Chain Reaction in Realms of the Spirit
Beauty For Ashes Part 4 - George H. Warnock
CHAPTER 1 - THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
In this writing we want to talk about the spiritual dynamics of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. The gospel of the Kingdom is much more than a "message." Our Lord Jesus promised His disciples that there would be a powerful demonstration of the gospel of the Kingdom before the end would come. THIS MUST YET HAPPEN:
"And THIS gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14).
Notice He said, "THIS gospel of the Kingdom." I think one would have to be extremely blind to think that our Lord was talking about this kind of gospel preaching that is generally pouring forth from the Church in this hour. Certainly He is talking about the kind of gospel that shone forth from His ministry, and that of His apostles, and not the sterile kind that is going forth today from our many pulpits, and through the mass media of radio and television. "THIS" gospel of the Kingdom is much, much more than a message. It is a dynamic Word that works mightily in the hearts of those who hear it:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER [dunamis] of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." (Rom. 1:16).
Bible colleges and seminaries can give one a lot of instruction in the scriptures--and God certainly wants us to know the scriptures. But going forth to the nations with this knowledge and understanding, and preaching it to men and women, IS NOT THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM. Paul's gospel was much more than that:
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance..." (1 Thess. 1:5).
Man's thirst for knowledge and understanding has been insatiable ever since our foreparents partook of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." And somehow, even in the Church, if we know what God has said we get the feeling that we know the truth. But truth is a dynamic working of God in the hearts of men and women. The letter of it is in the Bible, that is true--and we love the written Word. But it must be deeply imbedded within us, and spring forth from our hearts in a mighty working of His Spirit before we really know God, and before we can truly declare Him, and make Him known to others.
Sent By God--Or Sent By Man
The great commission, as it is called, ("Go ye into all the world...") was never given to the Church as a mandate to organize missionary programs. It was given to a handful of His disciples who had walked with Him and learned His ways. But even then they were not equipped. They must first tarry at Jerusalem, at home base, until they were "endued with power from on high" (Lk. 24:49). Even then, having received this mighty baptism of fire they continued to linger in Jerusalem--for how many years we do not know exactly--awaiting God's time. Let us not accuse them of lethargy, negligence, or cowardice. They braved the storms of persecution and stayed in Jerusalem even when the Church was scattered far and wide. (See Acts 8:1). Why did they not obey the Lord and "go into all the world and preach the gospel"? They did, but they walked with God, and knew God, and they knew that He had a time for everything, and a way, and that they must walk in His way. They had learned much of God's way as they walked with their Lord. They knew they must wait for God's TIME.
GOD NEVER SENT HIS PEOPLE FORTH IN MISSIONARY ACTIVITY EXCEPT AS THEY OPERATED IN THE REALM OF KINGDOM-OF-GOD DYNAMICS. AND WHEN HIS PEOPLE WERE READY GOD DID THE SENDING.
Whenever I get one of these little slips that comes in the mail, I quickly throw it in the waste basket: "I can't go to the mission field, but here is my donation of $___ to help support someone that can."
I CAN GO, if God sends me. So can you. God has made no provision for substitutionary service in the Kingdom of God. If God tells you to go and you reply, "I can't Lord, but here is my $100 for someone that can," YOU ARE TOTALLY DISOBEDIENT TO THE WILL OF GOD.
May God quickly bring His people to the realization that He is still Lord of the Church, and that He knows how to prepare vessels for ministry, and when to send them forth. The presence and the Lordship of the Holy Spirit has been completely ignored in most of our programs and endeavors to reach the nations of the world. Our Lord is still capable of saying to a handful of believers who are walking with Him, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2). Even then they did not get up and run. They waited on God in fasting and prayer, and for the blessing of the Church. And when they went forth they were "SENT FORTH BY THE HOLY GHOST..." (Acts 13:4).
I am not saying that what happened in Antioch must in any sense be a pattern for the Church. For God always moves in different ways as He may choose. We are simply emphasizing that God wants to speak distinctly to His people in this hour, as He did in her early beginnings.
