BY: ROBERT D. TORANGO
19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
20Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (KJV)
Recently, while driving to Michigan to visit a dear friend, Elton Weatherly, I had a visitation from God that has changed my life and given a clarity concerning His working in my life and that of my wife, Charlotte. I was in a state of confusion and, to be quite frank, filled with offense toward God for the things that had been happening to us and others across the country.
As some of you may know, Charlotte has gone through a great trial with her body for many years. She has been faithful beyond belief to be available to the ministry in spite of her immense physical obstacles, never allowing her condition to interfere with her commitment to God and to His body of believers. In August she noticed a swelling in her left leg and thought it was due to water retention, but it hurt too bad to walk without great effort. She ministered in church that Sunday with a cane to support her and on Monday we took her to emergency to see what the problem was. It turned out to be 2 stress fractures in her shin, one in her tibia and one in her fibula. We were really stunned since she didn’t fall or hit her leg on anything. The doctor told us that due to her prolonged use of steroids needed for Addison’s disease, her bones had become brittle and were in danger of breaking due to normal weight and usage. If she felt sore in any part of her body we would have to come to the hospital to get x-rays done to see if she broke any bones.
She was put into a cast and confined to a bed or a wheelchair and had to keep her leg elevated at all times. This lasted for 6 weeks. Charlotte continued to worship the Lord and to try to keep a positive attitude, waiting for the 6 weeks to pass, which they did very slowly. She was one happy woman when I took her to the hospital and they told her she didn’t need the cast anymore. That Friday I took the wheelchair back to the rental place and bid farewell to it and took Charlotte out to eat to celebrate. Sunday morning we awoke with joy in our hearts because Charlotte was going to go to church with me and walk in without a wheelchair, from which she played the keyboard and ministered when the Lord spoke for her to do so.
I was in the kitchen getting the guitars ready to take to church when I heard Charlotte yell for me from the bedroom. I went running in to see her sitting on the bed sobbing. She was getting dressed for church and lifted her healed leg up to put it in her skirt and she heard a loud crack from her right foot and felt pain knife through her. I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned and totally crushed. I also started to cry over the thought of another break. I was frightened by the thought of trying to pick her up to carry her out to the car, as I was worried about breaking more bones in carrying her. We prayed and I proceeded to carefully carry her to the car and drive her to get x-rays. I could barely see the road through the tears as I drove and Charlotte was sobbing with pain and disappointment. In the midst of all this, my wife said something that only she could say at a time like this. When she had broke her left leg she had to cut off the left leg of her slacks in order to wear them over the cast. Now she looked at me and cried, “Doggone it, now I have to cut the other leg off my pants and all I’ll have to wear is shorts!” I stopped crying and looked at her with an obvious stupid look on my face at the absurdity of it all and we both broke up with laughter. We couldn’t stop laughing all the way into x-ray. I am sure they thought we had lost our minds! Thank God for His precious ways of bringing us back from the edge of despair! We found out she had broke her right foot and ankle in 2 places. She was once again put into a cast and had to wear it and be confined for another 6 weeks. We did solve the problem with her pants by having her wear them backwards! Oh me.
In all honesty, this has been the hardest trial we have ever faced. The last two breaks in Charlotte‘s bones were even more painful than the first two. They hurt her constantly, and she went without sleep many nights. At times it was hard to keep our spirits up and not to get discouraged. Coupled with this was a great fear of making some normal movement, such as turning over in bed at night, and hearing another crack of bone. Eventually, we learned to turn it all over to the Lord. The pain has not left entirely yet, and Charlotte still walks with pain and needs a cane to support her. This caused great offense in me toward God and caused me to doubt His methods of dealing in our lives. The offense was not just over Charlotte either. It was over Preston Eby, one of the greatest writers of our time and a dear friend, going through a life-threatening neck problem resulting in a painful surgery and very painful recovery. It was over my spiritual father, Dale Davis, lying in a hospital in a coma after having a heart attack at the close of a service where he preached a great message on the shewbread of God’s presence. (Dale has since made his transition to be with the Lord) This offended me. It seemed everybody we knew was put into frightful circumstances. Charlie Rhyne, a dear friend and fellow minister had fallen in his backyard during a storm and lay in the rain for 2 hours until he could get help. He dislocated his shoulder and lost all feeling in his arm. The doctors told him he may never use the arm again. (Charlie has since been getting feeling back into his arm) This hurt me and offended me. Gene Conaway, a dear friend and fellow minister got the news from his doctor that he has cancer of the bladder. This crushed me and offended me. On and on I could go with accounts of dire situations on every hand. I was driving along with great offense in me, on my way to see our Papa in the Lord, Elton Weatherly, a dear friend and fellow minister, who had recently fallen in the tub at home and crushed his head on the edge of the tub. He had to get his skull opened up and the blood drained from around the brain and has gone through a hard time of recovery with some memory problems due to the blow. I was offended, and I was mad, and I was telling the Father all about it.
“God, how could you let these things happen? These are all men and women of God, the very best that this present time has to offer to you and you stood by and allowed all of this. You could have strengthened my wife’s bones and disannulled the effects of those drugs. In fact, you could have healed her years ago and she never would have had to take those drugs in the first place. Why didn’t you!? You could have stopped Charlie from going out that door and he never would have fallen. Preston could have been healed from this bone condition and never would have gone through this ordeal. You could have destroyed the cancer cells in Gene’s body and you could have sent an angel to keep Elton from falling in the tub. Why didn’t you? These are ministry that have been faithful in every aspect of their lives and you allowed these things to happen. But most of all Lord, I am offended at the way my wife has been handled by you. She has written songs that speak life to all that hear them, and she is the very best preacher I have ever heard, and yet she has remained weak and afflicted in her body since a little girl. Why Lord? Why?”
The answer, whispered in my ear, heavy with compassion and care, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.”
In that simple, short statement, I was yanked back from the edge of offense and brought back into my right mind. After all, what could I say back to that? The one speaking to me knew first hand from whence He spoke. He shed His blood on Calvary for me and for the entire world.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV)
He was the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb of God, perfect and without blemish. Why then would He be talking to me about a further shedding of blood? This sent me to the bible to read again the 9th chapter of Hebrews and to revisit what the author was getting at.
The writer begins the 9th chapter right after stating in the 8th chapter that, in saying a “new covenant” he has made the first covenant old, and that which is old, decayeth and is ready to vanish away. He then gives us a review of how the old tabernacle and all of the articles and the people themselves were sanctified. It was done by blood. A lot of blood. Bowls of blood. Blood was everywhere, on the tabernacle, on the mercy seat, on the book, on the people, everywhere and on almost everything. This was a slaughter folks. Looking at it in the natural, it was upsetting and crude. Many in the deeper truths of God have renounced the idea of “the blood”. It isn’t a pretty sight, and we are a people that want everything around us to be pretty and clean. The fact is, this day of the Lord can get pretty ugly at times. Sorry, but I’m just telling you the facts. The high priest himself could not enter into the holiest of all without blood. Truth is, he was covered with it. For without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.
