Temple Builders Prophetic Web Tabernacle truths: 3 Fold Truths or Three Fold Truths
by John Robert Lucas
 
Tabernacle Images

3 Fold Truths or Three Fold Truths

Chapter 21
Examine Your Courts

We are in a development stage in Christ. We can discern where we are when we observe some truths found in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. As God's priests when we approach the Holy of Holies, we press towards it as the finishing line that Paul talked about, from point “A” to point “B”.

Our lives in Christ can be seen in the tabernacle. As we have said previously, there may be some areas of our lives that look more like they are outside of the tabernacle altogether. These are places where we do the things the world does. Other parts of our lives are seen in the Outer Court and in others areas of our life we can see in the Holy Place. There are some Christians that you may observe certain parts of their life that are in the Holy of Holies. You are truly blessed if you may know someone whose entire life is reflective of one that abides in the Holy of Holies.

What we see though is an overlapping. We might be in the Outer Court concerning joy, and we will be in the Holy Place concerning peace, and act like the world concerning gentleness. This is what the book of James means by bitter and sweet water out of the same well. You can be mature in the doctrine of Christ concerning His plan to build a church without spot or wrinkle and be immature in the doctrine concerning the purpose of affliction, and we need the latter doctrine to accomplish the former doctrine. So again let us look into Laver of the Word to see our own level of maturity.

3 Fold Truths or three fold truths

There are three-fold truths concerning the courts in the tabernacle, as pertaining to levels of maturity that will enable us to define exactly where the finishing line is, in this race we are running. These three-fold truths will show us where we are in this race - so that we can run with purpose, so we can fight not as one beating air, so we can sail as one not beating the wind. With God's hope being revealed by the Holy Spirit in us we can sail with wind in our sails. NOTE: We have a chart that lists some of these truths on the previous page.

These three-fold truths are God’s way of showing us the plan of maturity, His pattern of having a people that reflect His heart even to the laying down of their lives. These truths will include a glorious church but these truths are not for the purpose of becoming a “self-glorious church”. What does that mean? If God has a blueprint for a glorious church then Satan will try to counterfeit this blueprint, sometimes in a subtle manner. When Satan changes “God’s plan” there will always be one thing that he will do – get man to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil so that man will start KNOWING FOR HIMSELF WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS EVIL. Satan’s strategy really has never changed when it comes to luring man into his own pride. How do I know if I am falling into this trap? Concerning the doctrine of “our maturity”, if you are tempted to “desire to rule” instead of a “desire to serve” then you can rest assure that the enemy is trying to lure you away in your own pride. Desire to be the servant of all and make NO REPUTATION of yourself. Strive to be the last of this life and in God’s mercy and grace you will find yourself being first at His appearing. Exclusiveness, arrogance, and power seeking have no part in God’s patterned House. God’s temple will not be built with our might, or by our strength, but ONLY the Spirit of God will build it. We are out of it except in our receiving of His instructions and in our obedience of the instructions that we received. As we have said before, our part is to stay in Christ – Abiding in the vine.

There are some ministers that have seen the truth from scripture concerning a mature church but then they corrupted it with pride. The example that these ministers have set brings reproach upon those that preach the truth. For instance, a heresy hunter can take quotes from this book and use them to identify this book with these ministers. That is because as a Christian you will be falsely accuse because of terminology and key phrases that you teach which can be found in the vocabulary of false teachers. You are also labeled when God calls you into a certain relationship with a Christian minister that has been labeled – this is guilt by association. A very popular and well accepted heresy hunter said the following: “a consistent pattern of fraternization and support (concerning ministers and their views) are sufficient grounds to at least question whether one holds the views of those he supports and with whom he seeks unity.” Therefore if God calls you into a relationship to someone that the heresy hunter has labeled – YOU SHOULD BE QUESTIONED, according to this man’s teaching. This particular statement by this heresy hunter is demonic in nature; it is a doctrine of demons. God so desires to rescue others that have strayed from truth that He will call us to a relationship that can demonstrate the truth found in Jesus. The heresy hunter desired to save Christians from prideful ministers in false doctrine but in reality he was tearing down the church to do it. It is not up to you to associate or disassociate with others, Jesus is Lord over this area of your life as well. If you were to disassociate with any prideful minister then you would become exclusive – almost every ministers has un-dealt with pride. The same is said for false doctrine therefore I refer you back to our chapter of “sitting at God’s table”.

