Christ Being Formed in Us

by Brother Glenn Gunderson

Lubbock Convention December 2009

 

Turn with me to:

Colossians 1:23-27 ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:’

I believe all through this convention, what I have been hearing is that God wants to get across to us what He is doing in this hour. There is a transition because a lot of people are still worshipping the image of Jesus in their minds and they are missing out on the Christ being fully formed in them .

John (the disciple) was probably the closest to Jesus. Remember when Jesus hung on the cross and He said to John, “Take care of my mother.” He trusted John with that responsibility. But later on, when John was old, He had John exiled to the isle of Patmos to eliminate all the outside interference so that he would be totally focused on the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God came to him at that point. Today we have the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

John knew Jesus personally in the flesh, probably closer than anyone who walked with Him, but when he was on the isle of Patmos, he got the revelation of Jesus Christ.

It says in:

2 Corinthians 5:19 ‘…that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…’

So when Jesus came, He was just like you and me.

Philippians 2:8 ‘… (He) found (Himself) in fashion as a man (like we are the same way) , he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death…’

That put Him in a position with God where God could move through Him and speak clearly through Him to then come to the place where He was obedient unto that death. He died the death of obedience.

In 1 Corinthians 11, where it talks about the communion—in communion we are to:

1 Corinthians 11:26 (b) ‘… (celebrate) the Lord’s death till he come.

Where is He coming? He is coming in us.

2 Thessalonians 1:10(a) ‘When he shall come to be glorified in his saints…’

What God is focusing on right now is not an image that we have of someone who came 2,000 years ago, but now we have to follow on to know Him where He really is! Right now He is in a people who are giving themselves totally to seeking Him with their whole heart; to find out what He is actually saying.

He also says in:

Hebrews 10:7 ‘…Lo, I come in the volume of this book…to do (God’s) will…’

2 Timothy 2:15 ‘Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’

We have been talking about the mystery of this that has been hidden from the ages. The greatest mystery of all is that God would come in Christ to do this work in a people.

In this great mystery as it unfolds, there are several that get off the track of the true gospel and they start believing some other line. It gets them to the place where they think, “Well, if I do good…” and they come back under the law like the Galatians did. So Paul went to the Galatian church and he kind of gave his testimony to them and said, “I didn’t get this by man, but it’s God who chose to reveal Himself in me —to reveal His son in me . This is what this whole thing is about. I didn’t confer with flesh and blood. It took a long time before I even went up to Jerusalem to speak with the other brethren.”

And then Paul went 14 years, I believe, into the desert before he talked to anybody else, so that this mystery of God—the Spirit of God—could come into him and open him up so that he could be a clear channel. Paul had all kinds of word, which was the letter of the word, that he had been taught all through his life. But now, it was to be revealed what that word says.

When John was in the isle of Patmos, in Revelation chapter 1, he says:

Revelation 1:3 ‘Blessed is he that readeth , … that heareth ...and keepeth the (sayings of this book) …’

and that is what needs to take place. You see, we have to read , but we have to hear what we are reading or we will not know what we are reading. The Spirit of God has to make it real to us and then we have to keep that which we have heard. This is a process of Christ being formed in us.

Paul told the Galatians when they got off and got back into the law, “You are listening to another gospel and anybody who is preaching that gospel should be accursed!” Then he said, “ I travail until Christ would be birthed in you !”

You see, if Christ is not being birthed in us—if He is not being fully formed in us, we are missing out on what God is doing. You can be given to worshipping just an image of what you think that Jesus was like when He went to the cross (not to diminish that for He was the only one Who was qualified to do that) but He came in the same flesh and bone body like you and me, and it was not anything He could do of Himself. He said, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing…’ but it was the Spirit of God who could move through Him because He was obedient unto that death.

I believe the Bible is all one Book ; you don’t want to disregard anything—‘He comes in the volume of the Book’ (Hebrews 10:7). The Bible says there is coming a time when time will be no more. It says ‘at that time’—we don’t know when our time runs out—there is coming a time when time will be no more. Our time could be up right now! We could walk out of here and drop right over and our time is up.

It says there is coming a time when:

Revelation 10:7(b) ‘…this mystery of God should be finished…’

It says ‘ should be finished’. So that means there is a chance that it may not be finished in each one of us. That is why we have to give ourselves to our calling.

God, when He called out a people, called them out with the idea of ending up in marriage with a people.

When you read in:

Hebrews 4:3(b) ‘…the works were finished from the foundation of the world.’

