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Rainbow Divider

THE ROD OF GOD

by C. Parker Thomas

Rainbow Divider

Photo of  Bro. Thomas

Like those who died in the wilderness, the majority of the Christian world is not really interested in learning the ways of the Lord. They will not hear his voice when the truth spoken conflicts with their own will and way.

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This article, first published decades ago in MCM, is perhaps more relevant to us today than it was then. At that time it was an amazingly clear prophetic word as to what to expect as the Lord unfolded His purpose and plan in the endtime. In our time it is simply a description of what is happening as judgment takes place in the house of God (I Peter 4:17). I believe great things lie ahead for the remnant that comes under the rod of God.

“As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:33-38.

By the Spirit of God I am made to believe that the above scripture is now in process of being fulfilled in the earth. A few weeks ago the Holy Spirit came upon me in a most unusual way one Sunday morning while I was preaching and the people were told in substance that they must come under the rod of God. Under the prophetic anointing we were made able to see that divine authority symbolized by the rod of Moses must be restored to its proper place among the people of God. At this particular time I had not been studying the rod of God as a subject and I was not familiar with the above passage of scripture. Later while running references on the subject I found this scripture and felt convinced that it had a personal application to what is now taking place.

Though I know this scripture for the most part is applied to the ...

NATION ISRAEL

I am convinced its greater application has spiritual Israel (the Church made up of Jew and Gentile, Eph. 2:11-22, 3:1-6) in mind. The gathering out from the people and other countries, verse 34, is the spiritual separation from the world and the many harlot systems of religion.

The wilderness of verse 35 typifies the spiritual state of confusion and uncertainty that exists while the Church is being disciplined and taught of the Lord in preparation for its entrance into Canaan (The kingdom dispensation). It is during this wilderness journey that the people are disciplined, taught, judged and brought under the rod of God. Deut. 8. The rod symbolizes ...

GOD’S AUTHORITY

in the earth. It is His word executed by chosen anointed vessels or the Church walking in the light of the New Testament. It is simply the scepter or rule of God manifested through chosen vessels. Isa. 11:1-5, Micah 6:9. Actually it is far more reaching than to simply say, “It is the rule of God manifested in the earth through chosen vessels.” It is also the rule of God working and controlling in every area of human life and conduct. When finished it will be the fulfillment of the words of Jesus in what we call the Lord’s prayer. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Even as the Nation Israel became subject to the law of Moses which infinite wisdom designed for the good of people as a whole, the Church must become subject to the law of Christ as revealed in the New Testament. Moses’ law began with the tables of stone and was designed to regulate and govern the nation down to the life of the single individual.

The law of Christ begins with the new birth resulting in a new heart and a new spirit. Ezek. 36:24-27, Heb. 10:14-18. Without the new birth and the Holy Spirit’s resurrection power the law of Moses could not be implemented due to the weakness of the flesh. Rom. 8:3. Only the overt acts of sin and transgression were kept in check under the law. Though man still has the weakness of the flesh to contend with under the law of Christ he also has resurrection power with which to overcome. Rom. 8:2-4, I John 4:4. However, there must be a ‘walk in the Spirit’ if the believer is to “not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”. Gal. 5:16. Before this walk can be affected and maintained to any degree of consistency the believer must “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”. Eph.4:15. This putting off the ‘old man with his deeds’ and the putting on of ‘the new man’ can only be accomplished in the believer that is willing to come under the rod of God and become a real disciple of Christ. Eph. 4:15.

Though couched in a little different language, this is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. The freedom our hearts cry out for can only come as we become obedient to divine authority. To despise the rod of God means to remain in bondage and servitude and finally die in the wilderness and never go in and possess the land.

Whereas the law of Moses was applied usually to the overt act of sin only, the law of Christ must control the very thoughts and intents of the heart. A comparison of the two is made by the Lord himself in Matt. 5:17-48.

