Following Christ is a lifestyle of constant warfare. Though it doesn’t sound sweet, it’s the truth. Sometimes, we’re at war with “men on foot” and at other times, with “horses” Jeremiah 12: 5, Ephesians 6:10-18. We can be victorious in both cases. But How?
In Isaiah 40, it was prophesied that those who “wait on the Lord” shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. The Spirit gives the Church the strength to win the battle of “running” and “walking” as she waits on the Lord or live in patience.
Having a robust understanding of the phrase, “wait on the Lord” to mean patience or long-suffering given as the fruit of the Spirit is crucial. It’s more than setting aside time to pray and fast. It’s not a seasonal character but a lifestyle produced in those whom Christ lives in.
Is putting a time frame to our “waiting on the Lord” to do this and do that for us a mechanism that builds our faith (relationship with God) or destroys it? For starters, it’s unwise to confine Almighty God to a time of our choosing. That is not faith. Faith rather trusts God to do for us the best at the best time.
The scriptures declares clearly that our timing and God’s is not the same and His is far better. The intent behind all of God’s timing in relation to His purpose and mission for our lives goes beyond giving us temporal goods to helping us reach the end of our faith — the salvation of our souls.
As disciples, none of us sees the end from the beginning. Therefore, in some ways, we’re all short-sighted. But, as we learn to live our lives in the patient fruit of the Spirit, we’re carried into the end of God’s intentions for us both spiritual and temporal.
While every temporal thing is as grass that wither away, we know, that God’s word and every fruit the Holy Spirit bears in us represents the nature of Christ which abides or remains forever. As Paul the Apostle puts it in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘Love is PATIENT and kind and endures all things.
As disciples of Christ, we need to know that we have His virtue of patience.
It is possible you’re reading this exhortation today because God wants you to stir your heart up to exercise “waiting on Him” as a lifestyle that builds and stabilizes your faith. Selah!
As disciples of Christ, we’re exhorted to be hard-working however, possessing our inheritance is by faith and Patience (Waiting on the Lord) Hebrews 6:12.
The book of Revelation in the Bible speaks of the past, present and future in one breath making it difficult to comprehend. Selah! While all the books of the bible are inspired by God, pains were taken to notify whoever reads Revelation that it was written inspirationally—that John, who was already a Christian (had the spirit of Christ), was caught up in the Spirit to be able to receive the words of this book Revelation 1:10. This is interesting!
How anyone not caught up in the spirit can understand the book of Revelation is unimaginable. The writer was a Christian as we are today. He was lifted up in the Spirit to write to as many as would be lifted up in the spirit (those who were Christians and those who will become Christians).
Before Christ’s resurrection and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit (Whom John was lifted up in on the Lord’s day), Jesus’ disciples did not know where they were coming from, where they were or where they were going as can be clearly seen in the canonical gospels. Though they were with Christ Jesus physically and heard the sound of His voice, they hardly ever understood what He was telling them. Jesus declared that Peter’s accurate confession of Him as the Son of God was because Peter was lifted up in the Spirit at that moment Matthew 16:17.
The book of Revelation as well as the rest of the 65 books of the Bible is truly an interesting gift from God. It carries three dimensional blessings. A blessing for just reading it, blessing for listening to its prophesy and finally, another blessing for obeying what is written in it—that is, what Christ says Revelation 1:3 KJV. In reading Him, a measure of power and faith is imparted, in listening to Him another measure and in obeying Him, yet a fuller measure is imputed to the bride to finish the course.
He that obeys Him gets more grace to obey Him the more while the disobedient lose even that measure given James 1:22. He who buries the grace of God loses out completely while those who honor Him by using the grace given get imparted with more grace.
Obedience to what is written or what He says leads to an increasing knowledge of what He wants both doctrinally and in practice John 7:17. To this intent and purpose, He invites us to buy the wine and milk (oil) without money that above all other purposes our lives may be sweetened or our light may continually burn!
So the book of Revelation is saying, darkness and night has been increasing and will yet increase. Therefore it is encouraging this one purpose above all other purposes that we “let our light shine, let it burn”, drink the oil– it is without cost—it is paid for. Let nothing else occupy or consume our minds other than the oil. The key being, you, let the grace of God in you burn and give out the light. Don’t neglect to use the oil or use it unwisely which leads to burn-out which can be avoided Matthew 25:9. The five wise virgins knew they did not have inexhaustible oil. So in truthfulness and compassion, they kindly advised those that needed oil to go buy though it became too late for them Matt 25:10, Ecclesiastes 3:1.
