Some months ago I had a most wondrous and beautiful dream concerning the manifested sons of God that all creation groans for. If you are familiar with Romans 8 you know all the world stands on tip toe in expectation of being set free and healed by the sons of God that are promised to come in the image of Christ performing the promised greater works. It seemed in this dream I was caught away with joy unspeakable as the momentous occasion of God's sons manifested had come. There was a most incredible festive atmosphere as great crowds of men, women and children of every nationality and color gathered as a crowd would for a great parade. All were straining with the most glorious and exciting expectation to get a first peek at the company of the first fruits company of sons in Christ perfect image coming down the parade route. I laid in bed completely enraptured and thrilled for I do not know how long, only knowing that when the dream ended I was disappointed because I would have wished it had gone on forever, so tremendous was this expectant feeling.

When I awoke from this night vision I laid back on my pillow for a period and pulled from my memory the details of this life changing dream. As I recalled this tremendous experience I could still feel a fleeting residue of excitement. However it seemed I had a part of this dream missing from my memory. For the life of me as hard as I could try I could not remember, whether in this dream I was myself a manifested son of God or I was a part of the great crowd waiting and then cheering them on.

I pondered this for a while and then I gave up with out being able to discern of which group I belonged. Finally I asked God, "which it be, Lord? Was I a manifested son or was I part of the waiting crowd of creation groaning to catch a glimpse. I will never forget His simple answer as in three succinct words he taught me a great lesson.

God said, "does it matter."

With my personal account as an introduction please allow me to share a portion of J Preston Eby's latest writing. In this excerpt my favorite contemporary author shares the nature of a son. I often marvel at the paradoxes of the Kingdom of God when compared to the ways of this world. Sadly I also know well that most in Christendom do not discern the differences. I pray this wonderfully anointed writing will encourage you if you are feeling somewhat forgotten or even hidden away. Truly God sees your heart and if you are a servant He just awaits for the right moment to lift you to a greater place of ministering healing and deliverance to the nations. Little by little He is exposing His company of sons for all the world to see and embrace. This is the plan and purpose of the ages and I believe we stand on the threshold of it's greatest manifestation. I pray you hear the call to become a servant son after the pattern of God's only begotten Son, our precious Jesus.

“In the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like an ox, and the third living creature had a face as a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle” (Rev. 4:6-7).

The four living creatures are in the “midst of the throne” denoting kingship. The four living creatures had four faces in the likeness of four different creatures, representing four aspects of kingship which are true in Christ Jesus and are also wrought out in the life of every son of God apprehended to share His throne. Each of the faces reveals an aspect of the attributes, characteristics, and qualities which qualify one to rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom. They are, furthermore, the four-fold manifestation of Himself to all mankind!


In our previous message we considered the face of the lion which speaks of strength — power, authority, and dominion — for he is the most powerful of all the big cats, and is known as the king of the beasts, and the king of the forest, by virtue of his awesome prowess! This brings us to the face of the ox which is symbolic of servanthood, for he is the largest and most useful of all domestic animals and is historically a beast of burden, one that draws wagons, plows fields, can be milked, and gives meat — a servant to man from time immemorial. With the face of the ox, Christ is revealed and manifested as the compassionate servant of all. The firstborn Son of God did not come to lord it over people, or to compel them to obey Him. He came to serve! (Phil. 2:7). The service Christ renders is done with compassionate mercy and out of a heart of divine love. It is the greatest service ever! He stoops to touch and receive and bless every man right where he is, without condemnation or judgment. His is the service of redeeming love and transforming grace that draws a person to serve and obey Him. When He comes to us and draws us with the cords of lovingkindness, by the sacrifice of Himself, we can do nothing else but respond in love and devotion to Him who has redeemed us!

Only the spiritually ambitious man will lay hold upon the kingdom of God. To be spiritually ambitious is to earnestly desire God’s best — in His way and time, according to His purpose, and always and only for His glory. It means to seek first the kingdom of God in all things! It means to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength. It means to come only to do the will of the Father, and to do only what we see the Father doing. To be spiritually ambitious is the very spirit of sonship! There is a place for ambitious men in the kingdom of God! Jesus explained the process, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” He did not turn the man away from the ambition to be great. He simply told him how greatness can be achieved — become the servant of all!

Then there are degrees of this greatness. If you want to be great, be “the servant of all.” If you want to be first, be “the bond-slave of all.” The servant and the bond-slave represent degrees of self-giving, and they, in turn, represent degrees of greatness attained, namely, “great” and “first.” Beyond that is a level to which Jesus Himself attained. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” In other words, since He went deeper than being servant of all, or a bond-slave of all, in that He gave His very life, so He becomes the Son of God upon the throne of the heavens, which is more than being great, or first, among a group — it is the acme of being! So the door is open for ambition. You may be least, or less, or great, or greater, or greatest, or first, or a son of God upon the throne!

Yet, it does not mean that we give in order to get — that is not the kingdom of God at all! We do not put on humility and serve others with the motive of becoming great, attaining to exalted positions of power and honor. If we are serving to gain advantage, to receive a position of authority over others, for the sake of authority, then we are not truly humble servants at all, but devious, cunning, crafty, deceptive, scheming, snaky, contriving, plotting, insincere hypocrites — and our motive is all wrong! That is not how the kingdom works! We do not serve to be made great — we serve because we are great with God’s greatness!

This is not a position of exercising power over others but of serving them. Serving is the power and the greatness! The motivation of the desires of those who are truly called to sonship is the same as the Captain of our salvation. Filled with the great love of God, the desire to attain to this position is to give ourselves in sacrifice and service for the deliverance and restoration of the rest of God’s creatures. Having attained to this deliverance from the bondage of corruption as the firstfruits of the creation, our only desire is to labor together with the Lord in the deliverance of the rest of His creation, to lift them up to the same level of life as He has lifted us. The heart of God, the heart of unconditional, unlimited, and sacrificial love and all goodness, is the greatest heart in the universe. It is not serving that makes us great, it is true divine greatness that causes us to serve! Oh, the mystery of it!
Let us see how beautifully Jesus taught this by His own example. Everything is prepared and set in order for the last supper, to the very water to wash the feet of the guests, as their custom was. Christ and His disciples gather in the upper room to eat and fellowship together on this solemn night. Each one waits for the other, for there is no servant available to perform the customary service of washing the guest’s feet. Washing feet was one of the basest tasks in the culture of Jesus’ day. It was a job usually done by a house slave. Just as we offer a visitor hospitality, so in Jesus’ time they customarily washed a visitor’s feet. Washing feet was undesirable responsibility: the roads were dusty well enough. But the filth of the road was more than dust! The transportation of that day was the camel, the donkey, the horse, and the mule. It takes little imagination to understand that the streets and roads were littered with their manure. The traveler’s feet would be covered with this as well as being caked with dust. The washing of feet was assigned to the lowliest slave because it meant handling the filth of the streets. This job was thought to be beneath the dignity of the “good man of the house.”

Not one of the twelve thinks of humbling himself to do the job, for, after all, are they not the honored ones, the disciples of the very Son of God, the flaming apostles of the kingdom, the future rulers of the world! Even at the table they were full of the thought — who should be greatest in the kingdom that was then beginning to dawn. Suddenly, unexpectedly Jesus stood up from the table, and began to take off His inner layer of garments until He was stripped to the waist, wearing only His loin cloth. He then took a large towel and wrapped it around Himself, poured water into a large brass basin, and, beginning with one of the men at the end of the table, laid heavy emphasis upon His words of a few moments before, “I am in the midst of you as one that serves.” Oh, the wonder of it! on which angels gazed with adoring wonder. Christ, the Creator and King of the universe, at whose word all worlds and galaxies flooded the infinity of space, who might with one word have compelled any man or legions of angels to do His bidding, Himself chose the slave’s place as His own, taking the soiled, filthy feet in His own holy hands, and washes them. It was to this task that the Lord of glory stooped!

But listen more carefully to the divine why and how of this wondrous spectacle. Jesus does it in the full consciousness of His divine glory, for the apostle John records, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God and went to God, rose…” What a startling combination of sublime cause with curious consequence! How could Jesus have done this? How could the Master and the King of the universe wash dung from His disciple’s feet? He could do it because HE WAS SECURE IN WHO HE WAS. He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. He knew that He had come from the Father and that He was the Son of God and was soon to ascend the throne. He knew that He was going back to the Father after He defeated sin, sickness, death, hell, and the grave. He didn’t have to prove anything to Himself or anyone else. His life had already proven who He was to those who had eyes to see. And He didn’t stoop so low to become a tyrant, to rule over this world by force. Oh, no! He came to heal and bless and deliver and transform, to reign by serving! Ah, yes, my beloved, once we thoroughly know who we are there is no need to proclaim it, no need to sound a trumpet, no need to wear a badge, to remind people of how special we are. Once we know that we are the sons of God WE ARE FREED TO SERVE!

