One Thing You Still Lack
CONT., page 12
CLOSING (OR NEW BEGINNING)
The final section of a writing is often called the "Closing." But that does not seem to be a fitting title for a section that summarizes an act that according to all evidence is the work set forth by Yahweh that provides the covering over the bride of Yahshua, and prepares His Son's return. So instead of calling this final section the "Closing," it is best titled "New Beginning," for this is precisely what is presented here - the hope of a new beginning for mankind!
There are many ways to approach this final section on the covering of the bride. We could give the warnings of Yahweh concerning the failure of applying this covering. We could draw dramatic and graphic conclusions to what we have seen. We could challenge you to follow the teachings of Yahshua, the example of the first Remnant, and the instruction of the rest of the Scriptures. We could do all of this; and because of the importance of this matter, we will, we must.
To begin with, lest we forget the seriousness of this calling, let us remind ourselves of the warning to "remember Lot's wife," who upon the second "coming out" from Sodom by the authority and guidance of heavenly angels, turned away from Lot, her covering, and turned her attention back to where she had been, to Sodom, to the cares of this world. For this, Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
And likewise remember the warning of Ananias' wife, Sapphira, who three hours after her husband's own actions, equally set aside the Remnant covering and immediately died. Frankly, the great fear that fell on the first Remnant because of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira, should now with equal regard be sensed by the second Remnant.
It is quite evident that Yahweh used this dramatic event to insure that the important covering was wholly placed on and remained on this bride, without giving them the understanding that we now possess. The first Remnant did not have the second touch to see all things clearly. They had no idea that there would be a second Remnant that would complete what they began, and that their obedience to Yahshua in holding all things in common was their legal bride covering. While this event obviously had a great impact on the first Remnant, for us as the second Remnant, it is a clear demonstration of its critical importance!
Thus, a greater degree of maturity will be required on the part of the second Remnant, for we must apply and maintain this covering out of knowledge (though the first Remnant certainly had a firsthand knowledge of the teachings of Yahshua), a knowledge of its heavenly value and significance. Oh the meaning these words spoken by Yahshua hold for us as His second Remnant: "And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." These words of Yahshua are recorded only in second Remnant Luke (12:48), and were spoken shortly after He directed His "little flock" to sell their possessions. If Yahshua asks us to do "all the more," it is only because He wills to entrust us with so much more. May He empower us to do His will.
We find here with Lot's wife and Sapphira two clear warnings that the Holy Spirit has unmistakably provided the second Remnant, whose eyes are being opened to see these truths. Let us now see more.
Yahshua writes to us by His letter to the first church of Ephesus - "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first" (Revelation 2:4-5). What was the "first love," those first deeds performed by the first Remnant, that must be returned to and performed once again? They were their unique example of following Yahshua's words - "sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
And what was Yahshua's warning for not returning to the first love and doing the deeds that were done at first? Let us read - "else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place - unless you repent." Has Christianity returned to its first love? No. Will the second Remnant? Undoubtedly so!
As has been briefly mentioned, the second and sixth churches of Revelation, Smyrna and Philadelphia, are for numerous reasons prophetic of the two Remnant. And even as the Holy Spirit gave us Barnabas versus Ananias and Sapphira as a clear contrast, or even Lot's two daughters versus Lot's wife, here in the churches of Revelation we find equal and most significant contrasts. The first contrast is Ephesus (the first church) verses Smyrna (the second). In this contrast, the warning is in the Ephesus church (which we just considered), and the good and right testimony is in Smyrna. This is the warning per the first Remnant. Let us now see the warning associated with the second Remnant.
Philadelphia (the sixth church) is contrasted with the seventh and final church, Laodicea. In His message to Laodicea, we see Yahshua's desire that they be either cold or hot, but not lukewarm. Cold and hot are desired of Yahweh. Cold refreshes, and hot warms and cleanses; but lukewarm He spits out of His mouth.
