March 2001
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Part Three

March 2001

Our subject is the coming of the kingdom of God, from the heavens, or from the realm of the Spirit, to the earth. It should be very clear to all of us that the world cannot possibly restore or renew itself, or bring forth its own essential salvation. All that is inherent in the earth and in the present world order tends to more corruption, confusion, and decay. The whole thing, from one end of the world to the other, both within and without, is sick and troubled and in need of outside help and deliverance. When the world manifests the sickness, decay, iniquity and corruption of man, as it has throughout its history and is still doing today, this is a clear sign, showing that the people of this present world are also spiritually sick, confused, and in need of deliverance, including most Christians. The problem is not with the earth, as God created it; the real problem is with the people who live here. And the powers of Heaven must come to the people on earth - to the Lord's elect first - to bring forth this deliverance!

We are living in a time that parallels the time spoken of by the prophet Isaiah. The prophet, by the anointing of the Spirit, began his prophecy by showing the depraved condition of the world, both then and now. The Lord called for the heavens and the earth to hear Him. Then He spoke of His people's disobedience and rejection of His word, as being the cause of the world's problems. The Lord referred to them as a "sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward." Knowing that Israel would continue their rebellious ways in spite of His judgments upon them, the Lord then said, "Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head (the governing area of man) is sick (weak and diseased), and the whole heart (the most interior part of man) faint (sick and troubled)."

Therefore, or because of this decadent condition among the people of the world, including the unbelief and rebellion of His own people, who are referred to as "the daughter of Zion" (vs. 8), the Lord said, "Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers" (Is. 1:2-8). But, knowing the Lord our God as we do, we know He would not show His prophets all the troubles and problems in the world without also giving them the answer, or the solution, to all those problems. And the Lord gave His solution to His prophets in Israel for their deliverance and the deliverance of the whole world. He gave us all the answer when He said, "Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah" (Is. 1:9).

The world at the present time is very much like Sodom and Gomorrah in history. Those two cities were destroyed by the Lord because of their sins. But the world today will not be destroyed as those cities were, for God has raised up a holy and righteous remnant who are His saviors on Mt. Zion (Obadiah 21). I do not say that the Lord will raise up a remnant, for it is obvious that He has already raised up and set aside that holy remnant, who have purposed to do only and always the perfect will of their Father in the earth. Isaiah's prophecy, which is the indisputable word of the Lord, tells us that the wicked world of the present might have been judged like Sodom and Gomorrah were it not for the Lord's very small remnant, which He has reserved for His purposes in restoration and redemption. Because of the righteousness of Christ, which has made us righteous, we are the saving element of this present world; we are the salt of the earth (Mt. 5:13).

The Lord also knew that the answer to the world's problems, both then and now, is not in bringing more severe judgment on the people by destroying our cities and our countries, as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah. Rather, the Lord reasoned with Himself, saying, "Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more." In other words, the Lord knew there would be no good purpose in destroying the world and all the people in it, as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah and also to the world of Noah's day. It is the inherent nature of all people everywhere to "revolt more and more." Mankind may be corrected outwardly by the Lord's judgments. But God knew that man's real problem is with the old, Adamic, inner man of the soul, not merely with man's external self.

The only solution to the problems of every person and of the whole creation lies with the elect remnant. Only by growing spiritually and ascending our mount of transfiguration, to worship the Lord and minister to Him in the Holy of holies and be changed into the image and likeness of Christ, shall the whole creation be delivered of its bondage to decay (Ro. 8:19-23). The complete deliverance of every person who has ever lived, as well as the whole creation, will take place when we are transformed and changed, from this body of flesh and blood to our new body of the Life and Glory of Christ. This is more than a mind game! Our spiritual maturity and ascension has already begun the restoration of all things; it is also bringing the glory and power of heaven to the earth. The coming of the kingdom of God, from the heavenlies of Spirit to the earth, will transform this world and everything of it, including all mankind. Therefore, the elect of the Lord are the key to that mighty, all-inclusive deliverance.

The manifestation of the sons of God, which is patterned after the transfiguration of Jesus, is the one and only major event that will bring deliverance to the groaning creation. Let us consider the prophetic word of the Lord given by Jesus at the time of His transfiguration. After six days Jesus was transfigured before a few of His disciples on the mount of transfiguration. As Jesus and His disciples were coming down from that mountain, He told them not to tell the vision to anyone else until the Son of man was risen from the dead. But His disciples asked Him, "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias (Elijah) truly shall first come, and restore all things" (Mt. 17:10-11).

