THE FLESH OF MAN MADE THE WORD OF GOD
THE FLESH OF MAN MADE THE WORD OF GODCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. Now we, who are being made His brothers and conformed to His image, are the flesh being made the Word of God. Such is the new covenant.
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." (Isaiah 42:6,7)
The passage above refers to the Servant of the Lord. The Servant of the Lord is ChristHead and Body.
This reminds us of something Paul wrote:
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (II Corinthians 3:3)
A covenant is an agreement between two people. In the case of Israel, the Ten Commandments were the covenant between God and the Israelites. Their part was to obey the Commandments. God's part was to bless them with material prosperity and long life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God's new covenant with man. If we will receive Christ as God's Son and our Savior, God has promised us eternal life. The eternal life includes the knowledge and blessing of the Father, and bodily immortality.
Now we, being the Body of Christ, are part of the new covenant. If people will receive our preaching of Christ and forgiveness of sins and righteous behavior through Him, then they too will be able to approach the Father, receive forgiveness of sins and God's blessing, and gain bodily immortality in the Day of Resurrection.
There are two items of prime importance to God regarding our part of the covenant. The first item is that we receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior. The second item is that we live a righteous, holy life. If either of these two items is absent, our covenant with God is broken. We, not God, have broken the contract.
Those people who profess to be Christians, but who do not obey Christ as their personal Lord, and who do not lead a righteous, holy life, are not eligible for forgiveness, to come to know God and receive His blessing, or to receive bodily immortality in the Day of Resurrection. It is that simple and straightforward.
If what I have written above is true and Scriptural, then the current teaching of lawless grace is not Scriptural. It is not of God and has led to Christian churches whose preaching is far removed from the truth.
We have concocted a covenant of our own, termed "The Four Steps of Salvation." The "four steps of salvation" are as follows:
"All people have sinned." In its deepest sense, this is true and factual. However it has led to the belief that the desire of people to do what is right is as "filthy rags." Although this is true it is limited to its context.
Peter tells us in the Book of Acts that all people who fear God and do what is right are accepted by the Lord. For example, Noah was held to be righteous. There are many Bible references, particularly in the Book of Psalms, to righteous people.
"We all are deserving of death and cannot save ourselves." This is the second of the "four steps of salvation." This is true.
"Christ died on the cross to forgive our sins." This is true and factual.
"If we will accept Christ we will be saved and go to Heaven when we die." This fourth step is misleading. The impression is left that if we make a one-time profession of faith in Christ we have a ticket to Heaven. But Jesus said, "He who endures to the end shall be saved."
Also, nowhere in the Bible is eternal residence in Heaven presented as our goal. Our goal is to be made in the image of Jesus and to dwell in untroubled rest in the very Center of God's Person and will.
A place, such as Heaven, can never be our goal. The Divine redemption is a plan to put an end to sin in God's creation. It is the war of good against evil. This is not accomplished by bringing people to another place!
Let us compare the man-made covenant, "The Four Steps of Salvation" that we have just outlined, with God's new covenant:
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Hebrews 8:10)
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)
"The four steps of salvation" and the true Christian new covenant have in common that both include forgiveness of sin. But after that there is a major difference. The four steps of salvation are limited to forgiveness, The true Christian covenant of salvation emphasizes a change in the individual. This truly is an awesome difference!
Also, the four steps of salvation are actions we take to please God. The true Christian covenant is imposed by the Lord. "I will make" "I will put." "I will be their God." The four steps of salvation are man-made, and part of the Christian religion. The actual Divine covenant is God-made and is God's plan of salvation, just as was true of the Ten Commandments, which was the old covenant.
You may have noticed, in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, when describing the Battle of Armageddon, that there is a sword coming from the mouth of Christ. That sword is the Word of God, the most powerful, the sharpest, sword in the universe.
When the Lord comes there will be two armies, the army of saints and the army of angels. The army of angels do the actual fighting, the putting of people to death. Christ and His saints act as judges. The speak the word of judgment. The angels carry out of the sentence of judgment.
If we are to return with the Lord, we must be conformed to His image. We must be the flesh of man made the Word of God.
We must make this transition today. Today is the time for preparing the army of saints who will descend with the Lord.
How do we prepare for the Battle of Armageddon---to be with the Lord after the victory at Armageddon, when He goes forth with His saints to cleanse the earth from the institutions of Antichrist?
We have to become the Word of God. We will not fight with swords or spears. We will fight with the Word of God coming from our mouth. The warrior angels will do the actual physical encounters.
How do we become the Word of God? A little bit at a time.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:13)
This is how it works. We go about our business during the day. Then we come to a decision about something or other. There are two ways we can go. We can plow ahead in our own will and desires. Or we can pray and ask God what we should do.
If we push ahead according to our own will, nothing in our personality will change, perhaps. But if we pray and ask God what we should do, and it happens to be something we would prefer not to do, and we obey God, then a part of our personality dies and the Word of God takes its place.
