HAM AND EGGS

HAM AND EGGS 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.

When a chicken gives an egg it is an act of dedication. When a hog gives ham it is an act of consecration. The Lord demands both consecration and dedication. The Lord wants both ham and eggs.

HAM AND EGGS

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

When a chicken gives an egg it is an act of dedication. When a hog gives ham it is an act of consecration. The Lord demands both consecration and dedication. The Lord wants both ham and eggs.

The expression of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20 reflects consecration far in excess of what is being taught today. I wonder why that is? Are we really preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What Paul is saying is certainly more like a hog giving ham than a chicken giving eggs!

I was in a large church recently and listened to the sermon given by the pastor. The pastor emphasized grace. He taught us that God forgives us; that He loves us; that He will help us throughout the troubles of life if we will call on Him.

He appeared to be a kindly man and everything he stated was sensible, and I suppose scriptural, as far as it went. It was a comforting message and really did not make demands on his hearers, except that they continue to believe in God’s love.

I think this is the prevailing Christian message of our day, and perhaps has been throughout the centuries. God loves us. God has forgiven us through Christ. God will help us have a good life if we look to Him.

I have nothing bad to say about this message and I see much of value in it.

But where is the Kingdom of God? Where is the coming of Christ to the earth with His saints to establish justice among the nations?

Where is the solution to God’s problem of rebellion among His creatures?

And where do the following words apply?

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; And anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37,38)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26,27)

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)

So I have come to the conclusion that God loves all those who fear Him and at least try to do good, especially those who have believed in Christ and have been baptized in water.

Yet there is another message today, although the rank and file of Christians, including the ministers, seem to be oblivious to it. It is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

For how many centuries have the believers, Catholic and Protestant, been praying: "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done in the earth as it is in Heaven"?

We pray this but cannot hear what we are praying. Do we actually believe God’s Kingdom will come to the earth? I do not think so. All we talk about is going to Heaven and living there forever. So why are we praying "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in the earth"?

What is God’s Kingdom? God’s Kingdom is God in Christ in the saints governing the nations of the earth.

What does God’s Kingdom do? God’s Kingdom forces the doing of God’s will throughout His creation. Man was created to do just this—to govern the works of God’s hands—and this with a scepter of iron!

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery—just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)

It is difficult to picture our gentle, kindly minister and his congregation ruling the nations with a scepter of iron. I think they might love the nations, unless the members of the nations became obstreperous, as people are prone to do. Then—who knows?—our loving people and their minister might start laying about them with their scepter of iron, cracking a few heads in the process.

Adamic love is not very strong, is it!

God has a problem. His creatures are in rebellion. God’s solution to His problem is to create a Church, a Kingdom through which He can govern His creatures.

Now, let us compare the two views of Christianity. One is telling us that God loves us unconditionally, forgives us, encourages us to do good, and helps us get through the problems of life.

The second view, the Kingdom view, is that the saints are to become the dwelling place of God’s Throne so through the saints God can govern nations of people He has created.

What kind of demands does the first view place on us? We are to receive Christ as our Savior, be baptized in water, love and fear God, behave as well as we can, attend church regularly, give of our money, serve as needed, and wait patiently until we go to our mansion in Heaven. Such demands actually are quite moderate and do not prevent the believer from carrying on his secular life as he sees best.

What kind of demands does the second, Kingdom view place on us? We are to lay down our own life that Christ may live in us. This is an absolutely total, utter demand. For us to live is Christ and to die is gain. Our main goal in life is to bring every thought, every action, every word into subjection to the will of God in Christ. It is a lifelong attempt to gain Christ, to know the power of His resurrection, to share His sufferings.

Personally, I think Christ loves all those who profess faith in Himself. It may or may not be true that we cannot go past the traditional view unless the Spirit invites us. Perhaps the Kingdom experience is not available to everyone. Certainly we have found in talking with Christians that they are repulsed with the idea they have to yield themselves completely to Christ. Perhaps a Gideon’s army, a warlike remnant, is being formed in our day, and it is the Lord who is doing the selecting.

What else is one to conclude from the uncrossable chasm that separates the two presentations of the Christian message?

I know all of God’s promises are to "whoever will." Every individual is invited to come to the fullness of Christ. Yet it is clear no one can come to Christ except as the Father draws him, and I think this is true at every level of development.

Jesus Himself said some would reap Christ thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred. I suppose the amount of Christ we reap depends on the severity of the pruning we will accept without grumbling and complaining.

There are three dimensions of the one salvation, dimensions that result in the overcoming of the accuser of our brothers.

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)

Here we have the three areas in which the saints are to overcome the accuser.

The first area is that of the blood of the Lamb. The atoning blood is the legal basis for all Kingdom work, that is, the work of overcoming the accuser. We are born sinful creatures and God cannot accept us except as we place our faith in the blood of the cross.

Since our work is to judge the accuser, we must be positioned in the blood if we are to prevail. We must possess this absolute authority.

