Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Prepare Now for What's Coming Next

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Prepare Now For What's Coming Next

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Prepare Now for What's Coming Next

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Everything God is currently working on is directed toward the restoration of His will upon earth. Everything we are doing now is preparing for that next step... which is the return of Christ.

Transcript

The day of Pentecost focuses on the first-fruits of God's plan of salvation. Through the imagery of harvest the bible teaches us that God's plan is rolling out in waves.

  1. There is a first harvest [the offering of a single wave sheaf of the early barley crop], that is Jesus Christ the first of the first born
  2. Then there is a small second harvest of the winter wheat [Pentecost] - the first fruits
  3. Then there is a large final harvest of all the various produce of the land [ the festival of in-gathering or Feast of Tabernacles]. When "the rest of the dead" are raised.

What is important for now is that the first fruits of Pentecost have been given a job to do. Let's talk today about the purpose of the first fruits... what we have been given to do, and why.

Prepare Now For What Comes Next

Pentecost is both a follow up on what comes before  it and a preparation for what comes after it. The spring holy days of Passover and Unleavened Bread come before and the feast of Trumpets is what follows. Refer to diagram.

Pentecost as Follow-up: the Passover walks us through the necessary first steps on the path to eternal life which are: repentance from sin, and the payment of sin's penalty. The days of Unleavened Bread move us forward with the necessity of obedience, overcoming our sins, putting on righteousness which surpasses mere obedience.

The meaning and the event of Pentecost builds on this foundation and moves the process forward in two important ways:

  • Each of us chose to be first-fruits are personally filled with the power of the God's holy spirit. Through it, we receive encouragement, strength, and conviction to follow through on the covenant we have entered into. The purpose of this empowerment is to prepare ourselves for what lays ahead.
  • At Pentecost, God's Church was established. It is formed out of those who have believed the message of repentance built into the spring holy days. The Church is held together and moved forward by the power of God's spirit. Through the Church all of the first fruits are bonded together for a collective purpose: to prepare a people and to prepare the world for what lays ahead.

Pentecost as Preparation: what lays ahead is the annual festival of Trumpets. It signifies the next stage of God's process a) the return of Christ to bring the rule of God to earth, and b) the resurrection of the first fruits to assist and participate in this administration.

The Church is God's method for: a) preparing the first fruits for this future role, and b) proclaiming and explaining to the  world what lays ahead [announcing Christ's return, KOG]. Some people want to be spiritual but refuse the Church of God. Some are at odds with God's Church... Some have elected to stop participating in His Church... Some have stopped working within the guidelines of God's process.  

Such a position does not serve a function, role, or purpose in God’s plan…

God is not working through lone wolves, or isolated prophets, He is working through His Church. Hebrews 10:24 Hebrews 10:24And let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works:
American King James Version×
-25, Hebrews 12:22-29 Hebrews 12:22-29 [22] But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, [23] To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, [24] And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel. [25] See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven: [26] Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. [27] And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. [28] Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: [29] For our God is a consuming fire.
American King James Version×
 [festal assembly].

The Age of the Church

The literal meaning of church/ekklesia is an assembly of people. Ekklesia: a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; for the purpose of deliberation [thoughtful discussion and consideration of all sides of an issue moving towards some action as a community or state].

  • The Church of God is a small group of people drawn by God, called through the proclamation of His word, and chosen to participate in His assembly.
  • The Church of God is organized... it is not ethereal, mystical, driven by individual internal experiences. By definition ekklesia is concerned with governance.
  • The Church of God is unified around a set body of laws, judgments, statutes derived from God's word.  Our constitution, or charter, is God’s word.
  • The Church also makes administrative decisions about how those laws may apply in various cultural or social settings. These administrative decisions are made by designated and appointed officials within that organization. But, such officials may not over-ride the clear intent of the laws found in scripture.
  • The Church of God is also unified by doctrinal understanding... matters that go beyond mere law
  • The Church of God is unified by the power of His Spirit.

The Father of us all is laying the groundwork for the return of Christ… through His Church. He is preparing you... through His Church. He is preparing the world... through His Church.

Preparing For Jesus Coming

Jesus first coming was when He willingly put off the glory He shared with the Father... became flesh... and lived among us as a humble working class man. Before Jesus began His ministry in the flesh, John the baptist was sent before Him to prepare the way and lay a foundation. John's work was a call to repentance and obedience to God… a baptism to clean away sin…  John also announced "He is Coming" so be ready to receive Him.

When Jesus came the first time He did not come to establish the rule of God on earth John 18:36 John 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
American King James Version×
. Jesus real purpose was to establish His Church. His sacrifice for sin is comprehensive enough to cover the sins of the whole world... and that time will come. But for now that atonement is only administered to the few whom God chooses.

