Through The Channel Of Troubles

My purpose in this blog entry, which is much longer than usual, is not so much to get into the why’s and wherefore’s of the pandemic that now has its grip on our world, but to show the provision and wondrous opportunity God has given us in the midst of it.

But just briefly to start, two or three have asked my view on the present pandemic: is it a judgment of God or purely satanic, the work of the Devil? I’ve heard prophecies claiming both, but I take to heart Paul’s exhortation that, while we are not to despise prophesyings (and I don’t) we are to “prove all things,” and “hold fast that which is good” (1 Thes. 5:20,21). Therefore, not having the witness of the Spirit nor of the Scriptures as to these prophecies, I am not holding them fast, for I have not found them good. In fact I have to say I’m weary with most of what passes for prophecy these days. For one thing, did any of our popular prophets see this coming? I wonder that it is not a cause of deep embarrassment to our “prophets” that they are so “out to sea” concerning such events. Where are those like Agabus of old, who prophesied of a coming famine “throughout all the world,” which, amazingly, actually “came to pass…” (Acts 11:28).

I haven’t been graced with the gift of prophecy, so, seeking to be careful not to go beyond my measure, here is my view, guided, I believe, by the Spirit, and based on the Scriptures.

We live in a broken world, in an evil world, “this present evil world,” as the King James Version translates Paul’s introductory words to the Galatian churches. However, the word “world” here is not the usual kosmos, but aionos, which other versions translate “age.” So right at the start we have a promise. It is an evil age we live in, but it is only an age; one day this evil age will come to an end. Meanwhile we find ourselves in it—and need to be rescued from it. Here is the Galatians passage from Young’s Literal Translation:

Grace to you, and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
who did give himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of God even our Father,
to whom is the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen. (Gal. 1:3-5 YLT)

The word “delivered” is actually much stronger—rescued translates it better, as the New English Translation has it: “who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father…”

Now, all throughout the history of this present evil age, evils great and small have abounded. What is the cause? It all began when “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…” (Rom. 5:12).

There, that one word sin, that is the root of the problem, and Satan certainly had a hand in that. “Sin entered into the world…” In a heavenly realm Satan himself was its originator, he exported it to Adam, who wilfully imported it; and now all those in Adam sin, the result of which is “this present evil age.” Satan and his “principalities and powers” in the heavenlies are now “the rulers of the darkness of this world [again, the word there is age]” (Eph. 6:12). What a grievous ruin it all is—that the creature God made in His own image and likeness, and who was to have dominion over His whole creation, should now be so ruled, the willing and obedient slave of sin in a domain of darkness ruled by evil angels.

But God was not finished with man, and, long story short, rescued him with the one and only Answer to the ruin of man, the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. This present evil world is the result of ignorance of that Answer, or open resistance to Him; it is man’s own attempt to continue in his sins and at the same time save himself from their consequences. It is a world that God will yet bring completely to naught, according to His promise, and I believe we are seeing a further unfolding of this before our eyes.

Now, evil diseases are one of the consequences of original sin. But setting aside the question of just exactly how the caronavirus Covid-19 arose, it is plain as day that God is working in what had now become a pandemic to shake man’s inveterate confidence in himself and his own resources. The pandemic has turned into a major shaking of our world, especially of the economies of many nations. The confidence of multitudes is being shaken severely, and the worshippers of Mammon… are our own hearts broken as God’s heart is broken by those who love and worship Mammon instead of the God who loves them?… the worshippers of Mammon, those who make Mammon their confidence, are now reeling with the aftershocks, scrambling to find something to hang on to. I see that in the news. Closer to home certain people dear to me, I wonder if I don’t hear them thinking, “What’s happening, my world isn’t what I thought it was.” Hopefully this is what many are beginning to do, rethinking a “worldview” which more or less excludes the true God; hopefully they are opening to a willingness to replace that worldview with one that not only includes but centres on Him, on the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ… whose arms are open to embrace them and whose hand is extended to rescue all who reach out to Him.

Rescued from… rescued to…

Again, setting aside the question as to the particular origin of this pandemic, here we find ourselves in the midst of it. What are we to do? What is our hope in the midst of it?

If we who already are His disciples have been rescued from this present evil age, what have we been rescued to? Paul in the Romans 5 passage shows that sin and death entering the world brought about the reign, the kingdom, of sin and death. “Death reigned… sin reigned…” (See Romans 5:11-21.)

