiah Jesus and His coheirs.
We Christians often talk of mansions, golden slippers, acres of diamonds, and other material goods that do not satisfy here and will not satisfy during the ages to come. The only inheritance worth having is an inheritance consisting of people.
People are our inheritance—people to love and cherish, to teach, to warn, to bless throughout eternity. We will have an enlarged heart because of the love God will give us for the saved nations. We will begin to know the love of Messiah that passes knowledge.
It is God’s intention to bring the saved nations into Paradise on the earth. These nations are the inheritance, the joy, the responsibility of the saints.
Prayer: Father, I ask You for the nations as an inheritance, Amen.
Isaiah 41:8-13BEHOLD MY SERVANT
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. (Isaiah 41:8)
The fullness of the law of God, the light of God, shone forth in Messiah Jesus. Messiah is the Word, the Covenant, the Law magnified and made honorable. Messiah Jesus is the law of God Personified. Jesus not only gives us the law, He Himself is the Law of God. Messiah is the new Covenant. He is eternal Life. He is the Pleasure of God. He is the Light of God, the perfect revelation of that which is good, right, life-giving, clean, pure, righteous, holy.
The new covenant is the writing of the Law of God in the human heart and mind. Since Messiah Jesus is the Law of God, the new covenant is the forming of Messiah in the heart and in the mind of the members of the Body of Messiah. When Messiah comes to maturity in us we will act, speak, and think according to the Law of God. Thus, we ourselves are the new covenant the Lord has made with mankind.
The Servant of the Lord is the new Covenant.
Prayer: Father, I bless You for the new covenant You have created in Messiah Jesus, and His Body, Amen.
I Peter 1:5-9BELIEF IS NOT SALVATION
He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite could not come before Him. (Job 13:16)
The concept that the Divine salvation consists of our believing and professing accurately the facts pertaining to the Kingdom of God, with the goal of going to live eternally in the spirit Paradise when we die, has prevented the Christian people from bearing witness and affecting society as they should. Satan has managed to put out the light of good works. The supreme goal of God under all covenants, which is to produce people who behave righteously, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, doing His will in the earth, has been successfully thwarted by today’s teaching and preaching.
We are in a time of reformation of Christian thinking. The coming of the Kingdom of God is at hand. God is ready to meet every person who seeks Him with a pure heart and to bless him or her with the wisdom and strength necessary to grow in Messiah’s image and to serve his or her own generation according to the will of God. Let us turn from the false teachings, the evangelical fables of our day, and follow the Lord Jesus to the fullness of salvation and ministry.
Prayer: Father, I turn to You today for the fullness of Your salvation, Amen.
If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. (Job 14:14)
The Christian salvation basically is a change—a complete transformation of what we are. There are at least two ways of thinking about salvation. One way is to view salvation as a preservation of what we are and what we hold dear. The other way is to view salvation as a death and resurrection of what we are and what we hold dear.
The former view is more popular than the latter. No doubt it is the concept that salvation is a preservation of what we are that has given rise to the tradition of going to heaven to enjoy life there. Our hope is that some day we will be free of afflictions and troubles and will go to a land where all is peace and joy. We desire to be saved in the sense of being preserved.
However, the Christian salvation is not a preserving of what we are but a changing of what we are. We are being “changed” into the image of the Lord. It is this total transformation of all that we are, including even our body, that is the new covenant God is making with His people, both Jewish and Gentile.
Prayer: Father, change me, O God! Amen.
Matthew 25:24-30CHOSEN TO RULE
‘Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. (Matthew 25:28)
God works all things according to His foreknowledge. He has prepared for each of us a specific glory, in terms of the personality He has given us. Then, He brings us into the world at the correct moment. Our life has been planned from the beginning.
The writings of the Scriptures make it abundantly clear that we must exercise our will and our faith according to our calling. We must grasp that for which we have been grasped. It is only by doing this that we can validate and establish our destiny. If we do not respond correctly a different destiny will be ours.
God has given us the opportunity and the grace to overcome, to be a member of the royal priesthood. It is up to us to cooperate with the Spirit of God in the development of our calling. The Day of Messiah will reveal openly our secret choices.
Many are called, but few chosen. Even the righteous are saved with difficulty.
Prayer: Father, I choose to respond to Your calling upon my life. Help me to be ever faithful, Amen.
John 3:27-30THE CONQUEROR
“He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
The life of conquest, on which our participation in the first resurrection depends, is not the condition in which we state that Messiah is worthy and we are saved and go to live in Heaven forever on the basis of His worthiness. Nor is the life of conquest the condition in which we continually make an almost superhuman attempt to live an ascetic, self-denying life—an effort few people could or would make. Neither of these conditions will produce the conqueror in whom the reward of the first resurrection is created.
The true life of victory in Messiah Jesus is a third condition in which we recognize from the start that there is only one Conqueror, and that His name is Messiah Jesus. We set out to follow Him each day, through the help of the Holy Spirit. As we do the best we can, following the Spirit’s guidance and enablement, the Conqueror “Messiah” is formed in us. As He is formed in us, our ability to conquer increases. As our ability to conquer increases, more of the Conqueror is formed in us.
Prayer: Father, there is only one Conqueror, make me one with Him, Amen.
Colossians 3:17-25DEATH AND RESURRECTION—THE HEARTOF THE NEW COVENANT
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23,24)
The goal of the Christian discipleship is to obtain a “better resurrection” in the future. In order to accomplish our goal we must not “accept deliverance” in the present hour: this is to say, we must deny ourselves now and press into the sufferings and resurrection of the Lord. We must put all of our treasures in Heaven. We must set our affection on things above where Messiah and we are seated at the right hand of God.
Let us not be lazy and careless. It is time to take the Kingdom. The Kingdom is Messiah Jesus Himself—life lived in His Presence. The rewards go to those who, through the Lord Jesus, overcome all opposition. The prize is marvelous beyond all description. Whoever will choose to do so can gain the fullness of the inheritance.
Prayer: Father, I desire that all I do today be done for Your glory alone. Jesus, I set my affection on You, for You are my inheritance, Amen.
Romans 8:12-13DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. (Psalms 51:1-3)
The path to victory over sin is specific confession, thorough repentance, and trust in the Lord Jesus to remove the sin from us. It helps to assemble regularly with fervent believers if possible. It never is God’s will for one of His saints to walk helplessly in known sin. We can be delivered if that is what we desire with all our heart.
The New Testament warns us that if we sow sin we will reap destruction. The New Testament commands us to be perfect. We are to pray to God to perform that which He has commanded concerning us. The Lord is willing and able to do this, if we will press on after Him in single-minded determination. The double-minded shall receive nothing from the Lord. The promises of life and authority are for the conquerors, not for the lukewarm.
Prayer: Father, I am willing to confess my sins, and to trust You to enable me to overcome every single day, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:24-28THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LAST ENEMY
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, (Hebrews 3:14)
“Partakers of Christ.” Share in Messiah!
In a very scriptural sense we cannot count ourselves as being eligible to partake of Messiah until we endure to the end of our trials. We are protected from the wrath of God the moment we place our trust in the blood of the Lord Jesus. But we have not attained the goal of salvation until we receive the redemption of our mortal body.
We have not attained Messiah until we have pursued Messiah to the point of perfect, full possession of Him. In order to gain Messiah, gain the resurrection, we must, through Messiah, overcome every enemy that comes against us. When we have attained rest from our enemies we then have attained Messiah, attained the redemption of our body from the hand of the enemy. This is why the fourth chapter of the Book of Hebrews speaks of the “rest” of God. The rest of God is rest from God’s enemies and our enemies.
Prayer: Father, help me to attain more of Messiah Jesus today, O God my Creator! And let every enemy be destroyed, Amen.
Jude 1:1-3ON EAGLES’ WINGS
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (Jude 1:5)
Jude teaches that while God brings us out of Egypt on eagles’ wings, we have to persevere in faith and patience while enduring the distresses and deprivations of the wilderness. It is commonly taught in Evangelical churches that once the Lord saves us out of Egypt, so to speak, we never can be destroyed. If such is the case, why did Jude make this statement? Christian teachers have willfully, it seems, ignored the warnings of the New Testament concerning the need to fight the fight of faith.
To be saved is not only to be given life and raised to the right hand of God. To be fully saved is to follow the Lord Jesus in cross-carrying obedience until we are experiencing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. We work out our salvation with fear and trembling because we understand we have not attained the goal God has set for us until we stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Prayer: Father, I choose to take heed to the warning of Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I Peter 1:13-25THE END-TIME JUDGMENTS
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2,3)
The exercise of belief in an attempt to get what we want is not a loving entrance into union with Messiah Jesus. It is of the spirit of Antichrist. There is a world of difference between praying to the Father in Jesus’ name, and commanding the spirit realm “by faith.”
Salvation is not a means of living a happy, successful life on the earth. Salvation is the Divine plan for moving us from the power of Satan to the power of God. There are times when happiness and success are part of God’s plan for us. There are other times when utter failure, pain, frustration, and piercing—almost unbearable—miseries are part of the Divine plan.
The goal is not that we always be happy. The goal is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus and be sternly obedient to the Father and always trust in Him.
Prayer: Father, Your plan for my life is more important than my happiness. In all things I take refuge in You, Amen.
Galatians 6:7-8THE EXERCISE OF FAITH
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (II Corinthians 4:17)
Throughout the Church Era the blessed hope of the Christians has been changed from renewal of life on the earth to eternal residence in Heaven. If the believer views eternal residence in Heaven as the goal of salvation he will find it very difficult to understand the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is designed for life on the earth.
