WITNESSES; KINGS; DELIVERERS; SERVANTS
WITNESSES; KINGS; DELIVERERS; SERVANTS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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.
WITNESSES; KINGS; DELIVERERS; SERVANTS
Our God is a God of preparation.
A terrible famine was to come upon the land. Israel, Egypt, and other nations of people would soon be facing enormous suffering. God, in His love, decided to provide a means of deliverance from the famine.
God prepared a man who would be a witness, a king, a deliverer, and God’s servant.
Joseph was not, at the time of his dreams of power, an obvious candidate for elevation as a deliverer and ruler. He was seventeen—the second from the youngest among twelve boys. God should have chosen the older Reuben or Simeon, it would seem. By choosing a younger brother God caused resentment and confusion.
When God is preparing His deliverers He does not always proceed according to human understanding.
From the time the Lord’s hand came upon him (Genesis 37:5) Joseph’s life became a period of preparation. Although neither Joseph nor his family knew of the devastating famine just over the horizon, the episodes and incidents that befell Joseph were for a purpose: to prepare him to deliver his own Israelite family, the Egyptians, and other nations of the world from starvation.
God uses three devices in order to prepare deliverers (and sons): rejection and tribulation, enticement to sin, and imprisonment.
Joseph became acquainted with rejection and tribulation when his brothers threw him into the pit. There was no water in the pit and the country was hot. Joseph was in peril of his life. His seventeen-year-old tears and entreaties fell on deaf ears. Then Joseph was lifted out of the pit and sold to Midianite merchants, who in turn sold him as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard.
The initial rejection and suffering was Joseph’s entrance into the "college" of rejection and tribulation. God enabled Joseph to survive these pains and pressures without becoming angry with God or people.
The industrious, faithful Joseph made quite a success of his employment in Potiphar’s house. As a result, Potiphar’s wife became infatuated with the handsome Hebrew. Joseph then was tested with moral enticement. He passed the test with a perfect score.
God’s deliverer, the man called out from among his brothers because of the coming famine, had suffered rejection and tribulation, and also had been tested with moral enticement. Having passed through tribulation and temptation he was ready for imprisonment—the most difficult of the three ways in which all of God’s deliverers are fashioned.
The Lord was with Joseph at every moment. Joseph’s steps were ordered of the Lord. The Lord brought Joseph safely out of the pit. The Lord was with Joseph in Potiphar’s house. Now that Joseph was in prison, having been accused falsely by Potiphar’s evil wife, the Lord was with him there also.
He was tested severely!
He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. (Psalms 05:17-19)
Joseph’s training lasted from the time he was seventeen until he was thirty. At the age of thirty Joseph was ready for his four roles: as a witness, as a king, as a deliverer, and as a servant of God.
Pharaoh of Egypt had a dream that none of his magicians could interpret. Through God’s working, Joseph was summoned to the palace. Joseph then bore witness before Pharaoh of the severe famine that was to come seven years from that time.
Because of Joseph’s faithful and true witness of what God had told him, Pharaoh made Joseph a king over Egypt.
And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:43)
Joseph’s next role was that of deliverer. Through the wisdom God gave to him, enough grain was stored up in Egyptian granaries to supply the needs of all who came for help (Genesis 41:57).
Although Joseph was elevated to a high position in Egypt he never forgot that his nation, Israel, was called of God in a unique way. Each Israelite was chosen to be God’s servant. Joseph wanted to continue to be part of Israel, God’s eternal Servant, and therefore requested that his bones be carried from Egypt to the land of promise. His desire was granted (Exodus 13:19).
Joseph was a witness, a king, a deliverer, and in the future will be one of God’s eternal servants who will see God’s Face in the new Jerusalem.
Our God is a God of preparation.
A famine soon is to come upon the world: not a famine of food alone but a famine of righteousness, a famine of holiness, a famine of obedience to God, a famine of the Word of God.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (II Timothy 3:1-4)The tares will come to maturity. Lawlessness will abound. The love of the majority will grow cold.
God, in His love, decided from the foundation of the world to provide a means of deliverance from the famine of righteousness that will come at the end of the age. The nations indeed will be angry against God. At the same time, whoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Deliverers will stand on Mount Zion with the Lord and bring the Divine judgment against the bondages of the flesh.
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 1:21)
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
The word church has nothing to do with a building used for religious purposes. Church means "called-out." Every true member of the Body of Christ is a "holy one," a person who has been called out of the world by the Lord to be a witness, a king, a deliverer, and an eternal servant of God.
