Introduction – A Prophecy
Several years ago I read a prophecy. I read it again the other day and it spoke to me anew. You see, this prophecy is an allegory for those who have a word from God, but do not share it with their brothers and sisters. Well, it spoke to me. God has given me some meat to share with the Church and I am compelled to give it to you. Please let me know if God is speaking to you. This is the prophecy:
“Have ye not read, saith the Lord, how I rained down manna from heaven upon the children of Israel? Do you not know that I daily gave them their bread for that day, and commanded that they should not hold over until the morrow, that which I gave them for today, but that they should consume it all?
“But some would not hearken unto to my voice, or to the voice of my servant Moses, and they held back that which I had given them, and did not consume it nor share it with others. Therefore in the morning they found to their dismay that it had bred worms and stank. (Exodus 16:20)
“Have you wondered why it stank? It was not to prevent them from eating it, for surely they would not eat that which had worms. And why should they eat it now, with fresh manna falling from heaven? Nay, but I will tell you why it stank . . .
“It was to keep them from hiding their sin. For they are an ensample of those who have received of the Christ, the true manna from Heaven, yet have not consumed Him, nor shared Him with others. And they are like those who have been given meat in due season to share with my Body, yet have not given it out. They hold their “manna” over till the morrow, because they fear the people, the persecution, the loss of prestige and position.
“I will tell such ministers what shall happen unto them. For “in the morning” the manna that they received but did not give out shall surely stink, and all shall know that they had the Message, and that they knew the Truth, but did not share it, nor did they consume it themselves. They will not be able in that Day to hide their sin, as the Israelite was not able to hide his stinking manna in the wilderness. For all the camp awoke early to the nauseating stench of that which had been given him, but had been held back.
“Be not of such as this. If ye have received of my Spirit, try not to hide it because of the people or denominations. Consume it, share it, give it out. For on the morrow you can trust me for more and greater things. If ye have received revelation of the Son of God, and of the sonship of my Body, keep not silent because of reproach, or ye will surely be a stench in my nostrils. And that which is hidden shall be shouted from the housetops, and all shall know, and be nauseated by that which ye kept back from my people, saith the Lord. Give, and more shall be given unto thee. Be not thou ashamed of the moving of my Spirit. Wait not till tomorrow to see what happens to those who have eaten today’s fresh manna. Recognize my Word, the true revelation of deeper truth, and feed upon it. It shall be life to thee, and thou shall march victoriously through the wilderness journey, into the land of promise. For I have spoken, saith the Lord.”
A Voice in the Wilderness
A number of Christian teachers over the last 50 years had a revelation of a body of believers who will come to fruition, perfection, in this life before the return of Jesus Christ as part of His plan of restoration. They all seem to agree it will come to pass during the Great Tribulation, a time of upheaval in the world of about 7 years before Jesus Christ comes back to earth. I do not think any of the teachers I quote in this article knew each other personally. It is fascinating how the Holy Spirit pulls his men together as His time approaches.
Now this body of Christ, this Ministry, is mentioned in the Bible many times and in different ways to emphasize its importance to the rest of the body of Christ and the whole world. They are mentioned mostly in the Book of Revelation, but Jesus also talked about one title of this ministry when He calls them Elijah, the ministry that prepares the way for His return. In fact the whole chapter of Isaiah 60 describes this ministry. Other names for this ministry are Two Witnesses, Man-Child, Temple, Overcomer, and even Morning Star. These teachers all saw a piece of the pie. The Holy Spirit is now revealing and clarifying these pieces as part of the whole. The reason for this revelation NOW is to show the Church that it WILL happen SOON, much as the pattern God revealed to Joseph in Genesis 41:25 and 32. Let us start with the prophecy in Isaiah:
3 A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5 (NASB)
Judson Cornwall in his book, Profiles of a Leader, wrote this, “While John the Baptist fulfilled these words of Isaiah, the complete fulfillment awaits another action, the purpose of which is to cause the glory of the Lord to be manifested on the earth to everyone. This is conclusively established by the profuse use of the conjunction ‘and’ in these verses. . . . This declares both the cause and the effect. When ‘this’ is done, ‘that’ will result. When the ‘way for the Lord’ has been prepared (v.3), then ‘the glory of the Lord will be revealed’ (v.5).” (p.72)
Perfecting the Saints
Jesus commands the Church to be perfect (Matt.5:48, Lk.6:40), for the glory of the Lord mentioned in Isaiah will come, once the way for the Lord is cleared in the wilderness. What does that mean as we approach Jesus’ return? The perfecting of the Church, the Army of God, is important to the return of Christ. We need to define what is meant by “perfecting” the Church and how to attain to that particular state, but let us first establish some truths. They build a relationship with God that we seem to find hard to understand today! So much of the time we are unwilling to accept God’s command to the Church to be perfect as something attainable in our mortal lives. It is God who makes the way of the Church perfect (Psa. 18:32). Is anything too hard for God? Do you want to be like Jesus? Let God make you perfect as you seek the Kingdom of God (Matt.6:33) and renew your mind to the mind of Jesus Christ (Rom.12:2).
