[For a printable version click here.]
If I may, I just want to finish up a few little things that I felt were left unsaid here with the word that we have been hearing. I believe that we are getting much confirmation in the word of what we are hearing here today, many descriptions of the problems that have plagued the holy place church. We have heard a little bit of the issue of Baal, but if you really go back into the word you realize Baal was only one of the heads of this two-headed serpent. The other half is the female counterpart: Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Ashtar, (the spelling depends on which language you are speaking).
Now this was actually the dual god and goddess system that they were worshipping in those days of ancient Israel. The male and female duo was a very strong sexually oriented worship, a powerful stronghold. The thing that captivated the men with such a grip was the ritualistic prostitution that was carried on in these groves. They were deceived to believe the lie, (part of which was the hold of their own flesh and) part of which was that this infidelity would ensure prosperity of their crops insofar as the sowing of the seed in their fields.
Now this demonic system was very stubborn and very resilient in Israel. They first encountered this particular brand in the plains of Moab before they crossed the Jordan. You are very aware of the plague that wiped out twenty-four thousand of them, there where the fierce anger of God was kindled in the breaking forth of this killing plague.
Now moving forward to the days of Elijah and his confrontation of this spirit on Mount Carmel, Elijah’s invitation went to both sides of the idolatrous house of the priests. It went out to the 450 priests of Baal over which Ahab apparently had major influence. And it also went to the 400 priests of Ashtoreth (or the groves, as it was called) of which Jezebel was apparently the high priestess. Now Ahab brought all of his priests to the gathering. But Jezebel did not send her priests to Mount Carmel. So the pagan priests that were killed by Elijah were Ahab’s 450. Now that still leaves a problem of Jezebel’s 400 more remaining priests. If you want to track it down to the very last chapter of 1Kings you find that now this problem is coming down to Jehosephat (king of Judah) where he is going to get himself entangled with Ahab (king of Israel) and coming under the deception of the lying spirit of 400 priests that could bring about his death. “Well, we are brethren, let’s do this together”. I’m thinking again of the word that a brother recently spoke, “I can fellowship with a lot of people, but I can’t work with everybody.”
Jehosephat should very well have understood the same thing. “I can consider the people of Israel as brethren, but I cannot work with Ahab.” You know that it was the lying prophecies of the word of these 400 priests that actually brought about the death of Ahab and almost caused the death of Jehosephat as well. He escaped by the skin of his teeth.
Now God has ordained that this Ahab/Jezebel idolatrous empire should be destroyed. He had to appoint Jehu as a king to finish the job and because of Elijah’s own personal weakness in his fear of Jezebel; He also appointed a double portion ministry of Elisha to finish the prophetic job of Elijah.
Now brethren, I do believe that we are coming into the Elijah company ministry [See our book online “Elijah Must Come”] and it may very well be manifest as a double portion Elisha type of ministry.
So let us relate this to the issues of the holy place church that needs to be dealt with and needs to be cleaned up. So now let’s go to Revelation Chapter 11. You may be tired of hearing me talk about Revelation Chapter 11, but I keep seeing new things here. I have trouble getting beyond about the 3rd verse. So look at verses 1 and 3.
Re 11:1 “And there was given to me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”
Now where I live I would understand that this was a measuring stick, a measuring rod or what we would call a yardstick. Some might call it a meter stick and the purpose of this tool is to measure. Now you may want to ask: “Why is God saying that He wants His house measured? He surely knows what its dimensions are.”
So obviously He is not talking about some kind of natural measuring here. He is talking about a spiritual situation. He is talking about the people here that need to be measured and when God is talking about measuring people we could use the word “examination” and we could substitute the word “judgment” as well.
