EATING THE SCROLL

EATING THE SCROLL 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.

The Lord moves in seasons of emphasis. All that God will do in the plan of salvation is in the Bible. There is no new revelation today. But passages not emphasized during one season are stressed during another. There do come times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord.

In the previous century, the Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit was emphasized. Now we are entering a new season. Moral judgment and deliverance are being brought to our attention.

EATING THE SCROLL

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Revelation 10:9-11)

There is a scroll to be eaten today. That scroll is the ability to distinguish good from evil, and the willingness and strength to embrace the good and reject the evil. It now is time for the Church to eat it.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13,14)

The Christian Church has been existence for 2000 years. With some notable exceptions, the emphasis has been on forgiveness. The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to make an atonement for our sins.

But if we stop to think about it, forgiveness without deliverance from sin does not solve the problem of fellowship with God. Adam and Eve were without the guilt of sin. They were innocent, not knowing what was good and what was evil. Also, they had not inherited a sin nature. Yet their one disobedience separated them from God and has resulted in six thousand years of agony.

If everyone in the world were forgiven and brought to Paradise, and the sin nature was removed from them we would be in the same situation as Adam and Eve found themselves in the beginning. What would happen then? Someone sooner or later would disobey God. Being in Paradise, even without a sin nature, would not prevent disobedience to God.

Forgiveness apart from deliverance and transformation into the moral image of Christ, does not result in the Kingdom of God.

There must come a point at which we are made aware of the bondages of sin in our life, delivered from them, and then have Christ formed in us, if the Divine redemption is to be fully effective; if the Kingdom of God is to be established; if Paradise is to be regained and then maintained.

The New Testament describes the removal of sin from the Kingdom of God.

The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (Matthew 13:41)

Notice the expression "everything that causes sin." I would suggest at least some of the "angels" (messengers) will be human beings, and that they will come to the Church with the message and power of moral deliverance.

The above is not describing merely a season of repentance but of the actual removal from the Kingdom of God of the cause of sin. The emphasis is not on what we are going to do but what the Lord and His messengers are going to do.

After sin has been removed from those of the Church who are willing to be delivered, then the wicked, people who refuse deliverance from Satan will themselves be thrown into the fiery furnace.

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous And throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49,50)

In the beginning, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree, like all the other trees of Eden, was good for food. All of God’s sons must learn the difference between good and evil, and grow in the willingness and the ability to choose the good and reject the evil.

The problem existed in that while the tree of the eternal moral law of God was good, the first two people were not prepared to eat from its fruit. We have to have a measure of Christ formed in us before we are able to deal with the problem of good and evil. This is why God has waited for two thousand years before having His saints enter the battle of moral deliverance.

We notice that while the Lord Jesus Christ cast out demons, the healings and deliverances were physical and not moral. The time had not come as yet for the "Day of Vengeance of our God."

To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61:2)

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, (Luke 4:18-20)

By comparing the two passages above you can see that the Lord Jesus rolled up the scroll before reading "the day of vengeance of our God." That day had not come at that time, but it is here now, I believe.

Adam and Eve were without guilt because they did not understand it is a shame to be naked. God did not want them to know they were naked and that it is a shame to be naked. He had in mind to clothe them at the proper time, and so God told them not to eat from the tree or they would die. They would become conscious of their shameful condition and hide from God.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. (Revelation 3:18)

Notice the following:

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. (Romans 7:9)

Was the Law of Moses "good for food"?

Absolutely. But it causes death when we become aware of it, because we do not find in ourselves the ability to please God by obeying it.

Notice that Adam and Eve did not read the moral law of God, they ate it. So it is true that we do not enter the salvation of God merely by understanding it. We must "eat" it. We must eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood in order to be saved, to be healed, to be filled with the Spirit of God, and to obtain release from moral bondages.

Numerous "believers" of our day have a mental grasp on the things of salvation but they have never "eaten the book." They know all about the house of God but they have yet to learn about the God of the house of God. We can learn about the God of the house of God only as we eat His flesh and drink His blood.

The time has arrived when the Church is to move further along in the plan of redemption by eating the moral law of God.

