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Scripture reading: John 17:5, 22

God’s smile, His good will, and His permissive will are all that the church seems to have been enjoying until now. But now is the time of the overshadowing, when the manchild church is being brought forth within the woman church. We are moving into a time when nothing but the perfect will of God will be acceptable.

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelation 12:1.

This is not Mary, the mother of Jesus. This chapter was written of the future and not of the past. Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and brought forth Jesus Christ, the son of God. The church is being overshadowed by the Holy Ghost again to bring forth the Christ in us, not in a physical sense, as with Mary who had a natural child, but in the spiritual sense, where we shall bring forth the fruit of the soul and not the fruit of the womb. “Clothed with the sun” signifies an elect and called-out people of God, who at last will attain to the glory of God as their covering. Covering is not only for protection, but clothes which they wear daily – the righteousness of God being a part of our habit. The sun represents Christ, just as the moon represents the church. This woman was clothed with the sun, and her footstool was the moon. The meaning is clear. It brings out the scripture of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5 and 22,

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.

We do not need ecumenism. The glory of God in us is making us one without reservation or fear of separation.

This glory which Jesus prayed about is the picture we see in Revelation 12. It is the same glory which hung over the tabernacle in the wilderness. The same glory Ezekiel saw at the river Chebar, and which Isaiah saw in Isaiah 1 and 6. All the prophets saw it, and Paul saw it when he was knocked down on the road to Damascus. I believe this is the same glory which I also saw in a vision in Greenwich Farm in western Kingston, when I saw the shadow of a man, cast by a great light in the sky, resting on the sea and on the land, and the voice of God speaking to me, saying, “The glory of God dwelleth in His people.” The glory is already given, and the church needs to appropriate it. The people of God is the only temple on earth now recognized by the Lord as His temple. In Haggai 2:7 and 9, there is a prophecy which is yet to come to pass, and it cannot be speaking of a natural temple, as there is none now standing which would have the approval of God. This temple, of course, must be the temple of the human body which God desires to dwell in, “not made with hands.”

“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”

This scripture speaks of Revelation 12:1, which is the fulfillment of Haggai’s prophecy. The woman, the church, will be clothed at last, not in her own righteousness, but with the GLORY OF GOD.

“Upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”

(Excerpt from The Pattern, 2nd edition, 1995, pg. 151-153)

Thought for today: We do not need ecumenism. The glory of God in us is making us one without reservation or fear of separation.

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Scripture reading: John 17:22-23

John 17 shows us God’s perfect will for the church. Verses 22 and 23, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) are one: I in them (Jesus in us), and thou in me (God in Jesus), that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou has sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” If you see this to be the perfect will of God, could you go into an ecumenical joining with people who are deviant and contrary to God and say that this is the will of God that we, the church, should be one? This is not the oneness that the Lord is talking about. The oneness that Jesus is talking about is a oneness wherein we are absolutely subject to the Head which is Christ.

Every man, everywhere, that is subject to the Head, which is Christ, does not have to go and make an agreement, or an ecumenical joining, with another man in order to be one. He is already one in Christ. If Christ speaks, he moves and becomes a part of Christ. Every part of my body is at this present time subject to my head. My hands and my feet must move according to the dictates of my head. This is what we call ONENESS. Anything else is a travesty; it is against the very thoughts of Almighty God. The thing that is about to come forth is called the one-world church, or the antichrist, with “seven heads and ten horns;” power will be given to them by Satan himself.

In Matthew 24:21 and 22, Jesus refers to this group of people (the “man child”) and He called them “the Elect.” “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” These are not just the called-out, not just the church, but the “eklektos, those who are selected out of the elected. The selected ones will be selected out of the “ekklesia,” or “the church. The “eklektos” comes out of the “ekklesia,” or “the chosen comes out of the church.” God is saying that there is a “man child” company.

Another description of this company is in Revelation 14. In this chapter they are called the 144,000. Verse 4, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 3, pages 100-101)

Thought for today: The oneness that Jesus is talking about is a oneness wherein we are absolutely subject to the Head which is Christ.

