In the beginning God, the Hebrew word “Elohim,” a word when connected to creation denotes the Creator in relation to His creatures, thus, the life giver. In the beginning, there was also the Word, the Greek word “Logos” which, as the spoken word it reveals the invisible thoughts of God, while the Living Word reveals the invisible God. With His son, Jesus Christ, being the Word made flesh, the Living Word, He came from God as the visible expression of the Father. John 1:1-4 & 14 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.

With the Word already pre-existent, this means that the Word had no beginning. However, we should note that a time and season came when this pre-existent Word became flesh. The Words purpose, to become the visible expression of God with Jesus being the first of many other coming sons. For this purpose, Jesus Christ became a seed to be planted into any repentant and receiving vessel. Thus, God’s divine purpose was for the birthing of many more sons through a regeneration process. God’s law of process was that every seed would bring forth after its own kind. Thus, Jesus Christ became the seed Savior and pattern son for receiving humanity to become a new creation liken unto the His first-born son.

Following in the process of God’s divine order, a call came forth unto the twelve Apostles and the harvest field of God was having its beginning, but first their important need. Luke 24:49, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on High”. This promise is the indwelling Holy Spirit, who, resident within, becomes the power source and the revealer of the Word, plus the teacher who imparts understanding. Herein, a people are enabled to relate to the Father even as the first-born son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we are now able to become a people with the hope of living again. Man can now become a new creation because the life of the Father was given through the death and the power of Jesus Christ’ resurrection. (Read 1 Peter 1:1-25).

Note especially in 1 Peter 1:3-5 stating, “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.

The promise of “begotten us again” speaks of a new birth, a time of being born again. Understand that “born again” is not just a forgiveness of past sins, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit within which processes a people until the whole man is re-born. What is man? Is man not spirit, soul, and body? This means that the death and resurrection of Jesus applies to the complete man. Receiving man being born again to become the fulfillment of God’s divine order as established in Him before the world ever was. 1 Peter 1:22-23, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of God [Jesus Christ] which lives and abides forever”.

Let us now take note that in God’s divine order, the expression of Himself throughout all creation does not end with the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. We must also take into account that Jesus, the seed of God, is to bring forth a great harvest. In the harvesting from His field, there is first a coming forth of a first-fruit expression, a people coming forth manifesting God’s likeness and image even as the first-born Son. While the early church received and experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirits coming, the entering into the Holy place realm of God, His people now stand in God concerning another coming order.

This coming order, just as on the Day of Pentecost, shall come forth from God to usher in the next expression in God’s divine order, even as He has purposed. This order shall not be just a renewing of the Holy place order, but it shall usher in a people, a first-fruit man-child enabled to stand in God’s presence. Here the throne-room authority of God shall be manifest in and through this man-child company. This is speaking of the Holy of Holies, the appearing of the Christ in the full measure of God’s next order of His revealing. Therefore, being birthed into God’s presence, the man-child many member company shall, in Christ, manifest and establish God’s kingdom order in all the earth. 1 Cor. 12:12 & 27, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. … Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

Therefore, with the body of Christ speaking of His body with many members, and when speaking of the divine order of God that progressively comes forth in God’s timing, we must consider this truth. The coming forth of the head, Jesus the Christ, is likewise coming forth in His body, a first-fruits man-child many member people who will appear with Him in His glory. 1 Cor. 15:22-24, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each on in his own order: Christ the first fruits [head and His body], afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming [His body and His bride coming forth to gather concerning the rest of the harvest]. Then comes the end [end of a 1000-year reign], when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power”.

Coming next according to God’s agenda and His preordained divine order, we shall see the anointing, the order of the man-child body of Christ making their appearance. For at their appearing, with the head Jesus Christ, they shall put all things under their feet, as the enemy of God is defeated. This is likened to the children of Israel as they came up out of the wilderness desert and made ready to take the land of promise; these first- fruits are according to God’s purpose. Keep in mind that all first-fruits, according to God, are devoted to Him. These belong only to Him even as revealed in the taking of Jericho.

Joshua 6:16-19, “And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets that Joshua said to the people: Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasure of the Lord.” 

Here we see the battle at Jericho, the Israelite’s first battle after crossing the river called Jordon. Note that Jericho is a city whose name means “a place of fragrance.” This speaks of and points us to the piece of furniture in the wilderness tabernacle call the Alter of Incense. The High Priest at this alter, with coals of fire and incense, along with the sprinkling of blood from the outer-court Brazen Altar (sacrifice of Jesus), was lit with fire to cause the sweet smell of these incense to ascend before the mercy seat as they moved into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. This Day of Atonement was a time of restoration and a standing in the manifested presence of God. This alter of incense, now manifesting in the Holy of Holies realm released unto God that sweet smelling fragrance which is acceptable to God as His welcomed first-fruits.