The 16th chapter of Leviticus tells us that Aaron was to only come through the veil in the holy place at a certain time, when the Lord would appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. On this Day of Atonement he was to bring his own offering and an offering from the congregation of Israel. Aaron’s offering was to be a young bullock given for a sin offering for him and his family and a ram given for a burnt offering. Israel was to give Aaron two kid goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. When Aaron takes the two kid goats to the door of the tabernacle, he is to cast lots upon them and one lot will be killed and offered for the people and the other lot will be for a scapegoat that will be presented to the Lord alive to make an atonement with Him and to be set free in the wilderness. One lives, the other gets sacrificed. As we know, the Lord is our sacrificial Lamb, who was slain at the cross in our stead, and it is His blood that has covered us and made us acceptable to the Father.
The blood of bull and goats were used to cover the earthly articles and sinful man with a sacrifice of a shed life, and to make communication possible between a holy God and sinful mankind. But all of this was only a shadow and type of that which was to come through Jesus Christ. Aaron went into the holy of holies with blood, but not his own blood! It was his bullock that gave his life in type for Aaron and his family, but Jesus went into the holy of holies by His OWN blood, hence becoming our great high priest, and made an entrance way for us into the holiest of all, and without the shedding of that glorious blood we would have no fellowship with God. His blood covers us and makes us acceptable to God. However, under that blood that now covers us lies a corruptible self, that is forgiven and not held in judgment by reason of that great sacrifice. Forgiven, yes, but not totally changed at the present time!
Let me set forth some qualifying statements for this last thought. Only Jesus could save the world through His sacrifice. There is only one blood that could redeem mankind, and that was THE blood, His blood. Hebrews 6:20 states that Jesus is our forerunner, an odd title, seeing as to how John the Baptist was called the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The title, forerunner, signifies that others are to come after. John made the crooked paths straight, and prepared the way for Jesus. Jesus also has made a way for us to enter in behind the veil to where He is. The greek word for forerunner is “prodromos” meaning, “a runner ahead; i.e. scout”.
Jesus has gone ahead of us, not to remain there alone and separate, but to bring us to where He is! We are being sent by Him in the same fashion as He was sent by the Father, not only as Sons, but as living sacrifices. Whatever happens to us and for us has far reaching consequences in the universal Body of Christ. Nothing is done strictly on an individual level in this order of the corporate man. There is a need for us to understand our new responsibilities concerning the day that we have approached unto. The life that you shed is the life that will bring about the “greater works” that Jesus spoke to the disciples about. Why “greater” works? Who could be greater than Jesus, and do greater things than He did? No one. But joined with Him in power and glory, and positioned with Him as saviors, we will thrust the dragon through with the sword of truth and the battle of Armageddon will be won.
We must move into a realm of God that we know nothing about right now. I believe there exists a dimension of power and demonstration that we have not tapped into yet. This is a secret place, a narrow, hard to find place, that has been kept back from the intellect of man and reserved only for the inner man. Our intellectual mind, that part of us that reasons and partitions thoughts in files of logic and categories of past experiences, is lost in this realm I’m talking about. In this realm there are principles of life and power that have never been put into practice by mortal man. Healings are in this realm, but not the kind of healing that we know of, the kind that only heals the physical body, but healings that go to a base level and corrects genealogical weaknesses, and heals inner sicknesses that many times are the cause of outward sickness.
Heavenly things are in this place. Things that DEMAND “Better Sacrifices.” These are those things that are true and holy, that require more than the types and shadows required. These are not copies, but the true figures that the copies represented. Just beyond the veil of this life there are heavenly things waiting to be sanctified by the blood of saviors that are laying their lives down for the world. Unless the sacrifice is made, these things will remain locked away in the invisible, unable to perform their wondrous works in this visible dimension. Let me say this, that we are now approaching this new year of 1996 with sacrifices in our midst that I believe will call forth those things from the other side and that will bring heaven and earth together in a great union of resurrection power! Hallelujah! The people are being sprinkled with the blood of righteous men and women that are standing in the shadow of death so that life can be seen in others. No greater love hath any man than this, to be found poor so that others are made rich, to be made weak so that others can be made strong. What an honor, what a privilege, to be a part of such a company of savior-sons. Oh, folks, this is nigh unto us and I can hear the Father saying to us, “Get prepared for the next manifestation, for this manifestation will complete and fulfill all former manifestations, and will supersede all past glories.” It is going to take some “better sacrifices” to get us there, but get there we must. It is not enough to be covered by the blood of Jesus only, we must be changed at our root level by His life.
Jesus is our advocate, our mediator between us and our Father. The scripture uses the word propitiation when it refers to His sacrifice for us.
I Jn 4:10
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (KJV)
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary has this to say about the word propitiation.
[pro PISH ih a shun] the atoning death of Jesus on the cross, through which He paid the penalty demanded by God because of man’s sin, thus setting mankind free from sin and death. The word comes from an old English word, propitiate, which means “to appease.” Thus, propitiation expresses the idea that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for sin which a holy God demanded of man the sinner. (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary) (Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
It is an act of death that creates an appeasement for a lingering condition, a condition that legally is defeated in Christ, but which has remained with us in this realm of life since Jesus died and rose again. As it stands now, Jesus is making up for our lack. Notice that the above scripture states that His propitiation allows God to love us even when we don’t love Him. Is it to be this way throughout eternity? God loving us and us hating Him? No! There has to come a time when God finds pleasure in us and we give Him our own love. Grace leads us to perfection. Our lack is made up for only until such a time when we can become what we are destined to become. At that time we are Sons, not bastards, but true Sons that worship our Father with the same worship that Jesus does.
It is plain to me that unless we change our thinking concerning the atonement of Christ and what it accomplished we will forever be offended by the acts of God. It has always been said that Jesus did it all at the cross, and that there was no need for further redemption. I would submit to you that Jesus did finish all that the Father sent Him to do and that in the completion of that appeasing atonement there is no further need of sacrifice. However, that brings me to the title of this article, “better sacrifices”. Note that the word for sacrifice is plural, not singular. Indeed, it is stated that there is a need for us to present our bodies a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1. Why, if the one sacrifice by Jesus was enough? The fact is, Jesus made a sacrifice for us that brought us into fellowship with the Father, but before the final trumpet blows there will be many more sacrifices and much more shedding of blood, not to remove the external dirt of behavior, but to destroy the root of corruption, which is not remission of sin, but is the change of the base nature that keeps creation in bondage.
We are fulfilling many roles and offices in God. We are a people that put a lot of stock in titles and names. Our movements are all labeled and we identify more readily with the more positive titles. Everyone wants to be titled a Son of God. “I am of the Son company” says one, “I am of the Life company” says another. Whether you identify with Kingdom Word, Life, Sons of God, Reconciliation, Priests, Kings, or whatever, they are only titles. Sometimes we are many things all at once. Sometimes we think ourselves to be one thing, and really we were called to be something else. After all, who wants to be called to be a sacrifice, or a shedder of blood, or a savior. The shame of it is, these are what we need right now. At the threshold of every new day, there is a cross. We are not saved from death, but through death. I know, I know. I can hear many of you now, “By golly, we’ve come beyond sacrifice and death. I’m a life preacher. I’m not climbing back up on some old cross.” Fine. You’d make a lousy savior anyway. Too full of yourself and your high and mighty ways. The trouble is, you’ve lost touch with the rest of creation.
