We Are on the Threshold
May 1, 2005
(For printable version click here.)
Father, we are so very thankful for the presence of the living God. We thank You, Father, that You purposed in Your heart from the beginning to walk and to talk in the midst of humanity, to bring forth the revelation of divinity, to bring forth, my God, the manifestation of what You desired from the beginning of time. Even before time began, Your desire was that which we are now seeing. We are living in the timeframe, and on the threshold of the coming forth of the revelation of the manifestation of the Sons of God. Oh Father, we thank You for that position. We thank You for that revelation. We thank You for that understanding. We thank You for this opportunity to manifest, oh God, that virtue and that character that is CHRIST. Hallelujah! Paul aptly put it so purposefully and expressly, Lord. He said, “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Oh God, we proclaim that glory today. We exalt that glory today. We exalt that position of manifestation; we ask, God, for that unveiling in the rending of this old flesh, that we might bring forth, oh God, Your Church, in the fullness of what You have ordained it to be, and that it will be because that is what You have desired.
Father, we just break the power of sin, oh God, that has had such a sway, such a hold upon our lives. It has influenced and developed personalities. It has brought forth a manifestation that is something other than God. We come against that sin. Oh God, Paul aptly wrote about it in Romans. Father, we are asking You, it is no more I that do it, but it is sin within me (Romans 7:17). We come against that nature, we come against that spirit, we come against that ministration of death and desolation. Let it be swallowed up, oh, even in the life that is of God, let it be devoured, let it be, oh God, revoked in resurrection.
Oh God, we pray that You would bring forth a revelation of Your Son within us. Help us today, Father, as we minister the Word, and as we bring forth that which is upon Thy heart, not our heart, but Your heart. Father, we ask that You anoint our ears, Father, that You anoint our eyes, You anoint, even our bodies, our flesh, Father, that itmight permeate us, oh God. Oh God, that we might soak it up, that we might hear it, that we might understand it. Oh God, that the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, we might know what is Your inheritance in us. Oh my God, we pray for the revelation and the unveiling of the mighty Christ. Oh God, help us today. Break the bread of life to us. Bring forth Your Word, bring forth Your anointing, bring forth Your unction in Jesus’ Name. In Jesus’ Name. Praise the Lord. Glory to God.
Praise the Lord. Can you say, “Amen?” I am very excited about the Word that is coming forth in this hour. I am very excited about it. I’m excited about what God is doing. I know that whenever God brings a Word, that that Word is the prelude to the fact of what God is going to do. There is a ministry that God is raising up in the earth today that is heralding, that is proclaiming the coming of Jesus Christ. That is what I am excited about. I am excited about the fact of Jesus Christ’s coming, and the way that He has chosen to come is that He wants to come in you before He comes in the actuality and the appearing that is written about in the scriptures.
Father, we come by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ today. We are asking for Your unction, Your anointing. We bind every spirit that is contrary to the flow, to the moving and to the will of God. Father, we do not want to proclaim man’s intellect. We want to proclaim Jesus Christ, Him crucified and resurrected, His intent, His purpose from the beginning of time, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
As many of you know, I have been doing quite a bit of traveling. It seems like I pack my bag and get on an airplane. Anytime I pack my bag it means I’m getting on an airplane. When I get home, I unpack my bag and get on a tractor. So, I am either flying or plowing. But both are doing the will of God, so I can get a blessing out of both. I want to share with you that God talks to me as much out there plowing, going back and forth across the ground, as He does when I am in a place of ministering and the Word of God is flowing, because it is all like a plow breaking up fallow ground, getting it ready to receive the seed. You know, one of my most favorite times, other than harvest, is this time of the year, in all of the planting. It is a lot of hard work, but you get out there and things begin to change color; they begin to come alive. The whole terrain begins to bloom and it just kind of seems to affect your attitude. The sun is up and you start smiling more. It should be the other way around. We should smile when it is cloudy so as to chase the clouds away so that the son – the “S-o-n” – might shine forth.
But in all of that, there have been a lot of things that the Lord has been showing me about the whole situation, and I would like to share them with you. I personally believe that the Word that I am bringing is not a new Word, but it is a Word, I believe, that is encapsulated, it is combined, it is condensed. You have to take it and chew on it and break it down. You have to ingest it. You have to go to God about it so that what God is speaking to me, God can speak to you. So that what God is making life to me, God can make life to you. I can guarantee that if you do that with the Word, then you will be the beneficiary, you will see the results of all of that in the fact of the presence of God as He begins to come forth in you.
One of the problems with the church has been the lack of response. God’s Word demands a response, and no response is a response. God’s Word demands a response. You will either respond in a negative way, or you will respond in a positive way. A positive way is going to God like the cow goes to the grass: he goes out, he grazes, he chews it, he takes it down, he brings it up, he chews it, he takes it down, he brings it back up again. Seven times, I believe, is the time factor that is given to a cow in the digestion of what he grazes. So it is also with us. The Word of God demands a response. A lot of times, with the Word of God, that IS the Word of God, a lot of tribulation comes into our lives. Trouble starts to happen, crises starts to form, and we find ourselves in the midst of a failure. Instead of becoming depressed and cast down about it, we should be rejoicing because that is evidence of the fact that the Word is really working in the arena of our lives.
Tribulation can come in many different ways. It can come physically; it can come mentally; it can come emotionally; it can come personality-wise; it can come financially. Tribulation can come in many different forms, many different ways, and all of it is designed to do something other than depress us or defeat us. The sad case of the church is that we do not necessarily, at this point in time for some reason or another, understand the necessity for tribulation. We don’t look at tribulation as something to be desired. Not desired in the fact that, “Oh boy, tribulation, I want to be tribulated,” but tribulation on the basis of the fact of what it will bring. In order to know what it will bring, you have to know for what purpose it was designed and you have to understand what is in the mind of God.