The believers of today need to understand that every word they speak, every thought they think, every action they take, is shaping their resurrection, the renewal of their life on the earth. Our resurrection will come to us as a robe that clothes our flesh and bones when they are raised from the dead. We are creating that robe now by our behavior.
That we are creating our resurrection now is the central concept of the redemption of the body. Whatever we sow now we shall reap in the resurrection. If we sow to the Spirit of God we will reap a robe of eternal life. If we sow to the appetites and lusts of our flesh we will reap corruption.
Prayer: Father, help me today to sow to the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!
Philippians 1:6THE FEASTS OF THE LORD
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:18)
The feast of Firstfruits portrays the resurrection of Messiah Jesus and our entrance into His resurrection life. We are born again, meaning that a new life—the Life of Messiah—has been born in us.
This is the beginning of the harvesting of our personality. Our new spiritual nature is raised to sit with Messiah in the heavenlies. Our new nature, Messiah born in us, is the firstfruits to God of the new creation.
There is part of our personality that has not been harvested as yet, as we can tell by the way in which we act sometimes, the things we say and think, and the battles that we have.
We rejoice in God because we know that what He has begun in us He will finish. The Lord has accepted our new nature as a firstfruits of the finished work of grace. As soon as God has created Messiah in every area of our personality, the harvest of our life will have been completed.
Prayer: Father, finish the work! Amen.
Hebrews 4:11-16FROM ADAM TO MESSIAH
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11)
The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is a type of the Christian salvation. The wilderness wandering was a curriculum designed to teach God’s people the ways of the Lord. The destination, the goal of the Israelites, was the land of milk and honey.
Just what is the destination, the goal of the Christian discipleship? The goal of the Christian discipleship is twofold. One aspect is the change of our personality from Adam to Messiah. The second aspect is our complete, untroubled abiding in Messiah in the Father.
To have the Character of Messiah and to be always abiding in Messiah are our destination, our goal.
There are three major influences that seek to prevent our attaining the goal, that strive to persuade us to not look steadfastly toward Jesus in every thing, every relationship, and every circumstance. The destructive influences are the spirit of the world, the lusts of our flesh and soul, and our ambition to seek our own glory.
Prayer: Father, my goal is to have the Character of Messiah, and to be at rest with Him in You, Amen.
II Corinthians 4:11FROM JUSTIFICATION TO GLORIFICATION
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10)
Deliverance from sin and the forming of Messiah in us are important aspects of our journey from justification to glorification, from imputed righteousness to the image of Messiah. Change into Messiah’s image takes place in our personality as through experience we learn the ways of God and become totally obedient. The golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was hammered into shape from a talent of refined gold. The Lampstand could have been cast from a mold (a skill the Israelites possessed because of their experience in Egypt) in a fraction of the time required to hammer it into shape.
The gold was refined and then hammered into the shape of the Lampstand. So it is that the gold of Messiah is purified through our suffering and then “hammered” into shape by the buffeting we endure as we make our way through the wilderness of the present age. We are members of the Divine Lampstand, the Messiah of God. It is the constant tribulations we endure that make it possible for the resurrection Life of Messiah to be revealed to those to whom the Lord directs us.
Prayer: Father, help me to endure the “hammer” of Your will, Amen.
Psalm 14:1-3THE GAP OF LAWLESSNESS
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. (Romans 14:17,18)
The goal of God is righteousness. The goal of mankind is peace and joy, with righteousness being a minor issue. The supreme goal of people is pleasure, and the young people pursue fun. But fun is a threadbare cousin of joy. As people mature in Messiah Jesus they come to understand clearly that peace and joy are of far more value than fleshly “fun,” than animal pleasures.
Fun often is frantic and may bring remorse. But peace is of true worth. There can be no true joy apart from peace. Fun cares little about peace because fun often is mixed with lusts and other demon-driven appetites of the flesh. People are having “fun” even when they are destroying their own bodies and minds. True joy, however, is a sister of peace.
Fun belongs to children. Peace and joy are the blessing of the spiritually mature and are the fruit of the Spirit of God.
Prayer: Father, I choose to pursue righteousness before all, Amen.
Isaiah 9:6-7GOING TO THE FATHER
He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ (Psalms 89:26)
Our deepest desire is neither gold, nor silver, nor precious stones. These never can satisfy the human heart. Our deepest desire is to enter the Person of our Father and into union with Messiah Jesus and other people. We want to be with God, in God, acceptable to God, and never again separated from God. We want to be an eternal part of Jesus and to share with Him the people who are His inheritance.
Then, as Messiah keeps on being enlarged throughout the universe for the eternity of eternities, we shall be enlarged with and in Him; and those who have become an integral part of us will be enlarged with us. This is the Kingdom of pure love that the Lord will bring with Him.
To love and guide the nations of the earth—that is the inheritance. We are being created the living Presence of God in Messiah so Messiah in us can minister to other human beings. No other inheritance can compare with an inheritance consisting of people.
Prayer: Father, You are my God and my King. I marvel at your goodness, Amen.
Luke 1:68-79GREATEST LIE EVER TOLD
To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. (Luke 1:74,75)
Evangelical doctrine is so confused, so erroneous, that making one’s eternal home in the spirit Paradise is presented as the goal of redemption. The goal of salvation presented in the Scriptures is eternal life in the Kingdom of God. We evangelicals are in doctrinal chaos.
The Lord Jesus did not come to change what we reap but what we sow. People always will reap what they sow. If we desire to enter eternal life in the Kingdom of God we must sow righteousness. This basic law of the Kingdom can never be done away, not by grace, not by mercy, not by any other means. God does not change!
Salvation is moral transformation. This is what salvation is. It has no reference to Heaven. The statement “salvation is moral transformation” does not mean if we behave righteously we will be saved. It means, rather, that the righteous behavior itself is the salvation.
Prayer: Father, let Your glorious salvation transform me completely, Amen.
Luke 14:25-33THE HISTORICAL DISASTER
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27)
Because we have gone out to “save souls” and acquire as many members as possible for our private kingdoms we have not stressed repentance and righteous behavior to ourselves or our listeners. The demands of discipleship have some painful aspects, and in our zeal to increase the attendance at our services we have diminished the demands of Messiah. We do not realize that if we fill our building with people and then they do not turn away from the world, take up their personal cross, and follow the Lord Jesus, we have accomplished nothing of value in the Kingdom of God. We do not truly understand what a disciple is or that the outcome of the Christian redemption is a morally transformed personality, supposing instead that the goal is eternal residence in the spirit Paradise after we die.
We have been building private kingdoms instead of bearing a true witness of God. God did not give us the power of the Spirit to build churches but to be a true witness of the Lord Jesus. There can be a great difference between building a church and bearing a true witness of Messiah and His demands.
Prayer: Father, help me to understand more clearly what is a disciple, Amen.
Zechariah 14:20-21HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (II Peter 3:13)
According to current preaching, the proper desire of the Christian is to be saved and to go to Paradise to dwell forever. Satan wishes that we all would go to Paradise. Satan understands that the material creation is superior to the spirit Paradise and it is here that he intends to rule.
Satan’s rule is not brought to an end in us or in the earth when we are forgiven, baptized in water, born again, or filled with God’s Spirit. Satan’s rule is not threatened until we come to the Altar of Incense, bow before God in stern holiness and obedience, and plead,
“Not my will but Yours be done.”
When we bow in stern obedience we make it possible for the Father and the Son to enter us and begin to work through us. The work of the Father and the Son is to put down all disobedience and to bring everlasting righteousness into our personality and actions and then into our surroundings. This is the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, not my will but Yours, Amen.
II Corinthians 4:8-11THE INNER RESURRECTION
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
Is Messiah being resurrected in you today? If so, you are experiencing an inner travail as Messiah overcomes and transforms each part of your personality.
The inner resurrection is taking place in us today. If we expect to participate in the first resurrection from the dead, at the coming of the Lord, we must experience the necessary inner resurrection beforehand. The current doctrine, that all who profess Messiah will be resurrected and will ascend when the Lord returns, is incorrect according to the Scriptures.
We will experience the needed inner transformation if we allow Jesus to have His perfect, unhindered way in our life. We must forsake all other interests in order to have Messiah formed in us and abiding in us. We must make Messiah the Center of all that we think and practice.
The Kingdom of God is the resurrection of Messiah Jesus in the believer.
Prayer: Father, may the inner resurrection of Messiah Jesus increase as I patiently bear my cross, Amen.
Isaiah 6:5-11IN THE YEAR THAT KING UZZIAH DIED
And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” (Isaiah 6:7)
Isaiah was given a true understanding of his own sinfulness and of those about him. His assignment from the Lord was a difficult one. There is tradition to the effect that he was martyred.
But to few men has been granted the opportunity to reveal in such fullness the atoning death, and the glorious eternal life and Kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
Can we see the King high and lifted up today? Can we hear His voice? His concern for the peoples of the earth? Can we accept the wretchedness and uncleanness of our own condition?
When we exalt the Lord He will purge our iniquity with a glowing coal from the Divine Fire of His own Being. Whether our commission is plain and acceptable or difficult to understand or appreciate, Messiah will be exalted in us and through us if we yield ourselves to His Being and purposes.
Prayer: Father, purge me from all my iniquity with the very Fire of Your Being, Amen.
