One Thing You Still Lack
CONT., page 9
HIS-STORY, PART II
We have already seen that the 1517 Reformation was fostered and preceded by the work of those who ascribed to lives of poverty, simplicity, and devotion. The 1517 Reformation did not all of a sudden spring up from nowhere, but its foundation was built upon The Poor of Lombardy, The Poor of Lyons, and the Poor Priests.
Equally, in the beginning the church was built upon the same foundation. It was the first Remnant and their commitment to hold all things in common that preceded all that would follow as the kingdom of God was sent throughout the world.
This, as we might expect, is the oft repeated purpose or pattern. Interestingly, Yahweh uses this devotion and practice as an initiating act. The 1517 Reformation was initiated by it. The church was equally initiated with this practice. Now let us look at further history to briefly consider other examples.
Of course the church is the kingdom of heaven, and it is immensely relevant that one of the most important and significant earthly representations of the kingdom had the same beginning. It has been cited in these writings that America, or the United States, is a fulfillment of the kingdom of heaven on the nations level. America is Yahweh's fulfillment to the promise to Abraham on the natural level that his descendents would be a blessing to the entire world. Even the name "America" means "kingdom of heaven." "Amer" means "heaven." "Ric" means "kingdom." And the "a" makes the word feminine. Thus Amer-ric-a means heavenly kingdom, or kingdom of heaven.
America is unique in that we know precisely how this "kingdom" began. How was it started? By two small bands that each practiced communal living. Jamestown was established as a communal adventure in 1607. Then in 1620 the Pilgrims made their way to America, and for the first three years of their labors on this soil, equally held all things in common.
But like almost all works of communal living, its purpose is only temporary, initiating. Once American soil was tilled with communal practices, in the fourth year the Pilgrims dropped this practice and adopted private holdings. The "kingdom of heaven" thus, very importantly once again, had its beginning in communal living.
But this would not be the last of the initiating communal adventures in America. Throughout the next 200 or more years, emigrants would come to America to face the rigors and demands of the new frontier with the same communal practice, not always out of devotion to communal living but for some because the rigors of the new frontier could not be conquered in any other way. Often they had to live together and hold all things in common to have the common strength in order to succeed.
Others came to America with the same purposes of the Pilgrims - to find freedom of worship. Some came here with no plans for communal living, but upon arriving adopted the communal lifestyle and never forsook it. These were groups like the Shakers who arrived in 1774, the German Rappites who began the Harmony Society in 1803, the German Separatists who founded the community of Zoar (1817), the Swedish Norrlanders who established Bishop Hill Colony in 1849, and many others. Some communities came to America already practicing communal living and faithfully continued that practice. In 1842 members of the Community of True Inspiration from Germany came to America and in time set up the Ebenezer and the Amana communities. The German Hutterites came to America in 1847, and are unique as a pure communal group in that they have remained successful in their practices up to this very day.
America became the spiritual as well as social testing grounds for communal living. It is estimated that between the Revolution and World War I, no less than 270 communal and utopian communities were built in America.
Some were formed for religious freedom, others were formed with the similar reason to remove themselves from the temptations and cares of this world, while others in the 1800's became social experiments. But in all the cases, whether successful or not, they were new beginnings. The immensely successful Mormons had their beginnings in some communal settlements, but mostly in cooperative efforts, both in their initial founding as well as in their settlement of Salt Lake City. Other groups like the Amish and Mennonite are not communal, but exercise a strong cooperative society.
Another highly motivating factor for the establishment of communities was the aspect of purity. This was especially true for those who came to America and did not want their followers to be lost to or drawn away by the attractions of this world. The Separatists at Zoar bore their community's name from Genesis 19:22 because it expressed the refuge that they hoped to create amid the Sodom of this world. In many instances in these American communities, as well as in the Essenes, The Poor of Lombardy, The Poor of Lyons, the Poor Priests, and the Franciscans in their beginnings, poverty was inseparable from personal holiness.
But to a great extent, again as with the Essenes, many of these American communes existed because of a sincere belief that Yahshua was returning soon. Some inspired by Revelation 12 came to America as their "wilderness" in which they would be nourished in preparation for Yahshua's return to set up His kingdom. Their belief in His imminent return made them indifferent to personal property, and they frequently compared themselves to the "early church" in Jerusalem, or the first Remnant.
Before the Second Great Awakening in 1800 to 1830, communal colonies were established with the prevailing idea that Christianity would continually improve the world until a perfection was established that would prepare the return of Yahshua. They saw the actual coming of Yahshua only as the final act of their victory over evil. In the meantime, the faithful were to model their lives and society on the future kingdom. An example of this would be the Shakers, who were formally called the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming. This idea inspired many to come to the New World, to America, where they had the opportunity to be that world-changing example.