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Scripture reading: John 17:23

One wonders how is this marriage between God and man going to be? What is it going to be like? Of course, when a man and a woman are married, we know what it is like. The Scripture says they should become “one flesh.” In their imperfections, sometimes, they are really divided. Thinking of this marriage as God would have it in perfection, what will it be like? In John 14:17 Jesus explains the entrance of the Spirit into the human body, the human being, and the soul. “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know Him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be IN YOU.” It is like saying they become “ONE FLESH” – God in man, dwelling in man, being part of man’s function. Therefore, man would have to be changed. His daily function, his mind operation, the operation of his soul, his very feelings have to be changed because there is an incorporation of God inside of the man. This man, who has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in his spirit and whose soul the Holy Ghost is trying and striving to get into, cannot function like an ordinary man.

Judas, His brother, could not understand it. Verse 22, “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” Think of two people sitting together and God is manifesting to one and not to the other. Verse 23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” This “with him” could be translated “within him.” The human being cannot love God UNLESS he begins to hate some of the things of this world. Only then, the love of God begins to come into him. God is contrary to most of what is transpiring here in this life.

Jesus continues to explain to Judas. Verse 26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Jesus meant that man would have an inward tutor, the Holy Ghost, that would begin to teach him. When he hears something that is not of God, something inside of him says, “No, No!” There is a little “No No” spirit inside of him. If he continues to listen to that small voice then the voice becomes bigger, and he becomes surer of what the voice is saying. That is how God begins to direct the man from the inside.

John 17 shows us something more of this marriage that is taking place. In verse 23a Jesus describes it and He says, “I in them (that means Christ in us), and thou in me (the Father is in Christ, therefore we have Christ and the Father), that they may be made perfect in one.” One sign that must come forth from BEING ONE is being IN CHRIST. Christ in us is so that we will get IN CHRIST. We become one IN CHRIST. Verse 23b, “and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” The union then is no longer just a unity but a UNION. This union brings man into a oneness with God, because one person is in Christ, and the other person is in Christ.

The words “IN CHRIST” are specific. The man “in Christ” is not part of himself anymore, he is no longer part of his family, BUT HE IS PART OF GOD. It is like you being inside a person – you do not make the decisions, the person makes the decisions. If I am “in Christ,” wherever Christ goes, I go. When I have Christ in me, wherever I go, Christ has to go. If Christ says to you, “Do not go to such and such a place” and you go there, He cannot leave you because you went there. He is still in you but you took Him where He did not want to go. When you are “IN CHRIST,” He takes you where you do not want to go. He is the controlling factor in your life. He is the head, and you are only a part of the Body. The Body does not lead the head. It is the head that leads the Body.

The union of the marriage of Christ and the church is when Christ is the head. If Christ is your head and Christ is my head, and we are all functioning under the same head, then we must be united. There is no way that we can be separated. My right hand cannot be separated from my left hand when they both are being motivated and ordered by the same brain. So it is with every part of my body. God gave the beautiful body as a type of His great kingdom so that we would understand more perfectly what He requires.

(Excerpt from The Book of Revelation, Volume 3, pages 48-50)

Thought for today: The man “in Christ” is not part of himself anymore, he is no longer part of his family BUT HE IS PART OF GOD.

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Scripture reading: John 17:20-22

Have you ever thought about the fact that God gave each one of you somebody to love? I am talking now to you children, you young ones who are not married. God has given you some people to love. You must love this people, this Body, your brethren, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and you must love the Lord God. He says, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might, AND thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

But we come short. Yes, we come short! We sin against one another; we say things against one another. But we need to repent. We need to repent, because God is creating a Body in the earth! This is what God is doing! God doesn’t want any mighty preacher to go around healing and delivering everybody. Everybody has to wait until Brother So-And-So comes to lay his hand on them. That’s over with! God is creating a Body. Jesus is calling His bride.

The word comes to me, “That they may be one.” Let us read it in John 17:20-22, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”

So, if anybody comes to you, and says he is preaching and doing miracles in the name of the Lord, but he is not creating oneness among the people of God, he is not doing the will of God. For the perfect will of God is that we all may be one! You hear them talk about black church, some talk about white church, some talk about all the different kinds of ethnic and whatever else religious organization churches. All those are outside of Christ. He said, “In Christ, there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28). IN Christ! So you have a wife and you must realize that in the Spirit, IN Christ, she is neither male nor female. It is just God lying down beside you, in your bed at night. And you have to be careful with her, tender, forgiving one another for Christ’s sake. As Jesus Christ forgives us, let us forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32). Let us love one another, as God loves us!

