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To have something that you never thought would happen for you in your wildest dreams, like it did for Jacob to find that Joseph is alive and well, and not only alive, but the prime minister of the most powerful nation on Earth. How would you feel if you were Jacob? Can you dare imagine it? To have someone dear to you whom you have given up for dead because the thought that they may still be alive is too painful for you to bear, for if Jacob were to think that Joseph was still alive, what circumstances would Joseph be living in? In realistic terms, you would have to think of Joseph being in slavery and bondage, suffering… and the thought of that would be more of a torture than if you could just grieve for him as one dead, for those who are dead are dead. The great miracle and comparison of God to Jacob was that not only was his lost beloved son alive, but was now doing well as the second most powerful man in the known world.

For Joseph, that reunion was also laced with unspeakable joy, for in waiting for God to send Jacob to him, he was able to have Jacob with him for the rest of Jacob’s life. Had Joseph gone to seek out Jacob after he became a prime minister, it would be doubtful if Jacob would then have gone down to Egypt with Joseph. As such, a reunion between Joseph and Jacob that was achieved by Joseph’s ability would have been of a lesser joy and of less permanence than a reunion achieved by God’s ways, allowing a full nine years to pass before the reunion would happen.

When Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh, he said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household,”[1] for such was the blessing and the busyness of his days, that he had no time to think of his family. Except God was thinking of Jacob. The dreams He gave to Pharaoh to ensure that Joseph would be lifted up was God’s way of engineering and effecting a reunion between Jacob and Joseph that was so joyfully satisfying that Jacob said, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”[2]

That is one of the great pleasures and miracles of God, that He knows how to plan for reunions filled with joy that we cannot comprehend. That joy of the reunion is held in the Resurrection Himself—that which was dead or thought to be dead is returned to life in an exceeding portion. Had Joseph not been sold to Egypt, he would have grown up only as one of many brothers, but because of the ordeal of Egypt, he is the brother amongst all his brothers, the one who became their rescuer from certain death. Now you can see that a life planned and lived out, with death playing an integral part of your reunion in Heaven with God, would be like Joseph setting out to find Jacob so they could be reunited, but that reunion would be less than the reunion God had planned.

When Jesus said to the disciples of His times, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power,”[3] He was thinking of the time when they would all see Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. He said some, but not all, because He also knew Judas would die before the Kingdom of God would come with power. Six days later, He took Peter, James and John up the mountain to give them a preview of what would come, and as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.[4]

However, He who rose from the dead on resurrection morning was the Son of God, for the Spirit of Holiness declared Him with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.[5] Jesus was not raised back as the Son of Man that morning, for no one on Crucifixion Day grieved for Him as a man grieves for an only son, and He remained the Son of God on resurrection morning, for no man hurried to meet with Him at the Mount of Transfiguration as a man would hurry to meet his only son whom he had thought had died.

Unlike Jacob, who after seeing the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, “I am convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”[6] The eleven were not convinced even after hearing the women’s message and seeing the empty tomb and hearing of the empty tomb. If Joseph’s brothers had not sounded convincing to Jacob and showed him the evidence, Jacob might not have believed. However, Peter and John did not give the report they were supposed to give, and no one was convinced to go. They chose instead to wait fearfully behind locked doors for their Lord and Master to find them, rather than rush to the Mount of Transfiguration as a man would hurry to find out if his only son was alive.

Thus, that evening when Jesus came to where they were hiding and said, “Peace be with you,” they had a joyful reunion, yes, for John wrote: After He said this He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.[7] The joy that evening was the joy of disciples reunited with their Teacher, Lord and Master, their Rabbi and even their Friend. And as great as the joy was, it was not the joy of reunion of a Father with His only Son who was dead, but is now alive. And that joy from the evening of John 20:20 is the joy that we have inherited. The clearest we can get and see of the joy of being with the Lord again is that of John 20:20—disciples with their Master whom they thought was dead.

Mary Magdalene alone knew the joy of one who was reunited with the Man she loved. His mother knew of the joy of reunion with her Firstborn but not the only Son. And His sister Salome knew the joy of the reunion of a sister with a dead half-Brother. But no one that day tasted of the joy of reunion between a Father and an Only Son who loved Each Other eternally. No one mourned for Him as an Only Son that Crucifixion Day, and no one ran to meet Him as a man runs to meet an only son back from the dead.

