The following three words were recently sent to me by three different saints. I found truth that merited sharing with the saints in each of them. Any time I share the writings of others I am no implying an endorsement of all they say, or have written. It is requisite that each son and daughter of God test all things and examine them carefully. I have found these three words to be timely, and to offer the exhortation that is needed for each child of God to strive toward that high calling in Christ to attain to the first resurrection and be numbered among the firstborn.
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The Revelation Of The Sons Of God
Jun 12, 2004
Note: The words "son", "sons" and "sonship" in this article are used in the spirit of Gal. 3:28. In other words all references to "sonship" here are references to the Father-child relationship between God and His children, regardless of gender, race or age, and do not refer specifically to the male gender.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:19
He that overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall by My son. Rev. 21:7
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. Song of Songs 2:11-12
The Call to Sonship
There are many in the church who aspire to mature sonship, but there are many less who have learnt the secrets of walking in it. All who enter the Kingdom are called as sons of God, but few are willing to meet the cost of becoming MANIFESTED sons. For those who object: "but sonship belongs to ALL believers at the new birth", I would agree and disagree. It is one thing to enjoy the TITLE of son and heir and the privileges that come with that position. It is quite another thing to submit oneself to the school of obedience and unjust suffering that produces within us the character of the Firstborn Son, to whose image all other sons are to be conformed. (Rom. 8:29) A wise father recognises all his sons as his sons, but also marks and celebrates the day of maturity when a son can be trusted with the responsibilities of a functioning heir. It is at that time that the Father's endowment of authority in that son becomes apparent to the world.
So we are talking here not simply about the inheritance of sonship through faith, but more specifically about the unmistakable MANIFESTATION of that sonship, here on this earth and in this mortal life, that must be witnessed by creation. Those who, in the coming days, will be revealed to all creation as "manifested sons" of God will be those who have yielded to the Spirit's training in ALL aspects of sonship, which includes the Father's discipline (Heb. 12:6-8), and the embracing of the Cross.
There is no mysterious exclusion zone surrounding this event the scriptures refer to as "the manifestation of the sons of God" (KJV). We should not be deceived into believing this company of sons who will be revealed are an elite group of super-saints, endowed with a level of holiness not available to the average believer. On the contrary, the invitation to walk as one of these manifested sons, whom the scriptures say the whole of creation is longing to see, is an open one, available to all born-again children of God. The scriptures also make abundantly clear, however, that attaining this measure of mature sonship will involve significant cost to the flesh for those who sincerely seek to respond to it.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren... Hebrews 2:10-11
What form will this manifested sonship take when it appears? What nature of people are this company of believers we are told creation waits for with "anxious longing"? There is one thing of which we can be certain - as the revealed sons of God they will bear an uncanny resemblance to their elder Brother, the Firstborn Son!
In the World but Not of the World
That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.... Philippians 2:15
As has already been stated, we are dealing here not just with the concept of sonship, but with MANIFESTED, or REVEALED, sonship. A contemporary dictionary definition of the word "manifest" is this: "clearly apparent to the sight or understanding; obvious."
Jesus manifested His Sonship whatever He did and wherever He went. He didn't have to work at being different - it was clearly evident to all who crossed His path that He just WAS. His connectedness to Something or Someone outside the common understanding of this world was glaringly obvious and unquestionably uncomfortable for many. People were either drawn to Him or repelled by Him. His manifested Sonship flowed directly from the depth of His unbroken communion with His Father.
So shall it be with all those whose sonship will be revealed as they walk the earth. Who they are may not be understood or acceptable, but that they are not of this earth shall certainly be MANIFESTED in ways that are clearly and unmistakably obvious. Certainly signs and wonder, miracles, powerful delivery of the Word, great grace, joy, holy lifestyles and diversities of gifts and functions will accompany them. However, even more significant than these, manifested sons will EXPOSE peoples' hearts, motives and intentions. As the glory of the Father, the grace of the Son and the holiness of the Spirit are increasingly revealed in and through them, their very presence will expose all that is of a different spirit, and for this reason they will be severely persecuted. People will either be drawn to the glory residing in them, or, by the working of the antichrist spirit, they will intensely oppose them.