One of the earliest communal groups to arrive on American soil were the followers of Johann Jacob Zimmerman. His followers arrived in 1694 and moved to an isolated spot that caused them to be known as The Woman in the Wilderness. There they built their methodical dwellings and for a while spent many hours seated on the roof of their facilities, gazing through a telescope to see if they could discern the signs of the approaching end.
The Second Great Awakening introduced a new idea and fervor that Yahshua's return would be accompanied with great apocalyptic events, which many expected to be imminent. These views have carried through to today and are most popular. Communal groups were established to prepare for His expected soon return. In fact, of all the communal groups in America within its first three centuries, the 1840's produced double the number in any other period. The fervent Apocalyptic teachings during that time created groups like the Seventh Day Adventists, the Church of God, and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Each of these, as well as others, came from the teachings and expectations of William Miller; his followers being called Millerites or Adventists. In 1844, fifty thousand to one hundred thousand Adventists withdrew from their churches, many selling their property, and awaited the Second Coming, which once again never came.
Among those caught up in the millennial excitement of that era was Joseph Smith, Jr. In 1830 he organized what came to be known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, in which he was attempting to provide "a spiritual bridge between the old world and the new," and gather to await the Second Coming of Zion. The Mormons have emerged as the most successful of all millenarian movements. And the beginnings of both of their major adventures were communal and cooperative efforts. First was Joseph Smith's Law of Consecration and Stewardship, followed by Brigham Young's Utah United Order of Enoch.
By the end of the nineteenth century, communal movements were essentially a thing of the past. Absorbed by the American quest of one's personal independence as well as opportunity, and in the church the attitude that mankind is best served if the believing are intermingled in society, the idea of community was relegated to a very few.
But the commune spirit would be given a dramatic rebirth in a most unorthodox, often unsavory, and generally unorganized manner. In the 1960's and 70's the Hippie Movement, accompanied by the Jesus Movement, produced literally thousands of communes worldwide. Most were nothing more than short-lived circumstantial happenings, while others like the Jesus People and the aberrant Children of God sought to have order and a controlled purpose. 200 Jesus freak Christian communes existed in California alone.
While many would despise these movements, none can doubt the impact they have had on society and religion. By their mere impact, one must be persuaded of the power thereof. Once again, as with Wycliffe and the Poor Priests, it was not just that someone had a thought or proposal that powered this movement, but the power was that a mass of people were released from the rigors of society to preach their way of life, a life that invited others to drop what they were doing and devote themselves 100 %. With this power, the hippies and Jesus freaks were soon a dynamic and encompassing force that changed America, the world, and the church. But, once again as with all communal groups (with exceptions one can number on one hand), they too were short lived. Yes, short lived; but not without decided impact!
Where does this leave us? What has His-story told us about this practice that is so often referenced and sought to be emulated by those who with fervent desire seek to follow the practices taught and lived by Yahshua, and put into practice by the first Remnant? Are the hippies and Jesus freaks the end of the story, or are they a fresh example of the power of forsaking this world?
When we look at communal living, or even cooperative living, we must look at history at large to see its purpose, its place, as well as its power. Why does it continue to find power and expression? Why were there men like Leo Tolstoy, who upon his conversion was incessantly compelled to live a communal life? Because it is in the heart of man and in the plan of Yahweh and is so clearly established in His word.
Why was Russian Communism in existence for precisely seventy years (from 1917 to 1987), the number of elders that Moses set up at the instruction of Yahweh to help govern (Numbers 11:16f)? Why was Russian Communism in existence for seventy years, precisely 2,520 years after Jerusalem was taken into Babylonian captivity in 604 BC for an equal period of seventy years? The number 2,520 has the prophetic significance of "judgment, with a view to restoration or cleansing." 2,520 is double the prophetic number 1,260, and has the significance of being seven years, or seven periods of time. (360 days x 7 years = 2,520 days.)
Thus we find that Yahweh had the seventy year period of Judah in Babylon at the opening of this prophetic week of years, and the seventy year period of Communist Russia at the end. We find here that with the seventy year Babylonian captivity, and the seventy year communal government in Russia, separated by 2,520 years, is nothing less than one of Yahweh's megapatterns of the two Remnant separated by the seven-period church (the seven-branched lampstand, or the period of judgment with a view of restoration and cleansing).
And let us note here that it is most significant that the Babylonian captivity at the first Remnant beginning of this pattern, is the identical testimony of the same pattern we saw where the five kings of Babylon effected the first Remnant "coming out" of Sodom with Lot. Both Babylons represent the first Remnant being dominated by Mystery Babylon/Christianity.
