GOD HAS NEEDS AND DESIRES!

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

GOD HAS NEEDS AND DESIRES! Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

God has needs. We are not thinking enough about this in America. Our sermons and books always seem to focus on what we are going to get from God or how we can use God in some manner. We are far too self-centered. We are seeking power or wisdom or money or healing. It is time we began to think about seeking God and finding out what it is that will please Him.

GOD HAS NEEDS AND DESIRES!

This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66:1—NIV)

God has needs. We are not thinking enough about this in America. Our sermons and books always seem to focus on what we are going to get from God or how we can use God in some manner. We are far too self-centered. We are seeking power or wisdom or money or healing. It is time we began to think about seeking God and finding out what it is that will please Him.

God needs and desires a house. God needs and desires a resting place. Have you ever thought about that?

At the present time God’s great Throne is in Heaven in the spirit realm.

It seems in time past there was a rebellion against God on the part of a considerable number of angels led by Satan, the cherub. Apparently the rebellion of the angels caused the Lord God to enter a state of unrest.

God cast about in His mind for a solution. He then decided to bypass the angels and create a new race of creatures called "man," the angels acting as servants to the new race. The new creatures will be made with a capacity for union with God, having in themselves a throne room, so to speak. Through them God will govern His universe.

All fine and good.

However, the rebels from Heaven immediately seduced "man." They injected into man’s natural love for his environment an unclean spirit of "worldliness" so he would turn away from God and find security and survival in his surroundings.

They injected into man’s natural appetites and passions an unclean spirit of lust and romanticism—burning desires that cause him to worship his own inflamed and exalted lusts.

They injected into man’s will, the will God gave him so he could choose to love and serve God, an unclean spirit of self-will, self-centeredness, self-love so he would not eat what he was supposed to eat, and eat what he was not supposed to eat.

Now man is like Satan, who is hideously bound in his own self-love—the most horrid of all prisons.

This leaves God without the throne, house, or rest that He needs and desires.

God loves the world—the people of the world, not the spirit of Antichrist that is in the world. But there is no way in which God can live among the nations He has created.

God came to earth in Jesus Christ. But people mocked Him, beat Him, and finally crucified Him.

If God were to walk among people today the same thing would take place. For one thing, the religious people would never believe He actually was what He claimed to be.

So God has a great plan. God’s plan began with Adam and Eve, the ancestors of the human race. The descendants of Adam and Eve have provided God with numerous people to love. Then God called out Abraham, tested him to the limit in obedience, and promised Abraham that in his Seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

God chose Abraham to be the father of all who believe in Christ. The word church is close enough in meaning to "called-out" or "elect" that we will consider the terms as being synonyms. In other words, the Christian Church (the called-out who are anointed with the Holy Spirit) began with Abraham, continued through the sons of Jacob, and then through those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ. It is all one Church, one elect of God, from the time of Abraham, the chosen of God.

Now, why have the members of the Church been called out of the world? This question needs a great deal of thought by Christians.

Our assumption today seems to be that everyone who is a member of the Christian Church is saved and will go to Heaven and everyone else on earth will be assigned to the Lake of Fire.

Perhaps to our amazement, the truth is that it is only the wicked who will be assigned to the Lake of Fire whether or not they view themselves as Christians. God has no intention whatever of putting the great majority of the people whom He has created, most of whom have never heard of Moses or Jesus Christ, into the Lake of Fire, there to be tormented forever.

We Christians have assigned, it appears, most of earth’s population to the Lake of Fire. But we are mistaken in this.

When God called the nation of Israel out of Egypt to be a holy priesthood to Himself, the idea was not that every other nation on earth is to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Rather the Jews are to be the custodians of the Law of Moses, the revelation of God’s Person and ways to all the peoples of the earth.

In the same manner, God has called the Christians, Jews and Gentiles, to Himself to be a holy nation, a royal priesthood. The idea is not that everyone else on earth is to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Rather it is true that the Christians are the custodians of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the means by which people can receive the forgiveness of their sins.

When we use the term "Church" in this essay it is important not to think of Christians only but of all God’s elect, beginning with Abraham. For this is the true meaning of Church.

He was in the assembly [church] in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us. (Acts 7:38—NIV)

Now why did God call the Church from the ranks of mankind? Remember, no person can come to Christ except the Father draw him. The Lord Jesus told us we have not chosen Him but He has chosen us and ordained us that we might bear fruit. Since only a small fraction of earth’s population is thus called out by the Lord, it would be grossly unfair of God to send all those who have not been called, into the Lake of Fire. This doesn’t make sense!