That is the bad news—the kingdom from which we have been rescued. But there is Good News. God by His Son has brought in an entirely different kingdom of righteousness and life. This is the word that He gave us from the beginning—from the mouth of John the Baptist, from the mouth of Jesus the Christ, and from the mouth of the apostles in the Acts. Let’s trace it.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand [is nigh]. (Mt. 3:1,2)

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mk. 1:15)

Jesus when He rose from the dead continued to speak of this kingdom to His apostles:

…To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God… (Acts 1:3)

After they received the Spirit they too continued to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom, as we discover all through The Acts:

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Act 8:12)

And he [Paul] went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 19:8)

And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:25)

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Act 20:38,31).

(There are many similar references in The Acts.)

So, we have been delivered from a kingdom, and delivered to a kingdom. This is the gospel that Paul and no doubt the other apostles proclaimed wherever they went. Considering our present world situation, here is a verse of particular interest. Paul and Barnabas having reached the end of their missionary journey began to retrace their steps, visiting again the churches they had established:

Confirming [establishing] the souls of the disciples, exhorting to remain in the faith, and that through many tribulations it behoveth us to enter into the reign of God… (Acts 14:22 YLT).

Note again the emphasis on the kingdom of God—with this further emphasis, that it is through many tribulations this kingdom must be, yes, entered. “Through” is the Greek dia, which Strong’s defines as “a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.” I like that. In my mind’s eye I see a ship heading out of open water into a channel, a strait, which will take it not away from, but to its desired haven. Even so, says Paul, it is through the channel of troubles that we must sail to enter the kingdom of God. The natural inclination of the earthly man is to shrink back from troubles; perhaps that would also be the inclination of believers green behind the ears, so Paul sought to help these new disciples become established souls who would not be overthrown and draw back when imminent troubles came upon them, but rather would continue steadfast in “the faith,” for it was through those very troubles that “we must—it behoves us to, it is necessary, needful to—enter the kingdom of God.”

What is the kingdom of God?

Just what is the kingdom of God? It is the reign of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17). Back again to the Romans 5 passage: it is the reign of life (Rom. 5:17). It is the reign of grace (Rom. 5:21). Distilled to its essence it is the reign of God—and that in the midst of and through and many troubles.

And how is one introduced into the kingdom of God? Initially by repenting of that deeply ingrained insistence on sitting upon the throne of our lives ourselves, and leaving God out—that is called sin—and by believing the Gospel of the kingdom of God with a willingness to give the King of this kingdom His rightful place in our lives. We read of this King and His kingdom in the familiar and beautiful passage in Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder… Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever (Isa. 9:6,7).

Wonderful! Good News! The government upon His shoulder!

Ah, but the truly wonderful Good News is that by His Spirit, the government upon His shoulder is within us; that very rule of God and His Christ is in our hearts! THAT is the kingdom of God, which John the Baptist announced, and the time of the inauguration of which Jesus proclaimed was fulfilled, and which the apostles after Pentecost proclaimed had arrived. They were now in that kingdom. For, by His Spirit those in Christ are “raised up together, and seated [enthroned] together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:6).

Since that is so, is there not a two-part question that arises?

The first part. Were not these disciples Paul was exhorting already in the kingdom of God? Had they not earlier heard the Gospel, repented, believed in Jesus, and received the Spirit of God? Yes they were; Jesus Himself tells us that those born of water and the Spirit “enter the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). Also this in Paul’s words to the Colossian church. God has:

…Delivered [same word, rescued] us from the power [the authority] of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love… (Col. 1:13).

The second part. If God has done that, how then can Paul be exhorting the disciples that we must through many troubles or hardships enter the kingdom of God? What can this mean if they were already in the kingdom of God? But this is a pattern we find elsewhere in the Scriptures, and in Paul’s own life. He himself was in the kingdom of God as he went about proclaiming it. For on one occasion he warned the Corinthians that his coming to them might make some of them unhappy, for “the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20). Yet some years later as he shared with Timothy the evils that had come upon him, he assured him that “the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 4:18). Encouraging words for you and I as well. Again, do not those who believe in Jesus have eternal life (Jn. 3:16)? Yes, they do, and yet Paul exhorted Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life…” (1 Tim. 6:12). In like manner Paul exhorted the early disciples who were in the kingdom of God to enter the kingdom of God through many troubles.

