Called, Chosen, &
by George Kirkpatrick
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"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamentation 3:22-23
God's Word is eternal. The Lord's mercy and compassion will never fail us. It is fresh and new every morning in our life. God does not hold the remembrances of our failures over us from day to day. When we repent, they are forgotten. When God forgives, He forgets. As humans, we forgive verbally, but the hurt and unforgiveness still remains in our hearts. This is not so with our God. The beloved John wrote:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9
God forgives our sins, and does not retain the hurt. Our God is faithful so we can overcome all our shortcomings in the flesh. Those who overcome their shortcomings will stand before God clean, whole, and righteous. God has given many great and wonderful promises to His overcoming people. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed:
"The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 60:14
God has promised that those who have afflicted us and spoken evil against us will come bowing before us, calling us the city of the Lord, the Zion, the Holy One of Israel. God's people will be called "The City of the Lord". There is only one city God has chosen to put His name. The writer of Chronicles declares that name:
"Since the day that I brought forth My people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that My name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over My people Israel:
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there; and have chosen David to be over My people Israel." II Chronicles 6:5-6
God has chosen one city where He will place His name, and that is Jerusalem. God has placed His people which are called by His name in Jerusalem. What does the name Jerusalem mean? The word Jerusalem is the Hebrew word YERUWSHALAIM and means "teaching of double peace". Jerusalem has always been considered the capital of the nation Israel.
Jerusalem is considered the center of worship on the earth. Many call it the true place of worship. Since Jerusalem means the teaching of double peace, those who attain to God's true place of worship will receive double peace. Paul spoke of this in his letter to the church at Philippi:
"And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
The peace which passeth all understanding can only be obtained by becoming the city of peace.
In the Old Testament God gave us many types, shadows, and similitudes of what He would bring upon the earth. The writer of Chronicles, speaking of King Manasseh, proclaimed:
"Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall My name be forever." II Chronicles 33:4
As this Scripture reveals, Jerusalem will be the habitation of God forever.
The name Israel is the Hebrew word YISRAEL and means "God prevails". When we become inhabitants of Spiritual Jerusalem and Spiritual Israel we come into the place where God prevails and teaches us of double peace.
Jerusalem is in the land of Judah. The name Judah is the Hebrew word YEHUWDAH and means "praised".
If we are to be called Jerusalem, then our praise must go up before our God continually, or we must dwell in the land of praise. What a blessed people to live in the land of praise and become Spiritual Israel where God is allowed to prevail in our life. Then we will dwell in Jerusalem and be taught God's double peace.
The distinguishing feature of Jerusalem is that within the city there are two mountains: Mount Moriah and Mount Zion. These two mountains played a very important role in the history of Jerusalem.
The name Moriah is the Hebrew word MOWRIJAH and means "chosen by Jehovah". The name Zion is the Hebrew word TSIYOWN and means "sunny heights". These two mountains reveal two places we can attain to in Jerusalem.
The Bible teaches Mount Moriah was where Abraham was to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. It is recorded:
"And He (God) said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Genesis 22:2
Mount Moriah was also where Ornan's threshing floor was located. David bought Mount Moriah to stay the plague God sent upon Israel because David wrongfully numbered the people of Israel.
"Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people." I Chronicles 21:22
Mount Moriah was also where Solomon built his temple:
"Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite." II Chronicles 3:1
Mount Moriah is therefore called the temple mount. Mount Moriah has become a sacred place in Jerusalem.
Today the Moslem mosque called "The Dome of the Rock" sits on Mount Moriah and has become a Moslem holy place.
When Israel came into their promise land, Jerusalem was to be part of Benjamin's inheritance. But Benjamin could not conquer Jerusalem because of the strength of the Jebusites. Jerusalem was originally called Jebus. Jerusalem became a stronghold that divided Israel. It remained a dividing force in Israel until David became king. When David was anointed king, he headed up Israel's army.