Since the call of Abraham, God has always had His representatives or human voice in the earth — not all of His representatives have been perfect as types. Only the Son had the perfect ministry and could say, “I do always those things that please him.” John 8:29. Despite the imperfections of the many types they were the Lord’s chosen anointed and HONORED OF GOD. Jer. 1:4- 12, Rom. 11:29. Miriam was smitten with leprosy when she criticized Moses and tried to assume authority she did not have. Num. 12. Abimelech likewise learned that God honored and protected His anointed. Gen. 20. I Chron. 16:20- 22 says, “And when they went from nation to nation and from one kingdom to another people: He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

When the vessel who holds the rod of God is despised and rejected it is God that is despised and rejected. When the people rejected the rule of God through Samuel the prophet the Lord said to Samuel, “ Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them”. I Sam. 8:7. When the Lord sent the seventy forth he said, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” Luke 10:16. Man’s attitude toward those that wield the rod of God is his attitude toward God. Man must come under the Rod of God. Even as the people bowed to the authority and leadership of Moses they must come under the true leadership of Christ before they enter the kingdom age.

From the Garden of Eden to this day man in general has hated the rod of God. The Lord sent prophets, kings, judges and finally His only begotten Son wielding the rod, the scepter of righteousness. All these they have persecuted, killed and despised. The early Church and apostles were likewise hated and despised because they too had the rod of God.

GOD USES MAN

to bring man under the rod. He could do it apart from man but since by man sin comes into the world, it is by man that righteousness must be restored. Not even the angels are allowed to wield the rod of God. In fact, VERY FEW MEN have been allowed to wield the rod of God. Only those who first come under the rod themselves are capable of wielding it. Jesus, our perfect example and type, always did those things that pleased the Father; yet He learned obedience by the things which he suffered. Heb. 5:8-9. As a result, all power in heaven and earth was given unto Him. Matt. 28:18. Likewise all judgment has been committed unto the Son. John 5:22.

GOD’S PEOPLE

Must come under the rod first. I Peter 4:17. Though every living creature including fallen angels and wicked men will be made to bow before God, this work will be accomplished in God’s people first. Rom. 14:11, II Peter 2:4-9. “As I live, sayeth the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you. ... And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: ...” Ezek. 20:33-38.

Coming under the rod of God is a PAINFUL AND GRIEVOUS experience for proud rebellious man. This is especially true in the case of proud domineering individuals who think more highly of themselves than they ought to. Like Miriam and Korah they resent divine authority and become a source of trouble to the people of God. Numbers 12 and 16. Only the judgments of God in the earth will bring many to their knees and cause them to learn righteousness. Isa. 26:9. Coming UNDER THE ROD cannot be done independent of the rest of the body and the authority of the local church. Because of the apostate condition of the Church World in general there has come forth a generation that more or less despises divine authority. While they claim to be followers of Christ and respect His authority they practically scoff at the idea of being subject to those who by virtue of their calling and office are over them in the Lord. Neither will they recognize or submit to the authority of the Local Church. Yet, it is impossible to be subject to Christ and despise His Church or those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers. Acts 2:42, 20:17-28, I Peter 5:1-6, Heb. 13:17, Acts 15:1-41, I Tim. 3:1-15, 5:17-19, Titus 1:4-9. A casual perusal of the New Testament will convince any open minded person that believers in the early Church believed in and respected divine authority.

SWIFT JUDGMENT was meted out to the transgressors that would brazenly dare to sin against the Church or oppose divine authority. Acts 5:1-11, 13:6-12, I Cor. 4:18-21, 5:1-13, 11:27-32, I Tim. 1:18-20, Heb. 12:5-11.

Like Israel in the Old Testament, as long as the Church judged sin in the camp and refused to compromise with the world God honored them with His presence, and great miracles, signs and wonders followed. Josh. 7, Judg. 2:1-5, Acts 5:1-16, I Cor. 5:6-13.

