IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND
THE WORD in the form of the Bible has been the most masterful work of literary art the world has ever known. The beauty of this Word is radiant, and its splendor has not dimmed throughout the long and darkened ages. Man has attempted to better the countenance of it through their many translations, and in their efforts they have marred its character. This, however, has been only in the outward appearance, for as it was penned in times past the majesty of this written Word still stands like a beacon in the night.
Others have attempted to destroy the Bible altogether. Not only has it been in peril of men's hands, but countless thousands who have braved the floodtide of Rome's dogma and would dare to teach starving souls the Word of this hand-book of life, they have suffered unto blood, even to death.
This precious Word was written in the blood of the Patriarchs of old and was consigned by the Saints of this age. However, the Word that they all have given their lives for has not been the one we merely read from the pages of this ancient Book; but rather, it has been the Word that God had engraved with fire upon the flesh tables of their hearts. For them to have read it only with the intellect of the mind would have been death to their inner man, but it was not with their minds that they perceived the Word...but it was by the Spirit they drank of the wellspring of Life...in doing so, they DIED IN CHRIST, even before they went to the gallows.
To these pillars in God's temple, the letter of the Word was heard as the Rhema (faith inspiring Word), and from there a few of them began to hear the Logos (Word of knowledge & understanding). It is this Word, the Rhema and the Logos, that cost the lives of so many of God's chosen -- first, a death to self in the hands of God and then death to the body in the hands of wicked men. It is awesome in how the glorious Word of God and those who had declared such a Word have suffered so tremendously throughout the ages.
The written Word, as we have it contained between the covers of the Bible, came out of God to man in the form of the LOGOS, for in that Word, He spoke the THOUGHT and INTENT of His heart. Not many heard it as the Logos; at most, it was the Rhema that men such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had heard, but the WORD that would have given them the knowledge and understanding of HOW to possess what they had seen was not made known to them. Therefore, most of the things they saw remained far off yet were embraced in FAITH.
When the Word of God was later on penned upon parchments of paper, men began to read it and perceive it with the intellect of their minds, rather than by inspiration, and the LETTER that kills was born. Yes, that GREAT WORD OF GOD, we call the Bible, when taken and applied to our lives by the might and power of our minds, rather than by the Holy Spirit of Christ, brings forth death to the inner man.
Nevertheless, the Word of God, whether it is the WRITTEN WORD, the WORD OF FAITH, or the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING, has been a mighty tool in the hands of God through the ages of man's development. But now, we have come to another WORD that we see coming forth out of God and into the world.
When we speak of a "word", we usually imagine it being something that is simply "spoken" or "written", not giving it much more thought. However, a word, whether spoken or written, can be an EXPRESSION of the one speaking the word; and in essence would be a manifestation of what the person is. It can be the beautiful words of compassion and love or the words of envy and hate, and when they spill out of ones mouth or flows from their pen, we can know of what spirit they are. They have EXPRESSED to the world what is hidden in the womb of their hearts. They have BIRTHED a part of themselves, and the thing that is birthed is one's own person -- it is their CHARACTER.
Perhaps now we can better understand why Jesus was called THE WORD in the first chapter of John. "In the beginning was the WORD (LOGOS), and the WORD (LOGOS) was with God...and the WORD (LOGOS) was made FLESH..." (Jn. 1:1,14). And in Hebrews 1:3 we read, "Who being the brightness of His glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE (Grk, CHARAKTER) of His person...."
JESUS was indeed THE WORD, for He was birthed from the heart-center of God. That which God is was EXPRESSED by Him, and every thought, desire, word, and action of Jesus was the very ESSENCE and CHARACTER of His Father; and when this Word became flesh, the glory of the Father could for the first time be seen in the world. Yes, Jesus was and still is the MANIFEST DECLARATION of God the Father. Oh, what a wonderful thing, the glory of the "begotten God", as some Greek texts have it (Jn. 1:18), coming forth for every eye to see.