That “work” was the work of reconciliation—the work of atonement—the same as atonement. That “work” was to enable us to come back into the relationship with God where we would be one with God in a marriage—in a marriage relationship. And the “rest” (Hebrews 4:3) does not mean to go to sleep! What the “rest” means is marriage! You can see this back in:

Psalm 95:10(b)-11 ‘…a people that do err in their heart, (towards God, for they didn’t understand what God was after) and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’

He said, “They shall not enter into my rest”, and the word there for “rest” is “ menuchah ” in the Hebrew, which means “marriage; Holy matrimony”.

The end result is the marriage and so you have to look at yourself; are we compatible to what God is looking for? We know what He is looking for then we look at ourselves and something doesn’t quite match up. We see how God is and it scares us, and we should be scared!

The Bible says that we are to ‘pass the time of our sojourning here in fear’ (1 Peter 1:17). Fear is the proper motivation for what needs to be done.

We don’t really understand what love is, yet, but I believe that in the finishing work of Christ being fully formed in a people, it will be done by love. Love does not fail. Love is the bond of perfection, it says.

However we move—we can speak the truth to somebody, but you have to speak it in love to make it effectual. That is hard to do at times because there is something in us that wants to judge things.

1 Corinthians 4:5(a) ‘Therefore judge nothing before the time…’

We don’t know; we don’t see things correctly; we judge everything according to our own imagination, which is evil. There is a warning against that in the book of James. It says if you judge things and you have respect to persons, you are in trouble; you make yourself a transgressor of the very law of love that Jesus gave when He said, “If you love one another as you love yourself, you fulfill all the law.” You remember that when Jesus came, He said, “I didn’t come to do away with the law, I came to fulfill it.” And then He said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” That becomes the royal law—the highest law. But, James chapter 2:9 says if you have respect to persons, you make yourself a transgressor of that law. So there is a warning in that; you have to be careful how you move in it. What makes you partial to some is the fact that you are judging with your mind, which it says is evil. “Evil thoughts” is mentioned James 2:4.

Colossians 2:13-19 ‘And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.’

You can’t really stop somebody else from judging you, but judging has divided the church; it has divided the body of Christ. I believe in every instance, it is because of the way we judge things; we feel that someone is not holding our standard or they are not doing it according to our image of what should be going on. All of that, you see, has got to go in the finishing process to have Christ fully formed in us .

I believe, and I am open to correction in this, but in:

Ephesians 4:10(b)-13 ‘…that (Jesus) ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave…apostles…prophets…evangelists…pastors…teachers; for the perfecting of the saints,… till we all come …unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:’

But, right after that in Ephesians 4—what the Spirit of God was showing me in this was, that if you don’t recognize that , you will remain a child that is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and Christ will not become fully formed in you.

You can see this in the Old Testament in:

Exodus 29:1(a ) ‘And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office:’

I never really knew what the word, “hallow” meant, so I searched it out. What it basically means is “to speak clearly and distinctly and make sense of what you are saying to the people”. It is pretty important for the ministry to do this; to be anointed so that you can break through any carnal reasoning—the carnal thoughts—‘the carnal mind which is at enmity against God’ (Romans 8:7). You need to be hallowed so that you can break through that; so that you are a clear channel to be able to speak the clear oracles of God, which is the word of God—so clear—‘sharper than any two-edged sword so that is able to pierce right through to the heart and divide asunder the spirit and the thoughts and intents of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12)—to get right through there.

It is not the letter of the word! II Corinthians 3:6 tells us that it is the Spirit of the word of God; it is not the letter. So, you have to be in a clear channel so that the Spirit can speak directly through you to get through and get the message clear.

This is what it says to do:

Exodus 29:1(b) ‘Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish.’

Why the two rams? The bullock was killed at the brazen altar of the outer court. It was only the blood that was taken from the bullock. (Exodus 29: 12-14) The fat, the caul, etc. were burned on that altar, but the bullock itself was not burned on that altar; it was not an acceptable sacrifice to God. I believe what it is speaking to us about is the death in Adam was one of disobedience and so it is not acceptable unto God and so it had to be burned outside the camp.

The two rams came in and one was slain and was totally consumed upon that altar because that was an acceptable sacrifice. Even though the life was required, it was a life of obedience that was being offered up unto God and acceptable to Him.

Then there was another ram that was slain there. That second ram had to identify with the death of the first ram so that it would be made conformable to that death. It had to go through the same suffering of death to be made conformable to the death of the first ram. This is the transition of the Spirit of God as He brought Jesus to perfection through His obedience unto death. Now that second ram would identify and go through the same sufferings and be made conformable unto the death of the first ram.