With the common testimony of each of these first Remnant Babylonian captivities, what then is it we find witnessed in each of the second Remnant positions? In the Sodom pattern, we have already seen the marvelous testimonies it provided regarding the second Remnant - the angels, Lot's wife, Lot's two daughters, little Zoar. In this subject megapattern, we see relative to the communal government of Russia nothing less than the obvious testimony of the second Remnant's communal living!
And parenthetically, simply as further attesting evidence confirming the significance of this number 2,520, we also find that 2,520 years following the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 604 BC, in 1917 British general Allenby took Jerusalem from the Turks, which returned the "control of Jerusalem to an Israelite nation (Great Britain) and its monarchy, which can trace its ancestry back to king David" (Secrets of Time, by Stephen Jones). Thus, Jerusalem returned to the control of Judah.
And, most significantly, in 745 BC the Assyrians began to take the house of Israel into captivity, while precisely 2,520 years later, in 1776 AD, America was established for the final refuge and resting place for restored Israel. The house of Israel was in judgment for a period of 2,520 years before they were cleansed and restored in their new promise land - America.
Though a corrupted witness in many regards (as all nations testimonies are, including America), Russia is a most unique testimony of the second Remnant, that will likewise follow some form of first Remnant communal living. What other testimony do we have of Russia being a prophetic second Remnant? As a picture of that glorified Remnant, it is equally most significant that the great army of France under Napoleon, and the best of the army of Germany under Hitler, were both broken by the white glory (snow) that descended upon communal Russia! Both of these great and terrifying armies were broken, not by might nor by power but by the white glory of this second-Remnant-representing nation! There are many other testimonies. What we find is that Yahweh is not limited by neither man's power nor his beliefs in bringing forth His testimonies, His intercessoral witnesses, even on the national level!
The answer to this question of - Why communal living? - best lies in the testimony of the first Remnant. Many other, indeed most, communal adventures have been fostered by their example, as well as the teachings of Yahshua. None of us can fully feel the pulse or wholly grasp the impact that Yahshua's three years of teachings brought upon these first believers. We read Yahshua's words, we see the response of His apostles, and we see the response of the first Remnant believers in their first year-and-a-half following Yahshua's ascension. We see these things, but have we grasped the impact or the importance of these actions for our own hearts and lives and future?
The Poor of Lombardy, The Poor of Lyons, the Poor Priests grasped the great significance of that set-apart spirit, that lifestyle. Likewise, many of the communal endeavors that came to America with fresh hope for the future grasped or were compelled by that selfsame set-apart spirit.
The fact is all of these, including the Essenes, adopted this practice of holding all things in common for one common course - complete devotion to God, to be wholly set apart for His purpose, and to prepare for the advancement and coming of His kingdom, the return of Yahshua.
With this indeed being the quest of communal living in the past, as well as the clear purpose of the first Remnant, how could there be any other practice that would truly precede and bring Yahshua's return?
One could look at the 270 plus communal works in the beginning years of America and see 270 reasons why communal groups do not work; or, one can see those 270 plus works as man's continuing groanings to bring forth the more perfect kingdom of God and the King. Men have known in their hearts and souls what it will take; they have read the teachings of Yahshua and have seen the example of the first Remnant; they have put these truths into practice and have sat on the roofs of their dwellings or gathered in various places, seemingly to no avail; but they know what it will take! They have failed to bring forth the kingdom and the King, but in their hearts they have all known the course that must be followed, and have been willing to try.
The first Remnant failed. The Essenes failed. Zimmerman's followers and all the other communities failed. But how did they fail? They all failed by pursuing the same course. Why did they choose this course? Because it is the course that is in the heart of man, that is in the example and teachings of the Messiah, and is in the example of the first Remnant.
And despite men's failures, despite the obstacles of setting up and maintaining communal or cooperative living, despite everything, there is one and only one course that will lead to the return of Yahshua, and that is the setting apart of a people longing and looking for His return, making themselves ready to be His bride, and completing the work begun by the first Remnant and taught firsthand by their Master.
This is the quest, this is the purpose, this is the hope of the second Remnant. What will make this effort different from all the others before them? Even the first Remnant failed to bring forth the Messiah's return and the setting up of His kingdom as they fully expected. As it is written in Song of Solomon 8:8-9 concerning the first Remnant - "We have a little sister, and she has no breasts; what shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we shall build on her a battlement of silver; but if she is a door, we shall barricade her with planks of cedar." The first Remnant who failed to have the ability to bring forth the kingdom - she had no breasts - was the door for Yahshua's return that had to be barricaded with cedar.
But what of the second Remnant? Why, if they practice the same covering act, will they succeed? It is all a matter of timing and Divine purpose. The second Remnant is, in contrast to the first little sister, the older sister whose breasts are "like towers." Why? Because the second Remnant will be given the power and maturity to bring forth the kingdom, where all others have failed. Why? What makes this time and the people and the similar efforts of these people so different? Again, it is simply a matter of timing and purpose.