Most of our perspective of God is from down here upward, because of the element of time and the world that we live in. That is a wrong perspective. We have to get an upward, outward, out-of-ourselves perspective. You know, Brother Femi said a very good thing. He said, “Who are you?” That is a valid question. We need to ask ourselves, “Do we know who we are?” A very good word. Do we know who we are? Or who it is that we should be? Hallelujah! We sang several songs this morning that had something of that subject content in them.
Turn with me to I John chapter 3, because I think that is the foundation on which we can build the premise of who we are. I John 3:1, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us… Now, the “us” is you and me. John was not just writing to the church of his day and his age, because John was not looking at the church of his day and his age. John had an eternal perspective and that is the first thing that you and I have to change, or have to ask God to change for us, because we can’t really do it outside of God. Is the perspective that we have ETERNAL or is it TEMPORAL? Does it pertain to the realm of eternity, or does it pertain to the realm of time?
Let us look at it this way. (See Diagram I) You have eternity (#1), and God has been refining this thing. It is so simple and so basic, it is almost amazing. It is amazing. It just kind of blows my mind. But I used to call this Yahweh, I used to call this God, but God corrected me. He said, “I AM!” (#3) That’s how God described Himself when Moses asked, “Who shall I say sent me?” And He said, “I AM.” Say, “I AM THAT I AM.” Now, we may not understand it in the English vernacular, because of the way that it is used, but it has the meaning of being the sum total of everything. Take this thought, and go into the gospel of John. What it must have been like to sit at the feet of John. We talk about sitting at the feet of Jesus. That would have been great, absolutely. But just to sit at John’s feet and to hear the words that were coming out of his mouth, because the man was not talking about his temporal realm. The man was not talking about the realm in which he was living in. He always had his eyes fixed on a heavenly position and his heart was dwelling in the land that was eternal.
Paul was another one. He says, “I press towards the mark of the high calling” (Philippians 3:14). He had a revelation, he had an understanding that was outside of his humanity. Hallelujah! His eyes also were focused on something other than himself. That man could not have suffered what he suffered, and gone through what he went through if his eyes were on himself. The thing he would have been doing in that condition and that place would have been looking for the quickest door out, the way of escape, the way to ease and comfort. Ease and comfort is a door that is temporal, and it is a door that pertains to the realm of time that is temporal. Hallelujah! Whereas Paul said in Corinthians, “I glory in nothing but…” What? “In Him that is crucified. He said I preach nothing but Him that is crucified” (I Corinthians 9:16). So he had to have an eternal perspective. You and I have to have an eternal perspective. I don’t mean in the sense of some day, somewhere, I’m going to make it into heaven. You and I have to overcome that thought. Did you know that? Because it is so ingrained in the doctrine that we have been indoctrinated with in what we call church. We think that some day, some time, somewhere out there, there is going to be some sort of event where I am going to walk out of this realm of the natural and into this realm of the spiritual. But until that time, I can be just as natural, and just as subjugated to the realm of the natural as I can be because it is going to take some sort of miraculous event to get me into the realm of the spiritual. I John 3:1, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we… WE – that’s you and me! That’s you and me! Maybe it’s just me! Maybe I’m the only one that gets excited about it. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now, is that a metaphorical phrase? Is that a phrase that was said just to give us some sort of good feelings, some position of confidence so that we could struggle through and press on to the end? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
You know, God doesn’t talk in abstracts. He is called the Alpha and the Omega. I want to tell you, all of these terms that we know about God do nothing but describe God in a temporal frame, in a temporal place (See Diagram I, #4). Are you understanding what I am saying? When we talk about the Alpha and the Omega, we are talking about the beginning of time and the end of time (#2). That is what we are talking about. Because the I AM is always. The I AM has always been the I AM. He was, He is, and He shall be. He is not just Alpha and Omega. Alpha and Omega were words that He invented for us to understand the fact that there was a beginning and there is an end and He alone is cognizant of it and everything in between. There is a reason for the beginning that is to be manifested, when? In the end. The thing that He created in the beginning, though it was temporal, had an eternal purpose. Come on! You and I were born for the purpose of fulfilling an eternal destiny.
You can teach these children math and English and reading and writing and arithmetic and all of those things, and they can become scholars and book keepers, lawyers and doctors, but what is that in comparison to the fact of what they were created for in the mind of God? All right, let’s take it off of the children and put it on ourselves. A lot of us have wasted a lot of time, wasted a lot of time. BUT that doesn’t mean that you and I do not have the capability of redeeming the time. I’m beginning to have some sort of understanding of what it means to redeem the time as I gain the understanding of Who God is, what God is, and what it is that God wants.
You see, when I first got saved, I thought all God really wanted of me was to be good. Of course, you probably had a different perception. That we should be good. Wasn’t that what you thought? You don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you don’t curse, you don’t look at pornography. You don’t do those things that the world does out there. What is that? That is being good. Why? Why do you want to be good? So you’ll go to heaven. Right? But the Word of God says it is not a matter of going to heaven. What it says is that when you get saved, you get God, then you get filled with the Holy Ghost and all of a sudden you have heaven within you. Hallelujah! Here we are in this situation (See Diagram II, #5). It is amazing. You know, since I started doing this, I love it! I can’t get away from it! I love it! Hallelujah! You are in this situation – now maybe I should just touch on this thought here a little bit. You see, this realm (#2) at one time was a heaven realm. Did you know that? Let’s look at Romans a little bit. Romans 7:9, For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Now, he wasn’t talking about himself, Paul, per se, as an individual, as an entity, as a personality. He was talking about Paul as in Adam. He said, “Once I was alive.” When was he alive? Back here in the beginning, of course!
