51. WHY THE RUSH TO SHARPEN?
How long will this judgment last?
The death angel on the first Passover did his work in one night. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead in a moment. In Zechariah, we are given a story of the removal of the filthy garments of the priest. At its end, is this verse:
"...I WILL REMOVE THE INIQUITY OF THAT LAND IN ONE DAY."
It sounds as though the Lord is not speaking of a slow process of removing the false prophets, and hypocrites of the last days. He wants to clean up the church, and the priesthood of believers quickly, and suddenly.
The church is likened unto the body. All parts of the body have a purpose and use. The inward parts, though unseen as the hand and foot, are very vital. Yet, some in the church today are like "warts" or "cancers". These are totally useless, and harmful. God is threatening to remove the warts and cancers of the body called the church. Then He will have a healthy body to rapture.
Those who are like "bumps on a log" within the church had better get stirred. The revival movement in the last days is God's work. It is not optional, it is mandatory that we join. God is sending Jesus back for a revived church. He will first judge that church, before He judges the world. He will purge it of the hindrances, offenders, and those who do iniquity. It is not a wise time to be in the ranks of backbiters, gossips, faultfinders, criticizers, etc. When God is done with the judgment upon the church, then the church will have the biggest revival the world has ever seen.
"THEN SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN IN THE KINGDOM OF THEIR FATHER. WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR."
Revival, or judgment??? This was the choice of Ananias and Sapphira. This was the choice given Lot and his family. It was the same choice given Noah, and those of his day. It is the very same choice given those in the church of the last days. Peter warns us that "JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF GOD...THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL SCARCELY BE SAVED..." Can we afford to be "LUKEWARM" Christians?
In I Peter 4:17-18, where the word "JUDGMENT" is used, it is the Greek word- "krima." This word means "damnation." It does not refer to a scolding. It does not refer to discipline, but to punishment. It is not correction, but damnation.
Who shall receive this krima? Is it for all? Of course not! The Lord is going to receive many from the congregations to go to heaven and be rewarded. If we look at how this word "krima" is used elsewhere in the New Testament, we will discover who are the ones to be judged.
I Timothy 5:12
"...HAVING DAMNATION (krima) BECAUSE THEY HAVE CAST OFF THEIR FIRST WORKS..."
Some were once saved who have 'cast off ' their faith. Damnation awaits these who have apostatized.
In Matthew 23:14, Mark 12:40, and in Luke 20:47, we are told that "pharisees" are to receive "GREATER DAMNATION" (krima). To profess to be saved and righteous, and have no real inner change, as did the Pharisees - is dangerous. Hypocrites are today's Pharisees. People who profess a Christianity, but live a sinful life - are in grave danger of the damnation that Jesus promised the Pharisees.
"FOR THERE ARE CERTAIN MEN CREPT IN UNAWARES, WHO BEFORE OF OLD ORDAINED TO THIS CONDEMNATION (krima), UNGODLY MEN, TURNING THE GRACE OF GOD INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS, AND DENYING THE ONLY LORD GOD, AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST..."
Into our churches have "crept" people who are not Christians and who will be judged with a damnation when this judgment begins.
"HE THAT TROUBLETH YOU SHALL BEAR HIS JUDGMENT (krima), WHOEVER HE BE."
It is dangerous to be a troublemaker in the church of the last days. We must get into the latter rain revival, and insure that when this judgment of the church occurs, we are serving God properly.
II Peter 2:1-3
"FALSE PROPHETS... FALSE TEACHERS... DAMNABLE HERESIES... DENYING THE LORD... PERNICIOUS WAYS... COVETOUSNESS... MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU...WHOSE JUDGMENT (krima) NOW OF A LONG TIME LINGERETH NOT, AND THEIR DAMNATION (krima) SLUMBERETH NOT."
Peter promises that those in the congregations of the last days that are teaching damnable heresies will receive the damnation judgment. There are some of the last days that are teaching doctrines that are contrary to the Scripture. If believed and acted upon, some false doctrines will damn a person. We must be very careful in these last days.
"THAT EVERY IDLE WORD (rhema =claiming to be speaking for God, when it is not truly the message of God) THAT MEN SHALL SPEAK, THEY SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT THEREOF IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (krima). FOR BY THY WORDS, THOU SHALT BE JUSTIFIED, AND BY THY WORDS, THOU SHALT BE CONDEMNED (krima)."
This indicates that the words of the people in the congregations identify the "GOOD MAN" and the "EVIL MAN" (Matthew 12:35). We had better be careful to watch what we say for God. God is well aware of what we say, and when we claim to speak for Him, we had better be sure He is the true inspiration of what we say.
We can boldly come to this day of "krima". Undoubtedly, it will be soon. The Bible is very clear. Yet, we do not have to live in fear.
In I John 4:17 we read:
"HAVE BOLDNESS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (krima)"
This boldness is received when we live in "LOVE" as John describes in his epistle. Whenever we lack the "LOVE", we stray toward hypocrisy, trouble making, and false doctrines. If we keep the love for our brethren, and for our Lord, we will not need to fear the krima judgment that Peter warns will someday come. The iron sharpening ministry of love to a congregation is not to be ignored. If we are actively restoring this gift to the congregations, the judgment will not have so many tares to remove. Many of the current tares may be restored to the congregations as wheat.
When this judgment upon the church does come, it will purge the church for the double portion time of revival.
"HE WILL CAUSE TO COME DOWN FOR YOU THE RAIN, THE FORMER AND THE LATTER RAIN IN THE FIRST MONTH."
What will cause this great revival to suddenly have a double portion? Joel predicts that the former and latter rain will occur at the same time. The double portion is the time when the revival of the last days has twice to revival blessing of the revival time the early church had. Could it be that the cleaning up of the church will bring forth a church that is unhindered by the hypocrites, and troublemakers, and thus more motivated toward revival???
We must purify ourselves... as we are to "EXAMINE" ourselves in the time of communion. This command to "EXAMINE" ourselves is given for a real purpose. Remember, that if we fail to "EXAMINE" ourselves, the Bible says that we eat and drink "DAMNATION (krima)" to ourselves.
1 Corinthians 11:29-31 (KJV)
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Properly following the prescription of what we are to do when we partake of communion will help keep us from having to fear this judgment of the church. The communions observed in many congregations of the last days are a pale shadow of what the Lord wanted observed. The observation of communion was to be a part of the observance of the ministry of exhortation. The reconciliation and ministry to the body of believers was to precede the partaking of the elements.
The ministry of iron sharpening is to be restored to the congregations of the last days. It is to begin the restoration of the purity that the church needs for the revival that the Lord wants the church to have. If we do not restore the church to purity, the harvest of tares will finish the job.
Moses preached a warning of the death angel of the Passover. Those who did not heed the warning to put blood on the doorposts found the judgment came to their own house. Many in the last days are not heeding the exhortations being given in the last days. The harvest of tares will finish the purification of the congregations of the last days. Then will come the double portion of revival that the church will soon enjoy.