Wrestling with Warnock Round 98

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued

TRANSFIGURATION GLORY

It is remarkable that the Lord’s declaration concerning the coming of Elijah followed immediately after the Transfiguration experience, when Moses and Elijah had appeared in glory on the mount. The Lord was “transfigured,” we are told, and Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” with him. (Lk. 9:31.) The Glory was Christ’s Glory, and He it was that was “transfigured,” but these two men appeared in His Glory. And that, in fact, is exactly what is going to happen when Christ is manifested in the saints; the saints are to appear with Him in Glory! “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:4.) It is participation in the Transfiguration glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as Moses and Elijah appeared in His Transfiguration glory. The Scriptures teach that this Transfiguration is for us.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed (transfigured) by the renewing of your mind . . .” (Rom. 12:2.)

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed (transfigured) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18.)

The open face is the “unveiled” face. The reference is to the veil which Moses wore over his eyes to hide the glory from the sensitive eyes of the Israelites, when he came down from the mountain. But when he went in to speak to the Lord, he took the veil off. Paul, therefore, exhorts the Corinthians to take the veil off. This is the day and hour of God’s great Unveiling–even the Unveiling of the Sons of God! And as our eyes and hearts and minds become unveiled before God, we are going to be transfigured into the same image! These words are unmistakable in clearness. The same image! And this image is developed and manifested as we partake of His Transfiguration, with minds and hearts and eyes unveiled before the Spirit of God.

What Peter beheld, therefore, on the Mount of Transfiguration was a true picture of the “power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” into the midst of His people in this great hour of His power and Kingdom. But it was just a picture; and when the real meaning of the scene is fully revealed to us by way of experience, it will far outshine any attempt to describe it. The best we can do now is to behold some of these truths as through a glass darkly. We have all puzzled over Peter’s strange suggestion: “Let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” Apparently Peter was so caught away in the ecstasy of the Spirit that he thought they were observing the real Feast of Tabernacles; and his immediate suggestion, therefore, was to erect a little tabernacle or booth for each of them, as they were accustomed to do at this Feast. It certainly was a foretaste of the real Feast of Tabernacles, for which the saints are looking: but coming to himself Peter realized it was but a vision, and the hour of the Feast had not really arrived. GHW


We are in a season of unveiled faces! We are not to hide the transfiguring power that grows within us as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His sanctifying work within us. To hide what God is doing in us out of fear or hesitation is to be ashamed of Christ and His power. Jesus said in Luke 9:23-27:

“…If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. “For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself? “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels. “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

It was eight days after this that Peter, James, and John were with Jesus on the holy mountain and witnessed a manifestation of the kingdom of God. What was true then is true now and Jesus is saying to us, “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Wrestling with Warnock Round 97

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued

THE TWO WITNESSES

Such, then, is the ministry of this Moses-Elijah company, We are told that the “two witnesses” shall have the power “to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Rev. 11:6.) “As often as they will.”–for the simple reason that they have overcome, they abide in Christ, and their will is the very will of the Father manifested through them. They have the “mind of Christ,” so that they minister judgments according to the Spirit of God. It is quite evident that this is the Moses-Elijah company from an examination of the judgments which they administer. Their power is the very same as that of Moses and Elijah: to turn water into blood, to smite the earth with all manner of plagues, and to shut up the heavens that it rain not. They have the fire of the Holy Ghost in their mouth, and that is their protection and power. They are sent forth into the earth to administer God’s power. If there is repentance, there is power to bless; if there is enmity, there is power to destroy. Says Paul, “To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor Of life unto life.” (2 Cor. 2:16.) It is the ministry of Christ; but it is the fulness of Christ in His people, Remember what we observed about the number “two”–it signifies Christ in His fullness, in His Body, His people, His overcomers–this “perfect man” created “in Himself” (Eph. 2:15) John further identifies the two-witnesses by referring to a prophecy of Zechariah: “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth.” We mentioned these two olive trees in a previous chapter. In Zechariah we read, “What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? Then said he, These are the two anointed ones (literally, ‘these are the two sons of oil’), that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:11,14.) These were the builders of the restored temple, to whom God said, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” these are the two “sons of oil,” those who live, and move, and walk, and think, and speak, and work in the very realm of the Spirit of the Living God.