God is using the five-fold ministries mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-15 to bring the Church to the perfection of the full stature of Christ. Bill Hamon in his book The Eternal Church describes it this way, “all five ministries must continue to function in their ministry of perfecting the saints until the Church reaches the ‘unity of the faith, knowledge of the son of God, [know as we are known], unto a perfect man [mature, fully restored Church] unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’…. In other words, Jesus will not return physically until the Church reaches spiritual maturity. The Bride must be matured for marriage to Her heavenly Bridegroom and the Army of the Lord must be equipped and trained in their weapons of warfare which will be needed to fulfill God’s plan for the last generation of the mortal Church.” (emphasis mine) There will be a group of believers that will reach this perfection.
The Restoration Movement
Dr. Hamon goes on to say, “A supernatural flow of divine life will come into the progressive Present-truth Church a few years prior to the time of translation (this will take place during the Tribulation before the resurrection of the saints at the last trumpet). It will enable the Church to demonstrate Jesus Christ, not only as Savior of man, but as Lord of all, including His Lordship over all nations of the world. All of the works that Jesus and the First Century Church did, the latter-day Church shall do also, and to an even greater extent.” He continues by saying the Church will “press on to perfection until the Holy Spirit brings forth this new restorational movement. . . . This restorational move of the Holy Spirit will not be done in a corner, nor just with some small exclusive group hidden away. When it comes, it will have to be birthed somewhere, but it will immediately and simultaneously spread to the whole Body of Christ around the world.” (parenthesis and emphasis mine) Let me add this; Isaiah tells us of this people, when he said their “light shall rise in obscurity”, but they break forth as the sun in the morning and will be called “The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:10-12) They will be conformed to the very image of Jesus Christ when they are fully matured and anointed for Ministry. Dr. Hamon continues, “It will become the most controversial and revolutionary issue ever to arise in Christendom or the world. It shall cause the rise and fall of many nations and peoples.”
Bill Britton, teacher and prophet of the Lord said, this “perfect man” mentioned in Ephesians is a new creation and a “corporate man-child company.” He continues, “Scripture does not say that we are being brought into individual perfect men and women, one at a time, here and there. But unto ‘a perfect man’. (This perfect man is a corporate body of believers who are constantly renewing their minds after Christ, from glory to glory). This is why the Holy Spirit is placing so much emphasis today on the corporate Body of Christ, and our need for one another.” And he also said, “Not until the Overcomer has reached this realm will this world be delivered from the bondage of death. This is why all creation groans for the manifestation of the Sons of God (Romans 8).”
A New Thing
I want you to see that this teaching and revelation is going to happen, but it will pull on every spiritual fiber of your being, pushing you to the limit of your faith. The majority of the readers of this article may not accept it. But I see this truth coming on the Church as clear as I see the sun rise in the morning. I will try to make it crystal clear to you what I see. As the angel of God said in Rev. 10:7-11 this Word that tastes sweet as honey, will turn bitter in the stomach of many who read this. You may get excited by what you read, but as you see what is required of you, the truth brought out here may turn bitter when you digest it. However, do not give up on this message, for you, the Church, need to understand this truth.