Do you know the first thing that God created? It is a marvelous thought. I don’t know why it thrills me so much, because it is so simple. Because I read my Bible, and if somebody were to ask me, I would say, “Well, light was the first thing that He created.” But it wasn’t. Light wasn’t the first thing He created. It was TIME (See Diagram I, #2). It says in the first three words, IN THE BEGINNING. Now, it had to be something that He created. It had to be something that He created other than the eternity that is Jehovah. So, He created something that is temporal and TIME IS TEMPORAL. Do we all agree with that? Does somebody have a problem with that? Time is temporal! So, if He created something that is temporal, though it is temporal, it has to have an eternal value. It has to have an eternal thought or an eternal idea. It has to have something motivating it, making it move, making it go, bringing it into existence, because you see, without Him in eternity, time wouldn’t exist. It is the eternalness of Yahweh that make time exist! Hallelujah! So time becomes something of a tool. So then, time becomes something of a tool in the hand of God to do something that God wants done. It is not just for you and me to get into heaven and that’s what part of our problem is; we have that mentality. We have that thought. We think that if we struggle and push and persevere and somehow hang onto the shreds of our Christianity that we will somehow get over to that place where God will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into thy reward (Matthew 25:21,23).” Maybe you don’t have that concept. But the fact of the matter is that if there is an intent or a desire that God has with respect to time, then I must be actively participating with Him in it to obtain what that thought is.
Someone came to me the other day with a scripture verse. The scripture was talking about the fact of not knowing Him. Matthew 7:21, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. We have to take it in context with what God is telling me to tell you. We are talking about the realm of heaven. Any time you talk about the realm of heaven, you are not talking about a realm that is temporal. You are talking about a realm that is eternal. We can use all these words, but the fact is, whenever you use them you are talking about Jehovah. HE is eternity. We can’t fathom it, we can’t comprehend it, we can’t build it, we can’t fashion it in our little finite minds. Nevertheless, everything that you see out here is Yahweh. That is what John 1:1 says. It is interesting that in John 1:1 he says, In the beginning…
So, there is something very important about you and me coming to grips with the reality of why we have time. We spend so much of our time doing so many things that have no connection or benefit to eternity. Why? It is because we do not comprehend the purpose for which we were created, or what is the thought or the idea or the intent of who you are and why you were created. Let me tell you, in this realm (See Diagram I, #2), you have two destinies. Did you know that? We had one destiny in the beginning, but the devil came in and usurped the position and the place of God’s intent. It is so marvelous! This concept, this understanding that I am attempting to express to you is really so marvelous! The devil is not an original thinker. I don’t know how much liberty that gave me but it has help me tremendously! You can never understand how much liberty that gave me! He, the devil, has to use everything that God created. He has no power of creation. You and I have the power of creation. The devil doesn’t have it! So, anytime he wants to create an environment or a situation, he has to use you and me to do it. The sad part is that oftentimes we yield ourselves to the devil to have him use us in a manner that doesn’t facilitate the will or the purpose for which God created us. The devil is not an original thinker. He is not creative. He has no ingenuity. He just does the same thing over and over and over and over. Over and over and over again. The sad part about it is that you and I should know better, BUT we don’t because we don’t understand the precept, because we don’t have the concept, we do not have our eyes of our understanding enlightened to know what is the hope of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18). We don’t have the concept, we don’t have the reality, because God didn’t do things piece-meal.
You know, I’m an impulsive person. God is not impulsive. You can’t be impulsive if you are the I AM! How can you be impulsive when you know everything? Now, I’m impulsive, but God is not impulsive. So what God does cannot be judged from my perspective. It has to be judged from His perspective, don’t you see? Ephesians 1:18 says, The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. What the riches of the glory, the riches of the glory (Diagram II, #12). Have you ever wondered, “What is the glory?” Have you ever wondered that? What is the glory? I can tell you basically, and you can go into the scriptures and try to prove me wrong. Hallelujah! GLORY is the essence of Nature. GLORY is NATURE. “And we beheld His glory” (John 1:14). Do you think it was some sort of effervescent, shiny thing that was working, like we see these neon lights blinking? Or was it the demonstration of God walking and talking in the midst of the earth? It must have been the latter, because He not only says that we saw His glory, but He also says that we touched, we handled. That is in I John 1:1-2, I believe. We touched, we handled the only begotten, the Living Word. He says that they handled the Word.
What are we talking about? We are talking about the essence of thought. We are talking about the essence of intent or idea because God is not piece-meal. Did you know that God is not piece-meal? He is not haphazard. He didn’t create all the earth and the things that are in it and all of a sudden say, “Well, we forgot something. There is something wrong with this scenario. I’ve got elephants. I’ve got gorillas. I’ve got monkeys. I’ve got this. I’ve got that. I’ve got trees. I’ve got waterfalls. Oh, I know what it is! Man!” And all of a sudden He puts man in the midst of everything else that He created? The fact of the matter is that man was the grand finale. Man was the grand finale! Man was the theme! Man was the absolute essence of the thing that was in God’s mind when He looked down into hell, down into the abyss, which is the word used in Genesis 1. He looked down in the abyss and He said, “Let there be light.” Hallelujah! So we find that God is not piece-meal. He has a design. Praise the Lord. You know, I can go over this and over it and over it and over it, and I always get something new out of it. God had a design. What is design? It is a thought. It is an intent. It is an idea. Hallelujah! So we have a design. It is a thought. It is an idea. It is an intent. What He called it was WORD.