Justification has been overemphasized in our day to the point that the only people in the world who do not understand what righteous behavior is are the Christians. They are bound with all sorts of sins, and at the same time are looking forward to an unscriptural "rapture" to deliver them from their troubles. In the meanwhile they are under the impression God is not aware of their behavior.

The New Testament declares that God is well aware of our conduct, and if we do not judge ourselves, He judges us. Sometimes the result of the Divine judgment on us is sickness, or even death.

It is time for this unscriptural attitude to change. The Day of Vengeance of our God against His enemies, the enemies that dwell in our flesh, has arrived.

Ezekiel ate the scroll.

And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." (Ezekiel 3:1)

Look at the result:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. (Ezekiel 3:17)

As soon as we eat the scroll of the moral law we become a watchman for God’s people. We are able to warn ourselves and them concerning the enemy.

Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 15:19,20—KJV)

Now we come to the present hour.

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." (Revelation 10:9-11)

We are in the days of the seventh angel, when he is beginning to sound. We are in the days of the "again" prophecy. As a result we must eat the scroll of the Word of God, the word of judgment against sin.

As we eat the little scroll (little in the sight of men) we are brought into judgment.

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there." (Revelation 11:1)

The altar mentioned here is the Altar of Incense, the symbol of those who have moved past Pentecost and are seeking the will of God. Divine judgment always begins with those who are the closest to the Lord.

After we have been judged, we will be charged to bear witness to the nations of the earth. We will cry out against sin, warning the peoples of the earth of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God.

The following has to do with what the two witnesses will proclaim:

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3-5)

The way of the Lord must be prepared in the hearts of all people, especially in the hearts of God’s elect.

Those who are poor in spirit, having been crushed by the arrogant of the world, must be raised up in order to receive Christ properly.

The mountains, those who have been exalted, must be brought low.

Those who are crooked and deceitful in their dealings must learn integrity.

Those who are bound by worldliness, lust, and self-will must be delivered and made obedient to God.

Then the Glory of the Lord can be revealed.

The Christian churches as well as the world are not, in the present hour, prepared for the Lord to return. Yet we are at the end of the Church Age, expecting Jesus Christ to return to earth.

Therefore it is time for the Lord’s messengers to come and remove sin from His Kingdom, beginning with those who are closest to Him. Those who refuse to be delivered from sin will be removed from the Kingdom of God and cast into the fires of Divine judgment.

It is important to remember that the fires of Divine judgment are not directed primarily at people. The Lake of Fire was not prepared for people but for the devil and his angels. The Divine warfare is against those forces that cause us to sin against God, often against our will. If we are wise we will cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He points out our sins to us, and then gives us the desire and strength to renounce them.

If instead we justify our behavior, making excuses for the sinful things we do, then the judgment will be directed at us. Of one fact we can be certain: there shall be no sin in the Kingdom of God. Either our sin goes or we go. It is as simple as that.

Notice that we are making a distinction between us and the sin that dwells in us. Let us look in the New Testament and see if we can find a basis for this distinction.

We know the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. (Romans 7:14)

The reference is to the Roman custom of buying slaves in the market. When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan was able to buy possession of us. We are His slaves.

When Christ died on the cross, His blood paid a price sufficient to buy our freedom. We now are legally free from Satan. However, Satan will not release us, because he is not honorable. Therefore force must be exerted of sufficient power to compel Him to release us so we can obey the laws of righteousness.

Christ paid the price for our release. Now He is coming in power sufficient to set free whoever will cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

This is the Day of Redemption spoken of in the Scriptures. The Day of Redemption will attain its climax when our body is set free from corruption. However, deliverance from physical death (resurrection) is the destruction of the last enemy. All the other enemies of sin and self-will must be destroyed before we are ready for the resurrection of our mortal body, which is the destruction of the last enemy. We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the Day of Redemption.

This is how we know the Lord is not coming tomorrow. We have not been delivered from the power of the enemy as yet. But such deliverance now is at hand. Then we will be authorized and competent to be transformed into His image and to rise to meet Him in the air.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. (Romans 7:15-17)

We see from the above passage that the sin that dwells in us is a distinct force, separate from our own will. The Lord Jesus is ready to remove this bondage from us. It is a time of refreshing from the Lord. The deliverance is Divine judgment, not on us but on the bondages that keep us from behaving in a righteous manner.