The Temple’s Special Purpose
Let’s start with Rev. 11:1, 2 where the Temple of Jerusalem is measured. Read 1 Cor. 3:16, 17 and 6:19, and 2 Cor. 6:16 to find out what the Temple of God is. There we find that the Temple is the Body of Christ. Many scriptures also indicate that Jerusalem is the Church, the Body of Christ: Heb. 12:22, 23; Rev. 3:12; Rev. 21:2. But notice here in Revelation 11 – the Temple is PART of Jerusalem – NOT ALL of Jerusalem (the whole city is not included here – only the Temple is measured)! There is a group of believers within the Body of Christ, known as the Temple, that are measured, set aside for a special purpose. As we saw in Isaiah that purpose is to be “The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
The Two Witnesses
If you continue to read Rev. 11 you will see they are also called Two Witnesses. Please notice here that Two Witnesses is a title; not a number of people just as the Temple is not one person and Jerusalem is not one person. Notice that they are in sackcloth clothing. Bill Britton pointed out in his writings that sackcloth symbolizes their mortal bodies. These people will be mortal humans with supernatural anointing. They will not be resurrected saints, and not Enoch and Elijah come back from heaven (because Enoch and Elijah already have their immortal heavenly bodies and cannot die). And, please notice, according to the placement in Scriptures, it takes place just before the 7th Trumpet. The ministry of the Two Witnesses could very well extend over several of the preceding Trumpets, but culminates before the last Trumpet. Pastor Britton said, “In three and a half years the whole world shall hear His Word and feel His mighty power, as God’s Army marches forth under His divine anointing.” He said, “It is people in human, flesh bodies who shall conquer this world and defeat Satan. If God was only interested in killing the devil, then He could have done that a long time ago. For God has always been stronger than the devil (see my article “What Can Satan Do?”), and there has never been any doubt about who was supreme. But the battlefield is over Man, and God is leaving the devil for man to defeat.” So this human Army of the Lord will go forth to make sure that every people group hears the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with signs following, defeating Satan along the way, before the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Mat. 24:14). Britton says they “have dominion and power. No sickness can touch them, no plague can torment them, no locust can bite them, no devil can resist them, death cannot overtake them until they have finished their testimony.” They will defeat Satan until the designated time when they give up their lives, much like Jesus did. Read Rev. 2:26, 27, 28 and Rev. 11:3-6 for the details.
The Church Is Very Active
As you can see the Church is very active during the Tribulation period. A doctrine of the Church (established in the 1800s) says the Church is not even here during the Tribulation, but that just cannot be simply because the Church is translated at the LAST and SEVENTH Trumpet which follows the Tribulation (see my articles “The Rapture. What Is It?” and “Revelation, A Key to Understanding It”). I see this happening in the second half of the Tribulation because the seventh trumpet sounds almost immediately after the Two Witnesses die and are raised by God. Watchman Nee wrote a very good teaching on the Woman in Rev.12 that supports this premise. Just as the Body of Christ is, the Woman and the Man-Child are groups of people like the Temple, Jerusalem and Two Witnesses. According to Pastor Nee the Woman is the Church and the Man-Child is the ministry that comes out of her just as we saw the Temple ministry comes out of Jerusalem. These titles; the Temple, the Two Witnesses, and the Man-Child; refer to the same group of believers! The birth of the Man-Child coincides with the start of the ministry of the Two Witnesses (Notice that their ministries take place for the same length of time Rev.11:3, Rev.12:5, 6. This time frame is also mentioned in connection with the Temple in Rev. 11:2). They describe different aspects and characteristics of the same group of people.