I know it is all so different now. The Holy Ghost is no longer expected to speak in this emphatic manner. BUT THE COLOSSAL BLUNDER OF THE CHURCH RESTS IN THIS VERY FACT, THAT IF GOD IS NO LONGER SPEAKING DISTINCTLY WE WILL SIMPLY DO THE BEST WE CAN WITHOUT HEARING HIS VOICE. It is even taught that it is our responsibility to act boldly without waiting for God--waiting with such an intensity of commitment and devotion that we know we dare not go forth except as we hear from Him. We have a right, and a responsibility, to know what the will of the Lord is. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17). If God wants us to have this understanding, then we must seek for it, and wait, till we know for sure what the will of the Lord is. I am not denying that there may be seasons of perplexity as we struggle to know clearly what He is saying. But this is all in the learning process. In such times it is important that we learn patience and trust, rather than to act in haste. The hasty spirit generally moves in the wrong direction. Jesus said that if we would but walk with Him in His yoke, we would find rest unto our souls.
A Divided Heart
Saul was prepared to do what God told him to do as long as it would not endanger his own reputation, or his exalted position in the eyes of the people. He feared they might not continue to stand by him if he fully obeyed the word of the LORD, and this became his downfall.
In the battle with Amalek Saul had a clear word from God: "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not..." (1 Sam. 15:3). Saul was confident that he did what God had told him to do. "I have performed the commandment of the LORD" (vs. 13) was his confident boast. But what did the prophet have to say about it? "Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD...?" (vs. 19). What was the trouble? A divided heart! He would do the will of God and destroy the Amalekites, but not those good things that belonged to the enemies of God. That would be so unreasonable. He would save these as an offering for God! (See 1 Sam. 15:15).
Does all this sound familiar? We certainly want to do God's will, but not if it doesn't make sense--not if it offends too many people. We might come up with a hundred different options if we make doing the will of God a conditional matter. But if and when we come to the place where the doing of God's will is our one and only desire, then there are no options.
I am convinced that our inability to hear the voice of God distinctly is, in most cases, because we are looking, expecting and insisting that His will must fit into the framework of what we have already set our hearts upon doing, and which we are not prepared to abandon to the will and the wisdom of God. It is just not reasonable to contemplate that God's will might lead us in a pathway that could mean the forfeiting of all our plans and hopes and ambitions for the future.
I am not suggesting that these desires are necessarily wrong in themselves. They may even have sprung from a certain knowledge of what God has revealed for one's life. But whatever the case may be, you cannot wave these before the Lord and say, "Lord, I want to do Your will, but You promised me this. Lord, I cannot go the way You are leading me, because then Your promise could not come to pass." No, we would not blatantly accuse God of breaking His promises. But this is what He hears when in the secret corners of our hearts there lingers that opposition to go God's way if it seems to mean the cancelling of all our plans and ambitions in life.
How deep is our love? Can we not lay down everything we think we know about His promises, out of love for the God who gave them? God told Abraham to do exactly that: to lay on the altar of burnt offering the very promise that God had given him, and Abraham obeyed--SIMPLY BECAUSE HE LOVED GOD MORE THAN HE LOVED THE PROMISES. At the same time he knew that the God who had promised would be faithful to do what He said, and would bring his son back to life again--if need be--by resurrection power.
We are going to emphasize much this matter of the will of God, because I believe it is of vital importance in this hour to walk in His explicit will. I am confident that God is apprehending a people who will come to such commitment to Him, that He will be able to use them for the unfolding of His wonderful plan and purpose for this hour. We are not talking about God's people becoming active in a lot of good, worthwhile things--trying to use their gifts and talents, trying to do something profitable for the Kingdom of God. We are talking about coming to the place of such commitment to the Lord, that we know explicitly what He wants us to do. For when God finds for Himself this kind of a people, 'He will be able to send them forth with power and anointing to do ANYTHING He wants them to do, and NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE to this willing people.
God tells us about the Day of His Power, and He lets us know that He is preparing a "willing people" for that hour--a people who will be accounted worthy to move in the splendor and glory of the exalted King who reigns from Zion:
"Thy people shall be willing In the day of Thy power..."
But before we continue with this thought we want to consider briefly, just to form a background, man's Day of Power, and what it has brought us to.
Chapter 2 - A Chain Reaction of Death
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