ELIJAH’S TWO-FOLD APPEARANCE

The Day of Vengeance, therefore, is to be a great day of restoration. But before there can be real and genuine restoration, there must be destruction: destruction to the works of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. And so there is Moses to destroy, and Elijah to restore. It is noteworthy that in the last chapter of the last book of the Old Testament we read these words: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant . . . Behold. I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers . . .” (Mal. 4:4-6.) Of course, Christ did appear once, in one Man, in the flesh. And therefore we had a partial fulfillment of the Elijah ministry in one man, in the flesh: and that man was John the Baptist. Said Jesus, “Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed.” (Mk. 9:13.) His ministry was to prepare the people for Christ’s Appearing. But a great secret in God’s counsels was this: Christ was to appear twice, first in Incarnation, and secondly at the ends of the ages. Now we are awaiting Christ’s second Appearing, this time in power and glory in the saints, in the fulness of His Body. And therefore we can expect not only an Elijah ministry, but the fulness of the Moses-Elijah ministry. Christ’s first Appearing was in the Head only, in one Man. Hence Elijah appeared in one man, even John the baptist–for his spirit and power rested upon him. Now Christ will appear in His Church the Body. Hence the Moses-Elijah company, the fulness of Christ in many. GHW


Can you see what Christ is doing in these last days? He is taking the power and anointing of the One and showering it upon the many-membered body.  Ephesians 1:1-23 tells the story:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him, regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

(Ephesians 1:1-23 NASB)

Wrestling with Warnock Round 96

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued

THE MOSES-ELIJAH COMPANY

The whole transfiguration scene is a beautiful picture of the power and coming of the Lord into the midst of His people in this glorious hour to create the Moses-Elijah ministry. Moses, and Elijah; because this is the day and hour when the old must give way to the new, when death is to be swallowed up of life, when Law must be fulfilled in Grace. And so Moses typifies the old order of Law and of death. Elijah speaks of the new order, of grace and of life. This is the hour known as the “ends of the ages” when the judgments that have been written concerning the Church and the world must be fulfilled on the one hand, and all the glory and power that is written concerning the Church must be fulfilled on the other hand. Hence the Moses-Elijah company: the fulness of God in the midst of His people, to do away with the old and to establish the new. Moses died; Elijah lived. Moses went down into the grave; Elijah went up into Heaven. Moses administered death and condemnation; Elijah in translation administered life and power–and the very mantle that he wore fluttered down upon his servant Elisha, even the mantle of power and life. This is the hour of God’s vengeance upon the earth; but it is also the hour of God’s Glory in the midst of His people.

THE DAY OF VENGEANCE

“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:22.) Vengeance! How we shrink from the awfulness of the Day! But this vengeance is not only to administer death; it is also to administer life. When Jesus picked up the scroll in the synagogue of Nazareth and opened it to the place which spoke of the anointed Messiah bringing deliverance to the people. He closed the book just before He came to the words,” . . . And the day of vengeance of our God.” He was reading from the prophet Isaiah, as follows: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . . .” (Isa. 61:1,2.) Thus far the Lord read, and then closed the book and gave it back to the servant. (Lk. 4:20.) Why, then, did the Lord close the scroll there, right in the middle of Isa. 61:2? Because thus far was His earthly ministry, and no further. The common explanation is that the remainder of the verse will be fulfilled after the rapture of the Church. Now it is true that the remainder of Isa. 61:2 is to find its fulfillment in the Day of the Lord, when God’s judgments are poured out. But what seems to be largely ignored is the fact that the day of vengeance is at the same time a great day of blessing. Isaiah therefore continues: “And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (Isa. 61:2,3.) True, it is the day of vengeance, but it is likewise a day of rejoicing–for it is the display of God’s power and glory. It is therefore vengeance upon the works of the Devil, and that will bring judgment to the disobedient, but rejoicing to the obedient. That is why we read, “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: Behold. your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:4-6.) Vengeance? Yes, but to save, to heal, to revive. Again we read, “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come,” (Isa. 63:4.) Vengeance? Yes, but at the same time the “year of my redeemed!” GHW