Jesus explained to His disciples that Elijah (more properly, the spirit of Elijah) had already come, and the people did to him whatsoever they "listed," or all they desired to do to him, according to the plan and purpose of God. Then Jesus said, "Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist" (vs. 13). We are part of "the Son of man" company! Those of this sonship company, who are the body of Christ, shall also suffer as John the Baptist suffered at that time, but with a different set of trials. Obviously, suffering is vital and necessary in the spiritual growth and maturity of this corporate Christ!

John the Baptist was anointed with the same holy Spirit with which Elijah was anointed. Those two prophets were of the same Spirit, which is the Spirit and power of restoration! Both Elijah and John the Baptist were anointed with the same anointing of the holy Spirit unto restoration. So also has the Lord, our God and Father, raised up a holy and anointed remnant today. And each one of this remnant company are also anointed of God with the same holy Spirit unto restoration, as was Elijah and John the Baptist. The spirit of Elijah has come within us to begin to restore all things, before any other part of the Lord's plan shall be fulfilled. According to the words of Jesus, the coming of the Elijah Spirit to the elect of earth must precede the manifestation of the sons of God, which is their bodily change (Ro. 8:23).

Within our innermost being is the same Spirit of restoration that was in Elijah. We are sending forth that glorious Word and Spirit of reconciliation, first to the heavenlies of Spirit and then to the earth, as Father is beginning to change all mankind and the whole creation. We are doing this in the Spirit and by the Spirit, and not by the empty, feeble works of the carnal man. If the pattern and example given by Jesus on the mount of transfiguration also applies today (Mt. 17:11), then the coming of "Elijah," which is the Spirit and power of restoration within the elect, will precede the transformation and the resurrection of the saints, and it has.

The elect of the Lord are distinguished and set apart from all others, for they are groaning and travailing within themselves (Ro. 8:15 & 23). They are continually and unceasingly calling on their Father to restore all things. The spirit, attitude, and viewpoint of their message is not one of condemnation, judgment, or punishment for a lost world that is far from God. But the continual cry of our hearts is that God would restore all things. The Spirit of our message is the true message of the kingdom of God, calling forth all the resources of His kingdom; it is a message of pardon, of God's grace and mercy, of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration, and of the unlimited and abounding Love of God. Our message is just the opposite of the false "Left Behind" doctrine of the preachers in the corrupt and wayward church system. Ours is a message of good news; it is His message of restoration, and of Life, Light and Love, which He wisely and graciously imparted to each one of us!

And because our message is one of Life, Light and Love, we know it is reverberating throughout the heavenlies of His Spirit. This message of redemption and restoration is filling all the heavens; it is being repeated and trumpeted forth by the angels and saints in that heavenly realm (Ro. 10:18). And from that heavenly realm of all power, that anointed Word and Spirit of restoration shall be dispersed as rain - as spiritual showers of blessings - to fall upon the earth and wash every son of Adam in the overflowing waters of His salvation, and of His divine truth, and life-changing power (1 Tim. 2:4). In this way, the multitudes of the world, who are far from God and His Life and truth, will come to know the Lord in the same high degree that we have known Him. This is what it means for us to be "a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (James. 1:18).

Before the transformation and resurrection of the saints can take place, which Jesus demonstrated on the mount of transfiguration, He said, "Elias (Elijah) truly shall first come, and restore all things." Some have thought that this had to mean that Elijah would actually be resurrected literally and bodily to fulfill this prophetic word. But Jesus clearly explained that John the Baptist fulfilled the Elijah ministry at that time, for he was anointed with the same Spirit that also anointed Elijah (see Mt. 17:11-13). The work of the Lord is done in the Spirit and by the Spirit, and not by the barren and meager works of the flesh. For this reason, it is not necessary for Elijah to be resurrected and to return bodily to the earth to fulfill that prophecy given by Jesus. The Spirit of restoration with which Elijah was anointed, is the same Spirit that also anointed John the Baptist. And that same anointing of the Spirit is also within the elect of the Lord of this new Day.

