Lord, May I Be One Of
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Many of Jesus' teachings were in parables. A parable is not an actual happening. A parable is an earthly story with a Spiritual meaning. Parables reveal the mysteries of God's Kingdom through figurative examples.
Jesus addressed the Pharisees concerning the Kingdom of God:
"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son," Matthew 22:1-2
Matthew is the only writer in the New Testament that used the term "Kingdom of heaven." All the other writers of the New Testament rightly used the term "Kingdom of God." The Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of God are referring to the same concept.
The term Kingdom of Heaven has confused the church. They have been taught heaven is a physical place God's people go to when they die. Not one Scripture teaches this concept. Heaven does not refer to a physical place, but a realm, the Spiritual realm above the earth.
Jesus stated the Kingdom is like which means "to illustrate by comparison." Jesus compared this parable to a certain king which made a marriage for his son. The King, Jesus is using as a comparison, is God the Father; the Son is Jesus Christ, and the marriage used in this comparison refers to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
"And sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come." Matthew 22:3
The King (or the Father) sent forth His servants. We must recognize who the Father is referring to as His servants. Many places in the Old and New Testaments we are informed who God's servants are:
"And the Lord spake by His servants the prophets saying," II Kings 21:10
God has always spoken through His servants the prophets whom He has sent. After the Babylonian captivity, when Israel returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, God spoke through the pen of Ezra:
"Which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness." Ezra 9:11
God spoke through His servants the prophets about how unclean the land was, and the filthiness of the people of the land. The people had filled the land from one end to the other with uncleanness. God is speaking the same thing today to all who will hear. Through His servants the prophets, God is telling us how our land is filled with filthiness, uncleanness, and ungodliness.
God warned Israel to not become part of their uncleanness and filthiness. God's servants today are warning His people of the same thing. The prophet Jeremiah also warned Israel through God's servants the prophets:
"Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them." Jeremiah 7:25
God sends His prophets whenever and wherever they are needed to warn the people of His coming judgment. He is rising early and sending His prophets daily to warn this generation of His soon coming judgment. Daniel, who was one of those who went into the Babylonian captivity, proclaimed this same message to the people of His day:
"Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land." Daniel 9:6
The same is true today. The people are not hearkening (listening) to the voice of God's servants the prophets. They are going their own way, doing their own thing, and not heeding the Word of God - - - nor are they heeding the dire message His servants the prophets are speaking. If they would only read His word, then they would know the words of Amos the prophet:
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
This is a promise of God to all God's people. He will do nothing until He reveals it to His servants the prophets. Nothing happens until God has forewarned His people. Jesus also revealed this to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." Revelation 10:7
Everything God is going to bring upon the earth in His judgment has been revealed to His servants the prophets. We need to understand the prophets in the Old Testament spoke, ". . . thus saith the Lord. . ." Today's prophets must speak ". . . thus the Lord hath said. . .". Today's prophets are to reveal God's Word as it is written. Jesus informed His disciples:
"But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:23
Jesus has foretold us all things in the Scriptures. So all His prophets can do today is reveal His Word, both in the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus continued to reveal His Spiritual truths in parables:
"Again, He sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared My dinner: My oxen and My fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage." Matthew 22:4
We need to know who Jesus was addressing in this parable:
"But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:24
Jesus declared He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus told His lost sheep that the oxen and the fatlings were killed. Jesus was speaking of all the sacrifices Israel had offered through the centuries through their oxen and the fatlings sin offerings.
