COME TO ME

BY:  BARBARA J. STRAUSER

YEAR 1993

The journey of the soul…

CHAPTERS 1-22

CHAPTERS

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PREFACE

PROLOGUE

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INTRODUCTION

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1

THE JOURNEY

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THE VERDICT

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ENTERING IN

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FAREWELL

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PROVISION

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MOVING ON

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THE MISSION

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CHARACTER

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LIST OF CHARACTERS

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PREFACE

In the following pages is a story written an allegorical form.  My purpose in writing it is to present to you my understanding of the journey that every soul is called to make.  Every person is born into this world in a lost and undone condition.  Our precious babies are sent to us from God.  Each one is to return to Him in through the reunion of the soul and the recreated spirit.

Between each chapter of this allegory I have placed a chapter explaining the previous one.  It is possible to read only the allegory, skipping the explanation, and then going back for that.

This work was written with love under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  My prayer is that you will receive it with joy while your understanding of the marriage of the human soul and the recreated spirit is increased.

There are two pages following this book.  One lists the character of the allegory and an explanation of their names.  The other is my understanding of the character of mankind.

BJS

PROLOGUE

 Long ago in the Land of Beginning there lived a beautiful princess who was betrothed to a handsome prince.  Their land was a verdant garden and all needs were provided by the King.  They loved to walk the flower-strewn meadows and the lush valleys where the air was cool and fresh.  The King often walked with them and explained the way the kingdom of their intended reign should work.  They ate the fruit of the land, which was of matchless quality as well as plenteous in supply.  From time to time Princess Lilly and Prince Jerome swam in streams of crystal waters.  At night they slept upon grassy hills; the stars were a sparkling canopy overhead.  Their lives were replete with joy and their love was pure.

One day there came upon the scene a figure from a foreign land.  He was resplendent in his appearance and seemed to have the secret of untold wealth.  He visited with the young couple and enticed the woman with his words.  He convinced Lilly to leave the Land of Beginning and go away with him to a place he would show her.  She loved the prince and wanted him to go along, but when Jerome heard the story, he was wounded in his heart and remained in the Land of his birth.  By chicanery te lovely maiden was lured away.

Many eons passed and in the land of Woebegone Lilly lived with the figure foreign to the land of her birth.  The one who had seized her held her fast and became her paramour.  The princess, whose name now was Leilah, became a slave/queen in the foreign land for she was deceived concerning her heritage.  The barbaric captor had persuaded her that he held everything needed for position, wealth and happiness.  Within her had grown a craving for all that her captor claimed was his to give.

The evil barbarian was a hard taskmaster and forced Leilah to struggle to survive in his land.  It was up to her to take up the slack left by her absent intended mate, and the tasks delegated to her were demeaning – the rewards not without high cost. 

Although she felt the prince had failed her in the time of their betrothal (when he escaped the barbarous creature by returning to the King, leaving her to her own decision) in her secret heart Leilah continued to long for her lost love.  She had been unfaithful to their intent to marry, but still she wandered in the darkness of her captivity, silently hoping to be rescued from Woebegone.  She dreamed of the prince’s return to take her to the land of her beginning where they would have a family and be content forevermore.

Throughout the years of preparation the prince grew strong in wisdom and wealth.  He saw his love in the arms of her captor and conceived a plan to renew his relationship with the maiden of his youth.  He knew he could win her back!

One day, at the urging of the prince, the King sent a messenger to the princess.  These are the words he spoke:  “The King has sent me to say to you, ‘Why are you downcast, Leilah?  You are in the land of your own choosing.  But because Jerome has told me of your hardships, I will send a helper for you.  He will stay with you as long as you wish, and when you are strong enough the prince himself will return you to the place of your youth, which is now called the Kingdom of Fulfillment.'”

Leilah was apprehensive for she knew the ways of the barbarian and suspected this to be a means of trickery to test her allegiance to him.  However, one day there appeared at her door one that was a stranger to her.  He resembled the inhabitants of Woebegone but his demeanor gave her cause to trust him.  She asked for identification, and when she saw the seal of the King she invited him in. 

Their visit was fraught with fear for the woman’s anxiety was high that she would be caught talking with someone not of her master’s choosing.  She knew that the penalty for his displeasure would be costly.  Still, she was intrigued and thought it to be worth the chance to hear him out.

The stranger told her that the prince’s love for her had remained constant and that the King would welcome her home again.  But there was a requirement that she must first meet.  She would have to renounce her master (Scathe, the barbarian) and all that he had given her, but in the meantime the stranger was sent to help her.  The princess answered that she would have to think about it, and asked him to return the next day.

After the helper (whose name was Paraclete) had departed she went back to tending her unruly children and prepared their evening meal – frustrated because she knew what she served never satisfied them, for they were like their father.  The woman pondered the words of Paraclete.

Now although Leilah had remained in the household of Scathe and bore him many children, they had never married.  She stayed with him for he had bound her.  She had no other means of support and no place to go.  She had never tried to escape – their offspring were completely out of hand and she knew that without their father their demands would soon deplete her supply.  And besides, he did give her pretty trinkets from time to time.  No, she could not leave him.

When Paraclete showed himself again at the entrance of her abode, she told him she had decided to allow him to stay around, for her load was heavy and she welcomed the thought of help.  “However,” she said, making it clear, “I cannot leave Scathe.”

Leilah and Paraclete took up the routine of daily meetings, and while Paraclete was around her work was easier.  Even though he was not actually doing the chores, he told her of ways to make the load seem lighter.  He helped her with the children and encouraged her not to always give them what they wanted.  He never criticized her ways, but suggested changes that would lessen her fears and give her courage to look in new directions.  As the days went by she began to toy with the idea of sufficiency within herself to find a way to be free.  However, she continued to make her bed in Woebegone, in the home of her keeper.    She feared that without Scathe she wouldn’t have shelter or food for her children – and Leilah still liked the trinkets that he showed to her.

One day while shopping in the store which Scathe’s company supplied, Leilah met a man named Moribund.  He fascinated her for he seemed to know the prince.  He talked of Jerome and addressed the problems of Woebegone with assuring words that the King had a way to solve her dilemma.  She was excited to learn he was a preacher but somewhat bewildered that he did not know Paraclete.  Never the less, they arranged to meet the next shopping day, for Scathe was never around when Leilah went for the supplies that he had already picked for her.

When Moribund and Leilah met at the market place, he suggested that they go somewhere for lunch.  Surely Scathe would not miss her if she were gone a little longer.  They found a little out-of-the-way place where they could talk freely.  Moribund had a tongue of silver!  His words and promises sounded much like what Paraclete had told to her.  She believed that perhaps the answer to her dreams could be found with him.  After all, she had not seen anything of Prince Jerome for so long.

Moribund and Leilah continued to meet and they fell in love.  She had little time to see Paraclete, nor even think of him.  Soon the two made plans to marry.  Leilah moved out of Scathe’s house because she had grown stronger in herself and felt sure that Moribund would provide for her and her children.  (She did clandestinely, from time to time, sleep with Scathe.  He treated her with the trinkets that still had her eye.)

With pomp and circumstance the happy pair were married.  Moribund promised to receive her children as his own and to train them up in the way they should go.  Leilah began her new life with high expectation but sad to say, time passed and the thrill became dulled.  Leilah grew disenchanted with Moribund.  He was a poor provider.  It was up to her to make him work.  She found that since they were married Moribund would do nothing unless she motivated him.   He began many projects under her suggestions but never saw complete success in anything.   His congregation was floundering.  He could not even direct her children in the way he had promised and they ran uncontrolled.  Their food was poor and often rancid for it was not frequently replenished.  They had a roof over their heads but it was not what she had expected.  Besides that, now when he talked about the prince or the King they sounded more like Scathe than the kind ones that she remembered.  And she was disappointed that he would not allow her to speak of Paraclete.

Moribund could no longer please her in any way.  Even the gifts he brought her were always somehow tarnished.  She still craved the glittering trinkets from Scathe.  Because of this, her romps with the barbarian had never ended.  One time during a surreptitious meeting with her old cohort, he told her that everything Moribund had given her had really come from him. Scathe said that even the words he spoke about Prince Jerome and the King had been tempered by his influence.  He admitted that although they had in the beginning come from a messenger of her King, his cronies later taught the messages, twisting each word so that they spoke not the kindness of the King but the emotions of mankind.  After this revelation Leilah was so angry that she vowed never again to visit Scathe.

Because she now knew that Moribund had not been truthful with her, Leilah no longer wanted to depend on him for her needs.  She went out to look for a job in the work place of Woebegone.  Strangely enough, while interviewing for employment as a social worker (her personal experiences were her credentials), she saw Paraclete.  She called out to him and he came and stood beside her.  They began to renew their friendship, and as they talked she remembered the things he had told her long ago.  She asked if the promise of the King still stood.  He replied that it did.  The tainted princess invited him to come to her home the next day, hoping that Moribund would listen to him and that somehow their marriage could be retrieved.

When Paraclete arrived at their house on Shambles Street Moribund had gone out to buy supplies for their household.  (Of course his wife knew that all that he would bring home would be through trading with Scathe.)  When Moribund returned he was furious that Leilah had brought her friend into their home.  He grew weak and pale in his anger and told Paraclete to leave – forthwith!!  So Leilah continued on in her visits with her steadfast friend alone.

The woman gave up any conscious attempt to contact Scathe because she really wanted nothing more to do with him.  At times when she remembered the trinkets he had held out to her she was tempted to see him once again, but she refrained.  Strength had been gained in her inner person by her frequent meetings with Paraclete.  They were now together nearly constantly.  She felt sorry that her husband would not hear him out.  Since the day he met Paraclete and banned him from his sight he was growing strangely weaker, at times truly seeming near death.

The relationship between the long intended bride of Prince Jerome and her mighty friend grew so strong that even when they were not conversing and she did not see him present, his words seemed to hang in the air.  He had continued to encourage her in the hope of a reunion with the beloved of her youth and of the kingdom they would reign over together.  Love, peace and joy with Jerome sounded like all she would ever need.  Her longing for him was strong although she knew that the prince could not marry her as long as Moribund lived.  She further knew that Moribund’s life would be sustained only as long as she listened to his words.  Not only that, but she also realized that in listening she was strengthening Scathe’s power over him, for the tenor of the words was his.

Leilah had to make a decision.  She consulted with the only friend she had, and vowed to abide by the wisdom of his words.  Paraclete told the troubled woman that it was Moribund’s destiny to die, for he had always been bound to death.  He also said that by refusing to listen to him she would find reunion with her intended mate.  In his death there would be new life for Moribund, and that not bound to death.  He would be healed and given true life at the time of the maturity of the “son of renewal” who would be born of her union with Jerome.

Leilah decided to sever all ties and make her final denouncement of Scathe by no longer listening to Moribund.  She knew that was the only way either of them would ever know Fulfillment.  She remained faithful to her decision and constant in her communion with Paraclete.   And Moribund died.

When the news reached Jerome he was prepared.  With only his sword in hand, the handsome prince mounted his steed and rode into the Land of Woebegone.  With his sword raised high, he lifted the beautiful princess up onto his mount to take her to the Land of Fulfillment to become his bride.

The sly character, Scathe, was aware of the plan and not easily defeated. In stealth he laid snares along the way of the narrow path they would travel.

INTRODUCTION

Types, shadows, patterns and paths: our map and revelation of the plan of God for mankind.  Let us be diligent in finding the perfect will and purpose of God and dedicated in our determination to follow His directions. 

All that transpires in the physical realm has its counterpart in the unseen realm.  The things that are decreed to occur in the congruent church must first take place in every member of the body of Christ, “The Church of the Firstborn.”  Every individual of the body of many members will come into agreement with God’s plan before we see Christ appearing in His flesh to resurrect the living and the dead.

CRISIS

There is an immutable law in the center of the universe and when it is fulfilled all other laws will become obsolete.  Few know its requirements for not many are aware that this law exists.  The inalterable law is neither part of the Ten Commandments nor the whole law of the prophets.  Christ Jesus did not utter it in His command to love.  Still, all law was written to accomplish its unwritten, immutable standard. This great law is that of RETURN.

A character crisis exists in the land and neither moral laws or self-control will resolve this critical stage of human existence.  Humanity has reached the brink of self-destruction, and to retrieve the human race from this edge people must have the vision of their prodigious potentiality.

Within every person lie the essential attributes for recovery of the human potential.  These are waiting to be intensified to turn what is dead to life; what is base to holiness and what is against God and useless to righteousness for the praise of His Glory.  The standard for the existence of future generations hinges upon the focus of this generation and their full allegiance to the Great Law.

SITUATION

When mankind was banished from the womb of his creation it was the feminine aspect of the species housed in human form that became the director of the race of man.  The life force of the human spirit had departed, so the masculine aspect of humankind was bound to death.  Both genders of the human form are represented in the Adam and Eve of the fourth chapter of Genesis.  However, it was the souls of men and women under the direction of the sense realm who began the trek through the world in their endeavor to return to the Paradise that was lost to them.  Spiritual death has detoured the crown of God’s creation from the completion of his journey. 

This truth was typified in the primary couple’s first offspring – the twins.  Abel, the one obedient to God died, while Cain, the rebellious one survived.  The course of humanity was following the set pattern. Their third child, Seth, was an expression of the plan to come.   He was born in the image of the man of the beginning, spirit and soul. [The Bible states that in the beginning Adam was created male and female, which we understand to signify spirit and soul. See Genesis 5:1-3.]   After the pattern created before time began had been set forth by example in human flesh, the course of mankind followed its stated design.  The seed of Seth produced his son named Enosh, meaning mortal.

DETAILS

Before we move on to examine the tremendous change that took place when mankind was deprived of the God given spirit, we need to understand the make-up of the one created in the image of God.  The universe and all that it encompasses came out of God, but for this endeavor we will center upon the most intelligent creature of earth: Humankind.

The swirling mass of turmoil, which became the substance of creation, came out of Elohim.   He spoke the form of everything created and proceeded to bring it forth.  All things came from the same “dust,” even the intangible soul of mankind.  Because man was created in the image and likeness of God, within his soul is God’s image but only the inspiration of His Spirit will bring man to His likeness.   After God created the soul and formed the human in His image He inspired this form with His Life and called the creature Adam, who was both male and female (spirit and soul).  God blew the Breath of Life into this man of dust and he became a living soul.  God did this incredible thing to enable man to present Godly attributes through the human form.

When God separated the soul away from the Spirit (Eve came out of Adam), the Bible says that He closed the wound of Adam with flesh. He did not leave a little of the Spirit in Eve, rather, He left a little of the flesh in Adam.  [Flesh refers to the area of base influence, which is within the soul of humanity.]  The flesh remaining in the human area of the spirit allowed all flesh to go the way of the carnal nature and disobey God. 

The flesh area must die.  God gave the ritual of circumcision to the Hebrew Nation as a sign of its removal.  The custom of cutting away of the foreskin of a male child has transferred down from that rite and remains a practice to this day

The carnal nature is the “serpent,” which surfaced in the soul and tempted humankind by the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  This serpent has been called the devil or Satan but in actuality it is the perverted form of God’s attributes within the heart of every human being.  The soul must be intensified by the Sevenfold Spirit of God to eliminate the reverse of Godliness, and this can come only through the rebirth of the Spirit of Christ within the human breast.  When the souls of men, women, boys and girls are endued with the life of the Spirit and submit to that influence, all creation will come into the perfect will and purpose of God for humanity: to know God and glorify Him forever.  Therein lies the quest of humankind.

STATUS QUO

When the residents of the garden disobeyed the Father by partaking of knowledge apart from Him they committed the act that thrust them into a mortal state.  The God-given Spirit departed and man and woman immediately lost the glory of God that had covered them.  It was then that God supplied them with flesh as a covering and blood to sustain the flesh.  This presented the sense realm – sensual appetites and pleasures.  The soul continued on but was now dependent upon the life of the human form.  Because the only knowledge available to them was carnal and their desires base, they could no longer be privileged to the supply of the heavenly realm.  But as Adam and Eve were about to embark on a life outside of that supply, God instructed them concerning both the seen and the unseen aspects of the way ahead.  This revelation is referred to as the curse of man, and it is actually God informing them of the circumstances that resulted from their disobedience.  The tangible evidence of the banishment from the Paradise of God is well known for we have all experienced it.  We will examine the unseen elements. 

Because you have done this:

TO THE SERPENT (satanic nature):

“Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!  You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:14, 15)

The carnal influence is the lowest form of life.  It must draw its existence from the souls (dust) of mankind.  Although this entity dogs humankind’s walk throughout the world, its end is to be trampled under foot.  The war between the Fruit of the Spirit and the demons of unregenerate souls is real.

TO THE WOMAN (soul):

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

The soul is to obey the spirit.  The souls of humanity long for the higher form of Spiritual life, even though that longing is not always recognized.  It will produce new life (Fruit of the Spirit) when it is conjoined with the recreated spirit. 

TO THE MAN (area of the human spirit):

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”  (Genesis 3:17-19)

The human spirit lost its life when the Spirit of Christ withdrew in the garden.  Without the God-given spirit the human spirit is death-bound and coexists with the soul.  The spirit of man is meant to have supremacy over the soul and be director to that area.  It cannot rightly do this however until Christ is recreated there.  The spirit was named the tiller of the ground (meaning the soul) to bring forth all that is indigenous to its make-up.  The dust (soul) can produce no good thing until the union with the recreated spirit occurs and causes the soul to bring forth spiritual fruit.

HUMAN PLIGHT

The struggle to survive became severe as mankind began to move under the pronouncement spoken by God, recorded in Genesis 3:22, “And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.’”  Created man now stood under the burden resulting from disobedience.

Within the soul is the nucleus for new life but without the seed of the recreated spirit it cannot reproduce.  Therefore, spiritual children could not increase in number to fill the earth until the appearing of the image of the Second Adam (who was then yet to come).  Instead of the earth being subdued by the Power of the Word it became a shambles because the prince-of-the-power-of-the-air [satanic will of carnality] not only ruled the hearts of mankind but also polluted the earth and the fullness thereof.  The fallen nature has used unmerited strength as a deceitful ploy to keep humanity under its control. 

Early on within the atmosphere of the earth there began to form the offspring of the one who rules in the air that surrounds mankind.  The spiritual energy generated by the wickedness in the hearts of fallen men and women became great enough to move from heart to heart, from tribe to tribe, and nation to nation.  Instead of children of the Spirit of God coming forth, there were the unseen children of darkness (demonic influences).  The mind, will and appetites of the soulish area in humanity listened to the sense realm, which is influenced by the hissing voice that had caused mankind’s downfall. 

Although God has continued to move on behalf of humankind, fallen man seldom hears His voice.  When He found the one to whom He could speak the law, the symbol of the way to rescue the human race began to be formed in earth.  The law had no life but its purpose was to hold the place for the entrance of the Messiah who would fulfill that law and make a new covenant with God’s people.

UNDER THE LAW 

With the law entered not only guilt and fear but also maneuvering to keep the letter of the law but not the spirit of it.  A drawn-out people struggled to leave evil behind and to be good.  They wanted to agree with the God of Abraham but except for a few, they actually attached to imaginations, doubts, fears, rules and rhetoric.  Even though the God they worshipped was Life, because their spirits were moribund their religion was bound to death.    

