Continued 2 of
by Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D., ©2004
The problem with the ‘seeker-friendly’ religious life style is that it subtly masks the ONLY way to God through repentance. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish [Luke 13:3,5]. The goodness of God must be balanced with the preaching of His severity or else tolerance for the sake of unity and peace will cloud the way to heaven.
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Preaching about the severity of God is not popular because it disturbs people. This is partly the reason I ran from the dream. Not because I want to be popular, but because it disturbs people and offending people disturbs me! Nevertheless, promoting the offense of the cross, that it is the only way to heaven, is infinitely more important than catering to one’s self-interest.
While some park in a comfort zone, others travel great distances to hear ‘smooth things.’ Judgment seems unreal when basking in the sun on a cruise ship sipping sodas aloft the high seas as a preacher teaches on the benefits of being a Christian. True to the Laodicean image, the end-time church is for the most part asleep in her affluence and does not know that the shame of her nakedness is about to consume her [Revelation 3:18].
So long as a Christian’s comfort zone is not disturbed, he/she will listen to the prophets prophesy ‘smooth things’. However, suggesting that one crucify the flesh and deny self, take up his/her cross, and follow Jesus is construed by some as a denial of the favor of God.
Who will blow the trumpet for Jesus? Are only a few of us qualified to sound the alarm to make ready? When He left this planet, Jesus gave His authority to all the Church. Having commuted His personal mission into the great commission, at His departure we all were authorized to go and tell the world [Matthew 28:18-28]. Jesus has done everything He can do. He suffered torture, avenged not shameful abuse, and whipped the devil in his own domain taking from him the keys of hell and death. He did it all for us. Then, He amazingly turned over the keys to the Church, which for the most part has never used them as God intended.
Keys To The Kingdom
Keys represent authority. Whoever possesses the keys to something controls access into it. In essence, that person has rulership over whatever the keys unlock. Listen to the bewildering statements Jesus made to His disciples:
Two chapters later we read:
The keys belong to every member of the body of Christ and not a select few; yet how many are using them? Can you see the mandate we have? Jesus gave all believers everywhere authority to witness with power about the power of the gospel of Jesus. He did not keep His victory over satan to Himself. He did not need to recover Adam’s lost authority over the earth for Himself. The creation always has been and ever will be His. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof [1 Corinthians 10:27]. Again: (t)he earth is the LORD’s, and the fulnessthereof; the world, and they that dwell therein [Psalms 24:1]. In addition, the potter has power over the clay. But now, O LORD, …we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand [Isaiah 64:8].
What Jesus did, He did for man. He did not want His Father to lose the beautiful creation predestined to become the city of God. Why do you think He made man in the likeness of Himself? He wanted sons and daughters with whom to fellowship and who could help Him rule His creation. Angels were never created to rule with authority. They were created to be servants to God and His family members [Hebrews 1:14]. Jesus came to recover the authority Adam foolishly turned over to satan. Until Adam’s God-given lease runs out [cf. Mark 12:1], the usurper of the lease has a right to walk up and down in it [Job 1:7; 2:2] because he holds temporary rights to the original lease [Matthew 4:8]. This fact is the basis for understanding the meanings encompassed in this vision.
Had the penalty not been paid (‘the wages of sin is death’ [Romans 6:23]), all things would have been lost forever including man. But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever takes His death as a substitutionary payment for the penalty of his/her sin, will not perish but have everlasting life [John 3:16].
Adam could not recover from the grip of his sin because satan had the keys to hell and the grave, and he kept people locked up and bound through fear of death.
Note that verse 15 says it is fear of death that keeps people in bondage to satan and sin. Jesus said, I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death [Revelation 1:18]. When Jesus left the domain of hell and rose from the dead, He stripped satan of the keys, and gave them to us Christians. We must find out what belongs to us right now in the devil’s world so that we can recover ourselves as well as others from captivity to his whims. We will not need the keys in heaven.
Can you see why we need the authority that Jesus gave us? Without it, we cannot rule in this earth. Reread Matthew 16:18 above and notice that it says ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ The Church ought to be aggressively pursuing the devil with the authority of the name of Jesus taking back ground he took away from Adam. We have not been saved to sit back and relax. There is an outlaw at large, out on bond till his lease runs out, and Jesus needs us to expose the wickedness of Babylon and complete the formation of Zion. Our commission, like Jesus, is to finish the Father’s work and complete the body of Christ [John 4:34].
It takes spiritual warfare to do the work of the Lord. Heed the instructions of our King. Speak in His stead, cast out devils, and spread the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and unlocked. There is an open invitation now to anyone who wants to enter in.
Having finished His work on earth, Jesus is now doing the work of a High Priest interceding in the throne room to the Father for each one of His brethren. Furthermore, He oversees that the devils obey when we make demands of them. And whatsoever ye shall ask (Strong’s NT:154 = ‘aiteo’ - demand) in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask (NT:154 = aiteo - demand) ANYTHING in my name, I will do it [John 14:13-14]. Do you believe that? You must believe it in order to manifest any power when you speak to devils. You are not demanding of God but commanding devils to loose their captives.