Now in Genesis 1:1, He doesn’t say, “And the Word of God.” He says, “And God said.” Now, when we read that, we think of you and me as we might have a conversation. Right? Burt said… Peter said… Kate said… Shari said… these words or those words. God doesn’t do things like that. That is not the way that God communicates. Do you know that God doesn’t necessarily have a mouth, like you and I have a mouth? But He has a being. He has an essence of what we call a mind. But in His mind, there was something that He called a Word. Now, why did He call it a Word? Because He was creating a natural being in a natural situation that was going to have to use a natural means by which to communicate. We have to understand that that communication wasn’t just something that was natural. It is not of just natural origin. Proverbs 18:21 says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. Now, if I am telling you something that is not correct, you need to correct me. You really do. You need to correct me. Let’s go over to James just for a moment, because I believe what I am telling you is the Word of the Lord and what God wants you to hear this morning.
Words are not just an accumulation of syllables and sounds, consonants and vowels. Words are the epitome of what the intent or the thought is in the mind of the individual. Do you know that you can be saying one thing and thinking another thing? Although you are saying something other than what you are thinking, the force of that hits the person, and it is not what you said, but it is what you thought, that hit them. Follow that one. Hallelujah!
James 3:8, But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Now, have you ever spoken to anyone and seen them drop dead? Well, you may not have seen it, but you may have said something that, down the road, manifested itself in the nature of death as far as that individual was concerned. If not in their actual life, then certainly something in their relationship with you. Something died. Let me put it a different way. Have you ever felt the sting of the adder as far as the tongue is concerned? Somebody that you have a great deal of love and respect for says something to you that is inappropriate and it smites, it stings. What are we talking about? Are we talking about the thing that was said? The words that were spoken? “You idiot.” Is that the thing that has the power to bring forth that thing that you felt? ABSOLUTELY NOT! It was nothing more than a vehicle, a housing that carried the spiritual content of the thought that was in your heart when you spoke what you spoke.
The reason that it works that way is because we are designed after the image of God, we have the power of the living God to create or to destroy. Hallelujah! This power of God is given to us, not so that we might be bloated or puffed up, or become egotistically inclined. It is given to us for one purpose and one purpose alone: to fulfill the intent and the thought that was in God in the beginning. I said that we have the design. Praise the Lord. And you have to understand this. I don’t know! Maybe this is all very boring to you. I don’t know, but it excites me, because this Word is doing something in my life. This Word is doing something in my life! It is changing something of my character, slowly, surely, maybe imperceptible to some people. But I, of all people, am aware of the module of the Word working mightily in me. I may be a little confused about you (chuckle) but I am not confused about me. I look in the mirror and I know who I am. I know what I have to deal with. I know what thoughts go through my head. I know what I have to struggle with in my body. You can’t deceive me about me. I know who I am. I know that this Word is bringing understanding and creating within me a desire. The first thing the Word creates in any of us is a DESIRE TO CHANGE! If you just want the Word for the sake of the Word, if you want it for the wrong thing, in the end you won’t get what the Word was supposed to do. It is like taking a shovel and using the handle to dig the hole. How far are you going to get, especially out here in this Illinois dirt? You are not going to get too far. You will wind up with a broken shovel. Hallelujah!
Let me give it to you this way, if I may? When you were out there in the world sitting under sin and the Word of salvation came to you, somebody began to talk to you about your position of sin and the place of transgression, and the thing that God had for you, what happened? A desire started forming in here, didn’t it? Something began to work right there in the “I.” “I” don’t want this any more, “I” want that. The more that you heard about that, the more that you wanted it, and the more you became what we call “convicted.” But, you know, you have to understand these terms. You have to understand what the thing is that you are using as far as words are concerned. It wasn’t that you were just “convinced.”
Now, some people are intellectually convinced, and the change that they have is no change. It is superficial, because when they get put in the fire, when they get put into the crucible of pressure, their veneer begins to peel off. But the fact of the matter is that when we hear the Word of God it does something within the innermost part of our being and something is created at that instant, at that point in time, that is eternal! IT IS ETERNAL!!! That means that this flesh, this environment has no ability to make it anything other than what God wants it to be! The problem is, the devil capitalizes on our humanity and he wants to make the reality of our time more real than the reality of timelessness, which the Bible calls eternity! Why do you think it was that Paul could shake off the viper in the fire and not be able to feel the effects of the poison? If he was looking at this flesh, he was a dead man. If he was looking at the reality of the circumstance around him he was a dead man. But his eyes were fastened on something other than the temporalness and the fragility of his own being, of his own environment in the time that he was placed! What did Paul say of himself? Have you ever thought about it? “I am a man.” What was he talking about? Time! He was talking about time! He was a man that was born in a timeframe that he could not circumvent, even though he had a knowledge and an awareness of the eternity, because it wasn’t in the plan of God! Hallelujah! I firmly believe, and this is Burt’s opinion, so put it down as Burt’s opinion, but I firmly believe that he went to God and asked God to give him that ability to circumvent his position of time. And God said, “No. It is not something that is yours to do. It is not something that you are privileged to have. You have to be a part of the great cloud of witnesses.” The revelation that this man had, I believe, was every bit as great as the revelation that Enoch had. But there was something that God needed to demonstrate, and it could have well been something of a TEST for Brother Paul, something of a test for Paul in his position of Sonship. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient.” It was to see if he would be as willing to say to God at his timeframe, as Jesus Christ said in His timeframe, “Not My will, but Thine be done (Luke 22:42).” That is what He said. You know, there are so many theological conjectures about Paul and his thorn in his flesh. Well, who cares? I don’t care about it. What I care about is the reality of heaven that this man had inside of him! How about the reality that John had inside of him? They tried to kill the man and couldn’t kill him. They finally stuck him away out there on the island of Patmos, and somewhere there, in the midst of all the fire, he came to the pinnacle of his time. It was in that place of suffering and tribulation and degradation… It must have been terrible. But this man had a glimpse. This guy had a reality that superceded the realm of his time. You know, I don’t know what it would take for God to give us some sort of illustration, because down through the whole seven thousand years, He has given one illustration after another of the fact of man with regard to setting his heart, his mind and his emotions on the fact of what it is that God intends. It all comes back to, “What is it that God wants?” It is not a question of, “who are you?” It is a question of, “What does God want?” That is what it boils down to. That is what it ALL boils down to.