So the holy place people, if we can identify ourselves as such, are coming under God’s examination. Judgment must begin where? First at the house of God [1 Peter 4:17]. Maybe you were hoping that that judgment only applied to the outer court. You were hoping that meant “I’m excluded, I’ve already been measured”. The measurement of the outer court is quite clear in verse two. If we clearly understand that we are living in the time of Revelation Chapter 11 (in the beginning of the chapter), then the examination of the outer court is already a finished product or a work in process. It is a done deal, “Don’t even bother to measure it any more” is what the Lord is saying via this angel.
It says (vs 1) “And there was given me”, who is the “me” that is writing this? This is John. Is John an angel? Well, he is given instruction by an angel as if he were an angel (a messenger of God). But what is John and what does he really represent? John is a man of ministry, is he not? He is a man of the apostolic calling.
So the apostolic word, the word given to the ministry in this hour is to use this word to examine yourselves and the holy place church.
Here is the rod, here is the standard, the standard is My Word, the standard is what My Spirit is saying, measure yourself. It applies to the holy place people of the temple; it applies to the church where golden altar is located.
Now let me go over some ground again that we talked about in July (2011). Let me bring in some things that I believe were brought in the first meeting. Because of the problem, because of the abomination, the holy place needs to be emptied out. [Matt. 24:15-16 …“flee into the mountains.”] As far as I am concerned the only direction to go is further in (higher ground), to the holy of holies. I am also aware that in the process of evacuating, there will also be another migration going in the opposite direction, back to the outer court (which is slated for destruction by the world (Gentiles).
Now I am thinking of several things; how do we put this all together? I’m thinking of the choice that we must make between the two houses, the one being the old house and the other being the new house. I have to believe that every man that heard that word, clearly understood that there was going to have to be some kind of a decision made. I have been making observations now in the last year, perhaps two years, of people making decisions. I have observed people that I once believed had laid hold upon the word that we preach, and I see them making a clear definitive decision to go to the old house. At least from my point of view that’s what appears to be happening. Yet if I sit down with some of them and ask which way they are going, they are thoroughly convinced in their own mind that they are choosing the new house, to such an extent that they might even start preaching what I said. I’m asking, “What kind of a spirit of deception is this? Either I am deceived or someone else is.”
This kind of deception is such a thing that I don’t believe I have ever encountered before. Then I remember in the first part of Matthew 24 and how Jesus warned us at least three and possibly four times saying, “Beware that ye be not deceived”. Then He described the deception as such a deception that if it were possible it should deceive the very elect. Now the nature of that deception is that it has gotten a hold of some of the ones deceived and they have said to themselves, “I am the elect, therefore I cannot be deceived.” And they would sit down and say to me, “No Brother Mark, you are the one that is being deceived.”
So I sit down and then I go away and I stand before the Lord and I hold my head and I say, “My God, tell me if I am being deceived. Am I missing something here?”
So I go back to the foundations, the foundations that have to be restored properly, and I begin again to lay the blocks, the stones. In my mind I lay this one. I lay this one. I lay this one. I lay the next layer.
I say, “No, this is what the altar must look like. That (fictitious) man has made a mistake.”
Are you hearing what I am saying? Are some of you identifying with this? So we must come to the place brethren, where we know what is true and what is not true; we know what is white and we know what is black; and we know the shades of black that are called gray.
Then we make a decision: “If it is not true and pure I will not have it.”
So, there is a sequence of events that must take place for me to go past the veil and on into the holy of holies. Now the word is very clear that we are hearing this weekend. “We can no more linger in Judaea’s plain.” Judaea is a good place; it has been a good place. But Judaea is too low. The floods are coming to the plane.
Where we are living (in our natural location) there came two hurricanes (Irene and Lee), one after the other 10 days apart. The people that lived in the villages on the low lying area along the Schoharie were flooded. The first hurricane, they called it a five hundred year flood. I overheard our town supervisor talking on his cell phone down at Wal Mart after the flood. He recognized me as a neighbor and he came over and talked to me.
He said, “Was your house damaged?”
I said, “No, just the road, just near our house, but not our house.”
