SEEING THE DAY OF HIS GLORY
By Dan Luehrs
"For all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever" (Genesis 13:15).
The day is soon approaching when God’s glory will be revealed in and through His people. I call this, “The day of our spiritual inheritance.” What a day it will be indeed! Peter said, "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed" (1 Peter 5:1). Peter was seeing a day coming in the spirit realm when the glory of the Lord would be revealed in the earth, much like our forefather Abraham had seen his physical inheritance coming one day. Peter was seeing his and our eternal inheritance, which God promised to Peter and his spiritual descendants. Yet, to us, God’s promise is much, much more than just lands. In essence, God is saying to us, “If you can see your spiritual inheritance, you can have it!” Wow, what a promise!
"We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:12 NIV).
"By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
It will be by our faith, not our works, that we will possess our full inheritance in God. We will have to imitate the faith of Abraham by obeying God and coming out of all our dead religious practices that God is calling us out of even as Abraham had to do to receive his inheritance. There was and is still a price to pay in following God to our spiritual inheritance! Abraham and his family were idol worshippers before God revealed Himself to them. He had to leave his idols behind before God would bless him. And if we want to receive our true spiritual inheritance, we too must “come out” of all our false works and doctrines of men. Please hear me. The church is full of false doctrines that would keep God’s people out of their true inheritance in God. Many of the church doctrines would have us settle for “just getting into heaven.” But God would have us sit with Him on His throne, ruling and reigning throughout eternity! We must now walk with God through the valley of death that includes all the mockery and rejection from the world and church systems in order to receive the promise of God. This is the price we have to pay in following the Lord to sonship that Abraham, Jesus, and Paul had to pay when they left the doctrines of man to follow the Lord.
It is written of Abraham, "And being fully assured that what He (God) had promised, He was able also to perform" (Romans 4:21). Abraham did not hope in himself or in his own ability to bring about the promises of God. No, he was fully confident that God was able to do what He said He would do, with no help from himself. We are to put our faith in God’s ability to bring it to pass! "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6 NIV). This “good work” is to have the work of sonship completed in and through us.
If you are believing God for His ultimate promise, to obtain the full likeness of Jesus Christ in and through you, which alone is the promise of sonship fulfilled then we must get out of God’s way and let Him finish His work in us; for He is the Author and Finisher of our faith! “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through (make us like Himself). May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV). Amen, and amen!
ZERUBBABEL, THE MAN OF FAITH
"This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
I have been saved for over twenty years and to my knowledge, I do not ever recall hearing a sermon about this great man of faith, Zerubbabel. His name is spoken of in six different books of the Bible and he is in the lineage of Jesus. Zerubbabel means, “seed of Babylon.” I know what many of you are thinking about the meaning of his name, “Oh, how can a man with the wicked name of Babylon (meaning, “confusion”) be of any help to us who desire to walk in the fullness of God?” I believe that Zerubbabel is an Old Testament type of son of God portraying those who are going to finish building God’s spiritual temple. Don’t you see that we were all “seeds,” sons and daughters of the Babylonian system of men? Whether it is of the world system or the church system, it is still run by Babylon, “confusion!” Thus, it makes us all products of the tower of Babel; where all things are being done man’s own way and not God’s. When we are in the Babylonian system of man we are trying to make a name for ourselves in the earth, which is PRIDE, the enemy of God!
Zerubbabel was raised in the captivity of Israel when they were exiled to Babylon for sinning against God. And likewise, we too were born in Babylon’s bondage when we were born into sin through Adam. Yet, we too must trust in the power of the word of the Lord, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts." The church knows this verse well and likes to quote it, but they do not understand its context in scripture. Zerubbabel and many other Jewish people came out of Babylon at the leading of the Lord to rebuild and finish God’s temple in Jerusalem; this is a sign of encouragement to us today that God’s spiritual temple will also be finished one day in His timing. "In whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22).