Our God is both just and holy. We cannot separate the two, no matter how much discomfort it causes us. And yes, it often does discomfort us at times. To serve our God, we must acknowledge His justice as well as his holiness. Only He knows how to deal with both within Himself and administer those things in the earth. God is not arbitrary or haphazard in his ways, so we can rest in the fact of His sovereignty.  

Wrestling with Warnock Round 95

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued

THE COMING OF THE LORD

There has been a general misunderstanding of the Word of God throughout Christendom concerning the truth of the coming of the Lord; for it is clear as we consider all the Scriptures on the subject, that the Lord’s coming is a spiritual visitation in the midst of His people, as well as a literal and bodily visitation. James therefore associates the bestowal of the latter rain with the “coming” of the Lord: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he (it) receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (Jas. 5:7,8.) Notice in this passage how the truth concerning the latter rain is sandwiched between these two statements concerning the “coming of the Lord.”

The word commonly translated “coming” in the New Testament is “parousia,” which signifies “presence,” or “a being alongside.” It is therefore used of the coming of men in the flesh, as well as of the coming of Christ. That the word signifies “presence” more than the act of one’s arrival, is evident from 2 Pet. 1:16.17. In this passage Peter describes the glorious visitation of God on the mount of transfiguration as the “coming,” the “parousia,” the “presence” of Christ. Now Christ had already come in the flesh; the four men had walked together up the mountain; but here was a “coming” of the Lord not previously known. And so he says, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Notice how the apostle associates the power and coming of Christ with the glory of God that appeared in the hour of Christ’s transfiguration. In fact, the Lord Himself explains that this visitation of the Glory was in reality, the very Kingdom of God. In each of the three accounts where the scene is recorded the story is preceded with the remark: “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Kingdom of God.” (Lk. 9:27.) Matthew describes it as “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28.) Mark refers to it as “the kingdom of God come with power.” (Mk. 9:1.) and Peter combines the two statements in the words, “The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” GHW


From my wife, Jan. The seed of Christ will grow into all the earth and fill it up with God’s righteousness because she will never be plucked out or removed. When Jesus fell into the ground as the seed and died, it fertilized the earth with spiritual righteousness. When a seed dies it springs forth to life again. This is the law of the natural seed in the earth and it is the law of the spirit seed in the earth. It cannot be plucked up. It grows, and grows, and grows like a mustard seed. Jesus used parables to describe His kingdom in the earth and never once did He say His kingdom shall be removed from the earth. Saints, His kingdom is here to stay and her roots cannot and will not ever be taken out of the earth. Satan never has and never will be able to pluck out the kingdom of God. Satan and his kingdom will instead be taken out of this earth.

Jesus said as it was in the days of Noah shall it be again. When the earth was overrun with sin, only a world wide judgment could bring Satan’s plans to a complete stop. So, who was taken out of the earth and who was kept in the earth during God’s judgment? We clearly see God removing the wicked from His earth and we see God preserving eight people, the number of new beginnings, in the middle of His harsh action against the wicked. He keeps eight people alive right here. He clearly did not need to remove them from the world. He kept His people safe during the weeding out of the wicked. And Jesus said its going to happen this way again.

