FROM IMPUTED TO ACTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Words of Righteousness)

FROM IMPUTED TO ACTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS 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.

Christians are accustomed to viewing their salvation as somewhat of a legal state, in that while they do not always behave righteously, God ascribes righteousness to them on the basis of the blood atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet we know that at some point the imputed righteousness must turn into actual righteousness, or else the holy city will be holy in name only. It will not be an unblemished bride.

Table of Contents

Introduction The First Stage

  The two marriages separated by the thousand-year Kingdom Age.   The story of Gideon and his three hundred.   The separating of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle of the   Congregation.   The rule of David over Judah and then over all Israel.   The firstfruits, of Revelation, Chapter Fourteen.   The overcomers of Revelation, Chapters Two and Three.   The "only one of her mother," and the mature "sister," of the Song of Solomon.   The mighty men of Israel.   The three who stood with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.

The Second Stage

Conclusion

FROM IMPUTED TO ACTUAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

Introduction

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 8:1—NIV)

Christians are accustomed to viewing their salvation as somewhat of a legal state, in that while they do not always behave righteously, God ascribes righteousness to them on the basis of the blood atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet we know that at some point the imputed righteousness must turn into actual righteousness, or else the holy city will be holy in name only. It will not be an unblemished bride.

The concept that the Christian salvation consists of a "state of grace" in which God views the believer as righteous, independently of his or her behavior, may be the bedrock of current theology. But it assuredly is not scriptural.

There are a couple of facts associated with our Christian faith that we should keep in mind. First, when we come to Jesus, turning away from our former way of life, believing He died on the cross for our sins, and then are baptized in water as we have opportunity, our sins are forgiven completely. This is imputed, or ascribed, righteousness.

Second, most of the text of the Bible, Old Testament and New, does not emphasize imputed righteousness but actual righteousness and holiness of personality and behavior, and obedience to God.

When we think about the new Jerusalem, or the Kingdom of God, we do not envision people who act as they do today. We suppose those who are saved into the new Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, actually are righteous and holy in behavior. I think there may be very few people who believe Heaven is a sinful place.

But how are we going to get from here to there, from ascribed righteousness to actual, observable righteousness of behavior? After all, according to the Lord Jesus the light of our testimony is composed of the good works that people can see—works of righteousness that will cause them to glorify God.

If I am correct, there are two assumptions commonly made by Christians concerning how we are to pass from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of behavior.

One assumption is that although we sin today, after we die we will not sin any longer.

Another assumption is that when the Lord Jesus returns He will banish our sinful disposition by the Word of His power.

I do not know of any other idea as to how Christian believers will finally become righteous.

Let us look at the first assumption—that we will become righteous by dying, by entering the spirit realm.

The problem here is, sin originated in the spirit realm around the Throne of God, as Satan chose to follow his own will instead of God’s will. Even today our normally sinful personality is inflamed by pressure from unclean spirits.

Not only is there no passage of Scripture that suggests we will be made righteous by dying, it also is illogical that when we pass into the spirit realm, the source of the sin that has invaded mankind, we will magically be made righteous and holy.

Did you ever go on a picnic or trip to a certain area, believing you would have a good time when you got there? Yet nothing of the kind took place. The family members fought with each other the whole time. The environment was beautiful but the people were miserable. We had hoped that the fighting that had been going on in our house would stop when we arrived at our destination, but it did not. We brought our trouble with us.

I think going to Heaven will be like this. The environment is beautiful, but were we permitted to enter in our untransformed state we would bring our trouble with us. Will an improved environment actually change what we are in personality?

Let us look at the second assumption—that at His coming the Lord will banish our sinful disposition by the Word of His power.

Do you remember the man who buried his talent? When the Lord came, did the Lord say, "Don’t worry about it. You have been lazy and wicked but I have come to remove your laziness and wickedness?"

When the Lord came, did He say to the foolish virgins, "I have come to remove your foolishness and carelessness?"

No, the Lord took away the talent of the one and sent him to the outer darkness. He shut the door in the face of the others.

You may say to me, "The Lord was not talking about those who are saved by grace."

He most certainly was speaking to all of us. The belief that the Words of Jesus in the Gospels do not apply to Christians is an error. Of course they apply to Christians! If not, then His words about being born again do not apply to Christians. Then the Great Commission does not apply to Christians. Then "Preach the Gospel to every creature" does not apply to Christians.

We are dreadfully wrong in our teaching of grace. We have perverted the doctrine of the Apostle Paul. Grace is not an alternative to obeying the Words of Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

We must pass at some point, at some time, in some place, by some means, from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of personality and behavior. If we do not, then the future ages will be grim indeed. They will be like the churches of today, filled with slander, lust, covetousness, anger, spite, malice, jealousy, witchcraft, drunkenness, and every other evil work.

But the Book of Revelation states that such behavior will be put in the Lake of Fire.

We know physical death will not transform us. This concept is both unscriptural and illogical.

We know the Lord will not change what we basically are, when He returns, but will reward us according to our behavior. This is what the New Testament teaches clearly.

We may ask, "Does God indeed have a specific plan to change His Church from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of behavior?

Yes, He most certainly does. He knows the end from the beginning.

As I understand the program, the Lord’s plan to change His Church from ascribed righteousness to actual righteousness of behavior will be worked out in two stages. The first stage is the calling out from the Church a firstfruits— "mighty men," to use an expression from the rule of King David. This godly, warlike remnant will be guided by the Holy Spirit to put to death the deeds of their body.

