The Finish Line

by Steve Arsenault

Montana Convention September 2010

 

(the recording started in process)…once God grants you & me that gift, you can see that many turn the grace of God into lasciviousness and thereby making shipwreck of the faith.

So the very gift that God has given you and me—if you and I stay in a harlot-based relationship to the King, always needing to be allured by the gifts that He gives us, then when the Prince returns, you are left in the same kind of relationship, where all you have is gifts.

It says in Ezekiel 46 that when the Prince returns the gift returns to the Prince! If your concept of a relationship with the King is that you must always be baited, or you must always be allured, then there’s something else that has to be birthed in the heart of a people that are going to finish this race, realizing that He’s not always the one seeking you! But, there has got to be something that is deep within you , where you are running after Him!

So, what God does to determine whether that is you and me, or not; He withdraws Himself; He actually begins to pull back. You can just see this—(it would make a good play or something)—the Father just pulls away a little bit—not to totally turn His face—He is just kind of looking over His shoulder and you can hear Him saying, “Do I have anybody that is really interested in Me?” To find this out, God lavishes the girls with all the gifts. It soon becomes apparent who is in the race for what He has or who is in the race for Him .

God starts us all out on a level “playing ground”. In order to get you engaged in the process, He starts us all out the same way. You and I do not start out with the Lord God as our God. That’s not your fault; don’t feel so bad about it. God birthed you in a realm of dust. You came into this realm with an appetite that does not have any desire whatsoever for the things of the Lord. God knows that, therefore, we do not start out with the Lord God as our God, we start out with our belly as our God. That is why He does not bait the hook with something that He wants, but with something that you want. That gets you started and then He tells you this, “You are only going to know, if you follow on to know.”

In the process of this journey—it’s called the “path of the just”—He puts a little seed in you. That seed He puts in you, right from the beginning, is the incorruptible Word of God. That seed in you, given the right soil; given the right environment; given the right faithfulness; that seed in you will bring forth after its kind. It is not unconditional; it is conditional. Nothing is wrong with the seed; there are several problems with the ground. You can see there is only one quarter of the ground that actually brings forth fruit and the kind of fruit that remains. We are a people who are being called to bring forth fruit, but that fruit has got to remain.

God is inspecting His house to find out on what basis you and I are in a relationship with the King, because you and I—we heard it clearly in the prophecy this morning—our toes are hanging over the threshold of the finish line!

We are a people who are called to be found worthy to obtain something! Let’s look at it in Luke chapter 20.

Let me say as we begin, among other things, I think one of the greatest ploys—one of the greatest deceptions—is that Lucifer himself has pulled the wool over God’s people’s eyes by erasing the finish line, which is resurrection , and replacing it with natural death . You ask the average Christian where they are going to go when they die—even in our own midst—and you will find that people have based their eternal security on an experience they had such and such a time in the past.

You can see that there is nothing really secure until you cross this (finish) line that God is talking about. You really have not secured your place in Christ until you have been found worthy and obtained what God says is the door to that eternal realm!

Jesus said two things of Himself when He was here: He said, “I am the door.” Most people have misunderstood what He was speaking about when He said that, so they have defined the “door” as being your born-again experience. They feel that is what makes Jesus the door.

But, He also said this, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” The real door Jesus was speaking about, that He is, was not when you get born of the Spirit; the door He was speaking about is the abundant entrance that must be ministered to you into an everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! That’s the door that He was speaking about!

In order for you and me to inherit everlasting life—and it does come as an inheritance—in order for you to inherit everlasting life, which the Bible calls a reward, you have got to finish the course He has called you to run and actually be found worthy to obtain it!

This is the course God has had this people on from the first day He sounded an apostolic trumpet and called us out from every tribe, nation, kindred, and tongue. He sounded a trumpet to give a governmental call to a people that could only be apprehended by this finish line—the resurrection.

In all the ranks of God’s girls—and I like to say this, God has got a lot of girlfriends—let me say this now—He says He has ‘threescore queens, fourscore concubines, and virgins without number’—that is a lot of girlfriends! Do you realize that they are all in a relationship with the King? The virgins are in a relationship with the King; the queens have a relationship with the King; the concubines have a relationship with the King; they are in His courts! Not only that, you see this very clearly in the book of Esther, the King has made available to all the girls, all the treasures out of His treasure house. That is part of the goodness of our King!

Sometimes, I fear, that it’s a mark of our immaturity when we, maybe through a lack of understanding or over-zealousness—that’s what it was in my case, over-zealousness—we sometimes diminish the queens, the concubine, and the virgins.

It does not matter to you and me the status of God’s girlfriends! That’s God’s business! He has them in the court; He has a relationship with them, but it does not change the fact that God has got a certain girl that is going to bring forth from the midst of her a governmental people. That people have a perspective that the rest of the girls do not have!

Therefore, all through scripture you will see Zion and Jerusalem together. From Zion , he says the law will go forth from Zion —that’s the sons of God. And the word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem —that’s the woman. So you will see very clearly in the word that He puts in furnace in Jerusalem , but His fire is in Zion ! The two are together; you can’t have one without the other. In fact, Zion is just a high hill in the midst of Jerusalem . All that are in Zion are a part of Jerusalem ; not all that are in Jerusalem are a part of Zion .