No there will not be another worldwide flood, but there will be another worldwide judgment upon the wicked. Even as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be again. Those who are God’s will behold the reward of the wicked, not from the heavens, but from right here on the earth. This is how Noah and his family also witnessed judgment upon the wicked, from right here on the earth. Jesus knew many would make the connection with what He was saying concerning another massive worldwide judgment. We don’t need to be taken out of here any more than Noah and his family needed to be taken out of the earth. God could have done it that way if He wanted to but He did not want to do it that way. Why? After the judgment, Noah and his family inherited a new earth. After a second judgment on a massive scale, the Bride of Christ will also inherit a new earth during a 1000 year millennial reign with Christ. Jesus made it clear that as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be again. Not a worldwide flood this time around ….but fire….the fire of the living God will take out the wicked.

Wrestling with Warnock Round 94

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing, continued

Let us remember that God is bound by His word and His oath, but He is not bound by the dispensations, by general historical procedure, nor yet by the notions of men. “It is appointed unto men once to die . . .,” that is quite true; but even though death is quite general God was free to reach down and translate Enoch “that he should not see death” when this holy man believed for it. (Heb. 11:5.) Nor did it prevent God from catching Elijah up into heaven in a whirlwind, when He chose to do so. (2 Kgs. 2:11.) Nor could it prevent the Lord from extending the life of John the Beloved for two thousand years, if He chose to do so. It was neither Peter’s business, nor ours, nor was it contrary to God’s Word, if the Lord wanted it that way. (Jn. 21:22.) Jesus has promised that He would raise up “at the last day” all those who would believe on His Name. (Jn. 6:40.) There is no question about that. But that did not stop Him from resurrecting Lazarus, even during His earthly ministry. (Jn. 11:44.) Nor did it prevent Moses from rising from the dead somewhat prematurely, as he must have done according to Jude 9. Neither did it prevent the tombs from bursting assunder when Christ died on the Cross, and the bodies of the saints arising and coming into the city and appearing unto many. (Matt. 27:52,53.) God is perfectly free to raise whom He will any time He chooses; to impart Divine Life to whomsoever he will, whenever one shall believe for it; and to translate any one that has the faith for it. Let us not argue with the good-man of the House; is He not free to do as He will with His own? If we have bargained with God for a resurrection at the last Day: are we going to have an evil eye if God in mercy and love imparts His resurrection life to some before the last day?

JESUS CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

One of the most glorious facts of Scripture, we believe, is this: that the Resurrection and the Life is not a mere historic event, to take place in the distant future,–but the Resurrection and the Life is a Person, even the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts. How He yearned over Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus, and sought to inspire faith in their hearts to believe in Him. But they would insist, like the vast majority of Christians today, in believing facts about Him and about God, instead of believing in Him. “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection . . . I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God…..” But all the time Jesus was wanting them to believe that He was the I Am, the answer to their immediate need. A historical resurrection? Of course, they would believe in that. Christ, the Messiah? Why of course, they would believe that. But this kind of faith is not sufficient to bring one into the fulness of sonship, and to a real genuine appropriation of Divine Life here and now. They confessed their faith in the fact that Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection at the last day. But Jesus replied, “I am the Resurrection, and the Life . . .” Resurrection and Life, then, are not merely the attributes of the resurrection, and events which are to take place at the rapture. But the Resurrection and the Life are held out to the Sons of God even here and now.

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live . . .” That was the case of Lazarus, was it not? And did he not live, because he died believing in Christ? And then the Lord continues, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (Jn. 11:25,26.) It is certain we do not believe it. O, we might believe it theoretically but not one of us has believed it experimentally, or Divine Life would be surging through our beings. But the promise is there nevertheless, even though we all disbelieve it. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” By faith all things are and shall be possible. The very dispensations themselves are but weak barriers and obstacles if men of faith are enabled by the Spirit to reach out and leap beyond them. Enoch did it. So did Elijah. And so shall the Sons of God. The Word of faith shall grip their hearts, and they shall reach out and appropriate the Resurrection and the Life even now in this life. If they do not, Christ never will return to earth. For God hath said, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Ps. 110:1.) And the last enemy is Death! GHW