I know it is easy to state that you are a son and you are ruling and reigning and if everyone else would just believe God’s word the way you do that the rest of us unbelievers wouldn’t be going through the things we are, but wait until things start going strangely out of order in your life. Wait until calamity comes to your door and knocks the door down and sits down in your living room and refuses to budge. All that talk goes right out the window and the only thing that matters is present reality. How do I get this monster out of my house? I have heard many say that all the troubles we experience in this life are a delusion. In other words. it isn’t really there, we have allowed ourselves to be programmed into believing a lie. Well, lordy bud, this is the most real lie I’ve ever faced. See if you have that same thought when the doctor tells you that a thing called cancer is eating your body up. That dog won’t hunt in those woods. It’s time for a wake up call to reality! My spirit may be in heaven but my body hurts here on earth. It’s time for those things that are bound in heaven to be bound on earth! It’s time for those things that have been loosed in heaven to be loosed on earth! It won’t be done until there are some saviors shedding some blood!
This day is full of offense. The same type of offense that the disciples felt when their master and soon to be king was found to be helpless against Pilate and the soldiers that beat him. It was offensive to see him covered with spit and beat beyond recognition. This shouldn’t happen to a king! This man said he was the son of God and look at him! If he was a true son, he wouldn’t be in this shape now would he? The same statements are being made today about some of the “better sacrifices” in our midst. People can’t understand why Charlotte hasn’t been healed. They have laid hands on her, fasted for her, prayed for her day and night, and surely she ought to be healed by now! If not, then maybe there is something wrong in her life. If she was a true believer then she should be ruling and reigning over that body, right? As I heard recently, she must have missed God somewhere along the way, because God wouldn’t have someone that was used of God so great to be confined at home for this long. Yes, there is a lot of offense out there and there will be more if we don’t start getting our thinking straightened out.
Actually, Charlotte and I have questioned God on these matters and we ourselves have wondered what was going on. Jesus himself had a moment of agony over His calling as a sacrifice. Let me show you a real mystery. Look over there in that quiet, wooded place. See that man praying? He’s in agony isn’t He? Looks like a man at the end of His rope doesn’t He? Watch as He goes back down the path to that small group of men who are sleeping and wakes them up and asks them to stay awake with Him, obviously because He’s frightened and scared to be alone in the garden. Pitiful isn’t it? Look how He goes back to the quiet spot and falls on the ground and sobs and groans within himself. Must have done something really bad to be in that shape. And to think that He was just the other day telling people that if they believed on Him they would have eternal life! Look at Him now! Wait, something weird is happening. There’s blood coming out of His skin! I’ve never seen anybody with so much pain. He just mumbled something. Well, whatever it was, He seems to be better now. He even went back and let those other men get some sleep instead of waking them up. He looks real peaceful now. He better enjoy it, because there is some soldiers coming His way and they look real mad.
Such is the way that someone outside the circle of Jesus may have looked upon that strange scene in the garden. The fact of the matter is, I have never been able to reconcile in my mind the image of Jesus agonizing in the garden and asking God if there was a way to possibly get out of drinking the cup. I think that it shows all of us that the way to glory may be harder than we first thought. Jesus was possibly looking for the ram in the bush, provided for Abraham as a scapegoat for Isaac. After all, a greater than Abraham was this man. If God provided a ram for Abraham, perhaps there would be a scapegoat for Jesus. The trouble was that the blood of Isaac couldn’t be shed for the sins of the world. That conspicuous honor was for only one man, the man in that lonely garden. No bleating of a ram in that garden. Just Jesus. He was the sacrifice and there would be no other that could take his place.
I am sure a part of His struggle was in the knowledge that legally He could call ten thousand angels to deliver Him from that awful death. Have you ever thought of that? What would happen if every sacrifice that was ever used of God to birth the way into the next order was to refuse? Even Isaac was mature enough to resist Abraham’s suggestion that they go to the mountain top to offer a sacrifice to God. I am sure Isaac was smart enough to see that the only sacrifice going to the mountain with Abraham was Isaac himself. Not even to mention that he allowed himself to be put upon the altar and viewed the knife being raised by his father over his heart. The scripture doesn’t state it, but I am sure we can surmise that Abraham had a talk with his son, the son of his old age, the son that God Himself had told Abraham that nations would be born from. We can guess that Abraham convinced his son that he would have to obey God in keeping the sacrifice but that after the knife had thrust into Isaac’s chest and Isaac spilled his blood and gave up his life, then God would raise Isaac back to life again. Abraham believed God to the point of following through with sacrificing Isaac only to see God honor his prior word and raise his son back to life! But at the last moment Abraham is halted in mid stroke by the call of the ram. Jesus knew this story. And perhaps He was hoping to hear the same call in the night in the garden. But the only call heard in that garden was the voice of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God, bleating.
How many of us have refused to be a sacrifice because we are sons? In my point of view, that was the agony of Jesus. A Son indeed, but much more. A savior, a sacrifice for creation. The first Son of many sons, and also the first savior of many saviors, the first sacrifice for many sacrifices, better sacrifices than bulls and goats. We also are being faced with the agony of our own mortality. We minister a message of immortality and many have dogmatically declared that they could not die a physical death, but they did. The bare and brutal truth of immortality is that many more will die a physical death in our midst before that change arrives. It is time to face it folks. There will be further sacrifices made before death is physically defeated. The most disturbing aspect of this is that many times God requires the best of us to be given to Him. I have had many personal friends in the ministry make that transition. Bro. Dale Davis had so much more he could have said and done, as did Papa Arthur Pratt and Billy Ely and B. S. Westlake and so on. God has taken from our midst those that we leaned on and depended on for guidance and leadership and we will miss them one and all, but we will go on. We must go on. Jesus was the type of man that you never wanted to say goodbye to. His love, care, and presence of joy and life was something that none of the disciples were ready to release. There was no need to, you see, because He was the Son of God and He had eternal life. The only trouble was that He was also the savior. Some of you are more than sons, you are the “better sacrifices”, the only things that will finalize the acts of God concerning creations redemption.
The shedding of blood means the shedding of “life”. Blood is life. It is the juice of the grape. It has always been most precious to God, because He gave it to us. The word Adam means bloody. It is the life–force of our body. Blood carries life to all parts of our body and without it we have no life. To shed blood is to shed life. It was forbidden in the law to drink the blood of living things because the life of the flesh was in it. The blood of bulls and goats could be applied to the exterior, such as the ear and the toe of the priest and sprinkled on the people but none was to be ingested. To do so would be an abomination. Now, go with me to the last supper, when Jesus says to His disciples to drink His blood.
