(From radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
I want to read from the book of revelations 14. Before I go to the book of revelations let’s point to the parables, which specifically indicated that in the end of the world, there will be harvesting of the world.
(Mat. 13. 24) “Another parable put he forth unto them saying, the kingdom of heaven is liken unto a man which sowed good seed in his field but while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir did not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
That was the parable that the Lord Jesus Christ gave, and we are going to read the interpretation in verse 37. Jesus sent the multitudes away and the disciples said unto him declare unto us the parable of the tares in the field.
And Jesus answered unto them, he that sowed the good seed is the son of man; the field is the world the good seed are the children of the kingdom but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear let him hear.
What I want to point to you here in this chapter is that this world is the field. In the Law of Moses when they harvest the field, they follow a process. The first thing is to harvest the first fruits of the field. There is a law concerning the first fruits of the field. They are to give the first fruits unto God. And then after a while they go for the real harvest. We see a similar thing concerning the harvesting of this world. In the parable that we just read it says the world is the field. The children of the kingdom are the good seed, and the children of the devil who will not believe are the tares. Now there will be the harvesting of the world. The Lord will follow the same procedure he gave to the Israelites concerning their field and how they first have to take out the first fruits and give it to God. And then they will go and harvest their real crop. Let’s look at Revelation 14 and see the harvesting that God will do on the earth. There will also be first fruits taken out of this world and given to God. The Lord Jesus will take it out of this world and give it to heaven where they will be in charge of the affairs of this world before the throne of God. Let’s see this in the book of Rev. 14.
V.1 “And I looked and lo, a lamb stood on Mt. Zion and with him were 144,000 having his father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters and as the voice of great thunders. And I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts and the elders. And no one could learn that song but the 144,000, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they that were not defiled with women for they are virgins. These are they that followeth the lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men being the first fruits unto God and to the lamb. And in their mouths was found no guile for they are without fault before the throne of God.” This is the first fruit that will be harvested from the earth and redeemed from among men. God gave a number to these first fruits -144,000. I want you to know that these 144,000 in chapter 14 are completely different from the 144,000 mentioned in Rev.7, which were all Israelites from the 12 tribes of Israel. But these 144,000 in chapter 14 were redeemed from the earth, from among men. So they have to be Gentiles; and he said they were first fruits. Christ is coming to harvest the world, like we read in Mat. 13: the field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. Now who are the children? Both the Hebrews and the Gentiles. God is coming to take the first fruits out of here. What do we mean by first fruits? In the natural, there will be first fruits of the field, meaning, there will be some crops that ripen first, whether you plant corn or wheat. If you don’t go to the field and get those first fruits out of there, they will dry up and fall and die before the rest of the fruits come up. In Israel the first fruits were to be given to God. In the same way we Christians are shooting towards a goal. What is that goal or the arrival state that we are shooting for? Let’s look at it in the book of Ephesians chapter 4. This is the goal that we all are aspiring for; this is the ripened state of our faith.
(Eph.4: 7) Christ gave some gifts. He gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Until 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.
Our goal is to arrive at the stature of Christ individually. Now we can look around and see that some believers are higher than others in their spiritual growth. This is true because, even in the natural, some corn will grow more rapidly and get to be full-grown before the others. Similarly, there are different stages of believers’ growth. We are all to shoot for this fullness of the stature of Christ. There will be many believers who will not arrive at that fullness before they either die physically and go to paradise, or before Christ come. However God meant it and God intended that he would get for himself a band of believers that must arrive at the fullness and stature of Christ. The bible said there would be the manifestation of the sons of God. The bands of believers that will arrive first at this stature of Christ are classified as the sons of God.
Everyone that is born again is called a child of God. However, in the gospel of John chapter 1, verse 12 it says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” Christians that are filled with the Holy Ghost are given power to become the sons of God. When we come to the stature of Christ, we become the sons of God.
God purposed for sons to come out of this world, and that Christ must bring many more sons unto glory. God will wait until he gets these first fruits. (Heb.2: 10).
As the bible says, the husbandman waited patiently until he receives the early and the latter rain. (James 5:7). This is the plan of God. He is going to wait until he brings the 144,000 sons of God unto fruition and to the fullness of the stature of Christ. At this end- time, he will continue to wait until we arrive at the fullness of the stature of Christ. Not all believers will arrive there, but He must get the first fruits there and get them out of here, and the rest will come later. This is the plan of God to bring many more sons unto glory.
Now let’s go further and see the characteristics of these that will be the first fruits unto God, so that we can know what we should be shooting for as believers.
