But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. Mark 13:14-23,
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2Cor 4:5 - 7
"In the vision was seen an old living room in an old house, tattered walls of very old torn wallpaper, the old wood work trims, the old edges of all that was of the original handiwork, the living room looked like a house built during old war years. In the middle of the living room was an old cloth couch with much debris and dirt and dust and mold upon it. Through the cushions springs were poking out and an Overcomer was laying on the couch on these springs in tattered dirty clothing completely unaware that much filth was about them. Beside the couch were three kitchen cane style chairs made of old wood. On the chairs were three human comforters whom all purported to also be Overcomers. The comforters were very filthy and very unclean and they were speaking to the one on the couch with false words of comfort and ease. (Woe unto them who dwell at ease in Zion Amos 6:1). The smooth words of ease and comfort pandered to the flesh of the Overcomer who did not bother to open the eyes, but laid back in full rest even though this was an old contaminated and filthy place. The Overcomer did not know or realize that this was deception making them miss the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.
Here are the three comforters.
1) False doctrines of ease and comfort and statements that the course of faith is completed.
2) False comforts which cause one to relax their guard and be at ease in their walk.
3) False witness which abhors anything that would suggest trial but embraces ambient rest.
The Overcomer on the couch with the springs sticking through into them thought they were in the Kingdom of God, but they were not, they had their eyes closed and they were laying in rest in a filthy place where their life was overtaken with much false comfort."
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24,
THE PATTERN OF APOSTASY
When The Lord Jesus Christ spoiled openly all principality and power and all the spirits of wickedness in high places, He did so to permanently remove any and all ruling authority they may have usurped over mankind and over the decision process people would take when they walked by faith and not by sight. These powers of wickedness in high places were stripped of everything by the total victory of Christ through His perfect atonement and resurrection thus fulfilling all His passion and authority. Christ left nothing undone, He completed it all. Yet if the Son or Daughter of God is honest in their lives they will recognize that life is full of complicated trials and the process of tribulation becomes long and drawn out. So the question asked is why do the righteous suffer when the perfect atonement and completed work of Christ was already finished? We are told in Revelation 13:8 that Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world! If so then that means the potential for His ultimate victory had been accomplished even before the scale of history began! Yet the Overcomer is in trial, is in test, is in tribulations of many sorts. Theirs is not a life of comfort and ease in Zion, they sail upon a stormy sea, they wade through the waters and the fires of judgement day in and day out. So how is it that Christ spoiled all principality and power and yet the Overcomer is left to be tried in such a manner? One would think that because the victory was so perfect and astute that their life would be in a state of bliss, not war, a state of comfort, not tribulation!
The Lord Jesus Christ destroyed all the power of the enemy as was commanded of HIs Father, and now the Overcomer follows the same pattern! They lay down all that in their lives which is contrary to the life of God in them! All that is of duplicity must be undone and all their footsteps must not only grow, but become righteous in walk and in direction! The Overcomer now follows Christ in destroying all the works of the enemy over their own hearts and minds and over their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. These who are thus arrayed in such a manner as this find that they are in the very same throes of suffering on the cross as Christ was yet at the same time are enjoying the life and power of His resurrection. All that the enemy of their souls throws at them, the defeated minions of hell, equals all that the Overcomer learns by obedience to the word of God to put down and defeat and to follow the very same pattern of obedience that Christ followed. One way to see this is to view Christ as having put down all rule and all authority and all power according to the command of Father, now we follow that same pattern in learned obedience to do the very same thing day by day by day! "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." 1 Corinthians 15:24,.
Christ obliterated all the power of the enemy but then left His church to continue to drive these forces back off of the souls found in every nation and in every continent. The church was called to be armoured for this war that was yet to be played out over the souls of men. With forward advancement after the pattern of Israel of old being commanded to advance into the promised land, so the early Christian church was to advance and deliver mankind from the power of Satan and the minions of hell by the very victory Christ procured for them. His victory was to be the banner of love over the church and the orderly administration of the Kingdom of God was to be brought to this world and to the lives of all nations. The Apostle Paul then being warned by the Holy Ghost of the falling away of believers said to the elders of the Ephesians church; For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:29. The early church fell away because of the grievous wolves, the minions of hell empowering whatever forces were out there to assault and malign Christ's heritage. The maligning by these enemy forces began with vile persecution of the church through Rome and later on they were scattered abroad.
