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    Revelation of the Presence

      "I do not know if [Jesus] is a sinner; one thing I do know, that once I was blind and now I can see"(John 9:25, Moff.)

    There was once a blind man whom Jesus healed on the Sabbath. This act provoked the jealosy and anger of the Pharisees who did everything they could to deny what had happened. Despite the miracle before their very eyes they refused to accept his testimony.

    Of Miracles

    I was recently talking with my family about the place of mircales in the Church today and I pointed out to them that mircales in themselves have no saving value at all. All around us, God is working miracles, and yet people are denying them, and trying to find ways of explaining them away.

    One of the greatest miraculous dramas enacted by God was when He empowered Moses to bring plagues upon Egypt and then to divide the waters of the Red Sea. Yes, we have heard this story so often that we don't give it a second thought. Almost all children in the West know the story of how the sea parted and how Israel escaped across and how Pharaoh's army was drowned. I wonder how people would react today if an evangelist stood on the cliffs of Dover, parted the waters of the English channel, and took several thousand Christians across to France? Would that bring the people of Britain to repentance? I do not believe so.

    Well, hundreds of thousands of Israelites witnessed the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the bringing forth of water out of the rock, the provision of manna and quails, and budding of Aaron's rod, the swallowing up of Korah and his rebellious followers into the earth, the leprosy of Miriam, and much more. These miracles didn't help them one bit spiritually. At best it had a restraining effect on them, preventing them from rebelling more often and more seriously. That entire generation, barring two souls, was condemned to die in the desert.

    New Covenant Hopes and Expectations

    From the beginning of this New Covenant work there has been a hope and expectation on the part of some for miracles as of old. When the spiritual dishes they wanted weren't on the ecclesiastical menu, they lost interest. Instead, the Lord brought forth other kinds of miracles -- keys of knowledge to liberate the mind and prophecies to stimulate faith and hope.

    The New Covenant Church of God has most certainly been a Church of prophecy. Scattered through the Church's 600 or so revelations, plus many others that have never been published, are prophecies in abundance. A good many of them have been fulfilled. The evidence of God's hand is everywhere in this work. But like the Pharisees of old, there are some who have refused to admit the evidence of their eyes, to the extent that one member recently asked in a meeting: "Does anyone know any prophecies that have been fulfilled in the Church's revelations?" Despite the fact that the members listed many, the person who asked the question did not seem to hear. He was not looking for confirmation but denial.

    You cannot convince such a person of the truth because he is working against the truth. Ironically, he failed to understand that he was fulfilling a prophecy himself, for a few months before I told some of the members that another rebellion would shortly hit the Church, and that it would be led by a man this time.

    The Gospel is Boundless

    The Gospel is an enormous phenomenon covering, as it does, every aspect of life. This Church is itself a peculiar phenomenon which few really understand. There are many who have attacked it, seeking ways to fault it and destroy it, as though it were in some way a threat to their well-being. When I recently asked some of the members why they were members, they found it difficult to answer. But a common answer I receive is this: "It has the Spirit...and there is nowhere else to go."

    In hearing these words I am reminded of the blind man that Jesus healed. He knew nothing about Jesus. He had never heard the Master speak not had He ever seen Him before. "I don't know if He's a sinner," he replied to the Pharisees, "how could I know such a thing? I don't know the man!" But one thing he did know was: "Once I was blind, and now I can see!"

    Many people I speak to in the Church give me a similar testimony. When asked if they believe this Church is from God, or whether it is man-made, or whether it is true, or any other number of related questions, they invariably answer: "I don't know." It is not a question they can answer because it is not within their province to know, even though they have been exposed to it, in many cases, from the beginning. But most will honestly tell you: "Once I was spiritually blind, and now I can spiritually see!"

    It is not, of course, the "Church" which has given these people spiritual sight, but the Master whose Church this is. "Seeing" the Master is not, however, just a matter of reading about Him in the Scriptures. When Jesus was on the earth it was not just His words which moved the hearts of people but His very presence. Some were healed by His Word but others were healed just by coming into His presence. He Himself said that He was the incarnation of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that those who approached Him drew near to the Kingdom.

    Jesus is not physically visible today. He has left us Scriptures, modern revelations, and inspired apostolic council, all of which enable people to draw near to Him on the invisible plane. But He is also revealed by the life of the Body, the Church, and the Spirit which it carries. For some reason which we cannot adequately explain, people are drawn close to Him by simply being in our presence because we have become vessels for His Spirit. And those vessels have been carved out by the keys of knowledge, administered through the covenants, being lived out in our daily lives.

    Of course, this witness is not perfect, for perfection of the Body is in the process and will last as long as we live, but there is enough sprinkling of perfection, here and there, in unexpected deeds of love and kindness, in obedience and submission, in worship and song, that are sufficiently powerful to draw people into an atmosphere that enables them to find the Christ for themselves.

