I AM COME TO SEND FIRE

I AM COME TO SEND FIRE
Robert Wurtz II

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Matthew 3:11)


In our previous study entitled, THE THRONE IN THE MIDST we discussed the symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant. We stated that the Ark was a symbol of the presence of God; but more pointedly it represented the very throne of God. When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies they were figuratively walking into the throne room of God. The Jews will sometimes say that the High Priest had a sense that he was ascending up to God as he walked forward. In other words, He was ascending up to God’s throne room where his will is carried out in an absolute sense. The Tabernacle was like a ladder reaching up into Heaven. 

Israel was a theocracy wherein the priests were to communicate God’s will to the people. They were called to be a kingdom under God’s authority. YHWH (Jehovah) was the King and He ruled from the Mercy Seat in the Holiest of All. It was not until Israel had backslidden far from God that He would accept their request for a “king”, so they could live like the rest of the nations. The sobering response of God is recorded in 1 Samuel 8:7f; And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” They wanted a king that would fight their battles and in whom they could place their trust. This is why God wanted a king after His own heart. He still wanted to rule the people, but He would have to do this through a man. You will note that from this point forward Israel will have her ups and downs; but the trajectory of the nation was downward until finally they were led into captivity. Some kings hearkened to God and others did not. The king over the people was “the Lord’s anointed”. The people were warned not to “touch this king”. Today the Lord’s Anointed is Jesus Christ. He is the King over His people the Church. Man may call themselves, “the Lord’s anointed” and expect to speak for Him and be protected as Him, but there is only one king among God’s people; that king is Christ.

Why the Fire went out

Eli’s sons made the cardinal error of thinking that the Ark of God could be used in some superstitious way to scare the enemy or bring good luck in the battle. Imagine a group of infidels trying to carry the Ark into battle. The Ark of God represents God’s authority. When that authority is being abused and the people are living in rife disobedience, God had already said that He will not drive their enemies out (Judges 2:2-3). They should have known this. They were living in compromise and sin and trying to operate in the supernatural. Keep this fact in mind. Priests are called to be wholly sanctified unto the Lord. To whom much is given, much is required. Otherwise, the enemy will have a platform to use a compromiser to influence His people. They may not even know it is happening. Eli’s sons should have recused themselves knowing they were living in sin. They did not. How could they have not viewed everything they thought they heard from God with suspicion, knowing they were living in disobedience? But, they kept on ministering in this pivotal role. This is a very dangerous situation.   

Eli’s sons were trusted with being obedient to God’s precepts and order while doing service inside the Tabernacle, where none of the people could come and see. If they decided not to keep the charge, that is to say, to carry out their responsibility to change out the shewbread daily or if they only lit one instead of all seven of the lamps on the lamp stand, the only ones that would know would be them and God. These things were all symbolic of true realities that would one day exist in the churches of God. The bread was “The bread of the presence” (לחם הפנים lechem haPānīm). It symbolized the fact that priests are to labor together with God daily, to set before the Lord and the people the fresh bread of God’s word. Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God. It is the job of the priests to be the living link between God and man. They were to receive from the Lord directives that He had for the people. This is how He ruled. But Eli’s sons did whatever they wanted to. The people were trusting them to be obeying God in the secret place, but they refused to keep the charge. The results? The Fire of God went out, the Ark was lost and Eli and his sons were dead.



Regaining the Fire    

Nothing can be done in the service of God without the Fire of God. You can’t just strike a match, that would be strange fire (common fire). The only way the Fire of God could return was for the AUTHORITY of God to return. The people, beginning with the High Priest and the Levites, had to get their houses in order. They had to repent and determine to come under God’s authority in an absolute sense) and keep His charge. To initiate this process David sent for the Ark to be brought up to the city. They brought it in on a new cart (the machinery of man’s devices). The Philistines had the Ark sent back on a new cart and the people continued with it. The Ark was as an empty throne. It belonged to God, but He had departed from it because of Israel’s sin. As the throne was returning back in Israel, God was drawing near to it again and preparing to exercise His authority. Uzzah was killed as a first sign that God was coming back to rule and things would not be as they were before. 

The lesson here is that God’s presence, authority, glory and Fire cannot be mechanized by men. In Africa witch doctors use drum beats to drum up spirits. God cannot be ushered in this way. It has to come about as the result of the priests carrying the burden of God’s directive leading. When the Egyptians carried Pharaoh on their shoulders, Pharaoh was giving the commands that set the direction for the processions. Likewise, the priests (the sons of God) are to hearken to the voice of God as He leads them (and subsequently this present evil world) in the direction He wants them to go. The churches of God should be filled with a Royal Priesthood that follows God in such a way that the world can have a sense of God’s direction. Man cannot manufacture this with his equipment. 

