A REVIVAL UNTO MATURITY
A REVIVAL UNTO MATURITYCopyright 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.
There soon will be a revival in America. It will continue throughout a period of severe trouble.
However, it will not be the kind of revival to which we have been accustomed. We think of revival in terms of people entering the program of redemption. The revival that is approaching is not to introduce people to the program of redemption but to bring those to maturity who already have received Christ.
If we are acquainted with the New Testament we realize that the Christian people of today are nowhere near the standard of maturity set forth in the Scripture.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
And to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10,11)
Why is it that after two thousand years of Christianity, we still are emphasizing verses that introduce us to salvation, such as Romans 10:9,10, and the passages that point out the fullness of redemption are almost never discussed?
My personal opinion is that we now are at a point in the plan of redemption that growth to maturity is to be emphasized.
The current month (September), is the time of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the day of the new civil year. Rosh Hashanah, the Blowing of Trumpets, occurs on the first of Tishri. On the tenth of Tishri occurs the solemn Day of Atonement. On the fifteenth of Tishri the feast of Tabernacles begins.
The Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the feast of Tabernacles--- all in one month. Tishri indeed is a holy month.
Each of the seven feasts of Israel has a spiritual significance. The last three observances portray the coming to maturity of the members of the Body of Christ.
The Blowing of Trumpets tells us of the Lord Jesus coming to the members of His Body to announce to them His war against evil and the coming of the Kingdom of God.
The Day of Atonement is the beginning of our full reconciliation to God. We are reconciled to God legally through the blood atonement made on the cross of Calvary.
Now it is time for us to be reconciled to God in our thoughts, words, and speech. This means the Spirit of God will begin to point out the sin and rebellion in our personality so that we may confess these behaviors and turn away from them, renouncing them with the help of the Lord Jesus.
Most of us to this point have not been through the program of reconciliation, but it has begun. It is now that we are to be made manifest at the Judgment Seat of Christ, provided we have counted ourselves as dead with Christ and living in His resurrection Life.
Resurrection comes first, and then eternal judgment.
The Day of Atonement, according to my understanding, has begun now and will last until the final judgment of people, and then shall continue with the inhabitants of the new earth as sin occurs. People always will shall have a will, and that means it is possible for them to choose to disobey Christ.
The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles portrays the fullness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit making us Their eternal home. This is the final result of the Divine redemption.
We are held safe under the Passover blood until we have attained to the fullness of the stature of Christ. However, this safety continues only as long as we are obeying Christ and living in the Spirit of God. It is not at all true that salvation is unconditional. Every promise is accompanied by a condition, beginning with our acceptance of the blood of atonement through to our being filled with the fullness of God.
Every intervention of God in our life must be accompanied by an obedient response on our part if redemption is to take place.
In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
The promise is that the righteous requirements of the Law of Moses will be fully met in us. The condition is that we do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit of God.
I do not know how Christ is going to bring the members of His Body to maturity. Perhaps by permitting so much trouble to come upon us in America that we will begin to seek Jesus more actively than is true at present.
The lawless, Jesus-did-it-all "grace" that currently is being preached will be seen for the emptiness that it is. Also, the escape-by-rapture promise may not seem so realistic when we are experiencing suffering and danger of all kinds.
There are two reasons why the Christians must grow up in Christ.
First, so we can stand in Christ spiritually and help others to stand during the American period of chaos.
Second, to prepare those who will bear the unprecedented testimony of the last days, portrayed symbolically by the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation.
Jesus promised that the Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to every nation as a witness.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Notice it is not the good news of going to Heaven that will be preached in the whole world as a testimony. Rather it is the original Good News of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth that will be preached.
The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom has begun in our day. The lawless grace and "rapture" teachings are diminishing in favor of the need for us to set aside our own life, take up our cross of deferred desire, and follow the Lord Jesus diligently throughout every day and every night.
Many Christian people will hear the voice of the Spirit of God and will prepare themselves for the great end-time witness to every nation of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
In the present hour the nations of the earth are at each other's throats. This is the expected result of leaders attempting to govern without waiting to find out what God wants.
At the time of earth's most intense spiritual darkness, God shall authorize a testimony of unprecedented authority and power. So great will be the Presence of Christ it may be true that the majority of earth's people shall make a profession of faith in Christ.
These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. (Revelation 11:6)
The people living on the earth will see only individual preachers. But it will be Christ in them confirming the Word with signs following. Christ is one Witness, and the individual He is using is the other witness.
We are being trained today to bear this witness when God's time comes. The most important preparation is the destruction of our self-will. The destruction of our self-will is accomplished as God brings us through years of "imprisonment" in which our most intense desires are deferred and we are required to remain in situations that are not to our liking.
We also must keep our involvement in the world to a minimum. This present world is not our home, and whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Also we must, through Christ, overcome the lust of our flesh and spirit. Those who bear the Presence of Christ in the last days must be morally pure.
It may be true that the majority of believers in America in the present hour are immature. This is because the current teaching is not scriptural. It holds out eternal residence in Heaven in a mansion as being the goal of the Divine redemption.
In actuality the goal of the Divine redemption is to cleanse evil from the creation of God, beginning with the members of the Royal Priesthood. The war against evil began when Satan rebelled. God's actions since that time have been largely hidden from our understanding.
Today the trumpets of Rosh Hashanah, the "head of the year," are sounding. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord strong and mighty in battle, no longer is seated at God's right hand. He is standing on Mount Zion with His Firstfruits, ready to descend to the earth and drive evil from the earth.
We are moving toward an outpouring of God's Spirit that will bring all those who can hear His voice to the maturity described in the New Testament.
Then God will empower the final preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation.
When God is satisfied that the witness has been given, the power of the witness will be withdrawn. This will release Satan to give full authority and power to Antichrist.
After a period of time, when the inhabitants of the earth are crying "peace and safety," at the hour of earth's greatest spiritual darkness, the Glory of God will come upon those who had borne the witness.
But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. (Revelation 11:11,12)
As soon as God's witnesses are caught up, wrath will fall on the inhabitants of the earth.
At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13)
If my understanding is correct, this severe earthquake will be followed by the seven last plagues.
Then the Lord and His witnesses will descend on the white war stallions and destroy the army of Antichrist. Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Satan will be bound and confined in the Bottomless Pit until the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been completed.
The Lord and His witnesses will go throughout the earth, destroying all the Antichrist institutions and removing sinners from the earth, along with any remnant of demons.
The time of spiritual darkness on the earth is over. The Glory of God will be seen on the Lord's witnesses, His firstfruits. They will fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
This marks the commencement of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9)
Right now, the day in which we are living, is a time of preparation for these glorious events. Jesus Christ is standing on Mount Zion with His firstfruits. There still is time to become a member of the firstfruits, but it requires total consecration and obedience to the Lord Jesus on our part.
Some will stand with Jesus on Mount Zion and participate with Jesus in all the wonderful aspects of the consummation of the Divine plan of redemption. Why shouldn't you be one of them?
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)