GOD’S TWO GREATEST MYSTERIES
BY: DAVID JOHNSON
This entire earth and universe is experiencing the dawn of a brand, new day and a brand, new age in God. As you search the scriptures you will discover that the Third Day and the Seventh Day are extremely important. 11 Peter 3:8 says, Understanding this principle will unlock many scriptures to you.
It has now been six thousand years since Adam and we are approaching the beginning of the seventh thousand year period of time. Not only that but we are about to enter the third thousand year period of time since Jesus ascended. According to Gods way of looking at time it has been Six Days since Adam and Two days since Jesus ascended, therefore, we are about to enter the Third Day since the ascension of Jesus and the Seventh Day since Adam.
The importance of this is seen in the fact that both the Third Day and the Seventh Day were Sabbath days. The Sabbath Day is a spiritual principle that God wants every believer to enter into. God created for six days and on the seventh day, the Sabbath Day, He rested.
In Hebrews chapters three and four we see that Jesus also entered into that rest and there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. God’s people, His Church, at the end of this age are going to cease from their own labors and enter into His rest.
In Matt. 11:28 Jesus said; “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The indignant synagogue ruler retorted in Luke 13:14; “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”
For six thousand years, six days, man has been laboring and sweating and travailing and groaning under the curse. For two thousand years the Church has labored. But Gal. 3:13 says that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse and still the Church for two days or almost two thousand years has never fully appropriated the complete redemption and the complete salvation that Jesus provided for us.
He redeemed us from the curse of the law, not only from sin but also from sickness, and poverty and death. Many Christians all over the world have learned that Jesus has provided redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins. The veil has now been rent and there is an open access into the Most Holy Place into the presence of God, and Jesus has consecrated us through the veil of His flesh and His shed blood into a new and living way.
Jesus said in Rev. 3:21; “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
I will be very bold to tell you that the rest that Jesus has provided for His Church is now ready to be revealed as we approach the dawning of the Third Day and the Sabbath Day rest of the Lord. We are on the threshold of the most glorious age and the most glorious day this world has ever known.
The reason I have shared with you these thoughts on the Sabbath Day is that I want to show you in Luke 13:10 that Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath Day. If we can spiritually discern the importance of what Jesus did in this passage of scripture it will unlock many of the mysteries of the bible that we have not been able to discern?
It is very important to understand that Jesus is the first born among many brethren and Jesus is the Word and in Him is life. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:23; “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” In other words, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, was the incorruptible seed, the very life of God and in Him was and is all life.
Just as a farmer will plant a seed in the ground with the intent of receiving a harvest, God planted a seed, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word into the earth. He would die and be buried and resurrected. In His death, His burial, and His resurrection, He would be multiplied into a great army, a great nation and into a mighty people who would bear His very nature and image.
If you follow the life of Jesus through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you will see a miniature picture of a people who are going to be revealed in the earth, a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. A people that Daniel the prophet said would be strong, know God and do great exploits.
As we study the ministry of Jesus very closely and see what He did on the Sabbath Day, we will discover a foreshadow of a Sabbath Day ministry that is shortly to be unveiled in the earth. This ministry will do the works of Jesus and speak the words of Jesus as a witness before all nations.
Luke 13:10-17 records just one of the many accounts of Jesus teaching on the Sabbath Day in the synagogue and doing the works of His Father. If you will observe what Jesus did on the Sabbath Day, then you will understand what a glorious Church will be doing in the Seventh Day of the Lord. Daniel said that there is coming a day in which the saints will possess the Kingdom. We have been called to reign and rule with Him in this life.
Luke 13:10-17 says, “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”
Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
We see three major characters in this account. A bound woman, a blind ruler and a blessed deliverer. This is an actual account in the life of Jesus. This woman had actually been bound for eighteen years and was healed by Jesus. It is also significant that Jesus rebuked the ruler of the synagogue who was of the old order of His day who did not want to have anything to do with healing. Jesus adversaries were humiliated and the people were delighted in what He did.
However, beneath the surface of this story there are some tremendous insights into the glorious age we are about to come into. First of all, there was a bound woman, secondly, a blind ruler and thirdly, a blessed redeemer. Jesus did two things on this Sabbath Day. He straightened out the woman and He rebuked the blind ruler.
I know that I have disturbed some people in this community by teaching that the coming of Jesus Christ is not going to be any minute, but that He is held in the heavens until the restoration of all things. Until the Church is ready to meet the Lord. Jesus is coming physically and literally. The Word of God makes this very clear in Acts 3:19-21; “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.”
All that God has promised has not been restored and Jesus cannot come until it is! In Eph. 4:13 Paul said; “Until we all reach 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.”
This maturing process cannot come to pass without the ministries of the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor and the Teacher. (Eph. 4:11-16) There are many in the Church today that tell us that the ministry of the Apostle and the Prophet has passed away but the bible plainly teaches that the Church cannot come into maturity without these ministries.
James declares in James 5:7; “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”
The Prophets throughout the Old Testament saw basically two eras of time. They saw His first coming and they saw His Second Coming. The time of His first coming corresponds to the time of the early rains. A time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of this age.
The time of His Second Coming corresponds to the latter rains which is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God in the latter part of this age. The early rain in Palestine was the rain to water the seed, which was planted, and the latter rain was what brought the harvest to maturity.
At the beginning of this age there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit recorded in the book of Acts. Also around the turn of the nineteenth century in Topeka, Kansas and Azzuzah Street, California there came an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is still going on today. It is this latter rain that is producing fruit in the Church and is bringing us into maturity.
On the Sabbath Day recorded here in Luke chapter thirteen, Jesus straightened out the woman. This woman represents the Church that has been bound for Two Days and must be straightened out. The reason I know that the Church is bent over and cannot straighten herself up is because as I look around the Body of Christ today in the churches and in the homes and in the individual lives I do not see a Church that is glorifying the Lord. Instead, I see a Church that is glorifying man and God is going to straighten that out.
This woman was bound for eighteen years. 18 is 6+6+6 or 666, which is the total expression of man since man was created on the Sixth Day. According to God’s timing, that we discussed earlier, it has been six years since Adam. This woman was bound for eighteen years but the Sabbath Day ministry of Jesus Christ straightened out the woman and she glorified God.
We are, right now, in the process of coming into the Seventh Day from Adam. Jesus Christ is going to, through a Sabbath Day ministry, lay hands on the woman, (The Church) and straighten her out and we will glorify God. There will be a remnant of God’s people who will press into the Third Dimension of God’s grace, the Most Holy Place, where we rest from our labors and it is all God. They will be used of God to lay hands, the five fold ministry, on the woman, (the Church), and straighten her out. (Set her in the proper order)
On the Sabbath Day in Luke 13 Jesus also rebuked the blind ruler. When I say blind, I mean blind in the spiritual sense of the word. This ruler of the synagogue was operating his ministry under the law of sin and death, by the law of the carnal mind, a natural understanding of the Word of God. Those who operate in this manner oppose any move of the Holy Spirit to bring fresh revelation of God’s Word. A blind ruler always results in a bound woman.
And, so it is today; the Church world is bound and bent over and bowed altogether. As we have seen earlier, this woman was completely bent over so that all she could see as she walked was the earth. All she could see was her problems and her needs and the terrible way she had been treated by this world. She was in no position to minister to the needs of any one else because of her conditions.
The Body of Christ is in the same condition today. We are bent over in self-centeredness and can only see the needs of our own little expressions of the Body of Christ. We are self-centered and spend ninety nine percent of our time ministering to our needs and our desires and our wants. We are so bent over that we can not look into the heavenlies and see what out Father is doing and we must be straighten out.
Today, even Spirit filled Christians are not glorifying God. Isaiah said in Isa 29:13; “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
The proof that we are not glorifying God is in our life styles. The bible does not say that by their gifts you shall know them, but by their fruits. In other words, what are we producing? If we are allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us then His fruits will be evident; love, joy, peace, etc..
In the first chapters of I Samuel, Eli, the prophet, was going blind and Hanna was barren. Until Samuel, the blessed redeemer, came on the scene and brought a nation back to God. Here in Luke 13:10 we have a woman who is bound and a ruler who is blind. Who has blinded this ruler? II Cor. 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Jesus said that Satan had bound this woman for eighteen years even though she was a daughter of Abraham. In no way am I saying that Christians can be demon possessed, but I am showing you that because of a blind ruler who thought only in the natural principles of the Sabbath Day we find a bound woman. She is not only bound but bent over and can only see the natural realm of her own circumstances.