As the elect of the Lord, we are also fulfilling the Elijah ministry for this new Day, which is to come to the earth before the transformation and resurrection of the saints, or before the manifestation of the sons of God. Like all things of the kingdom of God, or all things spiritual, the Elijah anointing of the Spirit must come "down" from God out of heaven to the earth, and it has. And now, once again it may be said, "Elias (the Spirit of Elijah) is come already," or within the elect, to begin to restore all things, "and they (the world, including most Christians) knew him (them) not, but have done unto him (them) whatsoever they listed." Could the truth of our high calling of God in Christ be any clearer than this?

The Elijah ministry, in the Spirit and power of Elijah, is a spiritual ministry, not a literal one. Yet, there are some parallels between the preparation of Elijah and our preparation in this world. Elijah stood before wicked King Ahab and prophesied of a coming famine, which was the Lord's judgment on the wicked king for his apostasy. As a result of Elijah's righteous stand against the evil of that day, he had to flee from the wrath of the king and queen, and find refuge at the brook Cherith. There, the anointed prophet of God was sustained by the Lord, who used ravens to bring him food. So also have we stood against the corruption of this world, and especially that of the church system. We have had to flee man's corrupt religious systems and find a hidden place of refuge, as Elijah did, which for us is the secret place of the most High, where we are being sustained by our Father.

When the brook Cherith dried up, Elijah went to the home of a widow woman. There, the prophet performed the miracles of prolonging the oil and the meal, and of raising the woman's son to life again. We too have been shuttled back and forth, so to speak, from one "brook" to another, and from the "brooks" to the house of the widow (meaning, spiritually unmarried). Through it all, we experienced His sustaining miracles and grew to know our Father in a better way. Next, the Lord told Elijah to go before the wicked king, Ahab. When Ahab saw Elijah, he accused the prophet of troubling Israel. But Elijah told Ahab that he was the reason for the trouble in Israel because he forsook the commandments of the Lord and followed Baalim. Then Elijah challenged the wicked king, and called on him to bring all Israel and all the false prophets of Baal with him, to mount Carmel. So all Israel came to mount Carmel, along with 850 false prophets of Baal.

As he stood before the assembled multitudes of Israel, with 850 false prophets of Baal on mount Carmel, Elijah challenged the people. He said to them, "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him." But the people did not answer the prophet. Elijah spoke this anointed word of the Lord before all Israel, with 850 false prophets among them, without compromise and with no fear for his own life. He knew Whom he believed! He also knew His Lord had anointed him for this special task, and would be with His faithful prophet every step of the way. So Elijah suggested that they each build an altar to the Lord to sacrifice a bullock on their individual altars. The 850 false prophets of Baal were to erect their altar, with wood on the altar, but without a fire, and put a bullock on top of the wood. Elijah would build his altar the same way, but would pour water over the whole thing, a total of twelve barrels full, making it much more difficult for the wood on his altar to burn. We all know the story, I am sure. The false prophets prayed and cried out to Baal from early morning until the evening, jumping on their altar and cutting themselves, while Elijah mocked them, but still no fire from the false god of Baal appeared on their altar.

Then it was Elijah's turn to call down fire from God to burn upon his altar. With a simple prayer, the fire of God came down on Elijah's altar. The fire of God that erupted on Elijah's altar was so intense that it burned up and consumed all the wood, including the bullock, and even the stones of the altar, including the twelve barrels of water that was poured on Elijah's altar. All that water did not prevent the fire of God from burning every part of Elijah's altar, until there was nothing left of it. And when the people saw it, "they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God." With that, the anointed prophet of God told the people to capture all the prophets of Baal. Then those false prophets were taken by Elijah to the brook Kishon, where they were all slain (1 Kings 18:17-40).

When I read a story like this, I wonder about those of us who are of this high calling of God in Christ. I wonder if we could face such an awesome multitude of false prophets, along with a larger crowd of unbelievers and skeptics, as Elijah did, and then challenge them all by the power of God? Would we dare to withstand gross unbelief, evil, darkness and error, as Elijah did? Or would we compromise with them and try to find some level of human agreement? Or, like most Christians today, would we presume the answer would be found within the corrupt, worldly systems of man? Those who are anointed with the Spirit and power of Elijah are not careless and indifferent to the purposes of their Father. These elect and chosen ones do not have the spirit and attitude of human agreement and compromise. But they will hold their ground, as the Spirit leads them, and will faithfully pursue the course set before them. They are not carried about by every wind of doctrine, and will certainly not follow man or man's ways. They are made strong and courageous, in the Spirit and by the Spirit, and have made the Lord alone their Head, their Lord, and their King.