I think the program of releasing the firstfruits of the Church, the godly remnant, from the bondages of sin has begun already. In fact, you, the reader, may notice that the Holy Spirit is pointing out parts of your personality and behavior that are not scriptural. It is your place to confess these as sin and to turn away from them. It is God’s place to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

The second stage will occur as the firstfruits, having been released from the bondages of sin, assists the remainder of the Church until the entire Bride of the Lamb is without blemish.

After the whole Church has been changed into the moral image of the Lord, the Church will bring deliverance, eternal life, and healing to the people who are saved but who are not part of the Church. Such people are referred to as the "sheep," in the Book of Matthew; and then as the nations who bring their glory and honor into the new Jerusalem, in the Book of Revelation.

Much is said in the Book of Isaiah, particularly Chapters 60 and 61, concerning the nations of people who are saved but not part of the Church. There is not much understanding in Christian circles concerning the saved nations. Perhaps it is time now for us to realize that the Church is a select group of people, an elect, who are being trained to serve God and the saved peoples of the world as a holy priesthood. While this concept is clear in the Scriptures, it is not as clear in our traditions.

I will not pursue the topic of the saved nations further. The purpose of the present essay is to present the Divine plan, as we view it, to move the Church from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of personality and behavior.

Once the Church has been made perfect, the Church (the new Jerusalem) will govern the saved nations of the earth for eternity. All sinful personalities will be confined in the Lake of Fire. Thus God will put an end to sin once and for all, and the new world will be one of actual righteousness, not imputed righteousness.

"Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."  (Daniel 9:24—NIV)

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (II Peter 2:13—NIV)

As I mentioned before, I understand that the program, the move from imputed to actual righteousness, will take place in two stages. The first stage will consist of a firstfruits of the Church who will be able, through the Holy Spirit, to gain victory over sinful behavior. I think this stage has begun now.

The second stage will take place throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age (Millennium) and is the purpose for the Kingdom Age. During the second stage, as I see it, the firstfruits of the Church will assist the remainder of the Church to gain total victory over worldliness, lust, and self-will. The remainder of the Church will be in the spirit realm at this time, I believe, because they did not satisfy the requirement for resurrection to immortality in the body. They will not be able to return to earth in a body until the time of the coming down from Heaven of the new Jerusalem.

One may object that people in the spirit realm cannot be delivered from worldliness, lust, and self-will—self-will, maybe, but not worldliness or lust.

Now stop and think.

Both worldliness and lust originated in the spirit realm and exist in the spirit realm. Satan is the god of the spirit that is in the world today.

God loves the world, but the spirit of the world God does not love. All that is in the spirit of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the spirit of the world, the spirit of Satan himself.

As far as lust is concerned, Adam and Eve were not created with lust in their bodies. Lust is a spiritual factor that inflames the normal desires of the flesh. It is demonic. It exists in the spirit realm even when there is no flesh for it to inhabit. When these unclean spirits are cast out they walk through dry places, the Lord informed us, not being able to express themselves through flesh.

It is likely that Christians who die without gaining victory over worldliness, lust, and self-will shall be dealt with in the spirit realm by appropriate means until they are free from these characteristics of Satan. If you stop and think about this you will see the sense of it.

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (I Peter 4:5,6—NIV)

So the plan is to deliver a part of the Body prior to the Lord’s return, and then the balance of the Church during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

The First Stage

Probably the strongest scriptural base for the two-stage plan, which I am proposing, is found in the Book of Revelation. There are two events set forth as the marriage of the Lamb, one occurring at the beginning of the thousand-year period and one after the thousand years have been concluded. This is where I derive the idea that the purpose of the thousand years is to perfect the Church.

Do you know of any other reason for the thousand-year period that makes sense or has scriptural support?

I have just pointed out the reasonability of viewing the thousand-years as a time of preparation for the new heaven and earth. As far as scriptural support, consider the following:

He replied, "Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’" (Luke 13:32—NIV)

Of course, we could view the above as being nothing more than a statement concerning the days leading up to the crucifixion—if it were not for the following passage:

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. (Hosea 6:2—NIV)

I am suggesting at this point that there will be two days (approximately two thousand years) of the Church Age and then a third day of the thousand-year Kingdom Age during which the Church as a whole is perfected.

The concept of the two days being the Church Age and then the third day being the Kingdom age is borne out by the design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The Tabernacle building represents the entire Christian Church. The Tabernacle was divided into the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place by the ornate Veil.

The Holy Place was 2,000 cubic cubits in volume. The Most Holy Place was 1,000 cubic cubits in volume—the two thousand years followed by the thousand years.

You can see immediately that I am declaring a temporary division of the one Church into two parts, the idea being that the first, perhaps smaller part, will be empowered to gain victory over sin before the Lord returns. Then the smaller part will assist the majority as it is made ready for the descent to earth of the entire Church, the Bride of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem.

There is much support in the Bible for the temporary division of the Christian Church, God’s elect, the royal priesthood, into a militant, godly remnant and then a larger part that one day will be brought to God’s standard.

For example:

The two marriages separated by the thousand-year Kingdom Age, as I have already mentioned.

The story of Gideon and his three hundred.

The separating of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

The rule of David over Judah and then over all Israel.

The firstfruits, of Revelation, Chapter Fourteen.

The overcomers of Revelation, Chapters Two and Three.

