Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trials that are to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. Paul, a man of many testings and trials tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:13:
"Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
Down through history, the church has been very good at shoveling the ashes of God’s fire onto the unsaved, or even the apostate church system. But, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to know that judgment must begin with us. God is an all-consuming fire. We cannot return to perfection until we go through the flaming sword; and that flaming sword is the Word of God that must do its perfect work before we can go on into perfection.
If we are to enter into God’s seventh day, we must begin this perfecting process now. There is a finishing work that the Holy Spirit is desiring to do in our lives, but first we must cease from our own labors, and allow His mighty working power to have its perfect way in our walk.
The coming seventh day is going to be a day of overcoming all death in our lives. It is going to be a day of removing all the nations in our innermost being. It is not the physical nations that must be destroyed, it is the spiritual nations in our being that must all be removed. This overcoming process will be completed at the end of the coming seventh one thousand year day.
God has given us a millennium, a one thousand year day when death will be overcome in His creation man. Until man lives this one thousand year day, death will still have dominion in his life.
The Apostle Paul spoke of this day when man will gain the victory over death:
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" I Corinthians 15:54-55
Brothers and sisters it is time we understand that the waters of the Word must cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Praise the Lord.
The Life - Changing Power of Christ
The definition of a Christian is one who has changed directions. A Christian must have a change of thinking and begin to proclaim not my will, but God’s Will, not His permissive will, but His perfect will.
The first step is to recognize the need for change. We must allow the Holy Spirit to change our thought patterns. All who are going on in God need to deal with their mental processes. God is trying to change our way of thinking. We first must be victorious in our thinking before we can be victorious in controlling our actions. We cannot overcome evil with good until our way of thinking changes. Paul understood how important this is.
From the book of Corinthians, he gives us the key to becoming victorious over our thoughts.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" II Corinthians 10:5.
Many fall away when the time of instruction begins. The reason for this is they do not want to change their way of thinking. Of course they probably have been taught, ". . . God accepts us as we are. He knows we are human, and does not expect us to be perfect . . .". Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom. If we are going to enter into the Kingdom, we must heed the words of Peter:
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." I Peter 5:10
If we are to become sons, we must endure chastening. The reason for this chastening is not to overcome us, but to teach, train, and bring us into God's sight as special children, desiring the things He has for us. When we endure chastening, we will have a change in our mental processes.
Do You Refuse Change?
Today, many are unbelieving believers. They believe there is a change coming, but they do not believe it strong enough to change. God demands change, and those who refuse to change, or will not allow their stone to be shaped, will be rejected at the temple site as unusable in God's construction. God's Spiritual law brings the unseen judgment to change man from the inside out. If we refuse to make the needed changes, then God's anointed voice will proclaim for all the earth to hear: God's "Noonday judgment" is coming upon all flesh.
God's Word is a life changing Word. When God's anointed Word goes forth in power and the Word is prophesied as God commands, then this life-changing shaking will happen in the body of Christ. The ox goad is in the hand of the Son of man. How hard it is applied in our life is determined by how hard it is for God to change our direction. If we do not change willingly, then more force will be added to get our attention. The Word can be applied in His goodness or His severity. The choice is ours. God is wanting to change the way we think. We never need to fear God's judgment in our life if we have a heart to change.
He is going to strengthen the inner man. The old man must perish, but the inner man will be strengthened by the might of His Spirit, working to change that inner man into the image and likeness of Christ, the Holy Spirit, in each bone in His body. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians:
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
Anything that does not produce life is death. As you yield to the cleansing fire of the Spirit those dead things will be cast out and trampled under foot. When these things begin to happen in our lives, then God will begin to change us into the image we see in the mirror, which is revealed in His Word from glory to glory. Isaiah spoke of this time in the body of Christ:
"Awake, Awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." Isaiah 52:1
Do We Resist Change ?
God is shaking His people awake. He desires for you to put on your strength. Our strength is our power. Paul revealed this power to the Corinthians: "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God," I Corinthians 1:24. Christ, the Holy Spirit, is the power of God in our lives. We must allow the cleansing fires of the Holy Spirit to bring this change that is so necessary if we are to put on our beautiful garments. Our beautiful garments are our robes of righteousness.
“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:" Hebrews 3:8
God is warning His people not to harden their hearts as Israel, our example, did. The word harden means "to become hard, obstinate, and stubborn". When the Bible speaks of hardening our hearts, it is referring to our becoming insensitive to the Word of God. When our heart becomes hard, then we set up a resistance to His Word.
