COME HOLY GHOST OR COME LORD JESUS?
"Come Holy Spirit." This cry is being heard in meetings across the nation as Christians visit church services for a fresh filling of God's Spirit. But the cry is coming from a Church which once believed that it was indwelt by the Spirit of God, a Spirit Jesus said would be with us and in us forever (John 14:15-17). He said very clearly,
"Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself . . ." (John 16:13).
Yet some continue to entertain a spirit in the Church that speaks very much about himself. Scripture makes it clear: the cry of His Church is not "Come Holy Spirit," but "Come Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). The Spirit already abides in the Church.
It is the Lamb of God who is to be lifted up continually in our services, that He might draw all men to Himself (John 12:32). In this article, we want to look at the Lamb of God and see the truth of the matter. After all, Scripture emphatically says that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).
THE MYSTERY OF GOD'S WILL MADE KNOWN
Paul told the Church that God
"made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ [before the creation of the world, v.4], to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ" (Ephesians 1:9-10).
God willed to create with a particular purpose in mind. Then throughout history, He kept that purpose to Himself as a mystery until He wanted it to be made evident. What was this mystery? Before He created anything, God's purpose was "to bring all things in heaven and on earth together" under the headship of Christ. Every time God said, "Let there be . . . ," He did so with the intention of exalting His Son to be the head over everything.
God speaks His eternal purpose all through His word, and that purpose centers in His Son as the Lamb of God. Throughout the Scriptures, the Lamb Jesus Christ comes forth out of eternity and into time and space and history as the One to be exalted over all things because that's what the Father desired for Him (see Phillipians 2:5-11).
THE LAMB ALONE CAN PROSPER GOD'S PLAN
When we read Isaiah 53, we usually see the blessings we received through the cross, but we must also see that the cross was the doorway to a walk with God into Christ's holiness. The cross was effective toward us as fallen men, but it was effective toward the Father as well. Through the Lamb's finished work the Father could now bring about what He originally intended for man also. The one thing God needs from man to fulfill His intention is for man to be holy. Let's look at verses 6,7 and 10:
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. . . . Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand."
Isaiah 53 specifically says Christ was made a guilt offering so "the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand." The KJV reads, "the pleasure of the Lord," and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance defines the "pleasure" of the Lord as: "desire, . . . a matter (as something in mind) . . . . purpose." As to Christ seeing His offspring, who are they? The sheep who had gone astray from God's original purpose and who Christ had brought into the family of adopted sons through His sacrifice.
As Adam's sons repented of their sin and accepted the grace of salvation through faith in Christ, they received the Spirit of adoption by whom "we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:12-17) and the Spirit began His work of holiness in them. These offspring are the sons the Father originally intended to have, and it is His Lamb who prospers His plan. We, the sheep who had each gone astray, gone our own way, are healed and have become one body in Christ, losing our old life in the one new man of the Church.
But the plan and purposes of God didn't end with the formation of the Church. Once man was restored and the body of Christ began to grow, God's plan couldprosper further in Jesus' hand through the Church with Him as its Head. Christ's glorification accomplished God's purpose for Himself, too. For the Father's satisfaction, the first-begotten Son entered God's presence and is bringing forth a family of sons after His own image, sons who will be glorified at Jesus' personal, visible return when we meet Him in the clouds.
THE LAMB FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION
To see how the Lamb is to be exalted over all things, let's look at His "journey" through time from BEFORE THE BEGINNING to when He hands everything over to the Father:
JOHN 17:1-5: The Lamb was in glory in the Father's presence "before the world began."
JOHN 17:24: The Father loved the Son "before the creation of the world."
1 PETER 1:19-20: The Lamb was "chosen before the creation of the world" to redeem men by blood, if man chose to disobey God.
REVELATION 13:8-12: The book of life in which the believers' names are written was in the Lamb's hand since the world began.
JOHN 1:29,35: After Jesus came into the world, John revealed Him to Israel: "Look, the Lamb of God!" The Lamb had come to fulfill God's intention by restoring man to a place of holiness before God.
ACTS 2:23-24,32-33,36: At Pentecost, Peter preached to Israel that the Lamb "was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge." Jesus, he said, was raised from the dead, exalted at God's right hand as Lord and Savior, and had received and sent the Holy Spirit of adoption. Now the Spirit was calling all men into God's family of sons and He would indwell all who believed.
REVELATION 5: The Lamb, seen here as having been slain, receives all "power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (v. 12). He comes and takes the scroll "from the right hand of him who [sits] on the throne" (v. 7) and those present sing, "with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. . . . to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God" (vv. 9-10). Now the Lamb begins to reign with all of God's authority to bring His plan to completion. God's purpose for Christ is accomplished: He is exalted over all things, and will bring the age to an end by opening the scroll. At the same time, men from every nation have been purchased and brought into God's family (Isaiah 53:10), prospering God's plan. In John 17:2, speaking of Himself, Jesus said this was the reason the Father "granted him authority over all peoples that He might give eternal life to all those [given] to him."
REVELATION 6: The Lamb breaks the seals on the scroll, bringing forth the culmination of God's plan - "The mystery of God is accomplished" when the seventh trumpet sounds (Revelation 10:7), and at the breaking of the sixth seal, the Lamb returns as God's wrath falls on the kings and rulers and unbelievers (vv. 12-17).
REVELATION 17: The ten nations rise and give their power to the beast to fight against the Lamb, but the Lamb defeats them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. In giving their power to the beast, the ten kings are unwittingly fulfilling God's purpose, rather than their own (vv. 12-18).
REVELATION 19: The fulfillment of the Lamb's defeat of the kings and the beast. The Lamb's followers, the spotless Bride, are invited to the wedding feast as He returns with the scriptural "Joel's Army" on white horses.
REVELATION 14: The name of the Father is written on the foreheads of the followers of the Lamb, those purchased from among men because they were pure. Those who rejected the Lamb will burn in torment before Him (vv. 1-5,10-11).
REVELATION 7: The Lamb gathers God's family of sons from "every nation, tribe, people and language" (v. 9). The Lamb leads those who responded to the gospel to springs of living water, and God Himself spreads His tent over them because the Lamb is their shepherd (vv. 15-17).
REVELATION 21-22: The Lamb is the center of the millennial kingdom:
JEREMIAH: THE PROPHETS PROPHESY LIES
The Lord Jesus, the Faithful and True Witness, will return with His armies from heaven with God's wrath against the antichrist system. Who would want to be ruling anything when He returns? But in spite of God's testimony in Scripture to the Lamb of God as the one who returns at the end of the age to personally judge the nations, a large segment of the Church continues to take this role upon themselves. They persist in gathering as an army under a united leadership for the purpose of judgment and establishing the kingdom SO Christ can return. We say to you, it is crucial that you read and understand the Latter Rain doctrine penetrating the Church today, because this doctrine is leading God's people to another Christ:
"A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it that way. But what will you do in the end?" (Jeremiah 5:30-31).