“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.
We are at an hour of the separation of the wheat and the tares. This applies to us as individuals as well the body of Christ as a whole. When Jesus told the parable of the wheat and tares, it was not directed towards the world, but God’s people. Much has masqueraded as being of God. It as John saw in Rev. 13:11: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.” Jesus spoke in Mat. 7:
21 ¶ “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Peter tells us in 2nd Pet. 3:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 ¶ Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…
Rev. 19-21 speaks of the Bride of Christ. She is clothed in fine linen, bright and clean. Paul states in Eph. 5 that the Lord might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
This is all wonderful and true. Religion will rejoice in this truth all day long. But if we hear His word for this hour, we must be concerned with the practical side of this revelation. How do we go from what we are to participating in a Bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish? Nothing can be assumed. “Oh, the word says we are His wonderful bride!” The word only applies to those who enter into it. Rev. 19:7 says: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” The Bride has made herself ready. This implies action on her part. Now, we know that no amount of religious endeavors can make us righteous. We cannot make our selves “ready” from a human standpoint. Then what does this all mean? Jeremiah wrote: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” How then can we know our own hearts? David cried out in Psalm 139:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
David was called a man after God’s own heart. He had a tenderness in his heart towards the Lord. It’s an attitude of heart that God is looking for. When our hearts are right before God, He can then impart all His righteousness to us. Let’s read the parable of the tax collector and Pharisee.
10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Both the tax collector and Pharisee had the same nature. One was no more righteous than the other. What made the difference was the attitude of heart. The tax collector knew what he was in himself. Consequently, he humbled himself before God, beating his breast. Jesus said the tax collector went to his house justified. Having a revelation of ourselves in Adam cannot be overstated. The humble of heart know the roots of their nature. It is in this climate that we learn to appropriate all of God’s righteousness. The Bride will be without spot, wrinkle, or blemish because she has learned how to put on God’s righteousness. She will have appropriated His nature.
There is not one of us, if we are honest, that can say we are without blemish. The key is in knowing it. Standing as the tax collector constitutes the prepared heart God is looking for. If we cry to Him as David did, if we allow Him to search us with lamps, we will never miss out. The mystical transfer of Christ’s nature to us and the removal of Adam’s is accomplished in this vetting of our hearts before God. All that has been theoretical, yet real to us by revelation, will be made practical and viable in us.
It is not unbelief to acknowledge that His promises, while real to us, have not had their full expression in us. Paul said in Gal. 5:5: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” In Romans 8, the great chapter on sonship, Paul says:
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
God is giving us the practical step into His fullness. We don’t want to be those standing outside seeking to enter but not being able. A prepared heart will take us into fulfillment. A prepared heart will cry for God to search it with lamps.
1 ¶ Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?
2 “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.