Now these 144,000 were following Christ where so ever he goes. They sang a new song which none could learn except those 144,000. It also said they were not defiled with women because they were virgins. We believe this is talking about being pure in your faith, pure in your worship of God not mixed in false doctrines and idols of this world. God is talking about pure virginity in your spiritual walk for God. As Israel was called the bride of God, the virgin of God, when they had not gone into idols. So these people were not defiled with idols or with doctrines. And it went further to say they follow the lamb wherever he goeth. Now that is a very important phrase. “Follows the lamb whither so ever he goeth”, talks about the personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They are completely lined up with the head and they go whither so ever he leadeth. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. So these first fruits would be the perfect example of those who are completely lined up with Jesus. To hear him and do what he says and to not move unless he leads them. That is a very important characteristic. Remember when the Lamb of God was on the earth the Holy Ghost came like a dove and landed on him and rested. It shows the perfect obedience. These first fruits must be lined up with Christ in perfect obedience to the spirit of God. Every believer that is aspiring to be like Christ and who want to come to the fullness of the stature of Christ must have that as their goal, perfect obedience to the Spirit of God living in you.
We see in Elijah the prophet, before he was taken away in the chariot of fire; the spirit of God was leading him from one city to another city. That is the obedience we are talking about. These first fruits will arrive at that perfect obedience - a yielded vessel to God. The others perhaps only yield 50% and argue with God on the other 50% of their lives.
100% yielded-ness: this is to be our goal. We have not arrived yet but we are to aspire to become one of the over-comers, overcoming all those things that are hindering us so that we can be 100% yielded to God and go whither so ever the Lamb goeth.
Another characteristic: In their mouth was found no guile for they were without fault before the throne of God. That is what every Christian is supposed to be, to speak the word only. If you are speaking the word only, then there will be no guile in you because you are speaking the truth. Every believer is supposed to practice this, until you have perfected it. Speaking the word only, so that in your mouth there will be no guile. We are without fault before the throne of God because we were cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is not by works are we saved but the grace of God.
God will wait and will continue to wait until he gets his 144,000 first fruits of the earth. They are the people that are going to overthrow the devil and his angels from the heavenly realm, as you see in chapter 12, the war in the heavens. These first fruits must be harvested first, or God is not done yet. Now let’s go and see the remainder of the harvesting of the world in chapter 14. We see the real harvest after the first fruits have been taken out.
V.14: And behold I looked and saw a white cloud and upon the cloud one sat like unto the son of man having on his head a golden crown and in his hand a sharp sickle.
And another angel came out of the temple crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time has come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Now this symbolized the actual reaping of the earth: the believers were gathered unto Christ. Now we can take this to be the real translation, the rapture that everyone has been waiting for. But the first fruits had a secret disappearance because they had a work for God and were given unto heaven; they followeth the lamb wither so ever he goeth.
Apostle Paul wrote that “the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive and remain will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”. (1Thes. 4:16-17). That is the real harvest of the world. All the Christians will be taken out before the wrath of God comes upon the world, the wrath of God are the seven vials of Revelation chapter 16. So before that could happen, the world will be harvested, so that the wrath of the Lord can be poured out on the unbelievers.
The second part of this harvesting is when the wicked shall be harvested into the destruction.
V.17: Another angel came out of the temple, which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city and blood came out of the wine press even unto the horse bridles by the space of 1,600 furlongs.
That is the harvesting of the wicked. Even the evil people will be harvested. But they will be harvested for destruction. And what do we mean by this winepress of the wrath of God? There will be a world war where the anti-Christ gathered them into a place called Armageddon, (Rev.16:16), and destruction came upon them as they destroyed each other, whatever way God would destroy them that is symbolized here by the winepress of the wrath of God.
This is what is going to happen at the end of the world, which is very soon.
Dear reader, if you are a believer and you have given your life to Christ and are born again, aspire to come to the fullness of the stature of Christ. How do you do that? Submit yourself to Christ, learn to be completely yielded to the Spirit of God. It is by obedience to the word of God, and complete surrender to the word of God. Begin by obeying the scriptures. Those that are obedient and aren’t trying to reason it off, nor trying to justify their offences, those are the people that are candidates to receive direct instruction from the Spirit of God.
When you obey the written word of God, then are you a candidate to hear the spoken word of God.
If you are not a believer I admonish you to come to Christ and give your life to Jesus so that he can fill you with himself. When you walk with him he will open your eyes to see what we are saying. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” The end of the world is very soon and Christ is coming to take his people home. Will you like to be one of them? Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Amen!