Here at Jericho we can observe God’s order working in bringing His people into the promises spoken, the claiming of the land that God promised as their inheritance. With Jericho being the “first-fruits” of this occupying of the land, the spoils of the battle were now to belong to God. With the word “accursed” having a true meaning of “devoted,” these spoils are now devoted to God. In being “devoted” to God, the first-fruits belong to Him for His use alone. In this, those things devoted to God are not for the purpose of man to use according to his own purpose. God had cautioned Israel concerning the devoted Ark of God. Remember the occasion when Uzzah reached out to hold up the ark when bringing it to Mt. Zion during King David’s reign. Uzzah whose name means “strength” touched the things devoted to God and was slain because of the misuse of trying to use his own strength as a source of help for God. Are not many of God’s people, during today’s season, using their own strength to secure for themselves a kingdom instead of maintaining God’s divine order which establishes His kingdom?

It is after Jericho, at Ai, that God uncovers Achan and his error when he took the devoted first-fruits of God unto himself for his own possession and use. (Read Joshua 7:19-26). Likewise, today, there are many among the Christian Community who are mishandling the things of God, things that are devoted to Him, but using them for the sake of their own gain and their own kingdoms. As they misuse and mishandle the things of God, it results in many groups becoming a so-called church that have a form of godliness only. Therefore, they become a people without the power of God and His manifesting presence. These groups become, even though growth in numbers may be evident, a defeated church with God’s enemy called spiritual death ruling in their midst.

It is evident that from the early church until today, the glory of the early church has diminished. What was and is God’s promise to any victorious group? “The glory of the latter house (church) shall be greater that the former”. God’s purpose then is for His church to be a victorious people wherein the glory of God would manifest in it touching the world for Christ. However, today’s need is evident in that form has replaced power. 2 Tim. 3:1, 5, 7 & 9, “But know this, that in the last days’ perilous times will come: … Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! … Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. … But they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.”

From this mind-set and atmosphere, what do we observe? Observation reveals that man has learned to preach and teach. That man has learned how to sing and offer a form of praise. That man has learned how to act religious and pretend righteousness. Nevertheless, is it not a fact, that many such men are simply putting their hands to the things devoted for God’s purpose alone? These people, like the children of Israel, are now fighting battles but are remaining a defeated people. As with Achan, what the Christian Community needs is a cleansing. Joshua 7:24-25, “Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. And Joshua said why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day. So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.” Pointing to the Word and its refining cleansing power to purify.

In this, according to God’s times and seasons we have now come to the next manifestation of God’s divine order of restoration. A first-fruit man-child company is now appearing, as living stones, built up to be a spiritual house, to become the light of God in the darkness of this age. They are to cleanse, make whole and complete God’s house according to His present tense purpose. That is, to manifest the glory of God’s house unto the entire world that a people might come to the true purposes of God. 1 Peter 2:4-5 & 9, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men [most of the religious community reject God’s true anointed ministries, why? Could it be that man’s agenda is not the same as God’s?], but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Here then we see the promise, that God would build for Himself a house in which to dwell, a devoted house in which he shall restore God’s people of “fragrance – first-fruits” of Jericho. The cost is a great one but it would be paid for by God’s first-born (Jesus) in laying the foundation, with the gates being erected in and through the younger sons (body of Christ). Joshua 6:26, “Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundations with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates”. With the foundation laid by the first-born son Jesus Christ (Joseph, type of Jesus Christ – first-born of Rachel the loved bride), God even now is setting up its gates (given to Benjamin, the youngest son of Rachel, as an inheritance), pointing to the many member man-child sons who are opening up the entrance back into God’s promises, that is, the glory of God manifesting through His devoted people. Why rebuild Jericho, because Jericho is God’s fragrance and first-fruits.

Is it not true that scripture tells us that cursed is the one who hangs on a tree? Is this not what Jesus, the elder son did for humanity? Gal. 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hands on a tree.” The word “man” as used in Joshua 6:26 above is the Hebrew word “ISH.” This word has the meaning of “not just an ordinary man but a great man. Also used when God is spoken of as a man.” In knowing that God has purposed, from Himself, to have a family, a family needing restoration, God was willing to give His begotten elder son for the restoration of His entire family. These younger sons, Christ body, are the gates needed for the sweet smelling fragrance to ascend before God, as this birthed into the Holy of Holies man-child, is birthed into God’s throne-room. In this we should again consider the truth from Joshua 18:12, that the city was given to the Benjamites (son of the right hand), the youngest of Jacobs sons. Benjamin, a type of the man-child who shall with the elder brother, usher in Christ fullness to fill the earth with the glory of God and His knowledge. (Read Joshua 18:11-28).

Thus, as promised, God’s divine order that was set into motion those ages ago in Adam and Eve, has not ceased. In the progress of the heavenly order coming forth, we have seen the natural realm expressed in the coming forth of the children of Israel. Then, suddenly, on the Day of Pentecost we have seen the coming forth of the spiritual realm expression at the receiving of the sent Holy Spirit in the upper room. Now, another season, another manifestation of God’s progressive order is come, which is, a time for the “fullness of times” realm and expression. Suddenly He shall appear, manifesting the nature of God through these first-fruits. This is a coming forth to cleanse the earth of every tare and then a gathering in of the full harvest. This is a defeating of the enemy in every area of earth as the eternal kingdom of God is established. Have not the prophets of today spoken, declaring a new day, a coming unto a new realm and expression of God? Is this not then the season for God to manifest His glory in and through His people? To this, we say yea and amen. Let God’s divine order now reign.

Duane Stewart
A Voice of Gathering Saints

 

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