Prophetically Proclaimed, Yet Obscure
Just as the coming of the Firstborn Son was prophetically proclaimed, yet of humble and un-notable circumstances, so can we expect it to be with those who walk in mature sonship. Prophets had foretold the coming of Jesus and His birth was marked by heavenly signs which were observed by star-watchers far to the east. Yet, apart from the oriental Magi, some Hebrew shepherds close to Bethlehem, and probably some animals sheltered in a stable, few alive in Israel at the time of Jesus' birth were aware of the momentous significance of the time in which they lived.
John the Baptist was sent in the spirit of Elijah as a forerunner to herald this long-awaited manifestation of God's Son on the earth. For his efforts his life was cut short and his message silenced. Similarly, for some years now prophetic voices have been prophesying the imminent appearance of what has been called a "faceless, nameless" generation of holy people, who will move in the Spirit's power yet seek no glory for themselves. As with the Firstborn Son, the rising generation of manifest sons will arise from seeming obscurity and unexceptional beginnings. There will seldom be anything about their physical appearance, personality, or reputation that would cause them to draw the world's attention. In fact, we should expect the most notable aspect about them, according to worldly standards, to be their ordinariness! (1 Cor. 1:27-29). They will truly be examples of God choosing the weak and foolish to bring to nothing the wisdom of the world.
I believe that another reason these walking in manifested sonship will be "nameless and faceless" is because there will simply be too many of them for the world to create a celebrity class from them. Though the world may attempt to impose its fame on some, they will shun worldly recognition and all that comes with it, just as Jesus did (see John 6:14-15). Their only motivation will be to be about their Father's business while walking as living witnesses of His love.
This is not to imply that men and women walking in manifested sonship have not been raised up by the Spirit at other times. Many names could be listed of those who have embraced this costly calling throughout Christian history, including more recent examples like John Wesley, Mary Slessor, Smith Wigglesworth, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Sadhu Sundhar Singh, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and countless others. However, these have been individual forerunners, making way for a greater company of manifested sons to be revealed by the Spirit when the appointed time arrived and creation's yearning should be fulfilled.
Driven into the Wilderness
We can expect that those walking in manifested sonship will have known times of deep loneliness, testing and hiddenness, or what is commonly called the wilderness experience. Jesus the Firstborn Son was not spared this experience, nor will His brethren be (Luke 4:1).
They will most certainly have wrestled with the temptation to follow a more comfortable and rewarding life-path by the world's standards than the narrow, unrecognised path they've chosen. They will have experienced firsthand the pain of being misunderstood, misrepresented and written off by church associates, friends and even family. But they will also have learnt the secret of overcoming in such trials through the power of the Spirit and the grace of Christ. Therefore they will not display a victim mentality, whatever persecution or hardship they may endure. Though they may be dressed in rags, they will walk in the holiness of priests and the authority of kings which shall not depart from them.
Belonging to the Fellowship of Suffering
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:16
The reality of the Cross and the fellowship of the suffering of Jesus will be more than theoretical concepts in the lives of these manifested sons of God. The scriptures leave us in no confusion or doubt over the fact that the path to glory and resurrection life leads through the Cross, not around it. Therefore they will know Jesus intimately in the place of suffering as well as the place of power. It is precisely because they have yielded to the application of the Cross in their lives that they shall be granted the authority of resurrected sons.