27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (KJV)
If the blood of animals had the life of the flesh in it, then the blood of Christ has the life of God in it, not just life, but life as God has life. The blood of the law sanctified the outer things; the blood of Christ sanctifies the inner things. But are the outer things to remain in the realm of decay? I know that I will never die in my spirit, but is our bodies to ever go to the grave? NO! Better sacrifices are here in our midst. The shedding of life is sprinkling our tabernacle, our book, our soul and we are fulfilling the initiation of that first great sacrifice by offering ourselves as living sacrifices, our blood flowing with His blood to create a river of life that will bring to life everything it touches! Glory to God! Anything less would be a dishonoring to the work done at Calvary. A single savior hung between heaven and earth on that day, a single sacrifice, to be followed by many others who would believe on His name and go to the grave because of it. The early church was marked by their martyrdom. Never in the history of the church has there been such a time as the first few centuries of Christianity. Believers became so enthralled at the sight of their leaders going to death with a song on their lips and glory on their bodies that they started lining up for the stake to go to heaven. The church leaders had to tell them to wait at home until the authorities came to get them instead going to the places of slaughter and enlisting for execution! Loving not their lives to the death they proved that God was able to become more real than life itself.
In a strange sort of way, I think it was easier in that day to become a martyr. Believe it or not, anything is easier done when so many go before you as witnesses of the glory to come. Today, it is different. We feel God has forsaken us if our car breaks down. We curse God for a flat tire, threaten to quit preaching if we don’t get our bills paid. How trivial our problems seem when compared to the early church. The wonder of it all is that we still feel that God has an obligation to save us from every pitfall and deliver us instantly from every calamity. The simple truth is, He does have to if we press the issue. By this I mean, He cannot lie. If you want out of a circumstance you can demand His release from the circumstance by referring Him to the scriptures and proving to Him, much like the lawyers in our courts today, that He is bound by His own law to release you from your processing. And He will do it. The catch of all of this is, that if He still has some processing to do on you, something else will come your way and you will have to repeat the same scenario over and over again. God has a determination to perfect you and me and He will stay faithful to that determination until we come to the conclusion, Not my will, but thine be done!
The whole battle is over our life. We want to live. We live our life out of a mechanism of survival. I know it is better for me to die, but every time God positions the sword of His word over my proverbial heart, I flinch and get wounded instead. Then after the wound heals up, God and I have another go at it and I flinch again, become wounded again, and repeat the cycle over and over. One of these times I will not flinch, and behold, I am he that once was dead but now I am alive forevermore!
My problem and your problem is our instinct of survival. One day, when the Lord had a gathering of the sons of God, Satan came into their midst also. God, loving a good challenge, asked Satan if he had considered God’s servant, Job. This, I am sure, just thrilled poor Job. Satan says he had, but said that he attributed Job’s adoration to God as a side effect of his easy life. In other words, who wouldn’t serve a God that made you rich, happy, and content. So God rises to the challenge and tells Satan to touch everything around Job that makes him happy. Satan does this with relish and reports back to God at the next gathering.
3And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
4And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
5But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
6And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. (KJV)
Satan specifically mentions the touching of the bones. It seems to me that God is trying to get our attention about the bones. I have heard of more problems with bones from the Body of Christ than ever before. Nothing hurts worse than a hurt bone. It is a deep down pain that can’t be rubbed and massaged away. It is an abiding pain that nothing but time will heal. Jesus was spared the breaking of his bones. Why? Could it be because the bones encase the marrow which is where blood is formed at and could it be that there was a life in Jesus, in the marrow of His being, that could not be released until a time reserved of the Father and that would come forth when saviors came down from Mt Zion to cut off the house of Esau (flesh) in a final cutting away of the root of corruption? This is the battle that we all face. I believe this to be true. Never has there been such a time of breaking as this time, especially amongst those in leadership positions. The Lord showed me that we are like a bottle of precious ointment and perfumes. What we contain must be given out to creation and sometimes that means the bursting of the bottle. Oh dear one, can’t you smell the fragrance of the broken bottles of ointment that have been offered on our behalf? I am humbled and made low by reason of it. Break us O Lord and let your house be filled with the fragrance of life and glory! Let your body breath in the aroma of new life and live again!
We need an attitude adjustment. We need to start thinking like saviors, not just sons. I hear in the spirit so many telling the Father, “You can touch this Lord, and you can even touch that over there Lord, but touch me and a curse is at my lips”. Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. And it still remains today. Except in a few precious ones in our midst, righteous ones, undeserving of their situations, undeserving of cancer, broken bones, strokes, heart disease, and death. I just want to let each one of you know, that although your shedding of blood right now has been in the physical, there are others of us who are benefiting from your physical sacrifice and because of you we are going free and breaking out of this old life into the new life. First the natural, then the spiritual. Out of your agony, out of your garden, out of your cross, multitudes are being set free from the love of their life. Satan will be proved wrong again. We will see a people who will not flinch, but they will stand their lot. You who have suffered alone, know this, that every drop of life that was shed from you has seeded the people of God and will bring forth a harvest of manifested life.
Not all of us will have to go through a physical ailment or a natural calamity, but we must unite behind those that are going through these things, particularly our spiritual leaders. The hedge has gone down from around the elite of our company and what at one time would have been unthinkable for them to have to go through is happening right in our midst. The writer of Hebrews calls us to remembrance concerning the purging of the Lord.
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (KJV)
Notice that in the 4th verse it is told to the Hebrews that they had not yet resisted unto blood. This cannot be a reference to natural blood, as I mentioned above, the times were filled with natural blood spilling. There is a shedding of the blood that supersedes the natural. It is a losing of the love of the old life-force, and a losing of the fear of the grave. In our midst right now, is the cloud of witnesses that 12:1 talks about. I know this inside of me because of the word and because of personal experiences. It has not yet become my total reality though. I am still caught between the two lives.
Looking back at Jesus in the garden, some would make the argument that the blood shed in the garden was the true blood that cleanses creation. I would agree with this only with this footnote, that although the actual shedding of blood took place in the garden, (whether you believe it was literal blood that sweat out of Jesus or not, although it is medically possible, the blood represented a shedding of who He was in the flesh and a final birthing into who He was before the flesh) there was still a need for Him to physically shed His blood at the cross. This is a reality that we must come into. It is not enough to preach a message of life and positional relationship with our Father, we must eventually come into it all, with our whole man, body-soul-spirit. Positional relationship, and thinking right will only get us into position for the change. We must press on to the actual change that goes beyond the preaching and believing of a message into the actual transformation of the creature. Nothing will force us into this change quicker than to have those that we love in our midst start to shed their blood.
I pray that this article has helped you in some way to understand the acts of God in our midst. God has not forsaken us. Our message is not wrong. We are not out of order or gone astray. We are coming to a realm of true consequence and all the avenues of past days are converging on us. Some are marked for sonship and sonship only. Others are more than Sons, they are saviors and priests. They are not going into the holiest of all by the blood of the flesh. They are going in by the blood of the Lamb, mingled and joined with their own blood. The day is come where the covering is too short for us and we are called through grace unto righteousness. God will not always have to wink at our ignorance and cover us with His unmerited favor, neither will the death of our eldest brother, Jesus, continue as an act of appeasement, but following His footsteps we will be found where He is, and as He is, bringing true honor and glory to His name.
