by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
God has given us so many ways to gain understanding in His Word. Some of these ways are through types and shadows. Paul informed the church at Colosse:
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Colossians 2:16-17
All the sacrificial offerings and holy days ancient Israel celebrated were only a shadow of things to come. These were given to reveal to the body of Christ what God would be bringing upon the earth.
God also uses direct prophesies in which He reveals an event to all those who have Spiritual eyes to see what His Word is declaring. Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 was one such event.
One of the main ways God gives us insight into the Scriptures is through similitudes. The word similitude means "to be like, to resemble, to liken to, and to compare." The prophet Hosea revealed:
"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." Hosea 12:10
God has spoken by His prophets in similitudes to multiply our vision of what God is doing, or is about to do in the earth today. Today He reveals His similitudes through the ministry of His latter day prophets who only speak by and through His Word.
God shows us similitudes in quotations such as, "in the likeness of", "in the image of", "like unto", "as it was", and "this fulfills." When we see these statements we know God is going to use a similitude to reveal one of His endtime truths. He does this so we can see and fully understand what to expect when we compare today's events with what He has revealed about the past. Jesus spoke:
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man." Luke 17:26
"As it was in the days of Noah . . ." When we use this similitude and compare it with today, we can see the similarity between the days of Noah and our day. God gave us insight of our day when He revealed:
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." Genesis 6:1-2
When mortal man began to multiply on the face of the earth, they became sensual, earthy, and aliens of God. In doing this they lost their relationship with God. Because of this falling away, the daughters they reproduced were raised in an ungodly, sensual manner.
The sons of God were those who were taught the ways of God by God fearing parents. When these potential sons of God saw these worldly daughters, they desired them more than the daughters raised by godly parents. Paul warned the church at Corinth:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness." II Corinthians 6:14
From the beginning God warned against the godly being yoked together with the unbeliever. Today we witness young men who are called to be the sons of God and have been raised in church by Godly parents disregarding this warning and marrying the daughters of mortal man. Moses recorded in Genesis:
"And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3
When these young men or young women violate God's commandments and His examples, then His Spirit will no longer strive with them. In this verse, the word strive has the meaning "to plead a cause, to contend, or to minister." Genesis records:
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of reknown." Genesis 6:4
Today we also have giants in the land: giants in industry, giants in finance, giants in entertainment, giants in ministry, giants in sports, giants in politics, etc.
Many times those who have been raised to fear God and keep His commandments fall away from God when they become successful. When they become giants they desire the daughters of men (party girls or party guys) more than the mate God has chosen for them. They may be giants in their chosen professions, and successful in this life, but they are failures in God. When they become unequally yoked with unbelieving mates, their offspring may become mighty men in this life, yet they have missed God's purpose for their lives. Truly we live in the same time as in the days of Noah:
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
Today wickedness and violence covers the earth, and we have witnessed that every thought of man has become evil continually. Every aspect of life today is touched by wickedness, violence, and evil. All forms of entertainment have become evil and violent. Sex (perverted and otherwise), drinking, and foul language have become expected as part of the entertainment package. Sports have become so violent the participants are injured at an ever increasing rate. Movies, television, newspapers, magazines, music, and every form of what is called entertainment is perverted, violent, and evil to the core. Can God's judgment be far off? Jesus informed us:
"They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." Luke 17:27
Before the flood, man ate, drank, married wives, gave their daughters in marriage until the flood came and took them all away. These are all normal activities. Nothing seemed out of order until it began to rain. People did not change even when they saw the storm clouds gathering. We know by God's Word, He had His voice proclaiming this coming judgment. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, related:
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." II Peter 2:5
Today God's prophetic voice (preachers of righteousness) are proclaiming, "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!" Of all who were on the earth in the time of Noah, he was the only man who found grace in the sight of God. In Noah's day a remnant was all who were saved. As Peter recorded:
"Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water." I Peter 3:20
Today God is longsuffering while He is preparing those who will find grace in His sight. But as in the days of Noah, this will only be a remnant who are living and moving by faith. Paul informed the Hebrews:
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Hebrews 11:7
By faith, Noah condemned the unrighteous world around him, but his faith saved his whole household. Jesus continued His revelation through the pen of Luke:
"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;" Luke 17:28
Much is revealed through the life of Lot. When Lot separated from Abraham, Abraham told Lot to take whatever portion of land he desired. This is the sign of true wealth.