There was no compromise at all in Elijah's make-up. He did not try to find some form of human agreement with the false prophets, some common ground where they could all get along and agree, but he knew they were all wrong. Elijah's experiences ALONE, by the brook, in the widow's home, and IN THE WILDERNESS, wrought a work of the Spirit within him that made him the strong, courageous, and uncompromising reformer that he was. So also did the experiences of John the Baptist, ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS, prepare him for the work he was called of God to do. From his childhood until "the day of his shewing unto Israel" John the Baptist REMAINED "in the deserts," growing in God and becoming strong in spirit (Lu. 1:80, to learn more about the Spirit of restoration, read Luke 1:67-79). And we too shall become strong and uncompromising in God if we will remain alone in our wilderness where we shall hear only our Father's Word from His pure mind. Our Father requires that we be ALONE with Him, without the word of others to guide us, as was required of both Elijah and John the Baptist. These messages are intended only to provide confirmation to all who are hearing and listening to their Father. No person living now can ever give us the word of the Lord that will transform us, for no one living now has ever been trans-formed by the Spirit of God. No person living now has ever traveled this way before! Only a transformed and glorified Son, Who is Christ, the Lord of glory, can give us the pure word of the Lord that will transform us. Therefore, we must learn to hear Him and no other!

By the time Elijah was led of the Lord to stand before wicked King Ahab and his 850 false prophets, that anointed prophet of God was ready for anything and everything. As soon as he knew what God wanted him to do, Elijah stood firm and determined in the face of great odds, ready to do only the will of His Father in heaven. He had no elders, deacons or pastors to counsel him and give him advice. Elijah had those necessary hearing ears of the Spirit, and he clearly heard His Father. With no fear or apprehension, and certainly with no compromise within him, Elijah turned an entire nation back to the Lord again. This is what the Spirit and power of Elijah is all about!

Although Elijah turned the nation of Israel back to the Lord and His word, the Spirit of God with which Elijah was anointed, did not lead him to restore all things everywhere. But all things shall eventually be restored, by the Spirit and power of Elijah, as Jesus said they would be (Mt. 17:11). John the Baptist was also anointed with the Spirit and power of Elijah, but he did not restore all things either. He did what the Lord led him to do, which was to baptize all Judea in the Jordan, thus initiating those Judeans into a new Day, which was just then beginning. The Lord's remnant of this new Day are also anointed of God with the same Spirit and power of Elijah. And we shall faithfully, obediently, and with much determination and faith, do all the will of our Father, as He reveals it to us. If it is our Father's plan for us to begin the restoration of all things in the earth, by the Spirit and power of Elijah, that is precisely what we shall do!

The Lord was speaking of His people, Israel, when He said, "But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, RESTORE. Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear FOR THE TIME TO COME?" At that time, Israel was in bondage due to their sin of unbelief. At that time in history, no man anywhere, whether prophet, priest, or king, spoke forth the anointed word of restoration on behalf of the wayward nation and people (see Is. 42:22-24). The whole world today is also in bondage because of the great sin of unbelief. And now, in this new Day, the Lord has raised up a faithful remnant. They are anointed with the Spirit and power of Elijah, which is the Spirit and power of God unto ultimate and total restoration.

Everything within the hearts of the elect of this new Day cries out in the Spirit, "Restore, O Lord, restore all things. My Father, have mercy on your people and restore them by your Spirit. Give the people hearing ears to hear what the Spirit is saying in this new Day. Let them hear your glorious truth. Open their understanding, that they might know your sovereign ways and your eternal purposes, which you have purposed in Christ before the foundation of the world. Turn the hearts of the unsaved multitudes of the nations to you, O Lord. Forgive them of their sins and iniquities and establish them in your kingdom. Heal the nations and remove all the darkness from the hearts of the people and from all the earth. Thy kingdom come, O Lord! Thy will be done everywhere in all the earth, even as it is being done in the heavenlies of your Spirit. Amen and Amen!" This indeed is the expressed will of our Father in heaven!