When Uzzah reached up to steady the Ark He was touching God’s throne. Think about the awesomeness of that. He put His hand to God’s prerogative. They were manufacturing the process of moving God around as if He could be drug around on a trailer any ole’ way by man’s whims. “We’ll just drag God along with us where ever we want Him to go.” God forbid! He became an accessory to what the people wanted to do. They wanted a song, dance and a shout, but were not willing to do things God’s way. This whole story is exemplary and we do well to give heed. David got very angry because Uzzah was killed (2 Samuel 6:8). In the next verse he feared the Lord. It was a serious attitude adjustment. Likewise, people today get very angry when they are told that God cannot be ushered in with man’s machinery; the same machinery used by the world to drum up demon spirits or work up a crowd in a concert. It is a new cart. God simply cannot be trailered around like that. People try it, but it always ends up in something false; sooner or later. 

If you think about it, what David had done was little different than what Eli’s sons had done, though it was well intended. They were dragging God around where they wanted Him to be, not bothering to inquire as to the right way. A whole generation was in place that had no idea the way it was supposed to be done. So, they get angry when they are challenged. They believed they were right and had God not slew a man they probably would have never put the Ark back on the shoulders of the priests. They would have always transported the Ark on the new cart. Someone may have jumped in front of the procession and said, “Stop! this is all wrong! This is not the way it is supposed to be done!” And rather than listen, they would have viewed the man as an obstructionist and a bad spirit. Some may have went as far as to discern he had a demon spirit. So God had to kill a man. As sad as it is that is probably the greatest lesson of all in the story. The people were so hard headed in thinking they were right that God had to strike a man dead to sober their minds. David got hostile at first, but then he feared the Lord. Maybe it will have to happen in our times?

The Danger of the New (novel)

The Philistines provided Israel with a ‘new’ (novel) way of handling the Ark. But decades of passing time did not change God’s instructions as to how things are to be done. In modern times the ‘Philistines’ do the same thing and few people even notice it. The world offers the churches of God a means of carrying God’s authority with a worldly means. I say authority because God’s Shekinah presence and His Fire would not be manifest until the Temple was completed and Solomon had dedicated it. Keep this clear. We are talking about God’s Throne and how it is being carried. When man reaches up and touches God’s authority in a person’s life, as they wrongly attempt to lead them along with the machinery of this world, they are committing a sin that is worthy of death (please read that sentence a second time). This is God’s prerogative authority in a person’s life and people are not to be manipulated on that deep level. This is God’s domain, not man’s. The danger we have in this evil generation is that men would manufacture a sense of God’s presence and then start touching the Ark in peoples lives by purporting to be speaking to them prophetically to direct their decisions. God never works this way. He always deals with the person Himself; any other word they may be given of Him by other individuals will simply be to confirm what God has already said to them. Keep that clear. 

Forcing God’s hand

A lot of messages have been preached over the years on “touching the Ark.” They are a dime a dozen. The problem is that the messages are obscure and in the abstract and have no real meaning. They never really touch upon the real issues. For example; people are told that God is calling them to the Mission field and God has not really spoken. A story is commonly told of a man that was called to one country and his wife to another country by the same prophet! It is madness. God does not call people this way. He speaks to them in the secret place of the sanctuary of their own heart where only He is in authority. To intrude into this place is to touch the throne in their life. To do so could destroy the person and bring upon the offender a remedial judgment of God like unto what Uzzah received. Over the last 20 years I have known on more than one occasion for a person to be given a so-called “word from the Lord” in an attempt to steer them out of an intimate relationship. It usually goes something like this, “thus says the Lord, that person you are dating is not for you.” Putting words in God’s mouth, for any reason, is a serious offense. Some people think they know God’s will for other peoples lives and it is the epitome of pride and arrogance. They are so sure that they will do a “thus saith the Lord…” when God is not saying anything. I have seen this type thing destroy people. God’s hand cannot be forced in this way. They who practice such things are in desperate need of repentance. 