I said to him, “I heard you talking and I thought I heard you referring to the flood that we had two or three years ago as a five hundred year flood?”
He said, “No, that was a three-hundred year flood, this one (September 2011) is a five-hundred year flood.”
Rita and I drove along part of that route after the flood. I have never seen such devastation. A whole house is moved, smashes into a tree and there is left nothing but a pile of rubble lying in front of the tree. They said that in the villages of Schoharie and Middleburg, very much alike, 80% of the houses were either totally destroyed or declared unfit to live in by the inspectors. Now the problem, it is a low lying area. The rivers really own that area. The river supposedly laid claim to it five hundred years ago and again laid claim to it three hundred years ago. Incidentally, nobody is known to have lived in these areas three of five hundred years ago.
But I cannot linger in that plane. Jesus has told us clearly what is coming. The second verse of Revelation chapter 11 clearly describes the outer court. The choice between the houses brethren is not simply a choice between outer court and holy place. I believe that this is a message that God is bringing to the holy place people. There is something new that we have not yet seen that we have not yet tasted; something that we have been promised, but it is going to involve a transition. Did you hear that word transition? Did you hear that we are a transitional people?
There came a time that the children of Israel had wandered long enough in the desert. There came a time when the word of the Lord spoke to Joshua (Yeshua is His name, the Saviour) saying, “Moses my servant is dead.”
Moses the head of the old house is gone. Hallelujah.
“Now get this people over the Jordan. Get this people in and begin to possess the land. Begin to contend with the Amorites.”
Do you know what that means? Pick a fight with some Amorites. Contend with them a little bit. Trouble them a little.
Put these demons on notice that you are taking over now. “Here I am! I’m taking over here!”
Go after the strongman and the principalities.
Og, the king of the Amorites, king of Bashan. He was the giant that slept in the 13 foot (that would be about 4 meters) bed.. He was a strong man, wasn’t he?
So I say, there is a sequence of events that has to take place. You do not pass through the veil until you have done the business at the golden altar. Now the word here with this measuring reed was not only to measure the temple, but also the altar and the people. So the measurement has to be laid on the altar as well.
Well you say, “But it is the golden altar?”
“What is the problem with the golden altar?”
Well there is not a problem with the gold on the golden altar. The problem is that you don’t have the fire that it going to be required to make the sacrifice. You may be reluctant to bring the incense that will be required of your soul (shall we say the beheaded soul). And if we lack the proper fire: it backs up the problem to the lampstand; which means that there is a lack of light; which means that there is a lack of oil; which means that the holy place could be half full of foolish virgins. You see, it is all tying together, everything that He said is tying together. Of course the problem of fire also backs up into the outer court where the fire was supposed to be burning, which was supposed to be the source of the holy place fire.
Now the search goes on, “Where is the fire?” [Refer to our message given July 2011, “The Lamps have gone out”.]
Hallelujah. So there are a lot of problems in the holy place. There is a sequence of events that needs to take place.
Now we go back to Matthew 24, let’s read it and let’s see the way the Lord puts the word together. You know in my way of thinking I could take a little knife and separate this part from this part, but when Jesus is giving this word it has such a perfect flow to it. Where does one begin? Everything He is describing here talks about the problem. That is: afflicted; kill you; hated; offended; betray you; hate one another.
“That doesn’t sound like church, does it?”
“But that is the world, isn’t it?”
Oh not just the world, it is happening in the church. And false prophets!
“That is not in the church, is it?”
Oh yes, it is in the church. Yes. Iniquity will abound; love of many wax cold. Cold! Love of many wax cold. COLD! Ice is cold. How did ice get cold? How did it become solid? Frozen? Do you know what this term “waxed” means? It goes through a process of changing from liquid to solid. This is what happens to candle wax, paraffin. This is why there is no candlestick anywhere in God’s house or in God’s word about the tabernacle. God is only an oil dealer. Oil flows, the other substance has waxed cold. God does not talk about living ice; He talks about Living water that flows. All right, so we get down here to verse 13:
Mt 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
How many of you are enjoying enduring unto the end? I say, how many of you are enjoying enduring unto the end?