Concerning these 3-fold truths and maturity let me state it once and for all. True Christian maturity is “the stature of Jesus” as Ephesians teaches. So what does the stature look like in our lives? It looks like the Apostle Paul and other Christian examples – IN SCRIPTURE. We expect Christians to become a servant that Paul demonstrated. Paul’s life demonstrated a servant-hood that is the “stature of Jesus”. A servant-hood that is answer to the prayer of Jesus “Father, make them perfect”. Paul demonstrated laying down his life in so many areas. Not just ministry hardships but also concerning customs, traditions, and other issues concerning his brethren.

Therefore the bride without spot, wrinkle and blemish – the glorified church will look like that. Paul did not rule over the heathen; instead he became their punching bag, their doormat, and their fool. We should expect the same. Ministers today like titles, they want to rule, and they wish to control sheep. They put them at the top of a hierarchical family tree like a CEO of a corporation, or a multi-level marketer, or a political ruler would do. Maturity does not look like that. Maturity has nothing to do with possessions, positions, popularity, natural wisdom, skills, and scholarly abilities in scriptures or heroic endeavors. None of this is the stature or measure of maturity that we stress in this book. Many will take these truths of maturity and obtain knowledge apart from God that results in pride. When they do that we who teach true maturity get identified with them because they have taken the plan of God and intermingled the truth with pride. You must become a doormat for God, the low point of the world or no matter how much you want to mature it simply will not happen.

As far as the hierarchical family tree is concerned, you have arrived when you can be listed on the bottom and not the top. Maturity identifies with Paul “I have finished my course”. God sets your course and that “setting” will be one of getting you to the bottom of the hierarchical chart. If you desire to “cover” someone then you are destined to be humbled. If you desire to have someone “submit” to you then you will be leveled by future circumstances that are designed to bring you to submission to His humble nature. If you desire to make a “name” for yourself then your name must be dragged through the mud. If you desire to “build” a kingdom for you to rule whether it is a ministry that helps others, politics, business, or a following of other Christians then you can certainly expect to receive the dealings that were used to bring Job to restoration. Restoration starts when we come to a place of rejecting our self-righteousness, a place where we see God’s awesomeness and abase ourselves before that awesomeness. Church restoration is a restoration of total dependency on God where as Adam we rely on Him for our knowledge, our supply of sufficiency, and our reliance on His righteousness because we remain aware of our nakedness. Self-righteousness is a self-covering of fig leaves that fools us into thinking that we are no longer naked but when God speak as He did to Job then our fig leaf covering is seen for the nakedness that it really is.

Ministers are seduced with titles, credentials, and resumes. It is a seduction of pride and that pride induces self-preservation. If you violate their territory the self-kingdom builder gets offensive. You may be thinking, “is it the heresy hunter that is the self-kingdom builder?” or “is it those that think the Holy of Holies 100 fold Christian should rule others?” Maybe it is denominations that through piety believe that “these teachings” are different than what scriptures teach; or maybe it is the group that have received special experiences, angelic visitations, and great revelations. The self-kingdom builder can be all or any of these. I am speaking a John the Baptist message to a leadership that has become ineffective in bringing God’s people to obedience. We must wake up from a sleep that has allowed leadership to rule in pride; building their own kingdom.

The first temptation we are faced with when we see new revelations and discard the old wineskin - is afterwards we think we are special. The heresy hunter displays this by misusing and lording over scriptures to present a “lawyer styled” case against their opponents. They believe they are guardians of truth preserving the interpretation of scriptures handed down from generation after generation. We that see God’s “new wine people” have possessed the same spirit. We think that because we see – we now possess. In reality our pride in seeing these truths can become our greatest hindrance from ever possessing the things of God. This is why our chapters on the “purpose of affliction” are so important for us to experience.

