Second coming: Preparation for His Second Appearing
I have just mentioned how it was when Jesus came the first time, that we might understand this very important principle—that in spite of the knowledge we might acquire concerning the Kingdom, we may have hearts that are very unlike the King—and therefore not ready for the Kingdom. I think there are many who know the Kingdom Message, who are caught up with the vision of Kingdom power and authority. . .and are still far from poverty of spirit, meekness, lowliness, humility, and a pure heart. If the Kingdom Message does not produce these virtues in His people, there is little value in the message. God would draw us to repentance, that He might beautify us with the garments of salvation, that we might be ready to stand before the King, and be compatible with Him. For He comes for a holy and spotless Bride, who must be cleansed with the washing of water by the Word.
The burden of the Spirit is to lead His people into all truth. He wants to lead us in His ways. Oftentimes He will lead us in wilderness ways, for His ultimate desire is to lead us close to the heart of God, and therefore His ways are designed to bring us to a humble and contrite heart. Some have the notion that because He is coming soon we’ve got to come up with ingenious plans to get the job done. And He who is Lord of the church is crowded out of His temple, and replaced with the wisdom of man. We have sought to use the Holy Spirit to do our bidding and bless our efforts, rather than submitting to His authority and lordship. We profess we want His presence with us, but too often he is relegated to the back seat—rather than at the wheel, in full control. You can be sure of this, if He is not in charge, if He is not at the wheel—we as a church are going nowhere.
Where are those Rivers of Living Water?
“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord”. Didn’t Jesus clearly promise us that out from our innermost being would flow Rivers of Living Water, if we believed on Him, and received His Spirit (Jn. 7:38). There must be several millions of people here in this part of the world who profess to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But where are those Rivers of Living Water that Jesus promised? And even the cisterns we have made, are almost dry. There are about as many problems in the church, as there are in the world around us—mental and spiritual and physical sicknesses, and oftentimes the same kind of sins, and the same kind of devastation in homes and families. Why then do we continue building “cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” instead of repenting of our presumptuous ways, and seeking God earnestly for those Fountains of Life to flow once again from the House of God?
Our Great High Priest in the Heavens has every provision, in His own glorious Person, in His own glorious Ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. . .to bring His people forth in the radiance and glory of Christ. And the Holy Spirit is in the church to take those glorious virtues and graces that are in our Lord Jesus, and manifest them in our midst. This is why God gave us His Spirit. . .not so we may use Him for our agendas, but that He might be Lord in our midst, to show forth the mighty operations of God as a Testimony of the living Christ. . . As surely as we forsake God’s Way and choose the ways of men, we will wander farther and farther away from God’s intention and desire. We cry out to the world to repent, and believe the Gospel. But God is crying out to His people to repent. . .”Or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick” (Rev. 2:5). Surely we must know that when He removes the candlestick. . .there is no longer any Light to shine in the darkness about us. I wonder how many candlesticks have been removed from our communities, and the people do not even realize it. . .because the people are still gathering together week after week. But is there a Light shining from the candlestick? It is time to “search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord”.