Revelation 12:10-11ISRAEL—GOD’S CONQUEROR
Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. (Isaiah 13:6)
The Day of the Lord is at hand. No flesh will stand in His Presence. Those who insist on preserving their preeminence, their ministry, their ways of doing, their groups, the people, objects, and places familiar to them, will surely fall. Each one of us must decide to follow Messiah, or else to follow the self-love of Antichrist. The hour of decision is on us. The rewards go to the conquerors, to God’s Israel. Only those who suffer will reign with the Lord Jesus. Spiritual rulers are created in this present world, as we bow in the travail of death so God’s Messiah may be formed in us.
We overcome sin through the blood of the Lamb. We overcome the tribulations of the world by our Spirit-enabled testimony that God is true. We overcome our separation from God by dying to our instinct for self-preservation.
We struggle with God. We are changed from “Jacob” to “Israel.” In so doing we overcome the accuser of the brethren.
Prayer: Father, make me a part of Israel—God’s Conqueror, Amen.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. (Psalms 147:2)
A human being receives spiritual life from Messiah Jesus. Then the Spirit of God changes him or her into the image of Messiah. Finally, his mortal body is redeemed. It is raised from the dead and filled with eternal life.
So it is with the city of Jerusalem. In the present hour the nucleus of its spiritual life is hidden with Messiah in God, and is being perfected as the saints endure the tests and tribulations of life on the earth.
When Messiah Jesus comes, and His holy ones with Him, the work of converting the soul of Jerusalem will take place. The full perfecting of Jerusalem, of the Bride of the Lamb, will require the thousand-year period.
All who are to constitute the eternal Jerusalem, that is, all the elect of God, will be made perfect in and through Messiah Jesus. The Bride of the Lamb, the Body of the Messiah, the eternal Temple of God, the Christian Church, will be brought to absolute, spotless perfection.
Prayer: Father, I pray for the peace and perfection of Jerusalem, Amen.
I John 4:10-18JOHN SEVENTEEN
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16)
God is love and dwells in love. The love of God in Messiah Jesus reaches out and brings us into that love. We become an eternal part of the Divine love. It does not stop there. The love of God in Messiah in us reaches out to others, as God directs. They also become one with us in Messiah in God.
The Kingdom of God is based on two laws: our relationship of love to God through Messiah Jesus, and our relationship of love to other people as God’s love in Messiah in us flows forth to them. All of the other laws of God are fulfilled in us when our personality is brought into harmony with these two principal laws of the Kingdom.
When we have been made perfect in God’s love we have boldness in the Day of Judgment. Then we are of the Nature and Life of God. Then we have attained the highest goal of the human being: we have become one with God and are in His image.
Prayer: Father, today let my relationship with You and with all people be centered in Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Nehemiah 2:11-20THE JUDAIC-CHRISTIAN SALVATION
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, (Revelation 21:19)
The traditional Christian assumption that it is impossible to sin after we die and are in the spirit world is without basis in the Scriptures. In fact, sin commenced in the world of spirits and is spiritual in nature. We do not struggle against flesh and blood but against wicked spirits.
The guarantee against another rebellion is, rather, the formation of Messiah Jesus in people. It is the inner, Divine transformation which walls off rebellion, not a circumstance of the environment, or a change of what we are so that we are capable only of certain actions. The wall against disobedience is being created now in the firstfruits. After the firstfruits will come the remainder of the Church. Finally, every member of the saved nations shall have a portion of Messiah created in him. There are the hundredfold, the sixtyfold, and then the thirtyfold.
Prayer: Father, create in me today the character necessary to become part of the wall against disobedience, Amen.
Psalm 37:7-9KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD
“By your patience possess your souls. (Luke 21:19)
In order to make a success of the Christian discipleship, great patience must be practiced. Patience brings about a perfect work of conformity to the image of Messiah Jesus. We save our souls by perseverance, by patient plodding through the wilderness.
Those who look for a quick, easy path invite spiritual trouble. How many have started off joyfully on the highway to Zion only to end up barren and spiritually sick in some isolation ward along the route. How heartbreaking! Oftentimes the deciding factor in victory in Messiah is the willingness to be patient with God, with one’s circumstances, with one’s self. Patience! Patience, and the Kingdom of God! The Word of Messiah’s patience!
If we would be kept from the destructive elements that accompany the hour of testing we must patiently guard Messiah’s Word, being diligent to observe, through His grace, that which His Word commands.
Prayer: Father, grant me the patience today to keep Your commands that I may be able to stand in the Day of the Lord, Amen.
Isaiah 33:14-22KINGDOM CONCEPTS
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14)
Christian people are sure that they know all about the Lord, until He sends on them the reconciling fire. Then the believers are offended because God is not being “nice” to them. He is wounding; He is tearing down their works of fleshly self-love; He is demanding truth in the inward parts.
Blessed indeed is the individual with whom God is dealing in this manner. The results will be the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Blessed indeed are those who are mourning because the Lord Jesus is judging the darkness in their personalities.
But woe to those who are making merry in Zion in the present hour. Such merrymakers have no idea whatever of the fearful judgment that awaits them when God turns His attention toward their condition. The coming of Messiah will be a terrible surprise to the complacent churches of today, unless they repent.
Prayer: Father, let the fire of Your Presence consume all dross in my life, Amen.
1 Timothy 4:6-11THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [a human] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50)
No matter how righteous or capable an individual may be, no matter how morally perfect, honorable or humble, it remains true that he or she, Adamic man, cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is the eternal union of the Life of God in Messiah with the material realm. Until a human being receives into himself or herself that eternal Life, he or she neither can see nor enter the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is not the determined efforts of human beings to obey religiously what they perceive to be the will of God, although zealous, conscientious efforts may lead a person to the Kingdom of God.
We enter the Kingdom of God by turning away from our dead works, setting aside all other interests and goals, and seeking the Father through Messiah Jesus.
Prayer: Father, today I turn away from all dead works and I seek You afresh and anew through Messiah Jesus, Amen.
2 Timothy 4:1-8THE LAND OF PROMISE
You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands. (Hebrews 2:7)
If we are to gain the crown of rulership with Messiah over the nations, and the other aspects of the spiritual fulfillment of the land of promise, we must fight for them. Every day we live on earth will bring new trials, a new burden of evil, new cause for resistance against the enemy of our souls, new dangers, discouragement, new reasons why we should not pray, not seek Messiah with the whole heart, not be absolutely obedient to the Holy Spirit of God, not meditate in the Scripture, not forget what is behind, not press on with single-minded determination to seize the prize of the high calling of God in Messiah Jesus.
If we are content to stay spiritually abreast of the majority of churchgoers, it appears certain we will never attain God’s best for our lives. The Christian life is more than faithful church attendance, as important as Christian fellowship is. Christian discipleship is a daily, intensely personal battle against the wicked spirits who govern the darkness of the age in which we live.
Prayer: Father, today I choose to forget what is behind, and I press on toward Messiah Jesus, Amen.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, (II Thessalonians 2:11)
The last days will be characterized by spiritual deception. Already we can behold the remarkable effectiveness of the devices of Antichrist. The believers in Messiah can be deceived easily, particularly if the deception is a counterfeit of the Gospel and offers prosperity and ease to them. God Himself sends delusion on them because they have not chosen, obeyed, and loved the truth. They have attempted to evade their cross.
Let us who are hearing the voice of Jesus open our hearts to Him. Let us give first priority in our life to the growth of the Kingdom of God in us. Let us take up our cross and follow Jesus, although He often leads us through tribulations and afflictions. Let us accept our sufferings now so that we can rejoice with Him at His glorious appearing.
In an age when Christians are busily endeavoring to secure their rights and welfare, let us go forth to meet our Shepherd and Bridegroom.
Prayer: Father, help me to buy the truth and sell it not. Today, I choose to pick up my cross and follow Jesus, Amen.
Genesis 35:11-20LEAH AND RACHEL
So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). (Genesis 35:19)
So it is that the springs of our motivation for living on the earth must die on the way to Bethlehem, on the way to the birth of Messiah Jesus in us. It is Rachel who will inherit the nations of the earth, but only through her death and resurrection.
The greatest need of the present hour is for people who are willing to allow God to slay the heart of their personality in order that the eternal Life of Messiah Jesus may be brought forth. It is the “son of my sorrow,” and anyone who thinks it isn’t a sorrow has never experienced the bringing forth of Messiah in the human personality.
It is also the “son of the right hand.” The “son of my sorrow” who becomes the “son of the right hand” is the one destined to inherit earth’s peoples. He who is born of Rachel (Joseph), after being disciplined in God’s school, becomes the heir of the earth.
Prayer: Father, I bless You for both Leah and Rachel. I choose to believe each is necessary for You to work Your will in my life, and to bring me into union with Messiah Jesus, Amen.
II Corinthians 3:18THE MANIFESTATION OF MESSIAH
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
When the trumpet of God sounds, the Glory of God will be manifested in the saints (the great majority of whom will have returned from Heaven with the Lord Jesus), and also will be manifested in Messiah Jesus Himself in the sky above the earth.
It will not be the coming of Messiah and His saints from a far distant place; rather, it will be the revealing of that which is concealed by the limitations of the material realm. As soon as the limitations have been rolled back, in the sky above and also in the bodies of the saints, the nations of the earth will see and respond to what never had been far from them.
The marriage of the Lamb is at hand. Let us make ourselves ready, for His coming will not result in a change of what we are (except for our bodies) but rather in a manifestation of that which we have become by His painstaking transformation of our personalities, and His entrance into us.
Prayer: Father, I ask You to continue to transform me, Amen.