The cold and hot are the two Remnant. Let us see an affirming example of this. The prophetic "kingdom of heaven" on the nations level, or Amer-ric-a, is fifty states - the number of Pentecost. And in equally prophetic design, it too has its two-part remnant states that are separate from the whole. These are first Remnant Alaska - the cold - and second Remnant Hawaii - the hot. Thus, Yahweh has His desirable cold and hot in His heavenly kingdom of America! And in the true kingdom of heaven, He has His cold first Remnant and His hot second Remnant; and He desires His two Remnant over lukewarm Christianity.
Let us now examine this contrasting and highly relevant warning to His second Remnant that is presented in Laodicea:
"Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eyesalve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent" (3:17-19).
How immensely relevant and descriptive this is for those who would want to be a part of Yahweh's second Remnant. It is once again this matter of possessions and one's reliance upon them that is at issue here - the second Remnant issue. It is the bride who is called to buy the white garments, who is to clothe herself and make herself ready for the marriage. She is the one, as we have seen, that is refined by fire and purified. She is the one who gets the second touch, who needs the eyesalve to see all things clearly. She is the one who is loved. She is the one who must give up her earthly wealth. This message to the Laodicean church is clearly and specifically the contrasting message Yahshua provides the second Remnant bride. Hear its words! It is specifically a warning for you, second Remnant.
Continuing in this matter of contrasting testimonies, let us look at one more exceptionally relevant message Yahweh provides. This contrast seems to summarize all of the contrasts we have been seeing in these accounts, these contrasts that clearly the Holy Spirit has laid out for the warning, benefit, and exhortation of His second Remnant bride, whose eyes are being opened.
While the wilderness of death is clearly the period of Christianity, leaving that wilderness and entering into the promised land is the experience given to the second Remnant. Yahweh declared that when the sons of Israel entered into the promised land, they were to perform a most important act, which they did to the smallest detail under Joshua. Let us see what that important act was and what it means for us.
After the sons of Israel entered the land of promise, half of them were to stand on Mount Ebal, and the other half were to stand on the contrasting mountain, Mount Gerizim (Deuteronomy 27 & 28). From Mount Ebal they were to declare the curses of Yahweh. In contrast, from Mount Gerizim they were to declare the blessings of Yahweh. The curse and the blessing! This was the choice in the land of promise. What does it mean? The clear meaning is in the meaning of the names of those two specifically set forth mountains. Observe this very carefully.
The purpose of this writing is to discern the covering with which the second Remnant bride must now veil herself. That covering provides the blessing of Yahweh that has not been on a people for 2,000 years. And as Ananias and Sapphira and Lot's wife discovered, rejection of that covering by failing to release oneself from his or her possessions results in the curse. In their cases and per the Remnant, this meant/means death. So what do we discover in these two contrasting mountains located just within the promised land where the curse and the blessing were declared? May we obtain from Yahweh that much needed eyesalve and anoint our eyes that we may see.
Even as the Remnant must be covered in their place as the bride, we have seen that removal of that covering incurs a curse. Thus, the Mountain from which the curses were proclaimed, Mount Ebal, means - "stripped of all covering"! Or as warned in Revelation to Laodicea - "naked"! The mountain in the promised land from which the curse was proclaimed bore clear evidence that that curse comes from removing one's covering - "stripped of all covering"! What then of the contrasting blessing, evidenced by these two mountains? Once again, let us anoint our eyes with eyesalve and see.
From the other mountain, Mount Gerizim, we find that Gerizim means - "cutters," from the root word "garaz," meaning "to cut." Now, this is truly where we need that eyesalve, because the meaning of the word is seemingly vague.
On the one hand, while the people were standing on Mount Ebal declaring forth the curses, by its very name the mountain was equally declaring - "removing the covering, removing the covering!"
