It is time. It is the time the saints and the prophets have awaited, the time Heaven and earth have awaited, the time God and the angels have awaited, the time of the gathering of the elect. Now is the time.
This time has never been before. Not only of that earthly Jerusalem was our Lord speaking when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets, and stones them that are sent to you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not” (Matthew 23:37). He was speaking to the elect, the called and chosen of God, to you and to me and all those who are the Lord’s.
We have all been scattered to the four winds.
We have all sought our own ways and have resisted the Lord Jesus Christ tooth and nail. All of us, in our own way, have sought out our own inventions, pursuing our own pleasures, thinking our own thoughts, doing that which was right in our eyes, presuming to worship the Lord and to be doing His will. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6).
We have all been scattered to the four winds in our rebellious, independent and religious ways; we have ended up as the prodigal whom we are, with the swine and envying them. Now is the hour of the coming to our senses, not because we have finally figured it out, or because we have studied and red and learned, or because we have gained virtue in our sufferings and fruitless toils, or even because we have earned anything. No, it’s simply because it is the Day of the Lord and His doing.
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).
There are three solemn Feasts of the Lord in a year – Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Each of these Feasts represents an inner reality that occurs in the heart of the spiritual pilgrim in Christ. The first Feast, Passover, represents our conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ through faith and repentance. The second Feast, Pentecost, represents our receiving the Spirit of God through faith, the beginning of our inheritance, the down payment of God’s Kingdom and God Himself. This Feast is also known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Day of Firstfruits.
It’s now His pleasure to give His chosen the Kingdom.
The Day of Firstfruits comes to a finish. For the past two thousand years, men have been teaching that God was seeking and trying to save everyone. In effect, they have implied that He’s been doing a pitifully poor job of it, because men on the whole have been so naughty and incorrigible that they refuse to be saved, and God couldn’t save them from their wicked attitudes. The truth is He was only gathering the firstfruits unto Himself, and He has done a perfect job. He got every last one of those He intended to get.
He knew who they were, where they were, when He was going to bring them in and how, as He did with Saul of Tarsus. He was actually big enough, clever enough, and caring enough to do it. Isn’t that something? Now this is a God worthy of praise and honor and glory! Nothing could resist His will – nothing! Perhaps you think you have a free will, as a slave to sin, but His will is even freer. He has always done as it has pleased Him.
It is the time for Tabernacles. It’s now His pleasure to give His chosen the Kingdom. It’s the day of His gathering the elect from the four winds of Heaven (the spiritual realm in which state or place are all those born of the Spirit).
We must, through much tribulation, as confirmed souls of God, enter into His Kingdom, every man in his turn. “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Acts 14:22).
His presence in us is presented to the world for its sake and for His glory.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming [presence, parousia]” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).
One dictionary defines “parousia” beautifully as “the presence in anything of the idea after which it was formed” – in other words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”! We are formed in His image, His presence in us presented to the world for its sake and for His glory, of which glory the saints are firsthand partakers.
Romans 8:19-23 ESV
(19) For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
(20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him Who subjected it, in hope
(21) that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
(22) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
(23) And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
We have tried to gather, and have gathered, according to our own understanding, desires, ambitions, and pleasures, and we have reaped sorrow and wind. We have also been gathered, believing we were gathered by God, but we weren’t. Gathered by men, we were deceived, abused, and hurt. In gathering and being gathered, we became bitter and disillusioned.
We have all had false, selfish motives, our idols.
This isn’t to say that the Lord didn’t speak to us or use us here and there; it isn’t to say that He wasn’t with us, determining our correction, discipline, purgation, instruction, and development. He has been with us, and we have been judged.
“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the Gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 ESV)
We blamed others, we blamed both people and circumstances, and yes, we blamed God. “God,” we protested, “we’ve tried to serve you, to witness on Your behalf to others, to win souls, to heal and deliver, and this is the reward we get!” But each of us “is the man,” as Nathan boldly declared to David (2 Samuel 12:7), whether in gathering or being gathered. We have all had false, selfish motives, our idols; we wanted to be praised, coddled, appreciated, recognized, accepted, and free of responsibilities rightfully ours, but which we pawned off on men… at a price, oftentimes a costly one.