Ephesians 2:1-6THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth. (Psalms 96:13)
What we Christians must come to understand is that the Lord God is interested in righteousness and obedience. We do not accept Messiah Jesus in order to avoid punishment for our behavior, but in order to gain the opportunity to repent and begin to do the things that are pleasing to God. The salvation that is in Messiah enables us to be accepted of God by turning away from our former manner of living, by embarking on the program of transformation into righteous behavior.
The Christian redemption includes the forgiveness of our sins, but is characterized primarily by the raising of us from the death of sin into the life of righteous, holy, and obedient conduct. When we conceive of salvation as a “ticket” to Heaven we are missing God’s purpose in bringing us to Messiah.
Prayer: Father, my desire today is to be obedient and to behave righteously in all my way. Lord Jesus, raise me higher in Your holy truth, Amen.
II Thessalonians 1:5A MISSING ELEMENT
that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (I Thessalonians 2:12)
The most important aspect of the Kingdom of God is relationships. It is in the realm of relationships that the world is corrupt and destructive. It is in relationships that man experiences his greatest joy and his greatest sorrow.
The Kingdom of God is in relationships, in our oneness with God and our oneness with each other. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Righteousness, peace, and joy are impossible until our relationships are godly. In order for our relationships to be perfectly godly, there must be nothing in our personality that is not found in God.
Certainly God forgives us through Messiah Jesus, but this does not change us. Until we are transformed into Messiah’s image we are not fit for the Kingdom of God. Unless our Adamic soul has enough integrity to faithfully undergo the painful processes of transformation, we are not worthy of the Lord Jesus or of the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, purify my relationships by removing all that is not of You, Amen.
Luke 17:7-10THE NATURE OF SIN
“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’” (Luke 17:10)
The Lord God of Heaven requires much more than commonly is being taught in the Christian churches. God has given us grace that never before, under any other covenant, has been available to mankind. In return, He is asking for more than He ever before has asked of people. God is requiring that we present our body a living sacrifice, a whole burnt offering to Himself. God is seeking union with the center of our will and spirit, not just our belief and observance of the tenets of a law.
Through the Lord Jesus the Messiah we can make the seeking of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness the highest priority of our life. Through the Lord Jesus the Messiah we can resist the lusts of our flesh. Through the Lord Jesus the Messiah we can be delivered from self-centeredness and enter untroubled union with God.
Prayer: Father, at best I am an unprofitable servant, but I call on Your name today for strength to make seeking the Kingdom of God my first priority in life, Amen.
Psalm 48:1-14THE NEW JERUSALEM
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16)
The central theme of the Scriptures is the forming, through the Lord Jesus the Messiah, of the new Jerusalem, the Tabernacle of God, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Messiah, the Kingdom of God—the Kingdom from heaven.
The Kingdom of Heaven is God in Messiah in the saints performing the will of God. This is the nature of the new Jerusalem.
The new Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Heaven, is the image of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Because this is so, the new Jerusalem, as well as being a glorious external city the nations of the earth will be able to behold and visit, is a symbolic portrayal of each victorious saint.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Let us serve the Lord Jesus now and enter the Kingdom, preparing ourselves for the new world of righteousness which soon is to come to the earth.
Prayer: Father, I choose today to prepare for the New Jerusalem, Amen.
Psalm 89:11-18NOT RETREAT BUT RESTORATION
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1)
The manmade “gospel” that we are saved to make our eternal home in Heaven above is a gospel of defeat, of retreat—and Satan understands this. What Satan fears is the coming of the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, to the earth; for Satan, a usurping cherub, regards this earth and its people as his own possession. Satan desires that his own will be done in the earth.
What about you? Are you willing to give your inheritance in Messiah, which is to serve as a king and priest of God over the saved nations, to a usurping cherub—a cherub who has no right to any part of the earth? Are you willing to flee to the spirit realm so Satan can inherit what the Father has promised to the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and to you as a coheir?
Or would you prefer to return with the Lord Jesus and release the creation into the liberty of the glory of the children of God?
Prayer: Father, I believe the earth belongs to You. I choose today to press further into Messiah Jesus and so gain my inheritance, Amen.
II Corinthians 5:17ONE NEW MAN
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 14:10)
It is important for us to understand that the Father dwells only in the Messiah. The Messiah (with the Father) never dwells in our Adamic nature, but only in the born-again new creation in our personality. The new creation is of the Substance and Virtue of Messiah, having been born of God.
If the inner aspect of the Kingdom of God were not of supreme importance, the Messiah would have established the outer aspect of His Kingdom in the first century. The reason for the tribulation-filled two thousand years of the Christian Era is that the inner aspect of the Kingdom may be developed in God’s royal priesthood.
When the inner aspect has been perfected, Messiah and His priesthood will appear and establish the outer aspect of the Kingdom on the Throne of David in Jerusalem. Then will the Law go forth from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Prayer: Father, complete the inner aspect of the Kingdom of God in my life, and make me a new creation, Amen.
Zechariah 14:1-11ORIENTATION TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men [‘Christian’ sinners] also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, (Jude 1:14)
The Kingdom of God is the righteousness, peace, and joy that are in Messiah Jesus. As Messiah is formed in us, the righteousness, peace, and joy are formed in us. We are able to bring release into the earth as we ourselves are released by the authority and power of Messiah.
The material creation is waiting anxiously for the revealing of the sons of God—they in whom Messiah Jesus has been formed and is dwelling. When Messiah returns, we will return with Him and establish righteousness, peace, and joy throughout the earth in fulfillment of the writings of the Prophets.
How about you? Are you a Kingdom-oriented Christian or a death-oriented Christian? Are your experiences and faith preparing you to escape to a world without problems or are they preparing you to be a solver of the problems of the world through the power and wisdom of Messiah Jesus?
Prayer: Father, cause all my circumstances to form Messiah in me, Amen.
Psalm 25:1-9THE OVERCOMER IS THE TRUE CHRISTIAN
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on you I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:5)
It appears that the Lord is removing the seals from the Scriptures in the day in which we are living. The truth of the Word is pouring forth on every side. Yet, many of the saints do not understand the importance of prayer and waiting on the Lord.
Our culture is so frantically busy that even the believers do not have the time (or take the time) to pray. They come to church, after a busy day, to hear the latest “word.” In some instances, they understand doctrine that has been hidden from patriarchs and kings. But they do not know the Lord.
What bridegroom would be content with a capable, devoted bride who had little time for him? The Lord is not pleased with us, no matter how hard we labor, if we spend little time waiting on Him. When the people do not take the time to wait on the Lord there will be little of the awe, the Presence, of God in the midst. This will be true even though the doctrine and works of the church are according to the Scriptures.
Prayer: Father, I choose today to wait on You, to seek Your face, all the day long, Amen.
Revelation 3:21PARTICIPATION IN THE PAROUSIA
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)
The parousia is the descent of Messiah and His army of saints from the invisible spirit realm into the visible material realm. The throne will come with them. The Throne of God is in Messiah and therefore in the victorious saints. This is the Kingdom, the rule, of the God of Heaven. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles.
No one will appear in the initial stages of the parousia unless he represents the Throne of God. No defeated Christian will impose his undisciplined will and self-seeking on the nations. Only those in whom God and Messiah are resting in untroubled victory will be a part of the parousia that is to come immediately after the great tribulation period.
There are numerous spiritual adversaries, a multitude of obstacles to overcome. Those who follow Jesus diligently, enduring faithfully to the end, will gain the authority and power of eternal life. They will rule in fellowship and glory with Messiah Jesus, their elder Brother.
Prayer: Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
1 Timothy 6:1-14THE PERVERSION OF GRACE
that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, (1Timothy 6:14)
The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth. The Kingdom of God establishes, not waives, the Divine standard. The Kingdom of God will come to the earth as soon as the saints, the members of the Body of the Messiah, have been brought into total, untroubled union with God through Messiah Jesus. It is only as Jesus and God in us have perfect and complete control over us, and as we are being joyously obedient to Their will, that it is possible for us to be of help to the nations of the earth.
Let us ask the Lord to remove totally from our hearts and minds the concept that the Christian salvation is the Divine apology for the behavior of God’s elect. It is true we have been predestined from the foundation of the world to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus. But it remains for us to lay hold on that to which we have been called, or else we will die in the wilderness of unbelief and disobedience as a generation of unbelieving Israelites died in the wilderness and never entered their predestined land of promise.
Prayer: Father, deliver me from untruth, and help me to walk worthy of Your coming Kingdom, Amen.
Joel 3:14THE PURPOSE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion [the saints] and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:32)
The vision of the purified remnant is not for the far distant future. We can see today some of the factors we have noted, such as the cleavage between the people who are seeking God, and their worldly fellows in the churches; man attempting to make himself God; and the spirit of judgment and burning coming up on those with whom the Lord is dealing. Many sincere believers are enduring much tribulation.
Ours is one of the greatest of all the eras of man’s history. Multitudes will be deceived. In the earth will be a godly remnant who will perform the greater works of that Jesus prophesied. The conquerors will sit with Messiah Jesus at the right hand of the Father.
Each of us must make his decision now—today! Tomorrow will be too late. Tomorrow will reap what is being sown today. There is no time to lose. Each decision we make is leading us toward the ability to stand in the day of trouble, or toward deception.
Prayer: Father, today I will serve You!
Hebrews 11:15THE QUEST
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
“Crossing the Red Sea” in a grand parade, accompanied by stupendous miracles and the Presence of God, marks the beginning of our quest for the land of promise. It is relatively easy to press forward in God under such conditions. Then begins the long, arduous journey through the desert. How often we are tempted to look back toward “Egypt,” even though we were glad enough to leave at the time we made our exodus. How many lessons God teaches us in the wilderness! Some who start out turn back in their hearts. Not all who leave Egypt enter the land of promise.