The second area in which the saints overcome the accuser is the word of our testimony. It is the Holy Spirit who creates the testimony in us. Our thoughts, words, and deeds must be in line with the Scriptures if we are to overcome the accuser. The Scriptures reveal the Person, way, will, and eternal purpose of God in Christ. If we are to overcome the accuser we must reveal in our words and actions the true God.

The Holy Spirit creates the testimony in us by forming us in the moral image of Christ. The Holy Spirit also bears witness through us as we perform works of miraculous power. Righteous behavior and spiritual power are the testimony that overcomes the accuser.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

The third area in which the saints overcome the accuser is that of loving not our life to the death. This is the area of consecration, of the "ham," so to speak.

It is this third area that is at issue today. Where are the believers who will stand in the blood of the cross, cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He creates the testimony in them, and then give over their life so Christ might reveal the power and righteousness of His own Person in them?

These are the ones who will overcome the accuser, permitting God to empower Michael to throw Satan down from his position in the heavens, bringing the wrestling match to an end.

Final salvation cannot take place until Satan has been removed from his position in the air and the victorious saints are caught up into the air to assume the positions of control that have been vacated.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (Ephesians 2:1,2)

"The ruler of the kingdom of the air."

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:17)

"To meet the Lord in the air"!

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." (Revelation 12:10)

So where are we now?

We trust in the authority of the blood. We are cooperating with the Spirit of God as He is transforming us morally and guiding us to the miracles He wants performed.

But will we carry our cross patiently until every vestige of self-will and self-centeredness have been destroyed out of us? If we are not willing to remain in the prison where God places us we cannot possibly overcome the accuser, even though we are trusting in the authority of the blood and are proclaiming by our words and actions the true God.

Self must be removed from the throne of our life. Christ must be placed on that throne.

When Christ is on that throne we begin to sing: "I delight to do your will, of God. Your law is in my heart." This is the song of the Kingdom of God.

The saints in Galatia had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. But they were drifting back to the Law of Moses. Why was this? Because Christ had not been formed in them.

The Apostle told them he was once more in the pains of childbirth that Christ might be formed in them.

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

We have a picture in the Bible of the birth of the Ruler of the nations. It is found in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The woman is the Church. Satan stands before the Church, hoping to murder Christ before He is brought forth. But the male Son who is to govern the nations is caught up to the Throne of God.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)

Here is a picture of our own day. There are faithful believers who are experiencing a travail of spirit. They have been carrying their cross behind Jesus but now they are entering situations that are new and sometimes very stressful. These are strange waters for them.

What is taking place? Has God forsaken them? No! Christ is being formed in them. The Ruler of the nations is being formed in them.

As Christ is formed He seeks out the Throne of God. The effect on us, as we enter this travail is that we feel the need to set our hopes on things above. It is a battle each day. Satan does all in his power to interest us in things on the earth—even the things of religion. But as Christ is formed in us He belongs, in the present hour, at the right hand of God in Heaven. We, therefore, are to set our interest and treasures in Heaven.

If we maintain our position at the right hand of God, then, when Christ returns, we will return with Him and help with the installing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

But if we, as a Christian, permit Satan to call us down from our high place in God, we will lose our eligibility to rise in the first resurrection and return to earth with Christ. We are not authorized to govern the nations with an iron scepter unless we have been victorious over the efforts of Satan to tear us down.

It is written that God will shake the earth and the heavens. It is written also that in the last days God will permit evil to reach up to the host of the heavens and throw some of the "starry host" to the ground.

It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. (Daniel 8:10)

We have seen this in our day when outstanding ministers who once were in Christ at the right hand of God have been deceived by Satan. They have succumbed to lust and been thrown to the ground.

One of the most dangerous of the present heresies is that of "once saved, always saved." The truth is rather that we can lose our place in Christ if we are careless. Some passages point to the person who once had partaken of Christ and then has been overcome by the sin dwelling in his or her flesh.

We will be cut from the Vine, from Christ, if we do not bear the fruit of righteous, holy behavior.

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. (II Peter 2:20,21)

We must be careful no one takes our crown

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so no one will take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)

Sin is so readily available in our day that some of the ministers and believers are losing their love for Christ. They are watching pornography on the Internet. They are fornicating and committing adultery. They are being torn down from their place in Christ at the right hand of God.

What a remarkable day we are living in! The opportunities are awesome! The dangers are enormous!

The wheat and the tares are coming to maturity. Righteousness, which is Christ, is coming to maturity in the saints. Wickedness, which is Antichrist, is coming to maturity in the people of the world. Thus we see in our day horrors perpetrated on people as Satan and his demons attempt to satiate the burning lust for human flesh (dust), with which God cursed them in the beginning.

We can think of the prior efforts of Christians as base camps. Now, in our time, we are in sight of the summit. It is there for all who care enough to make the effort to climb to the top. The summit is that place where we have become one with Christ in God as the Father and the Son are One.

We no longer are partners with God. We now have become, through Jesus Christ, an integral part of God. Because of this, God is able to give us the fullness of His Glory.