As brother Warnock says, it is easy to have a belief that hasn’t been put to the test of faith. It’s easy to say Jesus is Lord until He asks us to do something inconvenient, uncomfortable, or something we cannot do in our own strength. Yet, that is exactly what he calls us to do. May we be willing to embrace His Resurrection and His Life as our own. Amen

Wrestling with Warnock Round 93

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 14- Tabernacles – The Feast of His Appearing

We mentioned in the first part of the book how the observance of the natural Feasts served to illustrate their spiritual application to the Church. Thus when the Feast was observed at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, we have a type and pattern of the Glory of the Church, and when the Feast was observed in the days of Zerubbabel’s temple, we have a type of the restoration of the Church to her first Glory. Now we come to the occasion on which the Feast was observed in the time of Christ.

Let us recall how that in the plan of God Israel’s Passover was the occasion that God chose for Christ Himself to die as the true Passover Lamb. And again, on that great day of Pentecost, when devout Jews had assembled from all parts of the Roman Empire to keep the Feast–then it was that God poured out the Holy Spirit on His disciples, thus fulfilling the old and establishing the new Pentecost. It is therefore with great significance that we read these words: “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.” (Jn. 7:2,3.) However, the Lord remained where He was until His brethren had gone to the Feast; and afterward went up “as it were in secret.” (vs. 10.) No doubt the Lord intentionally visited the Feast of the Jews “in secret” by way of illustrating a great truth to the Church, the truth of His appearing.

RESURRECTION LIFE FOR US

There is no question as to the fact that one day “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,” and the saints shall be caught away to be with Him for ever. (1 Thess. 4:16.) And again, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:52.) This is the final victory for the Church, when mortality is clothed upon with immortality, and corruption puts on incorruption. This is the consummation of the Church’s last great victorious event, for then it is that “Death is swallowed up in victory,” and the “last enemy,” even Death, is destroyed. (I Cor. 15:26,54.)

We are sure of this, however, that the Church is being robbed of her glory in not knowing that there is rapture for her even now, while waiting for Rapture, and there is resurrection here and now while we wait for Resurrection. There is no doubt whatever that God holds many secrets for future revelation concerning the order of events and the nature of the Resurrection. But in this we are confident: before this cherished rapture or resurrection takes place, there is to arise a group of overcomers who shall appropriate even here and now their heritage of Resurrection Life in Jesus Christ. God has placed His only Begotten at His own right hand in the heavenlies, until all his enemies have been placed under His feet. (Ps. 110:1; 1 Cor. 15:25,26.) There He shall remain, in obedience to the Word of the Father, until there ariseth a people who shall go in and possess their heritage in the Spirit, and conquer over all opposing forces of World, Flesh, and Devil. We are not inferring that the saints will go about in glorified bodies. But we are speaking of the saints reaching out and appropriating even here and now in their earthly temples the very Life of Christ, of entering into their heritage in the Spirit, of participating in the Melchizedek priesthood and kingdom, and of living the very spotless, immaculate life of the Son of God Himself in virtue of His abiding presence within. GHW


Here is another story about missing the glory in the present as we wait for glory in the future.

Now a certain man was sick: Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not meant for death, but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus.) So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.

(Joh 11:1-6)

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them about their brother. So then Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise from the dead.” Martha *said to Him, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, and He who comes into the world.” When she had said this, she left and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard this, she *got up quickly and came to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still at the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw that Mary had gotten up quickly and left, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there. So when Mary came to the place where Jesus was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Therefore when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and He said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could this man, who opened the eyes of the man who was blind, not have also kept this man from dying?” So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus *said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. “But I knew that You always hear Me; nevertheless, because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Out came the man who had died, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

(Joh 11:17-44)

I wonder if Jesus weeps over our lack of discernment over who He is NOW?

