CHRIST THE DELIVERER: SIX
CHRIST THE DELIVERER: SIXCopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
("Christ the Deliverer: Six" is taken from Behold My Servant!, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. (Isaiah 42:21)
God's law is His revelation concerning what He considers to be good or evil, pure or impure, clean or unclean, righteous or unrighteous, holy or unholy, acceptable to Him or unacceptable to Him. Without God's law we have no knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, what brings life and what brings death. We are as Adam and Eve, as little children, not being able to distinguish between good and evil.
The conscience of people guided them until the Law, the light of God, shone from Sinai.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been introduced to Yahweh , the Lord of Israel. But to them was given no law other than personal directives from the Lord, personal revelations of the will of God for themselves. The remainder of mankind had only conscience and the world of nature to instruct them concerning righteousness.
All of that was changed the moment God wrote the Ten Commandments on the two tables of stone. What a giving of light that was! First to the Jews, and then to those who came in contact with the Jews, was revealed the Nature and will of God.
But, as Paul informs us in Romans 7:10, the Ten Commandments brought death to us instead of eternal life because our fleshly nature is opposed to the law of God. A law that brings conflict and death does not strengthen the bruised reed or stir into flame the feeble light that people have.
God is determined to save people, not to destroy them. The Law of Moses makes sin exceedingly sinful, bringing death instead of life. Death is not God's will for mankind. But the Law of Moses does serve us by bringing us to Christ for salvation.
The fullness of the eternal moral law of God, the light of God, shone in Christ. Christ is the Word, the Covenant, the Law magnified and made honorable. Christ is the eternal law of God Personified. Jesus not only gives us the law, He Himself is the Law of God. Christ is the new Covenant. He is eternal Life. He is the Pleasure of God. He is the Light of God, the perfect revelation of that which is good, right, life-giving, clean, pure, righteous, holy.
The new covenant is the writing of the law of God in the human heart and mind, not the Law of Moses but the eternal moral law. Since Christ is the eternal moral Law of God, the new covenant is the forming of Christ in the heart and in the mind of the members of the Body of Christ. When Christ comes to maturity in us we shall act, speak, and think according to the eternal moral law of God. Thus we ourselves become the new covenant the Lord has made with mankind.
The Servant of the Lord is the new Covenant. The Servant of the Lord magnifies and makes honorable the law of God by personifying the law and by bringing the power and wisdom that enable all men to serve God acceptably. On many occasions mankind behaves as though the law of God is not honorable; as though the law of God is an antiquated moral standard repugnant to decent people.
There is, popularly, a reproach connected with the law of God, the ways of God. There is a dishonor associated in the minds of people with God, His law and His Christ. But the Presence of Christ changes that point of view and makes the law of God honorable among men.
It is necessary for Christ to destroy the works of the devil in order to create righteousness in mankind. It is necessary also for Him to impart to people His Divine Nature and the power of eternal, incorruptible resurrection life and glory if they are to become pleasing to God.
The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the highest expression of God's law. The new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, is the law of God in glorified form. The holy city is the light of the world, the means through which all the nations can learn to conduct themselves in the manner accepted of God Almighty. The new Jerusalem is the light of the world because it is filled with Christ.
Christ is the new Covenant, the Law of God personified and made great and glorious in the eyes of the peoples of the earth. The Body of Christ also is the new covenant, the law of God personified and made great and glorious in the eyes of the peoples of the earth. The Head and the Body are to be One (John 17:21-23).
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in the world. (I John 4:17)
"As he is, so are we in the world"! Think of it!
The concept of the Church, the Israel of God, the Body of Christ, being the personification and glorification of the law of God, being the light of the world through the good works it performs, has suffered a serious setback in the days in which we are living.
In the first place, a misunderstanding of the teaching of the Apostle Paul concerning salvation by imputed (ascribed) righteousness has caused Christian teachers to take the position that God is not especially interested in the conduct of His people.
A spirit that is not of God, not of the Scriptures, has entered the minds of the Christians. This spirit has brought about a concept of the Christian redemption as being a special gift of God to bring Gentiles to Heaven on the basis of their doctrinal faith. It is obvious that such a concept wipes out any possibility of the Christian Church being the personification of the law of God. The current doctrine that the Christian redemption is an undemanding gift or plan to "bring people to Heaven" is not found in the Scriptures.