Even though, in the Church world today, Jesus is the glory and the lifter of our head but we are not looking to Jesus. We are looking unto man and their programs and their charisma and their wisdom. We are looking for a Church who will cater to our desires and whims. Some would say, “But Brother Johnson, I am ready to meet the Lord!” Jesus said in Rev. 3:17; “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
To be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues is only the beginning. You are only a babe. Paul said in Hebrews 6:1-3; “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.”
If you want to see how mature the Church is today just listen to what She is saying. Most churches today spend all of their time talking about the fundamental principles of Christ and never teach on the eternal purpose of God, which will bring us to maturity. Most of the Church is talking about getting out of the battle instead about being overcomers. As a result, the Church is not maturing.
As long as the majority of the Church is caught up in an escapism mentality She is unaware of Her real condition and can not lift Herself up. God said in Hosea 4:6; “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests….”
The wise man Solomon said in Prov. 4:7-9; “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”
And again in Prov. 18:15; “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”
If the Church can not lift Herself up, how will She ever be able to lift anyone else up?
Jesus saw this woman in her condition on the Sabbath Day and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmities.” In the dawning of the Seventh Day there is coming a ministry that is going to set the Church loose from Her boundness and straighten Her out.
I will be very bold to declare to you that you have the blessed privilege to be part of such a ministry but with this privilege there comes a tremendous accountability and responsibility. In Luke 12:48 Jesus said; “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Nothing has weakened the Church more than the traditions of men which, because of a lack of responsibility and accountability, take the truths of God and regulate them either to the past or to the future. This is because the traditions of men are based on the reasoning’s of the carnal mind and the carnal mind will always insist that the natural Jew is God’s chosen people, even in the light of Romans 2:28-29 which says, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.”
In Galatians 3:29 Paul said, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” And still there are many bible scholars that will tell you that there are two seeds; a natural seed and a spiritual seed. In spite of the fact that Paul said in Galatians 3:29, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his SEED. There is only one seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. If you are in Jesus Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed because Jesus is Abraham’s seed. And if you are not in Christ Jesus, you are not Abraham’s seed.
Any Jew, today that is not in Christ Jesus is not an heir according to the promise, because the promise is to Abraham’s seed. Not seeds!! If you want to bless God’s Israel today, then you had better bless the Church and not the natural nation of Israel.
As long as people do not know what they have and who they are in Jesus Christ, they are in a bound position and cannot see. As long as the Church is ruled by the carnal mind and as long as She subjects Herself to carnal rulers, She will always have a spirit of infirmity. She will remain bowed and unable to straighten Herself out.
As a result, Satan is having a hay day with carnal minded leadership in the Church. As long as Satan can use carnal minded leadership to govern and feed the Church, he can prevent Her from maturing and taking Her rightful position of authority over him. He is greatly aided by a Church, on the whole, that allows their thinking and mind set to be controlled by the carnal mind.
If you ever open your heart to the Spirit of the One who wrote the Word and allow Him to illuminate your mind and understanding, you will discover that many of the teachings of the hour, which are so popular and prevalent, are in direct opposition to the scriptures. Every teaching that comes from the carnal mind is always in direct opposition and an adversary to the mind of Christ.
In our lesson text, the blind ruler was an adversary of Jesus because he was walking after the flesh. Jesus, on the other hand, was walking after the Spirit and understood the true meaning of the Sabbath Day.
You say, “Well, what does all this have to do with the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, the Mark of The Beast?” Everything!! There is a Christ nature in you, but there is also a beast nature in you. The two greatest mysteries of God are:
1. The Mystery of Christ in You, the hope of glory.
2. The Mystery of Iniquity, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition.
What does the carnal mind have to do with the Mystery of Iniquity? The carnal mind will do just what Adam and Eve did; give the credit to the devil. I want to declare to you that the carnal mind is the Mystery of Iniquity and I will endeavor to show you from the scriptures why I believe this. However, I must warn you that your stubborn, carnal mind will exalt itself and be a direct adversary to what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to you.
II Thessalonians 2:3-4 says “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 opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
The key to understanding this scripture is to find out what temple he is talking about. It has been assumed by bible scholars for years that he is talking about the temple that they believe the Jews will build in Jerusalem before Jesus returns. The Greek word used here for temple is the word `naos’ and means a living temple and not a literal temple. As you study the New Testament scriptures, you will see that there is only one temple that God ever did care about. And that temple is a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Paul said in I Cor. 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s TEMPLE and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” And again in I Cor. 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God
Peter said in I Peter 2:4-5, “As you come to Him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him-you also, like living stones, ARE BEING BUILT into a SPIRITUAL HOUSE to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
As you can see from these scriptures, we are a living temple being constructed by the Holy Spirit of God to become the dwelling place for the fullness of the God head. [Eph. 4:11-16] But Paul says that there is a problem in the temple. There is, right now, in this spiritual temple that God is building, a spirit that says, “I am God!”
A spirit that says, “Bless God, I don’t care what anyone says, my Grandma did it this way and I am going to do it this way.” A spirit that says, “Bless God, I don’t care what anyone says, we do not need all this teaching. What we need is some good Pentecostal preaching and some testifying so we can shout the walls down.” A spirit that says, Bless the Lord, We have always done it this way, and we are going to continue to do it this way.”
A spirit that says, I don’t care if the bible does say all authority is invested in Jesus and that when He ascended into heaven He divided that authority and placed it in the five-fold ministry.” A spirit that says, “I don’t want to be in submission to anyone but Jesus.” A spirit that says, “I don’t care if Jesus did say for us to be perfect even as He is perfect; I can not do that and neither can you!!” A spirit that says, I don’t care if Jesus did tell me to stop worrying, I can not help worrying; after all, I am only human!”
Within the Church right now there is a spirit of antichrist; there is a spirit of rebellion; a spirit of unteachableness. Antichrist means anything that takes the place of Christ. He sets himself up as god in the temple and says, “Bless God, I will rule today and I will do my thing and I will have my way and I don’t care what you say, this is the way it is going to be.”
It really shocks Christians who do these things when a man of God comes along and says, “No you won’t do that here!” Their reaction is usually, “Well, if that is the case, I just will not pay my tithes!” Or, “Well, I will just take my family and leave.” When this happens, the whole town doesn’t know what to think. People will say, “Well, who does he think he is? He can’t do that! We will turn the people against him and we will show him a thing or two!” No, they have just met a man who can not be bought.
There is a spirit in this valley that refuses to be taught by any of the God given ministries He has placed here. Instead, they choose to follow some national ministry of their own choosing who does not even know them. They do this because they are in rebellion to God’s authority and they are self-deceived. Until these people become teachable, they will continue to be tossed to and fro. People who act this way are not discernible until they are challenged by one having Spiritual authority.
The moment they are confronted with the truth by God’s anointed, these spirits will begin to manifest themselves because these people have done their own thing all of their lives without any restraint. When you take away the traditional concepts a lot of people have in their minds on any subject, you observe the same reaction. There is a spirit in their temple that will raise up as God and oppose any truth that would cause change in their lives. This spirit is a spirit of antichrist, which literally means in the place of Christ.
I am going to say something’s that are going to really sound off the wall to most who have never received this revelation before, but please hear what I have to say and I will present to you the scriptures that reveal this. My prayer for you is that God will illuminate your mind, your heart, and your understanding so that you will come to a full understanding of the Two Greatest Mysteries of God.
There is something in you that is in opposition to and is a direct adversary to the Spirit of God in you. Who is this spirit that opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God? Why do we say that Christ cannot come at any minute, but that He is held in the heavens until? Who is the antichrist and what about the mark of the beast? These and other such questions I want to give you a biblical answer.
I encourage you to have the same spirit that the Bereans had in Acts 17:11 and receive what I am saying to you and study the scriptures every day to see if what I am saying is true. My prayer for you is that God will illuminate your mind, your heart, and your understanding so that you will come to a full understanding of the Two Greatest Mysteries of God.
There is something in you that is in opposition to and a direct adversary to the Spirit of God in you. Paul said in Romans 8:6-7: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can be.”