We are viewing the unseen realm of the soul: the soul without an able mate, for her intended mate remained in the garden of their beginnings.  The weary soul has coexisted with the lifeless entity along side her (the emasculated spirit).  The codes and rules of this relationship were prescribed by God to hold man’s allegiance to His plan but in the physical realm they are tarnished by the carnal influence.  The sense realm is the image that has appeared in place of the spirit.   Everything that the sensory impulses of desire bring to the soul are linked to death.  Religion is of that realm.  The soul, trained only in the principles of the fallen world, cannot raise the spirit.  Christ enters recreating the Spirit – the realm of life.

God gained the attention of a set-apart remnant through His mighty acts but greater intervention was sorely needed.

THE WANDERING SOUL

The satanic influence has dominated the world because dominion was transferred from the hands of the spiritual man into the hands of the carnal nature.  It has been fair game for this devil to plague mankind in all that he does to influence, provoke and to live off of human flesh.  When the edict of God was pronounced in the garden it reached much farther than the physical condition of man and woman. 

Because it was decreed that the spirit [husband] would rule over the soul [woman], she continues to look for her leader.  The moribund flesh cannot cause the dust [SOUL; feminine aspect of humanity, not gender] to produce because it has no life-giving seed to plant there.  Furthermore, the soul feeds the serpent [satanic influence], sustaining the life form that is at the same time the curse, thus, preventing spiritual life.  This scenario is played out in every unregenerate man and woman.  Until the Christ Spirit is recreated in the human breast it is left to the feminine aspect of each person to make the life-style decisions for the individual.  Unredeemed souls are influenced by the sense realm, which is trained by the carnal world.

A person is prepared for living in his human form within the nucleus of his soul.  He is born with certain traits, equipped with the five senses and endowed with the favor of gifts and/or talents.  He will choose between two directors; one will propel him toward eternal life, the other, separation from God.  The choice is individual.

The world has become quite familiar with the ramifications of choices separate from God.  Men and women, boys and girls have remained needy because they have denied the strength of a HUSBAND.

“...remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.  For your Maker is your husband – the LORD Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.  (Isaiah 54:4, 5)

The human race suffers from moral inaptitude.  There is no inherent ability in mankind to be good.  No one possesses the “genes of goodness” to pass on to his offspring.  Obedience to laws and rules can only be exampled in parents and taught to their children.  They may learn to conform to rules and be trained in obedience, but virtue cannot be taught.  Only submission through Christ to God’s righteousness will bring an aptitude for goodness.

The race of man without Christ is lacking proper direction for their souls.  The quality of life that God has deigned to give to man escapes the concept held by the finite mind of the world.  The soul was not created to be a leader but to be the prolific reproducer of the offspring of the Seed of Christ.  This feminine aspect of mankind does not have the innate ability to rule so she has, by necessity, looked to another source for direction.  Because the designated mate of the soul lost his life early she has depended upon the senses that rose up in his absence.   The senses are the faculties of sensation that are a means of providing physical gratification and pleasure.  Hence, the soul became a “pleasure seeker” for the flesh.

God designed the sensory impulses of man for the purpose of protection and an influence for good in man’s earth-walk.   But the devil that stole the dominion of all creation from humankind is also the one who warps the mind, will and emotions of the race of man.  When this area is tempted by the sensual cravings of the human body it is easily understood why one who has not a credible leader falls prey to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.

COME TO ME

God saw the plight of the human race and was amazed to see there was no intercessor.  So He sent His own Right Arm to intervene.  He clothed the Living Word in human flesh and sent Salvation into the world.  The God of Salvation is life for the spirit, strength for the body and peace for the soul.  With the words, “Come to me,” Jesus Christ invites us out of the turmoil of the world into a new dimension of living.

It is incumbent upon the human race to die to the world (carnally trained senses), deny self (governance by the soul) and live life to the full – Jesus Christ in you, the hope of glory!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matthew 11:28)

Let us now observe Leilah and Jerome as they make their way toward Fulfillment.

CHAPTER ONE

THE JOURNEY

It was late afternoon when the happy pair left Woebegone.   The way was wide and paved for several miles but when they came to a fork in the road Jerome trained Osmund, his steed, onto the way of a tree lined, unpaved roadway.  Although evening was fast approaching Leilah had no fear as they turned onto the narrower way.  She trusted the prince and his mighty horse was sure-footed to take them on their way.

They rode for a time, and before darkness fell Jerome found a clearing off to the side of the road where they could spend the night.  Jerome removed the bundle of supplies from Osmund’s back and handed Leilah her traveling case.  After he settled his horse for the night he set to the task of making a fire of some broken pieces of an idol that Leilah gave to him from her bag.  The flame lasted through the night as they slept, snugly wrapped in the blankets that the prince had provided.

When Leilah opened her eyes the next morning the sun was just rising over the distant hills.  She saw that Jerome had woken earlier and prepared a repast of fruit and bread.  While they ate Jerome thrust his sword into the ground between them.  He told her there was not a stronger implement of protection, and as long as it remained in his possession nothing could harm them.  By way of demonstration he picked up the sword and swung it over his head.  As the blade cut through the air Leilah saw flashes of light like flames in its wake.  She was impressed and secretly desired to handle the sword herself.

Day after day they traveled in the direction that Jerome had chosen.  In the evenings they stopped and prepared a place to spend the night.  Jerome always fixed a tasty meal over the fire he built from things Leilah gave to him from her traveling case.  While they sat near the fire Jerome would tell his bride-to-be about the place where he was taking her.  She had many questions about the King and the prince’s answers filled her heart with peace.  Bit by bit Leilah told Jerome of her experiences in Woebegone.  She was relieved that he did not press her but let her reveal only what she wanted to at the time.       

Early on Leilah began to notice oddly familiar looking figures lurking behind shrubs and trees.  Once she recognized a boy hiding in the shadows that her children ran with back in Woebegone.  Seeing him frightened her for she knew him to be a formidable character.  She did not mention the shadowy forms to Jerome because they reminded her of Scathe.  She surely didn’t want thoughts of him to spoil their journey – but she was worried.

When they stopped one particular evening Jerome saw that her demeanor was shrouded in fear.  He said nothing but after they finished their evening meal, he handed her a beautifully wrapped package.  He told her it was a gift that he had been saving until just the right time.  When she opened it she found a lovely crystal pendant that contained a tiny mustard seed.  As he fastened it around her neck she felt worry and fear fall away from her.  Her countenance showed her delight.  Later, because she now had faith, she told Jerome about the shadowy figures.  He reminded her of his sword, and they both laughed.  She removed a large article from her bag and threw it into the fire.  The blaze rose high and the fire burned throughout the night.  That article was the root of fear.

The roadway narrowed as the two progressed on their way.  At times they walked single file while the trusted horse trotted ahead of them.  There were many traps awaiting their footsteps – some so well concealed that several times Leilah’s foot was caught in them.  She could only be freed when Jerome applied his sword to the trap.  Every time she was ensnared Leilah was so ashamed of her carelessness that she would have just dragged the thing along if Jerome hadn’t noticed.  After he freed her she still felt guilty.  Those were the times when she saw Scathe himself crouching in the wooded land.

One morning as they were closing their campsite, Leilah noticed among the embers of their fire something glittering, which she easily identified as like the things she had received from Scathe.   Impulsively she reached her hand into the dying fire to retrieve the trinkets that resembled the ones she had so enjoyed.  With a cry of pain she withdrew her hand and saw that it was badly burned.  Jerome quickly came to her rescue, caressed her hand in his, and the searing pain was gone.  After calming her he said gently, but with a tone of authority, that she must never take anything out of the fire that he had put there.  He warned her that perhaps the next time her garments would ignite and she would be severely injured.  The repentant princess never forgot that experience.

As they again started on their way Leilah was disgruntled.  She was thinking about the troublesome snares and the fact that she knew Scathe to be hanging around.  The disquieting episode of the fire added to her chagrin.  Jerome noticed her silence and sensed something was troubling her.  He began to sing songs of triumph and also words from the Scroll of Truth that they had learned from the King in their childhood.  Soon her mood began to change and she joined in singing with him.  Their voices blended as one in a joyful sound!  The time passed quickly that day.  They stopped early in the evening to have more time to talk freely and to sing praises of their King who was so steadfast and good.  They raised their voices in thanks for the blessing of having each other.

During their time of sharing thoughts and dreams, Leilah felt free to tell Jerome of the incidents when she had seen Scathe moving around them.  She confessed her anger toward him and said she thought she would never forgive Scathe for his deceit and the pain it had brought her.  Without condemnation Jerome reminded her of the many things the King had forgiven her, and that neither had he held anything to her account.  He further stated that as long as she nourished feelings of bitterness she would have no lasting joy or peace.  Leilah pondered his words in her heart.  That night she vowed to release the feelings she had harbored and to forget all that was behind her.  She removed a relic resembling an old root from her receptacle and placed it in the fire.

The next morning Jerome said they should walk because the road would begin a sharp incline.  They loaded their things on Osmund’s back and allowed him to move ahead while they followed.  The princess, even though she was used to hard work became breathless and very tired as they climbed the hill.  She wanted to join Jerome in singing but could not.  There were many poor people standing along the way, and she thought they should stop to help them.  However, each time a needy person appeared the prince would raise his sword, and as it flashed the naked were clothed, the hungry fed, the maimed and ill were healed and homeless found shelter.  She was amazed and thought perhaps her eyes were deceiving her because of her fatigue.

When they finally reached a clearing Leilah wanted to stop for it had been a most trying day.  After they rested a while she asked the prince about all of the troubled people they had seen.  Jerome told her that they were people who had begun the journey but stopped because the way was difficult.  They didn’t have an escort and were trying to reach Fulfillment with their own strength.  He knew some were lost, and others, when they became entangled in the traps along the way, forgot all of the resolve they had possessed when they began their journey.   Jerome added that if they would ask, even at this part of the trip Paraclete would see that the proper one who was anointed to lead, and whom the King alone could send, would come to them.

“Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick, and lead the blind.  Just and holy is Thy name; I am all unrighteousness; False and full of sin I am, Thou art full of truth and grace.”  (Jesus, Lover of My Soul, third verse; Charles Wesley, 1740)

Jerome wanted to reach the plateau before nightfall so they soon moved on.  When they were nearly to the level ground, Leilah heard a faint sound of people singing.  She could not make out the words but she could tell they were expressing joyful praise.  A few steps farther on Leilah beheld the most beautiful sight she had seen since she left the Land of Beginning long ago. 

Before her she saw a beautiful garden.  It was bathed in soft light and the air around her was pure and clear.  She detected a fragrance that reminded her of her childhood.  In the distance she could see a large gathering of people who were singing and swaying to the music they made.  Some were raising their hands and speaking in a language that Leilah had never heard.  Jerome and Leilah were entering into the Garden of Gifts.

CHAPTER TWO

THE VERDICT

“Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whomever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what has been done has been done through God.”  (John 3:19-21)

The Holy Spirit hovers until Jesus is received as Savior.   He is The Way of return to the Father.  Jesus Christ is Recreator of the right spirit within the human breast, and is indeed that Spirit.  He is the One who prepares the place of rest, and the souls of men are the dwelling place that He prepares.  He is the director who will guide every step we take, if we will so allow.  The soul’s donning of the garment of righteousness is the intent of the recreated spirit. Without the soul’s yielding to the new life that has come there will be no upward movement.  Faith is the pathway.

It was faith that allowed Leilah to toss fear into their campfire.

CHARACTER BEARS WITNESS TO THE SOUL, SEEN ONLY BY GOD, BUT REVEALED IN THE LIGHT.

A person who has not the Word of Life moves along, doing what he has been doing.  He may give mental assent to religion, do good works and be seen by the world as a “good” person.  A civilized society demands certain decorum but a renegade will behave in any manner that pleases his psyche.  The only disturbance within the unregenerate is the several factions of carnality vying for supremacy.

The entrance of the Word brings light to one’s life.  There is an emotional upheaval within because the senses become aware of a new director.  The battle for control of the human soul begins.  One who has received the light of the Spirit needs the Word of Truth who is trustworthy to free him from the snares and to steer him clear of the destructive fires.

The carnally trained soul does not easily succumb to the New Authority who arrives with the recreated spirit – far from it.  The truth of the matter is that the recreated spirit requires righteousness, and the soul will try to comply without “giving in.”  This area uses many pretenses in the attempt to raise itself up.  Along the way temptations are skillfully presented by the old nature, actually programmed in by behavioral patterns that are set in the world. 

The temptations that trouble the newly won to Christ appear in many forms.  Among them are memories, unforgiveness and longings.  Allowing memories to linger may present temptations that are nearly impossible for the incomplete person to withstand.  Unforgiveness establishes a root of bitterness that will poison the area of the soul and prevent the Seed of Life from flourishing.  Longings can open a door to actions that may take one back into the world. 

Faith in God is the portion given upon the entrance of the Word.  Only maturity of the soul will develop this Seed of Faith to become a fact, which cannot be penetrated by the world.  “...Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22) The Christ of the recreated spirit removes guilt from one’s soul. Self-condemnation and grief for past trespasses are reconciled to obedience as truth is established.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  (Romans 8:1, 2)

TRUSTING

There is an area within every person which strains toward survival.  We may call that entity “self” or “ego.”  Whatever the name, it is the quality that makes each one of us an individual, and it is of the soul.  The personality must yield its domain to the Love that comes in the recreated spirit.  Until one submits he is incomplete – a “carnal Christian.” 

Much more is required in belonging to Christ than the rituals of confession, baptism and works.  Rules, regulations, dogmas and doctrines are all part of the world’s attempt to extol an aura of virtue.  These are not virtues – they are bondage.  Church attendance, study, benevolent acts and participation in denominational activities are recognized by the world as “good works” but they are not God working. The Christ of God brings freedom from the attempts to emulate Jesus and presents the gift of inheritance that enables the soul to join Him in God’s plan for His family. 

“I tell you the truth; anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”  (John 14:12)

There is a profound difference between the good works of religious social reform and ”God Works.”  Good works are in-part works because they are indigenous to the world.  Although God has long worked through sincere, yielded vessels to repair the damage done in human flesh, there is a higher realm to which He is calling His remnant.  This is the realm of transformation where righteousness overcomes evil, and the torments known in the world can no longer attach.  Therefore, they cease to exist.  Good works minister to the flesh of mankind and enable him to continue in the fallen world.  (Remember the old adage: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”)  “God works” are put forward by the Christ and minister to the heart of man, done apart from the physical realm although the manifestation may be in the tangible area. 

Faith is trusting, and trusting is believing.  To believe is to adhere to, trust in and rely on God. One who thoroughly learns this lesson is sanctified and faith becomes fact for him.  Trusting God will be his nature.  Within the sanctified soul of regenerate man God works to bring forth the new creature, [eternal man] who will give evidence of Spiritual Fruit.  Spiritual Fruit will take form when the soul has become pure by submission to the truth brought by the new spirit within.

YIELDING

The Spirit of Life that God gave to man in the beginning has always belonged to God.  When disobedience occurred the Life that God had inspired into human beings remained with God.  Life was gone from man’s spirit, and along with the soul it was dismissed from God’s presence.  Jesus Christ has sent the immediacy of God’s Spirit into the world, and we know this persona of God as the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says that the Spirit and the Word are one.  By the hearing of the Word one is convinced of his need for God and may receive Jesus as Savior.  The Spirit of Christ is then present to give life into the mortal body – it is not eternal life for flesh and blood but life for the human spirit.  The recreated spirit will in turn, if we will allow it, draw the soul into this life.  This is yielding.  It is probably the aspect of salvation that is the most misunderstood.

Time after time we see well-meaning people trying to be like Jesus; trying to obey the interpretation of the Bible extolled by their church denomination.  This is not the way.  The only way obedience can be accomplished is by submitting in our mind, will and emotions to the perfect will and purpose of God.  It is the Holy Spirit who will express God’s love to us by the Word.  It is the Word that convicts us of our need to listen and believe.  This is Christ’s wooing His bride.  He comes in this way to raise up the one who has been betrothed to the Spirit since the beginning of mankind.  He will take the human soul for His bride but first she must be taught and trained until her will is His, her thoughts are His thoughts and the God of the universe inspires her emotions.  The person who is longing for Christ will be seen with Him at His appearing.

CHAPTER THREE

ENTERING IN

Leilah and Jerome continued walking toward the assembled group.  They could now plainly see the men and women who were intently giving themselves over to the atmosphere of holiness that surrounded them.   Jerome seemed to recognize the assemblage but Leilah knew not a one, nor were their actions familiar to her. 

Leilah was awe-struck as they drew near to the gathered worshipers.  Jerome stood quietly by and watched her.  He knew that the unabashed flow of love was unequaled in anything she could have witnessed before.   When the tempo of the singing picked up a bit Leilah began clapping her hands with the rest.  She was completely oblivious of anyone who might have been watching her, so caught up was she in the spirit of the music and the delight of the moment.  Then as suddenly as it had begun the hand clapping ceased and the worshipers begin to hum a tune that was apparently familiar to all.  Then, here and there she heard a softly murmured “hallelujah,” and people began to turn to one another to speak quietly but with a tone of authority.  She could not hear what any one of them was saying but she could see the reactions – those many times being tears running down over a countenance of gratitude.  She could hear, or rather, see a softly spoken, “Praise you Lord.”

After this time of sharing the crowd began to disperse. This is when the newly arrived pair was first noticed.  Several couples came over to them and began friendly overtures of welcome and invitations to join in with them the next evening.  Even though the actions she had witnessed were strange to her, Leilah was eager to promise to meet with them – much to Jerome’s satisfaction.

Leilah and Jerome were directed as to where they might find lodging, and also a place for Osmund to be fed and tethered.   However Jerome rejected the latter for Osmund had never been restricted, and Jerome was the only one from whom he would take fodder.  Osmund simply spent the night near the place where the prince slept.

When morning came the delight of the previous evening remained with Leilah.  She was excited about the prospect of walking around their new surroundings and meeting more of the folks she had observed before.  She and her beloved companion entered the dining area of the little inn where they had stayed. She was pleased to see that the woman who waited on them was evidently of the same ilk as the singers of the night before.  She was friendly and an aura of joy radiated from her.  The food they were served was very much the same as Jerome had prepared each morning – bread and fruit, but this time a little strained honey was provided for the bread.   When they had finished eating and visiting a bit with the proprietor, they left to begin their adventure.

The first sight that caught Leilah’s eye was a tent that had been raised in the center of the community.  Long tables filled its massive interior.  There were men and women bustling around obviously preparing food to feed many people.  One young man waved to them and they walked over to talk with him.  He said that every day at noon people gathered to eat together and be strengthened in their inner persons.  Now Leilah had no comprehension of what he was speaking about but she was interested to know more about those who were partakers of this arrangement.  They made plans to return at the proper time and dine with them.

A little further on she saw streaming into an open area many people who seemed to be ill or impaired in some way.  There, standing in their midst was some sort of leader.  He was waving his arms and making declarations as people either shouted “amen” or promptly fell to the ground seeming to be unconscious or asleep.  When the people who had come for help turned to leave Leilah saw that many who had been crippled now walked upright, ones who had been ill glowed with health – but still others remained unchanged.  She really didn’t know what to think of the whole scene.  She had certainly detected an air of excitement about the participants – and a little odor that reminded her of Woebegone.  Strange.  She would need to ask Jerome about this later.

