One Thing You Still Lack
CONT., page 6
It has been stated many times before in these writings that "Elijah," who prepares the way for Yahshua's return, will be the second Remnant. We will not digress on this, as there is already sufficient evidence, but we find that very often Elijah provided both intercessoral as well as revealing patterns of the Remnant.
One of the most revealing and oft cited examples of this is when Moses and Elijah were on the mount of transfiguration with Yahshua. This is a very vivid picture of Yahshua glorified with His two-part Remnant - the Moses first Remnant that had to die first in order to enter into the "promised land," as well as the Elijah second Remnant that will ascend into heaven alive. But as we will see in this account, Elijah can often prophetically represent either Remnant, or sometime even both.
Elijah is first mentioned in 1 Kings 17. In the first verse of that chapter, with relatively no introduction, we read that Yahweh was going to bring a drought on the land that would be controlled by Elijah's word. Significantly, this is the same power that was pictured in Revelation 11:6 with the two witnesses. The reason for this similarity is that the two witnesses in Revelation are the Remnant, the Elijah; and it is by their power or word that a drought has been on the land for two "years," or really 2,000 years; and it will be by their word(s) that this drought is terminated. The drought that has been on the land is the drought of the Spirit and truth.
At the initiation of this drought, Elijah was instructed - "turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith." There he would drink from the brook and the ravens would provide food for him. But this would not be the only place of refuge for Elijah. He would have two places of provision, even as there are two Remnant, even as there were two remnant taken out of Sodom with Lot. Elijah's two places of miracle provision are prophetic pictures of the provision for the two Remnant - both physically as well as spiritually.
In both of these locations, Yahweh took personal miraculous responsibility for the wellbeing of Elijah. This first provision at the beginning of the drought, in which he was hidden beside a brook and fed by the ravens until the brook dried up, is a picture of the first Remnant who received Yahweh's special provision; but in time it too dried up. No longer did they hold all things in common, nor were they under the promise and hope of the former rain. That brook dried up and the work of Christianity began under Paul.
When the brook Cherith dried up, Yahweh spoke to Elijah and sent him across the Jordan westward to a place between Tyre and Sidon called Zarephath. At Zarephath we find Elijah entering into the second Remnant place. It would be profitable for us to note what happened there; we are that Remnant and we have a highly invested interest in learning from this. Take time to thoughtfully read this account.
So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink." And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand." But she said, "As Yahweh your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die." Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For thus says Yahweh God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that Yahweh sends rain on the face of the earth'" (1 Kings 17:10-14).
This is precisely where this second Remnant work is right now. The spirit of Elijah is entering into it and the call in many regards is to provide out of the little bit of what we have. This is a definite provision or response of faith. This is the same response required at the promise land when the numbered priests were required to place their feet in the water before Yahweh would perform His miraculous work. As such, this can be a very difficult and most trusting place to be. Can you sense or imagine the difficulty that this woman might have experienced when she walked home with her dying son and took that last bit of life-sustaining flour and made a cake for Elijah? We as His Remnant bride have the same call - "Respond in faith with what little you have, and I will bless it."
Notice that the woman had only a "handful" of flour, a "little" oil, was gathering a "few (literally, two)" sticks, and that Elijah called to her to bring him a "little" water in a jar and instructed her to make him a "little" bread cake and bring it to him. This is the exact message in the second Remnant testimony found in Revelation - the church of Philadelphia. (Smyrna is the first Remnant.) To them we read - "I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no man can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name" (Revelation 3:8). This is the message to the second Remnant. What all it will mean for us, we will see.
We do know that the beginning of this bride work has produced a little rib, only a few believers; and that when Elijah prayed for rain, His answer began with a cloud the size of a man's palm - a little cloud. Equally, when Ezekiel was led to the water coming out from the eastern gate of the temple, its source was nothing more than a trickle, but in measured increments it became a river deep enough in which to swim. And when the second remnant was taken out of Sodom, they went to a "small" town, the name of which meant "little." And entirely relevant to the subject of what we are studying, when Yahshua gave His instruction to "sell your possessions and give to charity" in order to receive His Father's kingdom, He proclaimed this only after first addressing these hearers as specifically His "little flock." One cannot call the vast 2,000 year mass of Christianity the "little flock" to whom He will give His kingdom; and they did not "sell all." Thus, little in size, little in strength, or little in initial evidence, the second Remnant is clearly identified with smallness.
Let us now see what took place next with this widow at Zarephath.
So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of Yahweh which He spoke through Elijah (vss. 15-16).
Considering that the call and the covering of the second Remnant is to sell all and hold all things in common, this widow and the miracle provision to her and Elijah and her household is a remarkable and affirming testimony of this. In fact, we find in both cases - at the brook Cherith and here at the widow's home in Zarephath - the testimony is one of provision, though there be lack of labor. Elijah first received his provision at the brook by ravens, and second by the unending supply of flour and oil in the home of the widow. We already see what this provision meant for the first Remnant - they all sold their possessions and held all things in common. Is there any question that according to this testimony we have here with Elijah and the two places of provision afforded him during the drought, that the second Remnant will also receive their provision by some common and unique "passive" provision?
Granted that this testimony is more spiritual in its message than it is physical (in other words, the drought is the drought of the Spirit and truth in the church); but nonetheless, considering the testimony of the first Remnant, as well as the teachings of Yahshua, the law of coverings, and the testimony of the Scriptures, there is clearly a message here as well that has to do with this matter of physical provision.
There is so much more here that could be addressed relative to the two Remnants. If you read further in the account, you find that the widow's son dies and Elijah brings him back to life by lying on him three times. In the writing Carmel, we considered the testimony of the second Remnant and the reviving of the Shunammite woman's son by Elisha lying on him twice. There is clearly that same testimony here as well; and you will notice that the boy was equally revived specifically in the "upper room," a quite obvious testimony to the beginning place of the first Remnant where the Holy Spirit was first given to those 120 waiting disciples.