The sin offerings the lost sheep had offered only atoned for their sins. The word atone means "to placate, to cover, and to set aside." But praise God, now the one who could forgive their sin was speaking to them in this parable to let them know they were invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. God sent His servants the prophets to foretell the coming of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
"But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:" Matthew 22:5
But the lost sheep of the house of Israel did not believe God, His Word, or His prophets. As Jesus declared, they went their own way, doing their own things, ignoring God, His Word, and His prophets. How like the church of today. When His prophets try to warn God's people of the judgment upon their sin and their sin nature, they go their own way, ignoring God, His Word, and His prophets. Jesus continued:
"And the remnant took His servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them." Matthew 22:6
The remnant of Israel treated God's servants the prophets spitefully (shamefully, speaking evil of), and even killed them. Jesus was speaking to the lost sheep who had killed the servants of God, His prophets. This is recorded both in the Old Testament, and also in the New Testament. The prophet Jeremiah informed us:
"In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion." Jeremiah 2:30
Israel devoured the prophets God sent like a destroying lion. When they were about to stone Stephen, he related Israel's history from the time of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses - - - and how God would use Moses to deliver them from their slavery in Egypt - - - and take them to their promised land - - - and how they turned from God to worshipping idols. Stephen ended his oration with the following:
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers." Acts 7:51-52
Israel always resisted the workings of God in their lives. Stephen called them betrayers and murderers. They not only killed the prophets, but they also killed the Just One, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Israel was the religious system of Jesus' day. This sounds like the religious system of our day. Those who are called by His name still resist the Holy Spirit's working in their lives, and they are uncircumcised in heart. The act of circumcision is to cut away the flesh to expose the headship of Christ in our thinking. When Jesus was addressing the scribes and the Pharisees, He declared:
"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets." Matthew 23:31
Jesus informed them they were the offspring of those who had killed the prophets. Luke related to the same people:
"Woe unto you! For ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them." Luke 11:47
Luke informed them that they built the sepulchres for the prophets their fathers had killed. What Luke was revealing was that those he was speaking to agreed with the acts of their fathers. In the book of Thessalonians, Paul had to deal with the same religious system Jesus had to contend with:
"Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men;" I Thessalonians 2:15
Paul, too, accused the religious system of killing the Lord Jesus and the prophets. They were also persecuting the apostles of the Lord Jesus and were responsible for the death of many of the early apostles.
Paul informed them this did not please God, and they were contrary to all men. The word contrary means "to be an adversary, hostile, and antagonistic against all those who move by the Spirit of God." Jesus continues His parable, telling how the remnant took His servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them:
"But when the King heard thereof, He was wroth: and He sent forth His armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city." Matthew 22:7
Jesus not only spoke about what God the Father had done in the past, but He prophesied what would happen in the future. Jesus reminded them that because of their disobedience, He had sent the Babylonians, and burned Jerusalem, and took the people captive. This happened in 576 B.C. Jesus also prophesied the future to them with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. when God the Father sent the Romans to burn up the city because they had killed His Son.
"Then saith He to His servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy." Matthew 22:8
Israel was bidden to the wedding, but they were not worthy. Their actions in the past had made their fathers unworthy, and when they denied their Messiah, this also made them unworthy. God informed Israel in the wilderness:
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine." Exodus 19:5
God made Israel a promise that if they would obey His voice and keep His covenant they would be a peculiar treasure (His valued possession) above all the people on earth. He further stated that all the earth was His. Only those who are allowed to attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be those who will inherit the earth. So, because those who were bidden to the Marriage Supper were not worthy, God told His servants:
"Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage." Matthew 22:9
God informed His servants they were to go into the highways and bid as many as they could find to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
"So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests." Matthew 22:10
The servants went out as they were directed and gathered all those, both bad and good, and the wedding was furnished with guests. No longer was God's Kingdom for the Israelites only. Now it was for the "Whosoever will."
Because Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, he fit into the category of those who were called to the wedding. But because he was an Israelite, he too was unworthy to attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb - - - until he was confronted by the risen, glorified Christ on the road to Damascus. This meeting forever ruined Paul's religious affiliations. Paul's life was changed forever. When He was converted, he too tried to minister to the lost sheep of the tribe of Israel. When Paul came to Antioch, he went into a long dissertation about how God had chosen Israel to be His peculiar treasure:
"But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Acts 13:45-46
Paul stated those who were originally called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb were unworthy of everlasting life. It was at this time he and Barnabas turned to the Gentiles and began to preach to those in the highways, inviting "whosoever will" to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to become partakers of everlasting life.