The one who will inherit the Kingdom of God is that individual who perseveres to the end of the journey. God does not bring us from Egypt to Canaan in one step. Neither is “grace” a means of jumping from Egypt to the land of milk and honey. Like the Israelites, we are obliged to learn our lessons in the wilderness. We are tested over and over again.
Many are called but few are chosen. Many start out in the quest for the city of God, but few finish the race. Will you be one of those few?
Prayer: Father, I choose not to look back to Egypt, but to press onward, Amen.
Revelation 22:14THE REBELLION
Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:14)
The reason there will be no rebellion or sin in the new heaven and earth reign of Messiah Jesus is that Messiah has been formed and is dwelling in the members of the royal priesthood, and these totally obedient saints are governing the creation.
The massive wall of the new Jerusalem is symbolic of the resistance to rebellion and sin created in the believers when Messiah is created in them.
A new heaven and earth is not sufficient to guarantee righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. There must be a ruling kingdom that because of its character and nature will not tolerate sin. Messiah will not permit sin and rebellion. Those who are filled with Messiah will not permit sin and rebellion.
The truest prayer of the Christian is not, “O God, remove me from the earth.” It is, “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.”
Prayer: Father, make my prayer true!
Joel 2:32THE REMNANT
Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. (Psalms 51:6)
We see in the removal of the Ark from the Tabernacle a separation of a warrior-remnant from the remainder of the Church. God will use the warrior-remnant to judge and destroy the enemy. After that, all Israel (all of God’s elect) will be able to join in the destroying of Satan and his followers, similar to what took place after Gideon’s 300 had taken the lead in driving out the Midianites.
If this is true, the remnant being called out today will be subjected to very intense dealings of God. Every facet of their personality will be tested again and again, as the Lord judges them. They will be brought to the point of despair, as the Spirit of God uncovers every trace of bodily lusts, every trace of love for the world system, every trace of a desire for personal achievement.
Those who follow the Lord through the wilderness of judgment, allowing God to wound and then heal them, will emerge from the fire as new creatures. They will be dead-living people, in that all they are will have been brought through death and resurrection.
Prayer: Father, wound and heal me, Amen.
Isaiah 28:9-16THE REST OF GOD
“Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ (Joshua 1:13)
It is so difficult to enter the rest of God! There are many forces—not the least of which is personal ambition—that prevent us from resting in God. God has not called us to save souls, to build the Kingdom, to perfect our own righteousness and holiness, or to become a spiritual person so other people will be impressed.
God has called us to enter into Messiah Jesus, to find our life in Him. It is true there are various efforts which we must make, and they are set forth in many passages of the New Testament. The end result of all our efforts must be our abiding in Messiah.
Learning to abide in Messiah requires considerable experience. We cannot just announce we are abiding in Messiah and then have no more difficulties. The warfare is far too intense for such a simplistic approach.
Every day we are to give the utmost diligence to enter into the perfect abiding place in the Life and will of Messiah Jesus. Every day we will be resisted. Every day the Holy Spirit will lead us into a new arena of warfare and victory.
Prayer: Father, lead me in Your rest, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:33-34SAVED BY FAITH ALONE?
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (Romans 6:12)
It is being taught today that salvation is unconditional, being an abstraction removed from our personality and behavior. This concept is in error. It is of the spirit of religious delusion and produces blindness to the Word of God. It is alien to the Kingdom of God. The continual covering of the blood of atonement is conditional upon our walking in the light of God’s will, upon our abiding in the death and resurrection of Messiah. When we return to our carnal behavior, life lived in the appetites of the flesh, we come under the Law and the judgment of God.
We are free from the authority of the Law of Moses only as long as we are an integral part of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and are seeking to obey the commandments of the Apostles. As long as we are obeying the Lord, serving Him with all of our strength, we are without condemnation. The blood atonement is covering us and we are perfectly righteous in the sight of God.
Prayer: Father, I choose to awake to righteousness and sin not. Help me today to serve you with all my strength and heart, Amen.
Revelation 2:23SCRIPTURE OR MYTH?
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
One of the most effective motivations toward godliness is the fear of God.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The evangelical churches of our day as well as the unsaved people of the affluent “Christian” nations have lost the fear of God, choosing instead to talk about “reverence” and “positive thinking.” As a result they have lost their wisdom and have become as foolish, weak, silly children. They soon will be under the control of more disciplined cultures. They are about to lose their so-called “freedoms.”
When speaking of the Judgment Seat of Messiah Paul mentions “the terror of the Lord.” Paul persuaded people to receive the Lord Jesus and live righteously because he knew the terror of the Lord—what it would be like to face an angry Messiah.
Prayer: Father, grant me the fear of God that leads to wisdom. In wisdom let me cast away the foolish notion that I am not required to live righteously, Amen.
Jeremiah 31:6-14THE “SINGLES” GROUP
“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16)
Multitudes are in the valley of decision today. When the Day of the Lord draws near to the Christian he is forced to make a decision. “Should I give myself to Jesus? Or is this some trial that soon will be over so I can continue in my customary self-centered life?”
The believers who continue to evade the cross will be led away from the Kingdom of God, not realizing this is happening. They are the church of Laodicea. They are worthless to God and to man, fit only to be vomited from the mouth of the Savior.
They who choose to be married to Messiah Jesus will be brought through severe chastening and fiery trials. Yet, the comforting voice of the Lord will come to them and His Presence will sustain them. They are His Bride. They will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
Let the Bride, the virgin daughter of Zion, rejoice. Her Lord is coming, skipping on the mountains of spices.
Prayer: Father, chasten me and bring me to the marriage supper of the Lamb, Amen.
Hebrews 9:1-5THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION
For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; (Hebrews 9:2)
The Altar of Burnt Offering represents the blood of the cross of Messiah, called to remembrance in the sacrament of Communion. It speaks to us also of our own consecration to the Lord Jesus.
The Laver points out the need for separation from the filth of the world on the part of those who would be priests of God. Our water baptism represents this aspect of the plan of redemption.
The Table of Showbread is the continual presentation of the living Word of God, the body and blood of Messiah, the eating of which builds Messiah in the believer.
The Lampstand is the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit who creates the testimony of Messiah given through the Church. The Spirit assigns and empowers the gifts of I Corinthians, Chapter 12, and brings forth the moral fruit described in Galatians, Chapter Five. The Spirit enables the Christian to overcome the lusts of the carnal nature.
Prayer: Father, lead me onward to the Holy Place, Amen.
Hebrews 9:6-9THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION
and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, (Hebrews 9:3)
The Altar of Incense is the next step after the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This represents the prayers and worship of the saints—in particular their bowing down in death to self-will and self-seeking. It is the beginning of the assault by the Church on the kingdom of darkness.
The Ark of the Covenant is the coming of the Lord Jesus with thousands of His saints. It speaks to us of the time when we are in the image of Messiah, possessing in ourselves the discipline of the Spirit (Aaron’s rod); The body and blood of Messiah (jar of manna); and a pure moral character (the Ten Commandments). The Ark of the Covenant is David’s Tabernacle—Zion, of the Book of Psalms.
The Mercy Seat and He who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory represents the rest of God. Our experience of redemption is climaxed by the coming of the Persons of the Godhead to abide in us forever. We are being brought toward perfect oneness, perfect reconciliation, with the Lord God.
Prayer: Father, reconcile me completely, O God my hope! Amen.
II Corinthians 5:4THE TRUE HOPE:“RAPTURE” OR RESURRECTION?
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:8)
As we understand the Scriptures, Revelation 19:8 is speaking of the resurrection of the dead, the first resurrection, the resurrection that will take place when the Lord returns. The resurrection that will take place when the Lord returns is the clothing of God’s people with the garments of salvation, the garments of righteous behavior created in Heaven as the saints have cooperated with the Holy Spirit in experiencing Messiah’s death and Messiah’s resurrection.
Their whole personality has been brought down to death and then raised again in Messiah. The process of continual crucifixion and resurrection has created a garment of righteousness that will be given to them at the coming of the Lord. As they have sown they now are reaping. Their mortal body has been sown to the death of the cross and a body of righteousness has been raised before the throne of God in Heaven.
Prayer: Father, help me today to respond to every circumstance as an opportunity to be clothed with salvation, Amen.
Joel 2:2THE VISION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD
‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:30)
What must we do today? We must warn the Lord’s sheep of the true nature of the Day of the Lord, the Day of Messiah Jesus. The believers must understand that they are not going to be evacuated from the earth in order to prevent their suffering. Rather, the wheat and the tares will grow together until the time of harvest.
Our being transformed into the image of Messiah Jesus, our service in His army, and our ultimate reigning with Him are the goals of our salvation. The object is not to escape from the earth, it is to regain dominion with Messiah over all the earth.
We are approaching the climax of the warfare of the ages. It is not a case of weak believers being rescued from a mighty Antichrist. It is the developing of a great people and a strong who shall, through the Lord Jesus the Messiah, drive Antichrist and all his forces from the face of the earth.
Prayer: Father, make me a part of the “great people and a strong”, Amen.
I John 3:22THE WARRIOR’S PRAYER
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalms 34:17)
If we please our Father by our conduct He will make a point of watching over us when danger threatens. He will answer our prayers because we are doing what is good in His sight. It is important that each Christian understand this, and watch and pray so God will count him and his household worthy of deliverance when the plagues of the last days fall on the world.
