The Hour of Separation

It is a time of separation. Jesus told the parable of the separation of the sheep and the goats. He also told the parable of the separation of the wheat and the tares. This is a very difficult thing to see. Jesus spoke the following in Mat. 13:

10  And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11  He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12  “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

13  “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14  “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;

15  For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’

16  “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

Jesus said that it had been given for His disciples to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to the multitudes it had not been given. In verse 13 Jesus said that He spoke in parables because seeing, they do not see, and hearing, they do not hear, nor do they understand. How could Jesus say such a thing? It is because our inability to see and hear and understand is determined by ourselves, thus we are held accountable. Verse 15 speaks of how the hearts of the people had grown dull, and their eyes had closed and their ears hard of hearing. This is all speaking of our spiritual faculties. Verse 15 holds a very important key of judgment. The lack of seeing, hearing, and understanding is a willful choice that is made. Continue reading

Zeal for Your House Shall Consume Me

The boldness and zeal necessary to confront the spirit of this age comes only through the work of the cross. It is only as Christ’s nature is experientially worked in us that we find His zeal also consuming us. Passivity and lukewarmness are traits of the Adamic nature. The secular push for tolerance and diversity spring from the Adamic nature, not God’s. It is true that there is a false zeal, a false boldness, that springs from the religiosity of Adam. This too must be crucified. Paul expressed this spiritual boldness perfectly in Gal. 6:17. “From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.”

The prophet Elijah was another man of boldness. He confronted the prophets of Baal, and after humiliating them and proving them false, slew them with the sword, all 450 of them. Such zeal is distasteful to Adam’s religiosity. Why is it that false Christianity has no backbone? Why does it play into the hands of the politically correct, antichrist spirit dominating Western culture right now? Jesus answers this question in John 16. Continue reading

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Mark 1
14 ¶  Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

Let’s look first at the phrase, “The time is fulfilled.” This statement is somewhat misleading. The word “fulfilled” is past tense, implying it has already taken place. The Greek word for fulfilled is pleroo. It more accurately means the time or season has come to the full. In other words, it is happening. It is a present manifestation, not a past one. It is difficult for Christians to grasp this truth. Everything tends to be put in the past or future. The soulish realm of religion is two dimensional. It cannot grasp the reality of the “now realm” of the spirit. Jesus came forth in the fullness of times preaching that the kingdom of God was at hand. His kingdom was proclaimed at the beginning of His earthly ministry.

No less than four times is the phrase, Gospel of the Kingdom, used by Jesus. Let’s read the passages.

Mat. 4:23
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

Mat. 9:35
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

Luke 16:16
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

 Mat. 24:14
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Now, what is this gospel of the kingdom? The gospel preached in Christianity is salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This was the message proclaimed by Peter on the day of Pentecost. But Jesus had not yet been crucified when He preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. He was not proclaiming His mission of dying on the cross for us. So, what was the gospel He was preaching? There is no kingdom without a king. The gospel of the kingdom is the proclamation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God is not a doctrine, but a spiritual realm. Jesus stated in John 18 that His kingdom was not of this earthly realm. The kingdom of heaven is an order, a divine order, with Christ as its head. Jesus told many parables likening the kingdom of heaven to various scenarios. Mathew 13 is known as the chapter of the parables of the kingdom. In each of those parables, such as the wheat and the tares and the pearl of great price, we see the kingdom of heaven as a realm in which a plumb line is laid. Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed as Lord. Ironically, Christianity while attesting to this truth, does not walk in it. Christianity is like the early Pharisees who preached and taught doctrines that they themselves did not live.   Continue reading

Searching Jerusalem With Lamps

Zep. 1:12:

“It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good or evil!’

We want to focus on the first part of this verse. “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps…” We are in a time of God searching spiritual Jerusalem with lamps. Lamps are indicative of illumination by the Holy Spirit. Mal. 3 says:

16  Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
17  “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”
18  So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. Continue reading