From Travail To Trumpets
There has been a great travail rising from the body of Christ that is due partly to a word of fire having been set in its midst. As it was with the prophet, the word of God has likewise been shut up in our bones (Jeremiah 20:9), and with patient endurance we have awaited the hour of release from that burning. Moreover, this word has not been a stranger to the witnesses of tens of thousands across continents and through the ages. It has been sweeping through the body of Christ since the days of Pentecost, awaiting its full release, its apocalypse.
Those living fires that were kindled by the anointed messengers of God exponentially faded with each generation thereafter. By the fourth century there was hardly a noticeable flame left of the early church, only scattered remnants. Howbeit, although ever so few, they could not be quenched. Their survival was in part to their seclusion. Many were not known about. If they were known by Rome's Church, they were often left alone unless they posed a liability or were a threat to the organization's power structure. Michael Molinos (1628-1697) and Madame Guyon (1648-1717) were such threats and paid dearly (imprisonment for both and where Molinos died).
It was during the time of the dark ages that the light of Christ could hardly be revealed without dire consequences. This was the beginning of the man's spurious expression of the Christian religion which was greatly organized under the guidance of Rome's emperor, Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (272-337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, and even *Saint Constantine. It seems that since there was very little of Christ's life in that organization at the time, it was no longer a threat to Rome's existence but had actually become a great asset. Christianity, so called, was not only tolerated and well-received, but became the State religion which was in a sense a conglomerate of many religions. This appeased just about everyone, especially by incorporating solemn rituals, cult of the saints, spiring temples, huge columns, over-laid golden images, stained glass windows, and one man elected by other men to be the vicar of Christ. As it was with Constantine and his well organized army, the pope had his generals, colonels, captains, and privates (cardinals, bishops, priests, and their subjects, the people). Thus, by having a guardian for their souls (their pope - papa, father) and Saint Constantine, their emperor, caring for their livelihood on earth, the populace was, for the most part, appeased and made to believe they were safe by being guarded on all fronts and were protected from danger. Therefore, peace reigned among the citizenry, and the greater the Church became, the more the people viewed it as the supreme authority of God. Like Israel in the wilderness, in effect they were saying, "We will not hear personally from Him. Let the pope (like Moses) hear for us, and we will do whatever he tells us to do." This was a wedge that became a two thousand year wall between God and man, and until a few voices came on the scene, such as Czech John Huss, German Martin Luther, English William Tyndale and **Thomas Cranmer, and a number more, the flame of Christ's life was smothered almost completely.
*The Orthodox Church sees Constantine as the emperor who assisted the early Church in evangelizing the Roman Empire. For this reason it honors him as Saint Constantine Equal-to-the-Apostles. http://www.antiochian.org/1110388342 .
(He is the only one ever given this honor who was not deserving of sainthood according to their own criteria of leading a holy life, conducting miracles, and suffering or sometimes dying because of one's faith. The following speaks of his baptism just prior to death. ~ER)
Constantine had known death would soon come. Within the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantine had secretly prepared a final resting-place for himself. It came sooner than he had expected. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of zmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechemen [from the Greek for one being instructed] and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom". He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until old age or death. It was thought Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Easter, on 22 May 337. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I
** Cranmer first submitted to the pressures of Rome's Catholic Church and signed a statement that he believed and endorsed their doctrine of substantiation. One day later, and greatly remorseful, he openly preached contrary to his signed statement. He was promptly arrested and burned at the stake. As the flames rose around him, he placed his right hand into them and said: "Forasmuch as my hand offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished."
Except for cases like these, the fires of the Lord that had been such a great part of people's lives were gone. Gross darkness swept the earth for a thousand years plus, as that pseudo body of Christ, the anti (instead of) Christ if you please, continued in her adulterous affair and authority that were first received from Rome's emperor. Moreover, that same spirit permeates man's organized religion to this day and has dowsed the flames of fire in the lives of countless souls. Clearly, this has been the case for a long time.
I pray that thus far, as well as for the remainder of this article, I am not perceived as being biased, confrontational, or condemning. For please know that such is not my intention nor my spirit whatsoever. These notations are for information purposes only, and not tools to be used against that which is in God's hand and is a very part of His purpose. Even Babylon was a golden cup in His hand whereby the whole earth was made to be drunk. The nations drank her wine and went mad (Jeremiah 51:7).
The early church was aflame with Christ's Spirit; but by the 4th century its life began to wane, and many today have seen the much same in their own ranks. Not long ago they could see people in homes and fellowships all over the world being quickened by the living word. Countless thousands were born into the kingdom of God with the windows of heaven's revelation opened wide. A large number of the readers of these pages were a part of that great awakening and were warmed by those Holy fires of God, but not many are left. Although those flames gave light and warmth during the dark nights of the world, few are seen as burning torches today. There are many more ash heaps throughout the world than the living fires of revelation and the burning love of Jesus Christ. This is simply the evidence of fact. However, there are beacons of hope. There are untold smoldering fires that appear to have gone completely out, while others have anointed sparks and flames shooting heavenward at times. Then, of course, there are some who compass themselves with the sparks of their own making. (Isaiah 50:11).