The warrior understands that if he does the will of God he will be fed with the hidden manna. He will be sustained by the Lord. He will be protected from the enemy. It is not so with those who, although professing to be believers in Messiah, lead spiritually careless lives and are indifferent toward the things of the Kingdom of God.
The warrior of Messiah does not trust in himself but in God who raises the dead. When the enemy threatens, he calls determinedly and unceasingly on God in Jesus’ name. Then the God of Heaven and earth bows the heavens and comes down to the aid of His servant who trusts in Him, who keeps all His commandments. God delivers him from all his troubles.
Prayer: Father, hear my cry O, Lord!
Psalm 45:9-11A WIFE BUT NOT A QUEEN
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (Ephesians 5:30)
Earth’s religious institutions are able to bring men and women into spiritual marriage with them. The bond, the relationship, is with the institution. The members of the Wife of the Lamb are virgins. They are in the churches but not married to them. The Lord Jesus the Messiah will not permit one of His choice ones to be married in spirit to a Christian organization. When the Lord Jesus calls out His Wife there will be no member of His Body left in your denomination or my denomination. There is but one Wife of the Lamb, one Body of the Messiah. She will be identified as such before the Lord Jesus returns, for the way of the Lord must be made straight.
We are not attempting to “call God’s people out of Babylon.” That would be to create our own Babylon. The Spirit of God will call out the Wife when He is ready. Rather, we are emphasizing the true nature of the Wife of the Lamb—that she is not a queen. Messiah Jesus will have no competitors, no queens. Messiah reigns alone. His true Wife is not a great church which reigns in glory with Him. His true Wife is His Body, His complement, His completion. She is an eternal part of Him.
Prayer: Father, no queen am I!
Job 40:1-5WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION
saying, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Until we pass through judgment we cannot enter the rest of God. Our spirit must become one with the Spirit of Messiah. Our natural mind must become part of the Mind of Messiah. Our soul dies the hardest death of all for it is the center of our will and judgment. To crucify the soul of man is to slay what the first man is. The first man dies a hard death. We cry out in agony as God kills the self-centeredness in us.
There cannot be two separate wills in the universe. There is only one legitimate will in the universe—the will of almighty God as it is expressed in the Lord Jesus the Messiah. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in earth as it is in Heaven. It is only as we die to our own choices and judgment that we are able to enter unity and harmony with God.
The judgment and death of our soul, our will, is by far the most difficult death we die—much more difficult than death to our lusts and passions. Are you willing to enter God to the point you can say with all your being, “Not my will but Yours be done”?
Prayer: Father, along with Messiah Jesus, I pray, “not my will but Yours, be done,” Amen.
Romans 11:28-36YOU ARE MY PEOPLE
even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. (Romans 11:31)
The Gentile believers who love and fear God are saying to the Jews, “You are God’s people. You do not have to become a Gentile to please God. In His eternal love for the Jewish people, God has prepared a banquet. There is bread on the table. The bread is the flesh of God’s Lamb, Messiah Jesus.
“There is drink on the table. The drink is the blood of God’s Lamb, Messiah Jesus. Whoever will eat this bread and drink from this cup will live forever. Messiah will raise him up in the last day.
“There is no need whatever for the Jew to leave his people or his heritage as a Jew. The flesh of Messiah is the Jew’s bread. The blood of Messiah is the Jew’s drink. Messiah Jesus is the Passover Lamb of the Jews.
“The elect Gentiles are guests at the Jew’s table. You are God’s people. The Gentile believers love and serve your Messiah. He is the Bridegroom, ready to spread the robe of Divine righteousness over you.
Prayer: Father, grant me a heart of mercy toward the Jewish people, Amen.
John 3:1-8YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:4)
That which is born again is the house of God. The Father and Messiah enter into the new man, not into Adam. Only Messiah Jesus is the House of God. God will dwell only in the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and in us to the extent that Messiah is in us.
In the Father’s House, in the Lord Jesus, there are being created numerous rooms, numerous places of abode for the Father. When Messiah is formed in us, the Persons of the Father and Messiah enter this new room, into God’s House that has been formed from the Substance and Virtue of Messiah.
When Messiah has been formed in the individual, the Father and Jesus can enter him or her and govern and bless from within the personality. This is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the House of God. It is Messiah formed in the members of the Kingdom of God. To be saved to eternal life in the new world is to have Messiah formed in us so that God may settle down to rest in us. Salvation is not a question of going to Heaven, it is a question of becoming a room in the eternal House of God.
Prayer: Father, may You find rest in me!
John 15:9-14ABIDING IN MESSIAH
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6)
We always must give the prime attention and energies of our life to the problem of abiding in Messiah. Why is abiding in Messiah a problem? It is a problem, especially in an affluent nation (the rich enter the Kingdom of God with great difficulty), because so many things press on us constantly which work against our abiding in Messiah.
Both eternal death and eternal life are working in the believer. Each day either death prevails or life prevails. The gate is narrow and the way is resistant that lead to eternal life. The Lord Jesus the Messiah is the only Way to life. We enter through Him, and then the struggle begins. The warfare that the saint wages is not, ordinarily, a physical or even a mental struggle. Rather, it is a spiritual struggle that works through faith and patience.
We must set ourselves to gaining the Life in Messiah, always setting our will to do the will of God. Apart from such a resolute setting of the will there can be little victory in our walk in Messiah.
Prayer: Father, my will is to abide, Amen.
John 6:35BEHOLD THE LAMB!
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)
In the exodus from Egypt, Israel left one kind of bondage only to enter another. They gave themselves to serve the lusts of their bodies, and burned their children as burnt offerings to the god Moloch. Israel turned against the Lord.
We understand, therefore, that the central issue of Passover is not the physical release from Egyptian slavery, but the eternal release of spirit, soul, and body that can come only at the hand of Messiah. The true Passover Lamb is Messiah. Messiah is the Hope of Israel, the Light of Israel, the Bridegroom of Israel.
In the Passover, God is telling us that release from slavery to the wickedness of the world can come only by the blood of Messiah, and by eating Messiah. To be free from the sin of the world we must eat Messiah—eat of Him in whom God dwells, whom God has chosen. When we eat Messiah we come into union with Him. We marry the Bridegroom.
Prayer: Father, Messiah Jesus is my only hope for release from slavery to the wickedness of this world. Help me to live by His body and blood, Amen.
Isaiah 65:17-25A CHANGE OF EMPHASIS
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17)
Jerusalem will be the throne of the Lord. Somehow the Christian churches have lost sight of this. Throughout history the large Christian organizations have hated the Jews. This hatred is of Satan, who understands that the world will be governed from Jerusalem.
The leadership of the Jews has responded to this hatred by rejecting all Christians. However, the Word of God shall stand. God in His sovereignty already is delivering Jewish people from their misconceptions and prejudices against Jesus and the true Christians, and giving Christian people a love and appreciation for the Jews. The end result will be that the elect of God, Jewish and Gentile, become one in God’s hand. Messiah Jesus will be King over them. There is no power that can circumvent the written Word of God Almighty.
Prayer: Father, I long for the day when Jerusalem is the throne of the Lord, Amen.
What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him? (Psalms 8:4)
Man has been created to rule the works of God, not to be ruled by the works of God. Look always and only to the Lord Jesus the Messiah and He will make you a conqueror.
Man is to be in the image of God. He is to be in union with God and with others of his kind as God directs him. He is to be fruitful—filling the universe with the image of God, which is Messiah Jesus. He is to govern the creation under Messiah Jesus who is under God.
If a person goes through this present life and does not become famous or wealthy or accomplish any work of distinction, it is of no consequence.
But if a person goes through life and does not begin to be conformed to God’s image, does not enter union with Messiah and with others to whom God directs him, does not give of himself in aiding the formation of Messiah in other people, and does not learn to rule in Messiah, it is of the greatest consequence. He has not made any progress in becoming “man”!
Prayer: Father, help me to become all that You have destined me to be through Messiah Jesus, Amen.
Matthew 24:6-8ENDURING TO THE END
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
The unerring Word of God states that we shall be saved provided we endure to the end, that is, to the end of our assigned course. Suppose we do not endure to the end of our assigned course, will we be saved from destruction in any case? Will our sins be forgiven? Will we be changed into the image of the Lord Jesus? Will we be brought into untroubled union with the Father.
Contemporary evangelical teaching states that we will be saved whether or not we endure to the end because grace is unconditional.
The Scriptures thunder, “No!”
The deceiver croons, “You shall not surely die.”
The Scriptures states, “If you as a Christian live in the flesh you shall die spiritually. If you sow to your flesh you shall reap corruption. If you turn from the way of righteousness it would be better for you had you never begun the race.”
Prayer: Father, let the Word of God be my final guide, and not the traditions of men, Amen.
Matthew 13:18-23FAITH AND FRUIT
“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
God’s righteousness is the Life of Messiah Jesus in us.
What if there is no evidence of the Life of Messiah in us? If there is no evidence of such fruit then we are not abiding in Messiah. Our faith is not taking hold on God as it should. Our “faith” may be little more than a mental assent to the facts concerning Messiah and redemption.
Righteousness is that which pleases God. Part of new-covenant righteousness is faith in the Gospel of Messiah Jesus. An equally important part of new-covenant righteousness is the change into holy behavior that flows from the forming of Messiah in us.
If our faith is of the right kind, a change into Messiah’s moral image will take place. Faith will bring about the desired results. The Seed of Messiah will grow in us if we keep it in a healthful environment.