As they moved on following the trail that was marked out they became aware of a feeling of overwhelming compassion.  Leilah was nearly overcome by the sensation that engulfed her.  She began to weep and leaned on Jerome.  His love strengthened her and she was able to regain her composure.  She looked around and surrounding them she saw forlorn looking people who were reaching out – to whom or what she knew not.  She moaned when she realized that her own lack caused Jerome to move ahead of her as he ministered to individuals.  She watched in amazement as he went from person to person pouring oil from a vial over every head and then thrusting his sword deep into each heart.  She was astonished that not a one fell dead but sprang up invigorated with a new energy of life and formed a retinue of praise for the King of the Universe.

Leilah was so moved that for a while she could not speak.  She had not realized the full extent of the properties of Jerome’s sword but now knew that the freedom it brought to the needful people was something that she, too, must have.  She turned to Jerome with new respect and inward assurance and said, “Pierce also my heart with your sword and pour oil over my head that I may know the renewal of life that I have witnessed among those who were reaching out.” Jerome did as she asked and then placed three seeds in her hand.  He said they were seeds from the fruit they had eaten on their journey but in time they would produce greater fruit.  He said she should accept them as the seeds of love, joy and peace.  She was at that instant aware of a depth of love that was new to her.

“Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound; Make and keep me pure within.  Thou of life the Fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart, Rise to all eternity.”  (Jesus, Lover of My Soul, fourth verse; Charles Wesley, 1740)

By now it was nearly time for their promised return to the tent they had visited earlier in the day.  So much had happened already that Leilah wondered what else might be in store.  She needed time to fathom the meaning of the events and to know the ethereal quality of the one to whom she was betrothed.

When they reached the tent they found that all of the residents of the community were there.  She was surprised at the children for they behaved with decorum befitting those much older.  Jerome and Leilah were promptly invited to sit wherever they chose and join them for their meal and sharing their joys.  Leilah heard many reports of wondrous events that before would have seemed incredulous to her.  However, after her own experiences that morning she accepted everything said with peace and joy.

Everyone remained so long at the tables that they barely had time enough to freshen up for the evening’s occasion.  After the momentous experiences, Leilah felt as though they had been in the Garden of Gifts much longer than one day.  She was soon to learn that in this place time was of little consequence. 

She was ready when Jerome came to her door. She greeted him with a smile and said that she was anticipating the evening ahead to be a pleasant repeat of the previous one.  Leilah was, however, to be greatly surprised.

When they reached the spot where before they had witnessed a subdued attitude of holiness, they saw something much different.  To one side of the area was a group with musical instruments – a keyboard player, one with a guitar and another held a trumpet.  Two made up the percussion – one with a tambourine the other seated at drums.  Near the little band were some singers.  People were dancing about, not together but singly, as they “felt moved.”  All in all it was a joyful sight.  There was laughter and singing and exuberant praise for the same King whose name had been glorified in worship the night before.  Jerome joined in the festive occasion, but Leilah held back. She was a little intimidated by the “amen’s” and strange words that some stood and uttered during an intermission of the music.

Leilah enjoyed the evening in a guarded way. She was not sorry when the crowd began to leave.  Soon she and Jerome were on their way back to the inn. She was glad that no one accompanied them for she had a lot of questions for Jerome!

The days passed in a manner similar to the first.  The activities varied somewhat but the gracious attitude of the people remained the same. One day following a sunrise prayer service, Jerome and Leilah packed a picnic lunch and started off by themselves for an afternoon of hiking and enjoying the beautiful hillside just below the Garden of Gifts.  They had gone only a little distance across a meadow when they came upon a group of women who had gathered under the shade of some trees. One woman stood and introduced herself as Elizabeth. She said they had come to that place for a time of “praying in one accord.”  Jerome smiled when he heard this and asked if they might join them.  The women were happy to welcome them and wondered if they had ever experienced this kind of endeavor before. Jerome answered that he had many times.  Leilah said that she had not.  She was bewildered by the conversation but her curiosity was peaked so she sat down with the rest. Elizabeth said that Leilah should just feel at ease and allow her spirit to lead her.  She agreed that she would, although she really did not understand exactly what that meant. Jerome was sitting by her side and knowing that she could trust his judgment gave her courage.

Then they began.  Every woman and Jerome was praying in a different language, very quietly.  Soon one woman began to sing, and one by one the others joined in.  As they did, their languages became the same.  Their voices were in harmony and sounded sometimes like a choir and other times more like an organ. For a time one voice rose above the others singing an aria of praise while the rest were as an under girding accompaniment.  It was a beautiful sound to hear, and Leilah was enthralled.  The voices ended their singing in one accord, silence followed.  In just a little while one began to speak again with another answering, still speaking in languages strange to Leilah.  The words they spoke were interspersed from time to time with laughter.  A third woman joined in and they continued on for some time.  Then to Leilah’s stunned surprise, Jerome began to speak in her understanding.  He was telling of the King’s love for those gathered together and of the things that were in store for his people everywhere.  It was a most uplifting message and all were delighted to hear it. Jerome and Leilah thanked Elizabeth for allowing them to join their group and then departed.

As they walked on Leilah was thinking of the beautiful sounds, and after a while told Jerome that she, too, desired to speak in the heavenly language.  He looked at her and said, “Why, you can, Leilah.  Let’s just stop here and I will tell you how.”  They were near a brook so they stopped and sat down beside it.  Jerome said, “Just put your head against my chest and as I speak let the words come through your mouth.  You will find it to be a wondrous experience.”  Leilah did as he told her, and he began to utter words with a lyrical sound – poetic and at the same time musical.  His baritone voice gave richness to the sound that to her was beautiful.  Then she also began to speak, although she still did not understand the words. They continued on this way for a while until Jerome’s words were in their understanding.  The words he spoke told her that the King was most pleased with Leilah and she would find her understanding in the ways of his kingdom increasing in the days to come. Leilah was overcome with joy. To think that the King, whom she had always loved, could send a message to her in such a way!   She didn’t want the experience to end, and suggested that they remain there for their picnic lunch.  They talked while they ate and Leilah realized that she was greatly blessed to have such a one love her so dearly.  She knew that she could commit her life to him and be the wife who would bring him honor, bear his children and be forever faithful.

While she slept that night, Leilah’s dreams were of Jerome.  She dreamed of his presence and of the many things he had told her.  She was aware of significance in their intended union that she could not quite grasp. 

It was nearly daybreak when she awoke abruptly.  She turned her head toward the little room joining hers, and through the doorway she could see a mirror on the wall.   As she looked she was aware of great power within the small room, and the mirror took on a white light.  Appearing in the mirror was the head of a regal looking lion, and across him in a diagonal manner was a sign that was imprinted with strange writing, which she couldn’t decipher.  In a moment the lion was gone and a golden light illumined the mirror.  She was bound with awe as she saw the room begin to fill with a mist of rosy light.  In the center of the rosy hue was a white form.   Before her very eyes the form took on the shape of a woman – a bride!!  She was dressed in a gown of white linen with a veil falling to below her waist.  The gown was without a seam, although it was fitted and flounced at the knee and sleeves.  The graceful skirt was voluminous at the hem that just brushed the top of her feet.  The bride stood before the mirror, turning this way and that, looking to see that everything was in proper order.  Then she lifted her skirt slightly, and let it drop again as if to remove any wrinkle or fold.  Then she shook out her sleeves, straightened her veil, turned once again before the mirror and departed.  The illumination left the mirror and the rose colored light faded to darkness.

Leilah left her bed and went to the window, and looking out she saw that the sun was just peeking over the horizon.  The miraculous sight that just moments before had filled her vision had shaken her but she knew that the sign that appeared with the lion indicated that the whole of it was indeed a sign.  Although she knew she wouldn’t sleep she returned to bed, and with pondering thoughts went over the exceptional event she alone had beheld.  Leilah looked forward to the hour when she could share with Jerome.

Leilah was dressed and waiting when Jerome arrived.  She was eager to tell of her experience but she waited until after breakfast to share her astounding story because Jerome had raised the subject of their departure from the Garden of Gifts.  Leilah had been happy during the time spent in the lovely place, and would have liked to stay a little longer.  However Jerome told her that the time had come to move on to accomplish the rest of their journey. 

After they had finished eating Leilah related her vision to Jerome.  He rejoiced with her and remarked that the King of Creation had drawn back the curtain of the unseen realm to allow her to see what others could not.  He told her that it was significant that a bride preparing for her nuptial ceremony had been shown to her.  He quoted a bit of Scripture that later on would help to open her understanding:

…”To present her to himself as a radiant church [bride], without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”   (Ephesians 5:27)

That very day they began to prepare to leave.  Jerome said that this time they would carry no supplies with them, and that Osmund would not accompany them at this time for the way was very narrow and steep.  He had already made arrangements with one whom he could trust to take care of the equine needs of his faithful steed.

Just before they parted for the night, Jerome asked Leilah to bring her valise to him.  He said that everything that she had brought from Woebegone must now be burned.  She had already discarded the remaining things in her consciousness, so the burning of them was a welcomed way of being rid of them forever.

The trinkets in her bag made quite a bon-fire.  Because everything was dry it burned quickly.  When the flames had died out, she said, “This is a fitting way to depart from this place.  I feel as though a great weight has been removed and the final chapter of my former life ended.”  Jerome smiled and nodded.

CHAPTER FOUR

LISTEN!  Jesus said, “Come to me.”  Come to me for peace with God.  Come to me for strength.  Come to me for rest.  Come to me and I will meet your needs according to my riches in glory. 

Jesus Christ is Life for those who allow Him to enter.  Christ is the Life and Jesus is the name that is above every name that is named.  Jesus means, “Jehovah is Salvation” and is the name that was given to the one who bore the power of God into the world.  The Name of Jesus is the authority that causes every demon’s knee to bow and even the vilest tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  That overcoming power is present for raising up the saints so they might be with Him where He is.

Religious laws, rituals and rules were to hold the place and/or point the way to Christ.  Since He has come, we must not hold to the old order but move on the new.  The gifts of the Spirit are tools to sustain the body of Christ as it is being built up fully in the image of the Second Adam, Jesus.  We ought not cling to the spiritual walk but move on to the fullness of Christ.  Christ did not appear among us to bring “in-part” life to the world.  He came to impart Life in abundance.

Do you know that what we set our sights upon we become?  Do you know that man without a vision will perish?  Where have you focused your sight?  What is your vision for life?  Our eyes must be lifted up so that we may see God as He truly is.  John said that humankind is like little children and what they should become has escaped their understanding.  But when we see God as He truly is we shall be like Him, and then He will appear.   When He becomes our life He will appear among us in holy myriads of Himself in the glory that is His.

It is knowledge of truth that leads to godliness.  God would have all men to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth.  We must hear about God before we want to learn about Him.  We must learn about Him to want to know Him as He is.  We must know Him as He is so that we can become like Him.  Only obedience in the light of one’s knowledge of truth purifies the one who knows and obeys.

Religion has allowed lies to be spread about God.  It has, in fact, many times been the spreader of lies.  The Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth concerning the things of God – including His vengeance and wrath.

It needs to be understood that the day of vengeance is to establish possession of those who have been restored, refreshed and regenerated through the process of reclamation.  God’s wrath is the outworking of His justice and it is against sin.  Truth brings revelation of the Word and gives us understanding.  The Spirit of Truth uncovers lies, thus presenting the way of their removal.  Obedience to truth is the righteousness that purifies the saint and brings death to sin.  The righteousness of the saints is judgment for the world for the standard of Christ’s measure is met in them.  When this justice is in place the people of the world will learn righteousness.  In this way God’s vengeance will establish possession of all that Jesus Christ has freed.  God’s grace is sufficient until the time of glorification of all that has been redeemed – when heaven and earth are established together.  God’s hand is not lifted to strike us down but to raise us up!

The Holy Spirit is given for the sanctification of the saint and His presence is the beginning of the walk by the Spirit.  When one is set aside for this special work God’s power is present to deliver him from bondage to sin – to separate the essential man from evil desires and actions.  The Teacher comes to instruct by means of revelation of the Word of God. He comes in the mode of the unseen realm, but His presence cannot be denied.  The power of the Holy Spirit is described as “dunamis” in Greek for His is the abundant ability of mighty strength for miracle working power to be set forth in wonderful work.

The immediacy of God brings gifts for the building up of the body of Christ.  As God’s Spirit is fused with the human spirit, life is restored there and His presence is wisdom for the saint.  As Spirit speaks to spirit, a new language will come forth for edification and training of the soul.  When rightly used speaking in tongues brings understanding and presents enlightenment to all who will hear the truth that has come.

Because of the gifts of enlightenment apostles, teachers, preachers and evangelists are prepared for works of service to raise up a people for God’s name.  The equipping of the saints is to minister in such a way as to cause eternal man to stand while the man of the flesh dies.

The presence of the power of God often brings an onslaught of Spiritual gifts that adds a vibrancy of excitement to life.  The charismatic gifts minister to mortal man, and the flesh will try to steal them.   The operation of Spiritual gifts is supposed to move in faith by love.  When one wields the power without the fruit of love it is offensive to God, for the flesh has entered in.  The promise of charismatic benefits has been bought and sold by greedy and over zealous evangelists to the defilement of the Precious Name in the eyes of the world.

The power of these gifts belongs to God.  Man must not be ostentatious in the exercising of it.  Word of knowledge, prophecy and healing are given to keep the church while living in earthly tents.  They are to protect and comfort and guide the physical man up to the time that the inner man has reached unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God. 

God wants mortal man to survive in order to house his eternal soul until each one’s earthly mission is completed.  He is eager for every person to benefit from properly presented gifts of the Spirit.  Individuals who are anointed to operate in super-natural ways must ever be aware of the intended purpose of their gift and be fully submitted to the Giver.  The universal purpose is for each of the many members of Christ’s body to become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The physical rewards and the thrill of the awesome power of super-natural gifts probably accounts for the development of the Charismatic Movement.  It is not the Lord’s intention for any to tarry long in this place but to accept these first results of the presence of the Holy Spirit as the promise of what waits ahead.  The guarantee lies in the quality of the supply – such as the rod of the Lord for chastisement, revelation of the word, health for the body, directives for the soul and implementation of the new creation in Christ.

UPWARD BOUND

We must become like Christ Jesus in His death.  That is to be dead in the flesh nature and alive in the spirit.  We are called upon to share in the crucifixion of the afflictions of sin that Jesus bore to the cross until the death that He died is complete in us and our own flesh nature is dead.  This can come only as we set our eyes on the prize of the high calling for humankind.  Let us reach toward the nature for which we were created.

Paul said to forget what is past.   Consider those things to be rubbish in light of the truth that has come.  The rituals and requirements of the law have been fulfilled in Jesus.  Renounce the rules and dogmas of the denominations; they are for the man of the flesh.  It is maturity unto the unity of one new man in Christ that we are straining toward.

The Lord has said that He cannot complete His design in a bruised and wounded body – in a fragmented church.  He cannot do it in parts.  We MUST leave the “in-part” walk by the Spirit behind to gain perfection.

CHAPTER FIVE

FAREWELL

Leilah and Jerome spent the greater part of the afternoon saying good-bye to the many friends they had made since entering the Garden of Gifts.  Leilah especially wanted to bid farewell to Elizabeth because she felt it was through her friendliness that she had gained a spiritual awakening.

Early the next morning the travelers were once more on their way. Just as they were departing, Jerome stopped Leilah and placed three more seeds in her hand.  He said, “These are the seeds for the fruits of patience, kindness and goodness.  They will be of help to you on this phase of our journey.  Keep them safe.”  She dropped the seeds in her pocket along with the others, and at that moment knew patience was hers, for the peace she already had was joined by an abiding sense of calm.

As they moved on Jerome began to explain some of the things that occurred during their stay in the Garden of Gifts. He told Leilah that the place they were leaving was a vast area and that many who entered there remained all of their lives.  He said they had reconciled themselves to the idea that it is as far as they can go, and that man’s best hope is to battle the evil forms as they arrive.  Never do they realize that an opportunity exists to live the life of an overcomer.  He explained such was the reason she had noticed the faint odor of the flesh of Woebegone in the place where the people had gathered for healing.  He said many people from the outlying districts go in and out for help in times of trouble.  Leilah asked, “How can I learn to overcome all earthly problems and be free of the memories that sometimes haunt me?”  Jerome answered, “We are on our way now to the first endeavor toward that achievement.  The King we love has dispensed his supernatural power to you in your natural state to enable you to gain all that you hope for.  I will help you to have that vision of hope.”

In that area of their travels, when evening came darkness fell like a curtain.  Because of this they stopped early to prepare for the coming night.  Since they had brought no supplies Jerome relied on his sword to bring all that they needed.  With it in hand he began to cut the lush foliage that grew along the way to make their beds.  Their cloaks thrown over all that he gathered made a comfortable place to rest upon.

Leilah did not immediately fall to sleep that night but lying there beneath the starry sky she recalled the times long ago in the Land of Beginning when she and Jerome had slept under the same canopy of stars.  So much had happened to her since those innocent days.  If only she had never listened to that old adversary, Scathe, she would have beautiful memories now, rather than the regrets that tormented her.  She remembered with loathing the times she had submitted to Scathe’s carnal touch.  She thought of the children she had borne, and a tear slid from her eye.  Her children, now grown, were scattered and bringing heartache and trouble to any who took up with them.  Then she thought of Moribund – that poor, weak man.  Why she had ever trusted him was beyond her understanding.

Leilah finally dropped off to sleep, and when she did she dreamed of Paraclete, her dear old friend.  In her dream he spoke to her and told her that he had come to help her to remove the thorns of regret.  He said that grace had been extended to her and all that had gone on before was forgiven.  She must now set her sight upon the integrity of the one whom she would wed, for he alone would lead her in the way she now must go.  Looking back would make it impossible for her to move forward and that would add to the pain of her sorrow.  He said that a burden of regrets would prevent her from entering the gates of the Kingdom of Fulfillment.

When Leilah awoke the next morning, although she was refreshed the words of her dream were still upon her.  She looked around, and not seeing Jerome she decided to explore a little.  She walked to the road they had traveled the day before, and was surprised to see that they had been walking in a downward mode to arrive at the place where they had spent the night.  She saw that just ahead there was a fork in the road.  One way led to a deeper valley, the other went upward.  The upward path appeared to be very steep and much narrower than any that had led to their present surroundings. When she returned to their camp-sight Jerome was there and had laid out their breakfast of fresh berries, goat’s milk and a strange looking wafer that tasted something like bread.

After they had eaten Leilah began telling Jerome of her dream and how Paraclete had appeared to her.  Jerome said that they were in the Valley of Decision, in the Place of Memories.  Farther down on the lower road was the Pit of Regrets.  He said that unless she released now the thoughts that were plaguing her, she would indeed find herself in the lower pit, and it was a place where he could not go.  He said Paraclete had come to her in mercy so that she would not have to go that way – and go it alone.  Jerome explained it had been necessary for them to come this way so she could make her final choice before they traveled further on.  Although the path ahead on the upper way was difficult, he promised to always be with her and help her every step of the way.  She had begun to weep at the thought of being separated again from this wonderful person.  She turned, smiling through her tears and said, “I will go with you to the higher ground so that your home will again be my home and your people my people.”

It was at this point that Leilah fully understood the seriousness of her commitment.  She knew now that her life had a purpose and leaving Woebegone was far more than just an escape from a kind of slavery.  She realized that her betrothal to Jerome presented a responsibility to become the likeness of the one she cherished.  There would never again be any desire or regret in her concerning what lay behind.  From that time forward all of her energy would focus upon achieving the Kingdom of Fulfillment.

