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#500 – What Are The Final Steps To Christian Maturity?

The Christian Life From Beginning To The End!

Is Christian Maturity Really Important?

If We Are “SAVED” What More is There?

December 5, 2011

After a few days of sharing on the Kingdom of God, God’s Eternal Purpose, The Universal Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek, The Overcomers, The Bondservants, The Lampstand Church, The New Jerusalem, The Bride of Christ and Mount Zion, a kind of passive confusion still exists among many of the those who hear. Many places I go there are always some people who will come in a kind of shock to ask specific questions about “salvation” and “being Saved.” Most people have been taught, from the very beginning of their Christian experience, that “salvation” is complete when you accept Jesus as personal Savior. Many people have been taught that “Salvation” is the entire gospel or “good news.” Some teach that “salvation” is a gift of God and is “totally free as any gift should be.” Then any thought of cost or qualifying or going on to the “fulness of Salvation” is met with a moral feeling of outrage or bewilderment.

Then when I share on these different aspects of the Christian Life and the Higher Callings and the ultimate goals of the Christian life, it creates even more confusion because it seems to be in conflict with the “gospel messages” they have heard. When we share about the Lampstand Church ONLY being seen in the Holy Place and NOT in the Outer Court, where we see the basic beginnings and first foundations, some pastors and leaders get angry. Some tell me that “the going on to something more” doctrine is false because that is just WORKS that can never save you. They quote some scripture about faith and works and assume that is the whole gospel. When we try to use the Kingdom Parables to show more of the Christian Life and the severity of the Kingdom message, they revert to some cliche about false doctrine! If we point out that the Gospel of the Kingdom has been nearly totally neglected they are offended. Even very clear scriptures become offensive.

Mat 24:13 “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. 14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.

Even if we use VERY clear scriptures about the kindness and the severity of both God and His Kingdom they cannot accept any fact that suggests there is a severity in God. Why? All their Christian life they have been taught a lie. They are absolutely convinced that God’s “unbridled” grace will over rule every other thing including our sin, rebellion and callousness toward His will. The whole concept of “THE WRATH OF THE LAMB” is rejected even though the Bible is clear.

Rev 6:16 and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.

Rom 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.

When we insist that God is Absolutely Sovereign and EVERY Christian MUST submit to His Sovereignty by humility and obedience or be cut off from the blessings of His Absolute Sovereignty they respond with another cliche.

Some tell me “Well that is NOT the God I know” who is always loving and kind and full of grace and forgiveness. The error of this statement is the word “ALWAYS.” It is certainly true that these are some of the attributes of our God but punishment, judgement and rejection is also part of His attributes. Israel stands as a testimony of BOTH the severity and the kindness of God. Why would we think that God’s kindness will over rule His severity when BOTH are His attributes. To teach one without the other is teaching a lie or at least something that is unbalanced. The truth will involve BOTH the kindness and the severity and ALL the total attributes of God!

Since Romans chapters 9 - 10 and 11 presents the authentic position of God’s Absolute Sovereignty in the Christian Life, it seems strange that these same ones who reject this truth will then use Romans 10: 9 and 10 as the very basis of their SALVATION and ignore the balance of the whole context of Romans 10. A truly balanced view of “salvation” must come from a composite of the whole scripture and NOT from one verse.

The conclusion they achieve from a few of these “salvation scriptures” is that if you say certain words and believe a certain doctrine “you are saved” and some add “forever.” They assume that from that moment onward you will ONLY experience God’s KINDNESS and the unbeliever will experience His SEVERITY. However, that is certainly not what Romans 11 is about and is saying the exact opposite and therefore, that doctrine is fostering another partial truth or an outright lie. Taking the TRUTH of God and turning it into a LIE is a very serious offence.

Just presenting scriptural facts from the Book of Hebrews is often rejected because some have been taught that this book was ONLY written to the Hebrews for that time and is NOT for us. Therefore, if we try to share Hebrews 5:8 it is considered a moot point.