Now notice this next verse that He throws right in here. You may be saying, “Well what does this next verse have to do with that?”
Vs 14 “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.”
This gospel, what gospel was Jesus preaching? When He said this He was definitely preaching an end-time gospel, was He not? He is saying, “I want it in all nations.” You see there is a variety of understandings and the twisting of the Word of God that people are giving this.
Some years ago I went to Hungary. I think it was just Janet and I that went that time. There were some church men that came to the house where we were meeting in Kiskunhalas. They had just been throughout Hungary and they had been over in Romania and Bulgaria. By the way, have any of you been in Bulgaria? What is going on in places like that? Men have suffered, men have been imprisoned for Christ in places like this. Maybe we need to pray the Lord of harvest to thrust some laborers out into these places.
Anyway, there were some men that came to the meeting and they had just finished a tour with a movie, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Yes, the men were very glad to announce that they thought that they had been to every city and every village and in all of the Evangelical churches. That was good, but what surprised me next was the announcement that the leader made.
He said, “Now there is no more need to go out and preach the gospel anymore. We have been there. We have done that. It is all finished.”
I was so stunned; I didn’t know how to answer the man. Well, here we are still preaching this gospel and I think we are preaching something different than what that man was talking about.
Vs 15 “(Then Jesus said) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
Where? Where? “In the holy place”. Now brethren, when Jesus spoke this word there was a natural temple. There was I’m sure a natural place called the holy place. Jesus knew that the abomination of His day (and we are talking on two different levels here), would bring about desolation of that temple. What is desolation? Desolation is that which makes desolate. That is not a genius definition is it? When the flood had been through some of these places, they were desolate. When the tsunami had been through some of the places that it hit, they were desolate.
There came one of the most powerful of recorded earthquakes during my time in Alaska on Good Friday of 1964. It was very violent. It also brought a tsunami along the southern coast. It was totally unexpected and they described it as a wave that came in at least 30, possibly 40 feet high. The reason I also know is that there was a woman who came to our clinic up in Fairbanks whose husband had been standing on the wharf watching the boats unload when the wave came in. He had one of their children with him. They were never seen again.
I went down there about a year later. I drove down into the little village, city, whatever. The houses that were still there were desolate (empty, deserted). There were fishing boats that were moved inland 50-100 feet in a pile of silt and mud, still there lying on the side, lying there desolate.
“Abomination of desolation”: now we can define abomination, but desolation means that it is going to clear the place out. So here is another one of these sequential events that has to take place. before there can be any going through the veil the place has to be vacated. [See Lev. 16:17] Maybe we should be asking the Lord what that really means. What is that evacuation all about?
The other thing that I am aware of is that there is only one priest (one priesthood), Christ the high priest or those who are in Christ that are going to go through that veil. All other priests, all other ministry, all other priesthoods will have to abandon the premises now.
Now as I am thinking about this I’m thinking how Ezekiel (Chapter 44) made a distinction between two realms of priesthood. Both of these priesthoods were appointed of God and had a purpose in His house. There was the priesthood of the sons of Zadok and there was the other priesthood, whom when the rebellion came, they followed the people in the rebellion. Now those other priests, they had come back and repented to some extent. Nevertheless the reputation was still set and God had said that they can minister to my people; they can minister to the house. They can do those things on that level. But the sons of Zadok will minister to me.
Well, yes, I agree. Yes, I want to be of sons of Zadok. But now I really need to know more of what it really means to minister to You, Lord? I haven’t preached a lot about it. I haven’t heard a lot of preaching about it. How am I going to discover what God is asking of me to be of the sons of Zadok? How am I going to minister unto the Lord? You see, this is not going to be much of a public thing, is it. My ministry to the Lord is pretty much going to be kind of a secret thing. My house, my wife, you’re not going to know what is going on in my ministry to the Lord. It is going to be something that the Lord is going to see and yet it is going to be the thing that is going to qualify that priesthood and make that priesthood a part of that priesthood (of Christ the great High Priest) that will go through the veil (actually did go through and will now be taking us through).