Let this be our pattern as well, who by the Spirit of God and new birth have been introduced into His kingdom. Let us “continue in the faith,” let us go through the Channel of Troubles, and what we now know by faith we shall prove more and more fully—the reality of the wondrous kingdom of God. We may, and must, through all troubles great and small, near and far, enter this kingdom, a kingdom that cannot be shaken, a kingdom that is above all as its King is above all, whether men or angels…

…Remembering always that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of priests. Let us therefore continue to come boldly to the throne of empowering grace on the behalf of those in our world around us; they deeply need to see in their midst people who like themselves are in the midst of troubles yet are not troubled, are not shaken, and enquire why that is so, and, in becoming aware of the reality of a different kingdom, may turn and enter it themselves.

30 responses »

  1. Two thoughts in response to your post:
    You pose the question, “What is the kingdom of God?” Not only did Jesus proclaim the kingdom is at hand, he also stated that it is within you. We should not chase after those sayers of “Lo here” or “Lo there is the kingdom”. The kingdom exists where/when the king rules within.
    Now, concerning your quote from Col. 1:3: “Delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the son…” If we only look at this passage in light of the Greek text, we miss something. I am convinced that though the text is Greek, the concept is Hebrew. In Greek, the word translated as darkness means obscurity or darkness. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 9:2 not only means darkness, but also has the connotation of misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness. The darkness we are rescued from is the power of those six words. Now, the people who walked in darkness (six words of darkness) have seen a great light. For unto us a child is given, unto us a son is born, the government, (that which governs us) shall rest upon his shoulders. His name shall be called–and we must know those names/functions within us–Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
    What then are these “troubles” when we experience the government of the King within and know his peace within, sit in counsel with him, have tasted of his power, and are made partakers of that present kingdom that has no end?
    I think I have exceeded my “two thoughts” so will stop.

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    • Hi Ellis, thanks for your enlargement on the word “darkness.” I fully concur.

      As to the kingdom being within us, it is indeed true, as you said, that “the kingdom exists where/when the king rules within.”
      But I don’t think we can use that passage from Luke as a confirmation of this. I used to take it that way myself until it was pointed out to me that Jesus was speaking to certain Pharisees when he said that, so He could hardly be saying that the kingdom of God was within them. What Jesus said ought to be translated (as do the ESV, NET, Darby), “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” He was referring to One standing in their midst — Himself.

      I love your last paragraph, Ellis: What then are these “troubles” when we experience the government of the King within and know his peace within, sit in counsel with him, have tasted of his power, and are made partakers of that present kingdom that has no end?

      Amen to that!

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      • I used to take it that way myself until it was pointed out to me that Jesus was speaking to certain Pharisees when he said that, so He could hardly be saying that the kingdom of God was within them. What Jesus said ought to be translated (as do the ESV, NET, Darby), “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” He was referring to One standing in their midst — Himself.

        I am not a Greek scholar, so will not attempt to pursue this on the basis of looking at the Greek text. I see the same word used in Matt. 23:26 and Luke 17:21 and I do not understand what there is about the context that would cause the word to be “Inside” in Matt. and “among you or in your midst” in Luke. If you can show me what makes the different translations of the same word, I would be glad to know it.
        But lets look at your statement “Jesus was speaking to certain Pharisees when he said that, so He could hardly be saying that the kingdom of God was within them.” Consider your statement in the context of the opening verses of John, particularly verse 9 (kjv) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” This light is the kingdom within for Christ himself is the light. Those who turn from the light are condemned as in John 3:19-21, because they turn from the kingdom, they demonstrate their disbelief in the son. That is why the Pharisee, who rejects the light, is just at guilty of rejecting the kingdom on the morrow when the son is not standing in their midst. And consider Paul’s statement to Titus concerning the grace of God, that brings salvation, having appeared to all mankind. Again, this is the kingdom within, in the Pharisee as in the fisherman.
        So when we are searching for the kingdom, we must turn our search within ourselves where the teacher is to be found rather than chasing after mirages here or there, which serves only to dull our hearing and distract our attention. I would remind you of Fox’s “To All That Would Know The Way To The Kingdom” (the first item in Vol. IV of Fox’s Works) and Edward Burrough’s introduction to Vol. III of Fox’s Works.
        These are my thoughts as I have considered your statement and looked at the text.

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        • Ellis, the only other place this Greek word (entos) appears in the New Testament is in the verse you referred to, Matthew 23:26, where there it can only mean “within.” Here is the passage:

          “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
          Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Mt. 23:25,26).

          It is “within” in verse 26 that is the same Greek word as “within” in Luke 17:21. But note in Matthew that in verse 25 Jesus says that “within they are full of extortion and excess.” It is this that is within them. Although it is a different Greek word that is used for “within” in verse 25 (esothen), the word “within” in verse 26 is in reference to that in verse 25. So Jesus is certainly not saying that the kingdom of God is within them.

