Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom
The Apostle Paul was a man ordained of God to receive wisdom, knowledge, and revelation. God used Paul to minister the message of salvation to the Gentiles. The word Gentile means "aliens of God". Paul called himself the Apostle of the Gentiles, Romans 11:13. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." I Corinthians 2:6-8
The word perfect means "complete, mature, full grown". The word perfect speaks of those who have come to the knowledge of the truth which is in Christ Jesus. Paul did not speak the wisdom of this world. He spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery. The word mystery means "things that are hidden from mortal man and can only be revealed through the Spirit". The mysteries Paul spoke were the plan God had ordained for His creation man before the world began. God's mysteries are always for our glory. They are not for the world, nor the worldly people. They are reserved for the mature, those who have grown up into the head, and have received the mind of Christ.
Paul declared, ". . .if the princes of this world had known these mysteries, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." There are many who believe the prince of this world is satan and his kingdom. The word princes means "rulers and magistrates". It was not satan who cried, "Crucify Him". It was not satan who desired and plotted to kill Jesus. It was not satan who paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. Then who was it? It was the religious system and the chief priests who planned and executed His arrest. They incited the people to amass and attest to His death. We can blame whoever we will, but it was the spirit of religion that put Jesus on the cross. The same is true today. The spirit of religion is making sure the mystery God ordained before the world began remains hidden.
We need to ask, "Was it a surprise to God when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of good and evil?" It certainly was not. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos, "The Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world", Revelation 13:8. God had prepared for the redemption of His creation before He ever created man in His garden of paradise. He speaks this same truth concerning His creation man:
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:" Ephesians 1:4
We were also chosen in God before He laid the foundation of the world. But He expects us to live holy and without blame before Him in love. Where are these mysteries revealed? Jesus declared to His disciples:
"But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:23
Where did Jesus foretell us all things? He foretold all things through His prophets, substantiated them through His apostles, and they are now being revealed through His Spirit. We must be led of the Spirit if we are to understand these revealed mysteries as we read the Old Testament. It is by and through His Spirit that He guides us into a greater understanding and knowledge of His Word. Paul disclosed to the Corinthians:
"And not as Moses which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ." II Corinthians 3:13-14
Only Christ (the Holy Spirit) can remove the veil on our minds so we can come to the knowledge of the truth revealed in God's Word. The all-wise Solomon wrote:
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2
God has concealed many great and wonderful things in His Word. It is our job as kings and priests to search them out. God used His prophets to show us many mysteries concerning His glorious plan for His overcoming creation. He spoke this plan in mysteries. We, as His overcoming generation, should search the Scriptures to discover our created place in Him. Isaiah disclosed:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots:" Isaiah 11:1
This is a profound truth that has been overlooked down through the ages. Many make the mistake of relating all prophesies in the Old Testament as pointing to Jesus. Indeed many of the prophecies do point to Jesus, but not all.
We must always remember it was God's plan from the beginning to have a people. Adam and Eve were to be the beginning of that people. We also need to understand their failure prepared the way for us to return to our rightful place in God. In order for us to enter again into His presence we must overcome all flesh in our lives.
Isaiah revealed that God would bring a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch would grow out of his roots. To understand this we need to look at the lineage of Jesse. We all know the story of Ruth. She was a Moabitess who married Boaz after her husband Mahlon died. Ruth and Boaz had a son which they called Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of King David. As Isaiah stated:
". . . and there shall come from the rod out of the stem of Jesse . . . "
The word stem is the Hebrew word GEZA and means "sprout". This same word is used to describe the sprout that grows from a tree after it has been cut down. So the stem or sprout of Jesse was David.
The word rod is the Hebrew word CHOTER and means "twig or rod". The rod always represents power and authority. The word rod has the same meaning as the word scepter. The rod which came forth out of the stem of David was Jesus Christ. The first Scripture in the New Testament declares:
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew 1:1
Jesus Christ was the son of David. David was the stem. Jesus is the rod. Jesus proclaimed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Revelation 22:16
Jesus also declared Himself to be the root of David. The word root means "the origin, or beginning" of David. Not only was Jesus the offspring of David the stem, He was also David's creator, the root.
