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We know that when God commanded Noah to build the ark and to gather the animals, God warned Noah, “Seven days from now I will send rain on the Earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the Earth every living creature I have made.”  It is written:  Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

What God told Noah had no written reference.  Noah heard and obeyed.  However, what was Noah thinking even as he obeyed?  We know what God had in mind to do.  Noah knew, for God had told him:

  • “I am going to put an end to all people…” 
  • “I am surely going to destroy both them and the Earth.” 
  • “I am going to bring floodwaters on the Earth to destroy all life under the Heavens…”

It is one thing to say and observe that Noah obeyed God in everything commanded him, but what was Noah thinking.  Remember God knows or knew what Noah was thinking and whatever Noah was thinking made him a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.  Noah was God’s instrument of the greatest slaughter of life ever perpetrated on this Earth, with the only survivors being those in the ark, apart from the fish in the waters.  The verses of Genesis 6:22 and 7:5 where it tells us that Noah did everything just as God commanded him, do not tell us the most important thing we need to know.  That is, what was Noah thinking?  What went through his heart and mind as he began the project and finished it so that the destruction that God had decreed was able to be unleashed?

You see, if Noah did not obey the Lord, the flood would have to be delayed until another man as righteous and as blameless as Noah was found.  Hebrews tells us a little of what Noah was thinking:   By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.  By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.  The motivation in Noah was fear and salvation for his family.  He was thinking about saving those who were dear to him as much as his agreement with God that the world deserved to be put to an end, as God said, “…the Earth is filled with violence because of them.” 

What did Noah know, not believe?  What did he know?  For it is what he knew that formed the foundation of his faith in God.  For no one can apply himself to a task like Noah’s with such perseverance and endurance by faith alone.  Yes, by faith he built the ark, but why did he have faith in the dreadful words of God when God said, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the Earth is filled with violence because of them.”  Noah did not plea bargain with God, unlike Moses who pleaded with God, “Turn from Your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on Your people.”

This is what Noah had to know, not believe:  He had to know the condition of his part of the world, that is, what he knew confirmed what God had told him about the rest of the world.  However, within Noah there must have been something else that motivated him to begin a project that would annihilate the known world of his day.  The clue lies in what Peter wrote in his second letter:  for if… Lot… was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard, so likewise would Noah have been, being a preacher of righteousness.  Noah knew what God said was true about the world, and in his heart and mind, in his thinking, he agreed and applied his faith to the task commanded him and so condemned the world.  You see, Noah did not judge the world, but condemned the world.  It was God who judged the world when the Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and the birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” 

Remember Jesus commanded us:  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  Therefore, before you jump to conclusions within your mind and with your thinking, we cannot afford to be like Noah even though he is our example, our rock, for in truth, none of us are descended in the flesh from Abraham, but from Noah who condemned by his faith.  We are neither to condemn nor are we to do what he did in fear, no matter how holy it is, nor do we do it by faith, for the eternal life we have received demands that we know.  That is, whatever we do from here on, whatever we say, whatever we think, must move away from faith and move towards knowledge.

Herein lies the difference that your practice and your education in the ways of God must begin to form and congeal in your heart and mind.  Anyone who has bothered to practise the words of Jesus he has heard and is reminded of by the Holy Spirit, cannot help but come to this one conclusion that sets your knowledge of God apart, that Jesus is simply a Man of His word, and so is His Father.  It is when you have come to know and realise Jesus keeps His word as a Man of His word, then you no longer need to believe in what He said, for you will have come to know that what He said can be believed, can be relied on, and forms the basis upon which you can relate to Him and the world.

So then elect, you can no longer think as one who believes that He is coming back.  If you have practised laying hands on the sick enough, if you have practised driving out demons enough, if you have practised His words, you’d know now that, yes, the sick are healed, demons are driven out and your life is like that of a wise man who built his house upon the rock and nothing can shake you.  Then you would also know that what He said will happen, and above all else, His promise to come back:  “Yes, I am coming soon,” will and must happen.  Then your whole thinking, centred on knowing that He keeps His word, will govern your speech and actions as well as your plans.

Now understand this and see its importance, like Jesus you have been taught to look around at everything.  To look at all of His words, His plans for His church, so that you’d know what He had in mind originally, to then be given the opportunity to reconstruct that original plan from the beginning so that you might see what is meant to be and hold it up like a plumb line against what has been built in its place.  And being able to see what the original is meant to be, you can now apply yourself to restoration first, and if restoration fails, reconstruction of the original.  Thus, you are not to judge, but rather, to bring forth the original plan to conform to what was commanded, removing whatever is not commanded as a workman removes the mouldings off a building.  Neither do we condemn by our faith, but reveal by our knowledge what is the truth.  So that all who hear and see for themselves will neither be condemned or judged by us, but be responsible for their own forgiveness as they repent, or judgement as they refuse to repent and insist on holding fast onto what was never intended or ever in the mind of Christ.

Thus, it is not for you and me to look at another man’s work or another ministry’s work and judge or condemn it as much as looking to our own work at all times, and have this one question in our mind at all times:  What do you think?  Will it seem marvellous to God?  So that we continue to repent for our immaturity and zeal, which have caused us to judge and condemn other men’s works, whilst we have not listened to what God said, “It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to Me?” declares the Lord Almighty.

So then, what we do may seem marvellous to us, but does it seem marvellous to God?  And that is why we need to and must know what God is thinking about what we say, what we do and what we think.  We must know His thoughts about us and not presume about His thoughts.  You see, in Zechariah 8, the Lord was telling Zechariah, “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age.  The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”  This is what the Lord Almighty says:  “It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to Me?”