Heb 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

It is also for that same reason that the facts about the Tabernacle of Moses being a copy and shadow of the “Tabernacle that is now in Heaven” or of the future Tabernacle of God is rejected. However, even though they say the Book of Hebrews is not for us they then use several scriptures from Hebrews to teach forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lamb. My concept is that IF the Book of Hebrews is NOT for us then we should NOT use any of it at all! Why don’t we just use a razor blade and remove it from the Bible?

Because of the Demands of the Kingdom and the Responsibility upon the believer, that the scriptures insist upon, it is necessary to be continually defending the Gospel of the Kingdom that we preach. On the other hand those who preach some casual gospel of “just believe” and you are “saved forever” must also be constantly defending their “gospel” if they insist that is the whole truth. For that reason there always seems to a conflict between one group and another. However, these natural conflicts exist even if the Gospel of the Kingdom is NOT preached. Controversies arise over whether to be baptized forward or backward.

The thing that always confuses me is this; If all Christians have been saved by the same Lord and have all received the same Life and been Baptized in the same Spirit, been baptized into the same body and we all read the same Bible, why should these conflicts and division even exist? Should not every church believe exactly the same thing if they are all from the same Father? What is the justification for all these contrary opinions?

Now if we can answer that question it will help us understand why this “Gospel of Let Us Go On To Perfection,” which is basic to the Gospel of the Kingdom, is attacked by so many foolish remarks, cliches, opposing opinions and doctrines.

It is for that reason that we have presented this theme about Christian Maturity and the revelation and understanding that is inherent within the personal Christian Maturity that is demanded by the Gospel of the Kingdom. I certainly don’t assume that I have reached some standard of Christian Maturity that can be proven by scripture. In fact most scriptures on Christian Maturity convince me that I have a LONG way to Go to reach that goal.

For that reason we can ONLY share some scriptures that define Christian Maturity and answer the questions about “The Final Stages of Christian Maturity” which must certainly include some speculation. We only have one solid and confirmed example of the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” and that is the testimony of Jesus Christ contained in Scripture. Since His

“Final Stage of Christian Maturity” was seen at Calvary and the resurrection was God’s witness to that maturity, using Him as our example is VERY offensive to the casual seeker of the free gifts, blessings and reward for believing something about Jesus.

Therefore, we will begin with the “Final Stage of Christian Maturity” and present that as the “High Calling” and ultimate goal and then work back toward the “beginnings or first principles” as the beginnings of our Christian Life.

Even the theme of “The Final Stages of Christian Maturity” will assault the doctrines which declare that “When your sins are forgiven you are as perfect as you will ever get.”

It is necessary to assume that the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” and The Gospel of the Kingdom, as it applies to Mount Zion and the Throne of God, parallels the same development within the Christian Life! We could also assume that we could relate the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” to the Government of the World yet to Come. We could also assume that lesser degrees of “Christian Maturity” could be related to lesser departments within the Government of the “World yet to Come.” In that way we can relate various degrees of “Christian maturity” to various stages of fulfilling God’s Eternal Purpose and attaining to various degrees of our personal ascent within “Heights of Zion.” If we can establish that goal that it will certainly give more credence to what we intend to share in this document. Even though there is some speculation involved in our conclusions, the scriptures we intend to use are absolutes and involve NO SPECULATION!

Jer 31:12 “And they shall come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, And they shall be radiant over the bounty of the LORD-- Over the grain, and the new wine, and the oil, And over the young of the flock and the herd; And their life shall be like a watered garden, And they shall never languish again.

Jer_50:5 “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

Joel_3:17 Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. So Jerusalem will be holy, And strangers will pass through it no more.

Obadiah_1:21 The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the LORD’S.

Micah_4:7 “I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcasts a strong nation, And the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever.

Since there are 47 references to Zion in the Book of Isaiah and 156 verses in the Old Testament, ZION and Mount Zion becomes a major theme in the Bible. There are 7 references to Zion and Mount Zion in the New Testament making the total of 163 references to Zion but many more verses. However, in the New Testament the whole issue of Zion takes on a heavenly and future enlargement and reality dealing with eternal things and the very Presence of God, the Almighty, and the Lamb. Mount Zion is integrally linked to the New Jerusalem, the City of the Living God, which is the Bride of Christ, the Presence of the Lamb and Almighty God!

