The Day Of The Lord
Keys To The Kingdom Of Heaven
We noticed in our two previous articles that the Old Testament Sabbath Day was fulfilled by Jesus when he was slain to take away the sin of the world. Not only that, He fulfilled all the Sabbath days which were included in the law (rf. Matthew 5:17). What could possibly be more pure, undefiled, spotless, unblemished, and void of sin than Jesus as the true sacrifice and offering unto the LORD? The people brought their sacrifices to the priests to be slain on behalf of their sins, and so it was with this Lamb without spot or blemish. Unknown to them the real reason, He was turned over to His executioners. Although without sin, the incited people demanded His crucifixion; for it was imperative for Him to die. Only He could atone for and take away their sin. They, of course, were unaware of it; but this did not stop them from presenting the true Sacrifice that would ultimately free them from sin and death.
We have heard people lament and say that Jesus did not have to die; but they do not understand. The truth is, there was no man or power that could have prevented it. For instance, although the motives of the high priest were not pure, he prophesied our Lord's death: "And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, 'Ye know nothing at all, 50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.' 51...He prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death." John 11:49-53. And they did exactly that! They killed Him, as the whole of mankind was represented that holy day by those who cried out--"Crucify Him! Let His blood be upon us and our children!" Their thoughts were certainly not according to God's predestined plan; yet He granted their request and accepted the unblemished sacrifice that they had offered to Him, Jesus, the one who had been slain from the foundation of the world. His blood was upon them. It covered them all, which included Judas Iscariot, their children, and all their children's children from that day forth, even unto all the ages and all men everywhere and at every time. Isn't that Good News? This is a Gospel worth declaring. It causes our hearts to overflow with joy unspeakable!
That fateful day was the Sabbath! And that Day was kept Holy! It was the Day of Rest! There was no work done unto man that Day! It was all unto God! It was the most holy day to have ever graced this sin-ridden world. And even at that, it was still not the Day of the Lord! The Day of the Lord, is a day of judgment, of darkness, of destruction that comes by the hand of the Almighty. It is a day of fire and desolation! The Lord's Day is when the sun and the moon are darkened; that is, the glory and power of kingdoms are taken away. It is also the day that every carnal star falls from their high places
The Lord's Day that John was caught into will be in like manner. The glory of governments will pale. Every faction of Judaism and the Church system will fail. Their figureheads, esteemed men, women, and organizations (inwardly and outwardly) will lose their places. The Lord and His many membered body will roar from His throne. Out of Zion will come the voice of His trumpet. It will resound from the corporate body of New Jerusalem. The kingdoms of the heavens and the earth shall be shaken again as they were in times past; however, this time not only the powers of the world outwardly; but the powers of the world will be shaken and destroyed in every member of the body of Christ.
During this monumental day of the Lord, do we suppose God will raise up prophets as He did prior to Jesus? I am sure there will be something of that sort but with much greater magnitude and transforming consequences. For the voice of the Lord will trumpet a sound that will slay the carnal man, humble the proud, lay flat all his good and evil works, topple his grand edifices, and consume by godfire all kingdoms. His word will be heard. It will come forth in a shout, in unchained passion, even as lightning that tears the heavens from the east to the west. But His voice will not be thundering from ravenous, lion-like men who kill and destroy without compassion. They will not be as when Elijah kept calling down fire and consuming the messengers of the king:
"And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, 'If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.' And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 11Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, 'O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.' 12And Elijah answered and said unto them, 'If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.' And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 13And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, 'O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.' 14Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight." 2 Kings 1:10-14.
Without batting an eye, Elijah took out two captains and one hundred men before he stopped proving who he was. And then there was his student, Elisha, who seemed to have less compassion than his predecessor. He cursed and sent bears upon children for mocking him:
"And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." 2 Kings 2:23-24.
God's callings, as we know, are without repentance; but these two prophets were a little testy at times, especially Elisha. For even considering the no fun and games, thrills or frills of the prophets, to curse forty-two kids for calling him baldy is a bit much, at least if we don't see the spiritual implication and its type.
Regardless of the peculiar temperaments of some of the prophets they were, nonetheless, called of God, and they served Him very well. Some had grumbled about it at times, and Baalam tried to make some quick cash out of the deal; but in the end, they did what their Master told them to do and say. Prophesying judgment on Israel and other nations, such as Egypt, Ethiopia and all the heathen, was not uncommon for them, and each of those days of judgment were called the day of the Lord; but now we have a new Day coming upon us. It is the Day of His Apocalypse! It is the Day of our risen Lord Jesus Christ! It is the Day of wrath, not only of the Lion that destroys, but also of the Lamb who heals and brings forth life. Judgment and Mercy shall surely kiss in this Apocalyptic Day of Jesus Christ. That which is wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove shall meet and become one to bring redeeming judgment into the world. And from the depth of our hearts the cry can be heard within: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10.
And how do we suppose the will of God in the heavens can become His will in the earth? I do not suggest that I have all the answers, and surely there are many who can rise more to the occasion than myself; but I see a glimmer of the apocalypse of Jesus Christ and will share the fragment which is clear to me.