These manifested sons will engender great fear in Satan's kingdom because the fear of death will not have any hold on them. At the same time each one of them will be a living revelation of the reality of God's grace keeping and sustaining His own. All those who suffer for and with Jesus have a special kind of fellowship, not only with their Lord, but also with each other, that is unknown to those believers who choose to circumvent the Cross. This too will be a mark of these mature sons - they will know each after the Spirit, and not after the flesh, and consequently their fellowship with one another shall be deep and rewarding in a way the world cannot comprehend (2 Cor. 5:16). For this reason they shall be granted the sacrificial grace of the Firstborn, enabling them to lay down their lives for one another.
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a lifegiving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 1 Cor. 15:45-49
Manifested sons will have shed the Adamic earthbound nature of the man of dust and will therefore bear the image of the last Adam, the heavenly man Jesus, without any sense of shame. They will have truly become sons of heaven and will demonstrate through word, deed and lifestyle, the supernatural power demonstrated by the Firstborn. Many will display, when required, authority over nature and the created elements. They will fulfill the command given to Adam and Eve, to "subdue the earth" (Gen. 1:28). Having died to the earthly nature of the man of dust (or earth), with its natural limitations, and "put on" by faith the Heavenly Man, they will no longer be bound to the laws of nature that govern the earth. Rather, having indeed become raised up together to sit in heavenly places in Christ, creation will recognise and submit to them, even while they walk in mortal bodies.
[End of Word]
June 8, 2010
Charles E. Newbold, Jr.
The word that follows is for all of you who are suffering the pangs of giving birth to the male child of Revelation 12. You know who you are. I submit this word for your discernment and edification:
All that is going on is necessary for a purification of those who truly want to press into Me and fully enter My Kingdom.
Hard times are ahead for all of My holy ones. Hard times are necessary for My holy ones because as My word says, “we must through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God.” Acts. 14:22.
Yet, there are no times too hard for Me to grant peace and joy in the midst of them. Suffering is an essential aspect of birthing, but the promise of that new life makes it all worth the while. Every mom in the world has experienced birth pangs in childbirth. Every time it occurs, it represents, as a type and shadow, the necessity of this male child of Revelation 12 coming forth in the hour.
It is happening everywhere. Thousands and tens of thousand of men and women around the globe among many different ethnic groups have been called and chosen and will be found faithful as they each face their wash pots of trials and sufferings.
What a day of rejoicing it will be when in the end that male child will have been fully birthed within you. On that day, you will look back upon the toil of labor as a faded memory. All you can embrace will be the lovely face of this male child of whom you will have become.
This is all a great mystery. But do not get lost in the sufferings. Rather, look with hope and great anticipation toward that moment of delivery when the Christ child within you comes forth in fullness.
Remember, it is Christ in you the hope of glory. Col 1:27.
[End of Word]
I have an outline of certain last days’ events, but there is no way that I can adhere to a linear statement or discussion. You will find that I will keep coming back to certain themes in the interweaving of strands that make up the whole.
These are the last days, and I have a view of the faith that can be called “apocalyptic.” Apocalyptic means the “actual revealing,” but it is accompanied by violence, chaos, disorder, collisions between light and darkness, and the shaking of all things that can be shaken. It will be a convulsive time, very akin to birthing. Out of the death gasp of the world as we have known it historically, there is to be birthed the millennial age and the glory of another kingdom and the coming of God to this earth at a point in time. But the Gentile nations, who are ruled over by the principalities and powers of the air, will not want to “give up the ghost” without a last struggle against the coming rule of God.
The scriptures speak of two resurrections that are separated by a thousand years. Those that are holy and blessed rise first. They rise to the place of governmental participation in the kingdom that comes, but others who are not so equipped and prepared, who are neither holy nor blessed, but average knock-about saints, in my opinion, are raised a thousand years later in the general resurrection of the dead. And that is why Paul says, “I strive to attain. I don’t look back, I press forward.” In Philippians 3, Paul speaks of:
counting all things as loss for Christ for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection (vv. 7-10).
The use of the word “may” indicates something yet future, which Paul has not yet experienced.
…and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (v. 11).