This is where speaking in tongues comes in. As we pray in tongues, we are brought to the place where we end up doing God's will, and thus enter the rest of God.
"That they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." We are not to take a passive stance and say, "I will do nothing. I will wait for the Lord to move in me." Do not do this. It will cause passivity and indecisiveness. This is the way into deception.
Rather, we forge ahead, after prayer, doing what we believe is the Lord's will. Meanwhile, we keep praying and watching the fruit of our actions. If we are on the wrong path, we will "fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." It is the continual frustration of the natural man that leads us into the rest of God.
Every person who will follow the Lamb into battle must himself or herself be living in the rest of God, that is, living by the Life of the Lord Jesus.
In order to understand what is going on today, we must realize that God's strategy is to divide His Church into two parts. This division is shown in several Old Testament types, "types" meaning symbols by which we understand God's dealings with us.
There is a firstfruits of the Church; and then there is the main body of the elect. To not understand this is to forever wonder how the Lord is going to gather an army who all are obeying God sternly, living in God's rest.
If we look around us in the churches, noticing how few really fervent disciples there are, who have denied themselves, taken up their cross, and are following Jesus, we conclude that numerous church-goers by no means are ready to march in an army of judges.
In a church of 1,000 people we might find as many as two totally consecrated believers.
There are not many who are ready to descend with Christ and work with Him in overcoming Satan and installing the Kingdom of God, the will of God, on the earth.
Here is one example of the division into a firstfruits, and then the remainder of the elect:
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
These are the firstfruits from among men. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They stand on Mount Zion, which is another name for Heaven. When Joel's army of judges is ready to march, the alarm is sounded in Zion, that is, in Heaven.
Then there are the blessed and holy priests who participate in the first resurrection:
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
There are two marriages to the Lamb. There is a marriage of the firstfruits to the Lamb. These saints make themselves ready, unlike the marriage of the remainder of the elect. Then we notice the marriage to the Lamb of the majority of the elect, as described in Revelation 21. These are made ready by others:
Notice in the case of the marriage of the firstfruits to the Lord that they make themselves ready:
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Revelation 19:7,8)
In the case of the majority of the elect, they are made ready by others:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
There are the kings who shall rule on the earth. These obviously are not the whole Church, but the victorious saints, purchased with the blood of the Lamb from every nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10)
The armies of Antichrist will fight against the Lamb. Now notice those who are with the Lamb at that time: the "called, chosen and faithful followers."
Unfortunately all of the Lord's people are not called, chosen, and faithful in the present hour. But some are, and they can hear the Spirit calling them to war against everything that is of Satan.
They were called by the Lord, elected to be in the Church, the Wife of the Lamb. Then, by their steadfast consecration, they passed into the smaller ranks of the chosen. After that they were tested, tested, and tested again to see if they would be faithful to the Lamb. Otherwise they cannot be relied on in the time of danger to march in their place.
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kingsand with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. (Revelation 17:14)
In the Old Testament, the Tent of Meeting, which represents the Church, the Body of Christ, was divided into two parts. The first part of the Tent was the Holy Place. Then there was a great Veil. Behind the Veil was the Most Holy Place, which in volume was one-half that of the Holy Place.
The volume of the Holy Place was two thousand cubic cubits. The volume of the Most Holy Place was one thousand cubic cubits. This might suggest to us that after the two thousand years of the Church Era, God will assemble His firstfruits and they will govern the nations of the earth for one thousand years.
There were, of course, David's "mighty men" who were part of Israel (as is true of all of the firstfruits) but distinguished by their prowess in battle:
These are the names of David's mighty men: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. (II Samuel 23:8)
One of the most important foreshadowings of the temporary division of the Christian Church is found in the reign of David. David reigned for seven years at Hebron, and the remainder of his forty years at Jerusalem.
He had reigned forty years over Israelseven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. (I Kings 2:11)
It appears to be scriptural to say that the Christian Church will be divided temporarily into a warlike remnant, and then the remainder of the elect. However, when the new Jerusalem descends from Heaven through the new sky, there no longer will be a division.
It seems possible to me that the firstfruits always will have a special place with the Lamb; but I have no scriptural support for that assumption. I wonder if David's mighty men always were specially close to him. I know Benaiah was, although he was not one of the thirty.
What all this means to us is that we must keep alert to what God is doing in our day. I seem to hear the Spirit saying that "Moses is dead," so to speak, and we are to prepare ourselves for the battles that are ahead of us.
I have said many times that to have received Christ, been baptized in water and in the Spirit of God, is not sufficient if we are to be part of the great battle of Revelation, Nineteen; and then the cleansing of the earth, as set forth in the second chapter of the Book of Joel. We must become the flesh made the Word of God so we can march behind the Lord Jesus, who Himself is the flesh made the Word.
We must be conformed to the image of Christ. We must become His brothers, if we are to fight alongside Him in the battle of good against evil.
The traditional view of salvation, that we have been saved to go to Heaven and live in a mansion is neither scriptural, nor consistent with the realities involved in the entrance of the Kingdom of God into the earth.