However, when they failed to judge sin and purge out the leaven “Ichabod” (the glory is departed) was written across the door. I Sam. 4.

God will not honor the Church or individual that will not judge and put away sin. A Holy God would not be consistent with His very nature if He went contrary to this principle. Consequently, His eternal edict will continue to be “neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed things from among you.” Josh. 7:12.

RESTORATION of the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is the first step in God’s program in this last move to purify, purge and prepare the Church for the coming of Jesus. Acts 3:21, Joel 2:23-32, Eph. 4:11-13. Upon the shoulders of this five-fold ministry rests the painful and unpopular job of bringing the Church under the rod of God. Upon their shoulders rests the responsibility of teaching and bringing the Church back to New Testament order. Discipline as it was practiced in the early Church must be restored. God’s order for home and Church must be restored. Relationship of husband and wife, man and woman, children and family must be restored according to divine order. Eph. 6:1-9, I Cor. 11:3, I Peter 3:1-7. As I have already said, the very thought life must be brought under control. II Cor. 10:4-5. Only a church thus purified and prepared will receive the double portion or former and latter rain. It is such a church as this that will preach the everlasting gospel and reap the great end-time harvest before Jesus comes. Matt. 24:14, Jam. 5:7-8, Rev. 14:1-7. Only those who willingly come under the rod of God and cease to be a law unto themselves can be purged, purified and anointed for this last day of ministry. This purging and purification process results in death to self and the flesh. Out of this death shall come forth life like rivers of living water. This living water shall flow in the desert of sin, sickness, sorrow and unbelief. Hallelujah! The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose and the streams of healing waters shall heal everything it touches. Isa. 35:1, Ezek. 47:9.

THE REASON GOD’S WORD seemingly does not work in our midst is simply because we are not in divine order. Divine order will bring the presence and power of Christ. Miracles of healing, signs and wonders, great convicting power as well as miracles of judgment will take place. As long as we continue to ignore this truth we tie the hands of God. This is the truth for the Midnight Hour, the watchman must cry aloud and awaken the sleeping virgins. It is lamp trimming time. Matt. 25, Isa. 52:1-12, 60:1-5.

ARE YOU WILLING to come under the rod? Death to the flesh and self is there but life is also there. Peace and joy is there, freedom is there and great honor and glory is there. Those who willingly come under the rod will wield the rod in judging those who refuse. Psa. 2:8-9, Rev. 2:26-27, 12:1-5. One way or the other man will come under the rod of God. Which way will you choose?

The rod of Moses was in itself nothing. All symbols are in themselves nothing. The soldier’s insignia, the policeman’s badge, the ambassador’s credentials would mean absolutely nothing were it not for the power and authority that they represent.

Likewise, these symbols are meaningless when used by those who have not been duly authorized to use them. Suppose we were living in a city with ten different police departments, all interpreting and enforcing the laws without regard to each other. Suppose each police department was backed up by its own courts, judges and magistrates. Think of the confusion and bedlam that would certainly prevail. Criminals which should be jailed and prosecuted in one district might be harbored and protected in another. What would be the law in one place would not be the law at all in another. The recognition and implementation of law by one side might be completely rejected and nullified by the other.

The result would be a complete breakdown of law and order; violence and injustice would certainly prevail. This beloved, is a picture of Babylon, the confused religious world, devoid of true divine authority in the earth.

Were it not for the corruption, graft and selfish interests of the personnel of these ten police departments, they would be one, motivated by the same righteous and just spirit.

DISEASED AND SICK

But such is not the case and there reigns instead a sick, palsied spiritual condition aptly described by Isa. 1:3-6. “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”

Isn’t it significant that a sick and diseased human body is used as a type to picture the condition of the nation. And I believe the nation, in this instance Judah, is a type of the overall Christian church filled with division, strife and rebellion. It is actually likened to Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed with fire and brimstone.