Before we close this examination of Elijah, we have to consider one more point that is well worth noting. This is most certainly related to the subject of this writing, but includes far more than just our response to money and possessions.
We have seen on many many occasions that Yahweh often uses names and their meanings to add testimony to circumstances that of themselves already testify to Yahweh's plans and works. This is true as well here with Elijah's two places of refuge.
The first place where Elijah received care was at the brook Cherith. Cherith means - "separating or dividing." What happened to the Remnant at the stoning of Stephen? Were not the two Remnant separated or divided from each other?
This same message is seen in our two frequent Remnant representatives, Moses and Elijah. When it was time for first Remnant Moses to die, he was directed to "Mount Nebo (meaning, 'messenger'), to the top of Pisgah (meaning, 'divided'), which is opposite Jericho" (Deuteronomy 34:1). Strikingly, first Remnant Moses went to a mountain called "messenger," and died at a place called "divided," to later be united on the mount of transfiguration with "the messenger," Elijah, and was no longer divided from his second Remnant witness, who had actually ascended alive at the same location as Moses (2 Kings 2:6-9, 15)! Here again though in this absolutely marvelous testimony, we see the "Cherith" first Remnant message of the two Remnant being "divided."
This is equally the testimony found in the equally Remnant message regarding the birth of the twins of Judah through Tamar. The first-born was Perez, whose name means "breach." His birth was then followed by the birth of Zerah, whose name means "light" (the same meaning of second Remnant Luke). The testimony of the birth of the first-born is one of a breach or a separation; and this is precisely what took place with the two Remnant - they were separated, there was a breach between the two. The breach of Christianity separates the two Remnant. Thus we see the testimony of Elijah going first to the brook Cherith, or "separating, dividing."
From there Elijah went across the Jordan to a town between Tyre and Sidon which was called Zarephath. With Cherith representing the first Remnant and the separation of the two Remnant, what now does Zarephath hold in its representation of the second Remnant?
We find that the meaning of Zarephath is - "place of refinement, smelting place, or place of purification with fire"! Anyone who desires to be a part of the second Remnant should be ready and willing to go into the fire of purification. No, this does not mean that we are going into some "great tribulation" period that will try us. This is not necessary for our trying and testing, and it will not happen. There is a refining that is hotter than persecution - the refining of willful choice, where in faith one lays down old beliefs and worldly possessions. There are a lot of personal hang-ups, old doctrines, pride, and worldly possessions that will be given up by capture to Yahshua, that can be more difficult a process than if we were captured and our worldly goods were forcibly removed by an oppressive enemy. The choice of willing release requires far more refinement in one's person than forced forfeiture.
The second Remnant will be characterized by refining and smelting in our personal as well as social lives. The choice to sell all will mean giving up the cares and ways and possessions of this world. This alone will be a great refining process in us. No longer can our affections, future, or our confidence be based on things - homes, furnishings, boats, cars, land, businesses. All that is of this world cannot be our inheritance if we want to receive that inheritance that is above. And that process of giving all of this up to receive that which is from above, will be a process of refining in our lives.
This lifestyle, this commitment, this covering will mean the ridicule, misunderstanding, and passionate pleas from friends, Christians, and family. It will mean dropping old doctrines that were once held to be sacred and even "a pillar of the faith." These kinds of changes can be difficult.
There will obviously be personal changes and refinement in our lives from old ways that have to go, old "rights," old personal expectations, old admirations, old affections; whatever the refinement that is needed in us, which varies from person to person, can well be expected for the Remnant that will prepare the way for the return of Yahshua and will be His bride. Yahshua is coming from above, to receive a bride whose affection is on that which is above.
This Remnant will come following 2,000 years of corruption, error, and adultery with this world, and there will be much that must go as Yahweh feeds us His truth and brings light into our lives (in order that we might become light to the world). This is the place of the second Remnant - Zarephath, the place of purification and refining by fire!
No, this is not a time of physical need and testing relative to some "great tribulation," any more than the first Remnant's provision was a product or state of tribulation. Quite the contrary, the period of the first Remnant was clearly marked by the unique absence of persecution, which did not begin until this period ended with the stoning of Stephen. Only then did outright persecution take place. Rather, we read that they were "having favor with all the people" (Acts 2:47). And while their unique behavior did separate them from others, which is the explicit work of the Spirit (as we will see later), they were greatly respected for their actions - "But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem" (Acts 5:13).
The provision that came to the first Remnant came from a voluntary relinquishing of everyone's possessions, even as the second Remnant must do likewise. When Peter declared to the lame beggar outside the temple - "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you" - he was declaring the covered state of the first Remnant - "I have left everything and have nothing to give to you but what has been given to me - walk!"
This is the calling of the second Remnant as well - "I do not possess silver and gold." If we are to be able to say to others - "walk!" - we as the second Remnant must first be able to say - "I do not possess silver and gold."
Yes, it is one thing to be a martyr by oppression, but it can be far greater to be a living martyr by choice, to be a living sacrifice, willingly giving up everything to follow Yahshua. The choice to obey and "sell all," freely giving up one's possessions, plans, and future, is the voluntary "martyrdom" of a disciple.
This completes our consideration of the testimony of Elijah and his two Remnant places of unique provision. This testimony is only one more evidence in our consideration that selling all and holding all in common is in fact the required covering over this two-part bride, providing the legal right to come out of the "husband," the body of Christ, and to go directly to the Father in order to commune with Him and proclaim to others on His behalf.
Continue to page 7 of One Thing ... for OTHER ATTESTING WITNESSES
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