The "only one of her mother," and the mature "sister," of the Song of Solomon.

The mighty men of Israel.

The three who stood with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.

We understand from the above that the division of Israel into two or more groups is not a weird notion drawn from one-half of a verse of questionable interpretation. It is a substantial doctrine of the Scriptures.

Let us continue with the thought of the two announcements of the marriage of the Lamb, one at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age and one after the Kingdom Age has been completed.

The two marriages separated by the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

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—NIV)

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—NIV)

The main difference I see in these two presentations, separated by the thousand years of the Kingdom Age, is that in the first instance, which I hold to be the first stage of the movement from imputation to actual righteousness, the Lamb’s Bride "has made herself ready."

In the second, the Bride is "beautifully dressed for her husband." I take this to mean she has been dressed by others, possibly.

The call today, while the world is sinking into a moral cesspool, is for God’s victorious saints to purify themselves. The Holy Spirit stands ready to enable us to put to death the lusts of our flesh.

Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (I John 3:3—NIV)

We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. The fine linen with which we shall be clothed at the return of the Lord is that of our righteous acts—righteous acts as we, through the Spirit of God, have "crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires."

In our day the main body of the Christian churches in America are continuing as always, trusting in a "state of grace" to keep themselves without condemnation. But here and there there are saints who are hearing the trumpet of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is bringing to their attention the parts of their personality and behavior that are displeasing to God. They are confessing these as sins and renouncing them. The Spirit of God is helping them remove the graveclothes that bind them. They are gaining victory over worldliness, lust, and self-will.

We are entering a new era. The Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is in Heaven.

The next feast after Pentecost is the Blowing of Trumpets, the Lord’s trumpet declaring war against the sin in His people. A godly remnant is hearing and responding. The destruction of Satan’s entire Kingdom has begun.

Has the Lord been showing you something in your personality that is unscriptural? Do not sweep it under the rug. Confess it. Renounce it. By the help of the Lord, turn away from it. Go to the Mercy Seat in Heaven and get the assistance you need. It is an eternal judgment on sin and Satan while you go free.

The whole Church is not at this point yet, but the number of believers who are pressing past Pentecost is growing each day. Why don’t you be one of them?

The firstfruits of the Bride appears at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Then she follows the Lord Jesus Christ in the onslaught against the wicked of the earth. She works with Him in establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:14—NIV)

For one thousand years the work of perfecting the Church proceeds. Then the first earth and heaven flee from the Face of God. Soon a new sky and a new earth come into view. Down through the new sky descends the perfected Church, ready to be the representative and glory of God and Christ for eternity. This is the new Jerusalem, the holy city.

Her righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God no longer are merely a legal state. Each member of the Bride of the Lamb in that hour will have been perfected in righteousness, in holiness, and in stern obedience to the Father.

Now the new day of eternity begins, the day that has no end. All has been made new. Sin has been confined in the Lake of Fire.

This is the world and life God planned from the beginning. The adamic race was a temporary device, soon to be discarded and removed. But Jesus Christ and those who belong to Him shall dwell forever in the Presence of almighty God.

The first step, then, in the removing of sin from God’s Church, is the gaining of victory by a firstfruits of the Bride. The firstfruits will be robed in her own righteous acts, righteous acts resulting from her interaction with Christ. This work of deliverance has begun. It is a giant step forward in the Kingdom of God.

The story of Gideon and his three hundred.

The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place." (Judges 7:7—NIV)

If we had no other story than that of Gideon and his three hundred we still would have a clear portrayal of the temporary division of the whole Church into two groups, the first of which gains victory over the enemy on behalf of the remainder, the majority.

The events involving Gideon, with the light in the clay jars in one hand and a trumpet in the other, may be the strongest type in the Old Testament of the coming of the Lord. The breaking of the vessels and the revealing of the lamps portrays the manifestation of the sons of God as the flesh and blood body is done away and the inward resurrection life shows forth.

Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. (Judges 7:16—NIV)

The vast army of the Midianites filled the Valley of Jezreel. Instead of summoning all Israel, God chose to work with a small number of warriors. It often is a mistake to suppose the more people we can involve in ministry the greater will be the results.

The point is, in this major symbolic portrayal of the coming of the Lord, only a remnant of Israel was involved in the battle.

But all Israel profited by the victory.

There are three important lessons we can learn from the story of Gideon.

First, the victory gained at the return of the Lord will be accomplished through a remnant of the Church.

Second, how we drink the water is important. All the soldiers drank the same water. Some got down on their knees and drank from the water. Others scooped up the water in their hand and lapped. They were more cautious, not so heedless of their surroundings.

So it is today. Many believers are so starved for the Spirit of God that they readily can be led into foolish actions. Others are more cautious, being on the alert in case the enemy is in the vicinity. The same Holy Spirit but a different response.

Third, the separation of the remnant from the main body of the Church will be temporary.

As we said, the believers are starved for God’s Presence and they readily can be led into excesses, picturing themselves as some special segment of the Church quite superior to the rank and file of Christians. Their desire to advance in God is commendable, but without sound teaching we soon have groups of people imagining themselves to be spiritual giants. This attitude is unrealistic and unfruitful.

The remnant God is drawing from the churches realize the Lord is looking for those who will accept the increased demands He is making. They do not view themselves as being superior to other believers. They remain compassionate toward the weaker, realizing that when God gives a double portion of a desire for righteousness, for God Himself, it is that the individual might be able to build up the entire Body.

