THE ETERNAL DIALOGUE
THE ETERNAL DIALOGUE Copyright Š 2008 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.
The Lord Jesus is ready today to enter a dialogue with every person who desires to be in such a close relationship with Him. This means that Christ will be in all their thoughts. They will learn to abandon their impulsive ways and listen to what He is saying. We are in a new day!
THE ETERNAL DIALOGUE
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
I note that the above verse was written to the church in Laodicea, the last of the seven described in the Book of Revelation. Perhaps this means it applies particularly to the hour in which we are living.
You know, it is possible to miss the day of our visitation. This happened to the Jews at the time of Christ. One would think it would have been obvious to all the Jews that God was doing something unusual. But because they were filled with their own religious ways they missed the day of their visitation.
I think the same danger exists today. It appears to me the Lord Jesus is drawing nearer to us now than may have been true in the past. The best way to find out if this is true is to pray and seek the Lord until we are certain we are hearing from Him. It is possible to become so filled with our religious ways and responsibilities that we do not wait long enough to hear what Christ is saying.
This does not mean the Lord speaks to everyone in the same manner. But I do believe He will guide us in a specific manner if we acknowledge Him in all that we do.
It seems the Lord is knocking today. When we open the door of our heart He comes in and eats with us, and we with Him. Now, what does this mean.
I think the Lord is referring to the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Perhaps we need to pay more attention to what the Lord said in this chapter.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me." (John 6:53-57)
If there is a more marvelous, more significant passage in the Scriptures I do not know of it, and I think we need to emphasize it more.
As we open the door of our heart, ceasing from all our own thoughts, ambitions, fears, duties, from our striving for perfection perhaps, the Lord Jesus enters our heart and mind. This is the new covenantthe writing of Gods Law, which is the Lord Jesus, in our mind and heart.
The Lord Jesus is to be entering us every moment of every day and night. He keeps on dining with us and we keep on dining with Him.
The Lord dines on our obedience and adoration. We dine on His body and blood.
As we keep looking to Him in every detail of life He keeps feeding us with His body and blood.
It is only as we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood that we have eternal life. His body and blood are our eternal life.
Christ keeps being strengthened by our worship, obedience, and fellowship. We keep being strengthened by His body and blood.
We marry the Lamb by continually eating the flesh of the Lamb and drinking His blood.
One of the greatest of all the misunderstandings of Christian theology is that salvation is a one-time experience that takes place as we pray the correct prayer and believe the correct theology. It is a ticket that admits us to Heaven when we die, we suppose.
It is true rather that salvation is a way of life. The righteous live by faiththis is how they live. We keep on interacting with Jesus, worshiping Him and doing what He says. He keeps on feeding us with His body and blood, with eternal life.
Furthermore, Christs body and blood are the resurrection life that will raise us at His appearing.
We may be under the impression that it is a profession of belief in Christ that will raise us when He comes. This is not true. It is His body and blood that will raise us to the slain Lamb. Life will call to life, not doctrine to doctrine.
The flesh of Christ is real food. The blood of Christ is real drink. They are not just symbolic, they are our life. How they are given to us in the spirit realm we do not fully understand; but it is a fact that they continually are given to us so Christ may be formed in us.
When we keep on eating Christs flesh and drinking Christs blood we remain in Him and He remains in us. Then we have Christs love of righteousness in our heart. We also have the mind of Christ. We think His thoughts and judge as He judges. This is the fulfillment of the new covenant.
The Father sent Christ and Christ lives by the Life of the Father. So it is to be true of us that we continually are to be eating and drinking Christ in order that Christ may become every aspect of our life.
This is the eternal dialogue. It is not just for our present life but for eternity. Christ eternally is living in a dialogue with the Father. We eternally will be living in a dialogue with Christ, providing this is what we truly desire. We will be following the Lamb wherever He goes.
Perhaps everyone would not enjoy having Christ share all of his thoughts. Perhaps it is a calling. But it is to whoever will receive it. "If anyone hears My voice . . ."