The angel who appeared unto Mary foretold the greatness of the son she would bear.
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David:" Luke 1:32
Mary's son, Jesus, would inhabit the throne of His father, David. Jesus would be the first of a new bloodline of mankind upon the earth. The bloodline always comes from the father. Those who would be part of this blood line would grow out of His roots. These are those the prophet Isaiah referred to as the branch. Jesus gave us further insight into this when He stated:
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5
Those who are knowledgeable in the production of grapes know the vine does not produce fruit. The vine gives life to the branches, and the branches bear the fruit. Jesus reveals:
"I and My Father are one." John 10:30
When the vine is grafted into the root, the vine becomes one with the root, never again to be separated. So as we look at the Father and Son, we only see one because they have become one. By the words of Jesus we have further insight into this oneness. When Jesus prayed for those who would become His body in the earth, He prayed:
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." John 17:21
When we are grafted into the vine, we become one with the vine and the root. Paul spoke of this grafting process in his letter to the church at Rome. Paul addressed what he had to say to the Gentiles:
"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" Romans 11:13-15
When Natural Israel or the religious Jews come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it is the same as receiving life from the dead. We would call this resurrection. Paul continued his admonition to the Gentiles:
"For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee." Romans 11:16-18
Paul writes if the root be holy, then the branches are also holy. When Paul spoke of the branches being broken off, he was speaking of ancient Israel. He further states ancient Israel was broken off because of unbelief, Romans 11:20. We are not to boast against the branches that were broken off because we do not bear the root. We, too, are born of the root. Paul warned we should not be high-minded (haughty or proud), but should fear:
"For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Romans 11:21-22
Paul not only declared God's goodness, but also His severity. We need to continue in His goodness if our branch is to continue in Him. The branches make up the body of Christ, those who, as wild olive trees, were grafted into the vine and root.
We have identified the stem, the rod, and the branches. As we recognize who we are in Christ, then we can proceed accordingly. We may not as yet recognize our position in Christ, but we are able to accept and operate in His promises. The prophet Isaiah continued his disclosure about the branch:
"And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:" Isaiah 11:2-3
As we begin to understand the mystery God is revealing to His body, it becomes clear the Spirit of the Lord rests upon the branch. For years this Scripture has been credited to Jesus, and truly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jesus on the banks of the Jordan. It is recorded He received the Spirit without measure, John 3:34. But in this Scripture God is revealing the anointing the branch receives. There has always been a controversy concerning the spirits listed in Isaiah 11. These relate directly to the seven spirits mentioned in the book of Revelation:
"John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;" Revelation 1:4
Jesus reveals there are seven spirits before the throne of God. Jesus further reveals these seven spirits before His throne:
"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God." Revelation 4:5
The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne are on the candlestick. Jesus states these are the seven spirits of God. Further insight is given into the seven spirits of God in the fifth chapter of Revelation:
"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." Revelation 5:6
The slain Lamb (Jesus Christ) had seven horns and seven eyes. The number seven is God's perfect number, the number of Spiritual perfection. The horn always stands for power, courage, and strength. When the branch is grafted into the vine and the root, we begin to operate in God's power, obtaining courage, strength, and power to operate in the things of God.
The seven eyes have to do with our Spiritual vision. When the seven spirits of God rests upon us we will obtain perfect Spiritual vision. We will obtain understanding and knowledge we never imagined.