The grace of God as oil is raining on the earth, whoever will stand under its rain by faith and be soaked will be saved. Now is the time—which is the message of the book of Revelation. The sin the world needs to repent of is their rejection of Christ Jesus, the grace and oil of God.
And for those engrafted into the commonwealth of Israel (born again), we need to repent of all iniquities by retaining the fire of our first love for Christ not just doing good deeds. Can we have the Spirit of Christ, good deeds and yet, shrink back from loving His Spirit? Yes!
According to the book of Revelation, despite the commendations from God about the good deeds of the Ephesians church Revelation 2: 2-3, 2: 6, they had backslidden from their first love for the Holy Spirit Revelation 2:4. This should not be confusing because all of their mentioned good deeds can be found with “some good people” who do not have the Spirit of Christ and the fire of love for the Spirit in their heart and soul. In other words, there are hardly any good deeds Christians can engage in—in this life that some natural good people don’t do. This is why the difference between the body of Christ on the earth and those outside His body is the possession of His Spirit and an unrelenting love for His Spirit. So, one can have the Spirit of Christ but begin to relent or withhold loving the Spirit. And God does not take it kindly Revelation 2:4-5.
Therefore, we are called upon to measure our oil and not presume. Presuming caused the foolish virgins irreparable loss Matthew 25:10. This calls for a humility that eradicates laziness—buy when the oil is low and patiently wait on God all the time. There is a sudden mercy and graces as it were that lifts us up in the Spirit as we practice obedience and waiting on the Lord on the Lord’s Day (everyday) —though we are in the spirit. Amen!
God is eager to help all of those who have the Spirit of His Son in every way spiritual and temporal. This is why, the past, present and future has always belonged to the sons of God.
If you are yet to receive the Spirit of Christ, know assuredly that you are the reason He was born, died and resurrected—receive Him today into your heart. Gain life in Him, in Him alone!
And “If”, we have the Spirit of Christ Jesus, let us walk with Him as He walks with us daily. For most assuredly, the past, present and future was and is designed for our salvation to the utmost.
The last days speak about the early days—simply put, they reveal what has been or concealed in the early days Eccl 1:9-10, Luke 12:2-3NLT. For this reason, the last days are no different from the early days except, that the force of evil that has been working undercurrent is now working overtly with such onslaught and affecting people which hitherto, it had not gained power over. This is creating a visible rampant evil on a scale that will keep astounding man.
In these times, the mountain of the Lord’s house (the Spirit of Christ in His body) will be exalted above all mountains (the devil and the prophet he uses to deceive) and the hills (devils) Isaiah 2:2. Why? Well, God loves man and the evils of the devil do not affect Him. So, His light shines ever brighter in darkness to give light and life to those crying out for light. It’s a time, when the song below will be a daily cry of His body.
We place you on the highest place For you are the great High Priest We place you far above all else, all else; And we come to you And worship at your feet
The deadly forces that saturate the atmosphere seeking abode in bodies (temples) will create inability to love and perpetuate love on the earth. It will be extremely difficult to love because man is fast approaching his (man) fullness. Man’s love is not in God! Actually, the love man has in himself is evil. If given room; it exhibits Gal 5:19-21, Col 3:5-9NLT which are the fruits of devils. The only way to deal with it is to put it to death. A summary of the things to put to death are; desire for power, money and sex. But, the problem is this; these three things are what man lives his life for on earth. Man cannot, without transformation, live any differently.
So, who will help man with this transformation that will change man’s heart and consequently his lifestyle from being governed by these three monstrous evil forces? Obviously, it is not religion, which has failed woefully not to talk of its politics. Yet, we are expressly told that the mountain of God (the Creator of the world and mankind will be exalted in the midst of the earth). How?
We find the answer in the prophecy in Psalm 85:10-11NKJV. Because of the awesome grace of God, the salvation of God has come near to all who fear or reverence God. What does it mean to reverence God? It is not to turn to folly because the foolish always say in their heart, “there is no God” meaning, there is no love. And when man assures himself that there is no love, man becomes deadly.