Long term consequences 

About 20 years ago I had a front row seat to a terrible situation where the Ark was touched” in a man and woman’s life. Early one year there was a move of God and a great excitement. This sometimes gives rise to a host of people wanting to “prophesy” and “give folks a word” (as if prophesying were a normal thing to do). A family had been struggling, so an individual gave the wife a word that she needed to pray for her husband. Upon hearing this the wife became distraught. It happens that she had been praying and interceding for her husband on a daily basis for some time. After the meeting the family went to the man and asked what was meant. He simply replied to the effect, “I’m sorry. I’m new at this.” It was evidence of the error of giving people directive instructions as if it is God speaking. Later in the year a popular TV evangelist came to town that this family attended. During the offering he gave a general word to the effect that God will multiply your offering if you will be obedient. This family gave a certain amount and waited. They were struggling financially and rested hope on the evangelists words. When they returned home from the meeting their car had been broken into and thieves stole several hundred dollars in merchandise. The “multiplied blessing” word never came to pass either. Not surprisingly, every person in this story suffered long term. The family viewed the evangelist as a false prophet from then on. The evangelist some years later was caught in scandal. The other person left the ministry. Solution? Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! (Ezekiel 13:3) Our Hebrew word for “foolish” here is nabal that means “to wilt”. It’s the sons of Sceva all over again with a different twist. They had the bizarre notion that they could move in the power of God, speaking for God, not realizing that what they were doing was a solemn business. They follow their own spirit and not the Holy Spirit. That is, they rely on their own reasoning to speak for God. They have knowledge of a situation and pretty soon a concoction of words comes into their mind and they speak it with a “thus saith the Lord” in front. it is a prophet with a recklessness of the sons of Eli; they went running into battle with God’s authority. God’s authority and glory departed.

The Ark in Place      

When God is ruling within man as He desires to, it is akin to the Ark being moved into the Holy of Holies. The High Priest alone was allowed in this place (Hebrews 9:7). Our Great High Priest is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14). It is up to the individual to have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to them. Once the temple (person) is cleansed by the Blood of Christ and God’s authority is established (the Great High Priest is living within); then the person is a candidate for the Fire and Glory of God. Solomon dedicated the Temple by bringing a tremendous sacrifice. The people sang and the glory filled the house; having totally filled the altar he prayed and the Fire fell. It was this very Fire that the priests were to use, under the guidance of the High Priest to do the service of God. So far we have learned two great things: 1. We must have the Fire of God to do His service 2. God alone has the prerogative to lead a person in His perfect will. Disobedience in either area has shown to result inn God’s remedial judgment, both with Nadab and Abihu and later Uzzah. 

Replacing the Fire

We cannot with our machinery drum something up; God has to send something down. This is utterly important. We cannot manufacture a move of God; He has to come in His very presence. Not in a feeling, but in a life altering presence that transports a person from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of His dear Son. When we fill the altar God will send the Fire. This is what Romans 12:1ff is about. 

Losing the Ark


Obviously by the time of Jesus this Fire had gone out and the Ark was gone again. The priests must have tossed the blood on the floor behind the veil in Herod’s Temple and performed the services with common fire. What a reckless mess. God was not there. God was in Christ. For He said, destroy this Temple (speaking of His own body) and I will raise it again in 3 days. He called the place the Father’s house and His house (Matthew 21:13John 2:16), but at last He revealed to them that it was ‘their house’ that had been left unto them desolate. (Luke 13:35) Why? No Fire. No Ark. God’s authority was gone. No way to do the service of God and no desire to have it. When the Fire came in Christ; they didn’t want it or Him. They and no desire to burn for God or to be temples of the Living God. (See Isaiah 66:1ff) They wanted to keep God under control in the temples made with hands. They wanted to lead Him around on a cart and dictate in peoples lives. Today the Rabbi’s usurp God’s authority in the lives of the people. They reserve the right to give the people direction in the place of God. For almost 2000 years they have had their hands on the Ark. 

Keeping the charge   

And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also [set they in order] upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him. (2 Chronicles 13:11)

It is unfortunate that many today in the churches of God believe that we can lower the standard and get by on some lesser thing than the authority and Fire of God. How can priests unto God do the service of God unless they are under His authority. When a priest got under the stave to lift the ark they were coming under God’s authority. How could they see clearly with no Fire? Yet substitutes are put in place that spread death and wreak of unconsumed flesh. Jesus said, I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49We are responsible to keep the Fire stoked in our lives as surely as were the Levites. We are to keep presenting ourselves to God holy and acceptable. What is acceptable? Simply put- And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32) Do you have a desire to obey God? Do you want God to rule and reign in you? Have you filled the altar? Those that have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and Fire- is the Fire still burning? Are you keeping the charge as did Abijah and his priests? This was the basis on which Abijah knew he would win the battle. “If you keep the charge of God you will be the devil’s master.” (GWN) 


