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Spiritual Readiness By Jeffrey D. Dean, Sr.

January 19 2012
Matthew 24:32 "Watch therefore for you do not know when your Lord comes." Matthew 25:13 "Watch therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes." 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 "13 You must watch, standing fast in the faith and quit being like men, be strong, 14 Let all things be done with love." Revelations 3: 3 "Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore you shall not watch I will come upon you as a thief and you shall not know the hour I come upon you." 2 Corinthians 8: 11 "Now therefore perform the doing of it; just as there was a readiness of will so that there may be a performance also out of that which you have." 2 Corinthians 10: 5-6 "Casting down imaginations, and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." From Larry Norman's "I wish we'd all been ready" "A man and wife asleep in bed He hears a noise, turns his head she's gone I wish we'd all been ready

There's no time to change your mind The Son has come and you've been left behind."
The world is waiting for "the Rapture." That is the moment, some teach, just prior to the return of the Son of God to the earth when supposedly believers everywhere will be whisked away on a cloud and vanish off the face of the earth. (There have been several movies made about this subject). Yet, when you scrutinize the lives and the beliefs (doctrines) of those who are teaching this you have to begin to wonder what they mean when they say "watch and be ready." According to them there's nothing to do here but wait! They teach that all you do is admit you're a sinner (they call this repentance but it is not) and receive the truth of the Son of God and bam, you're saved, you're ready! So why are there so many admonishments in scripture to the believer to prepare oneself for the return of Christ? What does it mean to "watch" and more importantly what does it mean to be "ready?" I submit now that to those who teach conventional Christian thinking and the "rapture" the words watch and be ready have no meaning whatsoever! They are waiting for the trumpet to sound and for God to change their fleshly bodies into something else entirely. Until that moment (according to them) they will remain in their present sin cursed state, doomed to wander the earth in perpetual disobedience to the Father! They will tell you this openly, quoting Romans 7 all the way (which is a scripture that applies to someone who is not living by the Spirit but is instead living in the flesh). To the modern "rapturist" there's nothing left to do but continue on in sin, keep going to church, tything, testifying of their faith when they can, and wait for the "magic" to happen.

READY THE BRIDE


The church is the bride of Christ! A bride who is "ready" for the groom is dressed in a white gown, without spot or wrinkle, fully prepared, chaste and in purity! That is true readiness! In the Air Force we had what was called "unit readiness." It required constant discipline, practice, honing of your skills, and being prepared at all times to leave go to war at the drop of the hat. If we had just set our affairs in order in preparation for a sudden departure but never practiced "readiness" we would have been ill equipped to fight if called upon to do so. What Christ and the Apostles were talking about when they said to "watch and be ready" is very similar. It's a state of constant vigil yes, but it's also a state of practicing every day your skills, getting better and better at what you do every single day! I call it "Spiritual Readiness." To be ready means all of your past sins are forgiven, you are walking upright before the Father in this moment, and you have NO INTENTION of sinning in the future! (Repentance, or turning your backs on your sin).

Spiritual Readiness means that you go forth and put into practice your faith, by mortifying the deeds of your body every day, walking upright and holy before the Lord, hearing the word of the good shephed and heeding those words, and every day more and more we follow the example of the Messiah who was so spiritually ready that he could say "I don't say anything the Father doesn't tell me to say" and "I don't do anything the Father doesn't tell me to do." Spiritual Readiness for the believer can mean nothing less than that (for the servant is not greater than the Master). We must get to the point where we don't say anything that Messiah (and subsequently the Father) doesn't tell us to say and we don't do anything that Messiah (and subsequently the Father) doesn't tell us to do! That's what it means to be his follower and his servant, to make him LORD of our lives. If the Master of us all was servant to the Father to the point where he didn't say or do anything without the Father's blessing we who follow him must also reach that state! He is our example to follow (otherwise why do you call yourselves the followers of Christ?) As Jesus asked the multitude "why do you call me