Today, we, the church are the temple of God that needs to be finished by the powerful workings of God’s Spirit through the ministry of God’s sons. They are God’s finishers of His holy temple to prepare the church for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in and through His people; they are “the body of Christ!” "The hands of Zerubbabel (the seed of Babylon) have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it… " (Zechariah 4:9). It’s not by our might and power, but by God’s power and might that this great temple of God’s will be finished in the earth that is not made with the hands of man or bricks. God has used man to start His temple and He will use man to finish it! God started this great temple through the apostles and prophets in the earth and now God will use other men and women to finish it! Paul said, "By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds" (1 Corinthians 3:10 NIV). -- "Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20 NIV).
It was said to Zerubbabel, "The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and in this place I shall give peace,' declares the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:9). We, the body of Christ, are God’s temple of glory that He is finishing. When completed, our glory will be much greater than what Adam had. Jesus is not the only Son of God to be crowned with glory and honor! Oh no! If we are faithful to the end, we too will be crowned with His glory and honor throughout eternity! Please read the following verses below very carefully, for therein lies the promise of God revealed to us.
"You made him (man) a little lower than the angels (God); you crowned him (man) with glory and honor" (Hebrews 2:7 NIV). (See also Ps 8:5 in the NAS Bible).
"For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10).
"And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:4).
"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life (glory), which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12).
"... Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (glory)" (Revelation 2:10).
"I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown" (Revelation 3:11).
MARRIAGE AND OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD’S PROMISES
“Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” – “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:18, 21-24).
God said that it was not good for man to be alone, so God took the woman out of the man and built her to be a helpmate for him. This means that the woman was created in man by God to be one with him from the beginning. After they were separated they were to become “one whole man” together again to rule and reign over God’s creation. God’s desire for them was now to “Become one flesh,” as they were in the beginning. Yes, this is a great mystery to the natural mind, but not to the spiritually minded person, because this is a type of our oneness in Jesus Christ throughout eternity; with Whom we were one with in the beginning of creation and now are to be one with again! Separate identities, but one in spirit. But our oneness with our spouse, “the other half,” can and will determine our destiny into the fullness of God. Peter wrote, "You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). One of the greatest prayers that we can make at this time is, “God give me the divine grace to walk out Your will for my life and marriage.” Without God’s grace to finish our course, we will not come into the fullness of God.
“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:28-30 NKJV).
If our wife is one flesh with us, then we should nurture her as we would our own body, even as Jesus nurtures us! This is why the enemy attacks our marriages so hard, so that he can break us up. Then when we go our own separate ways, he causes us not to become one flesh. Notice the word “Become” one flesh. It’s not that when we are first married we automatically became one flesh. No, it’s becoming one flesh, which is a process we must go through to get to where we need to be in the likeness of Jesus Christ; it’s called “dying to self.” Marriage is one of God’s ways of killing our carnal nature; it’s when we choose to love each other unconditionally in difficult situations that our death to self is complete in us. This will only come about through our daily choice of loving each other no matter what! In reality love is not a choice, it’s a command! “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…” (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV). God’s perfect love in us will only come about through some of our most grueling trials of life when we want to quit and give up on our marriages. Most couples call it quits long before the process is completed in them, either by them publicly divorcing or by them just emotionally divorcing and riding it out through the rest of their lives because they do not want to be embarrassed or start all over again with someone else. Your spouse was given to you by God to kill you my friend! God sets up our circumstances of life so that we can die to self, so that He can live His life through us.
God’s goal for us is to have a renewed mind, after the likeness of Jesus. This will only be worked in us through the sufferings that we all endure. Perfume is not released until the flower is crushed, nor is the grape juice, flour, or corn meal released until the crushing is finished. We could go on and on with examples of how the crushing in our life to produce God’s perfect love in us. Perfected love is God’s goal for us because that is what He is, LOVE!
Our love and intimacy with our spouse is tied to our intimacy with our God. Let me explain. We do not know how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden before they sinned against God, but we do know that Adam did not know his wife sexually until after the fall. "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD" (Genesis 4:1 KJV). This is because they did not have to have any sexual experience with each other before the fall, because they were intimate in the spirit. This was far better for them than just having a sexual relationship, which is on a much lower level of intimacy than our spiritual intimacy with God in spirit. This is why our fellowship with Father and Son is much more intense than any sexual experience could ever be with our spouse. The act of intercourse and its climax is the closest two people can come together in a physical relationship. If acted out in a loving relationship in marriage, it is blessed of God to bring the couple closer together in the spirit and the flesh. I believe that intimate sex has the power to mingle two spirits together like nothing else can. No wonder why satan perverts sex so much, lust rather than love. It is so powerful that he tries to use it to destroy the work and purpose of God in man, which is to bring us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
I know that some reading this are single or divorced and I do not want to bring condemnation on any for their choices, mistakes, and failures in life. If God has called you to be single or you are single by choice, He has many other ways of killing your flesh, but I still believe that marriage is the number one way of doing it. We just must trust Him to finish His good work in us that He has begun, so that we might receive our inheritance in Him!