Did Paul think that he would not be raised from the dead? That he was not saved? No, he must mean something else, something beyond that. That he might attain to that resurrection. In Hebrews 11, we read of the roll call of those “of whom the world was not worthy,” who “were sawn asunder,” who “hid in the clefts of rocks,” who “were tortured, but would not receive deliverance, for they were looking for a better resurrection.” There are resurrections and resurrections. And not everyone is going to rise with the first resurrection.
Those that are holy, those that are blessed, and those that are overcomers will rule and reign with Him. They will rise in the first, preliminary resurrection. Those that have not this distinction, who were not willing for the sacrifice and the suffering in this life, will not attain to that resurrection. I believe that for them, there is the prospect of being raised a thousand years later without having had the privilege and the joy participating in laying the rudiments of the new kingdom. They now have to stand with their hearts beating like trip hammers when the book of life is opened. Why should the book of life even be there if the second resurrection is only the resurrection of the unbelieving? A book of life indicates that among the general dead are those also who were Christians, who were saved, but never distinguished themselves or strove for the attainment for which Paul counted all things as dung and for which he pressed on to attain.
Paul encouraged his readers to be found blameless in the day of the Lord’s appearing. He did not want them to miss this. He did not want that they should find themselves asleep for a thousand years, and then to awake, and to be judged before the white throne of judgment along with everyone else who has ever lived. He did not want them to go through that fearful moment to see if their names were in the Lamb’s book of life. It seems to imply that it is quite possible that once one’s name has been written in the book, it could be equally blotted out. The terror of standing there waiting, because eternity is at stake, is more than I would ever want to bear. I want to be assured that I rise in that first resurrection, and the issue of that is to be determined in this life...
Those overcomers who remain on the earth rise with them. The word “remain” in the Greek, I am told, means those who have barely survived a persecution. As I have said, those that were asleep—the ‘martyrs’ of every generation—cry out from under the altar, but are told to rest until their brethren shall be martyred like them. So it is an apocalyptic picture of bloodshed, of violence, of persecution, of devastation, and of dealings with Israel. We do not like to contemplate apocalyptic things, and yet the scriptures seem to indicate that this is what the last days mean. And that is why I believe that there will be a “great falling away.” So there are messengers that need to come to the church in order to alert it of the things that are at the door and soon to come.
When the mother of the ‘sons of thunder’ asked if her sons could be at the left and the right hand of Jesus in glory, he replied, “It is not for me to confer those places.” But then He raised this question, “Can you drink the cup that I will drink?”—implying that there are such places, that there are places of honor and distinction and proximity to the Lamb who dwells in unspeakable light. Who can bear that light? For many it will be a mercy to be cast out into the outer darkness, who are not in any way prepared for light of that kind because they were unwilling in this life to “walk in the light as He is in the light.”
To be brought to this place requires chastisement and dealings and disciplines and shocking revelations about our true conditions that we would never have suspected. If we are unwilling for the pain and humiliation of those things, we will not receive the reward of it either. In the mystery of God, it is His dealings with Israel that bring in the whole flood of these considerations. Israel is God’s provision to wake the church to its end-time calling. But only Israel when it is properly understood in the apostolic and prophetic sense, and not in some sentimental way. Those who are hoping that present-day Israel would not only survive, but be established in the Land, and one day grow into becoming a millennial blessing, have no sense of this, and they do not desire it either. My view is apocalyptic, which I believe was Paul’s view. Let us not move away from an apocalyptic view of reality. Things will not improve, either for Israel or for unregenerate man.