Overcoming This Post Modern World (Part 2 Thy Kingdom Come)

Overcoming This Post Modern World
Thy Kingdom Come
By Robert Wurtz II


Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)


For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

Charles Wesley wrote a hymn entitled, “A Charge to Keep.” There is a line in this hymn I want to examine in this entry:

 A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify, a never-dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky


It is hard to imagine a world where sin does not dominate. They that are of the world want to imagine their world as the song says, without religion, Heaven or Hell below us; but I want to imagine a world without sin. Charles Wesley uses the phrase ‘fit for the sky’, that is, for Heaven. What does this mean? The simplest thing to say is that Heaven is a place where there will be no sin. Everyone is doing the right things all the time. Absolute perfection devoid of any trace of rebellion. What would such a place be like? Perhaps we can contrast Heaven by looking at the world we live in.  Nobody in their right mind will call this Heaven. There is pain and suffering. There is murder and hate. The list could go on and on. This is society under the influence of Satan. Our whole society with all of the madness is the product of free moral agents doing it ;Satan’s way’ thinking it is ‘their way’. This is what it is to reject ‘God’s way.’ How are we doing? I know the masses are blaming God for the consequences of their rebellion and that this will continue even to the point where men and women blaspheme God in the Revelation. Why does God allow this? God is sovereign in that He is in final control, but He has chosen to place in the hands of His creatures a powerful possibility; the power to tell Him ‘no!’ and to pattern their lives in a way different than He has prescribed.  He has given men and angels a choice.

How is Heaven?

 Jesus taught us to pray, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. These words offer insight into the unalterable will of God. God is bringing His Kingdom upon this present evil world and in order for that to be a reality His will will have to be being done some place on earth, as it is in Heaven. What would that look like? Were going to examine that question. Keep in mind that this prayer will ultimately be realized at the Second Coming when Jesus Christ rules and reigns as King of Kings, but in this present time God has separated unto Himself a people where His will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Among true believers people in this world ought to experience a little Heaven while on earth; not in terms of golden streets and pearly gates, but in the reverence and obedience to God.

The old timers used to say that God could take an unholy man or woman from this unholy world, change them, put them back into this evil world and keep them holy. To do this He needs people that He can walk with in agreement (Amos 3:3). This means the person will have to seek to know and to do God’s will. This is what happens in Heaven. The elect angels obey God by choice. That is to say, when offered an opportunity to fall with Satan, they chose to remain faithfully obedient and loyal to God. Satan had some new ideas and wanted to sit in God’s place, but God had a remnant that saw the wisdom of God’s ways and agreed with Him. The world, under the influence of Satan and his angels, is constantly changing. Though there is nothing new under the sun, Satan seeks to repackage sin to a new generation to cause them to feel that they are breaking free from established patterns of the past. He makes people feel that they are doing their life ‘their way’ when reality they are doing it ‘his way’. 

The world refreshes itself in wickedness continually. With each passing day the world seeks to expel the influence and authority of God from itself in order to establish a different kingdom (Satan’s). This kingdom is filled with individuals that agree with Sin and Satan and oppose God. They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. This is why we are told that whosoever is a friend of this world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4) Satan knows that he can put people in front of us daily on TV and in magazines and movies that we sort-of ‘befriend’. Somebody like Oprah or some other popular figure and suddenly that likability is used to influence people with their secular and satanic beliefs. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our minds are renewed when we spend time learning about God through His Word. 

The Prince of the Power of the Air  


There is a personality that lies behind this present evil world that we need to know about. He says in his heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13, 14) Satan’s personality can be summed up by reversing what Jesus said and simply saying, “not Thy will, but mine be done.” He is the Prince of the Power of the Air and his is the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 2) 

Satan wants to sit enthroned as God, not just in this present evil world as the ‘god of this world’ that blinds the hearts of men and women (2 Corinthians 4:4), but works continually to infiltrate the churches of God. He seeks out individuals within Christendom that will listen to his lies so he can teach them to gain influence and ‘authority’. This is what Ananias and Sapphira had done in Acts 5. They lied in order to gain admiration in the eyes of the people. Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” They had become a surrogate for carrying Satan’s agenda into the churches. It was Satan’s way of finding a seam in a door (as it were) so he could get in and start influencing the churches of God. He was going to use Ananias and Sapphira as a beach-head. If he had been successful, he would have started moving the people in his will rather than what the Spirit is saying to the churches. He would do this by feeding mortal men ideas that tickled the ears or ‘made sense to the people’, but were NOT what God was saying. 