The sun was already high overhead when they once more set upon their way. The hour was of no consequence however, for what mattered was the exactness of their steps not the time in which they were accomplished.  Leilah soon discovered many loose stones over which she might stumble or fall if she did not hold fast to Jerome for they walked where no foot before them had trod.  By the day’s end she realized they had just about made it back to the same level as the place of their departure the day before. 

That evening after their meal, Jerome removed a book from his pocket and began to read to Leilah.  The book was “Canticles,” long known and revered by him.  Leilah was enthralled by the beauty of the prose and deeply touched by the account of a love so deeply shared.  After Jerome had finished reading she remarked how moved she was.  Jerome answered, “This is our story, Leilah.  This was written long ago for the annals of time concerning the love that was meant to be perfect in us as we become one in each other.  Remember the maiden’s song, ‘My beloved is mine and I am his.’  This is our song also.”

Leilah went to sleep with those words on her lips, “My beloved is mine, and I am his!  As she slept, she dreamed the dream of the Shulammite woman.  She envisioned herself in a strange place searching for the one she loved but could not find.  Her heart ached with passion as she asked each one who approached her if they knew her lover, if they had seen the one whom she loved and could not find.  Then, wonder of wonders, he was there in her dream.  As she held him she vowed to never let him go.  She was walking away with him to a safe place when she awoke.  She thought how very like her true experience the dream had been.  As she drifted back to sleep she was at peace for she knew that Jerome truly was hers forever and ever, and never would she let him go.

On the third morning Jerome woke Leilah, and with cup in hand he said, “This is my cup and I am offering it to you so that you also might drink of it.  Finish it to the last part for it is the elixir that the King would enjoin you to drink.”  After she had finished the cup she found that for her breakfast Jerome had supplied a piece of honeycomb.  With her lips closed over the waxy substance she drew the golden nectar out of the comb.  The sweet taste was most pleasant and a definite change from their usual bland nourishment.

As they continued their walk that day Leilah’s mind seemed to come alive with wisdom.  She was aware that her thoughts were fraught with the understanding of things that she never before would have known.  Leilah was being blessed with revelation of the universe and how the Kingdom of her beginning worked.  She was getting a glimmer of her very own purpose in the whole scheme of the Great Plan.  As these thoughts came to her she became excited and vowed again in her heart that wherever Jerome wanted to take her she would go.  Nothing, but nothing, would now detour her from completing the journey.

That afternoon it began to rain.  It was as if the heavens had opened and gushed the whole of their supply upon the hillside.  They found shelter in a naturally carved-out formation of rock but were already thoroughly wet when they scrambled inside the protective walls of stone. Jerome and Leilah laughed together as they dropped to their knees and sat down.  Ever prepared for whatever might befall them, Jerome soon had a fire going by use of a flint stone and some dry leaves and branches.  Not even a storm could overtake their joy in the intent of the set purpose of their trek.

Jerome said the rain reminded him of the account of the promise of the coming of the autumn and spring rains falling together.  He said that it would be a time of great blessing and revelation. Leilah told him that very day had been one of great blessing and revelation for her.  From the moment of her awaking that morning to the cup to the present time, it had been one like no other.  It was then that she related to Jerome the unveiling of truth that had come to her.  They continued to talk as they sat before the fire. 

When the rain subsided they could hear the little animals that made their homes in the hills scurrying about.  Leilah was sure that she heard the voice of a dove as they listened to other familiar calls.  She remarked that it reminded her of the story Jerome had read the previous night, “the sound of the dove shall be heard in the land.”  She thought of the constancy of the dove and how it is always faithful to its mate.  What a perfect way to end such an eventful day.

CHAPTER SIX

Let us pause once again in the allegory of the recreated spirit and the soul to examine what is happening to Leilah.  Do not loose sight of the fact that in this saga the recreated spirit is wooing the human soul.

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.  For who is God besides the LORD?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  He makes my feet like the feet of a doe; he enables me to stand on the heights.”  (Psalms 18:30-33)

One whose spirit has been recreated is joined to God. The recreated spirit is the lover of the soul and becomes to “her” the one who is spoken of to be “like a gazelle” in “Song of Songs.”

The recreated spirit of the human breast is able to take the soul to the high places of God and will provide the vision for it, if we will so allow.  We must dare to hope and release the past into the hands of the LORD.  Sorrow for past sins has its place, but after repentance has come we must leave the memory of sin in the Valley of Decision. [in Joel, referred to as Jehosaphat which means the Lord judges].

Spiritual children of darkness are produced by the soul in union with carnality. These are the perverse attitudes and desires that are rampant in the human race.  They are propelled from person to person with the intent of gaining strength by the prince-of-the-power-of-the-air, for they cannot survive without nourishment from the souls of mankind.  The tears shed over the wayward children of humankind are few when compared to the grief brought by the spiritual children of darkness that are expelled into the world. Once they have been released they cannot be recalled.  This is why one reaps what he sows, even though he may have a change of heart.  All one can do is to strike down the proclivity for evil by the Word of Power, and pray that others will have strength to resist the outworking of sinful acts and careless words. 

Let our cry join that of the psalmist, saying: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

The soul that is won to the Lord will have desires and send forth words that are in accord with the recreated spirit.  When this submission comes there is grieving over all that has gone before in that particular life.  One must repent of the old and put on the new, face forward and join with the spirit in reaching toward what lies ahead.  Leave the past in the hands of the Lord.  Do not take it up again, neither in memory or regret.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

“...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

In the high places of the Lord light is fully separated from the darkness – there are no gray areas.  The high place of the Lord is barren ground – virgin, without habitation.  It is up to each individual to plant this ground, build his abode, and people it with spiritual children born of the union of the recreated spirit and renewed soul.  The Lord Himself is the High Priest of this endeavor and controls what is released there.  One cannot enter this realm until his heart is pure.  Still, this is the place that the Christ of Jesus promised He was going to prepare for us.  It is in you, my friend.  This is where Leilah is going with her prince.  Let the Prince of the recreated spirit in your breast take you there also.

“Jesus, Lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly.  While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high: Hide me, O my Savior, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last”!  (“Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” first verse; Charles Wesley, 1740)

CHAPTER SEVEN

PROVISION

At the first light of dawn Leilah and Jerome left the sheltered place and found their breakfast was supplied for them on the hillside surrounding the Valley of Decision.  They discovered a mound of nuts foraged by some small animal had been left behind and wild strawberries were growing nearby.  After they had eaten to their satisfaction they were ready to continue on their journey to Fulfillment.

As they walked along that day Leilah was more inclined than ever to hold Jerome’s hand.  Even though her resolve had been sincere to focus her thoughts forward, she found that when she released his hand her thoughts flew back to her past and to her troublesome children.  There was nothing that she wanted to do more than to think productive thoughts, and it seemed that when she held to Jerome his thoughts became hers.

And, oh, what lofty thoughts they were!  His mind was ever active, bringing timber to establish the eternal abode of Leilah and Jerome.  Never did he note circumstances or regret.  When he spoke, his words reflected what his mind presented, thereby establishing his profound insight as fact for Leilah.  The truth of all she heard him say was making the foundation stone of their dwelling place secure in her!

In this way Jerome was protracting for Leilah the vision of the goal that she needed to set her eyes upon.  The vision he wanted her to grasp was not so much a thing of the future, but what was hers at that moment for the holding of it in her sight.  The image of the prince was beginning to be formed in her.

Once that day as Leilah pressed Jerome’s hand to her cheek, she saw the letters of her name inscribed in his palm but strangely enough, superimposed upon her name was another name which she knew, in time, would be hers.  Leilah’s feet did a dance to the music that played within her.  She felt as though the lightheartedness of her youth had been restored!  Jerome chuckled as Leilah kicked up her heels in delight.

As they moved on walking across untraveled ground there seemed to be a fog gathering low about them.  Leilah could not see where she was placing her feet.  She could only make her way by walking behind Jerome and placing her feet just where he had placed his.  Sight unseen, she trusted there would be no misstep on his part, so the fact was that she walked in safety and in the right direction.

As the day ended Leilah knew she had made great strides toward the goal that had been set for her.  She realized that alone she could never have attained the place she had now reached.  She further knew that alone she could not retain it.  She was greatly humbled at the thought.  For so long in her previous surroundings she had been called upon to be completely self-sufficient (although while enduring this, she did not realize it).  It was somewhat amazing to her that Jerome found her dependence upon him not to be a fault or a weakness in her, but he called her reliance upon him her strength and a mark of maturity.

“Other refuge have I none; Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! Leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.  All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.”  (“Jesus, Lover of My Soul”; second verse, Charles Wesley, 1740)

When darkness came the two were already on their pallets.  The way of the valley road had been difficult, and endeavoring to shift the dependence for understanding from her own supply to that of Jerome’s had somehow taxed Leilah’s endurance.  She immediately fell to sleep.  Jerome watched as the moonlight revealed her face in repose; he thought how far she had come but knowing how far she had yet to go, he said a prayer that the perfect will and purpose of the King would be made complete in her.

Just as the sun was rising over the adjoining mountain, Leilah rose from her bed refreshed and fully committed to the trek still ahead of them.  She somehow knew there was yet a crossing to accomplish, one to which she had nothing to compare.  Before striking out that day, Jerome reminded Leilah of the seeds she had stashed away in her pocket.  He said, “The seeds that you have secreted away must now have nourishment, and that must come from your own heart. The joy and love and peace that are already flourishing there will be the supply.  You must release it through your faith which has now become fact to you, for you have learned to ‘come to me’.”

Oh, there was so much to remember!  How would Leilah ever become the one that the King was calling for; the one that Jerome had set his sight upon?  She began to fret.  Then, just that quickly she remembered, it was not hers alone to do but hers to trust and release the care of it to her beloved.

The area waiting for Leilah to attain before her journey with Jerome could be completed was one that she would have to approach through her own desire.  A gorge lay between the hills of the Valley of Decision and the Higher Ground, and it required her crossing.  Jerome was patiently waiting for her to prepare herself to go that way and to make her desire known.  All he could do was give encouragement where they were and make sure that provisions were supplied to insure her success.

One day as they walked on the way that spiraled around the mountains of the valley, he once again dropped three seeds into her hand.  He remarked that they were the final ones he would give to her.  Jerome explained that until the seed of love had caused the remaining eight to flourish, their path would continue to wind around the mountain’s sides without any further upward movement.  The seeds he gave were faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Jerome had taught Leilah many things, and her love for him was deep and sincere.  It was only that the way to completely change her mode of operation in all that she thought, desired or said was past her ability to comprehend!  She did understand that she was to fully trust him, to rely upon his wisdom and take no care, no concern about the fulfillment of the King’s edict pertaining to her transformationfor transformation is certainly what was called for.  As long as she was holding fast to him, as long as her attention was fully focused upon him, her vow to complete the journey remained firm.  It was only when her thoughts strayed, when her attention was diverted by any other thing, she vacillated. 

She knew that she had already come too far to return to Woebegone, and she didn’t want to do that anyway.  Neither did she have any desire to go back to the Garden of Gifts, although the time there had been a pleasant experience.  The only thing that she truly wanted was to be in Jerome’s presence, to travel on to the Kingdom of Fulfillment.  Every day as she renewed her vow to that purpose, she realized what she needed was self-control but she also knew that the fruit of all of the other seeds would have to come to full harvest before she could pluck that fruit of perfection.

Jerome continued to speak words of encouragement to Leilah as they walked around and around on the hillsides encircling the Valley of Decision.  Together they sang praises to their King and recalled words of the scroll that they remembered from their youth.

Leilah’s longing for Fulfillment increased while she kept on stepping where Jerome had stepped. 

CHAPTER EIGHT

When a farmer plants good seed in his garden the sprouts come up and the soil causes plants to grow.  The soil that receives the seed must be prepared – cultivated, watered and fertilized.

…“The one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it.  He produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what is sown.”  (Matthew 13:23)

Within every seed is the potential for more than one harvest.  To see the increase, seed from every crop must be planted back.  The fruit can and should be enjoyed but seed also saved for another crop.  So it is with the Fruit of the Spirit.  When Christ comes to indwell the human heart His Spirit brings life to the substance within, and spiritual fruit begins to flourish.  This is demonstrated in the process of sanctification.  The fruit of patience may “try one’s patience.”  The fruit of joy may present no reason for “happiness.”  Goodness is God, and His desire within may not be the “natural” reaction to surrounding circumstances.  But as this fruit is plucked and eaten, seed is supplied to establish a tree that will produce in kind in the very soil that has been prepared to receive it.  The soil is the human soul.

…The Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before the nations.” 

In First Corinthians chapter fifteen, Paul gives his discourse concerning the seed that produces the spiritual body of humankind.  The seed is the Word of God, the soil is the death-bound life of man, and the plant that comes forth is eternal man.  The word is sown into the soil of mortal man and raised up eternal man.  The fertilizer is the dead flesh nature of the individual and the nourishment is the Holy Spirit.  Paul further states that the way the transformation is accomplished is known in the revelation of a mystery:

We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…”

And the revelation:

As we blink our eyes to re-focus our vision, not on the world but on Christ, we shall be changed!  Not in an instant, but as we steadfastly remain faithful in seeking the face of God.  Having not a divided heart, we shall behold Him.  When we behold Him we will see Him as He is.  In seeing Him as He is we will become like Him, and He shall appear. 

The Lord has promised in Malachi, chapter three, that He would send the Holy Spirit of Christ to prepare the way for His appearing:

“See I will send my messenger who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the LORD you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come’, says the LORD Almighty.

“But who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand when he appears?  For he will be like a refiner’s fire, or a launderer’s soap.  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.  Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness…” (3:3)

“I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.  (3:11)

The Holy Spirit comes to establish the recreated spirit along side the soul of the individual that allows Him entrance.  Although carnality previously bound the soul and the influence of the world used the sense realm to distract the mind, will and desires for a time, the recreated spirit will prepare the soul as a virgin bride to once more enter heaven’s realm.

“Sow for yourselves righteousness,

Reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground,

for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes [appears]

and showers righteousness on you. [increases the fruit of your righteousness] 

But you have planted wickedness,

you have reaped evil,

you have eaten the fruit of deception.

Because you have depended on

your own strength.”  (Hosea 10:12, 13) [Brackets mine, BJS]

“The abomination that makes desolate” is the thief who sits in the midst of us and says, “You don’t need God.”  The lying spirit tricks us into believing that denominational churches with all of their rules and rituals are the way, and “good works” lay-up one’s treasure in heaven.  We have been fooled to believe that as the world judges us to be, so we are. “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth  (John 16:12)

The presence of the Holy Spirit introduces the Spirit of Truth, for they are one.  As the Spirit leads to all truth it will separate and sift; cleanse and burn.  The spirit of deceit has covered the abomination that makes the world desolate. When it is removed by revelation we will be able to see what occupies the throne that belongs only to Christ. Truth will redirect the soul as it reveals that only what springs forth from His presence in the human breast is good. The Spirit and the Word are one, and this Holy Presence brings revelation to the soul.  Knowledge of truth is the beginning of holiness.”  (Titus 1:1)

The soul turns to the voice of the one Jesus promised to send and detaches from the prideful and lusty desires of the sense realm.  As the Spirit penetrates the soul the moribund way of the world dies. …The Lord will create a new thing on earth – a woman will surround a man.”  (Jeremiah 31:22)  The soul shall give birth to the new creature that walks.  The comfort of righteousness, peace and joy are known for the Kingdom of God has fully come to him.

The gift of faith supplied at the onset of the Christian walk allows the soul sanctified for holiness to abide.  But, faith without works is dead.  When the love of God begins to bloom His peace becomes the ruling principle of the heart, and faith lives.  Love and faith together is the righteousness of Christ working, and that is the only thing that counts.  The peace of righteousness is the arbiter of all disputes giving settle to all questioning, thus directing the choices of the mind, will and appetites.  The joy of the Lord gives strength to continue.  By God’s grace the candidate for purity is kept for glory, and the Father provides the nourishment for these attributes by the very presence of Himself – establishing in order to reproduce.

The recreation of God’s Life in human form supplies Spiritual Fruit to nourish the soul.  While love, peace and joy flourish, the rest of the fruit begin to ripen.  As the soul partakes of kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, the Spirit of Truth teaches, corrects and cleanses.  Patience is learned through trials, and the fruit already plucked sustains it in these times.  Honoring God in obedience to truth will complete the work of purification, for it presents self-control.  SELF-CONTROL is self dead and the nature of God established within.

Love, then, surpasses knowledge, and the image of Christ is imprinted upon the soul.  She is prepared to become the virgin bride of the recreated spirit, and the wedding shall occur.   The soul steps as the Christ is stepping.

Now hear the voice of the Spirit:

THE WORD OF TRUTH HAS COME TO YOU MIGHTILY AND IN ABUNDANCE.  NOW AS THE ELECT BEHOLD ME I SHALL APPEAR TO THE WORLD.  THIS IS THE APPEARANCE THAT THE FAITHFUL HAVE LONGED FOR.

I REGROUP AND REFORM MY POSSESSION, MY LAND.  I AM CALLING MY PEOPLE UP FROM THE ASHES OF FAILED ATTEMPTS TO ESTABLISH MY KINGDOM ON EARTH.  THE GOOD WORKS OF MANKIND IN THIS ENDEAVOR HAVE NOT BORNE THE SEED FOR THE CROPS TO SUPPLY FUTURE SEEDLINGS.  [THE FRUIT, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN PLENTEOUS.]  BUT ALL THE WHILE I HAVE BEEN PLANTING SEED IN SCATTERED PLACES TO RAISE UP THE TREES WITH LEAVES TO HEAL THE NATIONS.

HEALING FOR THE NATIONS IS IN THE BRANCHES – STRETCHING OUT, TOUCHING – SPREADING AS A BOWER IN THE SPHERE OF THE EARTH.  THE STRENGTH IS IN THE CONSTANCY OF THESE TREES.  THEY ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE CHANGING SEASONS FOR THEIR SEASON IS ONE AND EVERLASTING.  THEY DO NOT WITHER AND FADE AS THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, FOR THEY ARE SUPPLIED WITH THE LIFE ETERNAL.

“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”  (2 Corinthians 9:9, 10)

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”  (John 15:5, 6)

When Christ has come we must cease to plant in the soil of our souls.  The designated husband of the soul has been recreated within and He must be allowed to work the ground.  Because the Spirit not only produces fruit for nourishment but also cuts off and burns the chaff, we will mature.   He will reap the harvest of what He has planted. 

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  (Galatians 6:7-9)

CHAPTER NINE

MOVING ON

“O Jerome,” Leilah cried, “I can no longer follow you nor place my feet in your footprints.  I am ready to relinquish everything to be supplied with the strength that is yours.  I want now to cross over the chasm that lies between the Valley of Decision and the Higher Ground.”

Jerome drew her to himself and said, “Leilah, you will never be sorry. Across that gorge is the Land where you can never fail.  It is there that all we have hoped for will be fulfilled.”  They walked to the top of the hill toward the setting sun.

It was at this vantage point that they made camp for the coming night. Leilah walked to the edge of the precipice and looked down.  Below she could see dark, swirling water. From out of the water protruded boulders, broken and ragged from the thundering cascade that constantly tumbled over them.  Her body gave an involuntary shudder.  Jerome saw her quake but knew that her resolve to cross over would hold.