If you can remember, I did a teaching on the sons of Zadok a few years ago and I tracked the genealogy of the sons of Zadok back to Phineas the son of Eleazar which could be contrasted with the other priesthood line of Ithamar (Eleazor’s brother). We lose track of the line of Ithamar for a while, but it shows up again in the days of David and Samuel as the house of Eli, which at that time was sitting in the seat of control. They were managing the religious, spiritual affairs of Israel and it was very corrupt. It was an abomination to God and He sent a prophet to give a word of warning to the house of Eli.
We don’t have time for a lot of detail, but again I could trace these priesthood lines down through some of the rebellions that took place in David’s time. The first time it was with the Absalom rebellion when the young priest Abiathar, a descendant of Eli was still loyal to the house of David. But when it came to the final rebellion of Adonijah, Abiathar joined the rebellion. [1 Kings 1:7-8] That is where the split began and that is where the division began to be manifest between the sons of Zadok and the other line of priesthood.
Okay, so the holy place is going to be desolate and vacated, whether by voluntary choices that people make, or by being driven out. Do you know that Jesus drove a lot of religious people out of the temple? They had a good thing going there and they were prospering. They had marketing and money tables all over the place.
So what will you see this desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet? How will it happen?
Let them take their time and let them take several days and pack up their goods. Let them make arrangements leisurely for a move. Let them hire moving vans and get quotes and estimates. NO. Let them FLEE.
Vs 16 “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
You see, the weather forecast says that we are going to get a half a meter (about 20 inches) of rain in the next 24 hours. That is about what it did with some of the floods that I have seen. People should understand that language; this water has to go somewhere. So the warnings are given:
“GET OUT NOW!”
“No, you don’t have time to load your truck with all your goods.”
“You have time to grab what you can grab in your arm and run for your car.”
“You must flee if you intend to live.”
Hallelujah. That is what people had to do in the Schoharie Valley. FLEE from the low place, FLEE to the HIGHER GROUND.
Now there is clearly only one higher ground (in God’s economy). There is only one place left. I have already fled from the outer court. Prior to that I fled from Babylon and the world. Why would I go back in that same direction? There is only one higher ground and that is holy of holies. Now I don’t know much about life in the holy of holies. What experience that I have had in the holy of holies was most awesome (I don’t have a word; I don’t think there is a proper English word). I was going to say terrifying, but I wasn’t terrified. Awesome maybe would be a good word, but it doesn’t say enough. You can’t describe what it is like to be in the presence of the Almighty. I don’t think Moses could really describe when He asked God, “If I have found any favor, show me who You are.” He couldn’t see it all, not and live. But what he saw he had no natural descriptions. He said, “The Lord God Almighty, merciful, gracious, longsuffering, holding the guilty, forgiving…” [Ex 34:6] There were just no natural words to describe the nature of the overwhelming presence of God.
Now brethren, before we get into the presence of the Lord, let’s make one more lookat at the abomination of the desolation. I think Burt touched on Revelation Chapter 13 briefly. Can we go over there for just a minute? Because he described the thing and he applied it to the holy place with the name “beast”.
Now brethren, as far as I am concerned, we are not talking about a future event. We are talking about a presence that has slipped in to the holy place, (I almost want to use the term “slithered” in), unnoticed with some kind of a painted white countenance, very religious looking, which by the way is the literal description of the word “Jezebel”. The word “Jezebel” means pure and white and chaste, very sweet and very religious, but when the true nature is known, she is a beast. She doesn’t have a problem supporting her 450 false prophets. But when she encounters the true prophets she will kill them without hesitation.
