There is an outside force available of which very few know — and even fewer utilize. This article makes plain what that power is and how it can be exercised in your life!
This generation does have a rendezvous with destiny. Never at any time in human history have man's powers and abilities seemed greater. Yet, paradoxically, man's future was never more clouded. The prospects for universal famine, for national and racial wars, and for human annihilation were never so great. In spite of man's apparent technical and mechanical powers, his ultimate failure in solving the real problems of life was never more evident. Yet there is hope!
Man's True Hope
Men today have become so obsessed with their technical and scientific abilities that they imagine God is either "dead" or is certainly far off in heaven somewhere, virtually powerless to intervene in human world affairs. You may not have thought about it in those terms, but haven't you felt that way about God? Be honest! The "fruits" — the actions and results — in the lives of nearly all professing Christians graphically demonstrate that man is unaware and unconcerned with the power of his Creator. Public admissions by countless pastors, priests and laymen prove this statement true. But man was cut off from God for 6,000 years. And that 6,000 years is now near its end. Unless you are cut off by premature death, the vast majority of you now reading this article are going to be shocked and stunned by the most fantastic display of supernatural power in human history. You are going to see — with your own eyes — gigantic upsets in the weather, which will lead to terrible floods and famine, mass starvation, earthquakes and huge tidal waves such as have never been dreamed of by modern, "educated" men. You will see awesome displays of supernatural power in the very heavens — culminating in the dramatic return of the very Creator to His creation in the person of the living Jesus Christ! It will be in this generation! Finally, you will live into another world — the world tomorrow — where the great power of God will be regularly used to keep and enforce peace, to change human lives and attitudes, and to remove the vicious nature from even wild animals! It will be used to heal the sick, to control the weather, and to bless human beings as long as they serve and obey their Creator. These events are certain.
Understand and Use God's Power
True Christians today are in training to become kings and priests in the soon-coming world tomorrow (Revelation 5:10). We must learn lessons of character and faith in God's wisdom and power so we can qualify to judge (or "manage," Moffatt translation) angels in the world tomorrow (I Corinthians 6:2-3). You probably have been told nothing of this awesome responsibility. But you should have been. There it is, right in your own New Testament. Your future job is to exercise great power and authority in the Kingdom of God to be set up on this earth. Jesus showed that His disciples would literally rule over the twelve tribes of Israel in the world tomorrow (Luke 22:28-30). He described how those faithful Christians who overcome and serve most in this life will have authority over ten cities, and how those who have made good but not outstanding progress will" be over five cities (Luke 19:17-19). Where will you fit into this picture? Some may sneer and scoff, but not for long. For these plans and prophecies of God are very real. They are already beginning to happen! Start taking a good big-city newspaper. Start comparing what you read in it — honestly and carefully with what you read in the prophetic articles in The Plain Truth. Then see these happenings unfold before your very eyes! How, then, can you become more aware of the fantastic reality and power of God — and better prepare to utilize that power as an instrument in His hands? To have the spiritual strength and impact you need in this life and to prepare yourself to serve as a powerful instrument in Christ's government, which will soon be set up on earth, learn and use the key of exercising God's power. Here are three basic steps you need to take:
I. Proper Fear of God
Should you fear God as some sort of monster? No! Not at all. But we human beings tend not to respect our parents, teachers, policemen, government officials — or anyone else — unless we become impressed with their closeness and their power. Let me illustrate. As a grade-school child, I attended a school that had an woman principal. This principal was, I am sure, a very 'fine lady. But she had been allowed to continue beyond retirement age and was somewhat senile and slow moving. Like God probably seems to many of you reading this, she seemed far off, out of touch, venerable but passive, and almost helpless to really do anything about explosive daily problems. The point is, we did not fear this elderly lady or her office. Yet we should have! The kind of "fear" I am discussing is the sense of awe, deep respect, and appreciation of active POWER. That is the kind of fear we ought to have — and eventually must have — for Almighty God!
An Example of Proper Fear
In my final year or two of grade school, this lady, described above, died. She was replaced by' a fairly young, alert, masculine fellow who immediately took charge of the situation. And how I remember! On the second or third day after Mr. Antle became principal, a large group of students was coming in from the playground. As we lined up, there was the usual pushing, shoving and pulling of the girls' pigtails by us "bad little boys." There was constant giggling and scuffling — few paying any attention to the admonitions and warnings of the women teachers. Suddenly, I heard a strange sound just behind me. I quickly turned to see a shocked boy being jerked off his feet, propelled through the air, and landing across the new principal's knee! A sort of muffled moan of fear and awe emanated from the group of children witnessing this fearsome spectacle. Clutched in the principal's hand, a large wooden paddle streaked down and landed with a fierce "whop" on its appointed target. A yowl of shock and fear came from the boy's lips — quickly giving way to real cries of pain and penitence. Standing aghast at this strange sight, I stiffened with fear and awe. All the children were similarly affected. Immediately, all scuffling and misbehavior stopped! Great peace and tranquility descended upon West Central Grade School! To us, the new principal stood ten feet tall and seemed to be always nearby, alert and powerful. Yet, he was fair and friendly — as well as firm when necessary. We soon came to admire and respect the new principal even more than the old. He inspired us to strength, manhood and accomplishment. But we knew he would not tolerate misbehavior. There was to be no "monkey business" while he was principal. We respected and feared his determination and power to enforce his standard of behavior. His "presence" was always felt with a certain awe and respect.