The fruit we are to bear is the moral image of Jesus Christ, which is the new-covenant counterpart of the Law of Moses. Both the Law of Moses and the moral image of Jesus Christ (as it is revealed in Christ Himself as well as in the Christian in whom Christ is dwelling) are to serve all of mankind as portrayals of the Person and ways of the God of Heaven.

The Church is the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom that shall govern the new world of righteousness. On that new earth will dwell the "sheep nations," that is, those who have assisted God’s witnesses of every age; and then all others whom God deems worthy of eternal life.

In fact, the Kingdom of God, the Church, is being created in order to meet the needs of the nations. The Kingdom is being prepared for them.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (Matthew 25:34—NIV)

"The kingdom prepared for you," that is, for the saved nations.

The "sheep nations" are not the Church. The sheep nations are those who were kind to God’s witnesses, Christ’s brothers, of every period of history.

God needs and desires to live among His creatures, to bless them, to guide them, to heal them, to love them. Therefore God has called out the Church from the nations of the earth to serve as a great house in which He can live and find rest.

The eternal house of God is the new Jerusalem. God’s Throne will be in the new Jerusalem, which is the glorified Church. All the saved nations of the earth will walk in the moral light shed by the holy city. They will come up to the city to learn of God and to walk in His righteous ways. In this manner God’s needs and desires will be met.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2,3—NIV)

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24—NIV)

The Lord’s temple, His eternal tabernacle, is Jesus Christ and the Body of Christ. There is no other house of the Father..

When Jesus Christ installs His Kingdom on the earth the headquarters will be at Jerusalem. From Jerusalem the Lord and His saints will govern the world.

All the nations of the earth will go up to Jerusalem to worship the King. At that time God will be revealed in Christ who will be revealed in His saints. It is through the saints that God through Christ will live among the nations.

On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (II Thessalonians 1:10—NIV)

The nations will go up to Jerusalem voluntarily because Satan and his angels will no longer be present on the earth and the demons will have been driven from the earth by Christ and His saints. The spiritual atmosphere of the earth will be governed by the saints who will be ruling from the thrones in the air.

God through the Church will teach the nations of His righteous ways. They will cheerfully walk in those paths. The moral law of God will issue from Zion and the guiding words of the Lord from Jerusalem.

This is the moral light that will proceed from the new Jerusalem.

In response, the kings of the earth will bring their glory to Jerusalem.

Here is the design of the new world of righteousness that is to come.

In order for this new world of wonders to come into being, every one of God’s elect must be brought to the unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

We must be totally delivered from the poison of trust in the world.

We must be totally delivered from the unclean passions of our flesh.

We must be totally delivered from the poison of self-will and self-centeredness.

Christ must be formed in each member of the Church, which is His Body.

Each member of the Church must enter untroubled rest in the Person of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only then will it be possible for God to dwell among the nations He has created.

Notice the following:

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 the world may believe you have sent me. (John 17:21—NIV)

"That the world may believe."

I think every Christian desires that the world believe God has sent Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of men. What is not always clear to us is that the world will not believe until all the elect are one in Christ in God. This being the case, our first obligation to God and the world is to pursue growth in Christ that will bring us to the desired Oneness. Can you see the sense of this?

God’s need and desire is that a house be built for Him in which He can find rest and from which He can live among His creatures.

The Tabernacle of the Congregation, which was constructed while the Jews were in the wilderness, consisted of a large barn-shaped tent surrounded by a white linen fence. The tent is a portrayal of the Church, the Kingdom of God. The courtyard, the area enclosed by the linen fence, represents the saved nations of the earth, as I understand the symbolism. Outside the fence is the outer darkness.

Now, why did God command the construction of the Tabernacle, its seven furnishings, and its courtyard?

"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." (Exodus 25:8—NIV)

The purpose of the Tabernacle was to meet God’s needs and desires.

To my knowledge, the first mention in the Bible of God’s desire to have a dwelling place is as follows:

You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. (Exodus 15:17—NIV)

The sanctuary of the Lord, the place the Lord made for His dwelling, is the Body of Christ. The reason the Body of Christ must be brought to the stature of the fullness of Christ is that it may serve as the eternal tabernacle of God, the city that will govern the saved nations forever.

The mountains of Bashan are majestic mountains; rugged are the mountains of Bashan. Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious—that you, O LORD God, might dwell there. (Psalms 68:15-18—NIV)

The "mountains of Bashan" represent the spirit of religion, that is, the attempt of the adamic nature to do the works of God.

The mountain where God chooses to reign is Mount Zion, the Body of Christ, the Church of the Firstborn.

The chariots of God are people who have chosen to lose their life in Christ and God so God may have a vehicle through which to move.