"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. II Samuel 5:6
The Jebusites were so sure no army could capture Zion they stated the lame and the blind could defend the city. But David sent his army through the water tunnel and captured Zion and called it the city of David, II Samuel 5:7
Mount Zion is the highest point in Jerusalem. David built his temple on Mount Zion and ruled over Israel from Zion for thirty-three years. Many terms are ascribed to Zion. It is called the city of David, Jerusalem, Salem, the city of God, God's holy mountain, the sanctuary, and Israel. The word Zion is used 152 times in the Old Testament. The word Zion is the word Sion in the New Testament. The word Sion has the same meaning and refers to the same place as Isaiah proclaimed. God's people will be called the city of the Lord, the Zion, the Holy One of Israel.
As we view Jerusalem there are three areas we can dwell in:
1. We can dwell in Jerusalem, God's
true place of worship, as God's called
2. We can dwell on Mount Moriah as God's chosen
3. We can dwell on Mount Zion as God's elect
These three areas are also referred to as the thirty, sixty, and hundred fold realm of God. These three positions are laid out in the tabernacle as the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. As we explore these three areas in God's Word we can discover where we are in our walk with God. Paul disclosed these three areas to the church at Rome:
"Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." Romans 8:30
Those the Lord predestined, He called. The word called means "to invite to bear a name or title". When God calls us, He invites us to bear His name or title of the "Christ-ones" or the "in-Christed ones" (Christians). Those whom God calls, He justifies. Unless we are justified in the sight of God we cannot be chosen. Those God justifies, He glorifies. Unless we ascend to the highest place in God, we cannot become His elect, His glorified ones. The beloved John recorded Jesus' words:
"No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44
No one can come to God except the Father draw him. The word draw means "to drag by an inward power". Unless we are compelled by the Holy Spirit, we cannot come to Jesus. So many today mistakingly believe they can (as they call it) accept Christ. This idea is not in the Bible. We can only come to the Father when we are compelled by the Holy Spirit. This is God's calling in our life. This is when God invites us to bear His name. How many times God will call us is unknown, but their comes a time when we can reject His call for the last time.
Jesus promised those who answer His call, "I will raise him up at the last day". The last day is His seventh day, the millennial reign of Christ. The word raise means "cause to stand in the presence of God to rule and reign with Him for one thousand years". Our calling in God is not something that just happens. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, ". . . the called of God are predestined". Paul explained this again in his second letter to Timothy:
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," II Timothy 1:9
We were not called because of our work or our goodness. We were called according to His own purpose and grace. Many believe they are worthy of God's calling because of who they are, what they have accomplished, or because of their education or standing in the community. We were called because God had a purpose for our life, and this calling was in Christ Jesus before the world began. Paul declared to the church at Antioch concerning the beginning of the early church:
"And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Acts 13:48
When God's Word was preached in Jerusalem (the place of true worship), only those who were ordained to eternal life, believed. The word ordained means "to appoint or to assign". Those who were appointed or assigned to eternal life believed. Peter proclaimed this same truth to Cornelius and his household. Speaking of Jesus' resurrection, Peter declared:
"Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead." Acts 10:40-41
After Jesus' resurrection, He appeared to many people. Not to all the people, but as Peter stated, only to those witnesses who were chosen before of God. God has a purpose for those He calls. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"To all that be in Rome, beloved, of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 1:7
Those who are called in God are called to be saints. They are not called to be pew warmers or simply robots to follow the precepts and doctrines of men. Those whom God calls, He calls to be saints. The word saint means "to be holy; holy in mind, holy in spirit". Many try to display their holiness outwardly. This was the fault Jesus found with the Pharisees.
