Fullness IN Christ or Fullness of Iniquity?

Smokey Sunrise over Fernan Lake

Smokey Sunrise Over Fernan Lake, Idaho ~ by Michael Clark

There seems to be no end to the terror, murder and civil unrest that is going on around the world these days we live in. We are watching Syria destroy itself in a civil war, North Korea threaten the United States with nuclear attack and the U.S. government reacting with counter threats. We see thousands of Christians and others being killed and maimed by Islamic terrorists around the world. The murder and crime rate in our American cities is appalling. And just in the last couple days we have seen the civil unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia end in many injuries and even murder.  How does this measure up to the prophesies about Jesus? For example:

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa 9:7, KJ2000)

This might seem confusing if Christ did not point out that His kingdom would not come with outward manifestations, but would rise within the hearts of those who love Him (See Luke 17:20-21). And what about Jesus’ own prophesy regarding the end?

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matt 24:9-13, KJ2000)

Many, even many would be Christians, are offended with one another, betraying one another and even killing one another as they are coming under the spirit of this age–murder and lawlessness. What is amazing to me is that even so-called preachers are helping to spread this disease with their words. It is easy to see how radical Islamic clerics are fulminating terror and murder using the Koran in the name of Allah against the infidels, but aren’t some of these Christian preachers and teachers doing the same in the name of Christ? As Jesus warned, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

With great insight into the workings of God Paul wrote:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body. (Rom 8:18-23, KJ2000)

There is much groaning in the pain of childbirth in our hearts as we await the full manifestation of the children of God — those who will be set free from their bondage to their own fleshly corruption and obtain the freedom and glory of the children of God. Father is bringing forth many sons and daughters in the likeness his own glorious Son to manifest His glory. As for the increase of Christ’s kingdom I spoke of earlier, T. Austin- Sparks seems to have summed up what I have been trying to say.

It is a glorious prospect to know that the universe will be filled with Christ, and God is going to have His end. When the Lord gets hold of a life utterly, and when the Cross has really entered into that life, so that that life can say: “I have been crucified with Christ”, nothing passes, nothing gets through that is not Christ. God keeps intensely short accounts with that life. God is alive to everything concerning the first Adam. That is the meaning of: “He that hath the seven spirits of God”. That phrase means the perfection of spiritual vision. Go back to the prophecies of Zechariah and you remember it speaks of “seven eyes”. That means that the Lord Jesus, who has the seven spirits of God, is alive to everything, takes in everything, comprehends everything. Nothing escapes Him. Especially is that perfection of perception related to the things that would be a menace to His ultimate purpose, and in all that we do He knows exactly where the point is which marks the end of what is of Himself and the beginning of us. We do not know, but He does, just where these things overlap, and He is letting nothing pass.

That represents a challenge to us! We have been seeing that God, for His own satisfaction in relation to His own ultimate purpose, must have a candlestick all of gold, a vessel which represents what Christ is in an utter sense, that means a deep cost, a great measure of suffering. That is the challenge which comes to us. Until the Lord reveals it with a heavenly light we do not see how big the difference is between self and Christ. When the Lord does a thing, it is eternal.

Are our hearts set upon God having that which is wholly of Himself? That means ‘I’ crucified! No longer I, but Christ! And that means that Christ in us is the basis of our conformity to His image, until we partake with Him of His own nature – pure gold. It is something to face seriously before Him. It brings to us a challenge, but surely it also brings to us a glorious possibility! What Christ is can be made good in us!

…This is what God is doing in the groaning creation. It does not appear to be so, for to all appearances the ‘fullness’ seems to be evil. Do you remember a very illuminating phrase in Genesis 15:16: “The iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full”? The context shows that Israel’s exodus and occupation of the Promised Land waited upon the Amorite’s full cup of iniquity. “Amorite” is a representative name for all the nations then occupying the land. When that cup of iniquity was full God emancipated Israel. The exodus synchronized with a condition in the world. The filling of the land with what was of God required the enemy’s extension of his evil nature to its limit; then God acted.

We need say no more. The end time will be marked by ‘iniquity abounding’. The rapture of the Church will take place – as its exodus – when “the man of sin is revealed”, when the cup of iniquity is full. We are living at a time when there is a positive landslide of moral iniquity…

God is taking account of this. He is causing the simple facts of His salvation to be made known on a scale unprecedented in the world’s history, and when the whole world has had its opportunity “then shall the end come”. Two things are UNMISTAKABLY evident: the world-encircling by the simple gospel of salvation as never before, and the headlong rush of iniquity to ‘fill up the cup’. There is a third feature: it is the ripening of saints by suffering unto the grape-harvest. These three things are the “work in the groaning creation”. (http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/001617.html)

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18 comments on “Fullness IN Christ or Fullness of Iniquity?