The victorious saints are too busy jumping the hurdles God is placing before them to spend time imagining how great they are.

The Gideon’s army of today must recognize they are a firstfruits of a much larger harvest to come. They are part of the whole house of Israel, not a favored elite who are to be exalted over the remainder of the Church.

The remnant have been called out to be the first part of the Body to pass from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness. This is an occasion for utmost diligence, not for spiritual pride! We must keep a humble, vigilant attitude toward the Lord in the present hour.

The Christian churches are lurching out in a number of unscriptural, unprofitable directions. In one area of the United States, at the present time, the believers are being taught they do not have to repay money they have borrowed because "we are in the Year of Jubilee." This is but one of several different errors being practiced. These wild adventures are occurring because God is ready to move past Pentecost and the people do not understand God’s program.

The move of the Lord today has to do with Divine judgment on the sins being practiced by the believers; not a judgment of wrath and destruction but one of instruction concerning the difference between good and evil. Sometimes this Divine intervention is accompanied by fiery trials that we might be purged from sin and learn stern obedience to the Father.

If you are experiencing an awakening concerning the sins of your personality, and perhaps some sort of imprisonment, be encouraged. You are not in a grave but a tunnel. You will come out into the light when God is finished reconciling you to Himself. Nothing will be destroyed by the fire except your bondages. You are part of the advance guard that is passing from imputed to actual righteousness of personality and behavior.

The separating of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God. (I Chronicles 16:1—NIV)

We are discussing biblical portrayals of the temporary dividing of the Christian Church into two groups: a godly, warlike remnant drawn from the whole, and the remainder of the Church. The idea is that the remnant will be the first to pass from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness. Next, the remainder of the Church will be released into righteousness. Finally the entire saved world will be delivered from the bondages of sin.

The first portrayal we mentioned is that of the two presentations of the Wife of the Lamb, found in the Book of Revelation.

The second portrayal is drawn from Gideon’s battle with the Midianites.

The third portrayal has to do with the separating of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

The reader most likely is familiar with the Tabernacle of the Congregation, described in the latter part of the Book of Exodus. If you recall, the Ark of the Covenant was located in the Holy of Holies, behind the sacred Veil.

While the Tabernacle was at Shiloh the Ark was removed from its resting place in the Most Holy Place and carried to the scene of a battle with the Philistines. Soon it was brought back to Israel, not to the Tabernacle but to the home of an Israelite family.

In the meanwhile, the Tabernacle of the Congregation, minus the Ark, was removed to the high place at Gibeon—several miles north of the city of Jerusalem.

When David brought back the ark from the Israelite family, he pitched a tent for it in Zion, David’s city, a suburb of Jerusalem.

This was unheard of—to put the Ark of the Covenant somewhere other than in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

But David was a prophet and the Spirit of God was directing him.

David then stationed one group of priests with the Ark at Zion, and a second group of priests with the remainder of the Tabernacle at Gibeon.

David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. (I Chronicles 16:37—NIV)

David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon To present burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the LORD, which he had given Israel. (I Chronicles 16:39,40—NIV)

The Ark remained apart from the Tabernacle throughout the life of David. When Solomon built the Temple, the Ark and the Tabernacle were placed inside.

The prophetic significance of the separating of the Ark from the remainder of the Tabernacle, for a season, can scarcely be overemphasized.

As we understand the meaning, the reign of David represents the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The reign of Solomon represents the new heaven and earth rule of Jesus Christ.

The Ark speaks of the godly remnant who will govern with Jesus during the Kingdom Age.

When the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus begins, the Lord’s victorious saints will once again be part of the Church, of God’s elect. Then the whole house of Israel will descend through the new sky to be located forever upon the new earth.

We notice that after the seventh trumpet blows and the kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of God and His Christ, the Ark of the Covenant is revealed.

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. (Revelation 11:19—NIV)

Let us repeat our central theme. The purpose of separating the remnant from the remainder of the Church has to do with the movement from imputed to actual righteousness of personality and behavior.

When the Lord Jesus returns, only those who have purified themselves, as the Spirit of God enables, will receive their body back from the grave. The remainder of the Church, not having gained victory over sin, will not be given to eat of the tree of life at this time. They will remain in the spirit realm, according to my understanding.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is 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 20:4-6—NIV)

During the thousand years of the Kingdom Age, those who did not achieve victory over sin prior to the Lord's return to earth will be brought to the place where their inward nature is ready for their body to receive immortality. Then together with the victorious saints they will descend to the new earth and be established for eternity on a high mountain. They will govern the saved nations of the earth.

This is how the whole Church, and eventually the saved nations of the earth, will be brought to righteousness of behavior. There will be no sin of any kind whatever throughout the countless ages of eternity, which begin with the coming to earth of the new Jerusalem.

The rule of David over Judah and then over all Israel.

The length of time David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. (II Samuel 2:11—NIV)

When Saul died, David governed the tribe of Judah for seven years and six months. After that he was appointed king over the remainder of Israel for an additional thirty-three years.

Here is a symbolic portrayal of the rule of Christ over a part of the Church prior to His rule over the whole. All of these Old Testament events had as their purpose to serve as examples for us, that we might understand God’s great plan—His plan to bring forth righteousness, holiness, and obedience on the part of His creatures.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (I Corinthians 10:11—NIV)

The firstfruits, of Revelation, Chapter Fourteen.