As Jesus revealed unto John, the seven horns and the seven eyes are the seven spirits of God He has sent forth into all the earth. These seven spirits are available to all who are grafted into the vine and the root. As we begin to check out the spirits in Isaiah 11, we discover there are only six spirits listed:
1 The spirit of wisdom
2 The spirit of understanding
3 The spirit of counsel
4 The spirit of might
5 The spirit of knowledge
6 The spirit of the fear of the Lord
There is one spirit missing. For the seventh spirit of God, we must go to the New Testament. Paul reveals the seventh Spirit:
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:" Ephesians 1:17
The seventh spirit God sends forth into all the earth is the spirit of revelation. The spirit of revelation is the most important in our spiritual arsenal. All seven of these spirits rest upon the branch that grows out of the rod. Isaiah explains the branch will not judge after the sight of his eyes, Isaiah 11:3.
The apostle Peter informed us, "Christ is our example, and we should follow in His steps," I Peter 2:21. Jesus gave us insight in not judging after the sight of our eyes:
"I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." John 5:30
When we become one with Jesus, and realize that of our own selves we can do nothing, we will be able to judge and judge righteously because we are not seeking our own will, but the Father's will.
Isaiah also informed us the branch will not reprove after the hearing of his ear, Isaiah 11:3. The word reprove means "to judge or admonish". When the body of Christ learns not to judge or admonish after the hearing of the ear, there will be less hurt in the body. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns:
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." I Corinthians 4:5
We are not to judge anything before the Lord comes. This is not speaking of His second coming, but rather we are not to judge anything until the Lord comes into every situation. We are not to judge or admonish after the hearing of the ear. We are to wait until the Lord brings to light the hidden things of darkness. He will make manifest the counsel of each heart. When we allow God to be the center of every decision, we can truly have and depend upon the praises of our God.
Isaiah continued his discourse on the branch:
"But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked." Isaiah 11:4
The branch must learn to judge as Jesus judged. They will judge righteously because they will judge nothing until the Lord comes and brings righteous judgment. The Lord will judge the poor with righteous judgment. The word poor is the Hebrew word DAL. It does not necessarily mean "one who is materially poor", but it has the meaning of "one who is weak or low". The word judge used in this Scripture has the meaning of "governing or ruling". Isaiah is declaring the branch will rule or govern righteously over those who are weak or low in spirit.
Isaiah also states the branch will reprove the meek with equity. The word meek means "the needy and the afflicted". The branch will minister to the needy and those who have been afflicted. The strong are to be the strength of the weak until the weak become strong to help others.
Then Isaiah foretells a remarkable happening. The branch will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. This power has always been attributed to Jesus and His coming judgment. But as we begin to discover what God has planned for those who love Him, we can truly understand the greater works Jesus spoke of in John 14:12.
As we search the Scriptures to discover when the branch will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, we go to the book of Revelation. Jesus admonished John on the Isle of Patmos to write the revelation of Himself to the seven churches in Asia. To the church at Thyatira he writes:
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father." Revelation 2:26-27
This is certainly not speaking of Jesus. These are the words of Jesus concerning the overcomer who shall rule (shepherd) all nations with a rod of iron. As the prophet Isaiah revealed, "They will smite the earth with the rod of His mouth." The rod is their scepter of authority. The rod of their mouth is the anointed Word that comes out of their mouth. God will not only give them the authority to speak, He will give them the words to speak. The breath of their lips will destroy the wicked. Their breath is the Spirit of God coming out of their mouths. The wicked cannot stand up to the Spirit of God. This was another revelation Jesus gave to John concerning His two witnesses:
"And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." Revelation 11:3 & 5
As Isaiah revealed, God will give His power to the overcomers who keep His works until the end. The wicked who try to hurt them will be destroyed by the breath of their lips. This was also prophesied by an unknown Psalmist who asked the question:
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" Psalm 2:1
The answer to this question is, "They rage because they know God's overcoming people will be victorious through their God." The Psalmist continues:
"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed," Psalm 2:2
The Psalmist prophesied the world leaders would take counsel and set themselves against the Lord and His anointed (the branch, the body of Christ, the True Church). Today the "new agers" and the "one worlders" are set to destroy the worship of our Lord and Christ from the face of the earth. The Psalmist, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, gives us our hope:
"Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Psalm 2:8-9
God has a plan for His overcomers who keep His works until the end. This not only includes ruling and reigning, it is becoming part of God's righteous judgment upon the earth.
