The Glory Road, A Kingdom Highway
This journal is dedicated to my family, who first introduced me to Jesus, Lord of life and salvation. My prayer is that they and all of us shall soon see that we have been delivered from the last vestiges of the kingdom of darkness and ushered into the kingdom of His dear Son; that we shall see Him as He is, so that our land shall be healed from the destruction caused by the palmer worm and the locust and the caterpillar. (Joel 1:4). It is also dedicated to my new friends at Medicalodge, the local nursing home, which has become the catalyst for my passion to know kingdom truth about healing the physical body, the soul and the spirit. This word came to me as I prayed for those dear old saints who live there with no hope for escape except to die and go on, but they are afraid to do so because they still fear hell.
This journal feels to me like the most important one I've written thus far, and I ask two things of you who read it. 1) That you prayerfully ask the Lord for what it might mean for your own life, and 2) that you share with me further insights the Spirit gives you as an answer to your prayers. I don't have the complete answers for the questions that I raise here, but in His time, He will give them to all of us, because He promised that if we lack wisdom, we have only to ask of God, who "gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." It shall be given to anyone who asks, the Apostle James assures us, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1: 5,6). I look forward to feedback from you when you ask of our heavenly Father, who will not give us a stone when we ask for bread. (Matt. 7:9). I am an enthusiastic baker, making by hand all the bread we eat. I love to take the flour, yeast, honey and oil and knead it into that which sustains life and gladdens the soul. May our Father take this dough I'm kneading today and show you how to bake it in your own oven so that you will experience the joy of participating in the finished product, direct from the hand of God.
Lenny and I have been really feeling the pinch of pain and suffering in our physical bodies this month. His arthritis and my Costochondritis (chest wall inflammation) have given us both cause to whine and lament unto the Lord for respite, knowing that His grace is sufficient, and believing that God does all things well. He delivered us from sin, sickness and death on the cross, and we long to see that deliverance made manifest in our flesh. That's the backdrop for what happened this week. Early Sunday morning, about 3:30 am, we were both sitting at our little kitchen table, fellowshipping over a glass of milk and a bite of peanut butter, waiting for the Tylenol we had taken to kick in and relieve the pain. I began to read to him out of the book of Joel, because God had prompted me to see that when the prophets talked about the "land," the spiritual interpretation of it in the New Covenant is the body of Christ, God's people, you and me in other words. (Heb. 8:10). Having read 3 books in rapid succession expounding the Preterist view of scriptural interpretation of prophecy, I am persuaded that many of the prophecies concerning "the great and terrible day of the Lord" were fulfilled in AD 70 when Titus sacked Jerusalem. This is not something that we need to fearfully anticipate in terror for the future, because it already happened! The Preterist view point is that Jesus meant what He said, when He told the disciples, "Verily I say unto you, 'This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled'." (Matt. 24:34). I'll give you the names and authors of these books, and you can read them for yourselves, if you feel so led. (See End Note A).
Whether you resonate to these books or not, I assure you that the information contained therein will cause you to think, and to prayerfully ask God if they be right. Since God had already shown me some of this truth by the Spirit, I read the books with interest, confirming what the Spirit had revealed to me last year. And while, I certainly don't espouse everything these men say, nevertheless, the books had a powerful affirming influence on me.
All us have no doubt discovered that scripture may be interpreted on different levels, and different people can read the same verse and get exact opposite meanings from it. This is why we need the Spirit of God to confirm what we're reading, and we need the fellowship of the body, the dialogue with each other as to what each of us is getting. God is a multi-level teacher. That is, in some passages, He is speaking to babes, who are just learning to know Him; in other passages, to young men, who realize they have power to overcome the wicked one, and in yet in other verses, to fathers, whom the Apostle John says, "have known Him from the beginning." (I Jn. 2:13-14). What I see in these apocalyptic passages which abound in Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Joel, Zechariah, and of course, Revelation, is that even though they may have been physically fulfilled in AD 70, yet they are nevertheless being spiritually fulfilled in our lives as we walk with Him today. Everything that was written before was a shadow of spiritual truths for our lives today. (Heb. 10:1). Under the Old Covenant, truth was carved out, sculpted in flesh and blood, sin and tears, hopes and glory, for our edification. In the New Covenant, the reality of that pattern or example is played out in our lives now as we walk with Him in Spirit and in truth. Let him who has an ear to hear, hear then, what the Spirit lays before us.
