Administering the Glory of God
Issue No. 273
Nearly ten years ago, I was at a meeting April 19, 2001, where a prophecy was spoken. I recorded it as much as I was able, and my notes read this way:
“The glory of the Lord shall be revealed in a way man has not seen. It is a new thing. We are to listen and discern what is spirit. It will be revealed in the natural. The glory is like a ball in the distance. It is coming.”
I had long forgotten about this, but recently found it in my records. Last September I began to understand that the glory of God was getting close, and so we began to prepare our hearts accordingly.
We saw that God was intending for us to eat a balanced diet of quail and manna as the pattern in Exodus 16 shows. The “quail” is to KNOW that God has brought us out of Egypt, and to know that God’s intent was to bring us into the Promised Land. In other words, we must understand the purpose of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
The “manna” is about seeing the glory of God. This part of the diet is more experiential and gives us the authority and power to implement the divine plan according to the heart of God.
The Glory Shakes the Earth
Our conference in San Francisco began with a 9 Richter earthquake in Japan on March 11. We were expecting to see the glory of the Lord in some form, but this was quite unexpected. Even so, Haggai 2 tells us,
5 As for the promise which I made when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear! 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 And I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord of hosts.
Hebrews 12:26-28 comments on this passage, telling us in verse 27,
27 And this expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
The glory of God is not just a matter of filling a stadium to watch the spectacle. It is not a show; it is a life-changer. The world will never again be the same after this monster quake in Japan. The shaking included “the sea also,” as Haggai tells us, because the tsunami formed an even larger part of this disaster.
Brother Vinnie gave his testimony at the conference about how the glory of the Lord filled his room back in 1992. He testified that the glory was an overwhelming presence of God’s Love, while at the same time it seemed to suck the life out of him—that is, his flesh. Hebrews 12 explains it in verse 29, “for our God is a consuming fire.”
Vinnie’s personal experience gave him an understanding of what that means. His presence will drive away all that is not of Him, all “those things which can be shaken.” But at the same time, it is an overwhelming Love. In other words, the glory of God will destroy all that is not of Him, but it gives LIFE to that part of you (your Spirit) that cannot be shaken.
In world events, when the glory of God is manifested, the heavens and the earth and the seas are shaken wherever they are not in alignment with His Kingdom. In His mercy, He has largely hidden His presence and His glory, because the earth—in its present condition—could not survive such a manifestation of His glory. God even told Moses, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
However, we are living in the days when great changes on earth have been scheduled in the divine plan. We are in transition into the Age of Tabernacles. The authority of the Kingdom has been transferred from the realm of Pentecost to the realm of Tabernacles. On a greater level, authority is being transferred from the kingdoms of men to the saints of the Most High, as prophesied in Dan. 7:27,
27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
The saints are being given “jurisdiction” (C.V.), and “they will safeguard the kingdom unto the eon” (Dan. 7:18, C.V.). I like that translation, because it brings out the fact that the overcomers are not tyrants, but stewards of the throne of God, called to “safeguard the kingdom” in a mature and responsible manner.
We are living in the season of this transfer of jurisdiction from the kingdoms of men to the saints of the Most High. Knowing this, we ought to be watchful to see how God undermines and gradually destroys the kingdoms who have usurped the throne of Jesus Christ, who is the Heir of all things.
At the same time, we ought to prepare our hearts to replace these world rulers. But to do so, we must know His plan, and our hearts must be in agreement with Him.
Ten years ago on March 22-24, 2001, we engaged in a prayer campaign which the Lord called “He is Building Effective Apostleship.” In Acts 2, Pentecost transformed the disciples into apostles. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent,” or one who is commissioned.
The disciples were instructed to go into the whole world and preach the gospel to everyone (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15). Yet Jesus also told them to “stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). They had the call, but had to await the commission. The day of Pentecost was the day of their commissioning.
Under that Pentecostal anointing, they did preach the gospel to many parts of the world. Their successors went out after them and extended the world to the present time. There have always been apostles sent to preach the Word, but the work remains unfinished to this day.
In my view, Pentecost’s anointing is insufficient to finish the work and to fulfill the Great Commission. It was a good start, and no man can bypass either Passover or Pentecost on this journey, but because Pentecost was a leavened feast and only an “earnest” of the Spirit, it would later have to give way to the greater anointing that comes through the feast of Tabernacles. This is the glory of the Lord that we now seek, prophesied by Haggai alongside of a great shaking of the heavens and the earth.