Let’s think of it, when man believes that his fellow man hates him and is plotting his destruction, his next natural instinct is to destroy his fellow man first. This is what the end times are all about—time when man has seen it all—that man is full of evil. Senseless murder has characterized the experience of man. Hypocrisy is at its apex with all religions Luke 12:1. Religion itself has increasingly become a weapon not just for mass destruction but also, used secretly by religions to lure one another towards destructive behavior as to appear better than one another. It all boils down to the devil and the prophet he uses to deceive man to live for—power, money and sex (a striving after wind).
To reverence God is to have love. What or Who is love? Love is the Spirit of God, the Spirit that works in the Truth. The Truth which, transforms or germinates righteousness (God’s will) or its fruit in the earth Gal 5:22-24.
In 2 Tim 3:1-5, the Spirit of the Creator—that is, the Holy Spirit says, “many a man will love everything except God” paraphrased. Verse 5 is remarkable, note what it says, “having a form of reverence for God or, a seemingly love but not God’s kind” paraphrased. When man lives for power, money and sex, he defends himself by saying, “we must not let our lives waste, and we must make success out of it”. To make “success”, is more important than seeking “good success or possessing the soul” (Luke 21:19NLT, Mark 8:36) so, if pursuing “good success” challenges, “our making it here and now”, to be wise, we choose the “now success or possessing the world” which we can see with our eyes, feel and touch. That is to say, sensuality is better and more real than God (Love).
Therefore, the mountain of God is causing the Lord’s house (body of Christ or the remnant of God) by miraculous deliverance to see God as more real and better than sensuality. This is the mount that God says, “He will exalt above other mountains”. In these last days, the remnant or the body of Christ (not church organizations), will live in mercy and truth, in righteousness and peace which is coming down from heaven because of the slain Lamb. The Lamb of God that sprung from the earth or resurrected is drawing all peoples irrespective of race, religion, power, economic or sexual orientation to Himself. What is being said is this, it is time for man to abandon who he is (hater of God) and truly accept the gift God has offered for man and is still offering to man.
Man is increasingly seeing God as the one to blame for mankind woes. So then, we want to take control of Him and control Him. That isn’t going to happen! We (man), must humble ourselves before the almighty or we die!
The end times or last days is a time man is brought to a high awareness that he is not in control of the world and the world cannot satisfy man. All the wars man has ever fought and will ever fight has not and will not compare to that which is ongoing now more than ever before in the realms of the spirit.
So, God is shinning His light ever brighter that it might attract and lead YOU and I to His secret pavilion. All who refuse His pavilion will grow in the pursuit of power, money and sex unavoidably. It does not mean anyone person will be swallowed by all three, though it is a possibility but, the Spirit expressly says in 1 Tim 3:1 & 4 that, “those will be lovers of self and haters of God” paraphrased.
We are in a time when the love of many is waxing cold!! Love is being reciprocated with senseless and rampant evil. How to please man has become a puzzle! Evil is sincerely seen as good and good as evil. Man’s focus for progress has seized him so much so that he doesn’t care about the source from which it is achieved.
Anything or person who gives progress, advancement, moving forward, maintains man’s reputation or helps him stay on his high horse becomes the god who deserves man’s worship.
If you and I examine ourselves to discover what consumes our thoughts in the day and at night, we’ll immediately discover if gods or God is the person we’re with. Those with God, their mind is increasingly set on eternal things while using earthly things (because they are not of the world John 17:16) while those with gods, their minds are increasing set on the earth so much, even when eternal things come to their minds, it is examined as to how it could be used to accomplish the earthy (because they are of the world John 8:23) See Rom 8:5.
Those who worship in spirit and truth (those with God) are increasingly finding grace to love their spouse against all odds as God commanded while those being caught with the merciless deadly spirit of the time are increasingly hating their spouse and thinking to break their vows to God. Those who hate their spouses or even their enemies hate the bride of Christ. Those who truly love Christ’s bride can love their enemies and spouses—it is easier by far! For, with the spirit nothing is impossible. It enables those He indwells to do all things Heb 4:16, Luke 1:37.
These last days are times when men who truly have God will take on women as wives, show them the love of Christ, cherish and care for them as Christ cares for His bride. And, women who truly have Christ will take on men as husbands showing them Christ’s love, submission and help. We are speaking about sincere intimacy in marriage which glorifies God. An intimacy learnt from that which we have with Christ.
The end time war is a battle of love. Will you love self, things, the devil or God? It is only through loving God that man can learn to submit self (Matt 22:37, Rom 12:1-2), use things properly and proportionately seeing them as only temporary. When the gospel is proclaimed, it ALWAYS orders God’s scale of preference rightly no matter the topic taught. See 1 Cor 15: 1-58.