When I was reading Joel to Lenny in the middle of the night, I saw clearly again that the land of Israel is now within us, even as the kingdom is within us, and that the curses of the law, which God brought upon the land in response to their disobedience to the Old Covenant, He promised to heal. Healing and restoration is therefore the promise for the land of Canaan within us today. Joel prophesied, "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else; and my people shall never be ashamed." (Joel 2:25-27). And how were we to know when these promises were fulfilled? He tells us, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." (Joel 2:28-32). Now if that doesn't give you Holy Ghost goose bumps all over your body, you might want to check your pulse to determine if you are, in fact, still breathing in and out. On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter told the multitude that what they beheld there was the fulfillment of Joel's prophesy. (Acts 2:16). You don't always have an Apostle standing by to tell you that this is what the prophet meant by what he said, but Peter did just that on this amazing day when Christ first returned in power and glory.
What these Preterist authors clearly show, by quoting from first hand, eye witness accounts recorded by Josephus and others, is that "that great and terrible day of the Lord" did happen, as foretold, and when Christ came in judgment on Israel in AD 70, many of those who pierced him (Rev. 1:7) were alive to see it, to their sorrow. They explain with myriad scriptural references that the apocalyptic language about the sun and moon and blood dripping and other weird and frightening phrases, to our ears, at least, were VERY familiar to the Jews, because this was the language which the prophets used to get the point across that God was about to move in judgment.
Listen to the apocalyptic language Isaiah uses to describe the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuuchadnezzar's hoards and the subsequent Babylonian captivity, which my study Bible says occurred between 605 and 586 BC: "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty," (Is. 13:6). Clearly, when Isaiah foretold that "The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light," (Is. 13:10) he was speaking metaphorically, not literally. He was using this colorful and dramatic way to express God's judgment on the Jewish people. This type of language was very familiar to them, as a close examination of the Old Testament bears witness. I'm not going to put in all the scriptures here. If you are interested, for less money than time, you can read these books yourselves, or better yet, run the references on "Day of the Lord," and some of these other phrases in a good concordance.
All this brings me back to the realization that under the New Covenant, we are the land. It was destroyed by God because of sin and disobedience, (Deut. 28:15) but He promised to restore it. (Joel 2:25). When, Lord? And under what circumstances? This is what I am crying out to God to show me.
To make this clearer, I need to explain that since December of last year, the Lord has been sending me out to Medicalodge, the local nursing home, every Sunday morning, armed with a keyboard and the hope of the resurrection. He told me to go there and tell these dear old saints, trapped in diseased bodies and dysfunctional minds, that He loves them UNCONDITIONALLY, and that He will hold their hands for the next step. The first time I went, I pleaded with the Lord to tell me why He tarries in taking them home; why He lets them sit over there day after day, month after month, year after year, with no hope except to die. "Why are your old saints languishing in a warehouse?" I asked. "Why won't you take them now," I pleaded, because I confess, I get so depressed when I think about how He stays His hand in healing them, that the only thing I had faith to ask for was that He take them on. Mother reads the obituary column in the local paper and when she reports that one of them has gone on, I rejoice. Lenny says I better keep that quiet lest someone call me, "the angel of death." With these thoughts on my mind, in the middle of the night, on a Saturday in December, God spoke to my heart and said, "They are afraid to come home because they fear hell." It was at that point that He told me to go out there the next day, a Sunday morning, and deliver to them the good news that He loves them unconditionally.
What happens on Sunday mornings out there is very interesting to me. First the Christian Church ladies come and give communion to those of us interested in taking it. Then an old Baptist preacher comes in and delivers a scripture reading, a mini sermon, and leads us in a few songs. I accompany him on the keyboard, after which, he leaves and goes to his "real church." That leaves the podium open for me, though usually I don't stand up. I just sit there and share as the Spirit leads. I pray that these dear old folks will be attracted to the glorious light of the gospel of Christ, which alone can extinguish the darkness of man's religion, for this well meaning and dedicated old servant of the Lord still feels compelled in his little short sermons to rail on about sin and about hell, one time expounding to them how long eternity is and how awful it will be to burn in hell for that length of time. I have to stifle the impulse to rise up and thunder at him, "Go away. Get thee behind me, Satan. That's not the good news." Besides, how much sin and corruption can you get into while trapped in a wheelchair or a walker? This is horribly offensive to me. He announced last Sunday that he wouldn't be here this week for the service. He remarked, "But I'm sure you all will be OK by yourselves." I thought, "Great, this is my chance."