God had opened His Kingdom to "whosoever will," - - - both the bad and the good - - - all who called upon the name of the Lord. After Jesus' resurrection, He met with His remaining eleven disciples and informed them:
"And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
By this, Jesus confirmed His parable He had spoken to Israel. Israel was not excluded from the Kingdom, but they had to come by the way of the cross, and seek forgiveness of their sin. Many have come this way, but the multitudes still deny their Messiah.
For the past 2000 years, Jesus' disciples have gone into all the world, preaching the gospel to all nations, and it is about time for those who are found worthy to go into the Marriage Supper. But it is necessary for all who enter in to have on their wedding garment. Jesus continued His Spiritual revelation of the Marriage Supper:
"And when the King came in to see the guests, He saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And He saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the King to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 22:11-13
When the King come in to meet the guests at the Marriage Supper, He discovered one of the guests did not have on a wedding garment. We need to ask, "What is our wedding garment?" In order to understand this, we must look at the revelation Jesus gave John on the Isle of Patmos:
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Revelation 19:7-8
The wedding garments all the guests at the wedding had on, except one, were their robes of righteousness. All who are to be guests at the Marriage Supper must be clothed in fine linen, clean and white. Their robes of righteousness cannot be soiled with the filthiness of the world.
The guest who did not have on his wedding garment was bound hand and foot, and was cast into outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many believe this is speaking of hell and eternal torment. By the Spirit, we know He is speaking that the unrighteous will be cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
There will be many who think they are worthy to be part of the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but who do not have on their pure, white wedding garment, their robe of righteousness. These will have to endure the wrath of God. Paul declared these unrighteous servants to the church at Corinth:
"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." I Corinthians 3:15
Jesus also revealed this same group in Matthew 24:
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matthew 24:13
These are those who must endure the wrath to be saved. As Jesus declared:
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
The word chosen means "elected." Only the elect will be guests at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All others will have to endure to the end of the wrath of God.
Many believe they will escape the wrath through a phony rapture. These are those who will weep and wail and gnash their teeth because they were found unworthy, having their robes spotted by the filth of the world.
Jesus gave many parables to teach us Spiritual truths. Another parable He gave us was about the end of the age:
"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:" Matthew 21:33
Let's discover who Jesus was speaking of in this parable. The householder is the master of the house, or the owner of the house. The same word is translated "the goodman of the house." This householder planted a vineyard. The vineyard is God's true church. The head, or owner, of this body of true believers is Christ Jesus.
The Master, the Householder, Christ Jesus hedged His vineyard about with the Holy Spirit. He also digged a winepress. The winepress is where the new wine is processed or made ready for the Master's table. The Master let out His vineyard to the husbandmen, those who were to care for His vineyard.
The Master (the Householder) then went into a far country. To understand this part of the parable, we must look at Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
"Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." Ephesians 4:8
When Jesus ascended up on high, this is where He, as the Householder, went into a far country. At this time He gave gifts unto men - - - to the husbandmen, the caretakers of the vineyard.
"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" Ephesians 4:11
The husbandmen are God's gifts to man. This is the five fold ministry commissioned to tend God's vineyard. Why were these husbandmen given these gifts, and what were the duties they were given?
"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" Ephesians 4:12-13
The husbandmen are to perfect the saints (or bring them into maturity). They are to do the work of the ministry (to take care of the administration of the body they are set over). They are to also edify the body of Christ. And they are to continue this work until all come into the unity of the faith and the full knowledge of the Son of God, unto a mature, complete, whole man, or body. This they are to do until they bring the body into the stature of the fullness of Christ.