          Further to that, it cannot be that the kingdom of God is in anyone who is not in the kingdom of God. These Pharisees were certainly not in the kingdom of God, for they were not born again; it is those alone who are born again, that is, “born of water and of the Spirit” (as Fox affirms at the very outset of the article you mentioned) who enter the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5). On the contrary, Jesus in that same passage in Matthew renounced the Pharisees with blistering words — they appeared “beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Mt. 23:27). Again, they “outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (27:28). It’s such as this that was within them, not the kingdom of God. In fact as to the kingdom, He pronounced, “woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” (Mt. 23:13).

          How then could the kingdom be within them, if they would not enter the kingdom and even barred its entry to others?

          He told them also on another occasion that “if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Lk 11:20). The thought is apparently, “by surprise, sooner than expected.” So if it had come upon them, it certainly was not already within them.

          As to your likening the kingdom within to “the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” you say that “this light is the kingdom within for Christ himself is the light.” He is indeed the true light, but it cannot be said that by natural birth Christ is in every person that comes into the world. Christ Himself told His disciples on the eve of the cross that He would not leave them comfortless (that is, orphans) but that He would come to them. “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” He was speaking of the coming of “the Comforter, the Spirit if truth,” whom He promised to send unto them (Jn. 14:16-18). He told them that this Comforter “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” and that this would mean He Himself being in them. “At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you” (vs. 20). So He was certainly not “in” them prior to that. Neither is the Spirit of truth in any man of Adam’s race by natural birth, and neither is the kingdom of God.

          Ellis, there’s much more that could be said, but finally I’ll just add this. Like yourself, I am no Greek scholar, but I did some checking, and several of those who are very able Greek scholars show that the Greek word “entos” may also be translated “in the midst.”
          Until I have further light that convinces me of some other meaning to Jesus’ words in the Luke passage, I’ll leave it at that.

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          • Surley there can be no Light or Grace or Kingdom OF GOD inherent in Adam’s “bloodline,” in Adam’s posterity. There is no kingdom of righteousness or Light in Adam’s “DNA.” It is faulty and seriously flawed to believe that his seed would simply and ONLY require enlightenment and poured out Grace from God to awaken the Kingdom in them, without needing A REDEMPTION that would CRUCIFY and ERADICATE in every way our very ancestral link to Adam, and bring forth a new humanity, a new race, who are born into a NEW KINGDOM, in which those of the first man cannot possibly participate because the SEED of this kingdom IS NOT IN THEM.
            PRAISE GOD FOREVER FOR THE WONDERFUL REDEMPTION THAT IS OURS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD !

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          • A very pertinent observation, Robert. It took the cross for God to accomplish the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Those in the kingdom of God are in the realm of resurrection life.

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          • Allan, (and Robert Halton), It seems I am running out of places to click on reply, which is OK. All I want to add is to encourage you and anyone else following this discussion to read further than the first few lines of Fox’s To All That Would Know The Way To The Kingdom and also, if you have the time and inclination, to read Burrough’s introduction to Vol. III as I mentioned above. If anyone will read and consider these documents they will see the fallacy of such a statement as “There is no kingdom of righteousness or Light in Adam’s ‘DNA.’ It is faulty and seriously flawed to believe that his seed would simply and ONLY require enlightenment and poured out Grace from God to awaken the Kingdom in them, without needing a REDEMPTION and would CRUCIFY and ERADICATE…”(See Robert’s comment below for the full context). If you will read and consider Fox’s To All That Would Know The Way… and Burrough’s Introduction you will see what it is that crucifies and eradicates, that beats down and burns up every thought, word and motion that is contrary to God. If you read these you will see a people gathered by God who knew the grace of God poured forth upon them that brought their salvation and the light of Christ that enlightened them, teaching them righteousness. It is a matter of historical record that Burrough’s statement:

            And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who did own the light in them which Christ hath enlightened every man withal, they needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their own consciences, and they received the holy anointing.

            was the foundation upon which they built. Now, you can, if you wish, argue with history. But their historical witness stands. But the witness is nearer you than history for by this same grace and by this same light am I and many others made alive today.

            I think if anyone wants to discuss what they have read in the above mentioned passages, someone will need to start a new thread.