How about you? Are you willing to surrender your right to be an individual in order to become one with Jesus Christ? Such a death and resurrection are absolutely necessary if you want to be a soldier in the army of the Lord and return with Him to drive Satan from the earth.

Your religious efforts reveal dedication. Your willingness to die that Christ may live reveals your consecration. God requires both eggs and ham.

I think our day is somewhat unique, as far as the forming of Christ in us is concerned. No doubt there have been saints throughout Church history who have been brought past the basic Christian experience into oneness with Christ. But such a fullness appears to have been outside the experience of the majority of Christian people. Even today the idea of entering the Kingdom of God through the total consecration of our life does not seem to be preached and taught to any great extent.

What we hear, as I have pointed out, is that God loves us; has forgiven our sins; and stands ready to help us survive the troubles of life on earth. Our goal is understood to be eternal residence in Heaven. The idea that we are to lay down our life in order to overcome the accuser may be new to some.

There is evidence in the Scriptures that the bringing forth of Christ in the Church seems to be reserved for the last days, the days in which we are living.

Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. (Micah 5:3)

"The time when she who is in labor gives birth."

Who are in labor? The saints.

Who are brought forth? The brothers of Christ.

What will the brothers of Christ do? They will "return to join the Israelites."

Even today we see among Christians a desire to return to the land of Israel and assist the Jewish people. This is a forerunner of the appointed time when a militant remnant of the Church brings salvation to the physical land and people of Israel.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." (Romans 11:25,26)

Again we see, in Isaiah, the time when Christ is brought forth in the Church.

Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)

Again, we see an intimation in the Book of Revelation that the mystery of the Gospel, which is Christ in us, shall be completed at the time of the end.

But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)

The reference is to the Book of Zechariah:

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’" (Zechariah 4:6,7)

The Cornerstone of the eternal Temple of God, which is the Christian Church, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ also is the Capstone.

In the last days God will complete His work of forming Christ in His Church, and He will do it not by might nor by power but by His Spirit

In our day the revelation of "Christ in you." is hardly known. The emphasis always is Christ with us: the Christ of history; the Friend of today; and the Lord of the future. These all are based on the concept of Christ being with us. We hope to see Him in Heaven.

But the idea of Christ in us is another matter altogether. It seems to be only now that the concept of Christ being in us has taken on any solid, scriptural form so we can pursue it.

But Christ in us is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not one of God loving us, forgiving us, and helping us through the pressures of life. The Kingdom is God in Christ being formed in and dwelling in the members of His Body, His Church. The Kingdom results in the driving of Satan from all points where he is entrenched. Can you see how different this is from God loving us, forgiving us, and helping us survive the pressures of life? The contemporary viewpoint is focused on the welfare of people. The Kingdom viewpoint is focused on the welfare of God and His Christ.

The contemporary viewpoint places relatively few demands on us. The Kingdom viewpoint requires total consecration to the Person and will of God.

So we have ham and eggs. The hen gives the eggs as a natural part of her life. But the hog has to die if we are to have ham.

The Christian religion can be a somewhat natural part of our day to day busy life as we attempt to make a living.

But for Christ to be brought forth in Kingdom power we must be crucified with Christ to the extent Christ is living in us. This is the supreme place of power and fruitfulness, the original fiat God issued concerning man.

The Old Testament feast of Passover tells us of the need for the blood of the Lamb.

The Old Testament feast of Pentecost tells us that after we have received the blood of the Lamb we must be confronted with the moral law of God in the form of the Holy Spirit.

It is the third feast, the feast of Tabernacles, that is the Kingdom of God.

The blood provides the authority necessary to enter the Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit of Pentecost provides the wisdom and power necessary to enter the Kingdom.

But the actual entrance into the Kingdom depends on our being willing to turn over the throne of our life to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We obtain salvation through the blood of the Lamb.

We obtain the wisdom and power to lead a holy life through the Holy Spirit.

The third level, that of total consecration, has to do with strict obedience to the Father.

Are we willing to cry out "Not my will but Yours be done"?

Even the Lord Jesus Himself was tested in the realm of extreme obedience to God.

I wonder sometimes how the aged Abraham found the strength to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, which he certainly intended to do. The deed already was performed in the heart of the obedient Abraham.

Yet, Abraham had not been born again. He did not have the many Divine virtues we possess. Christ was not living in Him.

Did you ever wonder how Abraham managed to demonstrate such stern obedience to God? He puts many of us to shame, doesn’t he?

Yet it was through this act of obedience that Abraham received the promise concerning his seed.

Much emphasis is placed today on Paul’s use of Abraham’s belief to prove God could count people righteous apart from the Law of Moses on the basis of naked belief.

But a closer look at the Scriptures will reveal that the inheritance came also through Abraham’s obedience to God’s commands.

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, Because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws." (Genesis 26:4,5)

We see from the above that when we stress only belief, apart from obeying God’s commandments, we do not have a balanced understanding of God’s way of working with us.

Ham and eggs. Will we offer to God just dedicated service? Or will we give Him our total life? Nothing less will enable us to stand in victory throughout the age of moral horrors that is coming upon us.