Of course, if the Lord doesn't give me anything to say, I say nothing. They really resonate to the gospel proclaimed in the old hymns, like "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," "Amazing Grace," "Just As I Am," "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," and many others. I play and we sing these dear old songs, and they are comforted and I am blessed.
On this recent early Sunday morning, after I had been reading Joel aloud to Lenny, I went back to bed about 4:45 AM, and the first lines to a poem began to come to me. When that happens, I know I have to get up and write it down. It's really like having a baby. When the little blessing decides to arrive, you just can't stop it happening, and you'd just best give up anything else you'd planned until the delivery is over. I'll include a link to the poem at the end of this journal.
Armed with the poem, I went out to Medicalodge, feeling the effects of so little sleep. After the Christian Church ladies left, and a Baptist woman had read the scriptures and led us in the Lord's prayer, she announced that she had to go to church, leaving the way clear for me to share. I told them about being up in the middle of the night, about being racked with pain for a week, about Lenny's arthritis, and about seeing that we are the land of promise under the New covenant. I read the poem to them and some of them actually got it. Amazingly, some received it with great joy. I shared a number of other things with them, and then at the request of the beautiful angel of mercy, Beth, who is the activities' director for the facility, I went for the first time, to the terminal ward of the Alzheimer's unit. I go to the main Alzheimer's unit every Sunday, but had never been to this "place of no return" before. This is where they put the "end of the road" cases. They may as well have had a sign over the door which said, "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here." I set up the keyboard and Beth began wheeling the bodies in. That's what it was. Just bodies in wheelchairs. There was only one woman able to stand on her own two feet, and she and another one were the only ones where there was any response at all. The lights were on but there was nobody home, for all the rest of them.
Never have I been confronted with that sort of emotional impact before. There must have been about 13 or 14 of them, in various stages of mental and physical deterioration, some curled up in their chairs, some slumped over with heads lolling almost to their chests; most had their eyes closed; but worst to me were the ones whose eyes were open, staring vacantly out into space as if there was nothing whatsoever left in their world to see. I'm sure that's exactly the way it is. They see nothing at this point. I played for them, and was glad to do so, because there was one woman who responded and actually clapped her hands and told me she liked the music. Thinking back on that ward, I pictured the scene by the pool of Bethesda, where "lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water." (Jn. 5:3).
From there, we went back to the main Alzheimer's ward, where a good many of them recognize me by now and even remember that I'm there to play for them. As God had planned it, the only place to plug in the key board was right beside this tiny woman sitting in a chair crying. She was audibly crying, her eyes pleading with me to help her, to ease her pain. I looked at the nurse, who usually joins us for the sing-a-long when she isn't needed elsewhere, and she said that they had given her pain "meds," but they hadn't kicked in yet. At this time, Beth sat down on the other side of the woman, and we laid hands on her and asked Jesus to make her well. We prayed that He would touch her mind and body and heal her, and let her know He loves her. I began to play while Beth sat with her arms around her. Every time I looked over, this woman's eyes were pleading with me to help her, to deliver her from her soul's desperate hour of need. I was playing and singing "He touched me," which the others were trying to sing, though the woman's crying was disturbing to everyone present. As I played and sang, I cried out to God to help her, to do something, to loose the power of the Spirit and release this woman from the hell she was so clearly in. She finally calmed a bit, and Beth told me later that she said she liked the music.
After that, I visited a sweet old saint in her room, who is actually a distant cousin. She's 97 years old, very frail, and tells me every week that she prays that Jesus will take her home. I read my poem to her and she was clearly blessed by it. Almost as an after thought, I said, "You know, Beulah, Paul said that we will all be changed, but we will not all sleep. I think that means some will not see death before being changed. Some will be clothed upon with immortality this side of the grave. It involves seeing Jesus now. Do you see Him, Beulah? Do you see Him?" She looked thoughtful and smiled, but said nothing. Maybe she thought I had tottered off my perch, but I think she resonated to what I said. As I always do, before I left, I laid hands on her and prayed for God's blessing, for her release into light, and for her to see God's hand on her life.