Better sacrifices, precious sacrifices, how we honor you one and all. Whether you are known throughout the country or whether you are known only to a few, I salute you in the name of our forerunner Jesus Christ. All of you that have suffered and refused to give up, even in the face of condemnation and ridicule, I hold you in the highest regard. Don’t be discouraged dear one. Though death may be near for some, don’t think your life will end there. Just beyond the riven veil, where the glories never fail, your life goes on. Spirits of Just Men await you, the love of God will embrace you, and with the Lord you will always be. As my lovely wife wrote so eloquently in a song, “I will drink of your cup, I will taste of your pain, I will walk in your earth, until you’re made whole again; Sweet Communion we’ll share, as broken bread we become, until we flow in His Life, and His will is done. I will lift up your hands, strengthen knees that are weak; I will stand firm in prayer as His answers you seek; Sweet Communion we’ll share, as we break down all strife; In remembrance of Him, we will show forth His Life.”
I Thess 5:14-23
14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
17Pray without ceasing.
18In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19Quench not the Spirit.
20Despise not prophesyings.
21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I would like to thank each one of you that took the time to write or call us to express your feelings concerning our last article on “Better Sacrifices”. It was overwhelming to hear from so many of you that have been in dire straits and perilous circumstances and in need of a greater understanding of why these things happen to the faithful of the Lord. I have decided to write a second part to “Better Sacrifices” that has been in my heart since the last newsletter.
I have been hearing a word spoken to my heart over and over again and I feel it goes along with our original thoughts on “Better Sacrifices”. The word is “sanctification.” Sanctification is a very familiar word that has been used with great frequency in our religious language and I thought I knew what it meant but now I am aware that I only had a shallow knowledge of what God meant it to truly be. I think this is the case in so many instances of our usage of certain terminology. Many words get used so much that they tend to lose their original impact and even lose their original meaning.
Sanctification is a word that I grew up hearing in church testimonial services. In the Pentecostal circles that I was in as a young Christian we had a time during the service that was set aside for “popcorn” testimonies, which are short testimonies that sometimes were given in a perfunctory fashion with a half-hearted effort, the idea being that everyone had to say something for the Lord even if they didn’t mean it. The standard testimony, given mostly by rote, was as follows: “I thank God that I am saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost and on my way to heaven.” If I had a dollar for every time I said that exact testimony, I would be living on easy street today.
I have always associated the word “sanctified” with those early testimonies, which left an indelible impression on my mind that “sanctified” meant “clean living”, which in turn meant you didn’t smoke, drink, cuss, chew, or run around. You were leading a “sanctified” life. Now, the original meaning for the word “sanctified” did mean “pure”, but, as it happens to be so many times, that is not all that the word means.
The Greek word for sanctified is Hagiazo. Strong’s Concordance gives this definition: 37 hagiazo (hag-ee-ad’-zo);
from 40; to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: KJV – hallow, be holy, sanctify.
It comes from the word, Hagios. 40 hagios (hag’-ee-os); from hagos (an awful thing) [compare 53, 2282]; sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated): KJV – (most) holy (one, thing), saint.
As you can see, the original meaning for sanctification does have an aspect to it of cleanliness, and purity. I Thess. 4:1-7 illustrates that there is a need for physical righteousness and an abstaining from filthiness and evil. It is, however, a concept that goes much further than physical holiness. The Greek language gives it a meaning of being “awful”, or to be held in awe of something. Sanctification was used by God in the Old Testament to enable a holy, awful God to have fellowship with unclean mankind. Everything that came in contact with God had to go through a process of sanctification in order to remain intact. For instance, when God descended upon the mountain, He gave orders that neither man nor beast should come in contact with the mountain lest they should be killed. Yet, Moses was able to walk up into the mountain and converse with God without the effects of death. Moses was sanctified by God as His mouthpiece to the people of Israel. The related Greek words for sanctification in Strong’s Concordance, #37 Hagiazo; #38 Hagiasmos; #39 Hagion; and #40 Hagios all deal with being set apart from the world and being found holy unto the Lord. To be sanctified means to be given a higher state of existence, to be taken from a state of commonness to a state of sacredness.
In John 17 Jesus says this about His sanctification and how it is to affect the disciples.
14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Throughout the scriptures you will find that we are sanctified through the truth of God’s word as it is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Truth in this particular verse means “the unveiled reality” which resides at the base of our existence in God. Truth is not merely what we think we know as truth, but truth is what is true in God. The outer realm of existence, the material, physical realm, is not what is true, but the invisible, ethereal realm, the realm where God has His being and where He abides in truth and reality, is the truth that sanctifies us, sets us aside from the earthly carnal things, and gives us an existence as God has existence. He has sanctified us with Himself! We are OF God, not of this world, and so He prays not that we be taken out of this world through a physical relocation, but that we may be sanctified from the evil of it, or set apart into a safe place in God.
To be sanctified means so much more than just doing righteous acts. It means that you have become holy ground, untouchable by common things. It means that God has set you in the earth as a holy representative of His reality, and as such you are an influencing force in the earth. This is a great revelation for us, one that can change our lives and change them from a mundane existence to a sacred, holy purposed existence.
At the root of our being we are holy as God is holy. Wrapped around this holy thing is layers upon layers of diminishing holiness. I know we like to think only in threes because of the scriptural references of things in threes, (outer court, holy place, most holy place; body, soul, spirit; etc.), but, in fact, there are many layers within these 3 major compartments that must be clothed upon by our inner reality in order for our true self to be revealed. Our redemption does not happen from the shedding of our outermost garment first, that is to say, our physical body, but rather we are clothing our inner parts first, working outward from the point of inner redemption and continuing until arriving at a final “swallowing up” of this last, final garment, our body.
We are sanctified, but as the scripture at the beginning of this article so plainly states, there is a further need of sanctification, until we are “wholly” sanctified. I believe there to be a sanctification available to God’s people that has not been manifest as of yet. Even with our obvious change in lifestyle and speech, I think we would all have to be honest and testify that there are still times of failure in us. We have confessed and professed until we are blue in the face, but we still see the wrong fruit produced every once in a while. It speaks to me that there remains a final step of sanctification in our vessel. There exists, deep within the recesses of our being, the remnants of a nature that although it has been cut down, there remains a seed of it that continues to germinate and revive itself. Rest assured, God will not halt the process of sanctification until every vestige of the old self is made holy and sacred.
This further process of sanctification is what our “better sacrifices” are all about. Through the giving of the old life we sanctify ourselves for the obtaining of the new life. We start to see more than just an inner sanctification, but we begin to work outward until all that we are is in a sanctified, set apart, holy, sacred, state of being and our outer life starts participating in this fellowship with those invisible things that also have been sanctified. Holy things must have holy things to fellowship with. It is like drawing a circle around yourself and then widening the circle until it encompasses everything that comes into contact with you.