Lord, but don't do what I say?" Luke 6:46


The traditional rapturist says it's "impossible" to be that obedient to the Father because of our free will! Thus, they hang onto their free will rather than following Christ's example and saying "nevertheless, Father, not my will be done but yours." They don't have a servant's heart and say that it's impossible to do so! How shall they escape seeing that they have sought to hang onto their own will and live their own lives and Messiah said "he who seeks to save his life shall lose it?" They tell me "you're saying we become puppets." I'm saying no such thing! A puppet has no choice in the matter! We have free will indeed and should exercise our free choice to set aside our own wills and do that of the will of the Father! I'm saying we follow Christ's example and willingly lay down our lives for the brethren, for the sake of LOVING each other and this was Christ's command all along! How dare you resist it then call yourselves one of his? It boggles the mind! Being "ready" for the return of our Lord means much more than just preparing ourselves mentally for the experience! (That's about all it means among the "rapturists"). Peter stated that we can "hasten" that day and bring it sooner by walking as Christ walked on this earth. (Tempted in all ways, yet without sin, laying aside our own lives and wills and living the life the Father commands us to live, through his great LOVE). Perfecting ourselves in the Father's Love. That's TRUE Spiritual Readiness. John put it best.

2 John 3: 1-3 "1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God: Therefore the world does not know us, because it knew him not.

2 Beloved now we are the sons of God and it doesn't yet appear what we shall be but we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure."
The problem with the traditional raputurist is they say this sort of perfection (being pure) is impossible. They are waiting for the trumpet sound and to be physically changed and until then, they say, we are "in the flesh." (They say this in contrariness to everything the Apostles taught, by the way). They don't understand that if they do not lay down their own wills NOW, how can they expect to lay down their will once they are "changed." It's not going to happen (especially if they say it's not going to happen). It takes practice! Practice makes perfect. Now is the acceptable time, NOW is the day of salvation. We must live the life of the Son of God (who obeyed the Father in all things and set aside his own free will)! The fact that they see this described relationship as "puppet and puppet master" speaks VOLUMES of where their heart is at. We don't become puppets we become servants and children of the Father! If you only do that which the Father (and Christ) commands how can you sin? It's impossible to sin if you do that because the Father and Messiah are not going to command you to sin! They've got it backwards saying it's impossible to stop sinning! They say Christ is in charge of their lives but their lives are sinful (and always shall be according to them). This is a GREAT LIE indeed. We aren't waiting to be changed to see this happen (at some magic trumpet moment) we are changed already and all that is left is for us to believe it and walk in it! If we say it's never going to happen in this life we will NEVER walk in it in this life. That is common sense! It will come to pass for you according to your own testimony! Beware! He who is a true believer in Y'Shua Messiah is already a "new creature" all of the old things have passed away and all things have become new. (It does not say you "will be a new creature" it says you ARE a new creature).

2 Corinthians 5: 17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold all things have become new."
He who is a follower of Y'Shua Messiah is walking in faith and that faith brings forth the work of Christ IN them.

James 1: 22-25 "22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a

man heholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he sees himself and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he is. 25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 2: 14- 20 "14 What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith and has not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it has not works is dead, being alone. 18 Yes a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: whow me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God; you do well; the devils also believe and tremble. 20 But will you not know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Being prepared for the return of the Son of God is realizing that he can return at ANY moment, you do not know when it will happen, but you do know that when he does return we the believers will be found walking "even as he walked." It means showing your faith by your WORKS!

1 John 2: 6 "He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
The rapturists even go so far as to say that they will not be made like Christ "in this life," they can only strive. This is completely contrary to the teachings of the Apostles who stated that we are "dead in baptism" that our life is now "hidden" in Christ (it does not yet appear what we shall be), and that the life we now live is by faith in Messiah, and that it is not I that live but Messiah lives IN us. Our life is ETERNAL in him and therefore never ending! He will return to us in this present new life we now live which is unending!