When dawn came, Leilah was up and ready for the venture to what she knew to be a new life for her.  It was then that she saw the narrow swinging bridge reaching to the cliff on the other side.  Her knees were weak, and tears slid down her cheeks.  Jerome saw her distress, but simply said, “You will walk ahead of me, Leilah.  Take one step out then without looking back, fall back on me.  My arms will hold you up.  You will safely cross over the bridge.”  Without hesitation, for she had plucked the fruit of self-control, Leilah did as she was told.  With her heart in her mouth she felt her back come to rest against Jerome’s chest, his hands were beneath her elbows.  It was then he who took the steps leading to success.  As he moved his feet, hers moved with them. What a wonderful sensation!  She was going forward but he was her power to do so!

Leilah heard the drumming of the water as it hit against the rocks below.  She knew that without sure-footing, her demise would be instant.  The fragile looking bridge swung from side to side with the movement of their feet.  How blessed she was not to have to rely on her own resources and strength.

Then, without that expectation, Leilah felt her foot make contact with solid ground.  She looked about her and saw that the place was filled with light, but there were no shadows.  Then to the right of her she saw Jerome’s mighty steed.  Osmund had arrived before them and waited to carry them further on.  Before they mounted the horse Jerome put his hand on Leilah’s head and said, “Throughout eternity your name will be ‘Elaine’.  You are virginal for you have remained chaste since your departure from Woebegone.  You have not wavered in your intent to reach Fulfillment with me.  The Leilah who lived in ages passed has ceased to exist.  Her time has been fulfilled.”   She looked at the palms of his hands and saw that her former name was erased, and in its place was her new name, “Elaine, bright shining one.”

As one in motion Jerome and Elaine got astride Osmund.  He was without bridle or saddle, free to carry them where he would.  Jerome rode behind Elaine supporting her as they rode.  They hadn’t gone far when Osmund stopped. Jerome said, “This is the place for you to exchange your garments for the wedding gown that has been prepared just for you.”  Elaine slid down from the horse’s back and walked toward the virgin maidens who were waiting.

When she had entered the dressing tent, which had been erected for just that purpose, she was given a white linen gown embroidered with gold.  She was transfixed with wonder as she slipped into the magnificent gown.  It was an exact fit!  “How did this happen?” she exclaimed.  “What have I done to deserve such a gown as this?”  One of her companions said that it was the garment that she had prepared for herself by her good deeds. Elaine looked at her with amazement. “I have done no ‘good deeds’,” she said. “Yes, Elaine, you have,” answered the one standing near.  “Ever since Paraclete began to speak to you, your heart has been yearning toward your homeland.  Although for a time another caught your eye, after you made a vow to return with Jerome you have not wavered.  Your obedience to the desire of the King and to the things upon which Jerome set his sight is tantamount to righteousness. That is what has brought you to this moment.  Your wedding gown is woven of that fabric.” When Elaine was finished dressing the maidens set a golden mirror before her so she could see her reflection. There she saw what she had beheld in her vision during her stay in the Garden of Gifts – a bride prepared for her groom arrayed in splendor. Her heart sang and these words spilled from her lips:

“I delight greatly in the LORD;

“My soul rejoices in my God.

“For he has clothed me with garments of salvation

“and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,

“as a bridegroom adorns his head like

“a priest,

“and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

“For as the soil makes the sprout come up

“and a garden causes seeds to

“grow,

“so the Sovereign LORD will make

“righteousness and praise

“spring up before all nations.”  (Isaiah 61:10-11)

She turned before the mirror, finding everything perfect; she was ready to join her bridegroom.  One of those who waited upon her stepped forward and said:

“Listen, O daughter, consider and

“give ear:

“Forget your people and your

“father’s house.

“The king is enthralled by your beauty;

“honor him, for he is your lord.”

Elaine nodded in assent.  As she approached the wedding hall she heard the joyful sound of the guests who had been summoned for the wedding of the prince and his bride.  In the distance she could see Jerome riding upon Osmund toward the great hall. Splendid was he in his royal wedding attire with a golden band about his chest.  As the ancient doors swung back on their hinges to allow him entrance, she heard voices in unison reciting this theme:

“You are the most excellent of men

“and your lips have been anointed with grace,

“since God has blessed you

“forever.

“Gird your sword upon your side

“O mighty one;

“clothe yourself with splendor

“and majesty.

“In your majesty ride forth victoriously

“in behalf of truth, humility and

“righteousness;

“let your right hand display

“awesome deeds.

“Let your sharp arrows pierce the

“hearts of the king’s enemies;

“let the nations fall beneath your feet.”

Jerome lifted his rich baritone voice in praise to the King:

“Your throne, O God, will last for

‘ever and ever:

“a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.”

Then those chanting the wedding theme took up the phrases:

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;

“therefore God, your God, has set

“you above your companions

“by anointing you with the oil of

“joy.

“All your robes are fragrant with

“myrrh and aloes and cassia;

“from places adorned with ivory

“the music of the strings makes

“you glad.

“Daughters of kings are among your

“honored women;

“at your right hand is the royal

“bride in gold of Ophir.”

(Scripture quoted from Psalm 45)

Elaine entered the great hall accompanied by her virgin bridesmaids. As those gathered for the royal affair saw her they drew in their collective breath, for she was resplendent in her gown of fine linen and her veil of virtue.  Elaine continued down the aisle to stand at the right side of Jerome. As she took her place she noted the fragrance of his clothing which bespoke the rectitude of his being. The King himself who was present to confirm the nuptials had placed the crown upon the bride’s head.

Under the auspices of the King they pledged their vows and were united as one. To the newly wedded couple the King then spoke:

“Your sons will take the place of your fathers;

you will make them princes throughout the land.

I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;

therefore the nations will praise

you forever and ever”

The consummation of the marriage of Jerome and Elaine produced the child who opened her virginal womb.  They named her Charity, for she was born of their love and made the way for those who would follow.

CHAPTER TEN

“... since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts

“It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in because of their disobedience.  Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it today  (Hebrews 4:1, 6, 7)

The righteousness of those who enter the Kingdom of God must be greater than those who do “good works.”  The only way this righteousness may be gained is IN CHRIST. In the Day of Rest all work is done by love radiating out. 

“There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest  (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior is personal recognition of the fact that humankind lacks the perfection that God has for His creation.  However, to see the ritual of baptism into the family of God as the final act in “coming to Him” is an immature view.  We are able to take that step because He meets us where we are.  Christ comes to us to take us into Himself.

The Spirit of Christ hovers until He is invited in through knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the name by whom we receive Christ.  This baptism marks the individual for a mighty work that must transpire.  From the moment of imputed righteousness to the triumph of overcoming love, the Spirit of God works to fulfill what the Creator has designed.  The recreated spirit will seek after the soul just as a young man courts his intended mate.  His purpose is to unite with her and cause a likeness in character to develop.  Imputed righteousness will then become a fitted garment for the soul as faith is worked out through love.  Christ in you is the hope of this glory.  The in working of the Spirit of Christ will lead to the out-working of Spiritual Fruit.

In the day that the soul (Eve) was brought out from the spirit (Adam) the soul became aware of carnal knowledge.  Carnal knowledge made a division within the human heart that must be healed by the indwelling Word of Life.  The word of God reaches to that place of division, heals and reunites the spirit and soul.  In this way the whole body of Christ shall be mended and brought together. Christ entering the human heart recreates His Spirit within.  [Born again]  The indwelling of Christ brings new life to the one to whom He has come.  Once this new life is fully established we must lay down our own works and enter into that life.  This is the rest that God has promised.

In the Day of Rest all of the attributes of the Living Word will be transposed to the union of soul and spirit and a new creature will form.  These attributes will be seen by the world in the out-working of the Spiritual fruit whose work has already been completed within.

For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

It is my understanding that the Living Word penetrates to the place of division and brings healing.  As righteousness becomes judgment for the soul, the soul learns obedience and is no longer dependent on flesh and blood for life.  The recreated spirit is now the supplier.

It is by love that the Spiritual Fruit will radiate out.  It is by love and faith together that the fruit will become tangible evidence for supply to the world.  Christ, in this move, is not dealing with sin for that has already been dealt the deathblow.  The Word reaches into those of the Church of the Firstborn [Christ’s mystical body that was torn asunder] and reunites the inward parts.  This move is to raise up those of His body who are waiting and longing for His appearing.  The Lord Jesus Christ has promised that on the Last Day He would raise up all who fully partake of Him, the Bread of Life:

“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  (John 6:33)

“I am the bread of life.”  (Verse 48)

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (Verse 54)

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” (Verse 56)

One may fully partake of the flesh and blood of Christ [bread of life] as he rests in the Lord.  Christ will raise the saint when he enters into the bosom of the Lord.  That is to say, the soul once more enters the spirit, now recreated, and Christ is the life of the soul – for Christ is the Spirit recreated in man.  The Day of Rest has come. The soul’s dependency upon the life of the flesh and blood of mortal man has ceased.  Christ is the life that is raised up in human form to do the work that remains to accomplish that which the Lord has decreed:  The Seed of Christ shall possess the land.

When the soul is thus raised to a higher realm of existence, the ecstasy of the union of the recreated spirit and the retrained soul is experienced.  This prolific marriage presents the spiritual children who have been waiting for the Seed of Life to bring them forth.  The soul is made complete as the Fruit of the Spirit becomes tangible.

“Women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”  (1Timothy 2:15)  

The Fruit of the Spirit are children of the soul.  These are the children that the “women” must birth as they continue on to know the LORD.  To see heaven and earth become one this transformation must first occur in all those who patiently wait for the appearing of Christ.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Immediately following their marriage, Elaine and Jerome moved into the house that had been under construction since the day that Jerome arrived in Woebegone to claim his bride.  What a mansion it was!  There were many rooms to meet the expanding needs of a family.  Besides their own rooms there were suites to accommodate every child that would be born to their union.  The grand entryway opened to a gathering room, which was adjacent to the dining room and a wonderfully appointed kitchen. A music room was to the opposite side of the entry.  There were no servants for in Fulfillment all things were always placed in their place, and the equipment provided for household chores was magnificently efficient.

When Elaine and Jerome were settled in their home and Charity was still a newborn, the King visited them.  They were highly honored by his call and graciously welcomed him in.  The King’s visit was for a precise purpose, and after he had expressed his delight at their presence in his kingdom he told them the reason for his call.  The King began by reminding Jerome and Elaine of the words he had spoken to them following their wedding ceremony:

‘”Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.’

He said, “These words were not only to bless you but also an edict from the throne that your offspring will have a great and mighty future.  The birth of Charity is the impetus for what shall follow.

“First, those waiting in the Garden of Gifts must be given the opportunity to come here.  Your offspring will visit there to direct the way to Fulfillment.  Many will be ready to cross the bridge in the same way that you did, Elaine, but others will shrink back in fear.  They will find themselves once more in Woebegone without realizing how they got there.

“All of the inhabitants of Woebegone had their beginning in the land of your birth.  Each one of them belongs to my kingdom.  Although I have set an irrevocable plan in motion to cause them to return to me, they have gone far astray in their minds.  Your children will display the redeeming factor of righteousness among them, and cause many to turn from wickedness.  They will be transformed in their minds, wills and desires and come to Fulfillment.”

After the King had departed, Jerome and Elaine embraced.  They were impelled by the awesomeness of his words and the love that his presence inspired.  They understood that it was theirs to produce the offspring to carry out the decree of the King. 

The love shared by Jerome and Elaine had already been established within them, but when their union brought forth Charity it multiplied many times over.  Elaine said, “We loved each other before, Jerome, but now that we have Charity we share an even greater love, and it will find expression in the birth of our children.  They will take their places in the supreme design of our King.”

Eight more daughters were born in succession, bringing forth the fruit of their union. These are the children who were born to Elaine and Jerome and the meaning of their names:

Charity Love

Joy – Strength to persevere.

Peace – Truth reigning in the heart to give direction.

Grace Kindness

Gloria – Extolling goodness.

Faith Steadfast

Patience – Developer of perfect work.

Honor – Deference, respect; exuding gentleness.

Prudence – Self-control; completion of the perfect work of Christ.

The children were blessed with wisdom beyond their age.  Each one was a little revelation of the nature of her parents.  They were the outshining of all that Elaine and Jerome had become. 

As the children grew, their home became a place that was permeated by the character of all who dwelled there.  Always could be heard the sweet strains of voices singing, and laughter accentuated the fullness of heart that was shared among them.  All that was done was accomplished in love for that was the ruling element of their household.

Wherever the sisters went they went together and were the representation of their parents.  By the same token, wherever Jerome and Elaine were seen they were the identification of their children.  They were all so of the same nature that to know one was to recognize the others. 

Elaine and Jerome were content.

MEANWHILE IN WOEBEGONE:

Paraclete remained behind when Leilah left Woebegone with Jerome after Moribund had gone the way of all flesh.  He didn’t have a permanent dwelling place but moved from one to another.  He visited many churches and formed lasting relationships with some there.  Always, when he had established a meaningful bond with a citizen of Woebegone, he sent that one on to the Garden of Gifts for further growth.  The percentage was small however, for Scathe had strong influence in that place.

The children that Leilah left behind joined with the children of other residents of Woebegone and they became a vast number.  All were members of different cults and gangs, and each one became the “modus  operandi” in  the group of their choice.  At times they may have felt regret for the things they were doing because of the messages of Paraclete, but the strength in their increasing number egged them on.  They continued in their downward way and brought much pain and suffering to all around them.

Word of the swirling torment of evil that enveloped Woebegone reached the people in the Garden of Gifts through Paraclete.  They promptly sent an entourage of evangelists to initiate peace in the land of their former habitation.  The conciliators sought to establish justice by their moral standards and ways.  These peaceful people visited the churches that would allow them entrance, and while ministering inspired many to take up the ways exhibited to them.  The people were moved by the words that were spoken and the gifts displayed.  But, alas, the inspiration was shallow for it reached only their minds.  They were so fearful of being swept off to the Garden of Gifts that they resisted a deeper commitment, and in a few days went back to their old standards.

The onslaught of evil continued, for clandestinely those who had taken over the rule of the land had crowned Scathe king.  All work and trade were required to be under the seal of his design.  They had no inner strength or direction upon which they could rely.  Those who ministered in the churches kept preaching that they must all get along together but were unable to present them with the way to do it.

Militant political factions began to form throughout the land and the cry of rebellion was upon their lips.   The unrest among them led to talk of overthrowing the stated government.  Some activists took it upon themselves to spread terror among the people by malevolent threats and violent acts.  Fear spread throughout the land.

The people of the upper regions of the lowlands wanted to enact new laws to keep the radicals in line.  They planned to hold elections to place representatives in office that would enforce rules to stop the cruel activities of the rebellious generation.  The evangelists came again hoping to influence the citizens of Woebegone to set viable standards concerning those who would be elected.  Their advice was wise, but dissension arose among the several factions accusing the evangelists and one another of attempts to control their choices.  It all ended in chaos, for although the ones put into office promised much, their allegiance was to their private leader, Scathe.  The downward spiral continued in the land.

The spirit of rebellion remained among the people of Woebegone.  When they had endured all they could without fighting back, they began to strike, refusing to abide by the laws that had been set in place.  The citizens no longer could be counted on to play their part to support a government that did not help them but allowed evil to prevail.  Laws concerning the injustice of the gangs were weak, and many loopholes existed allowing escape from their enforcement.  The people knew then that the secreted leader of their land was Scathe, but they still were not ready to submit to the higher power of the one Paraclete represented. 

The militia continued and came to prevail against the rule of the land. They infiltrated the stated government and soon the whole area was in an uproar.  Word of revolution spread, and others throughout the land joined their cause.  Woebegone was doomed.

FULFILLMENT

Once more the King appeared at the door of the Prince’s home. He asked for a conference with Jerome and Elaine. They immediately invited him into the gathering room. Everything was already arranged for his comfort.  The voices of the sisters could be heard from the music room as they sang “The Anthem of Fulfillment” and exulted the name of the one whom at that very moment was calling upon their parents. The sound of their singing added to the tranquility of their surroundings, emphasizing by contrast the import of the meeting.  Jerome and Elaine sat with the King and listened attentively as he stated the reason for his call.

He said, “Much has transpired since your arrival in the Kingdom of Fulfillment.  You have been blessed while you watched your children grow.  They have developed the way they should and now are ready to extend the benefits of their attributes to those who are longing for the promised event. Your offspring shall be the precipitators of that event.

“The decadence in Woebegone has reached the saturation point.  The people living there cannot continue to exist much longer in those circumstances.  They have nearly destroyed themselves and their habitation with the greed of their lust and pride.  Righteousness is sorely lacking in that realm even though grace has long been extended to them.  They will not learn until judgment comes near them.  However, there must be an upward move in the Garden of Gifts before the situation in Woebegone can be remedied.

“My plan is for you and your family to visit the Garden of Gifts.  Many are awaiting the enlightenment that will raise them from their present state to the higher realm.  They have partaken fully of the firstfruit of their promised inheritance and are ready to cross the bridge.  The ministry that will come from your family will direct them to the pathway leading there.”

The King stopped by the music room on his way out to greet the siblings and to express his appreciation for their presence and the joyful sound of their voices.  They then joined their parents in the next room, and eagerly listened as the words of the King were reiterated to them.   There was much rejoicing at the prospect of sharing with others the delight of the outworking of TRUTH through LOVE.

CHAPTER TWELVE

People are puffed up with indignation against the evil influence in the world.  They want to curb the wickedness that has invaded the nations, but man “standing for right” is no longer sufficient.  Morality cannot produce righteousness.

A rule of logic is striving to overtake the world.  Leaders of civilized nations come together and reason that to have peace in the world man must meet the needs of every people; must be the conciliators and law givers to establish and strengthen “righteous” governments.  Logic in the understanding of the mind is seeking to dethrone Christ. 

Religious leaders try to negotiate with heads of state to bring the rule of the land into alignment with their standards.  Moral laws are presented by well meaning groups, but even these would not change the hearts of people gone astray.  Christ is not a religion.  Christ is a person, and only his love prevailing in human hearts will stop the downward spiral. 

Lack of understanding of the purpose of the Kingdom of God and the way it works has led mankind to strive to accomplish only what the Spirit of Christ can build.  People with “good” intent have endeavored to alleviate the suffering in the world, and many times have allowed the “cause” to become their god.  They meet defeat and call out to God to “undertake” for them in the “worthy work.” Christ wants to relieve the suffering by establishing His Kingdom in earth, but He cannot until the people of His call submit fully to Him. 

Jesus said that for two days he would effect cures and drive out demons, but on the third day He would raise them up.  He will raise up the standard of the resurrected, ascended Christ to bring heaven and earth together.  HE WILL RAISE UP THOSE WHO ARE LONGING FOR HIS APPEARING IN THE DAY THAT IS CALLED TODAY.

Christ is raising up the millennial priests.  They will rise as they remain in His bosom, resting in Him.  Full salvation is reached as we partake of Him, not by effort so that no one can boast.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:9, 10)

The church age has been for the purpose of drawing out the priests in the order of Melchizedek, and on the last day they will be raised up.  The “last day” is the period just before the appearing of the Jesus Christ as man in God.  These priests are directors to call the last of the faithful remnant into the body, which is Christ’s.  Some will be found in churches – those in whom the seeds of truth have been planted but remained dormant until the time that is now.  Others, among the desolate of the world, will spring up as newly formed sprouts.  In these days understanding will come also to the elect of God who were deaf and blind to the Word of Truth.  They will bow down to the Word of God and be raised up.