God has a wheel in middle of a wheel. God has a house in the midst of the house. What Zion is, is a perspective in the midst of Jerusalem that nobody else has. It is the high hill. Somebody in this “end time move of God”—and I still don’t mind that term—is going to finish up with a perspective that the rest of the woman does not have. Because of that perspective, God is going to take this little girl and she is going to go through a transition by birth and grow up into the measure and the stature of a perfect man—the government of the next age, called the Melchisedec order of government!

It is a governmental call. Not everybody has a governmental call. The salvation for those who come later is of no less quality than those that receive it now. But there is something about doing it now that has a reward that comes with it that those who do it later do not have.

Let me say this; you can’t even get engaged in this unless He calls you. You wouldn’t be able to hear or see this, so let’s not slam people who can’t see it; it is God who is the One who gives the hearing ear and the seeing eye. Unless God moves in this hour to open our deaf ears and our blind eyes, we will be nothing more than derelicts lying in the ditch like everybody else. It remains to be seen whether we’re going to be a Shulamite maiden, or a Ruth, or an Esther. It remains to be seen.

God has called a people out and the question is, how far out they are going to go? He has called us to go way out. He has called us to be and do something that nobody else has ever done and I’m not making an apology for it! In fact, deep down inside of me there is an excitement that somebody is going to do it first! It doesn’t make them better, but it does make them first! There is nothing wrong with being first because it is going to take the first to come back and deliver the rest and bring all of creation out of the bondage of corruption and into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

The people that wake up with this vision, are the true people who have a burden for creation. All the running around and doing “sacrifice unto their net”—that’s what the word says (Habakkuk 1:16 )—they do sacrifice to their net while the top of the rock is bare (Ezekiel 26:4)—we’ll look at that scripture in a minute. They run around sacrificing to the net, but the top of the rock is bare. There is not going to be any harvest out of this age, yet they proclaim they have the burden for creation.

No, those who have the burden, the real burden for creation understand what is required to set creation free. In order to set creation free, you have to actually apprehend that which you have been apprehended for, in order for you to be able to give it away.

There was no way Jesus could do for you and what He has done until He finished His own course. You can see that as long as He was external to the disciples around Him, He could not give them understanding. He said, “I have been here with you so long and you still don’t understand what I’m talking about?”

No, until He left and sent back the Spirit of Truth —also called the Spirit of Understanding; also called the Spirit of Wisdom, Counsel and Might; the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord; the Spirit of Holiness; the Spirit of Repentance; the Spirit of Grace and the Spirit of Supplication. Until God granted you that gift, as an act of mercy, you and I would have been every bit as lost as all the others throughout every millennium.

But God has elected you and me and brought us to the kingdom for such a time as this and given us a down payment or an earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession—that’s the resurrection!

So we, along with the rest of creation, are groaning and travailing for the manifestation of the sons of God and we ourselves also, that have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (or to know), the redemption of the body. (Romans 8:23)

The finish line is when God validates the salvation of your soul by giving you a brand new body. Until you get your soul saved, you’ll never receive a spiritual body.

The first thing God has to do is join your spirit to His Spirit; now you have the light on the inside and you begin a process, called the “trial of your faith”, on a path, called the “path of the just” that is growing brighter and brighter unto the perfect day; until you actually cross the line that God says is the finish line and inherit as your life, everlasting life.

The devil has come in and erased the finish line so that you won’t even start to run as though to win; very clever. Brethren, the move of God is not yet free from the deception of eternal security. Why do you think we keep hearing it over and over again? Because Brother Buddy has the needle stuck on the record? No, no. It’s because he is more for you than you are for yourself! There is only one lie. Lucifer is the father of it (the lie). You and I were all born under the father of that lie. You came into this world convinced in the strength of your own arm—you will not surely die. Did your born-again experience just eliminate that concept? No, it strengthened it—it strengthened it. This was not a mistake; God planned it this way.

God said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” I have always wondered, “The heavens are unclean and You say, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand?’ And then You tell me the kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and she hid it in all three measures of meal? You did not do me any favors, God.” No, He didn’t. As Brother Buddy said, “This program is so wired that the very thing He starts you out in will destroy you. The very thing He starts you out in will destroy you if you don’t get a hold of Him and be taught by Him, because before it’s over, the whole thing is going to be leavened.”

Where did He leave the sentence of death? It would have been nice if He had taken it away; but no, He left it in there. He left the sentence in there—why did He do that? Well, He tells you, ‘so that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead!’ (2 Corinthians 1:9)

So He etches out for you, that until you have actually been raised from the dead, you have not completed your trust in Him. So what comes just before resurrection? What has to happen just before resurrection? Death! So, ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints’ (Psalm 116:15). How do you qualify for resurrection? You must be dead.

Brother Buddy has told us for years that it has to be the right kind of death. The death that you and I are called to die is not one of your choosing; although you do have to choose. If you could just die to “things”, the Catholic Church would have had it done a long time ago. The ascetic lifestyle would have more than filled up your credits. But no, you have to die the right kind of death, which is the death to sin. Sin is anything that is not of faith. The problem with a people walking by faith is that they do not know what is coming tomorrow. You and I didn’t start out this way. Aren’t you glad God does this line upon line and precept upon precept; here a little, there a little, and you actually only know if you follow on to know?