You see, it wasn’t in spite of the fact of His greatness that Jesus took the place of the servant — it was because of His greatness! The greatness of Jesus is the greatness of the Father’s heart. The greatness of Jesus is the greatness of divine love and humility. The greatness of Jesus is the greatness of sonship! For the hands into which the Father gives all things nothing is common or unclean. Because one is the offspring of the God of all grace, compassion, love, mercy, and goodness, in whose hands all things are given, it is not difficult for him to stoop so low. In this taking the form of a servant, Jesus proclaims the divine order of the kingdom of God and the nature of the kings and priests who reign. The higher one stands in attainment in the kingdom, the more it is his joy to be servant of all! “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Mat. 20:27). “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Mat. 23:11).

The higher I rise in the consciousness of being like Christ, the deeper shall I stoop to serve the creation around me. The reason why we so often do not bless others is that we wish to appear to them as their superiors in blessing, calling, or rank. But that is not the spirit of sonship! The truth is that only as a son can we truly be a servant. It was the Son of God who assumed the form of a servant and humbled Himself. Ah, beloved elect of the Lord, walk among men as sons of the Most High God! A son of God is only in the world to show forth his Father’s glory, to demonstrate how God-like and how blessed it is to live only and always to find a way to love, bless, redeem, and restore God’s fallen creation. Someone has well said, “God has three sorts of servants in the world: some are slaves, and serve Him from fear; others are hirelings, and serve for wages; and the last are sons, who serve because they love.”

I once read a story which beautifully illustrates why the mighty God would stoop so low as to appear as a servant in His sons in order to restore creation. A little child was handed over to another by her own father — not because he wanted to part with her, but they were very poor, and so that she could have sufficient food and clothing, a good education and opportunity in life, he gave her into a rich man’s keeping, letting her be adopted by the rich man as his own daughter. He then hired himself as a servant to the rich man where he was given a small cottage to live on the grounds. He was always there and daily kept watch over that little life until she matured; and the girl, as she grew up, always felt a peculiar bond with him and that she could always rely upon the unselfish love and wise counsel of him who seemed but a serving man. Her father, as she supposed him to be, was cold, demanding, and even cruel. The day came when he repudiated her in a fit of rage because she had brought what he perceived as shame upon his name. In that dark moment the serving man stepped forward, and flung his arms around her, shouting, with the fierceness of righteous indignation to the man who had so cruelly abused her, “She never was your child!” Then the girl knew why it was that she had felt such acceptance, concern, care, peace, and joy in the presence of the serving-man. She had listened to his language of love many a time, not knowing the speaker was her real father!

Old father flesh, old father Adam, old father the devil repays all men with cruelty, injustice, baseness, lack, pain, fear, sorrow, and death. But there is a better Father — the One that sent you here, the one who has watched over you, cared for you, counseled you, blessed you, helped you, entreated you, wooed you and overshadowed you with His love as you have passed through this world of tears and trouble. Even when you knew it not, He was already your Father! And in Jesus He came as a servant to minister to your need, to lift and redeem and restore you unto Himself and His kingdom. And now, bless His name, He comes in many sons to reveal His heart of love to the whole vast creation and restore all things. We, as sons of God, are among men as Him that serveth!

This is the great miracle of sonship! It unites greatness and humility in a divine combination. It is the figure of an ox in the midst of a glorious throne! Oh, the wonder of it! This is the new creation in Christ Jesus! The great secret lies in the indwelling spirit of Jesus. Being made partakers of His nature and mind we are able to stand before Pilate, and when he says, “Are you a king?” we answer, “Thou sayest it.” On the same night it is possible to kneel before our brethren with a towel and a basin of water, washing their feet — cleansing their walk — in the spirit of service and humility. Only in sonship do power and humility find their true relationships and their true balance. Have you ever seen the President of the United States cutting the grass at the White House? How about Queen Elizabeth scrubbing the floors of her palace? Or the Prime Minister of Canada cleaning the toilet? We don’t expect people of high position to do lowly and seemingly unimportant tasks. Yet Jesus has revealed the law of a Higher Kingdom, a kingdom where power and servanthood are joined together in a divine outpouring of love, grace, and goodness!

Lyn Gitchel, a dear friend of ours in Pennsylvania, once shared a precious point about the meaning of what we call ministry. She wrote, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life a ransom for many. The whole idea that we have of “ministry” has got warped up in these days, and I believe we shall have to have a new picture of what ministry really is put into our minds by God. The word ministry comes from two Latin words, minis, (from which we get minus), which means lesser, and tri, which is the Latin word for servant. Now, when you think about it, a LESSER SERVANT is a whole lot different from what we think of when the word ministry is put in our minds. We think of accomplished pastors, famous evangelists, large meetings, crowds with a tremendous flow of miracles and worship, and people that can really hold your attention by their great preaching — and then we find that the word means LESSER SERVANT!

“The impact of this hit me recently and I’ll share the experience with you. For most of my life I have served in a professional capacity. Before I was an ordained minister I was a registered nurse. I have never really worked as a servant of any kind, until recently. A friend of mine was doing a little job here in town which involves helping an elderly lady who has had a stroke. You need to help her in whatever capacity she needs, from housework to bathing her. My friend had to leave town and, to help her out, I took the job. Nearly a year later I am still doing it! One day I was kneeling on the bathroom floor drying her feet when suddenly I said to myself, ‘Whatever am I doing here — I’m supposed to be an Ordained Minister!’ Immediately the Spirit of God answered within my heart, ‘You wanted to minister, didn’t you?’

“The time has come when we must understand that ministry is not preaching but servanthood. We are going to have to learn all over again what it means to serve people with the same heart of love that Jesus had when He walked among men. It was not beneath Him to lift a woman caught in adultery to her feet and speak a word of reassurance to her, nor was it beneath Him to eat at the house of an ungodly tax-gatherer and his friends. Jesus did not hire a huge auditorium and put out publicity announcing great meetings. He simply moved among men and women where they were and touched them with love, and healing, and compassion” — end quote.

There is the story of a man who desired from the Lord a true understanding of heaven and hell. One night in a dream he was told that he would soon receive this understanding. He was taken into a room where a few dozen people were sitting around a huge kettle of stew. Each one had only a long-handled spoon to eat with, and their arms were straightened so they could not bend them and bring the food into their mouths. The people were extremely upset and angry at their plight, shouting and cursing those who had done this to them. This, he was told, was hell. Then he was taken into another room which would be a picture to him of heaven. To his surprise, the room was identical. The large pot was there, as well as people with stiff arms and long spoons. There was one major difference, however. In this room, each one would smile and lovingly dip into the stew with his or her long-handled spoon and feed his fellow on the other side of the kettle! In this day we are being translated from hell to heaven within ourselves as we learn the ways of the kingdom which is the kingdom of love — by SERVING!

Every new year the Queen of England publishes her Honors List, conferring titles and decorations upon men and women who have rendered distinguished service to mankind or to the country or to the political party in power. I have in mind a little Honors List of my own! There is not much point in publishing it, because you will never have heard of these people. They include a dear sister who was poor in this world’s goods, who lived in a little house that approached being a shack, yet was committed to God’s purposes for this Day and vibrant with her love of God. She was always sharing the Word with the neighborhood children who graced her porch, continually cooking and sharing with others, fixing up and maintaining a building for the gatherings of the saints, entertaining the ministries the Lord sent their way, and encouraging everyone. She never murmured or complained about anything that came her way.

Honor also goes to a brother who prayed earnestly and is credited with “praying down” a mighty move of the Spirit of God many years ago, by which others with whom he was associated were propelled into world-wide fame, while he unpretentiously cherished the deep truths and hope of sonship and the reconciliation of all things, continuing in prayer, setting an example of righteousness and humility before his family and community, regularly visiting the widows, orphans, and shut-ins. I honor another brother whose name I do not even know who, during our Conferences in Florida years ago, would sweep and clean the meeting place until the wee hours of the morning (without being asked — it wasn’t his responsibility!), while most of the brethren and the preachers were enjoying rich fellowship over a mid-night spread of food at the local restaurants. The one thing that these quiet heroes have in common is that they lived the spirit of servanthood without pretense or any motive other than a pure love and the deep desire to bless creation and advance the kingdom of God into men’s lives. Truly such are to be called great in the kingdom of heaven! In the spirit of these precious ones we see THE FACE OF THE OX IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE!

That there are different levels in the kingdom of God, from the least in the kingdom to the greatest, Jesus clearly taught. He told His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Mat. 11:11). On another occasion we read of Jesus’ disciples that “they disputed among themselves who should be the greatest. Jesus sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mat. 9:34-35). Christ Himself was the greatest among them! He said, “I am in the midst of you as he that serveth.” He was the humblest, and therefore, the greatest, but had He no authority? He had authority in heaven and on earth! Because He takes the place of deepest humility, does that strip Him of His kingly authority? Not at all! It intensifies and magnifies it! Both the lion and the ox are in the midst of the throne! They reign there together! This is revealed so powerfully in the Lord Jesus.

Many Bible commentators endeavor to make a case for the idea that the characteristics of the four living creatures are portrayed in the four Gospels: Matthew showing us Jesus as the lion of the tribe of Judah; Mark revealing the Lord as the ox, the servant of all; Luke portraying the Lord as the Man above all men; and John manifesting Christ as the eternal Word, or the flying eagle. Personally, I find very little ground for this. The truth is, if I were picking one of the four Gospels as a portrait of Christ as the ox-servant, I would choose the book of Matthew. There are more passages concerning greatness through servanthood in the book of Matthew than in all the other three Gospels combined! You will note that nearly all the scriptures I have quoted on the subject in this message are taken from the gospel of Matthew!