How do we enter the program of moral deliverance? How do we "eat the scroll" of the knowledge of good and evil.

First, we must be living in the Spirit of God rather than in our sinful nature. This means we spend time each day in prayer, in waiting on the Lord, in reading the Scriptures. We must, if possible, meet with fervent believers on a regular basis.

We must strive to keep our mind on the things above where Christ sits on the right hand of God. We must present our body a living sacrifice, being transformed by the renewing of our mind.

We must listen to Jesus continually, looking to Him for every decision we make, whether a major decision or something very minor. We must live in the Presence of the Lord. We must turn aside from our involvement in the world, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ at all times.

If we thus live in the Spirit, we will discover that the Spirit begins to point out the sin that dwells in our personality. This process takes a period of time. It is city by city, so to speak.

When we become aware we have behaved in a manner contrary to the Scriptures, we then are to go to the Lord. We are to confess our behavior as clearly as possible.

We are to denounce this behavior firmly and clearly. We are to condemn it to the Lake of Fire, declaring that it has no place in the Kingdom of God.

Next we are to renounce the behavior. "By your help, Lord, I will never do this again. Satan, you are a defeated foe. I never want to behave in this manner again—not one more time!"

You have to be firm—forceful at times!—for this spirit may have a deep hold on you. You never give up. The bondage will leave you, once Satan is assured that you cannot be coaxed out of your decision.

After confessing, denouncing, and renouncing, you are to draw near to God for fellowship, accepting His forgiveness and cleansing.

The next time you are tempted in this manner you will find that now you have the strength to refuse to act in this sinful manner.

Try it and see! Taste and see that the Lord is good! Eat the scroll!

The Lord knows that we did not choose to be born in sin. Instead of blaming us, the Lord presents to us the avenue of deliverance. As long as we cooperate in the program of redemption there is no condemnation resting on us.

But if we are careless, lazy, negligent, not listening to the Spirit, then we will suffer in two manners. First we will suffer because of the sins we have committed. Then we will be sent into the outer darkness because we refused to be delivered when the opportunity came. We will be punished severely, not only because of our sins but because of our unwillingness to enter into the program of deliverance when it was offered to us.

If, on the other hand, if we take full advantage of the opportunity to be delivered, we will be rewarded for our diligence by the deliverance from sin that takes place. Next we will be given righteousness and eternal life because we no longer are bound by sin.

Our love for the spirit of the world and the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul can be removed from us in the above manner. These have to go. If any person loves the Antichrist spirit of the present world, the love of the Father is not in him or her.

As for the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul, they never will be permitted in the Kingdom of God. The Christian who continues to live according to his sinful nature will not inherit the Kingdom of God, as the Apostle Paul warned us several times.

Actually, the major problem we have is not love for the world spirit or the bondages of our flesh. It is our self-will, our determination to follow our own desires. Our self-will cannot be removed from us by the program of confession and renunciation we have mentioned.

This is because our self-will is not an alien force dwelling in the members of our body. It is what we are as a person.

In actuality, the self-will of Satan was the source of all sin.

So we see that in us there are two forms of sin. The first consists of alien forces that we either inherited or acquired. The second we might term original sin, in that we choose to serve God or to disobey God apart from any driving force coming from the sin that resides in the members of our body.

I think God is more concerned about our original sin, the conscious choices we make, than He is about the bondages we have inherited or acquired. It is a simple matter for the power of Christ to remove the alien forces from our body, once we judge them to be unworthy of the Kingdom. It is extremely important that we judge our sins vigorously, for deliverance will not come until we have pronounced judgment. It is given to mankind to judge sin. The power of Christ will not operate until the uncleanness has been judged as unworthy of the Kingdom.

It is man who permitted Satan to enter the world. It is man who, with the necessary assistance of Christ, has been commissioned to drive Satan out of the world. God shall crush Satan under our feet, and then the angel will bind him and throw him into the bottomless pit.

As we have stated, it is a simple matter for Christ to remove the bondages of sin from us. It is not as simple to persuade us that we should enter the rest of God such that we seek God’s will rather than our own.

