Posted by: Santos Garcia | Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thy Kingdom Come: Here and Now!- Chapter 13

Crushed In The Olive Press

Crushed In The Olive Press

(NOTE:  This is a ‘rough draft’ of a chapter of my finished book- available on Amazon via Title Link:  Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!)

Chapter 13- When Zion Travails, She Brings Forth Her Children: The Zion Company

Isaiah 66:7-9… Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, She gave birth to a man. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Or can a nation be brought forth all at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, She brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth? Says Jehovah. Or shall I who cause to bring forth shut the womb? Says your God.

This chapter of Isaiah presents the Heart of God concerning His desire for a permanent habitation. God did not consider either Heaven (My throne) or earth (the footstool for My feet) as His dwelling place. He also did not consider the temple built by the children of Israel as the lasting place of His rest. The tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness and the temple were symbolic of Jehovah’s union with Israel whom God considered His actual house. God was united with the children of Israel both in marriage and in His Presence united with them, and this one entity was a spiritual house in which both God and the godly children of Israel lived.

The dwelling place God desires now is a group of people into whom He can enter and remain. His divine intention is and has always been to have a dwelling place in the universe where He as God and a righteous mankind are mingled together- God built into man and man built into God, so that both God and man can be a mutual abode for each other. In the New Testament this dwelling place is the church, which is God’s habitation in the believers’ spirit, with the ultimate manifestation of this being the New Jerusalem, the Zion of God.

Ephesians 2:19-22… So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Being built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone; In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Isaiah the prophet spoke prophetically in multiple layers of future events that continue to unfold. The primary fulfillment of the particular quoted passage of Isaiah 66 in this remarkable book of Holy Writ, is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. A nation that had not existed for nearly two millennia, was reborn in one day on May 14, 1948. She was immediately attacked by five surrounding armies whom she soundly defeated, because Jehovah’s hand was upon her to protect her from permanent harm. This single event of fulfilled prophecy has set a clock ticking… it is the End of Days clock, for all other prophecies that remain to manifest in fulfillment, find their center in this remarkable act of divine intervention. There is a parallel fulfillment to natural Israel… which is in spiritual Israel or the Church: the birthing of the Zion Company. We are the children of Abraham by faith, and therefore likewise heirs to the promises bestowed on the natural seed (Romans 4:11-25).

Galatians 3:7,29… Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham… And if you are of Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

This chapter is positioned at the end of the section on the foundational or elementary principles of Christ, because it is directly related to let us go on to perfection, which was addressed in Chapter 12. There has been a progressive restoration of genuine Spirit-filled realities in the Church since the Reformation initiated nearly 500 years ago by Martin Luther. For a comprehensive review of each facet of change that has occurred by God’s Sovereign Hand in these five centuries, please see the writings of Dr. Bill Hamon– specifically The Eternal Church; Prophets and the Prophetic Movement; and most recently The Day of The Saints. All of Dr. Hamon’s books and resources are worthy of serious study, and will impact your Christian walk immeasurably. Please see www.christianinternational.org.

As has been decreed from the beginning of this book, and that which has likewise been declared in the mouths of the Apostles and Prophets who are alive and well today we are experiencing the most profound transition in God’s economy for the completion of all things. The Church of the Living God is being transformed by accessing and living out a Kingdom mentality into reality. We are truly Advancing Christ’s Kingdom step by step… line upon line… precept upon precept. Please see my blog at zionsgate.wordpress.com. There is a remarkable unity of declaration that is going forth into the atmosphere from all the vital streams of the Body of Christ. Men and women and even children are receiving visions and dreams that confirm that the destiny that our Heavenly Father has ordained for the manifestation of the sons of God- the Zion Company– will not be delayed any longer. The time is short and we have much to do to prepare the nets (doctrinal purity with spiritual unity) to be able to take into the Kingdom the multitudes that will come during the coming magnificent Harvest at the End of the Age. Once it starts, it will continue until th Lord Jesus Christ sets His foot on the Mount of Olives, and it splits two ways forging the channel for a river of God’s purpose to flow.

The Mystery that is Zion

In the entire Bible, the whole counsel of God’s revelation to man that is the sealed canon of Scripture, there are 162 references to Zion. There are 155 in the Old Testament, with 7 in the New Testament. A large number of these scripture references are describing physical (temporal) Jerusalem, or a district of the Holy City, or the peak of Mt. Hermon. My focus is on spiritual Zion rather than the others. One of my very favorite passages of Scripture is comprehensive in its description of blessed Zion:

Hebrews 12:22-29… But you have come forward to Mt. Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, to the universal gathering; And to the church of the firstborn, who have been enrolled in Heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to spirits of righteous men who have been made perfect; And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks something better than that of Abel… we shall not escape who turn away from Him who warns from Heaven…

v26Whose voice at the time shook the earth but now has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also Heaven.” And this word, “Yet once more,” shows clearly the removal of the things being shaken as being of things having been made, that the things which are not shaken may remain. Therefore receiving an unshakable Kingdom, let us have grace, through which we may serve God well-pleasingly with piety and [godly] fear; For our God is also a consuming fire.