I am not certain Christ has been as close to people as He is now, although the invitation was given as far back as the Apostle John. It may be true that because of the maturing of sin in the last days, Christ has reserved His special invitation for this time. We are going to pass into an age of physical and moral horrors, and we are going to need to be living in Jesus to the point that we know what it is we are to do at each moment.
There are so many plans and programs in our day to save "a lost and dying world." Audrey and I were in a meeting not too long ago when some plans were discussed. The Lord said to Audrey, "Will you leave Me also?" The Lord meant by this that they were making plans without finding what the Lord wants.
When listening to the various leaders of seminars I think they are guessing at what the Lord wants. They are exhorting us to obey the Great Commission, but what they mean is they want us to go out and "save souls" and build churches; whereas the Great Commission has to do with making disciples and urging them to keep Christs commandments.
Thus we are in mass confusion because we are not hearing from Jesus.
The Lord is ready today to move from the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, as well as to the contributory observances of the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. The Spirit is pressing us concerning moving on past Pentecost.
When the feasts of the Lord are discussed in the Old Testament (Leviticus, Chapter 23) they are accompanied by the injunction that no work is to be done during the observance. The people were to pay special attention to the celebration being emphasized.
So it is today. The believers are going in this direction and that, not knowing what the Lord is saying. If we will take the time to listen to the Lord we will discover He has a marvelous program of glory for our daya dispensation of Divine wisdom and power that will enable us to be more than conquerors throughout the darkest days of the age of horrors on the horizon.
Christ will not save us by opening up a line of retreat so an infantile Church is caught up to Heaven to escape that dreadful Antichrist. Rather the Lord is coming with a multitude of His saints, who will be raised from the dead and then with us will slowly ascend as a tremendous light-filled temple to meet the Lord in the air. In that hour Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the wicked of the earth will be terrified. Well they may be, for their agony is at hand!
If we are listening to Christ I think this is what we will hear; not that we suddenly will be caught up to Heaven and leave the earth to Satan.
The Lord Jesus is ready to enter His churches and prepare each one of us for what is ahead. We will be Gods witnesses in the dark days ahead if we will watch the Lord carefully and do what he says. We have nothing whatever to fear as long as we are in Christ. Isnt this true.
Are you in the place where you can hear Jesus right now? What is He saying to you? Cultivate this interaction. Practice it at every opportunity. I think you will find that Christ wants to enter the eternal dialogue with you.
Sometimes people write to me and ask if we are to keep the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath is to refrain from working on Saturday.
My response is that we are to enter the eternal Sabbath. The eternal Sabbath is the rest of God, the rest that the Lord Jesus abides in at all times.
The eternal Sabbath is that of not thinking our own thoughts, not speaking our own words; not following our own ambitions; seeking the Lord for every decision we make.
If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORDs holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, Then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13,14)
The Law of Moses is one perfect whole. Whoever breaks one part of it is guilty of breaking the entire Law.
The salvation that is in Christ is one perfect whole. There is no part of the Law of Moses that is to be carried into the salvation that is in Christ.
If we are not under the Law of Moses, what moral law are we to obey?
First, we are to obey the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles. When we cannot find the strength to keep a New Testament injunction we are to go to God in prayer and receive the help we need.
As Christ is formed in us our new nature begins to express itself. Our new nature has been born of God and does not sin because it is of the Divine Nature.
First we obey the New Testament commandments. Then we enjoy the righteous nature that God is forming in us.
The Holy Spirit guides us in the way of righteousness, helping us put to death the compulsions of our sinful nature.
As we listen to Jesus He does not take us back under the Law of Moses. He does not speak to us about the kosher regulations, for example. Neither does He speak to us about a pre-tribulation rapture. Neither does He speak to most of us about "going out and saving souls." These are the sorts of rules that bring Gods people into guilt and bondage.
Rather, the Lord speaks to us about following Him. Sometimes He leads us in ministry. On other occasions He directs us as to how we should raise our family. He may warn us of danger, or encourage us to take a specific action.
We are to press forward until we know the will of Christ at all times. This is the highest form of righteousness.
We are going to have to hear from God if terrorists start blowing up parts of the United States or poisoning our water. We are not to rush about in panic. We are to wait on the Lord for direction.