AS GOD IS
It is an easy thing to believe that Jesus was indeed the WORD OF GOD made flesh, but to most of us our thoughts stop at this point, for it is hard to realize that whatever the HEAD IS so is THE BODY. Let us be reminded that in 1st John 4:17 we are told that "as HE IS, SO ARE WE in this world." Have we ever considered WHAT GOD IS? He is Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Longsuffering, Gentle, and Kind. In using analogies He is Oil, Wind, Rain, Water, Lightning, Fire, etc. When any or all of these CHARACTERISTICS of God are truly manifested, then THE WORD OF GOD is being spoken. Therefore, when THE WORD, JESUS CHRIST, is resident within us, HIS BODY, and it is coming forth from that Body, what is it that the world is seeing? Namely, THE WORD! The only way creation is going to see God is in His WORD -- the ESSENCE of Himself being EXPRESSED through His BODY. If we were spirits only, without bodies, there would be no way we could effectively make ourselves known as to what our character might be. It is the same with God. Without a body, there is very little that is known of Him, and we, Brethren, are His Body!
AS THE RAIN
We are all familiar with Isaiah 55:11, which states, "So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." This verse is a great promise of God that has stirred the souls of many, including our own, for we know that one spoken word from God to our hearts (Rom. 10:17) will produce faith enough in us to move mountains. Praise God, we have finally come to the place of understanding to know that WHATEVER GOD ACTUALLY SPEAKS WILL COME TO PASS! His Word will not return to Him void. (Unfortunately, there are many things we ASSUME God has said but has not; therefore, we can not see many results from the words we speak).
The truth of this verse (Isa. 55:11) has been a great blessing to us, and we would do nothing to take from it in any way. However, when we examine the context of it a little closer, a new dawning begins to shine forth. We will read, beginning with verse eight. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. FOR AS THE RAIN COMETH DOWN...SO SHALL MY WORD BE THAT GOETH FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH...For YE SHALL GO OUT WITH JOY, and be led forth with peace: THE MOUNTAINS AND THE HILLS SHALL BREAK FORTH BEFORE YOU INTO SINGING, AND ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD SHALL CLAP THEIR HANDS. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a NAME, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (Isa. 55:8-13).
Let us repeat a segment of this passage. "FOR AS THE RAIN cometh down...So shall MY WORD be...For YE shall go out with joy..." Can we see from this that it is HIS CHOSEN ONES who are referred to as HIS WORD, and THE RAIN IS an analogy used to describe a characteristic of that Word? And where is this Word coming from? Spoken right out of His mouth! Therefore, not only will the Sons of God be ministering the Word, but they are to BE THE WORD in the same way the FIRSTBORN OF MANY BRETHREN was THE WORD MADE FLESH!
When we (IF INDEED WE ARE IN THIS COMPANY OF RAIN) proceed from the mouth of God AS THE WORD, we will not return to Him void or empty handed, and we will accomplish that which God has sent us to do. We will bring the Life of God to the kingdoms (mountains) of this world, and where humanity was lost to sin and decay (thorns), we will see men growing up as the everlasting righteous men of the Lord (fir and myrtle trees). And we can affirm with Isaiah, We shall rise and shine; for OUR Light has come, and the glory of the LORD is contained within us, but it will be upon us. The darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon us, and His glory SHALL BE SEEN UPON HIS CHOSEN. And the Gentiles shall come to the Light of our shining, and kings to the brightness of our rising. Let us lift up our eyes round about, and see, for they shall all gather themselves together unto the fair ones. The Sons shall come from afar, then we shall see and flow together, and our hearts shall revere our God and be enlarged, for we will see the abundance of the sea of peoples converted unto the righteous, and the forces of the gentiles shall also come unto us. And as God has said, "...I will glorify the house of My glory." (See Isa. 60:1-5 & 7). Dear ones of our Father, this is what THE WORD can and will do! OH, What a blessed RAIN to mankind this will be!
But how can this ever be? Again, as the prophet Isaiah clearly trumpeted, "Fear not: for I am with thee I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My Sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."
We may be on the back sides of the earth or in the midst of the bustling cities, but it matters not; for as it stands, we are but a beautiful thought in the mind of God that is in the process of forming. When we, His thought, are complete, He will speak and we shall be drawn together and fitly joined to one another by His Holy Spirit of power and come forth as the glorious WORD OF GOD. There will then be earthquakes, and thunderings, and lightnings, and shakings in the heavens -- the world will have never know such things. All their valleys of despair will be exalted, and their proud mountains made low, and their crooked ways made straight, as well as their rough places smooth. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and ALL FLESH SHALL SEE AND PARTAKE OF IT TOGETHER, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it. (See Isa. 40:4-5). It's enough to make one want to shout, isn't it?