I purposely set the positive beauty of the above verses of Scripture- since Mt. Zion represents the blessings of God’s grace- before the contrast of the negatives related to the terror of Mt. Sinai which represents the futility of the law. In Hebrews 12:18-21 there is a mountain which could not be touched… which was set on fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind…v21… And so fearful was the sight, Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”

What is described in vv. 22-24 is heavenly and spiritual, in contrast to the earthly physical things in vv. 18-19. The positive verses point to the side of grace where we the firstborn of the church- though not yet in Heaven are ‘enrolled’ there, for that is where our citizenship is (Philippians 3:20,21). Everything described on the side of the law which is the old covenant is not pleasant but terrifying. While everything on the side of grace is wonderfully pleasing, inspiring, and full of hope. Mt. Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem, which are God’s habitation and throne of universal administration are what we have been drawn to. The multitude of holy angels are present in the celebration of the heirs of salvation to whom they minister (Hebrews 1:14). God the Father is present in v23 as Judge of all, who justifies the righteous saints of the old covenant because of their faith (Hebrews 11). Our dear Lord Jesus is confirmed in v24 as the Mediator of a new covenant better in every regard compared to the old covenant of continual bloodshed and sacrifice of animals, whose temporary atonement only pointed to Christ. Who would be so foolish as to leave the side of grace and turn to the works of the law? This again requires repentance from dead works and faith toward God.

We who are co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom which our Father is well-pleased to give us, must live daily in the reality of vv. 28,29: Therefore receiving an unshakable kingdom (a continual process of receiving), let us have grace (fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the source and fountain of grace), through which we may serve God well-pleasingly with piety (holiness) and [godly] fear (the holy fear of the Lord); For our God is also a consuming fire.

We have already discussed the fire that will burn up all our works at the Judgment Seat of Christ, with gold and precious stones remaining, typifying our eternal treasures laid up in Heaven. We will look in depth at the Fear of the Lord in the sequel to this work entitled Cleansing the Temple. Suffice it to say that the fear of the Lord is truly the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Let us contemplate how our Almighty God views the confusion and rebellion of humanity, who reflect the nature of their father, the god of this world system- which lies in the lap of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3,4; 1 John5:19).

Psalm 2:1-12(entire)… Why are the nations in an uproar, And why do the peoples contemplate a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, And the rulers sit in counsel together, Against Jehovah and against His Anointed: Let us break apart their bonds and cast their ropes away from us. He who sits in the heavens laughs; The Lord has them in derision.

Then He will speak to them in His anger, And in His burning wrath he will terrify them: But I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will recount the decree of Jehovah; He said to Me: You are My Son; Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, And I will give you the nations as Your inheritance And the limits of the earth as Your possession. You will break them with an iron rod; You will shatter them like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore, O kings, be prudent; Take the admonition, O judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son lest He be angry and you perish from the way; for His anger may suddenly be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him.

God the Father proclaims that He has installed His King in Mt. Zion, not Mt. Sinai. That again is because Mt. Sinai produces children of slavery under the law, but the New Jerusalem above- which is in Heaven at Mt. Zion, produces children of promise who inherit the promised blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We kiss the Son because we love Him and desire to enjoy Him. We take refuge in Him as our protection and hiding place, in a world full of darkness and wicked ways. Here is found comfort for us through all tribulation, for we can claim and rest upon His word, and the many promises of Scripture concerning our glorious future.

Psalm 9:11… Sing psalms to Jehovah, the inhabitants of Zion; Declare His deeds among the peoples…

Because our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20) and we are seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) we are inspired to declare His deeds among all people. This is how we overcome the adversary: By the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).

Psalm 20:1,2… May Jehovah answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob set you on high. May He send you help from the sanctuary, And support you from Zion.

This is the channel of blessing and answered prayer that you see both in the dream of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:11-22) and referred to by our Lord in John 1:51. Our prayers, petitions, and supplications ascend to God like fragrant incense and He wisely responds in His perfect will and timing. We have the comfort of knowing that He answers either yes, no, or wait… for He as a faithful Father knows how to care for all His children.

Psalm 48:1-3;12-14… Great is Jehovah, And much to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion, the sides of the north, The city of the great King. God has made Himself known In her palaces as a high retreat… Walk about Zion, and go around her; Count her towers. Consider carefully her bulwarks; Pass between her palaces; That you may recount it to the generation following. For this God is our God forever and ever. He will guide us even unto death.