The second ram, the blood was taken from that ram and the blood was applied to the tip of the right ear of the ministry and to the thumb of the right hand and to the big toe of the right foot. Because you see, there is nothing in us that would qualify us in anything. There is nothing in us; it is what God is doing in us and how we let Him move through us.

The same way with the ministry, if you are yielded, so that you are hearing what God is saying and you can speak clearly and distinctly what He is saying—to make sense of it—to the people.

In Nehemiah 8:8, after they came out of Babylon, one thing they learned when they got delivered from the confusion they were in, it says this is how they ministered to the people :

Nehemiah 8:8 ‘So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.’

They spoke clearly and distinctly to the people and it made sense. They understood what was being said and it had an effect on them; they wept and they sent portions out to others because they understood what was being said.

It has already been said here many times, “In all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) Well, how are you going to get understanding unless somebody really speaks it clear—unless you are hearing. The audible voice of God is a voice of many waters. The still, small voice means “silent and nothing”; that is the inner witness of the Spirit of God in you that is your antenna to receive what God is saying.

God can speak through anybody. If He is speaking, your antenna—the anointing within you—will pick it up and give you the understanding, but it is all the work of God. Where people go wrong is they don’t understand the working and operation of His hand.

This second ram is a ram of consecration. In order for the ministry to be ‘hallowed’, it had to be anointed. We all know enough about the anointing to know that the anointing is what teaches you; the anointing breaks the yoke (Isaiah 10:27); the anointing is what can get through your carnal mind so that you can receive the things of God. Then it says that they had to be consecrated.

“Consecration” simply means, “fill the hand”! When Jesus ascended up, what did He do? In Ephesians 4:10-11, He filled the hand. He filled the hand! If you don’t have a full hand in operation— the workings of the dealings of God , you are going to miss out and you will still remain a ‘child that is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine’ (Ephesians 4:13). There will not be the balance, because the balance is found in His hand.

Habakkuk 3:4 ‘And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.’

He hides His power in His hand and that is where the brightness of His light is really seen—in His hand.

There are several references to the handful. That “handful” is what makes it into the Holy of Holies—into union with God. It’s the handful of incense; that is the measure—it is the handful. There is a handful of corn that goes to the top of the mountain (Psalm 72:16) where the brethren dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1). It says that it will make everything flourish because of a certain word that comes to an apostolic family that is built on that foundation where they are dwelling together in unity and they are becoming one. The consecration is the filling of the hand.

Getting back to speaking things clearly. The example that the Lord showed me of that is found in Judges, chapter 12. This has got to do with a man named Jephthah. What his name means is “he will open up things”. What we want to see is what he opens up. He is most known for, as some say, a “rash vow”. He is the one who asked for the Lord’s help and said, “If you help me defeat my enemies (because he couldn’t get any help from anybody else), and he cried out to the Lord asking, “If You will be with me so I can overcome my enemies, I will offer up the first one who comes out of my house,” but but when he came back with the victory, his daughter – his only child – came out to meet him.

The carnal mind can not understand something like that—why anybody would make a vow like that, but you know, she accepted it well and said, “This is the Lord’s will and I am willing.”

But that is not what I want to get to. What I want to get to is in Judges, 12, where Jephthah went and asked the help of the Ephraimites and of course, they would not help him. So, he went out to the battle and came back with the victory of it. The Lord delivered the Ammonites into his hand and then the Ephraimites came and wanted to get a part of the spoil that he brought back after the battle. So they were mad at him and said, “Why didn’t you come and ask us to go with you.” They wanted to get in on the victory, but they did not want to go fight the fight. He told them in verse 3:

Judges 12:3 ‘And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?’

The Ephraimites were going to burn his house down. Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. This is the part I want to get to.

Judges 12:5-6 ‘And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; then the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; then said they unto him, Say now S h ibboleth : and he said S i bboleth : for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.’

Forty-two thousand died because they could not pronounce the word right! Did you ever hear of anybody slanting a word? That is dangerous!The reason people slant the word is that they do not know how to rightly divide it. That is when it gets slanted.

At the passages of Jordan, when Elijah and Elisha took the mantle and parted the waters of the Jordan, that is rightly dividing the word. Unless the word is rightly divided, you do not get the truth out of it. This has got to do with the passages of the Jordan.

Remember when the people came up to the Jordan and they were going to go into the land. God spoke to them and said, “You will not do on the other side what you have done up to this point— what is right in your own eyes .” That is what gets us in trouble. ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes…’ (Proverbs 21:2). In the passages of the Jordan, it will disqualify us to pass over.