THE TRUE CHURCH

Please notice also in verse 9 of Isaiah 1 that if it were not for “a very small remnant” the whole would have suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the Lord is through, there will only be one church to represent him in the earth. This little remnant will be that church. In referring to the tribulation Jesus said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt 24:22.

This very small remnant called the ‘elect,’ ‘salt of the earth,’ ‘light of the world’ and ‘little flock’ by the Lord is the only reason fire and brimstone haven’t already destroyed this world. Only this “very small remnant” will hear the word of the Lord and be prepared for the day of wrath to come. Upon the shoulders of this remnant rests the responsibility of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and executing judgment in the earth. Read Psalm 149.

RIGHTEOUS SEED

Though the so-called Christian Church “remain among the graves and lodge in the monuments” (dead lifeless religious movements with their fine buildings of brick, stone and mortar) there is a righteous seed that will come forth. Isa. 65:4. Verses 9 & 10 say, “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.” Hallelujah! At this time our Lord’s prayer that we be made perfect in one shall be fulfilled. John 17:22-23. The scattered remnant will come together under the leadership of Christ.

But the future as pictured by Isaiah for the general religious world which remains among the graves and lodge in the monuments is one of judgment and desolation. Verses 11-15 picture it thusly: “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. Therefore will number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear, but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.” This could be none other than Babylon which must be destroyed. Rev. 17 & 18.

MUST COME OUT

The righteous seed or remnant within the confines of Babylon must come out before she is destroyed. Isa. 52:11-12 says “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” Rev. 18:4 likewise confirms this same truth. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying Come out from among her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues.”

The same gathering out from among the people and systems of men is pictured in Ezek. 20:33-44. Even this righteous seed or remnant must be purged, cleansed and brought under the rod (under the authority of Christ in the church) before they can possess the land.

NOT MYSTICAL

Now the question is, How shall this seemingly impossible task be accomplished? Some want to believe it will be done by some mystical sovereign act of God, somewhere, sometime. And in the meantime, we can do nothing but sit, wait and hope. This, I believe is satanic delusion, designed to justify those who want to go on their rebellious way apart from subjection to Christ and his church. Don’t believe in this false mysticism which the mother harlot called “Mystery Babylon” has spawned upon the whole apostate Christian world.

WE HAVE LIGHT

Our God has not left us in the dark as to how this work shall be accomplished. Only those whose hearts are darkened by sin and rebellion will be unable to see and walk in the light of restoration. I Thess. 5:4 says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” John 7:17 says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” So it is actually a matter our own will and heart being right with God. This is the very reason most of the people who came out of Egypt with Moses were not allowed to enter the promised land. As the Lord speaks once again to a generation that stands on the threshold of the kingdom age, we would do well to listen to Paul’s exhortation in Heb. 3:7-11. “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years, Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest).”

Like those who died in the wilderness, the majority of the Christian world is not really interested in learning the ways of the Lord. They will not hear his voice when the truth spoken conflicts with their own will and way. Thank God for the remnant that have ears to hear. They will come together and into divine order in process of time. Even now they are beginning to hear the Word of the Lord.

THE SECRET KEY

This is the secret; this is the key as to how the work will be accomplished. The Word of the Lord alone will prepare and lead us victoriously into the promised land. God will not bypass his word. Noah’s ark had to be built according to the Lord’s instructions.

Have nothing to do with these so-called last day revelations that are not according to the Word of God. Flee from them as from a viper. Also watch the person or group that claims to have many revelations of the Spirit. There must be a balance between the Word and Spirit. Also watch those who boast of their new or great experiences.

SIMPLE OBEDIENCE

Obedience to the Word of God simply taught by the fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will perfect the church and bring it to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. Eph. 4:11-13. This is God’s plan. Nothing else will work.

When the Word of the Lord begins to mean to us what it did to our Lord, then we will do the works he did. Matt. 4:4. Jesus literally meant what he said in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

DIVINE ORDER

Slowly but surely as the Word of God is honored, we will come into divine order and begin to experience a reality the church has not known since right after Pentecost. This means divine order in our personal lives, the home and the church.