This, the husbandmen have failed to do. Many of God's husbandmen have used God's vineyard to set up and build their own kingdoms, and have left the Kingdom of God in shambles. Jesus continued with His parable:
"And when the time of the fruit drew near, He sent His servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it." Matthew 21:34
First, we need to know the time frame Jesus is speaking of. This is the time of the harvest. In His parable of the sower, Jesus revealed this time of harvest to us:
"The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:39
The harvest is at the end of the age, and His reapers are His angels. The word angel means "messenger, one who is sent." His angels are His servants who have been sent to proclaim God's Word.
"And the husbandmen took His servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another." Matthew 21:35
From the time Jesus ascended off the earth, those messengers who have been called to proclaim God's Word of repentance and separation have been beaten, maligned, and killed. The book "Foxes Book of Martyrs" graphically describes the atrocities God's messengers have suffered throughout history.
"Again, He sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all He sent unto them His son, saying, They will reverence My son." Matthew 21:36-37
Many believe when Matthew recorded Jesus' Words, he was speaking of Jesus, but Jesus did not come at the end of the age, he came at the beginning of the Age of Grace. So, who then is the son Matthew was speaking of? It is the Son Company that is going to be revealed at the time of harvest. Paul revealed this Son Company to the church at Rome:
"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19
This Son Company is going to be manifested at the end of the age. This Son Company will complete the job the husbandmen have failed to do. The whole creation is waiting for this time when God will bring to maturity that which He died for. This is so He might have a people who will come to the full stature of their example, Jesus Christ.
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance." Matthew 21:38
Again many believe Matthew was speaking of Jesus, but is Jesus the heir? Jesus revealed the heirs to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be My son." Revelation 21:7
The overcoming sons of God are the heirs, and are going to inherit all things. Then we need to ask, "How much inheritance do those who do not overcome have?" There will be no inheritance for those who do not overcome!
The religious system will be part of those who do not overcome. They believe that because they are so big, God will have to accept them in His Kingdom. But the truth is, they have killed the overcoming sons message, and have kept their people in the dark to the fact that God has more than what they have given His people. The words of Matthew give these men warning:
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the Kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Matthew 23:13
Matthew continued recording Jesus' parable:
"And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him." Matthew 21:39
The overcoming sons' message is no longer acceptable in the church system, and they set out to destroy those who proclaim the overcoming message. They do this by separation, character assassination, and the threat of bodily harm if they continue. Matthew gives us insight to this time in Matthew 24:
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." Matthew 24:9-10
Truly the words of Matthew are true today. Christians are hated all over the earth. Why? It is because the leaders of this nation, who claim to be Christians, wage war against nations such as Iraq, Afganistan, and other conflicts all over the earth.
Those who call themselves Christian, but act like the world are an offense to those who truly walk with God - - - and those who truly walk with God will be betrayed by those who have taken the name of Christ in word only. These are they who have taken the name of Christ in vain.
But what will happen to those who are part of the Son Company. The Apostle Luke gives us further insight into those who are the overcomers:
"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish." Luke 21:15-18
As Luke declared, the overcoming sons will be betrayed by their own parents, friends, kinsfolk, and brethren. Even though the overcoming sons will be hated because they uphold the name of Christ, they have the promise of Jesus that, ". . . not an hair of their head will perish. . ." .
The Overcoming Sons' Company will be part of the two witnesses Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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
These two witnesses will prophesy for one thousand, two hundred, and three score days. This is the three and one-half years when God's wrath (His judgment) is poured out upon the earth. Jesus proclaimed, ". . . if any man will attempt to hurt them, fire will come out of their mouths and devour their enemies. . .". This fire is the anointed Word of God that will come forth with power. The Psalmist wrote:
"Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter." Psalm 44:22
Paul also used this Scripture to proclaim our victory in Christ:
"As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:36-39
As Paul related, ". . . we are more than conquerors. . .". Nothing in the earth realm or the spiritual realm can harm us as long as we are in Christ Jesus. Matthew continued the parable Jesus put forth:
"When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?" Matthew 21:40
The Lord of the vineyard is Christ Jesus, and all are looking for His return.