Unfortunately, believers seem careless and indifferent to their commission in life. Thank God, however, there are a few voices in the wilderness, and there is still time to make the turnaround to meet God’s grace instead of His judgment. The Father is ever ready to receive anyone who will answer His call to repentance. He is no respecter of persons. As Peter said in
God that in the midst of the gloom of this vision, there is hope
for the captives and Jeannette. You do not have to end up chained
like her unable to escape from the tower. The call is out to everyone
everywhere to enter into Jesus’ Kingdom now,
not tomorrow or the next day. Right now! …Behold, now is
the accepted time; now is the day of salvation…[2
Corinthians 6:2]. You can be rapture-ready now! Contrary to Scarlet
O-Hara, “tomorrow (may not be) another day.” If you
follow the Biblical command to watch and stay ready, you can escape
the inevitable consequences of those who are left behind. Watch
ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy
to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand
before the Son of man [Luke 21:36]. Those are not my words.
They belong to Jesus.
Jeannette found herself walking down a lane in a city, seemingly peaceful with no sign of disorder. From all appearances, it looked like it had been resourcefully conceived for she was impressed with its magnificent beauty. This city represents the cosmic system of world order (see Appendix 1) because we learned at the tail/tale end of the dream that Jeannette was given the name of the Queen of this city – Babylon.
The observation that Jeannette was alone on a street that should have been bustling with activity and commerce is the first sign that all is not as it should be. The chains that would soon bind her would belie its apparent charm. Up close and personal, all seemed well, the acme of perfection and an attractive habitation, but hidden beneath the harmonious whole was chaos at its root. We know from the narration and Scripture that the magnetism of this city is charged by the evil one who for the time being mysteriously but de facto rules the world. Let us see how this occurred.
|By stealth and deceit, Lucifer climbed up the back wall into the sheepfold of humanity through a snake and robbed the human race of its legitimate right to rule God’s earth 4 . The legitimate entrance into this world’s sheepfold is a human body.|
order to function within this physical universe one must possess
a material body. Jesus intimated in the passage above that the
sheepfold was the human race, and no one has a right to be in this
enclosure that is not of the species of the metaphorical sheep.
God created man to have dominion over the earth, which is the reason He made the man in His image and after His likeness [Genesis 1:26,27]. He intended for him to be a ruler like Himself, for He said, …Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth [Genesis 1:26]. Dominion denotes sovereignty or the exercise of control over something. Thus, we can rightly infer from Jesus’ comments in John 10, that it takes a human body made of the same substance of the earth, the dust of the ground from which man was formed [Genesis 2:7], to operate and interact with material things in this physical world.
Jesus said the porter would open the door to the legitimate shepherd of the sheep. In Jesus’ time, several shepherds used one corral in which to secure their sheep at night. A shepherd could enter the sheepfold and retrieve his sheep by calling to them. They know his voice and will not follow the voice of any other. This analogy is not to intimate that there is more than one legitimate shepherd because there is not.
Jesus clearly said that He is the door of the sheepfold implying that there is no other safe way out of the fold. Every other being posing as a shepherd that takes out sheep is a thief and robber whose intent is to devour them. To put it another way and be more specific, the only way sheep can go outside the enclosure safely to green pastures and still waters is by way of the good shepherd who is the door leading to life eternal. He is the only shepherd who ‘leads into paths of righteousness [Psalms 23] that lead to heaven.
IT Takes An 'Earth Suit' To Martriculate In The Earth
The import of the passages in John 10 establishes the notion that it takes a physical body to lawfully interact with the human-race sheepfold. This is why Jesus had to become a man. Being a legitimate member of Homo sapiens, He could pay the penalty of death for men’s sins. No other shepherd in all of human history has claimed to have given his life for the sheepfold [Acts 4:12] and they never will because they do not qualify. I’ll come back to that. Jesus did. He said, I am the good shepherd: and the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep [John 10:11], and again He said, ‘…there is none good, but one, that is God [Mark 10:18].
Being the good shepherd, Jesus has done for the sheepfold what no other man could do. … Being equal with God…He made himself of no reputation and …was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and ‘became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross’ [Philippians 2:6-8]. Since He became a sapiens member, He can legally enter into the pen and call out those sheep that are his.
Wolves In Snakeskin
If a being enters into the sheepfold any other way than with a human body, Jesus said he was a thief and a robber. Scripture explains that satan crawled up the back wall via a snake’s body, entered the sheepfold illegally, and stole from man his right to govern this planet. He beguiled Eve to disobey God’s command [2 Corinthians 11:3], which enticed Adam to do so also. Regardless of how you cut it, the fact that they chose to obey the coaxing of a snake made the serpent their new lord. Thus, as we have already noted, satan took possession of the right of rulership over this planet because Adam gave it to him. God gave it to Adam, and Adam turned it over to satan. Satan became his spiritual malefactor-lord by betraying his true and legitimate benefactor-Lord.
In order to understand the Babylonian mystique in this vision, one must discern this illegal acquisition. If it were not written down in the Word of God, it would be hard to believe that God’s preexistent enemy has the right of ruling His creation. Look at this startling statement made by Luke:
Note that the devil indicated the lease rights to govern this world with all its kingdoms were given to him. In addition, unless satan had a legitimate right to give to Jesus rulership of the kingdoms of the world, the temptation noted would have been invalid. Furthermore, Christ referred to him as the ‘prince of this world’ [John 12:31] while Paul called him ‘the god of this world’ [2 Corinthians 4:4]. It appears as if he is in charge legitimately albeit illegally! Something’s amiss and smells fishy here. We can only surmise why God permitted this ambivalent situation to arise in the first place. At present, we yield to the Bible’s declaration that satan’s rule and exercise of power is in the sphere of this world, and he has a right to it!
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