The Lord comes from Sinai into His dwelling place, meaning that we must obey the commandments of Christ (spiritual Sinai) if we hope to become the dwelling place of God.

Many believe that when Christ ascended on high, into Heaven, He brought with Him the righteous dead who, prior to Christ’s ascension, had been resting in the spirit realms beneath the surface of the earth. Christ "led captivity captive."

Psalms 68:15 (quoted above) is employed by the Apostle Paul, in the fourth chapter of Ephesians, when speaking of the ministries and gifts of the Spirit.

Paul says that the "gifts" mentioned in Psalms 68 are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers of the Christian Church.

Paul maintains that the purpose of these gifts is to bring every member of the Church to the unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.

But why is it necessary for all the members of the Body of Christ to attain such a high level of maturity?

The answer is found in Psalms 68: "That you, O Lord God, might dwell there."

We understand from this that the Christian Church is the answer to God’s need and desire for a house and a resting place.

Ezekiel tells us of the coming down of the eternal house of God to be located for eternity on the new earth.

"The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. "And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE." (Ezekiel 48:35—NIV)

The new Jerusalem, the holy city, is the eternal dwelling place of God. Where it is, God is.

It may be true that the new Jerusalem is a living city, having not only a specific site where it is located but also the capability of being in any place of its choosing in the form of its members. Perhaps this is why the three names are written on the victorious saints and why they are viewed as pillars in the Temple of God.

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (Revelation 3:12—NIV)

Compare:

Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed." (Isaiah 61:9—NIV)

We understand therefore that we Christians will actually be a royal priesthood, governing and blessing the saved peoples of the earth.

Speaking of the new Jerusalem, the glorified Church:

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:22—NIV)

There will be no temple, no church building, in the holy city. This is because God in Christ will be dwelling in untroubled rest in the hearts of His saints.

All of the elect will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. They shall see His face. There no longer will be a wall or veil between them and God. That which is perfect has come to the earth. The throne has been joined to the footstool.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23—NIV)

This is the same light that shone during the first three days of the creation, before God established the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament of the heaven in order to govern the day and night.

Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. When Christ is dwelling in us we also are the light of the world. When people see the righteous works that proceed from Christ who is in us, they will give glory to God.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24—NIV)

Until one understands that there will be people on the earth who are saved but who are not part of God’s elect, His Church, he will not understand the Kingdom of God.

The Church consists of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Lamb and His Wife. The saved nations of the earth are their inheritance. The Church will serve the saved nations as the revelation of God’s Person, will, and ways. The saved nations will serve the Church by bringing their wealth and splendor to it.

Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:5—NIV)

Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so men may bring you the wealth of the nations—their kings led in triumphal procession. (Isaiah 60:11—NIV)

Up to this point in time most Christians have viewed their eternal inheritance as a house in the spirit Paradise. The truth is, our inheritance is first God, and then people. It is better to inherit one person than ten thousand heavens! I guess this has to be revealed to us.

On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. (Revelation 21:25,26—NIV)

The fact that there will never be a night in the new Jerusalem tells us that sleep no longer is necessary. Think of it! The saints shall be so filled with the fullness of God that they are living in total power and life at all times. There is no need to replenish their energy and cells with sleep. They are gloriously alive for eternity.

Again it is mentioned that the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. When the Holy Spirit repeats a thought, as we find here, He is calling our attention to it. Our inheritance is not only the glorious city but the nations as well.

What can the nations bring us? Certainly we will have no need of things of material value. What else can their wealth and glory be but themselves and their families. These are the treasure they will bring.

One time when ministering in Iceland the Lord revealed to me His love for people. After that experience I realized love is God’s motivation for all that He does. I realized also that people themselves are the only truly valuable inheritance.

Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. (Isaiah 60:4—NIV)

I understand that the traditional description of the new Jerusalem speaks of valuable minerals and pearls. But reflection will reveal we will have little need for such. We will be dwelling in the fullness of the Presence and Glory of Almighty God! What need would we have for gold or precious stones?

Perhaps God has included gold, pearls, and precious stones in His portrayal because material wealth is all we can understand at the present time. I doubt seriously that material wealth will play much of a role in the new heaven and earth reign of Jesus Christ.

But people themselves always are of infinite value. Many tons of the most valuable diamonds and pearls could never approach in value one human being.

We will understand this better when we are at the point of death and weigh the value of our family against a mansion in the spirit realm, even though it had a backyard filled with rubies.

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27—NIV)

The reason the wall around the city is emphasized is that sin no longer will be permitted in the Presence of God. Had there been a wall around the Garden of Eden, the serpent could not have gained entrance.