The Christian salvation is the development of a standard of righteous personality and behavior in the members of the Body of Christ, a radiant righteousness and holiness that will make the law of God great and glorious in the eyes of the nations of the earth. This is the scriptural concept of salvation.
The Scriptures are not a description of a struggle between belief and unbelief in doctrine, at least not in the sense in which we employ those terms today. The Scriptures are a description of the struggle between sin and righteousness, between good and evil, between obedience to God and disobedience to God.
In the Scriptures, true faith is synonymous with obedience and unbelief is synonymous with disobedience. Currently the terms belief and unbelief are used to describe our acceptance or rejection of the truth of certain theological facts.
The demons know the facts of the spirit realm and of the Divine plan of redemption. It is not our assent to these facts that brings salvation, it is our obedience to God.
How many believers are trusting in their adherence to theological facts to carry them into blessedness when they die? They are in error. Their "belief" will not bring them into Paradise after death any more than it has saved them from the bondages of sin before their death.
The rise and fall of Israel as a nation was not related to its belief in the Law or lack of it, except as faith is defined to mean obedience and righteousness. Theological faith was not at issue. The Ten Commandments have to do with deeds of righteousness, not with an assertion of the truth of the Torah. The Pharisees stumbled over this very point.
The same is true today. Revival power has left the Christian churches, not because of a lack of belief in the virgin birth or the Divinity of Christ but because of the prevailing sin and disobedience to God. The need today is for repentance, not for an abstract belief that there is a God, or for "faith" to get out of God what we want. Seeking the power of God apart from the will of God creates the False Prophet who is to come.
God is interested in bringing forth righteousness and praise in the sight of the nations of the earth.
God does hear the prayers of His saints concerning their personal and family needs. God is helping us along the path that leads to the fullness of the stature of Christ. One day we will be in the image of Christ and the result will be glory and a light by which the nations of the earth can see God.
Christ is the Word of God made flesh. We, the members of the Body of Christ, are the flesh being made the Word of God.
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (II Corinthians 3:3)
The old covenant can be written on stone, paper, wood, parchment, or on any other writing material. However, the new covenant cannot be written on any of these materials. The new covenant can be written only on the human mind and heart.
The old covenant can be written with ink. The new covenant can be written only with the Spirit of God.
God wrote sovereignly on the tables of stone and Israel was commanded to obey what was written. In the new covenant, God writes sovereignly on the human mind and heart. The Christian obeys because the Word is written in him and is part of him and he of it.
The Christian himself is the covenant; he is the testimony; he is the witness of God concerning Himself; he is the law of God just as the Ten Commandments were the testimony, the witness of God concerning Himself.
The Word of God re-creates us so that Christ--the new Covenant of God with man--is living in us (Galatians 2:20).
We cannot transform ourselves into the Word of God; only the Glory of God can do that.
Speaking of the working out of the new covenant in us, Paul states:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
The transformation of the saints into the Word of God was prophesied in the Old Testament:
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (Isaiah 28:10)
And that is just the way it happens to us.
As we press forward in our Christian pilgrimage we continually are being brought down into death to our old nature so the Life of Christ may take its place. We die so He may live in us. We must decrease in order that He may increase.
Command upon command, rule upon rule, the Word of God, the new covenant, is written in us by the finger of God. We are becoming the Word of God, the law of God, the new covenant.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
We who are Christians are the epistles of the apostles and teachers who are sent by the Holy Spirit to minister to us (II Corinthians 3:2). We are written in their hearts, the ever-increasing righteousness and holiness of our conduct being the proof that they indeed have been sent by the Lord. We are their credentials.
We are the light of the world, meaning that the Person, will, and ways of the Lord are being revealed through our deeds, our words, and our motives. It is God's intention that the peoples of the earth learn to distinguish between right and wrong, between what is pleasing to God and what is not pleasing to God, by means of the image of God presented through Christ through the Church, which is His Body.
Christ--Head and Body--always fulfills the eternal moral law of God. The Servant of the Lord makes the law workable and practical for people by delivering them from Satan, by setting an example for them, by teaching them the laws of the Kingdom of God, and by empowering them to practice what they have been taught.