Hebrews_12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Heb 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

This may seem like a strange way to introduce the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” but AFTER we see the Ultimate Goal, we may be able to define the process of maturity and point out the Highway to Zion.

Isa 35:8 And a highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. 9 No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 10 And the ransomed of the LORD will return, And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Since the highway to Zion is a Highway of Holiness, the concepts about Zion will necessarily be very subjective. Since the “Maturity of Zion” is directly related to the development of the New Inner Man, this “maturity” will be personal and subjective. We have a boldness to share in this way because the “maturity of Zion” is the “maturity inherent within the Throne of God” and the purity and transparency to be able to dwell in the everlasting burnings that we can relate to Zion and Mount Zion, the Throne of God and the Bride of Christ to the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity.”

Of course all this growth process must take into account the Lampstand Church, The Overcomers, the Bondservants and the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek! Each of these pictures or types speak of different degrees of perfection, growth and maturity. These are different viewpoints of the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity.”

Our real concern is not just about the carnality of the individuals in the church but about the religious systems that promotes and supports that carnality and which prevents the believers from going on to maturity. God can certainly deal with individuals to help them lay aside their carnality and grow up. However, how will God deal with a religious system of their own making that is sustained by the carnality and self-serving agenda of the leaders.

This was God’s problem with Israel during much of the Old Testament and again following Calvary when they could not make the transition from the outward religion to an inward Life. When God encountered a “religious system” in Israel, that would not walk in His ways, keep His Covenant, repent and change, He bypassed the system and called individuals to a higher life.

In every one of the last six major restorations since the 1400's this is exactly what God has done. The leaders of the last restoration became the enemies of the next restoration, therefore, God just reestablished His next revelation with another small group of individuals and began the next restoration outside the confines of the religious systems created by man. Why? The religious systems cannot or will not change to incorporate anything different or new or advance beyond the last restoration.

If the visible church is ever going to advance to the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” there must be continual growth and relentless change and a personal conformity to the Absolute Sovereignty of God and His Unshakable Kingdom Government of God, The Almighty!

It is still my opinion that until the “leaders” firmly establish the Ultimate Vision of God’s Eternal Purpose and the perfection and maturity required to participate that the “church” will just remain in this comatose state. Why? Because they assume that “I am saved” so what is the point of any further change? Why does this casual state still exit? Because the Gospel of the Kingdom has been ignored and a substitute gospel has been preached. Why is this possible when the Bible is so clear? Because of the casual ignorance of the “leadership!” How is this possible when the absolutes of the scriptures are available to all? Because , most of these people are self-appointed to leadership and not appointed by Him who has ascended to a Glorious Position of absolute authority over BOTH heaven and earth! Is HE really a functioning HEAD over a “church” that ignores His clear instruction?

Why does He write to the “angels” or messengers to the seven churches instead of the people in the assemblies? Because, He will hold the leaders responsible for the maturity and obedience of that group. As the Sovereign Head of the Church He is Building, He demands the full right to discipline, teach, correct, threaten, warn and change ANYTHING that does not fit into God’s Ultimate Plan.

Since about 99% of the people in the places I visit are totally ignorant of God’s Ultimate Plan, they are simply not concerned about anything except their own agenda, their own comfort and happiness. However, we do not expect that everyone will advance to the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” because MANY will just remain babes and children and remain in that juvenile condition in the “FAILURE stage of eternal life.” Why? Because, in many cases the leadership has failed to preach any more than just the basic beginnings. The “wide gate” has become the identity and measure of the ministry. The leadership tries to comfort the believers with the wonderful message of God’s Loving acceptance and the “wide gate” to eternal life.

Mat_7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.

Mat 7:14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life [the Ultimate Life] and few are those who find it.

Then what are “The Final Stages of Christian Maturity?” Who are actually responsible for this work and this message of “Essential Maturity?” The Scriptures are VERY clear!