As a result of being in three wards, plus Beulah's room, it was late by the time I got to the Baptist church where Lenny had saved me a seat. The Pastor was giving his altar call, and the music minister was playing and singing a beautiful and moving song about running to Jesus with our troubles. I will say that the one thing the Baptists do in their service which blesses me, is that they provide a time for anyone who wishes to "do business with God." You can go up and kneel at the bench, or you can stay at your seat. The Holy Spirit overpowered me and I began to weep, and I wept and wept and sobbed throughout the whole invitation time. Lenny held me, and afterwards my cousin Elaine comforted me. I was feeling the pain and the sorrow and the depression that these old saints at Medicalodge must feel, trapped in their bodies, impoverished in spirit and diminished in soul. As I interceded for them at the throne of grace, I was also feeling the frustration that I know some of you must have felt when you know that God heals; you know that the power of God is no less today than it ever was, and still, He withholds it. I understand why. I really do. He has worked long and hard with me to get me to understand that all things happen as a result of His will in our lives. (Eph. 1:11). Healing is never about what we want, but what God knows we need and about His perfect will being done in our lives. God ALWAYS heals, but it doesn't always manifest in the flesh. Still, this was a powerful experience, leaving me emotionally trashed, and completely wiped out. In my weakness, I cried out to him, "God, you might as well show me a deeper truth about healing, because I will never stop laying hands on people and praying for them as long as there is life in me. When someone is calling out for your power, why don't you deliver it?"
I prayed this prayer before I went to bed that Sunday night to read some more in Joel. I read one verse and then got up immediately to share it with Lenny who was meditating. I said, "Here's our hope." "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more." (Joel 3:16-17) Hallelujah! God was telling me not to despair, not to give up, not to quit praying and calling upon His name. I heard by the Spirit, Peter and John saying to the paralyzed man, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6). This is for us, dear ones. We are surrounded here by dispensationalists, premillennialists, legalists, fundamentalists, and even some Pharisees who are waiting for the rapture and/or the "second coming" thinking that this is when the Lord is going to roar out of Zion. No way! We are Zion! We are the city of God; we are the new Jerusalem. We are the land. We are the temple. We are the place wherein God dwells.
Afterwards, I went back to bed and said, "Show me more, Lord." From there, He led me on a merry chase through the prophecies, including the promises and the curses of the law, and I saw something that I'd never seen before. I've been saying for years that Jesus saved us from the curse of the fall of man on the cross, but the Holy Spirit is still doing "mop up work," on the consequences in our lives. Sometime in the middle of the night, however, I saw that what is happening here is that the Holy Spirit is still delivering us from the curses of the law! Listen to this. It is long. It is scary. It is chilling: This is the law, ladies and gentlemen. Read every word of it carefully, because I believe it explains why some are still sick and dying.
"If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:" (Deut. 28: 1-2). There follows a long list of the blessings, but let's skip to what happens if you are not dedicated enough, or smart enough, or obedient enough to keep the law. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out:
Deut. 28:20 "The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
Deut. 28:21 "The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.
Deut. 28:22 "The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish.
Deut. 28:24 "The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.
Deut. 28:25 "The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.
Deut. 28:26 "Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
Deut. 28:27 "The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
Deut. 28:28 "The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
Deut. 28:29 "At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you."
I put those verses in, all of them, to make the point that this is why Christ died! For this, Jesus gave up the portals of glory and took upon Himself the likeness of a servant, to deliver us from the curse of the law. (Gal. 3:13). I tend to forget how horrible it was to live by law. Isaiah says the law was glorious, (Is. 42:41) but in that no one could keep it, it was DEATH! I don't read these passages very often because they make me shudder. "All these diseases," are what God promised would come upon those who didn't keep the law. And who could keep the law? Not even one. No one is righteous, no not one, Paul said. (Ps. 14:103; Rom. 3:10). Therefore, when we persist in trying to keep the law, all of us at one time or another will feel the curse in our bodies and minds, because we simply cannot do it.