As far as I am concerned, the gospel of Jesus Christ is illustrated and laid out in Genesis 1:26. The whole Bible is written on the basis of that one particular verse. Genesis 1:26, And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: We can live our lives how we want to live them. You know what? You can take every revelation that we have and overlay it on these diagrams, and come up with some sort of understanding. The tabernacle. I don’t care what it is, because God has been bringing forth a revelation on the continuum concerning this thought, that He wanted to create someone like Himself. Do you understand? ALL THROUGH TIME! It is not as though we come to the last days and all of a sudden we are there and we get to do the thing that they wanted to do and that makes us greater than them. I want to tell you something. If they had not done what they did, we would not be able to do what we are going to do. God doesn’t all of a sudden take the top of the pillar (the chapiter) and stick it up there and hang it in space with nothing under it, because the chapiter that goes onto the top of the pillar is the crowning of the pillar, but the pillar holds the chapiter (II Chronicles 3:15). Hallelujah!
We have this Word. What is it that God wants in Genesis 1:26? Let’s just turn over there for a minute and read it. Genesis 1:25, And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. That’s kind, kind, and kind, the number of the fullness (3 times). It was all good, but yet, God wasn’t finished because creation was created to be subjected TO man. The fact is, you can look at timeframe as an element of environment. God created all of the things that He created for the purpose of bringing forth His grand finale, which was man. Verse 26, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Design. It was the thought and intent of God for man to be in His image, in His likeness. Has God changed His mind? Does God all of a sudden go, “I made a mistake. Let’s change the plan. Let’s go to plan B. Let’s go to plan C.” ABSOLUTELY NOT!
So, “in the beginning” is in the middle and in the end. Everything that God did in the beginning was for the purpose of what was to be announced in the end. Isn’t that right? So we have purpose! Design and purpose. If you don’t have a purpose in your mind, what you are designing is of little value. You know, if I am going to build a house, then I want to know what the house is going to look like. I want to know what it is going to be used for. I have to know what it is going to be used for in order to build the house in the way that it needs to be built. So it is that God decided, God planned, God purposed to bring forth His image and His likeness. And guess what? He was going to use time to do it.
Now, you and I are subjugated to our increment of time (See Diagram I, #2). It is like you and me in a box with no windows. Do you understand what I mean? Because of the timeframe we are in, and because we are temporal… If we think temporal, if we think natural, then it is just like being in that box with no windows. We just see the sides of the box, the ceiling, the roof, and the sides, and that is all that we see. We get up in the morning and we see the ceiling and the sides and the walls and the floor. That is all that we see. And that, unfortunately for a lot of us, is the way that we live. We live like we are in an increment of time, doing whatever it is that we do: paying our bills, watering our lawns, mowing our lawns, washing our cars, living with each other, trying to have some sort of harmony and not succeeding at it very well. Trying to get through these little scenarios of life in the morning, in the evening, in the morning, in the evening, day after day after day and all that we see are the ceiling, the walls and the floor and unfortunately, that is all of the environment that we experience, without the concept or the reality of what it is that God wants to do! It is like the man who lives in that box.
Have I told you the story of the man with the rock and the pushing of the rock? He was given the responsibility to push the rock. God came to him and said, “This is your job.” Right here, outside of his front door was this big, old, humongous rock. It was a big, huge hunk of rock that looked like a mountain. He said, “Your job is to push it.” Well, he assumed he was to move it. So he pushed with all of his might, every day and every night, every day and every night, every day and every night. Push, push, push, push. Push, push, push, push, doing what God told him to do. Push, push, push, push. Push, push, push, push. Then one day the devil came along and said, “What are you doing?” And he said, “I am pushing the rock.” The devil says, “Why?” He says, “I don’t know.” The devil says, “Have you moved it?” The guy gets out and looks around the rock. He walks around the rock. The rock hadn’t moved. The devil says, “You are a fool.” Where was the man’s vision? Where was the original thought? What was the intent of the word that the devil brought to him? It’s purpose was to bring the man back into the element of his time, to have him focus on his situation from his perspective, from his position, and from his place of understanding.
And, you know, if I meet the devil on his terms, I am always in trouble. I am always in trouble! I have to meet the devil, not on his terms, but on Jesus Christ’s terms. I have to meet him with the thought, with the reality of what it was that I was created for. I wasn’t created to live 70 years. I was created to live eternally. It is allotted unto man three score years and ten (Psalm 90:10) – that is the natural position of temporal, carnal thinking ! I wasn’t created to live three score and ten. I WAS CREATED TO LIVE ETERNALLY!
If you think that what I am telling you is fiction, I suggest you go into the story of where Jesus Christ talked about Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). It is an illustration of a heavenly principle. Do you know what the words were that he used to describe his position and his place? He used the words “I AM.” “I AM the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). What was He telling them? “You don’t have to wait to die! You don’t have to wait for the grand finale of time coming to a place of closing and cessation in order to achieve the fact of what it is that I have for you! I AM the past, I AM the present, I AM the future!” (See Diagram I, #3) Hallelujah!
