THE MINISTRY OF
My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
God told Moses ". . . My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." And Moses said unto God, ". . . If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us?" (Exodus 33:14-16) Moses had proclaimed the key to the kingdom of God. For without the King there is no kingdom. God began to reveal himself to Moses and the conditions that man would need to adhere to, for the blessing of God’s presence to be with them. The pattern of God’s will for man was delivered unto Moses in the Mount. Man began preparing for the presence of the Lord.
God spoke the warning that Moses was to relate to Aaron and his sons (the ministry), "Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 22:3) God demands righteousness of the children that desire to walk in the holy ground of his presence. Form, fashion and tradition won’t measure up. Paul said, of the religions in his day, (Romans 10:2-3) "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." This same ‘leavening’ of the self righteous, is with us today. There are many voices crying Lord, Lord, while still working iniquity . Many serpents (lies) have become the favorite pets of form and fashion. There are multitudes who worship their ‘form of worship’ more than God. They like a form of Godliness, but ‘deny the power thereof’.
Jude perhaps labeled it very plainly (Jude 10-13) "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 18-23) "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude had seen the coming fire that would reveal the spotted garments of religious tradition. ‘Only the light of the knowledge of the glory of God’ will be able to take up these serpents and consume the deadly things in the presence of the Lord. (Matthew 3:7) ". . . O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
Jesus, as the religious of his hour were calling him a devil, spoke, (Matthew 12:31-34) "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
This same spirit controls the same type of religious minds in our hour. The ministry of presence will consume this spirit and save some ‘even though as by fire’.
A song of David (Psalm 68:1-3) reveals the hour that now is upon us. "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice." To rejoice with gladness is the instruction to the righteous for "surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence" (Psalm 140:13).
Isaiah prophesied of this hour, (Isaiah 64: 1-4), "Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." This coming presence was spoken by all the prophets, as the ‘times of restitution’ outlined in Acts 3:19-21). "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Paul saw this refreshing coming for the righteous children of God. (I Thessalonians 2:19-20) "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy."
We must increase and abound in love, for love covers the multitude of sins. For this is the day of rest for those who have suffered with him. His anointed presence with us will break every yoke. (Revelation 14:9-12) "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name, Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Our patience through this time of tribulation, (tribulation worketh patience), is not conditional on our faith. For as his faith upheld Peter in his day, the faith of Jesus will sustain us in our day. His presence in us is our hope of glory.
(II Thessalonians 1:6-11) "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power."
Receiving the Rest
(John 5:2-11) "Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongues Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk." There had been many opportunities for the impotent man to receive his healing. He had witnessed many receiving the blessing that he so desperately needed. But for thirty eight years he had come short of the refreshing and restitution. But his day of rest had finally come. The Jews were offended that Jesus had dared work this miracle on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them (John 5:17), "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." There are still multitudes missing the blessings of God because their ‘religion’ won’t allow it. The scripture in Acts 3:21 speaks of ". . . the times of restitution (a time to restore) of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Jesus had chosen to restore this infirmed man on the proclaimed day of rest.
Paul in teaching about this ‘day of rest’ stated in Hebrews 4:2-11), "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." Jesus proclaimed a rest for his children by taking his yoke upon us. (Matthew 11:28-30) "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and burden is light." Jesus was teaching that he was the real source of rest. To rest means to ‘cease from labor’, not prop your feet up. As Jesus continued to heal and defy the religious bigots of his day, they sought to kill him. For he had declared ‘the son of man is Lord’ even on the sabbath day.
The prophet Isaiah saw the result of ‘learning of me’ when speaking that (Isaiah 11:9-10), "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." Isaiah was revealing the coming glory of the Lord. As his body, we have discovered that ‘Christ in us’ is bringing the many membered body into the glory of his rest. Isaiah continued to reveal the conditions of our generation (Isaiah 28:9-12), "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear." The stumbling block of ‘tongues’ would cause many of us to be stoned, if the devil could have his way. Instead, in this gloriest rest, we will see the fall of his kingdom.
(Psalm 132:11-16) "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy." This shout will sound like thunder to the worldly.
He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.