A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Meeting God in the dark places.

Posted by appolus on January 4, 2013

God’s love for us is empowered when it clashes with the darkest parts of who we are. Like a circle these meet and one is overpowered by the other. Prior to the new birth, when the sinner realizes who he is and also realizes that God loves him while he is yet in his sin, he is transformed. Yet deeper works are to follow. This meeting is no one time meeting. God searches us out and plumbs the depths of who we are and in finding Him there, at those depths, in that fire, in that darkness then we plumb the depths of His actual love. Can I say this process will ever end? No, I cannot say that. I do know that the Apostle Paul ” learned to be content,’ in whatever situation he found himself. What does it take to reach this place? Well, as I look at the life of Paul, it takes a life that most are not willing to live, only the few.

How many times was he scourged? How many times lost in the sea. How many times rejected, how many times hungry? How many times was the Lord rejected? How many times was He ridiculed and scorned? How grievous the journey knowing the end? How savage the battle in the garden? How savage the treatment at the hands of Romans? How cruel the desertion of all of his friends, including his best and dearest? How indescribable the drinking of the cup? Yet even in the midst of one of the cruelest deaths known to man, He ministers, even from the cross. How deep the love that cries ” forgive them Father?” How dead to the flesh a man must be to cry ” hold not this charge against them.” How transformed must the flesh be that has a vision in the depths of being stoned by his countrymen? And brother Stephen was taken home loving those who bore the stones and he that watched the coats of those who stoned him. I know nothing of these depths brothers and sisters.

Would I respond in kind in the same situation? I pray that I would, I pray that every trial and tribulation I now suffer is a mile run by one who trains for a marathon. Can I see my trials as blessings? Can I walk counter to modern Christendom and count my blessings as I count my trials? Could I sing ” Count my trials name them one by one, count my trials see what God has done, count my trials, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” This is the deeper life brothers and sisters. This is the counter-culture. This is the way of the remnant. This is the narrow path. This is counter to the way of modern Christianity. Shall we look to stay on this path? Shall we arrive at such a place as to rejoice in our sufferings? How can a man rejoice in his sufferings? Well, a man cannot, only a saint empowered by the Holy Spirit can. “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”(Act 5:40-41) There is much power in their obedience and rejoicing.

There is no key or magic wand or instructions on how to rejoice in the depths of suffering. There is only encounter, there is only desire, there is only that thirst spoken of by David when he spoke of the deer that panteth after the waterbrooks. Make no mistake brothers and sisters, this place, this walk of the saints, this place of peace that surpasses all understanding in born out of fire. We have to encounter the Lord Jesus in the depths of the fiery furnace. We have to encounter Him when He reveals to us by His loving Spirit exactly who we are. Is there another way? No. Its the narrow path, it’s the taking up of the cross, it’s the decision made in the garden of Gethsemane and even that is not it, there is still the death, even the death of the cross. Many men will die for the cause, how many are willing to die for the cross?

I ask all these questions because I believe we are approaching a time soon when if you have not asked yourself these questions, if you have not examined your faith, if you have not examined your walk then all of a sudden you may find yourself taken unawares. One must beware when he stands lest he fall. 2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? This call from Paul has never been more appropriate in our times. It is something that we all must do. We are not asked whether we are believers, we are asked whether we are in the faith. Listen to what Matthew Henry says about this passage………..

What the apostle here says of the duty of the Corinthians to examine themselves, etc., with the particular view already mentioned, is applicable to the great duty of all who call themselves Christians, to examine themselves concerning their spiritual state. We should examine whether we be in the faith, because it is a matter in which we may be easily deceived, and wherein a deceit is highly dangerous: we are therefore concerned to prove our own selves, to put the question to our own souls, whether Christ be in us, or not; and Christ is in us, except we be reprobates: so that either we are true Christians or we are great cheats; and what a reproachful thing is it for a man not to know himself, not to know his own mind!

Here is the clue and the high watermark of every Disciple of the Lord Jesus, let us measure ourselves against this standard and strive towards it with all of our lives…….”But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(Php 3:7-12)

Brothers and sisters, Paul was a man who encountered Jesus. Knocked off his horse, baptized in the Holy Spirit, walked through trial and tribulation and came out the other side counting all things as rubbish as long as he was found in Him, that he may know Him and the power of resurrection living. His highest ambition and the driving force of his life was not to write the two-thirds of the NT Scriptures, which he did. It was not to establish churches and disciples everywhere and he did, it was not to magnify his own ministry which he did not. It was not to enrich himself, he died with nothing for the cause of Christ. He did all that he did for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. He did it all because of his intimacy with the Lord. If we would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in our lives, then we would enrich our lives here and in the world to come. Not with gold and silver, but with the treasures that come from an intimate relationship with Jesus, when Jesus is the grand obsession of our lives.