The Lord Jesus Christ had no inherited or acquired alien sin in His personality. But He learned obedience through the things He suffered in the earth until finally He cried out, "Not My will but Yours be done."

The alien sin and our original sin come together in the following manner:

God is ready to remove the alien sins that dwell in us; to help us put them to death so their life force no longer compels us to sin against God.

Now our original sin comes into play. Will we choose to cooperate with God such that we are delivered from the alien sins? Or will we choose to justify, or conceal, or hold onto some of our love for the world or the lust and passions of our flesh and soul.

God uses suffering to assist us in the program of redemption. God permits Satan to place us in one kind of prison or another. It may be a prison of relationships, or of circumstances. It may be sickness, such as the diseased eyes of the Apostle Paul.

Now we have a choice to make. Either we rage and fume and seek to escape the prison God places us in, blaming other people, Satan, or even God, or else we keep looking up to God and seeking His will in the matter.

If we seek constantly to escape we finally may be able to do so. But we will break God’s laws in so doing. The result will be our self-will, our original sin, is strengthened. Also, the alien sin will remain in our body.

We must deny ourselves, take up our personal cross, and follow the Lord Jesus. It seems few believers are willing to do this. Yet these are the only true disciples, the only true Christians. The remainder may be fine people and excellent church members. But a Christian is a disciple, and a disciple is someone who carries a personal cross as he or she patiently follows the Lord and waits on His perfect will.

We have to "eat the scroll." It is not enough to learn about Christ, we must interact with the living Jesus at all times. We must, as did the Apostle Paul, concentrate on coming to know Christ, on gaining Christ, on embracing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. This is the only genuine Christian experience.

Up to this point in time the Christian salvation, perhaps for most believers, has consisted of forgiveness with a view to going to Heaven when we die and making our eternal residence there.

Now the Spirit is teaching us that forgiveness is to be followed by deliverance. God has accepted us. Now we are to follow the Spirit into possession of the land of promise, which is life lived in the fullness of the resurrection Life of the Lord Jesus.

We are to enter the Kingdom of God. This means Christ is to be King over every facet of our life. Sin must be driven from us. Self-will must be burned away in the fire of suffering until we are at rest in the perfect will of God.

Many courageous, faithful pioneers of the faith have brought us to the present hour. Now it is time to cross the Jordan, as it were, and begin to overcome the sinful forces that have kept us in bondage.

The Lord Jesus informed us in Matthew that at the end of the age His messengers will remove all sin from His Kingdom. It is our considered, prayerful opinion that this removal has begun.

I mentioned in the beginning that if we are forgiven, and the sin nature is removed from us, we still could not be trusted to maintain Paradise.

This is why God is creating a royal priesthood. The royal priesthood comprises people who not only have been forgiven and delivered from the sinful nature, but who also have been so changed by having Christ formed in them that they wear a crown of life and righteousness. This transformation takes place in those who are willing to eat the scroll to the fullest.

These not only are without condemnation, and without the sinful nature, but are so filled with the knowledge of good and evil, and with a fierce desire to repulse the evil and embrace the good, that God has authorized and empowered them that they might govern in righteousness all the works of his hands. God’s kings will not permit the saved people of lesser spiritual attainment to bring disobedience into Paradise.

These are God’s sons, the victorious saints. They shall inherit all that God has brought into being. They are the brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God will enable any believer to live in complete spiritual victory, but that individual must seek God with a whole heart.

We believe what we have just taught is clearly scriptural. Now it is each person's responsibility to go to the Lord Jesus and ask Him if what we are teaching is true.

If we are correct, the next ten or fifteen years will see extensive changes in the Christian churches as numerous believers follow the Holy Spirit in putting to death the sins of their flesh. God’s ministers will eat the scroll of the knowledge of good and evil, as given to them by the Lord, and go forth in wisdom and power to warn all nations of the need to repent and be baptized, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus.

This is the revival portrayed in symbolic form by the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation, and will take place prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth.

Why don’t you and I taste and see that the Lord is good. Let’s eat the little scroll that we may be among those who proclaim the final prophecy to the nations, the testimony that will be given just before Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom on the earth.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)