We can see God plan of Christian maturity, tabernacle 3-fold truths, restoration of the church, the feasts of Israel, and especially the yet to be fulfilled “Feast of Tabernacles”. We can see that God has restored gifts to the church including th e apostle and prophet (something that almost all heresy hunters reject), but then the pride of this true revelation comes and we start to think more highly about themselves then we ought. We believe that we are an apostle or a prophet that will have precedence over other “less chosen” Christians. The levels of pride associated with these revelations continue to grow unless we allow ourselves to be humbled by affliction. We must come to a place of knowing our place in Christ concerning God’s promise and yet in this world we are slaves for Jesus. Instead many get puffed up and prophesy continual foolishness; they want others to submit to them or be covered by them, and they want to eradicate evil in this world. Some want prosperous living, popularity, and recognition – the list is long how self-righteousness displays itself. Concerning their doctrine they believe themselves to achieve promotion in the world, they can become mystical in beliefs and deny the bodily return of Jesus at the end of the age and our gathering together to be transformed at that EVENT. They may even deny the life of martyrdom. They sometimes can be swayed to emphasize experience instead of the Word of God.

The word antichrist not only means against but it also means instead of. They substitute “experience” instead of “Jesus the Word” taught to us by the Holy Spirit. The heresy hunters do the same as well; they substitute church history, self-interpretation of scriptures, and persuasive language for Jesus the Word of God. Denominational religion has provided “systematic procedures”, “never changing doctrine”, and “man-made traditions” instead of Jesus the Word. Because of God’s mercy we have been kept even though we may have been subjected to such foolishness of man. Though, in this hour God is calling us to a stature where the Apostle Paul stood. I do not teach beyond that stature because I see it as a remarkable achievement and testimony of what Paul allowed God to do through him. Paul allowed the Word of God to GROW UP in him. What will one look like when he allows the Word of God Jesus to grow up to 100 fold? It looks like the life of Paul! If a minister teaches you that there is no way you can ever attain the stature, the spirituality that Paul attained then that same minister has excluded you from the promise of God. If a minister teaches you that you will attain more than that level of maturity then they have gone further than what the scriptures has gone. The scriptures give the heart of Jesus manifesting through Paul to show us a blueprint for Jesus’ temple – that blueprint never exceeds that which we have examples of in scripture. If a minister teaches that when you achieve the stature of maturity then you will rule, you will suffer less, or that you are guaranteed financial prospering, then they have perverted the blueprint that builds the temple. If a minister does not even look at the blueprint of maturity, if he is not teaching that stature then he has not established the “finishing line” like Paul did.

To establish the blueprint further let us examine a 3-fold truth that Paul taught and lived by. In teaching this we more clearly show that “THIS IS WHAT MATURITY LOOKS LIKE!”. Church history did not provide it, examples in our present lives do not provide it, and books written by men are tainted with their own immaturity. We provide it by observing the examples seen clearly in scripture and having the faith that He that began that good work in us will complete it until that day. Completion is a complete height of Jesus in us that will resemble scriptural examples of faith. The day of completion is the day that either we see Jesus coming in the sky or the day that we can speak the words like Paul “I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course”. Your course looks different than Paul’s but the stature of Jesus in Paul’s course and the stature in our life will be the same height. Therefore let us examine how high was that stature seen in Paul.

The bold highlighted three-fold truth (soldiers, athletes, and farmers) on the chart we showed earlier will be our focus in the next scripture. One is separating, the next is disciplining, and the last is a 100-fold life that is cultivating and reaping.

2 Tim 2:1-4

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

      Note: Grace is an attribute from God that you can be weak in or strong in.

2 And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

      Mature believers should teach those who are faithful, who will in turn teach others.

God’s Soldiers

3 Suffer hardship with {me,} as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

If we desire to go towards the Holy Place of God, we must first suffer a certain hardship. What is this hardship? It is SEPARATION! What kind of separation? We are not talking about just sinful things, we are not talking about just things that the scriptures teach us not to do; we are talking about PERMISSIBLE things. Civilian affairs are permissible, but not if you are going to be a good soldier. This might be separation from a hobby or too much time spent on sports. Hear what God is speaking to you and separate.

David Wilkerson states in one of his books that God spoke to him about complete separation from watching television programming. In our dealings with God and in being instructed by His voice, we also may be required to separate as a good soldier on this issue. If God causes you to separate then He will give the grace to stay separated. If you merely produce a works-based separation on your own than you might struggle, not having God’s grace in a certain matter. The “good soldier” type of separation is much like getting rid of idols but goes further by separating from things that are permissible to “the babies in Christ” - but not permissible to “God’s mature ones”. In the apostle Paul’s life he separated from the “hope of being married”, it was permissible to marry but not if he was going to finish the course allotted to him.

