A REVIVAL AND A WITNESS
A REVIVAL AND A WITNESSCopyright 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.
We are approaching two major revivals. The first of the two revivals will result in the growth of Christian people to maturity. The second of the two revivals is described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. The second revival will bear witness to every nation of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The first of the two revivals is preparation for the second world-wide testimony.
The first of the two revivals is that of speaking life to the dry bones. This refers to the Christian churches of our day. They have been fed lawless grace, escape-by-rapture, Christ did it all, until they are spiritually dead. The first revival will call them to life; and they, along with the remnant of Israel, will compose an army with banners.
Today the Christian people who are hearing the voice of the Spirit of God are being judged. They are being made manifest at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The purpose of the present judgment of the believers is that they may be able to stand during the moral and physical chaos that is on the horizon because of our sins.
Also, God's people must be brought to spiritual maturity in Christ before they will be able to participate in the coming world-wide revival.
Judgment has begun in the household of God:
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
There are three areas of spiritual darkness that are found in many of today's Christians.
The first area is that of love for the present antichrist world spirit.
The second area consists of the lusts of the flesh and spirit.
The third area is that of self-will and self-love.
For those who are listening to God's Spirit, He will point these out to us. When He does, they are to be confessed clearly and specifically. Then we are to renounce and turn away from them, asking Jesus for help and declaring that we want no part of such behavior for eternity.
It is an eternal judgment that will operate when we have died with Christ on the cross and are living in His resurrection Life.
This pre-revival judgment is set forth as follows:
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months." (Revelation 11:1,2)
The "Altar" is the Altar of Incense that was located in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. This location would indicate that the people worshiping here were more mature than those in the Outer Court. The Outer Court is the area of the Bronze Altar of Sacrifice, portraying those who were in the process of receiving Christ or had received Christ but had not proceeded further in the plan of redemption.
The Altar of Incense is the furnishing of the Tabernacle that symbolizes our crying out to God, "Not my will but Yours be done." This is the most important part of our judgmentthe judgment on our self-will and self-love. God slays our self-will by means of the cross of deferred desire and by holding us in various prisons where we would rather not be.
Unlike our worldliness, and lusts and passion of the flesh and spirit, which we can deal with, release from self-will has to be performed by the Lord.
It is because of the self-will of Christian people as well as of the ministry, that the fullness of God's power, as symbolized by the "seven thunders" of Chapter Ten of Revelation, has been withheld from us.
The worldwide testimony that God has planned cannot be carried out until there are Christian people in whom self-will and self-love have been destroyed completely.
I have spoken of a worldwide testimony that will take place as soon as the saints have been brought to maturity. Here it is:
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)
I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Revelation 10:10,11)
You may notice that the Gospel of the Kingdom is beginning to be preached in our day. It has been lost for two thousand years. This is part of the preparation for the world-wide witness of the last days.
The reason the scroll is sweet in the mouth is that it is the Word of the Lord. The scroll is sour in the stomach because it will bring death to us and to those who hear us; and because the people to whom the coming of the Kingdom will be preached will be hardened and obstinate.
The same situation was true with Ezekiel. He was sent to Israel. The saints of the last days will be sent to the whole world, who will be hardened and obstinate.
Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. (Ezekiel 2:9,10)
Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 3:3)
But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate .But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 3:7-9)
As I am sitting here at the computer (September 15, 2012), the expression "I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint" was emphasized to me. I think God is telling us that we are going to be a spear with an iron point directed at the heart of the rebellion of earth's people. We will be invincible until God has determined that the testimony has been borne to His satisfaction.
The world-wide testimony will not be a "whoop and holler" revival, such as we have been accustomed to. It will be conducted in the utmost seriousness, the witnesses being clothed in the sackcloth of repentance.
Such is the future of those who are totally consecrated to Christ. They are a firstfruits to God of the people of the earth. The Lord will return after the two revivals have been completed. Also, there will have been a season in which Christ will permit Antichrist to be revealed in order to put the finishing touches on the work that has been done in people. Then the firstfruits will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and shall be forever with the Lord.