There are giants in the land today, my friends, big ones. God told the children of Israel to subdue the land, to conquer its inhabitants, and to leave not one soul alive. What happened? Not only did they not do as He said, but in fact, they began to intermarry with these pagans. They attempted to combine what God had told them with what seemed right in their own eyes. I also read most of Ezra and Nehiamiah this week, and as you may recall, Cyrus, king of Persia, allowed Ezra to return to Judah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. When this man of God heard that the people of Israel had not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, but had "mingled the holy race with the peoples around them," he tore his tunic and cloak, pulled hair from his head and beard with his own hands, and sat down appalled. (Ezra 9:1-5). Intermarriage between the holy and the profane was a deadly sin. It was terminal, in fact. The children of Israel were afflicted with the dis-ease of "Giantitis," by that I mean the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites." (Ezra 9:1). I saw by the Spirit, that trying to live by law and grace, as so many, many Christians do today brings on the same disease of "Giantitis" for us today. You cannot mingle law and grace. It is fatal! I know this is a stretch, but follow me here.
Paul said that we are dead to law, and therefore we are free to marry another, even Christ.
"So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." (Rom. 7:4-6). As Lenny says, when we are married to Christ, and still trying to live by law, we are spiritual adulterers, which as you remember, under the law was punishable by death. (Lev. 20:10). It still happens that way. Trying to mix law and grace brings forth spiritual death. In the day that you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (which is a type and shadow of the law), you shall surely die! (Gen. 2:17). It's a very subtle thing, this failure to discern law from grace. Lenny and I notice it every time we're around these fundamentalist Christians to whom God has sent us. The attitude is, "Yes, Jesus died for us, but if we don't 'do what's right,' we'll still end up in hell." This kind of thinking effectively nullifies the death of Christ, for as Paul noted, "if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Gal. 2:21).
Trying to live by law empowers the "giants" in our land. It is the false doctrine of the pagan "ites," the idolatrous practices which caused Israel to receive the curses of God, and which will destroy our faith as well. In the heavenlies, God is always supreme, but what I see is that in our bodies, and in our minds, we become sickly and some die, as Paul said, because we do not discern the body of Christ. (I Cor. 11:29-30). What does that mean? Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18). The Lord is the subject of that sentence, not man. The book of Acts reports that "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts. 2:47). Again, God is the subject of that sentence, not man.
Can't you see that establishing the church and adding to it has nothing whatsoever to do with man's religion, man's invitation hymn, man's "walking the isles," as some put it. It has everything to do with the new birth, by which John affirms "as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, NOT of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (Jn. 1:12-13). This is a God ordained process, from start to finish. That is why we are not to touch the unclean thing. (Is. 52:11). Man's every attempt to set up rules by which he must serve God, is the unclean thing.
In the first year of Darius, a Mede, ruler over the Babylonian kingdom, Daniel was praying, pouring out his confession of sin on behalf of the children of Israel, who were at that time in Babyolonian captivity. He laments that all Israel had transgressed the law, and therefore "the curse is poured upon us," he said. (Dan. 9:11). The result of this was that God brought upon them a great evil. (9:12). Daniel concludes his prayer by saying, "Oh my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do, deter not, for thine own sake, O my God; for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." (Dan. 9:18-29). Here, Daniel is presenting the essence of the Gospel, i.e., that God will save His people not because of anything they have done, not for their righteousness, which is as filthy rags, (Is. 64:6) but because of His great mercy. This passage in Ezekiel expresses it very well, "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone." (Ezek. 36:22). While Daniel was praying, the angel Gabriel came to him and said that God was answering his prayer even as he was uttering it. (Dan. 9: 22-23). He enumerated for Daniel the mission of Christ, the Anointed One: Here's what he said Messiah would accomplish:
Christ was to 1) finish the transgression, and 2) to make an end of sins, and 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, and 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, and 5) to seal up the vision and prophecy (to fulfill the prophecy), and 6) to anoint the most Holy (Dan. 9:24). All these things Christ did. He came to fulfill the law and the prophets. (Matt. 5:17; Rom. 10:4). Hear it again: He came to make an end of sins. Hallelujah! When we add to what He did, when we try by our own works to make ourselves worthy to attain the promise God gave Abraham by faith, I believe we bring upon ourselves "all these diseases" (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 28:60) that were the curse of the law. These verses in Deut 18 hit me like a ton of bricks, for they describe not only the inhabitants of Medicalodge, but many people I know and love. Read them and repent (change your mind) about who God is. If you don't, this may very well describe your soul's condition:
"There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, "If only it were evening!" and in the evening, "If only it were morning !"&emdash;because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see." (Deut. 28:65-67). I believe these are symptoms of trying to live by law rather than by faith in Jesus Christ. When we do that, the score quickly becomes what it is in the Alzheimer's ward in Medicalodge: Giants 3, Christians 0.