Separation is not just separating from something; you are separating to something as well. In Paul's example we must separate from civilian affairs and to training as a soldier. You must separate yourself from the hobby (If that is what God is speaking) and to study of the Word or prayer or whatever God is laying on your heart that you told Him you did not have time to do. Do you want to please God? This verse tells us how – by not getting involved with the affairs that cause distractions. Our separation is a separation from that which distracts!

Now comes the caution. There can be a trap after you choose to separate. A temptation can come to consider yourself as more important or more mature than your brother. Always remember that if you have ridded yourself of an idol, if you have separated yourself to suffer a hardship – it is only because God had mercy on you to show you “where to separate” and it is only by God’s grace that you were “able to separate” and to stay separated. Take heed when you stand lest you fall into pride. Fruit is what determines spiritual development, not the degree of separation that you walk in, however separation in these matters can lead to fruit. Now if your brother inquires as to the Hope that is within you, then answer him, that he also may be led into a way of separation.

1 Pet 3:15

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (NAS)

God’s Athletes

2 Tim 2:5

And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

As an athlete we compete according to the rules. The rules specified here are not the rules of the event, but it is talking about the rules of training. The Greek athlete had to follow the discipline of training or he would be dismissed or he would simply - lose the race. Discipline is much more rigor then just separation, it must deal with the flesh. You are not going to walk habitually in the “Holy of Holies” without beating your flesh into subjection. For example if you make your Pastor do all the spiritual work while you sit home - then you limit your walk. Serve your Pastor out of compassion for him and expect nothing in return. If you are more mature than others in the congregation - the Pastor needs you, he needs those that will keep his hands in the air during battle like Moses, so that Israel will prevail over the enemy. “Competing according to the rules” is a laying down of life for others that is at times very rigorous. It also pertains to the discipline of the Spirit, praying in tongues when you do not feel like it, learning scripture when your body is tired and anything else God tells you to do that YOUR FLESH DOES NOT WANT TO DO!

You must be disciplined to pray through, discipline to study the scriptures, disciplined to pray without ceasing, and discipline to do the WORK that God called you to do. If you are not working for God, again you will limit your growth. Why do you think you were given that talent? To waste? To spend on yourself? To be mediocre with? The body of Christ lacks workers, we especially lack in the area of worship, we need disciplined athletes that will become psalmists for God and pay the price to enter into the throne room of God in worship everyday, so they can lead the people of God to the throne room when the body meets. Today’s psalmist must dare to be different. Today’s psalmist must find the songs that minister to God instead of always ministering to the body. Today’s psalmist must find the songs that give God pleasure – the very songs that come forth from the Holy of Holies.

I am not saying that you should have a works-based Christian life, on the contrary let God put these desires that are His into your heart. But even if the desire exists or even if God has prompted you, there is still a decision of your will that has to be made. The rules of training can be hard, it can be inconvenient, it will most definitely not be comfortable; however our goal is to finish the race set before us. Do not despair; God’s grace is with you in both the separation and in the discipline – so that in our weakness He will be made strong. Remember that separation comes before discipline because it is quite hard to discipline yourself if you have not already dealt with the distractions. If you are having problems with a daily meditation of God’s Word, it might be due to many distractions that you still have not CHOSEN to separate from. If you do not separate and then discipline yourself then the end result will be – DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE RACE. Hard as it seems, you will not finish the race God allotted to you. Paul put it this way: 1 Cor 9:27 – “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (NIV) No one is exempt from the discipline of beating the flesh and being led of the Spirit even to the end. Solomon and others in the Old Testament ran good races but they stumbled towards the end and finished – disqualified! Fear God in your race and do not allow a lack of discipline to cause you to stumble.

God’s Farmers

2 Tim 2:6,7

The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Lastly we must be a farmer that toils. We have separated, we have disciplined ourselves, and now we remain faithful and work hard until we see the fruit of our labor. If you are working in God's might, you will see the crop mature. Then you will receive your inheritance and only then. You will not get it by confessing it, though that may help you get there in the elementary stages. You will not get it by understanding the growth process. This is important to know as you receive revelation of God’s plan. You will not get there by just knowing the blueprint – you must be faithful and endure in labors abundantly. There are no short cuts, for strait and narrow (pressed down) is the way to eternal life, and to point “B” – the finishing line.