As we search further, we find God has revealed much concerning the branch (the body of Christ). The Spirit moved upon Zechariah the prophet to also declare the branch:
"And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right hand to resist him. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Zechariah 3:1 & 3-4
The name Joshua in the Old Testament is the same name as Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus is our forerunner and our High Priest, Hebrews 6:20. Those who have been grafted into the vine have become one with our High Priest.
We need to see ourselves, as Joshua, standing before the Lord, and satan standing at our right hand to resist us. Joshua was clothed with filthy garments. The filthy garments we are clothed with are the workings of the flesh. The apostle Jude spoke of these filthy garments:
"And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 1:23
Our garments have been spotted by the flesh. The Lord spoke to those who stood by Joshua, "Take away the filthy garments from him". To Joshua he made the following promise, "I will clothe thee with a change of clothing". God has promised to give us a change of clothing also. The Spirit revealed this change of garments to Paul:
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven." II Corinthians 5:1-2
God has promised us a change of garments, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Paul continues:
"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." II Corinthians 5:4
We should be groaning to shed this earthly garment, and be clothed upon with our Spiritual body, so that mortality (that which is subject to death) might be swallowed up of eternal life. Paul concluded:
"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." II Corinthians 5:6 & 8
We have always associated these statements with dying and going to heaven. But we do not have to die to be present with the Lord. The change of garments revealed to Paul is when the Lord clothes us with our Spiritual body. This change of clothing is what the Lord was revealing to Zechariah the prophet. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul foretold this same event:
"As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." I Corinthians 15:49
When we have come into the place where we bear the image of Jesus' earthly walk, we will also bear the image of His heavenly or Spiritual creation. Paul informs us:
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." I Corinthians 15:50
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. We are the generation Jesus spoke of when He stated:
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matthew 24:34
God has a generation of people who will not go by way of the grave. This mystery was shown to Paul by the Holy Spirit:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I Corinthians 15:51-52
This is the change of garments Zechariah spoke of. This is the house from heaven not made with hands. Paul continues:
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." I Corinthians 15:54
This is when the last enemy (death) shall be destroyed, I Corinthians 15:26. The last enemy of God's creation is not overcome in death, it is swallowed up of life. Living is the victory.
Zechariah the prophet continues his revelation:
"And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Zechariah 3:5-7
The word protested means "to admonish, or to bear witness". The Lord made a promise to those who will walk in His ways and keep His charge. He promised these will judge His house and remain in His courts. This is another mystery God revealed through the pen of Paul:
"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?" I Corinthians 6:2-3
The world, as well as the fallen angels, are going to be judged by God's saints, those who walk in His ways and remain in His courts. Zechariah continues God's revelation to all who will hear:
"Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the branch." Zechariah 3:8
Zechariah was shown those who would sit before Joshua (Jesus). They are men wondered at. Those who have become one with the vine will become God's servant the branch. These will be God's rod of authority in the earth because they are drawing their power from the root.
"For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." Zechariah 3:9
God laid a stone before Joshua. This stone had seven eyes, or the seven spirits of God. Daniel spoke of this stone as being the stone cut out of the mountain without hands. This stone smote all the kingdoms of the earth and became a great mountain (Kingdom) and filled the whole earth, Daniel 2:35. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands was Christ Jesus, and His mountain (Kingdom) has filled the whole earth. This was the stone revealed to Joshua the high priest.
Through the pen of Zechariah God has promised to remove the iniquity of His people in one day. The day the Lord is speaking of is His one thousand year day called the millennium.
God's revelation has been laid before His people so they can see their hope in Him is not in a physical heaven, but in overcoming and becoming the branch grafted into the vine, and partaking of the life of the root.