Over one thousand years before the Apostle Paul walked the earth, King David knew what it meant to encounter the Lord in the very darkness of his own soul and find overcoming victory there in the agony of discovering his own sinful ways. It was the prophet that pointed this out to David, that opened up his heart and showed him who he really was. This work is now the Lord’s through His Holy Spirit. Men need desperately to encounter the Lord in this depth and then cry out, as David did so long ago….. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners shall be converted to You.
(Psa 51:7-13)

6 Responses to “Meeting God in the dark places.”

  1. W.E. Smith said

    Amen my brother – a timely and important message for the saints n the dark hour. Oh I fear so many do not truly appreciate how dark spiritually this world is right now. Every man doing what is right in his own eyes. The testimony of Yeshua extinguished, subsumed by so much that is false and anti-christ.

    Mt dear brother, in the Father’s supreme grace, He refuses to let me be full again, to be full in myself, to walk out in in self-confidence. I prayed many years ago He would be increased, and decreased. And we know where this led the Baptist, from the crowds appearing at the Jordan to hear him, to a a dark prison, and then ultimately an ignominious death.

    EMPTIED. UNDONE, STRIPPED BARE. TURNED INSIDE OUT. So much life poured out of a man. The life of Adam, back into the dust where ti belongs.

    The time is, as you say brother, to walk in the Spirit, to truly, fully, unhinderingly, to LIVE And MOVE And WALK IN THE LIFE OF GOD that has come down among us. Not in a religious way, no and never, but in an existential way, TO LIVE IS CHRIST! So then where does that leave you, me, the old man? Dead. Buried. Suppressed, Gone, all Gone!

    As we examine ourselves as you suggest, is it Christ we see? Or ourselves dressed up, all shiny and put on? The time of pretending is at an end. The Spirit is a purging flame that will leave nothing untouched. Do we have the smell of death upon us? Have we borne this bloody wood, and stretched out our hands to the takers of souls? Have we gone down in the grave and risen up again in Christ Jesus, as Him, of Him, with newness of life?

    Dear saints – if you are unwilling to let it all go, all that you are, then I have a word for you and it is this – go back now. Stop wasting His time and His blood. Go back to all that you are, for the father will fill this universe with His Beloved Son and and if you will not releases yourself to this, then you are merely standing in His way. What is that you love more than Him – family, money, your nation, comfort, religion, church, fellowship? Then let them go. Be honest with the one whose eyes search all depths.

    The time for laughing is over. The time for playing children’s games is at an end. Every single false one, starting with all of these wolves with white collars, will be exposed for what they truly are – children of the devil.

    The time for men touching around the fringes of His garment is over, for nibbling at the bread and sipping at the blood. You will take Him into your very being or He will spit you out! harsh words? No, these are Hos words – they are there in His message to us in the letters to the churches – He is a very serious-minded Lord and so must we be.

    Bro. Frank – Let us all repent, and return – let us lay ourselves down as a living sacrifice, wholly stripped and laid bare before the One who is King and Savior and Judge of the Living and Dead.

    The clouds are forming, and there is but one place of safety, one door, one shelter – let us be as Noah and stop playing games in this dark hour at the calm before before the storm.

    • appolus said

      Amen bro. It is time to come to the altar, but not the altar of the modern church, a place to receive. The altar of the Lord is a place called the brazen altar and it is a place to die. How many would come forward to the Pastors call to come and die, come and bring your vileness and lay it down, bring your reputation and lay it down, bring all of your own personal hopes and ambitions and lay them down. This is the calling of the Lord. The more abundant life is the life of Christ burning in me. It is not how to live my best life now. It is the beauty and the abundance of the resources of peace and love and joy very typically set against the black velvet of circumstances so that it shines out all the more brightly, like diomands on display in a jewelers. In this case, the velvet is the darkness of our circumstances, we are the jewels, and the Lord is the jeweler. Only in our proper setting can the beauty of the work of the jeweler be displayed. I wrote this poem a couple of months ago…………………………………

      I want to be so lost in you
      And have my heart be pure and true
      That when they come and look for me
      It’s Christ alone that they shall see

      Look into the depths of me
      Is it Christ my Lord you can see?
      Walk with me along the way
      Have you walked with Christ today?