Prayer: Father, help me to learn from the parable of the sower. Grant me the diligence I need to tend properly to the Seed Of Messiah, Amen.
Ephesians 5:1-11GRACE—REPLACES THE LAW ORREPLACES RIGHTEOUS BEHAVIOR?
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Evangelical theology is built on a false premise. The false premise is that Divine grace replaces the need for righteous behavior. This is not what Paul taught. Paul taught that Divine grace replaces the Law of Moses. The misunderstanding of what grace is intended to replace has produced multitudes of believers who are babies in the ability to distinguish between good and evil and in the willingness and strength to choose the good and reject the evil.
The preachers of today are saying to Christian people, “You shall not surely die even if you do not serve the Lord Jesus, because you are saved (will go to Heaven when you die) on the basis of a supreme, sovereign, unconditional grace.” When the ministers of the Gospel teach this doctrine they are misunderstanding the goals, and the program for attaining those goals, of the Apostle Paul. They are leading themselves and their hearers to destruction.
Prayer: Father, You have shown me what is good, help me to live it, Amen.
Ephesians 4:20-32HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD
and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
The relationship of our Christian experience of the present to the experiences we shall have in the future can be expressed simply. If we do not practice holiness now we will not have a desire for holiness at the appearing of the Lord. At what point would our transformation into holiness take place?
When we die and go to Heaven?
Why? Sin originated in Heaven with the rebellion of the angels against God Almighty. Why should our dying and going to Heaven change us from indifferent “believers” into lovers of the Lord Jesus and His ways? If we follow Jesus from far off here we will follow Him from far off there.
The earth is God’s proving ground, His school for victorious saints. Messiah Himself learned obedience on the earth and we learn obedience on the earth. Messiah Himself had to overcome while on the earth and we have to overcome while we are yet on the earth. It is on earth that the Christian is shaped and tempered for his role and place of responsibility in God’s Kingdom.
Prayer: Father, shape Your will in my life here and now on this earth, Amen.
John 14:12-17IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (John 14:20)
When first we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior He is with us as our Friend and Companion. He is the Good Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters. Also, He is born in our hearts at that time.
In order for us to become an abode in the House of God, the Divine Seed that has been planted in us must be nourished and cared for until Messiah begins to mature in us. As Messiah grows to fullness of stature in us, the Father and the Son come through the Holy Spirit and make our transformed inner man Their eternal dwelling place.
The Father will dwell only in Messiah. Our Christian discipleship is one long travail as Messiah is being formed in us. When the Father and the Son take up Their residence in us, that is the beginning of the Day of the Lord as far as we personally are concerned.
The Morning Star, Messiah Jesus, arises in our hearts. The Day of the Lord commences within the personalities of God’s conquering saints. When Jesus comes, the saints will bring the Day of the Lord to the whole world.
Prayer: Father, let the day star arise!
Luke 6:46-49IT IS TIME FOR A REFORMATIONOF CHRISTIAN THINKING
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)
It is useless to call Messiah “Lord” and then not do what He says. It is unprofitable.
True salvation exists in people who were sinners but who now, by God’s grace, are serving God. They are not yet perfect but they are becoming perfect, as the Holy Spirit guides and empowers them. Their goal is not to flee from this world, although they rejoice at the thought of going home to be with the Lord. Rather, their goal is the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is done in Heaven.
The nations of the earth, beholding the true Christian, are guided, uplifted, enlarged—pointed toward the Day when they will be released into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The true saint is the light of the world, because Messiah can be witnessed in him, and God in Messiah.
All men want to behold God. It is the Christian people, and only the Christian people, who are the manifestation of God in the earth. If the righteous Person of Messiah Jesus cannot be seen in the saints, the Person and blessing of God are not available to the nations.
Prayer: Father, more than saying “Lord”, I want to obey, Amen.
I Corinthians 15:58KINGDOM INSTRUCTION FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)
The Lord does not heal until He first has “torn.” The Lord does not bind up until he first has “smitten.” God tears out of us what is sinful. God smites what is self-seeking, self-centered, self-willed, and therefore harmful to us. God heals us with an impartation of His love and eternal life. God binds us up with eternal healing virtue and love which are stronger than death itself.
What God tears and smites is passing away with the present age. What God heals and binds up becomes eternal. It will never perish.
It is harvest time today. “Jordan” is overflowing its banks, bringing shaking and change to all whom it touches. Sinners are to turn to the Lord, both the unsaved sinners and the saved sinners. The Judge is standing at the door. God is measuring what He has performed in the earth to this point.
God is speaking to your heart. Do what He tells you. Fix your eyes stedfastly on the Lord. Follow Him.
Prayer: Father, I trust that what You tear, You will heal, and so I fix my eyes upon You, O mighty God! Amen.
Joshua 3:1-17KINGDOM INSTRUCTION FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.” (Joshua 3:9)
When God commands you to press forward it may appear to be the worst possible time. Expect this, and move ahead with God. No power in heaven or on the earth can stop any soul who is moving forward in obedience to God.
Only our fear and unbelief can destroy us. There is no other enemy that can prevent us from being a victorious saint, from receiving our full inheritance.
If God commands you to do some impossible thing, do not waste time informing the Lord that it is impossible. He understands this. Concentrate on perceiving exactly what God wants you to do, and when He wants you to do it.
Sometimes a Christian will know what it is God wants him to do, but he adds to the correct burden methods and timings that are incorrect. Then he cannot understand why the “river” does not part before him. Following the Spirit of God requires careful attention to prayer and the Scriptures. It demands patient, cross-carrying obedience if we are to avoid adding incorrect methods and timings to what God has entrusted to us.
Prayer: Father, give me ears to hear, Amen.
Isaiah 57:14-21LEARNING OBEDIENCE THROUGH SUFFERING
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (I Peter 5:10)
Obedience! We learn obedience to God through the things we suffer. And, as in the case of Messiah, when we are faithful in our prisons and sufferings, other people are blessed. Will there ever be an end to our sufferings? Yes, there shall indeed. As soon as we are perfectly obedient there will be no more need for chastening.
What a blessed thought it is to realize we will not be chastened forever! If we remain faithful, praying in our afflictions, there will come a time when the chastening is concluded. It will come to an end. God will not be forever scolding us. One day we will walk in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We can prolong our sufferings by refusing to learn obedience; or we can shorten the program by being quick to learn, quick to obey. But in no case can the sufferings of the righteous be avoided, for obedience must be formed in us so deeply, so perfectly, that God will be able to trust us with the power and glory of the ages to come. We must through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Father, make me quick to learn!
Isaiah 40:6-11THE MESSAGE OF THE TWO WITNESSES
Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. (Isaiah 40:10)
The two witnesses of the last days, Messiah and His Body, will preach the Good News of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They will command the nations of the earth to repent and be baptized in water, warning them of the destructive wrath of God resting upon all who reject His Son.
In addition, the witnesses will speak comfortably to the Lord’s elect, both Jewish and Gentile. Numerous Jewish people will receive their Messiah (which is happening even today). The bruised reed will not be broken and the smoldering wick will not be extinguished. The Lord will treat people righteously, and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be set free from Satan and filled with the Presence of the Lord.
The message of the coming of the Kingdom is good news for the righteous, for the meek of the earth. The message of the coming of the Kingdom is terrifying news for the arrogant, the proud, for those who destroy other people and their own environment as well.
Prayer: Father, let Your witnesses come!
Romans 16:20MORE THAN CONQUERORS
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4)
At the time of the return of Messiah Jesus from Heaven, God will rise up in the saints who are in Heaven and on the earth. Antichrist will be confronted by Messiah Jesus in the saints everywhere he turns. He will be destroyed by the power of God in the saints. He will be crushed under the feet of the saints. In that hour the Lord God will be the protecting, sustaining hope of His people. A thousand will fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand, but we will have no need to fear because God Himself will be our hope and our strength.
Therefore, we have no dread of the future. God Himself is our strength and our protection, our joy and our peace. As long as He leaves us on the earth we are perfectly safe in His almighty care. If we should die and go to Heaven we will return in glory with Jesus. If we should live through part or all of the days of tribulation that are at hand, we will discover that God is with us and in us, and that His power and love make us more than conquerors no matter what problems and dangers are before us.
Prayer: Father, in You I am a conqueror!
Colossians 3:1-11THE NEW CREATION AND THE RESURRECTION
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:11)
If we will receive it, God is willing to count us as having died already and having become part of Messiah Jesus. The first step has been taken: Adam has died. God has called us, His firstfruits, to enter now into the transition from the old creation to the new.
After having assigned Adam to the cross, God begins to raise up Adam and to judge him. We discover, as we abide in Jesus, that each day brings us to a new realization of the depth of sin and rebellion that is in our personality.
Part by part the Lord is bringing up the old Adam and judging him. Have you found this to be true? Just when we think Adam has been destroyed we find that he is attempting to live in us. The Holy Spirit is giving us the wisdom and power to destroy the lusts and rebellions of the Adamic nature. The process of bringing Adam to judgment and consequent death, and the replacing of Adam with the new Life of Messiah Jesus, is the manner in which the Kingdom of God is being formed in the firstfruits in the present hour.
Prayer: Father, bring forth a new creation!
Galatians 3:26-29THE OLIVE TREE
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; (Ephesians 4:4)
The Olive Tree, Messiah, the Kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Messiah, Israel, the Church, are all one new Man. There is one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord Jesus, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is in us all.
The names of the Apostles of the Lamb are in the foundations of the wall of the new Jerusalem and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are inscribed eternally on the gates of the wall. The Apostles and the tribes are all of the Jews; but we Gentiles have a portion through Ephraim prophetically and through the Lord Jesus in actuality. All is in a Jewish environment, and all is of Jesus.