The early church then very quickly became placid and lukewarm as relates to the world around them. Following the same acts of disobedience that Israel of old did in marrying into the enemy nations which inhabited the land of Canaan, the early church placated the vile assaults of persecution against them by complying with the pagan traditions and customs of ungodly nations, emperors and world leaders and religious leaders. Way back in the days of the early church the seeds of passivity were already in full bloom and the systems of man began to infiltrate the ranks of the church leading them into an apostate existence pacified by the reasoning of carnality rather than the empowerment of the personal cross. So the early church in calming down the world around them married into the world just as Israel of old married into the foreigners. The result was taking on pagan customs and ceremonies, of exalting world powers and men of esteem, of keeping feast days and national holidays. In today's world customs like Christmas and Easter and Halloween all began in a state of total vile contempt for the gospel of the living Christ. There is nothing in any of these commonly held vocations that came originally from Christ or the Apostles. All such things came from the act of lukewarm passivity and the relinquishing of the armor of the spirit that we are commanded to wear. Instead of the church taking Christ's victory over the minions of hell and of Satan and freeing the world from those, they allowed these same minions and Satan to control them! The end result was the church of Christ calling that which originated in demonic influence to be a righteous standard of the Lord!
Add to this vile contempt for the Lord and His truth the fact that the pagan customs continued for millenniums! Thousands of years have passed since the early church went apostate and fell away into the devouring jaws of the grievous wolves. But the early church, and the church of Medieval times, and the church of the latter times up to our time did NOTHING to quell this assault against the Lord! Nothing changed with them but instead they invented doctrines and customs which were supposedly blessed of the Lord to the extent that they enabled themselves to share this custom as a common thread in humanity. That the nations which practiced these pagan rituals and customs did so against the truth of the gospel mattered not! There is NOTHING in the pagan rituals of our time that has any root or grounding in the finished triumphant work of Christ on Calvary. All of it has come from lukewarm association with that which is unrighteous and ungodly! Christianity now has become totally lost in the sense of knowing the Lord. Because of this they wait for an escape and trust for prosperity and bliss in this world knowing that they are rich because Christ became poor. All such doctrines smack of duality and of lukewarmness and all of it IS REJECTED BY THE LIVING CHRIST.
THE FATHER SEEKS OUT TRUE HEARTS
The Father then has a repeat of history in front of Him. The repeat of history only effects Father in the sense that it becomes a tool in His hands to separate right from wrong, light from dark. That repeat of history is that Christendom has gone the same way as Israel of old. He uses this tool as a measuring rod to discover unto Himself those who truly have a heart for the things of the Lord verses those whom the way of passivity has gained full control. Father then has one simple element He uses to test the hearts and to discover which hearts will follow Christ all the way through the pattern of victory and overcoming. And that is if the soul He is examining has a love for the truth! That is the whole crux of the matter! Does that one little lamb in God's flock love the truth? Is the truth all that matters to that little lamb? Does everything else pale away into nothingness beside the truth that is so precious that it can only exult and worship the risen Lord? For truth in the inward parts has the same consistency and victory as truth in the outward parts and that is that truth inwardly confirms truth outwardly! Truth is known both inside and outside the one who loves it! They see that truth working in their hearts and somehow by a miracle of discernment they see that same truth working out in the world of man! Yet that same truth from hearts that do not love the truth is not seen by them, they perceive it not but instead they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears because they love NOT the truth!
Father begins to work amongst the nations and the believers like a winnowing fan of fire. His holy nature is fire and as fire He walks about testing the hearts to see if they simply love the truth or not. If they do not, the fire passes them by, for now. But if they love the truth, the fire stops at that heart and it works abundantly to melt and to burn up and to ultimately destroy all that is in that heart that is not ground for truth. Dear reader, the main emphasis of Father is to display in His own eyesight the truth of His word so that the soul of Jesus can see His travail and be satisfied! Therefore the fiery brand of God burns the chaff in the little lamb that loves the truth. When that lamb is discovered to God as having a heart for God, the first thing that happens is the lamb enters the burning of His great hot fire heated seven times hotter than ever before! The fire then burns up the carnality, burns up the flesh, burns up the areas of the heart that cannot grow truth in soil conditioned for it. The fire burns and nothing can quench the fire. This is the truth in the inward parts. The truth in the outward parts is trial and tribulation each and every day. Day after day the trials continue, each one being hotter than the one before until both the inside of the little lamb and the outside of the little lamb are completely consumed with the fire of God! God is seeking such lambs and has done so since the time of the early church when they did not fulfill the mandate given to them to continue to destroy the works of the enemy over men's lives. So now God has found here and found there one here and one there that would know and walk in truth and HE IS BURNING THEM UP IN THE FIRES OF HIS JEALOUSY MAKING THEM CONFORM UNTO THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST!