Wrestling with Warnock Round 92

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 13- Tabernacles – The Feast of Restoration, continued

EVERY MAN HAD HIS JOB TO PERFORM

No man needs to be unduly concerned about his ministry if he will but minister according to the ability and power which God has given. For the ministry that you have is one that is suited to you, and one for which God has gifted you. If you are walking with God you will automatically be in your ministry. And the ministry that you have from God has constituted you a “steward,” or literally, “a house-manager” of His affairs. Having received a gift from God, therefore, we are called upon to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” And as a “steward” of God’s House, only one thing is required of you, and that is faithfulness. (1 Cor. 4:1). You are not called upon to be great, or mighty, or prosperous, or clever, or successful, or to do great things–but to be “faithful.” Before God that is true greatness, and true success. The lone soldier guarding some obscure vital spot in the field of battle, even if he never sees any action, is just as much entitled to promotion as the man in the front lines. One thing is sure, the Day of Christ is going to reveal every man’s faithfulness in building upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ. This we know: the Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal quality and not quantity. “And the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:13). If it is “gold, silver, precious stones,” it will stand the test; and if it is “wood, hay stubble” it will be burnt up, leaving the builder without the crown of glory, saved as through fire.

And so every Israelite had his job to perform. Some on the sheep-gate, some on the fish-gate. Some on this tower, and another on that tower. Some at the fountain, some at the pool, some at the stairs, some at the armories, some at the houses of the priests. But they all worked together, according to their several ability, the prophets of God encouraging them as they built–and in due course the wall was finished, and the defence of the City was made secure. GHW


A reading from 1 Corinthians 12:4-27:4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but one body. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Wrestling with Warnock Round 91

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 13- Tabernacles – The Feast of Restoration, continued

OPPOSITION WITHIN AND WITHOUT

Nehemiah gives further light on the opposition that was arrayed against them. As they started the tremendous task, there was nothing more than mockery. One said, “Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” (Neh. 4:3). But soon their mockery turned to violence. They realized that great progress was being made in spite of their tremendous difficulties, and so they began to get fearful, and tried to hinder the work by force of arms. It became necessary, therefore, for the builders to be armed with spears as well as tools; and they builded with the sword girded by their side. (Neh. 4:18).

If we seek to restore the walls of Jerusalem, we are going to find it necessary in the very near future to put on “the whole armour of God.” Mockery is giving way to violence. Satan will soon begin to use force against the saints instead of insult, because he realizes that the plan of God is being fulfilled, even if the work is slow and not any too spectacular.

Then carnality crept into the midst of God’s people, and brother was ill-treating brother. Because of the hard times, some were being forced to mortgage their fields and their properties, and the rich were exacting usury from the poor. And we can be sure of this, saints, that one of Satan’s sure devices against God’s people is in causing internal strife and division. If he cannot conquer by outward attack, he is often most successful by causing the congregation to fall into sin. When Balaam could not curse Israel (for they were God’s people and God turned the curse into a blessing)–then he advised Balak to invite the people to a great sacrifice of their gods–and Israel fell into the trap. Consequently a great plague swept through the whole congregation. (Num. 25:1, 2; 31:16).

Finally, Sanballat conceived another plot against Nehemiah, perhaps the most subtle of all. If he was unable to conquer by force, or by mockery, he would befriend Nehemiah and in that way betray him. He would propose a conference. “Come, let us meet together…” he suggested. But Nehemiah discerned the true intent and purpose of the proposed meeting, and he replied that he was too busy. (Neh. 6:2-8). Failing that he hired a man to come and persuade Nehemiah to flee into the temple for safety, stating that some were after his life. But Nehemiah had no part in the priesthood, and he refused to sin against God in this manner; and again the plot failed.

Nehemiah’s ministry was to govern the land, not to minister in the Temple. Perhaps Satan’s most successful form of attack against the saints, is to get them to become involved in some work of the Lord which is not theirs to perform. It appears to be such an innocent thing. And perhaps the need that arises would almost demand that you submit, and take upon yourself some ministry which God has neither enabled you nor called you to perform. But God knows all about it. and he has some who are qualified to meet that need. Let every man minister according to the ability which God gives, and in the place which God has designated for him. GHW


I found this little tip on the internet written by Amy Wong in 2013. I’ve had to learn the very lesson she is talking about. Amy writes:

My colleague Rick Hamlin uses his morning commute as a time for prayer, and he often reads from Psalms on the subway. Now that I’m commuting by subway (our new office is a little too far to walk), I’ve taken to reading on the train too. Nothing quite as edifying as Scripture—I’m usually working my way through The New York Times Magazine that I didn’t get to over the weekend.