God will give us first fruits like Joshua and Caleb received, but we must lay down our life, we must lose our life, we must take up the cross and follow Jesus as He leads us towards the Holy of Holies where we will say as Paul said, "I have finished my course".

Farmers are likened to a life in the Holy of Holies. Therefore we have the definition of a walk in God that is like the Holy of Holies. It is a walk as a farmer; it is a walk as a father, even revealing the heart of our heavenly Father. A farmer cares for his crops and toils till he sees complete maturity, than he reaps. A father raises his young in like manner until they mature and what a proud moment that is for a father. This is how maturity is defined! Let us examine the Father’s heart displayed through Paul.

1Thes 2:7

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing {mother} tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

Though this may sound strange,- a nursing mother is a revelation of the Father’s heart. The CARE and AFFECTION that God has for you is like the care and affection the nursing mother has for her infant. God cares for you and has a strong affection for you, and not like you are “one of many” but God is like the nursing mother who has one nursing at a time – YOU HAVE GOD’S FULL ATTENTION! Paul shows the church this same affection and care – this can only have its source in God. Many times we use the scripture that we are to “judge them by their fruits”, the problem is that we do not really know what the fruit looks like. How do you know what Agape Love is if you have never seen it lived before you? This is what it looks like! It was demonstrated in the life of Paul. Gentleness towards those you minister to, “to-the-extreme” care and devotion, a fond affection that brings tears to our eyes – GIVING OUR VERY LIVES TO YOU!

Forfeiting Our Rights

1Thes 2:8

For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, {how} working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

With Paul this was not just emotion - it was in deed. As an apostle he had a right to receive his support from each church. He could have taken up offerings as God ordains us to do so. Pay close attention – Paul forfeited his rights - to show them Jesus, Paul showed them the Father’s heart. Paul showed the Thessalonian church the difference between those that taught with pretext for gain and FATHERLY MOTIVE. If you desire to be God’s minister then see the blueprint – be a father. A Father’s heart would never capitalize off of those He nurses and gives His life for. The nail prints in the hands of Jesus are a blueprint to build the church not extracting honor from men and especially not by extracting money to increase a salary that brings reproach on the gospel of Jesus.

      DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND – THE LABOURER IS WORTHY OF HIS HIRE!

II Th 3:9

We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. (NIV)

There are times when we must FORFEIT our rights so that we may show our children the model of God that they are to follow. Paul did take offerings at other churches, but the Thessalonian church was victim to those who had wrong motives, motives that are not a model to follow. Again look to your own heart not to others; it is your heart that God is dealing with in this book. Again we define maturity, if one never forfeits his right then he deceives himself to think he is of great maturity.

Another example of Paul in forfeiting his rights is seen in Acts 21 where Paul testified of how God has worked among the gentiles before the Jewish leaders. They glorified God at first then they presented a false accusation against Paul. This is certainly a suffering of Christ so to understand what maturity looks like we observe how Paul responded in this situation. The first natural instinct of man is defend him self when presented with a false accusation. Paul was one that could argue scriptures second to none. Paul was persuasive, bold and full of authority yet in this situation you see Paul forfeiting his rights. The leaders of Jerusalem had a request.

Acts 21:23-24

23     "Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;

24     take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses in order that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. (NAS)

Paul had a revelation of the law that told him that this purification was not needed; it was a law that pointed to a fulfillment that was spiritual. Paul taught this doctrine in Galatians though most modern day Christians still believe in law practices. We would surmise that Paul’s response should have been to teach that though the ritual was not evil, it had a spiritual truth that they have yet to see. He could have corrected them with truth; he could have defended the false accusation seen in verse 21 - that he has been teaching that the “gentiles should forsake Moses”. In other words what he taught in Galatians was misconstrued and became a false accusation. Paul could have stood his ground because he was right and they were wrong, and because they did not have the revelation of the purpose of the law. What did he do? He forfeited his right to correct, to straighten their path in apostolic authority, and to defend against the accusation. Instead Paul humbled himself to their request without using word to defend the accusation. He participated in a ritual that though it was not evil, it was immature. At the risk of gentile believers accusing Paul of going back to the law and ignoring what Paul taught in Galatians. As ministers we think we are so smart because of revelation but when it comes to the reality of the Gospel we fall short. Paul said he becomes the weak to the weak in 1st Corinthians.