Jesus said, "Every one shall be salted with fire..." (Mrk 9:49), but, of course, everyone in his own order, i.e. the anointed firstfruits, then those who are of Christ and stand in the presence of His many membered body of Sons for a thousand years upon the earth, and finally the end rank or band of humanity. (See I Cor. 15:23-24). Peter complimented this thought with this: "For the time is come that judgment must begin AT THE HOUSE OF GOD...." (I Pet. 4:17). Judgment, as it is related here, is in reference to trying ones worth, and FIRE is the one thing that will determine the worth of a thing. If we put wood, hay, or stubble upon a roaring fire, we will soon see that there is little worth to it. But on the other hand, if fire seven times hotter than normal is applied to gold ore, not only does the gold withstand the heat of the flames, but the dross that had formerly concealed its beauty is separated from it and raked aside. Therefore, we see that when fire is spoken of in the scriptures, it is usually speaking of a judgment that purifies and tests the worth of something -- it reveals what a thing is made of.
When we receive a pure Word of God, we should never think that this is the end of the matter, and that all we have to do after hearing a wonderful truth is to just bask in its glory; for listen to what has been recorded in the Psalms. "The words of the Lord are PURE words: AS SILVER TRIED IN A FURNACE OF EARTH, PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES." (Ps. 12:6). We know now why things get so hot when we begin to truly hear from the Lord -- HIS WORDS HAVE TO BE PURIFIED!...The dross of false doctrine and our thoughts have to be removed.
We have all kinds of words coming into our minds, and whether they are the pure Words of God or nonsensical trash, we can count on them being tested sooner or later in the "FURNACE OF EARTH" that we are. If we are of a submissive spirit, and we have been called to be vessels of honor, then the testing fires will come early. It is at this time everything that the redemptive silver of God will be purified, while that of no worth is consumed or removed. But for those who are called to be the vessels of dishonor, the fires seem to be held back until the purpose of their dishonor has been fulfilled. (See I Cor. 11:19 concerning the necessity of heresies).
We have seen that God purifies SILVER with FIRE, let us now look and see another silver He purges with fire. "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a REFINERS FIRE, and like a fullers' soap: And He shall sit as a REFINER and PURIFIER of SILVER: and He shall PURIFY THE SONS OF LEVI, and purge them as GOLD and SILVER, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." (Mal. 3:1-3) The sons of Levi, the ones called to offer the bread of the Lord, are the GOLD and SILVER that is being FIRED IN THE FURNACE OF EARTH. It is not just the words that they have heard, but now it is themselves who are being consumed -- they are the WORD PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES! And then, when the purging has done its work, they are the PURIFIED GOLD and SILVER to be brought into the storehouse of God and that is the OFFERING
UNTO THE LORD
The fire that comes to the Firstfruits, the House of God, is one of the most essential ingredients we can possibly be afflicted (blessed) with. John the Baptist did not say in vain that there would be One coming after him, who would baptize us in the Holy Ghost and (even) FIRE. When the Holy Spirit and Word first comes to us, it comes as a cool, refreshing RAIN, we are "born of water"; but there will be a time when His Spirit will be a purging fire. It is then that His Word will be in our hearts as a FIREBRAND SHUT UP IN OUR BONES, even as it was with Jeremiah. (Jer. 20-9). Oh, but praise God! For when that HOLY FLAME is fanned by His hand, not only are we delivered of our wicked ways, but as we are consumed by the fire of God -- WE THEN BECOME THAT FLAME OF FIRE! Do we think not? Let us think again, for it is recorded in Psalms 104:1, 3-4, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God; thou art clothed with honour and majesty...Who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh His angels spirits; HIS MINISTERS A FLAMING FIRE." Yes, "GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE" (Heb. 12:29), and "...AS HIS IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD." (I Jn. 4:17). And as we go forth from God, AS HE IS, AS HIS WORD, not only will He make HIS WORDS IN OUR MOUTHS FIRE that will devour rebellion (Jer. 5:14), but WE WILL BE THE WORDS OF FIRE THAT GOD SPEAKS INTO THE WORLD OF WOOD, HAY AND STUBBLE.
