By Dr. Richard Ing
June 1, 2007
FOCUSING ON PRIORITIES
if you were alone in your house and a fire broke out. You call the fire department and then realize
that you have fifteen minutes to get out safely. What would you take with you? Perhaps you would take jewelry, money or
irreplaceable documents or photos with you, or maybe your computer or expensive
clothes or maybe your pet fish.
if you had only ten minutes, five? What
if you had to get out in ten seconds?
What if you had only your underwear on?
What would you do?
guess is that you would focus on priorities – what is most precious to
you. Some choices take more time to
execute than others. It takes only a few
seconds to grab jewelry from off a dresser top; but considerably longer to work
the combination to your safe so that you could extract precious items. But as time gets shorter and shorter, your
choices become more limited. Finally,
when time became really short, you would only think of saving your own
life. Never mind that you only have your
underwear on – life is more important than embarrassment. It’s the highest priority.
world is like a house on fire. Total
destruction is coming soon, according to the Bible. As time grows shorter, your priorities and
choices become increasingly more important.
Suppose you decide that your top priority is to get involved more with
evangelism with the time you have left, or feed the poor or heal the sick or
learn more about the Bible? There are a
myriad of choices to make during the time we have left. What if the curtain will come down in four
years? This is not to say that the world
will come to an end in four years; but rather that time will run out on most of
your choices. If you wanted to create a
big church, for instance, you would probably run out of time. What
would be your highest priorities today?
What God considers the highest priorities of all may not
be yours or mine. Perhaps it would be
wise to consider what God’s priorities for the end times are, so that we can
line up with His heart and fulfill His desires and intentions for us.
It is clear that from the very beginning of creation,
deep in His heart of hearts, God has desired two things: (1) perfect sons and daughters conformed unto
the image of His Son, Jesus; and (2) a perfect church to become the Bride of
Christ when Jesus comes back.
Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He did foreknow, He also
did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the
firstborn among many brethren.” Our
destiny is to become like Jesus inwardly, perfectly mature in Jesus
Christ. Attaining and reaching
perfection was intended by God to be our ultimate goal.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image
from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” When we look in a mirror, we should see the
Christ in us. It is the desire of
God that He have perfect sons and daughters.
That’s one of the reason why He gave us the Holy Ghost.
In Ephesians 4:11-13, the apostle Paul stated:
And He gave some,
apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; for the perfecting 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. (Underlining added)
God intends that every
Christian become a perfect man, to reach the stature of fullness of
Christ. He also intends to have a
We find the following in Ephesians 5:25-27:
Husbands, love your
wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He
might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That He might present it to Himself a glorious
church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be
holy and without blemish. (Underlining
Church was intended by God to be perfect, without spot, wrinkle or blemish, a
virgin. Instead, the Church today is
filled with every spot, wrinkle or blemish imaginable. Instead of a perfect and beautiful virgin for
a bride, Jesus has an wrinkled, blemished and spotty old hag that has
fornicated with many different religions.
When the world as we know it comes to an end, a new heaven and a new
earth will be created by God. Rev.
21:1. “And I John saw the holy city,
new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband.” Rev. 21:2. Of course, new Jerusalem is not just roads
and buildings; it is made up of the people of God who have become perfect in
us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the
Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be
arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the
righteousness of saints. And he saith
unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper
of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These
are the true sayings of God. Rev.
19:7-9. (Underlining added)
Christ is coming for His bride. There
will be a marriage supper when the Lord Jesus and His bride become one.
His bride “hath
made herself ready.” That means that
there will be saints that will strive to make themselves pure and holy, without
spot, wrinkle or blemish. In the end,
God will clothe the Bride with “fine linen, clean and white: for the fine
linen is the righteousness of saints.” We
will do our part and God will do His part.