We are thankful that life can be seen in a few anointed gatherings as well as in the messages that are sent in the form of the written and electronic word. Although there is not an abundance of light throughout the world, we have not been abandoned and left to the ravages of this storm-ridden world; and our hearts are in prayer: "Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly! May the apocalypse of your majesty be known soon and seen by all."
Regardless of the circumstances that befall us, we press on, never giving ourselves to the delusions of the world, and we cry out as one voice, "My heart is fixed, O God; my heart is steadfast...Awake, my glory, awake...I will awake right early [I will awake the dawn]! Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth." Psalm 57:7-8, 11. (Amplified).
There was the flame of life in which the spirit and soul were bathed at His initial appearing, which was only a partial Apocalypse of Jesus Christ within His body. We were raised up in those days of blessings with many signs and wonders. We thought it was the hour to awake the dawn, and we tried. But as the sun has set on those wondrous days, we now with bowed heads, contrite hearts, and great travail of brokenness, are praying with fervency, and at times in desperation. We pray not for the return of those old days of God's glory, as tremendous as they were. But we long for and pray that the new day of His majesty bursts forth soon in His awaiting brethren, that our travail will, indeed, awake the dawn. This is a cry that is stirring in the heavens, and it is from there that this inspiration of desperation is born, and of necessity that which is loosed and bound in heaven will be loosed and bound in the earth! (Matthew 16:19). Thus, at this formidable juncture is the dawning of the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ!
From the letters we receive from all over the world, it is clear that there has been travail for quite sometime, yet with no apparent results. And we believe many more are beginning to realize the seriousness of the hour and are hearing the distressing cries of those in the body of Christ. They are intensifying by the day whether there is evidence of it or not, and they will surely continue until all the other cries about us are merged into one resounding crescendo of prayer.
And please note, brethren, such travail does not come by sanctimonious will-worship that has only a show of holy wisdom and humility (Colossians 2;23), nor does it come from getting fearful, frustrated, or disgusted with what we see happening in the world. It does not come because we merely want to see the Kingdom of God established and assume that we can then cut things short in righteousness. Sounding our own self-styled trumpets cannot and will not move the hand of God in our selfish-interested favor regardless of how good and honorable our intentions may be. For instance, a North Dakota vegetable farmer may get anxious during a long, cold winter and feels that he cannot wait to sink his teeth into some fresh home-grown tomatoes and other savory vegetables. So he plants his seed in January rather than in the springtime, after the hard freezes; but his efforts, faith (presumption), and good intentions will be fruitless. His seed will die in the unseasonable, cold earth. Although there is life in each seed to bring forth after its own kind, none of them will ever produce the harvest the clueless man had desperately wanted. And so it is with planting the seed of the Kingdom before the proper season.
We can be assured, however, that there is a time for planting, a time harvesting, and a time for sounding the trumpets. There will be a time when trumpets of fire will be placed by anointed messengers to the lips of those in travail, and they will awaken the members of Christ's body. They will rise and march through the land. The word of God will be heard reverberating from their once travailing lips. Those who have waited in isolation and alone will come from every direction, each one as a flame to join in concert with the countless others. As one blaze they will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Without fail, they will bring to naught the carnal works of every man while establishing the glorious Kingdom of God.
The sound of the message born in travail and great despair, and the stirring of fire from within their heavens will not only draw the elect of God from the seclusion of this dark night, but will enable them to take the message to the world that all may hear, be judged, and come to the loving knowledge of the Truth. As this mighty army of God marches forward, sounding the trumpets of their anointed voices, the blazing flames shall advance upward and onward, even beyond the horizons of our own expectations. This will surely be until the purging fires of God do the true work of cutting quick all things contrary to righteousness. Praise God! Glory to His Name! What a tremendous wave of death to the old, but life to the new, and liberty for all!
As it was in Thomas Wyatt's vision, we will proceed by walking it out and declaring it with all our anointed strength, bringing death on one hand, which is to the carnal, and Life to the other, the new man, which will be unto the uttermost parts of the earth! The very tones, the characteristics of these trumpets will be sending a great flame of death and life traversing the earth and consuming everything in its path. It will burn all who are of the family of wood, hay, and stubble. To the natural eye, one would lament and cry out, "Oh my God! There is no hope! All is lost! Everything we have known is gone! Nothing is left!" But this is only the beginning of God's consummation of His creation of all being conformed to the image and likeness of His last Adam, Jesus Christ.