Remember, in the Jordan is God descending to us; coming to us—coming in us; Christ coming in you.

They could not pronounce the word “Shibboleth”. What does the word “Shibboleth” mean? It means “the process in which an ear of corn comes to full maturity” —the whole process to come to full maturity. It is “the train filling the temple” as in:

Isaiah 6:1 ‘In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.’

It is the glory of God coming and manifesting in a people. Growing up into the head, like it says in Ephesians 4:15. “S i bboleth” (note the difference in spelling and pronunciation from S h ibboleth) , well, that is like being called. It just means a head of grain on the ear of corn, but it leaves out the process of what it takes to become fully matured. It has to do with being called, but not with being chosen. It is not good enough to be called—many are called—but, few are chosen. Few are chosen.

To be chosen, you have to be able to pronounce the word clearly, distinctly, and to make sense of it. Not only that, but when you speak to one another in love, it has to have that effect so that it makes sense and it begins to form Christ in you. That is what we are after.

Forty-two thousand happens to be the generations of Christ (42). In Revelation 11:2 where it says, ‘leave out the outer court; the outer court is trampled underfoot for 42 months’. A month has both light and darkness in it. Forty-two happens to be the number for oppression. The Gentiles trample the outer court underfoot. We think of a Gentile to be anyone who is not a Jew, but not all Jews are Jews, either.

Romans 2:28-29 says that a true Jew is one who is circumcised in his heart into the Spirit! That is what circumcision is. That makes you a true Jew. The name Jew simply means “to hold up your hands and surrender” —to be surrendered unto the Lord! You have to be surrendered unto the Lord to get your heart circumcised.

I often think of the story of a grade school teacher who asked her students, “What do you do on Christmas?” She got the common stories: “We have a nice meal together.” “We sing some carols.” “We open our presents under the tree and hand each other presents.” “It’s a joyous time!” There was a Jewish boy there and she asked him, “What do you do on Christmas?” The Jewish boy said, “We have a nice meal together and then we join hands around the cash register and we sing “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

When we think of a Jew, we think of holding out the hand this way (as to take money) because they are really good business people; they know how to do business and to make a profit. But you see, a Jew means to be totally surrendered to God; to totally give yourself and abandon yourself and open yourself up to receive the Spirit of God in you that He would have a clear channel in which to flow through.

Gentile means “people who have the same habit” . Everybody who is not circumcised in their heart is a Gentile and everybody who is circumcised in their heart is a true Jew.

Circumcision is very important because the heart is where a person thinks. Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Out of the heart are the issues of life.’ If your heart is not circumcised, you are not going to think right. Then if you cannot think right, you will not receive right. It all has to do with, and begins with, circumcision. So that is why God had them circumcised before they went into the land of the supreme testing, Jericho. They had to be circumcised at Gilgal. Gilgal simply means “a whirlwind” . A whirlwind will bring up the dust and you will get blown away by the truths of God if you are not circumcised in your heart. You will simply be blown away. Circumcision is valid— true circumcision is valid in the process that God is taking us through.

Therefore, we have to be able to speak clearly and distinctly; we have to be anointed; we have to be consecrated. That’s the part of the hand. Because it is the hand of God—the operation of His hand—that is doing the work and it says that a people fail because they do not recognize that (Ephesians 4:14).

We are not here to get information; we are here to gain knowledge—the right kind of knowledge. Knowledge can puff you up, but God says in:

Hosea 4:6(a) ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…’

It is important to hear what God is saying by the Spirit. We read the word, but we have to hear what the Spirit is saying to us in order for it to have an effect in us to do the work that God is requiring.

I was thinking about Elisha. I see Elijah as a type of Jesus because he was the head there. He (Elijah) was also leaving. God told him to go and get Elisha and call him out. When he went to call him out, Elisha was plowing with the 12 yoke of oxen and of course, he was doing all he could to make the earth bring forth. If you are running 12 yoke of oxen, that is quite an operation to be running. He was tilling the earth to get as much as he could out of the earth and giving himself to it until Elijah passed by and it says, ‘he cast his mantle on him’ (I Kings 19:19).

Now the mantle of God is a covering that speaks about divine government. But mantle really means, “an ample vine” ; a vine that will bring you into a fruitful relationship, not only with God but, with one another; it is really speaking about Christ being formed in you—coming into the fullness in you.