ANOINTED AUTHORITY

The first step toward divine order is belief in and respect for the ministry of authority which must lead the way. Without restoration of authority to speak, arbitrate, and judge in the affairs of men and the church, there would be no hope for the church. I believe this ministry of authority must be restored first. Isa. 1:26 says, “And I will restore thy judges as at the first and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called The city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

Assumed or presumed authority will not suffice. It must be anointed Authority. Even as Moses received his mantle of authority at the burning bush, so must this restored authority. As Jesus was anointed for his ministry of authority, so must this ministry be anointed. As the church received its mantle of authority on the day of Pentecost, so must this ministry of authority. The chief characteristic of this ministry will be honor and respect for and an insight into the Word of God such as we have never witnessed.

GENERAL AUTHORITY

The second step toward divine order is belief in and respect for authority in general. There are many phases of authority and it must be respected as unto the Lord. Too long man has thought of divine authority as a vertical relationship between man and God alone. But the truth is, there can be no vertical relationship with God without a proper horizontal relationship with man. In fact, I believe it is only as we submit to the authority of the Word regarding earthly authorities, human relationships and the church that we are actually in subjection to the divine authority of Almighty God.

EXAMPLES

For example, Jesus said to the disciples, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Matt. 10:40. In simple language, we receive Christ when we hear and receive those whom he sends.

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” Luke 10:16.

In Matt. 24:34-46, Jesus says that our attitude toward those in prison, hungry, thirsty, sick, naked, and a stranger is our attitude toward him.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” John 3:14. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” I John 3:17.

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? I John 4:20.

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 10:32-33. From this scripture we see that it is the earthly confession of Christ before men that results in him confessing us before the Father in heaven.

When told that his mother and brethren desired to see him, Jesus said, “... my mother and my brethren are those which hear the Word of God, and do it. Luke 8:21 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the Body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be unto their own husbands in everything.” Eph. 5:22-24.

From these examples and many others we see that proper relationship with God must be expressed through proper relationship with man here.

SUBMISSION HERE

Likewise the rule of God over our lives must be manifested through submission to the authority of the church and those who have the rule over us here. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Heb. 13:17.

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” I Thess. 5:12- 13.

In matters of discipline and judgment so far as the believer is concerned the supreme authority over his life should be the church. It is a common thing today to hear of churches and Christians bringing lawsuits against each other. What does the Word of God say about this? “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to the law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge the angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” I Cor. 6:1-8.

Our Lord gives us a classic example of how the authority of the church is to be respected by saying that those who would not hear the church are to be considered heathen and publicans. Matt. 18:15-20. It was bad enough to be a heathen, much less a publican also. These adjectives, used by the Lord to describe divine contempt for those who despise the authority of the church, should show us how serious a matter it is for men to be a law unto themselves.

EARTHLY AUTHORITIES

The true church and ministry will also honor the Word in teaching believers to respect and honor civil authorities and customs as well as the church. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Rom. 13:1-7.

As we line up with the Word of God we will be brought under the rod of authority and finally into perfect divine order. No mystical experience or revelation will bring us into this place, but simple obedience to the Word which brings us into proper relationship with man, the church and God.

A mental assent to the letter of the Word will avail nothing. There must be a heartfelt surrender to the teachings of the Word as unto Christ with a recognition of his Lordship over our lives through these things that are taught. Obedience from the heart is the formula.

This alone will set us free. Rom. 6:17-18 says “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin ye became the servants of righteousness.”

Even as the Word was fulfilled in Christ, it must be fulfilled in us and the church before we enter into our inheritance. Regardless of how distasteful, how bitter or how contrary to our former ways and beliefs, we must line up with the word of God in every area of human life. This, beloved, is the way we come under the rod of God.

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