"And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness." Luke 11:38-39
The Pharisees made sure they looked good on the outside and before men with their long robes and their phylacteries (leather boxes that held Scriptures they hung between their eyes to show their holiness). But their inward parts were full of ravening (plundering and robbing). They were full of wickedness (depravity, malice, and evil purposes). Today those who wear their collar backwards and have on their religious uniform to look good outwardly need to clean the inside of their cup and platter. They need to clean that which is not seen by man, but is seen by God. The called of God are to be holy and righteous in the sight of God. Paul spoke more about our calling to the church at Ephesus:
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," Ephesians 1:18
Those who dwell in Jerusalem need their eyes enlightened to know the hope of their calling in God. Until we understand the hope of our calling, we cannot begin to receive the riches of God's glory and the inheritance He has promised His saints. We need to ask, "What is the hope of our calling in God?" Paul gives the answer to this question in his letter to the Colossians:
"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." Colossians 1:27
Our hope of glory is when we have given complete and absolute control of our lives to the indwelling Christ. In Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, He declared:
"That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory." I Thessalonians 2:12
God's called are to walk worthy of His calling if they expect to walk into His Kingdom and glory. If we are to walk into God's Kingdom we must realize He has one body of people and one nation. This body is called the body of Christ, and His nation is Israel, those who have allowed God to prevail in their lives. These are the princes of God, the sons of the King, who will rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom age. As Paul declared to the Ephesians:
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" Ephesians 4:4
God only has one body, and if we are not part of His one body we are not part of anything. There is one Spirit, and His one Spirit is Christ. If we have not partaken of His one Spirit, then we are as the Romans whom Paul wrote to:
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9
If we are still dwelling in the flesh and do not have the indwelling Spirit working in, and controlling our life, then we are none of His. Even though we may be dwelling in Jerusalem, the true place of worship, if we do not go up higher we can never attain to all God has planned for His people. Paul declared to the church at Corinth:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Corinthians 2:9
No eye has seen what God has planned for His people, no ear has heard what God has planned for His people, nor can our finite minds imagine what God has planned for those who love Him. What we need to realize is, just because we are called of God and dwell in Jerusalem, it does not mean we have arrived. There is a going on, and a coming up higher.
By Jesus' words we know:
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
We may be called, but will we be chosen? As we have already learned, the word called meant "to be invited to bear a name or title". The word chosen means "picked out, ordained, appointed, and chosen for one's self". God has called the multitudes, but from the multitudes only a few will become His chosen. The word few means "a small number". Those who become God's chosen must go up to Mount Moriah. As we know Mount Moriah was the sight of Ornan's threshing floor. The farmers in ancient times had two main instruments of agriculture: the threshing floor and the wine press. Those who are chosen must go through their threshing floor experience. The threshing floor is where the grain is threshed and prepared to be taken into the granary.
When it came time to harvest the grain, the grain was first cut with sickles. This is a type of our being severed from the earth and our earthly existence. The cut grain was then bundled in bundles. This is a type of our coming together into one body. Then the bundles were taken to the threshing floor where the grain was threshed to loosen the kernels from the chaff which would not be taken into the granary. This is a type of God removing everything in our life that is not acceptable to Him. The threshing process is a type of God's chastisement to bring needed corrections in our life. If we are to be God's chosen, He must loose us from everything we have brought from our earthly existence.
The threshing process was accomplished in one of three ways: by using flails, by the feet of oxen, or by a threshing tool. A flail was a club used to beat out the grain. But generally the sheaves of grain were placed on the threshing floor and teams of oxen were driven over the wheat. Their hooves would trample out the grain or the oxen were used to drag a threshing tool over the grain to free the wheat from the husk.
Once the threshing process is finished, then the grain must be winnowed. This is accomplished by throwing the threshed grain against the wind to remove all the chaff. The wind is the Holy Spirit anointing. This winnowing process is God's way of refining that which will be taken into His presence. John the Baptist declared:
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11-12
God's Holy Spirit baptism in our life is the winnowing process. His winnowing fan will purge His threshing floor completely. Everything that is chaff in our life will be winnowed away, and burned. As we know the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost as cloven tongues of fire to accomplish this purpose. Speaking of Israel, the prophet Isaiah declared:
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10
God purified Israel in the iron furnace before He could take them into their promise land, Jeremiah 11:4. The same is true today. God uses the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit to cleanse His chosen before He can take them into their promise land, the Kingdom of God. Our threshing floor experience must be complete before we can progress further in God.
As we know, Solomon built God's temple on Ornan's threshing floor. Today God is also constructing His temple on His threshing floor. This temple will be God's habitation for all eternity. Those who are called and are dwelling in Jerusalem but refuse to go up to Mount Moriah and endure their threshing floor experience will be taken to God's winepress.