Many times without knowing it, God's people become defiant to God's Word, and they resist any conviction God brings in their life. When they refuse to hear, they refuse to change, then they resist conviction. They have hardened their hearts to God's will and His way. These have closed their minds to anything God would speak to them. They want to follow their own will, and go their own way. In doing this, they allow God no access to their lives.
Unfortunately, the church is full of such people. When the pastor begins to speak of change, conviction, and crucifying the old man, these do one of three things:
1. they either complain to the powers that be in the church
2. tune out completely what the pastor is saying
3. or look for another church with an easier message
These totally resist and refuse to hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. What is the Spirit saying unto the churches?
"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" Roman 2:5
Paul warns those who have a hard and unrepentant heart if they refuse to change they will suffer the wrath of God. As Paul declared, this is the righteous judgment of God upon the hard and impenitent heart.
Judgment must begin at the house of God. When His judgment comes, there will be no turning back. It will be too late for repentance, too late for prayer, and too late to change one's ways. God revealed this day to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11
There's a day coming when those who are unjust and filthy in their ways will remain as they are. God's judgment will be wrought on their unholy condition. Only those who are righteous and holy will not suffer God's coming judgment upon the church system.
Many proclaim with their mouths, "All I want to be is a child of the King." A king is one who rules over a kingdom. Jesus gave us revelation of the times ahead when speaking to the centurion:
"But the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:12
Jesus was relating the time when many would come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom. Jesus stated, "...but the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out...". Children are those who never come to maturity. Children are those who have never allowed the Holy Spirit to change them into Christ's image. Children are those who have not committed themselves to the gospel and its teachings. Children are those who refuse to walk in the glorious gospel God shed forth in their lives. Instead they desire to remain children of the King. Children desire to be told what to do and what to think. Children desire to live the way they are told, submitting themselves to the precepts and doctrines of men. Jesus warned these children will be cast into outer darkness. Outer darkness is eternal separation from the presence of God
Today when the church system hears words like repentance, change, suffering, and persecution; they immediately reject these foreign ideas. Those in the church system only proclaim, "Jesus paid the price so we do not have to deal with these things." We also hear them say, "God accepts us just like we are, and we do not have to change." The truth of the matter is God does accept us as we are, but it is so He can begin to change us into His image and likeness. Peter informs us:
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps." I Peter 2:21
Those who refuse to change and those who resist change need to read this Scripture, because Jesus is our example of righteousness and true holiness. If we are to get to where He is, then we must follow
in His steps. If we are not willing to suffer as He had to suffer, then we have strayed from the strait and narrow path we must follow. If we do not follow in His steps, we too will miss the gate that leads into His Kingdom and His presence.
The biggest lies they believe in are false teachings such as the rapture, once-saved, always-saved, eternal security, and ultimate or universal reconciliation. There is no need to overcome in these false teachings. These have conveniently overlooked every Scripture that speaks of the need to change, the need to walk into maturity, and the need to overcome to become God's separated ones without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blame.
Do You Fight Change and say, No! No! No! To Change
The lie of “no change is necessary” has been believed and accepted by many. The easy message in the church today is that God accepts us as we are. God accepts us, but then we must grow and change. This damnable heresy has crept into the church unawares.
Those who have become friends with the world have become God's enemies. Yet God's people continue to look like and act like the world. When the world views the nominal Christian they see no reason to change. God continued His warning to Israel:
"Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; and thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods." Exodus 34:15-16
The Challenge to Change
When God witnesses our desire to grow in His Word, He will give us more understanding. As we continue to search the scriptures, He will show us areas we need to change so we can accomplish His purpose in our life. Are you truly willing to allow the Word of God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness and change you daily into the new creation man? Paul declared to the church at Corinth: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:" II Corinthians 4:3 . If the gospel be hid, it is hidden to those who are lost. God is not going to reveal Himself to those who do not seek Him with their whole heart through His Word. God is not going to reveal Himself to those who do not have a heart to change and obey the gospel.
God is preparing His ministers to become a flame of fire, to minister the Anointed Word of God in power and great authority. Jesus came to bring the sword. He is going to place this sword in the mouths of His witnesses on the earth. This is going to be a fire in their bones that cannot be quenched nor put out.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
Jesus came to bring the Sword of the Spirit. The Sword of the Spirit is the two-edged sword. This is the sword He is putting in His anointed's hands to change their lives. Then He will put the consuming Word in their mouths to consume those who will not be changed.
When we begin to be enlightened by the Spirit of the Living God, and He begins to pour out Himself in our lives, then, and only then, can we begin to deal with the flesh in our lives. God has to blow hard against us to get us to change our course.