If you harbor bitterness for anyone with or without a reason, now is the time to save your life— repent and forgive, being as wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove (Phil 2:12). Don’t do lovely things to authenticate your love rather, let the love in your heart authenticate the lovely things you do (1 Cor 13:3).
We are in a time when praise and worship will completely cease to be an invocation and turn to entertainment. A time when the uncompromisingly righteous will remain so and the lovers of self will rather die than repent. Therefore, let no one deceive you with false alerts of peace.
Many anti-Christs are with us now. The sign is this, false teachers and prophets who ALWAYS reverse the order of God’s scale of preference are now reigning. They can’t help but to prophesy lies no matter how hard they try because the devil ensures it. They entice the saints saying, “rise up now, we’re going to take over this present world and reign as governors, heads of leading industries, become millionaires and billionaires, heads of states (not presidents since no one will elect them and their world-wide congregation are not big enough to give them majority vote). They say, don’t let your dream die the death, you’re destined for greatness! Pluck peace to yourself! Meanwhile, they don’t understand the meaning of destiny and the people who are earnestly wanting to pluck greatness and peace grossly lack any INTIMACY with the Great I Am neither do they seek diligently the Prince of peace who gives peace in the heart, in the home and in His ministry in the lives of those He assigns to take His great words and peace to the world. When God speaks to His house, He turns His people’s heart away from these distractions.
Anyone who is in darkness is being held captive by the devil wrongly because the price for your freedom has been paid by Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Therefore, cry out loud to Him for help and you shall be saved Matt 4:16-17. The end times are times when all nations, peoples of all religions are to abandon graven images and flow to Him (the Spirit of Christ).
Is Christ alive in you?! Is His measure growing in you?! The end time is a time of fanning! Let the degree of glory to which the Spirit of Christ has worked in and brought you to radiate His presence inviting those you go to and those that come to you to think upon Christ Jesus 2 Cor 3:18, Luke 9:6, Acts 28:23-24, 4:12.
Get ready to go to those God will send you to to preach the gospel and be prepared to receive those that God is drawing to Christ who need to hear His words that will convince them to believe in Christ and receive true regeneration.
Beautiful times has come to man on the earth in the midst of gross darkness and God’s wrath will soon follow. Therefore, every man must escape to the pavilion of God on their knees, set their hearts to meditation on the word of God and obedience to His word to love Him and fellow men.
This rich exhortation is from “God Hath Spoken” by T. Austin-Sparks
God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV)
The principle of the New Covenant is a first-hand individual revelation of Christ as the knowledge of God in terms of glory in the heart of the believer. Every individual believer only comes into true Christianity by a revelation of Christ in his or her heart, so that the knowledge of Christ is all their own, and as real as when God commanded light to shine in darkness. But that is not all. That shining must be progressive. Christ is far too vast to be seen in more than minute degrees at any one time.
The bulk of the New Testament is taken up with getting Christians to see what an immense realm it is into which they have come, and how they must go on… Christianity can only be kept living and fresh and full of impact as Christians are living in an ever-growing apprehension of Christ as the Holy Spirit reveals Him in the heart.
This apprehension may only come as necessity is laid upon us by reason of suffering and trial. Capacity will increase by the stretching of suffering (see Hebrews 12, and read “child-training” for “chastening”). There is no succession in Christianity other than that of the revelation of Christ to the heart by the Holy Spirit. It is not a system to be perpetuated, but a Life to be possessed. The value of the Scriptures is that they contain depths and fullnesses which have never yet been fathomed; and when we speak of “revelation” we do not mean anything extra to them, but of that which is in them, but only known by the inward “writing” and “shining” of the Holy Spirit…. A thing can be in the Bible, and we can have read it a thousand times, but until the Holy Spirit makes it Life to us it will be unfruitful. Hence, there is a place and need for an inward revelation of the Word of God, and this is the only true succession.
Nothing can be preserved alive through generations save as every one entering its realm does so on the basis of such a personal, inward, living, and growing revelation of the truth, so that the origin and beginning is constantly repeated in experience.
This excerpt from “Beauty for Ashes Part 5” is written by George H. Warnock–a beloved brother in Christ. Exposing how self centeredness led to wrong expression of emotions which eventually led the children of God to idolatry (worship of things and the enemy of their God and their souls). This holds a lesson for us today, as we seek a simple and truthful walk with God.