During the process of time, there is a lot of sorting that happens; a lot of sorting. So, before it’s over, there is not a whole lot left running. The enemy has lodged within you the seeds—I like how Brother John Clark used to say this; he would say, “The seeds of our destruction are with us in our beginning.” It really is true. If you and I don’t get dealt with in the things that need to be dealt with before it’s over, that beast will rise up and rend you! If you don’t crucify the beast—because they that are Christ’s are not those who are born-again—they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh…(Galatians 5:24 ). That’s the identifying characteristic.

Psalm 53:1 says: The transgression of the wicked say within their heart, * there is no God. (*the use of italics indicates these specific words are not present in the original language) “No God.” I like how Brother Bobby Owens once said, “They say ‘no to God’.” The wicked also says, “Within my heart there is no fear of God before my eyes.” So, when the fear of God is taught by the precept of men, then it comes directly from Lucifer through the woman.

So, you never get to choose the ruler. The rulers are set. God set it upright in the beginning. He set up two great lights; one to rule the day and one to rule the night. You are going to be serving one of those and you never get to rule; you never get to be boss. You are either going to be under the power of darkness or you are going to be under God’s authority. What you do get to do is choose which one you are going to be under. You and I are always going to be a manifestation of the source from which we are drawing. The best you can ever be is a manifestation from what you are drawing.

Therefore, the word would declare this of Jesus, ‘God manifested in the flesh.’ How is that so? Well, you never saw Jesus. He kept Himself hidden. That is not saying He was God when He was here; it is saying He was a man that had the Holy Spirit as His guide from His mother’s womb. It says the Holy Spirit could make Him of ‘quick understanding’. What the Holy Spirit taught Him was that He must keep Himself hidden, because if He ever came out, He would have been in trouble. Jesus knew that. He never bore witness to Himself. He kept Himself under the authority of God.

 

This whole journey is about teaching you and me who is going to rule. We start out, it would seem, at a disadvantage since we start out in the clutches of a woman. We start in the thinking that God is there for me and I’m not there for Him. That is God’s problem because He started you out there. If He is going to get us out of this, He’s going to have to lead us out and He said that He would do it.

He is going to have a people, the seed of David, that He doesn’t take His mercy from and He’s going to lead them all the way home! How would you like to be among those that get ministered to an abundant entrance? Wow! I think we’re closer to it than we think.

But just before that happens, there is going to be a people that have committed themselves to His hand. They are going in and come no more out. The gift God gave them whereby they are sealed unto the day of redemption, they don’t break the seal—they don’t break the seal; they stay completely hidden in Christ. God knows who those are. God knows those He is working with; therefore, you and I don’t have to worry about anybody else’s burden other than to bear your own burden in this thing. Although, a couple of verses later, it does say to bear ye one another’s burdens, but you have to understand what God is talking about. There is something that only you can do for yourself. God has made you accountable to get under the authority of the only One who can work in you both to will and to do. We don’t even have that ability in us. He has to work that in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure and you have to work it out. In the working out of it, what God does, is to begin ejecting all the leaven and all the deception we pick up along the way.

I am absolutely amazed at how many people—our people—who have sat under this word for 30 some years, would still be convinced that when they cross the veil—when they die physically, I’m speaking of—that they would be in everlasting life. No, there is only one man who has actually secured His place in Christ; His name is Jesus. He is the only One who has actually secured His place in the body of Christ, as the head of that body; His name is Jesus. He did it by the only way you can do it. ‘He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead’ (Romans 1:4). That’s the only way that gets it done. Anybody that is going to have joint seating with Him, in the Father’s throne, is going to have to go the way that He went.

The enemy would love to have us think that all you have to do is go along here and if we cross through the veil, we’ve got it. No, even if we cross through the veil, even those that died in faith, have not yet secured eternal life. Even those that died in faith; and that goes all the way back to Abel. ‘But they, without us, cannot be made perfect’ (Hebrews 11:40 ).

God told Daniel, “Daniel, you stand in your lot.” That’s all right; that’s a good place until something better is coming. You see a parable of Lazarus and the rich man; the rich man had his reward during his lifetime. Poor Lazarus didn’t so well, but when he got to the other side, where was he? Right in the bosom of Abraham. What does that mean? Abraham is the father of faith.

While you are waiting, if you have died in faith, your father is Abraham; your mother is Jerusalem . So you are there waiting in the bosom of Abraham. Waiting for what? The last class. We’re in a relay race here. Brother Buddy has said many times, “This could be the last class.”

All along, God has had this university—God’s University. He’s gone through a lot of trouble and written a lot of stuff down for our learning and our admonition upon whom the ends of the age have come (1 Corinthians 10:11 ). Why? Because the final class that receives the baton is very unique. They are the ones who actually cross the finish line and bring into fruition the fullness of all the plan of God.

You know what this move of God has been about since the day God sounded an apostolic trumpet and began to call a people out—not to be a healing move of God; not to be in the other courts that are there? Not diminishing the other courts, but God has a call—a governmental call—on a people. What God has been training you and me for these last 40 years is how to grab that baton; how to take it without dropping it. Every line has been teaching us.