"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest into Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom." Genesis 13:10-12
Lot, as many who call themselves by the name of Christ today, could only see the well watered plains which alluded to prosperity. Lot also pitched his tent toward Sodom. The word Sodom means "burning." All those whose hearts are turned toward Sodom will suffer burning which is the second death.
As we compare the words of Jesus with the day in which we live, it is easy to see that truly this nation and the world is ready for judgment as it was in the days of Noah and Lot. Jesus related that in the days of Lot the people ate and drank. Then Jesus added, they also bought and sold. They carried on business as usual. They also planted and builded. Today there is more building going on then in any other time in history. All the daily activities were normal until Lot was out of Sodom:
"But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." Luke 17:29-30
We may ask why was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? They were destroyed because of their homosexuality, lesbianism, and every other form of sexual perversion. The right name for homosexuality is sodomites. Today the world has watered down this abomination before God and called the sodomite GAY. The word gay means "to be merry, jovial, frolicsome." It denotes more life and animation than being cheerful. What a perverted use of a word! Those who are sodomites are not merry, jovial, or frolicsome. They are miserable, needing to hide their sin, even in a permissive society. Homosexuals are sick in mind, unfulfilled in body, and serve the spirit of darkness. Yet many churches ordain these spiritually sick to be pastors and elders in their denominational orders.
As Jesus stated, "As it was in the days of Lot...". When the angels went to Sodom to warn Lot to flee the city, Lot took them into his home. When the men of the city knew these angels (men) were in Lot's house, they came to Lot's house to have a homosexual affair with them.
"And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him," Genesis 19:6
Lot went out to plead for the safety of those who had come under the protection of his roof.
"And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door." Genesis 19:9-11
The homosexual spirit was so strong in the men of Sodom, even after the angels blinded them, they wearied themselves to find the door. Their homosexual desire was more than the reality of their blindness. Today it truly is as it was in the days of Lot. Most all serial killers, those who kill many people, are homosexual related. They kill to hide their sin.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome. We must understand at the time Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, Rome was steeped in sodomy. The leaders of the nation were open sodomites. Shame was no longer part of their lives. Without a doubt, sodomy and idol worship were two of the main reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. It was because of these conditions Paul informed the church of Rome:
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves." Romans 1:22-24
Today because of man's sensual education (God has been taken out of the public school system) man believes himself to be wise. In reality without God, the best man can become is a fool. Today mankind has made the things of this life their idols, and have forgotten God.
Paul informed the Romans because they dishonored their own bodies between themselves, God had given them up to uncleanness. God allowed them to have their perversion, but His judgment was at the door. Paul continued:
"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (creation) more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" Romans 1:25-28
Today man worships and serves the creature (creation) more than the Creator. This is why God gave them up to their vile (disgraceful) and dishonorable affections (lusts).
Paul informed the church that the women of Rome changed the natural use of their bodies against what God had planned. God intended a woman's body to be cared for, nurtured, and protected. This was because her body was to be used to bear children and keep the home. Today the women want to do man's work and take man's place in the home. This is unnatural and not what God intended for her body.
Many diseases and weaknesses are in the woman's body, not only because of doing manual labor, but because of the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The children she bears many times are born drug addicts or children with cancer. Some are born deformed or with mental illness. Some girls must have hysterectomies when they are yet teens. The list of God's judgments on these sins is endless.