We alone are to blame, if there is any blame to be had. If we ever have blamed ourselves, it hasn’t been in righteous judgment. But nothing ever happens to us unless we need it or deserve it.
God reigns over all; both the deceiver and the deceived are His. He creates both light and darkness, good and evil (Isaiah 45:7), and does all things according to the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11). By Him alone do all things consist (Colossians 1:17); not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father (Matthew 10:29-31).
Let’s lift up our heads because the hour of our redemption is here.
It is God Who sends the sword and famine and pestilence and wild beast (Ezekiel 5:17; Jeremiah 11:22; 14:12; 18:21; 24:10; 27:8; 29:17, 18; 44:13, 27; Ezekiel 5:16, 17; 14:21); it is God Who raises up nations and brings them down, setting up rulers, even from the basest of men, as He sees fit (Jeremiah 51). It is God Who reigns Supreme everywhere in the universe (Isaiah 45:5-7); all the silver and gold are His and the cattle on a thousand hills, and the hills upon which grows the grass He clothes (Psalms 50:10; Matthew 6:30).
Let’s stop blaming others, our circumstances, God, and let’s not forever blame ourselves. Instead of hanging our heads in despair and shame, gnashing our teeth against our neighbors and shaking our fists against Heaven and God in our ways, words, and thoughts, let’s forgive one another. Let’s lift up our heads because the hour of our redemption is here, holy brothers and sisters of our Firstborn Brother, Jesus Christ. Our redemption has come.
Notice, I’m not saying the time is “soon,” as so many others say with feigned faith. No, this is it; this is the gathering; the Lord is here, now. Let your eyes and ears be opened; let your fears be washed away and your tears wiped away.
It is time to lay down our lives for the brethren, denying ourselves.
Yes, in the world we have tribulation (John 16:33); yes, all those who will live godly in Christ Jesus suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12); yes, we must take up the cross and suffer the loss of all things, even our own lives (Matthew 10:38-39); yes, we must do battle (Ephesians 6:13-18); and yes, they of our own house are our foes (Matthew 10:36). But the entrance into the third and final Feast, that state humanity has been longing for all these millennia, makes it all far more than worth the price paid.
It is time to lay down our lives for the brethren, denying ourselves. The time is here that we no longer live unto ourselves.
Though there have been many gatherings throughout man’s history, there has not been the gathering of which I speak. It is an internal gathering first, one wrought by God alone. Man cannot do this gathering any more than he can catch the wind in his fist. This is that “rapture” many speak of and look for, though not as they have imagined.
The Voice of the Lord as a trumpet speaks and says, “Come up here.” It is the last trumpet.
The first portion of the last great Feast of Tabernacles is the Feast of Trumpets, held on the first day of the seventh month. There were many purposes for the sounding of the trumpet – calls to assemble, announcements, warnings of danger, and calls to war. The trumpet now sounds for all of these causes at once.
The trumpet sounds the proclamation of liberty and of complete restoration.
“And in the last day of the great Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (But He spoke this about the Spirit, which they who believed on Him should receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39 MKJV)
The trumpet calls us to gather in and unto Him; it announces His presence; it sounds the warning and calling to prepare, because great and terrible is this day, like no other before or after; and it calls us to war. The Lord is a Man of war, leading His army on white horses to destroy the enemy, convincing the ungodly, as Enoch prophesied, to take the land at last and make it His land again.
It is the sound of the proclamation of liberty and of complete restoration, because the second portion of the third and final Feast is the Day of Atonement when all sins are canceled; this is the Day of Jubilee – the tenth day of the seventh month.
Till this day, the saints have been gathered in part unto the Lord. When converted, we came into a new life, partaking with others who experienced the same. We were gathered in part again when going on to receive His Spirit. It was another dimension where we gathered with others who had gone before us.