Right now, we don’t see too much evidence of our sanctification in our physical world. We know through the scriptures that we are sanctified, or, in true original language terminology, we are now being sanctified, but it is a process not of attainment, but of revealing. We are not trying to be sanctified, we are desiring to show our sanctified selves. This is accomplished by a swallowing up of our outer, limited life by our holy, sanctified inner life, which is life as God has life. God has throughout the scriptures sanctified many different things. He has sanctified people, places, things, times, and Himself. Indeed, everything He involves Himself with must be sanctified. This does not necessarily mean that those things He sanctifies are themselves holy, but He has imparted unto them a holiness that He can fellowship with. We, the elect of God, are different from the material, or inanimate things in this respect. We were sanctified by Him from the beginning through our relationship with Jesus Christ. As I said before, our base existence is existence as God has existence, our base life is Zoe Life, or life as God knows life. We are originally OF God. Before we ever partook of the original sin, we had original life with God.
One of the differences between Jesus and us is that He is the first-born among the brethren. Before the foundations of the world He identified Himself with us and died for us and redeemed us. All of this happened before we were found subjected to vanity. Because of that distinction, He is seated in the highest seat of glory and at HIS name every knee will bow and every tongue confess that HE is Lord! But in our base self, we are brethren, kinsmen, kind of same kind, sons of God. Jesus has given to us everything He received from the Father. We rule with Him, we sit in the throne with Him, we judge with Him, we are kings with Him, we are priests with Him, we suffer with Him, we reign with Him, we die with Him, we live with Him. We are commissioned with His commission, sent as He was sent, foreknown as He was foreknown, sanctified by Him and sanctified with Him.
9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
II Thes. 2:13
13But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (KJV)
We are sanctified, but there is a further step to this. We must be able to sanctify others. I pray that we can grasp the significance of this statement. We are saved, but we must be able to save, we are redeemed, but we must be able to redeem. Whatever we are through Jesus Christ we must be made that to the world. He is appearing in His Saints.
II Thes. 1:10
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (KJV)
The Greek word for saint is #40 Hagios, the same word used for sanctified, which gives us the literal meaning, He is coming to be glorified in His sanctified ones. The truth of being sanctified in the beginning with and by Jesus Christ is just the first step. We must now believe God to enlighten us in the process of sanctifying ourselves in all of our layers of existence. I am sanctified at the base of my real self, but I must continue the process until I am sanctified within and without. So many of our dear saints today have settled for the inner reality of who they are and they have given up on any further working of the spirit of God in the outer man. I am afraid that some of us have settled for just knowing the message of life and are not following through with obtaining the life we know about. Jesus is the door and the gate through which all must enter to have life. We must not be caught standing on the wrong side of the door preaching WHAT He is and never walking WHERE He is! He has made a way of entrance for us into the holy of holies, not just to give us something great to preach about, but to actually be found where He is.
We must be able to sanctify our outer existence with the holiness of our inner self. We are not meant to live our whole life as a sanctified entity struggling through a world that we have surrounded ourselves with, a world made up of common, earthly things. Truly sanctified things sanctify everything they come in contact with. Sanctification begets sanctification. Notice that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and everything that was contained therein. After 6 days, (cycles of time), He had finished all of His work. He then set aside a seventh cycle of time and “sanctified” it, making it unique and different than all the other days before it. (Gen. 2:1-3) The book of Hebrews tells us that there is a rest that remains for us to come into, that as God rested from His works on the seventh day so must we also come into a cycle of rest from our own carnal works. (Heb 4:1–11) There are many lively debates that go on between those that believe we are in the 6th, 7th, 8th (or more) day of God. I would submit to you that the day that Hebrews is talking about is not a day that we come to, but a day that we become.
WE ARE THE DAY! The Day of the Lord is not a 24 hour day we come to, but a day that we bring with us. It is time to think properly concerning these things. The day of God is a people, not a dispensation but a generation. There must be a convergence between a set aside time and a set aside generation. God blessed the first 6 days, but He sanctified the 7th day, and it remains to this generation to be entered into. The 7th day will not be given to any other generation except that generation that He sanctifies for it. We are a sanctified generation, visited by Almighty God with a holy visitation to preach the everlasting gospel to every age, and to visit them with His visitation.
Following this line of thought, I would like to state that there remains a sanctified Day of the Lord, a seventh day of rest, that has been held back in God until it meets up with an equally sanctified generation. Indeed, one can envision this great Day of the Lord presenting itself to each generation since the beginning of generations, seeking its predestinated marriage with a people. Of course, it has already united itself with our elder brother and forerunner, Jesus Christ, when He became the generation, or the gene, that became the day star of God in the earth. Still, as we have been proclaiming throughout this series, the plan of God is not to have a single son, or priest, or king, but to have a nation of priests and kings. “Abba Father, I shall be a son indeed” is how the song states it. Following on with this line of thought, that first son was received into heaven, united with the Day and taking His place with the Day, set aside, out of reach and held back from lesser things, awaiting a generation of sons that would have the same name, or nature, as the first son, and through this sameness, they would be united, or married, with the Day of the Lord. This is how we become the Day. We are sanctified for it.
Since Jesus, the heavens have been filled with an expectation of the eventual appearing of a chosen generation that would become one with the Day of the Lord. With each birthing of a new generation the Day would appear to the called out ones of that generation and present the rays of truth that it held. My belief is that each generation had a seed of truth in it. However, the seed could not come to full term by reason of the sanctification of the Day that made its appearance. God had reserved a generation back in Himself that was the determined match for His 7th Day of Sabbath rest. Each generation continued to walk in partial truth and shadows of life, until now.
The generation that lives in earth now is, in my opinion, the perfect match for the Day to become one with a people. We have been partakers of more movements of God in this generation than all of the generations combined since the time of Jesus walking on earth. The great revival days of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the century, the Latter Rain movement in the middle of the century, the birthing of the sons of God movement were all forerunners for us. Some of us have walked with ministry that were eyewitnesses of these great moves. I can recall hearing from the elders of days gone by how that some were years ahead of their time. When others gathered in Canada to receive the revelation of the early rain, some men and women of God came away from that gathering seeing the Feast of Tabernacles. They jumped ahead of the seasons and were like Paul, born as though out of season. We must be sanctified dear ones! The Word we minister must be sanctified, the gifts we operate in must be sanctified, our ministry must be sanctified. By this I mean, they must be taken out of the hands of men and put into a holy, sacred place where flesh cannot enter in! Too much is at stake, too many lives have been given in faith that a generation would come that would do what must be done to bring the message into a viable life. The message is no good without a fulfillment and manifestation of it. We must become what we believe.
God showed me recently that I was walking horizontally when I should be walking vertically. God lives and moves in the heights of reality and we must move from glory to glory, not horizontally but vertically. It is not how far we have come, it is how high we have come. Horizontal distance doesn’t mean a thing in this day. What you know will not get the job done on this plane of ministry. You can have an eloquent ministry horizontally and be able to preach until the break of day, but after you are done preaching all of your wonderful revelations, take a look around you and see that nothing has really changed. Two minutes of vertical ministry will do more than two days of horizontal ministry. Jesus lived and ministered on a vertical plane. He used the same words that everyone else in His day used, and did the same acts as others had done, but His words and His acts had eternal consequences because they were vertical words and vertical acts. Horizontal words and acts look good and sound good, but they don’t accomplish anything eternally.