We all know that the Kingdom of God does not come by spontaneous combustion. And neither does it come due to 144,000 or more saints embracing the same belief system regardless of what it might be called. Men have attempted to organize worldwide campaigns and have everyone to "agree" in prayer that God's kingdom will come and be established in the earth, or with hopes of hurrying Jesus along to snatch them away in the Rapture.
We could go on, yet it is not expedient to stray from the thought at hand of "Thy Kingdom come" and the keys thereof. What then do we suppose are the mysterious keys in question? Could it be the proper church membership or orientation? Indoctrination? Or meticulously deciphering the scriptures? All of these have their place in the overall scheme of things; but none of these have to do with the keys to the Kingdom of God.
What then could be the solution? Could it be that the apostle Peter had the keys and passed them on to his supposed successors and finally into the hands of the popes of Rome? Frankly, that would be quite a stretch of innovative imaginations; but for power's sake it was declared to be true since the inception of the first State Church. It is like Vladimir Lenin, said, "A lie told often enough becomes truth." His lies which were inspired by Karl Marx came to be truth for many and were eventually instrumental in the deaths of millions of their own citizens and were the ingredients for the foundation and structure of Communism for almost eighty years in the Soviet Union. However, as convincing as a lie can be told, it only becomes truth in the minds of those who are conditioned to believe it. But does deceived thinking of countless millions make it so? By no means! Regardless of how many believe a lie, it remains the same lie that was breathed the first time from the common man to the world's most powerful oligarches--the heads of State, the heads of Religion, the heads of Commerce, or any other man-controlled structure. They all are accomplished at building lies and the masses are good at believing them. These heads of State lead people to believe that they have the keys to the kingdom of heaven on earth and are firmly persuaded by almost everyone that they are the only ones who are wise enough to give the people everything they want or need. This ruse, of course, takes away their liberties and robs them of their money in the form of taxes. Even after their backs are broken and their freedoms spent, the lies have been so deeply embedded that they are still believed by many. And it is no different in the world of religion. Many in those ranks are masters at fabricating and lacing ideologies that bind and suppress the people under the power that is given to them by the very ones they are supposed to be serving.
Isn't it strange that human beings will set up men and women for the purpose of serving them; but rather than the elected and appointed servants bowing to the people, the people bow and revere them. Whether of a pope, a bishop, a preacher, a teacher, an elder, or an elected official--every office is designed for the holder of that office to minister to and serve the people. However, once the men and women sit in those high places, they are counted as being worthy of worship, and by default, they are believed to hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven; but in reality, they are the gates to death and hell. Can we not hear the echo of the first lie told, "Ye shalt not surely die?" Promises, promises, and more promises--yet lies, lies, and more lies!
But praise God! There are those to whom the keys are given! They have to do with the ones who see and hear that which is bound or loosed in heaven, and then they bind or loosen it all in the earth. Jesus identified the type of person that He would be given the keys when He called one of His disciples, Simon Barjona. This name is perhaps not a key to binding and loosening, but is to understanding one of the mysteries of God, and that understanding comes in knowing the meaning of the two words: Simon means Hearing, and Barjona means Son of the Dove.
It is questionable as to whether his biological father was Jona. Most assume this to be so; but some authorities believe the name carries a spiritual significance, and whether or not he was the son of Jona, we can see it signifies more than a mere name that his parents gave to him at birth. Jesus was identifying his nature. It could be said that they who are born of the Spirit will be given the keys of Hearing that which is declared in the heavens, and if it is done in heaven, it will surely be done in the earth by those who hear.
It is a basic fact that only by revelation are the keys to be had, and no one will have those revelation keys from the throne of God who are not born of the Dove, the Spirit of the Living God. Only sons of the Dove, the sons of Love, the sons of God will hear. They are the ones who are given the keys to reveal in the earth that which is finished in the heavens. Simply said, it is in them and from them that the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ will be known.
Could the rough-shod fisherman that Jesus called the son of the Dove be the same one who cut off the ear of the high priest's kinsman? It doesn't sound like it; but by that spirit he was well able to trumpet the words, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!" And later he pulled a sword and tried to kill a man. Both were expressed from the same man; but one was by the natural man and the other by the spiritual man, one by the flesh, the other by the Spirit.
To believe that the natural man in any fashion is the answer to the world's problems is to be soundly deceived. The very one who caused the pollution is in no position to be its solution. Six thousand years of failure upon failure has produced nothing but the corrupt fruit of man's carnal labor. There have been the ebb and flow of good and evil over the centuries; but there has been no life gained from that tree, and the lie continues being told and believed with the same deadly results. From the lowest to the highest of human beings, there has been no life to rise from their foundation of sandy lies.
Every president that this nation has elected, as well as the heads of the other nations of the world, have promised to build towers for the people that will reach the heavens, but these immense towers cannot stand on an infirm foundation of lies.