Why do you think we have miracles? Is it just that God wants you to feel good? Is it just that God wants you to have an easier place of it? Or is there something of an eternal purpose in the mind of God? I say it is because there is an eternal purpose! He wants to get our minds off the temporal, off the natural. But we do something very wrong with the demonstration. We call it “supernatural.” We call it “supernatural,” as though it were something outside of the norm because the norm is how we are regulated by our environment of time. Hallelujah! I wasn’t created to be regulated by time. Do you know that? That doesn’t mean that I don’t have troubles, I don’t have sufferings, I don’t have pain, but there is something of a perspective that I have to have in the midst of that tribulation that motivates me to be something other than what my circumstance is wanting me to be. Everything around me and inside of me is saying that I am a dead man. Everything around me is saying, “Your flesh is as grass” (I Peter 1:24). Your position, your place of temporalness… everything around me! I get up in the morning, go to bed at night, during the middle of the night, during the day, indigestion, headache, backaches, feet aches, arm aches, hand aches. If that wasn’t enough, personality conflicts are going on here, going on there, everyone vying for this, vying for that. I seem to be the ping pong ball that is getting bounced back and forth across the table. Hallelujah! And we say, “Oh my, oh me, oh boy, how can I have it so bad?” TIME is bringing us into that place of subjugation. It is bringing us down and beating us down, saying that, “You are subject to your environment, there is nothing that you can do about it!” Poppy cock! I wasn’t created to be subjected to my environment! Did you know that? I was created for greater things. I was created for better things. I was created to RULE! Hallelujah! It says so right here in the Bible, in Genesis chapter 1. Come on!
Do you know what this is right here? He says, “Once I was alive.” Romans 7:9, For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. What happened? I died. So Eden only lasted for a very short time. Hallelujah! Verse 10, And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. What had been ordained to LIFE became DEATH to me. COME ON! What was ordained to LIFE?
Now I want to ask you, has the concept of God, in what He hoped to achieve in time, been cancelled out? Did somebody made a mistake? Absolutely not. In Revelation 13:8 it says, …of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The Lamb was slain before what? Before TIME. The Lamb was slain before TIME. The Lamb was killed before TIME. OH, COME ON! What does that mean? Right there, God brought eternity into existence in a realm of time by slaying the Lamb. Paul says that what was meant to be life unto him became death (Romans 7:10). Now, let me tell you something. God knew that all the time. He understood that. And He said, “God created man in His own image and His own likeness” (Genesis 1:26). “Let them have dominion.” Now, if you want to look up that word “dominion,” you will find that what it really means is to bring into subjugation. Bring into subjugation. I want to ask you, did God change His mind? Did this change God’s plan? Did the fact of what the devil did, somehow change God’s plan or upset God’s apple cart? Absolutely not! GOD DOES NOT CHANGE! There is no shadow of turning in Him. Did He make a mistake? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He knew that in this realm (See Diagram I, #2), IN THIS REALM, because of what He did out here (#1) before time, man would be able to acheive the objective that God set for him.
Do you know that it is on the principle of that Word in Revelation 13:8 that Enoch was able to do what Enoch did? Do you know that it was on the basis of that principle that Elijah was able to do what he did? Do you know that it was on this principle that Moses was able to do what Moses did? The thing that they all had in common was that they bypassed the grave. They circumvented the law of sin and death on the basis of the principle of the Lamb being slain from the foundation of the earth. Now I have a question for you! If they could do what they did on the basis of that principle, what about us? What is it that you and I can accomplish on the basis of the reality of the thing that was a shadow in the beginning and that they utilized to circumvent their position of death? That means that I’ve got to change my thinking. Do you understand? I have got to change the way I look at things. I have got to change my behavior. I have to look at things in a different way and in a different light. I have got to look at things and behave and respond. RESPOND – HELLO – RESPOND! That means that you do something different than what you have been doing. It is not you that does it because Paul said “it is Christ in me” who does it. What is he talking about? Christ is another word for Son.
God wants sons. So here we have a realm of hell, a realm of death (See Diagram II, #2). I call this the land of “Oh, Poor Me” (4) and it is ruled by the spirit of “Poor Me.” So any time you find yourself under the influence of “Poor Me,” you know where you are! You know what’s happening! “Oh, nobody loves me any more.” “Oh, nobody likes me.” “Nobody appreciates me.” “Nobody is doing anything for me.” “I’ve got to do it all myself.” “Oh, everybody is so insensitive.” “Nobody understands my condition.” “Nobody knows what I am going through!” “Nobody understands the trouble I’m in!” Of course, you don’t have that trouble, right?
Let me tell you something here, if I may? Please, don’t get mad at me because I sound somewhat presumptuous or something. I’m not trying to be presumptuous. Let me tell you something. YOU ARE YOUR WORST ENEMY! It is not your husband. It is not your wife. It is not your brothers. It is not your sisters. It is not your mother. It is not your father. YOU ARE YOUR WORST ENEMY! YOU ARE YOUR WORST ENEMY! You are the only one that can displace this lie of the land of “Oh, Poor Me.” You are the only one. My mother used to say, “Well, Burt, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” That meant that she could cook in the kitchen all day and sit me down at the table and I could just turn up my nose at what she had been baking all day thinking that I would like it. But because of some little altercation or something that someone did or said, or because she didn’t do what I thought she should do, I was going to show her. Of course, you don’t have that problem.