Teaching not accompanied by the power of deliverance and performance brings people to the knowledge of God's will but does not enable them to put into practice what they have learned.
Deliverance without teaching sets people free from spiritual bondage but does not point out to them the necessity for righteous, holy, and obedient conduct--the conduct that can be accomplished only through the grace given to us through Christ.
If demons come to a house that has been swept and decorated but has not been filled with the Glory of the Lord, they will enter again into that house and the end of the delivered one will be worse than if he never had been delivered in the first place (Matthew 12:43-45).
The Kingdom of God is not in word but in power. The power of God sets the captive free. Then the Word of God is written by the Holy Spirit on the mind and heart of the convert until he becomes the Word of God, the new covenant, the light of the world.
The power and wisdom necessary to create us in the full stature of Christ can come only from the creative Word of God. There must be faithfulness, patience, conscientiousness, and diligence on the part of the believer so the Holy Spirit can perform the work of transformation into the image of Christ.
The blood of the Lamb provides the legal basis on which the work of transformation can proceed.
If we have not been faithful, patient, conscientious, and diligent the Lord will make us so if we will ask Him. But if we are double-minded, lazy, indifferent concerning the things of redemption, choosing rather to walk after the lusts of the flesh and fleshly mind, then we will reap corruption rather than eternal life in the Day of the Lord.
The Body of Christ causes God's will to be done in earth as it is in Heaven by casting out devils, healing the sick, pointing to the Redeemer on the cross, witnessing of Christ's resurrection, and by teaching the ways of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to all men in preparation for the return of the King and His Kingdom.
We work at these tasks today, and so much the more as we see the Day of the Lord approaching. When He comes our ministry will be increased a thousandfold until the entire earth is filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
The fullness of the new covenant will be in effect when "they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest" (Hebrews 8:11). This covenant is made with God's elect, with the house of Israel. Such fullness has not been attained as yet. All the members of Christ do not know the Lord to this extent. We still have need that we minister one to the other.
But when that which is perfect has come, that is to say, when Christ comes to us in the fullness of the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles, then we shall know the Lord fully and clearly just as we now are known by the Lord fully and clearly.
The fullness of the knowledge of the Lord then will be ours. No longer will it be necessary for us to teach each other, for every member of the Body of Christ will be in possession of the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord.
It appears likely that much progress toward the maturing of the new covenant will take place during the thousand-year Kingdom Age known as the Millennium. The Kingdom Age is the time when righteousness and praise will spring forth before all the nations as they never have during the Church Age (Isaiah 61:11).
From the time of Abraham, God has been pointing toward and working toward the Day when His Servant will bring justice and truth to the peoples of the earth. The followers of Christ are being prepared as kings and priests so that justice, truth, righteousness, and the knowledge and joy of the Lord may be established among the nations.
Let us take heart. Let us lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. The Lord is coming and He is bringing the reward for our patient endurance and faithful service. Our blessings and responsibilities will be marvelous in that Day. Our fruitfulness and dominion in Christ will fill the heavens and the earth.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalms 96:9-13)
Only a few more steps, a bit more faith and trust in God, some final lessons, and then we will be ready for the appearing of Christ and our appearing with Him, bringing truth and righteousness to the nations of the earth.
Meanwhile let us do all the good we can, ministering to the saints, bearing a true witness of God to the world, being adults in spiritual understanding and children in malice.
The role of Christ, Head and Body, is to "magnify the law and make it honorable." This means we are to enlarge God's Person and ways and make them approachable and wonderful for all peoples, young and old, through the direction and enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
When the Church of Christ has attained the Divine standard of perfection, which is the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, being ready to descend from the new heaven to find eternal rest on the new earth, then the testimony, the law of God, will have been established forever.
The Presence of the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb, will shed forth the light, the eternal law God to the entire universe. The highly-ornamented foundations of the wall of the city signify that no form of sin, uncleanness, or rebellion ever again will defile the Divine creation. The jewels in the foundations are the marks of character of those who have overcome sin and rebellion through Christ.
The holy city is the supreme development of the Servant of the Lord, the fullest expression of His role of bringing the law of God to the nations of the earth.
The Servant Himself is the testimony, the covenant, the witness of who God is and of what is pleasing to Him.
It is difficult for us to picture God in travail. Why would God cry like a woman in labor? What is the Lord bringing forth?