Quail Instead of Manna
The people of God were on their way to Canaan. Even in their much murmuring and complaining God had been faithfully making every provision for them: manna from heaven that provided absolutely every nutrient that they needed for physical health and strength. Water out of the Rock… pure and fresh, and so mingled with the life of God that it was called “spiritual drink”. The Cloud of His presence overshadowed them by day and by night. Briefly stated, Moses declared:
“Thou hast lacked nothing”. But they got tired of it all. The vision of Canaan became something far-out and strange. This precious food God gave them became something they loathed. It didn’t satisfy their fleshly appetites anymore. It didn’t seem to fill them up. (We have dealt with all this at some length in the writing “Beauty For Ashes Part II – A Way Through The Wilderness“).
They complained to Moses, and Moses told God about it… and God said “I will send them flesh to satisfy the lusts of their hearts… I will send so much of it they will not know how to handle it”. What a strong warning to us in this day! If we forsake the vision of those “far-out” fruits of Canaan land, and continue crying out for temporal blessings… God might listen to our cries! God sent them so much fleshly blessing it seemed to fall like rain from the sky,–but it was a blessing that became a curse. The prophet Malachi said, “If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart… I will curse your blessings” (Mal. 2:2).
Even while God was blessing them and answering their prayers, they were “sinning against Him” “provoking Him”… “Tempting Him”… “Speaking against Him”… “Limiting Him”. (See Psa. 78). I know God is blessing His people today in copious showers everywhere. But in many cases there are resentments and murmurings against God and man, hard-feelings, unforgiving attitudes of the heart. And perhaps most of this stems from lack of vision for the true riches. The deeper life that comes in abiding union with Christ is set at naught for the enjoyment of temporary blessings that soon wither away.
In the morning God “rained” manna on them from heaven. And at eventide He “rained” flesh on them by an east wind, (In the scriptures the “east wind” speaks of blight, and drought, and judgment). And while He was answering their prayer His anger was kindled against them.
He “opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna upon them… He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls as the sand of the sea” (Psa. 78:21-27). It wasn’t something the Devil sent. God sent it… because they insisted they were starving to death with that loathsome manna. Actually they were never so healthy in their lives. There was not one “feeble one among them” as they walked with God, and partook of His provision with thankful hearts. The leanness they thought they had, kept them in good health and strength. They thought they were too “lean” by eating the manna; but when they ate the quail, God “sent leanness into their soul” (Psa. 106:15).
Notice this very awesome fact: While they were chewing on the food that God sent them, “The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them” (Psa. 78:31).
Now if all this sounds strange and perplexing it is because we do not understand Gods righteous judgments. We can see an enactment of this same story right in our midst today. Once again in the midst of the Church we have “a mixed multitude” who have “mixed desires” (See Num. 11:4). We better seek the Lord earnestly that He would purge from our hearts every desire that is not from Him. Because if we want God, but want carnal blessings along with it,–God may send the manna in the morning, and the quail in the evening. “Purge our hearts, Lord, from evil desire, that we might delight ourselves only in Thee.”
What did Moses the prophet of God mean by telling His people that they have “lacked nothing”!? Was He lying? Because, the people were still in the wilderness not in a posh neighborhood, didn’t have houses, their children were not in schools that will guarantee their earthly futures, didn’t own chariots (admirable cars), the girls available for the boys to marry and vice versa didn’t have bright future, their husbands and wives were not doing so well like those of other nations etc. These are the things that had the highest priority in their hearts and not having them, created excessive bother to them, made them hurt, sad, sorrowful, bitter and jealous and then, rebellious against God’s servants, murmur, and eventually lead them to idolatry.
If the same lust for things hidden in their hearts is in our own hearts, in the time of exposing what is in the heart (time of testing) why would we think it wouldn’t lead us to end the same way they ended except for the few who knew what the faith was really meant for. Which is, to worship, edify His people and teach pagans to accept the God of Israel and stop crisis crossing the earth for cucumber which lasts only for a season!
If we have Christ indeed, we lack nothing! All the blessings God can give to us to prove He loves us and that we belong to Him is Christ in our spirit and soul. Christians who realize this truth enjoy this present life while it lasts through every circumstance (rich or poor not withstanding). If you’re a minister of the gospel, don’t let the graveyard preach this truth more than you do! For it will be a shame to you! Selah!