OUR LAST ENEMY DEFEATED
Our true and lasting inheritance will be completed in us by our receiving the fullness of God into our being; that is, if we are seeing that far into the things of God. It’s much like seeing a mountain range. If you can see it, you can climb it. But, if you cannot see the summit, how will you get to the top? One of the greatest heights we can see in the scriptures is for us to overcome sin and death. "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies (sin) under His (our) feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death" (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
As Christians, we know that “Jesus overcame death.” But in this same sentence it is also saying, “Jesus overcame sin!” "For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God" (Romans 6:10). To overcome sin is to overcome death! Sin and death are identical, for it was sin that brought death to Adam and Eve and to all of creation. In fact, Jesus never would have died a physical death because He never committed any sin. Sin is death and it separates us from the very life of God, thus bringing death to all men. It is sin that separates us from enjoying a fruitful and peaceful life that God would have us live in Him. Today many families are separated from one another because of their sin; it has brought death/separation to their relationships and family. Unforgiveness and bitterness will separate all who do not live by the principles of God’s word. The wounds of bitterness will only fester more and more as time goes by. The saying that, “Time heals all wounds” is not true. But the saying, “Forgiving is the best giving you will ever do” is true because we are releasing people from our heart of pain and bitterness. After we forgive each other from the heart, the walls of separation will no longer bring division to our relationships with other people. What a glorious day it will be when all people are totally freed from sin and death! Truly the world and all its inhabitants will have a new earth in which to live out their lives in freedom.
THE RESTRAINT OF SIN TAKEN AWAY
"And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9).
The man of sin has been birthed in every person since the fall of Adam but has been restrained or suppressed somewhat by a good conscience within man. Only God is good, so this “good” in man must have come from God alone! I will call this good conscience, “the God conscience or the kingdom of God within all man.” Jesus told the lost Pharisees in Luke 17:21 that the kingdom of God was within them even before they were saved through the gospel. Yet, the Bible declares that the good conscience that restrains man from giving himself over completely to sin will be taken out of the way from those who do not want to serve God, so that the man of sin can have his full control in man. In this hour of darkness that has come upon the earth, man will learn a great lesson concerning why they need to serve God and not sin.
I see the restraints around the heart of man to be like spokes on a bicycle. These are the truths of God’s word that have been bred into every person ever born. One of these spokes or truths could be knowing not to lie, cheat, steel, murder, etc. However, if people give themselves to sinning over and over again in one area, the power of their good conscience is broken and sinning becomes much easier for them. I can still remember when I was about five years old and I did something really bad. I wanted to confess to my mom what I had done to ease my own conscience, but my fear of what she would do to me stopped me. When I was a teenager, I remember doing some terrible things, and my conscience would bother me. The enemy of my soul would say, “You’ll get over your feeling of guiltiness tomorrow and you’ll feel better about yourself.” But what he didn’t tell me was that I would have been hardening my heart from the voice of God’s good conscience in me! As believers we should have many more spokes of truth over our hearts to restrain us from sinning against God than non-believers, because we have heard or read the word of God and it has been implanted in us.
We are living in such times of degradation of sin that man’s heart is an open sewer; the sewage of sin is flowing even stronger than before. As people continue to sin over and over, their hearts are released to greater ways of sinning in what they had not done before, without any checks from their good conscience. God will allow the restraints in man’s heart to be free from His restraining power of truth because they have chosen their sin over His truth! "And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved (to be delivered from sin). And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). This should put the fear of God in us!