The Greek word for enmity is ‘echthra’ which is the feminine of the Greek word ‘echthros’ which means hostility, hatred, an adversary. Paul is here saying that the carnal mind is a direct adversary to the Spirit of God in you. Your carnal mind, or your mind set upon the things of the flesh and the things of the world, will oppose any word that comes to you from God that it does not agree with. Especially, when a man of God brings to you a fresh revelation of the word of God which does away with the traditional concepts you have been told was the will of God.
Many times when this happens, there will be a spirit, which will raise up as God in you and oppose that truth which would cause change in your life. That spirit is a spirit of antichrist, which literally means, in the place of Christ. This spirit, or this attitude of your carnal mind, opposes and exalts itself above everything that is called God, or that is worshipped. II Thess. 2:4
There is either a Christ nature in you or a beast nature in you. Not only has the Christ nature in you been a mystery, but also the beast nature in you has been a mystery. Col. 1:27 says, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
II Thess. 2:7 says, “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work….”
There is within us a nature that would rather say, “The devil made me do it.” This is what Eve said when asked by God why she had done it? Man has been saying that every since. The truth is you did it because you wanted to do it, and because the beast in you wanted to do it.
The first Adam became the nature of the beast. The second Adam became the nature of the Christ. And in every man, woman or child there is either the Christ nature in you, which is the hope of glory, or the beast nature in you which is destined to perdition.
We must, if we are to purify ourselves from this antichrist spirit, understand how to recognize this spirit when it manifests. First of all, let us look at what John had to say about this in I John 2:18, and notice how he had to address the Church: “Dear Children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.”
How many of you can read this? There are many antichrists, not just one. Notice what John says in verse 22: “Who is the liar? Is it the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ? Such a man is the antichrist. He denies the Father and the Son.” [NIV]
Notice first of all, the antichrist is a liar. A lie is anything that is not true. Anything contrary to the Word of God, then, is a lie. Then what is every man-made tradition? There are many antichrists, because there are many man-made traditions. And there are many who preach these traditions.
Look now at I Jn. 4:1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ IS COME in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming in the world and even now is already in the world.”
Even in the time of the apostles, this antichrist spirit was being manifest. Many believe that the antichrist spirit will be manifested in one man called the man of sin. I agree with this belief with one exception. I believe that just as the corporate Son of God will be manifested, so will the corporate son of sin, the antichrist. There is one thing for sure: There is an antichrist spirit already being manifested in epidemic proportions, today, throughout the world.
In II John 7 John says, (KJV): “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ IS COME in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
The Greek word for `is’ is (ESTEE #2076) and means; Third person singular present indicative of #1510 He (she or it) is. (#1510 I-MEE) Eimi is the first person singular present indicative and means, I exist, I am. In other words, it is the spirit that denies that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh. Not has come or will come.
Most of the church world, and many sinners, will acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Most of them will also acknowledge that Jesus Christ will come again. But how many of them will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. He is in all of those who are God’s children?
In John 1:1 John says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
And in John 1:14 He says: “And the Word become flesh, and dwelt among us.”
Jesus was the incarnate Word of God.
In I Peter 1:23 Peter says: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.”
In other words, we are also the incarnate Word of God, just as Jesus is. I Cor. 12:13 says: “For we were all baptized into one body by one Spirit and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
Verse 27 says: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
The body of Christ is a Spiritual body! Yes, but it is also a flesh and blood body. Our flesh and our blood! John 6:53-58 says: “I tell you the truth, unless you eat (partake of, participate in) the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that come down from heaven. Our forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”
And also in verse 63: “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.”
When we received the good news of Jesus into our hearts, we were begotten by the living Word of God and as we continue to feed upon His word; His Word, which is Spirit and life, is manifested through our flesh which has become His body, His flesh, the incarnate Word of God. Eph. 5:30 says: “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.”
When Jesus said this people stood up and walked out saying, “He is crazy.” Even right now when you tell men that Jesus instructed us to become mature or perfect like Him and to follow His example just as He has followed His Fathers example, they will get up and walk out and tell everybody else that you are crazy and are a false teacher and you think you are God! Do you know why? Because if they accept this as truth, it will convict them that they do not measure up and that they have a long way to go before they get there. Even the great apostle Paul realized this truth when he said in Phil. 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Truth is demanding. Before Jesus ever comes in the air He is going to come in us as a witness, as a standard and every eye shall behold Him in us. You may be saying in your heart right now, “Pastor Johnson, I just do not believe that.” If this is so, then what you are really saying is that you deny that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh.
Do you want to release the Christ nature that is within you? Then what you are really saying is, “Lord, let this word that is within me become flesh and live in my body.” I Cor. 6:19 says: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
Jesus Christ is right now coming in the flesh. The more you learn of Him and the more you allow His life to be expressed in you is the degree that You allow Him to come in your flesh. Notice who is the one controlling His coming in your flesh. Your carnal mind. This is why Paul said in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Yes, He will come in the air, but even now He is coming in the flesh to live and dwell in you so that the world may know that God has sent Jesus. (Jn. 17:23) The Word is being made flesh right now in apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers. There are those that deny this and sit in their temples as God and are rebellious. However, This does not alter the fact that there is a people on the face of the earth that are saying, “Yes, Lord, I believe!
So many charismatic are hung up on the authority/submission teaching that has been prevalent for the past few years, but even this is a part of the curse. The whole concept of authority and submission is under the curse and only when we come into maturity will this curse be lifted. In Gen. 3:16 God said to Eve: “I will greatly increase your pains in child bearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”
Before the fall Eve was not under Adam’s authority. God called their name Adam. They were one! There is something greater than obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifice, but there is a greater dimension than obedience. To have a need for obedience, there must first be two wills involved. When Jesus became a man He descended into the realm of obedience and submission. And He did it as a pattern. When He ascended, He again became one with God. He also gave gifts to the church of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the maturing of the church until we all come into the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will all become one with each other and one with Jesus and there will be one will and that will be the will of God.
What does all this have to do with the mark of the beast? Everything! Because any spirit that denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is an antichrist. Or against Christ. Jesus said, “I am truth!” Anytime you stand in opposition to the TRUTH, you are antichrist. A spirit that denies the existence of the Lord’s five-fold ministry is an antichrist. The spirit of antichrist takes the place of Christ as God, and says in a spirit of rebellion, “I don’t believe it.” I Sam. 15:23 says: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry”
If I am rebellious, I am practicing witchcraft. Also if I am stubborn, I am worshipping idols. Those thoughts and ideas in my mind that will not submit to His will.
Rev. 13:16 says: “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If any one has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”
Whether you ever have a literal mark on your hand or on your forehead makes very little difference to me. The important thing to me is that you understand the spirit of the antichrist. In order to understand the mark of the beast we must read Acts 17:22-29: “Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: `Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and observed your objects of worship, I even found an alter with this inscription: To An Unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have being.’ As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.’ Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone – an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.'”
When the men designed these idols, where did the image first originate? It first had to appear in their minds, in their imaginations. What your mind sees or creates or produces, your hand will make. The word ‘Mark’ in Rev. 13 is the same Greek word that is interpreted graven or designer in Acts 17:29 The word -‘mark, design, or graven’ means the same thing.
The Greek word is (CHARAGMA #5480) from which we get our English word character, and it literally means a stamp or a mark or an impress. Where was the mark of the beast? On the forehead or on the right hand. What were these idols graven by? KJV says by art and man’s device.
The Greek word for art is (TECHNE #5078) from which we get our English word technical or technology, and the literal meaning is something made from man’s hand. The Greek word for ‘man’s device’ is (ENTHUMESIS #1761) and means man’s inner thought. How were those idols formed in Athens Greece? First of all, some man formed them in his inner thoughts and perhaps wrote or drew his thoughts on paper with his right hand. Then some technicians or sculptures formed the image with rock. Those idols were produced by man’s mind and man’s hand. I wonder what would be formed if we had God’s mind and God’s hand?
Rebellion is as witchcraft, and stubbornness as an idol. My way, my thoughts are idols. My will is an idol. I have met many men, women and children who in their minds thought like beasts and in their hands, as it were, acted like one. King Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel, was a man who became a beast. When Adam sinned, man became a beast and began to act like one. Animals will not even do what some men do. The word beast in the book of Revelations literally means a wild beast.
Have you ever seen anyone who looked like a wild man and acted like a wild man? Have you ever heard a parent say, “My kid is wild!” Sure he is wild! He has inherited your nature!!!! Why is he out in the world and so wild. Because he is following your nature, and example of you and your church doing your own thing.