Zechariah was not finished with his revelation of the branch:
"Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:" Zechariah 6:11-12
The branch will grow out of the root of Joshua (Jesus). Zechariah recorded, "He shall grow up out of his place. The word place here has two basic meanings:
1 to be under subjection
2 to take the place of. Paul revealed the first meaning to the Ephesians:
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" Ephesians 4:15
We are to grow up into the headship of Christ. In order for us to do this we must be under subjection to learn His will, His ways, and submit totally to the Holy Spirit anointing. When we do this then we can fulfill the second meaning "to take the place of". Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." I Corinthians 15:23
We are to be the Christ (the anointed ones) at His coming. Christ is the anointing and it is by and through the Christ anointing we can accomplish all things. We are the Christ (the anointed ones) in the earth today. Have we replaced Jesus in the earth? YES! As Jesus stated:
"I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." John 17:4
Jesus glorified the Father on earth, and He finished the work the Father had given Him to do on earth. He came as Christ, the Anointing, on the Day of Pentecost. As Peter revealed:
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36
The term hath made means God made Him something He was not before. As Peter revealed, on the Day of Pentecost Jesus became both Lord (supreme in authority) and Christ (the Holy Spirit Anointing).
When Jesus walked the earth He was The Anointed. On the Day of Pentecost He became The Anointing. The work the Father had given Him to do on earth was complete. Now He would do the necessary work in the earth (His body), to raise up an army of anointed ones to take His place. His body will be restored to their created place in God. It will be His body who will restore God's whole creation to its created condition. When Adam sinned the whole creation fell. What Adam gave away, God's branch will take back. The branch is the hope of God's whole creation.
At Jesus' birth the angel proclaimed, "Peace on earth, good will toward men", Luke 2:14. Did Jesus fulfill this revelation? Matthew recorded the words of Jesus':
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
By His own words, Jesus did not come to send peace on earth, He came to bring a sword. That sword is the Word of God. Luke recorded Jesus' words also:
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" Luke 12:51
Jesus came to bring division. What division would He bring?
"For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three." Luke 12:52
Jesus brought division between those who would serve God and those who would not. There has not been peace on earth, nor goodwill toward each other since the birth of Jesus. Then when will there be peace, and who is to bring peace? This is the calling of the branch. The branch will rule and reign with Christ as their head until all enemies are put under His feet. Jesus spoke concerning His branch through the pen of John:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." John 14:12
The branch who is under submission to the headship of Christ in their life will operate in place of Jesus to do the greater works just as Jesus promised. It is our Lord's will and desire that His body understand their place and position in Him. The prophet Zechariah continued:
". . .He shall build the temple of the Lord", Zechariah 6:12
Many are looking today for a temple to be rebuilt on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. The reason God's body has so little understanding is because they are looking for too many wrong things in the wrong places. What is the temple the branch will build? The branch is going to build God's Spiritual temple in the earth, His eternal place of worship. Paul revealed the mystery of this temple to the church at Corinth:
"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" I Corinthians 6:19
The branch is the temple of the Holy Ghost. We are not our own, we are bought with a price. Paul continued his explanation of the temple when he asked the church at Corinth:
". . . what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." II Corinthians 6:16
The branch is building the temple of the living God in the earth today. Our God has promised He will dwell in us, walk in us, and be our God. We are to be His people.
