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The work of the Holy Spirit has always been focussed on one thing – “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.”  As such, anyone who thinks that an elect of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Spirit at the expense of the Father and the Son has never been elected by the Holy Spirit and does not know who the Holy Spirit is.  It is when you understand that the Holy Spirit in Acts 13.2 had to set Barnabas and Saul aside for the work He had for them, not because the Holy Spirit wanted to glorify Himself, but because by Acts 13 the eleven had already been distracted from the primary work of glorifying Jesus and were beginning to focus on the glory of the church and, in particular, they began to hold to their Jewishness rather than let go of their Jewishness even more.  

For when the Holy Spirit moved on Cornelius’ household in Acts 10, initially Peter refused to go until sent by the Holy Spirit, and when the Jewish believers heard about it, they criticised Peter, saying, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”  And after Peter’s explanation, it is written: When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

It is evident that by Acts 13, there were enough Jewish circumcised believers in the church who saw the church as the vehicle through which Israel would be restored to the former glory, and their zeal for things Jewish increased until Acts 21.20 where they openly confirmed, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.”  After 15 or 20 years, perhaps more, the discipleship program of the Jerusalem church was that they raised up believers who were zealous for the law and not for Jesus.  It was in anticipation of this drift of their focus from Jesus to Israel that the Holy Spirit set aside Barnabas and Saul in the hope that they would stand the ground and prevent the slide of the church in Jerusalem back to a watered down form of Judaism that would leave them powerless, and to prevent their powerlessness from contaminating the other churches… especially the Gentile churches.

The churches became powerless one by one as they became vehicles to glorify their nation rather than to testify for Jesus and glorify the Kingdom of God.  For the power of the Holy Spirit is given for one purpose only – “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.”  Because nationalism was never eliminated from the eleven due to their failure to attend the 40 days of integration into the Kingdom of God that was appointed for them on the Mount of Transfiguration, so the tendency for the believers of different nations to become and remain nationalistic spread.  And so, in the centuries after the eleven and Paul were gone, the church began to split, not only along doctrinal lines, but along national lines, thus giving rise to such early national churches as the Egyptian, the Greek and later the Roman church.  It was no longer the church in Greece, but the Grecian Church; it was no longer the church in Rome, but the Roman Church; and so on.  Just by the name you can see that it was no longer the Kingdom of God invading Greece or Rome, but rather, Rome or Greece or whatever the country happened to be that owned the church.  The Roman Church was owned by Rome, the Greek Church was owned by Greece, and so on and so on… and the church became the instrument for national or empirical expansion, rather than the vanguard of the Kingdom of God.  It is no wonder that the power of the Holy Spirit vanished from the first century church of Rome, Greece, Egypt, and so on… and few individuals from the first century onwards had a ministry of power that approached anywhere near that of the eleven, much less Jesus.

Why?  Because the Holy Spirit is not here to glorify one nation over another.  He is not here to bless the British Protestants over the French Catholics, or the German Lutherans over the Russian Orthodox… or a Christian over anyone else for that matter, but to bring glory to Jesus only… and His power is reserved just for that.  Events of history and politics may work out for God’s glory at man’s pace, yes, but rarely is there such an intervention by the Holy Spirit on behalf of one nation over another that the feat of Elisha blinding the Aramean army has ever been repeated.  Even at Agincourt, it was the British longbow men who destroyed the French aristocracy, and so kept British Protestants safe from Catholic persecution… but it was not as if an angel of the Lord wiped out the French aristocrats like the Assyrians were wiped out for king Hezekiah.  