And why wouldn’t it seem marvellous to the Lord?  After all, Jerusalem is restored and as He declared, “Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”  It seems marvellous to those who behold it because they do not know the whole counsel of God, for they have forgotten Adam and Eve were never created to age and die—men and women of ripe old age with cane in hand waiting to die is not the original plan.  So, how can it seem marvellous to the Lord?  Now, here is the twist and the straight line of the word of God so that you may judge without judging, condemn without condemning and forgive without forgiving.

So far, what you know and what you have learnt is sufficient for you and I to look at the plans and then look at what is already built, and say, “Nay, judge and condemn that what is—is not what it was meant to be.”  As long as that is our state of thinking in our hearts and mind, full power is denied us for we trip ourselves up every time.  Because we judge we are judged, because we condemn we are condemned, because we did not forgive we are not forgiven, so power is continually cut off because full power is never given to the unforgiven, the condemned, and the judged.  That is why you have experienced a recurrent state of oscillation of a taste of power and then powerlessness like a blackout.  A state of existence given to you to live so that you might testify to this truth that when we do not judge, we are not judged, when we do not condemn, we are not condemned, and when we forgive, we are forgiven.  For it is those who are forgiven, approved and authorised who have full power flowing continually, for the purpose of the power is that we might be witnesses for Jesus.

Now see and hear what Paul was trying to say to the Thessalonians:  On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel.  We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.  You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.  We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.  Paul was only working and building his ministry as a man who knew Jesus is a Man who keeps His word and so does His Father.  The only motive of his entire life was to conform his work to the approval of God by sticking to the plan he was given as much as he could.  The reason he was fully expecting Jesus to come during his time was that he knew Jesus kept His word, and as such, he lived as one who fully expected Christ to return in his day, because he was doing all he could to finish the preaching of the Gospel as a testimony to all nations so that the end can come.  Unfortunately, he was only one individual and the men from James with their friends, the Nicolaitans, were too much for even Paul.

So what of you and me?  What do you think?  Have we learned enough to speak as men and women approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel? 

What then is God waiting for?  You see, the church is waiting for God and it does not realise God is waiting for the church.  What does it mean when I say God is waiting for the church?  That God is waiting for what we know to be the church to all die and go to Heaven?  Is God waiting for us to go to Heaven?  Is God waiting for us to get ready for the rapture? 

No, God is waiting for the church that He had sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit to raise up—just as He was waiting for the second temple to be built according to His plans.  You see, Peter wrote this:  God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.  And once it was completed, He told Noah, “Seven days from now I will send rain…”  The moment the ark that God specified was finished by Noah to the exact specifications of God, the Lord acted.

He did the same thing to the first temple, for it is written:  Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement.  He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things.  And when the temple was completed according to plan, the glory of the Lord filled His temple.

See who gave David the plans—the Spirit.  God is waiting for the church that is built according to the plans of the Holy Spirit!  That is why Jesus said seven times, “Listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”  The Holy Spirit alone knows what the Father was thinking when He spoke to Jesus and showed Jesus what He was doing, and the Holy Spirit alone knows what Jesus was thinking as He spoke the words the Father gave Him and did what the Father was doing in front of the disciples.  The Holy Spirit alone can show us the thoughts of God the Father and the Son.  He alone can show the church the plans God has for the church and what God means when He said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

You see, until we have a church that listens to the Holy Spirit as commanded, the Holy Spirit cannot make known to the church the plans that God has for the church.  And the church God is waiting for, the temple that God is waiting to be built on Earth so that He can send His cloud of glory into it carrying His Son upon it, is the church that is built according to the plans that the Holy Spirit has on His mind!

Paul wrote:  You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone.  In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. 

If indeed the Spirit is to live in the church, then should He not be the One who dictates its extents, its rooms and its furnishings, rather than men?  But how can the Holy Spirit dictate if no one listens or recognises His voice?

So then, the Holy Spirit’s workshop is to build the church that His Friends, the Father and Son, are waiting for; a church that functions according to the plans of the Holy Spirit to put on display the finished work of Christ and as a living testimony to the works and words of Jesus Christ.

Thus, the true work of the elect is not to judge, condemn or forgive the works of the church as the world has known the church for 2000 years, but rather, to finish the work that the Holy Spirit set Paul and Barnabas aside for 2000 ago when He said to the disciples at Antioch, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

You see, while the apostles, elders, disciples and men like James and Nicolas were building the church according to their plans, the Holy Spirit wanted to build a church according to His plans.  And it was His plans that Jesus approved saying to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, “Hear what the Spirit says…”

Paul and Barnabas couldn’t finish the work, but Paul did lay a firm foundation around the Cornerstone, so now it is time for the Holy Spirit to build the church according to His plans, the church approved by Jesus Christ.  It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to raise up the church according to His thoughts and plans, so that all other churches, which have been raised up through the work of men and their plans and thoughts, may be measured.

It is not then for us to judge or condemn, or even forgive, but to do the work the Holy Spirit has set us apart for, to build the church according to His plans that He will show us.  And having completed it, Jesus will then come, for He is the Judge; He is the One who will forgive or condemn, and He will use the church the Holy Spirit built and finished for Him as the plumb line!

So then, elect, what should you think?  Does what we have done seem marvellous to the Lord?  Let us repent and wait for Him to reveal to us His thoughts, He whose Name is the Lord God Almighty, who forms the mountains… creates the wind, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the Earth… and reveals His thoughts to man…

Church, if you are interested to know what the Holy Spirit is thinking, then apply your ears and hear what He says and practise it until He approves you a son of God with His power without limit.  Amen

 

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