      Listen to me share my heart
      Do you want to be a part?
      Of Christ the Lord my risen King
      And to His throne your treasures bring

      When I’m caught up in the waves
      Can you see the Christ that saves?
      When all the world has turned on me
      Is it Christ that they shall see?

      When it’s time for me to die
      Will I raise my hands on high?
      And sing aloud with all my might
      Of Christ my King, a glorious sight

  2. W.E. Smith said

    Brother Frank, I would like to share something very new, very enlightening that perhaps you already know. I was revisiting Exodus, and the Lord;s redemption of Israel from the grip of Pharaoh. I will bring you out with a strong hand, He kept telling them. This reminded me of the NT verse that says that by violence, by force we will enter the Kingdom. Salvation is a violent affair it seems. And the point that the Lord showed me is that it is not that we are brought out so forcefully from the grip of this world and its god, and the flesh that keeps us attached to it – IT IS ALSO THAT, CORRESPONDING TO THIS IS THE JUDGMENT OF PHARAOH. He hardened his heart such that he resisted allowing the people to leave after repeated promises and afflictions come down upon his head.

    Bro Frank – this world, its god, and all who serve him – are being judged, and this judgment is very much bound up with the salvation of His people. So there must be resistance, there must be a hardening of all that is opposed to the Lord’s sovereign purpose in His creation, among His called out ones. Do you see this? You cannot have the one (deliverance) without the other (judgement). You see we are a testimony against this world, light in the darkness, and when the books are opened, and the court is in session, it is so important that we stand against all that is being judged and found to be falling short.

    Why is everything so difficult, why so much resistance within and without, to our leaving all and following the Lord into His wilderness. The Lord’s name is at stake! His integrity! “I am the Lord God, the One and Only God! – He declares.

    Bro Frank – I believe that the violent departure of Israel from Egypt is a parable, a shadow of the days that are upon us (Hebrews and Revelations as much as confirm this). There will in fact be a a colossal struggle between light and dark, against the forces of Satan and the Lord, against magicians and the genuine power of our God. There will be a hardening on the part of our enemies, and perhaps we are seeing this already. We are not, in the end, saved for ourselves, so that we might live in eternal, self-congratulating bliss ( a perpetual american dream), but our very departure is a testimony to the Name of our great God! Why then do we boast? Why then are we so narrow in our view of what all of this really means?

    I would love to know what you think of such things.

    Your dear brother – Wayne

    • appolus said

      Hi brother Wayne, this is the message that some of us have been sharing for a number of years now. In fact, the conference in Atlanta in November where I moderated and my friend was the key speaker ( scroll down on my main page to see and hear his message) was about the coming persecution of the saints in the West ( many saints like our Chinese brothers and sisters are already suffering)

      I think one of the key issues, and we may disagree on this point, is that I am not a believer in a pre trib rapture. Therefore I believe the saints , the elect, the remnant, call them what you will, will go through the tribulation. Obviously the Bible is clear that the tribulation is God’s judgement raining down on men and as it does, their hearts get harder against God. As their hearts get harder their hatred for the saints will know no bounds. And as this hatred is poured out upon the saints, at the same corresponding time and because of such persecution, the Lord raises up a standard and pours out His Spirit on the saints of that day in such a way that has never been seen before precisely to deal with this severe persecution. This is according to His word as we know His grace is sufficient for us. The same level of anointing is seen in the early church, precisely because of the severe persecution and death that they faced. As went the early church, so will go the end time church. Brother, this will be the separation. The severe persecution that will be unprecedented because of its world wide nature and severity ( the anti christ will try and for the most part kill every saint on earth) will be the action that will identify true believers. Right now we are in the valley of Acaisis , this place of decision. This is the place of separation, this is where one decides whether they are going to cross the Jordon. This is the place where the children of Israel gathered prior to crossing, the valley of Shittim.