Understand that Satan does not care if he dresses as a pope, rabbi, evangelical, or any other personage- so long as he in some way can make an attempt at sitting in the place of God to dictate to God’s people. Anytime he can find a person willing to want to dictate to God’s people he has the surrogate he needs. This is why we are warned over and over again not to allow the churches of God to be set up governmentally like this present world. Understand that Satan has been influencing and scheming towards getting the churches in a worldly design since the birth of the Church and will undoubtedly continue unto the very end. Very simply, he wants to be God. He wants to legislate his own will unto and into a people willing to believe and obey. He works continually within leaders within broader Christendom to shut down the hearing of the Head (Christ) so as to insert his veiled and cloaked self into God’s rightful place. He wants the voice of God eliminated so He can influence multitudes through as few leaders as he can- preferably one supreme leader. Keep this in mind. It may sound and look spiritual, but it is nothing more than Satan posing as an angel of light. 

An Alternate Philosophy

The world is moving in the Devil’s governmental construct. To rule as easily as he can he sets up hierarchies. A hierarchy is a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority. Jesus told us clearly that within the churches of God, it shall not be so among you. Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, is in charge as KING of KINGS. All authority has been given unto Him in Heaven and in Earth. (Matthew 28;18) Typically people get excited when they hear this because they think it means that Satan, demons, addiction, sickness, and a host of other things now have to bow to Jesus; but this misses the point by a long margin. Because Jesus Christ has been exalted King of Kings that means that we (you and I) must utterly obey Christ. He is ruling and reigning in His kingdom as if He were in Heaven. He communicates His will to the churches of God, individually, by the Holy Spirit. This is utterly important to understand, because in our iniquity laden times, men are in the habit (in Old Testament language) of reaching up to touch the Ark of God. That is a way of saying that men, especially well intentioned men, are in the habit of trying to usurp God’s authority, not knowing that this is exactly what Satan desires to do. It is his philosophy of life. He is expert at making it look spiritual and making it ‘make sense’ pragmatically. But it is not God’s way.

Touching the Ark


And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God. (1 Chronicles 13:10)

This incident with Uzza is exemplary. It shows us forever God’s estimate of man putting his hand to God’s authority. God’s authority is God’s prerogative. The Ark of the Covenant represented the throne of God, His glory and authority. This throne is the place where Satan longs in his heart to sit. Because of that desire he was cast out of Heaven. It was an intrusion. God is King and beside Him there can be no others. Understand that the Kingdom of God is not a democratic society where politicians take polls to see how to better please the people. The King of King’s is not a president within a democracy that sits over generals, colonels, lieutenants, majors, captains, sergeants and privates; He is a KING and He rules the churches of God and the people of God directly and in His own will. He was not voted in and cannot be voted out. The angels don’t take and publish approval ratings. They don’t blog about their disagreements with God or put caricatures of Him in the funny paper. There is a reverence for God in Heaven that would stagger us to behold it. The angels do not pressure God to change. 

As it is written, For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6) His word does not change because His mind does not change. Why would it? It is already perfect and cannot be improved. His attitude is settled and cannot change. This is good because if God does not change His mind about sin then we don’t have to fear Him changing His mind about showing mercy. He is all knowing and knows what we need in every circumstance. He is the designer that understands everything that could be possibly known about all creation. 

I recall as a young man believing I was too mechanically inclined to need instructions on how to put things together. After years of having to go back and take things back apart to put crucial parts in the right place I finally decided that reading the instructions would be my first task. The Bible is the instruction book. When we ignore it we mess our whole lives up. And when they are messed up only God can get us back on track. In Revelation 5 we have the Lamb with 7 eyes and 7 horns. He sees all and He has all power and authority. this means He is the only one qualified to speak into circumstances. Everything else is pretty much just men’s commentary.  

A Serious Error      

Any time we desire to speak to the churches of God because we want to exercise our own authority or because we think we see a problem, we are in gross error. The error is such that I have little doubt that the angels cover their faces when they see it; because they understand the seriousness of it. They have seen it before. Satan wanted to be great because of pride. He proudly wants to ascend unto the throne of God. Pride is a snare to any of us. We must humble ourselves and seek God for the answers of life. If we proudly thing we know the answer when the truth is we don’t even know all of the variables to the problem we are in danger of usurping God’s authority and fall into the snare and condemnation of the Devil. Jesus countered this with His own nature and said that the greatest among you will be your servant. If we are going to overcome this present evil world we are going to have to obeys Paul’s directive when he states, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:2-8 NKJV)

   

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