It is like a final word being given. Do you know why? We are at the end of the business. If we fail, God will turn away from us and choose another people. God chooses a group, He chooses one over there, He chooses one over there, and every one that fails, He puts them aside. If they turn church, He finds another group. Don’t you understand? God is trying to melt people into one. We must be one in Christ Jesus. We must have no dissimulations, no divisions that will divide us. We must have repentance. For right now we are not what we ought to be. But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him (I John 3:2). So, the more of Jesus you have, the more you will be one with the brethren who are one with God.

For that reason, God has set certain things in our midst. God has put in our midst different arrangements. The brethren asked Paul, “How do we relate, one to another in the church?” He said, “The older women should be mothers. Then you have fathers, then you have brothers, and then you have sisters” (1 Timothy 5:1-2). So we should look at each other as brothers and sisters. Why? Is it not reality to you? Let me tell you how real it is. It is more real than your natural brother because the Blood of Jesus Christ which you have in you is in him, and in her, and in this one and in that one. The same Blood that flows through you, flows through them.

(Excerpt from The Omega Message, July 2005, pg. 11-13)

Thought for today: The more of Jesus you have, the more you will be one with the brethren who are one with God.

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Scripture reading: Psalm 103:13

Some of us believe that godliness is coming to church, singing, playing, and prophesying. God is saying that you can come to church and speak with the tongues of angels and men, and not have the love of God in your heart (1 Corinthians 13:1). And He says ALL your manifestation is vain!

I began to learn love when God gave me a wife. Strange enough, I had the love of God. He gave me His love, He gave me salvation, but it was a new dimension of learning when I got married. Oh, yes! You have to learn that here you are, strong, very active, and full of life, and you are dealing with a delicate person who might not be feeling too well this morning. “What about my breakfast?” Huh? “What is going on this morning?” You never inquired to find out that she wasn’t feeling well. You should have gone out and made the breakfast for her. You have children and sometimes the children are not really feeling right. You have to have bowels of compassion for them.

The scriptures speak of God being El Shaddai. Do you know what that means? El Shaddai means the big breasted father God, who has milk to feed all His children with, and to supply them. That is the only way that our language can express a certain part of God, El Shaddai. Do you know that God put El Shaddai in the Body, among you? That God put His El Shaddai compassion spirit upon you? But some of us only have compassion for our own children! We don’t consider the suffering of others out there that need us.

God put mothers in your midst, mothers whom you are supposed to listen to, fathers whom you are supposed to listen to, those who must have compassion on you in the Spirit. There is a scripture which, of course, the theologians really stumble over. I don’t stumble over it. God said in Psalm 103:13, Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. The theologians say, “Oh no, no, no. It is wrong. It should have said, ‘As a mother.’” However, the word used there is El Shaddai, and it means a strong, powerful, Father love.

Love between husband and wife is the basis of the love and the ministry in the church. God said a man should not be an elder unless he had a wife and brought up children. So it is your wife that is making you an elder. Now, if you don’t treat that wife properly, then you cannot be an elder. God is teaching you, but remember, we go step by step. So, if you haven’t taken the first step, how are you going to take the second? How are you going to have compassion on the people of God? How are you going to love the people of God? How are you going to pour out life upon them if you can’t do it to your wife? Yes! Sometimes God sits by and allows the wife to provoke you. She provokes you, and then the devil comes upon you, and you get mad. God says, “Now that you are mad, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to get rid of that madness, because it is the thing that is destroying your ministry, your life? As a Son of God, you are losing out!” That’s why he said in 1 John 3:7, “Little children.” He said, “My little children,” because you haven’t grown up to the point yet where he could call you, “My sons.”

“NOW are we the Sons of God, but it really does not yet appear what we shall be” (I John 3:2a). You notice he did not talk about daughters of God. He doesn’t have any daughters. When a person reaches a certain level with God, God says, “My son.” I trust, you women, know why you are women. Do you know why you are women? It is not just for the procreation of the species. It is also because the woman is the other half of the man and there is no strength in a church unless the man and the woman come together. That’s where our strength is. Therefore, the very glue that holds the church together is love.

(Excerpt from The Omega Message, July 2005, pg. 7-8)

Thought for today: Love between husband and wife is the basis of the love and the ministry in the church.