We are now the temple of God that is to be filled with the glory of the Lord. Our pattern is seen at the dedication of Solomon’s temple, which was filled with His glory at the feast of Tabernacles (2 Chron. 7; 1 Kings 8).
The “effectiveness” of the apostolic calling in our time is based upon our expectation of a greater glory that comes through this third and final feast of Israel. But there is more to it than that.
The Glory Empowers the Message
Usually, when the glory of God came in the Old Testament, it came as fire to accept a sacrifice. In the New Testament context, we ourselves are the “living sacrifice” being presented to God to be accepted of Him by fire. See Romans 12:1. That acceptance is God’s sanction of the people and the word (gospel) that is in them.
The glory is the coronation of these new apostles who are being sent out with a fresh Word. It is the “word of reconciliation” that the world needs to hear. Paul spoke of it in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20,
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
The early Church preached this gospel which Paul calls “the word of reconciliation.” Certainly, Paul did. To be precise, he preached the word of conciliation. The Greek word is katallaso. It is a military term, where one side declares a unilateral ceasefire and sues for peace, asking the other side to reciprocate so there can be reconciliation.
Reconciliation occurs when both sides are conciliated.
Paul’s “word of conciliation” is that God has dropped all charges against the world, “not counting their trespasses against them.” He did this on account of Christ’s death on the cross, which paid the debt for the world’s sin.
John the Baptist recognized this when he pointed to Jesus and said in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
The apostle John recognized this, writing in 1 John 2:2,
2 and He Himself is the propitiation [covering of the mercy seat] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Paul’s gospel was universal reconciliation, instigated by God, empowered by His Love, overwhelming and utterly unfailing in its power and ability to succeed.
By that gospel, the Roman Empire was overcome. But when the Church ceased to feel the fire of persecution, the leaven in the Pentecostal feast began to grow. Eventually, the pure gospel of the conciliation was replaced by a new gospel, where fear replaced love, and the power of hell was used to coerce men into believing in Jesus.
Men did not seem to care that Paul referenced hell only once, and that was to proclaim Christ’s victory over it (1 Cor. 15:55). In that verse hades is translated “grave” in the King James Version.
Paul’s gospel appealed to the love of God, not the fear of torture. He presented the carrot, not the stick. He was true to the word of conciliation in his entire ministry, telling all men of what Christ had done on the cross for them, and how God was in Christ conciliating the world to Himself.
As carnal thinking arose in the Church, the leaders thought it was necessary to teach fear in order to restrain the Christians from sinning. They also found it useful in keeping men under their control by claiming the right to consign any man to hell who might disagree with the official version of truth.
The gospel thus became perverted in a way that seemed right to men, but which did not accurately reveal the mind and heart of God. In more recent years such a fear gospel has saved a few and has driven away multitudes.
This alteration in the gospel then found it necessary to reject the long-standing belief in Universal Reconciliation that was held by the vast majority of the Church in the first five centuries. When the Western Roman Empire fell in 476, the educational system was fully disrupted, and soon illiteracy reigned supreme—even among the priests—and the Scriptures retreated into the dark monasteries. The people had little access to them, and the people had to depend fully upon the priests to hear the word. But the priests were mainly schooled in rituals and incantations, not in the knowledge of the Word, and Church services offered only a few bread crumbs of the Word for the next thousand years.
When the Protestant movement began, a few began to rediscover Universal Reconciliation, but by this time the majority assumed that the doctrine of eternal torment had been the foundation of apostolic teaching from the start.
So the missionary movements of both Catholics and Protestants continued to be based upon the word of eternal torment, rather than the word of conciliation. Hence, their effectiveness as apostles of Christ was limited. It is remarkable that they were able to accomplish as much as they did, but anyone who has attended college knows how many students have rejected Christ, not so much because of Darwinism, but because of the injustice of God as He has been presented to them.
Ten years ago we fought a prayer campaign to build effective apostleship. According to the ten-year “Hezekiah Factor,” we are just now seeing a clearer picture of what that meant.
On March 15 a new book was released, written by pastor Rob Bell, entitled: Love Wins. It is very well written, asks many very good questions, and presents a simple version of Universal Reconciliation. It is not a theology book, nor even an in-depth Bible study, but I can see that it is a very good starting point for beginners.
His questions create a need for answers—answers that the Church has difficulty answering—about the character of God, the nature of hell, and its aionian duration. This will inevitably create a need for more in-depth answers, and we ought to be ready to answer those questions.
More importantly, though, we must be ready to present to all men the true character and heart of God, so that He is not misrepresented when men look at our lives to see Christ in us.