Edison, upon failing a thousand times at making a light bulb and having his efforts questioned, stated that he now knew a thousand ways how not to make a light bulb. But did that prove he was wrong in his attempts? No, for it was only a matter of time before all his efforts paid off.
Just because others have failed to bring forth the King and His kingdom by holding all things in common, in no way negates the effort. It is only a matter of timing. And if people really and truly believe that Messiah will return soon, there is only one tested way for that return to take place - the way of the first Remnant, the way of their foundation, the way of the Messiah, the way of His teachings, the way of cleansing and separating oneself from this world, the way of holding all things in common.
While we note the all importance of timing, there is another determining factor toward our success as well, and that is - truth! The first Remnant lacked in truth; they had only the first touch and saw men as trees walking. They were the "Leah" bride whose eyes were weak. Christianity has equally followed under that first touch anointing. Also, the leaven of error has increased all-the-more since the church's beginning. Now the second Remnant is receiving the second touch and is beginning to see clearly. It also is a Passover work, and the leaven is removed from the house. This truth, this sight, this discernment they are receiving, is and will be a strongly decisive factor in their success. "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). Much more could be added here regarding this critical difference; but let it simply be noted that the truth the second Remnant will possess, is a decisive factor in securing their success.
Up to now there have been two prevailing ideas about the return of Yahshua. Before the 1800's men believed that His coming was to be the culmination of Christianity's ever increasing improvement of the world, that Christians would prepare the way for Yahshua's return by making the world perfect. It is rather obvious now in the 2000's that that is not going to happen. In the 1800's with the Second Great Awakening, that idea changed. For the last two hundred years, the prevailing belief has been that His coming would be accompanied with great and devastating Apocalyptic events. But this too has failed, as the many "beasts" and Apocalyptic events have never materialized.
But there is a third and final position that will succeed, because it relies on a higher and prevailing law. That third position is that mercy will triumph over judgment; and while, once again, all have been looking for the coming of a wrathful Messiah, the Prince of Peace will return in peace with His bride to set up His kingdom.
Keep in mind, Isaac was not out decimating and afflicting his neighbors when Eliezer, who is a picture of the Holy Spirit, brought him Rebekah, the prophetic bride of Yahshua. No, Isaac was out meditating in his field when his bride came to him.
Even Yahweh's law requires that Yahshua cannot go to battle - "When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army, nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken" (Deuteronomy 24:5). But Christians believe that the "happiness" that Yahshua will bring to a bride is a honeymoon on a scorched earth where there will be weeping, and sorrow, and carnage, the stench of death, unspeakable agony, and devastation beyond comparison! The idea of this is ludicrous!
Likewise, even engaged with His bride, Yahshua cannot go to battle - "And who is the man that is engaged to a woman and has not married her? Let him depart and return to his house" and not be in battle (Deuteronomy 20:7). The bride needs and can legally expect a Husband that is not covered in the blood of others, but is set apart to give her the affection that she needs at that special moment. Thus, for Yahshua to come in wrath and "war" would be a violation of Yahweh's own laws.
Furthermore, as seen in the highly prophetic life of David, the bride will avert the wrath Yahshua may have prepared for this earth. In the writing titled Carmel, we examined the account where David graphically pictured Yahshua, and Abigail the bride of Yahshua. Nabal, Abigail's first husband, is the body of Yahshua, or Christianity. David was on his way to annihilate the house of Nabal when Abigail quickly interceded. Consider these words of David, and in them you will see the words of Yahshua to His bride in regard to the world and the church.
"Blessed be Yahweh God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed, and from avenging myself by my own hand. Nevertheless, as Yahweh God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male" (1 Samuel 25:32-33).
There will be no wrath on this earth as Christians have taught for two hundred years. Why? Because Yahshua's bride-to-be is given discernment, and by her deeds will restrain the wrath Yahshua planned.
If you hold to ideas relating to the fulfillment of two hundred years of Apocalyptic teachings, those teachings are both illegal as well as inferior. Mercy will triumph over judgment! The bride will have a husband prepared for a wedding, and not for battle. The husband will have a bride who sooths His angry soul.
In this next section we will return to our examination of the Scriptures to see what else they evidence regarding this matter of money and the church. We find that money is most relevant to Yahweh, as He fulfills His purposes in transforming a people into His likeness, preparing them to be His ministers for the return of Yahshua. Let us now see what truth Yahweh's word holds for us per His Son's return, money, and His temple.
Continue to page 10 of One Thing ... for CLEANSING THE TEMPLE
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