but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)
PLEASE FORGIVE THE LONG POST
I AM ATTEMPTING TO UNLOAD FROM MY HEART
Truly, I testify to you, today, that the residence of the Holy Spirit does bring "righteousness, peace and joy." It is a deep, deep joy that bubbles up as I learn more of God's love as it truly is, instead of the way I was taught through the Babylonian system. What a joy it has been in the last 2-1/2 years for me when the light of God's truth in word began to shine showing His Kingdom, and His sons who are to be manifested in due time. I have had my thinking so tenderly reversed from the wrong Babylonian ways that I once held, and pointed toward God's sovereign choosing and working in my life, coming to the realization that: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col 1:27)
Little did I know, nearly a half century ago, when I knelt at an altar in a Nazarene church repenting of my sins, and believing in Jesus, that it was but only the first step into the Kingdom of God. Along beside me was a skinny red-headed girl who later was to become my faithful wife of 46 years and counting. We, both, were there, because her parents would only let me see her if I would go to the church services with them. I, certainly, didn't have much interest in attending church services, but it seemed to be a good trade-off to be with this skinny cutie that had captured my attention. At that time, I didn't know, nor care that the scripture said: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Today, as I look back over my life, in similar manner that John, on the Isle of Patmos did when: "looking behind . . . heard a . . . voice," I can see where God has directed my life as the writer of Proverbs says: "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." Surely, there is more in this, than what eye can see ("Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.") (1 Cor 2:9).
It was about 2-1/2 years ago, after I had accumulated old trucks, tractors, bull-dozers, and restoration parts as project materials for when I retired and I could play all day restoring them. However, it was in my innermost being where those "dry husks" resided, that God was whispering to me: "Get rid of this stuff – it's not going to happen", and where he continually whispered: – "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness . . ." There was no great flash of understanding, no vision like Paul, when he said to King Agrippa: "I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision," but a gnawing restlessness in my heart to seek God in a deeper and fuller way. It was much like Elijah's object lesson given to him through the fitful experience when running from King Ahab. Elijah was seeking God's presence in things and events such as earthquakes, wind, and fire, but God spoke to him in a "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12). Thus, starting on this journey, I sold those "precious" treasures (because it was necessary to separate myself from my "idols"), no longer to "kneel to Baal, and began to search for the deep things of God.
At that time, as I began to yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, I had become completely disgusted and frustrated with organized religion and orthodoxy. For so many years this had led to frequent moving through churches pursuing something deeper that was calling out from within. I would, over the years, go through many cycles getting reconciled to God, and back-slide, because I was not getting the challenge or edification through fellowship with the saints. Yet, there was in me a perceived shallowness, and a strong desire to crawl out of that shallow condition to know the deeper things of God. I sought the "deeper walk" within those fellowships, but almost all them, without exception, were content with being "saved" and being fed the "milk" rather than with "meat." I was continually reminded of my dilemma when reading the scripture recorded in Hebrews 5:12-6:1: "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God . . . "
Oh, where was that satisfaction of soul and spirit to be found? I'm reminded of the hymn "Satisfied" and refer to a couple of verses:
Feeding on the husks around me,Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better, Only still to hunger on.
Hallelujah! I have found Him Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings; Through His blood I now am saved.
This is, also, supported through scripture:
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Psalms 107:9
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:11
As I began my searches, I knew that finding what I was looking for would not be within religious orthodoxy, so I sought for help on the internet. And did I find it, including the bazaar! Yet, I knew that in John 14:26 Jesus said: " . . . the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Armed with this promise, and trust in the Holy Spirit, I searched and searched. As I conducted those searches, some words and phrases seemed to have more significance than others, such as "manifest sons", "Kingdom of God within," "Lake of fire," "first resurrection," "Who will have all men to be saved, " "forever" really meaning "age", "hell" really meaning the "grave", and so forth. Wow! Now, I was getting into something that was more "meaty" than I had ever experienced. During that early part of the searching, I first found the writings of Bill Britton. Yes, yes! I was beginning to see the hidden truth in God's word, and those loose parts of scripture which had been for me, for more than 40 years, confusing and disconnected, were, now, coming together and forming a picture like connecting the dots in a child's picture exercise. It spoke deeply within my spirit, and as a good "Berean," I checked "to see if those things were so." Yes, it was! I continued to search and found more authors having this same approach to scripture, George Hawtin, George Warnock, Preston Eby and others.
Again, as in the words of the songwriter: Hallelujah! I have found Him, Whom my soul so long has craved!
Now, I was beginning to understand the why of passion of Paul when he wrote in Philippians 3:10: "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of (Young's literal "out from") the dead." Furthermore, I was beginning to understand why Paul stated in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 when he wrote to " . . .strive for the mastery," "run with certainty," "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection." I began to understand that there was more than just being "saved" and sliding in through greasy grace into heaven, as I was taught through the erroneous Babylonian system. Paul was "pressing toward" and being "apprehended." - But for what? It was a "high calling of God in Christ Jesus." It was because Paul had it revealed to him " . . . the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col 1:26-27) This "mystery" revealed to Paul was further confirmed when he wrote in Galatians 1:11-12: "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." It had been revealed to him the truth of Revelation 20:6 ("Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection"), that these were the over-comers, and they would reign and rule with Christ. After the deep mysteries of Christ were revealed to Paul, he no longer satisfied, nor was is sufficient to be included in the general "resurrection of the just, and unjust" at the end age, that resurrection which "no man could number!" He was only to be content to be a participant in that "first resurrection" – to be caught-up IN Christ, to hear that command someday from God himself:
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Over these last 2-1/2 years, I have read, and consumed over 10,000 pages of son-ship literature. God has put an insatiable desire to know the truth. Oh, praise His name for that! Through these thousands of hours of study, I've seen His hand working in me, and for me. At this point in my life, He has granted to me these thousands of hours of freedom with very few hindrances. Furthermore, time without number in my prayers, I would ask what would be the meaning of this or that was, and He would, in a supernatural way, direct my thoughts to get that answer speedily within a day from readings in scripture. It has been so remarkable, that I've mentioned to my wife on many occasions how it was as I had been directed to an answer.
Brothers and Sisters, I, like Paul, have been apprehended. I know it with certainty, and sense His hand heavily upon me in the deepest part of my being. I only have scripture that witnesses and confirms to my inner-most being, and that witness is with great joy! I've learned that Romans chapter 8 is the key to understanding of the manifested sons, and if we suffer with Him, we WILL be glorified TOGETHER with Him.
Here are some verses from Romans chapter 8 that bring me joy and confirmation:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Oh, praise his name!
May all those who are called to "press on to the high calling of God in Christ" be obedient!
May you be blessed!!