Elisha left everything right there, even when Elijah told him, “You can’t come.” Well, you know what? You cannot come! There is nothing in us that can come. It is impossible with man. But, Elisha was called and not only was he called, he followed after! This is the thing, you have to follow him wheresoever He goes. You check out Revelation 14:4, it says the firstfruits company followed the Lamb wheresoever He went. There is a “following on”. Paul said, “I follow on to know Him.” (Philippians 3:12)

What did Elisha do? He followed on in all those places. He went to Gilgal to the place of circumcision. He went to Bethel, the house of God. He went to Jericho, the place of supreme testing.

Jericho means “lunation”. You probably understand what a lunatic is. They think when the moon gets full that people go “crazy”; animals go “crazy” and so you get the name “lunatic” which comes from “lunar”, which is the moon. Jericho means “the moon city”. It had that tremendous wall around the city where they could race chariots around on top of the wall. It was totally impossible to penetrate that heavily walled city like that. Brother Sam Fife called it the place of supreme testing; and it is.

If you notice in people—remember what we are talking about is Christ being formed in us and hearing and making sense of what we are hearing—but you see when people have their “walls” up, it is very hard to penetrate through. Some people get burned or hurt in some way and they are not open to receive anything, so it takes a divine operation of God to bring those “walls” down.

The thing about Jericho is, it means “lunation” which is a month. It is one month from when you get the new moon to the fullness of the moon. What is really the supreme test is to come into the fullness of light so you can totally reflect the fullness of light, which gives you understanding and truth on the inward parts (Psalm 51:6). If you are like the new moon, which is just a sliver up there, there is not much light. The supreme test is coming into the fullness of light—getting through the times of darkness.

In Revelation 11:2 it says that the outer court is trampled under foot by the Gentiles—that is those who are not circumcised in their heart—and they are trampling all those truths that are the beginning stage of what God has really done for us in that realm; all those things are trampled under foot.

God says I want you to measure those who are worshipping in the temple and especially at the altar in the temple. That is where any light in there is the light of the Spirit; there is no natural light in there. There are all these coverings over it so that when you are in there, the only way you can see anything is by the Spirit. When you worship at the altar, what gets burned up is the frankincense, ‘substance into the Spirit’ and that is what makes it into the Holy of Holies.

Getting back to the ram of consecration, they had to eat that ram at the door of the tabernacle for seven days. The reason you needed to eat it during the seven days of light is so that you do not die! If you did not do it, you died! So it is very important to eat the ram in that place.

They also had a basket of unleavened bread, which I believe stands for the corporate word of which we are partaking. We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)! In order to receive all this—to bring forth the Christ in us—we have to stay there in that place where it is happening. That is why in Revelation 11, God says to forget about the outer court; just measure those who are in the temple worshipping at the altar.

Marriage is what God is after. When He called out a people out of Egypt, it was a mixed multitude that left. It took some time—one thing is, God does not dwell in the realm of time—He lets things happen a long time and it got to the time of Solomon when it was a manifestation of everything that we would think would be grand and glorious in Israel. It was the greatest time where they had everything and they were pretty much the world power at the time.

When Solomon died, the kingdom was about to be divided. Why would God just divide everything? Most of it went into Assyrian captivity, which simply means that it went into prosperity of the flesh; that the flesh would prosper. He put Jeroboam in charge of those 10 tribes, but what really happened was God just divorced 10 tribes. He just divorced them.

God said, “I will keep one tribe for Myself, which was actually two tribes but in order to be with God, you have to be one. ” So He took those two tribes, which are Judah and Benjamin, and He told Jeroboam, “You are going to rule over the 10 tribes. If you do what I tell you to do, I will give you a sure nail in my house” (I Kings 11:38). God gave him a promise. It sounded actually more positive for Jeroboam. The prophet Ahijah spoke more things to him that were positive—outside of tearing up his new garment into 12 pieces and giving Jeroboam 10 pieces of it (he lost his coat) (I Kings 11:29-31)—if Jeroboam would just listen and do it; but of course, he did not. The first thing he did was set up two calves; one at Dan and one at Bethel and when the prophet came he said to grab hold of Jeroboam and Jeroboam’s hand withered up (I Kings 13:4).

Why did his hand wither up? No consecration; the hand was not full. [His hand withered up—no consecration—the hand was not full.] They were worshipping two golden calves. It looks like God on the outside, but it is nothing but the beast on the inside. It is just an image on the inside of “what they think God is”.

The one tribe that God is going to choose to put His name in (I Kings 11:36), He said, “I will do this for David’s sake.” Then He said, “I will afflict the seed of David, but not forever” (I Kings 11:39).

The reason for affliction is found in:

Isaiah 48:1(a) ‘Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah,’

We are talking here about the ones that God is in a marriage relationship with—the waters of Judah.

