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“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” This is the way Jesus described His arrival to the apostles as they sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple. The location itself, if you care to observe, shows much.  It is the place from which He ascended to the right hand of the Father and the precise spot on Earth that His feet will touch when He returns to begin His millennial reign.  However, the word opposite in Mark 13.3 also reveals the position of God from that moment – God sitting opposite the temple… which, in truth, was not His real temple, but rather, symbolised all that men had done to what God had intended… a monument to how Israel had failed God through their disobedience.

So the end times that Jesus told the apostles about will take place on the location of His ascension and His return – opposite the temple.  As such, elect, not only are the words of the Lord concerning these days important… the attitude is just as important.  The focus on the whole picture… see it… seated on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, speaking of the end.  The whole picture, elect, is the fulfilment of His words in opposition to all that is a religious mockery to God’s perfect way from the perspective of the ascended Christ looking forward to His arrival in power and great glory.

As such, what sort of church should be waiting for Him on the Mount of Olives?  A church that is seeking to be raptured out of harm’s way before the days of distress begin?  That is the coward’s way and your Jesus does not deserve that.  A church that is bedraggled, battered, shattered, barely hanging on to survive and keeping the faith, waiting for the rescue?  That is the way of the faithful but the powerless.  Even though the writer of the Hebrews spoke of the heroes of faith who overcame the obstacles of their day, the writer was not completely correct when he accredited their ability to overcome only on the basis of their faith, for it was not by faith alone that the people crossed the Red Sea, but by the power of God that parted the Red Sea when the people had no faith… except for Moses who kept the faith and released the power.  As good as it may seem that at least the church has kept the faith, its state of powerlessness is still be short of the investment that Jesus gave it.

For the ‘minas’ that Jesus gave to the disciples as He left included not only His Name and His words, but His power… for He had told them that they would receive power to be His witnesses when the Holy Spirit came on them… and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Glory.  As such, servants, the Master on His return expects not only faith, but also power and glory… for that is what He gave us when He left.  A faithful, powerless church is not what will please Him when He returns, but a faithful, powerful and glorious church is what He is expecting and what He desires.  If the servant who returned the mina was thrown out as lazy and wicked, consider then what will happen to the servant who has deserted his post and lost his mina.

That is why your faithfulness is tested not only on the basis of your patient endurance and obedience with what you are given, but here in the Holy Spirit’s Workshop a faithfulness as yet unseen is being produced.  A faithfulness that is based on the willingness and ability to believe not only in Jesus but in every one of His words, even those words that seem impossible such as John 11.26 and John 14.12.  A faithfulness that is demonstrated by an obedience to believe and practise them with all endurance in the face of failure and despite failure and ridicule.

You, elect, have the privilege of the counsel of the entire word, and to you rests the responsibility of producing the faithfulness that is like the tenfold return of the minas.  A faithfulness that is based not on patient endurance of what you believe, but a willingness to believe and therefore to practise every word of the Lord you have read and heard as they are written without the persuasion of men to dilute them just so that others will not be offended.  Far better to offend others than to offend the Lord.

The servant who strove to earn the ten minas could have held back and made himself acceptable to the one who only earned five, or worse still, to the one who buried his mina for the sake of oneness.  Such unity is an insult to the Master.  It may be comforting to the servants, but not to the Master.  And a servant who is more concerned for the wellbeing of his fellow servant than the wellbeing of his Master is not a faithful servant.  Indeed, it is through the striving of the servant who earned ten minas that his Master received an average of five minas per person, which is to say the servant who earned the ten minas made up for the lazy servant so that his Master lost nothing despite the lazy servant’s wickedness.