Without a primary focus by any church on the glorification of Jesus, there will be no dispensation of the Holy Spirit’s power in that church at a level anywhere near the level that was in the early Jerusalem church.  Seven times Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  And see how Jesus addressed those seven churches, for they were all known as “…the church in…” and not ‘the church of…’  However, we now have a church called ‘the Church of England’ and ‘the Church of Rome’… or else we have ‘the Orthodox Church,’ ‘the Pentecostal Church,’ ‘the Charismatic Church’… but rarely do we hear of churches being referred to as ‘the church in… someplace’ as an official title, as Jesus described, titled and addressed His seven churches.  It is only when we can see not the Australian Church or the Church of Australia, but the church in Australia, that once more we might begin to focus on the role… the primary role of the church.  For what is the church but a fellowship of believers and disciples… with believers representing the Kingdom of Heaven and disciples, the Kingdom of God.  As such, a church is really a vanguard for the advancement of the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God.  One is to remove and harvest from this Earth the sons of Satan and the sons of the kingdom… using angels as the harvesters, and the other is to bring the Son of God back to reign on Earth using humans, to raise up an even larger harvest of souls during His millennial reign.  For “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field,” as described in the Parable of the Weeds.  It speaks of the death and destruction of the weeds, and the harvest of the sons of the kingdom.  However, about the Kingdom of God, Jesus told the disciples that it was already within them – “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  That is, it speaks of the invasion by the Kingdom of God into this world from within us coming out of us to affect the world.

So that a church that is still focussed on its primary role to be a place of fellowship for those who are dedicated to the work of finishing the testifying of the Good News of the kingdom to all nations so that the end can come, and also those who are preparing for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth, such a church can be addressed as ‘the church in…’ Ephesus, Smyrna, Laodicea… the church in China, in somewhere… but not of somewhere.  Neither are behavioral churches eligible for a title of being ‘the church in…’ for behavioral churches are clinging to a doctrinal code that is slanted and skewed by men’s ways and beliefs as well as practices, such as the Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, the Pentecostal Church, etc.  Certainly, their denominational title means nothing when you try to put them ‘in’ what they claim to be… ‘the church in Orthodox,’ ‘the church in Pentecost,’ ‘the church in Luther,’ ‘the church in Catholic’… meaningless.

See then; Jesus addressed the seven churches as the churches IN Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea… but not as the Ephesian Church, the Smyrnian Church, the Pergamum Church, and so on… and it is to such churches that the Holy Spirit will speak to.  Because the Holy Spirit Himself is focussed absolutely on glorifying Jesus, and through Jesus glorifying the Father, He has no inclination to speak to those who are not similarly focussed about His plans to glorify Them.  Do not misunderstand me here, He will still remind all disciples of what Jesus has said, He will still tell disciples and believers what is yet to come, and He will still convict believers, and so on, but to tell the churches what His plans are, what He has in mind for glorifying Jesus, never. 

I say never because the Holy Spirit does not speak on His own in the first place, so when He speaks, He will speak only what He has heard, not what is on His mind.  So even when the Lord commanded seven times in the seven letters to the seven churches to “…hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” really all they would have been hearing from the Holy Spirit is what the Holy Spirit has heard from the Father and Son.

In much the same way as God spoke from the cloud on top of the mountain to Israel standing around the mountain, so the Holy Spirit would have spoken to those churches in the various places.  You see, Peter, when he related the incident on the Mount of Transfiguration, wrote:  We ourselves heard this voice that came from Heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.  Now read what is recorded:  …a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud…; Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud…; While he (Peter) was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.  A voice came from the cloud…  You see?  The voice did not come from Heaven… they were not standing on the mountain watching the cloud, standing outside of the cloud as a voice came from Heaven.  No, they were in the cloud, enveloped in the cloud when the voice came from within the cloud.

Had they gone to Galilee that morning as the angels and then the Lord instructed, they would not have spent 40 days at the foot of the mountain listening to God speak from the cloud on top of the mountain, like Israel did (and it was not for 40 days either), but they would have been on top of the mountain inside the cloud, hearing God speak to them from within the cloud.  It would have been like the high priest being in the Holy of Holies in the temple hearing the voice of God from between the cherubims above the mercy seat of the ark!