When Nebuchadnezzar became wild, he had long hair and ate grass. Men have long since stop eating grass. Now days they smoke it.
In Gen. 16 – Ishmael was a wild man and an idol. Let us see where he came from. What did God promise Abraham? A son. Who was the son of promise? Isaac. Abraham tried to help God out by listening to his wife and what he produced with her thinking and his own strength was a wild ass. Ishmael means a wild ass. Gen 16:12 says: “He will be a wild ass of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
Isaac, on the other hand, was a product of God. Ishmael was a product of the flesh but Isaac was a product of faith in God. Ishmael had a natural birth and Isaac had a supernatural birth. Gen. 16:1 says: “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had born him no children. (She failed her walk by faith because of the circumstances.) But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar: So she said to Abram, `The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maid servant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
The sad thing is that Abram could not pass up a deal like that. Notice the words [perhaps] or [maybe I can]. This is where a lot of charismatics are today. Maybe I can be healed tonight! Maybe I can be blessed tonight! If you are full of maybes it is because you are full of your ways.
Ishmael is a product of two things. Sarai’s thinking. Abram’s strength. Where did Abram get the thought to go into Haggar? Sarai gave it to him. After he found out she had conceived, he strutted around the camp for days and you would too if you were in your 80’s.
What most of us fail to realize in this story is that God worked a miracle in Abram’s life in order for Abram to have his own way. God worked a miracle for Abram in order for him to produce something in the flesh. We are in covenant relationship with God, and sometimes if we insist, he will work a miracle in order for us to have our own way.
Where is the mark of the beast? In your forehead and in your hand. Where did Ishmael come from? Man’s mind and man’s hand. The mark of the beast is man’s wisdom and man’s ability. The right hand is man’s ability and the forehead is man’s wisdom.
People right now are receiving one of two marks. Right now marked or stamped or impressed upon your life and your mind is either man’s way of thinking of God’s way of thinking. Right now in your life you are either trying to work out your life in your own ability and strength, or you are by faith trusting God to work it out with His ability and His strength.
Every time I do what Abram did by trying to help God out, I use man’s wisdom and man’s ability. (Thus an Ishmael is created.) Once you create an Ishmael; you have to live with him. Ishmael will always persecute Isaac. Today you can see man’s wisdom and man’s ability marked all over churches. This is how the beast thinks. “What new programs can we think up or dream up to reach the young people?” “We have to get them all in before the rapture.”
There are three spirits in the world today.
1. God’s Spirit
2. Man’s spirit
3. Satan’s spirit
Jesus defeated Satan; therefore that leaves only two spirits. God’s Spirit and man’s spirit. And these two are in conflict with each other for the control of man. In Galatians 5:17, Paul says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”
Who is going to win? Will Jesus be Lord or will you be lord? Will His will be done, or your will be done? Will His way be Lord or will your way be lord? Will He sit in your temple as God or will you sit in your temple as the spirit of antichrist?
You will find out whether God is ruling or whether you are ruling, because God is sending His delegated authority to you in the form of His five-fold ministry. These are men of a broken spirit. They are not dictators, because the place of the greatest authority is the place of the greatest humility. They will lay down their lives for the brethren without a question. We will pour out our life for you because that is the will of God. This is difficult for most to understand.
Right now there are one of two marks on your forehead. Engraven in your thinking. On some lives it is just beginning to appear and on other lives it has been impressed for some time. This is either the mark of the beast, or the seal of the Lord.
If the mark of the beast is upon you, then you are a person like Abram who becomes very stubborn and impatient. You say, “Lord, I know you promised me you would do this for me, but I want to help you out.” You, like Abram, will let the human reasoning of Sarah and the human ability of your own loins produce the answer. You just can not wait.
However, there will be some who will say, “I will do nothing of myself, I will do only that which the Spirit of the Lord leads me to do because I have been marked with the seal of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Heb. 1:3 says that Jesus is the expressed image of the Father. This word image is the same as the word graven. This simply means that stamped and impressed upon the Son of God was the nature of His Father. And Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me; so send I you.”
What image has been impressed upon you? The nature of a beast or the nature of the Christ? The nature of the beast is full of fear, bondage, and condemnation. The nature of Christ is full or righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!
What does it mean in Rev. 13:17 when it says, “They can not buy or sell?” What I am preaching about the Kingdom of God, many will say, “Oh, I do not buy that” There is nothing I can do for them if they refuse to hear the Word of the Lord! I can not convince them if the Spirit of the Lord can not. He can only deal with a broken spirit.
Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and sell it not.” So many ministries freely receive from God revelation, and then want to copyright it and sell it for gain. Paul said in II Cor. 2:17, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.” The traditions of men make the Word of God to loose its effectiveness, and I will not buy that. Nor will I sell it!! You say, “But Brother Johnson, everybody is teaching traditions. I will not buy that!
Rev. 13:15-16 says, “He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refuse to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his hand or his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
First, note that this beastly antichrist spirit will always seek to kill the prophets. Secondly, no one will be allowed to teach or minister or hold any position unless he goes along with the harlot [denominational] system.
Does this passage of scripture have anything at all to do with the natural flow of commerce? I don’t know; but I do know this: Jesus went into the temple one day and looked around. What do I do when I meet someone? I go into their temple and look around by the discerning of spirits, which simply means seeing though. You cannot put a mask on in this walk and not be detected because Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them. I want to see the fruit of your ministry. And I don’t mean your mailing list or how many are going to your church or how many souls you have saved. No matter how many of these you have, if there is no fruit of the life of Jesus in your life there is no ministry!
You say, “Well, why do you want to go into the temple anyway? Because the message I have received from the Lord is for the purpose of cleansing it of all that is not of Christ. Jesus Christ is in your temple and is sending His Anointed Word in order to cleanse your temple. This is why there is such a stir in some of you. The Bible says that Jesus cleared out all those who bought and sold. All that has been engraved and imbedded in your thinking by man must be destroyed. Paul said in II Cor. 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.”
There are a lot of Christians buying and selling and trading with the world system and as a result they have the mark of the beast on them. Nevertheless, there are people in this world right now that do not have the mark of the beast on them. They are a product of God’s hand. That is, His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
You must realize that you are the workmanship of God. He has designed you and His hand is going to build what He has designed. His hand is going to create what His mind has purposed. If you reject this message of the Kingdom and choose to hold on to your traditions, it will be impossible for you to mature and fulfill God’s desire in your life. As a result, selfishness will become the God of your life and cause you to end up with the mind and nature of a beast.
Right now in the World System and in some churches, there are men and women who think like a beast. Beast is the Greek word THERION (#2342) and means a wild untamed beast.
1. A beast that is strong willed and wants to do its own thing.
2. A beast that refuses to be corrected.
3. A nature that refuses to be disciplined, and refuses to see its need of growth and development.
In the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was a perfect example of the fullness of man’s government. The very highest that man could achieve in self-government. And yet, he became a beast. This fulfilled what the Psalmist declared. “That man in his best state is altogether vanity.”
Men are forever behaving like animals. Paul used other terminology for the beast nature.
1. The old man.
2. The unregenerated nature.
3. The nature of the first Adam untouched by the Holy Spirit.
4. The first Adam became a living soul.
This beast nature is operating in men and women today. Anyone who behaves in a carnal way, and thinks from the carnal mind, has already begun to take on the mark of the beast. And yet, most of the Church world today, makes the mark of the beast futuristic. What all the future implications of the antichrist spirit are, no one knows. But I do know that John said that the spirit of antichrist was in the world in his day and it is still in the world today.
In I John 2:18 John said, “Dear Children this is the last hour, and as you have heard that the anti-christ is coming, even now many anti-christs have come.”
This is how we know it is the last hour. Are you are worried about a mark tattooed on your hand or on your forehead? I personally think you should be more aware of the present day reality of THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST in you THE HOPE OF GLORY versus the mystery of iniquity, the man of sin.
In our lesson text [Luke 13:10-17] we noticed that there was a blind ruler in the synagogue. Let’s take a closer look at this blind ruler. Paul said in II Cor. 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Notice here that there is a blinded mind and a blinded mind is always a carnal mind. Paul also said in Romans 8:5-7, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: But they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God. Neither indeed can be.”
The carnal mind is actually an enemy of God. It is hostile to God and actually hates God. Paul is telling us here, that we must be aware of the danger of following after the carnal mind. Because the carnal mind is a rebellious mind and will not submit to God’s will.