Thus, the greatest joy we can hope to have and did have from the disciples was merely the joy of reunion of disciples with Master, for we ignored the joy of Magdalene and overplayed on the joy of the mother. Indeed, the men dismissed the women’s message, and in dismissing the women’s message, dismissed their joy. So then, not only did we never receive the fullness of joy that God had intended for us, we dismissed most of what we could have got when the women were suppressed and placed into their positions under the Law again as the Judeaizers took over the running of the church.

Without the fullness of joy, we never achieved full strength, for if the joy of the Lord is our strength, then we never received the full joy and strength. Without that fullness of strength from joy, the power given the early church would only serve to eventually dislodge them as an improperly anchored cannon would come lose after a few firings and hurt those who are manning it.

Just as an unanchored cannon is too dangerous to use in a military sense, miraculous power in the church with the strength that comes from the full joy of reunion became too dangerous for use, and so it was better that the power was abandoned, and the church became another religious institution that expanded its domain and will over the lives of men by mortal powers of politics, finances, intellectualism and militarism.

If at least the women’s message was believed and their joy was also received so that we would have had a heritage where women preached also and the Acts of apostles included accounts of works done by females as well as male apostles, we might have been able to fare much better. But we did not believe the message of the women and dismissed their joy, and so the only joy we inherited was that of disciples reunited with their Master.

And the only love we have learnt to offer the Lord when He asks us, “Do you truly agape Me more than these?” is phileo love, as we answer back, “Yes Lord, You know that I phileo You.”[8] So we treat each other as lambs and sheep, for that was all the Lord asked of those who only phileoed Him: “Feed My lambs. Take care of My sheep. Feed My sheep.”[9] It was not “Feed My brothers and sisters, take care of My brothers, sisters and mothers,” or “Feed My mothers.”

How different it would have been if the Lord’s instructions to Peter were, “Feed My children, take care of My brothers and sisters, and feed My family.” Perhaps then legalised clergy would not have treated their flocks as sheep and lambs but as their own family. Who would then torture their own brothers and sisters to death and war on their own brothers and sisters, even victimising them with all forms of abuse, including sexual, as the history of the church has proved that she does?

So then, is Jesus returning to a church and disciples that treat His flock as sheep and lambs, or is He hoping to return to find waiting for Him not a flock with shepherds, but a family of brothers, sisters and mothers who would greet Him as the One they have mourned after as a man mourns for an only son?

Certainly, it is not in the plans of the Holy Spirit to permit that Jesus would return only to find a flock with shepherds waiting for Him. Now look at what some of the church are already praying and planning to do. They are being taught to pray and have faith that God would rapture the church out of this world so that they would be saved from the days of tribulation. Is it in the mind of the Holy Spirit to allow Jesus to come back and find no one waiting to greet Him?

If it was not in the mind of God to permit Joseph to take a holiday during the seven years of abundance to find his family, then you can be sure that it is not in the mind of the Holy Spirit to allow the entire church to vacate the Earth and have no one greet Jesus when He arrives over Jerusalem. What He will permit will be the application for the rules of war of Deuteronomy 20:5-8. He will permit anyone who is afraid or fainthearted to go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened. Also, anyone who has built a new house, planted a vineyard or is pledged to a woman for marriage is also to go home. That is, anyone who is afraid or anyone who is busy with the business of enjoying life in this world will be sent home, not raptured to greet Jesus in the clouds, for when Jesus arrives over Jerusalem on clouds of glory, war will begin as it is written: Then I saw the beast and the kings of the Earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the Rider on the horse and His army.[10] No, those who are afraid or are weighted down with concerns for their new houses, vineyards and marriages will be permitted to go home, not to war. As such, they will be raptured to Heaven, but since no one can enter Heaven without dying, unless they are Elijah’s and Enoch’s, then you will find that the part of the church that is afraid and is concerned about their worldly businesses will die before the arrival of the Lord Jesus. It will not be a rapture but a rupture.

But those who are not afraid and who are not distracted by houses, and vineyards they have not dedicated, and pledges they have not fulfilled, will have a place in the ranks that will meet with Jesus. These are those who now can see that we have not received the fullness of joy from the Lord and lament, not only for our lack of power and strength, but also for our lack of mourning for Jesus as a man mourns for an only son.

