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Journey to the rapture 3

October 13, 2013
By Chris

"And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."  2 Kings 2:4, 5

Jericho is our third stop on our journey.  Jericho is the first triumph over their enemies after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River.  There is a curse that comes with the enemies of God (Joshua 6:26), Achan succumbed to this (Joshua 7).  Overcoming is accomplished by believing God's word and doing what is said.

Many know the battle to overcome the flesh by the spirit in us, but do not know the conflict that rages between believers and wicked people, or even wicked spirits (Eph. 6); the battle is many times between believers and Satan with his evil forces.  We, as children of God, are frequently attacked by wicked neighbours, Jericho was in the way of the Israelites marching into the Promised Land.  Even those of our own family and household can keep us from where we should be with God.  Our own emotions or thoughts can attack us if we do not guard against them.  These attacks will increase in severity as the Lord's return draws nearer at hand.  These attacks are designed to keep believers from serving the Lord, from worshipping God, trusting in God, by seeming distress or trials.

These attacks can be overt attacks directly at us.  They can also be subtle attacks that we are not aware of.  Without clear spiritual insight we cannot understand why things are against us; why there is great terrible confusion and trouble.  We end up taking these things as natural, random occurrences, and not realize the actual enemies against us, or how we left ourselves open for attack.  Achan missed out on the Promised Land because of the attack of lust, of desiring what our enemies have.  We too can miss out on the Rapture by the things of this world taking the place of godly things, of our relationship with God.

In these last hours as wickedness and temptations grow greater and greater it is extremely important for we as believers to recognize the enemy and know how to fight and overcome.  As Achan, even if we overcome the flesh and the world, we will not be able to make great progress or victory if we fail to overcome the works of the enemy.

The success over Jericho was not accomplished by anything the Israelites did, nor their strength, but to 1) the word of God; not care about circumstances and feelings, but believe the word of God, its promises that the enemy will be put to flight.  2) the position the children of Israel took. Believers must stand in the heavenly position which Christ has given to us, keeping Satan and his evil spirits on the lower ground. 

"And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory."  2 Sam. 23:11-12

As the Israelites around Jericho, it is a position that does not bring victory or glory to men, but to God.  With God all things are possible.  All things will be possible when we rely on God and give him all the glory that is due him.

Without the word of God and without taking the position God has given us by faith, there can be no victory over the enemy.

Journey to the Rapture 2

September 09, 2013
By Chris

Our first step in the journey to the Rapture was at Gilgal where we "rolled away" our flesh and turned ourselves over to God to work in us and through us.  Our second journey is to Bethel.

 

Bethel

"And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Beth-el.  And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."  2 Kings 2:2, 3

In Genesis 12:8, Abraham built an altar in Bethel to worship the Lord.

"And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord."

The altar was for communicating with God, offering sacrifices to God, being wholly given to God.

With Abraham's journey into Egypt there is no recorded altar being built.  His relationship with God was interrupted.  We even see a lack of faith in his part, his telling Sarah to say she is his sister so his life would be spared instead of trusting in God for protection.  As we go deeper into the world the less we rely on God and trust in what the world has to offer.  Thus Bethel is all that is contrary to Egypt, the world.

Gen. 13:3, 4, Abraham goes back to Bethel, and there called on the name of the Lord again.  He returned to the altar he had built previously, returned to the relationship with God after spending time in the world (Egypt).

Gilgal is overcoming the flesh.
Bethel is overcoming the world.

Overcoming the world is a condition for rapture and for power of the Holy Spirit.  The world must be unable to touch our hearts, our lives.  Our thoughts, words, deeds, must show we are separated from the world and no longer belong to it.  Do people see we are separated?  Or do we secretly, or openly, long for the things of the world?  Do we praise men or seek the praise of men.  Then we have our reward instead of what we could receive from God.

If our heart has not completely overcome the world, if the people, places and things, events of this world, have not lost their place in us, then there is a place not turned over to God and we will not be able to arrive at our goal.  No power or Rapture.

There is a price to be paid in earning our reward.  If we expect to be Raptured or filled with the Holy Spirit we must forsake the world and learn to commune with God at the altar of consecration.