Just as Paul said in II Cor. 4, there is a veil of flesh over the minds of many people which makes them blind when they read the Bible. The reason why is because they have an unteachable attitude. [spirit] They are not interested in hearing anything that disagrees with their personal desires.
In II Cor. 2:9-14, Paul said that the mind without the Spirit can not understand things that are written and inspired by the Spirit. The things of the Spirit are foolishness to the carnal mind. This is the problem with the blind ruler of the synagogue. The deeper things of God are foolishness to those who are blind.
There is coming a day when the Christ in you is going to rebuke your carnal mind and your body is going to be straightened out and the result will be a glorification of your body. Your only hope of deliverance is the Christ in you. In the fullness of time, the Christ in you is going to rebuke your carnal way of thinking, [the blind ruler of YOUR temple] and you will be set free from your bondage to sin once and for all.
Your carnal mind is an adversary to the Christ nature in you, and when the Christ nature in you rebukes your hypocritical carnal mind, He will humiliate your way of thinking and your flesh will be set free from the bondage of sin and death.
The Church world today, as a whole, is looking for a fire escape. There is a spirit that prevails, even among Spirit filled Christians, which is irresponsible and rebellious. Our churches are filled with people who have a nature of wanting to do their own thing. They are untamed, rebellious, obstinate and stubborn. Samuel said that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry.
Any Bible scholar will tell you that the antichrist spirit is intermingled and intertwined with concepts of the occult and witchcraft. What is the spirit behind the occult? What is the spirit behind witchcraft? It is the spirit of stubbornness and lawlessness and rebellion.
What you must understand is that Jesus Christ is the only door, the only gateway into the spirit realm. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and I am the door.”
Jesus is the only legal, valid entry into the realm of spirit. Satan’s greatest deception is to get Christians to want to be independent of Christ’s way and door. What is Christ’s way and door? Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. And their purpose is to mature the body and to bring government and order to His people.
Jesus is the only way to the Father and He said that no man could come to Him unless he was drawn by the Spirit of His Father. There is only one way to move in spiritual arenas and that is by His Spirit. If you enter into the spirit realm any other way, such as the occult, mediums, and drugs, you are a thief and robber and a rebel.
The carnal natural mind of man is hostile toward God and is filled with unrighteousness and ungodliness and always pouring forth the traditions of men which make the Word of God non-effective. Romans 8:6-8 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God: For it does not subject itself to the Law of God (rule of God), for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Notice that the mind set on the flesh is a rebellious mind. Hostile toward the will of God, and it is not able to submit. Galations 5:17 says, “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do what you want to.”
Remember that God breathed into Adam and Adam became a living soul. When the Spirit and the flesh came together, Adam became a living soul. Paul declares here, that there is a war going on between the spirit and the flesh. He also declares that the flesh is antichrist, antispirit and rebellious.
James 3:13 – 4:10 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You quarrel and fight.”
This is nothing more than the manifestation of the carnal mind.
2 Thess. 2:1-4 Says, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us , saying that the Day of the Lord has already come. 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 opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
This letter was written to the Church at Thessalonica to correct the any minute teaching concerning the coming of Christ. In the following discourse, I want to point out several things that Paul said must happen before this can occur.
In the first verse we want to look at the word ‘gathered’. This word ‘gathered’ is Strong’s No. 1997 and is the Greek word ‘Ep-ee-soon-a- gog-ay’ and means a complete collection. Specifically a church meeting for worship–assembling (gathering) together
There are two places this Greek word is found in the New Testament. Here and in Heb. 10:25 which talks about not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. It is taken from a root word No. 1996 ‘Ep ee- soon ag-o’ meaning together and is found seven times in the New Testament.
In Matt. 23:37 Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children TOGETHER, as a hen GATHERS her chicks under her wings.”
In. Matt 24:21 Jesus said, “And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they shall GATHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Jesus Christ is appearing in the saints even now, which is the unveiling of this first mystery of Christ in You, but there is also going to be an appearing of the Lord in the air.
In verse 2 of II Cor. 2, Paul said, “Don’t become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.”
There were those, in the early days of the Church, who were going around shaking people up by teaching and sending letters with Pauls signature forged on them saying that Jesus had already come back. Even so today many are trying to predict the day and hour when Jesus will return. Let’s look very close to what Paul was teaching here concerning the Second Coming of Christ. Paul preached two mysteries. The present day reality of Christ in you, and he preached a present day reality of the antichrist-the beast nature in you. Paul said in verse three, “Don’t let anyone deceived 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.” (NIV)
The KJV says, “Until there comes a falling away first.” Let’s take a look at this word ‘falling away’. In Strong’s concordance it’s No. 646 which is the Greek word ‘Op-os-tas-ee’-ah’ from which we get our English word ‘apostasy’ from, and means ‘forsake’. It is only found in the New Testament two times. Here and in Acts 21:21 which says, “They have informed us that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to TURN AWAY FROM Moses…”
It is taken from a root word ‘Af-is’-tay-mee’ and means to depart from. Afistaymee is listed fifteen times in the New Testament; the most notable listing is found in I Tim. 4:1 where Paul said that some would depart from the faith.
The reason that I have looked up this word, ‘falling away’, with you is that many believe and teach that there is going to be an incarnation of Satan, himself, as the man of sin, the antichrist. And also there are those who teach that the next thing that is going to happen is that we are going to be caught away from the earth or Raptured. They also teach that the falling away first is the departing of the saints or the Rapture, which must come first before the Man of Sin can be revealed.
This word falling away means just what it says. There has already begun an apostasy, a falling away from, even among Spirit-filled people! Jesus said in Matt. 24 that the love of many would become cold or wax cold. Surely, in the light of what is happening through out the Body of Christ right now, you would have to admit that the love of many Christians is growing cold!!
If there is going to be a falling away, there first must be something to fall away from. In Rev.3:20 Jesus is seen standing outside most churches and cannot get in because of their man made programs and man made governments and stands outside the door and knocks with His HAND!!! His apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelist… He is trying to get in but the Church, on the whole, is stubborn (idolatry) and rebellious (witchcraft) and will not listen to His delegated authority that He has sent.
In Rev. 3:20 Jesus said, “If you will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in.” Listen to me charismatics, God always speaks to His people through His messengers: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelist. You had better stop your rebelling against God’s delegated authority because this is His voice to you. But you have got your door shut. Jesus is standing outside most of what is being done today in His Name.
Jesus said also that there would be false prophets in those days, but you cannot have a false prophet unless you have a true prophet. This calls for discernment and a knowledge of God’s word. The bible says that darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people. Darkness is speaking about ignorance of God’s will and God’s way. Ignorance of God’s two greatest mysteries.
There is going to be a manifestation of the Man of Sin but what most people don’t understand is that the Man of Sin is a Corporate Man. That Man of Sin, that beast nature, the carnal mind is being revealed. The Man of Sin and the Son of Perdition is Corporate just as the New Creation Man, the New Man in Christ, is Corporate.
In verse 4 you will find out what this Man of Sin will be doing when He is revealed. “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Earlier we showed you that your carnal mind is at war with your spirit. Rom. 8:6-7 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
This beast nature in you, your carnal mind, will oppose or exalt itself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he, as god, sits in the temple of God, you, showing himself that he is god.
The generally accepted teaching is that there is going to be a temple built in Jerusalem and that there is going to be a world wide dictator and he is going to have an image that talks. There are two Greek words for temple in the New Testament Greek. First, the Greek word ‘Hieron’ which is used consistently in Matt., Mark, Luke, John, Acts and in I Cor. 9:13 and means a literal building. Every other place in the New Testament where you find the word ‘temple’, it is the Greek word `NAOS’ and it means a Spiritual building or the inner sanctuary of God. Know you not, that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit??? In Eph. 2 he said we are growing into a holy Temple in the Lord. This is the same Greek word used in II Thess. 2:4 when he said there is some one sitting in the temple.
We are the temple Paul is talking about here and it is not some temple over in Jerusalem because it is a Spiritual temple. The one that is sitting in the temple is, for sure, the antichrist. He is the spirit of antichrist. He opposes and exalt himself above all that is called God and if you listen to him, if you let that stubborn, obstinate, carnal mind rise up in you; and if you, by tradition, continue to walk in the vein conversations that you received from your fathers, the result is inevitable.
