~ THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH ~
GEORGE H. WARNOCK
We believe the hour has come when the saints should know and understand, at least in part, the meaning of Israel’s annual Feasts, for they constitute a very beautiful type and pattern for the Church. There is a time and a season for the proclamation of every Biblical truth, and when God’s hour of revelation has struck, the Spirit of God is gloriously present to remove the veil from God’s secrets and initiate His people into the mysteries of God. Such is the office work of the Holy Spirit, to lead and guide the saints into all truth, and to reveal the things which are to come. (Jn. 16:13). A consecrated and holy walk in the Spirit, therefore, is the only genuine basis we have for a proper understanding of the Scriptures. Without that consecration and that walk in the Spirit we might acquire a considerable understanding of theology, but it will be theology devoid of Truth. After all, theology is the study about God and about Truth; whereas Truth is a living, vital, powerful demonstration of the Spirit of God, pulsating with Divine life and power and wisdom and knowledge.
JESUS HIMSELF, THE TRUTH
When Jesus declared so emphatically, “I am the Truth,” He there and then completely demolished the idea the Truth has anything in common with creeds and doctrines and theories about God and spiritual things. And not only so, for if Christ is Truth, then Truth comes to us in garments of humility and meekness and will find little acceptance at the hands of the learned or the ecclesiastical. It is strange but true that those who lead the masses in the religious realm are those who cast the Truth aside when He knocks at their door and asks for admission. There is only one answer to this strange state of affairs, and it is this: Ecclesiastical success has developed into pride of heart, and with that pride has come that Laodicean spirit so prevalent in all evangelical circles today: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…” (Rev. 3:17). Instead of hungering and thirsting after God and righteousness, we find on every hand the boastful claims of various sects as to how much Truth they have, and how much knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures. Perhaps it is needless to say that such boastful claims merely establish their Laodicean condition, and hinder them from taking their places as overcomers on the throne of Christ. The people of God have yet to learn that the Kingdom belongeth to those who are and have nothing, those who are poor in spirit, and such as hunger and thirst after righteousness. God exalteth the meek and lowly to inherit the throne of princes, and the lofty and noble He sendeth away with empty hands. May God help us each one, as His people, to humble ourselves and pray and seek His face–and above all things to recognize how little we have of Truth and Righteousness, that we might be prepared to receive bountiful spiritual blessings at the hand of Him who giveth liberally to all men and upbraideth not.
GREAT THINGS AHEAD
Truly the Lord hath prepared great and mighty things for His people: things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man. (1Cor. 2:9). If God’s true children would only believe this one Scripture with all their hearts, how greatly it would help to release the riches of Heaven, and unlock the flood-gates of Glory! We know, of course, that Christians everywhere loudly profess to believe this, as well as the rest of the Bible; but in actuality they do not believe it. Yes, they will acknowledge that God has some great and mighty things prepared for us when we get to Heaven, but Paul declares in the following verse that these unseen, unheard-of, and unthought-of things are “revealed…by the Spirit,” and not by way of rapture or death. (vs. 10).
Let us, therefore, give all diligence to enter into the realm of the Spirit, which realm constitutes the real heritage of the saints. Truly the heritage is ours for the possessing. And if no man from the ascension of Christ until now has entered into it, it still does not make any difference. The fact remains, it is ours for conquest if we can believe for it and receive it. The universal Church has rejected the possibility of possessing it; that is true; but the history of the Church is by no means the pattern of spiritual attainment. Paul did not fully apprehend it either; that is true. But he beheld the glory of it, nevertheless, like Moses who stood on Mount Nebo and viewed the promised land. And furthermore, he pressed forward with all diligence by the Spirit “if by any means” he could apprehend it, and confessed that he had not done so. (Phil. 3:12,13).
Thank God, however, for the assurance that some are going to possess the land! God is not going to close this dispensation until some really enter in and possess their heritage in Christ Jesus. Paul declared, “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein.” (Heb. 4:6). The first generation that came out of Egypt by Moses failed to enter in because of unbelief, and God decreed that they would die in the wilderness. However, He had already sworn that Abraham’s seed would possess the land, and therefore He raised up a new generation who should go in and possess what their fathers saw but refused to appropriate. And they did. God’s purposes cannot miscarry. He will have a people who shall believe their God and possess their possessions. The early generation of Spirit-filled people at the turn of the century took their journey from the blighting wilderness of denominationalism and encamped at their Kadesh-Barnea on the very doorstep of Canaan–but they too failed to enter in because of unbelief. Some saw the vision; the majority did not; and they perished in the wilderness. True, there were a few Calebs and Joshuas who rested in the promises of God and continued to look forward to better things–and God will certainly vindicate His word and His oath, and cause them to possess the land with the new generation that God is now raising up. But as a whole, the people whom God chose from amongst the denominations and called apart into a new fellowship in the Spirit and baptized with the Holy Ghost–they failed to enter into the land, denounced those who exhorted the people to do so–and turned back into the wilderness like their predecessors in Israel.
As surely, therefore, as God’s Word is true and His oath immutable–so surely is the Lord now raising up a new generation who shall be empowered to take the promised land of spiritual power and authority, and enter into the realm of the Spirit of God. “Some must enter therein…” If this new generation withdraws from the promises in the face of violent opposition, it too will perish in the wilderness, and God will wait for still another generation to take the land. Because, “some must enter therein…” His Word has declared it, and it must come to pass. We feel confident, however, that this time God’s people will not fail; that in this great hour God Himself will intervene in wonderful sovereignty on behalf of those who see the vision, and will take them through to complete and glorious victory. We cannot help but believe that this new generation will, by God’s Grace, cross over Jordan and possess the Kingdom prepared for the “little flock” from the foundation of the world. The powers of heaven are being shaken, according to the prophetic Word. Great and momentous spiritual battles are being fought and won in heavenly places. Spiritual hosts of wickedness are beginning to feel the impact of the saints who are pressing in by the Spirit and beginning to possess their possessions in “the heavenlies.” And above all, the saints of God are receiving gifts of the Spirit, the gifts are developing into ministries of the Spirit–and these ministries constitute God’s only method “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:12,13).
Thank God for that inborn confidence and assurance in the hearts of His people that the “hour has come” for the unveiling of the Sons of God; that the eternal purposes of God in the Church are about to be revealed; that we stand now on the brink of Jordan prepared and ready to follow the priests of the Lord and the ark of the covenant into a new experience in Christ; down into death and humiliation and abasement in Jordan, but up on the other side into life and victory and authority in Canaan. Let us constantly bear in mind the rules and principles of Christian warfare; namely, that we conquer by yielding, we receive by giving, we overcome by being defeated, and we live by dying. There is no other way except the way of the Cross. The Cross of Christ stands out on the horizons of time and eternity, not only as the means of pardon from sin and the gateway to Eternal Life–but as the one and only principle of Christian conduct. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:24,25).