Is this the cry of your heart? Is this your ultimate desire in God? If it is, then you, too, are anointed with the Spirit of restoration, which is the Spirit and power of Elijah! It is the Spirit of this new Day; it is the Spirit of restoration. A new thing has come down from God out of heaven to the earth! It is "the first dominion," the first portion, or the beginning of the reign or dominion of the kingdom of God in all the earth (Micah 4:8)! It is the Spirit of restoration, which is the prelude, the preamble, the preface, or the introduction, to the many, mighty spiritual wonders of the kingdom of our Father, which are yet to come forth in all the earth! This is "the time to come,"referred to by Isaiah (Is. 42:23); it is the time when the manchild company has come forth, in the Spirit and by the Spirit, to both proclaim and minister restoration in the Spirit and power of Elijah. There are not many ages yet to come. Some may assume that many ages are required to bring them to perfection and to fulfill all Father's plans and purposes, which He has preplanned and foreordained for His kingdom. But, according to His Word, our Father is doing a quick work, both with His people and the whole creation!

The transfiguration of Jesus on that mountain was the coming of the kingdom of God to the earth with power. Just before His transfiguration, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen THE KINGDOM OF GOD COME WITH POWER" (Mk. 9:1). Six days later, Jesus appeared before three of His disciples on the mount of transfiguration in the full glory and power of the kingdom of God. What happened? The Lord Jesus Christ appeared in His new body! The kingdom of God came with power! "And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller (a cloth-dresser or cleaner) on earth can white them" (Mk. 9:3). Matthew's account described Jesus in His transformed state this way: "and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light" (Mt. 17:2). And Luke's account tells us, "the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering" or, His clothes were radiant (Lu. 9:29). And then, while Peter was suggesting that they should build three tabernacles on that very spot, as memorials to Jesus and to Moses and Elijah, "a bright cloud overshadowed them (or, they were enveloped in a haze of brilliancy): and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Mt. 17:5, see also Lu. 9:34-35).

The coming of the Lord, which also is the coming of Christ, or the coming of God in the Spirit, generally takes place in a cloud of Spirit (Mt. 24:30, 26:64, Mk. 13:26, 14:62, 1 Thess. 4:17 & Heb. 11:17-12:1). For example, when Jesus ascended heavenward after His resurrection and in the presence of His apostles, "a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). The apostles, who were assembled with Jesus after His resurrection, did not see Him ascend to heaven in a bodily form, as most have thought. They could not see Jesus, no matter what form He was in when He ascended; He was completely covered, overshadowed, or enveloped in a cloud, for "a cloud received him out of their sight." They could not see Jesus, regardless of what form He was in, whether in spirit or in a body of flesh; all they could see was a cloud of spirit that enveloped Him!

As those apostles gazed up into heaven while Jesus ascended, and was covered or enclosed in that cloud of spirit, the angels said to them, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come IN LIKE MANNER as ye have seen him go into heaven." How did Jesus go into heaven? "A cloud received him out of their sight," or a cloud of Spirit took Jesus into heaven. Therefore, those who love His appearing must also see Him in the Spirit and by the Spirit when He comes in a cloud of Spirit to transform His waiting, believing sons. Those who are spiritually minded will see Christ when He appears; they will be transformed by seeing Him as He is in the Spirit (1 Jo. 3:2).

There may be one grand and glorious appearing of Christ to His people that will take place openly and before the multitudes of this world. That may be the appearing of Christ at the manifestation of the sons of God. When Christ appeared in His transformed glory before three of His disciples, along with Moses and Elijah, He was demon-strating the blessed truth that all shall see Him when the sons of God are fully manifested. Christ will appear in a cloud of Spirit, to transform His maturing, prepared sons. That will be the manifestation of the sons of God. And when His sons are fully manifested, every eye shall see Him, including those who pierced Him (Rev. 1:7).