Christ was the greatest, yet He took the place of the lowest. He who stooped from the highest heaven, not only to earth, but to the deepest hell, who descended into the deepest depths to seek for erring and sinful men, is greatest. That is why He exercises authority today in the heavens and on the earth! He now takes the highest place as the Head of the body, the High Priest of our profession, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Head of all principality and power. He is the greatest! And He is still the servant of all!

He that would rise to be the highest,
Must first come down to be the lowest,
And then ascend to be the highest
By keeping down to be the lowest.

God has called a people aside in this hour and brought them to a place of brokenness, humility, and nothingness in the eyes of the world and the church systems of man. We have obeyed the word the apostle Peter admonished, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (I Pet. 5:6). God is about to exalt His sons, but it shall be the exaltation of humility.

Many years ago amidst a great moving of the Spirit of God the revelation of sonship fell with wonder upon our ears and burst with glory within our hearts. We sat enraptured for hours, day after day, and were taught by the Spirit about the Father and His purposes and about that elect company He has called, apprehended and chosen to be His sons to rule with Him in His kingdom and restore all things. We learned that these sons would have power unlimited — power over everything! Power over sin, power over sickness, power over demons, power over the elements, power over the nations, and power over death. We were going to rule and reign in power, and our eyes sparkled like diamonds in the noonday sun and our hearts swelled with joy in expectation of the wonderful position and authority we would soon have in the kingdom. We could think and talk of nothing else but the power we would have, and in our glorying we tried at times to usurp and demonstrate this power. We were intoxicated with illusions of grandeur as we pressed our way into the kingdom and the exalted position of sitting on the throne with Jesus and ruling the world and the vastnesses of infinity forever.

Little did we understand in those early days that the way up is down! The carnal mind would have us believe that the way up is up. Thus we have pressed our way into ministry, pressed our way into the kingdom, stood on the promises, demanded of God our “rights,” presuming even to command God to do this and that, and sought to seize the throne. It is true, elect of the Lord, that God wants to take us UP — high into the realms of God — UP to the throne — but God would have us know that the way UP is always DOWN! The one who serves the people well as a priest is the one who will also reign well as a king. “They shall be priests…and they shall reign.” That is the order! Though He is calling us to be kings with authority over all, yet our inner spirit must be that of a servant, that we might freely minister out of a contrite spirit and a broken heart the compassion and love of God right down where creation is. Do you want to know what manifest sonship is? CONSIDER JESUS! Jesus was the most lowly and humble of all men, and also the most powerful and authoritative. He was not a super-duper-elite-country-club Son of God. He didn’t bounce onto the platform under the lights with a flare of worldly showmanship and then disappear out the back door to escape contact with the people. Oh, no! He was the ox in the throne bearing the burden, pulling the wagon, plowing the fields, and giving His life to be meat for mankind. That is the mystery!


One of the most overlooked and most important of all scriptures in the Bible tells us of the state we were created in. This state works all the way from Eve's enticement to the very ends of my self and your self. All our doings were foreordained by God and try as you will, He knew before hand the path you would take and thus He made provision beforehand. What a mighty God we serve!

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Some translations render this thought "the creature was made subject to futility"

"How great is our futility/vanity," you might ask
My friend it is total and this is confirmed with God's prescription even before the "creature was made." Before there was even man, Christ was crucified that He might lift us from our futile state. Before their was a problem there was a solution. Such are the ways of our magnificent God.

Rev 13:8 ........the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

We all must come to see the vanity of our ways and our view of our futility is only as great as our view of His omnipotence. Eventually we will come to see ourseves as naught and Christ as All. Such is the path of each man, each in his own order.

Have you failed in bearing your cross? Surely you have and if you have not, you have not born it at all, for even Christ fell beneath it. Brother's and sisters, cross-bearing ends in nakedness ...... not a self-disrobing .....not a nakedness of our own choosing, but a nakedness brought by life's challenges and at the hands of others. We shall be stripped by nature and by our fellow human beings and put on display for the world's scorn. Jesus Christ is our pattern and to name ourselves Christian is to walk with and in Him. The organized church for the most part soft peddles our salvation but I dare say the first century believers knew the cost and so shall we that truly know Him.

We will suffer and we will be blessed in this life. We will suffer and be blessed by life's occurrences and even at the hands of others and all that comes our way is sovereignly directed that you and I might be made perfect through His grace. All is to bring you and I to nought that Christ will reign as the All in All. Oh yes, we must fall and suffer to see our weakness .............. "when we are weak He is strong." Yet some (and I have been there and still am on occasion) still want to lend our strength to carry that which cannot be carried ........ only One could carry
it and He was and is God come in the flesh! And Glory Be! ......... today God through Christ has come in you and me!

Those are a few of my thoughts on God's sovereignty and let me also say that I was excited the other day to discover an author and teacher that carried this same message into the early part of the last century. This by Allan Burns is one of the most wonderful writings I have ever read on the subject, both for it's beauty of language and profoundness of content. I pray it blesses and changes you, as it did me.

God's Sovereignty
by Alan Burns

Part One
"GOD over all." Here is another gentle emphasis on the divine supremacy. First we have had a picture of what Paul would have done if he had been running things. He would willingly be accursed for Israel. Now the gentle impetus of the inspiring Spirit carries his vision to the fact that it is God who is running the universe, and if he once was willing to be accursed, he now wills that God should be blessed. God's plan and purpose was more perfect than his. He who was over all was able, because He was over ALL, to turn Israel's failure into His own success. If He was over all then there could be no such thing as failure from His standpoint. If He was over all then even Israel's failure to respond to this eightfold blessing was part of His purpose. If He was over all He who allowed Israel to stumble was able to raise them up again in His own likeness.

But the ground of His praise is not in the present but in the future. If it were merely in the present it would have been "God over all be blessed." The ground of praise lies in futurity "in the ages." It is as if Paul says, "We look at the present and see failure. We look at Israel and see gloom. But we look on and we see the ages, and up and see God over all, and gloom becomes glory and the thought of curse is changed into tribute of blessing." Much of the "vision" that we read of in current theology is the vision of a cross-eyed man. Orthodoxy, as it exists today, cannot help but make us squint. So we have, been trained to view creation as God's grand experiment. An experimenting God! But this loathsome thought is nursed in the bosom of theological culture, and we who have imbibed its virus have therefore read this sixth verse as if it were a consoling reflection on the part of Paul that despite the failure of that experiment on Israel as a whole, it was not a total failure. "Not as implying that the word of God had altogether failed." If we hold this dishonoring idea we shall have an impression in our minds of God's relation to creation as like that of the owner of a worn out automobile--continually tinkering with it in order to make it go. We would suggest that the right way of reading this verse is "not as implying that the word of God has fallen at all." "And God said, light be, and light was." Genesis one gives us a graphic picture of the efficiency of the word of God in the world of matter. It is not less efficient in the world of mind. It never fails.

How this verse suggests to us the assurance of Isaiah 55: 11! If it has accomplished fully the purpose of God, then God never meant to save the nation, as a nation, at that time. If it had been sent forth to save them all, and had come back with but a little handful of souls, did it accomplish that which God pleased? You see it is the idea of the dilapidated auto again. But the Word of God has never been compelled to go to the garage for repairs!

In Abraham we have a concrete exhibition of Free-will and Sovereignty. As an Arminian he did the best he could: tried to help God out of His difficulty--and produced ISHMAEL! Free-will has filled the world with Ishmaels. When a Christian leaves his appointed sphere of simple witness, and takes a hand in politics to help repair the world, he is marrying Hagar. When he thinks he is called to victory instead of perpetual defeat; and when he thinks the puny might of man can effect what the power of God may alone accomplish--he is marrying Hagar. O beloved reader if "Jerusalem above is the mother of us all," is it not also true that Hagar has been the wife of us all, and Ishmael our offspring? Arminian "ability" was the father of Ishmael, but it took divine sovereignty to produce Isaac from that which approximated physical death.

How powerless the creature is is again emphasized by Paul in the eighth verse. "Children of the PROMISE." The law is a demand--"thou shalt." The Gospel is a promise--"I will." The law was given simply that it might turn us upside down and knock the Arminianism out of us. When it has done so, and when we have taken the law itself into the presence of God, asking Him in grace to turn its precepts into prophecies, its gloom is transmuted into glory. "Thou shalt have no other gods" is a dazzling forecast of that future day when Israel shall really know Jehovah.

And now Paul, still keeping in mind the unfailing potency of the Word which ever accomplishes the pleasure of the Almighty, defines the word of promise in relation to Isaac. "According to this season I WILL RETURN." While God is away, and a state of separateness exists, Hagar is taken and Ishmael born. Man makes a botch of things while God is away. Sin entered while God was away. The serpent spoke, Eve listened, and Adam fell while God was away. Sarah suggested, Abraham hearkened, and Ishmael was born while God was away. But--and this is the quintessence of the gospel, and the hope of Israel and mankind--"I will return."