Let me tell you something else about this land of “Oh, Poor Me.” It is not only the land of “Oh, Poor Me,” but in this land is the spirit of “I Will.” (See Diagram II, #3) “I Will” is the ruling factor. If you don’t believe me, turn over into Isaiah 14. I believe five times the devil says one thing. “I Will.” So, you see the land of “Oh, Poor Me” ruled by “Poor Me” is always an “I Will” type of person. Let me tell you what “I Will” is, if I might be so bold as to make this recommendation. It is called “self-centeredness.” It is called “self-centeredness.” Do you want to know where it was derived? Do you want to know where the theology that supports this doctrine comes from? It comes from Genesis 3:4, And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: Who? Me! “You won’t surely die. Instead, you shall be like gods. The world will revolve around you. You’re going to come to the epitome of everything!” That is what he was telling her. “You are going to become the focal point. Your attention is to become solely and absolutely upon yourself.” What did he say to her? He said, “You… You… You…” Isn’t that what he said? “You shall not surely die for God knows that in the day that you eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). What are we talking about? The exaltation of self.
I encourage you to go back and look at your latest confrontations, personality and circumstantially. I’ll make it easy for you: within the last 24 hours. Go back over the last 24 hours and the last personality conflict that you had. Was it because somebody stepped on your toes? They did not consider you? They were not in some position of looking at you as you thought that they should be considering you. Well, I would like for you to consider something. Outside of the revelation of the understanding of our eyes being enlightened, we do not have any hope of escaping this realm. But I want to tell you something. In the midst of this realm of “Oh, Poor Me” we find ourselves (See Diagram II, #5). Here, right? In the midst of this hell realm we find ourselves. This is our heart. We are the “I Will,” but we are confronted with the I AM.
I want to tell you what God is doing. God hasn’t changed His thought. God hasn’t changed His idea. God hasn’t changed His intent. We think we get married, have children, live right, pay bills, prosper, or not prosper, whatever our circumstance is, and that is the epitome of everything. Like the man pushing the rock. The devil comes to him and says, “It’s not moving, you’re a fool!” He says, “Yes, I am a fool. I’m doing something that has no benefit or profit.” Why? Because he is looking in a temporal realm, he is focusing horizontally. Yet, in spite of that, God comes to the man and He confronts him and his position of transgression. He says to the man, “Go look in the mirror.” What is the mirror? The mirror is the Word of God, and is filled with the intent and the desire that God has with regard to creation. We cannot… Do you hear me? …maintain a focus on this realm of temporalness and have any hope, any confidence in fulfilling the will of God that has been given to us to do.
I’m telling you, men and women have done supernatural things on the basis of the Word that God has spoken to them! What they saw was the reality of eternity in the Word and they began to incorporate that eternity into their lives and it gave them the strength to go without fathers, go without mothers, go without wives, go without children, to give of their substance, to give of their life, to give of their flesh, to give of their totality of their being for a moment, or what would seem but a flash of time. It had nothing to do with time! It had everything to do with eternity, and the reality of God that was around them. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him (the Word); and without him (the Word) was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). Oh boy!
And here we are in this environment and God speaks something to us. There is a quickening. If the Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead dwell in you – what shall it do? It shall quicken what? Your mortal body! (See Diagram II, #11) Your body that is subjected to TIME! It is not talking about just getting a fuzzy, wuzzy feeling, those little goose bumps running up and down your spine, the hairs standing up on your arms and on the back of your neck. It is talking about the reality of eternity invading your personal environment of temporal time. Romans 8:11, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. It shall quicken, quicken, quicken! What we are talking about is the quickening of the spirit of mortality, but the church has taken it and made it a doctrine that is something other than what it says. The church says that is something to be invoked at the end of the day. When that last breath is drawn, then and only then do you have the right to step off the end of TIME into ETERNITY. I’m telling you that God gave it to you, not for you to step off into the end of time, but to bring the reality of eternity into your timeframe! Hallelujah!
This is all scriptural, by the way. Go into Ezekiel 28. I love it. It is so good. Somebody comes and says to me after the meeting, “Do you want to go eat?” I say, “I’m full.” I’ve got to sit down and wait a little bit. Verse 18, but let’s go up. We are talking about Satan. We are talking about the position. We are talking about the realm of hell. Now, hell is not some realm out there, some hole in the earth that you can go down into for miles and miles and all of a sudden you find these things that we call demons and princes. Hell is an environment in which you and I live. God is going to create another environment outside of this environment to put them in. Hallelujah! Ezekiel 28:15, Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. You know that there is a lesson here that we really need to look at and observe, because this is the tactic that the devil uses. Do you remember what God said about everything when he made Adam? He stepped back and what did He do? “It is good!” Verses 16-17, By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. What are we talking about? The devil not being a creative individual. We talk about death to self. Now we know why we have a message that is called death to self. Why? Now we are understanding, or getting some sort of a glimpse, some sort of comprehension. We are not formed or fashioned after the image of God in the rightness of what happened in the garden. There is something of an image that has been supplanted over us to conform us into an image that God does not want us to be. The devil has to use what God made, but he has to change it from what it was to what he wants it to be.
There are two destinies. Two destinies. Two destinies and only two destinies. There is no middle ground! (See Diagram II, #7) There is the son of perdition (#8), which this WHAT? can lead you to, or there is the Son of God (#9) which is the I AM (#10). The “I Will” versus the “I AM,” in confrontation with each other. And you know what? The sad news is that although every knee is going to bow; and every tongue will confess, not everyone is going to make it into the place that God created for them. It says in verse 17, Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:You know, some of us think that we are so smart. We think we know it, we think we got it, we think we’ve got it down pat. We’ve got all the words. We’ve got all the phrases. We know the scriptures inside, outside, upside down and backwards. And yet, we don’t know anything because we are not allowing the revelation of the “I AM” to work in the position of the “I Will.” Death swallowed up into victory. Oh death, where is thy sting (I Corinthians 15:54-56)? Oh death, where is thy victory? The sting of death is what? The sting of death is sin. Hallelujah! My mind has to be centered – not in here, in this time realm (See Diagram I, #2), but out here in the realm that is called eternity (#1,3). My vision can’t be down here – horizontally, but it has to be vertical. Let therefore this mind that was in Who? In Christ Jesus, be in you (Philippians 2:5). What are we talking about? Let therefore this mind that was in Christ Jesus… What mind was in Christ Jesus?