Be led by the Spirit
(From a sermon of Bro Julius Adewumi )
I was reading the story of Samson and I pondered on some points. Samson went to Timnath of the Philistines. The bible said it was God who moved him to do it. (Judges 14:4). I want to point out one important warning: we cannot continue to live upon old meal. Many ministers of the gospel in recent years have given out this same warning. We cannot rely on yesterday's leading. It is very essential. We servants of God cannot rely on yesterday's leading. God can lead you one way yesterday. But this morning, don't think you have to go in the same direction, or the same strategy you were given yesterday. He may want to lead you in another direction today. We cannot rely on yesterday's leading.
In Judges chapter 14, it was God that led Samson the first time to go after a Philistine woman. "And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me ; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." (Judges 14:1-4)
I underlined verse 4. That was the only time the bible said it was of the Lord for Samson to go after a Philistine woman. We know that the marriage he tried to do ended up in violence and the death of the woman and her family, and Samson became an enemy of the Philistines because they killed the woman he wanted to marry. But that was the only time it was recorded that "it was of the Lord" for Samson to go after a Philistine woman. However it is very tempting for human being, after the Lord leads us one way, to try the same way presumptuously without getting new leading from the Lord. People assume it must have been God's will for them to do something the same way over and over again.
This is seen in Samson: after the first engagement was dissolved,
Samson came to Philistia again and again looking for women. God has already
obtained what he wanted to get by the first engagement of Samson to the
Philistine woman, because he had already become an archenemy for the
Philistines. Samson himself said "Now shall I be more blameless than the
Philistines, though I do them a displeasure." (Judges 15:3). After the
first engagement, Samson went in to an harlot in a city of the Philistines - he
was invincible, no one can conquer him! But the bible did not say those subsequent
steps were of the Lord. This was what caught my attention: Hey, Samson, did God
give you a blanket approval to pursue Philistine women anyway? If it was of the
Lord the first time, what about the second time and the third time? Were those
of the Lord? The bible did not say those were of the Lord. This is why I say we
cannot continue to rest on yesterday's leading. We need fresh leading of the
Lord each day.
Similarly when we come to a level in our spiritual growth, the teachers who are teaching us become stale. King David even said "I have more understanding than all my teachers", "I understand more than the ancients". (Psa.119: 99,100).
Another example was seen in king David which points out that we just cannot live on yesterday's leading. We must get a new leading everytime from the Lord. In 2Sam.5:19, the Philistines came against Israel, "and David inquired of the Lord saying, shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into my hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up:, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thy hand". That was the first time, and David routed them. In verse 22, the Philistines came again.
The next verse was the key: David inquired of the Lord again. He did not say, "we will just do as we did the last time."
"And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees." (2Sam.5:23).
We have got to get the leading of the Lord every time. We cannot rest on yesterday's leading. We are fighting an enemy that could have changed his strategy, we must get the new direction from the Lord for the day. It's very important. There are some things that are basic which does not change, but there are some maneuvers that will have to change with the day. Remember we are fighting a spiritual warfare. We are fighting the enemy who could regularly change his strategy. God will be ahead of the enemy, but we must listen to his leading. Another example is seen in Joshua. Joshua destroyed Jericho and it was done right. Now they came to another city, Ai. They said, it was a small city, all of us did not need to go. "Let's send 300,000 people to destroy Ai." So they did. But the men of Ai drove them away and killed some of the Israelites. You see, things have changed! Joshua and the people did not enquire of the Lord before they sent the soldiers against Ai. They came back, defeated and cried unto God: "why Lord?” Then the Lord told Joshua, there was sin in their camp. Each day is a different day! Things have changed without Joshua's knowledge, but God knew. We have got to get new leading each time. We cannot continue to live on old revelation; we must get new direction from the Lord each time. It is very important to keep listening unto the Lord.
One more example in the New Testament. God told Paul and Barnabas to go and evangelize the gentile world. And they went from city to city. Paul came to a point, he wanted to go into one city, and the Spirit did not let them. "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not." (Acts. 16:7). The Holy Ghost already forbade them to preach in Asia. Then a vision appeared to Paul in the night; "There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us."
You see, God wants to lead us step by step. It is very important to get new direction each time. God may want to change the strategy because the enemy has changed his strategy. God moved Samson to go get the woman of Philistine the first time but not the second time when he went there looking for an harlot, and definitely not the third time when he went there looking for Delilah. We cannot continue to live on yesterday's leading. Let's pray that the Lord will help his body to hear him closely especially in these days. I pray that the Lord will grant to every one of us the grace to wait patiently on the Lord and to hear his leading daily in our lives, in the name of our Lord
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix, AZ 85046, USA.
I want to thank those that have been sending offering to this ministry. Your investment and mine send the literature to believers and send the word on radio. That is one sure way we can send our money ahead of us to heaven. The Lord said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Mat. 6: 19-21). "For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out." (1Tim. 6: 7).