And on the other hand, while the people were standing on Mount Gerizim declaring forth the contrasting blessings, by its very name this mountain was equally declaring - "cutting away, cutting away!" What is it that must be "cut away" in order to receive the blessing in the promise land? You know by now. The will of Yahshua that brings the blessing is the cutting away of our worldly possessions!
If we as His Remnant bride who enter into the promised land want to receive the blessings of Yahweh, we must choose between these two mountains - Ebal, "removing the covering," or Gerizim, "cutting away." Like the choice between Ananias and Sapphira versus Barnabas, or Lot's wife versus Lot's two daughters, or the rich young ruler versus Zaccheus; like the choice between Ephesus versus Smyrna, or Laodicea versus Philadelphia, or here Ebal versus Gerizim, there is the choice of forsaking Yahweh's covering and receiving the curse, or releasing, cutting away, your earthly possessions to receive the blessing. This is your choice - the curse or the blessing!
Just as Joshua was very careful to perform this ceremony upon entering the promised land, being careful that "not a word that Moses had commanded" was left out (Joshua 8:30f), so the Holy Spirit is being careful to declare to us His Remnant the choice and the meaning of those two mountains - to remove our covering and receive the curse, or to cut away our possessions and receive the blessing.
Is it not therefore EXTREMELY significant that when Paul wrote concerning the woman's head covering, the very legal covering we are addressing here concerning the bride of Yahshua, he stated - "For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off" (1 Corinthians 11:6). Thus we see, placing the covering on the woman's head or cutting off her natural glory (which is what the hair is to the woman - vs. 15) are one and the same answer to the covering issue. Here again we see the "cutting" issue - that cutting the earthly glory of the woman is equivalent to placing the covering on her head. They both speak of the same thing - the covering of the bride.
Oh what marvelous and affirming and consistent testimony the Holy Spirit has provided us! Let us continue on.
From the first three gospels (significantly not in John, where the money-changer was dealt with at the outset), we considered the account of the rich young ruler who came to Yahshua seeking eternal life. Yahshua instructed him - "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when he had heard these things, he became very sad; for he was extremely rich" (Luke 18:22-23). The rich young man walked away, unable to follow. Yahshua then significantly responded to his failure - "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (vss. 24-25).
Why was this instruction/this warning here? What does it mean for us now when the covering of the bride is an issue? Why did Yahshua say this concerning riches and His kingdom? Wealth is never at issue in salvation messages in our churches; but it most certainly was here with Yahshua. This message was given to us for instruction, and it is highly relevant to His second Remnant as Yahshua prepares His return. So we ask the important question - How can a camel go through the eye of a needle?
It is said that there was a gate at Jerusalem called the "Eye of the Needle." It was so small that any man had to bend over to get through. And for a camel - it is said that it first had to have all of its cargo removed; and once released from its cargo, it could crawl through on its knees. Such was the response of the apostles - they left everything to follow Yahshua. Such was the response of the first Remnant. And today, such must be the response of any man who desires to reign with Him. As with His followers then, so it must be now - all of our worldly cargo must be released, or "cut away," to enter the kingdom of God.
Considering Yahshua's teaching, it is not surprising that James would write concerning the offense to the rich that their teaching and lifestyle held - "Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?" (James 2:6). "Come now, you rich," he continues in 5:1, "weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the Last Days that you have stored up your treasure!"
To all of this that we have read and seen, what then do we say - "Go live your lives the way you want to; Yahshua's teachings mean nothing. The practices of the apostles, the first Remnant, even of the Messiah Himself mean absolutely nothing and are irrelevant religious obscurities!" Heaven forbid!
Are we now some kind of novelists who think we can combine the ways of the world with the kingdom of heaven and somehow bring forth the perfect kingdom as well as the King? Can we keep one foot in the world and one foot in the Elijah purpose and expect to succeed? Yahshua said - "he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:38-39). The Greek word "axios," meaning "worthy," is used nine times in first Remnant Matthew, and equally nine times in second Remnant Luke. Nine is, again, the number of shoots in the orchard of the bride of Yahshua (Song of Solomon 4:11-15). But the word "axios," or "worthy," is never used in Christianity Mark. To be worthy, we will have to be significantly different from Christianity, and the world.