That’s what I was reading this morning when I came across a piece of surprisingly uplifting advice. I was surprised, anyway, because it came up in an article about why there are still so few women in science. The writer, Eileen Pollack, recalled being the only female student in her introductory physics class freshman year at Yale. That was intimidating enough, but worse was seeing the boys in the class breeze through the material while she struggled to grasp the basics.

She got a 32 on the midterm. Disheartened, she went to her professor, Michael Zeller, for permission to drop the class. Clearly her dismal grade meant she wasn’t any good at physics, she said.

“Just swim in your own lane,” Professor Zeller told her.

What was that supposed to mean?

He explained that he’d been on the swim team as an undergrad. He was a strong swimmer yet he kept coming in second in races. Until his coach pointed out what was holding him back: “You keep looking around to see how the other guys are doing. Keep your eyes on your own lane, swim your fastest and you’ll win.”

It was good advice for Eileen Pollack, who not only stuck it out in the intro course but ended up majoring in physics and graduating with highest honors.

It’s also good advice for keeping a positive attitude. Don’t fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself to other people. You’ll just end up feeling less than.

Swim in your own lane. Try your best. You just might discover that it’s even better than you expected.[1]

Nehemiah stayed in his own lane and his mission was accomplished.


[1] https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/positive-living/positive-thinking/positive-thinking-tip-swim-in-your-own-lane

Wrestling with Warnock Round 90

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 13- Tabernacles – The Feast of Restoration, continued

SEND PORTIONS TO THE NEEDY

“Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared…” (Neh. 8:10).

As the Feast of Tabernacles begins to dawn upon us, it is becoming increasingly important that the saints have something to minister to their fellow-members in the Body. They must not “appear before the Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able according to the blessing of the Lord.” (Deut. 16:16, 17). This strongly reminds us of Paul’s exhortations to the Romans and Corinthians, concerning their ministry in the Body of Christ. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering…” (Rom. 12:6, 7). The whole ministry of the various members is to edify the Body, and not for their own gratification. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet. 4:10). As the ministries develop and the Body is edified, then they will go forth unto the world bringing health and gladness to those who sit in darkness, starvation, and the shadow of death.

VICTORY AND PROSPERITY AHEAD

“Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written…” (Neh. 8:15).

No doubt all these trees are significant of one thing and another. But broadly speaking they depict the victory and prosperity and joy and triumph of the people of God. The “olive”–a true symbol of the Holy Spirit. The olive oil was used for making the holy ointment, for the anointing of prophet, priest, or king. Palm branches, you will recall, were cut down and scattered in the pathway of the King who came riding triumphantly into Jerusalem sitting upon an ass, amidst the shouting of the people and of the children. “Hosanna”‘ they cried, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Mk. 11:9). And the saints who come out of the Great Tribulation clothed in white robes have “palms in their hands,” as they shout the victory song and worship the Lamb that was, slain for them. There is a great day of gladness ahead for the saints when the Feast of Tabernacles is observed. But they must leave their homes in the streets of Jerusalem. They must forsake their own ways, their own thoughts, their own plans and desires, and crucify the flesh–in order that the life of Christ and the joy of the Holy Ghost might be their portion.