How about ourselves, have we ever felt like we were in the midst of a RAGING FIRE? To those who are called to be mature Sons in this coming age, we are sure to answer with a loud AMEN! Well, dear Sons to be, this is telling us that we are still WOOD in the midst of God's CONSUMING FIRE. But praise God, for when the wood is changed from its natural, solid state of the earth to a spiritual, gaseous state of the heavens, it is no longer wood but is FIRE. And WHEN WE ARE FIRE, THE FIRE CAN NO LONGER INFLICT THE PAIN OF ITS HEAT UPON US, FOR WE ARE ONE WITH HIM WHO IS FIRE! Shout for joy if you hear it, if not, praise Him anyway, for He is worthy!
Many times we have wondered why the Spirit of God and His Word were referred to as RAIN in some scriptures and in others as FIRE. In some areas we read where He pours out the blessings of Himself as rain (Mt. 5:45), while in others He is manifested as FIRE (Rev. 20:9). We know that natural RAIN is very different than FIRE, but how is it different in the spiritual sense? I believe that the difference comes in WHERE WE ARE, or what spiritual state of being we are in, rather than God changing from a peace-loving, rain blessing creator when we are good to a wrathful, fire-breathing exactor when we are evil.
For example: No doubt, we have all been in church services, when the Word that was ministered was as pure, crystal clear rain that was sent from the heavens of God in due season. Every word was such a blessing that we could have remained there all day and all night, and when the minister had finished his sermon and the meeting came to a close, we were wishing that he would just say a few more words, for they were such a refreshing, cool drink upon our parched tongues. However, to a brother or sister sitting next to us, those words were as a tormenting flame of fire, and their first utterance about the meeting was, "I have never heard such rubbish in all my life. Everything he said was pointed directly to me. I know that Brother or Sister So And So got with him before the services and told him what to preach, hoping to 'straighten' me out, but they are the ones who need to be straightened out, for they are conspiring behind my back, rather than coming to me face to face. And not only was he accusing me before the whole congregation, but he was in error with most everything he preached."
It is common for the Word that comes down from heaven to be as refreshing rain to one person, and to another it is as tormenting fire. Everyone hears the very same words, and it is by the same Spirit of love that they are ministered. The man of God only speaks the word that the Lord lays upon his heart, not knowing anything about any of the people's problems. It is not in the man's mind to single anyone out. THE DIFFERENCE IS IN HOW THE WORD AND SPIRIT ARE RECEIVED AND WHERE THE HEARERS OF THE WORD ARE STANDING. To some...the Word is a BLESSING, to others...it is a CURSING. To some...SWEET WATER, to a few others...BITTER FIRE. To some... God's messenger brings HEALING upon his wings, while to the others...he comes with a SWORD in his mouth. The self-same Word and Spirit does all the these things, and more, depending on everyone's relationship to Christ who "hears" the Word.
Those who have received the MARK OF THE BEAST (666) in their foreheads, even those who call themselves Christians and have "great" revelations, they will always be "...TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGLES (MESSENGERS), AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB." (Rev.14:10). Whenever one has the SPIRIT OF MAN (6), the SOUL OF MAN (6), and the BODY OF MAN (6), and they exercise all THREE to the edification of the FLESH, then they have received the MARK OF THE BEAST (666), at least in one form. And when they are in the presence of any MESSENGER OF GOD (man or woman, it makes no difference), they will certainly be tormented with FIRE. It is not the intent of these holy messengers, who possess the LIFE OF THE LAMB, to torment anyone, for it is not in their NATURE to do so, but because of the condition of those with the mark of the beast, the Word comes to them as FIERY JUDGMENT. It is then that they will either want to destroy the one they feel who has rained fire down from heaven upon them, or since the Light of Christ from that fire has revealed the wickedness of their hearts, they say to the mountains and rocks (their kingdoms and foundational beliefs) to fall upon (Grk. alight, or fly upon) them, and hide them from the WRATH OF THE LAMB. (See Rev. 6:15-16). (It would be more accurate, according to the Greek, to translate "wrath", as it is used here, DESIRE. It is much more fitting to the nature of a LAMB).