Jesus was put to death, He has been raised, and He has returned to the Father. But, He taught the disciples that He will come again Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version×
. Before that day of His return there was work to be done Matthew 24:14.

The purpose of the Church of God is to proclaim His return in power and glory... and to prepare a people for that day. Our message takes what John the Baptist proclaimed and adds to it --> Repent, be baptized for the removal of sin, AND receive the holy spirit  Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
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Hebrews 6:1-2 Hebrews 6:1-2 [1] Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, [2] Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
American King James Version×
 The laying on of hands signifies that it is through the Church that God administers His holy spirit. [story of man who wanted baptism but was not interested in participating in church]

Why Have You Been Called At This Time? 

Those few who are called into the assembly of God at this time are called for a purpose. The purpose is NOT your personal salvation... if it were then God could have left you until the third wave... the final harvest… the resurrection of the rest of the dead.

You, as a first fruit, have been called to prepare for, and participate with Christ in the establishment of God's coming rule on earth. This will be the turning point in the history of everything. A turning that will then lead to the opening up of personal salvation for all humanity... past, present, and future. Which is the message of the Last Great Day of the final harvest.

You, the first fruits, are not left to attempt this important work alone. You are empowered, strengthened, guided by the holy spirit of God. This help was promised by Jesus before His execution. But, be mindful of this: the holy spirit is not given to you to make you happy… to calm your nerves…  make you feel better… or self actualize your personal gifts... it is given to you to prepare for the change that is coming!

This calling and choosing plants you firmly within this strange entity called "the Church of God". So that you might participate in the preparation for what comes next: the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory. Do not resist, or refuse Him who put you here.

The reality of the holy spirit in you... and the reality of participation in God's Church are entwined together in the day of Pentecost. They are not separate paths, they are together. [peas & carrots]

Pouring Out of God's Power

Luke 24:49 Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.
American King James Version×
 Jesus told them He wanted them to be present in a specific place Acts 1:4-5 Acts 1:4-5 [4] And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me. [5] For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
American King James Version×
,8
. What if they had decided to stay home that day?

If the disciples had not been observing the holy days, specifically the feast of Pentecost, they would not have been there to receive the holy spirit Acts 5:32 Acts 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.
American King James Version×
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The spirit was "poured out" upon the Church... which was a new development in God's plan. Up until them humanity had generally been cut off from access to the holy spirit of God. A separation which began with the disobedience of Adam... which led to all humanity begin cut off from the "tree of life".

Being cut off from the power of God's spirit is a big deal. Without that connection to God's power you're not going to receive the gift of eternal life. Without it, you will not make the transition from temporary material existence to permanent spiritual existence.

Outpouring of Holy Spirit is Still Relatively Small

The first Pentecost opened up the outpouring of the holy spirit on a much larger scale than before:

  • Of the ancients we only know of a few were empowered this way... Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the prophets of Israel etc. There were others but not a lot.
  • Out the tens of thousand of people who heard Jesus only 120 were there at the first Pentecost to receive the power of the holy spirit.
  • Pentecost brought a great outpouring of the spirit... but even that is only to a tiny few out of the vast numbers of humanity.

Anyone with their eyes wide open can surely see that most people are not called in this present age. And by that, I mean called and chosen by the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob... called and chosen according to scriptural parameters. Some because they reject the truth [they hear the words but do not understand]... some because they have never heard the truth… some hear and understand but will not obey.

Knowledge of the full scope of God's plan let's us know they are not lost... they are to be part of the third wave... the final harvest... which is the message of the Last Great Day.

Are you discouraged that there are so few called. Does the "littleness" of God's Church put doubt in your mind? Please put it firmly in your mind: if there are few it is by design John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×
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Mark 4:11-12 Mark 4:11-12 [11] And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [12] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
American King James Version×
 to most the words of truth and life are riddles, word games, figures of speech. It is God who gives understanding... this too is granted through the power of the holy spirit. My personal opinion is that most people get hung up on this point: "God gives His spirit to those who obey".

The numbers may go up, and the numbers may go down. Cycles of persecution and prosperity come and go. But, it is God's choice to work through a small few. That work is to prepare the world and prepare a people for what comes next.

The Restoration of All Things

There is a new world order coming... but not the way people imagine it. There is "one world government" coming... but not as people hope or fear. The groundwork for the "new world order"... "one world government" is being prepared by God through His Church.

Everything God is currently working on is directed toward the restoration of His will upon earth. Everything we are doing now is preparing for that next step... which is the return of Christ.

You have been called by God at this time... for this purpose

You have been granted access to the power of His spirit for this purpose

You have been placed within His Church to play your part in working toward this next step