1 Cor 9:22-23

22     To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

23     And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it. (NAS)

To the Jewish leaders and the Jews that were present, Paul became weak in knowledge; he became a participator in a ritual that he considered as weak. Why? To save them. “They were born again though.” Yes they were born again but they were not recipients of the Word of God concerning the importance of Jewish rituals. Pride will preserve its way of thinking, what it deems right and wrong but when you are dead to yourself you will have the power of God, the ability from the Holy Spirit to lay your heart on the altar to forfeit those things for the unsaved and the body of Christ. That is when you become a partaker! In Watchman Nee’s biography he continually forfeited his right, he was continually brought up on false accusations. Even today the heresy hunters bring multiple false accusations against him. He submitted to the affliction through silence. Watchman knew to save his life he would lose it. Sometimes Paul did defend the false accusations by stating what he really believed. Spirit led believers learn when we must speak out and when we must keep silent and in both we must do it as humble and obedient servants. Paul was truly a father that gave up his rights for others no matter if they were the poorest or the popular leader. We cheer the underdog but we pick and choose the underdogs of this world. A father does not look for underdogs he goes where the wind sends him whether it is rich or poor, whether famous or unknown, and whether full of knowledge or ignorant. Judging no one in his journey and choosing no methods to ministering along the way. Always knowing that he is a dumb sheep that needs Jesus the Shepherd for every guidance. Becoming a father and yet knowing that if pride comes then he will be lowered to a place of being a castaway, a disqualified athlete, a farmer whose can no longer partake in the crops he has tried to raise.

II Th 3:10-12

You are witnesses, and {so is} God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we {were} exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father {would} his own children, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Paul explains that his role is that of a father. He showed them his life’s example and ministered the Word of God in Power and Wisdom. It is not enough to just live a blameless life; if you are a father in Him then you will exhort, encourage, and teach God’s Word. Why? So we can see our children grow up and WALK. Some ministers try to accomplish this from a pulpit and reject the idea of intermingling with the people to raise children. They are not fathers - they are simply hired hands. A father as seen in scriptures is a hand on person, he has his hands on his children. He spends time with his children. His children can be seen at his dinner table. Not the other leadership in the church but the “least of these”.

II Th 3:13

And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted {it} not {as} the word of men, but {for} what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

The word of men can be accepted readily but it will only produce wood building, hay building and stubble building. The church received Paul's word as the Word of God. Because Paul spoke the Word that proceeds out of God’s mouth, the word from heaven – it performed its work in the believing Thessalonians. If one listens to our ministry as the “word of men”, we will see little fruit. We must speak the Words from God and the hearer must receive them as that, if we are to see fruit.

Paul ends the chapter with “you are my joy and my glory”. The farmer reaped and partook, Paul as a father reaped and partook; he partook of the joy of seeing his kids growing up. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul says that he takes pride in mentioning the Thessalonians to the other churches. Paul was also like a father to the Corinthians but you can see the corrective manner in which a Father teaches. All of the pictures God gives us concerning Christian maturity are given for us to understand where He wants us to be. They are nothing more and nothing less than examples we were given in the life of Jesus and the lives of God’s servants in faith. Just because we have acceptance, popularity to speak at conferences, and because we sell a 100,000 books does not indicated maturity. Maturity is being a father that sees kids that have grown to maturity and they in turn have become fathers. If one has pastored for 20 years and has a people that resemble spiritual kids instead of fathers then take a step backwards and search your life for the leaven, the weeds, and the poor example that prevented your kids from growing to fatherhood.

Acts 20:35-37

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,

Paul showed “the house” to “the house” that we shared at the beginning of this book. He showed them by teaching that, doctrine was practical in it’s giving, he showed them by pointing them to the Pattern Son – Jesus, and he showed them by example. PAUL WAS A FORERUNNER! What was their response? They cried bitterly with embracing and kisses. With unity comes affection for one another that most of the church is estranged from. It is one thing to “in faith” consider one another as more important than himself, it is entirely a different matter to have an affection for one another to this extreme. Know this – Jesus has this type of affection for you right now, take time out to receive this very affection from Him, even right now……Selah