There have been many moves of God that have dropped it. He has told us, “Let us, therefore, fear lest a promise being left you, any of you should let it slip” (Hebrews 2:1). Why would you let it slip? You didn’t give it earnest heed; you didn’t take due diligence. Why wouldn’t you? You have a false concept of the grace of God; that the grace of God covers your inability to get it done.

No, the grace of God is a teacher; not a slush fund. I have been saying along the way that people have a concept of the grace of God as a slush fund. You had a bad week—“Too much holiness this week, Lord.” So, you draw on your slush fund and make provision for the flesh and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4).

The grace of God is a teacher; “ Teaching us that, deny ing ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:12 ). That’s the plan for the grace of God. It’s not some ethereal commodity that’s available to you when you’ve had too much holiness in a week. No, the grace of God is the Spirit of Grace; the same Spirit that’s also the Spirit of Holiness to teach you to walk in such a way as to qualify for what God says is the finish line so that you might actually inherit the kind of life that He has and only He has. This is what we are in this for!

Now, what that life gives you the ability to do—once you’ve actually apprehended it; once it’s yours, what it gives you the ability to do is quicken whomsoever you will. The Spirit of Christ is a quickening Spirit.

Do you realize the call on this people during the millennial reign will be to be the life inside of creation? The Spirit of Christ is not one member, but many. It’s a corporate anointing.

Brother Sam said it this way, (singing) “When I’m in Him, I’m in you. When you’re in Him, you’re in me. When we’re in Him, we’re the image of our God. Hal-le-lu-jah!” He used to say, “I’m going to go right into you.” He was saying things that we were all just saying, “What??????”

I was an eight-year-old little boy just sitting there with that apostolic word washing over me. In the days since, an incorruptible word of God has sprung forth and like Jeremiah said, “It’s a word burning in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9). It doesn’t matter at the age it hits you; if God has called you, it is going to spring up and He is going to bring it alive. For this people He is going to make sure we are going to be without excuse. He’s going to make it plain enough so that if you’ve got a mind to do this thing, you’re going to know exactly what is required. And we’re going to give it all diligence. Don’t you just love God’s plan?

Can I just tell you this? I am living—I believe, unless I am deceived and God would have to show me if I am—I am living with an awareness now, where I can say with a clear conscience, I love righteousness and I hate iniquity. I couldn’t always say that. I love righteousness.

There is something that’s happened, especially in this last couple of years. I want to ascend to the hill of the Lord and I know what it takes; you got to have clean hands; you got to have a pure heart. You know what? You will never do something that you don’t want to do. That’s deep. You know how you are actually going to do this? You’re going to want to! You know how you’re going to stay out of sin; the snare that so easily besets you? You want to! How did you get into it? You wanted to!

Now what caused you and me to go out of the way of truth and the life? Why would we do that? Because we thought we could come back anytime we wanted. The wicked come and go from the place of the holy (Ecclesiastes 8:10 ) because they have no fear of God before their eyes (Romans 3:18 ). God calls it wickedness; we call it grace. We say grace is God’s provision for me to come and go. No, grace is God’s Holy Spirit working with us; telling us that we had better wake up before He takes it away!

Anytime you and I have gone off the path and gone into sin, He didn’t take His Holy Spirit from us. We didn’t have to get born-again—again. Did you notice? You didn’t lose the Spirit, but you did lose something. You didn’t lose your born-again experience, but you did lose your place in Christ because there is no sin in Him ! Therefore, to commit that sin and to go out in the way of the flesh, you couldn’t do it and still be in an abiding relationship. You had to come out of Him. When He returns, Thessalonians tells us that He is coming for a people who are in Him—actually living in Him. You couldn’t do that until He put the light in you and then told you to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).

So man stumbles in the dark because there is no light in him. Once the light is in you, then you are accountable to walk in the light that He gave you. If you’ll walk in the light as He is in the light, then you’ll maintain the fellowship with Him—with the Father and with the Son. That’s what brings the blood of Jesus into effect—not the other way around.

Modern Christendom believes that the blood of Jesus covers their sins—past, present, and future. There is actually no covering for sin that you are in . ‘People go about covering with a covering, but not of My Spirit, saith the Lord’ (Isaiah 30:1). It’s certainly not a covering that God gives them. The blood of Jesus is for the remission of sins that are past ! In order to get sin in the past tense, God would have to grant you His goodness; it’s called the gift of repentance. So that when we’re off the trail, the Holy Ghost moves as a convicting influence in our heart to cause you and me to repent! Aren’t you glad that this gift has been available every time we have strayed off the path? We have all had that in common.

Some of you might have that in common here this morning, but God is not interested in what you did; He’s interested in what you’re doing! So don’t do despite to the Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:21 )! If He’s convicting you, then get back in the light so the blood of Jesus can cleanse you from all sin. That’s the provision that God has given you through the measure of His Spirit, called the grace of God.

I love it! I love that God has made available to you and me whereby we can live in Christ, a life where there is no sin! That’s a life lived by the Spirit.

You and I don’t start out knowing that; we grow into it. We grow into an understanding of that. So before it’s over, with all your getting, you are to get understanding (Proverbs 4:7) because he that wonders out of the way of understanding remains in the congregation of the dead (Proverbs 21:16).