The winepress is for the olive berries and the fruit of the vine. The olive berries and the grapes are taken and trampled or pressed until they release everything they contain, until nothing is visible of their former existence. This is where God deals with man's pride, stubbornness, disobedience, and self exultation. Jesus explained this process to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Revelation 14:15
Jesus was showing John the harvest time at the end of the age:
"And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe." Revelation 14:18
The angel of the Lord thrust in His sickle and gathered the fruit of the earth who were fully ripe, or had come into maturity. The full ripe fruit was taken into God's presence, then . . .
". . . the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God." Revelation 14:19
The vine of the earth are those who have not produced fruit in their lives. They are barren. The fruit we are to produce in our lives is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. Those who produce no fruit and refuse to go to the threshing floor will be cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God:
"And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." Revelation 14:20
The blood of those who were called and did nothing with their calling came to the horses' bridle. They stayed in Jerusalem and never went any higher in God. These became part of the multitude spoken of by the prophet Joel:
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14
The multitude must make up their mind to remain in Jerusalem as part of the multitude or become part of the few who decide to go up to Mount Moriah. God has made many great and wonderful promises to those who become His chosen. The apostle Peter speaks of those who are chosen:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:" I Peter 2:9
God has a chosen generation of overcomers who have been purified and made whole on Mount Moriah. These are those who have allowed God to construct His temple in them. These are His royal priesthood, His holy nation, His Spiritual Israel. These are His peculiar people. The word peculiar means "His purchased possession". These are God's chosen, ordained, and preserved people who will show forth their praise unto Him.
Once we come to the knowledge that we have been chosen in God to be picked out, ordained, appointed, and chosen to be His very own, we need to continue to seek God with our whole heart to become everything He has called us to be. Jesus gave us insight as to what He expects of His chosen:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." John 15:16
We were chosen and ordained by God to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And our fruit should remain to bring glory and honor to the Father, not to lift up self in the sight of men. As God's chosen He has made us many promises. One of His promises is . . .
". . . whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." John 15:16b
Many believe this is a "carte blanc" promise. But as in all God's promises we must meet His conditions to receive His promises. In order to do this we must consider the whole counsel of God. The beloved John gave us one of these conditions:
"If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it." John 14:14
We must ask in His name. In order to ask in His name we must have the authority to use His name. To receive this authority we must come into a place of trust where God gives us the ability to use His name. In ancient times when a king or ruler trusted someone, he gave them his seal. Anything sealed with the king's seal was as if the king had sealed it himself. Whoever had the kings seal acted with the same authority as the king. Paul spoke of this to the church at Corinth:
"Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." II Corinthians 1:22
When God seals us with the Holy Spirit, then we become His Christ. We then not only have the authority to use His name, but we also have the power connected with His name. Paul revealed this promise to the church at Ephesus:
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13
When we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise we obtain the seal of God in our forehead. This means we have been sealed in our hearts (our minds). When we are sealed we should only act in the Father's will, and for His good. No longer are our actions for our good, but they are for the Father's good. When we act in the Father's good we have the authority to act in His name. As we come into the place where we can use His name we know when we speak God will hear us. The beloved John gives us this assurance if we ask anything according to God's will.
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us:" I John 5:14
When we ask something in the Father's name, we must also ask it in His WILL. God is not going to give us anything that is not good for us, and not in His will. In fact, the indication we have in John's writing is, that if we do not ask according to God's will, then God will not hear us. If He does not hear us, our prayers are not answered.
Paul explained to the church at Thessalonica how we are chosen of God:
"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. II Thessalonians 2:13
We were chosen from the beginning. As Paul revealed to Timothy, we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the world began. Paul explains we were chosen to salvation through sanctification.
To justify their place in God, most today will proclaim, "I am saved." The word saved is the Greek word SOZO and means "to rescue from danger, to make whole, and to heal". The word salvation is the Greek word SOTERIA and means "to deliver, to preserve the soul to safety". God's salvation is a continuing process we enter into after we have been saved.