To the men of Rome, Paul wrote about them giving up the natural use of the woman and practicing sodomy. Paul stated they would receive the recompense (reward) of their error. What is the reward sodomites receive for their way of life? Their reward is Aids. God simply takes His healing power out of their bodies. Any disease or illness they are then exposed to, they get. We need never forget God's judgment is always present where sin abounds.
Because the people of Rome refused to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. The word reprobate means "a mind rejected of God." God will no longer convict them of their sin. Because Rome had rejected God, He gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which were not convenient (godly). Paul informed the church at Rome:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" Romans 1:18
Man believes they can get away with their sin, but the wrath of God will be poured out upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Sodom and Gomorrah were given us as examples of how God will judge a nation which allows sodomy to be practiced openly. Today we have sodomites in high office, the military, teaching in schools, marching in our streets, and standing in the pulpits. Can God's wrath be held back much longer? Peter confirms:
"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;" II Peter 2:6
Sodom and Gomorrah are only examples of what God will do to all those who live ungodly. We need to know God not only destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, He destroyed two other cites at the same time:
"And that the whole land thereof is brimstone and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath:" Deuteronomy 29:23
God will not only destroy those who are involved in such activities, He will also destroy all those who will not come out from among those who do such things. But there is deliverance for those who live righteously in this degenerate world:
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their ungodly deeds:" II Peter 2:7-8
Lot was vexed (oppressed) with the filthy conversation (way of life) of the wicked. Lot was the only righteous man in Sodom. His righteous soul was vexed daily by the wickedness around him.
But God had a remnant He would save from the four cities He destroyed. Only Lot, his wife, and their two daughters were saved. When Lot's wife was safe in Zoar, she disobeyed her deliverer, and looked back, desiring those things she was forced to leave behind. As Jesus informed His followers:
"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God." Luke 9:62
If we are to enter into the Kingdom of God, then we must know there is no looking back. Jesus warned all who would hear:
"Remember Lot's wife." Luke 17:32
Why should we remember Lot's wife? She is an example given to all who desire the things of this life more than their obedience to God's Word.
Lot, his wife, and two daughters were God's remnant when He destroyed the cities of the plain. Throughout the history of mankind, God has always had a remnant. He used His remnant to do His mighty works. God never uses the multitudes, He always uses His remnant. Joel explained why God cannot use the multitudes:
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14
The multitudes are still in the valley of decision. God can only use those whose hearts are set, with their minds made up to serve God in whatever capacity available to them. God's holy remnant is not seeking their own glory, but God's glory. Those in the valley of decision cannot be used of God because they are double minded. They cannot choose between serving God or running with the world.
As we begin to search out God's remnant, we need to look at Gideon. Gideon was a man chosen of God to do a mighty work. Gideon was a nobody who had no military expertise. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him, he was threshing wheat by the winepress to hide it from the Midianites who held Israel in slavery;
"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Judges 6:12
Until God's calling, Gideon's life portrayed no mighty works of valor. But God saw Gideon as a mighty man of valour because He knew his end from the beginning. He knew the mighty feats Gideon would perform for Him. Before God could use Gideon, He had to be sure of Gideon's loyalty. So He gave Gideon an important task to perform:
"And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:" Judges 6:25
Baal is the god of plenty and increase. Before God can use any of us, we must first deal with Baal in our lives. His altars in our lives must be cast down. Before God can use any man in a mighty way, the god of plenty and increase must be dealt with in their life. We know by the words of Paul:
"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
The love of money is the root of all evil, and yet this is the main message (prosperity message) in many churches today --- bigger buildings, more people, bigger cars, and expensive clothes. Does this please God? No! Those who look and act like the world have erred from the faith, and have opened themselves up to many sorrows.