Two weeks ago, during
intercessory prayer, I shared that I had a vision that night. I saw someone hand me a wedding
invitation. It was beautiful – large,
deep red in color, with gold lace borders and a wide gold ribbon. I believe that it was a wedding invitation to
the marriage supper of the Lamb. Lest
anyone say that I am boasting, let me say that I also believe that everyone in
this church has received the same marriage invitation. But not everyone who receives the invitation
will attend the marriage banquet of the Lamb.
Not everyone will become perfected in Jesus Christ, and not every church
will qualify as the Bride of Christ.
There will be only one perfect church made up of perfect saints.
RINGING DOWN THE CURTAIN
God cannot and will
not ring down the curtain on the world until and unless He has perfect saints
and a perfect church. His word never
comes back void and His plans and desires never fail. God will have his perfect sons and daughters
whether or not you and I are in it.
These end times will eventually record the appearance of both the true church of God and the man-child army she
births. Rev. 12:1-5. Those in the true church and the Army of God
will never taste death. They will go
from life on earth to life everlasting in heaven.
It doesn’t mean that
we have to be totally perfect in Christ today.
However, we must be in a position so that by the time He returns, the
final touches will be completed. God
will give those that qualify “fine linen, clean and white: for the fine
linen is the righteousness of saints.” We
have but a short time to attain perfection in Christ.
ANOTHER CONDITION TO HIS RETURN
The end-time Army of
God, made up of perfect saints, must also make an appearance before the
end. The Bible is clear that Jesus is
sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, where he will reign until
all His enemies are made His footstool.
That means that Jesus will not return until the people of God on earth
come together as a mighty army and start to war against the demonic kingdom and
in the end defeat the kingdom of darkness.
There are many scriptures that say that Jesus is going to remain in
heaven, at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are destroyed or made
His footstool. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the
Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all
enemies under His feet. The last enemy
to be destroyed is death.
Of course, the expression, “put under His feet,” or “made His
footstool” means victory over your enemies.
Hebrews 10:12-13 says,
“But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat
down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be
made His footstool.” Also, Mt.
22:44; Mk. 12:36; Lk. 20:42; Ac. 2:34; Heb. 1:3. The word “expecting” means “to wait for, to
anticipate.” Jesus is not coming back
until all His enemies are defeated.
things must happen before God allows the end of the age to take place: (1) the emergence of spiritually mature
saints conformed unto the image of Jesus; (2) a perfect church; and (3) all of
His enemies are defeated.
comes, it will mark the end of the world because persecution and tribulation
must soon follow. Therefore, God will
not bring revival/harvest until all of His desires and plans are capable of
fulfillment first. If Jesus is going to
sit at the right hand of the Father until all of His enemies are made His footstool,
that means that someone has to do the warring and fighting on earth. Confronting and defeating the demonic kingdom
has been the responsibility of the church and every saint ever since Jesus
walked the earth in the flesh. Revival
cannot come without the saints warring against Satan’s kingdom.
The apostle Paul made
it clear that all Christians are called to be good soldiers in Jesus
Christ. 2 Ti. 2:3. Exceedingly few Christians and churches are
battling the forces of evil, much less even know how. The army of God will be very small.
WHAT TO DO?
We need to make God’s
priorities our own priorities. Reuben
recently had the following vision:
i saw a group
of people just sitting on chairs waiting.
They seemed to be suspicious about something. There were both men and women, but everyone
wore long whiskers, even the women and they all had the same colored hair –
rust brown. Suddenly there was an
explosion and I saw some of the people disintegrate like in the Star Trek
movies where they would be transported to another place.
is a cloud of witnesses looking down on us, cheering us on. It’s been a long time coming and various
saints throughout the ages have been waiting for the end of the world and the
return of Jesus. God is not a respecter
of persons. Men and women will be the
same when He calls His army. In
Revelation 12:5, the man-child is whisked up into heaven bodily to be the army
of God, like in Star Trek.