A saint has no calling in life other than to be a holy one of God. Each of his thoughts, each word, each action, each episode in his life, is ordered of the Lord with the coming famine—and subsequent eternity—in mind. Nothing ever happens by chance to a member of God’s elect. All things work together for his good.
Every true saint (and we emphasize true because of the sin and lawlessness prevalent in contemporary Christianity) will experience rejection and tribulation, moral enticement, and imprisonment. If he remains faithful to Christ throughout his suffering he will go on 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.
If the saint fails in any one of these three areas he must take the test again. Before he can be trusted with the four roles he must experience the trials. Meanwhile he must continue to perform with all his ability—as Joseph did—the tasks at hand.
God will determine when we have fought the good fight of faith to His satisfaction and when we can be trusted with advancement in His program of judgment and deliverance. Our responsibility is to continue overcoming, through the grace of Christ, the problems set before us each day.
As we understand the Scriptures, the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27) will transpire in the last days and is described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. These will be the closing days of the present age, the time during which the seventh (and last) trumpet is blown. The Kingdom of God will come to earth at the end of the week (Revelation 11:15).
The first half of the week (42 months; 3 ˝ years) is the period of the end-time witness. The Lord’s witnesses, His saints, His godly remnant, will be prepared carefully and then judged, as symbolized by the measuring of the Temple of God (Revelation 11:1). They will be empowered to bear an earthshaking witness to all the nations of the world. Their miraculous signs will be largely destructive because of the abundance of sin and rebellion against authority that will be present in the last days.
The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to every nation for a witness. It is our understanding that the witnesses are being prepared today by rejection and tribulation, by moral enticement, and by imprisonment.
Rejection and tribulation teach us to lean on the Lord in every situation. The more we suffer rejection and tribulation the closer we must draw to God for help. We are not to become bitter and withdrawn. We must look to God for assistance in every situation rather than fight back in anger or withdraw in self-pity.
Rejection and tribulation break the bondages of involvement with the world—and even with the Lord’s people—until we learn to walk with God alone.
Joseph had to be separated from his own people for a season that he might serve as God’s witness, king, deliverer, and eternal servant.
Moral enticement tests our determination to worship the Lord. Many believers in Christ are worshiping demons and do not realize it. Sin is of the devil. When we yield to enticement we are yielding to the will of Satan. God’s deliverers and sons must make a final decision, determining that they will worship and serve only the God of Heaven, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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 more than gold in God’s sight. Let us make ourselves of no reputation, patiently performing those undesirable chores in unchanging faithfulness and diligence. Our day of rejoicing and elevation will come.
The witnesses are being prepared today and the means of preparation are strenuous indeed. They stretch us to the breaking point. It is true also that the reward is great. It is a great honor and privilege to bear the fullness of the latter-rain witness. The Lord’s witnesses of the last days will be issued power never before assigned to man.
To bear witness in the scriptural sense is to portray the Nature, attitude, and will of God. Bearing witness is distinct from ministry. Gifts and ministries are given by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building the Body of Christ. The Divine witness, which always is formed by the Holy Spirit, is for the purpose of portraying God’s Person, way, will, and eternal purpose, not only to the Church but also to the nations of the earth.
There is an abundance of ministry in our day (in some countries) but scarcely any witness. The ministry is filled with sin and self-seeking. Therefore there is little true and faithful witness of God. The world of today needs true prophets—holy and separated people who can bear witness of God’s Person, ways, will, and eternal purpose in Christ.
Elijah and Elisha are scriptural examples of true prophets, true witnesses. The double-portion witness of Revelation, Chapter 11 indeed will reveal to the Church and to the world the true Person, ways, and will of God.
Because of the self-love of the last days, the Divine witness must be destructive. Only destruction will be able to portray accurately the mounting wrath of Almighty God. Only exceedingly severe afflictions will suffice to produce the necessary repentance. Even with these plagues, multitudes of earth’s peoples will rage at God as did Pharaoh. They will not repent although "Egypt" lies in ruins about them.
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, . . . . (Revelation 11:18)
The witness will continue throughout the first half of Daniel’s seventieth week. Then God will permit the witness to be overcome. Some of those who participated in the latter-rain revival will fall because of the lust of the flesh (Sodom), the lust of the eyes (Egypt), and the pride of life (Jerusalem). Others will be tortured, killed, or driven out of the cities into wilderness areas.