The Spiritual Analogy
The great God who created the heavens and the earth is soon going to have to intervene — as our new principal did — and show His power to a self-indulgent and rebellious race of men. He is going to show such awesome and powerful signs that men will stand in fear and awe of His majesty and His office. Then — and only then — will there be peace in this war-torn world! Since God has allowed man to go his own way for six thousand years, men have begun to assume that their very Creator is "dead," impotent, or "way off' somewhere. They have ceased to realize He is nearby and very available for help. They have ceased praying to — the true God. They have ceased expecting a supernatural answer, if that is required. They have ceased fearing to disobey His plain written Word and His commandments! Because of this, mankind is in terrible trouble. Man is about to blast himself off this planet! The true God is going to stop it.
The Beginning of True Wisdom
The Word of God tells us: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1 :7). Yes, fools sneer, ridicule and despise the true wisdom and understanding that comes from God. But those who will be leaders in truly helping this world today and in blessing and saving it in the world tomorrow will be those who have true wisdom and knowledge through the deep acknowledgment and fear of the living God! Again: "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13). This proper "fear" of God causes us to understand the nature of evil and to sincerely hate it — to turn away from it and from all the self-willed vanity and rebellion that causes every human woe and ill today, including the danger of human annihilation, if man doesn't wake up! A few years ago — very few as the Eternal God counts time (II Peter 3:8) — God removed a great Babylonian king from his office and his majesty for seven years. This king, Nebuchadnezzar, was brought down and humbled in a way that no other king has ever been. After that time — and after he had learned a great lesson — Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his kingdom, and he lifted up his eyes to praise and honor the true God. Nebuchadnezzar said: "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he [God] doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?... Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase" (Daniel 4:35, 37). This great king learned — as the men and rulers of this present civilization will soon learn — that God is very real and that He rule's over the nations according to His will! Build this concept into your mind. Deeply study and drink in of the prophecies of the Bible and prove them to yourself. Read and study the examples of Jesus' life and miracles. Realize that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Build in your mind and heart an awareness that God is very near and that He will answer your faithful prayers with power, as long as they are based upon His Word and His will. Use this concept and grow in it daily! While still learning and practicing the first point given above, here is the second "key" which you must build into your life if you are to tap the great power of God.
II. Walk With God
This key is learning to walk with God. To walk with God, you must walk where He walks — for He will not depart from His divine path to go according to the ways and reasonings of men. To walk with God, you must follow Jesus' admonition that man must live by every word of God (Luke 4:4). To walk with God, you must strive to overcome your human nature and keep His commandments. For Jesus, when asked the way to eternal life, said: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Then He began to name some of the Ten Commandments (Matthew 19:17). Again, Jesus said: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46.) Put simply, this means that you must obey your Maker, learn to live and act as He does, and be in constant communion with Him through the study of His Word, through prayer, meditation, fasting, and exercising His character throughout your daily life. The great men of the Bible have all done this! Notice this account of Enoch's life: "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:21-24).
Examples of Noah, Abraham, and Micah
Now notice the account of Noah — for whose sake human life itself was preserved from the all-encompassing flood that came upon the earth in his days: "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9). Here it is pointed out that Noah was "just" — he lived a righteous life according to God's commandments. When called upon to do what must have seemed at the time a ridiculous thing — building an ark out in the middle of a dry plain — Noah obeyed His Creator without balking or questioning. He kept in constant communion with the great Spirit Personality who spoke to him and directed his paths. He yielded to his Maker. He walked with God. Next, we come to the account of Abraham — the "father of the faithful." In Genesis 17:1, God states: "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God, walk before me [or "with" me], and be thou perfect [wholehearted]." Of course, Abraham did not have perfect faith at every hour of the day, nor perfect obedience either, but he constantly yielded his will and life to his Creator and grew in perfection and walked with God. Thus, when the birthright which he received was transferred to Isaac, God declared that this fantastic blessing was given Abraham "because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Genesis 26:5). Abraham obeyed his Maker — he walked the way God walked. The prophet Micah summarizes this basic approach to God which we must have to receive His blessing and power: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8.) If you are unsure of just how to walk with God — how to keep His commandments — read our free booklet The Ten Commandments. This booklet shows you how the Ten Commandments apply in today's modern, technologically oriented world. It explains in detail the meaning of each of the commandments.