In this third Feast, the Lord’s prayer on earth in John 17 is answered and fulfilled.
But now there is the gathering of gatherings unto Him to end all gatherings because we become one with the Lord and one with each other in Him. In this last great Day, we become one spirit, one heart, one soul, one mind, and one flesh, bone of bone, blood of blood, spirit of spirit, one in the Body of Christ.
In this third Feast, the Lord’s prayer on earth in John 17 is answered and fulfilled: “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
Who can say Christians have had this blessed unity until now? The like of this gathering has never been, not even between any two persons. For example, where it says that the souls of David and Jonathan were knit together (1 Samuel 18:1), take notice that David went his way and Jonathan his. David eventually succeeded the throne of Jonathan’s father, while Jonathan perished on the battlefield with his father (read Commitment).
Since Adam and Eve, there has never been the pure order between husband and wife.
Even the early church, which was in gladness, of one heart and one soul, wasn’t gathered in the way that is now upon us. It was gathered in part, as were the Corinthians, Galatians, and the seven churches of Asia who had yet to overcome. We read that there was great sin and division with them.
No couples, not even believing husbands and wives, have experienced this gathering. Since Adam and Eve, there has never been the pure order between husband and wife. Wife has always ruled. There is not a marriage on the face of this earth wherein husband has been head of the house and wife submitted to that husband, each in true holiness and piety, as the Scriptures declare should be.
Let’s be honest and put away our fantasies, self-deceptions, and compulsions to appear otherwise than we are. As the soul has ruled over the spirit throughout human history, so the woman has ruled over the man. Men have tried to take their rightful place as head of the house, and women have tried to submit to their husbands. They have gone through the form. They have sincerely tried and sincerely failed, foiled by that man of sin within each of us, the first Adam, the defiler, the wayward soul opposing the spirit.
The gathering is the overcoming at the end; it is the coming of the Lord.
I don’t know of one marital relationship where the man wears the pants in the family – not one. I have seen the woman rule, whether openly or behind the scenes, loudly or quietly, boldly or meekly, consciously or otherwise, obviously or not. At the very least, there hasn’t been the perfect harmony. This has been the fruit, law, and curse of the fall of man until now.
The gathering of God is about being turned upside down through sanctification (being set apart as was the scapegoat on the tenth day of the seventh month), the spirit laying down the life for the sake of the soul, the soul taking its rightful place in submission to the spirit, the spirit assuming leadership of the soul.
This is the time of the males appearing before the Lord the third time; it is the overcoming at the end and entering rest; it is the coming of the Lord.
Unity and perfect harmony? We’ve never known those… but we will now.
It’s about Jubilee. It’s about the redemption of the man of sin, the restoration of the first Adam by the sacrificial obedience of Christ dwelling within. This is the day about God being all in all:
“For He put all things under His feet. But when He says that all things have been put under His feet, it is plain that it excepts Him Who has put all things under Him. But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subject to Him Who has subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all things in all” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28 MKJV).
Unity and perfect harmony? We’ve never known those in perfection… but we will now. We begin a new age.
I sound the “warning to prepare” portion of the trumpet now. The gathering comes as scattering. That’s the way it is with the Lord, Who doesn’t think and act as we do. “You are He that divides us as wood and casts us into the fire” – these are words He gave me in describing His work among us. Like a Lego structure, He pulls us all apart from one another and brings us together again in a new relationship. As we entered by the cross in the first two Feasts, if we entered truly, and not as thieves and robbers coming up another way, so must we enter the third Feast by the cross. In that regard, the feasts are all the same.
All the Feasts are solemn feasts and are partaken only by the cross. But during this final Feast, the soul was afflicted through fasting. During this Feast, the scapegoat was sent into the wilderness. During this feast alone, the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies, the third part of the Tabernacle of God. These all occurred on the Day of Atonement, the second, central portion of the Feast of Tabernacles, the most solemn day of the year.
Now is the supreme price paid and the prince of this world judged in finality.