Isaiah 48:9 ‘For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.’

Verse 10 is what I really want here:

Isaiah 48:10 ‘Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.’

Isaiah 48:11 ‘For mine own sake , (He does not do this for our sake, He is doing it for His sake! The reason it is for His sake, He says) even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

So this is the marriage that God has called us into; this is the rest that Hebrews 4 says if you do not enter into, you are in trouble. He says the only way you will be chosen for this marriage is through affliction.

Affliction is part of the third feast. On the Day of Atonement, scripture says that anybody who did not afflict their soul—and your soul is what you are—your bundle of desires; all your wants; all your desires; all that you are after; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh; the pride of life is in your soul because that is what you are. So, you have to afflict your soul, or be cut off ! (Leviticus 23:27-29)

Do you know it is not even good enough to call Him “Lord”? We talk about recognizing Him as Savior, but it is another thing to recognize Him as Lord . But, that is not good enough, either, because Hosea 2 says,

Hosea 2:16 ‘And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi (Husband) ; and shalt call me no more Baali (Lord; My Master) .’

We have to get to know Him as our Husband. You can see this in the parable of the virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The five wise went in with Him into the marriage. The five foolish went to get oil and when they came back, the door was shut and they said, “Lord! Lord! Open up unto us!” Do you remember what He said? “ I know you not !”

That is the marriage. He is interested in marriage. They were all virgins; they all slumbered and slept. The difference was that the wise had enough oil not only in their lamps so they could see what God was after, but they also had enough oil in their vessel, which is enough love. They had more love for Him than they did for themselves. They were interested in the marriage. They were interested in being bonded to the One who is perfect. ‘He who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit’ (I Corinthians 6:17).

This is the prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17. He said, “Father I do not pray that you take them out of the world, but that You keep them from evil. And then He said, and here is the process, “Thou in Me; Me in them; all made perfect in One.” This is a marriage. This is what God is after. This is the final state.

Jesus said, “It is expedient that I go” (John 16:7). You see, the work was being done in Him, but the work needs to be done in a people. So right now, the focus is on the people. When Jesus was on the cross, He said, “My work is finished. It’s expedient that I go so that I can send a Comforter who will come in you and teach you and He will testify of Me.”

When Jesus was here, that is what happened to Him; the Holy Spirit came in Him. He was obedient to the Spirit; He walked after the Spirit; He sowed after the Spirit. He ended up, you see, in the right kind of death; in the death of obedience. ‘The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt in Him’ (Colossians 2:9). That is how the Spirit dwelt in Him.

He learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Philippians 3:10 says we need to have ‘fellowship with His sufferings so that we can be made conformable to His death’; so that we can experience ‘the power of His resurrection’.

It was mentioned quite a bit at Bowens Mill Convention in October about the message of “Death to Self” and the message of “Life”. I like the way Jesus put it over in John 12:25 where He says, “What you need to do is hate your life in this world !” Well, what is in this world? In I John 2:16 it says, ‘all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life’. If you love that then it says the love of God is not in you (I John 2:15).

We have a choice where we can develop our lusts and go after our lusts, which would totally corrupt us in the end; it leads to corruption. Or, it says (2 Peter 1:4) you can escape the corruption that is found in the world through lust. This is what we have to escape. Right now, God has a people who are willing to come to the end of themselves so that they do not move in that fashion and end up in corruption.

Jesus gave us the prime way to walk; He said, “You need to stay hidden.” When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus said, “You mean I have been with you all this time and you haven’t seen Him? Listen, you haven’t seen Me, but you have seen Him!” (John 14:9) Jesus was manifesting the Father. We are called now to manifest Jesus because it is God in Christ who is now in us.

I like the way it says it in Luke 17, where it says:

Luke 17:30 ‘Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’

The word “revelation” in Greek is “apokalupto”, which means “to take the cover off”; “a revealing of what is inside”. If God was to take the cover off right now, think of this, what would be revealed—what would be revealed in us? We have the opportunity to have Him in us , being fully formed so that when that time comes—when He is ready to take the cover off—that He will be revealed.

As you follow the revelation of Jesus Christ, He is the only one who is worthy to open the seals of this book. Until He is in you , this book (referring to us, as individuals) is sealed; He is the One who opens the seal. When He comes forth, He comes forth to conquer your flesh. He comes with a bow in His hand—a covenant relationship—that requires circumcision of the heart, so that you can have the fullness of what He is, brought forth in you.