Anybody who is giving heed to the Spirit of Truth, will be understanding that the Spirit of Truth will teach you of the fear of the Lord to keep you connected with the life which is your salvation. The call that has been on this move of God since the beginning is that somebody is going to do it first! They are going to be immersed under the authority of God in such a way that He increases and they decrease and like Enoch, they end up as part of the “was nots”. They just disappear because they are no longer seen. ‘Before his translation, he had this testimony: that he pleased God’ (Hebrews 11:5).

If you are here today with the concept that you will receive eternal life on the basis of natural death, you are deceived. Even those that have crossed to the other side cannot have eternal life, except by the resurrection. If you do die naturally—by the way, the natural death is irrelevant; this body is going to go anyway; it’s going to go back to dust anyway.

So the question is, if you cross through the veil, what state were you in when you did that? Were you in faith or were you in sin? Sin has this effect—it separates you every time from your place in Christ. This is why the goal is to win something. You have to win your place in Christ!

How do you win anything? You race; you win; you qualify! That’s how you win!

The inspiration of the Spirit hit me this morning because God was underlining for us so clearly in prophecy about the resurrection and that this is the next major event on God’s calendar. This is what is right ahead of us! There’s going to be a whole lot of people that have walked along side and have been part of us; have heard the word and been excited about it, but have not clearly understood that you have to actually be found worthy to obtain it. In our passivity sometimes, the enemy steals the very essentials of truth that you and I need worked in our inward parts so that this truth will make you free from the lie.

In Luke 20, the Sadducees, who don’t believe there was any resurrection, were trying to trick Jesus with a question about whose wife the woman would be who had married all these men and He replied:

Luke 20:35 -36 – ‘But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

They have got to be ‘ accounted worthy to obtain that world’!

Another fallacy in Christendom is to take probably the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...’ We look at that verse and the church launches themselves into a carnal campaign to manifest the love of God—hear me now—by winning the world! They align themselves with the false understanding of the love of God. What they believe is that because “God so loved the world”, (in their understanding), the way that they now have to love the world, is to get it saved. So the church—the woman—believes she is in the world to win it! That’s her whole concept. She is there to win the world!

The question we have to ask ourselves is, does God actually love the world? People say, “Well, it says He does.” But, what did He tell you concerning the world? If He told you not to love the world, why would He be loving it? He said, “Love not the world, neither the things of the world.” (1 John 2:15). So, why would He be telling you to love the world and He doesn’t love the world?

Well, He does not love this present evil world. As Brother Buddy has said for years, “You don’t destroy something that you love!” God has demonstrated that He hates this present evil world and that He is actually going to destroy it. But then you see, everything in God is dimensional, and He has made three worlds—the first world was destroyed by water; this present evil world being destroyed by fire to make way for the world wherein dwells righteousness (2 Peter 3:13); a world without end!

How do you get into that world? The one that God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son? Through the door, that’s how you get in, by the Door. Jesus, being the Door, told you exactly what that door is when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25 ). And He said, “No man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6(b)).

So being children of the resurrection (Luke 20:36 ), you have got to be found worthy to obtain that world (Luke 20:35 ). We don’t just get it by default. We don’t just get it by the call. We get it by being found worthy; by being found faithful—faithful unto the end.

This is the reason most people will not “make the grade”. It’s not because they don’t want to. It’s because of a little slumber; a little folding of the hands (Proverbs 6:10 ). They don’t redeem the only thing God gave you, which was time.

He only gave you so much time to get it done. That little space of time that God gave you to get the work done, to qualify for everlasting life by the resurrection, is called grace. That little space of time, called grace, is the Holy Spirit striving with you to teach you the things of the Father that would get you qualified for this resurrection.

The Holy Spirit is not only teaching you to speak with tongues. We just had a Youth Camp and as always there is usually a little teaching on being born-again and being filled with the Spirit. That’s always good because we are just not a third feast people; we are a three feasts people. The seed of Abraham can be a blessing to all the nations of the earth. If they are His sheep, they will hear His voice.

The kingdom of heaven is still like a net; it’s still bringing them in. During the course of the Youth Camp, there were some questions about the Holy Spirit and it kind of turned into a rather lengthy debate, which probably got a little bit too much time spent on it, but in the course of looking at it later, we realized that it’s really a sad thing that being filled with the Holy Ghost ends up getting defined as speaking in tongues only; when the whole argument of whether you have the Holy Spirit or whether you don’t is all based on speaking in tongues. The churches get polarized and the debate goes on and on and it has for decades, of whether or not you are filled with the Holy Ghost by whether or not you speak with tongues.

That’s very unfortunate because the real work of the Holy Spirit is not so you can speak in tongues. The real effect of the Holy Spirit in your life goes far beyond you just speaking in tongues. He did say that if you would ask Him to be filled, you would be filled. In many cases, a lot of people don’t speak with other tongues right away because their carnal mind is still standing in the way; they are not yet in a place of surrender where they can disconnect their intellectual understanding of what’s happening and sometimes that takes a process.

However, being filled with the Holy Ghost and having the Spirit of Grace upon you is the teacher coming into effect in a way that He has never been there before. He’s coming in to teach you the things of the Father that would get you qualified for this ultimate goal.