What a spectacle this scene must have presented. Thousands upon thousands of little humble tabernacles or booths erected along the streets of Jerusalem, or upon the house-tops, or in the courts of the temple, or in the open places of the city; all assembled together with one common purpose in mind, with one heart and one soul, to keep the Feast of the Lord. The booth was nothing much to behold–just a humble, fragile hut. Says Paul, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7). Weymouth’s translation of this passage is most expressive: “But we have this treasure in fragile earthen pots, in order that the surpassing greatness of the power may be seen to be God’s and not to come from us.” Again, Paul says, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9). Literally it reads, “That the power of Christ may spread a Tabernacle over me… ” It is the manifestation of Christ within us. It is the crucifixion of our flesh, that the very life of Christ might be revealed, in the power of the Holy Ghost. GHW


One of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis comes from his book “Mere Christianity.” He says, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

It is when we humble ourselves and see what we are–just a decent little cottage—that God comes along with a far greater plan for us. But as long as we see ourselves as a palace already, in need of no help from the master builder, we remain a house built on the sand of our own imaginings, defenseless against the winds and waves of life in this world.


Wrestling with Warnock Round 89

From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 13- Tabernacles – The Feast of Restoration, continued

THE PEOPLE IN THEIR PLACE

“And the people stood in their place,” (Neh. 8:7). God is setting His ministries in the Body according as it pleases Him, and the time has come when every man must know his place in the Body and serve the Lord accordingly. Ministries have been raised up for the express purpose of administering gifts of the Spirit through prophecy and the laying on of hands–and the saints are exhorted to “war a good warfare” accordingly. (1 Tim. 1:18). We realize, of course, that much harm has been done by those who are attempting to administer gifts to others through prophecy and the laying on of hands–when God has not authorized them to engage in this ministry. But the tares must always grow together with the wheat until the time of harvest. If the child of God is walking in close communion with his Lord, then the Spirit will witness as to the truth of the prophecy which goes forth concerning him. And if he is not walking in close communion with God, then the prophecy will mean nothing to him anyway–except perhaps to harden his heart or fill him with pride. This will serve as a good test. If pride rises up in the heart, the prophecy–whether true or false, cannot be relied upon. For even a true prophecy must submit to the test of faith and obedience in one’s life and ministry. Furthermore, the purpose of prophecy is to establish, edify, comfort and exhort; and if the candidate is left in a state of confusion or turmoil and doubt-he might as well reject what has been said concerning him. “For God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Cor. 14:33). We merely mention these things, because we know that many are trying to engage in this ministry of prophecy, with the laying on of hands–and God has never commissioned them to do so. The ministry is real and genuine, as all can testify who have really entered in to the realities of this move of the Spirit. But as surely as the Sower plants good seed, the enemy is there to sow tares–and both must grow together until the harvest.

However, if the child of God who hungers to know God’s will, and do it–has not had the opportunity of being set aside by prophecy and the laying on of hands, he need not be in the least discouraged. Let him continue in the things which God has placed in his hand to do. Choose the humble and lowly position, and you cannot go wrong. Pray, fast, intercede, shew mercy, give, help and assist God’s people–do whatever the Lord enables you to do, in humility and meekness, and God will honour your efforts. And regardless of any prophecy that has been given to any man, utter consecration unto God is God’s will for you, first and foremost. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:1, 2). That is the will of God for you! Take the lowly position, therefore, and God will exalt you in due course when you are able to receive it. Much better that you should be found doing some humble task, and the Lord promote you unto honour, than that he should be forced to say: “Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.” (Lk. 14:9). If this plan is followed, God will certainly give guidance and direction. And in His own good time, when He chooses to reveal your ministry in greater fulness through prophecy and the laying on of hands, His servants will be directed your way, and led of the Spirit to set you apart unto the work for which God has called you. GHW


There have been more than a few times when I have not allowed someone to lay hands on me. My hesitance is always accompanied by a check in my spirit either as to the motive of the person or the spiritual condition of the person. There have also been times when I was ministering in a prayer line after preaching when I have by-passed a person in the line for the same reasons. Their motives were not pure, or their spiritual condition was questionable. But I have also been in that position and the Lord told me to lay hands on them anyway, as He wanted to deal with something in their life. So, one must have the mind of the Lord in these matters.

And yes, praying for God to keep us humble is one of the most effective prayers there is. He needs to do this, not because we are great and mighty, but because we are not, but think we are!

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