You don’t have to wait to try to find something different to preach or try to do some exotic unknown act to bring God’s life to the people. Just take the words and actions vertical, to a higher plane and see what God can do! Jesus wasn’t the first man to die for the sake of God. Others before Him had died righteous deaths, but Jesus died a death that was sanctified from the beginning. Lazarus rose from the dead, just like Jesus did, but Lazarus didn’t bring life to the world. Jesus rose and sanctified us with His sanctification. Are you ready to quit living your life in the midst of commonness? You are sanctified and now you must sanctify everything that contacts you. Sanctify your home, sanctify your children, sanctify your husband or wife, sanctify your time, sanctify your existence and bring it higher, vertical, to a new and higher reality. Nothing you do will ever be looked upon as trite and inconsequential again. When you ascend and bring everything else with you, your life will be a river that brings life to everything it touches.
Are you sick? Go vertical and turn that sickness into a sacrifice of life until God delivers you! Are you having financial problems? Go vertical and let God sanctify your bank account and watch Him bless you in ways you never knew were possible! You can do the same acts, work the same job, but bring it higher into God’s reality and that same job will reap a larger harvest. It is the sanctified seventh year, wherein you are no longer gleaning from the sowing of your own labor, but you are now living off the increase of God! Oh glory to His name! Break through the heavens, go through the door, quit just preaching about it and do it!
I am praying for you right now, whoever is reading this article, that from this minute onward you will be living a sanctified life that will swallow up every other part of your life and bring it into a higher existence. Quit going farther and start coming up higher. New life, new purpose, new garments, new thinking, may this all be created in them right now, dear Father, and may your Holy Spirit sanctify them by your truth. Praise Him, dear hearts, and feel the victory. Your day of mourning is over, no more will you think of yourselves as afloat on the sea of humanity, but I speak destiny into you and declare a new beginning for you. Ho, Ho, come forth and live all of you who have been in your graves and said our hope is lost, for we are cut off from our parts. “Come up hither, in the Son realm, where no dragons can abide, for the sure word now is spoken, and in Him we have our life, For the kingdoms of men crumble, have no fear just trust and see, that the kingdom of our Father, is brought forth in you and me.”
My heart is full of compassion for those that have been touched by God and who have found themselves in a place that is out of the beaten path. You have felt alone and unable to fit in with other crowds, always feeling different and strange. Don’t look now, but these are the same feelings, I believe, the Lord Jesus had on earth. He couldn’t relate to the other religious people. They were serving God horizontally and He was walking vertically. What His eyes saw, and what His ears heard couldn’t be spoken. A man of sorrows, and of grief, lonely in His divinity, set aside in His destiny. But lo, I hear the voice of the Father saying to us, welcome home! Behold, Mt Zion, and an innumerable company of angels, the ecclesia of the firstborn, the general assembly, spirits of just men made perfect. Not farther out there, not over in this church, or in that state, or in that group of people, but just a little bit higher than where we have been standing. Just above this sphere of terrestrial glory, there is a celestial glory filled with fellowship and kinship. This is where the life comes from.
Take a drink of this living water and soothe your parched soul. It is here, just a little higher. In fact, everything is here. Our new body is here. Not that bruised, hurting body you’ve been living in, but that beautiful, glorified body. It isn’t coming from some place farther up ahead, it is here, in the heavens. Don’t look out, look up, not up as in altitude, but up as in attitude. In this realm you’re not strange at all. In this realm you are whole and well. Stay here for a while and rest. Later, after you are strengthened, start to bring this place into your everyday life. Bring it into your existence on earth and watch it change everything around you. Shadows will flee, fear will be dissolved, love and joy will cover you from morning to morning. What I have just ministered is a ministry of leaven. Not in the negative sense of what Jesus warned the disciples about concerning the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, but the mirror image of that principle. Take the negative connotations of what Jesus said and flip it over to the positive. Leaven, if introduced to the lump, even though small in amount, will eventually leaven the whole lump. It is the nature of leaven to leaven everything that it touches. We know that this holds true in the negative, since all men have been leavened with the corruption of Adam. But remember what I said before, that before our partaking with Adam, we were OF God.
The funny thing about leaven is that it needs something to get it started. Like water, or in our case, spirit. Now, we have been leavened with Jesus Christ also. Adam’s leaven has been started since birth, but we are being birthed in God and we are being leavened by that life of Jesus Christ. His leaven does the opposite from Adam’s leaven. Adam’s leaven corrupts, Jesus’ leaven un-corrupts. Isn’t it glorious? Adam’s leaven kills, Jesus’ leaven makes alive. Same actions, one is horizontal, the other vertical.
In part 1 of “Better Sacrifices” we tried to convey to you how there are some in our midst who have been through horrific trials that are being used in a vertical sense. Their sufferings are not because of disbelief, or sin, but they have been chosen and set aside, sanctified, to shed a blood, or life, that will be the catalyst to free creation. This higher understanding of our situations and why God has allowed them to come our way, will, in my opinion, be the turning point in bringing the glories of heaven to the earth plane. It will, without a doubt, be the fulfillment of what Jesus accomplished. His life was given, not that we might now die also, but that we might die and be raised with Him. He is our forerunner, our pattern, our firstborn. We must follow Him.
“Be of good cheer. In the world you will have trials and tribulation, but I have overcome the world.” This simple statement sets the course. He hasn’t overcome the world to take you out of the world, but you will be in the world as He was in the world, victorious. I think it is wrong for us to tell people that if they are living for God they should never have anything bad come their way. So many preachers put so much emphasis on this carnal life. Our days are filled with scenes of the good life, being rich, healthy, fulfilled in every way according to this world. But I must say, this all seems at times to be pitifully shallow and full of vanity. Did you give your child everything they wanted all the time? Did you never hold anything back from them to teach them lessons of character and behavior?
If I was to think of one word to describe the average Christian today, the word spoiled comes to mind. We have lost our values somewhere along the way. Is this all there is to life, is to feel good and have all of our needs met? Or do we recognize that there is a higher purpose to this existence, and that we have stored in heavenly places riches in glory that cannot be robbed or corrupted? Rev. Ike made a name for himself when he created a catch phrase, “pie in the sky”, and I know that false martyrs are alive and well in the world today that wouldn’t trade that veil of tears for all the tea in China, but down deep in my heart I do believe in a place not of this dimension, a place of such wonders and sights that we would all fall like dead men if we saw it with these earthly eyes. I do believe that there is a throne, and upon that throne one sits with hair like white wool and eyes of fire and feet like brass with a voice as the sound of many waters. I do believe that all those that have come before me are in that dimension in various states of maturity and that some are privy of this dimension and at times they can be seen and heard by us. I do believe in layers of heavens, Paul having been caught up in the spirit to the third layer and there he heard and saw things that gave him the strength and faith to finish the course. How childish it seems in the piercing light of this heavenly reality to hear me complain because I can’t make my house payment, or I’m facing discomfort in my body at times. Lives have been given, blood has been shed, not so that we can feel good every day of our carnal life, but so that life eternal can be realized on every hand and hell will be made to give up the dead. 0 sanctify us Lord, sanctify us wholly, sanctify us as the day of God, breaking forth the first rays of morning over a creation that has been living in the dark of night.