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—NIV)

Have you ever wondered why there will be people who are reaped, so to speak, before the remainder of mankind?

The fact that they stand on Mount Zion is significant. Zion was the location of the Ark of the Covenant, which we have discussed previously.

The writing of the names of the Father and the Son on their foreheads means they have given themselves over completely to the will of God—to do God’s will instead of their own. In this way they are different from most of the Christian people of today. God’s believers of our time have a difficult time getting rid of their own plans and desires and putting on the mind of Christ.

We came across the same thought previously when discussing Revelation 20:4-6—the resurrection of the royal priesthood: "And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God." God’s firstfruits, His warlike remnant, are distinguished from the remainder of the church people by their utter consecration to the will of God. They indeed have been "beheaded" because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the Word of God.

Forsaking our carnal mind, which always fights against God, and adopting the mind of the Lord, is required if we are to pass from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of personality and behavior.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5—NIV)

There will be a firstfruits of mankind and they will follow the Lord wherever He goes. They are characterized by the fact that they are free from guile, from lying, from all idolatry.

God is calling for such today, for those who will forsake all and follow Him. You can be such a person if this is what you desire with all your heart. There is no place in this group for the lukewarm, casual Christian who has been filled with the lawless grace-rapture-Heaven doctrine, who has never denied himself, taken up his cross, and consecrated himself to the will of God without reservation.

Not all who profess the name of Christ will participate in the resurrection and ascension when the Lord returns; only those who through the Spirit of God have entered the program of passing from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness. They will be raised from the dead and then ascend to meet the Lord in the air. From there they will descend and work with the Lord in the installing of the Kingdom of God on the earth. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will. It is actual righteousness, not imputed righteousness.

The overcomers of Revelation, Chapters Two and Three.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7—NIV)

The overcomers, the victorious saints, are always addressed as individuals. They actually are the true Christian Church in the present hour. If you will notice the rewards to the overcomers, they are the privileges we normally associate with the Christian.

For example:

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4—NIV)

To walk in white is to be a member of the royal priesthood. What the Lord is saying here is that the majority of the believers in Sardis will not participate in the first resurrection from the dead. They were not found worthy to be a part of the royal priesthood, at least not at this time.

This verse brings to mind the white robes of the members of the Bride of the Lamb, as we discussed previously. Those white robes proved to be the righteous acts of the saints.

Putting these ideas together we see that the overcomers of the church in Sardis, those who had gained victory over sin, will be part of the advance guard that will descend with the Lord and participate in the Battle of Armageddon.

If the majority of believers in Sardis ever are to be part of the royal priesthood it will have to be at some point after the Lord returns and the first resurrection takes place. Otherwise they never will be part of the Bride of the Lamb.

The first resurrection from the dead, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, must be attained to, as the Apostle Paul stressed. It is attained to, as Paul stated, by laying aside everything else, counting it all garbage that Christ may be won. Nothing less than this qualifies the individual as part of the army of the Lord that will descend with Christ and drive wickedness from the earth.

You can see readily that all of God’s work is moving toward the removal of all worldliness, lust, and self-will from His creation. Imputed righteousness is a legal maneuver that serves as a means of getting us started on the program of salvation. To make imputed righteousness the only form of righteousness in the Kingdom of God is to abort the entire program of redemption.

Until we move to actual righteousness of behavior we are not living in the Kingdom of God. This is why Paul said that the believers who continue in the passions and appetites of the fleshly, sinful nature will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

The "only one of her mother," and the mature "sister," of the Song of Solomon.

But my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her. (Song of Solomon 6:9—NIV)

The idea in the above verse is that there are many people who are part of the family of God, but there are some who are unique.

Now notice carefully, for the following passage is one on which we base the idea that a great part of the Church will be brought to righteousness by strong Christians. The strong will assist the weaker.

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—NIV)

There are "sisters" of the family of God who are immature. They are not able to bring forth and nourish children.

What do we do with the immature? We build them up. "We will build; we will enclose."

The big question is, Who will build? Who will enclose the young sisters?

I think the answer is in the next verse.

I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. (Song of Solomon 8:10—NIV)

The firstfruits of the Bride is a wall against sin, and also able to bring forth and nourish children. The Lord is content with her.

My opinion is that she is the one who will build up the younger members of the Church to the stature of the fullness of Christ. For it is written that the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ will operate until we all come to the stature of the fullness of Christ.

It is written also that under the new covenant, all shall come to know the Lord, no longer having to be taught by others.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." (Hebrews 8:11—NIV)

One danger in presenting the idea that the Body of Christ will come to perfection during the Kingdom Age is that believers may regard this as a second chance at serving the Lord. "I’m too busy to serve God now, but after I die, in the next life, I will get busy and grow in the Lord."

This won’t work. If an individual does not do his best now he will not get another chance. The part of the Church that will come to maturity at a later time are those who have done their very best with what they have been given. Not all are given ten talents. If the person who has been entrusted with little makes the most of it, he will be entrusted with more at the coming of the Lord. But the lazy servant will be sent to the outer darkness. Grace and mercy will not save him in that day.

The mighty men of Israel.

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—NIV)

The emphasis placed on David’s mighty men, in the Old Testament, is significant. It is significant because this special group was not composed of musicians or business men or teachers or artists or some other profession at which Jewish people are adept. Rather the men thus singled out were all noted for their ability in warfare.