One day I was reading or hearing the word about Jezebel and in the spirit I heard her scream. I have never heard such a horrible scream in my life. I know it didn’t hear it in the natural, I heard it by the spirit. A shriek! Angry! Foaming at the mouth scream! Demonic! I believe brethren, that when that angel puts the chain on that serpent, the dragon, there is going to be a scream that goes out such that you have never heard.
So from what I understand then, it is the same nature as this thing in Revelation Chapter 13. This same beast, did I say beast? Yes, there are two of them. The one comes out of the world. You know when he comes out of the sea he comes out of the world. The sea is the world. We are hearing about one of his heads being wounded. This is a political thing, isn’t it? A world thing? Politics? One of these political heads (empires) got wounded and it looks like the church (Rome) healed it. Of course the church wants to go into politics. It wants to keep the Band-Aids on that wounded head I suppose. Okay. Then there is another beast and that one is coming out of earth, which is the carnal church. But the interesting thing about this beast, without focusing on all the other aspects here, it says here in verse 1, “…and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
Now, what is the definition of “blasphemy”? “The names of blasphemy”? In here is it the name of blasphemy, but in the description of the harlot it had “names”. [Rev 17:3] Let us understand again the definition of blasphemy. My understanding of blasphemy is that if you ascribe to God a thing that is not God it is blasphemy. But the opposite is also true, failing to ascribe to God a thing that is God and saying it is not God is also blasphemy. So of course when man takes on the titles or attributes of God he is wearing the name(s) of blasphemy.
“I am the Reverend. Yes, I am Father thus and thus.”
This is blasphemy. But you see, that isn’t the full extent of blasphemy. Blasphemy is also saying when you hear the preaching of the truth that it is not God. Blasphemy is also when somebody is bringing something that is absolutely not God, and saying that it is God. Now brethren, the supposed holy place church (would it be more easily identified if I called it the Pentecostal oriented church?) is and has been for many years full of this kind of blasphemy. This is the very thing two years ago that gave this test to this outer court expression with this fellow in Florida Todd Bentley.
Beware that ye be not deceived, for if it were possible the very elect shall be deceived.
When we were first made aware of this, shown a little clip on the television of what was going on there in Florida, I was shocked.
My first reaction was to say, “No, no way!”
But because so many Christians seemed to be giving thumbs up for this thing I said, “Okay. I could be deceived. Let me go back. Let me ask the Lord. Let’s not rush to judgment. Let’s get some discernment here.”
But something inside of me was giving me a stomach ache. When I did the research I found the disease that was giving me the stomach ache and it was pretty bad. When I began to announce the decision that I had made, I was so surprised. People that I know that have been in this end-time message that I am preaching, were also buying the Todd Bentley thing. Of course it didn’t last long; this little star fell to earth with a resounding crash.
Somebody sent me a link and said, “Go back on the internet. It isn’t over.” I found out that there is another “five-fold ministry” (whom I have heard about, but knew almost nothing about) that was making proclamations about this man and this “ministry”, “Well, we got our apostles and prophets together, and we anointed this man and we laid hands on him;” they had a great gathering of spirit-filled people from all over the U.S. And now they are trying to get this fallen man restored to that same kind of ministry.
I don’t have a television but I thought to myself that this kind of show business is only going on in America. One day I stopped at a house in Africa that had a television and they had an African channel that was broadcasting from Nigeria. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It looked like a stadium that was full of people. There was a Nigerian Prince looking man who was walking about up and down. I could not believe that people were submitting themselves to his spirit in such a manner as they were doing. They were totally convinced that “this is the move of God”. Now brethren, I am beginning to see a real contrast between these houses, because until you look into the house you may not see it, but I have gotten some glimpses into the old corrupt house. I clearly made up my mind that I don’t want that house. I don’t want to be anywhere near that house.