The people of the world will not see us, they will see the completed Christ, both Head and body, of which we are a part. We believe Ezekiel saw this completed, glorified Christ and then tried to describe what he saw in the first chapter of his prophecy, verses four to twenty-five, and also in the tenth chapter, verses ten to twenty-two. John also saw the completed Christ while on the Isle of Patmos and described Him in the first chapter of Revelations, verse eight, and verses thirteen to fifteen. No one member of that body is seen more than another, nor does anyone stand out as being greater than any other, except for the Head (Rev. 1:14), and the feet (vs. 15). We all know the glory, power, and authority of our Head. And we are also discovering the importance of the feet company of the body of Christ and the vital function they have in the kingdom (see our booklet, "A Prepared People With a Holy Purpose," Part Four, of April 1999). The whole body is equally arrayed in the splendor and glory of Christ, for each one of them have been changed into the glorious image and likeness of Christ, their Head. Then, after the sons of God have been manifested, our Father may also appear in a cloud of Spirit, to announce with much Fatherly, spiritual satisfaction, dignity and purpose, "these are my beloved sons in whom I am well pleased, hear ye them."

With these words of our Father, which were thundered forth from heaven to the earth and accompanied by a bright cloud that overshadowed all who were present, the evidence and the goal of true sonship was proclaimed, manifested and set forth for all other true sons who shall follow. Sonship is a walk, not a talk. The Apostle Paul wrote to tell us, "The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power" (1 Cor. 4:20, NIV). We may do a lot of talking about sonship and may even declare ourselves to be sons of God, but only the manifestation of the kingdom of God within us, which is our bodily change, is that necessary power of God that will bring forth and confirm our sonship. How we all long for our Father to say of each one of us, as He did of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."

There is no other evidence of our sonship, except our complete bodily change into the full image and likeness of Christ. The goal of all true sons of God should be to be transformed in their bodies, to become like Him. Those who shall be transformed and changed in their bodies are sons of God indeed. And those who shall be transformed in their bodies will also understand the coming of the kingdom of God to the earth with power. They know that a greater power is needed than the power that is within them. We are not yet complete within ourselves; we are complete IN HIM (Col. 2:10). We need the mighty, kingdom power of God to come "down" from God, or from the heavens of His Spiri,t to the earth, to transform and change us into His likeness. The power of the kingdom of God is that power of God that comes from God out of heaven to the earth to change us into the full image and likeness of Jesus Christ, the risen and glorified firstborn Son of God.

The elect of the Lord will also know, by the wisdom of the mind of Christ within them, that they cannot just wait for the power of God to come from heaven to the earth to hit them like a bolt of lightning and change them instantaneously. Of course our change will eventually take place "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:51-52). But the wise will also know that there are STEPS we must take in our progressive walk unto the fullness of the Life of Christ, by the leading of the Spirit. And each spiritual step we take will lead us to the ultimate goal of being perfect in Christ, even as He is perfect!

The apostle Paul wrote much about salvation, as it is in Christ Jesus. To many of us, the word salvation refers to the basic salvation, or the salvation of the soul. But, in reality, the salvation of the Lord includes everything from the salvation of our souls, to the ultimate salvation, which is the salvation of our bodies as well. The salvation of the Lord takes the elect from being outright sinners, without God and without hope in this world, to being fully redeemed and transformed sons of God in the full image and likeness of Christ. This is the full salvation of which Paul wrote to the Romans, when he said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God UNTO salvation to every one that believeth" (Ro. 1:16).

Although we are saved in the primary sense, we still look for the revelation and the manifestation of Christ, which is "the power of God unto salvation." It is the power of God and of His kingdom that will change us into His full image and likeness. And Paul tells us this complete and total salvation is revealed from faith to faith. The apostle continues by saying, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed FROM FAITH TO FAITH: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Vs. 17). It is vital and necessary for us to grow spiritually from faith to faith, for the salvation we seek is revealed in that manner: progressively and from faith to faith. There are STEPS of spiritual progress in our walk unto the fullness of salvation. With each step of spiritual progress we take, the salvation we seek is also revealed to us, "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little" (Is. 28:10), until we shall stand complete in Him and as He is.

The full salvation of the Lord is revealed or made known to us "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little," and this causes us to grow spiritually "from faith to faith." We need to grow and mature spiritually so that our understanding will also grow, mature and increase, "line upon line," until we all will have the mind of Christ in fullness. This is all a part of the complete and perfect salvation of the Lord. As we walk unto our full and complete salvation, which includes the salvation of our bodies, we must take many steps of spiritual maturity in God that will reveal His plan of salvation to us and for us progressively, or "from faith to faith."