  1. Michael this is confirming so much to me right now. I will be hanging onto this for further digging. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ken Dawson says:

    Amen on the groaning!—In the meantime its learning to lean on Papas indwelling life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A powerful post, my brother. You are a real blessing to me. The world is in turmoil, yet God remains in charge. We must somehow keep our eyes on Him. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Anna. Your comments are always a blessing to me as well. Remember…

      Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isa 30:18, ESV2011)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Well written.. I pray that eyes would be opened to Biblical prophecy.. Not many churches are teaching the subject..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Michael says:

    God, who at many times and in various manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…(Heb 1:1-2, KJ2000)

    And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27, ESV2011)

    Mary Ann, thanks for your comment. I believe that as long as Biblical prophesy is used to point us to Christ who’s Spirit was given to lead us into all truth and scriptures are not used to appease our intellectual curiosity about the things of this world, we are on the right track. My experience in churches and conferences that taught end times theology mostly focused on the negative things of this world system. IN Christ is all the wisdom and understanding we need. As Paul prayed,

    I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Eph 1:16-17, ESV2011)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Stacey Marie Amolsch-Roy says:

    Amen and thank you for this blog Michael. Yes inner groanings and trying to be patient. This world is so beyond wicked and I myself have to fight from my heart growing cold. Sometimes I just don’t understand why this world has to be so wickedly evil! Especially towards our children! The cup is very full of iniquity! May we endure..

    Stacey

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for your comment, Stacey. Paul strengthened the souls of the disciples, encouraged them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (see Acts 14:22). There was an old country and western song that went, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” Embracing the work of the cross in our lives that brings weakness and death to our old carnal natures is not all that common among American Christians and the common “gospel” in many churches is that God wants to bless us and make us prosperous and that any sickness or disease is of the devil. Yet, God uses poverty, sickness and misfortunes in our lives to drive us to Christ and take our hearts and minds off the things of this world system and seek Him in all things. As Peter wrote,

      Since therefore Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; (1Pet 4:1, KJ2000)

      As for the evil done to children, that is inexcusable. Jesus said that it would be better that a millstone be hanged around ones neck and he be cast into the sea than to offend one of these little ones for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

      And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. (Matt 10:21-22, KJ2000)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have not much to say, Michael. This has been a great read and I felt that the Spirit moved you to write these things down. What spoke to me in particular was what TAS wrote here,

    “There is a third feature: it is the ripening of saints by suffering unto the grape-harvest.”

    We know how much God lets us suffer, don’t we? It is good to remember that suffering is not an end in itself, but a means to reach HIS end, the conformity of His Son in us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, I think that much of what I wrote to Stacey above applies to what you just shared. Yes, we DO know how much God lets us suffer and I am sure that there are millions of Christians who have suffered more than we have. He knows just how hot that the refiners fire must be to bring forth the purest gold of Christ’s righteousness in us (or what it takes to ripen the grapes for His harvest). Suffering seems to be a tool He uses to deal with our propensity to follow our fleshly desires and gets us to fix our gaze on Jesus (see 1 Pet. 4:1).

      Thank you, dear sister, for your comment and the way you encourage us as we seek Him in our lives, even in suffering.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Stacey Marie Amolsch-Roy says:

      Like like. Sorry I do not have the same number for the authentication thingy.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Judi Eddy says:

    Yes Like Like … from me too 😉
    Thank you for stirring us up by the Spirit, Michael.

    (parts of blog quoted)
    “God is taking account of this. He is causing the simple facts of His salvation to be made known on a scale unprecedented in the world’s history, and when the whole world has had its opportunity “then shall the end come”. Two things are UNMISTAKABLY evident: the world-encircling by the simple gospel of salvation as never before, and the headlong rush of iniquity to ‘fill up the cup’. There is a third feature: it is the ripening of saints by suffering unto the grape-harvest. These three things are the “work in the groaning creation”. (http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/001617.html)

    Then: Matthew 24:13
    “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt 24:9-13, KJ2000)

    Wow I could quote the whole post lol but will just add scriptures that to me I hope support this excellent treatise:

    Conformed to His image – “our light affliction”:
    2 Corinthians 4: 7-18

    7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

    8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

    9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

    10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

    11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

    12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

    13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

    14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

    15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

    16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

    17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

    18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    Groaning to be clothed:
    2 Corinthians 5: 1-5 (KJV)

    5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

    3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

    4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

    5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

    2 Timothy 2:11-13(KJV)

    11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

    12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

    13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    ***May we be found in the grape harvest of communion with our Lord’s sufferings remembering His death and discerning His body – that we not be found in the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God
    (Rev 19:15)! Amen

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Judi for your comment and contribution. It is good to hear that the Spirit used what I shared to stir you up in the Spirit. Those were some wonderful scriptures you shared that point to the eternity of our calling in Christ and would have us lift our downcast eyes to gaze upon the eternity that is ours IN Christ instead of focusing on our momentary light afflictions. May Jesus continue to draw you ever deeper into His glory with the Father. Amen.

      Like

  9. mariatlee says:

    This is awesome! Hallelujah praise the Father! Praise Jesus! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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