Romans 6: 3-4 "Don't you know that as many of us that were baptised into Jesus

Christ were baptised into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in newness of life." Colossians 3: 3 "For you are dead and your life is hid in God." Galatians 2: 20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
No man can through the flesh attain to the perfection promised us. We do it by the Spirit of Love through FAITH (and faith without works is dead being alone). That is why it says "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." We do not follow in Messiah's footsteps by the power of the flesh (through fleshly observance of the law) we through faith serve in NEWNESS of SPIRIT, fulfilling the law in the flesh by that selfsame Spirit of LOVE that Christ demonstrated when he laid down his life and obeyed the Father's will rather than his own. We are NOT waiting for our new life in Messiah to begin at some distant moment when a trumpet sounds! That's where the rapturists fail and thus do not truly prepare or make themselves ready! Our new life in Messiah has already begun and we are working toward it in hope. That is what is meant here:

Philipians 2: 12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Traditional rapturists have concluded that we don't obey the law at all! We only "hear" the word and believe, we don't actually DO the work. (In fact they twist the word of God to say no man can do the work)! They are waiting for Christ to come and do all the work for them (after changing their bodies). Until then, they teach, the attainability of the prize of walking like Christ perfectly on the earth is BEYOND them. They will NEVER be ready! To the traditional rapturist their body is cursed with the curse of Adam! They are sold under sin until that trumpet sounds! They do not believe in the power of Messiah's crucifixion to set them free from the curse of the flesh RIGHT NOW! They speak of it as some future date! They do not comprehend that Messiah is waiting for THEM!

2 Peter 1: 9

"The lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
The rapturists traditionally apply the above scripture to the unbelievers who haven't received Christ! Yet the writer here says that the Lord is longsuffering to USWARD and includes himself and everyone he's writing to. The reason the rapturists don't realize the true meaning of the above scripture is because they don't think there's ANY possibility of a person who has "received" their teaching of EVER perishing! They ignore the very verses they quote which warn them to "watch and be ready" for those same verses say that it is possible for a servant of Christ to be caught "unawares" while he is in sin and that person will be "cast out with the hypocrites."

Matthew 24: 45-51 "45 who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household to give them meat in due season 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he comes, finds him so doing. 47 Truly I say that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart My Lord delays his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants and to eat and drink with the drunken 50 The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he does not look for him and in an hour that he is not aware of 51 And shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13: 41-42 "41 The son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
There is a stuanch warning to ALL the churches in Revelation that if Messiah comes and finds us not doing his works:

Revelation 2: 16 "Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."

Revelation 2: 5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works; or I will come to you quickly and remove your candlestick out of his place, unless you repent."
When Christ is returned the age of grace comes to an end. They will be out of time to repent.

Revelation 10: 5-7 5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. 7 But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as he has declared to his servants the prophets."
The servants of Messiah at this point have been given all the time they are going to get to so walk in the faith and hope of following Christ to the point of complete and utter success (and those who fail will be cast aside). By the return, the believers will have succeeded! They will all walk in one accord in the Spirit, in the Love of Christ and have shed the sins of the flesh through their faith! The faithful tree will have brought forth the fruit of the spirit and it will be harvest time! Any branch within that tree not bringing forth this fruit will be cut off.

St. John 15: 1-6 1 I am the true vine and my Father is the husbanman. 2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away; and every branch in me that bears fruit, he purges that it may bring forth more fruit 3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you 4 Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine; no more can you except if you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me and I in him the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