LET THE LORD BLESS YOU

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”  (Ephesians 1:3)

“Do not any longer conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  (Romans 12:2)

The cords of justice have bound the way of the world.  Evil deeds will meet their recompense in that judgment.  The world will learn righteousness as the Church of the Firstborn takes form in the called out body that is Christ’s.  He shall be glorified in the human form of the elect in this world – those living by the spirit, not the mortality of the flesh.  Let us come into obedience to that hope as we “dedicate our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God.”

Spiritual blessings enable those so blessed to reach out to the world as LOVE radiates out.  Love radiating out is the manifestation of Christ moving His body.  This is not an in-part move as “by the Spirit,” rather, it is the full thrust of God’s power among the people in the flesh of His body.  But first, the whole body must be brought together and it is by a birth – individually, then corporately.

The allegory of Jerome and his bride is the story of a soul responding to God’s reach toward that selected one.  Elaine represents every soul; Jerome every recreated spirit.  Elaine [Lilly, Leilah], Jerome and their children are one. The influence of Scathe, death of Moribund and the sojourn of Leilah with Jerome is the picture of one soul learning submission unto the place of reunion with the recreated spirit to give birth to children.  These children are the spiritual fruit, which manifests the development of holy character after the Holy Spirit teaches and cleans, then discards and burns what is not appropriate. When one’s character exhibits the Fruit of the Spirit he will know spiritual maturity.

Throughout the church age believers have been called upon to be reflectors of the Light, then Light bearers.  In this day the saints of God are called upon to bare the Light.  This will happen when self is dead and it is Christ who lives.  Then He will be seen, not by the flesh of humankind as before but in the flesh of those who have awaited His appearing. “When Christ, who is your life, appears, you also will appear with him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:4)

Many saints are among us moving as directors of the way.  They do not move under an anointing as in days gone by, but by the thrust of God’s power as His character prevails in their souls.  Their only purpose is to be and allow God to propel them in all of their attitudes and ways.  They are moving as did their prototypes Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist.  By these also He is calling out a people for His name to be one in mind, body and purpose.  They will be instrumental in bringing the many members of Christ’s body together – one in spirit.

By His Word of Power God created all things.  By the power of their words mankind has greatly damaged God’s created work.  Submission to God will release His love to develop Christ’s nature in the called-out-ones.  Out of the fullness of their hearts their mouths will speak life to dead things as truth is told.  Only when the Word of God’s Power is spoken in praise to His perfect will and purpose will all things be made new.

The world has been so polluted by mankind operating by the soulish area of his mind that not only is his spiritual environment imbued with the propensity for death but also the atmosphere that surrounds him.  A report in a local newspaper states that studies have revealed that estrogen-like activity has polluted our atmosphere and is linked to reproductive failure in the animal kingdom.  Can this inability to reproduce be far from the human population also? It seems to me that if the testosterone, which is necessary for the continuance of animal life is failing it is a reflection of what has been the underlying factor in the unseen realm.  The Spirit has been denied.

But justice will enter the world by the saints as judgment.  When Christ’s body stands together the world will learn righteousness.  New life will be brought to the moribund of the earth’s sphere. 

“In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seems like a forest?  In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

“Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down.”  (Isaiah 29:17-20)

“When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.

“Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD.”  (Isaiah 26:9-10)

“Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.”  (Isaiah 29:24)

For the Land of the Living will send their children among the people of the world.  They will keep the name of the Lord holy and the world will acknowledge the holiness of God and receive instruction.  The seeds that the Lord has planted in scattered places will come up like a forest in fertile ground.  Evil will become as a vapor to dissipate in air.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE MISSION

For some time after the King left the family remained in the gathering room contemplating his directions.  They knew that they needed not make preparations, for those in the King’s service would handle everything.  Word would be sent by one of his emissaries that they would be arriving in the Garden of Gifts.

When Jerome, Elaine and their family started through the gates as they were leaving Fulfillment Elaine noticed a saint on his knees, praying with dedicated intent.  She asked Jerome who he might be.  Jerome answered that he was always in prayer, and in fact, was the one who had prayed without ceasing for the successful completion of her journey to Fulfillment.   Elaine was humbled at the thought of such faithfulness on her behalf.

As they went down the pathway leading away from their homeland, Elaine remembered the troublesome bridge that she had been required to cross on her way there.  She mentioned it to Jerome.  He said, “Elaine, there is a road to take that is cleared with no obstacles in our way.  The way is not precarious, and the bridge we will cross this time is an overpass.  All the while we were wandering in the hill country our destination was only a short distance from us.  But we could not go that way then because the path we took had to be determined by you as you learned submission to the cause of the King.

Their walk to the Garden was a pleasant one.  The scenery was gorgeous, and many times they stopped just to take in the view.  Nothing she saw reminded Elaine of her trip to Fulfillment.  She was observing everything from a different vantage point so it all appeared new to her eyes.  Elaine was seeing things from her perfected state, therefore the colors and forms of everything were revealed in the height of their glory. 

The family group rejoiced and sang all of the way, for they were in the service of the King and on their way to do his bidding.  They had no itinerary for the meeting that they knew would be held.  They carried with them no thought of what they would do or say, but their voices were always ready to fill the air with music.  Their reliance was completely upon the King, and they knew that he would provide.

When they reached the entrance to the Garden they saw that many were gathered around waiting for them.  A greeter stepped forward and said that word had been sent to expect the arrival of the bearer of a message from the King of Fulfillment.  The family immediately realized that although they remained in one group, the crowd was aware of only Jerome.  It was to him that they spoke. 

The spokesperson for the greeters said that a meeting place had been prepared to accommodate thousands of people.  A platform was built and a sound system installed so that all who came could benefit from the message.  After this they were left alone until the hour that was scheduled for the gathering.  They knew from past experiences that every available seat would be taken, and some would even stand around the sides of the hall.  The people were always enthusiastic about a word sent to them from the King.

When everyone had gathered, the family stepped upon the stage and began their ministry. Jerome and Elaine stood face to face with the children surrounding them.   Jerome was the first to turn toward the eager crowd to speak:  “We have come to you with a mission.  The King has purposed that all who have been waiting should now make final preparations to join his Kingdom in Fulfillment.  None will make the journey to that place alone, for there is one who is sent to be the helper and guide for each one. Our mission is to direct you to the way that you must go, but each one chosen by the King will set upon their own pathway.”  When he returned to his place Elaine turned toward the assembled group.  She introduced their family by way of referring to their presence and told of how each one had been planted as a seed in her heart on her journey from Woebegone to Fulfillment.  She told of the hardships between Woebegone and the Garden and recalled her experiences in the Garden of Gifts.  Lastly, she spoke of her supreme joy in reaching Fulfillment.  When she finished she returned to face Jerome.  Then it was each of the sisters’ turn to tell of their part in the family.  They would do this in different ways.

Charity spoke first, telling of the love in her heart and how her purpose was to give this attribute away to all who would receive it.  While Charity was still speaking, Faith and Joy stepped forward, and together with Charity began to express their nature through the art of song and dance.  Joy interpreted every note that Faith and Charity sang together in dance.  The message conveyed in this way revealed the truth of the fact that faith is moved by love, and joy is the resulting demonstration of strength in such obedience.

When Grace and Peace moved to the front the assembled crowd became aware of overwhelming kindness.  As they moved down into the crowd, righteousness was a tangible thing among them.  The two sisters ministered quietly to many individuals, uplifting them as they spoke..  Then, to the delight of all who were there, a young man dropped to his knee before the young woman of his choice and asked for her hand in marriage.  With surprise and pleasure she accepted.  They set their wedding date, and he slipped a ring on her finger.  Jerome and his family rejoiced with them amidst the joyous laughter of the crowd, and everyone sang “Household of Faith” to celebrate the occasion.

Just before intermission, Jerome invited any who wanted to understand more about the proposed journey to come and talk privately with him at that time.  A few went but since most had long been awaiting this development, the majority remained in their places.

Honor was stage center when everyone returned to his or her seats.  In her gentle way she invited all of the children to join her in an exercise of obedience with a merry heart. They followed her directions and expressed the words of the songs they sang with their movements as they marched around the hall behind Honor.  Afterward the children scurried back to their parents, realizing they had demonstrated to everyone that it was a good thing to move as one with a respected leader.

Softly, Gloria began singing.  She lifted her voice in adoration to the one they honored in that place.  As the sound of her voice rose it filled the hall with the very essence of the family of Jerome and Elaine.  The goodness that exuded from them permeated the hearts of many of those present, bringing everyone to their feet as they joined in a time of worship.  There was thunderous applause when this ended.  People then began calling out names of songs they wanted to hear.

It was Patience who descended the steps to take requests for songs. She moved among the crowd of men, women and children.  Each song asked for was sung, not always in its entirety but to the satisfaction of the one making the request.  Often people sang along, and one little girl sang her favorite all alone!  Patience showed how things can be accomplished in perfect order without rushing.  When all requests had been fulfilled she talked about how love will grow as each person accepts one another for who they are. She said that to be long-suffering would develop patience in every heart and cause love to overtake the shortcomings found in everyone.  Once more Grace walked forward and stood with her sister.  She reached her arms out toward the people and said that the attribute she carried would be sufficient to bring each one to the perfection described.  She then introduced Prudence.

Prudence was perhaps the most beautiful of all the daughters of Elaine and Jerome.  She was composed, and an awareness of a finished work was like an aura surrounding her.  The words she spoke penetrated every heart for they were words of wisdom and the crown of all that had happened earlier. 

These are her words and the benediction of the meeting:

“The blessings waiting for you are great beyond compare. They will give you the luminous aspect of faith bound to love, and the outworking of this will be your garment of righteousness.  Yield to the desire of your hearts and join together in the Land of Beginnings, now known as the Kingdom of Fulfillment.”

People came to them afterward, expressing their pleasure.  Once again they spoke only to Jerome.  It was clear to see that he was the only one of whom they were aware.  They beheld the family and saw the man.

Many of that assemblage embarked on their journey immediately following the meeting.  Some however just stood around in small groups talking about what they had witnessed.  And a few were flagrantly resentful.  The truth that had been told was lost to them.  These had only seen Elaine, but to them she was still Leilah.  They muttered against what they considered to be an intrusion.

The family remained in the Garden of Gifts for several days.  Their purpose was to answer questions and encourage the people to make the decision to move on at this the designated moment.  Those who took advantage of the opportunity to meet with the family focused their sight on the high calling and set out toward the upward path.  Those who did not were soon to find Woebegone once more to be their home.

Not long after Jerome and Elaine and their daughters arrived back in the Kingdom of Fulfillment the sojourners from the Garden began arriving.  There were many weddings, and soon young families were seen everywhere. 

The King was well pleased with the outcome of the endeavor of the family on behalf of his purpose.  There would be another mission, but the next it time would be to Woebegone.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing  Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.”  (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 8-10)

The Gifts of the Spirit are just that – gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They are given to minister to mortal man until the perfection of eternal man is reached.  When they are used to the full, they will cause mortal man to die as the new creation in Christ rises.  God has given these gifts for edification and protection while we dwell in a fallen world.  He wants the flesh and blood of our human form to sustain our souls until the carnal nature is overcome and the soul lives by the life of the recreated spirit, not the blood of human flesh.

Let us take a closer look at the Spiritual Gifts:

Apostle:  This is anointing for the mission of one sent forth to proclaim the gospel, expressing Spiritual insight.  Pastors and evangelists may be anointed in this gift.

Prophecy: The gift is for giving divine revelations, and may include authoritative declarations, exhortations and perhaps predictions of future events. One so endowed may bring edification from God for an individual or a group.

Teaching:  This anointing is for inspired teaching of the gospel.  Utterance of the gift of knowledge and the gift of wisdom may be employed.

Kinds of tongues:  Speaking in a heavenly language and the interpretation of tongues is a many faceted gift.  This prayer language is the most powerful God-given tool for renewing the mind, training the will and bringing appetites or desires in line with God’s perfect will and purpose.

Faith:  This is the faith that translates to fact for the one who receives TRUTH.

Healing:  The power to heal is given for the restoration of health to the body.

Working of miracles:  A special anointing in the power of the Holy Spirit is for various acts to build up the church.

Gift of mercy and service:  Sympathetic helpers who aid the weak are anointed to care for the sick and the needy. 

“It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up to reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:11, 12)

Those who are endowed with Spiritual gifts are of the in-part work of the yet incomplete, still disjointed body of Christ.  The work of the generations must be done in parts until the body is jointly fit together.  The Spiritual body of Christ is birthed into the natural realm in parts, and each generation has presented the human vessels that are the many members of this great body.  We well know that Christ Jesus is the Head of the body, the Firstborn.  Think now of the first apostles as the shoulders. They were strong and able to break down barriers to make the way for those who would follow.  The back brought strength; the arms and hands have reached out with compassion; the legs traveled the surface of the earth to take the Gospel to every part of the world.   Along with these, all of the hidden parts that make up the whole have contributed to this day.  Now the feet of the body must be firmly grounded in Jerusalem, and Christ will be seen.

Scripture says, “How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news.”   The mountain is Zion. (A growth, not a place)  We are waiting for the manifested feet to cause the body of Christ to stand.  This part will be seen as the life of Christ overtakes; self dies and the spirits of righteous men are made perfect.  This development is Zion – the Mount of Olives; the New Jerusalem; the bride of Christ.  Upon this mount the mystery of Christ is revealed – we being many are one body in Christ…”You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them  But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.  You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:16, 19, 22-24)

“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  (Ephesians 4:15, 16)  The finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ must be completed in every member of the church who is his body. 

The feet of the body are priests in the order of Melchizedek, the dead to the world in Christ.  They are in repose in the sanctuary of Christ until the nature of Christ overtakes death.  They are not known by the world until Christ appears with the saints.  Although they physically remain in the world and truth is established in them, they can do nothing until the Father moves them.  The supernatural life of the unseen God holds the elect and they are known by the world only in their natural form.  They will be recognized for who they are when Christ is seen.  They will appear as love radiates out giving substance to the attributes of Christ – the Spiritual Fruit. “When Christ who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.  (Colossians 3:4)  When we know Him, we shall become like Him and He will appear!

Let us contemplate a world wherein love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control have become tangible.  These attributes will be evidenced as supply for all humankind – not as portions given by the rich to the poor or things that are reserved for the wealthy.  The need for “good works” and the Gifts of the Spirit will be removed when Christ’s attributes are manifest in the saints.  The Fruit of the Spirit borne by the saints is tangible evidence of the testimony of Jesus.  The mystery of Christ is revealed when His righteousness brings judgment to the world in His holy ones.  God’s perfect will and purpose shall be put into effect when times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:10) And, the entire world shall learn righteousness, for the righteousness of Christ will fill the world and anything not of that righteousness will be consumed in it.

The darkness of the nature of fallen man has bound him to need and made him blind and deaf to the truth of the words of Jesus.  The evil desires within mankind have made the human form slaves to sin.  When such a master has control, righteousness has no influence.  Laws cannot restrain.  The human race has moved beyond the reaches of the authority of decency because standards have been set in low places.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” (Ephesians 6:12)

God does not tempt mankind, but each one is tempted, when by his evil desire he is dragged away and enticed.  Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-blown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14, 15) [You may find this exampled in Acts 5:1-11]

The words of Jesus are Spirit and Life, vibrating with POWER.  He said, “Come to me!  I will give you life eternal.  Come to me.  The Spirit of Truth will lead you into all truth!  Come to me and I will raise you up.”  He said, “All I have is yours, come to me.  Come to me – I have overcome the world!”   The Living Word came to say, “I will give you beauty instead of ashes, gladness for mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair.  Come unto me.”

John wrote: “God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him.”  (1 John 4:16, 17)

I recall the dilemma of Paul when he penned, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.”  So is it in this day.  Humanity has become so attached to the physical form that even those endued with the Spirit of Christ find it hard to release their thoughts to rise to a higher realm of understanding.  Spiritual truth cannot be explained to one who is bound by fleshly teaching of the world.  The secular teaching that is heard at times in the churches binds unrenewed minds to false prophecy.  Seek to know God by His Face – not his hands.  Then rely upon the word written in your Spirit-renewed heart, for those words are the very image of Christ.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

The appearance of Jerome, Elaine and family in The Garden of Gifts was the turning point for the inhabitants of that place.  Time had reached its fullness there, for the greater thing indeed had come.  The mystery of the good pleasure of the King’s will had been revealed to them and the full number of the chosen left for Fulfillment.  Many who were invited, however, were distressed at the movement in their land.  In all reaches of the span of the Gift Realm hope had been established and relief from suffering was known.  They could not understand why their piecework in the Supernatural Power should end.  It was hard for them to comprehend that a greater work was in the offing for those who would partake of it.  So whoever would not release their traditions and clung to gifts found themselves back in Woebegone for the Garden was no more.

“Many are invited but few are chosen. (Mathew 22:14)

The pain of sin and death continued on in Woebegone.  Every generation that had lived in that land contributed to the condition of their present chaos.  Although great strides had been made in every field to remedy the status quo, nothing could improve the quality of their existence while they remained cut off from Fulfillment.

The energy of Woebegone was out of control.  There was no pattern to its thrust and seemingly no central source.  The offspring of the inhabitants continued strengthening evil by giving substance to wickedness – acting out every thought and desire of their despicable natures.  Scathe, now their openly stated ruler, had grown fat because his work was done for him, and his daily food was supplied by willing contributors.  However, he was restless knowing that rebellion would eventually lead to the overthrow of his reign.

Civil wars had broken out.   Evil intent knew no bounds and every faction pulled in a different direction.  The resources of the past failed to meet the demands of the twisted requests put to them, and many operations that had seemed stable now crumbled and fell to ruin.  People were shocked to see what lay in the rubble .

There were those who longed for peace and continued striving to alleviate the suffering of their fellowman.  “Goodness and Kindness” groups were formed and their universal slogan was, Acceptance for all – their by-word, “Tolerance.”  Although wisdom was sorely needed, Paraclete was not allowed in the meetings because his voice always brought disruption to their plans.  The names of the King and the Prince had long since been vetoed throughout the land. The Goodness and Kindness groups struggled in their attempts but produced little fruit, and no seeds were available for another effort.

The time was ripe for the intervention of POWER.

The children of the citizens of Fulfillment had grown strong.  Now was the stated hour of their appearance in Woebegone, for that was the King’s pleasure.  They would not go one by one.  Rather, their presence among the downtrodden would be of all the families of Fulfillment together – as one body.  Then, at the signal from the King the great endeavor began.

Palatial homes began appearing on the streets of Woebegone.  The trembling people of the nether land were transfixed in wonder at the sight of the well-kept houses and the gardens surrounding them.  Long had been the years since such a sight had met their eyes.  They knew not from whence the people came, nor the generations of their ancestry.  Adding to the mystery, there was an aura of fragrance and light surrounding these strangers, whether they were in their homes, in the work place or on the streets of Woebegone.

In the beginning the natives of the land stayed away from the “shining ones,” as they had come to be called.  For it was estimated that their presence meant problems in the already trouble-saturated place.  This did not detour the emissaries of Fulfillment from their mission, although the unveiling of the truth of it was yet to come.  They simply began to blend into the society, albeit, without taking up their ways.