It is with this in mind, elect, you are to aspire to the highest grade of faith.  The faith that believes the words of Jesus and seeks to live it without compromise.  The restoration of power to yourself in whatever means possible is merely the recovery of what has been lost, for the power was given like the mina was given.  The truth is the power has been lost – the blind remain blind, the lame remain lame – and we hid this truth by covering it up with displays of political, intellectual, financial and military powers, but no miraculous power.  A large congregation singing hymns in an expensive palatial cathedral can only validate its existence if all the sick are healed in their midst because of the power.  You can only justify the spending of the money on buildings if all the hungry and poor have been cared for because their food has been multiplied and all their sick have been healed.  The failure to acknowledge the truth that the power has been lost with a slight of hand trickery and distractions using social programmes is like a servant presenting the Master with His robe and slippers when the Master had asked for His minas.

If the minas of power that were given did miracles in Acts 1 to 5 to an extent, then 2,000 Julian years later you would not blame the Lord for expecting a mighty increase of power within the church waiting to greet Him on His arrival.  A church powerful enough to protect the Mount of Olives from the military assault of the combined armies of the kings of the Earth who have been deceived by the false prophet and the beast.  A church powerful enough to respond to His command, “Come up here,” to raise those who have died and then to ascend as He descends to meet with Him in the clouds without the Master having to do the work.  As such, elect, let no one hinder you in your quest to be powerful in the Lord, just as the servant who earned ten minas did not allow anyone to hold him back, for that is what the Lord expects from a good servant.

And as surely as He had given the power, so He had given us the glory, for did He not say to the Father, “I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One: I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me”? The glory that He first displayed at Cana when He changed water to good wine, and the glory He told Martha that she would see if she only believed when He raised Lazarus from the dead.  The glory that changes the nature of substances, situations, attitudes, faith, heart and soul, even motives, to make them one as He is One with the Father.  A glory that produces complete perfect unity, not compromised treaties and agreements, but a unity that no earthly relationship could achieve… beyond family and friends, beyond brothers and sisters, beyond compatriots.  The unity, the Oneness of God… the unity of holiness, that is, set apart, set aside, for Him and Him alone.  That unity manifests when you each strive to help the other achieve total holiness to Him so that His enemies will not have any reason to laugh or gloat.  A unity, a oneness, that would have seen the one who made the ten minas give five to the one who was lazy so that the Master would have received five minas each from His servants.  Now remember, we are not speaking of a Master who does not already know all things so that the lazy servant is not hidden from Him… it is just that our Master’s enemies will not be able to gloat over our Master’s household at all.

The return on His investment of His glory in us is a church where all strive to not only perfect themselves in faith and power, but seek to help each other to that level of perfection even if it means giving away freely what they have acquired so that all have the same level of faith and power to the glory of the Lord.  The church, every individual, made one as He is One… now, that is glory.

For the arrival of Jesus Christ (on clouds with power and great glory) proves once and for all times His faithfulness to His word… for He said that He would return and He will.  As such, see, elect, it is the Faithful One who is arriving in power and great glory, and He deserves to be reciprocated with faith, power and glory.  These three treasures He invested in us when He first called, chose and elected us, trusting us enough to give us not only power to be His witnesses, but also the glory His Father gave Him.

Paul wrote:  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. The light of the glorious gospel has been dimmed because of the loss of power and made unacceptable to unbelievers because of the complete lack of unity, as those who are divisive have drawn disciples after themselves and warred against those who did not agree with them, even killing them, so that the world has never seen the light of the gospel of glory.

The restoration of power to confirm the glorious gospel of Christ in all its detail will permit even the blind to see and be saved and to see that they are saved to participate not in a fractured church that is at war within itself over traditions, doctrines and theories, but saved to participate in a church that would shine with the light of the gospel of His glory.  This gospel:  “I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One: I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me (For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life) and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”

This then, elect, is the glorious gospel of Christ and the gospel of His glory that Paul understood and revealed to us in his inspired writings.  A double-edged sword that the Spirit kept hidden until its proper time so that not only are you saved because of faith by His grace, but by His glory you are changed because of faithfulness… to a truly new creation, a new creature, a new person, one who is capable of complete unity with others as God is in complete unity with God and with God.

From here on, elect, your work is clear and defined – the production of complete faithfulness, fullness of power and the greatest of glory in each and everyone so that all is ready for His arrival, so that not only can we say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” but we can also say, “We are ready!”

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