So many will complain life was so much easier and happier when they walked South to Egypt.  There may not be too many famines in Egypt (the world), it always has its old grain to draw from, the worldly machinations for those that trust, or live, in it.  Canaan, the promised land, frequently had famine, spiritually.  Those in the world will always have the pleasures of the world, but Christians may have lean times (trials) in forsaking the world.  We need our trust in God.  However great is the trial of the saint in obedience to God, the end result is far greater in blessedness.  With the trial is always a way out with God (1 Cor. 10:13).  We should not be overwelmed or overcome.  We should be ever watchful and faithful.  Trials are the way to power in the Spirit and to the Rapture.  Trials build strength along the way when we throw off the world and let God have control.

Not watching will always lead back to Egypt, and no consecration or communion with God.  To stay in Egypt is to sin for a season.  Some may even take a slow path to Egypt, as Abraham,  moving toward the South.  the south was the direction toward Egypt, but not arriving there at once.  Some Christians could be living in the South, half in the world and half with God.  In the South there is also no communion with God, James 4:4.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

Bethel is an absolutely separated place, neither in Egypt, or the South, of worldly compromising.

The Israelites did not have an altar to God in Egypt.  God gave specific directions to the Israelites to leave Egypt and to travel three days' journey (Ex. 8:25-27).

In Egypt they might have the passover because God had there delivered them from the penalty of sin which is death; but for them to come under the name of the Lord and to worship Him, they, we, must leave Egypt.

Journey to the Rapture

September 04, 2013
By Chris

I finished reading Watchman Nee's A Balanced Life and was very blessed by the words of wisdom that the Holy Spirit had poured out through him.  Let me relate the last chapter to you in four parts.  Each part is a necessary step for worthiness of the rapture.

The text is 2 Kings 2:1-14

Elijah and Elisha are walking from Gilgal to the Jordan River, as it is told to Elisha, that Elijah will be taken from him in a whirlwind.  This journey to the Rapture is one every Christian should make.

Gilgal

"And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day."  Joshua 5:9

The first part of the journey is Gilgal, 2 Kings 2:1.

In Joshua 5:9 we find the meaning of Gilgal.  It means "rolled away."  Gilgal is where the Israelites, who were born in the wilderness journey, circumcised all the males before going into the Promised Land.  The circumcision "rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you."  The world, the flesh, was "rolled away" so that they may enter the new life and inherit their inheritance. That is what we are to do, put off the body the sins of the flesh, Col. 2:11.

Our flesh sins and is condemned by God:

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  John 3:5

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."  1 Cor. 50

The flesh then hinders a believer's walk with God.  See also Matt. 26:41; Rom. 7:5, 13:14; Gal. 5:17.

And in our flesh we may see goodness, gentleness, good works, or wisdom.  But even the best of the goodness of the flesh does not please God.  God does not get glory or honour from our goodness.  Romans 8:8.  God does not have use for what we can do, he doesn't get the glory.  But it is when his Holy Spirit works through us, when it is not us but God, doing things that we could not accomplish on our own, then He gets all the glory and praise and we will be blessed for that.  Remember Enoch, Gen. 5:22-24.  "He was not; for God took him."  "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Heb. 11:5.  Enoch put off his flesh and preached against sin, he was raptured before the judgment of the flood.

So Gilgal is where the physical flesh was cut off and judged.  This is where we today judge our flesh.  It is no good to God, it is filthiness and nothing but darkness, but with the flesh put off we can shine with the light of God.  No more what we can do, but God working in us and through us.

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:"  Col. 2:11.  Also Rom. 13:12; Col. 3:8, 9.  Our flesh, the fleshly wicked nature must be circumcised, cut off from the sin. As Christians we must realize the full impact of being crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6).  We are raised in the likeness of Christ, who knew no sin, therefore we are to deny the flesh and sin not against our most holy Lord and God.

The greatest achievement of a spiritual life is not our regeneration, or sanctification, or victory over sin, it is instead the denying of the flesh and allowing the Holy Spirit to use us for his purposes.

Without the starting from Gilgal, this rolling away, cutting off of the flesh, we have not really commenced the true spiritual journey.  We won't really know or understand what true spiritual life in God is.  A person can be zealous in good works, faithful, happy, but still will have no conception of real spiritual life, and service toward God in the Spirit.

Thus, to take the first step in our journey we must put off our flesh for the new life.

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