I heard a testimony many years ago concerning some Russian Christians. This incident took place as the Communists were coming to power. The Lord led these Christians all the way across Russia to the border of China. The Lord created food in their stomach. Then the Lord by a miracle enabled them to cross the border without being seen by the guards. They finally were able to get on a ship going to the Philippines.
In our Christian teaching we have numerous traditions that are not based in the Scriptures. Our primary error is that Divine grace is to serve as an alternative to moral transformation, to godly behavior. Another major error is that Christ is coming to take His Church to Heaven. The "rapture" misunderstanding is a product of the misapplication of grace plus the idea that the goal of salvation is to go to Heaven to live forever.
The major problem God has with todays Christian preaching and teaching is that righteous behavior is not stressed. God wants people to behave in a righteous manner, and it is not happeningnot in the churches; not in the world. When we let the Lord Jesus into our personality and dine with Him, and He with us, He tells us of the Fathers concern over the lack of righteousness in the world. This condition is very distressing to God, and He is going to do something about it.
Stop what you are doing right now, if you are in a position where you can, and ask Christ if what I am telling you is true. Learn to look to Jesus rather than to your traditional understanding.
I believe the Lord Jesus is saying we are entering days of judgment. The judgment will begin with those closest to the Lord; then will spread to the rest of the Church; and finally to the nations. I think America is going to be punished in the near future. But when I am speaking of the Christians being judged I am not referring primarily to punishment but to the Divine attack on the sins that are in us.
Ask the Lord to judge you. Ask Him to look for any love for the world, for trust in the Antichrist system.
Ask the Lord to bring out any lusts and passions in your flesh and soul.
Ask the Lord if you are obeying Him or living in your self-will.
One time the doctor put some ointment on my wrists. Soon all of the latent cancer that was under my skin came to the surface where the body could throw it off.
It is like this when you pray for the Lord to baptize you with the fire of judgment. Elements of your sinful nature will surface over a period of time so you can deal with them.
When you perceive there is something in your personality that is not pleasing to Christ, confess it as sin. Denounce it vigorously as being the work of Satan. Renounce it vehemently, declaring you want no more to do with it. Then draw near to Christ so you do not succumb to despair or gloom.
Peter tells us that Christ is ready to judge the living and the dead. This means that we are passing through the Judgment Seat of Christ now. One of the means God uses to purify our nature is the fiery trial of some form of suffering. Remember, the righteous are saved with difficulty. The difficulty arises because our sinful nature resists the dealings of the Spirit of God.
Many years ago when I was in Bible school the Lord told me the next area of salvation for His Church would be that of judgment, of the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. I had only been a Christian for a few years and I knew nothing about the seven feasts of the Lord. Since that time, in the late 1940s, I certainly have been convinced that I heard from the Lord.
Recently a Jewish lady told me that there is a book the Jews use between the feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. In this books are listed sins that one can confess; for the Jews believe God judges the world between the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
Can you imagine! I knew nothing of this when God spoke to me in 1948. All I knew was that God said He was ready to bring His Church through judgment.
God has been bringing me through judgment since that time. I have confessed more sins than a person could believe would be in the personality of one human being. But then I was not raised in church.
I can see clearly that confessing our sins and turning away from them is an eternal judgment on Satan. We judge our behavior as sinful, and then Satan no longer has a place in us. His permanent place of abode is the Lake of Fire, not the personality of the Christian.
Remember, the atonement made by the blood of the Lord Jesus first is a Passover protection of us; then is the forgiveness of our sins; and finally is the authority that the Holy Spirit uses to remove the power of the sin from us. The blood protects us; forgives us; and then sets us free from sin.
For centuries we have known only of the forgiving authority of the blood. But this is only half the loaf. The distinctive of the new covenant is that, unlike the old covenant, our sins are not only forgiven but removed from us.
We have come to a new day, a further work of the grace of God. God is ready now to remove sin from His people so we can press forward to the Church that is without spot or wrinkle.
What is the Lord saying to you right now? Ask Him. Enter a dialogue with Him. Learn to bring all of your thoughts to Him.