It is not the will of our Father for us to come to a certain understanding of God and of His purposes, and then settle down in that spiritual "place," which really is more like a grave, to await the coming of the Lord in great glory to change us. Those changes must take place progressively within us NOW! And those changes are taking place in the lives of the elect now, for His glory. Those changes will take us "from glory to glory," by the leading of the Spirit of God. So also is the salvation of the Lord being revealed to us "from faith to faith," until we shall know and experience Him and His all-inclusive plan of salvation in all the glorious fullness that He is.

Paul also wrote to say, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, ARE CHANGED into the same image FROM GLORY TO GLORY, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18). We are being changed NOW into His image and likeness from glory to glory by beholding Christ and His glory, even though we may only see Him as in a glass or a mirror. What does this mean for the elect of the Lord? It means that we are being changed from glory to glory by seeing Him as He is. It means that our walk is continually changing as we go from glory to glory and from faith to faith. It means we are not doing the same old religious things we once did, but we are moving onward and upward in God, from glory to glory, as He leads us by His Spirit. It also means that we will not fail to take each spiritual step of growth in God, as He reveals it to us.

For many of us, to take the necessary steps of spiritual growth onward and upward to His image and likeness means we are no longer worshiping outwardly in a church or a fellowship and with other people. We once worshipped in the systems of man, on the mountains of man's religious leadership, with its inpart works and programs, and in the tabernacles, churches, and the fellowships of man in this world. But now we are worshiping our Father in Spirit and in truth, outside the churches, fellowships and the meetings of man, as our Lord told us to do. A sinful, seeking woman once said to Jesus, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall NEITHER IN THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR YET AT JERUSALEM, WORSHIP THE FATHER. BUT THE HOUR COMETH, AND NOW IS, WHEN THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS SHALL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST WORSHIP HIM (not outwardly with others, but) IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH" (John 4:19-24).

Can you HEAR this anointed Word from the heart of Him Who is now ascended on high, having the keys of hell and of death, and is fully glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father? Can you HEAR HIM? Can you HEAR this word, which will remove from you all the dead traditions of the past? For all true sons of God, who seek to be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ, it is not acceptable for any of us to be worshiping in any of the churches, tabernacles, or houses of man. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, Who was transformed and glorified, told us that the hour would come when we would cease all that religious frivolity, and we would then worship Him in Spirit and in truth. And this is that blessed hour!

If you are a son of God, growing and maturing in the Spirit to become a fully manifest son of God, then you will cease worshiping according to the old dead traditions of the past, and will begin worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. This is the only path revealed by the Spirit that will lead us to our manifest sonship! This is the hour when the elect shall worship their Father in Spirit and in truth, and not according to the old, dead ways of the past. It means that we are shut up with the Lord in the secret places of our own individual "booths" or "tabernacles" (Lev. 23:42-43 & Hosea 12:9), never again to hear the deceptive word of another human being. It also means we are living by the higher standards of the new covenant (Heb. 8:10-13), and not according to the old, dead, outmoded covenants of the past.

The elect are growing spiritually, from faith to faith and from glory to glory. They are living according to the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ and are walking in the Spirit. They are also maturing spiritually, and shall be fully prepared to see Him when Christ appears to transform His elect and chosen sons. Each step we have taken in God has made us the more mature believer that we are now in the kingdom of our Father. And we cannot hope to be transformed in that "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" appearing of Christ if we fail to take any of the revealed steps of spiritual growth, which were revealed to us by the Spirit and are necessary for our complete and total transformation. Each step of spiritual growth in God is an indispensable and essential part of our full salvation!

The Effects of the Elijah Anointing Unto Restoration

In Isaiah's prophecy of restoration, the word of the Lord given to the prophet tells us that the Lord formed His anointed to be His servant ever since we were in the womb of our mothers. Our destiny as servants of the Lord was fixed in God long before we were born. Then the Lord says, "It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to RESTORE the preserved of Israel (the elect who are delivered, reserved, kept and guarded by the Lord): I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles (or, to the nations), that thou mayest be my salvation UNTO THE END OF THE EARTH" (Is. 49:1-6, see also vs. 7-16).