God could have kept the serpent out of Eden, but God permitted His new creation to be infected with the poison of sin so in the fullness of time He could furnish the Antibody, Jesus Christ. By so doing God has created in His sons a resistance to sin.

We of today have a false idea of sin in relationship to Heaven. We believe once we are in Heaven we no longer will be able to sin. The truth is, sin began in Heaven around the very Throne of God.

It always, for eternity, will be possible for us to sin. God never will remove our will so that we are puppets. The reason we will not sin is that through Jesus Christ we have gained victory over sin in the present world. God knows that if we can gain victory over sin now, in the cesspool in which we currently are attempting to live, then, when we no longer are under the pressures of Satan and the world, and are abiding in Christ, we will choose to walk in the righteous, holy ways of the Lord, always being sternly obedient to the Father.

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2—NIV)

Nothing impure will pass through the gates into the city, nor will anyone who practices what is shameful or deceitful.

Our present interpretation of Divine grace is flawed. We are leaving the impression that people who still are impure, who still do what is shameful and deceitful, will be part of the new Jerusalem or be able to enter through the gates into the city.

This is not at all true. The Bible means exactly what it states. Christians who are trusting that because of grace God does not see their impurity, their shameful ways, their deceit, because righteousness has been imputed to them, and thus will be permitted into the city, have believed a lie.

There will be no impure person in the new Jerusalem.

There will be no person who acts shamefully in the new Jerusalem.

There will be no person who practices deceit in the new Jerusalem.

Such will never be part of the city or permitted to enter the city for eternity.

Here is the great Christian error—the belief that "accepting Christ" does away with the warnings of the New Testament.

We now are in a reformation of Christian thinking. The first area that must be reformed is that of the definition of grace as the Divine substitute for righteous behavior. This is not the biblical definition of grace. While grace includes the forgiveness of our sins, its main purpose under the new covenant is to enable us to gain victory over impurity, shameful practices, and lying.

The blood of Christ does not cover us so God cannot see our sins; this is not the way the atonement operates. If we continue to walk in the light of God’s will, confessing our sins, our sins will be forgiven through the blood of the cross. But the concept that the blood hides our behavior from God’s eyes is not biblical. God always is instantly aware of what we are doing. Perhaps you have noticed this during your days as a Christian.

Christ receives us as we are when we first are saved. We are forgiven right then. Immediately the Lord goes to work to cleanse us from our sinful nature, that is, if we are following the Spirit of God.

The contemporary idea that Christ came to screen believing Gentiles from His sight so they can enter the new Jerusalem by imputed righteousness is totally false. No worse, no more destructive distortion of God’s holy Word could be imagined.

We Christians are in error concerning the operation of the new covenant, and as a consequence our nation, the United States of America, is being destroyed from within by moral corruption. When no moral light is coming from the Christian churches, the nation has no moral light! Because of the way we are going we soon will be one of the minor nations of the earth—that is, if we survive at all!

The Lord Jesus is coming to His people today to bring us forward from Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, to the place where the Father and the Son are dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. God is getting us ready so He can move into His eternal home.

In between the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacles, as outlined in the Old Testament, is the Day of Atonement, or Day of Reconciliation. The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement requires that we cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He removes worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will.

Much suffering and much glory are required if we are to be prepared for the coming of the Father and the Son to us in this new and fuller measure. The experience of the fullness of God is available to any Christian who will turn to God with his whole heart, ready to do whatever God requires.

The time to seek God is now! The age of moral horrors is on the horizon. The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity. Many of us will not be able to stand under the dark pressures that are ahead unless we are able to obtain more of Christ, more of God, than we have known.

God is ready to help us, but we must mean business with God.

It is time to stop thinking about how we are going to use God’s grace so we can be prosperous and successful in this present world. It is time to seek God until we find out what God’s needs and desires are.

God needs a house, a dwelling place, so He can dwell among the nations He has created. Those same nations today are destroying themselves because they do not know the Lord or His ways of peace and joy. God’s plan is to use us as chariots in which God can ride so as to bring the knowledge of His Person and ways to the peoples of the earth, whom God loves dearly.

All that is needed for the implementation of God’s plan is our willingness to forego our personal ambitions and turn our life over to God to use as He will.

We have only this one chance in all of eternity to meet the needs of our great God. Are we going to satisfy God’s needs and desires, and those of the peoples of the nations, or are we going to occupy ourselves with our own needs and desires, our own plans, our own heaven and earth that we plan to create for our own satisfaction?

God has helped me make the right decision. He will help you also if this is what you desire above all.