I love looking at the different characteristics of the Holy Spirit; one of them being seven eyes; seven lamps and seven spirits of God; because as He is searching the inward parts of the belly, He is bringing to light the hidden things of dishonesty—the very things; the secret faults; the presumptuous sins that could keep you out of this high call of God in Christ Jesus.

I was in a place a few days ago doing some roofing at the halfway native reserve, up near where we live, and met one of the band of administrators, a young fellow who is the son of the chief and an assistant pastor in the Baptist Church . I had a great conversation with him and he was talking to me about another fellow who helps out there quite a bit. This young fellow was saying that he had some real questions about this and I asked, “Why?” He said, “You know, I’m young and I don’t know a lot, yet, but I’m looking for something authentic.”

When he said that, I felt something leap in my spirit. We had had some fellowship over a couple of days and I reached out and I grabbed his hand. When I held his hand, he said, “You’re a believer, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, and I’m looking for something authentic, too. I found it and you just keep looking. If you’re hungry, He’ll keep feeding you. Go with what the Spirit of the Lord is teaching you.”

As we fellowshipped together, he began to talk about the goals of the church. He had just finished school at a Baptist seminary and I was pretty surprised about some of the things he was talking about. You could see the indoctrination that was there so his initial response to everything came from his schooling. Every time he would say something, I would just say, “Well, have you ever seen this verse over here; what do you think it’s talking about?” He would say, “Well, that doesn’t fit.” I said, “But you said you were looking for something authentic. What does it feel like?” He said, “Well, now you’ve raised a question.” I said, “I’m not going to tell you what to believe, but I’m going to tell you Whom you should pursue if you want the truth. Go home and get on your knees and ask the Spirit of Truth to lead you and guide you and don’t look at your Baptist missionary statements and your doctrinal inclination. Some of it will be good; a whole lot of it will be the error that comes from men trying to establish a people in the form of godliness and not in the power.”

He said, “Boy, I got more than I bargained for!” I said, “We’ve just had some great fellowship together. You have quickened my spirit. You only had to say one thing and I saw a brother. I don’t care where you are, if you are looking for something authentic, I am still looking and I have not yet laid hold of the real, finished thing.”

I’m on my way, but I haven’t yet laid hold of the finished thing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to know it when it happens! We’re going to know that something has been changed from this mortal to immortality and from this corruptible to incorruptibility. Amen? Something is going to change!

Turn to Ezekiel 26. The problem with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is that you can end up going in directions that you didn’t think you were going.

Brother Buddy was talking about the woman whose heart is snares and her hands as bands (Ecclesiastes 7:26 ). If you are going to escape from her, you are going to have to please God or you’re going to get caught in the net that she uses.

The net that this woman uses, God actually allows; it’s what gets the process started. But just because it gets the process started, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to get it finished. It’s in following on to know Him—because we’ll know as we follow on to know.

Following on to know Him is a constant coming out of one level and into another. So, we have a lot of beautiful songs where God is always calling us higher; come higher; or go deeper, because He takes us from faith to faith and from glory to glory and from one understanding to another understanding.

He is looking for an abandonment in His people who will understand they don’t know anything as they ought and the only way to get there is to hold to his hand; God’s unchanging hand.

So in Ezekiel 26:3—if you want to do a good study, do a study on Tyrus. You’ll see that Tyrus types two important things in scripture. It very clearly types Lucifer and also, it very clearly types the woman who is situated in the sea realm.

You can see that God uses the woman aspect of the church to cast her net into the sea. When you are under the teaching of the woman, you are under a concept that your ministry is in the realms of the sea; you spend your time in the sea.

What happens on the seas is where the merchant ships go. The sea is full of merchandising; the ships that go from country to country trading.

It says they are all made rich through the sale of these delicacies, but in Revelation you see they are going to howl. There is going to come a time when the whole thing is going to come down and God is going to bring all the merchandising down.

But in the meantime, it looks pretty good because there’s a lot of trading going on. It’s interesting that the Zidonians were the ancient Phoenicians and you remember that Jezebel was a Zidonian. She, all the way from almost the beginning—from I Kings all the way to finding her still at the end in Revelation—as a prophetess who is still in the midst of God’s people to seduce them. The Phoenicians were the great traders who went to Carthage in North Africa and throughout the Mediterranean and did all the trading. The Zidonians were great seafarers.

You have Tyre , a type of harlot church system, that really when you see the type in scripture, she is completely under the control of Lucifer. That is not outside of God’s plan; that’s part of God’s plan.

What this all becomes about, if you are interested in the finish line, is what government you are under. There is only one government that can actually get you into everlasting life and that is God’s government. The option is never that you are one of the governments; that is not an option for you. We don’t get that option!

The reason it becomes so deceptive is that we don’t consciously think of the devil as the other option. We think of ourselves as the other option. The devil doesn’t want you to think of him as the other option. He doesn’t want you to serve him; he’s far too subtle for that. Most of God’s people—I don’t want to offend you, but even at this late date and even in our own midst—are still under the wrong god.

How do we know that? The Day of the Lord comes as a day of darkness and not light. Judgment comes first to the house. The name of the house is Zion . You see in Psalm 132 that He says He is going to dwell there forever; “I’m going to put My name there.” That’s God’s house.

So judgment comes first to His house and by that judgment what’s the first thing He has to tell that house? AWAKE!! ZION , AWAKE!! Awake to righteousness!