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalms 10:4)
When we attempt to bring Jesus into our mind and heart so that we are in a continual dialogue with Him, we run into opposition from our adamic mind. Our adamic mind is not subject to the Holy Spirit and is the biggest problem we have.
God gave each of us an independent mind, the ability to reason. God expects us to use common sense. But our life is to be governed by the Spirit of God. We are not to trust in our own understanding but to look continually to the Lord for wisdom and strength in all that we do.
Perhaps the biggest battle we have as we learn to follow Christ has to do with our adamic mind. To let go of our adamic reasoning and keep looking to Christ in all the decisions of life is a strong challenge. Only the most mature Christians will succeed in abandoning their own reasoning that they might embrace a dialogue with the Lord.
In the beginning Eve was tempted to grasp the ability to recognize what is good and what is evil. She was not content to let God show her what is good and what is evil. She wanted to be able to have this knowledge for herself without relying on God. What suffering has resulted from Eves desire to be independent of God!
It has become fashionable in Christian circles to discover formulas that will "work" without our having to go to Christ.
"If you have arthritis it is because you are critical. Get rid of your criticism and your arthritis will be healed."
"If you will fast and pray you will have power with God."
"If all the ministers in a city would pray we could "take the city for Christ."
"If we exert a strong enough faith we can have whatever we desire."
"If we will hold an image in our mind of what we want we will receive it."
"If we speak a word of faith we can create what we want."
Can you see what all this is? It is an attempt to accomplish our goals without having to depend on God. God has established certain principles and if we can discover what they are we can utilize them at our will.
This is the opposite of the eternal dialogue, of the rest of God, of the manner in which Christ conducts Himself. Christ does nothing of Himself. In fact, when Christ in the beginning created all things He did not do this by His own wisdom and power. Christ eternally lives by the Life and Presence of the Father. It is the Father in Him who does the works.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. This is the way we are to live. (Hebrews 1:1,2)
God the Father made the universe through the Word.
This is the way we are to live. We are to be utterly dependent on Christ just as Christ is utterly dependent on the Father. We are to do nothing of ourselves, only what we see the Lord doing. It is to be God who is exerting His will in us and performing His own works.
But how many of us are willing to live like this? How many of us are ready to turn away from our own experience, talents, wisdom, and strength and enter a dialogue with Christ concerning all that we are and do? This is death to self.
We can enjoy the salvation experience of forgiveness through the blood atonement made on the cross. We can relish this experience and yet maintain our own will and way.
We can enjoy the Pentecostal experience of having the Holy Spirit come upon us. We can speak in tongues and prophesy, and yet maintain our own will and way.
But when we begin to pass into the Tabernacles experience in which Christ is formed in us, and then the Father and the Son come and dwell in that which has been formed in us, we cannot maintain our own will and way.
Why cant we enjoy the Tabernacles experience and still maintain our own will and way?
It is because in the Tabernacles experience we become the throne of God and of the Lamb. We cannot maintain our own will and way and still be the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Does this mean we lose or forfeit our will, our ability to make decisions?
Not at all. Loss of our ability to make decisions is characteristic of passivity, not of the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
Rather it is true that the Lord dines with us and we with the Lord. He does not move us as a robot. Rather He tells us of His plans, His desires, and we choose to do what He says. It is a matter of joyous obedience, not of being an "empty vessel" with no will of our own. It is an eternal integration of Gods will and our will.
The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated in Gethsemane that He has a will of His own. But He always chooses to do the Fathers will. We always are to choose to do the Lords willthat is if we wish to inherit the Kingdom with Him.
We make many mistakes as we learn to flow with the Life of God in Christ. When we err we are to turn from our sins and failings and come to the Lord with renewed determination. Learning to enter a dialogue with the Lord is no place for the faint-hearted or those who become discouraged easily.
What would church history have been like if the Christian leaders had been in constant fellowship and communion with the Lord Jesus? We would not have the babylonish institutions that are present today.
What would the history of the Protestant churches have been like if the Christian leaders had been in a continual dialogue with the Lord?