What about the temple many are looking to be built on Mt. Moriah? Three is the number of completion. The temple was built three times on Mt. Moriah: Solomon built it, Zerubabel built it, and Herod built it. The only temple God is building in the earth today is His Spiritual temple, a temple built of living stones, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Corner Stone. The apostles and prophets are the Word of God. The prophet Zechariah continued his proclamation of the temple the branch will build in the earth:
"Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." Zechariah 6:13
Zechariah recorded the branch shall bear the glory? What glory? The glory Jesus promised through the pen of John:
"That they all may be one: as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.And the glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one:" John 17:21-22
God has promised the branch all the glory God gave His Son, Jesus. The branch are those who have become one with the Father and one with the Son. The Apostle Paul disclosed to the church at Colosse:
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:4
When Christ (the Holy Spirit) who is our life appears, then we will appear with Him in His glory. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
"Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." II Thessalonians 2:14
God has promised those who become one with the Father and the Son will obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. God desires all He has called to enter into His glory, but only His chosen will obtain unto this glory. As Jesus proclaimed:
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
Zechariah continued with his revelation, ". . . those who shall bear His glory shall sit and rule upon His throne". The throne is the place of ruling and reigning authority. The question has always been, "Who will rule and reign with Christ?" This question was addressed by Jesus when the mother of James and John came to Him desiring this priveledge for her sons:
"And He said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy Kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto Him, We are able. And He saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on My right hand, and on My left, is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father." Matthew 20:21-23
Unless we are prepared of the Father we will not sit on the right and left hand of the throne. We must drink of the same cup Jesus drank of, and be baptized with the same baptism He was baptized with. The cup Jesus referred to is the cup of communion. We must come into total communion with the Father, submitting totally to His will and His way. Jesus had to decide if He was going to follow His own will or the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. We all know His reply:
"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done." Luke 22:42
If we as the branch are going to sit on the Lord's right and left hand, we too must come to our Garden of Gethsemane. We all must decide if we are going to follow our will or submit to the will of the Father. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." I Corinthians 10:21
We cannot partake of the Lord's cup, nor eat at His table, as long as we are drinking of the cups of devils or eating at their table.
Jesus proclaimed if we are to sit on His right and left hand, we must be baptized with His baptism. What baptism was Jesus baptized with? Paul explained this baptism to the church at Rome:
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?" Romans 6:3
We are to be baptized into Jesus' death. This is the death of the flesh. Fleshly thoughts, fleshly ideas, fleshly desires must be put to death if we are going to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom. When our decision is made to drink of His cup, then our decision must be the same decision Jesus made, and that is ". . . not my will, but thine be done".
When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked, "What good thing should I do that I may have eternal life?" Matthew 19:16, Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The young man, seeing it was too hard, turned away. Jesus stated, "Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom," Matthew 19:23. Jesus continued His proclamation, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God" Matthew 19:24. Peter proclaimed:
". . .Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Matthew 19:27-28
The word regeneration means "to restore a thing to its pristine state". Jesus was referring to the time when He will restore His whole creation to its created glory. Jesus promised those who have drank of His cup and have been baptized with His baptism will sit in the throne of His glory. This is God's promise to His branch. Jesus reaffirmed this promise to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." Revelation 3:21
God has made so many great and wonderful promises to His chosen. All we need to do is search them out. The prophet Zechariah continued to record God's Word as the Holy Spirit revealed it:
"And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God." Zechariah 6:15
These promises were made to those "far off", not far off in distance, but far off in time. The promise of building the temple was given to us. By the words of Zechariah we can apply the words of Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the other writers of the New Testament to our lives. We can claim all the promises of the Old and New Testament if we diligently obey the voice of the Lord our God. We can not only claim the promises, we can also operate in all the covenants God made to His ancient people.
We are the branch that grows out of His roots. The root bears us, we do not bear the root. As long as we are tapped into the root, we can draw our life, our nourishment, and our substance from it. As we read the Bible, we realize every promise of God comes with a warning. The same is true of the branch.
"Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15:2
By Jesus' words we know if we are not a fruit bearing branch we will be severed from the vine. God's promises are always two-edged. We have His promise if we are a fruit bearing branch we will be purged. The word purged means "cleansed of filth and impurities". Every fruit bearing branch in Jesus' vineyard will be purged. We are purged so we will produce more fruit.
What fruit is Jesus referring to? The fruit Jesus refers to is the fruit of the Spirit. As we submit to God's purifying process, we must understand the most important fruit of the Spirit in our lives is the fruit of longsuffering.