Those who bear the end-time testimony will be, as I stated, free from sin and self-will. The power of the seven thunders will be released. The fullness of God's power cannot be manifest as long as the witnesses are being directed according to their own likes and dislikes.
Remember, these witnesses are described as "two" because in each witness Christ is residing and confirming their word with unprecedented power.
Just as Christ and the Father were two witnesses, although the Father was invisible, so it will be true that the saint and Christ are two witnesses, although Christ is invisible.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is one witness. The Body of Christ is the other witness. The Body of Christ in this instance actually is a firstfruits of the Body, that is, the victorious saints. The entire Body is the whole Church, the Royal Priesthood, God's elect.
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 previous world-wide prophecy, the former rain, was characterized by various miracles, with an emphasis on physical healing and the casting out of demons.
The "again" prophecy, which John is describing, will be characterized by harm to the environment. This is just what will be needed because of the arrogance of the people of today. They are ready to shake their fist at God and dare Him to do anything. When they see the earth struck with plagues at the word of the saints, they may begin to understand that God's Kingdom is on the way and His will shall be done in the earth!
At the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord!
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)
The two olive trees means they are anointed with a double portion of the Spirit of God, reminding us of Elisha.
The first Lampstand is the Lord Jesus Christ. The second Lampstand is composed of the firstfruits of the Body of Christ.
If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. (Revelation 11:5)
This reminds us of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.
The Lord Jesus came among us as the meekest of men. The authorities did as they would with Him.
The next time the world sees Jesus it will not be the gentle Teacher of Nazareth, it will be the most terrible warrior and king that can be imagined. There have been murderous rulers and generals in time past. But the worst they could do was torture and kill the body. The King that is coming has the power to cast His enemies into the Lake of Fire.
The Christian preaching in America today is almost maudlin in its emphasis on God's love. It is as though God is on His knees, with tears in His eyes, begging whoever will to come and receive the wealth of Heaven.
I could never begin to describe the love and compassion of God, His tender mercies toward the worst sinner who repents.
So it is true that I could never begin to describe the anger and wrath of God toward His enemies, toward those who refuse to obey His Christ.
It is my personal opinion, and I very well could be wrong, that God never as yet has exercised His wrath against those, or their offspring, who imposed the Holocaust on the Jews.
Likewise, God has not as yet demonstrated His anger against those who for no good reason other then their own convenience, have murdered their offspring. They will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ as murderers, unless God grants them the gift of repentance.
The entertainers in America at this time, many of them, are obscene in their nudity and their arrogance toward God. Because He is slow to anger, willing to give people every chance to do what is right, they imagine that He is careless. They do not understand that God has a perfect memory, and every sin that people commit must be accounted for at some point.
Being elderly, I think a lot about the spirit world. People have no idea what it is like. It is an exceedingly vast area in which some parts are very desirable and others are horrifying.
It appears many American are gambling that God and His Bible are the product of preachers who want to frighten people into giving money.
Let me tell you, you can't afford to gamble in this manner. If you are correct you will vanish into nothing when you die as though you never had existed.
But if you are incorrect, at your death you will face a destiny that exceeds in terrors all others. Even if you were left alone on some kind of plain and the demons were not allowed to harass you, what would you do for eternity? Or suppose you were placed with people like yourself, and there was no way to defend yourself against their meanness?
You had better think again. To enter the spirit world without the Lord Jesus to ask for you and help you become oriented to your new surroundings, would be worse than any nightmare you can conceive. You can't get away from it by death or unconsciousness.
And it may last for eternity.
You had better think again! The anger of Christ is something you never want to experience!
The Kingdom of God is coming to the earth before too long. The despised saints will be placed in positions of authority over all nations. They will be accompanied by huge warrior angels who cannot be overcome in any manner.
This is the best possible news for those who love and fear God and do His will as they understand it.
This is the worst possible news for those who choose in their arrogance to defy God and His Christ and plan their own life without the Presence and guidance of their Creator.
Wonderful news! Terrible news!
Let each one of us listen closely to the Spirit of God at all times so we can have a place in each of the two revivals that are beginning even now.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:29)