"I will . . . and Sarah shall"--blessed mingling of promise and prophecy. But notice the wording "according to this season." I know not just what the allusion may be. It may be physical, but it probably transcends the merely physical. At the very least it suggests that there is a schedule according to which God acts, and He always acts according to schedule. Prophecy is God's time-table of history and God's trains are never late. There is a right time for God to act, and the ripe-time is the right-time. God never harvests the crop until it is ripe, and his harvests never rot ungathered in the field--"according to this season I will return."

In verses five and six Paul's allusion to the word of God was preceded with a reference to the ages--the hours on the dial- plate of Time. God's clock of the eons, in which the centuries are as moments, is never fast and never slow; nor does it strike outside the appointed hour. "In the fullness of time" Christ personal was born into the world (Gal.4:4). "In the fullness of the seasons" the world of redeemed creaturedom with Christ personal its appointed head will round out to maturity the proportions of Christ mystical--creation's goal. In the fullness of the seasons "God will return," and rehead the Universe in Christ (Eph.1:11.

Arminianism, however, is one of mankind's perpetual diseases, and so we find it thriving lustily in Abraham's descendants who had not learned Abraham's lesson in regard to Hagar. Verse 11 gives us "not of works" and Jacob evidences this. "Jacob have I loved." Why? Analyze him and his history, and find me some reason why you should love him; then analyze him again and tell me the reason why God should love him. Perfection cannot love imperfection: Righteousness cannot love unrighteousness. How then, and why, did God love Jacob who was neither right nor perfect? Here we are touching on the mystery of the gospel. Was Jacob's character so like God's that that was the reason of His love? Think then, if you can, that the God you bow the knee to is merely a Jacob drawn to the scale of the infinite! Well may you shudder at the thought.

The answer has really been given already in the case of Isaac "I will return and Sarah shall." God went away, and Jacob wriggled and plotted and planned, just as Abraham did, in relation to Hagar and Ishmael. God went away, and Jacob tried to help God along by buying the birthright. But God in effect said, "I will return...and Jacob shall."

Well may we contrast the divine promise in Genesis 28:12-15 with Jacob's in verses 20-22. Jacob's was a promise with an "if." God's contained no "if."--and if it had it would have been no promise to frail, erring Jacob. Look up Genesis 32 at your leisure and see what happened when God returned. Then Jacob came to an end of his Arminianism, and clung with a broken thigh to One who would give a blessing that could never be earned.

In Genesis 32 Jacob becomes Israel. In Romans 9 Israel has become Jacob again.

Part Two
"NOT OF WORKS." Not occasioned by effort, physical or mental. Not purchased by deed of hand or heart. Not to be won by a nod of the head or a movement of the will. Not conditioned by the taking of an attitude. Not subject to the saying of a word, or the thinking of a thought. Channelled thru the will, the emotions, the mind, if you like, but not conditioned by them. In God's economies these creature powers act as operating means, though none of them may ever be an effecting cause.

"Not of works"--good, bad, or indifferent. Not of attempt, effort, or intention. How can a deaf man "hear?" How can a paralyzed man "come?" How can a dead man "will?" Human sweat can never earn divine salvation. Human agony can never earn divine repose. Humanity cannot raise itself by tugging at its religious bootstraps.

"Not of works" would sour the sweetness of Heaven itself to a legal soul, and transform Paradise into a Hell to every Pharisee. Much rather would such an one spend an eternity lauding the excellence of one meritorious act of his own than a single moment in self-forgetful wonder at the marvels of the Omnipotent's handiwork! "Not of works" constitutes Heaven's highest glory to the humble soul. It adds melody to its music, and increases the rapture of its joys. If the glory of the Lord so fills the house that the priests may not stand to minister in the Presence, much less may the Pharisees strut and plume themselves where sinless angels veil their faces and adore.

"Where then does the action of my will come in?" Read it again (Rom.9:11). Note how it says nothing whatever of your thinking, your intending, your willing, or your purpose, but "that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works." "Oh, then it is a matter of what God wills?" Yes, now you have it. It is God's intention, God's will, and God's purpose, not yours at all. "Then it is not of me at all?" Read it once more, "not of works, but of Him that calleth." It is not "of him that listeneth," as if the "listening" to the call was a purely human thing entirely "free" and under no determination whatever. The calling includes the listening. The "will to listen" is "of Him that calleth." "He maketh the deaf to hear." Thus it is that when He works He at once places a negative between His working and all fancied human ability-- "not of works."

"Not of works . . . Jacob." That proves it, doesn't it? We have already considered the marvel of God's love to Jacob. We should not, however, be guilty of the grave error that has disgraced so much of our thought on this subject, by thinking that God went out of His way to specially hate Esau. Nor, on the other hand, should we imagine for a moment that He had to force Himself to love Jacob. Humanity does that. Deity never. There is no compulsion in His love. There is no venom in His hate. The simple difference between God's relation to Jacob and to Esau was that He looked upon Esau as He was, and He looked upon Jacob as He was to be. He regarded Jacob in the future tense, whereas for the time then being He chose to regard Esau in the present tense alone. It was not a mechanical love in the one case, and a mechanical hatred in the other. His love to Jacob and His hatred to Esau both flowed freely and naturally from the perfections of His Being. His love was not weakness, nor was His hatred wickedness. His love for Jacob, and His hatred for Esau were both of them exhibitions of His justice. He did not lower the laws of His righteousness in order to love Jacob, nor did He make them more drastic so that He might hate Esau the more intensely. He hated Esau because He was a loving God! Nor would He be a God of love except He hated everything that was not good for Esau, and as long as Esau, was allowed to cling to those hateful, hurtful things, so long did he thrust himself into the sphere in which God's anger burned. Love must hate all that which challenges its authority. And all this is really anticipated by Paul when he queries, "Is there unrighteousness with God?" "Far be it," cries the great apostle as he flings the base suggestion aside. "No, no," he would say, "He is righteous when He loves, He is righteous when He hates, in all that He does He is the God all holy. God may have hated Esau, but He did not make him hateful. This on the principle that while you have to grow roses, orchids, and other flowers of fragrant bloom, weeds grow themselves. No one has ever had the slightest trouble in growing weeds. But before God could love Jacob He had to do a lot of gardening.

Nor need we hesitate to recognize the fact that if it is not our listening but God's calling, not our working but God's willing, then why He should choose to give this one and not that the listening ear, or work His will in one and not another is an enigma which human reason is not able to solve, and which divine revelation does not offer to explain. So we are prepared for the way that Paul gives mere prying curiosity a stinging slap in the face. Nor, indeed, was this Paul's, but God's rebuff to mere idle questioning. Why I, should have been born in the nineteenth century and not in the first; why I should have been born in America and not in the wild mountains of Afghanistan; why I should have been nursed by a Christian mother instead of a cannibal one; these are alike the workings of that "purpose of God according to election." "It is not of him that willeth." I chose neither the twentieth century, the American continent, nor the Christian mother. I didn't will them. I didn't work for them. God willed them, and I'm here. The same God who wills generation wills regeneration; and my being in Christ is no more a matter of my willing than my being born in America is, or was, a matter of my choosing.

We should not think that any one moment of time can tell all that may be told of God. The full scroll of all the ages alone will suffice to reveal the eonian God. The volume of a solitary era can never reveal what takes the whole library of the eons to make plain. So if we read in an introductory chapter that God hated Esau, we learn in a later, fuller one, that He loved the world, and so He must have loved the man He hated. Though the waves may roar on its surface, the ocean is untroubled in its unfathomed depth. Nor could Esau, nor Pharoah, nor Nero, nor Judas work or will themselves out of that cosmic love, any more than they could either work or will themselves into it. God hates, but He is not hatred. He both loves, and is Love. We may attempt to state the difference between His love and His hatred thus: His hatred is dispensational, His love is eternal; His hatred is as temporary as is the sin that calls it forth, and on which it rests; His love is as eternal as the righteousness on which it feeds. Hatred is a passing phase: Love an eternal revelation. Jacob have I loved for ever, but Esau have I hated for a time.

But if Jacob was a vessel of mercy and Esau a vessel of wrath we have the same vivid contrast shown in God's word to Moses, and His message to Pharaoh. He speaks of mercy to the one, and of wrath to the other. Here Moses is the vessel of mercy and Pharaoh the vessel of wrath. What Moses willed is not of sufficient consequence to have passing mention in this fifteenth verse. Four times over God says "I will." "I will have mercy...I will have mercy; I will have compassion...I will have compassion." You can't squeeze man into it sideways. Its language is foolproof. It locks my willing and my listening outside. It evicts everything except myself as the passive, inert recipient of undiluted grace.

It would seem as if the main purpose of our institutions for training theologians was to impart an ability to dilute scriptures like the seventeenth verse with a stream of apology and equivocation. They cannot be said to justify their existence. But, theologians notwithstanding, let us note that God's will is just as prominent here as it is in the case of Moses. "For this cause I have raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, that my name might be declared." And the absolute control of the All-Ruler is shown by the kind of illustration chosen by Him to illustrate His supremacy in the sphere of will. As clay in the hand of a potter so is man in the purposes of his Maker. Does the illustration prove more than our creeds allow us to think, or teach? The solution of the difficulty is simple. Either cut out God's illustration, or man's creed. One must go.