It was difficult to enter Passover, to part with your sins, gods, former doctrines and ideas, family and friends, lusts of the flesh, and friendship with the world, to resign yourself to the Lordship of Jesus.
It was also difficult to part with your brethren, your newfound associations, and some of your new doctrines and ideas when coming to receive the Spirit of God in the second Feast, the Feast of Pentecost. It was as though territory taken was suddenly lost, as though you were descending into a valley, yet in the spirit you knew you were climbing a higher mountain. In the flesh, it was painful; in the spirit, exhilarating.
But you had to choose; you had to forsake; you had to suffer; you had to pay the price. Now once more you must pay the price, only this time the price is on a new plane requiring everything. Now is the supreme price paid and the prince of this world judged in finality. Now is that man of sin to be destroyed, who has troubled you all your spiritual life, never to trouble you again. Now is the day of victory, the day of the crown and the throne, the overcoming.
This final time is not a matter of only putting away sins, of doing more works, of giving, or of loving neighbor as we know it, of living the good, charitable, morally upright, holy life. No, this time is for laying down of the life, once for all.
You’ll rest and rejoice in the Lord, knowing He is All in all.
It is the final and absolute surrender of the will, the reality of, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”
God will arrange the circumstances, the details of specific obedience; He’ll do it all, and when He’s done, you’ll rest and rejoice in the Lord, knowing He is All in all, that He has orchestrated everything to this very hour, every detail of your spiritual pilgrimage. You’ll know He is Sovereign, always has been and always will be. And you’ll be prepared to proclaim all this with power, conviction, and joy.
I had a vision of Heaven. Each one there was crucified to self, being for the others, all of them. What beauty! What joy, peace, fulfillment, love, rest, thankfulness, and glory! The unity and harmony of the people was perfect in Him. I saw these things written in their countenances.
Did you know this exists on earth? The Bride descends to the earth.
If we give everything away, we receive everything – far more than we ever imagined getting. If but one among us seeks his own, the whole body is sick. The unrepentant must be expelled – “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). We have all sought to receive, to be served, respected, honored, and provided for… to get. How frustrating and destructive!
We make our lives available, to serve the Lord and His people.
The glory of fullness in the Lord has been held out to us all, and we have rejected it out of hand, because we sought our own agendas. Seeking to get Heaven for ourselves, we got Hell instead.
I have felt a preparing, a swelling, a coming to the fore of something within, a compassion, a growing desire to gather the hurting, lost, discomforted, homeless, sick, naked, hungry, thirsty, lonely, confused, and fearful into a family that cares for, and genuinely comforts, one another. People upon whom is the drawing of the Lord are searching for that haven of rest. It is these to whom we must open our arms without looking to gain for ourselves in any way.
In giving, we will receive more than heart could wish. This is love. I don’t say we do these things everywhere, to everyone, always, without discretion, by the Law, but as led and given by God. As the Scripture declares, “If a man does not work, let him not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). What I’m saying is that we make our lives available, not for ourselves, but to serve the Lord and His people whom He now gathers. This isn’t a set of rules or acts, but an inner motivation, which God alone can give to those He apprehends.
Let the people come who seek after God without conditions or reservations.
The knee no longer calls itself the body, but serves the body. This is love.
There are those who search for a “church home,” a place of belonging. These are not necessarily ones the Lord is drawing. Many are the malcontents, the proud, bitter, and rebellious, who wish to identify with a group – looking to get, not to serve, hoping to gain and to give in nothing except that it would bring reward in some way.
Let the rebellious dwell alone; let the covetous do without; let the sluggard not eat; let the proud rule over his empty domain; let the socialite be isolated from the people of God. As it is written, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11).
Let the people come who seek after God without conditions, reservations, or purposes other than to do His will, no matter how contrary to their own desires. Let them come home after so long a time as misfits in the world and Babylon.
The Day of the Lord is great for the righteous and terrible for the wicked.