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          • Ellis, I am in complete agreement with the Burrough’s quote, and have no argument with history. And I have no problem with what you said– that in “Burrough’s Introduction you will see what it is that crucifies and eradicates, that beats down and burns up every thought, word and motion that is contrary to God.” The thing is that without the death and resurrection of Christ and the sending of His Spirit none of that is possible (which I am sure the early Quakers would agree with.) So Robert’s comment is right on the mark. But it seems we are at the same impasse we came to not once or twice in our private correspondence a while back. I really think there is something you are not seeing, and I am not sure what the obstacle is anymore. But we’ll have to leave it at that, at least for now. As you said, these comments are getting narrower and narrower.

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  2. This a wonderful exposition of the Kingdom. Read it again! Think it through and read it again. Thank you Allan

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  3. Oh, two weeks ago or so, I visited a meal site and many from a near by retirement building
    stop by. A lady who uses a walker saw me. I was amazed, she put her walker aside and
    walked my way and asked me to pray for her. That was the last day for the meal site due
    to current conditions. I pray many will put all aside and come to Jesus. A lovely word based
    on the Word, Brother Allan. and Brother Ron’s commendation, I receive as recommendation.

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    • Thank you, dear brother Allen. Yes, hopefully many will come to Jesus at this time. He is ready to receive them; let us be ready as well to give them an answer for the hope we have within us! “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…” (1 Pt. 3:15). 

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  4. This is a very good article, Allan! ⭐

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  5. As always, good, solid, deep and high thinking, Allan. So glad to be in the same Kingdom boat as we churn through this channel. Is Jesus sleeping? I think not! 😉

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    • Thanks, Susanna! I’m glad we are “in the same boat” as well. It’s a wonderful boat to be in– for that one reason: that Jesus is in it with us! Wonderful! Is He sleeping? If so, it’s because He is confident we are not going to “go under,” we are going to “go over to the other side.”

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  6. This is a wonderful word. Thank you Allan.

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    • Thank you, Martin.

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      • I am reading a book at this time based around Psalm 91. The Word of the Lord frequently exhorts, stirs and challenges us to make conscious decisions and choices to draw unto Him. This is a time and hour, and these are days, which are so critical to the refining of the Bride that He so earnestly seeks. We must abide in Him. Fully. We must choose to dwell in Him and seek the shelter only He can provide. It is active on our part; it is participatory. But, be assured that as we seek this place, the storms and trials of life will not abate. On the contrary, they may intensify. In love, He is seeking us fully, and we must choose to reciprocate in the same love. There is our own Cross in this. Even in the shelter of the Most High, the Divine Potter is seeking to perfect us. There is a higher goal in His heart and mind; to conform us to the image of His Son. However, as we abide in Him more and more, as we give ourselves fully to Him, as we yield to the Potter and behold His face, the trials and storms will have less and less power to disquiet us. There is a place in Him. A new and deeper place. It will become to us more real than ever. There is a new reality in Him. The world will go through these birth pains, and far worse is to come, but there is a place in Him. Glory to God. There is a place in Him.

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        • Thanks for this, Martin. That “place in Him,” is, really, Christ Himself. He Himself is “the secret place of the Most High.” And it is as you said, “as we abide in Him more and more, as we give ourselves fully to Him, as we yield to the Potter and behold His face, the trials and storms will have less and less power to disquiet us.” Taking that a step further, Paul wrote in Romans 5:3– “And not only so but we glory in tribulations also…” I wonder how many of us do that? But Paul explained why in the verses that follow Romans 5:3, and later in Romans 8, where he says that God works all things together for good to those who love him, to those who are “called according to His purpose.” What is that purpose? It’s that goal you mentioned– our being “conformed to the image of His Son.” What wonderful hope we have, then, in the midst of the present trouble, and in whatever is yet to come.

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        • In using the word “must”, I wish to clarify that this type of “must” is the type that is a natural outflow from the heart. It is not a mechanical, unfeeling “must”. These decisions and motivations to draw unto Him are not hard when borne out of a genuine love. Our need for Him naturally compels us. In our hearts we know, “I must give my all to Him”. This is love.