But while we note the variety and difference that exists here, we should not overlook the fact that, vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy though they be, both vessels are made by the Potter "out of the same lump." Thus Esau and Jacob, one "loved" and the other "hated," were "out of the same lump." Moses before the throne, a servant of God, and Pharaoh upon the throne an enemy of God were, both of them, despite the differences that lay like yawning chasms between them, "out of the same lump." A certain unity lay back of, and beyond, the differences which were developed in the two kinds of vessel. How such a simple phrase can puncture the bombast of human pride!

In the verses that follow, where the contrasting divisions of the human race into Jew and Gentile, are referred to, it is well to remember that such distinctions can be traced back, past their differences, to a common source and a common humanity in Adam. Both Jew and Gentile, though one be nationally a vessel of mercy and the other a vessel of wrath, are ultimately "out of the same lump." And not only so but the vessels of wrath at one time become vessels of mercy at another; and those who were vessels of mercy then become vessels of wrath now. This seems to be purposely shown in the fact that whereas in chapter nine the Gentile Pharaoh's heart is hardened, in chapter eleven (v.25) the position is reversed and while the Gentiles become vessels of mercy it is now Israel's lot to be "hardened." That God's final purpose in His universal pottery is not to make some "vessels of mercy" and some "vessels of wrath" is clear in 11:32 where His declared will is not to have mercy on some but on ALL.

In chapter ten (v.12) Paul reverts, it would seem, to the same thought. All national and moral difference between Jew and Gentile is brushed aside. "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek." Why? Because they are "out of the same lump." That, too, is the lesson of this epistle's earlier chapters where, as regards sin, as here in regard to grace, the same phrase summarizes the historical lessons of racial degradation.

"There is no difference" (Rom.3:22). Man is levelled as concerns both guilt and grace. Social class, intellectual attainment, and national distinction are alike annihilated by the "no difference" of holy writ. The very figure of the clay from which the potter molds his vessels suggests to us the truth of man's earthly origin. "Dust thou art." Potter's mold! Yes, and in that handful of red earth which the mighty Potter moulded into human form, in that "same lump" lay, dormant and potential, the myriad varieties of saint and sinner alike. Moses and Samuel and David the king were there. There also Isaiah, Daniel and Jeremiah. There the Twelve, with the heroes and martyrs of the early church. The fools and the philosophers of all earthly time were there. The heroes and the cowards, the noble and the base, monks and martyrs, pirates and priests lay waiting the moment when they would be molded into the part they were destined to play in the drama of the ages.

And thus is there "no difference." But if all have come "out of the same lump," this involves the added thought that the vessels, however much they differ, are all made by the same Master Potter. "For the SAME LORD over all is rich unto all that call upon Him." The Potter is the Lord of the Clay. At least in Scripture He is; but in theology the clay is the lord of the Potter, if indeed it needs a Potter at all when it becomes what it wills and wishes to become! The vessels are out of "the same lump," and they have the "same Lord." Glory to His Name!

Is not this idea also in the background of chapter eleven? There we have two trees; one "good" and the other "wild;" one a "tree of mercy" and the other a "tree of wrath;" nevertheless, as both vessels are out of the same lump so also are both trees, despite their difference, olive trees. One is a "good" olive tree which we presume, like all good olives, has become so through cultivation; the other has simply been left to itself. So was Israel in Egypt no different physically, morally or spiritually from their Egyptian masters, and we can find as little reason for loving whining, murmuring, and rebellious Israel, as we can for loving their father Jacob in an earlier day. But God put Israel under "cultivation." This was the Master Gardener's pleasure as making one vessel a vessel of mercy was the pleasure of the Master Potter.

Just one more scripture in the eleventh chapter which reminds us of the Potter in the ninth. "For if the firstfruits be holy so ALSO IS THE LUMP." Not some of the lump but "THE LUMP." Vessels of wrath do not constitute the "firstfruits." Pharaoh is not a specimen of the art of God. "Christ the firstfruits." Is He holy? Then "if the firstfruit be holy, the lump also is holy." But did He enter into and become part of that same lump?" "As the children are partakers of flesh and blood he also himself took part of the same." The art of the Master Potter is shown in the firstfruits Christ, and in Him is exhibited the goal and the destiny of the human race.

Beyond the mystery of "the lump," we have the still deeper mystery and truth of man's origin as sketched in that miniature Bible of Romans 11:36. "Out of the same lump" may humble us in the dust. "Out of the same God"--we bow in adoration before our heavenly Source. We are not merely one with the clay, one with our fellow-creatures that the same Artist-Lord has formed from the same material as ourselves but--surpassing wonder of wonders--we are one with the heavenly Potter Himself.

© Concordant Publishing Concern

The Little Stone

~~by Lynette Woods

There was once a family of stones living together at the side of a path which was beside a riverbed. They were quite content and satisfied with their lot in life, they enjoyed the sunshine and the rain and they were happy to be in close proximity to one another on the ground where they were frequently trodden on (which, of course, was an accepted and expected part of their daily life).

One day a man came and looked very closely at them and took several stones away with him. The man took the stones to his workshop and very carefully examined each one. One of these stones was separated from the rest. This little stone felt quite bereft and alone and did not understand what was happening to it. The man eventually placed the stone into a device where it was tightly cemented into place and couldn't have moved itself even if it had been able to.

Wondering why it had been singled out for such treatment, the stone's dismay turned to horror as the man (who people called "the Jeweller") began to use a very sharp, transparent little stone to cut away its strong outer shell. What was wrong with him as he was? He had been nicely rounded and had been very good at absorbing the sun's rays and radiating heat and warmth but this man was cutting all that outer layer away from him and it was very painful! Eventually the stone was reduced to less than half of its original weight and size. But the work just seemed to go on and on! The Jeweller slowly worked on the little stone day after day with painstaking accuracy and perseverance, slowly cutting and shaping a diamond by using other diamonds.

Eventually the day came when the diamond was removed from the lathe. But its new found freedom was short-lived. Now it was placed into a holder on a turn-table that spun round and round. This time it was not cutting that the Jeweller was doing, but painful grinding and polishing using the diamond's dust mixed with oil.

Finally, after months of work, the Jeweller had prepared the small stone for what he intended to use it for and, as he prepared to go home for the night, he put the jewel into his pocket where he thought it would be safe. He was very happy with the clarity and fire in this diamond which was worth all of his effort with it. But as the Jeweller walked home, the movement of the diamond made a small hole in the fabric of his pocket and eventually the little diamond fell through the hole and onto the ground beside a group of stones at the edge of the path.

The sun immediately reflected and shone out of the diamond which had not been in the sun at all since it had been shaped and cut. Now it felt quite different as it saw the sun in a way in which it had never seen it before. It used to absorb and take all the warmth the sun could give it, but now without even realizing it the diamond was spontaneously reflecting and shining out the brilliance of the sun's rays from within itself. The stones on the ground had never before seen anything like this thing, it was quite painful to look at because of how the sun's rays radiated from it.

"What are you?" asked one of the smaller stones.

"I am a stone, just like you." replied the diamond who had not seen the transformation that had taken place since the Jeweller had been working on him.

"No you're not!" the stone was quick to reply, "You are quite different to us, you are very small and are a completely different color and shape to all of us! And what's more I can even see through you; you're definitely not a stone..."

"Oh, but I am indeed a stone, a man called 'the Jeweller' has been working on me and has cut and shaped me into what you see before you." answered the diamond.

The stone thought about this and then asked, "Why would a man do that? They just step on us all the time!"

"I do not know why the Jeweller chose me and decided to cut into me like this. And although it was very painful and difficult, I now feel quite different than I used to... I feel much lighter and somehow much brighter..."

"Why ARE you so very bright?" the stone wondered.

"I'm not entirely sure..." said the diamond who didn't yet understand what it had been created into, "Perhaps it is because all of my outer layer has been cut away and that enables the Sun to be reflected from me."

"Hah!" retorted another stone, "He thinks the sun shines out of him! So how did you get here then?"

"I fell out of the Jeweller's pocket..." the diamond mumbled, perceiving that his story was neither understood nor believed.

The stones thought this was all very strange! They could see no use at all for such a thing on the ground where they lived. Just think what would happen if one of the men came along barefoot and stood on this bright object when its apex was pointing upwards! It could be positively dangerous. They took pride in the fact that they were not like this strange thing was, they were much bigger and nicely rounded, but this "thing" was little, cold, hard and had many extreme and sharp edges. Whereas they had a smooth, dark exterior which could not be penetrated, this thing was as clear as a raindrop - now what could be the purpose of that in any stone?! It would not be able to take in the sun's rays as they did. When the sun shone upon the stones they quickly absorbed all its warmth and were each nice and warm exactly as they should be - they argued among themselves - feeling very proud of their humble role in the world. But THIS so-called stone didn't absorb the sun at all, it simply took the sun's rays in only to send them straight back out again; it reflected the sunlight which made it terribly bright and painful to look at for too long. Surely the man hadn't lost it but had thrown it away.