Stubbornness, (which is as iniquity, lawlessness), and rebellion, (which is as the sin of witchcraft), will take control of your carnal mind and will cause you to be blinded to further revelation from the Spirit of the Lord. (I Sam. 15:23) This beast nature, this carnal mind, this traditional way of thinking, opposes and sets itself up against all that is called God.
I want to give you seven key words in this passage from II Thess. 2:1- 12.
1. In verse 2 the word `WORD’
2. In verse 4 the phrase `ALL THAT IS CALLED GOD’
3. In verse 8 the phrase `HIS MOUTH’
4. In verse 10 the word `TRUTH’
5. In verse 12 the word `TRUTH’
6. In verse 15 the word `WORD’
7. In verse 17 the word `WORD’
These words and phrases are those things that the carnal mind does not want to hear. For if they are accepted it means the carnal mind will be renewed. Carnal minds do not want to hear the truth and the truth is, that we the Church, are not ready to meet Him!!! You are not ready to meet the Lord and I am not ready to meet the Lord. We must all come into maturity and we cannot do that if we are in rebellion to the authority that God has placed in the Church to bring us into maturity. Paul said in Eph. 4:11-16, “It was He 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 until we all reach 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.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, 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.”
We must mature!! Paul said in Gal. 4:19, My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…”
What is holding back and what is restraining? That one that is sitting in the temple. That thing in you that opposes and exalts itself above all that is called God and says, “I don’t care what the word says, I am going to believe what I have been taught all my life.” Well, go ahead if you want to, but if you do, you will become a part of a system that God has labeled The Man of Sin, The Son of Perdition. We do that every time we allow our carnal mind to rise up in arrogance against the Word of God. Peter said in I Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ…”
Jesus said in Mark 7:13, “Thus, you nullify (or to make to none effect), the Word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.”
When we follow the traditions of men instead of the truth contained in the bible we are exalting our carnal minds above the Word of God which He has elevated even above His name.
The problem with the truth is that if we accept it, then we are going to have to change our worship, we will have to change what we believe and we will have to change our life style. The Church is not in the need of a Rapture, we’re in the need of a cleansing. What would you think if you went to a wedding and the bride came in and had not taken a bath for a year and had her hair up in curlers and an old worn out bath robe on?
The scriptures say that the Bride has made herself ready. We are doing God’s people a disservice if we tell them all they have to do is to be born again. The traditions of men have kept the Church in the shackles of humanistic bondage for two thousand years now.
I would like to clarify what I mean by the term Mystery of Iniquity. You must understand that we are the real temple of God that He is concerned about. Not a literal building over in Jerusalem. There is a spirit, an old man, a beast nature, the carnal mind, the spirit of antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition that is ruling in God’s spiritual temple. The one that is restraining and holding back the move of God is not the devil but is our unrenewed minds. Romans 8:6 says, “To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”
There are seven phrases in II Thessalonians 2 that refer to the living Word. These are important because the carnal mind is hostile to the living Word.
1. In verse 2 Paul says, “…nor by word…”
2. In verse 4 “…above all that is called God…”
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Greek emphasis is that God was the Word. ‘Above all that is called God’, is talking about the Word. In verse 8 he says: “…with the breath of His mouth…” And what is it that comes out of His mouth? His Word!!
In verse 10 he says: “…refuse to love the TRUTH…” In John 17:17 Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your WORD is TRUTH.”
Notice verse 12: “That they all might be damned who believed not the TRUTH, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” People take pleasure in their traditions because their traditions please them.
In II Cor. 3:12-18 Paul said, “Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, who put a veil over his face that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. But their minds were blinded, for until this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been re-moved, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, The veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
The thing that makes the Rapture theory so contrary to the Word of God is the any minute coming of the Lord and the instantaneous change into perfection. The Bible does not teach an instantaneous change. It teaches a progressive change from:
1. Strength to strength, (Psalms 84:7)
2. Faith to faith, (Romans 1:17)
3. Glory to glory, (II Cor. 3:18)
Someone says, “But I can’t see that, brother Johnson!” I know why you can’t see it. Because your mind is blind! And I don’t mean that as an insult. Paul says, here in this scripture, that even in his day when some people read the scriptures there was a veil over their minds. In other words, when they read the scriptures they could not understand what they were reading.
Paul said, however, that when they turned to listen to the Holy Spirit, that veil, that blindness was taken away. So then, when the Spirit is allowed to be Lord there is liberty. Now, with a mind that is not blinded, you are free for the Spirit to bring revelation from the Lord. As a result, this change will begin to take place in you to take you from glory to glory and bring you into maturity.
Every place you see the word ‘mystery’ in the bible, it takes the illuminating, enabling power of the Holy Spirit to even be able to see what God is saying. Turn again to Acts 17:29: “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”
In Rev. 13:16-18 it mentions the Mark of the Beast and that they were marked in their right hand and their forehead. The word ‘marked’ is the same Greek word as the word ‘graven’ here in Acts 17:29 and it is the Greek word ‘charagma’ from which we get our English word ‘character’. It is a kin to the Greek word in Heb. 1:3 where Jesus is said to be the express IMAGE of the Father. And it means a stamp, a mark, or an impress.
I have already shared with you that in I Samuel 15:22-23 rebellion is as witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Iniquity is idolatry. Iniquity is being a law breaker. The Mystery of Iniquity is also the Mystery of idolatry. It’s the Mystery of Rebellion. It’s the Mystery of Witchcraft. It’s the Mystery of Stubbornness. It’s the Mystery of The Carnal Mind.
They were graven by art, which is the Greek word ‘teckne’ and means handy craft or crafted by hand and by man’s reasonings. In other words, man’s hand and man’s mind. Where is the Mark of the Beast? The right hand and the forehead. Everywhere man’s mind and man’s creative genius has had a good idea and everywhere he has used his strength, his money, his influence, his ability, and his technology, to design that idea, that which he has created and designed has the mark of the beast on it. Ezekiel 6:1-7 says: “And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, `Son of man set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them and say, `You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills and to the rivers and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you and I will destroy your HIGH PLACES. And your ALTARS shall be desolate, and your IMAGES shall be broken and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste and the high places shall be desolate that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate and your IDOLS may be broken and cease and your IMAGES may be cut down and your WORKS may be abolished. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you and you shall know that I am the Lord.'”
In the world system today, men think like a beast and they act like a beast. The mind and the hand. The forehead and the right hand. What I am saying to you is that there is already stamped on the world system, and this includes the religious world system, the Mark of the Beast. Any teaching that you hear which comes from the carnal mind of man, is stamped with the Mark of the Beast.
One of the Beastly teachings is that we are going to be Raptured out of here any minute. I am not just saying this in order to make you mad or to just get your attention. But to say to you that this teaching came out of the mind of man and it takes the strength and hand of man to keep it going.
Rev. 9:20-21 says: “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the WORK OF THEIR HANDS; they did no stop worshipping DEMONS, and IDOLS of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
Men will not repent of the works of their hands. Notice, it says that they would not stop worshipping their idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood and these things cannot SEE or HEAR or WALK. If you worship the things of the flesh, you will be unable to SEE or HEAR the voice of the Spirit.
Paul said in Romans 6:16: “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
If you worship the things of the flesh, you are worshipping that which is corruptible and is dying!! Just like the woman in Luke 13:4, those who worship the flesh and the handiwork of man are bent over and cannot see or hear what the Spirit is saying and doing. And they certainly are not walking in what God is saying to the Church in this generation. You will find what God is saying in the bible but you cannot understand it unless He illuminates your heart, your mind, and your understanding.
If there are Beastly thoughts which result in beastly actions; if there are Beastly Carnal Minded teachings which result in iniquity, stubbornness, rebellion, witchcraft, and idolatry; the end result will be a local church that cannot see and cannot hear and cannot walk. Jesus said in Rev. 3:17, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, BLIND, and naked.”
There is a carnal mind, a beast nature, an antichrist nature, which exalts himself above the Word and takes the place of the Word. His traditions and his ideas take place of the Word and he sits in the temple showing himself that his way and his thoughts are more important than God’s way and God’s thoughts and by his words and his actions he declares himself as God.
For the last ten years I have been teaching and preaching that God’s destiny for you and me is that we be like Jesus in this life and in the life to come. I have received more persecution because of this teaching than anything else. The very men and teachings and organizations that oppose this have made the Word of God to none effect and have set themselves up as God in the process.