Yahshua will now in these last days before His return call out a people who will follow His teachings and the example of the first Remnant and prepare His way. What the Holy Spirit did at the beginning of the church, He will do again.
One of the most persuading evidences there is that the Remnant will be a separate and unique work is in the very identity of the Spirit - the Holy Spirit. We have already noted the significance of Eliezer presenting a bride to his master's son, which he received from "piercing" (or, Nahor). By Eliezer's name, as well as his purpose and performance, he is a picture of the Holy Spirit. As we have seen, one of the specific works of the Holy Spirit is to gather a bride for the Son of God. This work of the Spirit is completely consistent with and further evidenced by the fact that the two Remnant are specifically called "the two sons of fresh oil" (Zechariah 4). The fresh oil is of course the anointing and lampstand oil of the Holy Spirit. The two Remnant are formed by the former and latter rains - the two outpourings of the Spirit.
Unfortunately, the word "Holy," as it is translated in our Bibles, is a very poor and misleading translation, and does not accurately identify the Spirit or His work. When we think of someone being "holy," we generally consider them as evoking veneration or awe, characterized by perfection or purity. But this is not at all the meaning of the original word translated "Holy." For example, in Isaiah 66:17 we read about the idolatrous people "who sanctify and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse ...." The word here translated "sanctify" is the identical word translated "Holy," as in Holy Spirit. But we see here that these "holy" ones were setting themselves apart for idolatry. Even the temple prostitutes would be called "holy," when translating the word in the same way as it is for the Spirit. Thus we see that the original Hebrew and Greek words do not mean holy, or venerable, or pure; but the word is best translated - "set-apart."
The point of this is that we unfortunately lose the emphasis and correct representation of the word that characterizes the Spirit when we continue to say Holy Spirit. A far more accurate and revealing witness is the "set-apart" Spirit. Thus we have with this clearer expression the purpose and function of the Spirit - to "set apart"!
When the set-apart Spirit is poured out to establish His second Remnant bride, what specifically do you think the set-apart Spirit will perform? Isn't it most obvious what He will do, when we simply correct the meaning of the word that continually describes Him and His function? One can be certain that the set-apart Spirit will set apart a bride for Yahshua. How much will He set her apart? The bride cannot just melt into the world, or even into Christianity. The bride must be set apart as an entirely separate work that is united under one single and effectual covering.
The set-apart Spirit will set apart the Remnant bride with a set apart purpose, identity, and lifestyle. This will be the work of the set-apart Spirit who comes with an increased function in the latter rain.
So when you consider the Remnant bride as a work of the set-apart Spirit, never view her as something like everything else, melted into society and Christianity so that she is of little difference in lifestyle or purpose than all the rest. No, when you think of the Remnant bride that is established by the set-apart Spirit, consider that she will be exactly what the set-apart Spirit's purpose is - she will be set apart from everyone and everything. The first Remnant bride was set apart, and so will be the second Remnant bride. She will be a Rebekah, removed from everyone, leaving father and mother, sister and brother, in order to be joined to another - her Isaac! And as with Rebekah, it will be her choice/your choice! "Come, follow Me," He speaks.
Who will we follow? The Catholic Church, that always chose to prefer possessions over poverty. The universal church, or Christianity, that fails to follow in the ways and teachings of the Messiah. Or will we, His second Remnant, actually follow Yahshua in His ways, in His walk, in His work, in His teachings? "If you wish to be complete/perfect," Yahshua says, "go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Know that as long as you hold onto your possessions, as long as you continue to pursue the things of this world, as long as you have not left everything, there is "One thing you still lack"!
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matthew 13:44-46).
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