"They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render Him the fruits in their seasons." Matthew 21:41
Peter declared, "God's judgment must begin at the house of God, I Peter 4:17." God's judgment will begin with those wicked husbandmen who have destroyed His flock by teaching false doctrines such as rapture, once-saved, always-saved, ultimate and universal reconciliation, and all the other false doctrines of men.
"Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." Matthew 21:43
God is going to give His Kingdom to those who are producing the fruit of the Spirit. Paul mentioned nine of these fruit the overcoming sons must possess:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
There are three other necessary fruit Paul did not mention in Galatians. These are righteousness, Ephesians 5:9, lowliness Ephesians 4:2, and patience, I Timothy 6:11. Those who acquire these twelve fruit will be given the Kingdom. These are the overcoming sons who will inherit all things. Paul informed Timothy to be a good soldier in God's overcoming army:
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." II Timothy 2:3-4
Paul told Timothy to endure hardness, which means he was to endure afflictions and the evil that was being brought against him. He also informed Timothy not to be entangled with the affairs of this life. All of God's end time soldiers are to rise above all governmental influences in their lives. They also need to break the yoke of bondage the church systems have afflicted God's people with, so they may please Him who has chosen them to be in His glorious army. The prophet Joel informed us of God's sold out, overcoming army:
"And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Joel 2:11
The Lord is going to speak, and direct His army. His camp (His army) is very great. Those who execute His Word are very strong (mighty). The word executeth means "to accomplish and to do His work." These are the two witnesses who are going to minister when the Lord pours out His judgment and wrath upon a sinful and godless world.
God's judgment is going to begin at the house of God, with the husbandmen (the leaders of the church system) who have shut out and persecuted the servants God has sent. Joel continues to proclaim the mighty deeds of God's great army:
"They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on His ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded." Joel 2:7-8
Nothing will be able to touch God's overcoming two witness army. Even if they fall upon a sword, they will not be wounded.
"They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief." Joel 2:9
No obstacle will be too great for God's overcoming army. They will carry God's Kingdom message to all those whom God has chosen - - - to those who love God - - - but have been robbed in the church system. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed those to whom God's army will be ministering to:
"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." Isaiah 42:22
Isaiah is speaking of those who love the Lord, but have been trapped in their prison houses of their religious systems. These will finally hear the message of restoration by those in God's army who have the ministry of reconciliation. Isaiah asked the question:
"Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come?" Isaiah 42:23
This time is directly ahead of us! Who are those who are proclaiming this Word? It is the overcomers, God's inheritors, those who have not entangled themselves with the cares of this life. An unknown psalmist informed us of this overcoming army:
"Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." Psalm 91:3
Being caught in the snare of the fowler, means to be trapped. The Psalmist wrote: ". . . surely God will deliver those who are trapped . . ." in their religious systems, ". . . and from the noisome pestilence. . .". The word noisome means "destruction and calamity." The word pestilence means "plague or disease." God made this same promise to the children of Israel:
"And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee." Deuteronomy 7:15
God makes this same promise to His overcoming army. The Psalmist continues:
"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91:4
This is a promise to all the overcomers, to all those who trust in God's truth.
The leaders of the religious system in Jesus day petitioned Herod to kill Jesus. When Jesus, being broken-hearted, looked upon the lost sheep of Israel, He proclaimed:
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" Luke 13:34
God has promised to take all His overcoming Son Company under the wings of His protection. The Psalmist continues:
"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;" Psalm 91:5
God's army has nothing to fear from the arrows that fly by day. These are the ICBM missiles that are a constant threat from those who would destroy us. But God makes more glorious promises:
"Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." Psalm 91:6-7
Disease, famine, and the sword will have no affect on God's glorious army in this last day. They will be in the midst of those who are destroyed in God's judgment, but His army will suffer none of these things. And as the Psalmist declared:
"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked." Psalm 91:8
The day of God's judgment is near at hand, but God's glorious army will not be affected by all the destruction they are about to witness. This is the time God's overcoming army will be glorified. And our prayer should be, "Lord! May I be one of these!" Amen.
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give