Soon the sun went down and the stones around the diamond became very cold in more ways than one. They began to question the integrity of this foreign object, surely this was a fantastic tale and it could not ever have been an ordinary stone, it was simply trying to fit in with them - undoubtedly with dubious intentions. The diamond, realizing that they would never understand unless they had experienced the cutting and shaping for themselves, remained silent and refused to be drawn into any arguments about the validity of its story.

The small diamond wondered if this was to be his life from now on - living as an alien and stranger to the stones around him that he had once been like and where he had once belonged. The stones clearly didn't understand him and weren't about to accept him even though he was made of the same substance as them. And he agreed with all that the stones had said about him; it was true that he was now no good at just absorbing the sun's rays and was painful to look at, that he was smaller than ever before, and that he had many extreme and sharp edges to him. He did feel lighter and brighter though. Before the Jeweller had worked on him, the sun used to affect only his surface and had never penetrated to deep inside, as it did now. He could also see so much more now than he had ever seen before - he had never truly seen the sun until that outer layer had been cut away.

This was all the result of the Jeweller's work on him. WHY had the Jeweller made him to be so different; what purpose was there in it all? Did the Jeweller even know that the diamond had fallen from his pocket and would he come searching for it? The little diamond wasn't sure, after all, he was just an ordinary little stone; and of what use was he to the Jeweller? Some of the other stones that the Jeweller had selected along with him had long ago been cut and then used as parts of tools in his workshop. They had a very important and useful function - although of course what, where and when they were used to cut and shape had nothing to do with the stones themselves; they were simply tools in the hands of the Jeweller. But this little stone... well, he just seemed to need far more work than any other stone and wasn't being used for anything obvious... except perhaps for keeping the Jeweller busy! Maybe that was all he had been needed for and he had now fulfilled his purpose and been thrown away after all...

When the sun rose the next day, the stones again complained about the brilliance of the sun that was shining out from the diamond; they could hardly see the diamond itself because of the brightness of the sun's rays shining out of it. But soon their complaining ceased for the Jeweller had quickly realized his loss and had returned, scouring the sides of the pathway, looking for this one precious little stone. It was easily found because of the brightness of the new day's sun reflecting from it and he was overjoyed to recover his valuable treasure and said "At last, I've found you, my precious diamond!" The stones mumbled about how worthless the thing had been and thought the man was very strange to have come back looking for it at all.

The diamond was surprised to see how happy the Jeweller was to have found him again and that he had called him a 'diamond'. He hadn't realized how precious and valuable the Jeweller had considered him to be. This made all the agonizing, painful work worthwhile - to be something which brought such joy and delight to this one person who had worked so long and hard with him day after day.

He was now very thankful to be removed from the stones and earth which had once been home to him. It was not his home any longer. No longer was his place on the ground where he could expect to be frequently trodden on without a thought, instead he was now elevated to a place he had not known existed - a place of value in the eyes of the Jeweller because of the work he had personally done on the stone and what he had created with it. The little stone's home was now with the Jeweller.

When the Jeweller got to his workshop, he immediately set to work. He carefully and tenderly cleansed the diamond from the dust and grime of the earth. Neither the fall nor the stones had been able to damage the diamond; it was very hard. When he was finished he took a piece of jewellery that was already set with some other diamonds and had a place remaining for one final diamond. Gently he placed the purpose-made diamond into the setting and carefully made sure that it was firmly in place and could not fall out or be moved from its setting.

The little diamond could not believe that it had been placed in such a valuable place alongside of others who were so similar to him and who had all experienced the cutting and shaping at the hand of the Jeweller. There was no need to explain to them who or what he was; they knew because they were the Jeweller's jewels also. THIS was where he belonged - right where the Jeweller had so carefully placed him!

While the diamond could see no practical purpose for he and the other diamonds in this item of jewellery when compared with the diamond tools that the Jeweller needed and so frequently used, he also realized - with deep reverence - that the Jeweller had worked harder and longer on him because of the plans he'd had of placing him exactly here. These diamonds had a use and a purpose just as much as the obviously needed and useful diamonds of the tools. The diamond knew it was a great honour to have been chosen and shaped for this piece of jewellery simply to bring pleasure to their creator even if they did not appear to be doing anything useful apart from looking nice and reflecting the Light. They realized, with delight, that THIS was what the Jeweller had intended - to create something through which he could display and view his own handiwork and skill.

Throughout their life together the jewels were often tenderly wiped and kept clean by the Jeweller. He had created his jewels to reflect and radiate the Light and bring him delight and happiness as fine examples of his own creation. Frequently the Jeweller put these precious jewels away from sight for long periods of time in a soft, dark place along with his other jewellery for safe-keeping. Other times he displayed them or wore them. Occasionally the Jeweller was criticized by people for displaying and showing his jewels; and other times, when they were in their secret place, he was criticized for wasting such wonderful jewels by keeping them hidden away! The people did not seem to understand or respect the Jeweller's right to do what he wanted with what was his own.

The diamonds didn't care whether they were seen or not seen by the people because their joy was simply to be wherever the Jeweller wanted them to be and so bring credit and honour to their Designer and Creator. Only the jewels who had been through the long and painful cutting, grinding and polishing knew of the skillful Jeweller's loving but unrelenting hands. They knew without a doubt that they were nothing but ordinary stones except for him and his work and so they would not take one ounce of credit for their Maker's work.

When the Jeweller chose to wear or display them, the diamonds were frequently admired and looked at with great appreciation. The little stone couldn't understand why some of the people who looked at them remarked on their clarity, beauty and exquisite cut as though the diamonds themselves were somehow responsible for it. He realized that he was not responsible for the criticism and misunderstanding of the stones by the pathway any more than he was responsible for the compliments and recognition from the people - all belonged to the Jeweller. HE had made these jewels. And He had made them to be seen, and in admiring them, the people were inadvertently recognizing the work of the Jeweller. And if the jewels were criticized, the Jeweller was the one being inadvertently criticized.

However, the diamonds often felt grieved that their Jeweller did not receive more recognition and credit for his untiring work of love on each of them for they loved him and owed him everything - this new life would not have come into existence for them if it were not for him. Yet the people hardly ever stopped to think or remark on the skill of their Maker who had so carefully chosen, cut and made each little stone into the diamonds they could see. People tended to focus only on what they could see - they were more interested in looking at the creation than getting to know or see the Creator. The diamonds all knew that they were only ordinary little stones who had been chosen and shaped by an extraordinary Man; they were nothing except for what their Jeweller had done. And yet their Jeweller seemed to get very little, if any, recognition and credit for his invaluable work: that of making living stones.

"Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels, My peculiar treasure." Malachi 3:16,17



With the advent of Christ's return there is an ever growing restlessness and dissatisfaction being sowed into the hearts of many, that at one time found comfort and acceptance in the typical organized church. It seems where ever Joian and I turn now days God has set in our path a growing number of people that are hungry and intently looking for more than what today's church assembly can offer them and their families. They know by the indwelling Spirit there is something that is just not right nor fulfilling with what today's commonly accepted ministry is offering them. As the world about us darkens many are experiencing a hunger for a deeper intimacy with Christ along side a growing disdain for the shallowness and falsity of what they are being fed. Please allow me to quote Brother Brogeden as he shares clearly the crux of the dilemma these particular saints are faced with. Joian and myself each were awakened to this reality some years ago and many of those we love and have befriended of late are finding this ex-Assembly of God pastor's analysis absolutely so. We have experienced it.

"I can say without qualification that "church" as we have known it, done it, attended it, and invited others into it, is the single greatest distraction and hindrance to spiritual growth that I know of. It is a distraction from Jesus because it claims to represent Jesus when it actually misrepresents Him. It claims to speak for God when it does not. As such, Organized Religion is much more dangerous than some kind of satanic or worldly element, because overtly evil things are easily recognized, whereas people falsely assume that something done by "church" is holy, good, and pure. "

I pray God has put it in your heart today, to honestly ask yourself if you are feeding from and even promoting today's religious system that is full of death and corruption. As we bid farewell to the passing age we recognize that the dieing system with it's counterfeit fivefold ministry is being replaced by Christ, who dwells within each of us. In the old system's stead, the Kingdom of God and it's true present ministry is being shared by the unction and recognition of the Holy Spirit in each of us as we fellowship one another. The centuries old dual hierarchical chaste system in which the clergy has ruled over the laity and usurped Christ as the one and only mediator between man and God is on it's last legs and God's voice is being heard by many as they flee the clutches of the Babylonian religious whore. My dear friend, my brother and my sister have you heard His clarion call for you and your family to "come out of her?"

And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."

Revelation 18:2-4:

Did you know the word "church" in our Bibles has nothing to do with the original Greek "ekklesia"(called out) of which it has been translated from. Astoundingly the word "church" is a direct decedent etymologically of the Greek word "kirke". In Anglo Saxon it's the word "Circe"; she was a character of Greek mythology who was the daughter of the sun god, who was banished to the island of Aeaea. She had the power to turn men into animals and if you review church history for the last 1700 years, you will see the "apostate church" has .........
Well, you get the picture.

Today, by the personal workings of Christ many of us have come to correctly understand that "church" is not a place. We have instead found it is a "state of being" which God has wrought in us that should be changing from glory to glory by the Lord's Spirit.

