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His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.[1]

The power of God, who is Love, is the love that He poured out through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and as Peter wrote, that love has given us everything we need for life and Godliness. That is, the Person of Jesus Christ, His life, His sacrifice and His resurrection, which testifies to the truth of His testimony about the Father and the truth of His own words, gives us all we need for life and all that is involved in life and God-likeness in order that we can participate in the Love that is God. Participation in the divine nature according to Peter allows us to escape the corruption of the world; that is true; however Jesus did not tell us to escape but to overcome. As useful therefore, the apostolic revelations are of God’s love and His divine nature and power, they do not carry the full extent of the revelation required to reveal what God truly had in mind when He sent Jesus Christ not only to save the world through Him and those who believed in Him, but also to allow those who would follow Him to come to the place where He, Jesus, is. For the prayer of Jesus for those whom the Father had given Him includes this verse, a verse that begins with, “Father…” as if Jesus was directing the Father Himself to a special point in His prayer of John 17:1-25. “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”[2]

As such, participation in the divine nature of God is not just participation in love as an emotion or as a philosophical concept, but to participate in Their mutual love for Each Other – God loving God loving God loving God. This is what we are invited to participate in, to love God with all our heart, soul, might and mind, and the fulfilment of this, the greatest of all commandments given by Jesus was done and experienced through the love of our enemies. For God’s greatest display of His divine power and nature was when He poured out His love upon us, His enemies, and saved us through Jesus Christ.

The failure of the church to love her enemies has meant that she has never been able to participate in the divine nature of God and His power. The glory of Jesus Christ is that before His enemies would crucify Him, He was already healing them and feeding them in the hope that they and we may see the depravity of our wilful rebellion against God. There is no greater demonstration of Jesus Christ’s absolute control of all situations and His ability to love and heal even His enemies, than when He healed the ear of Malchus, which Peter had struck.[3]

Unless one listens to Jesus and watches Him, you would not realise as most do not realise, that the loss of the first love by the Ephesian church was the loss of the love of their enemies. For they had not lost the love for Christ as many would teach, for Jesus has clearly written, “You have persevered and endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary.”[4] If they had lost the love of Jesus and therefore of God, they would not endure hardships but would have gone the way of the Laodicean church and sought the way of comfort and say, “ ‘I am rich: I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ ”[5] The Ephesians were not lukewarm but were hot and had enough power to test even those who claim to be apostles and had found them false.

The testing of false apostles does not involve just using the seven signs of an apostle to recognise them. No, by the signs you can recognise them. That is, have they a gospel of their own from Jesus?[6] Have they seen Jesus?[7] Have they a ministry of signs, wonders and miracles, which are done with great perseverance?[8] And do they come last in the procession like men condemned to the arena?[9] The seven signs allow you to recognise them, but to test them to find them false involves a demonstration of power. Firstly, miraculous power in the say way as Moses duelled with the Egyptians and Elijah duelled with the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel. Such an event was anticipated by Paul of the Corinthian church when he wrote to them in his first letter: Some of you have become arrogant, as if I am not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.[10]

The church of Ephesus was trained by Paul and was well versed and familiar with power so that Paul would remind them: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.[11] The power given them by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus, the power to do what Jesus had done and even the greater things, we know the church has lost. If Moses was like the church, then the Egyptians would have overcome the snake of Moses with their snakes, and if Elijah was like the church now, then the priests of Baal would have been able to call fire down whilst Elijah’s sacrifice remained soaking wet. But worse than the loss of this power, and perhaps the reason that the power was withdrawn and withheld, is because the purpose for the power was lost. In the words of Jesus, the purpose of the power was for us to be His witnesses. However, so often religious men want God to be their Witness, to bless their way so that they are proved righteous before men by God. If the disciples of Paul did not understand what to be witnesses of Jesus meant, he then opened up the purpose for the power of God when he wrote to the Ephesians. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.[12]

The opportunity to be a witness for Jesus does not exist in Heaven. Everyone in Heaven, and in Hell for that matter, knows that Jesus Christ is alive and is at the right hand of God. The opportunity to be a witness for Jesus exists only on Earth. So, if you have not a desire to be a witness for Jesus, you need no power. You do not need power to preach the gospel. Indeed those who had envy and rivalry with Paul were able to preach. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry… But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.[13] You do not need power to praise, indeed, you do not even have to be human to praise, for even the trees of the field clap their hands to praise God[14] and the morning stars sang God’s praises.[15] But to be a witness of Jesus, only humans have that privilege, not even angels have that privilege. Neither do you need power to pray, for pagans can certainly pray long and loud. Therefore, the opportunity to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love rests not in Heaven but on Earth.