Gideon was also instructed to destroy the groves. The groves represents the allurement to go back to that which we have left behind. We may be willing to deal with the idol, but if we do not destroy the allurement, then the grove becomes a constant reminder of the idols in our lives. God gave Gideon further instruction:
". . . build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down." Judges 6:26
Gideon was to build an altar and sacrifice unto the Lord. He was to take the wood from the grove and sacrifice the second bullock unto his God. God made sure the allurement in Gideon's life was completely destroyed. Not only was he to cut down the grove, he was to burn the trees in a sacrifice unto the Lord.
When the men of the city witnessed what Gideon did, they were very angry, and they wanted Joash, Gideon's father to give them Gideon so they could kill him:
"And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? Will ye save him? He that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar." Judges 6:31
Gideon's father told the people, "Will you plead for Baal? Will you try to save your god? If Baal has power, let Baal put Gideon to death because he cast down his altar."
Gideon had proven his faithfulness to his God. The people of the city called Gideon "Jerubaal" which means "let Baal be contended with." If we are to be used of God, then we must prove our faithfulness to Him. When God chooses someone to do a mighty work for Him, He does not check their church attendance record, nor how much they give to missions. What He does look at is how much His Word has changed their lives. Are they living the Word, or just serving their religious spirit? Gideon had proven himself worthy for the task God had set for him.
"And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?" Judges 6:14
Israel was held in bondage by the Midianites. The word Midian means "contention and strife." Today the church system is held in bondage, being slaves to contention and strife. God chose Gideon to be the deliverer from the servitude of the Midianites. When God raises up a deliverer, the enemy always seems to know it.
When God told Gideon to destroy his father's idols and groves, this stirred up contention and strife with the men of the city. God had to prove Gideon to see how he would deal with this contention and strife. Would it affect his thinking or would he continue on as God directed him? The same is true in our lives. Will contention and strife change our direction, or will we continue on in God?
"Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali: and they came up to meet them." Judges 6:33-35
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and the people gathered unto him because they knew God was with him, and in him.
Gideon knew he would have the lives of many men in his hand, so he wanted to be sure he was hearing God clearly and correctly. Twice he put out a fleece of wool, and both times God hearkened unto Gideons' word to let him know he had heard clearly, and was indeed in His will.
When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, he blew the trumpet. Through the use of similitudes, we know the trumpet represents God's prophetic voice. God is going to reveal to us through His prophetic voice how He is going to assemble His end time army, (His remnant).
Gideon assembled His army, and God spoke to him:
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me." Judges 7:2
God knew if the Israelites went to war with a multitude, they would take the credit for the victory. Freeing God's people is His job, and He is to receive the glory and praise. The inspired words of Isaiah informs us:
"I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
God was going to give the victory to Israel, but the glory and praise would be His. God told Gideon:
"Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand." Judges 7:3
God can not use those who are fearful and afraid. The Apostle Paul informed Timothy:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7
Fear is a spirit, and those who have not dealt with the spirit of fear in their lives do not have the power of God, nor do they have a sound mind. God cannot and will not use the fearful in His army. Speaking of those who have not overcome, Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8
The fearful are at the top of the list of those who will partake of the second death. Gideon sent twenty-two thousand fearful home, which left him only ten thousand.
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go." Judges 7:4
Gideon was to bring his army to the water. The water always represents the Word of God. God's army will be brought to the water of the Word. Those who pass the test of the water of the Word will make up God's army. Gideon was to give those who remained another test:
"So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink." Judges 7:5
Those who bowed down upon their knees to drink had their faces in the water. Today many read God's Word, but they have not allowed His Word to change their lives. They may know God's Word, but they live like the world.