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Scripture reading: 1 John 3:2-3

Have you ever thought about the oneness of the church? Do you know what God is doing with us to make us one? Let me explain it to you. You see, when God is talking about walking with Him, He means taking it step by step by step. That’s how God designed it. When we start out our walk with the Lord, we are just creeping. I would say, “Brother Shepherd, how are you?” He would respond, “I’m just crawling.” I would say, “Brother, keep crawling! Don’t stop crawling!” But the story is that God gave the Blood of Jesus Christ, which is His Blood, in order for it to become a nexus, a joining between us.

Then, He gives us families. You see, I was as wild as they come. I had no intention of marrying, settling down, having a wife. First of all, I didn’t believe anybody loved me. But when God gave me a wife, especially a woman that loves God so much, so gentle, able to bear with some of my rough ways, and sometimes my misbehavior, I felt honored. And I still do! Honored beyond measure. You know, the marriage vow says to love, to cherish, and to honor. When a person turns to their wife or husband and says a rough word, something out of order, that honor is being breached. You don’t have the honor that you should have for her/him. But God is saying to us, “It is time now! It is a late hour. It is time now for you to grow up! For if you cannot be one with your wife/husband, you will not be one with My Body!

That is what is affecting the Body of Christ. There is no alternative. God is not giving you an alternative as to whether you want to or not. God has given you a wife, God has given you children, and He is making you. He is actually making you! You have to be made into what God wants you to be, for He says, “When He shall appear, you will be like Him” (1 John 3:2b).

One time, the Lord had been talking to me all night about love. And He had been showing me some of you. He had been saying to me, “Let us get back to our first love.” It is sometimes very easy to get used to the person. You get used to the people and forget that the first step in love is to love one another as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us.

(Excerpt from The Omega Message, July 2005, pg. 6-7)

Thought for today: Work on being one with your wife/husband so that you may be one with His Body.

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Scripture reading: John 17:1-8, 22-26

In order to save man, Christ had to lay down the glory that He had with the Father before the world was. There was one time on the Mount of Transfiguration when Christ burst forth from the body of Jesus and the disciples saw the glory cloud as it shone through his body. They heard the Father speak from within the glory cloud that also enveloped Moses and Elias. But John 17:5 shows that even the great power we saw manifested in Jesus Christ while He was in His human body was not the power which He had with the Father before the world was, but much less.

Let us look at John 17:22, in which He bequeathed to us not the glory of the Christ in the mortal body of Jesus, but the glory of the pre-existent Christ, which He had with the Father before the world was made.

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” 

Our oneness in Christ exceeds all human union. So then, what is this glory which He has given us? And if it is given, is it received? The glory is Christ. Christ stands at the apex of a pyramid and we are all at different points along its side. As we progress towards Him, we also come closer to each other, but it is the oneness of purpose that brings us closer to Him and to each other.

The glory that we seek is Christ. How do we get Christ? It is one of those simple, yet hard answers: We get Christ by being in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Of course, we cannot be obedient to someone whom we cannot hear and we can only hear by the Word of God. Our first action, then, must be a tacit determination to believe the Word of God and to obey it without reservation. Some of us believe this part and that part, but not the other. When this happens, we instinctively seek other interpretations for the Word and, invariably, we fall into error. Once we are in error, we cannot hear the Word of God clearly and we cannot act correctly, thus we miss the glory that was given and we cannot be one with those with whom we should be one.

Let us look at the ending of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:24-26, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

The key in this prayer is expressed in the fact that Jesus is saying that we will have this glory in the natural and not just when we are dead. He is praying not for a glory to come where He will be, but “where I am.” In Chapter 14, Jesus explains that He is going to the Father and that He will come again and receive us unto Himself, “…that where I am, there ye may be also.” God’s plan for us is that Christ Jesus, Who is with us now, should bring us into the place where He is with the Father. He moved out of the place on earth and the Word declares in Hebrews 2:10 that He will bring “…many sons to glory.” The time is close when we will come into this glory. Pray that you do not miss it as the scribes and Pharisees did when Jesus first appeared.

(Excerpt from The Omega Message, June 1991, pg. 6-8)

Thought for today: As we progress towards God, we also come closer to each other, but it is the oneness of purpose that brings us closer to Him and to each other.

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