It would not have been the disciples in the upper room as the Holy Spirit came upon them as tongues of fire.  It would have been the disciples in the cloud of glory as they heard the Father and Son speak from within the cloud.  It was to have been a New Covenant version of the high priest in the Holy of Holies of the temple of Solomon, with Jesus the High Priest and the disciples as part of His body, so that they would have been made one with Jesus then.  For they would hear for themselves what the Father was saying… not through Jesus, but directly from the Father, even when the Father would have been speaking to Jesus.  You see… on their first visit to the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father was not speaking to Jesus in their hearing.  Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus in their hearing, yes… but the Father, when He came, did not say, “You are My Son whom I love.  They will listen to You.”  No, He spoke to the three directly, “This is My Son, whom I love…  Listen to Him!”

Whatever happened, what never took place, where the ‘church’ has never been even though it was meant to go there first, is this:  There was never a church in the cloud of glory for the Holy Spirit to come upon.  There was a church in the upper room at Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon as tongues of fire… but there was no church in that cloud of glory.

Now just see… what if there was no church in Ephesus, Smyrna, etc, those seven letters would not have been written.  Because there was no church in the cloud those 40 days… then whatever the Father wanted to say and meant to say in that cloud has never been heard by human ears.  Indeed, all that the Father wanted to say has never been said… so who alone knows what the Father had in mind to say and intended to say?  Aside from Jesus, the Holy Spirit of course.  So is it all lost… all that the Father had intended to say to the church in the cloud on the top of the Mount of Transfiguration?  No, not at all, for the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God and He will make known to us what belongs to the Father, for all that belongs to the Father belongs to Jesus.  But here is the catch:  The Holy Spirit can only say what He has heard, not what He knows.  That is, He can only repeat what has been spoken… and since the words of the Father for the church in the cloud of glory have never been spoken, then the Holy Spirit can not speak them either… as He can speak to the disciples about what Jesus has said and what He has heard.

So what can be done?  Simple, if you have not realised it already.  The Holy Spirit cannot repeat to the church in Ephesus, Smyrna, or anywhere what was meant for the church in the cloud of glory, but He can reveal it to the church that is IN Him.  For those who are IN the Holy Spirit are privy to the thoughts of the Holy Spirit, just as the Holy Spirit is privy to the thoughts of the Father.  And since the Holy Spirit’s focus is to glorify the Lord and the Father by making known to us what belongs to Them, so those who share the same focus as the Holy Spirit He will elect and bring into Him, as John was brought into Him as he wrote:  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit… and was shown the Revelation.  Now what was shown to John was shown to a disciples, an apostle… not to a church… as such, even what was shown John was not… I repeat, not what was intended for the church.  For what was planned to have been revealed to the disciples on those 40 days was meant for the church… not a disciple.  So that neither John nor Paul saw or heard that which the Father had in mind to say and reveal.  John, by and large, saw the future that would take place as a consequence of what never happened, not what would have taken place if he and Peter and the other nine went to Galilee on resurrection morning.

There were many things that were meant to have happened if those eleven with Mary had gone to Galilee that morning, but they have not.  So does that mean they are lost forever?  Does that mean God will have to tell us what would have been or could have been if only we went?  Do you think for one minute the Holy Spirit has any intention to allow the word of God to return to Him and not accomplish what it was sent forth for?  The word had been sent… “…go to Galilee…” but no one went.  So is that it?  Never… because the word “…go to Galilee…” has been spoken, then that which it was intended for will be accomplished.

The Holy Spirit is not raising up a church for Himself, no.  There is not going to be a Holy Spirit’s Church… never, nor a Church of the Holy Spirit, for the church belongs to Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is now permitting a church, a church of His elects from the disciples of Jesus, to be in Him.  There will now be a church in the Holy Spirit as there was meant to have been a church in the cloud of glory.  And is not the cloud of glory… is not that cloud the physical tangible manifestation of the Holy Spirit when He encamped with Israel?  Yes, indeed it is, and since it is, the church in the Holy Spirit is the church in the cloud of glory… then all that the Father could not say 2000 years ago to the church will now be spoken, made known, and there will be a church that will walk the Earth that came out of the cloud of glory, a church that knows what the Father has in mind for Jesus before He returns, a church that will prepare this Earth exactly, according to the plan of God for Jesus to reign on Earth… the church in the Holy Spirit for whom and about whom nothing has been written.  Not yet.  It will be the Absolute Church.  Amen.

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