Elaine and Jerome’s mansion was on Shambles Street, in the same place she had lived as Leilah with Moribund.  She remembered her neighbors from the past, and they recognized her by her former identity.  They did not see the rest of the family.  But neither had they seen Paraclete when he used to come to call on Leilah.

The new entrepreneurs built industries in the land.  There was never a problem in organization or of finances for these manufacturers of every needed supply.  Orders from a higher plane were simply being carried out, and success was always established before the project was begun.  The way these businesses were run was closely scrutinized by the “good ole boys” for their methods were far from what had been employed in the past.  But they had not the understanding or equipment with which to emulate them.

The products of the new industrial plants were designed and manufactured to perfection.  Supply always kept in step with the demand. The factories didn’t bring pollution to the air nor contaminate fields or streams surrounding them.  Wherever they were located everything was kept clean and fresh.  All was under ownership and management of the new order, which had been installed in the land. 

Strange to see, but those who worked in these plants were profoundly affected by the ones in charge.  The light of the citizens of Fulfillment moved into the innermost parts of the ones who came into contact with them.  As this happened, they became aware of the muddled state of their minds and of the foolishness of their goals.  They realized that their worship was misdirected while it was aimed toward the things held by Scathe.  It was as if the light held great cleansing power. Just as suddenly as the fact of their errors was revealed to them, love enveloped them and an overwhelming need to bow down to the King in perfect obedience overtook them.  Each one so affected was transformed on the spot to People of the Light.  All of this occurred without a sermon preached or a call for reform given.  It happened because of love.  This scenario was repeated over and over again in many areas of the land of turmoil.

In addition to the manufacturing of needed products, new standards were set in place by the people of the new order for teachers, lawyers, doctors and many other professions.  They were greatly challenged by the perfection of the standards and methods set before them.  Some renounced their old habits and ways and surrendered to the measure of love.  Those who did not were soon overcome. 

In scattered regions of Woebegone cults and gangs continued to wreak havoc. Even those who held the wealth of the nations were involved in wicked schemes.  They realized that their influence as to the specificity of the structure of commerce was slipping from them.  They were making frantic decisions and moves to retain their holdings.  The effect of their efforts was devastating to all involved.  Such fear and disorder had never before been known.  Woebegone was in the throes of collapse.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  (Matthew 24:37)

Today, just as in Noah’s time most people appear to be oblivious of the recompense for evil that is settling upon the world.  The thoughts, words and deeds of humanity have sown the tares to be destroyed at harvest time.

“God saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thought of his heart was only evil all the time.”  (Genesis 6:5)

The world is full of guilt and it cannot be healed.  The old order of things is passing away.  All things shall be made new.  With vengeance, the God of Creation will establish possession of what He has redeemed.  Carnality in the human heart has intoxicated the inhabitants of the earth and the insanity of evil has ruled.  But the wicked way that man has moved in the world to circumvent the perfect will and purpose of God is coming to an end.  Those who continue to partake of that cup will mourn its passing. 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”  (Galatians 5:17)

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”  (Galatians 5:18)

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of wickedness.”  (Genesis 6:11)

“Not by might nor power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty.”  (Zechariah 4:6)  “Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of God bless it!  God bless it. (Zechariah 4:7)

The deceiver shall be laid low without a weapon drawn.  The famous Battle of Armageddon is waged in the Valley of Decision, and that is within each human heart.  The Lord Almighty is filling the earth with those who will establish justice, as He has sworn.  His Spirit shall complete what He founded in His wisdom.

The Lord places the Company of Love in their places, and by the judgment of righteousness will displace evil with love.  What has been called the millennial reign begins this way.  The cords of justice shall bind the way of the world until perfection has come and the entire world radiates Christ.

The justice of God now sets the standard for humankind, and the world shall be judged by it. The day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (1 Peter 3:10)  The day of the Lord is the beginning of sorrows for the way of the world.  It is set in place by the standard of love, which is presented in the saints who have been longing for Christ’s appearing.  As these who are priests of the order of Melchizedek wait they undergo a change in the innermost part of their being.  A transformation will take place.  The life they live is in Christ and their purpose is to bring an end to the elemental principles of the world by the element of love.  All that the way of the world has held dear will be consumed in the fire of God’s righteousness.  His justice is propelled by love.

The Father has planted seeds of Himself [His family] in scattered places. They will come together as a bower, touching by the energy of love to envelope the sphere of the earth. Think of the transforming energy of photosynthesis.  This is the process by which the leaves of plants use the energy of water and light to change carbon dioxide to carbohydrates.  The by-product is the release of life-supporting oxygen into the air.  It is by this same basic method that the noxious energy in the world will be changed to Life as the Light within the plantings of the Lord give off the energy of love.  Just as evil has been the prince of the power-of-the-air, now because of the desires and words of the righteous the Prince of Peace shall rule in the same atmosphere that surrounds the people of the world.  This energy will in turn permeate the hearts of people everywhere as they take in the purity that surrounds them.  In this way and at this time the infrastructure of the world shall be re-ordered.

We really are all part of one another.  What has been thought, spoken or done in this generation and in generations past has an effect on the now.  As we think in our hearts, so we are.  The words that are spoken give power to what we desire.  Every evil deed has been given the impetus for action by the thoughts, desires and words of every age known to mankind. Thoughts give way to action and the actions make evil commonplace. 

The human mind is a force of unseen energy.  Thoughts and words of base intent have mighty influence until they meet a greater power.  The greater power is the Mind of Christ.  The carnal mind has directed the work of the hands [mark of the beast] but as the message of the Mind of Christ overtakes the evil intent will be utterly destroyed.  Nothing that is of it will remain. The thousand-year reign of the saints with Christ is to this transforming purpose.

“For the great day of His wrath (vengeance, retribution, indignation) has come, and who is able to stand before it?”  (Revelations 6:17, Amplified Bible)

The beginning of the Kingdom Reign will present confusion in the world.  The Banner is raised by those who ”did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”  (Revelation 12:11).  These have laid down the robe of the flesh to take up the garment of righteousness and are the ones referred to in Scripture as, those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”  (Revelation 20:4)  This is to say, the elect of God have been brought to eternal life as they put on Christ, died to self and have the mind of Christ.  The Spiritual energy coming forth from them by the force of love will reform the world’s supply.  Some will immediately bow to the righteousness that has come, but others will cling to their old ways only to find the storehouses of the world empty and that the resources of their minds yield only death. 

Consider the fact that the righteous justice of God is the standard that judges the world.  It shall be so. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” (Acts 17:31)  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world...”?  (1 Corinthians 6:2)  The elect of God will carry this righteous justice to Babylon [the wicked way that man has moved to circumvent the perfect will and purpose of God] in the strength of Christ and love shall overtake iniquity.  The Lord is raising up His holy ones from among us to lay waste in Babylon and no part of it will be saved.  No one and no thing will anymore live there.  It trembles and writhes now; its strength is exhausted for the Lord’s purpose stands against it.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

from its roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him –

the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and of power,

the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –

and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees

with his eyes,

or decide by what he hears with his ears;

but with righteousness he will judge

the needy,

with justice he will give decisions

for the poor of the earth.

He will strike the earth with the rod

of his mouth;

with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Righteousness will be his belt

and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”

(Isaiah 11:1-5)

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

The persona of Jerome and Elaine’s identity was in appearance throughout Woebegone, and everywhere they were known so were their offspring.  Great changes were taking place in the land.  Some areas now closely resembled Fulfillment.

There had been much unrest and strife among the natives who found it next to impossible to relinquish their old habits and ways. Enlightenment was filling the land with righteous love.  Bit by bit a new scepter of rule was being raised.

The number of those whose allegiance was with the Kingdom of Fulfillment continued to increase.  Time was not of an essence for all things to come into compliance with the new order.  Instead of that measurement, all things were measured by exactness – the standard of perfection.  Now the love that permeated the land was coming forth as wrath against all things not of that root.

Those in Woebegone who continued on their destructive pathway of evil stood alone, for Scathe had been bound.  He was unable to move because the love that had enveloped Woebegone prevented his powers from being effective.  The ones who clung to their old methods did so from memories of the past.  They had been forced to move into the swamplands of Woebegone, which were actually the drainage area for the sewers of the land.  Every wicked move and transaction had to be done furtively for everywhere in the darkness there awaited another evil one to do battle for his goods.

Wars raged between the powers that had ruled the classes in times past.  From the lowest to the highest, the lust for rule remained.  No rank was exempt from the turmoil. Their doom was sure.  The deathblow had been sent out to all who drew their life from carnality. Truth was the ready arrow to slay all who held out against change because love was now the ruling force.

The peaceful people of Fulfillment had not come to Woebegone with a spirit of destruction but that of reconstruction.  But, alas, the new could not be built in the presence of the old.  As the strength that sustained them infiltrated the land it brought devastation and carnage to all who would not join them.  Like a roaring fire, the force of love was so great that it consumed all that was not of it. Desolation was left behind, to be replaced by a verdant garden.  It was in these areas that new construction was taking place.

The people who remained in the swampy area of the lowlands were fraught with pain and sorrows.  Disease overtook their flesh and many went mad.  There was nothing to shelter them from neither the heat of the sun nor the chill of the nights.  No supply for food and no fresh water to drink were to be found.  Their stubbornness was a rebellion within them.  The finish of their undoing was on the way.  The fires that burned in the dry lands were spreading to the swamplands.  Soon all that could not withstand the blaze would be consumed.

The older men of the natives of Woebegone had become impotent.  They bid their wives to lie with the younger men so that they might raise up children to add strength to their clan.  But they, too, were no longer virile.  The women remained barren. No offspring could be produced.  Their hope died with the emasculation of every male.  The flesh of all mankind would meet its death, the burning of it was sure.

Shortly after Jerome and Elaine arrived in Woebegone a child was conceived in the ecstasy of their celebration of mature love. When the time was fully accomplished Elaine gave birth to a son. The child was fair of countenance and pure in heart. In him was the perfect presentation of all the attributes of each individual daughter.  They named him “Rapture” because they knew that in accordance with the words of Paraclete his birth would cause the dead of Woebegone to be raised up to new life.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

“Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing”?  (Habakkuk 2:13)

The ashes of the flesh nature will be fertilizer for the new order to flourish in the earth.  I am referring to the inward transformation by way of holy fire that will bear witness in the natural realm.  The pulling down of carnality will occur in the transposition of the soul when the attributes of the Son are witnessed in the saints.  God is the Father of the human race, and now the family inheritance of traits will be from Him. The mature one in Christ will present the image of what the Spirit of God has sired within the soul.  The testimony of the unseen is taking form.

The allegory of Elaine and Jerome has shown that when the union of the recreated spirit and the soul has reached maturity, the attributes of the Son of God will be presented in human form once more.  This is the Fruit of the Spirit coming forth, the reality of Christ in the form of man.  The identity of the spiritual children of the soul will be birthed into the world and the transformation to the immortal state of the elect completed.  The purpose then is for those so transformed to stand with Christ, not alongside but in Him, to reign in righteousness until the whole world becomes the Kingdom of God.

What stands upon the threshold is no surprise to those who have been a faithful testimony to the revelation of Christ.  When God’s love begins to permeate the world it will bring justice, and it shall fall as wrath upon iniquity.  Even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  (Joel 2:12)  Some will recognize the thief who has ruled their lives, turn to worship God and be saved.  But sin itself will not be dealt with for that is already bound to death.  Justice prevailing will be the cause of torment and failure in the world system. 

All that is of evil intent is outside of God’s design and will be subject to the “time of Jacob’s trouble.”  There is no merit, no redeeming factor in the world that man has built in his delusion of logic and power.  All that comes from carnality is sown to that realm.  Only things that are sown to the heavenly realm are lasting.  All not established in the Word will fall by the Word.   The scene of Ananias and Sapphira will be revisited.

The Kingdom of God is juxtaposed in the world.  Heaven and earth are becoming one.  In the very place where you now stand the change shall occur.  One is not required to move from place to place or to be swooped up into the air.  The army of the Lord is the Company of Love, and they do not bear arms. God’s judgment comes into the world by the priests of righteousness and peace.

The Spirit of Christ within will bring the Kingdom of God from the inside of the elect to the outside.  The transformation that has come to the soul of man will surface.  The call of Jesus Christ to “Come to me” will be obeyed. The unalterable law that remains in the center of the universe will be fulfilled.  This immutable law is the law of return.

Christ is the intangible power of the love that will bring identity to the new creation that walks the earth.  His life gives vigor to the saints of the new order of man; He is the resurrection of the saints.  The rebirth of the Son in the flesh of mankind is Christ’s coming.  The standing of the Christ in the form of the sons is Christ’s appearing.

When the elect are seen in their new identity, love will be radiating out.  Love is the force of power to present the reclamation of the world by way of transformation to righteousness.  The love I’m speaking of is not acts of loving-kindnesses.  It is not benevolence toward the poor.  It is not brotherly love.  It has nothing to do with feelings.  This love is the cutting edge of truth and it is a force.  The time of rebellion is near.

Read the words of Jeremiah concerning Babylon, understanding that Israel is the elect of God in this day and Babylon the world system:

“’In those days, at that time’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.

“‘Do everything I have commanded you.  The noise of battle is in the land, the noise of great destruction!  How broken and shattered is the hammer of the whole earth!  How desolate is Babylon among the nations!  I set a trap for you, O Babylon, and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured because you opposed the LORD.  The LORD has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign LORD Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.  Come against her from afar.  Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain.  Completely destroy her and leave her no remnant.  Kill all her young bulls; let them go down to the slaughter!  Woe to them!  For their day has come, the time for them to be punished.  Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon declaring in Zion how the LORD our God has taken vengeance, vengeance for his temple.

“’Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow.  Encamp all around her; let no one escape.  Repay her for her deeds; do to her as she has done.  For she has defiled the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.  Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day’ declares the LORD.  ‘See, I am against you, O arrogant one,’ declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, ‘for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.  The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.’”  (Jeremiah 50:20, 22-32)

Evil will devour what Babylon has spawned.  As the cords of justice bind the world, evil will be the undoing of itself.  The trap that the Lord has laid for the world system is the greed, lust and pride of the people.  These base cravings will deplete the supply of the world system, and the empty storehouses will incite rebellion.   The “great city” will have no life with which to replenish itself when God reclaims human souls by way of truth going forth.  The elect of God will stand in faith and love – the new creation who are the testimony of righteousness, the revelation of truth.

The Day of Christ’s appearing will not come until the rebellion. 

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4)

“Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.  The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute.  They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.  For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.  The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”  (Revelation 17: 15-18)

The greed of lust and pride will deplete the supply of the world and the rebellion will come.  The prostitute is Babylon; the man of lawlessness is the old nature of the human race that has ruled the world by way of deceit. The beast and the ten horns is carnal strength to rule.  When the way of the world is stripped of its strength due to the rebellion, then deceit will be removed, and the carnal nature will be seen for what it is.

“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.”  (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8)

The Lord Jesus Christ will not step in and wage war against evil to destroy everything wicked.  Those who persist in living by the world system will have to rebel against their captor.  There will be no defense against retribution for evil.  The only way out is through the Door, who is Christ.  The priests are the directors of righteousness and peace to open the way.  Hearts that are only lukewarm for Christ will not be sufficient to endure the strife that the world is tumbling toward.  Helping hands, smiling faces and platitudes will be inadequate in this time.  Tolerance for wicked acts promotes the way for evil to increase.  Anything not united in Christ will find its end.

Love of truth will remove the evil one that holds back the unveiling of the carnality that has controlled mankind.  The evil one that conceals the abomination which makes the world desolate is deceit.  The Word spoken and done will overthrow the carnal nature.

The Word spoken is not by way of a sermon.  The Word done is not by way of good works.  The power of love is made manifest in the saints by the fact of exchanging the garment of flesh for the robe of righteousness, which is dwelling in Christ – putting Him on so to speak.  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”- Christ is the identification of the elect. “The LORD Our Righteousness” – the life these live is Christ’s. 

The firstfruits of the final harvest are presenting what the churches have called the rapture to those waiting for the appearing of Christ.   In actuality, the rising up to meet Christ is an integral part of salvation occurring in the inward parts – the submitted soul united in the recreated spirit.  The completed form of the Church of the Firstborn is the Family of God – many members of one body, the SON.

Recall the words of Jesus when He celebrated Passover with His disciples for the last time:  “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”  (Matthew 23:39)  And again in Luke 22:15, 16:  I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”  Passover is the feast of the sign of the blood.  This feast will find fulfillment in the Kingdom of God when those of Christ’s body relinquish the life of the blood for the life that is in Christ.

The phrase, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” comes from Psalm 118.  These words were chanted or sung by the people as the bound ram was brought to the altar for a holocaust offering during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Heaven’s fulfillment of this feast will come at the turning of the age in the maturity of Christ’s body.  The sublime will be accomplished through the obedience of those who willingly lay down the robe of the flesh to take up the sword of truth and don the garments of peace, which is righteousness. This is the celebration of Tabernacles to which Jesus referred when He said, “...you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  It is the ingathering of the final harvest when the called out ones are feeding completely upon the Bread of Life in the rest remaining.  They are the holocaust offering.

“The Lord Our Righteousness” is found in Jeremiah 23.  It is prophesied that in the time of the gathering of the remnant there will be shepherds of righteousness and peace over His flock.  Read Jeremiah’s prophesy concerning the righteous branch:  The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.  In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD Our Righteousness’ He goes on to speak in the form of types and shadows that people will no longer be praising God for freedom from Egypt but for freedom from the crueler constraint of the world system.

Remember:  we are the completers of types and shadows, the tangible/ spiritual outworking of the Pattern Son.  It is not the resurrected Jesus that we seek to emulate, rather, it is the ­ascended Savior with whom we seek to appear – the new form who walks.

CHAPTER NINETEEN

The son of Elaine and Jerome grew strong.  He was known throughout the land as the firstborn child of the new order of mankind.  As he approached maturity his surroundings were changing too.  Woebegone was given a new name under order of the King.  It was now called the Land of the Living. 

Scathe had long been bound, but now he was moved to a seedy building on the outskirts of the land and confined there under lock and key.  He was not permitted to roam, and no word was heard from him in those days.

Jerome, Elaine and Rapture moved to High Street with the sanction of the King.  Their new residence was the quarters previously occupied by Scathe but now had become one of palatial splendor.  Rapture had been given the capacity and right to oversee the reformed territory, and that done with justice. The daughters continued their work as before and were known in every district of the area.

The standard of justice was bringing righteousness to the people of the Land of the Living.  Justice was love reaching out, penetrating every facet of the lives of the people.  It began in the home and moved to the work place.  It manifested in the laws of the land and the way of worship.  It penetrated the human form of their bodies and illness was a thing of the past.  Everywhere were those who knew the peace and joy that came from within. The resources of the earth gave up their benefits without effort into the hands of the workers of the soil.  Even the mode of entertainment for the natives drastically changed.

Throughout the land the citizens were living without fear or sorrow.  Their natures bespoke the holiness of their hearts.  Because righteous love has no boundary it was able to pierce even the hearts of those dwelling in the darkness of the swamplands.  Every day former inhabitants from that cesspool were added to their number.  When they were introduced to the new way of life they were cleansed and the great joy of salvation replaced the dread that had held them captive.   