He has a crown that if you will stick with the program, you will receive a crown in the end. You will graduate into the class of Christ. This is the greatest mystery throughout the whole ages that was hid.

Ephesians 3 says that it has been given to know this mystery to the apostles and prophets, along with Jesus Christ who is the chief cornerstone—that’s the foundation of this whole mystery—of the house of God, the temple, which you are. He is going to come suddenly to this temple—to the one in whom this mystery is being finished in.

I want to turn to a story in 2 Kings 13. This is when Elisha was on his deathbed. I believe it is a very important issue of recognizing your life in this world opposed to the life of God being manifest in you. You have to hate your life in this world in order for the life of God to be manifest in you. That is what this whole story is about.

2 Kings 13:14-16 ‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof’ (This is the same as what Elisha said about Elijah.) . ‘And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.’

Now here is the laying on of hands ministry. Elisha put his hands upon Joash’s hands. This is the ministry that is consecrated that has the hands full. That is what it takes to deal with this issue because when you are talking about people dying to what they are in themselves and afflicting their own soul, that is a hard message for anybody to receive. So, it takes a laying on of hands—it takes an anointed “hand ministry” to put their hand upon the hands of the one who has the bow. The one who is going to shoot the bow—we all have to shoot the bow.

2 Kings 13:16(b)-17(a) ‘…he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window eastward.’

We have heard this before that we are to go West. West is the direction we are to go; we are not to go East.

When you shoot an arrow, you are intending to kill something; that is why you shoot the arrow. He opened the window eastward and he let go of the arrow, eastward; that is where we came from. A lot of people’s past has influenced them to the point where they are useless in the “now”— right now is the day of salvation. They let their past hinder them so much; it is such a heavy weight to them. Lay aside that weight of your past!

So Elisha said, “Shoot the arrow, eastward”, but then he went on to say:

2 Kings 13:17-18 ‘…Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: (This is about Syria, which means “flesh prospers”. Sowing after the flesh, you reap corruption.) for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows (that you have left) . And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice,’

This made Elisha so mad that he probably had a heart attack and died. He was so mad because the king only smote the ground three times. Why would that make somebody so mad that they would have a heart attack? It says he died.

2 Kings 13:19 ‘And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.’

How often do you have to die? Daily! So you need to smite the “earth”, which is what we are. We need to smite the earth and die daily to stay in this program of having Christ come forth in you in His fullness. It is part of the requirement:

2 Corinthians 4:10 ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’

This is a requirement.

Back to Elisha; that was not the end of Elisha’s ministry. He died and I do not know how long he was in the sepulcher, but one day there was a band of men that came along when somebody died and they threw him in Elisha’s sepulcher. When the body hit the bones of Elisha, that person came back to life! That really astounds me! Talk about a “bare bones” ministry!

Even a “bare bones” ministry, if they are moving in that anointing of life and they are consecrated unto the Lord and hallowed, that is not the end. The grave is not the end. Eternal life—the power of the resurrection was being experienced, but it all comes in the process.

Scripture says that we are ‘delivered to death’ all the time; we are always delivered to death that the life might be made manifest in us.

2 Corinthians 4:11 ‘For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.’

The arrow of God’s deliverance is important because it has to do with where we came from—our past that influences us—it has to do with our daily walk with God that we have to hate this life in this world so that the life of God would be manifested in us. It will not get manifested any other way. It is a very important issue.

It was such an important issue that Elisha felt strong enough about it and it upset him so much that it caused him to pass through the veil. He thought it was that important of an issue!

Do you remember in Elisha’s ministry after Elijah had left? He now had the mantle and the first thing you see he did was go down and part those waters. Remember the people of Jericho, the walled city? They came out and they had a problem. Do you remember what the problem was? They had bad water and because they had bad water, they could not produce anything; their ground was bare. They had barren ground and bad water. When people have walls up, that is what they experience; bad water and barren ground.

Elisha came along and now is the channel for God to speak through. He said, “Get me a new cruse and fill it with oil.” He is talking about the Spirit of God now coming and healing the waters so that the ground can be fruitful and start to produce.

But then from there, he went to Bethel. When he went there, a strange thing happened. It says there were 42 children who came out, and this is what is dangerous about not recognizing the apostolic body of Christ that it talks about in Ephesians 4:14 in their naming a child as one who is ‘tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine’. These “children” end up despising the “Spirit Word”, so they said, “Go up thou bald head! Go up thou bald head!” (2 Kings 2:23) They did not recognize the man of God who was called to be the answer; to heal things and had the ability to put things back together.