In a generation that has seen the prosperity gospel, name-it-and-claim-it, and all of that, this view is completely contrary, both in spirit and tenor, to what is currently celebrated in the church. To bring an apocalyptic end-time perspective will be both an unwelcome task and one in which our reward will not be great with men. It will be resisted, not only by church traditions, but also by those who have played with the language of the last days as a kind of fad. There is a way that we can talk about the last days, and make of it another novelty, but when the prophetic reality of the last days breaks through, it might even be resisted by those who have only given lip service to the concept of it. It would require a magnitude of anointing to express this perspective and a character to bear the rejection, the reproach, the resistance, and the misunderstanding. You will be called a doomsayer and negative—just as those who emphasize righteousness will be called legalists. You will have epithets directed at you, which if you are thin-skinned and thinking of yourself in a self-conscious spirituality, you will go down like a deck of cards. You will collapse at the very first blast.
Can you imagine what kind of preparation it will take to fit and form men for that task? What will God employ in shaping the character and life to wean them from any necessity to be approved? It requires the deepest work of the cross in order to be faithful in that calling. And yet, if it does not come, what hope have we for the church?
When I use the word, Israel, I mean the Israel that is proliferated throughout all the nations, the Jewish people according to the flesh, the ethnic people that make up the nation of Israel. Seeing the imminence of Israel’s unexpected calamity, it is imperative to study the pattern of past disasters to arm us for the one that is future and final. A warning needs to be prophetically sounded for the unwary, the unsuspecting and the unprepared, both for Israel and the church, so that there will be a basis for hope when the crisis comes. Hope is the life-sustaining reality that keeps one sane in the midst of crisis and calamity. If we do not see this as prefiguring the millennial glory, we will be overwhelmed just by the sense of despair. That is why Jesus says, “When you see these things beginning to take place, look up for your redemption draws near.” It is going to be devastating and there will be calamities everywhere. There will be a total moral collapse; the ugliness of violence will be rampant. Ungodliness will prevail in the earth. But when you begin to see these things, look up, for your redemption draws near. Jesus’ use of the word redemption implies the final and full consummation of our salvation. His coming, His kingdom, the thing for which everything is preparation is near and at hand.
As it is a crisis unto death, no aspect of the biblical faith will be left untouched. This requires us to examine the totality of the biblical faith. The prophetic burden, hope, judgment, the millennial age, eschatology, and everything that is part of the faith is called into a re-examination. For the unprepared, it may mean the forfeiture of the faith in an end-time apostasy. For those who have not been willing to re-examine their faith in the light of the things that will be happening, it may mean the loss of their faith. At the same time, and by the very same factors, an entry into the depths of the understanding of the knowledge of God is available, that fits us not only to stand in that hour, but to be fitted for the millennial glories that follow. In other words, the same events for some will mean the loss of faith, but for others, who are prepared, it will mean an increase in the depth of faith and in the knowledge of God. Everything depends upon how we view the apocalyptic conclusion of the age. Is our view based on the glory of God, and that these are the final last days’ convulsions that must precede it? Will we count it a privilege to participate in whatever is required to that end because we see the eternal reward? Are we jealous for a God who has been blasphemed all these ages, and rejected from the counsels of men, now coming into history, intervening, revealing Himself, acting in a powerful way, both in judgment and mercy, that precedes the final appearing of Himself in His own Person to rule and reign forever?...
In Colossians, we read that Jesus “disarmed the powers.” In other words, He did not inflict a final defeat. That is left for church. When it takes place, the whole fallen, angelic realm will be cast out of their heavenly, governmental places. Who will replace them? I believe it will be those who make up that “fullness of the Gentiles” spoken of in Romans 11. We know that the purpose of this church age is to “find a people for His name from among all nations” (Acts 15:14), and I believe that there is an actual number. And that God is preparing and fitting believers for rule, that we shall rule and reign with Him from the heavenly places. We are God’s substitute for the fallen angels, in my opinion. It does not say that in so many words. I cannot show you explicit scriptures, but I put together a clue here and a clue there. And one of the most profound clues is in 1 Corinthians 6. Paul was outraged to find two believers going to a court of the law of the world to resolve a dispute among themselves. He said, “What are you doing? Don’t you know that you are going to rule over angels and nations?” (Paraphrased). In other words, it seems that they didn’t know that they were being prepared for an eternal, governmental place.