There have been several patterns in the scripture relating to this fire, but the most exuberant one is the depiction of "a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations." Joel 2:2. Never yet, nor ever again will there be ones like these. This is the Army of the Lord. A small insignificant number of people hardly seen, hardly known, not recognized in all the churches of Christendom and not regarded in the world of men. These are a people who so partook of the fire of God in such a manner as to display truth in all parts of their beings, who themselves became a flaming brand. These are the tongues of fire which form the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. These are the Overcomers who fully endured the gaze of His eyes of fire and the treading under by His feet of polished brass. These Overcomers were not accepted or recognized in the world as to calling or election or duty, but they were discovered and approved by God alone. Like the 300 left to Gideon to destroy the Midianite Army, so these will utterly destroy the world of man. As the flood in Noah's day completely destroyed the world that once stood, so these in this day will completely destroy this world by that same fire of God. Their march, their work, their calling is the final goal of the Overcomer. It is the singular event which ushers in The New Jerusalem and The Kingdom of God. These will enjoy the millennial reign of Christ in the earth and will rule with Him forever upon the Throne of God. Known in other areas as the manchild and as the two witnesses, these will persist until all things are restored back unto God.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE
God at the first calls many. His calling goes out far and wide through the ranks of the Christian community seeking out those who would respond. For many the calling is real. There are however those who are called and ordained simply by man's ordination and education but not by the Lord at all, I do not speak of these for they hold no power over anything in this day. I speak of those who are called by God because they had an element in them which gave them desire towards the Lord and towards His purpose. God calls them all, draws them all, but not all of them remain, some turn back unto the beggarly elements of Christendom.
The ones who do remain with God do so with no religious effort or ambition. They do not find themselves before the Lord being tried by Him because they have some sort of special favor or blessing. They find themselves before God enduring the heat of the fire of the Holy Ghost simply because of the grace of God which brought them there. They cannot stand up and count for anything or do anything at all to help God, but of their own selves they can do nothing. It is God that does it for them, not they themselves. Now their 'decision' to remain there is what God is looking for. Many at the point of the heat of fire descending upon their hearts turn away from God and go back to the elements of Christendom which has not heat or trial but lives in the ever present thought of prosperity and escape. There are many who turn back for many reasons but the only one that counts is that they cannot endure the heat of testing. They turn away because it is much easier to be passive and compliant with a world that affords comforts and pleasures and a life of ease and of financial and natural prosperity. They cannot fathom that the atonement Christ made for them has to actually become shared by them! Christ did the atonement, so now it is a free ticket to become wealthy in the world. This is carnal spiritualism and it is adulterous at best! Escape from this world into a feast in the sky is their ultimate goal and waiting for this escape consumes all their time so much so that they can see no other thing.
But God looks upon the heart and should He find there a pure spot of ground where His truth is loved He immediately sets that one aside. Pulling them out of all systems and supports He ignites them on holy fire. Setting their hearts ablaze with the flames of daily trial and test becomes their only hiding place. They find no other comfort in the world but that which comes from the scriptures and their daily walk towards the fulfillment of their hope. Very quickly the Lord removes from them the support of the escapism doctrines of Christendom and the Lord entirely removes them from Christendom utterly and completely reserving them all for Himself to try and to test and to measure by that test day after day. The true Overcomer is not in any system, is not tied up with any man, is not part of any group! They are SEPARATE UNTO GOD. These then that endure this first descent of fire upon the heart ARE CHOSEN. They are chosen to overcome all things and to be found perfect in Him albeit by the process of the cross and fire and the baptism of suffering which is their daily portion!
How do you know if you are chosen? Do you know in your heart that God is all you want and do you know in your heart that you are getting through each day one day at a time in the trials that are in front of you? No trial is enjoyable but grievous. Nevertheless it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness in your life afterwards. How do you know you are part of Joel's chapter 2 Army? You know it by the fire trials you endure each day for the members of that Army will be fire brands through and through. You know it because you exchanged your life for His and His came to you as a flowing hot fire of God that consumed all that was within you. How do you know you will rise to inherit the Throne? You will know it by the extent that you witness Christ in the world of man as relates to the suffering of the cross. The cross becomes the marks upon your life that are unmistakable. The world hates the marks of the cross on your life, but the Lord's power lays there in those marks of crucifixion. You become killed where our Lord was crucified, this is the all consuming power of the cross. This is the prelude to the eternal Throne.
Kenneth B Visscher