So it says (2 Kings 2:24) that two she bears came out and tore them to pieces. That simply is strong flesh. It has to do with the female part—the flesh—and destroyed them. Of course, there are 42 generations in the fullness of Christ.

Back in Matthew chapter 1, it says there are 14 generations from Abraham to David. Fourteen is the number for “divine deliverance”. There are three major deliverances that we are to go through:

1) It begins with entering into a covenant relationship , which Abraham did.

2) Then it went to David who is a type of God’s government recognizing God’s government —the five smooth stones.

3-a) Then from there to Babylon, another 14 generations, where God tests that people to see if they will stay in that covenant relationship and under that divine authority , (which they did not do and they went into Babylon).

You will remember it was Judah and Benjamin that went into Babylon. The others did not. They stayed in Assyrian captivity, which is the prosperity message that takes most of the “church” out. Who wants to leave a prosperity message ? They became just like the ones who captured them and they are still lost to this day—they are called the 10 lost tribes because they became just like the ones who captured them.

But the tribe that God would afflict and put His name in and end up in marriage with, He took them into Babylonish captivity to teach them something—that they needed to be delivered from all this confusion and to take ‘every thought into the captivity of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

3-b) When they came out of Babylon—that is the final deliverance to come out of Babylon and into Christ, which makes 42 generations.

There are 42 months in Revelation 11:2, which is a time of darkness and light, but then it says there are 1,260 ‘days’. Days are just a time of light, not darkness. This has got to do with those who are worshipping in the temple at the altar, because they will be in the light—the right kind of light—the light of the Spirit, so you have to be focused.

Matthew 6:22 states you have to have your eye single on God in order for you to be full of light. You have to be single-minded—narrow-minded—on Him, in order for you to be full of light and dispel all the darkness. They are the ones who would experience and come into this marriage where they would be totally one with God, so it states there would be 1,260 days.

One is the number of God and the number of 1,000 is the number of divine grace of His influence in our life; coming under that influence, which you would be if you are in that place, worshipping at that altar, you would be under the influence of the Spirit.

Then it says 200 and 2 is the number of witness and union of the Spirit dealing with you; bringing forth Christ in you, your hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Three score is 3 times 20. Twenty is the number for redemption and there are 3 things that we need to be redeemed from in this “earth”; that is the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). The three score that we need to overcome is those that are three score—20/20/20.

In order to have the right kind of sight, 20/20 is perfect vision. 20/20/20 is perfect, spiritual vision, which is to understand the fullness of this mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. Forty-two months is the same time period as 3 ½ years, but it is what is going on in that time period —if you are a people who are worshipping in the Holy Place at the altar, you are in the place where you can receive the fullness of light and understand what God is really doing .

He is doing it in a people who are seeking after Him with their whole heart and they have laid all else aside—they have dealt with their past, they have shot the arrow eastward (the smiting the ground with the arrows), they are dying daily (hating this life and this world) so that His life can be manifested in them.

I believe that is what is going on. There are a people who are in that place where they are covered and where they are in the right kind of light.

The others are being trampled under foot. You know it says that if you don’t go on, you will even lose what you have (Luke 8:18) and that is what has happened in the outer court realm. Those that want to remain in that realm have lost even what is out there. That is trampled under foot by the Gentiles because the heart is not circumcised and that was one thing that it says in Ezekiel (44:9-16) where it talks about the different ministries. God said He allowed them to be ministers in that realm, but He said, “They will not eat at My table.” To eat at His table, it requires that you be circumcised in your heart. That is one of the most important things to get across that we must be circumcised in our hearts in the Spirit.

In Isaiah 10, it says that the whole work that God is doing will be performed on Mt. Zion and Jerusalem to those who are interested; remember Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb. In Revelation 21, it says that is where the whole work—the complete work—that God is doing will be accomplished there under His divine governmental authority where His house is being built.

The house that He is building is limited to the top of the mountain (Ezekiel 43:12) and the top of the mountain, I believe, is Psalm 133 where the brethren dwell together in unity. That is where the anointing comes down upon the head; not only the head, but the same anointing covers the whole body. That is what we are after; we are after the same anointing that was on the Head now coming down upon the whole body and it will happen where the brethren are dwelling together in unity; no judging going on. It says to owe each other only one thing and that is love.

Romans 13:8 ‘Owe no man any thing, but to love one another:’

We are to speak the truth to one another in love (Ephesians 4:15) because love will accomplish what nothing else can. I do not know much about love; I have to admit that, but love is the very nature of God Himself and it does not fail. It is the bond of perfectness. I believe love is what is going to finish this house because it will not fail.


   
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