God is laboring to bring forth the Life and image of His Son, Christ, in the heavens and on the earth.
God is readying Himself to put an end to sin and rebellion and to bring forth a new creation that reveals His Person, will, and ways.
Notice that the context of Isaiah 42:14 includes the announcement of the Servant of the Lord and a statement concerning the overcoming of the enemies of God.
The Kingdom of God is about to be born. The Kingdom of God is Christ. The way of Christ is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The Servant of the Lord, Head and Body, holds the keys of the Kingdom of God. The Servant of the Lord possesses the authority and power to forgive sins, to retain sins, to loose the captives, to bind the wicked. The Servant of the Lord has been commissioned by the Father to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The "Lord's Prayer" reveals the burden of the Holy Spirit. First of all we are to ascribe holiness to God the Father ("Hallowed be thy name"). Then follows immediately the burden on the heart of God: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
God is in travail today to bring forth His Kingdom--the doing of His will in the earth as it is performed in Heaven.
For many thousands of years, for spiritual ages that reach back into eternity past, God has allowed His sentence upon the devil and the rebellious angels to remain unexecuted. That sentence is eternal confinement in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Some of the evil angels are ruling in the heavenlies although they are bound in the chains of sin and rebellion. They are awaiting the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment, of Vengeance, is at hand!
Why has God the Father permitted such a long period of time to pass before putting an end to sin? Why has He permitted a once-pure earth to become horribly defiled by sins too filthy, too hideous, to mention? Christians cannot contemplate or talk about the deeds being practiced in the earth today without themselves being defiled.
Why does God permit this state of affairs to continue?
So more people can be saved?
It is possible more people are being born today than are being saved.
Does God know what He is doing?
The reason for the delay is found in the Scriptures. The Servant of the Lord is being created. It is the task of the Servant of the Lord to destroy wickedness out of the earth. The Body of Christ, under the authority and direction of the Head, shall crush Satan. It is the Seed of the woman who will crush and tread under foot the head of the devil (Genesis 3:15).
And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly. . . . (Romans 16:20)
The authority, power, and wisdom flowing from the Head, Christ, will enable the Body of Christ, the saints, finally to tear down the spiritual lords of darkness from their thrones in the heavenlies and in the hearts of men.
Jesus is waiting patiently until the Father makes His enemies His footstool. The authority of the enemy was taken from him on the cross of Calvary. Now the full expression of that victory is upon us. It is time for Christ, working with and through His Church, to bring an end to all sin and rebellion.
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (I Corinthians 6:2,3)
Every creature and every thing in the entire universe is waiting for the Church, the Body of Christ, the fullness of the Servant of the Lord, to come to maturity and unity. As soon as the Church has been made ready by the Holy Spirit of God, the Head, Christ, will return. This time Christ will not be born as a baby in a manger. This time Christ will appear as the avenging Lamb of God.
Christ will roar out of Zion (the Church) against His enemies. He will go forth in thunderous majesty, treading the grapes of the wrath of God Almighty. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful will ride with Christ in that Day.
Christ's faithful have gone outside the camp with Him, bearing His reproach. They have suffered abuse, the loss of their possessions in some instances, the humiliation that always falls on the righteous, on those who choose to walk in the ways of the Lord and do His will.
The true disciples have relinquished their right to justice in the world. They have committed their judgment to God alone, looking to Him to settle their affairs in His own way and time. They have become the garbage of the world, a weak, despised segment of the earth's population.
But in the Day of the Lord, the people who have been following the Lord Jesus patiently and faithfully will discover to their eternal delight that they finally are coming into their inheritance. This time the shoe will be on the other foot; the tables will be turned. Instead of being the victims of persecution they will be the judges of those who persecuted them. Instead of being the weak they will be the powerful, the rulers, the kings and priests of the most high God.
The Church will appear with Christ bringing destruction upon all the enemies of God, both spiritual and physical; and bringing deliverance and teaching to those of earth's peoples who fear God and are meek before Him.
The earth will tremble before Christ and His holy brothers. It is the Day of the Lord, and Christ will ride at the head of His army. There never before has been an army such as this. "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining" (Joel 2:10).
The whole creation shall bow in travail along with the Lord God, for the Day of visitation has come to the heavens and the earth (I Peter 2:12).
