Eph. 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify [set it apart] and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”.
Today in the earth, humanity is hearing a sound of travail and a groaning expressed, unknowingly, through the life-styles that each person lives. Unbeknown to the many this travail and groaning is expressing a desire to be delivered from every form of corruption that envelopes all of creation. This deliverance shall come as the kingdom of God expresses itself, that all those receiving deliverance might experience God’s glorious and offered liberty. Rom. 8:21-23 declares, “Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now”. As this world groans another cry can also be heard, a cry that is shouting out, where is the glory of God’s latter house spoken of in scripture? In considering this question, let us remember the statement made by Samuel, a judge and prophet in Israel, to rebellious King Saul.
1 Sam. 15:22-23, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you from being king”. In this truth concerning obedience, where is it that the modern day rebellious church stands? According to the above scripture, the church has also rejected God’s word. Therefore, they are not able to become God’s present day dwelling place. In the eyes of the world, what kind of reputation does this adulterous church have? Where do you individually stand in these matters? In this know, that Christ is even now looking for and appearing to a church, a people who are without spot and wrinkle.
With Gods, end-time commission resting upon a first-fruit ministry and then extending unto a purified church, His bride, they are becoming a people filled with the power and authority that only comes from God. This power and authority is the results of a relationship likened unto a husband and his wife, a relationship that follows the experience that came upon the disciples in the upper-room on the Day of Pentecost. In this, know that this first-fruits ministry shall know and experience a glory beyond the glory of the former house Israel and the early church. These will dwell in the glory of God’s latter house when both the early and latter rain fall together, a moving into the Holiest of All, the throne room authority of Christ Jesus. In this, Peter and John moved beyond the fear they experienced when Jesus was, in death, taken from them.
This fear, temporary in action, caused Peter to know the experience of denying Jesus, the Christ. But now, with the indwelling Holy Spirit, they moved in obedience to manifest the power and authority of God from within. Acts 3:4-8, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, look on us. So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you: In the name [the nature, the same spirit that was in Jesus was now manifesting through them] Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand [Peter had learned the right way from the wrong way days earlier when he went fishing] and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength”.
Thus, we see fear replaced with the boldness that is the product of obedience to God. In this, we must remember that obedience is better than sacrifice. This lesson had been taught to and learned by Peter while earlier (some ten days or so) when at the seashore going fishing. This is the activity he returned to after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. But now, concerning the healing of the lame man, while no longer depending upon the natural realm of silver and gold, Peter now had the things of the heavenly spiritual realm of God to share. What method used and how does most of the Christian Community of today react?
Let’s take note of the occasion when Peter, while not yet filled with the Holy Spirits anointing, he seemingly felt so alone because of Jesus’ death and resurrection and it moved Him to living only in the natural realm. While feeling that he no longer had Jesus’ immediate presence, Peter did what most natural minded men would do, he went fishing, reverting to his old life-style. Is this not the major problem with today’s modernistic carnal minded church? Having removed themselves from the influence of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, they find themselves responding to the carnal activities, which always lean to depending upon the old life-styles of the carnal mind. John 21:3 says, “Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing. They said to him, we are going with you also. They went out and immediately got into the boat [boat of the carnal mind], and that night they caught nothing”.
The church, called to be a light unto the world, called to be the children of the day, find they are working only for themselves and their own kingdoms while using the tools of the night (no spiritual enlightenment). Night, also speaks of the darkness that covers the earth with gross darkness griping the minds of today’s carnal minded church ministries and members. However, let us take note that Christ makes Himself available to those who need Him and have a desire to know Him. Herein Christ brings forth the morning, the light of life realm as He stands before the church of today with this declaration from John 21:4-5, “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore: Yet the disciples did not know it was Jesus [today’s Christian Community likewise, with the first-fruits now appearing, do not as yet recognize the Christ that is making Himself available in and through these first-fruits]. Then Jesus said to them, children have you any food? They answered Him, no”.
What about the groaning church of today with all the seemingly advancements in their carnal works, their numerical growth and so-called prosperity messages, do they have any spiritual food? Here, the necessary lesson, that there is a right way and a wrong way in responding to the things of God. Understanding is needed for all believers everywhere. A knowing that nothing of the carnal mind can become spiritual food for God’s people. Nothing coming from natural fleshly talents, nor carnal knowledge and experiences, help or is it considered the right way.
Today’s ministry and church members must understand, it is only in obedience to the Holy Spirits anointing and leading that results in food for those who are spiritually hungry. John 21:6, “And He said to them, cast the net on the right side [there is a wrong side or way of doing things] of the boat, and you will find some. So they cast [obedience], and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish”. Remember, they had fished all night while using all the wrong methods, working without any spiritual leadership and understanding without having any success, this speaks of failure. The old nature does not profit nor increase spirituality.
Carnal methods are the spots and wrinkles that hinder Christ in making His presence known among these many adulterous groups. These are groups who depend upon self’s ability, even as the lukewarm Laodicean church as revealed in Rev. 3:14-22 (please read). Herein, today as then, judgment stands before this lukewarm church, the beginning of judgment as the ministry of God’s first-fruits appear. That is to say, we must recognize the need and be willing to know and experience the ongoing pre-requisite established by God for this appearing of Christ’ first-fruit ministry. This pre-requisite and the foregoing necessity is as stated in John 21:18-19.
Therefore let us hear what the Spirit of Christ is speaking to the church, “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger [a people that is spiritually immature], you girded yourself [dressed self-according to the understandings of their immaturity and carnal doctrines and traditions of man] and walked where you wished [ordered their own life-styles patterned after selfish ways and desires – church’s promoting a gospel that feeds carnality and not the spiritual needs of the spirit and soul of the people]; but when you are old [spiritually mature because of a daily dying to self], you will stretch forth your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish [speaking of a dying that is the results of obedience to God alone]. This He spoke signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, follow me”.
This truth, as spoken to Peter applies to all those called to be ministers of the kingdom of God. Today’s ministers have a need for obedience, which brings a death to the self-life, allowing them to follow Christ Jesus alone. Christ, where He is now in the Father is where we belong. Does He not sit at the Fathers right hand, with an extended hand to every recruited overcomer that they might also sit with Him in the throne-room of His power and authority? This throne-room authority is the coming forth of today’s first-fruits and the purified church that is establishing God’s kingdom in all the earth. Can you not hear God calling and are you willing to respond? Are you part of those called ones, called to be a part of God’s last day ministry to the last day church? Are you willing to reach out for God’s heart, for His kingdom to manifest itself through you, in establishing God’s kingdom in all the earth? These overcomers are God’s last day ministers given to purify the church. Therefore, hear God’s call and come forth in the power and authority of that sent Holy Spirit.