Those who took the water in their hands, and lapped like a dog, God could use. But those who bowed down and had their face in the water, Gideon was to send home. Those who lapped the water as a dog were vigilant. While they were partaking of the Word, they were watching. By the Spirit Mark declared:
"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33
Israel was in the midst of the enemy. Today the enemy is all around us, and we need to be vigilant. Jesus warned us of this time when He stated men's hearts would fail them for fear, Luke 21:26. Jesus also admonished us:
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41
We need to be vigilant daily, watching and praying always. Those who depend on their flesh will fail. Only those who are strong in the Word will be prepared for the days ahead. Gideon was told those who had their face in the water, only thinking of satisfying their own need for water, could not be used. The apostle James advised us:
"But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
Those who only have their faces in the water (the Word) to satisfy their personal needs are not doers of the Word. The Word has not changed their lives, nor are they watching.
Gideon ended up with three hundred out of thirty-two thousand, only a remnant of what he had begun with. These are those who were willing to break their earthen vessels, blow their trumpets (prophetic voice), and let the light of God shine forth to defeat the enemy. Paul informed the church at Corinth of the miracle God will perform in His army:
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." II Corinthians 4:6-7
Only the remnant who are willing to break their earthen vessels to let the treasure of God shine forth will be part of His end time army. His army will be made up of the remnant, those whom God has chosen. By the words of Jesus we know:
"For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
When Jesus spoke this, He was speaking of His remnant. The word remnant means "those who are left." Not only are we shown the remnant in similitudes, God gave us His Word in direct prophesy concerning His remnant. When Jesus stated many are called, but only few would be chosen, we need to understand exactly what He was saying. The word chosen is the Greek word EKLEKTOS and means "the elect, choice, the best of its kind, preeminent." Only those who have obtained the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus will be His elect or chosen. In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul related:
"But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." Romans 10:21
Ancient Israel was called of God to be His people, but they became rebellious and turned away from God to serve idols. Then Paul asked the question:
"I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin." Romans 11:1
God has not cast away His ancient people. Paul declared, "I also am an Israelite." But Paul met His Messiah on the road to Damascus. Then Paul declared:
"God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. Wot ye not that the Scripture saith of Elias? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down Thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life." Romans 11:2-3
Paul was quoting the Old Testament where Elijah was lamenting before the Lord because he felt all alone. How many times God's elect feel as they are the only ones! They have been rejected by the church system, and no one seems to understand them. They just do not fit anywhere. This is where Elijah had come. He cried before God:
"And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." I Kings 19:14
Like Elijah, many today are lamenting over the condition of the church, and how lightly the people consider the things of God. Those who are like Elijah are very jealous for their God, and are trying with their whole heart to be counted worthy in His sight. Many times God's chosen feel as if they are the only ones who truly understand the times in which we live. Paul related God's answer to Elijah:
"But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Romans 11:4
In Elijah's day, God had seven thousand who had not bowed their knee to the god of plenty, who were not seeking the wealth and recognition of the world. Their only duty and relationship was to their God. God informed Elijah He had a remnant of seven thousand who had not forsaken their covenant relationship with Him. By the Holy Spirit, Paul assured the church at Rome:
"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Romans 11:5
God has His remnant in the earth according to His election of grace. The word election here is very important. The word election means "the act of picking out, choosing; used of the act of God's free will by which before the foundation of the world He decreed His blessings to certain persons; the decree made from choice by which He determined to bless certain persons through Christ by grace." God's remnant consists of those who were predestined before the foundation of the world. Paul explains this in his letter to the Ephesians:
"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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will," Ephesians 1:4-5
As Paul states, those God has chosen should be holy and without blame because He has predestinated them to the adoption of children. A better translation for the word children would have been sons.
We need to realize God's remnant is for the pleasure of His own will. The more we learn of God, the more we realize how sovereign He is. God is complete and whole within Himself. He does not need to go outside Himself for anything. Those who are chosen to be His remnant according to His election of grace are those who Paul described in his letter to the Thessalonians:
"For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I Thessalonians 4:15-17
Those who are alive and remain are God's remnant who remain after His judgment upon the earth. Those who are dead in Christ are those who have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust, Galatians 5:24, who can proclaim as Paul:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Paul was crucified with Christ, not put to death, but freed to live by the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus. When Paul crucified his flesh, then he began to live the life of Christ by faith in an overcoming way. As Paul stated, those who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds. The clouds represent God's glory. God's remnant will be caught up in His glorious realm.