IN HIS ARMY
We need to go to war against Satan’s
kingdom. There are very few churches or
Christians casting out devils and binding up Satan’s ruler spirits in the
mid-heavens. Very few saints want to get
involved in spiritual warfare; yet, that is the very purpose of making us
soldiers of Jesus Christ. Most churches
and saints are disobedient to their calling.
But most of all, we need to submit to the hand of God and allow Him to
perfect us, no matter what it takes. I
believe that a perfect Christian must understand and be able to war against
Satan’s kingdom. I’m not saying that he
or she must know deliverance, healing, inner healing and spiritual warfare in
the heavenlies as we know it. I’m saying
that a mature Christian must have the same warrior’s heart as the Lord and have
the ability to defeat the enemy. Why
else would God be called the “Lord of Hosts” two-hundred and forty-two times in
the Old Testament alone? God is a
warrior with a warrior’s heart.
AND PERFECTING OURSELVES
I believe that the Lord put us
together with Sharon H. to show us that He is not looking for famous, learned
or even intelligent people to be in His army.
is only four feet, eleven inches tall.
She was a housewife in her forties and did not graduate from
college. She just became a pastor last
year. Sharon was beaten by her husband and
threatened with death many times.
Finally, the Lord told her to leave her house and just take some
belongings and her two children because her husband planned to kill her. Her life was turned upside down, inside
out. She was left with virtually nothing. She cried out to the Lord and depended on God
Sharon is a very humble and pure person. She has gone to heaven many times and
communed with Jesus face to face. She is
known in heaven by the angels and is called “the handmaiden of the Lord.” Her love for God is so intense that she
cannot stand it when she finds herself falling out of vision and coming back to
earth. Her soul weeps and weeps because
it longs to be with Jesus.
Several times, Jesus told her that
she will be in His end-time army and that she needed to learn as much about
deliverance as possible. That’s why she
invited me to teach at her church. We
learned at least several things from her experiences: (1) love of God is vital;
(2) we must trust and depend on God for everything; (3) we must humble
ourselves and repent of our sins; (4) we must know deliverance. Sharon
is just a housewife. She never went to college, she is not a Bible scholar, she
is not an evangelist or preacher, and she seems just an ordinary saint; but she
knows the Lord more intimately than most.
She has been to the throne room of God many times, has sat down with
Jesus in a small, private garden and conversed with Him for hours. She has had many visions of heaven and
hell. Angels visit her frequently and
Jesus appears to her all the time.
The point is – being perfected in
God doesn’t mean that we have to know the Bible inside and out, be able to
quote scriptures freely and fast and pray constantly. All the evangelism, Bible reading, prayer,
fasting, feeding the poor and doing other good works will not get you there either.
In the end, only God can truly
change us. But, God will not change us
without our permission and without our true repentance, humility, obedience and
surrender to Him. Sharon loves God more than anything else, and
her love is true. God showed her that
when she was only around ten years old, she used to sing to the cows and preach
the gospel to the trees on her parents’ farm.
She sang love songs to Jesus all the time. In high school, she was so much in love with
Jesus that she would write piles of love letters to Him. She knew how to touch the heart of God and
was in fellowship with Him without knowing it.
God has many servants that do
tremendous good works, that evangelize, read the Bible, pray and fast, and so
forth; but He has very few Christians who have surrendered their lives
completely out of love for God. Some may
surrender their lives for other reasons, but only love for God and mankind will
do. There are many Christians that are
famous, rich and powerful and who do incredible works, supposedly for God, but
they can also remain inwardly selfish, self-serving and covetous. Works alone will not change us. 1 Co.
13. God is after our heart.
Many think that they are humble and
have surrendered everything to God, but they are still prideful and
worldly. As Jeremiah, the prophet, said,
the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful in all its ways.
Until we can humble ourselves, truly
repent of our sins and surrender everything to the Lord Jesus, we will never be
perfected. Pray that God will give us
the gift of repentance. Pray that we
will be able to surrender everything to Him.
Ask God to perfect you in Christ, whatever it takes. That’s priority number one.