The Kingdom of God is the supreme authority and power in the heavens and on the earth. The rule of wickedness will be overthrown by the force of the Holy Spirit acting on the basis of the blood of Calvary. Christ and His victorious saints, His mighty men, those in whom the Substance and Nature of Christ have been created, are to shepherd all nations with an iron rod.
Because of their oneness with Christ the saints will possess the authority and power to command righteousness in the earth, to enforce the keeping of the laws of the Kingdom, such as the principles given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, Chapters Five through Seven). Those who resist the rule of Christ and His saints will be destroyed (Malachi 4:3). The meek of the earth who choose to follow the righteous ways of the Lord will prosper and enjoy all the blessings of God's creation (Isaiah 11:4-9).
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalms 2:10-12)
The coming of the Kingdom of God is at hand. It will be a day of refreshing and glory for the faithful saints, an hour of chastisement for the Lord's people who have been unfaithful, and a time of judgment and torment for the wicked and rebellious.
The Servant of the Lord--Head and Body--will be given control of the creation of God. For one thousand years (literally or figuratively) the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on this earth as King of His saints and Lord of His righteous kings and priests, the nobility of the Kingdom. Christ is King and Lord over the princes whom He has chosen to govern the nations of the earth (Isaiah 32:1).
It is useless for Christ to return to the earth until His Church, His Body, has been made ready for the work of installing the Kingdom of God on the earth. If Christ intended to accomplish the task by Himself He would have done so two thousand years ago, preventing the centuries of anguish that have ensued since His first appearing.
But in order for the Kingdom of God to come to the earth the Body of Christ must be created, the Body of the Servant of the Lord.
Let us, therefore, hasten the coming of Christ by growing personally in all godliness and holy behavior.
The Judge stands at the door. Let us prepare our heart to receive Him.
Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brothers shall return unto the children of Israel. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up on thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. (Micah 5:3,8,9)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is meek and lowly of heart, not striving, not forcing. He strengthens the bruised reed and stirs into flame the dimly burning wick. He does not justify Himself but commits His way to His Father. Truly, He is the "Good Shepherd."
But in the Day of the Lord, Christ will appear in such frightful wrath that the strongest of men will cry out for the mountains and rocks to fall on them in order to hide them from that furious Countenance.
We Christians also are to be meek and lowly of heart, neither striving nor forcing, apt to teach, meekly instructing those who oppose themselves. The Lord God is our Avenger. He justifies us in all matters and brings forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday.
But one day we too will appear as the judges and lords of the earth. We too will ride in thunderous majesty and fury against the enemies of God, both spiritual and physical. The Bride of the Lamb is "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (Song of Solomon 6:4,10).
The Servant of the Lord is as meek and lowly in heart as a gentle lamb. Yet He is destined to break and shepherd the nations of the earth with an iron rod, an irresistible rod of the iron of the strength of the Holy Spirit of God.
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:11)
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment on all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14,15)
We cannot describe in detail the rebellion of angels against God because the Scripture references concerning this wickedness are not comprehensive. We do understand, however, that sin originated in the heavenlies--in the spirit realm, in the very Presence of the Father.
Sin was not created by humans but by evil spirits. It is Satan, not Adam, who is the father of lies. The Lake of Fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels.
Sin did not originate in Eden. Sin was introduced into Eden by a cherub who already was in rebellion against God. Whenever we begin to think about God's judgment, about redemption and deliverance from sin, we are confronted with the kingdom of darkness. This is where the problem is. One cannot occupy a strong man's territory without first dealing with the strong man himself.
One of the principal tasks of the Servant of the Lord is to destroy totally the kingdom of darkness. There will be nothing left of wickedness when the Lord ceases working. Even the memory of sin and rebellion will have been blotted out of the heavens and the earth.
Speaking prophetically of the wicked rulers in the heavenlies:
But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:23,24)
In the present hour we are struggling against the lords of darkness who rule the earth from their thrones of power in the heavenlies (Ephesians 6:12). But in God's time every one of them shall be forced down to the earth and crushed under the feet of the saints.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)
And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly. . . . (Romans 16:20)
There is coming an end to the wrestling match. Christ will destroy His opponent without mercy. He will do it through His Church.