Okay, so what about blasphemy; in verse 6 here it says:
Re 13:6 “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”
Now I believe that means that he is now blaspheming the true priesthood, the true sons of God in the true holy place. It says “them that dwell in heaven”, what heaven? Come now, what business does the Devil have to blaspheme those that are dead and gone and before the throne of God? He has got to be blaspheming those of us who are living in heavenly places here and now, those that have come up out of Judaea’s plane into the heavenly higher ground. We are going to have the wrath of the world and the wrath of the (fallen) church system. By the way the word church is a good word. There is a true church. This is why I have to add that little suffix “system” behind it, not the true church. There is going to be blasphemy against you.
They are going to say we “are of the Devil”, that we “are not of God”. They are going to say that “you are leading people to perdition”. You see the Devil speaks in accusation the traits of his very own nature.
Now let me come back to Revelation Chapter 11, because I want to come to the good news. We have been examined, we have been measured, we have been separated out (amen), we have been fired up with the true fire (amen), and we have laid our soul on the golden altar. We are at the point of breaking through. I didn’t hear anybody say “amen”. Aren’t we at the point of breaking through?
You know a brother one time said to me, “The Lord can’t come now.”
All right, it was ten years ago, but I still believed the Lord could have come.
I said, “Why can’t He come now?”
He said, “Because we are not ready.”
You know I don’t know that my personal position of readiness is going to stop the coming of the Lord. If I look around and say, “He can’t come because I’m not ready”, then the indictment is against me. Then I need to get myself ready because there are going to be people who are not ready when He comes. Yes, there are going to be an element of unready foolish virgins. Virgins are Christian people who should know about the dealing of oil. Hallelujah.
So we come down to verse 3 and we will look at the beginning of this.
Re 11:3 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses…”
“I will give power to my two witnesses”, what is the problem? How many of us have all the power that we need? Not a one of us! “I will give power”, when God says He is going to do something is it past, present or future? Someone says, “all of the above”. But the particular context here is future, because when you consider the circumstance; consider the power that they will have and it is still future, “If any man will hurt them fire comes from their mouth and they must be destroyed” (vs 5). They have power to bring plagues (vs 6).
Now I know that I am not yet in this place. I know and I believe that I can still be hurt. I believe it would only be the grace of God that would prevent me from being killed if somebody were intent on doing me serious harm. On the other hand, I believe that no man can do that unless God permits him to do so. Nevertheless, I’m not quite ready to book passage to certain places that will certainly try to kill me if I preach. It is a bit of turmoil there right now. In other words, I am not ready to just go out and tempt God until I know that this thing is settled. Then I’ve asked myself, “How am I going to know, except that somebody might try to harm me and I’ll find out that it won’t work.”
Now listen brethren, the description that we have here in verse 5, 6, 7, what have you, this is not a description of any place we have ever lived before. This is not a description of holy place life as I have lived it until now. I’m come to the conclusion that this has got to be a description of life in the holy of holies. This has got to be the description of the sons of God walking in that realm for which we have been preaching for years, for which we have been preparing, and for which we have been enduring tribulation, stripping and purging.
“I will give power”, “I will give power”, saith the Lord. Hallelujah.
Now can we just take a minute and define what this word power really means? Awhile back I photocopied one of the pages out of the Strong’s Concordance; it is the page that said “power”. There are basically two Greek word definitions for our English KJV bible word “power”. The first definition of course is authority, <exousia> (G1849). The second is the word <dunamis> (G1411), which is strength and a dynamite kind of dynamic power. So there is a difference between these two. What is implied here in verse 3 is the word that means authority. Now authority (exousia) is a kind of power that supersedes dunamis in that it is greater.
Let me give you the best example that I can think of in a battlefield situation. You can take any weapon that they use these days but I like to think of the tank; it is built like a bulldozer with giant guns mounted on it. It just reminds me of such a beastly powerful unstoppable machine. I remember when they had what they called “Desert Storm” where the army went into Kuwait with those tanks. There were fleets of tanks that would be rolling across the desert churning up sand behind them. The big gun barrel on the front of that thing would belch out fire and destruction. The projectiles could travel for miles and miles and annihilate some other tanks that were way out there. Dunamis! “Dunamis!”