So it is true that the remnant God is calling from the churches will be noted for their ability in spiritual warfare. They will be the first to overcome the enemy that has the Church and the world bound in the chains of sin.

The reason why war is emphasized in the Bible is that while the price of our redemption was paid by the blood of the Lord Jesus, Satan is unwilling to let us go free. The only answer is force, and this God is prepared to exercise. But before Divine force is administered, God is using this wicked world as a training ground for His future kings.

God’s kings overcome Satan by trusting in the blood of the Lamb; by the Word of their testimony; that is, their consistent "Amen" to the Word of God; and by loving not their lives to the point of death. It is this last criterion, loving not their lives to the point of death, that is at issue today. As soon as God has victorious saints who proceed to the point of consecration of loving not their lives to the point of death, the overthrow of Satan will be at hand.

This is the beginning of the change from imputed to actual righteousness.

The three who stood with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. (Luke 9:28—NIV)

I imagine the remaining disciples were very disappointed when they learned that Jesus chose only three of the group to go up on the mountain and see Moses and Elijah. How would you have felt?

The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. God calls to Himself whom He will He exalts whom He will and puts down whom He will.

All any person can do is to press toward the mark set before him as an individual; to grasp that for which he has been grasped.

Those who have been given the opportunity to sit on a high throne will be judged accordingly. God does not play favorites. All serve Him and one is as important as the other.

We of the race of Adam do not understand this. We do not realize God is not impressed with rank or title, only with faithfulness.

The person of lowly calling who does his or her job faithfully and patiently is as highly esteemed by the Lord as the individual who has been placed at the right hand of Christ in His Kingdom.

Those who are great in the Kingdom are the servants of all. Our Lord set us an example by living as a poor man, serving those with needs. He could have been a king and have required people to wait on His pleasure, but He did not.

All who have been chosen to be of high rank in the Kingdom are brought low in this life that they might learn of God’s humble Nature. God loves children because they usually do not strive for importance or authority over others.

We must grow accustomed to the idea that there will be ranks in the Kingdom of God. As I said, the Kingdom of God is not a democracy. If we love God we will rejoice when He chooses someone to occupy a high role of authority, power, or fame. We rejoice because we love God and want Him to be satisfied with the work of His hands.

It is all the same to us whether we sit in the head chariot or sweep up behind the horses in the royal parade. All that matters is that we have added to God’s pleasure.

It may take a lifetime for our personality to be instructed in true humility and love for God, but every such lesson is worth far more than its weight in rubies.

The goal of every one of us, whether or not we realize it, is love, joy, and peace. Love, joy, and peace do not come through high rank, only through a right relationship with God and people.

The Second Stage

"Seventy ‘sevens’  are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.   (Daniel 9:24—NIV)

"To put an end to sin."

From the time Satan lifted himself against the Father, the determination of God has been to put an end to sin; not to put an end to the guilt of sin but to put an end to sin itself, to all disobedience to the Father.

As part of the Father’s program, man was created. God permitted Satan to infect man with the sin that originated in Heaven so through man God could put an end to sin. God will have no more rebellions in His creation!

God sent Jesus Christ into the world to put an end to sin, both the guilt of sin and the bondage of sin. It was necessary that Christ die for the sins of the world. God could not put into effect His plan for the removal of sin until first the people He intended to save were forgiven.

Christ came with total authority and power to make an atonement for sin. No human effort added to the atonement. The atonement was a Divine act, perfect, worthy of God’s love and majesty, completely able to remove the guilt of the most wicked individual.

However, unless the removal of the guilt is followed by the removal of the very presence of sin, God’s purpose has not been achieved. The program of putting an end to sin has been aborted.

For two thousand years the Church of Jesus Christ has been aware of and has preached the Divine intervention, the atonement made on the cross of Calvary. Salvation now is viewed primarily as the forgiveness of sin. When the Bible speaks of God taking away sin the text is interpreted as taking away the guilt of sin. We scarcely can think otherwise, so deeply is this understanding ingrained in us.

But the two goats of the Day of Atonement reveal that God has determined to both forgive our sins through the blood atonement and then remove sin from the camp, in that the scapegoat was led away into the wilderness.

Christians have made efforts from time to time to deal with the problem of the presence of sin in the Christian, all the way from claiming that there is no sin in the Christian personality to looking for a sudden experience that will remove sin from us root and branch.

Many noble souls have wrestled fervently against sin. Some have reckoned themselves dead to sin. Others have performed penance in an attempt to satisfy God’s standard of righteousness.

The Apostles of the Book of Acts demanded repentance as a condition for forgiveness. Repentance is an effort by the adamic nature to turn away from sin as much as possible. God always requires that we do the best we can to avoid sin and honors our attempts to do so.

This is not understood today. Whoever attempts to turn away from sin and exhorts others to do so is considered a "legalist." The frequent use of the term "legalists" to describe believers who are striving for righteousness is a sign of the apostasy of our times. It is true that a spirit of legalism is sometimes found in Christian churches and it does not produce good fruit. But the main problem in the Christian churches of America is not legalism but lawlessness.

The question is, does God have a program of removal of sin that will come with the same authority and power as is true of the forgiveness of sin?

The answer is, "Yes, He does." We have been sealed to the coming day of redemption, that is, the day when God will redeem His people, and finally the saved peoples of the earth, from the hand of the enemy.

There is an alpha of salvation and also an omega. The alpha is forgiveness. The omega is deliverance.