Paul continued, ". . . we will meet the Lord in the air." The word air is the Greek word AER and means "the atmospheric region." The atmospheric region is where we now dwell on earth. God created man for the earth. The atmospheric region is where man will live with God. As Paul stated, we will meet the Lord in the atmospheric region, and shall ever be with the Lord. God will dwell with His remnant on earth, with those who will fulfill His commission to Adam:
"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:28
God intended for His creation to subdue (bring under their control) everything He created. God also intended for His creation to have dominion. God's remnant will accomplish God's purpose for His creation. This promise is not to the multitudes who are still in the valley of decision. It is only to His remnant.
Today the church system is declaring a great revival at the end of the age. They believe this because of their desire to have full pews and full collection plates. They have overlooked the Scriptures concerning the end of the age. As we consider the prophesy of the ancients we discover:
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God." Zechariah 13:9
The Word declares our God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:29. The fire of God always cleanses or destroys. If we are going to be chosen as God's holy remnant, then we must allow the fire of God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, so we can walk again with our God in the cool of the day.
But those who do not want to be cleansed of their carnal ways and fleshly desires will be destroyed by the fire in what was revealed as the second death.
As God spoke through the pen of Zechariah, He will only bring a third part through the fire. The third part God brings through the fire will make up His remnant. This is not revival, this is judgment, and it must begin in the house of God, I Peter 4:17. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed:
"Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel." Isaiah 17:6
There is a great shaking coming to the body of Christ. Isaiah spoke of the gleaning of grapes. The grapes are gleaned after the harvest. Jesus informs us the harvest is the end of the age. When God shakes His olive tree, there will be few berries (fruit) remaining on the tree. Those two or three or four or five are the remnant that remain after the shaking. Isaiah also declared:
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10
God's remnant will be chosen in the furnace of affliction. The furnace is where each one God chooses will be purified. God's remnant will be without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blame, Ephesians 5:27. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, informed us:
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:" I Peter 4:12
We should not think it strange when God turns up the heat to purify us as His pure gold and silver. Peter also explains the reason for God's fiery trials:
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" I Peter 1:7
God must purify His body if we are to be a praise, honour, and glory to Him when He comes to be glorified in His saints, II Thessalonians 1:10. The message for God's people in the end of the age is a purification process. God is not going to accept those in His Kingdom who are luke-warm, uncommitted, and unpurified. He is going to vomit these out of His mouth, Revelation 3:16.
Peter gave us insight concerning God's holy remnant on the Day of Pentecost. Peter declared what happened on the Day of Pentecost was prophesied in the Old Testament:
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;" Acts 2:16
Then Peter quoted Joel 2, almost word for word until he got to verse twenty-one. Peter quoted this verse:
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter used Joel 2 as a salvation message. God opened His plan of salvation to whosoever would call upon the name of the Lord. But this was not the words spoken by the prophet Joel. Joel stated:
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." Joel 2:32
Joel declared that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord in the end of this age shall be delivered. The word call has the meaning of "seeking with your whole heart." The word delivered means "to escape and to save one's life." Our deliverance comes in Mount Zion, God's holy mountain. We understand by Paul's letter to the Hebrews:
"But ye are come unto Mount Sion, (Zion) and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." Hebrews 12:22
Mount Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem, or the New Jerusalem. On the Isle of Patmos, John was given a vision of the holy city, New Jerusalem:
"And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2
The Holy City was prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. This holy city was coming down from God out of heaven (the Spiritual realm). When Joel related our deliverance was in Mount Zion, he was not declaring a salvation message to the whosoever will. His message was to the remnant whom the Lord shall call. Those who God has called will make up His holy city. These are the bride of Christ, Revelation 21:10.