A fourth name for this group of believers is Overcomer (this term is taken from KV and NIV translations). Zechariah wrote about the Two Witnesses ministry (Zech. 4:11-14). George Warnock wrote in his book, The Feast of Tabernacles, that “Zechariah was puzzled; what were these ‘two olive trees’ that he saw emptying their golden oil into the candlestick? And the angel replied: ‘These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.’ Literally, ‘These are the two sons of oil . . .’! Sons of the anointing! . . . It is the company of overcomers who shall go forth in the Day of the Lord working all manner of signs and wonders and miracles in the Name of the Lord; and nothing shall stand against them.” Rev. 12:5 says the Man-Child will “rule all nations with a rod of iron.” Watchman Nee said, “Three times in Revelation we read, ‘to rule the nations with a rod of iron’. The first instance is in 2:26, 27: ‘And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.’ (KJ) Very evidently this passage refers to the overcomers in the Church.” The third time this phrase is mentioned is Rev. 19:15 where it refers to the Lord Jesus. So he concludes that chapter 12 “must refer to the overcomers in the Church with the Lord Jesus.”
Watchman Nee goes on to say, “In Revelation 3:21 the Lord Jesus said, ‘He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne.’ Here we see that the reason the man-child can be upon the throne is that he has overcome. Now we shall see how they overcome and what is their attitude. Revelation 12:11 says: ‘And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.’ ‘They overcame him.’ ‘Him’ here is Satan. They overcame Satan by rendering him unable to do any of his work upon them. The reasons they overcame him were 1) because of the blood of the Lamb, 2) because of the word of their testimony, and 3) because their attitude was that they loved not their lives unto death.” He says this is God’s purpose: “The work of the Church is to cause Satan to lose his power and thus bring in God’s Kingdom.” This is the same purpose as the Two Witnesses.
To Usher in Christ’s Return
Yes, that purpose is to usher in Christ’s return and His millennial reign on earth and since they are overcoming Satan, this has to take place before the return of Christ, for at the return of Christ Satan is cast in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2, 3; Mat. 13:49, 50). Their ministry is after the order of Elijah for Jesus Himself said, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (Mat. 17:11 KJ) This Ministry is the restoring of all things.
I have one more piece of information to add to this subject of overcomers. A name is bestowed on this group of people or ministry. In fact it is a restored name as well as a new name. It was a name Adam possessed before he fell from Grace (as stated in Isaiah 14:12, see my article “Who is Lucifer”). Jesus has that name now and He promises to bestow that name on His overcomers. Isaiah (NASB) said, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.” (62:1, 2) And, “To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters (this group is more than just born again believers); I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.” (56:5) Revelation 2:17 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” Righteousness and glory will mark these people, and they will be called by a new name designated by God. Note here that this name is “better than that of sons and daughters” and it is an everlasting name. So what is this name? Let’s see what Scripture says, “19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:19-21) And Jesus says, “27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces (describing the overcomer), as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:27-29) Jesus is also called the morning star: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Morning star! He bestows that name on some of the Church. Kings and nations will see the glory of God on some of the Church – those who overcome their own lusts, the world and the devil and who are called the morning star. As with Jeremiah, the Lord says to this people, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and plant.” Jeremiah 1:9b, 10 (AMP)
You need to realize this all important fact: NOW is the time of training for those who will take up this awesome responsibility, that call of God to make straight His way, to usher in Christ’s return. You see, the King has his Generals prepare for war before a battle is even fought. When the battle is engaged there will be no time to train. So, if you can see the importance of the multifaceted personality and ministry of this Army of God, as depicted in the titles it is given, Temple, Two Witnesses, Man-Child, Overcomer, Elijah, and Morning Star, then you will train for that day. According to Paul in 1 Timothy 1: 5, “The ultimate aim of the Christian ministry (and the ministry of this Army). . . is to produce the love which springs from a pure heart, a good conscience and a genuine faith.” (Phillips) So this Army of God is to produce love for all people from (1) a pure heart, (2) a good conscience, (3) a genuine faith in Jesus in such a way as to change the entire world in only three and a half years! That is what they will train for. Their light will shine in a dark place. They will overcome all obstacles thrown in their way to attain the fullness of Christ’s maturity. They do what Christ commands displaying their love for Him through their love for His people. They are given authority over the nations and rule them with an iron rod or strong hand, if you will. And they will “restore all things” before Jesus returns, as He prophesied.
8 A highway will be there,
a roadway, (prepared by this Army of God)
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
9 No lion will be there,
Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:8-10
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