As Paul stated we have been chosen to salvation through sanctification from the beginning. The word sanctification means "to be consecrated, purified, separated from the profane things of the world and be dedicated to the things of God". All who enter into the presence of God must not only be chosen by God, they must enter into the salvation process and be consecrated, purified, and separated from the profane things of the world. The apostle James gives us insight into those whom God has chosen from the beginning of time:
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?" James 2:5
God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of His Kingdom. The word poor is the Greek word PTOCHOS. It was translated 33 times as poor. It was also translated, beggar, beggarly, and poor man. It means "destitute of wealth, influence, position, and honor". Yet many churches still teach the message of prosperity, having us believe we are to desire and demand all the worldly things from God. Jesus warned:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24
We cannot serve God and mammon. The word mammon means "treasure and riches". When we look to wealth as our security in this life, we have made money our god, and we begin to serve our monetary gods. As Jesus warned, we cannot serve Him and wealth. James warned all who live in our day:
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." James 5:1-3
What will happen to those who lay up wealth in these last days? James tell us their riches will be a witness against them. Their wealth will eat their flesh as it were fire. By the Spirit, James revealed those who have laid up treasures will weep and howl for the miseries that will come upon them. James continues:
"Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter." James 5:5
Those who live in pleasure have been wanton. They have nourished their hearts as in a day of slaughter. What James was speaking of is the taking of the spoils of war, benefitting from someone else's misfortune, having no pity or compassion, only desiring to add to their own wealth by any means. This God will judge. John the beloved put everything in its proper perspective:
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." III John 1:2
God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith. These are those whose souls are prospering in the things of God and not in their bank accounts. As Paul wrote to Timothy:
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I Timothy 6:10
Paul declared, "It is the love of money that is the root of all evil." Money in itself is not evil. But those who love it and covet after it have erred from the faith. God has not chosen those who are more interested in self and the things of this life then they are in the things of God. These truly have pierced themselves through with many sorrows, and do not even realize what is wrong with their life. As James stated, these will weep and howl when they realize their wealth has done them no good. In fact it has caused their fall from the faith.
God's chosen are those who have willingly gone to the threshing floor and have suffered God's winnowing process to remove all the chaff in their life which is keeping them from the presence of God. God's chosen need to realize there is one more mountain to climb. This is Mount Zion, and only God's elect will ascend to the sunny heights in God.
The apostle Peter proclaimed:
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" II Peter 1:10
Peter admonishes us to give diligence to make our calling and election sure. The word election is basically the same word as chosen, and in many cases is used interchangeably. What we must consider is how the word elect is applied. As Peter related, we must make our election sure. The word sure means "steadfast, firm, and stable". We must give all diligence to assure our election in God.
There are many today who are as Esau who gave no importance to their birthright in God. The apostle Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom when he recognized Jesus as the Son of the living God. Peter's revelation to God's people is the Kingdom message. Peter gives us insight into God's elect when He proclaims:
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." I Peter 1:2
We are God's elect by the foreknowledge of God, chosen before the foundation of the earth. It is through the sanctification of our Spirit, that we come into the obedience of Christ. As Peter related, it is through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
To understand this we must understand the sprinkling of the blood. In ancient times when Israel made their sacrifices, the blood was caught in a basin. There were two applications of this blood: first, the priest dipped his fingers in the blood and sprinkled it before the tabernacle, after this the blood was poured at the foot of the sacrifice. The pouring of the blood at the foot of the sacrifice was to show the death of our sacrifice. When the Roman soldiers thrust the spear in Jesus' side, His blood was poured out at the foot of the cross. This was the physical application of the blood, and all who apply this blood to their lives are forgiven their sins and are made clean through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
When the priest sprinkled the blood before the tabernacle, this was the Spiritual application of the blood of the sacrifice. We, too, must apply the blood of our sacrifice Spiritually. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul declared:
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22
We must draw near to God with a true heart. The word true means "corresponding to the name in every respect". When we take the name of Christ, then our lives must correspond in every respect to the name we have taken. Our hearts (minds) must be sprinkled, applying the blood Spiritually to our innermost being. Also our bodies must be cleansed by the water of the Word.