Those of the Christian churches who are righteous in heart and remain true to God will be driven into the wilderness and will be fed there by the Lord, being assisted by the stronger saints.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [3 ˝ years, the second half of the "week"]. (Revelation 12:6)
God’s testimony to the earth has ended. The "sacrifice" and the "oblation" (grain offering) have ceased (Daniel 9:27).
The ceasing of the sacrifice may mean it will not be possible to receive Christ for salvation during the last half of the prophetic week. The ceasing of the "oblation" (grain offering) may be speaking of the feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-21). The feast of Pentecost included a wave offering of two loaves baked with "fine flour" (in celebration of the wheat harvest). Since the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11 refer back to the two wave loaves of Pentecost, we believe the ceasing of the sacrifice and the grain offering signifies the worldwide, latter-rain, Pentecostal outpouring will cease in the middle of Daniel’s "week."
The Gospel of the Kingdom has gone to every nation as a witness and now the end of the age is at hand.
Here indeed is a sobering thought: from this point forward the people of the nations no longer will be able to pray to God.
Spiritual darkness will reign over the earth. Heaven will be closed. The witness of Christ will have departed from the cities of the earth, including the Christian churches still operating in those cities. The "dead bodies," the churches and Christian schools, will lie in the "street" of lust, covetousness, and pride.
The Gospel of the Kingdom no longer will be proclaimed to the peoples of the earth. The work of the Spirit from then until the Lord returns will be one of nourishing and protecting the saints who have fled from the face of Antichrist.
However, there still will be "deliverance in Zion," as we shall see.
Notice that Joseph’s true and faithful witness to Pharaoh resulted in his being made a king over Egypt. In like manner, those who faithfully and truly bear the end-time witness to the nations will have Christ, the King, born in them. They will rule the saved nations with a rod of iron. This is the meaning of the twelfth chapter of Revelation.
The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation speaks of the witness given by the faithful saints. The witness of the Kingdom of God will go to every nation before the Lord returns. At the same time, Christ, the King, the "man child," will be formed in the witnessing saints.
When the victorious saints are released from the prison of the flesh, at the return of the Lord Jesus from Heaven, they will rule with Him over the nations of the earth—the nations to which they had testified while in the days of their flesh.
When the darkness comes, the hour when "no man can work," God’s overcomers, His sons, will begin their role as deliverers. The cities of the earth will at that time be void of the Divine witness, the witness having been removed from Antichrist’s path in order that he may be revealed (II Thessalonians 2:7,8).
The Christian churches in the cities will be filled with "worshipers." They will have a form of godliness but deny the Presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the witness, the Spirit of the prophet, and always bears the true testimony of the Lord Jesus.
The remnant of Spirit-filled people, and the devout Jews, will be forced by Antichrist into places of hiding in the remote areas of the earth. Satan will issue a flood of lawlessness, persecution, and perversity in his attempt to overcome the true Spirit-filled saints. Some of the peoples of the earth will give aid to God’s saints. The nations that help the saints will receive their eternal reward in the Day of Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:16)
This reminds us of Obadiah who hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in a cave in two groups of fifty each (I Kings 18:13).
The numbers two and fifty have to do with the latter-rain Pentecostal revival of the two witnesses (there were two wave loaves during the feast of Pentecost; and the term Pentecost is derived from the Greek word meaning "fifty" in that Pentecost came fifty days after the feast of Firstfruits).
The prophetic significance is that after the double-portion revival of the first half of the week there will be those who assist and protect the Lord’s prophets during the latter half of the week. The "Obadiahs" that the Lord stirs up to help His brothers during the days of trouble will constitute the "sheep nations" of Matthew, Chapter 25.
It is our understanding that the role of deliverer will be especially active during the second half of the week. The strongest of the Lord’s saints will provide a covering (Isaiah 4:5,6; Isaiah 32:2), a haven, for those who seek the Lord; and also for the devout Jews who will flee from Jerusalem because the man of sin is sitting between the wings of the Cherubim of Glory, in the restored Temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
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 (Leviticus 23:34; John 14:18-23).
Then, at the time of the Lord’s return from Heaven, the Light of God will blaze in terrifying power from the personalities of the saints. The sky above the earth will be illuminated in the fullness of glory, heralding the glorious return of Christ 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.
There are several passages in the Old Testament that speak of a delivered remnant who will be saved throughout the dark night of the second half of the week.