The Jews did not have to fight when they left Egypt. By the same token, we did not participate in the alpha of salvation.

The Jews did have to fight when they entered the land of promise. We shall have to fight in order to enter the omega of salvation. Does this make sense to you?

After the Jewish feast of Pentecost comes the Blowing of Trumpets, the great and solemn Day of Atonement, and finally the feast of Tabernacles.

"Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts." (Leviticus 23:24—NIV)

"The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,  and present an offering made to the LORD by fire." (Leviticus 23:27—NIV)

"Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days." (Leviticus 23:34—NIV)

This tells us that after the experience of Pentecost we can look for three additional works of God in our life. The final three feasts mark the beginning of the entrance of the Kingdom of God into the earth. The Kingdom of God is announced by the Blowing of Trumpets.

The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost has been observed throughout the twentieth century. Now we are on the border of the Blowing of Trumpets. We of today are in the beginning of the intervention of God that will put an end to sin—actually put an end to sin! If that doesn’t make you shout for joy, nothing will!

What a day! What a day! What a day!

We always have known that "when we get to Heaven" there will be no more sin. We just didn’t know how God was going to accomplish this.

The program of God consists of two parts, as we have mentioned. First, the godly, warlike remnant that God is speaking to today will follow the Holy Spirit in putting to death the sinful deeds of their flesh and soul.

When the remnant have overcome sin, the Lord will return, bringing the remnant with Him, and the Kingdom of God will be established on the present earth. This will mark the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

The Kingdom Age will be the rule of the rod of iron. The presence of the rod of iron means sin is to be smashed—driven from the nations of the earth. Satan already will have been bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, where he will remain throughout the Kingdom Age.

Now, what about the majority of God’s elect, those who did not attain to the first resurrection, who were not raised from the dead when the Lord appeared? This is a difficult question since we do not have, at least to my understanding, an abundance of scriptural passages, such as we have when supporting the doctrine of the temporary separation of the Church into the remnant and then the remainder of the family of God.

However, it is my belief that, in addition to governing the nations with the rod of iron of the Holy Spirit, the victorious saints will minister to those who did not attain the first resurrection.

One verse that may be pertinent is as follows:

To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23—NIV)

"The spirits of righteous men." It does not state these spirits were made perfect on the earth, although this may be the meaning.

There is a passage that may bear on this difficult question, and of the concept set forth by this passage there can be no doubt. It is clearly scriptural.

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—NIV)

Who composes the "we all"?

The answer to this is found a few verses earlier:

There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— One Lord, one faith, one baptism; (Ephesians 4:4,5—NIV)

Now think carefully. The "we all" who will come to the level of maturity of the whole measure of the fullness of Christ refers; to the whole Christian Church. Would anyone like to claim this takes place, or has taken place, only on the earth?

Not nearly! Not nearly!

Therefore, if the Scripture is to be fulfilled, the work of bringing the righteous to perfection must take place in the spirit realm. And why not? Worldliness and lust are poisonous forces that have come to us from the spirit realm. And self-will is self-will whether in Heaven or on the earth. This being the case, and if God judges the dead as well as the living, what passage of Scripture, what pattern of logic, denies that the growth to maturity of the believer cannot occur in the spirit realm?

If we cannot grow spiritually after we die, then all is lost. The vast majority of God’s people have died before they came to the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God, to the stature of the fullness of Christ.

But does the Bible state clearly that the day will come when God’s people are free from the bondages of sin?

And to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:27—NIV)

Without stain!

Without wrinkle!

Without any other blemish!

Holy and blameless! Blameless!

To suggest all of this is by imputation is to remove one’s self from reality. Just looking at the verse at face value leaves the impression we are speaking of actual perfection of holiness.

Would the Lamb desire a Bride who was morally filthy but holy by imputed righteousness? Personally I think such an idea is not reasonable. Sometime, somewhere, somehow God is going to make new creations who are righteous, holy, and sternly obedient to the Father. The Lamb is going to receive a Bride who will be His glory, not His shame.

I am suggesting that such transformation is beginning now with a Gideon’s company so to speak who will bring total victory to all of Israel. I think the cleansing of the remainder of the Bride, those who have been chosen by the Lord but for whatever reason were not able to go through moral transformation during their lifetime, will take place during the thousand-year Kingdom Age and is the reason for the Kingdom Age.

Again, let me state I am not presenting a second chance to those who today are drifting along carelessly. If you do not use your talent now you will not be sent to school, when the Lord returns, but to the outer darkness. Also your talent will be given to another.

The very nature of the new covenant is that of an operation that will continue until all of God's family have been brought to the knowledge of the Lord; and we absolutely are required to take advantage of each opportunity for spiritual growth as it is presented to us. If we do not, the penalties are severe indeed!

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." (Hebrews 8:11—NIV)

The above verse reminds us of the statement in the fourth chapter of Ephesians that the ministries and gifts of the Body of Christ will continue until all the family of God have been brought to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.

How do you feel about this?

So we see that the Scripture does give us a vision of a Church without blemish of any kind. This perfection shall be accomplished by the authority and power of God just as our forgiveness was accomplished on the cross by the authority and power of God.

The Church, the new Jerusalem, the holy city, shall be perfect. The saved nations shall walk in its light. The result will be the putting away of sin from God’s creatures for eternity. All sin will be confined in the Lake of Fire.