Thus, the purpose for the power and the opportunity to use that power does not exist in Heaven; therefore all those who would wait until Heaven to come to know the love of God through Christ Jesus miss out. They may go to Heaven and know God in the splendour of His glory and know that God is Love, but to plumb the height, depth, width and breadth must be done by those on Earth. And whatever we loose on Earth is loosed in Heaven. That is why even now, the saints in Heaven look to those who are alive on Earth to continue the journey.

That power being His Love can only be experienced through the practise of Love through listening to Jesus. Those who do not love listening to Jesus will not be able to begin the exploration of the Love of God, and without that Love, the power to witness will be limited.

The delusion that God sends is truly powerful and even to those who preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, that is those who preach in order that they may be known as great, the Holy Spirit works with them for the sake of the word preached, and the sick are healed, the lame even walk, and the blind see, and thousands come to the Lord. You can be deluded in thinking the Lord’s power is with you, or in moments of humility, be it true or false, God knows, you may declare, “It is Jesus who heals, not I.” However, you must realise that for John 14:12 to be witnessed to be true, then you must arrive at a place where it is you who is doing the things that Jesus has been doing and greater things than these are you doing, for the Lord’s own words are: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do greater things than these…”[16]

So, the true confession and true witness can say, “I did these things, just like Jesus said I could.” That’s right; you can come to the place where you can say, “I healed the sick, just like Jesus said I could.” “I multiplied the food, just like Jesus said I could.” Now, it is at that point, eternal damnation awaits all who then say, “I am God…” which is what the false prophet and the antichrist will do and say, fulfilling what the Lord told Daniel: “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.”[17]

The false prophet will forget the purpose of the power given to all of us. It is not to make us gods, but rather, it is given that we may know the height, depth, width and breadth of God’s love and that we may participate in His divine nature—Love, God’s love that makes God who He is—Love.

Since many who are not sincere will join with us because that is what the Lord said, “..and many who are not sincere will join them,”[18] we can only be honest and truthful and warn all who are attracted to this work because of the power that is offered. The luxury of sifting, by a careful and long process of discipleship through all who seek to join, may not be possible and cannot be possible because of the shortening of time. Yet through Jesus’ eternal word, “Freely you have received, freely give,”[19] it is logical to anticipate that many will come in and receive the power without being tested for sincerity. We can only warn that we walk the razor’s edge. We must seek to bear witness to the truth of John 11:26 and 14:12. We must live and never die and do the things that He has been doing and even the greater things, but woe to he who forgets the purpose of the power and raises himself above God. Then truly, he will do the things that Jesus did and even greater things, like calling fire down from Heaven and never die, for he together with his compatriot will be thrown alive into the Lake of Fire at the arrival of the Lord Jesus fully one thousand years ahead of Satan. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery Lake of Burning Sulphur.[20]

You see, the false prophet, like you and I, is given the opportunity to use and experience God’s divine power, but he forgets the purpose of the power, which is to bear witness for Jesus and to come to know the full extent of the Love that is God. The command, “love your enemies,”[21] Jesus taught both times to His disciples. The first time in Matthew 5, He went up on a mountainside and sat down,[22] teaching those He had then, and later after Matthew joins them[23] He teaches them again, but on this occasion Luke records: He went down with them and stood on a level place…[24] On two separate occasions, Jesus gave that first love command to His disciples, “Love your enemies,” that they might first be perfect as our Heavenly Father is Perfect and then merciful as our Heavenly Father is Merciful.

Perfection will allow you to do great signs and wonders. Mercy will remind you why you are doing them. Opportunity comes when perfection comes; purpose remains when mercy accompanies perfection.

The false prophet will be shown no mercy because he forgot the purpose whilst making use of the opportunity.


 

[1] 2 Peter 1:3-4

[2] John 17:24

[3] John 18:10; Luke 22:51

[4] Revelation 2:3

[5] Revelation 3:17

[6] Galatians 1:11-12

[7] 1 Corinthians 15:5-8

[8] 2 Corinthians 12:12

[9] 1 Corinthians 4:9

[10] 1 Corinthians 4:18-20

[11] Ephesians 6:10

[12] Ephesians 3:16-19

[13] Philippians 1:15,18

[14] Isaiah 55:12

[15] Job 38:7

[16] John 14:12

[17] Daniel 11:36

[18] Daniel 11:34

[19] Matthew 10:8

[20] Revelation 19:20

[21] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27

[22] Matthew 5:1

[23] Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27, 6:12-16

[24] Luke 6:17

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