Yet, there were holdouts.  Although their wealth was gone and they had no means with which to regain it, some refused to yield to the judgment sent forth by the king.  They wept for the way things had been. They mourned over Woebegone because that place was no more.  They had lived their illicit lives in her and traded their wares for lucre.  But it all had come at a high price to many, for now their very lives were required.  Plans to gain the comforts of the new order without submitting to its rule were thwarted when men from the darkness appeared among the people of the transformed land and tried to infiltrate the new culture by way of cunning words.  What the formerly revered “wise men” spoke was nonsense to the ears of Rapture, and they were sent back to the dark place of their discontent.

In all of the reclaimed land there remained no unclean thing. All business transactions were done in wisdom and justice. The people desired nothing that was not pure. Adults and children alike interacted with respect and kindness toward one another.  The edicts of the King were received with thanksgiving and carried out in love.

All of the changes that had transpired presented an epiphany – the essence of the meaning of righteousness.  A feast was ordered celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature that was among them.  Every man, woman and child were welcome to partake of the celebration.  When the designated hour arrived they all met together to observe as Rapture was presented the implement of his intrinsic right to reign under the auspices of the King.  He was robed in white with a golden band about his chest.  In his hand was placed an iron scepter signifying the righteousness of his rule. 

At the moment of Rapture’s receiving of the scepter of maturity there appeared with him an example of the character of mankind transformed. (Elaine alone saw and recognized him to be the one she had known as Moribundhis persona was now that of perfection.)  Out of the ashes of the raging fires of Woebegone he had risen with no resemblance to his former self.  He had taken on the properties of eternal life without dependence upon mortal flesh.  He was beautiful and shining, an adjunct to Rapture.  He was raised and called to service by way of transformation and upon order of the King.  His new name was Phoenix, paragon of unsurpassed excellence and beauty

Phoenix rose as the representation of glory the reformed character of the old nature that had died, shining forth in the life in the new order of man.  Rapture’s unprofaned flesh was the tangible effect of eternal life within, the identity of man made new.  Phoenix, now an adjunct to Rapture, was able to rise in victory from the ashes of the burning of the fleshly nature.  His desires had been purified and reason restored.

As one, Rapture and Phoenix mounted the steed that belonged to Jerome and rode out to inspect the land to be governed by quintessential righteousness.  In every sanctified area gained in the overthrow of Scathe wickedness had been trampled under.  Justice would rule until all things had gained perfection – until every heart was inherently pure and the birthright of every child was immortality.

The people lived in the land in one accord.  They were learning to move as one by the righteousness within their hearts.  It was not that desires would come only to be discarded, nor that words would be spoken only to be recalled.  Rather, as they focused upon the truth that had been revealed, they were cleansed of the base elements of their former lives.  Their actions were governed by the principles of the Kingdom of Fulfillment – not by their plans, but as they yielded to love.

“Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

CHAPTER TWENTY

The Father of the new creation is the Spirit of Christ.  This Spirit recreated in the human breast will proliferate the Son.  The Son of God will appear through a mature relationship with Christ.  The outworking of the attributes of the recreated spirit displays that mature relationship.  In the Day of Rest remaining tangible evidence of Spiritual Fruit will identify the SON, the new creation who walks.

In the allegory of Jerome and Elaine, Moribund represents the flesh nature of self, attached to the sense realm.  This is the area that reveals the fallen character and gives gratification to the sensual longings of that realm.  The presence of the Holy Spirit gradually brings changes as the mind, will and emotions are retrained and cleansed in the fire of the new nature that has come.  Phoenix represents the transformation of this facet of humanness.  Now the sense realm perceives the Kingdom of God and gives expression to the attributes of the nature and character of Christ. 

It is the inherent authority of the Christ life that we seek.  Delegated authority in the name of Jesus is for but a season.  A constant awareness of Christ in us and who we are in Him brings us the peace of the OVERCOMER.  All changes that come about are by the power of the Spirit.

Jesus Christ brought death to the flesh nature and Spiritual life for the soul by His one mighty act.  Because of it, the whole world and everything in it will become the treasure of His intent – transformed according to God’s perfect will and purpose.

It is one Son, one Christ, who has been birthed into the world, and those of the congruent body will give way to the event of His appearing.  It is His life born of many souls who will present the standing of the family of God, the persona of Jesus Christ once more in the form of man.

We must learn to think of God as Father – Daddy.  Created man is the child of His love.  We are the intent of His focus.  We are created not to be beneath but above.  Man is the crown of all of God’s creation.  We are the pleasure of His purpose.  It is not these vessels of clay that we are to nurture unto redemption.  No, the earthly tent is not for redemption but for transformation.  When the resurrection of the body is mentioned it is the congruent body of Christ that is referred to, and it is of a higher nature than flesh and blood.

God is all things needful for every person.  We are the intended bride of the Spirit – His Spirit.  He is our Father and Brother.  He is our Lover and Husband.  We are His wife, the womb to bring forth His child, His family.  Our flesh nature is the mother who must die in favor of the child to be born.  The retrained soul, wooed by the recreated spirit, is the bride to replace the unfaithful wife of the Old Testament.

Without trepidation each one must move on to the next facet of salvation.  It is the intrinsic right of every child of God to be one in Christ.  We are to inherit with Christ Jesus.  Each of us will be Christ endued – living by the Spirit, not flesh and blood.  Are you able to conceive it?  Dare you allow yourself to believe it?  Do you not know you are gods? (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34) Just as Jesus bore the name of God in Christ, so shall those who bow their knee at the name of Jesus bear that Name.  And God said that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess as Lord the name by which we are saved.  The name of Jesus means, “God is Salvation.”

There is a place created in Christ which is the dwelling place for God’s family (We are in Him as He is in us.)  The Christ of God presented Himself in human flesh to make the sacrifice for mankind so that God’s perfect will and purpose could come to pass in created man.  Jesus was the perfect specimen of man, able to sacrifice the human flesh to set humanity free from the life supplied by the blood that courses through our mortal bodies.  The human flesh of Jesus typified the fallen nature [flesh nature] of the human race.  The blood of His human form was drained away and His body of flesh was hung upon the accursed cross, bound to death as it were.

The water that flowed from Christ Jesus’ pierced side was symbolic of the new life of the Spirit, brought back to fallen man and released in the death throes of the mortal form of the Savior.  Christ is the Universal Spirit of Holiness who gives Eternal Life to each individual soul.

Everyone will die into the way that Jesus Christ has opened.  He is the Way we will follow by Truth unto Life.  Every human being born on this planet will do inwardly the same thing that Christ Jesus did in His physical form.  We must each crucify the flesh of our nature and don the life of the Spirit.

Death to the flesh nature is the death required to enter heaven’s gate.  The death of the mortal form is a moot question.  The flesh and blood of the human form has no meaning concerning the Life Eternal.  The death of that form had significance only in the death of Jesus.

Yes, everyone will die into Christ, but to inherit with Him we must come out of the darkness.  He is the only Light available that will dispel the darkness of a fallen soul.  Baptism by water is the ritual that symbolizes our receiving the new life that has come to our spirit.  Baptism by fire is the cleansing of the soul unto refinement, which makes us able to dwell with the Father.  Until the human spirit calls out to the Spirit of Christ by the authority of the name of Jesus, he is not able for the Fire of Retribution.  The outer darkness is the abode of one who has not yet met the Christ of Jesus – whether he is in the body or out of the body. Everyone will experience the death of flesh, both in the tangible and the intangible.

God blesses His own with Spiritual Blessings beyond compare to the riches of the world.  If one is yet seeking blessings of the physical realm he has not moved on to the higher walk of dwelling in Christ.  Blessings in the “name of Jesus” are for mortal man struggling in the fallen world to aid him in his earth walk.  Spiritual Blessings ready the mature son for Kingdom living and also keep him while in his “earthly tent.”

There waits a period set aside by Father God for those of Christ’s body to reign with Him over the world.  This reign will present true justice and the people will learn righteousness.  The elect will stand as one, firmly fixed in the bride [souls of the righteous made perfect], figuratively known as Jerusalem – the Church of the Firstborn.  This body of people will move as one in mind, will and purpose for they are wedded to the Son.  The cords of justice will bind the way of the world rendering carnality inoperative.

All that has been prefigured and foretold for the latter days will come to pass.  The Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled in earth.  Those in their mortal bodies will say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and present their flesh nature to be burned as the required offerings of this feast.  From the ashes of that burning will rise the new creation of man in God.  The breath of God will enter the dead to the flesh of the earth realm and they will live by the recreated spirit, for Christ will reign in the midst of them.  Mortality will take on immortality and the way that people have moved in the world will be no more.

These things will not come to pass in a moment of time but by a gradual turning.  Because the sons of God are being prepared to stand, carnality is depleting itself – growing viler and demanding more of the souls of fallen man daily.  The carnal nature has always been “on a limited leash”; able to present only that which is common to all in the earth.  Time is running out for carnality to feed on the souls of mankind.  The earth bound walk of humankind is drawing to a close.

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

“Time is changing to unending, to how it was in the beginning” H.S.

Rapture’s reign of justice was raising righteousness to its tangible form.   The son of the ecstasy of mature love was gaining supremacy in the land as honor was done unto the King’s purpose. 

Rapture was overseeing the outworking of the will of the King.  The old order was passing away.  People were so in tune with the new rule of the land that policing became unnecessary.  Out of the goodness of their hearts mouths were speaking.  The more the tale of truth and love was told, the stronger the good became.  It came to pass that not a one remained in the lowlands of the swamp.

It was then, upon decree of the King, that Scathe was released from captivity to once more stride the land – to seek those who would again bow down to him.  But to his bewildered chagrin, not a one would even look his way.  When he passed by or called out, no one noticed.  There was nowhere that he could gain entry, no place that would receive him in.  The caustic material of his being could not withstand the purity of the air that had become the atmosphere surrounding the Land of the Living.  He simply evaporated in the power of holiness that encompassed him.  The residue of evil that had remained as vapors over the lowlands ignited and were consumed, as by spontaneous combustion.

Now had come the time for the “Ceremony of the Crowns.”  The Overcomers were to place their crowns at the feet of the King.  At the designated hour they all met to relinquish their trophies to the Rightful Owner.

The King arrived amid a brilliant display of splendor.  With ruffles and flourishes his entrance was made into the land that now joined his kingdom.   He sat upon his throne and all of the people gathered about him.  The light that surrounded him was shed upon them, and every person was known to him.  No secret remained among them.  The mystery of the Kingdom of Fulfillment was about to be made known.

The King’s resonant voice penetrated the crowd.  The sound of it reverberated with strength and authority.  He announced that the Land of the Living had become the Kingdom of Fulfillment.  There would be no more sorrow or death, no more mourning or pain for all things were being made new, the old order of the land had passed away.  The dwelling place of the King will be with the people.

The King continued on:  “The mystery of Fulfillment is that evil is overcome with goodness, thus eliminating the possibility for sin.  You have trampled wickedness under your feet.  Scathe is no more.”  The people rejoiced and paid homage to the King.  They would forever remain true to his purpose and way.

The task that Jerome had set upon was accomplished.  He had won his intended bride.  Together they were instrumental in bringing the land of Woebegone into agreement with their great King. The son of their mature love had ruled that land with justice until every enemy was put down.  Never again could one such as Lily be tricked into captivity by an evil deceiver, for all desires were now toward good.

The righteousness that had grown within the people now became the tangible place of their inhabitancy.  The Land of Fulfillment was aglow with light, and each inhabitant added his own light to it.  Every woman in the established kingdom gave birth to a son who was the living image of love and truth.  The standard of the measure sent to them in Jerome had been met.

Now the King is father of all of the people of Fulfillment.   They are of one flesh (will) for they are united in purpose and way.  All barriers that would prevent one from entering the Kingdom of Fulfillment have been removed for there is no threat of contamination coming near to it.  In all the span of the universe there is no purpose, being or thing that is crosswise to the design of the Great King  for He is their All in all.

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

“Deliverers [saviors on earth] will go up on Mount Zion [Holy City] to govern the mountain of Esau [flesh].  And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.” (Obadiah 21, brackets mine, BJS)

All things will be brought into balance.  Everything will be “squared-up” when the Holy City is measured.  The ethereal temple of Ezekiel‘s vision extols the Standard of the Measure set before us.  The Measure of that Standard is met in the Holy City.

1.  Ezekiel’s temple is the walk that mankind must take to reach the goal that God has set for the created human species of Himself.  It epitomizes the perfected body of Christ – the house of many rooms.

2.  The Holy City is not a place but the condition of eternal man.

3.  The Kingdom of God is the sphere of God’s rule.

4.  Heaven is the kingdom of God’s presence.

“All of the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD  (Habakkuk 2:14)

Christ is the glory of God.  As we know Him face to Face, knowledge of truth leads to godliness.  The elect are purified by obedience to truth, and His glory shines in those hearts.   Scripture states that the Kingdom of God shall be set up in earth by such as these – the righteous branch, the Christ endued family of God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

I have used the characters of the allegory presented in these pages to show that the goal the Father has set before mankind is Christ.  He is the life of the whole family of God, and mankind makes up the body of the family.  While that body is disjointed it is still subject to disobedience.  The quintessence of perfection will manifest in the union of the body by way of the One Spirit of Christ

Here is what God promised regarding Jesus Christ – long ago through His prophets:  “...as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David.

“And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power.” (Amplified Bible, Romans 1:3, 4)

The man Jesus presented Christ to the world in a flesh and blood body, having been birthed through the body of His mother, Mary.  The entrance of Christ had to be by way of human flesh for the spirits of mankind were dead.  The second advent of His appearing is by way of spiritual entrance, the flesh nature of the body of presentation being dead.  The live Spirit has been preparing the elect of this congruous, many membered body to enter the dwelling place of God ever since the ascension of Jesus (via Christ) to the Father.  Jesus Christ was the Son of God among men in human flesh to open the way for all of mankind to join Him in the Son.

The disjointed body of Christ has been present in parts throughout the generations since the advent of His initial presentation in earth.  Whatever part, or parts, being used at the time have caused the body of Christ to be recognized.  Christ will reign in the earth together with the elect as the last form of the body stands.   The people of the world will become one in the Son, and all things will be under the feet of Christ, made new in love.  Evil is consumed as it is overcome by holy righteousness.  

The realization of Christ standing among us, appearing in a complete body prepared for Him, is near.  The head of this whole body is surely Jesus, but the feet that have been through the fire of refinement will present the recognition of the full form: those triumphant ones who have trampled under the root of evil.

Now death has been put to death, and God’s Kingdom overspreads the earth.  God’s will is done in earth, for it is one with heaven.  Every man is the temple of God, and the light of Him illumines the whole atmosphere as all individuals come together.  Christ’s body is made whole in holiness.

The fruit of the Spirit have transcended to be the jewels that adorn eternal man.  They are set in the mountings of pure gold which is the Holiest Place – the Bosom of the Father.  Man has returned to the Christ from whence he sprung.

AMEN

I have shown you what has been revealed to me.  There is nothing further for me to say concerning Jesus Christ’s admonition to “Come to Me.”  It should be understood, however, that these turnings are in the hands of the Father, and shall be completed according to His perfect will and purpose.  Until such time, we must heed the words of Paul in Ephesians 4:22-5:21.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin:”  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

“THE BLESSINGS I HAVE FOR YOU ARE RICH BEYOND COMPARE.  THESE ARE THE BLESSINGS THAT SET THE JEWELS IN THEIR SETTINGS.”  H.S.

CHARACTER

The soul is the seat of SELF consciousness.

The body is the seat of SENSE consciousness.

The spirit of recreated man is the image of God – God consciousness.

Within every soul lies its inherent potentialities.  With the words, “Come to me” Christ Jesus invites us to experience the pathway of discovery to those dimensions of human possibilities.  The song of the soul apart from Jesus is a dirge.  He is the pivotal point of fresh direction and a new song of Life.

LIFE

GOD

1.  Holy

2.  Pure

3.  Truth

4.  Love

5.  Righteous/Justice

6.  Peace

7.  Good

ESSENTIAL NUCLEUS OF THE SOUL

[God given attributes and needs]

1.  To love and be loved

2.  Dominion

3.  Worship

4.  Intellect 

5.  Trust

6.  Tranquility

7.  Reproduce 

SOUL ENDUED BY GOD

1.  Magnanimous love

2.  Yielded to recreated spirit

3.  Spirit led worship in truth

4.  Revelation

5.  Faith

6.  Peace of God

7.  Fruit of the Spirit

NEW CREATION IN CHRIST (Human form)

1.  God’s love received and poured out

2.  Moving and speaking as one with Christ

3.  Yielded; compliance with the Father

4.  Wisdom

5.  Strength

6.  Righteous and Peaceful

7.  Spiritual Fruit become tangible

SENSES INFLUENCED BY HOLY SPIRIT

The senses were designed to help the human form of mankind and are used to this benefit in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

DEATH BOUND

CARNAL NATURE

1.  Profane

2.  Noxious

3.  Deceit

4.  Hate

5.  Greed

6.  Hostile

7.  Evil

SENSE REALM FUNCTIONS

1.  See

2.  Hear

3.  Taste

4.  Feel

5.  Smell

SPECIAL TRAITS:

Gifts,

Talents

SOUL INFLUENCED BY CARNALITY 

1.  Self-centered love

2.  Control

3.  Religiosity

4.  Carnal knowledge

5.  Doubts; fears

6.  Restlessness

7.  Spiritual darkness

CARNALLY CONTROLLED HUMAN

1.  Abuse; ego building acts disguised as love

2.  Promoting rebellion

3.  False religions; idols; secular church

4.  Bereft of truth; desolate

5.  Wretchedness

6.  Greed; lust

7.  Evil acts

CARNALLY ABUSED SENSE REALM

The sense realm is influenced by the carnal nature and perverted to lead the soul to wrong choices.

LIST OF CHARACTERS

Character bears witness to the inner man – seen only by God, revealed in the light.

King  – God influence.

Lilly  – (Innocence) The untried soul represents the condition of humanity before the fall: blameless.

Leilah  – (Dark as night) This representation of femininity depicts the tormented character of the soulish area separated from God.

Scathe  – (To harm or injure; especially by fire; satanic) Carnal influence; desires and supply apart from God.

Paraclete  – (Holy Spirit) The Counselor is the nearness and “nowness” of God.

Moribund  – (Death bound) This persona of mankind represents the fallen character of self motivated by the sense realm with the carnal influence of longings, imaginations and false religion.

Jerome  – (Bearing a holy name) The prince portrays the very essence of the One to be recreated in human form.

Osmund  – (Protection of God) Jerome’s steed.

Scathe and Leilah’s children -– These represent all that is spawned in the union of the soul and the carnal nature.

Elizabeth – (Consecrated to God) Spirit led soul.

Elaine  – (Bright shining one) This personage depicts the transformed soul, the designated bride of the recreated spirit.

Rapture  – (Transported by ecstasy) The son of Elaine and Jerome represents the integral part of salvation the product of the recreated spirit and the transformed soul.

Phoenix – (Paragon of virtue) The renewed character of humans is consigned as an adjunct of the reclaimed soul, and is represented here as a creature of light. This is the persona of the sense realm restored to holiness.  This shining character rises through the ashes of the dead self.

 

COME TO ME – A Journey of the Soul [Barbara J. Strauser] Year 1993 ~ BOOK          1

 

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