    God Does Not Contradict Himself

    Today in the Church there are some people who are saying, like the Pharisees: "Now give God the praise; this man [Jesus], we know quite well, is only a sinner" (v.24). They are saying: "Give Jesus the praise; this Church [the New Covenant Church], we know quite well, is only man-made." If ever the Name of God is abused, this is an example of it. If God fills a man or woman with the Holy Spirit, and that man or woman preaches the Gospel and is the means of saving souls, then that man or woman is a servant of the Lord. But if the one who is converted then says: "Praise the Lord, I am converted; but this man (or woman) is of the devil because he believes in this or that," then what sort of a person is that convert? Is he really giving God the praise? No he is not, because he is declaring God's righteousness to be evil. He is contradicting himself, and God is not a God of contradiction.

    I have often told you the story of a book of scripture produced by another church which we do not accept but which we feel contains many inspired and beautiful truths. We have read this book to fellow Christians who, recognising that it is the Word of God being spoken, have praised God! And yet, when afterwards they have been told what the book is, they cry: "It is from the devil!" Is such a person true and honourable? How can a bitter fountain bring forth sweet water? They contradict themselves.

    What we need to do, though, is to get to the roots of such a problem. What actually is happening? What is happening is that people are accepting only half the truth -- the truth which appeals to them. The Pharisees could not deny that the blind man could now see. Logic alone would have compelled them to admit that the one who healed was Himself of God. But they couldn't. Why not? Because He had called the Pharisees to repentance because of their hypocricy! And so it is today.

    A Heathen's Testimony

    We, of the New Covenant Church of God, go around and preach the Gospel. The people see the fruits. One woman in recent times said to us: "You are living purer lives than us." She saw the fruits and had to acknowledge them. But because she could not accept the whole Gospel she decided instead to say that we were evil and has become our worst persecutor. The contradiction of people would be unbelievable if we didn't understand about human nature. Thanks to the revelations the Lord has given us, I believe we have a pretty good understanding of that nature.

    Today, because we are not converting people in droves, there are some of our number who have concluded that something must be terribly wrong with us. So they have adopted a position not unlike the Pharisees. "Yes," they say, "much good has happened to us, but since we believe now that the Church is not built on the right foundation, we cannot believe it is of God. What has happened to us has come directly from God independent of the Church. Let us get rid of it!" A contradiction in terms.

    The Church That Will Not Go Away

    Maybe some of the people will try to "get rid of the Church." I can promise you that it won't go away. They will. And, when they have eaten "humble pie", they'll be back. The Church is not just an "institution" which you can "leave" -- it is a family of people who carry with them God's Word written on their hearts by the pen of the Holy Spirit and sealed by the covenants they have made with God. Externally there is an organisation, scriptures, priesthood offices, proceedures, a temple, and many other things, which are an outward reflection on the physical plane of the process of writing the Law on the heart inwardly. They are as inseparable now as the body is from the spirit. People have yet to fully understand the relationship between the two. They see the fruits and can say: "Once I was blind, but now I see" but must also honestly add: "I do not know if this Church is of God." Only time, faith and patience will finally give them that answer.

    Well, the blind man had the opportunity to have the second question answered too. He was excommunicated from the Church by the Pharisees just as we are "excommunicated" by society and (sometimes) our families because of what we believe, stand up for, and live. They will never receive us back, just as the Jewish Church never received the disciples of Jesus "back".

    When Jesus learned that the blind man had been thrown out of the Synagogue, He asked him: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" The blind man answered: "Who is this, sir; tell me, that I may believe in Him." To which Jesus replied: "You have seen Him!" Now note this carefully -- He didn't say: "You have seen Him with your eyes", or, "You have already met Him," but "you have SEEN Him." This word "see" is important. It isn't just a reference to the physical eyes but to the spiritual. To "see" spiritually is to believe. This blind man had already BELIEVED though he had not known it. The blind man replied: "I do believe, Lord." Not, "Let me hear you preach the Gospel, and then I will believe." He believed because of the PRESENCE. He believed because he already knew. His act of submission was instant. And what did that blind man do next: he worshipped Jesus.

    Knowing the Truth

    I don't know if you are comprehending what I am telling you but it is vitally important. This sinner knew that Jesus was the Son of God not by the seeing of his eyes, not by the hearing of the Word, but by the Master's presence. And that, friends, is what is now drawing people to this Church -- not the revelations themselves, but by the spiritual presence of the Lord which came because these revelations, and the covenants associated with them and administered to the people, created the inner vessel that allowed the Spirit to gain entrance to our hearts. Do you see, then, that all these things -- the Word, God's presence, the Holy Spirit, the saints, the covenants, the keys of knowledge, are all a part of one stable, integrated whole? You can't divide them without being contradictory and denying the Lord in some way.

    May the Lord of the New Covenant bless you so that you can comprehend these things and finally be free of blindness, is my prayer, in Jesus' Name. Amen.

    This page was created on 16 April 1998
    Last updated on 16 April 1998

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