The fact that Love Wins has been released in March of 2011 tells us that this is a major foundation in the divine plan to build effective apostleship. God is preparing the world to see His glory, to know His heart, to understand His plan for creation, and to hear the word of conciliation.
An effective apostle is not one who has a big church or a million-dollar budget, but one who accurately portrays the heart of God to those who know Him not. The heart-cry of the apostle Paul is still relevant to us today: “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).
Love Wins is a book whose publication at this particular time in history makes it a primary answer to prayer from our spiritual battle March 22-24, 2001. It helps define the battle-line issues only dimly understood at the time.
The good news (for us) is that we won that battle ten years ago, and we are just now seeing solid evidence that proves our victory. I believe this book will bring many secret Reconciliationists out into the open. Many will find courage in the face of persecution and loss of positions in their denominations. But it will soon become apparent that the majority of the theologians of most denominations have believed in Universal Reconciliation for a long time but were afraid to admit it.
I recall many years ago hearing of a poll taken among theologians and top leaders of various denominations about their beliefs. Universal Reconciliation was believed by no less than 40% of them and in some denominations it was as high as 70%.
They understood this personally, but were content to allow their parishioners to believe in eternal torment. They did not want to rock the boat.
Christian publishers even were willing to practice some deception by editing the writings to remove all references to their belief in Universal Reconciliation. For example, Andrew Murray, the well beloved author of a century ago, taught Reconciliation, but his writings were edited to hide this fact.
The same has occurred with Hannah Whitall Smith. Her testimony how the Lord revealed this to her was written in her autobiography, The Unselfishness of God as originally published. Chapters 21-23 were edited out of later editions to hide her belief in Universal Reconciliation.
It seems that men love the depth of understanding and the heart of God in these old writers, but they do not like the revelation that was the source of their inspiration and knowledge of the heart of God.
I believe, however, that Love Wins is going to show the world that Universal Reconciliation is not just a cult in the corner. It is not the heresy that later Church Councils proclaimed it to be, beginning in the fifth century. It is the revelation of God’s plan and the day for which all creation groans in travail (Rom. 8:20-23).
Which Gospel will God Accept by Fire?
During Saul’s Pentecostal Kingdom in the past 40 Jubilees of Church history, it was not yet time for the divine plan to reach its apex. Saul could be oppressive and even rebellious, yet he could still prophesy truth.
“Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Sam. 10:12)
But we have now come to the next phase of the Kingdom of God. Saul has died, and David has come to the throne. It is a new era, and a new world. The Kingdom of God is emerging with greater clarity and power. The Passover Age was empowered by God’s presence that came down on Sinai; the Pentecostal Age was empowered by the fire of God in the upper room. We are now at the beginning of the Tabernacles Age, where we will see a third manifestation of power as the fire of God accepts and sanctions the word of conciliation for the age to come.
We are pressing in to this even now. We pray for it. We fight for it in spiritual warfare. We follow the leading of the Spirit as He shows us what to do and where to go in preparing the way for the greater glory that is coming.
I believe that this glory will begin an era of irresistible evangelism. When the glory of God is poured out, no man will be able to resist its power. No power of the flesh will stand in its presence. No king, president, or prime minister will be able to use His glory for personal gain.
It is coming, and no man can stop it. All we can do is to prepare ourselves so that we are not shaken as badly as the rest of the world. There is a great shaking about to take place. The more we prepare our hearts today, the less we will be shaken tomorrow.
I believe that the feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled on a historic level at some point in time. It will be a historic event which, like Pentecost before it, will mark the start of a massive earth change. How much of this will we see ahead of time? I do not know, but I will take all I can get.
There are two sides to this: receiving His glory, and administering it to others. We must have it to give it. The Spirit has ebbed and flowed during the Age of Pentecost. Revivals have broken out here and there, each for a season but none permanently. It has continually followed the biblical pattern of the glory seen in Leviticus 9 and then lost overnight in Leviticus 10. When the fire went out, the priests lit it themselves, only to find that “strange fire” was unacceptable to God.
Whatever God does is real. Whatever man does is just a look-alike and a counterfeit that has no value with God, even if we feel good that we are “doing something.” Our job is to present ourselves as living sacrifices that are fully acceptable to Him for divine service (Rom. 12:1). God spoke this to me during the San Francisco conference, and I realized that this was what we were doing there. We would indeed see a measure of His glory at the meetings, confirmed by the tsunami at the beginning, but yet in the bigger picture it represented the presentation of the sacrifice of Elijah in 1 Kings 18:30-33.
The sacrifice was soaked with water three times before the glory of God fell upon it. It is unclear at this time how this might be fulfilled in our time.