Moses – The Father’s Heart

Moses also showed God’s people the father’s heart and became a forerunner, a signpost for those born afterwards to follow. We focused more on Paul’s life in this book but God has given much more than Paul’s example in the scriptures. In the first forty years of Moses’ life, we see it spent as an Israelite enjoying the things of Egypt – the world. The only difference between Moses’ life and the rest of Pharaoh’s house is he was of a different heritage and a different destiny. Though as far as the “natural world” is concerned, Moses did not differ from the world system. There are areas in our lives that are much like this, right this second; these areas are Outer Court areas. Moses saw a vision of the burdens of his brethren and the evilness of the oppressor – this is where we go out of the Outer Court and into the Holy Place of God, but the problem is we then slay our oppressor and just make the oppressed angry, this is what Moses did. I see those in the pit, I try to help, I cause more damage than good. Those who minister have all been there, whether we have recognized it or not. Moses enters the second forty-year part of His life – in a desert. This is the picture of soul affliction. We have failed in ourselves to help others yet we still long to be a deliver for them. We learn in this desert to know God and to be sufficient in only His sufficiency. Our method of deliverance dies, our use of the scripture must certainly die and we must wait on God’s moment when the Israelites are finally SICK of the bondage. Not only is God preparing you but simultaneously God is preparing those you are destined to minister to, so that you will be totally reflective of the Father’s heart and so they will be groaning because of the harsh slavery placed upon their necks.

The last forty years of Moses’ life was spent in the desert as well but this time to reflect the heart of a Father for His children. It was forty years of faith for THEM, forty years of suffering for THEM, forty years of raising stubborn children to God’s ways with only a few exceptions of obedience. Moses was totally spent! This is a life in the Holy of Holies, this is Christian maturity, and this is full stature! It is glorious and yet it a most terrible trial. In the New Testament God ordains that we minister where we are and not just wait around till maturity comes. That makes it easier in some ways and harder in other ways because of our failures, this is the nature of grace instead of law. We are able to witness the power of grace as you watch the servant of God press towards the life of a Father.

We speak one moment like an infant needing and another moment like a Father giving. It is the work of “desert discipline” that brings maturity to our immaturity. Because God extends grace towards others we see God delivering them in spite of us. Because of grace we see God’s faithfulness to bring those who are obedient to the Gospel instead of just the disobedient that Moses dealt with. Therefore when you get to a place of fatherhood then you will see a people becoming the obedient children of the Lord. If you are trying to play the father role and did not learn the first forty-year desert experience then you will see baby Christians your entire life. Paul used this very argument to the churches to prove that he was a true apostle in the midst of the false apostles. Paul ministered in truth that resulted in obedience, in the children of God – in spite of the fact that after Paul left them; the wolves would come in with all types of heresy, all types of distractions, all types of seductions. But it was because of these things that entered in after Paul left… do we now have the letters written by Paul to correct, encourage and to teach – that they would all enter in and finish the race set before them. Even with natural children there must be a departing and yet you remain a father that encourages and corrects with words from heaven.

Some in ministry focus on you overcoming, that is needful, yet we are not a father until we cause others to overcome. Some in ministry will focus on an experience they have had, that is needful as well, yet we are not a “father” until we cause others to experience maturity. I told my seven-year-old son that one day he would grown up to be a mature Christian, his response was “I am already a mature Christian, I know a lot about the Bible”. As soon as he spoke it I then saw that his view as a seven-year-old is the same view held by most Christians who have yet to become fathers. A few weeks later someone in the church requested help in overcoming areas of his life that resemble the world system, things that should have been dealt with years ago. He was spending NO time in God’s Word therefore the ministry related to getting him to fall in love with God’s Word and to have revelation of that which he reads concerning the sayings of Jesus. His response was “I already have revelation of all that”. Our deception tells us we know that already. Our deception tells us we are much more mature than we really are. The scripture tells us “maturity looks like this and we do not measure up” and yet we are blinded to those scriptures. So many ministers can quote half the Bible and think that this Bible knowledge equals spirituality. Some have abstained from every known sin listed in scripture and know every accepted church doctrine and this equals maturity in them and yet they do not measure up to any stature of the Jesus seen in Paul. This is something we must ALL SEE, our hearts must be constantly laid on God’s altar and one of the things examined must be whether our life is demonstrating the Father’s heart. Every area must measure up or be dealt with… we must not fool ourselves into thinking we are further along than our life demonstrates.

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