Let them return to be restored and to build the old waste places, not according to the unprofitable ways of man, but according to the magnificent power of God, Who gathers His sheep into His flock, providing them with all good things. There will be one fold and One Shepherd.
It is time. Beware and be forewarned. The Day of the Lord is at once a great and terrible day, great for the righteous and terrible for the wicked, great for the Christ-serving and terrible for the self-serving, great for the Son of God and terrible for the man of sin.
It’s the Day of Judgment and Reckoning, but it’s also the Day of Promise and Reconciliation, the day writers, saints, and prophets have anticipated. It’s the day for which we and all of creation have been groaning.
You’ll not experience more pain than you do in this day, but it will be well worth it. It won’t be as expected. It will be worse, and it will be better. And it doesn’t matter. It is time.
Isn’t it time for your eternal rest and profitability to the Lord and others?
Aren’t you tired of fighting? Aren’t you wearied with the life of a dog, fighting other dogs for scraps? Aren’t you wearied with labor and strife and resistance? Aren’t you tired of games and guessing, of running and hiding from the Lord, from others, from yourself? Why live for death when you can die for life?
Will you win or profit by your ways? Have you ever truly done so? Face yourself and get honest. Isn’t it time for your eternal rest and profitability to the Lord and others? Isn’t it time to displace your yoke and burden with His? Find out that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
It isn’t about “men of God,” doctrine, knowledge, fellowship, and the Heaven and Hell that are “out there,” but about God and you and what is here. Heaven is not there hereafter but here thereafter. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.”
If we acknowledge the truth, we will confess that it all begins with us, not with our neighbor. Each one’s first convert must be himself. It’s time for us to no longer be two nations at strife within, as was the case with Rebekah’s twins (Genesis 25:21-26), but to be one new man, as the prophets have declared would be. It’s time that our warfare ceased.
“Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen…”
Ephesians 2:14-16 MKJV
(14) For He is our peace, He making us both one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us,
(15) having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them;
(16) and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself.
“Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto Your Holy Name, and to triumph in Your praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 106:47-48).
Zephaniah 3:13-20 MKJV
(13) The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity nor speak lies, and a deceitful tongue shall not be found in their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
(14) Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
(15) The LORD has turned off your judgments; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall not fear evil any more.
(16) In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not! Do not let not your hands droop, Zion.
(17) The LORD your God is mighty in your midst; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He is silent in His love; He rejoices over you with joyful shout.
(18) I will gather the afflicted ones from the appointed place; they were from you, a lifting up of reproach over her.
(19) Behold, at that time I will deal with all those who afflict you. And I will save her who is lame, and gather her who was driven out. And I will give them for a praise and for a name in all the land of their shame.
(20) In that time I will bring you, even in the time that I gather you; for I will give you for a name and for a praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, says the LORD.
“…unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”
If I speak life to you, if the things I say witness to you by the Lord, then you will, without hesitation, search out the Scriptures, not only those I present, but others as well. Indeed, all of Scripture will testify to what I say, if I speak by the Lord. I hope that you’ll receive an understanding of what the following passages are saying, and you’ll see that, to this day, they have never been fulfilled anywhere at any time:
Deuteronomy 30; Psalms 50:1-6; Psalms 126, 147; Isaiah 43:1-44:11; Isaiah 54 and 56:1-8; Jeremiah 23:1-8; 31:1-14; 32:36-44; Ezekiel 11:16-21; 20:33-44; 34:11-31; 37:21-28
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10).
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10-12).
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17 ESV).
Is it your time? He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.
Our identities and lives are in Him, not in our doctrines or denials of false doctrine.
What is the Church? Many flounder in confusion - condemned, doubting, struggling, reveling, and listening to men, rather than to God. There are only two churches in this world - the true and the false. Of which are you a member? You can't be a member of both.
To be sure, all believers need fellowship, one way or another, at one time or another. But it is true fellowship they need, with true saints. Yet God has set some aside even from true fellowship for a time, in order to prepare them for the service to which He calls them. For now, however, we’re not talking about true spiritual fellowship, but about the fellowship that kills.