The things that defile the body must be done away with if we are to ascend to Mount Zion, the sunny heights in God. As Peter related, "Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied, I Peter 1:2. When we, as God's elect, have our conscience sprinkled and our bodies cleansed, then we can come into a place where God will make our calling and election sure. Throughout the Bible God refers to His elect as His Holy City. The Psalmist writes:
"For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation." Psalm 132:13
From the beginning, God has chosen Zion as His eternal habitation. As David ruled from Mt. Zion, so will our God rule from His Zion during the one thousand year millennial reign. He will rule from His temple. His temple is His holy people. Paul disclosed this secret to the church at Corinth:
"And 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
God's people are His temple. If we allow Him, He will dwell in us, and walk in us. His walk will be our walk. But if we set up the idols of this world in our heart, God cannot rule from our temple any more. The prophet Isaiah gives us further insight into God's eternal plan for His elect:
"And I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people." Isaiah 51:16
Zion is God's people. He has put His words in their mouth, and He has covered His people with the shadow of His hand. Jesus revealed this same truth through the pen of John:
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." John 10:28-29
We are in the hand of our Father, and as long as we remain in the Father's hand, nothing that comes against us can prosper. As Isaiah declared, ". . . that I may plant the heavens." Isaiah 51:16. The word plant means "to establish". Heaven is the Spiritual realm of God. God wants to establish His Spiritual realm in us. As Paul revealed to the Ephesians:
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" Ephesians 2:6
Most of the church has been taught they have to die to attain heaven. Those who ascend to the sunny heights of God are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. What most fail to realize is that heaven is not a physical place, rather it is the whole Spiritual realm of God. Those who are called must go through their threshing floor experience and ascend Mt. Zion to attain to God's heavenly realm.
Isaiah also declared, " . . . He would lay a foundation on the earth." We only have one foundation, and that foundation is the Word of God. Paul related this foundation to the church at Ephesus:
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone;" Ephesians 2:19-20
The apostles are the New Testament. The prophets are the Old Testament. These make up our Bible. If this foundation is not laid in our earth, and if Jesus Christ is not the chief cornerstone in our lives, then we are not fellowcitizens with the saints of God. The saints of God make up the household of God which is the body of Christ. These are the Zion of God. Paul admonished the Colossians:
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;" Colossians 3:12
Kindness, humbleness, meekness, and longsuffering are all fruit of the Spirit. If we are the elect of God we must display the fruit of the Spirit and have bowels of mercy. As Paul related in his first letter to the church at Corinth:
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." I Corinthians 15:49
We have born the image of the earthy. This was our old, carnal, selfish nature. This must be overcome on God's threshing floor if we are to ascend to the sunny heights in God, and bear the image of the heavenly man. Paul referred to the heavenly man as the new man:
"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:24
Our new man, the heavenly man, is created in righteousness, and true holiness. This is God's Spiritual creation who will rule and reign from His holy temple. These are those who dwell on Mt. Zion. Paul related this place in his letter to the Hebrews:
"But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels," Hebrews 12:22
Those who ascend to Mount Zion the sunny heights in God will make up His holy city New Jerusalem, the city of the living God. The Psalmist David revealed who will dwell in this holy city:
"Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." Psalm 15:1-5
God has laid out His plan. He has given us His direction. He has given us His promise. All we need to do is to walk in them. The prophet Isaiah reveals God's promise to His elect:
"They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." Isaiah 65:22
Yes, God has His called, and from His called, few will be chosen, and even fewer will become His very elect who go all the way with their God. The only thing that hinders our entering into this realm is the old carnal nature. If we refuse to deal with this hindrance on the threshing floor of Ornan, we will never ascend to God's promise for His overcoming generation, nor will we enter into God's promise He gave them from the beginning. As the Psalmist wrote:
"For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation." Psalm 132:13
Related Books by George Kirkpatrick
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness
God's Anointed Voice
Fear Not Little Flock
Day of Fire
Trees Planted by the Living Waters
God's Progressive Gift
Even the Very Elect, If Possible
Kill Off, Put Off and Put On!
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