We, a people living in this day, are living in a time for greatness in God. This time in which we live is one where certain events are taking place that will shock the entire world, including and especially those among the religious arena. These events are God ordained, things which He has purposed beforehand.

This is a time for the gathering in of a firstfruits company, a remnant of people, who shall usher in God’s greater glory spoken of in the gospels. It is a time, according to scripture, that the whole world has groaned for even until now. This is spoken of in Rom. 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body”.

The firstfruits of the Spirit spoken of here are the ascension gifts of the Holy Spirit given by Christ as a foretaste and pledge of something to follow, that is man’s eternal inheritance. The Holy Spirit also gives gifts, in the form of ministries, to the church for the perfecting the saints. Eph. 4:12-13, “For the perfection of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.

Thus, can we not see a need for spiritual maturity in Him, which speaks of the maturing and being perfected as God’s people?

There is in scripture a speaking of some overcomers who, by the Holy Spirit, rise to enter that which Christ is. At such a time, these overcomers shall put to rest any controversy as to who and what the true church is. For this cause, a trumpet is sounding, and a message is going forth from God concerning this time in which all creation dwells. God is declaring loudly, that now is the time for His people to come out of carnal concepts about the Christ and enter the place of living in truth’s reality. The need to cease from knowing about Him only and come into that place of truly knowing Him intimately.

It is time for a people to leave behind the controversy concerning which doctrine of man is right or wrong. By experience, these can come into a knowing of whom the true Christ is and their dwelling place in Him. Phil. 3:9-10 declares loudly, “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death”.

It is because of the cross of Christ, where He became a sacrifice for us, when accepted it means our death to the self-life. However, it is the fellowship of His sufferings that brings us into conformity to His death. Death to self means for us, that His glory is coming to rest upon and in us. This death means that His life is now ours. It also means that we shall enter into His life to go out no more. Rev.3:12a says, “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he shall go no more out….”

Dearly beloved of God, this means a coming into a lifestyle that lives in the presence of God Himself. Think of that! Never to leave His glorious manifest presence again. Isaiah tells us that our God is a consuming fire, a fire that enables a people to stand in and dwell in His divine presence. This also speaks about dying out to all that cannot stand before our Holy God nor live in His presence.

Isa. 33:14-15 says, “The sinners of Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walks righteously and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes, that stops his ears from hearing of blood [from listening to spiritual murderers concerning Christ sacrifice] and shuts his eyes from seeing evil”. This speaks to us of the necessity of dying to self by allowing the fires of God to burn up all the desires of the carnal man. This allows us to stand before God, to see Him as He is in Christ and to live in Him.

Conformable to His death is not speaking to us of the grave, but it speaks of a coming to the end of self, from allowing self (the death realm) to rule over us. As the scripture declares, it does not mean the loss of life, but rather of an entering into life. Rev. 2:7, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God”. Does His death mean for us a loss of our credibility? In the eyes of the world we may seem as fools indeed, but Rev. 2:26 shouts, “And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power [authority, delegated power] over the nations”.

Does this death mean the loss of home, lands, and friends, of all things possessed? Remember, the latter years of Job were greater than the former. Rev. 21:7 tells us that, “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be my son. During our time of living in this worldly age, we might lose our good name but Rev. 3:12b says, “…. I will write upon Him [overcomer] the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name”. Thus, without doubt, conformable unto His death is not loss, but in Christ, all is gain. How? We gain by having gain through loss, by gaining life through death, a receiving of His glory through shame, power through weakness and exaltation through abasement. This is not as the world looks upon nor understands living, but through Christ, all is gain.

The Holy Spirit points us to the fact that the workings of the cross, on which Jesus died, has a far-reaching effect in that which it accomplishes. Rev. 7:3 speaks to us concerning a sealing God commands to take place, “saying …, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”. This phrase “sealed in their foreheads” has the meaning of “the receiving of the mind of Christ”. Thus, all that the cross accomplishes manifests in us at the time of this sealing, the receiving of the manifesting mind of Christ. As we read again in Rom. 8:23, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit [gifts and ministries], even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body”. This sealing in our foreheads, the receiving of the mind of Christ, is pointing to our placement of adoption, the time when we shall know the redemption of our bodies, our whole man in spirit, soul and body.

The Greek word for “adoption” in this context is “HUIOTHISIA” which has the meaning of “the placing as a son”. A time when the Father, recognizing the maturity in the maturing son, now places within the son’s hand the authority to act in the place of his Father. This speaks to us of spiritual maturity and a relationship with the Father. It also speaks to us, liken unto the firstborn son Jesus, of authority and commitment. Our relationship, bound up in the placement of adoption, is the sealing of the sons (mind of Christ) and the manifestation of these sons. This adoption of the sons into manifestation is likening unto the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry at the time of His baptism in the Jordan River, Matt. 3:17 states, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Because His other sons shall also have an in-Christ ministry, conformation comes at their receiving and manifesting the mind of Christ.

A question asked, what is being a “son” but not a “manifested son”? 1 John 3:2 declares, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear [be manifest], we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”. “Sons”, as used in this scripture is the Greek word “TEKNON” which has the meaning of “little child, an offspring but very young in maturity”. Called “little children of God”, this scripture reveals for us that there are sons who have not yet known the experience of adoption, or the sealing of the mind of Christ in their foreheads.

Though these are destined to be “sons”, they remain likened unto servants because they have not yet become one of the adopted. They, as yet, have not received the mind of Christ, the writing of the law of God (His nature) in their minds and hearts. For this cause, this scripture makes clear that these are of those who “do not yet appear what they shall be”. Why, because these are they that have not yet reached full age. The Christ (His mind) does not totally manifest from their lives yet because, in them, the mind of Christ is yet to be sealed. These are not yet matured beyond the mind-set of little children in the things of the heavenly realms.