Jesus continued His admonition to the branch through the pen of John:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me." John 15:4
The word abide means "to remain as one, not to depart, to be present at all times". When we abide in Him, and He abides in us, we become one with Him and the Father. We cannot bear His fruit unless our branch remains in constant contact with the vine, drawing life from the root. Then Jesus warned:
"If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:6
Those who refuse to remain connected to the vine will dry up Spiritually. In the time of God's judgment they will be cast into the fire of His wrath to be destroyed. We are never left in the dark as to God's intended purpose concerning His people. When God warns His people, He always makes them a promise:
"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples." John 15:7-8
When we come into oneness with our Lord, we can ask Him what we will because our will, will be His will. He will make His will known, and His will will be our desire. His disciples will bear much fruit. Many today claim to be Christ's disciples, but how much fruit is evident in their lives? His branch will bear much fruit and build His temple He will inhabit for all eternity.
As we study the Old and New Testament we begin to recognize God's promises concerning His Kingdom. As we study we realize our hope is not heaven. Our hope is in overcoming the old Adam nature and taking our rightful place, having dominion over everything God created for us to enjoy. The prophet Isaiah had much to say about this hope. Our hope is becoming an intricate part of the vine.
"In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." Isaiah 4:2
The branches are those who are the escaped of Israel. The word escaped means "delivered or remnant". God promised His remnant would be beautiful and glorious. We must remember it is the branches that produce the fruit of the earth. The apostle James declared this fruit of the earth:
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and latter rain." James 5:7
Our Father has had long patience for the branch to come forth. We may ask, "What will bring forth the branch?" The answer is the early and latter rain. What then is the early and latter rain? The early and latter rain is the Double Portion anointing the Father will send upon His remnant who have been delivered from the ways of the world. When will God pour out this anointing? The prophet Hosea informed us of the time:
"After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:2-3
After two one thousand year days God will revive us, and in the third one thousand year day (the millennium), He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight. Again His promise comes with a condition. His condition is, "If we follow on to know the Lord and His going forth". We must allow His Word to progress in our lives so we can be as Paul who proclaimed, "I know in whom I have believed", II Timothy 1:12. Those who have progressed in their knowledge of God and have walked in His will and in His way will receive the early and latter rain.
When Isaiah proclaimed the rod would come out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch would grow out of His roots, He declared what the branch's responsibility is. The branch will establish God's Kingdom upon the earth. Isaiah proclaimed in that day . . .
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put His hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:6-9
The earth will again become a Garden of Eden where death, sickness, and strife have been eliminated. And it is the branch, the overcomers, who will reestablish mankind as it was in the beginning.
Paul declared. . .
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." I Corinthians 15:26
Death is not only the enemy of mankind, death is the enemy of God's whole creation. When God's Kingdom is restored in the earth, the wolf will no longer be a threat to the lamb, nor the leopard to the kid. The calf and the lion, and the cow and the bear will also live in peace. Even the snakes will no longer be a threat to the smallest child.
Our God revealed His whole creation shall not hurt nor destroy in all His holy mountain. We must always remember God must put His Kingdom in the earth (His branch) before He brings His Kingdom on the earth. The earth (our earth, our bodies) will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. This promise is for the branch who has followed on to know their God, and have filled themselves with the knowledge of His Word.
God has revealed Himself in His Word so no one can gainsay or resist His revelation. We have only two choices: accept it and act upon it; or reject it and live by the dictates of the old Adam nature.
God has declared His branch. You must ask yourself, "Are you grafted into the vine? Are you partaking of the power in the root? Or have you been cut off because of unbelief?
Our God is able to graft those in again when their unbelief is replaced by faith. Today is the Day of Salvation! Is God's Kingdom in your future, or will you be part of His judgment? This question is one of the most important you need to answer. Is God's Word filling your earth, or are the things of this life consuming your time, your money, and your energy? If you are not on the road to the Kingdom you need to change course. May God be your guide.
God's Overcoming Generation
The New Bloodline
The Seven Spirits of God
Not Mine Own Will
The Rod of Authority
A Change of Garments
Fruit Bearing Branches