But the Lord will do for His chosen ones that which we cannot do for ourselves. He will overcome the man of sin in us through the clarity and exercising of His word. "The sword shall devour His adversaries!" This sword is the word of God, which will defeat our enemy from within by the spoken word of God. "The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. The LORD will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion (the church), saying, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies" (Psalms 110:1-2). Great power and revelatory truth is coming in the word of God that is going to release His people to defeat the enemy from within! God, "Saying, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies," will have then come to pass. Our enemy, the man of sin, will be put under our feet by the revelation and power of God's word and Spirit. “…The Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth (the word) and bring to an end (the man of sin in us) by the appearance of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). There will no longer be the fighting of the flesh against the Spirit; for the same word that created us in the beginning will recreate into us His full likeness in the end! Glory to God!
We should not fear when we see the man of sin becoming worse and worse in man because 2 Thessalonians 2:9 says that Jesus is coming according to the workings of Satan. The word "accord" means, "accord, or something that goes together with something else." In other words, the coming of Jesus in us is at the same time that the devil is manifesting himself through his power of lying signs and wonders of sin. We must have faith and not fear as we see this coming to pass!
"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" (Romans 8:23).
"In order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:5).
The word adoption means "to be placed or declared as sons." According to Scripture, we have not yet been placed as sons. But we will be, "IF" we are waiting and expecting Him in holiness and righteousness! How can you expect and believe for something if you don't know it's coming? That is why Paul called this the "Blessed Hope."
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15).
When we were saved, God gave us the power to become the sons of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12 KJV). Not that we are placed as sons yet. But we will become sons if we use the power that has been given to us through the Holy Spirit to overcome.
THE PLACING OF SONS
“And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4 NKJV).
Jesus was declared and appointed the Son of God by the Father because He was in one accord with the Spirit of holiness. By rising from the dead with power and authority over all creation, proved this to be true. Jesus was raised from the dead because He is the “seed” of God, which could not be left in the grave. After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Him mightily to do the work of ministry to which the Father called Him to. "And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Jesus did not have the power to heal the sick or raise the dead until after He was declared the Son of God with power. This was granted to Him by the Father because He was not ashamed to place Jesus as His Son. God trusted Him with His power because Jesus had matured into the likeness of His Father. Even though Jesus did not have His full-glorified body yet, He was still declared the Son of God with power because He was in one accord with the Spirit of power that changed people lives. And this too will happen to us because we are also the “seed of God,” no longer of the “seed of Babylon.” We too will be placed as the sons of God with power because of the Spirit of holiness abiding in us! "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you" (Romans 8:11).
Sonship is a relationship with the Father, having been given the power of God to deliver mankind from their bondage of sin through the Spirit of holiness that lives within us. God has made a covenant with mankind through the blood of Jesus that He will deliver and totally redeem mankind and all of creation from the power of sin and death! Adam, being a man, brought sin into the world. Yet God will use redeemed man, in the likeness of Jesus, to deliver all of creation fron sin through His power. The God-man (Jesus) now rules the universe and He will soon rule the earth through His God-men because He has given dominion of the earth to man. The Lord desires to make every saved person His fully matured son to rule and reign with Him. Think of the sons of God as you would the bride of Christ or the overcomers, because they are all one and the same. The truth of the matter is, only those who overcome in this life will be allowed to become His sons. "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son" (Revelation 21:7).
Jesus said in the Book of Revelation to each of the seven churches, "To him who overcomes" I will give them a great reward over all else. The greatest thing that He promised to the Church was in Revelation 3:21: "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." God is not going to grant this just to anyone, but only to those who have passed the tests that God has given them, to bring them into the likeness of His Son, Jesus! Ephesians 4:13 says we can become mature sons while living on the earth. "Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (NIV) The Apostle Paul said it this way, "Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect (mature), but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12). We will never become fully like Jesus while in this body on earth until He changes us. This is why Jesus is coming back to make us His glorious body. But that does not mean we cannot press on like Paul to the high calling in Christ Jesus. The high calling is to become like Jesus in our character, words, and actions, through suffering.
If God has given you a prophetic gift of seeing these wonderful truths in His word, then He will certainly give them to you! Our job now is to only believe His wonderful truths and obey them as the Holy Spirit enables us to do so. Walk in the grace of our Lord, my friend!