Remember, the promises of God are to us yea and amen and shall not return unto Him void. However, these promises do return to Him through the person receiving from Him continually, in a progressive manner, until fullness comes. This fulfilling requires obedience to Christ, thus enabling each vessel to overcome. While God has proclaimed for us an inheritance, it is not for them that know of Him only, but to them that overcome. Remember, the devils also believe and tremble. Being children of God makes us heirs but being heirs does not make us present-tense inheritors.

Gal. 4:1-7 states, “Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements [elementary rules] of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption [placing as a son] of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ”.

This placing as a son is that which the overcomer receives. God then, gives us a key in which we can become one of those who have crossed over (overcome) from the flesh (visible) realm to follow the Spirit (invisible) realm. Rom. 8:17 declares, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together”. Therefore, while there is a suffering with Him, which speaks of denying the self-life, we, in Him, are also to be glorified.

The Entire World Restored

The larger picture also needs consideration lest the people remain prisoners to a very limited understanding as to God’s purpose in His creation. His desire is, and He shall restore back unto Himself, more than just a few chosen ones called the remnant. His purpose is and always has been to reconcile any receiving peoples of the world back unto Himself. Thus, God rises from within His sons to move them into a ministry of reconciliation, a restoring of creation back into Himself. God has always purposed to do more than save just a few and damn the rest. God declares from Himself, through the prophets, when stating in Acts 15:14-17, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles [nations] to take out of them a people for His name [nature]. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written, after this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name [nature] is called, saith the Lord Who doeth all these things”. 

        This word “residue” from the dictionary is defined as, “the remainder of something after removal of a part”. This scripture not only confirms that God has purposed for Himself a remnant of people (did visit the nations, to take out of them a people for His nature), which become the body of Christ, but that through this remnant He shall reconcile the residue (remainder) unto Himself, as they also began to seek after the Lord. First, God visits among the nations, looking for a people who shall know continual change until enabled to manifest the Christ nature. Scripture declares here, by quoting words written by the prophet Amos, that this time of restoration has its beginning in a remnant.

This remnant likened unto the Tabernacle of David, a tabernacle (tent) like structure that had fallen into ruins, being left behind as man pushed to erect for God a temple made by the hands of man. A temple spoken of and made by the hands of man, but years later destroyed as spoken by God. Man, in electing to pursue the glory of the natural temple, left behind the manifesting glory of God that rested in and upon the tent prepared by David upon Mt. Zion, which represents the place of God’s glory in man. In the erecting of the temple, the glory of God was again restricted to a closed in, hidden room, which man in general could not look upon. Hidden away behind the curtain called the veil, restricting man from seeing His glory, except by a High Priest once a year. This restriction kept the people from viewing the manifested presence of God. However, in David’s tabernacle the glory cloud and the fire were looked upon freely as the worshippers praised God night and day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In this, God gave the promise that He would restore David’s tabernacle. This promise declares that God’s glory would again manifest His presence to reveal to all in their desire to look upon the Christ, as He appears through His remnant, His true body. Herein, God is restoring, by doing away with all hidden worship and rituals to appear or manifest Himself again in the earth, through the body of Christ, the remnant that He has chosen. This remnant, elected from among the nations, shall become the tents, liken unto David’s tabernacle, wherein the residue can look upon God’s presence and glory. The revealing of His manifested presence through His sons; the remnant from the nations, shall result in humanity finally coming to the place of seeking after the Christ, as manifested through the Christ, head and body.

In this, we shall behold a Kingdom of King/Priest after the order of Melchisedec, coming forth to rule and reign with the firstborn Son, the head of the body of Christ. These, a King/Priest company in the righteousness of God, with priestly garments reveal and manifest the mind, the nature of our God. These Old Testament High Priest garments type for us, the putting on of the mind of Christ for each son. In Exod. 28:36-38 God declares, “And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace that it may be upon the miter [a turban for the head]; upon the forefront of the miter, it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be acceptable before the Lord”.

In the purifying of the priest, the body of Christ, let us take note that the High Priest miter is one of the last parts of the priest garment to be put on. This speaks to us that in the maturing of the body of Christ, this remnant shall finally come to know the sealing of the mind of Christ. A putting on of the mind of Christ signifies that these overcomers receive the authority and a commission to act in the Christ authority. These shall experience the reality of the redemption of their body, a body glorified unto Christ likeness and image. This is a moving into the present tense nature of our heavenly Father.

In all that we have experienced in days gone by, we must confess that the ways in which God has led us, while a joy, has been a straight and narrow way. While having many great seasons in the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, there remains a deep-seated desire for the lasting fullness of the greater things God has promised. While enjoying the harvest of the in-part gospel, there is that inward knowing and a longing for the coming, perfection and completeness, a growing up unto spiritual maturity to become even as Christ is. The Lord has come; His presence is among and in us. The fullness of time has come, and a people are putting on the mind of Christ that is to rule the whole man, spirit, soul and body. The Christ body shall come forth from obscurity to manifest Him in a full measure.

While the true body of Christ has known the firstfruits of the Spirit, we must remember, that the firstfruits are only the earnest, the down payment of our inheritance. Now the fullness has come, and God speaks, rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away”. (Song of Solomon 2:10-13), It is the time of change; new conditions speak of a time of restoration, a time of arising and coming away unto Him. Thus, God deserves our full attention that we might do and say only what we see Him do and say. This is a people manifesting His glory as the manifesting body of Christ.

Duane Stewart
A Voice for the Gathering Saints

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