Right now, I just want to minister to you dear ones that have been watchers in the night. Your tears have been shed and your bones are weary and it seems that the morning will never come. I know that it gets hard and wearisome in the watch for the morning. It seems that everything is worse in the night. I have noticed that if I have the flu or a cold, I feel even worse when the sun goes down and there have been times the night was spent in long hours of agony just waiting for the rays of morning to hit my bedroom window because I knew somehow that I would feel better when day break arrived. I want to tell each one of you that are suffering right now that the night has indeed been long, but take hope and gain strength for the morning is at hand and you will begin to feel the release that you have been waiting for.
The Father is showing me how some of you have been humiliated by your present circumstance because in days past you were so strong and never sick or afflicted. Don’t feel this way child of God. You have been brought low to bring others higher. Your steps are ordered by God and if He has brought you to this place of suffering He will also be faithful to not leave you in hell, but you will come forth, not by yourself, but with a host of others. No one ascends alone in this hour of resurrection. We are bringing others with us. I can see how some of your so-called friends have been less than gracious with you. Don’t be bitter. Forgive them and leave them to God. They also are humiliated for you and they are reacting out of fear and anger.
Hide away in God. Go to the secret place and abide there. Morning is dawning. Light is casting its rays of hope and clarity through our earth and things that have been half truths and dim realities are becoming plain to us. It is important for you to know that you are not the only one that has been sacrificed. You are not the only one that has been made to cry out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Sanctify yourself. Wash your face and change your clothes. Put on your beautiful garments and prepare to rejoice. A song is even now welling up in your throat, the song of the redeemed. Only those that have been redeemed can sing this song. It is the most distinct song in heaven. Only those that have been released from prison can sing it. Only those that have walked through the dust and come out free can know its melody. Some through the fire, some through the flood, some through great testing, but all through the blood.
You can’t be an overcomer unless you have come over something. Most Christians are serving God today because He has blessed them and met all their needs. More blessed are they who have served Him through good times and bad. You are a rock, a firm place in God. You will not be moved. Storms may come, strong winds may blow, but you are as the cedars of Lebanon, you are a walled city, a tower of strength in the Lord. You will not fail, you will not quit, you will overcome. God is mighty within you. He is your buckler, your shield, your anchor in the raging sea. He is a force of will and purpose in you that will not rest until you are a praise in the earth. You will breathe His life in as you do the air around you, filling your soul with hope and faith.
Darkness leave, fear give way, doubt vanish, this is a child of the King, a tender root of His substance. Be gone scars of the past, seeds of despair, thoughts of death, this is a brand plucked out of the flames, a voice in the land that will not be silenced. Open up you doors of utterance that have hitherto been shut, cry aloud, keep not silent 0 messenger of good tidings, preacher of the good news, minister of righteousness. Paint the portrait of God’s salvation with strokes both true and strong. Put His tender mercies on open display and announce to the world His enduring love and grace. Bridge the gap between fallen man and redeeming God. Tell the story, sing the song.
Fall away 0 fetters of bondage, bands of wickedness in high places, the Lord, True and Faithful, has come suddenly to this temple and will save to the uttermost. Gain strength you feeble joints and weak legs and may youth be restored as a flood. Wake up and be revived all you cells of this body. Hear the word of the Lord and live and die not. Be restored and renewed by God’s vivifying life. May His spirit come up on you suddenly, consuming, and lighting you with the fire of His presence. Come alive all you dead places and live in His sight. I heal you, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, completely, body, soul, spirit. You are a new creature in Christ, a new species of His substance, not of this world, but of the world to come. I bless you in the name by which all heaven and earth is named, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Everything in heaven awaits your manifestation. Our God has brought us to the day of better sacrifices, and the heavenly things themselves will be sanctified by your sacrifice. Nothing else will do. Only your blood-life will release them from the invisible into the visible. Heavenly things, flying angels, trumpets that talk, 24 elders gathered around the throne, martyrs under the altar, all of heaven awaits your sanctifying sacrifice. Lose your life, gain His life. Let it go! Don’t hang on to it. Refuse to live the life of fallen humanity, and grab hold of the life from behind the veil.
Hold on to the truth that God has deposited in your heart. This present trial will pass and work its curious work in our heart and then in the creation of God. Take your place, position yourself in the heavens. Stand up, sit down. Higher, child of God, always higher 0 Eagle saint, mountain dweller. God will equip you for this new walk. My lovely wife received a song a good many years ago that illustrates God’s ability to give us feet made for mountain climbing and a new nature for a new life.
“I’ve made thee hinds feet,
So walk up the highest mountain you have seen,
And with your new life, go break strife,
With a rod that’s pure and clean.
For no corruption – shall live within this place
Where you now dwell,
I have a people to shine through,
And in them, there is found no hell.”
I pray that this message will stimulate your faith in God and give you a greater understanding of the workings of God’s spirit in our midst. We are a peculiar people, different, unique. We cannot measure ourselves to the surrounding orders. God is handling us in a special way, and sometimes, it seems, a hard way. He knows we can handle it! On my last trip out, I asked the Lord to show me where I was in the kingdom of God. I wanted to see how far I had come. The spirit instantly carried me away and I was brought to a throne room and although I looked very hard, I could not find myself there. I was very disappointed, as I always thought I was destined for the throne room. I then was taken to all the places of honor and authority, and in each palace and in each room I was not to be found. I then was taken to an obscure place in the kingdom, to a little frail house. As I walked through the door I noticed broken pots and vessels on the floor. Some looked like they had been worked on but were never completed, and others were broken and cracked. I then was taken to the very back of this little, humble house and in a back room I saw a flat wheel with a lump of clay on it. The wheel was turning and a potter was working the clay with strong, but tender hands. I started weeping before the Lord and I was broken in a way that I hadn’t been for many years. I wasn’t where I thought I was, but I knew I was where God wanted me to be. On the potters wheel, turning under the keen eye of the potter, not finished, but not discarded either, turning and molding, the total focus of the potter on the work at hand, making me something, what? I know not, but something glorious and beautiful I knew, for the potter was spending an inordinate amount of time and care in my making. Then, I knew that I would be in the King’s special service, a cup that would be lifted to His own lips, a cup that would pour out the blessings of my Father to all that was thirsty, without the taste of flesh. At that moment, with tears flowing down my cheeks, only one thought, only one desire was in me. Please, Lord, keep that wheel turning, and don’t take me off, until I’ve been made whole.
May you be wholly sanctified, body, soul, and spirit.
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BETTER SACRIFICES, Parts 1-2 [Robert D. Torango] 1