I have shared my thoughts as but a setting for this most incredible message(below) which I read this morning. This anointed writing speaks clearly to the corrupt and wanton system most call "church." Truly, we can liken this "counterfeit bride" to an ever devouring and insatiable "religious machine."

Dismantling The Religious Machine
by Chip Brogden

Machines are used to do repetitive or difficult work more quickly and efficiently, giving people more leisure and free time to pursue something besides work.

Once upon a time a group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done. They put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “Religion.”

The Religion Machine would make life easier for everyone they said. With the Machine, we don’t have to waste precious time relating to a real God Who loves us. The machine would take these complex processes and break them down into a simple three-step process that anyone could follow, reducing God to a faceless, personless ideology of good works. The result would be a mass-production of religious people who all spoke, thought, acted, and believed the same way.

Things went very well for a while. The Religion Machine worked just like it was supposed to. Churches were built, movements were started, crusades were held, programs were implemented. The inventors congratulated themselves on making Religion so efficient.

But you and I know that machines require a lot of maintenance. Parts have to be replaced. People wanted the Religion Machine to be bigger, better, and faster each year. Research and development expense was incurred, testing expenses, raw materials and warehousing. The Religion Machine had to have qualified people to work on it, qualified people to run it, qualified people to supervise the people who run it, and so on.

With all the improvements and modifications to the original design, the Religion Machine got so big that they had to house it someplace; now they had factory overhead: the property, the specialized plant equipment, the electrical and water requirements, more work crews, the support staff, the management, still more parts, upgrades, routine maintenance, all the hidden costs associated with keeping the Machine running.

No one knew just how big the Religion Machine would get. The inventors would have never dreamed that their little invention would one day turn into a big business, but it did. People picked up their families and moved to live and work close to the Machine. There’s money there, a chance to get ahead, a chance to settle down, a nice place to raise their kids. The Machine is a boost to the local economy because it produces jobs and goods. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the Machine running along.

The people took great pride in their work. Take a drive with them to any part of the country and they would point to the impressive array of expensive church buildings, sprawling seminaries, and mega-church outreach centers. “We helped put that one together,” they’d say. “Thank God for the Religion Machine! How did we get along without it before?”

But there’s another side to the story. Oh, the work is simple enough. “Do what you’re told. Push this button, pull that lever, flip that switch.” Keep producing, keep the Machine running. But there’s a human toll being exacted on the people who are running the Machine. Just another cog in the wheel, they begin to stop thinking for themselves; they depend on the supervisors to tell them what to do. They go home tired day after day (their busiest day is Sunday). They always work overtime and their family life is non-existent. Even when they’re home they think about work. Production is the name of the game; keep the Machine running no matter what; produce more with less.

People always get injured on the job. It’s hot, dirty work. And noisy. The Machine makes so much noise that all the workers eventually develop acute hearing loss. The light is so dim that the employees have become very narrow-eyed and squinty, not able to withstand bright light. But somehow the security that comes from getting paid each week is more important than the side-effects. So the work goes on.

Besides, where else could they go? What else could they do? Financial commitments based on that paycheck have been made: houses mortgaged, cars financed, durable goods charged. If the Machine stops running, the paychecks stop coming, and it means bankruptcy for the workers and the community. So on and on it goes.

Every once in awhile a pay raise comes. Some live long enough to retire, but most of the workers die young from stress, are injured on the job and permanently disabled, or have nervous breakdowns. But no matter what, the Machine kept running.

Then the unexpected happened.

The Religion Machine used a synthetic, man-made oil for fuel to keep it running.

The oil ran out. The Machine ground to a halt.

The workers were in a panic. No more fuel? How would the Machine run? What about their job? What about their paycheck? Who would take care of their families?

"What about natural oil?" someone asked. No that wouldn’t work. They tried that years ago. Genuine oil would not run the Religion Machine.

The supervisors cursed and swore. How could they get the Machine running again?

There was only one thing left to do.

The doors were locked, and the gates closed tight. Armed security gathered the workers together and had them form a line leading up to the top of the combustion chamber, the fiery inferno which fueled the Religion Machine.

One by one they were cast into the fuel tank. The Machine sparked and began to hum again.

"More people! We need more people over here!" Like lambs being led to the slaughter, the deaf, dumb, and blind workers were pushed over the precipice to be used as fuel for the Religion Machine. Next it was their wives, husbands, children, parents, brothers, sisters, all thrown alive and screaming into the Machine. The houses and cars, the clothing and jewelry, the furniture and possessions were all confiscated and dumped into to the Religion Machine to add more fuel for it to run.

At last everything that could be used for fuel had been used. It would not be enough, and it had all been in vain. Once again the Religion Machine ground to a halt, and no one was around to start it up again. The supervisors went out into the community to try and recruit new workers, but after hearing what had happened to the last shift no one would take the job.

Today those supervisors are dead and gone. The Religion Machine was dismantled by the townspeople, the parts scattered to the four winds, never to be assembled again.

The problem with the Religion Machine was that it started out as a neat invention designed to help people, but it wound up hurting them. The Machine was made for man, but soon man lived for the Machine and became dependent upon it.

Once upon a time another group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done and give them more leisure time. They were even more talented, technologically advanced, and affluent than the first group of inventors. So they put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “American Christianity”...

Let us go home to our families and seek Christ away from the glamour, glitz and ceremony of the false church. The writer of Hebrews tells us correctly that Christ is to be found outside the gate and afar from the camp.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hbr 13:12,13

Jesus also spoke of a particular hour in time which all of us must personally face.

"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 in spirit and in truth." John 4:23,24

I pray your "hour cometh" and you and your family find the safety and liberty of worshiping and walking with our wondrous Christ, free from the bondage of feeding and being devoured by that awful deceitful machine.


(A link to Chip Brogden's site is given below.
Joian and myself subscribe and are blessed
by his daily devotionals via E-mail)


You May Never Know Jesus Is All You Need, Until Jesus Is All You Have

Two summers ago I read the book, Mutant Message Down Under-by Marlo Morgan. The first story told by the Aborigines to an outsider about their beliefs and culture.

Ms. Morgan was unwillingly constricted to a walkabout in the Outback of Australia. A fascinating read, it chronicled Marlo's journey from affluence, to loss of all. The most intriguing part is that she came to love and respect, her unusual captors.

The story made me grateful for my apparent life of ease and I put it on the shelf pondering it. How could you be grateful for so little? Why would you prefer such a life? In the book it was revealed that the Aborigines called us (anyone outside themselves) mutants. They felt sorry for the mutants who they said, were cut off from God by their love and drive to accumulate things. Hmmm!

In 1991 I stood on the brink of financial ruin and the probability that all I had spent my life working for would shortly be gone. There was however something worse that happened during that time. I can only recall it as deadness. Nothing in life held my interest, brought joy or excitement for me.

All of life became pressing to maintain the things we owned. So I functioned as I assumed was needed. My main conversations with my Father were, why and help! He did intervene and sixteen years later I am on my way back to what I considered normal. However, when I met Jack almost two years ago, I was still struggling to see the purpose of God in all that had happened. Jack posed some questions to me about the way of the cross and surrender. Most of his thoughts I had forsaken when I entered the Faith Movement some twenty years before. His words caused me to take a second look at the book of Job and reevaluate my spiritual foundation. I did not want to think what I had gone through could have been brought on because I followed my own flesh/soul. Nor did I want to believe God could have allowed any of it. I would much rather believe.....the devil was to blame. Other than learning that God will get you out of a mess of your own making. I wonder if loss of this kind adds one bit to the losing your life and finding his.

Perhaps it is only a willing heart that is involved in the process of, He must increase and I must decrease…… To willingly give up all and follow him……when I can't see what exactly he is asking or expecting is a frightening prospect. I know it is not even within me to trust in such a radical way to the point of GIVING MY LIFE. But surely this is "THE WAY" Jesus spoke about when he said find your life you must lose it and-Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

Again I pray, Father, illuminate yourself in me that I may follow you………down the road to my own cross and death to my will and way……………may I not shrink back.

Chip Brogden-Do We Look For Another?
Shortly thereafter, John was arrested and put into prison. His work was complete, his sun was setting, and just as he had said, Jesus was increasing and John was decreasing. But oh, what a decrease! The ministry was finished, the crowds were gone, and John was left alone in prison with only a few disciples who came to visit him.

When everything is stripped away you are soon left with little but your own thoughts. In prison, John had a lot of time to think. And the essence of his thoughts were along these lines: Did I make a mistake? Is Jesus the Son of God, or not? If He is the Messiah then where is His Kingdom? Why doesn’t Jesus do something? Did I really see the Spirit and hear the Voice, or was that just my imagination? And if He isn’t the One, do we need to start looking for another?

We can all take comfort in the knowledge that even the greatest prophet who ever lived (Luke 7:28) can have troubling thoughts, moments of doubt, and crises of faith. We all experience times when the darkness mocks us and circumstances try to convince us that the best course is to “curse God and die” (as Job’s wife so eloquently put it).