“Phillip, have you been with me so long? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. You don’t know, Phillip, that I and the Father are one (John 14:9)?” That is the position or place of relationship where God is wanting to bring you and I into conformity to the thought that He had from the very beginning.
Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness (verse 17). You know, Paul had this revelation. If you would go over there in Romans, he says, “neither death nor life” (Romans 8:38). “Neither death nor life.” Do you know the greatest star that has fallen is the person that knows so much about God? Go over there into Hebrews. It talks about once being enlightened, coming into the truth, having tasted of the heavenly gift… Hebrews 6:4-6, For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. What are we talking about? We’re talking about an individual that has had an experience that has lifted him up out of this realm. He has found something that is resurrection. He had been resurrected out of himself into the “I AM,” into the position of the “I AM.” The “I Will” had begun to assert his rightful position of authority and finally brings him into a place of subjugation to his temporal environment and then he rejects God. God help US! God help US!
It says, “I will cast thee down.” Ezekiel 28:17, I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Hallelujah! That gives you and me strength! That gives you and me hope! That gives you and me a glimpse of resurrection! That gives you and me an idea of what God is saying that you and I have the capability of doing! How is He going to do it? Let’s just read on. Verse 18, Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; Remember that scripture that I read back there in Matthew? Matthew 7:22-23, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. They said, “Haven’t we proclaimed You in a position and a place of preeminence?” He said, “I don’t know you. You are workers of iniquity.” Why? Because they did not fulfil the plan or the purpose for which God created them.
You are not judged on the basis of what you think. You are not judged on the basis of what you perceived but did not utilize in the fashion for which it was created. You are judged on the basis of the thought and the intent that was originally stated from the beginning. It is what is revealed when that blueprint is layed over you and I at the end of the day. Hallelujah! You and I have an individual responsibility to walk out our own salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Now, I don’t mean that you are hard and bully and running roughshod over this and over that. That has nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with understanding what is in the heart of God. What is in the heart! You could take design, form and purpose, stick it in the midst of eternity and call it the heart of God (See Diagram III). That is what the heart of God is all about. That is what is in the thought, the intent, the desire of God. It is to bring forth the reality of sons. Hallelujah!
Now, here is the good news. Ezekiel 28:18, …therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (See Diagram II, #6) What does that mean? “I’m going to bring forth.” What does that mean? It means divinity entering into the soul of man. God says in Genesis, “I’m going to bring forth fire” (Genesis 1:3). He (Ezekiel) is just reiterating what God said in the beginning. Genesis 1:1-3, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. The light came into the midst of the deep or the abyss or what we call hell, the realm in which God later placed man. It is divinity in man’s soul that will devour the devil.
Turn real quickly with me over to II Corinthians 4:1-2, Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; Isn’t it strange that he talks about handling the Word of God deceitfully to Christians who are supposed to be of another thought, another mind, and yet are using the thing that is ordained to LIFE to bring death? …nor handling the word of God deceitfully;but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Glorious gospel of Christ? Come on. What is that? Aren’t you saved and going to get to heaven? Sons of God. It is talking about a position, a place of relationship. It is talking about an identity that is separate from the identity that I was born with in the natural realm (See Diagram II, #12). I therefore, little children, travail again (Galatians 4:19). Why? Why? Why? Why was he travailing? For Christ, the Son, the nature, the intent, the design, the thought, and the purpose, the reality that God had from the beginning. Time, all of time is devoted to that one purpose, to that one scenario. Time. The whole purpose of time is devoted to that one reason, that one purpose and that is to bring forth the reality of what God calls a son.
You can’t have a butterfly without having the cocoon and you can’t have the cocoon without having the caterpillar. You can’t have a house unless you have a foundation, unless you have a superstructure, unless you have a roof. That is what people through time have done for you and me. Turn to Hebrews the 11th chapter. They talk about the saints. Is that just some allegory, or some memorial thing that has been written upon epitaphs upon tombs of the men and women and children who have suffered for the sake of the gospel of the Kingdom? Not the gospel of salvation with a hope to make it through to the end, but those that have labored and wrestled and suffered and died for the purpose of bringing forth that they might lay a basis for the next generation that was carrying the torch. Brother Martin wrote a word on the passing of the baton. I suggest that you get it and read it. The passing of the baton has been passed unto all generations.**
It is a very pertinent question, “What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?” (Matthew 22:42). Where do you and I fit in the plan and purpose with regard to that intent? You know, you can have what you want! That is the scary part. You can have what you want! And you will GET what you want. You can be 30%, you can be 60%, you can be 100% or you can be 0%. It is YOUR choice, your position, your place of decision. YOU CHOOSE!
It was written in the Old Testament for our benefit, you know? It was on the day of entering into the Promised Land, when Yeshua (Joshua), who was a type and a shadow of the son that was yet to come, said, Choose you this day whom ye will serve(Joshua 24:15). There is a response that is required of you and me with regard to the position and the Word that God is bringing to you and me, as a people and as individuals. Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house… He (Joshua) had Jehovah. We are going to fulfill the calling and the destiny of God that has been put upon our lives. You and I can make that decision individually, as well as collectively. God bless you. Amen.
**This word by Martin Kluson can be found in the October 24, 2004 Keeping In Touch.