Those who sleep, sleep in the night. That’s God’s house He is talking about. Those who are drunken are drunken in the night. This is right at the end. God’s house is asleep in the night. Two great lights—one to rule the day; one to rule the night.

Now there is going to be a people that Paul speaks of; they are not children of the night. So, that day will not overtake them as a thief because they are children of the day. There is going to be a people who are not walking in darkness, that are not asleep and are not drunk, but they are living soberly and righteously in this present world. They are walking in the light as He is in the light.

For the majority, darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people of God (Isaiah 60:2). He catches us all in a state that is completely opposite to what you think you have. We think we know; we think we understand; we think that we have revelation, but He sounds His trumpet and He calls it the sound of an alarm! What’s so alarming? You think you are awake!

Darkness has this characteristic about it; when you are in it, you call it “light”. So the thing you would suspect is that you are asleep! So as God wakes a people up in the last hour, they have to awake to the one thing that God requires at His return—righteousness!

You can see throughout the beginning part that we are still busy going about establishing our own righteousness, which is of the law; according to a formula. So we end of with a cloak that we call righteousness, but it’s based on the formula of the laws and governments and regulations that are established by the mind of men to put you in the form of godliness, but causes you to deny the power.

Here at the end, what God is busy doing is tearing down the structures—the man-made structures of idolatry.

Hold your finger in Ezekiel and look in Isaiah 44, verse 9. Here’s the history of the church:

Isaiah 44:9 – ‘They that make a graven image are all of them vanity;’

What is the first thing God said? “Don’t make any graven images. Don’t do that; why? He is without form. No man has seen His shape or form anytime at all, so don’t make any graven images. But, you can’t build a congregation and thereby secure your sustenance and provision unless you have an image for everybody to conform to. If you can get everybody into “sameness”, you can have the kind of cohesive structure that will lend itself to security!

The Spirit of God, whenever He is moving, moves like the wind. Everything looks like it’s falling apart all over the place! It’s just kind of waving in the wind! Because God is not going to do it according to the evenly spaced rows of the groves that we build on our high places.

Do you notice that very few kings—I can only think maybe of one great king throughout the kings—but very few actually took down the groves. They did some other good things, but they left the organized form of worship and offering of incense in the high places; the way man does it—neatly spaced planting of trees.

Do you ever notice God doesn’t plant that way? Even in His natural creation; it’s kind of sprinkled around. The way man plants is get it all in a row so that everybody is the same—“don’t rock the boat”! That’s why God took us to community! It wasn’t to get us all in the form; it was to show us how many people could rock the boat! (laughter)

The boat is going to rock and reel so much that you can find out exactly what happens to it in the book of Acts. It’s going to rock and roll—excuse the expression—so much that the ship is going to be destroyed.

I tell you what, brethren, before it’s over, any man-made structure is going to be destroyed. Anything that is not a result of the hand of God is going to come apart! But anybody who will grab a board and grab a plank, and stay with the program, is going to arrive alive!

Don’t worry about what God tears down, just worry about hanging on to the word that God spoke to you and He’ll get you to shore—He’ll get you to shore. When you arrive there and the viper that jumps out of the fire and takes hold of your hand, just shake it off; it’s not going to have any affect.

So this is what God is doing. Don’t worry about things when they look like they’re in shambles! That’s part of the process! God does it that way! I love His program! I love it!

You have to learn to have a Zion perspective! You have to be careful with that term these days, but the Zion perspective is higher than the rest of the city. They are up in the realms where they can see what’s going on and what the plan God has for the rest of the city!

Somebody in this little girl, Jerusalem , is going to wake up with a Zion perspective; they are going to climb the hill of the Lord! They are not going to stay down here with the chickens. They are going to understand; you know what, it’s alright; it’s falling apart; this one’s going here; this one’s going there; this thing looks terrible; it’s alright; it’s alright. Unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain.

By the way, God does all the work in the different quarries. He’s doing it without the sound of a hammer. You look around and everything is in parts; that’s because God is a master craftsman; He can work in quarries all over the world and then when He wants to bring it together, He brings it together in one day and a nation is born in a day! Who gets the glory? He gets it all because there is no one who could have conceived of this thing except the Lord God! He’s the only One who could pull this together! We have tried and we have made a mess! Here is a picture of it in verse 9:

Isaiah 44:9-12 – ‘They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses, they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear and they shall be ashamed together. (Look at this; verse 12) The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers,’

Have you ever found somebody trying to put you together with hammers? Hammering away on you; you have to look like this and look like this, and they bang away.

Isaiah 44:12(b) – ‘and worketh it with the strength of his arms:’

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been experiencing the strength of someone else’s arms. We have all been under the arms of the flesh and we’ve all used them as well. We’ve all tried—have you ever been sitting by someone and you hear an anointed word and you think to yourself, “Boy, I hope “so and so” really hears that. That’s just the line that they need to hear.” You have the tongs and you have the hammers and you want to build it just the way it should be built.

Isaiah 44:12(c)-13 – ‘yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes and he marketh it out with the compass, (notice what he’s striving for) and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; (for what purpose?) that it (his idol that he has created) may remain in the house.

And they turn the glory of an incorruptible God like unto the glory of corruptible man (Romans 1:23 ) and they worship and serve the creature rather than the creator.