Now, let's talk about those giants. As you recall, Moses sent 12 men, one from each tribe, to spy out the land of Canaan before they entered in. After 40 days of walking the land, they returned with grapes, pomegranates, and figs. (Num. 13:23). Here's the account of their report:
"We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan." Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." (Num. 13:27-31). Upon hearing this fearful report, the children of Israel wanted to elect a new leader and march right back to Egypt. Some would say they were prudent. Others would say that they were just doing what politicians do today, taking a pole and adjusting their agenda according to the wishes of the people. The Lord did NOT see it that way. Their unbelief and lack of faith kept them in the wilderness until they died. It wasn't the giants who killed them. It was their trust in the strength of their own right arm rather than in the promises of God. They only believed what they could see and hear and touch and feel. In spite of the fact that the power of almighty God was right under their noses daily - a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Ex. 13:21-22; 40:38; Num. 14:14; Deut. 1:33; Neh. 9:12,19; Is. 4:5), all they could see were the giants! Though God was right in front of their faces, they could not see Him. This is also why Jesus had to come, and also why He had to go away, He said, so that the Holy Spirit could come, (Jn. 16:7) for it is He who leads us into all truth, (Jn. 16: 13) and it is through His ministry that we can see and feel and fellowship with the Father. (Jn. 14:9).
Sadly, many traditional Christians today only believe of God what they can see with their own eyes, touch with their own hands, and feel in their own bodies. As a result, all they see are the giants in the land. Like the first century Jews, they are looking for a physical, visible kingdom that they can see with their eyes. That is not to be, for Jesus said, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation." Why? "Because the kingdom of God is within you." (Lk. 17:20-21).
To him who has eyes to see and ears to hear, the giants are nothing to fear, because God has defeated them already. The law was there for us as our "child leader," to bring us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24). But now we are dead to the law, and like Christ, we were raised up from the dead "by the glory of the Father, even so let us rise up to walk in newness of the life." (Rom. 6:4). We don't have to walk around blindly in fear and trembling, worrying about what the world, the flesh and the devil will do to us next. Open our eyes, Father, to see that we are armed with the might and power of the Lord God Almighty in our daily lives. Isaiah declares that we still walk in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night: "Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy." (Is. 4:4). Dear ones, we have not come to the "the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest," (Heb. 12:18) i.e. Mt. Horeb (the law). Hallelujah! We have come to Mount Zion (grace), "unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:22-23). Therefore, let us give up, cease, desist, and quit trying to get into the kingdom by keeping the law. It never worked then and it surely won't work today. Rather, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Heb. 12:1). The sin here is unbelief. (Heb. 4:6).
As Lenny and I were taking our walk Monday night, the Spirit poured a little song into my heart. It goes,
"The giants in the land met the Lord.
The giants in the land met the Lord.
He came from heaven above,
to conquer them with love,
more powerful than scimitar, lance, or sword, yes,
more powerful than scimitar, lance or sword."
It's got a catchy beat, and a rather Israeli sounding tune, and that's my confession for my own life and body. Even the giants in the land are loved into the kingdom of God. So, what have I to fear? I woke up today feeling better than I have in a couple of weeks. Whatever this word is, I know it comes from God, and I wait upon Him to show me what it means for my life. Certainly, it is more of what Zerubabel heard from the angel as he contemplated rebuilding the Lord's temple: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." (Zech 4:6).
When the Lord speaks to you about this, and He will if you ask, please share with us what you receive. All of us are on this Glory Road together, and by bearing each other's burdens, we will travel this kingdom highway with joy and thanksgiving, health and peace in service to the master "from the dawn to setting sun," as the old hymn proclaims. Here's the poem.
Jan Austin Antonsson
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
End Note A: These are the books on the Preterist view Point:
Matthew 24 Fulfilled by John Bray
You may order this directly from him at P.O. Box 90129, Lakeland, FL 33804; (941) 858-6625.
Apocalypse Then, Not Now by Michael Hall, Ph.D.
E.T. Publications, 1904 N. 7th Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501-7418
You may order this from http://www.barnesandnoble.com
Last Days, Obsession of the Modern Church by Gary DeMar
American vision, Inc. 2512 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna, Georgia 30080
The Poem, Healing The Glory Land
The Glory Road
We would enjoy hearing from you!
Uploaded to the web in March, 1999
by Jan Antonsson, webmeister,
and last edited on 11/6/08.