The Olive Tree is neither of the Jews by race nor of the Gentiles by race, even though it is in a Jewish context. The Olive Tree is the Spirit of Messiah. The Spirit of Messiah originally was with the nation of Israel, and then expanded to include the elect Gentiles.
Prayer: Father, make me an eternal part of the Olive Tree, which is Messiah Jesus, the hope of glory! Amen.
Numbers 13:25-33PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK
As the LORD had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did; and they divided the land. (Joshua 14:5)
What is your attitude toward God’s land of promise, God’s rest? Is your heart like that of Joshua and Caleb? Do you believe that the Lord God of Heaven is able to give you complete victory over the enemies in your “land”?
Or are you of the same spirit as the remainder of the Israelites, who provoked God with their unbelief? Do you have a willingness to fight, as did Jacob who took his inheritance out of the hands of the Amorites with his sword and bow?
Ask God for a vision of Messiah. Make the possessing of the fullness of Messiah the first and greatest desire of your heart. Reach out for the boundless glory of resurrection life.
Believe that your personality can and will be created in the image of Messiah. Continually desire and groan for the putting on of your house from Heaven, your body of eternal glory and power.
Prayer: Father, increase my vision of Messiah, and grant me a heart like that of Joshua and Caleb, Amen.
Numbers 14:1-9PRESSING TOWARD THE MARK
“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:12)
Determine to rule all things in Messiah Jesus. Let your thoughts be full of sharing in the majesty and authority of Messiah. Submit yourself to God always so that you can inherit with Messiah the highest throne of the universe. It does not matter what you suffer to get there, it matters only that God desires that you inherit all things.
Be serious in your quest for God. Set out immediately in a straightforward manner to find the Lord. Do so with all the integrity and diligence of which you are capable. God is a rewarder of every soul who sincerely seeks Him.
“Give me this mountain,” Caleb requested.
Jesus, your “Joshua,” will not disappoint you. You shall inherit your “Hebron” in the land of promise!
Prayer: Father, “give me this mountain!”
1 Chronicles 16:23-36REBUILDING THE WALL
And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. (Revelation 21:15)
The true saint does not give part of his time to God, he gives all of his time to God. He is being fashioned as a gate of the new Jerusalem even when he is employed in secular work. He is to be ready always to serve as an access to God, as the Spirit directs him. The saint must give all of his personality to the Lord to use as He will, or he surely will suffer irreparable loss of inheritance.
The wall is of jasper but the gates are of pearl. Jasper is formed from heat and pressure. Pearl is formed from our coping with years of frustration and irritation.
As long as we are living in our flesh and self-centeredness we cannot serve as an access to the Presence of God. When people come to us in order to find the Lord they are met by our self-centeredness and self-love, not by the Glory of God. The Lord spends much time destroying our lusts and self-will. This is a painful process, but the result is a gate to the Presence of God.
Prayer: Father, build Your wall in me, and make me a gate to Your Presence, Amen.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me. (Psalms 139:1)
God knows that we never can attain love, joy, and peace, that for which He has designed us, until we come into a right relationship with Himself and a right relationship with those around us. Therefore, He sends various tribulations on us to change us from what is self-centered and corruptible into that which lives and moves and has its being in God’s Being. Then we are possessors of all things.
When we seek to evade pain, when we dodge the cross, when we are unwilling to suffer patiently the prisons in which we are placed, we make it impossible for ourselves to attain the love, joy, and peace for which we have been created.
It is patient, cross-carrying obedience that results in the transition from a living soul, which is temporary and corruptible, into a life-giving spirit. It is the life-giving spirit alone that is capable of satisfactory relationships. Our chastenings are the love of God in action toward us, love that is leading us straight toward the land of promise—the place where God can find complete, untroubled rest in us and we can find complete, untroubled rest in God.
Prayer: “Lead on, O King, Eternal!”
Psalm 97:1-12THE SECOND DEATH
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11)
The only sure foundation is the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Every person on earth is invited to build his life on the one foundation. What we build is character—Messiah-filled character in ourselves and Messiah-filled character in others. Nothing else can be built that is of any worth whatever. The only structure we can bring with us after we leave this temporary probational period on earth is our character, our personality.
We can follow the Holy Spirit as He forms Messiah in us. Or we can give ourselves to the appetites and passions of our body and soul.
If we sow to the Holy Spirit we will reap the gold, silver, and precious stones of the character of Messiah. If we sow to our flesh and soul we will reap the wood, hay, and straw of the Adamic personality. The Divine fire of God will test every person’s work. If the individual has sown to the Spirit of God, taking up his cross and following Messiah, the gold and silver will be made more pure. If the individual has sown to his human personality, walking in his own desires, his work will be destroyed by the Divine fire.
Prayer: Father, purify me with fire!
Romans 9:19-20A STUDY GUIDE FORTHE BOOK OF ROMANS
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” (Romans 9:19)
The concepts of Divine foreknowledge and Divine predestination have proved to be difficult for some earnest inquirers to accept. The saint who desires to grow in the wisdom and revelation of Messiah Jesus must accept the concepts of Divine foreknowledge and predestination. Apart from them it is impossible to understand the ways of the Lord God of Heaven.
Divine foreknowledge and Divine predestination are truths of the holy Scriptures. The Scriptures are not to be tampered with in any manner whatever.
God is God. He is wiser, more powerful, greater, more loving, more capable of wrath, more able to work according to His own counsel, than any of us are able to conceive.
Perhaps our sinful and rebellious nature would attempt to accuse God of injustice because He works in terms of His foreknowledge and eternal purposes. But we cannot alter the Scriptures. God is the Potter and we are the clay. Let God be true and every man a liar.
Prayer: Father, I bow before Your foreknowledge and election, Amen.
Nehemiah 4:15-23THE TEMPLE OF GOD
Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. (Nehemiah 4:18)
In the day in which we live, the Holy Spirit is restoring gifts and ministries to the Body of Messiah so we may begin to build up the Church of Messiah in preparation for the appearing of Jesus Messiah. There will be opposition from the enemy. Therefore, we must build with one hand and be ready to fight with the other.
The saint must never let down his spiritual guard. Each Christian must “keep a watch posted at all times.” Whether he is in a church service or involved in secular matters, whether working or playing, whether resting at home or going for a drive, whether in the school or in the factory, whether among friends or enemies, the saint must instantly be “prayed through.” He or she must be in contact with the Lord Jesus. We must be armed and ready to fight at a moment’s notice, day or night. We are building the Body of Messiah with one hand, and fighting with the other. Every word, every motive, every action, every step, must be presented to the Holy Spirit for His judgment.
Prayer: Father, help me to take my post, to build and fight in the Spirit, Amen.
Titus 2:1-10THREE ASPECTS OF GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14)
When the Apostle Paul states that the Body of Messiah will be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish,” he is not speaking of the righteousness that God assigns to those who put their faith in Jesus. The holiness of the Church is not imputed (ascribed) by Messiah but performed by Messiah. An imputed righteousness cannot shine for people to see. Only righteous character as evidenced in good works is a visible witness of God’s Glory.
Men do not glorify God when God imputes righteousness to His Church. Rather, men glorify God when they behold the good behavior that results from the work of redemption performed by Messiah in the members of His Body. The new Jerusalem is not made up of sinning Christians to whom righteousness has been imputed. The new Jerusalem is the Throne of God and of the Lamb. It is not a collection of sinning people who are being forgiven by grace. Its stupendous radiance is the Glory of God shining through human beings who have been made one in the Godhead.
Prayer: Father, make me a visible and eternal witness of Your Glory!
I Peter 5:6-10WITNESSES; KINGS; DELIVERERS; SERVANTS
Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him. (Psalms 105:19)
Imprisonment gives us the humble, meek, obedient attitude of the servant. God loves a meek and quiet spirit. Many would-be deliverers are going through the world attempting to be great in the Kingdom of God. How the high hills do leap! But God is in none of it. A meek and quiet spirit that is obedient to God is worth a king’s ransom in God’s sight. Let us make ourselves of no reputation, patiently performing those undesirable chores in unchanging faithfulness and diligence. Our day will come.
The role of deliverer will be exercised in the wilderness, and will increase in authority and power as the Father and the Son enter to a greater extent into God’s deliverers in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. Then, at the time of the Lord’s return from heaven, the Light of God will blaze in mighty power from the personalities of the saints. The sky above the earth will be illuminated in the fullness of glory, heralding the glorious coming of Messiah Jesus in the clouds. The scroll of the heavens will be rolled back and the sign of the Son of Man will appear for all mankind to behold.
Prayer: Father, make me humble and obedient!
Luke 21:7-28YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NEAR
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)
In this manner the fullness of redemption will come to every saved person on earth. Redemption will come at first through a warlike remnant, a firstfruits to God and the Lamb, and then will be maintained by the entire Church, the Israel of God, the new Jerusalem, throughout the eternal ages to come.
The role of God’s Israel, of everyone who belongs to Messiah Jesus, is to install and maintain on the earth all that mankind forfeited through the cunning of Satan:
- Eternal life and the Presence of God.
- Freedom from sin.
- Bodily incorruption.
- Jerusalem as the center of government of the earth.
- Justice for the meek of the earth.
- The restoration of Paradise.
When we see the heavens shaken, the powers of nature seemingly out of control, then we are to lift up our head. Our redemption is drawing near!
Prayer: Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!
(“Seek First…”, 3226-1)