The total destruction of wickedness will be accomplished by the Lord God moving through His Church. "The Lord shall roar out of Zion." In order for the saints to be available for such employment they must be living victoriously in the Spirit of God.
The three qualities that must be true of the saints before they can exercise the judgment of the Lord are guiltlessness (justification), righteousness and holiness of behavior (sanctification), and joyful, strict obedience to the Lord (consecration).
The saint of God must be justified by the blood of the Lamb. He must be made holy by the power of the Holy Spirit. He must be consecrated to the point where he loves not his own life to the point of death--totally obedient to the Father. If there is a problem with one of these three areas the saint is disqualified from participating in the coming assault upon Hell.
Guiltlessness. It is impossible for the Lord to execute judgment through a Church that itself is under condemnation because it is not abiding under the blood of justification, is not walking in righteousness and holiness, and is not obeying the Spirit of the Lord.
God's war against Satan is not a question of who has the greater power. God always retains all power. When the appointed moment arrives it will require only one angel to bind Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit.
Rather, the requirements for victory in the war against the enemies of Christ are the protection, cleansing, and virtue of the blood of the cross, holy motives and behavior, and obedience to the will of God. Each of these elements is critically important in spiritual battle.
Our concern is not with obtaining enough power to conquer Satan, it is with our own state of acceptability before the God of Heaven. The necessary power will be forthcoming when we are eligible to receive it.
God's first warfare is against the saints. When God's saints have been reconciled fully to God it will be time for the destruction of Satan. First, Satan in the Church; after that, Satan outside the Church.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2)
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. (Isaiah 54:7)
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 5:10)
Guiltlessness (justification) comes to us by way of the blood of the Lamb. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9). We are justified fully (held to be without guilt in the sight of God) through the gift of God's righteousness that comes to us on the basis of our faith in the atonement made by Christ on the cross of Calvary.
No accuser can win his case in the court of Heaven against those who are justified by the blood of God's Lamb, Christ.
The authority of the blood in spiritual warfare is demonstrated by the fact that the armies of Heaven follow the Commander in Chief whose robe is dipped in blood. The blood of Christ remains in front of His troops throughout all the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged.
We overcome the accuser through the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11).
Righteousness and holiness of behavior. Not only must we be guiltless through the blood of the cross but our being and conduct must be righteous and holy as well. Guiltlessness is imputed (ascribed) to us on the basis of the sacrificial offering of Christ on the cross. But righteousness and holiness of thought and conduct are created in us through the Word of God, through the Life that is in the body and blood of Christ, and through the resurrection Life of the Holy Spirit who is working in us.
Righteousness and holiness of personality and behavior are wrought in us as the Holy Spirit leads us in putting to death the deeds of our body (Romans 8:13). The Holy Spirit is the Law of the Spirit of life. He enables us to conquer the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Each day of our discipleship we must bring our deeds, words, and thoughts under the control of the Holy Spirit. By so doing we keep on growing in the power of righteousness and holiness. If we are to fight against the kingdom of darkness, executing the Lord's sentence of judgment on wickedness, we must do so in righteousness and holiness.
The Servant of the Lord is called in righteousness.
It is the pure in heart who will see God. An unholy person never shall behold the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
We cannot fight successfully against Satan when we are yielding to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, or the pride of our life. When we are practicing sin we are spiritually weak. We go down in defeat. We are deceived and led astray. We are distracted, double-minded, weak from guilt and fear. If we are walking in darkness we cannot possibly fight victoriously against the darkness. If we are full of Satan we cannot overcome the armies of Satan.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelite men of war marched under Joshua. But the sin of one man--Achan--brought all Israel into condemnation and defeat (Joshua 7:5).
The armies of Heaven are clothed in fine linen, clean and white. The white linen is the righteous conduct of the saints. The saints are shielded by the atoning protection of the blood of the Lamb and they themselves are clothed in their own righteous conduct (Revelation 19:8,13).
Both imputed righteousness and actual righteousness and holiness of personality and behavior are necessary if we are to serve the Lord in spiritual battle. Satan cannot not cast out Satan. It is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous (righteous in deed) man that avails much in the Kingdom of God.