Eph 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping {maturing or perfecting} of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

Eph 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Surely this is NOT some hidden fact or my own private agenda but this responsibility for the “perfecting, maturing and equipping of the saints” is clearly the FULL responsibility of the leaders” that He personally appoints. It is “THE MAN, CHRIST JESUS” that sets these ministries in the church! Why? Because He has been give all authority over heaven and earth and He is the Head of the church, which is His body. THAT church is NOT in the Outer Court but ONLY in the Holy Place. Therefore, these ministries MUST minister to the saints UNTIL each saint has made the transition to the TENT (Tabernacle) dimension of God’s Purpose and THEN go out and bring another group in. Otherwise, how will your people ever be able to keep that final Feast of Tabernacles and keep the “appointed times of the Lord?”

Lev 23:2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘The LORD ‘s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations--My appointed times are these:

Lev 23:34 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. (These are the appointed times of the LORD.)

These seven Feasts are “the appointed times of the Lord” and therefore, to ignore them is a big mistake. Each of these feasts is a harvest feast. That which is offered to the Lord in these feasts MUST be the VERY BEST of the harvest of the Mature Grain. The “Final Stages of the Harvest of the Mature Grain” corresponds to the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity.” When the final harvest of the earth arrives each “minister” MUST have something “mature, equipped and perfected” to offer to the Lord OR he will NOT be permitted to appear before the Lord.

These ministers that have prepared NO ONE or brought NO ONE to maturity are lying to the people and telling them “We all will sit on the throne with Jesus” when they will not even be allowed into His Mighty Presence!

Exo 23:14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; (Passover) for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.

Exo 23:16 “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; (Pentecost) also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. (Tabernacles)

Exo 23:17 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 19 “You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God.

Exo 34:20 “And you shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the first-born of your sons. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 21 “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.

Exo 34:22 “And you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, (Pentecost) that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. (Tabernacles) 23 “Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24 “For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.

The basic beginnings are “Passover” or a genuine forgiveness and deliverance (full Redemption) from the world system. “Pentecost” or the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. “Tabernacles” or the development and maturity of the Tent so the Flesh, carnality and the physical dimension no longer has dominion over us.

Each of these experiences (three times) are REQUIRED and each of the THREE experiences MUST be brought to a mature harvest stage or we will not be permitted to appear before the Lord. The warning is this; None shall appear before Him empty handed. That means WITHOUT A MATURE HARVEST TO OFFER you have empty hands! HARVEST MATURITY IS OUR ULTIMATE GOAL!

It should be clear how foolish and a big waste of time it is to always try to be planting and planting but NEVER bringing ANYTHING to Harvest Maturity. It should be clear how foolish it is to be always trying to get people into “PASSOVER” but totally ignoring the completeness of ALL THREE of the Harvest feasts. Ignoring the Harvest Maturity of these three Feasts is synonymous with being REFUSED entrance and appearing before the Lord and into His Divine Presence!

Without a genuine preparation of the soil and without a authentic planting of the genuine seed of the Kingdom, NO HARVEST can be expected. Even if there is a genuine work began, if there is no final harvest maturity there can be NO final offering that is acceptable to God. Therefore, all this busyness and labor of a lifetime can just be a big waste of time.

Why is that possible? 1Cor 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

One of the big mistakes is thinking that getting people into “passover” is laying the foundation of Jesus Christ. That is simply not complete! Why? Because the full foundation is incorporated into ALL THREE FEASTS. Another fatal mistake is thinking that God will accept WOOD, HAY and STRAW just because the natural man believes something about Jesus!

Therefore, we are relating the “Final Stages of Christian Maturity” with ONLY the SILVER, GOLD, AND PRECIOUS STONES. Silver is related to redemption or the fulness of “Passover”. Gold is related to the fulness of “Pentecost” and Precious Stones is related to the fulness of “Tabernacles.” These are the EXPECTED FULL FOUNDATIONS and the ones that God accepts. Most EVERYTHING else is a big waste of time! This waste of time relates to most of these Carnal Religious Systems that are incapable of preparing the saints with the ability to do the work of the ministry or to perfect or bring to Harvest Maturity, the saints, in accord with God’s Eternal Purpose.