We would not be in such moral confusion of today, because the Lord Jesus would have pointed out the true meaning of Pauls teaching of gracethat grace is an alternative to the Law of Moses, not to godly character and behavior.
What would be true today if the Christian leadership was in close interaction with Jesus? We would not be the recipient of numerous glossy brochures that promote this famous leader or that inspirational speaker, and do not so much as mention the Lord Jesus.
Also, we would not be getting off into marketing strategies and techniques for selling the Gospel so multitudes of people fill the buildings. We would be stressing that which Christ is stressing todaythat righteousness fill the churches, our government, and our land. Instead of appealing to the self-love and comforts of our listeners we would be telling them that Christ is demanding righteous conduct on our part, and that we must learn to cooperate with His Spirit.
We need the Lord Jesus today as never before. He is in our midst; but we turn away and perform our own religious works. It is as though He is far off in Heaven and has left it up to us to build His Kingdom.
Yet, He said that He would build His Church on the Rock He Himself Is.
Our watchword should be, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit."
Today there are ministers who are attempting to "put on their administrative hat" and direct the Holy Spirit. Or they may engage in physical gymnastics and contortions in the hope of "bringing the Spirit down." Maybe we should sing to the Spirit, or pray to the Spirit, or otherwise attempt to get the Spirit to do whatever we want, they imagine. They are not certain how to "get the Spirit" because they are not in a dialogue with Christ.
The truth is, God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him. It is Christ who pours out the Spirit when God is ready. What we ought to be doing is listening to Jesus until we understand what He desires of us. When we do what He wants, and have prepared ourselves and others according to His will, then He will pour out His Spirit.
It is to Christs advantage to pour out His Spirit on us. He is the one who gains when the Spirit is bringing repentance and righteousness. He tells us to pray insistently for the Spirit; not to pray to the Spirit, but to pray to Jesus for the Spirit.
As we pray to Jesus to pour out the Spirit on us, we enter a dialogue with Him. He speaks to us and advises us what to do so we may be qualified to receive the Spirit. We do not have to howl in the dark like the servants of Baal. We just need to go to the Lord and find out what He wants of us.
There is no doubt in my mind that Christ has something wonderful for us today. Of course we want His Spirit. But we need to know what He wants emphasized when He pours out His Spirit.
Sometimes salvation is to be emphasized when the Spirit is poured out. Sometimes repentance is to be stressed.
Sometimes it is the baptism with the Spirit, or Divine healing.
I dont believe these are the emphases today, although they always will follow a true outpouring of the Spirit.
I believe the emphasis today is on righteousness. God wants righteousness. I believe Christ will pour out His Spirit upon us if we will put the need for righteousness in the forefront.
There are millions of professing Christians in the world, but how many of them behave in a righteous manner?
The truth is, various Christian groups fight against one another. There is strife and confusion in churches, and in Christian homes. When this is true, the Gospel of Christ has not accomplished what God desires. Sometimes the representatives of Christ come to blows because they are not getting their own way.
When God pours out His Spirit on us we need to be prepared to emphasize what God wants emphasized. Otherwise we will drift into some message that is dear to the heart of this leader or that preacher, and is not what Christ is saying at all.
In the Book of Acts, God added people to the church when the church was doing what God wanted. The emphasis was not on gaining people but on worshiping Christ and doing His will. We need to get back to this emphasis in our day, for we may be busy gaining proselytes but not building up the Body of Christ to spiritual maturity.
It truly is the greatest of all joys to live in a dialogue with Jesus Christ. There is no greater joy, no greater love, no greater peace. After having experienced a continual dialogue with the Lord, to then turn back to our own self-centered way of living or ministry would leave us in abject misery. We then would realize what a treasure we have had.
So I encourage everyone who reads these words to enter a dialogue with the Lord. He is knocking. Open the door of your heart and let Him sit at the table with you. This will begin your eternal dialogue with Jesus, and your interaction with Him will be young and fresh long, long after the present earth and heavens have vanished and you have enjoyed the Lords Presence for unnumbered eons in the new world of righteousness.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almightyhe is the King of glory. Selah (Psalms 24:3-10)