      Before life springs forth there is a necessity of death. This is a Scriptural and universal principle. It is true for the individual Christian and it is also true of the Body of Christ. It is death that leads to life. We see this exemplified on the cross, this is the center-piece of all that we believe as Christians. And so this end time tribulation will be the high water mark of Christianity and bring about the end of the age. We were called to be witnesses, and as most know, this word in the Greek is translated ” martyr.” It is our calling. Whether in the spiritual or in the natural we are called to die, die to ourselves, die to the world, to pick up our cross daily and die. And as history has shown us so graphically, the Body of Christ has been slaughtered to one degree or another in every century as ” lambs to the slaughter.” And so brother, just as Satan must have thought he won a great victory as the Lord hung upon the cross, then again he will make the same mistake. For when all seem lost and death has taken most of the saints here on earth, they will come again with Jesus in the sky, and those who survived will join the brothers and sisters in the sky, and judgment will be complete as the Lord destroys His enemies, this is the second coming……………………..bro Frank

      • W.E. Smith said

        For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God (Rom 8:19)

        Thank you – I have since set aside any notions of escape, rapture etc for all or a select number of saints, based on a new understanding on the verse above. All that you have described is intended to bring forth a manifestation of the sons of God; a revealing of the fullness of Christ, precisely as He described. Much has to be be purged, stripped, shaken etc in order for this manifestation to take place. I believe His three and half years of ministry on this earth were also a parable, a shadow of what will be when He again walks in on this earth in the fullness of His Body. We see this fullness (governmental, fullness, as 12 is number of of perfect government) expressed numerically by the 144,000.

        A great war is coming – a great reckoning leading to a revealing of all that is true and all that is not. His sons will be manifest, and for this the whole creation groans in anticipation. Paul also suggested in Ephesians that the angels themselves are watching for this very thing. The Lord will have His testimony in fullness! He will have His Son! Yes, my brother, all will be brought to the valley of decision; all will be accounted for in that day of reckoning. A strong hand will do this, a mighty hand, and great violence will accompany the years ahead, far more than at any other time.

        Let us watch and be ready! Let us not sleep or get distracted. Yes the blood has spared us, but then we must also go out of this place, through the sea of death, and up into the mount to meet our God! He must guide us with fire and cloud, and feed us daily with His Son, the Word of God come down among us!

        Many will turn back, and many have already in their hearts. Many will fashion idols unto themselves. Many will hunger for the delicacies of Egypt and turn away from the Lord. Many will follow men, tradition, family, the easy path.

        My brother, let us determine not to be one of them! Let us hold each other up in prayer, that together we would go forth to meet our God there in the valley of decision.

  3. Duncan said

    Brothers, Just hearing the fellowship between yourselves as a witness as if I’m amidst the conversation concerning your weighty words. Like two men speaking and some around you being fed. Just to remark on that, just reading and not being there in the flesh, would I have discerned that Wayne bro would not lean on any getting out of here before the trouble starts (pre trib) I see a standing firm to the end in faith – then salvation is completed. This is one of Satans greatest lies (Pre Trib) and can easily be detected by Gods children. The reason can be be shown in that all living out a walk in Christianity would walk without great trials, great tests and persecutions and this walk would have itself heap up for themselves itchy eared teachers whom would say its all peace and safety because you will be whipped out of here in a moment before the trouble starts. A bit like a shephard who is Hired temporary for the looking after the sheep and he leads them towards the dark forest telling them great encouragements and singing smooth tunes as the wolves are waiting for the right time to pounce and devour. There is no preparation and no overcoming in a pre – trib view.

    I believe that our God is in control of everything but I must tell you that It will be Satan who will be acting out his great tribulation on the earth, yes brothers God will release the long extended leash around Satans neck to initiate the great tribulation. Confusion has arisen in our present day, when we say great tribulation comes from God but if we see clearly on this which I believe we can – That great tribulation and the great wrath of God are two different responses. One is a great purging and the other is a great judging – One a great test and the other a great escape – one a small but large response to humans but the Other uncomprehendible in size and glorious to the saints.

    Brothers I do feel it necessary to say one more thing If I may : ………. The mystery is unfolded if we are properly placed in His body! The Body of Christ as you have spoken so clearly moving in Gods order in Acts has a witness so wonderful that the outsiders have fear of the holiness in which they walk out -the expresion given was God in locality.

    So all the above will manifest truth and freedom from our right revelation of the Body of Christ. It is safety from within and on the outside as we function within the body with her full armour in tact.

    Bro Duncan

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