We overcome the accuser by the word (not words , plural) of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). The living of a godly life is an important part of our testimony (Matthew 5:16). The "word of our testimony" is that which our personality is declaring to be true of the God of Heaven and of Christ His Son. We are the flesh being made the Word of God. This is the new covenant.
Another important aspect of our testimony consists of the words and works of power exercised through the saints by the Holy Spirit of God. A pure life plus spiritual power are the two horns of the testimony. A holy life and works of power both come from the Holy Spirit, not from the adamic nature.
Joyful, strict obedience to the Lord. The third state that must be attained by the saint before God can employ him in the execution of judgment is that of strict, stern obedience to Christ, to the Spirit of God, to the Father. Obedience is wrought in us as God requires distasteful duty of us and we remain faithful. Obedience calls for the sacrifice of Isaac, the imprisonment of Joseph, the afflictions of Job, the crucifixion of Christ, the martyrdom of the early Christians and of numerous believers throughout the history of the Church.
Obedience demands that we love not our lives to the death. Obedience and faithfulness are closely related.
We can be progressing in righteousness and yet have some important lessons to learn concerning absolute obedience to the Father. If we are willing to suffer with Christ we will reign with Christ. If we are to experience the full power of His resurrection we must experience also the fellowship, the sharing, of the sufferings of Christ.
We learn obedience, as did Christ, through the things we suffer. The Servant of the Lord accepts the sufferings God sends, and as much as possible, maintains a cheerful, uncomplaining attitude. The Servant does not blame God or people for his problems. He looks only to the Lord. He continues in prayer in his prison until God brings him forth.
It is the quality of strict obedience to the Father that finally will bring the Church to the level of spiritual strength at which the kingdom of darkness can be destroyed. The Church, as Samson of old, will tear down the temple of sin and rebellion by means of its own death--the death of total obedience to God.
The true Church, the refined remnant, will learn to bow in obedience before Christ, dying to its own ambitions and self-aggrandizement. When it does, the entire structure of sin and rebellion will be crushed by the authority and power of Christ. The honor and responsibility of executing the sentence of Divine judgment has been given to the saints of the Lord (Psalms 149:9).
We of the Church are learning obedience today. As we become increasingly willing to obey the Lord, no matter what He requires of us, no matter whether or not we understand what He is doing, and walk in obedience without complaining, then the Lord becomes increasingly able to destroy the kingdom of darkness in us and in those to whom we are ministering.
As God's people become willing to obey God perfectly and completely He shall proceed to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)
Speaking of Adam and of Christ, Paul states:
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
Notice in the preceding passage how the power and authority of redemption flowed from the obedience of Christ, as contrasted with the terrible consequences of the disobedience of Adam. Disobedience to God always brings death. Obedience to God brings eternal life. God will not tolerate disobedience on the part of any of His creatures.
God is extremely pleased when we are obedient under painful, difficult conditions. Both fruitfulness and dominion flow directly from strict obedience to God.
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the Heaven and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:17,18)
Abraham received imputed (ascribed) righteousness on the basis of believing what God said to him concerning children yet unborn (Genesis 15:6).
Abraham grew in holiness and righteousness as he walked before God and became perfect in behavior (Genesis 17:1).
Abraham received blessing, fruitfulness, victory over his enemies, and the power to confer blessing on the nations of the earth because he obeyed God throughout an excruciating trial of his faith.
God does not change and His ways with His saints do not change. The moral law remains eternally the same because its principles are based on spiritual realities, not on transitory circumstances or environments. The spirit of murderous hatred is sinful. Covetousness of the possessions of another is sinful. False testimony is sinful. Sorcery is sinful. Envy is sinful and produces the image and works of Satan. All these behaviors are sinful because they proceed from unclean spirits--spirits that have been driven from the Presence of the Father.
The difference between the old covenant and the new covenant is not, as is taught commonly, that we no longer are required to practice righteous and holy living. Rather the difference is that under the new covenant we receive more help (grace) from God so we can attain to righteous, holy, and obedient conduct of living.
God did not change the eternal moral law when the new covenant was instituted. God does not change and His standard of right and wrong does not change. Under the new covenant God is making it possible for us to keep the moral law, not only in the legal, imputed sense but also in the actual, visible sense. The moral image of the Lord Jesus Christ is the standard of personality and behavior to which every creature of the new world is to aspire.