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  7. Thanks, Allan, for showing so clearly the difference between flesh (carnal nature) and Spirit for this old Adam and the Last Adam have no part together in God’s Kingdom. BUT they do meet on that cross where Christ died…

    “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20, NIV)

    Your brother IN Christ,
    Michael

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    • That’s a great observation, Michael– that the two which are enmity against one another do have one place where they meet: the Cross of Christ, where the old man meets his end and the new man has his beginning. Amen. This means that we are either in the one of the other; we cannot be in Adam and in Christ at the same time. And we are not gradually being transformed from the one to the other, any more than a thorn bush gradually becomes a grape vine, or a thistle a fig tree (as Jesus said in Mt. 7:16-18, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”). Only by being a part of the Vine can one bring forth grapes; only by being in Christ can one bear the fruit of the Spirit. Since that is so Paul says (again in Galatians) “if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16:25). Which is to say, to put it in other words, only those in Christ shall enter the kingdom of God… as they continue to walk in the Spirit with the help of the grace of God step by step by step at a time.

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  8. Hi Allan,

    You have done an excellent job of rightly dividing the word of truth concerning the Kingdom of God and this present virus that is upon us. I see your rod coming out of the Tabernacle of Witness “budded, and bringing forth buds, and blooming blossoms, and yielding almonds”.

    Jesus was sent not to condemn the world and neither do I want to be condemning, but there are certain consequences for the way we live. It is a reality that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I don’t think it is outrageous or condemning to say that this virus is none other than wages earned. This present generation has worked for and earned its wages like no other. Which generation in millenniums past has passed laws such as this generation? Just recently in the U.S.A. the Senate minority leader stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and on national TV threatened, by name, two Supreme Court Judges if they dare try to alter the abortion laws. In todays politics a candidate does not have a chance of being elected if he does not bow down to the LGBTQIA movement. And as you can see as time goes on more letters are being added to the catch-all abbreviation. The political leaders rush to partake in the gay pride parades so that they may be publicly seen showing their support. No politician dare be seen as “one who does not accept their beliefs”. The leaders of the political parties will immediately disenfranchise such a one and declare that his/her views are their own and are not what their parties stands for.

    Leviticus Chapter 26 clearly shows us we only have two choices… blessings or curses:
    “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit”…and the blessings go on and on.

    “If ye despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you, I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the yes, and cause sorrow of heart…..” and the woes go on and on.

    Let us, as the people of God receive the Fear of the Lord and not the fear of this virus and its far reaching consequences of unemployment and bankruptcies that will surely follow. Many in the world are now asking scornfully and in an accusing spirit WHERE IS GOD in all of this? C.L. Moore often reminded us that if we’re looking for Shepherd we will always find him with the sheep. The scriptures promise us that…“THE LORD IS NIGH UNTO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON HIM, TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON HIM IN TRUTH.” That’s where he is… He is nigh unto us. “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry and will save them. The Lord preserves all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.” Psalm 145 18:20

    The Day of the Lord is at hand and it’s a new thing that he wants to do in our particular cities, towns, and villages, but…. “Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock”.

    I know we all have our Heroes of the Faith. I certainly have had mine and still do. Many of them were Quakers, George Fox, Margaret Fell, Elizabeth Wooten, William Penn, John Apjohn are all at the top of the list. Independents George Warnock, C.L. Moore, Lee Elllenwood, Leonard and David Ravenhill, etc. But for all the wisdom and revelation these godly men had God says there was none greater than Solomon. “Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.” But Jesus said concerning Himself, behold, A GREATER THAN SOLOMON IS HERE. So let us seek him. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”. He will lead us into all truth. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear; that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Let us first and foremost continue to look unto Jesus, trusting that “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him….” He wants to have a new list of heroes of the faith for every generation including ours, that build in union with Him upon that which our faithful forefathers have built.

    God Bless,
    Terry

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    • Thank you, Terry, for the encouragement. I bow my heart before the Lord, keenly aware of my need for grace to continue to live up to what you have said.

      If I can emphasize one thing you wrote it has to be the last paragraph about “the heroes of the faith,” that God “wants to have a new list of heroes of the faith for every generation including ours, that build in union with Him upon that which our faithful forefathers have built.”

      Amen. And thank you. That gripped my heart, and I’m going to share it with others. Those heroes of faith became heroes of faith not in easy-going times but in very difficult (even impossible) circumstances. Are we not in such a time (to say nothing of what is yet to come)? And are we not “cut from the same cloth” as they? And is not the same God with us, He who was greatly pleased with their faith, and continues to be “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”? If anyone has an ear, let him or her hear.

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  9. Robert Halton

    AMEN Terry! “He wants to have a new list of Heroes of faith for every generation”! They had their day and our day is very much as real as theirs was ! “TODAY IF YOU WILL hear MY VOICE , and seek no other plan or purpose than to see HIS WILL fulfilled in our lives ! AMEN!

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  10. Wishing you a blessed Easter, Allan!

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