If God's Spiritual law is not allowed to change the inner man, then there will be no change in the outer man. Our utmost thoughts as Christians should be to change our way of thinking. Now is the day to begin to allow the needed changes in our life. Our prayer and commitment needs to be:
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3
“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” Psalm 86:12
“Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:2
We must begin to desire change from the inside out by the power of the Holy Spirit. Without a changed heart, man will get worse and worse. Man cannot change the heart; only God can change the heart. God changes our heart through the power of the Holy Spirit anointing; but it must be our desire to change. We must be willing to allow God to have dominion over our stubborn, self-willed nature.
As we begin to see Jesus as He is in the Spirit, we will begin to desire to change into the same image that is reflected in the mirror of the Word of life. John went on to inform us what we must do to bring about this change, "And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." I John 3:3
Are We Willing To Come Into The Place In God Where We Demand Change ?
The question could be asked, "How do we know what changes God wants to make in our lives?" There are many ways to know God's will. First, if our lives do not line up with His Word, then certainly God wants us to change. He may speak change through someone, or we could be convicted of change through a book someone has written. The biggest opportunity for change is when we demand that God change us.
The great need today is not only to read God's Word, but hear what the Spirit is desiring to change in each of our lives on a daily basis. The message of "overcoming" needs to become an every day reality in God's people.
We need to ask ourselves honestly, "What is our relationship with our God?" Then we need to ask, How can we move into a closer relationship with our God in the here and now?
Today God is trying to get His people to change directions: to change their religious attitudes, and begin to serve their God from a pure heart, not by trying to follow the precepts and doctrines of men. He wants His people to know His voice and be obedient to His voice. It is only by and through the Spirit that we can be pleasing to our God.
The Bible says God never changes. Then, who changes? We do! We are continually changing; either for the better or for the worse. It is according to what voice we are listening to. Are you listening to the voice of God who desires to change you for the better; or are you listening to the voice of satan who will change you for the worse?
"For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89
The Word of God is settled in heaven (the Spiritual Realm). The word settled means "established". It is part of the unchanging realm of God. Since the beginning, man has tried to change the Word to suit his purposes. But God gave the Word to change man.
His Word has been released to have total authority to act and to change our lives into His image and likeness. The power has been released to accomplish the task that God has set before them.
God has us in His place of beautification to change us into His image and likeness as man was in the garden. Adam was created without spot or wrinkle. Jesus was the Lamb without spot or blemish (wrinkle), I Peter 1:19. Jesus is returning to receive unto Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, Ephesians 5:27.
The Holy place in the Tabernacle shows us where we allow the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit to change us. Change is never easy. The sixty-fold realm is where God chastens and corrects us to bring us again into His image and likeness. Sixty is the number of suffering. The sixty-fold realm is the suffering realm. Only after we come into His image and likeness in the Holy Place can we enter again into His presence in the hundred-fold realm of the Holy of Holies.
God's people will not be lacking when they begin to operate in God's power and authority. His power will be released in those who allow the Anointing to change them into the image of the Son. As Paul declared:
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. I Corinthians 2:5
Summary: The Will to Change
There are those today who do not want to hear from God. They know He would demand change in their lives and they do not desire change, nor are they willing to change. They remain content, listening to man's direction, and following their religious creed, never venturing out to discover what God has for their life. As Paul wrote to Timothy:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" II Timothy 4:3
Paul spoke of those who would refuse to endure sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is the Word of God. Instead, they heap to themselves teachers who tickle their itching ears, those who will tell them God has accepted them as they are, and there is no need of change in their life. These have no desire to learn God's statutes, and there is no allowance made for any affliction. They are taught that all affliction comes from the devil, and only good comes from God. So they trod along in their wilderness of ignorance, unwilling to afflict their souls to find God's true direction for their life.
"Now then we are ambassadors of Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." II Corinthians 5:20
If we are the Christ in the earth today, then we must be reconciled to God. The word reconciled means "to change or exchange." We must change from being enemies of God, to becoming the friends of God. We must exchange the old man and the old life for the new man and the new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. He must become our everything. We must cast off the old independence and become part of the body of Christ which is of the household of faith, those who are our brothers and sisters, because we have the same Father, the Father of lights.
When we are carnal, we fight change
But when our mind begins to change, we accept change
When our desire is to come into the image of God, we demand change
This is when the Word of God has done its miracle work in our life. This is when high praises of God are manifest to our God because we have the two-edged sword in our hand.
By Jeannie Kirkpatrick