Sadly, people of all walks of life have put their faith in exalted men's schemes of paving the way to a good life; but the bare fact is, none of their saviors have lived up to their promises. Even with the best of intentions, it is impossible for them to do so. It is not in them to set up a utopian world. None of their promises will produce the fruit claimed. Neither Socialism, Communism, Marxism, nor even Capitalism or Democracies will bring about a kingdom greater than the carnal man himself. No political regime will ever bail out the world. None can stop the downward spiral of futility, failure and death. For you see, regardless of one's ideologies, doctrines, or well-intended plans, none of the people of these worldly systems (religious, political or otherwise) have the Hearing ear/spirit of a Son of the Dove, i.e. Simon Barjona. We know none in the political and church systems that it can it be said of them--"Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but My Father which is in heaven."
Therefore, it is impossible for any of them to have the keys to the kingdom of heaven, not even the ones of true Democracy by which this very blessed nation was founded, and especially not as it is today. You see, even before graft and corruption became so blatantly apparent--a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people still has its roots in the adamic man, of which God had sovereignly subjected to vanity, futility and death (rf. Romans 8:20).
Although he's got a box of Band-Aids, he can't heal the wound. The fact is, leave a bandage on too long, even a scratch will fester, and the lie of the serpent in man has been strapped onto the wound of the lie for a long time. Surely, we must know that as long as this man is the ruling factor in the world, even if he assumes a form of Democracy, the best that he can devise is a temporary fix at the most; for as it is said that boys will be boys-- men will be men.
Hopefully, not too many of you will be shocked by the following; but if so, I know it will be a good shock. Nevertheless, let me share what our dear friend of many years, J. Preston Eby, said about Democracy:
"We have seen that the Laodicean church is a democratic church, controlled by the will of the people. We Americans have been told that 'government of the people, by the people, and for the people' is a divine form of government, given by the mind of the Lord to our founding Fathers. Where do you find that in the Word of God? Nowhere! The issue is one of authority: is it from God, or from man? If God is the sovereign authority over all things, and Christ is head over all things to the church, which is His body, then His Spirit, mind, and will alone can govern all things. If the ultimate authority is man, then all things must serve man and bow down to man. When the will of the people rules, man assumes the posture of sovereign -- and that is humanism, pure and simple. It is the rule of the flesh! There is even a church organization called the 'Congregationalist Church' which glories in the fact that it is ruled by the people! It is a branch of the church in Laodicea.
"I believe in the rule of God, by God, and for God! He is the almighty Creator of all things, for out of Him, and for Him, and unto Him are all things. His omniscient mind arranged the spheres and ordained the ages, and His infinite wisdom and immutable purpose established the end from the beginning. Nothing else has any potential beyond the dismal realm of sin, death, and the grave. If it had not been that God ruled me I would have gone to the devil long ago. I know just a little of my own heart, though it is abundantly true that the Adamic heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and the wise man wisely asked, 'Who can know it?' Yet I know just a little of my own heart and I have seen enough of the little I know to realize that I would have shipwrecked on some benighted shoals of sin, shame, delusion, or death were it not for the rule of God in my life by the Spirit. Thank God, He has taken His great power and has reigned! This is precisely why the kingdom of God has to be within.
"It is true -- you may have good government under democracy if you have all good people. You may have saintly government under democracy if you have all saintly people. If the people were all ruled by God and for God, and the Voice was the voice of an awakened, renewed, and transformed spirit within, then God would rule. But it is not so. It was not so in Laodicea, for the people were carnal, and the vast majority of Christians today are no less carnal! With carnal people you get carnal government, and all democracies in the end are government of carnality, by carnality, and for carnality.
"I tell you today that I do not believe in democracy -- I believe in Theocracy. Theocracy is the rule of God. It is the DIVINE GOVERNMENT OF THE SPIRIT. It is not the rule by votes or by any contribution of the carnal mind. It is not even the rule of believers over other believers -- the rule of apostles, bishops, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. God does not rule His sons through other people! This is not an independent spirit -- it is the rule of the SPIRIT! God must rule you, my beloved, out of His throne in your spirit, or you can never know the power of sonship to God. We praise God for all the precious ministries in the body of Christ, and esteem them highly for their ministry to the Lord's elect, yet all ministries in the body of Christ, including ourselves, are servants, not lords. I seek not to gather men around me or under me, but to point all men to the omnipotent power of the Christ within! Democracy cannot be the kingdom of God or even a simile of the kingdom of God, because those in the kingdom of God are born of God, led by God, and controlled by God. 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,, they are the sons of God' (Rom. 8:14). I no longer fit in the church in Laodicea, I have nothing in common with it, I cannot function there, it is an abhorrence to me. Furthermore, every one of God's apprehended sons has been brought out of the church in Laodicea, for the conditions there have been part of the things we have been called to overcome! Oh, yes! We were there once upon a time, for had we not been there, we could not have overcome it." --End quote.
Can we not see that those who hear and are led by the Spirit of God, they who are the sons of God are the same as the one Jesus called Simon Barjona--Hearing Son of the Dove? These are the ones to whom Jesus gives the keys of the Kingdom of heaven and brings about the apocalypse of Jesus Christ. They are the ones who can hear and see what has transpired in the heavens and speak it into clear manifestation in the earth. Those keys are given to no others--period! Hopefully, I am not the only one who sees this obvious fact, and I don't believe I am.
Elwin R. Roach
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