His word will first come as fire to consume and destroy, but then as cool rain as the gentle, soothing, healing word and Spirit of God. From this will come forth an abundance of living things springing up in resurrection Life and bearing all manner of fruit in every season (Deuteronomy 11:14). There won't be one thing twisted, warped or barren. There will be no grievous thorns or thistles. The whole world will be beautiful, fruitful and serene (Ecclesiastes 7:13, Isaiah 40:4, Luke 3:5). The warfare will be over and victory won. The Kingdom of God will be established in the earth, and peace will forever reign (Revelation 11:15). The long, cold, dark night of man's kingdom will be over, for the morning will then have come, and we will join in symphony with the Psalmist, "...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5. As the word of God raining from the heavens, we will then have accomplished what pleases God, not returning to Him void, but prospering in that which He sent us to do. Isaiah 55:10-13 will then have run its full course and to the glory of God the Father of all (Philippians 2:9-11). And I say the Father of all; for there is no human being that has ever been created as a mere thing, such as a tree, a frog, a dog, or lump on a log. No, not by any means! Man was and is created in the image and likeness of God (Elohim) his Father and Mother; that is, all shall be born of God by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the One who is the first born of all creation. The first man was the model from which all following would be formed, while the last Man was the prototype from which all thereafter would be born. And from that birth would be formed a great, many membered body of Jesus Christ to be testified, manifested, that is, apocalypsed in due time.
As good as this is, what about the meantime (some would say "the mean time")? What about today? And why have most of the living fires died out? As with the great moves of God in the past that often began in great travail, they have died a natural death, and this generally happened at the hands of the second generation. If the life of it remained kindled and endured that generation, it was truly a miracle. And the marvel of it is that as cold and dead as those revival fires are, countless millions are still gathering around the ash heaps as if they are being warmed by the long-gone-out flames.
Sadly, ashes of tradition have replaced the vibrant, living reality of Jesus Christ; practicing that which they saw of the previous generation which they had not personally experienced (Matthew 15:3). They ritualistically imitated very well what they saw manifested of their fathers and believed that there was no difference with their imitations. Actors, do the same. They also imitate; but most of them never believe that they are the people they are portraying. Moreover, while they perform on the stage or before cameras, most of us are not so gullible as to believe that the acting is real. Regardless of how deeply they move our emotions, their performances are only that--performances. Although they may be based on real things, their acts are not real. Their acts are only plays. They are play-acting.
And strangely, those actors are paid huge sums of money for appearing to be that which they are not, and this is while they know very little, if anything, about the reality of the roles they play. Moreover, it is very much the same on the stage of religious theatrics. The scenes change; but the show goes on.
There have always been actors which have had a great impact upon the world. Jesus called them "hypocrites," which is from the Greek word hupokrites, and according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance simply means "an actor under an assumed character." They possessed no life of the acts they performed regardless of how sanctimonious they appeared. Jesus was not impressed with their holier than thou showing off, and He called them for what they really were: whited sepulchers full of dead men's bones (Matthew 23:27), and in many arenas not much has changed. It is interesting that both movie actors and religious actors are so well rewarded; but it is really no mystery; for anyone who makes people feel good, whether the stimulus is based on fact or fiction, will be lifted up and paid for their services, of which we are guilty, if that is the proper word to use. For you see, don't we go to movies, plays, and other entertaining functions and pay for them because they make us feel good? Of course we do, and it is the same in the circles of religion. The preachers and priests make us feel good, and hopefully, it is due to the truth rather than fiction; but often it make no difference which it is. As long as we feel good, then yea and amen!
Notwithstanding, now that the flames over the earth are for the most part dead, should we try to rekindle them? By no means! Not the old flames! We should not try to start again those things which have fulfilled their purpose for those designated days. There is no reason why we should rekindle anything of the past. Those days are dead! They are gone! And they must remain that way. Any attempt of bringing back "the good old days" would be the same as digging up old uncle George from the grave and setting him at the dinner table with hopes that he might chew on a pork chop and tell his great stories again. We laugh at such a thought, but trying to rekindle the great days of the past would produce just about as much response as it would from a corpse after being dug up and declaring that it is alive. It matters not what is said over the dead body or how convincing and loud the words may be, the lifeless lump of clay will remain in that fashion which is lifeless, dead, worthless. And it is so with declaring and reciting prayers over dead churches, practicing traditions, by humming homilies, or performing rituals that appear very pristine and holy.
This is not an old day rehashed. It is a New Day to be lived. It is the Day of the Lord. It is one that has never been! As glorious as each one was, this Day can not be a repeat of something of the past, not even that of the early church. None of them can be raised from the dead. Although we may have lingering memories and emblazoned epitaphs, they are dead and will remain that way. But praise God! The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is not a day that will die nor be lost to ritual and lore! It is the supreme Day, the Day of days, the everlasting Day Who will speak unto our day (Psalm 19:2) to make it live unto the Age of the ages while transforming our man and the world into the same living image as He who died and lived again for us all! So be it according to the Word and Spirit of His dawning Day!
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
The Pathfinder - PO Box 4004 - Alamogordo, NM 88311-4004
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