Such talk will seem like madness to those who love the ways of Nicolas and James, who ritualise and theologise away the real power and strength of the Lord, who have a form of godliness but denying its power.[11] For them, godliness is an outward show of morality without giving place to the practice of the miraculous. For them, the practice of the words of Jesus is only for a moral life, but not a miraculous life; and the instructions of Jesus only carry a figurative meaning but not a literal meaning. Half a cup to them is a full cup. Half a Gospel is a full Gospel. Believe and be saved will suffice, forget the repentance. Good works will do, forget the faith. It is enough for them to hear the words and believe, yet shun the practice. They forget that Jesus also said, “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man…”[12] He did not say, “Anyone who hears these words of Mine and does not believe them…”

Now look at the apostle’s harsh words: Have nothing to do with them.[13] Just as an army separates itself from civilians as it prepares for battle, so likewise we have nothing to do with them, not that we reject them or condemn them, no, but our preparations are not their preparations. (They are preparing to save their lives; we are preparing to lose our lives to gain our lives.)

What we do not yet know is who else the Holy Spirit has elected to join with us—so we proclaim the revelation and make it clear like a runner commissioned to announce it. The Holy Spirit is the One who will bring in those who respond, and we need not persuade them with wise and persuasive words but a clear and simple demonstration of the power of God.

For those who are afraid, those who love James and Nicolas’ ways love godliness, but what they deny is its power. Thus persuasive arguments and correct theologies and doctrines will not separate them from us, but a clear demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power will. For they deny the power of Godlikeness. To them, all forms of Godlike power (power of Godliness) is counterfeit, but having never been experts of the real, how can they truly be experts to judge what is counterfeit?

Paul wrote: Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— How often have we thought He was speaking of the people of the world who are unbelievers of Jesus Christ? He was not, for the only Godliness that is Godlikeness can only come through some form of faith of Jesus Christ. As such, he was referring to those who consider themselves to be Godlike through faith in Jesus Christ.

He is speaking of Christians who are lovers of themselves, not of their neighbour who is God who had mercy on them. Lovers of money, who see mammon as the only supply to do what God has to do, boastful of their salvation and their doctrines, and traditions as being the only true salvation, doctrines, tradition and church. Proud – refusing to acknowledge that they hardly know enough of God to speak on His behalf. Abusive – not only with their authority, but now graphically exposed, even sexually abusive. Disobedient to their parents – that is, disobedient to the Father’s command to listen to Jesus and behaving as children who do not know their parents (like children of prostitutes). Ungrateful – always asking for more but never giving thanks for what they have. Unholy – always listening to anyone else except Jesus. Without love – that is without agape but only phileo as Peter was. Unforgiving – not practising the Covenant daily for those who have sinned against them. Slanderous – even to Satan, calling him a thief when even the Lord only called him a liar and a murderer, and in their pride, confessing that they are important enough for Satan to attack them. Without self-control – unable to be trusted with worldly wealth so that they are devoid of true riches, their speech and preaches carry no treasures of the deep things of God. Brutal – ever willing to condemn others to eternal condemnation and refusing to see God’s mercy in Zephaniah 3:8 and Zechariah 9:11. Not lovers of the good – that is, not lovers of things that are only good for God alone is Good. What they call good and love often has no God in them. Treacherous – that is they would deny and betray Jesus and His words in order to further advance themselves. Rash – prone to pronounce all sorts of things that are contrary to the words of Jesus. Conceited – laying claims to offices and knowledge that they do not have, for example, self-proclaimed apostles and prophets. Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God – preferring praising and worshipping and encouraging sermons rather than hard truths, preferring to be blessed than cursed, to live in peace and prosperity rather than persecution, to be well fed on all sorts of words rather than to fast only on the words of God, and so on and so on.

For the elect, we are to have nothing to do with them in our preparation. Not that we do not love them, but we love God more. After all, eventually they will all enjoy Heaven and even New Earth and visit New Jerusalem. But for now, as the apostle wrote: No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.[14]

And the Holy Spirit is our Commanding Officer and what pleases Him is to have the fullness of His joy revealed to us that we may be at full strength and power to prepare this world for the Lord’s arrival. So then, our attitude and labour should be as ones who are saying to each other, “He arrives,” to spur each other on to the day when we will see His feet touch down on that sacred ground in the fulfilment of scripture.

Amen


 

[1] Genesis 41:51

[2] Genesis 46:30

[3] Mark 9:1; (Matthew 16:38; Luke 9:27)

[4] Mark 9:9

[5] Romans 1:4

[6] Genesis 45:27-28

[7] John 20:19-20

[8] John 21:15

[9] John 20:15-17

[10] Revelation 19:19

[11] 2 Timothy 3:5a

[12] Matthew 7:26

[13] 2 Timothy 3:5b

[14] 2 Timothy 2:4

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