When we say I am going to believe my teachings, my traditions more than the bible, then have we set ourselves up as having more wisdom than God Himself.
Now, let’s look at the phrase, ‘who holds it back’ in verse seven. This phrase is the same in the Greek language as the phrase, ’till he is taken out of the way’. This phrase ‘taken out of the way’ is not a very good translation from the original. The original wording says ‘until he comes into being’ or ‘until he be revealed’. This is the Greek word ‘ginomai’ and literally means until he comes to the birth and be revealed and manifested. This is the subject of this whole passage of scripture; the revealing of The Man of Sin.
Just as there is going to be a manifestation of the corporate Son of God, there is also going to be a manifestation of the corporate Son of Satan! The Man of Sin. Jesus told the Pharisees of His day who were ruled by the carnal mind, “You are of your father, the devil.”
Verse 10 in the King James version says, “And then shall that Wicked be reveled.” In verse 9, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan…” And in verse 10, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness IN THEM that perish…”
Why is it that the Church does not want to be told this? That this Mystery of Iniquity, this spirit of antichrist, this man of sin, this son of perdition, this beast nature is the unrighteousness that is in them that perish.!! “Because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” It is also called a strong delusion and a lie in verse 11. In verse 3, let’s take a look at the phrase ‘and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.’
The Greek word for ‘revealed’ is No. 601 in the Strong’s concordance and it is the Greek word ‘apokalupto’ and means to be uncovered, to be unveiled, to be reveled.
The Greek word for ‘perdition’ is No. 684 in the Strong’s concordance and it is the Greek word ‘apoleia’ and means destruction, waste, perdition, to die, damnable heresies, and pernicious ways. As the son of perdition, this man is destined to be destroyed. In verse 8 Paul says when this will happen, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall CONSUME with the spirit of His mouth, and shall DESTROY with the brightness of His coming.”
In Verse 4 Paul says, “Who opposeth…” The Greek word for ‘opposeth’ is No. 480 in the Strong’s concordance and is the Greek word ‘antikeimai’ and means to oppose or to be an adversary. It is found eight times in the New Testament. Here in verse 4 which says, “Opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God..” In Luke 13:17 it says, “And when He had said these things, all His ADVERSARIES were ashamed…”
Notice also, that in Luke 13, the blind synagogue ruler is called an ADVERSARY of God!!! In Galatians 5:17 Paul says, “The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh…” The Spirit spoken of here is the Christ nature in you and the flesh is the Mystery of Iniquity.
The Amplified bible of Galations 5:17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the (Holy) Spirit – and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (Godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other – continually withstanding and in conflict with each other so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do”
The desires of the flesh are opposed to the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the scriptures. The Holy Spirit and the written Word of God are in complete agreement. What the flesh desires in it’s traditions and teachings is opposed to the written Word of God!! The flesh opposes and exalts itself above all that is called God. Isn’t this what our forefather, Adam, desired to do as recorded in Isaiah 14:13-14?
“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne ABOVE the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High”
This word ‘exalt’ is No. 5229 in Strong’s concordance and is the Greek word ‘hupenantios’ and means to raise ONESELF over, to become haughty, to be exalted above measure. It is found in two other places. In II Cor. 12:7 where Paul said, “…Lest I be exalted above measure…” And again in verse 4, “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God…”
This word ‘sits’ is No. 2523 in Strong’s concordance and is the Greek word ‘kathizo’ and means to sit down, to settle (hover or dwell), to tarry. In other words, this one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped, wants to live [dwell] in God’s temple.
Again in verse 4 the phrase ‘showing himself that he is God…’ The word ‘showing’ is No. 584 in Strong’s concordance and it is the Greek word ‘apodeiknumi’ and means to show off, exhibit, demonstrate, prove, set forth, show.
In Acts 2:22 it says, “…Jesus of Nazareth, a man APPROVED of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs…”
In Acts 25:7 it says, “And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round a bout, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not PROVE.”
In I Cor. 4:9 it says, “I thank God that He SET forth us the apostles last…”
Those who are operating in the flesh will always SET themselves forth first and want to sell you on their own APPROVAL. Beware of those who are always patting themselves on the back. Judge a man’s ministry by how much he sets forth himself. Who gets the most praise, God or him? Paul said in II Cor. 5:12, “We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again…“ And again in II Cor. 10:12, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.”
In II Thess. 2:5-7 Paul said, “Remember that when I was with you I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time, for the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way.”
Now let’s look at the phrase ‘he that letteth’. It is No. 2722 in the Strong’s concordance and is the Greek word ‘katecho’ and means to hold down, to possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold, to detain or hinder the progress of something.
The traditional teaching is that the Holy Spirit in the Church is restraining and holding back the forces of darkness and when the Church is Raptured out the Holy Spirit will be taken out also and all the forces of darkness will be released like as a mighty flood tide of evil. If this is true, then how can all those people in Rev. 9 be saved in the midst of tribulation? If the Holy Spirit has been taken out, no one can be saved. Jesus said, “No man can come to Me unless he is drawn to Me by My Father. And there will be a multitude without number that will come out of the great tribulation.
Paul said here that they know who is holding back, who is restraining, who it is that is detaining, who it is that is hindering. It is time for the Mystery of Iniquity to be reveled. The phrase, ‘until he be taken out of the way’, is the Greek word that we looked at earlier ‘ginomia’.
All that II Thess. 2:7 is saying is this, “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work among us; only he that now hinders will continue to hinder until he be birthed out, until he be completely reveled.“
And then shall that wicked man of sin be revealed when he comes into his fullness. And the purpose of his revelation is so that the corporate Son of God will consume him with the mighty Word that comes forth from His mouth as the sound of many rushing waters.
He is not talking about the Church being taken out of here. He is simply saying that this man of sin, this carnal mind, is that which opposes and restraineth the move of the Holy Spirit of God in your life and in mine. This is why Paul exhorts us in I Thess. 5:19 to quench not the Holy Spirit of God.
What has held us back is The Law of Sin and Death as it operates in the Carnal Mind. I want you to realize that all this is happening within the temple and you are that temple. Peter said it this way in II Peter 1:19: “And we have the word made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rise in your heart.”
The light shining in a dark place is Christ in you shining forth the light of His Word into your carnal mind. The prophets of God in the Old Testament saw two eras of time. This is brought out in 1 Peter 1:10-11, which says, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”
The two eras of time that they saw were:
1. The time period of the sufferings of Christ.
2. And the time period of the glories that would follow.
In Acts 3:18-21 Peter said, “But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets saying that His Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins might be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He might send the Christ, who has been appointed for you; even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore EVERYTHING, as He promised long ago through ALL His holy prophets.”
Please note the following:
1. That His Christ would suffer.
2. That times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
3. He [Jesus] must remain in heaven UNTIL the time comes for God to restore ALL things.
The prophets saw two time periods of God’s grace:
1. They saw the early rain, which followed His suffering,
2. And they saw the latter rain, which proceeds His coming again.
The early rain, which fell to cause the seed to grow, fell on the Day of Pentecost. The latter rain, which began to fall in the early 1900’s, is causing the Church to come into maturity. When Jesus came the first time, He came as a man and as a Spirit. However, Jesus said in John 14:18 speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Christ, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
And again in John 14:23 He said, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him and We Will Come and make our home With him.”
The Spirit of His Son was sent into our hearts whereby we cry ‘Abba, Father’. (Rom. 8:15) On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus came again, not as a man, but as a life giving Spirit. Before Jesus comes again in the air and every eye shall behold Him, He will come by His Spirit, in His fullness, to indwell His Body, the Church.
When Jesus died, we died with Him; and when He rose from the grave, we were resurrected with Him. (Rom 6) And we were given a measure of His Holy Spirit as a deposit to guarantee that the Day is coming when we will receive the fullness of His Spirit and do the greater works that He promised. II Cor. 1:21 says, “He anointed us, set His seal of owner ship on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts guaranteeing what is to come.”
Before Jesus comes in the air, the Christ in you is going to speak to your carnal mind and you will be set free from that which restrains you and holds you back. As a result, the fullness of His Spirit will be released in your life and you will be changed and become pure and spotless and unwrinkled.
Jesus is coming in the saints as a Spirit and then He is coming WITH the saints in His glorified body in the air. When Jesus returns in the air, the Jesus that the world sees will be The Corporate Son of God? The reason there must be a catching up in the air to meet or to greet the Lord is because the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, is coming down out of heaven from God to dwell here on this earth. We must go up to meet and be with the Corporate Son of God, because we are a part of that Corporate Son.