Those who have been waiting for Christ to change them and magically make them perfect will have run out of time! If any of those poor souls are caught in the fleshly acts of sin at that moment, they will be utterly cast out as the hypocrites they are. That is why the believer plays russian roulette with their own salvation every time they abide "in the flesh" and sin rather than abiding in Christ (in the Spirit) and walking holy! They do not know when is the moment the trumpet will sound and they will be out of time. Christ holds back his return until the BELIEVERS are all in the unity of the faith, walking even as Christ walked because he's not willing to cast any of us out! Yet, we see by his own words that even though he doesn't want to cast out those who are stumbling in the faith, there comes a moment when he can wait no longer! I doubt he'll wait at all for those who say it's NEVER going to happen and are just sitting around waiting for HIM to change them! If they say it's never going to happen in this life they openly admit they have NO INTENTION of doing it in their lifetimes. He's not going to wait on them or he'll be waiting forever! If they say it will NEVER happen to them in their lifetimes it will come to pass even as they have spoken it and they shall surely be cast aside should he return. In the Air Force we had "readiness exercises." A horn would go off and immediately we had to act as though we were at war. During these exercises we would have to immediately don our protective gear, including gas masks! We had a time limit to get it all done! We had to carry our protective gear with us everywhere in preparation for this. It would be interesting to have "spiritual readiness" exercises when we come together (and even in our individual households). A moment when a trumpet sounds and then everyone is asked to examine their faith. Everyone will be asked if they have any unholy fleshly thoughts at that moment or if anyone is engaged in any fleshly acts that are not according to the Spirit of Christ. It really is that simple, actually. All those who are walking according to the Spirit at that moment when the trumpet sounds can deem themselves "ready." If there are any among us who have NO INTENTION of ever ceasing from their fleshly sins, they cannot call themselves ready! The rapturists see themselves as "in sin" because they are flesh and blood, trapped in a "sin curse." They, therefore never have ANY intention of ceasing from their sin and walking in the LOVE of Christ (not in this life)! How can they call themselves "ready?" Their hearts are not right before God and never will be, for they are waiting until AFTER the trumpet sound and AFTER the Spirit CHANGES them! If they continue to wait for that moment it will be too late for them! Those who are pressing forward, intent upon seeing it through will leave them in the dust! They cannot live in the flesh and hope to be changed into immortal beings at the sound of the trumpet because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."

1 Corinthians 15: 34 "Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the

knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." 1 Corinthians 15: 50-52 "50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed; 52 in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
I fear for them who say it's impossible to stop sinning (to be incorruptible). They are going to miss the great moment when it happens (if so be they are alive and remaining here on earth at the sounding of the last trumpet and if so be their own testimony states they can NEVER be incorruptible)! That is why I focus almost all of my energy on revealing to them their error. They think I am an obsessed and hateful person, down on their religion! They don't understand I'm trying to HELP them (and they never will understand for the most part). I have lost almost all hope of helping them to see this great truth. I spent over 30 years among them, pouring over scripture with them and all I got for my efforts was contention, strife, even being thrown out of their churches, fellowships, gatherings, and homes! They are carnally minded and do not realize that to be carnally minded is death!

Romans 8: 6 "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
To them, being "in Christ" means you believe in what Christ did (yet even the devils believe in that and KNOW it to be true without a shadow of a doubt). They quote the verse that says "there is no condemnation for them that be in Christ."

Romans 8: 1 "There is therefore no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."
The traditinal rapturist only quotes the first part of this verse they never quote "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." They turn "in Christ" to mean simply believing. To be hearers only but not doers. Yet, to be in Christ means you WALK in his ways (which are obedience and holiness before the Father). Truly there is no condemnation for such a person! Yet, they have a purely legalistic and religious view of what it means to be "in Christ." To them if they say the sinner's prayer, go to church, and "try" to be like Jesus they are good to go! Which, in actuality would be good enough if they truly TRULY believed in

Christ and his teachings they would then walk in his LOVE and obey his commandments to love! In this case, their faith would carry them through to perfection! If they truly TRIED to be like Christ they would succeed in the end and would be among the faithful but they don't REALLY try (for they say it's impossible and will never happen in this life). They have decieved themselves with a great lie and I see no hope for them until they repent! They wrongly believe that because we have an "advocate" with the Father when we sin, this means they can go on sinning and sinning and sinning until the day they die (or until Christ returns and magically changes them). How sad is that? It's hard not to pity them because they will never be "ready" and they certainly are not "watching." Go forth in faith and hope! If you lie down and say "it will not happen" and wait for some magic moment you will be lost for you have no intention of every following Messiah! If you don't think you will succeed, you are certainly not ready to succeed! You have thwarted Messiah's ministry in you if you fail to believe in this glory! Jeffrey D. Dean, Sr.