Whoever through Jesus Christ puts away his or her sin will be saved to the new heaven and earth rule of Christ. Whoever refuses to put away his or her sin will be thrown into the Lake of Fire along with Satan and his angels. For the Father has given the Lake of Fire authority over all sin. As long as we have sin in us the Lake of Fire can harm us. Christ will deliver from sin whoever calls on Him for help. This is the unchangeable Word of almighty God who is willing that all turn away from sin.

Conclusion

We understand from the Scriptures that it is God’s intention to put an end to sin; not just to forgive sin but to remove it from all of His creatures.

We believe the program of removing sin will begin with the Church and then extend through the Church to the saved nations.

It appears from some of the major types of the Bible that there will come a time when the Church is divided into two camps, one a smaller, warlike remnant of witnesses, and the other the main body of God’s family, God’s Israel.

It is our point of view that the purpose of the division is to put an end to sin, beginning with the remnant, the firstfruits of the Church, then extending to the remainder of the Church, and from the perfected Church flowing out to all the saved inhabitants of the earth.

We are of the opinion that our redemption from the hand of the enemy, which is the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, the baptism of fire of which John the Baptist spoke, has begun now with those to whom the Lord is speaking.

John answered them all, "I baptize you with  water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Luke 3:16—NIV)

Please note that the trumpet of the Year of Jubilee was sounded on the Day of Atonement. The significance of this is that freedom from the bondages of the enemy will take place during the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, which will occur after the feast of Pentecost.

Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. (Leviticus 25:9,10—NIV)

We have been at Pentecost during the present century. God now is moving toward the spiritual fulfillment of the solemn Day of Atonement. This fulfillment has begun and will extend throughout the thousand-year period, as I understand it. It is the time when God’s people, forgiven through the blood atonement, will be reconciled to God in personality and behavior. Such reconciliation requires the removal of all of the passions and appetites of the flesh and soul; all love for the things of the wicked world spirit; and all self-will and rebellion against the will of God.

The cleansing of the royal priesthood is described as follows:

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. (Malachi 3:2-4—NIV)

Again:

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." (Joshua 3:3,4—NIV)

Again:

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is  my covenant with them when I take away their sins."  (Romans 11:26,27—NIV)

The verse above is not referring to imputed deliverance but to actual deliverance from the bondages of sin. "The deliverer"; "turn godlessness away"; take away their sins."

God has determined to remove sin from His creation. He will do this through His Church. The Church will be separated into two sections, according to the wisdom of God. The first section will gain victory, through Christ, over all the works of the enemy. Then the victory will spread to the remainder of the Church, and finally to the ends of the earth.

God will have no more sin or the effects of sin in His creation. He is through with sin!

If what I am writing resonates in you, if it is something you desire, then go to Christ in prayer and tell Him about it. When the Holy Spirit points out something in your personality that you know is unscriptural, you know is not pleasing to God, then confess it as sin. Denounce it. Renounce it with all your might. By God’s help, turn away from it.

As you do so you will find that God forgives all of your past sin along this line and is cleansing you from all behavior that is contrary to His will.

Keep it up! Don’t quit! We were a while gaining these bondages and it takes a while to get rid of them.

But I tell you in Jesus’ holy Name that there is authority and power present to assist you as you determine to be rid of sin. Ours is a new day. The power is here. Test it for yourself.

It is an eternal judgment against Satan. The depth of your decision is the key to deliverance. Moral deliverance does not take place until you let yourself and the demon world know you are finished with the specific behavior. You want no more of it. Its only proper place is in the Lake of Fire.

Until you are absolutely certain you want no more of this behavior for eternity, it will not leave. Your part is to judge the behavior as unworthy of the Kingdom of God. It is God’s part to remove the bondage.

Do you truly want to be delivered from sin? From all sin?

Once you enter this process there is to be no turning back, no double-mindedness. If you will mean business with God He will mean business with you. He is ready to lead you one step at a time against the bondages in your life. He will provide the authority and power of deliverance if you will be firm and consistent in your determination to be free from the bondage.

Do not fear that you cannot abide by your decision. Just make the decision and then God will help you make it stick.

But this is no time to trifle with God. This is deadly serious business. Satan knows this, he understands his end is at hand. He will fight with all his fury and all his ability to persuade and deceive. But Jesus Christ holds all the power and authority and if you keep your eyes on Him you will gain the victory God has for you.

The fearful, those who are afraid to trust God, will find their place in the Lake of Fire.

The climax of the ages us upon us. The conflict is between God and Satan, Christ and Antichrist, the Holy Spirit and the False Prophet.

We humans are only dust. The war is an eternal, titanic confrontation of good and evil, not one of the good intentions of humans. If you do not go to Christ and remain solidly with Christ every day for the remainder of your life you will default to the power of Satan. This is not wise.

The time of foolishness has passed. The United States is facing very severe judgment at the hands of God.

Listen to the voice of the Lord. What you will hear is:

"The midnight hour, the time when no man can work, is quickly approaching. If you wish to survive the age of moral and physical horrors now on the horizon, call on the name of the Lord. Set your household in order. As well as you can, gather your loved ones close to you. Turn away from the enticements of the American culture. They are leading you to spiritual death.

"Do not be misled by the media. God is real. He is not proclaiming love, love, love to America. He is speaking of judgment because we have turned our back on God.

"God is ready to receive all who will turn to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. To not do so is to invite a future filled with intense and prolonged agony of body, mind, and spirit.

"Turn to Christ now. There may not be another opportunity for you."