We have all seen men and women scurrying into the dens of their religious kingdoms with like believers to reaffirm their ROCK hard doctrinal beliefs, after a word had been delivered that began to scorch and shake the very things they had trusted in. It would be wonderful to see their stony hearts break and for them to cry out in repentance, "O LORD, what must I do to be delivered from the bondage of this corruption and enter into the DESIRE OF THE LAMB OF GOD?" However, from what has been seen in the past, I doubt if we will see a wholesale conversion of those who desire the flesh and revelation more than they do the REVELATOR -- the One who died for them. Therefore, that which awaits them I fear, will not be peace and joy, but FIRE!
It should be clear enough, that when a person whose life is made up of nothing but the FLESH OF MAN (fleshly spirit, fleshly soul, and fleshly activities of the body -- all three satisfying SELF), they will be tormented with fire while in the presence of the messengers of God whose life is THE LAMB. And it is no wonder, for as GOD IS to them so are HIS SONS, and because of their lives being WOOD, HAY, and STUBBLE; therefore, each Holy messenger is seen as A FLAMING FIRE.
THE LAKE OF FIRE
When ONE FLAME OF FIRE is put in the midst of a pile of WOOD, if it is held there long enough, the wood pile will eventually start to burn. If there is some HAY and STUBBLE laying underneath the wood, the fire begins to burn a little sooner. If THREE or FOUR FLAMES are combined and put to the wood, it ignites much sooner. With this simple analogy we get a pretty good idea of what effect a man or woman of God will have upon those who live to their own glory, and if we concentrate the numbers of Godly ones the effect is much greater. Let us amplify this thought and see what is in store for the Sons of God and the sons of perdition.
There is a passage of scripture that says there will be a time when the SONS OF GOD WILL BE REVEALED, and the result of this UNVEILING will bring the groaning creation into the LIBERTY of the CHILDREN or OFFSPRING OF GOD...indicating that all of mankind will be BORN OF GOD. (Rom. 8:19-21). We know what happens when ONE FLAME OF FIRE is manifested, and when two or three come together the heat is intensified. But when ALL THE SONS OF GOD WHO COMPASS THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH ARE REVEALED TO ALL THE WORLD, AND EACH ONE OF THEM IS DRAWN TOGETHER IN ONE SPIRIT, ONE MIND, AND IN ONE ACCORD AS A FLAMING FIRE...What do you suppose we will then be? A LAKE OF FIRE! If there were five or six flames drawn together, God would have five or six droplets of fire, fifty to a hundred perhaps a cup, a thousand or two a nice little pond, but the multitude thousands that cover the earth as the waters cover the seas -- A LAKE OF FIRE! "AND WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE" (Rev. 20:15). Each one who OVERCOMES will be conformed to the IMAGE and LIKENESS of CHRIST JESUS, and they will be UNVEILED for all the world to see, and with the entire earth covered with the glory of God, unregenerated man will have no other place to go to escape it. Yes, they will be CAST INTO THIS LAKE OF THOSE WHO ARE LIKE GOD -- HIS CHOSEN FIREBRANDS!
THE WORD...we have worshiped the WRITTEN FORM of it (THE GRAMMA, The Commandments and other religious writings that can produce death when received and applied to our lives only by the will power and intellect of the mind). We have esteemed the INSPIRED WORD (THE RHEMA, that which gives us faith). And we have been enlightened to the WORD called THE LOGOS, which conveys to us the understanding of His intentions. But now we are literally becoming THE WORD -- THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF GOD! To some we will be expressed as God's Love, and they will repent and be saved, but to others we will be as the FIRE OF BRIMSTONE that will devour their rebellion, but then they too will repent and be saved IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Therefore, all ye who are indeed called to be the living word of God, prepare yourselves in the holiness of God, for He is getting ready to speak you forth as fire unto the creation who is waiting to be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Brethren, we can have all the REVELATION to be had, but without HOLINESS God will not send us forth, for only PURE WORDS proceed from the mouth of God. Are we pure?
Elwin R. Roach
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