We need the attitude which Jesus exemplified in what is called the Lord's Prayer: "Thy kingdom come. Thy wilt be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). To walk with God, we need to honestly seek the revealed will of God in the Bible — and be willing to change where we're wrong, to let God fashion us, mold us and use us as His instruments. We ought to ache and yearn for His government to be set up on this earth — for His perfect will to be accomplished so that there will be peace, happiness and joy for everyone. Because that is the only real way these things will ever come about! What was the remarkable source of Jesus' power? Notice! In Mark 1:32-34, He healed many sick and diseased persons who were brought to Him — casting out demon spirits as well. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (verse 35). Constantly, throughout His life, you will find Jesus leaving the multitudes in order to get close to God in earnest prayer and meditation. He walked with God and He talked with God — always. Remember the account of Jesus walking on the water? Some people today make fun of this. They think it's a big joke. But they will not laugh when they see the returning Christ coming in brilliant glory and power — shining with the brightness of a thousand suns! But, to get to the point, have you ever noticed what Jesus did just before He walked on the water? "And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray" (Mark 6:46). Then He walked on the water (verses 47-51) in order to catch up with the disciples. They were amazed and afraid. Why? "For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened" (verse 52). In other words, the disciples should not have been so amazed at Jesus' walking on the water. They should have realized the tremendous meaning of His other fantastic miracles — that He really was God in the flesh — able to use the very power of the Creator to do His work. Not understanding this basic principle, they were continually amazed with each new miracle He performed — never seeming to understand the relationship of one to another and the fact of Christ's office and ability to exercise the divine power. How about you? Will you learn from this article to so conduct yourself — to walk with God — that you may be constantly aware of His reality and His power and be yielded to His will so that you can be a dynamic instrument in His hands?
III. Exercise God's Power
The Gospel of Mark narrates a dramatic incident in the life of Jesus and His disciples. A man brought his son to Jesus' disciples. This son, according to the account, was possessed by a demon, which caused him to froth at the mouth and throw himself on the ground in convulsive fits. Jesus' disciples had been unable to cast out the demon, and the distraught father turned to Jesus when He arrived and cried out: "Have compassion on us, and help us"! (Mark 9:22.) Then Jesus said: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Then Jesus, having mercy, rebuked the foul spirit and cast it out. The disciples were sheepish and dumbfounded. They didn't understand what was lacking on their part. The Son of God told them: "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting" (verse 29). Obviously, Jesus had been praying and fasting — getting really close to and communing with His Father in heaven, yielding His will to God's and drinking in of His Spirit and power. He expected the answer — and He got it! Why don't more of the professing ministers of Christ have this kind of power today? Notice Jesus' instruction just after His resurrection from the dead: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18). After giving this instruction, Christ was received up into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Then His disciples went forth and preached everywhere, "the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" (verses 19-20). Christ had risen. He was alive and active. He was intervening to back up His ministers and their prayers to God! This same power is active among the true believers in Jesus Christ today!
True Christianity is not connected with unrestrained emotionalism. It is simply believing that Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said. It is following His example of obeying the commandments of God, trusting God to keep His promises, and privately — as Jesus instructed — praying, meditating and fasting to get closer to the God of the Bible, the Creator, and seeking His power and intervention according to what He has promised in His Word, the Bible. In II Kings 2:8-15, we find the account where the great prophet Elijah was taken up into heaven — turning his office and mantle over to Elisha. Read this account carefully. Notice that Elisha expected to carryon in the power of God as had Elijah. For he asked for a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit to be upon him. As Elijah ascended up to heaven, his mantle fell on Elisha. Elisha then went back to the bank of the Jordan River where Elijah had just smitten the waters so they could walk over on dry ground. This time the young, new prophet Elisha smote the waters, saying in faith: " Where is the Lord God of Elijah? And when he had also smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over" (verse 14). Today, you should personally awake to the fact that the mantle and power of Elijah will be manifested among God's true servants in this age. For as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17), so God says of our day: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and. dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Malachi 4:5-6). That commission is being accomplished through this Work! Through The World Tomorrow broadcast and The Plain Truth magazine, every inhabited continent is now being reached with the message of God's coming government and His rule over the earth. It is not being preached with the thought of converting everybody, but it is for a "witness" — as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:14. That witness is to proclaim the true God of power, to announce His coming world-ruling government, and to turn the hearts of those who are willing back to the true ways of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and most of all, Jesus Christ. Power and miracles are already being manifested. You readers who are given understanding need to realize that you're living at the end of an age — and will live into the new age of God's government. You need to become more deeply aware and conscious of the spirit world of the living God and His Christ — of His archangels and angels who serve His people, and of His power to strengthen, to heal, to deliver and to bless in your life. So we are impressed today with the power of hydrogen bombs? Who made the hydrogen atom? Who made the puny human brain that finally managed to unleash its power? Who has power millions of times beyond this - operating throughout the vast universe? You need to know how to properly fear and walk with this true God! You need to understand and appreciate the gigantic power He has available to help us! And we all need to humbly use it — as He would, in His service.