I am not saying that everyone is called at this time to be prepared to be caught up to Christ and then to descend with Him in the great calvary charge of Armageddon. I do not believe that every believer in Christ has this calling, just as today in America, not everyone is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
No doubt the majority of God's elect will go, when they die, to the heavenly Jerusalem. There they shall be prepared to descend to the earth at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and be the light of those people from the nations who have been saved to citizenship on the new earth.
I think one of the tasks of the firstfruits, who will be charged with installing and maintaining the Presence of the Spirit of God on the earth during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, will be to enter the heavenly Jerusalem and teach the elect in the spirit world who were not ready to march with Christ in the battles of Revelation Nineteen, and Joel, Two.
We see this in the Song of Solomon, don't we:
We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar. (Song of Solomon 8:8,9)
So many of the elect are immature. They are God's called to be part of His Israel, His Royal Priesthood, and He will work with them, perhaps using more mature saints, if the immature are willing to learn.
Salvation is of the Lord. There is only so much we can do. Unlike the Law of Moses, the new covenant is imposed on us. It is God who gives the desire to be among the firstfruits, the army of judges.
Does the thought that it is God who moves in our heart to cause us to want to desire to be among His firstfruits advise us that we should be at our ease, always waiting for God to carry us out of ourselves? Indeed not! We have to labor to enter God's rest. We have to make our calling and election certain.
If we try to be a victorious saint in our own strength and wisdom, we will fail. If we wait for Christ to make us a victorious saint, it will not happen. It has to be both the sword of the Lord and of Gideon, so to speak, if we are to make a success of the life of victory in Christ.
We are to think soberly according to the measure of faith that God has given us, and then use the gifts that have been given to us.
Using our gifts, our Kingdom resources, needs to be emphasized. I see Christian people who are not using what God has given to them. I wonder if they realize how serious an offense this is?
Maybe it is time in our day to emphasize the parable of the talents. Those who used their talents met with the Lord's approval. But the man who buried his talent, because of fear or whatever, was denounced soundly by the Lord. His one talent was taken from him, given to someone more diligent, and he was sent into the outer darkness.
In our day in America, I don't imagine this parable is being preached with any conviction, or preached at all! Why not? Because it does not fit the "lawless-grace" teaching that is so common. We would say that it is sad the man did not use what was given to him, but there is no need to worry. He is going to be brought to Heaven because he is saved by God's sovereign calling and grace.
To such a grievous extent have we mocked the Word of the Holy One of Israel.
Sin is running rampant in America at this time. Meanwhile the Spirit of God is speaking to us to confess and turn away from our sin. Those who do will have prepared themselves to experience resurrection when Christ comes and to be caught up to meet the Commander-in-Christ in the air.
Then they will descend with Him to participate in the war of good against evil.
But the foolish "virgins" whose lamp went out a long time ago, and who are talking nonsense about a "rapture" that will bring them to Heaven where they can take their ease in their "mansion," are going to miss the day of their visitation.
They shall not be resurrected when Jesus appears because they neither are qualified nor competent to work with Christ at the task of assigning Satan to the Bottomless Pit, destroying the army of Antichrist, or of throwing the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire.
For them to be caught up to Heaven, bringing their sins and self-will with them, would not be pleasing to the inhabitants of the heavens, who are hoping for relief from the nagging voice of the Accuser.
It appears that the majority of church-attenders in America are deluded. They are hoping for a "rapture" that will remove them from all their troubles and guarantee them a place in Paradise for eternity.
They are sorely deluded; and their pastors that are holding out this hope to them are keeping them spiritual infants, of little use in the war against evil and unable to lend a hand at the work of bringing the Kingdom of God, the will of God, to the earth.
Ours is a day of apostasy, the promised apostasy that will permit the rise of Antichrist. We already can see in America the rejection of the fear of God and the widespread practice of immoral behavior. The worst of these behaviors is the aborting of the life of babies. This practice alone guarantees America a third or fourth place among the nations of the earth.
And we are going to experience much bloodshed in the meantime.
Woe unto us. We have discarded the heritage given to us by God-fearing pioneers. We are adopting the sins of Europe. Our early leaders warned us against this, but we have jumped into the pit anyway.
The Lord Jesus spoke to me fifty years ago and said that Europe was like children with jam on their face but America was like a boy with his hand in the cookie jar.
Well, thanks to people who do not understand the origin and original philosophy of America, we now have jam smeared on our faces.
That is the world's problem. It need not be ours if we as an individual will turn to Christ and seek to think, speak, and act as He today is thinking, speaking, and acting. If we thus will learn to live by His life, and not depart from it, we will be able to stand throughout the coming Gentile holocaust and help others to stand.
Finally Jesus will return with His judges and warrior angels. Then the peace that the world leaders can never achieve, because they do not give God the glory due His name, will fill the earth. In those days the knowledge of God will fill the earth and there shall be righteousness, love, joy, and peace for us and our children.