The church is destined to destroy out of the earth every trace of sin and rebellion against God. The Lord has determined that even the memory of sin and rebellion shall be removed. It is the responsibility of the Body of Christ, as enabled by God's Spirit, to destroy the tendencies and effects of sin out of the creation. Then the creation will be brought into the liberty of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21).
The Body of Christ possesses, through the Holy Spirit, the keys of the Kingdom of God, the key of David, the authority and power under Christ to loose and to bind, to forgive sin and to bind over to judgment. These are awesome responsibilities and many of us are not quite ready for them.
To the Servant of the Lord--Head and Body--has been assigned the authority and power to open to God's creatures the way into the Presence and blessing of God; and also, as long as sin and rebellion continue to be practiced, the authority and power to remove from God's Presence those who defy Christ.
Satan will be crushed beneath the feet of the saints.
It is the Servant of the Lord, Christ--Head and Body, who will judge the world and also the angels.
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we will judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (I Corinthians 6:2,3)
It was mankind that opened the door to Satan in the earth, and it is mankind, through the Spirit of Christ, that is responsible to drive Satan out of the earth. This is true for mankind as a whole and also for the individual believer.
Although it is helpful to the embattled saint to have his brothers and sisters pray for him, final deliverance from Satan can come only as the individual who allowed Satan to enter him is willing and able, through Christ's help, to drive him out.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)
Man forfeited his inheritance because of his inability to resist the counsel of the adversary. Through Christ man can regain his inheritance, treading on the head of Satan in the process.
Satan has bruised the heel of man so he cannot walk uprightly. Christ destroyed the authority of Satan on the cross of Calvary, and through the saints Christ will destroy every trace of the adversary's power.
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:22)
In the Book of Revelation emphasis is placed on the wall of the new Jerusalem. The wall portrays that in the holy city, which is the Church, the Wife of the Lamb, there will be no sin. Sin will be driven out by the Spirit of God working through the saints and will be walled out for eternity.
The wall against sin and rebellion is being constructed now, in the spirit realm, as Christ is being formed in the personalities of the victorious saints. One day the completed and perfected new Jerusalem will descend from Heaven and be installed on the new earth, where it will abide forever.
Sin originated in the heavens and then entered the earth. The wall against sin is being created in the saints. After the Day of Judgment has been completed, the walled city, which is the glorified Church, will descend from Heaven to the new earth.
One of the main tasks of the Church, the Body of Christ, in the present hour is that of rebuilding the wall--the defense against sin--of the city of God. The current rebuilding is typified by the activities of Nehemiah (Book of Nehemiah). It is time now for the saints of God both to build and to fight.
We are building the Church's eternal defenses against sin. We are standing against every spirit and person that would attempt to discourage us or prevent us from establishing the righteousness, holiness, and obedience the Lord requires on the part of those who would live in His Kingdom.
When the saints return to the earth with Christ they will complete the work of destroying the kingdom of darkness by removing it altogether from the earth (Revelation 19:19-21). The Prophets have much to say about the war against the kingdom of darkness (Joel 2:3; Micah 5:9; Habakkuk 3:13; Malachi 4:1; etc.).
Total victory will come through the Servant of the Lord.
The Lord God will go forth as a fierce man of war. His Spirit of indignation and vengeance has been awakened. He will roar through the Church and will prevail over His enemies. God's enemies are the wicked, rebellious spirits that introduced sin into Eden, that plague God's saints and accuse them night and day, that deceive the whole world, that destroy the earth, and that have been assigned to the Lake of Fire. The church is God's instrument of warfare against His enemies.
God has an army. He will utter His voice before His army. The heavens and the earth will shake before Him as He marches against the kingdom of darkness.
God is in travail in the present hour in order that Christ may be formed in the saints, that righteousness and holiness may be established on the earth. As soon as Christ has been formed in the members of His Body, God will be able to go to war in and with His Servant.
The Day of the Lord is great and very terrible. The Day of the Lord will be executed through the saints. We are being prepared to be the Arm of the Lord. We are to bring justice to the nations by crushing the oppressor who has kept the peoples of the earth in the chains of sin and death, and then by teaching and healing the inhabitants of the earth.
In order to redeem the prisoners of the earth, God first must deal with the jailer. This He has chosen to do through Christ, the Servant of the Lord.