Friday 8 April 2011

Coming Out of Darkness Part 15 .by Gary Sigler

Facebook on Monday, 04 April 2011 at 17:52. The Mystery of the Gospel "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)" (Eph. 3:3-4). "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph. 3:9-11). "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:32). "Pray for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:19). "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints" (Col. 1:26). The mystery of the Gospel was made known and revealed to the early Church, especially by the Apostle Paul. After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples, teaching them things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. That’s why, on the day of Pentecost, a mere handful of people could turn the world upside-down. Some of them had spent 3½ years with Jesus Himself, and by the words that He spoke, He had put into them the revelation of the Kingdom of God. The Essence of the Gospel You know, we as the Church are still waiting for the Kingdom of God, aren’t we? Not realizing that the Kingdom of God is here! Although you might say it this way: "The Kingdom is here, but not yet." The Kingdom of God is here in the sense that God will, by the power of His Spirit, enable you to bring your whole being into subjection unto Him. That’s the Kingdom . The Kingdom of God is simply the rule and the reign of His Spirit. But since that first period of revelation, first by Jesus and then by the disciples, so many negative things have come into the Church. The Apostle Paul taught this revelation of the Kingdom, and he had not been with Jesus physically before His death and resurrection. Yet Paul had the most marvelous revelation, I believe, of any man in the New Testament. However, the Church at large has lost almost the entire essence of the Gospel that Paul preached. If it had not been lost, you would not see the conditions that we have on the earth today. In this country especially, we have made the Gospel an intellectual Gospel. "If you believe it, you can be a Christian. If you don’t believe it, you can’t be a Christian." Is it simply a matter of intellectually knowing all the right things? Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross accomplished my salvation, but do I have to intellectually know it to receive it? Or can I be in a foreign land somewhere, never having the heard the name of Jesus, and could there not be something that stirs within my being? Could I not look up at the stars and realize that through the creation of God there is a revelation of God? And even though I do not know His name, something within the very essence of my being cries out for more of life. Could it not be that even though I do not have an understanding of the Gospel, I might cry, "There must be someone out there greater than I am, and I want to know You!" "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" (Rom 10:13). Could that not happen? Could you not be in a foreign land, having never heard the name of Jesus, and be saved? Well, if you say no, you don’t know the heart of God. If a man in a foreign land cries out to God, the same thing happens to him that happened to you when you received Jesus! It is by the Spirit of the Lord, not by intellectual knowledge, that you are saved. You can know everything there is to know about the Gospel, you can quote chapters and verses out of the Bible, and still not know God in reality. You know that is true. And here is this poor, humble man in another culture or religion who has said, "There must be someone out there greater than I am, and I want to know You. That man is regenerated just like you and I. He may never hear the name of Jesus in his lifetime, and he may meet a Buddhist monk, who will instruct him in the Buddhist religion, and he will be a very, very confused man. Because in his heart he has met, and been regenerated by, and has within him the essence of, the Spirit of God—but in his mind, he has the Buddhist religion. And there are religious men and women all across America today who would say that because that man is a Buddhist, serving a false god, he cannot possibly be saved. Please hear and understand! It’s not what you believe intellectually that counts with God. When you go before God, your excuse will be no good if you say, "I received you intellectually. I cast out devils in Your name. I healed the sick, and I raised the dead!" What will Jesus say? "I never knew you" (Mt. 7:23). And that poor little, humble man, all he wanted was God, and he got screwed up in his head with Buddhist religion, but in his heart he had the God of the universe—you may see him ushered in to the presence of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and you will be on the outside. And you had it all intellectually right! Don’t ever judge a man by what he believes in his head. Get to know his heart. I would never condemn someone who has the genuine love of God in him—and you can tell the difference between religion and love. And you know what? That Buddhist is no different than a Christian. Whether you are in church or out of it, you have been influenced by 2,000 years of religious tradition, and you can be just as screwed up in your head, intellectually, as a Buddhist is. But if you have God and have been regenerated, that is what matters.
You might be a Lutheran.

You might be a Catholic.

You might be a Pentecostal,

you might be anything.
But if you have met the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you’ll know it. And would I look at you, because you go to a Lutheran church, and say, "You don’t know God"? I wouldn’t dare! Yet that happens all the time. Let’s get to know one another by the spirit. Spend some time in my presence, and get to know my heart. You’ll hear me say things that you can’t agree with, and that’s okay, but if you get to know me, and you get to know my heart, you will love me and I will love you. The differences in our intellectual beliefs don’t matter. Oh, I want so badly for the Church to hear this! On the day of judgment, what is going to matter—whether you had all the right doctrine, or whether you had a heart hungry for God? If you sought after God, if you relieved the suffering of your neighbor, if you opened your home to the needy—what is going to really count? "Oh God, I believed everything just right." "Sorry about that. I didn’t know you. I was in prison, and you didn’t come to Me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give Me to drink. You had a church of 10,000 people, and you didn’t give them to drink. You gave them all of your knowledge. You taught them the seven steps to this and the eleven steps to that, but you didn’t give them anything to drink. You didn’t really feed My sheep. I don’t know you." It’s going to happen. if we don’t understand, and have revealed to us, the heart of the Father. How Will Oneness Happen? God’s plan, His eternal purpose, is that He would gather all things in Christ, so that, as it says in Ephesians 5, He may present to Himself a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. How is that ever going to happen? We must have a revelation of the Father’s heart. There was a time when, if you asked me what I thought it would take to bring everyone into oneness, I would have said to you that for that to happen, everyone would have to be Lutheran. Really! That is what I would have said. Everyone must know that they are not justified by what they do, but as Martin Luther taught, they must be justified by faith. So I would have told you that for everyone to be in oneness, we would all be Lutheran, we would all be justified by faith.
If you would have asked me a few years later what I thought the Church needed to understand in order to come into oneness, I would have told you right away that everyone would have to get filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues. That would bring in the oneness.

But I think now that we’ve had

a few years’ experience in that,

we can look back and see

there was no oneness brought in

by people being filled with the Spirit

and speaking in tongues.

(I shouldn’t say "no oneness," of course;

there was some oneness, but not generally.)

The only thing that will truly bring us into oneness is the revelation of the heart of Father God, realizing that He’s not just the God of the Jews, He’s not just the God of the Lutherans, or of the Pentecostals, but He is the God and Father of all humanity! The Church has to have a revelation of the Father-heart of God! We must have revealed to us that God had a perfect plan, as Ephesians says, and that His eternal purpose, all of this, was already worked out by God. Jesus was the Lamb of God even before the foundation of the world (John 17:24, Rev. 13:8).

What It Means To Be Holy Now

I’m going to touch on some things that may cause you some problems, but just bear with me. One of the biggest problems that we have in the Church is bigotry. The Church has come a long way in bigotry—or I should say, has come a long way into bigotry, and now it is coming out of bigotry somewhat. There was a time when, if you were within a certain denomination and you were black, you had to be segregated out and you could not be a part of that major denomination. Well, we’ve come a long way from that. Recently, that major denomination has repented for that concept. We have so many concepts that we pick up which cause us to be, in our mind, separated, and maybe just a little bit better than the other guy. For instance, I mentioned a little earlier about being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. There was a time, and there still is among some Pentecostals, when you were told that if you do not speak in tongues you cannot possibly be filled with the Holy Ghost, because that is the evidence of being filled with the Spirit. And there has been so much division and so much strife brought in just from that one concept. To tell someone that they are not filled with the Holy Ghost because they do not speak in tongues is almost the height of ignorance in the Church!

To be continued

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