The history of the church is to take the hammers; take the compasses; take the planes and shape and mold and form a people so that they can benefit from the work of their own hands. Anything I build myself has a profit for me. Anything that God builds leaves Him as the One who profits; therefore, He is the One who is going to get the glory!

So the ones who wake up and do this first, realize they are not in this for them! This is about Him! This is about His glory and in giving Him His glory when He appears! You shall be just like Him when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear in the glory that you gave Him. The glory that He is, is the glory not just that He deserves, it’s the glory that the Father bestowed upon Him when He finished the course that He was called to run! Nobody else qualified Jesus; He qualified Himself by running as though to win.

You can see that the forms that are built are so that they can remain in the house. Notice verse 14:

Isaiah 44:14-15 – ‘He heweth him down cedars, (tress are a type of men’s lives so this is at the expense of anyone in your group) and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the tress of the forest: he planteth an ash and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.’

The fashioning and forming of idols according to the works of the law.

Brother John Jeffreys brought a tremendous line on his study out of Galatians showing that there has always been the effort of the church to get a people back under the rudimentary elements and the form and constraint of the law, which cannot bring forth life.

But you can see what God is going to do in this hour is raise up a priesthood—a Melchisedec priesthood—that will teach the people the difference between the holy and the profane. Their ministry is not to the people; they take charge of the sanctuary; therefore, their ministry is a ministry unto the Lord.

In that ministry unto the Lord, you can see the two priesthoods in Ezekiel 44, where one priesthood ministers before the people at their idols. In other words, they will not pay the price to take the idols down to the Brook Kidron and get them crushed. Why? Because you’ll suffer the loss of your monetary support and your other forms of provision that come as a result of the formulas you have generated.

But the ones who have their ministry unto the Lord, they take charge of the sanctuary; therefore, they can minister to the Lord at His table. For them, He is their inheritance! He is their provision!

Back to Ezekiel 26, verse 2:

Ezekiel 26:2 – ‘Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus (the walls are a type of salvation in scripture) , and break down her towers: (You can follow this little theme throughout scripture; what the towers represent. God in Zephaniah is going to bring the high places and the towers down; He is going to bring the houses of ivory down; all the places of intellectual understanding that are established through the teaching of the woman. And notice it says:) I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. (notice this place of barrenness; nothing on top of the rock; a place of barrenness) It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: (look at this next phrase) and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

It doesn’t say “harvest” to the nations; it says, “spoil” to the nations. The church is looking for the great harvest! It’s not going to be a great harvest; it’s going to be a great spoil.

The top of the rock is bare. You can see over in Habakkuk where they ‘sacrifice to their net’. While they are sacrificing to the ideological theory, that what salvation is, is having your place to save the world—you are working to win the world instead of win Christ—but you end up with no harvest at all.

I love the part in John where Jesus comes to the disciples who had gone back fishing. He shows up and they are out fishing. He’s standing there on the shore and says, “Do you have any fish?” And they replied, “No, we’ve labored all night and caught nothing!” That’s the church-age; they have labored all night—the top of the rock is bare—and they’re sacrificing to their net. What does Jesus say? “Throw your nets on the other side!” Why does He say that? That’s where the harvest is! There’s no harvest on this side. “The harvest is on the other side!”

How do you get to the other side? By the door! By the resurrection from the dead! It takes the resurrection to bring in the firstfruits of the harvest! They are not on this side! They are coming from the other side!

And John even records how many fish were there; 153—numerical value meaning the manifestation of the sons of God. That was probably just an accident that somebody counted the fish that day; only John records it, by the way. I’m not even sure that he stopped to count—I doubt it. I think the Holy Spirit threw that number in there so that you and I would understand that this harvest that God is looking for is coming from the other side.

So what’s the goal that He’s set before you? What’s the better hope that you have been begotten unto? A lively hope! Do you have that lively hope working in you? Is there a lively hope, Saints, working in you? The lively hope is not the starting line; the lively hope is the finish line! He is working in you that if you and I will awake to the trumpet sound that God is sounding in this hour and awake to righteousness so that we will be ready when He comes, He will be pleased to call us the children of the resurrection! When we come out of that test; after having finished it, it will be the final validation that you are who you say you are!

The sons of God are identified, not just by the Spirit that’s in them, but they are identified, ultimately, by the place they have inherited. Because he that hath the Son, hath life; he who hath not the Son, hath not the life (1 John 5:12 ).

You don’t have Him, yet. You do not have Him, yet. He sent the Spirit of His Son in your heart crying, Abba, Father! You and I are still waiting for the fullness of the godhead to indwell you bodily. It’s called the bodily resurrection. Sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body.

I tell you, I think we’re getting close—I think we are getting close. Is your spirit bearing witness? The hour is upon us; Paul said it was high time and that was 2,000 years ago. So it’s got to be a lot closer now than it was then.

And so, here we are. What is it that could derail the plan of God in your life so that you would fall short of this so great a call? Every one of us still has something; still has the possibility of not enduring to the end.

Therefore, He says, “This great promise of everlasting life that has been left us; let us therefore, fear and cry with strong crying and tears unto Him who is able to save us from death.”

Only He can do it; only He can take us home. If we will get under His authority, He will finish the work that He’s begun.

   
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