Zion was the city of David (2 Samuel 5:7) and the center of the city of Jerusalem where the temple as God’s dwelling place was built. In the spiritual sense Zion within Jerusalem is a type of the body of overcoming believers who are the perfected mature sons and daughters of God, within the church. It represents the universal church perfected with the references to palaces alluding to the different aspects or streams of the church. When the church as the house of God is enlarged and strengthened, it becomes the city– the Kingdom for God’s ruling and reigning. As both the house and the city we enjoy God in the aspect of His dwelling, and in His ruling and reigning.

Psalm 50:1,2… The Mighty One, God Jehovah, Speaks and summons the earth From the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

This beautifully refers again to the mystery of our Triune God’s economythat He has chosen to redeem, regenerate, transform, and eventually glorify the children of mankind whom He has called out of the world. We are that Zion out of whom God shines forth! WE are the Zion Company! One of my favorite passages is:

Isaiah 2:2-4 (NKJV)… Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come and let us go to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And shall rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshare, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Israel has always been the navel of the earth, and Jerusalem the center of worship. God’s temple with the shekinah Presence of Jehovah at the Ark of the Covenant was situated there. Soon when the New Jerusalem descends from Heaven and the Lord Jesus assumes His rightful throne, all nations will come three times a year to be taught of the Lord at Mt. Zion. He will rule the nations with a firm hand; His every word will be law- and His correction will be severe yet just and righteous. The earth will experience a lasting peace that it and mankind have yearned for since the Fall poisoned all creation.

Isaiah 4:5,6… Jehovah will create over the entire region of Mount Zion and over all her convocations a cloud of smoke by day, and the brightness of a fiery flame by night; for the glory will be a canopy over all. And there will be a tabernacle as a daytime shade from the heat and as a refuge and cover from storm and rain.

Just as the Lord’s Presence was with Israel in the wilderness wanderings as a cloud by day (Exodus 13:21) and a pillar of fire by night (Zechariah 2:5), so His Glory will be a covering for His holy people at Mt. Zion. The light of His Glory will illuminate so that no other source of light will be needed (Revelation 21:23).

Isaiah 52:7… How beautiful on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Of him who announces peace, who brings news of good things, Who announces salvation; Of him who says to Zion, Your God reigns!

What a profound privilege and responsibility we the children of the ever living God have! We know the ultimate truth, the mystery of God’s economy which has been hidden in plain sight both in the Holy Scriptures and in particular in the redeemed! We carry the Kingdom of Heaven wherever we go. Wherever we are the Kingdom can and should manifest by the release of the Spirit through us to touch the lives of others. The world wallows in despair with cynical fear of a doomed future. Or lost mankind searches for truth and becomes satisfied with the crumbs of false religion that will not save, and in fact will damn them to hell and the Lake of Fire.

The underlying reason that this book has been written is so the Body of Christ will fully awaken from slumber and procrastination, rise up with God’s radiance and push back the darkness. We must win the lost at any cost! We must sacrificially invest ourselves, our time, our money, in snatching as many out of the fire as we can… as long as we are drawing breath. God commands us to compel them to come into His house. When we stand before God at the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will need to see our fruitful treasures… the many souls that have entered His Kingdom by our direct or indirect witness. That is the only thing we will carry into Heaven with us; everything else will be stripped away. We have the commission and empowerment to do this:

Matthew 28:18-20… And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age.

We have no excuse because we are fully equipped. We have the very word of God in the Holy Scriptures; the armor of God; the fruit and gifts of the Spirit manifesting in our daily lives; the five-fold ministry anointing; Christian broadcast television , radio, and print media; and now the ever-growing influence of the Internet that we can harness in increasing measure for God’s purposes. There has never been a season in human history where more is available for our use to expand the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. All we need to do is show up… He will provide the rest. Of course the prerequisites that should go without saying, are:

1 Timothy 1;5… The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.

All of our efforts must be bathed in prayer with fasting when necessary to effect the changes that the Lord wants and eagerly anticipates. The redeemed are continually to act as midwives facilitating the rebirth of souls into the Kingdom. We plant the seed of the Word, cover it before and after with loving prayer, and observe the Holy Spirit do the rest. Of course, we then have the added responsibility in order to fulfill the Great Commission, to disciple the babes in Christ with the milk and eventually the meat of the Scriptures. Then we can all look forward to our glorious future in Mount Zion:

Revelation 21:1-7… And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem [Mt. Zion], coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be His God and he shall be My son…”

Yes and Amen!… so be it, in Jesus’ Name.

“Come To The Water” – Passion (featuring Kristian Stanfil)

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