Notice the spiritual progression in this verse! It is our Father's sovereign plan to first raise up and restore the preserved of Israel, or the elect remnant, before all others, that we should become a kind of firstfruits of the rest of mankind (Ja. 1:18). Then, when we are fully delivered and restored, our Father will fill us with the Light that He is, thus enabling us to manifest His Light to the nations, even unto all the ends of the world. That is a large order! But in Christ and with the Lord's help, we know we will be victorious in doing all He has purposed for us to do. Our high calling also includes bringing deliverance to all the prisoners, regardless of the type of "prison" that confines each one of them (vs. 9). The Elijah anointing, or the Spirit of restoration, that is upon us and within us, will accomplish all this, as He leads us, for His honor and glory.

At the close of the Old Testament, Malachi prophesied the word of the Lord regarding the future comings of the Spirit of Elijah. He said: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal. 4:5-6). In attempting to understand this prophecy, it is important that we pay special attention to the last phrase of these verses, which also is the last phrase of the Old Testament. Here, the Lord clearly said He would send Elijah before coming of the day of the Lord, "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

From this anointed and inspired passage of prophetic scripture, we can see that it is not God's will, purpose or plan that the earth should be smitten with a curse. The religious world is full of sermons, writings, and radio and TV broadcasts, which blare out the false doctrines of man and his religious persuasions. You can hear and read most anything out there in that religious world of man's chaos and confusion. How often have we heard preachers, who claimed to be anointed of the Spirit, spew out their false doctrines of world-wide destruction, universal hell and damnation, and utter hopelessness, except for those who embrace their carnal, fraudulent fears and their erroneous hopes. Their limited, hopeless gospel has been proclaimed throughout much of the world, until many are tired of hearing it. But, thank God, a humble, righteous, inspired and maturing remnant has come forth in the earth to declare a new message; their's is a message of hope, and of comfort and joy for a groaning and travailing creation that has never heard much Good News until now. What a holy privilege is ours in the blessed kingdom of our Father!

Rather than "smite the earth with a curse," our Father has purposed instead to send the Spirit and power of Elijah to the earth, to indwell His elect and chosen ones, and make them to become the essential, saving element of this world. The Elijah Spirit of restoration is now within us and upon us as we begin this new kingdom Day, and we shall also joyfully and hopefully begin the restoration of all things. The result of this special anointing that all the elect have within them will be seen in all the world, for "all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee" (Ps. 22:27). According to the words of Jesus, this Elijah anointing of the Spirit had to come upon the elect prior to their full salvation, or before the manifestation of the sons of God would take place in the earth, and it has (Mt. 17:11).

The Lord said through His anointed prophet, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Many in the carnal, religious systems of man have incorrectly interpreted this prophecy as a warning, or as a foreboding and threatening indication of terrible times to come. But, when the language of this prophecy is properly examined in the Light of the truth of the Lord and the anointing of His Spirit, no such threat of troublous and terrible times is ever given here. "The great and dreadful day of the Lord," really refers to a day that is great in the sense of being old. Thus, this is a great Day, or an old Day, as God reckons time. And according to Strong's Concordance, this is also a Day that has been shortened, as we read in Matthew 24:22.

This is also a "dreadful day." According to Strong's Concordance, this means it will be a day in which the Lord shall be greatly feared and respected by all. Our Father may even frighten us at times! Yet, there is no such thing as carnal fear when we truly fear or respect the Lord, in the highest sense of the word. We then respect and revere Him with all that is within us. The Lord may frighten us with His strange and mighty acts during this old, respected Day of the Lord. He may do it, not to make us afraid of Him, but that we might respect and revere Him as our Savior, Lord, Head, and King. This is not a Day to be feared, as man knows fear; it is a Day when every person everywhere will come to know the Lord and will respect and revere Him in a greater way than ever before. They will all bless His Name and honor Him as the sovereign and omnipotent Lord of all when they do get to know Him, not as the church system falsely portrayed Him to be, but as He really is in the wondrous glory of the kingdom of the Father!

When we come forth in His likeness, it shall then be declared, with His redeeming purpose, "The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Is. 52:10). Blessed be the Name of the Lord Who always and in every circumstance does all things well! Amen!

Paul and Emily Mueller

P O BOX 25055, PORTLAND, OR 97298-0055

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