Joel points toward the time of the Lord’s return:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. (Joel 2:31)
In this context, Joel states:
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32)
The term "remnant," in the above verse, reminds us of Isaiah 4:3:
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.
There will be a warlike remnant in that most terrible of hours. There will be victorious saints on the earth all through mankind’s spiritual night. Whoever seeks the Lord will be able to find Him through these deliverers.
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:2)
Notice the expression, "a man." The Amplified Bible, the Emphasized Bible, and the New American Standard Bible differ from the King James concerning the passage. Each of these three versions translates Isaiah 32:2 as a continuation of the preceding verse. The concept is: The king will rule righteously and the princes will rule justly, and each of them will be as a hiding place from the wind and a shelter from the storm.
Since there will be no storms or dry places during the thousand-year reign of the King and His princes, it appears likely that their role as deliverers will begin during the latter part of the week, during the reign of Antichrist. Joseph (along with his wife, Asenath) delivered Jacob during the seven lean years, not during the years of abundance of grain. (The ceasing of the "grain" after the seven abundant years reminds us that the "grain offering" will cease in the middle of the week.)
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 1:21)
The term "saviours" properly is rendered deliverers. In any case, the noun is plural.
It is interesting to note, in connection with Obadiah 1:21, Paul’s statement: "so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26).
Paul was quoting from Isaiah 59:19,20:
So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 59:19,20)
It is likely that Obadiah 1:21, Isaiah 59:19,20, and Romans 11:26 are referring to the same event. If so, we have the concept found in Isaiah 32:2 and Revelation 12:6. The concept is that in the hour in which Satan comes against the saints like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will come upon the King and His princes. These deliverers will come up on Mount Zion, as we see in Revelation 14:1, and deliver God’s people from the famine of righteousness.
Although the deliverance will commence on a small scale, and during the midnight hour, it will increase in splendor until it arises as part of the dawning of the Day of the Lord.
After speaking of the Redeemer coming to Zion, Isaiah continues to prophesy:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1)
At what period of history will the Light of the Lord arise, will the deliverers stand on Mount Zion?
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people [undoubtedly during the latter part of Daniel’s "week"]: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:2)
Witnesses; kings; deliverers; servants.
We are suffering rejection and tribulation, moral enticement, and imprisonment during the present time. Soon we will be anointed with unprecedented power in order that a true witness may be borne to the Church and to the nations of the earth.
Our faithfulness as witnesses will result in Christ, the ruler of the nations, being formed in us.
As soon as the witness has been concluded, our role will be that of deliverer: first, during the latter half of the week, and then gloriously as we rule with the Lord Jesus throughout the thousand-year period.
But what of our role as God’s servant?
Christ—Head and Body—is the eternal Servant of God who will bring justice to the nations of saved people on the earth.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles [nations]. (Isaiah 42:1)
The Book of Isaiah has much to say about the role of Israel, God’s Servant and Witness.
Although Joseph was used dramatically and powerfully as a witness, as a king, and as a deliverer, he never forgot that he is the eternal servant of the God of Israel. Therefore he gave careful instructions that his bones were to be carried out of Egypt and brought into the place where the Glory of God was abiding.
When we are being greatly used of the Lord it is easy to forget the Lord. Each of God’s saints must understand no matter how spectacularly the Lord may use him, no matter how he may rule and deliver the peoples of the earth, none of this is of any consequence compared with his eternal relationship to God as His servant and son. Our relationship to God and to people is all that really matters in life.
After the thousand-year period is over, we who have overcome through the distressing years of life on the earth and through the battles of the Kingdom Age will have the incredible privilege of beholding the Face of God (Revelation 22:4). Moses’ face was transfigured as a result of beholding the God of Israel.
One day some school children were asked what they thought we would be like after we had seen God’s Face for a billion years.
A little girl gave the answer in one word: "God."
Our life in the present world is almost exclusively a time of preparation. If we make our life on the earth the focus of our ambitions and joys we will have made the greatest mistake it is possible for a human being to make.
We are being prepared to serve God forever.
Our life now is as a fetus in the womb, and our level of development during the thousand-year reign will be that of spiritual children.
Our actual life as God’s sons will begin with the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. We shall grow and develop in the Lord throughout the endless eons of eternity.
We have been predestined to be in the image of Christ. We are His brothers. All that God has spoken shall come to pass—perfectly.