It becomes obvious to those who have Spiritual eyes to see God's Word, that there will not be a great revival in the end of the age, but rather a great falling away. Paul declared to the church at Thessalonica:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" II Thessalonians 2:3
Today the church is being deceived by the once-saved message, the message of ultimate and universal reconciliation, the eternal security message, and the biggest deception of all, the teaching of the rapture of the church.
Paul declared the day of the Lord will not come until there comes a great falling away from the Word of God and the life of God. Truly we are living in that day. Also the man of sin in each of our lives must be revealed and dealt with before the day of the Lord can come.
Only the remnant who are seeking Him with their whole heart will make up God's Holy City in that day. When Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem on His final trip, one of His disciples asked:
"Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." Luke 13:23-24
When Jesus' disciples asked if there would be few in number saved, Jesus admonished His disciples to strive to enter in at the strait gate. The word Jesus used for strait is the Greek word STENOS and means "narrow or close." The word does not mean "straight" as walking a rigid line. Jesus was telling His disciples if they were to enter into His Holy City, they must have a close walk with their God. Then Luke continues:
"When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us: and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:25-28
Those who do not have a close walk with their God will not enter into the Kingdom of God. Jesus related His answer was, "I know you not whence you are." Jesus was saying He did not know where they were coming from because He never had had a personal relationship with them.
When the people declared they had eaten and drank in His presence and had even taught in the streets (broad ways), His words were simply, ". . . depart from me ye workers of iniquity." The word iniquity means "unrighteousness of heart and life." It also means "violation of God's law and justice." Jesus reminded the people those who eat and drink in His presence (taking communion) unworthily would not enter in. Those who taught the Word of God by their religious precepts and doctrines of men also would not be allowed in His presence.
There will truly be weeping and gnashing of teeth when the people who do not have a close walk and relationship with God witness Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, and they are not allowed to be a part. When Matthew recorded Jesus' words, he related them a little different:
"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven. But the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:11-12
The children of the Kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness (the wrath of God). Children are those who have never come to maturity. They have remained babies, unskilled in God's Word and His ways. These are those who have been called, but have not been chosen.
Those who enter in at the strait gate are God's remnant. These have a close personal relationship with their God. The prophet Jeremiah gave a severe warning to the pastors:
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:2
The denominational orders have been a divisive force in the body of Christ. Their doctrines and creeds have divided and scattered God's flock. Those who are part of this perversion of God's Word will be visited because of their evil doings. But God has promised those who are sold out to His Kingdom and His Kingdom ways:
"And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." Jeremiah 23:3-5
Our God will prevail, and those who have an intimate relationship with their God will be gathered unto Him. As He has promised, He will set proper shepherds over the flock to teach them of His ways in truth. They will not be dismayed, nor will they be lacking anything. God will be their total supply. God is going to raise up a righteous branch, and that righteous branch will be His remnant.
We need to realize God has not lost the battle. Sometimes we feel like Elijah who cried out, "Lord, am I the only one?" God still has a people who have not bowed the knee to Baal (the god of plenty). He has those who, like Abraham, have become His friends. He also has those, who like Lot, whose souls are vexed when they witness the unrighteousness and violence all around them. But we have the words of Jesus:
"Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." Luke 12:32
God's little flock is His holy remnant. Strive not for the wealth of this life, but strive to enter in so you too can sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in that day. We know we have been called, the only question that remains is, "Will we be chosen?"
The following is an outline of the contents of this book for Further Discussion
The Sons of God
The Daughters of Men
The Noah Remnant
The Lot Remnant
Remember Lot's Wife
The Gideon Remnant
Few Are Chosen
Elect Or Chosen
The Predestined Remnant
The Alive and Remain Remnant
God's Seven Thousand
A Third Brought Through the Fire
The Olive Tree Remnant
The Great Falling Away
The Righteous Branch
Come home to New Foundations Home Page
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give