We can afford to be philosophical and detached about Jesus increasing and us decreasing while we are still ministering out by the Jordan, but in prison the truth of what we have been proclaiming is put to the test. Sadly, many of us fail the test. Jesus simply does not do what we expect – and this upsets us!
The real crisis of faith is along the lines of this Man. We can all disagree over Bible doctrine and interpretations of Scripture. But what will you do about Jesus?

He will not change Who He is to accommodate Who we think He is. He is Who He is. We either have to come to grips with Jesus as He in fact is, or we have to settle for something less or something else. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

So the question we all have to answer is this: Is Jesus enough? Is He enough, just as He is? Or do we still need Him to do something else in order to satisfy us? Intellectually we can say, “Yes, Jesus is enough. Amen to that. I believe it.” But I am surprised at the growing number of people who are openly suggesting that Jesus really is not enough for them!
We need fellowship, they say. Or we need God’s blessings. Or we need spiritual gifts and more powerful anointings. To believe that Jesus is Enough (they say) is simply too mystical, too simplistic, too out-of-touch with the real world – no matter what Colossians 2:10 says.
I would suggest, brothers and sisters, that if Jesus is not enough for us then we have not really met Him yet, or at the very least, we do not know Him very well. Corrie Ten Boom said, “You may never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” That is the purpose of all God’s dealings with us in this area of being decreased (or as I like to say, being reduced to Christ). Jesus is not quite all we HAVE, and so we are reluctant to say that Jesus is all we NEED. The problem, dear friends, is not that we have too little, but that we have too much……… more at the following link-

Tares Among the Wheat

So much has happened in the religious world during 2007. Men and women I looked up to, felt drawn to, and trusted have become involved in scandal of every kind. Two of those whose names hit the news lately were ministries I was ordained under.

I have been sickened and shaken as the reports and the depth of perversion came out about Earl Paulk and cried many nights wondering how it could be. As more and more came out I was frankly angered. First at his wife Norma, then the people involved in covering up for Paulk and finally, stunned that I never sensed a thing in those years we were involved with that ministry.

The beginning of the congressional investigation involving Copeland, Meyers, White, Long and Dollar for possible misappropriation of funds starts next month. The civil lawsuit for Earl Paulk could begin as early as January of this year. I felt more than just a little uneasy as the New Year began. Jack and I talked New Years Eve at length. Before I hung up I felt a peacefulness settle in, convinced that what lies ahead this year is a good thing even a God thing.

This afternoon Christine Beadsworth sent this writing which shed light about what God is doing in the earth and even covered some of the very topics Jack and I discussed..........I hope it encourages you as it has me.


Tares amongst the Wheat
Christine Beadsworth
Jan 2, 2008

Recently the Spirit of the Lord took me to the parable of the tares and the wheat in Matthew:

Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

This parable depicts mixture – the kingdom fields have both good and bad seed growing. The servants are disturbed by the appearance of the tares springing up amongst the wheat but the Master says He will leave them growing in order to protect the wheat.

Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.

I have a very real sense in my spirit that we are living in the days of the harvest, the time when mixture in the Church of Jesus Christ is being dealt with. The word ‘servant’ means ‘bond-slave’. Those who are bond-slaves of the Lamb have grieved and mourned over the presence of those they discern to be tares within the Lord’s field. They have cried out to the Lord in the past for them to be removed because of the damaging influence they have. Yet the Lord has not done so because He has the good of His wheat plants in mind. He knows that if the removal of the tares is done when the wheat plants are young and impressionable, they too will be uprooted in the process. The word tells us that there are three different stages of growth:

Mar 4:28 For the earth brings out fruit of itself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full grain in the ear.

There is an appointed time of separation when both plants have reached maturity. To understand this timing we must understand the difference between wheat and tares. The tare looks very much like wheat, so much so that it was only in the final stage of ripeness that one can clearly see the difference. A ripe ear of wheat becomes so heavy that it bows down under the weight, whereas the tare’s ear remains bolt upright when mature. The differentiation process becomes easy and the tares can be laid hold of and cut down without damaging the mature wheat.

What a graphic prophetic picture. The bowing ear of wheat depicts humility and a personal decreasing that Christ may increase while the upright tare in contrast depicts arrogance and pride. It seems that what is depicted here in the separation process is in effect a cleansing of the temple, a driving out of moneychangers and those who have made God’s habitation a den of thieves. When Jesus is later explaining the parable to His disciples He says:

The Son of Man shall send out His angels (also translated ‘messengers’), and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Paul warns the Church about these tares in Corinthians:

2Co 11:13 For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.

An angel of light or a tare – same thing in different clothes – a counterfeit, one who masquerades as the real thing in order to lead people astray. It is uncomfortable to think that the enemy has planted ‘deceitful workers’ amongst the people of God. Yet we must be aware of this strategy for it is already far advanced. The plants have already grown past the ‘blade’ and the ‘ear’ stage and we are presently entering the season of harvest when the full grain in the ear is becoming evident. We are in the days when the separation line between those who are truly of the seed of Christ and those who are of the evil one is becoming clearer and clearer. What was previously hidden is now coming into plain sight within the context of the Church firstly, as well as in the world.

In recent months there has headline after headline concerning the uncovering of scandal and unrighteousness within the Church. Highly renowned leaders have been removed and the Church has been shocked and shaken as those they previously looked up to have been exposed. However because the sons of the kingdom are coming to maturity, their Christian walks have not been completely derailed by these discoveries.

I sense the Holy Spirit wants to impart understanding to His wheat plants in order for them to operate in wisdom during this season of separation. There are many who have been growing in their appointed place in the field for a long time. It seemed to them in days gone by that they were surrounded by many other wheat plants. Right through the ‘blade’ and the ‘ear’ stages, the tares and the wheat are indistinguishable. They can walk together because they seem to be agreed on everything that is of importance.

As James says in chapter 3, a fig tree cannot bear olives, nor can a vine bear figs! A tare seed cannot produce wheat! In the same way, a false messenger will in the beginning appear to present doctrine in line with the Word of God. The wheat plants within his range of influence grow, unperturbed as they do not yet discern the root of the matter. The Lord allows this in order for the wheat plant to become grounded and strengthened, in preparation of bringing forth a full ear of wheat.

So as the wheat plant, or son of the Kingdom, allows the incorruptible of Christ to bring forth Christ within, he begins to bring forth fruit. The character of Christ becomes evident in him. As maturity comes, it brings with it, humility and a laying down of one’s life – and the ripe ear of wheat bows in the presence of the Lord of the Harvest. However, the sons of the evil one are going through the same forming process. They cannot help but bring forth the character of the Father of Lies. The early stages of ‘blade’ and ‘ear’ have served to allow them to grow undetected in the midst of God’s people but error begins to be woven in with truth and finally in the day of exposure, there is a clear display of the fruit of darkness. Arrogance and a refusal to acknowledge sin or undertake repentance are hallmarks of the full ear of a tare.

The seed has brought forth fruit according to its kind. In Genesis 1 we read what happened on the third day of creation. God drew the waters back and exposed the earth and then the seeds which were already within the earth sprouted:

Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth tender sprouts (the herb seeding seed and the fruit tree producing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself) upon the earth; and it was so.

We are now in the Third Day since the coming of Christ and God is revealing which seed is planted within the earthen vessels of humankind. They are bringing forth fruit after their kind both within and without the Church. Judgment and separation begins with the House of God and the Lord has decreed that in the time of Harvest, those which have been stumbling blocks to His people will firstly be openly revealed for what they are, and then removed.

God’s wheat plants will firstly experience this separation within their hearts. They will find they have less and less in common with certain people and groups that they have been in association with for an entire growing season. This will be because of the development of the full corn in the ear. They will find the process disconcerting and will at times wonder whether they themselves are becoming un-Christlike as their hearts begin to pull away from these ones.

The discomfort will cause them to run to the Word and re-examine what they believe as they compare it to what is being declared from the pulpit. Areas in which they have been beguiled into absorbing false doctrine will now become glaringly evident as the veil is removed from their eyes - and because they are of the seed of Christ, they will renounce and flee from these doctrines of demons once they become acutely aware of them. As realignment to the plumbline of Truth occurs within the hearts of God’s sons, they are to remain submitted to the Spirit of the Lord, not trying to pre-empt any physical separation of their own volition. The outward separation of tares from wheat is effected by the ‘angels’ or messengers of the Lord of the Harvest as they use the sickle of Truth to weed out the tares. As always the Word will divide between soul and spirit.

After the cleansing of the temple, the exposing of the counterfeit and the removal of the stumbling blocks amongst the sons of the Kingdom, the full ears of wheat are taken into the granary in order to feed the hungry.

The fullness of harvest time when the tares and the wheat are clearly discernable is in effect a depiction of the manifestation or unveiling of the sons of God. Up until the season of the full corn in the ear, it has been impossible to distinguish between the two. Although there has been an awareness of some form of mixture present, it has not been entirely clear just who is who in the zoo! Then as maturity comes, the DNA of the seed within the heart is manifested fully. Just as the tares were bundled together, so too will there be a gathering together of the true sons of God, recognising and imparting the Spirit of Christ within one another!

Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

As we move through these days of separation and harvest, let us ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into all Truth and let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and tremble at His Word. It is time to walk in the fear of the Lord as never before.