Now in charge of these tanks could be somebody with perhaps the rank of Colonel, the Tank Commander. He is a man, no bigger than I am. He doesn’t have all of that dunamis in his person, but he has authority over those tanks. In my mind I see a picture. I see these tanks rolling along and I see the Commander standing out in front of them, he is facing them and they are coming toward him. Inside the tanks are the driver and the men with the telescope and they are watching the commander. All that denamis power is coming straight toward him. But they know who he is. They recognize he is the boss. They come to a certain place and he raises his hand with authority – STOP! All those tanks come to a halt. Exousia!
Now this is what God is saying He is going to give, “I will give you the power over the darkness. Raise your hand, speak the word and it stops.”
If they try to harm you, “STOP! You can’t go any further.”
Can we just take a look at a few examples? Jesus told them in Acts Chapter 1. I’ll read it.
Ac 1:8 “(Jesus speaking) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”
What is He talking about? Is He saying, “You will receive authority”? No, that is not what He is saying here. You are going to receive dunamis. So we can have dunamis too. Dunamis, power to heal. Dunamis, yes, there is dunamis power, miracle power. That is not the end of it.
Some people want to say, “Well that is it!”
“We’ve got some miracles. We have got dunamis power. There is nothing better.”
Look at Luke Chapter 10. Now here is where it really gets interesting. Here is where He is really defining the authority and He gave it to seventy men. He sent them out. He told them:
Lu 10:8 “And into whatsoever city ye enter….”
Vs 9 “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
Then He said if they don’t accept you:
Vs 10 “But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways (leave town)…”
Vs 11 “Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you…
Leave their dust behind too. Don’t even take their dust with you. Okay. But nevertheless:
Vs 11 “…notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
In other words, “whether you accept what I am saying or not, whether you believe it or not, the kingdom has still come and it is going to affect you.”
Now, He goes down here.
Vs 16 “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”
What is this a description of? Is this authority? Of course it is. In other words He is saying, “You are my representative and I put my full trust in you. I have given you so much authority that if a man rejects you he is rejecting Me.”
Wow! Can we be trusted with all that? Can we be trusted that we are not going to put our own flesh into this thing?
“And while I am at it, I would like to make a million dollars on the side.”
No, no. There is nothing personal in that. You are there representing Christ in that ambition. If you speak as Christ, you are in the authority of Christ. Your very preaching is bringing a word that is bringing the hearer to a decision. To some you are bringing the choice of heaven or hell. That is a pretty heavy word to carry, isn’t it? “Hear me, hear Christ. Reject me, reject Christ.” But you are just a man. The Lord knew that when He told them.
By the way, this is not the twelve. We don’t even know the names of most of these seventy.
So they returned. They were delighted to find that devils, demons were subject to them. You know, I want more authority over devils and demons. The seventy, they didn’t have a problem with it. There was no question. They told the demons to go and they went. Are we walking in that place? Not all the time, are we? Now you understand why He said, “I will give authority”. Here He is telling them now:
Vs 18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
The Devil fell like a bolt of lightning. Now here is the key in verse 19 where both kinds of power are given. He said:
Vs 19 “Behold, I give unto you power (exousia) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (dunamis) of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
“Now that is not the authority of the Devil – he doesn’t have any in this instance. All of his might, all of his boasting and bragging, all of his power of persuasion, intimidation, threatening, all of his deception, all of his writhing and squirming, screaming, all of his accusations, whatever is included in his “dunamis” – I am giving you authority over it.”
Vs 19 “…and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
That to me was what was repeated in the 11th Chapter of Revelation. “I will give power over the ‘dunamis’ of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you.”
God bless you!