In one of Jesus’ parables, He talks about faithful stewards and the rewards for faithfulness. “Some will rule over five cities and some will rule over ten.” When? In the time of the millennial kingdom. From what place? From the heavenlies. What did Jesus say to Nathaniel? “What, you’re impressed I saw you under the fig tree? I will show you a greater thing. Angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” The word “angel” literally means “messenger” or “servant,” and I believe that that is a picture or a hint of the destiny of the overcoming church. The reward for the overcoming is a governmental place in His eternal kingdom, ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. We will be able to be visible, or become invisible. We can be in one place, or another, as it serves the purposes of God in our governmental function, some over two cities, some over five and some over ten.
It says in Revelation 21 that when the Lord comes, He brings His reward with Him to give to each man according to his works. This incentive is little understood in the modern-day church, and that is why it is essentially content with mere church attendance. But our works that will pass through the fire of judgment, that will not be made of hay, wood and stubble, but of precious stones, will earn for us an eternal distinction in the government of God. Eternal reward is a crown and a distinction relative to our place in the millennial kingdom. Not everyone comes to the same place in the same proximity to the throne. Some are even cast out into the outer darkness, where there is a wailing and a gnashing of teeth. This may mean the unsaved and unregenerate, but will it also include those believers who have been shallow and conventional and superficial, who had no distinction in this life, whose works did not pass the fire but were hay, wood and stubble, or who had no works at all, and they were eternally fixed at a place less than what might have been theirs had they given themselves to the purposes of God?
Governing implies an administrative place, but that does not mean we file papers in some bureaucratic way. To administer and to rule is to bring the wisdom of God to bear upon the situations to which God brings us in the millennial kingdom. We will be an influence for good with the nations and with Israel. In contradistinction, the powers of darkness have up till now been instruments of evil. They turn the attention of men away from God. We will turn the attention of men toward God.
God’s purpose is a cosmic conclusion of the whole saga of redemptive history being consummated with the establishment of an eternal kingdom, a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. In fact, heaven and earth will not ultimately be separate and distinct regions. What makes them new is that they converge. Heaven has come to earth and earth has become heaven. It is the final, ultimate, last reconciliation of all. The Jerusalem from above comes down and over the Jerusalem from below, and everything is one. It is the final consummation of everything. The government is upon His shoulder. Every knee has bowed and every tongue confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord.
But He has a stubborn people in the earth who are the earthly agency of that kingdom, namely Israel, the Jew. Having instructed the disciples for forty days in His resurrected body on the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, He was asked of them, “Is it time now to establish the kingdom?” And He didn’t rap them on the knuckles and say, “When are you guys going to grow up? This is not a kingdom for you Jews. This is a universal, global rule.” But He didn’t say that at all. Rather, He said, “It is not time for you to consider that now. Now is the time to wait in Jerusalem for the gift that was promised.” But this implies that there is a time in the future, and that they had every legitimate right to ask of the kingdom, as Jews, because it pertains to them equally as it pertains to all mankind. In fact, if it does not come to them first, it does not come to all mankind.
Do we have a millennial expectation? Are we tasting of the power of the age to come? Are we living in the very anticipation of it? Do we have an eschatological expectation? Does it affect our present life and walk now? This is the blessed hope. It’s a hope that has a particular power and which animated the church at the first. It was the blessed hope of His coming, His kingdom, His millennial glory, through Israel’s restoration after their last days’ sifting and trial, through the mercy extended by the church to release the King from heaven that His kingdom comes. “And the law of the Lord shall go forth out of Zion and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem, and nations shall study war no more” (Isaiah 2:3).
Article printed from Art Katz Ministries: http://artkatzministries.org
URL to article: http://artkatzministries.org/articles/apocalyptic-eschatology/
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