God is going to destroy the Man of Sin with the Brightness of His coming in His Corporate Son and by the Powerful Word that this Corporate Son is going to speak. At the end of this age there is going to be a Corporate Son of God stand up and face a Corporate Man of Sin.
There is taking place, right now in your innermost being, a miniature picture of this confrontation and conflict that shall rage through out this whole universe. This message I am proclaiming to you is the most profound message we can hear. If the revelation of this message ever dawns on your thinking, not only will it eventually change your life, but it will affect the lives of everyone you come into contact with.
This message is not something new!! It has been around for many years. More and more Pastors are now receiving this revelation because it is the time for this Man of Sin to be revealed. This Man of Sin, the carnal mind, must be revealed to God’s people in order that the hindrance to His Spirit being released in their lives might be taken out of the way.
This mystery is going to continue to hinder God’s people until it is exposed. In Gen. 32, Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and the angel asked him what his name was. Jacob answered, “My name is Jacob.” You see, your name is a reflection of your nature. The angel of the Lord was asking Jacob, “What is your nature?” Jacob said, “I am a surplanter, I am a deceiver, I am a phony, I am a hypocrite.” However, the angel of the Lord rebuked him and said that his name or his nature would no longer be Jacob. From this time on his name or his nature would be called Israel, because he had struggled with God and men and overcome both of them.
The Spirit of the Lord is sooner or latter going to ask you the same question. What is your nature? What are you really like when you take your mask off? Most Christians are self-righteous and especially Charismatics who would answer the Father, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” This answer is true as far as Satan or the world is concerned, but this is the Father of all spirits asking you this question. If you will humble yourselves and admit that, in and of yourselves, you are everything that Jacob was, except for the grace of God.
We must come to the end of ourselves and admit that we are nothing without Him. Then, and only then, will God speak a final death blow to our carnal mind, our carnal nature, and fill us with His nature. Then, and only then, will we be like Him. Then the prayer of Jesus will come true. We will be one with He and the Father and the eternal purpose of God will be accomplished.
II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people who are called by My Name [Nature] will humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face [presence] and turn from THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
If God can just get you to say, “I am the one who has opposed and exalted MYSELF above all that is called God.
I am the one who has been setting on Your throne in Your temple. I am the one who has restrained Your Spirit from filling Your temple. Lord, I did not realize that I was the one all the time holding you back. Please forgive me!” then He can begin to reveal to you His eternal plan that He has design especially for you.
In the day of Jacob’s trouble, the Church is going to meet Jesus face to face through a prophetic ministry. She is going to confess Her true colors, and the Blind Ruler in the synagogue, the Carnal Mind, the Mystery of Iniquity, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition will be destroyed by the Brilliance of His coming. Colossians 1:24-29 says, “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the Church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the Word of God in its fullness- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.”
The Mystery of Christ in you is the Christians hope for glory. When we receive the life of Christ and begin to experience His nature being manifested in our lives, hope begins to rise up within us. Hope that God will bring to pass that which He has promised when Jesus said that we would be like Him.
Even as God has poured His life out in us, the day is coming when we will pour out His life from within us to a lost and dying humanity. The Blessed Hope of the Christian is that when Jesus comes, we will be like Him.
I John 3:1-2 says: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we would be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known, But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
My Blessed Hope is not that Jesus will come again, that is a fact, and you do not have to hope in a fact. The ultimate goal of the Christ nature in you is for that nature to permeate your spirit, soul, and body and to be visible through you so that the world may see that Jesus was truly from God and that God did send Him as a propitiation for their sins.
The world can only see and understand through their five senses. They must see to believe. The purpose of the Holy Spirit in you is to mature you and to perfect you. So that the world may see the life of Christ Jesus being manifested in you as a witness to them. II Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
To be in Christ is not the same thing as Christ in you!! There is no one alive in which the old things have passed away to the extent that ALL THINGS are become new. The proof of this is that your body has not been renewed. Your spirit has become new and you have been given a deposit of His Spirit. Guaranteeing that there is coming a day when the full expression of the Christ in you will be manifest and you will be like Him.
I want to quote some scriptures to you in order for you to see what I mean.
I Timothy 6:12 says, “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
We are to take hold of eternal life. This is our responsibility! We must allow this life of Christ to live in us.
Romans 1:17 says, “For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’.”
Romans 2:7 says, “To them, who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.”
II Timothy 1:8-11 says, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of His Own Purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
I Peter 1:3-5 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
This full salvation will be manifest in the last days in which we are living. II Cor. 4:10-11 says, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
Romans 8:11 says, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.”
Isaiah 25:6-9 says, “On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from ALL faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth.” [NIV] [KJV] says, “And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto ALL people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over ALL people, and the veil that is spread over ALL nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off ALL faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off ALL the earth: for the Lord has spoken it.”
I want you to see that again and again God tells us what He is going to do. I am here to tell you the good news that God has done ALL these things in Jesus Christ. We are patiently waiting for the Day when these things become a reality in our lives.
We often quote Heb. 9:27 which says, “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
I am here to tell you that Jesus has already met that appointment for us. Romans 8:1 says, “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.”
I Cor. 15:50-58 says, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit The Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will ALL be changed–in a moment, 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 the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: `Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The first man Adam was a living soul, and the last man Adam was a life giving Spirit. We are to have this Christ in us until we are in Christ. Flesh and blood cannot inherit this; Ishmael cannot inherit this; the beast nature cannot inherit this.
Here is another mystery that we have just read. This scripture tells me that not everyone is going to die. This change that we have been talking about starts in our spirits. As our understanding of the eternal mysteries of God is broaden it permeates our soul [mind, will, emotions] and when our mind is completely renewed it will manifest itself in our bodies and as a result our bodies will be changed and become like His.
In verse 52 it says, ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ The Greek word for ‘moment’ is Atomos and means uncut, that is, indivisible; as atom of time. The King James Bible was written in a time when the smallest thing they knew about was a moment. The NIV writers used the word ‘flash’ which is a little closer. But the word means Atom, which is the smallest division of atomic energy that we can have without a tremendous release of energy.
When mankind learned to split the atom, we discovered perhaps the most powerful force available to the natural man. Scientist will tell you today that they do not know what holds the nucleus of an atom together. There is, however, a more powerful force in the universe, which is the powerful Word of God which is what holds the atom together.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
There is coming a day in which God is going to release His powerful Word and it is going to split forever the First Adam from the Second Adam. As result there is going to be the greatest release of energy that the world will ever experience. It will be so powerful that now only will our bodies be changed, but sin will be dealt with and death will be swallowed up in victory and even all of creation will be changed and come into the glory of the Son’s of God. This change is going to occur in our atoms or in our atomic structure.
In the phrase, ‘the last trumpet’; the word ‘at’ in the Greek is the preposition ‘in.’ In other words, we are going to be changed in the last trumpet. Rotherhams’ translation says that they are going to be changed during the last trumpet. Phillips translation says as the trumpet sounds.
All of creation is waiting for someone to break through that veil of flesh, break through that limitation of the carnal mind and manifest the Christ nature. This is the hope of all creation.
2 Cor. 3:15-18 says, “Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Cor. 4:3-4 says, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
We have already read in Isaiah 25:6-9 that God is going to remove the shroud, the sheet, the veil that has blinded the minds of all people and in that Day every eye shall behold Him and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. But even now those who are in Christ Jesus have that veil already taken away and we reflect His nature as a standard and as a witness in order that He might judge the world.
When anyone makes Jesus Lord of their lives, that veil is taken away and the Spirit begins to reveal the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ to that person. The degree that you have made Jesus Lord of your life will determine the degree of the revelation of Him in your life.
Let me say this another way. Your understanding of the mysteries of the Word of God is an indication of the extent that you have made Jesus Lord of your life. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would take those things that were His and reveal them to us.
We are being changed, or transformed into His likeness or nature with an ever increasing manifestation of His likeness. Paul said in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
This change will never begin to operate in you as long as your mind is blinded by the traditions of man. This change begins in your spirit and flows into your soul, by the renewing of your mind, and finally into your body which will be changed. This change comes from within and not from without.
GOD’S TWO GREATEST MYSTERIES, Chapters 1-5 [David Johnson] 1